Hasbro Q&A With FFURG!
Hasbro recently joined forces with the online collecting community to answer all of our pressing questions about our favorite toy line - Star Wars. Now Hasbro and FFURG team up for the first time to bring forth the customizing community's point of view on all things related to Star Wars Action Figures. To submit your questions to Hasbro, join in on the FForums - Hasbro Q&A Discussion.
Week 39 - 9/15/2007
1.) Now that we've seen the SDCC exclusive Shadow Scout with Speeder Bike, we've wondered why it was decided to do with the older bike style from the POTF2 days rather than the Saga/Clonewars one? Granted, the droopy plastic on the Saga one was pretty bad, but the sculpt was far superior, especially the handlebars, seat, and front section. Couldn't the Saga one be used with a more rigid plastic to give collectors one heck of a figure?
We found that the Speeder looks better with the wider front "fork" and materials selected for the original POTF2 version. We think the aesthetics on that version still hold up extremely well and we were very pleased with the way the set turned out.
2.) Do you think we'd ever see some sort of "design your own figure" from Hasbro where we can go online, pick out several parts (head, body, helmet) and than have it sent to us like Lego does with their own design a set offering? With figure bases as good as Dutch/Biggs, Zev Senesca, the upcoming A-Wing Pilot, or the OTC Tie Pilot, it seems like it could be a really neat online mail-order system where people could order a figure and a head, it'd be sent via baggie in a white mailer (no carding costs), and the buyer could simply pop the head on. It'd be like production level customizing. This could be a way for collectors to finally get all their Rogue Squadron figures that wouldn't sell well in the brick-and-mortar chains.
It is very unlikely you will ever see us offer something like this, simply because we are aligned as an organization to manufacturer and distribute bigger volumes of toys through our retail partners, and our factory partners are really geared up for this as well. Even more specialized offerrings, such as the base packs and protective clamshells, are relatively smaller offerings in the grand scheme of what we ask our factories to do, but giant compared to what the requests would be for something as specialized a build-a-figure. To even set up this business, we would also probably have to charge an extraordinary amount for any figure - far beyond what the components cost if folks were to get several figures and do their own work. In other words, it's a great idea to give individual collectors what they want, but as an organization we have to stick to the things we do best and work toward figures that meets the needs of a larger audience.
3.) Is there any major difference between using a sculptor or a computer to build the toys?. Is it just the human element adds something unique a computer can't add? As the years go by, will you use less sculptors or have them working with computers more for building a figure?
We have every technology available to us to use already, and in some cases, such as vehicles, use that route almost exclusively. This makes sense for machines and other things that do not need an "emotional" context. For figures and we have found that scanned heads, for example, just don't carry that emotion we need for certain scales, like 3-3/4" or Unleashed, and continue to use traditional sculpting methods to achieve the desired effect. As we 3-3/4" collectors have known, this means that figures may vary in detail from one to another (different Luke or Leia figures, for example, will have differences due to the sculpting choices and individual sculptor) and that is part of the nature of the process. Similarly, because of the wide range of articulation choices for any given figure, we just haven't found a way to create an automated process that any more efficient or achieves better results than the traditional approach we use now.
Week 29 - 4/27/2007
1.) How does the size and position of a figure's neck ball joint get decided? Some are very small, some very large, and there are many sizes in between. We can see why this might be necessary on some figures, but there are also figures who have their ball further up inside the head while some where the head only barely sits upon the ball. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of consistency in figures of roughly the same head-size. Wouldn't it make sense to come up with a few standard sizes to promote future kitbashing and repacking on Hasbro's part, as well as make our lives as customizers a lot easier.
Because there is no one standard universal articulation "buck" for Star Wars, each one if sculpted differently according to the needs of the figure and the sculptor doing the work. We don't plan to change this approach since it allows for the individual needs of the figures to be emphasized.
2.) Without getting into production secrets, how do you apply the paint to the figures? We assume that it's mechanically applied but is it airbrushed? Do you use different types of paint on different plastics (torsos versus limbs)? Do you use a sealant or bake the paint on? The reasoning for our question is that customizers often struggle with the final painting of a figure and weigh it against the paint surviving the articulation.
The paint is hand-applied using copper "masks" cut ot in the shape of the area being painted (imagine the tiny hole for an iris of an eye!). The paint is the same generally whether it's for ABS of PVC plastics, with no sealant or baking as far as we know.
