HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A HEADLINES - WEEK OF OCTOBER 23rd, 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 - HASBRO "WE HAVE STAGGERING QUANTITIES OF DROID FACTORY FIGURES"JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVESQUESTION:
You have made it evident that sales of the main Legacy figures just arenít at the same levels from years ago. And while you have assured us that the line is still healthy, it makes us wonder a few things. The Legacy figures are still nearly impossible to find. How can you meet and exceed numbers if they arenít in stores to sell? And when we ask retail why the figures arenít in the stores, they blame you. In turn, we go back to you and you say stores are ordering less. There is this incessant circular blame that is leaving the kids and collectors out in the cold. We want the opportunity to purchase them, please give it to us! Along the same lines, we were curious to know if perhaps you have considered the packaging as a direct cause for lack of sales. While this may initially seem silly to you, we hope that you can carefully ponder and admit that the blue TLC line look was anything but exciting. We are sure that Gargan would have sold a whole lot better were she on an OTC/VOTC type card (being that she was one of the original vintage candidates). Figures just look so much more awesome on the silver and black line look. Can you please defend your position with Lucasfilm that a vintage feel is the only way to go with our beloved Star Wars action figures (or an extrapolation of it at least). The 30th Anniversary Collection, Original Trilogy Collection (which you had confirmed exceeded expectations and they were all old POTF2 figures for the most part!) and The Saga Collection had the best packaging yet! We miss that look terribly!ANSWER:
You have asked a few questions here, so we'll take them in order. What you see on an individual store level isn't representative of what's happening at a national level. The way that replenishment should work, since it's all automated, is that when inventory gets low an order gets triggered to send more of that assortment to the stores, either from the retail distribution centers or a new order from Hasbro. Trust us, we have staggering quantities of Droid Factory figures that we are unable to get to stores because of the quantity of figures still in the channel; we are not holding back and in fact doing everything we can to get the new waves out (including a recent pullback of unmoving figures to help us"recalibrate" the brand). All new waves can always be found through online retailers; if you can't find them at retail near you there are other ways to get figures, and they count the same for us either way. It's certainly possible that some stores get "stuck" but we do not have a way of seeing that other than fans sending us store numbers to check out (which does happen...please tell us about the Wal-Mart and Target stores in question, with store numbers). As for the line look, we take our cue from the direction Lucasfilm has given us as they create the line (we do consult, but ultimately do not decide on the line look). Your comments on preference for the Vintage/Saga/30th line is noted; we certainly know that these were popular lines with collectors. All things being equal since they all had the same line look, Clone Wars and Saga Legends flew while the Legacy/Droid Factory struggled and continues to do so (as have all other assortments with a more narrow collector focus like Evolutions, Comic Packs, and many exclusives). Our collectors have been hit hard by the economic issues, and we are doing our best to find the new baseline (critical for calling figures such as Willrow Hood), streamline the range so more fans can reasonably afford to collect everything in a year, and look toward key touch points for collectors to re-engage. It's been a tough year for our collector base overall, and hope that we can reward those who have stuck with us with some outstanding figures and vehicles, and lure back those who may be on the sidelines with an incredibly tempting lineup next year and on into the future. Stay tuned!GOLD 5: Hasbro touches on a number of topics with this response. But the most notable one is about the production numbers of Droid Factory Basic Figures. A good number of collectors have expressed frustration over their lack of success finding the new TLC RED basic figures.
Hasbro's response indicates that there are a good number of figures that have been produced. But a number of factors are blocking them from getting to brick and mortar retail at this time.
Solutions? If you're an army builder, picking up some more troops may clear the way. If you're a customizer you may want to pick up some figures to make into new, custom creations. Or if you're in a generous mood, pick up a figure and donate it to a worthwhile charity like the United States Marine Corps' TOYS FOR TOTS. Buying figures that have been sitting for a while helps to make room for new figures.
HEADLINE - WOOOF DESIGN DRAWINGS REVEALEDGALACTIC HUNTERQUESTION:
Since it has been confirmed that Wooof will be out in 2010, is there anything you'd care to share, like one of those cool figure sketches or a photo of the sculpt?ANSWER:
Sure thing - see attached. (CLICK FOR IMAGES
)GOLD 5: Hasbro was kind enough to reveal concept drawings of the much anticipated Wooof figure. This figure will is one of the few remaining characters from the vintage line that had yet to be remade in the modern line. The drawings reveal that Wooof will feature at least 12 points of articulation, plus a number of accessories.
