Q & A Archive for the Week of January 15, 2001
New Levels Of Randomness


1
Hey, Adam. I just wanna start of with a bone of contention... "Transformers 2000" does not exist. The line is called "Transformers: Car Robots". And it certainly didn't start the trend of super-posable TF toys... BW/BM has been using it for five years now (still does), and even before then it started halfway through Hasbro's G2 line (Laser Rods). Now that this moment of nitpicking is over...

My question, though is actually SW toy-based, whaddayaknow. Basically, I'm wondering what you feel is the single best thing Hasbro ever did concerning POTF, and then the single worst thing done for the line.

Personally, I think the best thing Hasbro's done is giving (some of) the figures more than the standard six joints. The last two Han figures have has wonderful posabilty, as have the last couple of Tatooine Lukes, various Vaders, and such. I'd love to see this continued for ALL figures... might even make that worthless Porkins interesting. (Naaah.)

Worst? Well, I'll break convention and say that it wasn't CommTech. For me, it was far too many same-character remakes that came out in such a short amount of time, primarily in the Ep1 line. How many Darth Mauls does one need a month?
  -M "And BoShek Is Too Boring To Suck" Sipher

Did I say TF2K again? Crap. I've been trying not to do that. He's quite right, folks: TF2K was just a monniker tossed about a while before the TF:CR toys showed up.

Best... well, you took good resculpts. Cantina Han, Bespin Capture Han, Removable Helmet Vader, and Dagobah Vader all show what Hasbro's capable of. Since I have to be unique, I'm gonna go with Expanded Universe. It's just such a refreshing, unique idea to not only give us new versions of existing characters, but to give the few of us who really want these characters a shot at them. (Thrawn & Dark Empire Luke were high on my list for years, and Dark Empire Luke is one of my all-time favorite figures from any toy line.)

Worst... hmmm... there's a lot of bad things in the line. I'd have to say distribution. Too many figures have been released that many fans have never seen, pay a premium to get, and then see on clearance 6-18 months later. (Me, I'm still looking for the Falumpaset, the last two Invasion Fleet ships, and Trade Federation Tank.) POTJ's been weird in that some stores have tons of stuff while others have absolutely nothing. And there's never much variety... just a glut of 4-6 figures, should anything be there.

For a close second, there's the weird "let's put out tons of scales" mentality that they haven't really learned from just yet. In the old line, there were 12" figures, 3.75" figures, and the MicroCollection (die-cast metal figures with playsets or vehicles.) The 12" line quickly died, and the micro stuff tanked when they figured people didn't want to re-buy stuff in a new scale. With the POTF2 era, we've been given 3.75" figures, 12" figures, Epic Force, and Mega Action Figures, and that's just from Hasbro/Kenner. (And the 2" or so mini-figures from E1. Almost forgot those.) Galoob's given us Action Fleet and MicroMachines scale figures as well, plus countless other manufacturers like Lego and others have provided figures. I think the market can support 12" and 3.75" without a problem, and maybe Action Fleet should it be given a second chance. But the whole continued rumors of new lines all the time... well, geez, I'm not rich, Hasbro. (Far from it.) I had to quit buying 12" in 1999, and I likes 'em. (Don't get me started on the same characters in the same scale...)


2
Adam, I would like to hang some of my Star Wars ships from the ceiling in my basement. I have considered using fishing line, but am concerned that it may damage the model eventually. That clear plastic stringy stuff they sometimes use to hold figures accessories in place, especially in cinema scene packs, looks ideal. Not sure if it's strong enough though, or where to find it in sufficient quantities. Any ideas?
  -Cam

A friend of mine has some vintage TIE Fighters hung up in his room with fishing wire and reports no problems yet. The stretchy stuff is most likely not strong enough nor big enough for most kits.

I'd go with the fishing wire. I've had a Collector's Fleet Star Destroyer hanging up for a few years, no problems yet.


3
Considering the price of Weequay, and Sandtrooper with Freeze Frames slides on the secondary market, it seems that there is some serious pent up demand. Could you see WOTC/Fan Club doing another run, like they did with Kyle Katarn and Mara Jade? I think many people would buy two in order to complete both their loose slide collection and carded collections.
  -Eric

With Expanded Universe, Habsro was trying to help people get figures they couldn't otherwise get. They aren't in the business to offer variations to us at all-- I mean, there's a Collection 2 Tarkin, Weequay, and a few other mishaps as a result of the shift to three collections in 1997, and well, uh... we're not entitled to get everything. I do think it would be a good idea to offer a set of Freeze Frames at some point, but making a special run of hard-to-sell figures just for the frames seems unlikely.

