Q & A Archive for the week of May 29, 2000
This Q&A Is Not Available To The Public... Even If It Were, You Wouldn't Wanna Read It


Questions for May 29, 2000

1
Many times I've read, in your posts, that you uncard and unbox all your stuff. My question is why?
  -John

When I started "collecting" Star Wars, I bought up the toys to play with them. And while the type of play has changed a bit, well, the buggers are no fun to just look at. (Hence why I'm a fan of playsets and dioramas and stuff.) Very few figures-- like Epic Force and that's it-- can be admired from all angles while still in the packaging. To see the work (or lack thereof) on a toy, it's gotta be opened. Plus I like to mess with the firing mechanisms and such... to see if they work.


2
Hey Adam, I was wondering if the Rebel pilot that comes with the new Y-Wing is in a regular uniform from A New Hope (like Gold Leader) or a new one from Return of the Jedi (like the pilot in the Cinema Scene).
  -Wyatt

The samples that have shown up on the web have included what looks to be another Biggs-esque ANH-y Rebel Pilot.

Can't win 'em all.


3
There was discussion/rumour/rumblings some time ago about a possible Hermi Odle/Ephant Mon/Amanaman cinema scene 3-pack. Is there any truth to this? And if so, any idea when it might see the light of day?
  -Shawn

While picked up by many, many outlets, it seems that this was probably just one of the farthest-running rumors of the line. Hasbro denied it, no images have ever surfaced, and I never heard of it showing up on any product or retailler lists. While it is possible that it could have been in development, zero conclusive proof has yet to surface. Which isn't to say it wasn't meant to happen.

4
What is the status of the POTF 2 Bacta Tank & Carbon Freezing Chamber playsets?
  -Joe

While the Carbon Chamber has been confirmed as a Fan Club exclusive to be bundled with an all-new Bespin Guard figure (to the delight of some and the dismay of others), I've never heard any rumblings for a POTF2 Bacta Tank. Bacta Luke, yeah, but the word on that has still been pretty slim... even though it appeared on at least one Hasbro list, well, those things can change pretty quickly (Attack R2-D2 & C-3PO, anyone?)


5
Isn't the freeze frame Sandtrooper actually harder to find than the Weequay???
  -mgranek

US Carded?

I'd say it depends. You see, I actually saw quite a few Sandtroopers when looking during the summer of 1998, yet never, not once, saw a Weequay and mine came from a generous contact at the time.

Some will say "yes, it is harder to find." But I remember hearing complaints of it being a pegwarmer in Fall of '98 in many, many areas.

6
I've never seen any good comparison shots between the green tinted Japanese C-3PO and the regular one. I bought the green version but after looking at it I wasn't so sure it wasn't a regular old C-3PO. Is there an easy way to tell if got the right one? Or if I just got ripped off?
  -indyman

Mine's kinda packed away right now, but I can say that it isn't immediatly obvious unless you know what to look for. The green tint is rather subtle, and the figure isn't as shiny as the regular version. Many, if not all, also include a little "THX" booklet, a staple of overseas SW figures of the time.

We do have a comparison shot in our toy archive. The green is more obvious in the shot than it is in person, but hey, it's a start.

7
I was just wandering how hard it is to find the first release of star wars on video, the ones with the original artwork on the front of the box, because I found a set at a local Foodland, here in West Virginia for 13 dollars a piece and was wandering if they are hard to find thanks and MTFBWY.
  -LCOC3

There have been several older VHS versions of the original trilogy, even with the older artwork, but they typically don't go for much. If it tickles yer fancy at $13, by all means snag 'em. You could do worse with your money.

8
have you or anybody else figured out a way to keep the new gonk droid's legs straight so he stands up. this is a major letdown if this figure can't be posed.
  -DARKKSITH

For some reason, the one I got back in September or whenever has a weird thing where his legs will-- on occasion-- just allow him to stand, and it sticks that way until I move them. How or why it happens, I don't know... but it's possible something similar might happen if you give yours a little more play time.

Also, early on, I wedged a small paper clip in the back area where the wires are on the legs. That'll keep him up.

9
Do you think we are paying a fair price for the Kenner SW figures when McFarlane has a far superior product at an outstanding low retail price. I thought Kenner bought into Galoob. Did they not have an action figure line of 7"ish Army Men with great sculpts and paint jobs. I think they sold for $4.99.
  -Robert

While some Hasbro Star Wars figures are worth the price, like the bulk of the POTF2 CommTech guys, most of Episode One is hard to spend $7* and say "hey, good deal." I buy these toys because I'm a huge fan of the characters, hence why I and others own a really, really lousy Rebel Fleet Trooper. (Or in my case, like 4 really, really lousy Rebel Fleet Troopers.)

Considering what we're getting these days (articulation, extras, etc.) I'd say $6* is OK, figuring in licensing and all. A $8 Metal Gear Solid figure downright shames most Star Wars releases at $7, even Hasbro's own Beast Wars and Beast Machines lines provide a bit more for the money ($5 or $6-7 for basics, $10 for deluxes). Heck, $5 figures are a rare thing these days, but Playmates is bringing a few to market with their ultra-spiffy Simpsons line-up.

But we're paying for the characters. As long as we're seeing figures with removable vests, "soft goods" where appropriate, and holsters, keep 'em coming. I'd be lying if I kept saying that the future for POTF2 is totally bleak at this point... between the improvements and rumored 2001 product (Calamari Soldier? Pinch me, I'm dreaming) how can I complain? So I'd say when the CommTechs drop, we'll be getting a fairly decent deal.

