Steve Evans, Design Director at Hasbro for Star Wars toys, announced on several social media accounts today that he is moving on from his position to take on a new role at Hasbro as Creative Director for Consumer Products.
It's with great sadness that we see Steve Evans leave. He was accessible, open-minded and truly listened to the fans. His deep knowledge of Star Wars and enthusiasm shined through in every panel, interview and presentation and within the past five years he's become the face of Star Wars at Hasbro. We want to thank him for bringing The Vintage Collection back and for inventing the HasLab initiative which made Jabba's Sail Barge possible. The HasLab project in particular was a huge accomplishment by him and his team as it gives us fans the opportunity to get Star Wars toys which otherwise would never get made.
Most of all though we want to thank Steve for opening a channel of communication which gave us direct access to ask questions. When we interviewed Steve on our podcast TOY RUN back during the Summer of 2016, and asked how a Star Wars figure was being made, he would walk us through the process. He understood that we were genuinely interested in this, and it was later followed up with several videos and behind-the-scenes information during panel presentations (a trend which continues to this day) to keep us informed.
To communicate more with fans he brought the Fans Choice poll back (for 6" and 3.75"), there were several Instagram Q&A's, there was the Vintage Collection Conversation on HasbroPulse, we did a few Google Hangouts with Steve and members of the Star Wars team, and of course there were a lot of panels with Q&A's and interviews throughout the past five years.
Steve Evans introduced us to people working behind-the-scenes like Tom Rego (sculpting manager) and Mark Boudreaux (senior principal designer/legend) in the designer desk video series, which was interesting for us fans to see. Having Steve Evans place Mark Boudreaux in the foreground on several occassions and educating Star Wars collectors about his 40 year long contributions to Star Wars toys was also much appreciated.
The contact to fan sites was great and we felt that we made an impact with our answers and questions. JediBusiness.com's readers had been asking for the return of playsets, and we receiced the fantastic BB-8 playset last year, followed up with the awesome old-school heavy-cardboard Kessel Mine Escape and Mission On Vandor-1 playsets. He knew we didn't like the yellow banana visors on TFA figures, so he got rid of that. We wanted creatures to come back in the 3.75" line and he brought them back with the Rathtar/Wampa sets. We don't like NERF? Got it, let's get rid of NERF! We wanted the Vintage Collection? We got it. We ran an article about the Vintage Collection bubbles being too wide and that the artwork needs to be made bigger, and sure enough, it was confirmed that there will be changes made going forward.
Knowing that Steve Evans grew up like many of us with Kenner Star Wars toys in the 70's and 80's brought authenticity with it. He was a collector himself and even dealt with Star Wars figures in the 90's to pay some bills. Once we sent him a message at 1:30am asking to clarify the differences between the regular Black Series 6" Captain Rex figure and the Hascon version, his answer came back from his private account at 4am. Now that's dedication. Whoever follows next has big shoes to fill and we hope that Steve Evans' successor will maintain the excellent communication with the fan base. We also hope that his successor will not only bring a love for Star Wars with her or him, but also a deep appreciation for the Kenner Star Wars toy line from the 70's and 80's, which in our point of view is the foundation everything is built on.
THANK YOU, CONGRATULATIONS AND GOOD LUCK STEVE EVANS!
Images below: Steve Evans, FanthaTracks, JediNews and JediBusiness.