Q & A Archive for week of April 17, 2000

Questions for April 17, 2000

Hello Adam, don't know if this will make your Q&A column or if its a repeat. I have a question about the E1 Alpha Series AF vehicles. Why are the final versions made smaller and therefore not figure compatible? I perferred the previous arrangement much more. Further to this point, new vehicles like the Royal Ship or Sith Infiltrator although have Alpha versions now, but true AF scale vehicles are still missing, (please do tell me if they made a regular AF Infiltrator already). Are there any plans at Galoob to release the final/movie versions of these AF vehicles?

Well, I like it this way better, personally. A new mold always beats a repaint.

As far as regular Action Fleet sized vehicles, those two just arrived in the regular assortment, so really, no worries. I still wish they made the Alpha Snowspeeder in a larger size, so I gotta say I think this is a step in the right direction.

Any idea where I can find the Micro Machine "Heads" playsets?

Please, be more vague. :)

$15+ Assortment: These are showing up all over on clearance. So if you missed the really spiffy Jabba/Tatooine, Vader/Cloud City, or so forth, go to Toys "R" Us and buy ye some goodies.

Walnuts/Mini-heads: The first gift set-- the one with Vader-- shows up on occasion at some Kay-Bee stores. The 3-packs are gone almost everywhere. The second gift set (C-3PO) never hit the USA, mine came from a contact in Hong Kong. The Pizza Hut mini-heads should be available on eBay or other collectible outlets.

The Episode One head stuff is everywhere. If you can't find it, keep looking.

How many Qui Gon Jinns are coming out? I saw the Cloth one, and then there is a farmer one AND one on a beast pack? Is that correct? And do you know their articulation? (like do their arms move at the elbows and wrists or not?)

The story thus far:
Jedi Duel
Jedi Master/Soft Goods
Tatooine Showdown
Theed Hangar Playset
Opee w/ cloak
Eopie w/ poncho
Deluxe figure
Holo figure
... not counting other scales, that's all I have so far. The Jedi Duel version has the most articulation, however I have to say that if you can find one with a good face paint job, the Naboo one is my favorite and the one I'd reccomend. Will there be more? C'mon, this is Hasbro, the 200th edition Batman is due out this year. :)

I couldn't help but notice when I was checking out the Hasbro Japan Marmit 12" stormtrooper figure, the boba fett and tie-pilot on the back. I was wondering if you could tell me if Marmit has a web-site, or where I could find more information about the 12" marmit boba fett.

As far as I know, Marmit does not maintain a website for the english-speaking world since it sells its products in Asia, I'm pretty sure Japan exclusively.

Boba and the TIE Pilot are supposedly coming this year and will sell in Japan for-- methinks-- around $60-$70 each. Typical import prices are usually (but not always) a 50%-100% markup, but you can always shop around or ask a buddy to pick one up for you. (Do I have any buddies out there? :) Also, Rebelscum Sponsor (loves dem sponsors) Entertainment Earth will be preselling these, and their track record is excellent when it comes to this sort of thing. Keep an eye open to online toy, model, and import stores, you'll be sure to find the info you need.

I've heard nothing but good things about Hobby Link Japan, however, I have yet to order from them myself. (But those new Zoids will change that soon. That Rev Raptor is just friggin' awesome...)

Okay, here's a "more real" question: It seems to me that many of hasbro's new star wars figures (such as Admiral Motti, the new sitting POTF Chewbacca, Jar Jar with his tongue out, Boss Nass at Gungan Sacred Place, etc) are coming "pre-posed," i.e., they're more to look at than to actually play with. Do you think this is a result of hasbro realizing that there is more of a market amoung collectors than children?

Well, good question. Very good. If you really look at the line, it seems as if it doesn't know who it's aimed at. We're getting kid-friendly main characters, the familliar faces that will typically do well at retail. But we're getting figures with very small parts, incredible sculpting, and (compared to Cantina Han's ilk) weak articulation. So it looks like Hasbro's gunning for both markets, and potential fan burnout aside, they're starting to deliver. (Well, not "deliver" as in "local store" so much, but you get the idea.)

So we have 1 Vader Power F/X, 1 Ben, & 1 Luke (plus Palpy & R2). I don't have Vader or Luke yet, but on the back of Ben's card it shows that Ben connects to Vader with a Millennium Falcon/hanger bay backdrop.

And on the back of the Palpy card they picture Luke being connected to Vader in a dual from ROTJ.

Well, which is it? Did Hasbro goof on this or are there Vaders out there that have each backdrop, therefore causing you to buy 2 Vaders in order to complete both scenes?


Have to buy 2? Ridiculous.

It's interchangable... you can have Luke with Vader, or Ben with Vader. Luke has a very large backdrop that goes behind himself and Vader, and Ben and Vader each contain part of their scene. There is no "goof" anywhere here, but if you want to have two complete scenes on your shelf, yes, you will need to score an extra Vader.

