FX Answers Directly from Hasbro Senior Director of Marketing for Star Wars / Indiana Jones, Derryl D. DePriest.
PW: Like the other Hasbro Star Wars products, will this line be under your direction as well?
DDD: Yes, it will be managed by a team in my group dedicated to the FX business.
PW: I noticed the press release referred to the line as "Force FX" and indicated the line is being "assumed". Do you plan to do more than take the line and run with it, continuing to add to the line by filling holes not completed by Master Replicas?
DDD: Our first task is to get our arms around the existing sabers and get them into production under our imprint as quickly as possible. Our strategy for this year at least will be making sure that, from an engineering and design perspective, we have teams that are completely up to speed with the tech before we broaden it out. Longer-term, we will look to expand the line but we do not have anything to announce regarding new products. We want to walk before we run, and when we are sure it's right we will look to what makes sense for building out the business. We did not acquire the FX business to just re-market the current products, but to continue to innovative within this very cool sphere of "working" 1:1 scale weaponry.
PW: I have noticed fans are "hoping" and "expecting" the price-point of the pieces to come down due to Hasbro's scale. Might that be one of your goals?
DDD: We are still working on the costing, but our goal will be to hold the business at the current level if possible.
PW: Now, some product specific questions:
PW: Do you have any plans to offer FX Sabers with removable blades?
DDD: We think we can do a lot of fun things with the technology that exists, and then we hope to innovate on that as well. It's too early to talk about where we plan to go specifically, though, as we need to make sure that we understand all aspects of the current line first. Fans should know, though, that we love this line and have passion for it, and plan to expand out from the current line as soon as we have a firm foundation.
PW: Fans have long wanted a Dooku FX Saber, might that be in the plans?
DDD: Dooku would be very cool, as would some other characters as well. We don't want to make any specific promises yet, though, because plans are always subject to change and we don't want to disappoint fans if the lineup changes.
PW: What about kid-sized sabers FX sabers?
DDD: We plan to stick with the 1:1 scale sabers for now.
PW: Does the license include weapons other than sabers? Any plans there?
DDD: The license is for FX weapons, so it could include other weapons (such as blasters). That's something we'll be looking at as well.
PW: What about electronic scaled pieces?
DDD: We will be concentrating primarily on 1:1 scale.
PW: The press release also states sabers will be available in the spring. This seems to indicate Hasbro really is taking up where Master Replicas left off. Are you using the same company to build the pieces that Master Replicas used?
DDD: Yes, we are working with the same vendors who have been producing the FX sabers to-date.
PW: The forum community has been hard at work making a comprehensive list of pieces for consideration by eFX and Hasbro. Comments?
DDD: We're not ready to comment on any specific line extensions or future innovations. As with our other lines, we are listening to what the fans say and will look forward to meeting many of them face to face at conventions this year.
I'd like to thank Derryl for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to answer these questions! I know everybody will appreciate it.