Summer's close brings Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for September 28, 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 September 28thQ: Several fan sites in this Q&A series have asked about problems with Greatest Hits/Saga Legends figures and nagging TSC pegwarmer figures, and Hasbro's answers always have the same theme - "the problems are not systemic, it must be your area that's an anomaly". The thing is, these sites and their readers are from all over the country and they're consistently reporting the same issues independently of each other which suggests these aren't be random, isolated events. This has grown especially frustrating with the current waves of the Saga Legends line as it seems to be shipping very heavily and covering many a store's TAC pegs while the main TAC line wave 4 remains sparse and rife for scalper attention. What makes Hasbro so confident about there being no wide-scale problems with lingering TSC pegwarmers or stores not coping with the 2-SKU/2-pegs system for the current basic lines (TAC and SL), and that none of this is creating an intensely-frustrating problem for new figures getting into consumers' hands?
A: We do not have access to individual store level inventories to know what figures are where and in what quantity - that level of information simply doesn't exist. That's why we report that on a national level - the greater whole - waves are shipping as planned, and the replenishment process by which stores are "resupplied" is something we watch on a weekly basis. To be clear on how it works - stores will be resupplied based on what has sold down, not based on what is sitting on what pegs, which is invisible to the automated ordering systems. So if Saga Legends is selling in those stores, it will be reordered. If 30th Anniv. is selling, it will be reordered. To finish that discussion - the stock of one has no impact on the other. However, it doesn't work like clockwork all the time, and the number of older figures of a subline could impact which waves are shipped so it could be possible for a store to miss a wave depending on how much stock and how fast it's selling and what wave is available to ship next. We would ask that if colelctors have noticed problems in certain stores, they please send the Store # of the WM store with the issue (via the same process you use to submit questions) and we will have our retail teams look into it and see if there is a way to "unclog" a local store if its within our merchandising teams coverage area.
- -Q: What does Hasbro think about using the New Jedi Order (Yuuzhan Vong) series of novels as source material for more figures? Especially now with NJO Luke coming in an Evolutions set next year, might this open the door to getting other NJO characters like Yuuzhan Vong or Fan Choice poll top 25 characters like Jacen, Jaina, Anakin and Nom Anor?
A: We like the idea a lot, and don't rule out that in the next couple years we could weave some of these figures into the line. We can't give you exact details, but we are optimistic. Fans should know that we realize how important these characters have been and we can't wait to see them materialize as well.
- -Q: Over the past few years, Hasbro's become adept at using mostly existing bodies to create acceptable figures, both in the main line and arguably more successfully in the Battle Packs and multipack lines - the upcoming Entertainment Earth Mandalorian multipacks are the most recent and standout examples of this. With that in mind, might Hasbro consider creating a Rogue Squadron multipack of Rebel pilots utilizing mostly already-existing molds with new heads and new comic- or movie-accurate decos on their helmets? The characters would be taken from characters that already exist in the comics and books. How about alien pilots - such as Gand, Mon Calamari, and Quarren - and female pilots?
A: We're glad you like the Rebel pilots - we do too, and are trying to find ways to get some more of these largely unsung heroes out there like we are with Tycho this Fall. We think you will be very pleased with some interesting figures next year...that's all we can say right now!
And the questions at ActionFigs.com:
- With the TAC Luke Jedi hitting shelves recently, the question turns to his cloth "vest". The soft goods designed into the figure includes the "skirt" aspect of the vest in the back, but not rest of the vest that's normally above that. Why did Hasbro go with this halter top design rather than an accurate, true vest design thus leaving the back uncovered? And why do the figure without the ability to easily remove the belt and vest to create the Death Star II look from the second half of the film, especially when that look has never been given a decent figure?
- Would it be possible to get a Captain Panaka figure with a removable cap, either as a retool of the Ep I line original or as an all-new figure? The good captain hasn't been seen in a while and was often seen in the movie with his hat removed.
- In the OT, the X-wing pilot costume has a band with cylinders just above the right boot, and the chest box hose connects to the left side of the torso. The VTSC Luke Pilot figure has this correct, however the Saga Dutch Vander Gold Leader body does not, yet that Dutch body is currently treated as the defacto pilot body when a new pilot figure is released despite that and its many other drawbacks and inaccuracies. At this scale, approximately 1:18, the difference in height between Luke's 5' 7" body and Gold Leader's 6' 3" body is 1cm, and between Luke and an average-height 6' body would be 0.5cm, which seems a little much for remolding the accurate Luke pilot up to the 6-foot-tall size (though we'd prefer that over continued use of the Gold Leader body). It seems this is one more noteworthy reason to produce a new, better X-wing pilot body, so have we convinced ya's yet to schedule that new figure, huh, huh?