HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A HEADLINES - WEEK OF OCTOBER 2nd, 2009
Check out the news you can use from the latest Hasbro Q&A session! We've distilled down the Q&A process so that you can get right to the heart of the matter. Because these are the things that Hasbro is confirming, so read on!
HEADLINE - EWOK RESCULPT ON TAP FOR 2010JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVESQUESTION:
We are very thankful for the attention you have given to the Ewok species, especially since 2006. It’s nice to get 1 or 2 or more of these fur balls every year. Our tribe is growing and a very fast-paced rate and we hope it doesn’t slow down at all. We would like to know however if two of our favorites (and probably two of the most popular) are in the parking lot. Wicket and Logray were our first modern era Ewoks and are in severe need of a good overhaul (scale and likeness) to meet today’s standards. And Teebo would be our next choice, but we think the 2002 sculpt is pretty cool and want to know if there is there a way to ‘simply’ shrink down the mold to get him to be in scale, or would a new resculpt be the best way to handle if he was going to be considered for the line again? Also, it seems that all of the new Ewoks coming out are borrowing the bodies from 2007’s Romba and Graak figures on a frequent basis. Is there a way to change this up a bit more (and maybe thrown in Chief Chirpa’s body frame) on some? We think the Ewoks could be in danger of starting to look a little too much like each other, especially Paploo – he is a taller and thinner Ewok and looks a little too stocky. (But he is still excellent!) Also, thank you for the inclusion of more obscure Ewoks like Graak and NoAhpaak. It makes for a very awesome mix! ANSWER:
Thanks for the comments - we're glad you like the Ewoks we've been doing. They have clearly struck a vein with collectors too as they seem much talked about and asked about. Wicket and Logray are two that we would like to redo, and one of them will be coming out in the basic carded figure line next year.
Teebo is also a strong candidate but has yet to be slotted in. It's a sure bet he will see an upgrade within the next few years as well. Good comment on making sure we have enough bodies types to portray the Ewoks as diverse as they are on film. We'll be mindful of that. Thanks!GOLD 5: Hasbro doesn't nail down which Ewok is on tap for 2010, but they narrow it down pretty well. Both Wicket and Logray were packed together back in the POTF2 days, but Hasbro's response indicates that they're poised to either release them solo or with other Ewoks.
As for which Ewok we'll be getting? Hints have been circulating about a new Wicket for a little while now. And given Wicket's prominent role in RETURN OF THE JEDI as well as the lone Wicket repack that was seen in the OTC line, it seems as though Hasbro may be comfortable single packing Wicket.
HEADLINE - HOTH REBEL TROOPER VARIANT UPDATEJEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVESQUESTION:
The conspiracy theorists in us tend to believe that the second Hoth Rebel Trooper from the blue phase of The Legacy Collection was indeed never produced despite your original statements that he will be available in very short supply in wave 7. We have yet to see him in person or even find a photo of him packaged on the web, or even for sale on online stores and auction sites. We are beginning to believe that he was missed altogether. Is there a way you can check your resources again and confirm what the deal is with this figure? And can you do anything to cancel out a repacked figure in the red phase of Legacy Collection and put this one in its place instead?ANSWER:
The factory does confirm that he was indeed manufactured (we have some samples as evidence), but we do not have the data on what quantity got out. It's possible that he is stuck in a batch of the wave that has yet to ship. At this point we will not be able to cancel out any repacked figures as we are well past our art release dates (we are currently working on artwork for next Fall's lineup and are well past Spring). As confirmed previously, this figure *will* see the light of day in a Battle Pack next Fall. If those plans change we will look for a way to get him out as quickly as possible.GOLD 5: Hasbro's response indicates that the clean shaven Hoth Rebel may in fact be out there. In what quantity? That remains to be seen. Sightings of this figure in the wild have yet to be confirmed, so keep checking back for more news on the carded figure.
However, Hasbro does confirm that this figure is slated to be reissued in a Battle Pack in the fall of 2010. Are collectors willing to buy an entire battle pack for the one new figure? This remains to be seen, and JTA will be pursuing this story as well.
