Official Hasbro Q & A - 2/3/10
CollectionStation wrote on February 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm With the new deluxe vehicle assortment consistent of the ARC-170 repaint and the Clone Wars Y-wing, there seems to be a focus on raising prices in the line across the board, though that scale's jump from $30 to $60+ is especially noteworthy. Basic figures are $8 or more now, comic packs have gone up $4, battle packs and vehicles are going up around $5, deluxe figure & vehicle packs are a pricey $16+, the last dribs and drabs of Titanium Series are over $8, Force FX sabers have gone up $20, and exclusives pricing is all over the map. Clearly, the economic turmoil over the last few years has hit the Hasbro Star Wars brand exceptionally hard, but don't these prices seem harder and harder to justify for both hardcore and casual collectors? We know you are trying to do your best to keep the line alive, but right now collectors are very concerned about the brand's future, and they see the price-hikes as a major culprit to its possible downfall. Raising prices is a downward spiral, isn't there some way to better split the costs hikes between customers and profit margins, before there are virtually no customers left to eke profit margins out of and the line folds?

Hasbro: In the five years since Episode III, when the ARC-170 was first launched, the world has changed dramatically with both labor costs and commodities costs. We have done our best to keep the costs down, but taking price increases was inevitable; likewise, retailers can only absorb so much before raising prices in turn. The only way to keep the costs down would be to redesign the line and reset the standards for figures and vehicles, for example eliminating articulation or producing vehicles and figures in a smaller scale. These are directions that we do not feel that we want to go in, but if the economics of our costing worsen, or the collector base shrinks further, then these are types of choices that we will be increasingly faced with. For now, though, we feel that we are offering great value across the line for the newness and excitement that we are putting into the line. We hope that this dedication shows, and that we will be able to attract back some of the collectors who have been sitting on the sideline to enable us to hold the level of quality that we have been striving for. Will we ever get more multipacks from the Star Wars: Battlefront series? There are Original Trilogy factions that still need to be boxed up, and they'd have tons of cross-consumer interest from gamers to army building potential to kids who want a battle in a box, and just OT fans in general. Most of the figures exist as it is, with only the Rebel Smuggler, and the Rebel Sniper who could be retooled based on existing Leia figures, there are tons of variations from Hoth and Endor, and then there's also the Ep 2-era clones that show up in Battlefront 1 and 2 that could tie in with The Clone Wars. So, any chance of seeing anything more like this?

Yes indeed, we have been looking at this for future possibilities. The Battlefront packs have proven to be very popular, and both the timelessness of the game itself and the troop-building format of the multi-packs build a strong case for looking at more of these. We will be putting our 2011 exclusives plan to rest soon, and if all goes well, there will be at least one new BFII pack in the mix.

What do you think of the news?