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JediTricks
12-22-2009, 01:34 PM
Wrapped in a bow under the tree, waiting to be the final Q&A of the year. It's Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for December 21st, 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 December 21st


SSG: In a recent answer, Hasbro stated that there won't be an ANH wave in 2010, the next one being the beginning of 2011. Does that mean there won't be any new Cantina figures released in '10, or is it possible we might see 1 or 2 in a battle pack, a comic pack, an exclusive, or perhaps even another venue? If the answer is "no", is a Cantina figure planned for that early '11 basic figure wave, and if so, who?
Hasbro: The next Cantina figures will be out with the first wave of basic figures in Spring 2011, if all stays on schedule. There are no Cantina figures planned before that. It's too early to reveal which ones will be in the wave, but at least one will be new and one will be a resculpt.

SSG: In the current Fans Choice final 30 ToyFare poll, there are several figures that have been mentioned by Hasbro to be figures they would like to do anyway. Without asking about too many specifics, could you tell us how many are already in some stage of production? How many of those finalists may be released in 2010 or 2011 alongside the winner? Were any finalists in some level of planning or production before the fan site lists came in?
Hasbro: Some of the 30 were already in the pipeline before the poll began, but only one of them will come in 2010. The rest will be out in 2011 to accompany the winner, although we won't reveal who they are just yet. The winner, along with a tease on the number of other figures already in the 2010-2011 lineup will be revealed in an upcoming issue of Toy Fare.

SSG: Recently, you gave an answer about Malakili and Willrow Hood that they were to be released in the same quantity, "the lowest of the fall releases, 30% lower than the lowest-run figures from 2005 until Spring 2008". We know Hasbro policy is to not talk hard numbers, but could you at least give us percentages on those types of "hardcore collector-interest" figures as they stand against the most popular and thus heaviest run figures in Legacy, as well as Saga Legends, and even Clone Wars? And heck, while we're at it, how much higher than the Malakili floor was Yarna's run? We hardcore collector types are always curious about how much risk the brand takes on our limited-interest figures vs. more mainstream entries, and it'd be helpful to inform us why it's more complex to run the line than some collectors' short-sighted arguments of "just make that guy and everybody will buy it".
Hasbro: Sorry, but we won't release any more information that that. Suffice to say that the figures that are seeing the lowest releases now are being released at 30% less than what they would have been in years past, which speaks to the degree to which the collector business has declined. The most popular characters are released in far greater multiples, and to varying degrees depending on the character. We have yet to find a ceiling on how many Vaders, or Lukes, R2-D2s, Yodas, and Clones we can make compared to the collector-targeted figures, which have very hard ceilings, and disastrous results if over-released. Incidentally, Yarna was over-released because the wave she was in was ballooned up for the launch event, and as a result was even more toxic than she would have been otherwise. The more accurate comparison would be the Bail or Breha Organana, or the following Cantina aliens, which were released in "old" numbers which were too long and hence were part of the recall. The release of obscure figures can be handled properly if we have a good handle on the number of active collectors compared to our previous baseline, which we think we have now that things have settled down.

- -


And our questions at CollectionStation.com (http://www.collectionstation.com/groups/view/Star-Wars/Hasbro-Star-Wars-Q-A-12212009_67):


In the November Q&A, Hasbro revealed that the latest Droid Factory 2-packs have not performed to expectations and the future planned sequel wave was canceled, with some sets possibly finding their way into other, future sets. With Wal-mart's spotty distribution on these - some stores getting none while others clearanced them for $5 soon after release - and Wal-mart not making them available online, is there any chance that the sequel wave could switch retailers to become another chain's line, or perhaps a shared online exclusive? And if it's not too bold, it sounds like plans were made, so what was the next Droid Factory wave going to be?
Are you aware that the eyes on the new Bespin guard and Willrow Hood are painted red? That has come up before with some unmasked Clone Trooper figures, but these are the first non-clone characters we can remember that have red irises. Is that a mistake or intentional? If it is a mistake, will it be addressed? If it was intentional, why was such an odd choice made?
The new dewback looks to be a pretty nifty item, however, its appearance has some fans scratching their heads. The fact that it's packed with a sandtrooper and the appropriate riding gear would lead one to believe that this is supposed to be from A New Hope. Yet its green skin and smaller, more pointed face would seem to indicate The Phantom Menace as its source; and it even looks like it took some inspiration from the vintage version. It's been suggested that this is now LFL's "official" look for the beast, but this set is supposed to represent what's in ANH which this doesn't seem to be. What was the thinking behind designing this piece in such a way, why wasn't a more true-to-ANH look adopted?

