Questions for November 28, 2006
I absolutely loved all the great costumes Padmé wore throughout the prequel trilogy and was ecstatic that many were translated into the basic figure lines. However it seems there is an Amidala drought in the new figure lines. There was only one Amidala figure for the Revenge of the Sith Collection and so far zilch in the new Saga line. Is Hasbro planning on any new Padmé figures?-J.
According to Hasbro more Padmé figures are on the way, but we have no official details aside from the one shown at Comic Con. The Snow Bunny Padmé from Clone Wars was once mentioned as an exclusive for this year, but now appears to be included in the Ambush on Ilum Battle Pack. As for what else might pop up, it's truly anyone's guess. There are a lot of Padmé outfits yet to be covered, some better candidates than others, we'll just have to wait and see.2
I think I found a new variation of the ROTS Commander Bly (yellow stripe version) last night after I bought him locally. As I removed him from the package I noticed that he had what looked like a greasy fingerprint on his crotch (I could not have left it, because (A) I do not have greasy fingers, (B) The print is smaller than mine, and (C) I did not take him out by the crotch). I tried to rub it off with a little bit of water and a rag, but it stayed on and looked the same as when I had removed it from the package. This morning I was looking through the archives here, at Rebelscum.com, and did not see that you had any news about this. I was wondering if this is a real variation or a fluke?
Personally I'd put this one down as a fluke. A legitimate variation usually denotes an intentional change in the way a figure is produced. While there have been a couple variations on the Bly figure, the 'finger print' you described is not one of them. It's possible someone at the factory got a hold of this before it was packaged and got something on it, but that doesn't necessarily make it a 'variation.' 3
I was disappointed by the recent answers from Hasbro concerning the Clone Wars characters being made in the realistic style. They stated that their market research shows that the animated style is not as popular for these characters (thus the recent Foul Moudama). I really find this hard to believe. Every collector I have spoken to wants more characters in the animated style. My question is: How can we show that we support this line? I see that Rebelscum is running a Mini-rig poll and I'm wondering if a Clone Wars poll could help this cause. Is there any hope for an animated Shaak Ti, Foul Moudama, Roron Cobb, Ki-Adi Mundi, Chancellor, Aayla, Kit Fisto, and all the other funky alien jedi that were in the series…I think that line has a lot more life in it. Give me some hope, Mark! -Santiago
Hasbro, and for good reason, seems pretty convinced that having two very different styles of 3¾" figures in the market at the same time is detrimental to both lines. While it may not register with collectors (who pretty much buy everything anyway) it can lead to brand confusion among other shoppers. Imagine a parent or grandparent shopping for a child; do they buy the realistic sculpt or the cute cartoon style? If they buy one style will they not buy the other because they don't "go together?" In the long run it's just better for Hasbro to have the one style out there and do everything they can to get all shoppers to buy into it. That being said though, who knows what the future may hold. Hasbro is obviously aware of the desire for the animated figures, maybe some where down the road there will be an opportunity for more. Until then, if you really want to show your support for the animated line, start buying Gentle Giant's animated maquettes. There's no better way to show support than by putting your money behind it, if the animated maquettes do well, Hasbro will notice, and it may nudge them into doing something about it. 4
Why is it that Hasbro seems to stick with their bad ideas and abandon their good ones (and give bad excuses for why they do)? The Evolutions line was great and they could've kept going with VOTC quality sculpts of Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu, other Jedi, droids and such. The larger scale Unleashed line was great as well and should be reintroduced as a full time, active line. But instead Hasbro throws all their efforts into 4th rate lines like the Choppers, Transformers, Unleashed 3" battle packs and Titanium series. I must have missed the scene where Luke goes across the screen, wearing his x-wing pilot gear, while riding a chopper. My friends young children aren't interested in them (one even commented that Darth Vader doesn't ride a motorcycle); I don't know of one collector that is either. The Transformers line shouldn't have even gone beyond an idea. The Titanium could be good if they did droids WITH posability. The suggestion someone else had about a Han in carbonite titanium figure was great also. I don't buy Hasbro's excuse of not doing prequel stuff because there's no movies out, because if they did a great looking line of evolutions figures it WOULD sell. They keep saying that they listen to the collectors but I really think that's just a line they keep casting out to us while they are busy prepping up another losing product line that nobody will be interested in. -Steve (Hopatcong, NJ)
