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Author Topic: Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of February 1st, 2008  (Read 931 times)
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« on: February 03, 2008, 12:04:07 PM »

Here's out Q&A roundup for the week of February 1st, 2008!

First, here's a message that Hasbro conveyed to all sites taking part in this week's Q&A

We have previously announced that there would be three waves of our 30th Anniversary basic figures in Spring.  That has now been changed...

There will be only two.  The last wave (on shelf approx. early March) will be The Force Unleashed wave.  Due to some last minute delays, the previous third wave has been picked up and moved to the new Fall basic figure line. Nothing will be bumped from the Fall line....these will just be added in. Fans should not worry as all figures will be coming to the shelf, including General Obi-Wan Kenobi, General Saesee Tiin, Clone Scuba trooper, and more.  More details on this assortment will be released at Toy Fair.  Similarly, due to production delays, we are pushing back the debut of the next wave of comic packs (including Anakin/Durge and Asaaj/Tol Skorr) until fall as well, but all announced packs *will* be coming out.

Also, previously we announced that the new Obi-Wan and Darth Vader/Anakin figures from our Wave 1 '08 30th Anniversary Wave (now shipping to retail) would not have new articulation.  In fact, they do indeed have enhanced hip articulation (ball and socket) and are great upgrades over the original. Collectors should look to these for their increased poseability.
 




And now to starting at home....

JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES

QUESTION:  In the answers to the 12/21 Q&A, the question was asked about ANH Obi-Wan Kenobi with the Death Star tractor beam control station accessory in the basic line, to which you replied "There is no chance that that would happen in a basic figure line because of the sheer size of the piece." However, you already have the makings of a great ultimate battle pack if you put 2 of the 25th anniversary bridge extensions (that had Luke & Leia in the chasm swing), create the complete tractor beam console, and then add the best Luke w/stormtrooper belt, Leia, Obi-Wan, and a few stormtroopers. Coupled with a good background photo of the chasm walls, it could look awesome in the package. If you could complete the doorways that would fit over the bridge extension, that would be even more amazing.  Would something like this be a possiblity for the Ultimate Battle Pack or some other assortment type package and would it be something Hasbro would be interested in creating?

ANSWER:  What you have outlined is something we could do, but it would still cost a considerable amount and tooling and we would have to be convinced that it is something that kids would want as well, and that has been the sticking point with playsets - kids don't want them like they used to, and the costs for development/materials/labor is very high.


QUESTION:  2005's Red Royal Guard was a major step forward from previous offerings in sculpt, articulation and softgoods.  But it seemed pre-posed in order to hold the rifle accessory.  Fast forward to now, and the upcoming Emporer's Shadow Guard looks impressive as well.  Has that figure been modded at all to better enable it to hold the lightsaber-lance accessory?  And if so, could we see a similar modification made in order to offer up a force pike wielding Emporer's Royal Guard?

ANSWER:  The Shadow Guard uses the existing Royal Guard, with a new pike.  There has been no change to the articulation or grip.


QUESTION:  Historically Target has been one of the top sources of Basic Figures for a good number of collectors.  However we have seen numerous reports in collector forums as well as personal sightings of Target stores that are very short on 30AC Basic Figures, but are almost too well stocked with Saga Legends.  And by way of contrast, WalMart and Toys R Us stores seems to have managed their 30AC Basic Figure inventory more efficiently with waves coming out with a greater degree of regularity.  Can you comment on what might be at work here, and is Hasbro working with the retailers to get the Basic Figure line shipments back on track?

ANSWER:  In theory, all waves ship to all retailers at the same (or about the same) time, with the same proportionate share.  What actually happens at retail is out of our control and is affected by seasonal traffic patterns, difference in the demographic composition of the shopping audience, what actually gets shipped from the retail DCs (distribution centers) to individual stores, promotions, and the speed with which retail teams can get the new figures to shelf.  If you surmise that collectors have been a heavier influence at your local Targets, then that could explain the relative paucity of the 30th basic figures right now versus Saga Legends. Also, while Saga Legends has a mix of kid and collector-targeted figures, it may be that in your area collectors are filling up on their troops' needs so what you are seeing is a relative abundance of Legends.




And now proceeding through the dictionary of collecting sites....


4-INCHES.DE

QUESTION:  For a long time I'd wish a Mantellian Savrip figure for the 3 3/4'' line (the one from Episode IV). That figure doesn't need to be thus large as "Wookieepedia" characterizes (just 4 meters), the size of Hermi Odle would fit. Perhaps the figure could be released in two versions, a solid one and at some time later as a transparent holo-figure. And maybe some times later it could be possible to release the other Dejarik Hologame figures as well. How do you think about that?

