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« on: May 10, 2008, 06:32:41 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of May 9th, 2008

As usual we start at home:


QUESTION:  Now that Cade Skywalker is going to have two basic figure releases is there any chance to see Ben Skywalker or any of the Solo children as basic figures?

ANSWER:  Cade Skywalker is only going to have one figure - in the comic pack with Darth Talon.  There is no other Cade figure planned.  As for the other Solo children or Ben Skywalker, they are a long shot since there is no comic reference.  However, they are candidates for the (precious) slots in future EU-themed basic figure waves.  We would say that long-term, they stand a good chance of getting in somewhere; short term, the odds are not as good due to the few EU-themed basic figures in the 2009 line.

QUESTION:  The response to the electronic features on the AT-TE at Toy Fair seem to have been very positive.  I also noticed that there were a good number of buttons for electronic features on the recently leaked images of the pending Millenium Falcon (very nice, I must say).  Are we trending back somewhat toward electronic features?  Has the technology improved enough to make electronic features more viable?  Does the improved state of  LED lights and sound chips make onboard electronics more feasible?  Also, is this something that would probably be limited to larger vehicles?  And could we eventually see some like say....a Target exclusive Gold 5 Y-Wing that says "STAY ON TARGET" at some point in the not-too-distant future?

ANSWER:  In general you will not see them added, say, to our $20-$40 vehicles because the "fixed" cost of electronics is a much higher percentage of the total offering and in most cases would necessitate a price increase above the retail price we feel the vehicles need to be at in order to be successful. We look to add electronics to make sure that our offering is as complete as possible for higher-end vehicles, where the cost of the electronics is a smaller percentage of the total vehicle.

QUESTION:  Why did Hasbro decide to make their Clone Wars figure line incompatible with the rest of the 3.75" figure line? When it comes to play-patterns and the ability for Hasbro to reuse body-parts/components from previously released figures, this move seems like a huge gamble. Has Hasbro thought of the possibility that many collectors will pass on the figures in this line (like they did for the previous cartoon Clone Wars-inspired line) because they do not conform with the other line that has been running since 1995?

ANSWER:  We did not decide to make that decision ourselves - it was a collaborative decision reached with Lucasfilm in order to best match the on-screen entertainment to the toy line.  For the vast majority of kids who will be enjoying the new entertainment, this will be the relevant figure line.  Since the kids will vastly outnumber the collectors this Fall, especially for Clone Wars, this is a decision we felt was the easy one to make.  However, as discussed previously, collectors did contribute to our thinking.

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

4-INCHES.DE - According to a statement on their main page, 4-INCHES.DE will be on indefinite hiatus.  As a result, they will not be updating their site on a regular basis, nor will they be continuing on in the Q&A process.


QUESTION:  What are the chances we could get a Comic Pack set of Siri Tachi in "Zora" disguise and Obi-Wan in "Bakleeda" disguise from Jedi Quest? It gets you a new character and a core character which helps sell it, but in a new look which adds action figure credibility and is spawned right from the series.

ANSWER:  That is a very interesting suggestion. We had not consider Jedi Quest to be high on our list of comic pack candidates until we looked at Siri Tachi's history in the books. We can't make any promises that we will get to this pack, but we will consider it next time we have a chance to craft a comic line plan. Thanks for the suggestion.

QUESTION:  A while back, we asked about the possibilities of pre-orders on the HasbroToyShop website, your response was enthusiastic and passed along to the HTS team, but since then there has been no change to that matter. Since that time, gas prices have soared to nearly double, making it far more difficult for collectors to hit their local retailers day in and day out to find the newest Star Wars figures. With this in mind, might we see a preorder system on HTS any time soon? If not, why not?

ANSWER:  The HasbroToyShop team does indeed do pre-orders, but it is not consistent for all products due to some logistics. (For instance, now the Indiana Jones pre-sells are live, but they had to wait until the national embargo date has passed before being allowed to do it). They will be doing it more and more on Star Wars this coming Fall, so keep checking back.

QUESTION:  At Toy Fair in both New York and now Australia, from the Padme Amidala Legacy Evolutions set, the Revenge of the Sith Padme figure is shown without her japor-snippet necklace that she wore in the film with this costume, Anakin even makes a point of it in the movie, making it a fairly integeral aspect to this character and an odd item not to include. Will this be a separate accessory included with the final product?

ANSWER:  We did not do the necklace for this set.


QUESTION:  Do you plan to complete the vintage line of Indiana Jones figures? Meaning, can we hope for modern versions of Toht, German Mechanic, Marion in dress, Indy in German uniform, and Belloq in white suit?

ANSWER:  As the IJ line continues on, we defintely have plans for versions of all of those iconic supporting characters in the line. At least three of those are planned for early 2009.

QUESTION:  With all the attention on recent releases of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles DVDs, will there be any characters from this TV series in action figure form?

