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Author Topic: Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of August 31st, 2007  (Read 1486 times)
Gold 5
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« on: September 01, 2007, 01:40:25 AM »

Here are this week's questions and answers courtesy of Hasbro.

Starting at home:


QUESTION:  Toys R Us is currrently listing a Star Wars Force Unleashed Hero Figure Pack at this page:  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:


QUESTION:  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.


QUESTION:  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. 


QUESTION:  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.


QUESTION:  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.


To be continued in the next post.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2007, 02:38:14 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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Gold 5
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2007, 01:45:00 AM »

Q&A Part 2


QUESTION:  It’s been over 23 years (yes, really it’s been that long!) since we saw Jabba the Hut released with his throne from Return of the Jedi.  I appreciate that there are no relevant SKU’s for such a release but this could easily be incorporated into Battle Pack range.  You could include Jabba, his throne and a new version of Leia in Bikini outfit that’s able to lie on the throne (you would only have to redo the legs) and Jedi Luke and call it ‘Jabba’s Jedi Confrontation’ OR include Jabba, his throne, Leia as Boushh with Chewbacca and call it  ‘Jabba’s Bounty Hunter Confrontation’.  If money allows you could also include Salacious Crumb and Bib Fortuna and C-3PO in either of the two packs!  Ed: Please go for the first idea with a new Leia that can lie down too!!!

ANSWER:  Good ideas and we have considered this prior.  It's one of those ideas that is "next in line" when we can figure out how to deliver, so your suggestion is a very good one.  Thanks.

QUESTION:  Our friends over at run Richard LeParmentiers official website. Admiral Motti was immortalised as a 3¾” figure in 1999 and was re-released as part of the Death Star set earlier this year, however the mold is looking quite poor considering what you’re now able to do.  Is there any chance that you’ll revisit this figure anytime soon?

ANSWER:  The good Admiral will probably not see a new sculpt for a while (meaning not in the next couple of years, anyway).

QUESTION:  We love the Galactic Heroes line.  I know packaging is a big part of the product, but in the spirit of trying to help ‘save the environment’ there seems to be a lot of wasted space (considering the size of the figures in relation to the packaging) in the basic range.  Are there any plans to change the packaging?  Also, any chance we’ll see Admiral Akbar in the Galactic Heroes line any time soon?

ANSWER:  We do think about materials in everything we do to minimze waste as much as possible.  As with many of our assortment-based lines, we need to do a uniform package size to accommodate the largest of the packs - in this case Vader/Luke, and Chewie/Clone (to use two examples), which take up almost 100% of the blister space.  To go down in size would eliminate these important figures and make our tooling library inefficient, so there is that concern as well.  You may note that other Heroes lines, such as the Marvel Heroes and Transformers do have a smaller blister/footprint, and we have looked at theirs but determined that it would not work for Star Wars.  The good news is that some change is on the way for Galactic Heroes, and you we will have a more efficient method of securing figures in pack soon.  As for Akbar - no plans for next year, but he's a great candidate for 2009.


QUESTION:  One of the things Evolutions are known are the accesories. While you do not disapoint with the Mandalorian set, we weren't shown any for the other two (except for lightsabers, cloaks, and Bane's helmet). Can you tell us what accesories these sets contain, or at least give us a hint?

Oh, and congrats for keeping Evolutions under wraps for who knows how long. Considering how tightly it was under wraps, it was a suprise that it didn't "slip through your fingers."

ANSWER:  What we have shown prior is pretty much what the sets will have. Our philosophy has been that the characters are the primary drivers, and that we need to include the accessories we feel are needed to make that character complete. In the case of The Sith set, lots of soft goods (and Bane's removable mask). The Mando set (like the 2005 Clone to Stormtrooper set) had more battle gear, etc. The Jedi set has the fewest accessories, but it was important to get a Cloak for Qui-Gon, etc. We are very happy we can get the concept back out there, and can't wait for the sets to get to stores.

QUESTION:  The Anakin CW Jedi Starfighter continues to be one of the most expensive vehicles on the secondary market. With the $20 vehicle format being so popular and the CW show coming out next year when can we expect to see that product on the shelves again?

ANSWER:  If Anakin's modified shows up in the animation, then we will look to get it back out there.

