HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A HEADLINES - WEEK OF MARCH 20th, 2009
We took the last Q&A session off (most of what was revealed was news that JTA had covered at Toy Fair), but we're back this week with a vengeance!
Check out the news you can use from the latest Hasbro Q&A session! We've distilled down the Q&A process so that you can get right to the heart of the matter. Because these are the things that Hasbro is confirming, so read on!
HEADLINE - CLONE WARS LINE RELAUNCH TO OFFER REFRESHES OF CORE CHARACTERSJEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVESQUESTION:
The Clone Wars figures on the new cardbacks that were shown at Toy Fair included Mace Windu, the ARF Trooper, Super Battle Droid Sergeant. But there was also an Obi-Wan Kenobi that was originally released as 2008's CW02 on the new cardback, but with a CW01 number. Is that new cardback accurate to the new line's numbering scheme? Additionally, will Hasbro be re-releasing some of those 2008 Clone Wars basic figures as refreshes when the line relaunches this August in the new packaging? And if so, what would those refreshes include?ANSWER:
There will be many refreshes in the new red & white line look; quite simply, kids cannot get enough of the excitement of Clone Wars, and their demand persists for the main characters. We would not want to drop them from the line when they will continue to be the best-selling figures. The package you saw was a placeholder; the 2008 Obi-Wan figure will be released as CW19 later on in the assortment after we have run the space-suit Obi-Wan for a while. Other re-release figures will also be coming, but we do not have a final list.GOLD 5: JTA asked this question in light of the 2008 Clone Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi being shown in the new red 2009 packaging. Hasbro's response confirms that they will be offering refreshes of core characters in the line. But those remain to be determined.
HEADLINE - CLONE WARS FIGURE & DROID 2-PACK SERIES TO BE LIMITEDJEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVESQUESTION:
Noticeably absent from the Hasbro presentation at this years Toy Fair were the Clone Wars figure & droid 2-packs that are starting to appear now at retail. How extensive can we expect this line to be, and will it consist of refresh figures only, or will some new figures be appearing in this line of 2-packs? ANSWER:
The figure/droid 2-pack lineup will not be extensive, and all will be repacked.GOLD 5: Hasbro offers little in the way of details about the (apparently) Toys R Us exclusive Clone Wars figure & droid 2-packs. But their response indicates that these will be repacks only.
HEADLINE - IMAGES OF THE SUPER VULTURE DROID IN WALKING MODEBANTHA SKULLQUESTION:
Will the vulture droid be repainted into episode 1 colors? And, how about a picture of the vulture droid in walking mode? ANSWER:
Eventually, we might repaint it into alternate colors drawn from previous entertainment but right now there are no plans. Here is a pic of the droid in "walking" mode.CLICK FOR IMAGE OF THE SUPER VULTURE DROIDGOLD 5: Check out Bantha Skull's scoop on the image of the Super Vulture Droid in it's walking mode. This droid is seen in this mode in THE PHANTOM MENACE, albeit in a different color scheme. It is also seen in this configuration during the Battle of Coruscant in REVENGE OF THE SITH.
HEADLINE - TITANIUM LINE SUSPENDED AFTER 2009COLLECTION STATIONQUESTION:
With the Titanium Series line, how much influence does Lucasfilm put into it? Have they ever asked for a specific ship to be included in the line when it otherwise wouldn't be? Have they ever requested a feature be added to a vehicle, or even possibly a potential feature removed? Is the LFL approval process fairly smooth with this line compared to something like the action figure line, have they ever sent a Titanium Series vehicle back to the drawing board or even canned it altogether? ANSWER:
Lucasfilm reviews each line plan for overall approval, accepting the majority of concepts but occasionally rejecting some and proposing alternates in their place. Features are a less important feature of the Titanium line, but are a big topic of discussion for other vehicles, such as the Starfighter 3-3/4" Vehicle assortment which is much more feature-oriented. In general, Titanium vehicles have a smoother approval process than 3-3/4" figures, simply because there is less subjectivity involved in the interpretation of things like faces and fewer deco issues. Incidentally, 2009 will be the last year for the Titanium vehicle series. It will be put on hiatus after this year.GOLD 5: Sad news for fans of the Titanium vehicle line. While the future of Titanium was not the focus of this question, Hasbro breaks significant news by revealing that the Titanium line will go on hiatus after 2009.
