Boba Fett with Han Solo in Carbonite (Entertainment Earth) - Gentle Giant - Maquettes (Star Wars Animated) (2009)
Star Wars Collectible News, Photos, and Reviews

HASCON17: Wrap-Up, Final Thoughts, Inside Info And More

I just wanted to take a few moments to offer my thanks and gratitude to the people involved for the incredible experience and enjoyment received from Hasbro’s first HASCON event in Providence Rhode Island. In it I also share a couple of interesting tidbits. So click through if you’re interested.

Firstly, I must thank Chris, Michelle, Chewie and Oreo Swanski (Chris Swanski is co-owner of BanthaSkull.com) for graciousness, like-minded camaraderie, and a place to stay for the entire elongated weekend. It was a blast hanging out with you all and the laughs were nonstop. Your comfortable and beautiful home in addition to the leisure activities offered were better than anything a hotel could offer. So thank you for that. I am blessed to call you friends. I would also like to personally thank Marissa Connelly and Alyssa Hackmann at Litzky PR for organizing all of the press/media aspects of this event for us. They did a fantastic job coordinating interviews, planning and organizing and I thank them for their quick turnaround. I also thank them for their pep talks, encouragement and candor. I received incredible insight from them with regards to JTA’s strong working relationship. As you know, there is a great strain being felt between fan sites as some choose to not follow intended protocols when it comes to leaks and breaches for new Star War toy news. While I can’t go into specific details right now, (the conversations were off the record) it was relayed to me that there is light at the end of this dark tunnel for those that are abiding. Simply put, we’re stoked beyond belief. It will benefit YOU too. More to come!

I would also like to thank Steve Evans and Joe Ninivaggi for always having smiling faces when they see me (and not running and hiding) and for giving me honest feedback about the site and our role in the collecting community. Some may find us a bit abrasive, but they are absolutely unequivocal in their feelings about us and how necessary a loud mouthpiece (like JTA) is important for the brand. They truly read your comments, my reviews and our ideas for the Star Wars line in our articles and are extremely thankful for the good, the bad and the ugly so that they can either move forward with what’s working, or change something that isn’t. If Steve Evans is eating Froot Loops, he is likely checking out the fan site community. And as always, it’s wonderful to catch up with Andy Ochiltree, Steve Bono and Mark Boudreaux (who is probably the sweetest man I have ever met) to discuss everything Star Wars and Hasbro. What an honor it is to interact with the guy who made every last Millennium Falcon vehicle for the Star Wars brand. Wait until you see the Rogue One Hovertank in person. It’s going to knock your socks off. I would also like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to Steve Evans for hooking me up. I owe you one big time, brother.

As far as the actual event, HASCON was intensely better than I expected it to be. Because all of their licenses are represented there, convention space was spread out and it didn’t feel like any area was overbearing (save for the Hasbro Toy Shop line at the beginning of each day). Hasbro had three Star Wars panels: a general product reveal panel, a Forces Of Destiny (those new dolls are pretty amazing) panel, and then a “History Of The Black Series” panel which went into incredible depth about the design, look and feel of the line and early packaging concepts that didn’t make the final cut. All Hasbro staff were approachable and engaging. I really appreciated their interest in not only interacting with media, but showing an intense passion for the primary customers they serve: young kids. I witnessed all Hasbro employees, regardless of pay grade, show an incredible amount of interest in the young fans and it really showed me where they stand in the sea of the community. There was no feeling of neglect. They definitely proved that all fans matter to them and that it’s all of us who make fandom what it is today. There was something for everyone. Chris and I even persuaded a young boy to attend the event (a prompting from the young boy’s father who explained he had some anxiety to attend) and we later bumped into him at the show where his dad explained that his son had a blast once he got over his apprehension. This is what this show was all about this past weekend.

