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Beast
07-08-2002, 03:54 PM
I know people like BigB and others don't go to Rebelscum much, cause it takes forever for the page to load, so I will post the transcript here, and then we can discuss what Hasbro had to say. :)

Chatting With Andy by Michael Sullenger
I had a chance to hang out with Andy Espenshade, Hasbro's Director of Marketing, in Hasbro's booth at Wizard World Chicago and discuss the new Saga product shown at the convention as well as some plans for 2002.

MS: With the toys being out now for a couple of months and the film finally being released, how has Star Wars done for you? Has it met or exceeded your expectations? I know that you recently dropped your price to $4.99. Can that be taken as a sign that sales aren't meeting expectations?

Andy: Sales are fine. We took the price down to $4.99 because we were taking a look at a few things going on in the marketplace and felt for the long term benefit of the brand, it would be the right thing to do. We saw as the summer ended and we were going into the fall, it would be a good way to get kids to be able to keep buying deeper into the line. One of the big lessons learned from Episode I is that almost every kid, almost every boy in the right target group, bought a Star Wars figure. The problem was most of them were buying like one almost as a souvenir, and we didn't feel that they were beginning to actually play with them. That's why we went back in and added all the play features in all the toys, so that kids can actually play with these. Taking the price down to $4.99 was to make it a better value for kids and collectors alike. As another lesson learned from Episode I, most figures were at $6.99 to $7.99, and we heard from collectors from the internet or what they said to us in person over and over again that they felt prices were just too high. So we felt that by dropping it to $4.99, it would be a better value and it's something that we plan on continuing.

MS: What I noticed in stores are that your lightsaber toys are doing extremely well and they could never seem to keep them in stock. Do you think the last scene of the movie had something to do with that?

Andy: Yeah, I think the last forty minutes in the movie had everything to do with it. In the original trilogy and Episode I, there were great lightsaber battles. But Episode 2 was just taken to a whole new level. We do always look at history trying to project our sales and how much we should produce of every toy. It's not an exact science and barely an art at that. But we do try and look at history and pick the right number and react to it as it goes along. So we see a character like Yoda, we're going to produce more if we know that's what fans want to see. We're producing lightsabers around the clock and try to get more out there. We're also reacting and putting out a few new colors of lightsabers. We're working right now on a Mace Windu lightsaber with purple blade and electronics, a new green electronic Jedi lightsaber, and a yellow-orange Jedi lightsaber. It should all be available for the holidays.

MS: When I spoke to you last at Celebration 2, you mentioned that 75% of your sales during a movie year were going to be kids. At first, I was doubtful. But whenever I shop at the stores, I'm amazed at all these kids in the aisles getting into Star Wars again. Going forward, as the movie finishes it's run, are you going to begin focusing on collectors again like you did with Power of the Jedi?

Andy: Definitely. We know that on a non-movie year, the focus is on collectors. As you've seen, all the obscure characters we produced last year that people wanted to see were 100% for collectors. In a movie year, that's our opportunity to make it bigger and take it to a wider audience and get kids as excited as we were. When Star Wars first came out, I was six years old. That's why I'm doing what I am today because as a kid, I loved the Star Wars movies. While it's great to have the collector business and we love to keep making the collector focus product, it's really great too and a lot of fun to put play features in there and let the kids have fun with the brand. By my house the other day, there were six neighbor kids in the backyard next to me all playing with lightsabers. That was a really cool feeling. What I put years of work into and seeing kids have fun with it is great. But during a non-movie year and the attention span of kids being as they are as other new movies and toys come out, it's hard for one movie to hold their attention for a three year span. So our focus will definitely go back to collectors. But even this year, we're doing characters like Ephant Mon and things that are clearly for collectors to make them happy. We try in our product to have a distinct line for kids and one for collectors and make everyone happy all the time. The Deluxe figures we took a little more creative license with. Even if they're 3 ¾ inch scale, they're clearly for kids. So even if it doesn't do that feature exactly in the movie, for a kid it's fun. In Collection 2, everything in there is authentic to the movie as much as possible for collectors.

MS: Some collectors are unhappy with the lack of articulation with the flipping action Deluxe figures, but what you're saying is it's more play focused for kids?

Andy: That's a perfect example. If that's the only Anakin we'll ever produce, I can see collectors being upset with the lack of articulation. But on the other hand, we have several Anakins in the basic figure line that are for the collectors and that are more articulated. What we do with every figure is to try and maintain a balance between the paint decoration, the articulation, and the play feature. It's a trade-off. You can't have a character with 30 points of articulation and expect it to be fully painted and have a play feature. So we try to identify each character and figure and what's going to make that particular one special and different and then put the articulation and deco in from there. For a character like FX-7, we thought it was great to give it 37 points of articulation I think it was, because that's what the character and figure is all about.. Luminara looked great with all the deco we put on her. She's more in a dedicated pose, but it works for that character and she's still articulated. On the other hand, we have other characters that are clearly for collectors and we're putting more and more articulation in. A lot of people see pictures in the magazine and don't realize there's articulation, but when they take the toy out of the package, they're happily surprised.

MS: Collectors really aren't so crazy about the buttons in the back to activate the action features because they sort of take away from the aesthetics. As the focus begins shifting back to collectors again, will figures stay away from the buttons and gadgets? The added accessories are great, but many feel that the buttons take away from the overall look.

Andy: It's certainly a trade-off. If you want to have a Mace Windu that can swing his lightsaber, you use the button to swing his lightsaber. We try to hide them as much as possible and put it in places where it wouldn't affect the aesthetics. In some cases, like the first Padmé Amidala figure, we wanted to put that quick draw feature on her. We knew it would limit articulation and wouldn't be what collectors wanted, so we're doing another version of her next year in the same white outfit.. We're doing her a little bit differently and the figure will be heavily articulated so collectors can put her in different poses and dioramas. The play features help us differentiate the characters we've done before. By putting the features in there like with Bespin Luke, and recreating that scene from Cloud City, it allows us to offer the character in a different way even though we already made an earlier version.

MS: The Trooper head variants were still up in the air when I spoke to you at C2. You still haven't decided whether you would recard the previous POTJ releases or make brand new sculpts for Saga. Any definite plans yet?

Andy: It's still a little bit up in the air and we're still trying to finalize that. We've identified a few figures that didn't get out in significant quantities in the green packaging. Just like they did back in the late '70's and Eighties, where you see one figure show up in different cards through the years, we feel there's a precedent for doing that. If we don't change the figure, we can just make it available again to people who couldn't find it the first time by releasing it in the new blue package in somewhat limited quantity but enough to satisfy demand.

MS: When is the second version of the Endor Soldier coming out?

Andy: We don't have an exact date on it. We base our decision on past sales history and how much we can sell of that figure overall. It would represent about half way through once we decide to switch from one version to the next. Therefore, I don't know exactly when they'll hit that point and the new head will hit the stores.

MS: Another popular item collectors have been asking about are Cinema Scenes. Are you planning on releasing any based on Episode 2 or maybe even classic stuff?

Andy: It's a little too early to talk about 2003 and there a few still up in the air. The reason we didn't put them out this year for Episode 2 in 2002 is another lesson learned from 1999. It takes us 12-14 months to make a toy. It's so far out that you don't know what the key scenes are going to be. We had great ones like the Watto's Box scene, which featured new characters. Then we had some poor ones, like the Mos Espa Encounter scene. People already had Sebulba and Jar Jar and it wasn't a very important scene. What we wanted to do this time around was wait until we see the final movie and identify what scenes people like. Then, if we decide to do it, produce some unique scenes that will deliver characters that aren't available elsewhere and people would want to collect.

MS: It's pretty common knowledge that FAO is taking preorders on the Imperial Shuttle. Can you share any more details about the toy?

Andy: We're very happy to hear that people would like to see it. It's concerning that FAO is taking pre-orders because it isn't 100% finalized. We are still working out the details on pricepoint and quantity. We hope to get it out there for people but there's nothing really finalized at this point.

MS: Continuing with the subject on classic ships, the one's you do have confirmed like the new X-Wing and Landspeeder have received good response from collectors just because you made some great changes from previous molds people wanted to see. One ship collectors have also wanted to see retooled is a new TIE Fighter with better proportioned wing panels. Any chance of that happening in the foreseeable future?

Andy: That one specifically I don't think we've talked about a whole lot, but we'll certainly take it into consideration. A lot of it has to do with the proof being in the pudding. If classic vehicles sell well and the consumer response is good to make the retailers happy, then we'd be happy to make more. On the other hand, if the demand isn't there, then chances are there wouldn't be more. I hope it because we really love doing it and the ones we have planned right now. By using the old tooling and then making changes to that, it's a good mix which makes it affordable for us and affordable for the fans. We can then go ahead and make changes to it to keep it unique. Plus kids that have gotten into Episode I and II and checked out the classic trilogy on video are going to want a Landspeeder.