3.) Yeah, we know this is another "When will we get this figure" question, but can we get some love for the Episode 2 Clonetrooper pilot with Gunship pod? We've seen a myriad of Gunships but other than the awesome Evolutions Clone trooper, which was part of a rather expensive 3-pack, we haven't seen any new pilots to transport our troops. It'd be great to see a Ep2 Clonetrooper pilot in the basic figure line.
It would indeed, but we don't have any plans for this figure in the basic figure line any time soon.
Hasbro Q&A - 3/16/2007
1.) Now that some of the upcoming waves have been previewed online and at Toy Fair, what is the difference beyond price and packaging between a basic figure like Award Ceremony Luke and Death Star Trooper and a Vintage style IG-88 or Vintage Bossk? Also when we gonna get some love with an updated 4-LOM and Zuckuss?.
The vintage figures will once again be packaged in the clamshell packaging, like last year's figures, and will feature "definitive" premium articulation for those figures or as detailed as we think we will probably ever get. You ar correct in noting that more articulation is being incorporated into the basic figures on a figure-by-figure basis, so some will have more and some will have less. In some cases they can even be vintage-like as we can afford them, but we think Vintage still sets the standard.
2.) How is the color schemes of Jedi fighters and their astromechs determined? By Hasbro or Lucas Film Ltd or some Collaboration? There obviously is some strong correlation to tinky winky purple and Mace Windu, black with Vader etc. It would go greatly to helping create custom vehicles for various characters that haven't already been made, like Aayla Secura, Quinlin Vos, etc.. Finally to wrap up this question, is there any correlation between these color schemes and the units of the clone armies, beyond Mace Windu, of course?
If the colors are not defined already (like Mace Windu was, based on the Clone Wars series) then we will collaborate with Lucasfilm to figure out what they should be (it is important to note that nothing is done in a vacuum; even when we suggest figures or ideas that are new these are evaluated for fit into the universe). Some correlations are stronger and more obvious (Mace having had both a purple Lightsaber and Starfighter already, it made since that this theme would carry forward to his troopers). Others do not have a correlation, such as Obi-Wan's Starfighters, which do not tie in with the orange colors of his clone squadron. Aayla's Starfighter already "exists" in the Republic comic series, by the way....it's a dark blue and it's very cool. We have been slowing down on the Jedi Starfighter repaints for now, but there are some cool ones yet to be done. What do the readers of FFURG say about us doing additional ones?
(FFURG Staff Comment)We've had some mixed reaction to the repainted jedi fighters in our ranks. Speaking only from my own personal collecting habits, I've got one of each color fighter, regardless of who's it is, because, like you said, they look cool. I agree that Aayla's fighter would be awesome, but I'd rather see a Rogue Squadron Wedge's F/X X-Wing or a re-issue of the Y-Wing before more Jedi Fighters. After all, it's the 30th anniversary of "A New Hope". Time to give 'ol Wedge some love finally!
3.) The customizing community, well, at least on the Forums on our site, erupted with cheers of joy at the new Force Unleashed Female Imperial Commander. We here at FFURG have two repack suggestions for you that would only require new heads, Admiral Daala and Ysanne Isard. Both are Expanded Universe but are pretty well known and deserve to be in plastic.
We have to admit, when we first saw Juno Eclipse presented to use we were very happy..finally a female imperial officer. There have been several beyond the ones you mention who were prominent in the EU, including Lt. Deena Shan's impersonation and an Imp officer and Moff Tavira from Rogue Squadron's adventures. Hopefully we'll be able to work some of these into the comic pack line with time.
Week 24 - 1/26/2007
1.) It has been widely published that during the 1978-85 Kenner run, that over 250 Million action figures were produced. While I understand that Hasbro does not release production run numbers, I was wondering if you could share with us if the 1995-present run by Kenner and Hasbro has surpassed the 250 Million mark and if so, approximately when did this occur? Also for comparison, can you provide an approximate total of how many total action figures have been produced during nearly 12 year run of the line?
We closely guard information on our production runs, so we cannot answer your question (it is also difficult to validate anything from the Kenner run since our records are spotty). Regarding the number of figures made to date.well, that would take some time and might be an exercise best left to the fans to figure out!
