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« on: February 29, 2008, 10:26:09 PM »

Here is our JTA Hasbro Q&A Roundup for the week of February 29th, 2008.  Please keep in mind that these questions were submitted prior to Toy Fair.

We're still awaiting Hasbro's answers to the JTA questions.  In the meantime, here is our Q&A roundup from around the Star Wars collecting community!


4-INCHES.DE

QUESTION:  As we know Hasbro had planned to release a Stass Allie figure within the first 2008 basic figure wave. It seems that this figure has been withdrawn at short time. What can you tell us about that figure? Is it a new sculpt figure? When will she be released, if ever? As a figure mold should already exist is it possible to get a picture of it?

ANSWER:  The idea was to update Stass Allie with a nice quality articulation model and a great sculpt. However, the sculpt didn't turn out as we expected so we went back to the drawing board and pulled the figure until we could get her in again. We will be getting a new Stass (who looks great!) into the line-up in the EpIII-themed wave of the Legacy Collection this Fall.


QUESTION:  There are several existing color variations for the Battle Droid yet. Why then is it so difficult for Hasbro to release a Pilot Battle Droid figure? There couldn't be a missing slot for releasing such a figure when there are several Battle Droid figures on the short run. Wouldn't it make sense to release at last a Pilot Battle Droid figure preferably on a basic card? What is the actual state of the Stap Attack Battle Pack that Hasbro has promoted during recent conventions? Will it come out later on or has it been definitely cancelled?

ANSWER:  The STAP battle pack, which has the long-planned debut of the blue-deco'd pilot figure, will finally be out this Spring as a Toys 'R Us exclusive. It was originally to be an item in the mainline Battle Pack assortment, but due to the increased package depth could not be fit into the assortment. Because of this release, the pilot was never planned for a basic figure card.


QUESTION:  During the POTF2-era Hasbro released several creature with figure sets. Later on creature sets became rare although especially with the New Trilogy there are even more creatures that could be released (e.g. Orray w/ Geonosian Warrior, Aiwha w/ Kaminoan Rider, Shaak w/ Anakin & Padmé, Felucia Gelagrub Beetle w/ Clone Troopers, Naboo Gualaar w/ Funeral Padmé, Utapau Nos Monster), and most creatures that has been released from the Classic Trilogy would profit from an update (e.g. Jabba the Hutt or Dewback). And some creatures could be released in a different way again (e.g. Falumpaset w/ Boss Nass, Eopie w/ Obi-Wan). We know that Hasbro don't want to release other assortments as the existing ones but as the speederbikes has come with the latest battle pack assortment: Could Hasbro imagine to release more creatures within the battle pack assortment and how are the odds for those creatures, mentioned above?

ANSWER:  Historically, creatures have done OK but not sold as well as vehicles, which is why we have been putting our emphasis on enhacing our vehicle library in recent years as opposed to initiating new creatures (kybuck excepted). There is a chance that we could get to some more creatures, but some of the ones you mention, like the Aiwha, are positively huge and will probably never be produced. Other creatures, like the Shaak, just because of its nature, will probably never be something that we would focus on when there are many more worthy candidates ahead of it. Smaller creatures could be possible down the road, and an update of Jabba is very likely at some point.




ACTIONFIGS.COM

QUESTION:  With photos confirming Tsui Choi from the Order 66 2packs now out there, are we likely to see Ratts Tyrell - another member of the same species - in 2008? Could we see 1-2 Podracer figures per year the way we're now seeing Ewoks?

ANSWER:  You will not see Ratts Tyrell in 2008, as we do not have an Ep I-themed wave in the basic figure line. We do have one [Ep I wave] planned for 2009, and we will be targeting a Pod Racer or two, but no word on which ones those will be yet. We'd like to think that, like Ewoks, we could systematically get to the racers a couple at a time and eventually produce them all.


QUESTION:  Do you have any plans to release the V-Wing Fighter in Imperial colors as seen at the end of ROTS?

