Session 48 - March 12, 2008
At Toy Fair you introduced the new Rebellion Pilots Legacy evolution pack. Ten Nunb again comes with a white B-Wing pilot gear while this character doesn't have any screentime (cut scene). There is a sullustian pilot figure seen several times on screen in Episode VI but that guy does have a red B-Wing pilot gear. Why didn't you decided to release that guy within the evolution pack, he would slot very well into the evolution pack better than the white guy I think. And with your statement that there wouldn't be a sullustian pilot with the next B-Wing fighter chances seems to be quite small to get a red sullustian B-Wing pilot figure anytime and that would be very disappointing. Would you please think about that point and perhaps recolor the sullustian B-Wing pilot for the upcoming evolution set? (4-".de, 03/12/08) Ten Numb was drawn from Lucasfilm archive reference. We knew that we were going to be doing two Evolution Pilot packs, and wanted to mix it up as much as possible within the packs, as some of the body tooling will be shared. To this end, we selected Kayan Farlander (a human pilot) for the second pack, in his red outfit and it made sense to provide an upgrade over the previous Ten Numb. We really like the Rebel Pilots, and can guarantee that not too far down the road there will be a red-suited Sullustan pilot. As for the rumored TRU B-Wing, you will have to wait a little longer for news on that. We will say that it is not tied to the OTC, but, in fact, something else is brewing in the Expanded Universe that we do not want to announce just yet.
Pictures of the Padmé Amidala evolution pack let the different Amidala figures packed within that set appear different in sizing. Can you affirm that the three Amidala figures will have the same size or do they have different sizes? If that what is the hidden agenda related to that decision? (4-".de, 03/12/08) The Padmes should be the same size. If there is variation, it is due to the inherent nature of toy manufacturing, where during sculpting, casting, tooling, and assembly some variation can creep in. It is not intentional in any case.
The Amidala Evolution Set lets speculations arise for some more Sets of a single evolutionary character i.e. Palpatine. Could you imagine to go this way the next couple of years? (4-".de, 03/12/08) Actually, this year has been an exhausting one for the Evolution line, with a total of eight sets in the works, each one containing three substantially new figures (or new heads, in the case of the second Rebel pilots sets). That's a lot of pretty demanding figures needed to keep the line going! As such, will probably be resting it for a while after this Fall. We might get back to it at some point; it's tough to keep a great idea down. As soon as our sculpting team forgives us, that is.... ******************************************************************
You've said in the past that you were done with animated figures, that your testing had shown the realistic style to be far preferred over animated, yet the new Clone Wars show's figures are based on its animation rather than the realistic style. What was the thinking behind going animated-style with these rather than realistic? (AF, 03/12/08) We said that we were done with pre-posed figures done in an exaggerated style. The new animated figures are grounded in an animation style, but they are not based on the exact silhouettes of the animated characters. Instead, they are a step toward the realistic style, and designed with a high degree of articulation as needed. We felt that it was important to pick up some of the style cues from the animation to best match the toys to the entertainment, but to design as much as possible with the collector in mind and draw them closer to the realistic style.
[editor's note: Hasbro's previous answers to which we referred, June 9, 2006 - 'Characters in Clone Wars are great - and we're looking at ways of getting more of them in the line for 2007. However any we do will be in "realistic" styling rather than animated. We’ve done some polling with fans, and overall the realistic style is preferred.'; June 16, 2006 - 'We do have plans for some of these characters in 2007, but we won't be announcing the specifics just yet. However, any we do will be in "realistic" styling rather than animated. We done some polling with fans, and overall the realistic style is prefered over the animated style so we are going to stick with that.'; April 17, 2007 - 'We will not be producing any more of the Clone Wars animated-style figures. Unfortunately, for each one of these we produced, we did not get results on par with the realistically styled versions of Clone Wars characters. Realistic is where we will be keeping our focus']
Hasbro's Toy Fair press release uses a July 26th availability date for all the Clone Wars products, as well as the new Legacy Collection line, and does not include an "approximate" qualifier. Will this be just a tentative on-shelf date, or is this a more "concrete" release date like those of the intial prequel films' product lines? (AF, 03/12/08) It will be a hard-coded on-shelf date similar to the Episode III on-shelf date.
The Comic Packs are a very welcomed addition to a lot of Star Wars collectors, but there is a lot of buzz about Hasbro's choices of whom to include in these packs. Many collectors are wondering how does Hasbro chose which characters to make, since the ToyFare fans' choice poll a few years ago included a lot of comic-based characters such as Exar Kun, Guri and others who have yet to receive the action figure treatment. So how does Hasbro plan these packs, and just what goes into your choices? (AF, 03/12/08) We're glad you like the Comic Packs as much as we do. The overall line selection is based on a variety of factors, primary among them being a balance overall in each wave between known characters and more collector-targeted characters (this is very similar to the way we manage basic figure wave composition). For each wave we are looking for new takes on hero character(s) along with a limited number of new or lesser-known but very interesting (and uniquely Star Wars) characters. The process is that we read each comic and pick out the most interesting characters and new takes on classic for each issue, keeping track in a master spreadsheet that becomes the database for our wave selection. We draw from that a wave of packs that go together meeting the above criteria, giving kid/collector traction to each wave. The Toy Fare Fans' Choice poll has been a great inspiration and we have done some of those characters in comic form (including Quinlan Vos and Kir Kanos), but we haven't been filling out the packs with choices primarily from the list, and have been using some of our own favorites and consulting with Dark Horse on some of theirs. It won't be too long (within a year) before a character that you cite - Exar Kun - will get his first figure in the comic pack lineup.******************************************************************
It is something of an obvious statement that there are millions of Star Wars fans all over the world, the majority of whom are indubitably hooked up to the internet. Now, even if all the outlet retail chains in the U.S.A. were to pass up on such big-ticket items as the AT-TE and Big Honkin’ Millennium Falcon we’ve heard about (and I actually hope they don’t), would it not still be possible to turn a profit by selling them over the internet, considering the large numbers of good e-tailers across the globe? (CC, 03/12/08) While the Internet is a great business model, it would not be enough to sustain large tooling-intensive vehicles such as the AT-TE (it is barely enough to sustain some exclusive runs!). A large majority of the Star Wars collecting audience still enjoys shopping at retail (“the thrill of the hunt”) and that is where we will keep our focus with the vast majority of Star Wars offerings.
