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« on: May 24, 2008, 12:29:01 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of May 23rd, 2008


First off, a message from the Star Wars brand team:



We have noticed on some boards that some collectors are deciding to wait until the Target-exclusive Order 66 sets go on sale before pouncing. This year, Target has advised us that the Order 66 sets will not go on sale when they come off the checklane endcaps and will extend at regular pricing in the planogram.  We think that those fans waiting may be disappointed when the ones they want sell out.  If there are certain army builders or characters that collectors had their eyes on, they might not want to wait...



Starting first at home:

JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES

QUESTION:  The Republic Gunship has seen a number releases since it was introduced back in 2002.  It's seen releases in support of Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith along with 2 Clone Wars related releases.  One of the first things fans saw leading up to the new Clone Wars movie and television series was once again, the Republic Gunship.  Can we expect another Gunship release in support of the new TV series and movie?  And could it potentially feature new deco like the nose-art seen in the first clips shown at Celebration 4?  Additionally, could we also see any mods to the existing mold, like fully closing doors (as seen in the footage) or the ball turrets?

ANSWER:  Yes, you will see a re-release.  However, it will be deco only, and will not come with fully closing doors or ball turrets.  We are looking at ball turrets for a future Battle Pack, however, but we have no details on when that will be slotted in.


QUESTION:  A number of fan generated figure wishlists have been calling for REVENGE OF THE SITH style Palpatine/Darth Sidious figures that have the high levels of articulation that we see with many Jedi figures.  Does this particular character pose a serious challenge to articulate given the intricate nature of the costumes?

ANSWER:  Not necessarily - it's just a matter of time before we turn our attention to this version.  We have been eyeballing when to slot him in and it should be before too long.


QUESTION:  The B-wing like shuttle that's been shown in clips of the upcoming Clone Wars movie & series appears to play a prominent role.  Is it being considered a contender for the vehicle line?

ANSWER:  As big at the AT-TE is, that ship is one big ship!  As such, we are not in development with anything.  As more of the Clone Wars animation unfolds, and we see more of it and see how it "acts", we're sure that we'll be wanting to take a look at it.



And now continuing through the collecting community!



ACTIONFIGS.COM

QUESTION:  In the past, Hasbro's had a fairly good ability to get new Star Wars waves and lines onto shelves in a timely fashion within the prescribed dates Hasbro claimed. However, a few lines recently have suffered delays, such as the Saga '03 line, TAC twice (wave 1 and 4), the General Grievous starfighter wave, and now the announcement of the preview Captain Rex mail-away figure not coming out until July (thus negating the "preview" aspect). Why has it been getting more difficult to get new Star Wars products released on time?

ANSWER:  We plan schedules far in advance and with an "ideal timing" mindset, and then usually other factors such as sculpt development time or tooling times affect our schedule in unanticipated ways that throw us off what we would ideally want. So when things slip from their original intended schedule, or gaps occur, we try to deal with it the best we can. We think the bigger picture - our commitment to Star Wars and to delivering great Star Wars consumer experiences - is the important thing to keep in focus, and not necessarily the gaps between waves which can and sometimes do shift. For Captain Rex - our delivery of the figures was always on the schedule it is on; it was the lightning fast production and application of the stickers in Asia that caught us off guard and redemptions to start to come in earlier than anticipated.


QUESTION:  With the AT-TE and Millennium Falcon being released on the same day, while exciting it does lead to a few questions: After years of saying there's not enough interest in large vehicles, how do we get 2 extremely large vehicles at the same time, was there something specific which precipitated this change in thinking? Why release them at the same time, wouldn't conventional wisdom say to release them months apart so they don't detract from each other's sales or retail shelf real-estate? For those collectors who want both but cannot afford 2 $100+ pricetags at the same time, for approximately how long will each vehicle be shipping to retailers? And finally, will these be produced in roughly equal amounts, or is will there be more of one vehicle over the other, and if the latter, which vehicle and why?

ANSWER:  Previously we have said that the time was not right for the introduction of large vehicles, and that we would need an entertainment backdrop to give us the confidence to pursue them (i.e. a bigger market because of the new influx of kids interested in Star Wars). The time is right with the Clone Wars for the AT-TE, wheras it has not been the right time for the past several years. At the same time, we have experienced success elsewhere in our Hasbro brands at higher price points for product that really delivers on a great brand experience, and we felt that the Millenium Falcon is just the item that we could have success with if we really built it to match collector desires. Originally our plan was for the Millenium Falcon to phase in later in the year, but retailer interest and a smooth development schedule allowed us to ship earlier than anticipated and so they will both go out at the same time. Both of them should be available through the end of the year to allow collectors time to "reload" their wallets, but we can't say for sure how fast the supply we are bringing in will last.


