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  1. #1

    SSG's Monthly Hasbro Q&A - April 27th

    Will we be getting re-releases of the Build-a-Droid parts? Find out in Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for April 27th, 2010.
    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 April 27th, 2010

    SSG: In past answers, you've said you have no foreseeable plans to re-release any of the Build-a-Droid existing droid characters again. However, for various reasons natural to collecting, many collectors found themselves with the problems of having too many of some droid parts, and more often, too few of others. Short production runs are an especially big problem for completing certain droids. The bottom line is that there are a lot of incomplete droids around, and some of the droids are army-buildable including the hard-to-get YVH-1, so even after working to complete 1, some collectors want several more. And the upcoming BG-J38 wave looks like it will be no picnic to complete either what with exclusivity and a very short production run. Aside from the notion of collectors coming back to the line spurring a Droid Factory playset with the possibility of using some of these parts, would you reconsider alternate methods to distributing these parts or whole droids, perhaps offering individual parts on HasbroToyShop, or bagged complete but unassembled droids in simple white box packaging, or perhaps some other method that lets collectors complete their build-a-droids?

    Hasbro: We will not be offering any of the previously released Droid Factory figures or parts. Since each droid part for any droid was produced in the exact same quantity, parts do exist to complete any droid, but it will take fans getting together to swap parts for completion. Army builders will likely have an abundance of mismatched parts, which are likely in demand for folks who need these parts. Maybe some smart fans will be able to figure out a solution to allow folks to trade their droid parts via message boards, or live and in person at CV

    SSG: Don't think we haven't noticed that some of your exclusives are playing a color-scheme war. Target, whose company logo is a big red bulls-eye, gets a red-accented TIE Fighter vehicle; Wal-mart, whose logo has been blue lettering for decades, gets a blue Octuptarra Droid vehicle. Wal-mart gets a blue 501st role-play helmet; Target gets a red Clone Trooper helmet with flashlight. Target gets Commander Fox, a red-hued Clone figure; Wal-mart gets the 501st Clone Trooper, a blue-accented figure. Confess! You're creating some of these exclusives with coloring themed to its specific retailer, aren't you? "Payola!" they'll all yell to the heavens as they learn of such treachery. Busted! So, are you guys doing this on purpose, and if so, how did it come up? Do your retail partners know that they're getting specially-tailored exclusives as are their rivals, and what do they think of it?

    Hasbro: It started out as a deliberate attempt to match the retailer and their ownable branding to the specific product (the red dot Clone Trooper in 2005 was the precursor to many of the items you saw). Retailers did embrace the strategy, but the more it was used the less special it became (the Clone helmets being the biggest and most overt example of this). We have since have gone away from this for the most part. The TIE Interceptor and Octuptarra were purely coincidental; we had not even noticed that they followed the pattern until you pointed it out.

    - -

    And our questions at

    • Usually, the only figures whose heads are painted rather than cast in flesh-tone plastic are those with a sculpted helmet, hood or large hair so the plastic matches the majority of the head. Though understandable, those painted faces aren't always that successful, noses are rubbed off by packaging, paint masks miss targets so they either over- or under-shoot, and the facial features don't look as crisp. Recently though, this has crept onto regular figures without hoods or the like. Evolutions Jango Fett is supposed to be a premium figure but has that - yes, it's likely a costing issue since it'd be the only flesh-toned part on the figure, but this is supposed to be a definitive version. Col Dyer from the Battle for Endor battle pack has flesh hands yet a painted head. And now Luke Tatooine from the Resurgence of the Jedi pack is the same way, that's an iconic figure with an impressive new sculpt, yet its sullied by the painted head syndrome. Maybe it's fine for kids, but these are collector-themed figures we're talking about, and too often it's sloppily applied and prone to the problems mentioned above, not to mention it softens the sculpted facial features you guys work hard to produce. So why use painted heads on those sorts of figures? Will there be a focus to lean on this less in the future? Might those Jango and Luke figures get cast instead of painted heads on their next runs?
    • In a previous Q&A, you mentioned that "[Hasbro] will continue working with Sideshow on their 12" figure program." As we know, Sideshow sub-licenses their 12" Star Wars through Hasbro's Star Wars license, but the intricacies of this relationship are not fully understood. With your recent comment above, collectors are ever more curious as to how exactly Hasbro and Sideshow work together on that 12" figure line. What types of input and interaction does Hasbro have into the Star Wars items that Sideshow produces?

  2. #2
    Check it out, as per our questions voting discussion from the previous round:

    RS went and used a question slot on that question, which netted us this answer: Many fans will miss the Comic Packs line, it was such a great concept. You've said before that the cost of including two figures and a comic made the line too expensive to continue. What about dropping the comic and continue to put out quality EU figure two packs for collectors? Once a month With You could do one EU pack a month so we get 12 EU Packs a year but do a good rotation from both Dark Horse, Marvel/Classic (no funky colors), Novels and Other, which would give 3 EU Packs from various sources. And it would give us 24 EU figures a year. There were some great figures on the horizon, as shown at SDCC last year (Deliah Blue/Darth Nihl, Jarael/Rohlan Dyre), hinted at in past Q&A sessions (Splinter of the Mind's Eye), and even ToyFare magazine (Nom Anor!) would be a shame to never get them.
    Hasbro: We have thought about this idea, but as a consistent ongoing format it won't work and just would not be a productive segment for us since EU is overall a more niche interest among collectors right now than movie figures. There is another concern that, aside from the videogame figures or extremely well-known and highly demanded figures, the EU figures need story context to be successful and that's why we feel pack-ins are the only way to go. One day we hope that Comic Packs could return, but it would only be when the collector market has regained a firmer footing.
    In other words, SSG RULES! Yeah, we called it gang, good job! And it didn't cost us a question slot, great work.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    Kylo Ren - came from Space Brooklyn, although he moved to Space Williamsburg before it was trendy.

