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  1. #1

    SSG's Tri-Weekly Hasbro Q&A - September 5th

    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 5th
    SSG: 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.
    - - -

    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.

  2. #2
    Hasbro has let me know that they didn't have time to get to our follow-ups and that we'd need to send them in as formal questions in the next round if we want answers. I am frustrated by this turn of events and will fight for the Millennium Falcon question they owe us, if nothing else.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    Kylo Ren - came from Space Brooklyn, although he moved to Space Williamsburg before it was trendy.

    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  3. #3
    I wish they would have explained WHY they designed the AT-TE with "break away legs." Was it a safety issue or a play feature? Something else?
    "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
    Almost certainly a safety issue, just like the ones on the new Falcon which they said are for safety. The concern is a kid moves the vehicle sideways and the part breaks from the stress, so instead it pops out. I would HOPE that the fact that they didn't correct that assumption as stated in the question confirms it, but considering the lack of clarification on 4 of our last round's questions, it's not impossible.

    Plus, if it were a play feature they would have advertised it on packaging and in the instruction manual, they are big on pimping play features.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    Kylo Ren - came from Space Brooklyn, although he moved to Space Williamsburg before it was trendy.

    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  5. #5
    I had to go dig my AT-TE box out of the closet to see if it was mentioned on there as a play feature. I didn't really pay that much attention to the box.

    For me it was only one middle leg that popped off, but what about people who only had problems with the outer legs?
    "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

  6. #6
    I am pretty sure it wasn't on there because I experienced Tycho's, and I would have pointed out that it was intentional if they had written that.

    As for it being only the middle legs, I agree, what about like Tycho's where it was the outer ones too?
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    Kylo Ren - came from Space Brooklyn, although he moved to Space Williamsburg before it was trendy.

    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  7. #7
    For the record, what were the other follow-ups?

    As to the answers, the confirmed a new SA Hoth Rebel Soldier on jedidefender.com. Sweet!
    My Photos and Reviews: SSG Toy Guide
    What does Lucasfilm consider canon? Check the list!
    My Star Wars Fan Film: The Lazy Jedi

  8. #8
    Oh yeah, that sucks about the Dwarf Spider Droid. Looks like I'll never own a 3 3/4" scale version.
    "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

  9. #9
    My AT-TE has been fine with the plastic tubing fix - but that is because I don't move it and re-pose it. This is still not a good fix if you're going to play with it - and especially not if the toy is intended for a child who WILL play with it.

    But I'm probably NOT going to contact Hasbro over replacement legs. As JT stated, I have problems with my front legs besides the middle ones.

    I also don't think they fixed anything on the legs (that would require retooling the mold and we know they won't). Hasbro probably just sends you an extra pair of legs and hopes for the best for your chances with them - or that you'll stop writing them after they do something.

    But I buy my toys for diorama set-ups. So once it's posed, I intend to leave it alone, behind glass, where it won't likely ever be touched for a very long time. So in that case, the plastic tubing fix will work fine and I won't be bothering with it any more. I can press my buttons to activate the sound effects and debarkation ramps and it doesn't fall over. So I'm all good for now.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
    For the record, what were the other follow-ups?
    http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/sho...0&postcount=60 "As well, we asked for clarification and follow-up on the question of Obi-Wan ANH's articulation, the Millennium Falcon answer, Battlestar Galactica Titaniums, and whether the Holiday Special is or isn't allowed to be made."

    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    But I'm probably NOT going to contact Hasbro over replacement legs. As JT stated, I have problems with my front legs besides the middle ones.
    Please consider contacting them and letting them know that the OTHER legs are equally problematic, if not for yourself then for your fellow collectors who need this voiced.

    I also don't think they fixed anything on the legs (that would require retooling the mold and we know they won't).
    Actually, it'd likely be a materials issue, not a mold issue, the materials aren't strong enough to do their job, so if they run a batch with a stronger flexible plastic it may work.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    Kylo Ren - came from Space Brooklyn, although he moved to Space Williamsburg before it was trendy.

    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

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