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  1. #1

    SSG's Monthly Hasbro Q&A - June 28th

    What's the future of the Fans' Choice poll finalistis? Find out in Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for June 28th, 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 June 28th, 2010

    SSG: 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?

    Hasbro: One way to look at the list is to consider that we will not be able to do all of these figures, or even come close, over the next 3-4 years when we will probably wan tto look at another Fan's Choice poll to reflect the latest wants at that time. As for which ones would be retail poison, we feel we have a strong handle on the "new" floor for even the most obscure figures (like the Willrow Hoods of the world) so we can manage just about the anything. The question is....do we want to? That's why it is better to look at the list as a general guide for hotspots of demand rather than a mandatory list. With that perspective, the figures least likely to have a chance to be done in that time are Queen/handmaiden figures, Jocasta Nu, Jaxxon, and the most obscure movie figures like Tey How. We don't have a lot of EU slots to play with currently, and aside from Jaxxon, these are very good choices but EU in general will likely struggle to get fit in with what is coming up (especially among strong candidates emerging from TFU2 and TOR that need to be put into consideration). Finally, as for how the list has impacted development, here is what is confirmed to come out before the end of 2011 (always subject to change, of course): two Prequel Trilogy figures, four OTC figures, and Bastila Shan. Not a bad start...

    SSG: 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?

    Hasbro: There is no difference - all of the examples you cite were running change figures executed against the exact same item number, and that is exactly what is taboo. The only way to do variants would be to plan two item numbers and make releases against each. This would burn one of our precious items. We are under strict item count lockdown each year, so ding this would occupy a slot that otherwise might have gone to an all new or very differentiated figure. Since that is not a good tradeoff, we are retiring the notion of any kind of running change or slightly differentiated release for good. Instead, we'll have to pick up variants in others ways, like multi-packs and exclusives.

    --

    And our questions at CollectionStation.com:

    • Mace Windu has been represented in action figure form for 12 years now, and a large portion of those figures were released with some unique, non-standard aspect. Mace has been the first "sneak peek" in the modern line and was a mail-away, the first hard-shell "choco" robe, AOTC had a deluxe before basic which had 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?
    • 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 astromech body splits 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?
    • 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 Clone Wars Firefighter Droid, 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? Will there always be a commander droid and a regular grunt? 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.
    • 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?

  2. #2
    The army builder thing is interesting if not the answer we were hoping to see.

    Why do they want to run a fans' choice poll if they don't want to make the finalists? They said they now have a release number at which they'd like to see obscure figures, but then say they're unlikely to make them. Oh, well. I wasn't really looking forward to Queen Apailana, I suppose.

    Here were the prequel finalists:
    *Barriss Offee
    *Ben Quadrinaros
    *Clegg Lars
    *Cordé
    *Darth Sidious (Senate Duel)
    *Dormé
    *Jocasta Nu
    *Kister and Wald (2-Pack)
    *Queen Apailana
    *Queen Jamillia
    *Tey How

    Out of those eleven, we Darth Sidious is coming in TVC wave 2, and they said they won't do the handmaidens, queens, Jocasta, or Tey How any time soon. So that leaves Barriss, Ben Quadinaros, Cliegg, and the Kitster/Wald pack. My first choice would be Cliegg, but I'm thinking they'll make Barriss, as they said they wanted to get to her fairly soon.

    As for the original trilogy:
    *Bom Vimdin
    *Cane Adiss
    *Dr. Evazan
    *Grand Moff Tarkin (A NEW HOPE)
    *Rebel Fleet Trooper
    *Sgt. Doallyn
    *Sim Aloo
    *Taym Dren-Garen
    *Toryn Farr
    *Tzizvvt
    *Weequay Skiff Master

    They've confirmed Bom Vimdin, Dr. Evazan, and the Weequay Skiff Master for 2011. No idea on who the other could be.

    In other news, Ratts Tyerell is coming on a vintage card in 2011, hopefully, they say, with a pit droid.

    Delta Squad is getting a re-release with more articulation.

    There was going an exclusive Ewok set they were looking to release, but the retailer canceled. They would have included Widdle, Oochee, and some TV movie Ewoks. Hopefully they'll make it out some day.

    Entertainment Earth will carry all four of the lost comic packs; I can only recall two confirmed ones, plus the Ralraa/Noghri pack, so not sure on the other one, but I think it involves Montross and Jaster Mereel.

