Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
October 19, 2009
1. I was reading about the new TIE Interceptor that [just came out] and it made me wonder, do you think we'll ever get other TIEs made, such as the TIE Hunter or TIE Defender? After all, we only have three in the movies, there's only so much you can do with those and heck, even Lego went out and made one of the EU TIEs.
Possible, sure-- but not likely. The reason for this is that LEGO happens to be run by a bunch of people that dictated sets reuse numerous parts, so we're seeing more and more recycled bricks these days. This keeps costs down. Hasbro simply can't do this, because its products aren't made of modular plastic parts. I figure a TIE Crawler would be easy since you could probably recycle the middle piece, but the TIE Hunter and TIE Defender would require new molds, and that costs real money.
As to the films, there's the TIE Fighter, TIE Advanced, TIE Interceptor, TIE Bomber, and if you count it, the less-known TIE Shuttle-- which is basically a modded Bomber. So there's a decent spread of vehicles there, more if you keep modifying them with new features. Maybe next time the ejector seat will actually fire off and the wings will be 5% smaller.
2. In the past, Hasbro has been notoriously silent on such details as production numbers for a specific figure, and claims that they do not give out that information. So, why have they recently made statements regarding production numbers? Granted, they still aren't giving out specific numbers, but they sure like to hint heavily that Willrow Hood will be made in very low numbers, and that the recent Episode II wave was a very low production wave(and from what I haven't seen, I have to agree). Why the recent one-eighty degree flip-flop? Are they trying to 'scare' collectors into purchasing what they themselves perceive to be a hard sell, or are they merely trying to light a fire under our collective backsides? In my book, they can't have it both ways. They shouldn't drop hints regarding production totals on one hand, and refuse to give out said info on the other hand. What gives?
There's nothing here that's particularly different. Hasbro still refuses to give out specific numbers, merely saying "we made more of this" or "we made less of that" doesn't seem too different compared to what we're used to, which is vague, numberless quantities that effectively tell us nothing. They did the same thing when Power of the Force went away in 2000 and was replaced by Power of the Jedi-- we were told that the numbers were going to start being lower. They've gone up and down since then, I have to assume.
"Low production" doesn't really mean much of anything unless you're wondering if there was a reason a figure was particularly hard to get-- in the case of this wave, it seem that it is indeed a useful and true piece of information. We're hearing this regarding other figures as well, although right now it appears it may not be necessarily true. For example, the only assortment Hasbro announced for Willrow Hood has him at one per box, same as the others in his wave. It presently appears he will be no more or less common than other figures as a result. Unless another casepack gets announced, clearly, their previous comments of a specific figure being a lower run isn't quite precise, unless they count repacks in future waves, which is another matter entirely.
I have no doubt that numbers are going down as prices go up, it's one way to balance production while remaining somewhat profitable. It would be great if Hasbro released actual production information, but they don't, so we really have to rely on how much we can trust what they tell us plus the anecdotal evidence we collect with our own eyes and on forums like this one. And eBay. (If it's expensive on eBay? Probably hard to get. Or really new. Give it six months or so for a good read.)
3. Do you think we have seen about all of the Kenner molds we will see in the modern line?
or do think they could still use a few they have'nt released yet
we know from Hasbro the the Imp. Side Gunner Most Mini Rigs & the ATL molds are gone.
And we know they dont want to use/release the Twin-pod cloud car or the Rebel transport.
but what about the Death Star or the Ewok Village Playset or the Imperial Troop Transport (could be used as a Clone Transport as well) seems that they could save some R&D dollars & re-release those even as exclusives.
Regarding Vintage-era playsets, stop thinking positive. You won't see them, so give up. Short of someone making a high-quality knock-off, this won't happen. You may be better served picking up the original toys and shaving down the foot pegs with a file.
Vehicles seem very unlikely-- not impossible, but those tools-- if they're still functioning-- decay with time. We recently heard a lot of the 1982-1995 era G.I. Joe molds are now in a state that they're basically barely usable, meaning that similarly aged Star Wars molds are probably no longer particularly usable and need some work to function, or an entirely new tool which would still be hecka expensive.
