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« on: August 20, 2009, 07:31:04 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF AUGUST 20th, 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 day before the recent Comic Con 2009, a number of pictures appeared online of what seemed to be new Indiana Jones figures, including signage that seemed to be right out of the SDCC display cases.  Within hours of them being reported on several sites, the pictures quickly disappeared from Photobucket, where they were posted.  Luckily, I saved the pictures to my own Photobucket, and here's the link: http://s56.photobucket.com/albums/g190/ebaymogul/ 

These pictures included utterly convincing “Hasbro-like” versions of a Raiders motorcycle sidecar with riders, and an ark spirit/ghost.  While these figures are pretty much 100% now believed to be “kit bashes” that are fan made (albeit with what everyone on the boards seems to agree was really remarkable skill,) could you comment on the rumor that these are the work of either Hasbro employees (presumably done for fun or as a gag,) or are mock-ups (including components from other 3 ¾” toy lines) used informally by Hasbro?  The theory is that while several of them are clearly kit bashes, the skill level seems more the work of someone working in the toy industry, and there are parts used that appear to come from unreleased Hasbro prototypes (such as Toht's salute hand and poker.)  The bigger question - is this - or was this - some hint of Hasbro Indy plans either past/abandoned or planned/future?

ANSWER:  This was a hoax, and we had nothing to do with it, nor was it the work of a rogue employee having fun.  Whoever did it did a clever job, right down to replicating our "tent cards" that we use when showing items at Comic Con.  There remains no current IJ development, and nothing of what was shows bears any relation (other than Toht) to work we had done prior.


QUESTION:  As usual, your presentation at Comic Con was great. My question is why didn't we see more for 2010? Last year the presentation showed things coming out as far away as March of '09. That is almost eight months after SDCC. I am curious as to why is R2-X2 in the Empire Strikes Back wave? Isn't "he" one of two possible droids from the Yavin Hangar scenes in ANH?

ANSWER:  We didn't show more of the 2010 line at Comic Con because the focus is always on what fans can expect for the next six months, with a just a sneak peek of what is to come.  The 2008 presentation was a little atypical because we had a couple of key exclusive delays (the Ep. VI Rancor and the Wal-Mart Comic Packs) that had slipped out from Fall 2008.
We wanted to make sure they got exposure because they were pushed out to the early spring, when we usually don't have many exclusives. Also, because we would not be able to get the word out before Toy Fair on these. We don't have any similar items for 2010, so the balance of the line will be seen at Toy Fair in February.  As to R2-X2, he was meant as a refresh figure similar to some other characters (ARC Trooper, Scout Trooper, etc) and was not part of the original figures created for the Episode V wave.


QUESTION:  2005's AT-RT vehicle was an interesting concept.  It's one of the few motorized vehicles that we've had in the line.  But the mechanics of the toy don't seem to replicate just how agile the vehicle has been shown to be in the Clone Wars animated series.  Given that appearance in the Clone Wars, is an AT-RT in the lineup for the near future?  And might it be retooled?

ANSWER:  We are looking at a new version of the AT-RT to be brought into the Clone Wars lineup.  It is smaller than the Episode III version, fitting with the more slender design from the Clone Wars animation.  Currently, it's slated for the deluxe figure/vehicle assortment and should be out for the first wave of 2010.  Stay tuned!




And now to continue on through the online Star Wars collecting community!


ACTION FIGURE COLLECTORS


QUESTION:  Will we ever see some of the classic Star Wars characters produced in "clone wars style" animated figures?

ANSWER:  The answer to both is that we intend to keep the lines separate. If more classic characters (other than Yoda, C-3PO, R2-D2, Tarkin, etc.) find their way into the Clone Wars, then we will certainly consider doing figures of them. Until then, we don't have plans to cross over the lines.

QUESTION:  Are there plans for another LARGE vehicle, playset or accessory for 2010? We realize you probably can't say what it may be, but is something on the horizon?

ANSWER:  It's too early to announce any plans for 2010 especially when it comes to higher-priced items. As it went last year (2008), any future items we may be considering hinge on the success of our program for the holiday season in front of us, and that means a good response to the Turbo Tank (so please, make sure that every young or old Star Wars fan gets one this holiday season!). We expect to make any announcements on higher-priced items, if we elect to pursue any, at Toy Fair next year.


QUESTION:  Now that we've come 10 years since Episode I premiered, we would like to know, where does the Hasbro Star Wars team see the brand 10 years from now?

ANSWER:  We see the brand in great shape 10 years from now. The current success of Clone Wars is amazing, and projecting out through 2010, we are confident in saying that interest in Star Wars over a sustained period has never been stronger, to be made all the more so when future additional TV series enter the horizon. Similarly, a new generation of collectors (with different sensibilities and enthusiam for all things Gungan) will come into the ranks of collectors in the next few years and now-grown kids, who fell under the spell of the Prequel Trilogy in theaters, will ensure that the collector base remains vibrant. They may replace older collectors, who may migrate out of the hobby for one reason or another, but this should ensure that the twin-focus of kid and collector remains strong for the far future. So for those who have been in the hobby a long-time, you will love what we bring out for both Legacy and Clone Wars, and for those who are just entering the hobby, "Welcome!" It's a great time to be a Star Wars collector.




BANTHA SKULL


QUESTION:  In previous Q&A's you've addressed the issue that increased articulation = increased costs. With the comic packs, we get really interesting characters that we probably wouldn't get otherwise since they don't appear in films. But it is generally the case that these interesting characters come with great sculpts but sub-par articulation. Have you considered doing fewer sets to offset the higher costs of better articulated figures?

