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View Full Version : SSG's Tri-Weekly Hasbro Q&A - November 7th



JediTricks
11-07-2008, 07:24 PM
The votes are in, the people have spoken, it's... IT'S... Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for November 7th, 2008! Thanks again to Hasbro for the answers, to all the folks who sent in questions and especially those who voted on them.


Hasbro Q&A for the week of November 7th

SSG: Recently, you confirmed that in the '09 Legacy line, there will be an EU wave; separately, you have said that there won't be more TFU figures in '09 beyond Shaak Ti, no KOTOR possible before 2010, no more Clone Wars micro-series figures, and no realistic figures from the new Clone Wars series. With all those EU sources out of the way, and the comic characters getting tons of coverage in the Comic Packs line, does that mean the '09 EU wave will finally show some love for characters from the novels?
Hasbro: Excellent detective work. Yes indeed, there will be a couple figures from novels in there, including two from the famous 2006 Toy Fare top 25 poll.
(Editor's note - for reference, here are all of the remaining yet-to-be-made winners of that poll: Bastila Shan, Padme Amidala Funeral, Corran Horn, Exar Kun, Nom Anor, Jaina Solo, Anakin Solo, and Jacen Solo. -JT)

SSG: Some collectors have expressed disappointment in the Disturbance at the Lars Homestead set. The example shown in the slideshow at Comic-Con featured much a nicer deco, and while we understand that prototypes usually have more care than production pieces, it seems like this particular production version suffered a severe backslide in quality, the deco just doesn't hold up. It's hard for collectors to understand how a $50 set is only 2 new pieces (the womp rat and the house section), a vacuform base, and 4 older pieces (the 3 figures and the moisture vaporator), and then how it could end up losing significant quality at that pricepoint. We understand the tooling for the house was an extensive portion of the budget, and we appreciate the great effort made to get this made, but collectors keep asking us to ask: what happened here, what went wrong to drag that quality down? And that leads to: why was this set produced now when it couldn't find all the budget for a better deco, more troopers, a treadwell droid, more accessories, etc.?
Hasbro: We knew from the outset that this set would be narrowly collector-targeted, but because of the prominent and iconic nature of the homestead we decided to go ahead with it. As a result, the overall costs to develop (including tooling) are reflected against a somewhat more narrow volume than that which is reflected in the eventual price. There was just no other way to bring this one out. Originally the Homestead set was to have more troopers and another womp rat, but these had to be removed to contain the costs. As for the deco, the original deco was deemed to be too heavy for the piece and it was pulled back.

SSG: Back in April, you said you should have for us at Comic Con a peek at the upcoming Comic Packs Lumiya figure, but with Comic Con come and gone, we still have not seen Lumiya. Is it possible we could see this figure now, and if not, why not?
Hasbro: Due to sculpting delays, the wave with Lumiya will not be out until the middle of next year. As such, we do not a have a picture of her ready yet.

- - -

And our questions at CollectionStation.com (http://www.collectionstation.com/groups/view/Star-Wars/Official-Hasbro-Q-A_34):


Last year, Hasbro released the R2-KT figure while making a charitable donation to ensure that the spirit of a figure for the Katie Johnson charity was fully met before any were sold. With R2-KT appearing in the Clone Wars movie, is there a chance we could get animated R2-KT as a repainted animated R2-D2 figure in a similar charity-type release?
Will there be more droid repaints in the Clone Wars line? The molds already exist, so they shouldn't be too difficult to achieve. For instance, will there be TC-70 based on the C-3PO mold, R4-P17 based on the R2-D2 mold, or KRONOS-327 based on the IG-86 mold? TC-70 obviously would be a good companion piece to the upcoming animated Jabba you're developing, and Obi-Wan needs a droid to fit in his Jedi Starfighter's droid slot.
In Hasbro's GI Joe line's comic packs, they have moved beyond mere reprints to also feature entirely new stand-alone comics. Given that Dark Horse has released similar Star Wars comics to retailers in the past, have you considered working with them to commission new stand-alone Star Wars comics that feature highly-requested EU characters that otherwise don't appear in the comics and therefore have a lot less chance of being released as figures?

JediTricks
11-07-2008, 07:42 PM
Looks like the Solo twins have a great shot of getting made, it's only them, their brother Anakin Solo, or Corran Horn that it could be. That's 50/50 right off the bat, and Anakin Solo would be a sucky figure so that's 66% likely for them. :p

Bummer about the budget issues holding the Lars homestead back from what they had planned. At least we have confirmation on that, though I think we all knew it was the reason.

Sorry Lumiya fans, delayed.

