With Autum right around the corner, the questions have started to turn red, orange, and brown in Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for September 5th, 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 September 5thSSG: Since you just gave us 3 of the 5 characters with their unique sandstorm costumes, can we expect Sandstorm Lando and Leia to finish out the sandstorm scene? There was some confusion about the Leia figure, going back and forth on whether it'd be done in the future, and we're not really sure where it stands now; and Lando simply didn't get an answer on at all. So, can we complete this nifty deleted scene some day, and when? Basics or battle pack, whatever it takes to complete the scene, right?
Hasbro: We are hoping to get to Leia in 2010, but had not slotted Lando in. That's a good suggestion for completing that scene, so we'll take a look at Lando as a possibility when we bring out Leia.
SSG: With Titanium Series, could you fill us in on how decisions are made as to which new designs are taken to production, and how large a run that item may get? Are there Titaniums that Hasbro had to pass on due to budgetary issues (we know the Battlestar Galactic classic Basestar is one that you guys said wasn't feasible)? Should we expect to see more and more plastic used in place of metal on future releases? Any "favorites" and "most disappointing" Titaniums for the designers you guys might be willing to share?
Hasbro: Our criteria has changed somewhat over the past couple years, in order to get more newer (and often niche) vehicles into the lineup. The designs are selected by our team here, suggested to Lucasfilm, and the final lineup is a combination of both group's ideas on new ships. The waves are structured somewhat like basic figures, with the more iconic figures carrying forward from wave to wave and the more obscure vehicles (which describes many of the newly tooled ships) getting more limited runs confined to a single wave only. It's been only recently that we have been "re-releasing" classic ships like the Millennium Falcon; prior to that pretty much everything ran for a short time and then disappeared. The same can be said for the "fleet" approach (X-Wings, Y-Wings, etc) in an attempt to keep classics out there but provide some newness for collectors by delivering meaningful repaints. There are no ships we have had to pass on because of budgetary issues, and do not see the amount of metal vs. plastic changing from the current balance. Among favorites are the new X-Wing and the Cloud Car and MTT (long overdue!). There are a couple of disappointments for us. The first is that it's just impossible given the nature of the collection to work in a consistent scale. That's just the nature of the beast since we do not have any other options for alternate sizes/scales/price points in Titanium. A second one would be the inherent limitations of die-cast in getting the same level of detail and precision that we are so accustomed to achieving with plastic. We have learned a lot about working with the medium, however, and think that our current and upcoming ships keep getting better and better.
SSG: While the AT-TE is an amazing toy, an issue has arisen that with the leg joints popping back out rather than supporting the weight of this massive vehicle. Inflicting battle damage can be fun for play, but only when it's intentional. Many fans report even slight pressure applied to the top of the vehicle - say, perhaps, like pressing a button to reveal the rear deck or set off sound effects - causes either hip or knee joints to pop out of their sockets. Are you aware of this issue? Is this intentional to avoid breakage, and if so, isn't it a little more aggressive at this task than need be? Will this be addressed in later releases or perhaps mail-away adapters or something?
Hasbro: Glad you wrote us, and help spread the word. We have confirmed that some of the AT-TE's do have middle legs that breakaway more easily than intended (breakaway legs are a deliberate design feature of the vehicle). We have addressed this and we offer replacement middle legs through our Hasbro Customer Service Dept that should solve the issue. Consumer Affairs can be reached through our web site at hasbro.com. We are sorry for any inconvenience. Our objective is to make sure that consumers are 100% satisfied with their AT-TE, so anyone who is having an issue, please contact us.
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And the questions at ActionFigs.com:
- Fans are always curious about the decision process that goes into picking which characters do (and don't) get put in a specific wave, especially when it comes to background characters. Could you shed some light on how you decided what figures were included in the upcoming ROTS and ANH waves, 2 waves with especially interesting and background entries, and by doing so give some example of the complicated decision-making processes which you've mentioned before that go into each figure and each wave?
- Recently, Hasbro stated it was "less likely" that Aurra Sing would be updated with better articulation. Might Hasbro reconsider that position given the fact that she was a major villain in several comic series, and is an action-oriented character which thus merits a better-articulated figure? Aurra could go great in a comic pack with perhaps Sharad Hett, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Reess Kairn, Torgo Tahn, Senator Tikkes, Aayla Secura or even an updated Adi Gallia.
- With the Dwarf Spider Droid being in the Clone Wars CG animated series, and aside from a few tiny issues looking pretty much identical to the one in AOTC and ROTS, might we possibly see a new Dwarf Spider released with more screen accuracy, actual leg articulation, and no wind-up walking feature? It'd cover both CG and realistic collectors' needs.