ANSWER:  Actually, we only had one set of reference material for the V-Wing, which we were sure was the end of the film. We will go back and check with Lucasfilm. If it turns out there is another deco version, this would be a great one to release sometime down the road. Thanks for bringing that to our attention.


QUESTION:  Now that we're getting an ROTS-specific 2-1B droid, is there any chance we'll be seeing an updated ESB-specific version in the near future? There are many differences between the two designs, both large and small, including head, torso, arms and legs - which is pretty much everything - so the ROTS one wouldn't really fit in an ESB scene. 2-1B is one of the rare OT non-hero droids to actually have lines, and is quite memorable, so an update would be much appreciated.

ANSWER:  Thanks for the support for 2-1B. We've got him in the "parking lot" fur future consideration, but there's no telling when we'll slot him in.



BOBA'S BOUNTY

We're sad to say that Boba's Bounty won't be part of the Q&A roundup anymore.  They posted this today:

Time to Say Goodbye
Posted Friday February 29, 2008

Well, it has been a great run people, but unfortunately, real life interferes too much to continue running this site. I've loved running the site, the interaction with everyone in the community, and best of all...you guys, the fans. I'm posting this today to let you all know that we'll be "going dark" on March 3, 2008. There is the possibility of a new owner of the site between now and then (still working on some details - IF it happens). Otherwise, thanks for the memories and May the Force Be With You All. (And who know's where I'll pop up!) MSB


The staff at JTA would like to wish them well!




GALACTIC HUNTER

QUESTION:  Among the Hasbro Star Wars team is there anyone who sort of speaks for or represents the fanboy/fangrrl collectors when ideas are being pitched? We know our input is considered, and we appreciate it.

ANSWER:  The simple answer is that members of the teams do read the boards and are able to bring outside perspective to the table when we are faced with some choices. The much deeper answer is that enthusiasm for all things Star Wars oozes out of every pore around here, but not always for the same thing (which is great, variety after all is what the Star Wars universe is about!). Most everyone on the team is a passionate fan of one area or another, whether it be source (films, which is everyone, Marvel or Dark Horse comics, video games, novels, Clone Wars) or specific subline (3-3/4", Titanium, Galactic Heroes, Mighty Muggs/vinyl, Transformers, etc).  So often the "fan voice" is right here on the team as well!


QUESTION:  We know that figures are decided on through some weird economic values. How does costing break down? Are the main heroes/villains "worth" more than, say, Gargan? I suspect Hasbro might sell more Princess Leia figures than Gargan figures, but I still want ball joints and "real feel" underarm flab on Gargan. (It can be made from the surplus plastic that weapons are sometimes composed of!)

ANSWER:  That could be an award-winning design for Yarna, for sure.  Actually, the weird economics are not all that weird. It's all about planning. We shoot for an average cost over the whole year that meets our targets, building out our assortments and average cost around some assumptions that help us get to the overall bigger picture without getting too mired in analysis paralysis on a figure-by-figure basis. We'll first break down how the "heroes" and more obscure characters are going to comprise the line and get to our overall release numbers, and then make sure we can hit our targets with the selections we have made. We will try to estimate costs for each figure based on articulation, size (if it has a deeper blister or uses a large amount of plastic or parts), deco, and accessories. We also acknowledge the very real situation that "niche" characters, like Cantina aliens, Jabba aliens, senators, Separatists, and pretty much all female characters (yes, even Leia) are going to be much less popular than other characters that could be produced in much higher numbers. These characters are important to the DNA of Star Wars and are high-collector desire figures, so we know that we'll have so much tooling set aside for them (and most of them are brand new tools). To counterbalance, we need to make sure that we have enough higher-production run figures, such as fresh takes on core characters and troops, that we can release in greater numbers. These characters may or may not be refreshed, which helps out on tooling.  By taking into account the overall costing, tools, individual volumes we arrive at our assumptions on how we will build the line wave by wave but not "sweat" when a few figures are over (or under) our costing assumptions....it all balances in the end if we do a good job at the front in planning.

