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  1. #1

    QUESTIONS FOR HASBRO - round 84

    Please post your VOTE for up to 4 {four} of the questions provided in this thread, letting us know which ones you most want to see asked on June 4th. Keep in mind that your votes in round 83 do not count in this round, so if your question is still on the list you may want to vote for it again.

    Also, feel free to post new questions. For reference, here are Hasbro's answers to previous SSG questions; and from other sites. The questions we asked last round can be found here.

    Current questions (vote for up to 4):

    1. - The Clone Wars line has been a boon for its droid designs, but is following suit from the realistic lines with the sagging leg problems. This is especially noticeable on Clone Wars Battle Droids and General Grievous. Yet in the same line, IG-86 and the Commando Droid don't suffer this, the difference being that they have ankle joints while the BD and Grievous figures do not. It seems like the joints take stress off the thin leg elements helping cope with wilting issues, and that's a pretty big deal. Obviously including either knee or ankle articulation on them isn't a cheap undertaking, but it seems like a necessary one in the scheme of things since if a figure can't stand up, it's going to be far less fun. Any possibility of including one type of lower leg articulation or another on future versions of these figures as this partial solution to this long-time problem?
    2. - Have you considered sealing magnets into figures' feet and including metal stands to avoid the numerous problems that have come up with footpeg holes over the years? Kotobukiya is doing that with their new ARTFX+ line of statue kits to great success, and although 3.75" figures are a smaller medium, magnetic feet would go well with your action figure line with all its challenges keeping figures standing.
    3. - We now have the deluxe Anakin with Desert Sport Skiff, and us old-fogey collectors who have been around since 1996 are quite surprised to see that accessory's return. It wasn't exactly popular back in the day, its styling wasn't that Star Warsy, and its wobbly guns didn't help much, yet now we have it back for a whole new generation of Star Wars collectors. The other 1996 deluxe releases - Crowd Control Stormtrooper, Han Solo with Flight Pack, and Boba Fett with Mega Jetpack of Doom - weren't exactly crowd-pleasers either, but will we be seeing any of them re-released? Though the idea of a small vehicle for Anakin makes sense, re-releasing this piece seems like such an odd choice. Could you guide us through the thought process on this one? Did the failure of the original influence the decision at all?
    4. - On the latest TIE Interceptor's packaging, the box art on the front has a highly-detailed ship which is not actually representing the toy, the back of the box imagery does that. However, while the new cockpit pod is a great improvement, that art highlights the wings being the same existing designs we've had for the last 3 decades, and their size and lack of detail really shows compared to the new pod. Granted, you've just released a TIE Interceptor so it's not like we're going to see new wings next week. But hypothetically, how far in the future might fans have to wait to get a set of updated TIE Interceptor wings to match the quality of the new pod?
    5. - With the 2008 Medical Frigate Luke figure, the figure almost fits the bill for Echo Base recovery scene Luke, if not for the open mechanical arm, and the different likeness with scars and Hoth hairstyle. That scene also has another character whose figure is in dire need of updating: 2-1B, who hasn't seen a new figure design in over a decade. With a Recovery Luke figure, it'd just be a new head required (the body and undamaged forearm tooling already exists from the VOTC figure) so you could also include the mask he wore in that scene's less-infamous cut footage (we're not asking you to make kissing Luke & Leia, you'll have to decide if you're twisted enough to go there ;-) ). So, any chances of knocking the Echo Base Recovery scene out of the park by making new 2-1B and Luke recovery figures?
    6. - Seeing as how the McQuarrie concept figures have been re-released in boxed sets to decent reception, has there been any consideration of doing a similar boxed set for the other concept figures out there? The Doug Chiang General Grievous, the Joe Johnston Snowtrooper, the McQuarrie IG-88, and the 2 Episode III concept Anakin and Ki-Adi-Mundi would make a nice 3rd set to the concept figure series, don't you think?
    7. - One of your answers from the April 8th round said that, as we expected, due to the troubles with running changes, there will be no more of those running-change figures. The statement is clear, running changes from wave to wave didn't work out too well during the TLC line, but it leaves open the question of whether simultaneous, planned production variations could be released concurrently within the same wave. The line has done so before, similar to the way the TSC line's Endor Rebel Troopers were released, or some Saga Legends troopers, the Imperial Officer head variants, the Clone Wars Micro Series clones; and the GI Joe line has more recently had success with concurrently-released chase figures as well. While concurrent variants do make specifics a little tougher to get, it provides a lot more flexibility for army-building troops without waiting years to release a variant. So would those sorts of simultaneous-production, same-wave variant figures still be a possibility, or do these go down in flames along with the running change figures?
