This is an e-mail i recently sent to Hasbro, still awaiting their reply.
Hi, i saw a picture of three (Padmé, Anakin and Obi-Wan) of the Episode II figures and i am really worried. While the figures look great, the poses do not. They are so dynamic that they leave little or no playability or displaying freedom. I haven't seen the others yet, but if they are all posed like this, this year could very well be the darkest time for Star Wars collectors and Hasbro. If you don't believe me, check out this link and look at the results of the previous poll (the one about the E2 figures) http://www.rebelscum.com/ .
As you can see, i am not the only person that is worried about this. I am also worried, that the figures won't do justice to the movie. This, because we're 7 years into the current Star Wars era, and still we are stuck at the regular 6 points of articulation. It would be so much better if they had 4 additional points. I know this would cost more, but it would increase the overall product rating and thus, increasing the sales. As you might have noticed, other lines - with super-articulation - performed well on the market. I am referring to the The Lord Of The Rings line by ToyBiz. They made 6" scale figures,with realscane technology, detailed clothing, accessories, attractive packaging and of course articulation and still they are only $10 each (and i'm living in Europe). One kinda figures why they succeeded and you didn't. That really hurts since Star Wars is a great movie and i feel you've wasted an opportunity here. There are also problems with product balancing. ToyBiz did a great job on that. The figures all have a great action and playabilty yet they still remain detailed and highly collectable. Thus making it a favourite for kids and collectors of all ages. With Star Wars, i feel you neglected the kids and some collectors. First of all with the "open window box" packaging (B-Wing, Y-Wing). They are very attractive for mint in package collectors, but personally i think they are hideous. I'd prefer box art. It's also hell to open one of those since there are enough twisty ties in there to pin down an elephant. That, however, is not the worst about these. The worst is that you didn't do anything to improve the vehicle(s). A new, scaled, landing gear would have been nice, as well as the gold/orange tinted windshield that was shown on prototypes and of course: electronic light and sounds. That's how you attract kids. Kids love lights and sounds and, frankly, so do i. Without that they are just as boring as model kits (and model kits are cheaper so why would someone bother?). Another problem that's occuring on a very wide scale is lack of authenticity. With the release of the latest Army Builder, the Rebel Fleet Trooper, you marked a new era by adding lots of articulation the figure, but still the figure is not perfect. While the joints are all great, you "forgot" to add in detail and playability by the holster that can't be used. Now, i was going to buy 4 of those, but i think they are not worth it. I like detail and authenticity so i want holsters on my figures if they are present in the movie(s). This also brings me to the upcoming Stormtrooper 4-pack. While it is a great idea to release it for the army builders among us, the set leaves much to desire. First of all, it seems - judging from the pictures and descriptions - that all four are just the CommTech Stormtrooper (or as you call it Stormtrooper Battle Damaged). While that is not that bad, it aches my head that you just slpa four of them in a box without improving them first. The CommTech Trooper is great, but the articulation is really bad. First of all it needs more articulation in the arms. An elbow, a swivel joint below the elbow and a wrist joint would be nice. That way the Trooper can hold the gun in his two hands and thus increasing the poses and thus the playability of the figure. Another problem are his legs. Due to the position of the legs under the body (looks like he's been riding a horse for too long) the legs cross each other when you use the joints in the knees. Thus making them useless. It would be a very good idea if you fix the legs and add an extra joint. This extra joint should be a swivel joint above the knees. Another, and this is the last problem, is that the set appears to be coming with rifles. Well, i dunno if you guys ever see a Star Wars movie, but you never see a Trooper walk with a rifle in any of the movies. Only Luke walks around with a rifle while he is disguised as one. So instead of including rifles, chuck in some of the blasters that they actually use in the movies. And please don't include the one from the Sandtrooper Tatooine Patrol figure, because that gun is so rubbery that it's almost impossible for the figure to hold. The detail and size is ok, but the plastic should be stronger. While you're at it, include 8 of the blaster with the 4-pack and a mouse droid. If you do all of these "recommendations" you'll be sure they fly off the shelves/stands. You could also release them in retail as an Armybuilder Pack. They would sell. In fact, if you make all these changes, i would buy 10 of those.
Ok, you've come to the last part of this big e-mail. Please think about these things i mentioned, the future of Star Wars and Hasbro could depend on it. Oh, i almost forgot, don't use cheap materials all the time, it doesn't increase your popularity.
PS: please don't redirect this to your European office(s), this needs to go to the top.
Thanks & greetings,