Posted by Mark on January 18, 2006 at 03:55 PM CST

Questions for January 18, 2006
Q&A Archive

What figures will come out next year and the year after that are they going to be the same ones over and over? Since Hasbro has nothing to do with the 12-inch dolls anymore can these new dolls be purchased at stores like Target and Toys r us? How much longer will Hasbro be making these Star Wars figures it seems like they could at least make play sets and stop with the rehashing; how many Luke's does somebody really need?

With Star Wars' 30th Anniversary in 2007, I think it's safe to assume we'll see plenty of main characters in the line, with a few new characters/new sculpts here and there. Hasbro will want to capitalize on whatever hype Lucasfilm affords them (new DVD collection, Celebration IV?) with the thought that a lot of kids will be celebrating and watching the Saga all over again. Hopefully we'll different sculpts than what we'll get this year, but expect Luke, Han, Leia, Anakin, Obi-Wan, Padm? and the gang to be well represented.

Sideshow does not go to market through big box retail, there are no plans at this stage to make these figure available at the likes of Target or Wal-Mart. The best place to find these amazing figures will be through on-line distributors, maybe some comic/collectible shops, and of course Sideshows own website.

As for how long Hasbro will run the Star Wars line; they have the license until something like 2018, there are no guarantees, but as long as fans support the line and Hasbro can turn a buck making the toys we should continue to see the line in production. However, don't expect Hasbro to go out of their way to produce peripherals like playsets and vehicles. Given their track record, these items have proven themselves a significant drain on the line and in the end could only prove to hasten the lines demise.

It seems to me that about 90% of the current ships from Hasbro are based on existing vintage molds. Do you know why they haven't done the same thing with the vintage Death Star Space Station playset (or Darth Vader's Star Destroyer)? Maybe we could send Hasbro some evidence by asking the fans about this in one of your Probe Droid polls: "If Hasbro was to re-issue a Death Star Space Station playset based on the vintage mold, would you buy it?"

__ I'll take two!
__ Yes
__ Maybe, but I have to see it first
__ No way!

If memory serves I think we've run at least a couple different polls asking this very question. While fans tend to say they'll support a Death Star Playset if it's made, Hasbro continues to insist it makes no sense financially. When you look at the disaster that was the FAO Imperial Shuttle, it's hard to fault Hasbro's position - here's a vehicle collectors were clamoring for, yet nobody bought it. As noisy as we can be at times, this suggests that maybe there just aren't enough collectors out there to satisfy Hasbro's minimum production run. So why can't Hasbro make less, tailor production to meet a smaller demand? As we all know that can only drive up unit cost and retail price, which is already too high according to many collectors. Whatever the reason, Hasbro has remained adamant that either developing a new playset or re-releasing the vintage set is not in their best interest, for now we're just going to have to accept that.

OK what is the deal with Sideshow? When I first heard of this I thought great! Maybe I can afford a cool Boba Fett other than a $200.00 plus Marmit or a Vader. But what is the deal with this limited quantities and wait lists? You would think with a $50.00 price point more would be made and this game of signing up to "maybe" would be eliminated. I can see having a list for a real limited item of a higher price but I am very disappointed with the way this is marketed, it almost makes me want to see Hasbro take it back or have eliminated totally. And will we ever see deluxe editions of the EP2 AND 3 soundtracks?

Without question there is a lot of buzz about the Sideshow line right now, as many die hard collectors as there are ordering the figures, there's probably plenty of speculators ordering as well. Until the first few figures ship and we see what kind of turn around is out there, it's a little hard to know if the production run is truly meeting demand or not. You could say Sideshow is being safe, I don't think anybody wins if the first few figures out the gate are over produced, but at this point we kinda have to differ to what they feel is appropriate. Sideshow knows their market, I'm sure if they see where there's business out there that they're missing out on they will react by increasing edition sizes. Until then just know that this is a line of collectibles, not mass produced toys. If you have a true desire to follow this line your best course of action is to stay informed and be there when the ordering begins.

As for the expanded (deluxe edition) Episode II and III soundtracks, there's been no official word but I expect we'll probably see a box collection sometime in 2007 that includes the entire saga.

