Hasbro Q&A – The Answers (Week 74/Jedi News Week 35)

You asked the questions and here’s the answers to the 35th batch of questions asked by Jedi News and our eighth for 2009.

Thanks to Hasbro and Hunter PR for giving fans around the world a chance to get their voices heard and their questions answered especially here at Jedi News, the UK’s premier and favourite Star Wars fan site.

Thanks for sending in your questions and keep them coming for the next Q&A (take the link above or on the left hand menu), we need your questions by midday on Thursday 20th August (that’s next week) please. 

Also, don’t forget to vote in the Hasbro Fan Figures choice by taking the link here – together, we really can make a difference!

Read on for the Questions and Answers…

1.  We know that a lot of exclusive products are not being taken up by UK retailers.  Is there any way that we can get Hasbro/UK retailers to change their minds over these products – what would we have to do to convince you/them?  In these difficult times all the sales for these items are going to eBay sellers instead of helping to prop up the UK economy which seems crazy, especially when the high street is suffering so badly.

Every attempt is made to get retailers in all regions to carry everything we do – including making sure that the production window is aligned so high minimum run quantities are not an issue.  There are various reasons why retailers might pass, and once they do we offer it to additional customers if possible.  Sometimes it may not be possible to offer it to anyone else if a UK retailer is aligned with a US retailer; for example, ASDA is aligned with Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart exclusives can only go to ASDA and nowhere else.  Toys ‘R Us exclusives may only be offered to Toys ‘ R Us globally, but not all regions or countries may take every exclusive depending on how well the buyers think it will sell. It is frustrating to us that not everything has global distribution, but it’s something we hope to be able to better address as we achieve success in the UK and more broadly in Europe with this year’s batch of exclusives.

2.  We’ve seen some great pictures of the new Galactic Heroes Slave I and some great new Scenes as well (Max Rebo Band, Medal Ceremony etc) will these products all be available in the UK?  Also, you’ve told us previously that the AT-AT, seen at the UK and Canadian Toy Fairs earlier this year, will be delayed until 2010 – is that to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of Empire, if not will it definitely be coming next year?

The Galactic Heroes AT-AT was not delayed into 2010 because of the 10th Anniversary of ESB, but it’s a nice coincidence!  The real reason is that we could not fit it onto the planogram with everything else we had going on this year, and double facings were needed for some of the items we had this Fall.  So with nowhere to go, it went the only place it could go – off into the future.  We think we shouldn’t have a problem for 2010 at this point.  We would prefer it remain “mainline” (available to all retailers) but should we have difficulty with planogram space, then we will look to make it an exclusive with a key retailer.  It’s an awesomely cool vehicle.

JN: Having seen it at the UK Toy Fair, we’d have to agree – we can’t wait to get our hands on it!

3.  We’re finally getting a new Slave Leia and one that reclines too (with swappable legs) and it looks amazing!  We’re getting LOTS of e-mails asking us again and again when we’ll finally see a new Jabba with throne from Return of the Jedi – it’s the final piece that people are waiting on to complete their Jabba dioramas/environments.  How long will we have to wait (it’s been around 25 years since the last release)?

We did design Leia to be “forward compatible” with a Jabba and throne if we did make one.  While we started the figure without having a plan in place, we can confirm that we are looking at a new Jabba, which would come with or without the throne depending on costing and tools. We would expect to have an update next year around Comic Con timing.  Stay tuned! 

JN: Please, please, please include the throne!!!

James is an active member of the Star Wars collecting community, and is the Brand Director for Jedi News. James is also the host of the Star Wars Collectors Cast, and co-host of RADIO 1138 on the Jedi News Network.