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« on: March 21, 2008, 03:30:46 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of March 20th, 2008


Hasbro appears to be catching up on the Q&A's post-Toy Fair.  Additionally they've responded a day early ahead of the Easter holiday.  We've also got some significant news that's been revealed in this week's session.  As normal, we start off at home!


JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES

QUESTION:  When can collectors expect to see Hasbro packaged Force FX lightsabers arrive in stores?  And on the same note, can they expect any new products in this line within the calender year?

ANSWER:  This Fall (approximately August) will see the first Hasbro-produced sabers hit market.  Since the factory and production line is the same, it's our intention to make the transition seamless.  There will not be any new products slated for 2008, but there are some on tap for 2009.  Stay tuned for more info on those at the end of the year.


QUESTION:  At Toy Fair we saw that some of the other Hasbro licensed properties (Marvel & Transformers specificially) have taken up the Unleashed concept and put a large Unleashed figure offering in their own lines.  In the past the Hasbro Star Wars group has said that the Unleashed figures proved too costly to continue, and yet other boys toys groups within Hasbro are continuing on with this concept.  Did the Unleashed line just prove to not be as solid of a sales performer in the Star Wars line as the 3.75" figure system?

ANSWER:  Collectors just did not embrace the format to nearly the extent that other segments of the line enjoy (especially 3-3/4").  An impressive number of Star Wars Unleashed 7" figures did see the light of day, but the smaller production volumes just could not be sustained when compared to where else in the Star Wars line those design and tooling resources could be employed.  As for the popularity of the format in other lines, we really cannot speculate since every brand is different.


QUESTION:  One of the highlights of Toy Fair had to be the AT-TE.  But of equal note was the V-19 Torrent and the Homing Spider Droid which are part of the $19.99 vehicle assortment.  Can collectors expect more than just these two vehicles in the Clone Wars assault vehicle assortment when that line launches in July?  Also, is it possible to get an image of the V-19 toy with all of it's wings in flight mode, as seen in this image?

ANSWER:  There will be other vehicles carried forward into the Clone Wars vehicle lineup, including some of the existing EpIII starfighters, a re-release of the Anakin modified starfighter, V-Wing, Grievous Starfighter, and the like.  We will not have any additional new vehicles in the assortment until late in the Fall or early 2009.  See the below picture for the V-19 in it's flying position.






And now to continue on through the entire Star Wars collecting community:


ACTIONFIGS.COM

QUESTION:  Would Hasbro ever consider doing a figure of a "classic style" Sy Snootles from before the Special Editions? That's the one including the feather hat, tusks, more realistic eyes, a microphone, and can still be seen in the current version on the sail barge.

ANSWER:  We won't say never, but the odds of us getting to updates of the Jabba's band are pretty long.


QUESTION:  Does Nippet the Wokling come out of his basket? If so, might you be able to share a picture of this?

ANSWER:  Indeed Nippet does. Attached is a pic. Enjoy!

GOLD 5:  Check out the image of Nippet @ ACTIONFIGS.COM


QUESTION:  Although Hasbro's been releasing more and more Battle Droid designs lately, one that's been overlooked so far has been the Geonosis Battle Droid Commander, the one that has the OOM-9-style yellow markings on a maroon body. Moreover, the last Battle Droid Commander you released had a regular Battle Droid's backpack, which is inaccurate, the commander droids have no backpack, only a small antenna array as seen on your Ep 1 OOM-9 figure. Might this design be considered for the next time we see Battle Droid figures, perhaps even in a Geonosis Arena battle pack with the unreleased Geonosian Cannon accessory that was originally shown with the Arena playset?

ANSWER:  We do indeed have plans to bring out this maroon commander in 2009 if our plan holds, and we will pass along your comment about the antenna array as the correct one. Thanks.




GALACTIC HUNTER

QUESTION:  What prompted the unusual creation of figures based on the Return of the Jedi sandstorm scene, which fans have never even seen aside from a few fuzzy still photos, and why wasn't Slave Leia in sandstorm garb (or the less significant Skiff Guard Lando) included among the group?

ANSWER:  When we learned about the existence of the deleted sandstorm scene, we were very intrigued and thought we had the nucleus of an intriguing wave. As you know, a key to our basic figure wave strategy is to look for new versions of core heroes, and this scene was the perfect opportunity to deliver some original, if not in the movie, concepts for these iconic characters.  We do have plans to do a sandstorm version of Princess Leia at a future date.


QUESTION:  We (Brian Wilke and I) discussed this a bit at Toy Fair, and the "big tuna" Rebel Troop Transport is seen in all three "Classic" Star Wars films. It's not the most exciting vehicle, granted, but it's a nice sized freighter. Why not resurrect it with more "playset" styled features in its belly and lid? (We modern collectors would just be happy with the piece as-is, but extra features never hurt.) What do our friends at Hasbro think? (It's cooler than the Cloud Car, at least.)