2.) In previous Q&A's you have mentioned that it is difficult for Hasbro to design Expanded Universe based figures due to a lack of visual reference material and that has led in part to the creation of the Comics 2-Pack line which has the visuals you need. I was wondering for EU characters from novels which do not have comic adaptations, would Hasbro consider using the various Novel covers, Reference Guides, and CCG Cards that exist depicting EU characters?
If we select to do a novel-based character who does not have any comic appearances, then any other canonical artwork from any source would be valuable inspiration and would not be ruled out for that characters' appearance. It isn't our intent to re-create characters when good information already exists.
3.) This may be considered more of a suggestion than a question, but I'd like to know that should Hasbro consider re-releasing the Imperial Speeder Bike would it be a possibility that the Speeder Bike would get all new steering controls? The existing steering controls which date back to the 1983 Vintage Speeder Bike are inaccurate and Hasbro has already produced comparable controls on the 2003 Clone Wars Speeder Bike. Should the Imperial Speeder Bike be re-released, it would be a great to see the controls updated to match the design aesthetic of the current action figure line.
That's an interesting suggestion, Ashley, and we'll take that into account the next chance we have to update it for re-release.
Week 23 - 1/12/2007
1.) The Marvel Comics 2-packs have been hit or miss with collectors. I personally like them as this is something I wanted to see Kenner do back in the 80's and the execution with these figures is great. I was wondering though about the choice of Vader's for the Vader/Rebel Officer pack. This pack is clearly based off the scene where Vader chokes the Rebel Officer, yet Hasbro chose to go with a Vader figure that could not re-create the scene, such as the 2002 SAGA Vader. Even a new arm sculpt would have done the trick here. Was there a decision made about not re-creating the choking scene as shown in the comic?
Our choices were based entirely on the figures we had to work with, with no opportunity for any new tools in the first wave, in order to get the product to shelf in the time needed for retailer resets. So our choice was based on that. But in general, we don't necessarily intend to recreate any panel (one scene) in the comic but provide a couple of interesting and new figures when possible wherever they appear in the comic.
2.) Customizers often use other LFL licensed sources for inspiration or reference, like Wizards of the Coast's Miniatures or Trading Card Game. The Miniatures line seems to be in full swing but what about the Trading Card Game? We haven't seen a new set since Revenge of the Sith. Is the Trading Card game dead or just resting?
There will be no further expansions coming from Wizards. Lucasfilm is the best place to ask about the future of the Star Wars trading card game program.
3.) In the last two years, Target has received many Exclusive Star Wars items, but inevitably many of them go on clearance on a national-scale such as the Lava Reflection Jedi and Demise of Grievous figures as well as the Skirmish in the Senate Battlepack. How do these clearances effect what exclusive items Hasbro will make in future years and what steps are being taken to ensure a more premium based item is made as an exclusive?
The goal is to try and call a number that we think will sell through in a certain period of time (like the duration of an end-cap at Target for instance) Even when we call the number "right", things aren't always perfect in every store, and there are usually some pockets of stock that will go on clearance as part of the move to clean up the stores and get ready for the next end-cap. We use the sales of any exclusive to dial-in on what we think the right quantity is for any future exclusive release. In general, our 3-3/4" releases have been very clean and nothing we have released has had much of an impact on future 3-3/4" releases. The exception has been the Unleashed 7", which we have cut back on for the spring Wal-Mart release to be more in line with the sell-through of the Fall products.
Week 19 - 11/17/2006
1.) Along the diorama theme we've been on with our questions over the last two weeks, diorama builders often have to customize their own minor characters and background figures to fill in their scenes...that is, until recently. Hasbro's Naboo soldier in the latest wave, as well as the rumored Rebel Honor Guardsman, show that there's a desire from Hasbro to see a few of these background characters made. Although a few Q&As from other sites have already asked about the X-Wing ladder accessory from the cancelled Yavin Accessory set, how about making a Rebel Ground-Crew Technician with the ladder accessory? We know it's not in the short term plan, but maybe someday?
We have looked at the Rebel Ground crew guy and while we do like him, he's just not as..well, exciting.as others that we have lined up to do. So he'll have to take his place in the queue. (Editor's note: Yeah, he's not that exciting, but someone has to fuel Luke's X-Wing!)
2.) With the vastly superior (and impressive) sculpt of Chief Chirpa coming out this past year, will there be an effort eventually on the part of Hasbro to re-scale or resculpt Teebo, Wicket, Logray, and the other Ewoks to make them all the proper scale to Chief Chirpa? There's something a little disturbing about the POTF2 Wicket towering over Chief Chirpa.