Galoob did put out some fairly decent soldier figures for fairly reasonable prices. But it's easier to do when there's less problems with approval, no licensing, and a big need to have something do well before you get bought out.

*= Cheap toy discounter prices. Actual retail is about $7.99, slated to drop next year.

10
What is the real story behind the novel Vector Prime? Was it approved by Lucas himself or are others such as the publisher, writer or other Lucas employees responsible? I can't seem to find a straight answer. I personally thought it was the worst written book ever(weak plot, poor character development, almost no descriptions of characters, locale or even outfits), not to mention the 'big event' in it has turned me off of any more SW novels.
  -Brian

While I never got around to reading the novel (nor do I want to spend the time getting around to it), reviews were mixed.

With my comments regarding Marvel's continuity the other day,I should probably make this a "big long answer" question. (Apologies in advance.)

First, as far as official continuity goes, there are multiple continuities.

Back in the day (1977-1985 or so), there were a variety of things, including Marvel's comics, the nifty Splinter of the Mind's Eye novel, Brian Daley's Han Solo books, the Lando novels, and some other comic strips and novels. These never really seemed to reference each other all that much, but they did manage to form a sorta continuity of their own. There were some things that ultimately wouldn't fit the way the movies played out (references to Luke's father, Vader randomly swinging his saber around outside of a duel [which was one of the many complaints I had about the truly abysmal Vader's Quest from Dark Horse]). These are all worth a look if you like Star Wars-- and I mean REALLY like Star Wars. Some of those Marvel story arcs were just great, even though some were a little-- shall we say, a little goofy. At this time, the only "official" stuff was-- I think-- the films, radio plays, and novelizations. So Owen would have been Obi-Wan's brother, and Luke would have asked "What's a duck?", and so forth.

The "new continuity" (1987-present) that seems to have been created out of West End Games' RPG featured comic books from Dark Horse, the Bantam novels from the great Zahn & Perry to the not so great many others, but these stories were just really that: stories. The LFL camp's opinion of these tales were still pretty much the same, that these, ultimately would have no bearing on upcoming films. The same "radio/movie/novel" thing held. The Marvel stuff was mostly tossed out (aside from a few references from the RPG and Andy Mangels [who did some really great stuff, BTW]), and while you might see a reference to the other older stuff, well, it wasn't really around all that much. The Dark Horse editions of Splinter of the Mind's Eye and one of the old Han Solo books reminded fans of what once was.

Enter the Special Editions. The buzz from LucasFilm-- at least that I heard-- was that the only "real" Star Wars was what you saw on screen, the rest was just, well, there. Enjoyable fiction or cheap storytelling, depending on what floats your boat.

The newer novels have stunts like killing off of Chewie (do NOT email spoiler complaints, it's been long enough) and fans will have favorite stories that will eventually allow a fan to pick and choose. Some stuff works, some doesn't. A lot of those Marvel tales were genuinely entertaining reads, and some of the new novels... aren't. So really, it's up to you to fashion your very own Star Wars Universe. I think Dark Empire works perfectly with the films so far. Others don't.

Considering how some fans reacted toward Episode One, I wouldn't be surprised to see some writers and pundits treat the prequels as a similar-but-separate continuity. A reader (who I should add I hold a great deal of respect for) pointed out that as of the original trilogy, the "midichlorians" and such were pretty foreign, no more so than the oft-bullied green rabit or some of the other extra-film creations.

So to answer your question: everybody's got their own taste in writers. This was created to further fan interest in the novel market by showing that our heroes are not invincible and god-like or whatever, and while Lucasfolk do give a go-ahead, few of the books are given a personal seal-of-approval according to the interviews and such I've seen over the years.

FIN
Day 16 in the Q&A mega-thon.

Two things to address today. The first, release dates. When asked for release dates, keep in mind that no matter what you hear or read anywhere, these are subject to change at the drop of a hat. And just because advance samples appear online, that doesn't mean you'll have the item in your hand within a week, or even a month. There's a lot of variables involved, so while information in the past week has revealed that the newly-seen 12" Speederbike should be out within a month, well, who knows for sure? (I don't trust me for release information. I trust eBay. :)

Second, well, there's no easy way to say it. But since many others have said it using far more 4-letter words than Rebelscum's "family" rating would allow me to use, here goes. There's a poll at Hasbro right now, to vote from a selection of Star Wars aliens to be a part of the 2001 line. Included from the Cantina are the Duro and Bom Vimdim, the Jedi Master Eeth Koth, Podracer Teetmo Pagalies, and from Jabba's Palace, the yellow and green Amanaman.

What's the point? Well, lots of you-- and I do mean tons-- have written in to me every week asking when Amanaman was coming out. More than any other specific figure, really... well, maybe about as often as a Boba Fett resculpt. But the thing is, more people have written in asking why on earth the Duro is beating out Amanaman. I find this kinda weird, but then again, fans did vote for Dannik Jerriko when they had the chance last time as far as cantina aliens went. (Why, I don't know.) There is a way to remedy the situation with whatever results you see fit. Don't vote for your second favorite figure because you think your #1 is a shoo-in. The Voting Chamber at Hasbro's Web Site is still open, not sure for how long, but vote for what you want. Let your voice be heard. If you want Duro, vote for him. Or Amanaman. Or Bom Vimdim if you're really bored. Just vote, at least this time we actually want to encourage them.

... and we'll be updating again tomorrow.

