Changing As A Collector

I feel like I should insert a Simpson’s Troy McClure joke here: “Hi, I’m Mike MacDonald (Mike Tarkin, Mac….). You may know me from such podcasts as The Sandcrawler.” Why is that important for you to know? Well, from 2016 to around September 2021 the Sandcrawler podcast and website was a very big part of who I was as a Star Wars collector. It was where I talked with my friend, Dengar Dan, about recent purchases and to bounce ideas off of each other and generally screw around while recording. I would like to thank everyone (on behalf of myself and Dan) that supported The Sandcrawler, either by listening to the podcast or helping to contribute to the website. We never expected much from our show when we started yet we ended up with a pretty good-sized audience and made friends with more than a few of you and for that we will always be grateful.

Throughout the first half of 2021 we both began to feel that something was wrong either in the Star Wars collecting world in general or within ourselves as collectors. We also both had to deal with how busy we became after the first Covid pandemic and worldwide lockdown in 2021. The decision to end The Sandcrawler was pretty much based on the fact that we were both becoming busier in our real lives and that lack of product, distribution issues and higher prices were causing us to feel “less than enthused” about Star Wars collecting. We closed things down and I’ve spent the past six months or so trying to come to terms with my Star Wars fandom and my Star Wars collecting.

We all know about the crazy wait times and higher costs for Star Wars figures these days. Reporting on Hasbro announcements and their multi-months release schedule became depressing for me. Also, I’m Canadian and prices have become nearly impossible to rationalize. A single carded Star Wars The Vintage Collection figure currently costs anywhere from $19.99 to #21.99 (pre-tax). Vehicles and play sets are equally expensive (Tantive IV Corridor=$69.99, General Merrick’s X-wing-$185). I understand that prices for virtually EVERYTHING have been rising over the past two years but buying an action figure has always taken second place to real life expenses and I found myself simply not buying as many figures as I used to. When you’re doing a podcast and can’t comment on a particular Star Wars figure because it was too expensive to buy or too far down the road for it’s release date, the podcast suddenly becomes a, excuse the phrase, bitch-fest. Star Wars collecting has always been fun and through most of 2021 it stopped being fun.

After we ended the podcast the first thing I did was to go through my checklist of multiple pre-orders and began cancelling. I also made a few general collecting decisions. I was determined to get back that feeling of joy I had when buying action figures. The first pre-order I cancelled was for the reissued Rogue One figures from The Black Series. Rogue One is probably my favourite Star Wars movie and I planned on getting the entire crew in one big order. Instead I decided that Black Series had never been a priority for me (I have some, less than 15) and I would whenever possible focus on my scale of choice: 3.75 inch. I then cancelled the “Bad Batch” themed 4-pack of clone troopers since none of the figures were actual members of the Bad Batch team. The 4-pack was basically repaints of existing clone figures and I have a ton of clone troopers already. There were other figures that I would normally have bought multiples of for army building like the Offworld Jawa, Hoth Rebel Soldier and Remnant Stormtrooper but because of the cost I either settled for a few extras or in some cases passed on the figure altogether.

I also decided that whenever possible I would stop collecting carded figures and only buy figures that I could find use for in my collection. I was already primarily an opener and I felt that the expense of keeping a carded figure seemed a luxury and wasteful. At the time I had roughly 100 carded figures so I began opening and/or selling off ones that I felt were no longer worthy of staying on the card. Since The Vintage Collection first hit in 2010 I had wanted to have modern carded versions of the first 21 figures released during the original Kenner run of figures. After twelve years there were still holes in that collection of Original 21 and as I’ve said because of the cost I couldn’t justify continuing to buy carded figures. This was a tough decision as Hasbro released an updated Tusken Raider and two droids; Power Droid and Death Star Droid. All Original 21 figures and all candidates for multiple purchases since I could easily army build the Tusken Raider and as a big fan of droids I would have at least bought one carded and one opener of both. Instead I cancelled my Tusken Raider pre order and opened both droids. I’m glad I did as I really love that new take on the Power Droid. Another focus I had was to have at least one carded version of each line or sub-line. That focus went out the window after buying a few of the Gaming Greats line. I decided they weren’t worth keeping carded and stored in a closet so i donated them to my company’s Christmas toy drive. I’ve probably reduced my carded collection to about 60 now and will reduce it further. It’s not easy to always stick to this new approach and I’ve already broken my new rule when I picked up the Droids TV show versions of R2D2 and C3P0. What can I say? I collect with my heart first. I never owned figures from this line back in the 80’s and I really love how colourful and bright the artwork is. They look great in my Kenner display.