ANSWER:  This vehicle has been suggsested numerous times in Q&A over the last couple of years, primarily because it (and the Cloud Car) have yet to be updated for the modern line.  Despite that, we do not feel that either of these are the best candidates for our (precious and limited) vehicle slots. They are not overally aggressive vehicles or in the case of the Rebel Transport, visually interesting.  If we were to invest resources and tooling in a vehicle/playset combo as you suggest, our choice would probably not be the Rebel Transport.


QUESTION:  For each of the prequel trilogy Hasbro developed one large playset. First we saw the Attack of the Clones Geonosis Arena Playset recycled as the G.I. Joe: Attack on Cobra Mountain Playset. Now we're seeing the Revenge of the Sith Mustafar Duel Playset being recycled to create an Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull playset. Is there a contractual obligation with LFL to make at least one big playset per film? We've been told time and again that they don't sell, but we see "our" sets used for other lines, and it leaves Star Wars fans a little bitter. So what gives here?

ANSWER:  There is no contractual obligation to produce a playset; we tackle the best line-up for the movie on a case-by-case basis.  For example, there is no playset for The Clone Wars… unless you consider the AT-TE a playset on legs as many kids probably will.

[Editor's Note: There is no playset for The Clone Wars at this time.]




IMPERIAL SHIPYARDS - Forum Registration Required

QUESTION:  Hasbro, are there any plans to do an Obi-wan evolutions pack. We are now only lacking a super articulated Episode I Obi-wan to go with our evolutions Qui-gon and Darth Maul. Most importantly though, is the lack of a definitive Episode II Obi-wan. Every version released since 2002-2004 saga collection was rendered sub par by mediocre action features and awkward presculpted poses. While we have had similar comic pack versions released, they have been wearing wrong color clothing or Episode III boots because most have been retools of the Pilot Obi-wan figure, or a solid cloak which restricts articulation. To complete the set, we could use a redo on Episode IV Ben Kenobi. The vintage OTC version was not so satisfactory either, due to straight cut swivel arms that are sculpted oddly, a ridiculously puffy cloak and no knee articulation. Any chance of wish fullfilment this year? Even word of a single carded version of these would be fantastic.

ANSWER:  OK, great question. The answer is that an Obi-Wan Evolution set with figures from EpI, EpII, and EpIV *was* on the drawing board for late in the Evo run, but the plug was pulled. Before you get to angry with us, though, it was cancelled for a good reason: the figures are going to be some of the "anchor" figures for upcoming waves in late 2008/early 2009. All three fgures should see the shelves by the end of 2009, in any case.


QUESTION:  think we can all agree that the KOTOR figures released last year were very popular. Any chance we may see a few more characters from the game? Bastilla Shan, Carth Onassi perhaps? I also wondered if you had considered a player character figure. While technically you already did the character, I won't say how for fear of ruining a plot element for anyone who has yet to play the game, but how about a "battle pack" or 2 pack like the "order 66". I was thinking maybe a somewhat generic figure, male and female versions in a couple of different costumes from the game with swappable heads for different hair styles/ colors and different ethnicities. I think the McQuarrie rebel trooper body would be an excellent mold with minor retooling and different paint. I really love that head sculpt. The McQuarrie figures in general look like they are right out of the game except for color. For 2-packs maybe pair one player character body with one of the main characters?

ANSWER:  We do think that at some point we will get to Bastilla Shan (although there is no timetable), and with the success of the Dark Horse series it makes characters like Carth a greater possibility for future years as that series continues. However, we don't know about the player character idea for KotOR. You have some interesting suggestions, especially using existing tooling (a big criteria for doing ideas like this). While we still doubt we'd do these, given everything else floating around, we will take a look at some point.


QUESTION:  Often with these Q&A sessions, we get answers (especially about playsets) about the cost or retooling, new sculpts, etc. Is there any way you can break down this process for us so that we can have a greater understanding on why we get these answers? I think a lot of collectors who ask questions and get these answers get frustrated because we just don't understand all of it. I think if you were able to explain it all to us, we'd be much happier!

ANSWER:  Everything we do as costing associated with it from various areas and all of these are put together before we proceed in a project. We have engineers on staff whose exact job it is to accurately forecast detailed costing information for tooling, plastic prices, packaging specifications, deco, inter-factory transfer costs, transportation, labor, and a host of other things we need to get our arms around. This is vital when creating a product whether it is a single figure, a whole lineup like Legacy/Droid factory figures, a new or repainted vehicle, a new lightsaber role-play item....in short, the entire line. We have targets we need to hit, and in cases where there is an extraordinary cost associated with it (such as a playset) there needs to be a very high degree of confidence that we will meet our goals. In the case of playsets, we do not have confidence (based on past experience with Star Wars and other brands) that we will have the market support for our ideas. That is why we have focused our energy on large vehicles, like the AT-TE, instead of playsets. It doesn't mean that we will never do things like playsets, but it would have to be a "must have" for today's generation of kids. That would mean that any new playset would not be drawn from the classic films, since they are not as relevant to the next generation of kids as the new entertainment will be. It's too early to tell exactly where Clone Wars will take us, and whether there is a great persistent enviroment in there suitable for playset creation, but from what we have seen we think the big vehicle approach is the best one.