It is puzzling sometimes to try and figure out why Hasbro does some of the things they do. There have been a number of cases where it looks like they may have a hit on their hands, but simply don't have anything in place to follow it up with. The Evolutions line is one such example, the line was well received, but in planning Hasbro never seemed to look beyond the third set. By the time they could see how popular the sets were, they were already well into planning for the next year's line and had made no plans to include any Evolutions products. In other cases Hasbro sees what other lines are popular at retail and tries to go after some of that business. Star Wars choppers were designed to go after some of the Spiderman and Friends items, Unleashed Battle Packs to pick up on some of the Armies of Middle Earth fans… It's not always a great move, but when you look at your competition in the market place, it's not necessarily a bad move to try for some of that business. With other items it's just a matter of trying something new to keep the overall line fresh and exciting. The good news is, though it may not always be as quick as we may like to see it, Hasbro does listen and where they can they do try to re-introduce items fans want to see more of.5
Fans often ask about re-issuing vintage figures. I am opposed to this, but I would love to see figures in the vintage style that were never done in the 70's or 80's. Imagine a vintage style Han in a Stormtrooper outfit or a Ceremonial Luke. Any chance of this happening? Also, a newer, larger Falcon is often asked about. I know the cost of tooling is expensive, but if Hasbro would stop resculpting parts that could be taken from existing molds, they could save money. Imperial, gunners, pilots, troopers, at-st drivers, technicians essentially all had the same basic jumpsuit. Why sculpt so many variants? Why did they sculpt a new terrible head for the Carbonite Solo when they could have used the much better head from the VOTC Han? (As they did use on the new Endor raid Han) I'd prefer continuity on character heads anyway. It bugged me at age 11 in 77 and still does today. Name withheld thanks
According to Hasbro there are no plan to issue any new figures in the old (vintage) style. I guess they see it as the market progressing beyond the straight limbed, blocky, limited articulation of the 80's for more dynamic, detailed, high-articulated figures. While they admit there are probably some fans that would be thrilled to see this type of item released, good business sense tells them they can't afford to spend the time, money, or effort on what amounts to only a fraction of action figure shoppers.
As far as re-using existing molds for new figures, I think Hasbro feels there's a limit to what they can get away with. And too, there's most likely a genuine desire to keep the line looking fresh and new whenever possible. If Hasbro were to fall into a pattern of using the same basic body sculpt for all their Imperial troops it might be perceives as being too cheep to cast an all-new figure. Plus, there are details from figure to figure that could be missed… Regardless, I doubt adopting this type of practice would save Hasbro enough money for them to justify a new 'larger' Millennium Falcon.6
I was wondering if Hasbro will put out a vintage saga Palpatine, or if they'll make another figure of him in the senate duel outfit, or even rehash the now hard to find #35 Palpatine. Can we also expect a Sidious role-playing lightsaber, because his is one of the coolest lightsabers ever. I ask about Sidious related things because in my opinion he wasn't, as a central and important character, given enough attention as other characters were. -Daniel (PR)
Considering all Hasbro would really have to do is touch up, repaint, and sculpt a new head for the Evolutions Palpatine/Sidious, this should be a no brainer. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see it, it sounds like a great idea, but there's been no word yet.
I personally think we're way overdue on a Senate Duel Palpatine (vs. Yoda); that was one of the greatest battles in the entire Saga, the fact that we still don't have this version in plastic is a bit of a mystery to me. Likewise I'd like to see a new version of #35 Palpatine, something a little less statuesque, but in all likelihood the most we can probably expect is a repack.
