JabbaJohn got to interview Hasbro's man on the scene for Star Wars, Senior Global Brand Marketing Manager for Hasbro Star Wars, Joe Ninivaggi...
If you're wondering who Mr Ninivaggi is, he has been with Hasbro on Star Wars for 2 years, and before that he worked at BBDO advertising agency handling GE for a year, Young & Rubicam marketing handling Colgate for a year, Saatchi & Saatchi advertising for General Mills for 3 years, and a few more like that. I don't believe I've ever met him before or seen his name at any prior convention coverage.
Now, onto my personal comments...
So um... how does he know the TRU program has done really well? It's barely hit and doesn't seem to be a barnburner at stores yet, yeah TRU has ordered the exclusives in decent numbers but shouldn't follow-through be important too? TRU has been getting too many exclusives the last few years that aren't selling great, they eventually are going to balk at this the way Target did in the '90s.
Seems like Hasbro was overly hands-off with this product launch, that's a very casual answer to why product missed the launch window from the series - Jakks Pacific had it locked down to the week, and they're JAKKS! Hell, Jazwares and lesser releases got the launch right, but not #3 toy manufacturer Hasbro? I hope that shrug of an answer isn't how it is being dealt with behind the scenes in Rhode Island.
On Vader, the neck isn't too high, that's an odd answer, the ball joint is too small or the receiver cup is not engineered to squeeze around it enough. I wonder what that fix will look like, at least they know it's a problem, better than I'd expect.
Huh, he seemed really specific on the Vader's shoulder armor being tooling, that doesn't make a lick of sense though - no other figure has ever had random squared gaps in their shoulders before.
Sorry Han, casual Fridays at the Yavin temple for you.
Hasbro has some nerve claiming a price issue on non-removable helmets for 6"ers, they're using existing tooling with modifications, and they did removable helmets on Luke and Han Stormtrooper, stop trying to clown us.
Who at Hasbro went into that and didn't plan extra helmets in the initial tooling budget? Did they plan for the line to tank and didn't want to budget anything other than standard grunt phase 1 and 2? Otherwise that'd be printing money, easier than cutting another channel into the tool later.
Yeah, never gonna see that Stormtrooper get any backpack accessories.
Seriously? You notice Vader's head come off but not Anakin's giraffe heads? Yeah, it's a mistake, how about, um... fix it?
The change of box design internally is interesting on Chewie, I look forward to seeing what was achieved.
I'm glad they finally have been made aware about Scout Troopers having their helmets warped, surprised they hadn't noticed this before. I feel like the current brand team is a little overboard in how much they think some figure segments actually need to be locked down, we've had similar situations in the past where they were fine without that.
I can't believe they backslid on the brown coat/blue coat thing AFTER the actual coat was shown and it was brown. This is the problem with changing brand management too often.
Ah yes, the standard "yeah, Obi-Wan's pegwarming a little, but we think he could stand to pegwarm more so we're not changing things" type of answer.
The only 6" Artoo repaint I'd consider getting is R5-D4, I think. And even then, I kinda doubt it, that mold is underwhelming in person.
Oh, and speaking of R2 underwhelming, this scale answer is different from the one Jeff gave on the matter, and the figure is for sure under-scaled. You guys make mistakes all the time that LFL lets through.
Vintage, I really think it's time to rest it as well.
Kmart, good exclusives, kind of hard to want to find them. And they're out again for this fall.
The new torso on 6" Luke Trooper, I hope those are new thighs as well - they look like it, but that figure looks a bit dumpy compared to the movie version, I guess we'll get a better look at a further-along version in February.
3PO, why? Ugh, that figure is proof LFL doesn't catch scale issues. Oh boy, a silver leg on the worst-looking thing they did.
That's good about Han having knee articulation, good catch.
I guarantee you we'll be seeing giant Jawas on that answer.
Seriously, you don't know if the character's signature weapon - a weapon you ALREADY HAVE IN YOUR TOOLING LIBRARY - will be included? It's a single tampo.
Really, permanent detonator in her hand? IOt's like they're trying to kill collectors with this stuff, the '06 version had a removable one.
No removable helmets, that sucks. That was one of my favorite things about Star Wars figures back when I was a kid. Luke gets a removable helmet (their press photo has it off), why not at least Lando? He's a character reveal, after all. Sabine should have a swappable head since she spends a lot of time not wearing her helmet.
Well, that was... a thing.