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JediTricks
04-27-2010, 02:07 PM
Will we be getting re-releases of the Build-a-Droid parts? Find out in Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for April 27th, 2010.
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 April 27th, 2010


SSG: In past answers, you've said you have no foreseeable plans to re-release any of the Build-a-Droid existing droid characters again. However, for various reasons natural to collecting, many collectors found themselves with the problems of having too many of some droid parts, and more often, too few of others. Short production runs are an especially big problem for completing certain droids. The bottom line is that there are a lot of incomplete droids around, and some of the droids are army-buildable including the hard-to-get YVH-1, so even after working to complete 1, some collectors want several more. And the upcoming BG-J38 wave looks like it will be no picnic to complete either what with exclusivity and a very short production run. Aside from the notion of collectors coming back to the line spurring a Droid Factory playset with the possibility of using some of these parts, would you reconsider alternate methods to distributing these parts or whole droids, perhaps offering individual parts on HasbroToyShop, or bagged complete but unassembled droids in simple white box packaging, or perhaps some other method that lets collectors complete their build-a-droids?

Hasbro: We will not be offering any of the previously released Droid Factory figures or parts. Since each droid part for any droid was produced in the exact same quantity, parts do exist to complete any droid, but it will take fans getting together to swap parts for completion. Army builders will likely have an abundance of mismatched parts, which are likely in demand for folks who need these parts. Maybe some smart fans will be able to figure out a solution to allow folks to trade their droid parts via message boards, or live and in person at CV

SSG: Don't think we haven't noticed that some of your exclusives are playing a color-scheme war. Target, whose company logo is a big red bulls-eye, gets a red-accented TIE Fighter vehicle; Wal-mart, whose logo has been blue lettering for decades, gets a blue Octuptarra Droid vehicle. Wal-mart gets a blue 501st role-play helmet; Target gets a red Clone Trooper helmet with flashlight. Target gets Commander Fox, a red-hued Clone figure; Wal-mart gets the 501st Clone Trooper, a blue-accented figure. Confess! You're creating some of these exclusives with coloring themed to its specific retailer, aren't you? "Payola!" they'll all yell to the heavens as they learn of such treachery. Busted! So, are you guys doing this on purpose, and if so, how did it come up? Do your retail partners know that they're getting specially-tailored exclusives as are their rivals, and what do they think of it?

Hasbro: It started out as a deliberate attempt to match the retailer and their ownable branding to the specific product (the red dot Clone Trooper in 2005 was the precursor to many of the items you saw). Retailers did embrace the strategy, but the more it was used the less special it became (the Clone helmets being the biggest and most overt example of this). We have since have gone away from this for the most part. The TIE Interceptor and Octuptarra were purely coincidental; we had not even noticed that they followed the pattern until you pointed it out.

- -

And our questions at CollectionStation.com (http://www.collectionstation.com/groups/view/Star-Wars/Official-Hasbro-Q-A-4272010_77):


Usually, the only figures whose heads are painted rather than cast in flesh-tone plastic are those with a sculpted helmet, hood or large hair so the plastic matches the majority of the head. Though understandable, those painted faces aren't always that successful, noses are rubbed off by packaging, paint masks miss targets so they either over- or under-shoot, and the facial features don't look as crisp. Recently though, this has crept onto regular figures without hoods or the like. Evolutions Jango Fett is supposed to be a premium figure but has that - yes, it's likely a costing issue since it'd be the only flesh-toned part on the figure, but this is supposed to be a definitive version. Col Dyer from the Battle for Endor battle pack has flesh hands yet a painted head. And now Luke Tatooine from the Resurgence of the Jedi pack is the same way, that's an iconic figure with an impressive new sculpt, yet its sullied by the painted head syndrome. Maybe it's fine for kids, but these are collector-themed figures we're talking about, and too often it's sloppily applied and prone to the problems mentioned above, not to mention it softens the sculpted facial features you guys work hard to produce. So why use painted heads on those sorts of figures? Will there be a focus to lean on this less in the future? Might those Jango and Luke figures get cast instead of painted heads on their next runs?
In a previous Q&A, you mentioned that "[Hasbro] will continue working with Sideshow on their 12" figure program." As we know, Sideshow sub-licenses their 12" Star Wars through Hasbro's Star Wars license, but the intricacies of this relationship are not fully understood. With your recent comment above, collectors are ever more curious as to how exactly Hasbro and Sideshow work together on that 12" figure line. What types of input and interaction does Hasbro have into the Star Wars items that Sideshow produces?