QUESTION:  Will you ever release any Neimoidians & Separatist Leaders in the Galactic Heroes line? How about a General Lando/Nien Nunb set?

ANSWER:  We might someday get to the Separatists, so we would not rule them out. Neimoidians especially would be really cute (we never thought we'd be saying that!) in the Galactic Heroes styling. As for Lando and Nien Numb - that is a great suggestion, and while we don't have exactly that pack planned we think you'll be very happy with some GH sets that will be coming further down the road.




COOL TOY REVIEW

QUESTION:  I would very much like to know what unique challenges (if any) were presented when developing the Indiana Jones line as opposed to Star Wars.

Your sculpting and tooling techniques have evolved considerably since 1995 and you've managed to come up with some innovative ways to incorporate incredible articulation and action features while keeping the figure or vehicle as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

Has moving from a fantasy-based line like Star Wars, with all of it's fantastic aliens, creatures and technology to a more earth-bound line like Indiana Jones been an easier or more difficult transition for your team?

ANSWER:  Actually there were three big challenges on the Indiana Jones line: the timing, the need to harness the essence of IJ quickly into a line that captured both kids and collectors, and the selection of a new factory to produce our 3-3/4" figures.

The first challenge was due to the sheer surprise and relative lateness of the announcement that George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Harrison Ford were teaming up again to produce IJ IV...and the fact it was on a fast track at that! We learned January of 2007 and met with Lucasfilm soon after. As soon as we had a deal we were off an running, but it left less than a year from start to finish for the
first waves, which caused many people a lot of late nights to get us there.

Second, IJ is not as easy on the surface to plan out, because the theme of adventure permeates everything and we needed to add special twists like the relics and "Ticket to Adventure", so it took us a while to really get the full lineup of figures, role play, and other signature items.

Finally, because we have kept our principal Star Wars figure factory pretty much in full production across the board, we elected to go with a new factory and there were some learning issues that we needed to work through, especially when it came time to hitting our exacting standards for detail in all areas of scultping and deco. They have really come on fast though and we love what we are seeing...and hope you do too!


QUESTION:  Some of the concepts in the Indy line are great! The Deluxe line with mini playsets or double packs and the dios in the vehicle packaging are cool, and well worth the wait to see a return. Will we see some more concepts in between IJ and SW, such as Deluxe Packs and Comic Packs (Indy and Sasquatch from Star Wars Tales, anyone?) in the Indiana Jones line or Deluxe Packs in the Star Wars line?

ANSWER:  We like that Star Wars Tales story ourselves..it would certainly be an interesting one to do. We are looking at IJ comic packs, since there are some great stories that have been produced by Dark Horse and some interesting recurring characters in the Marvel issues that are worth a look.

However, we are not certain when we will get those in. As far as deluxe assortments in Star Wars - you won't see an exact analog at that price point, but there are some surprises in store for Deluxe-like
elements here and there in the Battle Packs.


QUESTION:  While the new toys are great, and it's awesome to finally get modern versions of Indy toys, some of the figures' paint apps are poor in quality (mostly on figures' faces). Can we hope to see these paint apps corrected for the currently released (and upcoming) figures? It would be greatly appreciated! And speaking of paint apps, will the horse be corrected with a mostly-white paint app?

ANSWER:  We have been working with our principal Star Wars factories for years now and the process is well-honed; for IJ, it was a fast development cycle and a new factory, and overall we are pleased with the results and are fine-tuning the process as we go along.

We have had some issues with consistency of paint deco on some figures, but we hope that we have worked through those issues and what you'll be seeing meets your standards. As for the horse, that is the color that we have been directed to hit so we don't see that changing.




GALACTIC HUNTER


QUESTION:  Can you give us a full rundown of what we can expect on July 26 So we loons can have an idea of how much scratch we will need that night?

ANSWER:  It IS going to be a big day for Star Wars collectors!  On 7/26, everything (with very few exceptions) in the new white and blue Clone Wars inspired line look will be available for sale for the first time.  This includes everything from the all-new Clone Wars and Legacy/Droid Factory basic figures to the new Starfighter vehicles (V-19 and Spider Droid), Evolutions, and Battle Packs, all the way up to the Clone Helmet, new Ultimate Lightsaber, and AT-TE and Millenium Falcon.  In addition, the "continuing" assortments like role play lightsabers and blasters, Saga Legends, Galactic Heroes, and Titanium will have new packaging and some will have new items to go with the carry forwards in new packaging (this is where MOC or MIB collectors will feel the pinch....we apologize in advance, but doing repacks is a necessity in our ongoing assortments). Some of the continuing assortments like comic packs, Star Wars Transformers Crossovers, and Unleashed 2" are trailing behind in the transition to the new packaging look. These will likely phase into the planograms a couple weeks later, although we are doing everything we can to get them there on 7/26.  Finally, on 7/26, there will be a number of exclusives...details of which will be revealed as we get closer to the date. Whew!