ANSWER:  Not specifically. We have been looking at Young Indy ourselves (and reading the comics too for additional inspiration), but with all the movie figures we have been focusing on we just haven't fit them in yet.

QUESTION:  At Toy Fair, it was hinted at the possibility of another playset...the Well of the Souls...which sounds like a great idea, BTW... Would you consider making is as a series of smaller playset environments like the current deluxe line so that they can be placed together to create the larger scene?

ANSWER:  The current Deluxe scenes can be put together to connect, and we are exploring some additional concepts for more in this vein. However, these are defintely very tough to develop (both from a manpower and tooling standpoint), so whether we do more willd epend in large part on how these perform. We're hopeful though that we have found a great way to really capture some of that scenic excitement of Indy with these (and future) sets.


QUESTION:  Any chance of seeing Mara Jade from the Comic 2-Pack re-released on a basic card some day with a repainted black bodysuit instead of the comic-based blue color scheme? She'd be a great candidate for a future re-deco wave, and well deserving of basic card status. (And... could you retool her head a bit? The Comic 2-Pack head's hair prevents too much articulation, and it can't even be pushed all the way down onto the peg.) -- From readers Shabby Blue and Commander 1138

ANSWER:  We have not seen the last of Mara Jade in the figure lineup, we can promise you that, but where and when she will make another return had yet to be decided - either in a future comic pack, or as a basic carded figure with changes as you suggest.  We are looking at different options, but in any case it will be a while yet before we have her slotted back in.

QUESTION:  Ackmena (as performed by Bea Arthur, legend, thespian, poet, American Treasure, and former U.S. Marine) does LFL own the rights to this character from the 1978 Star Wars: Holiday Special? (No, we're not asking you to make her, just asking if you have the right to do so in any event?) She was a U.S. Marine for Dorothy Zbornak's sake!

ANSWER:  Since we haven't looked into producing her, we don't have a definitive answer for you but would assume that any characters from that special belong to Lucasfilm. That question would be better directed to

QUESTION:  O.K. Let's imagine a glorious future. The Clone Wars is a massive hit (which is likely). How big would the Juggernaut/Rolling Slab/Turbo Tank vehicle be? Cost? What say you? --From Optimistic Reader Dr. Doug M.D.

ANSWER:  It would be big - very big.  We also have to wait and see if it actually shows up in the Clone Wars series.  We know about the AT-TE, but beyond that we don't know what the future of the Juggernaut/Clone Turbo Tank looks like.  That would be a very risky one to do just based on the scant on-screen appearance in Revenge of the Sith.


QUESTION:  What is the status of the Target exclusive Battle Rancor from The Force Unleashed? At Toy Fair, we heard Mid-April, but April’s over and we haven’t seen them yet. Has it been delayed until the game’s release or is it just a bit late?

ANSWER:  The Force Unleashed Rancor should be showing up at retail any day now.

QUESTION:  Are you guys ready to talk about the TRU exclusive “Disturbance at the Lars Homestead” Battle Pack yet? If so, what can we expect - an Original Trilogy set, a Prequel Era set, or an EU themed set?

ANSWER:  It's still too early to divulge any specific of the set, other than it is not a routine Battle Pack, and that it features an OTC setting. More details will be revealed at Comic Con, if not earlier.

QUESTION:  Do you have any pics of the second version of the Rebel Pilot Legacy set yet (the one with the Red B-Wing Pilot)? We’re all interested to see how the Red B-Wing pilot and the rest of the set turned out!

ANSWER:  We do not have pics of this set yet, because our original paint masters aren't a match for what we are actually doing for the final deco. Originally the B-Wing outfit of Keyan Farlander was more maroon when compared to the original Kenner red B-Wing Pilot; since then we have brought ours closer to the vintage color.


QUESTION:  Any chance of getting an Episode 1 Senate Guard figure using the Revenge Of the Sith Senate Guard/Royal Guard body?

ANSWER:  That is a good idea for a future figure. At this time, we don't have this one slotted into the line but will put it in the "parking lot" for a down-the-road wave. Thanks.

QUESTION:  With the upcoming "Droid Factory" line coming out soon, are there any plans to expand this idea beyond just Protocol and Astromech droids? Any chance of bringing back the actual "Droid Factory" playset in some shape or form in the future?

ANSWER:  We use the term protocol and astromech for the general shape and part count of the droids we'll be featuring. We plan to work in the 4-piece and 6-piece model for the pack-ins, and don't have plans to go to much larger or funkier droid models. While the astromech droids are going to be a staple for roughly every other wave, running the range from R2 to R7 units, the "protocol" slots will vary. It won't always be C-3PO-type or RA-7 type figures, but will include other humanoid types (arms, legs, torso, head). We have lined up some *very* cool droids that have never before been produced, some of whom have been drawn from EU source material and lined up to anchor the Droid Factory waves. As for bringing back the vintage Droid Factory, it's an interesting idea, but we don't have any plans to go back to those vintage tools. The aesthetics just don't match what we hope to accomplish with the line these days.

