Hasbro's bi-weekly Q&A session is back this week, and we've got some answers to share with our readers. This week we dig up some scoop about the fashion situation on Hoth; try to dig up a hint of an answer about big-box items; and we get the skinny on at least one Celebration IV - Los Angeles debut, but not the one you were hoping for! Read on for more!
Galactic Hunter: Vintage series Hoth Han Solo -- will he come with two heads (one of which was "accidentally" shown at Toy Fair)? Also, is there a chance that we'll get him in both blue and brown variants again? (Two heads, two color schemes, and completists will have to buy four of the same figure!) [From reader MikeCT2000]
HASBRO: OK, good question. The answer is that the vintage figure will only feature *one* color version - the brown coat. We will look to deliver the blue coat at some point but we do not want to split the vintage run in two to do it. So it will just be brown for 100% of the vintage run. As for the hood-up head that was shown briefly at Toy Fair, it was not approved by Lucasfilm and will not be included in the vintage product. It was a mistake that was removed from the Toy Fair display right after we noticed the error, but not before pictures got out. One more note in vintage....it will start to appear on-shelf on or about 6/1. Because of this timing, we will not be making as many figures as we did in 2006, and are cutting back some to 2004 levels make sure we don't have a lot of lingering stock this Fall. Collectors should make sure to get them when they see them because they will not be as abundant as they were in 2006.
Galactic Hunter: Hasbro has produced some of the most astonishing vehicles (not just for Star Wars) for decades, so we know the company has what it takes. Does an upstart company producing a massive vehicle/playset (some big pirate ship) inspire Team Hasbro, encouraging the team to push for large vehicles with play features (hypothetically, a big tank, or a big walker)? Did the Imperial Shuttle's holiday success show Hasbro that parents and kids do still want a big box under the tree?
HASBRO: Thanks for the kudos. We do not base our decisions on what other companies do, we do what is needed to support our own business model which is a mass-market driven kid/collector product line. We have looked at the playset and large vehicle opportunity for the right products, and have not found an opportunity that made sense for both the market and our business model. The success of both the AT-AT and Imperial Shuttle have given us confidence for higher-priced items should we find the right one for our dual audience.
Galactic Hunter: The concept of the 3 3/4" Battle Pack has evolved to include Beasts and Speeders (welcome additions). The original concept used newly re-tooled figures or new paint schemes, more accessories, and clear stands. Are the bonus accessories and stands completely phased out in favor of a new figure here and there? (Padmé from Ambush on Ilum could've really used a stand.) Would the Battle Pack series be the outlet for a completely new Imperial Speederbike? (It's overdue for an update, and there are several key figures that can interact with them.)
HASBRO: The concept of multi-figure packs is not a new one, as you point out, but the success of the new ones versus the older ones lies in the energetic, scene-based packout and the character selection (either heroes or Clones/troops), and now we are expanding that out to include smaller vehicles and beasts which we are excited about as well because it adds a dimension to the line we haven't had since the "deluxe" price point. We are looking at opportunities for new speeders but don't have anything definitive in the works. Finally, while we don't rule out larger accessories where it makes sense for the these packs, battle stands won't be coming back into them. Fans will soon have the opportunity to get 40-packs of official figure stands (2006 Saga stands) from HasbroToyShop.com. They will be made available for the first time at Celebration IV in Los Angeles.
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