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« on: March 17, 2010, 09:57:59 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF MARCH 17th, 2010


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.

And this session marks the first Q&A session for Jedi Temple War Room.  Now onto the questions from JTWR and our sister site, JTA!


JEDI TEMPLE WAR ROOM


QUESTION:  Indications from recent Q&A sessions show that The Vintage Collection will feature one wave representing each movie. And after that we've been told to expect unthemed waves. Additionally, news out of Toy Fair indicates that we should see four waves of the Vintage Collection in 2010 and another two
 movie themed waves in 2011. Can we expect those A NEW HOPE & THE  PHANTOM MENACE waves in the Spring of 2011? And can you give us an  approximation of when the unthemed waves may begin to appear?  There has been a pattern of a spring lull the past couple of years that's been making some collectors anxious.

ANSWER:  The EpI will be an intact wave in Spring 2011, but the EpIV wave has been distributed across the rest of the year. Because the Vintage packaging won't change going from Spring 2011 into Fall, there will no slowdown or interruption in the waves so if everything runs as planned, new Spring waves will be out every 6 weeks or so.


QUESTION:  The AT-ST seems to have been extremely well received by the collecting community as a whole. It was an amazing advance from the vintage vehicle. This version seems to have been specifically geared towards the Battle of Endor in RETURN OF THE JEDI.  But with this being the 30th anniversary of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (the first place we ever saw the AT-ST), is it possible that we could see the AT-ST reintroduced in 2010 with Hoth deco? And might this be the venue by which we see the new AT-ST Driver that was mentioned back in a September, 2009 Q&A session?

ANSWER:  We're glad you appreciate the AT-ST. We agree - it sailed way past our expectations to be one of our favorite pieces of 2009. There were a lot of them actually, but that one was fantastic. Now, your question....yes, to both parts. The plan was is bring the vehicle out as an exclusive late in the year and details will likely be announced at Comic Con or CV. The exclusive line still has a bit of an unsettled nature to it this year, so we can't say with 100% certainty that it is definitely coming. Stay tuned for more info later in the year.




JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES


QUESTION:  The Vintage Collection was no doubt one of the highlights of the 2010 Toy Fair. And the Empire Strikes Back wave pays great homage to the 30th Anniversary of Empire. But we were also enthused to hear about seeing prequel era characters on the classic black and silver cardback for the first time. Can we please get a look at some of those Revenge Of The Sith wave offerings that were teased at Toy Fair but were sadly absent? And is it possible to get the figure numbering for those first couple of Vintage Collection waves?

ANSWER:  Attached is one image from an upcoming figure – an update to General Grievous. The rest of the figures will be released at Comic Con.




QUESTION:  There still seem to be some lingering questions about some running change figures that were hinted at and seen in 2009. Many are excited to see the Hoth Rebel Trooper coming in the mysterious exclusive Hoth battle pack. But what about the running changes of the Imperial Scanning Trooper or Utai? Is it possible that either of these will see the light of day within the next year?

ANSWER:  Neither of these will be coming to the shelves in 2010. Their fate for 2011 is also uncertain. The Imperial Scanning Trooper will not work on a Vintage card because of the accessory, so that relegates him to the exclusive realm and makes things a little tougher. He's a possibility for a 2011 Battle Pack, though, and that's what we'll concentrate on.




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



16 BIT


QUESTION:  The new Vintage figures look great, right down to the Kenner logo and original non-J hook to hang the figures by on a peg. This raises the question, will the figures be manufactured with the little black cardboard thing that needs to be punched-out or will the figures come from the factory pre-punched? (We may have to try to get figures before they hit the pegs if they're unpunched from the factory.)

ANSWER:  It's something we were asked quite a lot about at Toy Fair, and we are looking into whether we can make the punch "shallow" enough that a good number could make it to retail in the cases. However, if there's a chance that this could damage any packages when retailers put them on the peg (tearing the litho of the card, for instance) then we won't be able to do this.


QUESTION:  In 2004, the good souls at Hasbro let fans vote on the final figure in the original OTC assortments, which was a nice repainted rerelease of the then-tough-to-get Imperial Scanning Trooper. (That was awesome.) What are the chances you can bring back this to Fan's Choice-- give us a selection of 5 or so figures to rerun on a vintage card that you were considering from the "parking lot," so we can buy it on the new fancy packaging were we so inclined? (Because you know, vintage Yak Face [even on a ROTJ card] would be totally awesome.)

ANSWER:  We admit that the announcement of the Vintage cards does cast a new light on the Fans' Choice vote that just wrapped; nostalgia could have an even greater motivating factor knowing that the figure will appear on a Vintage card. It's an interesting suggestion and we'll think about it. Thanks.




ACTION FIGURE INSIDER


QUESTION:  What happened to the Darth Vader Funeral Pyre set you showed at Comic Con? That was a really great looking set and I thought we’d see it at Toy Fair this year.

ANSWER:  As of yet, we still have not found a retailer interested in carrying the set.  We haven’t given up on the idea, though – we just have to find the right fit for the opportunity.


