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« on: April 10, 2009, 08:56:59 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF APRIL 10th, 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:  The news of the upcoming Dark Horse comic title Star Wars Invasion fan has got a lot of fans of the New Jedi Order hopeful.  Hopeful to see their favorite EU characters on the comic page, but also as it opens up some possibilities to get NJO characters made into figures via the Expanded Universe comic 2-packs.

Recent reports stated that Hasbro sees the comics when they hit the stands, and that any Invasion comic packs might be a ways off.  But has Hasbro entertained the thought of partnering with Dark Horse to develop both a comic and comic 2-pack in tandem?  And perhaps promoting such a release into a comic/specialty shop exclusive?

ANSWER:  It certainly is an interesting idea if we had an idea to tell a new story in the Star Wars universe, but honestly there are so many great stories coming that we prefer to let others tell them.  Our lead-times to produce new figures are a good 15-18 months, which is far longer than the Dark Horse lead times.  Short of a custom-comic plan (where Hasbro would commission the story), the current plan seems to be working albeit on an offset time schedule.


QUESTION:  The 2009 Clone Wars vehicle line has as many as 4 vehicles that incorporate astromech droids.  The two Jedi starfighters, as well as the Y-Wing and ARC-170.  But we've only seen 2 astromech droids in the Clone Wars line to date, and none were announced in the Toy Fair presentation.  Can we expect an R4-P17 for Obi-Wan's fighter, or any other astromechs to complement the other vehicles?

ANSWER:  Good question.  Right now we don't have any more in the lineup, but we'll keep an eye on how R2-D2 and Goldie do going forward to see if there is demand and opportunity to bring out more. The vehicles are designed to be interchangeable between realistic and Clone Wars figures, so they are compatible at least with the plethora of realistic astro droids for the fans who want to build out their realistic vehicle scenes.


QUESTION:  In 2005 the Agen Kolar basic figure seemed to be quite an achievement in sculpting and softgoods.  But even then the figure had a lightsaber that was not the correct color (for Revenge Of The Sith), and a molded cloak.  Since that time we've seen a great new softgoods Jedi cloak with other basic figures, plus some highly detailed lightsabers.  Given what could be some easy fixes, like a softgoods cloak and blue lightsabers, might we see a revised, Revenge Of The Sith accurate Agen Kolar in the near future?

ANSWER:  Actually there will be an all-new EpIII Agen Kolar figure coming this Fall in the basic figure lineup, with even more enhanced articulation.  He will not be coming with a soft goods cloak, and we will look into the saber coloring, since we were caught off guard by that one the first time.  Stay tuned!





And now to continue through the A to Z of the Star Wars online collecting community!


BANTHA SKULL

QUESTION:  Will we see a version of the interior Hoth Base rebel soldiers as done by Kenner back in the day? The troops with the brown vests. Also, what of the Rebel troopers during the Ceremony at the End of "A New Hope". Will we see versions of these troopers in plastic? We have the Honor Guard troops from that scene but none of the Green uniformed troops with what looks like green baseball caps.

ANSWER:  Those are all great suggestions that are in our Parking Lot for lnger-term possibilities. We certainly do enjoy our Rebel troops, as can be attested by the recent run of pilots and capped off by the upcoming Yavin battle pack with the flight crew member trooper. We hope that within a couple years we'll be able to get to one or both of these guys.


QUESTION:  There is an Imperial trooper not seen in plastic (from the Shuttle scene w/Vader) in the ranks - wearing a dark blue jump suit and Death Star trooper helm his be fun for troop building! Are you aware of this character and can you add him to your list if he is not already on it?

ANSWER:  We were not aware of this guy, but we'll take a closer look. Thanks for the suggestion.


QUESTION:  Since you stated at Toy Fair that Ratts Tyrell will be replaced by Clegg Holdfast in the upcoming Phantom Menace Legacy Wave, would it be possible for us to get a good look at the Clegg figure?

ANSWER:  You bet. See attached image. He will also come with his goggles and a blaster. We only had this pic to show of the figure. Enjoy!

CLICK FOR IMAGE





COLLECTION STATION


QUESTION:  Some collectors shy away from EU items unless they tie into major characters from the films, or strongly tie into the movie saga story. With that in mind, what are the chances of seeing figures of these influential EU characters: the ghost of Luke Skywalker (Legacy), Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, Darth Plagueis, or even a young Count Dooku?

ANSWER:  We would say that all four figures stand a strong chance of seeing some glory in plastic given time - probably within a few years.