JediTricks
04-27-2010, 02:19 PM
Check it out, as per our questions voting discussion from the previous round:
http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?p=722518#post722518

RS went and used a question slot on that question, which netted us this answer:

Rebelscum.com: Many fans will miss the Comic Packs line, it was such a great concept. You've said before that the cost of including two figures and a comic made the line too expensive to continue. What about dropping the comic and continue to put out quality EU figure two packs for collectors? Once a month With You could do one EU pack a month so we get 12 EU Packs a year but do a good rotation from both Dark Horse, Marvel/Classic (no funky colors), Novels and Other, which would give 3 EU Packs from various sources. And it would give us 24 EU figures a year. There were some great figures on the horizon, as shown at SDCC last year (Deliah Blue/Darth Nihl, Jarael/Rohlan Dyre), hinted at in past Q&A sessions (Splinter of the Mind's Eye), and even ToyFare magazine (Nom Anor!)...it would be a shame to never get them.
Hasbro: We have thought about this idea, but as a consistent ongoing format it won't work and just would not be a productive segment for us since EU is overall a more niche interest among collectors right now than movie figures. There is another concern that, aside from the videogame figures or extremely well-known and highly demanded figures, the EU figures need story context to be successful and that's why we feel pack-ins are the only way to go. One day we hope that Comic Packs could return, but it would only be when the collector market has regained a firmer footing.In other words, SSG RULES! Yeah, we called it gang, good job! And it didn't cost us a question slot, great work.

JediTricks
04-27-2010, 02:41 PM
CS questions added!

I don't think the molded vs. painted answer is going to be what you guys were hoping for though.

El Chuxter
04-27-2010, 02:54 PM
Unless anyone wanted a total non-answer, I really doubt it, JT.

That sucks about the droid parts. Do they really think an awful lot of people haven't already been trying for months to trade these parts? Or how about, since they see SW figures as playthings, a lot of extra parts are probably getting lost by kids who can't build the droids? Yeesh.

JediTricks
04-27-2010, 04:49 PM
"Costs and flexibility" is their answer, and it's definitely not blowing me away with focusing in on our question. It's the "why we do it" but not the "what can we do in the future to address it".

Mr. JabbaJohnL
04-27-2010, 06:21 PM
Jedi Temple Archives got this interesting answer:

Q. The appearance of young Boba Fett in the season finale trailer for STAR WARS - THE CLONE WARS has the collecting community abuzz. We've already heard that a CLONE WARS Bossk (who is in the trailer) may be on the way in figure form. But what about young Boba, and in that same regard his ship, Slave I? Can we expect them in the fall lineup for CLONE WARS as well?

A. We will confirm that a young Clone Wars Boba figure is on the way. As for Slave I – we cannot confirm nor deny. You will have to stay tuned.
This definitely hints at a new Slave I, which would be awesome! If they weren't going to do it, they would probably just out-and-out deny it. Hopefully it's not an issue of trying to cost everything out or seeing how the market is.

Echo Base Forums had a similar thing:

ECHO BASE FORUMS: IF you were to release an awesome new Slave I, which colors would you release it in first (assuming it would later be repainted)? Prequel colors, to match its upcoming appearance in The Clone Wars cartoon? Or its original look, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back?

HASBRO: If we were to release a new Slave I, it would be based on the Clone Wars deco.