JediTricks
12-22-2009, 01:34 PM
Also, this Q&A came with a note from Derryl:

http://www.sirstevesguide.com/index.php?categoryid=13&p2_articleid=2595

bigbarada
12-22-2009, 01:45 PM
The next Cantina figures will be out with the first wave of basic figures in Spring 2011, if all stays on schedule. There are no Cantina figures planned before that. It's too early to reveal which ones will be in the wave, but at least one will be new and one will be a resculpt.


To be honest, with the way Cantina Aliens have been consistently pegwarming over the last few years, this doesn't surprise me at all. But, I guess we have a whole year to speculate on exactly who the "one new and one resculpt" Cantina Aliens will be.

My guess would be Bom Vimdim and Ponda Baba. I'm guess that they'll play it safe and go for the more recognizable aliens over the super-obscure. Also, with their qualifier "at least" then I'm guessing that we'll see Dr. Evazan in that wave as well. I seem to recall them saying that he was a priority in a previous Q&A.

JediTricks
12-22-2009, 02:06 PM
Yeah, Evazan & Ponda Baba are confirmed for 2011. Your guess of Bom is what I was going to guess as well.


CS questions are added.

El Chuxter
12-22-2009, 02:13 PM
I kinda get the impression they didn't quite "get" why the Droid Factory sets did poorly. Any chance we can give them a follow-up on that one? For one thing, if two figures and a licensed comic cost $12.99, why would two figures (usually at least one of which is a repaint or minorly-retooled kitbash) and a piece that is supposedly a freebie cost $4 more?

If they did well at stores that properly stocked and marketed them, then the commonsense response to that would be that, had the company as a whole stocked and marketed them more effectively, each store would get less overall, they wouldn't pegwarm at these stores (who would've had to have had too many, considering so many stores seemed to get none), and would've done better as a result of the more uniform distribution.

I'd also really love to somehow get through their heads that the collector-oriented pieces don't need a re-release Anakin, a re-release Grievous, and a re-release of at least one other major character every wave.

Devo
12-22-2009, 03:08 PM
I kinda get the impression they didn't quite "get" why the Droid Factory sets did poorly. Any chance we can give them a follow-up on that one? For one thing, if two figures and a licensed comic cost $12.99, why would two figures (usually at least one of which is a repaint or minorly-retooled kitbash) and a piece that is supposedly a freebie cost $4 more?

Thats a good point but do people really think about it that much? Maybe I'm just used to being ripped off, well theres no 'maybe' about it, but I just don't compare prices like this.


I'd also really love to somehow get through their heads that the collector-oriented pieces don't need a re-release Anakin, a re-release Grievous, and a re-release of at least one other major character every wave.

Yeah I know that can be annoying. The Scramble on Yavin BP strikes me as unique in that its a collector targeted pack which makes no attempt to pander to kids whatsoever by including core characters. I suppose as a rule though Hasbro are trying not to alienate kids completely even from collector-targeted stuff.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
12-22-2009, 03:16 PM
The dewback answer is strange, but interesting. Why would Lucasfilm give them TPM-related material and tell them to make an ANH item out of it? Oh well.

From the other Q&As, it seems like just about every site asked about the CV exclusives, got a hint, and heard "wait until Toyfair." Good thing we don't ask that kind of thing anymore.

