Target: 20% Off All Star Wars Toys

Sept. 24, 2018 – Target stores are offering 20% off all Star Wars toys, bedding, decor and certain apparel through Sept. 29th. Use your Target Red Card for an additional 5% off the sale price.

Target’s weekly ad for 23-29 Sept. 2018

Among the Target exclusives to look for: The Black Series 6-inch Gamorrean Guard (MSRP $29.99); 6-inch Moloch (from Solo: A Star Wars Story, MSRP $29.99); and the Solo: Vandor-1 playset (MSRP $44.99).

Target’s exclusive Solo: Vandor-1 playset was released in early August 2018. It includes a 3.75-inch scale “Chewbacca (Vandor-1)” figure.

NOTE: At check-out, the 20% reduction is not applied automatically. Show the clerk the ad and ask for a manager override as the ad can be considered ambiguous at best or misleading at worst. For customer inquiries or complaints, call (US) 1-800-440-0680.

If your country does not host any Target stores, you can shop Target’s international website at intl.target.com.

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Disney Taps the Brakes on Future Star Wars Movies

September 21, 2018 – Disney/Lucasfilm will be slowing down the release-schedule of future Star Wars movies.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Disney CEO Bob Iger acknowledged problems with the overly-aggressive release of Star Wars movies – what he called “a little too much, too fast”.

The Hollywood Reporter: “Many believe Disney should pump the breaks and not put out a Star Wars movie each year.”

Bob Iger: “I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast.

“You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to make films. J.J. [Abrams] is busy making [Episode] IX. We have creative entities, including [Game of Thrones creators David] Benioff and [D.B.] Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven’t been specific about.

“And we are just at the point where we’re going to start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.’s. But I think we’re going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.”

Since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012 and beginning with their first release, The Force Awakens (Dec. 2016), Disney had been committed to releasing one new Star Wars film a year. Although The Last Jedi (Dec. 2017) showed net profitability, grumblings and pushback from Star Wars fans and viewers may have finally caught Bob Iger’s ears.

The commercial failure of Han Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 2018) was the wake-up call that Disney needed. The movie was released just five months after The Last Jedi and will reportedly lose Disney approximately $50 million, a shocking set back for the once-invincible franchise.

Lucasfilm has put all future stand-alone anthology Star Wars movies on hold. Moreover, the direction of a future trilogy (Eps. X-XII) is unclear as Disney mulls its options.

A Case of Star Wars Fatigue?


Some movie critics and fans have speculated that “Star Wars fatigue” might account for Solo‘s poor box office receipts. As Bob Iger said, Disney might have been pushing out movies “a little too much, too fast”.

But then, how does one explain the success of the Marvel movies, which roll out three per year? No one is citing fatigue in that universe.

More likely, a combination of factors is at work: The lack of a coherent story arc between Episodes VII and VIII, wherein director J.J. Abrams has launched several story lines in VII and Rian Johnson ignores or alters them in VIII; or poor editing, distracting side stories and ill-conceived attempts at humor in the sequels; or the irreverent treatment of long-cherished characters (Han, Luke, Leia, Ackbar), tossing them aside like yesterday’s news, many have complained.

If there is to be a successful rescue of the franchise, Disney will need to think long and hard about future installments.

For now, J.J. Abrams is currently working only on Episode IX, the final installment of the sequel trilogy. With a confirmed release date of December 20, 2019, no other future Star Wars movies have been announced.

Who Is Ebay Seller Tunghori?

September 2, 2018 – For the last decade, Ebay seller Tunghori has acquired something of a legendary status among Star Wars figure collectors. But who is he? And is he trustworthy?

These two questions often pop up online in various collector discussion groups (Rebelscum, Yakface, Imperial Shipyards, etc.).

Since 2005, Tunghori has been selling loose, sometimes hard-to-find Star Wars action figures via Ebay.

Tunghori’s Ebay profile: With over 64,000 feedback reviews since Nov. 2005, Tunghori has a 100% positive feedback rating.

Tunghori has an Ebay store page (called “Star Wars Army Store”) that typically lists 3 or 4 pages’ worth of loose figures. The more popular figures sell out quickly, sometimes within minutes. Inexplicably, however, additional inventory may pop up for the same sold-out figure within the same day or later in the week.

Customer satisfaction is high, which helps to explain the 100% Ebay feedback rating.