During the POTF2 era, was there a Japanese Jedi Spirits release with completely different sculpts as to the US re-issued clear figures? I came across an auction with a set with an Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Yoda that look completely different from the US release. They were loose and the auction stated that they were released only in Japan. -David

A set of Jedi Spirits were produced and released in Japan (to the Japanese Fan Club if I'm not mistaken), and were very different than the set that later appeared in the Jedi Spirits Cinema Scene. You can compare our Archive images to the picture in this completed eBay auction (possibly the auction you saw) and see where the Japanese figures were essentially single-piece statues cast in a hard clear plastic. To this date details about the set are sketchy, but they were made, are considered rare, and quite nicely done.

How well is the Attacktix line doing? Rumors have had it doing really well (series 3 and beyond), and on the brink of disaster (canceling products like a new battle case), obviously it can't be both. Any news on this? -Brett "webhead817"

It was a while ago, but the Hasbro team was quite enthusiastic and pleased with how well the Attaktix line was doing. I noticed the second series sold pretty well during the holidays; pegs went from full to empty in decent time. At this point things seem a little slow (pegs are full again, not a whole lot of movement), but that's natural for this time of year. The third series in coming up, a new Jabba the Hutt Battle Masters figure, there's talk of additional lines for both Transformers and G.I. Joe? A very good chance we'll see a line generated for the Marvel Universe given the latest news? There's really nothing out there right now that leads me to believe the line is moving anywhere other than forward. Hopefully we'll get a chance to speak with the team about the line at Toy Fair next month, but for now it seems things are looking good.

As for a 'new' Battle Case being cancelled, it's kinda inconsequential. The original Battle Case was a latecomer to most stores, but has since shown up en masse at Target. It doesn't appear to be a huge part of the game, if Hasbro is still working on selling that first edition, it doesn't make sense to rush a second case into production. We'll ask about that too though?

I am a big fan of many of the Star Wars themed Master Replicas pieces however before my wallet goes bleeding again I was hoping you could shed some helpful light on 2 subject areas. 1st: is there any physical difference between the Luke FX model from ESB and the new Anakin model from ROTS. Shouldn't these 2 sabers be the same considering old Anakin looses his duel with Obi and Obi picks it up for safekeeping? 2nd: in regards to the .45 scale sabers is there an actual difference between the Best Buy exclusive chrome version of Sidious saber and the European exclusive chrome saber. Some eBayers selling the Euro version say it's the same but in different packaging while others claim it is completely different, what do you say... Ok 3rd: if in fact both of the sabers in question are physically different then the counterparts I am comparing to, any suggestions on where to purchase them? -Joe

In a perfect fantasy world the lightsaber Obi-Wan picks up on Mustafar would be the same one he hands Luke on Tatooine. However, as many die-hard fans know, each of the saber props used in the Star Wars Saga varies from film to film. Even the most consistently used saber, Darth Vader's, is different from A New Hope, to Empire, to Return of the Jedi, to Revenge of the Sith. Don't ask me why, if you have a prop in one movie I would think it makes perfect sense to use the same one in subsequent films, but for each episode a new saber was built, each with subtle yet noticeable differences. For this reason, while the design may be very similar, there are clear differences between Master Replicas' Anakin ROTS and Luke ESB FX lightsabers.

After asking Philip, the only major difference we can think of is the fact that the Best Buy edition is dark/smoke chrome where the UK exclusive is the standard (silver) chrome. The packaging will certainly be different, but the over all sculpt/design should be exactly the same. As for your third question, not knowing exactly what availability is in your area, I'd suggest eBay as the best way to track either of these down, or asking around in our props forum. Good luck!