Banthaskull (http://banthaskull.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3666) got a picture of the new Juno Eclipse, which looks more like how she did in the game, so that's cool. They also got word of a new TRU exclusive figure based off of a "recent Clone Wars video game," which leads me to think it will be Sergeant Kano from Republic Heroes (I've just started playing it, so it might be something else, but Kano is pretty likely).

Cloud Car and Snowspeeder got confirmation, but won't be out until the fall, which is annoying.

vger
12-22-2009, 03:20 PM
If they did well at stores that properly stocked and marketed them, then the commonsense response to that would be that, had the company as a whole stocked and marketed them more effectively, each store would get less overall, they wouldn't pegwarm at these stores (who would've had to have had too many, considering so many stores seemed to get none), and would've done better as a result of the more uniform distribution.


It sounded to me like Hasbro was trying to address this point without badmouthing one of their biggest resellers (Walmart).

I agree, the price for these was ridiculous. Had these sets sold for $13 or less, I'd have bought them, but instead I skipped them all.

Also, charging $17 for that small a package makes it look like a huge ripoff. The package is shorter than a basic figure which is less than half the price. At least comic packs were taller and would grab your attention on the shelves/pegs.

Droid
12-22-2009, 03:54 PM
I enjoyed the phrase "dead-to-nuts"!

bigbarada
12-22-2009, 04:08 PM
I enjoyed the phrase "dead-to-nuts"!

I think we now have a new standard for screen-accuracy. Is it just accurate or is it dead-to-nuts accurate? :D

Darth Jax
12-22-2009, 06:16 PM
gee 2 figures for $17 (and most sets didn't contain 2 newly tooled figures), i wonder why the sets didn't sell? even if you could find them (i only saw them in 1 of the 4 wal-marts nearby) nobody wanted to pay full price for these sets. i can't justify a battle pack for 4 figures @ $24 - i certainly won't pay $17 for 2 figures.

EC, re-read hasbro's answer - they admit the price is what caused the downfall


It would not be possible to move the Droid Factory packs to another retailer [b]as the price, not the Wal-Mart distribution]/b], was a critical factor in the sets not performing. The fact is that in the stores where these were properly merchandised, consumers did not respond to the $16.99 pricing of the sets. .

Old Fossil
12-22-2009, 08:59 PM
CollectionStation.com: Are you aware that the eyes on the new Bespin guard and Willrow Hood are painted red? That has come up before with some unmasked Clone Trooper figures, but these are the first non-clone characters we can remember that have red irises. Is that a mistake or intentional? If it is a mistake, will it be addressed? If it was intentional, why was such an odd choice made?

Hasbro: Interesting. We had not noticed that the pupils were painted a reddish hue, but now that you point it out, we see it. We don't know why this was made but it was so small it escaped out notice. We'll take that into account for upcoming figures... thanks for pointing it out.

Umm... WHAT??? Yeah, interesting. Interesting that it takes us collectors, out here in The Wild, to point out what they somehow missed at the factory. Are there even any Hasbro quality control people at The Factory??? Is someone at The Factory colorblind? What?

bigbarada
12-22-2009, 09:11 PM
CollectionStation.com: Are you aware that the eyes on the new Bespin guard and Willrow Hood are painted red? That has come up before with some unmasked Clone Trooper figures, but these are the first non-clone characters we can remember that have red irises. Is that a mistake or intentional? If it is a mistake, will it be addressed? If it was intentional, why was such an odd choice made?

Hasbro: Interesting. We had not noticed that the pupils were painted a reddish hue, but now that you point it out, we see it. We don't know why this was made but it was so small it escaped out notice. We'll take that into account for upcoming figures... thanks for pointing it out.

Umm... WHAT??? Yeah, interesting. Interesting that it takes us collectors, out here in The Wild, to point out what they somehow missed at the factory. Are there even any Hasbro quality control people at The Factory??? Is someone at The Factory colorblind? What?

Yeah, I'm starting to get the impression that Hasbro has delegated so much responsibility to the factories in China that they don't really have a lot of control over their product anymore.