To be continued.
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2008, 03:43:51 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of March 20th, 2008 - Part 2


JEDI INSIDER


QUESTION:  Will we see more Evolution sets centered around original triology characters, for example Luke (Tatooine, Bespin, Jedi) or Han (ANH, Bespin, Endor)?

ANSWER:  We do not have any plans for Luke or Han Evolution sets for this year, since many of those figures were recently done or will be upcoming in basic figures in the next couple of years. In general, on Evolutions, our tendency is to cover a theme with multiple characters (like Legacy of the Sith, Legacy of the Jedi, Legacy of the Fetts, upcoming Rebellion and Imperial pilots) or a single character we are not likely to do in basic figures for a long, long time (Secret Apprentice, Padme).


QUESTION:  Can we expect to see any more holiday-themed exclusives this year - like last year's Father's Day set?

ANSWER:  We don't have any more 3-3/4" holiday-themed sets planned for this year. However, we are looking at another possibility, and if we can get it done we'll have details at Comic Con. Until then, that's all we will say.


QUESTION:  Can you tell us what new Transformers/Star Wars sculpts we might see for this year?

ANSWER:  Four all-new sculpts are planned for later this Fall. We are going to be revealing all of them (and possibly more) at Comic Con, but we'll give you a little taste of our September wave: General Grievous/Grievous Starfighter, and TIE Pilot/TIE Bomber.




JEDIDEFENDER

QUESTION:  During the Toy Fair collector event, you briefly mentioned the possibility of a third basic figure line hitting the shelves at the end of the year. The line was going to be like the Saga Legends repack line, but focused more on bringing back figures of characters that would compliment the Clone Wars line. Is this still going to happen, and if so, are we talking mainly Jedi, Clones, and Droids in the line?

ANSWER:  There will indeed be a third basic figure line this Fall, once again called "Saga Legends". Unlike previous Saga Legends, this one is kid-focused around the animation and will consist of hero characters who are prominent in the animation, but who will not have an animated version for their character right away or who we are looking to get out there in greater numbers to take advantage of the excitement that the movie and TV show will generate. The lineup consists of figures you might expect: Anakin, Obi-Wan, R2-D2, Yoda with Kybuck, C-3PO, numerous Clones and droids, and others.

All of the figures will be existing. It's too early to say whether the line will continue longer than through Spring. Because this line was created to complement the animated line, and be particularly kid-focused, we aren't planning on doing any particular fan-request figures in this line like we have done with past Saga Legends.


QUESTION:  Our "OT only" collecting friends are starting to worry about a lack of original trilogy goodness in the basic figure line this year. We’ve had a RotS wave and an EU wave (TFU) in 2008. Confirmed for the Legacy Collection are a RotJ wave and another EU wave ("old" Clone Wars). That’s only 25% OT goodness so far.

In the Q&As, you've confirmed that there are four waves of the Legacy Collection yet to be revealed, one of those being a repaints wave and one being RotS-based (again). Please give our "OT only" friends a reason to believe that the two remaining "yet-to-be-revealed" waves will be chocked full o’ OT goodness!

ANSWER:  There have been a number of wave shifts as we've gotten further into the year, so some of our original lineup projections have had to change as we have had delays and shifts (always one of the headaches of trying to give advance info, only to have things change beyond our control). So, here's the latest: In addition to what you have outlined, there will be three additional basic figure waves in the Legacy Collection. One will be a predominantly repaint wave that will draw from across the Saga, one will be an EpIII wave, and the final wave will be EpIV. We were angling for another OTC wave in there but it was running behind so it was pushed out to 2009. We will tell you that 2009 has a great OTC lineup and we hope to provide a sneak peak into that at Comic Con.


QUESTION:  OK, so now that we know there are plans in the works for "Midnight Madness" events for The Clone Wars toy launch in July, we’ve got to wonder about the man in the hat. Do you know if there are any "Midnight Madness" events in the works for your big Indy toy launch in May?

ANSWER:  There are no plans, as far as we know, for special Midnight Madness-type events for IJ. If you hear of any, let us know!




JEDI NEWS

QUESTION:  We collectors are a funny bunch and sometimes we’re very hard to please.   This is related to some of the exclusives that came out last year. 

We don’t know if you’re aware but in the UK the McQuarrie Luke from Celebration Europe is currently being given away at TRU stores with a Star Wars spend over £25 and the Celebration Europe McQuarrie R2 and 3P0 are available now from Play.com for just £1.99.   

