Galactic's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
May 24, 2010


1. So I get back from Afghanistan at the end of January, catch up on a few figs that my wife missed, buy a few more odds and ends, and then...nothing. I've resorted to buying a few Iron Man figures and even some Nerf shooters (bit of an arms race going on in my duty section). Even my wife has noticed that I'm starting to go through Star Wars withdrawals. When will this drought end again?

The draught is almost over-- assuming stores don't go nuts and put stuff out early, you can probably expect a reset in very early August. Which means you'll find these things at Wal-Mart in July probably, and by "these things" I mean vintage figures, most likely unconfirmed exclusives, the big AT-AT, and most of what you saw at Toy Fair in February. It wouldn't stun me if Hasbro's Comic-Con reveal plans in July were spoiled because retailers might just have things to put out in stores around that weekend.

2. I see Hasbro is releasing some updated Force FX lightsabers with removeable blades. What do you think the chances are of getting an updated Luke saber from ANH or ESB? (I'm not a big fan of the ROTS version of it)

I'm not sure if you mean Anakin's ROTS weapon or Luke's ROTJ weapon... but either way, I'd say it's pretty likely we'll eventually see whichever one you don't like upgraded or done up in a new version, should these prove successful. High-dollar lightsabers bring some decent money for all parties involved, so as long as these continue to sell, there's no reason to not expect new versions of them down the road. If there's money in it, and Hasbro has the license, we may well see it down the road. Since we're getting several new (and new-ish) FX Lightsabers this year I'd expect them down the road as new technologies and new directions make these worth re-doing.

3. Picking up on a recent Q&A, just how damaging do you think eBay sales of yet to be released figures are to Hasbro? We've seen quite a few auctions from the Far East recently of both loose and carded figures from the upcoming Vintage line, many with a seemingly large volume of each figure. Even if it's possible that these items are just 'left overs' from factories, it still ultimately means that a large number of people won't then be buying when they're officially released come the Fall. As a collector who wants to see the line continue and recover from its recent dip I'm concerned that many people may be unwittingly help prompt a further decline in sales that could spell its end.

These auctions don't hurt Hasbro's retail sales in the slightest-- and the more I think about this, the more it seems some might even be "rejects" which, at worst, might make real approved Hasbro products look worse if people get their hands on them. Many people report loose joints or other minor imperfections, so it wouldn't be at all surprising if these were simply discarded production. So few of these sell on eBay-- maybe low hundreds per year-- that it doesn't compare at all to the tens or maybe even hundreds of thousands that Hasbro sells all over the world. I would still suggest supporting retail products just to make sure they keep buying, as they are responsible for the line's health, but if you're no longer able to get it at retail, well, who am I to say anything?

Now, if these guys were selling tens of thousands of units, it'd be a clear and significant problem. Maybe even thousands-- but dozens or hundreds? It's a small issue in the grand scheme of things, and if they're the same product made at the same factory in the same runs, it's hard to say what the real issues here are and it's probably not great to speculate.

4. My question is when will we see lightsabers packed in these locker? The guns are great for my collection and my sons. He looses guns at an alarming rate, and most times doesn't care if a character has the right one, as long as he has one. He has lost and broken a few lightsabers and I am running low on back ups to give him. I'm sure the cost couldn't be that much more to throw in 1 or 2 in place of guns.

My guess is "not soon" as most of the guns seem to be from a single (or a pair) of "sets." Like last year's were mostly Battlefront, and this year's are largely Republic Elite Forces. They're probably just using one color of plastic with no paint applications, so introducing lightsabers might add extra cost to the item. It would be nice, I agree, but it seems like an unlikely thing in the near term.

Your best short-term solution? 4-armed General Grievous figures (Revenge of the Sith/Heroes & Villains/Saga Legends) each include 4 lightsabers and can generally be bought pretty cheaply on the secondary market. I'd suggest getting one and stealing his lightsabers, or watching your stores today for discounted Grievouses from which to steal parts. That's what I've done.

5. So Hasbro has this "win VIP tickets to Celebration 5" in specially marked packages. I had heard reports on the interwebs that these stickers are showing up on figures that have been pegwarming for months. How are you supposed to win anything when nothing about the figure has changed except a sticker on the bubble? If it has to do with the sticker, everyone will just start ripping the stickers off leaving us with dirty pegwarmers. What gives?
--Mazter Jedi

Hasbro confirmed something to the effect that there are winning figures which they had placed somewhere out there, but most are simply stickered existing product. So there is indeed a golden ticket in circulation, but where? Who knows.


Well, I'm moving this week, so if you want a column next week, I suggest you make sure all your questions are in before Tuesday. Otherwise, I get a week off. (And if my Internet's not connected, I get to skip a week.) Hop to, good readers. Chop-chop.

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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