I personally do not believe we will see the Twin Pod Cloud Car or Rebel Transport in the modern line unless Hasbro says "screw it, we're remaking everything"-- which may also include the Mini-Rigs. Unless Hasbro does opt to use those ships as Clone Transports, you probably won't see them, so I'd suggest you just grab the originals. Recent exclusive vehicles seem to show that fans being able to recognize things helps increase sales more than doing something new, obscure non-movie vehicles are a much tougher pitch.
4. I just really would like your take on what Hasbro is doing with the Comic Book Two Pack line. That line has become my favorite sub line in the last year. I've read that Hasbro is thinking about pulling the plug on this line though if we don't support it more.
Hasbro really has not given us a lot to support. A grand total of three waves (Vos/Faie and the Dark Empire set at the start of this year or really late last year if you got lucky, the Deena/Luke in stealth suits, Ki Adi/Hett, and Wedge/Borsk in Marchish and the latest and GREATEST WAVE EVER Luke/Lumiya, Kyle/Vong, and Krayt/Dare out now) so far this year and the third wave is a real bugger to find at retail thanks to the one each per case they packed. What gets me real nervous is that there hasn't been any (at least that I could find) info on upcoming cases past the Lumiya/Vong/Krayt wave. I have Lumiya (and she and the Luke are great figures... I've wanted Lumiya since I'd read her apperances back in the 80's and Hasbro really did not disappoint me with this one) and a Vong, but I'd like another Vong and have yet to see Krayt in stores. The upcoming new figures Hasbro has shown at SDCC are really nice and I do understand that some repaints (the upcoming Clone repaints) are the cost of awesome new figures ((Tholme!). I'm kind of worried that these might be the last of the line.
The Comic Packs line is one of the best, but as you've pointed out, it's a really slow year. Hasbro claims that sales were down on this SKU, but depending on where you lived, you only saw two new waves hit this calendar year so far, and that's pretty awful. Of course sales are down if there are no products to ship, so it's hard to tell if the sales were down last year and that's what they really meant, or this is a case of answering a question with a less-than-forthcoming answer.
The comic packs supposedly did well, were priced nicely, and seemed to be well-received by vocal fans online. However, new tooling costs money, and the basic carded figures seem to do best. It's possible Hasbro is just feeling like they're done with these, but that seems odd given that we're seeing comic packs from 2007 back in stores in the new packaging. Clearly, this is free money for them by now.
I wouldn't be nervous-- if it ends, it ends. I'm thrilled we got Luke versus Lumiya, and while I'd love to see Plif or Kiro, we're already beyond the point where I felt this or any of the Star Wars lines would go. If it ends, it ends, maybe we'll see them in the basic line down the road. If you vote correctly, anyway.
5. Quick question: so my research on Wookieepedia reveals that the new BAD R3-O1 was in ANH, as far as I can tell. But when I enter R5-C7, nothing comes up. So what's the story on where R5-C7 is from?
A fan name for this droid-- so far as I can tell-- was "R5-H6", so you might see him under that name. He's from Tatooine in Attack of the Clones, wandering around, basically looking cool.
I keep getting questions about the Star Wars: The Legacy Collection Hoth Rebel Trooper, beardless variant. Namely, if this figure exists. Again, let me reiterate, no matter what Hasbro says in their Q&A: if you don't see a packaged sample, a loose sample, or any samples for sale or posted on a forum for bragging rights, it does not exist. Keep an eye open, because Hasbro seems to go back and forth on if this item truly saw production in any significant way, buuuuut if all that got made was like 20 samples and none made it to retail? Does not exist. Conversely, the variant Ugnaught very much does exist and he's a tough bugger to find so far.
It's amazing how slow things have been since the huge insane deluge in August and September. I'm a little stunned we're not seeing pre-orders for any new comic packs yet-- which, I guess, you can assume what that makes me think about their future-- and I hope we see the next Legacy (or post-Legacy, as that SKU seems to be suffering with the AK-Revs and Gargans still sitting around at a bunch of stores) case soon too. Ah well.
What other doom and gloom do we have today? Not much really. If you don't usually check our front page, note that we posted a bonus Q&A on the 15th. If the demand and question quantity warranted it, we'd definitely post the column more regularly than just once a week, it's just for now that this seems to be good. Until we get excess overflow.
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!
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