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August 2009 Hasbro Star Wars Q&A

August 2009 - Every couple of weeks, Hasbro will answer three questions per web site about their Star Wars products. Here are the questions and answers for the latest round:

1. With Wal*Mart cutting its shelf space for toys, what is going to become of the exclusives that the retailer has picked up? My local store is already overflowing with old product without the aisle reduction, and I'm concerned if they'll be passed over because of it.

Answer: The exclusives will still be coming in, targeted for end-caps whenever possible so they do not hit the main aisle space with their full force of volume when they arrive in store. It does not mean that your store will be getting all new exclusives, though, as Wal-Mart creates a distribution strategy based on the current landscape at the time with the stores they feel will be strongest for sell-through. As for older stock, it's possible that those items are not perceived as a "national" problem since there is little or no remaining inventory for the most part, and so do not get closed out. The next time you are in the store, if you could point out to a department manager the issue with older inventory and it's possible they could target them selectively to deal with them; they are motivated to keep the shelf attractive and productive, but do not know the nuances the way you and the rest of the knowledgeable fans do. You can also let us know your local Wal-Mart store # and we can look into it if it's a real problem.

2. It has been strongly hinted that new mini-rigs are coming. Would these be based on the old Kenner designs or brand new ones?

Answer: Well, we announced the new "deluxe" figure/figure assortment at Toy Fair so we suppose this is what people are talking about regarding mini-rigs (that and the fact that Mark Boudreaux, creator of the original Mini-Rigs concept, is leading this assortment too). The philosophy of the line is provide lower-cost, single man vehicles to add excitement to the 3-3/4" play pattern. We plan to match the entertainment as much as possible Speeder bikes, Freeco bikes, etc. will be the typical focus. However, if we need variety Lucasfilm has certainly given us flexibility to go beyond the entertainment in a way that is true to Star Wars if we don't have variety in the entertainment. So from this standpoint, it is possible that Mini-Rig type ideas could find their way into the assortment down the line.

3. The upcoming Leia as Jabba's prisoner figure features separate removable legs which allow her to be displayed in a lounging position. Is a "Return of the Jedi accurate" Jabba the Hutt (and his throne) currently in any stage of planning or production to display alongside Leia? How about Jabba's throne?

Answer: 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.

Be sure to check out the previous Q&As as well.

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