HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A HEADLINES - WEEK OF APRIL 10th, 2009
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 - RETURN OF THE JEDI WAVE DETAILSJEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVESQUESTION:
Collectors are still a little puzzled about the Return of the Jedi wave that was previewed in the Star Wars Insider. Where in the schedule does this wave fall now? Has the name on the Sullustan B-Wing pilot from this wave been settled? And is there any chance of a look at that one?ANSWER:
The EpVI wave has now been pushed back to be the second wave in the new red/white line look and will be on shelf around October if not earlier. The timing was due to a wave order switch, when we made the EpI our lead wave to tie into the 10th Anniversary of EpI and the Qui-Gon/Eopie mail-in. The red Sullustan will be Ten Numb.GOLD 5: Two bits of information get confirmed here. First, the RETURN OF THE JEDI wave of figures will be the second in the TLC RED line. And second, the Sullustan pilot that's slated for this wave will be Ten Numb in a red flightsuit.
HEADLINE - SAIL BARGE NOT IN DEVELOPMENTBANTHA SKULLQUESTION:
So you've given us detailed pics of the upcoming Legacy ROTJ Nikto figure. The large cannon accessory appears to have some kind of clip at the end of the "arm" or "base". Clearly, this is meant to attach to something big in order to keep the figure from falling over. Can you please provide us with pics of the BMF Jabba's Sail Barge you plan on releasing in 2010 but haven't told us about yet? ANSWER:
The design team did put that in there for forward-compatibility, should there ever be a chance to do a Sail Barge. There is certainly no Sail Barge in development for all of the reasons we have previously articulated - not iconic enough, not a kid-demanded vehicle, and it would have a massive tooling budget against probably the lowest demand of the "big vehicle program" we have been driving. In short, not a good formula for success, that would likely grind the program to a halt. We would love to do it, because we are fans and it is a cool vehicle to us, but unless Jabba and the Barge shows up in a big way in future entertainment the chances of this one are slim.( oh wonderful sail barge)GOLD 5: Hasbro reveals that while the new Nikto guard includes a pack-in deck gun from Jabba's Sail Barge, no Sail Barge toy is in development. Their response seems to be a clear denial of a Sail Barge toy.
HEADLINE - TITANIUM SERIES FINAL OFFERINGS DUE OUT IN OCTOBER/NOVEMBERCOLLECTION STATIONQUESTION:
With Titanium Series ending, the opportunities for re-releasing popular and hard-to-find tools is getting quite short. With that in mind, might you be able to shoehorn re-releases of some of those popular, hard-to-find pieces like the Droid Gunship, Mon Calamari Cruiser, Trade Federation Landing Craft, Rogue Shadow, and Hailfire Droid into the last few waves (perhaps through revision cases) to make sure collectors are as best served as possible, rather than letting the Titaniums' ending serve only scalpers? ANSWER:
The Hailfire and Droid Gunship will be coming back in the last wave, on shelf around Oct/Nov. Unfortunately, it is to late to add anything more to the Titanium lineup as we are well passed our window for adding to the packaging lineup.GOLD 5: Hasbro confirms that a couple of HTF Titanium pieces will be on tap for the final series of Titanium. And they also add that the final wave in the series is due out in October/November of 2009.
HEADLINE - THE STORY BEHIND NO'APAAK REVEALEDHAN'S HIDEOUTQUESTION:
Recently revealed in an issue of Star Wars Insider was plans for a new Ewok 2-pack - Paploo & NoApaak. Paploo I know, but who or what is NoApaak? You hinted at a great story behind his name, care to share? And any chance you've got a pic you could share?ANSWER:
Sure - we'd be glad to tell the story. It starts in Spring 2008 when a 7-year old boy named Noah came to visit Hasbro. He lived locally, and was about to undergo an operation that would keep him bedridden for months. Noah was a big Star Wars fan, and when we learned of this we wanted to meet him and sit down and talk about Star Wars. This young man was amazing - sunny, and bright, and even though he had been through a lot of pain and medical work before, it did not disrupt his disposition. And he clearly knew his Star Wars!
As we love to do with kids who are fans of Star Wars, we started to talk about what their favorite characters or moments were in the films (remember, this was pre-Clone Wars so his knowledge was primarily from the films). As it turns out, Noah was a big fan of Ewoks and we were about to design the Ewok set from the EpVI wave.
We had handy one of the on-set shots with all the Ewok characters given to us by Official Pix (we often source these set shots for development inspiration). So we asked Noah which two Ewoks stood out to him as interesting and that we should do next. One of Noah's choices was Paploo - an excellent choice since Paploo was overdue for an upgrade. We did not recognize the second figure but he seemed an interesting choice and we stuck with it.
