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  1. #1

    QUESTIONS FOR HASBRO - round 91

    Please post your VOTE for up to 2 {two} of the questions provided in this thread, letting us know which ones you most want to see asked on June 24th. Keep in mind that your votes in round 90 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 suggest new questions, but please keep in mind that due to the now extra-limited nature of the program, we cannot use every suggestion.

    Current questions (vote for up to 2):

    1. - Force FX has entered a new phase with the removable blade series, and so far we've seen the first couple waves. Thanks to Clone Wars, female characters are back on the rise in Star Wars and bringing in more female collectors - Ahsoka especially has been selling very well. What does the future of Force FX look like? What are the chances of Ahsoka's lightsaber being added to the Force FX line, better opening that market up to female consumers and getting Clone Wars main character recognizability?
    2. - You have this nice new Qui-Gon Jinn figure that came out in the Jedi Evolution set, and has been re-released in the nifty Eopie mail-away set, yet both times the figure has been marred by including the blobby 1999 lightsaber accessory. Luke Jedi keeps coming out with either repaints of the ROTS Obi-Wan's lightsabers (which has different details), or worse, the blobby Obi-Wan POTJ saber from 2000. Both the '99 Qui-Gon and '00 Obi-Wan as Luke Jedi sabers also have the old smooth blade design without the flare on top of their soft hilt sculpting, and both Qui-Gon and Luke Jedi actually had better saber accessories designed during the Saga line, yet we never get them. And what about one of the most iconic lightsabers in recent SW memory, Darth Maul? There is no modern-quality version at all, the closest is the '02 Saga metal hilt with removable blades, but the blades break easily, so we haven't seen it in a while, and it's a bit long. We don't have a deactivated one to hang on a belt, don't have a 1-blade-activated version, don't have a "cut in half" version, Maul is pretty lacking for his weapon. Why are we getting old junky saber accessories with the modern versions of these guys? Why aren't we seeing better, more accurate lightsaber accessories for some of these fairly major, recognizable Jedi characters? And will these issues be addressed soon?
    3. - Vader's TIE Advanced X1 has been using the same POTF2 mold for over 13 years now, and the design is showing its age. The cockpit hatch is all wrong, the window is too small, the implementation of action gimmicks hurts the movie-accuracy and just aren't that fun, the cockpit isn't terribly accurate or sized that well to modern Vader figures, and the color is the blue-gray color of ESB and ROTJ rather than the proper gray color of ANH - the only film it was in. This is Vader's signature vehicle, it should at least live up to the quality of the other vehicles in the line, much less represent one of the brand's top characters - especially since the Hasbro SW team's vehicle designs have been so good lately too. What are the chances of seeing something done to address those issues on Vader's TIE Advanced X1 in the foreseeable future?
    4. - A few years ago, we asked about the chance for updating the role-play Han Solo Blaster and Stormtrooper Blaster accessories, and your response was a not at that time because they weren't supported by then-current entertainment. The existing role-play Stormtrooper and Han blasters are molds from the late '70s, now technically 5 decades old. While they do have some pretty decent design for items from that era, compared to Hasbro's newer role-play blasters, they come up a bit lacking in accuracy and features. We don't expect all-black movie accuracy due to safety concerns, but on those 2, the seams are a bit uncomfortable to hold, the lights and sounds don't deliver all that effectively and don't rapid-fire nicely; and on the Stormtrooper blaster, the stock is still missing in action, and there's never been a clip. With ANH being re-released next year on Blu-Ray, and in theaters in a few years, it seems like there are going to be opportunities to deliver updated versions of those 2 iconic blasters in the role-play lineup, so is there any chance of seeing that happen?
    5. - Sgt. Bric's initial cartoon outing turned out to be kind of a bust. The character was an unmemorable jerk and didn't really add anything to his storyline. In fact, if not for the action figure you guys did, he'd be a complete nobody in 2010. And on top of that, the postage on his set when it arrived in Los Angeles was a whopping $5.15, so after the cost of the box and the handling, just getting it out the door probably ate the entire $6.99 right there. Combine that with the fancy packaging and the battle mat, and the fact that he's 100% new tooling with some pricey-looking (for CW) paint, and it seems like Bric's quite an expensive promotional venture for Hasbro to have undertaken... all for a minor jerk of a character. What is it about Bric that made you choose him for a big Clone Wars mail-away promo figure?
    6. - The new R5-D4 figure does not have the painted red panels on his back. That might sound like a minor issue, but the panels are clearly visible in the film when the droid's motivator blows up, and they help give the little guy a bit more visual pop. Neither the 1996 nor the 2006 versions of R5-D4 had these painted either, so it's disappointing to see that the third time is not the charm (though it remains a detail that the original vintage figure got right). Given the number of running changes we've seen so far in The Vintage Collection, is it at all possible that this oversight might be changed on future shipments?
    7. - The Force FX lightsabers are targeted at adult collectibles, for a group who generally desire accuracy in their prop collectibles, and yet the latest ROTS Obi-Wan's lightsaber with removable blade suffers a big inaccuracy due to the blade needing to be securely anchored. However, with your removable-blade designs, you've started using dummy parts to fill in the removed blades, and we wonder if you'd consider for future thin-necked lightsabers like Luke ROTJ and Obi-Wan having the removable blade take the entire thick "neck" with it and having a more accurate thin-necked dummy design replace it. That much weight anchoring has been accomplished before in the thick metal coupler for the Maul saber halves that screwed together, on these thin-neck sabers the neck could screw down to the top part of the grip. That would let collectors have their cake and eat it too by giving an accurate hilt prop display with the thin neck, while still having the light-up blade play using the thick neck. So has there been any consideration for that sort of thing, and might it be seen in future Force FX sabers when needed?
    8. - In several instances now, when asked about the new Slave I getting an ESB release, the response is that it largely depends on how the current Clone Wars version does at retail. If the decision to release it this way is based off sales, why release this as a $100 set with a few re-released figures, and a vehicle repaint that wasn't really hotly requested? If this CW set does sell, does that suggest an ESB release would get a similar Ultimate Battle Pack treatment with the release of some new figures like Bespin Guards and an existing vehicle like the Cloud Car? If that's not likely in store for an ESB Slave I, why predicate that release on this one when it has a different pricepoint, market, and really a different business model altogether? Why release the CW one in this ultimate battle pack format, was this vehicle originally planned for the now-defunct $60 Deluxe Vehicle line and repurposed, was this always the plan for it, or if not, how did this come about this way?
    9. - When talking about cases including figures from previous waves to lengthen a sought-after figure's run, why is it that figures like the Gamorrean Guard and Wedge Antilles don't get planned to be revisited while the Sandtrooper and Grievous see repeat after repeat in later cases? You've told us that the line is meant to be "collector focused", we're even paying a dollar extra premium for the collector-focused smaller run, yet the figures nearly every collector already has - the ones that often end up pegwarming anyway - see nearly endless reruns in a bid to grab attention of casual consumers while the figures that collectors actually hunger for end up shorted at 1 per case in an extremely brief singular release window. On the Gamorrean's part, it seems doubly dangerous since that's a large investment in new tooling, we'd think Hasbro would want to see as much return as possible on that figure by selling as many as possible. It's not like the market has ever shown issues with the Gamorrean, unlike the Sandtrooper which has pegwarmed repeatedly in the modern line's 16 year run, yet this entire year was planned in advance under the notion that the Gamorrean would somehow be a collecting pariah, relegated to low interest and singular purchases, despite being a significant Jabba's Palace army builder and an incredibly recognizable Star Wars alien (to say nothing of the fact that it's an awesome figure to boot). So, um, why are the cool figures in TVC getting these short release windows and no carry-forward into later cases, and how soon could we expect to see that trend reversed in later cases?