QUESTION:  Congratulations on the awesome showing at Toy Fair. There are some great SW toys coming this fall! There was one thing no one got at picture of – can you give us a look at the back of the card of the upcoming Vintage Rocket Fett figure?

ANSWER:  Here you go! 

LINK TO IMAGE OF BACK OF MAILAWAY BOBA FETT






To be continued.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 03:01:03 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2010, 10:10:19 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF MARCH 17th, 2010 - PART 2



ACTION FIGURE NEWS


QUESTION:  Wullf Yularen has seen a massive boost in importance to the Star Wars mythos with his expanded role in The Clone Wars, including his own Clone Wars action figure. Is there any chance that because of his new role as a fairly prominate character that we will see a single carded Legacy Collection(Or even Vintage Collection): A New Hope version of him in the near future?

ANSWER:  We certainly hope so - we would love to see Yularen in his white outfit get updated and slotted into the Vintage lineup. However, that is unlikely to happen for the two year duration of the Vintage line, but if the line returns (or continues) he'd be someone that we'd like to try and get into the mix.


QUESTION:  One of the popular Legacy Collection Exclusives from late in 2009, the Dewback Patrol, which was sold exclusively at Wal-Marts, was never really spotted in Canada, unlike it's counterpart, the AT-ST. Is there a reason for this and will the Dewback Patrol be seeing a wide release through out Canada at some point?

ANSWER:  The Dewback will not be released in Canada. Wal-Mart Canada chose not to carry it. That production line is shut down so there is no chance to go back into production even if they did decide to get in on it.




ASM ZINE


QUESTION:  A while back, Hasbro said they were making an all-new Astromech mold to replace the G9/VOTC/Droid Factory versions, and they claimed the new mold would be even better. Can you give us any clues as to just what you could possibly do to improve on these versions?

ANSWER:  The R4-G9 body is a good body, but we have really taken a close look at the details and are pushing to make the new one the best version ever. For example, the movie versions of the astromechs do not have recessed areas on the dome. The panels are actually flush with the head and are outlined with scribe line details. The panels on the body can also be improved. We are also adding some other fun play into the droid...stay tuned!


QUESTION:  In our January Q&A, Hasbro told us to expect an announcement about the Force FX lightsaber line at Toy Fair, and they delivered! Removable blades are something that we have been wanting for a long time and are ecstatic that they're coming. In your presentation, you showed Darth Vader, Anakin, and Obi-Wan's lightsabers. But where's the lightsaber of everybody's favorite farmboy, Luke? Is there a chance we could get his Return of the Jedi lightsaber with new removable blade? Right now it appears that the line is going to be filled with red and blue -- green would complement this line quite nicely, we think.

ANSWER:  We agree, and we can let you know that Luke will be coming in 2011 along with a few more great sabers. Stay tuned!




BANTHA SKULL


QUESTION:  There has been quite a bit of positive response to the upcoming FU packs. Could these open the door for similar source-themed exclusive packs? For example, a KOTOR pack could include high demand rereleases (Darth Revan), possible retools (Zaalbaar?) and reusable army builder sculpts (Sith Trooper). In fact this set seems so obvious, that we'd like to request pictures of this upcoming release.

ANSWER:  This type of pack actually does not meet with our multi-pack strategy, which is to release packs that are either 100% new/redeco (such as the TFU figures) or 100% existing (such as the McQuarrie re-releases). The idea of re-releasing previously released Kot or figures who remain in demand is certainly interesting; right now we don't have any plans for a KOTOR pack featuring any new characters such as the Sith Trooper, but we know that they remain popular so if we get a chance to open up to more EU again they do remain a possibility.


QUESTION:  In terms of "large" vehicles, so far we've received the following signature vehicle from each film in the saga...
Episode I - Queen's Starship
Episode II - AT-TE
Episode III - Turbo Tank
Episode IV - BMF
Episode V - AT-AT
Episode VI -

Now I know we already have an Imperial Shuttle, but if you can tool up a brand new AT-AT, why not Shuttle Tyderium, perhaps in time for the 30th anniversary of ROTJ?

ANSWER:  The Shuttle is not a strong enough vehicle to retool for a higher price point. It is not aggressive enough to really be a vehicle with a strong kid demand.




DEWBACK PATROL


QUESTION:  In your most recent Q&A you stated that the only vintage figure that doesn't have a current counterpart is the Imperial Dignitary. I am curious as to what you see as the current counterpart to the indoor Hoth Rebel Soldier (the Echo Base trooper) or the Rebel Commander? I think fans see the Hoth Soldier released in the Legacy Collection as an update to the Rebel Commander. Is this accurate? If not, who is the current version of the Hoth Rebel Soldier?