QUESTION:  As you have done the Ralph Mcquarrie concept figures so wonderfully, I was wondering if you had ever thought of doing some concept vehicles for the 3 3/4 line? I feel that the concept X-Wing and concept TIE Fighter would be a fantastic addition to collect. Some of the concept prequel vehicles would be fab too! I remember the concept Airspeeder, Cloud Car and Speeder Bike in the mid 90's and they were terrific, so some new larger sized vehicles to go with the concept figures recently released would be awesome!

ANSWER:  They are cool, but the concept vehicles actually struggled a bit originally, partly because these were not the iconic versions of the vehicles everyone knows and partly because some Star Wars collectors are figure-focused primarily so we didn't get the same pick-up from the collectors then as we are seeing with the McQuarrie figures now. This it makes it hard to look at concept vehicles as a justified investment given the costs. We would also, if there is a vehicle slot available, prefer to go after an on-screen vehicle that hasn't been made yet for the 3-3/4" world before we dip into concepts. We wouldn't rule it out (a concept TIE for example could be a cool one) but it's not our priority.

SANDTROOPERS (You must be a registered member of the Sandtroopers forum to read the article)

QUESTION:  Is there anything on the horizen for a re-release of the Anakin with Swoop Bike and Darth Tyranus with Geonosian Speeder? Both of these items never sat upon a shelf when they came out and a lot of people missed out on them. They are also small and should fit a store's plan-o-gram easily.

ANSWER:  That's a good idea and we are looking into it. We admit that the speeder bike play has been a little absent and the Treachery on Saleucami Battle Pack was good effort to get some back out there.  It was successful, and we are looking to get more of these single-rider vehicles back out there. Also coming is the At-RT set, as well as the return of STAPs in the previously announced STAP Attack Battle Pack (say that five times fast!),and exclusive for next Spring.

QUESTION:  Will any future releases of the Sandtrooper be released with a rifle similar to the evolutions version? It's nice to get different weathered paint apps but you should add the rifle in there too along with the standard blaster.

ANSWER:  Yes…it will actually be with "medium dirty" version of the Sandtrooper, which is the deco version from the first Evolutions pack.

QUESTION:  Any chance we'll see more figures made using the hip joints of the ROTS AT-TE Gunner and 501st Trooper style? The poseablility of them is great. Or, any chance that we will see some Star Wars figures using the new 25th Anniversary G I Joe style bodies/articulation? Again, the articulation of those bodies is great.

ANSWER:  We have been looking at the AT-TE as it applies to upcoming figures. You should see some future figures that use this hip model. As for the 25th Anniversary GI Joe figures, we think some of our troopers have comparable articulation (if not exactly). Since the Star Wars universe is so different and unique to itself, we will continue to design articulation as needed on a figure-by-figure basis.


QUESTION:  With Mandalore being produced for the Mandalorian Evolutions set, will other Tales of the Jedi figures - specifically Ulic Qel-Droma and Exar Kun - be in queue for a future wave of Comic 2-packs?

ANSWER:  We certainly hope so. While they are not in the line for next year, they are on our short list for the line as it continues on.

QUESTION:  Originally, it seemed that Saga Legends was supposed to compliment the main TAC line, so as to have multiple "new" figures out at once. However, wave 3 of the main line started showing up at the end of May, and here in mid-August wave 4 is barely starting to show up - yet the first 2 waves of Saga Legends are steadily coming in. Did you stop shipping figures from the main TAC line for a while in order to focus on Saga Legends? If so, wouldn't that be the opposite of the intended goal of simultaneous shipping? Will more waves of the main line be pushed back this year to allow for Saga Legends figures to gain momentum? Right now fans are getting frustrated at the current lack of authentically new product on shelves and are worrying that the final few months of 2007 will be an avalanche.

ANSWER:  The actual figure lines themselves are managed completely separately and replenishment to stores is based on demand and sell-through, as long as we can supply inventory as need. Delays with the coins have held up the basic figure schedules so far (as well as Saga Legends), but that should all be settled down now and you will see more regular wave deliveries.

QUESTION:  With the fans choice polls over the years, you've shown a great openness to suggestions for figures from the collector community. Would you consider extending the concept of fans choice polls into $20 vehicles and/or Titanium Series vehicles?