[Editor's Note: I've lobbied long and hard for Yarna d'al' Gargan from Jabba's Palace, and, as we all now know, she's finally on her way to plastic immortality! Next up, Beatrice Arthur as Ackmena from The Star Wars Holiday Special! She's a decorated former United States Marine -- it's true -- so she'd be a great salute to Veteran's Day!]


QUESTION:  A handful of figures show bare skin (Slave Leia, Oola, Aayla Secura, and the upcoming Force Unleashed Shaak-Ti). Does this cause problems for adding extra articulation? Does exposed skin automatically mean limited articulation?

ANSWER:  It does pose some aesthetics challenges, as joints seem to be more visible on a figure with bare arms and legs than on, say, a trooper or Jedi. However, bare skin doesn't mean less articulation…often the limit is the width of the limb we have to work with.  Good try, but we have no news on when, if ever, there will be a The Force Unleashed version of Shaak-Ti.




To be continued in the next post.

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« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2008, 10:36:55 PM »



Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of February 27th, 2008 - Part 2


JEDI INSIDER


QUESTION:  Could the people who are answering these questions take a moment to introduce themselves and tell us a little bit about their roles on the Star Wars brand team?

ANSWER:  It's our policy not to publicly list our team members, but the team answering the questions is essentially the same one that we bring to Comic Con or Celebration - several design and marketing members who have been with Hasbro's Star Wars team for a number of years. While one person in marketing is the "point" for making sure that the Q&A gets completed every other week, questions are distributed out to various team members in design, engineering, packaging, and marketing as needed to get the detailed answer. If team members do not answer back in a timely fashion, or give the appropriate level of detail required to satisfy the fan question, it is up to the senior director to mete out severe punishment. We cannot reveal precisely what that punishment is.


QUESTION:  What is your favorite Star Wars movie?

ANSWER:  OK, we'll play along. We canvassed eleven members of our team, and came up with some interesting findings. Of the 11, 3 prefer A New Hope ("the original Star Wars") and the other 8 have a single-minded devotion to Empire Strikes back as their favorite. The simple asking of this question, and the debate that ensued, has caused tempers to flare, harsh words that cannot be taken back, and crushed and bruised feelings littered across the Hasbro landscape. It has left a lasting divide that may never be healed. Thanks a lot.


QUESTION:  Out of all the Star Wars toys ever made going all the way back to the Kenner days, what is your favorite Star Wars toy that has been released?

ANSWER:  We broke this one down into two categoriees, since most people on our team are incapable of just one answer. For "favorite figure" - the answers ranged from original Kenner figures including Luke Skywalker ("my very first figure and still my favorite to look at today"), Greedo, Boba Fett, Han Solo Hoth, and Admiral Ackbar, along with 12" Vader and 12" IG-88 which, interestingly, one of our team always wanted but never got (does that still count as a "favorite"?). More recent favorites include the brand new Gree, Vintage OTC Stormtrooper, Evolutions Boba Fett, and Tsui Choi (Boba made it twice for old and new, making him the winner). For all other Star Wars, the answers were wide-ranging from original vintage Kenner Landspeeder and AT-AT (each with two votes), Slave-I, the original kid-sized lightsaber and the Han Solo blaster pistol. The most stylish vintage choice was the Bespin Micro World playset. Modern favorites include the FX X-Wing and the new large-wing TIE Fighter.




JEDI NEWS

QUESTION:  You've confirmed that the new, second wave of Order 66 packs will be coming out later this year.  You've also stated that you're trying to get as  many of the US exclusives into the UK.  Will Tesco or another UK outlet be stocking these?

ANSWER:  We have looked into the situation with our U.K. team.  The remainder of the first Order 66 wave will be released this Spring through Tesco (only two of the first wave have been released so far).  The second Order 66 wave currently is not planned for this year, but could be evaluated for release further down the road pending the success of the the rest of the first wave release.


