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Beast
06-26-2002, 04:48 PM
From TradeFederation.Net:

The Chat with Nick Rabin, Senior Brand Manager of Hasbro UK, just wrapped. Nothing new came out of it but below is a transcript of the event. Hopefully these will happen more frequently and possibly be something that Hasbro USA will begin to do as well.

Moderator said: Good evening and welcome to our online chat with Nick Rabin, Senior Brand Manager of Hasbro UK. He's here to answer all your questions, and there have been tons coming in, so we will get started in a few minutes....

C J Monk wants to know: "How come the UK never or hardly gets 12inch figures/exclusives via distribution (IE go into Toys R Us etc) and have to either personally import them or go thru shops such as Forbidden Planet etc or resort to scalpers? what happened to UK distribution on the 12" trooper and Dewback??? This is both frustrating and time consuming and puts me off the whole collecting thing."

Nick R said: Good evening everybody. I can confirm that in 2002 the full range of 12" figures will be available in the UK. Toys R Us plus many independant retailers will be stocking them from July. There will be six 12" figures coming in over the next two to three months plus figures such as The Clone Trooper assortment and Mace Windu.

John Stewart wants to know: "Does Hasbro have plans to release more figures of characters from the original trilogy in next year's assortments?"

Nick R said: Thanks John. Yes we do. In fact some of the new figures that will be coming through late in 2002 will be from the original trilogy.

Bianchi wants to know: "Will the imperial shuttle that is being released as an american exclusive find its way over here some time, or will it only be availible in the U.S.A?"

Nick R said: Good question Bianchi. It is our intention to bring in as many US exclusive products as possible and that includes The Imperial Shuttle. Many of the exclusive products rely on our customers ordering the products after which Hasbro UK will ensure that stock is imported into the UK. This is why there may sometimes be a delay in the product arriving in the UK versus when it is made available in the US.

Dean Wright wants to know: "Will the Republic Gunship be available in the UK and how much will it cost?"

Nick R said: Yes it will Dean. This product is earmarked for an Autumn release. The first batch of Republic Gunships will be in the UK from September.

Lee Whalley wants to know: "Whats happening with Jorg Sacul & are we going to see the new Anniversary silver R2?"

Nick R said: The Jorg Sacul celebration figure was produced in limited numbers and was intended for the Celebration II convention earlier this year in the US. Fortunately, Hasbro UK has managed to get its hands on a reasonable number of the figures. Most of these will be distributed in a similar way to the Darth Vader 25th Anniversary figure, i.e. a promotion through one of our retailers. Here at hasbrojedi.co.uk we have also got our hands on a number of figures which can be won through various competitions over the coming months.

U.K.Boy wants to know: "Most important question of all for me: Will Hasbro UK be supporting fully in a non movie year?"

Nick R said: Another good question U.K Boy. Definitely yes. Hasbro UK has recognised that in the past in non-movie years collecting Star Wars toys has been difficult to say the least! We are committed to supporting Star Wars next year. As in 2002, our aim is to ensure that we bring in every product that is released from the US. This includes account exclusives.

ibroxkev wants to know: "Any chance of a UK only exclusive?"

Nick R said: Thanks. Unfortunately not, all product is developed by our colleagues in the US and there are currently no plans to develop any exclusive products for countries outside of the US.

David Pye wants to know: "Also, save through the HasbroJedi.co.uk competition, will the Toy Fair Darth Vader's become available?"

Nick R said: David, a very limited quantity of Toy Fair Darth Vader figures were produced. The vast majority have now been distributed around the world and there are no plans to produce any more. So your best bet is to keep logging onto hasbrojedi.co.uk for more chances to win one.

Grant Criddle wants to know: "Will you be selling figures through Hasbro.co.uk "

Nick R said: Thanks for the question Grant. Yes in fact we already do. Starting in April this year Hasbro have been selling virtually the full Star Wars range through hasbro.co.uk. Visit the site for further details.

Adrian wants to know: "Would you say Star Wars toys being developed at the moment are aimed at children or the 'mature enthusiast'?"

Nick R said: Good question Adrian. The answer is both! This year Hasbro have developed and marketed two distinct ranges of Star Wars toys although a consumer would find it difficult to see this. If you look at what is on sale in retailers such as Woolworths and Argos you will see that most of the product on sale is very child focused. If you look in retailers such as Toys R Us, The Entertainer and specialist retailers, they will have a far greater selection with much of the product aimed at collectors.

IanTPU wants to know: "Hi Nick, The competition that Hasbro UK are running is pretty unique in that the lucky winner will end up with a figure modelled after him/her.Could you explain a little bit about the process the winner will go through before they end up being immortalized in 3 & 3/4 plastic?"

Nick R said: Yes I can Ian. We will bring the lucky winner to Hasbro UK's Head Offices where he or she will be photographed from all angles. The photography will be taken by a sculptor who will sculpt the winners head. This will become a mould enabling us to convert the sculpt into plastic. the winner will actually have the choice of being immortalised into a 12" or 3 3/4" figure. We will take the torso of an existing figure and apply a new head to it. We will then package the product with new graphics with the winners own name on.