A new (presumably realistic) Barriss Offee is coming spring 2011, and Cin Drallig is planned for 2012, according to Jedi Temple War Room. Awesome.

Jedi-Business got confirmation on a new Jedi Luke on a vintage card this fall that addresses the issues of the most recent one, like the chest proportions. That's great - I still need more Jedi Lukes for my displays, and a better version than the good-but-not-perfect 2009 version is definitely welcome.

El Chuxter
04-27-2010, 08:15 PM
A new (presumably realistic) Barriss Offee is coming spring 2011, and Cin Drallig is planned for 2012, according to Jedi Temple War Room. Awesome.

That almost makes up for them spitting in my face and saying, "No, you can't complete your YVH-1 droid." :)

(Previous comment contains free added drama!)

DarkJedi5
04-27-2010, 10:01 PM
The new Slave I is probably the most exciting news for me today. While not stoked about it being in CW deco first (I assume a repaint would come eventually) I thought that the CW deco was the same as AOTC. I couldn't find a screen shot online or wookieepedia to verify. Was it the same as AOTC or am I gonna be disappointed?

Edit: Just rewatched the pertinent parts of the las episode and it looks to me like it's the AOTC color scheme which is fantastic, I really am excited all over again. I hope this is confirmed at Comic Con of CV (I doubt they're yanking our chains with the whole "cannot confirm or deny" cause that would be cruel).

Mr. JabbaJohnL
04-27-2010, 11:03 PM
Han's Hideout got word that the new vintage ROTS Anakin will finally have Sith eyes in addition to ball-joint elbows. I never got the weird 2005 Sith eyes variant so this will be great.

JediDefender got confirmation of more Geonosis two-packs, or at least that they are currently still planned. Which is strange, since I thought that these sold worse than the Walmart Droid Factory line, which got cancelled.

El Chuxter
04-27-2010, 11:08 PM
I think they couldn't even get rid of those at half price. I'm pretty sure there are still a few of the sets sitting around here (though I might be wrong; I've not been checking the shelves below the basic figures in the SW section at Target lately). I remember getting the only two I wanted (with the new human Jedi) at half price a while ago, and figured those would go quickly, but they were still gathering dust two weeks later (and, like I said earlier, maybe beyond).

That is rather weird. Maybe Target's more willing to carry crappy two-packs than Wal-Mart?

Mr. JabbaJohnL
04-28-2010, 01:34 AM
I'm not sure, either. Most Targets around here still have four or five sets, pretty much all of which are the humans. I appreciate them finally making Roth Del-Masona and Joclad Danva (whose name I can never remember) to finish off the survivors circle, but hopefully there will be some more visually interesting stuff next time. I know they mentioned a new C-3PO a while back, and I'm looking forward to that one; hopefully it'll be in the droid factory mold.

sebillba
04-28-2010, 09:06 AM
CS questions added!

I don't think the molded vs. painted answer is going to be what you guys were hoping for though.

Nope, not at all, their answer just seems really dismissive towards collectors.... they're only toys for kids, so can look cheap, but we'll still charge top dollar for them. I thought the overpriced Evolutions sets and battle packs with tweaked figures were aimed at collectors rather than kids - otherwise, why not just fill them with repacked figures? And we know it all comes down to costing issues, but that still doesn't explain why a figure like the Resurgence of the Jedi Luke has a white molded head, yet the hands are separately molded in flesh colour.

Devo
04-28-2010, 10:32 AM
Sebillba, off topic but do you have any idea when Staractionfigures will be resuming international shipping if at all? I tried to order something a while back (the grey ugnaught, since gone out of stock:rolleyes:) and discovered that they've stopped shipping outside the UK. Theres been no updates on that since january.

Devo
04-28-2010, 11:47 AM
Disappointing answer about the painted faces thing. Looks like that situation won't change. Have to say it doesn't bother me that much but maybe thats because I've been lucky so far and not had paint scratching off...to my knowledge anyway.

