Author Topic: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing  (Read 3067 times)

Offline Nathan

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http://www.galactichunter.com/sdcomiccon05/hasbro3.asp

Some highlights (follow the link for the whole thing):

--The Early Birds that disappeared are being shifted around to different stores that didn't have the tent sales.

--Absolutely more plans for Fan's Choice polls "pretty soon".

--Jedi Master points: "we tried something with that with the auctions. Not as many people were able to take advantage of it as we had hoped. So I don't see us doing Jedi Master points again in the future." ::) >:(

--"Nervous" about solid cases of anything, even clones.

--More clone repaints in 2006 but not 2005.

--Any possibility for Expanded Universe figures like the Republic Commando and someone like Quinlon Vos, who was actually mentioned by name in the movie? "We may get some troopers not necessarily from the films, but other than that, no future plans in the short term anyway for Expanded Universe."  >:( [insert expletive of choice]

--No more Battle Packs after this year.

--They were originally planning to do BOTH 2" and 7" Unleashed.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2005, 04:31 PM by Valin Kenobi »
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Offline evenflow

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2005, 08:27 PM »
I am looking forward to the return of the fan choice poll. I always enjoyed and felt it was a huge nod to the fans.
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Offline CorranHorn

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2005, 08:46 PM »
I read this yesterday and I think Mike did an overall good job of asking questions, in fact he hit Randy with a relative tough question about why they just don't use the SA Clone as the main sculpt for all the Clonetroopers, especially the paint scheme variants. Here's the response...

There are a ton of Clones in Episode III and similar to the upcoming Target one, there are a lot of Expanded Universe type of Clones. In order to take advantage of that and make sure that we have enough Clones out in the market. We only have one sculpt of that super articulated Clone Trooper so we're limited as to how many we can make and we don't want to stop making the white one as well because we know people want that. So, we use our whole library of Episode III Clones for the repaints and variations.

Does this sound like the run-around or what? There's never an actual reason given as to why they don't use the superior sculpt, only states that they're going for enough Clones on the market. And what does the color of the Clone have to do with the sculpt, that makes no sense at all. Just start spitting out more SA figures and paint as you go, seems so easy right? Well apparently, that's not the case at Hasbro....
« Last Edit: July 19, 2005, 08:47 PM by CorranHorn »

Offline MetalJedi

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2005, 08:52 PM »
It would be nice if they did the Fan's Choice and put in Quinlan Vos as a choice.
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Offline dafoo

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2005, 09:50 PM »
ooh poor hasbro, they ONLY have one mold of the SA trooper....how sad.

I remember the Jedi Points auction, what a joke.  ALL those years of points for nothing..
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Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2005, 10:39 PM »
Quote
--The Early Birds that disappeared are being shifted around to different stores that didn't have the tent sales.

Don't forget that the Hasbro rep admitted that some WMs are sending them back to Hasbro instead (as the three in my area did) of clearancing them, as that supposedly goes against Wal-Mart's policies.  Never mind the fact that WMs do clearances on a regular basis, and several people have already reported finding those EB things for around 6 bucks on clearance.  Just ignore that, since Hasbro knows best.

My favorite quote was from Mike himself, and I'm still shaking my head laughing (I really hope he was being faceitous):

Quote
Let's start off with the Wal-mart Early Bird Kit. Personally, I thought it was a great concept and the best April 2nd retailer exclusive.

 ;D :o ;D

Quote
--Jedi Master points: "we tried something with that with the auctions. Not as many people were able to take advantage of it as we had hoped. So I don't see us doing Jedi Master points again in the future."

And why weren't people able to take advantage of it, Hasbro?  It sounds to me as if they're subtly saying, "We ****** up, but we never admit to that, so we're blaming collectors for not supporting an inherently flawed concept.  Nothing is ever our fault."

Quote
--Absolutely more plans for Fan's Choice polls "pretty soon".

Will this be "pretty soon" like the accurate TIE Fighter, or "pretty soon" like the cancellation of the Force Battlers line?  ;D

Quote
"We may get some troopers not necessarily from the films, but other than that, no future plans in the short term anyway for Expanded Universe."

In other words, "That Stealth Clone Trooper is what you'll be getting, but to come out and say that would actually give you some valuable information instead of cryptic CIA doublespeak, so we'll be vague and you can speculate for the next year on when those Commando figures we'll never make are, and we'll blame LFL for not wanting to do it."