QUESTION:  When will official images of the BMF Falcon, be released for all to see?

ANSWER:  Detailed shots will be forthcoming in our scheduled debut stores and Republic News Posts.


QUESTION:  Who designs the packaging for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones products?  Is this done in-house by Hasbro or by an outside agency that works with you and LucasFilm?  What’s the process that this goes through?

ANSWER:  The packaging is designed by an outside agency that Lucasfilm manages.  We are brought in early in the process to provide input and make sure that the line look works for our needs at retail and is optimized for specific segments of the line.

QUESTION:  A while ago we brought up the fact that we were fast approaching another milestone figure (like 500th Vader or 300th Boba Fett), probably figure number 1,000.  You said that something was in the works and would reveal soon – that was many months ago and we wondered if this had been lost in the mix or was still happening.  Can you bring us up-to-date with this news and if there are pictures to show can you please reveal?

ANSWER:  James - we didn't mean to indicate that a product was in the works, just that at some point we need to figure out where we are in the "number" of figures we have done, and further that if there is an event to commemorate (that we haven't already missed) then it would certainly be worthwhile to look at that.  While we did spend some time looking into what the current figure total could be, it turns out to be a much more complicated exercise (as many fans have long known who have undertaken the same exercise).  As such, with the work in front of us of delivering our current (and future lines), we have not been able to spend the time to do the exercise justice. We do not have a commemorative figure planned to mark any occasion right now and have instead put our energies into moving forward against our upcoming plans.

QUESTION:  How do you feel that some retailers here in the UK have already broken the 1st May release date for the Indiana Jones product line (Adventure Heroes, 3¾”Figures and LEGO)?  How far do you go to force the release dates and what lengths will you do to try and ensure the 26th July date is met for the Clone Wars?

ANSWER:  We actively work to keep all retailers adhering to the same release dates, both with communication from our sales side as well as our retailer teams. The date is set by Lucasfilm and all partners together (including Hasbro and retailers) and is designed to promote an exciting event-like feel for collectors and kids alike. Setting out product early breaks a measure of trust that has been placed with the retailer.  An independant store or a retail chain can look bad if a store or department manager violates this trust for a short-term gain.  The 7/26 launch date will be one of the most exciting dates in Star Wars launch history, and both Hasbro and Lucasfilm (and other partners) are working with our retailers to make sure that everyone is on the same page with the launch strategy.

To be continued.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2008, 07:02:47 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2008, 06:46:24 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of May 9th, 2008 - PART 2


QUESTION:  How many Astro Droids and Protocol Droids do you predict we will see in the Droid Factory series in the 2008-09 line up? Who comes up with the design? Does Lucasfilm have a huge file that the developed during the preproduction of the prequels, that you can reference, or do you get to make the designs yourself and then Lucasfilm approves them. If the latter is the case, would you like to see your designs end up in the television shows?

ANSWER:  The idea behind Droid Factory is to get out there some exciting droids that have never before been produced in a cool new collectible way, as a "bonus" to the figures that we all love to collect.

We current have lined up about 18 different droids that would take us through the end of 2009…that is, if all waves go according to schedule (if there is anything we have learned, it's that there *will* be change). Of this total, there are 10 Astros and 8 protos in the lineup. All of the concepts have been drawn from continuity or concept figures developed by Lucasfilm (such as the R7 model). This includes EU sources as well such as games, comics, and novels. None of them are Hasbro creations, and all of them are approved by Lucasfilm before we begin development. Thanks for the question!

QUESTION:  Are there any plans to retool the Imperial Officer, Death Star Trooper, or AT-AT Driver? so they do not have those awkward looking swivel elbows? Or are these figures on a long term list to get the whole "SA treatment" sometime in the near future?

ANSWER:  Yes, we do have plans to update these guys within the to SA versions at some point. Imperial Officer would be first, in 2009. The AT-AT driver would come later and might be 2010. Death Star Trooper, though, is someone we might save for a Vintage line and probably wouldn't be in the mainline per se.

QUESTION:  Yoda is one of the few smaller characters that you seem to be able to do as a single carded figure, and not as a 2-Pack. However, due to his less active role in the series (and lack of costume changes) it seems that accessories are a way to make him seem more appealing. Having said that, what are the chances of us ever see a Yoda with the Holographic Communication Table he uses on Kashyyyk to communicate with the Jedi Council
ANSWER:  We'll take that into consideration for a future possibility for the Legacy line. For all of our Clone Wars Yoda figures, though, we will most likely continue to develop accessories along the current path - good kid-feature accessories like launchers.


QUESTION:  Will there be a price increase for the Star Wars figures like the recent one for GI Joe figures?

ANSWER:  As a policy, we don't discuss pricing as that is the decision of our retail partners.

QUESTION:  Are there any plans of releasing blank Mighty Muggs through the Hasbro site?

