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« on: September 10, 2009, 08:12:55 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 10th, 2009


Thanks for dropping by and checking out JTA's roundup of all of the Hasbro Q&A sessions from around the web.  This week's answers come in a little late as Hasbro has slid back the time to answer.  The roundup is continually updating as we get more and more responses posted at the participating websites.  If you know of a site that's participating in the Q&A's but isn't represented in our roundup, please drop us a line with a hyperlink to that site's Q&A.

You can check out each site's postings by clicking on the website title.  And please do, as some of these websites need the traffic.  The Star Wars Q&A's are posted alphabetically.

Also be sure to check back as we distill the Q&A's down to the real nitty gritty with out Q&A Headlines.  That is where we give you real news that comes out of the Q&A:  newly confirmed items, assortments, exclusive details, etc.  And feel free to post about what Hasbro is saying in the Q&A process here in the Jedi Temple War Room.

That being said, let's start of at home:


JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES


QUESTION:  A question on Star Wars TV characters: In a previous Q&A session you indicated that some of the unique Holiday Special cantina aliens like the Y'bith and the early Nikto could someday be made into action figures. I personally think this would be a great idea since they had a really nice character design and would fit in seamlessly with the Episode IV cantina figures. I hope these guys really do have a shot. But what I'm really wondering is if there will ever be any new figures based on the Ewok movies, Ewoks cartoon or Droids cartoon (beyond the awesome new Boba Fett and BL-17 of course!) It would be an absolute shame if you didn't at least give it a try. At least for the cartoon series characters, couldn't the the idea of a figure two pack with an episode on a DVD be tried? Apparently there was an issue with rights to the cartoons when the DVD's were still in distribution, so this couldn't be done in the past. Perhaps the situation has changed now since the DVD's have been off the market for a few years?

ANSWER:  The characters from the cartoon short in the Star Wars Holiday Special are not necessarily off limits (as we have seen with Boba Fett), but the forgettable special and the live action TV characters who appear therein will not be produced in toy form (sorry, Ackmena).  As for live acion Ewoks, they are not off limits but we just have not felt compelled to go there yet.  The cartoon Ewoks and Droids are a different story; Lucasfilm has OK'd that they are OK to do, but they'd have to be produced in an animated storyline (not realistic) which means that they would require extensive new tooling, far more than would make sense for this niche entertainment interest.  As a result, we've decided to skip any more characters from these series and focus our figure slots on the movies and more prominent EU sources.


QUESTION:  Is there anything that can be done to ensure that battle-damage or dirty markings are included more often with our action figures again? While we don’t know everyone’s opinion on this, we do hear clamoring that many collectors would like to see these “dirtied” figures in lieu of extra accessories (and even the big missile-firing ones). It is such a shame sometimes to get a beautifully sculpted clone trooper (for example) that is bright white, especially when he appears dirty and banged up in The Clone Wars TV show. We are sure that something could be done to save cost somewhere else and give us the beautiful paint application back that our figures once had. The same is true for the Sandtrooper and Dewback WAL*MART exclusive. Are we really getting a clean Sandtrooper? Please say it isn’t so! Where are the amazing paint ops as seen on the Evolutions Sandtrooper? We need this back, give us less plastic parts and more art please!

ANSWER:  We made the decision to go clean with the troopers because of the extraordinary cost our factories were asking to actually put that "ditry" deco on.  The cost-cutting elsewhere to be able to add these paint opps is very large, and we did not feel the sacrifice was worth it.  Same issue came up with the Sandtrooper, and we elected to keep the parts the set came with rather than cut elsewhere.


QUESTION:  The new AT-ST looks fantastic!  And the demos at Comic Con really helped this vehicle shine.  It seems perfect.  But the driver that's packed in looks frankly, a little lonely in that new, spacious cockpit.  We have not had an AT-ST Driver in the basic figure line (with the exception of Han Solo in his AT-ST Driver disguise) since the POTF2 days.  Can we expect a new AT-ST driver in the near term?  Or perhaps some AT-ST hijacking Ewoks?  If my memory serves me correct, they're named Widdle and Oochee.

ANSWER:  Glad you like the new AT-ST!  It sure turned out fantastic, in our opinion.  Yes, there are plans for all of these figures next year.  The AT-ST driver should be out by the end of next year as a basic figure, while the Ewoks have yet to be confirmed but will likely be part of an exclusive pack.





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


BANTHA SKULL


QUESTION:  A forum member and card carrying member of the "Collect Them All Club" snapped THIS PICTURE AT TOYS R US. [In case the pic is lost to the ether, the pic was taken at a Toys R Us, and shows the new "Imperial" ARC-170 for $79.99 on a shelf above the old TRU exclusive "Wampa" ARC-170 for $44.99.]

Although we were aware of the impending price hike, seeing the two ARCs share shelf space provided clarity. We understand you don't set prices, but you certainly have your own MSRP. Target sells the same ship for $64.99, but even at that price, this wide-release is still $20 above its normally premium-priced store exclusive brother, which is still on the shelves at TRU months after release. Previous versions of the ARC retailed for as low as $29.99.

If this vehicle was rushed to market to keep shelf space available for the upcoming Y-Wing, will we ever see the Y-Wing if unsold ARCs are taking up all the shelf space?


ANSWER:  You are correct in that we do not set retail prices and cannot comment on any particular store's sales price. What they choose to retail anything for is up to the individual retailer. In addition, the volatlity over the past couple of years have severely challenged our ability to deliver near the same prices as even as recently as year ago, so fans should understand that such a situation is not our intention at all when we re-release some of our best ships. Essentially what you have outlined is basically the issue at hand. The ARC-170 was added to the assortment to hold the shelf space until the Y-Wing was ready to go since it was trailing behind. If it does not sell-through, then the Y-Wing stands a risk of not getting out there in significant numbers. We do know that some Y-Wings will be hitting soon, so keep an eye out.


QUESTION:  Recently some carded photos of Legacy Collection figures hit the Internet. Will the Imperial Scanning Tech be packaged with the ever-popular box, and will Hrchek Kal Fas be less crazy-eyed than the prototype?

ANSWER:  There was an error in the first packaging that was quickly corrected.  The equipment *will* be shipping with the scanning crew - one half of the equipment with the first release, and the second half with the second
release in a later wave. The Kal Fas you saw was an early sample, and should be corrected for final production.


