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  1. #1

    SSG's Tri-Weekly Hasbro Q&A - August 10th

    The first Q&A after San Diego Comic-Con. It's Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for August 10th, 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 August 10th

    SSG: There's been a great focus on troop-building with prequel- and Clone Wars-themed battle packs, especially lately, with even more on the way. Reasonable, after all, it is "Star *Wars*". However, this tactic hasn't been done all that much with the Original Trilogy troops, there are no squad packs or anything of that nature (except perhaps for the Tantive IV pack). Understanding that there is more troop-oriented storytelling going on with the Clone Wars era, there are still plenty of kids and casual collectors who want to set up battles with Stormtroopers and Rebel Troopers from all 3 OT films, the battle packs themselves can help do the storytelling to guide play. So why aren't we seeing more troop-building Battle Packs for the OT?
    Hasbro: The focus has been on the prequel-era and Clone Wars because the heat has been here in recent entertainment. We also felt some of this need went filled with some of our Evolution sets this past year. One of the challenges with OTC-themed battle packs is the need to put recognizable characters in with them to ensure that they succeed; it is unlikely that just trooper-themed sets will suceed on their own. That said, next year is a special year with the 30th Anniversary of EpV and we do have plans for a couple surprises next year. Stay tuned!

    SSG: Having worked on the modern line for some time now, you've no doubt had to look back at the original Kenner line's grand history many times when deciding what the future of the modern line will be. So you've seen it all and made yourselves familiar with figures, vehicles, accessories, cards, boxes, and even baggies from the '78 - '85 Star Wars line. With that in mind, what does the current team consider some of the most oddball, head-scratching entries from that original Kenner line? What types of things do you guys look back and you can't even imagine doing with the modern line? (And should we give Mark Boudreaux a free pass since he actually DID work on that original line, or pull a "Sophie's Choice" and make him take sides?)
    Hasbro: Thanks for the interesting and different question. It actually required some thought to get the answers since we have nothing but respect for the Vinatge Kenner line! When it comes to the 3-3/4" figure line, we actually don't have any obvious head-scratchers, just a few things that were a bit odd. Everything seemed to be very well thought-out and blended nicely into a coherent system of play. We did ask Mark what he thought, and he had a few comments, not surprisingly all figure-related since he worked on the vehicles! "I always felt that the wrap-around labels for astromech "deco," as well as vinyl die-cut figure capes, were all odd design choices even though they were standards for the time." In addition, Mark thinks the original 5-point Kenner articulation was a curious choice at the time, even though it became the Kenner "standard" for years afterward. A couple team members singled out the 3-3/4" Rebel Transport as an oddity. Neither a very good vehicle and an awkward carrying case due it's size, it's one item that seems to not really hit either mark. Oh yeah - one of our designers singled out something else from the vintage Kenner line that almost made it out but got cut - the unproduced Luke and Leia fashions for the 12" figures. Those designs were crazy funky (especially Leia's giant clear tarp!).....a shame they never made it out just for the sake of novelty.

    SSG: Recently, pictures surfaced of a few Clone Wars two-packs based around specific episodes, including characters from "Ambush" and "Rookies". While these look to be great ways to expand episode-specific collections, they also cover existing or already-planned ground. Why were some one-off clones like Thire and Echo chosen for inclusion in these sets when they're also being released via other avenues? It seems like it would make more sense to keep these characters unique to one release so that collectors wouldn't have to choose between releases. Will we be seeing more of these screen scene-type 2-packs, and will they be covering more types of characters beyond just clones? Out of the 4 two-packs we've seen so far, the only non-clone is Yoda.
    Hasbro: It came down to need. Due to our retailer relationships, we actually needed to create multiple clone-focused 2-packs for a promotional window, and we had exhausted all other clones from Season 1 when we made the selects. Additional 2-packs will cover different sub-themes and characters, as this format is expected to continue into the future.
    - - -

    And our questions at CollectionStation.com:

    • C-3PO needs new figures from across the saga, it's sad but true. The original Ep I Threepio figure was quite good, but he needs knee and ankle joints, perhaps the ability to hold the Anakin Skywalker podracing flag, and a little more accurate deco with yellow eyes and slightly toned-down wires. Episode II Threepio's removable parts gimmick hampered this figure's design, and since then we've gotten the fantastically-sculpted U-3PO Build-a-Droid figure, so that mold could sport the Ep 2 Threepio deco. And then there's the OT Threepio, which you've recently said is hampered with vac-metal bodies because LFL is stuck on the concept over a painted look. However, your team has produced some great-looking shiny silver protocol droids lately without vac-metallizing, and Hasbro's Marvel Universe team has been able to produce 2 different tones of shiny, metallic-looking gold colors on a few Iron Man figures, which are still super-articulated. Is something of those qualities still not to Lucasfilm's approval, or might we finally be seeing a truly super-articulated Threepio soon?
    • Are there any plans to make an R6-series Astromech Droid, either as a build-a-droid or a basic figure? This would be the realistic-styled droid with the unique head, not the Clone Wars version that's visually just another R2. We currently have R1 through R5 and then R7, but no R6. The only new tooling for R6 would be a new dome, as the body is the same as the R2 and similar. And while we're on the subject, what about R8 and R9 droids?
    • This might seem like an odd request, but would you re-issue the old Kenner X-wing, specifically the POTF2 version, with some modifications? There's no X-wing at kid pricing anymore, the only OT vehicles at the Starfighter pricepoint are lonely TIEs with nobody to fight, and that classic X-wing had some decent sculpting, strong wings, and was fun to whoosh about. As well, the POTF2 version had a pretty decent deco (though pre-applied stickers would be nice), and that version also had the best sound effects in any X-wing (aside from the Power FX X-wing, but the sacrifices there are numerous), those sounds alone would sell another batch to collectors. To modernize it a bit, the ship could use a tune-up on the cockpit interior, the canopy exterior, the dedicated R2-D2, and the blaster cannon tips need to be reoriented to the proper upright position to get it ship-shape. Don't you think the kids today deserve an awesome X-wing fighter?

