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« on: February 27, 2009, 06:51:45 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF FEBRUARY 27th, 2009


Thanks for dropping by and checking out JTA's roundup of all of the Hasbro Q&A sessions from around the web.  This week's answers come in a little late as Hasbro has slid back the time to answer.  The roundup is continually updating as we get more and more responses posted at the participating websites.  If you know of a site that's participating in the Q&A's but isn't represented in our roundup, please drop us a line with a hyperlink to that site's Q&A.

You can check out each site's postings by clicking on the website title.  And please do, as some of these websites need the traffic.  The Star Wars Q&A's are posted alphabetically.

Also be sure to check back as we distill the Q&A's down to the real nitty gritty with out Q&A Headlines.  That is where we give you real news that comes out of the Q&A:  newly confirmed items, assortments, exclusive details, etc.  And feel free to post about what Hasbro is saying in the Q&A process here in the Jedi Temple War Room.

That being said, let's start of at home:


JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES


QUESTION:  I am eagerly anticipating Pons Limbic from the upcoming ANH wave. What made you choose this name over Braniac from other sources?
Also there are several characters from both the Cantina and Jabba's palace that remain nameless. How would fans vote for these guys without a name if you did another Fan's Choice? How will you go about naming them if/when you make them? How about a fan's choice on naming them?

ANSWER:  Brainiac was not available to us, as that is a name in another company's character pantheon.  As for voting on character names, keep your hands off the keyboard in that respect. The naming of all Star Wars characters comes from Lucasfilm.  Lucasfilm does not acknowledge fan-created names unless they are generated in an officially- sanctioned event (Pax Bonkik originated from such a contest some years back).


QUESTION:  With the news of KayBee Toys failure as a business, we will now have one fewer toy specific retailer at which to buy Star Wars toys.  How can collectors expect KayBee's failure to affect the availability of the Hasbro Star Wars toy line?  How vital was it to have a mall based toy store presence like KayBee Toys?

ANSWER:  The demise of KayBee has no appreciable effect on the availability of Hasbro's Star Wars toys.  As an outlet, they were a very tiny portion of our Star Wars business, and we suspect that fans who shopped there have already found retail alternatives.


QUESTION:  I think the Saga Collection was among the most organized collection you have released.  It had a simple numbering system and awesome color coding for the movie source form which a figure came.  The color coding went away for TAC, but you still listed the source on the front of the figure’s card.  I and I am sure other collector’s miss seeing the source.  Why was it omitted?  The TLC cardbacks seem to have a lot of white open space to include this information back.  Collectors like to confirm what source Hasbro developed a figure idea from, so I hope this will be reintroduced in the near future.

ANSWER:  We dropped it to simplify the amount of information that we were communicating on the front of the package.  We didn't think folks would miss it, but we'll look at it next time we have a line change, which would be Fall 2010.  Thanks.




And now to continue through the collecting community:


BANTHA SKULL

QUESTION:  Will there be variants of the recently revealed Episode V wave Hoth Rebel Trooper? More specifically, will he be released with the two heads or will this be a running change?

ANSWER:  It will be a running change; the first Rebel Trooper will ship in the U-3PO buildable droid wave, and then will carry forward into the next (HK-47) buildable droid wave. Each will come with a different droid part, although the second (HK-47) Trooper will have a redundant part that we always do for the figures that continue into the next wave. You can help us out by passing on a valuable note to fans. Regarding the Hoth Rebel Trooper, a very limited number of the first Rebel Trooper without the lower part of the jacket (skirt) will be getting out there. We did not catch the change until these had already been built out so we are letting them go. For those who get them....your choice is to not open them and hang onto them, or open and enjoy them for what they are. Do not try to get replacement skirts from our Consumer Affairs team, as there is no way to add this to the figure as it needs to be co-assembled at the factory.


QUESTION:  You seem to have found a plastic that works for skinny battle droid figures in the clone wars line. When is this going to translate into the regular line? When it happens, I would like to suggest doing the droid troop carrier from Episode 1. That would allow us to purchase many battle droids (like I purchased many WHITE Legends style clones for my ATTE). It is a nice deployment device....don’t you agree?

ANSWER:  There is no different plastic used for the Clone Wars droids vs. the Legacy droids. Instead, what you are seeing is a different stiffness (durometer) of plastic that was used. It does vary but we try and use the stiffest possible for the BDs. As far as the MTT, which we think is the droid carrier you are referring to, it would indeed be a dream come true some day to produce that beastie for the 3-3/4" line. However, given it's size, it remains a dream for now. Perhaps some day it will be possible if it gets additional entertainment exposure in Clone Wars.


QUESTION:  As a follow-up to a previous question asked by Banthaskull member SW_Rebel, will the battle gear be changed to include OT weapons? So far all of the lockers have had PT weapons, and now many of us have all we need. It seems kind of odd for the OT characters in the Saga Legends line to come with PT weapons.

ANSWER:  There are no plans to change the weapons at this time. If Saga Legends continues beyond Spring 2010, this is something that we could look at as it would add an interesting depth to the lineup.




COLLECTION STATION

QUESTION:  With the Droid Commando now confirmed as getting a figure from Hasbro, we were wondering, what types of accessories might it be coming with? In their premiere episode, the Droid Commandos carried multiple accessories - blaster, stun baton, fusion cutter, even a vibrosword for the leader - dare we hope to see all, even the leader with the sword? What about getting a Droid Commando in clone trooper disguise, also seen in that episode?