QUESTION:  I know you've said a Death Star playset is too expensive to consider right now, but I was wondering if was at all possible to release several 'Mini Dios' in the $20 Vehicle line that could be stacked together and turned into a Death Star? So one set would be the Detention room, one would be the Trash room etc, that way fans could slowly build a modern DS but Hasbro wouldn't have to invest in a large dollar playset at one time, but several small ones over a period of say, 3-4 year? I know I'd be excited to put one together, even if it was only 2 sets a year.

ANSWER:  This question has been asked numerous times already in the Q&A over the past couple years, and our stance has not changed. Basically,
environmental pieces or small playsets are not nearly as popular as vehicles and could not de deivered without extraordinary tooling cost.  The only feasible way to deliver a larger playset like this is to do it all at once, but we would not take on something like this unless we are certain that it would succeed based on a strong presence in current entertainment. We have not seen anything to support a new playset, so there is no development going on. Instead, we continue to put our focus on expanding the vehicle range with larger sets that can play a dual role, like the AT-TE and Turbo Tank - both a vehicle and enough areas to make
them a playset or rolling headquarters.




COLLECTION STATION


QUESTION:  Does Hasbro have any plans to update the Dianoga in the near future? We need one that is better detailed, better articulated and perhaps featuring multiple bendy tentacles. If you were to update the Dianoga, what format would you release it in: Battle Pack, a basic carded figure, Ultimate Battle Pack, something else?

ANSWER:  We have no plans to update the Dianoga. But it is an intriguing idea; if we ever did it, it would make sense as a Battle Pack-type of figure. Thanks for the thought-starter.


QUESTION:  Premiered at your Comic-Con booth this year was a new Luke Snowspeeder pilot figure that looks fantastic. However, the figure is sporting a thermal cap sculpted to his head, yet in the film when we see him get in and out of the snowspeeder, he's not wearing the cap (although when we see him piloting, he is), and since the figure sports the grappling gun he uses when he gets out, it's a mixed situation. Will there be an alternate version of this figure released with a head that doesn't sport the thermal cap?

ANSWER:  Right now, we do not have plans to release a version without the thermal cap, but that is a good possibility for much further down the road.


QUESTION:  At your SDCC panel, you mentioned that the Imperial Scanning Crew Technician would be coming as 2 figures via a running change, that each figure would not only have its unique head but also their own part of the scanner as seen in the film, one coming with the scanner trunk, and the other with a type of dolly the scanner was wheeled out on. Both accessories were even shown off in your booth. However, recent official Hasbro images of the first Imperial Scanning Crew figure has been released both carded and loose, and in neither image do we see any scanner whatsoever. Are those images correct and this figure isn't coming with either part of the scanner? If so, why is this? Will the running change figure get either of the accessories? If it's only the trunk, will there be a way for fans to get that second accessory?

ANSWER:  There was an error in the first packaging that was quickly corrected. The equipment *will* be shipping with the scanning crew - one half of the equipment with the first release, and the second half with the second release in a later wave.




DEWBACK PATROL

QUESTION:  Hasbro made a number of Padme's outfits last year, but this year seems particularly lacking... with the large number of costumes still yet unmade from both ROTS and AOTC, can you tell us if you have any plans to release at least a couple/few of the remaining ones in next year's lineup?

ANSWER:  Last year was atypical, in that we had the Evolution pack to add a good jolt of Padme for those fans who craze her. Since she is still a nice collecting interest, our mainline plans are more tempered; the ideal is to debut one new Padme every year, if we can. There may be more or fewer as the year shakes out but since she competes with the few precious collector-targeted slots, which typicaly consume disproportionate tooling, we need to keep everything in balance by limiting Padme to one/year.


QUESTION:  Hasbro, how about this for a battle pack - bespin guard white head, bespin guard mustache (vintage style), and the two ugnaughts painted in the lighter colors as seen at toyfair and with their heads switched. In the last q and a someone mentioned repainting the Han Solo carbonite block (so that it is not melting) and this might make a nice accessory for this pack. It would be a nice set for someone who wants multiples of these troop builder style figures.

ANSWER:  That is actually a pretty cool pack idea for a collector-targeted Battle Packs. Unfortunately, our mainline plans have moved away from collector-targeted packs but we'll park this one in the exclusives parking that we draw upon for ideas. By doing this, fans would essentially get all four of the major head types for Bespin Wing Guards, and Ugnaught varuety. Thanks for the intersting suggestion.


QUESTION:  Let’s say theoretically that the Clone Wars cartoon features an action packed episode where some clones go on a mission to Tatooine to save someone (anyone!) kidnapped by bounty hunters held up at Jabba’s Palace. On their mission their ship is destroyed and they have to steal Jabba’s Sail Barge to get away. This of course leads to an all out race for their freedom as they are pursued by skiff necessitating the need to unload all that hidden firepower Jabba had installed on his sail barge. I think you know where I’m going with this. Can you lobby Lucasfilm for an episode with the sail barge and in turn of course make a sail barge for us fans? This has been a dream for some OT fans!

ANSWER:  The real problem is this: the Sail Barge, as cool as it might be, will only be seen in one episode and would not nearly be enough to justify a monstrous tooling budget and instill confidence that enough kids (the majority of the audience) and collectors (the smaller audience) would want this one. We really would have to see it as a feature vehicle in multiple episodes to be able to have confidence that something like this could work. We'd be much more likely to a do a Republic Cruiser, which is in many episodes but still seems an unexciting vehicle compared to the other active and aggressive vehicles from which we can select.





To be continued.
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 08:27:53 PM »

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


GALACTIC HUNTER


QUESTION:  OK, so with next year being the 30th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, if you are forced (this could get ugly) to make an all-new Imperial Probe Droid, do you:

...give it super articulation and try to fit it into the Mini-Rig-esque price point?
...give it super articulation and its launching pod for the $20 Vehicle price point?
...give it super articulation, toss in Han Solo and Chewbacca, and Battle Pack it?
... or?

