Author Topic: The Hasbro Q & A Compendium  (Read 49022 times)

Offline Matt

  • Jedi Master
  • *
  • Posts: 5258
  • It's crazy what you could have had
    • View Profile
    • Lobot's Duplex
Re: The Hasbro Q & A Compendium
« Reply #75 on: August 25, 2009, 02:55 PM »
Session 74 - August 20, 2009

Will we ever see some of the classic Star Wars characters produced in "clone wars style" animated figures? (AFC, 2009-08-21)

     The answer to both is that we intend to keep the lines separate. If more classic characters (other than Yoda, C-3PO, R2-D2, Tarkin, etc.) find their way into the Clone Wars, then we will certainly consider doing figures of them. Until then, we don't have plans to cross over the lines.

Are there plans for another LARGE vehicle, playset or accessory for 2010? We realize you probably can't say what it may be, but is something on the horizon? (AFC, 2009-08-21)

     It's too early to announce any plans for 2010 especially when it comes to higher-priced items. As it went last year (2008), any future items we may be considering hinge on the success of our program for the holiday season in front of us, and that means a good response to the Turbo Tank (so please, make sure that every young or old Star Wars fan gets one this holiday season!). We expect to make any announcements on higher-priced items, if we elect to pursue any, at Toy Fair next year.

Now that we've come 10 years since Episode I premiered, we would like to know, where does the Hasbro Star Wars team see the brand 10 years from now? (AFC, 2009-08-21)

     We see the brand in great shape 10 years from now. The current success of Clone Wars is amazing, and projecting out through 2010, we are confident in saying that interest in Star Wars over a sustained period has never been stronger, to be made all the more so when future additional TV series enter the horizon. Similarly, a new generation of collectors (with different sensibilities and enthusiam for all things Gungan) will come into the ranks of collectors in the next few years and now-grown kids, who fell under the spell of the Prequel Trilogy in theaters, will ensure that the collector base remains vibrant. They may replace older collectors, who may migrate out of the hobby for one reason or another, but this should ensure that the twin-focus of kid and collector remains strong for the far future. So for those who have been in the hobby a long-time, you will love what we bring out for both Legacy and Clone Wars, and for those who are just entering the hobby, "Welcome!" It's a great time to be a Star Wars collector.

******************************************************************

In previous Q&A's you've addressed the issue that increased articulation = increased costs. With the comic packs, we get really interesting characters that we probably wouldn't get otherwise since they don't appear in films. But it is generally the case that these interesting characters come with great sculpts but sub-par articulation. Have you considered doing fewer sets to offset the higher costs of better articulated figures? (BS, 2009-08-21)

     Ironically, this would not help matters. Since the audience for the Comic Packs is fairly flat, there is no chance of increasing the production run unless we were convinced that fans were deliberately not buying them because of inferior articulation. From our research, we do not believe that to be the case, and so we think our startegy allows fans to get the widest range of interesting figures and keep our expected performance as high as possible. Like the Legacy/Droid Factory collection, though, times have been a little tough for the Comic Packs lately and we hope to really start a turnaround this fall with a large number of exciting new packs. Thanks for the interest and the help in spreading the word!

Can you please provide more details on the "Mark of Maul" promotion?  How many UPCs will be needed, which UPCs will be accepted, how much money to send in addition, how long the offer will run from start to finish, and can we please see a picture of the final product, both boxed and loose? Thank you very much! (BS, 2009-08-21)

     Fans can collect 5 UPC codes to send in to get the exclusive Qui Gon and Eopie figures. The UPCs can be from Build a Droid (87535), Saga Legends (87995) or the Clone Wars figures (87638). For US please include a check or money order for $6.99(USD) shipping and handling and for Canada please include $8.99 (CAD) made out to Figure Redemption Inc. All requests should be mailed to: Star Wars® 2009 Premium Item Offer, PO Box 10790, Bozeman MT 59719-0790. The offer is currently running from now until March 31, 2010. Sorry, no out-of-pack pic is available, only in-pack (2 different attached).

Pic 1, Pic 2

In regards to the recently revealed Saga Legends on the new cardbacks, why do you continue to keep making the same choices for repacks? As every SL we've seen on a new card are figures we saw in this year's (Stormtrooper cardback,) and TAC's Saga Legends line. While we realize the need for core characters, is there any way we can shake these up a bit? Maybe replace Vader with the infinitely times better Legacy mold? Or put older Clone Trooper paints - 212, Cato Nemoida, or 7th Legion - in place of clean ones? I just feel hardcore collectors feel jaded after seeing these figures year after year. (BS, 2009-08-21)

     Actually, since collectors are not the target of this year's Saga Legends lineup (it is designed to complement Clone Wars for the most part), we stuck with our lineup of best-selling figures. The lineup is pretty well set for the next year but we understand the desire to mix things up a bit, especially when it comes to troops, so we'll take your comment to heart and bring in some more classics at some point, likely next fall (if not sooner). Thanks!

******************************************************************

I really appreciate all the time you take to answer the unending stream of interrogatives from us fans.  It certainly gives us a sense that our voice is being heard; it also means that we consumers can hope to find more products that are driven by our demand.  In the spirit of openness, communication, and exchange, I'd like to turn the tables around this time.  What questions do you have for me? (CC, 2009-08-20)

     OK - that's a fun one. One thing we're lacking some good infromation about is just how broadly, or not, individual collectors support the line. So tell us more about what you buy, say, what you have bought since the line switched over to blue and white? And let us know why you may have stayed away from some things (you won't hurt out feelings). Are you a figure completist? Do you do Legacy and Clone Wars? Which vehicles? Looking forward to your answers. Thanks!

If it's not too much of an industry secret, can you give us an idea of approximately how much it costs to design, tool up for, manufacture, market, and ship a playset (say, the Geonosis Arena, for example)? I was thinking that if you gave us an estimate, it might shock us Collectors into ceasing the "When are we going to get a _____ Playset?" questions. Either that, or it'll motivate us to take up a collection for you (like for, say, a Death Star, for example). (CC, 2009-08-20)

     Unfortunately we cannot share anything regarding the finances of creating an item, since it could reveal non-public financial information. It would probably shock you, though, how much it costs to produce some of the things we develop, given the costs involved. Esepciialy surprising are the costs to develop figures. Of course, the greater the articulation, the greater the overall cost since it means more tooling.

For the record, are there any questions you want us (the collecting community) to just stop asking? Such as "When are you going to make "Tonnika Twins" / Star Wars Holiday Special / Gella Twins / [Insert Your Own Bugbear Toys Here]?" Or, "Why did you swap names on Zuckuss and 4-LOM? You destroyed my childhood!" (CC, 2009-08-20)

     Actually, nobody said that the Gella twins were off limits. We'd like to get to them someday. The other sister question does get a little tedious and a waste of a good Q&A spot if you ask us, since the answer (or non-asnwer) is likely to never change. As to why the names were swapped on 4-LOM and Zuckuss is a perfectly good question. Our answer is that they were swapped because back then, we didn't have the Internet - where someone could upload pictures of stolen first production samples, and forums - so fans could point out the mistake in time for us to correct it.

******************************************************************

Understanding that new tooling costs are a major prohibitive factor in creating playsets, has the Hasbro SW team considered digging out the original GI Joe Headquarters playset tooling to repurpose for the Clone Wars line? Its design is generic sci-fi enough that without resculpting it could pass as a Republic base - such as Rishi Station from "Rookiees" - with simply a different sticker sheet for the control panels. It has a landing pad, a hallway/garage for BARC Speeders, and basic features that keep costs down but fit Clone Wars play patterns. So, any thought given to this idea before? If not, what do you think, and what would its chances be? (CS, 2009-08-21)

     Actually, we had not considered that, but that's a really creative suggestion, thanks. We don't know if it would work for various reasons including tooling availability, licensor approval, cost versus what we think consumers would be willing to pay. The fact is that it's probably too "flat" and a little boring compared to what a playset should and could deliver. Still, it's an interesting idea. But hey, taking that thinking one step further, doesn't the Terror Dome look very similar to a Separatist fortress? Anyone? Well, maybe not exactly, but that would be a dream come true!

With the inclusion of alternate "sitting" legs for the new Slave Leia, it reminds us all that Oola hasn't had an update in over a decade, and could also use legs to sit next to Jabba. Any chance of getting a new Oola with similar alternate sitting legs so she could sit on the Jabba's dais we all hope you'll make soon? (CS, 2009-08-21)

     Oola definitely needs and update; we have her on our short list, probably within the next two years. It would be cool to make her compatible for any future dais that we also hope to make soon.

 In ye olden days, playsets were keen, but MICRO-scale playsets were really where it was at. Old-skool fans still to this day fondly remember Kenner's expansive Micro Collection series. And Galoob put themselves on the map in the mid-'90s with nearly 30 different creative, clever, fun Micro Machines playsets. Granted, Hasbro's stance on playsets for the 3.75" market is abundantly clear in that there's no mass market left there, but has any thought been put into playsets for the ongoing Galactic Heroes line? The brand's cute little styling could translate very well to playsets, and the brand has legs with both kids and collectors. Collectors love to put figures in context, and kids can always use environments to structure play patterns. The cardboard "playsets" from the recent battle packs are nifty, but kids play rough and cardboard doesn't take much abuse. Competitor Fisher-Price's Imaginext line has tons of creative and fun playsets around the same scale as G. Heroes which some kids have repurposed into Star Wars environments such as Jabba's Sail Barge from the pirate ship. So what about actual playsets for Galactic Heroes? (CS, 2009-08-21)

     Given the investment cost, we're more likely to consider playsets for the much bigger 3-3/4" line. Based on sheer numbers, that's where we'd get the best return on the investment if we went beyond the cardboard type of sets (which we think are terrific for the overall price of the Cinema Scene). The real trick, though, is landing on a playset concept that is iconic enough, has both space and features that we can afford to produce, and has significant entertainment support to get such a concept a green light. While we have looked at numerous different concepts in the constant quest to determine whether it's finally "time" to do a playset, we've never had a concept that hits all three of these criteria. Look over Clone Wars for anything, other than perhaps the bridge of a Republic Cruiser, that has consistent and repeatable exposure as a constant scenic element. Clone Wars is a world on the move, and as cool as Grievous' Lair of the Rookie's outpost may be, it is too fleeting to really justify the huge investment and risk. Maybe one day, if we ever have, say, extended exposure inside the Jedi training area of the Jedi temple, or Clone training facilities, then we might have a concept. Until then, we'll continue to devote our energies to different types of playsets like the vehicles, which we feel can satisfy both a great vehicle and a playset-type of need in the line.

******************************************************************

DP

******************************************************************

So the end-of-the-year's big kick-off to the 2010 wave is an Expanded Universe wave. Are there any particular themes that Hasbro has hashed out for the big year? We would be happy to read about them. (GH, 2009-08-21)

     It's too early to talk about basic figure plans for 2010 yet, Adam — that will most likely come at Toy Fair.  We will say that the while the Expanded Universe will be the lead wave for 2010, it will probably be the only Expanded Universe wave for the year as we turn our attention to some other sub-themes, including some special attention to Episode V, given the 30th anniversary.

With seated Enslaved Princess Leia ready, we know that she needs something to sit on, so when (WHEN!!!) will we see a Jabba with his Dais? After seeing that awesome Dewback, we know it can happen! Please give a desperate guy an ounce of hope. [Rancor Pit trap opens!] (GH, 2009-08-21)

     There is hope, Adam, there is hope - lots of it.  It's not in the bag, though, and here's where you can help.  We've previously hinted that due to the size and format, such a beast would most likely be an exclusive. We have taken some big, meaty swings at our exclusives for this Fall  Season — the AT-ST, Dewback, Octuptarra Droid, newly-designed TIE Fighter and others show that we can redefine and create great new vehicles and creatures as exclusives.

     What we'd like to do with Jabba would be no less ambitious. However, continuation of programs like this, and future success in exclusives, depends on collectors supporting the initiatives in front of us.  If we succeed, it opens the door for more opportunities like these and taking chances on some great concepts like a Jabba.  So, while we can offer a big sunny ray of hope, we don't want to officially make any announcements until we know we're totally locked in. This means making sure we have a great story to tell when we talk to our retailer partners. So fans, applying Jabba's own strong-arm tactics, if you want to see him, make sure you pounce and pounce hard *this* Fall Season!


Ummm... so with this Fan's Choice Poll, we're assuming that everything is on the table? If not, please give us a breakdown and the reason(s) involved. (GH, 2009-08-21)

     We discussed this with Lucasfilm prior to the announcement and we decided not to rule out anyone from the vote. The only stipulation we put was to draw the line between the Legacy Collection and Clone Wars characters, to maintain the separation of those two lines. Although fans can vote for anyone, it does not mean that every figure who makes the top 30 this year will, or could, be made down the road. There are still a couple figures from the last fans' choice vote that cannot be made, even if the same characters happen to win this time, since everything is subject to Lucasfilm approval. We will say that, like the last fans' vote, this one is likely to have a deep and long-lasting influence on our lineup.

******************************************************************

A few sneaky folks were able to shoot some pics as you were setting up your SDCC'09 booth. One thing we noticed in the set-up shots was a second Utai figure sculpt that was clearly at the show, but not shown officially. What's the scoop there? Potential running change that was cancelled? Will the second Utai end up on the same "maybe someday" list like Ratts Tyerell did at Toy Fair '09? (HH, 2009-08-21)

     The plan was for a Utai 2-pack, but that became a victim of cost controls with the Droid Factory waves. Right now there are no plans to release this one, but as always we will find a way to get him back out. We can confirm that Ratts is going to be coming out in the 2011 line.

The Walmart Clone Wars 2-Packs - will we have to buy the 2-pack sets to get Clone Troopers Rys and Fives or will those two be coming on basic cards like Jek, Echo, and Denal? (HH, 2009-08-21)

     There are no plans for Rys and Fives to come out on basic figures cards.

On the Fall ANH wave Scanning Trooper - can you confirm that there will be different head sculpts to go with the different cargo boxes? Seems to be some conflicting info on whether or not the figures will have variants or just the cargo box/scanners? And on the topic of Scanner Guy, are the "innards" of the cargo boxes removable pieces or is the box one piece? (HH, 2009-08-21)

     There will be a separate head sculpt that will accompany the second accessory when the figures are released. On the inside of the top box, the scanner is removable (on a tether) but the inside is glued in place.

******************************************************************

Will the new two seater AT-ST be released with two drivers or can we assume you will release a ROTJ Legacy or Legends Figure Wave with an AT-ST driver so we can man up that awesome looking atst? (IS, 2009-08-20)

     While the AT-ST comes with one driver fo the release, we are looking at releasing a carded AT-ST driver within the next couple of years.

The new Target Two packs with the fold down droids look sweet and one immediately thinks of a droid gunship and an MTT.  Is there any hope of getting either one? (IS, 2009-08-20)

     We're glad you like the changes!  We added the articulation to the Battle Droid not so much to be compatible with any future vehicles, but because we feel the Battle Droids needed this kind of upgrade and it does allow for those who want to produce custom displays showcasing the awesomness of these droids, to do so. While we'd love to see it, the MTT is something that we just don't see getting to due to the sheer size and the fact it's a Separatist vehicle, which is much riskier at those price points.  If it is featured priomonently in the Clone Wars animation, we would consider it.  The Gunship is something that is much more likely because it could be done in a more approachable size.

We have all noticed the New Legacy Nikto with the great looking gun. This gun seems to have a clasp that might be made to grip onto a handrail. Could we expect to possibly see an updated Sail barge or Desert Skiff for the future? (IS, 2009-08-20)

     We did design that just in case we had a future vehicle for it to clasp on to, but we do not have plans to pursue either vehicle you mention.  The Sail Barge remains perhaps our top "wish list" vehicle, but unless this bad boy gets some serious time in Clone Wars or a future TV show, we would not pursue it.  It's just too big, expensive, and relatively obscure to be a success.

******************************************************************

The Vader's Funeral Pyre set got the collectors talking in our forums quite a bit. Do you think this piece will be able to come in at a reasonable price (like under $30 maybe) or is it likely to be a bit more expensive, if it comes to light? (JD, 2009-08-21)

     We do feel that under $29.99 would be the target (hopefully well under) based on feedback from folks at Comic Con, online, and relative to other prior sets that were collector-targeted.

The Clone Cash promotion is really neat and we were wondering if figures outisde the Clone Wars line would have the coupons in them? Some folks buy a lot more of the Legacy and Legends figures and that coupon would be a nice plus when you buy so much every year. (JD, 2009-08-21)

     We're glad you like the Clone Cash program. We inserted the Clone Cash into 200,000 Clone Wars basic figures this fall and that will be it for this year. We'll be watching the program to see how it does; it's possible we could expand it to more assortments next year depending on how it goes for this year (of course, it can always be used on Legacy and Saga Legends figures). Thanks!

Did you happen to catch the images that cropped up of those "new" Indiana Jones Figures during Comic Con (toht, Ghost, etc)? Can you comment on if they were something top secret, simply a custom hoax, or something more? (JD, 2009-08-21)

     This was a hoax, and we had nothing to do with it. Whoever did it, did a clever job, right down to replicating our "tent cards" that we use when showing items at Comic Con. It was fun to look at, but nothing is in development or IJ at this time.

******************************************************************

JI

******************************************************************

Will we ever see any more Pod Racing Vehicles or Drivers in the 3.75" line or is what's been produced it?  Have you considered scaling these down for Galactic Heroes? (JN, 2009-08-20)

     There will be more Pod Racers - we would like to get to one a year, if we can, until we've gotten to all the majors (we could see doing 3 or 4 more years at least).  As for 3-3/4" Pod Racing vehicles, we do not have any in development, but haven't ruled out every getting to more of them. As the collector ranks are swelled by the generation of kids who first saw Episode I in theaters as kids, there will be increased interest in all things Episode I, including Pod Racing vehicles.  That time is still a few years off, so hang in there and we are confident you will see some eventually.  As for Galactic Heroes, that's an interesting idea and one we'll discuss internally.  Thanks!