QUESTION:  Now that a "mock up" of the Disturbance at the Lars Homestead Battle Pack has leaked out, is there any comment on what this set may actually contain (rather than the very basic figures in the mock-up)?

ANSWER:  It's still too early to divulge any specifics 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:  Ackmena (as performed by Bea Arthur, legend, thespian, 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.)

ANSWER:  We answered this question last week, Adam.  But just so you stop asking this one, we have decided to put her into the basic figure lineup.  Just kidding, we didn't, but if we tell you that will you please stop asking?  ; )




IMPERIAL SHIPYARDS

QUESTION:  Isn't it about time for a new super articulated Gungan army builder? After all, clones weren't the only army that the Battle Droids had to face. Please make a new Gungan Warrior!

ANSWER:  We do think that it's time we went back to the Gungans with, if not a newfound respect for their decidedly different approach to warfare, at least an appreciation for the fact it's been a looong time since we last turned out atttention to them in the mainline lineup. Look for at least one new Gungan in 2009. As we get farther out, we have plans to do some more exploration of Episode I as well.


QUESTION:  Seeing you have stated we are getting Lumiya next year (and you have even included a second head for her, which I cant wait to get) what other Marvel Characters do you have planned, are we likely ever to see Cody Sunchilde, Jaxxon and Amaiza done in realistic colors or the funky colors you claim we like
(which we dont).

ANSWER:  Highly unlikely. While we will continue exploring the Marvel run, that era of post-movie storytelling is, we think, a pretty low point in the EU and don't have plans to go there.


QUESTION:  Seeing as we now have ultimate versions of Han Solo in all of his different outfits from the movies (with the exception of Bespin), how do you plan to keep putting fresh versions of this core character into the lineup year after year? Re-releases? More concept art Hans? EU versions from the comics and novels? I would also add cut scenes from the movies, but with this year's awesome sandstorm Han, I think cut scenes have now been covered! I'm sure there are already some great plans in the works, but could you please just fill me in a bit on which direction you may go?

ANSWER:  It is true that Han has gotten some thorough coverage over the last few years, but we feel there are still some great Hans to be done, including vintage-style Bespin Han and a few other variants that could use updating.  Next up for Han though is the Stormtrooper disguise outfit, slated for basic figure cards with a wave late this year.




JEDI INSIDER

QUESTION:  In the new Clone Wars trailer, we see Ahsoka Tano standing on the nose of the AT-TE (see image below if your not familiar with the scene). Will there be a foot peg or something allowing kids to re-create this scene with the toy?

ANSWER:  There will not be a footpeg on the front nose of the AT-TE.


QUESTION:  Jabba the Hutt seems to play a large role in the upcoming Clone Wars movie. What are the chance of seeing a Clone Wars version of this character and some type of Jabba's Palace or Sail Barge toy?

ANSWER:  Jabba as a character, yes, eventually. The playset or vehicle you describe - no plans.


QUESTION:  With the upcoming Force FX Lightsabers, will you be offering a version with removable blades and what will be the price point on these in general?

ANSWER:  The FX Lightsaber lineup consists of the same lineup that Master Replicas was producing. We have not yet announced any additional lightsabers beyond that but are working on some additions to the lineup. We anticipate that the retail price will be around the same as it was it years prior.




JEDI NEWS.CO.UK

QUESTION:  Knowing how long it takes for a product line to be developed, have you discussed anything with LucasFilm about the live-action TV Star Wars series, and if not, when do you expect those conversations to begin?

ANSWER:  We have not had any discussions with Lucasfilm about the show and don't know anything more than what has been announced publicly. Right now we have our hands full with Clone Wars, but can't wait to see what the live action brings!


QUESTION:  The first wave of Indiana Jones figures from 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' seem to have taken a step back in terms of sculpt and also paint application. With the great work you're doing on the Star Wars line why is this?

ANSWER:  We are working with a new factory on the IJ line, so there are some differences there in the translation from sculpt to tooling, as well as getting used to our exacting standards when it comes to deco. While we were happy with the first wave, each wave has become more dialed in as we go along.


QUESTION:  UK fans are hoping that the new Wal*Mart Droid Factory twin sets will make it over to these shores - can you tell us if we will and if so when and where?

