Here are this week's questions and answers courtesy of Hasbro.
Starting at home:JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVESQUESTION:
There seems to be a call for accessory packs in the collecting community, but the responses that we've gotten in the Q&A process seem to indicate that they're tough to market. Has any thought been given to trying to incorporate accessories into a more attractive package, like a scene appropriate Screen Pack? For example:
-Clone Trooper accessories in a Kamino training facility pack. This could be the quartermaster station from Attack Of The Clones that dispenses the Clone Trooper helmets
-Imperial accessories in a Death Star alcove pack. Have rifle racks, rifles, blasters, and maybe a mouse droid or two in this set.
This kind of presentation might satisfy both accessory fans and collectors who enjoy the Scene Packs.ANSWER:
These are pretty good ideas and we have been conceptually looking at this approach. I will say that our product sublines are always evolving. If the figure component of the set is strong, there's always a possibility we could do things like this down the road.QUESTION:
A collecting news site recently reported that there is a Star Wars Legacy comic 2-pack on the way featuring Imperial Knights Antares Draco & Ganner Kreig? Is this report accurate, and can we expect more Legacy 2-packs in this line in the near future?ANSWER:
It's no secret that we were seen conspiring with Randy Stradley, John Ostrander and Jan Duursema at Celebration IV, and we are pleased to confirm that we are indeed pursuing this pack for late in 2008. As for future Legacy packs, we are hopeful to be able to do more as time/resources/tooling allows, but don't have any others slotted in right now that we can officially talk about.QUESTION:
Hasbro recently confirmed that the blue Obi-Wan Kenobi Jedi Starfighter and green Anakin Skywalker Jedi Starfighter would be making their way into the 2008 assault vehicle line. Will these new renditions have more accurate paint apps? The original, exclusive versions in the Revenge Of The Sith line were almost too white.ANSWER:
We will be replicating the first exclusive versions exactly as they originally appeared. Perhaps for a future release we can do these, but for the 2008 releases they will be the same ones that came before.
And continuing on through the A - Z of collectordom:ACTION FIGS.COMQUESTION:
While the last Jabba we got (Saga Ultra) looked nice, his limited articulation and hard plastic body don't lend him to many alternate poses, so he's a bit boring. What about the idea of doing a new Jabba with an internal skeleton/under-frame for more articulation underneath a rubber skin similar to the Jabba Glob Ep I figure which had a decent look and much more mobility? It seems a shame that action figures of Jabba - who is such a major character - can never be able to move his mouth, arms, and tail at least somewhat like he does in the film. (It could even be released in a special battle pack, or in the $20 vehicles wave, with a full throne and more, even possibly a resculpted sitting Slave Leia.) ANSWER:
Getting more poseability out of a Jabba figure is a great idea, and if/when we do another one we will look to something that can work for our costing parameters. What you suggest would be relatively expensive Jabba, but it doesn't mean there are other ways to do what you suggest. QUESTION:
At Comic-Con, you showed off '08 basic wave 1 and in it was the Octuptarra Droid. However, what was shown actually had the details of the much larger Tri-Droid - another ROTS droid that was an upsized, remodeled version of the smaller Octuptarra Droid - so the feet, guns, and eyes on what you showed are from the wrong design. Will these details be corrected so that it truly is the Octuptarra Droid? ANSWER:
We found out about the differences in the two after we were already down the path. So the figure will be coming out as shown. We couldn't really do it any bigger than we are doing now anyway, at least on a basic figure card, so until we have the opportunity to do a larger one, fans will hopefully appreciate the coolness of this one. QUESTION:
In regards to the Indiana Jones line, what types of ideas are being considered? Would it be safe to assume that characters like Mola Ram, the giant Thugee guard, Temple of Doom "wear & tear" Indy with torn shirt and missing sleeve, Henry Jones Sr., Willie Scott, and Short Round are good possibilities? After all, they do all seem like logical choices. Will the Star Wars Battle Pack and Comic 2-Pack concepts be used in the Indiana Jones line? How about Indy role-play accessories? ANSWER:
Right now it is still too early to talk about the breadth and depth of Indy....that will probably come next around Toy Fair. We we will say that we are doing both a mix of classic (previous three films) and figures from the new Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The figures you named are all strong classic figures, so there's a good chance most or all of them will be in the line at some point.