HEADLINE - NIKTO SKIFF GUARD IMAGESGALACTIC HUNTERQUESTION:
Many collectors are eagerly waiting for more information regarding the upcoming Return of the Jedi wave. Our evil spies report that you intended to show the wave at Toy Fair, but that it was not possible due to time constraints. Is there any chance that you could share pictures with us when it becomes available? We are all very excited to know more about the Death Star II Luke Skywalker, the 'innovative' "Slave" Leia , Skiff Guards, etc.ANSWER:
We did indeed intend to show the wave, but did not get the hard copies done in time. We still don't have great photos of this wave, but will send along one of the images we have - for the Nikto Skiff Guard. Enjoy!CLICK FOR IMAGE OF NIKTO SKIFF GUARDGOLD 5: This is a first look at a painted version of the Nikto Skiff Guard from the upcoming RETURN OF THE JEDI wave. It had previously been seen in the Star Wars Insider in an unpainted form.
HEADLINE - NEW MINI-RIGS IN THE PIPELINEGALACTIC HUNTERQUESTION:
Finally, with everything shifting pretty heavily toward the latter part of the year, a few of the products heading our way feel a bit like "placeholders". In particular, I'm interested in asking about the Mini Rigs that were mentioned at the Toy Fair presentation. Can we safely assume that even if certain products (the Battle Droid and Tank) don't sell gangbusters, we're still going to see NEW Mini Rigs vehicles on our shelves in for the "back half" of the year? Also, just to calm (my) shaking nerves, is the maestro of the orginial Mini Rigs line (Mark Boudreaux) heading up this very honorable extension of a beloved vintage favorite?ANSWER:
The Mini Rig type concepts will be coming in 2010 for the most part. We don't plan on going too long with the assortments this Fall so we will be in a good position come Spring when the newly tooled ones arrive. Of course, if the whole assortment is a disaster for some reason (which we doubt), then all bets are off. Our preference for this assortment is to work with on-screen vehicles from the Clone Wars, but the number of choices we can make in the "personal craft" size is still unfortunately limited. So we needed to take some liberties (just like the original Mini Rigs) and Lucasfilm liked our suggestions. Mark is indeed involved in the new Vehicle/Figure assortment.GOLD 5: Hasbro and GH harken back to the vintage days by calling the upcoming Deluxe figure & vehicle line "Mini-Rigs". The assortment appears to currently be limited to the Clone Wars. And from Hasbro's statements it appears that some all-new sculpts may be on the way for 2010.
HEADLINE - CLONE WARS NIKTO TO BE RELEASED...EVENTUALLYHAN'S HIDEOUTQUESTION:
The Clone Wars Nikto Bounty Hunter figure - we know he's not coming in the Jabba Battle Pack anymore, but can you confirm that he will make it out at some point in the near future? He's such a great figure, we'd love to get him sooner rather than later!ANSWER:
Right now he does not have a home, but because he is tooled it is guaranteed that he will eventually come out either as a basic figure or part of an exclusive. He's a great figure, we're just looking for the best way to get him into the line.GOLD 5: Hasbro had previously released imagery of a Nikto from Jabba's palace from the CLONE WARS animated feature in material they released to the press at Toy Fair:
This Nikto had been slated for the CLONE WARS Jabba the Hutt battle pack, but was removed for cost considerations. Hasbro indicates that the figure is in fact ready to go, but has yet to be assigned to either the Basic Figure line or some kind of multipack.
