PDA

View Full Version : 2003 - An Open Letter to Hasbro



JediCole
09-19-2002, 10:20 PM
Dear Hasbro,
I am compelled to write in the hopes of expressing a frustration of many fans and collectors. A frustration that is no doubt shared by many here, and which I am hopeful will be voiced in the replies to this thread. This frustration, and the root of my concern, is the insistance on constant releases of core characters which already saturate the market and flood the collections of both kids and adult collectors alike.

While maintaining a supply of "anchor" characters may seem vital to the survival of the line, the opposite can often be true. The belief that core character presence is vital in every new wave is a misbegotten one. Espcially when versions of said characters bear little difference from those previously released. Figures like the upcoming Obi-Wan and Mace Windu beg the question of why such minor accessories and/or nuances were not simply part fo the figures already released.

I will admit that though we have been presented with a variety of figures that fall into this category as the forerunners of the 2003 line, this may not represent the first wave or two of 2003. But at this point, any characters that are not core, starring role characters that may be in the works are not LucasFilm secrets! All five episodes produced to date have been released theatrically at least once, and all but one are presently available for home viewing on video cassette or DVD! There is not a single character, no matter how obscure, who's potential introduction into our Star Wars figure collections should be shrouded in secrecy!

Undoubtedly some at Hasbro have seen the impassioned pleas from collectors that post on Sir Steve's Guide. From entreaties for a single character to enter the figure pantheon (such as Poggle the Lesser or Yarna dal'Gargan) to extensive lists of characters from the obvious characters who had spoken lines (General Dodonna, Lama Su) to the most obscure (Bespin Ice Cream Man) appear in this forum and others on this site on a regular basis. This is the voice of those who's money finances the perpetuation of one of the most sucessful boy's toy lines in history.

So I implore you, Hasbro, if you are planning to give us characters outside of those in starring roles in 2003, please send us a sign. The winner of the Fan's Choice Poll #3 is a given, but we want more. We want Jabba's Palace denizens, clones and cloners of Kamino, Gungans, Ewoks, Imperials, Cantina patrons, Rebels, droids, Senators of Courscant, and many other characters, both at the forefront and in the background, of the Star Wars Universe.

A note to Sir Steve's Guide members:
Please sound off on this issue in your replies to this post. I would prefer that this post serve as a place to stand up and be counted (hopefully by Hasbro) rather than turning into a broad discussion or a place to list favorites or "want lists". Certainly there are plenty of posts in that regard. If you agree with the points presented here, the short form being, we STILL want characters other than the most obvious, please sign off here. Let's show Hasbro how we feel by adding your name to this post, petition style. Feel free to add a few concise comments if you are so inclined, but keep it breif so we can get as many replies as possible as visible as possible.

Beast
09-19-2002, 10:42 PM
Look at the early announcements for 2003, JediCole. Bariss Offee, Lama Su, Aayla Secura, Jedi Analysis Droids, Jedi Younglings, etc. And that is only the start. Main charecters have to be released every so often. In movie years especially, main charecters are important. But from the early 2003 list I think you should relax some, as there seem to be plenty of secondary charecters in the works. And since the rumors are holding true for the ones announced, there will be even more. Main charecters will always be featured in the line. Sorry, but it's just how things work. If a kid wants a Star Wars figure, they want a main charecter. So every once in a while, Hasbro has to dust them off and put them out in a new outfit or version. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Lord Tenebrous
09-19-2002, 11:06 PM
I think one major issue this year will be balance. I mean, AOTC is all and good (kinda), but starting now, Hasbro should definately be planning 20% from each movie.

And if you're worried about sales, go for the strange, the unique, the bizarre. Ephant Mon is a high point - an odd alien made perfect. There are lots of less massive options. But go bold. Make stuff that grabs attention, and if it doesn't, then find a way to sell it. Even kids who wouldn't want a Yarna would look twice if she had a mildly articulated critter like Attark or Bubo packed in. :)



I'm challenging you Hasbro. Persuade me to buy 16 figures in 2003. That's twice as many as I plan to buy this year.

