The latest Q&A results are in!
1. In regards the popularity of certain exclusive items such as the sandcrawler and OTC slave 1 that are commanding high premiums on the secondary market indicating higher than normal demand, is there any plans to re-issue some of the more popular items or are there details in the exclusivity agreement with certain retailers that preclude you from doing so.
Our agreement with retailers is such that exclusivity runs for a period of 12 months. After that time (and pending stock levels) the items can be considered for getting back out onto the market if demand still persists and the original retailer chooses not to re-order (they have first right). Such is the case with some of the 3-3/4" Battle Packs, and the Kir Kanos/Carnor Jax comic pack which are coming back into the mainline assortments because they are still in demand. We should be looking at Slave 1 again for release sooner rather than later since that is such an iconic vehicle. It's unlikely we'll get to the Sandcrawler any time soon.
2. Also in regards to the exclusivity agreements, one topic of discussion is the "pre-orders" being taken by E-tailers for the exclusive items, the question is, are these being supplied by Hasbro or are the retailers supplying the online suppliers thus bypassing the intended consumer and artificially inflating the price ala price gouging, and does Hasbro monitor these types of situations?
We're not exactly sure what you are asking but we think it is about e-tailers for whom the exclusive is not theirs primarily but whom nonetheless appear to have supply and are offering it for pre-order. You might not know, but some retailers, such as Diamond and Entertainment Earth are also distributors and actually sell the product to a network of other retailers. Sometimes, pre-orders are a part of the processs that is needed to guage orders and interest prior to production. We do not regulate this, since it is our customers process, just as we do not disc uss retail pricing with our customers since that is their decision regarding how to price the item.
3. Thank you for giving the fans/collectors the opportunity to ask questions. As a collector it is more often than not very difficult to find sought after (chase) items. A recent example is with the McQuarrie concept figures. These concept f igures are near impossible to find. I've had store employees tell me that staff takes them before they hit the shelves and I have entered a store at opening that stocks overnight, only to find new Star Wars figures replenished minus the McQuarrie concept figures. My account of this is that this happens with great regularity with Star Wars chase (short packed) items. We fans/collectors travel a difficult terrain in order to obtain these chase figure/items. And for some, personal experience with friends, it has taken a toll and wore them out. To the point of it no longer being enjoyable and that friend is now spending money and time elsewhere. QUESTION: Are there plans in the near future to make this hobby more fan friendly by making these sought after figures more regularly available? Maybe pack 3 per case of 12, instead of 1? Why pack figures that are obviously going to be s ought after only one per case?
Absolutely. Some of the scarcity comes from not wanting to go too long on a concept (the response to the McQuarrie figures has exceeded our initial expectations, so we are getting more back into the market) or due to tooling limitations (i.e. how many we can make per week or month, which limits how many we can get out in any period). Just as we did for the 2006 line, we will be reacting to demand and "chasing" the scarcer figures through the year, and possibly even releasing them in subsequent years as demand persist. Rember Scorch and Cody last year? Same thing. More McQuarrie figures are on the way, but it might take a while, so we ask for your patience while we work on it.