QUESTION:  Based on your slideshow at Toy Fair, there seems to be a discrepancy on the subject of exclusive 2-pack figures. The Wal-mart Grievous Droid Factory figure with new cloth cloak shown in the slide was the 4-armed basic figure from 2005's ROTS line, however what was said during the slideshow was that it'd be the super-articulated 2008 figure. Which Grievous will actually be coming in that set with the new cloak? Also, it was noted that that the Target-exclusive Geonosis Arena figure pack Jango Fett would be tweaked, but there was no explanation given and the figure looks the same as the Evolutions version. What's the change there, can fans hope that the evo figure jumpsuit's lilac color is finally being changed to a more blue-gray look as seen in the movie?

ANSWER:  Unfortunately, we could not deliver the new Grievous as we had hoped, and instead went with the 4-arm Grievous from the 2005 line. We'll look into the possibility of changing Jango to blue/gray for this Fall, but we're pretty far along with this one and it may not be possible. In any case, we *do* have a blue/gray version planned in 2010.


QUESTION:  As shown at Toy Fair, the upcoming Geonosis Assault battle pack is coming with the long-requested Gunship pod turret and 2 clone pilots. Since each gunship had 2 turrets in the film, that will require buying 2 sets, making 4 pilots. However, the gunship is manned by 2 pilots in the cockpit, and 2 standard grunts in the turrets. While thrilled to get the pods and more clones, could we get a regular clone trooper helmet as well as, or even instead of 1 of, those pilot helmets so the gunships can be accurately, completely manned?

ANSWER:  That's a great idea, but we went with the two pilot helmets. It's too late to add a helmet in now, so the pack will ship as shown.





CREATURE CANTINA


QUESTION:  Okay, so, lessee here: Juggernaut Turbo Tank, full-sized Gunship bubble turret with Clone Pilots, TX-130 Republic Fighter Tank, larger Crab Droid, larger Vulture Droid, Clone Wars Y-Wing, Jabba's Rancor, and oodles of desperately cool figures out the wazoo. And that's just for starters. First of all: THANK YOU!!! Secondly: You're gonna bankrupt me, you know that?

ANSWER:  Glad you like the offerings! We're glad you "fee" our commitment to keep the magic going. Just one clarification - there's no new Crab Droid - we're bringing out the same one, just in a new package. By the way...wait until you see what we are holding back for Comic Con. Trust us when we say there is a lot of great stuff to come - '09 is going to be one of the biggest years in Hasbro's Star Wars history!


QUESTION:  Now that we're getting more and more Podracer pilots, how likely is it that we might start getting their Podracers to go along with them?

ANSWER:  We will probably start to think about them in a couple years, when kids who experienced Ep. I for the first time in 1999 start to "grow" into collectors. Until then, we have our sights set on other vehicles.





To be continued.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 01:44:05 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2009, 09:07:51 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF APRIL 10th, 2009 - PART 2



GALACTIC HUNTER


QUESTION:  Will the 2010 The Force Unleashed wave include any upgrades/remakes/variants of Force Unleashed characters you've already done, such as Juno Eclipse in her more screen-accurate outfit from the game or Starkiller in another of his many outfits?  Or will the wave entirely consist of Force Unleashed characters you haven't done yet?

ANSWER:  Actually, plans have changed for this wave.  Namely, it will no longer be part of our basic figure plan in 2010  The reason is because the Legacy/Droid Factory figures have slowed considerably since last Fall compared to other parts of the line like Clone Wars basic figures and Saga Legends, and without the strong collector backbone we need to scale back on the number of collector-targeted basic figures in the lineup. We will instead be moving these to the Spring 2010 exclusives lineup and will change things around to look at some multi-packs (similar to the Battllefront multi-pack format).  We think that Juno Eclipse in the version you suggest and additional Galen Marek figures are solid ideas, but we have yet to finalize the lineup.


QUESTION:  The "Purge Trooper" figure recently revealed in the Star Wars Insider magazine's pre-production drawings bears a strong resemblance to the Spacetrooper from the Heir to the Empire comics/novel. Is this intended to be a remake of that Spacetrooper, and is he going to be part of the next Heir to the Empire comic pack that was hinted at in a past Q&A?

ANSWER:  Yes, it is intended to be a remake of the Spacetrooper, but no, it is not part of the planned Heir to the Empire comic pack.  Stay tuned - we'll have more info at Comic Con about the disposition of this guy.


QUESTION:  Is it too late to request that the Evolutions-model Jango Fett slated for Target stores' Geonosis Arena 2-Packs is painted with a blue jumpsuit instead of the purple one? This was requested before when you re-released the Fett Legacy Evolution set, but the opportunity was missed. Now once again there's a chance to sell us a blue suit version of Evolutions-model Jango Fett. Please make it happen! Also on the topic of Geonosis Arena 2-Packs aren't we long overdue for a new-model Bariss Offee with improved articulation? The original action-posed version from 2003 looks out of place next to the next-gen models of her fellow Jedi.  Is she possibly one of the upgrades coming in the Target Geonosis Arena 2-Packs?