Old Fossil
12-22-2009, 09:26 PM
Yeah, I'm starting to get the impression that Hasbro has delegated so much responsibility to the factories in China that they don't really have a lot of control over their product anymore.

That, or nobody outside the design team gives a flip.

El Chuxter
12-22-2009, 09:48 PM
I actually saw, in a WM that never had them before, the Darktrooper sets today. I think the Darktrooper is actually big enough to justify a slightly higher cost, especially with it being unique. Thing is, $4 per set more makes it $20 for the Darktrooper, who's supposed to be a bonus, and the sets are mostly junk. I was considering getting them, and giving my daughter the "extra" figures. Trouble is, I'd want all the droids except the Battle Droid (four figures), the Darktrooper, and Corran (total of six figures). For six figures $83 means about $14 per figure. That's just insane. I can't imagine any kids dying to get the Darktrooper (and getting it at that cost), and even collectors who want the Battle Droid will have no real interest in rehash Anakins, Grievouses, Bobas, and Mauls.

To me, Hasbro seemed to be blaming low interest in the Darktrooper as much as the cost, and both far more than Wal-Mart's fustercluck in distributing them. I think it's not so much collectors being uninterested as it is a sheer price problem. Even if the figures were all new (let's see... Corran had a new head, I5 had the opening chest, and I think Boba's protocol droid was new; otherwise, all straight-up repaints), it might be easier to justify dropping that much. At $17, I still can't justify getting even Corran and Whistler.

LTBasker
12-22-2009, 10:12 PM
I might've had some interest in the Droid Factory figures if I had actually found them. Only a single Wal-Mart put out the first wave, which I didn't buy because C-3PX wasn't worth it, but not a single Wal-Mart around here seemed to put out the Darktrooper wave. I really only want the Darktrooper, though. >_<

Mad Slanted Powers
12-22-2009, 11:37 PM
I found the Droid Factory sets here, but almost missed them at first because they were in smaller packages than last year, and were on an end cap. They disappeared pretty quickly though. Then I found a few more in another spot much later when looking for the Dewback. Last time I went in, I saw several in the main section. So, I don't know if these were always out someplace, had been hiding in the back, or they shipped some out late.

Looks like I paid $17 for each set. When you compare them to the regular figures, comic packs and Battle Packs, it isn't a very good value, especially when most of the figures are repaints or reuse parts from older figures.

sebillba
12-23-2009, 12:50 AM
Reports on RS that these sets are showing up in Wal-Mart (Salisbury) for $2.50! I don't think anyone could pass them up at that price.

JediTricks
12-23-2009, 03:18 AM
I saw the sets again today at my closest WM, still at $17. I really want that Darktrooper, but I'm not willing to drop nearly a hundred bucks on it. And there's not a single figure in the whole collection that I would want to own. None of them tie into the figure, none of them are from Dark Forces, they're all weird EU stuff, almost nothing in them is that appealing, and I have far too many of the existing figures in it. It's hard to get excited about anything but the Darktrooper.

morpheus282
12-23-2009, 01:42 PM
Interesting that it takes us collectors, out here in The Wild, to point out what they somehow missed at the factory. Are there even any Hasbro quality control people at The Factory??? Is someone at The Factory colorblind? What?

The reference photographs didn't have red-eye correction applied.

Old Fossil
12-23-2009, 03:35 PM
The reference photographs didn't have red-eye correction applied.

So now we have

Sgt. Edian (Sith Eyes)

and

Willrow Hood: Sith Apprentice

:rolleyes:

JediTricks
12-26-2009, 04:42 PM
The questions list from other sites has been added:
http://www.sirstevesguide.com/index.php?categoryid=13&p2_articleid=1936

Hey, the alternate Hoth Rebel Trooper is scheduled for a Battle Pack next year.

The Shadow ARC-170 is confirmed to have sucked the life out of the deluxe vehicle line, and the pricepoint further damaged the line. Too bad they didn't see this coming the way we did.

