Collectibles => Past Hasbro 3.75" Lines => The Legacy Collection => Topic started by: Jesse James on May 19, 2009, 04:39 PM

Title: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jesse James on May 19, 2009, 04:39 PM
Could it be?

Check out the front page for the full story (  And thanks to my spies in the night on this one.  Literally.


Let me add a bit here now that I have a moment...

This was sent to me by a couple friends one late night.  I won't get into the details of the story or anything, just suffice it to say it was pretty funny.  The images I got are right outta the big place though.

There's no details known on whether this will be made or not, and I'm sure there's plenty of cardboard mock-ups of many toys that never got made.  This may just be one, however I have it on pretty good authority that Hasbro has passed this playset around on more than one occassion at meetings.  I have that from another source. ;)  That one corroborated this image/story for me by the way. 

I've been sitting on this playset news for, literally, months now.  It's been fun. :)

Enjoy the image though of what could be, or could have been...  Who knows what will happen with it in the future.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Rob on May 19, 2009, 04:47 PM
Clean up on aisle Chewie.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jayson on May 19, 2009, 04:48 PM
Clean up on aisle Chewie.

He doesn't like it. (  ;)
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Nicklab on May 19, 2009, 04:53 PM
I have to wonder if that was one of the mockups that got shown at a presentation way back at Celebration 2. 
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jesse James on May 19, 2009, 04:57 PM
I kind of figured CHEWIE wouldn't, as honestly it's not the route I'd go with either Jayson...  Personally I'm more a modular design fan since it's more open to stuffing/fitting into shelves, and more open to buying multiple smaller playsets.  I've mocked up a couple of those on my own over the years, and the "system" I came up with is pretty flawless.  But it's flawless to someone looking for "details" though, not a kid wanting to play with it.

Others have done the modular design I've seen, and it looks more like something you'd build to display your figures only, not really "play" with.

I applaud Hasbro's effort to make a cool/interesting looking Death Star like this though, that harkens to the Palitoy Death Star from years back.  Round, trying to capture the Death Star's shape somewhat, and with lots of little rooms adjoining one another...  Chasms and things for play value, consoles, doors...

One has to remember Hasbro's always said that playsets have to focus on the kids, not the collector, and kids sort of connect immediately with the Death Star's shape I think.  Hasbro designers, I imagine anyway, want to capture that connection by basically making it the right shape, only scaled down.

It's also reminiscent of Galoob Micro Machine playsets...  Capturing the item's overall shape, but a small environment inside.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Rob on May 19, 2009, 05:04 PM
Didn't realize it was cardboard.  Oh well.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jesse James on May 19, 2009, 05:07 PM
It's a mock-up, so it's that architectural board stuff...  If it were a toy, I have no clue what it would be.  At that size and shape, plastic may not be easy to engineer it right, or make it cost-effective.  Who knows?  It could be either I suppose, once produced.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Nicklab on May 19, 2009, 05:12 PM
The design guys at Hasbro will mock up with whatever materials work.  Figures are sculpted with wax.  Foamcore gets used.  Or cardboard.

With something like the Death Star a cardboard mockup makes sense.  But then a lot will depend on whether or not a prototype made from production grade plastic will work.  There's a lot of void space with the Death Star, and structural stability is going to be a major concern.  Especially if they try to incorporate the megalaser or some kind of outer skin.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: jedi_master_sal on May 19, 2009, 05:32 PM
Man, I've got to say I am NOT a fan of the all-in-one playset. At least NOT for the Death Star.

I've posted ad naseum here and other sites about how to do a modular Death Star playset. A couple of large rooms (Hangar, Throne Room), some medium sized (Conference, Trash Compactor, Bridge and Sheild Generator trenches, Prison area-includes receiving area and long hallway with a couple of modular prison cells you can attach, most notably for Leia), and some small rooms (Red Control Room, various sized hallways-to connect these all together), add an elevator because these sets can not only be connected horizontally, but stacked and connected vertically.

If Hasbro announced this as an on going series, with each set including parts to build another set then you've got a great playset program that people can look forward to, as well as build how they want to AND the bonus of another playset at the end if you get at least one of each set.

For some of us, this would be a dream as we would want to build a LARGE set with many interconnecting hallways, stacked high, etc.

Each playset is priced according to it's size. Large $40, Medium $30, small $20 (in the case of the hallways only $10-15 since there isn't much there).  By the time you're done building just the base Death Star set with all of the rooms (and not even any hallways) you'd spend close to $200. It's money over the long haul for Hasbro, more affordable in chunks to we the consumers and by being modular gives US the opportunity to imagine the playset however WE want to, instead of a forced all-in-one that could never satisfy all of our desires for such a grand location.

I won't buy a set such as the one the pic shows. It's not what I envision, so I'll vote with my dollars and voice on this and say NAY!
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Sprry75 on May 19, 2009, 05:33 PM
Rob, I'm pretty sure it's architectural/foam board, as it appears to be just a mock-up at this stage.

By mock-up, I mean, it isn't a production model or anything, but is just something they can look at to get a basic idea of how it would be constructed.