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

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Question:

    You mentioned in a previous Q&A about optimizing ratios in order to maximize the most sought after figures in each case pack beginning this fall and into 2012. One would assume from this that even though it's a given that from the time these decisions are made and the case assortments changed and realized at retail you are able to make these changes rather quickly.
    Certain figures obviously qualify in the most sought after category like the TVC Gamorrean Guard, with secondary market prices reaching ridiculous prices, yet as you mentioned he is not slated for later release in 2011. Would you be able to make an exception to him being included in later 2011 assortments, preferably more than one per case, and maybe this strategy could be used to include previously hard to find and popular figures, and like most suspect the upcoming Wedge at one per case will be. By the time a figure is judged to be the most sought after, and the decision is made to optimize them in a case assortment will it be 2012 before they are seen again, and how quickly can this strategy be implemented given that you have an idea what the most sought after figures are and what the collecting community wants?

    I'm trying to nail them down on why they would say this, yet why the most sought after figure this year, the GG is not included in case assortments in 2011? Maybe you could articulate it better JT.
    "Ohh, maxi big da fish! Well dat smells stinkowiff"


    "No time to discuss this as a supercommittee.... I am not a supercommittee!"

  4. #4
    How long has it been since we (or anyone) asked about the center piece of the Cantina bar accessory? As far as I remember, it's always been they were looking for the right retail partner to offer an exclussive? we could dress it up with extra tables, or a solid, one piece cantina bar, where there are no seats, extra figures, etc.
    Ex-wife to me in the toy aisle: "Why do I sense we've picked up another plastic lifeform?"

    Thanks to sebillba for the trade!

  5. #5
    I'm also drawn to 3 nd 8. I have Vader's Tie Advanced and I don't really like it. And a big Slave 1 with TESB deco is a must!

