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JediTricks
10-06-2006, 03:28 PM
The 6 missing questions are in! It's Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for October 6th, 2006.

After months of waiting, the 6 missing questions are finally getting their day in the sun, these are the questions a lot of us have been waiting to see answered. ActionFigs.com also got its 6 missing questions answered today, so be sure to check them out as well.

Thanks again to Hasbro for the answers, to all the folks who sent in questions and especially those who voted on them. Here come Hasbro's answers, and remember to check out ActionFigs.com (http://www.actionfigs.com/index.php?categoryid=12&p2_articleid=162) for their weekly Hasbro Q&A as well (which also got an update today).



Hasbro Q&A for the week of October 6th

Q: Zizzle has released a 2.5-foot-long Black Pearl pirate ship for their Pirates of the Carribean 4" figure line for MSRP $50. In light of this, why hasn't Hasbro done Jabba's Sailbarge yet, especially when Star Wars is the more popular brand?

A: What other companies release is not an indicator of what we could release at comparable retail prices, or even that we could release the same toy as they do. Hasbro has different business models, factories, and standards that we work with - it's a very different situation. One thing that has changed from "the way it used to be" is that playsets used to be low-margin drivers that were intended to be the center of the action figure play pattern. Now the situation is very different and playsets are not embraced in the same way by kids, so the business model is a little upside down and we cannot "subsidize" playsets like we used to. This pushes the price up to a very expensive range, and, of course, the higher the price, the fewer the unit sales. The old catch-22. Until we rebuild the kid base, hopefully through animation, we can't look at 3-3/4" playsets as a viable line.


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Q: Could we get a US release of the Eopie Creature from the Episode I line which to date has only been released in non-US countries?

A: We have looked at this. We're not sure how pervasive the demand is, but it remains an option for a future release.


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Q: Why doesn't Hasbro include basic figure pack-ins that we can actually use (eg: clear stands; Mouse Droids; Senate Cams; Sith Probes; extra accessories like on and off lightsabers, commlinks, scanners, pilot headsets, oxygen masks, backpacks) instead of gimmicks like holo-minifigs and coins?

A: Star Wars has a rich history of including pack-ins to enhance the collectibility of the line, admittedly with varying results. Our intention with the coins (and to a lesser extent holos) is to establish a parallel collectible segment with a nostalgic tie back to the vintage days. We think fans will enjoy them, since they are "incremental" to the line in the line and not a replacement for accessories. Incremental in the sense that we make sure each figure has the accessories it needs to be a great figure... and many of them next year have great accessories. Wait and see...


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Q: What are the chances that Hasbro will make Yarna D'al Gargan (Fat Dancer in Jabba's Palace) in 2007, after 2007, or if definitively not, has Hasbro actively decided that she will never be made?

A: We won't be answering any more specific questions on the 2007 line at this time. However, she is definitely a possible future figure. Not out of the question.


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Q: Which version of the Jedi Starfighter will be offered in the Titanium Series Ultra 6" Vehicle line, the Episode 2 or Episode 3 version? Will this or any other new 6" vehicle be released before the line is ended?

A: The Episode III version was tooled up, but unfortunately the 6" scale has been discontinued and the vehicle will not be making it to shelves as part of the series.


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Q: If a figure made the top 25 of the ToyFare magazine Fan Choice Poll, does that give the figure more of a chance to be made?

A: Well, that's an interesting question. Broadly, the answer is yes and the higher it is up the list, the better. It certainly helps justify among the "collector-type" figures we could do if we know that fans have passionately voted for a figure. But it's not a guarantee that a figure will be made in the future.


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And the questions at ActionFigs.com (http://www.actionfigs.com/index.php?categoryid=12&p2_articleid=162):

- What are the chances of Hasbro producing a Millennium Falcon vehicle that's actually in-scale (1/18th) with the action figures? If not, what about at least an all-new, larger Falcon with more interior play areas?

- Will the 501st Clonetrooper using the Super Articulated body ever be made available on a basic card?

- In light of Hasbro making an ethnicity variation on the upcoming Endor Rebel Soldier figure, is there a possibility of ethnic variations for other figures that warrant it like a Black Bespin Guard or Rebel Pilot, especially since there was a Black Bespin Guard figure in the vintage Kenner line?

- What is the selection process for characters to be made into figures, and what is the best way for fans to increase the chances of the release for a certain figure?