There are so many Clone Troopers in the 3.75" line... how about giving us some sets of Clone Troopers in the Galactic Heroes line, say a squadron of Troopers from Utapau or Coruscant packaged as a Cinema Scene; there are so many different environments to choose from and this would be a great way to give the younger (and older) collector a way to army build rather than just getting one trooper in each two pack every now and again?  Also, will we see the Republic Gunship in the Galactic Heroes line anytime soon? (JN, 2009-08-20)

     Interesting thought on Galactic Heroes, James.  We have done a couple of sets like this and they have been popular, so we would not rule out doing more of these. A Republic Gunship is not likely within the next couple of years.

The Eopie mail away was confirmed for the UK, US and Canada after the US Toy Fair in February, but we've now been told that the offer will only be available in the US and Canada, why the change of heart? UK collectors were very much looking forward to being able to get this, will it be made available another way, if not why? (JN, 2009-08-20)

     It has been delayed due to a heavy slate of other promotional activity this fall.  We confirmed with the U.K. team that it will be offered in the 1st quarter of 2010, at Toys 'R Us.

******************************************************************

The day before the recent Comic Con 2009, a number of pictures appeared online of what seemed to be new Indiana Jones figures, including signage that seemed to be right out of the SDCC display cases.  Within hours of them being reported on several sites, the pictures quickly disappeared from Photobucket, where they were posted.  Luckily, I saved the pictures to my own Photobucket, and here's the link: http://s56.photobucket.com/albums/g190/ebaymogul/

These pictures included utterly convincing “Hasbro-like” versions of a Raiders motorcycle sidecar with riders, and an ark spirit/ghost.  While these figures are pretty much 100% now believed to be “kit bashes” that are fan made (albeit with what everyone on the boards seems to agree was really remarkable skill,) could you comment on the rumor that these are the work of either Hasbro employees (presumably done for fun or as a gag,) or are mock-ups (including components from other 3 ¾” toy lines) used informally by Hasbro?  The theory is that while several of them are clearly kit bashes, the skill level seems more the work of someone working in the toy industry, and there are parts used that appear to come from unreleased Hasbro prototypes (such as Toht's salute hand and poker.)  The bigger question - is this - or was this - some hint of Hasbro Indy plans either past/abandoned or planned/future? (JTA, 2009-08-20)

     This was a hoax, and we had nothing to do with it, nor was it the work of a rogue employee having fun.  Whoever did it did a clever job, right down to replicating our "tent cards" that we use when showing items at Comic Con.  There remains no current IJ development, and nothing of what was shows bears any relation (other than Toht) to work we had done prior.

As usual, your presentation at Comic Con was great. My question is why didn't we see more for 2010? Last year the presentation showed things coming out as far away as March of '09. That is almost eight months after SDCC. I am curious as to why is R2-X2 in the Empire Strikes Back wave? Isn't "he" one of two possible droids from the Yavin Hangar scenes in ANH? (JTA, 2009-08-20)

     We didn't show more of the 2010 line at Comic Con because the focus is always on what fans can expect for the next six months, with a just a sneak peek of what is to come.  The 2008 presentation was a little atypical because we had a couple of key exclusive delays (the Ep. VI Rancor and the Wal-Mart Comic Packs) that had slipped out from Fall 2008. We wanted to make sure they got exposure because they were pushed out to the early spring, when we usually don't have many exclusives. Also, because we would not be able to get the word out before Toy Fair on these. We don't have any similar items for 2010, so the balance of the line will be seen at Toy Fair in February.  As to R2-X2, he was meant as a refresh figure similar to some other characters (ARC Trooper, Scout Trooper, etc) and was not part of the original figures created for the Episode V wave.

2005's AT-RT vehicle was an interesting concept.  It's one of the few motorized vehicles that we've had in the line.  But the mechanics of the toy don't seem to replicate just how agile the vehicle has been shown to be in the Clone Wars animated series.  Given that appearance in the Clone Wars, is an AT-RT in the lineup for the near future?  And might it be retooled? (JTA, 2009-08-20)

     We are looking at a new version of the AT-RT to be brought into the Clone Wars lineup.  It is smaller than the Episode III version, fitting with the more slender design from the Clone Wars animation.  Currently, it's slated for the deluxe figure/vehicle assortment and should be out for the first wave of 2010.  Stay tuned!

******************************************************************

The current Saga Legends Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker is in desperate need of some new arms. I feel this figure has out grown the swivel elbows, which makes him look funny in the new packaging, as well as make it awkward for him to hold a Lightsaber with two hands. How long are we going to have to wait to get this upgrade? Because other than that, the figure is fantastic! (MD, 2009-08-20)

     We agree that an upgraded version of Episode III Anakin is a good idea, and out plan is that he will out sometime mid-2010. He will be in the regular basic figure lineup, and not Saga Legends.

I'm actually really loving the new 2009 card designs, they look great. I have a couple of short quick questions. We have heard rumors that Darth Nihlus may be getting a run in the legends line, is this true as he would be a fantastic figure. Even Darth Bane would be very cool as we all know how well Sith sell.
My other question is how come we never get Darth Tyranus or Darth Sidious printed on the cards of Palps and Dooku. I would love to get these two guys with their Darth names for my collection. My final question is will we be lucky enough to see Concept Anakin on the new cards to go along with the other three concept figures coming this year as he will look out of place between the TAC and the 09 Legacy cards? (MD, 2009-08-20)

     There is no basis to the rumor that Darth Nihilus will be coming in the Saga Legends line. Right now, the focus remains firmly on Saga Legends as a kid-targeted assortment.

     Good question on Palpatine and Dooku having their Darth names. The answer is that basically Palpatine and Dooku are more well-known to kids, but the appeal of their Darth appellations is noted, and would be an interesting way to name them in the future. Finally, there are no plans at this time to re-run any of the figures from the Episode II wave from this past spring except for Obi-Wan, so for now the concept Anakin will remain exclusive to the blue and white line look.


I've noticed that DK Books are publishing a Star Wars Lego Visual Dictionary. Is there any chance of Hasbro jumping on board for a Star Wars Visual Dictionary as well? (MD, 2009-08-20)

     There are no plans for a similar book on Hasbro's Star Wars toys, but it's an interesting idea.

******************************************************************

A very big lack of Marvel Star Wars Comic Packs, although the one you are bringing out Lumiya/Luke Skywalker rocks and I am glad to have the chance to pick this one up, can I also ask if you are going to bring out any of the following characters from the Marvel Star Wars Comic Packs - Crimson Jack and Jolli, Jaxxon and Amaiza, Cody Sunn-Childe and Demon - also when will the next Marvel Star Wars Comic Pack be available after the Lumiya/Luke one and what will it be. (RS, 2009-08-20)

     There are no plans for any of those characters, but there is an opportunity for them to appear in the Fans' Choice Poll and if so, we will consider them. Although, given each of their extremely brief appearances in the Marvel run, we wouldn't expect them to be higher on the rankings of most fans than, say, Valance the Hunter, Rik Duel, Dani, or even Kiro (none of which are in the upcoming lineup, either). There *are* two Marvel packs slated for next year, the next one appearing in late spring as a Wal-Mart exclusive, which will be revealed at Toy Fair.

Thanks for showing so many new figures at SDCC. What went into your decision to make Nien Nunb a B-Wing Pilot? Fans are much more anticipating a badly needed update of Nien Nunb as seen in ROTJ as a co-pilot to Lando in the Millennium Falcon. Can we expect this movie-accurate version soon please? (RS, 2009-08-20)

     It was our intention to make a red-suited B-wing pilot as a follow-up to Ten Numb who came in the Evolution packs. We needed to character using existing tooling, so we decided to just go ahead and slot in another Sullustan, thinking that there would be an Episode VI reference to support an appearance of a red-suited one. However, as we got further into the figure, and got ready for package art, we all realized that there was no on-screen support for one. It was too late to pull the figure out of the wave without seriously jeopardizing our schedule. So, with Lucasfilm agreeing, we kept on schedule and looked for a name. We decided that rather than make up a new pilot name (Eleven Nunb?) we would instead pick a name that seemed to make the most sense - reasoning that at some point Nien Nunb would have been a B-Wing pilot and it's something that we can imagine as off screen, prior to him being reassigned from the B-Wing squad and becoming Lando's co-pilot where he would not need to wear his B-Wing flight suit. We hope collectors will look past this one and appreciate him for what he is - a cool version of Nien Nunb. Imagine him as a generic red-suited B-Wing to fill out their pilot ranks. Either way, we think he's pretty cool and we're glad we could bring out a red-suited Sullustan. As for an updated, definitive version of Nien, he's not in the 2010 plan, but he's on the short list of candidates that we'd like to get to in 2011.

Would it be possible to revisit the 7" Unleashed line for Darth Revan, and Vader's Secret Apprentice maybe as a TRU, Target, or online Exclusive? (RS, 2009-08-20)

     We will not be revisiting the 7" Unleashed. It is a format that was unfortunately embraced by relatively few collectors compared to our other lines, plus, the extraordinary costs for development and tooling for a very small run don't justify going back to the format. Other brands (Marvel and Transformers) have tried the large Unleashed since then, with similar results, so the format does not look like it's coming back anywhere any time soon.

******************************************************************

What happened with the Boba Fett in the Wal-Mart Droid Factory Wave? All the press materials showed him to be a repaint of the going to be a repack of the animated version. Why the change? Will we be getting that cool repaint of animated Fett in the near future? (RTM, 2009-08-20)

     Per Lucasfilm direction, we went with the animated Boba Fett from the holiday special rather than a deco that was true to the movie or Droids series. Right now we don't have any plans for additional versions of Fett using the animated figure tools (which includes different forearms, gloves, and belt) but we do acknowledge that there is interest in seeing this, and given Boba's popularity it's certainly something we'll consider. Thanks!

The fan's vote contest is coming up and all types of characters are going to be thrown into the hat. However, there are a few characters (Tonnika Sisters for example) that we have been told are "off-limits" for various reasons. Could you please publish a list of these so we don't waste our votes on these characters? (RTM, 2009-08-20)

     We purposefully decided not to publish a list of the characters that Lucasfilm has deemed "off limits" in order to get the purest data on what fans want to see. However, the list of figures that cannot be made is a very short list. In the very unlikely event that one of these comes in first place in the poll, we will discuss with Lucasfilm. If it's still not possible to produce that figure, we'll have to go to second choice.

I saw the Darth Vader funeral pyre in action at Comic Con. How do we go about letting you know that we DO want this scene? (RTM, 2009-08-20)

     You just did! We got a pretty good idea at the show that a good number of fans want to see it, and reading the various reactions in the forum show that while not every fan may be willing to add this to their collection, it seems like there is a significant level of interest. The challenge now is to find a willing retail partner, and to find the right number to release to make everything work out. Thanks for the interest!

******************************************************************

You have mentioned in the past that media support (i.e. appearances in The Clone Wars TV show) helps drive and determine what toys you will produce for the lines. Can you tell us what designs or ideas you have that are "on the bubble" that you would love to do but are waiting for more media support in order to give you the go ahead?" (SAND, 2009-08-20)

     The examples here would include some of OTC or Prequel ships that we could not update in the Starfighter assortment ($24.99) or as exclusives at, or near, this price point. We feel pretty confident that we can have success with other vehicles if they are cool, but have less support in these formats (like the Rebublic Attack Tank, for example). If some of the bigger vehicles appeared in the Clone Wars, then it would give us a chance to see if they merited an update. We really don't have any specific ones on the bubble because we wouldn't realy consider them unless they were prominent in Clone Wars or perhaps the live action show.

In the last Q&A, you said that if the sales on the CW Y-Wing were good this might open up things for a new line of "midsize" vehicles.  Would that then include a new OT-era Y-Wing by any chance?  I've never bought a Y-Wing previously because there were just too many small dislikes about the old mold (too small, the pilot cannot sit without leaning back in his seat, R2 unit cannot be removed, landing gear seemed too weak, wing plastic was too bendy, etc).  After the spectacular job that was done on the BMF and AT-TE, I'd snap up an OT-Y-Wing in a heartbeat done with the same care and quality!  How about it? (SAND, 2009-08-20)

     We would not do a whole new Y-Wing in this format, but we do intend to deliver a significant update to the current tool next year that will address many, if not all of your issues (and at a lower price point than the Deluxe format, similar to last year's Y-Wing). Stay tuned!

Do you think you'll ever get to a point where you will stop re-making and "improving" the same characters that have been done over and over before? Will you ever get to the point where you make a Luke Skywalker Tatooine figure and say "AHHH! It's perfect, we will never have to create another Luke Skywalker Tatooine again!"? There really doesn't seem to be any shortage of characters in the Star Wars Universe that haven't been realized in plastic, yet it seems like every year we are "treated" to another Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, etc. etc. I do understand that you want to be able to attract newer, younger fans and consumers by making popular characters available at all times - or at least as often as possible - but why not just use the Legends line for this purpose? Instead it seems like the Legends line is used to reissue figures that are still sitting on pegs in their original release cardbacks, that haven't sold the first time you sent them to stores - what's the purpose of sending MORE of the same figures? How is a figure that was released 2 months ago considered a "Legend" so soon? (SAND, 2009-08-20)

     You are right, in that we are getting to some definitive characters that we do not feel a need to update, but will keep in the lineup as "carryforward" figures in new packages.  This will be seen both in the current, and 2010 Saga Legends line, as well as the Legacy line - these are important characters for us to carryforward as they provide "anchors" for waves and we can devote our slots a little more to as-yet-unproduced (1st appearance) characters or updgrades for other characters.  By the way, we are wondering where you are seeing the same Saga Legends characters in their original-release cardbacks - that seems a little odd to us as many of these figures are several years old and have been selected based on their popularity and sales data.  The Legends line is drawn from our best-selling characters, complemented by a few select characters to augment our Clone Wars lineup (hence the inclusion of characaters like Plo Koon).  Can you have the reader who asked this question help us out with better descriptions of what they have seen and store numbers so we can check it out?

******************************************************************

With the recent announcement that hasbrotoyshop.com is now shipping to Canada, we would like to know specificly why there is an additional $20 fee being tacked on to the normal shipping fees, plus the cost of the figure. If this is the case, it would not be worth buying the figure from hasbrotoyshop.com as it would come to nearly $50 for a $15 3.75" exclusive figure from hasbrotoyshop.com. If, you waited long enough it would be on ebay for less than half the price including shipping. Many of us would prefer to buy directly from hasbrotoyshop.com, as the chances of getting it near minty would be higher and we also like to get product as soon as it has become available. Please, clarify exactly what this extra $20 is for? (SNOW, 2009-08-20)

     The extra $20 covers duty, taxes, and additional costs for us to be able to ship items from the U.S. to Canada.

If you are ever re-visiting the Clone Wars Super Battle Droid would you consider changing the forearm articulation on him? If the swivel post from the elbow joint connected to the forearm rather than the bicep you would get considerably more viable arm poses including the most common "at attention" position with the elbow bent, forearm up, wrist flat front and blasters facing forward. (If it saves on tooling you could just add the forearm post to the elbow joint.) (SNOW, 2009-08-20)

     That's a good suggestion - thanks.  Right now we don't have an update planned but it's a good idea for a future revision.  Thanks.

Is it possible to set up some kind of information feed that would inform Canadian collectors of exactly what is coming to Canadian retail? As things get finalized you could let us know. For example, if a retailer steps up for the Scramble at yavin battle pack assortment, you could let us know when this happens. Or once retailers place an order for a certain wave, you could automatically confirm this for us. This would save us from asking every Q&A "Is x vehicle or wave coming to Canada"? It would also benefit retailers because we would then not resort to ordering things from the US for fear of them never arriving at retail here. It would basically act as product announcements like Hasbro USA does when revealing new products, but be Canada specific.

And speaking of Canadian retail and SW toys, the distribution of TLC this year has been terrible, with constant reloading (and clogging) of the pegs with wave 1 and barely a trickle of waves 3 and 4 (and obviously the absence of the last two waves completely). So given that Hasbro at SDCC has stated it will ship four waves in only 2 months(!) will ALL of these waves actually be coming to Canada? And what about existing announced blue-white packaged items like:

Scramble on Yavin
CW Jabba
AT-TE Assault Squad
Ambush on the Vulture’s Claw
Rancor w/Luke which was said in a previous Q&A to be headed to
“smaller accounts”
Spring 2009 comic packs

These answers are exactly what we hope an information feed would tell us, since this year Canadian customers have been left feeling as if we are fumbling in the dark and no idea of what we can or cannot buy. It loses money for Hasbro and obviously makes collecting incredibly, incredibly frustrating. (SNOW, 2009-08-20)

     That is a good idea for a list to advise Canadian collectors.  We will work that up and use it for periodic updates as different toys ship.  As for the ones you cite, none of them will be released in Canada as the blue and white line look is finished.  Unfortunately, the retail support for the Rancor fell through at the last minute and we ended up not releasing it.  A pity, but we tried hard to get it placed.

******************************************************************

Resculpts and Clone Wars outfits notwithstanding, there are 20 new outfits for Padme Amidala that you could still produce, and nine years left until your license expires. That said, what's your plan for our favorite queen-turned-senator? Relatively lackluster sales of Breha Organa, another regal female character, might point to a lack of interest in new Padme outfits; there's also the fact that many of the costumes are similar to one another in style and color, particularly her many dark blue and purple ROTS robes. However, when released in cautious numbers, Padme can fully sell through and satiate collectors. Do you plan on making all of her outfits over the course of the line? If not, then how many more do you think we can expect to see, and which ones are most likely? (SSG, 2009-08-20)

     We do not have a specific plan for Padme other than generally planning one version of her a year. In anything other than her adventure gear or Arena outfit, she is not the strongest figure and there are lot sof other "sub-groups" that we would like ot plan on getting to. It's possible that someday we'll get to do another pack like the "Evolutions" pack featuring Padme, but there are currently no plans for anything other than a basic figure.