Are you planning to do any Vong ships/figures/etc. in the future? Like Nom Anor, Tsavong Lah, Shimmra (with Onimi in a 2 pk) or even just Vergere? (I dunno why, but I really like the character.) (CC, 03/12/08) We will have at least one Yuuzhan Vong figure coming up in a comic 2-pack, and we would like to do more of them as time goes on. Whether we get to 3¾” vehicles is another story - as we would need some serious additional exposure (and perhaps entertainment support) to justify. Vergere is very interesting, but there is a long list of worthy Legacy characters in line before her.******************************************************************
Considering the advances that the Star Wars team has made in action figure engineering, is it now possible to create a transforming Droideka? (We're sure the Transformers folks would enjoy the competition!) During the Episode I era we were told that a three-part helmet for Darth Vader was impossible, so is our favorite action figure team up for the challenge? (Then we'll get to the collapsing Pit Droid!) (GH, 03/12/08) Interesting question. The science of Star Wars figure design and articulation certainly has come far. We admit that we don't have these figures on the drawing board, but it poses an interesting challenge. We'll share the results with the team and see if there is a possibility for "down the road" to tackle these challenges. Thanks.
Now that the cat is out of the bag about Darth Vader's Transmission (Comic Con Exclusive), which version of the Emperor's floating head will we get? The recut version? The crazy monkey eyes (pre-DVD) version? Or might there be a variant? (GH, 03/12/08) The Emperor is from the Empire Strikes Back - Special Edition, rather than the monkey-eyes version. However, there may be a future Emperor figure himself down the road that has those primal primate eyes. Stay tuned…!
Is the Shadows of the Empire Princess Leia shown at Toy Fair the final sculpt, or is there still hope for some retooling of her legs to give her smaller thinner ankles? Those fat "cankles" looked really awkward on an otherwise great looking figure. Also, does the Hoth Princess Leia (from the other 2-Pack) have new articulation, or is she a repaint of the POTJ-era Princess Leia? (GH, 03/12/08) What do you mean “cankles”?! We purposely gave her full-figured ankles because some people may be attracted to that sort of thing! Seriously, in this case, Princess Leia’s small stature created manufacturing difficulties for thin ankles - always an issue with Princess Leia and other females (and Battle Droids, too). When we add extra articulation to elbows, shoulders, and in this case ankles, there are minimum requirements that need to be allowed for when insert molding the nylon pins. In larger figures this is less of an issue because there is more mass to incorporate these restrictions. Princess Leia Hoth has a new head, but the body is the existing body.******************************************************************
Can u confirm the Lt. Tank Sunber figure rumor? If yes, will he have a clean uniform, or will it have battle damage? (I'd prefer a clean uniform!) (IS, 03/12/08)* We can confirm a Tank figure is in the works, as part of the comic pack series. He will hit the shelves later this Fall. As for his uniform, we're going to keep it under raps until Comic Con.
Now that we have Bane Malar, can we expect to see my favorite obscure mercenary from Jabba's Palace, the famed white suit black masked Sgt. Doallyn? (He'd probably be an easy repaint, but just have a different helmet) (IS, 03/12/08)* We know fans have been asking for Sgt Doallyn for some time. He is not currently slotted into the lineup in the near-term, but he is on the"short list" for the next time we plan a RotJ wave so it won't be too long before his time will come. Interesting point on whether he can be a substantially repainted figure; we haven't looked into it but certainly will. If that's the case, it could speed up his chances to find a home in another project elsewhere in the lineup.
