Q&A Part 2 for the week of January 18th, 2008JEDI NEWSQUESTION:
Obviously there's so many connections between Star Wars and Indiana Jones including the fact that you're working on both products lines. Consequently, will we see any cross over products this year, maybe even a Harrison Ford Evolutions set or will there be anything else?ANSWER:
Right now, on both properties, the focus has been on the characters rather than the "men behind the masks" as it were. It's doubtful that we would do something like that, but if there was one actor where it made sense, it's with Harrison Ford. We won't rule it out, but right now we just aren't focused there.QUESTION:
You've already let us know that there'll be about 53 figures in then basic line next year and that Legends will continue with the additional wave of 5 figures that you let us vote for last year. Can you let us know roughly how many figures we'll see in the Clone Wars line so we can work out how many single carded figures we can expect to see this year (also in which month will the Clone Wars figures be available)?ANSWER:
All of the information about Clone Wars will be made available at Toy Fair in February, James - so it's too early to release any specific detail.QUESTION:
As normal the UK Toy Fair takes place before the US Toy Fair. Will the UK have to wait until the US Toy Fair to see the big Star Wars reveal or will we get to see some (if not all) of the new products at the UK Toy Fair first?ANSWER:
Some product news will undoubtedly be released at the UK Toy Fair and Nuremburg, but we are holding most of the new product news, and details, for NY Toy Fair.
Dear Hasbro, First of all, thank you for making the 30th anniversary of STAR WARS a year to remember. Not only did you make some of the best figures ever but, for me anyway, you made the collecting FUN. Anticipating the different waves and then tracking them down, only to find my favorite characters done so well was rewarding. Wave 5 was my favorite by a long shot. Which brings me to my question.
After Reven, Malak and the new evolutions sets with Mandalore and Nihilus, will Hasbro be continuing with any KOTOR figures? Basic figures in waves or more in multipacks? You seem to have covered the main sith/bad guys but we need some lightsiders to fight against. Or Does Hasbro think the good guys will not sell as well? Once again keep up the bloody good work mates!
Thanks for the nice comments, Luke. We are glad you have enjoyed the 30th Anniversary collection as much as we have in bringing it to you.
Right now, we don't have plans to do any more for KOTOR characters for a while. It doesn't mean we won't come back to KOTOR again, especially if favorites rise to the top to the next time we do a fans' choice type of poll. After all, Revan and Malak were on there because *you* the fans voted for them in the Toy Fare / wizardworld.com poll, so without your voice it is likely that they would not have come out at all. So keep the flame alive for your KOTOR favorites and be sure to let your voice be heard next time there is an opportunity. QUESTION:
Gday from Downunder Hasbro,
The 30th Anniversary has been a major success both here and abroad. Thank you for listening to the fans in regards to and allowing us to vote on the various websites for the Fan Choice Figure!!! Now as we move into Expanded Universe territory with The Force Unleashed, the soon to be CG cartoon Clone Wars and of course the various novels available etc, etc. My question is.....Will Hasbro EVER make the evil Yuzhan Vong figure from the New Jedi Order series of novels?
Bring on 2008-Starwars is FOREVER!!!
We have some good news for you - we can indeed confirm that a Yuzhan Vong is in fact in development, but when and how it will be introduced (as a basic figure or as a multi-pack) has yet to be announced. Look for more information around Comic Con timing if all goes as planned.. QUESTION:
Recently I purchased a couple of your "New" Destroyer Droids with Shield "effect". Firstly, I think the figure looks great with the blast "effects" on their guns. My problem, and the problem I hear a lot of other people have with the figure, is the Shield itself. The first part of the problem is when you join 2 halves together, the Destroyer Droid does not quite fit inside.
The second part of the problem is the color of the shield. It just does not seem translucent enough. In the films, you can clearly see the Droid inside the shield. With your "effect", if you're able to get a droid inside, you cannot see it. I'm going to assume that there is no chance of you redoing the Shield (making it bigger), but if you ever decided to re-release the figure down the road (either as a single carded figure on in a multipack) would you consider making it a little more translucent, with a blue tinge of course?
Commander Collars ANSWER:
Commander, the size was based on the need to really get the packaging down to the minimum. It takes a little work, but we have found that the droids can fit without a problem if you are patient.
Regarding the color….this was an unavoidable consequence of needing to hide the "ugly" aspect of the method that was required to join the halves - the pins and sockets. If we made the shield more translucent, the effect would have been ruined by seeing the pins. There just wasn't a good way to accomplish the translucency, so the relative opacity gave it the best overall toy-like look. At the end of the day, it was one of those things we tried, and learned a bit about in the process that can influence what we do in the future. Right now, we don't have plans to re-release the shield or make it larger, though that is always subject to change.