There is some confusion for the tail end of the Titanium Series line, what with the wave numbers and date cards shown at SDCC. The Mist Hunter is showing up in retailers' computers in wave 10, while your slide show says the previous wave that should have hit shelves before it in late July and includes 3 new tools - the Republic Gunship, Punishing One, and the Malevolence - is nowhere to be found in retailers computers, nor is the wave after the Mist Hunter with the Outrider and Nebulon B frigate. Where does this confusion lie, and will those sets actually get released or will they get lost the way the Gungan Sub and Basestar did? If they are still on track for release, what are those waves and when are they slated for? (SSG, 2009-08-20)

     You are right - we did mess up and the Mist Hunter is in a separate wave. We can confirm that the other waves will be released even though they do not appear to be actively listed in the system yet of the particular retailer you checked.

At some point during SDCC, photos were taken of a second Utai figure standing near the Utai Varactyl Wrangler figure on display during the rest of the show and the slideshow panel, however there was no mention of this figure anywhere and it wasn't shown during the main display. This second Utai has a stockier head, different deco, and no headgear. What is the deal with this Utai, will it be released as a running change, has it been cut, and could we get a clearer photo of this figure? (SSG, 2009-08-20)

     The second Utai has been cut due to costing issues and we do not have plans for a running change since our Utai pack was only planned for one wave. We will see how he does; if it does well we may release the second Utai at a later date in either basic figure or some other form.

******************************************************************

SWAN

******************************************************************

I know you don't want to get into financial figures, but I'm wondering how well the comic packs are doing and if they will be around for the foreseeable future. I hope they are here for the long term since there are so many great characters left to make. Knights of the Old Republic and Invasion need their first figures, and dark side Leia from A New Hope Infinities could be a cool one too (hint hint)! (SWC, 2009-08-20)

     We have a lot of heart for the Comic Packs, since some of the most exciting stories from the EU have been told in comics and there are somany exciting characters to draw from. That said, the line does need a boost as it's been a little sluggish versus expectations. We have beenworking on a lot of new and exciting figure tools (see this fall's lineup for an example!) and hope that fans share the same excitement we have. Right now, we are planning comic packs to run through 2010 at least, but we really do need fan support for all the packs to ensure that we continueon a healthy pace through 2010.

Looking over my old vintage figures, it's hard not to be impressed by the attention given to the Jabba's palace characters. The detail on figures like Squid Head and Bib Fortuna was some of the best work of it's time. I'm hoping that someday soon Hasbro will start turning more attention towards Jabba's gang. When I look over the list of vintage characters from Jabba's palace: Gamorrean Guard, Ree-Yees, Weequay, Squid Head, Nikto, Klaatu, Rancor Keeper, Bib Fortuna, Klaatu (Skiff Guard), 8-D8, Amanaman, Barada, EV-9D9 and Yak Face, almost all, with the exception of the soon to come Rancor Keeper, are in need of a nicely articulated modern version. Bib Fortuna especially needs a definitive update with articulation! The new palace characters that you have been making are great, but are there plans for new versions of the vintage characters? (SWC, 2009-08-20)

     We think you'll be pleased with our plans. Many of the characters you cite are on our radar for the next couple of years. We're sorry to saythat Bib, though, is not on our short list as he got what we feel is a pretty spiffy update in the Saga Collection lineup just a few years back(we don't think articulation is the answer for everything, especially since we see Bib do so little).

Since Dark Trooper Phase III is in the new Wal*Mart "Droid Factory" sets and Phase I is going to be single-carded, any chance we'll see the Phase II version before too long? (SWC, 2009-08-20)

     Surprisingly, we don't have the Phase II in development. It's certainly a possibility for someday, just not in the lineup currently.

******************************************************************

"TJ"

******************************************************************

It's been really exciting to see images of the new figures at the SDCC, can't wait to collect them. I am especially excited to see Major Panno, but disappointed that all the pictures have his cape covering most of him up. Is there any chance of a picture without the cape on? (TPU, 2009-08-20)

     There you go. Please note this is an image of our paint master, so there may be some differences between this image and final deco.

(image)

With 2010 being the 30 anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back are we likely to see a new rescaled Slave 1 or the much wanted Bespin Cloud Car vehicle? (TPU, 2009-08-20)

     It's too early to reveal any specifics, but if any of these are in the lineup it will be revealed at Toy Fare in February (or possibly the U.K. Toy Fair the week prior).

It's great to see more Cantina characters like Leesub Sirin and Hrcheck Kal Fas being made and wonderful they look, but does this mean that we will eventually get the Tonnika sisters? (TPU, 2009-08-20)

     It does not mean that you will eventually get the Tonnika sisters. We will be producing some other tasty Cantina patrons next year, though. Stay tuned!

******************************************************************

In light of the revelation that the second version of the Hoth Rebel Trooper is going to be the scarcest of the Legacy Collection figures, how has this effected the distribution of other upcoming figures with running changes like the Bespin Guards and the Imperial Scanning Crew? Are more preventative measures being taken to allow collectors to complete their loose/carded figure collection?

And speaking of figures with running changes, where does the second version of the Utai figure fit in to all of this? (YF, 2009-08-20)

     Yes, the Bespin Wing Guard and the Scanning Crew will be released in separate waves this fall, thus preventing the problem. This is under the assumption that the factory will not forget to switch over to the new head for the new wave - these instructions were obviously ignored during the Hoth Rebel Trooper run and the results were unfortunately bad. To compound it, we did not catch it until after the (already short) run was over. We can confirm that we are looking at ways of ensuring the Hoth figure gets released again next year. The second Utai will not become the basic figure line next year since the Utai was originally only ever to run one wave, and thus we could not slot a second one into the line.

This year at SDCC, it seems like their were several new items announced or on display for the first time that hit store shelves at virtually the same time as the convention was taking place (Corporate Alliance Tank Droid, Ahsoka's Jedi Starfighter, various Clone Wars figures etc). Was this a mere matter of coincidence or something that was planned in order to bombard collectors with new merchandise in a few short days? (YF, 2009-08-20)

     If these beat us out, it was not intentional. Our plans and labels have been baked into place for sometime before we head to Comic Con, and we don't always get revised shipping schedules when toys are that close the market. Most everyone is used to our toys being later than we want - it's a treat when some of them show up early!

SDCC gave collectors a look at many new and unique figures from the A New Hope wave - even after all these years it shows that new takes on existing characters can still achieved (R2-D2, Han and Chewbacca) and the Cantina scene continues to produce some of the most unique figures of the saga and that brings us to Leesub Sirln. While she looks to be a great figure on her own, she appears to be a little light in the accessory department. Would it be possible to get a small bar table with her, maybe like the one that came with Momaw Nadon or Hem Dazon from the TSC line? It's a small enough accessory to fit in the new smaller bubble and she needs a place to set her drink after all. (YF, 2009-08-20)

     Thanks for the comments. It's way too late at this point to add anything to Leesub. We think collectors will want to add her on their own merit - she will not be released in large quantities and should not (hopefully) hang around too long.

******************************************************************

The AT-TE, BMF, Turbo Tank, and the new G.I. Joe PIT are all examples of massive multi-tiered playsets contained within a vehicle. Can we expect to see this trend continue at least once per year (as long as sales support the investment)? If so, does this leave the door open for playset vehicles such as the Executor, the Imperial Star Destroyer, and the Republic Venator-class cruiser? (YN, 2009-08-20)

     As long as sales continue to do well, we would like to see this strategy continue for Star Wars (we can't speak for the strategy of other brands). However, we doubt that the giant imperial ships will be part of any large-vehicle plan. They are not the most interesting vehicles themselves. Even though we would love to see them someday, we're sure there are a good number of candidates ahead of them.

With the unveiling of Concept Anakin Skywalker (Episode III) and Concept Ki-Adi Mundi, it seems clear that Hasbro plans to expand beyond the McQuarrie designs and delve into a larger arena of concept art-based products. Can we expect this to eventually include vehicles as well similar to what we saw back in the "Power of the Force 2" era? (YN, 2009-08-20)

     There are no plans to expand beyond figures right now, simply because the tooling would be too great for a non-core vehicle. The exception would be if a concept vehicle could be done with little change to an existing vehicle, then it might be possible.

Considering Master Replicas spent years telling collectors that they couldn't figure out a reliable way to build Force FX sabers with curved hilts (Dooku and Ventress), it was a very welcome surprise to see both of them as your first new entries in the Hasbro Signature Series Force FX line. Were these developed solely in-house and can we expect to see even more innovative higher-end products from Hasbro's Star Wars brand in the future? (YN, 2009-08-20)

     They were developed in-house and represent the first of the new-designs we have planned. Stay tuned!
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 12:14 PM by Matt »

Offline Matt

  • Jedi Master
  • *
  • Posts: 5258
  • It's crazy what you could have had
    • View Profile
    • Lobot's Duplex
Re: The Hasbro Q & A Compendium
« Reply #76 on: September 10, 2009, 02:15 PM »
Session 75 - September 10, 2009

AFC

******************************************************************

A forum member and card carrying member of the "Collect Them All Club" snapped this picture at Toys R Us. [In case the pic is lost to the ether, the pic was taken at a Toys R Us, and shows the new "Imperial" ARC-170 for $79.99 on a shelf above the old TRU exclusive "Wampa" ARC-170 for $44.99.]

Although we were aware of the impending price hike, seeing the two ARCs share shelf space provided clarity. We understand you don't set prices, but you certainly have your own MSRP. Target sells the same ship for $64.99, but even at that price, this wide-release is still $20 above its normally premium-priced store exclusive brother, which is still on the shelves at TRU months after release. Previous versions of the ARC retailed for as low as $29.99.

If this vehicle was rushed to market to keep shelf space available for the upcoming Y-Wing, will we ever see the Y-Wing if unsold ARCs are taking up all the shelf space? (BS, 2009-09-10)

     You are correct in that we do not set retail prices and cannot comment on any particular store's sales price. What they choose to retail anything for is up to the individual retailer. In addition, the volatlity over the past couple of years have severely challenged our ability to deliver near the same prices as even as recently as year ago, so fans should understand that such a situation is not our intention at all when we re-release some of our best ships. Essentially what you have outlined is basically the issue at hand. The ARC-170 was added to the assortment to hold the shelf space until the Y-Wing was ready to go since it was trailing behind. If it does not sell-through, then the Y-Wing stands a risk of not getting out there in significant numbers. We do know that some Y-Wings will be hitting soon, so keep an eye out.

Recently some carded photos of Legacy Collection figures hit the Internet. Will the Imperial Scanning Tech be packaged with the ever-popular box, and will Hrchek Kal Fas be less crazy-eyed than the prototype? (BS, 2009-09-10)

     There was an error in the first packaging that was quickly corrected.  The equipment *will* be shipping with the scanning crew - one half of the equipment with the first release, and the second half with the second release in a later wave. The Kal Fas you saw was an early sample, and should be corrected for final production.

I know you've said a Death Star playset is too expensive to consider right now, but I was wondering if was at all possible to release several 'Mini Dios' in the $20 Vehicle line that could be stacked together and turned into a Death Star? So one set would be the Detention room, one would be the Trash room etc, that way fans could slowly build a modern DS but Hasbro wouldn't have to invest in a large dollar playset at one time, but several small ones over a period of say, 3-4 year? I know I'd be excited to put one together, even if it was only 2 sets a year. (BS, 2009-09-10)

     This question has been asked numerous times already in the Q&A over the past couple years, and our stance has not changed. Basically, environmental pieces or small playsets are not nearly as popular as vehicles and could not be delivered without extraordinary tooling cost.  The only feasible way to deliver a larger playset like this is to do it all at once, but we would not take on something like this unless we are certain that it would succeed based on a strong presence in current entertainment. We have not seen anything to support a new playset, so there is no development going on. Instead, we continue to put our focus on expanding the vehicle range with larger sets that can play a dual role, like the AT-TE and Turbo Tank - both a vehicle and enough areas to make them a playset or rolling headquarters.

******************************************************************

CC

******************************************************************

Understanding that new tooling costs are a major prohibitive factor in creating playsets, has the Hasbro SW team considered digging out the original GI Joe Headquarters playset tooling to repurpose for the Clone Wars line? Its design is generic sci-fi enough that without resculpting it could pass as a Republic base - such as Rishi Station from "Rookiees" - with simply a different sticker sheet for the control panels. It has a landing pad, a hallway/garage for BARC Speeders, and basic features that keep costs down but fit Clone Wars play patterns. So, any thought given to this idea before? If not, what do you think, and what would its chances be? (CS, 2009-09-10)

     Actually, we had not considered that, but that's a really creative suggestion, thanks. We don't know if it would work for various reasons including tooling availability, licensor approval, cost versus what we think consumers would be willing to pay. The fact is that it's probably too "flat" and a little boring compared to what a playset should and could deliver. Still, it's an interesting idea. But hey, taking that thinking one step further, doesn't the Terror Dome look very similar to a Separatist fortress? Anyone? Well, maybe not exactly, but that would be a dream come true!

With the inclusion of alternate "sitting" legs for the new Slave Leia, it reminds us all that Oola hasn't had an update in over a decade, and could also use legs to sit next to Jabba. Any chance of getting a new Oola with similar alternate sitting legs so she could sit on the Jabba's dais we all hope you'll make soon? (CS, 2009-09-10)

     Oola definitely needs and update; we have her on our short list, probably within the next two years. It would be cool to make her compatible for any future dais that we also hope to make soon.

In ye olden days, playsets were keen, but MICRO-scale playsets were really where it was at. Old-skool fans still to this day fondly remember Kenner's expansive Micro Collection series. And Galoob put themselves on the map in the mid-'90s with nearly 30 different creative, clever, fun Micro Machines playsets. Granted, Hasbro's stance on playsets for the 3.75" market is abundantly clear in that there's no mass market left there, but has any thought been put into playsets for the ongoing Galactic Heroes line? The brand's cute little styling could translate very well to playsets, and the brand has legs with both kids and collectors. Collectors love to put figures in context, and kids can always use environments to structure play patterns. The cardboard "playsets" from the recent battle packs are nifty, but kids play rough and cardboard doesn't take much abuse. Competitor Fisher-Price's Imaginext line has tons of creative and fun playsets around the same scale as G. Heroes which some kids have repurposed into Star Wars environments such as Jabba's Sail Barge from the pirate ship. So what about actual playsets for Galactic Heroes? (CS, 2009-09-10)

     Given the investment cost, we're more likely to consider playsets for the much bigger 3-3/4" line. Based on sheer numbers, that's where we'd get the best return on the investment if we went beyond the cardboard type of sets (which we think are terrific for the overall price of the Cinema Scene). The real trick, though, is landing on a playset concept that is iconic enough, has both space and features that we can afford to produce, and has significant entertainment support to get such a concept a green light. While we have looked at numerous different concepts in the constant quest to determine whether it's finally "time" to do a playset, we've never had a concept that hits all three of these criteria. Look over Clone Wars for anything, other than perhaps the bridge of a Republic Cruiser, that has consistent and repeatable exposure as a constant scenic element. Clone Wars is a world on the move, and as cool as Grievous' Lair of the Rookie's outpost may be, it is too fleeting to really justify the huge investment and risk. Maybe one day, if we ever have, say, extended exposure inside the Jedi training area of the Jedi temple, or Clone training facilities, then we might have a concept. Until then, we'll continue to devote our energies to different types of playsets like the vehicles, which we feel can satisfy both a great vehicle and a playset-type of need in the line.

******************************************************************

Hasbro made a number of Padme's outfits last year, but this year seems particularly lacking... with the large number of costumes still yet unmade from both ROTS and AOTC, can you tell us if you have any plans to release at least a couple/few of the remaining ones in next year's lineup? (DP, 2009-09-10)

     Last year was atypical, in that we had the Evolution pack to add a good jolt of Padme for those fans who craze her. Since she is still a nice collecting interest, our mainline plans are more tempered; the ideal is to debut one new Padme every year, if we can. There may be more or fewer as the year shakes out but since she competes with the few precious collector-targeted slots, which typicaly consume disproportionate tooling, we need to keep everything in balance by limiting Padme to one/year.

How about this for a battle pack - bespin guard white head, bespin guard mustache (vintage style), and the two ugnaughts painted in the lighter colors as seen at toyfair and with their heads switched. In the last q and a someone mentioned repainting the Han Solo carbonite block (so that it is not melting) and this might make a nice accessory for this pack. It would be a nice set for someone who wants multiples of these troop builder style figures. (DP, 2009-09-10)

     That is actually a pretty cool pack idea for a collector-targeted Battle Packs. Unfortunately, our mainline plans have moved away from collector-targeted packs but we'll park this one in the exclusives parking that we draw upon for ideas. By doing this, fans would essentially get all four of the major head types for Bespin Wing Guards, and Ugnaught varuety. Thanks for the intersting suggestion.

Let’s say theoretically that the Clone Wars cartoon features an action packed episode where some clones go on a mission to Tatooine to save someone (anyone!) kidnapped by bounty hunters held up at Jabba’s Palace. On their mission their ship is destroyed and they have to steal Jabba’s Sail Barge to get away. This of course leads to an all out race for their freedom as they are pursued by skiff necessitating the need to unload all that hidden firepower Jabba had installed on his sail barge. I think you know where I’m going with this. Can you lobby Lucasfilm for an episode with the sail barge and in turn of course make a sail barge for us fans? This has been a dream for some OT fans! (DP, 2009-09-10)

     The real problem is this: the Sail Barge, as cool as it might be, will only be seen in one episode and would not nearly be enough to justify a monstrous tooling budget and instill confidence that enough kids (the majority of the audience) and collectors (the smaller audience) would want this one. We really would have to see it as a feature vehicle in multiple episodes to be able to have confidence that something like this could work. We'd be much more likely to a do a Republic Cruiser, which is in many episodes but still seems an unexciting vehicle compared to the other active and aggressive vehicles from which we can select.

