Why is TVC Threepio so short, what's that mark on Vader's chin, and will we get Kithaba? Find out in Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for September 14th, 2010.
Thanks again to Hasbro for the answers, to all the folks who sent in questions and especially those who voted on them.
Hasbro Q&A for the week of September 14th, 2010SSG: You recently stated that you were very interested in updating all of the Jabba's Palace/Skiff Guard figures from the vintage Kenner line. This brings up a question in regards to the vintage action figure of Barada. There has been some confusion as to who this figure actually represents and most collectors believe that he is actually Kithaba, the Klatooinian on the first skiff. However, on closer inspection it become pretty clear that the figure is sculpted to match the Barada character (since Barada is the only one of the two that wears a backpack), but is just painted incorrectly using Kithaba's color scheme. So, where would the Hasbro design team stand on this? Do you guys consider the vintage Barada figure to actually be Kithaba? And if/when it comes time to update this figure, exactly which Skiff Guard would we be getting?
Hasbro: Kithaba is in the works for next year; he actually, in our view, is the character that Kenner named "Barada." So we feel we are "checking the box" of a true vintage update by doing Kithaba next year. As for the character named Barada, we don't have him in the plans yet but as we've said, we would like to systematically get to all of these key combatants eventually.
SSG: The new Vintage Collection C-3PO figure has some great sculpting and a nice shiny gold paint job, as well as plenty of articulation, it's a big improvement in those areas. However, the figure seems to have a larger overall issue, the size. While Lucasfilm claims 3PO is 1.67 meters tall and this figure is the right scale to that (1:19.2 is the 6' to 3.75" scale), the figure just looks way too small next to even Luke Skywalker figures, who in the films is actually roughly the same height as 3PO - as evident in ANH. Do you feel the figure turned out too small? It's not just height, even if you pop the torso joint out (which seems to be set deeper than the figure was designed for, making the black stomach too short and visually throwing the rest of the torso proportions off), the whole scale of the figure from the shoulder width, the thickness of the limbs, the size of the head, and of course the height seems to be a step down to 1:20, especially disregarding the Lucasfilm height for the character is 5' 4" which is clearly wrong since actor Anthony Daniels' height is 5' 7" outside the costume that adds a little height. Would there be any possible way to correct this figure's scale issues, perhaps through stereo-lithography, or would it require starting again from scratch with a completely new mold (which would be a shame considering how much promise this figure has otherwise)?
Hasbro: The figure was intended to be the right height, but lost some mass along the way. We sculpted the figure to be 5'7" and actually added a little to that because of the panels. However, during production the sculpt shrank much more than the typical 4% average shrink we see. The shrink rate of plastics isn't an exact science and there is variability....this C-3PO is on an extreme end of the statistical curve. We do really like the features that this one has, and will look at a potential future re-sizing, but that won't be for a long while.
SSG: At Comic-Con, when asked about the white mark on the Vintage Collection Vader's unmasked chin, Derryl gave this answer: "Brian Parrish isn't here to answer that question, but we don't think it's a mold mark like some fans are saying. I believe it's meant to be scar tissue, so there's some different coloration to show on his face. But we can get Brian to confirm that, throw it in as an official bonus Q&A and we'll answer that." So, with that in mind, what officially is the white stripe on this Vader's unmasked chin? If it is scar tissue, was it designed to be that significant a color difference to the rest of the skin color, or was it intended to be more subtle?
Hasbro: Yes, we can confirm that it is not a mold mark. Actually, how that paint got there is a story unto itself. It looks like our original paint master suffered some abrasion during transit, and the factory interpreted the damage as another paint operation. We saw it and noticed the difference, and decided to keep it.
And our questions at ActionFigs.com:
- - You've confirmed your interest in a modern update to vintage figure Lumat, and have also said that while it won't be in the next year, there will very likely be one in the not too distant future after that. Lumat will be the last vintage Ewok to get a modern update. However, due to retcons and EU murkiness, the "Lumat" situation is complicated. The official word is that Lumat is a black & white striped Ewok, and the tan Ewok formerly known as Lumat as seen in the Kenner line has no canon name as of now. An Ewok that suspiciously looks like the vintage Lumat figure - from the expression, to the shape of the hood, to the bows and arrows - was released in different colors as Graak back in 2007 (colors that, coincidentally, are also that of the "new" Lumat character). So when you are talking about making a new Lumat figure, which will that be? A tan & brown repaint of Graak to fully update the original, or the new black & white character? If the original, will the tan & brown Ewok formerly known as Lumat get a new name?
- - When discussed with Derryl at Comic-Con, the subject of the rubbery Clone Wars 2nd generation Grievous figure came up, and Derryl said the amount of feedback Hasbro has heard from fans about this figure being unable to stand up on its own may lead to it being retired after its initial run, and a return to the 2008 Grievous who can stand for longer periods. However, the new Grievous is a better figure in many ways, and its standing problems are chiefly with the claws on its feet. Since the feet are already a separate piece of tooling, might you consider just redesigning the feet so that the main foot surface acts as the foot instead of the very small, rubbery claws? Visually, the claws would still be there, but they wouldn't be doing the lifting as they wouldn't go below the bottom of the main foot, so their sagging wouldn't topple the figure. Would something like that be feasible with this mold? We'd really like to see this figure salvaged, and while you're at it, you could move the shoulderpad pegs down so they look more accurate *and* don't pop off as much. We'd just hate to see such a cool figure as this go down in history as a missed opportunity when a few tweaks might save it, wouldn't you agree?