ANSWER:  The Mighty Muggs team is right in line with your thinking. Look for both black and white blank versions at this Fall!

QUESTION:  Which versions of Han Solo and Chewie come with the Millennium Falcon?

ANSWER:  Han Solo is a straight repack of the '07 TAC (30th) Han Solo in flight gear figure, and Chewbacca is the one from the '05 Early Bird mail-in set.


QUESTION:  I am a big collector of the Jedi Starfighters. I like to display them with their pilots and the accompanying astromechs. First I would like to thank you for the upcoming Droid Factory sets as I see many astromechs and pilots paired together. My question is 2 fold:

Do you have plans to produce any more Jedi Starfighters what with The Clone Wars coming out?

Second, are there any plans to do an updated R2-D2 figure using the standard R4-G9 mold as you utilized it for Vader's R4-K5 as well as Mace's R4-M6?

ANSWER:  We're glad you enjoy the Starfighter - we certainly do too.

This is a sidebar - but we also have good news to report for those who felt that stickers should have been included with the Aayla Secura Starfighter (even though as it is, it is deco-accurate to the comic). We will be producing a sticker sheet for the vehicles that can be obtained by contacting our Customer Service department on the Hasbro web site. The stickers are being worked on now but will take several weeks to finish. We will advise 'Scummers on when they will be available, and they can then contact Customer Service. We'll send a pic when ready.

Now back to the question at hand...

Yes indeed, Starfighters will continue at a good pace with The Clone Wars animation. While we won't abandon the iconic EpIII version, the focus will be on a new, slightly-modified Delta 2 to match the animation. This new one will be out later this year. As more Jedi are revealed to us in the animation, we hope to be able to match future Starfighters to them as well. Whether we do more deco versions of the "classic" Delta 2 and EpIII Starfighter has yet to be seen, but we will be keeping the main ones in rotation in the Starfighter collection. If we do more "new" color versions of these ships, we may use these as exclusives as we have for the last few variants.

On R2-D2 with standard R4 body - We will be looking to get this version out eventually. We just have yet to figure out where to slot him in.

QUESTION:  In the past, you have said that the more visual material you have on a character, the better the chance that character has of being made into a figure. So with this in mind, how much longer do we have to wait for a Jedi Master K'kruhk figure? He has been in the Republic comics, Jedi Council Acts of War miniseries comics, Dark Times Comics, Legacy Comics, and the Clone Wars micro-series, how much more material do you need? If he is not on the short list, is it due to the cost it would take to make him, due to his size and butt-kicking ability? Smiley

ANSWER:  You will very much enjoy what will be coming next year with one of our own favorite as-yet-unmade Jedi. We won't offer any more details other than "he's coming!"

QUESTION:  In an earlier Q&A session, you talked a bit about the character selection process for the upcoming Saga Legends line for this fall. But I'm also curious in how the Star Wars team selects the characters for a full line of basic figures. Are there any "must have" characters that you feel need to be included? For instance, which main characters are considered a "shoo-in" each year? How do you choose secondary or background characters like Cantina aliens, droids, senators, second-tier Jedi, troopers, etc.?

Also, with over 50 Q&A sessions behind us, how much do these sessions influence your selection process, considering the many requests for characters?

ANSWER:  Well that is a great question that goes to the heart of our 3-3/4" strategy. While we have touched on it a little bit in past Q&As, we can elaborate a bit more.

Before we go in, we will say that the Q&As are extremely enlightending in a few respects. First, there are threads and questions that often validate assumptions we have had, about certain characters or classes of figures that strike a chord, and to which we need to make sure we are looking into even if it means adding characters to the famous "parking lot."

Second, there is good insight into what can make a character new and different in some cases that does influence our thinking; this feedback of course is also found in forums on many sites, but we can't get out to sites often enough and in the depth we want to get a comprehensive view of what fans are saying. From this standpoint, the Q&A helps us greatly in the sense that the best questions/comments rise to the top and are submiited to us, often independantly by a couple sites, and as such are a good representation of the top level of wants/desires/questions/concerns.

Now as to how we approach the basic figure line. The key here is that since Star Wars basic figures have a dual audience of kids and collectors, it is imperative that each and every case pack has figures that are relevant for both audiences.

We will start our yearly planning sesion right around late Summer, to get ready for the next planning year. The process takes a couple months from start to a working line plan, with a couple rounds of lively discussion with our team and Lucasfilm before we arrive at a plan we all agree on and start to schedule against. We start with a brainstorm/planning session that uses both our Parking Lot as well as homework that folks have done. We look to both make sure that we have enough heroes for the year, and at the same time lay out wave structures that make sense and spread the coverage around to at least all the films, with usually 1 wave of EU to bring in some high-demand characters we can't fit in elsewhere.