ANSWER:  Ah, yes. Dejarik figures. Something we have discussed is how, if ever, to do figures of the great holochess "characters." One thing that would make it easier is if the species actually appeared elsewhere in the Star Wars universe in "real scale" and not just as miniatures. This is the case with the Mantellian Savrip, which has appeared in comics, but still not in a significant enough role for us to commit to doing this huge fella in the near future. Time will tell whether we can get to him (or others) in 3-3/4" form, but they are a lower priority right now.


QUESTION:  I have a question about these "yellow boots". A thing that bothers me again and again is: Why do all these Stormtroopers, Clone Troopers and Biker Scouts that get a painting-upgrade only have those ugly yellow or brown discoloration at their boots and only at their boots? It doesn't matter if they have a mission on Tatooine, Hoth, Endor or at a starship like the Tantive IV: all over there it only seems to be brown or yellow dirt. How could this be? If Hasbro do have too much color left over why don't you use another color as green or like a restrained grey or do apply some black scratches over the figure and not only at the figures boots?

ANSWER:  The boots are tricky. We do try for variety, and occasionally there are unintended hue results, for example sometimes we have done browns (ie Geonosis), but when lightly painted they look a little red. Other times tans (ie Tatooine) but they sometimes come off looking yellow. We have also done some green drybrushing for Kashyyyk, as well as some gray weathering. Sometimes we do specify a figure for repaint, but don’t change the deco patterns, just the coloration, and leave the boots.


QUESTION:  By realizing some of the former Saga 2002-2004 figures Hasbro didn'd do a great job for some figure sizing, especially for Taun We and Bail Organa. Compared with Lama Su the Taun We figure is much too small and Bail Organa (AOTC) is alike too small compared with its counterpart figure from ROTS. Does Hasbro see a chance to revise these figures one given time? After all the Episodes I and II are quite under-represented over the last few years. It would be time for a few more figures from these Episodes, don't you think so?

ANSWER:  Marcel - you will see more of a focus for Episode I & II, starting with the early waves of the 2009 basic figure lineup. It is unlikely, though, that we would go back and update some of the more obscure characters when we have upgrades planned for major characters or turn our attention to as-yet-unproduced figures. Given the great years ahead of us on Star Wars, though, anything is possible.




ACTION FIGS

QUESTION:  Although Hasbro has stated that plants aren't high on the potential accessory list, Hasbro's also shown interest in completing the cantina scene. With that in mind and the increased focus on producing figures of concept art, has there been any consideration of doing a figure of the plantlike Revwien alien developed for the cantina scene, maybe as an accessory or pack-in figure due to its unique design? Would he/she/it be given a proper name?
 
ANSWER:  That's an interesting suggestion, and we'll take a look when the time is right. Since it is based on a cut scene, and pretty funky/obscure one, we wouldn't offer too much hope on this one though.


QUESTION:  Since Hasbro has just stated that it is unlikely that RA-7, Oola, BoShek and Takeel will ever be updated, is it likely that they will be re-released in the forseeable future with new/better paint jobs? And how about doing an Original trilogy version of Sy Snootles with the puppet's smaller eyes, perhaps even with the tusks and the feather hat and microphone - how likely is that?

ANSWER:  It is certainly possible that they could be re-released at some point. We have looked at Oola a number of times, for instance, but just couldn't fit her into the lineup. We'll consider it when the opportunity presents itself.


QUESTION:  The idea of having 2 Battle Droids on a single basic card is a good one, as it lets fans build up armies quickly and cheaply. However, the Saga Legends Battle Droid 2packs feature very distinct-looking droids - the first set has a Commander, and the others all have battle damage - resulting in droids not suited for army-building due to identical markings. Will future versions of this 2pack be released in "clean" versions for more army-building potential? In the same vein, will this set ever be retooled to allow the droids to hold the blaster with both hands as the movies consistently showed them, and a few previous figures emulated?

ANSWER:  We are essentially done with the Battle Droid 2-packs in the Saga Legends assortment, so no further deco changes or retooling will be done. It is unlikely that any "new" Battle Droids will continue to be offered in 2-packs, though. We will if we can afford them, but that may not always be possible. However, your comment on "clean" deco is a very good one and we will look at that next time we release.




BOBA'S BOUNTY

QUESTION:  Is the LucasArts delay in releasing The Force Unleashed going to effect your plans to release figures/toys based on the game?  (Mainly ReleaseTimeline...)

ANSWER:  With one exception (a figure that we have not announced yet) everything tied to The Force Unleashed will be going out as scheduled.


QUESTION:  I've heard rumors about more vehicles for the Galactic Heroes line this year.   Any comments?

ANSWER:  That is certainly an interesting rumor, and not unexpected given our assertions at Comic Con that vehicles will play a bigger role in Galactic Heroes, starting with last Fall's exclusive releases.  Look for some "new" news at Toy Fair this year on what the future holds for Galactic Heroes rides.


