Here are this week's questions and answers courtesy of Hasbro.
As always, starting at home:JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVESQUESTION:
Ewoks seem to be on something of an upsurge as far as figures go. We got Chief Chirpa last year, the Ewok 2-pack this year and another 2 Ewoks in the Battle of Endor Ultra Battle Pack. Is it possible that we'll see the remainder of the vintage Ewoks, namely Lumat and Warrok, produced in the not too distant future?ANSWER:
We would like that too, but it probably won't be as simple as that. We do have other Ewok plans, but it may take a little while longer for revised versions of these two to find their way into the line.QUESTION:
A number of customizers have been throwing together some kitbashed TIE Pilots recently, made from Baron Fel's helmet and the TSC Death Star Gunner's body. A good number of these have been posted in collecting forums, and we've heard before that Hasbro checks out the collecting sites and forums. Do collector made kitbashes like this show up on the Hasbro radar screen, and do things like this inspire future figure?ANSWER:
We have to admit that lately we've been a little busy putting the finishing touches on next year and planning for 2009, so we haven't seen the recent batches you mention. When we get caught up, we'll look forward to seeing what fun fans have had with these recent kitbashes. As far as whether it will influence future releases, it's tough to say; we already have pretty long lists of figures and ideas we'd like to see (both on-screen, and from other sources like comics, games, and novels) and only so many slots to go around. Chances are though that the best ideas already have parrallel lines of thinking between fans and our team. You never know though.... thanks for giving us the heads-up!QUESTION:
We've seen reports that the current Saga Legends line will extend into early 2008. Can we expect a full "Greatest Hits", "Saga Legends" or reissue line through the entirety of 2008?ANSWER:
Right now, we do not have plans for a full third figure line consisting entirely of greatest hits/legends in the Fall..since this line will basically be replaced by the Clone Wars line. However, we are planning on doing some select "greatest hits" in the main (Saga) line....but there won't be that many slots to work with as we had this year with the whole line.
And now continuing through the collecting community in a somewhat alphabetic manner....4-INCHES.DEQUESTION:
As pictures are showing the white Clone Commando from the Comic Pack "Clone Commando & Super Battle Droid" (Star Wars Tales #23) (SKU 87556) will enclose Scorch's Dc-17M as his weapon of choice, obviously because of the grenades that are packed in and that can be pin onto the Super Battle Droid. But with the standard blaster that comes with the three Republic Commando figures (besides Scorch) in the Collectors Pack "Republic Comando Delta Squad" (SKU 87269) we could get a standard Republic Commando for our Clone Armies. That would be much higher in demand I think. The grenades could still be packed in the set, because the Commandos in the game usually are throwing grenades with their hands ANSWER:
That comic pack is already completed and on the way to retail, so it is too late to change. We hope that you give it a try and enjoy it - we think it came out great and have built some squads ourselves with them. We will take your comment into consideration the next time we think about releasing a standard Republic Commando. Thanks.QUESTION:
If there would be running changes, variations or variants (like head, color or else) for some certain TFU Basic Figures like Marris Brood or even Stormtroopers or Clonetroopers that would be produced with the time, would those figures are more likely within the same case or wave like it has been done with the TSC Endor Rebel Trooper or would those variants or running changes more likely come out later within the over-all case mix?ANSWER:
We have no planned variations of TFU figures at this time. If there were any to happen, they would be packed in future case packs and not within the same case packs. There will be no changes to any troopers figures during the course of the run, deco or otherwise.QUESTION:
Hasbro said in one of the latest Q&A sessions that there will be just one single TFU wave. If that wave won't be completed by some more just unannounced figures this would indicate that figures like Darth Vader's Sith Apprentice will not come out within the basic figure assortment. Or would it be possible that this figure could be released in another way, perhaps with another battle pack or evolution pack or just as an EU-figure within another basic figure wave? Or can Hasbro state, that the Apprentice definitely will not be in the 2008 line?ANSWER:
You are absolutley right - the *only* thing that we have confirmed is that there will be one wave of basic figures devoted to TFU. It is also certainly possible that all of the 3-3/4" options you presented could involve TFU. However, we are not at liberty to reveal any more details until after January 1st. Suffice to say there *will* be news. Stay tuned!