The comics themselves apparently cost Hasbro for the comic packs. Ouch. I would have thought DH would want to subsidize these, what with it leading to greater comic sales.

CRAP!!! Due to the loss of comic packs, Guri is not to be seen. :(

The blue packaging sample we saw before is the real mccoy, though the exact one for Hasbro figures will not be seen until Toy Fair.

Hasbro thinks the comic packs are still $13. Is that right? I haven't bought them lately but that seems lower than Target & TRU.

Mousedroid.com seems to have gotten hosed, looks like they got a single, simple, bulk answer for 3 separate questions. That's a first.

Fozec and Ann/Tan Gella have been bumped 4 years in a row??? I wonder who at team Hasbro has such a fascination with them?


Someone remind me to ask Hasbro about R3-A2 and R3-M3's clear/cloudy dome situation when I'm not feeling so horrid, please.

Mad Slanted Powers
12-26-2009, 06:23 PM
Hasbro thinks the comic packs are still $13. Is that right? I haven't bought them lately but that seems lower than Target & TRU.I paid $12.89 at Target on November 7. I didn't notice what there were today.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
12-27-2009, 12:27 AM
That's interesting about Fozec and the Gella girls. I want them, but I'm not surprised they keep getting bumped.

As for the red eye, my Wing Guard is worse than my Willrow, who seems to have light brown eyes. Neither one is really horrible, though, and I probably wouldn't have noticed if nobody mentioned it.

El Chuxter
12-27-2009, 01:19 AM
Someone at Hasbro is fascinated with Fozec? A lot of collectors are, too.

Let me say, at the risk of sounding like an elitist arsewad, that I am glad this site usually doesn't "waste" a question with something that's 100% given to be asked by three other random sites. This week it was the "Celebration V was announced; what's the figure?"

morpheus282
12-27-2009, 09:46 AM
Fozec, I could pass on. I'd really like to see the Gella twins released though. It seems like that would be a perfect release for Hasbro - sculpt one, the collectors are guaranteed to buy two.

Last I saw in the stores, the comic packs were in fact approximately $13.

Devo
12-28-2009, 03:49 PM
Never saw that older answer from thejawa.com about Sim Aloo and whether he should use softgoods.

I think he most definitely should NOT use SG as he'd be totally out of place with Janus and Kren.

Nice to hear that Fozec is on Hasbro's list.

JediTricks
12-29-2009, 05:27 PM
I paid $12.89 at Target on November 7. I didn't notice what there were today.Ok, I guess they are right about that. Around here, they are different Target to Target though, so I guess that's what I was on about when I put that part in the question.


Someone at Hasbro is fascinated with Fozec? A lot of collectors are, too."A lot", really Chux? I dunno about that, I would think a lot of collectors haven't even heard of him.


Let me say, at the risk of sounding like an elitist arsewad, that I am glad this site usually doesn't "waste" a question with something that's 100% given to be asked by three other random sites. This week it was the "Celebration V was announced; what's the figure?"When I was compiling, I was doing it fast and not paying much attention, so I started formatting the questions and when I saw that answer come up 3 times, I thought I had screwed up. "Thanks for giving us the chance to clarify..." and I'm like "what? That question did nothing of the sort, did I put the wrong answer with this?"



Never saw that older answer from thejawa.com about Sim Aloo and whether he should use softgoods.

I think he most definitely should NOT use SG as he'd be totally out of place with Janus and Kren.I agree, but how does one get them in and out of the Shuttle? Their non-soft-goods designs will prevent sitting, and going down the ramp will be awkward at the top.

bigbarada
12-29-2009, 07:56 PM
"A lot", really Chux? I dunno about that, I would think a lot of collectors haven't even heard of him.

Yeah, Fozec is pretty low on my list of 'most wanted Jabba's henchmen.' Although the cool thing about the human guards is that their outfits are all variations of the same theme. So Hasbro could conceivably make one shirtless guard and one with the padded shirt, then do running changes with different heads (and different ethnicities in the case of Fozec). It would be a quick way to get several different human guards from Jabba's Palace.