JediCole
09-20-2002, 12:03 AM
JarJar, I don't think you caught the full spirit of what I was trying to say in this appeal. I do not doubt the necessity of core characters in the maintainence of the line. That is a given. But when the ONLY OFFICIAL images yet released by Hasbro are STRICTLY core characters.
I do not doubt that there were rumor lists, there always are. And certainly a good deal of said rumors, by accident or design, will turn out to be real (I saw Labria on a rumor list a full two years before his release in the Cinema Scenes set!). What I am speaking of is REALITY as presented by official Hasbro information. Have we seen pictures of Lama Su, Jedi Younglings (aka Bear Clan), and others you mentioned? Apart from Ayla Secura, your entire list is no more than conjecture. And that particular Jedi is the only non-core character in the officially annouced mix.
My concern is that Hasbro may be trying to go strictly core in thier early 2003 character mix. My point is that there is no reason to keep the non-core characters in the dark. We already know what EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER so far looks like! It is not like pre-Episode II when Sir Steve was forced by Hasbro to withhold images until the OK from LucasFilm was given. If such characters are being produced, why do we have no pictures?

LTBasker
09-20-2002, 12:15 AM
Hasbro,

You gotta re-earn the dear part. Thank you.

:happy:

Beast
09-20-2002, 12:17 AM
Umm, JediCole. You may want to check the latest information out. Check out Hasbro's Star Wars Website. They list all of the ones that I mentioned. :)

http://starwars.hasbro.com/bountyhunter/repnews_content.cfm?id=81

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Jargo
09-20-2002, 08:14 AM
I applaud you JediCole, articulated what I've been thinking for a while but posted rather testily instead of calmly and coolly like you have here.
I concur that my frustration with collecting stems mostly from the persistent inclusion of core character resculpts. As a collector I am primarily interested in the background fillers which to my mind offer more scope for interesting play and display. I have nothing against the core characters per se but i do feel that currently we have achieved what is technically known as 'OVERKILL' on them.

In the past I have bought many resculpts simply for the parts so that I could take and arm or a head and swap them over to get a decent single figure from the mountain of same bad resculpts. I have no need for endless Han Solo in ANH outfit. What I want is the rebel Generals and ground crew instead. Cantina patrons and Tatooine citizens and droids.
There are so many core character resculpts now that i fear we may never see the Rebo band complete or the Ewok tribe fleshed out.
There will always be a niche market for core characters but that is a small part of the wonder of star wars, the greater part being the fantastical creatures and aliens that make up the wall of wonder in the background, the stuff we aren't supposed to notice but have. It's the stuff that makes us gape past the core characters we want now.
Please, don't allow the line to die off because it becomes constipated with unneeded figures. Just back off on the core characters and bring back the fun aspect with the weird characters and droids.

JediCole
09-20-2002, 12:39 PM
Originally posted by JarJarBinks
Umm, JediCole. You may want to check the latest information out. Check out Hasbro's Star Wars Website. They list all of the ones that I mentioned.



Jar Jar,
I humbly stand corrected. I have discovered the list of which you speak and headed straight here to rectify the fact that I had misinterpreted the information you attepted to impart.

However, I must now wholeheartedly concur with Lord Tenebrous. Though supporting characters are now appearing on the official lists, it appears very Episode II-centric (apart from core characters of course). It appears that Hasbro is repeating the mistakes of the Episode I line, despite the new, unified Star Wars brand. Such "unification" serves little purpose if it is merely "Episode II plus Episode IV-VI Core Characters".

Beast
09-20-2002, 01:07 PM
When POTJ launched in 2000, it was EI primarily, except for main charecters for a while as well. It's just because E2 was just this year, and there are so many charecters that still need to be done from Attack of the Clones. I'm sure that as we move more away from E2 and they fill the ranks some of charecters from the movie, we'll see more Classic and E1 charecters. Remeber, that we've been getting Classic figures since 1995, so let E2 have it's chance to expand the ranks some. Just look at Jargo's E2 list, that is around here somewhere. There is alot of charecters from E2 that need to be done. Atleast we got some Classic and E1 figures in 2002 and 2003. Remeber that during the time of the E1 line we didn't get anything classic until POTJ came out. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

evenflow
09-20-2002, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by Lord Tenebrous
I think one major issue this year will be balance. I mean, AOTC is all and good (kinda), but starting now, Hasbro should definately be planning 20% from each movie.