Has there ever been a thought about maybe doing a mail-in for a set of the current pack in coins?ANSWER:
We elected not to pursue this, instead leaving the complete sets of coins a treasure for the fans who have worked hard to chase down all of the versions needed.QUESTION:
Speaking of mail-in offers....is there any current talk about ANY kind of mail in offer using proof of purchases or the "points" from toys? One of my favorite memories as a kid was saving up those circles and getting the Boba Fett figure, Admiral Ackbar, a figure stand, whatever.ANSWER:
We are still struggling with the whole mess from the fallout of the Jedi Master points issue and whether we could ever do something with them without angering the folks who were told to (and did) throw their points away. I think we can say that if we do more mail-ins, it will probably not involve older points but specific (not generic) stickers or UPC codes the way we have been doing it with Vintage offers.QUESTION:
The comic book packs seem to be doing well for you, and it has been a great way for us to get expanded universe figures. Will this line continue? Could it also be an opportunity to do a Novel Pack for some characters that were not in comics?ANSWER:
Thanks to the fans, the comic packs have indeed been doing very well and our plan is to continue them through 2008 (and beyond, as long as they keep doing well). Novel figures are tough because many of the top ones (Jacen and Jaina Solo, for example) have never appeared in a comic adaptiation while others (like the X-Wing series, and Heir to the Empire, etc) have. That makes their opportunities restricted to single carded figures - tough because of everything else we need to cover, the movies coming first in that series, and multi-packs, which have likewise been focused on movies or Clone Wars. So we remain committed to find a way to do the best of the novel universe, but we just have to match it to the right opportunity.
At Dragon*Con 2007 this [past] weekend Heath Hammond from Sideshow Collectibles stated (to the audience) that Sideshow and Hasbro are in talks to produce playsets/environments in the 3 ¾" scale. Can we get any sort of official comment from Hasbro on this?ANSWER:
We can confirm that we have had discussions with Sideshow but any public confirmation beyond this is premature.QUESTION:
Since the generic figure bases seem to be selling well through HasbroToyShop.com - and are, in fact, sold out at the moment - might this open the door to other niche items for collectors, such as simple accessory packs? Collectors would like to outfit their Clone Troopers with the choicest rifles, pistols, and gear. Lightsabers have been known to break or become lost. Consider it a mitzvah?ANSWER:
The bases are indeed selling well, and we were hoping to have something else to go into the line along what you describe eventually. With Clone Wars coming into the line, our focus has been elsewhere, but we'll look at it again and see if what you suggest can be made into a compelling offering.QUESTION:
Love the new Bespin Torture Han Solo figure, and I appreciate the attention to scene-specific details such as his shirt tail being untucked from the pants and the painful grimace on his face. Unfortunately outside of this scenario the figure can't really be used as a normal Bespin Han Solo for other display scenes. Since all the body parts have been created, is it possible to get a new Bespin Han Solo released on the basic card next year or in a Battle Pack, combining the existing VOTC Endor Han Solo legs, head, and belt/holster, along with the Bespin Torture Han Solo's jacket and arms? It would give us the perfect VOTC-quality super articulated Bespin Han Solo at no additional sculpting costs on your part! (From reader Shabby Blue)
And since readers have been asking, we did ask a quick distribution question (which we normally avoid because distribution issues can magically clear up in between Q&A sessions).QUESTION:
Waves 4 & 5 are hitting online shops, but there's been no real stocking at big box retail. Is this just summer drought, or are retailers holding stuff back due to the recent safety issues involving that other company?ANSWER:
Retailers aren't holding back - we stage them as soon as we get them in. Wave 4 has been shipping and will be out there in big abundance soon. Some of Wave 5 arrived ahead of schedule and slipped out, but the vast majority will be going out after we have moved Wave 4 to retail.