4
Hey Adam, I've read your Rebelscum q&a's for a while now and am glad you're a Transformers fan too. Here is my question: How and where can I (living in the US) get a Medicom Metalforce Optimus Prime? That Mo'Fo' is a must have! What do you think of it?
  -winsto

I think I'd love to get one.

There's been two versions: a normal, cartoonish decoed one, and the later metallic deco version. I have and have seen neither version in person, and for what I've seen them sell for, it doesn't look like I'll be able to get one. I'm settling for a PVC figure, and well, short of lucking out at BotCon '01 or finding one on ebay, I wouldn't expect to see them for a good price anywhere anytime soon.


5
I have of yet to find a 12" Speeder bike and I wondering if Target has anyplans on offering it through their website like they did with the Tatooine Skiff.
  -Jason

Probably not. Most stores I've heard reports from were left with piles of these on clearance before they finally disappeared. A store I went to in Phoenix had no less than 72 pieces at one point before they finally got expelled out the door for under $35, until the final markdown rumored to have been at $12.44 per.

I'm not saying they won't show up again, but I am saying that it might not be a bad idea to see if someone has an extra to trade.

6
Adam. Over the last few years I've read and heard of Hasbro SW toys that few people seem to know anything about. I have a SW Galaxy collector mag that says "...in our next issue see the all new bigger electronic Millennium Falcon". What became of this ship and are there pictures of a prototype anyplace? The same question applies to the Electronic Tie Fighter, Jabba's Palace Alien Cinema Scene, the Luke in Bacta Tank and any others that I may not have heard about.
  -PERRIN

In the order you asked...

Power FX Millennium Falcon: This item appeared in a Topps feature on Hasbro. Immediately after reading this issue, I called Hasbro and asked what was up with this item. Turns out the item was never actually meant for production or planned, or at least that's what I was told. Things like this happen.

Electronic TIE Fighter: never heard of it outside the rumor mill.

Jabba's Palace Alien Cinema Scene: the result of a rumor that went back and forth between two websites and a magazine. Never confirmed by Hasbro officially. Was said to include Pote Snitkin, Hermi Odle, and Amanaman.

Bacta Luke: unknown. Some Hasbro-related sources (but not Hasbro's SW toy team) have listed it, so I'd say it's still likely.

A lot of items were confirmed then canned over the years, including...

Attack C-3PO figure
Attack R2-D2 figure
Millennium Falcon Flight Controller
Power Spark AT-ST (destructable kit toy)
Power Spark X-Wing Fighter (destructable kit toy)
X-Wing Fighter Gunner Station with Wedge Antilles figure
... and that's just a few selections from Hasbro and Kenner. Holographic Obi-Wan and Amidala, Trophy OOM-9 and Obi-Wan... I could go on. Someday I'll compile an archive or something.

7
I was curious, and am not sure if this has already been asked and answered, why did hasbro decide against putting prg holes in the feet of those figures that ride Taun Tauns, ETC. It would help them stand much better when not on their Ride. They also have put peg holes in figures like the emporer and R2 which obviously don't need them.
  -RCollette

I've got a weirder observation than that, but it's at the end of the answer.

My guess is because we're seeing the feet of most of those Beast figures, and the holes are an eyesore. They're intending for the figure to stay on the accessory. (And of course, there are exceptions to this.) I think they should all just have holes to stand when not on their respective modes of transport, but that's me.

Weird observation: on a clearance binge, I bought a Hasbro Titan AE Phoenix with Akima figure for three bucks at a Wal-Mart. (Nice toy, by the way, a full review with pics is coming at 16bit.com.) The figure that comes with it has holes in her feet... but the weird thing is, the holes are filled in, rendered useless. However, it's obvious that the markings on the feet look like semi-filled-in holes. Weird, eh?

8
I was listening to a D.J. the other day and he mentioned how the next two movies might carry a R rating due to their violence and dark nature. Any word on this? I can't believe Lucas would permit anything like that. After all, if the kids can't watch the movie, he can kiss a lot of the toy franchise good bye.
  -Michael

It's a long-standing rumor, but probably without merit. People get bored. Radio DJs especially.

As far as toys go... uh... Jurassic Park and Batman come readily to mind as being questionable in terms of kid-friendliness. And the Mortal Kombat figures... not kid-friendly. Doesn't mean they won't sell.

