• Hasbro Comic-Con '08 Panel Write-Up

      Beyond the slideshow images, the Hasbro panel had lots of information packed into a very short period.

      With the panel slideshow images already in our gallery, this article will just cover the material that didn't end up in the images. A panel with some great surprises and some fun humor, this one didn't get as much time as last year, Hasbro blasted through the slideshow in hopes of doing Q&A, but to no avail; still, plenty to cover here.

      The Hasbro Sketchbook on sale at HasbroToyShop's booth here at the show contains artwork from the desks of the designers, eleven bucks gets a peek into the best of the behind the scenes art.

      First up was the Clone Wars line. One thing not mentioned was that Rotta the Hutt, the accessory that comes with Ahsoka, is also articulated. This is just one sign that the line still has collector-focused articulation. Clone Wars wave 3 has an interesting development with the new Destroyer Droid, which apparently has "spring-up action".

      Vehicles for the line will remain in realistic style, this is thanks in part to the Clone Wars show largely using vehicle files taken from the movie designs. A distribution note, the first wave of Clone Wars Starfighter-class ($20) vehicles may take around a week beyond today's 7/26 deadline.

      The new Clone Wars Jedi Starfighter took a few design liberties, in this case the nose pulls out and the wings pull out to give the back half an Ep 3 look. Obviously, the droid slot will take astromech droid figures.

      Features for the AT-TE were mentioned, and one thing was that it comes with an exclusive clone trooper figure sporting the vehicle's logo on its shoulder.

      Around 8 minutes in, we shifted gears to The Legacy Collection line.

      First up was the big Millennium Falcon. Mark Bourdreaux, chief designer on the line, told us about how when he was a young lad and was still in school even, he got a job at Kenner and his first task was designing the original Millennium Falcon. He never expected that 30 years later he could go back and redo stuff, put in features he wanted and the fans wanted.

      As you may have seen in the photo coverage, while the Falcon comes with 2 figures, Hasbro will also be releasing a battle pack with the other appropriate characters as well as accessories - like breather masks and the saber training helmet - to outfit the Falcon.

      An interesting point about the Droid Factory figures is that all their parts are combinable, not just the astromechs to astromechs, but even astromechs to protocol droids.

      Basic figure wave 4 has the all-new General Grievous figure, which is now the correct height and has more articulation, as well as arms that split into 4. Wave 4's silver RA-7 droid is an homage to the classic Kenner figure, as well as the original concept art.

      The Comics Packs line has been doing extremely well, and Hasbro said they love the collaboration with Dark Horse.

      Around 17 minutes into the panel, Evolutions was brought up. The line has been extended through the Fall. The Imperial Pilots set contains a new Ep 3 Pilot with tons of articulation and a Hawkbat Battallion paint scheme, as seen on the Hawkbat Battallion Gunship and ARC-170.

      Battle Packs were also mentioned and shown. The slide with the "Assault on The Shield Generator" had an incorrect display, showing 2 Imperial Officers, while the set only comes with 1 - but that officer is Lt. Renz, the one who uttered the now-infamous phrase, "you rebel scum!"

      The Scramble on Yavin set's transport vehicle has an opening door on the top to put another figure or gear. This set as well as some others are from the battle packs expanding on diorama pieces and smaller vehicles.

      Mighty Muggs were shown, and it was said that the line will have 25-plus this year.

      About 20 minutes in, Titanium Series came up. Hasbro made it clear that they are very committed to the line, and they're going to move away from repaints. The line is going to continue in '09. The amazing thing is that the slideshow image doesn't even show all the new Titaniums they had on display down in the exhibit hall, which you can check out in our coverage.

      Next up was Exclusives, and Hasbro asked us to continue to support the Walmart Droid Factory 2packs to send a message that we want stuff like this, they know they've been hard to find in some areas but they're working on it.

      In mid-August, Walmart will be getting a 501st Legion "join up" animated Clone Trooper figure. This is an homage to the illustrious 501st. The figure will come with a card that kids can mail in. Hasbro then stressed that this does not confer membership in the actual 501st Legion costuming group, it's just a way for kids to feel like part of the series.

      The exclusive A-wing has a new cockpit, it says as much on the slide, but the reasoning is because in the designer's opinion, the cockpit should be the coolest place on the ship because that's where all the stuff happens, where the pilot is seen interacting with the ship. Also, as a personal aside, I'd like to point out that the helmet with Green Leader here is the correct one finally, which our Q&A brought to Hasbro's attention after all these years.

      Walmart has an exclusive role-play 501st Clone voice changer helmet. This helmet comes with stickers to customize similar to how the clones customize their armor in the upcoming series.

