Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
December 7, 2009
1. I was in my local Walmart tonight (well, actually around 2 AM - I can't sleep). There were obviously no shoppers around and the entire sales floor was covered in plastic wrapped pallets. I was optimistic seeing the major stocking frenzy that was taking place and knowing that, if they had stocked the Star Wars figures, I would likely be the first to take a peek. The section was indeed stocked to the ends of the pegs, but, alas, most of the figures were either Clone Wars figures or Legends (even the pegs listed as Basic or Legacy). There were some Legacy figures. I counted 8. All of them (ALL of them) were the TPM Gungan Warrior. What gives? Is there a revision wave that consists almost entirely of Gungans? Or, is this a case of a back room pilfer-er taking all of the figures except for what he assumes is the wave's lame duck? Just checking to see if this has been seen anywhere else as it seems highly unlikely that someone got to all of these cases before me tonight and pulled everything except for the Gungans.
This is going to sound like a plug, but it's not-- if you go to (and keep track on) the likes of Entertainment Earth (other etailers may do this as well but I don't stalk them as much), as far as I can tell they post all assortment revisions available (until they sell out). So if you look there, you can see that there's a surprisingly low number of unique assortments for the new Legacy packaging. Wave 9 has a revision but, so far, waves 8 through 13 do not. As such, the Gungan ships in one case at one per case, and what you're seeing is either someone's stash, a return from an army builder, or the leftovers of 8 cases of unsold product. Frequently, stores turn over product quickly except for one or two characters, and the large number of those can often give you a rough estimate of how many cases the store went through, while also reminding you of how unpopular Yarna d'al' Gargan is.
My guess is that someone stashed Gungans in the store with the intent to buy later, and then they got found. But that's just a hunch, there's really no way to know for sure, but at one-per-box you can be fairly sure that you are not presently the victim of crappy case breakdowns.
2. We've had the republic gun ship for a while now and the AT-TE came out last year. Soooo. . .how much of a stretch would it be for Hasbro to do a working LAAT/v? I bet a chunk of the tooling already created for the gunship would be reusable, and from a material content standpoint, it would probably contain less plastic than the original gunship meaning that there could be some opportunity to do it at a pricepoint that everyone would go for. What do you think?
Due to scale and safety issues, the LAAT/v (or Republic Gunship with the transport capability) seems very unlikely. For starters, the Gunship would likely need to be much larger, and the entire main body section would have to be completely redesigned-- as the mold wears down, Hasbro may opt to try something like that, but due to the nature of how heavy the AT-TE is and the fact that the toy is currently designed so that the Gunship is held with one hand, it seems very unlikely. This isn't to say it wouldn't ever happen, but I doubt Hasbro would put out a toy whose sole purpose is to carry another larger, more expensive, and (by the time it gets out) unavailable vehicle.
...but stranger things have happened. Keep in mind that the current price of the Gunship would likely be the price of a new one-- would you want to drop $70 on a fancy AT-TE transporter? I'd vote no.
3. am having a bit of an insomnia attack so I thought Id ask a question: recently at a wal mart i found the r2 and han from the a new hope wave along with a set of ewoks. all three figs had the YVH-1 BAD parts. another wal mart i found the cantina patrons and han and the r2 and they had the r4 parts. what gives? nevermind the fact that my wife didnt let me get any, but did i just miss the cody and ig-88?
Those Wave 10 figure also ship in Wave 11. Due to extreme popularity and less supply than demand, odds are a chunk of Wave 10 came and went (or didn't even show up yet) by the time you found your figures. Remember, while we're the center of our own Universes, thousands and thousands of other fans are out there buying this stuff, and they often can get to the stores before we can. In your case, you're right: you did miss the figures if you saw new YVH-1 parts. Also, a tip from me to you: buy the figures anyway. Wives should understand, $8 isn't a lot to spend on yourself unless you're some unemployed, kept man or something.
4. I'm stuck! It seems like Real Stands are out of business for 'real'. (I was hoping it was just temporary.)
Since I have some ridiculous number of loose figures (probably a lot less than you have but still approaching insanity) I feel lost without a supply of those 2-peg stands. The one-peg stands, from Protech for example, don't work as well for me.
Are you also feeling the loss? Do you know of any alternatives? Ever tried making your own stands? Have you any insight into 'Real'? I love Hasbro figs but they seem mighty top-heavy and never stay standing for long by themselves.