9
I just picked up a 300th Boba Fett figure and wanted to know what is that black stick that comes with him in the packaging? Is it a force pike or some kind of walking staff? I don't recall seeing him with it in any of the films. What is your take? Forgive me if you have already answered this one before.
  -Scott

Unless I'm mistaken, you're referring to the second missile-- one has a good paint deco, the other is long, dark, and fires out the backpack. (Still haven't found me one, myself.)

10
I was at a toy show and saw VERY small set of mini MicroMachines. It was the Millennium Falcon, the Death Star and another one but I forgot what. The Millennium Falcon was no more than a half an inch long and the Death Star was no more than that in diameter! They were in a very small windowed cardboard box and it had "Galoob" and all the copyright stuff on the bottom. Can you give me any info on these?
  -Scouttrooper007

Want a set? I got a few of these in a trade a while ago, if anybody's interested, I'll swap for something...

As a promotion during the Special Editions, premiums were given away at the theaters to entice fans to see the film again. For the second Friday of ANH, it was a pack of three mini-micromachines, arguably the most interesting of the three promotions. The toys were exclusive to this giveaway, and comprised of a Slave I, a Millennium Falcon, and a Death Star II in a tiny box which was inside a tiny bag. They're quite cool.

For week two of ESB, it was a variant cover of Dark Horse's "X-Wing 1/2" comic. Basically, it had some new text on the cover. Cool if you missed the comic the first time.

For ROJ, and I believe it was the first week, Hasbro made up an exclusively packaged Jedi Luke figure. Same figure, new packaging. I believe 150,000 units were made, so while some like to say it's really rare, well, I have some records, CDs, and other goodies limited to under 1,000 pieces that beg to differ. It was labeled as being a promotion for March 7, 1997, but you know and I know that ROJ: SE wasn't played until the 14th, allegedly to give ESB an extra week to make some dough.

It was a pretty cool promotional idea, and a lot of fans went berserk trying to get the Luke, almost no buzz seemed to surround the comic, and zero buzz surrounded the MicroMachines. Which is weird, because that's the only one that's not a repackaged version of an existing product.

FIN
More people seem to like the "random" questions than not, so I think I'll keep doing them for a while. (Until a 16bit.com Q&A takes off, and it probably will sometime soon.) There seems to be a lot of crossover with 80s toys and Simpsons, so since there's no other forum for this sort of thing, well, somebody's got to do it. There aren't many general pop culture (or cult culture [Praise Causey]) junkies out there with the ability to reach people, so until a qualified person comes around to do this, I guess I'll be doing my best.

ATTENTION TRANSFORMERS/BEAST MACHINES FANS: Etoys has a lot of their goodies on clearance-- $6.99 for some deluxes (the $10 guys), three basics ($7 guys) for $12-$15 (and they do have Silverbolt), and the real find: heavily marked down Optimal Optimus, Primal Prime, and Supreme Cheetor. How cheap is Supreme Cheetor? $8.99. I kid you not. (Of course I ordered one.)

Hasbro's also offering its Japanese Beast Wars product on Hasbrocollectors.com for "buy one, get one free." They sent out an email with a picture attatched of some of their items... and they goofed with the scale of some of them so that a tiny character is as big as a giant one. (I don't know much, but I do know that Stampy the Rabbit is significantly smaller than Lioconvoy.)

Also, word has it Rhino announced DVDs for the original series (cheesy as it is, it's a fun watch). I have yet to track down confirmation on this one, but hey, good to know.

This was a really weird weekend. Mainly in that a lot happened, as opposed to the usual "nothing." I'm more or less thankful that my life is typically pretty boring now.

More Q&A goodness later this week, probably Wednesday.

Questions for January 17, 2001

1
Can I sue Hasbro?I think I'm older than three,but when I opened my Gungan warrior today (I didn't put nothin in my mouth) the twist tie went a half an inch under my thumb nail.Heres my real question-do you know when the Hasbro poll is over?Who's in the lead?I haven't been able to log-on since I first voted a month ago.Amanaman, everybody please!
  -ABarra9721

As to the Hasbro poll, well, um, hunh. Their site's down. Last I heard Amanaman was doing well, and I have no idea when it closes or anything... I'll post the news to the main page if/when it comes my way.


2
Hey Adam, will Hasbro continue to make all of the little background characters that we, the fans request, until people stop buying them?
  -Behemith

Most likely. Even though they seem to be selling well, Hasbro seems bent on selling us the same character again and again rather than new guys... but hey, minor characters are the bread-and-butter of Star Wars. So yeah.