You see the “professional” side of things like the interviews and the press photos and the showroom galleries. But there are countless hours spent having “off record” one on one conversations with Hasbro that remind and reassure me that what I do with JTA is important and that Hasbro sees us as important. Human beings do seem to need an unhealthy amount of reassurance it seems to feel value and worth, but for me it serves as a reminder that no matter the personal feedback I get from critics, that what we’re going is in line with what Hasbro wants to see. The days were a blast. Chris and I had long conversations with Mark Boudreaux and Chris Nadeau (Creative Director, Hasbro Star Wars) and when we weren’t talking to people at the convention we were discovering even more how eerily similar we are to each other while reminiscing about growing up in the 80s. Could anyone ask for anything more? We were two peas in a pod. It was great. Between being able to navigate the convention floor with ease to enjoying plenty of extracurricular activities (like looking for the nonexistent lobster claw pastry) when seeing the wonderful and clean sites of Massachusetts from Rhode Island.

I would like to leave you all with something. Much of this opinion comes from the many off-the-record conversations we had with Hasbro. But they absolutely care about what you think they’re doing with it. If you think for a moment it’s moot to not express yourself in the comments, well, you couldn’t be more wrong. They are reading, taking notes, acclimating to our needs and developing a killer run for The Vintage Collection. Maybe we’re not seeing it or feeling it now, but there are great things coming: multipacks, OT characters, other characters I cannot say, and vehicles. Hasbro blatantly admitted they brought back The Vintage Collection this time without an end in sight (a rumor we revealed very shortly after its official announcement). We need to foster this plan and keep giving them enough ideas and options (above and beyond what they’ve already planned) to keep the momentum going. Again, they are taking notes. Anyway, this was one of the most fun, energetic and exciting events I have ever attended that involved Hasbro. SDCC and NYCC just really aren’t my scenes. Good company, great friends and a fun time always seem to make this hobby a little more enjoyable, especially when there is great news around the corner.

Simply put, this was one heck of a weekend. You should definitely consider it for you and your family in the future if they do it again.

Related Links

  • Andrew R

    Glad to hear your hard work is paying off. You guys provide a great service to the collector community. Thank you!

  • mic windu

    A positive summary, considering the dark times we have gone through in recent years your tone is promising. Without a doubt JTAs hard continuous work has had an impact. It is only disappointing that JTA can see beyond the ‘bend’, report on it, engage with the community and then Hasbro are too slow to react. You have a community of collectors who have been in the game from 40 minutes to 40 years USE that knowledge and experience.

  • Rivesjunctionite

    If Steve Evans is eating Froot Loops, he can get one of those Han Stormtroopers.

    • CT-7567

      He won’t like it. 6 poa. 🙂

  • TatooineSandworm

    Hasbro:

    Please give us the rest of the 6″ Ghost Crew (Season 1-2 Ezra, Zeb, and Chopper) to match the crew that we already have. (Also give us Kallus and The Grand Inquisitor).

    Please give us new EU material like Aphra in both 6″ an 3 3/4″ lines.

    Please give us more Legends characters in 3 3/4″ and 6″ lines (KOTOR especially).

    Finally, keep up the great work in innovation. The new face printing technology is great and helps to improve the quality and value of The Black Series/Vintage Collections.

    Paul and JTA team:

    Thank you for the thankless job you do in representing all of us grown children. It may seem a thankless job, but it is very appreciated.

    • Nick S.

      Well said!

    • skywalkerskater11

      Yes, more Legends characters please! Although I would be more interested in post-ROTJ figures.

    • Littlegreenwiseguy

      I know this is a long shot, but as a “collection within a collection set” idea, I would love to see TALES OF THE JEDI characters to go along with my EXAR KUN and ULIC QEL-DROMA 3.75″ figures. Suggestions: Jedi Master THON, Nomi Sunrider, Jedi Master Arca, Cay Qel-Droma (with swap out human left arm and droid arm), Oss Wilum (Vultan apprentice to Jedi Master THON), Tott Doneeta (Twi’lek apprentice to Jedi Master Arca), just to name principal characters. If successful, the support characters would offer new races of characters never seen before like Jedi Master OOROO (Celegian) and his apprentice Odan Urr (Draethos) who play big roles in THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE SITH and THE FALL OF THE SITH EMPIRE story set 1,000 years prior to TALES OF THE JEDI. Then of course you have a buffet of SITH LORDS to pick from those time periods.