ANSWER:  We'll look into the possibility of changing to blue for this Fall, but we're pretty far along with this one and it may not be possible.  In any case, we *do* have a blue version planned in 2010.




HAN'S HIDEOUT


QUESTION:  OK, we've already got Obi-Wan's Delta 7 Starfighter and Anakin's yellow Delta 7 Starfighter is expected this Summer. How long before we get Ahsoka's ship to round out the set?

ANSWER:  Not long, not long at all. Stay tuned!


QUESTION:  A question on the plan for the SDCC'09 Stormtrooper Commander figure - will he get new/special packaging or will it be a complete re-issue of the 2008 figure/cardback? At Toy Fair, it sounded like you were leaning towards all-new packaging. Any progress on a final decision?

ANSWER:  He will be packed on a basic figure card in the new red/white line look, with an outer clamshell.


QUESTION:  Rum Sleg from the Phantom Menace Wave is a fantastic looking figure. We have one thing we'd like cleared up though since there seems to be conflicting rumors out there - does he have a removable helmet or not? And is the chest armor removable or not?

ANSWER:  He does have a removable helmet, but the chest armor is sculpted as part of his body.





JEDI INSIDER


QUESTION:  Will we ever see Characters that debuted in the Clone Wars cartoon made into non-clone wars/Legacy Collection figures like Rex, Ahsoka and Cad Bane? If not on single cards maybe something like comic packs or Evolution sets. From Animated to non-animated type Evolution sets?

ANSWER:  There are no plans to cross-over Clone Wars characters into realistically-styled figures (or vice-versa, which we also get asked frequently). The lines will remain separate in order to bring fans the greatest variety of figures possible.


QUESTION:  Aura Sing is getting some good screen time on the Clone Wars cartoon, will she be making an appearance anytime soon in the Clone Wars action figure line?

ANSWER:  Unfortunately, not soon enough, as we can't wait to get her into the lineup. She is slated right now for 2010.



QUESTION:  This may have been asked before, but with all these build-a-droid parts that are getting released, have you ever thought about making an updated droid factory playset like Kenner did many years ago. Something that maybe lets collectors/customizers organize all the droid parts and let’s kids pretend they are actually building droids with those parts. Maybe base it off the droid assembly plant seen in Episode 2?

ANSWER:  We have indeed looked at this, with a theme very similar to what you suggest, but we just can't get it to price out where we think it needs to be to be a successful toy. We don't want to give up hope on this, though, but the chances of this one seeing the light of day are very slim.




JEDI NEWS


QUESTION:  I know we asked this a while ago but it's been almost 4 years since the 500th figure of Darth Vader.  I'm sure we're at/close to/or may have even surpassed the 1000th figure mark; do you have any plans to mark this very special milestone and if so what can we expect?

ANSWER:  We do not have any plans to commemorate a 1,000th figure.  We've been so busy making sure that we're getting everything out that we have not taken a breath to see where we are against that auspicious milestone.  One of these days we hope to be able to get to a count, but it's likely that we have or will miss it.


QUESTION:  We've had several requests about some of the older Galactic Heroes Cinema Scenes such as the Hoth, Mustafar, Bounty Hunter and Naboo sets (to mention a few).  Are there any plans to re-release these in the future in current packaging?

ANSWER:  For the most part we've been concentrating on new sets, but re-releasing some "classics" is a good idea.  We'll take that into consideration.


QUESTION:  Will we see any more foil figure '1st Day of Issue' figures released this year or are we all done on that and the Ultimate Galactic Hunt idea?  If not, can you tell us what waves will be included in this year's promotion?

ANSWER:  We don't have any plans for either idea this year, but there's a strong chance that one or the other will be back for 2010.





To be continued.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 01:45:01 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2009, 11:59:30 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF APRIL 10th, 2009 - PART 3



JEDIDEFENDER

QUESTION:  Times are hard all over... Lots of layoffs, people are cutting back spending all around, and that leads me to this question; Do the folks at Hasbro think increases in prices with toys are going to greatly affect the future plans of the Star Wars line? It seems like the line in general has increased in price from the basic figures, to the battlepacks, vehicles and more... This certainly has impacted what I spend. Where I used to buy 2 of almost every figure (usually to have some for customizing) or more, I've certainly had to cut back. Are there any fears the line could take a "hit" from the inevitable cutting back many people are doing with their spending combined with price increases and whatnot?

