I have a question for anyone with insider info at Hasbro.
It was my understanding years ago that the Star Wars team that works on all the original, wide release product was separate from the team that worked on exclusives and, at the time, the 12" line (possibly other stuff).
Basically, the main SW team planned out the line, developed the new figures and vehicles, priced it all out and implemented it. And I would guess, offer up the exclusives. But it was this second team that took the exclusives and was in charge of designing them. Since, at the time, exclusives were nearly 100% re-pack and/or re-painted versions of existing stock, it made sense. They just dusted off the molds, produced the toys and shipped them with no design or planning really necessary.
Since, over the last couple of years, we've gotten to the point where exclusives may sometimes be new product, I've wondered if this two team setup wasn't in place anymore and it was one set of guys that did the whole thing.
However, whether it's two teams or one, from what Hasbro has hinted at in previous Q&A sessions, it always sounded to me like different factories had different molds at their disposal. So is it possible that when exclusives like this get made, Hasbro just orders up whatever version of the character happens to be at the factory they use for the exclusive products? So if this vintage Speederbike mold, for example, is the one at the plant with the Biker Scout they want, that's what we get? And could it also be that the factory that handles the exclusives gets handed down older molds where another factory that's doing more of the current stuff has the new molds?
I'm just guessing on a lot of this based on info that I've read about from various sources over the years, but would love to know if there's some logical reason for some of these decisions or if it's a coin flip on the factory end or what. I'm sure there's a cost factor to this, as in what's the cheapest mold available to press out an exclusive, for example. What one will make Hasbro the most money, still offer a good exclusive product for a retailer and balance all that with a retail price that consumers will pay?