when do you guys think they will start working on EPIII figures? Do you think they already have a list of some sort?
This past August, when I interviewed some of the Hasbro Star Wars team in Chicago, they mentioned that 3 or 4 of their guys were in Sydney, on set. They were getting the rundown of who the key characters were, what they looked liked, along with scan data from companies like Gentle Giant and 3-d animation wireframe data from ILM. They were there for about a week or so, and came back to their offices in Rhode Island to start work this past September.
The launch, conceptualization, design and manufacture of the EPISODE III line is going to take longer than a regular, non-movie year line. Why? When this line launches, it's likely to issue a line like this:
-20+ new basic figure
-Approximately 4 deluxe figures
-1 or 2 creatures
-1 or 2 small vehicles
-2 - 3 medium vehicles
-1 Large vehicle
-A possible playset
-3 or 4 12" figures
-roleplay items (lightsabers, blasters, etc)
...and all of this is supposed to hit mass retail on one target date. And don't forget that there will then be followup basic figures that will be released around the time of the movie release, and more merchandise that will follow through the end of the year.
A movie year is a big thing to prep for, and considering the way the 2004 line is shaping up, with so many rehashes requiring little or no new design, it's a given that the EPISODE III line has definitely under development since the fall.