It seems ironic to me the way they say they make their figures as 'playthings' moreso than collectibles and yet it is during play that paint is most likely to be scratched off. Thus shouldn't "toys" (which I'm not saying they aren't) be even more resistant to paint scratching than something thats only intended to sit on a shelf?

sebillba
04-28-2010, 02:09 PM
Sebillba, off topic but do you have any idea when Staractionfigures will be resuming international shipping if at all? I tried to order something a while back (the grey ugnaught, since gone out of stock:rolleyes:) and discovered that they've stopped shipping outside the UK. Theres been no updates on that since january.

Afraid I don't know, I didn't realise they'd stopped shipping internationally, but I'll try and find out for you. I'll send Wayne a message now, and let you know what he says.

JediTricks
04-28-2010, 06:19 PM
Jedi Temple Archives got this interesting answer:

This definitely hints at a new Slave I, which would be awesome! If they weren't going to do it, they would probably just out-and-out deny it. Hopefully it's not an issue of trying to cost everything out or seeing how the market is.

Echo Base Forums had a similar thing:


A new (presumably realistic) Barriss Offee is coming spring 2011, and Cin Drallig is planned for 2012, according to Jedi Temple War Room. Awesome.

Jedi-Business got confirmation on a new Jedi Luke on a vintage card this fall that addresses the issues of the most recent one, like the chest proportions. That's great - I still need more Jedi Lukes for my displays, and a better version than the good-but-not-perfect 2009 version is definitely welcome.Yeah, sounds like Slave I Clone Wars, especially with Hasbro telling GH they wouldn't be doing an Ep V Slave I this year. Perhaps we should do a hypothetical "if you were to release a Clone Wars/AOTC Slave I, hypothetically, could fans expect to see an ESB repaint of it in the foreseeable future afterwards?"

Who is Jedi-Business? I looked them up, good to hear Hasbro is addressing the stuff we mentioned in Q&A.

Good job on finding a new site. Please keep me up to date on the Q&A new additions like this, I'd really appreciate it.




Nope, not at all, their answer just seems really dismissive towards collectors.... they're only toys for kids, so can look cheap, but we'll still charge top dollar for them. I thought the overpriced Evolutions sets and battle packs with tweaked figures were aimed at collectors rather than kids - otherwise, why not just fill them with repacked figures? And we know it all comes down to costing issues, but that still doesn't explain why a figure like the Resurgence of the Jedi Luke has a white molded head, yet the hands are separately molded in flesh colour.
They apparently want the flexibility to make it cheaper if they tweak it later. It's pretty goofy.

Mad Slanted Powers
04-28-2010, 06:51 PM
It seems ironic to me the way they say they make their figures as 'playthings' moreso than collectibles and yet it is during play that paint is most likely to be scratched off. Thus shouldn't "toys" (which I'm not saying they aren't) be even more resistant to paint scratching than something thats only intended to sit on a shelf?That is what I was wondering as well. I've not had much issue with it though. I know the nose on my POTJ Bespin Han has lost some flesh color, and I think there is a scratch on the leg of Smuggler Lando.

Devo
04-28-2010, 09:00 PM
I don't think it was a painted face but the nose on my Medical frigate Luke is marked, that slightly bothers me as its the only one I have. No idea when it happened.

sebillba
04-29-2010, 08:02 AM
Devo, I've just had this reply from Star Action Figures about their international shipping - hope it helps!

The problem with shipping outside the UK, is in the lead up to Christmas around 50% of items sent to some Euro countries never arrived. A few of these I can accept, but I got the feeling that not all went missing as claimed, and as I am liable I had to withdraw overseas shipping to all but one or two regulars. The main countries were France an Italy, but I decided to stop all oversea deliveries until I get something else in place.

The other problem is, to get items signed for and tracked the cost goes from 3-4, up to 10-15, which for one or two figures is not worthwhile. I have been trying to get better deals, but I don't send enough parcels outside the UK, most couriers want at least 40-50 parcels week, and I just don't have that volume outside the UK. Within the UK its fine, and I have just switched over to track and trace with the Royal Mail, or use Fed Ex, both of which covers everyone.

