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« on: April 26, 2008, 05:04:08 AM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of April 25th, 2008



JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES

QUESTION:  The Hasbro ventures into the EU have begun to get more and more interesting with each passing month.  The comic 2-packs have been a great addition to the line.  And now we're starting to see forays into figures/vehicles that are derived from reference material such as the Hoth Speederbike patrol battle pack.  Could we see more EU exploration that draws from reference art in the near future?  I know there's an image of Dooku as a Jedi Master with the much talked about Jedi Master Sypho Dias that drew my eye from THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO THE FORCE.

ANSWER:  Chuck - our exploration into this world has been carefully managed to keep a "film-first" focus, but based on the success so far fans have indeed shown a strong appreciation for the efforts and we see about the same balance continuing going forward into 2009 and beyond. Master Sypho Dias is certainly a character that has been on our wish lists for some time, and while he isn't in the line-up yet, with time we have a feeling he will be someone we'll want to explore.  Based on the intriguing mention in EpII alone we think he would make an interesting basic figure possibility
someday.
 

QUESTION:  In our Q&A session a few weeks ago, we asked about the starfighter vehicle assortment in the Clone Wars line.  One of the fighters that was mentioned was the Anakin Skywalker modified starfighter.  Can you please clarify if this be the blue and white Jedi starfighter from the original Clone Wars line?  Or can we expect a yellow and grey decoed version of the Delta 7 Aethersprite Jedi Starfighter like the one that LEGO has already released?

ANSWER:  In our mainline Starfighter vehicle assortment, we will be releasing Anakin's blue/white modified Starfighter from the (original) Clone Wars line, last released in 2004.  Look for this later this Fall.


QUESTION:  The 2008 Commander Gree figure was a huge improvement over the previous version, not just in likeness but in overall sculpt and articulation. Is there any chance we will see more uses of that sculpt in other clones such as the Utapau Clone or a Shock Trooper?

ANSWER:  The Gree tooling is very specific to him so we wouldn't use it for any other character.  However, he has some nice articulation features that turned out well, and there is a possibility that down the road we would do other core Clones with this model.  Right now, we don't have any specific updates planned, but the Utapau Battalion would be a good one (along with Shocks).




And now to run through the collecting community:


ACTION FIGS

QUESTION:  Might the build-a-droid concept be applied to other build-a-whatever ideas such as build-a-beast or a piece of scenery?

ANSWER:  We have had discussions on other types of things we could do if there were no limit, but right now there are no other plans beyond Droid Factory.


QUESTION:  After six years, you've finally made a highly articulated Jango Fett figure that has a great sculpt and lots of articulation. Trouble is, his jumpsuit is a garish shade of lavender that never appears in the film or any EU source, the one in the film was a far more muted, bluish tone. Was this an error or intentional, and if in error, will it be corrected in future shipments?

ANSWER:  It was intentional. We don't plan a running change for this set (other than to add the tampo that was omiitted for the first run of Boba Fett).


QUESTION:  In the Galactic Heroes line we have gotten an AT-AT Commander and Driver figures, and now several new vehicles and beasts. Might that increase chances of getting a Galactic Heroes AT-AT?

ANSWER:  We would certainly like to do an AT-AT at some point. If kids and fans continue to show an increasing appetite for GH, we'd say there is a strong possibility. For now, we continue to be focused on the Cinema Scenes and an AT-AT is just too big a beast for that format.




GALACTIC HUNTER

QUESTION:  Can we expect more product for The Force Unleashed in the 3¾" line later this year to coincide with the release of the video game in September? You've stated that there won't be any more basic line figures, but is it possible to see more new characters like Proxy and Shaak Ti released in another The Force Unleashed Battle Pack? What about plans for any vehicles, such as the Rogue Shadow. If you're reluctant to divulge specific details before Comic Con, can you at least confirm whether or not you have plans for more NEW The Force Unleashed toys beyond what's already been revealed? (From reader Shabby Blue)

ANSWER:  Beyond the Wal-Mart 3-packs, and one special promotional Stormtrooper Commander figure, there will be no more The Force Unleashed figures this year. We are looking at the possibility of doing Shaak Ti at some point, but Proxy really isn't in our plans for the foreseeable future as we are focusing on other characters for our EU offerings.