HEADLINE - BESPIN HAN SOLO PUSHED BACK TO 2011HAN'S HIDEOUTQUESTION:
The VOTC Han Solo is a pretty great figure, but one thing still sort of bugs me - his magical floating holster (same goes for the "vintage" Endor Han figure). Any chance we'll see Han updated so his holster is tethered to his thigh like VTSC Bespin Luke and a few other figures have? It would be a cool update to the existing Hans as well as a feature we'd love to see on that 2010 SA Bespin Han you've got cooking!ANSWER:
Thanks for the suggestion - it's something we'll consider the next time we release an EpIV Han. As for the 2010 Bespin Han, things have changed a bit and he's now coming in 2011 (a different Han will be coming in 2010). GOLD 5: Hasbro had previously stated in THIS SEPTEMBER 2008 Q&A SESSION WITH JEDI INSIDER that a Bespin Han Solo would be on the way in 2010. And with the news that 2010 would be a big year themed around THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, it seemed like a Bespin Han Solo was a lock. This news is disappointing to people who were looking forward to Bespin Han, but Hasbro states that a different Han Solo is in the works. What incarnation of Han Solo will that be? In the words of Hasbro, STAY TUNED!
HEADLINE - BD24 GENERAL GRIEVOUS CANCELLEDHAN'S HIDEOUTQUESTION:
A quick question on the 2009 line-up from one of our readers - "At SDCC, you guys said we'd be getting a repack General Grievous in the line (BD24, I believe). Well, the e-tailers have posted case assortments through the 2010 EU wave and there doesn't seem to be a Grievous anywhere to be found. Was he dropped? Bumped? Renumbered?" ANSWER:
He was indeed dropped, leaving a hole in our figuring number system. This was in response to needing to shift a bunch of assortments around - we just couldn't fit him in. As such, there will be no BD24 issued. GOLD 5: Those of us who keep track of case assortments had noticed that there had been no General Grievous listed in the assortments. It was thought that Grievous might show up in a revision case, but that has not come to pass.
This news is something of an anomoly. It's not often that a figure gets dropped from the line (running changes excluded). But in this instance one has to be a little thankful that it was only a reissue figure which was dropped.
HEADLINE - ZAM WESSEL & BARRISS OFFEE RESCULPTS "IN THE PARKING LOT"JEDIDEFENDERQUESTION:
Harkening back to the old days (2002), what led to the decision to make the Attack of the Clones figures so stylized, preposed and action laden? At the time, there was much nashing of teeth and complaining from collectors about the direction the line was heading and I think most people agree that you've listened and went with a super articulated line of figures. All that being said, there are several figures of the Saga era that could use some updating...most notably and often requested are the Kaminoans, young Boba, Zam Wessel, Barriss Ofee and Outlander Anakin. Any chance of getting updates any time soon?ANSWER:
The decision was made back then to add excitement to the figures by adding pre-posing; in a way, this compensated for the lack of excitement of the EpI presentation where the figures had very little energy and pop. You have to admit, the EpII figures do look great in package, but when they get on shelf suffer from not being generally posable being stuck in their positions. We do have a plan to systematically update core characters - and of the ones you mention Zam Wessel and Barriss Ofee have the best chance of getting upgraded in the next couple of years. The Kaminoans and Boba, we feel, are generally fine as is (not and not really preposed) so we have no plans to go there. Eventually, we will probably get to a new Outlander Anakin but he's not a priority right now.GOLD 5: This is very far from any kind of confirmation. But it does seem likely based on Hasbro's response that Hasbro has resculpts of both Zam Wessel and Barriss Offee in their sights.
HEADLINE - CAD BANE'S XANADU BLOOD ON TAP FOR THE STARFIGHTER ASSORTMENT IN 2010YAKFACEQUESTION:
It is quite obvious that Season 2 of The Clone Wars is going to be chock full of potential character and vehicle merchandise for months to come. Also obvious is the prominence the various bounty hunters in Cad Bane's posse (Bossk, Aurra Sing, Cato Parasitti etc.) will play initially in the series. My questions are will we see an all-bounty hunter themed wave in 2010 or will you be spreading out the various hired guns over the course of the year in different waves? Will we see Cad Bane's Xanadu Blood (a repaint of the Magnaguard Fighter) in the starfighter assortment in early 2010?ANSWER:
You will see the bounty hunters phase in at different times into the lineup, rather than as one big wave. And yes, look for Cad Bane's ship in the Starfighter lineup sometime early next year. GOLD 5: Most of the Bounty Hunters have yet to be seen in Season 2 of The Clone Wars, so it seems appropriate that their figures would not be revealed just yet. But Hasbro surprises us with confirmation of Cad Bane's Xanadu Blood as part of the starfighter vehicle assortment.
Keep checking back for more Q&A Headlines as sites continue to post their sessions with Hasbro's Star Wars team.