To anchor our waves, we have a strict short list of characters that we consider our star hero characters, and we make sure that we have some of these characters in every wave, and at the same time we try to make sure these characters are in the basic figure lineup every year. These top-level heroes are informed by historical sell-through data, so it is fact-based, not an emotional list.

So we will start by building waves around new takes on the core characters. Depending upon how many stars we have we then look to add strength to the wave by looking to a second level of well-known characters that are not in our top-tier but are key Saga characters nonetheless. The actual list of characters who don't make that "first cut" may surprise some people...but again, we try to be fact based as much as possible, and the more stringent we are the better the line will perform and the more we can keep doing.

Once we are convinced there is enough iconic strength from these two tiers to give traction to the wave from a kid standpoint, then we turn our attention to the much more subjective, emotional, argumentative, political, deal-forged, exhilarating, and dissapointing part of the selection: the collector figures! We are kidding about most of that, because it is really a fun part to be able to plan and slot in "wish list" figures for the first time, so there is a little deal-brokering going on ("OK, I'll give you Willrow next year if we get Yarna in this year," etc). This is where we need to make sure we have enough tooling to do what we want, and that's why updates to core characters not only keep the line healthy but allow us to develop more in the way of interesting collector offerings.

This part of the process is subjective in the sense that we consider personal wants and fan wants, paying attention to the sub-categories of collecting interest that have emerged, including in no particular order new troop builders, Cantina denizens, aliens (which includes Cantina), Jabba's Palace denizens (ditto), Separatists, Rebels/pilots, Imperials/officers, senators, Ewoks, vintage updates, Padme versions, Mandalorians, droids, updates to secondary Jedi/new Jedi, and figures derived from non-comic source material (games & novels). With so many categories to choose from, and only so many slots to go around there is no wonder that a lot of folks feel we aren't going as deeply as they'd like. That's why we preach patience...we're in it for the long run too, just like you guys.

It's during this line planning, and leading up to the subsequent delivery of figures, that sometimes we feel like the luckiest people alive to be able to really dig and work magic to bring new aspects of Star Wars to life in figure form.


QUESTION:  There are a couple of versions and characters of the Force Unleashed characters we don't have: PROXY, Shaak Ti, Juno Eclipse as a rebel and a few Stormtrooper variants. Can you confirm how many figures from TFU we are getting in 2008-09? Other than the ones we know about, of course.

ANSWER:  There are no more TFU figures in 2008 beyond those that have been announced/shown already.  The final ones will be the previously-announced but still unreleased basic-carded Stormtrooper Commander (retail partner and sell-in strategy still TBD) and the Wal-Mart exclusive 3-packs featuring some unique trooper deco.  For 2009, we are loking at one additional figure and that is it for our plans for now for TFU.  As we see and play the game ourselves, we are sure more ideas and favorites will spring forth, but those will have to come further down the road.

QUESTION:  Originally we were told that TAC '08 would begin shipping in March. But in early January, we started seeing these hit the shelves. Your explanation was that they were ready early so you shipped them early (and I'm sure most of us didn't mind that). Now my question is this: if the Clone Wars toys are ready early, will you ship them prior to the July 26th date? And if not, do you have anything coming out between then and now to hold us over? That's still almost 3 months away, and it's been at least a month since we've gotten anything new!

ANSWER:  We will not be shipping anything in the new blue/white line look early,including Clone Wars or The Legacy Collection.  All products will be held for the 7/26 launch date.  Given the excitement of the Clone Wars launch, the debut of the Droid factory basic figures, and the amazing new Millenium Falcon and AT-TE among other segments, this is shaping up to be one of the most exciting launches in Star Wars history.

QUESTION:  The Basic Figures this year look great! But there is a lack of Original Trilogy in it, other than Legacy Wave 1, an ANH Wave, the Hoth BP and some Droid Factory figures. Is this due to some shifting that we have heard about?

ANSWER:  Yes, the perceived lack of Episodes IV-VI is not by choice, but a matter of schedules sliding around and shifting the EpV wave out into 2009.  Otherwise we would have had one wave from each of the three this year. However, we think OTC fans will be happy with some of the other things we have coming, including the Evolution packs, the new Millenium Falcon, and the exclusives line-up.  Stay tuned for more details around Comic Con on the rest of the lineup through the end of the year.