3
I would like to know why did Hasbro not make the Theed Hanger Playset actually hold a Naboo fighter. I noticed at the end of a the playset that there is a grey piece that is used to hold the Naboo Fighter in the movie and like the Action Fleet version of the playset.
  -Ben

Cost and price points, most likely. The bigger of the two TPM playsets from Hasbro was around $30 (still need to buy me one of those), and wasn't exactly extensive. The huge Action Fleet one-- which was quite cool, especially since I scored mine in '99 for $6-- was definitely designed for such features. I mean, it was $25-- it has to be awesome for a micro toy.

Hasbro's been kinda lame about making toys compatible with each other. They made the jets work with the USS Flagg from GI Joe, and Kenner made a nice little divet for the Ecto-1 in the original Real Ghostbusters firehouse. But Star Wars... well, I have yet to think of a Star Wars playset designed to work with another vehicle or playset. Barring the Kenner MicroCollection, of course.

With the obvious shift in Hasbro's product-- that is, toward an obscene amount of figures with next to no accessories/vehicles-- I have my doubts that such an item could be made anytime soon. While I'd buy a Death Star hangar with space for a Falcon, well, it ain't gonna happen. We saw the biggest Star Wars ship ever with Episode One, and look how well THAT did. (But it was a mighty fine toy.)

4
Hi Adam, I just won an ebay auction for a SW MM set simply called Space Droids. Its an assortment of droid characters from the classic trilogy. Some seem to be repeats but most are unique to this set, far as I can tell. I was looking for these under "Character Sets" in the Galoob checklist but can't find it. Is it missing? I remember you saying that the droids and alien characters intrigue you the most, here's an attachment from the acution...
  -Ed

I cut the picture. Loadtimes, y'know.

An interesting and random item from Galoob, the Droids set includes over a dozen semi-articulated figures that are pretty much just out of scale with Action Fleet. It was in an assortment with James Bond and Indiana Jones, if I recall, and was just a weird little box of droids. Kinda cool, but well, I never stuck it in the checklists there because I wasn't sure exactly where it belongs.


5
I just picked up the 300th Boba Fett and I was looking at the back and they list Vintage Luke as #1, Vintage Han Solo in Carbonite as #100, Expanded Universe Mara Jade as #200, and Power of the Jedi Boba Fett as #300. Is there a list that actually shows the order of the Action Figures? Or do you think that the 300th Boba Fett has to do with marketing more that the actual 300th figure?
  -Larry

Unless I'm mistaken, it seems to me that the 100th 12" figure and 300th 3.75" figure lists have been generated by Hasbro purely to suit their needs for 100 and 300 figure tallies.

First the 12" figure list - it DOESN'T include the electronic figures, individually boxed re-releases (in some cases), and the Maul/Vader 12" two-pack. They don't list (for example) the Tarkin w/Interrogator Droid as a separate figure, but they list the Jedi Luke figure twice and the only difference between the 2 pack version and the individually boxed version is the big bone accessory. To my count there are FIVE individually boxed re-releases that were not counted (Hoth Luke, Hoth Han, Sandtrooper w/Droid, Tarkin w/Droid, Slave Leia), there are ELEVEN electronic figures (Vader, Ben, Boba Fett, 14" Vader, C3PO, R2D2, Maul, Qui Gonn, Jar Jar, Take-apart C3PO, TC-14), and then TWO figures completely missed (Maul and Vader from the 2 pack). Why even include the Vintage stuff? Why include the two European figures with mechanical action (Luke & Han)? If you take away those 14 from the list you can easily replace them with MODERN 12" releases...

And how about the 3.75" figure list? What that list shows me is that the Boba Fett figure should be the 200th figure NOT the 300th figure. They credit the vintage line (plus Droids and Ewoks) with 112 figures. I just did a quick count of the pack-in figures and here's what I came up with (across POTF, SOTE, EP1 & POTJ)

[Stuff on pack-ins cut.]

So anyway, my PRIMARY question for you is (and if you want to cut it down on-line to just this, it's fine) - Why did Hasbro PAD their 100th 12" figure and 300th 3.75" figure lists with the Vintage stuff, when there is more then enough modern product (1995-present) to make up for the numbers represented by the vintage lines?

I hope you use this question...
  -Peter

On the first question: some of each. Hasbro knows we've been wanting a really spiffy Boba Fett for quite some time, and they have a penchant for making commemorative stuff. Personally, I think #300 is a pretty ridiculous number at which to start, but hey, if it means I gets me a nice figure I don't much care. I think the fact that THAT figure came out as it did when it did has to do with making an extra few bucks per figure, but at the same time, it's definitely full of more stuff than a typical Star Wars figure. So some of each. The list on the back is apparently Hasbro's master list of figures in the order in which they were made, but there's room for doubt when it comes to Hasbro and records from a line this old.