A few months later when we were discussing the set with Lucasfilm, we realized that the second Ewok Noah has chosen has never been officially named (turns out there are a number of them still). When we told Lucasfilm the story of how we picked this figure (or rather how Noah picked him), it suddenly made perfect sense to name the character after Noah as a tribute to the strength and bravery of an incredible little boy. Lucasfilm wholeheartedly agreed, and came up with an Ewok-language name incorporating Noah's first and parts of his last name. We were thrilled, and when we called Noah's family to tell him they were beside themselves.
Since then, Noah has had his operation and is making a strong recovery. We promised him that we'd get together and celebrate as soon as we got our final samples at the start of production so he can have the first one. It's a small story in the grand scheme of things, but it made a *huge* impact on Noah and his family, and we can't thank Lucasfilm enough for helping to make one little boy's life, and Star Wars experience, magical and something we'll all never forget.GOLD 5: This is a very touching story that's in keeping with Hasbro giving back to the community. You may recall their similar efforts with R2-KT in recent years. And this Q&A response goes to show that something as simple as the naming of a toy can bring some light into a child's life.
HEADLINE - VOTC CHEWBACCA TO BE REISSUED VIA SAGA LEGENDSHAN'S HIDEOUTQUESTION:
What are the chances of the following figures being recycled into future Saga Legends assortments - VOTC Chewbacca, VOTC Han Solo, and VOTC Luke Skywalker? All three seem to have developed a bit of demand on the secondary market lately thanks to that Big Falcon and most folks wouldn't mind seeing them again on the new cardbacks.ANSWER:
Good questions. The VOTC Chewbacca will be coming into the Saga Legends line this Fall. The VOTC Han is not available because his tooling is in use elsewhere for another set; instead, we will be getting an older Bespin Han back out there (not a vintage-quality articulated figure, but since this line is kid-targeted we went with the best one we had). We did not have the VOTC EpIV Luke planned for re-release because of the upcoming DSII Luke, but he is a good candidate for getting back into the rotation sometime. Thanks for the suggestions.GOLD 5: Early indications from some retail listings showed that the VOTC Chewbacca might be in the mix for a Saga Legends assortment. Hasbro's response verifies that this premium version of Chewie will be back at retail.
HEADLINE - WEDGE ANTILLES X-WING UPDATEJEDIDEFENDERQUESTION:
Regarding the upcoming Scramble on Yavin battle pack, can you confirm which body Red Leader will be using? Will it simply be the VOTC X-Wing Luke body with a new head sculpt (as shown in some pictures,) or will it utilize the new torso pieces from the recent Nrin Vakil figure as shown in other pictures? Most fans are hoping for the Nrin Vakil body, as it's a more average height body/limbs it seems, while Luke is obviously a shorter character.ANSWER:
Red Leader used the Luke figure. When the set was originally created, the Wedge/Nrin Vakil body was not available and thus the Luke body was selected. In fact, if it wasn't for some heroics from our engineering team, Nrin may not have had that body at all since he was supposed to use it *after* we were done running the Wedge/X-Wing exclusive, which was subsequently delayed until this Fall. We managed to push the tooling dollars around, and we were lucky to get him, but not soon enough to impact Red Leader.GOLD 5: The real news in this response seems to be about the upcoming Wedge Antilles X-Wing rather than the heart of what was asked by JD. Wedge Antilles will apparently be something of a new X-Wing pilot sculpt, with him and his X-Wing coming to market as an exclusive this fall.
HEADLINE - NEW ZUCKUSS CONFIRMEDRAVING TOY MANIACSQUESTION:
Are there any current plans for a new Zuckuss figure? Relative to the other bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back, he seems over-due. ANSWER:
We agree. A Zuckuss is indeed in the works... we will have more information available at Comic Con.GOLD 5: Hasbro has preciously indicated that a new Zuckuss will be on the way in the Q&A process. This response is a clear confirmation that an updated Zuckuss is on the way, most likely in the TLC RED wave of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK figures.