HEADLINE - CLONE WARS NIKTO DUE OUT IN 2010GALACTIC HUNTERQUESTION:
Is the release of KRONOS-327 (Ziro The Hutt's IG Assassin Droid) in the Clone Wars basic line a forerunner for getting Ziro the Hutt itself eventually, perhaps as a retool/repaint of the existing Clone Wars Jabba The Hutt? On a related note, are we ever going to get that really nice Nikto Guard that was cut from the Clone Wars Jabba The Hutt Battle Pack? He has army builder potential if you put him on a basic card. ANSWER:
Ziro has been discussed but currently is not in the lineup for 2010. We would still like to get him into the line, and there is potential for him to come out as a retailer exclusive in early 2011. As for the Nikto Guard, he will indeed come out, with a strong chance at a 2010 release. Right now we don't know if it will be as a basic figure or some other means (Battle Pack or retailer exclusive). His figure is simply too good to not use.GOLD 5: The Nikto guard in question was originally set to be released with the Clone Wars Jabba the Hutt. We first saw this figure in Hasbro's Toy Fair 2009 presentation. But due to cost concerns the Nikto was pulled from the Jabba the Hutt battle pack. Hasbro's response indicates that we will see this figure offered in 2010, but it's not clear if this figure will be part of the Basic Figure line or some kind of multipack.
HEADLINE - SOME FAN'S CHOICE CANDIDATES REVEALEDHAN'S HIDEOUTQUESTION:
What was your gut reaction to seeing the raw Fans' Choice Poll data/results from the various websites? Were the choices more or less varied than you were expecting? Any trends that you saw that surprised you or any characters that popped up that were completely off your radar until this initial batch of results came in?ANSWER:
One surprise was how even the results were - drawing from all six films and the EU. Of the films, though, each of the films has at least 3 votes, except for, surprisingly, EpV which had only one character (Toryn Farr)
in the top 30. Given that, EpV is generally acknowledged as the fan favorite, it either points to how thoroughly we have covered the film (unlikely since there are many great character re-dos to go), or that fans want to see as-yet-unmade characters generally over re-sculpts (more likely, as there are only five resculpts on the entire list, and the first one, Dr. Evazon
, appears at #10). Of all the selections, the strength of Jocasta Nu
surprised us. We do not think she would be a strong or compelling figure ourselves, but if she did win we would draft her into the lineup. Some of the strength of fans' desire for her could be precisely because we have expressed that we would not consider doing her ourselves, so if she does win it's a victory for the fans who wanted her! GOLD 5: Hasbro reveals 3 of the 30 characters that made the cut for ToyFare's phase of the the 2009 Fan Choice Figure Poll. Those being...
-Toryn Farr - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
-Dr. Evazan - A NEW HOPE
-Jocasta Nu - ATTACK OF THE CLONES
There's still another 27 to be revealed. The ToyFare phase of the poll kicks off with the release of ToyFare issue #148 which should be released in the next couple of weeks.
HEADLINE - DISTRIBUTION WOES FOR THE UK & CANADAJEDI NEWSQUESTION:
Is something BAD happening? It would seem that in both the UK and Canada the Legacy Collection of Build a Droid (BAD) figures have been dropped by retailers for the rest of this year and Hasbro UK and Hasbro Canada respectively are not offering these products to retailers. Please tell us this BAD decision is not true? If it is, is there anything we can do to get the core line into retailers in the UK and Canada?ANSWER:
It is true that the collector business has been severely impacted since last Fall, not just in the U.S. but in the U.K. and Canada as well. We don't have an answer right now on which assortments may be missing or dropped in the U.K. For Canada, we can confirm that only a couple of the new red/white Legacy/Droid Factory assortments will make it to retail this Fall. We are working to find our footing for assortment releases; changes that occurred last Fall can really present problems if they depend on collectors to pull them through (as the Legacy/Droid Factory line does) and inventory at retail remains too long. In some cases, if the assortments don't move off shelf, we can't commit to bringing in the next ones, or else they will get bottled and backed up. We're working as hard as we can to understand the problem and correct it, but it takes time. GOLD 5: The financial crisis hits home for collectors in the UK and Canada. Hasbro's response indicates that some basic figure waves may prove very scarce in both of those countries. A serious blow indeed to collectors that depend on brick and mortar retail for their collecting needs. One certainly hopes that Hasbro Toy Shop may help international collectors fill in some of the gaps by offering these assortments online to our friends in the UK and Canada.