QUESTION:  Will all the new figures coming out in the autumn (Fall) ship in the new packaging revealed earlier this week or will the core line ship on different cards?

ANSWER:  The Clone Wars animated line will ship on the cards shown (Clone Trooper helmet), while the Legacy Collection (built around film characters) will ship on a different Stormtrooper-centered design.


QUESTION:  Congratulations on getting the FX lightsaber license.   We read the recent interview with Derryl and Philip from Rebelscum with great interest.  Can you please advise when we're likely to see the first Hasbro FX lightsabers on shelf and idea what the first products will be?

ANSWER:  The first Hasbro-produced Force FX Lightsabers will be on shelves this Fall.  This year we will only be producing the current line-up of sabers, and we will not be looking to add new items until 2009 after we have had a chance to wrap our arms around the business.  There is no update on what new items we will be adding to the line-up but we look forward to getting to them!




JEDIDEFENDER

QUESTION:  A lot of our forum members are currently engaged in speculation and debate about the upcoming The Clone Wars figures. Some think we'll get "realistic" style sculpts, while others think we're going to get a new "animated" style sculpt. Assuming that the debate will be settled with a preview of the figures at Toy Fair, can you share some thoughts on why you chose the style that you did?

ANSWER:  By this time, you will have seen the images coming back from Toy Fair, and we can confirm that the style of the figures does indeed match that of the animation, but a style that is much less "extreme" than the previous Clone Wars figures. In addition, the figures are designed with collector aesthetics in mind - higher levels of articulation when merited, for the most part avoidance on internal "features" (Yoda being the exception), and the ability to pose them as you would like, rather than pre-posed. We know that this will not get automatic buy-in from many collectors, but we think that the final figures will be an incredibly high-quality testament to George Lucas' vision and a proud addition to the collections of all those who do choose to embrace the new look.


QUESTION:  Which one item shown at Toy Fair were you the most excited to reveal? Which one item garnered more excitement from Toy Fair attendees then you thought it would?

ANSWER:  By far, we couldn't wait to share the AT-TE with everyone. It's an awesome vehicle - at a price point we haven't seen often in Hasbro's Star Wars line - and symbolic of the new era of opportunity that Clone Wars brings.


QUESTION:  As you know, JediDefender is proud to support the "Please Give us a Willrow Hood Figure" campaign. During the conventions last Summer, it was sounding like he might finally make his way into our collections in 2009. How about an update for our ICMG fans? Have you guys decided on "single card" or "multi-pack" yet?

ANSWER:  We can confirm that Willrow will be a basic-carded figure in 2009 in an EpV-themed wave (no updates on who his wave-mates are. You'll have to wait!). As of yet, no design work has been started on Willrow, but we'll see if there's an opportunity to share with everyone the progress of this fan-favorite figure as work starts to begin.




MOUSEDROID

QUESTION:  Dear Hasbro,
Regarding the Titanium series wave 1 of 2008, Saesee Tinn's starfighter seems to carry the Imperial six-spoken logo instead of the correct Republic eight-spoked logo as carried correctly by the other Titanium Series Jedi Starfighters. Will this be corrected before this wave begins shipping?
Regards
Darth Windu

ANSWER:  You have sharp eyes. This was not caught before shipment began. Instead, it will be a running change.
 

QUESTION:  Hasbro,
With a line like Star Wars, I feel that vehicles are the backbone of the line. The movies themselves have always put a lot of emphasis on the vehicles. Very few other boy toy lines focus so heavily of vehicles from both the good guys and the bad guys. Batman is a line that springs to mind that only focus on Batman's vehicles. Having said that, what can you tell us about the 2008 vehicle line-up prior to Toy Fair? i.e. How may we are likely to see. Will your focus for the vehicles change to The Clone Wars later this year or will you try and keep it an even mix of Movie and TV?
thank-you
regards
Commander Collars

ANSWER:  Hi there - by now, you have seen our lineup. We will take our cues for new vehicles from both Clone Wars and the films; there are few vehicles we have not done from the films in 3-3/4" scale, but there are some we will be tackling. The great news for vehicle fans is that the Clone Wars vehicles and film vehicles are created with the same styling, designed to be seamless across both lines. In fact, the V-19 and Homing Spider Droid debuted at Toy fair were designed originally for the Legacy Collection before being brought into the Clone Wars subline to add vehicle support to the figures.
 