QUESTION:  Will you ever rerelease the Tri-Droid retooled as the Octuptarra Droid with the different guns, legs and eyes? (From reader Rune Haako)

ANSWER:  That's an interesting variant we could do someday. While we don't have any plans for it now, there is a really good bet that it will happen someday.


QUESTION:  We've heard rumblings several times of a Death Star Escape themed wave and/or Battle Pack in the Third Quarter. Is there any merit to this? (Obviously Hasbro knows we'd like nicely articulated Han Solo and Luke Skywalker as Stormtroopers, a revised Princess Leia, and some other third-reel goodness.) Are Original Trilogy fans going to be overlooked as The Clone Wars rage?

ANSWER:  While there is an EpIV wave slated for the end of the year, there is no "Death Star Escape" theme to it (we're not sure where that rumor came from but it seems to be persistent on several fan sites - we have never, not even conceptually, had such a wave planned). However, we can indeed confirm that SA Stormtrooper versions of our heroes *are* finally coming as part of the EpIV wave along with some more surprises that will be revealed at Comic Con.

 
QUESTION:  As a follow-up to your revelation of a new Princess Leia - Slave Girl and Sandstorm Princess Leia planned for 2009, can you clarify if these are meant to be one in the same, or two separate figures coming next year? If they are one and the same, can we expect Sandstorm Princess Leia to accurately resemble the Princess Leia - Slave Girl we know once the cloak and goggles are removed? (From Shabby Blue)
 
ANSWER:  Regarding Slave Leia, we have had a bit of a change-up in our plans and will clarify.  Originally, we wanted to do the Sandstorm Leia, but have instead selected a different version of Leia for our EpVI wave.  We think that you will find this Princess Leia every bit as interesting, if not more so (that's all the info we can give!).  We will eventually get to Sandstorm Leia, but we think you will like what we have for her in '09.




IMPERIAL SHIPYARDS

QUESTION:  Dear Hasbro, with the re-emerging interest in the Expanded Universe, do you plan to include troopers that you can army build? I would love SOTE Coruscant Guard and Imperial Commando. Also the Brown Imperial Officer, Yellow and Red Patched Field Stormtroopers and the Imperial Commando from DF II. However, the figure I want most has to be Xandel Carivus' Bodyguard Troops. I will do anything to get these made. I even paid to have customs of them made, but I want official ones, I would gladly sell you my soul to make them!

ANSWER:  Some of our packs do indeed have troop building components such as the current Republic Commando/Super Battle Droid, and the WM exclusive Kasshyyyk Clone/Wookiee set. We plan to continue these here and there as we go forward with the line but will not make it an overt focus. Specifically regarding the figures you suggest, we do not have a way of doing Dark Forces in the comic packs, but some of the others may be possible someday if the line continues. We especially like the Xandel Carivus' personal guard from Crimson Empire II as well, but to be honest the chances of this one happening in the next couple of years is slim given the other more prominent figures we are planning.


QUESTION:  Dear Hasbro, Since quite a few of Dooku's Dark Acolytes have already been made into figures (including Asajj Ventress, Tol Skorr, Sora Bulq and Quinlan Vos) I'm wondering if there is hope for some of the remaining Acolytes like the female Chiss Confederacy General Sev'rance Tann, Zabrak female Kadrian Sey, and possibly more evil looking versions of Bulq and Vos?

ANSWER:  That's a very cool theme you have identified that unites a lot of cool characters. We don't have any of them planned specifically, but we know the evil version of Sora Bulq is out there as a pretty easy update at some point. An update like this to Vos would probably be a ways off because we will be getting to our second Vos version at the end of this year and want to spread it around rather than do him again in such a short time As for new characters, Kadrian Sey is interesting because of the comic reference, but Tann is much more iffy since her video game appearance is a little more obscure.


QUESTION:  Are there plans to expand on the novel characters seeing there is a rise in EU, especially in the games and the comics. I know there are a few in the pipeline but it seems many new major characters are sparse.

ANSWER:  They are sparse currently, but we will be exploring some key ones a few at a time - most likely as part of any basic figure EU waves or occasional entires like NJO Luke or "crossover" characters in the Mando packs and comic packs. But we are thinking of ways to bring the novels in whenever we can.




JEDI INSIDER

QUESTION:  Even though we've seen tons of images and details on the new BMF Falcon, can we get an official confirmation that this is coming, when will it be released, what the SRP will be, and will it be a store exclusive?