QUESTION:  Are there folks today at Hasbro who were working on the Star Wars line back when it was reborn in 1995? Was there any clue behind-the-scenes back then that the Star Wars toy line would garner such a huge adult collector following? Were adult collectors considered at all on any level back then when forging the line's beginnings? What do you folks think of the extensive adult collector enthusiasm for the line today, 13 years later?
ANSWER:  Interesting question! There are indeed folks who were with Kenner back when the line was relaunched, who are also an important part of the nucleus of the team today. While we do not mention names here in the Q&A, the faces should be familiar to those who attend or view any of our panel presentations from Celebration or Comic Con. The answer to your question is that yes, when the line was relaunched, consideration was taken as to who the audience would be and what their wants and desires would be to collect the modern line. This shaped the complexion of the line at relaunch and also has been a continuous influence as it has moved forward. This consideration is seen most importantly in three ways: 1. The 3-3/4" scale was chosen as the "default" scale for the relaunch (despite there being no 3-3/4" line in the market at the time and the trend in other lines was moving toward 5-6" figures); 2.The choice to keep the nostalgic 6"x9" basic carded format, which has now been the "heart" of the line now for 20 years inclusive of Vintage; 3. The vehicle designs and approach selected during the relaunch and afterward. Regarding the last point, it was felt that since a portion of the audience would be adult collectors, and that many of them already had the vintage vehicles in their collections, that newness in feautres and electronics was needed to make them different and move the brand forward. This important priority on vehicles, while it has waxed and waned, has never left the line and has been taken to a new level this year with two of our biggest vehicles - the Millenium Falcon and the AT-TE. We should note that there is also a fantastic backstory to the making of the new Millenium Falcon that will be revealed as time goes on....stay tuned!

QUESTION:  With a wave pushed out of this year making way for another repaint wave, does this give Episode I fans a chance to buy some figures in 2008? There's the oft-requested Holographic Nute Gunray, or perhaps a different color variation to the Post-OTC Queen's Handmaiden (Rabe) figure. This could compliment nicely next year's Ep 1 wave that you've already confirmed, so, what do you say?

ANSWER:  There won't be any EpI figures slotted into the lineup for the redeco wave.

QUESTION:  With The Force Unleashed videogame being pushed back to mid-September, will TFU product be re-released to coincide with the game's release?

ANSWER:  Aside from the two Wal-Mart 3-packs, scheduled to launch with the game, and one basic-carded Stormtrooper Commander whose release is being managed by LucasAsrts, there are no other major re-releases planned. A couple select figures (including Vader) will be re-released for the Legacy/Droid Factory waves, but that's it. This is simply because of the logistics of the launch and the need to bring in the rest of the figures this Fall. It will be something we watch going forward though, and it's possible we could look to re-release some of the more popular figures as time goes on, but it will not be synched up to the fall release

To be continued.

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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2008, 07:00:44 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of May 9th, 2008 - PART 3


QUESTION:  With the last of the 30th Anniversary Collection line seeing release soon and the new Clone Wars and Legacy Collections not due for release until July, what plans does Hasbro have to keep their "Star Wars" toys in the public's eye admidst the glitter of high-profile movie-based toy lines such as "Iron Man," "The Incredible Hulk," and "The Dark Knight"?

ANSWER:  It's certainly an interesting time on Star Wars right now. On 7/26 we will be launching what is perhaps our most ambitious Star Wars lineup in history covering, for the very first time, both a new movie as well as the Legacy collection side-by-side (not to mention the biggest sets we have ever done in the new Millenium Falcon and AT-TE!). Knowing that a major changeover was coming, and rather than chancing poor distribution that would frustrate collectors, we decided to delay the new toys that would have been hitting in/from May and beyond (including basic figures, comic packs, and battle packs) and slotted them into the Fall, making the Spring a little lighter, but making Fall even richer. However, that does not mean that we suffer for lack of news and excitement. There are still several exciting exclusives coming in prior to 7/26, including the battle packs out at TRU right now (STAP Attack & Hoth), the TFU Rancor at Target (any time now) and the launch of the Droid Factory 2-packs and a new wave of exclusive comic packs at WM (both set for July 1st). We think that overall the wait for 7/26 - and the hunt for the new exclusives in the interim - will be more than worth the wait. The future for Star Wars is very, very bright!

QUESTION:  The Legacy Collection's upcoming "Return of the Jedi" Darth Vader figure with three-piece removable helmet seems like the Holy Grail of Vader figures for most collectors. This would really mean the only definitive Vader left to make is a film-accurate "Revenge of the Sith" Vader in armor, with the film-specific shoulder armor. Any chance of seeing him in The Legacy Collection, too?

ANSWER:  There is a good chance at some point, but the trick with that figure is getting quality articulation while preserving the shoulder armor. Right now we have not solved this issue, but are looking at it since it is a great figure to anchor a future wave.

QUESTION:  Other toy lines in the past have gone off on tangents with "alternate universe" versions of characters, such as Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, and Ancient Egyptians. In your designers' giddiest flights of fantasy, what sort of "alternate reality" would the "Star Wars" characters best lend themselves to? (And, no, the "Infinities" versions don't count, since we're actually going to get some of those in the Comic Packs.)

ANSWER:  Believe it or not, this really isn't an area where we have spent much time imagining, since we are all busy bringing the "real" Star Wars universe to life. However, being kitbash fans ourselves, we have seen the steam-punk versions of the Star Wars characters and tip our collective hats to the creative genius behind this interpretation, and others. Following this train of thought, we can't help but think that the Samurai genre, which provided much original inspiration for the Star Wars saga, is a natural "parallel" universe. We don't have plans to go there ourselves, but with the real creation of the Darth Vader-samurai armor, intriguing doors have opened.