And if you're worried about sales, go for the strange, the unique, the bizarre. Ephant Mon is a high point - an odd alien made perfect. There are lots of less massive options. But go bold. Make stuff that grabs attention, and if it doesn't, then find a way to sell it. Even kids who wouldn't want a Yarna would look twice if she had a mildly articulated critter like Attark or Bubo packed in. :)



I'm challenging you Hasbro. Persuade me to buy 16 figures in 2003. That's twice as many as I plan to buy this year.

I could not have said it better myself.

bigbarada
09-20-2002, 10:06 PM
I completely agree with everything you said, JediCole. Even as a kid, I was more interested in the anonymous background characters and generic army builders. To me they represented a blank slate for my imagination to fill in any way I wanted.

TylerD
09-21-2002, 02:07 PM
I too was only interested in the "cool aliens" when I was younger. Heck, when the new figures were released this April, I STILL went for the alien figures first. They are the first types I put in my cart, and I bought 26 that night...

JediCole
09-21-2002, 09:57 PM
Originally posted by bigbarada
I completely agree with everything you said, JediCole. Even as a kid, I was more interested in the anonymous background characters and generic army builders. To me they represented a blank slate for my imagination to fill in any way I wanted.

Barada,
Again it seems that those of our generation had a great appreciation for Star Wars and the toys that it spawned. A level of appreciation that has been robbed of those contemporary young fans. Through no fault of their own, the wealth of prefab backstory that exists today has prevented the kind of imaginative use of the background characters.

This is not to say that all kids have read the guidbooks, but even the backs of the cards today have this official backstory provided! For me this is akin to the sound chips and other gimics that have become all to prevalant in toys today. It is like the toy manufacturers have determined that modern children are incapable of self-produced imagination. The imagination is packaged with the toys themselves. And that is unfortunate. I collected Star Wars literally from day one, with the Early Bird Set (at the age of 12). My younger brother, my best friend, and I (after the line got to the point where there were at least two dozen or more figures) tended to use the Star Wars figures more in non-Star Wars scenarios (of our own creation I might add) than in the context of the films or further adventures of the characters. One of my favorites was Greedo, who I prefered to cast in the role of an intergalactic super spy.

bigbarada
09-22-2002, 12:20 AM
I used to love how the cards of the vintage figures only listed the name of the movie, the name of the character (or a brief description - ala: Rebel Commando, Imperial Gunner, etc) and a photo. That was it. Your imagination could fill in the rest. Now everything is so set in stone that I can't even say, "The second Barada on Luke's skiff," without fifty people correcting me.

TylerD, the first figures I bought from the Saga line were the Female Tusken and Dexter Jettster. I didn't pick up an Anakin or any other primary character until days later. I can buy human action figures from any toy line, only Star Wars has such a wide variety of cool looking aliens.

Beast
09-22-2002, 12:35 AM
But it says the charecters is a Rebel Commando and Imperial Gunner, so how dare you use him for anything but. :crazed: Seriously, the problem is that there is to much info on the figures now? The hell kind of argument is that? Most kids re-enact scenes from the movie, so whats wrong with having a blurb about the storyline for that movie, and who and what the charecter is? That's like saying they shouldn't put what the movie is about on the case of the movie at the video store. :eek:

Have you ever been in a toy store, and heard a kid say " Mommy, this is that Rebel Guy, from Star Wars". Whats wrong with the kid learning the charecter name and a bit about them? Do you wanna deny lil Dick or Jane info about the charecter, or what movie they are from, because you know that info by heart? :stupid:

As to the complaints about the line for next year having to many main charecter and E2 charecter in it, so what. Take a look at one one the best lines ever, POTJ. It was focused alot on E1 and had some wonderful figures. Like I said before, the classic stuff has gotten most of the focus since 1995 until the prequels. Let them have their time to shine. :)

Atleast this isn't the vintage line where you got three entire years of only new figures from that movie until the next movie opened. Would you rather they go back to that, and then you don't get anything Classic until after E3 has come and gone, similar to how the original POTF line was done. I'm sure that negating any chance of any most wanted classic figures until around 2007 or so would be alot worse then the focus being primarily on the prequel films, with some classics salted in. :)

To many people are far to critical when it comes to how Hasbro handles the line. E2 and to a lesser extent E1 have alot more figures that need to be made over the Classic Trilogy. The OT has it's place of course, and I hope we get some cool obscure charecters like Ephant Mon next year. But a majority of the early focus on E2 would be the best thing. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

bigbarada
09-22-2002, 12:56 AM
It's obvious you don't understand a single argument I made, JarJar.

You do know that it is okay to not absolutely love every single item that Hasbro spews out, right? You do know that Hasbro's word isn't gold and they are perfectly capable of mishandling a liscense and driving it into the ground?

I get kind of tired of your glassy-eyed defense of everything Hasbro and Lucasfilm. Comments made that suggest all is not well are not personal attacks on you. No need for you to get offended and defend Hasbro by putting words in my mouth and trying to discredit everything I say. I never mentioned video store film write ups, as that has absolutely nothing to do with my comments. I never claimed to know everything about the EU universe by heart. In fact, I outwardly reject a majority of the EU backstories; because, frankly, they are lame.

I simply stated that kids should be given the chance to make things up on their own, just like I did when I collected the vintage line. They should be given the same freedom of play that I enjoyed as a kid.

Beast
09-22-2002, 01:02 AM
You may say that I take everything as gold and perfect from Hasbro, but maybe I just happen to enjoy the line more then you do. I ain't going to start slinging attacks at you because you take everything that is in the Bible as gold and perfect, and defend what you believe in with vigor. Not the same thing, but it doesn't mean you have any less rights then myself.

I understand your argument, but what is who the charecter is and what movie they are from, ruining a child from playing with their figure however they want. They arn't holding a gun to the kids head, and saying play with it the way we say or else.

Serious, you guys act like kids don't have imaginations anymore. If you ever collected G.I. Joe's back in the 80's they came with file cards. Those cards didn't mean that Cobra Commander can't team up with Snake Eyes and Zartan to kick Destro, Baroness, and Duke's rear ends. Transformers were the same way, did that stop kids from playing with them as they wanted. :crazed: :p

By the way, my comments were directed at everyone. But if you want to see them as personally pointing at you then thats fine. Just because your having problems with someone elses opinion recently, doesn't mean you have to jump on me cause I disagree with your opinion. I'm talking about toys here, not people in the military.

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

bigbarada
09-22-2002, 01:20 AM
Originally posted by JarJarBinks
They arn't holding a gun to the kids head, and saying play with it the way we say or else.


No, but they sculpt the figure in scene-specific poses, with scene specific detailing and ridiculously overblown facial expressions. Then to top it all off, they add in action features that ruin the figures ability to do anything other than what Hasbro's designers want it to do. If that's not dictating to kids how to play with toys, I don't know what is.

JarJar, I don't intend these to be personal attacks on you, just an expression of annoyance at your penchant to try to shoot down everyone who says anything negative about Hasbro. All we are experiencing here is a difference of opinion. Nothing more.

And you are right about the vintage line, things weren't always great in those days either. For one, we didn't get a Pilot for our TIE fighters until two years after the TIE Fighter was released. Hoth Luke was released almost three years after ESB, without a lightsaber. That's not even mentioning the same Vader, Stormtrooper and Chewie being rereleased over and over again for 8 years. There are just certain standards that the vintage line adhered to, that I would like to see the new line adopt.