******************************************************************

OK, so with next year being the 30th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, if you are forced (this could get ugly) to make an all-new Imperial Probe Droid, do you:

...give it super articulation and try to fit it into the Mini-Rig-esque price point?
...give it super articulation and its launching pod for the $20 Vehicle price point?
...give it super articulation, toss in Han Solo and Chewbacca, and Battle Pack it?
... or? (GH, 2009-09-10)

     Here's why it wouldn't work out in the way you suggest, unfortunately: the Deluxe Figure/Vehicle Assortment is Clone Wars-based; the Starfighter Vehicle Assortment has vehicles as its focus, and this would not be meaty enough. Adding something else really makes it a Battle Pack, and; Battle Packs are being redefined in Fall to go back to a slimmer, figure-focused footprint.  This leaves Spring '09 Battle Packs, but we can confirm that we do not have an upgrade Probe Droid coming there. Sorry to dissapoint - we would love to do a new Imperial Probe Droid if we could figure out a way that made sense.

Why are you repacking the Evolutions Attack of the Clones Padmé on a basic card rather than retooling her upper torso/arms as the Geonosis Arena torn-shirt version many of us want? Do you plan to offer that version anytime soon? (GH, 2009-09-10)

     For this one, we had no tooling to work with so we selected a strong re-pack for this wave.  We do not right now have the torn-shirt version in the plans right now but it's something we have in parking lot to activate down the road.

With The Force Unleashed multipacks coming out for the Fall Season, why weren't they unveiled at Comic-Con? Would now be a good time to ask for a photo or two to illustrate these cool sets? (It's 1:30am, and I'm totally pandering for photos.) (GH, 2009-09-10)

     The Force Unleashed multi-packs, a Toys 'R Us exclusive, are not Fall exclusives but instead Spring 2010.  As such, we'll have pictures around Toy Fair timing.  Sorry if there was ever confusion on this, we do not think we ever indicated they were in 2009.  There is no way they could beat out the basic figure TFU Shaak Ti in any case, since she was created before the later wave that was moved to TRU.

******************************************************************

Since it looks like the Winter'09 ESB wave has more figures than needed for a 6-piece droid, can you shed a little light on which pieces will come with which figure in that wave? (HH, 2009-09-10)

     You are correct in that this wave does have more "new" figures than it is supposed to, since six figures are needed to complete any protocol droid. The answer is because R2-X2 was originally designed as a "pure" package refresh brought into the basic figure line for the first time. However, as we got further along we realized that the original deco when R2-X2 was first released in a multi-figure pack, was incorrect and with Lucasfilm we corrected the deco. As a result, it is basically a new figure to replace the old. So a simple package refresh became like a new figure.

     Here are how the parts break out of the "true" six new figures slotted for this wave:
Luke Snowspeeder (HK-50 head); AT-AT Driver (HK-50 body); Bespin Wing Guard
(HK-50 L Arm); Willrow Hood (HK-50 R Arm); Zuckuss (HK-50 L Leg); Concept Art Snowtrooper (HK-50 R Leg).

     The other six "redundant" parts are:
Snowtrooper (HK-50 L Leg); R2-X2 (HK-50 R Leg); Commander Bacara (HK-50 Body); Plo Koon (HK-50 L Arm); Agen Kolar (HK-50 R Arm); Commander Deviss (HK-50 Head).


If the Hasbro Star Wars team was able to contribute to the current "Fans' Choice Poll" with none of your usual worries (like costing or case make-up or whatever), what would your collective top five look like? (HH, 2009-09-10)

     We canvassed a few members of the team and did not find a unanimous top 5 list. This reflects not only the wide variety of interests, but the high quality of choices still at large in the figure world. In no particular order: Snoova (resculpt); the actual "Sith" species; Mandalorian Neo Crusader; Bastila Shan; Joe Johnston concept Imperial Guard; Phase 2 Dark Trooper (2 votes so technically the #1 choice here); Guri; Weequay Skiff Master; Widdle & Oochee 2-pack; Yuuzhan Vong (more slender sculpt); Luke in Emperor Guard disguise (resculpt); super-articulated Rancor with elbows and knees (hey, that's not eligible!); Nera Dantels; super-articulated AT-ST driver; Bettybot; female Stormtrooper from Legacy 0; Jaxxon; Ponda Baba; Dr. Evazon; Aqualish Technician (Clone Wars); Nelvaan Warrior (mutated - he'd be HUGE!); Shado Vao.

Our Galactic Heroes Sandpeople need a beast of burden! When are we going to see a nifty GH scale Bantha? Pack in a couple Sandpeople, Ben, Luke, and the Droids and you've got the makings of a great scene! (HH, 2009-09-10)

     While there are no plans for a Galactic Heroes Bantha right now, he's one of the beasts that's high on our creature wish list. Chances are good that you'll see one in the next couple of years.

******************************************************************

I realize that the last wave of Mighty Muggs will be exclusive to TRU, but can you let on as to when they should be on shelf and which four will make up the last wave?  Also, if they do well at retail will we see any additional waves in 2010? (IS, 2009-09-10)

     Actually, there will be no exclusive wave of Mighty Muggs at Toys 'R Us.  There was to be another wave (including Ashoka), but they were canceled and they will not ship.  Instead, Toys 'R Us is continuing them as an exclusive while we work through the excess stock.  Even if they do well there are no more plans for Mighty Muggs

The Clone Wars Republic Fighter Tank vehicle looks great.  Any chance we'll see a repaint on this vehicle with an Imperial paint scheme and markings like it appears in the Battlefront II game? (IS, 2009-09-10)

     There is certainly a possibility that we could use this vehicle again to produce other versions.  We have had our eye on the Battlefront II version but do not have it slotted into the lineup anywhere yet.

Looking at my Qui-gon and Eopie Redemption Certificate, I am wondering if you can provide us a list of which figure's upc codes will count towards the redemption? We have heard that saga Legends, CW, and Legacy UPCs from last year will work also.  I take it that Droid Factory, Evolutions, and comic pack UPCs are a no-go? (IS, 2009-09-10)

     The redemption will work for any of the Star Wars basic figures: Legacy/Droid Factory, Saga Legends, or Clone Wars.  Since the Asst #(87535, 87995, and 87638) has remained the same from the blue/white package transition to the red/white, you may use any basic figure from these assortments.  However, only UPC codes from these three basic figure SKUs will be honored; no other UPC from any other Hasbro Star Wars item will be accepted.

******************************************************************

The new Dressellian Commando is really great looking, and it brings to mind a potential update to a POTF2 figure. Will we get a re-use of some of the new Dresellian Commando to make a new Orrimarko with his eye patch? It seems like the groundwork is there to get the original Pruneface redone semi-easily, and with more articulation and detailing! (JD, 2009-09-10)

     That is one thing that we have anticipated when we decided to do Major Panno. Actually, his lower torso gives us a lot of flexibility - for Rebel Commandoes as well. So we do think this nice new figure can give yield a couple strong choices offshoots in years to come.

You've knocked out a couple Rogue Squadron pilots in comic packs recently, and a couple more are on the way in future packs. What I'm wondering is, now that you've got these great base sculpts of pilots, are you going to look to fill out as many of the Rogue Pilots from the comics as you can? Or, will you look at doing more film pilots (or updating older pilots that use an inferior sculpt)? A lot of fans seem interested in Pilots with their Astromechs from both the films and EU. (JD, 2009-09-10)

     Since our tooling base is so strong, we do continue to look for ways to bring both on-screen pilots and their droids, as well as Rogue and Dagger squadron, to fans. This past year we embraced Rebel pilots as one of the strong sub-themes that ran across lines; however, few of them were in the basic figure lineup. Going forward, the vehicles available to us to bring out more pilots will be narrower, as Evolution packs have gone away and exclusive waves of comic packs will be more limited as well. So while we are looking for different ways to bring more of these cool figures out, we don't think there will be quite as many as we saw last year, but our long-term desire is to flesh out those ranks. Patience will be rewarded.

The Scanner Technician seems like a surefire base figure for a number of redecoes, or slight changes, that could crank out super articulated "new" figures. Will we see this figure eventually in the black jumpsuits, maybe with a helmet, like the Death Star Troopers working on the 2nd Death Star and shield generator? What about a new AT-ST Drive to compliment that spiffy new ride he has coming? There's a lot of Imperials wearing that pretty basic jumpsuit, and it just seems like something we could easily see updated into pretty desirable army builders. (JD, 2009-09-10)

     We're glad you like this guy - we certainly think he turned out great. We do anticipate utilizing this great new base sculpt to bring out some other Imperials over time. What the next one may be, though, has yet to be slotted into the lineup. Stay tuned!

******************************************************************

JI

******************************************************************

JN

******************************************************************

A question on Star Wars TV characters: In a previous Q&A session you indicated that some of the unique Holiday Special cantina aliens like the Y'bith and the early Nikto could someday be made into action figures. I personally think this would be a great idea since they had a really nice character design and would fit in seamlessly with the Episode IV cantina figures. I hope these guys really do have a shot. But what I'm really wondering is if there will ever be any new figures based on the Ewok movies, Ewoks cartoon or Droids cartoon (beyond the awesome new Boba Fett and BL-17 of course!) It would be an absolute shame if you didn't at least give it a try. At least for the cartoon series characters, couldn't the the idea of a figure two pack with an episode on a DVD be tried? Apparently there was an issue with rights to the cartoons when the DVD's were still in distribution, so this couldn't be done in the past. Perhaps the situation has changed now since the DVD's have been off the market for a few years? (JTA, 2009-09-10)

     The characters from the cartoon short in the Star Wars Holiday Special are not necessarily off limits (as we have seen with Boba Fett), but the forgettable special and the live action TV characters who appear therein will not be produced in toy form (sorry, Ackmena).  As for live acion Ewoks, they are not off limits but we just have not felt compelled to go there yet.  The cartoon Ewoks and Droids are a different story; Lucasfilm has OK'd that they are OK to do, but they'd have to be produced in an animated storyline (not realistic) which means that they would require extensive new tooling, far more than would make sense for this niche entertainment interest.  As a result, we've decided to skip any more characters from these series and focus our figure slots on the movies and more prominent EU sources.

Is there anything that can be done to ensure that battle-damage or dirty markings are included more often with our action figures again? While we don’t know everyone’s opinion on this, we do hear clamoring that many collectors would like to see these “dirtied” figures in lieu of extra accessories (and even the big missile-firing ones). It is such a shame sometimes to get a beautifully sculpted clone trooper (for example) that is bright white, especially when he appears dirty and banged up in The Clone Wars TV show. We are sure that something could be done to save cost somewhere else and give us the beautiful paint application back that our figures once had. The same is true for the Sandtrooper and Dewback WAL*MART exclusive. Are we really getting a clean Sandtrooper? Please say it isn’t so! Where are the amazing paint ops as seen on the Evolutions Sandtrooper? We need this back, give us less plastic parts and more art please! (JTA, 2009-09-10)

     We made the decision to go clean with the troopers because of the extraordinary cost our factories were asking to actually put that "ditry" deco on.  The cost-cutting elsewhere to be able to add these paint opps is very large, and we did not feel the sacrifice was worth it.  Same issue came up with the Sandtrooper, and we elected to keep the parts the set came with rather than cut elsewhere.

The new AT-ST looks fantastic!  And the demos at Comic Con really helped this vehicle shine.  It seems perfect.  But the driver that's packed in looks frankly, a little lonely in that new, spacious cockpit.  We have not had an AT-ST Driver in the basic figure line (with the exception of Han Solo in his AT-ST Driver disguise) since the POTF2 days.  Can we expect a new AT-ST driver in the near term?  Or perhaps some AT-ST hijacking Ewoks?  If my memory serves me correct, they're named Widdle and Oochee. (JTA, 2009-09-10)

     Glad you like the new AT-ST!  It sure turned out fantastic, in our opinion.  Yes, there are plans for all of these figures next year.  The AT-ST driver should be out by the end of next year as a basic figure, while the Ewoks have yet to be confirmed but will likely be part of an exclusive pack.

******************************************************************

I recently picked up the HYENA BOMBER and Cad Bane's XANADU BLOOD Titaniums. Can we expect to see these in the 3 3/4 inch assortment? As the Xanadu Blood is just a repainted Magna Guard Fighter, I'm gonna assume that this one is a 'lock'. (MD, 2009-09-10)

     Both of them stand a very good chance of coming out for 3-3/4" within the next couple of years, with at least one being in the lineup next year.

     Stay tuned.


I really like the looks of the upcoming Waves of figures from The Clone Wars, however, I was wondering if you had any other female Jedi in your lineup? Namely Aayla Secura and Luminara Unduli. (MD, 2009-09-10)

     Yes, we have plans for both ladies. Luminara will be out this Fall, and Aayla by next Spring. Thanks for the good word and we hope to see more great female characters in Clone Wars as the seasons unfold.

We've all seen the brand new card design for 2009. While it looks great aesthetically with all those edges and corners, I foresee that MOMC collectors, are going to have a difficult time finding mint examples of their favorite carded figures. Next time you design a new card back, could you take us MOMC people into consideration please? (MD, 2009-09-10)

     We did not anticipate the extent to which the various corners on this new version would get damaged on their way to retail, since we have done cards with a lot of sharp points before. Next time, we will make sure to police this aspect of the packaging much more - we certainly don't want to discourage any MOC collectors.

******************************************************************

I love what you have done in the Paploo & NoApaak Ewok 2 pack. From what I read in the collecting community, all of the Ewok packs sell through very well. My question/request has to do with your selection process for the Ewoks in these packs. It seems like you are packing main Ewoks with background Ewoks. If you continue to do this down the line, could you please throw us lover's of the Ewok movies a bone on some figures? You could easily make packs like Wicket and Deej, Logray and Kaink, Teebo and Chukha-Trok. All of them would be an instant hit and sell just as well as any other Ewok pack, plus it would be a way to get these figures to the die hard fans. (RS, 2009-09-10)

     The Ewok packs have been indeed doing well, and this gives us confidence to keep them going in the lineup every year in one form or another. We do have all of the Ewoks mentioned on our short list, and given time all of them should see the light of day. It may take a few years, however.

Have you ever thought of doing a two-pack line for the Cantina (like the Order 66/Build a Droid/Geo Arena packs)? (RS, 2009-09-10)

     The Cantina patrons are very nice when it comes to collecting interest and this would not be a sound strategy for us. We have done multi-figure packs built around the Cantina in the past, but these were a disappointment and so we look for new and different ideas for the 2-pack lineup.

My question (and I'm sure a majority of us are curious) pertains to the recently revealed DS2 Luke figure. From a previous Q&A, it was our understanding this figure was *all new*, and as the multitude of images from SDCC have shown, that's not the case. Why, with all the fan anticipation, demands, Fan's choice voting, etc. would this figure not be done with the utmost care and detailing? (Snowspeeder Luke is fantastic while DS2 Luke leaves MUCH to be desired) For those dispelled by this version, when can we expect to see a justified release of Death Star 2 Luke (no flap down, all the bells and whistles, SMALLER, CONCEALED JOINTS, etc.) (RS, 2009-09-10)

     The version you saw at Comic Con was not the final production version, which we expect will have a tighter fit, so the joints are not noticeable. You are correct that this version of Luke is built on some existing parts, which helped us reach our tooling goals for the basic figure line. Not all figures can be newly tooled, and we thought we had a great starting place with using the existing limbs we selected. This version of Luke comes with an interchangeable chest piece so you can display him both ways, important since we don't have another DS2 version of Luke planned.

******************************************************************

When you release a new line of Star Wars action figures and come up with a new design for the backer cards, do you have to make sure that they will fit into the "Star Wars Official Action Figure Protective Cases" or are you allowed more leeway as far as size or shape? (RTM, 2009-09-10)

     Up until this year, we have been faithful to the 6"x9" card design and ensured that all figures fit the official protective case. This year, however, Hasbro embarked on a new initiative designed to conform to the standard Wal-Mart planogram peg sizes and reduce, even if it was slight, the amount of packaging required to produce a basic Star wars figure. As a result, the new card size is smaller (5.5"x8.25"). We did a lot of research with collectors before heading down this route, to make sure that we were not making a mistake. The vast of majority of collectors we spoke with thought this was a good idea (or they did not care) and we moved forward with it. Because of this reduced card size, it will no longer fit snigly into the backer-card trap area of the collector cases, and they have not become obsolete for the modern collection. We do not have plans to produce bulk packs of a new official case for the new smaller card size. The one caveat, and it's an important one, will be Vintage. If Vintage does return, it will strictly be in the 6"x9" format and will fit in the current official cases.

Will any of the build-a-droid figures see re-release? (RTM, 2009-09-10)

     It's possible that additional figures using the parts could be produced, but the characters themselves in the buildable format are confined to the Legacy/Droid Factory series and none of them will ever be re-released. The possible exception being HK-47, since he was the buildable droid in a very low-production wave. If we do re-release him, we would probably re-release the whole wave of figures he came with in a new package format.

Given the relatively low production numbers on the HK-47 droid wave, will we ever see HK-47 released again? Perhaps in an online exclusive with Darth Revan, Malak, and some other KOTOR characters? (RTM, 2009-09-10)

     Right now there are no plans to release HK-47 again, but we are keeping our eye on this one. The one bright spot in this wave being the fact that there are up to twice as many HK-47s that can be built as any of the other characters released for the wave (the carry-forward figures in this wave also coming with "duplicate" HK-47 parts). The secondary market will come in handy in completing HK-47, as people open up the additional carry-forward figures to increase the available part pool.

