HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A HEADLINES - WEEK OF NOVEMBER 16th, 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 - COMIC 2-PACK LINE TO END; REMAINING SETS STILL TO COMEJEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVESQUESTION:
Since the introduction of numbering the Basic Figure line offerings, there's been a keen interest among collectors to know what that lineup is for both planning and indexing purposes. Now that has been passed on to the Expanded Universe comic 2-pack line. Can you please give us a rundown of the numbering on the remaining comic 2-packs?
And on a related note, can collectors expect either the Heir to the Empire pack (with Noghri & Ralracheen) or the EMPIRE "Darklighter" set (with Camie & Fixer) in the not so distant future?ANSWER:
The comic packs have really been struggling lately, and right now we will be challenged to get to the 2010 packs that were shown at Comic Con. That said, here's the numerical lineup through the end of the year (after Darth Krayt & Sigel Dare, pack #8):
Republic #83: Bogey Squad (#9)
Routine Valor: Commander Cody's Lieutenant and Trooper (#10)
Tales of the Jedi #6: Exar Kun & Ulic Quel Droma (#11)
Republic #65: Jedi Masters Thome & T'ra Saa (#12)
Classic Star Wars Early Adventures #1: Black Hole Stormtrooper (#13)
Beyond that, we'll hold onto that as the packs may not get out. As for the Empire Darklighter pack with Camie and Fixer, it will be coming as a convention exclusive set next year. The Heir to the Empire pack with Noghri and Ralrra does not currently have a home; right now it might become a Convention exclusive in 2011. BANTHA SKULLQUESTION:
What's going on with Comic Packs? There seem to be rumors that these are going away or converting to exclusives only. Can you comment on that, and maybe update us on some of the packs that we thought were coming, particularly wave 3 (with the TOTJ pack and the Tholme pack), the WalMart exclusives, the 2010 Wave 1 packs, and the Camie/Fixer pack that had been pulled out of the lineup?ANSWER:
Yes, here's the latest. We can confirm that the Comic Packs will be discontinued after Spring 2010
(meaning no packs for Fall 2010). The Wal-Mart exclusive Comic Pack program has been cancelled after the last ones ship this Fall. Wave 3, including the pack with Tholme and T'ra Saa, will now be on shelf approximately March in the U.S. along with the rest of the Fall Comic Packs shown at Comic Con. This schedule should hold unless there are further delays. The Spring 2010 Wave 1 packs shown at Comic Con, including the Darth Nihl & Deliah Blue pack, may not make it out at all based on the current rate of sale, but we remain hopeful. The Camie/Fixer pack will be a convention exclusive next year.GOLD 5: Hasbro obliged JTA's request for the numbering for the remaining comic 2-packs in the TLC RED line. However, in their response to both JTA and Bantha Skull they have confirmed that the end of the comic 2-pack line is in sight. The last offerings are expected to hit retail in the spring of 2010.
But the fate of these offerings:
___ Knights Of The Old Republic #6 - Jarael & Rohlan Dyre
___ Legacy # 7 - Deliah Blue & Darth Nihl
...is still to be determined. Hasbro's statement makes the status of these sets appear to be in serious jeopardy. Hasbro also reports that this set:
___ STAR WARS: EMPIRE #8 - Camie & Fixer
...is likely to be a 2010 convention exclusive. They have also previously stated that this set:
___ Visionaries - Cyborg Darth Maul & figure tbd
...is also likely to be a 2010 convention exclusive.
And looking forward to the future, Hasbro indicates that this set:
___ HEIR TO THE EMPIRE #tbd - Noghri Warrior & Ralrracheen
...may be a 2011 convention exclusive. Stay tuned for more news as it continues to develop on the Comic 2-pack front!
