• SSG's Monthly Hasbro Q&A - May 25th, 2011

      Attachment 24945After a hiatus in the program, Q&A is back. Every month, we get to ask Hasbro 2 questions, and back on April 29th, we sent in 2 questions, and Hasbro has just sent us back the answers.

      SSG: We understand the need to anchor the Vintage line with core characters in order to preserve the longevity of the toy line, but what about at least changing up the cardback images to give the longtime collectors something to get excited about? For instance, we know we don't have to twist your arm very hard to get you to rerelease a Darth Vader figure; but would you consider repacking the current TVC figure on a Star Wars card or, even better, on a ROTJ card with a Sebastian Shaw 'Vader Unmasked' reference photo (the figure could be packed in the bubble with his helmet off)? We know you're doing this with the Luke Jedi figure, but that's more a case of expressing the right version of the character to match that figure; this would serve the dual purpose of keeping the core characters in circulation for the casual collectors while giving the hardcore collectors something else to look forward to. Package variations existed back in the original line with different backs, and under different movie lines, and a few even had different pictures, so there is classic justification for it.

      Hasbro: You'll be happy to know that we plan to update the format of the back card graphics starting on Vintage in 2012. The new layout is inspired by one of the variations from the Kenner line. We will be sharing more at San Diego Comic-Con!


      SSG: With themed waves going away, what will be the general method for planning new waves? It used to be a school of thought that said "1 army builder, 1 alien, 1 main character" et cetera, but that was when the choices for that wave were merely from a single movie scene rather than the entirety of Star Wars. What aspects will upcoming wave planning keep from the last 3 years, and what will change?

      Hasbro: With the exception of Vintage and Exclusives, for the foreseeable future you will find most waves being populated by the "best of the best" figure selections from across the saga, particularly for kids. Of course these waves will include aliens, troopers, etc.



      Well, that's it for this round's questions and answers. Thanks to everybody who participated in picking these questions, and to Hasbro for the answers. Feel free to let us know what you think of this round by replying below!
      Buy the hottest collectibles from: BigBadToyStore.com and BriansToys.com.


      Comments 12 Comments
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        If you were wondering, on that second question, we were indeed asking about Vintage, but I didn't think to specify. Sorry about that. Also, if you're wondering why no separate thread for these anymore, it's due to the keen news-forums integration, they're now 1 in the same, essentially.
      1. Mr. JabbaJohnL's Avatar
        Mr. JabbaJohnL -
        Their answer for the first had nothing to do with the actual question; seems like they're talking about a 92-back, or something similar. Even though we didn't get very good answers, at least we're back on track with this.
      1. Tauntaunt's Avatar
        Tauntaunt -
        Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
        If you were wondering, on that second question, we were indeed asking about Vintage, but I didn't think to specify. Sorry about that. Also, if you're wondering why no separate thread for these anymore, it's due to the keen news-forums integration, they're now 1 in the same, essentially.
        In the 2nd question,I was waiting for an answer about vintage;not clone wars.

        About the first question;I think Hasbro is taking about a "power of the force"(1985) format.

        It woul be very cool the portrait picture variations that you were asking for.
      1. Jedi_nav's Avatar
        Jedi_nav -
        Are they talking about a card back that would have all the figures on the back similar to what was released on the classic Kenner cards. Of course that was what only 80ish figures. Definitely not the thousands we have now.
      1. El Chuxter's Avatar
        El Chuxter -
        If they could somehow do a cardback that listed every single figure made since 1995, in alphabetical order, that would probably be quite depressing to see how many minor Darth Vader variations there have been.
      1. Mr. JabbaJohnL's Avatar
        Mr. JabbaJohnL -
        They couldn't list too many figures since they're only supposed to show what's currently available, from what I understand. It would probably be something like a couple of waves at most, perhaps similar to the cardbacks from Power of the Jedi.

        As to the other sites, we got confirmation on Vintage Tarkin, Vintage Ben Quadinaros (!!!), Clone Wars Even Piell, a Citadel ARC Trooper (though no specifics on which one), and a vintage-box Landspeeder at Target. Cool stuff all around.

        On a few different sites, they said they were working on better case assortments, so we'll see how that works out.

        Still no plans for Cliegg. Maybe when AOTC comes out in 3-D . . .

        It does sort of seem like it's a different writer on these answers. I'm still thinking it's Jeff, who's apparently been taking some of the responsibilities of Derryl as of late; I'm willing to bet that's partly what took so long for the Q&A to get started again.
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        Power of the Force 1 would be an interesting touch, but without coins, it'd be a sad endeavor. Also POTF1 reminds me of when the line tanked and died back in the '80s.

        Quote Originally Posted by Jedi_nav View Post
        Are they talking about a card back that would have all the figures on the back similar to what was released on the classic Kenner cards. Of course that was what only 80ish figures. Definitely not the thousands we have now.
        "Card back" also is an industry term which refers to the card art itself, the art on the front specifically. Confusing, no? So it could be either the actual card back, or it could be the cardback face.


        Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
        If they could somehow do a cardback that listed every single figure made since 1995, in alphabetical order, that would probably be quite depressing to see how many minor Darth Vader variations there have been.
        Today, while packing up my collection (I've been doing this for the entire month, but 8 hours a day for the last 2 weeks), I threw out at least 8 different Vaders from the modern line. EIGHT OLD VADERS! Not the same one 8 times, 8 different ones. At least 8, maybe more.


        Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
        As to the other sites, we got confirmation on Vintage Tarkin, Vintage Ben Quadinaros (!!!), Clone Wars Even Piell, a Citadel ARC Trooper (though no specifics on which one), and a vintage-box Landspeeder at Target. Cool stuff all around.
        Good to know, especially the landspeeder at the end of the year. I just boxed up my '95 version, it is pretty darn sad, but it's all I've got.

        On a few different sites, they said they were working on better case assortments, so we'll see how that works out.
        Could hardly be worse than what's been going down with these waves. How many crap Clones and Dengars and such do we have to suffer through?!? Stores can't get rid of the pegwarmers they have.

        It does sort of seem like it's a different writer on these answers. I'm still thinking it's Jeff, who's apparently been taking some of the responsibilities of Derryl as of late; I'm willing to bet that's partly what took so long for the Q&A to get started again.
        The answers definitely feel shorter and have a different "voice" about them, you could be right. I'll definitely ask at SDCC.
      1. Blue2th's Avatar
        Blue2th -
        Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
        Power of the Force 1 would be an interesting touch, but without coins, it'd be a sad endeavor. Also POTF1 reminds me of when the line tanked and died back in the '80s.

        "Card back" also is an industry term which refers to the card art itself, the art on the front specifically. Confusing, no? So it could be either the actual card back, or it could be the cardback face.







        Could hardly be worse than what's been going down with these waves. How many crap Clones and Dengars and such do we have to suffer through?!? Stores can't get rid of the pegwarmers they have.
        I'd be ok with something similar to the POTF2 green cardback. Maybe the cutout file card too, but not absolutely necessary. Something nice to describe the character for sure and a nice pic of them. We are in for some really obscure stuff from the EU coming up. Some of us don't know who the heck these guys are without some research. The current TVC cardback is such a waste of good space.

        Right after the question about the Gamorrean Guard not being planned for release this year, the Jedi News UK got an answer about TVC case assortment ratios being optimized for more popular figures, so maybe they are sort of answering the first question too, and plan on putting more Gamorrean Guards in later assortments next year. Maybe Wedge will make it in more than one per case too. They should have been specifically asked on whether the GG and Wedge would make it in more than one per case in later case assortments next year. Another question with specifics perhaps?
        I don't know, it's sort of a red headed step child answer saying there won't be any more Gamorrean Guards, then in the next answer saying they will optimize case assortments. It's baffling.

        Hasbro:
        "We are continually optimizing our ratios in order to maximize the most sought after figures in each case pack. Beginning in fall 2011 and continuing into 2012 you will see this strategy in action on a more regular basis.




      1. El Chuxter's Avatar
        El Chuxter -
        I honestly think that they gauge child interest based on focus groups (even though that's the worst way to truly know what kids think, because they don't understand that they're looking for honest feedback) and collector interest based on what they want. I can't find any other way to explain some of their decisions.
      1. morpheus282's Avatar
        morpheus282 -
        Focus groups in general are a joke. Marketing departments pay for their opinions and more often than not have to throw out the results and do it all over again. The end result is usually another bad decision - anyone remember New Coke?
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        Quote Originally Posted by Blue2th View Post
        I'd be ok with something similar to the POTF2 green cardback. Maybe the cutout file card too, but not absolutely necessary. Something nice to describe the character for sure and a nice pic of them. We are in for some really obscure stuff from the EU coming up. Some of us don't know who the heck these guys are without some research. The current TVC cardback is such a waste of good space.
        The front of the POTF2 cards are generic though, and rather undynamic by today's standards. The back of the TVC card is definitely not good though, I've never liked it, when the '95 cards can beat it, something is very wrong.

        Right after the question about the Gamorrean Guard not being planned for release this year, the Jedi News UK got an answer about TVC case assortment ratios being optimized for more popular figures, so maybe they are sort of answering the first question too, and plan on putting more Gamorrean Guards in later assortments next year. Maybe Wedge will make it in more than one per case too. They should have been specifically asked on whether the GG and Wedge would make it in more than one per case in later case assortments next year. Another question with specifics perhaps?
        I don't know, it's sort of a red headed step child answer saying there won't be any more Gamorrean Guards, then in the next answer saying they will optimize case assortments. It's baffling.
        My guess is they aren't copping to a cost issue with the Gamorrean which is causing problems, that it doesn't fit in those budgets. Almost every figure lately has been 1 per case though.



        I don't believe for a second that Hasbro is focus-grouping Star Wars, especially TVC.
      1. Blue2th's Avatar
        Blue2th -
        Your right with the POTF2 cards. Still I did like the cut-out file-card on the back. Though instead of a scene from the movie on the back as the pic, they need to have a portrait or both for reference, and definitely a biography which they aren't doing now instead of a previous release of a past carded figure which is kind of a waste. We as collectors know when past figures were released, and the fact that they are not the same figure (thank goodness) They should instead do that for the Legends line of regurgitated figures where such reference belongs.

        No focus groups for the TVC. They should have realized this earlier with the figures being at a higher price, collector based, with mostly collectors buying them.Hopefully reexamining the process.For the most part I'm pleased with everything TVC I've bought, but concerned with the severe pegwarming of massive amounts of defective figures and previous releases put in TVC cards at a higher price that possibly limit retail ordering newer cases, or at least putting them out. Whichever is the case. Eventually at the end I guess previously unreleased figures that are pegwarming like the Cloud Car Pilot will thin out as happens with every line, but the amount of defective figures at a higher price is unprecedented. That's the other "perfect storm" brewing for months now.
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