  2. #2
    They honestly believe a set of five Stormtroopers wouldn't sell and needs Vader to move it off shelves? Are they smoking crack?
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  3. #3
    They've been stuck on that answer so bad for the past few years, I guess they really believe it but man, they don't even try it.

    I loved that ep 2 answer though, that was a lot of fun.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  4. #4
    In the CS Q&A they mention that we'll be seeing an AOTC 3PO in the target 2-packs this fall. Did I miss something? Unless they leaked some info about the planned wave 2 of these, I don't think that answer is correct. And even if there is an AOTC 3PO in the arena packs he's gotta come with a battle droid head (cause that's the only way he's actually seen in the arena) and unless they redesign it completely, that's a figure we've seen before, it was in the Saga Legends until pretty recently.
    Have: CW Yularen, CW Clone, everything from CW Slave I set except Slave I, TFU Shadow Stormtrooper x2, Evo Trooper, Saga AT-AT Driver, K-Mart Jodo Kast || Want: Vintage Fordo
    Thanks to TheDarthVader, Phantom-like Menace, TheRealDubya, Jediguy, Dark Marble, Umbra, Qui-Long Gone, CrunchyNug, GH_fan and jedikiss.

  5. #5
    It's kind of expected that they wouldn't want to put out another Stormtrooper Battle Pack, when they have the same ones individually in the Legends, Greatest Hits, or whatever they call it now.

    The only way they might do that is with special deco Stormtroopers. Maybe battle damaged or heaven forbid ones with racing stripes.

    Most if not all Stormtroopers are clean for the most part so it would just be a re-issue of the Tantive BP. Not saying it wouldn't sell well, but it competes with other product. So they would have to do something different.

    Blackhole Stormtroopers and an exclusive figure from the EU that would be something.
    "Ohh, maxi big da fish! Well dat smells stinkowiff"


    "No time to discuss this as a supercommittee.... I am not a supercommittee!"

  6. #6
    Yeah, but why did the Tantive IV set not sell well? Maybe it was the reissue Vader who made it pointless for army building, since it's impossible to buy sets of SW figures and not wind up with an army of Vaders, anyway.

    Selling carded OT army builders and sets side by side would seem to make sense to me. A kid or parent who wants one or has less money gets the carded one. Someone wanting four or five would go for the BattlePack, which costs less per figure.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  7. #7
    I agree. It's funny how one figure like Vader can spoil the deal, but yeah they sold out nonetheless.
    Maybe if they would have put an Imperial Officer in there instead. Especially one that we haven't seen, but even if he was a re-pack you could still army build with him.

    I already had a bunch of Vintage Stormtroopers so I passed.
    "Ohh, maxi big da fish! Well dat smells stinkowiff"


    "No time to discuss this as a supercommittee.... I am not a supercommittee!"

  8. #8
    I guess the Rebel Transport was a pretty wierd choice to turn into a toy. It never exactly became an instantly recogniseable ship like the Tantive and Star destroyer. Anyway, I suppose we needn't ask for that to be rereleased, or even more pointlessly - to ask for a modern redo! Can't see it happening if thats their attitude, although maybe I see where they're coming from with that.

    But the answer for the OT army builder sets question seems..well, wrong, to me aswell. People know what Stormtroopers are just as much as Clone troopers, they really don't need Vader to bolster the recognition value. I dare say a set of biker scouts would fly off shelves too.

  9. #9
    There hasn't been a single-carded stormtrooper in two years, which was around the same time as the release of the Tantive IV battle pack. There's the spacetrooper right now, but that's not quite the same (you can take all his gear off, but still). I think most collectors would go crazy for an all-stormtrooper battle pack - hell, I'd buy as many as I could afford. They did have those four-packs through the fan club (or wherever it was) back in 2002, and those sold well, didn't they?

    The C-3PO thing is weird. Hopefully they're really doing a new AOTC one, but I don't think so.

    Oh, and the link from the main page to the CS questions sends you to the last round's answers.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkJedi5 View Post
    In the CS Q&A they mention that we'll be seeing an AOTC 3PO in the target 2-packs this fall. Did I miss something? Unless they leaked some info about the planned wave 2 of these, I don't think that answer is correct. And even if there is an AOTC 3PO in the arena packs he's gotta come with a battle droid head (cause that's the only way he's actually seen in the arena) and unless they redesign it completely, that's a figure we've seen before, it was in the Saga Legends until pretty recently.
    Good call! You're right on everything there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue2th View Post
    It's kind of expected that they wouldn't want to put out another Stormtrooper Battle Pack, when they have the same ones individually in the Legends, Greatest Hits, or whatever they call it now.
    They don't though, there is no Stormtrooper in Saga Legends and Greatest Hits is part of the regular basic line. There's one coming out later this year in the basic line, not sure if it's considered a Greatest Hits or a new release though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
    Oh, and the link from the main page to the CS questions sends you to the last round's answers.
    Fixed. There was a snafu with the communications, it was up last night too. This thread has been updated as well.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

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