ANSWER:  Here's why it wouldn't work out in the way you suggest, unfortunately: the Deluxe Figure/Vehicle Assortment*** is Clone Wars-based; the Starfighter Vehicle Assortment has vehicles as its focus, and this would not be meaty enough. Adding something else really makes it a Battle Pack, and; Battle Packs are being redefined in Fall to go back to a slimmer, figure-focused footprint.  This leaves Spring '09 Battle Packs, but we can confirm that we do not have an upgrade Probe Droid coming there. Sorry to dissapoint - we would love to do a new Imperial Probe Droid if we could figure out a way that made sense.

GH Note: The Deluxe Figure/Vehicle Assortment is commonly dubbed the "Mini Rig" line. Would a Probot be larger than a Crab Droid? Ponder...


QUESTION:  Why are you repacking the Evolutions Attack of the Clones Padmé on a basic card rather than retooling her upper torso/arms as the Geonosis Arena torn-shirt version many of us want? Do you plan to offer that version anytime soon?

ANSWER:  For this one, we had no tooling to work with so we selected a strong re-pack for this wave.  We do not right now have the torn-shirt version in the plans right now but it's something we have in parking lot to activate down the road.


QUESTION:  With The Force Unleashed multipacks coming out for the Fall Season, why weren't they unveiled at Comic-Con? Would now be a good time to ask for a photo or two to illustrate these cool sets? (It's 1:30am, and I'm totally pandering for photos.)

ANSWER:  The Force Unleashed multi-packs, a Toys 'R Us exclusive, are not Fall exclusives but instead Spring 2010.  As such, we'll have pictures around Toy Fair timing.  Sorry if there was ever confusion on this, we do not think we ever indicated they were in 2009.  There is no way they could beat out the basic figure TFU Shaak Ti in any case, since she was created before the later wave that was moved to TRU.

CLICK FOR TFU SHAAK TI IMAGE




HAN'S HIDEOUT


QUESTION:  Since it looks like the Winter'09 ESB wave has more figures than needed for a 6-piece droid, can you shed a little light on which pieces will come with which figure in that wave?

ANSWER:  You are correct in that this wave does have more "new" figures than it is supposed to, since six figures are needed to complete any protocol droid. The answer is because R2-X2 was originally designed as a "pure" package refresh brought into the basic figure line for the first time. However, as we got further along we realized that the original deco when R2-X2 was first released in a multi-figure pack, was incorrect and with Lucasfilm we corrected the deco. As a result, it is basically a new figure to replace the old. So a simple package refresh became like a new figure.

Here are how the parts break out of the "true" six new figures slotted for this wave:
Luke Snowspeeder (HK-50 head); AT-AT Driver (HK-50 body); Bespin Wing Guard
(HK-50 L Arm); Willrow Hood (HK-50 R Arm); Zuckuss (HK-50 L Leg); Concept Art Snowtrooper (HK-50 R Leg).

The other six "redundant" parts are:
Snowtrooper (HK-50 L Leg); R2-X2 (HK-50 R Leg); Commander Bacara (HK-50 Body); Plo Koon (HK-50 L Arm); Agen Kolar (HK-50 R Arm); Commander Deviss (HK-50 Head).


QUESTION:  If the Hasbro Star Wars team was able to contribute to the current "Fans' Choice Poll" with none of your usual worries (like costing or case make-up or whatever), what would your collective top five look like?

ANSWER:  We canvassed a few members of the team and did not find a unanimous top 5 list. This reflects not only the wide variety of interests, but the high quality of choices still at large in the figure world. In no particular order: Snoova (resculpt); the actual "Sith" species; Mandalorian Neo Crusader; Bastila Shan; Joe Johnston concept Imperial Guard; Phase 2 Dark Trooper (2 votes so technically the #1 choice here); Guri; Weequay Skiff Master; Widdle & Oochee 2-pack; Yuuzhan Vong (more slender sculpt); Luke in Emperor Guard disguise (resculpt); super-articulated Rancor with elbows and knees (hey, that's not eligible!); Nera Dantels; super-articulated AT-ST driver; Bettybot; female Stormtrooper from Legacy 0; Jaxxon; Ponda Baba; Dr. Evazon; Aqualish Technician (Clone Wars); Nelvaan Warrior (mutated - he'd be HUGE!); Shado Vao.


QUESTION:  Our Galactic Heroes Sandpeople need a beast of burden! When are we going to see a nifty GH scale Bantha? Pack in a couple Sandpeople, Ben, Luke, and the Droids and you've got the makings of a great scene!

ANSWER:  While there are no plans for a Galactic Heroes Bantha right now, he's one of the beasts that's high on our creature wish list. Chances are good that you'll see one in the next couple of years.




IMPERIAL SHIPYARDS

QUESTION:  I realize that the last wave of Mighty Muggs will be exclusive to TRU, but can you let on as to when they should be on shelf and which four will make up the last wave?  Also, if they do well at retail will we see any additional waves in 2010?

ANSWER:  Actually, there will be no exclusive wave of Mighty Muggs at Toys 'R Us.  There was to be another wave (including Ashoka), but they were canceled and they will not ship.  Instead, Toys 'R Us is continuing them as an exclusive while we work through the excess stock.  Even if they do well there are no more plans for Mighty Muggs


QUESTION:  The Clone Wars Republic Fighter Tank vehicle looks great.  Any chance we'll see a repaint on this vehicle with an Imperial paint scheme and markings like it appears in the Battlefront II game?

ANSWER:  There is certainly a possibility that we could use this vehicle again to produce other versions.  We have had our eye on the Battlefront II version but do not have it slotted into the lineup anywhere yet.


QUESTION:  Looking at my Qui-gon and Eopie Redemption Certificate, I am wondering if you can provide us a list of which figure's upc codes will count towards the redemption? We have heard that saga Legends, CW, and Legacy UPCs from last year will work also.  I take it that Droid Factory, Evolutions, and comic pack UPCs are a no-go?

ANSWER:  The redemption will work for any of the Star Wars basic figures: Legacy/Droid Factory, Saga Legends, or Clone Wars.  Since the Asst #(87535, 87995, and 87638) has remained the same from the blue/white package transition to the red/white, you may use any basic figure from these assortments.  However, only UPC codes from these three basic figure SKUs will be honored; no other UPC from any other Hasbro Star Wars item will be accepted.