MS: Fans are excited about your new 12" offerings utilizing the G.I. Joe body, which has more articulation and proportionality. Do you have similar plans for your female 12" action figures in the future?

Andy: Where it makes sense. We're still working on the product line for 2003 and focusing on 2002 right now. But certainly for the future, if they continue to sell well, we'll utilize similar tools for the female 12" action figures if it makes sense and are available. With G.I. Joe, there's more male bodies to use with the history of that line. But we'll certainly look into it for the females as well.

MS: For 2002, you came out with a new assortment called Unleashed. They're supposed to be artistic interpretation of characters. Your previous assortments, like Epic Force and Mega-Action, which tried out a formula other than your proven 3 ¾ scale, didn't really do as well as you expected. What are your expectations for this new assortment?

Andy: 3 ¾ inch will always be our bread and butter and what we all grew up collecting, so obviously that's where our heart is and where our focus will always be. That said, we're looking for new and fun ways for people to collect. You see it in different categories and brands and it's just new trends emerging. We thought this would be something unique and different. When we look at the past and some of those lines you mentioned, the Mega Figures were clearly aimed towards kids. With Epic Force, the problem was that it wasn't different enough. It was just a bigger version of a 3 ¾ inch figure and the toy didn't motivate people to buy it. With Unleashed, we're able to get detail and attitude in the figures that we've never done before and it really is a 100% different style. It will be hard to get that kind of detail and other things we're doing with it in a smaller scale. We're putting it out there and see what people think. If they don't do well, you won't see anymore in the future. We think they're pretty cool and we hope fans do too. If they sell well, we'll be happy to come out with more. There's not so many characters you can do it with because there are only a few who have that attitude and open to interpretation like that.

MS: Yeah, you can't really do an Unleashed Jar Jar.

Andy: No, exactly. It wouldn't make a lot of sense. Or a lot of tertiary characters for that matter. And the characters we're doing, even an Unleashed R2-D2 wouldn't make a lot of sense. But for Jedis and villains it does. It's a lot of fun for our designers to do and brings out their creativity rather than being 100% movie authentic. We have really creative guys and this allows them to put their vision in it a little bit more.

MS: You're also releasing a 10" assortment of vinyl figures this year. With Applause no longer holding the license, Hasbro took over that niche segment. Care to comment on these and if they'll be available in the mass market?

Andy: To be honest, I'm not 100% sure since I don't work on that segment of the business, so I can't comment on them too much on where or when they'll be available. It was a niche market opportunity and one that we'd be able to satisfy for the right customer and the right consumers.

MS: The Silver Anniversary Vader and the upcoming R2 have been so well received. The Vader being only exclusive through Toy Fair initially before you made the decision to give it to the Fan Club and now you're coming out with this new R2-D2. It still being the Silver Anniversary of A New Hope, are you planning on releasing any other unique items in this special packaging?

Andy: As far as the 25th Anniversary goes, the R2-D2 will be the final figure. There are some things we're talking with the Fan Club about for Christmas sales that you'll see in a little bit, but it's not in the black and silver packaging like this. We were really excited about 25th Anniversary and we felt the collectors would be as well. Vader was an opportunity for us to do something fun at Toy Fair. We didn't want to make it a new character, that's why we made it the exact same tooling and exact same sculpt as an existing Vader. The reason we did it in different packaging was that we wanted it to be outside of the main line so people wouldn't feel that it was missing from their collection. We were a bit overwhelmed by the popularity of the figures and it was great to see fans get excited about it. That's the main reason why we're doing this R2-D2, so fans can get their hands on a cool classic character done in that vacuum metallized look. Both Vader, or Anakin, and R2 have been in one form or another in every one of the movies and that's why we decided to do them. This is for Toys R Us in late August. Again, the quantities that have been tossed around are not accurate. It will be limited in the fact that you can only get it at Toys R Us as a gift with purchase. But we are trying to make enough of it so that everyone who wants one can get one.

MS: Speaking of exclusives, let's have Hasbro finally put the last nail on the Jorg Sacul figure so the collectors can know what happened and where you stand. In this convention, they have the Vanishing Beeker exclusive and I noticed that they punched passes to ensure the 2 per limit was enforced. Unfortunately at C2, a lot of collectors who made the convention came back without a Sacul figure because there weren't these kind of controls in place. Can you share your thoughts and comments?

Andy: Again, we were a bit overwhelmed with the success of that figure. We truly wished that every one of the fans who made Celebration could have gotten one or two. That was our intent. We were ourselves limited on how many of those we were allowed to produce based on how many people were expected to be at the convention. They looked at how many people came to Celebration 1 and how many people had pre-registered for Celebration 2.

(Andy and I start laughing because Peter Mayhew just stopped by and tried to fit himself in the giant Hasbro Saga blister card and had to literally crouch himself in.)

Andy: Just like the real Chewbacca action figure we're making, Peter Mayhew himself has a hard time getting into our blisters. See how accurate our figures are!

MS: Oh yeah, absolutely!

Andy: Based on how many people signed up for Celebration and what they were expecting to be there, we did have enough and limited the production run to that number. Sometimes things become self-fulfilling prophecies as rumors spread on how limited the figure would be. Unfortunately, people bought more than what they were supposed to. We had no control over how many they were letting people buy. We obviously only wanted it to be two per customer so that everyone could get one. Unfortunately, some people took advantage of the situation for profit which wasn't good for the fans or Hasbro. Value in the secondary market does us no good. We don't see any of that money and all it does is upset the fans and we don't want to see that. Our goal is that everyone who wants one toy can find that toy. That's the nature of a convention exclusive though. It's to only be available at the event like the one they're selling over here. It's a great figure by the way (referring to the Wizard World exclusive Muppet Show Vanishing Beeker by Palisade Toys).

MS: Yeah, I bought one.

Andy: Yeah, I'm trying to pull a trade myself. It's a thin line to tread because it is considered a reward for people who have attended. But at the same time, you want to make sure that everybody who is here gets to share in that. So that is our goal and it was unfortunate what happened. I think for next time around, we have more ammunition to go back and say that we should really make overflow production to satisfy demand.

MS: You're fans choice polls have been really well received by collectors. Have you considered diversifying it a little and offering a Fan's Choice vehicle or 12" figure in the future?

Andy: We've talked about that and there's a good chance that may happen. We don't have definite plans right now but it could certainly happen in the near future. We really love the Fan's Choice polls ourselves because it let's our designer do some of the more obscure ideas and characters they've been wanting to do for awhile and put it out there. It also gives a voice to fans and let's you tell us what you want to see. We're all in this together, and like we said before, what's best for the fans is what's usually best for Hasbro and vice versa.

MS: With Djas Puhr, you guys are up to 40 basic figures so far this year. How many figures total do you plan to release for 2002?

Andy: For the year, we're looking anywhere between 53-57 or so depending on if we decide to bring back the last waves of Power of the Jedi into the line. Clearly, what makes collectors happy, is that every couple of weeks you go into store and find new figures. It allows us to manage our production and hopefully we can ramp up and get the figures out there in adequate numbers.

MS: We're reaching 400 total figures now for the line. As you know, 300th Boba Fett was a hit with collectors. I know a lot of collectors, through e-mail correspondence or through our forums, have been asking for an ultimate Luke Jedi Knight figure. Besides Boba Fett, that's probably one of the more iconic characters in the classic line.

Andy: We're talking about the black outfit?

MS: Yeah, and the black cloak. They want super articulation, accessories, the works. Do you have any particular plans for something special for the 400th figure and possibly an updated Luke Jedi Knight coming up?

Andy: We don't have any plans for a 400th figure right now. Probably by the time 500 comes around we can do something for that. I have to go back and check the books to see when we'll get to 500. We are always looking for good new versions of classic core characters, so to do one of Luke that people are looking for is a very good possibility, although there are no definite plans right now.

MS: How do you like these kind of shows where Hasbro gets to show their new goods and meet and greet the fans? I know the fans appreciate it when we can put a face behind the product.

Andy: Oh without a doubt. We absolutely love coming to conventions. We have a tremendous amount of fun just getting to see people face to face and meet the people that we've been emailing and seen the postings online and to be able to hear and answer the questions that people have. We wish we could do more. Obviously, to bring a booth this size and bring this much product takes a lot of time, effort, and money.

MS: I notice Hasbro has the biggest presence and the most allocated space in Wizard World this year.

Andy: ToyFare and Wizard have been great to us. We're actually big fans of their magazine to begin with and a lot of us have the same sense of humor on things and see the world in a similar light. The time, money, and effort issue restricts us to doing only a few a year. We did Celebration, we're here in Chicago, and we're going to Comic-Con in San Diego later this month. We love to have the Q and A's. We love to see that passion and we love to share and tell people that we care as much about this stuff as they do. To be able to meet people face to face and explain our position is really good for all of us.

MS: Unfortunately, the Arena playset couldn't make it to the show. Can you give us any hints on what you plan to bring to San Diego?

Andy: We'll certainly try to have the Arena playset there. It's so great and you have to wait to see it in person to see how everything fits with it.