ANSWER:  We see the Hoth Rebel Soldier from the Legacy collection as being an update of the vintage Kenner Hoth Soldier. There are a couple modern Hoth Commanders (Rieekan and Bren Derlin) who could occupy that Commander "modern update" slot. However, if some collectors insist on an updated vintage Kenner Rebel Commander figure being a generic, clothing-specific remake of the Kenner figure, then it is true that we have not yet updated this one exactly. We'll cede the point and see if doing a specific generic officer fits into our plans for the next few years.


QUESTION:  There is currently some confusion about the status of the last Legacy Wave since in a recent Q&A you stated that the final EU wave was scrapped as part of he main line and will be a Toys r Us exclusive. I believe this misunderstanding comes from whether we are discussing the EU wave or the FU wave. Did you intend for the second wave of Force Unleashed figures to be part of Legacy? Is the final Wave of Legacy Figures (The Solo Kids, Big Jedi Dude, and Shaak Ti) actually going to make it to retail? If not, or if exclusive, will the Build a Droid BG-J13 (or whatever) be included?

ANSWER:  There is no wave of TFU figures in the basic carded lineup - those were cancelled long ago and moved to form the Toys 'R Us exclusive TRU multi-packs which will be coming out in a couple months. The final wave of Legacy/Droid Factory featuring the solos, K'Kruhk, Shaak Ti, etc will also be a TRU exclusive in May (followed by a distribution to online retailers such as Entertainment Earth a couple months later).





To be continued.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 03:02:56 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2010, 10:21:59 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF MARCH 17th, 2010 - PART 3



DROIDS & EWOKS


QUESTION:  Although EU figures may not be returning until 2011, I'm wondering if you can give away any details about what the EU cards in the vintage collection might look like? Personally, I'm hoping that you can draw at least some some inspiration from the original vintage EU cards (Droids and Ewoks). Traditional art, in the style of what was done on the Droids cards sure would be nice! A few updates to some of the vintage EU characters would be nice too!

ANSWER:  We haven't created one yet, so we don't know the direction we are going to go in. Most likely, it will be true to the source material of the figure. So if the character is from the comics, that's what their card will be based on.  Bastila Shan, for example, will likely be based on the artwork created for the game if not game imagery itself.


QUESTION:  Unless I missed it, I don't recall hearing from all the Toy Fair coverage if there were any updates as to the status of the Jarael and Rholan figures from Knights of the Old Republic. I'm a big fan of the KOTOR comic series, so I'm really hoping that you can find a way to get them out there. It would be nice to get Zayne and Gryph someday too, and even though EU has been scaled back, I hope those two will have a secure place in your parking lot until you find an opportunity to make them. But in the meantime, I'm anxiously awaiting Jarael and Rholan, and hoping that they will be available soon. By the way, do you have a picture of Rholan with his helmet on that you could share?

ANSWER:  Unfortunately, these figures have been canceled and there is currently no plan for their release. As with most of the canceled comic packs and exclusives, we will look for a way to bring them out someday. Zayne was on the comic pack list should the line have continued through Fall 2010 and some work was done on him before the project was scuttled. It's unlikely, though, that he will ever come out.




ECHO BASE FORUMS


QUESTION:  Have you considered making any figures based off the Clone Wars online comic? The online comic, which supports the Clone Wars TV series, has a great amount of characters to choose from. In addition to making new figures such as Ares Nune and Tonzet Xebec, there are a multitude of unique clones such as Kite, Mag, Shiv, and Ganch, that could easily be made using existing molds.

ANSWER:  We have not considered this for the most part, because it is very important to stick to the entertainment that kids are watching for our figure lineup.  However, we will consider other sources that allow us to do a new version of a major characters, and we will be making a figure or two based on the characters who have appeared in the Dark Horse Comics Clone Wars series.


QUESTION:  The upcoming Aurra Sing in the Clone Wars line looks amazing! When can collectors expect to see a brand new Aurra Sing figure in the realistic format?

ANSWER:  If the schedule holds, there will be a new basic carded Aurra Sing in 2011.




GALACTIC HUNTER


QUESTION:  Would it be safe to surmise/guess/wish/hope that — with Jabba The Hutt, Wooof, and maybe even a new Oola on the way — a Return of the Jedi Weequay will be in the mix? Which dry-skinned thug gets priority, the "classic" Weequay (Queequeg) or the Weequay wearing a tan quilt over his torso? (One is LONG overdue for an update, and the other hasn't been made yet. It's hard to believe, but there are characters that haven't been made yet.)

ANSWER:  We only had the first wave of Vintage at Toy Fair; that was all we needed to wet the whistle and get the juices flowing for the August release! Seriously, we will be showing the rest of Fall, with a taste of Spring 2011 at Comic Con and Celebration V, so stay tuned. As for which Weequay to do next, the Weequay Skiff Master will be the first one up, out approximately the middle of 2011.


QUESTION:  It was confirmed in the last Q&A round that Bastila Shan will be released on a Vintage Resurrection-style card. How will Hasbro handle presenting off-screen or Expanded Universe characters like her with the the Vintage Resurrection-style card since characters are depicted in real scenes from the films — background and all. Is Hasbro going to recreate photo-realistic versions of Expanded Universe characters as if they were movie-stills via digital art? Would Hasbro even go as far as dressing up a model in costume and photographing them for the card art, like LFL did years ago with Shannon Baksa (the Mara Jade model)?