JEDIDEFENDER


QUESTION:  The new Dressellian Commando is really great looking, and it brings to mind a potential update to a POTF2 figure. Will we get a re-use of some of the new Dresellian Commando to make a new Orrimarko with his eye patch? It seems like the groundwork is there to get the original Pruneface redone semi-easily, and with more articulation and detailing!

ANSWER:  That is one thing that we have anticipated when we decided to do Major Panno. Actually, his lower torso gives us a lot of flexibility - for Rebel Commandoes as well. So we do think this nice new figure can give yield a couple strong choices offshoots in years to come.


QUESTION:  You've knocked out a couple Rogue Squadron pilots in comic packs recently, and a couple more are on the way in future packs. What I'm wondering is, now that you've got these great base sculpts of pilots, are you going to look to fill out as many of the Rogue Pilots from the comics as you can? Or, will you look at doing more film pilots (or updating older pilots that use an inferior sculpt)? A lot of fans seem interested in Pilots with their Astromechs from both the films and EU.

ANSWER:  Since our tooling base is so strong, we do continue to look for ways to bring both on-screen pilots and their droids, as well as Rogue and Dagger squadron, to fans. This past year we embraced Rebel pilots as one of the strong sub-themes that ran across lines; however, few of them were in the basic figure lineup. Going forward, the vehicles available to us to bring out more pilots will be narrower, as Evolution packs have gone away and exclusive waves of comic packs will be more limited as well. So while we are looking for different ways to bring more of these cool figures out, we don't think there will be quite as many as we saw last year, but our long-term desire is to flesh out those ranks. Patience will be rewarded.


QUESTION:  The Scanner Technician seems like a surefire base figure for a number of redecoes, or slight changes, that could crank out super articulated "new" figures. Will we see this figure eventually in the black jumpsuits, maybe with a helmet, like the Death Star Troopers working on the 2nd Death Star and shield generator? What about a new AT-ST Drive to compliment that spiffy new ride he has coming? There's a lot of Imperials wearing that pretty basic jumpsuit, and it just seems like something we could easily see updated into pretty desirable army builders.

ANSWER:  We're glad you like this guy - we certainly think he turned out great. We do anticipate utilizing this great new base sculpt to bring out some other Imperials over time. What the next one may be, though, has yet to be slotted into the lineup. Stay tuned!




To be continued.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 12:12:40 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 08:43:18 PM »

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



MOUSEDROID


QUESTION:  I recently picked up the HYENA BOMBER and Cad Bane's XANADU BLOOD Titaniums. Can we expect to see these in the 3 3/4 inch assortment? As the Xanadu Blood is just a repainted Magna Guard Fighter, I'm gonna assume that this one is a 'lock'.

ANSWER:  Both of them stand a very good chance of coming out for 3-3/4" within the next couple of years, with at least one being in the lineup next year.

Stay tuned.


QUESTION:  I really like the looks of the upcoming Waves of figures from The Clone Wars, however, I was wondering if you had any other female Jedi in your lineup? Namely Aayla Secura and Luminara Unduli.

ANSWER:  Yes, we have plans for both ladies. Luminara will be out this Fall, and Aayla by next Spring. Thanks for the good word and we hope to see more great female characters in Clone Wars as the seasons unfold.


QUESTION:  We've all seen the brand new card design for 2009. While it looks great aesthetically with all those edges and corners, I foresee that MOMC collectors, are going to have a difficult time finding mint examples of their favorite carded figures. Next time you design a new card back, could you take us MOMC people into consideration please?
 
ANSWER:  We did not anticipate the extent to which the various corners on this new version would get damaged on their way to retail, since we have done cards with a lot of sharp points before. Next time, we will make sure to police this aspect of the packaging much more - we certainly don't want to discourage any MOC collectors.





RAVING TOY MANIAC


QUESTION:  When you release a new line of Star Wars action figures and come up with a new design for the backer cards, do you have to make sure that they will fit into the "Star Wars Official Action Figure Protective Cases" or are you allowed more leeway as far as size or shape?

ANSWER:  Up until this year, we have been faithful to the 6"x9" card design and ensured that all figures fit the official protective case. This year, however, Hasbro embarked on a new initiative designed to conform to the standard Wal-Mart planogram peg sizes and reduce, even if it was slight, the amount of packaging required to produce a basic Star wars figure. As a result, the new card size is smaller (5.5"x8.25"). We did a lot of research with collectors before heading down this route, to make sure that we were not making a mistake. The vast of majority of collectors we spoke with thought this was a good idea (or they did not care) and we moved forward with it. Because of this reduced card size, it will no longer fit snigly into the backer-card trap area of the collector cases, and they have not become obsolete for the modern collection. We do not have plans to produce bulk packs of a new official case for the new smaller card size. The one caveat, and it's an important one, will be Vintage. If Vintage does return, it will strictly be in the 6"x9" format and will fit in the current official cases.


QUESTION:  Will any of the build-a-droid figures see re-release?

ANSWER:  It's possible that additional figures using the parts could be produced, but the characters themselves in the buildable format are confined to the Legacy/Droid Factory series and none of them will ever be re-released. The possible exception being HK-47, since he was the buildable droid in a very low-production wave. If we do re-release him, we would probably re-release the whole wave of figures he came with in a new package format.


QUESTION:  Given the relatively low production numbers on the HK-47 droid wave, will we ever see HK-47 released again? Perhaps in an online exclusive with Darth Revan, Malak, and some other KOTOR characters?

ANSWER:  Right now there are no plans to release HK-47 again, but we are keeping our eye on this one. The one bright spot in this wave being the fact that there are up to twice as many HK-47s that can be built as any of the other characters released for the wave (the carry-forward figures in this wave also coming with "duplicate" HK-47 parts). The secondary market will come in handy in completing HK-47, as people open up the additional carry-forward figures to increase the available part pool.




REBELSCUM


QUESTION:  I love what you have done in the Paploo & NoApaak Ewok 2 pack. From what I read in the collecting community, all of the Ewok packs sell through very well. My question/request has to do with your selection process for the Ewoks in these packs. It seems like you are packing main Ewoks with background Ewoks. If you continue to do this down the line, could you please throw us lover's of the Ewok movies a bone on some figures? You could easily make packs like Wicket and Deej, Logray and Kaink, Teebo and Chukha-Trok. All of them would be an instant hit and sell just as well as any other Ewok pack, plus it would be a way to get these figures to the die hard fans.

