G.I. Joe Q & A Answers November, 2011

Well, the guys at Hasbro’s PR firm were burning the midnight oil the night before Thanksgiving making sure we got our Q & A responses in!  Check out mine below…  I don’t remember asking two Kwinn questions, but there you are…

1) Speaking for the majority of collectors out there, I think we’re all very thankful you are going to such great lengths to finally release the perfect version of Kwinn the Eskimo. He obviously stands out quite a bit amongst the more modern and cutting edge military action figures that are hitting store shelves. How much of a challenge is it when you try and release figures that are so different aesthetically from their peers, and is that partly why Kwinn is possibly going to be relegated to a Convention Exclusive in 2012?

HASBRO:  From a marketing perspective, we had hoped to get him out with the 30th Anniversary line but the timing did not work out. You are correct in that the challenge now lies in finding the right place to put him. There is currently no final plan for Kwinn but he will make it out there eventually!

2) Back in the Marvel days, there was a tight connection between the comic and how toys appeared at retail. Have things changed from a retail perspective these days which prevents that connection between toys and the IDW comics? There are a number of great designs from the IDW comic team that Joe fans would love to see in plastic form.

HASBRO: With so many different forms of entertainment we have to prioritize which story to tell through product. There are definitely a number of great storylines in the IDW comic and we’re glad to hear you’re enjoying them!  The IDW team does an outstanding job.

3) In light of the recent issues with Kwinn finding a place at retail, how much input do retailers have with individual characters in a specific case assortment? Do they have final say about which specific figures are in each case and how they “mix” with the current retail strategy?

HASBRO:  The decision not to ship Kwinn was an internal decision based on knowledge of retail timing. With our movie product set date in early summer 2012, we did not want to risk shipping out an additional wave of figures so late in the year and risk excess inventory blocking movie product. Our retail partners trust Hasbro to make decisions regarding which figures we release in what mix.

Answers are coming in to other places around the web as well, but I’m about to depart for a day of family adventure, so I’ll have to recap that when I return.

G.I. Joe Q & A Answers are coming in!

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!

Highlights and way too in-depth recap from the latest G.I. Joe Q & A

Well, you know, since Hasbro didn’t bother answering two of my questions, I gotta get some mileage out of this round somehow.  And if you know where to look, there was actually a lot of great information to be had this time around.

This is a pretty thorough, in depth recap, so I’ll continue on after the jump:

Continue reading

Hasbro G.I. Joe Q & A Round 4 Answers Coming In

Alas, I only got one of my questions answered.  :(

Here we go:

1. G.I. Joe: Renegades is now on “hiatus”, and many agree that a DVD release might at least kick start some of the action figure sales.  When can we expect a DVD release for G.I. Joe: Renegades, and dare we hope for Blu-Ray?

A: No answer given

2. San Diego ComicCon has come and gone, with no new G.I. Joe items revealed from JoeCon in April.  With the rest of the year being Convention free, how does Hasbro plan to reveal more new items between now and Toy Fair in 2012?  Will we see the rumored 7-Packs at New York ComicCon?

A: No answer given

3. When it comes to designing a wave of figures or deciding on characters to release, what is the thought process?  With a lack of time between the G.I. Joe: Renegades figures and the film next summer, why would Hasbro elect to produce Renegades figures for Firefly or Law & Order who barely appeared in the series, while neglecting a character like Roadblock, who was one of the main protagonists?  What is the marketing strategy there?

A: We had a great opportunity – afforded us by the writers of the Renegades series – to have our cake and eat it too. We have listened for years to the collectors asking for desired characters in mainline. Some of these characters showed up (however briefly) in Renegades and we took the chance to make them as a nod to fans. Law and Order, while only briefly in Renegades is a highly desired fan request so we figured we could kill two birds with one stone. The same is true for a couple of others (Airtight for example).

A little disappointed that they couldn’t even give me an answer about G.I. Joe: Renegades on DVD.  Seems like a pretty straight forward question.  Also, they did answer an NYCC related question for Toy News International, but not for me.

Ah, well, I’ll try not to take it personally.  :shifty:  Check out the rest of my Q & A responses as they come in right here.

Next round of G.I. Joe Q & A Answers already coming in

Most folks may not have known this, but there was another G.I. Joe Q & A hot on the heels of the last round, and answers have already started coming in!  So far, Cool Toy Review and JoeCustoms have posted answers, and I will continue to update the Q & A Page as more responses come in.  I’ve also heard from the folks at The Terror Drome that they have their answers, they just haven’t quite posted them yet.

G.I. Joe Q & A all up to date

I’m not sure if folks have been continuously checking or not, but I have added a couple of stragglers to the Q & A page.  One interesting entry comes from the great guys at Jedi Defender, who posed the following question and received a pretty good answer:

    3) I know this question will be done to death this round, but I hope that this version will help provide answers to the eager Joe collector/consumer.Smart collectors know that Hasbro can’t make retailers buy product. That being said, is there anything that Hasbro can do to provide the consumer the opportunity to purchase figures when the mass-market retailers refuse to stock new product (as has happened recently with GI Joe and Marvel Universe at Wal-Mart)? The pegs for Joe (and MU) are full of Bakugan and other imported concepts at every store I’ve seen in the last 8 weeks.