Hasbro, would you ever entertain the idea of making furniture and set pieces that correspond to particular movie scenes and planets? I would have loved to see the actual table and chairs packed with that bespin bp that just came out. Or make a Hoth bp and pack it with tactical screens and computer stations perhaps? (IS, 03/12/08)* We have, in fact, done the tactical screen from Hoth in our 2004 Ultra series. Unfortunately, these diorama pieces prove to be less popular than figures or vehicles, and as a result it has not been the best investment of our resources (tooling especially). However, we do know that there is fan interest there in these set pieces, and we are looking at opportunities to get them in here or there (much like we have done with Cantina pieces in the past, or even the Jedi Council from the Cinema Scene series).******************************************************************Legacy Wave 1 features a new Darth Vader with an apparently multi-piece removable helmet, but unfortunately we haven’t really seen any good pics of the helmet off Vader’s head. Can you share a picture (or an explanation if no pics are available yet) of how many pieces his helmet will have? And is it true that this same figure is the basis for the white “Infinities” Darth Vader from the upcoming comic-pack shown at Toy Fair? (JD, 03/12/08) Initially, the head will be attached and will not be removable from the collar (our factory decided to tool the top of the head only) and we are looking to make a running change to a full head that is separate from the collar. We will send pictures as available. The Darth Vader from the Infinities pack is not the same figure, and is based on another existing Vader figure.There appears to be some confusion on the SDCC exclusive that you announced at the Toy Fair collector event. The "Executor Meditation Chamber" exclusive is not really a “playset" per se, just a new Holo Emperor and Darth Vader figure set, correct? And will the figures be new sculpts or repacks? (JD, 03/12/08) The "Disturbance in the Force," the HasbroToyShop.com exclusive for San Diego Comic Con consists of an existing Vader, a newly tooled base with lights and sounds, and a new holographic Emperor bust. When the medallion in the center of the base is pressed, the hologram and light in the middle of the medallion light up, and a loooong sequence of movie dialogue is started. This is one cool exclusive, and it will also be available online after the Convention starts.The Galactic Heroes shown at Toy Fair looked awesome. A dewback, a rancor, new vehicles - everything fans of the line have been asking for and more! However, you're not expecting us to believe 2008 is going to come and go without a GH version of Ahsoka (or any of the other characters from the new Clone Wars cartoon), are you? It may be a long shot, but is there any chance of an Asajj Ventress GH figure? (JD, 03/12/08) Well now, we were hoping to leave some info for Comic Con but ya beat us to it. We can indeed confirm that at least one of these female lightsaber wielders will be out for Galactic Heroes. Exact timing is still TBD, but look for them on shelf by mid-Nov.******************************************************************
In reference to the new Clone Wars animated series figures we have seen - do they all have knee articulation? Some are in question such as Anakin and Obi-Wan (although due to their tunics may be useless anyways), but mostly the Battle Droid. He seems to have elbow articulation and is a nice sculpt. If he had knee articulation, he would be pretty darn complete. (JI, 03/12/08) Not all figures have knee articulation in their basic figure form. Obi-Wan, Anakin, and the Battle Droid do not have knee articulation.
Will the Durge figure that is slated for the upcoming Comic 2-Pack have interchangeable hands? (JI, 03/12/08) He will not have interchangeable hands.
Can you tell us anything about the Star Wars SDCC exclusives yet, and will there be Hasbro exclusives for Celebration Japan that will be taking place later this year? (JI, 03/12/08) The HasbroToyShop.com exclusives for San Diego Comic Con will include "Distrubance in the Force," an awesome 3-3/4" set that will include Vader supplicating before a giant holographic head of the Emperor. What makes it special is the light-up base and very long sound chip, playing pretty much the entire sequence. Also at Comic Con will be a Mighty Muggs General Gree, and a Mighty Muggs Golden Idol from Indy. To top it off, San Diego will also debut some event-specific t-shirts for Mighty Muggs - both Star Wars and Indy. There will be no Hasbro exclusives unique to Celebration Japan, although some of our San Diego exclusives may debut there and be available in the U.S. the following week.******************************************************************
With the announcement of Celebration Japan later this year, can you tell us if they’ll be a show exclusive(s) and if so what it will be? (jn.co.uk, 03/12/08) Our participation, because of the proximity to San Diego Comic Con, will be limited as our efforts are focused on making sure that Comic Con is a success for fans stateside. Our partner in Japan, Tomy, will be releasing news on what they will be doing at Celebration Japan on their own timetable.
Were very glad to see that the Galactic Heroes line is getting a lot of love in 2008, thanks for that. You’ve made a lot of figures from Jabba’s Palace and we’re getting a new R2 from the Sail Barge along with a Slave Leia. All that’s really missing from this scene is Jabba’s Band with Dancers - any chance we’ll see this as a Cinema Scene or in two pack form any time soon? It could connect to the Jabba Cinema Scene in the same way as the two Cantina Scenes link together for extra play value! (jn.co.uk, 03/12/08) That is a good idea, and one that we have thought about but just have not slotted into the lineup. If Galactic Heroes continues to grow in popularity as it has been, that pack will probably be done at some point….we just don't have an idea when.
You’ve confirmed that there’s no Episode I wave in The Legacy Collection this year but there will be in 2009; was this a conscious choice because next year is the 10th anniversary of Episode I? If this is the case, will you be doing anything special to commemorate it? Talking of anniversaries, this year is the 25th anniversary of Episode VI, consequently will we be seeing anything special to celebrate this – Jabba on Throne maybe or perhaps you have something else up your sleeves... If so, can you share it with us? (jn.co.uk, 03/12/08) We skipped this year for an EpI wave because, compared to the other waves in the lineup, we felt that we had some stronger waves elsewhere. While next year is the 10th Anniv of EpI, we don't plan on necessarily celebrating in any big way (the same goes for EpVI). We might do something to acknlowdge the 10th Annv., but it might be more subtle. That's not to say we don't see growing interest and potential for EpI; we feel that the years ahead will see continued growth in the collector ranks of folks interested in EpI and plan to definitely meet that demand as it unfolds longer-term.******************************************************************
As of this writing, StarWars.com has just released imagery of the new Clone Wars line's packaging. In that article it was stated that the new line will debut on July 26th. Is this the kind of hard street date that we've seen in the past with the other movie lines, and do you expect your retail partners to hold midnight madness type events? (JTA, 03/12/08) It is a hard street date that will be held across the entire Star Wars Fall line (the Legacy Collection included). There will indeed be similar activity as during Episode III, but the exact nature has yet to be determined. We will keep everyone informed as the details shape up.
