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« on: July 07, 2009, 12:20:02 AM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF JULY 6th, 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:  One of the big attractions of the Ultimate Battle Packs has been the inclusion of some never before made set pieces. Items like the new Hoth Rebel turrets, the Sarlacc Pit and even the Endor logs wound up being a significant draw for some collectors. But something that collectors have become more and more mindful of in the Q&A process is that tooling these items is costly, and these sets take up a good deal of space at retail.

With that in mind, will collectors see more of these exclusive Ultimate Battle Packs in the future? And what of the larger accessories? I know that I for one would LOVE an Imperial Turbo Laser station from the trench run in A New Hope!

ANSWER:  Right now, there are no more Ultimate Battle Packs on the horizon. We would like to do more, but recent costing challenges have forced us to abandon the concept. We hope to get back to it at some point - there are a bunch of things we would like do to if we did go back to the format.


QUESTION:  A continual point of discussion amongst figure collectors is articulation, articulation and articulation! And since the introduction of the modern vintage line we have seen basic figure articulation improve significantly.

But one of the things that has been a hallmark of the Star Wars saga is that life forms come in all shapes and sizes. Yoda told us that size matters not. But how does the size of a small character such as Yoda impact the sculpt and articulation of a figure? Especially when such a dynamic character as Yoda is involved.

ANSWER:  The smaller the character, the less articulation (and fewer sculpted parts) they will generally need. Since we are used to sculpting things at very tiny sizes, though, small limbs do not pose that much of a different challenge as opposed to a regular-sized character. Down to road somewhere is sure to be a smaller character - like Yoda - where we will want to push the articulation envelope and we are sure that our team will enthusiastically step up to the challenge. We have some amazing sculptors working on the Star Wars line!


QUESTION:  One of the much talked about images from Clone Wars season 2 has to be the clip of a Mandalorian warrior that was shown at Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World. Can we expect to see a Clone Wars Mandalorian in that line in the coming year? And can you offer any insight into who this Mandalorian might be?

ANSWER:  You can expect to see him in the lineup in 2010. We are not at liberty to reveal any more, except in due time. Stay tuned!




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


COLLECTION STATION


QUESTION:  Recently, pictures of the TPM wave surfaced online, and they seem to be of final production samples. We've seen a trend in the last few years of deco work becoming steadily weaker and weaker, with the Gungan Warrior sporting a particularly weak deco. On all previous Gungans, the colored parts of the arms have been detailed and accurate to the film and the different colors on the face have blended together well; on this new version, the paint seems sloppy, with no details on the arms and a stark contrast between the dark and light colors. While we understand that you've cut back on weathering and other details due to cost issues, this Gungan seems a bit much. Will we continue to see increasingly poor paint applications as the line continues, is there too much budget given to articulation at the expense of deco, and if so, what reasons are behind these issues? Will the line's deco get cheaper and more toyetic as the prices increase due to ever-tightening budgetary issues?

ANSWER:  We understand your frustration, and will try to address what you seem to be seeing. Please note that In every case, we are trying to make the best figures we can and in recent years have attempted to increase articulation, which brings with it it's own set of challenges in delivering the overall line on our costing targets. One factor that you may not appreciate is the inherent costs that higher articulation bring; with it comes an increased number of tools to manufacture each figure, increased labor to assemble and paint, and increased deco count because of the number of parts that need to be painted. So just because you see what *looks* like fewer deco ops, doesn't mean there actually *are*; in fact, there may be more depending on the complexity of the figure. The Gungan happens to be a highly articulated figure - moreseo than any Gungan we have done to date - with a decent number of accessories. We are very proud of him and think that you will be very pleased when you finally get to see him in person.


QUESTION:  Hasbro has had a long history of packing new figures or improved sculpts in various multipacks with re-released figures. This essentially makes longtime collectors choose between re-purchasing figures they may have multiple times already (Vader and Han Solo are notable repeat offenders), or completely miss out on the new figures in the sets. This has, unfortunately, caused many unscrupulous collectors to purchase the sets, remove the figures or accessories they want, replace them with older, less desirable figures, and return them to the store for full credit. Though honest collectors will bring this to the attention of store management, many times the tampered-with items are back on the shelf the next day for whatever reason. Though we understand the business sense behind offering the new with the old, the practice of figure-swapping-to-return theft is steadily on the rise and far less rare than it should be, while employees are less able or diligent to keep that tampered product off their shelves. Isn't there anything you can do to potentially slow the problem, both the initial swapping and the employees re-stocking the tampered items after it's been brought to their attention?

