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.

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And our questions at CollectionStation.com:

  • 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?