The questions and discussions were mostly focused on the recent product reveals from the European Conventions including Lucca, MCM, Barcelona Manga, as well as the new GameStop Gaming Greats
line. Topics also included repacks and distribution.
Here are the highlights:
- The Black Series Archive has been very successful and will continue. We asked about a potential fan poll for new figure choices, but Hasbro didn't think that fit for this line.
- Former store exclusives that were re-released (such as The Black Series Commander Gree) will continue if fans voice enough demand for them.
- The alternate lightsaber blade that comes with The Black Series Count Dooku that simulates a swinging motion is meant to fit all existing lightsaber hilts, and we will see more of these type of pieces with future figures. They are made to be backwards-compatible with older figures.
- Soft goods robes (and other soft goods pieces) for The Black Series Jedi figures are considered on a case-by-case basis, and generally come down to overall cost, and how prominent the robe is as part of the overall costume. Plo Koon's robe is unique, as is Dooku's cloak, so they were chosen to receive soft goods for that reason. The existing robes with #32 Obi-Wan Kenobi and #82 Mace Windu are meant to fit and be shared with the other Jedi figures, including the upcoming Episode II Anakin and Obi-Wan.
- GameStop wanted a unique-to-them exclusive line, and thus The Black Series Gaming Greats lines was created. Revan and the Battle Droid were chosen first due to their ability to "speed to market": essentially being easy manufacture and to get to retail quickly. More figures (including brand new figures) are coming. The Vintage Collection assortments are also a possibility.
- The re-issued The Vintage Collection figures are meant to allow new collectors to get the main characters in their iconic outfits for those who missed the initial releases. The new photo real deco that each figure has is an incentive to buy for those collectors that already have the first release. Unlike The Black Series Archive, The Vintage Collection packaging is a tribute to the vintage style, so separate and distinct packaging for this subset is not being considered.
- Repacked figures do not take the place of a "new" figure within it's assortment. It is more of a bonus figure within the wave for those who missed it.
- There will be less waves of The Vintage Collection next year, but each will be a bigger wave.
- For The Vintage Collection they are looking at an overall ratio of 25% for repacks.
- While Hasbro understands that store exclusive figures can be harder to find, being an exclusive is the only way those figures would exist.
- Distribution is one of Hasbro's main concerns. It's frustrating to them to have product that they want to sell, and know that we want to buy it, but store distribution gets in the way. They are always trying find ways to improve it, both domestically and internationally.