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  1. #1

    My talk with Derryl at Celebration VI

    You may end up wanting to merge this with the questions thread, but I wanted people to see this as well.

    Anyway, we got to do a dedicated 10-minute interview, the transcript of which will be up sometime soon. Since that only covered nine of our questions - albeit the most important ones - I went back to the booth later and spoke with Derryl, who was very generous with his time and his answers. I didn't record or transcribe on this part, but the answers are mostly straightforward.

    *Jeff mentioned at SDCC that the MTT's performance will dictate whether future big vehicles get made, and I asked Derryl about that, given its seemingly limited appeal. They were showing it loose to people as they came to the booth, and Derryl said they were still trying to "sell" it here and they hope that fans get it, but unless it's a complete disaster, it's not the end of the big vehicles. It's sometimes possible to sneak figures or small items into the line but Hasbro the company keeps a close watch on the big vehicles. There are still a few he wants to get to, but seemed tired of hearing about the Sail Barge so much. (He spoke on this a bit in the Curto-Burns podcast released yesterday, saying that it's a miracle that this is even getting a release given TPM's performance.)

    *The figures not ringing up at Walmarts is an issue Derryl has seen a few times himself, but as we thought, it's a Walmart issue with just not getting them in the system before they get to the pegs. Hasbro doesn't get paid for those figures, so it's problematic for them as well. (I didn't ask about people using other figures to scan instead or whether this inflated old figures' sales numbers - they seem pretty clear on what's selling and what's not.)

    *Star Wars hasn't seen any Dollar General exclusives a la the other Hasbro lines because Lucasfilm doesn't want them to go that route.

    *There are no plans to release an AOTC Anakin with his unique robe, though a few people had asked and Derryl said it would be a good version to release at some point.

    *The goal is to release Coleman Kcaj though there are no plans right now. Derryl thought for a minute when I mentioned he was the last Jedi Council member left, but we both said we wanted a new Depa Billaba that could sit in the chair, and I mentioned maybe a new Eeth Koth who doesn't look so angry.

    *Derryl wrote notes on a few things, but really seemed to think that the KOTOR re-release pack (Revan, Malak, Bastila, HK-47) was a very good idea. He asked if I, as a fan, would be bothered by them re-releasing a build-a-droid since I previously bought multiple figures
    to make HK-47, possibly going through difficulty to do so, and I said no since there is still a lot of demand for that figure and BG-J38, and that the precedent is actually there with the silver Death Star Droid being re-released in the Target pack. Based on his reaction, he was very receptive to it.

    *I asked about additional articulation on a Clone Wars Battle Droid. He wasn't sure if the upcoming one had the wrist articulation, and it wasn't out on display. I mentioned how tooling already exists for articulated knees but this one didn't really get that great of a response.

    *Lucasfilm was indeed behind the change to Kithaba. Derryl would prefer to not see variations like this at all but sometimes Lucasfilm puts in additional notes later in the process. I asked why they didn't then change deleted scene Luke's inaccurate robe, and he didn't know; he said that was the first he had heard that Luke's robe was wrong, which I'm not sure about.

    *Hoth Luke won't be getting a scarf-down alternate head anytime soon.

    *He was disappointed that Tarkin was so green and wasn't sure why the design team made that choice, but it seemed like a conscious decision since the fabric and the paint had to be sourced separately. There aren't plans for a gray one. He wrote it down to ask the design team.

    *He also wrote down about the ROTS clone helmets looking big and awkward on the skinny new clone body, as he didn't have an answer. Same on removable helmet Vader getting the accurate damaged hand from Emperor's Wrath Vader.

    *We won't be seeing more expressive Jar Jar faces anytime soon and probably not ever.

    *I asked about R5-D4's red panels on his back and Derryl thought I was getting too specific - which is typically pretty much everyone else's reaction as well. :P They'd rather focus on other droids instead.

    *More figures haven't had the wires in their capes purely due to cost, though Derryl really likes them.

    *The plastic clasp with fabric cloaks hasn't been done more due to different designers going in and out and using different methods, but it's something they can look at for the future.

    *The Neimoidian Shuttle will absolutely not be released.

    There were a few points that weren't tied to questions per se:

    *We both still see new unmade characters and vehicles when we watch the films. I mentioned the Battle Droid carrier from TPM and he wasn't aware of it - I didn't have the exact name but I told him where it was in the film. He said there were some bigger items from TPM planned for this year that were cut since they couldn't get them done in time - I probably shouldn't mention them specifically as it seemed off the record. (Separately, he mentioned on the podcast that Kitster/Wald and the Gella twins had gotten pretty far along before being cancelled for now.)