  
  Adam Pawlus

Questions for May 30, 2000

1
Can you please explaine to me exactly what happend during the "test" between Vader and Luke on Dagaboh.  Why is Yoda so dissapointed, what was Luke supposed to do?  I have never truely understood, and i'm sure i'm not the only one.
  -Mike

The weapons were a symbol of both fear and agression, as well as a lack of trust. By bringing them with him, he showed that fear and such were still very much a strong part of him and this proved him un-Jedi-like, but it did reenforce the humanity of the character.


2
Latest Internet news have said that there are 30,000 12 inch Speeder Bike's shipping. Is that a lot? A few? I know you have said Hasbro generally does not give production runs, but how many is 30,000 really? Should I start joining the scalpers at my Target first thing in the morning, or will I luck out again (as with the Skiff) and find some?
  -Kevin

Because of my odd sleep schedule, I probably will be there in the morning before I go to bed to look at least once or twice, but 30,000 is a ton in a normal hobby where only people who WANT IT buy an item. Star Wars is funky in that people continue to buy stuff they don't like, either because a) they're stupid or b) they've got too much money.

30,000 is a lot. If all 30,000 hit each Target in America all on the same day, they'll sit because, well, any exclusive that opens "wide" tends to just sit. Tricklers tend to vanish. Hence the Wal-Mart Cantina's continued lack of availability, and the 12" Han Carbo's inability to sell.

Who knows? I hit the stores a lot, I want to get a couple of these at cost to help some people out that've done me favors over the years. (I have a small nice streak, you see.) Plus if the thing sells out, all you gotta do is write a few letters (not email) and complain and odds are we'll see more.


3
Here's a thought, seeing we are discussing movie issues to: Every one thinks Roswell or Who killed Kennedy are the greatest conspiracies in the world. Not so....the biggest one has to be the one that kept Luke in the dark about his parentage...I mean I find it hard to believe there wasn't anyone who remembered who anakin skywalker was and what he did...after all he was instrumental in bringing the Republic down!
  -Dave

Well, that's a real question: did the Galaxy at large know that Anakin Skywalker was Darth Vader? From the films, I would guess no, they didn't. All info I've heard said that Anakin doesn't REALLY turn until Episode III, and we really don't know the circumstances leading up to the whole thing. If Obi-Wan really pushed Anakin over the edge (metaphorically or otherwise) and he was otherwise seen as an OK kinda guy, then it's possible that the "legend" went that Obi-Wan killed off an important or powerfu l Jedi and some Sith Lord sprang up to wreak vengence on the evil Jedi or whatever.

As far as keeping secrets, well, look at our culture and the stuff we tell our kids that they don't discover until later in life. Where babies come from, Santa Claus, all sorts of things. So it's not impossible to think that even if everybody knew the connection, that Luke wouldn't find out. After all, he was the wormie little kid who got picked on every now and again... I know we're all guilty of making crap up to tell people or not telling them things, so who knows?

4
Beyond causing the price hikes, what other calls has LucasFilm made(read: imposed) on the toyline?

What does LucasFilm care what Hasbro does with individual figures so long as it wont hurt their image or movie/rental revenue?
  -Chris

One thing Lucas always wanted was at least some control over the toy lines and merchandise for his films due to preserving the integrity of the brand, which got a little dilluted in the past year.

Lucas gave the thumbs-down to more than a few things that would hurt the clean Star Wars image, in Sansweet's Concept to Screen to Collectible book (I reference that thing a lot these days) there was mention of a R2-D2 liquor decanter that got turned down. In a similar category, Roddenbery or his peeps did give the green light to a Spock booze bust.

As far as specific things being imposed on the brand, I don't know many. I do know the muscular-ness of wave 1-3 or so was a joint decision between Hasbro and LucasFilm (make all the jokes you want about the word choice.) A lot of vintage items got scrapped according to an toy magazine due to LucasFilm, including C-3PO repaints, vac-metallized Imperial Pilots and Guards, and a ridiculous Han Solo with a wing backpack strapped on. (Oh, wait, that happened 18 years later.) I also remember hearing LucasFilm was also the reason we didn't see a removable helmet Darth Vader until 1998-- after the Special Editions, and not in 1996 like it was originally planned. I'm glad, personally, because the sculpt of the 1998 figure is just beautiful.

I've heard the buzz about the Tonnikas being unmade due to a rights issue, but I gotta say, unless there was something to do with the rights to the likenesses of the actresses (which I highly doubt), then I have no idea what it is they're talking about. (Half-answers are something only I can get away with.) (And what's this Bom Vimdim being a requested alien? Hell, even I didn't know his "name" until the poll, and I consider myself to know most of this stuff.)


5
I've seen several references to "attack C-3PO" and "attack R2-D2" in your Q&A recently. I'm fairly new to POTF2 (About 4 months) and was wondering what these are. Where can I find pics?
  -Lord Cabbage

You can't.

I've never, ever seen these, in person, in a magazine or anything. In reference to a previous answer, these were items given the Lucas-thumbs-down since these droids don't "attack." A blue urathane casting of R2-D2 was said to be floating around the collector market in late 1996, but my sources never got pics or information to me on who it was that had the preproduction figure. It's assumed that the production R5-D4 we got (and for the most part, hated... it was a fun toy but a lousy figure) was what R2-D2 was originally planned to be.

As far as C-3PO, all the information I've heard points to the figure resembling the bounty hunter C-3PX from the Droids Dark Horse series.

6
with all the complaints about the rebel fleet trooper, i started wondering about the possibility of seeing army builder resculpts from hasbro. it seems to me that collectors would buy up alot of any remakes of hoth soldiers, endor soldiers, ROJ pilots, or especially that rebel fleet trooper (or even the upcoming bespin guard if they made other ethnicities). yet hasbro seems to shy away from them except for the commtech stormtrooper (which i still have never seen anywhere). what would it take to get them to build up our armies some more?
  -Michael

Good question. This is something that's come up with a lot of people I talk to, so hey, great.