ANSWER:  It will indeed be offered in the UK, although the retail partner has not been announced yet. Stay tuned




To be continued.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2008, 11:31:22 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2008, 12:46:17 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of May 23rd, 2008 - Part 2


JEDIDEFENDER

QUESTION:  In an earlier Q&A, you said that you hoped to squeeze a 5th Sandtrooper variant (Clean with Black Pauldron) into the Saga Legends assortment before the end of the line in June. So far though, the only Sandtrooper that has shipped with the Fansí Choice Legends is the Clean, White Pauldron Sandtrooper figure. Will the Clean, Black Pauldron version make it out before July 26th or has it been dropped from the plans?

ANSWER:  With all the requested deco changes, it has been a very confusing task to sort out for all parties. We are still showing that a quantity did ship to retail, but it's possible that a substitution was made at the factory level, like for an older deco. This may have happened because we have been using the same UPC/product # for the variants and this may have slipped through the cracks. We will check on it and get back to you.


QUESTION:  Youíve mentioned in the past that youíve considered doing figures from the Droids and Ewoks cartoons, but you havenít really found the right spot for them. Would you consider adding them to the line much like how the McQuarrie figures were included? Perhaps one in each wave plus exclusives? That wonít get us all of them, but it would be a really good start!

ANSWER:  Interesting idea, but we don't consider Droids and Ewoks really a strong enough hook to do that; on the grand scheme of things they are pretty minor compared to the pervasive influence of say, the McQuarrie concepts. If we did figures based on these shows, it probably would not be as basic figures in any case.


QUESTION:  Any chance we could get a better picture of the pack-in pilot that is coming with the Wal-Mart exclusive A-Wing later this summer? Is he just a Tycho repaint or does he indeed have a new head?

ANSWER:  There will be an all-new head sculpt on the Tycho body, as well as a great bit of news on the vehicle itself. More details will be revealed when we officially announce this one!



MOUSEDROID

QUESTION:  Looking back at your original Clone Wars animated figures, had you given them "super-articulation" the asethetics of the artwork would have been compromised. Those designs had very sharp angles which would have restricted the movement of any limb with additional articulation. Having said that, the designs of the upcoming Clone Wars series also have some sharp angles which could also pose problems for articulation. I know that articulation for realistic-style figures can be hidden in clothing, so was it a little more challenging to create these new "animated" figures than say the original Clone Wars figures, or even the realistic figures?

ANSWER:  Hiding articulation, and making it an almost invisible part of the overall aesthetic, is sometimes the trickiest part of figure design but one that we have been pushing the boundaries on for years now. The results of what the team has delivered with the new figures is nothing short of astonishing, delivering articulation where needed (and afforded) along with a strong adherence to the styles of the characters.

As noted previously in the Q&A, in order to be able to get in the joint articulation and poseability that we desired, we did design the Clone Wars figures to be a bit more proportioned like the realistic (Legacy) figure line as opposed to a strict adherence to the on-screen silhouettes.


QUESTION:  With the numerous problems and an anti-climactic release of the Sideshow Collectibles Darth Sidious version... What are the chances of seeing Hasbro create a 3 3/4 scale Holographic Darth Sidious on mechno chair in the near future?

ANSWER:  Very, very good!


QUESTION:  In the Titanium Series line, so far you've made the Attack of the Clones (AotC) Jedi Starfighter with Hyperspace Ring, and a normal Revenge of the Sith (RotS) Jedi Starfighter. In an upcoming wave we see that there will be a new RotS Jedi Starfighter with Hyperspace Ring, so are there any plans to make a larger AotC Jedi Starfighter, perhaps with added features such as landing gear?
 
ANSWER:  That is an interesting suggestion and we'll pass it onto our team. We are always looking for ways to make the Titanium vehicles a new and better experience, especially for those "core" vehicles like Starfighters.
Thanks!
 



RAVING TOY MANIAC


QUESTION:  Will Mighty Muggs get more accessories/playsets/vehicles/anything? Maybe an accessory pack sold separately, or sold online?

ANSWER:  Nope - Mighty Muggs will continue to stay as is - a line focused on the unique, Hasbro-created Mighty Muggs silhouette, with small accessories unique to each character, and not as a vehicle/play system.


QUESTION:  Is there any version of a Star Wars character you feel is the "definitive" version - which would preclude him or her from ever being remade again? If not, is there one that you feel is "really close" to being the definitive version?

ANSWER:  That's an interesting question, since the sculpting aesthetics, articulation, and even what we can do with softgoods has evolved over time to the point where figures from a few years ago that we once thought were as good as it will ever get now can be enhanced with articulation here or there. The more minor the character is, like many of the Cantina denizens or Jabba's guys (i.e. Yarna or Bane Malor), that is likely to be the only figure that we'll ever see of them so by definition they are "definitive" and we take that approach at the outset with them whenever possible.

