I got to ask Hasbro your questions while I was at Celebration VI over the weekend! I lost my voice and I'm really tired, but screw me-- this is about you! Read on to see what you asked regarding upcoming roleplay, vehicles, and more straight from the Hasbro design and marketing people! (And yes, we have more of these next week!)
1. Will there be more 5-points-of-articulation figures like we saw in the Bespin Battle and Naboo Conflict Battle Packs earlier this year?
Hasbro said yes but did not provide specifics. Looking at the 2013 Class I vehicles, the Battle Droid seems to be a new sculpt with limited articulation, and it actually looks pretty good.
2. Will there be an updated,retooled version of a desert skiff? The old one is too small!
Hasbro said it's on their short list of vehicles to update now that they got to the Speeder Bike. (And to clarify, this is the Cargo Skiff or Tatooine Skiff we're talking about, not the giant Sail Barge.)
3a. will Darth Vader's TIE Fighter finally be getting the same retooling treatment as the normal TIE Fighter?
3b. Any chance we will see a white/grey Darth Vader's TIE?
When asked about the new Vader's TIE, Derryl DePriest asked what you guys wanted to see-- I mentioned I personally would love to see a smaller, more compact ship while the vast majority of you who wrote in on this one wanted grey/white panels and the retractable cannons removed. They seemed intrigued by this one, and with Episode IV 3D in (I'm assuming) 2014 now, that might mean they're working on a line plan. So start talking in the forums and posting on your sites, because they seemed interested.
4. On the rear upper hatch on the new MTT, there appears to be a slot for an additional part or accessory. What was not included in the final product?
Cost issues are a nasty thing, but the MTT Droid Fighter was revealed as a 2013 Class I vehicle designed to fit inside this compartment and slide in nicely. (I did get to play with it, and can confirm it is quite compatible.) Basically, it's like a souped-up AST-5 Mini-Rigs vehicle, which is a very positive thing. It does make for a nice stand-alone product.
5. My daughters, plural, are desperate for Ahsoka lightsabers – either Ultimate FX or Role Play. Surely there are enough girls out there being raised by SW fan parents and boys who like Ahsoka to warrant the tooling of some new hilts?
Hasbro confirmed there are no plans for any sort of roleplay lightsaber for Ahsoka at this time. Interestingly, Dave Filoni at The Clone Wars panel on Saturday morning said they estimate 35% of the audience of the show to be female and that their research seemed to indicate much of that was the character of Ahsoka Tano and her growth from a little kid to a viable warrior on the show. So your comments have been passed along, although I do not know if Hasbro believes girl lightsabers are a viable market just yet. (Personally I'd love to see the barrier between "boy" and "girl" toy fall a bit, as long as the toys themselves are essentially the same.)
There are more questions and we'll be getting to them in the coming days or weeks, scheduling permitting. I feel pretty awful right now but I wanted to be sure you got something before my eyeballs melted out.
No previously unseen exclusives were shown at the show and our intel seems to indicate there maybe a handful of items Hasbro either neglected to show or fell off the table. We're not sure which yet. I don't necessarily believe that the year's product announcements are over just yet, but that really does remain to be seen. After all, Lucasfilm really held on to the announcement about the back-to-back release dates of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in 3D last year until pretty much the last minute of the convention. I found out about it on a layover on the ride home!
Big thanks to Mike and Shannon for helping with (and doing) lots of stuff for this year's coverage, although it seems the most interesting toy news from the show came in the form of vehicles. Hasbro let me play around with the new 2013 releases and I will say they're very good toys. We used a few test figures and it looks like the bulk of Vintage figures won't have a problem fitting inside the new Slave I for Jango Fett, even if it is a little smaller. It's a unique take on a classic vehicle, and arguably not as good of a toy as the one from 1980 or so, but it's still pretty neat. I hope that if this format works, we'll get a few more vehicles in this size... but hopefully not every possible repaint. I'm down for 1 or 2 new Jedi Starfighters in this smaller size, but not a whole fleet if I can help it.
Got questions? Email me with Q&A in the subject line now! I'll answer your questions as soon as time (or facts) permit.