Jimbo wants to know: "Will we EVER be able to use our Jedi Points?"

Nick R said: Jimbo, please refer to the News section of hasbrojedi.co.uk where this question has been answered.

Grant Criddle wants to know: "Is there any chance of places like Woolworth's having a variety of figures. Back in the vintage Star Wars toy days when Kenner were in charge you could pick up 79 different action figures. Since 1995 the company has only dealt with core figures. A variety of about 4 in the new Attack of the clones line. Any chance of this changing?"

Nick R said: Following on from my previous answer relating to kids versus collectors products, retailers such as Woolworths attract the mass market and therefore are not likely to stock a wider range that specialist retailers will stock.

The Private Universe wants to know: "Nick - Is being the Star Wars brand manager just a job, or are you a true Star Wars fan who has a quiet play with the toys when the office door is closed "

Nick R said: Very interesting question from The Private Universe. Being the Star Wars Brand Manager is not just a job, it's a great job. To say that I am a huge Star Wars fan would not be true. However, having worked on the brand for over a year now, I am becoming much more affectionate towards Star Wars and I can see what all the fuss is about! And yes I do have a play with the toys but in full sight of my colleagues!

Kal wants to know: "What is your favourite star Wars figure?"

Nick R said: From the 2002 range I have a few favourites. The Anakin Skywalker Hanger Duel is very cool, the electronics in R2-D2 make it a great figure, and in my view the Clone Trooper has a George's Cross on his face so he was with me for every England game as a lucky mascot! Not that it did any good!

Jonathan Stewart wants to know: "Will figures released next year be predominantly of characters from Attack of the Clones, or will there be an even spread of characters from all 5 films?"

Nick R said: Jonathan, I covered this earlier. Later this year figures will start appearing from all 5 films and this will continue into 2003.

Action-Figure wants to know: "So can you let us in on any of the figures planned for late 2002/2003?"

Nick R said: Unfortunately we are unable to reveal a list of figures right now. However, keep logging onto hasbrojedi.co.uk where we will announce each wave of figures before they are released. In fact, the next announcement should appear in the next few weeks.

Ben King wants to know: "Why has it taken Hasbro UK so long to recognise and communicate with collectors and what caused the turnaround in company policy?"

Nick R said: Hasbro have woken up to the fact that everyone will benefit from the company supporting collectors in the UK. As a commerical operation, obviously there is much to be gained for Hasbro. However, the biggest gain will hopefully be for collectors. In the future, we hope that the new relationship between Hasbro and collectors will grow stronger to the benefit of all.

David Pye wants to know: "Nick - I have seen 12" Red and Yellow Clone Troopers being itemised as USA store exclusives and also a 12" Ki Adi Mundi doll touted as being a Fan Club Exclusive. Will these figures be available to the UK market? I look forward to your response (hopefully in the affirmative)

Nick R said: David, as I mentioned earlier it is our intention to ensure that we bring in every exclusive product available. Please be patient as these are more likely to appear in the UK in the latter part of the year.

IanTPU wants to know: "Online chat's like this are a great way of building trust and cementing a good relationship with the UK collecting community.Do you plan on making them a regular occurance?"

Nick R said: Definitely. We at Hasbro feel that this is another way of building a stronger relationship with collectors. We hope that you have found this web chat informative and I have certainly enjoyed chatting to you.

Lee Whalley wants to know: "I think it is great that you guys are now making the effort to communicate with us, please keep it up."

Nick R said: Thank you very much Lee, and thank you to everybody for submitting your questions. Unfortunately we have run out of time and are unable to answer them all. I will take the questions, however, and try to answer them through hasbrojedi.co.uk.

Moderator said: I am sorry to say but as Nick said, our time is now up. Apologies to all those whose questions we didn't manage to answer. Nick will be back with us soon. Bye for now.

bigbarada
06-26-2002, 04:57 PM
Interesting, I wonder if Hasbro plans on doing those for the American collectors soon.

Beast
06-26-2002, 04:59 PM
It would be nice. They really didn't drop any big news though BigBarada. The biggest news I guess, would be that Jargo and the others in the UK will likely have access to the Imperial Shuttle and other exclusives. Hopefully that puts a smile on our UK forum buddies faces. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Yu_
06-26-2002, 05:28 PM
It sure makes me happy.. but I think I'll still be ordering my shuttle from FAO and paying the postage, because while they want to bring the exclusives over they can't if the stock is sold out in the US, and I would rather pay a little bit more for shipping, than be forced to pay a LOT more from some scalper.

Another problem is that Hasbro UK has jumped in bed with the devil, they are dealing with Forbidden Planet, and these guys suck, they charge well over the odds for even the basic stuff, things you can get for 5.99 around the corner in another shop they sell for 7.99, so when stuff comes out and only they get it, they jack the prices right up.. sometimes it's actually cheaper to buy it from a "scalper" on ebay, than from a "legit" Hasbro dealer... it really ****es me off..

Jargo
06-26-2002, 06:08 PM
disregard anything i said here earlier. bad head day..... :D