It’s that time again where The Force Guide had the opportunity to have a Q&A session with Hasbro.
Members of Hasbro Star Wars brand and design teams discussed all the latest May the 4th and I Am Your Father’s Day product reveals and brand announcements! Here is our interview:
TFG: This year in The Vintage Collection, you’re releasing Endor Leia, Endor Luke, Paploo, a Scout Trooper, and IG-11. That is nearly every character who rides a speeder bike in live-action, and yet we haven’t seen a 3.75-inch-scale speeder bike in years. Is there any chance we will see a Vintage Collection speeder bike soon, preferably a repaint of the 2012 Toys R Us exclusive version?
Patrick: As we always say, we can’t confirm, deny, or reveal anything, but it’s definitely a good point. We’ve done those characters. We know that that particular speeder bike is important in both classic and new entertainment. As with everything, it’s all about prioritization and doing that versus, we know that there are a lot of figures that fans would like to see in the line, it’s kind of a choice between those things. But it’s definitely on our radar and it’s good to hear that your fans are eager to see that come back into the line.
TFG: In the upcoming Bad Batch figure 4-pack Vintage Collection set, there’s a figure named Clone Captain Ballast. This character appeared in the show with the same design but was renamed to Captain Howzer. We assume this was changed by Lucasfilm later in production. Is there any way you can change the name pill on the figure’s card before this set ships out? If not, might it be included in a running change or a future re-release?
Patrick: Yeah, so, we were aware of the name discrepancy. As always, we appreciate the attention to detail. We’ve read a lot of comments about this one. You’re exactly right. Basically, due to production schedules, this can sometimes occur. Especially when we’re delivering figures, we know it’s important to fans to get figures closely timed to, or shortly following, the entertainment release. And this isn’t the first time it’s happened. I know from my experience back in 2016, our Jyn Erso figures were all released as Sergeant Jyn Erso. Again, just because when we were developing the packaging she had that rank but ultimately didn’t in the final movie. So, I think similar to that one. It’s too late to change the packaging right now, so that is how this figure will come out. If we do this figure again in the future, just like when we’ve done Jyn Erso subsequently, she’s been just “Jyn Erso,” we will certainly address that.
TFG: The upcoming Cantina Showdown set includes a cantina distillery—the part in the middle with the tubes and beaker-type things—for the first time in any Hasbro line. While it’s great to see this piece, the Black Series only has a few characters to interact with it, while the 3.75” line has had dozens of cantina aliens across the last four decades. A 3.75-inch bar was released nearly 20 years ago, but we never got the distillery. Is this something we might see considered for a Vintage Collection release, perhaps in a future playset? And perhaps with the Tonnika sisters?
Designer: We can’t comment on anything that may or may not come in the future. I mean, we just don’t know. But we love the world-building nature of TVC. For Black Series stuff, there are a number of characters that do work with that cantina set. You’ve got a lot of things in that question. But there are multiple Black Series figures that work with that Black Series cantina. It’s a fun piece, assembling those and reconfiguring it. The TVC question… TVC is about worldbuilding. It’s something we would love to do at some point, but I don’t have anything to tell you guys about it happening, not happening. Always looking to do more, though.
TFG: Sure. And we get that classic response, but this is our opportunity to express how…
Designer: The more times it gets said, the better!
TFG: The new portrait on the PulseCon-exclusive Vintage Emperor figure looks great, but fans are wondering if the body and throne are from earlier releases or all-new, whether the figure can fully sit all the way back in the chair under the top, and why that specific portrait instead of swappable heads. Can you talk about the general design process for this set and why it was decided to only include these pieces instead of a full playset?
Designer: Okay, so, got a few things in there. First off, yeah, he can fully sit back in the throne underneath the overhang and all that. Works great. The head portrait there is new for the figure. He does use a partially existing body with a new plastic hood and belt, so he is updated that way. The Black Series one came with multiple heads for their offering. We wanted to lean into the worldbuilding aspect for Vintage Collection, so the one head instead of swappables made more sense there. And giving things like the background in that set, I think you can see in some of the photos, is swappable, or flippable, so you can display with the space battle going on outside or just the clean starfield. So I think those sort of things and focusing on the worldbuilding part there is more in our minds for TVC stuff.
TFG: Newly sculpted figures in both The Vintage Collection and The Black Series have been incredible lately, with sculpting and engineering that are lightyears beyond what we’ve seen before. However, those are mixed in with a lot of reused tooling from many years ago. We know that new tooling is a significant expense, and re-use is part of the business. But with the success of both lines lately, will we be seeing an increase of new tooling next year so we can set aside sculpts from a decade ago?
Patrick: So, a few quick things there. One, we can’t really comment on whether tooling next year will be higher or lower or the same. In terms of setting aside sculpts from a decade ago, we have done some of this. Last year, obviously, we announced the new clone trooper, the new stormtrooper, and so we do certainly do that where it makes sense. Obviously those take the place of a brand-new figure, and so we’re choiceful about where to do that and where it makes sense. And then yeah, in terms of the reused tooling again, it’s not the case… You talked about the significant expense. Those aren’t taking the place of a newly tooled figure. Those are additional. We wouldn’t do anything else in that place. And so again, I think the feedback is, would fans rather not have those figures that involve reused tooling at all? We know, obviously, we’d rather have all newly tooled figures, but that’s just not in the cards. So that would be good feedback to get from your fans.
What do you think of the Q&A? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!