QUESTION:  Overall, you guys do a great job with the sculpts on the figures. But occasionally, Luke doesn't look like Luke, or Leia like Leia.   Who is the hardest of the characters to get the sculpt correct on?

ANSWER:  Any human with distinctive characteristics is difficult to replicate exactly right in 3-3/4" and variation is expected from the sculpts that we do send, related to the nuances of casting, tooling, and even factors like the size of the neck post, etc.  The more figures we do of a particular character, the more difficult it is to stay true to a "standard" because of these factors.  So based on the number of Luke's we've done, he is probably the answer to your question.




GALACTIC HUNTER

QUESTION:  We had the rather unexpected Father's Day figure set last year, so are there any holiday-themed figures in the pipeline for 2008?

ANSWER:  We are looking at a little something something, but it will not be 3¾" focused.  Stay tuned!

[Editor's Note: We sense the work of Galactic Heroes afoot.]


QUESTION:  Now that HasbroToyShop.com has really gained its footing, is there any chance we'll see the e-tailer tear a page from other licensees to solicit and create limited-run, made-to-order, collector-oriented pieces?

ANSWER:  Yes, and the recent Cloverfield announcement goes right to heart of your question.  Although "made to order" is not in the cards, things like the FX Saber business and Cloverfield are the types of more premium expressions that we could be doing with HasbroToyShop.


QUESTION:  Wesa wunderin if any Gungans (especialitly Jar Jar Binks) issa gettin' out on da shelf for da Clone Wars? Wesa figure dissa de only chance wesa be seein' Gungans in 2008. What say yousa?

ANSWER:  Time will tell what, if any, role Gungans will be playing in Clone Wars. If they (or other alien species) play a prominent role in the animation, we will be looking to capture the excitement of this fascinating species in the lineup.




JEDI INSIDER

QUESTION:  We got a glimpse of the new Clone Wars AT-TE toy on a CNN news video clip highlighting products coming from Hasbro in 2008 the other day. Are there any details about this toy you can tell us now, like what kind of features will it have, will it come with any figures, what is the price point for it, and when is it scheduled to be released?

ANSWER:  We can tell you it is real, and it is spectacular, set to debut when the Clone Wars line debuts. The rest of the details are strictly embargoed until *Toy Fair, though. (*Check back to JI on February 16th For Hasbro Toy Fair Coverage)


QUESTION:  Reader Question from Harkiri: I am a rogue squadron fan, I have bought the Rogue comic two pack with Hobbie and Baron Fel, I have Wedge Antilles, and I bought the Tycho Celchu figure, there is only one rogue from the movies still missing and that is Wes Janson....he is definitely a fan favorite...any chances?

ANSWER:  You are definitely in luck. There is a Wedge slated for the next wave of Evolutions packs, right now timed for Fall. Look for more details on Wedge and his pilot cohorts at Toy Fair. Note: We believe there is a typo in this answer and that they ment to say Wes, not Wedge. By the time we read through this, everyone at Hasbro had gone home for the day and we were unable to get clarification. We will update this one next week once we do get their clarification.


QUESTION:  We know there are toys coming that are based on the new Animated Clone Wars series, but can you tell us if anything is planned for the live-action television series that takes place between "Revenge of the Sith" and "A New Hope" that is also in the works?

ANSWER:  We have no updates on the live action series. You can be sure that we will be looking at it for possibilities when we know more.




To be continued in the next post.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 01:17:11 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2008, 12:18:39 PM »

Q&A roundup for the week of February 1st, 2008 Part 2


JEDIDEFENDER

QUESTION:  OK, we've seen the new pics of the "shadow" EU coins coming with a few of the Legends figures in 2008. What we haven't seen yet is a picture of a figure with a silver EU Coin. Previously you had mentioned plans for one. Will there still be a silver EU coin or were those plans changed in favor of the shadow coin idea?

ANSWER:  Neither, actually. We decided to pursue "shadow" coins for the two Shadow troopers (Storm and Clone), but due to the tight timing, the factory ran the Dark trooper coin (which is gold) to pack in with the Covert Ops Trooper. So right now, there will be no silver EU coin - only gold and black.


QUESTION:  Let's pretend that you were planning to re-issue the B-Wing Starfighter as say, oh I don't know, a TRU exclusive this year. Would you include a new human pilot figure with the hypothetical ship or would you just re-pack the Sullustan B-Wing Pilot from the previous releases?

ANSWER:  Hypothetically, there would be specific reasons why we would *not* want to do a Sullustan and do something else instead.


QUESTION:  And our monthly Indy question - Toht. We've seen the new figures for Indy, Sallah, Belloq, Marion, and the rest of the Raiders gang, but no sign of Toht yet. Can we expect to see the creepy man in black in 2008?