MS: Ham (Hasbro Principal Designer) shared with me a couple of crossover features this playset has with other toys and I think it's great. It totally enhances the play value of the toy.

Andy: Yeah, it was actually fun designing this playset. A lot of times, you just put features in a playset and you're done with it. It was so fun tying all the features in with other toys. The Deluxe figures we're coming out with towards the end of the year have accessories that can hook up to the playset so it's expandable. We put play on both sides of the playset. On the front side we have the Arena, but on the backside is a droid factory and different areas. So you can play with both sides of it. Playsets are typically one of the hardest things for a toy company to do and make them viable and break even on them because there's so much plastic in such a big box. But we think this one, because of the movie, is something that we had to do and people will really like.

MS: Thanks for talking to us Andy and it's always a pleasure to meet you guys at the shows.

Andy: It's always a pleasure meeting everyone and talking to you guys as well. That's what we're here for and it's been a blast for us.

Lord Tenebrous
07-08-2002, 04:27 PM
Since Andy's saying it was Hasbro's decision to drop prices, how does that affect all the retailers? Do they take a hit, or does Hasbro reimburst them a little for their current stock?


The only reason I hate these long Q&As is that they talk so much, but they raise so many more questions...

Jargo
07-08-2002, 04:36 PM
MS:So Andy, can I kiss your butt some more (while trying to sound authoritive and knowledgeable and cute and hip all at the same time and increase my credibility with those 'fanboys' who mess up my site the site I work for as a slave after the bastards bought me out) and ask how you manage to keep the Star Wars line so minty fresh and innovative and make us fans squeal so with delight at absolutely every piece of tat you churn out?

Andy:Ha ha, good one Mike. Well, Hasbro has always tried to cheat the consumer whether they be kids or collectors because we see all of them as big wallets and try to flush as much cash from those wallets down the Hasbro drain into our bank account. We've concentrated on fleecing the kids so far and as the year draws towards xmas we'll fleece them a little more with pricier and pricier items that they'll just have to buy to get the pieces they need to complete a single toy item. For instance, they'll have to buy the deluxe C-3PO set and the deluxe Geonosian to complete the arena playset. They'll have to buy the clonetrooper pilot to get the gunpods for the gunship. We're dictating everything now there's nothing left to random thought or imagination. We decreed that kids don't work that way anymore and everyone will have to fall in line with us because we're a huge company and we are the exclusive producers of these toys. **** us off and we stop making the toys, simple as that you geeky freaky fanboy nerds out there complainin' and startin' useless petitions for stuff you haven't a snowballs chance in hell of ever seein'. Get a life you losers and realise that WE are the way and WE are the light and you WILL follow where WE lead. The church of Hasbro is the only way you'll ever need to fulfill your destiny and find true enlightenment through emptying your wallet and buying useless crap plastic junk and being totally shafted by us. You have no choices, you belong to Hasbro now. Bow down before your new Gods and kiss their shiny shiny jackboots.....

MS:So, um...yeah, right on brother dude. You da man..... Is this the part where I kiss your butt some more........?

Tycho
07-08-2002, 04:40 PM
I think the points being in there are:

1) New 'Arena Battle Padme' in white coming next year, not pre-posed.

2) New cinema scenes a stronger possibility with characters NOT offered on cards - i.e. no "Mos Espa Encounter" debacle, and possibly less emphasis on things like Tatooine Jedi Duel, and more sets like Jabba's Dancers, Jabba's Skiff Guards, Rebel Pilots, Cantina Aliens, and Jedi Spirits. (the good ones :) )

3) Recarding (on the blue) of Imperial Officer and Rebel Fleet Trooper (with possibly no change to the sculpts, OR new heads yet undecided upon).

4) Fans' Choice 12" and Fans' Choice Vehicle polls possibly considered.


That's the good news. Oh - and the electronic Yoda and Mace lightsabers!

Beast
07-08-2002, 04:44 PM
It sounds pretty positive for next year to me, hopefully things are back on track and collector's won't have to complain as much. I'm curious why they are doing an yellow-orange lightsaber though, since it's not in the movies and Lucas has decreed that there are only 3 lightsaber colors, 4 if you count Windu's purple. I wonder if it's going to be marketed as a specific charecter's lightsaber, or be generic like the kids series of sabers. Oh, and I want an Unleashed Jar Jar Binks, darnit!! :D

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Jonna
07-08-2002, 04:47 PM
Hey EMPEROR JARGO! Sounds to me like.......

Somebody needs a hug!!!

Jargo
07-08-2002, 04:49 PM
a hug is never enough. :(

2-1B
07-08-2002, 04:52 PM
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

I saw Mayhew go into that Saga blister, he fit just fine!
I don't recall him crouching, but he did almost knock it over. :rolleyes:

How about the way that MS guy lapped up the 300th figure "accuracy" and the need for Andy to go back to the books to check out what number they're on? :crazed:

Cinema Scenes - They had 3 years to watch TPM, but they still decided to kill the line. :rolleyes: Oh, but with AOTC, after they realize what scenes are popular, they might make them. :rolleyes:

It's too early to talk about 2003, but yet we're assured of a new Padme for next year. :rolleyes:

Bent Wookie
07-08-2002, 04:56 PM
All I gots to say is...

Cool! New Amidala by years end with same outfit, more movement, and less wild west action! I guess someone has been listening to us...

Hey Hasbro, I want a new super articulated Luke Jedi now!! And I want a new throne room scene with light up star fighter battle, and a new Death Star playset, and a Wampa encounter playset, and and a...AAAAaagggh!

Chief Wiggum: Ok, that's enough stun gun, Lou.

Lou: But Andy said to take care of him....




:D

aceguide
07-08-2002, 05:03 PM
Thanks Jar Jar.

Good article. Lots to look forward to...

LTBasker
07-08-2002, 05:36 PM
Why is it that people NEVER mention true feelings in these type of interviews? Let me at'em, let me at'em!!! :D

I think Jargo pretty much gave the whole between-the-lines part. ;)

evenflow
07-08-2002, 06:46 PM
Cinema Scenes = Good :D

Jargo
07-08-2002, 07:00 PM
Director of marketing is just another way to spell spin doctor.

I love how he tries to justify the gimmicks by saying they wanted to put out a quick draw Padme. He doesn't say why.

he says they added the gimmicks and butons and stuff because they noticed that boys weren't buying the stuff anymore. And they want them to be able to play with the toys. But the gimmicks inhibit play. So boys will still only buy one toys figure as a memento and it'll most likely be one without gimmicks so they can use their own imaginations. From what i see currently all boya are interested in is the electronic sabers so they recreate the battles for themselves in real size and be the jedi themselves.
What this says to me is that boys want to use their imaginations but the figures disallow that so boys are finding new ways of doing it. New avenues of play they might have left behind before when the figures allowed for more creativity.
I took my nephew the Dooku saber today and he was so thrilled. If I'd taken a figure he would have said thank you, looked at it and put it down again.
Upshot for me is that this action figure line should either get back to basics or shift up a gear and become a collector line, sidestepping the kids market. That would mean hasbro creating a new department for adults who still want to be kids which is effectively the greater part of the market anyway. 15 and up seems to be the demographic right now for star wars toys. Sorry but that is the cold hard reality. I don't use any focus groups or canvassing to get that it's based on my observations at the many stores I visit and the talk on here and other sites. Hasbro UK identified that most of their registered users are in the 25-35 age range. Times have changed, time to move on. The market for star wars toys will always exist but the consumer is all grown up now.

Feel free to disagree. I won't get into a fight over this I'm just trying to be serious for a moment. I think that 'Hasbro for big kids' is the way to go though. :)

DarthBrandon
07-08-2002, 07:41 PM
Thankx for the post JarJarBinks, the info was nice to read and I'm looking forward to some new stuff that's a little better than what we are getting right now. I just hope this fellow wasn't talking through his hat.

Wooooof
07-08-2002, 11:18 PM
I agree with you Jargo, 'Hasbro for Big Kids' is the way to go. :)

A few points of interest in that interview, but not what I really wanted to hear. Which would have involved "Andy" crawling on all fours and begging for forgiveness from an angry mob of SW collectors threatening to pummel him to death with Unleashed figures. But you take what you can get.;)

Bent Wookie
07-09-2002, 12:42 AM
'Hasbro for Big Kids' is the way to go.

Maybe because you're a "big kid"? ;) Sure we all want these figures to be exactly what we want them to be (as collectors), but personally I think that some of these action features aren't all that bad...for the kids. And whether we want to admit it or not...the main market for these figures is kids! There may have been a slump after E1, but kids are back into buying the new figures again big time, and I think that's a way cool thing to be seeing! To want these to be aimed at just "big kids" is short sighted and, frankly, selfish in my opinion. :( Star Wars is for everyone!

