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View Full Version : SSG's Tri-Weekly Hasbro Q&A - July 6th



JediTricks
07-06-2009, 03:39 PM
The last Q&A before San Diego Comic-Con. It's Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for July 6th, 2009. 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 July 6th


SSG: Understanding that it's still too far away to talk about and that plans could always change, with the upcoming live-action TV show on the horizon to again boost interest in Star Wars collecting, would Hasbro release those figures as their own separate line, or would they be integrated into an overall line such as the Saga series?
Hasbro: We have absolutely no idea what's up with the live action TV show. Most likely we would look at a separate line, as Clone Wars is.

SSG: As the first generation of TLC and Clone Wars packaging nears the end of its run, we are noticing smaller amounts of new waves hitting local stores, and odd case assortments in those waves and their revisions. The ESB wave seems to be trickling in very slowly, with many collectors not having seen it "in the wild". The AOTC wave has appeared online, but still not in stores as of June. Clone Wars wave 5 has appeared in short supply and with a case assortment that still only includes 1 of each new figure, padding shelves with existing figures that aren't in short supply and don't seem to need significant restocking, while ensuring new figures get choked out, and it seems to be continuing for the next few CW and TLC waves (we understand the Hasbro argument about not having enough new product manufacturing volume for a wave, but there seem to be less revisions to address that, and more figures not moving fast enough to make way). While we understand that there is always a retailer reset of the lines with new packaging, a holding of the breath, it seems like this year it's been a longer-term problem and many collectors are growing frustrated with the scarcity of newer figures. Are there other reasons behind the lack of new figures on shelves, is there a remedy for it before the new packaging comes in?
Hasbro: Clone Wars continues to be a monstrous hit with kids, necessitating waves with only 1/case of the new figures and constant repacks of the "greatest hits" to ensure that the most popular characters remain in rotation. The problem has been with Legacy; with sales not where we were expecting them, the new waves are having a harder time getting in to retail since there is still a good amount of previous waves on the shelves. However, there here should be plenty of EpV to go around by now. The challenge will be with the EpII wave - we cut back production on this one and it will be the scarcest of all the Legacy waves, and we needed to give new production over to the red/white waves to make sure they get in to retail approximately late August/early Sept. If folks want to be sure they can get the complete EpII wave, we recommend one of the Internet-based suppliers as they are able to order product directly from us by the specific wave, whereas the brick and mortar retailers do not have that precision and there is no telling which stores will get it. Just as an FYI - there is no hard planogram reset date this year for Star Wars, so the new red/white packaging will flow in right after the previous waves have gone through retail, and will not be the same for all retailers depending upon stock.

SSG: Perhaps a longshot, but does Hasbro have access to the old Kenner Droids line's vehicle molds, the Side Gunner, ATL Interceptor, perhaps even the infamously never released White Witch? Will there be any chance to see these given new life and released under Hasbro one day?
Hasbro: Sadly, we don't have any of these left in our tooling library. We're not sure if the White Witch was ever actually tooled up, but it sure is a good looking vehicle. Unless it gets modern entertainment support it's highly unlikely that we'd go ahead with it.

- - -


And our questions at CollectionStation.com (http://www.collectionstation.com/groups/view/Star-Wars/Official-Hasbro-Star-Wars-Q-A-76_55):


Recently, pictures of the TPM wave surfaced online, and they seem to be of final production samples. We've seen a trend in the last few years of deco work becoming steadily weaker and weaker, with the Gungan Warrior sporting a particularly weak deco. On all previous Gungans, the colored parts of the arms have been detailed and accurate to the film and the different colors on the face have blended together well; on this new version, the paint seems sloppy, with no details on the arms and a stark contrast between the dark and light colors. While we understand that you've cut back on weathering and other details due to cost issues, this Gungan seems a bit much. Will we continue to see increasingly poor paint applications as the line continues, is there too much budget given to articulation at the expense of deco, and if so, what reasons are behind these issues? Will the line's deco get cheaper and more toyetic as the prices increase due to ever-tightening budgetary issues?
Hasbro has had a long history of packing new figures or improved sculpts in various multipacks with re-released figures. This essentially makes longtime collectors choose between re-purchasing figures they may have multiple times already (Vader and Han Solo are notable repeat offenders), or completely miss out on the new figures in the sets. This has, unfortunately, caused many unscrupulous collectors to purchase the sets, remove the figures or accessories they want, replace them with older, less desirable figures, and return them to the store for full credit. Though honest collectors will bring this to the attention of store management, many times the tampered-with items are back on the shelf the next day for whatever reason. Though we understand the business sense behind offering the new with the old, the practice of figure-swapping-to-return theft is steadily on the rise and far less rare than it should be, while employees are less able or diligent to keep that tampered product off their shelves. Isn't there anything you can do to potentially slow the problem, both the initial swapping and the employees re-stocking the tampered items after it's been brought to their attention?
A recent disassembly of your Titanium Series V-19 Starfighter led to the surprising discovery of a detailed cockpit underneath the opaque yellow canopy. Why was this item released with the opaque canopy rather than a transparent one which would have shown off the detailing underneath? You guys are paying to design, sculpt, and tool up that interior, so why hide it? Will this be addressed in some sort of re-release before the line's end?