Most fans I've spoken to who hate resculpts are all for resculpts and repaints of army builders. In other words, Ewoks, R2 units, Pilots, Imperials, Stormtroopers, and so forth are A-OK. I tend to agree, I would love to see more Ewoks or Imperial R2 units and such. And if they remake army builders, I'll buy multiples... especially with different ethnicities.

It worked for GI Joe's 12" line, but it doesn't seem to be where they want to go for Star Wars just yet. Maybe someday. I agree with you, I'd settle for more CommTech Stormies for at least now... one does not an army make.

7
Is it possible that the lack of 3&3/4" Queen Amidala figures could in part be due to the complexities of her outfits? I can imagine that her celebration outfit would be difficult to sculpt and expensive to produce. Also, some of her costumes, like her black travel gowns, if done accurately wouldn't fit on a standard blister card.
  -Christopher

Standard, shamdard. Darktrooper, Ewok 2-pack, and Biggs. Those were some giant friggin' bubbles. They can be made to fit, or the bubbles can be made bigger.

Complicated sculpts? As a lame excuse, maybe. Weequay, Pote Snitkin, and many of the aliens are pretty well done. If you can do a bug-eyes green headed alien or a figure with an outfit as well made as the first Ponda Baba, there's no excuse for not having the capability.

The reason is most likely due to the sexism of the toy industry. Boys buy boy toys, girl figures traditionally sell poorly... but I never saw more than a handful of the Coruscant Amidala on shelves, and have yet to see a single of the 2000 Amidala figure. I'd buy all the different ones they'd make. Ditto with Ewoks, Droids, Aliens, etc. But I'm probably in the minority.

8
i have a question about your storage space...it's gotten to the point where i have to limit my purchases simply because i don't have the room for everything (especially alot of the vehicles). how many rooms of stuff do you actually have right now, and where do you store your things when that space runs out? do you display most of yours, or just keep things with the packaging hidden away in closets? there's going to be a point where the casual collector just has to stop or have a "clearance" of his own...
  -Nooker21

Every now and again I gotta unload "extras" that have amassed over the years from trades and so forth, but well, let's just say that the space is being filled quite nicely. I believe Philip described my storage space as "unusual." That's probably about as far as I can go without pictures, and I'd rather not show those...

"There's always room for one more." :)

9
I have heard that Hasbro is not going to repackage any commtech figure in the new packaging. Does this mean we will not be seeing more of the Stormtrooper, Motti, Leia, or the R2 w/ holo Leia?
  -David

The reason we haven't seen more is because people aren't ordering those cases yet. More will continue to ship throughout the year, and it's still quite possible we might see these show up by the barrelfull like we had some figures do this year.

10
I have a European carded Ackbar and Luke Bespin which have a long color photo on the front of the card. I was curious if there are any other figures that were done on these types of cards (I would assume they did more than just these 2), which ones they are, and where they were released?
  -Joshua

Most of them I heard showing up were from Germany, a contact of mine got me a Bespin Luke from the UK but he never mentioned seeing the others. There were 9 figures done this way, including the Snowtrooper, Tarkin, Ewoks, and a few others, many of which appear in our photo archive. Like you said, they were around in Europe, but they're exceedingly difficult to find and are neat yet basically ignored variations. There's a Luke on eBay as of me writing this that ends if 40 minutes and is at $12.

FIN
Day 17 in the Q&A mega-thon.

Just a reminder: some of you ask "why haven't you answered my question." There are usually three reasons. 1, I haven't gotten to it yet. 2, you never actually sent your question (which happens a lot, I just get a "you suck because you didn't answer my question blah blah blah" note.) And 3, you didn't ask a question-- if there's no "?" or a "what", "where", or "why", it won't get posted. "Hasbro sucks" is not a question. "CommTechs suck" is not a question. "You suck" is not a question. Just F YI.

(It's also possible you sent in a lousy question. "Did they ever make a Tarkin figure," for example. Some people say there is no such thing as a stupid question but after surviving the American public school system I can safely say that this is a load of crap.)

... and yes, we'll be updating again tomorrow.

  
  Adam Pawlus

1
I was wondering what your opinion of some of the Star Wars stories told through Lucasarts games was. It seems that all of these stories and characters have been left out of "canon" Star Wars continuity. Neither the novels nor the comic books have anything to do with these characters. Do the Lucasarts stories exist in some alternate universe? If not, why is no one doing anything with these characters? Characters like Kyle Katarn, Jan Ors, Keyen Farlander and Ace Azameen have serious star potential. I can't imagine anyone whose ever played these games not loving these characters.
  -Ryan

While we did see a little of Katarn in a graphic novel, the bulk of the games act as more or less an extension of the movies and because of that, they don't really conflict or even touch upon many of the other stories. Sure, there was Shadows of the Empire and Thrawn's appearance in TIE Fighter, but for whatever reason, these stories are more or less kept separate but not conflicting (that I can think of).