******************************************************************

The McQuarrie box sets are being listed on StarWarsShop.com for $55.99, and feature 13 different McQuarrie figures - including 3 previous "exclusive" figures that originally sold for $20 each. Why do you keep re-issuing these so-called exclusives a year or so down the road? Why should we, as collectors, continue to pay $20 for a figure that's supposedly exclusive to an event when we can wait a year and get it - plus a dozen other figures - for much less money? The box sets basically breaks down to around $4.30 per figure. That's 75% of the cost of the exclusives originally, and almost 50% of the original retail on the others. Isn't there some sort of agreement that you sign with the events in question for these exclusive figures that should prevent you from re-issuing them down the road? (SAND, 2009-09-10)

     We do not have specific agreements with events regarding the exclusivity of figures, and may choose to release the figures again based on need or a special occasion (in this case commemorating the complete-to-date McQuarries collection, many of which proved elusive to many fans).  However, we will never release the figure exactly as it came our prior - so both the 6"x9" carded format and coin were exclusive to the figures when they were released.

Does anybody at Hasbro even realize that EVERY Clone Trooper figure made thus far in the new Animated Series line is wrong? Every Clone has incorrect armor on the forearms and biceps. Did any of the designers even watch the animated series or at least look at reference photos of some sort? Every figure made thus far has the elbow armor extend down from the bicep. That's wrong! In the animated show, the Clone armor elbow armor extends up from the forearm. The only figure to get this right is the awesome General Kenobi and the awful new Mace Windu - and neither of them are Clones, yet somehow you got the armor correct for them.

I'm sure it's futile to ask this, but do you have any plans to correct this mistake in the future? Obviously you already have the tooling from the General Kenobi figure, all you would need to do is to replace the forearms from the Clones with the forearms from Kenobi. (SAND, 2009-09-10)

     We do realize they are wrong.  When we first designed the Clone, we had only static model sheets to go from, before they had been fully animated. We assumed that the armor would be like the EpII and EpIII armor in that the elbow guard would be attached to the bicep.  Well, we were thrown a curve and it was instead attached to the forearm.  We have been playing constant catch-up ever since with the Clone tools running at full capacity.  Adapting the Obi-Wan forearms would mean excessive duplication of tools, which based on the continued high demand for Clones does not seem needed.  There eventually will be an updated, 100% newly sculpted Clone with the corrected armor coming down the road.

What was the main reason to going back to a glue on bubble for the new legends and clone wars figures? Was it to try and stop the slash and returns that have been going on since the ROTS line? I applaud the idea of doing this hopefully it will stop all the slash and returns that occurred over the last few yrs, which was part of the reason I stopped collecting very hard to get excited about a figure when you look at it and it isn't what it should be. (SAND, 2009-09-10)

     The actual number of figures "abused" this way by unscrupulous collectors (if you can call them that) is very low, luckily.  Our preference for heat-sealed ("glued") blisters has less to do with Lucasfilm's blister card design and more to due with the labor costs involved in assembling the packaging; the flange-sealed (taped) blister takes more labor to produce and thus is more expensive.  Our preference is always heat-sealed, so the change is a welcome one from that standpoint. If it makes it more tamper-resistant, that's a secondary benefit.

******************************************************************

Would you consider using the idea of various hair colours to make new Imperial officers that a) had more up-to-date articulation, b) grey uniforms instead of black?  You could use the hair to differentiate the figures, and also use the rank badges, which we see can now be removed thanks to Captain Needa, to further differentiate.

It wouldn't be too hard to do this - you could use Needa's body, have different heads and at least three different rank badges (maybe Lieutenant, Captain, Admiral).  You could also do this for female officers, with the hair and the rank badges, using Deena Shan's body and adding the rank badges.

Or, at the very least, you could do three bodies with the rank badges attached, but have interchangeable heads. (SNOW, 2009-09-10)

     Our first desire is to make on-screen (speaking part) officers using the new Imperial officer body.  The idea of generic officers is an interesting one, though, and we have done this in the past so we acknowledge that an upgrade would be welcome.  We doubt that we'd do generic female officers, though, since that's more of an EU occurrence. Thanks for the suggestion.

So how do you go about picking out characters for comic packs? Are people working for Hasbro assigned to read stacks of old and new comics, or do you browse through the various fan site forums to get the buzz on which comic characters are the most popular at the moment?  Or does direction come mainly from Lucasfilm? However it's done, I hope you take a look at the recent Knights of the Old Republic comic (#42) which features Jedi versions of Revan and Malak! (SNOW, 2009-09-10)

     Members of our team have read (and read) all Star Wars Comic Packs and we keep a "parking lot" filled with suggestions of figures that can be drawn from each pack (literally hundreds of suggestions).  We decide on the lineup based on how interesting those characters are, how popular we feel they would be, and personal preference for great stories, all balanced against the tooling budget we have to work with.  We have also solicit ideas from Randy Strandley at Dark Horse.  Lucasfilm generally accepts our suggestions for the lineup, occasionally asking us to revise a wave if the character selections are a little too obscure.

Hasbro has gotten a LOT of good use from the Evolutions Emperor/Sidious mold. And the recent TESB Emperor finally came with a plastic hood that fixed the terrible "pointy elf" look that used to occur with the raised softgoods hood. But to my frustration, the softgoods cloak on the Evo Emperor still remains the biggest flaw in this figure.

Unlike the Jedi figures, who mostly walk around with their (softgoods) cloaks open, or not wearing them at all, the RotJ Emperor is all about the black cloak. Using softgoods here, rather than the nice subtle folds and texture of fabric that gracefully drape over his body, what we get is a puffy cloth nightmare - he ends up looking "fat" and goofy. I LOVE softgoods but in this case I want to see a plastic cloak sculpted in a similar manner to your excellent TPM Darth Sidious figure (who resembled the RotJ Emperor better than any other Emperor figure that came after).

How about it? Any chance of an Emperor with plastic cloak as the next upgrade to this figure? (SNOW, 2009-09-10)

     We understand your desire to have a sculpted Emperor with all of the rich folds of a real figure.  The Episode I version does look sharp.  However, we have moved away from this approach because this usually comes at the expense of articulation, and some collectors do not desire the fully-sculpted aesthetic of figures like this. If the figure only "works" in certain poses, there is a decreased need for articulation, this sparking the debate of more possible figures vs. those with less articulation but a nice aesthetic (which describes many figures from 1999 and up).  In reality we may never be able to solve the trade-off of one vs. the other.

******************************************************************

Wookiees have consistently been some of the most popular Star Wars aliens since 1977, but haven't had a lot of great non-Chewbacca figures. Fans were very excited to finally be getting a Wookiee battle on Kashyyyk in Episode III, as well as the promise of more Wookiee figures, but figures of Tarrful and the 2 Wookiees we got didn't fully deliver on detailing or articulation, and 2 of them were hampered by action features. Since then, we've gotten updates of Kashyyyk clone troopers, but no more of their Wookiee "brothers in arms". And now with The Force Unleashed we have 2 full levels on Kashyyyk with Wookiees to fight with, but no toys to recreate this. When will we be seeing new and varied Wookiee warrior figures to live up to these great sources? (SSG, 2009-09-10)

     Ewoks have been getting a lot of attention lately, and we agree that their taller furry cousins are due some attention as well. We have slotted a new (non-Chewie) Wookiee into the 2011 lineup and will be looking at what else we can do to build out more following that.

Now that you've shown off the new Slave Leia with alternate sitting lower body, it's got fans hungering for 2 things: a new ROTJ Jabba the Hutt, and Jabba's dais. We know you've heard plenty of these requests and are considering Jabba for a possible new design, up to the point that we almost just sent you literally "blah blah blah Jabba's Dais! blah blah question mark". But hypothetically, if Hasbro were to do a new Jabba with Dais, what pricepoint and format might this be released in for all that new tooling, and would the set include the existing railing and hookah or just assume that enough collectors have the piece and leave it out? Would you go back and use the Kenner vintage throne tooling? Could we convince Brian Merten to get it done as another fantastic exclusive, and if so, does that mean Jabba would have an awesome new cockpit sculpted inside his head? (SSG, 2009-09-10)

     Ha! We'll pass along the cockpit comment. We're glad that you are enjoying the fantastic cockpit mojo that Brian has been working. When we designed Leia, it was not specifically with the intent of being forward-compatible to any future Jabba, but since the time we started her we have also started work on a Jabba. We do not have details yet, but we're hopeful it will be out in Fall 2010. If we do get the greenlight, it will be all-new. We'll have updated at Comic Con 2010 if such a beastie does materialize.

In '08, the Clone Wars figure designs were hybrids of the animation appearance and their live-action counterparts, especially Obi-Wan and Anakin. Sculpts were a bit bulkier, bodies were less lengthy and tapered, likenesses a little more grounded. For the red card '09 line however, we're seeing designs that are closer to the show art, such as Obi-Wan Space Suit with a more angular face with larger eyes and a skinnier body that's got longer legs than the '08 figure. What brought about this change, and why? Will we be seeing updates to those '08 figures with this more show-accurate style? (SSG, 2009-09-10)

     We started out with a deliberately different sculpting aesthetic for the first wave of figures, for which we did not have reference when we started (the first Obi-Wan and Anakin are examples of these). As time went on, we thought that the proportions we were seeing on later characters worked better for figures and started to adopt them to match the show proportions (in some cases the show proportions changed to become more like the toy line, so there has been a convergence of sorts, which is ideal as in a perfect world the show proportions and toys would match. We don't plan on any updates to the 2008 figures, and will continue running them in the line as they remain highly popular.

******************************************************************

SWAN

******************************************************************

We will see any more R4 units in the BAD line? Three good ones that have never been made are the black & white one from Echobase hangar, the one with orange & silver panels with black squiggles all over it from AOTC, and John D.'s droid the Death Star assault, which is similar to R4-M9 but in black instead of green. B.) Now that we're getting Ahsoka's starfighter, when are we going to get her droid, R7-A7? It was very prominent in the Ryloth trilogy, when she also flew with it in a Y-Wing. (SWC, 2009-09-10)

     Thanks for the droid-based question! Right now there are no more R4 units planned beyond what you have seen from Comic Con (R4-P44 in the EpIV wave being the last), but that does not mean they have left our sights. We know that droid demand remains very high and the various rebel pilots remain one of the best "untapped" sources of droids that we have yet to produce. As far as Clone Wars droids, there are a few new Astromech droids planned that we will reveal over time. Even if Ahsoka's R7-A7 is not among them, there is a good chance we will see a release within the next couple of years.

I am really glad that the concept art figures have returned this year, but I am a little puzzled by how it was handled. To me the Anakin figure makes sense since he is is a main character, but the other three, two being secondary characters and one being the second concept Snowtrooper seem like odd choices. With all the various concepts of main characters that were made, I would think that you would want to focus more on those than relaunch the concept art subset with mostly secondary characters. Sorry to be a complainer, but it was also disappointing to see the way they were packaged, especially on the new red cards. Wouldn't it make more sense for the picture of the character to be of the actual concept art and not a modern realistic version? I liked how the 30th Anniversary line presented the concept art figures as something special with unique packaging that stood out from the rest of the figures. Now they just look routine and could easily be confused for average EU characters. That being said, I hope you do continue with the concept art series in the future, as there are many great choices yet to cover such as Lando, Leia, Count Dooku and the Kenner concept Clone Warrior. (SWC, 2009-09-10)

     We're glad you are a passionate fan of the concept art series characters. We like them too, but the precious few slots we have available for newly tooled characters have challenged our desire to really make a statement with the concept art characters. Our selections this year were based as much on contrast, or coolness, of the concept as much as anything else; if it was cool-looking and different from the on-screen version we were interested. Unlike in 2007, when the McQuarrie series was a big focus, they are not such a big focus in 2009 and as such we did not create a whole parallel card architecture for them. As we plan 2011, we do not see the concept figures playing a primary role, but we will be considering them as a future sub-theme going forward.

With the release of the upcoming Target exclusive Geonosis 2-Packs, we are now getting the last two Jedi that appeared in the Arena's "survivor's circle", Joclad Danva and Roth-Del Masona. With these Jedi being released, what is the likelyhood of other backround Jedi being made into action figures (or possibly in the 2010 Geonosis 2-Packs), such as Sarissa Jeng, or Sar Labooda? (SWC, 2009-09-10)

     We very much would like to see Sarissa Jeng and Sar Laboods produced, and it's possible that one of them will see release as part of a sequel to Geonosis Arena should it prove to be successful. The other one will hopefully find her way into the line somehow; even outside the Geonosis Arena 2-packs, we hope to continue to bring prominent arena Jedi to the lineup.

******************************************************************

I was wondering where a new Ghost of Yoda and Ghost of Obi Wan are on your "parking lot" list?  We need the pair to go with that fantastic Ghost of Anakin you released in the Anniversay Collection! ("TJ", 2009-09-10)

     They are a little lower right now, the simple reason being that we haven't had a "repaint" wave in a while and those figures are perfect candidates for a high-impact wave that does not need tooling.  We have been using our "repainting" slots on either new or higher-impact characters lately.  The time will come, though, when these deserving figures see the light of day, so patience will be rewarded.

In the last Q&A, you mentioned you were trying to talk to the China vendors again about standardizing on the ball-joint of the neck (but that they often tweak the ball size to meet needs like fitting a helmet and this alters the neck size by the time of the finished figure).  Is there any possibility of using Hasbro's own GI Joe 25th Anniversary line as a future guide?  I've never really had any problems swapping heads on my Joes due to their standardized neck ball and if there's one thing I hope Hasbro realizes from the success of BaD it's that kids (and adults!) like swapping around heads and limbs to make their own custom SW figures. There's huge play value in making your own Jedi/Sith characters, or putting an Anakin head on a different Jedi body essentially giving Anakin a new costume.  In fact it encourages kids to build a large collection of SW figures in order to have a big library of heads or bodies to swap amongst.  That said then, it'd be nice to have GI Joe and SW heads be cross-compatible to not only have even more opportunities to customize new characters, but from Hasbro's point of view, it could encourage spillover sales from one line into the other. ("TJ", 2009-09-10)

     Thanks for the "heads-up" about the uniformity of the GI Joe head ball joint.  We definitely have not had that as a priority.  While customizing is a priority for a small number of collectors, the ability to achieve it would allow for more flexibility in custimization, which is a good thing. We'll talk to the GI Joe team to see what they have been able to achieve on the factory side.  Thanks.

I'm wondering if you can clarify an issue about Star Wars vehicles, or the reissue of. Why do you reissue the Imperial Shuttle and the AT-AT about every 10 years or so. but with other vehicles you reissue those within no time and even repaint constantly. ("TJ", 2009-09-10)

     It all depends upon how iconic these vehicles are, their demand among kids and collectors both, and their entertainemnt support that determines our re-release strategy. The simple reason for the vehicle you cited is that the Imperial Shuttle is a very niche vehicle, and from the OTC movies, whereas vehicles like the Republic Gunship are from Episode III AND the Clone Wars, and remain in high demand among both collectors and kids. One thing we like to look for in any vehicle release is a "new story" to tell, like we had with the Endor AT-AT in 2006. There are others vehicles that have recent entertainment gravitas (like the ARC-170) that merit similar re-release status. We'll put you down as a fan of both the Imperial Shuttle and the AT-AT and look for an opportunity for re-release when we can, assuming we can find a new story to tell with these.

******************************************************************

With the much enjoyed and highly appreciated pilots series continuing, single packs, 2-packs and evolutions, I thought I'd ask about some more characters - Gen Evir Derricote (pictured in the Making of Baron Fel), Telsij Cayr (Injured Y-Wing pilot from the same series), Horton Salm, Grizz Frix, Herian I'ngre, Avan Beruss, Fey'lis Ardele, Xarrce Huwle and famously Gavin Darklighter who would only need a new head sculpt from that of his cousin.Also Koyi Komad the RS engineer would be a fantastic addition with some tools to add to the various ship sets and the scramble at yavin battle pack.

Also with so many appearances from pilots in the Legacy series how about the following - Andurgo, Anj Dahl, Jhoram Bey, Hondo Karr, Monia Gahan, Ronto and of course 'Gunner' Yage, Cade's half sister. (TPU, 2009-09-10)

     We would love to eventually offer quality, super-articulated versions of *all* of the pilots from the Battle of Yavin, Battle of Hoth, and the Battle of Endor, along with cool EU squadrons like Rogue, Wraith and even Dagger. However, fans will have to be patient and we may never get all the way there (not for lack of trying!).

The reality is that there will be fewer multi-pack options available to us, unlike we had this past year with Evolutions and some exclusives to help out. We'll look for additional ways to bring out more pilots, but patience will always prevail. Of the characters you cite, Horton Salm and Grizz Frixx would be some of our top priorities.


How many figures can we expect to see in 2010 for the non Clone Wars collectors, and how many Comic 2-packs? (TPU, 2009-09-10)

     There will be approximately 45 figures in the Legacy basic figure lineup for 2010, about the same number of basic figures that will be available in 2009. As for Comic Packs, we don't want to make release any numbers right now as the exact number is still up in the air.

The Cantina scene is a long standing fan favorite and collectors lap up figures made from that scene, however so far the Outlanders Club scene from AOTC has not seen as many figures made from it's patrons. Are there any plans to make more characters from there? (TPU, 2009-09-10)

     We do not have any more plans to go back to the Outlander Club. It just doesn't have the impact and importance that the original Cantina did and as such we are unlikely to add any more new characters to that scene beyond the core ones which have already been produced.