  • LesDudis

    Ah, I knew you were around but forgot to track you down! It was a great con, regardless of it being their first!

  • Jawa_Fetish

    Dear Hasbro,

    I will buy every single TVC figure. Keep ’em coming.

  • Its nice to see JTA paint a brighter picture about the hobby (and hasbro) for a change of pace! Keep it up.

    • I don’t know what your talking about. I think the trolls like to focus on criticisms and act like that’s all we do here. Annoying!

      • Once again I cant tell if youre being serious or sarcastic.

  • Mike_5555

    A wonderful write up, Paul. Sounds like you had a great time!

    • Rivesjunctionite

      It’s staggering, really. I thought Paul hated conventions.
      I’d say I’ve fallen into the mirror universe, but this ain’t a Trek website, so I’m totally confused.

  • Bob

    I can’t wait for the Repacked Vintage Collection! 1 new figure in the first wave? This is really what I’ve been waiting for!

    • You need to look ahead to the future…. it’s senseless to complain about wave 1. It’s happening, let’s just get through it.

      • Lord Toys

        I just hope if, and I say if, Wave 1 completely is a bomb at retail because of the lack of New Figures that Hasbro doesn’t just pull the Plug on the Vintage Collection… This seems to be our Last Hope, I myself only want 2 figures in the first wave…..

        • Travis

          Living outside of the United States, I never saw any 3.75 TBS waves past Phasma’s first release. Still hoping for a ERG and RO figures so as long as case assortment is good wave 1 should sell through

      • Bob

        I’m a lot more enthused than I sound, merely pointing out that the first wave of the new Vintage Collection will be the worst yet (over the entire collection’s run), but alas.

  • King Bowser

    Dear Hasbro,

    More Background aliens in the 6″ line please. 🙂

    Paul, I’m glad you had a good time. 🙂

  • Josh M

    I have said it before but without JTA I don’t know how I would collect any of these awesoem things. Thanks JTA!

  • Randy

    I’m happy that you and Chris had so much fun. One thing I wish I would have said for either of you to mention to Hasbro is how much I (and hopefully many others) want SA figures from Rogue 1. I just watched it again last night, there are at least 40-50 characters I would buy if they were in TVC. It feels just like an OT movie, which is where my collecting focus lies.
    Now let’s get on to the campaign for a new, larger skiff!

  • HanSoloMio

    Fun read, and looking forward to more fun toys in the future!

  • Jimmy Griffin

    Thanks for the all the hard work Paul (you too Chrisswa). I’m glad Hascon was a productive and enjoyable experience; a lot of us were kind of goofing on it beforehand, but I’m sincerely happy we were wrong about it. Thanks again.

  • JohnMorog

    Please please pleeeeeease just take the FO Executioner head and put it on the repacked FO trooper that’s coming out in wave one of TVC!!!!!!! It’s still a repack with re-used parts, but an all new figure!! I can’t buy more ep7 troopers when I don’t even have any ep8 ones!

    • ctwins3688

      The helmet is different on the episode 8 ones in more ways than just the black paint

      • JohnMorog

        The FO executioner TBS 2.75 has the updated/retooled ep8 helmet with the black paint. I’m just saying to use that helmet but remove the paint, and put it on a plain FO trooper, therefore you would have an ep8 FO generic stormtrooper using only already produced pieces.

        • ctwins3688

          oops, got it- see above haha

          • JohnMorog

            Oh lol bad timing 🙂

    • Travis

      You could always buy the 5POA FO stormtrooper from TLJ line and do a headswap with the TVC FO trooper repack

      • JohnMorog

        Yeah, but then I’d have to buy a 5POA figure, which also means I’d be buying two figures. I barely will have enough to justify buying TVC figures…

  • ctwins3688

    Paul/ JTA Team- as a relatively new reader to this site I quickly gathered that you must have some kind of agreement with Hasbro not to publish leaks, which makes perfect sense as I can see how this could get you in trouble and hurt future scoops, but have you posted this policy anywhere so we know what it entails? Thanks!

  • Alientek

    Paul…

    This site has been invaluable to me since I started collecting again, more so than any other. In recent years the growing sense of pessimism about the SW line, at times made me question continuing on. In no way is that assigning any blame to JTA or you, I just really hold in high regard the work you do here.