The current state of the Star Wars planogram in stores has evolved to the point where shelf space is at a premium. And it seems that barring exclusives, the Starfighter vehicle line is the only vehicle line that we can expect at most stores. Certainly, we've seen speeder bikes packed in the Battle Pack line, but what about other small vehicles like the land speeder or Coruscant speeders? Can we expect vehicles like these at all? (JTA, 03/12/08) Shelf space has always been at a premium in the boys aisle, and this year is no exception. While speeder bikes will return in Battle Pack format, the other vehicles are not a part of our focus right now. We just haven't had the slot to put a landspeeder in the line. It seems to make the most sense as an exclusive, but hasn't made the cut yet. As for Coruscant speeders, these don't seem to be that exciting or in need of a re-release right now, and haven't be an area of focus when it comes to the Starfighter vehicles.
In a previous Q&A with JTA, Hasbro grudgingly seemed to confirm that we might be getting a giant Emporer Palpatine's holographic head. Would said hypothetical offering be in the Basic Figure line, or part of a Battle Pack? And if it is part of a Battle Pack, what else might we get in such a set? [post-Toy Fair note: This was confirmed at Toy Fair] (JTA, 03/12/08) Chuck – we are pleased to announce the details on this one. "Disturbance in the Force," the HasbroToyShop.com exclusive for San Diego Comic Con, consists of an existing Vader, a newly tooled base with lights and sounds, and a new holographic Emperor bust. When the medallion in the center of the base is pressed, the hologram and light in the middle of the medallion light up, and a loooong sequence of movie dialogue is started. This is one cool exclusive, and will also be available online after the Convention starts.******************************************************************
Over the last few years you have been very kind to collectors of Imperial and Republic forces, with great-quality releases of Death Star Gunners, Death Star Troopers, AT-AT Drivers, Vintage and Evolution Sand/Snow/Scout/Storm troopers, not to mention two different decorated clones for every color of the rainbow.
I'm wondering if there are any near-term plans to give their rebel brethren some love? The Endor Rebels from Saga06 and the recent Vanguard Trooper were decent but suffered from their origins as kit bashes of the '02 Endor Rebel. Are there any plans to refresh the Endor troops with a new torso sculpt that will bring them up to the standards of the Empire?
The situation for Hoth on the other hand can only be described as dire. The '04 version looks quite rough even by the standards of the other '04 figures, and really doesn't stand up to today's figures in terms of either sculpt or articulation. We now have Major Derlin, General Rieekan, VTAC Han and even Gen. McQuarrie but no-one in the infantry that deserves to be led by them. Are there any plans to rectify this situation? If not, Hoth might be overrun by the Empire! ...and we wouldn't want that to happen. (MD, 03/12/08) Give us some time, and we think you will be very pleased with the way the Rebel forces are shaping up, including numerous pilots this Fall in mainline and exclusive sets (and don't forget - we recently had a great Yavin Sentry and A-Wing pilot, too!). Specifically, to your question of a super-articulated Rebel Commando, he is on the "short list" to do the next time we draw up a RotJ wave.
One figure I still cherish from the vintage days of KENNER of course is Jabba the Hutt. Earlier Versions of this figure from 95 to now aren't up to today's standards you must admit. Hasbro are ALWAYS pushing the boundaries, especially of late, with awesome new sculpts and articulation and even AMAZING paintjobs on figures that you cannot believe until the item is in hand. Is there demand enough to make a similar style Jabba with Dais-which hasn't been done as of yet-maybe even a 2pk with Gardulla??? You must admit the spitting frog and goo, and the poor paint work on this figure past DOESN'T do it justice. Thank you for your time. (MD, 03/12/08) We agree wholeheartedly. However, the challenge with Jabba is finding the way to get him into the line and cover the tooling costs of a new figure (and, if possible, the dais as you mention). We are looking at ways of making it happen, but do not have the specific package for him yet. It will not be '08 in any case.
In previous Q&A sessions, you said that the 'Clone Wars' figures would be both in the 'realistic' style and wouldn't contain many - if any - action features. Now we've seen from Toy Fair that both of these are false. Taking into account the lead time required to both design and produce the figures leading to the products shown at Toy Fair, why were collectors mislead regarding these products? (MD, 03/12/08) We never stated that the Clone Wars figures would be produced in a realistic style. We said that they would not be produced in an exaggerated, pre-posed style as the earlier cartoon-style figures were.
In fact, the figures have been designed so they are one step closer to their realistic counterparts in terms of proportions and style rather than exact matches to the on-screen silhouettes. Regarding features, there is only one figure (Yoda) in the line-up that has a dedicated feature (a launching feature in his sleeve). All of the rest of the features are snap-on launchers and may be removed easily.******************************************************************
Thanks for a great Toy Fair. I was disappointed that you did not show the Battle on Mygeeto Battle Pack. Could you tell us about the Commander Bacara figure? The picture that has been shown online seems to show a more articulated Commander Bacara. Could you let us know if the Bacara is new, slightly re-done, or will it end up just being the old Bacara mold from the ROTS line? (RS, 03/12/08) We did not show the Mygeeto pack as our focus was on Fall for the most part. You do have sharp eyes. The Bacara figure has been upgraded to an SA body for this set, using the same helmet and detachable gear.
