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  1. #1

    QUESTIONS FOR HASBRO - round 83

    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 May 7th. Keep in mind that your votes in round 82 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. - As you now know, the recent Commander Cody figure has left the factory with his belt upside-down, an occurrence which has proved far too common over the last 5 years of ROTS phase 2 trooper armor figures. This is a relatively small thing, but common enough that it warrants asking about. Would it be possible for you to redesign the trooper belt system so that there was some sort of offset notch or directional block which forces assembly on the belts to work only in the proper orientation? That way, the factory workers wouldn't need to see the visual minutiae that defines the belt as right-side-up or not. On a similar note, many later uses of the R4-G9 tooling (such as R2-T0 and the recent battle pack R2-D2) seem to be assembled asymmetrically so the center foot rests at too shallow an angle thus incapable of standing flat, perhaps caused by a very slight mismatch or variance cavity to cavity. Could something be redesigned in the foot to ensure the correct angle and range of travel for the center ankle joint?
    7. - Mace Windu has been represented in action figure form for 11 years now, and a large portion of those figures were released with some unique, non-standard aspect. Mace has been the first "sneak peek" and a mail-away in the modern line, the first hard-shell "choco" robe, AOTC had a deluxe before basic which has a smiling face and a second figure, AOTC basic had the screaming face, 2003 AOTC basic had the "ultimate lightsaber control" stick gimmick, ROTS had the Force Lightning throw-off gimmick, and now the Clone Wars version with removable armor and saber-swinging waist. While there have been a few normal Mace figures, and even a super-articulated one finally, it seems as if Mace Windu has been tapped by Hasbro to be the sculpting and gimmick guinea pig. Is this pattern intentional, do you think he can't sell without these sorts of things, is it just happenstance, or does someone there subliminally not realize they keep picking Mace to be the test guy?
    8. - 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?
    9. - 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?
    10. - 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?)
    11. - 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?
    12. - The Clone Wars Y-wing Bomber is one of the coolest ships we've seen from the line. A version with red markings was seen in both the Geonosis story arc and The Zillo Beast episode, and it created a visual punch both times. Given that the $65 deluxe vehicle line is somewhere between struggling and dead, and found often on clearance meaning not nearly enough kids or collectors got to experience this amazing vehicle, is it still possible that we might see a red Y-wing Bomber in the line at some point, perhaps as an exclusive, or at a lower price point to attract new buyers?
    13. - Why is it that modern realistic R2-D2 figures are oversized? Our math says that the modern R2 stands a whole centimeter too tall, which is a scaled visual difference of 7 inches. That's a pretty significant amount of extra height. The Clone Wars R2 is roughly the right height, as is the classic Kenner Artoo, while the build-a-droid astromechs split the difference between the extremes. But the regular modern astromechs are all too tall. Why is this, and will this be addressed on the upcoming R2 redesign?
    14. - At Toy Fair, you revealed a Boba Fett figure for the Vintage Collection. There is some confusion about this figure though. The carded sample shows the Evolutions ESB version, while the in-booth display shows the 2004 vintage-style ROTJ figure. In a recent Q&A answer, Boba was left off of your list of Greatest Hits repacks, which would lead one to believe he has been updated in some way similarly to how the Vader figure is not on the Greatest Hits list because it has been changed a little. Has this TVC Boba Fett indeed been changed, and if so, how? If not, then which version will see release?
    15. - 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?
    16. - 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?
    17. - 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?
    18. - 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.
    19. - 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?

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

  2. #2
    4, 5

    Question: How about releasing some star wars figure coupons that we can take to retailers?
    One way to out think people is to make them think you think they'll think what you are not really trying to get them to think what you think.

  3. #3
    JT, going back to the question I proposed at the end of the last thread, I'm not sure what the last concurrent variant was. I know there were three (maybe more) of the Imperial Officer about five years or so ago. I think the Endor Rebel Trooper might've been concurrent, but I don't recall for sure, and I'm pretty sure the Naboo Trooper was just a running change.

    They've done this a few times more recently with the GIJoe line, with things like white-coat Dr Lewis, clear Wraith, and Snake Eyes with black Timber. Though, truth be told, I'd prefer the availability to be a bit higher than those.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarthVader View Post
    Question: How about releasing some star wars figure coupons that we can take to retailers?
    They did Clone Cash in '09, and last month they had the Hasbro Coupons website Play Saver, though it looks like they are couponed out right now. What did you have in mind, specifically? Maybe there could be a question made out of that, but I would need to understand the drive better to see if it differs enough from what they just did.