    * Daultay Dofine has been such a terrible seller - as with all Neimoidians - that Tey How seems unlikely, even though Derryl personally really wants to see her.

    *A passerby asked why Savage didn't have his lightsaber in the Target set, and Derryl directed him off to Brian Merten. I know this was a question they didn't follow up on from SDCC, but it seems like nothing has changed, even if I don't know why.


    I'm probably forgetting some stuff, and as I mentioned, the bigger questions are coming soon. I really had a great time talking with Derryl, and if anyone wants me to ask clarifying questions or anything, feel free to post them.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post

    *The Neimoidian Shuttle will absolutely not be released.

    * Daultay Dofine has been such a terrible seller - as with all Neimoidians - that Tey How seems unlikely, even though Derryl personally really wants to see her.
    UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for asking the questions!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
    *We won't be seeing more expressive Jar Jar faces anytime soon and probably not ever.
    This makes me sad. I know he's not the most popular character, but he is onscreen for about 110% of Episode I, so a truly worthy figure for him should see production.

    I'd rather see an all-Binks wave instead of another Clonetrooper, ever.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  4. #4
    Great work, John. I've finished transcribing the audio and posted it under your byline in the news:

    http://www.sirstevesguide.com/conten...Wars-Interview

    at the end of that article I linked to this forums post.

    *Derryl wrote notes on a few things, but really seemed to think that the KOTOR re-release pack (Revan, Malak, Bastila, HK-47) was a very good idea. He asked if I, as a fan, would be bothered by them re-releasing a build-a-droid since I previously bought multiple figures
    to make HK-47, possibly going through difficulty to do so, and I said no since there is still a lot of demand for that figure and BG-J38, and that the precedent is actually there with the silver Death Star Droid being re-released in the Target pack. Based on his reaction, he was very receptive to it.
    YES! I knew this was the right question for the right man, and great job with that answer, it's how I feel as well and I'd hope it's how most collectors feel - we want our figures, no matter how they were released in the past!

    *Star Wars hasn't seen any Dollar General exclusives a la the other Hasbro lines because Lucasfilm doesn't want them to go that route.
    D'oh! Of course!

    There are still a few he wants to get to, but seemed tired of hearing about the Sail Barge so much. (He spoke on this a bit in the Curto-Burns podcast released yesterday, saying that it's a miracle that this is even getting a release given TPM's performance.)
    Ouuuuuch! (said ET style) That one has been on my official SSG year in review list for 13 years now. Honestly, that MTT seems so out of left field and there was no demand, the Sail Barge is out of right field I suppose, but there's significant demand.

    *I asked about additional articulation on a Clone Wars Battle Droid. He wasn't sure if the upcoming one had the wrist articulation, and it wasn't out on display. I mentioned how tooling already exists for articulated knees but this one didn't really get that great of a response.
    I think something got lost there, the question was about rotation joint just below the elbow which is existing tooling, not the knees.

    *Lucasfilm was indeed behind the change to Kithaba. Derryl would prefer to not see variations like this at all but sometimes Lucasfilm puts in additional notes later in the process. I asked why they didn't then change deleted scene Luke's inaccurate robe, and he didn't know; he said that was the first he had heard that Luke's robe was wrong, which I'm not sure about.
    AAAAAH! FIRST HE HAD HEARD OF IT!!! I could tear my hair out over that, this is why Q&A was so effective. Can't we just have "nark to Derryl" once a month?

    *Hoth Luke won't be getting a scarf-down alternate head anytime soon.
    I am going to go sob in the corner and rock myself in self-soothing manner. WHY NOT???

    *He was disappointed that Tarkin was so green and wasn't sure why the design team made that choice, but it seemed like a conscious decision since the fabric and the paint had to be sourced separately. There aren't plans for a gray one. He wrote it down to ask the design team.
    Derryl is awesome.

    *We won't be seeing more expressive Jar Jar faces anytime soon and probably not ever.
    Wow, Derryl rarely says that sort of thing, there must have been a lot of Jar Jar buy-backs in 2000/2001.

    *I asked about R5-D4's red panels on his back and Derryl thought I was getting too specific - which is typically pretty much everyone else's reaction as well. :P They'd rather focus on other droids instead.
    The key is to always blame the readers.

    *The Neimoidian Shuttle will absolutely not be released.
    Money well spent.