ANSWER:  The basic figure of the Commando Droid is one of the troopers and will include a standard Droid blaster that can plug into his back for storage. The figure will be roughly super-articulated for poseability. There is a strong possibility we will do the captain Commando Droid later on down the line, which would include his sword.


QUESTION:  The Comic Packs are great since the addition of the comic books give these characters much-needed context, as the average kid and collector who mainly know the movies will likely not know these characters without seeing them in some sort of action. That said, there are still several other expanded universe products that have no context other than the small bio on their packaging. Would it be possible for comic books to also be included in EU multi-figure sets or vehicles as well? For instance, fans of Crimson Empire are liking the look of the upcoming Crucible set, while those who are unfamiliar with the work think it looks more like a cross between Star Wars and Power Rangers.

ANSWER:  We feel better about the target audience when the sets go to a collector-targeted outlet such as Diamond Comics or Entertainment Earth. It's when the sets go to mass retailers as most comic 2-packs do that we feel we need to have that added context. We have thought about offering comics in the multi-figure sets, but usually it comes down to the package configuration and size. We'll take another look in the future to see if it merits the addition of the comic.


QUESTION:  As fans of Hasbro's lines, we've seen this for years: official Hasbro images for retailers and on packaging that employ a dark look as if photoshopped to enhance shadows, surfaces and edges. This gives the overall look of the toy increased realism, but often the production deco of the toy can't really live up to that. While there is a fine-print proviso on the packaging about such things, it's still a little unusual. Why does Hasbro employ this tactic so often with their official photography, and why not simply give each toy a subtle, simple paint wash to actually bring those lines out and give them the realistic look which the packaging shows could be possible?

ANSWER:  We have been employing the same package photographic techniques for a number of years, designed to involve the characters in a realistic scene with the intent of achieving an atmospheric feel. It really is just that - an intent to establish an atmospheric mood - and not meant to promise more or different deco than the figures actually have. You are right - the photos have more darkness and edge to them than the actual figures. We have experimented with paint wipes before, with not so great results (some of the previous Cinema Scenes, the one with Wuher in particular come to mind). The bottom line is that they are very difficult to execute in an even way, and some wipes become much "harder" than others and can be undesirable as an addition to one's collection. We like where the figures currently sit regarding their degree of "realism" and edge and will stick with that.




CREATURE CANTINA


QUESTION:  It's pretty much a fact of life that every time you get a group of people together, they'll eventually start creating their own slang to encapsulate their experiences, needs, tools, and situations. Do you folks on Hasbro's Star Wars team have any particularly cool, funny, interesting, or entertaining jargon or acronyms you've come up with in the last few years that the fans might not know about and you'd be willing to share for laughs?

ANSWER:  Surprisingly, we don't have too many. We like to use a lot of the same funny phrases that the fans have created - "peg warmer" for example whenever we talk about a figure who is dangerously obscure to the point of plugging up shelves if over-released. Occasionally we'll describe a figure who is the opposite of a pegwarmer as "teflon" (because they won't stick to shelves). One that is sort of funny is "sluggos" - used to describe characters that have very little articulation (and are like solid plastic slugs drawn from a mold) - typically things like Salacious Crumb or mynocks. Other than that, we really don't have too many fun phrases or acronyms. We should probably devote more time to that - so we could generate acronyms that sound better than ones like UGH and BAD. ; )


QUESTION:  What do you think of the rumors that after Ep. II, you convinced Lucasfilm to incorporated multi-colored Clones in Ep. III so you release more figures cash in on those crazy Clone army builders? It's ludicrous right? Right?

ANSWER:  We work closely with Lucasfilm to make sure that our character mix is constantly "fresh" and resonates with consumers. One area of freshness we have always requested has been costume changes for main characters, because it provides a richer and more realistic universe to explore. Case in point - the richness and variety in the Original Trilogy which led to new and unique takes on the most of the main cast. In this case, the variations on Clones (which everyone would agree is a main character type) was a great seam to explore for Lucasfilm, because it shows that Clones can have unique personalities and skills and that all life has value, a theme that we see in the new animation. How great this seam that was opened during Episode II would turn out to be has been phenomenal.





To be continued.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 01:09:52 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2009, 07:19:00 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF FEBRUARY 27th, 2009 - PART 2


GALACTIC HUNTER


QUESTION:  One of my favorite pieces to get as a child was the many different figure storage cases. My favorites were the ones with movive scenes on the outside and two plastic trays that doubled as display stands. Is there any chance that you would bring these items back in new styles? We could always use storage for opened figs. Backdrops would be great, too!!!

GH Editor's Note: (Ahem... the Rebel Troop Transport/Big Tuna also doubles as a storage case, you know?)

ANSWER:  Good request - while those exact heat-sealed vinyl cases may not make it back out, we have been looking at storage cases again. No immediate answers on which ones will come back out (or when).


QUESTION:  The upcoming Legacy Collection Ugnaughts look great! Could we psychotic collectors request a purple-smock variant at some point simply to match up with the vintage line?

ANSWER:  That would be a *great* variation for sometime down the line with a proper wink to the vintage fan.  For now, though - no plans as we focus on these two versions.


QUESTION:  We know that the BMF (Big Millennium Falcon) is getting cleared out at some stores as part of the post-Holiday clear-out, but it is an open stock item that will continue to ship, right? Are there any upgrades planned for this piece in the foreseeable future?