ANSWER:  It's an annoying problem to be sure, and something that we try to police as we can. Our retail merchandising teams, who are out in stores weekly, let us know of issues fas they arise and pull the damaged product they notice. This ensures it comes out of the system to make sure it gets replaced. We also alert the retail folks at the return desk, and have even participated in criminal prosecutions in a couple of cases in conjunction with our retail partners. Still, we could always use help here since the differences in figures are subtle, and if you are noticing a systematic issue in your local store, please be sure to let the area manager or return desk know of the problems. As for our general philosophy of repacks, which you mention upfront in your question, we always try to make sure that either *all* of the figures in a pack are new and improved in some way, or *none* of them (straight repacks like many Battle Packs). In this way, the completist collector does not feel compelled to buy three figures they already have, say, to get one figure they need. We are always cognizant of the figure completist who wants to have a sample of each figure loose and out of pack, and from that determine our strategy. It doesn't always work out quite the way we want it to for various reasons (tooling resources, figure availability, etc) but we plan to stick with this philosophy.


QUESTION:  A recent disassembly of your Titanium Series V-19 Starfighter led to the surprising discovery of a detailed cockpit underneath the opaque yellow canopy. Why was this item released with the opaque canopy rather than a transparent one which would have shown off the detailing underneath? You guys are paying to design, sculpt, and tool up that interior, so why hide it? Will this be addressed in some sort of re-release before the line's end?

ANSWER:  This was a production mistake that was overlooked during final approvals. There will be a running change to a clear canopy that should get out before the line goes on hiatus.




CREATURE CANTINA


QUESTION:  Regarding exclusives: Do you have a set number you must produce each year by contract, or do you take each year as it comes, churning out as many as the various retailers, websites, and conventions ask for? And is there any way you could please reduce the number of exclusives per year so we foreigners (and struggling Americans) can catch up? };D

ANSWER:  Star Wars is one of the brands in highest demand for exclusives by retailers, so there is a lot of interest in them every year. We actually turn down a large number of Star Wars exclusive requests every year for simple lack of resources and bandwidth to deal with them all. We do hear your pain, and the good news is that there are fewer overall exclusives in 2009, and our plan is to bring that down even a little further in 2010. We plan to keep doing "meaningful" exclusives (multi-figure sets with some key new figures like Droid Factory, Geonosis Arena, comic packs), more new vehicles, and updated vehicles in the coming years. Trust us, the hunt will be worthwhile.


QUESTION:  Looking at the "Turbo Tank Gunner Crew" Figure & Vehicle Pack image shown off at Toy Fair, I got to wondering: are the two missile launchers / mortars in the set actually designed to plug into the Turbo Tank somewhere? And if so, where?

ANSWER:  Yes, they are designed to work with the Turbo Tank and plug into mounts on the top and side door.




GALACTIC HUNTER

QUESTION:  Now that Pod Racers will be coming only one-per-card, does that mean that you will start doing the same with Ewoks? I hope not, but if that is the case, it would be nice to get a really nice accessory with each Ewok. Some cool Ewok accessories to date have been the Imperial Helmet Drums with Drumsticks; C-3PO's Ewok Deity Throne; the trap net that came with R2-D2; the Ewok Glider; and the Wokling.  I hope you can find a way to add some more to the mix like the Ceremonial Roasting Spit with Fire Pit!

ANSWER:  For now, we plan to keep producing Ewoks at two-per-card.  We really like your idea on the Spit/Pit and will mark that one for a future accessory should we need to reduce, or look at it for a potential Battle Pack if it makes sense.  Thanks!


QUESTION:  Since the beginning of these Q&A sessions there have been hints about the resurrection of beasts (in particular the Dewback). What time frame are we looking at now? A lot of collectors are expecting/hoping to see this come to fruition at Comic-Con 2009.

ANSWER:  We don't have plans to do a wholesale Beast SKU, but do hope to get them into the lineup occasionally.  Look for news on a significant new one at Comic Con - we're not revealing which one it is just yet. Stay tuned!


QUESTION:  How good is the chance of getting an Revenge of the Sith Beru Lars retooled/repainted from the [currently shipping] Attack of the Clones Beru Whitesun? The Revenge of the Sith version appears to have the same style outfit except in a different color scheme, with a different hairstyle. Therefore she only needs a new headsculpt and a repainted body. We need Revenge of the Sith Beru Lars to hold our Baby Luke Skywalker figure!

ANSWER:  While we're in no hurry for another Beru, this is one that we know we can activate at some point. A baby Luke figure does make a ton of sense as an accessory.



To be continued.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 04:43:07 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2009, 12:31:01 AM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF JULY 6th, 2009 - PART 2



HAN'S HIDEOUT


QUESTION:  In previous Q&As, you've revealed that there will be "a couple" of Cantina Dudes in the Fall ANH wave... but you've also indicated that you'd like to keep their exact identity secret until SDCC. How about this - we'll list off a pile of Cantina Dudes and you tell us generically if we've ID'ed one, two, or none of the figures? Sound Good? Ok, here we go: Mosep (aka Marvel Comic Jabba), Baniss Keeg, Reegesk, Hrchek Kal Fas (Saurin), Tzizvvt, Arliel Schous (Defel), Leesub Sirln, or Solomohal. How'd we do?