    I am very happy to have read your final thoughts above. It is nice to hear that you had a good time with friends, and enjoy things all while getting to do what you love.
    When that becomes a job instead of a joy, it is never good. Sometimes we just need something to reinvigorate or excite us again, and for you it seems something did.

    The point?

    From your view, things appear very bright for the future of the SW line and especially the Vintage Collection. I am more excited now than I was seeing the pictures of TVC Snoke this past weekend. I cannot wait!

    (On another note)
    Who knew that a toy maker convention with mainly kids in attendance would be a lot of fun? When Hasbro announced Hascon, the general reaction was one of apathy.
    I hate when the adult cynic gets in the way of the kid having fun.

  • Jebediaah

    Excellent. Thanks, Paul.

  • CJ

    You didn’t thank me.

  • BlueSaber

    I hope they mean SERIOUS BUSINESS when it comes to the new or re-done OT figures and vehicles. I’m in!

  • Very thoughtful wrap up and non specific overview of what we should expect to come. I have more hope now for this hobby/obsession/love than I have had for the past few years. Thank you Paul (and Chris, though I must admit I’ve only recently discovered the wit and sarcasm that is BanthaSkull) and everyone over at JTA. I don’t care if figures aren’t perfect. I just want nice (SA) things.

    • Bantha Skull wants to be JTA when they grow up. But they’ll never grow up so we accept them for who they are. I am only kidding! They are very close allies of ours. 🙂

  • MrStevie18

    It was a pleasure to meet with you Paul and, as always, insightful. I raise a toast to the Good, the bad and the ugly!

  • vintagefan77

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/36b44c2a3504bdcf98e6f47b038f6f4e4cb58b5023eac7b4ac4c1acace8ab784.jpg

    Paul, you need professional help. “Chris and I even persuaded a young boy to attend the event…and had a blast once he got over his apprehension.”

    • Oh gosh. That does sound terrible in retrospect. The dad asked us to persuade him. Is that better?

    • You were being serious? You’re disgusting.

  • Jerry’s Finger

    Thanks Paul! It warms the cockles of this collector’s heart to hear such an optimistic tone about the future of our hobby, especially after the past several years of (well-deserved) pessimism. All of your hard work is greatly appreciated!

  • Chris G.

    Wow Paul you’re such a tool. “Other websites didn’t choose to follow the guidelines” how about coming out and saying you snitched on them to gain a better standing with Hasbro since they think you’re a joke. Not too long ago I spoke ill about your reporting style and your overall toxic demeanor, you never addressed me directly. Instead you referred to me as “this guy” well this guy “an admin” banned you. I don’t allow disgusting wretches such as yourself in my group. I can see what kind of person you are though person is too good of a title for you, you’re more like leech/sniveling little b****. I could hear their disgust while they were answering your questions and more than likely they haven’t changed their view on you.

  • Chris G.

    What.a.tool

  • Thank you for the laugh! This is the most entertaining comment I have read this month! You are the most delusional person I have encountered here. You don’t develop your thoughts well because most of it doesn’t make sense, like who is who in this false story. I have no idea who you are.

    Please get some help. You’re quite unstable. There are plenty of centers that awful inpatient counseling. It will do you good. And as someone who just posts to post negativity about me, I am afraid we can’t let you do these unhinged remarks anymore. Best of luck to you.

    • Arthur Jenkins

      LOL dude delusional you’re one to talk. You’re the one that needs professional help. Just stop being such a tool dude. Believe me when I tell you that the majority of the community thinks JTA is a joke. You claim to have inside knowledge? You wish! Hasbro would never do such a thing, they don’t take you seriously, the only reason they tolerate you is because of the community. In essence they see you as crazy guy that reports the news to a subset of their fan base. Shunning you as they should would hurt their numbers and anger the community. So think about it as preservation.

      You want an example of what Hasbro thinks of JTA? How about the Hasbro panel at Toy Fair? They made fun of you and you were to dumb to notice. I could go on.

      Just know this…. snitching on those other sites won’t improve your standing with Hasbro. If anything it’ll worsen it.

