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  1. #1

    What good MARKETABLE ideas are left to do from the prequels?

    Hasbro has covered a lot of prequel ground over the last 12 years, to the point where almost every iteration of every character has a solid, modern-quality representation. However, their Star Wars brand is an ongoing business, it still runs the figure line from the entire saga, and in doing so, Hasbro attempts to cater to the whims of younger fans who grew up with the prequels and recognize Star Wars from that, along with hardcore fans who want high quality figures of everything - all while making sure that the mainstream markets don't ignore the product for being too specialized. It's a delicate balance, to be sure.

    So the question becomes, is there a reasonable abundance of good, MARKETABLE ideas left for Hasbro to mine from the prequels, or has the last few years pushed out nearly everything that could need to be done? Cite examples and we will discuss.
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  2. #2
    We still have some gowns for Padme that needs to be done.

    We still need better versions of some of Senator/Chancellor Palpatine's robes.

    We still don't have Jar Jar Binks in the outfit with the epaulettes from Padme's apartment.
    Hell, we still need a version of his Senate robes that isn't Disco Dancing.

    A lot of the early TPM figures that haven't been remade could use some new more articulated versions.

    We still have plenty of Pod Racer Drivers that haven't been made in plastic yet.
    Hell, we're finally getting Ben Quadrinaros. A character who was on the very first Fan Choice poll.

    We don't have all of the members of the Seperatist Council from AotC. Where's Rogwa Wodrata?
    THE SPY. THE SPACEMAN. THE GODDESS. THE ROBOT. THE GORILLA.

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  3. #3
    Part of the problem is the way they release one or two items at a time. I'm not saying the whole line needs to focus on one thing, but it would really help if they coordinated releases of related items. You think it might've helped sales of the Hoth-related vintage stuff last year that one could easily buy (assuming they'd not all been snatched up) Hoth Leia, Echo Base Han, two different Endor sets (what were these called? not Battlepacks, IIRC), the AT-AT, and the Snowspeeder (and I think there may have been one or two Battlepacks as well at the same time).

    There are also collectors who only collect the OT stuff. I doubt there are many, if any, collectors who only collect PT stuff. So it has to be promoted and coordinated, or it will fall flat.

    First thing that popped in my mind when you said there were no marketable ideas in the Bail Organa thread: Podracers. Did they add much to the movie? Not really. Done right, though, these would have a ton of play value and do pretty well.

    We've only had two actual podracers released, both in 1999, both woefully outdated now. There have been a handful of pilots, but widely spread out over the past twelve years (thirteen if you count Ben Quadinaros next year). For the 3D re-release of Episode I, we're getting two new pilots (one being a WM exclusive) and a TRU-exclusive set of previously-released pilots.

    Imagine if, perhaps starting late this year and continuing to the end of next year, there were two new podracers, with pilots, released every 2-3 months. Start with Anakin and Sebulba. Re-do the podracers from scratch, throwing in stupid missile launchers and other play features that are easily masked or removed for display. Toss in a new pilot figure, once who doesn't look like crap when he's not in the pod. Also include a pit droid (or C-3PO for Anakin) with the racer's flag. Go through the podracers that have been picked for production in order of coolness and popularity, keeping earlier ones in the mix.

    Meanwhile, coordinate with the Vintage and Legends lines to release new and older figures related to the podrace regularly through the year. A new desert Padme, Shmi, and Qui-Gon would be no-brainers for the Vintage line. They don't have to take over the lines, just one or two per wave.

    Coordinate it with a marketing push, maybe a silly contest. Maybe get the classic Racer game finally released for the Wii Virtual Console (and other consoles, too--I only mention Wii because it was an N64 game). TV ads. Some sort of Dark Horse tie-in, maybe... heck, even get those fanwankers at The Clone Wars to integrate a rematch between Anakin and Sebulba while Lobot officiates and Boba Fett shoots at both of them and then Wicket shows up for no reason except to sing a duet with Ahsoka Cyrus.

    Same thing with the Battle of Naboo: the problem isn't so much that kids don't want the toys, but that the toys are released over such large spans of time that kids will get one thing and outgrow playing with the toys before the next one comes out. They don't need to go with theme waves; that's overkill. But having a ton of toys from a given movie that have little relation to one another aside from being from the same movie is, uh, underkill.

