No Columbus Day delays with Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for October 12, 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 October 12thQ: Will the Vintage-style Luke X-wing pilot body be used on height-appropriate pilots like Wedge, Jansen, Hobbie from the films, and perhaps even Corran Horn, Tycho Celchu, Nawara Ven, and others from the EU since they're all closer to Luke's height (around an inch or 2 either way) than the tall stature of the Dutch Vander pilot figure that's up above 6 feet?
A: If and when we get to some of those Rebs, we'll look at the bodies available and try to pick to make meaningful height differentiation among pilots… that is a good goal to have.
Q: The final results of the Fans' Choice Saga Legends '08 poll were surprising, to say the least - 4 troopers, 3 of which are just former exclusives that are mere EU repaints. The 5 winners don't seem to jive with the fan sites' poll results, which have the Shadow Stormtrooper and Zev playcing highly, but Ephant Mon placing even higher than Zev, and Blue Snaggletooth and Graxol Kelvyyn placing much higher than the Covert Ops Trooper and Utapau Shadow Trooper. Some fans are finding the winning 5 figures a rather underwhelming group and are concerned that the final results may have been skewed somehow, whether by error or by certain fans signing up multiple voting accounts. Granted, this isn't a presidential election, but the odd results like Ephant Mon not making the top 5 despite being the #2 ranked from all the sites asks, can we get a recount on this poll?
A: We can't say for certain that some fans did not vote from different accounts... that is certainly possible. We did the vote this way to get the broadest possible voting, and there were indeed some big surprises to us in the final vote order based on the initial web site straw polls and top 10 lists. One thing that is clear - backing up the first Saga Legends poll, is that troops are still in demand. Here's the complete top 20 in vote order: 1. Shadow Stormtrooper. 2. Commander Neyo. 3. Covert Ops Clone Trooper. 4. Utapau Shadow Trooper. 5. Zev Senesca. 6. ARC Trooper (Clone Wars) red & gray. 7. Clone Trooper Pilot w/ball turret. 8. Clone Trooper (Saleucami). 9. Zutton. 10. R3-A2. 11. Graxol Kelvyyn. 12. Ephant Mon. 13. Stormtrooper (Vintage OTC). 14. Colonel Wulf Yalaren. 15. Coleman Trebor. 16. Pablo-Jill. 17. Chewbacca. 18. Gungan Warrior (Fambaa set). 19. Sio Bibble. 20. Bespin Guard. We are considering more of these for release in future lines beyond Saga Legends, but don't have any specifics. Suffice to say, it was great to get the fans and fansites involved in the character selection and it will have a great impact on things we do both in Saga Legends and elsewhere.
Q: Does the Star Wars brand manager or other higher-ups for the line ever personally go down stores' toy aisles to see how product is moving? If so, what do they see of that, and does it ever affect distribution - especially seeing a number of pegwarmers not selling? Does it influence those people in any way?
A: We go out to retail constantly to check on our local stores and see if there are any key learnings or trends to be aware of. We are careful not to jump to conclusions based on what we see locally, and to check what we see locally against the nationally-reported data before reacting. In some cases, if we see locally jives with the national data, we will revise future case-pack weightings (ratios) or the items we are about to manufacture and which will hit shelves in several months. In other cases, what we see locally is not a national trend and does not need to be addressed or is a flag to watch from week to week to see if we have spotted what could be an issue.
And the questions at ActionFigs.com:
- The VOTC Lando looks great, but his cape is neither removable nor does it accurately drape over his shoulders - both of which were seen prominently in the movie. Would it be possible to get that Lando figure retooled so he has a removable cape that drapes all the way over his shoulders?
- With the implications that the Vintage line is on the back burner for the '08 line and the premium figures will be in the Evolutions sets, might Hasbro consider re-releasing some of the original 2004 Vintage figures on different classic Kenner-style cardbacks? For instance, the '78-'79 Star Wars card is a much more iconic cardback for figures like Vader, Chewbacca, the Stormtrooper, R2, and Boba Fett. And since they would be straight repacks, could they be implemented in the basic line without outer shell cases?
- With the fast selling of the 1-per-case Darktrooper, will this encourage more to be included in later Saga Legends waves to ensure availability as the line continues ships into 2008? And do you view this figure being a success based on its initial offerings selling out in under an hour on HasbroToyShop website?