After a few mis-starts and lost questions, it's once again Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for March 30th, 2007.
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.
Hasbro Q&A for the week of March 30thQ: Given that there are only a limited number of unmade figures and figures that need a serious resculpt, does Hasbro deliberately choose not give some figures up-to-date articulation (like knee articulation, etc - even for figures whose characters spend much of their screen time sitting)? We know and understand the argument for the additional cost factor for better articulation and spreading the cost throughout a wave or year, so that Star Wars is profitable, but we also know Hasbro has the license until 2018 and that a business model of *not* producing every figure as a super-articulated ultimate figure would allow Hasbro to continue for many years with later updates to previous sculpts - even when those sculpts were already at modern quality - by simply adding more articulation (ball-joint knees, elbows, shoulders, etc.) while keeping the rest of the mold the same. Is that at all consideration on Hasbro's part?
A: We think the universe for Star Wars figure possibilities is unlimited, rather than limited. We have never been more excited about the possibilities unfolding for the line! It is a tough decision at times, between articulation (more points = more tools, deco, and labor to assemble), accessories, and deco. We add it when it makes a meaningful differernce to a previously released character to make them an "upgrade." When it comes to new characters like Cantina patrons, sometimes we can afford more and sometimes not so much so it really varies based on the wave and full-year cost. With so many new figures on the year (2007), it means the pressure is high and we aren't able to liberally distribute super-articulation like we know some fans want. Also, with the comic packs in particular the fact that there are two figures at a sharp price means that we have to manage them so we don't get into trouble and jeopardize the program. As you probably guessed, there are some figures we do hope to update down the road when we get a chance and can get another crack at them. But with new Clone Wars series and great stories being told in comics and video games, it's uncertain when we'll be able to get back to any particular figure.
Q: With the recent addition of the Comic Book Two packs, and the thoughts of EU Figures being shipped in future waves, will we ever see a new sculpt of Kyle Katarn, perhaps as he appears in either Jedi Knight or Jedi Outcast ? This would be great way also to release perhaps the Dark Jedi in the game as well as other characters in the games like Jan Ors or Rahn or even an older version of Luke Skywalker.
A: We hear the fan demand for a Kyle Katarn figure and are looking for ways to get him into the line, hopefully by the end of 2008. We also like the idea of a post-EpVI Luke and will be releasing him (along with Mara Jade) in an Heir-to-the-Empire comic 2-pack in a few months. There are other worthwhile Lukes to look at, but only time will tell when we can get to additional Lukes. The other two charcters are not high on our radar screen right now... the best way to rally support for them would be in the next round of a fans' choice poll like we did with Toy Fare last year. We'll discuss the idea of sequelling that great poll with them.
Q: We received the following open-ended answer back on November 3rd and were wondering if there were any new developments on it: SSG: Lots of fans love both Jedi Starfighters and were looking forward to the AOTC Action Fleet release and then the ROTS Titanium 6"" Ultra release, both were canceled just before going into production but were tooled up. Could these be saved from limbo and presented as an exclusive special Titanium 2-pack? HASBRO: We have no plans for Action Fleet at this time, but stay tuned for new on the Titanium vehicles. We are working on a way to bring them to retail.
A: We still do not have any plans for Action Fleet at this time due to other priorities for the line. As for the Ultra series, the last vehicles are coming to TRU as exclusives and that will complete this series. There is nothing more planned for this line exclusive or otherwise.
Q: In the past, figures have included interlocking bases that can create larger diorama pieces. Will we see more of these in the future?
A: We will not be pursuing this idea in any of our sublines right now. While some collectors like these, they don't seem to be universally popular and we have chosen to spend our development dollar in other areas.