Foam architectural board.  Or cardboard.  But mock up.  Still.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Rob on May 19, 2009, 05:35 PM
I'm not sure I follow you Ryan.  Are you saying the final product might be made out of something other than cardboard?
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Paul on May 19, 2009, 05:54 PM
I think he is saying it "COULD" be or "COULDN'T" be...but probably will be. That is to say, we don't know at this point.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jesse James on May 19, 2009, 06:01 PM
I think I'd have to see one in person, and what all it featured/had detail-wise inside, before I'd commit to saying I would or would not buy it...  Speaking from a purely customizing-frenzy standpoint, I could dig it if it wasn't too expensive and had useable stuff...  How likely is that though?  Not very I'd imagine.

I don't like the design of the large sphere myself either, but as hasbro's said, playsets are for kids primarily and I stand by the need to capture the shape I think.  Kids need that recognizeable look.  I think the BMF is more playset than "vehicle", and look what it is?  A truncated Millenium Falcon, not individual rooms/interior sets separate of any overall "shape" the ship holds.

I think as a toy, just looking at the mockup, it'd be outstanding...  Just like the BMF, the Queen's Starship, or the Juggernaught/TurboTardTank...  Good toy, but perhaps a less than appealing collectable.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Hobbie on May 19, 2009, 08:13 PM
I, too, would rather see something modular like has been stated above, since that would allow you to piece together your own Death Star, as well as let Hasbro reuse some of the basic room walls/floors and just have different consoles/tables/throne/turbo lasers etc in each seperate set.

But I'd still be all over something like this in a heartbeat!  Presuming the doors are 4" high, maybe someone could figure out what the diameter of this thing really is?  3' tall?  Well, my BMF won't fit in the docking bay, but if they get the lower level right, you could park it right beside the doors Vader & Ben dueled in and Luke & Leia ran out to the ship from.  That'd still be pretty cool!
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: jedipurge on May 19, 2009, 08:50 PM
Ya I think I'd only get this for my little boy, when he's old enough, but for me I wouldn't want this.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: JesseVader08 on May 19, 2009, 09:46 PM
I think this thing looks very cool.  Granted, I like the idea of a modular playset, but this has some amazing potential.  I'm looking forward to seeing how big it really is and what level of detail they add to it.  Thanks for the pic Mr James.  8)
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jesse James on May 19, 2009, 09:50 PM

I defer credit to the two nutwads that gave it to me...  I've had information about this item since about 2007, and the pictures since 2008.  It was pretty intersting stuff.  It's also very, very similar to the Lego Death Star playset for the mini-figures that they put out I believe last year sometime, no?  That's pretty interesting.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: CHEWIE on May 19, 2009, 10:41 PM
Yeah like Jayson pointed out, this doesn't thrill me.

So, I guess I'm glad this hasn't come out, at least not in this fashion.  I'm still more than pleased with the custom version ( that Owen D. made, and personally I don't think Hasbro will be able to top it. 

But, you never know - and if they did, I'd absolutely get it.  But probably not if it was pieces of cardboard.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jesse James on May 19, 2009, 11:53 PM
I prefer a more detailed box style too, but like Hasbro's pointed out, they'd aim this at kids so I think that's why we're seeing mock-ups that mimic the Lego DS playset that came out semi-recently.  It's kid-friendly by comparison, more eye-catching visually, etc.

That said, I actually would probably be more inclined to buy it if it's made of a less expensive material, as that would probably be a much cheaper "toy" than plastic.  Plastic though, with bells and whistles, could definitely make it an interesting centerpiece.  I just have a hard time imagining the BMF getting bumped from that role.

On a different note, I got a couple emails regarding our photo...  Our image was cropped from a much larger, more detailed picture.  Removing all the surrounding picture allowed me to make a smaller photo that still showed all the detail the original picture captured of the prototype/mock-up in the window.  The original photo, as can be seen at Yakface, has the surrounding office in it and a box of toys.

I was asked about that box of toys as well, and it was a box of Transformers figures, which I don't know how large their shipping boxes are (it looked to me, larger than 3.75" basic figure boxes), to draw a comparison of scale using Yakface's photo.  If someone into Transformers can chime in with that info, they could probably be of more help there, however the spies photographers seemed to imply to me at the time that this mock-up would really dwarf the BMF, and be much, much larger.

I'm with your opinions on it CHEWIE, for the most part.  Like I said, if it were chipboard like the original palitoy, it might be so cheap it would be impossible to pass up, but if it's plastic I may be more inclined to pass unless it REALLY was something special.  The BMF though, is currently the centerpiece to me with little chance of being usurped.  It's not modular, and to me modular is the cooler design from a 31 year old's standpoint...  *shrugs*  What do I know though?  Last I heard Legacy stuff's hitting a stone wall at retail these days.  That bodes even more poorly for the Death Star getting made at all I think.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: GrandMoffNick on May 20, 2009, 08:20 AM
I'll take whatever they want to give us if it's a Death Star and it is under a $Trillion.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Brian on May 20, 2009, 09:13 AM
Like others have said, I think I'd prefer modular as well - but at the same time I'm happy they are looking into it at all.  I always wanted the vintage Death Star playset as a kid, and have even looked at them from time to time just to use to basically display figures now as well.  Like Jesse mentioned, the "all in one" piece is more appealing to a kid (and parent) purchaser, and if they made it with lots of bells and whistles it could possibly be a big holiday item or something.  Plus, with all the bad news we've been hearing about the sales of Legacy stuff, it would be great if they looked into something like this at all.