ANSWER:  Not in 2008; we just couldn't fit him in. Hold tight for news on him, and some others, further down the road.




JEDI NEWS.CO.UK

QUESTION:  The Ultimate Battle Packs seem to have proved a big success in the US and from the pictures we've seen they look amazing and such good value too.  The discussion in the last couple of Q&A's has suggested we 'might' get to see some additional Ultimate Battle Packs this autumn.  We asked a while back if we in the UK could get these and you told us that we'd have to see how they sold in the US.  Based on their success and possible new sets coming can we ask that these first two sets be re-issued here in the UK along with any new sets too?

ANSWER:  We are currently working on getting them into retail for this year, although this has not been confirmed as of yet.  In any case, we are working toward making sure that all of our exclusives are available, or at least offered, to retailers in Europe as well.  Even if they are offered, it does not mean that they will be accepted by buyers due to cost, timing, and specific audience, and some items still may not have a home. We are working hard to follow through on the promise of enhanced distribution throughout Europe though.


QUESTION:  The Shadow Troopers two pack (in Order 66 packaging which looks awesome) has been announced as being available at JediCon in March. It doesn't mention anywhere though that this is an exclusive to that event only.  Is that a mistake or will this be available in any others places and if so where\when?

ANSWER:  The 2-pack will debut exclusively at the Jedi Con. Whether or not it is available at another venue has not been determined yet.


QUESTION:  Can we ask about the availability in the UK of the Galactic Heroes Cinema Scenes, Cantina (2 sets) and Jabba's Throne Room, that were discussed at Celebration Europe?  Also, will the Galactic Hero's poster being offered at HasbroToyShop.com be available here at some point?

ANSWER:  The Cantina cinema scenes will be available soon at Toys 'R Us, if they are not already on shelf.  The Jabba set, unfortunately, did not make it into the lineup for this year, but it will likely return to the lineup in the future…if not this year, then perhaps the next.




MOUSEDROID

QUESTION:  Hi there.  It has been stated a number of times that various Cantina/Jabba's Palace aliens from the POTF2 area will not be considered for resculpts in the immediate future, as many of them are still quite good aesthetically (such as the Rebo figures). However, the figure of Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) is still a POTF2-era figure, and is not among the best sculpts of that range.

As this toothy fellow is a featured participant of the Cantina sequence, (moreso than Hammerhead, for example, though near-equal to Greedo) is there a likelihood of him getting an update in the near future?  Regards, azazel.
 
ANSWER:  Yes (to a Resculpt of  Ponda Baba), and we did not mention him specifically because there's a strong possibility that we'll take another look at him someday.
 

QUESTION:  G'Day.  In regards to vehicles for 2008/09; Do you have any plans to re-release the Naboo Starfighter? Would you ever consider developing a 100% new version with the ability to allow us to insert our own Astro Droid instead of the "fixed" Astro Droid in the current one as it is a bit small and lacks detail? and secondly, Which Grevious figure fits best into the upcoming General Grevious' Starfighter?

Do you have any plans to release a Grevious with a soft goods cape anytime soon (perhaps as part of the Clone Wars line)?  Regards,  Commander Collars.
 
ANSWER:  We do not have plans to take another run at the Naboo Starfighter, at least for the next couple of years. There will probably come a time when we will want to look at it.

We actually designed the Grevious Starfighter to fit pretty much every figure we have done (sans cape). One cool feature that helps this is a removable dashboard. We are looking at any future ones we may do with this in mind so there is "forward compatibility."

As for a Grevious with a cape, it won't be this year, but we think you'll be very pleased with one we have on the drawing boards. Stay tuned!
 

QUESTION:  Dear Hasbro,  In 1996 you released a series of electronic ships - Collector Fleet, which included the Rebel Blockade Runner, Imperial Star Destroyer and the very scarce SUPER STAR DESTROYER (which goes for a king's ransom on eBay if you can find it) Would it be possible to re-release this item as well as the MON CALAMARI STARSHIP (that never saw release) at some stage in the future?  Regards, Mike S.

ANSWER:  Right now, we do not have a strategy or plan for getting these Star Wars vehicles back out into the market. Some day they *could* come back out, of course, and if we do turn our attention to these we will be sure to take these comments into account in looking at the line.
 



RAVING TOY MANIAC

QUESTION:  Are we going to see DROIDS (yes the 80's cartoon) versions of R2 and C-3P0?

ANSWER:  That is a cool thought, but right now we don't have any plans to do anything specifically around Droids in the near future. It doesn't mean we couldn't at some point, if Lucasfilm agreed, but right now our priorities are elsewhere including the new Clone Wars animation.


QUESTION:  Any chance of releasing Jaxxon, the big green bunny?