ANSWER:  OK, since your approach was fun and you have a very high quality of selects on your list, we'll play along. That list you have there matches pretty well our personal wish list. We'll go ahead and acknowledge that both of the aliens coming this Fall are on your list. Complete details and a preview will be available in a few weeks - stay tuned!


QUESTION:  Any chance we could get some bigger pics of the Fall TRU exclusive Galactic Heroes Cinema Scenes (AotC Kamino and ANH Droid Purchase)? Staring at the tiny pics from the Toy Fair collector presentation has been hurting our eyes and we'd love to get a closer look at them before they hit stores in a couple months.

ANSWER:  Links to the following images:

Galactic Heroes Kamino Showdown Cinema Scene

Galactic Heroes Purchase of the Droids Cinema Scene


QUESTION:  Here's another Han Solo for your "parking lot" - what about combining the parts of Hoth Han and Bespin Han to give us an Echo Base Hangar Han Solo figure? One where he's wearing his brown pants (with yellow stripes) and the notorious Blue/Brown winter parka (hood down). Part Hoth Han, Part Bespin Han, but all good.

ANSWER:  Good spotting. That is one that we have our eyes on for a future version as well. Expect to see him within the next couple of years, most likely in the basic figure lineup.




IMPERIAL SHIPYARDS


QUESTION:  We have heard rumors of a newly tooled ATST being released this fall. Can you tell us what price point we are looking at for this item, and if possible, will it include driver figures or inspire the release of a 2 or more driver battlepacks to man up the ATST? And will it be released in either an Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi theme (we would love a little sneak pic if possible please)?

ANSWER:  No information has or will be released on any future vehicles or creatures. Both mainline and exclusive, until Comic Con.  We will say that you will be very pleased with the selection we have on tap.


QUESTION:  With the increasing sophistication in figures, particularly in the excellent articulation, will Hasbro be revisiting any other older figures for a revamp, like was done with the ESB Hoth Rebels and Ugnaughts?  Examples would include:  ANH Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru, her Service Droid, Wuher, Naboo Security, Bespin Security, Sebulba, and so on.

ANSWER:  Yes, we will be looking at some of these periodically and at least one significant figure from your list will be coming this Fall.  As for the rest, they are not high on our list and will be much longer-term options for us - especially Wuher whom we think is most in need of an upgrade. It's unlikely that we'll get to Sebulba - in our opinion that Dug is still a sharp figure and would not see redoing him as a priority.


QUESTION:  I have noticed that some of your not yet released Clone Wars figures have been showing up for sale on ebay. Some are listed as official Hasbro figures and some are listed as customs, but obviously are not. Some are loose and one, Commander Ponds, are MOC. I am talking about Gree, Bly, Thire, Ponds, and Droidbait coming from Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the Phillipines. Are these figures already released in these countries and not in the US yet? We are including a few examples of sample ebay auctions for reference that can be searched through ebay.

ANSWER:  We cannot comment on these auctions, but we do keep our eye out.  We do take appropriate actions with authorities to ensure the integrity of the chain of custody of our pre-production and prototype figures remains intact.




JEDI NEWS


QUESTION:  You've said that the Battle Pack format will be changing shortly. Can you tell us how and when this format will be changing - will it be the contents of the packs (to include more vehicles, and less figures, like the recent Yavin Pack) and/or will the size be changing?  When these first started out we had 4 troopers in small mailer boxes and then this evolved into the Cinema Scenes so we're intrigued as to what's next?  Also, will the recently shown pictures of the Kamino Conflict Battle Pack feature any revised sculpts?

ANSWER:  The size will change next Fall - the footprint will be approximately the same size as the Battle Packs that ran from late Fall '05 through until Spring '08, with a little less height since the format has changed to four figures so the height is not needed to pose so many figures in pack.  The deeper package from the blue/white Clone Wars line look has been very difficult to manage for some retailers since fewer could fit on shelf at a time, which presented problems with the number we could include in a case pack and overall ratio management across all retailers as a result.  As to the contents, there will be no more vehicles like the Yavin set in the mainline battle packs, and the assortment will consist of more four (and maybe five) figure packs. We will also draw from the existing library of sets that continually sell very well like Jedi vs. Sidious, Clone Attack on Coruscant, etc.  We will mix in a few new ones, but they are going to be primarily kid-targeted.  As for the new Kamino set, all of the figures are existing with originald eco. We did have to remove some of the grungy paint wipes from R4 for costing reasons, but that is pretty marginal.


QUESTION:  We've seen images of the animated Clone Wars Cad Bane figure - will we get the other Bounty Hunters from the last episode of Season 1 of the Clone Wars including Aurra Sing and others?

