Back in 2011, at San Diego Comic-Con, Gentle Giant previewed a mini bust of General Veers in his helmet and armor from his appearance commanding an AT-AT in The Empire Strikes Back. At the time, Gentle Giant announced that he would be the standard release and a deluxe bust would be offered for pre-order in 2012, as a Premier Guild exclusive, that would have removable armor and a second portrait allowing owners to display him as a regular officer or in command of the AT-AT.
That has changed. Some time during the production of the busts, it was decided by Gentle Giant that the general release would be Veers in his officer outfit only, no AT-AT armor. That was, apparently, never announced.
It wasn’t until the busts started showing up that people discovered the problem. As of Sunday, the order page for the regular release still showed Veers in his armor and online retailers still were showing that as well.
Yesterday, Gentle Giant updated their website to show Veers in his officer outfit, updated the description and issued the following statement to their Facebook page:
The concept for the regular edition of our General Veers Mini Bust changed in development. Originally, the regular edition bust featured General Veers wearing un-removable AT-AT pilot armor. In revising the bust, we decided to display him in his officer’s uniform instead. We failed to keep you updated about the nature of these changes before this piece was released. This was unintentional, and we sincerely apologize for any disappointment and confusion this error has caused. If you are not satisfied with the final product, please return it and we will be happy to issue a full refund.
The Team at Gentle Giant Ltd
The main issue here is that many collectors ordered the regular release as Veers in his helmet and armor is the more desirable choice, he was cheaper than the deluxe release and offered for pre-order first. The result was that his edition size is 1,200 pieces while the Premier Guild exclusive is limited to only 430 pieces. Since this problem was discovered, the PGM version has sold out leaving, possibly, hundreds of fans without the ability to order the bust they thought they’d be getting. A bust that was advertised for well over a year.
The apology by Gentle Giant is unacceptable.
It’s a complete slap in the face to collectors who have been discussing the bust on forums for a year, forums that Gentle Giant themselves are members of.
It’s false advertising by Gentle Giant who not only left the incorrect sales page live on their website long after they knew there was a change, but they also continued to allow their retail partners to advertise the incorrect bust.
Gentle Giant has failed time and time again to be a good steward of the Star Wars license and they seem both unwilling and incapable of correcting their errors even when they’ve been pointed out to them. They’re always “trying” to do better, listening to the fans and doing their best. Yet each time they come to a point where a decision can be made that will rectify their utter incompetence, they always, always, make the wrong choice.
Lucas Licensing seems to have turned a blind eye to the years of complaints over Gentle Giant’s handling of the property and of customer complaints. This is one time that I can truly say I hope Disney’s new ownership of the Star Wars property will impact the way the various licensees deal with customers.
I think the only choice, after years of neglect and mismanagement, is for Gentle Giant to have their license revoked.