Over on CS, I was very surprised about the R2-KT answer being so positive. The other 2 are good answers as well, but that one threw me since it started "no" and ended "probably".

On Yakface, they got confirmation that the aforementioned EU wave is getting bumped to Jan '10 probably, but they also confirmed K'kruhk will be in that wave.

RS got confirmation that the ESB wave's Emperor figure will be the Evo Emperor with a new head. I'm mixed on how I feel about that, but it has a chance to not suck. Oh, and that wave's BAD is, of all crazy things, HK-47! Sorry KOTOR fans, but you're going to have to buy an entire wave for that fig or go tradin' crazy. Made me go take that HK-47 thing out of the poll results comment I included. :p

obi-dad
11-07-2008, 08:41 PM
Hasbro: We knew from the outset that this set would be narrowly collector-targeted, but because of the prominent and iconic nature of the homestead we decided to go ahead with it.

The part that still gets me with this set and this answer is that they admit up front that they knew this set would be "narrowly collector-targeted", yet they throw those potf2 (or saga/flashback... I can't remember now) figures in there and yet another Sandtrooper. If this is for the "narrow collector targeted" buyer, then why include figures we collectors most likely already have? And if we don't have them, we can easily pick them up cheaply on ebay or many other 2nd ways. So, Hasbro could have spent that money (and plastic) on a better base and the better decco (or even a 2nd moisture vaporator). Both their decision making process for this set and their answer suck big time.

FundingMyAddiction
11-07-2008, 08:45 PM
Looks like the Solo twins have a great shot of getting made, it's only them, their brother Anakin Solo, or Corran Horn that it could be. That's 50/50 right off the bat, and Anakin Solo would be a sucky figure so that's 66% likely for them. :p

I'm hoping you're right about this one. I think it's about time we got the Solo twins. Especially after Legacy of the Force.



RS got confirmation that the ESB wave's Emperor figure will be the Evo Emperor with a new head. I'm mixed on how I feel about that, but it has a chance to not suck.

I'm kind of sad on this one. We really need a new Emperor sculpt. I do like the Evo one, but if you actually want to set him up in different positions, it's impossible because of his limited leg articulation and the way the soft goods are. Not to mention you never actually see the Emperor in ESB (aside from the hologram of his head), but ehhh.

ChrisLyne
11-08-2008, 04:18 AM
Finally the Solo twins are all but confirmed!

Thank you Hasbro!!!

Now I'm just praying for NJO Jedi Knight versions!

obi-dad
11-08-2008, 10:33 AM
Galactic Hunter had some interesting confirmations:


There will be four 100% newly tooled additions to [the $20 vehicle]assortment in 2009. The first two that will be out in Spring can be seen in The Clone Wars movie, and they both fly. Let the speculating begin!!

2X-7KPR (the final unreleased droid from the "Purchase of the Droids" scene is planned as a pack-in with a Jawa in a later wave of 2009.

Darth Sidious and Mechno Chair is still on target for release next year, as is the Leia, Coleman Trebor, and Maroon Battle Droid Commander.

Umbra
11-08-2008, 05:16 PM
*grumbles* ouch hasbro, the HK-47 announcement is like a shot to the balls. A highly wanted figure as a build a droid, in a wave i'm struggling to find even 1 figure i actually want...thats just cruel

Mr. JabbaJohnL
11-08-2008, 05:25 PM
There will be four 100% newly tooled additions to [the $20 vehicle]assortment in 2009. The first two that will be out in Spring can be seen in The Clone Wars movie, and they both fly. Let the speculating begin!!
Apart from the Magnaguard fighter, I can't for the life of me think of another one, unless they mean Obi-Wan's Delta-7B.

JediTricks
11-08-2008, 05:57 PM
The part that still gets me with this set and this answer is that they admit up front that they knew this set would be "narrowly collector-targeted", yet they throw those potf2 (or saga/flashback... I can't remember now) figures in there and yet another Sandtrooper. If this is for the "narrow collector targeted" buyer, then why include figures we collectors most likely already have? And if we don't have them, we can easily pick them up cheaply on ebay or many other 2nd ways. So, Hasbro could have spent that money (and plastic) on a better base and the better decco (or even a 2nd moisture vaporator). Both their decision making process for this set and their answer suck big time. They had to have certain characters in there to put the set into context, originally when it was planned they had a lot more going on and the set wouldn't be sunk by those 2, but as the budget tightened and tightened they could not be taken out as they give context to the whole thing. You must have those 2 characters in this set, and it's way too expensive to make new versions for a set that's going to sell weak. So it's either include them or make no set at all. This is why listening to collectors sucks, they don't care about the reality of the situation, Hasbro's damned if they make the set and damned if they pass on it. The funny thing is that collectors don't have to buy this set if they don't like it, it's not an obligation, yet they did even seeing how poorly it came out compared to their expectations and then they bash Hasbro for not delivering the moon.



