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View Full Version : SSG's Weekly Hasbro Q&A - January 12th



JediTricks
01-13-2007, 12:56 AM
The first Q&A of 2007 is tipsy on new year's champagne, it's Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for January 12th, 2007.

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 January 12th


Q: Will the Mara Jade comic figure be based only on how she appeared in the comics or will Mara Jade-actress Shannon McRandle's likeness be taken into account?
A: She is based on the Dark Horse comic imagery.

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Q: From what we've seen, the recent Toys R Us-exclusive Endor AT-AT and Target-exclusive Imperial Shuttle have both sold fairly well, the Imperial Shuttle selling through in only a matter of weeks. Will this mean we'll be more likely to see more larger vehicles in the future? If so, would they likely be all-new molds, retooled molds, or unmodified reissues? As a side note, some collectors have felt that large vehicles would always sell better if they were released just before Christmas the way Imperial Shuttle was, furthering the likelihood of selling more units to a wider market - what's Hasbro's take on that?
A: Obviously, higher price points do better before the holidays since that's when gift giving really ramps up and that is the ideal timing for anything that is not an "everyday" priced item (we consider the $19.99 SRP Starfighter Vehicle collection to be sustainable all year long and will keep that going with continued fresh waves). As far as our optimism for large vehicles succeeding based on the recent success - we knew that there was a market for the larger vehicles, the challenge is the extraordinary cost of doing new ones. We are looking at every opportunity to bring all-new ones out. We can't confirm anything right now though. If we did, because of timing, it might not be until 2008.

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Q: Off and on since the first Saga line in 2002, basic figure waves have been planned and released around themes - either by a specific scene or by a movie in general. By planning figures in themes, does that require rushing some figures to make a wave's deadline simply because it fits the theme, or padding the wave with figures that aren't entirely satisfying simply to fill the wave with theme-oriented characters? Is the themed wave idea somewhat constricting to what can be done, and have there ever been figures that were planned for a wave but didn't get finished in time and were shelved for missing their theme?
A: We start any year by planning out themed waves to take advantage of each movie, or catch-all EU theme and then work from there. This means digging into figures we have yet to do (usually collector-targeted) and finding ways to keep the core characters fresh to provide a "hero" appeal to the wave for kids. However, the waves can and do vary in size mostly by what we come up with for a good overall wave balance and may be as few as five new and as many as 10. So there is no set formula except for the theme idea to work, we have to have a minimum. Now in some cases, we may feel that we don't have enough ideas we are excited about for figures compared to say another movie, so we might skip a movie in a year (Empire and Phantom Menace are particularly challening because all the core characters have been produced and we don't feel we need to go back to them every year).... in that case we may take a rich movie like RotJ or RotS and split them into two waves each. Now your question on the challenges it presents when figures are late.... we prefer to keep waves intact and sometimes the wave might be delayed if we feel strongly we need to keep them together. There are other times when we may split and recombine like we did in '06 with the Endor/Naboo wave, which was previously two different waves with more figures, some of which were shifted off into '07 or later due to delays.

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

- Hasbro's answers about making EU figures based on the novels have suggested one of the reasons they're not as likely is because there are no singular visual representations of the characters. However, one of the licensed reference books currently out is "The Essential Guide To Characters" which use Lucasfilm-approved artwork of character likenesses from the novels that are not in the comics, such as many of the Yuuzhan Vong and the Solo Kids. Also, the Japanese cover art likenesses has been claimed as canon by Lucasfilm Licensing executive ficton & comic editor Sue Rostoni, these likenesses being used even on the StarWars.com EU main page as graphic elements. Will Hasbro consider using these sources for the inspiration for future Expanded Universe action figures?
- Considering it is the very first spaceship we see in Star Wars and plays a significant role in the first part of the movie, as well as appearing in ROTS, will the Tantive IV (aka Rebel Blockade Runner) vehicle ever be offered?
- With the onslaught of Titaniums Series 3" vehicles lately (5 waves hit stores from beginning of October to end of November) are there less vehicles per wave being produced or are they just moving that fast? Also, will there be refreshes of these waves for collectors that missed them when they were briefly on shelves?

Tycho
01-13-2007, 02:57 AM
So, an AT-TE or Sailbarge in 2008? We can only hope.

EU novel figures like the Yuuzhan Vong or Solo kids? We better hope that Dark Horse decides to draw them in to some new comics somewhere.

El Chuxter
01-13-2007, 12:05 PM
Embracing the EU, but only the cartoons, video games, and comics while totally ignoring novels?

