We were invited to interview Hasbro at Comic Con International 2016 in San Diego. We collected questions from you and asked Joe Ninivaggi, Marketing Director for the Star Wars team, to answer them. Thank you to Ryan Beise, co-host of the Galaxy Of Toys Podcast, for representing JediBusiness.com in San Diego and Joe Ninivaggi for taking his time to answer our questions.
You can read the transcript of the conversation below, the full interview for you to listen to was released on TOY RUN - THE STAR WARS ACTION FIGURE CAST.
Ryan Beise: Hi this is Ryan representing JediBusiness.com and I am here with Joe Ninivaggi. Joe, what do you do with Hasbro?
Joe Ninivaggi: I am the Marketing Director for the Star Wars team at Hasbro.
Ryan Beise: Excellent. We have many questions submitted from readers and listeners alike. Will the Return Of The Jedi SKIFF for 3 3/4 inch figures get re-released again (with a new sculpt)?
Joe Ninivaggi: It's always a possibility, but it's not planned right now. Like we said in the panel, we are still looking to do new toys and re-releases from the classic movies and the prequels, but no plans for a SKIFF currently.
Ryan Beise: Will we see any creatures from The Force Awakens?
Joe Ninivaggi: Yes, you definitely will. A lot of times we are also seeing those creatures for the first time when you are, and it just takes us a little bit of time to get it developed. But for sure, there are some awesome new creatures that we want to get to.
Ryan Beise: The final remaining Skiff Guard from "Luke's Skiff" in Return of the Jedi, his name is Velken Tezeri, he is the first one that goes into the pit, will you release him any time soon?
Joe Ninivaggi: It's always possible, we have no specific plans to develop this figure currently, but we are looking to re-introduce the Fans Choice Poll for the 3 3/4 inch line again. If the fans want it and they can pull for it, anything is possible.
Ryan Beise: Last week when I talked to Steve Evans I asked about a running change for grey hair on Han Solo, and I am seeing it here now at the convention, are we going to see this running change soon?
Joe Ninivaggi: Yes, that's implemented, it's in production, so you'll start seeing it at retail soon.
Ryan Beise: I am very happy to hear that. We were worried that you guys are afraid of making an old man figure.
Joe Ninivaggi: I actually heard, I am not sure if it's true, but Han (Harrison Ford) didn't want to dye his hair for it, so it's only appropriate that we do the legit figure.
Ryan Beise: Can you confirm Force Friday on September 30?
Joe Ninivaggi: September 30th is confirmed (for the product launch), but I don't know of any plans for Force Friday. Disney and Lucasfilm drive that and they do an awesome job with it, we'll just have to wait and see what they have in store.
Ryan Beise: The Walmart 3 3/4inch Black Series has been well received by the fans, are we going to see more later this year?
Joe Ninivaggi: Yes, you'll see more later this year. We'll have some Rogue One figures as well.
Ryan Beise: Count Dooku in 6-inch form, any plans to release this figure?
Joe Ninivaggi: Interesting, he doesn't come up often. We just did the fan poll and he didn't really make the short list. No near-term plans, but if for some reason he starts rising and we'll hear more demand for him then yes, it's possible. You know we'll always keep going back to the classics and the prequels as well. You saw we did Qui-Gon Jinn, so it's definitely a possibility.
Ryan Beise: With the Fan Poll in mind, STARKILLER came in second place. Will he be released?
Joe Ninivaggi: He is a possibility. We got a lot of questions, because we did two figures from the fan poll last year. That was our inaugural fan poll so we thought it would be a nice bonus to celebrate that. So for now we are going to do that one figure, but you know, seeing how close Starkiller came, and knowing too that there was something fishy going on with how many super votes Jaina Solo got, and Starkiller led the poll for most of the time, I'll definitely put him on a short list.
Ryan Beise: Will we see more 6-inch vehicles? Maybe next year?
Joe Ninivaggi: Yes, sir.
Ryan Beise: We've seen comic packs from the Marvel action figures, might we see something like that for Star Wars action figures?