Who is Bane Malar? We ask the question rhetorically, as we'd like to hear Hasbro's take on the figure. Best as most of us can tell, he's a photoshopped character from the Decipher Star Wars Customizable Card Game. From what we can see he's not visible in the film, and while he's easily confused with the character that gets thrown down the stairs when Boushh brings Chewie in for the bounty, the EU has established that character as Sgt. Doallyn. Stills from the film bare out that there are differences in the helmets between Decipher's Bane, the character that gets thrown down the stairs, and then Decipher's Doallyn, which they have incorrectly labeled as Skiff Guard from the Carkoon sequence - with yet another, albeit similar helmet.
Can you help illustrate the process by which a character like this gets chosen, and perhaps tell us what the bio on the card back will read? While the figure looks great, it is one of the more "confusing" choices out there, and we'd LOVE to hear YOUR take on the Malar/Doallyn confusion. (RS, 03/12/08) Bane Malor is a character drawn from Lucasfilm archive reference material to which we have access. We double checked with Lucasfilm just to make sure, and indeed he is in on-set photos, but whether he actually made any background scenes has yet to be determined. He is without a doubt a different character from Sgt. Doallyn. Malor was actually brought to our attention during a past Q&A session, and became part of the "parking lot" that we regularly draw from when creating waves for a specific movie. At the time we selected him, we assumed he was on screen somewhere and was interesting to us, our own team favorite pick to complement Yarna (who is a deliberate nod to the fans). While it'll be a little wait before we actually do Doallyn, he is definitely on the short list for the next time we plan plan for a RotJ wave.
Can you illustrate the decision process behind the gray flight suit Ten Nunb in the upcoming Evolutions pack? Outside of a photo in the Star Wars Chronicles, there is no other reference to that appearance of the character. In the film, the same character shows up twice, in B-Wing pilot's gear, but like the other B-Wing pilots, the flightsuit is RED! The Y-Wing pilots are the pilots that wear gray. There is ample reference to back this up, so can you help us with how this decision came about?
And while you're at it, how about some words about the second Rebel Pilots Evolutions set that's in all the retail systems - we understand that it's the same mix of figures, and thus, they'll be largely repaints with new helmet deco and head sculpts - will the B-Wing Pilot in that set (reportedly Keyan Farlander) sport the PROPER Red flightsuit, and B-Wing style head gear (different from the others that have been released so far)? How about the B-Wing pilot in the upcoming TRU exclusive B-Wing (shelf tags have already been spotted for the item). (RS, 03/12/08) Ten Numb was drawn from Lucasfilm archive reference. We knew that we were going to be doing two Evolution Pilot packs, and wanted to mix it up as much as possible within the packs, as some of the body tooling will be shared. To this end, we *did* select Kayan Farlander for the second pack, in his red outfit (and head gear), and it made sense to provide an upgrade over the previous Ten Numb. We really like the Rebel Pilots, and can guarantee that not too far down the road there will be a red-suited Sullustan pilot. As for the rumored TRU B-Wing, you will have to wait a little longer for news on that. We will say that it is not tied to the OTC, but in fact something else brewing in the Expanded Universe that we do not want to announce just yet.******************************************************************
The Galactic Heroes Darth Vader TIE Fighter shown at Toy Fair looks great! Will it have any sound or action features? (RTM, 03/12/08) There are no electronic features in the Galactic Heroes TIE Fighter. This would have pushed costing up too high to be able to do the vehicle. However, it does have panels that you can remove by hand to simulate battle. Other than that, there are no other features.
The new Jungle Rancor looks impressive, and I'm even more surprised to see that it's a new mold rather than a rehash of old POTF one. That said, it's disappointing to see that this behemoth is only going to be a store exclusive. What goes into making the tough choice of marketing an all-new figure as a store exclusive instead of a mass release, and should any fans be concerned about its availability upon release? (RTM, 03/12/08) The main issue is the stand-alone size of the the Rancor and uncertainty over whether it would be popular enough in the much bigger volumes we would need if we were to do a national release. Since it is a creature (as opposed to a vehicle), and from a game not yet released, we decided to set the Rancor up for success by going the exclusive route so we could better manage the overall release.
So glad to see a Padme Evolutions set, thanks! However, since this is a great way to get unreleased/hard to market outfits, why is AOTC Padme in an outfit we've gotten at least three times already (and another wave coming up), instead of one of her other outfits from the film (the rainbow dress from Naboo perhaps)? (RTM, 03/12/08) We wanted to draw the largest number of collectors to the set. There is a strong iconic draw to the white Padme "battle" outfit and since that figure was due for an upgrade, so this was the right time to trigger it. We thought this gave the pack greater strength than if we solely focused on outfits that were more ornamental with less screen time.******************************************************************
Why was Titanium Series so poorly represented at your Toy Fair display? Can you tell us what's forthcoming for Titaniums later in the year (preferably with pictures), and why they are delayed until fall? Are we ever getting the Outrider mentioned back in '06? (SSG, 03/12/08) We simply could not give adequate coverage to everything at Toy Fair, and some sublines regrettably did not get the true time and attention they deserve. Titanium certainly was not alone in this respect, as we lightly covered it as well as Unleashed 2" and Star Wars Transformers Crossovers as well. In Fall, we will be doing a Clone-Wars inspired redeco wave for the 7/26 Clone Wars brand reset. After that, Titanium will have some exciting new vehicles, a total of twelve all new tools for the Fall including the Cloud Car, and some other surprises we will reveal at Comic Con. Going forward, we are determined to keep Titanium vibrant and exciting, with new tools drawn from movies as well as Expanded Universe.