    POC (figures, and to a lesser extent vehicles) as the current iteration of Joe has seemed to sell through at practically all local venues in NE Texas, and stores still seem to refuse to restock. With gasoline prices at $4+ a gallon, there is ZERO impetus to drive around and look for these figures we’d like to have, but most likely will not be able to turn up.

    3) That is a great question and we heard it loud and clear at JoeCon. We are currently working on several different options to get figures into collectors’ hands when they can’t find what they’re looking for at retail. Without going into too much detail, there are a few logistical details that are a challenge but rest assured, we want collectors to be able to get figures without having to drive hundreds of miles. Stay tuned.

Curious.  I think most of us have assumed that HasbroToyShop was Hasbro’s answer to fans who can’t make it to brick & mortar retail, but this certainly sounds like they might have something else up their sleeves.  Could they be doing a subscription service similar to what the Collector’s Club is coming up with?  I guess time will tell, but with retailers continuously pulling back from carrying product, and an obvious desire from Hasbro to continue building on one of their few home-grown brands, could they be thinking out of the box?  Stay tuned.

Some interesting tidbits from the latest Q & A… Data Viper we hardly knew ye.

As sites continue to post the incoming responses from the Hasbro Q & A, a few interesting bits of intel have started coming out.  Some good, one not so good.  The bad news first:

From Fighting 118th, we get word that unfortunately the very cool looking Data-Viper shown at JoeCon is no longer due for release:

Q) What is the likelihood that we will actually see all of what was shown
at JoeCon at retail of some form?

A) What was debuted at Joe Con 2011 (in the cases) is what our fans can expect to see from the 30th anniversary line with one exception – Data Viper did not make the cut

THAT is a bummer.  A very interesting unique concept that sounds destined for the cutting room floor.  Too bad.

Next, from JoeIntel, apparently the recently released PoC Cobra Viper will be getting repack treatment in the upcoming fall assortments, this time with red arm guards and more weapons!

3. We are already aware of (and quite happy with!) the running changes on Blowtorch and Croc Master. We feel the important items were addressed, but want to be prepared if there are any other small changes. Are any other PoC figures getting any changes even if something minimal?

Hasbro: As the brand transitions into 30th anniversary, some of the more popular Cobra Troop Builders will be getting some minor revisions as they find their way onto the new “30th anniversary” style cardbacks. For example, the Cobra Viper will feature red wrist guards, and will be outfitted with a new array of weapons instead of the projectile launching cannon.

This sounds like a pretty cool change to me…not a huge fan of that big missile launcher, and would love to see more smaller weapons.  The red arm guards I know were a source of complaints, too.

Also from JoeIntel, some details about the MIA Alpha Wave 3 vehicles comes to light, with confirmation that our Canadian brothers to the North should be expecting the Cycle Armor and the HISS Scout to hit retail up there:

1. The HISS Scout and Cycle Armor were shown at Joecon, but there was no definite word on where they will be available. Can you give us any word on where we might be able to expect these?

Hasbro: So here’s the story. We are still working on getting a retailer to take this in the US. However, a limited amount of these items have made their way into market in Singapore. The largest order for these was for Canada (lucky for them). Stay tuned on a US retailer.

This is good news in a way, as at least we have confirmation that these are hitting retail in some form or fashion.  The bad news is, folks in the US might have to become friends with some folks in Canada to get what they want to get.

We also get confirmation via JoeCustoms.com that when the movie line hits next year, the 30th Anniversary line as it currently stands will come off store shelves.  I don’t think this surprises anyone at this point, but figured it was worth mentioning.

2) As filming for the GI Joe sequel gets underway, at what point of the process are you with the movie line? And will the line be sold side by side with what has been shown for the 30th Anniversary?

We have already been working on the movie line for several months here. The movie line will be our main focus next year and when the movie line comes out, it will replace the 30th anniversary line for a while. They will not be in aisle at the same time.

Again, no real surprise.  I just hope they build on the successful formula with Pursuit of Cobra and the 30th Anniversary stuff and don’t take a step back.  In my opinion, the functionality and the detail of The Rise of Cobra was a nice step above the Anniversary stuff (even if the designs themselves came across as somewhat uninspired) so here’s hoping for the same treatment next year.

G.I. Joe Q & A Responses incoming from Hasbro!

Answers were a little delayed this time around mostly due to JoeCon chaos, but as of this moment, Hasbro responses are coming in!

As always, stay tuned to the GeneralsJoes Q & A Page for all of the updates around the ‘net!

Hasbro G.I. Joe Q & A Answers delayed

Initially we were slated to receive answers for the latest Q & A’s tomorrow, but we received notice from Hunter PR that unfortunately the answers will not be coming in until some time next week.  Stay tuned, and GeneralsJoes will be sure to be right on it when they do start coming in.

Latest G.I. Joe Q & A Right around the corner

Just as a reminder that Hasbro’s latest round of the G.I. Joe Q & A is coming right up.  Questions are due to be submitted next Monday, September 13th!

If you have any burning questions, post ’em in the comments below.  Can’t promise I’ll use them, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.