    *We both still see new unmade characters and vehicles when we watch the films. I mentioned the Battle Droid carrier from TPM and he wasn't aware of it - I didn't have the exact name but I told him where it was in the film.
    It's the "Platoon Attack Craft". I blame Leland Che for not getting the name locked down better, but really it's just that nobody was paying attention to that background stuff back then.

    He said there were some bigger items from TPM planned for this year that were cut since they couldn't get them done in time - I probably shouldn't mention them specifically as it seemed off the record.
    Tantalizing. Tell me everything in PM.

    * Daultay Dofine has been such a terrible seller - as with all Neimoidians - that Tey How seems unlikely, even though Derryl personally really wants to see her.
    Wow, who would have thought? Oh, right, virtually everybody ever except a few very specific die-hards. They are now silenced. Tey How was on my want lists for a while too.

    *A passerby asked why Savage didn't have his lightsaber in the Target set, and Derryl directed him off to Brian Merten. I know this was a question they didn't follow up on from SDCC, but it seems like nothing has changed, even if I don't know why.
    D'oh! I sent in our questions and follow ups and requests for official titles for the interviewees and never heard anything back.
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post

    *We both still see new unmade characters and vehicles when we watch the films. I mentioned the Battle Droid carrier from TPM and he wasn't aware of it - I didn't have the exact name but I told him where it was in the film.
    It also appears in ROTS on Kashyyyk.

  6. #6
    I want to thank you for asking the KotOR repack question, and I'm very happy with the response. I've never got my hands on Revan, Malik or Bastilla, so a pack like this would thrill me. I had to resort to eBay to get HK-47 pieces I didn't get with figures, but I certainly wouldn't be bitter about a repack.
    ~Umbra: Light is only a shadow cast by the darkness of the stars

  7. #7
    Great write-up! Thanks for all your hard work on this. And thanks in particular for pushing them on the Utai question... I was a bit miffed at first that they seemed to just ignore the Utai part and ran with the Scanning Crew, so I really appreciated that you didn't let it drop. Their eventual answer sounded quite promising to me, and it's good to know others have been asking them for it, so they know the interest is there.
    Big thanks to DarkJedi5, TheRealDubya, obi-dad, morpheus282, Tycho and Kidhuman for great deals/trades.

  8. #8
    Thanks for the kind words!

    JT, on the Battle Droid, I just might not have been clear enough with him, but he didn't know about the articulation of the current one, but since there at least IS one coming out - which really does look to have the Firefighter Droid arms - I didn't push that one too much. I also brought up the arm articulation on the Vintage one, which might have confused matters.

    One interesting thing I forgot to add - I asked about Chukha-Trok, since I know he was planned for a multi-pack but hasn't been out yet. Derryl said that Lucasfilm put the kibosh on that since Chukha-Trok was 200 years before the movies. I asked if he meant the live action movies with Cindel, and then remembered that Wicket and other ROTJ Ewoks were in those movies and I didn't think they were 200 years old. He said he'd have to check, then. So I wonder now if Chukha-Trok was removed from those sets just because Lucasfilm wanted ROTJ Ewoks, and Chukha-Trok dies a few years before then. I assume the "200 years" was a misunderstanding somewhere between LFL and Hasbro. Hopefully it gets resolved but there doesn't seem to be much of a rush.

  9. #9
    I've told you, Chukha-Trok didn't die. He faked his death because he was sick of Cindel and Mace and wanted some peace and quiet.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
    * Daultay Dofine has been such a terrible seller - as with all Neimoidians - that Tey How seems unlikely, even though Derryl personally really wants to see her.
    Wow, who would have thought? Oh, right, virtually everybody ever except a few very specific die-hards. They are now silenced. Tey How was on my want lists for a while too.
    I haven't seen too many of Dofine. Certainly not as many as the previous few Neimoidians. I did see a couple today at a Target in a different town. It certainly hasn't been the big peg warmer of the year like the others.

    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
    *We won't be seeing more expressive Jar Jar faces anytime soon and probably not ever.
    Wow, Derryl rarely says that sort of thing, there must have been a lot of Jar Jar buy-backs in 2000/2001.
    I thought the Swimming Jar Jar and the long tongue Jar Jar were pretty rare ones. I had to order the swimming one a couple years later from Brian's Toys, and the other one I found at K-Mart, which is a place I usually don't go to as often unless I am not finding anything in the usual spots. The regular Jar Jar might have been hanging around quite a bit, though.

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