Questions for April 19, 2001

Welcome back... Here's our Question 10 recap:

As a UK Galoob fan, I am often frustrated at the lack of new products from Episode 1. We only received the first wave of Micro Machines and Action Fleet over here, and then nothing on general retail. Can you recommend somewhere that sells some of these items (possibly UK dealers) such as the Royal Starship Repair or the Micro Machines/Action Fleet Theed Palace sets from the later waves? -David

I couldn't come up with a UK source for you, but D&S ( has both these sets in stock at a very reasonable price. I understand they ship internationally, but be sure to check the details for your self. Hope that helps. - Thanks to Warren for the assist.

On with the show:

With all of the new figures out there, why hasn't Hasbro made very many carrying cases for them? As far as I know we've only gotten 4 cases since POTF2 started in 95, the Toys R Us exclusive case, electronic C-3PO case, the Falcon case, and the EP1 R2-D2 case. All of these are great cases, but they can't hold every new figure that's been released. Personally, I think they should make 2 more EP1 cases, Darth Maul, and C-3PO. As for other cases they could make, I would love to see some more vinyl cases, like the old ones but with different artwork on them. Maybe they could make a case that collectors and kids could insert their own artwork into as a means of personalizing the cases. Is there a way to get a fan petition started for more carrying cases?

Well, with the exception of the Power of the Force II box at Toys'R'Us, and at the LucasArts company store, the rest of these carry cases have been slow movers. With some of the recent changes at Hasbro, it's not hard to imagine they've probably decided to put that part of the budget to better use. The last thing they'd want to produce now would be another item that ends up warming shelves. Basically all the cases so far have been either too dull, or over worked. The direction the carry case line needs to go (if you can all it that?) is the straight forward box like you mentioned, or vehicles designed with storage features, like the old Rebel Transport. If you think about it, there are plenty of cool Star Wars ships they could use for this line, and it would satisfy two needs. As for a petition, they tend to be most effective when they have a specific goal attached to them, like Wuher, Skiff, or Porkins. If the collecting community were to rally around a particular idea, it might help, but it would take finding out what the majority of collectors really want before it got to that point.

I am interested in the new SW book, "The Essential Guide to Alien Species," but have not been able to find out when it is supposed to hit stores. The Del Rey website hasn't been updated since last fall for some reason, so would you happen to know when this cool book will be available? -Greg Romine

This may come as a surprise (it did to me), but "The Essential Guide to Alien Species" is out now. I'm picking up my copy today, try checking your local bookstore or for availability.

I am starting a collection of vintage Star Wars figures. I will be collecting them loose, and I was wondering where is the best place to start? Should I start off with certain ones or get whatever I can find?

If you're collecting loose figures, I'd suggest starting off with whatever you can. Look for figures that are as near mint as possible, and just check them off your list as you go. While you're looking, you'll want to keep an eye out for rare figures and those with certain variations. Yakface, Luke with telescoping lightsaber, vinyl cape Jawa, these will all run you a pretty penny, but they are key pieces in any collection. For help with this be sure to check out you local bookstore. Several books have been written on the subject over the years, which will help you in your search. Good luck!

Do you know if there has been any consideration given to releasing a Sail Barge? I've been wanting one forever but I seem to be one of the few. It would give me motivation to make a Sarlacc pit. -Nick

To my knowledge the Sail Barge has not been considered, yet. To be honest, it already has two strikes against it. It's big, and it's never been done before. Not that the Star Wars team wouldn't like to be able to make this classic vehicle, but the cost involved in creating a ship like this makes it difficult to justify in today's market. Still, anything is possible.

Are there any plans to re-do the Emperor's Royal Guard for the POTJ line? I was very disappointed (as I suppose a lot of people were) with the, um, less than acceptable treatment Hasbro gave this figure a few years back. When you can't match the color red for all the plastic, you have one ugly figure!

Several months ago, we ran a poll asking collectors which Power of the Force II figure they'd like to see re-sculpted for the Power of the Jedi line. The Royal Guard came in third place behind Rebel Fleet Trooper and R5-D4. Afterwards, I had a chance to ask Hasbro about the Royal Guard figure and was told they recognized the need to revisit that character, but also understood collectors didn't want a ton of resculpts all at once. With a new R5-D4 and Rebel Trooper coming next year, and fan support for a new figure, I have to think the Royal Guard is at least in the running for a resculpt, but probably won't be considered again until after 2002.

