Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
January 25, 2010

 

1. i have an extensive star wars action figure/vehicles collection, however due to the recent economic troubles, i sadly have to part with them. now the question is, how/what is the best way to sell them? individually? lots? and where to sell them? ebay? thank you for your advice.
--prince

That depends on what you feel your collection is really worth. (Spoiler alert: probably nothing.)

If you've been reading this column (and Figure of the Day) you may notice one recurring theme: your toys aren't worth much. Some Star Wars collectibles do have value but they are far and few between, with literally thousands of products made since the revival in 1991 in America alone, it's pretty difficult for any one item to stand ahead of the pack and declare itself "the best." Everything is common, the items that are "worth something" are generally only "valuable" due to demand. Why am I telling you this for your question?

I'm suggesting that you comb through your collection and pick out the items that are really worth something. If you're selling your stash for money, you aren't going to break even unless you only bought Darth Revans and Darth Malaks. Odds are you have some Darth Vaders, Lushros Dofines, and 1995-1998 figures in there. If the only reason to sell these things is to make money, you may as well hold on to them. eBay is your best bet, or perhaps garage sales and flea markets where you sell some off at $1-$3 each as that's what most figures are presently worth. (Ignore the price guides and their filthy lies. Your collection is largely worthless.)

Sell individually, specifically the high-dollar items. Cheap stuff can be sold in lots, but look at what auctions are closing for on eBay to see if they're even worth listing. eBay does charge a listing fee, and after shipping and handling, your time, eBay and Paypal's fees are all considered, you might actually come out ahead financially by leaving a pile of figures on the side of the road and walking away.

The real value in these items (particularly anything from Kenner and Hasbro 1995-present) is in whatever fun is had with them. Donating them to goodwill might actually benefit someone if you're ready to move on.

2. Do you know of a Name/Number ? ?
for the CLEAR DOME RED Marked R3 Unit that
is in the StarTours queue
at Disneyland ?

Shown in the background of this Photo
behind R3-D3

--green_oaks

I forget, is it currently acceptable to make fun of a question due to how it's sent in?

Anyway, your questions! A lot of Astromech droids names are something that really you aren't worth wasting your time worrying about too much. The "real" name is often tough to tell because there are indeed official Lucasfilm references indicating a droid might have Name X, but if it isn't a very well-known source it may be disregarded when it comes time to make that droid as a licensed product. R2-D1 and R2-D3 are great examples of this. As such, some of those old names are often categorized (sometimes incorrectly) as fanon, despite the fact that they were indeed once called that. R3-O1 was released as R3-M3, too. Does this make sense? It's a pretty stupid answer, but that's part one.

Most Star Tours droids don't have easily found names, and those that are named (take R2-D7) are hard to pinpoint the original reference. As such, I would currently say that the droid has no official name, but as I don't have every last piece of printed reference someone out there may be able to better answer this one-- anybody?

3. Thanks for answering my question [on the Fan's Choice voting recently], but from your answer it seems I was unclear with my question. I expect what I consider some 'stupid' choices in the fan poll (we got Willrow Hood, didn't we?) and I agree with you that the Fan's Choice has given us some good figures in the past. The thrust of my question wasn't intended to be 'OMFG why did they pick THAT?' but rather the second part of the question, about (at least what I perceive to be) rising antagonism by adult collectors -- which was spurred by a few minutes spent perusing a fan forum positing -- seriously -- that Hasbro was purposely trying to torpedo the Legacy line (which I find to be an asinine assumption).

I asked the question framed by the Fan's Choice because I can recall from the Hasbro Q&A specific instances where they have said "We really wish we would never have to make Jocasta Nu" and "we really wish we could just tell you we will never make Jaxxon." Given some of the other fan anger I've seen --which I have to admit to not really understanding -- I (perhaps mistakenly) felt that perhaps these characters might have been championed specifically as a middle finger to Hasbro. Obviously interpreting the poll this way is displaying my own particular myopia, as I don't get why anyone would want a figure of a snooty old librarian (I find this an instance of "just because you can do a thing doesn't mean you should do a thing"), but I was really trying to pick your brain on what you think of (what I perceive to be) this sort of simmering anger/resentment toward a company that I feel pretty much bends over backwards to satisfy collectors.
--Ed

After writing about this stuff for as long as I have I can assure you that you will always find a cluster of fans that share the same opinion and resent something specifically-- in this case, Hasbro. We see similar behavior in news, entertainment, video games, pretty much everything. There are people out there that simply aren't satisfied that they can't always find every figure at their stores every day from the past 15 years at the original retail price too-- the problem is that you really can't take some of them too seriously because, well, how can you make them happy? You can't.