ANSWER:  Actually, we have indeed gotten that question before from some sites, and have been willing to explore it given the availability of slots in the line. For the $20 vehicles, it would be unlikely to be an open-ended vote like the Fans' Choice for figures. Titanium is probably something more amenable to being open-ended. We will look at it and get back to you… it may be something we can effect for early next year to influence later 2009.

To be continued in the next post.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2007, 02:28:49 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2007, 01:49:06 AM »

Q&A Part 3


QUESTION:  Hey Hasbro, everything from SDCC looks awesome! Will you please make a super articulated Yakface? Please, please, please?

ANSWER: Hmmm…Yak-Face, huh? That was a pretty nice-looking figure for the time and still holds up today, so we haven't had him on any to-do lists. Gotta say it's unlikely we'll get to him in the next couple years. But hang in there, you never know.

QUESTION:  I'd really like to see a film-accurate version of Darth Sidious from his Senate duel with Yoda. This is the one figure so conspicuous by its absence in the REVENGE OF THE SITH toy line. Any idea on when we might see one, or at least a better version of the Mace Windu-duel Chancellor Palpatine figure (without any action features and with the correct lightsaber hilt)?

ANSWER: Good questions. No specific timeline is planned, but we will probably be getting to one, or both, of these in the next couple of years either in the basic figures or another form.

QUESTION:  Which would we be more likely to see anytime in the future, a re-release of the POTF2 version of Oola, Jabba the Hutt's Dancing Girl, or an all-new sculpt?

ANSWER: Oola's prior figure (both sculpt and soft goods) were pretty good, so we'd say that a re-release will be more likely to happen before a re-sculpt.


QUESTION:  Since we now have a few George Lucas figures out there and the upcoming General McQuarrie. Any chance there will be figures made of other behind the scenes Legends? Such as John Williams? Irvin Kershner?

ANSWER: We have explored this idea, but the idea has not gone over that well. Beyond George Lucas, the strength of Star Wars really is in the fantasy. If there are on-screen appearances (such as General McQaurrie) it makes sense, but just going outside of that isn't a direction we'll be going.

QUESTION:  Will the likeness of Boba Fett in the upcoming Evolution series be based on conjectures before the release of the prequel trilogy or will the likeness be based on an actor such as Jeremy Bulloch or Temuera Morrison?

ANSWER: The likeness will be based on Temuera Morrison, but we "aged" him a little bit.

QUESTION:  Will ball jointed hips now be a standard on all trooper characters? We saw in the first wave of 2008, a 41st trooper and Commander Gree that looked to have ball-jointed hips, will all or most trooper figures have this sort of articulation where applicable, also what are the chances of seeing double joints on the knees and elbows in a similar style to the 25th Anniversary GI Joes? .

ANSWER: We won't be sticking to just one articulation model, but will still be looking at every new sculpt situationally.


QUESTION:  While the A-Wing Pilot figure will be a welcome addition (although there are issues with the helmet accuracy) to our collections, will there not be any A-WING STARFIGHTERS re-released to coincide with them?

The 3.75" version of this craft has not been at retail for some time, and it would be great to see them again. Perhaps some different squadron insignias, battle damage, and other decals could be included, to make every A-Wing have the opportunity of being unique? Whattaya think? I just hate to have figures without vehicles, and vice-versa.

ANSWER:  It is a great vehicle, and we are looking at getting the A-Wing back out there next year. No specific retailer has been lined up for it so it's an idea only, but we are looking into it.

QUESTION:  Will the upcoming (and very welcome) Episode II Obi-Wan Jedi Starfighter with Hyperspace Ring include a stand for display?

If so, would this display work with the other non-hyperspace ring Jedi Starfighters?

ANSWER:  Yes. It won't be a hard-plastic injection-molded stand, due to cost issues, but it will include a clear blister-style stand for display.

QUESTION:  When can we expect to first see the Raiders wave of Indy figures and packaging? When is their expected release date?

ANSWER:  The movie release date is May 22, 2008, so expect to see the figures at least a couple weeks prior, typical form for any movie launch. We probably will not be showing any more figures or packaging until Toy Fair 2008.

To be continued in the next post.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2007, 03:45:40 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

Stabilize your rear deflectors.  Watch for enemy fighters.
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