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  1. #1

    SSG's Monthly Hasbro Q&A - March 17th

    Is Sgt. Edian really Sgt. Edian? We find out from Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for March 17th, 2010. 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 March 17th, 2010

    SSG: It's awesome that we're getting an update of Ponda Baba in 2011, but this does bring up two burning questions. Will he be sold under the name "Walrusman" on the card just like in the vintage days, or will that be updated to the modern "Ponda Baba"? Also, since the character is seen in the film with flipper-hands but every modern version of the figure has been sculpted with the more human, furry hands (as shown amputated by Obi-Wan), are we finally going to get a screen-accurate "flipper-hand" version of Ponda Baba? If not, would you consider packing him with interchangeable hands so collectors can choose which version they want to display?

    Hasbro: We haven't gotten to the stage where we have drawn these up yet, so no decision has been made. That is a very interesting suggestion you make and a good way to solve an interesting problem. We'll make sure the design team takes a good look at it. Thanks. As for the name on the package, we'd love to see Walrusman ourselves, if not in the pill then as a secondary name.

    SSG: Although the Cruisemissile Trooper vehicle has its share of detractors, including those at Hasbro, the concept and design have some fun and interesting toy merits, though not fully realized. Perhaps the original design could be embellished and resized to fit into either the current Deluxe Figure & Vehicle pricepoint or a Battle Pack or other another medium (maybe even a Starfighter pricepoint perhaps). And of course, this time around it could have a removable pilot and cooler features to make it a fun new vehicle with unique Star Wars credibility. Would Hasbro ever consider making an update to this vehicle with design and features befitting the modern line? With the Deluxe Figure & Vehicle line seemingly doing well and taking other weird risks like the Desert Sport Skiff, would you think that the right place for it?

    Hasbro: Right now there are no plans for an update, but the idea of a small, streamlined, heavily armed one-man craft is still intriguing. If we did it again, it would be great to have a removable figure. It's unknown if it could fit into the Figure & Vehicle (Deluxe) assortment given the size and detail needed; it might be more of a Starfighter-style craft. If we get to the point where we need more ideas along these lines, it's an interesting one to consider. FYI, due to the niche nature of the vehicle, we are going to go very light on our release of the Anakin / Desert Sports Skiff. In hindsight, it doesn't pack the firepower or gravity as a vehicle as the other sets in the line.
    - -

    There won't be answers for this round, as there was a mistake on Hasbro's end and they forgot to answer them.

  2. #2
    Yakface just got an answer about the last wave. Every figure will be 1 per case!

    Q2: With the final EU wave of Legacy figures now deemed an "exclusive" to Toys"R"Us, collectors want to know if that change means they (like many of TRU's exclusives) will come with their exclusive/higher price tag as well? Also, are there plans to change the case assortment to include multiples of each new figure or does this assortment still plan on including one of each of the new figures plus the older carry forward figures?

    A2: We don't really know what TRU's plans are for basic figure pricing, as that is solely up to them to decide, but we don't think it will differ from the current basic figure pricing at TRU. The case wave ration will include 12 different figures, including one each of the TFU figures and the rest carry-forward figures. The production release for these figures was made a long time ago and the wave only recently became a TRU (and later, a shared Internet) exclusive, so the case pack ratio was determined back when it was assumed that we would have a healthy Legacy line on the shelves. As Legacy has continued to soften, bringing it to TRU was the bets chance for full distribution.

    Dewbackpatrol just got an answer saying that e-tailers won't get a crack at the EU wave until "a couple" months after the May TRU date, so that's not June as previously they said. However, Sandtroopers just got an answer saying TRU won't be getting the bulk of the wave, the etailers will:

    1) It's pretty much a fact that the last wave in any series before a cardback change usually proves to be the most difficult to find. Now, for the upcoming last wave of The Legacy Collection before Vintage cardbacks start, you've made it doubly hard to find by making it an exclusive wave. How can you hope that TRU orders enough of this wave to satisfy all those that want to purchase it?

    TRU will not have enough quantity to satisfy all those who want to purchase the wave - that's why the Internet retailers will have the balance of the wave. We actually instructed the factories to build the wave before the holidays, so we were committed to the quantity we forecast. Softer than expected sales of the Legacy have led us to a situation where we needed to make the wave exclusive to ensure that it got distribution to brick & mortar stores at all.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  3. #3
    Uh, wow. From JTA's answers, here's the Vintage Collection update to Grievous:

    Yikes. I really hope that cape isn't so short in person, otherwise this is a disaster. And why include the pockets for the saber hilts and just 1 saber hilt?