ANSWER:  Wal-Mart and Target have taken to clearance out the Millennium Falcon since they do not have a home on the latest planogram. As of now, it's likely that Toys 'R Us in the U.S. will carry another run of them in the Fall in the new red/white packaging. There will be no upgrades to the Millennium Falcon if it does ship again; it's likely that this version will be the signature version for some years. The good news is that the large vehicle program was indeed a success and we look forward to the first Turbo Tanks hitting shelves around August 1.




HAN'S HIDEOUT


QUESTION:  When can we expect to see the next batch of Galactic Heroes at retail? We're itching to buy some of those GH Spider Droids and Clone sets!

ANSWER:  The latest wave will be shipping out of Hasbro next week (week of March 2nd). Look for it to start appearing on shelves about two-three weeks from now.


QUESTION:  Last time we beat "Comic Pack Han" to death, so now we're moving on to EU Han. How about we help you guys plan out a Han Solo Evolutions set for 2010! We start with a Han in Imperial garb (TIE Pilot or Imp Officer, your pick). Then we move on to a sweet super-articulated Yavin IV Medal Ceremony Han. And finally, we finish with a new Mynock Cave/Mechanic Han Solo. If you could go ahead and get started on that, we'll send a nice basket of cookies ASAP.

ANSWER:  Evolutions is not continuing forward, but we get the idea that you like Han and want to see some more upgraded or new versions checked off the list. Those are three pretty good suggestions for new takes on Han. An Imperial/Academy Han would be interesting and there is comic reference for it; the chances this one could come to light some day in comic form are slight but not out of the realm of possibility. The other two are likely over the next few years. They may not be in the lineup any time soon but they remain good figures to upgrade.


QUESTION:  Toy Fair is just four weeks away (two weeks by the time we get these answers back). [Editors Note: Or maybe Toy Fair was two weeks ago - darn Q&A delays!] Give us a tease on one item you're itching to reveal. Any one item you just can't wait for us to see?

ANSWER:  By now, you've seen the rollout from Toy Fair and we hope that you like what you saw. We do not reveal any secrets beforehand - that goes against the idea pretty much - unless we're asked a specific question that merits an answer that would tease out some tasty info.




IMPERIAL SHIPYARDS


QUESTION:  I'm wondering if there will be any kind of 'premium format figures coming out in 2009. What I mean here is a line, similar to the vintage collection of a few years ago, made up of figures where you pull out all the stops (super articulation, the best sculpts, accessories that you may not be able to include at the basic figure price point).  If not this year, could you see this kind of line possibly becoming a reality at some point in the future?

ANSWER:  We actually don't see this as a segment on our horizon, primarily because the default for the basic figure line is pretty much Vintage-style super-articulation already, or close enough to the point where a premium price compared to the basic figure is unwarranted.  Our plan is to maintain the premium articulation at the current figure price point for as long as we can, as long as we can contain costs coming out of the factories.  If Vintage does make a return, and we are seriously evaluating it, it would likely be at the same price as the current line and will encompass more than the OTC but would encompass all of the films (as well as all non-Clone Wars EU).


QUESTION:  Are there any 2-1B medical droids slotted into the build a droid lineup?  Several variations could be made such as a new version of the Empire Strikes Back droid, a repaint in the Droids animated series color scheme, and a holographic version like the one in the Clone Wars movie.

ANSWER:  We just recently released a new 2-1B, and do not have plans to release one in the buildable format in the 2009 Droid line.  Perhaps farther down the road in some capacity it would be a fun addition, but there are no plans right now.


QUESTION:  I would love to know if there are any McQaurrie concept vehicles coming? Please, please make the walker first if you ever do one!

ANSWER:  Sorry to disappoint, but there are no plans for McQuarrie vehicles on the horizon.




JEDI INSIDER

QUESTION:  With all the cool new things we see each week appear in the Clone Wars animated series, how does Hasbro go about picking what gets made into toys and what doesn't from the show? Can you walk us through the process of how something is selected and then the steps of getting it made from cartoon to toy and then on to my shelf?

ANSWER:  The process isn't all that tough - we read the scripts as soon as Lucasfilm makes them available to us, usually 12-18 months before an episode is set to air. From that, we will make our main character selections according to prominence of characters within the story arc. The myriad background characters don't show up in the scripts, so it really helps us focus down on the core heroes and villains of the story-which is key since our total item count that we can put into the assortment is very tightly controlled. With episodes coming fast and furious, we really do need to be selective in getting the main new character introductions into the lineup, and synched up as much as we can to the order in which episodes will be aired. It will not be until much later that we see visuals, and even later until we see completed or near-complete episodes. Seeing episodes helps everything come together and sometimes based on that we will decide to "chase" a character or vehicle that we did not have in the line the first time. From there, you can pretty much pick up the store from the recent edition of Star Wars Insider which details how figures are created from the original art inputs.




To be continued.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 01:10:32 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2009, 02:45:32 AM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF FEBRUARY 27th, 2009 - PART 3



JEDI NEWS


QUESTION:  The new packaging looks even better in person and we were pleased to see it at the UK Toy Fair this week.  At what wave will this new packaging come in?  Also, will we see of any of the currently released figures from both the Legacy and Clone Wars lines repackaged in this new style?

ANSWER:  The new packaging will be available approximately August or September in the US, and about a month after in the rest of the world.  The wave numbering will start over with the new series even though the assortment number (our own internal stock number) will remain the same.  Some figures will indeed be released in both packages for all three of the figure lines (Clone Wars, Legacy/Droid Factory, and Saga Legends).


