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« on: December 22, 2009, 05:58:57 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF DECEMBER 21st, 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.

This round we got a special message from Hasbro's Derryl DePriest:

On behalf of the Star Wars team, we want to thank all of the Star Wars collector-fan media, and all of the fans, who have shown tremendous support for Hasbro’s Star Wars lineup this year.  We hope that you have found delight in playing with your toys, just like we have in working to bring them to you this past year.  In addition, the tremendous work that all of the fans and sites have done to deliver another great Fans’ Choice poll will result in not one, but many great inspiration for years to come. We have a lot of excitement in store for next year, and we think 2010 is going to shape up to be one of the most exciting years ever for fans of Hasbro Star Wars.  With the 30th Anniversary of Empire Strikes Back to celebrate, we think it’s going to be a big year as well. Happy Holidays to everyone!


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


JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES



QUESTION:  As of this writing, Celebration V has just been announced for August 2010 in Orlando, Florida. Comments from Steve Sansweet on December 3rd indicate that an exclusive figure like those at past Star Wars Celebrations may not be likely.

However, in a November 16th Q&A session with Jedi Temple Archives, Hasbro indicated that some items from the due to be cancelled Expanded Universe comic 2-pack line were now slated to possibly become convention exclusives. Obviously, the announcement of a Star Wars Celebration Hasbro exclusive is usually something of a news event of it's own. But can we expect one of the previously seen comic 2-packs to become a Celebration 5 exclusive? Or should we expect any C5 exclusive to be themed around the 30th Anniversary of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, since that is one of the main themes of Celebration 5?

ANSWER:  Thanks for the chance to correct that statement.  There definitely *will* be two CV exclusive sets.  One of them will be a Comic Pack with two new figures originally slated for the main line that has been redirected to be a CV exclusive.  The other set will have an EpV theme, although it will not necessarily debut new characters.  Details of both sets will be announced at a later date as we get closer to CV.

 
QUESTION:  The production sheet that you shared with Galactic Hunter was such an amazing and informative piece of information. It makes us think that of course there must be one of these for every figure. Would you be able to post these on your website or provide them to collectors? They are absolutely mesmerizing and it makes us want to see them for the other action figures. If you cannot provide them on the web or in some other similar way, can you work with Lucasfilm to perhaps generate a book of the all and sell as an exclusive? We are confident that this would sell beyond all expectations. The Wooof production sheet created such a buzz in the collector community and these are the types of resources we want to see. Any others you would like to share with us? We would love to add these to our archives!

ANSWER:  Great question, Chuck - and thanks for the suggestion.  Knowing the response it had, we will certainly look into how to get more widespread distribution of our sculpting inputs, since it seems to be a key link to the figures that a lot of fans like to see.  It's not that easy since there may be proprietary input there and we may not be able to make a lot of these available, but we will look into it.  Thanks again for the great suggestion.

 
QUESTION:  We've seen an admirable effort by Hasbro to offer some variety to the more anonymous characters of the Star Wars universe by offering running changes.  However it seems that a number of possible factors affect the feasibility of bringing all of them to retail in a way that works for Hasbro, collectors and retailers.  There seemed to be a question about the second Cloud City Wing Guard (Utris M'toc) until one site received a correction on that figure.

But on that roster of running change characters we've seen the Hoth Rebel Trooper, the Ugnaughts, Cloud City Wing Guards, the Utai and Imperial Scanning Troopers.  Only the second Ugnaught has made it to market so far, and the Cloud City Wing Guard running change should be shipping with the next wave.  How are the other running change figures faring?  Can we expect these other figures reasonably soon?  And in which format are they likely to be offered if at all?

ANSWER:  Thanks for asking.  The second beardless Hoth trooper has been slotted into an exclusive Battle Pack for Fall 2010.  The Utai has not been slotted in but will eventually make it out, most probably as a basic figure, either in 2011 or after.  The Imperial Scanning Trooper is the most vexing one at the moment, since we do not have a pack he can naturally go it.  We will find a way to bring him out, most likely as either a Saga Legends figure or as part of an Imperial-themed Battle Pack no later than Spring 2011 if all goes well.




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


ACTION FIGURE INSIDER


QUESTION:  Any chance of seeing a line of vehicles based on RALPH MCQUARRIE’S art work? A-wing—from the lithograph, its just a paint scheme that is different (easy to do) and changing the guns from two to single mounted laser cannons on the side. Add a new pilot to reflect RM art and bam, on to the next one. Go here to see what Im talking about.

X wing–Oh this would be fantastic, the top half would have to be a total re-tool but it would be worth it. The four engines could have new caps on them to reflect a half moon look on each one. This would be a pricey one if you did it big style. Y-WING–I know the CW just came out, but there was an early design that looked piecemeal that could still look good with the rear bubble turret, it woud require new tooling but the rest of the body could still be re-used. Vader’s X-1 TIE FIGHTER–there was a pic of a prototype of his on screen tie fighter that looked very mean, the wings/panels had supports that slanted forward like the X-30 CONQUEST from GI JOE. The back had this huge, nasty looking engine. The RM concept is great, I would just love to see it extended to the vehicles.

ANSWER:  We won’t be doing any vehicles based on the McQuarrie concept sketches. It seems that fewer collectors are active in getting vehicles compared to collectors, so we have to make sure that when we tool new vehicles that they go toward finding the biggest audience and the concept vehicles are just not well-known enough.  The A-Wing actually can’t be done with just a repaint (we’ve looked at it) and the others just won’t find the enough interested collectors to justify the extraordinary work involved.