Beast
09-22-2002, 01:26 AM
Innacurate facial sculpts, giant weapons, lack of secodary charecters, lack of anything but basic articulation? That is what I think of when I see people claiming how wonderful the vintage line was. The new lines are above and beyond anything that the vintage line ever gave us. What's wrong with a figure that can swing it's lightsaber? Or that can pull a blaster? It's not forcing the child to always make the figure do that. I thought you were one of the people that praised the LOTR's line, and it's chock full of gimmicks. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

bigbarada
09-22-2002, 01:49 AM
Yeah, odd isn't it?:crazed:

Anyway, the standards I was referring to are:

Most figures compatible with every vehicle, with only a few notable exceptions (Amanaman, Rancor Keeper, Gamorrean Guard). However, if I wanted to use a Stormtrooper, Darth Vader or Death Squad Commander to pilot my TIE Fighter until the TIE Pilot arrived, then I could. My ship wouldn't be going pilotless (like my Gunship is right now) while I wait for the 'official' Pilot action figure to be released.

One version of the figures, not 13 versions of Tatooine Luke. One well sculpted version would have been enough. Granted this would leave many poorly made 1995 figures without resculpts; but in my perfect world, those travesties would never have happened in the first place.:)

Cloth capes used to be one of my main requests, but the way that they are doing robes in the Saga line is pretty cool, IMO. It just prevents the figures from sitting.

That was pretty much all I was thinking of. Primarily the vehicle thing, since the 2002 vehicles are the coolest things ever released in the Star Wars line. It's just a shame that it takes so long to get pilot figures for them. (we still don't have a Zam or Anakin that can sit convicingly in their Speeders)

Beast
09-22-2002, 02:06 AM
Ok, I can understand the wanting more figures to be able to fit in the vehicles. But I really prefer accuracy of sculpt, which has to be plastic robes and cloaks 90% of the time. I would love if cloth would actually look decent on 4" scale figures. But most of the times it looks like crap. So I'm glad we both see the cloaks as pretty cool. :)

Tatooine Luke was major overkill. But charecters that never change clothes, or were given the shaft the first time thru in production make great re-sculpts. The upcoming Han: Hoth, Chewie: Hoth, Luke: Jedi, and Vader w/ Removable Helmet are sorely needed re-sculpts. It's not like every figure we get is a re-sculpt anymore. Infact there still are quite a few that need to be done. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

bigbarada
09-22-2002, 02:17 AM
There is kind of a vicious cycle of resculpts that can kill a line. I think many of us can agree that a lot of the figures from the 1995-98 line need resculpts. However, by the time they are all remade, the figures from 1999-2002 will look hopelessly dated and need resculpts themselves. Then the resculpts of the 1995-98 resculpts will need resculpts and it will just go on and on forever. Great for keeping the line going, that is until the fans just say, "screw this" and stop collecting.

I say, get it right the first time and move on; but I guess that's not lucrative enough.

jedihunter25
09-22-2002, 03:07 AM
Originally posted by bigbarada
There is kind of a vicious cycle of resculpts that can kill a line. Great for keeping the line going, that is until the fans just say, "screw this" and stop collecting.
I agree. I remember when everyone I knew was collecting. Now I only know a couple and they are not really in to it like they used to because of resculpts. Even people I've been seeing in the toy isles for years (95 - 2 months ago / die hard collectors) tell me that they stopped collecting because they are sick of so many resulpts. Now, I myself am feeling the same way. Yes, Hasbro gets alot of demands from us (the collectors) on so many characters to be made- but some of it is out of the clear blue. For Example: EVERYONE WANTS POGGLE, but instead we get a list of figs for next year with no Poggle and still alot of resulpts- that less than half of collectors need or want. Same thing with vehicles- EVERYONE WANTS THE SANDCRAWLER, but we might end up with another ESB Slave 1, so the Sandcrawler gets pushed back another year, and another. Next thing we know it's 2006 or 2007 and Hasbro anounces the END, still no Sandcrawler but we have 10 different X-wings and Slave 1's piled up in our closets.

OzOtter
09-30-2002, 05:58 PM
I agree, let's see more, new stuff! (btw, how can a "new Vader w/ removable helmet be a sorely needed resculpt" - it's one of the lines milestone figures!)