ANSWER:  Ironically, this would not help matters. Since the audience for the Comic Packs is fairly flat, there is no chance of increasing the production run unless we were convinced that fans were deliberately not buying them because of inferior articulation. From our research, we do not believe that to be the case, and so we think our startegy allows fans to get the widest range of interesting figures and keep our expected performance as high as possible. Like the Legacy/Droid Factory collection, though, times have been a little tough for the Comic Packs lately and we hope to really start a turnaround this fall with a large number of exciting new packs. Thanks for the interest and the help in spreading the word!


QUESTION:  Hasbro, can you please provide more details on the "Mark of Maul" promotion?  How many UPCs will be needed, which UPCs will be accepted, how much money to send in addition, how long the offer will run from start to finish, and can we please see a picture of the final product, both boxed and loose? Thank you very much!

ANSWER:  Fans can collect 5 UPC codes to send in to get the exclusive Qui Gon and Eopie figures. The UPCs can be from Build a Droid (87535), Saga Legends (87995) or the Clone Wars figures (87638). For US please include a check or money order for $6.99(USD) shipping and handling and for Canada please include $8.99 (CAD) made out to Figure Redemption Inc. All requests should be mailed to:

Star Wars® 2009 Premium Item Offer
PO Box10790
Bozeman MT 59719-0790


The offer is currently running from now until March 31, 2010. Sorry, no out-of-pack pic is available, only in-pack (2 different attached).

IMAGE 1

IMAGE 2


QUESTION:  Hasbro, in regards to the recently revealed Saga Legends on the new cardbacks, why do you continue to keep making the same choices for repacks? As every SL we've seen on a new card are figures we saw in this year's (Stormtrooper cardback,) and TAC's Saga Legends line. While we realize the need for core characters, is there any way we can shake these up a bit? Maybe replace Vader with the infinitely times better Legacy mold? Or put older Clone Trooper paints - 212, Cato Nemoida, or 7th Legion - in place of clean ones? I just feel hardcore collectors feel jaded after seeing these figures year after year.

ANSWER:  Actually, since collectors are not the target of this year's Saga Legends lineup (it is designed to complement Clone Wars for the most part), we stuck with our lineup of best-selling figures. The lineup is pretty well set for the next year but we understand the desire to mix things up a bit, especially when it comes to troops, so we'll take your comment to heart and bring in some more classics at some point, likely next fall (if not sooner). Thanks!




COLLECTION STATION


QUESTION:  Understanding that new tooling costs are a major prohibitive factor in creating playsets, has the Hasbro SW team considered digging out the original GI Joe Headquarters playset tooling to repurpose for the Clone Wars line? Its design is generic sci-fi enough that without resculpting it could pass as a Republic base - such as Rishi Station from "Rookiees" - with simply a different sticker sheet for the control panels. It has a landing pad, a hallway/garage for BARC Speeders, and basic features that keep costs down but fit Clone Wars play patterns. So, any thought given to this idea before? If not, what do you think, and what would its chances be?

ANSWER:  Actually, we had not considered that, but that's a really creative suggestion, thanks. We don't know if it would work for various reasons including tooling availability, licensor approval, cost versus what we think consumers would be willing to pay. The fact is that it's probably too "flat" and a little boring compared to what a playset should and could deliver. Still, it's an interesting idea. But hey, taking that thinking one step further, doesn't the Terror Dome look very similar to a Separatist fortress? Anyone? Well, maybe not exactly, but that would be a dream come true!


QUESTION:  With the inclusion of alternate "sitting" legs for the new Slave Leia, it reminds us all that Oola hasn't had an update in over a decade, and could also use legs to sit next to Jabba. Any chance of getting a new Oola with similar alternate sitting legs so she could sit on the Jabba's dais we all hope you'll make soon?

ANSWER:  Oola definitely needs and update; we have her on our short list, probably within the next two years. It would be cool to make her compatible for any future dais that we also hope to make soon.


QUESTION:  In ye olden days, playsets were keen, but MICRO-scale playsets were really where it was at. Old-skool fans still to this day fondly remember Kenner's expansive Micro Collection series. And Galoob put themselves on the map in the mid-'90s with nearly 30 different creative, clever, fun Micro Machines playsets. Granted, Hasbro's stance on playsets for the 3.75" market is abundantly clear in that there's no mass market left there, but has any thought been put into playsets for the ongoing Galactic Heroes line? The brand's cute little styling could translate very well to playsets, and the brand has legs with both kids and collectors. Collectors love to put figures in context, and kids can always use environments to structure play patterns. The cardboard "playsets" from the recent battle packs are nifty, but kids play rough and cardboard doesn't take much abuse. Competitor Fisher-Price's Imaginext line has tons of creative and fun playsets around the same scale as G. Heroes which some kids have repurposed into Star Wars environments such as Jabba's Sail Barge from the pirate ship. So what about actual playsets for Galactic Heroes?