QUESTION:  We're really pleased to see the pictures of the animated Jabba coming in a Battlepack later this year.  Bearing in mind we're also getting a new Slave Leia (hopefully with two sets of legs?) does that mean that we're a step closer to seeing an OTC Jabba with dias and throne soon - maybe later this year or next year perhaps?

ANSWER:  There will not be a new movie-style Jabba this year, but there is a good chance that there will be one in 2010.  This has yet to be confirmed though.  It's unknown whether he will come with a new dais; our hope is that it will, but we have to be considerate of what the set will cost as well.


QUESTION:  We've seen images of the new Ugnaught coming in the new Empire wave of figures later this year.  We understand that approximately half way through the run you'll be changing to another different Ugnaught, is this correct?  Will both of these figures be released in equal numbers?  Also, will both figures be numbered DB No. 43 and will they have the same or different BAD parts?

ANSWER:  The two different Ugnaught versions will ship with different waves, but both will be numbered the same.  The first, with the console as accessory, will ship with the U-3PO wave, and the second (with apron and the satchel accessory) will ship with the R3-01 body two waves later.  The second one will be produced in a slightly smaller batch size than the first, although that could change depending on how consumer demand continues for the Legacy/Droid Factory line and the size we need to release at the time it's ready to go.





JEDIDEFENDER

QUESTION:  The recent developments around the web have revealed something Toy Fair UK that's piqued everyone's curiosity. There's some new toys listed in a catalogue, and we wanted to ask if you had any information you could share on the Turbo Tank, but we also wanted to know just what the RC Vehicles were going to be too? Will they be part of the 3.75" line of figures, or will they be a separate line entirely?

ANSWER:  By now you have the scoop. The Turbo Tank is indeed a site to behold - our next premium vehicle and a crown jewel in the 3-3/4" vehicle world. The RC vehicles are not in 3-3/4" figure scale and are meant to be our first entry into the world of flying RC vehicles.


QUESTION:  The Hoth Rebel Soldier pictured this past week looks really good so far, but fans are questioning the skirt piece being missing from the figure. Not getting into the other myriad of questions you may get asked about the different headsculpts and other things that came up this past week, we're just wondering will the skirt piece be something fans can count on with the figure, and will it be softgoods or plastic?

ANSWER:  We missed the skirt during the first batch of production and did not catch it until a number had already been produced. The skirt will be added as a running change. You can help us out by passing on a valuable note to fans: a very limited number of the first Rebel Trooper without the lower part of the jacket (skirt) will be getting out there. We did not catch the change until these had already been built out so we are letting them go.
For those who get them....your choice is to not open them and hang onto them, or open and enjoy them for what they are. Do not try to get replacement skirts from our Consumer Affairs team, as there is no way to add this to the figure as it needs to be co-assembled at the factory. Thanks! As for the second Rebel Trooper with unique head sculpt, it will be "carried forward" into the next wave of Legacy/Droid Factory and will come with a different part for the next buildable droid.




MOUSE DROID

QUESTION:  We recently got a look at photos of some new Titanium Series including The Twilight, the IG-2000, Xizor's Virago, and some others. Many of the new molds look stellar, and the IG-2000 is a great surprise addition. However, the paint jobs on the Twilight and Virago seemed quite unusual, the Twilight has far more blue than the CGI model's nearly gray upper color, and the Virago was sporting purple accents on light gray despite the ship actually being very dark gray (in the photo it's also facing backwards with the wings assembled upside-down). Will the paint on the final versions more closely match the source material? If those are the final colors, why the odd variations?

ANSWER:  While the paint of the Twilight and IG-2000 will not change, we have made steps to modify the colors of Virago to look more accurate. The reference we use to create these vehicles is sometimes slightly different than the final look of the vehicle that shows up in the animation. Regarding the packaging photo, since the development team can't be at every photo shoot, sometimes mistakes are made in the positioning of vehicles or parts. We do our best to correct, but sometimes things do slip through. There are many sets of eyeballs on each product (all of our vehicles are approved through Lucasfilm) and for as many gradual corrections as we make, sometimes things still get through.


QUESTION:  Can you give us any information on how well the "super sized" Millinium Falcon and AT-TE walker sold? Did they reach expectations and projected sales etc? Will we be seeing any more larger vehicles like a new AT-AT walker or even a republic gunship that carries the AT-TE walkers or a normal Republic gunship? 

ANSWER:  By now you have seen the offering shown at Toy Fair, and the good news is that we will be continuing the large vehicle program with the Turbo Tank, as well as a new mid-price vehicle line that will see the debut of a new Clone Wars Y-Wing. We hope that these vehicles are successful when introduced this Fall, so we can continue to bring new ones to you every year.


QUESTION:  Can you update us on the Yuzhan Vong figure and how it is coming along??
Any chance of a pic to whet our appetite???

ANSWER:  By now you have had a chance to see for yourself the massive Vong figure we showed at Toy Fair; in fact, fans got a double dose of Vong with use showing the Darth Kraty/Sigel Dare 2-pack as well. We hope that you liked what you saw. We really like this vein of the EU, and with the new Dark Horse title set in the New Jedi Order era, a lot of great source material for future NJO-era characters and additional Vong should be open to us. While Dark Horse has not shared any of the story specifics with us (we see comics when they hit the shops) we look forward to seeing how it will shape our thoughts in the lineup for late 2010 and beyond.