RAVING TOY MANIACQUESTION:
Any chance of bringing forward that one vehicle that hasn't been out in the new line, the Twin Pod Cloud Car?ANSWER:
While there is a possibility we will update it in the future, the Cloud Car is much farther down on our list than other choices. It suffers a bit being not a very aggressive looking vehicle, and not that cool among among kids. It also seems to be one of the most abundant vintage vehicle and can be had very inexpensively, so we just haven't felt compelled to devote a slot to it yet...QUESTION:
Any chance of seeing Droid based Star Wars Transformers, like an R2-D2 or C-3PO that convert into something?ANSWER:
It's a matter of size, character expression, and natural fit between the modes. First, R2-D2 and C-3PO are already robots (well, droids). Generally, Star Wars Transformers make sense in the film context with their character tying into vehicles with which they are associated and there aren't any good ties with the droids and vehicles that are compelling (other than perhaps R2-D2 and a Starfighter). In addition, while R2-D2 would be our first choice, a robot mode for him have to change his silhouette significantly and would not really deliver on R2 that we know and love. That's why the humanoid characters work the best.QUESTION:
Are there any figures you completely under-estimated the demand for before it was released?ANSWER:
Absolutely. During Episode III, we completely underestimated the sheer number of Darth Vaders we would need due to the sheer number of kids that wanted to get perhaps the most iconic movie character of all time. Of course, Episode III exceeded our wildest expectations for the number of kids who "had to have" Star Wars, so that's a great "problem" to have that has continued to this day.
In fact, little known fact, to this day Vader has been the only character we have ever "solid-packed" in basic figure master cartons to keep up demand! That's right, during 2005, there were entire cases of Vaders being put out on shelf - you may not have noticed it because they would sell down quickly. In addition, the factories were working feverishly to keep up with increased demand on R2-D2 and Obi-Wan. Kid demand for these three remain at huge levels today, which is why we always keep them in rotation. There are also some figures that have chased more reently as well. Most notable were Commander Cody and Scorch in 2006, and McQuarrie Boba Fett this last year.
We know that the 7 figures from The Force Unleashed were delayed and were rescheduled to the 2008 line, but what about the coins that were planned for these figures? Was development of these coins far enough along that you could still make them? If so, are there any plans to make them available, perhaps as an exclusive or a mail-in promotion?ANSWER:
The coins were far along and could be produced, but we don't have plans to since we "replaced" their numbers in the system with what became Wave 7.5.QUESTION:
Three words: More Female Figures!
Okay, more words: While we love Clones, Jedi, Droids, multiple versions of Vader/Anakin/Obi-Wan/Luke/Yoda, how about some more female figures? Not just Leia or Padmé, either! There's a lot of females in the Star Wars saga who never seem to get their day. Any chances we will see someone like Aunt Beru, Toryn Farr, or dare we say it?---Yarna?ANSWER:
Yes! A few more females are on the way, with at least one of your list seeing shelves in 2008, and at least one more planned (but subject to change) for 2009.QUESTION:
Will we ever see a SA sculpt Gray Coruscant Clone Trooper? The sculpt used on the one packed in the "Clone Attack on Coruscant" battle pack isn't the best, and I really think this figure deserves to be upgraded. After all, it is actually IN the movie, whereas other clones that have gotten the SA treatment were not (442nd, 5th Fleet, etc.).ANSWER:
The clone in the Clone Attack on Coruscant battle pack is for all intents the Clone Commander from Clone Trooper-to-Stormtrooper Evolutions set with some slight deco changes and interchangeable belts. So...we considered the figure to be SA to begin with (aside from waist articulation). You make a good point that this paint scheme can be used on our other SA clone body at some point, and this would be a very good candidate for a future Saga Legends-type figure down the road.