******************************************************************

A quick follow up question regarding the Imperial Scanning Crew figure. Solicitation imagery has shown up online showing the packaging and loose shots for this figure and the collecting natives are restless to say the least as neither show the scanning equipment being included! Please tell us that this isn't another issue regarding cost and those accessories haven't been dropped. (YF, 2009-09-10)

     There was an error in the first packaging that was quickly corrected. The equipment *will* be shipping with the Scanning Crew figure - one half of the equipment with the first release, and the second half with the second release in a later wave.

It is evident that the clone trooper figures in the Clone Wars line are huge in terms of popularity, due in large part to their superior sculpt/articuation, accessories and general "coolness factor".  One can assume they are equally huge in terms of profitability since the same super-articulated base figure can be repainted and re-accessorized to create virtually any generic clone or clone commander with minimal retooling dollars. Are there plans to use some of that profitability to continue to upgrade more of the other non-clone characters? For example, it seems that Kit Fisto, Plo Koon, Mace Windu, Asajj Ventress and Cad Bane continue to suffer from "knee and ankle joint envy" when compared to the new Space Suit Anakin, Speeder Bike Dooku and Freeco Speeder Obi-Wan figures. Will those figures with articulation dysfunction get the action they so deserve in 2010? (YF, 2009-09-10)

     The efficiency that re-using Clones gives us is already factored into the line to help facilitate tooling for new characters.  Overall, the Clone Wars line won't be seeing much of a change in articulation from the current design.  Kids, the primary audience for the Clone Wars line, do not seem to care about super-articulation.  In addition, just as with the main Legacy line, we can't add super-articulation to all figures so we must pick and choose our spots.  With the ever-present struggle with costing, this is the long-term view we are taking with the line.

Reports are circulating that Hasbro reps are participating in their own version of Order 66 and are wiping out certain "pegwarming" figures from the aisles (namely the Yarna's, a few of the Cantina Patrons and others). Will this "purge" continue to include some of the survivors in the blue/white Saga Legends line (Saesee Tiin, C-3PO, Plo Koon) as well? (YF, 2009-09-10)

     We can confirm that our store reps are indeed pulling back a number of collector-targeted figures that have built up at retail over the past year.  The intention is to provide a one-time correction for the pull back in collector spending that has resulted in lower sell-through on the more narrowly collector-targeted like Yarna, the Organas, Cantina patrons, and the like.  We'll still continue to produce these figures (like Willrow) but our release volumes will be tempered to ensure the same issues don't persist.  However, we won't be doing any pullbacks against the 100% kid-focused Saga Legends line.  Going forward, Saesee Tiin and Plo Koon has been removed from the assortment and replaced with different ch
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 10:27 AM by Matt »

Offline Matt

  • Jedi Master
  • *
  • Posts: 5258
  • It's crazy what you could have had
    • View Profile
    • Lobot's Duplex
Re: The Hasbro Q & A Compendium
« Reply #77 on: October 5, 2009, 12:59 PM »
Session 76 - October 2, 2009 (part 1 of 2)

(16b, 2009-10-02)

In your most recent Q&A you highlighted there will be fewer slots to release Rebel Pilot figures in the line going forward. Giving the modular nature of the figures, have you considered releasing a figure with an extra head and helmet as accessories, allowing the consumer to effectively choose which character(s) it will be? This might help collectors absorb more of the same SKU while allowing Hasbro to get more figures out with fewer in-line variations. An alternate head would definitely encourage us to buy more of the same figure!

     While we have released alternate heads with figures before, it has been alternate heads with the same characters. Since we have been releasing the pilots as characters, we prefer to stick with that model and systematically work our way around to pilots who have yet to see a release. We intuit that fans of the pilots will eventually want to see them all for display, so a pack that would contain multiple head/helmets would not only add extra cost, it ultimately would not solve the long-term desire of providing all of the pilots from the various key battles since bodies would still be lacking.

Here's a question we'd never thought we'd ask in a post-Batman world-- when can we expect snow suit versions of Obi-Wan and Anakin?

     We are delighted to be bringing some alternate forms of these characters to the line! Look for both of them to find their way into the 2010 CW basic figure lineup.

A while ago, a picture got out showing a HasbroToyShop.com SW Stands pack with a new sheet of stickers for, presumably, 2008/2009 figures. Do you have a shot of the new sticker sheet's character names, and are the new stickers (and not the 2007 ones) available at the shop now? And a part II, when will we see "TCW" logo stands?

     There will be no CW logo stand released in a multi-pack. The new sticker sheet is the same one that has been shipping for some time with the stands with two foot pegs, the revision that was made available last Fall. There has been no update since then and do not plan on re-releasing stands since there is still a decent supply of this version. If/when these get close to selling out we'll look at a new release. Incidentally, the dual foot peg base was created with Battle Droids in mind. We spaced the foot pegs apart at a solid distance to allow BDs (and Supers, and Geonisians) to maintain a standing position on shelf. By pulling the legs out a little wider, it keeps the joints tight and not loose. We had had great success in getting our Separatist legions to remain upright and looking spiffy in formation.

***

(AFI, 2009-10-02)

Now that we’ve seen some very large vehicles that use a lot of plastic again (Turbo Tank, for example), what are the chances of some playset like the AOTC Arena a few year back?? Specifically, some Death Star playsets that could possibly link together or perhaps a Star Destroyer bridge set?

     There is no chance of this idea.  The previous playsets did poorly, and there is no consistent playset-type setting in the CW.  We’ll stick to the stance that the Death Star would be our preferred playset, but we will not pursue it unless it appears in some form of future entertainment.  Until then, there are no plans to pursue large plastic playsets in the line; we’ll stick to vehicles which kids see as both a great vehicle and mobile headquarters.

What is the status of the Galactic Heroes AT-AT that was briefly seen in pictures earlier this year?

     It was canceled out of the 2009 line due to space constraints at retail. We hope to pick it up and run it in a future year, perhaps 2010.  Stay tuned.

We’ve got Clegg Holdfast coming soon, and we’ve seen pictures of Ratts Tyerell, further out. As we approach the last few pod racer pilots left seen in the film, I’d like to know if the five pilots who did not appear in the film, Aldar Beedo, Neva Kee, Ebe Endocott, Wan Sandage, and Boles Roor, are on the radar for getting figures. Do any of those pilots stand a chance of being immortalized in plastic in the next few years?

     Ratts Tyerell still has not been put back into the lineup, even though his figure is technically done (the pictures you have seen are probably from our Toy Fair presentation, when we had a picture of the wrong figure).  In any case, he will likely be the next one up, possibly in 2011.  The others are in our sites, but only after we finish all of the on-screen Pod Racers first and there are still a few to go (Mawhonic, for example).

***

(BS, 2009-10-02)

Please indulge this strictly hypothetical question. Due to the iconic status of the vintage figure, Yak Face would be an ideal candidate for vintage figure program should that platform return. The problem is that the vintage card only existed as a bilingual Canadian card or the Tri-Logo European card. Strictly hypothetically speaking, have you though about how you would handle that figure as part of the vintage card back series? Would you release one of the foreign card backs in U.S. stores? Would you retcon a U.S style POTF card, or would you consider it as a redemption figure (which would be really cool).

     Good question. If Vintage returns, we would not release bilingual or Tri-Logo cards as part of the series. We probably also would not be doing any POTF-style releases, at least with coins anyway, which seem key to POTF. So our answer is that this one would have to be a retcon, to an EpVI in styled Vintage card.

The recent Rebel pilot sets have been great. While not as popular, there is growing demand for attention to the Naboo pilots from Episode 1. Is there any chance we'll see an updated Naboo Bravo Pilot any time soon?

     We are looking at systematically upgrading the Naboo forces over the next few years, and the Pilots are a good candidate. Right now, they aren't in any plan but they are on a list of strong candidates next time we select characters for the new lineup. The key question is whether they will be "named" pilots or we'll do a generic one if and when we update the figure.

With the release of the excellent Scramble on Yavin pack, do you have any plans to revisit the Rebels from the battle of Yavin. Particularly, how long until we see Bob Hudsol and his magnificent mustache in action figure form?

     While we may get to some more Pilots over the next few years, we currently don't have any plans to do other rebels like Hudsol. We do think it would be a shame to pass him over for figure homage, though, and we'll put him into a parking lot of characters should we come up with an idea that works for him.

***

(CS, 2009-10-02)

Way back in the day, Hasbro planned a Naboo Pilot figure with a removable cloth coat, it was to come with a handheld LCD game, but the set was canceled. Now that we're at the 10th anniversary of Episode I, it seems like SW collections are lacking only 1 type of pilot from all the films, the brave Naboo Fighter pilots. Any consideration for doing a new Naboo Pilot with removable coat, perhaps also using that body for an update to Ric Olie who taught Anakin about star piloting? These characters seem to have been forgotten with the passage of time, but had important roles to play in the film.

     There won't be a new Naboo Pilot figure in the next couple years, but there seems to be enough fan interest to warrant a re-sculpt of these guys. We'll park it on the short list in the "parking lot" for the next time we plan out a line, which at this point would be the 2012 line. It's too early to tell whether it'll be a generic pilot (more likely), another named Bravo Squadron pilot (somewhat likely), or an update of Ric Olie (much less likely). Thanks for the suggestion to give these pilots their due.

The upcoming Nikto Gunner you're releasing is a very nifty figure, but is not actually the Nikto Gunner. The Nikto figure we're getting is Nysad, he's the one who pops out of the hatch and shoots 2 shots at Luke only to have them deflected back and kill him. The cannon he comes with was actually used by the other Nikto on the Sail Barge deck, Vizam, who has a different armor design and is basically what we got in the POTF2 Skiff Guards Cinema Scene. How did the mixing of Vizam's accessory and role get merged into the upcoming Nysad figure, and why isn't the character's name used for the figure? Now that we have the proper cannon and a modern Nikto head, are we going to see them reused into the actual Nikto Gunner, Vizam, or are we stuck with the decade-old POTF2 version for that?

     Yes, we realize this but we wanted to offer an all new Nikto Skiff Guard that we had never done before. The cannon accessory just seemed to be a nice added piece to really enhance the value and allow fans and kids to really get into the Sail Barge scene fantasy. It may not be a literal take form the movie but seems like a weapon he would of, or could have, used, and we felt it made him a better figure with it. Eventually, we'd like to update Vizam to add articulation and bring him up to date with the rest of the Jabba Sail Barge brethren, but that will be a long way off and the priority for now lies with figures that have never before been released.

The upcoming Hrchek Kal Fas figure raises a few questions. First, what's up with his eyes? On the prototype images including the one in the slideshow at Comic-Con, they were black as they are in the film and on the card art, but the actual figure has bizarre painted orange eyes with pupils, which looks odd. It seems like it's trying to represent the backs of the glassy clear eyes as they appeared when they caught a certain light, but the end result seems just weirdly off. What will the final production paint be on that? Also, are there plans to release Sai'torr Kal Fas at some point in the future as well, or would collectors be wise to pick up two of Hrchek, since their costumes are virtually identical?

     Thank you for your support and great attention to detail. We love Cantina aliens too and we do strive to make the figures as authentic and highly detailed as possible. As you can see in the painted image of the figure on the back of the package, we never intended him to have gold eyes with black pupils. This was just a production variant from our China vendor, and we have actually already made a production correction to the eyes to give him black eyes. While Sai’torr is not in our current lineups, we do intend to do him someday. When we do we will consider and discuss with Lucasfilm giving him 4-fingered gloves and boots.

***

(DP, 2009-10-02)

Any plans to release a Imperial hanger crew set to compliment the "Scramble at Yavin? Lots of potential there!

     There is a lot of potential, and someday we'd like to see that, but right now it's not in the works. Thanks for the suggestion though – very interesting possibilities abound and someday it could happen.

With the recent re-releases of OT vehicles such as the Tie Fighter and Darth Vader's Tie Fighter are there any plans to bring back other OT vehicles that haven't see on the shelves in many years such as the Sandcrawler?

     There are no plans to bring back the Sandcrawler, only because it is a very specific, non-aggressive vehicle. Our Starfighter re-releases have fared very well because they are iconic fighting vehicles, versus some of the other more "passive" sets we've done. We don't rule out some others coming back, but for the most part we'll be sticking with the more aggressive vehicles.

A company called iGear out of Japan is producing a high end Ark playset with Teletran-1 for Transformers fans. Is there a chance for high end 3 and ¾ inch playsets made by Hasbro or possibly leased to another company as with Sideshow’s 12 inch line?

     We will not be undertaking playsets ourselves, and right now there are no plans for such a partnership. We did look into this with Sideshow at one point, but that idea was put by the wayside, probably because of the huge tooling investment required and relatively small collector interest.

***

(GH, 2009-10-02)

Is the release of KRONOS-327 (Ziro The Hutt's IG Assassin Droid) in the CW basic line a forerunner for getting Ziro itself eventually, perhaps as a retool/repaint of the existing Clone Wars Jabba? On a related note, are we ever going to get that really nice Nikto Guard that was cut from the CW Jabba Battle Pack? He has army builder potential if you put him on a basic card.

     Ziro has been discussed but currently is not in the lineup for 2010.  We would still like to get him into the line, and there is potential for him to come out as a retailer exclusive in early 2011.  As for the Nikto Guard, he will indeed come out, with a strong chance at a 2010 release. Right now we don't know if it will be as a basic figure or some other means (Battle Pack or retailer exclusive).  His figure is simply too good to not use.

The new "Mini-Rig" line has great potential for small movie-based vehicles, but so far the focus has only been on TCW animated vehicles. When might we expect something from the Original Trilogy to appear in this line? Maybe some long-overdue retoolings of the classic ROTJ Speeder Bike with more accurate handlebars and a Luke, Leia or Biker Scout pair to ride them?

[As a side note, is the "Mini-Rig" line actually going to be limited strictly to animation? That seems to be the message we've heard, and older collectors are a little ticked off - possibly because the "Mini-Rig" nickname seemed to indicate some ties to the Original Trilogy.]

     The Deluxe Figure/Vehicle line is strictly limited to TCW Animated line.  We will be periodically upgrading OTC vehicles through our exclusives plan, so stay tuned there.  A new accurate speeder bike would be a welcome addition to the plan, but so far we have not slotted it in. We will look at this for 2011.

Finally (it's 5am as I finish this) with all of the exclusives and wave after wave of figures, do the bean counters realize that we're in a global recession? From what we learn from these Q&A sessions, a lot of insignificant items get "costed out", but is there significant product that is stuck in limbo until things even out economically?

     With SW having a huge collector following, we know that the past year has presented challenges in keeping up with the line. Similarly, the line that we showed at SDCC has been in development since the end of 2007/beginning of 2008, and long-lead projects and commitments are difficult to change, especially when the efforts are exceptionally good as they have been this year. Right now, everything shown should make it to retail in the U.S. In some of the more collector-targeted lines, like Legacy/Droid Factory basic figures and Comic Packs, some of the waves may not be out until Spring 2010, assuming that the forecasted quantities move through and that we do not see further collector slowdown.  If that happens, we'll do our best to see that they do get to retail somehow.  It is our intention, going forward, to pull back on the breadth and depth of the offering, somewhat. For instance, we have been working to scale back some on the number of new/refresh figures in the Legacy basic figure lineup (the goal is approximately 40-45 new/refresh figures/year for the basic figure line).  We are also re-examining the number of collector-targeted offerings and exclusives to pare down to the scope of the line for the time being.

***

(HH, 2009-10-02)

What was your gut reaction to seeing the raw Fans' Choice Poll data/results from the various websites? Were the choices more or less varied than you were expecting? Any trends that you saw that surprised you or any characters that popped up that were completely off your radar until this initial batch of results came in?

     One surprise was how even the results were - drawing from all six films and the EU. Of the films, though, each of the films has at least 3 votes, except for, surprisingly, EpV which had only one character (Toryn Farr) in the top 30. Given that, EpV is generally acknowledged as the fan favorite, it either points to how thoroughly we have covered the film (unlikely since there are many great character re-dos to go), or that fans want to see as-yet-unmade characters generally over re-sculpts (more likely, as there are only five resculpts on the entire list, and the first one, Dr. Evazon, appears at #10). Of all the selections, the strength of Jocasta Nu surprised us. We do not think she would be a strong or compelling figure ourselves, but if she did win we would draft her into the lineup. Some of the strength of fans' desire for her could be precisely because we have expressed that we would not consider doing her ourselves, so if she does win it's a victory for the fans who wanted her!

What can you tell us about the upcoming CW "Anakin with Desert Skiff" deluxe set? That wouldn't happen to be a repaint of the 1996 toy that originally came with Luke would it? Or is the 'Desert Skiff' something new from the series?

     We are using the mini-rig from ‘96 but including an ACW Anakin and changing the decoration on Skiff. It is not in the new entertainment. This assortment is intended to be a way kids to get a low-priced figure and vehicle as a complete purchase/play experience. This assortment will have some “mini-rig” type off-screen items as well as authentic speeder bikes and small single person transports.

Also, some of the retailers are taking pre-orders for a new batch of Galactic Heroes 2-packs. One of the sets listed is a new "Darth Vader & Stormtrooper" set - is this one all new or are they repacks/repaints? And how about "Anakin & ARF Trooper" pack - repacks, repaints, or all-new?

     The former is a resculpt set with more dynamic character poses, while the latter is a repack of a previous set.

***

(JD, 2009-10-02)

Now that you've upgraded the Republic Clone Commando sculpt with new legs, are there any plans to re-issue any of the former Commandos with the new sculpt? A lot of army builders would like to see them return with the new articulation.

     We have been considering that but do not have plans as of yet. One of the things we're wondering about is whether fans would like to see an update of Delta Squad with the new body, or would rather see new Republic Commandos. We'd love to hear your thoughts on what fans on JD would like to see using this new updated sculpt.