They're great characters, most certainly. Even the ultra-generic Rookiee One still had a little bit of fan appeal. But since games of this nature are typically played by a smaller audience than those who read books (oh hell, who am I kidding, even I know more people play games than read), well, we just aren't seeing much. So no, I'm going with the "no alternate universe" answer, but if the fine folks at LucasArts would chime in, well, I'd most certainly appreciate it. :)


2
In the original Star Wars toy line, there was a vehicle called the Imperial Troop Transport which is gray and holds six stormtroopers on the sides, a driver/co-driver and a rear storage compartment.  It also had several sound effects.  My question is, where did Kenner get the idea for this one (was is cut from the original Star Wars movie?).
  -Daniel

While a similar looking vehicle did appear in ANH and ESB on the side of the Rebellion, this craft in this form never appeared on screen. Often sold at local toy shows as an unknown GI Joe toy, it appeared in two forms. The first, for the original film, came in a Star Wars box and featured six electronic sounds. The second, for Empire, came in an appropriately logoed (NEW VERB!) box, minus the sound effects, and with different labels and some parts were slightly different. The back compartment was significantly enlarged, and the non-talking version retained the battery compartment cover, but it was orange and not red.

It's one of my favorite non-film toys, and I have to give the old Kenner toy engineers a round of applause for a nice looking SW-looking toy. While I've always believed it to be their original design, I could be wrong.


3
The Flashback card Yoda comes with his stick, a boiling pot and a little thing shaped like a thumbtack. What is it supposed to be?
  -Dave

Depends on who you ask. The bulk of people I know insist it's a crack pipe. I say lantern.

4
Is Beru Lars supposed to be Shmi Skywalker's sister? If so, where did Shmi get her funky accent while Beru has none?

Are Darth Sidious and Senator Palpatine the same guy? (I watched Phantom Menace again last night and I noticed that they don't tell you who played Darth Sidious in the credits). It makes sense that they are the same person (and the dimple in the chin kinda cinches it), but I had it in my head that Sidious would take on Palpatine as his replacement apprentice for Darth Maul.
  -Rhonda

Pernilla August, who portrayed the mother of Skywalker, mentioned her accent in a few interviews. Basically, it's there, she's Swedish, and more or less, that's that. As far as relationships go with future SW characters, we don't know. I'm under the impression the whole Owen/Obi-Wan connection is crap, so my guess is Shmi just talks like that because she does. :)

Everything I've seen would lead me to believe that it's supposed to be dead obvious that Palpatine and Sidious are one and the same, unless there's some wacky clonage going on or something. If they weren't meant to be the same guy, they wouldn't have used the same actor. While the novel might hint otherwise, see last week's Q&A for a great many rants on that subject. (In short, even the film novelizations do not have an affect on the movies.)


5
Do the Commtech chips on Admiral Motti and the new hooded Leia actually work? Mine don't, and I've noticed that there are no charcter lines on the back of the card.
  -Greg

They do, and you're not missing much. Motti has one line-- yes, one-- and Leia has two. The Leia chip sounds a lot better than most of the chips.

The problem? Well, who knows? Batteries, probably.

6
Uhh...Duros is kicking Amanaman's butt. What gives?

Democracy sucks...
  -Brian

Ok, Bom Vimdim is being seriously considered as a new figure...?? I've seen pictures of him before, and customs of him before, and the decipher card, blah blah blah. But ive watched the movie in slo-mo a million times, and i can't find the damn guy in the movie. Where is he?
  -[Another] Brian

Hi.like the Q&A.I wish it was everyday.(Well, you probably don't).Here come some question marks.Do you know how the Hasbro poll actually works?I know the most votes wins (duh).I've tried to flood the ballot box,hey, I'll admit that.But sometimes I get a "thank You, youv'e already voted" and sometimes I can vote repeatedly.(AMANAMAN !).I started voting back when the #'s were in the 7500's somewhere and now they are really up there.But Hasbro goes by percentages and there's where I get lost.Now Duros is up to 45% and Aminim is still hovering at 28 or so.Saturday night A-Man was at 31%.Do people think Duros is a two-pack?I don't remember Duros being such a hit on any other I-Net polls (and i've been through a lot of them.)That's where I first saw Bom Vimdim. I didn't see him in the cantina in ANH, I saw him on a poll somewhere.And he's cooler looking than Dufos too.Long letter,thanks. P.S. About the Tonnica Sister's rights,yeah,right Hasbro. (Maybe they will give us this next year as a fan club exclusive and they are trying to keep it a secret and can't come up with a better excuse.Hope so
  -AB

It's seems a lot of people have cried out in the past for a new Amanaman, yet the latest poll does not show it in the lead. I personally like a few of the choices, because like you, I'd like to see any and all obscure figures made eventually. Just out of curiosity, and if you had your druthers; what we be in your top ten of obscure characters you'd like to see made? To make it even a little more interesting what playsets, ships or dioramas would you like to see done?
  -Christopher

...and folks, this is just a fraction of the poll queries. At least it gets people talking.

Personally, I want to see all five characters in plastic, eventually, but considering how vocal you dudes are on Amanaman, wanting Amanaman, and wanting one now, I gotta say, something's up. Like one of our fine question-ers, we see that some people are stuffin' the ballot box. It's doable (I don't condone it), but I gotta say, it does make sense if people are assuming the Duro thing is a two-pack. That, or people are INCORRECTLY assuming that every POTF figure will be remade. Folks, I may have said this before, but there is no grand plan to remake everybody as POTF2 figures. If you want a figure, vote for it. And vote for your #1 choice, don't assume another character is a sure thing so you can vote for your #2 choice.

I won't whine about the results, as I have wanted to see the blue skinned aliens in plastic for quite some time in a scale larger than Action Fleet. Just be glad some prankster didn't try to stuff the box for Bom Vimdim, whose name I would not have been able to tell you without pulling out some of my incomplete first series Decipher card game set. While I'm sure he appears in the Cantina sequence somewhere, geez, I couldn't tell you where off the top of my head.