A buyer in a Rebelscum.com forum noted in 2009 that he had made several purchases from Tunghori and “had no problems whatsoever” and that the figures appeared to be brand new.

In this 2011 comment on an ImperialShipyards.net forum, one buyer vouched that Tunghori quickly replaced a defective Clone trooper leg.

But don’t expect perfection. As one buyer on an ImperialShipyards.net forum noted, some of his figures had missing paint apps or two left limbs. The same buyer, however, also pointed out that Tunghori would ship him any missing accessories that were inadvertently omitted.

Some April, 2011, commentary from ImperialShipyards.net

While the Ebay profile states that Tunghori is based in the Philippines, most of Hasbro’s production facilities are in China, and all shipments depart from Hong Kong.

The question most asked is, How does our mystery Ebay seller get his hands on so many action figures?

Speculation


Some collectors have speculated that Tunghori might be part of a small group of inside-the-factory pilferers, skimming figures from production lines. However, there is no evidence of a criminal enterprise stealing resources from under Hasbro’s nose. And even if true, it’s hard to believe that Hasbro would look the other way after over a decade of Tunghori sales, which are highly visible.

Could Tunghori be producing extra batches of figures after hours? Say, for example, Hasbro has ordered a production run of 10,000 figures. What’s to stop factory insiders from producing an additional 200? While possible, this scenario assumes a lot of line employees and supervisors are in on this secret conspiracy and that Hasbro is utterly clueless. But because Tunghori’s Ebay store has been running for so long and is so visible (since Nov. 2005), this is weak speculation at best.

A more rational and likely explanation is that the figures sold on Ebay are factory rejects with slight imperfections.

At JediTempleArchives.com, a Sept. 1st, 2018 comment stated: “These are straight from the factory, they are seconds, meaning they didn’t pass quality control.”

The same JediTempleArchives commentator “James” also stated: “Definitely not stolen. These can be bought on the open market in Hong Kong, Taiwan or southern China … The factories are free to sell these (less-than-perfect seconds) to a secondary market.”

The other conundrum is Tunghori’s location. While his Ebay profile states he or they are based in the Philippines, most of Hasbro’s contracted factories are in China and shipments are made from Hong Kong.

Our speculation is that Tunghori is actually a small Manila-Hong Kong network. English-speaking Manila might be handling the business and communications end of the transactions while order fulfillment and shipping are in Hong Kong. The fact that Tunghori has had more than 12,000 Ebay transactions in the last year, or over 1,000 per month, strongly suggests a small business operation.

Manila and Hong Kong are 1,129 km (701 miles) apart or a 2-hour flight. (Image: Google Maps)

A single person would be hard pressed to manage that high a volume of listings, order tracking, packaging, shipment, handling customer issues and Ebay transaction requirements. Possible, but hard pressed.

Our Buying Experience


In two separate buying experiences in 2018, we ordered 16 figures or 8 figures per shipment. The shipping cost is U.S. $5.00 for the first figure and an additional $1.00 for each extra figure. No tax was charged.

Both shipments arrived safely in small cardboard boxes with a Hong Kong customs declaration sticker attached. Each figure, including accessories, was carefully placed in a sealable baggie. All of the figures appeared brand new with tight joints, clean paint applications, and no noticeable defects or missing parts.

In this July, 2018, shipment from Tunghori, eight figures arrived in like-new condition in sealable baggies. The small cardboard box had a Hong Kong customs declaration attached and arrived in Orlando, Florida, within 9 days.

Fresh off the boat from China (July 2018)

Our purchase of the Night Sister (Mother Talzin) is a good example of acquiring a single figure from an out-of-production exclusive multipack.

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If you had missed this 2012 exclusive, Tunghori offers collectors a second chance by offering single loose figures. Mother Talzin was listed at $9.99.

Not sold by Tunghori: The 2012 Target exclusive Darth Maul Returns Battlepack typically resells for about $45.00 on the secondary market.

Bossk, from the ToysRUs exclusive Rise of Boba Fett Ultimate Battle Pack (MSRP $99.99 in 2010), is another example of a difficult-to-find figure. Tunghori was selling Bossk for $7.99.

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Not Sold by Tunghori: The ToysRUs exclusive Rise of Boba Fett Ultimate Battle Pack (2010) now fetches $300-500 on the secondary market.

Tunghori Is Good For:


● Army builders as you can buy multiple figures in bulk

● Hard-to-find figures which are either out of production or were previously intended to be sold as part of a multi-pack, e.g., 3 or 4 figures sold as a boxed set.