There are certainly some core figures, like Darth Vader, where we think we have pushed as far as we can to really nail all aspects and are hard pressed to come up with a new take that justifies a new reworking. The upcoming Vader with removable helmet in Legacy/Droid Factory Wave 1 is a great example of a figure that really does "have it all" and one that will probably become the new "definitive" Vader.


QUESTION:  For Indiana Jones, the Indy figures have such a questionable likeness to Harrison Ford, especially compared to Hasbro's Han Solo figures. So we know the scale is not an issue. Given the lead time required to get these to market, can we expect to see better likeness' on upcoming Indiana Jones figures?


ANSWER:  Yes, you will. For the IJ figures, we were reacting to a need to develop a line on a fast timeframe to get to market by 5/1. IJ is also developed at a different factory than SW, so there is a learning aspect there as well. As a result of these, we did not have the chance to make as many adjustments as we'd have liked. This has improved as time has gone on and we are confident you will love the upcoming waves.




REBELSCUM

QUESTION:  Will the upcoming cardbacks for The Legacy Collection and The Clone Wars fit in the "official" collectors cases that are sold on HasbroToyShop.com?

ANSWER:  Yes they will. However, we do urge caution - some of the first batch of cards seem to be a very snug fit and the tops of the antennae on the Clone Wars cards show a little bending when put in our cases. We don't know if this is an issue beyond our first samples, as we did ask for a tighter die-cut to the antenna - but fans should be careful when putting them in not to force them if they don't lay flat in the Hasbro case, or try a competitive case where the fit may not be as tight if there is a concern.


QUESTION:  I often hear you refer to the "parking lot", and I was wondering if you could give us a few details on the lot. How many characters are in the lot, when a character gets made do you then pull someone off the the junior parking lot, and what parking lot characters are your favorites? Thanks.

ANSWER:  There are several "parking lots", spreadsheets actually, primarily for basic figures and comics packs but we have also kept them for things like battle packs, Galactic Heroes cinema scenes, and exclusives.

As we are working on executing the year we have planned out in front of us, a lot of ideas will bubble up for future figures/sets based -inspiration that comes from watching the films or episodes, reading comics, playing games, via the Q&A, discussion on furms, and the like. So we don't lose track of these ideas for the next time we get together to plan a line or wave, the parking lot became the place to keep and sort them all.

For basic figures, we keep track by movie, with an EU catch-all and a separate visual reference for droids that would be suitable for Droid Factory. As you would suspect, certain movies have more ideas than others; for EpIII and EpV, for example, both of which have been relatively more thoroughly covered, there about 25 figure ideas sitting there, while EpIV or VI has twice or three times as many. These "ideas" for figures include everything from new versions or minor variants we haven't done of a major character to "new SA sculpts" of characters like Zuckuss to aliens and background characters that are interesting or have a fan following. This does not mean that we will do all those characters some day, they are just ideas to draw from next time we plan out a line or need to create a repaint wave. We will not waver from our strategy of looking for updates to hero characters to balance out the minor characters.

The comic pack parking lot is crafted a little differently and there we keep notes on characters from pretty much every Dark Horse & Marvel comic, and tend to group those by priority, keeping track of the new tooling needed per pack so we can create balanced waves that achieve all of our objectives.

Now that you remind us, the battle packs and Cinema Scenes are a little depleted as we have used a lot of the ideas lately...time to get back to work!


QUESTION:  The "super articulated" Horse from the Indiana Jones deluxe line is way cool. Any chance of you taking that step into the SW Universe and giving us a REALLY COOL SA Tauntaun?

ANSWER:  Now that's an interesting idea we honestly had not been thinking about. We'll pass it around the team and see what they think. We will confirm there are some other beasts we are looking at updating first..so if we get to an SA Tauntaun, it may be a little while. Thanks for the suggestion.




SANDTROOPERS


QUESTION:  Are there any plans to bring back cinema scenes? The ones with newly-sculpted figures and accessories and/or diorama pieces?

ANSWER:  Not as a separate assortment as such.  Instead the "spiritual" ancestor of Cinema Scenes is seen in both the Evolutions line, as well as some new approaches we will be taking to some of our Battle Packs this Fall regarding some new accessories. Stay tuned!


QUESTION:  Now that the Clone Wars TV show is set to bring back the media focus seen previously in movie-years, wouldn't now be a good time to bring back the Deluxe line / $10.00 price point? Throw in some OT goodness like Admiral Ackbar and his command chair to make the OT fans happy  and mix the assortment with Clone Wars deluxe items.