Last year at Comic Con Hasbro seemed to think a Sidious role-play lightsaber wasn't totally out of the question. However we still don't have one, the lightsabers don't appear to be selling 'as' well as they had been, and I guess you have to wonder if developing an all-new one still makes sense. Hasbro does have a new pop-up design, while it would make the most sense to put the Sidious saber in that line, Hasbro indicated that and Yoda's saber may be too small to work within the design specs.7
I passed up on last year's Target exclusive Tie Fighter with larger scale panels because I couldn't justify paying $40 for a vehicle that feels like it should be priced between $20-$25. I saw one at a local collector's store and they were asking a ridiculous $90 for it! Do you know if Hasbro will consider re-releasing this vehicle in broader distribution at a non-exclusive price point? I mean, I can get the Toys R Us exclusive Millennium Falcon for less. -Dave
Hasbro re-released a color variation of this TIE Fighter
, but it was still an exclusive (Toys 'R' Us), and retailed at about the same price point as before. As for broader release TIE Fighters, Hasbro likes to stick with the small panel version; it just fits the price point and shelf space better. At this point I honestly don't see Hasbro changing this pattern and lowering the price on the large panel TIE to $20.8
Do you know if there's any chance that a Medicom RAH Shocktrooper or Tactical Ops will be made? What are Medicom's future plans for the RAH line? Thanks and more power! -Lyle (Melbourne Australia)
I would think there's always a chance, pretty good one considering it's just a matter of slapping some paint on their current model, but I haven't heard of any plans to release either of these two troopers at this time. As for the future of the RAH line, "always in motion the future is." We don't get a whole lot of scoop on the various Medicom lines, but as soon as we hear something it's typically posted right away. I would think the line will continue, much in the same way the Marrmit line ran; maybe a couple/few figures a year, kinda focused and limited. While I thought the line might go away after Sideshow announced their plans to take over the 12" scale, that doesn't appear to be the case at all.9
Hi Mark, I'm not really sure who else to address this to, but I was watching ESB today and I had a few observations. In the scene where the blown apart C-3PO is rolling down towards the blast furnace, and Chewie is looking around for junk he can use, I noticed in the left hand part of the screen, there is something that I'm assuming is a droid, but it looks like its either a tie fighter pilot costume on a mannequin, or its the x-wing pilot helmet with the blast shield down on a mannequin. Also, on the right of the screen, (never mind one of the IG assassin droids) it looks a lot like Zuckuss is just hanging out next to the ugnaughts! Does anyone have any clues about any of this? If not, at least check it out for something that I believe no one has noticed before. I rule! -adam
While I've noticed the IG droid there before I'll have to take a closer look for some of the other things you mentioned. Still, no real big surprise, given the task of building that set I'm sure the prop department grabbed all kinds of stuff to throw in there as junk. Still, don't really recall these items being mentioned before so yes, I guess you do rule.10
I think a great idea for another Hasbro repack would be to do a #2 Anakin figure with a red saber and give him Sith eyes. The package could be listed as Darth Vader. What are the possibilities of this figure ever being made? -Asher F. (Eugene Or)
As it's not entirely movie accurate (we never really saw him with the red saber and Sith eyes), I have a hard time seeing Hasbro bust out this particular version, and that's probably a pretty good thing. I don't know about most, but I'm pretty #2 Anakin'd out. I don't think the figure is all that great and I'd much rather see a really nice version of Mustafar Slaughter Anakin than another repaint. Don't get me wrong, that's an excellent idea if you're looking for a simple repack, I'm just kinda repacked out. So what are the possibilities; I think Hasbro knows this one would be a stretch, sort of a what-if-Anakin-didn't-get-toasted version, so I'd assume the chances are slim to none.
Until next time... Got Questions?