QUESTION:  Will Hasbro be fixing the holster on the SA Stormtrooper mold so that his rifle will be able to fit easily in it? And is there a way to adjust the holster so that the Stormtrooper could actually sit in a vehicle without the holster getting in the way?

ANSWER:  That holster was really meant to be true-to-scale to the figure for aesthetic reasons, so we didn't make it so you could fit the blaster in it.  We'll take a look and see if we can accomplish both objectives the next time we slot a Stormie version into the line.

QUESTION:  Will the tooling that is being used to make the comic pack Grand Admiral Thrawn also be reused for a future Imperial Officer in the basic line?  And if so, will the "skirt" part be made of softer plastic so that he can actually sit down (for those of us who are already thinking of swapping heads from the Death Star briefing figures onto a new SA body -- hopefully the neck pegs are compatible).

ANSWER:  It is a good possibility that we could use some of the tooling for a new Officer but we do not have firm plans at the moment. We will try to add elasticizers to the PVC to make it as soft as possible, but Europe has different standards regarding PVC than the US, and so sometimes this affects what we are able to do. Also, even making the skirts flexible, it does not always reach the desired result, so that is why we sometimes add slits to the sides or do fabric skirts.

QUESTION:  The VotC Chewbacca remains the absolute best version of Chewbacca ever made and probably for a good long time. But is it possible that Hasbro might someday make an even more premium Chewbacca figure that actually uses real "hair" as opposed to sculpted plastic?  You've already done this in smaller ways with the PotF2 Leia figures - and for that matter, would an ANH Princess Leia with real hair buns be another possibility?

ANSWER:  There is a very high probability that version will never happen due to the extreme difficulty in getting soft goods "fur" to behave and look good in scale.  It was very difficult when we did a plush version in 2005, and even when we tried new fibers on the Bantha we haven't been excited about the seemingly doomed exercise of trying it on a 3-3/4 figure.


QUESTION:  Though probably not the most 'exciting' concept for an action figure around, will we see a 'Professor Indy' any time soon?

ANSWER:  We haven't gotten to this most iconic version yet, mainly because we are still debating which action feature to include: chalkboard writing action, hidden artifact reveal, or "student befuddlement" facial expression change. When we figure that out, we'll slot him in. In all seriousness, we have several more great Indys planned for next year, but haven't been able to get Prof. IJ in the line just yet.

QUESTION:  What are the chances of you releasing a Dietrich figure in the next wave of Raiders of the Lost Ark figures? For those of you that dont know the name, he was the German Crnl that melted with Toht and Belloq when the Ark was opened.

ANSWER:  Dietrich is in the plans for early 2009.

QUESTION:  Now that you've got that fantastic horse mold, is there any chance of seeing it used for packs from the closing scene in Last Crusade or in the Star Wars line for Ewok/Marauder mounts (c'mon, who wouldn't want Chukha-Trok with a horse?) or in GI Joe (there was that one cartoon where the Joes were riding horses through the deserts of Kentucky to catch Cobra's bullet train)?

ANSWER:  You can bet that this great horse will be reused in upcoming IJ sets. Interesting thought on the use of the tool as a possible equus companion to Chuhka-Trok if we ever do any sets tied to the live action Ewoks show. Thanks for the idea.


QUESTION:  You've repeatedly stated that "SW playsets" are a hard sell especially for kids and are cost prohibitive to develop and/or
retool. How do you square that with the release of the new small playsets/envirorama being released in the deluxe INDY line. (i.e. Indiana Jones with Temple Pitfall & Indiana Jones with Temple Trap). Could a "playset" or "enviroama" of this size be possible for the SW line? It seems like it could be a perfect compromise as product this size is small enough to hang on pegs leaving shelf space for vehicles, Evolutions, Battle Packs etc. Plus, if you included a unique figure (i.e. paint variant), it could help move the product as well.

ANSWER:  The Indiana Jones fantasy is very different than Star Wars in some key elements, and that is why the make-up of the line is different. In Indiana Jones, environments play a very important role and solving puzzles and escaping traps are an essential element to the fantasy alongside the characters, whereas in Star Wars the environments actually play a minor role compared to the figures and vehicles who occupy the center stage. Therefore, in IJ, we felt that elements like this were central to the fantasy and important to pursue in order to put out a line that inspires the same play that kids see in the movies. For Star Wars, playsets have historically not sold well relative to other sublines, and so we continue to develop against the sublines that give us the overall best results and allow us the continued development of the line. We also see both the AT-TE and Millenium Falcon as having critical playset-like components in any case, as far as kids are concerned; they are truly two vehicles that command play with figures far above and beyond regular vehicles.