ANSWER:  Yes you will - by next Fall there will be a tasty new assortment of Clone Wars bounty hunters to look for.  We will have a lot more detail on the full range next Spring at Toy Fair.


QUESTION:  Wave 2 of the Clone Wars 2-Packs arrived in the UK at Sainsbury's a couple of months back but we've not seen Wave 1 at retail - will we see these in the UK and if so when?  Also, are there any plans for anymore Clone Wars 2-Packs and if so what figures will feature - any chance we'll see any repaints of Battle Droids in these packs as it seems an easy way to get them out there to the fans?

ANSWER:  What you are seeing *is* Wave 1 of that particular assortment….a heroic good guy figure vs. a battle droid, both consisting of mainline deco without changes.  We do have plans for different Clone Wars 2-pack configurations.  Toys 'R Us will also be carrying a wave of 3 other repack 2-packs (Anakin/R2-D2, Grevious/Battle Droid, Cody/Clone).  In the U.S., there will be a couple of special clone-focused 2-packs coming this Fall (unfortunately, we could not get a retail partner to sign onto this one in the U.K. and Europe, although they will be coming to Aus/NZ.




JEDIDEFENDER


QUESTION:  It's time for some love for the Endor Rebels. We're curious to know if a possible future Endor Rebel figure could maybe be modeled on the "Sergeant" with the trench coat (like Sideshow's recent 12" figure). Also, the vintage Kener Endor Commando (with the opened camo coat) has never technically been recreated for the modern line. He'd make a good unique looking Endor Trooper in the future too! *hint hint*

ANSWER:  Hints taken..those are excellent figure selections. Right now we don't have a new Endor Commando slotted into the lineup, but it's only a mater of time before we get to them. We feel confident that at some point, one or both of those will see the light of day.


QUESTION:  Lots of Star Wars video game updates were doled out at the big E3 show this month. In particular, we're all totally excited by the look of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Based on the fact that we've seen you pull from the recent games (KOTOR, TFU), we're hoping you've got something cooking for potential SWTOR figures in 2010 and beyond?

ANSWER:  Right now there is nothing planned for 2010, only because we are reaching the latter stages of 2010 development and we know nothing about the game beyond the trailer that was recently introduced. We would certainly look to try and do something beyond that, and plan to get together with Lucasfilm when they are ready to give us a peak that could inspire development.


QUESTION:  What are the chances of sneaking the Yavin IV Technician figure from the Scramble Battle Pack into the Legends assortment this Fall? Lots of folks out there would love to put together a little army of techies. Or are there other plans for his tooling that would keep him out of the Legends assortment?

ANSWER:  There are no plans for him beyond the Scramble on Yavin Battle Pack. He would not fit the current definition of a Saga Legend since he is not a kid-targeted figure and those slots go to the highest demanded and most recognizable characters from across the Saga.






To be continued.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 04:43:49 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2009, 12:47:59 AM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF JULY 6th, 2009 - PART 3



MOUSEDROID


QUESTION:  My question is about Padme Amidala. Looking over the figures of her that you have produced, I noticed that you have almost completed her "Episode 1 Collection", with only 2 gowns to go, her "Post-Senate" appearance in Palpatine's Apartment, and her "Return to Naboo" appearence.

On top of those, we could use an upgrade to both Padme in her Battle outfit and her Tatooine Disguise (even though the original was great, additional articulation would be appreciated). Being aware of your plans to produce at least 1 Padme per year, what are the chances that any of these figures may appear in the line up in the next few years?

And while I'm on about Padme, if you did a new SA Padme in her Ep1 Battle outfit in the next few years, you could easily create a Battle Pack featuring her Handmaidens in the same outfits, by creating several new heads, for when the demand for Episode 1 becomes greater - as you have predicted.

ANSWER:  The ones you suggest are very good, although neither EpI designs are slotted into the lineup anywhere yet. In particular, we like the idea of an upgraded battle outfit at some point….that is actually a more agressive figure. That is a very interesting idea for the handmaidens in the Naboo battle outfit - thanks for the suggestion.


QUESTION:  I really liked your idea of adding extra guns to the saga legends figures during legacy. Are you going to change this up abit and maybe add jedi robes and lightsabers to the jedi legends that are release?
We can never have enough soft good robes or lightsabers these days.

ANSWER:  We don't have any plans to change the format for now, since the cards are all done and we don't plan a re-release with different accessories. That is an interesting idea if we ever go back to the pack-in format beyond the red/white line look.


QUESTION:  Way back at 2002's New York Toy Fair with the Attack Of The Clones line was first officially unveiled, the Geonosian Arena Playset was shown with a Geonosian Sonic Cannon. This was ultimately left out of the final set, presumably for cost reasons. What are the chances that we may see this finally released, perhaps in a Battle Pack, or even as part of the Geonosian Arena 2-Packs - should they continue beyond 2009?

