A week late, but it's not like you could get it any other way. It's Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for April 25th, 2008. 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 April 25thSSG: C-3PO's presence in the saga is constant, he speaks the first and last lines, he facilitates the most important deeds, and while fussy his actions helped lead the Rebellion to victory, all while remaining one of the most recognizable cultural Star Wars touchstones, so surely he's an important enough character. That said, C-3PO figures have seemed a bit held back by the insistence on using a vacuum-metalized finish which limits articulation and fine detail. This despite the fact that 3PO's shiny, clean finish is rarely seen in the films. Is there some way we could get a super-articulated C-3PO figure sporting a shiny but not vac-metalized gold paint finish, while avoiding the dull look of the Saga Ultra C-3PO?
Hasbro: We have had problems getting the shiny appearance of C-3PO on a super-articulated, super-detailed body but we think the Endor Deity version (with the introduction of the knees) gets darn close. We are always looking at new paint that meets the needs of our quality (wear and tear), has a super lustre like vac metal, and is affordable. So far we have not found the perfect paint to achieve all objectives but it remains part of something we are always looking at for C-3PO.
SSG: Will the Republic Gunship be re-released to coincide with the release of the Clone Wars cartoon? Several are featured in the preview, and some even have new deco.
Hasbro: We can confirm that there is a redeco in the works, but can't release info yet. Look for an announcement in the next month or two via our Republic News posts.
SSG: The 3¾" action figure system has always straddled the toy market - on the one hand it's small enough that kids can have plenty of toys in the system without taking up a lot of space, while on the other it's not as big as many popular action figure scales out there so it's seen as "less product". With yet another round of price increases, this scale seems to be heading for a bit of a quandary: how does a $7.99 Star Wars or Indiana Jones figure in this scale compete with a similarly-priced 5" or 6" figure that sports as much detail and articulation and is perceived as being "more toy for the money". Pack-ins can only take it so far - although obviously you are gambling on the Build-A-Figure concept to take it an extra buck farther - so the question becomes, is there any concern that the eight-dollar Star Wars basic figure will be the pricepoint the brand or the scale itself cannot breach, especially in a sagging toy industry fraught with market-erosion from both video games and the internet, all while during an economic recession? Is there any concern with this price increase over the potential loss of collectors, both hardcore and casual (including kids) alike? You say the majority of your cost concerns are found in new tooling, and the greatest hits-style lines have been selling extremely well for you the past few years, yet the greatest hits-style lines like Saga Legends have no significant tooling costs to worry about beyond routine maintenance since it is all re-releases (aside from the pit droid anomalies). In the past we've asked about why the Saga Legends line shouldn't be a cheaper MSRP in relation to the main line and the answer was to support the system, but shouldn't the recent increased income from the high-selling line of purely existing tools help defray the costs and thus help lower pricing on the main line?
Hasbro: We are confident that consumers will continue to enjoy our figure offering as a great way to experience the magic of Star Wars. To this end, we have worked to make sure that the lines have good value (firing projectiles in Clone Wars, Droid Factory parts to build and collect, and extra Clone gear in Saga Legends). Typically our discussions of "cost" have centered around tooling, since most questions are regarding new sculpts and added articulation, and we do set targets we must adhere to. However, that is just one factor that goes into our management of the line and there are many, many other financial factors that funnel into the end result.
And the questions at ActionFigs.com:
- Might the build-a-droid concept be applied to other build-a-whatever ideas such as build-a-beast or a piece of scenery?
- After six years, you've finally made a highly articulated Jango Fett figure that has a great sculpt and lots of articulation. Trouble is, his jumpsuit is a garish shade of lavender that never appears in the film or any EU source, the one in the film was a far more muted, bluish tone. Was this an error or intentional, and if in error, will it be corrected in future shipments?
- In the Galactic Heroes line we have gotten an AT-AT Commander and Driver figures, and now several new vehicles and beasts. Might that increase chances of getting a Galactic Heroes AT-AT?