The shirtless Human Skiff Guard and Fozec could share an upper body and Velken Tezeri, Nizuc Bec and the Human Rancor Keeper could share an uppoer body as well. The arms and lower body could be common to all 5 guards.

Devo
01-01-2010, 04:04 PM
I agree, but how does one get them in and out of the Shuttle? Their non-soft-goods designs will prevent sitting, and going down the ramp will be awkward at the top.

No figure can realistically go up and down the shuttle ramp anyway. The ship is nowhere near big enough. As for sitting them inside it? Personally I couldn't care less, I know playability is a big factor these days but for these collector orientated figures I think consistency with what has gone before is a more important concern. Todays kids won't care that an old man figure in a silly hat can move his legs because of a softgoods dress - they'll pass on him in favour of a core character or a more obviously action-orientated character regardless. So Sim aloo really ought to be plastic.

dindae
01-01-2010, 05:50 PM
I have to say that I'm not upset that the Wal-Mart BAD sets are not coming back. I haven't seen anyone say anything really positive about them. The Target sets are better since you get a Serperatist army builder at least in every set. I was slightly tempted by the Corran Horn and Whistler set but I could just not pull the trigger. If I see him on clearance I'll probably pick that one up.

DarkJedi5
01-01-2010, 11:27 PM
I have to say that I'm not upset that the Wal-Mart BAD sets are not coming back. I haven't seen anyone say anything really positive about them. The Target sets are better since you get a Serperatist army builder at least in every set. I was slightly tempted by the Corran Horn and Whistler set but I could just not pull the trigger. If I see him on clearance I'll probably pick that one up.

Well, I really liked them. I love droids and this was a great way to get some great EU droids out there. Generally, yes, they were paired with some pretty undesirable rereleases but I'm glad to have them. For me, Han Solo & R-3PO and the Corran Horn & Whistler sets were real highlights because both figures were newish (Han featured a new hood up variant in a color we hadn't seen and while everything else was a repaint, it was a distinct new character). I actually thought the target sets from this year were worse than the droid factory sets. I skipped the Yoda and Destroyer Droid set because nothing was all that new. The others were okay but the problems with the battle droids prevented me from buying more than one of each set (I had previously considered army building the battle droids but I'm waiting for better versions now).

dindae
01-02-2010, 01:28 PM
Well, I really liked them. I love droids and this was a great way to get some great EU droids out there. Generally, yes, they were paired with some pretty undesirable rereleases but I'm glad to have them. For me, Han Solo & R-3PO and the Corran Horn & Whistler sets were real highlights because both figures were newish (Han featured a new hood up variant in a color we hadn't seen and while everything else was a repaint, it was a distinct new character).

Ok so that is one. But I just think they could have done better. Like people have said this wasn't a value package for kids so why not add a few bucks and give us two figures most people would want rather than one droid and an slightly different version of a already done to death character to add kid appeal. Corran was ok but most people that I saw wanted one with the green jumpsuit but they kitbashed it. I guess I'm just really tired of Hasbro half @ssing it and then blaming collectors for not buying a product.

morpheus282
01-02-2010, 01:44 PM
My two cents on the latest droid factory line:

$17 was a little more than I wanted to pay, which is one reason why my darktrooper is still sans backpack. With the current price of figures at WM being $7.50, that makes the two in each pack worth approximately $15 - repaint or new sculpt makes no difference as we know from the Legends line. Throw in the parts of a really big droid, and it's not a bad value. Not good by any means, but still not bad. If you consider the TRU or K-Mart prices of $9 per figure, it's a very good value. I know that being a WM exclusive it's not fair to compare it to TRU prices, but I'm just trying to get the full perspective.

Of the figure assortment -
I liked the Corran Horn/whistler pack, really liked I-5YQ, and didn't much care for the rest. The Grievous pack really didn't set well with me as it used the crappy older mold instead of the really good one we got in the Legacy line. It kinda annoyed me that they used the shirtless Maul and then repacked him in the Legacy line shortly afterwards.