Author Topic: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session  (Read 6331 times)

Offline CorranHorn

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2004, 09:23 PM »
Ok so they say more SA figures down the road, are we talking just re-releasing the SA Clone or even some of the VOTC, or can we look forward to brand new figures with SA thus making it unnecessary to waste everyone's time with 40 versions of the same figure. Hasbro as always doing their best to perpetuate the vagueness....

Offline Diddly

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2004, 09:31 PM »
I liked all of their announcements except for Action Features. BOO! I don't know anybody who enjoys them. Although I will be happy if they don't mess up the figure too much (see Bespin Luke).

Offline Vator

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2004, 11:10 PM »
So is that it? No update from the 1 to 1 Q&A?

The OS site has pics up of the Ceremony Amidala and she looks nice. The Sly Moore however, well, looks less than amazing.
- June 22, 2004 12:13 AM -

Offline Darby

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2004, 11:59 PM »
Sly looks a little... mmm, off, yeah.   I commented elsewhere how she looks like Zan from Farscape.  It's probably because (according to Adam at GH, I think) she was sculpted way back in 2002.  

Action features: Boo, hiss.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2004, 01:20 AM »
Sculpted with different hands too, according to the Insider...  Sounds like she's seen modifications over her development.
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Offline JediMAC

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2004, 05:06 AM »
OK...  I've got a bajillion things to talk about, but just a couple more quick blurbs here before I update the main news page.  I'm not sure if Scott passed along some other stuff I mentioned to him anywhere (I haven't had a chance to look around much and catch up in here), but here's a couple more tidbits that the Hasbro fellas mentioned to me when I talked to them after their presentation (more to come, too):

A Tie Fighter with properly scaled wings is a very high probability, barring some freak circumstance.  The Hasbro rep almost sounded upset and embarrased that it took several tries before they finally had the funds available to correct the rest of it (after fixing the cockpit the last time 'round).  He didn't mention a date, but since 2005 looks like it's going to be predominantly all Ep. 3 stuff, I'd guess early 2006 for the "Ultimate Tie Fighter".  But at least it's sounding very promising finally!

Also, I pumped them for info on the U-shaped portion of the Cantina Bar, along with the distillery section too.  They were very aware of those particular ideas (surprisingly), and said they were very interested and "excited" to do them, but they'd have to wait to see how the sales of the upcoming K-mart exclusive sets did.  I immediately retorted that that was completely unfair, since those are going to TANK at retail, especially the one with the Obi-Wan and Ponda, since those are terrible ideas for repacks.  I guaranteed them though, that despite those sets poor performance, they'd still do VERY well if they got an all new set out with the U-shaped bar and the distillery.  I begged them not to punish us and potentially not release those pieces due to their very poor decisions on which figures to include in the upcoming K-Mart sets (though I applauded them on the vintage nod on Blue Snag).

So I think these have a good shot at happening, especially after witnessing the genuine interest Hasbro had in wanting to make them.  (fingers crossed)

What else...  They said NO WAY IN HELL will any of the 4" VOTC figures get re-released later on in the standard ($5) carded line.  I expected a negative answer to that, but not such an adamant one.  I told them that was totally unfair to deny collectors the greatest army-building figure of all-time, in the new Stormtrooper (looks GREAT).  They replied "We're not denying anyone.  The collectors can army-build all they want with that one."  Yeah.  Ok.   ::)  I reminded them that it was a $10 figure that was being placed in a line that's supposedly going to see a much more limited release than the standard OTC line.  Their reply:  Shrug.  Hmmm....  Oh well...   >:(

I'll stop by with more updates a little later, but hopefully that'll tide you over for a little bit...   ;)
« Last Edit: July 25, 2004, 08:07 AM by JediMAC »

Offline Vator

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #36 on: July 24, 2004, 05:15 AM »
Ahhhh, thank you Matt. Been waiting for some info.

Is it just me, or was Hasbro a little more hostile this time around?

Remember, the CT Stormtrooper wasn't going ot be re-released either. We'll see if they change their minds.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2004, 05:16 AM by Vator »
- June 22, 2004 12:13 AM -

Offline Muftak

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2004, 06:18 AM »
You know, thanks for working your tail off for us today/yesterday, Matt. I know I really appreciate the zest you seem to have brought to your one on one with Hasbro. Tellin' em like it is with those crappy cantina sets and all...