ANSWER:  Given the investment cost, we're more likely to consider playsets for the much bigger 3-3/4" line. Based on sheer numbers, that's where we'd get the best return on the investment if we went beyond the cardboard type of sets (which we think are terrific for the overall price of the Cinema Scene). The real trick, though, is landing on a playset concept that is iconic enough, has both space and features that we can afford to produce, and has significant entertainment support to get such a concept a green light. While we have looked at numerous different concepts in the constant quest to determine whether it's finally "time" to do a playset, we've never had a concept that hits all three of these criteria. Look over Clone Wars for anything, other than perhaps the bridge of a Republic Cruiser, that has consistent and repeatable exposure as a constant scenic element. Clone Wars is a world on the move, and as cool as Grievous' Lair of the Rookie's outpost may be, it is too fleeting to really justify the huge investment and risk. Maybe one day, if we ever have, say, extended exposure inside the Jedi training area of the Jedi temple, or Clone training facilities, then we might have a concept. Until then, we'll continue to devote our energies to different types of playsets like the vehicles, which we feel can satisfy both a great vehicle and a playset-type of need in the line.





To be continued.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 11:57:39 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2009, 07:52:20 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF AUGUST 20th, 2009 - PART 2



GALACTIC HUNTER


QUESTION:  So the end-of-the-year's big kick-off to the 2010 wave is an Expanded Universe wave. Are there any particular themes that Hasbro has hashed out for the big year? We would be happy to read about them.

ANSWER:  It's too early to talk about basic figure plans for 2010 yet, Adam — that will most likely come at Toy Fair.  We will say that the while the Expanded Universe will be the lead wave for 2010, it will probably be the only Expanded Universe wave for the year as we turn our attention to some other sub-themes, including some special attention to Episode V, given the 30th anniversary. [Editor's Note: Episode V is The Empire Strikes Back for some of you younger readers.]


QUESTION:  With seated Enslaved Princess Leia ready, we know that she needs something to sit on, so when (WHEN!!!) will we see a Jabba with his Dais? After seeing that awesome Dewback, we know it can happen! Please give a desperate guy an ounce of hope. [Rancor Pit trap opens!]

ANSWER:  There is hope, Adam, there is hope - lots of it.  It's not in the bag, though, and here's where you can help.  We've previously hinted that due to the size and format, such a beast would most likely be an exclusive. We have taken some big, meaty swings at our exclusives for this Fall  Season — the AT-ST, Dewback, Octuptarra Droid, newly-designed TIE Fighter and others show that we can redefine and create great new vehicles and creatures as exclusives.

What we'd like to do with Jabba would be no less ambitious. However, continuation of programs like this, and future success in exclusives, depends on collectors supporting the initiatives in front of us.  If we succeed, it opens the door for more opportunities like these and taking chances on some great concepts like a Jabba.  So, while we can offer a big sunny ray of hope, we don't want to officially make any announcements until we know we're totally locked in. This means making sure we have a great story to tell when we talk to our retailer partners. So fans, applying Jabba's own strong-arm tactics, if you want to see him, make sure you pounce and pounce hard *this* Fall Season!


QUESTION:  Ummm... so with this Fan's Choice Poll, we're assuming that everything is on the table? If not, please give us a breakdown and the reason(s) involved.

ANSWER:  We discussed this with Lucasfilm prior to the announcement and we decided not to rule out anyone from the vote. The only stipulation we put was to draw the line between the Legacy Collection and Clone Wars characters, to maintain the separation of those two lines. Although fans can vote for anyone, it does not mean that every figure who makes the top 30 this year will, or could, be made down the road. There are still a couple figures from the last fans' choice vote that cannot be made, even if the same characters happen to win this time, since everything is subject to Lucasfilm approval. We will say that, like the last fans' vote, this one is likely to have a deep and long-lasting influence on our lineup.




HAN'S HIDEOUT


QUESTION:  A few sneaky folks were able to shoot some pics as you were setting up your SDCC'09 booth. One thing we noticed in the set-up shots was a second Utai figure sculpt that was clearly at the show, but not shown officially. What's the scoop there? Potential running change that was cancelled? Will the second Utai end up on the same "maybe someday" list like Ratts Tyerell did at Toy Fair '09?

ANSWER:  The plan was for a Utai 2-pack, but that became a victim of cost controls with the Droid Factory waves. Right now there are no plans to release this one, but as always we will find a way to get him back out. We can confirm that Ratts is going to be coming out in the 2011 line.


QUESTION:  The Walmart Clone Wars 2-Packs - will we have to buy the 2-pack sets to get Clone Troopers Rys and Fives or will those two be coming on basic cards like Jek, Echo, and Denal?

ANSWER:  There are no plans for Rys and Fives to come out on basic figures cards.


QUESTION:  On the Fall ANH wave Scanning Trooper - can you confirm that there will be different head sculpts to go with the different cargo boxes? Seems to be some conflicting info on whether or not the figures will have variants or just the cargo box/scanners? And on the topic of Scanner Guy, are the "innards" of the cargo boxes removable pieces or is the box one piece?

ANSWER:  There will be a separate head sculpt that will accompany the second accessory when the figures are released. On the inside of the top box, the scanner is removable (on a tether) but the inside is glued in place.




IMPERIAL SHIPYARDS


QUESTION:  Will the new two seater AT-ST be released with two drivers or can we assume you will release a ROTJ Legacy or Legends Figure Wave with an AT-ST driver so we can man up that awesome looking atst?

ANSWER:  While the AT-ST comes with one driver fo the release, we are looking at releasing a carded AT-ST driver within the next couple of years.


QUESTION:  The new Target Two packs with the fold down droids look sweet and one immediately thinks of a droid gunship and an MTT.  Is there any hope of getting either one?