ANSWER:  Great as always to get a thoughtful Shabby Blue question. We have not sat down and hashed this one out yet, but our first instinct would not be to make the EU characters look photorealistic, but to reference their source material (comic art for comic-based figures, video game imagery or CGI for video game characters). Sort of like a hybrid of the vintage Kenner movie look and the Droids and Ewoks lines, within the black & silver framework.




HAN'S HIDEOUT


QUESTION:  You know us collectors - we're never satisfied. We get a whole pile of goodies lavished on us at Toy Fair and most already can't help but wonder what's next? We know you want to keep things under wraps until SDCC, but can you at least give us the mix you're expecting for 2010 Vintage Wave 2 - how many "new" figures and how many repacks will we see in the second Vintage Collection wave?

ANSWER:  EpIII is the theme for Wave 2 of Vintage, with eight figures will be brought in (seven from EpIII and one from EpIV). Of the seven, four will be upgrades of previously released characters (including an all new Senate Duel Darth Sidious) and the others are "greatest hits" style figures.


QUESTION:  In the Toy Fair showroom, we asked about the nifty Mace Windu that was on display with the Clone Wars basic figures (the one with the Mando Helmet accessory). No one seemed sure to which wave he and the repainted ARF trooper (the one with the camo deco) belonged. Can you confirm for us if the new Mace and ARF Trooper repaint are in Fall 2010 Clone Wars Wave 1 or did they get bumped to Wave 2 as was suspected during the Toy Fair collector event? Since they weren't shown in the slide presentation, we're a little confused at where they go in the line.

ANSWER:  Neither. Both figures are actually in Wave 3. The Clone Wars waves for Fall are spaced about 1 month apart if all goes as planned.




To be continued.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 03:04:25 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2010, 10:32:40 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF MARCH 17th, 2010 - PART 4



IMPERIAL SHIPYARDS


QUESTION:  We have seen the new vintage line and were wondering two things; one, will we see "offerless" cards of every figure in this line? two, why was the decision made to offer figures not in the original vintage line including the prequel movies? It would seem that a true vintage line would have stayed true to the orginal Kenner vintage line as there were plenty of figures from that line that could have used the updating.

ANSWER:  Since we had few iconic characters to work with that have not been done before, Vintage as a concept was dead without the need to add new characters to the mix.  We could have gone one, maybe two more waves of six but the majority of characters left to go to update the Kenner run would never had made it out on a Vintage card.  This way, there is always the possibility that the run could be completed.  In addition, it continues arguably the most powerful nostalgic toy line look as if it had never stopped.  The decision to add characters that were never on vintage, including prequel characters, was something that we did not enter into without doing a great deal of research before hand.  As for offers - there is good news.  The stickers are not permanent and can be peeled off without damaging the card.


QUESTION:  In the past, we have seen battle packs to provide us with troops to man up the Turbo Tank and the ATTE vehicles.What are the chances that we can expect a new Vintage Battle Pack to help us man up the new AT-AT walker vehicle? Since 4 figures are the normal number to expect with a new Battle Pack, and since the walker already comes with one driver fig, I think that including 2 Snowtroopers, 1 Driver, and 1 Commander would round it out nicely. Perhaps you could substitute one of the Snowtroopers for a Hoth Speeder Bike Scout figure?

ANSWER:  There will indeed be a Hoth-themed Battle Pack this year to complement the AT-AT.  There will be three figures: Vader, Snowtrooper, and a Sith Speeder Bike Scout along with other key accessories.




JEDI INSIDER


QUESTION:  We wanted to follow up about two of the Vintage figures shown at Toy Fair earlier this month. First, you mentioned the new version of the Vader figure would have the ability to take the figure’s helmet off in 3 different parts? Can you provide us with images demonstrating this feature since we were not able to see the figure without the helmet at Toy Fair? Along those same lines, you confirmed that the new Hoth Leia would have a removable vest so she could appear as she did in ESB before she changed to the Bespin Gown and then after. Can you provide us with a look of the figure without her vest?

ANSWER:  Attached is an image of Vader with the three-piece helmet. Unfortunately, we don't have a picture of Leia without her vest available at this time.

DARTH VADER WITH 3-PIECE HELMET REMOVED

DARTH VADER WITH 3-PIECE HELMET ON


QUESTION:  During the Hasbro Q&A during Toy Fair, someone from one of the other Hasbro Brand Teams joked they wanted to see a Jabba Sail Barge one day as a large-scale vehicle for the Star Wars line. This got us thinking about whether this would even be possible from a practical standpoint? Hypothetically, if you were interested in creating this vehicle, would you be able to design a Jabba Sail Barge toy in scale enough to hold an actual Jabba figure, have it usable from a playability standpoint, and still resemble the vehicle as it appeared in the movie? If so, could you actually create such a toy within a $100-$150 price point?