I'd of course have to see what the final product was like, but I think I'd probably consider picking it up if it wasn't too expensive.  Plastic would probably be coolest, but would maybe make the price skyrocket, so I'd be up for chipboard or something too.  Either way, it does have the potential to be something pretty cool.  If they put as much into it as they have the vehicles lately (which I think have really been top notch the past couple years), it could really be a fun toy.  Again, the space issue is starting to come up again.  I can't imagine possibly having the room to display all this stuff these days (BMF, AT-TE, Juggernaut, possible Death Star, etc.) - a lot of larger items being released, not that I'm complaining.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Darth_Anton on May 20, 2009, 10:08 AM
Yep. Same here. Modular. Though I'd appreciate the effort if this one came out to be true.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jayson on May 20, 2009, 04:17 PM
Adam May at GH ( seems to think this is a rumored Galactic Heroes playset. I wonder what exclusive figures will come with this.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Corax on May 20, 2009, 04:25 PM
Has anybody been able to blow up the image enough to tell what line of toys that box is from?  Adam May says it's a Galactic Heroes box but I don't see that when I blow up the photo.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jesse James on May 20, 2009, 04:33 PM
I don't follow the GH line much, so I don't know what they are or aren't getting this year...  A Death Star would be cool.

However, Adam's wrong on the box beside the Death Star.  It's not a box of Galactic Heroes figures.  My unedited photo proves it's something else that's larger.

Also the two who took the picture were conversing with me at the time, and said this item (the mock-up) is bigger than the BMF by a bit.  I recall that quite clearly as the excitement was tough to contain between the three of us, over the phone, while one admired architecture.  :)

On a completely different note, I got an email about what exactly the item is, that is pictured (prototye?  Mock-up?  Something else?)...  

A separate source, a friend of mine who works in the toy industry at large, specifically cited a mock-up of the Death Star identical to this has been "passed around" (his words) at meetings at Hasbro.  This is simply a mock-up to get an idea of scale, size, features, and how to cost-out something like that...  Basically brainstorming "how to get it done" at meetings...  That doesn't mean this is what it'll look like, or that this is guaranteed to get made.  It's also maybe not even the ONLY Death Star mock-up in existance...  It's just a tool.  Someone's idea put into a physical form to see if it'll fly.  That's all mock-ups are, ultimately.

As a scratch-build customizer, I make mock-ups to provide a basic size/shape of a vehicle project I'm starting, for instance.  It gives me an idea of the ammount of materials I need to purchase, and also some basic ideas of how to engineer the item so it's stable and some of the more basic functions and if they're possible.

Hasbro and other toy companies do the same thing...  It's usually the most basic of first steps before the item is even confirmed to be slotted in anywhere.  You have to get past feasability first of course. ;)

I had a couple questions on that though sent to me privately, and just thought I'd get that out there.

This Death Star is not "small" mind you, however that doesn't mean the same idea cannot be transferred across different lines within the brand either.  I think a GH Death Star would be a cool idea, and probably have better legs than in the 3.75" world.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jeff on May 20, 2009, 04:39 PM
Has anybody been able to blow up the image enough to tell what line of toys that box is from?  Adam May says it's a Galactic Heroes box but I don't see that when I blow up the photo.

It's a Transformers box...

I was asked about that box of toys as well, and it was a box of Transformers figures, which I don't know how large their shipping boxes are (it looked to me, larger than 3.75" basic figure boxes)
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Corax on May 20, 2009, 04:46 PM
Thanks Jeff and Jesse!!  I thought he had mentioned that it was a TF box to begin with but Adam May made a point to say that it was Galactic Heroes, so I wanted to double check. :)

Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Matt on May 20, 2009, 05:03 PM
Has anybody been able to blow up the image enough to tell what line of toys that box is from?  Adam May says it's a Galactic Heroes box but I don't see that when I blow up the photo.

It's a Transformers box...

Hey!  If Adam May says it's a Galactic Heroes box, then that's what it is.    >:(
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Rob on May 20, 2009, 08:34 PM
Hey Guys, Adam May Says That It's A Galactic Heroes Toy.  Has Anyone Been Able To Blow The Image Up Enough To Tell?   ???
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: CHEWIE on May 20, 2009, 09:33 PM
Beginning to sound like a broken record... and I agree with Jesse, this isn't a GH box next to it. 


Blow up the image that Delaton provided a bit and you can see that the bottom line appears to say "Transformers" on it.

Also, the shape of all the doorways indicates a more 3-3/4" type of figure would fit through them, and don't look at all to be designed for the obtuse shaped GH figures.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: DSJ™ on May 20, 2009, 09:42 PM
I think it's a mock-up for a Death Star Pińata.   :P   :D
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Corax on May 20, 2009, 09:54 PM
Just out of curiosity who is ghanima?  Adam May credits him for the photo at GH and ghanima is posting all kinds of details how this is a Galactic Heroes playset that has been floating around since '99 on Rebelscum.  To clarify he said it started out as a 3 and 3/4" playset but will be used for GH ad retail for $150-$200.  Is it a different user name for the two that gave you the photo Jesse or is it someone trying to exploit an opporutunity?
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: CHEWIE on May 20, 2009, 10:19 PM
I think it's a mock-up for a Death Star Pińata.   :P   :D

I think you hit the nail on the head!
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: CorranHorn on May 20, 2009, 11:55 PM
Don't you just love how the uninformed on the interwebs will get all riled up in situations like this? This is almost as funny as when the picture was snapped!  Ahh good times, good times. ;D

I think it's a mock-up for a Death Star Pińata.   :P   :D

I think you hit the nail on the head!

