As part of the celebration of Sigma 6 and what made the line so appealing to myself and others, I had an opportunity to speak with the folks at Hasbro about Sigma 6, and they were kind enough to answer some questions. Take a peek at the Q & A below.
SIGMA 6 Questions and Answers
Q - What went into the decision to change scales when Sigma 6 was first “in the works”?
A – The original concept for Sigma 6 and the 8’’ scale was to design for a new generation of kids. The 8’’ scale was large enough that we could get across character personalities and create some great gear!
Q – Obviously with such a drastic change in the overall design, negative fan reaction was expected…were you ever surprised at the level of venom that the Sigma 6 line received from the Real American Hero “purists”?
A – GI Joe fans are very loyal to the 3 ¾’’ scale. When we moved to Sigma 6, we made sure that the DTC line met their 3 ¾’’ needs. As time went on, we wanted to get back into the market with 3 ¾’’ product and brought out the 25th anniversary line.
Q – Why the decision to make the figures over-exaggerated in their proportions, and in a more animated style? I personally loved the change, but it did turn some people off, and the cartoon was even a bit more realistic than the toys were. Was it an influence from anime, or the “urban vinyl” look?
A – The unique Sigma style was different than anything on market, which is exactly what we wanted. As the team was created for younger consumers, we did not want any features looking too realistic.
Q – Judging by the product release schedule at the end of the Sigma 6 run, there was a LOT of stuff in the hopper. Can you share any details of some stuff that we may never get to see? Everyone knows about the Adventure Team stuff. Is there any other tidbits you can share, now that the line’s run is over?
A – There were designs in the works for some great 2.5’’ vehicles! Now that we are creating new 3 ¾’’ vehicles we are revisiting some of those designs to see if anything makes sense for the future.
Q – If the movie is successful, is there any chance at all that the Sigma 6 style and scale will be revived at retail?
A – There are no plans for the 8’’ scale to come back in the near future.
Q – Since a lot of the physical tooling is done for some of the tail-ender figures (Short Fuze, Zanzibar, Iron Fist,) what are the chances of ever seeing those figures done as exclusives down the line?
A – The chances are low of seeing these figures in the future. Our fans have made it clear that they want 3 ¾’’ and we want to apply our resources against what they are asking for.
Q – It seems evident to a lot of folks that some of the Resolute designs (specifically the Duke in the upcoming Resolute 5-pack) has some strong Sigma 6 design elements to it. Did the designers use Sigma 6 as a template for doing some of the Resolute designs, and if so, could we potentially see some 3 ¾” versions of Sigma 6 type figures as part of the Resolute toyline?
A – Resolute was designed totally independently from the Sigma 6 toy line and cartoon. There are no plans for any non 3 ¾’’ Resolute toys at this time.
Q – Why was the concept “shifted” part of the way through from a more military, action-based line, to a more Adventure-themed one? Was that a choice born out of specific reason, or just a stylistic change?
A – As the line moved forward, we attempted to broaden the appeal by introducing both a military line of 8’’ figures and Adventure Team of 8’’ figures.
Q – Were there any changes made during the design process for a specific figure due to cost that were especially painful for you as a designer?
A – The design team really wanted to do a Scarlett figure, but we could not find a way to have it be practical in the marketplace.
Q – It is many fans’ opinions that the Sigma 6 line was revolutionary and almost “ahead of its time”, which may have contributed to its failure. How proud are you as a designer of the work you did on this line?
A – The Sigma 6 line was an incredible toy line that may have been ahead of its time. The whole team who worked on it is proud of the work and appreciates the fans that were willing to come along with us for the ride.
Q – What was your single-most favorite item that you ever produced for the Sigma 6 line?
A – The 8’’ firefly was a really fun figure. Great character, cool weapons, and a menacing grin on his face.
I’d like to give a hearty “thanks” to the generous folks at Hasbro for taking some of their valuable time to answer questions about a toyline that’s not even being produced any more. Thanks!