HEADLINE - TITANIUM'S CURTAIN CALLSIR STEVE'S GUIDEQUESTION:
With the unfortunate announcement of the Titanium Series line ending after 2009, fans want to know all about its now-limited future. How many new tools will we be getting between now and its end? When can we expect the last wave, and what will be in that wave? What happens to tooling and promises that were on the bubble for '09, like the Outrider which was promised and forgotten last year and then promised again for the end of '09, or the Gungan Sub which was tooled up and promised in 2000 but canceled? Using the term "hiatus" as you did, is there any hope for the brand's revival in the foreseeable future? As Titanium Series is the only outlet for the majority of Star Wars vehicle toys these days, will Hasbro be filling that void with an all-plastic form of Titaniums? ANSWER:
There should be nine all-new tools to look for from now until the end of the year, with numerous other repaints rounding out the line (these new tools all follow the latest that have hit shipped recently - BARC Speeder, Xizor's Ship, and IG-2000). The nine include: Hound's Tooth, Clone Wars Y-Wing, Hyena Bomber, Punishing One, Malevolence, a new Republic Gunship tool, Mist Hunter, Nebulon B Frigate, and the Outrider
. Unfortunately, the Gungan Sub did not make the cut. We have a lot of heart for the series ourselves - it is amazing to reflect back on the 5-1/2 year run of this line and the incredible number of cool ships that were brought out. We are proud of it and feel it was a tremendous line, but we just couldn't keep it active any longer since the large development cost, the need for a lot of items to maintain retail productivity (an outcome of having a smaller but passionate fan base), and high cost of goods are all factors that could not be addressed for a healthy line. Aside from perhaps an improved cost of goods, an all-plastic vehicle line would not solve the problem either, since tooling costs are the same for plastic or metal, we would still need to introduce a ton of designs, and it would not necessarily attract a larger audience for Titanium. It's something we'll be exploring, though. It's important that we continue to work on ways to bring out the most exciting Star Wars vehicle lineup we can.GOLD 5: While the unfortunate news is that the Titanium vehicle line will be coming to an end, Hasbro seems prepared to take the line out in a style with nine all new vehicle, including:
Hound's Tooth (Bossk's ship)
Clone Wars Y-Wing
Hyena Bomber (seen in STAR WARS - THE CLONE WARS - "Liberty On Ryloth")
Punishing One (Dengar's ship)
Malevolence (seen in STAR WARS - THE CLONE WARS - Malevolence trilogy)
New Republic Gunship tool
Mist Hunter (Zuckuss's ship)
Nebulon B Frigate (Medical frigate seen in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI)
Outrider (Dash Rendar's vessel)
HEADLINE - NEW VEHICLES & BATTLE DROIDS IN THE WORKSYAKFACEQUESTION:
In the various QnA sessions over the years you've mentioned that sometimes old molds for figures and vehicles have been damaged or misplaced necessitating the creation of a new one (ex: the BMF). Can you reveal any often/repeatedly used figure or vehicle molds that we can look forward to not seeing again. ANSWER:
That's a tough question to answer, since we don't know which tools will break or wear out in advance, necessitating their replacement. If you are referring to upgrades or replacement for older vehicles, there are a couple all-new surprises coming up this Fall that will effectively make existing tools obsolete. For figures, there are continuous upgrades in the lineup that make older tools obsolete. One example would be the current Legacy Battle Droid figure....there is an all-new BD coming that will effectively retire the older one. Details on all of these will be revealed at Comic Con. GOLD 5: Hasbro mentioned recently that they were working on a new Battle Droid sculpt that would be a significant upgrade on previous releases. But the more interesting news is about previously released vehicles that will see new versions. Rumors are currently circulating about an updated AT-ST as well as a Snowspeeder. Keep checking back for more on these particular stories in coming weeks.
HEADLINE - HASBRO HINTS AT MORE HK DROIDSYAKFACEQUESTION:
When the Legacy/Droid Factory line was initially launched, the included B.A.D. parts were of 2 types: astromech or protocol droid. Now with B.A.D. figures like HK-47, L8-L9 and the ultra cool Darktrooper from the Walmart Droid Factory sets, the trend seems to be moving more toward "one-off" characters whose B.A.D. parts can't be repainted to create other characters as the astromech or protocol droid parts could. If that trend continues, is it possible we could see Episode I version of C-3PO without his coverings offered as the B.A.D. or would he be considered to be too "mainline" for such a release? ANSWER:
The intention with the Droid Factory sets was to always try and produce new droids, not just use existing parts. We went to figures like the HK series (and there may be more than one of him!) and L8-L9, and others, because we wanted to add some variety to the parts list rather then cycle through a number of similar-looking proto droids. It is less of a concern for the astros, since there are two new ones per wave. You are right on the EpI C-3PO - we would not do this version as a BAD figure and would keep him as a mainline figure, if we ever slotted him into a future lineup (there is no update currently planned). GOLD 5: Hasbro sneaks a possible little gem into this particular response. While the question had been focused on the EPISODE I rendition of C-3PO, but Hasbro sneaks in mention of another possible HK droid for the Build-A-Figure line. The most likely candidate being HK-50, a mass produced series of assassin droids that appear in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords video game .
HEADLINE - CLEGG HOLDFAST - HI-RES IMAGEYODA'S NEWSQUESTION:
Can we get a high res picture of Clegg Holdfast? If not, maybe let us know which Klaatu is coming in a future wave? (*Please note that due to the new time schedule with questions, at the time we sent this in we had yet to see an image anywhere else)ANSWER:
Sure - sorry that a site beat you to this one in the previous Q&A. See attached pic of Cliegg Holdfast. CLICK FOR IMAGE OF CLEGG HOLDFASTGOLD 5: The image of Clegg Holdfast that circulated a couple of weeks ago was somewhat on the small side. Hasbro provides a larger picture in this session for your viewing pleasure.