Oooh do we get Stormtroopers and Death Squad Commanders when the DS breaks? Cause that would make for a great party favor!
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jesse James on May 21, 2009, 12:25 AM
I have no clue who Ghanima is, nor have I ever seen that screen name that I can recall anywhere...  As far it being a Target exclusive GH Death Star, I think a Death Star playset makes more sense for the GH line since it's more geared at kids, however I cannot confirm that report at all.  I don't know any of the parties involved there.  Suffice it to say though that Ghanima is not one of the people who took the photo though.  One of them is right above me with a post there. ;)  The other is Delaton (Ash), who also works for where I'm loosely considered part of the staff (loose doesn't begin to describe that, hah).

I think, as a mock-up, it could be scaled up/down as needed...  In the image though, that is a 3.75" scaled mock-up, not a GH scaled mock-up, and the box of figures are not a box of GH figures, so Ghanima's battin' about a big goosegg so far on giving "details" about all this.

That box is, I believe, larger than a basic 3.75" figure's shipping box by a margin.  Also, the guys that took the photo at the time explicitly said to me that the mock-up was significantly large, and bigger than the BMF from what they saw.

Also, again, I was able to verify the Death Star from one of my other sources at the time I received the photo, and that this mock-up (and many, many, other items), get mocked up and passed around at meetings...  Kind of a "can we fit this in?" kind of a thing...  My other source is very trusted too, and came through with a number of Clone Wars launch details that came to fruition, and so I can verify that this mock-up has been passed around for a while for the 3.75" line...  Will it get scaled down for the GH line?  I think anything's possible...  Does the GH line have the "legs" to take a $200 playset on though?  That I question.

If it's chipboard like the Palitoy Death Star of old, and sold for significantly less, I could see it more realistically, but again I think anything is possible from Hasbro at this point.  I have no idea what the GH's line is getting though.

I just really enjoyed seeing what COULD be...  Or what's even considered.  And considering the great Playset Debate of...  well, 1995 to about now I guess...  I thought it made for a pretty cool picture.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: efranks on May 21, 2009, 02:01 AM
One of the things that I find funny is that a lot of forum posters are always talking about how they would love to see playsets, even going to the point of getting questions into the Q&A session even though Hasbro's answer is pretty much always no, but they don't actually want playsets.

They want displays.  They want something that will sit on a shelf and look pretty while holding their action figures.

A playset should focus on the "play" part of the equation.  This Death Star model looks like it was built with the thought of adding the play value to it.  It's probably more of a concept to look at size and the number of rooms that could be housed in it and give them an idea of costing than it is a real model of what the final set would be.  But it seems that they have the play features in there with corridors and multiple floors.  It would be easy to put in a trash compactor space with a chute, a detention block hallway and a throne room for the Emperor.   Maybe cover the cavern swing and tractor beam as well.  Add a skin to one side with the turbo laser and some clear green "beams" or a shooting missile and you'd have a great playset that would sit in the middle of a room and let kids shoot at it with their starfighters or blow up planet couch, toss the Rebels out with the trash or force choke them before daddy tosses big bad down the drain.

That's what a playset should be and that's what I want to see from Hasbro if they ever feel that the cost/potential sales match up.

For people that just want things to hold their figures, why not go with Ultaramas and a few printed backgrounds?  Throw in accessory pieces that are already out like the Emperor's chair from the cinema scene and the small Death Star playsets from the POTF2 line.  Bingo, you have a display and the most creative thing you would have to do is image search Google for the backgrounds to print.

Realistically, if I were Hasbro, I wouldn't do playsets either because, in general, most of what people are asking for on the various forums and Q&A sessions aren't, IMO, actual playsets. 

Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jesse James on May 21, 2009, 03:27 AM
I can't disagree with that assessment at all E...  That's why I've brainstormed how I can do it myself, add in things like opening doors, electronic features and whatnot.  For me, that's what I prefer... 

It's like the BMF...

Currently in our customizing area, there's a dude making a fully scaled for the 3.75" figures, Millenium Falcon.  It's amazingly huge, it's amazingly detailed so far...  It's sick.  I love it...  For me, I looked at the BIG Falcon model at the "Where Science Meets Imagination" exhibit in Columbus, and it's almost figure scale (insanely close), and something like that isn't practical, but man would figures look bitchin' inside/outside of it. 

The BMF rocks though, as a toy...  As toys go, I think the ARC-170 rocks, the Gunship rocks, the JSF's all rock, the X-Wings ol late rock...  They're almost all (JSF's aside) underscaled though, so for MY tastes they're not all something I want.  I bought a BMF because it's such a centerpiece to me, but really I'm so scale picky...  It saves me money, basically.