Finally, the Comic Con Shadow Trooper Bike/Scout is available from StarWarsShop.com for just $10. With all this is mind, we’ve had several readers e-mailing us and being rather upset at this turn of events based on the fact that these McQuarrie figures were originally £15 at Celebration Europe and whilst the Comic Con exclusive was never available in the UK the costs of buying it on the secondary market was very expensive – especially shipping.

They’ve asked why you think this has happened, was it due to the fact that these items were over-produced and therefore there’s a glut of them left in the market or is there another reason?

ANSWER:  The simple reason is that while we were able to better forecast demand for the U.S. Celebration exclusives, due to a lot of experience with the U.S. fan base, getting a feel for the size of the European market was more of a challenge.  As such, since it was the first Celebration there, we did not want to disappoint fans and there was excess which found its way to market. If there are future Celebration Europes (or any other European show for that matter), these learnings will help us dial in more acutely on the right quantities to bring.


QUESTION:  Captain Rex – this figure looks amazing and we’re really pleased you’ve gone back to revisit the ideas of dioramas that were first seen with the Expanded Universe line.   Unfortunately, the promotion that’s running in the US to get this figure is not coming over to Europe.   Will you or can you find another way of getting this released over here (could it be released as an exclusive or directly via Hasbro UK)?   Otherwise we’re going to have to resort to eBay and it’s not going to be cheap!

ANSWER:  While we do not have concrete information, our team is still looking for ways to make use of the Captain Rex figure in the European market.  Jedi News - this is great news, we'll keep you all informed...


QUESTION:  In the last round of Q&A answers you said that the Comic Con Exclusive Vader and Emperor may debut a week earlier at Celebration Japan.  Will the folk in Europe and especially us here in the UK get a chance to buy this figure set?  Also, is there any chance of a photo... please?

ANSWER:  Attached is a photo, James.  Right now it is planned as a Comic Con exclusive (with a Japanese splash) and we are looking for ways to also bring it to Europe although the specific retailer has not been lined up as of yet.




MOUSEDROID

QUESTION:  When comparing the designs from the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy, I don't think that anyone would argue that the designs of the prequel Characters, droids, creatures and vehicles are much more complex. Characters specifically are much different. The characters, specifically aliens, of the Original Trilogy are very "Human" shapes, where with the prequel trilogy we get a lot more aliens who are not so human is shape. We get serpent like characters such as Oppo Rancisis, bug like characters like the Geonosians and characters who have a much smaller stature (Tsui Choi, some of the podracers) or have a smaller skeletal structure (kaminoans, some of the podracers).

Having said that, do the design that Lucasfilm have created make it harder (from a design, engineering and cost perspective) for you to turn them into 3 3/4inch figures? Does or has this level of detail/complexity effect your line-up choices? Is there anything that you have been trying to do, but just cannot get it "right" and have put it in the "too hard basket"...at least for now?
 
ANSWER:  Generally, the challenges of both are equal but different. There are positives and negatives to both the Classic and Prequels. In the classics, props had to be created using pieces of real objects, but had to be constructed to make us feel that they were futuristic and other-worldly.

This was due in some part to the limitations in technology which made the prop/set designers work under more “real-world” restraints. These restraints created unique and in some cases more believable design solutions. Conversely, the CGI technology of the modern era allowed Star Wars to explore more conceptual designs. However, these design do not always have to meet restraints of actual physics (ie. R2 fitting into a CGI starfighter that is not thick enough for him to fit in or a Destroyer droid that unrolls but the CGI parts actually occupy the same space in ball form.) The challenge with CGI is to really create an object so that you believe to be real. In both cases, the goal is to transport us to different time and place but the means to get there are different. As for actual sculpting difficulties, small characters are fine, since the demands for articulation on these characters are usually relaxed (and there are plenty of small figures in the OTC as well, including Yoda, Jawas, and Ugnaughts. Anything that is taller but very thin (like Battle Droids legs) pose a challenge from the standpoint of making sure there is enough articulation to meet collector needs.

We can sculpt pretty much anything, and we can get anything to move, but getting them to look great (like the on-screen version), move, and be durable and not fall over, is the biggest challenge.
 

QUESTION:  This question is in to a background Tatooine vehicle - The 9000 Z001 Landspeeder, (the UFO like craft that's parked outside the Cantina to the right of the front entrance when Luke & Obi-Wan arrive & walk in). To date, apart from the one included in the Mos Eisley Lego set, I believe there has been no toy made of this unique vehicle to speak of.
Will we ever see this make it's debut in the 3&3/4" line some day? As a huge OT fan - & particularly of EPIV, this would simply be a dream come true for me!

ANSWER:  We have actually thought about doing that before, but put the idea aside since there are still many more great, aggressive vehicles yet to do.  Someday we could look at it, but it will probably be a long while.
 

