It's a special present, the last Q&A of the year with only a week-long turnaround, it's Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for December 19th, 2008. How did you know? It was just what I asked for! Thanks again to Hasbro for the answers, to all the folks who sent in questions and especially those who voted on them. Here come Hasbro's answers.
Hasbro Q&A for the week of December 19thSSG: In the Comic-Con presentation, the Clone Wars Magnaguard was shown to include an alternate, cloak-wearing head. Now that carded images have shown up, it appears as though this extra head is not included. Is it actually included and just hidden behind the insert, or is it another case of an accessory being taken out due to cost? If it is the latter, then can we expect a variant down the road?
Hasbro: We had originally planned to do the cloaked version first (with the sculpted cloak head), but cost pressures forced us to go forward with just the one mode. We hope to be able to do the version with the cloak in 2010.
SSG: Assuming you do decide to make the Corporate Alliance Tank Droid, which last you told us was likely since it is in the Clone Wars cartoon, would it have a cockpit and working treads? What other features would you put into it?
Hasbro: To do this vehicle in the Starfighter Vehicle assortment, which is the most likely place it would go if we did green light it someday, we would not be able to solve all the demands of size, features, inside figure capacity, and treads without making strategic choices to be able to afford it. We would probably not design working treads, but would make sure that we can fit a couple figures inside while maintaining the overall aesthetic of the vehicle and looking for features to add elsewhere (like missiles for example).
SSG: With the upcoming Wioslea figure, we have another Jedi-style outfit with soft-goods cloth robe and "skirt", but the upper tunic remains sculpted to the torso and thus doesn't match the color or design of the "skirt" that is supposed to continue the tunic. Don't get us wrong, Wioslea's outer robe looks far better than the oversized VOTC Obi-Wan's robe, soft-goods cloth does have its place in the line. But for matching the "skirt" to the top half of tunic, have you ever considered doing a figure with the tunic entirely as soft-goods? Would you consider doing a major super-articulated Jedi figure with a cloth tunic this way?
Hasbro: We have looked at this, and even done it occasionally on figures such as the Evolutions and Order 66 Anakins. We have generally found that the upper torso is much more problematic for getting the exact aesthetic that we are trying for. Aside from robes, which are deliberately bulky, any kind of more form-fitting shirt or top will come out bulkier and will potentially be a distraction on a 3-3/4" figure. That is not a problem for the lower torso, where we can anchor the top at the waist, and the straight drape hugs the legs and looks natural. We may still occasionally look for this approach, but we don't anticipate it will be a bigger focus for us.
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And our questions at CollectionStation.com:
- Now that you've confirmed that there will be 4 new concept figures in '09, that one of them is Anakin, and that they'll be from both OT and PT sources, could you confirm whether the other 3 concept figures will be based on major characters (i.e. Vader, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Maul) or can we expect to see some obscure character and even alien design concepts, such as the Mon Calamari Dancer from the Galaxies Opera House or the Revwien alien from original Cantina alien drawings?
- Now that The Clone Wars TV series has a set schedule, in the future could you possibly coordinate Hasbro's Clone Wars figure releases to coincide with the episodes those figures are in context to? We understand there's a long lead time on figure production, but there's also a long lead on episode production. Seeing a character on the series one day and then being able find the figure in the store the next day would help drive sales, don't you think? For instance, R3-S6 "Goldie" appeared in 2 episodes in early and mid November '08, but the R3-S6 "Goldie" figure isn't due until around February '09. Wouldn't the figures have more appeal with the characters fresh in kids' and casual collectors' minds? Would coordination like that be possible?
- For vehicles that must have dedicated, non-removable astromech droid domes - such as the Ep 2 Jedi Starfighter, Y-wing, V-wing, and Naboo Fighter - might it be possible to get future revisits to have at least removable droid domes? Thanks to Build-A-Droid, we now have lots of different droid dome molds available, so if they were interchangeable on those dedicated droid slots it would add considerable play and display value for kids and collectors alike while taking advantage of existing elements and decreasing manufacturing costs slightly (it's gotta be cheaper to just pop a peg into a hole than to screw a dome permanently into a ship).