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Interview with Hasbro’s Star Wars Brand Team (SDCC 2013)

star-wars-logo-gold

While at San Diego Comic Con in July, our own Nemo Eight had a chance to sit down with Hasbro’s Star Wars brand team. We’re only getting around to posting it now because, well, we have no excuse whatsoever. Anyway, enjoy! –PG

Nemo Eight: So… I’m sure you guys have or will be getting the same questions every day, so I will get to those but first thing I want to do is just kind of go down the line, and if you could introduce yourselves, and what I’m really interested about, basically, you guys have THE DREAM JOB of all of us. But at the same time, I’m sure every day isn’t planning out lines and designing figures and doing all the fun stuff, so what I’m really curious about is, like, what is an average day for you guys? Like what’s an average day of the dream job? So I’ll start with you, Jeff.

Jeff Labovitz: I don’t know if there is one, I think that’s what I like most about the job. So, some days were doing line planning, some days we’re looking at packaging, some days we’re talking about reference material, new entertainment, some days I’m spending off-site with Jin Han and the design team…across the board we’re doing all sorts of things to put together these great toys for kids and for fans, from costing to demand planning, to line planning, to packaging, to promotional materials. I mean, it’s all talking about Star Wars, but in different ways.

So I like it because there isn’t one day and one thing we do every day. We’re with each other all the time, working in cross-functional teams; people smarter than me in design and finance and engineering – that’s what I like about it.

Daryl DePriest: It is my dream job, so I came to Hasbro, you know, because of the brands and, ya know, and being a huge toy fan; So, that, that keeps me going, you know, despite the difficulties. Sometimes, like Jeff talks about, we’re in three years at once, ya know, if you think about it. We’re, we’re, you know, we’re right now trying to still do ’13, we’re planning ’14 and, and then we’re starting to wrap our heads around ’15.

Daryl DePriest: So it can be very confusing, you know, sometimes, just, just what we’re working on right. I just wake up every day and realize, like you said, how lucky it is to deliver that will someday impact kids’ future lives just like Hasbro products did with me when I was a boy.

Poe’s Point > Thoughts on SDCC 2013, Part II: Star Wars, Marvel, TMNT, Toynami, Mezco, Square Enix

Continuing my thoughts on the SDCC reveals from last week…

Hasbro

Hasbro has four big licenses action figure franchises: Transformers, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, and Marvel. I don’t really collect Transformers or G.I. Joe at all (with a few exceptions), so I’ll just comment on the other two.

Star Wars

There was 3.75″ stuff, but I don’t care about any of that. The important thing here is Star Wars Black 6″.

BS6 Han Solo

To quote Mordecai, “Yay-yuh!”

My SWB6″ collection will probably be fairly small, but this guy will definitely be in it. I must admit, I still don’t think Hasbro is quite reaching the quality of the best of ToyBiz’s Marvel Legends or Lord of the Rings with any of their 6″ lines…but it’s Han Solo. In 6″ scale.

Poe’s Point > Thoughts on SDCC 2013, Part I: Tamashii Nations, NECA

Photo by Rustin Parr

Photo by Rustin Parr

First and foremost, I would like to offer my immense thanks to Ridureyu for working so hard to keep us all informed and up-to-date as possible on developments at SDCC. It allowed me to relax* a lot more and recharge my batteries before what I hope turns out to be a very busy August here on PoeGhostal.com. Please be sure to visit Nerditis, where Ridureyu writes regularly about toys.

And now, presented in no particular order, are my thoughts on the various news and reveals at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.

Final Thoughts: Mattel’s SDCC Reveals

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Hey guys, I want to thank all of you – everybody who corrected my flubs, everyone who posted and brought the conversation, all you readers, and Mr. Poe Ghostal for giving me this awesome opportunity!  Remember to check out my regular column at Nerditis – Life In Plastic runs on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays.  Okay, self-shilling is over.

Mattel’s showing this week was going to be huge, no matter what.  With the company’s recent horrible financial fortunes, we have to wonder just what the future holds for these low-print run, low-profit margin fan-pandering lines like DC universe or Masters of the Universe Classics.  And we know that MOTUC is nearing the natural end of its lifespan, and the next two years have been redesigned to give it a grand finale (even if it survives past 2015, the idea is to wrap up all the vintage heavy-hitters by then).  So their showing this year is hugely important, and I’ll spend more time on it than DC.  But let’s talk Mattel at the Con…

Final Thoughts: NECA’s SDCC Reveals

ArmoredPredator

Well, the con is winding down, and everybody’s shared all their secrets.  Since I am currently embroiled in an illicit affair with NECA (or so my critics say!), I feel I should give my final thoughts on their reveals this week.

The Return of MUSCLE?

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For the second year in a row, Mattel has teased the return of MUSCLE to store shelves.   Please read on after the break.

SDCC: A Whole Buncha Star Wars Updates

Well, I mentioned these earlier, but now I’ve got images!  Look for them after the break.

Gothitropolis Ravens Update: The Screaming Eagle!

 

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AMERICA! GO AMERICA! AMERRRRRIIIICAAAAAAA!  America is August 4th, right?

Well, we’re still about $9K off from unlocking it, but the last of the Ravens figures – the secret one – has been revealed to be a Screaming Bald Eagle!  In red, white, and blue colors! And yes, the Horsemen are thinking of giving him a tattered American flag.  So, since I picked Quetzalcoatl, does this make me a bad person?

As always, go here for the kickstarter.

DC Collectibles Panel News

DCScribblenauts

Okay, this is NOT Mattel’s DC figures!  I got it this time, I promise!

So, from their Panel, we’ve got some news!

-The 50th Batman Black & White statue is going to come out.  And wow!  I never would have thought it could last that long!  Is there somebody out there who’s got each one?

-Speaking of statues, they have a lot coming up.  Greg Capullo Batman & The Joker, Man of Steel, Wonder Woman, and all sorts of other stuff.

TMNT News From Last Night’s Panel

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Well, now that Mattel’s shown off its stuff, let’s have a look at the Playmates panel!

-To start with, Bebop and Rocksteady are coming some time in the Fall.  Probably Winter, but they haven’t been cancelled!

-And Series 3 of the Classics?  Movie turtles.  Not Shredder, Splinter, or anybody else.  Turtle variants.  Well, at least we got Rocksteady.

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