QUESTION:  The Titanium Series collectibles was effectively ignored at Toy Fair this year. Does this represent a lack of interest in the brand, or nothing more than a lack of product to show?
 
ANSWER:  We could not cover everything at Toy Fair this year, and Titanium was one of the lines that we just didn't have the space and time to explore fully. Rest assured that the basic vehicle assortment will continue on for a long, long time. We have a lot of great vehicles, and quite a few new tools, coming up later this year and are developing many exciting entries for 2009 as well. We plan to take a more in-depth deep dive at Comic Con this Summer..
 



To be continued.

« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 04:07:52 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2008, 03:56:26 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of March 20th, 2008 - Part 3



RAVING TOY MANIAC

QUESTION:  Why do the Walmart exclusives seem to be so scarce? The Jabba's Palace entertainers showed up in Michigan for the first time the first week of March, 2008. In other parts of the country they've already been clearanced out. The exclusive comic packs still can't be found around here. This doesn't seem to happen with the Toys R Us and Target exclusives, although last year's Target exclusive battle packs did go very fast.

ANSWER:  Not all WM stores will carry Star Wars exclusives, due to different store layouts (amount of space decidated to toys) or the relative strength of the store as it indexes to Star Wars sales. In other cases, it may take a while for the exclusives (or any item in general) to actually get out of the distribution center, and, once in store, to get out of the back room to shelves. We have no other explanation for why the Jabba's Palace sets you saw actually got to the shelf months after most other stores had theirs.


QUESTION:  Why do the build-a-droid R7 droids have jet boosters on them and will they be removable?

ANSWER:  We added them to put additonal play and functionality in the Droid Factory figures. The good news is that yes, they are removable.


QUESTION:  Regarding the SW Legacy Line's Bane Malor, is the bandolier covering his chest removable? Also, is the helmet removable? And is the head ball-jointed?

ANSWER:  The bandolier will not be removable, nor will the helmet be (there is no face sculpted for him). The head will be ball-jointed and can be removed.




REBELSCUM

QUESTION:  Many collectors are passing on the Fett evolution set and are wanting some changes to Boba and Jango. Jango is too purple and should be more blue, Boba's color is off and he is missing the icon on his chest plate. The helmets on both are somewhat warped as well. Is there any chance that Boba and Jango will see single carded releases with these changes?

ANSWER:  The Evolution of the Fett clan will run through 2009, and we will be updating to a version with the tampo (a regrettable error). Right now, we don't have any plans to offer these on basic figure cards.


QUESTION:  Great job with Toy Fair 2008. The toys look great and I am very excited about all the different things that were shown. One of my favorite items at Toy Fair was the Padmé Legacy Evolutions set. All three figures look great and will make a great addition to the other Padmés. However, I was noticing that of all the Padmés that have been made, there are still no Padmés in her various senator outfits. There are numerous battle Padmés and scene specific ones, including the nightgown/birth one, but none can be used for any of her senator scenes. Does Hasbro plan to release a Padmé in one of her senator outfits soon? Possibly in the 2009 AOTC wave that you have mentioned in previous question and answer threads?

ANSWER:  Thanks for the comments, and we hope all of the Padmé fans like the Evolutions set (we think it came out great and it's worth the wait for some great Padmés). While we don't have a senator outfit in the lineup for 2009, we agree that it should be one of the next ones done when we craft
our next AotC wave. So while it won't be as soon as you like, it won't be too long (hopefully) before we get to Senator Amidala.


QUESTION:  I would like to say thank you again for the upcoming release of V-19 Torrent Starfighter and TIE-Defender. I was wondering since you have released a number of ships and vehicles ranging for the six episodes,Clone Wars,and EU if you plan to release the following ships and vehicles within the next year or two:

Sith Fighter
UT-AT
SPHA-T
Naboo Yacht
Eclipse-Class Star Destroyer
E-wing
Republic Carrier
Imperial Transport (ANH special edition)

ANSWER:  We assume you mean Titanium. Yes you can look for some of these vehicles in 2009. Specifically we have plans for the E-wing, Republic Carrier, & UT-AT. Thanks for your continued support of Titanium. Keep your eyes open for these new ships and many more.




SANDTROOPERS

QUESTION:  With the new release of the clone wars AT-TE vehicle coming up, are there going to be any more plans for producing more large scaled vehicles?  Is it going to depend on the sales of the AT-TE?

Im stoked to see Hasbro making larger Star Wars vehicles.  The one vehicle I would love to see the most is the Clone Turbo Tank.  Im sure a lot of other collectors especially ones who collect mostly clone trooper figures would go into a frenzy if Hasbro planned on doing this!

ANSWER:  We do think that the large vehicle format is the way to go to unlock the excitement of the Clone Wars, but whether we do another one will depend greatly on how this one does and what other vehicles await in the Clone Wars animation.  By this Fall, we should know a lot more on both of those scores, but if what we have seen of the early animation holds out for the rest of the series, the future looks very bright.