In the Battlefront packs, why were stands included with the droids but not with the Clones? And while I'm on the subject, why were there only 5? You put 7 droids in the pack, yet only 5 stands. And I realize that the Destroyer Driod has no pegholes to use a stand, but you included stands with R2-D2 and R5-D4 in the SAGA Collection and they have no pegholes either.ANSWER:
Well, you caught us doing something a "little extra" at the very last minute because, well, we could. There were a few pennies to work with on the droid set, so the designer snuck in some extra bases, as many as he could afford. There wan't room in the cost to include them with the Clone set, so the Droids were the lucky recipients.QUESTION:
Do you have any plans to upgrade the plastic used to manufacture some of the parts for the figures? A lot of weapons and droid arms and legs are made with a plastic that is so soft that it usually bends beyond repair just removing the figures from the packages. Why do you need to use so many of those clear rubber bands?ANSWER:
To address your first question, we have been asking for more rigid weapons when possible, but there are some caveats to consider. In the interest of conserving resources and managing costs, we allow our vendors to reuse unused or scrapped plastic components at times. This reworked plastic, or "regrind", is often used for black parts since black will mask any previous colors thrown into the mix. Since our accessories are black, sometimes they are shot with the reused components. Also, with each heating/melting cycle, the plastic loses some stiffness, so that is why there is sometimes a range of stiffness on parts. Long answer to a short question! On your second point, we have really striven to pack out our characters in the most dynamic poses possible to showcase the characters and bring out sets to life. The clear rubber bands have been the cost effective, and we feel most aesthetically pleasing, solution to this challenge. Alternatives, like wire ties, are more costly and consume more resources. At times, in order to make sure that nothing slips in transit, there may be a few more bands than seems necessary, but we really try to keep things to a minimum.QUESTION:
Do you think that re-issuing some of the Vintage style figures and previous excluisves via the Legends line will hurt the sale of these types of figures going forward? Vintage style go for anywhere from $10 - $13 depending on where they are purchased, and exclusives can go for more than that. Why should collectors who only want the figure - openers, who are going to remove the figures from the packages and throw the cardboard away - shell out that kind of money when there's a chance that a year or two later the figures will be re-issued on a regular cardback at stores for $7 (like the 07 Boba Fett and Biker Scout)?ANSWER:
It will not harm out future strategy, in part because that strategy will need to change and evolve. So before we answer specifically, we need to provide some thinking on Vintage as we have seen it to exist the last few years. We have already been looking at all aspects and challenges of carrying vintage forward as an ongoing assortment with the "original" definition - that is, an all-new, premium OTC-dedicated format that can command a higher price several dollars above basic figure prices. Since many of our basic figures now are at or near vintage-quality, and the stable of real strong versions of core OTC characters to anchor future vintage waves is getting thin, we just don't feel the future is there for Vintage as we have been bringing it out. When we come out with vintage next, we'll be looking at all aspects to try and solve the needs of collectors, understanding that packaging, articulation & character selection are all important components of making a compelling line. This is why we have done polling both at conventions and online to try and get collector input on the issue facing us, and that has been a big help. So back to your original question, we think using our library of great figure in either Saga Legends of other venues (battle packs, comic packs, exclusives) where it makes sense to deliver our best offering and provided high-demand characters to collectors.
With Battle Packs such as the Bantha and Tusken Raiders out this year, is there any chance that a similar pack containing a Dewback and Sandtroopers will be released anytime soon?ANSWER:
There is a possibility that we would do this within the next couple of years, but at this stage nothing has been confirmed. It remains one of those strong possibilities given the right opportunity and resources.QUESTION:
For future Clone Troopers with removable helmets, has there been any consideration to make both the phase 1 and phase 2 helmets for the same figure as accessories? Basically, the helmets are the only thing different about them, so it sounds like a fun idea.ANSWER:
We don't have any plans for "generic" clones right now. Our strategy has been to make them as scene (movie, and even EU) specific as possible to tell the best story in packaging and graphics. If and when we ever do generic trooper packs, what you suggest is an interesting idea.QUESTION:
Are there any plans to release a Clone Swamp Speeder from "Revenge of the Sith" in the 3 3/4" scale? It seems like a nice vehicle for the $20.00 line.ANSWER:
This vehicle has been near the top of the list numerous times, but keeps getting bumped in favor of some other ideas. As it is a true on-screen vehicle from Episode III, there is a strong likelihood it will see glory sometime down the road. With the vehicles we have in the pipeline, though, we think you'll be plenty happy waiting in the meantime.
In 2008 will Hasbro's Star Wars toy production and distribution take a backseat to Indiana Jones, or some other film-based toys, just as it did in 2007 to Transformers and Spiderman 3?ANSWER:
No, nor did it in 2007. We encourage you to another look back at what we have been able to bring to fans in terms of breadth and depth, the number of new things we have been trying and bringing out, and Star Wars performance as one of the top boys brands last year, and we think you'll agree that we are more devoted than ever to making sure that we maintain our connection to collectors and kids.QUESTION:
Do you have any plans to go beyond the first two waves of "The Force Unleashed" figures? Now that the case breakdowns have been released by Entertainment Earth and StarWarsShop.com it looks as if there is only 1 of each figure in each case. Any chance that we can get solid TFU case packs as revisions? Or maybe have these figures slotted back in somewhere else down the line?ANSWER:
The waves that will go to mass retailers will have 1 each of the TFU characters due to capacity constraints. There is a plan to get the figures that will have higher demand - such as Vader and the two troopers, possibly the Shadow Guard, into the line eventually. There is at least one case pack ration that has been developed for Internet accounts that has the three army-builders double-packed (plus two Kashyyyk Troopers)..ask your online retailer for information on that case ratio if that
suits your needs.QUESTION:
First, I would like to thank you for including Darth Revan and Darth Malak in the 2007 lineup. As I'm sure the whole Star Wars team at Hasbro is aware, characters from the Old Republic era are still some of the most popular EU characters today, even among fans, who like myself, have never played either of the games or read any of the comics. So my question is, besides the Old Republic characters included in the 2008 Evolutions sets, will there be any more KOTOR figures in 2008 from either the comics or the games?ANSWER:
Right now, we do not have plans for more KOTOR characters in 2008, but that doesn't mean we won't go back to KOTOR (games or comics) in the future, and are looking at opportunities.
To be continued in the next post