HEADLINE - MORE ON THE EOPIE MAILAWAY PROMOTIONHAN'S HIDEOUTQUESTION:
Just to clarify a point that has come up on your 10th Anniversary Eopie Mail-Away - will the "Mark of Maul" stickers be found only in Phantom Menace wave or will the stickers be found in other toys/figures as well?ANSWER:
Currently, only the Legacy/Droid Factory fist waves of figures will have the sticker. We looking at whether we can carry the stickers across all basic figures. Even if the other figure SKUs (Clone Wars, Saga Legends) do not have the sticker, all basic figures will be eligible for the mail-in promotion.GOLD 5: The current plan as explained by Hasbro at Toy Fair can be seen in this slide from their presentation:
This new response indicates that figures from The Legacy Collection, Clone Wars and Saga Legends may also have the promotional stickers that are redeemable for Qui-Gon Jinn and the elusive Eopie.
HEADLINE - SOLO TWINS ON THE WAY; ZAYNE CARRICK DELAYEDJEDI NEWSQUESTION:
First of all, it was really good to see a Yuuzhan Vong figure revealed at Toy Fair. Does Hasbro plan to release any further EU figures from New Jedi Order such as Jacen and Jaina. Also, are there any plans for a Zayne Carrick figure either as a Comic Pack or Legacy Basic figure release?ANSWER:
Yes, there are plans for Jacen and Jaina at some point. As for Zayne, there are no plans right now. His was the very last pack cut from the list before we nailed down the 2010 line plan. He is a strong possibility for a 2011 comic pack, however.GOLD 5: The ever-popular Solo twins are the subject of yet another Q&A question. Much speculation from around the collecting community is leaning towards Jacen and Jaina Solo being released as Basic Figures in the upcoming Expanded Universe wave. Hasbro has previously indicated that *IF* the Solo twins were to be made, their likenesses would be based on some widely recognized Japanese artwork. See THIS IMAGE OF JACEN and THIS IMAGE OF JAINA to get an indication of what those figures may look like.
Hasbro also lets on that the previously mentioned KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC comic 2-pack has most likely been delayed. Zayne Carrick is the central character in that comic title, and his delay most likely means that the KOTOR comic 2-pack has been delayed as well.
HEADLINE - GALACTIC HEROES AT-AT IN THE WORKSJEDI NEWSQUESTION:
There were reports of a Galactic Heroes AT-AT with electronics (apparently this was seen at the UK Toy Fair) but this wasn't mentioned or seen as part of the US Toy Fair Coverage. Can you clarify the position on this item and when and if we're likely to see it?ANSWER:
The item will not be released in 2009; it is being considered right now for 2010.GOLD 5: A Galactic Heroes AT-AT may very well be one of the largest offerings ever made in the Galactic Heroes line. We have no independent verification that one was displayed at the UK Toy Fair. But Hasbro's response indicates that it is in the works and may see retail release in 2010.
And unpopular view on this particular product is that the Galactic Heroes AT-AT may in fact be the source of rumors about an upscaled AT-AT for the 3-3/4" scale vehicle line. There have been product listings in recent memory that were thought to be possible offerings for the 3-3/4" scale line which were in fact Galactic Heroes offerings. Those wound up being cases of "mistaken identity". Expectations about an upscaled AT-AT may need to be tempered as such.
HEADLINE - NEW ADMIRAL ACKBAR PLANNED FOR 2010/11SANDTROOPERSQUESTION:
With all the remakes and upgrades you've done over the years on insignificant characters, is there any chance that we might ever see a new improved Admiral Ackbar figure anytime soon? He's only about the most important strategist that the rebellion has...ANSWER:
We do have our eye-stalks set on an update of the dear Admiral. Hopefully, he will debut before the end of 2010, if not, then he will be in the 2011 lineup.GOLD 5: A resculpted Admiral Ackbar has been on many a collector's wishlist for some time. Keep checking back for more news on the Admiral as it develops.
