Q & A Archive for the Week of February 5, 2001
Q&A's 2001 Run Begins For The Second Time

Questions for February 5, 2001

Based on your last Q&A, not too many fans are happy with 12" Legacy Asst. 2 content. So how's about rebelscum doing this for an upcoming poll? What 12 inchers do WE(the fans) want to see from Hasbro? They listened(finally!) to us last time-the bounty hunters-and it's selling like gangbusters! And if rebelscum.com gives them the results, maybe they'll listen-again! Whaddaya think?

Well, while fans typically have good taste, sometimes loud, vocal groups get together and make things happen that are basically retail suicide. (Which is why I'm all for letting us pick out exclusives. :)

I think it'd be awesome if Hasbro had, say, a dozen figures for us to choose from (along with "none of the above" options). But I gotta say, I'm a little tired of this whole "let's reissue another one" and "we can use that C-3PO body again" stuff...

What would you like to see in future 12" figures (i.e. any resculps, any certain characters on your 12" wish list)?

I'd put a one-year ban on resculpts in ALL of POTJ if it were up to me. New outfits, fine. Expanded Universe, no problem. And if it's different enough (i.e., Mechanic Chewie, Lando) that'd be OK.

With the 12" range, they make a lot of decisions that just rubs me the wrong way. But I would like to see the Gamorrean Guard (very much so, if it was halfway decent I'd probably buy two or three), Zuckuss & Dengar (because they need to finish the set), and I wouldn't mind seeing a really good figure of a ho-hum character. A nice Naboo Royal Security guy would be cool, maybe a genuinely new droid (12" FX-7 would rock), but please, no more retreads.

Have you ever noticed all the hands on the Lego minifigures are upside down when you first open them? Why is that?

Actually, it's just random. I've had hands in all sorts of positions over the years, upside-down and not.

SW Galaxy Collector put out a poster in #6 with all the 1999 action figures.I have it mounted on my wall next to my collection.I was wondering if there were others.Mine says Hasbro Collection Poster No.1 on the bottom. I know the magazine is out of business now but I never got all of the issues.Do other posters exist or am I out of luck?

As far as I know (I missed a couple of issues at the end), that was the only Hasbro poster they did for the magazine. I'm hoping Hasbro will start doing posters for the entire line (maybe by year or something), but right no, no such plans have been made known.

what's an 'Amanaman'? Sounds like it's a creature from Jabba's palace? It took me quite a while to get who Boshek was until some one finally talked about him in context of the movie instead of a toy (I think some one asked you point blank afterwards as well).

I consider myself a pretty loyal fan and have a small collection of action fig's, but can't tell for the life of me who some of these minor characters are by name unless they were highly touted like Aura Sing. I think there should be others in the same boat as me. Another factor to my ignorance is probably the fact that I live in the country just north of yours but get about 10% the SW toys available to you guys, well I won't rant anymore about that.

Amanaman is a big alien that looks like a green and yellow vegetable whose entire fame is based off of his appearance in the 1980s POTF line at the end of the vintage figure series.

To keep up on your aliens, there's two things you should do. First, read up on the vintage line. Collecting Star Wars figures and not having a firm grasp on what the vintage guys are is like going into second grade and being unable to read. (Possible, but don't be surprised if somebody makes fun of you.) Second, for the times when something really obscure comes up, check out Decipher's web site. Their customizable card game features a bunch of aliens from the films (and some not), and the vast majority of the cards are pictured online. (I'd say "get a set of the cards," but the whole rarity thing turned me off of them after the premiere set.)

What happened to Luke in POTJ? Just not good enough for an early release? Looking over the figures, I'm surprised to find obi-wan, darth, even leia- but no luke. Then again, looking at early pictures of the CD-ROM Luke, I wasn't impressed. What more can be done with our whiny hero? Will we see a new Luke peg warming again anytime soon? In your opinion, what's your favorite Luke sculpt?

Don't jinx it, you fool!!!

As of today, three Lukes are on tap for POTJ. The first is an X-Wing Luke modeled after his appearance in ANH, complete with removable helmet. The second is a Bacta Luke in the deluxe assortment, release unknown. #3 is the ill-fated CD-ROM Bespin Luke, which I believe I hear will be inserted in the 2001 assortments. The last carded Luke was released to stores in September (or so) 1999.

Frankly, I think they've done Luke to death and short of "perfect resculpts" or Expanded Universe outfits, they should cut him out of the line for a while.