HEADLINE - NO A NEW HOPE WAVE IN 2010JEDI NEWSQUESTION:
Will we some more Cantina patrons next year such as, Reegesk (the Ranat) and also some more Jabba's Palace Denizens such as a new sculpt Gamorrean Guard and more? What are your plans for 2010 for these fan favourite scenes from the Original Trilogy?ANSWER:
We plan to keep new characters from these iconic scenes in our lineup every year when possible. 2010 will see an EpVI-themed wave with at least two characters from Jabba's palace / Sarlacc battle, but there is currently no EpIV wave (it will instead be the first wave of 2011). GOLD 5: 2010 will be a year without an A NEW HOPE wave. Startling news indeed, since many of us have come to expect an annual infusion of Cantina aliens. That will have to wait until early 2011. However, Hasbro does indicate that a RETURN OF THE JEDI wave is on tap for 2010 with a couple of Jabba's palace/sail barge denizens. No details on those, but keep checking back!
HEADLINE - DARTH REVAN & DARTH MALAK LIKELY TO BE REISSUEDMOUSE DROIDQUESTION:
Are we ever going to see Darth Malak, Darth Revan or Pre-Cyborg Grievous repacked in the basic line ever again? A lot of people seemed to have missed out on this wave and are constantly on the lookout for them - so any chance of a comeback for these bad boys? ANSWER:
Pre-Cyborg Grievous is not a strong candidate for return, unless fans vote him in in a future Saga Legends-type re-release vote (we are looking at this as a possibility for next Spring). Revan and Malak are more likely to return in some form or another within the next couple of years. GOLD 5: There's been a steady call in collecting forums for reissues of both Darth Revan and Darth Malak. These Sith Lords first came to light in the epic Star Wars - Knights Of The Old Republic video game, and were finally offered in figure form in 2007. But those figures were somewhat shortpacked and there continues to be some demand amongst fans for these two figures. It seems likely based on Hasbro's response that both of these figures are set for some sort of re-release. What form that will take and when is yet to be determined.
HEADLINE - SCANNING CREW MEMBER RUNNING CHANGE MAY NOT BE RELEASED IN RED & WHITE PACKAGINGREBELSCUMQUESTION:
After the recent (sic) news regarding the 2nd Utai and beardless Hoth rebel trooper., I'd like to make an add-on to my previous question-
It seems that in the past there has been communication issues at the factories regarding changing a figure to a new variant, so instead of having a 2nd variant issued in a following wave (as was planned originally w/ the Hoth Trooper) could the variant figs such as the 2nd Hoth trooper, 2nd Utai, 2nd scanning crew member, 2nd Bespin Guard, etc be placed in a non movie themed wave to them selves much like a repaint wave is done when necessary to do a repaint wave? (In other words instead of a "repaint" wave, release a "variant" wave)ANSWER:
The problem with this is that the variant would occupy a full-blown product spot, where we have been trying to do variants as "extra figures" within our item count. To do what you suggest would mean actually slotting in those figures instead of, say, a new or wholly different figure. It has become so problematic to track these figure changes and stay on course for their release that we will stop doing them altogether because of the disappointment they cause when they don't stay on schedule or get cancelled. As of now, the Bespin Wing Guard is scheduled for the final EU wave next Spring. The Scanning Crew member may not make it out in red/white line look but we will look for ways to eventually bring him out. GOLD 5: This response is really much more about the challenges that Hasbro has faced in making running change figures. They've made an effort to get multiple portraits of army building type characters in a single release. But based on this response as well as from conversations with Hasbro at Comic Con, producing them has proven to be challenging. This new development about the Imperial Scanning Crew member is disappointing. However, Hasbro's comments indicate that they are committed to getting every figure that they've shown to the public out to market.
HEADLINE - VISIONARIES DARTH MAUL DEVELOPMENT & MORESANDTROOPERSQUESTION:
I have a question on three figures in particular.
A) Sometime late last year in a QNA, someone had asked about an "ultra" artculated stormtrooper. Your reply stated that the first you would make was an Episode III clonetrooper.
B) Earlier this year, again in a QNA, someone had suggested a "battle damaged" General Greivous from the Clone Wars Series, with removable legs and a broken mask. Your reply was something to the effect "wait till Comic- Con".