ANSWER:  There won't be a deluxe price point for Clone Wars for this year.  We are looking at the deluxe price point again, but it probably won't be at the $10 price due to various factors; if we did bring it out again it would not be before Fall '09.  We *are* doing some of the things that would have been in Deluxe in our Battle Packs (speeder bikes, STAPs, etc) so we think that this approach should satisfy fans who want the smaller craft and things that are too big for basic figures but not quite vehicles.


QUESTION:  Last year's Tantive IV battlepack premiered new head sculpts for the Rebel Fleet Troopers. Can we expect to see this continue with other battle packs where there are more retools in the army-builder packs to give our troops more variety?

ANSWER:  We definitely plan to work in some new Rebel trooper head sculpts now and then when we can, depending on tooling, time, and the definition of each set (i.e. whether it has a specific movie character or is generic).




SIR STEVE'S GUIDE

QUESTION:  Ever since the '04 OTC line, it seems like Hasbro's scheduled out an entire year's worth of figures only to find out later that the release schedule comes up short at the end and there's a scramble to fill that void with a wave or 2 of repaints which have to stretch the end of the year and sometimes even 1st quarter of the following year. It happened with the ROTS line, the TSC line, the TAC '07 line, and now apparently in The Legacy Collection line (though we know that is due to a delayed wave), and it's not just the SW brand, the Transformers brand has been doing this with almost every line for the past 5 years. Besides unexpected delays, what generally causes this sort of thing? Why repaints and not just a schedule with pacing that is spread further out to avoid such troubles (the TAC line's 2nd half really got slammed together in release scheduling before its repaint wave)?

ANSWER:  Great question that deserves an answer. We (speaking for Star Wars) initially plan our line for periodic refreshes designed to get some new excitement out there every 6-8 weeks on average. This is based on the time is has typically taken waves to come in and sell through; we ideally time the new wave to come in when sales are tailing down and keep productivity high. That's an ideal plan, of course; delays and schedule changes happen and we have to find ways to deal with them. In some cases the delay comes at a very bad time so when we get caught back up we are put into a position to release a lot at once (like what happened last holiday). Still, though, it's our intention not to intentionally short or go too long on any one figure to keep the overall rate of retail turnover healthy. It's not a perfect system, but within it we have been able to bring forth what we think is an amazing array of figures the last four years and hopefully far into the future. And hopefully, collectors will forgive us for sometimes long delays and compressed cycles getting there.


QUESTION:  With the Indiana Jones line's release, this question can no longer be contained... what has happened to the paint quality on the 3.75" figures' eyes over the past few years, both with Star Wars and now with Indy? The overwhelming majority of figures in the Indiana Jones line have big, sloppy whites and oversized pupils - too often also not painted at matching angles or painted looking upwards - which heavily detracts from the headsculpts, and the Star Wars line has been getting there as well. The Star Wars line had been doing much better in this realm up until a few years ago, a perfect example is comparing the Saga Luke Jabba's Palace with the TAC version which uses a modified version of the same head, the '04 Saga figure's eyes are much smaller and more realistic compared to the '07 TAC counterpart's which are bigger and gazing upwards.

ANSWER:  We have been working with our principal Star Wars factories for years now and the process is well-honed; for IJ, it was a fast development cycle and a new factory, and overall we are pleased with the results and are fine-tuning the process as we go along. We have had some issues with consistency of paint deco on some figures, but we hope that we have worked through those issues and what you'll be seeing meets your standards. As for Luke, we didn't deliberately spec a new eye deco; it may have been a result in a process change at the factory (sometimes it may be hand-applied, sometimes tampo) that we did not notice.


QUESTION:  The rumor mill had a Disturbance at the Lars Homestead battle pack appear in the Toys R Us computers, and recently a photo of a mock-up of this set has shown up. Can you give any comment on this set? The mock-up seems to show the old POTF2 Owen Lars figure which is well over a decade old and hasn't held up with the passage of time, will this be replaced with a new Uncle Owen? What other figures will come with the set, perhaps the April Fools Joke extra-crispy Owen & Beru skeletons? And does the igloo-type dome open to reveal an interior?

ANSWER:  Details will be revealed at Comic Con, if not earlier. Collectors should not expect too much from the figures, though, as the building is the real centerpiece and what really cost us to develop. We can confirm there are still no extra-crispy skeletons in the package or elsewhere in the Star Wars lineup.
 



To be continued.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2008, 09:37:53 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2008, 12:56:02 PM »

Hasbro Q&A Roundup - Week of May 23rd, 2008 - Part 3



THE JAWA


QUESTION:  You confirmed that a Visionaries figure is coming. Can you reveal how its coming, i.e. a Battle Pack or Basic Wave?

