"To J-hook or not to J-hook?", that is the question. And from it, we have Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for April 8th, 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 April 8th, 2010SSG: With the reveal of the Vintage Collection cardbacks using the classic Kenner styling, there's one oddity which doesn't fit with modern retail. The previous Vintage-style cardbacks came in clamshells that had J-hooks, but this new line has no clamshells and the samples you've shown have no J-hooks, only punch-through hanger holes with plastic reinforcement on the back. Isn't this a risky gamble, making it harder for consumers to get to product and for employees trying to restock? Was this considered, and if so, why was the decision made to stay with the old-style hangers?
Hasbro: It was not without discussion that we decided to do this, since we know that it could make getting at a figure on a peg behind several other figures somewhat tedious, and a potential risk for consumers pulling them off pegs forcefully. The decision was made to stay with the old-style punched because we feel the cards look best and most true to Vintage that way. They have been reinforced with a custom plastic tab to ensure that they won't be easily damaged by being pulled off pegs, but we still have the issue of impatient consumers not willing to take figures off to get to the one they want as well as for employees restocking.
SSG: Snowspeeder Luke is an amazing figure, but collectors have numerous issues and are wondering if they might be addressed on a future re-release. Issues including the awkward hand poses, the wrong saber hilt (again), no lit lightsaber, no way to plug the saber hilt into the belt, no way to hook the grappling gun onto the belt, the thermal cap on the head that disappears and reappears throughout the character wearing this costume on Hoth and Dagobah, the raised helmet visor in the AT-AT attack, and even Luke not wearing his gloves in the costume on Dagobah. Let me state again, fans love this figure overall, it's just that they love it so much they've taken a hard look and see the issues as they stand. So, will any or all of those issues be addressed on a future re-release of this figure?
Hasbro: We are glad to hear that you and many of the fans like the figure. Currently we do not have a plan to release another new Hoth Luke in the immediate future but we do plan on doing other Luke figures. We can look to address the lightsaber hilt issue. We do appreciate all the comments and feedback which helps us to improve our products and when we do revise the Hoth figure in the future we will definitely look at making some if not all the improvements you suggest.
And our questions at CollectionStation.com:
- The Dark Trooper, across its 4 figures and 3 phases, always seems to have underwhelming release scenarios. Both phase II releases (the '98 EU wave, and TAC's re-release Saga Legends wave) were headaches to track down; the phase III was spread across expensive exclusive sets so it cost $85 to build, and its repaint was canceled; and now the phase I is stuck in the end-of-the-line wave that has been repurposed to low-production TRU-exclusivity. Clearly, the Dark Trooper has among the worst luck of all Star Wars figures. Has there been any thought to releasing a multi-pack of the 3 Dark Trooper figures together so that collectors finally can army-build the characters they want? Or if that won't fly, maybe you could pack in that new and also hard-to-get Kyle Katarn figure with them and have a Dark Forces theme set?
- The Resurgence of the Jedi battle pack has a new ANH Luke Skywalker and already fans are enjoying the new likeness and the torso design, but the other elements have some issues. The VOTC Luke's legs were used here, and they seem too small for this figure, underproportioned compared to the upper body. Also, the plastic "skirt" is rather stiff, preventing the figure from sitting down, extra frustrating since this scene he's sitting down most of the time. And the head deco is odd, cast in white plastic and then painted. Might a future ANH Luke figure address these problems while still using the head and torso sculpts?
- It's been 6 years since the last Luke Hoth Gear figure. While that was a nifty item for its time, its sculpt and articulation is specific to 1 part of the movie. Any chance of us getting an updated Luke Hoth, perhaps with a swappable likeness to represent before and after the Wampa attack? We know you usually would prefer to do this via a running change, but after the myriad of running-change-figure problems you had recently, that seems like a troubled route to take, especially with an important character such as this.
- In a recent Q&A, you stated that you weren't going to be bringing back the POTF collector coins for the foreseeable future, which meant no reusing the POTF card style. This shoots down hope of seeing vintage updates of the "last 15" POTF figures on their original cards. While we understand the reluctance to revisit coins, if you were planning to update any of the original POTF figures under the "Vintage Collection" line, would you merely put them on their corresponding movie cards? In other words, figures like Yak Face, Barada, General Lando, etc., would be placed on ROTJ cards; while figures like Luke Stormtrooper or an Imperial Gunner could go on 1978-styled Star Wars cards? Or are those "last 15" POTF characters off-limits to The Vintage Collection because of their original cards?