ANSWER:  We're glad you like the changes!  We added the articulation to the Battle Droid not so much to be compatible with any future vehicles, but because we feel the Battle Droids needed this kind of upgrade and it does allow for those who want to produce custom displays showcasing the awesomness of these droids, to do so. While we'd love to see it, the MTT is something that we just don't see getting to due to the sheer size and the fact it's a Separatist vehicle, which is much riskier at those price points.  If it is featured priomonently in the Clone Wars animation, we would consider it.  The Gunship is something that is much more likely because it could be done in a more approachable size.


QUESTION:  We have all noticed the New Legacy Nikto with the great looking gun. This gun seems to have a clasp that might be made to grip onto a handrail. Could we expect to possibly see an updated Sail barge or Desert Skiff for the future?

ANSWER:  We did design that just in case we had a future vehicle for it to clasp on to, but we do not have plans to pursue either vehicle you mention.  The Sail Barge remains perhaps our top "wish list" vehicle, but unless this bad boy gets some serious time in Clone Wars or a future TV show, we would not pursue it.  It's just too big, expensive, and relatively obscure to be a success.




JEDI NEWS


QUESTION:  Will we ever see any more Pod Racing Vehicles or Drivers in the 3.75" line or is what's been produced it?  Have you considered scaling these down for Galactic Heroes?

ANSWER:  There will be more Pod Racers - we would like to get to one a year, if we can, until we've gotten to all the majors (we could see doing 3 or 4 more years at least).  As for 3-3/4" Pod Racing vehicles, we do not have any in development, but haven't ruled out every getting to more of them. As the collector ranks are swelled by the generation of kids who first saw Episode I in theaters as kids, there will be increased interest in all things Episode I, including Pod Racing vehicles.  That time is still a few years off, so hang in there and we are confident you will see some eventually.  As for Galactic Heroes, that's an interesting idea and one we'll discuss internally.  Thanks!


QUESTION:  There are so many Clone Troopers in the 3.75" line... how about giving us some sets of Clone Troopers in the Galactic Heroes line, say a squadron of Troopers from Utapau or Coruscant packaged as a Cinema Scene; there are so many different environments to choose from and this would be a great way to give the younger (and older) collector a way to army build rather than just getting one trooper in each two pack every now and again?  Also, will we see the Republic Gunship in the Galactic Heroes line anytime soon?

ANSWER:  Interesting thought on Galactic Heroes, James.  We have done a couple of sets like this and they have been popular, so we would not rule out doing more of these. A Republic Gunship is not likely within the next couple of years.


QUESTION:  The Eopie mail away was confirmed for the UK, US and Canada after the US Toy Fair in February, but we've now been told that the offer will only be available in the US and Canada, why the change of heart? UK collectors were very much looking forward to being able to get this, will it be made available another way, if not why?

ANSWER:  It has been delayed due to a heavy slate of other promotional activity this fall.  We confirmed with the U.K. team that it will be offered in the 1st quarter of 2010, at Toys 'R Us.





To be continued.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 11:59:20 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2009, 12:16:49 AM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF AUGUST 20th, 2009 - PART 3



JEDIDEFENDER


QUESTION:  The Vader's Funeral Pyre set got the collectors talking in our forums quite a bit. Do you think this piece will be able to come in at a reasonable price (like under $30 maybe) or is it likely to be a bit more expensive, if it comes to light?

ANSWER:  We do feel that under $29.99 would be the target (hopefully well under) based on feedback from folks at Comic Con, online, and relative to other prior sets that were collector-targeted.


QUESTION:  The Clone Cash promotion is really neat and we were wondering if figures outisde the Clone Wars line would have the coupons in them? Some folks buy a lot more of the Legacy and Legends figures and that coupon would be a nice plus when you buy so much every year.

ANSWER:  We're glad you like the Clone Cash program. We inserted the Clone Cash into 200,000 Clone Wars basic figures this fall and that will be it for this year. We'll be watching the program to see how it does; it's possible we could expand it to more assortments next year depending on how it goes for this year (of course, it can always be used on Legacy and Saga Legends figures). Thanks!


QUESTION:  Did you happen to catch the images that cropped up of those "new" Indiana Jones Figures during Comic Con (toht, Ghost, etc)? Can you comment on if they were something top secret, simply a custom hoax, or something more?

ANSWER:  This was a hoax, and we had nothing to do with it. Whoever did it, did a clever job, right down to replicating our "tent cards" that we use when showing items at Comic Con. It was fun to look at, but nothing is in development or IJ at this time.




MOUSE DROID


QUESTION:  The current Saga Legends Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker is in desperate need of some new arms. I feel this figure has out grown the swivel elbows, which makes him look funny in the new packaging, as well as make it awkward for him to hold a Lightsaber with two hands. How long are we going to have to wait to get this upgrade? Because other than that, the figure isfantastic!

ANSWER:  We agree that an upgraded version of Episode III Anakin is a good idea, and out plan is that he will out sometime mid-2010. He will be in the regular basic figure lineup, and not Saga Legends.


QUESTION:  I'm actually really loving the new 2009 card designs, they look great. I have a couple of short quick questions. We have heard rumors that Darth Nihlus may be getting a run in the legends line, is this true as he would be a fantastic figure. Even Darth Bane would be very cool as we all know how well Sith sell.
My other question is how come we never get Darth Tyranus or Darth Sidious printed on the cards of Palps and Dooku. I would love to get these two guys with their Darth names for my collection. My final question is will we be lucky enough to see Concept Anakin on the new cards to go along with the other three concept figures coming this year as he will look out of place between the TAC and the 09 Legacy cards?


ANSWER:  There is no basis to the rumor that Darth Nihilus will be coming in the Saga Legends line. Right now, the focus remains firmly on Saga Legends as a kid-targeted assortment.