It’s disappointing to have to make these decisions but in the long run it helped me to realize that I’ve never been a completist collector and that it would be more than ok to have holes in the collection.

With no podcast and website to maintain I thought what I needed to do was to basically scale back (BIG TIME), my Star Wars fandom. And it was a good thing for a little while as I had more time for just chilling in the Star Wars room with no agenda or schedule. I did a few projects like expanding my rebel base display (pics of my room are available here and I plan on adding more) and creating a custom Kenner Star Wars wall display. At the same time I was posting photos on social media as usual. What also began to happen is I would hear from people that they missed The Sandcrawler and a lot of the content from the accompanying website so I decided to basically make a scaled down version of that. Sort of a “same great taste, half the calories” sort of thing.

I’ve returned to posting Hasbro/Star Wars news and even live tweeted their May the Fourth event. Hasbro’s new PR team, Rogers & Cowan PMK was kind enough to add my new site to their list of Star Wars sites so folks can expect to find glam shots and product information in the News section.

I’ll also continue the tradition we started at TheSandcrawler.net of full-sized photo-based reviews of Star Wars figure collectibles (an epic saga should be viewed WIDESCREEN whenever possible, not in a little Instagram square) and will slowly add posts about the goings on in my Star Wars room.

So thanks for visiting my corner of the galaxy, I’m excited to see what the future brings!

Mike Tarkin

May 4, 2022

Ewan McGregor Reveals Black Series Obi-Wan Kenobi (Wandering Jedi) Figure on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Thanks to Hasbro Pulse/R&C PMK for the following press release and images.

Following tonight’s reveal of the new Star Wars: The Black Series Obi-Wan Kenobi (Wandering Jedi) figure from Hasbro during Ewan McGregor’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, we wanted to share additional details on the figure. Inspired by McGregor’s character in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series, the figure will be available for pre-order at Hasbro Pulse and most major retailers on May 11.

STAR WARS:THE BLACK SERIES OBI-WAN KENOBI (WANDERING JEDI) FIGURE

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99 /Available: Spring 2023)

STAR WARS fans and collectors can imagine scenes from the STAR WARS galaxy with this premium THE BLACK SERIES 6-INCH OBI-WAN KENOBI (WANDERING JEDI) figure, inspired by the character in the STAR WARS: OBI-WAN KENOBI series. Obi-Wan Kenobi is set years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith where Kenobi faced the corruption of his friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker turned Sith Lord Darth Vader. It also features the great articulation we have come to expect from Black Series, including the butterfly joints which allow more dynamic posing and articulation.

Fans and collectors can display this fully articulated figure, featuring premium deco and poseable head, arms, and legs, in their collection. This STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES figure also comes with 3 entertainment-inspired accessories. Available for pre-order 5/11 at 1:00 PM ET at most major retailers, including Hasbro Pulse.

Hasbro Star Wars May the 4th Collectible Reveals

Big thanks to Hasbro and Rogers & Cowan PMK for these glam shots and product info!

-Scroll to the bottom of the page to watch the livestream-

Today, Hasbro and Star Wars are celebrating May the 4th with all-new Vintage Collection, Retro Collection and Black Series action figures and collectibles designed after fan-favorite characters across the Saga! 
 
STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION
332nd Ahsoka’s Clone Trooper Figure
Anakin Skywalker (Padawan) Figure
Mandalorian Super Commando Figure
Gaming Greats Heavy Assault Stormtrooper Figure
Gaming Greats Stormtrooper Commander Figure
Phase I Clone Trooper 4-Pack
 
STAR WARS: RETRO COLLECTION
A New Hope Collectible Multipack
 
STAR WARS:THE BLACK SERIES 
Princess Leia (Ewok Village) Figure
Figrin D’an Figure
New Republic Security Droid Figure
Obi-Wan Kenobi Force FX Elite Lightsaber
Nalan Cheel Figure
Darth Vader Premium Electronic Helmet
Clone Trooper (187th Battalion) Figure
 
Official product and pre-order details can be found below. Please note, pre-order links will not be live until Thursday, May 5 at 1:00 P.M. ET.

STAR WARS: RETRO COLLECTION STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE COLLECTIBLE MULTIPACK

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $68.99/Available: Spring 2022)

Inspired by the original 1970s Kenner STAR WARS action figures, this STAR WARS: RETRO COLLECTION STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE COLLECTIBLE MULTIPACK is inspired by the characters in the classic movie, STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE. The multipack features 3.75-inch-scale Retro Collection figures from iconic Star Wars characters like a Stormtrooper, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and Han Solo. Fans and collectors can display these figures, with five points of articulation, in their action figure and vehicle collection. Includes 6 figures and 6 entertainment-inspired accessories. Available at Disneyland Resort on 5/25, and available for pre-order on HasbroPulse.com and ShopDisney.com on 5/26. Also available at Walt Disney World Resort at a later date.

STAR WARS:THE BLACK SERIES 6-INCH CLONE TROOPER (187TH BATTALION) FIGURE

 (HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $22.99/Available: Fall 2022)

STAR WARS fans and collectors can imagine scenes from the STAR WARS Galaxy with this premium THE BLACK SERIES 6-INCH CLONE TROOPER (187TH BATTALION) figure, inspired by the character in STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS. Far superior to battle droids, clone troopers formed the backbone of the Republic’s new military that waged war against the forces of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.

Fans and collectors can display this fully articulated figure featuring poseable head, arms, and legs, as well as premium deco, in their collection. This STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES figure comes with 1 detachable entertainment-inspired accessory. Available exclusively at Walgreens.

STAR WARS:THE BLACK SERIES 6-INCH FIGRIN D’AN FIGURE

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Spring 2023)

STAR WARS fans and collectors can imagine scenes from the STAR WARS Galaxy with this premium THE BLACK SERIES 6-INCH FIGRIN D’AN figure, inspired by the character in STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE movie. Figrin D’an was the rocking frontman for the all-Bith band “The Modal Nodes.” His deft playing of the Kloo Horn for the band earned him the nickname “Fiery” Figrin.

Fans and collectors can display this fully articulated figure featuring poseable head, arms, and legs, as well as premium deco, in their collection. This STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES figure comes with 3 entertainment-inspired accessories. Available for pre-order 5/5 at 1PM ET at Hasbro Pulse,BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, GameStop, and most major retailers.

STAR WARS:THE BLACK SERIES 6-INCH NALAN CHEEL FIGURE

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $38.99/Available: Fall 2022)

STAR WARS fans and collectors can imagine scenes from the STAR WARS galaxy with this premium THE BLACK SERIES 6-INCH NALAN CHEEL figure, inspired by the character in STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE movie. Members of “The Modal Nodes,” like Nalan Cheel on the Bandfill, played their recognizable tunes in the Mos Eisley Cantina.

Fans and collectors can display this fully articulated figure featuring poseable head, arms, and legs, as well as premium deco, in their collection. This STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES figure comes with 5 entertainment-inspired accessories. Available for pre-order 5/5 at 1PM ET exclusively at HasbroPulse.com.

STAR WARS:THE BLACK SERIES 6-INCH NEW REPUBLIC SECURITY DROID FIGURE

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Spring 2023)

STAR WARS fans and collectors can imagine scenes from the STAR WARS Galaxy with this premium THE BLACK SERIES 6-INCH NEW REPUBLIC SECURITY DROID figure, inspired by the character in STAR WARS: THE MANDALORIAN series. The New Republic used these security droids for protection and combat, including aboard high-security correctional transports like the one the Mandalorian boarded in an effort to rescue the prisoner Qin.