The Death Star mock-up would make an awesome toy I think, if it had all the similar bells and whistles of the BMF though.  Look at that thing!!!!  It's huge number one.  Bigger than the BMF...  Tons of rooms and stuff.  It rocks.  Much like the Terrordome from GI Joe, it is full of possibilities, and I loved me some Terrordome as a kid!  So as a toy fan, I think this Death Star has a ton of potential, if it were ever to happen (god knows, it could or not).  Look at what happened with the BMF?

But as a 31 year old collector...  Eh, I want stackable/uber detailed/uber featured (not "play" features, but more detail features) Death Star "rooms" or whatever.

I'm with you Eric, in that there's a big difference between toys and what collectors want.

Think about pre-posed figures for instance...  Do kids really love that?  I abandoned Star Wars in the 80's for GI Joe because GI Joe was poseable and way cooler.  Star Wars was not as much fun.  Hasbro cites articulation as a collector-friendly thing, but I think the reality is that articulation is something BOTH groups like a lot, but collectors have that smaller niche group that prefer posed stuff...  Articulation is, ultimately, a play feature and something that I think TOYS should have.  :)

Good side discussion here though E, thanks...  I think that's a big reason Hasbro sort of ignores the collector community over "playsets"...  I think there's just not been a verbal definition to put to it yet really, but collectors aren't thinking as much about "play" but instead details...  Kids just aren't there with that stuff.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Brian on May 21, 2009, 09:29 AM
Great to read the discussions going on here...if nothing else, this new pics has really spurred on some new action in the forums, which has maybe been a little slower lately with not as much new to report until SDCC.  I can see something like this having the aspects of a true "playset" as well, and not just being essentially a figure stand.  Although many to most of us would want this as a display piece, I don't know that Hasbro could sell it as just that.  If they were to make an item like this, they'd want it to be a holiday centerpiece that would sell to the parents/kiddos as well - and for that to happen, it needs to "do stuff" for lack of a better term.  I'm curious either way.  I mean, like the Falcon, its obvious we're not getting a "scale" Death Star or anything like that, but if its a well made toy - I'm still interested.  Like Jesse said, scale issues aside, things like the BMF, ARC 170, starfighters, etc. are just really nice toys.  The BMF is one of my favorite items Hasbro (or Kenner) has ever made, and if I had to sell it all, I'd at least keep it (and the VOTC/VTSC/equivalent figures).

As far as the Galactic Heroes issue - I guess that would still be cool as well.  That line really seems to have a good following now, and personally I still buy the OT sets (and others for our daughter, who loves them).  I don't know that the line could support a $200 Death Star (or even $100), but I guess you never know.  We just had our nephews spend the night at our house over the weekend (ages 7 and 9), and for two boys who basically do nothing but video games anymore, I bet they played with our daughters shoeboxes of Galactic Heroes (and Marvel SHS) for 3-4 hours straight, setting up battles and making up their own scenarios.  It is tough to say if the market could support an item that big for the GH line.  It would be neat either way, but I think I'd rather see one made for the basic figure line.  Also, as others have said, the BMF is essentially a "playset" as well (not really a "fly around" type of ship) - so that might be the best sort of option to get things like this out there.  A reasonably big Death Star that not only looks nice, but also has a variety of play features (that aren't obtrusive) could be another collection centerpiece.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Corax on May 21, 2009, 11:09 AM
For those wondering or who haven't seen it yet Adam May over at GH updated his post.  He confirms the box is a Deluxe Tranformers case that's next to the Death Star and it measures in at 7 and 1/2 inches.  Oh and he finally credits Delaton for taking the photo.  Adam May also says this could be the right scale for the "Dream" Death Star.

Here's the link:

Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Brian on May 21, 2009, 11:10 AM
This might be totally unrelated, but I was listening to the SW Action News podcast (Episode CXCIV) - and at about the 45 minute mark their vintage reviewer has a short interview with a friend of his from Hasbro (not sure if she is ever named) that is discussing her idea for a recent contest Hasbro had for a grand idea.  She mainly talked about her idea (Hasbro Definitive Presentation Chamber), which didn't win and/or get made, but she also said that the winner's idea would be made later this year.  Now, this contest I believe was company wide (not just SW), but I thought it was at least a possibility that this Death Star concept was perhaps a winner.  Apparently this contest took place a couple years ago.  Anyways, just thought I'd pass it along.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: jedi_master_sal on May 21, 2009, 01:04 PM
Hmm, okay so I didn't go into the details about what each room would include. Fair enough, I thought that would be assumed.