Good question on Palpatine and Dooku having their Darth names. The answer is that basically Palpatine and Dooku are more well-known to kids, but the appeal of their Darth appellations is noted, and would be an interesting way to name them in the future. Finally, there are no plans at this time to re-run any of the figures from the Episode II wave from this past spring except for Obi-Wan, so for now the concept Anakin will remain exclusive to the blue and white line look.


QUESTION:  I've noticed that DK Books are publishing a Star Wars Lego Visual Dictionary. Is there any chance of Hasbro jumping on board for a Star Wars Visual Dictionary as well?
Mike S

ANSWER:  There are no plans for a similar book on Hasbro's Star Wars toys, but it's an interesting idea




RAVING TOY MANIAC


QUESTION:  What happened with the Boba Fett in the Wal-Mart Droid Factory Wave? All the press materials showed him to be a repaint of the going to be a repack of the animated version. Why the change? Will we be getting that cool repaint of animated Fett in the near future?

ANSWER:  Per Lucasfilm direction, we went with the animated Boba Fett from the holiday special rather than a deco that was true to the movie or Droids series. Right now we don't have any plans for additional versions of Fett using the animated figure tools (which includes different forearms, gloves, and belt) but we do acknowledge that there is interest in seeing this, and given Boba's popularity it's certainly something we'll consider. Thanks!


QUESTION:  The fan's vote contest is coming up and all types of characters are going to be thrown into the hat. However, there are a few characters (Tonnika Sisters for example) that we have been told are "off-limits" for various reasons. Could you please publish a list of these so we don't waste our votes on these characters?

ANSWER:  We purposefully decided not to publish a list of the characters that Lucasfilm has deemed "off limits" in order to get the purest data on what fans want to see. However, the list of figures that cannot be made is a very short list. In the very unlikely event that one of these comes in first place in the poll, we will discuss with Lucasfilm. If it's still not possible to produce that figure, we'll have to go to second choice.


QUESTION:  I saw the Darth Vader funeral pyre in action at Comic Con. How do we go about letting you know that we DO want this scene?

ANSWER:  You just did! We got a pretty good idea at the show that a good number of fans want to see it, and reading the various reactions in the forum show that while not every fan may be willing to add this to their collection, it seems like there is a significant level of interest. The challenge now is to find a willing retail partner, and to find the right number to release to make everything work out. Thanks for the interest!




REBELSCUM

QUESTION:  A very big lack of Marvel Star Wars Comic Packs, although the one you are bringing out Lumiya/Luke Skywalker rocks and I am glad to have the chance to pick this one up, can I also ask if you are going to bring out any of the following characters from the Marvel Star Wars Comic Packs - Crimson Jack and Jolli, Jaxxon and Amaiza, Cody Sunn-Childe and Demon - also when will the next Marvel Star Wars Comic Pack be available after the Lumiya/Luke one and what will it be.

ANSWER:  There are no plans for any of those characters, but there is an opportunity for them to appear in the Fans' Choice Poll and if so, we will consider them. Although, given each of their extremely brief appearances in the Marvel run, we wouldn't expect them to be higher on the rankings of most fans than, say, Valance the Hunter, Rik Duel, Dani, or even Kiro (none of which are in the upcoming lineup, either). There *are* two Marvel packs slated for next year, the next one appearing in late spring as a Wal-Mart exclusive, which will be revealed at Toy Fair.


QUESTION:  Thanks for showing so many new figures at SDCC. What went into your decision to make Nien Nunb a B-Wing Pilot? Fans are much more anticipating a badly needed update of Nien Nunb as seen in ROTJ as a co-pilot to Lando in the Millennium Falcon. Can we expect this movie-accurate version soon please?

ANSWER:  It was our intention to make a red-suited B-wing pilot as a follow-up to Ten Numb who came in the Evolution packs. We needed to character using existing tooling, so we decided to just go ahead and slot in another Sullustan, thinking that there would be an Episode VI reference to support an appearance of a red-suited one. However, as we got further into the figure, and got ready for package art, we all realized that there was no on-screen support for one. It was too late to pull the figure out of the wave without seriously jeopardizing our schedule. So, with Lucasfilm agreeing, we kept on schedule and looked for a name. We decided that rather than make up a new pilot name (Eleven Nunb?) we would instead pick a name that seemed to make the most sense - reasoning that at some point Nien Nunb would have been a B-Wing pilot and it's something that we can imagine as off screen, prior to him being reassigned from the B-Wing squad and becoming Lando's co-pilot where he would not need to wear his B-Wing flight suit. We hope collectors will look past this one and appreciate him for what he is - a cool version of Nien Nunb. Imagine him as a generic red-suited B-Wing to fill out their pilot ranks. Either way, we think he's pretty cool and we're glad we could bring out a red-suited Sullustan. As for an updated, definitive version of Nien, he's not in the 2010 plan, but he's on the short list of candidates that we'd like to get to in 2011.


QUESTION:  Would it be possible to revisit the 7" Unleashed line for Darth Revan, and Vader's Secret Apprentice maybe as a TRU, Target, or online Exclusive?

ANSWER:  We will not be revisiting the 7" Unleashed. It is a format that was unfortunately embraced by relatively few collectors compared to our other lines, plus, the extraordinary costs for development and tooling for a very small run don't justify going back to the format. Other brands (Marvel and Transformers) have tried the large Unleashed since then, with similar results, so the format does not look like it's coming back anywhere any time soon.