QUESTION:  Dear Hasbro,
Young Anakin Skywalker and Jar-Jar are well overdue for brand new sculpts, as is Padme Amidala, Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Trade Federation's Battle Droid unit. We've already seen the upcoming Evolutions Qui-Gon Jinn, which would make a fantastic repack in the basic line. Now, with 2009 being the tenth anniversary year of The Phantom Menace does Hasbro have any special plans to commemorate this event, such as a special TPM wave?
Regards
Mike S
 
ANSWER:  We will have an EpI wave in the 2009 line, but details on which figures are included will not be revealed until closer to that wave's debut. We do agree that most all of the figures you mention could use a new figure in the next few years. Padme, at least, has a great new EpI version coming in the Evolutions pack devoted to her this Fall.
 



To be continued.



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« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2008, 10:56:39 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of February 27th, 2008 - Part 3


REBELSCUM

QUESTION:  Will the Jedi Knight Army Multipack be re-released one day, perhaps in the course of the Clone Wars series? It is very difficult to get, very rare, therefore I'd like to see a re-release.

ANSWER:  We do not have any plans to re-release that multi-pack at this time.


QUESTION:  My question will we see a new figure representing 750th or some landmark number like that soon?? And how would you come up with the numbering system. I know that you only number by single carded figures but with the success of the Greatest hits and Saga legends. Most of these are straight repacks while others were in battle packs, vehicles, or just slightly retooled figs. And if I could make a suggestion if one of these special figures will be made soon a two pack of Luke and Leia in the famous pose from the original poster art.

ANSWER:  We have yet to stop and take tally of where the exact figure number stands, and the counting is kind of murky, but you are right there is probably a significant milestone coming up. In any case, we wouldn't count the straight repacks of Greatest Hits and Saga Legends among the numbering; in our book, they don't advance the number of brand new figures, but keep them active much as figures were kept active in vintage Kenner days with refreshes from Star Wars to TESB to ROTJ. That poster pose would be interesting to do someday, but we don't have plans for it right now.


QUESTION:  When and if will we see the rest of the council members made in a single pack. Figures like Even Peill, Depa Billaba, Adi Galia and even Oppo Rancisis. We have had the likes of Eeth Koth and Yareal Poof which were fantastic, but I think the last couple need to also have the opportunity to have the soft goods and lightsabers added so the die hard MOC collecotrs can complete there own councils. Thanks.

ANSWER:  That is an interesting question, and one that we have looked at with the repaint/repack waves we have done at various times. Some of them could use updating, but right now we don't have any plans to get them back out there any time soon in single carded format (or any other format either). That could always change as these are prime candidates for re-release sometime.




SANDTROOPERS

QUESTION:  As I'm sure you are aware, there are many talented customizers - sculptors, painters, builders, etc. - that spend hours and hours sitting in their workshops (or at their kitchen tables) creating toys (and not just Star Wars toys, either).  What does it take for someone to get a job working for Hasbro, sculpting or painting toys, designing packaging, and the like?

ANSWER:  We'll tackle each of the disciplines one at a time, since they are a little different.  The large majority of our designers and sculptors have industrial design backgrounds, and there are several great schools that specialize in this and with which we have a strong relationship when it comes to internships, etc. We look for folks with solid all-around skills and ability.  This includes work with diverse materials, incorporate features, and cost management.  We look for a very diversified skill set as it is very rare for a designer to stay on one line for more than a couple years before moving to the next assignment; they could be working on girls toys, vehicles, or any other type down the road. For painters, we have a small team in house that handles our painting needs, but we do contract with outside resources to handle the workload.  When evaluating painters, we have hired a wide range, including a wide range of backgrounds from fne artist to hobbyist (i.e. the folks at home).  We evaluate painters on their ability to apply very fine detail and ability to color match.  Anybody interesting in painting for us should contact Hasbro Human Resources (links are found on our web site).  For package design, we typically look for candidates with a degree in graphic design or fine arts, and with experience in packaging and illustration, as well as specialized structural engineers trained in that discpline who direct the structures and materials of our diverse needs.