- Is it an objective of Hasbro's to eventually make every character that had a speaking role in the films - whether or not they interacted with core characters - into action figures? Nearly all these characters have been given names by Lucasfilm or EU authors.

- What are the chances of seeing more "battle-damaged" human characters (such as Qui-Gon, Shmi, and Owen & Beru Lars)? Assuming the chances are slim, why is that, are they considered too gruesome for release?

Rogue II
10-06-2006, 04:08 PM
Thanks for getting those answered, JT. Especially since 2 of those ActioonFigs.com questions were mine. ;)

So here are 2 things we should really do in further questions.

1) Quit asking about specific figures.
2) Quit asking about playsets.

Droid
10-06-2006, 04:09 PM
I often admit that they don't really say anything in their answers, but I think the headline of the day in the Star Wars community has to be that Hasbro has not ruled out Yarna and that she is a candidate to be a figure some day.

(I'd love to see a list of characters, if any, that they say they will never make.)

El Chuxter
10-06-2006, 04:17 PM
Ask more about playsets. It'll make the point.

JediTricks
10-06-2006, 04:28 PM
So here are 2 things we should really do in further questions.

1) Quit asking about specific figures.
2) Quit asking about playsets.I agree, and have made it my unspoken policy to do just that when adding new questions. There are certain times it'll be ok on specific figures though, it depends on a lot of little factors.



Ask more about playsets. It'll make the point.They commented on that last week actually...

Yakface.com: How about one good playset in 2007. Please Hasbro.

Hasbro: We've discussed playsets to death, I think. There won't be any in 2007. Sorry! But if you follow my distracting hand movements over to the new vehicles, I think you'll be very happy.
I think the point has been well-made on the fans' part yet Hasbro continues to reject it. They actually delve much deeper into the topic on this week's Zizzle Pirate Ship question (which was sorta a vehicle question, but, whatever). We actually have a question about them on deck right now though, about farming playsets out to other companies a la Sideshow 12".


I think Hasbro's reply to the pack-ins question says a lot, they're trying to create a second collecting base within the primary one rather than just enhancing the product they already have.


And I'm extra glad now that I have the AMC/Ertl Die Cast Ep 3 Jedi Starfighter model since Hasbro was going to do that one in Titanium 6".

pbarnard
10-06-2006, 04:51 PM
Also, try not to submit questions that other sites have submitted already. This week's ssg question with regards to accessories is nearly identical to one that I has asked at ffurg.com (and was submitted by the staff there) 2 weeks ago.


Week 13 - 09/29/2006

1.) Early in the POTF2 line, Hasbro included extra guns and accessories for, as you've mentioned before, additional playability. Figures like Grand Moff Tarkin used to be great for customizers who would get an extra stormtrooper blaster to arm their customs. Where did these extra accessories go in the modern line today? Please bring them back!
Some figures, like Clone Commander, still come with many guns but for the most part we don't pack in extras. We mix up the accessories depending on what we think each character needs. We take this gestalt view at the beginning of each year, recognizing that some characters will be coming with signifciant accessories, which means others will have just what they need. This way, overall, we're able to achieve our cost target across the whole assortment.

JediTricks
10-06-2006, 05:06 PM
Keep in mind we asked our question back in July/August.

pbarnard
10-06-2006, 05:50 PM
Keep in mind we asked our question back in July/August.

Curses Hasbro. Not sure when I submitted it at FFURG because they've skipped them over 3 of the last 4 times. But customizers as a whole are small subset of the whole star wars community.

Just pointing out, since you do take the time to post the answers and questions from other places (which is a great here because you don't have to link to the answers), we could take the time to read before selecting our questions.

JediTricks
10-06-2006, 06:59 PM
Just pointing out, since you do take the time to post the answers and questions from other places (which is a great here because you don't have to link to the answers), we could take the time to read before selecting our questions.In fact, that's *why* I started posting the Q&As from other sites, I needed to keep track of questions others had gotten answered so I could take them off the poll list, and figured since I had them already I may as well post 'em. At first it took a LOT of questions off the list, but after a few weeks the questions got more and more diverse and now only once every other week or so does it actually take a question off the list.

LTBasker
10-06-2006, 09:21 PM
I can't see why they need to continue the Heroes & Villains line idea, we're getting repacks in the main line, repacks in exclusives and repacks in battlepacks. Why do we need an entire line devoted to them?