To be continued.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 12:00:04 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2009, 11:37:32 AM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF AUGUST 20th, 2009 - PART 4



SANDTROOPERS


QUESTION:  You have mentioned in the past that media support (i.e. appearances in The Clone Wars TV show) helps drive and determine what toys you will produce for the lines. Can you tell us what designs or ideas you have that are "on the bubble" that you would love to do but are waiting for more media support in order to give you the go ahead?"

ANSWER:  The examples here would include some of OTC or Prequel ships that wecould not update in the Starfighter assortment ($24.99) or as exclusives at, or near, this price point. We feel pretty confident that we can have success with other vehicles if they are cool, but have less support in these formats (like the Rebublic Attack Tank, for example). If some of the bigger vehicles appeared in the Clone Wars, then it would give us a chance to see if they merited an update. We really don't have any specific ones on the bubble because we wouldn't realy consider them unless they were prominent in Clone Wars or perhaps the live action show.


QUESTION:  In the last Q&A, you said that if the sales on the CW Y-Wing were good this might open up things for a new line of "midsize" vehicles.  Would that then include a new OT-era Y-Wing by any chance?  I've never bought a Y-Wing previously because there were just too many small dislikes about the old mold (too small, the pilot cannot sit without leaning back in his seat, R2 unit cannot be removed, landing gear seemed too weak, wing plastic was too bendy, etc).  After the spectacular job that was done on the BMF and AT-TE, I'd snap up an OT-Y-Wing in a heartbeat done with the same care and quality!  How about it?

ANSWER:  We would not do a whole new Y-Wing in this format, but we do intend to deliver a significant update to the current tool next year that will address many, if not all of your issues (and at a lower price point than the Deluxe format, similar to last year's Y-Wing). Stay tuned!


QUESTION:  Do you think you'll ever get to a point where you will stop re-making and "improving" the same characters that have been done over and over before? Will you ever get to the point where you make a Luke Skywalker Tatooine figure and say "AHHH! It's perfect, we will never have to create another Luke Skywalker Tatooine again!"? There really doesn't seem to be any shortage of characters in the Star Wars Universe that haven't been realized in plastic, yet it seems like every year we are "treated" to another Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, etc. etc. I do understand that you want to be able to attract newer, younger fans and consumers by making popular characters available at all times - or at least as often as possible - but why not just use the Legends line for this purpose? Instead it seems like the Legends line is used to reissue figures that are still sitting on pegs in their original release cardbacks, that haven't sold the first time you sent them to stores - what's the purpose of sending MORE of the same figures? How is a figure that was released 2 months ago considered a "Legend" so soon?

ANSWER:  You are right, in that we are getting to some definitive characters that we do not feel a need to update, but will keep in the lineup as "carryforward" figures in new packages.  This will be seen both in the current, and 2010 Saga Legends line, as well as the Legacy line - these are important characters for us to carryforward as they provide "anchors" for waves and we can devote our slots a little more to as-yet-unproduced (1st appearance) characters or updgrades for other characters.  By the way, we are wondering where you are seeing the same Saga Legends characters in their original-release cardbacks - that seems a little odd to us as many of these figures are several years old and have been selected based on their popularity and sales data.  The Legends line is drawn from our best-selling characters, complemented by a few select characters to augment our Clone Wars lineup (hence the inclusion of characaters like Plo Koon).  Can you have the reader who asked this question help us out with better descriptions of what they have seen and store numbers so we can check it out?




SIR STEVE'S GUIDE


QUESTION:  Resculpts and Clone Wars outfits notwithstanding, there are 20 new outfits for Padme Amidala that you could still produce, and nine years left until your license expires. That said, what's your plan for our favorite queen-turned-senator? Relatively lackluster sales of Breha Organa, another regal female character, might point to a lack of interest in new Padme outfits; there's also the fact that many of the costumes are similar to one another in style and color, particularly her many dark blue and purple ROTS robes. However, when released in cautious numbers, Padme can fully sell through and satiate collectors. Do you plan on making all of her outfits over the course of the line? If not, then how many more do you think we can expect to see, and which ones are most likely?

ANSWER:  We do not have a specific plan for Padme other than generally planning one version of her a year. In anything other than her adventure gear or Arena outfit, she is not the strongest figure and there are lot sof other "sub-groups" that we would like ot plan on getting to. It's possible that someday we'll get to do another pack like the "Evolutions" pack featuring Padme, but there are currently no plans for anything other than a basic figure.


QUESTION:  There is some confusion for the tail end of the Titanium Series line, what with the wave numbers and date cards shown at SDCC. The Mist Hunter is showing up in retailers' computers in wave 10, while your slide show says the previous wave that should have hit shelves before it in late July and includes 3 new tools - the Republic Gunship, Punishing One, and the Malevolence - is nowhere to be found in retailers computers, nor is the wave after the Mist Hunter with the Outrider and Nebulon B frigate. Where does this confusion lie, and will those sets actually get released or will they get lost the way the Gungan Sub and Basestar did? If they are still on track for release, what are those waves and when are they slated for?

ANSWER:  You are right - we did mess up and the Mist Hunter is in a separate wave. We can confirm that the other waves will be released even though they do not appear to be actively listed in the system yet of the particular retailer you checked.


QUESTION:  At some point during SDCC, photos were taken of a second Utai figure standing near the Utai Varactyl Wrangler figure on display during the rest of the show and the slideshow panel, however there was no mention of this figure anywhere and it wasn't shown during the main display. This second Utai has a stockier head, different deco, and no headgear. What is the deal with this Utai, will it be released as a running change, has it been cut, and could we get a clearer photo of this figure?