I really like the first Bespin Luke and the CommTech Luke, and would very much like to have a Jedi Luke which I can call my favorite, as soon as they do a new one.

Can you explain what happened with the Eopie and Qui-Gon figures? I understand that it was an overseas release, but it seems very unlikely that they would not have made there way here. Do you have any recommendations where to find one at a reasonable price? The cheapest I've seen is $60.

According to various sources, the item was simply not ordered by US retaillers, and therefore, not produced in large numbers. US boxes of the toy showed up in Asia with stickers, and trilogo versions were issued as well, but everything I've heard leads me to believe the item will most likely never show up in US toy stores.

I got mine from a UK online toy store for around $30 or so (and that's pretty pricey, considering how little the toy actually does. But it does look cool.)

Your best bet is to trade with somebody, otherwise... well... don't be too hopeful.

Alright, I'll bite. Why does the Bespin Escape Leia come w/ two Stormtrooper rifles? Not that I'm complaining. It looks like a nicely scaled resculpt.

One for Leia, one for somebody else. Chewie, maybe. Or a stormtrooper.

Hey Adam, I was just wondering how much those ball joint shoulders they put on Maul, Aurra Sing, Stormtrooper, etc. cost to do? If they're not that much Hasbro should put them on each figure, as long as they don't look freaky. Knee joints also seem pretty painless to do like the Han and Luke [CommTech versions]. Why doesn't Hasbro do them more?
  -Hang-10 Fett

The ball joints (heck, just about *any* joint) adds next to no cost to the figures. My guess is they usually aren't done because they don't add to what the figure did on film. If Mas Amedda just stands there, that's all the figure's gonna do. But there's a lot of things to argue this, so ignore that.

I have the entire collection of POTF2 and everything that's been released since then (95-present). I am running out of room to store these fantastic pieces of plastic. My question is this: What is the best way to store these figures but still have access to them so you can check what you have versus what's available in stores? (I find myself in stores wondering if my collection has this piece or that piece and then I have to go digging into my collection only to find that I had it all along.)

I realize that my problem could be solved with a "master list" but, I still need an effective way to have access to them as well as store them. I'm just wondering if you have found anything useful or if you could point me in the right direction for some info on this topic.

First, you're right, you definitely should have a list of some sort to keep track. I update my carded figure spreadsheet every summer because... well, I usually have the time then. (My loose figure sheet, however, is always up-to-date.:)

As far as storage goes, I use discarded Hasbro cases, because they were readily available to me for quite some time. If you have access to them, they're great. If not, comic book boxes are the next best alternative, maybe even better depending on how your storage rooms are set up. But you do have to pay for those.

Reader Scott sent in a scan of the 2001 Simpsons advertisment from the latest Action Figure News & Toy Review. (Not posting it due to copyright stuff.) It listed a ton of new 2001 figures, including Professor Frink, the Pimply Faced Teen, and yes, even Hans Moleman. Visit my other site, 16bit.com for the scoop, and updated checklists.

That's all for now, keep those Qs rolling in!

Questions for February 7, 2001

Sorry. It's a bunch of questions. First: Why can't I find any POTJ in my local Canadian department stores such as Toys R US and The Bay? What's wrong with Hasbro Canada? Have they forgotten that Star Wars fans live in Canada too? Or is it cause I live on the west coast? I've bought a couple POTJ figures from comic shops at decent prices but I'd really like to just walk into my local toy store and have a plethora of figures. What's going on? Will this ever end? Hopefully by Episode 2 someone will figure something out.

Maybe I've never made this very clear, so here goes. I don't live in Canada. I don't know what Hasbro Canada's problem is. But I do know that they're allegedly wary over the unsold figures given what happened with Episode One.

In Japan, sometimes toys are given release dates, and more often than not, toys are ready to meet those dates (or close to them.) If anybody's been in this hobby for more than a few weeks, they can probably cite at least three or four instances of figures being given a release date-- by a retailler or otherwise-- and failing to meet that date.

Unfortunate as it may be, importing is probably the way to go. (Until you guys cave and become the 51st state, at which point you will get some pretty good toys and slightly lower prices on comic books.)