ANSWER:  It is not the price increase, but the overall economic situation that has affected some collectors that has also caused us to take some corrective measures which we'll get to in a minute. Overall, Star Wars sales are red hot, and basic figures, Starfighter Vehicles and Battle Packs in particular are all more popular than ever. However, this seems to be because of very strong kid demand for Star Wars, especially anything relating to Clone Wars. We have indeed seen an effect on the more collector-targeted figures and sets, like Evolutions and even Droid Factory basic figures, which have slowed down significantly since last year and we have lost some of the more casual collectors, retaining a loyal "core." Going forward, we are going to be more cautious about the breadth and depth of the 100%-collector-targeted figures that we put into the lineup, since the economic health of the collector base is tied directly to our success with these types of figures. Collectors are still a very important focus for us and we will still be developing new and re-sculpts figures that fill the collector need, but the prudent course for the long-term health of the brand is make sure that we do not produce too many overall, or over-release these tertiary figures. This means that some releases may be scaled back, and supply kept shorter than in the past for some things. We will continue to look for ways to bring out new and interesting figures in other ways (such as the numerous exciting figure-based exclusives coming this year and in 2010). One outcome of the current collector situation is that we are going to take the announced Spring 2010 wave of The Force Unleashed figures out of the basic figure lineup, and move them over to the exclusives plan.


QUESTION:  The Clone lockers are pretty cool sets of pack-ins with the Legends figures, and the "artifacts" that Indiana Jones figures came with were really neat... What I'm curious about though, is that some collectors actually enjoy the little cardboard locker and crates on some level, and have you ever considered including a cardboard box (maybe to look like a Death Star cargo box like the scanner technicians used?) to hold the Build-A-Droid Part? Or perhaps to replace the Clone lockers at some point? I know they'd make some neat background filler to me at least, for my Imperial shelf. Different colors and things would be neat.

ANSWER:  We are looking at including more cardboard elements with some sets, including diorama-like backdrops in the Starfighter Vehicle line starting this Fall (taking their cue from the Indiana Jones vehicle packaging). We also may look at it in other sets as well. Unfortunately, the box is not feasible for the Droid Factory parts since we need the part to be visible from the outside.


QUESTION:  We got a pretty great Hoth Han with the last "Vintage" series of figures, and you've now put together what looks like a great Hoth Rebel footsoldier for our snow trenches. I'm curious where you're headed with Hoth-specific characters next? Would you look to Luke, or Leia resculpt? Or would you look at maybe the tan vested Hoth Soldiers ala the vintage rebel figure? Which character from Hoth would be your next goal to get outthere on the shelves if you could?

ANSWER:  There is a great new Luke Snowspeeder pilot coming later this Fall, and we hope to get to a new Hoth Leia in 2010. No plans right now for the other Hoth Rebel soldier, but he is one that we have our sites set on, hopefully within the next couple of years.





REBELSCUM


QUESTION:  Do you have any plans for C-3PO in the near future? An AOTC repaint of the Ewok Deity mold would be great and all that is needed for TPM C-3PO is knee joints.

ANSWER:  We do have a couple of takes on C-3PO coming later this year and 2010 that we think you will like. No plans to redo the "naked" version of C-3PO from Episode I, though, although some day we might get to him.


QUESTION:  Since we are getting the IG-2000 and Hound's Tooth in the Titanium line, what are the chances you will make the other 2 missing Bounty Hunter ships (Mist Hunter and Punishing One)? It would really be nice to get these 2 ships in 3D form finally.

ANSWER:  Both of them are well into development and will be out before the end of the year, as part of the last waves before Titanium goes on hiatus after this year.


QUESTION:  Regardless of collector opinions on the price/value ratio, do you feel the Lars Homestead and Sarlacc Pit were successful enough forays to continue the format of these type of environment battle packs?

ANSWER:  The results were decent, with Sarlacc being the more popular of the sets, but they could not compare to any of the vehicle-based sets we have done. We do not have plans to do more of the environmental-type sets, but do not rule out a return to the format some time.





SANDTROOPERS


QUESTION:  Dear Hasbro, when will we see a release on the Mace Windu and Luke Skywalker (RotJ) Force FX sabers? Or with the popularity of The Clone Wars, we will be seeing an Ahsoka Tano Force FX lightsaber any time soon?

ANSWER:  Unfortunately, we're off to a slower-than-expected start with the Force FX business, as consumer demand is not yet where we forecasted it to be for the original sabers.  As such, we have to move through our material commitments to the original sabers before we can release the new ones. Hopefully they will be out this Fall. There are plans for an Ahsoka Force FX lightsaber, but in the longer term once we are successful with the current lineup.