ANSWER:  We have to admit that Jaxxon is very, very far down our list of priorities. While a large number of comic fans remember the big green bunny, his role in the Marvel storytelling was very minor and he did not appear in many issues, and at a fairly low point in the Star Wars comic storytelling at that. We think there are much better characters to look to from that series and look forward to getting to some exciting ones over the next couple of years.


QUESTION:  Any possibility of a new Jabba the Hutt playset (complete with throne)?

ANSWER:  Someday we hope to get to either a new Jabba or a new set with Jabba and throne, but just don't have any news to announce.




REBELSCUM

QUESTION:  I'm a big fan of the Titanium Series line and I'm wondering if a couple of major gaps will be filled anytime soon - the Rebel Transport, Rebel Medical Frigate, Cloud Car, Home One, and Death Star II are all prominentley featured but have yet to be done. What are the chances of seeing some of these this year? How about EU vehicles like the TIE-Defender, V-19 Torrent Starfighter, E-wing, Sith Starfighter?

ANSWER:  Thanks for being such a big fan of the die-cast world that is Titanium. We love bringing them to you. These are some great suggestions, and you are in luck. Some of the ships on your list will be out this year (look for the Cloud Car, V-19 Torrent, TIE Defender and the Rebel Transport this Fall). Two on your list will also be rolled into the line in 2009. Stay tuned and keep an eye open.


QUESTION:  I'm looking forward to buying the Hoth Speeder Bike Patrol battle pack, but as usual, it's the Imperials that are getting all the love. When are you guys gonna deliver on something cool for our under-appreciated Hoth Rebels? I mean A) we need some super-articulated goodness B) head and color variants and C) something like the speeder bike pack. Maybe a slightly bigger verision of the Kenner mini-rig Hoth Tank with a commander and two rebels with different accesories?

ANSWER:  The Rebels won't be left out, and there is some tasty figure goodness coming their way late in the year. While they may not get a battle pack like the speeder set yet, we really think you'll like what we have planned.


QUESTION:  Several years ago, Steve Sansweet published an immensely popular book (The Action Figure Archive) collecting all of the Vintage Kenner figures along with all of the modern-era Star Wars figures released by Kenner/Hasbro to date. That book was never followed up on and it leaves many, many recent years worth of Hasbro figures uncovered.

Dan's Note: Star Wars Insider did run three issues with updates that finished off the POTF2 line and was just beginning to cover the Episode I line before the magazine changed publishers, and the column was cancelled. (Just for the record.... Smiley)

Have you ever considered releasing a similar journal to chronical the figures released since Sansweet's book was published? I'm envisioning a one or two book collection that fills in the gaps where the original book left off. That, or smaller annuals that chronical the releases in the line for each particular year. These could follow a format similar to Sansweet's popular book, detailing each figure, when and in which wave it was released, what scene the figure was modeled after and any additional background in the planning phases or execution of the figure. You might even include some of the figure conceptual drawings like you shared years ago to outline how a particular figure was put together. These would be great for collectors and could serve as checklists for each year's worth of product. Win-win?

ANSWER:  That would be a very cool, but immensely time intensive project. It is more than our team could handle right now, given our focus on the figures themselves, and that's why sites like Rebelscum are so valuable as a central destination for keeping collectors informed on the past (and current) lines.




To be continued in the next post.
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2008, 12:30:16 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup for the week of February 1st, 2008 - PART 3


SANDTROOPERS


QUESTION:  It sounds like a lot of fans have never seen certain 'waves' of figures at retail. We constantly see people in our forums saying "Did wave 6 ever hit in New Jersey?" or "Has anybody seen wave 8 in Ohio?" and comments to that liking. Can you tell us if there was some kind of mix up with distribution during the TAC line in 2007, and if those fans who haven't seen some of the later waves with the coins will still have a chance to get them? Or should they be scrambling to ebay to pay $10+ per figure for everything that they've missed?

ANSWER:  In theory, all waves ship to all retailers at the same (or about the same) time, with the same proportionate share.  What actually happens at retail is affected by what actually gets shipped from the retail DCs (distribution centers) to individual stores. We know that at this level, individual wave information cannot be tracked and it's more of a "first in
first out" approach.  We checked what is still shipping, and learned that while '08 Wave 1 has been going out, we will be shipping additional resupplies of Wave 6, 7.5, and 8 as well.

QUESTION:  While there are collectors still clamoring for R2-D2 to be released using the R4-G9 mold, I'm wondering if Hasbro will continue to simply reuse the existing R4-G9 and VotC R2-D2 molds for the next few years. Are you planning any innovations with a new R2 mold in the near future? And will Hasbro continue to alternate between the VotC reflective dome and the brushed metal dome or focus only one one style?  I'm a huge fan of the V otC dome (for the nostalgia) but I've noticed that there is also an equally large camp who like the more canonical brushed metal look.

