Q&A For December 12, 2005
1. With the saga figures begin to show up, will Hasbro continue to ship out ROTS figures, or is this line now finished?
This matter is something I've been trying to figure out from Hasbro for a while. After a movie year, there's usually a large cache of unsold figures that end up somewhere. Sometimes it's retail, but more than likely, it's going to go through closeout channels. There's supposedly a large amount of product currently being funneled to the Big 5 chains in the USA for the holiday so Clones and Astromechs and other crap could be anywhere, even Kmart or Kay-Bee. The basic notion, though, is that the ROTS line is OVER but it doesn't mean that some channel won't get more of it.
...just don't expect new figures on ROTS packaging unless you weren't paying attention and the stuff I already have now is considered new.
2. recently i went to walmart, as i had read on the GH site that the seperation of the twins figures were already being found. I found them but what I found is astonishing. I know that toys get handled by just about anyone visiting the toy area but this is bad. i found both of them and they look trampled. the packaging looks awful. its opened on the edges, easily i could try and pull out the figure in one of them. i asked the employee in charge if he knew if more would arrive but he was clueless. he did say that the box in which the figures came in was damaged badly and thats how most of them were. i know that stuff gets damaged but this is ridiculous. how can this happen?
Flimsy packaging, questionable cases, and bored workers don't usually translate to mint stuff. (I saw some trashed Target Utapau Shadow Troopers too.) Some of the Twins packs I saw at Wal-Mart were a little beat, but I did find some new ones that were better. Wal-Mart is notorious for aisles in disarray and stuff falling off pegs, so unfortunately, that's going to be a big part of the fun with these. Of course, consider yourself lucky-- most fans never saw these, I only found one store with them myself. (And none with the Clone Wars sets. So now I go to sulk.)
3. I like my Separation of the Twins exclusives, but I'm wondering why Hasbro didn't go the distance. Granted, the III-15 Bail Organa was a pegwarmer, so repackaging the surplus into these exclusives was a good move by Hasbro. On the other hand, the III-55 Obi-Wan Kenobi was very popular with fans, so repackaging it was another smart idea. But Hasbro didn't take the extra steps that these exclusives demanded. Right there on the bubble pack with Bail Organa is Queen Breha, but there's no figure of her. Similarly, Beru Lars is on the bubble pack with Obi-Wan, but there's no figure of her. Hasbro completely missed a golden opportunity to do these exclusives right for the holidays. Can the expense to create two new molds be that prohibitive?
It costs millions of dollars to develop, produce, and distribute a figure. Well, maybe million of dollars. Depends on who you may ask.
The idea here was to make a quick exclusive for Wal-Mart cheaply. These were less than $5 each-- which, for an individual exclusive this year, is bargain basement levels. (Target's were $13 each, as were the Fan Club's. The Holo Emperor was $10, so was Yoda.) So for this exclusive, I assume a quick turnaround was in order so they made a single baby mold, painted it, and that's that. I didn't have high expectations and while I agree new figures across the board would be nice, the intent for this was to make a quick, cheap exclusive that Wal-Mart could churn through in a matter of days and typically Hasbro is of the mindset, "if we have to make a new mold, we want it to be a wide release." This is not always the case, and Hasbro changes their mind on their directions from year to year, but this is typically how it goes.
The Queen is a figure I doubt we'll see soon. Before anyone prepares the "well, they did Mon Mothma and she was cut from the movie!" allow me to just say that Hasbro doesn't like to do female figures and fancy royal robe figures haven't been on the menu all that much. And Beru? Well, Trilogy Beru came out at the dawn of Episode I and in some markets sat for a while. Plus, the combination of a female figure with a baby pushes these heavily into the "doll" category.
We got what we got. Can we complain for more girls in the future? Yes. I want more female figures because if for nothing else, they add a lot to the look of the line and to its variety. There are collectors that only buy the gals, so these are important things to have in the future.
The thing to remember, though, is this: these items sold through nearly instantly. The message to Hasbro is that these were perfect items and more items should be made in this style in the future. True as this may or may not be, keep it in mind-- every toy you do or don't buy sends a signal. Which makes me glad so many of you left the Lava Mustafar figures on the pegs-- my pal Zac tells me that he saw them marked down for $4 each. I haven't yet, but it does drive home the point that prices and expectations need to be more in line so both Hasbro and the retailer don't get burned when we see a toy and go "this is crap." Were those $5 each they'd have sold right through.
4. I was wondering if you have heard from hasbro or asked them if they are going to rerelease the AOTC galactic heros?Padme and Anakin, Jango and Obi, Yoda and Clone I searched high and low for these when they were released the first time and never had any luck. Im trying not to go to the dark side (ebay) to get these sets. I noticed some of them are being rereleased such as the hoth luke and han etc.
Little has been confirmed but it's largely expected that all these older figures will come back soon. Some of them are getting the repaint treatment or packaged with Lightsabers, but Hasbro knows the value of these molds and you will indeed see more of them as time goes on.
5. To your knowledge would Entertainment Earth make another
exclusive troop builder set but this time with ROTS clones or Stormtroopers? Seen as the Clones Builder set were a big hit, I think this would be a good idea and they wold sell fairly well. What do you think?