QUESTION:  Are there any plans to release some of the older, hard-to-find figures in the Saga Legends line any time soon? I thought that was what this sub-line was for in the first place? Instead of re-releasing versions of C-3P0 and Luke that are still peg warming in their original packages, why not release figures like Episode 1 Sio Bibble and Ascension Gun Padme, Saga Ephont Mon or Lars' Homestead Padme, or the Expanded Universe Spacetrooper and Imperial Sentinel? And speaking of these re-releases that you love so much, have you ever given any thought to another sub-line of re-releases aimed strictly at the army builders? You could call it Armies of Star Wars or something like that, and just keep figures like Stormtroopers, Death Star Troopers, TIE Pilots, Clone Troopers, etc. in circulation continuously since those are the figures that sell the best most of the time. And I'm sure a lot of collectors would love to be able to walk into Target or Wal-Mart and pick up a handful of Stormtroopers any day of the week instead of waiting for them to be re-inserted into the line.

ANSWER:  The Saga Legends line was always intended to re-release the best of the best kid-targeted figures, not necessarily to be a collector-targeted SKU. We decided to add some figures to the lineup last year in response to fan voting, but that was not meant to be a standard platform for the line. Currently, the lineup has been designed primarily to focus on the SKU as a complement to Clone Wars, since once we saw the quality of the programming we  knew that we would have trouble keeping up with the demand of Clone Wars figures. In addition to the core that mirrors Clone Wars, we have selected additional popular figures from across the Saga, including several that were voted for by fans previously. While we will not be adding back in the fans' vote to Saga Legends in the near future, we do have plans to upgrade a couple figures you have mentioned over the next two years...so we think that your patience will be rewarded!


QUESTION:  I loved the Lucky Lekku and would love to have more individualized gunships like the Crumb Bomber. Are there more gunship repaints planned to coincide with The Clone Wars cartoon?

ANSWER:  Ideally, we want to keep the Gunship in rotation every year, and as we see new and unique squadrons appear we'll look for a way to get them into the lineup.  There will be at least one coming this Fall.  Stay tuned for news at Comic Con….





SIR STEVE'S GUIDE


QUESTION:  When it comes to prequel Senators, we haven't seen much lately. The most asked of them is the Senator Grebleips figure, the E.T. alien - will we ever be getting this figure, is it just unlikely because it's a background alien, or is it totally off-limits because it's an easter egg from another film? Also, what about seeing senate figures from Ep 1 like Edcel Bar Gane, Sei Taria, Toonbuck Toora and Mot-Not Rab?

ANSWER:  Senator and Separatist figures have been very slow sellers for us, so while we're not ruling them out, they are not high on our list of figures to target. We're confident that we'll get around to more some day, especially if the collector base rebounds as these figures are 100% collector-targeted. Until then, they'll stay on the sidelines. Grebleips is off limits per Lucasfilm, joining (among a few others) the oft-asked for female Cantina denizens, Holiday Special live action figures, and Tyvokka as figures we cannot/will not pursue.


QUESTION:  With the new Droid Factory sets, included is a Corran Horn / Whistler 2-pack. As Corran Horn is an EU character, he is seen as not likely to get multiple figures, so as such, why is this 2-pack coming with a standard orange flight costume rather than Horn's more distinctive green-hued version? Whistler also is lacking his overall green tinge, but since this seems like it may be the only Corran Horn figure fans will see, why not make it as characteristically accurate as possible?

ANSWER:  This one is in the orange jumpsuit, which is one of his outfits from the novel and the one we went with. Regarding the coloration of Whistler, we take Lucasfilm's direction on all deco, with the intent of being as accurate as possible to the reference material. As for additional Corran Horn figures someday, we would not rule out the possibility, and the green suit would be a great alternate deco for further down the road. How far, we don't know, considering how long it took to get him into the lineup in the first place. We're stoked to be bringing the pair out, in any case.


QUESTION:  With the Build-A-Droid line, there's been some confusion about the naming with a few of the figures. First off, there's R2-N6 who was properly named at last year's Comic-Con presentation yet later got renamed to R2-L3. Second, there's the upcoming U-3PO figure that has a silver tone rather than the slightly brassy look from the movie, and is shipping in an ESB wave, a film which already has a silver protocol droid, E-3PO, except that character has white instead of yellow eyes. What's the deal with these build-a-figures and their identity issues?