Yes, we will eventually get around to re-doing them, although we can't say when we'll slot each of them into the line. We'll probably take one or two at a time.
3.) One of the recent Q&As from another site regarding Jabba's dais got me thinking that there haven't been many new releases of Jabba's guards in recent years. Sure, there's been a good repaint of Barada and the resculpt of Boushh & Lando Skiff Guard (excellent job on both, I might add), but there's a bunch of good characters left to do. Hasbro's already produced some of the parts needed, including Bora Solq's head which could be used for a new Weequay. Could we expect some Hasbro love to Jabba's band of merry men with new Nikto or Weequay figures, Kithaba, or possibly Geezum?
They are very good figures to do, and we have them high on our list of guys that should see some attention with the new modern figure aesthetics. But, like many of the "wouldn't it be cool if." figures that are still out there to do, we just need to slot them into the line when we have an opportunity.
This is a reminder that due to several holidays in the coming weeks, Hasbro's Q&A schedule will be somewhat interupted. As a result, expect the next Q&A, week #20, to be December 1st.
Week 18 - 11/10/2006
1.) Customizers and diorama builders debated for years but have determined that Star Wars and GI Joe are roughly 1:18 scale. We love to get the background accessoies, like the recent Bespin Vader's boxes, or Luke Tatooine's Footlocker. When designing vehicles and accessories, do you try to keep to that exact scale whenever possible? Also, are there any accessories you'd really like to make someday?
Yes, we like to keep true to the scale of the figures which (we won't quibble) is approximately 1:18 scale. As for more props, we look to signature movie accessories whenever possible to update a character. One example for next year will be the Moisture Vaporator packed with Luke. We will do these when we feel we have a good window to do them and can afford the piece count. They will tend to be more "signature" than generic, though.
2.) You've mentioned that certain products coming out next year, like the Imperial Conference Room set, would not have enough support to be done later if it wasn't for the 30th anniversary theme of the 2007 lineup. Given this "last chance" for the original trilogy mindset, wouldn't it make sense to re-release the vintage Dagobah playset to accompany the awesome X-wing we got at TRU earlier this year? Are the Kenner molds and tools still available for this playset?
The Kenner mold record is very spotty, and we don't know if Dagobah is intact. Admittedly playsets have been faint on our radar screen due to the unenthusiastic market reception for most playsets in the last few years. I do want to correct a misperception, however....we don't see the 2007 line as a "last chance" for the OTC, as the OTC will still be an important focus in our thinking down the road. It's just that with animation and other forms of entertainment looming on the horizon we may not have the opportunity to slot in something like like Imperial Briefing Room in future years.
3.) The "Hunt for Grevious" battlepack was a very inovative use of a head swaps and customizing to make the heavy gunner action figure. Are we going to see this figure re-issued (given it's current rarity) anytime soon? His gun accessory would be awesome to get in a carded figure.
Perhaps in future greatest hits lines or battle packs, but no plans right now. Since he didn't advance beyond the Round of 64 in the Fan's Choice polls, he won't be on our priority list to bring back right away.
Week 17 - 11/03/2006
1.) At FFURG, we're quite excited about the new fan poll at Rebelscum for next year's Greatest Hits (GH) as it will give customizers an opportunity to obtain many figures that are currently quite scarce on the secondary market. You've stated in previous Q&As on other sites that the Greatest Hits are a separate collection from the main collection of new releases. Does it concern Hasbro that the pegs in stores are full of GH figures that aren't moving, leaving no room for other waves of new figures? We're concerned that if there's no room on the pegs, we won't see much of the 2007 GH waves. Is it simply the result of having this year's GH figures be such recent releases from EP3? Do you feel 2007 line of GH figures, with the entire saga to draw from, will do better than the current 2006 GH?
Actually the situation is the reverse, which is why we like to remind folks that what they see (or would like to believe) does not reflect the real, national situation for Star Wars. But it does give us a chance to explain. Flow of new stock in to retail is automated based on stock levels and the need to replace sold inventory. The Greatest Hits figures are flying even faster than the main collection, due largely to a huge amount of kids engaged in the brand (a very good thing). However, since they are separately managed from a stock perspective (there are two different assortments set up, like Coll 1/Coll 2), with dedicated pegs, the abundance or lack thereof of Greatest Hits has nothing to do with the stock levels of the regular Saga assortment. And thanks for the support on the Fan's Choice vote!