RAVING TOY MANIAC


QUESTION:  Why isn't the upcoming Emperor from 2009 Legacy Collection wave 2 using the same paint app method as the Ghost of Obi-wan or Ghost of Anakin? This figure would greatly benefit from, and appear more screen-accurate with, the same multi-color transparent/translucent paint method used for those characters.

ANSWER:  Those figures were translucent to begin with, which is a very different effect since the plastic has a tendency to glow automatically when it catches light and the paint applications could be very light. To achieve a luminous appearance on the emperor, it had to be done using paint itself, which would have a different appearance no matter how we finessed it. We trust you will like the final version in any case... It is a great figure.


QUESTION:  It seems Clones keep getting army building battle packs. Yet, the droid army doesn't receive the same love. Will you be making any droid army building packs?

ANSWER:  We do not have any plans to do strictly droid-building army packs. The reason is that Clones occupy a unique space in kids' minds and they have shown an eager appetite for getting a squad. The same is not true for droids, and such packs would struggle to reach kids compared to sets that concentrate on Jedi, Clones, or a battle scene.


QUESTION:  Can you translate the Kota the Triceratops technology into something Star Wars? Maybe a Bantha or a Hutt?

ANSWER:  Sure, we could easily do something like that. However, we have no plans to - those sorts of experiences are not core to the audience that we target with Star Wars.





To be continued
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 01:11:29 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2009, 05:02:44 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF FEBRUARY 27th, 2009 - PART 4



REBELSCUM

EDITORS NOTE:  Rebelscum did not submit their Questions in time to meet Hasbro's deadline.  Instead they offered these questions that were answered by Hasbro personnel at Toy Fair.

QUESTION:  Regarding the different versions of the basic figure line, what's going on with the Hoth Troopers and Ugnaughts? And will there be more Imperial Officers on the new Super-Articulated body?

ANSWER:  Hasbro revealed in an earlier Q&A session that there will be running change to the Ugnaughts, and they will not be released as a two-pack. The accessory will be the same for both figures.

As for the Hoth Troopers, things get a little tricky. There are two versions planned (one with a bear, and one without), but there will also be a small number of the first version that will be released with the lower half of the coat (as seen in this picture). Variation hunters will want to track this one down, because the error was caught early on, but not before a small number was made and sent out.

As for the Imperial Officer...while this figure is specifically Captain Needa, Hasbro has made him in such a way that the rank badge is a separate sculpted piece. The badge won't be removable from the figure, but Hasbro will be able to create different badges for the different ranks in the Empire.


QUESTION:  Ratts Tyrell was shown in the slideshow presentation, but apparently he's not going to be in the wave of figures based on The Phantom Menace? Why not? Will we ever get him?

ANSWER:  According to Hasbro during the Q&A at Toy Fair, Clegg Holdfast will be the podracer in the TPM wave. Ratts Tyrell is a small character, and it was felt that he would be better suited for release at a later time, possibly packaged with another smaller podracer or (better yet), packed with his family, as seen in the extended scene from the Episode I DVD.

Speaking of Episode I, Hasbro is not letting the 10th anniversary year go by without some acknowledgment. In addition to the wave of action figures (seen here), there will also be a special premium mailaway offer for a special set of Qui-Gon Jinn & Eopie! This will be handled the same way the Captain Rex figure was done, only instead of Captain Rex stickers, it will be Darth Maul stickers.

Since most US collectors never got a chance to add this set to their collections, it was felt that this would be a great way to make it available at long last. Upgrading the figure to the Evolutions body was a bonus. The Eopie will be repainted, and Qui-Gon Jinn will also come with his Mos Espa poncho.

As to whether or not it will include the Episode I packaging, similar to what has been done with the G.I. Joe line recently, that is still unknown...although it has been suggested.

Since this will be a fall release, stay tuned for more information to be announced at San Diego.


QUESTION:  (This was actually the question I asked during the Q&A) With the launch of the recent Marvel Universe Fans' Choice Poll, one can't help but wonder if it isn't time for another Star Wars Fans' Choice Poll. Will there be one this year?

ANSWER:  Hasbro would love to do another Fans' Choice Poll, but first they want to get in touch with Toy Fair magazine (who ran the last poll in 2006) and make a "where are we now?" report, checking out just how many of the Top 25 figure have already been made, or are in the "parking lot" for the future.

Once they get that under wraps and published, then they want to launch a new poll. However, unlike back in 2006, Hasbro recognizes the power of the collector community, as evidenced in the Saga Legends voting and various wishlist polls. However, this time around, there will be a way for both the collecting community to be involved, as well as the general public who buys ToyFare (which saw an obvious slant towards video game characters from the Expanded Universe).

While there's no official timeframe announced for this yet, it's on Hasbro's to-do list for 2009.





SANDTROOPERS


QUESTION:  How does a new paint job and box justify a $30 price increase on an "exclusive" that just came out in December?

ANSWER:  We're not sure what you are referring to.  Care to elaborate?


QUESTION:  So far in the build a droid line you have given us R2, R4, R5, R7, R-A7 and 3PO units as well as the upcoming HK-47. Will there be any other types of droids to assemble in 2009 like maybe an R1, R3, 2-1B  medical droid or even an Imperial Darktrooper?