    Their other answer has me so livid I can't contain myself, we can't have the other Scanning Trooper now because of the accessory? The stupid vintage cardbacks are now limiting accessories because of their ridiculous coffin design? This is exactly what I hate about vintage!!!
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  4. #4
    Wow, it just keeps getting worse:

    Rebelscum: Obviously we love the return of The Vintage Collection, and we're pretty excited about what we've seen in the line-up from Toy Fair. That said, there seems to be a disturbing trend (for some of us) that we'd like to give you an opportunity to dispel.

    So far, it appears that TVC will be nothing but upgrades on existing characters, and that there will be very little "all-new" figures. This seems contrary to an answer from a Q&A session last year where you indicated that you'd be going more and more after the all new items, and less after the re-hashed subjects. But so far, that seems to not be the direction that you're going.

    Looking at the line-up so far....out of the 11 figures shown for the TESB wave coming in August, only Dak feels "a little bit" new, the other ten are all straight updates on existing subjects (yet even Dak is an update from the POTJ Snowspeeder figure).

    When we look forward on the line, we already know a number of the other figures planned:

    ROTJ: Admiral Ackbar, Gammorean Guard, Wooof (Vintage Klaatu), Wicket, AT-ST Driver, R2-D2 w/ Pop-up Lightsaber,

    AOTC: Zam Wessell, Count Dooku

    ROTS: Anakin Skywalker, General Grevious, Clone Trooper (care to provide specifics?)

    ANH: Dr. Evazan, Ponda Baba, Bom Vimdin (perhaps the one all-new subject we know of so far)

    TPM: Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn

    So based on that list, it looks like we have almost the entire line-up coming that will be updates. Granted, some of them are SORELY needed updates (Ponda Baba and the good Doctor, for example), but we can't help but wonder where the "all-new" stuff will be. Obviously it makes sense to take advantage of the vintage packaging and release main characters on that packaging style, but at the same time, we need to see some "all-new" stuff to help keep the line fresh. Will there be any "all-new" figures in 2010, and then once we get through the six movie waves by early 2011, will we see more "all-new" subjects figure into the line-up once the mixed waves start in 2011?

    Hasbro: The strategy for Vintage is to ensure that we have ample representation of core characters, whether by repack or resculpt (when we feel there are improvements that can be made in previous versions).

    For 2010, there are few new (and almost by definition, more obscure characters) as we are making sure that we have lots of great "core" characters out in the early waves of the line. This also means upgrades or redos to characters who have been previously released, even if a decade or more ago.

    For entirely new characters, in 2011 you probably won't see that many more all-new characters as a percentage of the whole than you did in any previous line (the last two years of Legacy, for example). While these characters are in there - such as Cantina denizens, Jabba's crew, the occasional new
    Padmé or Podracer, etc - we need to make sure in absolute number terms these characters don't hang us up by either eating up our tooling budget or forcing us to over-ship them to nail our forecasts.

    Either one of these would be bad news for the line, so we continue to make sure that our hero quotient is solid first, before we tackle the more obscure guys.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  5. #5
    Sorry for the negative tone in my posts. I'm just unbelievably frustrated at the thisses and thats of trying to keep the line alive as evidenced in today's answers.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  6. #6
    Well, I like most of the answers this week. It's cool that we could possibly have influenced them on Ponda Baba, as I'd love to see a flipper-hand version. The fact that the Desert Skiff is being released in extremely low numbers is good to know; I've got mine and I don't know anyone else who actually wants one.

    Galactic Hunter got confirmation that the Weequay Skiff Master is coming in mid-2011; awesome.

    Jedi Insider has a picture of the new TVC Vader with all three parts of his helmet removed. It looks really weird to see him like that, with his face fully exposed. It's interesting, to say the least.

    I actually quite like the Grievous (which is the version Chux has been mentioning for a few years now). The cape is obviously short, but I'm not so sure it's inaccurate. He was usually bent so far over that it will probably look right when he's displayed properly. It's also riding up way too high in the picture; it's supposed to rest under his collar piece, so again, I think it should look more or less right when all is said and done. I love the little hilt holders; I was totally not expecting that. I'm also glad they finally made the cape the proper version with the "clasp" off to the left side as opposed to how it is on all the previous versions. They gave him wrist articulation and a newer, more accurate head, perhaps making one of my favorite figures even better. This is a figure I might buy two of to keep one carded, actually.