ANSWER:  We would ike to do a sonic cannon at some point. While it is not on our active list, we would say that there is a very good chance of this one seeing daylight in the next 3-4 years.




RAVING TOY MANIAC


QUESTION:  Many popular characters from Season 1 of Clone Wars, such as Cad Bane, have had upwards of half a year between the time they appeared in the show and when their figure was released because it was impossible for Hasbro to design and produce the figures quickly enough. However, Season 2 of Clone Wars was completed several months ago, even though the new season won't premiere until later this fall. With this additional lead time, will we be able to see new characters appear as action figure close to, or even before, those characters appear in the show?

ANSWER:  Unfortunately, we still do not have perfect synchronization between the show and the figures in North America, since the shows air first here and the final order is not determined until much later after production is well under way. Similarly, we are not able to proceed until we get assets, and they may not come in time for us to produce a figure since it takes upwards of 15 months even for basic figures from the time we get input until the time they see daylight on shelf. We are working with Lucasfilm to close this gap as much as possible since we want to have a much better match to the actual air date of episodes, at least in North America where the season will debut first. For the rest of the world, or figures will more in synch with the show.


QUESTION:  Could they clarify a previous answer? In the last Hasbro Q&A RTM posted the answers to, Hasbro said that the only Padme Mighty Mugg they would release was the Queen Amidala Mugg. That was a strange answer, as up until now, there has been no Queen Amidala Mugg, no mention or rumor of an impending Amidala and the line seems to be coming to a quick halt. Is a Queen Amidala Mighty Mugg forthcoming, or was that answer a mistake?

ANSWER:  Unfortunately, the wave that was to include Queen Amidala was the last wave that was cut from the line. At present, there are no plans to release them. If Toys 'R Us has great results with Mighty Muggs as a global exclusive, and we need to release more new ones to fulfill need, this would be the first wave to activate since there are four Muggs (including Amidala) all done and ready to go. Right now, though, we cannot make a release to get to them until current production sells through.


QUESTION:  The Build-A-Droid promotion that has been part of The Legacy Collection has been one of the most fun and exciting pack-ins in action figure history. Will the Build-A-Droid promotion definitely end in 2010, or is there a possibility of it continuing for a longer period of time? There are still many, many background droids that could benefit from this program, such as R2-X2, a better R2-B1, and R2-A5.

ANSWER:  It's too early to talk about what is coming that far down the road. We will have complete details on the Fall 2010 line, and whether Droid Factory will continue in the mainline, at Toy Fair next Spring.




REBELSCUM


QUESTION:  Fanboys director Kyle Newman has an interesting suggestion regarding an exclusive: bring back the classic cardbacks! This has worked well for G.I. Joe in recent years, and the former "vintage" line from 2004-2007 was somehting that longtime collectors really enjoyed, and one you've stated that you'd like to bring back one day. As a promo, maybe we could even see an exclusive figure of the long-ago promised firing jetpack Boba Fett? That could spark a lot of interest and get collectors very excited!

ANSWER:  There is one way to ensure that Vintage cardbacks could make a return, and that is if Kyle comes to Rhode Island. With Kristen Bell. Then we are pretty sure that we could figure out how to get them back into the lineup. No Ben Quadinaros, though - he is off the table even if Kyle himself would buy ten of them.


QUESTION:  You've stated a number of times that there will be 4 concept figures this year. We know the first one is the Anakin concept figure in the AOTC wave. Without mentioning which figures you have on tap for the other three, could you let us know which waves they will be in and can we expect to see the other three concept figures this year, or have any been pushed back to 2010?

ANSWER:  The three will be coming this year, in the last three waves slated for 2010 (EpIV, EpIII, and EpV respectively). The first two red/white line look waves (EpI, followed by the epic EpVI wave) will not have concept figures.


QUESTION:  I am very impressed with what you have managed to accomplish with the comic-packs line since it has become available. That said, there is one modern comic that has been ignored so far: Dark Times. Do fans of this series have some hope on the horizon?

ANSWER:  We have our eyes on one Dark Times #6 pack for 2010 (pending final tooling allotment, which has run way over our prediction and as a result some items have been delayed, dropped, and shifted around). Once we get settled down, we hope to get that first one out there and then see where the series leads us. We know there are a couple more we'd like to do longer term if we can ever get to them as well.




SANDTROOPERS


QUESTION:  Why the big price increase on the new Y-Wing? It sounds like it's the size of the $20 ship assortment, maybe the B-Wing size of $40 tops.  Does it include electronics and lights to bring the cost up so high?  I'm afraid that if it is "plain jane" you are pricing the collectors and the kids out of the market, especially in these difficult economic times.  As cool as it looks, many of us will not pay the $65+ dollars that is being asked for this.