QUESTION:  Have you (or would you) ever consider running a promotion allowing a few lucky Hasbro fans access to see the behind the scenes world of Hasbro? Seeing the process that goes into the planning, designing, testing and production of an action figure first hand would be very interesting to a lot of fans.

ANSWER:  While we have offered behind-the-scenes tours to a few lucky winners of different contests in the past, it's not something that we can really do anymore.  With so many movie lines in development across the boys division, it really puts a strain on the system as we can't risk having plot points, top secret projects and the like get out to the public. In any case, we think it's far less glamorous than it seems!


QUESTION:  How far in advance do you usually begin work on a figure before it's actual release? Is it already decided which figures will be in 2009's line? The reason I'm asking is because from what I've heard, the live-action TV series will probably be starting in the fall of next year. With the TV series not even having any actors cast at this point (at least to my knowledge), will you have enough time to get those figures made and have them ready to sell by the time the show airs?

ANSWER:  We generally get started on any year's line about 14-18 months before the first toys are available on shelf.  We also tend to plan a full year's worth of product in the initial stages, built around the themes we have chosen.  To give you some reference, we wrapped up planning for the 2009 line in November and have now moved into sculpting and approvals for the first waves, which will be followed by tooling and then package design over the next few months.  Rarely will the plan change, though it has been known to change for significant events - such as when we first saw The Force Unleashed and knew we had to work some TFU products into the line as quickly as we could (the original street date was then pushed back, but we had already fast-tracked the product development).  Your estimate on timing is right - in order to be able to produce figures for Fall 2009 we would need to have reference material ready in the next couple of months. We can't comment on live action, that would be information Lucasfilm would release on their timetable.




SIR STEVES GUIDE

QUESTION:  Would Hasbro ever consider releasing figures based off artist Feng Zhu's Imperial Recruitment posters which appeared in the Star Wars: Visionaires comic series, perhaps as Comic 2-Packs? There's 2 designs in the official series, and 4 more posters drawn but not released. Besides the sexy female recruits in the posters, the SW: Visionaries comic has other great characters like cyborg Darth Maul, Darth Sidious and the Sithisis Worm, Corporal Jobin just to name a few that would make great action figures, especially coming off the heels of the TAC concept figures since the comic was done by ROTS concept artists.

ANSWER:  We love those posters, but it's very doubtful that we'd do figure versions of them. We will confirm that at least one of the figures you mention will become a figure before too long based on a Visionaries story.


QUESTION:  Concerning pegwarmers and Saga Legends taking up TAC shelfspace, back on Sept 28th you told us "stores will be resupplied based on what has sold down, not based on what is sitting on what pegs, which is invisible to the automated ordering systems. So if Saga Legends is selling in those stores, it will be reordered. If 30th Anniv. is selling, it will be reordered. To finish that discussion - the stock of one has no impact on the other." Understanding that you have the 2 separate SKUs and assortment numbers in place to avoid these problems, what your argument seems to miss is the rampant amount of human error in the process, pegging Saga Legends on TAC pegs (whether done by store employees, or customers who simply don't notice the difference between the red accents vs orange accents of the basic cards), so in your argument, if Saga Legends takes up all the pegspace, TAC can never sell down and be reordered because it never leaves the back rooms to hit the pegs in the first place. Keep in mind, the TAC & SL cards are pretty much visually identical, and the assortment numbers which are supposed to separate them don't stand out on packaging and at a quick glance appear the same (87500 vs 85770) especially for an overworked, underpaid retail employee who is trying to get too many things done at once. So how can sales be generated for a specific product if it doesn't reach the floor in the first place?