Why are the fans' choice figures so often hard to find? One would think that as a poll winner determined by the fans, it should be packed more than one per case and in multiple waves - especially an army-builder like the current Saga Legends winner, the Darktrooper. Darth Revan, the Darktrooper, the original Saga McQuarrie Stormtrooper, the OTC Imperial Scanning Crew Trooper, and of course Ephant Mon have all been overly difficult to find. So why isn't more done to get the fans' choice figures into the hands of the fans? ANSWER:
In the case of the recent Fans' Choice figures, like Revan and Darktrooper, you will find that over the course of time we will release these over and over and they should be relatively easier to find (we can point to last year's Cody and Scorch, and this year's McQuarrie Boba Fett, Galactic Marine, and Airborne Trooper as figures that have been continuously released). The reasons for 1/case pack is not due to percieved demand, but, as we have answered many times over in the Q&As, due to how many can be manufactured in a given amount of time. When figure demand runs high, we need to produce a *lot* of figures and can only produce so many in a given time with the tooling we have available. As figures prove popular, we will continue to release them as we can. QUESTION:
Several recent multipacks featuring EU figures - such as the Rebel Commando, Battlefront, and Mandalorian sets - seem rather popular with collectors. Has there been any consideration given for using the multipack format for characters that have only appeared in novels? Perhaps the Myrkr strike team of Jedi from Star by Star, or maybe members of Rogue and Wraith Squadrons in box sets, something like that? ANSWER:
What you suggest is a good idea and we will explore it as the multi-packs have indeed proved popular. We're a little leery of the boxed set format for the novel figures, simply because it's a lot of development and a higher price point devoted to characters who don't have a lot of visual development to support them (Mandalorians, we felt, carried their own visual weight and demand to justify). Rogue Squadron has ample comic support, and is a great idea, but we have other plans to systematically get to them over the course of time. Wraith Squadron is very interesting - as we tackle Rogue Squadron, we can look to Wraith for additional ideas. QUESTION:
In this day and age, more and more people are becoming aware of the need to recycle. As collectors, we generate a lot of trash with all the packaging and would feel better about it if we knew it weren't just sitting in a landfill for the next thousand years. What is the recyclability of the materials uses in the packaging, especially the plastic bubbles and trays for the action figures? Has Hasbro ever considered marking the components of their packaging (not just SW but all Hasbro packaging) with recycling symbols? ANSWER:
The PVC vacuform blisters and trays are not recyclable everywhere, so we don't indicate them as such. It's an important issue to us, and we are constantly looking at way of minimizing the amount of packaging each product uses. One area in which we have made progress, for instance, is in the use of wire ties, by going to the less resource intensive, clear bands among other initiatives.
We haven't seen any reports of the Galactic Heroes Cantina Sets hitting Walmart yet. Are these still scheduled and will they hit retail before Christmas?ANSWER:
Yes, they were delayed while Wal-Mart looked for the right window to get them into the store. They shoudl be hitting stores anytime now...certainly before the end of the year.QUESTION:
The new AT-ST battle packs at Target are fantastic. However, for those looking for an AT-ST by itself...any chance we'll see them alone in the future?ANSWER:
Right now, we do not have plans to release them (or an other version) of the AT-ST separately.QUESTION:
My son recently broke his Galactic Hero General Grievous and I'm constantly hearing "when can we get a new one?" Will Grievous be returning in a future case pack? (Note: I took the opportunity to ask this question for my son, but their answer does provide good information for anyone who has a broken Hasbro toy part!)ANSWER:
We are very sorry to hear that. If you haven't already, you might want to check with our Consumer Affairs team, who provide replacement parts for Hasbro Toys. You can find a link to them on our website. We double checked our plans and will be bringing Grievous back out late July of next year, but he will not be available until then. If Consumer Affairs is unable to help, and you cannot wait, we suggest looking for one of the Galactic Heroes Cinema Scene 10 Packs from last year - Jedi vs. Sith - which has the General in it. There may still be some at some retailers like Toys R Us, who have continued to carry the line.
The Target Ultimate Battle of Hoth Pack (and these are out now, so none of that "no comment" stuff ) seems to be the more popular of the two sets among collectors due to the new Gun Tower. Any chance that tower is going to make its way out to retail again by itself? A new Super Articulated Hoth Rebel Soldier would be a welcome pack-in to go with it!ANSWER:
We are glad that fans like the new turret - we are very glad we could bring it out as a nice surprise at the end of year like that. Both sets are packed with tons of play value, and both seem to be selling well (hey, who doesn't love Ewoks?!). We do not have any plans at this time to offer the turret by itself - for now, and probably far into the future, the only place to find it will be the Ultimate Battle Pack.QUESTION:
Are there any figures that you've wanted to do, but just couldn't make them work for one reason or another? You've mentioned scrapping a folding/rolling Destroyer Droid in the past, were there any other characters/creatures that you've wanted to do but just cannot find a way/means to do it?ANSWER:
Sure. There are a few other figures that for one reason or another fall out of the line, either because there aren't enough slots to do everything that our team wants to do, or because of costing, or even timing reasons. All good ideas eventually find their way back in one way or another, even if in another format than they were originally proposed. For instance, one such idea, details of which we aren't releasing yet, that "fell out" of the basic figure line this year due to costing will be coming out as our Comic Con exclusive next year.
Everyone on the team, too, has their "favorites" that they try and get into the line every year. For instance, it has become sort of a joke that one team member has really championed Fozec, from Jabba's Palace, for three years in a row now. Each year Fozec has just missed the cut or been replaced by another character that for one reason or another we felt we needed to do first. Some day, the team member will get his revenge...errr....his wish and Fozec will make the cut. Until then, he remains one of those "high on the list" candidates that is an example of a figure we just couldn't work into the line.QUESTION:
Are we close enough to 2008 that you can start handing out hints on the third wave of figures for 2008? We've got RotS and the Force Unleashed, can we at least know what wave 3's theme will be? (don’t make us wait until February!)ANSWER:
We will give one hint. Wave 3 will feature one character that will be an upgrade over a previous character released in an early 2007 Battle Pack. The rest of the characters in the wave will be from the same source (movie or otherwise) as that character. That's more than enough hint to get started, and that's all we'll say for right now!
To be continued in the next post.