They said NO WAY IN HELL will any of the 4" VOTC figures get re-released later on in the standard ($5) carded line.  I expected a negative answer to that, but not such an adamant one.  I told them that was totally unfair to deny collectors the greatest army-building figure of all-time, in the new Stormtrooper (looks GREAT).  They replied "We're not denying anyone.  The collectors can army-build all they want with that one."  Yeah.  Ok.   ::)  I reminded them that it was a $10 figure that was being placed in a line that's supposedly going to see a much more limited release than the standard OTC line.  Their reply:  Shrug.  Hmmm....  Oh well...   >:(


I'd just like to add that there is a little room for manuevring here, if the figures see rerelease in some other form (not the basic line) Jesse's 2-packs, or Ultra figures with large accessories, screen scene fillers, etc. Just like Ephant, they have the molds now, it would be very unlike Hasbro to not use them again.

And to whoever the rep was Matt talked to, let me assure you that there's NO WAY IN HELL you'll get me to buy another ANH Han Solo figure, ever again. The VOTC one serves all my needs just fine. Same looks like it'll go for a couple more of these, but the door swings both ways, you know...
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Offline JediMAC

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2004, 07:55 AM »
Thanks guys.  I've gotta add that Jared (Tydirium) deserves a TON of credit as well, since he's been our unofficial official staff photographer at this event.  So huge props to him for snapping pix over the first couple days (some of which are still forthcoming).

Let's see...  What else?  As has been already noted, and it's possible it was Bob at the Q & A who asked them, but Hasbro was quite keen on the idea of the "vs." 2-packs.  They gave their usual "nothing's planned at this time" answer, but this time they quickly stated how much they like the idea and that's it's something that's being considered over there.

A few other notes which have already been covered, I'm sure:  Hasbro said the "Super Articulated" figures would continue to a degree, where it was deemed appropriate - most notably in the army building figures.  So I was glad to hear that they understood that was the best place to start with SA.

Also in respect to army builders, Hasbro said at their Q & A that their new concept of interchangeable/removable heads (and arms) seems to be doing well, and if it continues to do so, they'd definitely be open to doing more of them.  People were suggesting to them such things as a Rebel Pilot or Imperial Officier figure, with several different heads.  They were open to the concept, so that's a start, at least.  We applauded their work on the double armed Dagobah Luke, but (don't kill me) nobody asked about a neutral set of arms.  I'll try to run that idea/gripe by them tomorrow though.

As for Ephant Mon, Hasbro finally admitted it was a huge financial loss, and therefore refuse to stick him back on a standard card again.  So best to get him while you can!  But they said they might consider offering him at a slightly higher price point in a future Deluxe theme or some type of multi-pack.  So don't give up total hope quite yet...

Fan's Choice Voting:  Nothing 'til 2006, if at all.  Hasbro was oddly aloof with this issue.  For some weird reason, Hasbro felt the next Fan's Choice had to be solely for Ep. 3, but they didn't want to release any spoilers, so they haven't done one and now they're not even interested in doing one for Ep. 3 at all during 2005.  They said maybe 2006.  An OT figure choice was obviously suggested to them, but they shunned the idea.  They also said NO vehicle or playset Fan's Choice Polls - probably EVER.

No plans for a basic carded Wedge figure, despite the moans and groans from many people.

They said the Action Features will be back for Ep. 3, for the kids (of course).  Speaking of which, Hasbro babbled the same incessant nonsense the whole meeting, just like last year:  We're doing this for the kids, kids, kids, etc, etc, etc, over and over and over...  Don't think I heard them say "collector" even once.  Made me want to jump out of my chair and pull some "Falling Down" crap on them...   >:(  They're NEVER going to get it, apparently.  What kids?!  Even in a movie year there's NO kids hardly.  Maybe a small handful for a couple of months, but that's about it.

Bobb's right.  I did give them a stern earful on a number of subjects, contrary to most of the ass-kissing everyone else was giving them on EVERYTHING.  I definitely offered them praise where it was due as well though.  What's funny (or not so much), is that several times they didn't even know what I was talking about, and it was regarding some pretty basic stuff.   :-\

I mentioned to every one of their reps that I could get my hands on that I was very excited that we were finally getting a Cantina wave, but that I was VERY disappointed, as were most collectors, that Hem Dazon/Arcona was not included within it.  I pointed out that character's significance to that entire scene, being the very first alien that we see pop up right as the Cantina music starts.  Iconic, almost.  They understood, and sounded interested in getting us Arcona at some point.  Might even be in the pipeline already.  Who knows.  Those waves they mentioned today were pretty small, so hopefully they'll surprise us and add another figure or two into them.