  4. #4
    Great idea for a thread.

    It is interesting to me how with all of the "freedom" Lucas had to do whatever he wanted in the prequels that there is still so many more unique ideas from the original trilogy than the prequels. I know it could be argued that it is a matter of taste or nostalgia for those of us who would argue the original trilogy has a more marketable quality, but I think if you look at the number of characters you can even make out in the Outlander club versus the number of characters that could still be made from the cantina, it is pretty obvious where the options still are.

    I think the prequels have been well mined for toys. There is always room for an improved sculpt and they need to keep things available for new customers, but there isn't much left that wouldn't really be scraping BELOW the bottom of the barrel.

    Let's look at our own polling from this site that occurred before and shortly after Revenge of the Sith. The following characters are still unmade from our MOST WANTED list:

    Tey How, Senator Amidala (Palpatine's office AOTC), Jocasta Nu, Queen Jamilla, Cliegg Lars, Tonbuck Toora
    Senator Amidala (Senate Landing Platform - hair in "Leia buns," - ROTS), and Birthing Droid.

    That's what's left! A Nemoidian (poor sellers), four sculpts of women who stood around talking (two Padmes, a queen, and a librarian), a MATERNITY droid, an alien that most of us can't even agree on spelling or which movie he's in and if it's a Separatist or a Seantor (Toora), and an old man in a galactic wheelchair (Cliegg). Slim pickings for an action figure line!

    I personally would like to see Kitster, Wald, and a resculpt of Emperor Palpatine announcing the formation of Empire. Those and Cliegg are really the only four figures from the prequels I am interested in, though I would buy others if I liked them. But Kitster and Wald would likely be slow sellers and the Emperor I want isn't a very dynamic scene. I think as much dialogue as Cliegg has he should have been made, though they probably should have tried to make the figure right when the movie came out. I believe each year his chances get slimmer. My own most wanted picks from the prequesl aren't very marketable.

    That said, I don't think things are much better in the original trilogy lineup. There are a few figures here and there that would be neat (Treva Horme, Torryn Farr), but I don't think most people have any idea who those characters are. I'd like an Uncle Owen resculpt, but even Owen isn't very iconic. There are a handful of vintage figures that haven't been redone if you're being very, very picky (Sim Aloo, Lumat, Nikto, etc.). But I think that for all six films there are only two areas that really are ripe for more figures and that is the cantina and Jabba's Palace. But the remaining characters there aren't the iconic ones, are fairly obscure, and I think just have a good shot because the figure may be interesting as "another Star Wars alien."

    I understand that my analysis here is tied to my own tastes. I prefer original trilogy to prequel. I am most interested in the cantina and Jabba's Palace. But, although I think Hasbro has shot itself in the foot of late with distribution and some other choices, I am amazed how long the line has gone and the sheer depth and diversity of the line. I can't believe the figures they made I've been able to add to my collection. This is the most complete action figure line of all time! But there isn't much left to do that is new, and even less that is marketable. There was a time where what the collectors wanted matched with what kids wanted or what casual purchasers might find interesting. Now they are making figures that are so niche that when people make their most requested lists I have to look up who they are talking about. Things are getting pretty obscure.

    Their best best is to probably make figures that will appeal to kids and new collectors that are good sculpts or have interesting accessories to attract collectors and to have a few collector figures a year to keep us in the game.

    But to answer your question, there are not a number of good MARKETABLE ideas from the prequels that have never been done before. I'd still like an Episode II Jedi Anakin with a sculpted, not cloth goods Jedi robe. I think that might sell. That's about all I can think of.

  5. #5
    Beast, though I think those are figures they might make, I don't think there's a very marketable one in there.

  6. #6
    Sure there is. Because the kids are more interested in Clone Wars. And the movie stuff appeals more to adults.
    THE SPY. THE SPACEMAN. THE GODDESS. THE ROBOT. THE GORILLA.

    AGENTS OF ATLAS - Returns in Early 2009.