The Hasbro SW Toy Fair press release has The Legacy Collection clocking in at 30 basic figures. Back in October, you told us "For 2008, we are going to take the classic total down by about one wave. So from the current 60 figures this year, expect around 53 figures or so." The '08 TAC line has 15 figures total across its 2 waves, so according to your info, adding another 30 basic figures will give us a total of just 45 figures, a whole wave smaller than the 53-ish you originally stated. Has an '08 wave been pushed back out of the year, or are there more figures to be expected in the TLC line than the press release stated? (SSG, 03/12/08) The answer is that yes, a wave has moved due to sculpting delays, but no the number will not come down to less than 50 figures for 2008. Here's the score: you know about the 15 from TAC in Spring, along with the 16 that were shown between Waves 1 and 2 of Legacy Collection (Droid Factory), bringing the total to 31 "seen" so far. In addition, another 24 figures are on schedule, including a redeco wave which was created to replace the delayed wave (there will now be 8 unique Droid factory figures for the Fall figures, four Astro droids in Waves 1 & 3 and 4 Protocol droids for the subsequent waves). These figures will be spaced out from 7/26 launch until the end of the year, or about 6-8 per month through the Fall if all goes according to the firmed up schedule.
In recent years, many Darth Vader figures have included a silver piece of fabric material around the neck to represent the chain that holds Vader's cape on. However, every time this feature has been included, the "chain" ends up looking too big and out-of-place, while Vader figures that do not include this chain end up looking much better. In the interest of accuracy, could the chain either be scaled down (to better match its look in Episodes III, V, and VI), or done as sculpted plastic (as on earlier incarnations), or simply left off (as in Episode IV) on future Darth Vader figures? (SSG, 03/12/08) The thickness of the soft goods chain cannot be reduced any further than it already is due to minimum material strength needs. Sculpted plastic would be the alternative, but it doesn't always work with the soft goods that we choose.******************************************************************
We've gotten new, updated, better versions of Boba Fett, IG-88, 4-LOM, and Bossk. When are you going to show Zuckuss and Dengar some update love? (ST, 03/12/08) We do have plans to get to an update of Zuckuss before too long. However, Dengar will still be a ways off. Eventually, we will get to him as well but he just isn't dialed into a plan yet.
I realize that Hasbro has previously said "no" to the idea of a single universal neck peg for all of the basic figures and that the needs of a particular sculpt would dictate the peg size. However would Hasbro please consider the idea at least of a common-sized neck peg on most human characters? For example, there were many complaints about the face sculpts for last year's Moisture Farmer Luke and Yavin Ceremony Luke. They really didn't resemble Mark Hamill even remotely and most of us searched around for an alternate Luke head to put on these figures to improve the overall look. For example, when I used the VTSC X-Wing Luke head on my Yavin Luke, I was astonished at how much I suddenly loved this figure - although to make the head not wobble, I had to insert some extra tissue paper inside. Having the option of swapping heads vastly improved my appreciation of this figure and I even went out and bought a second Yavin Luke for another head swap. When Hasbro sometimes gives us a figure with a "pinhead" like the VTSC Endor Han, or the comic 2-pack Jedi Leia, again, we collectors would at least be able to find another larger head to fix the problem. Or if we're not happy with Hasbro's version of X-Wing Biggs (because of the Dutch Vander mold) we'd have the ability to make our own X-Wing Biggs by taking the head from the Tatooine Biggs and putting it on a 2008 SA generic X-Wing pilot body (hint). Please don't underestimate the value that having a common neck peg size for at least the human characters has for we collectors to fix perceived problems. The ability to make minor customizations to a figure to suit our own taste has tremendous value and would probably help Hasbro to sell a few more figures for "body parts" or "extra heads". (ST, 03/12/08) We do try to use a standard neck size whenever possible. Sometimes, the factory makes changes to the neck without notifying us. Usually, by the time we see production samples it is too late to make changes and we just run with it.
Even though I'm not a big fan of the Geonosians as characters, I was so impressed with the sculpt and articulation of the TSC Sun Fac that I was happy to add him to my collection. I'm now wondering if Hasbro will be retooling this figure any time soon in order to give us a great generic Geonosian Warrior. It'd be a fantastic army builder and perfect for an arena diorama. (ST, 03/12/08) Thanks for the comment. We don't have any specific plans for a Geonosis Warrior update in the near-term, but will take your comment into consideration. We like the Arena battle ourselves and agree that it needs some more attention someday.
Would Hasbro ever consider using the comic 2-pack format as a way of revisiting the idea of cardboard dioramas? It could be done in any number of ways that make sense to you (e.g. 1 figure, 1 comic, 1 diorama, OR 2 figures and 1 diorama OR 2 figures, 1 comic and 1 diorama marketed as a "deluxe" version of the comic packs with a slightly higher price point) Obviously given the smaller size of the packaging, the diorama could not be as complex as the Jabba or Cantina environments, but it would offer something that isn't too costly for Hasbro to develop unlike a plastic playset and would offer something to collectors who are STARVED for some kind of environment to display their figures in. Or if not in the comic 2-packs, perhaps for the VotC line when it returns someday? It'd be a great way to pay homage to the old Kenner-style Land of the Jawas playsets and very fitting with the vintage theme. (ST/"TJ", 03/12/08) While the comic packs would not be the right format for it, doing something with the cardboard display scene idea is interesting and one that we have started to explore (albeit in a small way) with the upoming Captain Rex mail-in figure. We do know that there are a number of collectors who enjoy the cardboard style scenes (and their tie back to the days of vintage toys), so we will keep that in mind as we look at different ideas.