As far as playsets go, they're definitely being worked on, and OT ones at that.  They mentioned that they toyed with the idea of getting a modular Death Star playset out for the DVD release, but ultimately ran out of time to do it properly (which is fine by me - since I'd rather they do it right!)  But they mentioned that some OT ones would be coming eventually, but in a "new form", which I'd guess would just be the modular theme, as evidenced by their earlier Death Star comment.  Like with most of the OT stuff though, I think we're looking at a 2006 release unfortunately, since the Ep. 3 line is going to dominate 2005.  I'll pump them for more info on whether the OT is toast for next year, after the Cantina wave...

Other "NO's":  Action Fleet and any George Lucas figure(s).  They also said no to any EU and NJO figures, but didn't rule them out completely, mading it sound like it was a possibility later on down the line.  Much later, I'd guess, when they really start running out of other potential characters to work with.

Animated ARC Trooper WILL come in both Red and Blue.  Sounds like there's a 4th separate figure in that Animated wave (with Anakin and Grievous), but they wouldn't comment on it for some reason.

Other random tidbits:  Unleashed will be coming to other retail outlets supposedly - including Target and Walmart.  And if you're looking to pick up a re-released Vader, they'll only be recarding the one with his mask on.  Also, very little info on the 12" line.  They mentioned the KB exclusive Chewie, and it sounded like there might be another exclusive 12"er or two later, as well as Ep. 3 12" product too.  But overall, the Hasbro reps seemed to have a very "defeated" attitude with the 12" line, as if it's prospects for the future was very glim.

That's all for now.  Hopefully more to come later...   ;)
« Last Edit: July 25, 2004, 08:24 AM by JediMAC »

Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2004, 09:53 AM »
First of all, I'd just like to say thank you to Matt for asking all the important questions.  One of the main reasons why I prefer JD.com over the other sites is that everyone here has a "credit where credit is due" mentality with Hasbro, not being afraid to tell them when they're screwing up.  Every other site out there kisses Hasbro's ass to such a degree that it makes you wonder if they're getting a monthly kickback for toeing the company line.  So thanks to Matt and the JD.com staff for not being shills for the big H.

I still don't get Hasbro's approach where toy information is treated like national security intel.  They act like the world will end if someone finds out what their plans are for six months from now, and they avoid answering any specific question about anything not currently in release like the plague.  And don't get me started on their constant backpedalling.  Wasn't it less than a month ago now when they said the blue jumpsuit VOTC 12" Fett was a "prototype" and would not be a mass release?  Yeah, I really trust them to answer anything honestly.

Other comments:

-They wouldn't have such a defeated attitude with the 12" line if they didn't keep redoing the same things over and over again, and even then doing them shoddily.  Even if it is a minor character like Poggle the Lesser or Lama Su, it would sell a lot better than the 100th version of Tatooine Luke, in my opinion.  Then they release this last Obi-Wan and don't even give him pants, opting to just paint his legs brown.   "We don't understand why the 12 inch line isn't selling well.  People must not want them."  No, it's just that they don't want what you're giving them.  Do something unique for once, Hasbro.

-It sounds as if they're taking that "screw you" attitude with the VOTC Stormtrooper.  I think we all know by this point that it is going to be a bitch to find even one of those when they're released (and I'd be willing to bet Hasbro won't even make it that easy with their asinine case pack ratios), and now they're basically saying "it's not our fault if you can't camp out at Target or Wal-Mart for eight days straight."  That kind of snotty attitude, combined with the endless repacks and half-assed quality is going to cause a lot of people to leave this line completely if they don't watch it.  People are already at their limit with Hasbro and you'd think they'd do something to try and repair this breach; unfortunately, they don't seem to give a crap, but after 9 years of this, I wouldn't expect them to.