Yakfacesrealm.com has reported that a black plastic arm thing is to be included with the Y-wing. Why the heck would they include the rumored black "Metal Detector Arm" with the Y-wing? What does it do? Sirstevesguide.com is reporting that the Y-Wing doesn't come with this arm thing, it isn't in the package insert instructions, and that is was just an idea with the prototype that was changed at the last minute along with the pilot figure to cut costs. What is the real story with the Y-wing?

I'm as puzzled as you are. I seriously doubt that the arm is included, however, stranger things have happened.

With the recent outburst at TRU and KB of the harder to find POTF2 figs like Lobot and Mon Mothma showing up across the country, do you think that there is a chance we will find figs like the removable helmet Vador and Ishi Tib in the following weeks? I asked the fan club if they would be getting any of the helmet Vadors in the future and they said it may be possible to find them at the toy stores with all of the sales going on.

I gotta say, I think the Fan Club's giving the best advice here. Maybe, maybe not. I'm seeing craploads of Collection 3 Hologram (and many no hologram) figures including Fett, Vader, and Stormtroopers at my local Kay-(Gee)-Bee toy stores. It's impossible to say what will hit where, but let's face it, it's always good to drop by a store when you have a minute if there's something you have yet to see.

I noticed that on page 95 of the march '00 issue of Lee's AFN& toy review that they added (Chewbacca '96 box)to the series 4 12" collectors series. They have Chewbacca listed at $90 and Chewbacca '96 box at $500! What is the difference between the two. My box says 1996 on the back, but I thought all of them did. Can you help me figure this one out?

The story:

In 1996, we saw the first 12" figures. The original assortment was to have 5 characters: Han, Chewie, Luke, Vader, and Obi-Wan. Needless to say, Chewie was pulled... for "improvement." He would appear a couple of assortments later, in 1997. The first figure still had a first series box made-- in other words, a dark blue background is the dead giveaway.

So a very very very very very VERY rare running change piece was made. I have seen ONE Dark Blue Chewie, and it came from Hasbro direct (as they do sell things via their customer service lines from time to time.) It's the same exact figure as the regular release, just a different package. Odds are you'll buy and sell a couple Short Saber/Long Tray Ben Kenobis before you see one, but hey, weird stuff shows up. Good luck finding one, but then again, it may be best for your wallet that your luck is a tad more sour.

A long time ago, before POTF2, I had a good paying job and was buying up loose vintage stuff left and right. There was a collecting newspaper I would get every now and then and pour over looking for dealers. It was basically a newspaper version of all those dealer ad pages you find in Lee's, etc. One day I found a picture of a box or a publicity shot of Jabba the Hutt on his sled with all the usual figures around him. Now what surprised me was a figure of Leia in her slave outfit sitting in front of Jabba. So I called up a dealer I bought a lot of stuff from and asked about this Leia I'd never before seen. He said he knew what picture I was talking about and told me the figure never made it past just that -- a picture. The thing is, I've never been able to find that picture again or find any information about it. Have you ever seen or heard about this Leia?

This drove me nuts when I first saw it, too.

I think what you saw was the same custom Slave Leia figure that appeared in a toy magazine, thousands of years ago when me and about 20 people bought toys for themselves. It was made from a Bespin Leia, and I believe some figures were customized based on that photo, and it's possible someone made a few special photos. The AFD cover showed a Rancor pit, Jabba & his throne, and Leia was seated on the throne. It was pretty convincing for a custom, until you look close. No Slave Leias were made for the original line, no packaging mock-ups showing Slave Leia as a toy have surfaced (guys, please correct me if I'm forgetting something), and no Slave Leia prototypes from the 1980s have ever surfaced. Actually, very few unproduced classic vintage film figures have ever been seen, Gargan is the only one I can think of.

Uhhhh... yeah. Got an inquiry about everybody's favorite sci-fi film series after The Planet of the Apes? Send it on in!

  Adam Pawlus

Questions for April 20, 2000

Do you have any idea what Palm Talkers and Action Hero 2-packs are? Any guess on how Wizards of the Coast will distribute Sabe?

On how WotC will distribute Sabe... heck if I know. (I just found out there's a WOTC store, news to me.) I thought it might be a typo for Wizard Press, aka ToyFare, but eh. As of now, I have no information on exclusives beyond what we posted.

Palm Talkers... not sure. It could be a rename of the upcoming "finger forces" from Tiger, which are basically SW figures from the waist-up that talk. (Though probably not.) The 2-packs are most likely just new figure two-packs... no information is available to me at this time. Sorry!

Whatever happened to the 12" Bounty Hunters 5-pack? I haven't seen any mention of it in the product release lists that have appeared recently.

As far as I know, Hasbro never actually confirmed it-- much like the Jabba's Aliens 3-pack that was said to have Amanaman, I think this is-- but I cannot be sure-- just another hoax.

I was wondering if my theory about Target not having ample amounts of skiffs nationwide is some kind of "feeling out" or test of the star wars consumer. Am i wrong to feel like they wanted people to fill out rain checks so they could get an idea of what amounts of skiffs to buy. They did take a hosing on their 12" Han Carbonite & Palp-Royal Guard, at least from all past accounts i've read and by my local Target having 20-30 on the shelves before they were dumped.

