Back from holiday break and 5 pounds heavier, it's Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for December 1st, 2006.
Thanks again to Hasbro for the answers, to all the folks who sent in questions and especially those who voted on them. Here come Hasbro's answers, and remember to check out ActionFigs.com for their weekly Hasbro Q&A as well (which also got an update today).
Hasbro Q&A for the week of December 1stQ: Why is it that with some of Hasbro's Star Wars non-main lines (most recently the Potato Head line), the initial item ships in large quantities while further releases are released in smaller numbers that diminish as the waves continue, resulting in a glut of the first items, later items very difficult to find, and diminished sales overall for that line? And why use secondary waves to replenish initial waves when often there's no way to tell how the early waves sell, such as stores having plenty of Darth Tater while the Spudtrooper's case has more Darth Taters in it so stores have less room for Spudtroopers and even less room for them when the R2-Potatoo comes out? The POTJ-era Mega Action line was the same issue, and these examples are hardly alone.
A: The question you ask goes to a drop off in popularity after Darth Tater. The casual consumer (not collector) was what kept this subline turning at retail. Artoo Potatoo and Spudtrooper just weren't the iconic draw and commanded less volume, not enough volume on their own to keep the line going. Darth Tater by far was the more popular of the figures among consumers as a whole, and as such we kept releasing him in heavier ratios.
Q: Since two recent Neimoidian figures (Neimoidian Warrior and Lushros Dofine) were extremely heavy pegwarmers, and the Episode I Neimoidians sold slowly as well, how does that affect the chances of more Neimoidian figures being made in the future?
A: We will do the occasional one every once in while, but we will carefully manage the volume. They are not off the table, but are like Senators... every once in a while we should be doing one to keep that theme active.- -
Q: Removable lightsaber blades so Jedi figures could have saber accessories that were "on" or "off" and could be worn on their belts was a good concept, but this made the saber blades more fragile. Are there any plans to release Jedi figures - both main characters and secondary - with both solid one piece ignited lightsaber and "off" lightsaber hilt accessories?
A: We have done this in some cases already. It's a good idea for more widespread use and we'll look into it.
And the questions at ActionFigs.com:
- - Why is the upcoming Saga Collection #64 figure being called Commander Appo? He is clearly modeled after Commander Bow (as he appears in comics, with the pauldron), not Commander Appo (who in the film wears the same armor and markings as the other 501st clones). If it is to differentiate between him as a commander and the regular grunts, why not just call him Commander Bow for the sake of accuracy?
- - What level of priority does Hasbro give to redoing original POTF2 figures in either the 30th Anniversary line or the Vintage line? There are some great figures out there we're still hurting for, such as a Luke and Han Stormtrooper that don't resemble Hans and Franz, a regular Princess Leia that's not preposed or weird-looking, Luke Snowspeeder pilot, etc.
- - Is Hasbro completely satisfied that the VOTC Stormtrooper mold is the definitive 3¾" Stormtrooper figure for the foreseeable future of the line, or might there be changes down the road? For example, the figure has trouble holding the barrel of the blaster due to stiff plastic in the hands; has a stiff, narrow-legged stance that does not lend well to dynamic posing; and of course not all Stormtrooper armor elements were identical in the films, some of the "brows" and "mouths" varied. Also, the current use of the mold uses a different material for the helmet & limbs than from the shinier, harder torso pieces, leading to a noticeable coloring variance as well as trouble with the limbs and helmet staining.