ANSWER:  Can we say we held back confirmation because we really couldn't believe it ourselves that it was happening, and didn't want to dash hopes if it somehow fell through? No? OK then, it is time to come clean. As most people have seen by now, pictures did get leaked of what we were hoping would be the biggest secret we ever held onto - the massive, new 3-3/4" Millennium Falcon. We can confirm that it *is* real, and it *is* spectacular! Please trust us when we say that our intentions were truly in the right place - we wanted to surprise fans everywhere with the biggest secret we had ever tried to hold back leading up to the massive 7/26 launch date for Clone Wars/Legacy. We do expect the first availability to be 7/26 at the same time as everything else. We have been working against a reveal plan, including a world debut in Wired Magazine (June issue, on sale in May!), followed by some very key celebrity reviews and additional exposure prior to the public debut at Comic Con. At least that was our intention...with something like this, as big as it is, and as intense the interest is in Star Wars, it proved impossible to hold. Look for additional details to roll out as per the schedule above, and look forward to the full public debut at Comic Con.


QUESTION:  First seen at Toy Fair, the Droid Factory 2 packs with the Hoth Han Solo figure has the R-3PO who was first released in 2004. Will the new R-3PO figure feature the silver/white highlights that were absent in this toy's previous release?

ANSWER:  R-3PO will be pretty much as shown at Toy Fair - without the highlights.


QUESTION:  Is there any kind of midnight maddness release event planned for the Clone Wars toys like we've seen with previous movie releases?

ANSWER:  Each retailer is shaping up its plans, and it is too early to reveal any specifics. Trust us to say that 7/26 will be a HUGE date for Star Wars, and folks should plan on marking that date down on calendars. More details as they become available!




JEDIDEFENDER

QUESTION:  Over the past 2 years, you guys have really been going to town on the characters from the ToyFare 2006 Fan Choice Poll. Over half of the “Top 25” finalists from that poll have been made into figures, with a few more rumored for 2009. Sounds like it’s time for a new poll, don’t you think? ?

ANSWER:  Yes indeed, yes indeed. We have to say that poll was a great way to get the pulse of what resonates with fans, and it has been a great inspiration as we have planned out the line. At our current count, by the end of 2009, we will have released 18 of the 25 choices with another 3-4 likely in the 2010 line. We do think it's time for a new poll (perhaps with a retrospective) and will talk with Toy Fare about the possibilities. Stay tuned!


QUESTION:  At Toy Fair, there was little info on the planned “1st Day of Issue" summer launch promotion for Clone Wars and Legacy (all we saw was the example sticker on a cardback). Do you have any more details that you can share on this promotion yet?

ANSWER:  The "1st Day of Issue" foil variants will be like the UGHs in prior years in that they will be a special hunt variation that is differentiated by packaging only. This includes a sticker and foil version of the logo. The difference in timing is that this year, these variants will be available only during first shipment of product to support our 7/26 launch, so literally collectors will want to try and get to retail that very first day or week. Segments that will have a 1st Day of Issue version will be the Clone Wars basic figures and Legacy/Droid Factory only. Some other segments will have foil logos for a while (including the new Titanium and Evolutions) but these will not be variants but the main issue of those lines, and these will not officially be part of the 1st Day of Issue special run.


QUESTION:  A few questions on the Deluxe Map Room Indy with Ark set. Why no poles (or even rings for poles) on the Ark? Will there be another Ark released later with the rings and poles? And where’s the Staff of Ra? Will there be a single-carded Map Room Indy released on down the line, with the Staff of Ra included?

ANSWER:  The Deluxe pack is a bit of a hybrid but one we felt we needed to get out early since both this version of Indy and the Ark are so important. It was added later, so that is why the staff is in with the Belloq in Ceremonial disguise basic figure. The rings and poles weren't in the scope for this one, but could be a possibility down the road.




JEDI NEWS

QUESTION:  Is there any more information on the “1st Day of Issue” variants that were revealed at Toy Fair and will these be available in the UK?  Is the difference between these and regular figures just the “1st Day of Issue” sticker or is there more to it?  Finally, on the same subject, is this the equivalent of the foil carded UGH figures from the previous two years?

ANSWER:  The "1st Day of Issue" foil variants will be like the UGHs in prior years in that they will be a special hunt variation that is differentiated by packaging only.  This includes a sticker and foil version of the logo.