Question #2: Well, dunno what to tell you on the 12" tallies. Odds are they just wanted to get out a special figure. I didn't ask the big questions on this one... yet.

When it comes to the 3.75" guys, pack-ins were allegedly not considered. The list was supposed to be carded figures, and that's it. I didn't go over the entire list to verify everything, but nothing has stood out from the images I saw last summer. So just counting carded guys, it's more or less accurate, and the figure was made to commemorate carded figures. It looks like Hasbro's trying to tie-in some history to its brands, which is nice, considering that so many of them become history pretty quickly.

6
I was wondering if you had an idea what Hasbro will do when it's time for the Episode II figures to come out. Will they put them in the POTJ line and keep the same cards, or will they make an EP II-only type card? The EP I card didn't last very long (I'm sure mainly because of the commtech chips), and do you think they'll offer something different from the Force Files?
  -Sean

As far as estimates goes, here's a best-guess timeline based on last time:

Summer '01: First images of E2 toys appear. Be it a promo item or stolen prototypes, odds are something will surface this summer.

Fall '01: Episode 2 preview figure offer should begin. Should is the key word, things change and no official announcements have been made.

April '01: Episode 2 toys in stores. Maybe to sell, maybe to sit until May.

As far as the line itself, I'll be genuinely surprised of Episode 2 is just mixed in with Power of the Jedi. New packaging seems like a must, and a new gimmick has always accompanied a new cardback, so something new should appear. Doesn't mean it will, but it should.

7
Taking into consideration the demise of the Episode 1 line of 4" figures (dozens for $1.97 at Toys r Us, KB, etc.), how well do you think the POTJ line will fare? Everyone went crazy over finding Darth Maul for the first month or so, but now he's a joke. Do you foresee any potential pegwarmers, or will the line move along well? That is, are we going to be sorry in a few months that we paid $7 a figure?
  -Greg

I always say if you really want something, buy it. Never, ever get in the "oh gee I should buy that oh darn I missed it time to go check ebay" situation. Sometimes you get lucky. I scored a die-cast metal Voltron last Fall at a toy store for $27. Sometimes you don't. Never did get my Action Master Soundwave.

Considering the turnover in POTJ, my advice is just buy what you want when you see it. If you have to wait for clearance, odds are you don't want it that badly. (Don't say "I'm collecting on a budget." Trust me, I know what it's like and it is possible to do. [Eat in. And look for sales on the other necessities.])

8
I like hearing about other toy lines in Q&A, so with that said have you heard anything about a Thundercats re release of figures? Theres been a lot of other 80's retro toys done recently. I think it would be pretty cool I have been watching the cartoon alot recently on cartoon network. What do you think?
  -Tony

Considering we've gotten Voltron, GI Joe, and He-Man back on shelves, it's surprising Thundercats hasn't shown up again. I'm not sure who would hold the license, but obviously somebody's got it with all the t-shirts and patches selling to would-be mall punks nationwide.

Obviously, it's an untapped license. Considering the... er... aesthetic values of the show, I would have to assume its market would be almost exclusively the older folk who remember (and by remember, I mean forgot) the show they watched when they were kids. So if a manufacturer was so inclined, a He-Man-esque reissue would make sense, but for the most part, those seem pretty lackluster. (Some guy posted a page on rec.toys.action-figures.discuss that had comparisons between the new and old guys.) The custom figures from a recent ToyFare give a fine example of what I'd like to see, but I don't know if anyone out there would actually buy enough of these to make a remake viable. It'd be nice, though.

9
I bought one of the lifesize pepsi Yodas from the fan club last year. I have noticed that the metal base he was standing on is all nicked up and it looks like thay just went to a junkyard to get it. I have also noticed he was put together rather quickly and cheaply. My cat could have done a better job. Have you heard of anyone else having the same problem?
  -Scott

I've heard no comments on the piece at all aside from the few who had it, liking it. Anybody wanna chime in?

10
Adam, I was wondering if you know of any ET 3 3/4" scale figures that can be found on the secondary market(cheap) or if Spielberg intends to release this figure with his 20th anniversary release of ET this year. I really would like to add ET's to my Senate diorama. Thanks
  -Joe

I remember reading quite a bit of info regarding Toys "R" Us offering a bunch of E.T. products next year, but specifics like scale are things that weren't mentioned. Stay tuned, definitely. There were some PVCs in the old days, but they weren't all that cool, really.

