We caught up with the product development team at Gentle Giant Studios late last night and asked them some burning questions; without further delay here's their answers (there's some good news in there)...
1. There seems to be a slowdown of Star Wars products this year is that because you’re gearing up for new Clone Wars products later in the year like other Star Wars licences?
We are gearing up for Clone Wars, but we also have quite a few unannounced Star wars Items coming up before the end of the year.
2. Can you tell us what products we’re likely to see based on the Clone Wars – will we see Statues, Maquettes, Busts and Classics?
We will be focusing primarily on maquettes. There are a few other items in development, but they are not ready for announcement.
3. When will you reveal your Clone Wars products?
We will show the new maquettes at Comic-Con if not sooner.
Read on for the full Q&A...
4. Fans seem happy that you’ve listened and reduced the number of exclusives this year; will that be your policy moving forward?
We actually have a few more exclusives coming, but we will make them more readily available to Premier Guild. We don’t want to prevent the collectors from being able to complete their collection, so while we will have some international exclusives this year, they will be more individually based as opposed to being a series, and a much higher percentage of them will be help back for the Guild.
5. Will the Anakin Bust from Revenge of the Sith, which will be available at San Diego Comic Con, be available to Premiere Guild Members too and when? What about internationally, like us here in the UK (you’ve made a small number of previous exclusives available via Amerang) will you be able to do that with this piece?
We are currently planning to have them available through the Premier Guild after the convention. There are currently no plans to offer them through distributors. The Guild and convention price will be $55 US.
6. The Jabba the Hut and Jabba’s Band sets are great items that complement one another and fans are really excited to see that Princess Leia is being added to this great scene. Are there any other plans to add Jedi Luke, C-3PO, Han Solo in Carbonite, Lando and some Gamorrean Guards or any other accessories for that matter?
We plan to continue our statues at this scale. A few of which will be shown in San Diego. The next few pieces are not connected to the Jabba’s palace theme, but there is a good possibility to have something work in thematically in the future.
7. Can you tell us what’s next for ...
a. Classics Busts?
We are really excited about the Harry Potter Classics line. It is a great way to present some of the tertiary character who otherwise may not be part of the mini bust line
b. Mini Busts?
Mini busts will continue for our existing lines as well as the Hellboy line and the Horror lines picking up.
Most of our statues will be focused on Star Wars and Indy.
The first few KustomZ pieces were delayed a bit, so the additional pieces will be pushed out as well. There are a couple really nice designs in the works currently. Including a Boba Fett.
8. Maquette’s are my personal favourite and I love what you’ve done with Darth Maul and Luke in Stormtrooper Disguise – what other characters might we see in the near future (other than those already revealed)?
Our maquette focus will be the new Clone Wars Series. There should, however, be a few classic character interspersed in the 09 schedule.
9. Have you finalised the details of the delayed R2 statue yet and when will he be available?
R2 is a very tricky project. It had evolved from being a simple statue to a very complex interchangeable system. We have a distinct idea in mind for what we want to achieve, development and sampling are taking a lot longer than we had hoped, but when he comes out in 09 we think he will be well worth the wait.
10. What’s fan reaction been to the new KustomZ line?
We have received great feedback on them. The KustomZ are a very unique line that appeals to a different audience then the rest of the Star Wars line. While some purists do not identify with them, there are a lot of people who are starting to collect these who would otherwise not pick up a Star wars item.
11. Any more news on when we’ll see the return of the BustUps! Line for Star Wars?
We will have Indy Bust-ups coming out in late 08 and continuing through 09. The Star Wars bust-ups may see some re-releases as well as a re-launch in 09.
12. There have been rumours of a life-size Padme statue can you tell us if this is true or not?
We are releasing a life size version of the animated Leia maquette. That should be hitting stores soon. We currently have no plans to make a Padme piece. The response we receive on the new maquettes will determine the probability of making additional life size animated pieces for sale.
13. We’ve seen the two Indiana Jones products coming in July, what other products are in the pipeline?
We will have many more statues, mini busts, and bust-ups coming in 09. These will cover some fantastic Indy based items and several other characters.
14. Do you just have the Indiana Jones licence for the new film or does it cover the original trilogy as well?
We will be doing items from all 4 movies.