ANSWER:  We love the idea, but that doesn't mean it's commercially viable. This vehicle is simply not iconic enough and struggles from a lack of cultural awareness. We could achieve a scaled-down version of the Jabba's Sail Barge that would be able to hold the new Jabba figure and have a good number of play features. However, the likelihood of us doing this is very remote. Everyone knows the Millennium Falcon and AT-AT, but hardly anyone outside of the core fans knows this vehicle. This vehicle would require a massive investment and it does not bode well that it has little cultural momentum and zero cool factor or demand among kids.




JEDI NEWS


QUESTION:  We're sorry to see the Galactic Heroes Cinema Scenes go. What does this mean for Galactic Heroes in terms of future vehicles and additional figures - will we continue to see vehicles or will the 2 packs be the only outlet for Galactic Heroes moving forward (and will we see all four Republic Commando's as Galactic Heroes) and finally, are we likely to see a return to the Cinema Scenes sometime in the future?

ANSWER:  Something had to give way to make room for the Galactic Heroes AT-AT, so it was decided to put the Cinema Scenes on hiatus as a mainline offering.  There still may be exclusive Cinema Scenes here and there to take advantage of the cool vehicle library we have built up.  As for the other Commandos, we hope that they will find their way into the lineup at some point, but it won't be for a while if so.


QUESTION:  With so many changes to the Star Wars line this year, with new product lines coming and others going or changing, what are you most sad to see go and what are you most excited about – also, do you see any other changes to the line in the near future?

ANSWER:  Without question, we are sad to see the Comic Packs go.  This was such a great line for introducing new and interesting characters from the rich history of the Star Wars comics.  There is a possibility these will return some time down the road, if we can solve the costing issues that have plagued us (two SA-quality figures plus an expensive comic means trouble when it comes to trying to create an affordable 2-pack).   There will undoubtedly be changing in store for the line, with some exciting new things for 2011.  Hasbro's Star Wars line has long had a history of driving innovation in new toy expressions leveraging the iconic Star Wars characters and vehicles, and we look forward to trying some new things going forward.  One thing that is constant about the Star Wars line is change!




JEDIDEFENDER


QUESTION:  It's great to hear that Dr. Evazan is coming in 2011 and even better to hear that his fellow humans Wuher and Yerka Mig may be in the "parking" lot as well. Aliens are cool, but nothing fills out a diorama like those background humans (Garrouf Lafoe!). Speaking of background humans - since 2009 gave us some great new alien Jabba Skiff Guards, how about mixing in some more human Jabba Goons soon? There are some great humans on the Sail Barge or even hanging out with Jabba in the ANH Special Edition Jabba scenes!

ANSWER:  We hear you, and we won't forget the human Jabba guards. However, our focus for the next couple of years will be on the alien ones, especially since the vintage Kenner line concentrated on these guys too. Once we work our way through the best Nikto, Weequay, and Klatooinian ones then we will take stock of the next best ones to do.


QUESTION:  The new Battle Droid sculpt used in the Target Arena Showdown 2-packs was Great! But, (you knew there was a but coming, right?) unless you have a pile of those nifty new 2-peg stands, they are pretty droopy from the same soft plastic disease that other Battle Droids have. Is there any way to engineer future re-uses so they are a bit stiffer maybe? And maybe get that left hand so it can cup a blaster rifle better? (you are planning to re-use it, right? A Legends release would be great for army building).

ANSWER:  We can't make them with stiffer plastic, so the only solution is to widen their legs (similar to the Security Battle Droids which seem to work fine). We don't want to necessarily retool them for thicker legs as personally we like the narrower legs for screen accuracy. The 2-peg stands work like a charm to fix the problem. We do have plans to reuse that figure again; we'll look into making sure that they are only released with a stand.




To be continued.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 03:06:27 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2010, 12:36:54 AM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF MARCH 17th, 2010 - PART 5



MOUSE DROID


QUESTION:  It's the ESB 30th anniversary year and the Hoth scenes seem to be getting a fair amount of attention. Have you considered updating the Wampa? Maybe a bit bigger and better articulated.

ANSWER:  We have looked at updating a lot of the EpV library, including the Tauntaun and Wampa. Neither made the cut this year, although right now the Tauntaun had a decent chance of making the line-up in 2011. No Wampa update is in the plans in the foreseeable future, but it's another one we're definitely looking at for farther down the road.


QUESTION:  Will the rocket firing Boba Fett be made available internationally? With the great new Vintage line kicking off this year it's a great offer. Please tell us that the international market will not have to pay extortionist eBay prices for a figure that US and Canadian residents will get for free. Can you please help Hasbro Australia and local fans by getting Star wars action figures into our country this year!!!!

ANSWER:  Our country managers tell us that they are indeed planning on bringing the Rocket Firing Boba Fett figure into countries with a strong collector base. The way in which they will do it will be different by country, and it will not always be a mail-in figure. In Australia, it will be a gift with purchase at Toys 'R Us.




