The following is a letter I submitted to Hasbro regarding the future of ships and vehicles for the Star Wars toy line (I added code here in this thread to better illustrate the importance of somethings):
Alright, I know it's been said there are no plans to make new vehicles, but there is such a real opportunity here that it should and must be explored.
First let me narrow this down to just one per prequel then I'll list other notable vehilces that could be made.
The Phantom Menace: Sith Infiltrator
Attack of the Clones: AT-TE
Revenge of the Sith: Turbo Tank (Juggernaut)
I know for certain the the first two have been on fans/collectors wish list for far too long.
The Sith Infiltrator while not seen much in the movie was a CLEAR precursor to the original trilogy TIE fighters, not to mention was the ship of one very cool villian in Darth Maul. The wings can be the same mold so there's some money saved. Heck don't put electronics in if you think it's going to cost to much. Make it the size of the FX X-wing and I think most of us would be very happy.
The AT-TE is by FAR the most wanted prequel vehicle. Think of this that the front and back pair of legs are the exact same, (money saved on molds). The middle pair are the same so again money saved. The ball turret guns are the same and as there are six of them on this vehicle, that's alot of money saevd using the same mold. That just leaves the hull (or body) of the vehicle itself and the large cannon on top. This doesn't need to be in scale as we collectors realize that it would be immense and could be a tough sell to retailers. So make it as long as the AT-AT, but 1/3 to 1/2 half the height. The cockpit should have room for 2 clones, but if you want to skimp and have a molded one in the back fine, just give us the opportunity to put at last one in there. As for the body, this should be able to hold at least some clones insdie of it. Simple, two in the forward (not cockpit) section-the can man the guns (and we can finally have a place to put those AT-TE gunners) and two in the back section, again to man the guns. That leaves one space on top to place a gunner to man the cannon.
All told we could fit at least 6 figures in/on this vehicle. Most parts utilize the same mold and we'd finally get what is argueably (s?) the most sought after vehicle in all of the prequels.
The Turbo Tank is very much sought after. Yes, we know it would b huge. BUT, it would largely be EMPTY. There are five sets of wheels and they are ALL the same. So one mold gets you all of those wheels. Then it's a matter of the body of this vehicle. This could be such an awesome playset/vehicle combination. If it can be done with Transformers, then it can easily be done with the Turbo Tank. No, I do NOT want to se ethis turn into a robot. I'd like to see both the forward and aft cockpits have a topside door to load at least one driver each. The middle section could fold out to show a mobile command station. Which is precisely what the Turbo Tank is! Heck, take a note from the GI Joe line here. (Besides we all know that the top guy in the Star Wars department for you Hasbro is teh former head of the GI Joe dept.) Again, no electronics are "needed." But if you wanted to include them, I don't think we'd mind one bit.
Okay, so now that we have the top three covered, let's explore some of the other vehicles of the Prequels that could or should ahve been made.
From the Phantom Menace:
While it doesn't seem feasile to make EVERY podracer seen in the movie, at the least some of the more important ones could have been made. Here is that brief list of whos' podracer (and why-oh and save us and you the trouble and just include the pilot of the racer with the vehicle please):
Ben Quadinaros-simple he heavily disrupted Anakin's chances to win the race and had a scene stealer moment when his ship exploded
Gasgano-Okay, you make his figure but not his racer??? Just makes sense to make him.
Mawhonic-this podracer had a great crash scene with Sebulba, besides this particular alien is popular among fans and would be a welcome addition.
Teemto Pagalies-Again, another podrace pilot made, but no racer. His was a very cool racer and he had a great scene!
Still with The Phantom Menace:
Rikshaw w/droid-very simple vehicle to make (use a clear wheel for the rikshaw to create the illusion of hovering-you did this with Luke's landspeeder, so you can do it here). The droid should definitely be removable. I do understand the weight issue of this because the droid would need to counter balance the weight of the rikshaw, so make the "wheel" portion heavy. Weighted with what I don't know, that's for you to come up with. Now I wouldn't totally be opposed to having the droid attached. It would be easier to counter balance the weight this way and the droid figure would always be in the upright position.
Gungan Bongo!-This is probably the second most wanted vehicle from the Phantom Menace. It had major time onscreen and saw lots of action. A bonus would be to make it be able to float on water, but if not, I think we'd still be pretty darned satisfied.