HEADLINE - FUTURE DROID FACTORY 2-PACKS CANCELLEDJEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVESQUESTION:
The Legacy Collection Walmart exclusive Droid Factory and TARGET exclusive Geonosis Arena Showdown sets really made us happy. It was a clever use of old parts, awesome new figures and incredible retools and/or repaints of upgraded favorites. We were wondering if they have met or exceeded expectations because they are a bit of a chore to find (at least all) at retail and we can only assume that they are selling through. Do you think that we will be fortunate enough to see another round of each in the near future? Along similar lines about "being difficult to find at retail," we are wondering if the Legacy basic figures are going to hit us hard all at once. As of the end of October, the Return Of The Jedi wave has only been found sporadically. We are a bit concerned about this. Legacy Collection has an amazing array of characters and we want to buy them all and are wondering why it is so difficult to get them.ANSWER:
Unfortunately, the Droid Factory 2-packs have not performed to expectations, and the future sequel that was planned for this has been cancelled
. It is possible that some of the selections from this set will find their way into future packs. As for the Geonosis 2-packs, right now it's a little too early too tell and we'll know more after the holidays. Finally, as to the Legacy figures, the new waves are getting out to retail now and will be hitting hard throughout the holidays. We have been shipping more of the EpVI wave, so there should be enough to go around. It may be difficult to find them near you depending on how much stock the stores already have; in addition, it's possible that others are competing for the figures that do come in. Since we have brought down the number of each figure that we are making, it is going to make finding them a little more challenging. One way to guarantee getting the figures is to check with online retailers, who are able to order all of our assortments, if you just can't find the wave you are looking for at retail.GOLD 5: Hasbro confirms with this response that the rumored sequel to the WalMart exclusive Droid Factory 2-packs has been shelved. The figures that were planned for those sets may find their way into other items at some point, but that is still to be determined.
HEADLINE - POTENTIAL FIGURE CANDIDATES FOR THE RUMOR MILLBANTHA SKULLQUESTION:
What are the chances of you actually doing these characters as action figures in the next two years: a resculpt of Barriss Offee (realistic version), resculpt of Admiral Piett, resculpt of Admiral Ackbar, resculpt of Nien Numb, resculpt of the Weequay skiffguard, resculpt of the Gamorrean Guard (give him three different weapons, I promise to buy three of him), Wooof the Klaatu from the vintage line, and video game characters Visas Marr and Komari Vosa.ANSWER:
At least five of the characters you cite are slated to appear in the basic figure lineup within the next two years. The two video game characters are doubtful Visas Marr stands the better chance since she is from KotOR.GOLD 5: Hasbro states in their response that five of these eight characters are slated to be made in the Basic Figure line over the next two years.
-Barriss Offee resculpt
-Admiral Piett resculpt
-Admiral Ackbar resculpt
-Nein Nunb resculpt
-Weequay skiff guard resculpt
From this list, Hasbro has already stated that both Wooof and the Gamorrean Guard are confirmed. A strong rumor persists regarding Admiral Ackbar. As for the remaining three? Hasbro seems to eliminate both Visas Marr and Komari Vosa with their response. So it seems to be a race for three spots between Barriss Offee, Piett, Ackbar, Nein Nunb and the Weequay skiff guard.
HEADLINE - JAXXON IS "IN THE PARKING LOT"GALACTIC HUNTERQUESTION:
OK, so, we are aware of this "parking lot" concept for developing figures. So, knowing that our dearly departed Ackmena is not on the "lot", what's the weirdest darn figure that is parked there as-of-this-very-moment? (I'm betting it's that rabbit.)ANSWER:
There are no rabbits in the Star Wars Universe as far as we can tell. There is a species that looks similar the Lepi. There is one Lepi on the list, and he might just qualify as the weirdest.GOLD 5: Hasbro's response seems to be linked to Jaxxon's appearance in the current Fan's Choice Figure Poll that is being held in conjunction with ToyFare Magazine. But with the news of the demise of the Expanded Universe comic 2-pack line, a place for Jaxxon in the line seems more and more unlikely. But anything can happen, so stay tuned.
HEADLINE - HASBRO "RESPONSE TO FUNERAL PYRE VADER HAS BEEN GOOD"HAN'S HIDEOUTQUESTION:
Now that you've had some time to digest the fan response to that Funeral Pyre Darth Vader set at and after SDCC, what do you think - yea or nay? Any closer to finding it a home in the 2010/2011 line-up? Or is it pretty much dead thanks to the slowdown in Legacy product demand?ANSWER:
The response seemed to be good, and we're on the hunt for a suitable retail partner for this. The slowdown in Legacy has not helped a lot of collector-targeted exclusives (as this would be) so we have to find the right partner who can work with smaller quantities.GOLD 5: Hasbro responds that they've seen a positive response to their Funeral Pyre Vader concept which JTA broke the news on at 2009's San Diego Comic Con. Their response indicates that this set will be an exclusive, but a retail partner has yet to be determined.
HEADLINE - ARMY BUILDING BATTLE PACKS TO RETURN IN FALL 2010?IMPERIAL SHIPYARDSQUESTION:
Is there any chance for Imperial and Rebel army builder packs as there are with the Clones?ANSWER:
We have done them in the Battle Pack line in the past, but the Clones have proven to be more popular so we have focused there more often. There's a good likelihood that we will revisit this stance down the road, and hope late next year to have a little news in this regard against the backdrop of the Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary.GOLD 5: Hasbro drops a serious hint with this answer. And given the recent situation regarding the bearless Hoth Rebel Trooper, a battle pack that focuses on Rebel troops or the Battle of Hoth might suit that figure quite well. Keep checking back for more on this topic soon.