I've never really bought the REAL Stands-- I did buy a ton of the black US Forces ones from the late 1990s, though. After that, I consulted on/got a bunch of the ones from the now-defunct P&P Products, my dad's company that made rectangular bases with 14 pegs designed to fit in large, acrylic display cases. And a ton of Hasbro stands, of course, as these were packaged with figures. I also consulted on the Entertainment Earth figure stands (may day job), which are being retooled for the next production run per my being a pest and requesting resized pegs to better fit more figures (due to Hasbro's increasingly shallow foot holes.)
Hasbro's stands (sold via HasbroToyShop.com) are also excellent and, I'm told, have been redesigned with two pegs. Because of the vast number of figures I've bought, I've long given up on getting stands for all of my collection-- I just keep a bunch of stands around to display some figures at a given time right now. (I presently don't have the shelving to appropriately set up 1,600 or whatever figures.) Not all figures were designed with standing in mind (or sitting, for that matter.)
Since the same sized foot hole is used on multiple action figure lines, once you find a good stand you can use it with 2009 Star Trek or 2008 Indiana Jones or even 2000 Jurassic Park III. (Plus others.) Making your own is doable, of course, but so far I haven't had the need-- there's a lot of stands out there to choose from, each of which have unique properties.
Now if Plano discontinued its 3700 Tackle Box, I'd freak the Hell out. (That's my figure storage solution. Thanks to Ryan Silva for the tip like 14 years ago.)
5. Congratulations on joining those of us bucking the system and realizing that the $75-$100 a month you're spending on cable (and that's without premium channels) can go to something more permanent. We did it this past summer moving from Idaho to Oklahoma City and my wife made the same discovery Ð that most of the shows she wanted to watch can be streamed online.
I figured I could do this and my son and I could watch Clone Wars from the SW official site through our playstation. The only problem is when we go to the official site (even on the PC), and click "watch episode", we just get a blank screen full of stars with the word 'done' on the bottom. Even when I go to the episode guide and try from there, same thing. I know they only post the most recent two episodes online, but I have yet to figure out how to watch it (We did try YouTube, but it's poor quality and broken into parts).
I was just wondering if you (or anyone else) had any success. Is there a plugin I'm missing or is this for Hyperspace members only or what?
As of today, the StarWars.com episode streaming is available to anybody with a computer-- you don't need to be a Hyperspace member. However, the key here is "computer," as Hulu and some streaming content providers intentionally cripple their sites to work only with computers and not the PlayStation 3 or other media center machines. There is apparently a desire to keep the "computer" and the "couch" experiences on the likes of Hulu separate, and in the case of the PS3 it appears (I am not an expert here) that it's missing the necessary plugins to properly play back the video-- but I could be totally, totally wrong here.
The episodes on YouTube are (so far) pirated, so keep that in mind. Right now your best bet is to watch it on your computer. It may be worth getting a cheap spare graphics card for your PC or Mac with TV or VGA out (depending on your monitor needs) and mirroring your computer's monitor feed to a TV set. There are lots of ways to do this, including screamingly cheap VGA cables at the likes of Fry's Electronics. (I've done this quite a bit.) If your home entertainment center won't accept the stream, it's very likely you can exploit the VGA-out on your laptop when combined with your HDTV. (Or if you don't have an HDTV, other cards exist with lower-grade video-out capabilities.)
Given that The Clone Wars (and the films as a whole) are basically a big ad for the billion-dollar licensing empire, it makes good sense to have this stuff available online for streaming on literally any device. I mean, I bought the Blu-Ray anyway, odds are you will too, watching a stream on a Playstation 3 doesn't compare with the freaking outstanding visual quality of a standard-def Blu_Ray or even a DVD. But it'll do for now.
Well! The most exciting thing about last week had to be the leaked vehicles for, presumably, 2010-- the new Snowspeeder looks OK, nothing too fancy. That new Cloud Car looks like a surprisingly good toy, and the new A-Wing test shot is no doubt a sign of another exclusive to come. (As there are blue A-Wings in concept paintings, one can but hope.) The Droid Gunship looks... interesting... I'm a big fan of figure interaction and those things probably don't have much seating space. That, and they're virtually unknown to fans, so maybe they're getting some more TV time, or Hasbro is now just willing to make absolutely anything from the prequel era. Who knows? Finally, the Swamp Speeder is a great addition that I wish we had a few years ago. As vehicle mixes go, Hasbro did well, I'd say! Well done, Rode Islanders!
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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