Woo hoo! I had almost forgotten the responses were due today, but even on top of NYCC craziness, the G.I. Joe team comes through. Some very insightful answers this time around as well. Here are my three (they answered all of them!):
GeneralsJoes – The second wave of 30th Anniversary/Renegades figures comes with many fewer accessories than were shown in early images. Is this a trend we should expect going forward, and how do you make the decision on which weapons end up being left out? Many fans are nervous that the upcoming Lifeline will end up missing some of the medical equipment he was shown with previously. Can you alleviate their concerns?
HASBRO – In order to put out these highly articulated, highly deco’d figures in the face of rising production costs we had to make some tough decisions. These changes were made in an effort to cost reduce the entire assortment. There are currently no plans to further cost reduce these figures so Lifeline should be safe!
GeneralsJoes – Wave 2 of the 30th Anniversary figures made it clear that the G.I. Joe design team is getting much more creative using existing tooling. Has the creative process changed at all recently to take advantage of the much broader tooling library that is now available? Is the manufacturing adjusted at all to ensure a more seamless fit between pieces of separate figures?
HASBRO – Using existing tooling is more challenging than one would imagine. Some of the tools from 2007 (25th anniversary) no longer have the same “pizzazz” when they are paired up with a more modern ROC or POC body. To make matters more complicated (as many in our customizer audience already know) many of the knee and shoulder joints are not exactly compatible, thus limiting the legs choices that can be used for certain parts combinations. The Designer has to have an excellent grasp of the tooling library and what parts are compatible, as well as understand where those parts are, and what their family mold is, and what “project” they initially came from. Plenty of design work goes into the existing tooling figures, it is one of the greatest challenges of our job.
GeneralsJoes – As a member of the design or marketing team, what was the biggest heart break figure that you were excited about which never got released?
HASBRO – (Design) Data Viper. The figure, although very very cool, proved to be too complex to tool, and in a year where we were trying to offer premium product at a great price, he had to be sacrificed to make room for great new tooled characters like Airtight, Lifeline, Scarlett, and the new Storm Shadow. Data Viper was an in-house designed and imagined trooper, and we put alot of thought into that character and his place on the Cobra Team though, and it was sad to have to leave it behind. On a positive note, we are very excited about the figures that did make it and I could not be more pleased by the way they turned out.
I really like these answers. Some good thought and consideration, and some great insight. Looking forward to seeing some other responses start coming in. Be sure to stay tuned to my Q & A Page as I update it throughout the evening!