ANSWER:  Neither. It will be in a comic 2-pack, out late 2009.


QUESTION:  Was the cancelled Obi-Wan Evolution Set the ninth Evolution set? Does that mean that there will be eight in all this year? I'm not complaining, the one's we have are great.

ANSWER:  It was actually going to be the fifth set, as one of the last in the Spring '08 time frame paired with the Padme set.  As we looked at our 2009 basic figure lineup, though, we realized that those Obi-Wan figures would be better served as anchors for key waves and the set was split up.  After that, we decided to continue the line through Fall 2009 and delayed Padme, and added the Rebel and Imperial Pilot sets.


QUESTION:  We've seen (at least) two different Secret Apprentice costumes that were not in the Evolution set: Rhen Var rags and a Mandolorian-esque costume. Has any thought come into making these costumes into figures? If there are enough, is another Evo set in order maybe?

ANSWER:  One thing we know for certain is that fans' passion for all things Star Wars, including films and EU such as games, comics, and novels, does not fade even years after release!  Our stance on The Force Unleashed is that right now, you have seen pretty much everything we plan to release through 2008/2009, with perhaps one additional new figure in 2009.  As is the case with the phenomenally successful LucaArts video games of the past several years, we often "follow" the game with figures that come later in various forms (including basic figures and multi-figure sets).  As certain characters or concepts bubble to the top - as we are certain they will when TFU is released - we will consider them for down the road when we are planning additional lines.




TOY NEWS INTERNATIONAL

QUESTION:  Will we get a Toht figure in the 3 3/4" line, and what are the chances of getting a veriant with a burned off face?

ANSWER:  There will be a Toht coming in 2009. You will just have to wait and see whether he has a very cool bonus head in pack..we wouldn't want to ruin any potential surprise. ; )


QUESTION:  Indiana Jones tends to have a lot of religious and political references (i.e., a lot of characters based on members from the Nazi party). For a toy line geared to kids and collectors alike, how difficult has it been to deal with these issues and yet stay true to what these movies are about. I believe it's been said there is not much chance of seeing a Hitler figure in this line yet we have Nazi soldiers. Where do you draw the line, and how do you draw the line for what's appropriate and what's not for a toy line like this?

ANSWER:  The figures we have produced are German army figures, which do not necessarily mean that they are Nazis. We will not produce Nazi figures and have removed all political party affiliations and insignia from the uniforms. We can also confirm that there is zero chance of there ever being a Hitler figure in the line - we just would not go there.


QUESTION:  We asked this question awhile back in one of the SW Q&A's but were wondering if there has been any more thought about it. Any chance of seeing some type of Harrison Ford collector pack featuring a Han Solo and Indiana Jones?

ANSWER:  We have thought about that, but don't have any plans right now.




WELL OF SOULS

QUESTION:  For the IJ & KOTCS line, there isn't a Marion Ravenwood figure. The classic ROTLA one is nice, but will there be a KOTCS version?

ANSWER:  We actually don't have a KotCS Marion figure in the works yet, as there are still some additional figures we'd like to get to first. We're confident with time and the continued interest of kids and collectors that we will someday get to her.


QUESTION:  For the Star Wars line, there have been a few George Lucas figures released. Any chance of this continuing in the Indiana Jones line? Any possibility of Steven Spielberg being made as a figure?

ANSWER:  Right now we will say "no" but you never know what the future could hold.


QUESTION:  I've personally been to at least 3 different Targets, 3 different TRUs and 4 different WalMarts, on several occasions after the May 1st street date, and I've found Indiana Jones figures at exactly two of them (both TRU stores FWIW). And I don't mean that the other places had been sold out and had empty pegs, they didn't even have sections or shelf tags for Indiana Jones toys. Any idea what's going on with that? I would have thought that on May 1st everyone would have their selections out in full swing.

ANSWER:  By now, you probably see IJ at pretty much every store. The reality is that even when we date-stamp the cartons, we still rely on the retail chain's actual changeover teams to get the change done, and that varies by chain, by region, and our own Hasbro field help that sometimes pitches in to help facilitate. So 5/1 was always the start, with the goal of being 90% set going into the weekend.




YAKFACE


QUESTION:  Each year, Hasbroís designers ďkick it up a notchĒ in the area of sculpting, articulation, accessories and soft goods, especially in regards to Jedi and Sith characters.

With that, have the designers entertained the possibility of including alternate combat / force hands (ex: force push, choke, Obi-Wanís signature 2 finger hand gesture, etc) as part of the figureís standard pack in accessories? If so, is this something we can expect in late 2008 or 2009?