I'm kind of sad on this one. We really need a new Emperor sculpt. I do like the Evo one, but if you actually want to set him up in different positions, it's impossible because of his limited leg articulation and the way the soft goods are. Not to mention you never actually see the Emperor in ESB (aside from the hologram of his head), but ehhh.I don't have the Evo one, I thought its head looked like garbage and its hood was way too tight, so I didn't know the body wasn't very good. That's too bad, you're right that the Emp is only a holo in the movie but I wanted an OT Emperor done right finally and I didn't care which version they used (since they put the ROTJ-styled Emp in ESB SE anyway).



Galactic Hunter had some interesting confirmations: There will be four 100% newly tooled additions to [the $20 vehicle]assortment in 2009. The first two that will be out in Spring can be seen in The Clone Wars movie, and they both fly. Let the speculating begin!!
We know that the Magnaguard Fighter is one of those and the new Jedi Starfighter is another, though.


2X-7KPR (the final unreleased droid from the "Purchase of the Droids" scene is planned as a pack-in with a Jawa in a later wave of 2009.I have no idea where this set is going to go, since there's only 1 ANH wave next year. Still, at least they're doing it.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
11-08-2008, 06:25 PM
Oh, and why are you submitting the questions through collectionstation now instead of actionfigs? Why not both, so we can have nine questions each time?

JediTricks
11-08-2008, 06:41 PM
We tried, as we do have that 3rd outlet, but they have closed the Q&A to new sites now that Han's Hideout was added, they have too many questions to answer in each round. As to why Steve changed it from CS to AF, you'll have to ask him, he's in charge of that situation.

obi-dad
11-09-2008, 02:51 PM
They had to have certain characters in there to put the set into context, originally when it was planned they had a lot more going on and the set wouldn't be sunk by those 2, but as the budget tightened and tightened they could not be taken out as they give context to the whole thing. You must have those 2 characters in this set, and it's way too expensive to make new versions for a set that's going to sell weak. So it's either include them or make no set at all. This is why listening to collectors sucks, they don't care about the reality of the situation, Hasbro's damned if they make the set and damned if they pass on it. The funny thing is that collectors don't have to buy this set if they don't like it, it's not an obligation, yet they did even seeing how poorly it came out compared to their expectations and then they bash Hasbro for not delivering the moon.


No, actually, they didn't "have" to include any figures at all. They said it was for collectors and collectors would have already had the figures. That's part of their model, to include figures with vehicles, super battle packs, etc, but it's their choice to do it. Hasbro has certainly sold vehicles in the past without figures... ok, I may be crazy here, I thought they did, but can't come up with a single instance in my head now that they have, but obviously, they could. I understand it would have been more expensive to make new figures and I didn't ask or complain that they didn't. "That's why listening to collectors sucks"? As you stated, Hasbro didn't have to make it... I never read many requests for it on the multiple sites & forums I visit, but as the saying goes, if you are going to do something, do it right. I haven't seen it in person, but can you remove the flimsy plastic and use what's underneath? I bought the Falcon at full price. That was a quality set, better than any previous attempt by Hasbro, IMO, and as broke as I am, I was willing to pay for their effort and quality. It's pretty lame if others and I can't voice our oppions and dissappointment with how cheap the set looks because of that flimsy base. You see, I'm more disappointed that Hasbro made it and made it cheap. I'd rather they didn't make it at all than do it poorly, like many of the playset they've made in the past (including the really cheap Ep I ones). I would love to be proved wrong, but I personally believe that playsets, accessories, diorama pieces would really sell, if Hasbro makes them with attention to detail and with quality plastic and paint apps. I'm sorry if it sucks to read, but Hasbro came so close with this set and just a little extra effort would have made this pretty sweet. I'm still even considering throwing away $50 just to have it, but I truly feel like I would be throwing away at least $20 and I would still not have something I could proudly display. I even bought 3 or 4 of those TERRIBLE 30th Anniversary Tattoine Lukes just to have extra moisture vaporators and gave the Lukes to my nephews. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I truly wish Hasbro would have not made this set and the Pit of Carkoon if they weren't going to take the extra step to do it right. And... I can simply not buy it, since I don't like it, but the fact is, Hasbro came pretty close to making them really good and close enough that it hurts. I wouldn't mind over paying and buying figures I already have (I've done that plenty of times in the past) and buying a vehicle I already have 2 of, if they would have put more care to do the set right. Sideshow & Gentle Giant seem to be surviving doing that - and yes, I know they have a different business model.