    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    JT, going back to the question I proposed at the end of the last thread, I'm not sure what the last concurrent variant was. I know there were three (maybe more) of the Imperial Officer about five years or so ago. I think the Endor Rebel Trooper might've been concurrent, but I don't recall for sure, and I'm pretty sure the Naboo Trooper was just a running change.

    They've done this a few times more recently with the GIJoe line, with things like white-coat Dr Lewis, clear Wraith, and Snake Eyes with black Timber. Though, truth be told, I'd prefer the availability to be a bit higher than those.
    The Imp Officers you're thinking of are from the Saga Legends line back in '07, and they were running changes, not concurrent. Saga Legends enjoyed a lot of running changes in '07 and '08, they scaled back in '09 though.

    I think you're right about the Endor Rebel being the last one not in Saga Legends. The Naboo Soldier red & yellow were a year apart. Most of the concurrent variant figures have been derided by fans in the SW line for the reason you gave on the Joe line. The way Hasbro did it with the Endor Rebs is the first half of the wave purchases when to the first version, and the second version was planned for the second half of the wave purchases (technically this is not a running change since it's still within a single wave), but when stores slowed purchases on the second half of the wave, that figure was harder to get.

    Are you sure you want to ask a question about that?
    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.

  5. #5
    You sure there weren't Imperial Officers with different heads in the OTC line? And, around the same time, there were head variants on the Rebel Fleet Trooper. I'm thinking even further back than 2007, but maybe I'm wrong.

    Y'know what? You made me go to that other site. It was 2002 when both were released:
    http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?i...fficercomp.jpg
    http://www.rebelscum.com/sw0254rebeltrooper.asp

    I'm pretty certain they were concurrent, but it may just be that the waves were coming out so quickly at that time that they seemed concurrent.

    And, yeah, longshot or not, if it gets more variety in head sculpts for guys like this, I'm all for asking it.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  6. #6
    Ok, I see what you're getting at. The POTJ line had the first figure, the Saga line a year later had the concurrent 2nd and 3rd figure, and then the Saga Legends line re-released them. I forgot their headsculpts had those origins.

    It's a pretty weak precedent, it's very old and they JUST shot down running changes which do exactly this.

    Do me a favor, try writing this question taking those figures into account but don't get TOO specific about them, see if we can kinda squeeze around it.
    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.

  7. #7
    I'm not sure how un-specific you want me to be, so how's this for a start? (I'm pretty sure the Tartakovsky Clonetroopers were the same case, and slightly more recently.)

    "Following up on one of your answers from April 8: You said, when asked about a possible running change for a particular figure, 'Because of the snafus we have had, there will be no more running changes. Period. Sad, but the hammer has come down on these.'

    This answer is pretty clear about running changes, where different versions have been released with different waves of figures, but it leaves open the question of whether different variants could be released concurrently. Though this hasn't been the case with mainline Star Wars figures for a few years (most memorably with the Imperial Officers and with the Clonetroopers from the Clone Wars micro-series), the GIJoe line has more recently done something similar with chase figures, and there have been several examples of variants in the Legends line. While concurrent variants do make certain figures a bit tougher to get, the concept provides a lot more flexibility in building armies of human characters whose heads aren't completely obscured by helmets, without requiring the same figure to be released multiple times. Would minor variations be a possibility still, provided they're available at the same time?"
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  8. #8
    2, 5, 7, 8.
    I'm a white kid
    A straight up 'C'
    Don't hang around
    Those straight up 'G's

  9. #9
    I'd like to vote for number 3.

    I am also curious of these questions.

    "The Clone Wars series has given Hasbro the oppertunity to release many important vehicles that both collectors and children have craved 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? Is there any vehicles from the OT, PT, and EU that you would like to see in season 3 that the Hasbro staff would love to do in the future? For example, if the Black Sun were to be introduced into the series and with them the StarViper?"

    "It might be too preliminary at this stage, but given the press release concerning the new Star Wars animated series, has Lucasfilms approached Hasbro about creating a toy line for the show?"
    Nowhere in your incoherent ramblings did you come anywhere close to the answer. Thanks to you, everyone in this room is now stupider having heard you. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul. -Billy Madison-

  10. #10
    How about mailing in upcs to get coupons on future star wars merchandise purchases? Or how about some printable coupons from the hasbro site. Like maybe $1.00 off any two star wars figures. That is all I can come up with for now.
    One way to out think people is to make them think you think they'll think what you are not really trying to get them to think what you think.

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