« Last Edit: July 19, 2005, 10:40 PM by DoctorPadawan »

Offline bobafett14

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2005, 10:56 PM »
As a carded collector the points mean nothing to me personally.

The clone question wasn't answered well.

There's a lot of complaints it seems being thrown arond on the different directions Hasbro is taking, all the new sized lines, etc.

I'm willing to give it a chance, I'd like to see what is offered, and actually see/feel the product first.  I do like the continuation of the Attacktix line, but I get the feeling they are "experimenting" and seeing what sticks. 

Behind the scenes I don;t knwo what the profitability, and the numbers on each line  and all look like, but I do know you have to please the customer (not just the collector) but if the customer isn't happy, and the customer doens;t buy your product  your screwed, plain and simple. 

People may rush out and buy crap on a stick, but once they find out it's crap on a stick, they won't buy it again.



 

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Offline Brian

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2005, 09:02 AM »
The GH Q and A was a pretty good read.  Some typical "Hasbro speak" where they don't actually answer the question, but there was some bits of information included in there as well.  It is basically confirmed (at least from that), that for vehicles...they are focusing on Titanium mostly and anything else would be "improvements to previous vehicles"...meaning repaints/retools.  It sounds like the modified TIE Fighter is on the way, but the Cloud Car is not.  Too bad, I really thought they could do the Cloud Car, seeing as it is smaller and could be a $20 item.  I'm also happy to hear the Fan's Choice is on its way back.  I always liked that concept, and it seems like it has been quite some time since the last one.  The questions dealing with the Early Bird set were kind of funny.  While I personally liked the vintage throwback idea of it, I really think this "exclusive" was a stinker for Wal-Mart (and Hasbro).  Our local Wal-Mart had literally 50 of these on a shelf for weeks after April 2nd.  Now there are 2-3, and I'm guessing the rest were sent back.  No way they all of a sudden sold.  I think solid cases could work in certain situations, namely Clones/Stormtroopers/etc.  It depends on the figure of course, as solid cases of the AOTC Red Clonetrooper might not fly off the pegs.  If they had SA Clones, repainted clones, VOTC Stormtroopers, or new SA versions of Snow/Scout troopers, I don't think there would be a problem.  Anyways, nice to get a little more info from Hasbro.  I'm hoping we get some clearer official pics of the Saga Collection pretty soon.

Offline ruiner

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2005, 10:50 AM »
Here's what I gathered:

*Unleashed as we know it is investment intensive and not supported by brick and mortar retailers so it is being dropped/replaced.  This shocks me, I think it could do well as a specialty/online only line...

*EB Kit - big screw up on Hasbro's and WM's end.  Hasbro for offering it, WM for taking it.

*No new ships.  Only rehashes.  The Cloud Car tooling must be shot, as it costs nothing to bring back old tools.

*The SA clone DOES cost more to produce.  That's why we can't find the f'n things and when we do, they are $13.


Offline CloneF13Y35

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2005, 11:02 AM »
as far as clones go, I'll just get more SA clones or mix n match SAs with tank gunners and commanders and custom paint  my own. May not be as good as an official hasbro toy but at least I'll have what I want. I will buy some of the 501st clones.
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Offline Scott

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2005, 11:15 AM »
I think the fatal flaw they made was when they reshipped older waves of Unleashed stuff again.  It didn't work too well

Also, the ass kissing that was done over the Early Birds sets is laughable.  That thing is an absolute piece of crap idea and the figures are not leaps and bounds ahead of anything else out there

And to top it off...wouldn't it make more sense to do your Death Star Wave as Wave 1 in 2006 if these figures were the Early Bird figures?  Bad idea all around

Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2005, 11:24 AM »
Thanks for the link! Interesting read on many levels.  To bad no one asked about the deluxe.
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Offline Nathan

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2005, 01:30 PM »
I read this yesterday and I think Mike did an overall good job of asking questions, in fact he hit Randy with a relative tough question about why they just don't use the SA Clone as the main sculpt for all the Clonetroopers, especially the paint scheme variants. Here's the response...

