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Q&A Concerning The Clone Wars
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KitFisto
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aceface wrote:
Due to the level of belligerent ignorance that some members (and STAFF) openly display, I've never had the impulse to post.


Some of the moderators over there are okay. I've never had a problem with GNT, since he seems to keep it strictly business, as far as I can tell. Now that Since'78 and Curto have left, that pretty much leaves only darth_sidious, and he can be a real turdbox. I've had a couple of run-ins with him, and have seen him get snooty with others, too.

But what's mostly driven me away from Rebelscum are the 14-year-olds who treat the forums as their personal Twitter feed, discussing all manner of inane topics with the level of sophistication one would expect from adolescents.
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Caped Crusader
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aceface wrote:
Jimmy seems fairly even-keeled and good-natured. I disagree with his opinion of Fan Boys (he liked it, I thought it was terrible) and I'm certainly NOT a fan of the self-important know-it-all that was that movie's director, but I do enjoy listening to Jimmy on the forcecast. He also accepted me as an FB friend and I've interacted with him 2 or 3 times there.
I didn't think Fanboys was terrible; I thought it was mildly amusing and worth seeing once. Beyond that, I agree completely.

aceface wrote:
Yes it would. I'm sure the rebelscum elite believe they are taking "the high road" in remaining utterly silent on the matter, but all they are really doing is reaffirming to me how I already feel about them (that they are the Walmart of SW sites - that is, the LOWEST common denominator).
Ab. So. Lutely.

aceface wrote:
If I had to guess (and it's really all I can do), I'd say that the higher ups felt that Curto wasn't contributing enough.
That's certainly possible. Even if they just didn't like him anymore, failing to acknowledge his contributions over the years is scummy (no pun intended).

aceface wrote:
I downloaded and listened to theforcecast's collector's cast over the weekend. This was started not to long ago and was hosted by Curto and James Burns of JediNews.co.uk. Towards the end of the show they announced that it was to be James' final show and that he was leaving for undisclosed reasons. I don't know if the two things are connected, but the timing struck me.
It is peculiar.

aceface wrote:
I check the RS forums once in a while for the store reports and reviews of new stuff. Due to the level of belligerent ignorance that some members (and STAFF) openly display, I've never had the impulse to post.
Looking for store reports is the only reason I ever pop into the forum there. I have no desire to interact with that crowd.

aceface wrote:
Oddly I feel the same about shopping at Walmart. My weekend stops shall be quick.
Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the Curto story will come out at some point, I have been friendly with him the last few years from our meetings at NYTF and he has always been a good guy to me, was always the ONLY one who would mention YN on the site when we had a scoop and I also enjoyed his pictures a lot.

I am not at liberty to discuss, but you ain't see the end of of Curto!
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yoda027 wrote:
he has always been a good guy to me, was always the ONLY one who would mention YN on the site when we had a scoop

I've noticed that it's only been recently that other sites get mentioned/thanked - and then only a select few. I know from their podcast, that this has caused some hurt feelings at SWactionnews.

Quote:
I am not at liberty to discuss, but you ain't see the end of of Curto!

I gathered as much from his cryptic FB post.
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KitFisto
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an excerpt from Galactic Hunter's most recent Q&A:

With The Clone Wars, again, the ratings are low and Hasbro (and Lucasfilm) are shifting their energies to the 3D movie reissues right now. Seeing the clearances and massive amounts of buy-one-get-one-half-off deals in the last couple of weeks, my guess is this didn't work. (I don't blame them for backing the movie, but well, look at it.) The animated line is packed with awesome new characters but Hasbro is hell-bent on not giving them the most sensible distribution, with some characters that should be poor sellers (Darth Sidious) getting the same awful distribution as clones that kids and collectors may actually recognize and ask for (Commander Bly). We've seen precious few figures given a second lease on life, with Aayla Secura and Hondo Ohnaka being two "rare" figures getting reissues in the last couple of years. Heck, if you look at the first two waves of 2012, pretty much everything is a new version of an existing character, with the only figure making its animated toy debut is Boss-- and this makes his third figure, although his first-ever non-exclusive release.

So I guess my answer is this: Hasbro isn't interested in exploiting the figures it made to the fullest extent possible, and most likely one of the suits say "Jedi and clones sell, so just focus on the big winners," missing the point of a diverse line being what draws in fans, collectors, and (hopefully) a returning collector generation after they grow up and get jobs. With this line Hasbro has left a lot of money on the table, and while I don't know the reasons for this (or if I do, I don't fully understand what it is I'm seeing and neither do any other collectors) all I can say is that it seems we're seeing the line handled in such a way that the armchair quarterback toy fans like me and you and the rest could see this as being a problem a year in advance. Like when they announced a new Malakili in 2009... what were they thinking? We don't know. But we do know the line is going to suffer a bit as a result, as this "only 19 figures, old or new" business is showing-- at this rate we're going to be done for the year before school lets out for summer.