Got what I wanted from the Carkoon wave. Love the look carded, but opened anyway. Any official word and the release order of the waves? We know: Carkoon, Hoth, Geonosis, then what? Is it Coruscant or Mos Eisley? Hasbro posted in this order Carkoon, Hoth, Geonosis, Mos Eisley/Tatooine, (still waiting for more!), but places like EE have Wave 4 at Coruscant, no Mos Eisley/Tatooine. Also any idea as to the timing of the release of the waves? A month in-between, 6 weeks, or are a couple different waves going to hit together? My inquiring mind wants to know. Thanks for past 200 QM's and can't wait for all the rest.-Tony

As far as I know Hasbro hasn't posted an official release schedule (not like they used to have on their site), but I'd think what Entertainment Earth has up is probably the next best thing. As always, changes are possible, but for now I'd expect the waves to ship in that order; Carkoon, Hoth, Geonosis, and Coruscant, with the Eisley/Tatooine wave following sometime after that. Generally speaking I think we can expect a new wave every 3 to five weeks. We don't have multiple collections this year, there's just the one, and a new batch every month seems about right. There's always the chance that a couple waves could double up or overlap, but in the past Hasbro has been pretty good at metering these things out.

I've been trying in vain to find the Separation of the Twins figures at my local Wal-Mart stores and am beginning to get desperate now that they are resetting for the new Saga collection. I know these figures originally came packed half-and-half in a case assortment including some ROTS characters (which I know Wal-Mart is no longer stocking). Do you think I am completely out of luck? Is there any chance Hasbro might ship more solid cases containing just the Twins figures? -Brian P.

As much as I would hope Hasbro could find a way to ship more of the Separation of the Twins figures to Wal-Mart, I honestly don't see it happening. Once they get around to it, Wal-Mart tends to transition from one line very quickly and rarely looks back. The Revenge of the Sith line is last year's toy line, if there are split cases out there with the Wal-Mart figures in them I doubt they would be willing to bring them in, and as long as the cases are there (hypothetically) I don't see Hasbro making more of these figures? I suppose anything could happen, but I wouldn't count on Wal-Mart or Hasbro to solve this problem for you, both appear to have moved on.

Not that I'd be willing to bank on it for my collection, but maybe somebody like might step in. If anything like that happens, we'll be sure to note it in our news? Good luck!

Hey Mark what will be the next twelve mini hologram to accompany the next wave of figures. - Gus A.

As far as I know the only twelve we're getting this year will be the twelve that have been announced so far. While it might be fun to get a whole new set each quarter, or at least in the second half of the year, Hasbro has shown no indication that they plan to do this.

I recently purchased the Master Replicas Anakin Skywalker FX lightsaber and absolutely love it! I am interested in the Luke Skywalker Episode VI lightsaber, but am wondering why it (and the Mace Windu one) requires six batteries instead of the three that the Anakin and Vader sabers use? Is the Luke saber an older, less-efficient design? Do you have any personal preferences on these sabers? Are they all the same, or are any "better" than the others, in terms of design and light/sound features? I guess I am looking for a review of sorts on these before I purchase another one. I really want the Luke one, but the Vader saber is on sale at many places and I'm tempted to get that one instead of the Luke one. Help!

Also, a non-Star Wars question: Do you know if the "last" Lord of the Rings action figure wave from Toy Biz will ever be released? I'd really like to add the Eowyn Shield maiden of Rohan figure and the Legolas Bow-Launching figures to my collection, but it appears they are not out yet, when they were originally scheduled for August (I think). I've checked online stores and eBay, and no one has them. Were they cancelled, or can we expect to see them in stores/online at some point? -Greg Romine

The new Anakin and Vader FX sabers feature the latest 'upgrades', while I've never been dissatisfied with any of the earlier models, from what I've heard the newer FX do show some improvement. At this point it's all about preference, if you really want Luke's ESB saber, there's really only one way to go. However, at some point you have to think MR will develop the FX line with removable blades and at that point the Luke ESB saber may well be offered again?

Being only a mild fan of the LOTR line I ran this one by my buddy Steve over at Action Figure Times. According to him the final wave of Toy Biz LOTR figures (featuring the Eowyn Shield maiden of Rohan and Legolas Bow-Launching figures) never made it to U.S. shelves, but did ship to Canada. By his recollection Legends had them at one point, but I see now they have since sold out. The only thing I can suggest is to keep a close eye on eBay, otherwise it sounds like the LOTR line has run it's course and will not ship to retail again.

Until next time...

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