MTT (Mutli-Troop Transport)-Okay so this would be big, but again mostly empty inside. We realize that there would be no way to make one to scale, but how about one that could hold 16 battle droids in the "arm" that comes out? That's just two rows of four battle droids each on both sides of the arm. This would also give you a GREAT excuse to reissue the figure (the one from Episode one PLEASE. That one by far has been the best issue of battle droid that you've made.
Battle Droid troop transport-this is the smaller open-air transport. Again you could make this small. Enough to hold 5 droids on both sides and one pilot in the front. This would easily sell, especially if you were to make battle droid multi-packs (HINT HINT!!!) to coinicide with it.
Neimoidian shuttle-The great thing about this ship is that it's one of the rare few that's seen in EACH of the prequels! So, you give the fan the opportunity to include it in their collection for whichever prequel THEY choose!
Now for Attack of the Clones vehicles:
AT-TE dropship-fairly simple here. Take the regualr gunship and cut out the troop transport part, add some claw to hold the AT-TE in place and wham you've got the ship. Agreeably, this might not be a HUGE seller, so guess what, that is what would make it a GREAT exclusive. You know as well as we do that slapping the name of "exclusive" on something will get people itching to buy it. You want to sell this ship, this is the way to do it!
Dooku's Solar Sailor (with pilot droid): Again, this might not seem to sell to well, so make it an exclusive. putting the pilot droid in there would be a HUGE bonus. And here's the thing, this very same droid was seen in Revenge of the Sith, so there's a chance to reuse that mold in different colors later!
Jedi Starfighter Hyperspace ring-okay while technically not a vehicle, it's a very much needed part to Obi-wan's ship. Heck, I don't care if it means I have to buy the ship all over again just to get the ring. Afterall there are scenes showing both with and without the ring, so I'd be fine with it.
Next we have the list for Revenge of the Sith ships and vehicles:
Corporate Alliance Tank Droid: It is one not only a cool vehicle, but a battle droid troop transport. This was a vehicle that was to make it's debut in Attack of the Clones, but was ultimately cut but then used in Revenge of the Sith in the Battle of Kashyyyk scene.
General Grievous starship-this has such a sleek and unique design. It BEGS to be realized as a toy! No figure needed, just sliding cockpit window and retractable landing gear will do.
That's only 17 Vehicles/ships. Over the course of the next 13 years that you still have the contract, these could easily be done. Okay, we know the further away you get from the movies the harder it will be to sell these. So why not 2-3 new ships per year? For one, it would make it immensely easy for us to collect as we wouldn't be deluged with a ton of more expensive toys all at once. Basically every 4 months a new ship/vehicle com out. Mix them up, maybe the first one is a medium sized vehicle/ship that's released in early spring (March), then the next a small sized one during summer (July) traditionally a low selling time as we've been told, so a small toy would sell better than a larger one. Then finally the large one for fall and in time for the Christmas season in either October or November. Sprinkle in the occasional vehicle/ship for which you already have issued and you'll make us all quite happy.
Thing is Hasbro, you need a plan. One that's sound and plans for the future of the line, rather than the percieved one of laziness and trying to capitolize more and more on old molds that a great portion of the fandom already have.
Finally, here is a small list of ships that while too large to make as action figure scale would be excellent as either playset with minifigs OR Action Fleet scaled toys:
Banking Clan communications frigate
Commerce Guild support ship
Venator-class Star Destroyer (this is from Revenge of the Sith) This was made as a model by Revell and only made available in Europe. It's an AWESOME ship with a great transitional design from the Republic Assault ship seen in Attack of the Clones to the Star Destroyers of the Original Trilogy.
Republic Carrier-while this ship was only seen in the Clone Wars Cartoons, since much of it is based off of the Reliant VII Republic Cruiser, a retooling would need to be done, but a considerable amount of the harder sculpting would already be done.
Trade Federation Battleship-this is the "donut" like one. As far as I know, there are only two versions of this made as a toy. One being micro machines (it may be die-cast I can't remember) and the rocket launching one. It would be a great Action Fleet sized ship. As it was seen in each of the prequels as well, it's a readily recognizable ship. You could first make some that are plain grey or make some with the Seperatists colors, then make a running change. Trust me, we would be clamoring to add at least one of each to our collections.
Consider reissuing the Republic Assault Cruiser from Attack of the Clones that was an Action Fleet ship, as many collectors did not get the chance to get that one.
Okay, nuff said on my part. I'm sure there's more that other might want, but I think I've covered the major vehicles/ships that the greater majority have expressed a high desire to own.
AKA jedi master sal