Earlier today five Star Wars fan sites took part in a Google Hangout with members of the Hasbro Star Wars team. The sites included Jedi News, Jedi Defender, Star Wars Action News (SWAN), Star Wars Underworld, and Yakface. Each of the sites got to ask four questions….
Jedi News was first up and asked “Now that ‘Build a Weapon’ is no longer part of 3¾” regular line, does that mean case assortments will be better balanced with primary and tertiary characters?”, and Hasbro said “Yes that was exactly the plan.”
Next up was Jedi Defender who asked if the Imperial Hover Tank would be released, their answer was “all vehicles for this year have been announced” and added “if there was enough desire down the line from fans then we may look at it in the future.”
SWAN asked about the Black Series 3¾” line, if it was to remain an exclusive to Walmart [ASDA in the UK], and what we can expect to see this year; Hasbro replied saying “it was staying at Walmart, and expect to see two waves this Fall.”
Star Wars Underworld was next and they asked if Hasbro had changed the way they worked since Rogue One is not an episodic film; Hasbro responded by saying “we are continuing to work in the same way, focusing on major characters with the most screen time.” They also said “we continue to listen to fans requests for minor characters, and that the fan poll will continue next year.”
Yakface then asked about distribution, and if both waves of 3¾” and 6” figures would be available on 30th September, they responded “the first wave will be available on the 30th, with another wave or two later in the year.”
The questions then came back to Jedi News and we asked if the fan poll would be for 3¾” figures as well as 6”, and the response was “the poll would be 6” right now, but 3¾” would be coming too.” Jedi News then asked “Constable Zuvio was a great figure but for the most part ended up on the cutting room floor and subsequently is sitting on pegs. What changes, if any, did you make to the Rogue One line up to ensure a situation like this doesn’t happen again?”, the response from Hasbro was “all characters are picked based on detailed conversations with Lucasfilm [LFL], and we were led to believe that Zuvio would have a bigger role than he did. Rogue One has a large ensemble cast, so we’ve been able to concentrate on getting those characters done for the line.”
Jedi Defender asked if a movie a year had meant a departure from the usual development schedule, and mentioned the fact that many fans are still waiting for Luke from The Force Awakens; Hasbro responded by saying “the first time we saw Luke was on screen on December 19th last year.” They went on to state “the team are working on all the films at the same time, Episode VIII, and others – this makes it difficult and sometimes we have to remind each other which film a character is from.” The continued “we don’t have time to innovate and bring in and test new joints because of the timing, and even when we think a figure is done LFL may ask for a change.”
SWAN asked if Titanium vehicles and Helmets were coming from Rogue One and Hasbro responded by saying “Yes, and we’re working on a full list of items available for the 30th September to distribute.”
Star Wars Underworld asked if LFL had become less secretive since The Force Awakens and Hasbro explained “some things have changed, JJ held things very tightly, and since characters like Kylo and Rey have been revealed things should be easier. At this point, more has been revealed about Rogue One than The Force Awakens.”
Yakface asked about retailer exclusives and Hasbro said “their exclusive range is impressive, and more will be revealed next week, but items won’t necessarily be available till later in the Fall.”
Jedi News then asked “With almost 100 Star Wars comics from Marvel, what are the chances of seeing a return of the Comic Packs with a reprint of a Marvel comic and a couple of new figures?” Hasbro said “we really like the idea, and it has been discussed – plus we are already doing it for the Marvel line.” They continued “we’ve been looking at some of the characters and we really like them, just not sure where they’d fit in, but a Black Series Comic Pack could work.”
SWAN asked about the lull in new products in the Spring/Summer and if that time could be used to fill in with characters from the OT and Prequels. Hasbro responded that “we try to ensure there’s something out there for collectors in the Black Series, but at that time of the year retail is much quieter and stores are waiting for the Fall resets.”
Yakface then asked about 6” Black Series figures from Rogue One and Hasbro said “stay tuned for more announcements about figures from Rogue One soon.” They also the reiterated that “Rogue One is part of the Star Wars portfolio so they could always revisit characters at a later date.”
It was time for one more question from each site and Jedi News asked a two-part question – “R2-KT is a fan favourite and her 3¾” release fetches a high after market premium. Fans would rather some of this money went to charity, and since she appeared in The Force Awakens what are the chances of seeing KT re-released in 3¾” scale, and also introduced for the first time in 6” scale? Since we’re talking about 6” Astromechs, will the Toys ‘R’ Us [TRU] 3-pack Astromech be available outside of North America?” Hasbro answered about the Astromech 3-Pack first stating “the UK should have access to the TRU Astromech set and we’ll check its status and come back to you.” With regards R2-KT Hasbro agreed that she should be made with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. They said “It’s just a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’”, although they didn’t clarify which scale she would be made in.
Jedi Defender asked if General Leia in her blue dress from The Force Awakens would be made available in the 3¾” and 6” lines and when – Hasbro responded “they are both coming, but more likely towards in the Fall of next year.”
SWAN asked if there were any flagship events happening to celebrate September 30th, especially since the flagship TRU store in Times Square has now gone. Hasbro explained “we’ve been building up to the day all month with the ‘Go Rogue’ shorts and reveals, but we’re sure there would be a lot of stores having midnight openings.”
Star Wars Underworld asked if any Rogue One figures would be coming to the 3¾” Black Series line, they responded “they are coming in late Fall.”
Finally, Yakface asked if there were any specific plans for celebrating the 40th anniversary of Star Wars and the role that Hasbro\Kenner have played – he referred to the ‘Early Bird Kit’ from Fall 1977. Hasbro answered by saying “there’s a big celebration coming, and it will lead into the classic line, but it’s too early to reveal any details yet.” They explicitly said “it will lead into the classic line”, wonder if that means a return to Vintage – we can only hope!
Other answers that came up in the conversation included that “Han would not be forgotten and the 40th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back is not too far away and we should expect to see Had released in all his guises at some point.”
At the end of the Hangout, Hasbro reminded us “it takes 12-18 months for a toy to reach you from initial concept and design. Anything that’s been discussed today won’t be out for another 2 years but that doesn’t mean that we’re not listening or reading what people are asking for.”
Big thanks to the team at Hasbro, and their PR company for putting this on today. It was a great success and look forward to doing it again soon.