A lot of collectors are really looking forward to the upcoming WMDewback set. In addition to ball-jointed hips and the fantastic new gun, it looks like the Sandtrooper was also given an updated and more accurate helmet sculpt/deco. Can we look forward to seeing this helmet sculpt used on all future Stormtrooper releases? We'd really like to see this version of the Sandtrooper (with his new gun) appear on a Saga Legends card sometime soon!

     While there are no plans for a basic carded Sandtrooper figure beyond this year's Saga Legends figure, it is certainly possible that in future years we could look to use this newly updated body. Meanwhile, we hope fans hunt down this spectacular creature and significant new trooper update. It was a labor of love and one of the exclusives we're keeping an eye on to gauge fan response to all-new sets like this.

The TIE Fighter Pilot in the WM Evolutions set has the "tear drops" on his helmet and a distinctly grey jumpsuit. Since this is a specific pilot from the films (an "Ace" according to EU), will we be seeing a basic all black TIE Pilot that uses the same super articulated sculpt released in the Legends line someday?

     The pilot is intended to be a generic army builder and you are correct in that he sports the "ace" designation. We do not have a regular black TIE pilot slotted into the lineup anywhere yet but it's something that we're keeping our eye on for the future since we think, like this WM pack, he will be in high demand.

***

(JN, 2009-10-02)

In one of the last Q&A sessions, you said that you'd set something up to let Canadian collectors know what is coming up through the pipe.  Please, please, please can you do that in the UK as well please?  It's very difficult to ascertain what and when we can expect and collectors would rather support UK retailers than having to resort to eBay!

     Thanks for the suggestion; we'll touch base with our UK team to see if we can get a more detailed update for our UK collectors.

Is something BAD happening?  It would seem that in both the UK and Canada the TLC of Build a Droid (BAD) figures have been dropped by retailers for the rest of this year and Hasbro UK and Hasbro Canada respectively are not offering these products to retailers.  Please tell us this BAD decision is not true?  If it is, is there anything we can do to get the core line into retailers in the UK and Canada?

     It is true that the collector business has been severely impacted since last Fall, not just in the U.S. but in the U.K. and Canada as well.  We don't have an answer right now on which assortments may be missing or dropped in the U.K.  For Canada, we can confirm that only a couple of the new red/white Legacy/Droid Factory assortments will make it to retail this Fall.  We are working to find our footing for assortment releases; changes that occurred last Fall can really present problems if they depend on collectors to pull them through (as the Legacy/Droid Factory line does) and inventory at retail remains too long.  In some cases, if the assortments don't move off shelf, we can't commit to bringing in the next ones, or else they will get bottled and backed up.  We're working as hard as we can to understand the problem and correct it, but it takes time.

Will we some more Cantina patrons next year such as, Reegesk (the Ranat) and also some more Jabba's Palace Denizens such as a new sculpt Gamorrean Guard and more?  What are your plans for 2010 for these fan favourite scenes from the Original Trilogy?

     We plan to keep new characters from these iconic scenes in our lineup every year when possible.  2010 will see an EpVI-themed wave with at least two characters from Jabba's palace / Sarlacc battle, but there is currently no EpIV wave (it will instead be the first wave of 2011).

***

(JTA, 2009-10-02)

We are very thankful for the attention you have given to the Ewok species, especially since 2006. It’s nice to get 1 or 2 or more of these fur balls every year. Our tribe is growing and a very fast-paced rate and we hope it doesn’t slow down at all. We would like to know however if two of our favorites (and probably two of the most popular) are in the parking lot. Wicket and Logray were our first modern era Ewoks and are in severe need of a good overhaul (scale and likeness) to meet today’s standards. And Teebo would be our next choice, but we think the 2002 sculpt is pretty cool and want to know if there is there a way to ‘simply’ shrink down the mold to get him to be in scale, or would a new resculpt be the best way to handle if he was going to be considered for the line again? Also, it seems that all of the new Ewoks coming out are borrowing the bodies from 2007’s Romba and Graak figures on a frequent basis. Is there a way to change this up a bit more (and maybe thrown in Chief Chirpa’s body frame) on some? We think the Ewoks could be in danger of starting to look a little too much like each other, especially Paploo – he is a taller and thinner Ewok and looks a little too stocky. (But he is still excellent!) Also, thank you for the inclusion of more obscure Ewoks like Graak and NoAhpaak. It makes for a very awesome mix!

     Thanks for the comments - we're glad you like the Ewoks we've been doing. They have clearly struck a vein with collectors too as they seem much talked about and asked about.  Wicket and Logray are two that we would like to redo, and one of them will be coming out in the basic carded figure line next year.  Teebo is also a strong candidate but has yet to be slotted in.  It's a sure bet he will see an upgrade within the next few years as well.  Good comment on making sure we have enough bodies types to portray the Ewoks as diverse as they are on film.  We'll be mindful of that.  Thanks!

The conspiracy theorists in us tend to believe that the second Hoth Rebel Trooper from the blue phase of TLC was indeed never produced despite your original statements that he will be available in very short supply in wave 7. We have yet to see him in person or even find a photo of him packaged on the web, or even for sale on online stores and auction sites. We are beginning to believe that he was missed altogether. Is there a way you can check your resources again and confirm what the deal is with this figure? And can you do anything to cancel out a repacked figure in the red phase of Legacy Collection and put this one in its place instead?

     The factory does confirm that he was indeed manufactured (we have some samples as evidence), but we do not have the data on what quantity got out.  It's possible that he is stuck in a batch of the wave that has yet to ship.  At this point we will not be able to cancel out any repacked figures as we are well past our art release dates (we are currently working on artwork for next Fall's lineup and are well past Spring).  As confirmed previously, this figure *will* see the light of day in a Battle Pack next Fall.  If those plans change we will look for a way to get him out as quickly as possible.

Jedi seem to be a significant portion of the Basic Figure line these days. And a focus for some collectors seems to be on the members of the Jedi Council. We saw a tremendous effort from Hasbro in this area with the Jedi Council scene packs as well as via the Basic Figures line. But we are still missing one Jedi Council member from ROTS, that being Coleman Kcaj.

Likewise, a number of the Jedi council members that we've seen made over the years came from the more stylized years of 2002 - 2004. Several of whom were very much preposed and as a result were incapable of taking their seats in the council. Can we expect to see these Jedi masters revisited anytime soon with the modern aesthetic of sculpting and articulation that we've become accustomed to?

     Yes, Jedi have been a big focus for us, since they are such an essential part of the EpI-III experience (and the similar time frame in the EU comics, which is why we have been concentrating there as well).  Some of the Council figures from the EpII-EpIII era, such as Deepa Bilaba, are on our list of figures we would like to upgrade with additional articulation. Others, like Oppo Rancisis and Yaddle were recently released and are not on the upgrade list only because they are about as articulated as they will ever get.  Coleman Kcaj however is one character that we have yet to slot in to a lineup.  We will take a hard look at him the next time we have a chance.  Thanks for the suggestion.

***

(MD, 2009-10-02)

We all know that for kids, SW is about Jedi's, Clones, and Bounty Hunters. Given that we already have a lot of role-play toys for Jedi and Clones, the question is not so much are you...but when is Hasbro going to release some cool Bounty Hunter/Mandolorian role-play gear?

     The future is uncertain as to how prominently the Mandalorians will feature in CW. We're keeping an eye on them, as there could indeed be some role play opportunities there if they have a major role in future episodes of the series.

Are we ever going to see Darth Malak, Darth Revan or Pre-Cyborg Grievous repacked in the basic line ever again? A lot of people seemed to have missed out on this wave and are constantly on the lookout for them - so any chance of a comeback for these bad boys?

     Pre-Cyborg Grievous is not a strong candidate for return, unless fans vote him in in a future Saga Legends-type re-release vote (we are looking at this as a possibility for next Spring). Revan and Malak are more likely to return in some form or another within the next couple of years.

Given the amount of time you need to plan upcoming figures, are you looking at doing any tie in figure/s for the Old Republic MMORPG expected in the next year?

     As of this writing, we don't have any information about The Old Republic other than the trailer that everyone else has seen. We don't know a release date, so we can't comment on if/when there will be figures. It’s very unlikely that any figures would be out to coincide with the launch of the game in any case. Instead, we'll probably follow with figures after the launch.

***

(RS, 2009-10-02)

Will you be releasing a true-to-artwork V-Wing pilot at some point using the new helmet (different deco of course) from the "Republic Gunship" pilot in the new Evolutions set, and the gray flight suit ARC-170 pilot from the first version of this set? Seems like an easy release, and one that actually fills a gap. Similarly, can we assume that we'll see the ARC-170 pilot re-decoed as Oddball at some point?

     There are no plans to release another V-Wing Pilot as of now, but it could be something we re-release in future years and your suggestion makes a lot of sense. Oddball still has not been slated into the line, but as a named and on-screen Clone from Episode III who has yet to have his day in figure form, we're keeping him on a short list of Episode III figures we can do next time we have an opportunity.

Thank you for finally getting around to the Saurin Hr'chek Kal Fas in your rotation through the Cantina patrons. But as has been the sometimes tradition with the release of new figures, we have to temper our excitement over the figure with the fact that the figure is not entirely accurate. The figure seems to have taken on a number of Trandoshan characteristics that are not what we see on screen with the Saurins in the cantina.

The notable differences are the eyes, the Saurins have black eyes, no coloration. The hands, the Saurins have five fingered gloved hands in the cantina scenes. And then finally the feet, the Saurins wear boots in the cantina scenes. Any number of film or production stills easily show these characteristics.

So what are the chances that we'll eventually see a "corrected" Saurin (maybe released as cousin Saitorr Kal Fas) with the more screen accurate characteristics?

     Thank you for your support and great attention to detail. We love Cantina aliens too and we do strive to make the figures as authentic and highly detailed as possible. Lucasfilm has a great reference library of images for us to use but sometimes it can feel like a blessing and a curse.

     A blessing because it is such a great reference asset, but a curse because with this vast array of material, their minor discrepancies and scrutinizing details can sometimes minimize the awe and wonder that we all have when entering the SW universe. You are correct about the boots and the eyes.

     Regarding the boots, we did make a creative decision to give him alien feet that are in keeping with the species because we felt that if he had been meant to be featured as a main character in the movie Lucas would have probably made prosthetic feet, but because he was never intended to be seen as a main character they just had him wear boots. One of the things we love most about Star Wars is the aliens and just giving them human characteristic - while easy and cost effective in production, minimizes the their potential coolness.

     With regards to the eyes, there are two Saurins in the Cantina. One of them has clear dome lenses and the other, in some reference shots, does not and appears to have pupils. As you can see in the painted image of the figure on the back of the package, we never intended him to have gold eyes with black pupils. This was just a production variant from our China vendor, and we have actually already made a production correction to the eyes to give him black eyes.

     While Sai'torr is not in our current lineups, we do intend to do him someday. When we do we will consider and discuss with LFL giving him 4-fingered gloves and boots.


After the recent news regarding the 2nd Utai and beardless Hoth rebel trooper., I'd like to make an add-on to my previous question-

It seems that in the past there has been communication issues at the factories regarding changing a figure to a new variant, so instead of having a 2nd variant issued in a following wave (as was planned originally w/ the Hoth Trooper) could the variant figs such as the 2nd Hoth trooper, 2nd Utai, 2nd scanning crew member, 2nd Bespin Guard, etc be placed in a non movie themed wave to them selves much like a repaint wave is done when necessary to do a repaint wave? (In other words instead of a "repaint" wave, release a "variant" wave)

     The problem with this is that the variant would occupy a full-blown product spot, where we have been trying to do variants as "extra figures" within our item count. To do what you suggest would mean actually slotting in those figures instead of, say, a new or wholly different figure. It has become so problematic to track these figure changes and stay on course for their release that we will stop doing them altogether because of the disappointment they cause when they don't stay on schedule or get cancelled. As of now, the Bespin Wing Guard is scheduled for the final EU wave next Spring. The Scanning Crew member may not make it out in red/white line look but we will look for ways to eventually bring him out.

***

(RTM, 2009-10-02)

I've noticed that several new waves of CW figures seem to be hitting stores at the same time. Will the upcoming Legacy waves be released in a similar fashion to ensure they make it to stores by the end of the year? It seems like a pretty tight schedule to release five waves of figures in four months.
 
     We don't know for certain how the Legacy/Droid Factory waves will flow out, only because sales have really been dropping on this line compared to CW, and we do not know when (we won't say *if*) all of the planned waves will be able to get to retail. We are doing our best to try and read the landscape and adjust to release quantities to get everything out. We are committed to manufacturing every wave we have shown, so even if distribution at retail is spotty, it should be available through online retailers.

In the 30-year history of SW astromech droids, there have only been two released without official names. One is the red/blue astromech from the ARC-170 Elite Squad Battle Pack, whose only appearance in SW multimedia is in the CW TV series. The other is the red/white astromech that is coming packed with Wedge's X-Wing. It is not the astromech Wedge has in the original trilogy, nor is it either of his astromechs from the Rogue Squadron series (both are R5 units and not R2's). Can you finally solve the mystery for astromech fans by giving us the official names for these droids, and also clarify where the droid that comes packed with Wedge's X-Wing is from?

     We based Wedge's droid off actual reference photos. Since we just had his head, we had to create a body to match. It may not line up with what has been published but we did start with source material. This will need to be explored more and we'll check on it with Lucasfilm; even though there is no name on the package we should be able to provide one for both this little guy and the ARC-170 pack droid. When we hear back from LFL we will let you know.

I was wondering if you had any plans to release battle packs of regular clones to outfit the great vehicles you've been making. By 'regular' I mean non-animated. I don't collect the animated line, but I've bought the Turbo Tank, the AT-TE, and the Republic Fighter tank. It would be great to get mixed battle packs of pilots, gunners etc. for these vehicles that are geared towards the collectors of the realistic line of SW toys.

     Thanks for the suggestion. We have been concentrating on getting CW packs out there for the kids (and collectors) who want to outfit those with Clone to match the CW. We assumed that collectors would have enough "regular" Clones to do the trick but it does seem like there is an opportunity to provide realistic clones as well. We'll take a look at this and see if there is not something that we can get to over the next couple of years (at this point, the 2010 line is put to bed and we're working on 2011) Thanks for the suggestion.
« Last Edit: October 5, 2009, 02:12 PM by Matt »

Offline Matt

  • Jedi Master
  • *
  • Posts: 5258
  • It's crazy what you could have had
    • View Profile
    • Lobot's Duplex
Re: The Hasbro Q & A Compendium
« Reply #78 on: October 5, 2009, 02:02 PM »
Session 76 - October 2, 2009 (part 2 of 2)

(SAND, 2009-10-02)

Hello there, Hasbro.  As you are no doubt well aware of by now, we here at Sandtroopers are tremendous douchebags and our questions for this session are as follows:

It is known far and wide amongst collectors that a Hasbro Wal-Mart SW exclusive is going to be inconsistently distributed. For example, in Portland, OR, I saw the 2009 Droid Factory sets ONE time at ONE store, and only 3 of the 5 sets were available.

In some parts of the country, the WM SW exclusives are overabundant and easy to find and in other parts, NONEXISTENT.

Realizing that Hasbro has little to no control over this problem, I will skip to the next question and ask why, exclusive after exclusive, does WM continue to get some of the better exclusives?

We know that you get your money up front once the products ship to the retailers, so it's not really *YOUR* problem, but this continues to be a source of frustration for a lot of kids+collectors after we see something previewed at Toy Fair or Comic Con and then NEVER find it in the stores. Is there anything that can be done about such an inconsistent, horrible, careless treatment of your great product line?

     WM is, by a good margin, the #1 toy retailer so it stands to reason that we would partner with them on many of our great exclusives. WM has a lot of data which they use to identify the stores that will be better performing and use that as a base for their exclusive distribution. However, a desire for increased distribution, as relayed to us by the fans via this Q&A and forums, is something that we constantly relay back to WM.  They are considering some changes, so that is good news.  As to the Droid Factory, all five sets were shipped in the exact same quantity in a shelf display, so the comments about only 3 of the 5 showing up are troubling.  Is it possible that someone else beat you to them in your area?  In any case, it is something that we would really like to address and will be working with WM again on the overall exclusive distribution strategy.

I have a question on three figures in particular. A) Sometime late last year in a QNA, someone had asked about an "ultra" artculated stormtrooper. Your reply stated that the first you would make was an Episode III clonetrooper. B) Earlier this year, again in a QNA, someone had suggested a "battle damaged" General Greivous from the CW Series, with removable legs and a broken mask. Your reply was something to the effect "wait till SDCC". C) In SW Insider # 107, a prototype of Darth Maul from "Visionaries" was pictured. I was surprised that nothing was mentioned on that at SDCC. So, what is the status on these figures? Are they (still) going to made? And what format may we see these characters in?

     Thanks for the follow-up, Troops.  The ultra-articulated Stormtrooper is actually coming as a Sandtrooper, with the new WM exclusive Dewback. As for the Grievous, we're still hopeful to see an update like this but he has yet to find his way into the lineup.  Finally, the half-cyborg Darth Maul from Visionaries, with the cool lower torso, was a scratch from our coming pack line.  The good news is that he *will* be coming out next year as a SDCC exclusive (still in the Comic Pack format but with a special treatment). The second figure has yet to be announced and we'll save that for an update next Spring.

Now that  Hasbro has "supposedly" went around to some stores in some areas and removed the "peg warmers" of Yarna, Trinto Duaba, etc. - how long will it be before we can expect those figures to ship in the Legends line?

     It is not "supposed" - we *did* have our legions of retail folk pull back a number of slower moving figures including Yarna, Ak-Rev, the Organas, and Cantina aliens in order to remove them from retailer inventory and stimulate shipment of new waves. They are being destroyed and will never ship, in any form, again.  Was the comment about Legends just poking fun, or did you think we actually repacked poor-selling figures onto new cards?