ANSWER:  Will think fans will be pleased with what we have coming up.  For the most part we plan to use the same bodies we have been using, with one exception: there will be one upcoming R2-D2, debuting late this year featuring an R4-G9 body.  It won't be a single-carded figure but part of another set.


QUESTION:  I've been a big fan of the RotS Obi-Wan Pilot figure - it has great sculpting and all the articulation any fan could want but I was a bit disappointed to learn that the retooled Obi-Wan for 2008 didn't fix one glaring flaw: the figure has pencil-thin legs! Surely with all his running and jumping around, Obi put on a bit more muscle than that. Is there any chance Hasbro could redo the legs and also perhaps not spread out the legs as much? You'd then have an excellent generic Jedi body to kitbash other Jedi figures from.

ANSWER:  We have good news for you. The Obi-Wan figure in our current Wave 1 uses the original Pilot body, but adds significant new articulation (ball and socket waist) for more poseability (previously, we had announced there would be soft goods changes, but no tooling, so this is a reversal of that previous statement).  So the lower torso is all new and improved.  As to whether Obi-Wan's legs are beefier, we'll leave that open for you to make comparisons.




SIR STEVE'S GUIDE

QUESTION:  We understand the need for exclusives, but isn't it too much when 1 store has multiple exclusives all at once? Target having the 2 Ultra Battle Packs, 2 vehicles (TIE Bomber and ARC-170), a regular Battle Pack, the AT-RT 2-pack, and 2 Galactic Heroes battle packs all coming out in roughly a 30 day period - and that's just 1 of the 3 major retailers with exclusives! What happened here? Plus, with all these exclusives coming out at once on top of regular new product, it makes getting them even more difficult, is there any chance we'll be seeing production continue on the harder-to-come-by stuff such as the Target- and TRU-exclusive Galactic Heroes battle packs? Could next time, you get them to space out their exclusives' releases a little better please?

ANSWER:  We make recommendations regarding when to stage exclusives, but it is up to our retail partners to decide on when they want to get them on shelves and how to promote them. We will certainly take your feedback into account when we meet with our retail partners. Regarding those two battle packs specifically, their run at Target is over and no more will be flowing onto shelves there. However, if you are patient, we are looking for a way to get these back into the market later this Fall at a different retailer.


QUESTION:  Is Hasbro considering continuing the Galactic Heroes line with more figures from Jabba's Palace (like Tessek, J'quille, Oola, the band etc.) and the Mos Eisley Cantina (like Elis Helrot, Kitik Keed'kak, Muftak etc.)? Also, bounty hunters Aurra Sing and Zam Wesell would be round out the bounty hunter set nicely.

ANSWER:  Those are all fun suggestions for additional "background" characters that could be brought into the GH world. We are not going that far into the secondary characters just yet, as there are still some major ones to be focused on, but it's a possibility that given the success of these little guys, someday we could see your choices immortalized in a squishy, fun form. Thanks again for the suggestions.


QUESTION:  The Snowspeeder has only been an exclusive item in the past two releases for it where prior releases were regular mass-retail. Why the exclusivity and accompanying higher pricepoint on this vehicle? If it's due to its somewhat large size compared to other vehicles, could it be scaled down to accurate proportions (since it is actually a little over scale as-is) and released in the $20 line?

ANSWER:  Because of the size and greater cost, it has not been possible to get the existing Snowspeeder into the $20 vehicle pricepoint. You and your readers have been instrumental in the past in championing for a "true to scale" version and for this reason we have held off at using it in more exclusives. We have heard you....and are looking at ways to bring a new one to market within the next couple of years. Stay tuned!




SW COLLECTOR

QUESTION:  With the delay of the release of THE FORCE UNLEASHED video game from Spring to Summer 2008, will this mean the basic figures will be delayed again, even though several FORCE UNLEASHED-related toys (electronic lightsaber, Unleashed Battle Packs) are already in stores?

ANSWER:  The basic figures are going to ship right on time, projected on shelf about 3/1. Everything else tied to The Force Unleashed, with one not yet-announced exception, will be going out as scheduled.


QUESTION:  The large-scale Spider-Man 3 and Marvel Legends Unleashed 360 action figures are great concepts! Any chance of seeing this applied to STAR WARS or INDIANA JONES?

ANSWER:  There are no plans for more large-scale Unleashed figures in the Star Wars or Indiana Jones lines.


QUESTION:  The only 3 3/4" movie-accurate version of Darth Vader's shoulder armor from REVENGE OF THE SITH ended up on the Deluxe "Rebuild Darth Vader!" figure. Now that we've seen greatly improved versions of Vader from A NEW HOPE and RETURN OF THE JEDI, can we expect to see the ROTS version revisited any time soon?