Fans and collectors can display this fully articulated figure featuring poseable head, arms, and legs, as well as premium deco, in their collection. This STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES figure comes with 1 entertainment-inspired accessory. Available for pre-order 5/5 at 1PM ET at Hasbro Pulse,BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, GameStop, and most major retailers.

/STAR WARS:THE BLACK SERIES 6-INCH PRINCESS LEIA (EWOK VILLAGE) FIGURE

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Spring 2023)

STAR WARS fans and collectors can imagine scenes from the STAR WARS galaxy with this premium THE BLACK SERIES 6-INCH PRINCESS LEIA (EWOK VILLAGE) figure, inspired by the character in STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI movie. After a battle with Imperial scout troopers, Leia encountered a strange, furry being – an Ewok. He took her to his village where she would remain until she and Han led a ground assault on an Imperial shield generator.

Fans and collectors can display this fully articulated figure featuring poseable head, arms, and legs, as well as premium deco, in their collection. This STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES figure comes with 2 entertainment-inspired accessories. Available for pre-order 5/5 at 1PM ET at Hasbro Pulse,BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, GameStop, and most major retailers.

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES DARTH VADER PREMIUM ELECTRONIC HELMET

(HASBRO/Ages 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $131.99 /Available: Spring 2023)

Fans and collectors can imagine what it was like for Darth Vader to suit up for galactic action and experience the biggest battles and missions in the STAR WARS saga with the premium roleplay item STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES DARTH VADER PREMIUM ELECTRONIC HELMET. This roleplay item features premium deco, realistic detail, and a STAR WARS: OBI-WAN KENOBI series-inspired design. It also includes iconic ventilation sounds, an updated sculpt, and magnetic multi-piece assembly. This full-scale Darth Vader helmet also comes with a stand for maximum display possibilities. Includes helmet, instructions, and stand. Requires 2 1.5V AAA batteries, not included. Available for pre-order 5/5 at 1PM ET at Hasbro Pulse, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, GameStop, and most major retailers.

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES OBI-WAN KENOBI FORCE FX ELITE LIGHTSABER

(HASBRO/Age 14 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $278.99/Available: Spring 2023)

Combining advanced LEDs and entertainment-inspired lightsaber sound effects, the STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES FX ELITE LIGHTSABERS are the most realistic Force FX Lightsabers yet. The real metal hilt features design and deco based on OBI-WAN KENOBI’s iconic Lightsaber featured in the STAR WARS: OBI-WAN KENOBI seriesUse the switch and button on the hilt to activate entertainment-inspired sound effects, progressive ignition, battle clash effect, duel effect, and battle sequence mode. Fans and collectors can proudly display this lightsaber on the included stand, with or without the removable blade, and show off the included display emitter. Requires 3 1.5V AA batteries, not included. Available for pre-order 5/5 at 1PM ET at Hasbro Pulse,BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, GameStop, and most major retailers

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH 332ND AHSOKA’S CLONE TROOPER FIGURE

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Spring 2023)

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH scale classic figures and vehicles feature original vintage-inspired packaging and Kenner branding. This STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH 332ND AHSOKA’S CLONE TROOPER figure is inspired by the character in STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS. Clone troopers represented the future of galactic warfare and formed the backbone of the Republic’s new military.  Highly poseable with realistic detail, this 3.75-inch-scale figure can be displayed in action figure and vehicle collections. Includes figure and 3 entertainment-inspired accessories. Available for pre-order 5/5 at 1PM ET at Hasbro Pulse, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, GameStop, and most major retailers.

