• SSG's Monthly Hasbro Q&A - August 9th, 2011

      Attachment 25300After a hiatus in the program, Q&A is back. Every month, we get to ask Hasbro 2 questions. Back on July 19th we sent in 2 questions, and Hasbro has just sent us back the answers.

      SSG: Vader's TIE Advanced X1 has been using the same POTF2 mold for over 13 years now, and the design is showing its age. The cockpit hatch is all wrong, the window is too small, the implementation of action gimmicks hurts the movie-accuracy and just aren't that fun, the cockpit isn't terribly accurate or sized that well to modern Vader figures, and the color is the blue-gray color of ESB and ROTJ rather than the proper gray color of ANH - the only film it was in. This is Vader's signature vehicle, it should at least live up to the quality of the other vehicles in the line, much less represent one of the brand's top characters - especially since the Hasbro SW team's vehicle designs have been so good lately too. What are the chances of seeing something done to address those issues on Vader's TIE Advanced X1 in the foreseeable future?

      Hasbro: We agree that Vader's ride is due for an update. It is not planned for 2012 but it is something we'd like to tackle in the future.

      SSG: You have this nice new Qui-Gon Jinn figure that came out in the Jedi Evolution set, and has been re-released in the nifty Eopie mail-away set, yet both times the figure has been marred by including the blobby 1999 lightsaber accessory. Luke Jedi keeps coming out with either repaints of the ROTS Obi-Wan's lightsabers (which has different details), or worse, the blobby Obi-Wan POTJ saber from 2000. Both the '99 Qui-Gon and '00 Obi-Wan as Luke Jedi sabers also have the old smooth blade design without the flare on top of their soft hilt sculpting, and both Qui-Gon and Luke Jedi actually had better saber accessories designed during the Saga line, yet we never get them. And what about one of the most iconic lightsabers in recent SW memory, Darth Maul? There is no modern-quality version at all, the closest is the '02 Saga metal hilt with removable blades, but the blades break easily, so we haven't seen it in a while, and it's a bit long. We don't have a deactivated one to hang on a belt, don't have a 1-blade-activated version, don't have a "cut in half" version, Maul is pretty lacking for his weapon. Why are we getting old junky saber accessories with the modern versions of these guys? Why aren't we seeing better, more accurate lightsaber accessories for some of these fairly major, recognizable Jedi characters? And will these issues be addressed soon?

      Hasbro: We always strive for accuracy and when the opportunity presents itself to retool this type of item we will jump on it!

      ---

      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!
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      Comments 7 Comments
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        Answer #1 seemed good enough for me, a nicely worded "not at the moment". Answer #2 though feels hollow considering how many times those accessories have been passed over the past few years.
      1. Mr. JabbaJohnL's Avatar
        Mr. JabbaJohnL -
        If they wanted to update it, they should have in the Death Star Trench Run set. Maybe there wasn't enough tooling money for it right now. On Qui-Gon's saber, a better one already exists, though maybe they don't want to go to the old two-piece version. Hopefully we brought it to their attention, at least.
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        Unfortunately, Brian Merten wasn't at Comic-Con to talk about the Death Star Trench Run, he's the one who would answer that budgetary issue, but I thought the same thing and brought it up with Mark, he speculated what you did, only enough budget to do 1 of the ships at this time. Merten's exclusives generally update existing tools, not give complete overhauls, which I think the DV TIE x1 Advanced ultimately requires - I told Mark that I thought it was a good tool for its day, but that day was 14 years ago, I didn't want to insult him since it's his work, but he seemed to fully understand and even agree with the sentiment.

        As for the 2-piece sabers, they have indeed been cut from Hasbro policy (except in special circumstances), they actually sculpted an all-new Luke ROTJ saber but it never got made because of that policy change. I hope you're right, and I also brought up the saber thing with Dave Vennemeyer, the head of sculpting, during SDCC.
      1. El Chuxter's Avatar
        El Chuxter -
        There's been one TIE X-1 since the new line started in 1995, since it was an all-new mold then. It's been re-released a few times.

        On the other hand, how many X-Wings have there been? Vintage repaint, Power FX X-Wing, then the basic X-Wing based on the Power FX in different paint schemes (four different releases, IIRC, sometimes with minor cosmetic changes to the sculpt). I think there was an OTC re-release of the Vintage repaint, too. And now this is a new one, dramatically improved from the Power FX-based sculpt?

        It still boggles my mind that they think this expensive set, geared toward collectors (and incredibly rich parents), needed a new X-Wing but was fine with the 14-year-old TIE.
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        $100 is steep for a retooled X-wing, a new blasted-up R2-D2, 2 existing figures and an existing vehicle. That's outside Ultimate Battle Pack territory, the vehicles as they stand would go for $25 and $40 these days, the figures let's say $7 each, that's... dang, ok, that's not so crazy I guess, $86 raw as-is. Hard pill to swallow though, for collectors like you and me it's basically R2 and the X-wing for $100.

        Keep in mind, the X-wing was Star Wars' signature vehicle for over 2 decades, it was in every film in multiple scenes and multiple iterations. Vader's TIE is at the end of 1 film. It's like complaining that there's only been 1 figure of General Madine when there's been several Luke X-wing Pilot. That said, the Vader's TIE is the last of the major vehicles from the OT to still be kicking around its original sculpt without any significant changes, so its time is definitely due.
      1. El Chuxter's Avatar
        El Chuxter -
        Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
        Keep in mind, the X-wing was Star Wars' signature vehicle for over 2 decades, it was in every film in multiple scenes and multiple iterations. Vader's TIE is at the end of 1 film. It's like complaining that there's only been 1 figure of General Madine when there's been several Luke X-wing Pilot. That said, the Vader's TIE is the last of the major vehicles from the OT to still be kicking around its original sculpt without any significant changes, so its time is definitely due.
        Not to mention it would be like including a new Teek and Kaink figure with Ree Yees, Chewbacca, and a repainted Imperial Officer, or like including an unreleased Hoth Trooper with a C-3PO repainted to be K-3PO, a re-release Hoth Trooper, and some large accessories... wait a second. These guys excel at this sort of thing!!
      1. Tycho's Avatar
        Tycho -
        I really tire of ship "updates" for ones we already have. Maybe the Sith Infiltrator begs for it, but we NEVER had:Rebel Blockade RunnerLars LandspeederEcho Base Troop Transport (like the Vintage Imperial Troop Transport)Jabba The Hutt's SailbargeRadiant VII (Republic cruiser also seen in Clone Wars often)MTTGungan Bongo Submarineother podracersDooku's Solar SailorWookiee CatamaranHondo Ohnaka's Rapier-One (flying Saucer)Weequay Battle TankJedi "angel fish" transportThe TwilightYuuzhan Vong Coralskipper (fighter)I can totally go on - but some of you want a new X-wing or TIE Fighter every year. My dollars won't be spent supporting that. I hope there are enough of you that will get your 7th or 8th tweaked re-make of a starfighter so as to support that mid-size ship price range ong enough so that I will eventually get the toys I want.
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