ANSWER:  It is a huge ship - the Y-Wing is *much* bigger than the Starfighter Assortment and is bigger even than the Republic Gunship/ARC 170 type ships.  As such, it is an expensive craft to tool, and it commands the new price.  There are no eletronics with this ship.  If this format is sucessful, we hope that it can be a continuing price point that will enable us to introduce some additional "midsize" vehicles and upgrades
into the mix.


QUESTION:  How come Star Wars figures don't have a list of what the items included are or instructions if needed? For instance what is the tiny item on the new Captain Typho's belt?? There have been a couple of instances in the past where just figuring it out takes an adult time, why wouldn't it be made easier for a kid?

ANSWER:  Specific contents like figure accessories change more frequently than we'd like right up until production, so we typically don't list them. Sometimes, they actual accesories aren’t defined but are left more to the imagination to decide how to use (the cannister that came witht he recent Jawa/WED Droid is a great example).  In this case, Typho's accessory is defined - it's a Naboo army-issue thermal detonator.


QUESTION:  After the success and positive customer/fan response to last year's Force Unleashed figures that tied in with the video game of the same name, what are the chances that we might see some figures from the upcoming Old Republic video game? And what characters would have the best chance of being made? There were several in the cinematic trailer alone that would translate well into plastic.

ANSWER:  It's way to early to talk about The Old Republic.  We saw the trailer at the same time you did, and we were completely blown away by it's awesomeness.  At this point, there is no timetable on when we'd get to meet and discuss what is at the game's core and what and when we would in figure form to accompany it.  What we do know is that we would probably follow the game's debut, rather than try and time our figures to the launch.  We can't wait to see more...and the wait will be too long until we do!





To be continued.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 04:44:28 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2009, 12:52:33 AM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF JULY 6th, 2009 - PART 4




SIR STEVE'S GUIDE


QUESTION:  Understanding that it's still too far away to talk about and that plans could always change, with the upcoming live-action TV show on the horizon to again boost interest in Star Wars collecting, would Hasbro release those figures as their own separate line, or would they be integrated into an overall line such as the Saga series?

ANSWER:  We have absolutely no idea what's up with the live action TV show. Most likely we would look at a separate line, as Clone Wars is.


QUESTION:  As the first generation of TLC and Clone Wars packaging nears the end of its run, we are noticing smaller amounts of new waves hitting local stores, and odd case assortments in those waves and their revisions. The ESB wave seems to be trickling in very slowly, with many collectors not having seen it "in the wild". The AOTC wave has appeared online, but still not in stores as of June. Clone Wars wave 5 has appeared in short supply and with a case assortment that still only includes 1 of each new figure, padding shelves with existing figures that aren't in short supply and don't seem to need significant restocking, while ensuring new figures get choked out, and it seems to be continuing for the next few CW and TLC waves (we understand the Hasbro argument about not having enough new product manufacturing volume for a wave, but there seem to be less revisions to address that, and more figures not moving fast enough to make way). While we understand that there is always a retailer reset of the lines with new packaging, a holding of the breath, it seems like this year it's been a longer-term problem and many collectors are growing frustrated with the scarcity of newer figures. Are there other reasons behind the lack of new figures on shelves, is there a remedy for it before the new packaging comes in?

ANSWER:  Clone Wars continues to be a monstrous hit with kids, necessitating waves with only 1/case of the new figures and constant repacks of the "greatest hits" to ensure that the most popular characters remain in rotation. The problem has been with Legacy; with sales not where we were expecting them, the new waves are having a harder time getting in to retail since there is still a good amount of previous waves on the shelves. However, there here should be plenty of EpV to go around by now. The challenge will be with the EpII wave - we cut back production on this one and it will be the scarcest of all the Legacy waves, and we needed to give new production over to the red/white waves to make sure they get in to retail approximately late August/early Sept. If folks want to be sure they can get the complete EpII wave, we recommend one of the Internet-based suppliers as they are able to order product directly from us by the specific wave, whereas the brick and mortar retailers do not have that precision and there is no telling which stores will get it. Just as an FYI - there is no hard planogram reset date this year for Star Wars, so the new red/white packaging will flow in right after the previous waves have gone through retail, and will not be the same for all retailers depending upon stock.


QUESTION:  Perhaps a longshot, but does Hasbro have access to the old Kenner Droids line's vehicle molds, the Side Gunner, ATL Interceptor, perhaps even the infamously never released White Witch? Will there be any chance to see these given new life and released under Hasbro one day?

ANSWER:  Sadly, we don't have any of these left in our tooling library. We're not sure if the White Witch was ever actually tooled up, but it sure is a good looking vehicle. Unless it gets modern entertainment support it's highly unlikely that we'd go ahead with it.




SW ACTION NEWS


QUESTION:  It has been announced that WalMart is going to be shrinking its toy departments by half or more. While it has been said the biggest impact will be felt by independent toy producers, we can't but help wonder what impact this will have on Star Wars toys. What have you heard about this and can you tell us if this means no more WalMart exclusives for Star Wars of if we will see less Star Wars in our WalMart stores?