2.) Staying on the 2007 GH subject, will the winning figures be straight repacks or, if an opportunity presents itself, will the figures be upgraded, through kit-bashing, with improved sculpts, articulation, and/or weapons? For example, would you simply reissue Dak Ralter if he wins the vote or would you use the old head on the new Zev Senesca body, which would be a much better figure?
The figures would be straight repacks. We decided to go this route simply because it made it the easiest to get the fan vote boiled down and also because we do not have the ability to go in and have our design team design more "new" figures at this stage since tooling and deco take time (which we don't have) and resources which are being spent on delivering the already planned new figures in 2007. However, one great by-product of the Fans' Choice vote is that they have helped identify figures that deserve an update even though they may not be in the final 8....like Dak.
3.) With the first images of the new 2007 battlepacks reaching the web, many collectors are getting extremely excited for the Tantive IV battlepack with what appears to be VOTC Stormtroopers. Anticipating that collectors, specifically army builders, will be buying tons of this set for the VOTC Stomies and Rebel Fleet Troopers (with two different heads perhaps?), does Hasbro adjust their case assortments and/or distribution of given sets based on perceived collector interest, thus putting more of these sets on the shelves to meet demand?
The Rebel Troopers do indeed have two different head sculpts (based on real individuals, whose identities shall for now, remain a mystery..). We will be making sure that this pack, which features the Evolutions Stormtrooper tool, will be in abundant rotation through the Spring.
Week 16 - 10/26/2006
1.) When George Lucas had Carrie Fisher and the other stars sign over their likeness for all LFL products, Carrie was quoted as saying that she couldn't look in the mirror without paying George royalties. Yet, when collectors asked about the long-desired Tonnika Sisters, we've gotten the response that there are "complications" with release of the likeness of one or both of the actresses. Does this mean LFL does not own the likeness to every character and actor within the movies? In the case of the TSC Endor Soliders, did Hasbro have to release royalties for John Doe who played "Endor Trooper #15" in ROJ?
We can't/won't comment on these issues. (Editor's note: Hopefully we haven't offended anyone at LFL or Hasbro by this question since it was not our intent. Our sincere apologies.)
2.) As you've seen from past Q&A's from FFURG, we love the simple head swap. Sometimes, Hasbro has made it easy for us to swap heads for unique customs, like Wedge, Dutch, SAGA Endor Soldier, etc. Having seen the removable ball joint peg from the refreshed Endor Soldiers, what is the possibility of seeing a universal ball joint peg in the future for scale across the range of humanoid figures?
We hear you loud and clear and know that this is a cool secondary benefit to a contingent of collectors. We will still design each figure as merits for that figure, and we'll take into account ball and socket when it lends itself.
3.) What will be the thickness and strength of the plastic used on the upcoming Super Battle Droid to be released in Wave 1 of the 30th Anniversary series? Will the plastic be of a quality prone to warping such as that used in previous SBD's or can we look forward to a stronger material for better play and display value?
Our desire is for the Super Battle Droid to resist some of the warping we have seen with past figures, and we've increased the width of the knee joint slightly to help.
Week 14 - 10/6/2006
1.) What's stopping the production of a Bothan figure like Koth Melan, Borsk Fey'yla, or Asar Seil'lya? We know that's it's the standard EU debate all over again but we'd love to see who Mon Mothma is all shook up over.
Heh. I can say that we will, at some point in the next few years, see one or more of these (Koth is a good one if we ever do more Shadows of the Empire figures). But it won't be near term. Patience..and know that Bothans are on our scanners.
2.) One of the best parts resources for a customizer is one of your other successful lines, GI Joe. With the sculpts and resources of all Hasbro lines at your disposal, we'd love to see more army-builder type figures using GI Joe heads and parts to reduce production costs, while allowing us to have a Rebel army that isn't populated by clones! Any chance we could ever see something like this?
We hear you on good guy non-clone troops, but don't think GI Joe parts are the way to go. Joe is a great line but those unique faces should stay over there, and we'll create unique head sculpts as needed. Astute collectors will recognize that we have borrowed from the Joe weapons cache, though - a quid-pro-quo for letting them borrow the Geonosis Arena tool. But we stopped short of a Lando/Stalker hostage exchange (they do look a lot alike...).