C) In Star Wars Insider # 107, a prototype of Darth Maul from "Visionaries" was pictured. I was surprised that nothing was mentioned on that at Comic-Con. So, what is the status on these figures? Are they (still) going to made? And what format may we see these characters in?ANSWER:
Thanks for the follow-up, Troops. The ultra-articulated Stormtrooper is actually coming as a Sandtrooper, with the new Wal-Mart exclusive Dewback
. As for the Grievous, we're still hopeful to see an update like this but he has yet to find his way into the lineup. Finally, the half-cyborg Darth Maul from Visionaries, with the cool lower torso, was a scratch from our coming pack line. The good news is that he *will* be coming out next year as a Comic Con exclusive (still in the Comic Pack format but with a special treatment
). The second figure has yet to be announced and we'll save that for an update next Spring.GOLD 5: The Visionaries Darth Maul was first seen in prototype form in a Star Wars Insider article, and this answer indicates that it will be released as an SDCC exclusive in 2010.
Additionally, the ultra-articulated Stormtrooper will be released for the first time with the new WalMart exclusive Dewback.
HEADLINE - ROTJ JABBA THE HUTT DETAILS EMERGESIR STEVE'S GUIDEQUESTION:
In the last round, we asked a question about the possibilities of a new Jabba's dais, but the answer we received was instead about Jabba himself. While that was good news for fans to hear and we are quite hopeful on the Hutt gangster front, we're also curious about his dais. Our hypothetical question was asking what pricepoint and format might it 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 it have wheels? Would you go back and use the Kenner vintage throne tooling? And what are the odds of seeing the hypothetical Jabba's Dais we're discussing here?ANSWER:
Sorry to have you spend a second question to follow-up; we thought that our answer suggested it would be *all* new, dais and everything. No idea on price point or format, other than this would not fit anything in the mainline so it points toward the exclusive lineup. The odds of actually seeing it depend on many factors: the ability to cost this beast out with the tooling it would entail; a willing retail partner; a successful sell-through of this year's exclusive lineup to merit confidence that such an item would find a receptive audience. We can confirm that we are working on a new set, but the above factors are still not nailed down yet so it's not a guarantee that you will see him in 2010. GOLD 5: Hasbro *SEEMS* to indicate that a new Jabba the Hutt would also include his throne. The interesting part of this response seems to be that Jabba will in fact be an exclusive. The retailer still appears to be determined, as does the release date.
HEADLINE - CIN DRALLIG & MAJOR MARQUAND LIKELY FOR FIGURE RELEASETHE JAWAQUESTION:
I like the 'cameo' figures of cast and crew who played a big part inthe making of the saga, and apparently so do the people who put together the Star Wars line. It's been nice to see the Lucas family, Joe Johnston (Spacetrooper), Ralph McQuarrie (Pharl McQuarrie), Anthony Daniels (Dannl Faytonni), Ahmed Best (Achk Med-Beq), and now, if the rumors are true, Jeremy Bulloch being honored with action figures based on their appearances in the movies. Is there a desire at Hasbro to at some point make figures of Rick McCallum (Naboo noble), Nick Gillard (Cin Drallig), Richard Marquand (AT-ST Driver), Warwick Davis (Weazel) and one of my favorites, Ben Burtt as Ebenn Q3 Baobab?ANSWER:
This is not a stated objective, but by a happy coincidence we slot a new character into the line and it works out that we can use legendary reference for a head-sculpt, as was the case with Joe Johnston and Ralph McQuarrie. For future figures, we will base them on their importance to the line rather than who was playing that character. As such, Cin Drallig is high on our list of figures we'd like to do within the next few years, and Richard Marquand stands a good chance as well
. The others you mentioned are very low on our radar screen. GOLD 5: Hasbro has previously confirmed that a new AT-ST Driver is in the works. Richard Marquand, the director of RETURN OF THE JEDI appeared in that film as one of the AT-ST Drivers. Based on Hasbro's response it seems likely that the AT-ST Driver that's on the way may be based on the likeness of the director's character, Major Marquand.
Additionally, it seems very likely that prequel stunt guru & swordmaster Nick Gillard is set to be immortalized in plastic. He appeared briefly in hologram form as Jedi Master Cin Drallig in REVENGE OF THE SITH. Cin Drallig scored well in JTA's segment of the 2009 Fan Choice Figure Poll, but Hasbro seems to indicate that this figure may already be in the works. Keep checking back for more on this story.
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