A few days early, plus it's been a whole year of answers! Here's Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for June 19th, 2007. Thanks again to Hasbro for the answers, to all the folks who sent in questions and especially those who voted on them.
Hasbro Q&A for the week of June 19thQ: While fun on paper, in realistic settings chase gimmicks such as UGH and 1-per-case McQuarrie Concept figures seem to cater not to people that aren't in this hobby for the enjoyment of it, but rather to those here looking to turn a quick profit. With the already hard-to-find McQuarrie Stormtrooper and upcoming sure-to-be-popular Animated Debut Boba Fett both coming in UGH variations, this will further promote that type of scalping. Have you looked at ways to promote chase figures while still making sure they end up in the hands of folks who will truly appreciate them, such as mail-in promos (send in 5 POPs plus S&H for a chase figure) or online sales or other methods?
A: This is a good idea, but collectors for the most part like to shop at the brick and mortar stores and that's why we created the UGH concept - to reward those who like to hunt. In the past several years, it seems that scalpers had largely come to ignore Star Wars, but do to recent success it seems that scalping has raised its ugly head again. The UGHs unfortunately feed into this, and we are releasing more UGHs and more of each this year than we did last year to give more fans a chance to get one (or more). As answered previously, figures that are 1/case are desginated as such for tooling capacity reasons and we will be chasing many of the McQ figures and the Animated Boba Fett throughout the year (like we did with Cody and Scorch last year).
Q: Since Hasbro ran out of time making it unable to plan and bring a full presentation for Titanium Series at Celebration IV, might we get some info on what's coming in the line, especially beyond the small handful of new pieces that were there?
A: Beyond what we have shown, there is only one more wave. It's a pretty cool wave, with one new retool based on a McQuarrie painting - a concept Snowtrooper on Snowspeeder. Beyond that, there is a Hoth deco AT-ST, a new AAT, a revised V-Wing, and a black chrome AT-AT. That'll be it for 2007, but 2008 will be chock full of goodness Titanium 3" vehicle front, so stay tuned!
Q: After a decade, you've given us badly-needed updates of minor but essential characters like R5-D4 and Biggs Darklighter X-wing pilot, and while they are very welcome, these new versions falter where their earlier, poorer POTF2 predecessors did not: the new versions are missing some of their movie decos. How does it happen that 1998 Biggs' helmet has the full design with the stripe and pattern elements on the back while the 2007 version is just plain white? How is it that 1996 R5-D4 has the blue slot on the front painted blue while 2006 is missing this, as well as the 3 red panels on his back that only the Kenner vintage version correctly employs? We do enjoy these new figures, but why do things like this get missed thus leaving the updated figures less than all they could be?
A: Glad you appreciate the new sculpts. As always, we strive to get all the details right, but on a line as comprehensive as Star Wars, and with the number of sublines that are fully engaged, we (and Lucasfilm) will occasionally miss a detail. It should also be pointed out that not all the reference is consistent from scene to scene, and without knowing the real scoop on these two, it's possible that there was ambiguity in the reference. In any case, we do work hard to get the details right but we don't claim to be perfect! We just hope that collectors enjoy the end-results and continue to stick with us on the exciting path we're on.
- -And the questions at ActionFigs.com:
- - In several Q&As, you've been quoted as saying that the environment pieces included with many figures in this year's basic figure line have been stretching your budgets and probably won't be carried forward in 2008. Since the only deluxe-pricepoint line your SW brand enjoys right now is the Vintage-style and Comic 2-Packs, how about doing a new deluxe line that focuses on more environment pieces and similar large, movie-derived accessories?
- - Since you're reissuing older figures anyway in the "Saga Legends" greatest hits line, how about revisiting the robot who saved the man who saved the galaxy, 2-1B? 2-1B has dialogue and has become a fan-favorite over the years, yet hasn't been available for a decade even though there's a creepy lookalike in the birth of Vader's armor" scene in Episode III, so this seems like a good fit for the Saga Legends line. Or better yet, how about an all-new, better-articulated 2-1B?
- - From your display at Celebration IV, we noticed that the Dutch Vander Gold Leader rebel pilot sculpt is being used twice MORE for 2 new rebel pilots, Lt. Lepira from the Gold Squadron Y-wing, and from the Rogue Squadron #24 Comic 2pack Hobbie figure. While the Dutch Vander sculpt is pretty nice, many collectors believe it should not be used as the standard rebel pilot body due to its height and oddly-posed arms, not to mention a specific uniform that differs in some ways from other orange-clad rebel pilots. With these 2 new entries, that's 5 rebel pilots - Vader, Wedge, Biggs, Lt. Lepira, and Hobbie - all with the same height (Wedge being especially too tall) and with identical bodies and unusual poses. Might Hasbro start using a different pilot body that isn't as tall or preposed or so identical in costume layout?