ANSWER:  By now, you know the answer - and that there certainly will be more droid types in 2009 including a couple of the ones you mentioned in addition to some that you did not including L8-L9. The Dark trooper will be found exclusively in a new series of Droid Factory 2-packs at Wal-Mart in the U.S., starting in August.


QUESTION:  Are there any plans to produce a small scale ship or figure line to be carded and sold for the one dollar price point similar to that of Hot Wheels and or Matchbox cars? Maybe Titanium ships 1/2 the size? Maybe even produce your own Treasure Hunt style chase figure? This line could be similar to the miniatures on individual cards.

Many Star Wars product are too expensive for the young consumers (basic figures $6.99-$8.99), a dollar price point would be a great way to introduce the young fans into the Star Wars universe. At one dollar I would imagine more stores carrying Star Wars product, as Hot Wheels seem to be sold everywhere.

ANSWER:  There are no plans to do what you suggest, simply because there is no way we can come near the price point. The entry-priced toys that we produce for the dollar channel include single-carded Galactic Heroes and (in the past) Unleashed 2" figures.  While these allowed for a convenient entry price, consumers still vote overwhelmingly for the main bread and butter of the line - basic figures and our role-play.




SIR STEVE'S GUIDE

QUESTION:  Star Wars seems to be doing ok at retail, we're seeing more figure lines surviving, more $20 vehicle sales, more battle packs, and more vehicle exclusives. With this in mind, might Hasbro try pushing the $30-$40 vehicle pricepoint on retailers again? It would be a good way of getting larger vehicles such as the X-wing, B-wing, Republic Gunship, ARC-170, and even stuff like Jedi Starfighters with Hyperspace Rings into heavier rotation, and add opportunities for more new vehicles that would be considered too big to work out at the $20 pricepoint. So, any chance for the return of this pricepoint to mass retail?

ANSWER:  By now you have seen the announcement at Toy Fair regarding the return of a higher price "mainline" (non-exclusive) segment. The intent is to use this higher price to introduce new vehicles such as the new Clone Wars Y-Wing as well as other vehicles down the line, either from Clone Wars or other sources. As far as other vehicles go, we will still keep them in regular rotation in the line for exclusives. One thing is for certain; Star Wars vehicles have never been more popular in the modern Star Wars line. As far as pricing - the days of larger vehicles like we are talking about being under-$40 are unfortunately well behind us (not to mention that we do not control retail pricing). We do promise to put as much as we can into each one, and bring you a commitment to keep vehicles an important cornerstone of the line.


QUESTION:  In the Titanium Series line, the prequel-era fleets have a few vehicles that would really flesh them out. The Acclamator-class (aka the Republic Assault Ship) and the Munificent-class Frigate (aka the Banking Clan Frigate) appear notably in AOTC, ROTS, The Clone Wars series, and a number of popular video games like Battlefront II and Republic Commando. What are the chances of seeing those 2 prequel-era capital ships produced as Titanium Series vehicles?

ANSWER:  There are no plans for those vehicles in the 2009 Titanium plan.


QUESTION:  Ever since the VOTC Stormtrooper back in 2004, you've sculpted Stormtrooper figures' hands to 2-handed hold the blaster with its left hand holding the grip and the right hand holding the barrel. The wrists and fingers are angled very specifically for this, the left hand can't hold the barrel without bending it severely. While there is an unusually high number of shots with left-handed stormtroopers in the OT and its related still photography, the right-handed pose is still more common. So why choose, and stick with, the left-handed design for the Stormtrooper figures? Any possibility of either getting new hands with a more universal pose, or even putting ball-hinged wrists on this ubiquitous Imperial warrior?

ANSWER:  We have used hinged wrists on a few TCW clone figures but due to escalating production costs we must continually evaluate such articulation. As we strive to constantly improve our figures, we will look at refining the hands on new versions of troopers in the future.




SNOWTROOPERS

QUESTION:  Last year Zellers brought in the Series 2 Order 66 2-packs; but, almost all of the cases lacked set 6/6 Sev/Arc Trooper with extra pairs of Obi-wan/Arc Commander and Anakin/Arc Trooper packs instead.  Was there a production issue behind this? Canada receives few US exclusives a year and it was disappointing for some completionists who were unable to easily complete the set.

ANSWER:  We actually don't have an explanation for what happened, but it does look like the ratio change for part of the Canadian shipments.  It could have been a problem with producing enough components to meet the schedule from the Sev/Arc Trooper pack, necessitating a change.  At this point we don't know the reason, but since that change was made we have implemented a new process whereby any requests to deviate from the standard assortment ratios will be more visible to the global brand team that creates the item...meaning that in the future such changes be discussed and examined more thoroughly before the change is OKd.  This will be something we want to watch carefully, especially on collector-targeted items.


QUESTION:  I love the Clone Wars figures! Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Any chance that in 2009 we will see a correction to the clone armor that has been used on all the clones in the line, including Captain Rex? I know it's being very particular but the "elbow armor" should be attached to the forearm instead of the biceps. You did it right for Obi-Wan.

ANSWER:  When we sculpted the first wave or two of CW figures, much of the reference wasn’t finalized, and the elbow pad being attached to the upper arm is something that slipped through the cracks.  We have an all-new Clone sculpt for 2010 that will have some more accurate details – including the elbow pad being attached to the forearm.  However, due to continued high Clone demand, the original version is likely to stay in rotation for a while after that.