QUESTION:  Now that you have a Talz Sculpt in Thi -Sen— Is there any chance we can get a Battle pack or deluxe figure set of a slightly different Paint job version of a Talz Warrior with a Narglatch mount– I think that fits your play pattern ideas since they fought against the clones– you could even do a coresponding Battle Pack with the snow clones or Rex with a repainted Freeco or Barc Speeder.

ANSWER:  We will be doing additional Talz, but will not be doing the beast.  As cool as it is, it does not have enough exposure in the series beyond that episode it was in to justify doing it.  If it shows up again, we’ll consider it.


QUESTION:  While we know that playsets are out of the picture, is there any chance we’ll see any of the following props updated?: Death Star Anti-Aircraft Gun, Carbonite Frozen Han Solo, E-Web Blaster Cannon, Jabba’s Sail Barge Deck Cannon.

ANSWER:  We are looking at an E-Web update for a future pack, but it’s not confirmed.  The rest we do not have any plans to update.




BANTHA SKULL


QUESTION:  I love the comic packs and it's very cool that you are
giving fans some characters we wouldn't otherwise get in the main line. I
was curious as to when something similar for video game figures would
emerge. For some reason, VG characters always seem to rank high on fan's
choice polls.

ANSWER:  Thanks for question, Ruadh. We have already produced a significant number of video game figures in the main line and multi-pack format that have been heavily concentrated on three games, including some key KotOR
figures, a large numbeer of TFU figures in basic figures and multi-packs, and multipacks of Battlefront figures. Some more good news is on the way with Spring 2010 Toys 'R Us exclusive multi-figure packs of more TFU figures (including some sensational troopers) along with a basic carded mainline figure of Shaak Ti from TFU. The exclusive video game figure program with continue with Toys 'R Us in Fall 2010 with a very special figure from a recent Clone Wars videogame release, and then through 2011 with some additional new multi-packs. In short - the future of video game tie-in figures looks very healthy.


QUESTION:  I presume you check the SW fan sites often, disguised as collectors or not, whatever. So, how do you cope internally as an organization, when you read all the "negative" feedback a figure is getting out there? Many times I read that the collectors, even though buying your pieces, are still wondering how your company, having "experts", designers, researchers and what-not, can still miss details in characters that are pretty obvious, even for the untrained eye? I am not looking for an "economic based" answer, I want to know how do you feel when you know for sure this or that figure is not 100% correct and it is released anyway?

ANSWER:  We do read the forums (although we are precluded from making comments in them so we are there as silent listeners), so generally know what is being said and read reactions to learn from it and make ourselves better. When
it comes to criticism, we have to have thick skin. We are making toys, after all, intended for play just as the original Kenner figures were, and we try our best to get all the details right but it's not always possible to get everything perfect as originally conceived. It is not always possible to catch everything that may be wrong with a figure when production does start, even when we do notice it. We may not have a choice sometimes and will need to ship a figure when it might mean otherwise holding up an entire wave which would prove disastrous for retaler
expectations. In short, we try our best.


QUESTION:  Any hints as to who will be in the Force Unleashed multipack that's on the horizon? Maybe a picture or two (or three)?

ANSWER:  Your wish is our command. Attached is a figure from one of the upcoming sets. We'll have more info at Toy Fair next year to complete the sets,
each of which will have five figures. Enjoy!

CLICK FOR LINK TO IMAGE OF JUNO ECLIPSE



COLLECTION STATION


QUESTION:  In the November Q&A, Hasbro revealed that the latest Droid Factory 2-packs have not performed to expectations and the future planned sequel wave was canceled, with some sets possibly finding their way into other, future sets. With Wal-mart's spotty distribution on these - some stores getting none while others clearanced them for $5 soon after release - and Wal-mart not making them available online, is there any chance that the sequel wave could switch retailers to become another chain's line, or perhaps a shared online exclusive? And if it's not too bold, it sounds like plans were made, so what was the next Droid Factory wave going to be?

ANSWER:  It would not be possible to move the Droid Factory packs to another retailer as the price, not the Wal-Mart distribution, was a critical factor in the sets not performing. The fact is that in the stores where these were properly merchandised, consumers did not respond to the $16.99 pricing of the sets. This would not be helped by moving them to another retailer. Due to the large tooling bill of the proposed sequel, there would have been no way to reduce the costs either. At this point, rather than tease fans with what could have been, we will hold on to the contents of the sets in the hopes that we can bring these out, even in smaller batches. We will confirm that the buildable figure was an alternate color deco of the Dark Trooper from the first Wal-Mart sets. The tooling in the set was not put against the buildable droid, but some of the other figures. Given the reception of the first set, and the lack of overall demand for the Dark Trooper, this is another reason why we will not seek another home for the sets using the buildable droid concept as we spec'd it.


QUESTION:  Are you aware that the eyes on the new Bespin guard and Willrow Hood are painted red? That has come up before with some unmasked Clone Trooper figures, but these are the first non-clone characters we can remember that have red irises. Is that a mistake or intentional? If it is a mistake, will it be addressed? If it was intentional, why was such an odd choice made?

ANSWER:  Interesting. We had not noticed that the pupils were painted a reddish hue, but now that you point it out, we see it. We don't know why this was made but it was so small it escaped out notice. We'll take that into account for upcoming figures... thanks for pointing it out.


QUESTION:  The new dewback looks to be a pretty nifty item, however, its appearance has some fans scratching their heads. The fact that it's packed with a sandtrooper and the appropriate riding gear would lead one to believe that this is supposed to be from A New Hope. Yet its green skin and smaller, more pointed face would seem to indicate The Phantom Menace as its source; and it even looks like it took some inspiration from the vintage version. It's been suggested that this is now LFL's "official" look for the beast, but this set is supposed to represent what's in ANH which this doesn't seem to be. What was the thinking behind designing this piece in such a way, why wasn't a more true-to-ANH look adopted?

