Thanks guys. I've gotta add that Jared (Tydirium) deserves a TON of credit as well, since he's been our unofficial official staff photographer at this event. So huge props to him for snapping pix over the first couple days (some of which are still forthcoming).
Let's see... What else? As has been already noted, and it's possible it was Bob at the Q & A who asked them, but Hasbro was quite keen on the idea of the "vs." 2-packs. They gave their usual "nothing's planned at this time" answer, but this time they quickly stated how much they like the idea and that's it's something that's being considered over there.
A few other notes which have already been covered, I'm sure: Hasbro said the "Super Articulated" figures would continue to a degree, where it was deemed appropriate - most notably in the army building figures. So I was glad to hear that they understood that was the best place to start with SA.
Also in respect to army builders, Hasbro said at their Q & A that their new concept of interchangeable/removable heads (and arms) seems to be doing well, and if it continues to do so, they'd definitely be open to doing more of them. People were suggesting to them such things as a Rebel Pilot or Imperial Officier figure, with several different heads. They were open to the concept, so that's a start, at least. We applauded their work on the double armed Dagobah Luke, but (don't kill me) nobody asked about a neutral set of arms. I'll try to run that idea/gripe by them tomorrow though.
As for Ephant Mon, Hasbro finally admitted it was a huge financial loss, and therefore refuse to stick him back on a standard card again. So best to get him while you can! But they said they might consider offering him at a slightly higher price point in a future Deluxe theme or some type of multi-pack. So don't give up total hope quite yet...
Fan's Choice Voting: Nothing 'til 2006, if at all. Hasbro was oddly aloof with this issue. For some weird reason, Hasbro felt the next Fan's Choice had to be solely for Ep. 3, but they didn't want to release any spoilers, so they haven't done one and now they're not even interested in doing one for Ep. 3 at all during 2005. They said maybe 2006. An OT figure choice was obviously suggested to them, but they shunned the idea. They also said NO vehicle or playset Fan's Choice Polls - probably EVER.
No plans for a basic carded Wedge figure, despite the moans and groans from many people.
They said the Action Features will be back for Ep. 3, for the kids (of course). Speaking of which, Hasbro babbled the same incessant nonsense the whole meeting, just like last year: We're doing this for the kids
, etc, etc, etc, over and over and over... Don't think I heard them say "collector" even once. Made me want to jump out of my chair and pull some "Falling Down" crap on them...
They're NEVER going to get it, apparently. What kids?! Even in a movie year there's NO kids hardly. Maybe a small handful for a couple of months, but that's about it.
Bobb's right. I did give them a stern earful on a number of subjects, contrary to most of the ass-kissing everyone else was giving them on EVERYTHING. I definitely offered them praise where it was due as well though. What's funny (or not so much), is that several times they didn't even know what I was talking about, and it was regarding some pretty basic stuff.
I mentioned to every one of their reps that I could get my hands on that I was very excited that we were finally getting a Cantina wave, but that I was VERY disappointed, as were most collectors, that Hem Dazon/Arcona was not included within it. I pointed out that character's significance to that entire scene, being the very first alien that we see pop up right as the Cantina music starts. Iconic, almost. They understood, and sounded interested in getting us Arcona at some point. Might even be in the pipeline already. Who knows. Those waves they mentioned today were pretty small, so hopefully they'll surprise us and add another figure or two into them.
As far as playsets go, they're definitely being worked on, and OT ones at that. They mentioned that they toyed with the idea of getting a modular Death Star playset out for the DVD release, but ultimately ran out of time to do it properly (which is fine by me - since I'd rather they do it right!) But they mentioned that some OT ones would be coming eventually, but in a "new form", which I'd guess would just be the modular theme, as evidenced by their earlier Death Star comment. Like with most of the OT stuff though, I think we're looking at a 2006 release unfortunately, since the Ep. 3 line is going to dominate 2005. I'll pump them for more info on whether the OT is toast for next year, after the Cantina wave...
Other "NO's": Action Fleet and any George Lucas figure(s). They also said no to any EU and NJO figures, but didn't rule them out completely, mading it sound like it was a possibility later on down the line. Much later, I'd guess, when they really start running out of other potential characters to work with.
Animated ARC Trooper WILL come in both Red and Blue. Sounds like there's a 4th separate figure in that Animated wave (with Anakin and Grievous), but they wouldn't comment on it for some reason.
Other random tidbits: Unleashed will be coming to other retail outlets supposedly - including Target and Walmart. And if you're looking to pick up a re-released Vader, they'll only be recarding the one with his mask on. Also, very little info on the 12" line. They mentioned the KB exclusive Chewie, and it sounded like there might be another exclusive 12"er or two later, as well as Ep. 3 12" product too. But overall, the Hasbro reps seemed to have a very "defeated" attitude with the 12" line, as if it's prospects for the future was very glim.
That's all for now. Hopefully more to come later...