Got Questions?Questions for March 8, 2002
Shortly after Hasbro closed the doors on this year's Toy Fair exhibit, we were granted an opportunity to ask them a few questions about the new line. From the start, it was clear they're very excited about the line they've created, as they feel this year especially, there's something for everyone. Nowhere is this more evident than with the basic action figures.
Whether it's the kid orientated Collection 1 figures with lots of main characters and cool play features, or the collector focus of Collection 2 with it's dynamic, highly detailed, aliens and fan favorites, there is certainly something for kids and collectors of all ages. This approach also spills into other areas of the line as seen in some of the fantastic looking vehicles and beasts, which also offer great play features. All in all, Hasbro's desire to create a line worthy of adult collectors, yet fun enough to capture a whole new breed of young collectors, seems to be right on track.
On with the show:1
How many figures will be out on April 23rd and will the next waves follow shortly behind?
As of now we plan to have at least the first fourteen basic figures available on April 23rd. Although, depending on production, there may be more. At this time we?re not working on any set schedule, our goal is to have the widest variety available by the time Episode II open in theaters.2
About how many basic (collection 1 and 2) figures does Hasbro plan to release in 2002? How many Deluxe figures?
Right now we?re looking at somewhere around fifty basic figures for 2002, Collection 1 and 2 combined. For our Deluxe line, which we are very excited about, we currently have eleven figures planned.3
Do you think that big box retailers will comply with the $5.99 MSRP for basic figures?
As the manufacturer, we do not set the prices for the toys we make. That decision is ultimately up to our retail partners. 4
Will any of the Episode II vehicles come with figures?
While we have bundled vehicles with figures previously, the items shown at Toy Fair will all ship to retail without figures. There are figures planned to go with each vehicle, but they will be sold separately.5
How soon can we expect Classic Trilogy figures to be released after the initial launch of the Attack of the Clones line?
The classic figures that were shown at Toy Fair will be released at various times during the year and are not being held for any specific time period. We recognize the continuing demand for classic favorites and want to make sure there is something for everyone once the new line is released.6
Will the packaging style for classic figures be different than for Episode II figures?
The blue ?Star Wars? packaging shown at Toy Fair is our new look for 2002. All figures released will be on this style package with the proper identification corresponding to the specific figure. For example, where the Episode II figures shown at Toy Fair say 'Attack of the Clones,' classic figures will be identified from either A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, or The Phantom Menace.7
Will classic figures be shipping in separate cases than Episode II figures?
Classic figures will ship along side Episode II figures, in the same cases, as they are produced. Unlike 1999, there will not be a separate ?Classic? assortment for these figures.8
We?ve noticed more action poses for the new figures, especially Jedi Knights. Is this the direction Hasbro plans for future releases?
In designing this year?s line we felt these poses captured the excitement of the film better than the standard static pose. When it comes to Star Wars we?re always trying new things to set the line apart. For now, we?ll see how these figures are received and go from there.9
Was Real Scan technology used for all the toys or just the 3 3/4" and 12? figures?
Scanning technology was used where it made sense. For many of the ships and CGI characters there wasn?t anything to ?scan.? What could be scanned was a tremendous source of reference for our traditional sculptors and designers to begin working from.10
Are the Imperial Officer and Rebel Fleet Trooper head variants still planned?
Yes, the variations are still planned and should be available prior to April 23rd. As of now the figures should be worked into existing or upcoming assortments and will be made available at retail.11
When will the next Fan Choice poll be? When can we expect to see Ephant Mon? Is he planned as a Deluxe figure?
We?ve been very happy with how the Fan Choice polls, and figures, have been received thus far. We recently unveiled some of the early work on our next Fan Choice figure, Ephant Mon, and definitely look at the polls as a great way to get fans and collectors involved in the process. We don?t have any immediate plans for another Fan Choice poll, but as we look to 2003 something may develop. Right now we?re looking at Ephant Mon for a Fall/Winter release, and he will be in our basic figure assortment.12
Does Hasbro have any special things planned for the Star Wars Fan Club? Can you confirm the Stormtrooper 4-Pack exclusive?
As in every year, we continue to develop special items for the Fan Club, and our retail partners. The most recent item planned for the Fan Club is the Toy Fair exclusive Darth Vader, beyond that we are not at liberty to discuss what may or may not be coming up.13
Are their plans in place for any mail-away figures? Will Jedi Points be used this year?
While there is nothing to announce at this time, we continue to look at ways to utilize the Jedi Master Points and always consider them as an option for future offers.14
Will the new lightsabers use the same electronics as they've had in the past, or the improved effects used on the saber that came with Tiger's Interactive Yoda?
Our lightsaber assortment for 2002 will be based on the same electronics used in previous models.15
What is the word on Cinema Scenes, will they return and when?
As with many of the products that have been proven winners in the past, we are constantly looking at ways to reintroduce them where they make sense. While there are no current plans for this line, it is something we?re sure to look at again after the new movie has been released.16
Will we see anything like the highly detailed 12" Portrait Edition figures this time around?
No. As a line that didn?t fare as well at retail as we would have liked, there are no plans to release any additional figures this year. If we see that the market for such items is revived, it?s certainly something we could revisit then, but there are no plans as of now.17
The Super Deformed Palm Talkers were one of the more "fun" items of 2001, any chance of seeing the line revisited this year or next?
The Palm Talkers were a line created by our Japanese distributor, TOMY. We continue to work closely with them to develop new and exciting products for both markets, but there are no current plans to bring more of these figures to the U.S. As we continue to evaluate their performance at retail, they remain a possibility for the future, perhaps for 2003.18
Were the Action Fleet vehicles shown at Toy Fair (X-wing, Darth Vader's TIE, and Millennium Falcon) the finished product? When will we see the new Action Fleet vehicles at retail? Will any of the cancelled Action Fleet vehicles (Bole Roor's Pod, Neva Kee's Pod, Star Destroyer, Death Star...) be released in the new line?
The Action Fleet products shown at Toy Fair were prototypes. Hasbro's first wave of Action Fleet vehicles should reach retail late summer and will focus on classic vehicles. Episode II vehicles will follow in the Fall. The other vehicles you asked about are not planned for 2002... but you never know what the future will bring!!
As always, I want to thank Hasbro for taking time out of their very busy schedule to answer our questions. Based on what was seen at Toy Fair, and the reaction from fans and collectors here at the site, 2002 should be a fantastic year for us all.
Until next time...