ANSWER:  It is a dead-to-nuts exact replica based on the reference files that Lucasfilm gave us specifically to follow, with the skin based off of the official reference file as well. So this is the most official of a Dewback as you can get based on the official reference provided us.




To be continued.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 07:30:47 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2009, 06:08:59 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF DECEMBER 21st, 2009 - PART 2



DEWBACK PATROL


QUESTION:  Are there any “sneak peak” images of upcoming figures that you can to share with us (us being the collector community)?

ANSWER:  Sorry - there are no sneak peaks available at the moment. We will have our first glimpses of new figures at Toy Fair.


QUESTION:  Have you considered doing a box set, or seven pack, or something, made up of cancelled figures that have already begun production? I am talking about a collector-orientated set. I would bet it could be done as a great exclusive similar to the G.I.Joe Cobra Island battle packs or the Mandalorian battle pack. Just some thoughts but you have started some really cool figures like the Hoth soldier, the 2nd Utai, Holo Nute, Exar Kuhn, Ulec Quel, DARTH NIHL, to name a few. It seems to me that this would be a good way to target the collector audience.

ANSWER:  We would not do something like this, since there would be no storyline element that would bring these figures together except the circumstances of their being delayed or canceled. Instead, we bring look to bring out the characters as soon as we can. Exar Kuhn and Ulic Quel-Droma are coming out in the last wave of mainline Comic Packs, in Spring '10. The Hoth Rebel Trooper will be coming in a Battle Pack next year. We are looking for ways to use the other figures as well, except for Holo Nute Gunray. There are no plans to do a figure of him.


QUESTION:  In the past you said that you might release some of the animated clone wars TV characters in the regular line. I agree that there is no need for all of them, but perhaps it is time for a few. I would think Ahsoka, Cad Bane, Commando Droid, and Rex would be prime candidates. So, any chance of this happening? P.S. You should be so proud of the new slave Leia. It is one of the best figures ever. I bought two so I could have one standing and one sitting. – Dewbackunter

ANSWER:  Sorry to mislead, but we have not said that we might release animated characters in the regular, realistic line. We have deliberately kept the lines separate and have no plans to bring the animated characters over (or vice-versa). We have learned in Star Wars never to say never to a possibility, but it's not in the works. We're glad that you like Leia - thanks for passing that compliment back to the team.




GALACTIC HUNTER


QUESTION:  This is your last chance before the end of 2009 to dispel any Star Wars toy rumors — start dispelling! [As voiced by Stewie Griffin.]

ANSWER:  Sure. One that we have heard is that Legacy and Saga Legends will be combined together into one SKU. The answer is no, and yes. It's true that the red/white Legacy Droid Factory line will end after Spring of 2010, and will be replaced in the Fall by a new SKU. This SKU will concentrate on the movies (no EU for a while) and will have a good quotient of "greatest hits" type figures to balance out the collector-targeted small release batch figures. Saga Legends will still continue on as its own SKU, though.

Another rumor is that the ARC-170 Shadow Fighter has doomed the $69.99 Deluxe Vehicle Assortment. This is true to an extent, since the slow rate of sale of the ARC-170 Shadow Fighter has not given the Y-Wing a lot of daylight to shine. Still, when the Y-Wing has gotten out there, it has not done as well as the Turbo Tank. We don't think it's because the Y-Wing isn't a great vehicle, but more to do with there currently being less discretionary purchases above $50 in '09 than we saw in '08 when both the Millenium Falcon and AT-TE were successful.


QUESTION:  Is the Build-A-Droid system a goner after Toy Fair? If so, what's next?

ANSWER:  The Droid Factory pack-in mechanic will be gone in basic figures after the red/white Legacy line look runs its course in Spring.  In Fall '10, we'll have a new line look and will announce what the basic figures will look like at Toy Fair. The last wave of red/white Legacy will be the EU wave, shown at Comic Con and expected to be on shelves in a month or so.


QUESTION:  What was the most surprising information gleaned from the now-completed Fans' Choice Poll? (Ackmena all the way, you know it.)

ANSWER:  The most surprising information was two-fold. First, how the majority of the top 30 were figures from the films. This is contrary to the first Fans' Choice Poll in '06, where we had done very little EU but the top 25 was populated with many figures we have since released or will be coming. Collectors seem to be saying that they want to see a strong focus on unmade characters from the films vs. too many EU characters. Second, it was interesting that most of the EU figures in the recent poll landed in the top choices, meaning that for fans overall there is a demand for certain high-visibilty EU figures. This is an important finding as we go forward, meaning that a widebreadth of EU is not necessarily a good thing, but a focus on core high-demand characters is welcome. Both of these learnings are really interesting and solid information we'll use to guide us in the coming years.




HAN'S HIDEOUT


QUESTION:  Things have been awfully quiet on the mid-sized vehicle line. We got a couple of great new additions this past summer (still loving the Droid Tank), but nothing since then. Any chance that you can spot us a couple of hints on upcoming starfighters/ships we'll see on the shelves this Spring?

ANSWER:  Unfortunately, there won't be any new ones this Spring. The Starfighters are doing well, but the new wave that was planned for Spring won't make it out at this point and has been pushed out to Fall '10. When the new assortment starts up, it will be chock full of newness. We can confirm that both the new Snowspeeder and a new Cloud Car will be in the line. Stay tuned for official looks at this at Toy Fair.


QUESTION:  With Comic Packs and EU basic figure waves seemingly headed for a hiatus, we'll have to postpone our crusade for a Marvel Star Wars #15 Han Solo & Crimson Jack Comic Pack for a while. But before we move on, we thought we'd give the pack one last plug in case you get a chance to bring the Comic Packs back. Staying on the theme of "comics that would have made sweet, sweet Comic Packs if you'd had the chance to do them", which comic issues/series do you guys regret not being able to sneak into the line?