QUESTION:  A lot of collectors have noticed that Captain Needa is a partial kitbash that uses the legs from the Death Star Trooper. Could Hasbro please abandon the use of this mold in the future?  If you visit any of the SW forums discussing Needa, these legs are very unpopular: the figure ends up being too tall due to the longer legs, the stance is incorrect (for both Needa and the DS Trooper) as the legs are too spread wide apart rather than standing close together at attention, and worse of all are the knobby knees which don't hide the articulation well.  Your comic pack Thrawn is so far your best sculpted Imperial officer body and his legs would be a far, far better choice for future kitbashes.

ANSWER:  We agree that Thrawn is a very nice sculpt and we will look into using theThrawn legs in the future. However, please also note that officers do not always stand at attention, they are not all the same height, there are two different screen-accurate styles of pants, and that the tools are not always available because they may be at a different vendor or might be being used simultaneously elsewhere. So we'll do out best, but depending on how the line shapes out, may not always be possible to use one set of legs.  Thanks for the comment.




To be continued.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 01:12:26 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2009, 05:09:52 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF FEBRUARY 27th, 2009 - PART 5


SW ACTION NEWS

QUESTION:  We've gotten listener feedback that they like the Mighty Muggs but cannot collect them all, due to space or budgetary constraints.  One suggestion we received was perhaps a miniaturized line of Mighty Muggs, perhaps along the scale of the Galactic Heroes line, representing the Mugg aesthetic with a smaller shelf footprint and price point.  Is such a release possible and/or likely?
 
ANSWER:  That is an interesting suggestion and something that we have considered.  However, for now we plan to stick with the current format.  As we announced at Toy Fair, the Mighty Muggs line will be found exclusively at Toys 'R Us from August and beyond. 
 
 
QUESTION:  As I look out upon my collection and see the latest ships and figures released with minor differences such as a paint of a slightly more red color or a female twi'lek painted on the nose, I am reminded of the old movie Batman series of figures where almost every release was Batman with a different accessory or paint scheme (the banana yellow Batman being a personal favorite).  It is widely speculated that the lack of character variety led to that series' demise.
 
Given the number of repaints and retools, both along the lines of figures and vehicles, is collector saturation ever a concern?  Or is the turnover of collectors so great that if a slightly different A-Wing is released every couple of years it finds a new audience?
 
ANSWER:  Star Wars is an interesting universe.  It is perhaps the most complex, varied, and vast universe ever conceived, with thousand of stories that have branched off from the films resulting in a massive wealth of planets, species, characters, weapons, ships, droids and the like. That epic scope is no doubt one of the things that appeals to us as not just fans, but as collectors. It is the reason why we are asked for the most obscure aliens or droids or Jedi in figure form, but vehicles are equally important. Overall the demand for Star Wars vehicles has never been higher in the modern (1995-now) Star Wars era, thanks in part to a huge number of kids who are engaged in playing with Star Wars figures, but also the very loyal and passionate fan base that is looking for us to continue to upgrade and enhance vehicles, and expand the boundaries of what has gone before. Everyone has a different collecting style, and to those who collect vehicles the recent popularity of vehicles in the line does pose a space challenge, especially those who have been at it for a long time. We believe that as long as we add something significant - whether on-screen deco in the case of the Republic Gunship, or new enhancements like we have been doing with the classic OTC vehicles - we give collectors a reason to welcome them to their homes. In some cases, an upgrade to a vehicle may make a previous version obsolete, and in other cases it may add a significant new deco (or Rebel Fleet variant) to the mix. We will always try to make each vehicle meaningful or won't touch it at all and simply repack it (as we do often in the Starfighter Vehicle line).  Surprisingly, we really don't know if collectors are turning over and being replaced with new ones - we don't have a database that would enable us to analyze that. Instead, we pay attention to how well the vehicles we release do, and use that as basis for expansion/contraction of our plans.  So far, it looks good for more and varied vehicles. 
 
 
QUESTION:  We all saw the new packaging for the Clone Wars Season 2 line of figures. Will this be the start of a new line designation, or will it be the same line with a different style of cardback?  And will these changes roll to the Legacy collection as well?
 
ANSWER:  All three of the basic figure lines will make the change to a new red/white line look effective in Fall - basically a year after the introduction of the blue/white line look.  Numbering for all will start over to be fresh with the new line look.   




SW COLLECTOR

QUESTION:  Any chance of seeing the Comic Pack version of Asajj Ventress re-released single-carded with the correct blades for her lightsabers?

ANSWER:  We have no plans to release Ventress on a single card at this time.


QUESTION:  While there's an understandably high desire to keep THE CLONE WARS and The Legacy Collection lines separate, there does seem to be a large amount of interest in a movie-styled Ahsoka Tano figure. Could this be the one exception to the rule, somewhere down the line?

ANSWER:  As of now, however, there are no plans to cross the two lines but to keep them unique and distinct. If we ever did it, she would be the one (along with Rex) to cross-over.


QUESTION:  With the DARK EMPIRE saga getting a new look through the Comic Packs, any chance of seeing a new, correctly-scaled Imperial Sentinel being produced?

ANSWER:  That is one that is not high on our list, to be honest. We are somewhat interested in it because we do like Dark Empire a lot, and also because it is one of the original EU figures that Kenner did and we have been systematically updating many of those. However it still remains a far-off possibility.




YAKFACE

QUESTION:  Now that it as been revealed that the Ugnaughts are packed out as a single figure release, will the second version include a different accessory, or will it just be a new figure with the same accessories?

ANSWER:  The first figure will include the console, and the second figure will include the satchel. Neither figure will have all accessories.