ANSWER:  We do not select the droids to match the film theme of the wave, but instead based on which ones we feel are important to do; as one of the first droids we see in EpIV, we felt U-3PO was the choice to go with. As to the R2-L3, it turns out that R2-N6 was not an official Lucasfilm-given name for this droid, so we later switched based on Lucasfilm direction. This reversal has happened a few times with the buildable astros, since we have targeted several "unmade" droids who had not yet been given official designations.




To be continued.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 01:52:54 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2009, 12:43:43 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF APRIL 10th, 2009 - PART 4



SNOWTROOPERS


QUESTION:  Nearly a year ago, we (Canada) were told that Hasbrotoyshop.com would start shipping to Canada. Since we've been hearing for years that they are "looking into it", can we please get a solid answer, when we can expect this to happen? In the last JoeCanuck.com Q & A, Hasbro stated "We will follow up with HTS on this." Please, just give us a final solid date on when Canadians can start purchasing from HTS.   Hasbro is only losing money by not offering the product on HTS to Canadians.

ANSWER:  It has taken much longer than originally thought, and the plan is to bring Canada online in 2009.  We still do not have a date for you, though.


QUESTION:  We know that the market is smaller in Canada, and that sometimes either retailers are unwilling or unable to pick up some of the very cool exclusives that you make available.  Is there anything that we can do as consumers to help encourage the Canadian retailers to pick up these exclusives (beside obviously buying them when they come up).  And what about those US exclusives like the A-Wing, comic packs (Amanin/Sunber, Ewoks, Nrin/Ibitsam), or Target exclusives (Rancor and  Luke, Geonosis Packs, RC droids) which are sought after by many Canadian collectors? How do we ensure these make it up here?

ANSWER:  All of our exclusives are offered to accounts globally in all markets, but not all of them are accepted by the retailer due to various reasons.  Once this happens, we do try to resolicit, but sometimes we are not able to secure placement based on account interest, shipping windows being too tight to accommodate retail needs, or MOQs (minimum order quantities from the factories).  This year, we show that the comic packs *will* be picked up by Wal-Mart Canada (both waves, Spring and Fall), but the A-Wing from last year will not make it.  On the rest of the items in question, the Rancor will be going to smaller Canadian accounts (not Zeller's), the RC Droids will not be going into Canada at all, and the Geonosis 2-packs will be going to Zeller's later this Fall.


QUESTION:  When will we see the awesome Admiral Ackbar get the super articulated Hasbro 3 3/4" makeover?

ANSWER:  We're hopeful that before 2010 is out you will have the famous Admiral updated and ready to command the ever growing army of Mon Calamari forces (we're not planning more in the near-term, but we would say that the recent additions of Mon Calamari Warriors and Ibtisam helped support the need for their fellow Mon Cal to stage a triumphant return!).





SW ACTION NEWS

QUESTION:  We appreciate the fact that the saga legends set gave us a 2-for-1 deal on battle droids, but there is a small issue with their arms.  Sure they look fine standing at attention, but sometimes display or play value could be added if they had  a fixed-pose gun holding stance. The straight-arm pose looks a little goofy when building dioramas and throws their balance off.  In the spirit of the build a droids and the Saga C-3PO with Battle Droid head, would including a second set of interchangeable arms or legs for Battle Droids or Stormtroopers be something feasible in the future? 

ANSWER:  After their current run we plan on retiring the good old Battle Droid as we know it.  The Clone Wars version will still continue on.    However there is a new one coming that should excite fans.  Stay tuned for more info at Comic Con!


QUESTION:  In several Q&A's in the past our listeners have complained about bendy guns and other certain quality issues that have come up with some of the toys in the years past.  And the standard reply was that it was a costing issue and having these bendy guns and such helped keep costs down.  Now that costs are up, up, up with us paying as much as 60% more for a carded 3-3/4" figure than we were just a few years ago, will we see the quality of accessories improve?

ANSWER:  Our costs have not decreased, so the way we regulate accessories by allowing factories to re-use their plastic stock as a way of helping to manage their overheads remains in place.


QUESTION:  Speaking of 2 for 1 Battle Droids, the upcoming Ugnaught you are giving us only one of each per card, and making us search for the variation later on.  Back in the POTF2 days we got 2 different Ugnaughts per pack, as well as the Ewoks, Jawas and so on.  Which given their size is completely fair and much appreciated.  Can you share some insight on why Battle Droids and smaller Jedi are being double packed and these Ugnaughts aren't?

ANSWER:  They would have been dropped from the line otherwise.  They were simply too expensive to keep in the lineup.  Keep in mind that managing the basic figure line is a balancing act and we also have to take into account the new tooling required to produce the figures which is not a factor for most other multipacks like Yaddle, Even Piell or Battle Droids.  The days of including multiple figures in a pack are for the most part gone unfortunately.  But we will do it when we can and we feel it is necessary for the success of a pack.