      Target has their own exclusive Clone Trooper figure and role-play Clone helmet. The helmet has the light on the side like on the show, and will also be offered partnered with the Vader voice-changer which has been doing very well.

      While Hasbro didn't bring attention to it, notice that the Walmart exclusive clone and role-play helmet have blue markings, while the Target ones have red markings... hmm, I wonder if this was more than a coincidence.

      Onto the Sarlacc Ultimate Battle Pack, this piece came about because one side of the team wanted to do the Sarlacc while the other wanted to rerelease the Skiff, so they decided to do both in 1 pack. The tenticle is bendy, and the mouth pod comes out to reveal a hole to suck figures in and drop them out the bottom. This piece follows last year's success with the Ultimate Battle Packs, the fans and the moms spoke. There's a second surprise set in the assortment, they're trying to make it in time.

      The TRU-exclusive Galactic Heroes Rancor got a big audience reaction, and when the "eat a figure then get it out via trap-door" feature was mentioned, that got an even bigger reaction in the form of a huge laugh.

      The TRU Dagger Squadron B-wing came as a result of Hasbro talking with Dark Horse. Hasbro's retooled the cockpit with moving control levers. The ship also has a set of removable larger projectile-firing cannons, down in the booth we found out that this came as a result of looking into the B-wing's entry in the Essential Guide and finding a mention of the weapon pods being interchangable, but no actual imagery was found for this so they went with what felt right - more firepower. These launchers will go under the regular guns, which it won't be losing.

      The TRU Disturbance at the Lars' Homestead is about what the fans want, ANH. Playsets are too part-intensive, but they found a way to do this figure/environment set with a reasonable amount of new tools, and it even comes with a Wamp rat.

      Regarding the Diamond Comics multipack from Crimson Empire: The Crucible, the inspiration for this set came from the Kir Kanos/Carnor Jax Comic Pack, which has been the most successful of that line so far.

      The Joker Squad (the slide is incorrect where it says "squadron") Entertainment-Earth exclusive has the first female Stormtrooper figure in Jes Gistang, which should be fun for army builders. It also comes with Darth Maleval from Legacy #4 (another inaccurate aspect on the slide, as it says #6 which is wrong since the Quarren Sith was a 1-shot character killed in issue #4). They made clear that while the hardcopy shown off in the exhibit hall was missing its soft-goods robe, the actual figure will have it, that part just didn't make it to the show. Darth Maleval will come with his lightwhip and a red lightsaber.

      At about 30 minutes in, the '09 previews were shown. First up was Clone Wars basic figures, including the Magnaguard which they let slip will fit the previously-unannounced Magnaguard Fighter vehicle.

      The Legacy Collection slide was a biggie. Luke and Han stormtroopers will be the previous figures but feature a new design on the holster to better hold the blaster. Obi-Wan's table shown will unfortunately not be coming with that figure despite being shown, same with Brainiac's table, because ultimately cost reductions had to be made for this super big wave with multiple 2packed figures. Another personal aside, the Spacetrooper is in this wave, and that's another figure that we brought to Hasbro's attention via Q&A.

      Galactic Heroes showed a Jek Porkins with his X-wing set, and an all-new Snowspeeder and Imperial Probe Droid.

      Comic Packs has a Walmart-exclusive wave coming, for those who don't know, Lt. Sunber is Luke's Tatooine friend "Tank", and that Amanin is a new figure. We later found out in the booth that the Amanin will have a wire-bendy body, it can't quite roll up like it does in the comics but it still has some bendy motion.

      And of course, hooray for next year's ROTJ Rancor set!

      At around 33 minutes in, it was Indiana Jones' turn, since that line is done by the Star Wars team. Hasbro asked us to support the mail-aways there, and they've extended the deadline through the end of the year.

      After the figures and vehicles, the Akator playset was shown and it was mentioned that this piece will have kid-focused advertising.

      New Mighty Muggs were shown, as well as mentioned that there will be 10 in the line, and finally it was the next Raiders wave of basic figures - including Sapito and Toht with alternate melty face!

      Unfortunately, already a shorter schedule than last year';s hour, at 45 minutes, the SDCC folks came in towards the end and told the panel that they wouldn't be able to use their last 10 minutes as SDCC wanted room transition time, so the slideshow which we had already zoomed through concluded but without the time to talk about everything, and no Q&A. Hasbro did their best and did get our eyes on a lot of nifty stuff in just 37 minutes though, and thus concluded the Hasbro Star Wars panel.

      Buy the hottest collectibles from: BigBadToyStore.com and BriansToys.com.

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