Here are this week's questions and answers courtesy of Hasbro.
Starting at home:JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVESQUESTION:
Toys R Us is currrently listing a Star Wars Force Unleashed Hero Figure Pack at this page: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2678312&cp
. Can you describe this figure pack? Is this in fact a set where you can build your own Secret Apprentice from The Force Unleashed? ANSWER:
We actually are not in a position to dicuss any more details about this one. QUESTION:
How challenging is it to keep core characters in the mix while keeping thing interesting for collectors who have say, the last 10 versions of Luke Skywalker? And additionally, how difficult is it to keep things interesting when the character is a fan favorite (like Boba Fett) who only has one or two different costume looks? ANSWER:
There are collector forces at work on both sides of the fence - we think enthusiasm is high when there are important versions of that character yet to be done, but also when there are details they would like to see us work on for future versions (there are lots of examples of this in past Q&As). When we introduce an all-new tooled version of a core character, we think it makes a good statement and that we probably get most collectors behind the effort. Sometimes new articulation or a new accessory does the trick. In the case of comic packs, or even the EU, we have more to work with so we can look for solutions there as well. When the changes are smaller, we try to justify it based on the importance of the character and the importance of the changes. It certainly makes it a fun and interesting challenge, especially when we task ourselves with keeping at least some version of the core characters (ideally a new version) out there every year. A balance of both new and refreshed characters allows us to keep the core characters out there and balance our tooling budget.QUESTION:
Every year or two, you guys seem to come up with a new line of toys to showcase Star Wars products, such as unleashed, titaniums, transformers, attacktix, to name a few. Are there any new lines on the horizon, or are you guys pretty much set with the product lines you have now? Do you guys have any unique ideas that you would love to do, but just can't fit it into offering right now?ANSWER:
We are constantly challenging ourselves on exciting, new expressions for Star Wars and the Hasbro character portfolio on the whole. One of the new ones we're excited about is the Mighty Muggs line, which will debut with Star Wars for Spring (on shelf on or about Janurary 1). Taking it's cue from urban vinyl, it's a cute, fun style that is a perfect fit for the Star Wars character universe. We are looking further down the road at other expressions that can be suitable as well. One thing that is for certain is that in a fashion-driven business, we cannot stand still!
And continuing on through the A - Z of collectordom:4-INCHES.DEQUESTION:
Recent experiences with the Fans' Choice Poll of the Saga Legends 2008 (Wave 5) have shown that some older figures could deserve a repaint or an update in some minor ways. Thus K-3PO could be managed without the blaster shot, the Bespin Guard could get some ethnical revisions with different head sculpts, the Scanning Crew Member could be realized as a repaint of the Imperial Officer with or without gloves and/or another head sculpt and Taun We needs an update with a comparable figure size like her counterpart Lama Su. Do you agree that those figures would profit from some kind of upgrade and with a fitting slot could make their run over the next years? ANSWER:
We agree, and some of the figures are already on our list for candidates for main line, comic pack, or battle pack figures. QUESTION:
The sculpt of Ewok Graak seems to look like Ewok Lumat, just with another paintjob. Is this an answer to the call of some certain fans (like Adam Pawlus) for more Ewoks? Will we then see Lumat (as a repaint of Graak) next year? And do we then get another Ewok as a repaint of the Romba figure? ANSWER:
We are Ewok fans too, and we have looked for ways to get more of our furry friends out there (we were actually semi-serious when we said at Comic Con 2006 that "Ewoks are the army-builders of the future." The enthusiastic response to the Ewok forest displays at Celebration IV also underscored what we know - that we need to keep updating these fellows every so often. QUESTION:
How do you explain that certain background characters like Bossk, Greedo or IG-88 got their second update since 1995, while other characters like the Gamorrean Guard, Dr. Evazan or Nien Nunb are still waiting for their long lasting first figure update? Those characters just got some repaint in the long run since 1995/1996 but no update. An update of these figures seems to be overdue and they are equally sought-after like the other guys who have been updated.ANSWER:
All three of the characters you mention are good candidates for update before too long and have been discussed. In all three cases, we have decided to pursue other characters who have never been done from their scenes first, so these updates have taken a backseat to new figures. But we will probably get to all three of these within the next few years.