It's possible fans are demanding this just to "stick it" to Hasbro-- if you look at some of the postings surrounding Willrow Hood, that's pretty much exactly why some fans supported it-- not the majority, but some-- it wouldn't surprise me. Spite is a big motivator, but the fact is at this point you can find a person or small group of people to champion pretty much everything. Hasbro probably really would rather move on to the kid-friendly The Clone Wars line exclusively, but hey, we're still here and we still have money. And we like our obscure characters, Jocasta Nu and Jaxxon may be ridiculous from where Hasbro sits but there are some people that wouldn't mind having them. I've had an ongoing argument with someone over Jocasta specifically, as I assume she wouldn't be a horrible choice for a figure given she's in the cartoon, is in the movie, and has dialogue in both. Which is more than I can say for a variety of figures I've bought over the years-- what did Officer Cass do to make Star Wars special? Nothing.

It seems fans are very much worried that the "movie" line is going to go away, and when you schedule a break of nearly seven months between waves, I'd be more worried if fans didn't get upset. "Whatever!" is not the reaction you want from your customers-- you want interest, outrage, demands, and so forth. I have to applaud Hasbro in making fans demand certain characters because it's really tough to tell what we as a group really, truly want. I can name pretty much any figure, set up a topic on any given forum, and get a bunch of people to support it. If thousands (I assume it's thousands, I could be dead wrong) of people voted for Jaxxon, it's possible there really truly is interest out there for him in some capacity. The problem is Hasbro likes to make tens or hundreds of thousands of an item, not just a few thousand.

If you look at the forums around each Fan's Choice, this is pretty much par for the course-- confusion, anger, resentment. A lot of people weren't happy with Darth Revan and some demanded a recount when we found out Quinlan Vos was already being made. That's how, as a group, we are-- easily spooked, a little spiteful, and easily upset. Besides, Hasbro seems to be better determining how to sell problem figures, so as long as they don't make any errors in paperwork that will result in yet another Yarna d'al' Gargan we're going to be fine.

4. Do you know when Hasbro will announce the next large vehicle? It would be expensive for Hasbro to produce a new AT-AT, but the kids and the adult fans will love it. The last mold is from Kenner 1980. The price would be in the class of the BMF. You mentioned a Clone Wars based vehicle would be more likely.
--Philipp

While Hasbro has yet to announce anything officially, an astute fan can add up what's being leaked combined with Hasbro's marketing plan for The Empire Strikes Back this year and probably guess that an AT-AT of some sort is indeed in development for later this year. I mention all kinds of things-- and sometimes red herrings, and sometimes informed speculation-- so take it as you will. (Would I ever steer you wrong? It's almost like sometimes I know the answer and don't say.) I doubt it'll cost as much as the Millennium Falcon, but it should certainly be big and expensive and I suggest everyone start saving over the coming break from new basic figures.

Also, keep in mind that this item hasn't been officially confirmed yet. It's unlikely that such a thing would not come to pass after the massive amount of leakage, but it is possible Hasbro might look at the sales of its higher-end products and say "never mind." So don't cry if it doesn't show up at Toy Fair or Comic-Con this year, as that's always a possibility and a very real "danger" of finding out about this stuff way ahead of time.

5. You are my go to guy for q's on this hobby (obsession) of star wars collecting. In your opinion, since you work in the "action figure world", when are we seeing updates for characters such as: gammorean gaurd, admiral ackbar (my fav especially after the first robot chicken SW episode), Ponda and Dr. Evezon, and will the 2nd imperial scannin tech come out? He aint going to end up like the damn beardless hoth trooper is he? Also, any more concept figures on tap?
--jonathan

Right now: nothing's confirmed for Ackbar and the Gamorrean, but they are expected to be in some stage of development. The word is that we probably shouldn't expect any Cantina figures in 2010. There is no word on the second Imperial Scanning Trooper just yet, and there are no known plans for future concept figures.

FIN

My mailbag is empty! I had to go digging to find some new questions this week from the depths of December, so if you have a question feel free to send it in-- otherwise, I get to take a week off, and that'd be pretty awesome. For me. Maybe not for you if you enjoy reading the column.

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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