  7. #7
    Just took another look at it, and if you look at our two first major polls on still to be made figures, our two lists from the last Hasbro sponsored Fan Poll, and Hasbro's final list from their last Fan Poll, there are still 13 prequel figures left from ALL of those polling lists. The results show not only how obscure what is left is, but what a good job Hasbro did of making figures people wanted from the prequels. They are, in alphabetical order,:

    1. Birthing Droid (SSG polling)
    2. Cliegg (Hasbro finalist)
    3. Corde (Hasbro finalist)
    4. Dorme (Hasbro finalist)
    5. Jocasa Nu (Hasbro finalist)
    6. Kister (Hasbro finalist)
    7. Padme (Palpatine’s office AOTC) (SSG)
    8. Padme (ROTS in Leia hair buns) (SSG)
    9. Queen Apailana (Hasbro finalist)
    10. Queen Jamilla (Hasbro finalist)
    11. Tey How (Hasbro finalist)
    12. Tonbuck Toora (SSG)
    13. Wald (Hasbro finalist)

    Not ONE of those 13 figures was shown holding a blaster or lightsaber in their particular scene. 7 of the characters are human women who stood around talking. Two are children who stood around talking, though Wald is an alien of an iconic Star Wars species. Tey How is from a poor selling alien species and pretty much sat in a chair making announcements. One is an old man with a lot of dialogue while sitting in his chair. One is a VERY obscure alien. One is a maternity droid.

    Now any one of these figures is just as justifiable as others that have been made in the line. But when making an analysis of if there is a lot of marketable choices from the prequels the answer is a resounding no. Their best best is getting people to buy new versions of something they already have or to get people to buy their first Darth Maul or Jango Fett.

    Update: If you look at the nominees Hasbro has offered or the finalists in ALL other Hasbro polling, the only other two that I didn't mention as part of the 13 above is the Twil'ek Masseusse and DEAD Padme. I don't think either of these two figures bolster the argument that there are a lot of marketable ideas left.

  8. #8
    And it's not like they're going to release all those characters in a single wave.

    Hasbro is pretty good about balancing new versions of main characters with obscure wild cards.
    THE SPY. THE SPACEMAN. THE GODDESS. THE ROBOT. THE GORILLA.

    AGENTS OF ATLAS - Returns in Early 2009.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    Hasbro has covered a lot of prequel ground over the last 12 years, to the point where almost every iteration of every character has a solid, modern-quality representation.
    Jocasta Nu?
    Cliegg Lars?
    Separatist Tiikes?
    Separatist Wogra Woodrata?
    Leading Lady Padme Amidala in how many outfits from AOTC and ROTS - especially Senator ones since that's what she is?

    Apparently, these are missing. See my comments that contrast with yours below before you take this to be the whole of my answer to you because there's a point missing. I think I address it immediately below.


    However, their Star Wars brand is an ongoing business, it still runs the figure line from the entire saga, and in doing so, Hasbro attempts to cater to the whims of younger fans who grew up with the prequels and recognize Star Wars from that, along with hardcore fans who want high quality figures of everything
    This is where Jocasta Nu and Cliegg Lars come in. For the diorama builders who are much like the cantina or Jabba the Hutt scene fans, and want everything. In some waves with high volume "movers" like Vader, the obscure collector figures like Hermione Bagwa or Queen Jamilla get inserted. There is a smaller market for them, granted, but there is a market. Thus aren't they marketable? I would say yes.

    Hasbro also has a "model railroaders' group of fans of authenticity" in the hobby that want such characters such as Tey How.



    - all while making sure that the mainstream markets don't ignore the product for being too specialized. It's a delicate balance, to be sure.
    There we certainly both understand and agree.

    When I post my desire for an Anaconda Farr figure, and include Bail Organa, etc - I am not looking for a whole wave of just these figures:

    Skeletal Remains of Aunt Beru
    Skeletal Remains of Uncle Owen
    Smooshed Jawa
    Scrapped CZ-9
    Dead Ewok
    Shot Greedo

    etc.

    However, I'd like to know all of these which many fans as would support being made, have a running list of them, and get one or two every once in a while.

    You know, I barely buy Star Wars figures any more? From the current wave, I've only bought 5 Bom Vimdims and 2 Bariss Offees and I don't think I'm buying any more Star Wars figures until another wave comes out.
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  10. #10
    I'm still waiting on a transformable Droideka.

    It can be done, they've given smaller figures near SA.

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