As for saying that action features aren't popular with kids, how many of you didn't have a blast with them growing up? I know I did! Besides, we are getting a new Padme in arena outfit, so why complain? :happy:

2-1B
07-09-2002, 01:07 AM
Originally posted by Bent Wookie
As for saying that action features aren't popular with kids, how many of you didn't have a blast with them growing up? I know I did!

I didn't have a blast wth them growing up. :)
My Star Wars figures didn't feature such gimmicks, so I never had to deal with it. Same with my 3 3/4" G.I. Joe figures, not an action feature in sight.

Sometimes Mattel liked to screw with their He-Man figures, and put silly gimmicks in them. That bugged me. Alot. Ram Man? Worst of the bunch. Crazy spinning and kicking features? I'll take a neutral character any day. :)

Even if kids do like these, are we to believe they also like them when they don't work? Because I bought a Starpilot Obi-Wan, based mainly on the cloth cape, and the action feature is useless. Why do they put it in there if it won't even work?

Kids must be pretty stupid if they really get into nonworking "action" features.

AdmiralPiett
07-09-2002, 02:52 AM
I agree Caesar, the only thing that was even close to resembling a "gimmick" with the old Star Wars toys was battle damage features like on the Tie Fighters or else on larger creatures like Rancor Monster or the Dewback. But they worked for 2 reasons.
1. It did not detract from the aesthetic appeal of the toy.
2. They were only used on toys that were large enough for a gimmick.

One thing that puzzles me is that Kenner could make gimmicks that actually worked with Super Powers but Hasbro still can't do it 17 years later.
Piett

icatch9
07-09-2002, 08:20 AM
Don't ask for a straight up collector market because you won't like the price of it. Look at Hot Wheels. They have a huge following, probably bigger than Star Wars collecting. Anyway, their adult collector lines cost anywhere from $7-$25 sometimes more. That doesn’t' seem like much, but consider the fact that a basic car costs and average of less than a dollar. So, that's 7 times the price. What if Hasbro did this, and raised a collector series to a price of $20. They already have this. It’s referred to as the 12” line. You'd loose a whole lot of collectors if this were the only Star Wars product available to collect because few could afford to collect. I know I’d stop.

Sure Andy is a spin-doctor. That's what marketing is, why does that surprise anyone. Plus, he works for the company and really likes it. If you have a job you like and a place you like to work you would normally defend it's actions and make people see how everything they do is good. I'm sure Hasbro knows about some of it's flaws in it's figures but they sure aren't going to admit it to you or to the millions of people on the Internet. They have to say, “everything is fine”, and “we did that on purpose for the kids”.

I'll never get tired of reading how we, the collector know best. I don't know about you but I have no business running a multi-billion dollar company. I doubt many of you do either. Yet, people still demand certain things and insult other things. It's all right to ask or request they do something, but the way it is gone about hear, is at times silly. They have people who went to college for years studying how the market works. They have people constantly running think tanks and surveying children on what they would like. Just because your little brother or son doesn’t like the action features doesn’t mean every kid in the world doesn’t like them. I don’t like diet pop, but for some reason they keep making it even though I hate it.

I know making our opinions known to Hasbro is important. It’s has probably gotten us some cool stuff we wouldn’t have normally got. Still, I don’t think they get the respect from us, or at least the understanding that they deserve. Most collectors no matter what age don’t seem to realize that we are living in the Star Wars Universe with kids too. Hasbro knows children a whole lot better than we do. How else could this company be at the top of the game for so many years? So, we have to deal with features that attract kids for a while. They aren’t that bad you can’t even tell that they are there. Why would you want to stop something that could very well attract fans that will fuel Star Wars well beyond the next decade? I think shooting yourself in the foot is a bad idea. I think Hasbro knows that too. They’ve got to create a fan base so that they can sell this stuff for the next 25 years. It’s about survival, not about making collectors happy all the time.

Jargo
07-09-2002, 09:10 AM
To quote Ling from Ally McBeal - "You lose. NEXT!" :rolleyes:

JEDIpartner
07-09-2002, 10:14 AM
All I can say is... give me toys and figures that make sense. No more head-scratchingly bad choices (i.e.- arena Padme, Luminara Nicks, "gotta pee" Nikto)!!!! Give us figures with more play and fewer excuses.

mrmiller
07-09-2002, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by EMPEROR JARGO
MS:So Andy, can I kiss your butt some more....
Andy:Ha ha, good one Mike. Well, Hasbro has always tried to cheat the consumer whether they be kids or collectors because we see all of them as big wallets and try to flush as much cash from those wallets down the Hasbro drain into our bank account...
MS:So, um...yeah, right on brother dude. You da man..... Is this the part where I kiss your butt some more........?

Awesome Jargo- you're too much :D

At least there are some proming things in the interview. Possibility of Cinema scenes, a new Padme, etc...

=MATT=

Bent Wookie
07-09-2002, 10:41 AM
Right on, icatch9!!

And I can count quite a few "gimmicks" if you will in the older Star Wars toys. They just weren't as glaring as the new stuff. True, almost none of the figures had it, but I don't think the idea had been really thought out yet. The Star Wars figures were about the first of their kind in that size. The Micronauts came around that time though, and they had action features written all over them! But as a kid, I never got tired of that "power punch" of the He-man figures. It was just fun! The Joes were great too, but it was neat to stand your He-mans up, pull back on one, and send the other falling to his doom from the top of Castle Grayskull! High drama!! :D :D I guess because of this and because I know that kids still love those "features" I think Hasbro isn't really screwing up anything with the new line--when the features work. Unfortunately, a lot of them don't a lot of the time or are weak, but the idea at least is sound if they don't interfere too much with the figure.

I personally love it when collectors say that they want this and this and this character all in one release. :rolleyes: So what if it happened...ok you've got them. But next time, we're only left with this and this and this background characters next time. That wave would be a peg hanger for sure! It's all about marketing, and a company doesn't stay in business as long as Hasbro unless they are smart marketers! Sure, they made some mistakes in the Episode 1 launch. But they've shown that they (whether they want to admit it or not) have learned from those mistakes. The price is down to $4.99 and the figures are selling well again. We might not be completely happy about everything, but you have to admit, Hasbro is starting to get their act together...whether it took a while or not. Sure, they have lots of improvement to go, but overall, I'm pleased with the new approach. :)

icatch9
07-09-2002, 10:46 AM
Thanks Bent Wookie.
Is almost everyone out there a "the glass is half empty" type of person?

I can understand being upset if these features don't work. I wouldn't know, I don't play with mine. But, would anyone be accepting of these features if the did work?

Most of us forget how we played with our toys. I don't think I ever "acted" out parts of the movies when I was a kid. I know the pre posed figures cater to that, but who knows what a kid will come up with. Plus those force flipping figures look like great fun. I'd of flipped those guys all over the place. Too often we forget what acting like a child really is.

What did I loose?

billfremore
07-09-2002, 11:01 AM
What we really need is somebody from the big stores (Wal-mart, Target, etc.) telling us what their plans are.

Hasbro can sit there and tell us what's coming but we still need to know where we can buy the stuff and whether it's coming or not.

I realize this would take some of the fun out of the hunt for figs but it would reduce our stress levels. :crazed:

icatch9
07-09-2002, 11:10 AM
I agree a schedual of events would be nice. I mean comic books can do it why not toys. I guess Hasbro has a good idea of when it leaves there warehouse. They know when stuff is going to be shipped. Chances are WM is like the circus when it comes to distributeing stuff. You never know what's going to happen. We normally blame Hasbro, but a lot of the blame has got to be put on the retailers. They are the ones who care less about what's new and what's out. All they care about is that the pegs are full and clean (I even wounder about that at some stores). They don't care that they only have 3 different figues hanging on the pegs. They certainly don't care about us collectors. That's clear by the dirty looks and insults we face everytime we walk in the store.

Don't blame Hasbor, it's Wal Marts fault too.

LTBasker
07-09-2002, 11:14 AM
One thing that got me was when the buttons were mentioned. "We try to hide them the best we can" - Yet Vader with inch long button sticking out of him wasn't mentioned. :rolleyes:

2-1B
07-09-2002, 04:14 PM
icatch9,
the problem isn't so much Andy the spin doctor, but the "collector", MS, who ignorantly buys the spin in that interview.
And in turns posts that on a collector community site.
I would be ashamed to have my name attached to such a myopic piece. :)
How do you rationalize the behavior of MS?

Lord Tenebrous
07-09-2002, 04:42 PM
It's kinda like Ari Fleischer. He dodges questions, runs reporters around in circles, and so on, but the news agencies broadcast him because he's the Press Secretary.