Well, it is Hasbro, the company that brought us those kewl motorcycles.

dindae
01-13-2007, 04:27 PM
"With the onslaught of Titaniums Series 3" vehicles lately (5 waves hit stores from beginning of October to end of November) are there less vehicles per wave being produced or are they just moving that fast? Also, will there be refreshes of these waves for collectors that missed them when they were briefly on shelves?
There are not fewer vehicles per wave, in fact, they are just moving that fast. There generally are at least 4 vehicles per wave but most average 5 or 6."

I guess I got my answer but I was talking about units not the number of different sculpts. I feel like asking them questions is like trying to drop a coin into one of those "win a free taco" things at Taco Bell where the water filled jug has 3 platforms and you just have to hope your coin lands flat. If you don't phrase the question exactly right the question slids of and joins the rest of the jumbled meaningless words at the bottom of the tank.

Tycho
01-13-2007, 04:32 PM
They confirm what I long suspected while doing Rogues' Gallery - that people into this hobby don't want to make the time to read or appreciate literature. True there are other choices out there (for novels) other than Star Wars books, but most SW books do not take a long time to read. Meanwhile, for those missing out on such authors as James Luceno because they think Michael Crichton or Tom Clancy are so much above Luceno's league - they're just ignorant. I've read all of these authors. And perhaps because Star Wars is deemed so immature or something, its novels are downgraded next to modern era thrillers? It seems like such a judgement error. And one made by people who collect little plastic action figures.

Of course that's movie memorobilia and I'm extending the argument in favor of novel memorobilia in the form of little plastic action figures :crazed:

But I am not normal.

dindae
01-13-2007, 04:54 PM
I rarely read books because I'm not a fast reader. Probably a larger percentage of those books than is healthy have been Star Wars. Some of the books have been good and some have been very poorly written and others just don't have that Star Wars feel. I think the best books have been by Zahn he did an excellent job of capturing the interaction of the main characters. But if someone just grabs one book reads it and doesn't like it then it is a lot harder to convince them to read another.

And no you are not normal but then no one is.

JediTricks
01-13-2007, 05:11 PM
"With the onslaught of Titaniums Series 3" vehicles lately (5 waves hit stores from beginning of October to end of November) are there less vehicles per wave being produced or are they just moving that fast? Also, will there be refreshes of these waves for collectors that missed them when they were briefly on shelves?
There are not fewer vehicles per wave, in fact, they are just moving that fast. There generally are at least 4 vehicles per wave but most average 5 or 6."

I guess I got my answer but I was talking about units not the number of different sculpts. I feel like asking them questions is like trying to drop a coin into one of those "win a free taco" things at Taco Bell where the water filled jug has 3 platforms and you just have to hope your coin lands flat. If you don't phrase the question exactly right the question slids of and joins the rest of the jumbled meaningless words at the bottom of the tank.Oh! I wish you had said that before the question got asked, the word "units" was enough to make me realize you meant sales, but when the question said "less vehicles per wave" I thought what Hasbro thought on that one and didn't realize you meant overall production.

Tycho
01-13-2007, 05:18 PM
I rarely read books because I'm not a fast reader.

You don't have to be fast - just enjoy yourself. That's the point of a book actually.

However, the more you read, the faster you'll probably get - if you enjoy what you read.

As for Star Wars books, yeah Zahn is excellent, though most well-known. Ask around HERE as your online pals at this site make the best resource for book recommenations. I totally recommend James Luceno! Most everyone loves his Star Wars books. If you want it to "feel" like Star Wars - he's the guy.



But if someone just grabs one book reads it and doesn't like it then it is a lot harder to convince them to read another.

So true. That's why you should ask folks here who've read all or most - and you won't waste your time with stuff you won't like.


And no you are not normal but then no one is.

That's become apparent to me whenever I encounter a Mouse Droid. :crazed:

El Chuxter
01-13-2007, 05:34 PM
Clancy and Crichton are not in Luceno's league, Tycho.

Then again, Luceno isn't nearly as good as, say, Vonnegut or Garcia Marquez.

Doesn't mean I have anything against any of them, though.

Darth Jax
01-14-2007, 11:00 AM
I rarely read books because I'm not a fast reader.

there can be reasons why you have difficulty reading, i'd recommend asking your eye doctor about it.

does whoever answers these questions bother to think about what they've already said? we get told that waves will be delayed or reshuffled if the figures aren't ready on time. yet in 2 other questions this week hasbro says that 3PO had such a running change because he was rushed to the shelves as part of the greatest battles line and that vader in the comic pack might not have been the sculpt they were really looking for, but it was due on the shelves so they stopped working on him. but maybe hasbro actually cares about the main figure line and doesn't care what junk they thrust upon retailers beyond that.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
01-14-2007, 02:22 PM
So they pushed off some TPM and/or ROTJ figures into this or next year? I wonder what they are.

dindae
01-16-2007, 09:15 AM
there can be reasons why you have difficulty reading, i'd recommend asking your eye doctor about it.