    8. - The Clone Wars series has given Hasbro the opportunity to release many cool vehicles that both collectors and kids have been asking for. These vehicles are especially great due to the fact that they work for both the animated and realistic figure line. Given the popularity of the series, what additional vehicles would you look to do from seasons 1 and 2? Are there any vehicles from the OT, PT, and EU that you would like to see used in season 3 so they could use that as a springboard to make their toys? (For example, would you like to see the StarViper/Virago show up in the show so you could make a Virago vehicle toy?)
    9. - The idea of the ball-hinge wrist has a lot of potential, but one of the drawbacks of using it on such a small joint is that it intrudes deep into the hand, using up space in the palm. That, in turn, ends up mangling some accessories, especially those clear-banded into their hands in the packaging, warping blaster grips to the point of making them bent and twisted beyond imagination. Was any consideration given to making the weapons fit that hand design, or just doing away with the wrist articulation on the first generation CW Clone mold which is still in use for some of the new Clone Trooper figures? Considering the aesthetic issue, the lack of space, and the greater expense, is this point of articulation pretty much dead after the CW Commander Stone mold takes over the rest of the new clone figures, or are there other animated or realistic figures that could still get this articulation in the future?
    10. - Have you considered taking figures from the Comic Packs and putting them together into Battlepacks with perhaps 1 new figure, and making these sets exclusive to someone more focused on a comic-friendly audience, such as Diamond Distribution or one of the many fine e-tailers out there? This could help spur interest in the line along and satiate EU fans who crave more of their favorite characters. Star Wars comics still have a big audience, SW: Legacy is Dark Horse's 2nd best-selling line (despite the line apparently ending soon). If not Battlepacks, what about more Comic 2 Packs exclusive to those outlets with more focus on reusing the parts created for the line for new characters or at least character updates, since they're not likely to get used in the mainline?
    11. - Hypothetically, if Hasbro were to produce a new Slave I based on its recent outing in The Clone Wars animation, and assuming this hypothetical ship were to meet its intended sales goals, how long after its release would collectors have to wait until they would see one based on the ship's deco from the Original Trilogy era?
    12. - What's with the new smaller-hilt electronic role-play lightsabers Hasbro is now offering? These are in open-box packaging somewhat similar to the blasters, but far more compact, yet they aren't cheaper than other electronic sabers in the line. Are these smaller to better fit hands of younger kids, are they trying to be more accurate to the original props than previous Hasbro sabers? Don't they seem too small for the pricepoint, is there any concern they may cannibalize sales from the existing role-play electronic sabers, and why have open box packaging without a try-me feature?
    13. - Recent Hasbro images show the upcoming Saga Legends Battle Droid 2-pack both using the mold based on the new Battle Droid figures from the Target Geonosis Arena Showdown sets. Is that what we will actually be used to make this Saga Legends 2-pack? If so, will we see any of the issues we raised in a previous Q&A addressed, like a left arm that can hold the blaster similar to the Firefighter Droid from The Clone Wars line, or properly-sized eyes for every droid, or the neck piece facing the right way? Also, will we be seeing any running deco changes on this set, switching from Geonosis red to Naboo tan? Army-building Battle Droids only in red and at a 1:1 ratio with their commanders would be quite limiting, and many previous Saga Legends army builders have enjoyed running changes like this without any problems expressed.
    14. - Why is it that when figures, especially Jedi, have separate soft-plastic "skirts", some figures will have slits designed into the sides so they can enjoy a full range of hip motion for sitting, action poses, or piloting vehicles, while other figures with similar "skirt" elements do not have those slits up the sides? Examples of this immobile skirt design include the TAC ROTS Mace Windu, the very recent EU Jaina Solo, last year's Stass Alie. Those figures would all be better served with either a split plastic skirt, or a more free soft-goods skirt when costing allows it, wouldn't you agree?