Let them have their EpII, core characters resculpts if they must (for the kids, or whatever the reasoning), but surely for the seriously under-represented classic trilogy we should be getting purely new (background - cantina critters, ewoks, palace denizens, rebels & imperials) characters.

Beast
09-30-2002, 06:04 PM
How can it be a sorely needed resculpt, you ask? Quite simply the fact that Darth Vader is taller then nearly every other charecter with the exception of Chewbacca. Yet the POTF2 versions of Darth Vader are all way to short. He also needs a two-piece removable helmet and soft goods capes. :D

Commtech and especially POTJ started fixing those scale problems, but RH Vader still needs a redo. The POTF2 version was good for it's time, but a new version with the correct scale, sculpt, and movie accurate helmet, would be a true work of art. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Jedi Master Silas
09-30-2002, 09:23 PM
I keep seeing comments like children want main characters etc...but who buys more SW toys? Adult collectors or kids? I only say this because 9 times out of 10 when I go toy hunting I only see adult collectors. I very rarely see children. I'm just curious to see what you all think because I think, this is only my opinion, that adult collectors buy more therefore they spend more and Hasbro should supply more of what the adult collectors want....

Jon
10-19-2002, 04:25 PM
I don't know any kids who want star wars toys. My kids, my sisters' kids, my cousins, their cousins, friends' kids. In fact My best friend who is 27 and I (25) are the only ones I know personally who buy them. (well, did, I quit now). But to this day there are never kids in the star wars aisle looking to buy star wars toys. None.

OzOtter
11-13-2002, 05:27 PM
Surely you wouldn't know. Since you quit and all.

I see kids buying SW toys all the time. Still. A whole six months since the latest film was released.

I wouldn't insult Hasbro's intelligence by suggesting that kids don't buy their toys. You want this thread to be taken seriously, right?

DarthBrandon
11-13-2002, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by JarJarBinks
How can it be a sorely needed resculpt, you ask? Quite simply the fact that Darth Vader is taller then nearly every other charecter with the exception of Chewbacca. Yet the POTF2 versions of Darth Vader are all way to short. He also needs a two-piece removable helmet and soft goods capes. :D

Commtech and especially POTJ started fixing those scale problems, but RH Vader still needs a redo. The POTF2 version was good for it's time, but a new version with the correct scale, sculpt, and movie accurate helmet, would be a true work of art. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

I say Hasbro should calm down with the Vader's, Jango's, Maul's, Luke's, Han's, etc. I for one am sick to death of Jango and he is one of the coolest looking characters that I've seen besides Vader. I have just about every version of them all with the exception of Pilot Jango, shirtless Maul, and Han Endor. I just couldn't bring myself to buy another version of those three and I'm pretty sure I will not buy the Cantina sets, and Trash Compactor sets either as I have most of those figures already with the exception of Wuher (may purchase on clearance) the bar stools and that ugly looking female alien. I would love to see more of the background characters such as Senators, Aliens, Rebels (Officers/Pilots/Techs), Imperials (Officers/Techs/Pilots/ Troops), and Droids. Never mind another Luke or Vader with a different pose or slight alteration to it's sculpt, I have enough of them to make ten ultimate versions of each of them plus others that I've mentioned. Less focus on characters already made twice and more focus on ones that haven't been made at all IMO. I'm sorry if I don't agree with you on this but I've seen way too many resculpts since Episode II that it's made me very disappointed and discouraged in the line itself. I hope in 2003 we see a little better selection of figures besides the list that JarJarBinks posted from Hasbro; I'm still waiting for figures like Madine, Captain Antilles, Ozzell, Dadonna Senators, more Jedi, Aliens, and new Droids etc. I would love to say screw the new Concept Trooper, but I'm probably going to buy that as well, you can never have enough Storm Troopers.:D

SNAYSON
11-21-2002, 03:48 PM
i personally would rather have a new unreleased character action figure or a main character in a different outfit (example: padma)used in the movies but what i really don't want to see released is different poses for the same figure over and over again.