The difference in timing is that this year, these variants will be available only during first shipment of product to support our 7/26 launch, so literally collectors will want to try and get to retail that very first day or week.  Segments that will have a 1st Day of Issue version will be the Clone Wars basic figures and Legacy/Droid Factory only.  Some other segments will have foil logos for a while (including the new Titanium and Evolutions) but these will not be variants but the main issue of those lines, and these will not officially be part of the 1st Day of Issue special run.


QUESTION:  What’s the possibility of releasing replacement weapon/accessory packs for the 3¾” figures since these are the first items that go missing?

ANSWER:  We hear you, and have decided to include special weapons packs as a plus-up feature in the new Saga Legends line coming this Fall.  As the other basic figure lines have added value features (launching weapons in Clone Wars, and Droid parts in Legacy/Droid Factory), this was a great way to round out the Saga Legends line.  Each cardboard weapons locker (similar to the little box that houses the relic in the Indiana Jones line) will have 5 clone weapons - the same weapons in every single Saga Legends figure.


QUESTION:  Have Hasbro thought about setting up an official website that allows collectors to tick off their collection against everything ever released (including variants)?  StarWars.com and others have tried this before but it’s not been up-to-date for a while now and doesn’t necessarily include variants – you’re obviously best placed to do this.

ANSWER:  That is a pretty big task and right now, well beyond our abilities to devote the time and attention to go backward and cover past years.  We will take a look at this for the current year and going forward - however, we think that the existing fansites remain the best way to get a comprehensive view of the recent past.

« Last Edit: April 26, 2008, 06:39:36 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2008, 05:20:03 AM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of April 25th, 2008 - PART 2


MOUSEDROID

QUESTION:  I recall a while back in a previous Q&A, that the question of whether an updated Tatooine Landspeeder for the 3&3/4' line being on the cards was asked, & your response was basically that while nothing was being planned in the immediate future, it was a vehicle you do intend to revisit at some stage down the track.

Can you please give us an indication as to how far away down the track you're talking, or is there something on the horizon that you've kept under your collective hats till now & that possibly our patience might hopefully be rewarded sooner than later?

ANSWER:  We still do not have any news on an updated Landspeeder as our focus has been on other vehicles. It still remains one of those "wishlist" updates that someday we hope to get to while we are concentrating on more of the flying vehicles and some other interesting twists. Thanks for hanging in there.
 

QUESTION:  Firstly I just like to say that I love the comic packs. They are a great concept. Without them I feel that there are a lot of figures that would probably never be produced.

With that in mind, "The Stark Hyperspace War" (Dark Horse: Star Wars (Republic) #36-39) offers the opertunity for you to produce a teenage version of both Obi-Wan & Quinlan Vos. Would we be likely to see these as park of a comic pack? Issue 38 would be a good choice. Or would you be more likely to do other characters first?
 
ANSWER:  We're glad you like the comic packs - we certainly enjoy doing them. As you say, by exploring this rich story-telling arena in collaboration with Dark Horse, we are able to get some compelling characters out there who would never otherwise have a chance to shine in the main basic figure line. For the Stark Hyperspace storyline, it's interesting you bring this series up.

Our feeling is that it's still a little too early in our exploration of the EU to introduce younger versions of our characters, especially Jedi like Quinlan Vos, who only recently got his first figure (with another one to come later this year or beginning of '09). So while Stark remains "on the list" with interesting possibilities like those you mention (along with a younger Tarkin and Aayla), we probably won't be doing anything with the series for a while yet.
 

QUESTION:  My question is in regards to the new Saga Legends SA 501st clone that is shipping as we speak. Previously, it was the Tactical Ops clone that was released - within a very shape specific blister bubble mold on the card.

It was posed with a wide stance inside the bubble which was fine, because it had ball jointed hips. Recently I've discovered that you're packing the new SA 501st figure in the exact same blister bubble mold & this presents an immediate concern. The SA #41 clone figures didn't have ball jointed hips, & packing them in such a bubble mold stretches out the legs which in turn causes them to warp.

Will this new figure continue to be shipped in the Tactical Ops bubble mold, or will the matter be rectified in the near future?

