Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
September 21, 2009

 

1. I came across the Octuptarra Droid at Wal-Mart today, and I was shocked when it rang up at $35.00. The box is the same size as other vehicles such as the Jedi Starfighters and Droid Tanks. I assumed the price was labeled incorrectly and should have been $24.77, however I was informed that I was wrong at the check-out counter and I left it there. I might use the $5.00 Clone Cash to get it for $30.00 in the future, however that is still too much. I just donŐt understand why this vehicle is so costly, is this the way Wal-Mart is going to price all of their exclusives going forward? The Droid Factory sets were high in cost too at $17.00 each, I have a bad feeling about this.
--E.J.

Box size is one of many ways you can measure a purchase-- size of product, value, fun factor, production run, these are all things which can change the prices we pay on our toys. Also, a store's realization that their exclusives all sell out instantly is a pretty good indicator they're too cheap. If a store buys a widget for $5, sells it for $10, consistently sells out of it for $10, reorders and still sells out for $10, they should probably have been charging $13. This isn't what we as fans want to hear, but with prices that have leaked out on some Toys "R" Us exclusive items (especially 12-inch), it's not always that far off from how it works.

So this thing comes in the $25-sized box, but it's significantly taller than the Turbo Tank. I'd take that into consideration-- it has a ton of moving parts and is ultimately a large thing to play with. I agree a simple repaint might be harder to swallow-- Toys "R" Us V-Wings and Hailfire Droid come to mind-- but the newly tooled and larger ship doesn't seem all that out of whack. For all we know it became Wal-Mart's exclusive because the tooling went up too much to put in the regular assortment. Or not-- we don't know. Ultimately, it's time to vote with your dollars. Seeing how the Droid Factory performed at $17-- arguably not awful for 2 figures and a bonus piece-- it doesn't seem like prices are really making a difference in terms of sales.

We're going to have to watch and see what they do-- for all we know, Wal-Mart decided it doesn't want to be a toys loss-leader anymore, which judging by the size of their toy departments lately seems very possible. The increasing prices may ultimately mean fewer exclusives if we have to cut back, but that's not necessarily a bad thing given the depth of this toy line these days.

2. I was just wondering what would it take to get Hasbro to produce "blaster fire" that we got at one time with figures like Jango Fett, Djas Puhr, and the Episode 2 preview Clonetrooper? It seems like a no brainer that this "accessory" should come with figures with guns and it would add some play value to us who want to pose our figures shooting at each other, especially for us army builders. I would think they could use the same molds they have as this "blaster fire" fits most if not all guns like the Stormtrooper blaster. they could even make it in different colors. What do you think?
--Scott

On the whole it seemed most fans hated those-- as a separate accessory pack, it will never happen again, and as a pack-in, it doesn't seem likely. From what I gather most fans just packed them away and, while neat, they didn't seem to add too much to the scene that people wanted. Plus they got droopy. It wouldn't be a terrible extra to pack in if the budget was there, but it seems like something that currently does not appeal to a significant part of the fan base.

3. I was wondering if there are any future ideas for a rebel alliance evolution set. if were apt to make one maybe they can have A new hope super articulated rebel fleet trooper then a hoth rebel trooper kind like legacy but with new accessory pieces and new head sculpt and last but least super articulated endor rebel trooper with extra pieces as well. Is this possible for the near future?
--Laurie

According to Hasbro, the "Evolutions" product sets are done-- several of the figures for unreleased sets got absorbed into the basic line, and the last 3 packs are now Wal-Mart exclusives. It's possible (likely) that we'll see new Rebel Troopers in the future, but I wouldn't count on them debuting in a boxed set.

4. On the bottom of StarWars.com there is a rotating bakground image showing various women from the star wars films.

Who is the girl with the ornate elephant trunk? Which movie was she in?

Maybe she'd be an interesting figure someday?
--Lou

That would be Delva Racine from Revenge of the Sith, a fashion designer and one of many "hot chicks" from the backgrounds of the prequels. While a neat design, there's no mandate for her, so I wouldn't get your hopes up-- women from the clubs and theaters of Star Wars are below the generally lower-requested characters.

5. Do you think Jocasta Nu, the [Galactic Hunter Fan's Choice] poll winner, would be a pegwarmer?
--David

It's possible if she ends up winning the final poll, which, at this time, she has not. (Just a reminder for you guys in case you thought the individual sites results were binding. You probably know, but others wandering in may not know.)

Historically speaking most Fan's Choice winners-- unless underproduced-- become serious pegwarmers. Ideally, the time to release a Fan's Choice figure is at the end of a sub-line, right before a reset, so they go away when the new product arrives. Jocasta Nu will get a surge of popularity thanks to her appearances in The Clone Wars this Fall and whatever upswing in popularity she may get should she get produced, but it's like anything-- fans find things funny that they have no intent of buying. It's not just her, it's arguably almost anyone we as a group would select to be released.

FIN

I'm pretty happy with The Clone Wars line, now that it's, you know, not on ice. Between the end of last year and the end of July, we got exactly eight basic carded action figures. From August to September, we got a whopping 5 waves with nearly 24 new figures, depending on what you do or don't consider "new." With lots of fun figures, it's a great time to be into the line, until you realize Hasbro played its entire hand for almost the entire year over the course of under 6 weeks.

With the first year of The Clone Wars being cartoony updates of figures released once, twice, thrice, or more times over in the regular line, it's nice to see it start to evolve into its own thing. While the token Clone updates and repaints are to be expected, we're also now seeing some more original characters. While the cartoon isn't appealing to all fans, I'm pretty glad to see new figures like Whorm Loathsom plus those really funky space suit Jedi figures. Environment-specific heroes have been lacking in the regular line, so this is a new and different direction that is pretty nice to see.

And vehicles! That's where it's pretty amazing. Hasbro is totally putting out when it comes to space ships, in the past year we've received 5 new molds for just the separatists alone. 5! In 2005, we only received 3 total new starfighter-sized ships for Revenge of the Sith. It's really amazing to see what Hasbro is trying to do now that there's regular television support.

In short, I'm actually more interested in The Clone Wars than Legacy right now, simply because one of these lines seems more interested in doing better toys. The prices are all over the place, but wow-- the Octuptarra Droid is ginormous. The Y-Wing Bomber is a beast. The Turbo Tank feels like an honest-to-goodness toy, a solid chunk of plastic that can run over other toys. There's a good amount of stuff in the shows to translate to plastic, right now I'm hoping for the Twilight as my #1 pick. And some more Weequay pirates would be awesome, but hey, I'm sure they'll get to more of them as the line goes on.

If you're holding out on the animated line still, I'd say you're probably missing out but we all have to cut corners somewhere. It's just here, I'm seeing the best-ever R2-D2 and C-3PO figures, amazing tanks, and Starfighters that just work well as toys. And Space Suit Anakin Skywalker is basically a retooled (and improved) regular Anakin with a fishbowl on his head. If you don't think that's awesome, I pity you.

Got questions? I bet you do. Email me with "Q&A" somewhere in the subject line and hopefully I'll get to yours in the next column!

Click here to read the previous installment of Galactic Hunter Q&A!


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