The only way I could see that being beneficial is if the 100% repack line had different packaging (so it could be put seperate) and cost a dollar or two less to appeal to kids more. Then they could only cycle in the more important repacks into the main line.

We don't need figures that would hardly sell the first time being stocked with the main line and clogging the pegs like we have with the ROTS Redux or "Heroes and Villains."

Plus, Battle Packs with the main characters that kids mainly care about should be the best route for rereleasing figures that don't sell well on their own. That way they don't take away from the carded figures. Yet, Hasbro seems hellbent on making well over half the product for next year to be rehashed stuff.

plasticfetish
10-06-2006, 09:55 PM
Quit asking about playsets.I'll third that. I think their answer about the playset issue is pretty clear. It also echoes what I've guessed about them needing some kind of current TV show, movie, etc. to tie the product to. It's a marketing issue.


I can't see why they need to continue the Heroes & Villains line idea, we're getting repacks in the main line, repacks in exclusives and repacks in battlepacks. Why do we need an entire line devoted to them?The pegs are full of multiple version of Vader and C-3PO right now (boy are they!!!), but remember, Christmas is coming and those figures will start selling.

Rogue II
10-06-2006, 11:17 PM
I can't see why they need to continue the Heroes & Villains line idea, we're getting repacks in the main line, repacks in exclusives and repacks in battlepacks. Why do we need an entire line devoted to them?

The only way I could see that being beneficial is if the 100% repack line had different packaging (so it could be put seperate) and cost a dollar or two less to appeal to kids more. Then they could only cycle in the more important repacks into the main line.

We don't need figures that would hardly sell the first time being stocked with the main line and clogging the pegs like we have with the ROTS Redux or "Heroes and Villains."

Plus, Battle Packs with the main characters that kids mainly care about should be the best route for rereleasing figures that don't sell well on their own. That way they don't take away from the carded figures. Yet, Hasbro seems hellbent on making well over half the product for next year to be rehashed stuff.

No kidding. I went to Walmart yesterday. There were 3 different Vaders on the pegs: H&V, Bespin, and the new Endor version. How many Vaders are they trying to pump out? They already showed pics of next year's Vader with the coin holder. And because of the H&V line, there were 2 versions of Palpatine, C-3PO, and R2-D2.

Now, the Heros and Villian line doesn't have to be all bad if they revamp it by re-releasing older figures that were hard to get and troop builders from the POTF2, Episode I, VSTC, Evolutions, and POTJ lines. I'd like to grab either the VSTC or 300th Fig Boba Fett and an Evolutions Vader (which is probably the only version of Vader I'd buy right now). Hasbro is on the right track with that Walmart Exclusive wave later this year.

sebillba
10-07-2006, 07:28 AM
Good to get some of these answers at last, but we're still waiting on a few questions aren't we? My Utai question springs to mind - and though I can guess the answer to that one, I'd like to know how many are still outstanding.

JediTricks
10-07-2006, 05:32 PM
The pegs are full of multiple version of Vader and C-3PO right now (boy are they!!!), but remember, Christmas is coming and those figures will start selling.There's a hole in that logic, figures sell best at xmas when there are many different characters to choose from, by limiting the pegs to just Vader & 3PO (and Padme :p) buyers won't want to buy a bunch of figures at once because there will only be 2 guys.


Good to get some of these answers at last, but we're still waiting on a few questions aren't we? My Utai question springs to mind - and though I can guess the answer to that one, I'd like to know how many are still outstanding.Yeah, I realized a few hours too late that I should have included the Sept 3rd questions last week when I sent in the other 12 missing questions. My plan was to include the questions this week, but they ended up shutting that down due to Columbus Day taking next week off, so they'll be going in next Friday. There's only 1 week of missing questions finally though.

LTBasker
10-07-2006, 06:31 PM
Waiting for Christmas for figures to sell means the waves that come after the Heroes and Villains won't make it to the store, instead they'll go unordered and the next wave seen will be in January with the new line.

plasticfetish
10-07-2006, 07:03 PM
There's a hole in that logicMy only point was that a lot of the stagnant toys will begin to move once X-mas draws near. I'm not trying to argue that every kid will suddenly want a pregnant Padme and a C-3PO come December.