SW COLLECTOR


QUESTION:  How about some squadron-themed Clone Wars battlepacks? You could do Blue Squadron with Ahsoka, R7-A7, Axe, and Kickback, or Shadow Squadron with Matchstick, Broadside, Anakin, and their Orange R2 unit. They would all basically be repaints, and would make a great complement to the vehicle line.

ANSWER:  We do have plans for a lot of these guys, although not as Battle Packs per se. Stay tuned…


QUESTION:  The upcoming Concept Art Anakin figure was shown at Hasbro's Toy Fair event with a red-bladed Darth Vader lightsaber. Recent online photos of the loose and carded figure show him with his Episode II: Attack of the Clones blue-bladed saber (as well as his AOTC saber hilt on his belt). Since the concept art was for Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, shouldn't he have his ROTS-style lightsaber and hilt?

ANSWER:  We originally proposed a red saber for this figure since he has Sith eyes in the concept art, but in further discussions with Lucasfilm we decided that we would do the costume, but not make him Sith. So we went with the blue saber to match. We all missed the black control sleeve on this one...but since it's a concept figure screen accuracy wasn't the paramount concern, but getting the costume right was our primary focus.


QUESTION:  What is the approximate height of the upcoming holographic Darth Sidious figure that comes with the Mechno-Chair, and does the figure itself have any articulation?

ANSWER:  The figure does not have any articulation, and is approx. 2-1/2" tall.





THE JAWA


QUESTION:  With talk that Hasbro might reuse the Ten Numb/Keyan Farlander sculpt again in 2009, can you fix the tendency for this figure to lean over to his left side?  While the problem is not as bad on Keyan, on Ten he leans over quite conspicuously. I wouldn't want to end up with a small squad of B-Wing pilots that all lean over to one side as Hasbro uses this sculpt for future pilot figures.

ANSWER:  The B-Wing figure was actually designed to stand more "at ease" rather than in a straight lineup, with one leg forward from the other, even though he was not packed out that way.  We try to give our figures an overall neutral pose because collectors like to pose their figures in different ways, but we try to incorporate a natural stance to them so that they feel alive and don't feel stiff.  That probably explains what you are seeing.  At this point, the upcoming red version of Ten Numb will use the same figure.


QUESTION:  My son loves the Galactic Heroes line, especially the ships...except for one thing. Why is the Millenium Falcon the only ship that comes with lights and sound features? Just by the looks of the molds on some of them like Vader's TIE Fighter and the Jedi Starfighter, there appears to be enough room to perhaps incorporate some. Was there ever any thought given to including sounds/lights on the other ships or is this simply a price/cost decision?

ANSWER:  The reason you don't see more electronics in the Galactic Heroes vehicle lineup is because, in the early days of GH in 2004, the Millennium Falcon and the X-Wing did sport electronics, but at the higher price points that we needed to command, sales were very sluggish.  Unfortunately, interest was so low at those price points that we reached the point where all plans for additional vehicles were abandoned (including the then-modeled but never-tooled Darth Vader TIE Fighter, which was designed to house electronics at that time).  It wasn't until the conception of the Cinema Scene format that vehicles found their way back into the lineup, but the need to strictly manage these to the $20/$25 price point does not allow us to put electronics into the vehicles. The Jedi Starfighter is a recent creation and was not designed to house electronics.


QUESTION:  Could Hasbro make it a point to include the ladder with all of your future X-Wing releases?  Or to include the ladder again with another Yavin hangar battlepack so collectors can pick up a few spares to go with their existing X-Wings?

ANSWER:  That is a solid plan, and in future X-Wing releases we'll plan on it. No plans right now for another Yavin pack, but if we did, it's a good accessory to include.





To be continued.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 02:41:00 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2009, 09:01:25 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF APRIL 10th, 2009 - PART 5



YAKFACE


QUESTION:  What's the story with all the repacks (Anakin, Jango, Clone Pilot, Blue ARC Trooper) in the Legacy Collection's later AOTC-themed Build-A-Droid wave? Is seems like these figures would have been better served as Greatest Hits* "GH" or Saga Legends "SL" designated figures rather than falling into the BD sequence of numbering.

Was this done just to provide "filler" until the new packaging switch over and can we assume that Greatest Hit "GH" figures are dead and discontinued for the new packaging?

ANSWER:  They should have been GH-numbered figures but a communications snafu with our packaging team resulted in them getting BD designations. We apologize for the confusion. We hope that collectors will recognize these straight repack figures and choose to ignore them; otherwise, the construction of the buildable droids in the wave are exactly the same in that collectors can just pick up the new/refresh figures to get the new droid parts and ignore the repacked figures. It does make the numbering system somewhat off for those collecting them in-package, and for that we apologize.


