Posted by Mark on January 9, 2007 at 01:18 PM CST

Questions for January 9, 2007
Q&A Archive

HAPPY NEW YEAR, and welcome back to another round of Question Mark! I hope everyone enjoyed his or her various holiday experiences, I certainly did. Ya know, it's not every day that three of my favorite things all come together at once, but when they do (family, Star Wars, and USC football), you gotta love it. I really enjoyed this year's Rose Parade and Rose Bowl; spent the day and New Year's Eve RV style on Colorado Blvd., geeked myself and the kids out with lightsabers for the 501st and Rose Parade (Eubanks sucks), loved seeing GL ditch the flannel for the old Cardinal and Gold, and what can I say about my Trojan's… All in all this has gone down as one of my most favorite Christmas/New Year's ever, I hope it was for all of you as well. In any event, it's a new year; big celebration year for Star Wars with lots of cools things in the wings for Lucasfilm, Hasbro, Gentle Giant, MR, Sideshow, and LEGO, so without any further delay…

On with the show:

Has anyone else noticed that some of the recent repaints are slightly shorter than the originals (look at your side-by-side shots of the new clones if you don't know what I mean)? Is there any reason that this happens? Are they using different plastics that shrink, or has there been shrinkage as a result of re-tooling? -Mace Winfield

Interesting observation, but I think what you're seeing is just a perspective issue with our photograph. I dragged out a few of these figures (Clone Troopers for the most part), and they're all the same height. It's hard to imagine Hasbro creating a mold from an existing figure to exactly copy that figure (if they were going to go to the trouble and expense to create tooling for a figure why not tool up a 'new' figure). While that could certainly explain a potential "shrinkage" issue, I don't think that's the case here.

Is there a chance in the future we will see the TIE Interceptor and the B-Wing reissued during the 30th Anniversary? It has been quite some time since the POTJ line and I want one without having to buy from overpriced sellers on eBay. -David

While there's always a chance, neither of these classic Star Wars vehicles has made the rumor list yet. Still there's plenty of time before Toy Fair, If they follow standard operating procedure, Hasbro is sure to have a few "things" to offer their retail partners for later in the year… Anything could happen. Either way, I'd hold off if you can. The line is doing well, there are projects on the way that should extend the marketability of the line, while these vehicles may not show up in 2007, there's a very good chance they will be back at retail in due time.

What is the best way to contact Hasbro? I recently bought the Target store-exclusive Imperial Shuttle. However, it's missing both the cockpit canopy and the cover for the transport compartment. Do you know how I might contact Hasbro to replace these parts? And, if so, what information I'd need to provide them before they replace them? -Ben

The best way to contact Hasbro for this type of issue is through their Customer Service site. Simply visit, and click on the Customer Service link. A few different options will appear; you could either try "replacement parts" or "contact Hasbro." One way or the other you should be contacted by someone from Hasbro with more information. As this has happened to me before (with the AT-AT back in the late 90's), there's a possibility that they will ask you to send the whole thing back to them. I suppose this is done to deter fraud, but after a little inconvenience everything should run smoothly - at least it did for me.

I hope you can help me with this question. Do all the Titanium Forged Figures have a "Variant Finish" variant, or is it just the first four releases (Vader, Boba Fett, Sandtrooper and Bossk)? How many different Titanium figures have been released so far? I think it's thirteen: Darth Vader, Darth Vader (vintage finish), Lava Darth Vader (exclusive), Boba Fett, Boba Fett (vintage finish), Sandtrooper, Sandtrooper (vintage finish), Bossk, Bossk (vintage finish), 501 Clone Trooper, C-3PO, General Grievous and IG-88. Is that right? -Neil

To the best of my knowledge everything that's been released so far has been released with the standard deco and 'vintage' patina finish. As for what has been released, your list looks good to me; though I've yet to see the Grievous and 3PO anywhere. Also note that as with the regular figures, a variation of the Target Exclusive Lava Vader was also reported. Given that the Grievous and 3PO are out there, which I think we've had reports on, this would bring the total so far to eighteen legitimate figures and variations.

I was wondering, in the original Action Fleet line that started around 1995 by Galoob the TIE Fighter, TIE Advanced and TIE Defender were gray. But the TIE Interceptor and TIE Bomber were blue. In the movies I believed the Bomber and Interceptor was gray. Even today in the Titanium ships they remain blue and the TIE fighter and advanced remain gray. Why is this? I would love to see Action Fleet versions of the Bomber and Interceptor in their real colors from the movie. Though I'm not much of a Titanium collector except for the super sized ones I would still like to see them gray. I believed that according to the movies all TIE ships were gray. -Trey

Looking at my Action Fleet vehicles, it looks to me like galoob tried a few different things in an attempt to get the color "right," not that they were color matching from any particular source from the films. Where some of the vehicles are obviously more blue that others, I'm pretty sure it all boils down to a type of learning curve. With the exception of A New Hope, where the TIE Fighters looked more of a light whitish/gray on screen, most of the TIEs from the series had the same blue/gray tint to them. Shading and lighting from various special effects shots gave this color a different look from scene to scene, but I think it's basically supposed to be the same throughout the Trilogy. As this translates to the various toy lines different interpretations have put a variety of different shades out there, but I think the closest one yet has been the Toys R Us TIE Fighter released last year. Now, while it would be nice to see all future TIEs released in the exact same color, different lots of paint and plastic make that nearly impossible. Where galoob appears to have been all over the place, I think Hasbro genuinely tries to get it close as they can, but just can't exactly duplicate it on everything and every run. Hopefully, if Hasbro ever sees fit to put the Action Fleet line back into production, they will take all of this into account and release the individual TIEs in a consistent color scheme. Until then we'll pretty much have to settle for the Titanium Series and 3¾" versions, which really isn't all that bad.