El Chuxter
07-06-2009, 03:48 PM
Wow. Hasbro admits their distribution sucks and they're powerless to do anything about it.

Here's an idea: you made something. You know people want it. They are willing to pay for it. The pursuit of money is the sole reason for a company's existence. Why not actually provide the desired items to the desired buyers rather than create an unnecessary secondary market where you don't actually see a penny from the dramatic markups?

DarkJedi5
07-06-2009, 04:28 PM
Yeah that answer really sucks. I mean, we all knew it was gonna be hard to find because it was going to be right before a change over but it seems they scaled back production numbers anyway because of lower sales? Talk about manufacturing scarcity. I think I just heard online prices double.

JediTricks
07-06-2009, 05:13 PM
CS questions have been posted.

I don't think you guys will be much happier with those answers either, though. Only the Titanium question gets a valuable result. :p


Their answer for the distribution problem is wacked, why not just produce more of the product for the new line? Oh, right, because they're trying to sucker retailers into thinking it's new product. Silliness that harms collectors. Still, I'm not exactly surprised they lowered production of AOTC Owen & Beru and the rest of that snore of a wave.

LTBasker
07-06-2009, 05:25 PM
Only the Titanium question gets a valuable result. :p

In the words of Robot Chicken's depiction of M. Night Shamalamadingdong, "what a twist!"

JediTricks
07-06-2009, 06:00 PM
Haw!

I guess the TV show question got a valuable result, it's the answer the question was looking for, it just came off without any fanfare.

DarkJedi5
07-06-2009, 06:03 PM
First of all, no offence to JT. He does great work in crafting our questions to try and ensure we get good answers. That said, I think Hasbro’s answer to the Gungan question is utter crap. I mean, we submit a question that very diplomatically points out that the Gungan has a super crappy paint job. We acknowledge the fact that paint seems to be something that has been slipping lately but that in the past they’ve nailed Gungans. In return they coddle us and treat us like we don’t know how figures are made. We’re not asking why they crapped out on the paint so much as trying to get them to admit they did a crappy job and maybe tell us they’ll fix it. I know that the direct route doesn’t get you anywhere either (I read the Q&A at the sites that try it and their answers are even worse) but it’s getting hard not to be frustrated with they way they respond to these.

JediTricks
07-06-2009, 06:16 PM
First of all, no offence to JT. He does great work in crafting our questions to try and ensure we get good answers. That said, I think Hasbro’s answer to the Gungan question is utter crap. I mean, we submit a question that very diplomatically points out that the Gungan has a super crappy paint job. We acknowledge the fact that paint seems to be something that has been slipping lately but that in the past they’ve nailed Gungans. In return they coddle us and treat us like we don’t know how figures are made. We’re not asking why they crapped out on the paint so much as trying to get them to admit they did a crappy job and maybe tell us they’ll fix it. I know that the direct route doesn’t get you anywhere either (I read the Q&A at the sites that try it and their answers are even worse) but it’s getting hard not to be frustrated with they way they respond to these.No offense taken by me, I totally agree that their answer on the Gungan's lost paint job at the expense of articulation is just not good enough. They're basically admitting that yeah, they're throwing the baby out with the bathwater to get that articulation, but they're trying to spin it so it's not so bad. And then we go on to say we know it's expensive to add articulation and they act like we don't know this when it's clearly the crux of the question.

Bottom line, they're happy with it and that's that, no fix. That's your answer, they did exactly what we accused them of, and there ya go. Gee, thanks a bunch.

El Chuxter
07-06-2009, 06:46 PM
If I don't get my Owen and Beru, heads will roll. I will personally kick everyone at Hasbro's corporate offices in the shins.

As for the other questions, particularly the one I posed about figure-swapping and BattlePacks, what the HELL? If they've actually got people out every week in all stores, why am I seeing the same frigging repack over and over and over and over for months? What's this BS about criminal prosecution? It's unethical as hell, but isn't it the idiots at the return counter not looking at anything or being told not to refuse anything with a receipt, or the folks at the customer service desk who keep putting the #$%^ out on the floor again and again, who are to blame for it? And even then, what law has been broken? No question it's wrong, but where's the law that actually forbids it? And if it were true, in the 21st century, don't you reckon some toy site somewhere would've reported on one of these cases, and it would've spread across the internet like wildfire, possibly even putting a stop to it? People do it because they know they'll get away with it!!