***

(SNOW, 2009-10-02)

What the heck happened with the distribution in Canada from Jan '09 to the very end of Aug '09? I'm going to be specific with the CW line because you once eluded that it was your hottest selling item for SW merchandise.

There was a huge gap between Wave 3 and Wave 4 of the CW 3 3/4 figures with the latter finally showing up in late Feb. Well, now that there has been 6 months of restocking Wave 4 (with the odd Wave 1 case thrown in) and the knowledge that the elusive Wave 5 was never going to show up in Canada I was relieved to hear my local TRU had gotten in a few new cases.

Yay! Wave 6 on the new Red cards!  Not so. It ended up being more Wave 1 and Wave 4.

There has been so much over-stocking of Wave 4 (and Wave 1) that I think every man, woman and child in Canada has one or more of each and every single figure and it would most likely explain the fact that none of this product is moving anymore, especially not like the top-selling line should. The pegs are jammed full of Padme, Goldie, Plo Koon and Assassin droids. I honestly fear that there is no room for retailers to order the new product and we will yet again be left behind. TRU recently had a 2-week long 25% off sale and it didn't even dent the inventory on their pegs.

Why on earth was there a 6-month glut of Wave 4? Could you not have slipped us a few transport trucks of the missing Wave 5 or at least let the supply of Wave 4 dry up long ago?

     There have been problems with the dates of when the Canadian-version packages have been available, so we have had to skip several waves in Canada (for example, the last wave of blue/white never shipped) and there was a delay on the first wave of red/white, but that should be fixed by now.  That said, we are slated to bring the rest of the waves of CW in for the rest of the year.

Will we see any of the last waves of Titaniums at Canadian Retail before the line goes on hiatus?

     We will not be shipping any new Titanium into Canada before the line goes on hiatus.

I have been informed, from a very reliable source, that Hasbro Canada does not intend to offer the Legacy line of SW figures on the  Red Card format in Canada and that could be related to the poor sales for this product from previous years. Basically, Hasbro Canada will only offer Saga Legends figures and ClW figures. Could you please confirm this information? And if this is indeed the case, could you explain the reason behind this decision? This decision to not offer the Legacy line of figures seriously treathens our capacity to pursue our collecting habits, as we are now forced to rely on US retailers.

     There have been some inventory issues that have prevented us from getting every wave, but another issue has to do with tagging onto the U.S. production with the localized package version for Canada.  The U.S. quantities have been scaled back, meaning that some planned production was canceled and left us without the ability to get Canadian-localized production on some waves.  The U.S. is still getting the new figures, so we are instead bringing English-language packaging out of the U.S. warehouse for at least a couple waves.  We will not have all waves available this way, though.  Right now, we don't have details on which waves will be available in which package version (Canadian adaptation or U.S.) but will make that available as soon as we can.

The conspiracy theorists in us tend to believe that the second Hoth Rebel Trooper from the blue phase of TLC was indeed never produced despite your original statements that he will be available in very short supply in wave 7. We have yet to see him in person or even find a photo of him packaged on the web, or even for sale on online stores and auction sites. We are beginning to believe that he was missed altogether. Is there a way you can check your resources again and confirm what the deal is with this figure? And can you do anything to cancel out a repacked figure in the red phase of Legacy Collection and put this one in its place instead?

     The factory does confirm that he was indeed manufactured (we have some samples as evidence), but we do not have the data on what quantity got out.  It's possible that he is stuck in a batch of the wave that has yet to ship.  At this point we will not be able to cancel out any repacked figures as we are well past our art release dates (we are currently working on artwork for next Fall's lineup and are well past Spring).  As confirmed previously, this figure *will* see the light of day in a Battle Pack next Fall.  If those plans change we will look for a way to get him out as quickly as possible.

***

(SSG, 2009-10-02)

The TSC AT-AT Driver was considered by many to be an excellent figure with the only real minus being the swivel elbow joints. The new one looks great, but why did you feel the need do a complete resculpt when simply changing the arms to accommodate ball hinge elbows would have sufficed? You've explained to us in the past that the more tooling required for a figure, the less budget resources can be applied to other figures in the wave, so some collectors are curious why all that new tooling went to the AT-AT Driver instead of something like a new Bespin Han or Hoth Leia. What's the decision-making process there that results in an all-new AT-AT Driver?

     Doing this figure did not knock a core character upgrade out of the mix, as we already had our core characters for the year lined up. We wanted to do a new updated troop-builder for this wave, and of the Hoth Imperials, it seemed like a solid one to do since the arms of the previous did need an upgrade. We could have probably just done arms, but the design team proceeded with a new sculpt.

In the last round, we asked a question about the possibilities of a new Jabba's dais, but the answer we received was instead about Jabba himself. While that was good news for fans to hear and we are quite hopeful on the Hutt gangster front, we're also curious about his dais. Our hypothetical question was asking what pricepoint and format might it be released in for all that new tooling, and would the set include the existing railing and hookah or just assume that enough collectors have the piece and leave it out? Would it have wheels? Would you go back and use the Kenner vintage throne tooling? And what are the odds of seeing the hypothetical Jabba's Dais we're discussing here?

     Sorry to have you spend a second question to follow-up; we thought that our answer suggested it would be *all* new, dais and everything. No idea on price point or format, other than this would not fit anything in the mainline so it points toward the exclusive lineup. The odds of actually seeing it depend on many factors: the ability to cost this beast out with the tooling it would entail; a willing retail partner; a successful sell-through of this year's exclusive lineup to merit confidence that such an item would find a receptive audience. We can confirm that we are working on a new set, but the above factors are still not nailed down yet so it's not a guarantee that you will see him in 2010.

It's been a couple years since fans got to vote for Greatest Hits-style figures. There are plenty of other figures that fans want to see re-released without waiting for them to be remade, but don't fit into the kid-friendly Saga Legends line's focus. Any chance of letting us do another Fans Choice GH vote? It's all the fun and excitement of the fans getting to choose figures for the line without the expense of you having to tool up a bunch of new figures.

     Right now, the focus is on the new Toy Fare fans' choice poll to see which as-yet-unmade characters fans want to see in figure form. After that, it seems like a solid idea to run another poll for which figures to bring back, either in Saga Legends or in another format. We'll look to start that next Spring. Stay tuned!

***

("TJ", 2009-10-02)

I like the 'cameo' figures of cast and crew who played a big part inthe making of the saga, and apparently so do the people who put together the SW line. It's been nice to see the Lucas family, Joe Johnston (Spacetrooper), Ralph McQuarrie (Pharl McQuarrie), Anthony Daniels (Dannl Faytonni), Ahmed Best (Achk Med-Beq), and now, if the rumors are true, Jeremy Bulloch being honored with action figures based on their appearances in the movies. Is there a desire at Hasbro to at some point make figures of Rick McCallum (Naboo noble), Nick Gillard (Cin Drallig), Richard Marquand (AT-ST Driver), Warwick Davis (Weazel) and one of my favorites, Ben Burtt as Ebenn Q3 Baobab?

     This is not a stated objective, but by a happy coincidence we slot a new character into the line and it works out that we can use legendary reference for a head-sculpt, as was the case with Joe Johnston and Ralph McQuarrie.  For future figures, we will base them on their importance to the line rather than who was playing that character.  As such, Cin Drallig is high on our list of figures we'd like to do within the next few years, and Richard Marquand stands a good chance as well.  The others you mentioned are very low on our radar screen.

Even though I normally only collect the realistic line, I did recently buy the CW "Goldie" figure during a sale and was blown away at how many little features the CW astromech mold has compared to the R4-G9 sculpt used for the realistic astromechs. That immediately begged the question: hey, when do we get a realistic R2 that has the same level of features?  I'd love to get a manually adjustable scope, tow rope (with a C3PO head accessory to tow along), drill, and computer link plug... the most we've ever gotten was the attachable drill and plug and that only appeared once with the VotC R2 and never used again.  Can Hasbro not also pimp up the realistic R2D2 at some point too?

     That's a good comment about wanting to see more with R2.  We've often mused about producing a "Swiss army knife" R2 in the realistic line but have instead chosen to go with various scene-specific versions.  Someday it would make a good figure and we'll certainly discuss it.  In the meantime, you should also check out the Clone Wars R2, since he has the same features as Goldie and is a great figure.

Is the going back to the glued on bubble an attempt to stop the slash and returns that have hampered the lines since the ROTS series? If so, why did it take so long to go back to the glued on bubble?

     Returns have not been a big problem for the lines that have had the taped blisters, at least any more than heat-sealed blisters have been.  Where there is a will, unfortunately, there is always a way with unscrupulous collectors to try and juke the system.  Instead, it's a cost-savings measure compared to the taped blisters.  The taped blisters, while great for giving the figures a lot of room to be posed out with their accessories in-pack, cost more and was a needed concession as we drew up the new line.  It's possible that we'll return to the taped in a future line.

***

(TPU, 2009-10-02)

With next year being the 30th anniversary of TESB, can we expect more figures, vehicles and multipacks from the film and if so is there anything you can share with us as to what we can expect to see? Maybe a new card design to reflect the anniversary?

     Yes, there will be some things next year that will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of ESB. For the most part, this will be "in assortment" using the mainline assortments, but there will be a few extra exclusives next year to celebrate as well. However, there won't be any specific packaging for the anniversary.

When looking at my collection from '95 onwards, there is a huge change in the design, detail, articulation of the action figures. Slowly new sculpts are being done of some figures, and much improved they are, so can we expect that you will remake many more of the early bulky inaccurate and poorly articulated figures to bring them more inline with the newer ones?

     Generally, the design aesthetic that has been employed in the line since approximately 1998 reflects an emphasis on realistically-proportioned figures, accurate sculpting (realistic likeness for the film and EU-based figures), and articulation over built-in features. Since 2004, there has generally been any movement toward releasing characters with a higher degree of articulation, with the apex being a level typified by the modern Vintage line. While not every figure can have this same degree of articulation, this has generally been the sculpting direction when figuring costing permits.

     With so many previous figures with excellent sculpts that have been done since 1998, even if they lack a high degree of articulation, we do not want to commit to updating every figure. Instead, it is our desire to complement, and occasionally upgrade some of the figures as determined by popularity (either within the Hasbro team or inspired by fans via requests or polls), and continue to devote a good selection of the line to delivering new never-before-done characters to continue to expand the horizons of the line.


Back in August you answered a question sent in by our friends at Snowtroopers.ca... and I quote...

Quote
"Is it possible to set up some kind of information feed that would inform Canadian collectors of exactly what is coming to Canadian retail? As things get finalized you could let us know. For example, if a retailer steps up for the Scramble at Yavin battle pack assortment, you could let us know when this happens. Or once retailers place an order for a certain wave, you could automatically confirm this for us. This would save us from asking every Q&A "Is x vehicle or wave coming to Canada"? It would also benefit retailers because we would then not resort to ordering things from the US for fear of them never arriving at retail here. It would basically act as product announcements like Hasbro USA does when revealing new products, but be Canada specific.

And speaking of Canadian retail and SW toys, the distribution of TLC this year has been terrible, with constant reloading (and clogging) of the pegs with wave 1 and barely a trickle of waves 3 and 4 (and obviously the absence of the last two waves completely). So given that Hasbro at SDCC has stated it will ship four waves in only 2 months(!) will ALL of these waves actually be coming to Canada? And what about existing announced blue-white packaged items like: Scramble on Yavin, CW Jabba, AT-TE Assault Squad, Ambush on the Vulture’s Claw, Rancor w/Luke which was said in a previous Q&A to be headed to “smaller accounts” Spring 2009 comic packs These answers are exactly what we hope an information feed would tell us, since this year Canadian customers have been left feeling as if we are fumbling in the dark and no idea of what we can or cannot buy. It loses money for Hasbro and obviously makes collecting incredibly, incredibly frustrating.

A3) That is a good idea for a list to advise Canadian collectors. We will work that up and use it for periodic updates as different toys ship. As for the ones you cite, none of them will be released in Canada as the blue and white line look is finished. Unfortunately, the retail support for the Rancor fell through at the last minute and we ended up not releasing it. A pity, but we tried hard to get it placed."

I know that UK collectors would relish something like this for the UK so they can plan ahead what they are getting from where and when, avoiding over priced importers and so supporting the UK's retailers big and small.

     Thanks for the suggestion; we'll touch base with our UK team to see if we can get a more detailed update for our UK collectors.

***

(YF, 2009-10-02)

I recently acquired the new Darth Sidious Hologram w/Mechno Chair figure from TLC and noticed a couple odd things and I have a few questions about it, both regarding the chair itself. First, on the top where the hologram projector is located there are 2 small tabs each with a hole running through them. What are these details exactly? Were they possibly added to make this accessory forward compatible with say a chair back thus creating the walking "throne" that could later be included with a new Viceroy Nute Gunray from TPM? And finally, when the entire accessory is assembled and displayed, one can't help but notice that Hasbro's copyright info is prominently, or some might say distractingly, displayed on the chair's front. Wouldn't it have been better esthetically to place that info on one of the legs?
 
     The details you are referring to are actually part of the reference materials we used to sculpt the chair.  As for the copyright line, we're limited to applying it to flat surfaces.  Where it is now is the only flat surface large enough to hold it.

There have been a few online retailers with a product listing for a "CW Anakin w/Desert Sport Skiff". I'm afraid to ask, is this vehicle a repack of the Desert Skiff from the 1996 POTF2 days or something new we have yet to see in the CW series?

     We are using the mini-rig from ‘96 but including an ACW Anakin and changing the decoration on Skiff. This assortment is intended to be a way for kids to get a low-priced figure and vehicle as a complete purchase/play experience. This assortment will have some “mini-rig” type off-screen items as well as authentic speeder bikes and small single person transports.

In our last QnA, you made the follow statement: "Kids, the primary audience for the CW line, do not seem to care about super-articulation."

Frankly, many find this response rather dismissive. If kids don't care about SA, why did the clones have it from the start and why upgrade less articulated figures to better interact with vehicles if kids would "settle" for less? Many "adult" collectors say they don't support the CW line because of the limited articulation, especially the lack of knee joints. Wouldn't its inclusion make the line even more successful? Thanks.

     We did not mean to be dismissive, but wanted to explain the rationale for the decisions we have made in the constant pull between features (including super-articulation) and costing.  We did incorporate more articulation into the Clones at the start because, at the time we embarked on the line, we could, and we knew that there would be collectors who would be attracted to the Clone Wars line who would find the articulation pleasing for the Clones.  However, we couldn't do this to all figures and there won't be a systematic upgrade of all characters to more articulated versions, of which would bring more collectors into the line.  Doing so would cause us to displace features elsewhere which are more important to retain kids.  For them, the play features are more important than super-articulation.  Compatibility with vehicles is important though, which is why some figures get upgraded, not for the sake of adding articulation, but to make the play experience better.

***

(YN, 2009-10-02)

Revisiting a question from April, have you given any more thought to the idea of manufacturing a protective clamshell case for the new 5½" x 8¼" card size? Without the means to properly protect and display them, some collectors have stopped buying Hasbro figures (including G.I. JOE and Marvel Universe, also) they would normally keep carded. A "Hasbro Action Figure Case" without branding for any specific line would provide an across-the-board solution for the new standard. With more STAR WARS and now Secret Wars comic two-packs being released, we could really use a clamshell for those, too.

     We're sorry to hear that some fans have stopped buying the new figures because of the lack of a protective case. We hope that fans would enjoy the figures on their own merit and consider storage secondary, but we can understand the desire to keep figures in the best possible condition. We have considered doing a new clamshell, but with the sluggish sales of the previous version we have held up as there is still a large amount of inventory of the previous one left. The collector pullback also gives us less confidence that these would be successful. Until we offer a solution, we recommend sourcing cases from other companies that would fit the new card size, along with the comic packs (for which we are not going to release protective blisters).

Would you consider a battle pack of 5 figures in a box the size of the Evolutions line boxes or even smaller? By reducing the package size you help the environment with less waste and also would allow for more shelf space for other items in the toy line or other Hasbro toy lines. Even something smaller like the Trooper Army Builder 4-Pack that came in the plain white box years ago?

     The footprint of the Battle Packs will be coming down, but they will be of a size that allows posing in pack. This is a key part of the appeal of this series, and does necessitate that they are in a wider package to accommodate the posing.

Any chance we can get more diverse Jedi and Sith figures outside of the main figures? A mix of generic jedi knights, masters, padawans and Sith warriors. (for example: Great Hyperspace War, Jedi Civil War, New Sith Wars). Collectors are eager to make a huge fight diorama between Jedi and Sith. But that's a bit difficult with only mainstream figures. Something like the deluxe 3-pks from saga Clone Wars days (JEDI KNIGHT ARMY)? Even repaints/kitbash of previous Jedi Figures if new sculpts would not be possible.

     We won't be doing this route as you suggest (generic figures), but you have hit upon one of our key platforms for the next few years - the debut of new Jedi and when we can, new adversaries. We have been producing a good chunk of new baddies in the Comic Packs lately and are really enjoying the outcome (along with select characters like Darth Maleval in the Jokey Squadron pack). As for Jedi - a bunch of never-before-seen ones, along with some nice upgrades, are coming in the Target-exclusive Geonosis Arena packs (including an cool update of Trebor Coleman). If this format is successful, we hope to sequel it in 2010 with an additional series. Looking farther out, we are excited whenever we see new potential Sith adversaries to produce and will be looking to The Old Republic for inspiration, whenever we get more info. In short, the future for new lightsaber wielding good-guys and bad guys looks very....bright.
« Last Edit: October 5, 2009, 02:13 PM by Matt »

Offline Matt

  • Jedi Master
  • *
  • Posts: 5258
  • It's crazy what you could have had
    • View Profile
    • Lobot's Duplex
« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 12:33 PM by Matt »