ANSWER:  The Ewok packs have been indeed doing well, and this gives us confidence to keep them going in the lineup every year in one form or another. We do have all of the Ewoks mentioned on our short list, and given time all of them should see the light of day. It may take a few years, however.


QUESTION:  Have you ever thought of doing a two-pack line for the Cantina (like the Order 66/Build a Droid/Geo Arena packs)?

ANSWER:  The Cantina patrons are very nice when it comes to collecting interest and this would not be a sound strategy for us. We have done multi-figure packs built around the Cantina in the past, but these were a disappointment and so we look for new and different ideas for the 2-pack lineup.


QUESTION:  My question (and I'm sure a majority of us are curious) pertains to the recently revealed DS2 Luke figure. From a previous Q&A, it was our understanding this figure was *all new*, and as the multitude of images from SDCC have shown, that's not the case. Why, with all the fan anticipation, demands, Fan's choice voting, etc. would this figure not be done with the utmost care and detailing? (Snowspeeder Luke is fantastic while DS2 Luke leaves MUCH to be desired) For those dispelled by this version, when can we expect to see a justified release of Death Star 2 Luke (no flap down, all the bells and whistles, SMALLER, CONCEALED JOINTS, etc.)

ANSWER:  The version you saw at Comic Con was not the final production version, which we expect will have a tighter fit, so the joints are not noticeable. You are correct that this version of Luke is built on some existing parts, which helped us reach our tooling goals for the basic figure line. Not all figures can be newly tooled, and we thought we had a great starting place with using the existing limbs we selected. This version of Luke comes with an interchangeable chest piece so you can display him both ways, important since we don't have another DS2 version of Luke planned.




SANDTROOPERS


QUESTION:  The McQuarrie box sets are being listed on StarWarsShop.com for $55.99, and feature 13 different McQuarrie figures - including 3 previous "exclusive" figures that originally sold for $20 each. Why do you keep re-issuing these so-called exclusives a year or so down the road? Why should we, as collectors, continue to pay $20 for a figure that's supposedly exclusive to an event when we can wait a year and get it - plus a dozen other figures - for much less money? The box sets basically breaks down to around $4.30 per figure. That's 75% of the cost of the exclusives originally, and almost 50% of the original retail on the others. Isn't there some sort of agreement that you sign with the events in question for these exclusive figures that should prevent you from re-issuing them down the road?

ANSWER:  We do not have specific agreements with events regarding the exclusivity of figures, and may choose to release the figures again based on need or a special occasion (in this case commemorating the complete-to-date McQuarries collection, many of which proved elusive to many fans).  However, we will never release the figure exactly as it came our prior - so both the 6"x9" carded format and coin were exclusive to the figures when they were released.


QUESTION:  Does anybody at Hasbro even realize that EVERY Clone Trooper figure made thus far in the new Animated Series line is wrong? Every Clone has incorrect armor on the forearms and biceps. Did any of the designers even watch the animated series or at least look at reference photos of some sort? Every figure made thus far has the elbow armor extend down from the bicep. That's wrong! In the animated show, the Clone armor elbow armor extends up from the forearm. The only figure to get this right is the awesome General Kenobi and the awful new Mace Windu - and neither of them are Clones, yet somehow you got the armor correct for them.

I'm sure it's futile to ask this, but do you have any plans to correct this mistake in the future? Obviously you already have the tooling from the General Kenobi figure, all you would need to do is to replace the forearms from the Clones with the forearms from Kenobi.

ANSWER:  We do realize they are wrong.  When we first designed the Clone, we had only static model sheets to go from, before they had been fully animated. We assumed that the armor would be like the EpII and EpIII armor in that the elbow guard would be attached to the bicep.  Well, we were thrown a curve and it was instead attached to the forearm.  We have been playing constant catch-up ever since with the Clone tools running at full capacity.  Adapting the Obi-Wan forearms would mean excessive duplication of tools, which based on the continued high demand for Clones does not seem needed.  There eventually will be an updated, 100% newly sculpted Clone with the corrected armor coming down the road.


QUESTION:  Dear hasbro what was the main reason to going back to a glue on bubble for the new legends and clone wars figures? Was it to try and stop the slash and returns that have been going on since the ROTS line? I applaud the idea of doing this hopefully it will stop all the slash and returns that occurred over the last few yrs, which was part of the reason I stopped collecting very hard to get excited about a figure when you look at it and it isn't what it should be.

ANSWER:  The actual number of figures "abused" this way by unscrupulous collectors (if you can call them that) is very low, luckily.  Our preference for heat-sealed ("glued") blisters has less to do with Lucasfilm's blister card design and more to due with the labor costs involved in assembling the packaging; the flange-sealed (taped) blister takes more labor to produce and thus is more expensive.  Our preference is always heat-sealed, so the change is a welcome one from that standpoint. If it makes it more tamper-resistant, that's a secondary benefit.





To be continued.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 12:14:39 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2009, 02:11:35 PM »

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


SIR STEVE'S GUIDE


QUESTION:  Wookiees have consistently been some of the most popular Star Wars aliens since 1977, but haven't had a lot of great non-Chewbacca figures. Fans were very excited to finally be getting a Wookiee battle on Kashyyyk in Episode III, as well as the promise of more Wookiee figures, but figures of Tarrful and the 2 Wookiees we got didn't fully deliver on detailing or articulation, and 2 of them were hampered by action features. Since then, we've gotten updates of Kashyyyk clone troopers, but no more of their Wookiee "brothers in arms". And now with The Force Unleashed we have 2 full levels on Kashyyyk with Wookiees to fight with, but no toys to recreate this. When will we be seeing new and varied Wookiee warrior figures to live up to these great sources?

ANSWER:  Ewoks have been getting a lot of attention lately, and we agree that their taller furry cousins are due some attention as well. We have slotted a new (non-Chewie) Wookiee into the 2011 lineup and will be looking at what else we can do to build out more following that.