3.) On Hasbro.com, there are several Star Wars items that have replacement parts order forms, like the Ultimate 12" Anakin/Vader and the Clone Commander #33. Why aren't more parts available on the website? Although I'm sure you don't mind customizers buying up peg warmers for individual parts, I'd bet if more replacement parts were available online, customizers would be buying them in bulk. Personally, I could use more Ewok weapons, POTF2 Stormtrooper blasters, and Senate Pods...nudge...nudge...
We'll take that under advisement. For the most part, the number of collectors who would find this service useful would be small. But we'll look at it.
Week 13 - 09/29/2006
1.) Early in the POTF2 line, Hasbro included extra guns and accessories for, as you've mentioned before, additional playability. Figures like Grand Moff Tarkin used to be great for customizers who would get an extra stormtrooper blaster to arm their customs. Where did these extra accessories go in the modern line today? Please bring them back!
Some figures, like Clone Commander, still come with many guns but for the most part we don't pack in extras. We mix up the accessories depending on what we think each character needs. We take this gestalt view at the beginning of each year, recognizing that some characters will be coming with signifciant accessories, which means others will have just what they need. This way, overall, we're able to achieve our cost target across the whole assortment.
2.) We've seen a few answers in the Q&A recently, both at FFURG.com and other sites, that mention tooling costs. What emphasis during pre-production is placed on the ability to re-use some existing molds to create a new figure? Does the re-use of some molds/parts allow for you to have additional accessories, paint apps, or articulation that we might not see if a character is "all-new"?
Absolutely. By refreshing a figure (using one that was created before) we can make changes to it and create accessories that would not have been possible before. A good example of that is Foul Moudama. We were able to create a new character by adding some parts to a figure we had before, which we probably would not have done if we had to start from scratch. We do try and take that into account up front for some figures when it make sense.
3.) Has any thought been given to creating more realistic battle damage to vehicles and ships? Many customizers have placed dents and holes in pre-existing parts of vehicles/ships to add to the lived-in, worn-down feel of George Lucas' universe. Getting an updated Battle Damaged TIE Fighter to round out the vintage TIEs would be great, wouldn't it?
In our experience kids don't respond that well to this concept and would prefer the vehicle to be intact, so the tendency is to lean toward keeping the vehicle largely intact and showing damage through deco.
Week 9 - 08/25/2006
1.) How will the continued the increase in oil prices affect toy production for Hasbro? Will it mean that we'll see more repaints and reissues as opposed to new sculpts? Will Hasbro be cutting back on production numbers or raising prices to compensate?
Well that is the billion-dollar question, Ashley. We have seen some effect of the price increase, which has affected not only plastic but pretty much everything else as well (steel and packaging). We were able to hold the line on our basic figures for 2007 (along with prettty much everything else) but we don't know what it will look like that far down the road. However, the oil price will have no inpact on new vs. redeco or reissue....they use the same amount of plastic either way. We add reissues to the line to add variety while working within our tooling budget for the line.
2.) With the announcement of the upcoming Darth Revan figure from the KOTR line of video games, there is an opportunity to have a figure, like ROTS Anakin #50, that could be two figures in one. One figure would wear the armor, mask, and cloak, while the other character, without giving away the ending, could be the actual jedi/sith character you play. How about it?
That's a very interesting idea, but we were planning just a straight-up version of Revan. What you propose is an interesting twist on vidgames where you may start as one character but progress through the course of the game to become something very different.
3.) A few customizers have made versions of the unique playable characters in the Battlefront video game series. Although there was one exclusive Scout Trooper for the first release, we'd love to see figures like the Rebel Sniper, Battledroid Sniper, 501st Jet Trooper, Arc Trooper Heavy Gunner, or AOTC Clone Jet Trooper be produced. In most cases, these figures could be repaints with new accurate weapons or accessories. This could be a repack internet exclusive through LucasArts or, even better, a Battlepack with copies of the games now that the price has come down. Is this even remotely a possibility or are we dreaming here?
That is a very good idea and one we have been looking at with the immense success of BFII. However, while we're looking at it, there are no specific plans right now. It's on a short list of "wouldn't it be cool if." kind of ideas.
Week 8 - 08/11/2006
1.) Many of us have customized X-Wings over the years to create Wedge's Red-2 or Biggs' Red-3. However, not everyone has the time or patience to customize a vehicle. Would Hasbro consider a nod to the fans and finally release a Red-2 Wedge Antilles X-Wing?