As far as I go (since a few actually asked), my original trilogy top 10 unmade character want list-- assuming anything that is not confirmed as of today is not a sure thing-- is obvious. :) Amanaman, Bespin Escape Leia (still not sure the whole deal on her), Boba Fett Resculpt (even though he's practically a sure thing), Duro,FX-7, Gotal (Trevagg), Imperial Astromech Droids 2-pack, Klaatu (regular), Paploo (and Chief Chirpa), and Squid Head.

(And I gotta say, the rights answer does seem like the perfect cover for a future exclusive. Neat point.)

7
I've got a quick question, that may sound rather stupid, but oh well, here it goes... Why aren't I seeing any new figures here in Little Rock, AR?
  -Ben

I don't know. Why?

8
Hello! I have heard about alot of folks who use fishing tackle boxes to store their loose figures safely. If you have heard of this, do you happen to know the make and model of tackle box that they use? I am overwhelmed with figures and unfortunately have damaged some due to putting them in boxes in stead of cases. Please advise.
  -Tim

Everybody's got a different answer, but Ryan Silva (who used to run an awesome cut scenes archive) turned me on to the Plano 3700. It stores about 12 figures (not Gamorreans or Darktroopers, of course) and runs for just under $4 at K-Mart of Wal-Mart.

9
I have often wondered why Hasbro doesn't distribute older figures in cases as a random portion of the case. For example, while a case of 12 may have 8 figures fixed (for those of us dreamers, maybe 2 Amanamans (go vote for him!!!!), 2 R2-D2s w/hologram Leia, 2 CommTech Stormtroopers, and 2 Sio Bibbles), the other four could be a random assortment, weighted by percentages to what Hasbro thought could sell. Do you know of any technical or financial reason that would prevent Hasbro from doing this kind of distribution?
  -Zuckuss7

I remember asking this before. I think it has to do with distribution, keeping things separate for the ease of stores. I agree, sticking in Holo R2s is not only a good idea, but necessary. Ditto with Swamp Jar Jar, Pit Droids, CommTech Stormtroopers, and so on... Hasbro has a weird thing for yanking figures before demand is filled some times, but for the most part, we eventually get what we want.

10
Do you think we will see the rumored 12" Bounty Hunter 5-pack in the next couple of years?
  -Keith

Personally, I'd say it sounds impossible. The Kay-Bee set from '98 was $100, and that was for 3 figures. Most two-packs are $50-$60. Basically, that averages to around what-- $30 or so a figure? A $150 exclusive sounds like suicide. As individual figures or 2-packs, I can see something like that happening. But there's no way we'd see something like this for under $130.

FIN
Day 18 in the Q&A mega-thon.

Tomorrow, sadly, will be the final Q&A Megathon update for the week. Why? Well, I've got a vacation. And I've got to vacate. So my 4-day vacation will result in one missed update... so for alla you out there that can't stand me and keep reading this anyway (which seems to be a few of you), well, sorry to disappoint. (No, not really.)

  
  Adam Pawlus

Questions for June 1, 2000

1
What, if any, POTF2 or Ep.1 figures or toys have you passed on and decided not to get?
  -Christopher

The bulk of the 12" figures from 1999 onward (save the Speederbike and Dewback on the way), and... well, those are the only ones I wouldn't really go for. I plan on getting most of the stuff, in trades or on clearance, eventually. Most of the stuff is just nifty enough to make me want it, but after so many retreads on the 12" line, I have no problems passing on the bulk of it.


2
I have a question/statement/rant for you. I think we are witnessing a dangerous thing these days in regards to Star Wars colecting. I collected the vintage as a kid and the POTF2 since it was reintroduced. I buy one of everything (except army-builders) and open it. I love the hobby and hope to continue collecting for many years to come. What I'm writing about is the current Hasbro poll in particular. I think we are all cutting off our noses here.

I love the movies and know them backwards and forwards and have never had nor wil have any desire to read the EU stuff (books, comics, etc.). I think we as collectors are getting carried away with this poll hysteria sweeping throughout the community. First, Yakface with Wuher and now more polls than you can shake a stick at. Dont get me wrong, I love that site and this. I just think we need to look at what we're doing.

Currently, Hasbro has a poll for 5 different characters one of which will POSSIBLY be made next year. I have read the list and I have NO idea who any of these characters are. Many of the characters floating around are either Cantina Aliens or Jabba Aliens. All these characters have minute amount of screen time (I think Amanaman holds the record for least amount of time). Yet they all have some sort of "back-story" that appears in EU. Today, we do not have a mass-released Princess Liea in Hoth (how she appeared in 3/4 of ESB) nor do we have a mass-released Jedi Duel Luke or a rescupted Lando or, for crying out lowd, a nice "vanilla" Chewie. Also, figures that need to be re-released widely (Death Star Trooper, Death Star Droid, Etc.) can't be or will never be.

POTF2 won't last forever. I think we are all cutting off our noses to spite are faces in demanding these obsure characters to be produced. I know people hate re-scuplts but to be blunt, I would by a resculpted Lando before I would, of all characters, a brand new Bo Shek (whats his deal anyway). I would buy a handful of new Jedi Lukes before I would Amanaman. The point is, I wouldnt buy those characters and the vast majority of collectors wouldnt either. Im not talking about us rabid-web-based collectors. Im talking about the ones who are the most important, that little 8-year old who goes in with his mom to get a toy. Their the ones that keep this whole line alive. I think we need to shape up or we'll go the way of the Ewoks after the Death Star exploded (ok, so Ive read a little EU stuff).

Adam, please, your thoughts and/or comments.
  -Daniel

Well, there are different schools of thought when it comes to collecting.