ANSWER:  We can confirm that the Comic Pack line has indeed come to a close and the final figures to make it out will likely be the Fall '09 wave shown at Comic Con, which has been pushed out to March at this point. A few others have been slotted for exclusives and we are hopeful that we can do exclusive Comic Packs into the future. It's doubtful that it will return to the mainline; the cost of comic packs, including the tooling required and the comic book itself, coupled with the collector decline, make a return very unlikely. There were many packs that we had hoped we could get to. Some of our favorites included getting to more Shadows of the Empire (Guri), being able to get to some Jango Fett: Open Seasons packs, our first KotOR pack, and, of course, more Rogue Squadron pilots and Legacy Sith.


QUESTION:  A question from one of my boys - Will you make a new Galactic Heroes "TIE Fighter with the bendy wings" [aka a TIE Interceptor]?

ANSWER:  That's a great question. We don't have one in the works, but it does fit the profile of a vehicle that would make a great impact in the Cinema Scene assortment. We'll discuss it with the team. Thanks for the suggestion…tell your boy it was an excellent choice and that we hope we can make him happy. Just make sure he stays into Galactic Heroes for a few more years!




IMPERIAL SHIPYARDS


QUESTION:  A couple of weeks ago, the new Clone Wars episode "Landing at Point Rain" aired showing us two alternate color schemes of clones that we had seen before and one design that we had never seen on the series before. We had been wanting the snow version of the flamethrower trooper sculpt since the episode where it was debuted last season. What are the chances that we will see a release of the flamethrower trooper, the earmuff trooper " as it has been called" and  Waxer and Boil type camo Arf trooper figures in the future? Also, even though you had stated that it is unlikely to happen, any random release to the Legacy line of a version of one or all of these troopers would be loved by all legacy collectors.

ANSWER:  Chances are very good that you will see all of these troopers before the end of 2010 in the Clone Wars line.  We still don't have any plans to cross the line over (Clone Wars figures done in realistic style, or vice-versa), but expect that you are right and new troops like these would be a welcome addition to the Legacy ranks.


QUESTION:  Over the last several years I have been absolutely amazed at the number of high quality pieces of Clone/Imperial Trooper fan art and custom figures that have been produced. Many of these pieces have made me, and I'm sure others, wish that one or more of their favorites could make their way into the official Star Wars universe. Which brings me to my question. Would you ever consider having a contest where fan's could submit their trooper concept art to Hasbro, LFL and Hasbro could narrow their top choices down to maybe a top 30, and then turn it over to collectors to vote for which concept they would like to see made into a figure?

ANSWER:  The fans have indeed generated some amazing work, but we would not likely be able to do something like this.  Lucasfilm has maintained very strict lines between the official canon and the fan-created characters (and even names) in order to make sure that they protect their characters.  Fancontests like the naming of a character (where Pax Bonkik was named) are probably as close as we'll get.  Still, it's an interesting idea and we'll discuss it with Lucasfilm, even though we expect that it will not be possible.





To be continued.
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2009, 06:22:37 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF DECEMBER 21st, 2009 - PART 3



JEDI NEWS


QUESTION:  An image of what appears to be the new packaging for Star Wars product was recently posted on Yakface.com, with a continued focus on Clones.  Is this also going to be used for what will replace The Legacy Collection i.e. movie-realistic figures, even though the Clones only really figure (excuse the pun!) in the prequel timespan?  If so, what is the thought-process behind such a decision?

ANSWER:  We can confirm that the package artwork you are seeing is the theme for most all Star Wars product starting Fall 2010.  The exact basic carded replacement for Legacy/Droid Factory will be revealed at Toy Fair. We can confirm that the Clone is a consistent image across most all boxed packaging and will span both Clone Wars and Legacy.  This was a specific decision by Lucasfilm to maintain a uniform brand consistency.


QUESTION:  Would you ever consider selling unpainted Star Wars figures, a bit like the black and white Mighty Muggs, or perhaps bags of arms, legs, heads, etc.?  It could be a bit like Build-A-Droid and would give customizers and any collectors with artistic tendencies a blank canvas to more easily create their own unique figures.

ANSWER:  We would not consider this.  Unlike droids, our goal with characters is to deliver whole representations of those characters rather than pieces and parts, with the exception of those cases where we supply alternate hands or heads to depict different modes.


QUESTION:  As you can imagine, we are all disappointed to hear the news about the Comic Pack line (but I'm at least relieved we'll see Tholme and Tra'Saa released!). What do you consider to be the reasons that the line's success has gone downhill? Has it been the price increase, have the best characters been released, or the general collector slowdown?

ANSWER:  We are equally sad to see the mainline Comic Pack line get cancelled. We think the reason lies in the combination of increased price (although we think that $12.99 is still a bargain for two figures and a comic), general collector slow-down (collector purchases are down 30-40%), priorities (the average collector on a limited budget will vote for movies first and EU second), and figure selection (some choices like Wedge and Borsk Feyl'la were too niche for any but the most hardcore collectors).  Still, there will be some exclusives still upcoming, and we are looking for ways to continue this great line as either exclusives, even harboring the hope that one day int he future it could return.  Right now, though, given the narrowed collecting focus, it seems a prudent time to scale back on the EU and let the films bask even more strongly in our spotlight for a while.




JEDIDEFENDER


QUESTION:  Jedi Robes are great accessories. The recent The Phantom Menace Obi-Wan in particular had a really nice robe. Any chance we'll see Jedi figures get a little more standardized in terms of their accessories so that they all come with nifty soft goods robes and unlit lightsaber hilts?