So here goes in detail (my ideas based on modular AND stackable PLAYsets):

• Red Control room:
- rotating "closet" door with room for the droids to fit behind it
- two chairs that rotate to fit Imperial officers (and Han in Stormtrooper armor)
- blast door that can move up and down
- a few cargo containers as seen in the scene
- electronics include spoken lines from this scene.
- Exclusive Imperial Officer figure
- a couple of imperial blasters

• Hangar:
- room for the BMFalcon
- 2-3 sliding blast doors
- pit with working small elevator in middle of it (this would only move a couple of inches though)
- electronics featuring the lines C-3PO used during the trash compactor scene. When you buy the Trash Compactor set, these two sets can "talk" to each other. Push a button on one to talk and the other one is activated by the lines spoken from the other set to communicate with it. Lights around the edge of the "open" area of the docking bay where the Falcon escapes out of.
- exclusive Imperial officer or scanning crew or grey suited death star squad commander

• Conference Room:
- rotating seats for all of the officers
- rising "ball" from the middle of the table
- electronics featuring the lines from the scene, backlighting against the walls
- Exclusive Tarkin (correct OLD faced Tarkin with correct ranking pips on chest, NOT a reissue of the repainted ROTS version)

• Trash Compactor:
- crushing walls that turn by a small crank that kids can easily use. Though with a warning not to stuff too much stuff between the walls as it may cause the set to break
- various "trash" accessories, most  notable being the large pipe that Han uses to try and brace the walls
- exclusive Dianoga
- electronics featuring spoken lines from the scene. When coupled with the Hangar set will interact with it speaking the other lines from the overall scene.
- room enough in the bottom that if one wanted to put water in it they could. But only about an inch worth. Though this could pose a problem with the electronics.

• Throne Room
- rotating elevator door with room for two figures (Vader/Luke)
- rotating throne that fits the Emperor
- breakaway catwalk
- electronics featuring the spoken lines in the scene, lightsaber sounds (clashes, strikes, etc), these utilizing different buttons to activate so you can quickly make the sounds YOU want to instead of having to repeatedly hit the same button, hoping to get the sound you wanted to hear.
- low lighting to create the tone/mood of the scene, flashing blue light to act as the lightning coming from the Emperor's hands
-various cargo pieces as seen next to the chasm that Luke is electrocuted by.
- recessed area for the chasm. Is only an inch or two deep, but will have a printed piece on the bottom to reflect the depth
- exclusive Imperial dignitary (pick one that hasn't been made yet, Sate Pestage maybe? Hasbro has said they want to make him)

• Hallways (for long, short, and corner sets)
- attachable semi-circular "outcroppings" as seen on some of the walls in the various scenes
- sliding blast doors
- a couple of cargo pieces
- build a droid piece. Both legs for one set, head and third leg for another set, and the body for the third hallway set.
-----for the long hallway only, modular walls, one of which being the large blast door that Han jumps through. You can make the long hall, all hallway or part hallway, part blast door, YOUR choice. hasbro would include the extra parts

The exclusive figures and build a droid parts are negotiable here as it would increase the final cost.

Each set comes with the attachable parts to stack and/or connect laterally to other sets.

This is just off the top of my head, but there could be more.

So these are not, nor were they ever intended to just be set dressing or displays for figures.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: CHEWIE on May 21, 2009, 01:33 PM
Kickass breakdown of what a Death Star playset should be, Sal... modular, diorama-esque with features, pack-in figures, etc.

And for a visual... of maybe something a bit similar, at least in terms of appearance -
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: efranks on May 21, 2009, 03:40 PM
Hmm, okay so I didn't go into the details about what each room would include. Fair enough, I thought that would be assumed.

No, I knew exactly what you were looking for Sal and I'll be honest, I'd never buy a single piece of this. 

So these are not, nor were they ever intended to just be set dressing or displays for figures.

And they're not, nor were they ever intended to be affordable. 

You have great ideas, Sal, but honestly, they're not realistic from a toy company that sells through Walmart.  As much as the ideas you have might be fun, even I wouldn't buy a box that really didn't have the full playset in it.  I've looked at some of the sets from Dwarven Forge, for example, and, although they're geared more for minis or MicroMachines, I never liked the concept of having to pick and choose what I was going to buy.  I really would prefer to buy one box and have everything that I need for the playset be in it.

I'm not counting out some ideas such as Hasbro doing the Saga Deluxe sets or the Droid Factory Padme where the accessory pieces could be joined together and added to the Geonosis Arena playset.  Those things enhance a playset.  But if I don't buy any of them, and just buy the Geo set, I get a relatively complete playset all in one box for an affordable price.

Even the concept that Playmates is using right now for Star Trek, while sounding good on paper, isn't sucking me in in reality.  I liked the idea when I first heard about it and saw photos, but when I look at it in stores I feel like I'm being forced into spending money I don't want to spend by having to buy a bunch of figures to get all the pieces I want.  I'd rather have paid another $10 for the playset, all in one box, and been done with it.

Same thing with a Death Star.  The cardboard piece we are looking at would be great if it were all in one big box.  If I had to buy two or three boxes and assemble it, I'd be less inclined to buy it. And honestly, even though I'm not a parent, I'm betting a lot of parents feel the same way.  If they see a box with a toy in it that their son or daughter wants, but they find out that they'll also have to buy two or three other boxes to "complete" it, my guess is they'd walk away.  Not all parents, but enough that it probably gives Hasbro pause. 

Some of your ideas, when put together, sound great, but how hard would it be for a 10 year old kid to talk his parents into spending $15 or $20 for a hallway?  "But mom!  I need this hallway to connect my trash compactor to my docking bay!  But it also comes with this disembodied R2 unit!"