Some want to see figures redone until a "perfect" version, and then, move on to others. Others (like myself) want to see just how obscure Hasbro can get with new aliens, droids, and minor characters because well, visually, they're pretty interesting and while I do say I buy the line because I like the characters, I like the way most of 'em look more. A new Lando would be great, because two of the three versions were... a wee bit buff.

Sometimes, well, stuff just doesn't work out like we want. Hoth Leia was to be available in 4 different forms (Flight Deck, Complete Galaxy, Mynock Hunt, Regular Card) at different times throughout 1998, of course, the last two were all we got... while it is kinda annoying that next to nobody had the chance to buy her on the shelves, well, she was available elsewhere (Fan Club, etc.) and at least it's not like the R2 Holo.

As far as hysteria goes, well, I have a mini-rant as well. I think that there's a problem with the fact there's a grass-roots petition for absolutley every fanboyish thing online. There's a petition for a theatrical and DVD release of the movie The Wizard. There's a petition to rerelease the original TransFormers line, in the exact same form it was sold in 1984. And until just recently, there was a (baffling, frankly) petition for Porkins that apparently did well enough.

As far as Yakface goes-- and I'm not just saying this-- their polls typically represent the bulk of the fans online. We wanted Wuher. I *really* wanted to see this figure since I had a cantina and nobody to act as bartender that didn't look awkward. We wanted the Skiff, Y-Wing, and Shuttle (two outta three ain't bad.) We got 'em. In their case, we're seeing the whole "let's work together" thing done right. It's the goobs who have and promote the daylights out of their "we must get a Zev, he was so cool, it's unfair we have no Zev" petitions with four signatures that kinda creep me out. As fans, we've got unusual tastes. After all, most of us are adults or at least pretend to be adults, and we're buying little plastic men to keep around our homes for whatever reason each of us made up. These petitions give the community to speak with one very loud voice and the chances for flukes or voting errors or whatever else you can think of are nearly null.

A new Lando would be nice. But of the Landos, well, we know the demand isn't there. I would have loved to see a resculpt tossed in the Freeze Chamber over an army builder like the Bespin Guard, but what are ya gonna do?

While I try to avoid bringing up my hobby in the circles with my friends, they all expressed the following sentiment: as kids, they wanted the weird, the obscure, and the unusual in their toy boxes. These are the people who had Amanaman and only one Luke, or random droids, or Imperials. Looking at how recent sales trends are going, I would believe that this is true yet again... after all, who do we see in stores not selling? Qui-Gon, Anakin, Jar Jar... at least locally, all the E1 aliens are drying up , I can't even remember the last time I saw Rune Haako or Nute Gunray in this town. Minor characters and weird aliens are what make Star Wars the film we all love, or like, or merely tolerate & continue to buy the toys and complain about them for no good reason (and you know who you are.) I've overheard more than a few kids who wanted Gasgano and their parents went "here, an Anakin! He looks just like you!" to the groans of a slighted youngster. Then again, some kids are j ust weird. (My neighbors kids had like 100 or so figures that they got in the mid 1990s, all Batman, TMNT, and Power Rangers... and NO VILLAINS! But I digress.)

If Hasbro dumped the minor characters, I'd quit collecting lickety-split. Without aliens or droids, you're left with yet another crappy sci-fi toy line with nothing but boring humans and some men in space suits. Granted, they're nifty humans and awesome space suits. But Star Wars with no Gamorreans is no Star Wars for me.


3
Why do I keep reading about people clamoring for figures that have already been produced before? Amanaman, Tessek, Cloud car pilot, they've all been done! Why not spend more time asking for figures we haven't had any chance to collect yet? Personally, I was glad to see Duros and Bom Vimdim - at least they're NEW!
  -TC

Behold, the LAST question I'll be taking on the Hasbro poll.

OK, here's the deal. First, Amanaman is rare. Or at least relatively scarce. I had to pay $20 for mine back in 1990, I thought THAT was a lot. A lot of people simply cannot afford the originals, (but if you can afford to collect toys but can't spring a few bucks for something cool... well, another rant.) The original figures were good. The original Squid Head (tessek, schmessek) and Cloud Car Pilot were nice figures, and relatively cheap today. Amanaman starts at around $50, and that's assuming he's in bad shape and missing the staff. Plus if there's one thing we've seen with POTF2, it's that a good thing can (more often than not) be made better.

Why do people want Amanaman specifically? Geez, just look at him. He's not a human with a mask and gloves... there's some more thought into the design of the character. Ditto with Ephant Mon, or FX-7, or other oddly-shaped creatures and droids.

Plus there are a lot of people that want to see the entire vintage movie line revised in POTF2. A lot of people still think (because they're delusional) that Hasbro has made some announcement that all the original figures will be remade eventually. Some should. I want more Ewoks, for one, and Amanaman is such a distinctive looking character that he'd make a great new toy. Bom Vimdim... well, eventually, sure, why not? But now? Right now, I'd say let the most interesting characters be made. Be they Jedi Councilmen, Pod Racers, Cantina Aliens, or even Leia resculpts. Whatever's nifty. And, like many, I don't understand the appeal of having to have a BoShek. Sure, he'd be neat. But just not now. Newness is overrated... I'd take a resculpted Ewok over Ben Quadrinaros anyday, but that's me.

4
I have an old 1977 Estes X-Wing Model Rocket, everything is there un-assembled still in original box, could I get a price quote?
  -Dan

{snort} No. Read the header.