Why is it that sometimes Hasbro will release figures that have oddly-painted eyes? For example, the TAC Stormtrooper, the RotS AT-TE Gunner, and TAC Smuggler Lando all seem to have strange "drugged out" stares that were not there when the initial hi-res photos of the figures are posted on the SW collecting sites (although maybe these were early hand-painted samples?). I always wonder why Hasbro's QA doesn't catch the problem early on when they inspect the factory samples and correct it before the figures are mass produced. The drugged-out look generally seems to be due to the fact that the pupil is painted a little too far upward on the eyeball, giving the impression they're staring inexplicably up to the sky. You've said that figures are painted by using masks -- is it just a misalignment of this mask on the figures head that shifts the paint a bit too far upward? (ST/"TJ", 03/12/08) You are correct in that the early photos we show sometimes are the hand-painted "paint master" or photo sample that we use for packaging, since often production samples are not available when we are doing announcements or finishing up the cards or boxes. We also do set standards which the factory will try and follow, but face deco, especially eyes, is the single most difficult thing to get right time after time. Our factories have incredibly talented painters, but expecting each of them to be the same is a tall order and we must allow some variation, or a large percentage will be rejected. Sometimes it is done with masks, but eyes may also be hand-painted or applied with tampos. It depends on the individual figure, and the factory doing the work.
It seems that the only criticism of the otherwise superb Kashyyyk 41st Elite trooper is that he is a bit too short. We had a similar problem when Hasbro previously released Commander Cody and unfortunately Cody was dwarfed by his own 212th clones and his general. Now it's the reverse and Gree (and apparently every other clonetrooper figure) are taller than the poor 41st clones! While maybe height issues are appropriate for a squad commanded by Yoda, will Hasbro look into tweaking this sculpt in the future? Perhaps thicker boot heels and extending the neck peg and waist just a wee bit taller would help alleviate things? And could Hasbro also pass a note onto its designers that since we collectors often pose the clonetroopers with their clone commanders and Jedi generals that it's important to ensure their heights are all very close together to create a satisfying diorama? Why the sudden change in the height of the figures? (ST/"TJ", 03/12/08) While we'd like to say that the Republic typically assigned the small, lighter Clones to the scout trooper / speeder bike corps, we realize that makes no sense. But we will say that any differences in height are not intentional as all Clones are supposed to be the same 6'0" height. However, unfortunately, manufacture variances do sometimes occur. One can start with the same size sculpt and still end up with some variances as we have seen before with some figures, however unintentional. These variations tend to happen for several reasons. 1. Humidity does play a part in the molding processes. Typically, figures shrink aprox. 4% from our tooling models. But, this can vary. 2. When tool parts are finally assembled, they can fit together slightly differently than originally intended, adding variety. 3. Removable helmets also tend to pose difficulties. We sculpt heads separately, then make a head casting, then sculpt a helmet over the top of the cast head. This allows us to estimate the wall thickness necessary for a removable piece. But, this is an estimation and there are minimum requirements for manufacturing. In some cases, the manufacturing vendor will request to make the helmet larger in production to increase the wall thickness. This causes a big helmet look and creates aesthetic scale issues. 4. The combination of elements above can create combination variations. 5. The final possibility is there was an unintended mistake and our hardworking design, sculpting, and manufacturing elves just missed it.******************************************************************
I've noticed in the last few weeks that the prices of the Titanium vehicles have passed the price of a basic figure. Has the tooling and/or the supplies to make them made the cost go up or is this being done by the retailers? (SWC, 03/12/08) Due to forces beyond out control, we did indeed take a price increase on Titanium vehicles recently. You have probably seen retailers take their price up as a result.
Will Hasbro be making any large scale weapons (like the E-11 and Clone Nerf weapon ) for the upcoming Clone Wars Cartoon to go with the Voice activated Clone Trooper helmet and/or any weapons in general this year? Costumer's and kids love these by the way. (SWC, 03/12/08) We will not be making any new blasters for Clone Wars this year, instead re-decoing our current library of blasters.
PROXY and Shaak Ti are two THE FORCE UNLEASHED characters conspicuous by their absences in the 3 3/4" action figure line. Any chance to see them added as EU characters to the line in the future, either single-carded or together as a Comic Pack (since there is a FORCE UNLEASHED comic)? (SWC, 03/12/08) There is a possibility that one or both of these characters could see the light of day eventually. Although neither is slotted into the line plan (and we have yet to see the TFU comic ourselves), they are cool characters and certainly good candidates for a future offering.******************************************************************
We've now had time to digest the Indy toy line previewed in NYC, and...wow ! With two Indiana's in both the Raiders and Crystal Skull waves, can we expect additional variant Indy's in the Temple of Doom and Last Crusade waves ? Perhaps "torn shirt" Indy and "necktie" Indy ? Also, Raiders Indy has a touch of the Darth Malak "scary eyes" - will this be fixed prior to release ?. (TPU.co.uk, 03/12/08) Thanks for the comments - glad you are looking forward to the IJ line. Yes, we do plan additional Indy figures for Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade as well. As for what those will be, we will plan on releasing the next wave information around Comic Con in July, if not before. As for eyes, there is another similar question about eyes on Star Wars figures from another fan site this week, and the answer is the same: eye deco is one of the toughest aspects of any figure in 3-3/4" scale to get consistent, since it all involves human touches (whether applied by hand, with spray masks, or with tampos). Slight variations is an expected part of the process. As time goes on and we work through the production of any figures with our factories, we look to dial in tighter to reduce variation.