OK, I'm going to shut up about this and do my best to not mention these to sets again. Sorry to complain, but I don't feel like I've asked Hasbro to deliver the moon here and in these cases, they definitely didn't .... just close enough to realize what could have been.

Mad Slanted Powers
11-09-2008, 07:17 PM
I don't have the Evo one, I thought its head looked like garbage and its hood was way too tight, so I didn't know the body wasn't very good. That's too bad, you're right that the Emp is only a holo in the movie but I wanted an OT Emperor done right finally and I didn't care which version they used (since they put the ROTJ-styled Emp in ESB SE anyway).I thought the Evolutions Emperor was pretty good if you could find him under that mess of a robe. Fix the robe and put a new head on it and it would be a great figure.

Here is how it looks without the cloak, along with the articulation - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/ROTS/swevol_SITHempart.jpg

Mr. JabbaJohnL
11-09-2008, 08:14 PM
If you take off the clasp-necklace thing and put it under the cloak instead of over it, then the Emperor's hood isn't so bad. It's a little pointy and doesn't quite match the screen the way it should, though. I would prefer they just sculpt it again.

JediTricks
11-10-2008, 07:08 AM
I thought the Evolutions Emperor was pretty good if you could find him under that mess of a robe. Fix the robe and put a new head on it and it would be a great figure.

Here is how it looks without the cloak, along with the articulation - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/ROTS/swevol_SITHempart.jpg
I see what they mean about the leg articulation problem from the tight skirt. Also, the Emperor really REALLY needs mid-torso articulation so he can walk hunched over but then stand upright for surprise battle spryness.


If you take off the clasp-necklace thing and put it under the cloak instead of over it, then the Emperor's hood isn't so bad. It's a little pointy and doesn't quite match the screen the way it should, though. I would prefer they just sculpt it again.IMO, it looks bad no matter what they do to it. It's just a bad piece of cut & sewing. They need to go back to the pattern and start over, like you said.



No, actually, they didn't "have" to include any figures at all. They said it was for collectors and collectors would have already had the figures. That's part of their model, to include figures with vehicles, super battle packs, etc, but it's their choice to do it. You are misinterpretting what they said. They said it "would be narrowly collector-targeted, but because of the prominent and iconic nature of the homestead we decided to go ahead with it." The part about it being "narrowly collector-targeted" means that on its own it would not get produced, BUT because it also was iconic and prominent they could try to market it to a bigger audience than just collectors.

You are reading focus and importance into there on the shoulder of the collector that is essentially the opposite of what they are saying.


Hasbro has certainly sold vehicles in the past without figures... ok, I may be crazy here, I thought they did, but can't come up with a single instance in my head now that they have, but obviously, they could.Since new management came in with the Saga line, there's been very few sets above $20 that have come sans figure (mainly the Republic Gunship and ARC-170), and only 1 playset that way - and that was the Geonosis arena that sold terribly and was pricedropped and eventually clearanced out. The current brand management has taken what was a struggling, sagging brand and brought it up to remain one of the top toy brands year after year, movie support and not. "They could do more" is a risk they feel would hamper sales of items like that. They care a great deal about each item's success and how that fits into the longterm success of the line, each failure means upper management may reduce the line's budget and make that next nifty thing that much less likely to be produced.


I haven't seen it in person, but can you remove the flimsy plastic and use what's underneath?I don't own one, but I believe that's the case from what I've heard. The house is removable from the base, and the sarlacc is removable from the sand.


It's pretty lame if others and I can't voice our oppions and dissappointment with how cheap the set looks because of that flimsy base.You can and you did, and what did that get us? Not much. You know what speaks volumes? Sales. If fans don't like it, they won't buy it, and Hasbro will have to go back and look at what didn't work so they can try to not make that mistake again. I didn't like how it looked so I didn't buy it.


You see, I'm more disappointed that Hasbro made it and made it cheap. I'd rather they didn't make it at all than do it poorly, like many of the playset they've made in the past (including the really cheap Ep I ones). I would love to be proved wrong, but I personally believe that playsets, accessories, diorama pieces would really sell, if Hasbro makes them with attention to detail and with quality plastic and paint apps.That's a slippery slope argument you make there. First off, because it's subjective, just because you and I don't like it doesn't mean that's true of everybody, units are selling so someone must think it's ok. Second, let's be realistic, there hasn't been many really good playsets in all of Star Wars 31 years on the market.