QUESTION:  Do you have any plans to make more interactive 3 3/4 inch Star Wars action figures? The R2-D2 that beeps and flashes when you press a button on his chest, or the Chewbacca that carried C-3PO with eyes that lit up are recent examples. I understand that costs could be a factor early on, but why not an entire line of staple Star Wars figure with similar interactivity? A Vader with a light saber that would glow red and makes the famous breathing sound when pressed, or a Stormtrooper th at yelled "stop right there" and the tip of his gun would glow red when pressed, would make exciting figures!

ANSWER:  Interesting question.  The biggest obstacles are the extra cost of electronics, and being able to incoporate them in a way that does not detract from the aesthetics of the figure. We can't afford to put lights and sounds in many 3-3/4" figures in the "basic" price point because of the added expense; if we did, we would have to take cost out elsewhere to be able to afford them. We could look at a higher price point (as we have done in the past for FX figures), but aside from droids, we don't think that the electronics within figures add all that much to the 3-3/4" play pattern. If we could afford the cost, perhaps the more serious challenge is where we can actually hide the electronics in the human figures. On figures like R2-D2, electronics and asethetics can be combined relatively seemlessly because of R2's relative lack of articulation and body width that can accomodate the guts (electronics & battery). On humans, something would have to give if the electronics were inside the figures - like an an increase in chest size, and certainly decreased shoulder/arm articulation.
 

QUESTION:  In a recent Q&A about the Vintage Line, you made this comment:

"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."

I'm not sure how you're getting to that conclusion. There were 92 figures in the original Kenner line, not to mention how many characters were never realized in plastic. So far, there have been a total of 23 figures in your "vintage" line, so you've still got close to 70 figures to make, just to catch up with Kenner  . I understand that you're looking at "core" characters, and not all of the original Kenner figures were of "core" characters, but if you're aiming this Vintage line at older collectors who remember the original vintage line and are looking to spark some nostalgia, ANY of the original Kenner figu res would do that.

ANSWER:  Of course there are plenty of solid figures left, but you are assuming that all vintage figures sell-through to collectors at the same rate.  Actually, they do not. Core characters and strong troop builders do the best, with lesser-known characters trailing behind.  Why this is, especially when the recent mail-in redemptions encourage even purchase across the line, is still a bit of a mystery but does point to the fact that we need to craft Vintage waves with the same sensibilities with which we approach basic figures...a mix of core strong heroes to support the smaller-run more obscure characters.  In the main basic figure line, it is easier to compensate a number of lower-volume characters, but in a smaller assortment like vintage, each and every choice is important to helping us get to where we need to be volume-wise.




SIR STEVE'S GUIDE

QUESTION:  Should Hasbro ever decide to revisit the Ishi Tib species with a new figure, would you be more inclined to do one from Jabba's palace first, the prequels, or would you want to update the figure from 1998 of the unnamed rebel?

ANSWER:  We would probably go with an OTC version. While an Ishi Tib is not in any planend waves for the next couple of years, it is a good candidate for eventually updating since there is also a vintage precedent.


QUESTION:  With the upcoming Comic Pack figure of Cade Skywalker, you seem to have nailed his look, but he doesn't seem to be coming with his green lightsaber. Might that be rectified in time for the figure's release since it's unlikely we'll be seeing another Cade Skywalker figure for a while? Cade's even holding the hilt on the cover of Legacy #2, and after all, your figure of Quinlan Vos wasn't entirely accurate to the issue he came with, instead opting for his more popular look, so why not give Cade his saber?

ANSWER:  Originally, it was planned that Cade would have a saber hilt. However, the hard copy was misplaced and by the time the mistake was discovered, it could not be included. We decided to release as is (since he has his blaster rifle).


QUESTION:  While it's our site policy to avoid rumors, our readers have been wound up a bit on this one so they demanded we ask.... It seems like there was a lot of hype and rumor about a new Millennium Falcon vehicle for the main line, including the leak of a Target DCPI number that came with the AT-TE - which Hasbro is indeed materializing. There was a lot of expectation that Hasbro would unveil both the AT-TE and this new Millennium Falcon at Toy Fair, and while the former appeared, the latter did not, so might you comment on these Falcon rumors at all? If nothing else, a simple confirmation or denial would ease a lot of collector tension.

ANSWER:  We have no comment on anything to do with a Millenium Falcon item, other than to say that it is not our policy to comment on certain rumors especially as they pertain to items that may appear in the Target (or any other retailer's) computers. Often, there is a reason for this secrecy because some items may be part of that retailers promotional tactics such as the Ultimate Battle Packs at Target. Whether or not there is another such concept in development will not be commented upon for this reason.