The upside is a smaller selection of figures usually means better distribution. If you look at the three waves of Clone Wars at the online shops which sell by the case, you'll note that Cody, Anakin, and the ROTS-style clone got carried forward to wave 2, and the new entries from wave 2 (Boss, Rex, and Obi-Wan) actually are being brought back for wave 3. Assuming Hasbro holds to its 19 carded figure tally, there should be one more wave of basic figures with 2 "new" (possibly repackaged) figures.

So with that in mind, I guess what I'm saying is yes, the TV shows are basically massive treasure troves of fantastic newness, but that doesn't even matter because Hasbro can't quite seem to handle the lines in a manner that you or me or even worse, the average kid can handle. If we can't find stuff, kids can't find stuff, and if kids can't find stuff, they have no reason to pay any attention to the line. If I were a parent right now, I'd probably look at Clone Wars and say "No, don't get any of these, these are just like the figures we bought you last year." Clones and newly-sculpted Jedi of existing characters in existing outfits is not an enticing purchase, particularly when Hasbro could have (and should have) saved money just reissuing the 2010 Anakin and Obi-Wan again. (Even though, yes, the new sculpts look like they're pretty good.)

...all the doom and gloom aside, this is normal for the toy business. Hasbro has made it difficult to get several items from its Transformers, Iron Man 2, and Indiana Jones lines recently (yes, even more difficult than Star Wars) and Mattel's treatment of Masters of the Universe from 2002-2004 is textbook toy frustration. Generally, if a brand can survive these things it should come out for the better, although I'd say Transformers has been flailing since early 2011 as new product goes and the He-Man relaunch of 2002 really never got "better" during its all-too-brief run.
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More from Galactic Hunter:

1. Given the inclusion of the Z-95 Headhunter during Season 4, what do you think of the chances of getting this vehicle in toy form someday?
--Anush

I wish! I'd put the odds at close to zero.

Hasbro's treatment of The Clone Wars this year ensures that, if they stay true to their word, only about 19 figures will be in circulation. So they don't seem to be doing much there.

Hasbro has done a poor job of getting new vehicles in circulation-- I still get emails telling me that Mandalorian Transports do not exist in American packaging which is a total lie because I have one. But it does speak to the point that some vehicles are in short supply, and while I have personally seen a lot of AV-7 Mobile Cannons and Jedi Turbo Speeders, I can't say I've seen a lot of Mando ships and I can certainly say you haven't (as a group, not you in particular Anush). For early 2012, Hasbro went surprisingly bullish with vehicles, 7 midsize non-exclusive ships are in circulation and 0 of them are new craft. (Repaints, and a nicely retooled ATT, sure.) Three more vehicles are on deck, and of them 2 are different-- but none of them are completely new.

Just the other day I made a post to Twitter to the effect that the key to happiness in this hobby is to manage your expectations, and this was in light to multiple pages of angry fans from another action figure line whipping themselves into an unrealistic frenzy of what they think their brand managers should do for them. Thankfully, most of you guys aren't quite that intense-- and in this case, as much as I hate to say it, we should probably start managing our expectations for The Clone Wars now.

The show has been great at giving Hasbro a chance to do movie vehicles, and in the midsize, large, or Beef Supreme sizes we haven't had a heck of a lot of TV-based vehicles that exists mostly due to their inclusion in the show. The Republic Fighter Tank is probably the closest in spirit to the Z-95 Headhunter (existed in existing Expanded Universe materials and got made into a toy eventually) but given Hasbro's distribution of new mold vehicles (and new mold toys from other lines) I wouldn't expect to ever see it. And that's assuming Hasbro actually made one. (Zing!) But on the whole, I would say you should lower your Clone Wars expectations to about 1984 levels. (That is, 20ish new figures a year and a handful of vehicles.)
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KitFisto wrote:
More from Galactic Hunter:

1. Given the inclusion of the Z-95 Headhunter during Season 4, what do you think of the chances of getting this vehicle in toy form someday?
--Anush

I wish! I'd put the odds at close to zero.


Unless you collect LEGO...

http://www.hothbricks.com/2012/05/9497-republic-striker-starfighter-un-peu-trop-flashy/
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From JTA's interview with Hasbro at CVI:

What's the word on the "postponed" Clone Wars Class I Vehicle Boba Fett & Speeder Bike and Obi-Wan Kenobi & Republic Attack Recon Fighter? That new Kenobi sculpt looked fantastic!