FIN
We've had lots and lots of fun, but now the time has come to go.

Updates...

Metalforce Convoy/ Optimus Prime: Apparently available in Singapore in both metallic and standard versions at a pretty significant mark-up. But still available.

Indiana Jones: Apparently ya know this, but I saw a pic of the Indiana Jones action figure from Disneyland. I gotsta get me one of those. A box of PVCs and a large collector figure were made as well. I gotta say, I'm surprised this is how the character finally showed up in plastic. With the McFarlane Movie Maniacs IV rumor and all.

GI Joe: Some as-of-yet unreleased GI Joe: Real American Hero stuff is at YoJoe.com.

I saw O Brother, Where Art Thou? on Monday. Quite a departure from The Big Lebowski but still quite entertaining... if you're familliar with the works of Homer. (No, the other Homer.) Worth a look if you've got an afternoon to kill.

More Q&A on Friday.

Questions for January 19, 2001

1
A while back, when R2 with his holo friend was but a figment of imagination in my collection, I was thinking about a way for Hasbro to get figures that were distributionally-challenged out to people. Theoretically, could Hasbro put figures like R2 with Holo Leia, the accursed Qui-Gon with Eopie, Swimming Jar-Jar, (add your own hard to find figure) up on a web site for sale at a higher price point? If someone wanted the figure bad enough, they could hunt around for it for $6-$7 in a store, or just pay say $12-$15 online and get it. It would shut the scalpers down a bit, and maybe help those who live in the boonies (or who work, and can't waste all day driving around looking at nothing) complete their sets. Am I totally off base here?
  -Matt (of Matt and Chuck fame)

Well, that's a question that has plagued man since the dawn of time. ("Time" means "1995" for the purposes of this answer.)

Hasbro could, if they really wanted to, offer figures directly. And they had in the past, too. In 1995, they sold hard-to-find figures via their 1-800 number for $9 shipped. While the typical toy discounter price was $4.99 ($6.99 at Kay-Bee), Princess Leia-- yes, the first one-- no, I'm not kidding-- was really hard to get for a long time. So nine bucks wasn't a bad deal, but still, people complained. (MSRP is typically Kay-Bee's price, anything lower is discounted.)

So that brings us to today. Restrictions and oddities prevented Hasbro from selling some Star Wars items on their own web site, however they were able to offer product via the Star Wars Fan Club (a.k.a. Mos Espa Markeplace a.k.a. Jawa Trader.) Since Hasbro now owns Wizards of the Coast, and Wizards of the Coast now owns the Star Wars Fan Club, you can feel free to draw your own conclusions about future offerings.

Now, some informed speculation on specifics:

Bespin Playset: NOT CANCELLED. They're just characteristically slow.

Eopie: Not likely. The batches made were for the overseas market... I have yet to hear of a retailler get any product from Hasbro US. Hasbro UK, sure. Asia, yeah. US, no. Or at least not yet. Hasbro made more Darktroopers, so anything can happen.

The last few CommTech figures-- both E1 and POTF2-- are supposedly still in various pipelines to clearance racks nationwide. Keep your eyes open for those guys, and if you find lots of Stormtroopers, sell me some at cost and you can feel real good about helping the Less Fortunate Third Rate Column Writers of America, or LFTRCWA. Which is pronounced "lftrcwa."


2
I got a question that is not Star Wars related although I am a big fan and have collected alot of Star Wars stuff. I heard about the release of The Masters of the Universe figures and have only found two here in East Texas. I have not found no more and Toys R Us has replaced the area where they were stocking the items. I know that the figures are limited and really like to get my hands on the original He- Man and Skeletor. Have they stopped selling the figures and if not when do they plan to stop selling them?
  -Roadkill1020

The new Masters of the Universe are both really new and quite limited-- I believe 15,000 pieces is the highest for any figure in the run, and that's He-Man and Skeletor.

I've seen like two figures in stores. One at a store on two occasions. Wal-Mart and other chains continue to get them in, so keep looking-- you'll find what you're looking for. Eventually. Maybe.