    A ROTS vulture droid repaint is coming out - nice.

    A new Clone Wars mail-away includes a new clone trooper and some card game stuff. Cool on the clone; we'll see about the rest.

    More UGH figures are coming, with the only differences being foil on the SW name and stripe.

    The TVC clone is based on the Gelagrub mold, with ball-jointed hips.
    My Photos and Reviews: SSG Toy Guide
    My Star Wars Fan Film: The Lazy Jedi
    Follow Me: Twitter | Instagram

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
    A ROTS vulture droid repaint is coming out - nice.
    I didn't see where this was confirmed... what site asked this question? (I can never keep track because it seems there are always sites dropped and added every month)
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    The last poll didn't have pre-selected choices, all the fan sites sent in ranked lists and those were combined to make the final poll selections.
    I know JT. Though I haven't been around lately, I was here for the last poll and participated. I was responding to Big B's mentioning that they had polls in the past with pre-selected choices.
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkJedi5 View Post
    I didn't see where this was confirmed... what site asked this question? (I can never keep track because it seems there are always sites dropped and added every month)
    That answer was kind of off the mark. They asked if there was going to be an Episode 1 (tan) Vulture Droid repaint, and Hasbro responded with an ROTS one.

    CreatureCantina.com: Now that we’ve got a kicking new Starfighter-scale Vulture Droid sculpt, might you re-release it in the Episode I colour scheme some time down the road? - Beedo Sookcool, staff writer and liker of swarms of things
    Hasbro: Yes indeed, we do have plans for an Ep. III Vulture Droid deco down the road. Glad you like it!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue2th View Post
    That answer was kind of off the mark. They asked if there was going to be an Episode 1 (tan) Vulture Droid repaint, and Hasbro responded with an ROTS one.

    CreatureCantina.com: Now that we’ve got a kicking new Starfighter-scale Vulture Droid sculpt, might you re-release it in the Episode I colour scheme some time down the road? - Beedo Sookcool, staff writer and liker of swarms of things
    Hasbro: Yes indeed, we do have plans for an Ep. III Vulture Droid deco down the road. Glad you like it!
    What a terrible answer. I hope that's a typo because as far as I can tell the previously released version is identical to what a ROTS Vulture droid would look like. Though, after reading around, I found a lot of misspellings and grammatical errors in this batch of responses... perhaps they were thrown together without double checking them? In which case, is it possible that was a typo and there really is a TPM version in the pipe? I bought two of the previous release, you could put me down for two more in TPM colors if that's the case....
    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.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue2th View Post
    I know JT. Though I haven't been around lately, I was here for the last poll and participated. I was responding to Big B's mentioning that they had polls in the past with pre-selected choices.
    Oh sorry, I didn't follow the thread properly. Well, now we've got confirmation?


    That answer was kind of off the mark. They asked if there was going to be an Episode 1 (tan) Vulture Droid repaint, and Hasbro responded with an ROTS one.

    CreatureCantina.com: Now that we’ve got a kicking new Starfighter-scale Vulture Droid sculpt, might you re-release it in the Episode I colour scheme some time down the road? - Beedo Sookcool, staff writer and liker of swarms of things
    Hasbro: Yes indeed, we do have plans for an Ep. III Vulture Droid deco down the road. Glad you like it!
    I noticed that too, actually I noticed it at Disneyland on Saturday, they have the toy in a display case and after reading the answer you just cited, I let them convince me the existing one was the Ep 3 colors and seeing it at Disneyland the next day reminded me otherwise, to which I said "well, I guess they typed too many 'I's."


    Quote Originally Posted by DarkJedi5 View Post
    What a terrible answer. I hope that's a typo because as far as I can tell the previously released version is identical to what a ROTS Vulture droid would look like. Though, after reading around, I found a lot of misspellings and grammatical errors in this batch of responses... perhaps they were thrown together without double checking them? In which case, is it possible that was a typo and there really is a TPM version in the pipe? I bought two of the previous release, you could put me down for two more in TPM colors if that's the case....
    The questions often come in with simple errors, typing "EP III" instead of "EP I" is pretty bad and if I were at CreatureCantina, I would ask Hunter PR (they are our go-between) to get clarification right away (which often works), but I'm fairly confident they meant Ep I. With 60 questions per round, and a full load of work, and the need to delegate questions across the whole SW team then gather them up, I don't hold it against them that there are typos now and then, and I usually correct them when they are our answers for clarity's sake. If you read the GI Joe or Transformers Q&A answers (yes, redundancy there, I know ) you don't see as many typos but you see far less quality and honesty in the answers, so I accept the trade-off.