QUESTION:  Now that you've shown off the new Slave Leia with alternate sitting lower body, it's got fans hungering for 2 things: a new ROTJ Jabba the Hutt, and Jabba's dais. We know you've heard plenty of these requests and are considering Jabba for a possible new design, up to the point that we almost just sent you literally "blah blah blah Jabba's Dais! blah blah question mark". But hypothetically, if Hasbro were to do a new Jabba with Dais, what pricepoint and format might this be released in for all that new tooling, and would the set include the existing railing and hookah or just assume that enough collectors have the piece and leave it out? Would you go back and use the Kenner vintage throne tooling? Could we convince Brian Merten to get it done as another fantastic exclusive, and if so, does that mean Jabba would have an awesome new cockpit sculpted inside his head?

ANSWER:  Ha! We'll pass along the cockpit comment. We're glad that you are enjoying the fantastic cockpit mojo that Brian has been working. When we designed Leia, it was not specifically with the intent of being forward-compatible to any future Jabba, but since the time we started her we have also started work on a Jabba. We do not have details yet, but we're hopeful it will be out in Fall 2010. If we do get the greenlight, it will be all-new. We'll have updated at Comic Con 2010 if such a beastie does materialize.


QUESTION:  In '08, the Clone Wars figure designs were hybrids of the animation appearance and their live-action counterparts, especially Obi-Wan and Anakin. Sculpts were a bit bulkier, bodies were less lengthy and tapered, likenesses a little more grounded. For the red card '09 line however, we're seeing designs that are closer to the show art, such as Obi-Wan Space Suit with a more angular face with larger eyes and a skinnier body that's got longer legs than the '08 figure. What brought about this change, and why? Will we be seeing updates to those '08 figures with this more show-accurate style?

ANSWER:  We started out with a deliberately different sculpting aesthetic for the first wave of figures, for which we did not have reference when we started (the first Obi-Wan and Anakin are examples of these). As time went on, we thought that the proportions we were seeing on later characters worked better for figures and started to adopt them to match the show proportions (in some cases the show proportions changed to become more like the toy line, so there has been a convergence of sorts, which is ideal as in a perfect world the show proportions and toys would match. We don't plan on any updates to the 2008 figures, and will continue running them in the line as they remain highly popular.




SNOWTROOPERS

QUESTION:  Hasbro, would you consider using the idea of various hair colours to make new Imperial officers that a) had more up-to-date articulation,  b) grey uniforms instead of black?  You could use the hair to differentiate the figures, and also use the rank badges, which we see can now be removed thanks to Captain Needa, to further differentiate.

It wouldn't be too hard to do this - you could use Needa's body, have different heads and at least three different rank badges (maybe Lieutenant, Captain, Admiral).  You could also do this for female officers, with the hair and the rank badges, using Deena Shan's body and adding the rank badges.

Or, at the very least, you could do three bodies with the rank badges attached, but have interchangeable heads.

ANSWER:  Our first desire is to make on-screen (speaking part) officers using the new Imperial officer body.  The idea of generic officers is an interesting one, though, and we have done this in the past so we acknowledge that an upgrade would be welcome.  We doubt that we'd do generic female officers, though, since that's more of an EU occurrence. Thanks for the suggestion.


QUESTION:  So how do you go about picking out characters for comic packs? Are people working for Hasbro assigned to read stacks of old and new  comics, or do you browse through the various fan site forums to get the buzz on which comic characters are the most popular at the moment?

Or does direction come mainly from Lucasfilm? However it's done, I hope you take a look at the recent Knights of the Old Republic comic (#42) which features Jedi versions of Revan and Malak!

ANSWER:  Members of our team have read (and read) all Star Wars Comic Packs and we keep a "parking lot" filled with suggestions of figures that can be
drawn from each pack (literally hundreds of suggestions).  We decide on the lineup based on how interesting those characters are, how popular we feel they would be, and personal preference for great stories, all balanced against the tooling budget we have to work with.  We have also solicit ideas from Randy Stradley at Dark Horse.  Lucasfilm generally accepts our suggestions for the lineup, occasionally asking us to revise a wave if the character selections are a little too obscure.


QUESTION:  Hasbro has gotten a LOT of good use from the Evolutions Emperor/Sidious mold. And the recent TESB Emperor finally came with a plastic hood that fixed the terrible "pointy elf" look that used to occur with the raised softgoods hood. But to my frustration, the softgoods cloak on the Evo Emperor still remains the biggest flaw in this figure.

Unlike the Jedi figures, who mostly walk around with their (softgoods) cloaks open, or not wearing them at all, the RotJ Emperor is all about the black cloak. Using softgoods here, rather than the nice subtle folds and texture of fabric that gracefully drape over his body, what we get is a puffy cloth nightmare - he ends up looking "fat" and goofy. I LOVE softgoods but in this case I want to see a plastic cloak sculpted in a similar manner to your excellent TPM Darth Sidious  figure (who resembled the RotJ Emperor better than any other Emperor figure that came after).

How about it? Any chance of an Emperor with plastic cloak as the next upgrade to this figure?

ANSWER:  We understand your desire to have a sculpted Emperor with all of the rich folds of a real figure.  The Episode I version does look sharp.  However, we have moved away from this approach because this usually comes
at the expense of articulation, and some collectors do not desire the fully-sculpted aesthetic of figures like this. If the figure only "works" in certain poses, there is a decreased need for articulation, this sparking the debate of more possible figures vs. those with less articulation but a nice aesthetic (which describes many figures from 1999 and up).  In reality we may never be able to solve the trade-off of one vs. the other.




SW COLLECTOR


QUESTION:  We will see any more R4 units in the BAD line? Three good ones that have never been made are the black & white one from Echobase hangar, the one with orange & silver panels with black squiggles all over it from AOTC, and John D.'s droid the Death Star assault, which is similar to R4-M9 but in black instead of green. B.) Now that we're getting Ahsoka's starfighter, when are we going to get her droid, R7-A7? It was very prominent in the Ryloth trilogy, when she also flew with it in a Y-Wing.

ANSWER:  Thanks for the droid-based question! Right now there are no more R4 units planned beyond what you have seen from Comic Con (R4-P44 in the EpIV wave being the last), but that does not mean they have left our sights. We know that droid demand remains very high and the various rebel pilots remain one of the best "untapped" sources of droids that we have yet to produce. As far as Clone Wars droids, there are a few new Astromech droids planned that we will reveal over time. Even if Ahsoka's R7-A7 is not among them, there is a good chance we will see a release within the next couple of years.