    15. - The initial Force Unleashed figures were released well before the actual game, and many of the cooler figures sold quickly and were hard to find by the time the game was released. Of the major characters, the Jumptrooper, Evo Trooper, Vader, and Galen Marek have seen a few re-releases, while Juno Eclipse (sadly) still languishes on store shelves in many areas. One figure that was never re-released though is Rahm Kota, who was one of the first figures to vanish upon the initial release, and has since appeared in other Star Wars media, including a different video game. Given that he is likely to appear in a major role in The Force Unleashed II later this year and the 2 exclusive TFU 5-packs were released in May, are there any chances Kota might be re-released as a Greatest Hits figure, or perhaps even updated with a new, more actor-accurate and 'blinded' head sculpt, as well as a deactivated saber hilt for his shoulder scabbard?
    16. - The Clone Wars line has been a great addition to Star Wars collecting, but with all Hasbro's focus on Clone Trooper figures, there has been a lot of focus on command-level trooper figures (Gree, Cody, Rex, Bly, Stone, Thire) while lower-ranked clones, especially generic white clones, haven't seen pegs in a while. Will we be seeing more standard white grunts on pegs anytime soon to give the numerous commander figures more troops to lead? Running changes on headsculpts for grunts could make for a broader, more exciting collecting and army-building experiences, and you already have a broad library of head designs to choose from (which can be swapped in and out as needed elsewhere since they wouldn't be named-character clones), they could even be offered either as single packs or multi-packs. Will we be seeing the new helmet designs, the new Cmdr Stone armor designs, new headsculpts under the helmets, other weapons and accessories mixed into the grunt-level troopers put out there?
    17. - Now that you've made Galactic Heroes figures of Max Rebo and Droopy McCool, there is a hole in the band. Why did Sy Snootles get left out of the set? Might Hasbro consider rounding out the original trio of palace band members by making a Sy Snootles Galactic Heroes figure? She would go great in a 2 pack with any of Jabba's more prominent minions (Tessek or Ree-Yees for instance) or perhaps Oola or cloak-wearing Luke. Seeing as these more obscure Galactic Heroes figures are fan-driven, if you were to make a Sy figure would it be based on her classic "vintage" appearance?
    18. - Regarding the 2002 Saga Deluxe Speeder Bike, previously you had told us the tooling for it had been misplaced in one of the factories you work with, and since around that time the only Speeder Bike mold released has been the 1983 Kenner version. Yet it's been confirmed in recently-released Hasbro imagery as well as other sources that the new AT-AT comes with that '02 Saga Speeder Bike in Hoth colors, conspicuously around the same time that the bike's '03 Clone Wars remold is getting reused as well as the new deluxe Plo Koon Speeder Bike. Has the '02 Saga Speeder Bike tooling actually been found after years of searching, and if so, what's the story behind that discovery? (We're picturing Derryl swinging through warehouse aisles via whip checking nondescript slab after giant metal slab a la Indiana Jones.) If the tooling really has been found, why has the Hoth Assault battle pack been shown with the old '83 version, why did the recent TRU-exclusive deluxe Speeder Bike set use that '83 mold? And will the newer Speeder Bike finally be used for a screen-accurate ROTJ bike in the near future?
    19. - Hasbro hasn't really elaborated on your take of the most recent ToyFare Star Wars fans' choice poll finalists, other than to say in a very broad sense that it was clear collectors were most interested in all-new characters over resculpts and that the results would provide a "road map" for future lineups. So specifically, apart from Jocasta Nu and Jaxxon whom you've already addressed, are there any totally unlikely candidates on the list such as the Queen / handmaiden figures? Any choices that really made you wince because you know they would be retail poison? If you want to avoid giving away too much info now by addressing each character individually could you at least tell us how many characters from each source (i.e. OT, PT and EU) off the finalists list will be turned into figures in the next 18 months or so?
    20. - Since we're all thinking about the topic of Star Wars anniversaries lately, May 1st, 2011 will mark the 20th anniversary of the release of Timothy Zahn's novel, Heir to the Empire, the first part of the Thrawn trilogy. Whether one loves the Expanded Universe or hates it, a strong argument can be made that this book started a resurgence for interest in Star Wars and was the foundation for the modern Expanded Universe movement, so it deserves some sort of recognition and maybe even some action figure treatment. With that in mind, would you consider doing some sort of commemorative set or just slipping a few HTTE-themed figures into one of The Vintage Collection waves?