You're better off reading the newspaper, because they've at least had some time to analyze what's been said and edit out old information, questionable statements, etc, leaving straight, comprehensible fact. :)


These long transcripts aren't better. If anything, I like how Steve just drops a few things, like the new electronic lightsabers, for instance. Credible information without the rambling. :)

Jargo
07-09-2002, 05:33 PM
Hello? I'd rather have one decent articulated figure with all the accesories the character used than several poor versions with limited articulation and the accessories spread out over several figures.
I'd rather have those figures that are better than average stick around a long time, so everyone that wants them can get them, like the vintage line. rather than have a limited run of figures and having to scrabble round trying to find them. I like the magnets features because they work. but there's no need for the slashing actions and kicking actions if the figures are actually given decent articulation. Forgotten how to play? not me. And it's precisely because of not forgeting that I'm mad at hasbro for chiurning out toys that teach kids to be lazy. If I had kids of my own I wouldn't buy them gimmick laden figures. I'd buy them the figures that have normal articulation and that they could pose for themselves. I'd be buying toys that stimulate the imagination not hinder it. Hasbro are talking crap and flannel. They screw up and then we lose out because they then churn out another version of the same figure and take the chance of a cool character being produced away by producing millions of resculpts needlessly.
So what if the price is down. So it should be for what we get. Tiny pieces of badly produced plastic. If these were precision made toys then I'd be happy to pay the price to secure the quality. But the quality control on Hasbro product is appalingly bad and shoddy. So The price is not an issue at all worth bringing into this debate.
What gimmicks did the vintage line have? I can think of only C-3PO with removable limbs and R2-D2 with his pop up antenna. I'd hardly call those gimmicks though. Point being that those toys didn't need gimmicks to sell and kids lapped them up and made their oewn fun with their own imaginations. These new toys have basically taken all that away as Hasbro dictates how you use their product and what for. So far how many figures will fit in the vehicles? Properly. How many could fit in the episode one vehicles? Even the dedicated figures like Zam Wessel and Obi-Wan starfighter pilot don't really fit their own vehicles because of the stupid gimmicks and mangled poses. And Hasbro says that only the characters who used the vehicle in the movie will be made to fit the vehicles. So where's the play value in that then? It's Hasbro dictating to everyone.
All the vintage figures fitted all the vintage vehicles which is one of the reasons they sold so well. A kid might have liked Darth Vader but only have the x-wing fighter as a vehicle. But the kid could have Vader fly the x-wing anyway and be creative with their imagination. Can't do that with SAGA toys can you.
If Hasbro put their money time and resources into making neutral posed figures with excellent articulation that could be posed any way you wanted and fit all the vehicles and accessories then maybe the toys might be worth singing happy happy songs about.
Glass half empty? It is when Hasbro keep screwing around with the toys we love without reason or logic. They say the deluxe line is aimed at kids and therefore not movie accurate and lacking somewhat in the same qualities found in the collector versions of characters. And why exactly should kids not have the same quality that we enjoy? Why should kids be discriminated against? All the kids I've known have always enjoyed the better end of the toy line. They're just as discerning as adults if not more so judging by some peoples reactions to the AOTC poopfest in April.
Give a kid the toys and don't tell them which are collection 1 and which are collection 2 and which are deluxe. The smart kids will go for the better quality movie accurate toys every time. I tried it on my nephews when they came round. I asked which figures they liked best. out of ten choices they picked nine collection 2 figures and just one collection 1 figure. They didn't like any of the deluxe figures and thought the force flipping toys were crap. They gave up trying to fit the figures into the vehicles and decided they were robot vehicles without pilots instead. They reverted to using their own imaginations because the dictating from hasbro doesn't actually do any good. What Hasbro decides is best for kids is usually way off the mark where the kids are concerned. They just have to like it or lump it as far as Hasbro are concerned.
The biggest problem hasbro is faced with is that every time they decide to make changes they go too far. they make the changes too radical. And once they've started the train of production going they can't stop it. We say we don't like something but it takes a year to change anything because everything is planned so far in advance of release. If they got us involved more at the planning stage then maybe all the stupid crappy mistakes wouldn't be made at all. If hasbro wants to include the collectors then that's what they need to do. And if Hasbro wants to attract the kids then stop trying so hard and just let them naturally gravitate toward the toys if they want to. You can't force a kid to like things by jamming features and electronics into it. Just make the toys the way they always were without gimmicks. Kids will buy more. Kids will get into the simplicity of the toys without gimmicks and learn to use creativity instead of trigger fingers.

Glass half empty? Well ineffectual optimists always say things like that to try and invalidate people with opinions other than their own. Is my glass half empty or half full? I wouldn't know, I down my drinks in one. And then I tip over the glasses of people who make crap pseudo psychobabble comments about beverage glasses and say "Your glass is now full empty, how'd you like that?".

Simdog
07-09-2002, 05:52 PM
Did anyone notice when Andy said that there would be 53-57 figures this year? The last six confirmed figures came out to a total of 52 Saga figures. That equals a possible 1 to 5 figures. Very good news if it happens. I wonder what they could be.
Whgt do you think?

Lord Tenebrous
07-09-2002, 06:03 PM
The Rebel Officer (whoever he is), and up to four more. Maybe another OT alien, an AOTC resculpt, new Queen outfit? I'm hoping Wat shows up, too.


We'll know for sure in a couple of months.

Kuzu
07-09-2002, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by JarJarBinks
It sounds pretty positive for next year to me, hopefully things are back on track and collector's won't have to complain as much. I'm curious why they are doing an yellow-orange lightsaber though, since it's not in the movies and Lucas has decreed that there are only 3 lightsaber colors, 4 if you count Windu's purple. I wonder if it's going to be marketed as a specific charecter's lightsaber, or be generic like the kids series of sabers. Oh, and I want an Unleashed Jar Jar Binks, darnit!! :D

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks


yellow and orange lightsabers I didn't hear anything about this,but I did hear that yaddel had a(n) orange lightsaber.

Kuzu
07-09-2002, 09:10 PM
so let me get this straight,hasbro is going to take all the pre posed figures w/ gimmiks we got this year,and next year re release them for next year with NO pre posed w/ gimmiks........

sounds cool??

LTBasker
07-09-2002, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by Simdog
Did anyone notice when Andy said that there would be 53-57 figures this year? The last six confirmed figures came out to a total of 52 Saga figures. That equals a possible 1 to 5 figures. Very good news if it happens. I wonder what they could be.
Whgt do you think?

But he also said that it depends if they want to rerelease harder to get POTJ figs on Saga cards like the BoShek wave.

If they want to rerelease POTJ on Saga cards, where's the rerelease of R2 w/ Holo Leia then??? He was much more harder to get than BoShek. ;)

Lord Tenebrous
07-09-2002, 09:42 PM
POTJ was never a problem to find, but the last dozen Ep1, and R2/Leia/Motti Commtech definately merit one last run.

It's offensive how lazy Hasbro is. The Force Files ruined any chance of recarding those for POTJ. But Saga's sooo much easier, with their EZ-Edit packaging. :rolleyes:

Bent Wookie
07-09-2002, 09:54 PM
Personally, I don't get this "kids have to have articulation" argument. I would think this would be a want more in line with collectors than with kids. I mean, look at the original Star Wars. They had very simple articulation. Yet kids loved them! Part of that could very well be the fact they could fit into the vehicles. I won't argue that point. But I will argue the articulation theory. He-man figures had very limited articulation, Star Wars had limited articulation, Super Powers was limited. Heck Transformers were very limited in articulation, but still extremely popular! Am I saying "Hasbro, make bricks!" ? Heck no!! But I also don't feel that kids would be all over the Star Wars any more if they had spiderman classic articulation. The collectors would, sure, but the kids?...doubt it. Who says that articulation must go hand and hand with imagination anyway? Maybe I just had an overactive imagination, but I had plenty of fun with toys with very little in the way of joints. Why? Because I used my imagination!. For example, if I wanted the Emperor to shoot out lightning bolts, I had to friggin imagine them! If I wanted the Lizard to fight Spidey, I had to imagine that big tail. And if I wanted Autobots to transform faster than every 5 minutes, I had to imagine that the bad guys wouldn't get bored waiting and go home... :D I've seen kids have no more fun with Joes than with He-man figures or say Batman figures. The fact that the Joes can hold their guns two handed and do the splits was never a reason to pick them first. But collectors would because it means they can get a cooler pose. I had no interest in "cool poses" as a kid. Heck, my toys hardly stayed in one pose for more than 10 minutes because if they did, they would get shot! :D And I don't think that I'm alone in this as my cousins and friends were the same way and now I'm seeing the same thing today. Cool gimmicks like the power punch and light up stuff has always been popular. With kids--much more so than "oo, I can touch my toes" action. Look at the Batman license. It's been a hit for many years. You think Star Wars has a lot of figures? Feh. Batman wins hands down in that department. Granted, alot of those figures are just Batman in different costumes, but the "cool gimmicks" have drawn thousands of children to buy the figures. The fact that those same gimmicks are often lost not ten minutes later is beside the point... :D

So what I'm trying to say here in my rambling way is that I think kids don't really care about articulation near to the degree that collectors do. That's my story and I'm stickin with it... :)

JON9000
07-09-2002, 10:50 PM
Awww yeah- articulated Padme. That's enough to make me want the arena. The possibility of a Fan's Choice vehicle- SANDCRAWLER!! Twelve inch line articulated like GI Joe. sounds good to me.