ANSWER:  As far as we know, the blister was not changed (if it was, we have not seen the changes). Sometimes our factory will make updates as needed for the figure, but in this case we have not heard of anything that needed to change to accommodate his articulation. The production run is complete at this point and no changes will be possible if it was not updated at the factory level. We have opened several samples ourselves and the figure came out perfectly each time, so hopefully this will not be an issue.
 



RAVING TOY MANIAC

QUESTION:  One of your competitors mentioned that they have a "formula" for character selection when creating a wave of action figures (2 heroes, 1 villain, 1 female, etc). Can you share what Hasbro's "formula" is when creating a Star Wars wave?

ANSWER:  We ideally anchor our waves with updates or new versions "hero" characters that satisfy the dual kid and collector audiences. When we are satisfied we have the kid "traction" we need for each wave, we then lay in the collector-specific figures in the right proportion to round out the wave. Given the tremendous range of Star Wars characters and the themes we select we don't work against a hard selection model like you describe but more go by whether the proposed lineup will satisfy all audiences.


QUESTION:  The Clone Wars figures shown at Australian Toy Fair look really cool - especially the "fully accessorized" R2D2 and "swappable arms" for the General Grievous. Any chance of seeing these improvements carried over to their respective characters in the non-animated line?

ANSWER:  We probably wouldn't do swappable arms for Grievous in the Legacy line. Instead, we'd probably stick with the current strategy of doing quality articulated versions of his iconic forms instead. The R2 is an interesting possibility for down the road, but there are so many accessories/gadgets/powers from the movies that it would be tough to fit them all in. It's an interesting challenge for some day, though.


QUESTION:  What is the projected character depth/diversity of the Mighty Muggs line? Just as examples, can we expect a Mighty Muggs Jabba and a Mighty Muggs Salacious Crumb, or will we be lucky to get Mighty Muggs Greedo?

ANSWER:  Greedo is a strong possibility, but we don't have plans, at least for now, for the truly silhouette-busting characters like Jabba (and even R2-D2 is in this camp). The only thing we know for certain is that based on the tremendous response, Mighty Muggs has an exciting future where figures like you mention may be a possibility. But for now, we remain focused on driving the Muggs' unique shape and style across the lines.




REBELSCUM

QUESTION:  When and if you make more figures based on concept art, would you consider any of the concepts that were scrapped when the vintage Kenner line came to an end? Probably one of the most interesting concepts that they came up with was the "Clone Warrior" (seen at theswca.com), which is to my knowledge, one of the earliest Clone Trooper concepts. Not only is he a Clone Trooper from way back in 1985, he has a pretty cool look too!

ANSWER:  That is a great figure. Right now we have been focused on the concept figures generated for the movies that fans have some familiarity with from published sources, but that's a good one to talk to Lucasfilm about for a possibility some day. Thanks for the link.


QUESTION:  In a previous Q&A, you confirmed Kyle Katarn would be in a Comic Pack in 2009. Could you give us any more details about this figure, specifically, will he be in his 'iconic' outfit from Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, or will he be in the newer outfit he was wearing in Jedi Outcast/Jedi Academy?

ANSWER:  He will be based on his appearance in Star Wars Tales #21. You can probably figure out from that who he is paired with..and this will be one sensational pack. We can confirm that his actual sculpt will not be as stocky and muscular as he appears in the comics, but more normally proportioned.


QUESTION:  This question is a 2 parter:

First how was the decision made to go with the generic clone head showing underneath a classic figure such as the stormtrooper, sandtrooper, etc. when it was never done up until that point?

Secondly, being a fan of the new Evolutions Boba Fett finally with a removable helmet (thanks!) what are the chances of doing the same treatment to an AT-AT driver, Tie Fighter Pilot, or Emperor's Royal Guard?

ANSWER:  The decision to put a conventional Clone head did cause some discussion. You can imagine a table full of fans discussing the composition of the Imperial forces...are they Clones? Are they conscripts? Volunteers? (Ah, good times).

Based on what has been written it seems all are valid, but we reasoned that the well-known Jango/Clone face was the one that made the most sense since everyone is familiar with the likeness and did not impart any personality that would come with an unfamiliar face being introduced.

We think that eventually we will get around to doing removable helmet versions of many of the OTC Imperial troops, if not all at some point. We'll probably stick with the Jango/Clone head for these.