There are no plans to produce these items.

Is Ziro the Hutt ever going to be made? He has had a big impact on the Clone Wars and needs to be made.

No, Ziro is not on the table to be produced. (Hasbro joked about the Fighter Pods version coming out. It wasn't funny.)

Will a Clone Wars Adi Gallia be made? She is one of the more popular that hasn't been made yet.

That is very unlikely. In fact, itís unlikely.

Will Ima-Gun Di be made?

Hasbro would love to do this figure, but it's very unlikely at this point. The Clone Wars line will focus on core characters as well as the obligatory clones going forward.

Will The Clone Wars figures be better articulated in 2013, like in the good days of the line?

No. Derryl DePriest told me that they are slowly weaning "us" to accept that these figures will eventually come with only five (5) points of articulation. Yes, you heard that correctly. The Clone Wars is a kids' line and they have done studies which suggest that kids get frustrated playing with figures with too much articulation, especially when trying to put weapons in the hands of them. Obviously this is very disheartening news for adult collectors. But this couple with the fact that The Clone Wars is losing viewership at a staggering loss is forcing Hasbro to put their dollars elsewhere in the line. We can basically say "stick a fork in it" to the way we used to know about The Clone Wars line. 14 points of articulation no more.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darth vader, episode 3: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More from JTA's Q&A with Hasbro:

Will a standard (non-red-painted) Scuba Trooper be released individually like with the Aqua Droid?

No.

Will Mon Calamarian warriors and Quarren Warriors from Season 4 be released?

No.

Will Pong Krell and the Clones of the 501st be released? (What would be cool is seeing Appo, an AT-RT driver, or a standard 501st Phase 2 Clone released with a 501st-painted AT-RT walker as a vehicle pack!)

Hasbro would like to get this figure out but right now it's not planned.

Will improved Captain Rex and Commander Wolffe Phase 2 Clone Wars figures be released? Will more Clone Wars figures that was almost impossible to find and hard to get after originally being repacked get reissued? (Such as: Commander Jet, Cold Weather Kit Fisto, Saesee Tiin, Commander Bly, Even Piell, CW44 Ahsoka, Cato Parasiti (missed out on her), Embo (missed out on him), and/or C-3PO (never was able to find him after he was reissued in the Capture of the Droids battlepack)!

Reissued basic figures will diminish over time. Hasbro will look for ways to get these out in other formats.

Please understand that the reason the Clone Wars line is faltering is for several reasons: the reduced articulation at the same price point, the reduced deco detracts from the looks of the figure, the over-saturation of the hero characters, the lack of anti hero characters for the heroes to battle. the relentless inclusion of main characters in the Battle Packs that have only one new character when a generic clone trooper or enemy character would be preferable the lack of Separatist Droid repaints. for example, on the show there are many variants of the TX Tactical Droid but we have been offered only 2 with one of those coming in a deluxe set, the many variants of the Battle Droids we have seen so far, as well as several color schemes for the Commando Droids. Please refrain from having the same sculpt of a character on 3 (or 4) different card backs at the same time. Please revamp the Movie Heroes line to include older figures that are actually wanted, such as Imperial Troops and various harder to find figures like some of the EU waves from the TAC and Legacy lines

While collectors may consider themselves the main supporters of the line, it's a very near-sighted outlook. Here is the low down. The Clone Wars and Movie Heroes lines are for kids. Hasbro will no longer be making them with collectors in mind. For collectors, The Clone Wars characters (for collectors) will be eventually worked into the realistic style. Hasbro expressed to us that we wouldn't believe the angry feedback they've received from angry parents asking them why they make such "crappy" figures. For example, Hasbro got a lot of flack over the clone trooper figures with swivel wrists. They kept breaking off when kids played with them. That is why wrist articulation has been removed from the figures. Kids also get frustrated when trying to place guns with their arms because shoulder and elbow articulation made it impossible for the arms to stay still to place the gun. Again, while collectors think that The Clone Wars and Movie Heroes line are for kids, it's the furthest thing from Hasbro's mind. There are perspectives that collectors are not seeing (or just unwilling to see).

Are we ever going to get Fives (or Echo) in his ARC trooper armor?

It's unlikely.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here is a question that has got me scratching my head (emphasis mine):

Star Wars - The Clone Wars line, will it ever be picked up again?