 
QUESTION:  I am really glad that the concept art figures have returned this year, but I am a little puzzled by how it was handled. To me the Anakin figure makes sense since he is is a main character, but the other three, two being secondary characters and one being the second concept Snowtrooper seem like odd choices. With all the various concepts of main characters that were made, I would think that you would want to focus more on those than relaunch the concept art subset with mostly secondary characters. Sorry to be a complainer, but it was also disappointing to see the way they were packaged, especially on the new red cards. Wouldn't it make more sense for the picture of the character to be of the actual concept art and not a modern realistic version? I liked how the 30th Anniversary line presented the concept art figures as something special with unique packaging that stood out from the rest of the figures. Now they just look routine and could easily be confused for average EU characters. That being said, I hope you do continue with the concept art series in the future, as there are many
great choices yet to cover such as Lando, Leia, Count Dooku and the Kenner concept Clone Warrior.

ANSWER:  We're glad you are a passionate fan of the concept art series characters. We like them too, but the precious few slots we have available for newly tooled characters have challenged our desire to really make a statement with the concept art characters. Our selections this year were based as much on contrast, or coolness, of the concept as much as anything else; if it was cool-looking and different from the on-screen version we were interested. Unlike in 2007, when the McQuarrie series was a big focus, they are not such a big focus in 2009 and as such we did not create a whole parallel card architecture for them. As we plan 2011, we do not see the concept figures playing a primary role, but we will be considering them as a future sub-theme going forward.


QUESTION:  With the release of the upcoming Target exclusive Geonosis 2-Packs, we are now getting the last two Jedi that appeared in the Arena's "survivor's circle", Joclad Danva and Roth-Del Masona. With these Jedi being released, what is the likelyhood of other backround Jedi being made into action figures (or possibly in the 2010 Geonosis 2-Packs), such as Sarissa Jeng, or Sar Labooda?

ANSWER:  We very much would like to see Sarissa Jeng and Sar Laboods produced, and it's possible that one of them will see release as part of a sequel to Geonosis Arena should it prove to be successful. The other one will hopefully find her way into the line somehow; even outside the Geonosis Arena 2-packs, we hope to continue to bring prominent arena Jedi to the lineup.




THE JAWA


QUESTION:  I was wondering where a new Ghost of Yoda and Ghost of Obi Wan are on your "parking lot" list?  We need the pair to go with that fantastic Ghost of Anakin you released in the Anniversay Collection!

ANSWER:  They are a little lower right now, the simple reason being that we haven't had a "repaint" wave in a while and those figures are perfect candidates for a high-impact wave that does not need tooling.  We have been using our "repainting" slots on either new or higher-impact characters lately.  The time will come, though, when these deserving figures see the light of day, so patience will be rewarded.


QUESTION:  In the last Q&A, you mentioned you were trying to talk to the China vendors again about standardizing on the ball-joint of the neck (but that they often tweak the ball size to meet needs like fitting a helmet and this alters the neck size by the time of the finished figure).  Is there any possibility of using Hasbro's own GI Joe 25th Anniversary line as a future guide?  I've never really had any problems swapping heads on my Joes due to their standardized neck ball and if there's one thing I hope Hasbro realizes from the success of BaD it's that kids (and adults!) like swapping around heads and limbs to make their own custom SW figures. There's huge play value in making your own Jedi/Sith characters, or putting an Anakin head on a different Jedi body essentially giving Anakin a new costume.  In fact it encourages kids to build a large collection of SW figures in order to have a big library of heads or bodies to swap amongst.  That said then, it'd be nice to have GI Joe and SW heads be cross-compatible to not only have even more opportunities to customize new characters, but from Hasbro's point of view, it could encourage spillover sales from one line into the other.

ANSWER:  Thanks for the "heads-up" about the uniformity of the GI Joe head ball joint.  We definitely have not had that as a priority.  While customizing is a priority for a small number of collectors, the ability to achieve it would allow for more flexibility in custimization, which is a good thing. We'll talk to the GI Joe team to see what they have been able to achieve on the factory side.  Thanks.


QUESTION:  I'm wondering if you can clarify an issue about Star Wars vehicles, or the reissue of. Why do you reissue the Imperial Shuttle and the AT-AT about every 10 years or so. but with other vehicles you reissue those within no time and even repaint constantly.

ANSWER:  It all depends upon how iconic these vehicles are, their demand among kids and collectors both, and their entertainemnt support that determines our re-release strategy. The simple reason for the vehicle you cited is that the Imperial Shuttle is a very niche vehicle, and from the OTC movies, whereas vehicles like the Republic Gunship are from Episode III AND the Clone Wars, and remain in high demand among both collectors and kids. One thing we like to look for in any vehicle release is a "new story" to tell, like we had with the Endor AT-AT in 2006. There are others vehicles that have recent entertainment gravitas (like the ARC-170) that merit similar re-release status. We'll put you down as a fan of both the Imperial Shuttle and the AT-AT and look for an opportunity for re-release when we can, assuming we can find a new story to tell with these.




To be continued
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 12:19:29 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2009, 02:22:09 PM »

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


THE PRIVATE UNIVERSE

QUESTION:  With the much enjoyed and highly appreciated pilots series continuing, single packs, 2-packs and evolutions, I thought I'd ask about some more characters - Gen Evir Derricote (pictured in the Making of Baron Fel), Telsij Cayr (Injured Y-Wing pilot from the same series), Horton Salm, Grizz Frix, Herian I'ngre, Avan Beruss, Fey'lis Ardele, Xarrce Huwle and famously Gavin Darklighter who would only need a new head sculpt from that of his cousin.Also Koyi Komad the RS engineer would be a fantastic addition with some tools to add to the various ship sets and the scramble at yavin battle pack.

Also with so many appearances from pilots in the Legacy series how about the following - Andurgo, Anj Dahl, Jhoram Bey, Hondo Karr, Monia Gahan, Ronto and of course 'Gunner' Yage, Cade's half sister.