SANDTROOPERS

QUESTION:  You mentioned previously that there's a good chance that at some point you'll create an action figure based on Lumiya (the Marvel comics version, and hopefully from her second duel with Luke). Obviously, that figure would be a great candidate for a removable helmet, but would Hasbro consider simply providing two swappable heads for the ball-jointed neck instead?  While I absolutely love removable helmet/mask figures, my concern here is that we will either end up with a tiny Shira Brie "pin head" (as we saw with the Cody figure) or a woefully oversized helmet (as the case was with the Crimson Empire 2-pack figures). Given the likelihod that Hasbro will only make this particular figure once, it'd be incredibly disappointing to see it not done so that both the masked and unmasked Lumiya look as good as possible. Having two heads would enable the sculptor to not compromise the scale of the head or the mask and sculpt the best look possible. As well, the unmasked Shira coul d retain her ponytail from the scene (which a helmet that fits over her head would not likely be able to hide).  And PLEASE Hasbro, no more "comic toon" colors like we saw with Fenn Shysa and Tobi -- these are definitely not appealing to collectors.

ANSWER:  Lumiya will be based on her appearance in Marvel Star Wars #96.  You beat us to the punch, but since you asked….she will come with interchangeable heads for the headress and Shira Brie modes.  This truly is one fantastic set....we should be showing our first peak at Comic Con.  As for Fenn and Tobi - those figures would not exist were it not for the Marvel Comics run.  Based on the popularity of the comic figures so far, a lot of fans are delighted by this part of the comic pack line. You may not like them, but they are true to the source material and we think these upcoming packs are going to really please a lot of people.


QUESTION:  Will Hasbro ever release a soft goods Jawa, or is that something that would likely only be done for the VotC line when/if that is brought back? And does Hasbro have any other approaches for a possible Jawa "light up" eyes down the road e.g. maybe a highly reflective material that simulates "glow" without the need for say electronics?

ANSWER:  Jawa with soft goods is one of those things that we have been "saving" for an eventual Vintage possibility; whether we save it for an eventual return of Vintage or do it elsehwere first remains to be seen.  As we have alluded to before, we have looked at electronics for the eyes but it seems impossible to add in without compromising proportions or articulation of the figure due to the housing needed for the electronics. Interesting suggestion on reflective material to simulate glowing eyes. Thanks for the suggestion.


QUESTION:  Will Hasbro look at other more secure ways to attach jetpacks onto figures? I recently saw a complaint about the Evo Boba figure having a loose jetpack that fell off too easily. That also reminded me of the Commander Cody figure which had a tiny peg for Cody's jetpack that meant the pack would fall off if you even looked at it too hard. Instead of just a peg that pushes into the bac k, why not a clip or some other method that offers a better grip? Commander Gree seemed to be a great way to secure it, more of this maybe?

ANSWER:  We will be looking at clips as needed for certain accessories, but it will still be on a case-by-case basis rather than an overall solution.




SIR STEVE'S GUIDE

QUESTION:  C-3PO's presence in the saga is constant, he speaks the first and last lines, he facilitates the most important deeds, and while fussy his actions helped lead the Rebellion to victory, all while remaining one of the most recognizable cultural Star Wars touchstones, so surely he's an important enough character. That said, C-3PO figures have seemed a bit held back by the insistence on using a vacuum-metalized finish which limits articulation and fine detail. This despite the fact that 3PO's shiny, clean finish is rarely seen in the films. Is there some way we could get a super-articulated C-3PO figure sporting a shiny but not vac-metalized gold paint finish, while avoiding the dull look of the Saga Ultra C-3PO?

ANSWER:  We have had problems getting the shiny appearance of C-3PO on a super-articulated, super-detailed body but we think the Endor Deity version (with the introduction of the knees) gets darn close. We are always looking at new paint that meets the needs of our quality (wear and tear), has a super lustre like vac metal, and is affordable. So far we have not found the perfect paint to achieve all objectives but it remains part of something we are always looking at for C-3PO.


QUESTION:  Will the Republic Gunship be re-released to coincide with the release of the Clone Wars cartoon? Several are featured in the preview, and some even have new deco.

ANSWER:  We can confirm that there is a redeco in the works, but can't release info yet. Look for an announcement in the next month or two via our Republic News posts.