If Hasbro makes an EU figure as part of its comic 2packs, what are the chances that the character will ever appear in the basic line? I've been hoping for a Lumiya figure (with SA, neutral leg pose, whip, swappable helmet and head, and soft goods cape) but as some fans have pointed out, the comic pack figures often cut down on the articulation and other premium features in order to keep costs down.
So while Lumiya is an obvious candidate for the comic packs, my concern is that once such a figure is made there, it would be the last time Hasbro ever visits the character. Just wondering what your thoughts are about this?ANSWER:
Great question. Certainly, the comic packs have been well-received but they are not the only place we would look to do EU figures. We are not confiming anything here, since she is currently not in any approved lineup, but if we were to do a Lumiya figure it makes most sense that she would debut in a comic pack. Given how many figures there are to work with, it is unlikely we would do more than one version of Lumiya in a reasonable time frame (say within a couple of years) but since she has at least two very interesting different outfits/forms, we wouldn't rule out that over the course of our long relationship with Star Wars that you could eventually see more than one. Patience, as always, is the key.QUESTION:
The Rebel Vanguard figure seems to be built off of the TSC Endor Rebel Trooper. Will we get a running change of the Rebel Vanguard Trooper like we got with the Endor Rebel?ANSWER:
We took our cue from the Rebel Vanguard figure from the start/select screen, and are just going with that one version. So, no running changes to this one.QUESTION:
Does Hasbro plan to make more video game figures after Darth Nihilus and the Force Unleashed figures? And if so, what games will you be looking at?ANSWER:
We are certainly open to doing more figures. We get updates periodically on the progress of the LucasArts games, and will look to continue that relationship as we see opportunities coming down the road for upcoming future games. As for past games, we have a couple small surprises here worked into the line.
Will the VOTC line continue in 2008?ANSWER:
There will not be another vintage-style line in 2008, because we are dedicating those resources and tool budget toward developing the Evolutions reintroduction. We certainly hope to pick up vintage further down the road, and the polls we conducted recently have informed our thinking for when we do bring it back out.QUESTION:
If you had the opportunity to re-design the Death Star playset toy from scratch, what is one thing you would want to incorporate that was not on the original toy?ANSWER:
A working ion cannon! Seriously, that was a great playset. The only thing that can really be added would be..space. The ability to arrange figures in more key scenes and capture the scale of the Death Star corridors and rooms.QUESTION:
Will the Jango Fett in the "Evolution of the Fetts" set be super-articulated, and will the helmet come off on the figure?ANSWER:
Yes and yes.
Talk popped up during SDCC that the 2008 waves of 30AC basic figures would go back to using stands in pack-ins instead of the coins. Since you’ve already confirmed the first wave of figures for 2008, can you confirm for us that stands will be the 2008 pack-in prize?ANSWER:
Beginning with the Wave 1 2008 figures, which should be on shelf around February, stands (same as the 2006 TSC line with printed names) will be the pack-in. This will run through the Spring basic figure line. QUESTION:
Any plans to re-release the former TRU Landspeeder? It's been 5 years since the last release, so this iconic ANH vehicle deserves another shot at retail. Maybe the perfect opportunity for an upgraded Uncle Owen as a pack-in?ANSWER:
It is about time to re-release that great vehicle, but we just haven't slotted it in yet, having been very focused on the fighters for a while. We'll take a look and see what we can come up with for a new approach to this classic.QUESTION:
If you decide to give us a super articulated Hoth Rebel in the near future, will you re-use the Hoth hat from the new Vintage Hoth Han or will we get a new Hoth hat that has the chinstrap buckled (like so many other removable helmets do these days)?
PS: 30AC Hoth Han's legs are now perfect for re-use on a SA Hoth Rebel! ANSWER:
We don't have him slotted in yet, but he's high on the list of figures we need to update next time we do an Empire wave. It's unknown what headgear he'd have.
To be continued in the next post.