ANSWER:  Sometime down the road it is a certainty we will be revisiting this Vader for basic figure treatment. The challenge we see with this version right now is the somewhat restrictive armor on the shoulders. To do it right, it will probably restrict movement some at the shoulders, but is an acceptible tradeoff for the aesthetic. No timetable on when we'll get to this one.




THE JAWA

QUESTION:  Recently when pictures of the Incinerator Stormtrooper and Felucia Stormtrooper were leaked to the net, the reaction on the forums seemed to be very negative. Repainting clones is fine and appropriate, but repainting the classic Stormtrooper armor feels more like a cash grab by Hasbro (or Lucasfilm) and I'm sure many fans would not like these new types of rainbow-colored Stormtroopers to become a part of the canon, even the EU canon. Rather than pursue this direction, which risks further alienation of fans/customers, but recognizing that Hasbro wants to maximize its existing tooling as much as possible, why doesn't the company focus on reusing the mold for say,
a Blackhole Stormtrooper or a new Shadow Stormtrooper with removable helmet, or the red Magma trooper?  These would probably be far more desired by fans.  You can even re-release the white Stormtrooper again but with different accessories like an updated mouse droid or Death Star detention block computer station or Tantive IV wall piece (that would connect together to form the entire hallway, encouraging customers to army build it for the trooper and to build the entire hall).  Hasbro could also appease fans by just releasing the TAC Stormtrooper but rather than the Jango head, offer a generic conscripted human head underneath.

Even fixing some of the issues with the existing molds (e.g. the very loose torso on the TSC Sandtrooper, or using a better helmet sculpt for the TAC Stormtrooper, the drugged-out upward stare of the TAC Stormtrooper's Jango face) are things that a lot of fans would like to see addressed before the tooling is reused any further.

ANSWER:  The extensions you offer for Stormtroopers are all good ideas, and we plan to keep classic Stormies in the lineup, in one form or another, for a long time. So don't worry there.  As we have stated previously, the "film canon" is a very important focus of ours and we will continue to explore unproduced avenues and bring excitement to the lineup for years and years to come. There are a lot of other exciting things in store for the Star Wars universe as well, and we think that all fans, film, new animation, video game, and publishing (comics, novels) can share in the excitement of this energy together.  For The Force Unleashed, we are following the LucasArts lead. We can't wait to get the game, and we think that the new storyline is an important addition to the Expanded Universe. We hope that fans will greet this story, and our tribute to the game, with the same excitement and enthusiasm we have had in creating it.


QUESTION:  Any chance of releasing any more of the OTC/ROTS "environment" style display stands? I personally prefer those Dagobah, Kashyyyk and Mustafar terrain stands over the ones released in the Saga Collection.  If you do ever re-release some of these with figures or in exclusive display stand packs, is there any chance some new ones could be added? It would be nice to have stands resembling the scenery of places like Tatooine, the Cantina, Hoth Echo Base, Endor, the Naboo palace, plus a few EU worlds like Korriban.

ANSWER:  Interesting question, guys….and one that definitely has merit in looking at.  In our research, we have found that most collectors prefer the "generic" stands to the dedicated ones, since they are so scene-specific and most collectors do not build diroamas but arrange their figures on shelf.  But that does not mean that there isn't an opportunity to spice things up with some specific, almost diorama-like, displays down the road. We will keep it in mind as we look toward future opportunities.


QUESTION:  Will the convention exclusive Shadow Troopers 2-pack be made available at HTS or SWS.com?

ANSWER:  The 2-pack will debut exclusively at the Jedi Con. Whether or not it is available at another venue has not been determined yet.



THE PRIVATE UNIVERSE

QUESTION:  The Evolutions sub-line has a strong resurgence in 2008. Have you ever considered a release that showed the progression in Hasbro's sculpting talents? By this I mean (for example) a 3 figure set including a Kenner Luke from the 70s, a 'bulky' Luke from the re-launch of the line in the 90s, and an all new super-articulated Luke showcasing your current skills ?

ANSWER:  We don't feel that that story would be interesting to most collectors. We have deliberately chosen not to "go back", so to speak, to vintage articulation (or even late '90s resurgence period) and instead will concentrate our offerings around modern articulation and aesthetics.


QUESTION:  With both GI Joe and Star Wars, Hasbro has proved that the comic 2-pack format is incredibly popular with fans. When the new Indiana Jones line hits, can we expect it to utilise this format for Marvel / Dark Horse Indy comics? It'd be a great way of introducing otherwise obscure characters into the mix (remember, Brody and Katanga featured in the comics as well as the movies).

ANSWER:  Thanks for the kudos on the comic packs. Given our strong ties to Dark Horse, it is something we are looking at but do not have a confirmed date on if/when we will be doing them. Stay tuned.