RAVING TOY MANIACS


QUESTION:  Does the Galactic Heroes AT-AT's head open to allow access to figures? If so, how many figures?

ANSWER:  Yes, the head will open to fit one figure.


QUESTION:  Which version of the AT-AT driver is going to be packed in with the BAT-AT? The recent removable helmet version or the older swivel armed one?

ANSWER:  The swivel-armed version will be packed in, but with a red stripe on the helmet... so it will be a unique figure.




REBELSCUM


QUESTION:  Obviously we love the return of The Vintage Collection, and we're pretty excited about what we've seen in the line-up from Toy Fair. That said, there seems to be a disturbing trend (for some of us) that we'd like to give you an opportunity to dispel.

So far, it appears that TVC will be nothing but upgrades on existing characters, and that there will be very little "all-new" figures. This seems contrary to an answer from a Q&A session last year where you indicated that you'd be going more and more after the all new items, and less after the re-hashed subjects. But so far, that seems to not be the direction that you're going.

Looking at the line-up so far....out of the 11 figures shown for the TESB wave coming in August, only Dak feels "a little bit" new, the other ten are all straight updates on existing subjects (yet even Dak is an update from the POTJ Snowspeeder figure).

When we look forward on the line, we already know a number of the other figures planned:

ROTJ: Admiral Ackbar, Gammorean Guard, Wooof (Vintage Klaatu), Wicket, AT-ST Driver, R2-D2 w/ Pop-up Lightsaber,

AOTC: Zam Wessell, Count Dooku

ROTS: Anakin Skywalker, General Grevious, Clone Trooper (care to provide specifics?)

ANH: Dr. Evazan, Ponda Baba, Bom Vimdin (perhaps the one all-new subject we know of so far)

TPM: Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn

So based on that list, it looks like we have almost the entire line-up coming that will be updates. Granted, some of them are SORELY needed updates (Ponda Baba and the good Doctor, for example), but we can't help but wonder where the "all-new" stuff will be. Obviously it makes sense to take advantage of the vintage packaging and release main characters on that packaging style, but at the same time, we need to see some "all-new" stuff to help keep the line fresh. Will there be any "all-new" figures in 2010, and then once we get through the six movie waves by early 2011, will we see more "all-new" subjects figure into the line-up once the mixed waves start in 2011?

ANSWER:  The strategy for Vintage is to ensure that we have ample representation of core characters, whether by repack or resculpt (when we feel there are improvements that can be made in previous versions).

For 2010, there are few new (and almost by definition, more obscure characters) as we are making sure that we have lots of great "core" characters out in the early waves of the line. This also means upgrades or redos to characters who have been previously released, even if a decade or more ago.

For entirely new characters, in 2011 you probably won't see that many more all-new characters as a percentage of the whole than you did in any previous line (the last two years of Legacy, for example). While these characters are in there - such as Cantina denizens, Jabba's crew, the occasional new Padmé or Podracer, etc - we need to make sure in absolute number terms these characters don't hang us up by either eating up our tooling budget or forcing us to over-ship them to nail our forecasts.

Either one of these would be bad news for the line, so we continue to make sure that our hero quotient is solid first, before we tackle the more obscure guys.


QUESTION:  As for the 10 "Greatest Hits" figure repacks in 2010...we've already seen Boba Fett & 4-LOM, and you also mentioned Zuckuss, which it's assumed will fall into this category. While we naturally want to know the rest of the GH figures in this repack series, the most important question is this....can we please get a Wedge Antilles in this series on a single card? Wedge needs to have some respect, and putting him out on a Vintage-style card would rock! If you want to add some "newness" to him, a kit-bash of the Luke X-Wing body with the Wedge Comic Packs head would be a great "new" figure. Please?

ANSWER:  This Fall, you will at long last see a basic figure of Wedge on a Vintage card.





SANDTROOPERS

QUESTION:  It's pretty much a fact that the last wave in any series before a cardback change usually proves to be the most difficult to find. Now, for the upcoming last wave of The Legacy Collection before Vintage cardbacks start, you've made it doubly hard to find by making it an exclusive wave. How can you hope that TRU orders enough of this wave to satisfy all those that want to purchase it?

ANSWER:  TRU will not have enough quantity to satisfy all those who want to purchase the wave - that's why the Internet retailers will have the balance of the wave.  We actually instructed the factories to build the wave before the holidays, so we were committed to the quantity we forecast.  Softer than expected sales of the Legacy have led us to a situation where we needed to make the wave exclusive to ensure that it got distribution to brick & mortar stores at all.


QUESTION:  Do you really think this new battle game pack-in is going to help sales of figures? I conducted an informal poll (that I had hoped to present the results of to you at Toy Fair and missed doing that) that showed that 85% of the fans and collectors felt that the BAD program was the best pack-in YET. I'm sure it helped with sales as well, for I know that several people (myself included) bought figures that they didn't really want just to get the droid parts. How is this game going to have the same impact? Do you think fans and collectors are going to by the figures they don't like just to get the game pieces?