Here in Tucson, we've got 5-7 at the stores I checked on Monday and Tuesday. It seems to be a random thing, some areas are loaded, some aren't.

i have heard about all of these new sales going on with the release of EP1 on video, and i have heard about a lot of people finding the "R2 w/ Imperial Slide". is this a new R2 that is out or is it just some major packaging variation? i have not seen or heard anything about it where i live. i cannot stand not knowing what it is. Is there anywhere that has a picture of it?

We've got comparison photos in our Toy Archive. Basically, some words on the slide were changed-- not really a big deal.

Where can I see the vintage prototype picture of the Gargan figure that was never put into production?

The Star Wars Collector's Archive has a few pics up over at www.toysrgus.com.

I found at a thrift store a Darth Vader and Boba Fett figure from the Galaxy Empire series. They look like 6" red label pof2 figures that are badly painted. Vader is brown while Boba is fairly accurately colored. Do you know the story behind them? I've seen buff-Luke, buff-Han and Chewbacca as Snoova are their others in the series?


These bootlegs are not that hard to find, but a neat curiosity, that's for sure. I've seen seven of them: Snoova Chewie, Regular Chewie, Boba Fett, Tatooine Luke, Vader, Stormtrooper, and Han. They're neat, and available at a few online stores like The Empire of Toys for a few bucks each.

Will there ever be any figures made from the 1977 "wookie holiday special"?

While Chewie's family was proposed waaaay back in the late '70s, they never saw production. To date, it seems that Hasbro is actively avoiding any "expanded universe" type toys that are not its own designs (outside of the former Galoob's Alpha Fleet, of course.)

While I find it bad to say "never" in POTF2, I think this might be a safe bet. I'd love to see new Ewoks & Droids Adventure Hour toys, but it probably ain't gonna happen.

I finally picked up a bunch of figures I was previously unable to find, at a KB toy store sale. The Chewbacca with chain figure's slide says ESB instead of ROTJ. My question is, was this ever corrected?

Nope-- the only variation on an actual slide is R2-D2, mentioned above. Surprising considering how many different changes were on figures like the TIE Pilot...

Hi Adam! Why would companies decide to cancel production plans for a toy (of any kind: figure, vehicle, etc), be it after a prototype or not? I can't think of any logical reasons, especially after a prototype. Thanks for the info.

Money. The answer to pretty much any question, other than "no plans at this time."

Lots of items are made every year, but every now and again an item makes it pretty far-- some times, all the way to final production (Millennium Falcon Flight Controller). And then, nada. Reasons for this are many.

Sometimes the factory has significant damage, or a mold is destroyed, ending an item's production-- this is why the Animated Batman Robin Dragster is $250+. Since it costs a whole bunch to re-create the tooling, and retaillers are not always keen on reorders, it's cheaper to dump it.

Other times, a company sees a final product and says "No, this item is not worth releasing." (Hasbro rarely does this.) It does happen, though-- figures for The Last Starfighter, Dinosaucers, even the original Alien film back in 1979 made it to or past the design stages and were almost ready to go. But for some reason, be it quality issues or just some form of disenchantment with the license/product, it flops.

A particularly interesting-- and disappointing-- instance happened just a few years ago. A figure I was totally excited about, the Toy Vault Jabberwock, was in production and ready-to-go. Due to problems with the vendor in Asia-- I can't remember if it was a shipping problem or an issue of miscommunication-- this item was dumped. They still wanted to make it, but it just never happened. Considering what a cool monster toy it was, this was a pretty big bummer for yours truly. It'd cost more to find a new vendor or to deal with it, so it vanishes.

The most common issue, though, is the biggest threat to you getting new toys since the scalper. And it's places like Toys "R" Us. Believe it or not, these guys order so much that they can make or break a line. If they don't want it, sometimes it doesn't happen. ALIENS, the old 4" GI Joe Line, and many others are said to have been axed this way. Retaillers have a lot of power, that's why they can ask for exclusives. And if they don't want something, even if Hasbro invested a lot of money in it, it can be axed. Thankfully, some of these items show up later, like the Acid Alien (or whatever the blue version was called) from Hive Wars, or the upcoming Freeze Chamber from the Fan Club.

Scary, eh? Money talks, and unfortunately, it can shut up some pretty nice ideas.

My Q is another figure listed [on the upcoming product list] was Han Solo Bespin... Does this make you think a line of Resculpted Hans are on their way? Possibly every major outfit he had (God what i'd give to see a nice Endor Han, it was my fav figure as a kid!)

Well, this is Hasbro.

So far, we've seen relatively few Han resculpts. The only really significant one so far is the Cantina version last year, which still floors me by how cool it is. Are more on the way? It would make sense, considering fans keep buying resculpts. But nothing is confirmed yet... if it was, trust me, you'd know.

That's all for now, send in your inquiries!