-I'm honestly surprised they didn't get up and walk off when you told them the Cantina sets were crap.  This is the same company that once said "we don't care what collectors think" in a Q&A a few years back (although I don't think any of those people are in charge of the line anymore, so caveat emptor).  If I have learned anything from other sites coughrebelscumcoughhack, it is that you should never question the Hasbro.  The Hasbro is our god.  We should worship at the Hasbro's feet.  Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Okay, that being said, I really liked the animated Grevious, and the Ceremonial Amidala looks amazing.  Cannot wait for those.  Will the animated figures once again be Target exclusives, or will they go to another outlet?  If you get a chance to ask them, please do Matt.

And again, thanks to the JD.com staff for being such great reporters and giving us all this news from SDCC.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2004, 02:40 AM »
Tons of good news, and some bad too Matt...  Thanks for the updates t hough, irregardless of what the message may be.

Their attitude on the VOTC's piss poor.  Very frustrating from a collector's standpoint, and WHY they'd treat you that way with their answers is beyond me really.  Very unprofessional sounding really, especially when they're there to deal with the core buyers of their product.

I'd expect more from a company of their reputation...  Considering how they've done things over the years though, I'm not at all surprised by some of the reactions either...  They seem to have an "I don't give 2 poos" attitude when it comes to how they treat the end consumer of their prducts.

Yet, with the VOTC news is your blurb about Super Articulation and army builders too!  Will we see yet another ALL new Stormtrooper then?  And if so, why?  I wouldn't care if they saved money by not tooling another...  It makes no sense really.

Perhaps there's something to the equation I've overlooked, but things just don't make a ton of sense.

I wouldn't let up on the VOTC figures though if ya talk to them again.  :)  I'd love to know WHY their stance is what it is...  If SA figures are in the future, then I don't see why VOTC won't see repacks unless they truly want these figures to be "special" in a way.

On that note, perhaps it is the $5 pricepoint?  Maybe they're saying only in multi-packs of some sort, but not basic cards?

Very confusing of them...

You asked a LOT of stuff I was personally interested in Matt, so I appreciate it.  Hopefully I'll get them next February up in NY.  "Squeaky wheel..." and all that jazz.  :)

Thanks Matt, serilously.  You asked harder-nosed stuff to them than ANYONE at the Con seems to have.
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Offline Darby

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #41 on: July 25, 2004, 04:30 AM »
Yeah, Matt, excellent reporting.  Our man behind enemy lines.

Hasbro's present attitude is mystifying.  Clearly the VOTC/OTC all things vintage love fest is aimed directly at the nostalgia crowd, so why would they be so snarky about it?  Perhaps they're bored with their own product.   They have been doing it a long time, and nothing is new any more.  Gone are the POTJ days when the line was hanging on by a thread and our voice mattered.

The repacks leave one bored.  The resculpts do to a point.  The case packs do.  The action featues do.  Etc etc.  


Offline JediMAC

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2004, 07:49 AM »
Well, I think it's mostly just one particular Hasbro guy that's really being so standoffish and defensive.  This is the same guy that essentially just walked away from me right in the middle of a completetly "innocent" question.  The other several guys weren't so bad, if but rather vague on a number of things.  Speaking of the aforementioned "standoffish" guy (who I won't name here), I asked him today about the future of the line beyond 2005, and also whether there'd be any possibility of seeing some OT figures mixed in with the Ep. 3 line next year (ala the Saga line a couple years ago).  His reply was once again completely mindboggling and dumbfounding, if not another veiled jab at "collectors".

He told me that if the line gets enough support at retail, that we should probably see the figures continue, as well as get some more OT figures later on (2006) - but no guarantees that it will do well enough to make either of those things happen (he apparently doesn't have a very high opinion of Hasbro's work, I guess).  I kinda joked that it shouldn't be a problem at all for us collectors to keep the line going strong next year, so we can see the line continue further down the road.  To which he replied (not quite verbatim):

"That won't do anything (collectors buying).  The kids will continue to be the ones supporting the line, and they will therefore be the ones determining it's potential future."

I almost snapped.   >:(  This is the same guy who mentioned "kids" over and over and over in the Q & A.  My editorial comment here is that it is VERY unfortunate to have someone like this working high up in Hasbro, and determining the fate of our beloved line.  He/Hasbro obviously has NO FREAKING CLUE as to the pulse of this line, and who's actually buying it.  Either that, or he's just deliberately trying to be a complete and total jerk.