ANSWER:  It comes down to the costing of a wave and the figures that comprise it. Soft goods robes are fairly expensive, but we agree they add a great touch. We will include them (and accessories like unlit hilts) as we can work them in.


QUESTION:  It sounds like we're heading for a break from EU figures in the basic figure line after the upcoming EU wave ships. Is the break from EU figures just in the basic figure line or will we see an overall drop in EU based figures in 2010? Any plans to mix in more EU versions of the main 'A List' characters to sort of fill the gap for the EU figure fans?

ANSWER:  It will not be a complete break, but exclusives look like the only way we'll be able to deliver EU until at least Fall 2011. With Comic Packs going away, and a scale back of EU in the mainline basic figures, we will look to the exclusives to keep the passions satisfied. The mainline, meanwhile, will concentrate on movies for a while. Hopefully we'll get back to a place where we can periodically work in high-demand EU figures, and fans have given us a good wish-list with the results of the Toy Fare Fans' Choice poll which just wrapped up.


QUESTION:  Following up on a previous Q&A, you had asked us to poll our readers to see if they desired updates of the Delta Squad Commandos with the new Evolutions sculpt or if they would rather just see new Commandos instead. Most folks that responded said they'd prefer to see Delta Squad redone over new Commandoes. One note that popped up a lot during the voting was a desire to see further improvements made to the Republic Commando sculpt - removable helmet, ball-jointed shoulders, etc. Is the Evolutions Commando sculpt likely the last revision of that sculpt or is there a chance you'd add more improvements over time?

ANSWER:  Thanks for the feedback. There is a chance that we would add more improvements or do a complete resculpt if/when we come out with a new Republic Commando, but with the EU being put on hold for the most part for a while, it's looking like any new Commando would be some way off.




JEDI INSIDER


QUESTION:  There has been word a Twin Pod Cloud Car vehicle from Empire Strikes Back could be in the works; is this true and can you provide us with details and images if it is true?

ANSWER:  We can confirm that there is indeed one in the works, and it will be a mainline vehicle in our Starfighter vehicle assortment ($24.99 SRP). Images will be available soon, at Toy Fair.


QUESTION:  While we are on the topic of Empire Strikes Back, next year marks the 30th Anniversary of what is arguably the best movie in the series. Does Hasbro have anything big planned to celebrate this awesome movie turning the big 30?

ANSWER:  Yes indeed. Initially, we did not anticipate having too much in the way of an EpV-specific celebration, but since we started putting our plans together we realized that there is a pretty decent tribute in our lineup, and certainly deeper in terms of specific new figures and vehicles than we had dedicated to EpIV a few years ago. We can confirm that we have some new vehicles planned (the Cloud Car as mentioned above, as well as the long-in-development more accurately scaled Snowspeeder), along with some great figures and exclusives. There will also be an additional surprise or two, to be revealed around Toy Fair timing.


QUESTION:  Celebration V has been announced for next August in Orlando, FL. Is it safe to assume Hasbro will be there with all the bells and whistles showing off new product. Any cool exclusives you can hint about now?

ANSWER:  We will definitely be there and will be saving some tasty things to reveal at the show (which is difficult, since Comic Con is only a few weeks prior). We can reveal that there will be two CV exclusive sets. One of them will be a Comic Pack with two new figures originally slated for the main line that has been redirected to be a CV exclusive. The other set will have an EpV theme, although it will not necessarily debut new characters. Details of both sets will be announced at a later date as we get closer to CV.




MOUSEDROID


QUESTION:  Hasbro has often released special role-play items to coincide with special events, Darth Vader voice changer for the Anniversary of ANH, Rex voice changer for the launch of Clone Wars. With the 30th Anniversary of Empire Strikes Back in 2010 what are the chances of us seeing a Boba Fett helmet/voice changer in the role-play line, maybe even a blaster?

ANSWER:  Excellent question/s. We do have some special things planned that will make the younglings happy on both fronts. Stay tuned for our news around Toy Fair time-frame. Chances are excellent, if everything proceeds according to plan.


QUESTION:  With Boba Fett appearing in the Clone Wars Rise of the Bounty Hunters what are the chances of seeing everyone's favorite bounty hunter in plastic, Clone Wars style in 2010?

ANSWER:  GOLD 5 - Answer is unclear based on how Mousedroid posted their Q&A session


QUESTION:  In previous Q&A Hasbro have alluded to Wave 13 being the last wave of The Legacy Collection before it goes into "hiatus" and change into a Vintage Line. Can you confirm this?

ANSWER:  We can confirm that the EU wave is the last wave of the red/white Legacy Collection line. A new basic figure line will take it's place next August, which will be revealed at Toy Fair.




To be continued.


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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2009, 06:43:59 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF DECEMBER 21st, 2009 - PART 4


RAVING TOY MANIAC


QUESTION:  Looking over all the "action-oriented" vehicles from the six movies, the Gungan Bongo is conspicuously absent. Why was this vehicle left out the first time around and are there any plans of having it in the future?

ANSWER:  This vehicle would struggle to find much of an audience. The bongo is pretty much an escape craft and not as compelling as starfighter or attack craft. It's possible that someday we'll get to it, but there have been more aggressive selections in the $24.99 assortment.


QUESTION:  Will we see any figures from the old Droids cartoons? An updated Thal Joben would be awesome!

ANSWER:  Right now, there are no plans for any characters from the Droids cartoons. We will be slowing up on the EU for a while while we concentrate on the films, so it's highly unlikely we'll do anything with Droids.


QUESTION:  Which character has been bumped from wave list to your "parking lot" the most times?