There are a ton of Clones in Episode III and similar to the upcoming Target one, there are a lot of Expanded Universe type of Clones. In order to take advantage of that and make sure that we have enough Clones out in the market. We only have one sculpt of that super articulated Clone Trooper so we're limited as to how many we can make and we don't want to stop making the white one as well because we know people want that. So, we use our whole library of Episode III Clones for the repaints and variations.

Does this sound like the run-around or what? There's never an actual reason given as to why they don't use the superior sculpt, only states that they're going for enough Clones on the market. And what does the color of the Clone have to do with the sculpt, that makes no sense at all. Just start spitting out more SA figures and paint as you go, seems so easy right? Well apparently, that's not the case at Hasbro....

Yeah, that part makes no sense to me whatsoever. "We only have one sculpt of that super articulated Clone Trooper so we're limited as to how many we can make and we don't want to stop making the white one as well because we know people want that." This sentence is basically answering two different questions -- the first part is about the sculpt, and in the second part he's talking about the paint jobs.

If the real answer is, "The SA costs more to produce," then just SAY so.

Quote
--Jedi Master points: "we tried something with that with the auctions. Not as many people were able to take advantage of it as we had hoped. So I don't see us doing Jedi Master points again in the future."

And why weren't people able to take advantage of it, Hasbro?  It sounds to me as if they're subtly saying, "We ****** up, but we never admit to that, so we're blaming collectors for not supporting an inherently flawed concept.  Nothing is ever our fault."

Word.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2005, 01:34 PM by Valin Kenobi »
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2005, 12:44 AM »
The Clone answer, as I read/understood it, is saying "We only have the capacity to produce so many Clones.  Since we're trying to put out colored CLones and whites, we're using both toolings of the Clone". 

So I'm not sure everyone's reading that as I did, but I think that's the case...  Perhaps not a run-around answer so much, but not answered very articulately (articulate...  articulation...  hah, I slay me), or at least not straight to the point what with just coming out and saying "We're not able to meet demand right now using just the SA Clone's sculpt, we gotta use both of them to do that".

That, actually, makes sense...  And they don't wanna tool a new mold I'm sure, that'd be a hefty investment for relatively short-term gain since supply/demand will balance itself as it inevitably does.

I don't think Mike was being facetious on that Early Bird Kit...  I don't think it was a popular item though, obviously, and I don't think that there was much confusion at retail about it.  I think it was just a lotta money for a whole lot of "nothing".   :-\  Weird time to release such an Original Trilogy item too.  It didn't tickle my fancy though, and was the only exclusive I didn't go ape**** trying to find.  A buddy got me one and mailed it to me and I didn't even care if I got it after I got home on 4/2 without seeing one.

Not to mention, and this is just my personal opinion, but I'm only interested in Chewbacca.  I mean, the basically re-issued figure with a new head to give me a SA ANH/ESB Chewbacca is a generally better thing than that Leia (re-releasing the Commtech Leia would've been better IMO), R2, or the 100% newly sculpted Luke (I hate that extending saber feature.  I think that's best left to vinty's).

Just my take on things though.
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Offline bobafett14

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Re: GH Q&A -- Mike Sullenger & Randy Shoemaker of Hasbro Marketing
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2005, 12:47 PM »
I think the original early bird kit was kind of sacred, it's a classic story.  I think releasing it again only cheapened the item as a whole.  Also, dist. was horrible (example, not ONE in Western PA, while they are stached to the ceiling in Eastern PA on clearance)  The price tag of offering 4 figs a year later, for a kit to send in, and so on, well I can see what they were going after trying to re-create some of that old magic and say "hey wouldn't it be fun and nostalgic if we did that all over again?" flopped, besides things have changed in 30 years, people now just say give me the D$% figures, I'm not bothering sending crap in, and cutting UPC's etc.  Especially when there are 20 other action figure lines to choose from without going through the hassle.

Big screw up.

I really hate to say it, I just have a feeling there are people at Hasbro that may just have that ego saying "I'm the Hasbro decision maker, and dammit, I know exactly what people want"  not really knowing.....what people want.

Now I know it's a job where you're never going to please all the people all the times, but man there are some no brainers that would have been cool that they have really messed up.  I was hoping for a vs/ 2 pack plain and simple just like the GI Joe vs. 2 packs.  I STILL think they can do this, but what did they do, take a good idea and add a base, and some action lever sticks poking out of the box, and ruin it.




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