So I am left with two choices. Either not ship overseas at all, or do what I notice a few online stores do and that is to get the customer to fill in a disclaimer, so if the parcel does get lost or not arrive, I am not liable (although obviously I would make a claim and do what I can to get some or all the money back). I am looking into the disclaimer option, but obviously it has to be legal before I try it, but it seems the only way of affordable shipments, and I may offer that along with a parcel force option, but this will very expense, compared to the usual small packet Royal Mail rate I was charging.

If this is an option, I hope to get it up and running within the next couple of weeks. I know I have a lot of interest outside the UK, so its something I really want and need to get back going again.

Devo
04-29-2010, 06:33 PM
Thanks very much for making that inquiry Sebilba, appreciated.

Well, I'll see what happens. Sounds like there was good reason to discontinue international shipping. Its just I've only seen 2 chances to pick up the grey ugnaught individually without having to buy an entire case of figures I don't need and I missed one of those chances at staractionfigures because of this issue. The other I missed was Forbidden planet...unless their pic was misleading and they really only had the 1st ugnaught...which wouldn't have surprised me. Anywho..

sebillba
04-30-2010, 01:23 AM
I managed to get two grey ugnaughts, one from a fellow SSG-er and a second from ebay. I'm not sure if you're a carded collector or would be happy with a loose one, but just a quick search on ebay turned up this one (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Star-Wars-Legacy-Collection-Ugnaught-grey-loose-/150437038820?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2306bf0ae4) - seems pretty reasonable, and open to best offers.

Devo
04-30-2010, 10:21 AM
Alas I don't use ebay, never have. Just kinda don't trust it.

JediTricks
05-02-2010, 02:37 AM
I have dutifully gathered all 8 million questions from this round. There are even more new sites in the roster, and CreatureCantina makes a return after 5 months (it's their 9th anniversary, how cute ;)). There were 30 sites this round, including SSG and CS. Here are the other sites' questions:

http://www.sirstevesguide.com/index.php?categoryid=13&p2_articleid=2676

Things I found interesting this round...

- The Imperial Knights were supposed to look like Sigel Dare, not that she missed looking like them.

- They are looking into doing the red CW Y-wing next year or in '12.

- The Force FX removable blades having a custom sound is pretty cool, but I still don't see why the blades can't be interchangeable.

- Nomi Sunrider fans are going to be mad.

- Hasbro's logic on the run size for the cyber-Maul comic pack is a tad suspect in my eyes. "What's that, Maul might sell better than smiley Luke? No way!!!"

- Did Hasbro just tell Bill Cable that we're going to be seeing the Cantina drink dispenser at Comic-Con?

- Lucasfilm killed Hasbro's dreams of Princess Kneesaa figures. I predict a handful of complaints from a few of you guys on that.

- Clone Wars fans, both genndy and filoni version, are going to be mighty peeved at a few of these answers.

- New Anakin ROTS and Magnaguard both sound dandy.

- Hasbro basically just confirmed Slave I in an answer about the new Vintage vehicle packaging exclusive packaging variants. Packaging! No, wait, I mean SLAVE I!!!

- New Jedi Luke? How can this be? Was I granted 3 wishes without my knowledge?

- The Germans just got an answer about Hoth-based larger-than-normal Battlepacks. Say whaaaaa? And the Hoth Rebel variant beardless boy will be in one of them!

- Why look, someone talked RS into asking a question we already knew wasn't going to fly, that being Comic Packs without comics. Can't say I'm sorry I put the kibosh on that question as it got the exact answer I expected, but I'm glad whomever was so eager to ask it got their wish.

- Rats, no Outrider or Virago for SWTFS. (I never thought this would happen, but it would have been nice)

- Hasbro doesn't know why the new figures have UPC stickers on the outside? That is... really strange.