2-1B
07-10-2002, 12:53 AM
(Andy and I start laughing because Peter Mayhew just stopped by and tried to fit himself in the giant Hasbro Saga blister card and had to literally crouch himself in.)

Like I said, he didn't need to crouch - but the two people on the left are trying to keep him from knocking the thing over . . . :D

2-1B
07-10-2002, 12:58 AM
I do have close connections with Hasbro ( :rolleyes: ) and they assure me that this pic I took IS the final version. It is not a mockup, nor a salesman sample. :)

Isn't that just like something Hasbro would do - lightsaber not to scale, and a scream sculpted kinda like Geo Rescue Mace! :D

Beast
07-10-2002, 12:58 AM
Mayhew Unstable is misleading Caesar. I expected to see a picture of a mentally unstable Peter Mayhew in a wifebeater screaming. "I am not chewbacca" at a bunch of fans. Actually, looking at that second picture, you should have named that one "unstable" cause he looks it. :D

Just kidding Caesar, cool picture. His knees are bent a lil in the package, so he did likely have to crouch down a bit to get into the card originally. But not as bad as they make it sound. But you know Rebelscum, they love to kiss Hasbro backside. And with their new owners deep pockets, they can get close enough to do so. :p :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Bent Wookie
07-10-2002, 01:02 AM
Neat! Was that a paid attraction or could you just step up and have someone take your picture? It's a really neat idea, but I bet Hasbro milked it for extra money....maybe they'll have this in San Diego too... :)

2-1B
07-10-2002, 01:02 AM
No JJB, I think his legs are always like that . . . he walks that way too.
Besides, the second picture shows him standing a little more tall, with plenty of clearance overhead. :)

BentWookiee, it was indeed free, SirSteve has a pic floating around of him in that thing too. :)
I got a pic of myself in it, but it was head on and we got major glare. :(

On a related note, there was a G.I. Joe carded setup too, plus they had a hottie dressed as Baroness to pose with. :happy:

Bent Wookie
07-10-2002, 01:28 AM
Gotta love hot Cobra babes in leather! :D She beats out the weakest link lady for black leather wearing dominatrix any day! ;)

I sure hope Hasbro brings all that cool stuff to San Diego this year... I want my life-long dream of getting a carded figure of me to come true! :D

LTBasker
07-10-2002, 02:20 AM
Man that pic is pure scary. A cross between Weird Al, Carrot Top and Geo Mace. :eek: :eek: :eek:

icatch9
07-10-2002, 08:30 AM
I still agree with Bent Wookie. We don't know what the heck kids are buying today. We are not experts on the toy market. Until we know the numbers of collectors vs kids then we will never understand. None of us are experts on the action toy market.

Do you know why Kenner came back out with Star Wars stuff in 96'? Well the long and short of it is that all the kids who bought the stuff back in the 70's and 80's grew up and had money to spend. They hooked us with these things years ago, and have been cashing in ever since. The same formula applies today. If Hasbro wants to stay a float they have to hook kids today, so in 20 years when they have more money they still buy the stuff.

Few seem to realize that Hasbro is in business to make money. The whole Star Wars universe is made to make money. The more money made the better. Hasbro has people way smarter than us telling them how to make more money. They seem to be doing a good job of it too, and They have been selling the same Star Wars stuff for a combined 15 years (there was nothing to buy from 1985-1995).

When we realize that Hasbro cares very little about the small number of collectors, then we'll realize how many kids actually buy this stuff. Why do you think they show commercials for this stuff during Pokemon and Powerpuff Girls, and not during Friends or ER?

MisterPL
07-10-2002, 10:03 AM
Or Ally McBeal? ;)


Originally posted by EMPEROR JARGO
To quote Ling from Ally McBeal - "You lose. NEXT!" :rolleyes:

Sorry, Jargo. Anyone who quotes Ally McBeal as a valid retort to a well thought out argument loses credibility points with me. After that response, I can't take your rants seriously.

BTW, where's SirSteve's insider interview? I'm sure he's got connections. Maybe he can get a different point of view.

Jargo
07-10-2002, 11:06 AM
I didn't post it as a valid retort. I posted it because I was bored. I don't expect to be taken seriously. That's an added bonus if anyone actually does. I'd much rather people subconcsiously absorb what i say like they usually do. It's quite rewarding to hear people paraphrase me without realising it several days after I first posted in a thread. :)

icatch9
07-10-2002, 11:43 AM
Thanks for the back up MistaPL. Well, I do want to be taken seriously and I think my points are often thought out and have some credibility.

I agree that SirSteeve does have some connections, but he's just going to get the same answers the other guy got. I've seen this Andy fellow talk to two occasions, he's a real pro. He knows eactly what to say and how to say it. Thing of it is, he's not lieing or blowing smoke up our butts. He's very honest, but Star Wars collectors in general are very sceptical and have a complaining nature about them. Andy knows this and probally witnesses it every day. Still, he puts a smile on his face and answers the same questions over and over again from annoying fanboys.

Imagin if you will, that these annoying types came to your job and insuted what it is you do for a living. Then they'd start asking you question after question regarding it. Then makeing tons of unrealisitc sugestions on how to make it better. Do you think you could be so pleasent after a couple of days of this. Not to mention the countless email and other forms of complaints he must get.

I have a lot of respect for this guy, and that's the truth, not a suck up.

Bent Wookie
07-10-2002, 03:30 PM
I've been thinking this same point for a while reading about all the complaints that Hasbro gets. Sure they do deserve some of the flack, but by and large, the collecting community can be very whiny when it comes to getting new product. A wise observer once said that there's "just no pleasing us." I think that pretty much sums it up. I'm not completely singling myself out of that either. I admit it. Sometimes I rant about irrelevant stuff too. :) But not ALL the time!

I further agree with icatch9's point about Andy not deliberately lying. When you work for a company or are involved in a project and you're excited about it, you tend to see the positive of things (as opposed to a lot of collectors and self-professed "fanboys"). You're not near as critical of your failures, and tend to think of the "failures" as learning experiences. I think that's the attitude that Andy has (heck if you want to be successful, that's the winning attitude that will get you there).

Now anyone can call them a suck up or a kiss-@ss about this attitude, but it's all a matter of your viewpoint. A rational person will see the positives as well as the negatives instead of being completely one-sided either way.

:)

Kuzu
07-10-2002, 04:19 PM
Hay JarJar will we get yellow and orange sabers with the basic figures or as fx play sabers?

Beast
07-10-2002, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by Kuzu
Hay JarJar will we get yellow and orange sabers with the basic figures or as fx play sabers?
It's going to be a yellow-orange roleplay saber, according to what Andy says in the interview. I don't think we'll ever see those colors on the figures sabers again, unless it's an EU figure. In Lucas' universe, there is only Red, Blue, Green, and Purple. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

2-1B
07-10-2002, 05:00 PM
You fellas keep complaining about the complaining of the "fanboys" and how Hasbro have to listen to it . . . but where in that "chat" did Andy have to deal with it?

Hmm?

All I see in that chat is a bootlick lapping up whatever prefabbed soundbites Andy has on tap . . . for instance, if Andy told me,

If that's the only Anakin we'll ever produce, I can see collectors being upset with the lack of articulation. But on the other hand, we have several Anakins in the basic figure line that are for the collectors and that are more articulated.
I would then ask, "why are there 4 Anakins available right now, all gimmicked?"

And who is honestly asking for 30 points of articulation? 12 is just fine, in many cases. :p See what I mean? The guy asks a question about articulation, and they jump to an extreme as proof that they can't win. :rolleyes:

This post isn't even a complaint, just an observation. :)
When I see a piece of garbage like Arena Padme on the peg, I just don't purchase it. But if I am curious as to what the hell Hasbro is thinking by releasing it in droves to clog the pegs, I'm automatically labeled a "complaining fanboy"?

Furthermore, when Hasbro do make their employees available for questions, we're supposed to just take it all in appreciatively?
Okay, Hasbro know what they're doing, I shouldn't be questioning them. Thank you Hasbro for being so smart. :) :rolleyes:

I shouldn't wonder why they lowered the price by a buck after so many people bought up their first few dozens of offerings? I shouldn't be curious as to why the product is a decent value at $4.99, but it was worth $5.99 just a few months ago?
Oh, that's right, Hasbro know what they're doing, I shouldn't be so ignorant as to show curiosity.


Bent Wookie
A rational person will see the positives as well as the negatives instead of being completely one-sided either way.

I and many others agree 100% with you, that's why we buy what we like :)
(except when we get screwed occasionally, like with Pilot Obi-Wan ;) )

It's too bad that we're being encouraged in this thread to not see one of those sides, the "negative" side as you suggest.
Thanks to MS from Rebelscum for such a one-sided chat with Hasbro that yielded few valuable results. :)

Beast
07-10-2002, 05:10 PM
Originally posted by Caesar
I would then ask, "why are there 4 Anakins available right now, all gimmicked?"

