Posted by Adam on August 24, 2012 at 09:01 PM CST
After a short introduction from Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo, the team of Derryl DePriest (VP, Global Brand Marketing), Mark Boudreaux (Sr. Principal, Product Design), Brian Merten (Sr. Manager, Product Design), Dave Vennemeyer (Sr. Manager, Product Design) and Eric Siebenaler (Manager, Product Design) began things by speaking briefly about The Vintage Collection being put on hiaitus and the return of Droid Factory among other things.


Droid Factory

Starting the presentation with Droid Factory, it was announced that there will be 30 figures in 2013, and having already seen wave 1 at last month's San Diego Comic-Con, the figures that would comprise wave 2 were revealed as follows:

  • Mace Windu (Realistic)

  • Biggs Darklighter

  • Luke Ceremony

  • Mara Jade (Fans' Vote Poll Winner)

  • Episode II Clone Pilot

  • A-Wing Pilot

  • Darth Vader (Bespin)

  • Captain Rex (Realistic)

  • R8-B7

  • R5-X2


DePriest went on to add that steps have been put in place to improve on distribution with the release of wave one in February and wave two in March, and stressed that Hasbro are learning from past experiences, having heard the frustrations of the fans over the past two-and-a-half years that The Vintage Collection has been running.


Movie Heroes

Movie Heroes was covered next, with a first reveal of the maroon Episode II Battle Droid with action features, and a Sandtrooper with a light-up weapon that we'll be seeing in Spring 2013 and these are set to be released on the Yoda-inspired card that will see a 6-7 month run. Following up on that were six figures from The Clone Wars, with brand new versions of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, a Battle Droid, Captain Rex with an updated weapon that features a spinning barrel, a 501st Jet Pack Trooper and a re-release of R2-D2.


Fighter Pods

A line that Hasbro have been putting a lot of effort into is the Fighter Pods, and we were shown series four, which will be hitting shelves in Spring 2013, and told that there will be a total of 125 figures next year. In an effort to create an immersive experience, a Fighter Pods Online Battle Game (found at www.fighterpods.com) has been created, while the playability of the actual Fighter Pod game will be enhanced with the addition of the Rampage Battle Game, which will feature Rapid Fire and Rapid Reload Relaunchers in the form of a Hailfire Droid and a Republic Gunship.


Class I Vehicles

The next wave of Class I vehicles will see a change to the format with the introduction of a second figure and build on the legacy of the mini-rigs from the original Kenner line. The three vehicles shown in the presentation were:

  • Episode II Yoda's Jedi Cruiser which will come with Yoda and a Super Battle Droid

  • Episode I MTT Droid Fighter with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Battle Droid; the fighter is designed to slot into a section on the recently-released MTT

  • Episode II Republic Clone Dropship with a Clone Pilot and Battle Droid, repainted and delivered in a realistic style as opposed to its original release in The Clone Wars line


Class II Vehicles

Class II vehicles will also be changing, moving to a smaller-scale that will allow Hasbro to get back to delivering vehicles at a more-affordable $20 price-point. The vehicles shown were Jango's Slave I, a Republic Fighter Tank, Obi-Wan's Jedi Starfighter, all of which will include a projectile-firing feature.


Star Wars Toy Exhibition

Deviating for a moment from forthcoming product, DePriest briefly talked about the Star Wars Toy Exhibition at the Arts Décoratifs in Paris, that retraces 35 years of the history of the toys and will run between from 4th October, 2012 and 17th March, 2013.


2012 Exclusives

Exclusives for 2012 followed, showing the Target exclusive Darth Maul Returns battle pack which is due in December, and two further Target exclusives, in the form of the Droid and Villain Special Action Figure Sets that are both available now. Still another Target exclusive, the Darth Maul Fighter Pods Tin, which is due out in September and will include Ziro the Hutt, which is likely to frustrate collectors of the 3 3/4" line who have been clamouring for the colourful Hutt. Up next were the Kmart exclusives, all of which come in Vintage-style packaging and have a distinct Endor flavour to them, with the AT-ST Scout Walker, AT-ST Crew and Ewok Scouts two-packs available in stores now. DePriest made mention of the fact that each of these sets were originally touted to Kmart, combined as an Ultimate Battle Pack. Following discussions however, they became separate sets, still maintaining the spirit of the vintage-line after similar two-packs were discovered to have existed in the early eighties. DePriest went on to say that while the Vintage line was being discontinued for single figures, it would continue with exclusives offered in a similar manner to the two-packs. Moving onto Toys "R" Us exclusives, the recently released Ewok and Yavin Pilot packs feature many character debuts, while the Speeder Bike with Scout Trooper and detachable cannon which is due in October is a very-welcome update. Two big vehicles seeing a re-release are the Millennium Falcon, originally from The Legacy Collection, and the AT-AT that was previously available in both Shadows of the Dark Side and vintage-style packaging, which will come in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi packaging respectively. Rounding out the exclusives for 2012, was Jocasta Nu which will be available from Brian's Toys in December, and is posed to allow for the prim librarian Jedi to deliver a "Force-shush". The figure includes a Dooku bust, complete with hidden holocron cube, a battle bag, a lit lightsaber and also a lightsaber hilt with a peg, though there is no noticeable hole for that to attach to her body. In addition, the figure will incorporate a swivel neck as opposed to a ball joint, since it was felt that this would deliver a more accurate portrait.

The presentation ended with the silhouette of a certain bounty hunter's vehicle that looks destined to be the next vehicle to be released in vintage-style packaging, and a thank you to fans and collectors for sticking with the hobby.


Q & A

During the Q&A that followed the presentation, it was further revealed that a Darth Maul Ultimate FX Lightsaber will be released as a Toys "R" Us exclusive, and will feature two blades and a connector to build the double-bladed weapon. Despite 12" figures being announced at San Diego Comic-Con, there was no mention in today's presentation, though DePriest did state that an offering announcement would be coming soon. Furthermore, there would be more figures from The Old Republic coming out, there would be no dedicated wave of figures for Star Wars 1313 and that periodically, collectors may see Droids and Ewoks cartoon figures being released. When asked why there was no Celebration VI exclusive, DePriest explained that this was primarily due to the economics of bringing the Hasbro Toy Shop stand to the event, resulting in them partnering with Brian's Toys to bring the Jocasta Nu exclusive to market. The issue of distribution was raised towards the end of the session and the main issue was due to the Episode I wave not meeting expectations, subsequently backing up to create a bottle neck. As DePriest had mentioned earlier, Hasbro are still working on taking steps to improve their processes in this regard.

Keep checking back for the presentation which we'll be posting as soon as we receive it, but in the meantime, take a look at our photo gallery from Hasbro's booth.

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Next September marks the twentieth anniversary of Hasbro's Kenner The Power Of The Force action figure collection. The line introduced a new generation of children to the wonderful world of Star Wars toys and ushered in the modern collectibles we all enjoy today. Our ever-inquisitive Probe Droid is actively searching all corners of the galaxy to find out if there is interest in products that commemorate this very significant 1995 release.
I'd be into a Hasbro The Lost Line style assortment
I'd love to see Gentle Giant make a Jumbo Kenner 1995 Luke Skywalker
I'm behind both of these ideas!
I got started in 1995, but I have no interest in such a concept.
It isn't for me.
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