The God's honest truth is that I haven't seen more than about 5 kids buying Star Wars figures over the past 8 - 9 years.  Seriously.  Lightsabers, yes.  Figures, NO.  Not even interested.  And this is coming from a person who hits a good 40 - 50 different stores around SoCal on a fairly regular basis.  I just refuse to buy into this continuing Hasbro propaganda that it's the kids who are purchasing the majority of the figures, 'cause they're NOT.  That's absolute hor$e$hit.  If that's what they really think, they should all be fired for being so out of touch with their own market.

I gave him a disingenuous "Thanks", rolled my eyes, and walked away from him, over to a couple of his colleagues that were much more receptive to actually talking about the stuff we were all there to discuss.  Duh.  They said that 2005 (quarters 2 - 4) will be ALL Episode 3 product, in the Episode 3 packaging.  But they continued on to say they'll eventually have some type of new packaging in 2006 that will be able to incorporate the entire Saga again, on which figures from all 6 films could be made and distributed.  I strongly suggested they please try to stick with the OTC card design, or something along that line.  But at least this fella spoke as though there was no question that the line was headed well into 2006, and beyond (but wouldn't speculate as to how far beyond).

Also, I mentioned that some folks were a little disappointed with the lack of articulation on the VOTC C-3PO that was just recently unveiled, unlike the rest of the highly articulated VOTC line.  I asked why that happened, and if there were any plans for an SA C-3PO any time in the forseeable future.  He said no further plans for more at this time, and that the articulation on this version was chosen by the designer because it was the most accurate to what 3PO did in the film.  I of course had to point out that 3PO actually SAT DOWN a number of times, including in the Ewok throne, and it therefore would've been very cool to have finally gotten some articulated knees on him, at the very least (along with wrists and elbows).  His response:  Shrug.   :-\

And on the saddest note of all, I asked about the prospect of an ICMG figure, and the reply was... well... not good, and I'll leave it at that, for fear of breaking Scott's poor heart.  Again, I mentioned there would be no greater way to say "thank you" to the collectors out there than by throwing that particular "fanboy petitioned" figure out to us...   8)

I should add, that when I pushed the Cloud Car issue on them a little more yesterday, they said vehicles just cost too much to make, and are too expensive for consumers (re: kids) to buy.  I asked about the vintage mold and if it was indeed lost, and they said they had no idea.  I then told them the Cloud Car would not need to be an "expensive" vehicle by any means - probably just a nice, easy $20 price point would suffice.  Then one guy turned to another and said: "It would make a nice exclusive, wouldn't it?" with somewhat of a smirk.  Not sure what exactly that meant, but I'd guess it would have to be either that it was already dropped as an exclusive, or that it's already been picked up as one.  The gang in the Q & A obviously pointed out that it's lame to have a Cloud Car Pilot figure now, with no Cloud Car for it to pilot.  Double duh.   ::)

God, it really shouldn't be this hard, for either "side"...
« Last Edit: July 25, 2004, 08:02 AM by JediMAC »

Offline Vator

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2004, 08:29 AM »
Wow, are these the same people as last year? Geez, what jerks!

This whole kids thing is bull****! I'm a 'kid' and there isn't a single person I know other than myself and other collectors who buy the stuff! It's insane of them to target children when they have such a large and loyal fanbase!
Man, I think I just remebered how I felt in 2002-2003 when the hate of Hasbro was so strong. Well it's back! Hasbro is now, officaly, back to being called Hasblow! Sorry for the ranting, but my god didn't they learn from the 2002 backlash?

I wonder if they're PR people are pissed at them for this? I doubt it, they probably imagine that there's a struggle in the asiles between Collectors and Children. You know, they hired Captain Panaka...

So did you ask them anymore questions Matt? And once again good work!
- June 22, 2004 12:13 AM -

Offline Paul

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Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« Reply #44 on: July 25, 2004, 09:22 AM »
I like most of you have seen less than a dozen "kids" buying SW stuff since 1995.  I doubt they get the as gifts much either because there isn't much available in Dec usually.

it is a good thing there will be no OTC stuff in 2005, I'll need a rest after paying blood prices for VOTC Stormtroopers.  I will gamble that they are telling the truth about not repacking them.  Wait have I fallen for their trap now?

Another point on the "Kids" aspect.  If the Kids are so much of their focus why are they at Comic Con and not at TRU getting a "Focus group".  Saying Kids drive the SW market is like saying Kids drive the "Hot Wheels" market.

Really makes me sad that they have the license till 2018.