ANSWER:  We haven't typically done this except when the special effect or alternate pose is needed to recreate a signature action. Some of those are cool suggestions and we'll take it up with the design team. One thing that usually prevents us from doing too much along this area is the cost of the extra parts - there just isn't room to put in everything we want in every pack. Thanks for the suggestion.


QUESTION:  During the last QnA session (with Rebelscum), you confirmed that there was a retooled/modified E2-style Jedi Starfighter in the works for the Clone Wars line.

For further clarification, will the astromech droid be fixed (like the E2 mold), a removable plug (like the E3 mold) or something colllectors have wanted for sometime - a truly interactive droid socket to use with our existing astromech figures?

ANSWER:  It will be a removable plug that will allow existing Astromechs to plug in. However, like the EpIII Starfighter, it most likely won't be a true-to-scale fit because we want to preserve the aesthetics of the Starfighter proportions first and foremost. We are still noodling and trying to get it as close as possible, though.


QUESTION:  Normally when there is a SW movie you have deluxe figures, will their be any for Clone Wars? - PaulSkywalker

ANSWER:  There will be no deluxe SKU this Fall. Instead, the Battle Packs will have some of the things, like speeder bikes, normally seen in the Deluxe assortment. Down the road it's possible we will introduce a smaller format for the smaller vehicles & figures.




YODAS NEWS

QUESTION:  First, thank you for confirming the release of an SA sculpt Gray Coruscant Clone. Can you confirm that he will be the sculpt that uses the communications antenna and will the antenna be included with him?

Second, you say that you will not be continuing the TFU and SL Fanís Choice waves through till July. Iím not so much worried about the TFU wave, Iíve seen plenty of those around in my area. My concern is regarding the Fanís Choice wave of Saga Legends figures. These figures were voted for by the fans, and thus are the ones that we would like to see at retail the most. Packing them one per case pack does not allow everyone who wants them to get them. Especially since the other 7 figures you included in the case pack (specifically referring to case pack W4 R1 08) were already peg warmers, and have now plugged up the pegs even more.

I still would like to see more Darktroopers as I didnít have a chance to get the amount of them I wanted, and I still know other people who never found them. And, as an army-builder, if you cut me off short of my Commander Neyo and Covert Ops Clone wants, Iím going to be completely buggered! So my question is this, is there any chance that you will be releasing solid cases of the 5 fanís choice figures in the US before they are discontinued? Or perhaps a case pack that contains multiples of each and no other previously released pack-ins? Do you have some plan in mind that will get these figures to the people who voted for them in the quantities they desire? Letís face it, most people donít vote for clones so that they can only buy one.


ANSWER:  1) We can confirm the gray Coruscant clone will be the antenna sculpt and he will have it.

2) Regarding the Saga Legends fans' choice figures, Mark - there was no possible way to release solid packs or just case packs of those figures for collectors for two reasons: a) This is counter to the very successful strategy we have developed that keeps Saga Legends productive at a high level, and that is delivering a mix of kid and collector-targeted figures in every case pack; b) We cannot put multiples in a case pack because we can only produce so many figures of any character per week/month. We have been running all of them at capacity since we slotted them in...and have put a large number of the fans' choice figures back out there. Unfortunately, it will just take time and searching to track them down but we are getting them out there. The demand on some, like Darktrooper, has been so high that we are looking for another way to bring him back out down the road.


QUESTION:  Upon examination of the new Jedi Starfighter for the Galactic Heroes line, I noticed that the R4 droid is located in the wrong place: the droid sits in front of the cockpit instead of the side of the cockpit. I am curious as to why Hasbro chose this position instead of the movie-accurate position. Thanks!

ANSWER:  This is the position of the droids in the upcoming Clone Wars animation Starfighters. Given the age-target of Galactic Heroes, we decided that collectors who accept this rationale and kids will get a screen-accurate version of their own.


QUESTION:  Are there plans for more Ultimate Galactic Hunt chase figures this year? If so will they be part of the Legacy collection, Clone Wars collection, or both?

ANSWER:  There are no plans for UGH exactly as UGH has been, but the successor is the "First Day of Issue" foil variants which will be available for the Clone Wars and Legacy/Droid Factory lines on 7/26. Beyond that we don't have plans for UGH in Fall '08/Spring '09.




Expect updates as more sites post their Q&A's for this week.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2008, 11:39:39 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

Stabilize your rear deflectors.  Watch for enemy fighters.
Gold 5
War Room Staff
Jedi Council Member
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Stay on target!


« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2008, 02:10:18 AM »

Hasbro has posted their roundup of the Q&A's HERE.  Although we are somewhat biased towards our own roundup.   Grin
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