ANSWER:  What you outline is a problem if *only* one (or the other) of the assortment is put out at the exclusion of the other. The same risk - that of human error - has always existed with side-by-side figure lines in Star Wars. Since all case packs are clearly marked by assortment, and replenishment is directed automatically, the impact of human error is minimized.


QUESTION:  What are the chances of seeing an Evolutions set of the Seperatists' droids, consisting of updated, all-new versions of the Battle Droid, Super Battle Droid, and IG-100 MagnaGuard (aka Grievous' Bodyguard)?

ANSWER:  We just did a new Super Battle Droid in the 30th Anniversary Collection, so we do not have plans to do a set like this although we acknowledge that both regular BD's and Magna Droids are in need of a new sculpt at some point.




SW COLLECTOR

QUESTION:  With the Build-A-Figure concept being applied to the STAR WARS line, how likely are we to see something like a ROTJ-accurate Jabba the Hutt or 8D8 Torture Droid with Full Torture Rack as pack-ins?

ANSWER:  Dan - by now you know that we are focused on droids as the build-a-figure pack-ins in the Legacy Collection/Droid Factory line. So, Jabba will not be a possiblity for a figure, but 8D8 could be…except for the fact that he has already been released and the build-a-droids will be comprised of previously unreleased figures. 8D8 is still a possibility for "some day."


QUESTION:  The lightsabers packed with the McQuarrie Signature Series action figures such as Concept Darth Vader and Concept Starkiller Hero were really unique and interesting designs. Any chance for electronic roleplaying versions of them at some point?

ANSWER:  Unlikely. The McQuarrie concepts hold no relevance for kids, which is the target for our role play line. Instead, we will probably look to new characters or colors as they present themselves in upcoming entertainment for the next generation of lightsabers.


QUESTION:  With both Obi-Wan in General's Armor and IG Lancer Droids being released this year, will we be seeing Speeder Bikes for them to ride being released, too?

ANSWER:  While we will have existing speeder bikes back out this Fall, we won't be releasing any speeder bikes custom-built for these guys at this time. Maybe in future years, but not right now.





To be continued.
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« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2008, 11:05:39 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of February 27th, 2008 - Part 4


THE PRIVATE UNIVERSE

QUESTION:  We've seen a number of UK Toy Fair reports which detail the 3 3/4" Indiana Jones line. Raiders, Last Crusade and Crystal Skull all seem to be represented - but Temple of Doom appears strangely lacking. Are you, like Lego, avoiding merchandise from this film due to it's darker tone? Will we ever see Willie, Short-Round and Mola Ram in plastic form?

ANSWER:  Wave 4 of the IJ basic figure line will be Temple-themed, and it will be a doozy of a wave. We showed one image at Toy Fair - of a Temple Thug - and we can tell you that this is one fine wave. As for specific characters, we will confirm Wave 4 at Toy Fair (if not before).....the remaining one(s) will be be in the first of the 2009 waves.


QUESTION:  The new Clone Wars packaging previewed on the Official Star Wars site looks incredibly dynamic - great job! However, many have noted that the graphics feature animated renderings of the leads. Is this merely an attempt to tie the cartoon portrayal of characters to 'movie-style' figures in the mind of kids/collectors, or will we be seeing toys that reflect the designs seen on-screen?

ANSWER:  Phill - by this time, you have seen the images coming back from Toy Fair, and we can confirm that the style of the Clone Wars figures does indeed match that of the animation. We do want to emphasize that the Legacy Collection - the basic figure line that focuses primarily on movie figures - will continue side-by-side with Clone Wars so the "movie"-figure collectors will get a fantastic line-up as well in a unique card style just for that line. The artwork for the Legacy Collection will feature a Stormtrooper head (as opposed to Clone) and realistic imagery as has been the case for the 30th line.