Episode 2, well, it's a long ways off. We know that they've got some fancy scan stuff, and we know there will be new assortments. Rumor has it there could be multiple preview figures salted into the POTJ line, so there's one possibility of distro. Another thing to keep in mind is if history repeats itself, interest in and quantities of E2 merch will be smaller. I doubt that the next big push will be ignored in Canada (at least for the first few waves), but let's face it, Canada's almost always gotten the shaft when it comes to... well, just about everything toy related.

Since the upcoming Episode 2 action figures will be made with real scan technology to make them look like the actual actors,do you think all of the classic figures like Luke and Leia will be re-made AGAIN the same way?I kinda hope not.This is getting expensive.

Considering the ages (and deaths of) some original trilogy actors, I have serious doubts that we'll be seeing scanned likenesses of the human characters anytime soon.

What does a Palm Talker do? Does it play voices of our favorite characters? Is the sound quality better than the Commtech Chips?

The Palm Talkers are basically nifty deformed non-articulated Star Wars figures. As far as sound quality, me speaking through a kazoo after sucking on helium can be more convincing a character voice than most CommTech chips.

Am I the only one bothered by the renaming of figures/characters in the modern lines versus the vintage ones? I mean, names like Hammerhead, Snaggletooth, Squidface were evocative, memorable, and you knew who it meant. Who's big idea was it to change them to Momaw Nadon, Tessek, and ... whatever snaggletooth is? (see, I forget!) Who do I blame here, Hasbro? Decifer? Del Rey? What's you opinion on it? Am I alone here? (Down with Ponda Baba, Walrusman forever!!)

In the late 1980s, West End Games released an RPG which named just about anything that wasn't named earlier. The names became more or less "official" when the toys were named accordingly.

I'm of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mindset. Names like Saelt-Marae and whatnot... well, they're not all that great. Tessek sound decent, at least.

How's this for an idea? Hasbro should make a Weequay II. There were two on the skiff. Use the same body from the first one, just change the head/hair, arms and paint job. It probably wouldn't sell great (since the first was a pegwarmer). But collectors would love it. So we do it as a mail in. 100 Jedi Force file points and $1.99 shipping and handling. What do you think?

As neat as it would be, well, I have doubts that we'll be seeing something like that anytime soon. Mail-ins seem like a thing of the past, and personally, I'd like to see it heavily resculpted because while the first one was one of the best figures ever, a new one could be much, much better.

I have a vintage figure question for you. For some time now, I have been trying to find a genuine loose Jawa with vinyl cape. I see a lot of these on EBAY, though I'm sure many of them are fakes. Anyway, I have seen a number of listings that mention a copyright date inscribed in the leg of the Jawa as, "G.M.F.G.I. 1977". Do you know what the origin and meaning of the letters G.M.F.G.I. is? Would a genuine vinyl Jawa have this marking?

Actually, all Jawas would have this marking.

The letters stand for General Mills Fun Group, Inc. Basically, this is one of many companies that have owned Kenner prior to its complete and total anihilation last year.

Finding fakes is difficult, because some fairly convincing reproductions have been made. If you've seen a lot of real ones, it's easier to spot fakes... especially if they're the old hacked-up Obi-Wan cape trick.

The novel of Shadows of the Empire was pretty ambiguous as to the final fate of Guri and Dash Rendar. Was this intentional on the part of Steve Perry, so that they might be worked back into the Expanded Universe, or was their fate decided/sealed in some other publication I am unaware of? Lastly, are there currently any plans on tap for their reintroduction in any way with the NJO series of novels (if they lived, that is!)? Chime in any time on this, good buddy!

In the comic Shadows of the Empire: Evolution, Guri's fate was explored in five issues with some of the weirdest covers in the Star Wars canon. Dash Rendar also shows up later on, so yeah, they aren't dead. The series wasn't my favorite, but it was far from my least favorite. (Oh, I've got a list of least favorites. What were they thinking with Vader's Quest? What a piece of junk...)

As far as introductions in new chunks of literature, anything's possible. It seems like they're trying to avoid mention of SOTE, but hey, every story needs a twist...

Just saw the pictures on the official site of the "Real Scan" technology. Are thay planning to use this for The Episode 2 figures at 33/4" or is this just going to be for some high priced collectible head bust type thing? If it is for the figures themselves I am happy!

I have yet to hear of any busts being made for the consumer market, but I have heard the technology is still being planned for a variety of Hasbro action figure products.

I was just wondering what the deal is with the POTJ Coruscant Guard, I have not seen one in a store yet? Are they still shipping or could they just be more popular in certain areas?

