Just 10 days after the last round, it's Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for August 20th, 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 20th
SSG: Resculpts and Clone Wars outfits notwithstanding, there are 20 new outfits for Padme Amidala that you could still produce, and nine years left until your license expires. That said, what's your plan for our favorite queen-turned-senator? Relatively lackluster sales of Breha Organa, another regal female character, might point to a lack of interest in new Padme outfits; there's also the fact that many of the costumes are similar to one another in style and color, particularly her many dark blue and purple ROTS robes. However, when released in cautious numbers, Padme can fully sell through and satiate collectors. Do you plan on making all of her outfits over the course of the line? If not, then how many more do you think we can expect to see, and which ones are most likely?
Hasbro: We do not have a specific plan for Padme other than generally planning one version of her a year. In anything other than her adventure gear or Arena outfit, she is not the strongest figure and there are lot sof other "sub-groups" that we would like ot plan on getting to. It's possible that someday we'll get to do another pack like the "Evolutions" pack featuring Padme, but there are currently no plans for anything other than a basic figure.
SSG: There is some confusion for the tail end of the Titanium Series line, what with the wave numbers and date cards shown at SDCC. The Mist Hunter is showing up in retailers' computers in wave 10, while your slide show says the previous wave that should have hit shelves before it in late July and includes 3 new tools - the Republic Gunship, Punishing One, and the Malevolence - is nowhere to be found in retailers computers, nor is the wave after the Mist Hunter with the Outrider and Nebulon B frigate. Where does this confusion lie, and will those sets actually get released or will they get lost the way the Gungan Sub and Basestar did? If they are still on track for release, what are those waves and when are they slated for?
Hasbro: You are right - we did mess up and the Mist Hunter is in a separate wave. We can confirm that the other waves will be released even though they do not appear to be actively listed in the system yet of the particular retailer you checked.
SSG: At some point during SDCC, photos were taken of a second Utai figure standing near the Utai Varactyl Wrangler figure on display during the rest of the show and the slideshow panel, however there was no mention of this figure anywhere and it wasn't shown during the main display. This second Utai has a stockier head, different deco, and no headgear. What is the deal with this Utai, will it be released as a running change, has it been cut, and could we get a clearer photo of this figure?
Hasbro: The second Utai has been cut due to costing issues and we do not have plans for a running change since our Utai pack was only planned for one wave. We will see how he does; if it does well we may release the second Utai at a later date in either basic figure or some other form.
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And our questions at CollectionStation.com:
- Understanding that new tooling costs are a major prohibitive factor in creating playsets, has the Hasbro SW team considered digging out the original GI Joe Headquarters playset tooling to repurpose for the Clone Wars line? Its design is generic sci-fi enough that without resculpting it could pass as a Republic base - such as Rishi Station from "Rookiees" - with simply a different sticker sheet for the control panels. It has a landing pad, a hallway/garage for BARC Speeders, and basic features that keep costs down but fit Clone Wars play patterns. So, any thought given to this idea before? If not, what do you think, and what would its chances be?
- With the inclusion of alternate "sitting" legs for the new Slave Leia, it reminds us all that Oola hasn't had an update in over a decade, and could also use legs to sit next to Jabba. Any chance of getting a new Oola with similar alternate sitting legs so she could sit on the Jabba's dais we all hope you'll make soon?
- In ye olden days, playsets were keen, but MICRO-scale playsets were really where it was at. Old-skool fans still to this day fondly remember Kenner's expansive Micro Collection series. And Galoob put themselves on the map in the mid-'90s with nearly 30 different creative, clever, fun Micro Machines playsets. Granted, Hasbro's stance on playsets for the 3.75" market is abundantly clear in that there's no mass market left there, but has any thought been put into playsets for the ongoing Galactic Heroes line? The brand's cute little styling could translate very well to playsets, and the brand has legs with both kids and collectors. Collectors love to put figures in context, and kids can always use environments to structure play patterns. The cardboard "playsets" from the recent battle packs are nifty, but kids play rough and cardboard doesn't take much abuse. Competitor Fisher-Price's Imaginext line has tons of creative and fun playsets around the same scale as G. Heroes which some kids have repurposed into Star Wars environments such as Jabba's Sail Barge from the pirate ship. So what about actual playsets for Galactic Heroes?