QUESTION:  Will press be given more access to Star Wars product on your stand at the NYC Toy Fair than they were at the UK event? We were frustrated not to be able to get details out to the fans considering that the two shows are relatively close together, and that other licencees were showing Clone Wars items. You've been very gracious in participating in these Q&A's, but how do you really view the fan-site community - as a useful tool for reaching out to your customers, or as a hinderance to your marketing plans?

ANSWER:  Phill - we see the Q&A as an essential part of our community-building with fans - that's why we originated it, and why pretty much every Hasbro boys brand has followed suit! Now to your specific question regarding Toy Fair. Given the nature of New York, the tremendous press attention, and the participation of our Hollywood studio partners, we have chosen to save all product news for Toy Fair. We did show the lines to retailers at U.K Toy Fair and Nuremburg, but held all public unveilings so we could best leverage the message on a global scale. After all, it's not just the fan press we are courting - it's international news media, investor relations, and the like - all of which are in attendance in New York. We apologize for not giving you access to the lines at the previous shows, but those are the reasons why New York was central to our bigger corporate plans.




THE JAWA

QUESTION:  The 2006 Christmas release of the Imperial Shuttle was great. We've seen the Imperial Landing Craft in lego form, how about in 3 3/4" form. Any plans to do so?

ANSWER:  We agree that it would be a great vehicle to do.  However, the price point it would need to be in doesn't exist in our line right now.  We wouldn't rule out the possibility that we will do it someday, but right now we are not working on it because we have no way to bring it to retail.


QUESTION:  We are starting to get reports of the 2008 TAC figures showing up at Wal-Marts already. I thought these were slated to start shipping in March - what gives?

ANSWER:  Our first wave came in early, and, as is our tendency, we shipped some out as soon as we got it.


QUESTION:  Is the latest delay of The Force Unleashed video game going to delay the action figures yet again?

ANSWER:  No.  While the new date for the release of The Force Unleashed has not been announced, most of the figures will go out on our schedule.  The Evolutions pack is at retail right now, and the basic figure wave should be along in mid-March.  There will also be a few exclusives including a Wookiee battle pack (Target, 3/23 on shelf), Rancor (Target, April in-store), and two three-packs (Wal-Mart, July in-store).




YAKFACE

QUESTION:  Now that hip joint articulation has made its way to the basic figure line in the new Darth Vader/Anakin, Obi-Wan and Commander Gree figures, will the Scout Trooper be realizing the added benefit of this upgraded area of articulation in the future? It would surely improve the aesthetics of the figure when mounted on a speeder bike, plus it would address the “bow-leggedness” often occurs with figures of this type (ex: SDCC Shadow Scout).

ANSWER:  We will be using it on select figures. We agree that it would be a good addition to future Scout troopers (or any figure that pilots a speeder bike), and will take that into consideration next time we approach those figures.


QUESTION:  Bravo on the new Clone Wars (wave 3) figures. A few questions on these: Will Saesee Tinn and the Comic Pack Durge have removable helmets? Does the Calamari Warrior have articulated knees?

ANSWER:  An enthusiastic yes to the first two. The Mon Calamari Warrior does not have knees, however. By now, most readers probably know that this great Clone Wars-inspired wave has been moved to this Fall as wave 2 of the Legacy Collection (Droid Factory) basic figure wave. Trust us, it'll be worth the wait!


QUESTION:  How many and which of the 2007 figures (w/coin) will be re-released with the display stand pack-ins?

ANSWER:  Fifteeen of the figures that previously came with coins will be re-released in on-coin versions with pack-in stands. They include: Anakin (Tatooed), Clone Trooper (Clone Wars/Hawkbat Battalion), Clone Trooper (Kamino Training), Ewoks, Rebel Vanguard Trooper, Destroyer Droid w/shield, R2-B1, Padme Amidala (Fireside dress), Voolvif Mon, MCQuarrie Rebel Trooper, Biggs (X-Wing Pilot), C-3PO w/Salacious Crumb, Spirit of Anakin, Jango fett (w/poncho), and Clone Trooper (7th Legion).





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