    Vote now, and suggest new questions too. Thanks for participating!

  2. #2
    I will vote for #11 for now.

    Just wanted to mention that April 24, I went to Toys'R'Us in the Bronx and bought the EU wave (Final wave of the BAD Legacy Collection). When I went again to Toy'R'US on May 1st all of the EU wave were gone from the pegs. I heard that a lot of collectors waited for May 1st and were fustrated because a lot of Toy'R'Us stores did not have them on that date. But my understanding was I always try to go the week before to see if they have the new waves in stock. I did hear that Hasbro is sending more shipments of the EU wave to Toy'R'Us across the country, hope that every Star Wars fan can get the hands on these because they are really great. Super articulated and great details on these action figures make them probably or my opinion the best wave of the Legacy Collection. This is a wave I could enjoy with my kids.

  3. #3
    7 - variants
    13 - Battle Droids

    For now.
    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.

  4. #4
    I don't have final wording, but DarkArtist had a good basis for a question in another thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkArtist View Post
    hey maybe that's a question for ask Hasbro....where do you get your research data from to determine which lines are succesful and which lines need to be cancelled.
    Maybe we could, if it's not too over-the-top, mention that the comic packs, which are canceled, appear to be doing much better than the Geonosis 2-packs, which aren't.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  5. #5
    I like 1, 8, 9 and 11. These are the best for Clone Wars fans.

  6. #6
    7, 11, and 13

    I've got a question brewing on carry-forward figures, but it's not quite articulated enough. Here are the basics in case anyone else wants to run with some wording for it:

    With each new assortment, a large number of the figures "carry forward" from previous waves, resulting in situations where new cases are put on the retail shelves, only to become essentially old product after a few collectors buy the new figures. The figures that carry forward are usually main characters, or new figures that you perceive (in the planning stages) will have demand.
    Could the carry forwards be reconsidered, putting more of an emphasis on multiples of the new figures in the new assortments, and moving the older figures to either case revisions or better yet, the following years Saga Legends line? This would create more "new" product in your main line and make the Saga Legends line stronger because it could actually contain recent, in-demand figures alongside the obligatory Vaders and troop builders.
    Last edited by Daryl VayDar; 05-09-2010 at 07:59 AM. Reason: typo

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    I don't have final wording, but DarkArtist had a good basis for a question in another thread:

    hey maybe that's a question for ask Hasbro....where do you get your research data from to determine which lines are succesful and which lines need to be cancelled.
    Maybe we could, if it's not too over-the-top, mention that the comic packs, which are canceled, appear to be doing much better than the Geonosis 2-packs, which aren't.
    We know where their research comes from. About 8 years ago or so, Hasbro helped create a national sales tracking system for the major retailers' inventory, so they get data on what's selling via UPC. They also work with retailers to track sales by patterns, and retailers give feedback on what they do and don't want to see. As for what gets canceled, that's internal based on sales tracking, and their costs vs their wholesale pricing based on what they believe the market will bear (which is why a line like Unleashed can be modestly popular and still get canned). They sometimes will put a little more time into developing a brand and keep it around longer, believing it'll find its niche eventually (like Titaniums), but that's the long and short of it. Anything else we should ask on this matter?


    Quote Originally Posted by Daryl VayDar View Post
    7, 11, and 13

    I've got a question brewing on carry-forward figures, but it's not quite articulated enough. Here are the basics in case anyone else wants to run with some wording for it:

    With each new assortment, a large number of the figures "carry forward" from previous waves, resulting in situations where new cases are put on the retail shelves, only to become essentially old product after a few collectors buy the new figures. The figures that carry forward are usually main characters, or new figures that you perceive (in the planning stages) will have demand.
    Could the carry forwards be reconsidered, putting more of an emphasis on multiples of the new figures in the new assortments, and moving the older figures to either case revisions or better yet, the following years Saga Legends line? This would create more "new" product in your main line and make the Saga Legends line stronger because it could actually contain recent, in-demand figures alongside the obligatory Vaders and troop builders.
    This has been asked many times, and ultimately they've said in short version that production limits them to making only so many at a time, so initial cases go out with less new figures vs. waiting for figures to build up to fully fill a case. This also leaves room to adjust the product levels later if they find initial interest is higher or lower than expected.

    As for the Saga Legends side, the idea is to sell figures to kids, not to get the latest and greatest out there. A lot of their molds end up in demand in other places, like repacks and Battle Packs and such, so they have to assign specific molds to Saga Legends to keep them in rotation there lest they use them elsewhere. That means new figures could end up getting sucked out of their initial waves to go into production in Saga Legends (which has a different production schedule than regular) before even finding its legs thus being "proven".
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Might we be able to update question 13 now that there are early images out there that seem to confirm our worst fears?
    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.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkJedi5 View Post
    Might we be able to update question 13 now that there are early images out there that seem to confirm our worst fears?
    I think the question holds up. The early images showed them with eyes, and the carded samples don't. So it's still worth asking, if only for the parts about the running change.

    I'll go with 7, 11, 13, and 14.

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