ANSWER:  The second Utai has been cut due to costing issues and we do not have plans for a running change since our Utai pack was only planned for one wave. We will see how he does; if it does well we may release the second Utai at a later date in either basic figure or some other form.




SNOWTROOPERS


QUESTION:  With the recent announcement that hasbrotoyshop.com is now shipping to Canada, we would like to know specificly why there is an additional $20 fee being tacked on to the normal shipping fees, plus the cost of the figure.  If this is the case, it would not be worth buying the figure from hasbrotoyshop.com as it would come to nearly $50 for a $15 3.75" exclusive figure from hasbrotoyshop.com.  If, you waited long  enough it would be on ebay for less than half the price including shipping. Many of us would prefer to buy directly from hasbrotoyshop.com, as the chances of getting it near minty would be higher and we also like to get product as soon as it has become available.  Please, clarify exactly what this extra $20 is for?

ANSWER:  The extra $20 covers duty, taxes, and additional costs for us to be
able to ship items from the U.S. to Canada.


QUESTION:  If you are ever re-visiting the Clone Wars Super Battle Droid would you consider changing the forearm articulation on him? If the swivel post from the elbow joint connected to the forearm rather than the bicep you would get considerably more viable arm poses including the most common "at attention" position with the elbow bent, forearm up, wrist flat front and blasters facing forward. (If it saves on tooling you could just add the forearm post to the elbow joint.)

ANSWER:  That's a good suggestion - thanks.  Right now we don't have an update planned but it's a good idea for a future revision.  Thanks.


QUESTION:  Is it possible to set up some kind of information feed that would inform Canadian collectors of exactly what is coming to Canadian  retail? As things get finalized you could let us know. For example, if a retailer steps up for the Scramble at yavin battle pack assortment,  you could let us know when this happens. Or once retailers place an order for a certain wave, you could automatically confirm this for us.  This would save us from asking every Q&A "Is x vehicle or wave coming to Canada"? It would also benefit retailers because we would then not resort to ordering things from the US for fear of them never arriving at retail here. It would basically act as product announcements like Hasbro USA does when revealing new products, but be Canada specific.

And speaking of Canadian retail and SW toys, the distribution of TLC this year has been terrible, with constant reloading (and clogging) of the pegs with wave 1 and barely a trickle of waves 3 and 4 (and obviously the absence of the last two waves completely). So given that Hasbro at SDCC has stated it will ship four waves in only 2 months(!) will ALL of these waves actually be coming to Canada?  And what about existing announced blue-white packaged items like:

Scramble on Yavin
CW Jabba
AT-TE Assault Squad
Ambush on the Vulture’s Claw
Rancor w/Luke which was said in a previous Q&A to be headed to “smaller accounts”
Spring 2009 comic packs

These answers are exactly what we hope an information feed would tell us, since this year Canadian customers have been left feeling as if we are fumbling in the dark and no idea of what we can or cannot buy.  It loses money for Hasbro and obviously makes collecting incredibly, incredibly frustrating.

ANSWER:  That is a good idea for a list to advise Canadian collectors.  We will work that up and use it for periodic updates as different toys ship.  As for the ones you cite, none of them will be released in Canada as the blue and white line look is finished.  Unfortunately, the retail support for the Rancor fell through at the last minute and we ended up not releasing it.  A pity, but we tried hard to get it placed.




SW COLLECTOR


QUESTION:  I know you don't want to get into financial figures, but I'm wondering how well the comic packs are doing and if they will be around for the foreseeable future. I hope they are here for the long term since there are so many great characters left to make. Knights of the Old Republic and Invasion need their first figures, and dark side Leia from A New Hope Infinities could be a cool one too (hint hint)!

ANSWER:  We have a lot of heart for the Comic Packs, since some of the mostexciting stories from the EU have been told in comics and there are somany exciting characters to draw from. That said, the line does need aboost as it's been a little sluggish versus expectations. We have beenworking on a lot of new and exciting figure tools (see this fall's lineupfor an example!) and hope that fans share the same excitement we have. Right now, we are planning comic packs to run through 2010 at least, butwe really do need fan support for all the packs to ensure that we continueon a healthy pace through 2010.


QUESTION:  Looking over my old vintage figures, it's hard not to be impressed by the attention given to the Jabba's palace characters. The detail on figures like Squid Head and Bib Fortuna was some of the best work of it's time. I'm hoping that someday soon Hasbro will start turning more attention towards Jabba's gang. When I look over the list of vintage characters from Jabba's palace: Gamorrean Guard, Ree-Yees, Weequay, Squid Head, Nikto, Klaatu, Rancor Keeper, Bib Fortuna, Klaatu (Skiff Guard), 8-D8, Amanaman, Barada, EV-9D9 and Yak Face, almost all, with the exception of the soon to come Rancor Keeper, are in need of a nicely articulated modern version. Bib Fortuna especially needs a definitive update with articulation! The new palace characters that you have been making are great, but are there plans for new versions of the vintage characters?

ANSWER:  We're sorry to saythat Bib, though, is not on our short list as he got what we feel is apretty spiffy update in the Saga Collection lineup just a few years back(we don't think articulation is the answer for everything, especiallysince we see Bib do so little).


QUESTION:  Since Dark Trooper Phase III is in the new Wal*Mart "Droid Factory" sets and Phase I is going to be single-carded, any chance we'll see the Phase II version before too long?