ANSWER:  Interesting question! Currently, there are three of them. For basic figures, it has been Ann/Tan Gella (the Twi'lek masseuse from EpI) and Fozec (one of Jabb's guards from EpVI). Each of them has been bumped for four successive years now. It's only a matter of time until they make it in - we really want to see these someday but just have not been able to fit them in.





REBELSCUM


QUESTION:  It's been awhile since we asked about this...any new info regarding the drink dispenser centerpiece for the cantina bar? Last we heard, it was said to be coming with an updated Wuher.

ANSWER:  Unfortunately, we looked at this but could not produce it for a basic figure card due to its extraordinary depth. If we do proceed with the dispenser, it would have to be part of a Cantina-themed Battle Pack-type set, which right now is low on our priority list given the niche nature of a set like that. We'd like to do it though, so we will try and look for an opportunity perhaps as an exclusive.

Wuher is not in the two-year horizon; don't think we announced him except on a list of potential resculpts we'd like to get to someday. Several others are ahead of him, though.


QUESTION:  Can you share what, if any, the replacement pack-in will be once the Droid Factory Build-A-Droid series ends? For the record, I would like to thank you for the B-A-D promotion. As a collector, I have been able to add a nice handful of diverse droids to my growing ranks. I just wish the B-A-D pack-in would continue to allow even more variations on the models/molds you have already created.

ANSWER:  We're glad that we could bring out as many buildable droids as we did. We are not at liberty yet to reveal what the basic figure line following the Legacy/Droid Factory will be just yet. It will be announced at Toy Fair.


QUESTION:  With the recent long-awaited announcement of Celebration V finally here, word has come out that there won't be an exclusive Hasbro action figure. Please say this isn't so! Surely there's SOMETHING that can be whipped up in time for August 2010!!

ANSWER:  Thanks for the chance to correct that statement. There definitely *will* be two CV exclusive sets. One of them will be a Comic Pack with two new figures originally slated for the main line that has been redirected to be a CV exclusive. The other set will have an EpV theme, although it will not necessarily debut new characters. Details of both sets will be announced at a later date as we get closer to CV.




SANDTROOPERS


QUESTION:  Now that CV is announced, what's the plans (if any) for an exclusive? Any clue?

ANSWER:  Thanks for the chance to correct that statement.  There definitely *will* be not one, but two CV exclusive sets.  One of them will be a Comic Pack with two new figures originally slated for the main line that has been redirected to be a CV exclusive.  The other set will have an EpV theme, although it will not necessarily debut new characters.  Details of both sets will be announced at a later date as we get closer to CV.  We will not be producing the Funeral Pyre Vader set through Hasbro Toy Shop.  The volume we can do of a figure like this is through HTS is too small to cover the tooling, so we will continue to see whether we could bring it out with a bigger retail partner.


QUESTION:  Will you try to improve the quality of the packaging? The red package might be the easiest to damage yet. We realize Hasbro is only concerned about the product inside, but does this really not matter?

ANSWER:  We haven't changed anything about the current red/white package except a smaller size for the blister backer card.  The card thickness is the same, the blister itself is a standard thickness, and the heat sealing method is unchanged. Likewise, the die-cut (shape of the card including the protrusions and cutouts) does not have a lot of sharp points that could get damaged.  So, we're a little unsure about what damage you are seeing and what would make this card any more susceptible that any previous card version.  Likewise, we have not gotten any complaints from retailers about widespread damage.  Can you supply some more information based on what you have seen in the field or with your own collection?  Pictures would help. Thanks!
 

QUESTION:  Is there any chance Hasbro could make Anthony Forrest and Koo Stark available to sign the convention exclusive at their booth?

ANSWER:  We typically don't bring any of the actors to sign at our booth, though, so it's unlikely.  At this point, though, we haven't gotten very far with our planning as the show was just announced so we wouldn't rule out anything yet.




SIR STEVE'S GUIDE


QUESTION:  In a recent answer, Hasbro stated that there won't be an ANH wave in 2010, the next one being the beginning of 2011. Does that mean there won't be any new Cantina figures released in '10, or is it possible we might see 1 or 2 in a battle pack, a comic pack, an exclusive, or perhaps even another venue? If the answer is "no", is a Cantina figure planned for that early '11 basic figure wave, and if so, who?

ANSWER:  The next Cantina figures will be out with the first wave of basic figures in Spring 2011, if all stays on schedule. There are no Cantina figures planned before that. It's too early to reveal which ones will be in the wave, but at least one will be new and one will be a resculpt.


QUESTION:  In the current Fans Choice final 30 ToyFare poll, there are several figures that have been mentioned by Hasbro to be figures they would like to do anyway. Without asking about too many specifics, could you tell us how many are already in some stage of production? How many of those finalists may be released in 2010 or 2011 alongside the winner? Were any finalists in some level of planning or production before the fan site lists came in?

ANSWER:  Some of the 30 were already in the pipeline before the poll began, but only one of them will come in 2010. The rest will be out in 2011 to accompany the winner, although we won't reveal who they are just yet. The winner, along with a tease on the number of other figures already in the 2010-2011 lineup will be revealed in an upcoming issue of Toy Fare.


QUESTION:  Recently, you gave an answer about Malakili and Willrow Hood that they were to be released in the same quantity, "the lowest of the fall releases, 30% lower than the lowest-run figures from 2005 until Spring 2008". We know Hasbro policy is to not talk hard numbers, but could you at least give us percentages on those types of "hardcore collector-interest" figures as they stand against the most popular and thus heaviest run figures in Legacy, as well as Saga Legends, and even Clone Wars? And heck, while we're at it, how much higher than the Malakili floor was Yarna's run? We hardcore collector types are always curious about how much risk the brand takes on our limited-interest figures vs. more mainstream entries, and it'd be helpful to inform us why it's more complex to run the line than some collectors' short-sighted arguments of "just make that guy and everybody will buy it".