To be continued.
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2008, 04:07:19 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of March 20th, 2008 - Part 4



SW COLLECTOR

QUESTION:  I'm pretty excited about the Droid Factory concept and think it's like the coolest idea ever. Will we see R2, R3, and R5 astromechs join the line along side the announced R4 and R7 models? And do you know what the duration of this line will be? I'd like to see it go on as long as possible! -- pod

ANSWER:  Thanks for the great word … we are excited about Droid Factory ourselves and hope that it has a long, long run. The answer to your question is yes, yes, and yes … all three models are in the 2009 lineup.


QUESTION:  THE FORCE UNLEASHED Evolutions set is awesome, and the Secret Apprentice character's three separate identities look really cool. But, in the character art used on the box, the Sith Lord is using two red-bladed sabers that look like the one packed in the hands of the Apprentice figure, while the art for the Apprentice shows him wielding the pronged saber packed with the Sith Lord figure. Which depictions would be more game-accurate? -- aj1563

ANSWER:  They are both game-accurate (as of this writing). For more info on the game itself, you will have to wait and see when TFU debuts later this year.


QUESTION:  2008's Legacy Collection looks like it will be off to a great start with the Clone Wars and RETURN OF THE JEDI waves. Will this line's packaging be incorporated into the Comic Packs and Evolutions sets, or will those continue to sport 30th Anniversary Collection-style packages? -- Darth Zirock

ANSWER:  The enite Star Wars line will switch over to the blue & white motiff shownat Toy Fair. The 30th line look will give away on 7/26 to the new look.




THE JAWA

QUESTION:  Why is it that the GI Joe line figures come with stands and more articulation that SW, yet are still $2 on average cheaper than SW figures? $6.99 average for SW versus $4.99 for GI Joe? When SW basic figures were first given stands, we were told the price increase from $5.99 to $6.99 was necessary to cover the cost of the stand?

ANSWER:  You can't necessarily compare across lines in an apples-to-apples manner.  There are a host of other parameters used in establishing and setting our targets.  Lucasfilm royalties are also one factor that we must build into our line which other brands will not have.
 

QUESTION:  Any chance of releasing any of the exclusive set Galactic Heroes figures in the regular line of 2-packs? I know a lot of collectors that didn't buy the Cinema Scenes because they had every figure save one or two (Leia from Hoth, Jar Jar and Qui-Gon from Naboo, etc.). Any chance we can get those without spending the $30 for the entire set, even if they were repainted in some form?

ANSWER:  We don't have any plans right now to release those figures in the 2-pack line.  Instead, we are working hard to try and make as many of the figures in the Cinema Scenes unique as possible so collectors feel that they are "must have" sets to complement the 2-packs.  Could they appear someday? It's always a possibility, but for now they will remain exclusive.


QUESTION:  We're getting Force Unleashed 3.75" figures, and Unleashed Battlepacks... any chance of some Force Unleashed characters showing up in your other lines, like Galactic Heroes? Please?? And what are the chances that we could get some other Expanded Universe characters in the Galactic Heroes line, like Quinlan Vos and Darth Revan?

ANSWER:  Interesting question!  Other than bringing in upcoming Clone Wars characters, we don't have any plans to dip into the EU for Galactic Heroes for the foreseeable future.  It doesn't mean we won't at some point, but right now with so many great film characters yet to be made in GH, and Clone Wars bringing a lot of kids to the format, that's where we'll be putting our emphasis.  You never can tell what he future of GH will bring, though; it does have a strong collector following in addition to kids, so we will look to keep it relevant to all audiences.




THE PRIVATE UNIVERSE

QUESTION:  You've pretty much nailed all of the core characters from the original trilogy in terms of sculpts, articulation and variants now (with the prequels catching up). So, what's next in terms of innovation for the brand at this scale ? Can articulation be improved any further, or do the materials prohibit it ? Will we see any more attempts to introduce electronics in 3 3/4" figures ? Perhaps another attempt at the Force FX technology for sabre-weilding characters ?

ANSWER:  As for innovation in 3-3/4", there are three things we are continuing to refine: pack-in concepts like the Droid Facory in which every figure gets a piece of a larger collection (the sequel to the 30th Anniversary coins), as well as continuing to push the envelope on soft goods, and updating/producing new unproduced characters with the current aesthetics and articulation. We think we're at a good place with articulation and sculpting aesthetics overall, with most characters having as much as we think they need. We pretty much pack in as much as we can for each wave (we simply can't super-articulate everything, for cost reasons). As for electronics, it's also a question of cost as well as aesthetics. We can't afford to put lights and sounds in many 3-3/4" figures in the "basic" price point because of the added expense; if we did, we would have to take cost out elsewhere to be able to afford them. We could look at a higher price point (as we have done in the past for FX figures), but aside from droids, we don't think that the electronics within figures add all that much to the 3-3/4" basic figures play pattern.