Hasbro and JTA didn't really understand this question. The Clone Wars line will continue to see a decrease. They'd like to move the line completely into realistic style eventually once The Clone Wars TV show ends (which is inevitable at this point). The Clone Wars has been changed to the Saturday at 9:30 AM death slot this season. In fact, per our friends at SWActionNews.com, Arnie told us that Season 5 is being written in story arcs so that the show can be closed without any cliff hangers out of fear that there may be a mid season cancellation. It goes without saying that the toy line will be affected by this.

Shocked

There is anticipation of the season being cancelled mid-season due to low ratings? I thought ratings were satisfactory? Granted, they are not as high as they were in the early seasons, but I can only image that such a thing is typical for a show entering its fifth season. This one confuses me.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KitFisto wrote:
There is anticipation of the season being cancelled mid-season due to low ratings? I thought ratings were satisfactory? Granted, they are not as high as they were in the early seasons, but I can only image that such a thing is typical for a show entering its fifth season. This one confuses me.
None of those idiots have any clue what they're talking about. Pay no attention to that nonsense. Cartoon Network has shifted its entire roster of boys' action cartoons from Friday evenings to Saturday mornings (Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series). The Clone Wars is just the last series to make the move, and it has their new Ben 10 show, Ben 10: Omniverse, leading into it.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

while I will miss the animated style, I am glad to see them coming into a more realistic dimension. I pray for a "real" version of commander fox!
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caped Crusader wrote:
None of those idiots have any clue what they're talking about. Pay no attention to that nonsense.


That's part of the reason why I paste these Q&As here, since I am curious to get your input on the issues. You typically are much better informed on these matters than I am. And this discussion about the impending cancellation of the show was perplexing to me, since the show still receives decent ratings, usually between 1.5 and 2 million viewers per episode in the United States. Why cancel a show that is a solid performer for your station? Why do some fan sites (e.g., Galactic Hunter and Jedi Temple Archives) keep talking about a decline in ratings and, consequently, the impending cancellation of the show? Maybe it's because Hasbro has made mention of this in the past? If I remember correctly, Hasbro has attributed, in part, their recent "conservative" approach to The Clone Wars line to a decline in ratings. In fact, in the Curto/Burns podcast that you and aceface recently recommended, DePriest stated that one of the contributing factors as to why Hasbro is not re-releasing CW44 Ahsoka is because she is just not showing up in the series like she used to.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KitFisto wrote:
And this discussion about the impending cancellation of the show was perplexing to me, since the show still receives decent ratings, usually between 1.5 and 2 million viewers per episode in the United States. Why cancel a show that is a solid performer for your station? Why do some fan sites (e.g., Galactic Hunter and Jedi Temple Archives) keep talking about a decline in ratings and, consequently, the impending cancellation of the show?
There is no "Saturday morning 9:30 AM death slot." That clown just keeps regurgitating some ridiculous claptrap he heard someone else say, possibly because that's where ThunderCats was moved last year (network still hasn't announced a decision on that series, but its chances of a second season look grim at this point). Cartoon Network has made a very deliberate, calculated shift with its action block, moving that programming from Friday nights to Saturday mornings. It began last year, and they're completing it this fall by launching Ben 10: Omniverse (network's flagship action franchise) Saturdays at 9:00 AM and moving The Clone Wars to 9:30. Cartoon Network didn't commit to another twenty-two episodes just to drop it halfway through that order. We will be talking about the season 5 finale in May, and I'll wager a hefty sum of money on that if any doubters will take the bet.

KitFisto wrote:
Maybe it's because Hasbro has made mention of this in the past? If I remember correctly, Hasbro has attributed, in part, their recent "conservative" approach to The Clone Wars line to a decline in ratings.
I don't know every factor that goes into the decision-making process at Hasbro, but I know this: The Clone Wars was moving a lot more product in 2011 than TPM-heavy Vintage or Movie Heroes lines have moved this year. I know they were hoping kids of today would be excited by the 3D release, but (like us) they already have their idea of what STAR WARS is. I think another theatrical The Clone Wars movie would boost toy sales a lot more than any of the live-action films in 3D.

KitFisto wrote:
In fact, in the Curto/Burns podcast that you and aceface recently recommended, DePriest stated that one of the contributing factors as to why Hasbro is not re-releasing CW44 Ahsoka is because she is just not showing up in the series like she used to.
I believe he specifically said she wasn't selling as well as she had in the past, but that certainly wasn't the case in my limited anecdotal experience last year. Even the repackaged original sculpt figure had no trouble selling through at retail, and I don't think another release of the 2011 figure would have any trouble selling to both kids and collectors. It certainly couldn't perform worse than cold weather Plo Koon's 2012 encore did. I don't expect Derryl DePriest to show his entire hand in a podcast interview, though, and I'm confident Hasbro plans to eventually get more use out of the tooling for that figure.
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