HEADLINE - MORE WALMART EXCLUSIVE COMIC 2-PACKS CONFIRMED - MORE PILOTS ON THE WAYTHE PRIVATE UNIVERSEQUESTION:
Can you give us any more details as to the likely Pilot characters we are going to see over the next 12 months, you've mentioned Gen. Salm and Lt Telsji previously as one's you'd like to do, are they there? What about the likes of Gavin Darklighter or any of the Wraiths?ANSWER:
Your question is excellent, as we are quite fond of pilots ourselves, and will try to provide some guidance. While there aren't going to be quite as many pilots in the next twelve months as there were in the last twelve, there is still a good lineup coming. Confirmed ones for this Fall
include the Rebel Pilots #3 Evolution pack (Wal-Mart exclusive including John D. Branon - Red 4, Shira Brie as X-Wing Pilot, and Jake Farrell - A-Wing Pilot), Wedge X-Wing pilot (in a set still to be announced but is one of the worst-kept secrets of the line), Luke - Snowspeeder pilot (new sculpt) in the EpV wave this Fall wave, and Ten Numb (red B-Wing outfit) from the EpVI wave this Fall. In addition, there will be at least 4 more coming in Wal-Mart exclusive comic packs over the next twelve months, and the likelihood of a several more late next year in various exclusives.GOLD 5: Hasbro reveals in this response that at least 4 more pilot figures will be released as part of WalMart exclusive Expanded Universe comic 2-packs. This is new information regarding both the pilots and the exclusive comic 2-packs. Given the release of the recent Rogue Squadron comic 2-pack that was exclusive to WalMart (this included Nrin Vakil and Ibtisam) it seems likely that these 4 pilots might be paired in 2 comic 2-packs.
There have been some hints that Hasbro may offer some of the other Dagger Squadron pilots in a later release. However, there's no specific information in this answer to confirm that at this time. The likelihood of that happening might be slim since there were only 3 other Dagger Squadron pilots besides Netram Pollard who was the pack-in figure with the TRU exclusive Dagger Squadron B-Wing.
HEADLINE - NEW AT-ST STRONGLY HINTED ATGALACTIC HUNTERQUESTION:
This larger AT-ST people are rumorizing about, that would (hypothetically) be in the mid-size ($50+) range, correct?ANSWER:
We certainly hope that if we did pursue a new AT-ST that it would be larger-sized but also a decent chunk less than $50.GOLD 5: The rumors of a new AT-ST have been flying around with a good degree of regularity. Hasbro has informally stated a desire to update the AT-ST tool which dates back to the Kenner days. And with regard to the price issue, a new AT-ST has the potential to make it into the starfighter assortment. Remember, most of the AT-ST's height is made up by the legs. And the release of the AT-AP in the 30AC line showed collectors that Hasbro can in fact package a 2-pilot walker in the starfighter size package. Keep checking back for more news on the AT-ST over the next couple of months. An announcement should come at Toy Fair.
HEADLINE - WAROK CONFIRMED FOR NEW EWOK BATTLE PACKREBELSCUMQUESTION:
Last year at Comic-Con, it was mentioned that there were plans for a second Endor-themed Battle Pack, which would include the second Imperial Officer pulled from the Shield Generator Assault set. More recently, early word has come out of such a set and the Original Trilogy fans ae eager to learn more. Can you tell us who will be in this new set (please have some Ewoks!), and is it possible to see a close-up of that ill-fated Imperial Officer, even if it's the same photo from last year's presentation? ANSWER:
Sorry, but that pack never materialized. Instead, the pack coming this Fall includes an Ewok and glider, Imperial Officer, and Luke. Attached is the exact pic shown in last year's Comic Con presentation. The officer dropped from the bunker set is different from the one included in this new Ewok-themed set. We still have not found a landing spot yet. It's a safe bet to make that he will eventually make it out.UPDATE: Hasbro has sent out an update to this answer with further clarification:
As it turns out, we ARE using the officer that was dropped from the Shield Generator Assault set after all....he will have the original head, but on a modified torso (one that removes the rank insignia completely and is consistent with the imagery). As an added bonus, we can tell you that the
Ewok in this set is Warok.GOLD 5: Hasbro files this update to Rebelscum's Q&A with information that the Ewok in the recently revealed Ewok battle pack will be Warok. Warok is one of the remaining Ewoks from the Kenner vintage line that had yet to be re-made in the modern line.
Please keep checking back for more headlines as more sites continue to file their Q&A sessions through the weekend.