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  1. #1

    SSG's Tri-Weekly Hasbro Q&A - December 21st

    Wrapped in a bow under the tree, waiting to be the final Q&A of the year. It's Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for December 21st, 2009. 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 December 21st

    SSG: In a recent answer, Hasbro stated that there won't be an ANH wave in 2010, the next one being the beginning of 2011. Does that mean there won't be any new Cantina figures released in '10, or is it possible we might see 1 or 2 in a battle pack, a comic pack, an exclusive, or perhaps even another venue? If the answer is "no", is a Cantina figure planned for that early '11 basic figure wave, and if so, who?
    Hasbro: The next Cantina figures will be out with the first wave of basic figures in Spring 2011, if all stays on schedule. There are no Cantina figures planned before that. It's too early to reveal which ones will be in the wave, but at least one will be new and one will be a resculpt.

    SSG: In the current Fans Choice final 30 ToyFare poll, there are several figures that have been mentioned by Hasbro to be figures they would like to do anyway. Without asking about too many specifics, could you tell us how many are already in some stage of production? How many of those finalists may be released in 2010 or 2011 alongside the winner? Were any finalists in some level of planning or production before the fan site lists came in?
    Hasbro: Some of the 30 were already in the pipeline before the poll began, but only one of them will come in 2010. The rest will be out in 2011 to accompany the winner, although we won't reveal who they are just yet. The winner, along with a tease on the number of other figures already in the 2010-2011 lineup will be revealed in an upcoming issue of Toy Fare.

    SSG: Recently, you gave an answer about Malakili and Willrow Hood that they were to be released in the same quantity, "the lowest of the fall releases, 30% lower than the lowest-run figures from 2005 until Spring 2008". We know Hasbro policy is to not talk hard numbers, but could you at least give us percentages on those types of "hardcore collector-interest" figures as they stand against the most popular and thus heaviest run figures in Legacy, as well as Saga Legends, and even Clone Wars? And heck, while we're at it, how much higher than the Malakili floor was Yarna's run? We hardcore collector types are always curious about how much risk the brand takes on our limited-interest figures vs. more mainstream entries, and it'd be helpful to inform us why it's more complex to run the line than some collectors' short-sighted arguments of "just make that guy and everybody will buy it".
    Hasbro: Sorry, but we won't release any more information that that. Suffice to say that the figures that are seeing the lowest releases now are being released at 30% less than what they would have been in years past, which speaks to the degree to which the collector business has declined. The most popular characters are released in far greater multiples, and to varying degrees depending on the character. We have yet to find a ceiling on how many Vaders, or Lukes, R2-D2s, Yodas, and Clones we can make compared to the collector-targeted figures, which have very hard ceilings, and disastrous results if over-released. Incidentally, Yarna was over-released because the wave she was in was ballooned up for the launch event, and as a result was even more toxic than she would have been otherwise. The more accurate comparison would be the Bail or Breha Organana, or the following Cantina aliens, which were released in "old" numbers which were too long and hence were part of the recall. The release of obscure figures can be handled properly if we have a good handle on the number of active collectors compared to our previous baseline, which we think we have now that things have settled down.
    - -

    And our questions at CollectionStation.com:

    • In the November Q&A, Hasbro revealed that the latest Droid Factory 2-packs have not performed to expectations and the future planned sequel wave was canceled, with some sets possibly finding their way into other, future sets. With Wal-mart's spotty distribution on these - some stores getting none while others clearanced them for $5 soon after release - and Wal-mart not making them available online, is there any chance that the sequel wave could switch retailers to become another chain's line, or perhaps a shared online exclusive? And if it's not too bold, it sounds like plans were made, so what was the next Droid Factory wave going to be?
    • Are you aware that the eyes on the new Bespin guard and Willrow Hood are painted red? That has come up before with some unmasked Clone Trooper figures, but these are the first non-clone characters we can remember that have red irises. Is that a mistake or intentional? If it is a mistake, will it be addressed? If it was intentional, why was such an odd choice made?
    • The new dewback looks to be a pretty nifty item, however, its appearance has some fans scratching their heads. The fact that it's packed with a sandtrooper and the appropriate riding gear would lead one to believe that this is supposed to be from A New Hope. Yet its green skin and smaller, more pointed face would seem to indicate The Phantom Menace as its source; and it even looks like it took some inspiration from the vintage version. It's been suggested that this is now LFL's "official" look for the beast, but this set is supposed to represent what's in ANH which this doesn't seem to be. What was the thinking behind designing this piece in such a way, why wasn't a more true-to-ANH look adopted?