ANSWER:  Sorry, but we won't release any more information that that. Suffice to say that the figures that are seeing the lowest releases now are being released at 30% less than what they would have been in years past, which speaks to the degree to which the collector business has declined. The most popular characters are released in far greater multiples, and to varying degrees depending on the character. We have yet to find a ceiling on how many Vaders, or Lukes, R2-D2s, Yodas, and Clones we can make compared to the collector-targeted figures, which have very hard ceilings, and disastrous results if over-released. Incidentally, Yarna was over-released because the wave she was in was ballooned up for the launch event, and as a result was even more toxic than she would have been otherwise. The more accurate comparison would be the Bail or Breha Organana, or the following Cantina aliens, which were released in "old" numbers which were too long and hence were part of the recall. The release of obscure figures can be handled properly if we have a good handle on the number of active collectors compared to our previous baseline, which we think we have now that things have settled down.





To be continued.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 06:12:13 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2009, 06:47:01 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF DECEMBER 21st, 2009 - PART 5



SW ACTION NEWS


QUESTION:  From these Q&A's we know that there is always a balancing game in regards to
how many figures and accessories can be included in a set and meet the price point.  But in regards to the recently released McQuarrie figure sets we can't help but be disappointed in the lack of key accessories like the shield for the Stormtrooper and the alternate heads for Boba Fett and Vader.  Would it really have increased the street price of those packs that much to include the original accessories?  What tipped the balance towards not including those pieces?

ANSWER:  This was a mistake.  The factory was instructed and had confirmed that all of the original accessories would be included, and then we missed it when the sample shipped that  did not include all the pieces.  As a result they went to production without all of the parts.  It was a big miss on our part.


QUESTION:  Whatever happened to the Galactic Heroes Purchase of the Droids and Kamino Showdown Galactic Heroes sets?  They were shown in the Toy Fair slideshow but so far appear to have failed to materialize.  Are they still on the schedule, been delayed or moved, or have they dare I ask been axed?  If so, is there any word on any of the new figures being released in another format please?  I was excited by the Gonk Droid in particular.

ANSWER:  It's taken a while for the previous TRU Galactic Heroes cinema scenes to move through retail.  But right now we're looking at March on shelf.  We have packaged samples ourselves so they should be shipping soon if all goes well.


QUESTION:  The retractable leg R2 body is a fun version of our favorite astromech.  And the head click ratchet was a great way to incorporate a vintage action feature.  However, if close attention is paid to the third leg it's pretty obvious that every incarnation of this mold has had it inserted backwards.  This error makes his feet unable to achieve the proper angle when in three leg mode, which is only more obvious if placed next to a B-A-D R series droid.  Before this mold goes away, is there any hope of seeing this error corrected?

ANSWER:  If our understanding of your question is correct, you are requesting that we update the popular Episode III era astromech to allow it to tilt correctly when the center leg is extended.  We do not currently have any plans to make revisions to the B-A-D's or to the previously released astromech.  But...SPOILER ALERT... we are currently developing an all new astromech with some pretty nifty features in the line for late 2010.  Stay tuned, and hopefully you'll be happy with the results!





SW COLLECTOR


QUESTION:  In comparing the new R3-A2 BAD to the older Hoth battlepack version, I noticed they were painted differently. The new droid has the top back panel orange, and the rest white, and the old one has the top back panel white, and the rest orange. Was this done intentionally, since in fact there were two orange R3s on Hoth, with the only obvious difference being the different paint patterns on their back, just like those on the figures?

ANSWER:  Boy the fans have great eyes and the great highly detailed screen grabs on that astromech web site really help figure out who is who. We could say that "of course we did both of these versions intentionally," but the truth is that we (and possible even Lucasfilm Licensing) may not have actually realized that there were in fact two very similar yet different orange R3s on Hoth. Originally, we set out to get the R3 from the Battle Pack back into mainline distribution since it remains some what scarce. The variance was a benefit to fans, who can have two different R3s, but was unintentional as the Hoth Battle pack and the Droid Factory figure were managed by two different designers and happened to grab two different stills. Great question!


QUESTION:  Do you plan on making any more concept art-inspired figures in the foreseeable future?

ANSWER:  We don't have any plans to do any more concept-art based figures in thenext two years. After that, perhaps, but we are going to take a hiatus after the current Legacy line.



QUESTION:  Seeing that both Luke and Leia have had many EU figures made and there are only a few movie versions of Han Solo still needing that definitive figure, is it almost time to consider making the first EU figure of Han? There are quite a few good designs out there that could make for a nice looking figure such as Han in space suit (see pic) or a New Jedi Order era Han (see pic) Is an EU Han something that you think you will be able to get around to someday?

ANSWER:  We don't have plans to go to an EU Han any time soon. We will however be releasing a few updated versions over the next couple of years, along with one new version that we have not done before based on a brief scene in EpV. It's possible that we'll get to EU Han one day, though - there are some great ones out there to do if we ever did go there. An NJO-era Han would be one of our first choices, to accompany the Jacen and Jana figures which will be out in a couple months.




THE JAWA


QUESTION:  I am certainly looking forward to getting a look at those Force Unleashed box sets! My hope is that they will not only look good and be an affordable price, but that they will be the beginning of a new way to release EU figures now that the comic packs are coming to an end. With the rumored jacketless Cade Skywalker and the two Legacy comic pack figures shown at ComicCon now needing to find a home, it seems like the makings of an exclusive Legacy box set could already be in place. Add a few more all new figures to those three and I'm sure there would be a lot of happy comic fans wanting to pick up a set. The same could be done with Knights of the Old Republic since there are already two figures from that canceled comic pack needing to be slotted in somewhere. Has this been considered or has it already been decided that the Force Unleashed packs will not be the beginning of a series?