If Hasbro lets me, sure. If you'd like to see these as well, please send your letters to "Star Wars Design team C/O Hasbro." At work, I would very much like to sell you clones and everything else you want-- and am working on it pretty much every day. (Although if you think an item such as this would be good for us as well, let Hasbro know-- consumer feedback is very helpful with these things.)
6. I've been reading Q&A for over a year now, and now I'm going to ask a question. A few months back I saw two of each of the Tarkin wave and figured I'd get them the next week when I had more money. (I had already grabbed up something at the time.) This wave had just been released and I had no idea it would turn out so hard to find. So can you tell me, are there any retailers out there (internet) that I can get these without paying a fortune? It has been my goal this year (First year I've gone this gung ho about it though) to collect all the figures and figure variations except stupid ones (Gree and Bly variations).
Can you wait until 2006? If so, you can probably get a number of figures and variations for cheap. Online, offline, these things are passe in a matter of months. Right now, there's no low-cost online source of these guys, but these things change and at the moment, all of them are showing up. (I've seen many Tarkins this past week.) So keep your eyes peeled at retail, and if you're too busy, watch eBay. These items will most likely be around for retail or less.
7. Why did Hasbro never correct the upsidown belt on the SA Clone Trooper? The figures been shipping for several months now and certainly they should have been aware of this mistake by now.
There is a level of detail at which I usually do not follow. This is one of those times.
I checked my Super Articulated Clone Trooper from Revenge and sure enough, it's a little wacky on the belt. So why didn't Hasbro fix it? I'm going to put money on the "I don't think they noticed" answer. I mean, I didn't notice. The reference photos show that it is indeed upside-down, but the question is once again: should we care? I'm leaning toward "no." Yes, it's unfortunate, but now that the line's over-- what are we going to do about it? Nothing. Is this an error so major Lucasfilm would dictate a change? Based on my dealings with Hasbro and similar topics, I'd say no. It's unfortunate, but seeing as you're the first person to point this out to me, and the general love-fest this mold receives from most fans, I gotta say, this is basically a non-issue. Although I do hope it's assembled properly or tweaked if they use the mold again, it's not like it would be the end of the world if they didn't.
It's important to remember that when Hasbro makes a toy and releases it into the wild, that's how it stays unless someone points out a problem. In this case, I'm going to assume no one did, and as such, this is what happened.
8. i don't mean to beat a dead
horse but, what was the final word on the whole Jedi Master Points?
Hasbro will not officially say "it's over" in the off chance that they decide to bring them back, but I was informed that it's pretty much over. Move on. Save 'em if you have the room but otherwise, don't expect them to do much.
9. Often I read on your Q&A collectors wanting more playsets. I know the high cost of manufacturing entire playsets is enough to make Hasbro balk at the idea of yearly playsets but what about the 'bases' they provided with figures in last two to three years? Are there any plans that Hasbro has to release multi packs of these bases so that collectors and fans can make their own playsets...with enough one can make most any SW play environment.
Fans have brought up a desire to buy playsets "a la carte" for quite some time now but Hasbro doesn't seem to have plans to do it. It still takes time and money to do, and maybe some day they'll make a nice big one that inspires collectors to buy every figure for a year so they can get a reward in the form of a large playset. But, as of yet, they have no plans to do this.
10. I have to say I'm pretty astounded that there has not been more of an outcry directed at Hasbro's case pack for the Battle of Geonosis wave. Entertainment Earth has the pack-out listed as: 1x Scorch (Republic Commando), 1x Sora Bulq, 2x Sun Fac, 2x C-3PO/Battle Droid, 2x Poggle the Lesser, 1x Jango Fett, 1x Orange Utapaun Clone Trooper, 2x Yoda (removable cloak).
Am I the only one that finds this INSANE! How about 1x Sun Fac, 1x C-3PO, 1x Yoda, 1x Poggle and 3x Scorch and 3x Utapaun Clone trooper. These clones are going to be impossible to track down, AGAIN. Why must they incessantly torture us? I keep buying one of all the re-treads, give me CLONES!
Truth is, they're remixing the cases-- so there will be more than one "mix" of each wave in many cases. However, I do firmly believe they're playing games with the Clone Troopers because they know it makes fans crazy and they can probably keep interest high if they're still somewhat difficult to find. All I can say is keep complaining to the right people (not me, I'm already asking Hasbro to put out better mixes or more Clone-y assortments) and hopefully our being an annoying enough collective will get them to reconsider.
Man, it's been crazy busy. I did a podcast with SOTA toys over at 16bit.com, and tons of other crap that I am not yet at liberty to discuss. (And I got to see the offices of Gentle Giant Studios. And it's awesome. I mean, holy crap. That looks like a fun place to work. And it seems they've got a lot of awesome stuff on tap that I've had my life threatened if I repeat here.) Just to save your time, there's no new Star Wars tidbits in the interview. That I recall. It was kinda hasty.
Reviews are needing to be started again soon. I hope to do the new Saga Collection as soon as I get some of it, but for now, if you have something you want to see reviewed, email me and I'll try my best to get it up ASAP. (Unless it's the new Clone Wars 3-packs. As I kinda got screwed out of those by my Wal-Marts selling out before 10 AM. Damn them.)
So for next time, just email me with your question and I'll put it in queue. (If you do not put "Q&A" in the subject line I cannot guarantee it will get through due to the high volume of spam these accounts get.)
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