HEADLINE - NEW OT VEHICLES ON THE WAY IN 2010IMPERIAL SHIPYARDSQUESTION:
Are there any new OTC vehicles in the works, you can keep what they are hush hush I just want to know if there are any new vehicles, other than what we already know of?ANSWER:
Yes there are. We will most likely reveal what they are at Toy Fair next year.GOLD 5: Hasbro has previously confirmed that they are set to reveal a new Rebel Snowspeeder at their 2010 Toy Fair presentation. As for other new OT vehicle offerings, Hasbro is keeping mum for the time being.
HEADLINE - NEW STAR TOURS FIGURES TO DEBUT NEXT YEARRAVING TOY MANIACQUESTION:
With the announcement that Star Tours at Disneyland getting a makeover in 2011, will we finally see non-droid Star Tours characters made? I'm talking about the flight crew (cast members), Teek or the Mon-Calamari flight controller? A full-sized Star Speeder 3000 that could double as a carrying case would be a welcome addition as well.ANSWER:
Yes, there will be some new non-Droid characters debuting in a special Star Tours themed set next year. Stay tuned for new of that right around Toy Fair time. As for a full-sized Star Speeder 3,000... not a chance that we'll do anything to interact with 3-3/4" figures. GOLD 5: New Star Tours figures are confirmed with this response. And apparently the lineup will not be limited to droids exclusively. Check back for JTA's coverage of Toy Fair for more news on this story.
HEADLINE - NEW CLOUD CAR UNLIKELY FOR EMPIRE'S 30th ANNIVERSARYRAVING TOY MANIACQUESTION:
Often, Hasbro's response to a question about a requested vehicle (like the Cloud Car) that "it is still readily available to fans on ebay" - however, looking at the improvements in paint and deco on any Hasbro re-release(as seen in the multiple releases of the TIE fighter) fans feel that any re-release would be an improvement on the original. Maybe you could explain to me the reasoning that Hasbro would prefer fans to buy from the secondary market rather than from your vendor partners?ANSWER:
Vehicles, just like characters, are not created equally. We cite the Cloud Car specifically as an example of a vehicle which is available on eBay for less than the cost if we created a new one and released it, for example, in the Starfighter Vehicle Assortment. We *do* know that there is an audience of fans who want to have a new-era (non-Vintage) Cloud Car in their collection, however based on demand it appears to be more of a niche audience. If/when we eventually do a Cloud Car, we need to be sure that the audience is big enough to justify the tooling investment.GOLD 5: Speculation had been circling that the 30th anniversary of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK might provide the right opportunity for Hasbro to issue a modern version of the Twin pod Cloud Car. But this response from Hasbro indicates that their research indicates that the potential base of customers for a new Cloud Car may be very limited, and they are ready to steer interested collectors to the vintage secondary market. The emphatic nature of this response seems to be a clear instance of Hasbro stating their case and not playing coy.
HEADLINE - LARGE ACCESSORIES TO DIMINISH IN THE BASIC FIGURE LINETHE JAWAQUESTION:
As someone who only collects the realistic line and not CW (though I enjoy the cartoon series) I did recently find myself purchasing an Admiral Yularen figure during a TRU sale. Why? Because he was packed with an awesome holo-command table accessory. Being "playset starved" for environmental pieces to put next to my figures, this was a strong draw for me since the piece went well with my TLC figure display (sadly the Yularen is in a junk figure drawer... his strangely tight pants/feminine legs looked odd standing next to my realistic Needa). While I know Hasbro has rejected the notion of a "build a playset" idea, what about other pieces from the Republic Cruiser bridge/interior coming as accessories in the future? It certainly got a die-hard realistic collector like myself to actually buy a CW figure.ANSWER:
There will be fewer of the larger accessory pieces in the Legacy line going forward, simply because we don't have the costing to spare; we're keeping as much as we can in new figure tooling for next year which means there is fewer left over for extra accessories. We hope to be able to add some flavor in other ways, though, aside from basic figures.GOLD 5: The larger accessories that we've seen packed with figures like Admiral Yularen and the TLC BLUE Obi-Wan Kenobi seem to be set to go away. Hasbro's answer indicates that they will be shifting their financial resources away from these types of accessories in order to invest in new basic figure tooling.
Keep checking back for more Headlines from the Hasbro Star Wars Q&A process as sessions continue to be posted!
Gold 5, out!