And who is honestly asking for 30 points of articulation? 12 is just fine, in many cases. :p See what I mean? The guy asks a question about articulation, and they jump to an extreme as proof that they can't win. :rolleyes:
Caesar, I see what you mean. But you have to admit that Star Wars fans are one of the toughest fan groups to please. Hell, look at how Lucas can't even please everyone with the new films. Even though the films are fine, with the ammount of fans that the hobby and the films have, there will always be people that complain about minor things. And it's much more vocal in the case of Star Wars, since there are more Star Wars fan sites on the net then there are for most fan groups.

As for the anakin issue, even if they have gimmicks, that doesn't make them bad figures. The Anakin Skywalker: Hanger Duel figure is an excellent action figure. Sure some people can't stand the wheel in his back, but it's not that detracting from the sculpt. The arm magnet varies in strength, but it still works.

Now with the new Anakin, he may have kicking action but he still has a fine ammount of articulation which should please fans. Who cares if they give him a kicking action, as long as it doesn't majorly ruin the look of the figure, or the poseability. The Anakin: TA has 13+ points of articulation, so does a small back button really hurt anything in this case? :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Tycho
07-10-2002, 05:17 PM
Q: Hey Hasbro, did you know that your current version of Padme Arena Battle was kind of ugly with a squeezed-in head and that blotch on her face.

A: Yes we did. Thank you for bringing that up. We tried really hard to screw this one up. You'll note the sqeezed thin face, however the mole was adding costs to the figure and we didn't want it to have too many features, so we saved the money there and used it to add to Chancellor Palpatine's liver spots. Now instead of an accessory, the figure includes Measles!

Q: What is the deal with Mace Windu yelling or crying?

A: Well at a lot of conventions we've seen people's interests peaked by having themselves scanned at GentleGiant Studios or made into their own action figures by custom sculptors, so we wanted to do a figure that was representative of the reactions of the fans. You'll note that the carded Mace Windu figure looks exactly like you do when you go into the store and find a Padme Arena Battle or Chancellor Palpatine figure! Darn clever of us, right?

2-1B
07-10-2002, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by JarJarBinks
Caesar, I see what you mean. But you have to admit that Star Wars fans are one of the toughest fan groups to please. Hell, look at how Lucas can't even please everyone with the new films. Even though the films are fine, with the ammount of fans that the hobby and the films have, there will always be people that complain about minor things. And it's much more vocal in the case of Star Wars, since there are more Star Wars fan sites on the net then there are for most fan groups.

I admit nothing of the sort. :)
Hasbro should be thankful that there is such a diverse group of people out there willing to spend money on their products. Thankful that they have such a passionate group that want to buy quality products.
I'd love to buy a decent Anakin figure, but sadly one is not available to me or my wallet. If Hasbro doesn't want to offer me one, that's fine, I'll keep my money. And I have. :)
But to tell us that even if you don't like deluxe Flippy Anakin, there are "several Anakins in the basic line for collectors", that's just insulting. Don't **** on my leg and tell me it's raining. :)


As for the anakin issue, even if they have gimmicks, that doesn't make them bad figures. The Anakin Skywalker: Hanger Duel figure is an excellent action figure. Sure some people can't stand the wheel in his back, but it's not that detracting from the sculpt. The arm magnet varies in strength, but it still works.
I wouldn't know about the magnet strength, because I don't have one. :) Toggle wheels allow for shoddy "action" movements. Is that what Andy meant by "for the collector"? :)


Now with the new Anakin, he may have kicking action but he still has a fine ammount of articulation which should please fans. Who cares if they give him a kicking action, as long as it doesn't majorly ruin the look of the figure, or the poseability. The Anakin: TA has 13+ points of articulation, so does a small back button really hurt anything in this case? :)

Curious, I thought the same when I bought pilot Obi-Wan. Big deal if the gimmick doesn't even work (though why make it if it doesn't :rolleyes: ) or if the figure doesn't even stand on its own.
That's alright, collectors might not like their figures to be invalids, but the kids love it! :)

I'm so glad they realize the importance of providing kids with shoddy gimmicks that hardly work. Those rascals must love it! :D

Bent Wookie
07-10-2002, 05:58 PM
Furthermore, when Hasbro do make their employees available for questions, we're supposed to just take it all in appreciatively?

Of course not. You're free to ask questions. Heck, I'd be right up there asking with you. And if there was a problem with a figure, I'd ask them about it too. The difference comes in those who would see EVERYTHING Hasbro doing in a negative light (something I see very often over the last few years). And the worse part is that it's actually become somewhat "cool" to bash Hasbro for their product regardless of how good (or not) it is.

:)

Herby
07-10-2002, 06:21 PM
I'll be the first to defend Hasbro in this line. First of all, they made it known that the first batch of figures would be for the kids. Whether you like it or not, there actually have been more kids buying this line and Hasbro feels that action features is what they want (I'm not sure...but I'd expect they did some market research on this, they're not exactly new to the game.)


Second, these features do not completely ruin your precious toys. Vader's button, which everyone complains about is concealed better than anyone elses! I'm sorry if when you strip Vader down to his skivies and stare at his rear end you see a button. It doesn't affect those of us with Vader in the packaging or loose displayed facing the front or side. Hanger Duel Anakin is also a very minimal action feature. Unhappy with them? Don't buy them...Hasbro will release a less actionoriented version of that character later.


As for bootlicking for Hasbro...it's called being tactfull, many people should look into the idea. Or maybe this is how the interview should have gone:

Me: So why did you go and screw up the Starwars line with all these stupid action features?

Hasbro: Well, we thought with all the new blood coming into collecting the kids would like figures that have features and accessories.


Me: Kids don't really buy Starwars toys. Kids only buy Power Rangers. You just purposefully want to ruin Star Wars collecting don't you?


Hasbro (getting annoyed): Yes, I would like to lose my job by causing the collapse of one of our biggest money making lines.


Me: Whatever, you just won't admit that you're doing this stuff on purpose to make me mad. That preposed stuff makes my Padme look funny and I can't pose her in all the positions I'd like to.

Hasbro (getting really ticked): What positions are you trying to get exactly?

Me: Shut up you evil corporation taking advantage of my nostalgia.

Hasbro: Thanks for the professional interview.


Kissing up is a part of an interview...get over it. You catch more flies with honey.

Bent Wookie
07-10-2002, 06:28 PM
Shut up you evil corporation taking advantage of my nostalgia.

Heh, heh. Chuckle. :D

Yep, tact and honey.

:)

Beast
07-10-2002, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by Caesar
On a related note, there was a G.I. Joe carded setup too, plus they had a hottie dressed as Baroness to pose with. :happy:
I agree Caesar, she is quite the hottie. :eek: :D

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

2-1B
07-11-2002, 12:56 AM
Herby, as funny as your mock interview is meant to be :D, it's a classic extreme of the opposite point being made. I do not advocate bootlicking OR extreme negativity. Offer praise where due, and be provocative over issues of controversy. :)
Catch flies with honey? What flies did that honey actually bring in ? ? ? :)
I agree that we shouldn't buy the ones we aren't interested in -
I've done a find job of that myself, I only have maybe 25% of the Saga line. :)



Binksy, I took this pic of Baroness, I don't know the guy in the shot, but it looks funny to me. :D

Tycho
07-11-2002, 04:03 AM
It looks like Spidey is going to have his spinners blown off!

Nice Baroness though! She's not exactly attractive, but then you can't say that, can you? She's not my type, but a lot better than a lot of women. She looks perfect for who she's modeling as!

And maybe it's the glasses. They work for doing "The Baroness," but only a few girls actually look attractive to me wearing glasses.

2-1B
07-11-2002, 10:26 AM
You old smoothie. ;)
Of course she's not "attractive", she works for a terrorist organization! :mad:

:p

JON9000
07-11-2002, 03:16 PM
You guys must have lost it. That is a pretty hot Baroness. No wonder Destro and Cobra Commander fought so much. And all this time I thought it was for control of the Cobra organization...

bigbarada
07-12-2002, 12:17 AM
Originally posted by icatch9

Do you know why Kenner came back out with Star Wars stuff in 96'?

A minor correction, the line premiered in 1995.:)

Anyways, I can understand both sides of this argument. Hasbro's methods are annoying and killing my interest in the line. However, the never-to-be-pleased fanboys are much worse. No matter what figure comes out or how cool it is, someone will always find something to complain about. Figures with action features will be criticized for them, figures without action features will be criticized for the lack of them. That is actually more irritating than the stupidest of action gimmicks. I honestly think the fans themselves are doing more than Hasbro ever could to destroy my enjoyment of this line. I find myself longing for the days when the only opinion about a toy I cared about was my own.