I never saw this one for the longest time... then I saw a couple, then I saw a couple more, and that was it. I'd like to get more, but it seems Hasbro has no plans to ship more especially soon. I'd be astounded if they never shipped more of this figure, so keep watching the pegs.

Adam...is there any website that has a list of emails whereby fans can reach their favorite SW actors? I met Jerome Blake last year at Wizard Con and after a days worth of pic with my childhood heros and new EPI faves, my camera came up missing. After 2 hours of searching frantically and being crushed over this tradedy....Jerome ended up finding it for me. It was an emotional roller coaster ride day and I'd like to reach him to thank him again. thanks for any help you can give.

In the past you could write pretty much everybody care of the SW Fan Club... but until new management sets in and all, odds are that won't work too well. As far as addresses, well, I don't have 'em and I'm not a big fan of posting that kind of information, so I'd say stick with the Fan Club or another intermediary.

Wow, Star Wars.com comes through with new images!

The Real Scan busts (or whatever the term they're using) turned out pretty nicely, and it should be interesting to see what happens between now and the time they're released. I'm amazed that they were shown almost a year and a half before the next prequel. Hopefully this means our preview figures will be on their way a wee bit sooner.

So whaddyall think of the new stuff? I was hoping for more, frankly, but it might not be the worst of all outcomes to have a light year, given the hopes I have for the new TransFormers range, as well as the plethora of Simpsons goodies. As expected, I liked the new Obi-Wan. (It just looks cool. [Sorry, accidental pun.]) The new guys-- from the shots I've seen-- look pretty good. I think we're going to be in for a great year, folks.

Considering the rumored vehicles, I'm surprised nothing was posted in that department. With the TIE Interceptor showing up in TRU's computers and others... still unspoken of, maybe there's something left to show this weekend. Or maybe not.

More Friday.

Questions for February 9, 2001

Hey Mr. Pawlus! We've all known that originally Lando dies with the second Death Star at the end of Jedi. But, due to a pre-screening, it was changed becuse it was disliked by the audience. Do you know if this scene exists anywhere? Will it be available to us, maybe with the DVD release? (If that ever happens!)
  -RT, Jedi Knight and friend of Captain Solo

Actually, that's one of the most persistent myths regarding the trilogy. I'm fairly sure I've got a quote in a Star Wars Insider somewhere that has Billy Dee Williams talking how that scene was never filmed. Actually, I've never seen any evidence of it existing that was anything near official.

Which isn't to say it might not be real. But there's zero evidence of it happening. (For everyone that says "my friend saw it," how many of you have friends who've had Rocket Firing Fetts as kids?)

Do you ever think Hasbro will consider making anymore Expanded Universe figures based on the Novels? Especially considering the popularity of the New Jedi Order series I think some Yuuzahn Vong figures would be great. As well as Jacen, Jaina and Anakin of course. Im sure youve been asked this before but Id much rather see a Nom Anor figure than a Obi-Wan Cold Weather Outfit figure..

While the young 'uns were rumored for some time, we've yet to see anything to confirm it. I question the "popularity of the New Jedi Order" series as well... while I used to hear stuff constantly about the older novels, I don't think I've gotten a single email on the new books since Chewie got iced.

I'll take what I can get when it comes to decent figures, and Obi-Wan looks pretty good. Now, if it was crap, I'd be with you 100%. But hey, anything new and good is A-OK with me.

Now that Amanaman is coming out,is it worth my time and frustration to put my 3-D Jabba's Palace together?

I think the Cantina is both easier to assemble and better looking, but the Jabba's Palace set isn't half bad once it's assembled.

What is that red sphere with the imperial R2 droid?

While I have yet to see an official monniker, it appears to me like some sorta 3D projected Death Star or Yavin or something.

We'll never give in and become the 51st state....well not at least for a couple years. Well one thing is for sure, McFarlane Toys (being founded by a Canadian name Todd) has never given Canada the shaft. I've found any toy (by them) I've looked for up here. At least I know for sure I'll be able to find my SHREK toys in April/May! Do you think it would do me any good to track down a Hasbro Canada address and write my frustrations to them?

Anything's better than the "hey, it's coming out this week, really" stuff that seems to be going on with Canada. Letters are good. As far as an addy... um... got any Canadian toy boxes?