Waiting for Christmas for figures to sell means the waves that come after the Heroes and Villains won't make it to the storeI'm seeing a pretty good spread of figures on the pegs where I am. Heck, I picked up figures from the latest wave at my local grocery store yesterday. (If anything, I think places really need to start blowing out those VOTC figures if they're still around.)

JediTricks
10-08-2006, 06:46 PM
My only point was that a lot of the stagnant toys will begin to move once X-mas draws near. I'm not trying to argue that every kid will suddenly want a pregnant Padme and a C-3PO come December.The system isn't that smooth, you need a "perfect world" example for your idea to work right.


I'm seeing a pretty good spread of figures on the pegs where I am. Heck, I picked up figures from the latest wave at my local grocery store yesterday. (If anything, I think places really need to start blowing out those VOTC figures if they're still around.)I hit 5 stores yesterday, most of them were clogged with greatest hits figures, 1 of them had the Endor 1 wave (minus the hot figure from that wave) mixed in.

plasticfetish
10-09-2006, 03:55 AM
The system isn't that smooth, you need a "perfect world" example for your idea to work right.I'm not exactly sure what you mean, but the "real world" example is what happens every year just before Christmas. The pegs are full of toys, all sorts of toys, and then a few weeks before the 25th, parents start frantically snatching up anything that looks interesting. Sure, there'll be a leftovers, and I'm sure we'll see those pregnant Padmes on clearance come January, but many of the Clones, Vaders, and various Jedi will sell.

I can稚 speak for your area (well, I could, but I wont), but I知 seeing a broad mix of everything from the past year on the pegs right now. I知 seeing Heroes and Villains, I知 seeing Greatest Battles, and I知 seeing TSC figures from pretty much General Veers (#007) on forward out there.

I call that a well rounded selection of merchandise... not a glut of pegwarmers. If you guys are starting to freak out about repacks now, (which is funny because it's been a Hasbro standard since Ep.3 faded away), then you'll probably flip your lids come next year. Hasbro's running out of choices, and until Lucas starts churning out some fresh material, we'll keep getting the repacks and rehashed ideas.

I frankly don't care all that much anymore. If they put out a half dozen really new figures each year, then I'll be happy. So far I think we've been pretty lucky.

dindae
10-09-2006, 09:16 AM
If they put out a half dozen really new figures each year, then I'll be happy. So far I think we've been pretty lucky.

Definately, I find it odd that Hasbro continues to crank out throngs of figures every year. We have been at over 70 figures for two years and next year they are planning for another 60. That is an insane pace.

JediTricks
10-09-2006, 05:04 PM
I'm not exactly sure what you mean, but the "real world" example is what happens every year just before Christmas. The pegs are full of toys, all sorts of toys, and then a few weeks before the 25th, parents start frantically snatching up anything that looks interesting. Sure, there'll be a leftovers, and I'm sure we'll see those pregnant Padmes on clearance come January, but many of the Clones, Vaders, and various Jedi will sell.But that doesn't take into account the fact that new product was supposed to be hitting in the 3 months prior to "just before Christmas", that means all that product will be backed up in the warehouse, once the store's warehouse hits capacity the distribution center stops sending them product and it backs up in the distribution warehouse, at this point they stop ordering temporarily until they can get some more space, and during this there's significantly-reduced chances that backed-up product will get to the stores at all, by the time these leftover cases finally get out it's January, maybe February, and since product is moving much slower they don't end up hitting the shelves at all.


I can稚 speak for your area (well, I could, but I wont), but I知 seeing a broad mix of everything from the past year on the pegs right now. I知 seeing Heroes and Villains, I知 seeing Greatest Battles, and I知 seeing TSC figures from pretty much General Veers (#007) on forward out there.

I call that a well rounded selection of merchandise... not a glut of pegwarmers. The reason we're seeing more old TSC is partly the situation I mentioned above - backlog - and partly because Hasbro puts out revision cases with older product in 'em - which then impacts the flow of NEW product.


I frankly don't care all that much anymore. If they put out a half dozen really new figures each year, then I'll be happy. So far I think we've been pretty lucky.That's not the way it works though, the more backlogged stuff they have in January, the less chances they'll be interested in ordering next time, it's a downward spiral situation. The less new product they offer, the less people will buy, the less stores will want to order. The toy industry is moving at a much faster pace than 10 years ago, 3 waves of product a year won't cut it.