I hate singling you out, Sal, because I do love the ideas you have, but you've put a face, so to speak, to the anonymous "forum members" I mentioned in my earlier post.  You aren't alone in wanting this type of thing.  I know Chewie is a big fan of this type of set as is Jesse and a lot of others.  But the hard core collectors on these forums aren't always the target audience for Hasbro.  Their target are toy buyers.  I'm still a toy buyer even though I'm collecting them.  I like the stuff I buy because at their heart, they're toys meant to be played with.  I've never been into prop replicas and have now cut off Sideshow because they aren't toys and don't have play value to them (exception for the FX lightsabers).  I do buy GG still because that does fit the desire I have to own a few higher end display pieces.  In general, though, I want my toys.  The playsets you talk about do have a certain amount of "toy" play value in them, but they still feel like high end display pieces, now with light and sound.

Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jesse James on May 21, 2009, 03:45 PM
I bought both Trek playsets last night at Target on sale, and I gotta say, for $20 these are outstanding...

But would these sell to SW fans?  The Bridge of the Enterprise is relatively bland...  Really, it's just seats and viewscreens.

The transporter is more a toy, and more interesting...  It's small though, ala the carbon freeze chamber. 

It makes me wonder though, how something similar would do at retail for SW.  I really liked the Carbon chamber, but apparantly only I did.  Actually I may be the only person on Earth with one opened and displayed. :)

Seirously though, these are more in line with what collectors would want IMO (though the Transporter "works" too), and yet I don't think anyone really cares about them. 
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: CHEWIE on May 21, 2009, 03:52 PM
True Jesse, however the entire Star Trek line isn't selling either.  I don't know if it's fair to compare it to Star Wars.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Jesse James on May 21, 2009, 03:56 PM
No, however like I said it's similar to the Carbon Freeze chamber (the transporter that is).  I really would say they're almost identical in similarities, in that both are very detailed, both feature very limited "play" features (the big gun on the chamber was removable of course).  Comparing the two seems fair...  And the Freeze Chamber sold dismally.  I still dig it though...  but apparantly I'm in the minority on that.

The ST Bridge playset is really nothing special, but I'm still finding it interesting...  I think it's a shame it's not selling.

I also wouldn't necessarilly say ST ISN'T selling.  I know my Target, which was first to put figures out, sold through them for several weeks...  The playsets aren't selling, but the figures are.  My WM has a huge ST display and they've moved through a lot.  It's not Star Wars sales, but it's modest enough that I think the line has legs for a couple waves.  I'm giving it Indiana Jones life expectancy at least.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: jedi_master_sal on May 21, 2009, 04:28 PM
There are some fundamental differences between us Eric on how this playset should be done. I'm fine with that.

I'll point out some of the key reasons why an all-in-one shouldn't be done.

1) Cost to consumer. For this playset to be done "right" with all the major scenes and fit at least action figures, it's going to be HUGE. Which also means it's going to be expensive. If the BMF was $150 at the start, and it's been reported that if this is the BMF version of the Death Star and it's significantly bigger, then how much do you think THAT is going to cost? I'd guess $250 at minimum. With the economy the way it is nowadays, most parents either can't afford something like that or will just flat out refuse to buy it.
Doaling the modular sets out a little at a time is much less of a money crunch on any consumer. It's much easier to buy something for $20, 30, 40, then a one time purchase of $250 or more.
Again if Hasbro markets this right, they can get people excited about buying modular. Imagine say a new piece (playset section) of the Death Star every 2-3 months. In a year the whole thing would be out to market. Over that year though, we would actually be spending MORE than the $250 that Hasbro would get for the all-in-one. Over just a little more time, Hasbro makes a lot more money. In my case frankly, I'm not plunking down that much money for something I know is going to not meet all my wants and desires for a playset for the most grand location in all of the Saga.
2) House space or kid/collector. This thing would be one big ball. Bigger than the Falcon. Now before you start the retort that the modular design would be bigger yet, understand that initially it won't. As well people can set it up how they want. So they can acommodate the space issue to their own specific needs/wants.
It would also be much easier to make space for something smaller at the start and plan it out over a longer time, than to have one honking big thing right away.
3) Retailer space- We all know shelf space is a big issue that Hasbro has brought up from time to time. Do you honestly think WM, TRU, and Target would stock something 3ft wide by 3ft tall (I'm approximating of course) for a long period of time? I don't. It would be much easier to stock smaller playsets and reorder them as needed. Also keeping that room for the new room/hallway playsets taking their place.
4) Asthetic value-while some people want the shape of the Death Star as it is from the outside, the playset itself from the inside would hardly look like the "real" thing. With curved walls all over it would detract from it. Making these specific locations within more closely replicates the scenes that were shot and also creates the room neccessary to "play" in with the figures from those scenes. Ultimately the modular set would not look like the outside of the Death Star, but it's not meant to. It's supposed to look like the scenes that were shot in the movies.

One big problem that I'm reading into this is that those in the all-in-one camp want it NOW. Right now. You (general you, not pointing to anyone in particular) can't fathom that it may take a year to get the whole set. Yet, those of us in the modular camp know that in the end, we'll have something that looks more like the actual scenes and has a potential to have much more detail, accessories, figures (if Hasbro chose to include them) and even elcetronics.

There is a HUGE difference between the BMF and the Death Star. The BMF was well made and while still not to scale, looks great because it's close enough for most.

