Hasbro gave all the sites they maintain a relationship with a chance at 10 minute scheduled interviews during Comic-Con this year. We asked one of our friends to handle our interview for us, and he passed along the full details to us today! Read on for the questions we were able to get answered by the Hasbro staff at the show.
We asked our friend and forumite Darth_Anton if he'd take the time to handle our Q&A while he was attending Comic-Con and he happily obliged. We owe him a big thanks for taking the time out of his own convention-going to do this for us!
The three Hasbro personnel on hand to handle the Q&A were Daryl DePriest, Jeff Labovitz, & Brian Merto. We'd also like to thank them for taking the time out of their busy schedules for one-on-one interviews with the sites.
Read the full interview transcribed below:
7/13/12 interview with: Daryl DePriest, Jeff Labovitz, Brian Merto
Q: What’s the big change for 2013 and the direction? Because you guys are coming from having three different 3 ѕ lines, three different classes of vehicles, battle packs and all kinds of exclusives, are you going to stick to the same theme or is something going to be dropped?
Jeff: For 2013 versus 2012, the only thing that is changing is the battle packs, at least in the main line aren’t planned. But, other than that, it’s still the same love for the 3 ѕ”. There will be the movie heroes line, the Clone Wars and the new droid factory line. We’ll have the same vehicles assortments, the class 1 and class 2. Role-play and everything else.
Daryl: Will the vintage vehicles carry on, Jeff, or are we dropping them?
Jeff: In the main line, they have been dropped. So that is a change but, there’s still potential for exclusives.
Q: But, there will still be OT themed and PT themed vehicles?
Jeff: Yes, absolutely.
Q: A new Tie Fighter or something?
Jeff: Same vehicles assortments are planned. Class 1 and Class 2, both the original trilogy aswell as prequel.
Q: No Class 3. No biggies next year?
Jeff: No biggies planed for 2013. The MTT’s rolling out now, about to hit shelves. And truthfully, the performance of that, in large part, will dictate how much support we can provide for those very expensive vehicles for the future.
Brian: (Having seen my Imperial army) So we hope you’ll buy three.
Q: The other two did really well. Everybody loves the AT-AT and the Millennium Falcon. I would hope that one hiccup doesn’t kill it for anything else like a new shuttle or a new sail barge...
Jeff: There could be a Sail Barge, right.
Daryl: Beyond the iconic ones, some of the others can be a struggle to get to the numbers that we need for success on these because these cost A LOT to tool and develop.
Q: The price of the 12 inch?
Jeff: I gave a range because the suggested price hasn’t been set yet, but directionally, $12.99, $14.99. We wanted to communicate that it’s not going to be a high priced, highly articulated figure. These are for kids. 5-point articulation. The accessories, except for the lightsaber blade, are molded to the hand, so they’re not removable.
Daryl: It really celebrates “the toy” of Star Wars.
Q: So you could throw them around and not break stuff. With the heavy amount of Attack of the Clones coming out in 2013, I would assume that it’s coinciding with a special 3D release?
Jeff: Nothing’s been formally announced. We’d love to see that, we would love to see all of them come out over the next few years. Next year, we can say we do have some Attack of the
Clones product, but we also have some product that runs across the full line, all six movies plus the EU and especially Clones Wars.
Daryl: Any entertainment news is going to be released by Lucasfilm.
Q: Any thoughts on redoing a Snowspeeder with Wedge deco and a Snowspeeder Wedge?
Brian: Would make a great exclusive.
Daryl: That’s a great idea. Right now we don’t have a plan, but I would say, that’s a great idea.
Q: If you do go back to doing OT ships, are you going to do them less clean to give them that lived in look that we all know and love?
Brian: We do what we can.
Daryl: Deco is a big challenge for us. Because that’s a lot of human labor involved in all of that. And the more weathering you do, it drives the price way up, so we have to find the right balance.
Brian: We’re desperately trying to look out for efficiencies earlier on in the design process so that we can optimize the amount of Deco that goes on so that maybe something that was counted as a lot hits and very expensive gets pushed down to a lesser expense so we can afford to do some of the weathering. We constantly try to come up with new ways to do weathering that might be less costly. We realize there’s a cry for that.
Daryl: Are we doing to moss effect on the AT-ST, the Endor AT-AT?
Brian: Yes. What I did on the Endor AT-AT is, I took the labels off and that’s paint on there instead of those labels and the feet do have the two color mud, the same thing as the AT-ST. It has a bit of weathering on it. I generally have a little bit more leeway with the exclusives so I can get away with a little bit more.
Q: Going back to the OT characters, characters that you’ve designed that many consider definitive, like VOTC Han, if you guys revisit that, what new can you do? Or is that something that you would just repack?
(Daryl does a jig, laughter)
Brian: We always see new reference. Lucasfilm sometimes provides new reference. There may be a really important facial expression like, you just mentioned Han, but on a... my mind’s
blanking... a smile of a...
Brian: No. (laughs)
Jeff: Luke, Chewie, 3PO…
Brian: The green guy in the…
Brian: No, no, no. The Jedi.
Anthony: Oh, Kit Fisto.
Brian: Kit Fisto! We’ve never done him smiling.
Brian: No, we haven’t. So that is something that we could do that is actually meaningful.
Daryl: We tried, not quite got to the level that we want.
Q: Not like smiling Luke?
Daryl: Hopefully, not like smiling Luke.
Q: Any thoughts on revisiting the 2D Clone Wars, the Tartakovsky stuff? In my opinion, when those came out, those were great.
(Two minute warning.)
Daryl: We loved it too. Very fertile hunting ground. While Lucasfilm is producing the amazing series that they’re producing, that’s where we’ve agreed that the focus will be, so no plans to go after any more Genndy figures right now. That’s not to say that they couldn’t be part of a fan vote or anything like that. We’re working on the main Clone Wars series right now. That’s our focus.
Q: (Having heard the question asked multiple times.) You’re going to have to repeat this but, the whole distribution issue… That’s what everybody’s asking about because everybody, including myself, is very frustrated. I’m very frustrated because I can’t find the figures.
Jeff: We understand the frustration. We have some frustration about it as well. So far in advance of the product hitting shelf, we plan on how we organize our lines and what types of volumes. So with Episode 1, we wanted to ensure a very strong support for the movie. We released a lot of figures and there has been a bit of slow down some at retail... the figures have been backing up a bit.
The good news is, the new waves are starting to hit now, and what we’re trying to do is leave room for us in the future, perhaps with vintage, not in main line, but being able to do it through exclusives... is to find figures that have been in short supply and find ways of getting them back out there. Maybe not in 2013 and maybe not 2014, although it could be, finding ways to get them back out into circulation, the figures that weren’t able to hit this time around.
Q: Thank you.
We'd like to thank the Hasbro team and Darth_Anton again for handling the Q&A at the show for us. It was appreciated and we hope to hear more soon from Hasbro at Celebration VI