I strongly disagree with another reader who said Hasbro should return giving figures "stupid" names like Hammerhead and Squid Head. These nicknames were conceived a long time ago by the crew of the movies. When I was a kid I always wondered what their names were. Who the hell is called Snaggletooth by his friends or fellow members of his species ?
These characters have an official name. Use it ! If you can't remember who they are, get some decent material (like WEG stuff) & learn their names. These are the things that make the Star Wars universe so much fun: a universe that does not exist, but it has it's own reality. You probably know that the Vintage Greedo was first known in the UK as "Green Greedo" ! Ouch ...

Blah blah blah...

Who is Ketwol, and what part of what movie is he in?

Ketwol was an alien spliced in to the Special Edition Cantina Scene. The mask was used twice, with different accessories and clothing, to produce two distinct aliens-- one that looked like an elephant, one like a frog.

I don't know if I like the figure or not yet. The little thumbnail on the official site is kinda... well, hard to really ogle. Maybe it was me, but the snout looked a little long...

Hey Adam, what do you think makes more sense to include with each figure, some kind of beautifully rendered photo figure stand, or extra figures? To me, as much as I'd like more miscellaneous little droids, I really don't want to start buying "Arctic Weather Obi-Wan with Bonus Pit Droid!", "Crusade Darth Maul with Bonus Pit Droid!" "Darth Vader Emperor's Wrath with Bonus Pit Droid!" It'd just look plain silly hanging on the wall, and, well, I've already bought an army of loose Pit Droids, Stormtroopers, etc. How many more does a guy need? On the other hand, it'd be really nice not to have to make a separate purchase to get these guys to stay upright on the bookshelf. Isn't there a better way for Hasbro to deliver us the bonus goodies like more Ewoks and miscellaneous droids? Please, share your thoughts.

So you're saying paying for one figure and getting two is a bad thing? Are you insane?

I think it's a law I answer one of these questions every week or two, so...

1. I do not care how the packaged figure looks. You might say this is selfish. And you'd be right. I want a lot of my toy for my money, and if an extra droid looks goofy, well, pfeh. Your problem. It's not gonna happen, so why worry?

2. Any bonus goodie is a nice bonus if we're not paying for it. It could be in a plastic bag stapled to the card, you'd love it and you know it.

3. You may have a sufficient army. I don't. (Five pit droids does not constitute an army.)

4. If an extra bonus will sell the figures to kids, I've got news for you: there are more kids than there are collectors. Hasbro's better off catering to them than to us, if they'll bite.

Unless I missed a memo, plans still call for nothin' but Force Files for the forseeable future.

One of the biggest problems Hasbro always seem to have is how to revise both R2-D2 and C-3P0. While trawling through some back issues of Toyfare (No.23, July 1999 to be exact!) there appears to be a POTF2 R2-D2 with a ROTJ Sail Barge drink dispenser featured in the "Big Shots" boxout on page 86.

You'll have to excuse me on the next part as in the UK we appear to get a worse deal than the Canadians on availability of Star Wars figures generally, but I don't recall ever seeing this figure advertised in any trade magazines or specialist/comic shops. Do you know if it was a custom job, prototype or an exclusive?

A 12" scale Artoo with booze and a Action Fleet version have been made, but no official 4" scale figure (prototype or otherwise) has surfaced. So bet on a custom.

I'm a huge R2-D2 fan, so I have a two-pronged question: what do you think is the best 3 3/4"-scale representation of the character, and which 3 3/4"-scale version has the coolest features?

Also, how do the 12"-scale versions of R2 stack up?

I think the best sculpt of R2-D2 is the Power of the Jedi version (available now at finer stores everywhere. Except the UK and Canada until you give yourselves to the USA.) The figure doesn't do much, but he's missing the ugly eyeport, has a great sculpt, and has none of the labels that muck up the CommTech R2.

Favorite features? Probably the CommTech one, just because of simplicity-- lots of articulation and the li'l Leia. Cool stuff.

The 12" ones are all pretty much the same mold just barely changed, so it depends on what you want-- booze, tools, nothing, or a light.

And with that, the week, she is over.

Toy Fair starts reeeeeaaaaaal soon kiddies, so stay tuned to Rebelscum for the latest developments on Star Wars toys and such.

Considering how much stuff has leaked early, though, I'm not expecting to see much in the way of brand-spankerin' new goodies. But a few aspects of Simpsons are reportedly unreported (yes, that's what I meant to type) so who knows?

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