A big ball of a playset just won't have the kind of detail in it that a modular set would. Yes it may have many of the same play features, but you are completely tied to that ONE toy.  Giving collectors and more importantly kids the option to build a grand Death Star playset how THEY want to adds to the imagination of it all. That in turn fosters more creativity and play value. Something an all-in-one just can't deliver.

For an all-in-one Death Star to be done in a manner that would satiate the modular minded folks, it would have to be much bigger than even this picture shows and it wouldn't hurt if some of those rooms could be switched round. Again though the initial cost would be through the roof. Not just for kids/collectors, but Hasbro as well.

Also take into account if this all-in-one were to bomb. Now retailers are stuck with this big POS (because were it to fail it would become a POS), they can't possibly hope to recoup costs on.

If the DS was of a modular design then were it to fail, Hasbro could either stop production or reintroduce sets at a later time.

I'd say it would be better to fail at the modular side of things because Hasbro wouldn't have all that much vested into this as the all-in-one would.

If the DS is ever done as a playset, it's going to have to be one or the other and it's going to piss off one group of another. So whichever camp you reside, be that all-in-one or modular, let's hope it just gets done. If it fails then the other group has every right to complain about it.

Thankfully this all is conjecture for the time being. Though I do enjoy a good debate on the subject and look forward to more responses. Not just from Eric either.

Oh and E, I didn't take it personally. I understand you were using my reply as a means to sound off further. No worries. I've had this very discussion more than one here and on other boards. I'm quite happy to talk it out again. especially if it garners the attention of Hasbro and gives them some ideas one way or the other.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: CHEWIE on May 21, 2009, 05:41 PM
I kind of liked the Freeze Chamber playset too, I have one on display.  I'd buy a ton of playsets done in that manner... did that thing ever even make it to retail?  I seem to remember it being online only, but maybe I'm wrong.  It's a good argument though that given it wasn't all that popular that Hasbro used it as a reason to stop on playsets for a while... but really, I think Star Wars has a lot more popularity and market share in 2009 than it did in 2001.  So that sort of item I think would do better in today's collecting climate than 8 years ago.

Anyways, another way to maybe design a Death Star playset would be to look at the old vintage micro line for inspiration.  I always loved the look of those playsets and thought they had a good diorama feel to them as well as nice play features.

Also it's fun to see this sort of speculation again across several forums, regardless of what Hasbro has in mind.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: Brian on May 22, 2009, 09:41 AM
I sort of forgot about that Freeze Chamber set, I always wanted to pick that up.  I might have to see what they are going for these days.  Although a lot of the focus for playsets is on bigger (or modular) stuff, I wouldn't mind seeing more along the size of the Freeze Chamber (or, as an example, the Trek sets).  I've often looked at vintage Dagobah sets to pick up to display modern figures, and I wouldn't mind seeing a new version of that and some of the other small-to-medium sized sets from the vintage days.

I'm someone that could definitely appreciate all the detail and overall look that modular sets could bring.  I do think the "big set in a box" might be a better choice as far as Hasbro's outlook, and the retail situation.  If you have parents looking to buy a big SW item for their kid this holiday season, seeing an endcap with a big Death Star playset on it is probably a better draw (although are kids really interested in OT stuff that much anymore?).  The fact that something like this is even being considered with all the Clone Wars focus right now is great, and somewhat unexpected.  I can appreciate the "slow build" over time with a really nice Death Star set, and I think a lot of us have been clamoring for "build-a" sets for awhile now - but it might be tricky at retail.  You have the issues that have been mentioned (trying to sell a $15 hallway), and there's also the standpoint of someone who comes in late (new collector or kid), and missed the first few pieces.  These likely aren't all going to continue shipping (like figures), and someone who isn't going to track them down on ebay (thinking mainly of kids/parents) would be out of luck.  You don't have that issue with a set in a box.

If/when this does get made - particularly if it is action figure scale (and not GH) - it would be interesting to see how it does.  Honestly, if it does hit that $250 pricepoint mentioned earlier, I think it will likely be a failure.  The Falcon, as awesome as it is, was a tough sell at $150 - and hit clearance in many to most markets.  I don't think a Death Star can go much higher than that price.  Plus, if it is on the way this year, it once again is going to have the competition of a CW vehicle (TurboTank) - not to mention the new $60 line with the Y-Wing and others.  That's not to mention the rumored exclusives (Wedge X-Wing, new AT-ST, etc.) - and it is going to stretch collectors pretty thin once again.  Many of us have to choose one "big item" over the other, no matter how much we'd like to have both - and I think parents most definitely are just buying one or the other.  Although times are definitely different now, I think you could use a little bit of a model from the vintage line and just have the one "big item" each year for the holiday season.  The other stuff can come out throughout the year, and then build to the big finish at Christmas.  Also, those were simpler times, and now we essentially have two "main lines" going with Clone Wars and TLC.  Back then it was just "Star Wars", and they weren't competing with themselves as much as they are these days.
Title: Re: A Death Star Playset?
Post by: speedermike on May 22, 2009, 10:53 PM
I think the only way that a modular Death Star would make sense financially, is that the sets would have to be chosen specifically so that people would have the opportunity to buy 2 of a certain piece.  For instance, let's say that one of the piece is a Detention block.  Some of us might buy 2 or 3 and customize a bigger DS.  However, I don't think anyone would buy 2 conference rooms, or 2 trash compactors.