    I'm sure they always meant to do the Ep 1 vulture droid color scheme and just released the Clone Wars one first to get the tooling budget paid for. They love to repaint the $25-pricepoint vehicles because they are popular sellers. I personally don't know if I'll buy another super Vulture Droid in those colors though, it's an ok toy but while I dug the brownish-green versions back in the day, they are a little old-school for my tastes now, and I prefer the smaller Ep 1 line's size against the Naboo Fighter (plus, the wings on the Ep 1 are set more centered than the Ep 3 version). It might come down to deco for me though, the Ep 1 needs weathering to stand out for me.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  7. #7
    Well, the Clone Wars vulture droid is actually a bit different from the ROTS version - pictures are out there, but the most obvious difference is that the Separatist logos on the ROTS version are much smaller and in a different part of the wing. It's a great ship so I'll be glad to have whichever version they repaint it to be.
    My Photos and Reviews: SSG Toy Guide
    My Star Wars Fan Film: The Lazy Jedi
    Follow Me: Twitter | Instagram

  8. #8
    Well I guess I'm satisfied with the answer to the poll question. I got some disturbingly bad news about the fate of the Mon Calamari Dancer figure today and was glad Hasbro didn't totally trounce Cane Adiss as well.

    Heres the 6 figures I'm betting Hasbro is referring to as coming by the end of '11:

    Cliegg Lars
    Barris Offee

    Bom Vimdin
    Dr. Evazan
    Rebel Fleet Trooper
    Weequay Skiff Master

    and of course Bastila Shan, who I couldn't care less about.
    Most wanted "bottom-of-the-barrel scrapes": ANH: Kal'Falnl C'ndros, Revwien (concept art), Tzizvvt ESB: Wiorkettle, Treva Horme ROTJ: Cane Adiss, Loje Nella TPM: Edcel Bar Gane AOTC: Rogwa Wodrata ROTS: Mon Calamari Dancer, Veedaaz Awmetth, Eeusu Estornii EU: Guri (red outfit), Ket Maliss

  9. #9
    Ridiculous! Anyone see the Jedi Temple war room question about why there is never a basic stormtrooper in the Saga Legends line? Hasbro answered that since there has often been a stormtrooper in the main line they've kept it out of legends so as to 'prevent overlap'. What about the Darth bloody Vader overlap?? PT Anakin overlap, PT Obi-wan overlap? Jeez if theres one character people wouldn't really mind seeing an overabundance of its the Stormtrooper!

  10. #10
    CS questions have been posted, all 4 of them.

    --


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
    The army builder thing is interesting if not the answer we were hoping to see.
    It is, unfortunately, what I expected. I wasn't expecting such a firm and direct explanation, and I like that they didn't BS us about it. Too bad it's not what we want.

    Why do they want to run a fans' choice poll if they don't want to make the finalists? They said they now have a release number at which they'd like to see obscure figures, but then say they're unlikely to make them. Oh, well. I wasn't really looking forward to Queen Apailana, I suppose.
    They make the winner, that's the point. It also helps guide the line, even if they don't make the exact figures on the list.


    Quote Originally Posted by Devo View Post
    Ridiculous! Anyone see the Jedi Temple war room question about why there is never a basic stormtrooper in the Saga Legends line? Hasbro answered that since there has often been a stormtrooper in the main line they've kept it out of legends so as to 'prevent overlap'. What about the Darth bloody Vader overlap?? PT Anakin overlap, PT Obi-wan overlap? Jeez if theres one character people wouldn't really mind seeing an overabundance of its the Stormtrooper!
    Clones and Jedi out the wazoo, as well. I do understand what they're saying, but I'm not thrilled with it as an excuse. It's not like people would have bought the Saga Legends TAC-based Stormie and get mad that it's not the TLC Vintage-based Stormie instead... well, some die-hard collectors, but not the majority. We may have to call them on that in Q&A, or better, in person.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

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