3
I was hoping LEGO wouldn't fall to the ill act of making Star Wars vehicles that don't really exist in the movies, but hey, I guess LEGO is all about creativity, right? Or, maybe I just missed the 'Battle Droid Carrier' during the 50+ times I've seen EP1 (hey, my kid likes Star Wars, too, ya know...). Personally, I'd prefer companies like Hasbro, Lego, etc. to not make vehicles that weren't really in the movies (or in any of the novels for that matter). I know it's fun to be creative and all, but where do they actually come up with this stuff? How do they come up with vehicles like the Invasion Force stuff? Do they have plans for more? And what about LEGO? Are we to see more of these type kits in the future?
  -SK

CORRECTION: it would seem that the carrier did appear on screen. Being a moron, I just missed it. Back to the post as it originally appeared...

Lego is more tight-lipped than Hasbro when it comes to future releases, but Lego does update their catalogs and websites when the time is right. The carrier is a thinly disguised Battle Droid figure pack, sorta like how the Escape Pod a thinly disguised overpriced Lego set.

So, the answer is "I don't know, but I'm fairly sure nobody else does yet either." I wouldn't be surprised to see something similar with Stormtroopers, but nothing has slipped my way regarding future Expanded Universey Lego stuff.

4
What is behind the bizarre scheme in which Toys R Us holds scarce, in demand items only to release them months (or years) later at cheaper prices? I just snagged a Simpsons Treehouse, which should have been released around Halloween for half off- first time I'd seen it, and it was on sale at that. I'm not really complaining, just wondering. The amazing amount of Star Wars stock which appeared a while back was awesome, since I got to pick up some more nice figures for cheap, but why weren't they just put out when they got them? Shelves already full? It just seems to hurt their margin when they put out sale items which could have gone for full price, had they simply been in circulation. Bottom line, I'd assume that if the stores were selling more Star Wars merchandise at retail, we might get more down the line, so it'd seem to me.
  -Chris

Well, two possibilities.

Any crafty six-year-old (well, at least I did this) can tell you that hiding a figure in the store until you can convince mom an' pop to give you some money is typical. I'd wager the Treehouse of Horror was "hidden stock", but you never know. Locally, they seem long gone... like the Power Plant playset, which I have yet to pick up and am now getting antsy. A friend of mine found a weird mini-Pirate toy set from several years ago at a renovated Kay-Bee just the other week, and I mentioned the die-cast Voltron (Trendmasters, not Matchbox) I found just a few months ago. ($27, BTW.)

Star Wars is a unique beast. The product often can and will sell at full price, yet there is no new product to be found. Many retaillers wait until Hasbro-- or another distributor-- offers them product at obscene low prices. So full shelves plus lousy pegwarmers equal weird rare stuff showing up on clearance for two bits. It's just a matter of third rate assortments, poor distribution, and some lousy product combining with an indifferent marketplace. (Scores of Skiff Guards and Rebel Pilots fill local Kay-Bees. So apparently the retaillers were right-- nobody seems to care. Even though Ten Nunb is like the best figure and stuff, ya know, dig?)


5
Recently, a very kind gentlemen named Fiorenzo Della Ruppi, who writes the online SW fan comic "The Hidden Wars" sent me a copy of a comic he wrote which promoted the Flashback series of figures and came packaged with certain Italian SW toys. It was printed by Hasbro (in Italian), and the back page has pics of 8 of the flashback figs. Any idea what toys these were packed with?
  -TODD

Well, I should note I've never seen nor heard of Hasbro packaging comics with overseas figures. I'd love to post more info if any readers are willing to share.

Since it was a fan comic and nobody's mentioned it, I'd wager that most of us totally missed out on this one OR it was bundled at some post-Hasbro distribution juncture OR it ain't for real. Any assistance you guys can provide would help.

6
I was at my local Target today, and they were remodeling and restocking their toy section. One of the employees was putting new stickers on the shelves for upcoming products. One of these stickers said "Star Wars 12-inch $4.94" and the other said "Star Wars 2-pk $14.99".

Any idea what these products might be?

$4.94 is pretty cheap for 12-inch figures, could it be an accessory pack?

Thanks for your time.
  -Brandon

Well, if there's one thing I know, it's what the "4" means in Target clearances. If a markdown product ends in a "$XX.X4" it's not only clearance, it's almost always final markdown, meaning the next stage is a more final still markdown* or perhaps Goodwill**. So odds are the 12" figures are some old assortment that's long gone, coming back, or was there and you just missed it. No accessory packs in the 12" size have been planned or announced as far as I've heard. Considering Hasbro's GI Joe accessory pricing ($10ish), it'd be too cheap for Star Wars anyway.

The two pack is priced right for the Vader/Maul set in the four inch scale. Considering most stores never got them, it's entirely possible this pair or some new pair could be filling that peg soon.