● New and popular action figures in high demand

● Buyers who don’t mind that some figures may, on occasion, have a noticeable factory defect such as imperfect or missing paint applications

Tunghori Is Not Good for, and You Should Look Elsewhere If:


● You want a new carded figure. Tunghori only sells loose Star Wars 3.75-inch action figures. Further, the Ebay description customarily notes the figure is “used” but “was never played (with) and (is) in good condition.”

● You expect all accessories to be included all the time. Buyers should inspect the Ebay photo and description and then Google the product to see what, if any, accessories are missing.

● Collectors of Star Wars vehicles, playsets and 6-inch figures. Again, Tunghori only sells 3.75-inch loose Star Wars figures.

● Impatient buyers: Shipment is via Air Mail from Hong Kong. Tunghori’s Ebay description states that “international orders take 2 to 4 weeks”. On two occasions, shipments to our Orlando, Florida location took 9 and 13 days respectively.

Summary


The overall consensus appears to be that Tunghori, whether a single person or a small network, is a trustworthy seller. While the Ebay prices are not cheap, they do help to fulfill market demand for either out-of-production or hard-to-find Star Wars figures.

So long as Hasbro continues to struggle with its uneven distribution problems, collectors are being forced to look elsewhere. Tunghori is, at least in part, an alternative solution for frustrated collectors. You can visit his Ebay store and see current listings HERE.

Millennium Falcon (More or Less) Arrives at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

August 17, 2018 – It looks like Han and Chewie’s Millennium Falcon is about to be (re)constructed, from the ground up, at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge – Disney’s 14-acre Star Wars themed land.

Blogger/photographer Bioreconstruct @ Twitter today posted these first photos of what appears to be an initial five-sided frame for the Falcon seen at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida.

Aerial overview of Black Spire Outpost, which is about one-half of Galaxy’s Edge. The soaring rock-like structures (upper half of photo) frame the show building for the Millennium Falcon attraction. (Photo Credit: Bioreconstruct@Twitter)

Yellow arrow points to a five-sided structure sitting at the concave base of the show building. The pentagon framing will eventually become the Millennium Falcon. (Photo Credit: Bioreconstruct@Twitter)

For now, the initial framing doesn’t look like much. But here, the Falcon’s modest beginnings echo a conversation that Luke and Han had many years ago:

Luke Skywalker (upon laying his eyes on the Millennium Falcon for the first time): What a piece of junk!

Han Solo: She’ll make point five past lightspeed. She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid. I’ve made a lot of special modifications myself.

Guests will board the Falcon, walk through some very familiar-looking circular hallways, and end up in a cockpit to begin their journey. In the photo above, the pentagon frame sits at the base of the show building. (Photo Credit: Bioreconstruct@Twitter)

In this artist’s concept, a full-sized Millennium Falcon awaits you in the Black Spire Outpost at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.

The Falcon is not the first vehicle to arrive at Galaxy’s Edge. Seemingly appearing overnight on July 31st, a Neimodian-style shuttle craft was spotted atop a roof just a stone’s throw from the Falcon’s landing site, which we reported HERE.

Perched atop a roof in the Black Spire Outpost section of Galaxy’s Edge, the vehicle is rumored to be a transport craft for food and other materiel. Part of the building on which it sits will likely be dedicated to food service. (Photo Credit: Bioreconstruct@Twitter)

At Disneyland in Anaheim, California, a nearly identical Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is also under construction and slated to open in the summer of 2019. Orlando’s version at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open sometime in late fall, 2019.

Partial aerial overview of Galaxy’s Edge. To preserve each land’s illusions, the tree-lined berm restricts sight lines (and some noise) between contrasting lands, such as Toy Story Land in the upper left corner. (Photo Credit: Bioreconstruct@Twitter)

A fuller aerial overview of Galaxy’s Edge. The Battle Escape attraction is towards the lower mid-left. The Millennium Falcon building is in the upper section of the photo. Other structures (to the right) will host a Cantina, a full-service restaurant, and a meandering array of exotic alien shops, droid repair and more.

To help orient yourself, check out the brief video below:

Trailer for Animated “Star Wars Resistance” Debuts

August 17, 2018 – The first trailer for Disney’s newest animated series, Star Wars Resistance, was released today.

