SDCC Interview with Hasbro’s Steve Evans

This past Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con, we were once again invited to speak with the Hasbro Brand Team for a short interview. A big thanks to action figure photographer extraordinaire Jason Yang (@workmoreorless on Instagram), for being our SDCC correspondent and thanks to Steve Evans, Hasbro’s Star Wars Design Director, for taking the time to chat with us!

Below you will find the full transcript of the interview. We will be adding this to our 2017 SDCC Coverage with links as well to other Hasbro Star Wars Q&As done by many of our fellow collector sites, in the next day. But in the mean time, let us know what you think on our social pages!

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From4-LOMtoZuckuss: Will the Forces of Destiny Adventure Figure line replace the modern 12” 5POA line?

Hasbro: No, no completely different line, very different ways of playing. Different stylization, obviously aligned to the entertainment that Lucasfilm is releasing, so no. They are incremental to each other.

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: So we will continue to see others?

Hasbro: Yep!

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: It appeared that Micro Machines took a bit of a backseat for Rogue One. Can we expect more support in this line in the future?

Hasbro: Um, we are reviewing that at the moment so can’t reveal whether they will be more or less but there are still Micro Machines out there.

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: With the numerous number of beasts shown in not only the TLJ behind the scenes featurette but also in recent Star Wars media, do you think this is a good time to extend the Beast Packs beyond what you showed here with the Wampa and Rathtar?

Hasbro: Yeah, we just did some recent research with kids and kinda pulled them in a kinda showed them vehicles and creatures and just wanted to take a bit of a sanity check on to what kids want to play with and yeah, they want to always play with vehicles but we did see a bit of resurgence with them liking creatures that chomp and bash and things pop-off. You know you see the Wampa and the Rathtar; The Rathtar and Bala-Tik fits in his mouth and kids were “like this is great!” So simple, it’s like a quintessential kids play system. So, I’d like to see more creatures, yeah, I am actively looking for more. So hopefully with the new movies, we get to see more.

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: Has the team considered bringing back a greatest hits sub-line in the 5POA scale for kids and collectors who have struggled to find the final waves of TFA and Rogue One?

Hasbro: Um, not so much in the 5 point of articulation. We consider it in The Black Series, we’re looking at how to allow people to go back and get those. We are also looking at generally as a company how we allow easier access to figures. You know we make a lot of solids of certain Black Series we do those as sort of a standard. But no I haven’t really looked at those 5 points of articulation; that’s an interesting idea.

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: There was some talk of Hasbro releasing for retail some diorama environments like ones here. I know you are considering it but if you would do that, do you think it would be 3 ¾” line or for 6” Black Series?

Hasbro: I think it would be slightly different, yeah, I think there is more need, there’s more desire, I think, for a Black Series, for like stuff like you do, for more dios, but equally there’s more skill there so how much do we need to give? Versus the 5 point of articulation is more about play features, it’s about what does the environment do? I think one’s play, one’s display. So I think they’re different beasts.

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: I still play with them!

Hasbro: I think they are different needs, but I like playsets, so we’ll see what happens.

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: Hasbro Games has recently launched a subscription box service, so is this something you guys have also discussed for Star Wars?

Hasbro: Yeah, I think we are constantly talking about different channels, and different ways to reach the consumer. We were just talking about it a half hour ago like the retail space has changed. You know, e-commerce, retailers, everything’s shifting at the moment, and subscription, the solid packing, or even buying online, or even guys buying cases, we gotta consider all that. So it’s a rich vibrant world out there so we gotta work out how to tap into all that on a global scale.

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: Will future lines, going back to vehicles, include Nerf features that we have seen before will that maybe be replaced? I mean the Hover Tank obviously didn’t seem like there was anything.