That's a great sugggestion and one we've considerd for a future release. No specific date is in mind, though..there's a limited number of product slots we can fill and a lot of great ideas to fill them.
2.) In reference to the Battlepacks, what factors determine whether a battlepack is all re-packs like the upcoming ""Battle Above the Sarlacc"" and a battlepack with some customized or all new figures like ""Jedi vs. Sith""?"
Ahh - great question! The mainline, or national battle packs are designed with kids foremost in mind. That's why there are very few new, and they are more commonly themed repacks with a heavy concentration of recognizeable and cool kid characters along with a couple lesser known characters to complete the theme (Battle for Sarlacc being a prime example of this).
Now for exclusive battle packs, we take a different approach. We design these to be collector-targeted, knowing that if we strike the right chord they are something collectors will want to go to that retailer to find and ensure the sell-through at the retailer. This is why the exclusive battle packs have more of a troop building flavor to them. They are designed specifically to ensure that the packs will be able to sell through in a certain period of time.
3.) In the WOTC line of minatures, we've seen Rebel troops and officers from species other than Humanoid, which goes along with George Lucas' vision of a diverse number of species coming together to form the Rebel Alliance. However, we haven't seen this in 3-3/4" line beyond Orrimaarko, Ishi Tib, and Admiral Ackbar from the earlier POTF2 line. Some customizers have made other species of Rebel troops and officers, like Gran, Bith, and Gotal. Could we eventually see Rebel troops in other species to help diversify the Rebel ranks?
Good question - and we haven't forgotten our alien pals. Most of our alien "good guy" slots have gone to Jedi recently (which I think underscores exactly the point you were making about George's vision).hopefully we'll be able to turn our attention to some of the other roles in the future as slots permit. We've got so many bases to cover....the good news is we've got some time to do it (or bad news if you want it all now, like we do ourselves!).
Week 7 - 08/4/2006
1.) With the pending release of the awesome Imperial Conference multipack, could we expect a companion ANH Rebel Briefing multipack including General Dodonna, Willard Varden, Leia, & C3PO with the Holotable?
There are no plans for that right now. In general, fans are more passionate and interested in the Imperial officers over the rebels (especially new officers) so such a set would not sell as well in our opinion.
2.) Along the same line as above, what about a ROJ Rebel Briefing with SAGA General Madine, Mon Mothma (new using the ROTS sculpt), (retooled) Admiral Ackbar, and SAGA General Calrissian with a hologram Death Star II?
Same comments are above
3.) In the TSC line, why was Barada (#004) a simple re-issue with "added" paint apps and not a complete repaint so collectors could have a Kithaba figure with red pants and a tan shirt?
Barada is the more well-known of the two so we went with him.
Week 6 - 07/26/2006
1.) As customizers, we often get a pretty intimate look at a figure. Usually while swapping parts, we get to see how the figure was produced, why a certain joint was used for an arm or leg, and why a certain part was sculpted a certain way. One thing that's puzzled us in recent years is the use of much softer plastic in the limbs of the newer figures when compared to Episode I and POTF2 figures. Why did you change to the softer plastic, which we feel is less durable?
I don't think you mean less durable, but rather not aesthetically pleasing, right? In any case, the durometer, a.k.a hardness, does vary both deliberately by figure and as an undesired manufacturing change. We are aware of the softness issues and are looking at that overall.
2.) We understand and appreciate the reuse of existing molds for new "kitbashed" figures but how often, if ever, does Hasbro look at customizing websites, like FFURG, for new ideas on how to re-use existing parts for new figures?
We do not look outside for ideas. The design team usually has good ideas they have stored up from previous projects when deciding what to do next.
3.) In customizing, we often use the term "head swap" when a custom consists of simply changing one head for another. One of the most common "head swaps" is a Rebel Pilot custom, which can turn a VTSC Luke or SAGA Dutch Vander into the rest of Rogue Squadron. Would you ever consider producing a group of Rebel Pilots using the same figure base, possibly as a retailer exclusive, with new unique heads and helmets?
Interesting idea, but not one currently in the pipeline. No Rogue Squadron members popped up in the Top 25 list, but we know there's interest there so it's something we could look at down the road. We like Rogue Squadron ourselves. Good comics!
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FFURG FFORUMS-Hasbro Q&A Thread