Already know. I'm slightly lysdexic. Nothing horrific just takes me longer. If I read a lot of an author I can speed things up but I've never found the love of books others have.


but maybe hasbro actually cares about the main figure line and doesn't care what junk they thrust upon retailers beyond that.


I think that sums it up. I think they make the decision to do a repaint/repack and since they have the sculpt they don't look at things as closely as the would a new figure.

Devo
01-16-2007, 12:41 PM
So, an AT-TE or Sailbarge in 2008? We can only hope.

Hasbro's answers regarding new large vehicles have been a little more encouraging of late than they were at the start of the Q&As. Anyone else noticing that?

JediTricks
01-16-2007, 04:59 PM
Looks like Hasbro's going to a bi-weekly schedule for Q&A. I'm a little disappointed by this.


does whoever answers these questions bother to think about what they've already said? we get told that waves will be delayed or reshuffled if the figures aren't ready on time. yet in 2 other questions this week hasbro says that 3PO had such a running change because he was rushed to the shelves as part of the greatest battles line and that vader in the comic pack might not have been the sculpt they were really looking for, but it was due on the shelves so they stopped working on him. but maybe hasbro actually cares about the main figure line and doesn't care what junk they thrust upon retailers beyond that.I don't think 1 specific person answers these, I think it's several different individuals in the Hasbro pantheon. But you are right, their answer is contradictory to other things they've said. I think on the 3PO thing they're referring to mistakes they hadn't caught yet when he left, and on Vader it's a pack-in so it has less importance. :ermm:



Hasbro's answers regarding new large vehicles have been a little more encouraging of late than they were at the start of the Q&As. Anyone else noticing that?Yeah, I absolutely did notice that, I'm still not holding my breath for a large vehicle but it's looking up.

Tycho
01-16-2007, 10:29 PM
Looks like Hasbro's going to a bi-weekly schedule for Q&A. I'm a little disappointed by this.


New Question: So why is Hasbro going to a bi-weekly schedule for Q&A? Do you have something to say to this? Huh? Huh?

jedi master sal
01-17-2007, 12:19 AM
New Question: So why is Hasbro going to a bi-weekly schedule for Q&A? Do you have something to say to this? Huh? Huh?

Because the are bi......weekly.

Got a problem with that? Huh Huh?

Of course not, because we have pics of you from CIII, remember??

heh heh.

Just bustin' your chops Tycho. No harm intended.

Tycho
01-17-2007, 05:27 AM
Why did that automatically remind me of Brandy? :love:

Those were fun times. They make me reconsider whether I should go to Celebrtion 4.

JediTricks
01-17-2007, 05:54 PM
New Question: So why is Hasbro going to a bi-weekly schedule for Q&A? Do you have something to say to this? Huh? Huh?
http://www.sirstevesguide.com/index.php?categoryid=13&p2_articleid=569

I'll be honest, I'm not so sure on their reasoning, I think they're just sick of us.

Rogue II
01-17-2007, 06:34 PM
http://www.sirstevesguide.com/index.php?categoryid=13&p2_articleid=569

I'll be honest, I'm not so sure on their reasoning, I think they're just sick of us.

They are sick of everyone except for me. How do I know? How many of us here have a figure with a vehicle named after them? Hmmm?:D :thumbsup:

Actually, I'm sick of us too. How many times have they given the same answers about vehicles, playsets, and specific figures? Not to mention the over-specific questions about the smallest details.

JediTricks
01-17-2007, 06:56 PM
Yeah, I sometimes feel that way as well when I'm compiling the questions, but there are still nuggets of good info which keep my spirits high. I do often feel like being a tyrant and clearcutting the questions voting thread so that only policy and interesting questions remain, but I know my POV isn't the only one that I'm representing with the program so I try to keep it centered.

bigbarada
01-17-2007, 07:11 PM
I wonder if they are tired of the overly nitpicky questions. If I was Hasbro, I would start to wonder if it's even possible to please Star Wars collectors anymore.

dindae
01-18-2007, 09:27 AM
I think they realize with so many sites asking questions that even giving away the smallest detail of upcoming attractions they don't have enough news to give us news every week especially if they want to have big surprises at Toy Fair, Comic Con, etc.

JediTricks
01-20-2007, 03:08 PM
I was afraid this was going to happen, no answers yesterday, probably because Martin Luther King day was last week, but now we have 2 week's worth of questions out with them.