ANSWER:  The Galactic Battle Game card is being added to the Clone Wars and Saga Legends figures.  This is strictly a kid-targeted pack-in and we would not do it unless we expected that it will increase figure sales to kids. Collectors are not our primary target for those assortments.  We do not expect that adult fans and collectors are going to buy figures to get the game pieces.  In Vintage, which is the successor to Legacy/Droid Factory, there is no pack-in mechanic this year.  The nostalgic vintage-style packaging is the hook (along with the new/updated figures) that we are hoping will engage fans in wanting to collect them all.




To be continued.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 03:08:05 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2010, 01:30:46 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF MARCH 17th, 2010 - PART 6



SIR STEVE'S GUIDE


QUESTION:  It's awesome that we're getting an update of Ponda Baba in 2011, but this does bring up two burning questions. Will he be sold under the name "Walrusman" on the card just like in the vintage days, or will that be updated to the modern "Ponda Baba"? Also, since the character is seen in the film with flipper-hands but every modern version of the figure has been sculpted with the more human, furry hands (as shown amputated by Obi-Wan), are we finally going to get a screen-accurate "flipper-hand" version of Ponda Baba? If not, would you consider packing him with interchangeable hands so collectors can choose which version they want to display?

ANSWER:  We haven't gotten to the stage where we have drawn these up yet, so no decision has been made. That is a very interesting suggestion you make and a good way to solve an interesting problem. We'll make sure the design team takes a good look at it. Thanks. As for the name on the package, we'd love to see Walrusman ourselves, if not in the pill then as a secondary name.


QUESTION:  Although the Cruisemissile Trooper vehicle has its share of detractors, including those at Hasbro, the concept and design have some fun and interesting toy merits, though not fully realized. Perhaps the original design could be embellished and resized to fit into either the current Deluxe Figure & Vehicle pricepoint or a Battle Pack or other another medium (maybe even a Starfighter pricepoint perhaps). And of course, this time around it could have a removable pilot and cooler features to make it a fun new vehicle with unique Star Wars credibility. Would Hasbro ever consider making an update to this vehicle with design and features befitting the modern line? With the Deluxe Figure & Vehicle line seemingly doing well and taking other weird risks like the Desert Sport Skiff, would you think that the right place for it?

ANSWER:  Right now there are no plans for an update, but the idea of a small, streamlined, heavily armed one-man craft is still intriguing. If we did it again, it would be great to have a removable figure. It's unknown if it could fit into the Figure & Vehicle (Deluxe) assortment given the size and detail needed; it might be more of a Starfighter-style craft. If we get to the point where we need more ideas along these lines, it's an interesting one to consider. FYI, due to the niche nature of the vehicle, we are going to go very light on our release of the Anakin / Desert Sports Skiff. In hindsight, it doesn't pack the firepower or gravity as a vehicle as the other sets in the line.




SNOWTROOPERS


QUESTION:  Thanks so much for making Gargan a figure, but she is clogging the pegs at most retailers still.  Is there any way she could be rounded up, like the overstock was collected in the US stores last year, so there can be more room for your newer releases?

ANSWER:  As the new figure lines are winding down, there will be no pullback on Yarna or other figures in Canada.  Instead, the lines will start over fresh with all three figure assortments this Fall.  Our Canadian team let us know that the EpV wave of Legacy/Droid Factory should be making its way to retail in a couple weeks.


QUESTION:  Are there plans to release Clone Wars figures of Republic dignitaries, such as Bail Organa or Senator Padme in senate attire, Duchess Satine, Riyo Chuchi, or even Chanceller Palpatine??

ANSWER:  There are no plans to release these characters as figures.  The vast
majority of Clone Wars purchasers are kids who do not appreciate the tertiary characters, so we have to be very careful about how many characters like that, that we do.  That is not to say that there won't be some interesting character choices for Clone Wars, but there will be fewer of these characters worked into the line than, say, the Legacy/Vintage lines.




SW COLLECTOR


QUESTION:  I know you have decided against a "Droid Factory" type playset due to costs, but what about releasing sets of BADs using battlepack or 2-pack type packaging? There would be no new tooling costs, and you could package the droids in an "exploded" format to play up the interchangeability of the parts. You could even reuse the packaging design by releasing "refreshes" of the same droids but in different paint schemes.

ANSWER:  This is an idea we have been looking at, but have not yet slotted something like this into the lineup.


QUESTION:  I'd like to lobby for update on an old favorite of mine... C-3PO with Removable Limbs. The vintage 1980 Threepio with Removable Limbs was a fantastic figure and my favorite as a kid. And now, with the fantastic B-A-D U-3PO, a lot of the work is largely done for a new Removable Limbs Threepio. One possibility that could work splendidly is finally including the light-pipe eyes from The Clone Wars Threepio. This hasn't really been attempted on a screen accurate Threepio yet, and is a great feature. The net backpack that Chewie hauls him around in would probably be a primary accessory, but the milkcrate-like bin that Chewie carries him around in could work, too. One thing that would be great to try would be a removable back panel (like in the attached photo). With the design accomplishment of the DS2 Luke vest flap, this would probably be a breeze. This has VOTC written all over it, at the very least. This is Threepio at his most iconic and emotional point in any of the films. Eventually you could do a Ugnaught-Keep-Away Battle Pack!