*- Scored a CapToys Naboo Fighter Skittles Dispenser for $1.29 after it was marked down to like $5.94. So it happens.
**- Goodwill stores got a load of the 1998 12" exclusives from Target in some areas. The Han in Carbonite and Royal Guard/Emperor sets disappeared from final markdown and reappeared and the recognizable thrift outlet.

7
O.K. heres another Adam, to your knowledge has hasbro represented the correct light saber colors in figures such as Adi Galia, Mace, Kai adi mundi, Sae se tien or Plo kloon? How about the Expanded Universe figs. such as Mara Jade, Clone Emperor, Luke or Leia Organa Solo?
  -Newmexin25

Theoretically...

The five Jedi council members never had their sabers lit on screen. While some of them do match the comics, well, comics are comics. Any and all correlation with the sequel prequels is purely coincidental.

Mara Jade carries the old Luke saber in the books, so yeah, it matches. The coloring in Dark Empire leaves a lot up to interpretation (lots of green), but it does correspond with what some descriptions say. So I'd say yeah... the toys are probably more definitive than the Cam Kennedy colors, despite looking really cool.

8
Adam, I know that the Star Wars community is very pleased to have the 12" Legacy series with Bossk, IG-88 & 4-LOM. I just picked these up myself last night and they are fantastic. I only have about 20 12" figures as I am very price conscious and dedicate my spare money to the 4" line. My concern over the 12" bounty hunters is that I dont recall Hasbro confirming that Zuckuss & Dengar will be added to the 12" series. Please tell me that I somehow missed this and they are indeed on the way some time in the near future.
  -NM

When you can't find it, it usually doesn't exist. In this case, that's quite true. The two figures haven't been offered yet, but odds are they will see plastic some day if for no reason other than to shut us up.

9
This isn't actually about the toys, butI was wondering if you had any idea (or could find out) when the Phantom Menace 'Ultimate edition' soundtrack will be available in the UK? (And yes I have read the negative net-grumblings about it).
Hang on, I've thought of another one: have you ever heard of the POTJ Darth Maul being available in Episode 1 packaging? A friend of mine is convinced he saw one on a shop shelf over here.
  -Mike

Not sure about the soundtrack in the UK, but several music stores ship overseas... if you really want it, importing it might not be the worst idea. And if you still can't find it... uh... ask me again, odds are it's available used somewhere in this rotten town.

As far as packaging... I have a rule. My friends are really nice people. They are, however, not toy junkies. Mispackaged figures happen every day, and a lot of people repackage figures and return them to stores. And other people just lie to their friends because they think it's funny. (I can vouch for this.)

10
In the last issue of the Insider, it showed a Darktrooper pass/badge. For whatever reason, I dig these. Will these be released even after the takeover?
  -TODD

The cool badges' future is unknown. I would assume they would, especially since some of their products that included them are showing up elsewhere and those badges gotta go somewhere. Of course, who knows? There's a lot we don't know about the future of the Fan Club, but we're all really hopeful that they'll keep the good things and nuke the bad. (The Bad, of course, specifically refers to the venue for the 1999 Star Wars convention.)

FIN
I don't have anything clever to say, so I'm just gonna complain that Metalforce Convoy looks really good and is too friggin' expensive. Blah blah blah it's not fair etc. Typical rant.

Updates...

Big Pepsi Yoda Base Damage: A few readers wrote in saying their Watto bases were A-OK, and a reader who got a Pepsi Yoda from Blockbuster complained of similar scratching issues.

Hasbro Poll: The poll inexplicably has Amanaman at 37% and Yarael Poof a few points behind. Yarael Poof. Almost at Amanaman's level. Honestly, people, this could be the last chance for this figure. We've been bugging them for years, they do a poll to see if we're right, and then we say "no, we still want it, but we're voting for something else." If you want something, vote for it, not something else. (Cue rant here.)

More Q&A on Monday.

San Diego Comic-Con 2014
NEW IN THE PHOTO ARCHIVE:
Probe
Droid
Poll
Next September marks the twentieth anniversary of Hasbro's Kenner The Power Of The Force action figure collection. The line introduced a new generation of children to the wonderful world of Star Wars toys and ushered in the modern collectibles we all enjoy today. Our ever-inquisitive Probe Droid is actively searching all corners of the galaxy to find out if there is interest in products that commemorate this very significant 1995 release.
I'd be into a Hasbro The Lost Line style assortment
I'd love to see Gentle Giant make a Jumbo Kenner 1995 Luke Skywalker
I'm behind both of these ideas!
I got started in 1995, but I have no interest in such a concept.
It isn't for me.
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