QUESTION:  We have had a lot of discussion over the years in collecting groups and in various online forums about the quality of removable helmets for most of the clonetrooper and stormtrooper type figures. Issues range from....

- being too tight on the figure's head that he head comes off in the helmet when trying to remove it
- being too small where the figure's chin sticks out from underneath the front of the helmet, especially when pauldrons are utilized
- being too large that it looks out of proportion with the rest of the body.
- poor production run paint jobs making it look more like a paint-by-number piece
- varying hardnesses of plastics used causing deflection/warping issues when on figure's heads
- varying helmet sculpts/paint jobs used (even within the same wave - Luke and Han) that break the consistent look of our legions

Is it possible to create one standard "go-to" helmet to use across the entire line that would remedy some of these inconsistencies? The absolute best example of the stormtrooper helmet thus far has been included with the TLC Spacetrooper. Would it be possible of have that be the default sculpt to use for the stormtroopers is the future?

ANSWER:  The issue is that even when we spec an existing helmet, it doesn't always work because each new sculpt we do would be different, based on whether it has hair, a balaclava, or other details. There is always a slightly variable amount of shrinkage to the sculpts, which shrink at different rates depending on whether they are helmets or heads. It is certainly an inexact science! We do our best to match them, but we usually won't know how they will fit until we get the first shots from actual tooled parts, and by then there is little we can do, especially if it's a new helmet. In most cases, we need to go with the figure as-is, or when have the flexibility of time (like with did with the Mandorlorian sets for Entertainment Earth) delay to address since there was not a hard shelf date. Usually, we don't have that flexibility. There will always be some variability to the helmets we do because of this, but we are cognizant of the issues and are always trying to get the best results. One improvement we are looking at as a possible remedy is to model all the helmets digitally, giving us more flexibility in scaling the hard copy (pre-tooling) to best match the head rather than having to try and tweak the sculpt.


QUESTION:   Since the clones have their AT-TE and Turbo Tank and with all of their action in the Clone Wars series, is there a possibility of getting the Trade Federation MTT someday in the same size/price range those large vehicles? It seems like the perfect opportunity for transporting all those Battle Droids and Super Battle Droids we have plus it lends itself to being repainted for the live action movie style.

ANSWER:  We would really like to look at this, but the MTT does not seem to have a future as a player in the Clone Wars series. Until it does, it will have to remain on the sidelines, as cool as it is. We need kid support for our vehicles to succeed and that means entertainment support.





YODA'S NEWS


QUESTION:   With the new package design shown at NYTF and more recently in packaged images on the web, is Hasbro looking to release a new clamshell 5 or 10 pack protection pack for the MOC collectors now that the design is back to a more "square" design?

ANSWER:  We're glad you asked. The new card is actually 5.5" x 8.25", reduced slightly from the current 6"x9" card size to conform to retail planogram modular sizing (actually the same size as all of Hasbro's new basic figures). It is too small to fit in the current clamshell and right now, we do not have any plans to produce a new, smaller-size clamshell that would accommodate the new card size.


QUESTION:   A lot of people were sad to hear that the Mighty Muggs will be TRU Exclusives this fall, can you give us any more information on this? We heard from e-stores and Hasbro direct dealers that MM were a great seller. With a lot of collectors and kids not able to get to TRU in all areas will these also be sold on Hasbro's Website or TRU's site? Any chance they will come back to a broader release in 2010?

ANSWER:  Despite fans of the format, Mighty Muggs seemed to appeal to a small but passionate minority of the overall Star Wars collecting audience compared to all our other Star Wars sub lines. There is no chance that Mighty Muggs, at least in the current size or format, will come back as a broader or national release. It is unknown whether TRU.com will be selling Mighty Muggs, but we'll pass on the encouragement. It will not be sold through HasbroToyShop.com.


QUESTION:   At the Collector's Event in New York, there was several comments made about new Comic Con debuts. Will there will be "press only collector event" in San Diego as a "Part 2" from New York or will it be like past SDCC Hasbro events where the audience is more diverse?

ANSWER:  Comic Con will follow the same format as always - open to the public on Wednesday evening, with a presentation to all comers on Friday (Star Wars day). Everyone is welcome, and trust us when we say that this year will have a tremendous number of reveals....in the presentation if not all in the booth.




To be continued as more sites continue to post their Q&A sessions.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 02:40:37 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 02:43:08 PM »

TWO SITES ADDED!

-Creature Cantina
-SW Action News
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