  2. #2
    Also, this Q&A came with a note from Derryl:

    http://www.sirstevesguide.com/index....articleid=2595
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Hasbro View Post
    The next Cantina figures will be out with the first wave of basic figures in Spring 2011, if all stays on schedule. There are no Cantina figures planned before that. It's too early to reveal which ones will be in the wave, but at least one will be new and one will be a resculpt.
    To be honest, with the way Cantina Aliens have been consistently pegwarming over the last few years, this doesn't surprise me at all. But, I guess we have a whole year to speculate on exactly who the "one new and one resculpt" Cantina Aliens will be.

    My guess would be Bom Vimdim and Ponda Baba. I'm guess that they'll play it safe and go for the more recognizable aliens over the super-obscure. Also, with their qualifier "at least" then I'm guessing that we'll see Dr. Evazan in that wave as well. I seem to recall them saying that he was a priority in a previous Q&A.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  4. #4
    Yeah, Evazan & Ponda Baba are confirmed for 2011. Your guess of Bom is what I was going to guess as well.


    CS questions are added.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  5. #5
    I kinda get the impression they didn't quite "get" why the Droid Factory sets did poorly. Any chance we can give them a follow-up on that one? For one thing, if two figures and a licensed comic cost $12.99, why would two figures (usually at least one of which is a repaint or minorly-retooled kitbash) and a piece that is supposedly a freebie cost $4 more?

    If they did well at stores that properly stocked and marketed them, then the commonsense response to that would be that, had the company as a whole stocked and marketed them more effectively, each store would get less overall, they wouldn't pegwarm at these stores (who would've had to have had too many, considering so many stores seemed to get none), and would've done better as a result of the more uniform distribution.

    I'd also really love to somehow get through their heads that the collector-oriented pieces don't need a re-release Anakin, a re-release Grievous, and a re-release of at least one other major character every wave.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    I kinda get the impression they didn't quite "get" why the Droid Factory sets did poorly. Any chance we can give them a follow-up on that one? For one thing, if two figures and a licensed comic cost $12.99, why would two figures (usually at least one of which is a repaint or minorly-retooled kitbash) and a piece that is supposedly a freebie cost $4 more?
    Thats a good point but do people really think about it that much? Maybe I'm just used to being ripped off, well theres no 'maybe' about it, but I just don't compare prices like this.

    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    I'd also really love to somehow get through their heads that the collector-oriented pieces don't need a re-release Anakin, a re-release Grievous, and a re-release of at least one other major character every wave.
    Yeah I know that can be annoying. The Scramble on Yavin BP strikes me as unique in that its a collector targeted pack which makes no attempt to pander to kids whatsoever by including core characters. I suppose as a rule though Hasbro are trying not to alienate kids completely even from collector-targeted stuff.

  7. #7
    The dewback answer is strange, but interesting. Why would Lucasfilm give them TPM-related material and tell them to make an ANH item out of it? Oh well.

    From the other Q&As, it seems like just about every site asked about the CV exclusives, got a hint, and heard "wait until Toyfair." Good thing we don't ask that kind of thing anymore.

    Banthaskull got a picture of the new Juno Eclipse, which looks more like how she did in the game, so that's cool. They also got word of a new TRU exclusive figure based off of a "recent Clone Wars video game," which leads me to think it will be Sergeant Kano from Republic Heroes (I've just started playing it, so it might be something else, but Kano is pretty likely).

    Cloud Car and Snowspeeder got confirmation, but won't be out until the fall, which is annoying.
    My Photos and Reviews: SSG Toy Guide
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    If they did well at stores that properly stocked and marketed them, then the commonsense response to that would be that, had the company as a whole stocked and marketed them more effectively, each store would get less overall, they wouldn't pegwarm at these stores (who would've had to have had too many, considering so many stores seemed to get none), and would've done better as a result of the more uniform distribution.
    It sounded to me like Hasbro was trying to address this point without badmouthing one of their biggest resellers (Walmart).

    I agree, the price for these was ridiculous. Had these sets sold for $13 or less, I'd have bought them, but instead I skipped them all.

    Also, charging $17 for that small a package makes it look like a huge ripoff. The package is shorter than a basic figure which is less than half the price. At least comic packs were taller and would grab your attention on the shelves/pegs.

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Droid View Post
    I enjoyed the phrase "dead-to-nuts"!
    I think we now have a new standard for screen-accuracy. Is it just accurate or is it dead-to-nuts accurate?
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

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