None of the modern playets have been worth a crap, so we can agree there. But what about the vintage ones? What was so great about Jabba's Dungeon, Vader's Star Destroyer, Hoth, or the Cantina? They were all kinda weak. Land of the Jawas and Dagobah are kinda ok but small and a little on the silly side. Imperial Attack Base had charm but was spartan. That leaves the Ewok Village, which is big and well detailed but not all that exciting; and the Death Star which has lots of features but not all that much detail and is not made to withstand the test of time. Playsets haven't enjoyed a good track record for AT LEAST 25 years now. And there's no other toy line today that does playsets, the closest was Galoob with Micro Machines and Action Fleet, and those had to be specially sized and priced on the small side.

The truth is that collectors aren't realistic about the toys they collect, nor the market that supports them.


Maybe I'm in the minority, but I truly wish Hasbro would have not made this set and the Pit of Carkoon if they weren't going to take the extra step to do it right.So where does that budget come from to do it "right"? Are you willing to pay $70 instead of $50 to get the Homestead upgraded with a hard base, better paint, and a couple more moisture vaporators? Do you realistically think a portion of the casual collector market will? The higher the pricetag goes, the less that group which keeps the line going is willing to buy it; the less they're willing to buy it, the less units Hasbro will make which will lower profit margins and cause them to jack up the price even higher.

Almost nobody bought the Attakus Death Star diorama/playset thing, it cost a fortune because it had to.


And... I can simply not buy it, since I don't like it, but the fact is, Hasbro came pretty close to making them really good and close enough that it hurts.It's a mass-market toy, there will always be corners cut. For every one of us that loves the BMF, there's another that says "the radar dish is too small, the paint is no good, the boxes underneath are too big, the whole thing is out of scale, there's no tunnel to the cockpit, it needs more sound effects, the rear compartment should be used for more scenes, the loose legs ruin the whole thing, there's no sliding panel for the hidden repeater blaster, the quad cannons don't turn properly, the escape pod is unrealistic and wastes space." Either we can accept the limitations of the product or we can't, but at the end of the day we're not worrying about whether our decisions on the item will cost other collectors another toy down the road, we're not balancing the budget to ensure the line remains successful now and has a chance to make more toys later.


Sideshow & Gentle Giant seem to be surviving doing that - and yes, I know they have a different business model.Sideshow has been dropping the ball little by little, left and right, and their sales are suffering for it. The Utapau Clone is the first SW exclusive to not sell out in a day (it lasted over a week), and it has nothing to do with the exclusive being lame because it's still the same price as the regular, only Tycho is nutty enough to turn the freebie exclusive down. Sideshow aims high and then cannot deliver all the way because it's over budget, all while their pricing skyrockets, and their reputation is not where it once was because of that. And GG has been all but MIA lately.


OK, I'm going to shut up about this and do my best to not mention these to sets again. Sorry to complain, but I don't feel like I've asked Hasbro to deliver the moon here and in these cases, they definitely didn't .... just close enough to realize what could have been.We are all entitled to our opinions, but we as collectors are only looking out for our short-term needs, we don't care about compromises that must be made to get a product out the door and into our hands, we selfishly only care about short-term results, and calling Hasbro out for being forced to worry about those things for us is not constructive and it's not realistic. They know how we feel, they do their homework and research, but we collectors are not the only important factor, we're not the only consumers, we're not even the majority consumer, so when we ask them to make stuff like the homestead (and folks have, it's come up in the past in Q&A more than once) and they do everything they can to produce it, let it be known ahead of time to us that the house is really the centerpiece of the set, and then fans complain about the figures and the deco not being as top-drawer as the prototype (big surprise) and the small sand base isn't quality enough - like it's so friggin' hard to use something else for sand like, oh, I dunno, sand? - what does that say about the fans? That they want unrealistic levels of detail and quality for the pricerange? That they can't customize their own sand base and touch up the paint on Tunisian adobe building? That they want the moon at discount prices? None of that's a surprise, none of it is helpful either.

Personally, I think it was foolish of Hasbro to make it because there was never going to be enough support to get sales to justify it. It was unwise of them to trust collectors' tastes since collectors to expect this sort of thing in the first place, collectors aren't realistic about what they want or what sells. When we collectors stop expecting the mega awesome Dagobah or Death Star playsets, we can move on to asking for stuff that actually has a snowball's chance in hell of being produced. Maybe the problem is that we've lost the ability to realize how lucky we are to have a dream line like Star Wars produced, we think all our dreams for the line can be done.

The Sarlacc is $60 and has a vehicle and 5 figures, and it's still an undersized hole in a vacuform base, and that's as good as Hasbro could deliver - what chance does a GOOD sarlacc really have? And yet, collectors actually continue to ask for that and stuff like that despite a market that hasn't supported playsets in a whole generation.