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH ANAKIN SKYWALKER (PADAWAN) FIGURE

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Winter 2022)

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH scale classic figures and vehicles feature original vintage-inspired packaging and Kenner branding. This STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH ANAKIN SKYWALKER (PADAWAN) figure is inspired by the character in STAR WARS: ATTACK OF THE CLONES movie. Anakin Skywalker had the potential to become one of the most powerful Jedi ever, and was believed by some to be the prophesied Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force. Highly poseable with realistic detail, this 3.75-inch-scale figure can be displayed in action figure and vehicle collections. Includes figure comes with 4 entertainment-inspired accessories. Available for pre-order 5/5 at 1PM ET at Hasbro Pulse,BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, GameStop, and most major retailers.

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH GAMING GREATS HEAVY ASSAULT STORMTROOPER FIGURE

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $16.99/Available: Fall 2022)

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH scale classic figures and vehicles feature original vintage-inspired packaging and Kenner branding. This STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH GAMING GREATS HEAVY ASSAULT STORMTROOPER figure is inspired by the character in the STAR WARS JEDI: FALLEN ORDER video game. The game tells an original story about Cal Kestis, a Padawan who survived the events of the STAR WARS: REVENGE OF THE SITH movie. Highly poseable with realistic detail, this 3.75-inch-scale figure can be displayed in action figure and vehicle collections. Includes figure and 3 detachable entertainment-inspired accessories. Available for pre-order 5/5 at 1PM ET at fan channel retailers includingBigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth and GameStop.

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH GAMING GREATS STORMTROOPER COMMANDER FIGURE

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $16.99/Available: Fall 2022)

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH scale classic figures and vehicles feature original vintage-inspired packaging and Kenner branding. This STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH GAMING GREATS STORMTROOPER COMMANDER figure is inspired by the character in theSTAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED video game. The game follows Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, trained to hunt down Jedi, while Stormtrooper Commanders lead Imperial troops into battle. Highly poseable with realistic detail, this 3.75-inch-scale figure can be displayed in action figure and vehicle collections. Includes figure and 2 detachable entertainment-inspired accessories. Available for pre-order 5/5 at 1PM ET at Hasbro Pulse and fan channel retailers including BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth and GameStop.

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH MANDALORIAN SUPER COMMANDO FIGURE

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Winter 2022)

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH scale classic figures and vehicles feature original vintage-inspired packaging and Kenner branding. This STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH MANDALORIAN SUPER COMMANDO figure is inspired by the character in STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS. A coup topples the pacifist regime of the New Mandalorians led by Maul. His loyal Mandalorians modify their armor to reflect their allegiance as they wear red and black armor, and some even fashion horns atop their helmets. Highly poseable with realistic detail, this 3.75-inch-scale figure can be displayed in action figure and vehicle collections. Includes figure comes with 4 entertainment-inspired accessories. Available for pre-order 5/5 at 1PM ET at Hasbro Pulse, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, GameStop, and most major retailers.

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH PHASE I CLONE TROOPER 4-PACK

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $44.99/Available: Winter 2022)

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH scale classic figures and vehicles feature original vintage-inspired packaging and Kenner branding. This STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH PHASE I CLONE TROOPER 4-PACK is inspired by the characters in STAR WARS entertainment. So symbolic were they of the times, the galaxy-wide conflict that saw their debut took its name from their ranks: the Clone Wars. Highly poseable with realistic detail, these 3.75-inch-scale figures can be displayed in action figure and vehicle collections. Includes 4 Phase I Clone Trooper figures including 1 lieutenant and 6 entertainment-inspired accessories. Available for pre-order 5/5 at 1PM ET exclusively at HasbroPulse.com.

Welcome!

From 2016 to 2021 I co-hosted The Sandcrawler podcast and website with my good buddy, Dengar Dan. We had a blast bringing Star Wars “Action Figure Therapy” to the masses for 5 years but decided for a variety of reasons to shut ‘er down <CUE TRACTOR BEAM POWER OFF SFX>

That was in the fall of 2022. Still wanting to create Star Wars content and to have a place for folks to check out my Star Wars room I decided to create this website. Not only can you check out what’s new in my Star Wars room you can also view photo reviews of Star Wars figures and vehicles, check out my Instagram feed and revisit episodes of The Sandcrawler podcast via YouTube.

Thanks for visiting!

Mike Tarkin (aka “Mac”)

March 2022