5
Hey Adam, I was looking at my Decipher CCG cards for some custom ideas. A lot of them were characters that were never seen in the movies. However, the photos on the back of the cards look like clips from the movies. Where did these figures come from, were they edited from the movies? Also did Lucas or Decipher make the names and the backgrounds stories up.
  -Jedi Tronzo

Most of the names of classic aliens-- well, a lot of them-- came from Decipher or West End Games.

As for the images, many were taken from LucasFilm stills of the props and not the film itself. A few of the obscure Cantina aliens can be seen in the Star Wars Chronicles book as stills or behind-the-scenes shots of the costumes... however a few were made up for the game.

6
I bought an Episode 1 Armored Scout Tank, just 'cuz i wanted the pilot battle droid. On your site and everyone else's it's referred to (along with the Jar Jar cannon thing, and I think the Bongo Sub that's coming out) as from the Invasion Force line. But I don't see that anywhere on the package. Why is it called that and how do you guys know it?
  -Brian

It's what they're sold as... and it says it (or it said it) on the case in which they ship.

7
What is going on with the 12" Action Collection series? I have always collected these and both vintage and Ep. 1 seem to be coming out at a slower pace this year. Especially vintage, I mean I've seen only one twosets of the Han Endor/Leia/Plastic Chewie at retail. Are retailers refusing to order? I hope Hasbro refocuses emphasis on this great line.
  -Bryan

Right now, it looks like we're on another break type thing. Most of the neat stuff will be exclusive (like 1998 all over again), with some rehashes in stores to bore the crap out of your average collector. I doubt it's refusal to order so much as it was 1999 decisions that didn't quite work out as planned.

8
I bought 2 of the Darth Maul Holoprojectors from Wal-Mart - 1 to open, and 1 to keep in the package. Then my brain suddenly realized - the holo sets already have a battery inside, what happens when that battery corrodes after a few years? Do you have a creative way of removing the battery without destroying the package?
  -2112ad

If you want to take them out, you have to open the toy. You can slice open the package oh-so-carefully with an X-Acto knife, or you can just leave them in there. Basically, toys aren't always designed with long-term collectibility in mind... it's just the way Hasbro (and Playmates and everybody else) does things. Me, I don't like "Try Me" packaging because some dope wears out the batteries before I get the stinking thing home, then I gotta raid my GameBoy for batteries since I'm all out... whoo. That got ugly.

9
Did I hear right that there are plans for a carded IG-88? What are some other "safe" rumors about upcoming POTF? I know a resculpted Boba Fett is probably most logical, but I think I'm lost on the rumor mill beyond that...
  -JohnOB

A "tortured" Bespin Han and a normal IG-88 were both mentioned on what was allegedly on a 2001 figure list, along with other awesome choices like a Mon Calamari Soldier and a not-so-awesome Anakin #27.

10
I really like the Muftak and Kabe 2-pack (a highlight of my cantina diorama). My question is, do we know how well Hasbro did with these. Frankly, as a collector, I'd do anything to encourage Hasbro with this kind of venture, unless the figure was pure tripe.

Another issue...maybe I'm just nuts, but where the heck is Hasbro's logic when it comes time to selecting figures? The Shmi thing is a perfect example. The lack of a carded Wedge is another (Wedge ranks right up there with Boba Fett in popular minor characters). No carded Uncle Owen (and Beru was by far the most popular Flashback Photo figure)? The Y-Wing without Gold Leader? C'mon, don't insult us! I guess I want to know if anyone at Hasbro is even listening.
  -Brian

Well, you can say all you want about Hasbro doing goofy things in the line, like 50 resculpts of Tatooine Luke, but anybody who says they aren't listening to fans is just plain nuts. They gave us our Tarkins, our Slave Leias, even a Wedge (although it wasn't on a card like everybody wanted) as well as our Wuher, our Stormtrooper and Scout Trooper resculpts, and last but not least, our Gonk/Jawa 2-pack. While we don't get EVERYTHING we want, we do get plenty. (And I got my Dark Empire Luke in 1998 after wanting one since I read the first ish when it first hit a loooooong time ago.) We didn't get a carded Owen, or even an Owen that doesn't encourage laughter, but we did get an Owen. The lack of a Wedge that wasn't a rehash of an existing figure... well, we did get two Wedges. Like the Rolling Stones song goes, "American girls want everything in the world you can possibly imagine." No, wait-- it's "You can't always get what you want." But you have to admit, with Hasbro, we do get most of what we want in the area of 4" action figures. (And a Batman Animated Alfred at Toys "R" Us this summer. I'm still giddy over that.)

As far as the exclusives go, like Muftak & Kabe, I would guess they do pretty well. After all, there were more than a few periods where the items sold out. Some may say the lack of a sequel to such an offer is indicative of its failure, but remember, there were a LOT of hurdles Hasbro had to go through with LucasFilm to offer the item directly via the internet, hence its eventual showing at the Fan Club. Considering there were lots of reorders on the Fan Club Exclusives like Oola, the Cantina Band, and yes, even Wuher, I would say that it's a definite sign that fans not only dig cool exclusive characters, but that a lot of collectors have better taste than given credit for.

FIN
Day 19 in the Q&A mega-thon.

To all the fly honies and groovy dudes out there who read this (especially the fly honies), the Q&A Megathon will continue next Monday. Today, however, I'm off to lovely San Diego for a few days of wasting some serious time with my friends. So until next week... uh... keep those questions nicely puctuated and the CAPS LOCK key on "off".

(To the guy who wrote in "YOU MUST ANSWER MY QUESTION BEFORE YOU GO" with the note in all caps and no punctuation, well, "No I don't.")

2014 STAR WARS Gift Guide
NEW IN THE PHOTO ARCHIVE:
Probe
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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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