ANSWER:  Surprisingly, we don't have the Phase II in development. It's certainly a possibility for someday, just not in the lineup currently.




To be continued.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 12:00:56 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2009, 11:51:32 AM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF AUGUST 20th, 2009 - PART 5



THE PRIVATE UNIVERSE

QUESTION:  It's been really exciting to see images of the new figures at the SDCC, can't wait to collect them. I am especially excited to see Major Panno, but disappointed that all the pictures have his cape covering most of him up. Is there any chance of a picture without the cape on?

ANSWER:  There you go. Please note this is an image of our paint master, so there may be some differences between this image and final deco.

LINK TO MAJOR PANNO IMAGE


QUESTION:  With 2010 being the 30 anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back are we likely to see a new rescaled Slave 1 or the much wanted Bespin Cloud Car vehicle?

ANSWER:  It's too early to reveal any specifics, but if any of these are in the lineup it will be revealed at Toy Fare in February (or possibly the U.K. Toy Fair the week prior).


QUESTION:  It's great to see more Cantina characters like Leesub Sirin and Hrcheck Kal Fas being made and wonderful they look, but does this mean that we will eventually get the Tonnika sisters?

ANSWER:  It does not mean that you will eventually get the Tonnika sisters. We will be producing some other tasty Cantina patrons next year, though. Stay tuned!




YAKFACE


QUESTION:  In light of the revelation that the second version of the Hoth Rebel Trooper is going to be the scarcest of the Legacy Collection figures, how has this effected the distribution of other upcoming figures with running changes like the Bespin Guards and the Imperial Scanning Crew? Are more preventative measure being take to allow collectors to complete their loose/carded figure collection?

And speaking of figures with running changes, where does the second version of the Utai figure fit in to all of this?

ANSWER:  Yes, the Bespin Wing Guard and the Scanning Crew will be released in separate waves this fall, thus preventing the problem. This is under the assumption that the factory will not forget to switch over to the new head for the new wave - these instructions were obviously ignored during the Hoth Rebel Trooper run and the results were unfortunately bad. To compound it, we did not catch it until after the (already short) run was over. We can confirm that we are looking at ways of ensuring the Hoth figure gets released again next year. The second Utai will not become the basic figure line next year since the Utai was originally only ever to run one wave, and thus we could not slot a second one into the line.


QUESTION:  This year at SDCC, it seems like their were several new items announced or on display for the first time that hit store shelves at virtually the same time as the convention was taking place (Corporate Alliance Tank Droid, Ahsoka's Jedi Starfighter, various Clone Wars figures etc). Was this a mere matter of coincidence or something that was planned in order to bombard collectors with new merchandise in a few short days?

ANSWER:  If these beat us out, it was not intentional. Our plans and labels have been baked into place for sometime before we head to Comic Con, and we don't always get revised shipping schedules when toys are that close the market. Most everyone is used to our toys being later than we want - it's a treat when some of them show up early!


QUESTION:  SDCC gave collectors a look at many new and unique figures from the A New Hope wave - even after all these years it shows that new takes on existing characters can still achieved (R2-D2, Han and Chewbacca) and the Cantina scene continues to produce some of the most unique figures of the saga and that brings us to Leesub Sirln. While she looks to be a great figure on her own, she appears to be a little light in the accessory department. Would it be possible to get a small bar table with her, maybe like the one that came with Momaw Nadon or Hem Dazon from the TSC line? It's a small enough accessory to fit in the new smaller bubble and she needs a place to set her drink after all.

ANSWER:  Thanks for the comments. It's way too late at this point to add anything to Leesub. We think collectors will want to add her on their own merit - she will not be released in large quantities and should not (hopefully) hang around too long.




YODAS NEWS

QUESTION:  The AT-TE, BMF, Turbo Tank, and the new G.I. Joe PIT are all examples of massive multi-tiered playsets contained within a vehicle. Can we expect to see this trend continue at least once per year (as long as sales support the investment)? If so, does this leave the door open for playset vehicles such as the Executor, the Imperial Star Destroyer, and the Republic Venator-class cruiser?

ANSWER:  As long as sales continue to do well, we would like to see this strategy continue for Star Wars (we can't speak for the strategy of other brands). However, we doubt that the giant imperial ships will be part of any large-vehicle plan. They are not the most interesting vehicles themselves. Even though we would love to see them someday, we're sure there are a good number of candidates ahead of them.


QUESTION:  With the unveiling of Concept Anakin Skywalker (Episode III) and Concept Ki-Adi Mundi, it seems clear that Hasbro plans to expand beyond the McQuarrie designs and delve into a larger arena of concept art-based products. Can we expect this to eventually include vehicles as well similar to what we saw back in the "Power of the Force 2" era?

ANSWER:  There are no plans to expand beyond figures right now, simply because the tooling would be too great for a non-core vehicle. The exception would be if a concept vehicle could be done with little change to an existing vehicle, then it might be possible.


QUESTION:  Considering Master Replicas spent years telling collectors that they couldn't figure out a reliable way to build Force FX sabers with curved hilts (Dooku and Ventress), it was a very welcome surprise to see both of them as your first new entries in the Hasbro Signature Series Force FX line. Were these developed solely in-house and can we expect to see even more innovative higher-end products from Hasbro's Star Wars brand in the future?

ANSWER:  They were developed in-house and represent the first of the new-designs we have planned. Stay tuned!




Keep checking back as more sites continue to post their Hasbro Star Wars Q&A sessions.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 12:01:18 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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