QUESTION:  There have been rumours circulating of a playset in the forthcoming Indy line. While we appreciate that it's difficult for you to comment this close to Toy Fair, can you confirm or deny the rumour - and give us an idea of what to expect (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull temple, Raiders temple / Well of the Souls etc)? Also, does this set a precedent for the future inclusion of playsets in the Star Wars line - something that’s been often discounted?

ANSWER:  You'll have to stay tuned for Toy Fair to see if there is any news on the playset front for IJ. Regardless of whether we do one for IJ or not, our stance on Star Wars playsets has not changed.




To be continued in the next post.
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2008, 12:36:15 PM »

Q&A Roundup for the week of February 1st, 2008 - PART 4


YAKFACE

QUESTION:  Hasbro-Your new Mighty Muggs line looks great, and I am already hooked! I noticed however that you are utilizing the same sculpt for every figure, which makes sense and has worked so far. But does this mean we will never see characters like R2-D2 that have huge differences in their size and shape?

ANSWER:  We are glad you like the Muggs! We will be looking at different sizing of the Muggs so we can do characters like Yoda, but the shape and proportions of the Mugg torso won't change. Therefore, characters like R2-D2 right now don't fit the Mugg profile. It doesn't mean that we won't do him sometime when we figure out how to "Mugg" him, but not in the near future.


QUESTION:  Is there any rhyme or reason to which Galactic Heroes get peg holes? I got really bored the other day and went through my son's whole collection and was surprised at what I found. Some (exp. 3 leg R2, Jawa, Ben Spirit) which have no problems standing have holes. Some have one hole, most have two holes, while others... have none.

By the way... what are those "peg holes" for? Maybe, perhaps, possibly the future could hold playsets? Could there be a chance of display stand sets for the Galactic Heroes similar to the 3.75 and Mpire lines?

ANSWER:  Excellent question. Generally, we include pegholes on all of our figures whether or not we have intentions to make playsets or other things with which they would interact. This way, if we ever do bring out something, there can be forward compatibility. In the case where some figures do not have the holes, it is most likely oversight or because the copyright info precluded it.


QUESTION:  It seems that aside from the Sith Infiltrator vehicle in the 2007 TAC line, there has not been a single new sculpt for anything from episode I. We have had a handful of repaints and repacks, but no new figures. So, my question is: are you deliberately neglecting The Phantom Menace because it is the least popular episode in the saga? I for one feel that it is high time for a new Sebulba, Sebulba's blue wenches, more pod racers, some Gungans, and heck -- even Jar Jar.

ANSWER:  Great question. We admit that over the last couple of years we have focused more on the other five films, with the view that our coverage of Episode I was pretty thorough and that collectors are looking for us to make updates elsewhere right now. We *did* have an EpI basic figure wave lined up for 2008, but it has been pushed out to early 2009 (it will, however, be well worth the wait). Of course there is the great upcoming Evolutions Qui-Gonn and a few other things to look forward to. Going forward, we are treating Ep.I like the other films, so we expect that fans will be happy for years to come.




YODASNEWS


QUESTION:  As you also seem willing to answer questions about your Indiana Jones line, I have a question pertaining to the Indy figures. As there aren't as many characters (as compared to Star Wars) from the films to make in action figure form is there any chance that the "Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" would be fodder for figures? I don't see many figures from the series being made myself but a few suggestions would be: 8 year old Indy in knickers, young Henry Sr., Anna Jones, Helen Seymour, 18 year old Indy in "Mexico adventure" clothing, 18 year old Indy in Belgian army uniform, and his friend Remy. Just curious if we are likely to see such figures.?

ANSWER:  We are indeed looking at Young Indy, and we do like some of the concepts there. We think, though, that there is a lot of iconic film reference to go before we probably look to it. We are planning IJ for a nice long run, so we are optimistic that someday we will see something related to Young Indy.


QUESTION:  What do you think about making a tribute/maybe exclusive figure to Obi Wan Kenobi in his last stance against Vader? It can be made the same way the 2002 Toy Fare Vader was made with Obi Wan’s saber sticking out of the plastic or something close to. Make the figure with his eyes closed.. Cloaked etc.?

ANSWER:  But we did just that with #16 Vader in the TAC line this year! Or did you lose the Obi-Wan figure that came in the pack? Not the flattened cloak, but the full-size spirit figure that was invisible *and* immaterial. OK, we kid….but that's an interesting suggestion for a future tribute. Thanks for the suggestion.


QUESTION:  Any chance we get a two pack of the aliens that fueled Obi wan’s fighter at the end of Episode 3?

ANSWER:  There is a chance that they will come out within the next couple of years, but will most likely not be a 1-pack due to costing. Stay tuned!





Keep checking back for more updates.  And we'll be combing through the answers with a fine-toothed comb to provide you with all of the headlines from this week's Q&A!
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