ANSWER:  We would love to eventually offer quality, super-articulated versions of *all* of the pilots from the Battle of Yavin, Battle of Hoth, and the Battle of Endor, along with cool EU squadrons like Rogue, Wraith and even Dagger. However, fans will have to be patient and we may never get all the way there (not for lack of trying!).

The reality is that there will be fewer multi-pack options available to us, unlike we had this past year with Evolutions and some exclusives to help out. We'll look for additional ways to bring out more pilots, but patience will always prevail. Of the characters you cite, Horton Salm and Grizz Frixx would be some of our top priorities.


QUESTION:  How many figures can we expect to see in 2010 for the non Clone Wars collectors, and how many Comic 2-packs?

ANSWER:  There will be approximately 45 figures in the Legacy basic figure lineup for 2010, about the same number of basic figures that will be available in 2009. As for Comic Packs, we don't want to make release any numbers right now as the exact number is still up in the air.


QUESTION:  The Cantina scene is a long standing fan favorite and collectors lap up figures made from that scene, however so far the Outlanders Club scene from AOTC has not seen as many figures made from it's patrons. Are there any plans to make more characters from there?

ANSWER:  We do not have any more plans to go back to the Outlander Club. It just doesn't have the impact and importance that the original Cantina did and as such we are unlikely to add any more new characters to that scene beyond the core ones which have already been produced.




YAKFACE


QUESTION:  A quick follow up question regarding the Imperial Scanning Crew figure. Solicitation imagery has shown up online showing the packaging and loose shots for this figure and the collecting natives are restless to say the least as neither show the scanning equipment being included! Please tell us that this isn't another issue regarding cost and those accessories haven't been dropped.

ANSWER:  There was an error in the first packaging that was quickly corrected. The equipment *will* be shipping with the Scanning Crew figure - one half of the equipment with the first release, and the second half with the second release in a later wave.


QUESTION:  It is evident that the clone trooper figures in the Clone Wars line are huge in terms of popularity, due in large part to their superior sculpt/articuation, accessories and general "coolness factor".  One can assume they are equally huge in terms of profitability since the same super-articulated base figure can be repainted and re-accessorized to create virtually any generic clone or clone commander with minimal retooling dollars. Are there plans to use some of that profitability to continue to upgrade more of the other non-clone characters? For example, it seems that Kit Fisto, Plo Koon, Mace Windu, Asajj Ventress and Cad Bane continue to suffer from "knee and ankle joint envy" when compared to the new Space Suit Anakin, Speeder Bike Dooku and Freeco Speeder Obi-Wan figures. Will those figures with articulation dysfunction get the action they so deserve in 2010?

ANSWER:  The efficiency that re-using Clones gives us is already factored into the line to help facilitate tooling for new characters.  Overall, the Clone Wars line won't be seeing much of a change in articulation from the current design.  Kids, the primary audience for the Clone Wars line, do not seem to care about super-articulation.  In addition, just as with the main Legacy line, we can't add super-articulation to all figures so we must pick and choose our spots.  With the ever-present struggle with costing, this is the long-term view we are taking with the line.


QUESTION:  Reports are circulating that Hasbro reps are participating in their own version of Order 66 and are wiping out certain "pegwarming" figures from the aisles (namely the Yarna's, a few of the Cantina Patrons and others). Will this "purge" continue to include some of the survivors in the blue/white Saga Legends line (Saesee Tiin, C-3PO, Plo Koon) as well?

ANSWER:  We can confirm that our store reps are indeed pulling back a number of collector-targeted figures that have built up at retail over the past year.  The intention is to provide a one-time correction for the pull back in collector spending that has resulted in lower sell-through on the more narrowly collector-targeted like Yarna, the Organas, Cantina patrons, and the like.  We'll still continue to produce these figures (like Willrow) but our release volumes will be tempered to ensure the same issues don't persist.  However, we won't be doing any pullbacks against the 100% kid-focused Saga Legends line.  Going forward, Saesee Tiin and Plo Koon has been removed from the assortment and replaced with different characters.




YODA'S NEWS


QUESTION:  Since the Expanded Universe has proven to be successful on store shelves, are there any plans to expand the TIE fleet to include 3.75 inch scale versions of the TIE Advanced (from the mid-90s LucasArts game "TIE Fighter") and the TIE Defender?

ANSWER:  Most any other EU-based TIE we would do (such as TIE Defender, or TIE Crawler) would require a substantial amount of tooling and a leap of faith that these would be popular enough that we could justify all of the mew development work. We have tried out hand at a few repaint-type EU vehicles, but these would be all new. As cool as these new TIEs are, a number of fans still stick to on-screen appearances for their vehicle purchases and we're hoping that the new Clone Interceptor Tank turns enough heads to justify future continued expansions into the EU vehicle ranks.


QUESTION:  Some early pictures of the Luminara Unduli figure (The Clone Wars) show an error with the character's facial tattoo. In the pics, she is sporting a zigzag line; but in the show she has more of a "dot"configuration on her chin. Will this error be corrected before the final product hits the shelves?

ANSWER:  Yes, and no. We checked a production piece and while the pattern appears to be a zigzag, it is actually composed of small dots that seems to form an illusion of the zigzag. It's tought to get precise registration of the dots at this fine scale.


QUESTION:  The Galactic Heroes are a huge bit with adult collectors as well as the kids. Any chance we will see some more Episode 1 characters like Pod Racer Anakin or Watto? Or some of the other characters, beasts and vehicles we have yet to see like Queen Amidala (Senate), Lobot, Ughnaughts, Emperor Palpatine (w/cane not lightsaber), Grand Admiral Thrawn?  Vehicles like the Imperial Shuttle and Anakin's Pod Racer?


ANSWER:  Those are interesting ideas (especially, Thrawn, who would be be really cool to see as a Galactic Hero with big red Chiss eyes!). None of the characters you mentioned are in any future pack line-up, but there are some interesting ideas there and we will pass them on to our design team.

We will confirm that we are doing some prominent EU figures in few packs starting next year, so the future for expansion does look bright. Stay tuned!




Keep checking back as more sites continue to file their Hasbro Star Wars Q&A sessions.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 12:25:09 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2009, 12:21:38 AM »

THREE SITES ADDED!

-Imperial Shipyards
-SW Collector
-The Private Universe
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 12:25:59 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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