HEADLINE - BATTLE PACK NEWSSANDTROOPERSQUESTION:
Hasbro's newly revealed pilot/gunship turret pod battlepack comes with 2 pilots and one turret and looks AMAZING! To completely outfit 1 gunship, kids and collectors will need to purchase 2 battlepacks. Will we need to buy ahead and purchase extra battlepacks in anticipation of future gunship releases? Or will Hasbro release this battlepack in conjunction with any and all future gunship repaint/repack releases?ANSWER:
Excellent question. This pack is designed to have a limited run - likely less than 12 months, as the Battle Pack format will change in Fall 2010 back to the original thin depth we used from 2006-2008. This means that any of the sets developed for the deeper design will remain out of circulation, unless demand is so hot that get them back out as exclusives. Even then, it will likely take some time and there is never a guarantee they will come back out. So best buy 'em when you see them...GOLD 5: The much anticipated GEONOSIS ASSAULT battle pack will apparently be limited in release. The Battle Pack line will be shifting back to the thinner box size that we saw in THE SAGA COLLECTION and the 30TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION, and the new box will not be able to accomodate the somewhat large gunship ball turrets. Expect the GEONOSIS ASSAULT battle pack to be hot!
HEADLINE - CLONE WARS BATTLE PACK NEWSSIR STEVE'S GUIDEQUESTION:
Will we be seeing any episode-specific Battle Packs for The Clone Wars? This would be a great way to get several of the individualized clones, battle droids, or astromech droids from any given episode without spreading them over a long period of time into the basic line, especially when they're only minor retools or mere repaints or kitbashes. ANSWER:
There will be episode-specific packs, but they will mostly be drawn from existing figures (for instance, there will be an upcoming Battle Pack for the episode "Holocron Heist" but there will be no new figures in it). It's possible that 1-2 episode-specific packs will be coming out as exclusives that will have new characters as you suggest, but those have not been confirmed yet. GOLD 5: "Holocron Heist" has yet to air in the CLONE WARS cartoon network series. It is most likely an episode from season 2. But this is confirmation of a new battle pack for the CLONE WARS line.
HEADLINE - MORE DROID FACTORY ASTROMECH DROIDS REVEALEDSW ACTION NEWSQUESTION:
In a recent magazine article it was revealed that we would be getting R5-H6 as a Build a droid figure later this year, with the associated text going on to identify this droid as being present at the pod race on Tatooine in Episode 01. The problem is, at least as far as we collectors know, that red and white droid was actually R5-X2. To our best knowledge, R5-H6 was a grey and purple background droid from Episode 02, a very different looking astromech. Can you please clarify which droid we can expect to see as a BaD release and can you say whether or not the dome has been newly tooled to reflect the unique appearance of all the prequel trilogy R5 style droids? Or is it a reuse of the same R5 dome sculpt that is currently available on the yellow R5-A2 Mos Eisley BaD toy?ANSWER:
The figure we are releasing will be R5-H6 and he will have a head that is re-decoed from the R5-A2 tool. There will be three additional astromechs coming in future waves in 2009 and they include R3-O1 with a clear dome along with R3-A2 and R4-P44. GOLD 5: Hasbro doesn't seem to clearly address the central point of this question. But the nature of their response seems to indicate that the purple and grey R5-H6 is on the way as a BAF droid for some time in 2009. Hasbro also reveals that the following astromechs are on tap as well:
-R3-O1 - from the Death Star in A NEW HOPE
-R3-A2 - from Echo Base in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (previously offered in a Saga multipack called Battle of Hoth)
-R4-P44 - from REVENGE OF THE SITH
These choices are interesting. The R3 droids will be the first time a clear domed astromech is offered as a BAF droid, although R3-A2 was previously released back in 2003. R4-P44 was one of those droid you really needed to look for in Episode III, and was more notable for having been seen on the official site.
Please keep checking back as we continue to compile Q&A sessions from all over the online Star Wars collecting community.