QUESTION:  The 3¾" action figure system has always straddled the toy market - on the one hand it's small enough that kids can have plenty of toys in the system without taking up a lot of space, while on the other it's not as big as many popular action figure scales out there so it's seen as "less product". With yet another round of price increases, this scale seems to be heading for a bit of a quandary: how does a $7.99 Star Wars or Indiana Jones figure in this scale compete with a similarly-priced 5" or 6" figure that sports as much detail and articulation and is perceived as being "more toy for the money". Pack-ins can only take it so far - although obviously you are gambling on the Build-A-Figure concept to take it an extra buck farther - so the question becomes, is there any concern that the eight-dollar Star Wars basic figure will be the pricepoint the brand or the scale itself cannot breach, especially in a sagging toy industry fraught with market-erosion from both video games and the internet, all while during an economic recession? Is there any concern with this price increase over the potential loss of collectors, both hardcore and casual (including kids) alike? You say the majority of your cost concerns are found in new tooling, and the greatest hits-style lines have been selling extremely well for you the past few years, yet the greatest hits-style lines like Saga Legends have no significant tooling costs to worry about beyond routine maintenance since it is all re-releases (aside from the pit droid anomalies). In the past we've asked about why the Saga Legends line shouldn't be a cheaper MSRP in relation to the main line and the answer was to support the system, but shouldn't the recent increased income from the high-selling line of purely existing tools help defray the costs and thus help lower pricing on the main line?

ANSWER:  We are confident that consumers will continue to enjoy our figure offering as a great way to experience the magic of Star Wars. To this end, we have worked to make sure that the lines have good value (firing projectiles in Clone Wars, Droid Factory parts to build and collect, and extra Clone gear in Saga Legends). Typically our discussions of "cost" have centered around tooling, since most questions are regarding new sculpts and added articulation, and we do set targets we must adhere to. However, that is just one factor that goes into our management of the line and there are many, many other financial factors that funnel into the end result.




To be continued.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2008, 10:40:00 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2008, 10:37:56 AM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of April 25th, 2008 - PART 3



SW COLLECTOR

QUESTION:  When you were creating the figures based on the Return of the Jedi deleted sandstorm scene, did you get to view some of the actual "lost" footage from the scene, or did you have to go solely off of reference photos in the Lucasfilm archive?

ANSWER:  We used reference shots available to us in the Lucasfilm archives. It would be a dream come true to see the actual footage, but it was not available and we went with what we had access to.


QUESTION:  What happened to New Jedi Order Luke Skywalker's lightsaber in the Jedi Legacy Evolutions set? All promotional images show him with his RETURN OF THE JEDI green-bladed lightsaber, but somehow the actual figure on the shelves got a green-bladed version of Anakin Skywalker's REVENGE OF THE SITH lightsaber. A green-bladed version of Obi-Wan's ROTS saber would have been closer to the mark.

ANSWER:  The promotional images sometimes use placeholder parts. As for the actual one selected, we worked with Lucasfilm on the one to include, and that's where we ended up.


QUESTION:  Isn't it about time to retire all of those Darth Maul lightsaber molds with the tubular blades and sculpt a new one with the "flared" blades at the correct length?

ANSWER:  Absolutely! Next time we do a Darth Maul, we will take your suggestion to heart.




THE JAWA

QUESTION:  Is there any possibility of using the hyperarticulated Gree mold for a future release of the 212th Battalion (orange) Utapau clonetrooper?  It's true that this clone was previously released using the #41 RotS mold, but there are those of us who'd love to have that clonetrooper with a removable helmet (since most of the clones in the Utapau debriefing scene were unmasked).  Provided that the same hue of orange paint is used, a hyperarticulated Utapau clone would fit in great with our existing TSC Utapau clones!

ANSWER:  The Gree tooling is very specific to him so we wouldn't use it for any other character.  However, he has some nice articulation features that turned out well, and there is a possibility that down the road we would do other core Clones with this model.  Right now we don't have any specific updates planned, but the Utapau Battalion would be a good one.


QUESTION:  You mentioned in the previous Q&A that there are plans to do a Geonosis Battledroid commander figure in 2009. Any chance that this figure will address the always-asked-about problem of thin legs made of soft plastic that eventually warp if the figure is stood upright for more than five minutes?  I know there are quite a few collectors, including myself, who absolutely refuse to buy (army build) any battled roids until Hasbro finds a fix to this problem given that using harder plastic seems to be out of the question.  Come on Hasbro, we need a sturdy army of battledroids for our now-massive clone armies to fight... sturdy legged non-warping battledroids.