The two small "Indy Trap" dioramas from the Deluxe line have a lot of potential. Will these continue, showing traps from the other movies ? Also, these type of "environments" are really lacking in the Star Wars line...is there any opportunity there ? (TPU.co.uk, 03/12/08) These two are it for the year in the Deluxe assortment, but it will continue into next year with some interesting new ideas along the same lines (though probably not as *big* as these have been). While we feel the environmental piece is an important one for IJ, since the action is so specific to certain scenes, the idea doesn't necessarily translate to Star Wars as readily and we have been spending our energies elsewhere, broadening the figure and vehicle lines. That doesn't mean there won't be a few surprises here and there, but there aren't any "Deluxe" lines on the drawing board for Star Wars.
Once again, the Comic Packs look fabulous. Now that you've explored the Legacy, Prequel and OT periods, can we expect a foray into the distant past of KOTOR ? (TPU.co.uk, 03/12/08) Yes, but the foray won't be as deep as the film period or Legacy packs. Look for at least one, perhaps two, KotOR/Tales of the Jedi packs next year.******************************************************************
First off thanks for having another fabulous showing at this year's Toyfair, With all the announcements made, 7/26/08 (Saturday) is going to be the busy day at most retailers which begs the question - are there any TRU (or other retailer) "midnight madness" plans like with past major line releases? (YF, 03/12/08) Yes indeed, retailers are shaping up their plans and there will be activity similar to 2005 and the launch of Episode III toys. As for specific details, it is too early to talk about it but as things take shape we will keep fans informed.
I'm REALLY excited about the comic packs taken from the Legacy series. My question concerns the Imperial Knights pack. It looks from the photos that they have Red sabers. Now I know that often the product we see at Toy Fair isn't the final product, so we're wondering if the final release will include the correct "silver/ white/clear" sabers that the Knights are drawn with in the comics. (YF, 03/12/08) Yes indeed, the final sabers will be clear (silver).
In the press photos distributed by Hasbro, the V-19 Clone Fighter is displayed with it's wings folded up (for landing) and down (for flight) it was displayed this way in your booth at Toyfair as well, but in both instances the center wing was in the same position. Does this wing, in fact, fold under the main fuselage as shown in the Clone Wars cartoon and will there be any sort of weathering paint treatment this vehicle? (YF, 03/12/08) Yes, the center wing will be able to be folded down under the fuselage. This is truly an amazing vehicle if we do say so ourselves! As for weathering, it will be pretty much in the paint scheme shown at Toy Fair. For this guy, the money is definitely tied up in the vehicle tooling, and not necessarily the deco.******************************************************************
The new 2008 Kashyyyk Trooper was made visibly smaller than the rest of the clones from Episode III. I was very disappointed upon opening this highly anticipated figure to discover this very discouraging flaw. Was there any reason behind this? (YN, 03/12/08) While we'd like to say that the Republic typically assigned the small, lighter Clones to the scout trooper / speeder bike corps, we realize that makes no sense. But we will say that any differences in height are not intentional as all Clones are supposed to be the same 6'0" height.
However, unfortunately, manufacture variances do sometimes occur. One can start with the same size sculpt and still end up with some variances as we have seen before with some figures, however unintentional. These variations tend to happen for several reasons.
1. Humidity does play a part in the molding processes. Typically, figures shrink aprox. 4% from our tooling models. But, this can vary.
2. When tools parts are finally assembled, they can fit together slightly differently than originally intended, adding variety.
3. Removable helmets also tend to pose difficulties. We sculpt heads separately, then make a head casting, then sculpt a helmet over the top of the cast head. This allows us to estimate the wall thickness necessary for a removable piece. But, this is an estimation and there are minimum requirements for manufacturing. In some cases, the manufacturing vendor will request to make the helmet larger in production to increase the wall thickness. This causes a big helmet look and creates aesthetic scale issues.
4. The combination of elements above can create combination variations.
5. The final possibility is there was an unintended mistake. And our hardworking design, sculpting, and manufacturing elves just missed it.
There have never been figures based on the later jedi knights games! Seeing as there have recently been figures based on the battlefront, force unleashed, kotor and republic commando games, is there any chance that figures like Desan, Tavion, the reborn and a new KYLE KATARN could be incorporated into the line sometime in the future as a 2 packs or carded figures? (YN, 03/12/08) There is a very good chance that Kyle Katarn will become a figure at some point. Whether or not he is based on the Jedi Knights games is TBD. The odds are longer on the others.
Can you speak on the rumors that Hasbro Is working on a way to make the 2008 released FX Lightsabers in some form of plastic or cheaper synthetic material as opposed to the metal we have seen from MR in order to bring the cost down to something not only a collector would buy but also a child? (YN, 03/12/08) Those rumors are false. We have an abundant supply of lightsabers focused at kids already in the form of basic, electronic, The Force Unleashed, Ultimate LS, etc. Our intention is to keep production exactly the same, with the same materials, on a consistent and ongoing basis. In addition, future FX sabers that we plan to introduce would also be made of the same materials to form a contiguous collection.