ANSWER:  We don't know what stories you are referring to, but Star Wars is in great shape going forward at WalMart.  We expect approximately the same number of exclusives going forward in 2010 as there were in 2009.


QUESTION:  For the Toys-R-Us exclusive V-Wing it came with a clone pilot. Does this pilot differ from the figure called Oddball on regular cards?  And if not why not just say the V-Wing comes with Oddball?

ANSWER:  Yes, the figure that we included is not Oddball, but meant to be a generic pilot.  Oddball will likely come as a future release.  Right now he is in a parking lot, but has not yet found his way into an Episode III wave yet.


QUESTION:  It had previously been said the new sized cards would not have clamshells that fit.  However the San Diego Comic Con Luke figure comes in a clamshell.  Can you clarify about availability of protective cases for these new smaller figures?

ANSWER:  We do not have a multi-pack for the new card size in the lineup yet.  We are evaluating when we would make it available.  There are still a good quantity of the older one that we need to move through first before we can make another release.  But in time we are confident it will come.




SW COLLECTOR


QUESTION:  Several core characters are still in need of updated accessories to bring them current to the modern line. Now that we have an Episode I Obi-Wan with a flare-bladed version of his lightsaber, Episode I's Darth Maul still needs a flare-bladed double-saber and Episode VI's Jedi Knight Luke needs a flare-bladed green lightsaber. Any hints as to when we might see these inprovements made?

ANSWER:  Interesting - the older-style lightsabers do seem to be a little simple. The short answer is that we don't have plans to update these accessories, but they would be a good idea to do should these figures become slotted into the Saga Legends line at some point. Thanks for the comment.


QUESTION:  In a recent Q&A you stated one of the upcoming Concept Art figures would be a Clone Trooper. Will this be an Episode II or Episode III clone concept?

ANSWER:  Sorry about that - we may have mis-answered. There is no concept Clone Trooper figure coming. If you want to check on the answer you were referring to and let us know what the question/answer was, we can help clarify and get you the answer you need.


QUESTION:  Photos of a cardboard Death Star Playset prototype have surfaced online recently. Is this something currently in development, or an old concept that was abandonned?

ANSWER:  That was an older concept model from several years back. There is no Death Star playset in development.




THE JAWA


QUESTION:  In a recent Q&A, in regard to the collector-oriented figures you stated that "the collector figures really started to struggle compared to all past years." My question is how do you account for Bane Malar? He shipped in EQUAL quantity to Ak-Rev and Yarna Gargan and yet he completely sold out! Gargan was a very niche figure and not action-oriented, and Ak-Rev was so poorly articulated and as such both had little play value. Based on the success of Bane Malar, does Hasbro recognize the potential of collector oriented figures that are well articulated and chosen wisely? Yes, we know that super-articulation adds to your costs, but compare the sales figures and I'm sure you'll see the benefit. Please look at what you did right in the initial Legacy wave instead of focusing on the mistakes when planning the future of the line.

ANSWER:  That is an excellent point, and one which we recognize and does factor into our decision when picking figures.  Bane Malor was a very well-received figure, but not becase of the articulation necessarily.  He is an intriguing figure, is clearly a fighter/type, and has a certain unique, identifiable "galaxy far far away" vibe about him that places him squarley in the Star Wars universe and makes you want to know more about him.  Some of the other figures that have been struggling - Yarna, Ak-Rev to a certain extent, the Organas, and even Pons Limbic - don't have the same kind of quality to them.  So among collector-targeted figures, there are a couple sub-types that allow them to be separated into the "aggressive" camp (Bane Malor, Rum Sleg, skiff Gaurds, bounty hunter-types) and the more background/passive types.  The former seem the "safe" bets for these collector-figure spots, but we are still going to be pursuing the second type as well because a certain number of these figures every year helps keep the emotional heartbeat of the line going.  We just have to be careful on the overall number we commit to both in the number we produce, since they eat our tooling budget at a rapid rate, and since we don't want to slow down the productivity of figures at retail  The majority of problems should be behind us this Spring as we rgain balance with the collector base.


QUESTION:  Since Ewoks always seem to be good sellers, have you ever considered including a female Ewok to the line? If it's a possibility, how about making it Chief Chirpa's daughter Princess Kneesaa? Even though she was not in Return of the Jedi, she was the most marketed EU character of the Original Trilogy era, appearing as a main character in cartoons and comics, as well as in many different kinds of merchandise: plates, stickers, cards, books, games, dolls...you name it! From '84-'85 Ewoks were huge and Kneesaa was pretty much the number two Ewok character behind Wicket. To this day she is probably the most heavily marketed EU character of all time, yet she has never been made into an action figure. Is there a desire at Hasbro to some day get a Kneesaa figure out there?