      I can admit that I was a bit angry when I first read the post so my composure wasn’t ideal. My mental state is as it should be… yours not so much.

  • If anyone else feels the need to make pedophilia jokes here they will be instantly banned. You’re sick if you can even make those jokes/accusations for such an innocent story.

  • CadeSky

    Really cool to hear about your experience, Paul. I was skeptical about this con but it really sounds like Hasbro did a great job. Really encouraging to hear that they are listening. Thanks, as always, for the awesome work that you do here at JTA.

  • Joseph

    Hey hasbro can we get an updated super articulated 41st elite corps trooper the kashyyyk version. Please

  • Agustin

    Great Summary; thanks for sharing! It was clearly a great con; fuxxxxxing Irma took away my chance to attend!!

  • STARWARS’77

    If Hasbro is actually taking notes, please fix the horrible paint apps on both scales of figures especially like the new 2 pack Han Solo’s face that comes with Boba Fett. Too many sloppy paint apps overall with these figures or add special paint sets with every figure that says to finish the faces ourselves.

  • Just to expand upon the story about the boy who attended, Paul and I were having lunch the last day of the event. The boy’s father saw the HASCON badges hanging around our necks. He approached us to explain that the rest of his family was at the event, but his son was basically intimidated by the scope of the whole thing (crowd, venue, etc.). The boy was painfully shy. He wouldn’t even pick up his head to make eye contact staring directly at the table instead. All I can tell you is that I couldn’t possible identify more with him at that age. His father asked us to explain what the event was about to him so he could see what he was missing.

    As Paul and I took turns describing all the interactive displays, activities and toys, the boy progressively came out of his shell until he was grinning with excitement. He even worked up the courage to tell us a few of his favorite jokes. When we later saw him inside the convention center, he had a beaming grin from ear to ear. It was honestly the highlight of the con for me. All of you who were making off color jokes about that story have bankrupt souls, and I am very thankful that I am not you.

    • I should have had you write that part of the summary. Thank you.

  • TM Garrington

    Paul, thank you for the inspiring post and the excellent coverage, the event actually seems to have been a fantastic success in regards to building and celebrating the art of community, that’s a truly good thing. It was also a tonic to see the engagement of the Hasbro team, the answers and scope of the interviews were leaps ahead of the “dark times” of the recent past.

    Steve, I toast an icy cold and heaping bowl of Froot Loops to you all…!

    And as you continue to mold TVC’s return, can you be mindful of the simplicity and power of the images and content that is represented on this iconic image? Hopefully, as it proved gangbusters for the 6″ line, we can all celebrate the past as we work towards cheering on and supporting the new additions to The Vintage Collection.

    Thank you to all who create and post here, it is a valuable gift. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/29e9399769c23662a8022a35b25e6172c6e478633e44304fc65607871d9e5a40.jpg

-Click HERE to return to the home page-

Channels

 

Follow Us

JTA Info

Affiliates

Hasbro

Gentle Giant

Sideshow Collectibles

Kotobukiya

LEGO

Mattel

Disney

Disney Store

Acme Archives

Hallmark

Trading Cards

Store Reports

Research Droids Reviews

Visual Guides

Books & Novels

Conventions

Star Wars Celebration News

Movie & TV News

Q&A of the Day

Rants & Raves

Special Reports

Action Figures In Action

       Facebook

       Instagram

       Pinterest

       Youtube

       RSS

Home

Contact

News Archives

Site Search

Image Use Policy

Privacy Policy

RDR Index

Visual Guide Index

Bantha Skull

Collector's Cantina

Imperial Shipyards

Jedi News

Sandtroopers

Star Wars Action News

Star Wars Figuren

Star Wars New Zealand

ToyzMag

Yakface

Star Wars is a Copyright and Trademark of LucasFilm LTD. This site is intended for informational purposes only, and is not in anyway associated with LFL. All Visual Guides, images, and content are the property of JediTempleArchives.com, © 2004-2017 and may not be reused without permission. Please do not direct link to any of the content on this web site. PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2004 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license. Click here for our complete Privacy Policy. Click here for our Image Use Policy.