Directly following the Star Wars: Collectibles Panel was the Hasbro Star Wars panel. Since I'm writing this in the interim, I sure do wonder what we'll see and hear... join me won't you!
Panelists, Left to Right:
Jeff Labowitz, marketing
Eric Arana, vintage line design
Brian Murton, exclusives and now main line
Adam Apagano, branding and packaging
Daryl Depreist, global brand team
Chris Gellaber, Lucas licensing & product development
The room is only about 60% full, surprisingly few to me. And now, the Presentation:
-All-new 3.75" segment, that they're happy and surprised actually hasn't leaked yet
-more Fighter Pods
-"Exclusives you thought you'd never see"
-All Movie and Clone Wars figures have been revealed, 2013 product will be teased/revealed at Celebration
-Vintage will be put on hold, ran for 2 years and 100+ figures. Not going away, just on hold and will be continued in some form in the future. Daryl's goal is to complete the original Kenner line in the Vintage packaging/style.
-They really enjoyed the move, which was well debated, to do non Original Trilogy figures in the Vintage line. Both Eric and Chris especially like the Clone Wars figures on the Vintage cards with painted art.
-2013 will bring back Droid Factory to replace Vintage. Main line will have build-a-droid. 30 figures, highly articulated and detailed. None of the droids have been done before. Cardback is based on the Astromech, and droid part will be visible through the front bubble.
-Series 1, all new Geonsis Padme, new(?) R2 and new Biker Scout from new exclusive, Vader's Wingman from ANH TIE pilot, mostly new AotC Anakin, AotC Clone Sergeant, new Luminara Undula, Sun Fac the Geonosian warrior, all new Pablo-Jill (very big, heavy and special blister size), 212th Clone Trooper - droids TC-70 (CW) & FA-4 (AotC)
-Series 2, Mace Windu in CW armor, Captain Rex (realistic), Luke Yavin Ceremony (not even more accurate), Mara Jade, Bespin Dinner Vader (they call him "'we would be happy if you join us' Vader" - has a clip-on sparks from the blaster and interchangeable hand to hold Han's blaster by the barrel) , A-Wing Pilot, Biggs, AotC Clone Pilot. BAD R8-B7 and R5-X2 (TPM)
-Bringing back 12" figures. Five points of articulation, about $15 price point. Vader, Episode 3 Anakin, Episode 2 Clone Trooper, Episode 3 Obi-Wan. Meant to have a very, very Vintage feel, with articulation, poses and look. Accessories are sculpted into the hands.
-Fighter Pods have been doing well. Doing mini-animations online, new online game too (multiplayer aspect launches in the Fall). "Rampage" launches in 2013 with powered Pod launchers.
- Clone Wars "Darth Maul Returns" Target boxset on-shelf in Mid-December
-Darth Maul Fighter Pod tin at Target for September (includes Ziro the Hutt)
-K-Mart, August, Endor AT-ST, Vintage Package
-K-Mart, August, AT-ST crew 2-pack with new heads (and suspenders/belts), Vintage Package
-K-Mart, August, Ewok 2-Pack. Existing sculpts but new deco/characters
-Toys R Us - Ewok 5-pack and Yavin Pilot Pack
-Toys R Us all new Speeder Bike - includes clear flight base, opening hood, figure stays on even upside down
-Toys R Us BMF Falcon returns in Vintage package, with one the designer's son on the package. Nothing different about the toy, just the package. The BMF was very expensive and there is still demand for it.
-Toys R Us Endor AT-AT in Vintage package. Slight change to deco of the driver too
-Brian's Toys - Available by the end of the year - Jocasta Nu with Dooku bust. Lots of easter eggs on or with this figure. Vintage Card plus a package that's meant to be like Holocron Library Book
And now, a few moments for Q&A
-No plans for roleplay lazer tag
-Request for Clieg Lars. Certainly at some point
-How deep will Clone Wars go in the realistic style? Eric feels there's more opportunity to go deeper with the realistic figures than (presumably) with the animated style
-Mandalorian Transport? No, not available in the US presently, only limited quantities at the end of 2011 were shipped. On their list to re-release though.
-More Old Republic figures? Wait for Celebration.
-Any plans for more protective plastic cases? No, didn't find enough interest. They'll only use that for exclusive figures.
-No Hasbro exclusive at Celebration.
-Why no Vintage at Walmart? Chose to make Walmart the 3-D destination, but they're not opposed Vintage
-Have you considered Kenner style Prequel figures? In their research, most fans say "go forward" rather than "go back" aesthetically, but there is definitely a niche market for them so it's possible at some point
-What figures are off limits? Lots of laughter, everyone looks at Chris. No "magic list" just those that are problematic for various reasons. "We can't name the figures because it draws attention"
-Disney World Build-a-Figure? Not sure if there will be more but definitely possible.