QUESTION:  Recently images have surfaced for the Clone Wars (animated-style) Jabba the Hutt. Are there any plans to release a new movie version? It seems that the lower body could be easily be reused just requiring new head/arms section.

ANSWER:  A movie version would require an entire new sculpt. While it remains high on our wish-list, a new movie version is not on tap for 2009. There is a very strong likelihood that we could bring one to market in 2010, but that is far from confirmed right now.


QUESTION:  This week (Mon, Jan 12) the new 2009 Red and White packaging was revealed for all Star Wars merchandise. The current line's packaging has different helmet card backs and the positioning of the character imagery on the insert. How will Hasbro make the new Clone Wars, Legacy and Saga Legends packaging discernable from one sub-line to another?

ANSWER:  The binding element to the line will be the cardback shape and color scheme. First, the title of the series will be different. Second, there will be three main ways to tell the three main card series apart: Key character art will be used for each character in the upper right hand corner of the card back; realistic for Legacy & Saga Legends, and animated for Clone Wars. Third, the inserts for each will have a different color: red for Clone Wars, black for Legacy/Droid Factory, and orange for Saga Legends. We think that this will provide stronger differentiation than we saw this year, when the lines were virtually indistinguishable.




« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 01:16:17 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2009, 01:56:06 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF FEBRUARY 27th, 2009 - THE INDIANA JONES REPORT


INDIANA JONES COLLECTORS

QUESTION:  While some rumored-but-cancelled Indiana Jones items can be confirmed (the German Motorcycle has peg holes where the rumored sidecar would have gone) was there any truth to the rumor that a 3 ¾” scaled Flying Wing vehicle was in development for the Indiana Jones line?

ANSWER:  Yes indeed, a 3-3/4" scaled flying wing *was* in development before the Indiana Jones program was crated up to await another film, should there be one. While the model was finished, it was never tooled.


QUESTION:  The recently released Temple of Doom Mola Ram is hands-down the best 4” scale action figure of the past several years – even including the Star Wars line. The figures from the Temple of Doom wave have an attention to detail and deep understanding of the films that is truly remarkable – for example, I recently discovered the Sankara stones hidden in TOD Indy’s satchel and the cut marks on the back of his shirt. For a die-hard fan of the type that quibbles over an incorrect lightsaber included with a Star Wars figure, discovering tiny details like this weeks after purchase is unique. My question is was the TOD wave designed/conceptualized by the same team and manufactured by the same factories as the earlier first two waves? They almost appear to have been done by a completely different set of people at every level, from conceptualization to choice of accessories to quality of paint apps. Or was this simply a case of learn as you go?

ANSWER:  We are glad that you saw the incredible attention to detail that we put into the wave, a testament to the deep fans of IJ that we are. All of the 3-3/4" IJ figures were created by the exact same design team and manufactured at the same factory. While the factory did make improvements after the first couple of batches, responding to our and Lucasfilm's high standards for quality, we think what you are seeing in the later waves reflects the result of a more normal design schedule. The first IJ figures were created on a *crazy* pace dictated by the need to develop the line on a very compressed schedule after we learned IJ IV was going to happen. Hopefully that kind of schedule will never happen again, and if we are lucky enough to tackle IJV.


QUESTION:  I picked up the recently released 12” Indiana Jones in German Uniform. It has a great likeness to Harrison Ford - even standing side-by-side with the Medicom Indy (which sells for seven times the price!) I was amazed to realize - using a magnifying glass - that it’s the same sculpt as the first release 12” Indy witb whip action, and shares some hair sculpt attributes with the talking Indy, yet it looks so totally different visually, even very close up it looks new. Is it simply an issue of superior, non-glossy plastic that holds detail better, or better paint apps, or something else? How is it the new doll can look so completely different - and superior - yet be from the same mold?

ANSWER:  It is actually the same head sculp. The Whip Crackin' Indy had a molded-on hat, so there was no hair or top of the head on that guy. So we took the same head sculpt and basically finished it from the forehead up, adding the hair and then tooled it. So it is a new tool, but not a new sculpt per se. We're glad you were happy with the likeness; we (and Lucasfilm) really liked the results of this one too. Of course, the deco is different from the first to reflect different beard stubble, scrapes and cuts, a little more tanned, and any other detail from that particular scene. You are right about the finish, too, we spec'd paint in a matte finish so it did not have a shinier plastic sheen. Thanks for the good word on this one!




JEDIDEFENDER

QUESTION:  Shifting gears, the Indiana Jones line was really a fun line of toys to the fans of the series, and its demise has been a real bummer to a lot of folks, but I was curious since it was developed by the same people, are there chances you'll use existing sculpts and items from the Indy line within the Star Wars line? Perhaps a Harrison Ford likeness for a Han Solo (older EU Han perhaps?), or the body of a figure for a Cantina alien in some plainer clothes maybe? Customizers have found a lot of use for the parts from Indy figures to make their own Star Wars figures, so I was just curious if you were looking at them for Star Wars as well.

ANSWER:  We haven't really looked at doing that, even though the kit-basher in us revels at the notion. The main reason why they aren't useful to us is because they are at another vendor, which greatly decreases their utility to Star Wars.

« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 01:14:03 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2009, 01:09:08 PM »

Hasbro has posted THE OFFICIAL Q&A ROUNDUP.  Sites have been added!

ADDED SW ACTION NEWS
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 01:17:49 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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