ANSWER:  Yes, we would certainly like to get to her some time, but after we have attacked more of the on-screen Ewoks.  There are plenty of them to go, and over the next few years we hope to keep producing them in mainline, and exclusives, to keep growing out that Ewok clan.


QUESTION:  For the other rebel ground crewman that was dropped from the Scramble battlepack, can Hasbro include him in a way that makes it easy to army build? For those of us who want to recreate the Yavin ceremony, there are dozens of these crewmen in the audience. Hasbro may love it if we buy a dozen battlepacks to get more of this guy, but our wallets sure wouldn't. And what about making it easier to swap heads with future rebel figures so that we can try to diversify the looks of the crewmen (they aren't clones after all).

ANSWER:  We can definitely look at releasing the ground crewman in another pack or as a single carded item with a different head sculpt. As for the neck joint ball, this is something that we have been trying to standardize with our China vendors. The way it has worked is that we send them the completed sculpt using a standard ball size (we have two sizes that we use for most figures, depending on the figures head size), but from time to time they will make adjustments to the size depending on the specific needs of the figure (i.e. whether it needs to fit into a helmet, etc.). By the time we finally see the figure, the factory has made the decision on final part fit and the figure has already been tooled. We are actually in the process of trying once again to work with the vendors to push for a more consistent standardization of the articulation (especially ball joint necks) and will hopefully have good results to share going forward.






To be continued
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 12:39:07 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 04:45:52 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF JULY 6th, 2009 - PART 5



YAKFACE


QUESTION:  Unofficial pics broke online of the upcoming Octuparra droid, and from what were able to see this will be in the mid sized vehicle range and that it's going to be very tall when the legs are extended. How tall is it compared to the Tri-Droid from the 30th Anniversary Collection. Also can you confirm if the legs are going to be sturdy like the Homing Spider Droid, or are we going to see a bit of "bendy" plastic like the 3-3/4" Tri Droid?

ANSWER:  We have not made any announcements of an Octuptarra Droid.  We will not reveal any information on additional releases until Comic Con.  Stay tuned!


QUESTION:  Unofficial pics broke online of the upcoming Tank Droid and from what were able to see this will be in the mid sized vehicle range and the sculpt looks amazing! Can we see a picture or two of it with figures for comparison, and will the final product have foot pegs on the sides for Battle Droids to ride into battle?

ANSWER:  We have not made any announcements of a Tank Droid.  We will not reveal any information on additional releases until Comic Con.  Stay tuned!


QUESTION:  Now that we've received pretty much the ultimate Imperial officer sculpt in Captain Needa, can we expect an updated A New Hope version of Grand Moff Tarkin (or other officer) in the not to distant future?

ANSWER:  Perhaps not as quickly as you'd like, but we do have plans to utilize this body for future officer releases and upgrades.  Tarkin would certainly be high on the list of those we'd like to see updated.




YODA'S NEWS


QUESTION:  Can we get a high resolution picture of the new ewok 2-pack Paploo and NoApaak? More ewoks please!

ANSWER:  Here you go. Keep in mind that these are pre-final versions; we should have final production versions for public viewing in a few weeks at Comic Con.

CLICK HERE FOR IMAGE OF PAPLOO & NOAPAAK


QUESTION:  When making future troop-builder type of figures (Imperials, Pilots, etc.) can you consider making the ball joints on the heads the same size in all of them? This would make easy customizing possible; we buy extra figures, swap their heads and have "new" reinforcements for our legions.

ANSWER:  This has been a question asked time and again on the Q&A, and something that we have been trying to standardize with our China vendors. The way it has worked is that we send them the completed sculpt using a standard ball size (we have two sizes that we use for most figures, depending on the figures head size), but from time to time they will make adjustments to the size depending on the specific needs of the figure (i.e. whether it needs to fit into a helmet, etc.). By the time we finally see the figure, the factory has made the decision on final part fit and the figure has already been tooled. We are actually in the process of trying once again to work with the vendors to push for a more consistent standardization of the articulation (especially ball joint necks) and will hopefully have good results to share going forward.


QUESTION:  Can you address the Target Rancor Paint Variants? Some seem to have a dull white or snow like look while others have a glossy dark brown or green look? Was this a running change or just a fluke?

ANSWER:  This was not an intended variation. The original deco submission from the factory was the whitish version, but we asked them to change to what you are referring to as the glossy brown/dark green version. We asked this for this change from the start of production, but a number of the white did get out there; we did not notice this ourselves until product began to be distributed at retail. It's something we are looking into with our vendor.




Please keep checking back as more sites continue to file their Q&A sessions.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 12:21:39 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2009, 04:46:53 PM »

07.08.08 - One site added - Creature Cantina.com
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2009, 12:40:06 AM »

07.09.09 UPDATE - One site added - SW ACTION NEWS
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