    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  3. #3
    CS questions added!

    I don't think the molded vs. painted answer is going to be what you guys were hoping for though.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    Kylo Ren - came from Space Brooklyn, although he moved to Space Williamsburg before it was trendy.

    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  4. #4
    Unless anyone wanted a total non-answer, I really doubt it, JT.

    That sucks about the droid parts. Do they really think an awful lot of people haven't already been trying for months to trade these parts? Or how about, since they see SW figures as playthings, a lot of extra parts are probably getting lost by kids who can't build the droids? Yeesh.
    That's my jacket!

  5. #5
    "Costs and flexibility" is their answer, and it's definitely not blowing me away with focusing in on our question. It's the "why we do it" but not the "what can we do in the future to address it".
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    Kylo Ren - came from Space Brooklyn, although he moved to Space Williamsburg before it was trendy.

    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  6. #6
    Jedi Temple Archives got this interesting answer:
    Q. The appearance of young Boba Fett in the season finale trailer for STAR WARS - THE CLONE WARS has the collecting community abuzz. We've already heard that a CLONE WARS Bossk (who is in the trailer) may be on the way in figure form. But what about young Boba, and in that same regard his ship, Slave I? Can we expect them in the fall lineup for CLONE WARS as well?

    A. We will confirm that a young Clone Wars Boba figure is on the way. As for Slave I – we cannot confirm nor deny. You will have to stay tuned.
    This definitely hints at a new Slave I, which would be awesome! If they weren't going to do it, they would probably just out-and-out deny it. Hopefully it's not an issue of trying to cost everything out or seeing how the market is.

    Echo Base Forums had a similar thing:
    ECHO BASE FORUMS: IF you were to release an awesome new Slave I, which colors would you release it in first (assuming it would later be repainted)? Prequel colors, to match its upcoming appearance in The Clone Wars cartoon? Or its original look, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back?

    HASBRO: If we were to release a new Slave I, it would be based on the Clone Wars deco.
    A new (presumably realistic) Barriss Offee is coming spring 2011, and Cin Drallig is planned for 2012, according to Jedi Temple War Room. Awesome.

    Jedi-Business got confirmation on a new Jedi Luke on a vintage card this fall that addresses the issues of the most recent one, like the chest proportions. That's great - I still need more Jedi Lukes for my displays, and a better version than the good-but-not-perfect 2009 version is definitely welcome.
    Got a question for Hasbro? Ask it here!
    My Photos and Reviews: SSG Toy Guide
    My Star Wars Fan Film: The Lazy Jedi

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
    A new (presumably realistic) Barriss Offee is coming spring 2011, and Cin Drallig is planned for 2012, according to Jedi Temple War Room. Awesome.
    That almost makes up for them spitting in my face and saying, "No, you can't complete your YVH-1 droid."

    (Previous comment contains free added drama!)
    That's my jacket!

  8. #8
    The new Slave I is probably the most exciting news for me today. While not stoked about it being in CW deco first (I assume a repaint would come eventually) I thought that the CW deco was the same as AOTC. I couldn't find a screen shot online or wookieepedia to verify. Was it the same as AOTC or am I gonna be disappointed?

    Edit: Just rewatched the pertinent parts of the las episode and it looks to me like it's the AOTC color scheme which is fantastic, I really am excited all over again. I hope this is confirmed at Comic Con of CV (I doubt they're yanking our chains with the whole "cannot confirm or deny" cause that would be cruel).
    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.

  9. #9
    Han's Hideout got word that the new vintage ROTS Anakin will finally have Sith eyes in addition to ball-joint elbows. I never got the weird 2005 Sith eyes variant so this will be great.

    JediDefender got confirmation of more Geonosis two-packs, or at least that they are currently still planned. Which is strange, since I thought that these sold worse than the Walmart Droid Factory line, which got cancelled.
    Got a question for Hasbro? Ask it here!
    My Photos and Reviews: SSG Toy Guide
    My Star Wars Fan Film: The Lazy Jedi

  10. #10
    I think they couldn't even get rid of those at half price. I'm pretty sure there are still a few of the sets sitting around here (though I might be wrong; I've not been checking the shelves below the basic figures in the SW section at Target lately). I remember getting the only two I wanted (with the new human Jedi) at half price a while ago, and figured those would go quickly, but they were still gathering dust two weeks later (and, like I said earlier, maybe beyond).

    That is rather weird. Maybe Target's more willing to carry crappy two-packs than Wal-Mart?
    That's my jacket!


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