On some social media platforms, there have been a good number of critical “thumbs down” comments so far. Perhaps it’s the overtly cheery tone of the animation, which doesn’t make it feel like a Star Wars story. Or the fact that the series appears targeted to a much young(er) audience.

For adult Star Wars fans, however, they should note that Star Wars Rebels received a similar less-than-enthusiastic response when it first rolled out. But as the story lines progressed and turned darker and more complex, Rebels soon found itself a growing audience.

The late 10:00 pm debut (Sunday, October 7th) on the Disney Channel is curious. Are young children really the primary target audience? Star Wars is, after all, supposed to be for all ages.

On a more positive note, the cartoon renderings look sharp, the cast appears diverse, and there appear to be numerous aliens (Rodians and more!) and vehicles to capture our imaginations.

We will find out more in less than two months, when Star Wars Resistance premieres October 7, 2018.

Mynock and Han Solo (Six-Inch Scale) Boxed Set at HasbroToyShop.com

August 13, 2018 – It may have taken 38 years, but Hasbro/Kenner are finally offering a six-inch scale Mynock for sale. Initially a 2018 SDCC exclusive, Hasbro is offering a limited quantity of the Han Solo and Mynock boxed set today at HasbroToyShop.com. But you’ll have to act fast as they are expected to sell out.

Priced at $34.99, the 6-inch Han Solo and Mynock are a 2018 SDCC exclusive. Limited quantities are available for sale at HasbroToyShop.com on 13 Aug 2018.

MSRP is $34.99 plus tax and shipping. Because these are a Hasbro exclusive, no free shipping or discounts are available.

The boxed set includes the six-inch Han Solo figure, as depicted in The Empire Strikes Back, as well as a Mynock and three accessories (breathing mask, blaster and what appears to be a baton-shaped tool).

The box art continues the Black Series motif and features some impressive art work.

NOTE: Sales went live today at 9:00 AM PST/12:00 noon EST.

First Spaceship Lands at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

August 11, 2018 – Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge (AKA Disney’s Star Wars land) has witnessed the arrival of its first spaceship, which seemingly materialized overnight at Disney’s Hollywood Studios around July 31st.

This close-up photo of the unnamed spaceship shows some interesting details. The left and right doors show the numbers “77” and “83”, respectively – likely a nod to the years when the first “Star Wars” film was released (1977) and when “Return of the Jedi” (1983) concluded the Original Trilogy. (Photo Credit: Bioreconstruct@Twitter)

Perched atop a roof in the Black Spire Outpost section of Galaxy’s Edge, the vehicle is rumored to be a transport craft for food and other materiel. Part of the building on which it sits will likely be dedicated to food service.

Aerial view of the first spaceship to “land” at Galaxy’s Edge. (Photo Credit: Bioreconstruct@Twitter)

The vehicle is not a theme-park ride and guests likely will not be able to explore it up close. Instead, it is a decorative element which helps to set the theme and suggest a story, true to the vision of Disney’s Imagineers.

Whether the stubby spaceship will feature lights, moving parts, steam or other effects is unknown at this point. It will, however, be a stone’s throw from the Millennium Falcon below, which will be parked at ground level.

The Millennium Falcon (not visible in this July 31st photo) will be located in the concave area at the base of the rocks. Guests will board the Falcon before being led to one of 7 or 8 pods to begin their flying adventures. (Photo Credit: Bioreconstruct@Twitter)

Aerial view of spacecraft being assembled on a building roof. The complex will include a Cantina and/or full-service restaurant and part of the merchants’ or vendors’ rows of shops.

You can view this model of Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney Presents gallery (formerly “Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream”).

In the aerial photo below, the spaceship almost disappears in the 14-acre themed land. Now considered Star Wars canon, the Outer Rim settlement is on the planet Batuu and the spaceship (barely visible at center) is parked at Black Spire Outpost.

Construction status of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 31, 2018. The dirt area at top, once paved, will be future expansion parking. A Star Wars-themed resort will be located in the cleared area at the upper right.

Artist’s concept of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Notice the spacecraft approaching Black Spire Outpost.

The unnamed spacecraft is somewhat reminiscent of the neimoidian shuttle seen in the Star Wars prequels. Expect to see other vehicles, including an X-Wing Fighter, an A-Wing Fighter, a First Order TIE Fighter and, of course, the Millennium Falcon at Galaxy’s Edge.

Nearly-identical Star Wars themed lands will open, the first at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in the summer of 2019, and the second at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Orlando) in late fall of 2019.