ANSWER:  We hear you and are looking at a solution to this problem.  In addition to the possibility of upgrades (or even a new BD), we are also looking at the possibility of future figure stands having two foot pegs to help with the problem for all of the existing battle droids.  When standing on shelf for a while, the primary issue seems to be that they draw to one side or the other and two foot pegs seem to help with this.  We are doing some testing on this and if the results look good we will roll it out with our next figure stand multi-pack release.


QUESTION:  For the figures that are going to contain pieces for the build-a-droid assortments, how are you going to pack these figures in case ratio wise so that fans and collectors can get everything that they want/need to build the droids? For the astromech droids you said it would be 6 figures to a droid, so that would mean 2 of each figure in a 12 figure case. But, for the protocol droids, you said 8 figures per wave would build 2 driods. But how are you going to pack those 8 figures in a 12 figure case? Basically stores are going to end up with 2 and 1/2 droids per case? Do you think that these "extra" figures are going to get left behind and become peg warmers? Especially when it will be the same 4 in every case?? Do you think this is going to cause problems at retail? Or cause problems with the fans?

ANSWER:  Outstanding question and one we are happy to answer.  The case will remain a 12 pack, and we will work only with "whole" droids available in every case pack, with either 2 copies of that protocol available in every case or 3 Astros (2 of one Astro and 1 of the second).  There will be no cases with only half droids available.  We have thought this through *very* carefully, understanding the needs of collectors, and we have a case ratio solution that should satisfy everyone. Here is our approach:  First, the Droid Factory line is designed so that collectors only have to buy one of each new (and that includes new tool as well as refreshed/updated) figure to get every part needed to complete every bonus buildable droid.  If collectors just bought 1 each of figures 1-52 (approximate number we expect by end of Spring 2009) in the first wave in which they are introduced, they will have all the droids.  Second, there is some redundancy built into the lineup in two ways: there will be select "greatest hits" that round out the case packs that will carry duplicates of the droid parts (these are usually kid-targeted figures, or figures where nothing has changed so figure completists can ignore these), as well as typical carryforwards we do from wave to wave to maximize potential for certain characters. Sometimes there will be 2 of each new figure in every case, and some waves will have 1 of each new figure as well as some greatest hits/carryforwards from prior waves. Third, when figures are carried forward from one wave to the next, they will switch to the new droids available rather than carryforward what would be an "old" part when the new droids are intro'd.  So that means that when we get to Wave 2, for example, it will only be protocol droid parts in the case pack and no Astro Droid parts, and vice-versa. This is to give a more ample distribution of each new droid as our intent is to NOT make certain droids scarcer overall but to have good availability.  This does mean that popular characters that will be continued across waves, such as Vader, will have several droid combinations possible depending upon how many waves he is slotted into.  We are cognizant of minimizing these variations and are working to keep these combinations down for the true completist who has to have everything, but carryforwards are inevitable to satisfy our kid market.




YAKFACE

QUESTION:  Recently Hasbro held it's Toy Fair in Australia and on display were what we assume are the final packaging mockups for the AT-TE, V-19 Torrent Starfighter and Homing Spider Droid. It is possible for your team to provide our reader "official" images of this packaging?

ANSWER:  Sorry to disappoint on this one, but our marketing team is holding onto these as part of the release plan starting in a couple weeks that will lead up to our big 7/26 launch. If we sent them out, they would kill us. We promise though, they will be worth the wait.


QUESTION:  Now that checks and money orders are starting to be cashed for the Clone Wars Captain Rex promotion, when can we expect these to start hitting our door steps in the US and reaching our friends in Canada?

ANSWER:  The Captain Rex figures should be getting out to the first batch of collectors in late May. We were caught a little off guard because of the surprising speed with which the promotional stickers got to retail, so we have been trying to accelerate our Rex delivery. Please thank the fans for hanging in there!


QUESTION:  You've mentioned in previous QnAs that there will be an ESB wave in the 08/09 Legacy Line. Could a figure or 2 possibly include a mynock or oxygen masks as we haven't had new versions of these accessories since the Saga "Blue card" days?

ANSWER:  We don't have these accessories planned, but next time we craft an ESB wave it would be interesting to look at updating these guys.






To be continued.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2008, 11:32:20 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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