Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
January 4, 2010
1. I was wondering what your overall thought was on with the Star Wars merchandise that Hasbro had to offer in 2009? Did you think that they offered enough new characters or were they just giving us too many retooled figures like Plo Koon and Agen Kolar or Han Solo in the Stormtrooper disguise? Do you think that the quantity they produced was enough to satisfy the collectors?
Considering the scope of the line and the amount of stuff we already have, I'd say we're about on par with any other post-movie year. Since 2002, we've had a pretty steady flow of upgrades mixed with all-new figures, and that's probably going to be normal. Sure, we got yet another version of Luke Skywalker in his black get-up and a baffling Malakili, but we also got the freaking fantastic Giran. Which, from what I'm seeing, is selling as poorly as (or more poorly than) Malakili just on my anecdotal searches. Go figure, I guess... that was a pretty spectacular figure and probably is one of the most impressive of 2009.
While some fans complain at the end of the year-- it's tradition-- just remember what we walked away with. A new Paploo. Giran. Lumiya. The first-ever Yuuzhan Vong. Concept IG-88.
As far as I can tell the only frustration from collectors was the distribution problem, which varied depending on when you went out and how often. I saw a bunch of wave 8, 9, and 10 figures packaged in bundles for $7.49 just before Christmas, and with the exception of waves 11 and 12 (so far) I've seen most of the figures at retail. There's also definitely a problem with fans having giant gaps between releases, so sure, some of us are seemingly getting bored. I'm basically satisfied with the line, but as far as I'm concerned Hasbro could switch gears to 100% cartoony figures and I'd be a happy camper. At this point, anyone complaining heavily about the variety of movie figures should probably have bought everything put out over the past 10-15 years... because if you want to buy stuff, there's plenty.
2. Sadly, it seems the Comic Pack line has met it's demise. This has been the line I've looked most forward to tracking down over the last couple of years so it's frustrating to say the least that the line is ending with a whimper. Based on the information I've gleaned from various sites Hasbro seems to be unsure themselves when and what, if any, of the remaining figures shown last year ay ComicCon will make it out. From what I can decipher the powers that be have referred non-specifically to the remaining 5 sets show at ComicCon in addition to the last WalMart wave. Do you think that means we are likely to see Exar Kun & Ulic Quel Droma, Master Thlome & T'ra Saa, The Blackhole Stormtrooper w/Hologram, and the two trooper 2-packs: Bogey squad and the 212th Attack Battalion troopers? If so has there been any indication (I may have missed it) as to the fate of the Deliah Blue/Darth Nihl and Jarael/Rohlan Dyre packs also shown at Comic Con? I was really looking forward to those two specifically.
It's presently unclear what is or isn't going to make the cut, or in what form, although Hasbro says they're planning on cranking out some of the figures you've listed. Until I see a solicitation or some exclusive announcement, though, I'd be a little wary.
I'd personally think Hasbro will crank out these figures somewhere, somehow, eventually. Maybe as Comic-Con exclusives over the next few years, maybe not. Remeber, we were told Nom Anor was coming a comic pack, and I have to assume it's going to come out somehow at some point. Maybe. Here's hoping, anyway, but odds are the sales of exclusives and whatnot are going to be what decides when and/or how we get these. So let's hope Wal-Mart demands more of them.
3. With the number of SW sublines that have been dropped lately, I'm
wondering about the current fate of Galactic Heroes. For a long time,
this seemed to be the one series outside of the classic 3.75" figs
that consistently sold well for Hasbro.
But now, though we've seen pictures of a few upcoming Cinema Scenes, I
can't remember the last time I heard any announcements for new GH 2
packs. Have I just missed them, or is all really that quiet on the
It's been quiet, but you'll also note the entire Hasbro Star Wars space has been really quiet since last summer. Basically all we're seeing are remixed waves with few (or no) new product announcements in basic figures, Saga Legends, Galactic Heroes, or Transformers. We did hear about some new Clone Wars waves and Galactic Heroes but it has indeed been quiet. I wouldn't be worried until February, if Hasbro is silent at Toy Fair, well then you can kiss 'em goodbye. The Galactic Heroes line has done well enough that it seems unlikely it would end in the next year, but hey, we're going to see the end of comic packs apparently.
4. I was going through the 2009 Hasbro Star Wars Collector Presentations and the one they gave in February announced Ratts Tyerell as part of the 2009 Droid Factory Wave 3, but later their July 2009 presentation replaced Ratts with Cliegg Holdfast. Am I correct that Ratts has not been released anywhere yet? Any reason why they dropped him in favor of Cliegg Holdfast? Has Hasbro announced any possible release date for Ratts Tyerell?
You are indeed correct sir, and it seems there's no real reason beyond costing. At one point it looked like Mr. Holdfast was going to be packaged with the blue Ratts, but this clearly was not meant to be. I would expect to see the other racer in the next (or next-next) wave featuring Episode I figures unless Hasbro decides to go back to the grab-bag approach we've seen in some other years. So stay hopeful, true believer, because Hasbro probably has this one far enough along where they're going to make sure it gets out.
5. My real question is linked to that, any idea where I can locate the definitive visual list showing all figures released since 95 and on all the cards they were released on?
Basically, you can't. There are numerous photo archives out there with varying levels of completeness-- clearly, Yakface.com and Rebelscum.com have very extensive archives but you can probably find the odd packaging variant missing, plus you never know what fans do or don't consider worth counting. (For example, the 1997 line had regular bubbles, slanted bubbles, foil stickers, no foil stickers, and so on.) One man's variation is another man's legit change, or a different product, or what have you. So basically, you're SOL right now. Because there are thousands-- and I'm not exaggerating here, with all the significant releases and significant cardback changes, we're in a very large number here-- of figures, it would be very difficult to assemble a truly complete, well-organized, and easy-to-navigate system like what I presume you're looking for.
So I'd suggest starting a Wiki and force others to follow your formatting. Really, you'd be doing the world a favor.
And that's it! All my 2009 mail bag has been emptied, lost, or accidentally ignored. If you asked a question and didn't see the answer, feel free to resubmit it-- a lot of answers got out so I didn't want to post the stuff that was recently discussed. But hey, here we are! I spent the new year working on Figure of the Day and realizing my mail bag was empty. Hoorah.
The first Wal-Mart exclusive of 2010 hit, and it was unannounced. So in case you were wondering, this means Hasbro is likely just not going to tell us anything before Toy Fair, so happy hunting-- and let us know what you find!
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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