Beast
07-12-2002, 12:24 AM
Same here BigBarada. The word suck is thrown around way to much twords the Star Wars line. 95% of the Saga Line I have enjoyed. People have a right to their opinion, but when it all comes out "This sucks, they are killing my childhood" then I can't take those opinions seriously. But if I like a figure, I will sing it's praises, even if no one agrees with me. What really erks me is that people complain, and expect the worst, before they even have the figure in their hands.

Look at the case of the Anakin Skywalker: Tatooine Attack. All the complaining about the action feature ruining the articulation, before you even have the figure. Or the complaints about the soft goods tunic piece. When during the E1 line, there was a ton of complaining that more of the figures didn't have soft goods, so that the figures could sit. It does get annoying and really frustrating after while. :rolleyes: :p

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

bigbarada
07-12-2002, 01:33 AM
Wow, JJB, you're coming up on 4000 posts pretty soon aren't ya? I'm still trying to figure out when I can reach Jedi Council Member. I think Dark Master is the ceiling for the Sith ranks, so in true Sith style I chose the side with the most opportunities for advancement.:)

I have begun to notice that my enjoyment of the toys has been severely hampered by the discussions on this site. I loved the Endor Rebel Trooper and logged on here to sing his praises and what did I read? Nothing but complaints about how he was the worst figure ever. I just got Teebo last week (had to order him through the mail since that wave never arrived here) and he is currently one of my favorite figures in the line. However, I refuse to get in any discussions about him since I really am not interested in someone trying to convince me why to hate him and why he sucks worse than any other figure.

LTBasker
07-12-2002, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by bigbarada
I have begun to notice that my enjoyment of the toys has been severely hampered by the discussions on this site. I loved the Endor Rebel Trooper and logged on here to sing his praises and what did I read? Nothing but complaints about how he was the worst figure ever. I just got Teebo last week (had to order him through the mail since that wave never arrived here) and he is currently one of my favorite figures in the line. However, I refuse to get in any discussions about him since I really am not interested in someone trying to convince me why to hate him and why he sucks worse than any other figure.

Man I think they're great figures. I even like the fact that Teebo's wrist joints are able to pop out, if you buy multiples then you can have it look like there are some warriors who went through some rather tough situations. Or you can replace Bespin Luke with Jedi Teebo vs. Bespin Vader. ;)

Beast
07-12-2002, 02:06 AM
Originally posted by bigbarada
I have begun to notice that my enjoyment of the toys has been severely hampered by the discussions on this site. I loved the Endor Rebel Trooper and logged on here to sing his praises and what did I read? Nothing but complaints about how he was the worst figure ever. I just got Teebo last week (had to order him through the mail since that wave never arrived here) and he is currently one of my favorite figures in the line. However, I refuse to get in any discussions about him since I really am not interested in someone trying to convince me why to hate him and why he sucks worse than any other figure.
Same here BigB, I love the Endor Rebel Soldier from the Saga line, and the Teebo wave from POTJ. It really shows that Hasbro hasn't "lost it" as many drone on endlessly. Just as soon as people saw pictures of it though, they were complaining about his stance, his arm articulation hampered by the jacket, etc. etc. etc. And after time, more and more people when they get the figure, join the negative complaining side.

Heck, excellent figures like Orn Free Taa and Chancellor Palpatine are blasted often, because they are just statues. What do people want in figures like that, 15 points of articulation so you can have them bouncing around the room like Yoda fighting Dooku? Seriously people, articuation is great....when it's needed. For every figure we get with just the standard points, Hasbro always does one with above and beyond the number that you would think they woud include.

Another thing that annoys me, is the complaints over the force effects, and the small inconsistances withe the movie, or the inclusion of stuff like Dooku's Holo Sidious. Sure, those things arn't movie accurate, but for cripes sake. The force effects are removable, the figures were in production at the same time the movie was, and added pack-ins to increase play value shouldn't be something to complain about.

Sometimes even the complaints about resculpts can get annoying. I recall a while back actually trying to explain to a few people here, why the POTJ Boss Nass figure was a vast improvement over the E1 line. All they could see was that they already made that charecter, and that it was fine for them. Well, that's cool, but the figure was grossly incorrect, compared to the charecter from E1. Heck, even the POTJ Jar Jar Binks figure is eons better then the first E1 figure. Resculpts are cool, if they can actually improve on the figure. Ok, sorry for the long rant. Just get frustrated with some of the silly arguments. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Jargo
07-12-2002, 06:02 AM
Vice Versa. :)

2-1B
07-12-2002, 10:19 AM
Sorry.
I don't complain that much about the Saga figures, but thought I would take the opportunity to discuss the ridiculousness of the chat with Andy Epenwhoever. I've been vocal in my praise of figures like Captain Typho, Orn Free Ta, Tusken female, Nexu, and others. I'm not going to be broadbrushed into the "complainer" corner, so if it has to be all or nothing, then I should probably retreat from the Saga forum. I stayed out of it for awhile, because alot of the threads were pretty lowbrow, but thought it would be interesting to critique Hasbro for the good of their line and our future enjoyment.
Sorry.

icatch9
07-12-2002, 10:32 AM
I think critiqueing (sp?) a line or anything is warented. I mean people critique Shakspear and he's supposed to be one of the greatest ever. I just don't like when people, way to many people rant and rave about any little thing they can about these figures. It's way easy to jump on the band wagon of complainers. Not just in this hobby, but in everything. It's always easier to look at what's wrong with something, rather than what's right. We are all guilty of that.

Many of us view this figures as little forms of art work. Wich they are in addition to being toys. So, art work of any kind is up for debate and can be critiqued. That I think most anyone would agree with. However, all to often critics of the line jump all over every little thing that wrong instead of being partial and viewing the item from both sides.

Sometime I think that these kinds of people would complain about the color of the sky. Because blue isn't good enough.

2-1B
07-12-2002, 10:41 AM
:rolleyes:
This thread is supposed to be about someone's chat with someone from Hasbro. That's great if you think "people go way too far" in their criticisms of these toys. What I'm advocating is for us to stay away from extremes and generalizations.

Ahem:

Heck, excellent figures like Orn Free Taa and Chancellor Palpatine are blasted often, because they are just statues. What do people want in figures like that, 15 points of articulation so you can have them bouncing around the room like Yoda fighting Dooku?

That follows the Hasbro guideline layed out in the chat. Instead of addressing a rational criticism let's get overly defensive and use such an extreme example. Who the heck is advocating 15 points of articulation on those guys? No one in here is doing that.

bigbarada
07-12-2002, 11:25 AM
I'm not trying to paint everyone with the same brush here. I just get sick and tired of the newbies to these boards who want to show how cool they are by badmouthing everything in site. Those people (or children is probably more accurate) have more bad to say than good about anything. In fact there are many on these forums that never seem to like anything that Hasbro has put out ever! So my question to them is, "why do you stay?" If Star Wars is that frustrating to you then why collect?

There are many (usually the seasoned veteran forumites) who just give honest opinions whether they be good or bad. Caesar, I see you as one of the more mature posters here, same with Jargo (I also know that he's got personal issues that make him cranky all the time).:)

It's not that Star Wars fans want too much. In fact, we want surprisingly little when you get right down to it. Simply, highly detailed, neutrally posed figures that are actually compatible with the vehicles in the line. Pretty much the standards that the vintage line held. That's it. If Hasbro were to do that, instead of constantly trying to reinvent the wheel, there would be a lot more content SW fans.

Of course there would still be the complainers and there is no guarantee that the line would be a hit with kids; but look at every other attempt Hasbro/Kenner has made to market the line for kids: steroid-freak 1995 line, Attack R5-D4, Commtech Chips, Action Poses, gimmicks and Force Effects. None of those have worked in creating any kind of serious buzz around the line (with the exception of Commtech Chips, but that was at the expense of the figures). Since nothing else has worked, why not simply go back to the tried and true formula that made the line famous in the first place back in the late-70s/early-80s? Simply, an accessory driven line that allows for maximum compatibility and playability between all the figures and vehicles of the line.

That's all we want, and that is most definitely not the moon.:)

Tycho
07-12-2002, 11:37 AM
All I'm going to say is that:

BigBarada
Lt Basker
JarJar Binks

are all expressing my viewpoint exactly.

It's no surprise I usually see things the same way they do, but I say it when I don't.

All the same, it's funny how I have some of my best discussions with them, amongst some others, and we've all enjoyed Star Wars fandom together.

But they are right about a lot of the negativity issues, etc. I'm just not inclined to let it bring me down by going into details over it now. But everybody's entitled to their own point of view.

rynobot
07-12-2002, 12:22 PM
People may think I have bashed the Saga line but I feel the same way as Jar Jar, Typho, LT Basker, BigBarada.

Herby
07-15-2002, 10:01 AM
My view has been more properly by bigbarada. Some people have just been pushing the whole "hasbro is ruining everything" line so far that I honestly think they would go in there and start screeming at a Hasbro Rep. That's all I meant by my "interview". I just can't get over how unhappy some people are with collecting.

billfremore
07-15-2002, 10:32 AM
Some people will never be happy no matter what Hasbro does.