ANSWER:  The Force Unleashed sets are a continuation of a series of sorts - and that is the video game multi-figure set.  We hope that the reception to these sets will be good, and that we can continue to bring them out.  The important thing about these sets to keep in mind is that they only work when we have an existing library of tooling to build from, as the previous Republic Commandos and Battlefront II sets did.  For this TFU set, we used select pre-existing tools along with key new characters to be able to "cost out" the sets.  It's an interesting idea to do a multi-figure set with Legacy, but it would have to use several existing figures (like Cade) to offset the all new figures (Blue and Syn).   KotOR, though, will not happen since that would be an all-new set with no existing tooling to take advantage of.  Instead, we have to try to bring those guys out in a different way, perhaps as a series of 2-[acks (sans comic, which adds a good chunk of cost) built around an EU theme.  It's something that we are exploring.


QUESTION:  Previously when asked why the Geonosis Arena 2pack red battledroids were so incredibly rubbery, we were told that if they were harder then the plastic would break.  But last night I was looking at my TAC 2-1B figure and noticed that here is a figure with just as thin limbs, and basically the same articulation as the red battledroids but yet it is made from fantastic stiff plastic (and 2-1B stands perfectly without rubbery legs that eventually give out).  In fact, I believe the PotJ Battledroid had similar leg articulation as the new BDs but also used stiff plastic.  So why is there a difference between the Geo BDs and the 2-1B and PotJ version?

ANSWER:  The Geonosis battle droids are made with PVC plastic, which is different than the plastic the other droids are made from.  The choice of plastic used is decided up front based on the particular needs of a figures, and the battle droids do need flexibility since weapons are going to be put in their hands.  If we were to make the plastic stiffer for the Battle Droids, it would make them brittle. We would have to design a different battle if we were to create one of out a different plastic.  This is possibility we'll look at down the road to get to a stiffer droid. Although we think the current ones work great with the right stands (double peg).
 



YAKFACE


QUESTION:  Since the Build-A-Droid/Droid Factory concept is coming to an end in 2010, what can collectors expect to see in terms of the next pack-in? Will there still be a new "bonus item", will we see a return of the figure bases or will extras like this be dropped altogether in favor of controlling costs?

ANSWER:  It's too early to talk about what may replace the Legacy line. Details on the new Fall 2010 lineup (including basic figures) will be made available in a couple months at Toy Fair. Stay tuned!


QUESTION:  With the demise of the comic packs and the focus shifting away from the Expanded Universe (EU) sources toward more "core" Original Trilogy and Clone Wars sources for 2010 will that shift also mean less "Concept Art" type characters in the basic figure line too? (Hopefully not as many consider these some of the best figures in the entire line.)

ANSWER:  Yes, it means that there will be a shift in focus away from the concept art-inspired figures. Our team has a lot of heart for the concept figures, as you can probably tell since we are up to 17 or so concept figures as of last count. However, 2010 and for the most part 2011 will be a year of focus on the movies for the basic figure lineup. We have some great things on tap and can't wait to give fans a sneak peek in a couple months.


QUESTION:  Some friends and I were throwing around our own "OT wishlists" the other day and we were wagering a few credits (read: cold beverages) on whether or not some are/were in the "parking lot" of upcoming soon-to-be released figures. Without been specific of course, care to give a count as to the ones "on the list"?

ANH
Princess Leia (Ceremonial)
Cantina Band Member
Grand Moff Tarkin

ESB
Luke Skywalker (Hoth Gear)
Leia Organa (Hoth Gear)
Dengar

ROTJ
Admiral Ackbar
EV-9D9
Saelt Marae ; )

ANSWER:  You are batting .333 for figures in the lineup, which at this point extends through 2011. Or would that make you .167?





To be continued.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 06:12:58 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2009, 03:21:28 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF DECEMBER 21st, 2009 - PART 6



YODAS NEWS


QUESTION:  Any there any The Clone Wars Geonosis scene vehicles and figures in the pipeline? Super Tanks? Bugs winged and no wings? Camo clone troopers? Bad Kitty Republic Gunship?

ANSWER:  Yes indeed, there are a few of these characters in the lineup and all of the Clones will make the line by the end of 2010). The vehicles are not in the lineup yet but the more likely one is a redeco of the gunship. We have no plans to do the super tank unless it shows up in more episodes. It is very cool though, as was the entire story arc.


QUESTION:  Any word as to when we might see those missing Galactic Heroes sets? The "Kamino Showdown" and "Purchase of Droids" sets were supposed to show up at TRU stores in August hit the shelf? So far we have neither heard nor seen anything. Have these sets been cancelled? Please say NO. Thanks!

ANSWER:  It's taken a while for the previous TRU Galactic heroes Cinema Scenes to move through retail, but right now we are looking at March on-shelf. We have packaged samples ourselves so they should be shipping soon if all goes well.


QUESTION:  I'm sure it has been asked before but I could not find it, any chance that Hasbro will start up a Official You Tube Channel and put up videos of the figures, ships and toys in a "toy progression" that follow it from inception, to early prototype and then final products being made at the assembly plant? LEGO, Gentle Giant, Sideshow and many other have done it and I think it would be awesome to see this from Hasbro!

ANSWER:  That's a good suggestion. We have not discussed this specifically but it is an interesting idea. We'll consider it when we put together our plans. Thanks for the thought.





Keep checking back as more sites continue to post their Q&A Sessions with Hasbro.  And be sure to check out our Q&A Headline Report soon!
« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 06:13:56 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2009, 06:17:11 PM »

UPDATE - One site added
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