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SDCC 2014: Hasbro - Your Questions Answered!

Posted by Paul | July 26, 2014 at 07:07 PM ET

Here you go! Get ready for some more non-answers again! I also don't know how I let so many Episode VII questions get by me. We ALL should know those answers by now: HASBRO CANNOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT EPISODE VII. So we are NEVER going to ask them again, OK? They're on the "no no" list going forward. Whoever did ask will be banned from JTA. (Just kidding.) We do however get some cool info out of Hasbro which may be of some benefit to you, so be sure to click through for more!

Here are a few new things to note that help clarify, reveal and make you roll your eyes.

The Black Series (both 3.75" or 6") is going to continue. In the 3.75" line, not every figure will have 14 points of articulation. Hasbro will ensure that the 6" line does continue to get premium articulation.

More figures are planned for 2015 that will likely be revealed at NY Comic Con and Toys Fair.

The plans Hasbro had at Toy Fair for The Black Series has gone awry due to distribution issues, so stuff was held back. Until Hasbro can catch the line up at retail, there will be consistently be less and less revealed because they don't want to deadlock the line again.

There have been MULTIPLE issues why Star Wars figures are not making it out on time (or at all). They don't want to show things until they sell through or fix the terrible issues at retail. They are apparently sitting on an unhealthy amount of cases of figures again.

But more figures are coming and they hope to reveal more at NYCC and at the very latest NY Toy Fair. (JTA will be present for both events.)

TBS6 C-3PO wasn't ready to show at SDCC. It should be available soon.

Princess Leia (ANH) is coming in The Black Series 6" line.

The Black Series 6" Luke Skywalker (Hoth) & Wampa two-pack will have Luke will be hanging upside down in the packaging.

Now onto the Q&A:

1. The prototype for the 3.75" The Black Series Yoda looked amazing but the final product left many collectors disappointed. The paint apps were sloppy, a recurring problem with The Black Series, and the figure only came with 5 points of articulation. Can you explain the rational behind releasing a 5 POA figure in the collector line, especially since the orginal design included premium articulation, and assure collectors that articulation won't be cut on other TBS figures too and that the sloppy and uneven paint applications that have plaqued The Black Series will addressed?

A: Sometimes the factory, in order to meet production deadlines, has to have Hasbro changes things in order to meet deadlines. The final Yoda, in short, was a victim of this. (Editor's Note: They delay TVC's Wedge Antilles for a few short months because they needed to tool an all-new head sculpt, but they rush Yoda?)

2. Hasbro - it appears you're utilizing a new factory for the Star Wars line and the paint jobs are quite rough. Have you started seeing the unevenness in the line yourselves and perhaps see the need to calibrate the machines better? Has anything been put into motion to remedy this situation?

A: They wouldn't comment on the specifics of the factory, but they have seen the issues and they're aware of some of them. They do read forums and sites and a few blogs and they are working on the paint apps diligently to correct some things. They didn't seem to be aware of some of the examples we gave them (even after telling them about them at Toy Fair). Sigh.

3. Does Hasbro have any plans to cancel the super articulated 3.75 inch line in the near future?

A: The collector line will continue, but you will see some decreases in articulation. Right now the major focus is the 5POA scale and that will continue in a big way. TBS6 will also continue in a big way as well. The line is exceeding expectations.

4. Can you please make a greatest hits line for collectors, chosen by fans/collectors?

A: They realize they make figures not always with the numbers that they should, so many figures will come back into the basic figure line. Hasbro said they weren't aware of the Ponda Baba issue specifically (I don't believe that at all) and how it desperately needs a re-release. But future waves will contain some of the needed figures. They'll continue to pepper them in and they are aware of the need to get the Royal Guard and Gamorrean Guard back out there.

5. When is the Vintage Collection and Vintage Collection quality coming back?

A: The Black Series is the line that's in motion now. They would love to retuen to TVC one day.

6. How many 3 3/4'' figures do you plan to release during 2015? And 6'' figures?

A: Too early to decide. And Hasbro will also be refraining from answering this in the future because it gives collectors false hope. The Star Wars line is always in flux and when they commit to a number it disappoints everyone of that can't be met. They will be working overtime to get distribution fixed and ensure that retail doesn't have clogged pegs. But this is a big part why Hasbro only showcased one-third of what they planned to this year at SDCC.

7. The Hero Series Falcon seems like a large chunk of plastic for $60.00, and the same goes for the X-Wing (note the TVC one is collecting dust at Toys"R"us). It seems like this new approach to some larger items, which don't even interact with figures, are very risky and the collecting community is surprised to see items like this being made. What drove the decision to make these items, rather than some sort of (so help me) environment pieces that could have interacted with figures, while at the same time appealing to both kids AND collectors?

A: These are completely independent to the figures line. They aren't meant to be the vehicles for the 3.75" line. They specifically put these in development with a weight specification in mind. They joked that even Jeff (from Hasbro) would be able to run around with the Millennium Falcon. It's a separate entity.

8. Several of the later waves of a few lines have only been available in other countries and not offered at retail in the USA at all. why does this keep happening?