My Grandfather was giving me a preview of my inheritance (heaven forbid he should die now), which included an old stack of periodicals w/ some major headlines (like a vintage NY Times that reads "MAN LANDS ON MOON"). At the bottom of the stacks, was a small booklet that read on it "STAR WARS". I picked it up and took a look at it. As I scanned through the pages, I realized it was a playbook for the movie. It had brief character bios on many of the characters and the actor's names, and had various shots and paintings. It was copyrighted in 1977 and published by a company called Deluxe and it had the 20th Century FOX logo on it as well. My Grandfather said he bought it at the movie theaters after his second run seeing it. It was in near mint condition (the spots where the book was stapled together were a little frayed). I wanted to know as much about it as I could. Why it was produced, how it was distributed, what's the price tag on it now, etc...

It sounds like what you have is an official program from the original release of Star Wars. I have a similar program from the release of Empire that has tons of cool stuff in it. To my knowledge these were made to bring the viewer up to speed, get them familiar with the characters and situations, as well as highlight the creative aspects of the film. It also didn't hurt that there was a tremendous amount of fan interest at the time, and either as a collector's piece or fanzine, people gobbled them up. I bought mine at the theater where I saw the film. I seem to remember they had a display set up behind the snack bar, and off to one side of the lobby. I don't recall if they were sold anywhere else, but I'd think not. What is it worth now, that's hard to say. I'm not familiar with the market on these, but you could try checking with a magazine or comic shop that deals in such items. If all else fails, there are books written on all sorts of Star Wars collectibles, this item will probably.

Has anything from Hasbro indicated there might be a Queen Amidala Celebration figure in the mix any time soon? I remember a poll a while back, which placed her in the top two I believe. -Eric

Funny, I seem to remember that poll too... After we finished our Top Ten survey, I asked Hasbro about the chances for an Amidala Celebration figure. Hasbro's response, and with good reason, was that they didn't want to release a Queen Amidala figure, dressed in white, so close to the release of Episode II. If you've visited the Official site lately I think you can see why_ Despite this, Hasbro said there was plenty of time to do this figure after 2002, and that they would definitely consider all the Amidala costumes from Episode I for future action figure lines.

I saw you said that you have some of your collection in a storage unit. What kind of unit do you store your stash in? Is it air-conditioned? I've been thinking of doing this myself when I run out of room for stuff in my apartment. Would you advise this? I'd make sure it's air-conditioned (since I'm in Arizona) and also that it has plenty of room for plenty of stuff.

When you start looking at storage, there's one thing you have to keep in mind, extremes of any kind are not good. Ideal conditions for your collection is cool, dry, and dark. Air-conditioned storage would be great, but it will also be pricey. I've actually gone through three types of storage units with my collection. The first was shared with a bunch of "family" stuff. It was in one of those open-air storage parks where no matter what time of year, it was always broiling inside. This is not a good idea. The second was a small place just for 'the stash.' That one was on the upper level of a two-story building. The unit itself was indoors and well ventilated, but in the summer months it still got pretty warm. Another concern were the skylights in the ceiling above the unit. Okay if everything's in boxes, but murder on items left in the open. This was a better place than the first, but still not ideal. Once I out grew that, and my wife told me I needed to get everything out of the house, I upgraded to a larger unit. The current location of my collection is on the bottom floor of the same building, in an interior unit well insolated from the elements. Short of going to A/C storage, I feel pretty good with this one. In your case, this might be the way to go if A/C storage is too costly. When you decide to make the jump to storage, be sure and ask to see the unit before you sign anything. A quick walk through at midday will pretty much tell you what you need to know. Things you'll want to look for include temperature, lighting, and any signs of water damage (leaks from plumbing or a bad roof will ruin your stuff). Not that you're buying a second house or anything, but with the investment you've made in your collection, it would be a shame to put it in a place it wasn't safe.

I have seen mention of the clean version and the dirty version of the new POTJ Biker scout. Are there 2 versions? What is the difference? I have a POTJ Biker Scout and it looks clean. Please help me I'm baffled by the blurbs I catch here and there at Rebelscum. -Mike Smith

The dirty version you've been hearing about is a re-deco of the current clean version. Hasbro decided to make a running change to the Biker Scout, adding a little ware and tare to the figure as seen on the troops in the Endor scenes. No pictures have been shown yet, but the figures are in production and should appear at stores soon.

Tenth Question:
"This one's for you..."

At a toy show recently I picked up a 5 inch wind up C3PO. It is dark gold plastic. The head wobbles when it is wound up, and on the bottom of each of his feet he has some peculiar holes that connected to something to help him walk. Any idea where this came from? He's really cool.

Any takers?

Until next time...

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