    I'm not too worried about the scanning trooper. It'll make it out eventually, and I wasn't too jazzed for it anyway.

    I'm also not really worried about the RS answer regarding core characters. It makes sense for them to release these characters on these cards, and there's still enough newness in the figures themselves to get me excited. We've all noticed some of the more obscure characters lingering these past few years, so what's wrong with them refocusing their efforts? They're still trying and making great product, and we'll still get our obscure guys.

    Hey, look at that, we're getting Wedge on a basic vintage card. Quit yer complainin', everyone.
    My Photos and Reviews: SSG Toy Guide
    What does Lucasfilm consider canon? Check the list!
    My Star Wars Fan Film: The Lazy Jedi

  7. #7
    First off I don't see Rebelscum's answers as a bad thing really. Most fans are going to want the core characters in the Vintage packageing anyway. Plus, we got quite a bunch of "obscure" characters in the Legacy line. Actually I would say the majority of them could be classified as obscure/collector only. Lets see from TPM:

    Clegg Holdfast
    Rum Sleg
    Sidious Holo

    wow 5 out of 6 ain't bad

    ROTJ: Really the whole wave save for Luke and Leia 7/9 (counting the Ugnaught here)

    ANH: 5/8

    Leesub Sirln
    Hrchek kal Fas
    Ki-Adi Mundi concept
    Scanning Trooper

    ROTS: 5/6

    IG-88 concept
    Captain Colton
    Agen Kolar
    Plo Koon

    ESB: 4/7

    Willrow Hood
    Wing Guard

    EU Wave: 7/7 (the whole wave counting Utris M'toc as a "newish" figure)

    Plus 18 "greatest hits" type figures, several of which I would argue are more collector oriented as well (Padme, Deviss, Jawa).

    so the ratio for 2009/10 Legacy IMO: 33 (not counting any GH figs) /61 or 54%. I say that's not a bad mix. No cause for doom and gloom here. And I would say that an even larger majority of 2008's line was collector oriented as well.
    Most wanted "bottom-of-the-barrel scrapes": ANH: Kal'Falnl C'ndros, Revwien (concept art), Tzizvvt ESB: Wiorkettle, Treva Horme ROTJ: Cane Adiss, Loje Nella TPM: Edcel Bar Gane AOTC: Rogwa Wodrata ROTS: Mon Calamari Dancer, Veedaaz Awmetth, Eeusu Estornii EU: Guri (red outfit), Ket Maliss

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    Sorry for the negative tone in my posts. I'm just unbelievably frustrated at the thisses and thats of trying to keep the line alive as evidenced in today's answers.
    I kind of get the sense that the Star Wars boat is taking on water fast and Hasbro is doing everything they can to keep it afloat. It doesn't help that some fans are acting like Hasbro is deliberately trying to kill the line or has some kind of personal vendetta out against them and their incomplete dioramas (which isn't that big of a problem on this site, but is almost epidemic on certain other fansites).

    Personally, I think Hasbro went too far into obscurity with Legacy last year. Jumping over figures that fans had been requesting for years (like Bom Vimdim, updated Dr. Evazan, Wooof, etc.) right to the figures that even the most diehard collectors had trouble getting excited about (Leesub Sirlin, Pons Limbic, Giran, etc.). Hopefully, they can correct that this year with more "mainstream" figures like Ackbar and the Gamorrean Guard, but it would have been better if 2009 had been more balanced and we might have avoided this entire situation.
    "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
    As for the Cruisemissile trooper question, I'm really glad Hasbro's being open-minded about this. I guess this has a good shot at consideration down the road now and thats great to see!

    Also, JT what were the other questions (the ones submitted to Collectionstation) and will they be answered late or never? If never will they be added back in the list to vote on for another round?
    Most wanted "bottom-of-the-barrel scrapes": ANH: Kal'Falnl C'ndros, Revwien (concept art), Tzizvvt ESB: Wiorkettle, Treva Horme ROTJ: Cane Adiss, Loje Nella TPM: Edcel Bar Gane AOTC: Rogwa Wodrata ROTS: Mon Calamari Dancer, Veedaaz Awmetth, Eeusu Estornii EU: Guri (red outfit), Ket Maliss


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