Hasbro: There will be no Nerf, actually there will probably not be any projectile firing in Vintage Collection. Vintage Collection is like display only. I mean, the Nerf firing mechanism that we used for Rogue One line was really born out of core research where kids just love to blow stuff up and they like firepower so we put that in there. So that worked really well for us in the kid focused stuff. We’re always looking to innovate each year so I don’t think we will get Nerf stuff in 2018. We’ll find something else!

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: So back to the 3 ¾”, the past three lines of the Black Series 3 ¾” (including the Wal*Mart Exclusive line, have given us 30 figures or so over a 1 ½ year time frame. Can we expect the same release schedule when this line becomes The Vintage Collection?

Hasbro: They at the moment are existing concurrently, so for ’17 we’re definitely carrying on our relationship with Wal*Mart Black Series exclusive line just as is until the end of the year. And The Vintage Collection is a separate thing.

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: Will there be any additional product reveals this Summer for what will be revealed for Force Friday II or is what we’re seeing here…

Hasbro: You’ll have to wait and see. We’ll reveal as and when we can, which may be tomorrow, may be in a month time, maybe one-minute past midnight. Who knows?

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: Are we to assume future Star Wars standalone films will also receive their own line of figures much in the way Rogue One did?

Hasbro: Yes! Yes, absolutely! We put as much effort into each film even if they are a year apart or six-months apart. Same Effort.

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: So that means after the Han Solo film we’ll have the ‘other’ film…

Hasbro: Whatever that is, yeah.

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: During the yesterday’s panel here was no talk or showing of The Black Series Titanium die cast vehicles and helmet lines. Will those lines be continuing?

Hasbro: They are continuing this year for certain, yeah.

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: Just not revealed here. Despite that now we’ve seen, I guess the question is, are we still possibly gonna have the opportunity to see The Ghost in ship form?

Hasbro: Haha, yeah. Maybe. Especially with The Vintage, that’s, that’s interesting. Because when talking about Rebels and how when something finishes, does it just finish? I think certainly for the collectors, whenever anything finishes like The Clone Wars, like Rex, people love, collectors, hardcore collectors love the characters and things, even if they’ve seen them on TV. Kids are a little bit different, kids are always inspired by the new stuff…

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: But seeing it in Rogue One makes it feel like…

Hasbro: I don’t know, the Ghost is interesting, is an interesting one. I’m thinking out loud now. Do you do it as a 5 point articulated ship, which you would have to scale down because that would be expensive? Or do you go big expensive and put it in The Vintage Collection? I don’t know, I’m looking for everyone to tell me where they would like to see it.

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: Okay we can do that. A couple more questions if you have time. When it comes to Rebels, it appears we are lacking the star of the series in 6” line from Black Series. Is there any chance…

Hasbro: Yeah, I think we are talking about it that. Yeah, I think we’ll do some more Rebels in Black Series. They have always been really popular. The design team likes reinterpreting animated into realistic. Again, as I said, the fact that the season is wrapping up doesn’t mean we won’t do it, especially in fan focused lines.

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: Yeah, because that is interesting, just trying to figure out where we’re gonna see Ezra go, so I didn’t know if we were gonna wait until that kinda wraps up to kinda go backwards or…

Hasbro: No, no we are not waiting for anything

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: But Ezra is Snoke, I guess, right?

Hasbro: Your Snoke theory sucks. Haha, I’m sorry that’s a…

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: Steelewars sticker, yeah. It appears more toy lines of late are producing more like playsets, kinda going back to that. You know Spider-Man, you got the Homecoming…

Hasbro: Yeah, like a resurgence.

From4-LOMtoZucluss: Has there been any talk on possibly doing that for like the 3 ¾” line?

Hasbro: Lots of talk. Nothing to announce. Nothing to tell you about that. It’s no secret, I like playsets. I think the world is important. Just what does that mean? What does that look like? How big that? Is it box, is it cardboard, is it a massive piece of plastic? I don’t know!

From4-LOMtoZuckuss: Well kids love it and so do my kids…kids being me.

Hasbro: Haha