ANSWER:  We have been looking for the opportunity to make a Droid Factory-style removable-limb C-3PO (and R2-D2) for a while and they will come out at some point. Your idea for a figure is really good and would make for a great EpV figure at some point. Thanks for the fun imagery.




THE JAWA


QUESTION:  You mentioned in a previous answer that some customers might be getting frustrated with having to buy an entire wave of figures to complete a single BaD.  Now that the BaD program is over but since you still have the tooling for these pieces, what about selling a 2-pack of BaDs?  You've done 2-packs of CIS battledroids, jawas, ewoks, etc. before and these appeal to many folks because of the perceived value (2 figures for the price of 1, even if they are small).  In this case, a customer would get two astromechs or two protocol droids complete in one purchase AND there'd be huge play value because you can start interchanging pieces right away to customize a new droid!  An R2D2 with R5D4 pack or a C3PO with K3PO pack would certainly be a kick to see!

ANSWER:  We are still evaluating ways to re-use the great tooling library we have built up with the Droid Factory parts.  We won't be doing anything like you suggest for the Vintage line (there will be no multi-figure packs in Vintage) but it's possible that we will re-use the parts elsewhere, whether it's in 2-packs, Battle Packs, or somewhere else.


QUESTION:  Is there any chance Hasbro will ever re-do the Death Star Trooper sculpt?  When first rumored, this became one of my most anticipated army builders of all time. However you probably heard of the complaints on the forums after it debuted: the shoulders, elbows, and especially the knees were just way too bulky.  Moreover he seemed too tall and bulky overall (standing next to Vader, the DST steals attention away from him just due to his large size and his wide-legged stance).  The sculpting of his uniform also seemed very crude and undetailed compared to other figures you've done with similar outfits (like the RotS Tarkin or the recent Capt Needa).  I'd really like to see these issues addressed if not in a new DST, then perhaps a future Imperial Navy Trooper figure.  Even though he wasn't SA, the RotS Tarkin was closer to how I'd hoped Hasbro would sculpt the DST  in terms of stance, body size, and detailing.

ANSWER:  He did come out on the tall side compared to other troops, but we think his overall proportions work very well.  That said, if we do release him then we will certainly take your comments into consideration.  A re-release is not currently planned so it will be a ways off if we do ever re-release.




To be continued.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 03:09:38 AM by Gold 5 » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2010, 03:12:59 AM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF MARCH 17th, 2010 - PART 7


YAKFACE


QUESTION:  At this year's Toy Fair, four Clone Wars figures were shown on the display stands, Mace Windu with hip articulation and mysterious mandarlorian helmet split down the middle, Kit Fisto with added knee articulation and dual lightsabers, Commander Battle Droid and a camoflauge ARF Trooper. These were not mentioned in the presentation and considering they've been shown could we please have some info/ images on these?

ANSWER:  They are part of Clone Wars basic figures Wave 3, complete info for which will be released later in the year around Comic Con or CV timing. We expect Waves 1, 2, and 3 to get to retail about one month apart in Fall, so Wave 3 should be out around the beginning of October.  No additional images are available of these figures right now.



QUESTION:  With the final EU wave of Legacy figures now deemed an "exclusive" to Toys"R"Us, collectors want to know if that change means they (like many of TRU's exclusives) will come with their exclusive/higher price tag as well? Also, are there plans to change the case assortment to include multiples of each new figure or does this assortment still plan on including one of each of the new figures plus the older carry forward figures?

ANSWER:  We don't really know what TRU's plans are for basic figure pricing, as that is solely up to them to decide, but we don't think it will differ from the current basic figure pricing at TRU.  The case wave ration will include 12 different figures, including one each of the TFU figures and the rest carry-forward figures.  The production release for these figures was made a long time ago and the wave only recently became a TRU (and later, a shared Internet) exclusive, so the case pack ratio was determined back when it was assumed that we would have a healthy Legacy line on the shelves.  As Legacy has continued to soften, bringing it to TRU was the bets chance for full distribution.




YODA'S NEWS


QUESTION:  Will you re-release Cody and Rex with updated helmets?

ANSWER:  Figures will change to an armor that matches the show, but all of this has yet to be determined. Stay tuned (literally)!


QUESTION:  With the Galactic Heroes Cinema Scenes being put "on hold" will we still see the Purchase of the Droids and Kamino set?

ANSWER:  Yes, they got pushed out due to Toys 'R Us asking for a re-release of some of their previous Cinema Scenes. We are back on track, and these will be coming later this Spring to Toys 'R Us.





UPDATED!  A late update was posted by Action Figure Insider which was added to this edition of the Q&A roundup.
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