Joe Ninivaggi: Yeah, we've talked about it. There is a lot of great stuff, you know the Darth Vader series is fantastic and it had some stuff that we are actively talking about, so I would definitely say that pretty soon we will see something.
Ryan Beise: Carry Cases? You did a Micro Machine Kylo Ren carry case, might we see something like that for the 3 3/4 inch line?
Joe Ninivaggi: Nothing planned. I fondly remember my Vader and 3PO carry cases from Kenner days. It could happen but nothing planned in the near-term.
Ryan Beise: I could see a Kylo Ren or Phasma, or even a BB-8 carry case which could be cool.
Joe Ninivaggi: Yeah
Ryan Beise: Any plans for a 3 3/4 inch Kylo Ren shuttle?
Joe Ninivaggi: Nothing planned right now.
Ryan Beise: The AT-ACT, do you have a price point?
Joe Ninivaggi: We haven't revealed that yet, it'll come soon. It'll be available late this Fall for purchase and we'll get the price out there pretty soon.
Ryan Beise: With Jaina Solo being announced, will we see her brother Jacen Solo as well?
Joe Ninivaggi: We definitely wouldn't actively go after it, but if he would pop up in the fan poll then that's definitely a choice. Typically we stick to the canon, legends is certainly open and if we see people vote so heavily on a legends character we would definitely take it into consideration.
Ryan Beise: You've released the 6-inch Jabba the Hutt, will we see a proper throne for him?
Joe Ninivaggi: Possibly. We've talked about it. The closer we'll get to the 40th Anniversary of Return Of The Jedi, that would probably be a good idea.
Ryan Beise: The exclusive 6-inch Kylo Ren, what will the regular retail version include?
Joe Ninivaggi: The First Order Banner and the melted Vader helmet are exclusive to Star Wars Celebration Europe and Comic Con. All three of our exclusives will come out in the main line.
Ryan Beise: Are there going to be any figures released before the Rogue One launch in September this year?
Joe Ninivaggi: Not that I am aware of, no.
Ryan Beise: Last week in London, we saw old man Maul and the 7th Sister, will this be a 2-pack?
Joe Ninivaggi: It is a 2-pack, yes.
Ryan Beise: Is Build-A-Weapon done?
Joe Ninivaggi: Yes, we are done with it. The Rogue One line won't have that, but it'll have something different for kids.
Ryan Beise: What is it going to be?
Joe Ninivaggi: I know what it is, but it hasn't been announced yet.
Ryan Beise: The Force Awakens, will there be support going forward?
Joe Ninivaggi: Absolutely. There is so much we haven't gotten to yet. Anything entertainment we will be supporting especially The Force Awakens.
Ryan Beise: Hasbro released accessory packs for 3 3/4 inch figures in 1999 and during the SAGA series, could you see releasing accessory packs for 6-inch figures in the future?
Joe Ninivaggi: Interesting. Some of the exclusives which we are looking at doing will have some sort of accessory type items, but there is nothing planned for the main line. Look for the exclusives, there might me some interesting stuff coming.
Ryan Beise: We've seen diorama pieces with exclusives, will this continue?
Joe Ninivaggi: Yeah, they'll continue with exclusives and we are talking about different ways how we can help fans build out their displays in the 3 3/4 and 6inch lines.
Ryan Beise: Will we see Rey in the 3 3/4 inch or 6 inch line which comes with a pilot helmet, the one we see her wearing while sitting next to the AT-AT?
Joe Ninivaggi: Possibly.
Ryan Beise: Bounty Hunters in 6-inch form, we have seen three so far from Empire, will we see the other three being released?
Joe Ninivaggi: I'd love to get to 4-Lom, Zuckuss and Dengar. I was surprised that Dengar was so low on the poll this year. I think it's only a matter of time before we get to them. They are not on the short list, but for sure eventually we will get to them.
Thank you to everybody who submitted questions and thank you to Ryan Beise for representing JediBusiness.com, and thanks to Joe Ninivaggi for answering our questions!
You can listen to the full interview on TOY RUN - The Star Wars Action Figure Cast.
We did another interview with Hasbro at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016, check it out!