A: 2012 clogged retail terribly and sadly it is still feeling the effects of it. Because of this, Hasbro has initiated solid case assortment so the back-up doesn't continue. They're trying to alleviate this wrong steps that were taken and hope to have it resolved in the future.

9. Figure ratios in case assortments have been a constant problem for both collectors and retailers. Each time a case assortment is announced for a new wave collectors on fan sites are able to tell which figures will end up clogging pegs and which figures will be hard to find. Would you consider polling these same fan sites prior to case assortments being assigned to see which of your new releases will be most sought after? There would be a higher sell-through rate on cases, which would be profitable for you, and collectors would have more access to the figures they want for their collections if you were to set the ratios according to those results.

A: Hasbro won't do polls, but they do visit fan sites and pay attention to the feedback which they sometimes use to help decide case ratios.

10. There seems to be a lack of female Star Wars figures recently, most noticeably in the Saga Legends & Mission Series. Are there more plans for female Star Wars characters from now on?

A: They just revealed plenty of female characters at SDCC.

11. Simple and to the point: with all the Vintage Collection repacks scheduled for upcoming Black Series wave assortments, are there any plans going on behind the scenes for Ponda Baba to get a second chance at brick-and-mortar retail?

A: Hasbro claims to not be aware of the Ponda Baba issue but said they will look into it. (Editor's Note: How do they not know this by now?)

12. We were told that TBS distribution would not be as bad as TVC, but more often than not, it's worse. What do you plan on doing to improve the situation with various peg-warming Star Wars Black Series figures currently, and in the future?

A: Solid case assortments. Ratios should also be better going forward. Hasbro is confident about this.

13. Are there any plans to release more TCW characters in realistic style?

A: Yes, as evidenced by SDCC. But going forward there will be almost no TCW and EU figures released as the line look transitions to Rebels and the OT.

14. Now that we know there is a canon story in Star Wars within Clone Wars, Rebels and prequels, is there any chance to see some of these characters in the 6 inch scale as Ahsoka Tano, Cad Bane or Asajj Ventress with some prequels beloved jedi like Plo Koon, Kit Fisto or Shaak Ti?

A: There will be a concerted effort to move away from the PT, TCW and the EU, especially as Episode VII approaches.

15. With the upcoming release of TBS #27 Jabba's Skiff Guard (and possibly other skiff guards on the way), is a re-tooled longer desert sail skiff (or re-tool of ANY OT vehicle for that matter) in the two year plan, and if so, would you provide us with a hint or three?

A: They would like to do more skiff guards and two more are likely. There will likely be no update to the Desert Sail Skiff.

16. Dear HASBRO: concerning the Droid Factory Build-A-Droid astromech figures at Disney, is there going to be a new wave of them with different pieces/paint apps in the near future? Is there any project of getting them carded and sold as regular figures or as mystery blind bags to encourage trading, outside Disney parks?

A: Droid Factory is done. There are no plans for anything in the future.

17. Figures such as the upcoming Ree Yees, and Skiff Guard, along with the most recent Ponda Baba, all have heads which are significantly smaller than their on screen counterparts. Was there a reason for the scaled down heads? and if it was by pure accident will they take steps to ensure the trend doesn't continue?

A: Hasbro wasn't aware of any discrepancy in the head size and it's too late to correct because they have already gone into production.

18. Episode VII action figures will have 5 POA or will have full articulation?

A: Hasbro cannot talk about Episode VII. They can't even say "Episode VI" (they said that jokingly).

19. Are there definite plans to release SA 3.75 figures for the ST (and yes, for Rebels, too)?

A: No. Rebels stuff will stay 5POA.

20. Would Hasbro ever consider working directly with collector community sites such as JTA to make product decisions that would both better serve them and the larger S.W. collecting community?

A: They do read the sites and it helps to influence (but not make) their decisions.

21. Has the recent "discontinuity" of the Star Wars Expanded Universe affected your plans in any way in terms of figure selection?

A: Yes, Hasbro will not be touching the EU for the foreseeable future, unless an exception is made.

22. What ever happened to the rumored mission series with Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker?

A: This item can neither be confirmed or denied at this time.

23. What has happened to the new Darth Vader TIE Fighter with new cockpit interior, view port, guns and proper scaled and accurately detailed wings (instead of the horrible re-tooled 1979 Vader TIE wings and horrible rocket launchers) that was promised by you three years ago?

A: This item can neither be confirmed or denied at this time.

24. How much stuff for Star Wars: Rebels are you planing to make and when will the first Episode VII items be announced?

A: There is no way Hasbro can answer this questions and Episode VII is off limits to discuss. (Editor's Note: Why did I allow Episode VII questions in? This is my fault! I could have answered these all myself!)

25. The Dagobah Luke and ESB Yoda prototypes looked fantastic. The newly-visible pins in the production version of Dagobah Luke's arms are appalling, and the reduction of Yoda to 5POA with a sloppy paint job is one of the single biggest letdowns I can think of. I don't have a question.

A: Hasbro explained that some things don't exactly come out as planned in the final stages. Yoda's articulation was reduced, but there is no denying that it's still a great sculpt. For those disappointed, sometimes things don't turn out as planned..


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