- Duchess Saltines can eat it for all Hasbro cares. Not even in a battlepack will she exist, I guess.

- Sideshow's trenchcoat Rebel Trooper is getting a 1:3 buddy!


And finally, AN HOUR LATER, I have waded through the epic Q&As.

bigbarada
05-02-2010, 08:05 AM
- Why look, someone talked RS into asking a question we already knew wasn't going to fly, that being Comic Packs without comics. Can't say I'm sorry I put the kibosh on that question as it got the exact answer I expected, but I'm glad whomever was so eager to ask it got their wish.

Yeah, I think many of us predicted that exact response, but some people just have to learn the hard way. lol

El Chuxter
05-02-2010, 11:28 AM
Some interesting feedback this time around.

"Can we see what a prequel figure looks like on a vintage card?"
Not to knock anyone, but do they totally lack imagination? It's really quite simple to envision.

"Will you continue the completely unwanted Target Geonosis packs, which have been rotting on shelves for over six months and couldn't get cleared out even at half price, in light of your cancelling the comic packs, which (aside from your desire to constantly re-release older ones) appear to be doing well?"
Why, yes, yes we will. Look for them to be on shelves this fall. If you're broke, don't worry--they'll still be on shelves next fall!

Or the best of the best: "Our site's been around for a while. Can we get a congratulations?"

I really predict these retailer-exclusive vintage packed vehicles will be a double-edged sword. There's a good chance Target and possibly WM will have them at the same price as the other packaging at the same time, cannibalizing sales from both (as they're essentially getting twice as many of the vehicle). The TRU AT-AT will rot; they're practically guaranteed to charge $20 more than what they charge for the non-exclusive version (which will, in turn, be $20 more than other stores charge for it).

DarkJedi5
05-02-2010, 01:58 PM
I really predict these retailer-exclusive vintage packed vehicles will be a double-edged sword. There's a good chance Target and possibly WM will have them at the same price as the other packaging at the same time, cannibalizing sales from both (as they're essentially getting twice as many of the vehicle). The TRU AT-AT will rot; they're practically guaranteed to charge $20 more than what they charge for the non-exclusive version (which will, in turn, be $20 more than other stores charge for it).

I assumed that if a retailer was getting the exclusive packaging that it was all they were getting, in other words you wouldn't see two AT-ATs side by side in different boxes at TRU. In that case, TRU probably will have higher prices as per usual but people will at least feel like they get something more. At the same time, it means that whatever the other vehicles are in the exclusive packaging will sell for cheaper than at TRU and will be in the bonus packaging meaning most people in the know will be even less likely to buy at TRU. I for one don't care at all about the packaging and so none of this really matters all that much to me.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
05-02-2010, 05:14 PM
I also got the vibe about the cantina distillery . . . that would be incredible!!!

JediTricks
05-02-2010, 10:04 PM
Yeah, I think many of us predicted that exact response, but some people just have to learn the hard way. lolI guess not everybody can benefit from our extended experience with these things, as well as trust our resources. That's fine, I don't wish anybody ill will, but to me it feels like some folks just don't realize that these answers are already out there.


Some interesting feedback this time around.

"Can we see what a prequel figure looks like on a vintage card?"
Not to knock anyone, but do they totally lack imagination? It's really quite simple to envision.Yeah, really. Plus, they haven't been printed, apparently, so all we have is imagination.


"Will you continue the completely unwanted Target Geonosis packs, which have been rotting on shelves for over six months and couldn't get cleared out even at half price, in light of your cancelling the comic packs, which (aside from your desire to constantly re-release older ones) appear to be doing well?"
Why, yes, yes we will. Look for them to be on shelves this fall. If you're broke, don't worry--they'll still be on shelves next fall!Ouch, but yeah.


Or the best of the best: "Our site's been around for a while. Can we get a congratulations?"Considering the site that asked, it's perfectly normal. They aren't a collecting site, they're a (some might say snarky) SW humor site.