QUESTION:  You confirmed/revealed for our friends at Galactic Hunter that SA versions of Luke and Han in Stormtrooper Disguise will be released in the EIV themed wave. Will these be simple head swap creations and will Luke be released on the smaller 2007 TAC #30 Imperial Stormtrooper body, you know because he is "a little short for a Stormtrooper"?

ANSWER:  The figures are based on their countrparts from the Comic Packs. We had actually designed the mid torso to be adjustable in production so you could get a normal or shorter version, but the manufacturer modified the tool model. We are however improving the belt/ holster to better hold the Imperial blaster.

QUESTION:  With Hasbro's "official" acknowledgment of the existence of the BMF (Big Millennium Falcon) can you answer a couple questions regarding it. Does it have the quad cannon on its underside? Is the panel on the rear of the ship (above the engines) removable like the vintage mold? Does it have a handle on the bottom to aide in the recreation of those epic space battles? Can the escape pod/shuttle be plugged/docked in between the Falcon's freight mandibles (forked forward section)?

ANSWER:  Answers are: 1. It does have a non-firing quad cannon on the underside. 2. The rear cover is not removable, except for the battery access hatch, as the electronics and other mechanical components are housed in this area. 3. No, there is not a dedicated handle - the size and weight of this version would really not allow you to “fly” it around like the original – as you stated above – this truly is a BMF!!! 4. Space restrictions (especially the width) in the interior docking bay dictated the overall dimensions of the escape pod. Unfortunately, the distance between the mandibles are too wide for the escape pod to dock.


QUESTION:  The best figure(s) of 2007 have to be Romba and Graak in my opinion, so good I couldn't find one in stores until the re-release this spring. I'm very excited for Leektar and Nippet as well, and am wondering what other ewok plans you have for 2008? Plans for color variants? 2009? Any plans for an ewok catapult? A female ewok? Please please keep the ewoks and ewok accessories coming!

ANSWER:  We hear you and love the little resistance fighters ourselves! Right now, we don't have any additional Ewok plans for 2008 beyond Leektar and Nippet. We do have plans for a few more sets in 2009, but those details are still being worked out. It won't be anything as big as the Ewok Catapult, though.

QUESTION:  Thank you, thank you, thank you for making the Super articulated version of the 501st Legion Trooper a reality. This sculpt is truly the best clone sculpt available. And an even bigger thanks for putting him 3 per case so he wasn’t a pain in the butt to track down at retail. I know that you guys get many sarcastic comments from other collectors out there about releasing clones with “every color under the sun,” but I just want you to know that I personally appreciate and applaud your efforts.

With that said, in a previous Q&A you mentioned that the Grey Coruscant Clone Trooper in SA sculpt (hint: with antenna) would be a good suggestion for a future repaint wave or Saga Legends type of release. And then, in a subsequent Q&A, you mentioned that you will be doing a re-deco wave in 2008 to fill in the void for a planned wave that has been delayed. Dare I hope, dream, offer up my first born child to the gods in trade that I might finally see said Grey Coruscant Clone Trooper in the SA sculpt (again: with antenna) in this so-called re-deco wave??? Please, please, please???

ANSWER:  Yes indeed, we can confirm that as SA version of the gray-deco Coruscant Landing Platform figure will be coming in a redeco wave later this year.

QUESTION:  Will we be getting anymore Galactic Heroes Key chains? And can you confirm that there are only 6 made so far, with those six being Han Solo (Bespin), Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Boba Fett, Darth Vader and Darth Tater ( Mr. Potato Head )? And If there will be more made, any lists or images you can share with us?

ANSWER:  Those are the only ones that have been done to date. We don't have plans to add any more characters to those right now.

QUESTION:  (Indy Question) The image of the Grail Knight revealed at looks fantastic. Does he sport plastic or cloth robes?

ANSWER:  Thanks - this is indeed one great figure. He will have PVC (plastic) robes..

QUESTION:  We want to know if the Force Unleashed wave and Wave 5 Legends with the Fan's Choice clones still ship out to retail until the Clone Wars toys start to hit?

ANSWER:  No, they will not. All of the lines currently at retail will phase out in June to prepare the shelves for the 7/26 launch of the new lines. Fans should get them while they can, because they won't be coming back.

QUESTION:  Target seems to have gotten a good dose of exclusives so far, any reason why they seem to nab up so many while other chains and stores have gotten fewer? Did they simply just ask for more?

ANSWER:  Our exclusives strategy has been to match programs with available space and promotional plans, and it has worked out that some retailers at different times have appeared to have more visibile programs than others. You will see strong upcoming programs from all three retailers this year, with Wal-Mart getting a strong start in July with the debut of the Droid Factory 2-packs (featuring the buildable C-3PX droid), as well as continuing their exclusive comic 2-pack program with a new wave.

Keep checking back for more updates.  Also be sure to check for our Q&A Headlines, where we distill the entire Q&A process down to the actual newsworthy items!

Stabilize your rear deflectors.  Watch for enemy fighters.
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