QUESTION:  With the success of the Battle Pack format in the Star Wars line, can we expect to see something similar for Indy ? "Rope Bridge Showdown" containing Indy, the aforementioned rope bridge, Thuggee's and crocodiles would be neat ! You've already introduced the concept of multi-packs of army builders with the German Soldier 2-pack (and fans are loving you for it), so the recreation of specific scenes with some environment elements thrown in would certainly be well-received.

ANSWER:  We are looking at some IJ battle pack concepts, and the one you mention is a possibility either for the Deluxe assortment or battle packs at some future point.


QUESTION:  The figures in the Indy line all appear to have ball-jointed heads. The customising-orientated among us would like to know if the neck posts / ball and sockets are of similar dimensions so that quick swaps can be achieved (eg, Indy head on a German Soldier body = instant Indy in German Soldier Disguise / Cario Indy head on KotCS jacketless Indy body = super-articulated Cairo Indy) ?

ANSWER:  We have sculpted IJ with standard head and neck post sizes, but as with Star Wars, our Asian engineering team and the factory do what they feel is needed for production of the figure. This means that some figures change in neck post size and they won't always be consistent. Since timely manufacturing and durability are two of our most important parameters, we often give ground on some of the more minor issues like universal part sizes.




YAKFACE


QUESTION:  What were the determining factors that went into producing the Jedi Legacy Evolutions Set. Granted Qui-Gon needed the revision, but why another Bultar Swan since we just received a version of her in the Purge Comic Pack?

Also regarding this set: There are several pre-existing Jedi accessories available that wouldn't require investments in "new" tooling (communicators, lightsaber hilts, aquabreathers, cloaks, robes etc.) why were they not included with this set?

ANSWER:  After doing the Bultar Swan in the comic pack, we felt that we were missing the actual on-sccreen version of her and so she became a great candidate to slot into our Jedi pack. Also, we wanted to get a nice, articulated female Jedi body that we could use down the road as needed....so she actually fit two needs in that pack. As for other accessories, we put in what we could afford for these sets. Most of our costing is tied up in the new tools and deco so we used everything we could spare (the additional soft goods robes are expensive, so we could just do the one)


QUESTION:  Another Evolutions question: There are currently 3 packaging variants of the Fett Legacy set that have been produced dealing with corrections to the film designation above Boba Fett (1 ROTJ printed, ESB sticker, ESB printed), but the Boba Fett figure itself is still missing the proper symbol on his chest. Will this be addressed in subsequent production runs of this set and/or figure?

ANSWER:  The symbol issue was brought to our attention by fans, and we put a change into effect as quickly as we learned about it. At this point we do not have a precise date when the set will be affected, but it might not be until July at this point. This has been a tough set! We want to get it perfect in one shop, but that's not always possible, and this one unfortunately suffered the two errors but we're thankful we have a chance to correct it.


QUESTION:  I have a question regarding the Legacy "Deleted Scene" wave. I can't help but notice that the Leia from this scene is missing from this themed-wave. Is this figure in the works or will a new Slave Leia be done instead?

ANSWER:  Interesting question. The "deleted scene" Leia is not in the lineup for that wave because we couldn't fit her in, but we do plan on doing the Sandstorm version of her eventually (no specific date has been announced). However, your specific question about another Slave Leia being in the works first is very prescient. We do not have details to offer, but if all goes according to plans we'll see a new one in the EpVI wave planned for '09.




YODAS NEWS


QUESTION:  We know that Hasbro is in contact with Lucasfilm and they give you the material for figure designs. Is it possible that you could request that some of your unique figures designs example (mace windus purple clones, Kashyyyk deco battle droids etc) could be inserted into expanded universe material like the clone wars tv series, as to give these figures some recognition?

ANSWER:  While we do not have any input as to what gets into the entertainment, all of the characters from various media (whether they be from the shows, comics, books, and even toys) do get incorporated into the Lucasfilm database. In this way, they become part of the expanded storyline that other groups could draw from if they so chose.


QUESTION:  Now that you have put the super articulated touch to the 501st clone, can you please move the Clone Commando to the top of the list of the clones who need super articulation? Great figure when scorch came out and the exclusive ones are cool as well, but after just getting the new comic 2 pack all white one, I really noticed how limited his posability is. Really what he needs is knees and ankles and that would be a big improvement over the current figure. Oh, and as a nit pick, shouldn't the visor on the white commando have a blue tint just like scorch's visor?

ANSWER:  We agree that the Clone Commando is in need of an SA figure. As of this writing, we don’t have one slotted in but will look for a way to update it to SA when we have a chance.


QUESTION:  This one is a Indiana Jones question, With the Adventure Heroes Line will we also see play sets and environments like with Star Wars? Something along the lines of the Cantina Sets and Falcon sets?

ANSWER:  Not initially, but eventually we hope to get to do some Cinema Scene-type ideas as the line continues into future years.




Keep checking back for more sites to be added.  And check back for our Q&A headlines, where we sift through all of this week's Q&A's to give you the real news.
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