Is there any chance of Sideshow putting out a 1:6 scale Indiana Jones figure similar to what they already have in their Star Wars line? Will Pride Displays be releasing dioramas for the other 5 movies (before and after ANH)? I thought I saw prototypes pending Lucasfilm approval awhile back, but have been able to find very little on this product. Finally, will LEGO be doing Battle Packs for OT army builders? We need Stormtroopers, TIE pilots, Biker Scouts, Snowtroopers, etc. -Tim

If anyone were going to get the rights to do a 1:6 scale Indy, I'd think Sideshow is in a pretty good position for it. However, we're just going to have to wait a bit longer to see what LucasCo. decides to do with the merchandising rights for this next film (which by the way finally sounds like a "go" according to Lucas' latest statements). Someone (Jeremy) correct me if I'm wrong, but the last I heard Pride Displays was out of the loop and out of business. If I recall correctly, we won't see anymore Star Wars products from them, including the Empire Strikes Back display that was previously mentioned. Everything I've always heard has indicated there's a big roadblock on LEGO multi 'figure' packs, but if they can find a way to wiggle around that, I'd guess the skies the limit. We'll see how they do with the two latest sets (Clones and Battle Droids); if they work out well my guess is we'll see other troop type sets follow. I mean, if all they have to do is throw a Dewback and a Vaporator in with a half dozen Storm and Sand Troopers, then why not…

I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this but figured it'd be worth asking anyway: As a portion of the 30th Anniversary line looks to be repacks, will there be a way to get the coins without having to buy the figure all over again? I'd love to get the entire coin collection but don't want to have to re-buy figures I already own to do it. -Craig

As nice as that might be, I think that would pretty much defeat the purpose of the coins. Let's face it, the coins are there as an incentive to get us to "re-buy" the figures we already have. Unless you're thinking of picking them up off of eBay (which I'm sure they'll make it to) you're pretty much going to have to buy the repacks to complete your coin collection.

Will we see MR do a X-Wing fighter anytime soon, with signature or not. Has anything been mentioned of this before by MR. -Slynger

Define "soon." I would think this is definitely on MR's short list, but I haven't heard mention of it for this year - at least not yet anyway… If not this year, will they get around to it? Yes, there's an excellent chance of that before they close the book on Star Wars, which shouldn't be for quite some time.

UPDATE: Hold everything! Brandon writes in with the following:
"The Master Replicas blog entry dated December 28, 2006 announced that they will indeed be doing a Red 5 X-Wing fighter scaled replica sometime in 2007. Awesome! So far, no news on whether there will be a signature edition or not."

First let me say that the value of the piece is not first and foremost to me. I collect for me, not to sell. I love Star Wars and my favorite collectibles are the Gentle Giant pieces. I am just curious how errors such as this may affect value and what you and/or your readers suggest as the best course of action.

The Darth Vader Animated Maquette has been released with all of them incorrectly labeled on the underside of the piece as "Dath Vader." According to their website, they will send us a new nameplate if we send them a picture of the bottom of our maquette through email. Option 2 is to ship my Maquette to Gentle Giant and they will attach the nameplate for me. Gentle Giant states that they will pay for return shipping. One of my ideas is that I should get the nameplate and not put it on so that I am not altering the piece in any way. My worries are as follows:

1. If I send the piece to GG, it gets damaged.
2. The nameplate will be thicker than the pads on the bottom of the base and will affect stability.
3. If I put the nameplate on, it does not stick as well as if they did it at GG.


While these are all legitimate concerns, I would think that GG is way ahead of you in each department. If your maquette were damaged in shipping I'd suspect - given the situation - Gentle Giant would replace it. In fashioning an "aftermarket" nameplate I'd expect Gentle Giant to design it so that it fits within the thickness of the footpads. And finally, in regards to the nameplate it will most likely ship to you with the same adhesive backing as the ones GG has offered to apply in-house. In the long run I'd probably stick to your best idea; keep the maquette as is, and just have them send you the corrected nameplate so that you have it with the piece. Given that this is an error on the entire production run, it really has very little impact on the 'collectibility' or value of the piece, it just is what it is. As long as you have the piece and the correct nameplate, if there were ever to come a time that you needed or wanted to pass this down, the new owner would have everything he or she needed to consider this a complete collectible.

I was wondering; after Woolworth's (here in the U.K.) sold the exclusive vintage Darth Vader and seeing the amount of collectors all wanting their own choice of figure to be made, would it be possible to pay Hasbro to make your own choice of figure? If so would they do it and how much? The reason I was asking was how did Woolworth's manage to get that figure as an exclusive? And what did it cost them? Maybe if there were enough collectors all wanting the same figure they could 'club' together and get Hasbro to make it? -Richard S.

From my experience Hasbro has been very resistant to "private interest" exclusives. I don't believe there's much of a chance that Hasbro would do this kind of job with anybody outside of their retail/online 'partners' or Star Wars Shop, nor would Lucasfilm allow it. What Woolworth actually ended up with was a slightly re-packaged version of the VOTC Vader, which Hasbro may have actually already had made up. If not they would have been very easy to put back into production for this offer, and not necessarily constitute the type of "private" exclusive you're asking about. In any event; Woolworth's probably asked for, or was offered, the Vader as a premium to coincide with the Trilogy DVD release - no real way of telling how much (if anything) it actually cost them.

As I mentioned before, there's really very little chance that Lucas or Hasbro would enter into a deal like this with a random group, unless the group was somehow officially recognized. As I've toyed around with the idea before, it would be interesting to see someone initiate an Official Star Wars Collectors Club, fully licensed by Lucasfilm, but I'm sure licensing fees alone would make start up extremely costly - not to mention the cost to actually secure an exclusive figure.

Until next time...

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