With all the Padme costumes left unmade as 3 3/4" figures, would Hasbro consider making an exclusive multipack - such as the Lucas Family set or the Republic Commando or Death Star Briefing - or even a series of multipacks to get those outfits out of the way? With anywhere from 3 to 7 apiece, they could be organized by movie: Ep I - purple Return to Naboo/Qui-Gon's Funeral; gray Coruscant kimono; black Coruscant/Naboo reception; and perhaps a new, complete version of the senate outfit. Ep 2 - any of the 10 remaining outfits but especially the Chancellor's office outfit; the packing gown; the picnic dress. Ep 3 - there's 9 more outfits, not counting the hospital gown or the funeral gown. Even if you only do a few 3-packs of figures, those are figures that would normally not be seen for years, possibly ever, which fans want. Would you at least consider a Padme evolutions set to get 3 of those unproduced outfits figures out of the way? ANSWER:
We know there are a lot of Padme's undone, but we would prefer to handle them one at a time rather than this idea, simply because it's an expensive set with a narrow focus (and sets like Evolutions are geared toward including multiple characters, rather than focusing on one). QUESTION:
Will Hasbro be re-releasing the straight sections of the cantina bar in the near future to coincide with the release of the curved end pieces that were just released? If so, please consider re-releasing the blue Snaggletooth from the K-Mart exclusive as well. Also, on the straight sections, would they be the same or have their inaccurate barstools removed? ANSWER:
Zutton (blue Snaggletooth) is on the list of figures being voted on for Saga Legends 2008. We will consider, if other Cantina figures are selected, re-releasing this straight section. Good suggestion… thanks. QUESTION:
How many Evolutions packs will we be seeing in 2008? ANSWER:
That is a number we are holding onto right now. Giving you a little more info though… there will be at least one more beyond what we have already shown.
With the Star Wars role-play stuff like the lightsabers and blasters, have you ever considered making things like holsters and stuff so that kids can carry around their gear like the characters in the movies did?ANSWER:
We have considered this, but have found that they impact our ability to deliver the "main thing" which is the blaster or saber, at the price point we want it. General role play sets, we have found, don't do as well if the price wanders up.QUESTION:
You recently have released 8" figures with articulation in the Marvel line under the Unleashed banner. Any chance we will see Star Wars figures like this in the near future?ANSWER:
This is not in our plans, as it would distract focus from our other main initiaitves.QUESTION:
You have some cool interactive Galactic Heroes boxsets coming, but is there any chance of seeing actual playsets released for these guys, like a Death Star? We are seeing playsets done for the Marvel versions, so why not Star Wars?ANSWER:
We have looked at them, but the costing still has not worked out for Star Wars to be able to do them.
At the past few conventions, you’ve confirmed that the Distillery portion of the Cantina Bar will be coming in 2008 or 2009. A lot of folks are left wondering how it’s all going to fit together since there isn’t a lot of room left in the middle if you use the two corner sections from the recent Cantina figures alone. Any plans to tweak the bar or will the answer be simply "use a straight piece between the curves to make more room"?ANSWER:
Well that's the real trick, isn't it? We are trying to figure this out as we speak. We don't have any answers yet, but we're trying to get it in there.QUESTION:
Lately, a lot of folks have been finding figures which are noticeably lop-sided with 1 leg longer than the other. Both the Death Star Trooper and Stormtrooper come to mind as examples. Is this a problem with the molding process or is it an artifact of the way figures were posed when sculpted? Are these type of problems noted for correction with future releases of the figures?ANSWER:
We haven't seen examples like this in our samples process, but it is not a product of the way they were sculpted but perhaps manufacture or assembly. If you find a figure like this, we would love to get it and will replace it with another production figure if the same one is available (or a sub if not), and learn from this to instruct our Asian production teams. Please send them to our attention at the Customer Service address on the Hasbro web site. Thanks.QUESTION:
Now that your 2007 30th Anniversary plans are almost all set, can we get a final count on how many unique coins there will be (counting all the exclusive and convention coins)? Will we have enough slots in our albums to hold them all?ANSWER:
It's tight but it works, but here's how it breaks down, if one had all the available coins: 60 basic figure coins; 7 Saga Legends; 4 Convention gieaways (CIV, Celebration Europe, and Comic Con, plus bonus Indiana Jones IV gold coin); 5 Convention exclusives (2 McQ Luke, 2 McQ R2/3-PO, 1 McQ Obi-Wan/Yoda), 12 UGH variants, and 7 Vintage coins including the Toy Fair coin. Excluding the latter set (which has it's own folder), it totals 88 coins for 90 spaces. Tight, but manageable!
And, as a bonus, we’ve got a follow up from last time -QUESTION:
At SDCC, you showed off the new 30AC Droideka with the half-shield. Any chance you've got a pic of the Droiedka surrounded by two shield halves so we can see how they fit together?ANSWER:
Yes indeed. Note that we have colored the shield to "hide" the pin and cavity insertion method. If we went clear, this would have been more visible and we wanted to disguise. PLEASE VISIT JD'S Q&A ARTICLE FOR THE PHOTO
To be continued in the next post.