  6. #6
    3 & 8 as well.
    "Hokey packaging and ancient gimmicks are no match for good detail on your figure, kid."
    "I am a Klingot from Oklahoma in human boy form."
    "We came, we saw, we conquered... We, woke up!"

  7. #7
    Question: Can we please start seeing more OT astromech droids released? There have not been many different OT astromech droids released in quite some time. Sure, there is R2-D2 and Clone Wars astromechs, but we need some of the other colored ones from the OT so that we can have a variety to go with our big astromech collections. Bring 'em on!!

    And I vote for #3 as well.
    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.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue2th View Post
    Question:

    You mentioned in a previous Q&A about optimizing ratios in order to maximize the most sought after figures in each case pack beginning this fall and into 2012. One would assume from this that even though it's a given that from the time these decisions are made and the case assortments changed and realized at retail you are able to make these changes rather quickly.
    Certain figures obviously qualify in the most sought after category like the TVC Gamorrean Guard, with secondary market prices reaching ridiculous prices, yet as you mentioned he is not slated for later release in 2011. Would you be able to make an exception to him being included in later 2011 assortments, preferably more than one per case, and maybe this strategy could be used to include previously hard to find and popular figures, and like most suspect the upcoming Wedge at one per case will be. By the time a figure is judged to be the most sought after, and the decision is made to optimize them in a case assortment will it be 2012 before they are seen again, and how quickly can this strategy be implemented given that you have an idea what the most sought after figures are and what the collecting community wants?

    I'm trying to nail them down on why they would say this, yet why the most sought after figure this year, the GG is not included in case assortments in 2011? Maybe you could articulate it better JT.
    They can't make an exception to including him later because they've pre-sold all the assortments to retailers for the year now. We can ask why they didn't plan for the figure to make a return, but not to shoehorn him in.

    If we're to ask why they didn't plan for these figures to be put in later assortments, I'd write it something like this...

    When talking about cases including figures from previous waves to lengthen a sought-after figure's run, why is it that figures like the Gamorrean Guard and Wedge Antilles didn't get planned to be revisited while the Sandtrooper and Grievous see repeat after repeat in later cases? You've told us that the line is meant to be "collector focused", we're even paying a dollar extra premium for the collector-focused smaller run, yet the figures nearly every collector already has - the ones that often end up pegwarming anyway - see nearly endless reruns in a bid to grab attention of casual consumers while the figures that collectors actually hunger for end up shorted at 1 per case in an extremely brief singular release window. On the Gamorrean's part, it seems doubly dangerous since that's a large investment in new tooling, we'd think Hasbro would want to see as much return as possible on that figure by selling as many as possible. It's not like the market has ever shown issues with the Gamorrean, unlike the Sandtrooper which has pegwarmed repeatedly in the modern line's 16 year run, yet this entire year was planned in advance under the notion that the Gamorrean would somehow be a collecting pariah, relegated to low interest and singular purchases, despite being a significant Jabba's Palace army builder and an incredibly recognizable Star Wars alien (to say nothing of the fact that it's an awesome figure to boot). So, um, why are the cool figures in TVC getting these short release windows and no carry-forward into later cases, and how soon could we expect to see that trend reversed in later cases?

    Anyway, that's how I'd ask it if I thought I could get away with being such a jerk. But I'm tired and feeling defeated, so I'm a little aggressive there. Also, I don't believe Hasbro is going to give away trade secrets on their lead time with retailers, so I left that out, but now that I think about it, we could probably get it in with some creative language.


    Quote Originally Posted by obi-dad View Post
    How long has it been since we (or anyone) asked about the center piece of the Cantina bar accessory? As far as I remember, it's always been they were looking for the right retail partner to offer an exclussive? we could dress it up with extra tables, or a solid, one piece cantina bar, where there are no seats, extra figures, etc.
    September 14. If you remind me come July, I can discuss this with team Hasbro, but right now I don't know if it's the right fit for the Q&A program.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarthVader View Post
    Question: Can we please start seeing more OT astromech droids released? There have not been many different OT astromech droids released in quite some time. Sure, there is R2-D2 and Clone Wars astromechs, but we need some of the other colored ones from the OT so that we can have a variety to go with our big astromech collections. Bring 'em on!!
    The TRU-exclusive Battle over Endor packs each come with a new OT astromech, as will the next set I believe.
    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.

  9. #9
    I vote for JT's question. If you wanted to reword it to be a little more tactful that's fine, but I like it as is and I think you bring up some really valid points.

    New question in relation to JT's:
    We know that Deryl DePriest is a collector himself and also an army-builder, so can we see photos of his army of green-helmeted TVC Clonetroopers?

  10. #10
    5 and 8 please!

    When can we see answers to the last session? I'm dying to see Hasbro's response to the Cane Adiss question!
    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

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