Possibly worse is the bolshevik about "As for our general philosophy of repacks, which you mention upfront in your question, we always try to make sure that either *all* of the figures in a pack are new and improved in some way, or *none* of them (straight repacks like many Battle Packs)." WHAT. THE. %^&#?!? Explain to me the stinking Mace Windu reissue with the purple Marines that have never been reissued one bloody time, though the Mace seems to be in every GD case assortment and prequel BattlePack? Same with Aayla and her squadron. Or how about the Senate Pod that was only issued once, with four crappy reissued garbage figures, despite being one of the most highly-demanded items from the Prequel Trilogy? Why, as an Ewok lover, don't I have Oochee? Oh yeah, it was $60 to get him along with a lot of reissued and slightly "improved" figures I've got a dozen times already!! The figures in the Yavin BattlePack are technically "new," but who aside from Gothiczartan wants another GD Dutch Vander? (I'm not trying to insult the guy or to be silly. Honestly, who else wants that figure?) On the other hand, the Tantive IV BattlePack was all technically "old" figures, but the frigging Vader kills the possibility of buying multiples to build a Stormtrooper army. Even in the first wave of GD BattlePacks, I had to buy a &^$%ing piece of crap Yoda and Grievous to get Yavin Asajj, Yavin Anakin, and the (thankfully updated) armored Muunilinst Obi-Wan.

Hell, look at other lines, they do the same thing! I probably have more frigging Destros and Cobra Commanders than soldiers for them to command, and I'm and adult who can buy multiples of a lot of the army builders!

Honestly, does someone from Hasbro answer these, or do they find a crazy homeless guy under a bridge, give him a bottle of Cold Duck and an old slice of pizza, and say, "Hey, why don't you answer questions for a bunch of dorks for us?" Do they really think that neurotic grownups who go to sites about this stuff don't pay any GD attention to what they've done and the complete opposite they tell us?

Sorry for getting so worked up, but &*%$!! Are they compulsive liars, are they idiots, or do they think we're idiots? I can't come up with a fourth option here.

I know there's a really fine line between a pointed question and one that's too impolitic to ask, but can we follow up on that and call them on this utter BS answer?

Mr. JabbaJohnL
07-07-2009, 12:28 AM
The figures in the Yavin BattlePack are technically "new," but who aside from Gothiczartan wants another GD Dutch Vander? (I'm not trying to insult the guy or to be silly. Honestly, who else wants that figure?)
To be fair, the Battle Pack has a Garven Dreis figure, who's Red Leader, not Gold Leader. We sorely needed an update to Red Leader, who was previously only available as a grinning midget with his X-wing and a cardboard droid back in 2003. You're pretty right-on about all the other stuff, though, and I do indeed think a follow-up question would be good.

The live action answer first struck me as dickish, but I guess they're just really being to the point.

The second SSG answer is odd, though. They seem to keep shipping IG-86 and the Magnaguard despite both of them being pegwarmers, and even some of the clones like the space gear one and the 212th battalion one aren't exactly flying off the shelves. There's not actually a ton of Legacy figures on the pegs here, aside from Yarna at every store and a few stragglers at select stores (one Target here hasn't gotten non-Legends Legacy figures in months). I've only seen Luke, Needa, and the Ugnaught a few times each but they were in limited numbers and the others were nowhere to be found, so there certainly isn't "plenty to go around." I got both the last two waves online, but I don't want to make that a regular thing (I know the new stuff will be easier to find, or at least I hope so).

Hopefully they're right and the Gungan will look good in person. Some of their non-official test shots have been pretty horrid lately and I've ended up liking the figures better than what was shown, but that damn Gungan has a long ways to go. I understand that more parts means more deco, but it's overall the same amount of paint and the same amount of design, but just split into smaller bits, so there shouldn't really even be a problem.

El Chuxter
07-07-2009, 12:30 AM
My bad. I thought it was Dutch. Not the best example, then.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
07-07-2009, 02:07 PM
In the Q&A for YodasNews (http://www.yodasnews.com/), they revealed the amazing-looking Paploo and NoApakk two-pack. I'm not sure which costume NoApakk was based on, but they both look fantastic. Paploo looks a ton better than the 2002 version - they even sculpted his grimace! :D

DarkJedi5
07-07-2009, 02:37 PM
I really like the new weapons they will come with. It will add some great diversity to our growing Ewok army.

By the way, anyone see the answers to the questions at Imperial Shipyards? For some reason I can sign into their forums to see the answers.

JediTricks
07-10-2009, 06:24 PM
I've posted the Questions from Other Sites roundup:
http://www.sirstevesguide.com/index.php?categoryid=13&p2_articleid=1936

Just like our own answers, not a lot of home runs this round overall.


IS has answers online, they're not in the roundup yet because I thought they stopped participating after February and took them out of my bookmarks, but they do have answers, so I'll include them right now. It's odd, I actually saw those answers already a couple days ago when someone was talking about them, but somehow it didn't lock into my brain that they were part of the overall anymore. http://www.imperialshipyards.net/SMF/index.php?topic=192.msg14804#msg14804