Official Hasbro Q & A - 4/27/2010
CollectionStation wrote on April 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm
Here are a few Star Wars questions officially answered by Hasbro:
Usually, the only figures whose heads are painted rather than cast in flesh-tone plastic are those with a sculpted helmet, hood or large hair so the plastic matches the majority of the head. Though understandable, those painted faces aren't always that successful, noses are rubbed off by packaging, paint masks miss targets so they either over- or under-shoot, and the facial features don't look as crisp. Recently though, this has crept onto regular figures without hoods or the like. Evolutions Jango Fett is supposed to be a premium figure but has that - yes, it's likely a costing issue since it'd be the only flesh-toned part on the figure, but this is supposed to be a definitive version. Col Dyer from the Battle for Endor battle pack has flesh hands yet a painted head. And now Luke Tatooine from the Resurgence of the Jedi pack is the same way, that's an iconic figure with an impressive new sculpt, yet its sullied by the painted head syndrome. Maybe it's fine for kids, but these are collector-themed figures we're talking about, and too often it's sloppily applied and prone to the problems mentioned above, not to mention it softens the sculpted facial features you guys work hard to produce. So why use painted heads on those sorts of figures? Will there be a focus to lean on this less in the future? Might those Jango and Luke figures get cast instead of painted heads on their next runs?

Hasbro: We decide which parts get tooled together based on keeping the overall costs down (tooling and deco are both considered in the equation), and this means that we have to have the flexibility to shift one way or the other. Our toys are produced on a very large scale (with factories engages in many lines and figures at once) and the need to keep production smooth is critical to our operations; not just for Star Wars but every Hasbro line. We consider our figures playthings, rather than purely collectibles, and we try to get the best results we can without bringing the production line to a halt to address smaller deco issues, or drive costs up by setting standards that are very difficult for our factories to meet. In a previous Q&A, you mentioned that "[Hasbro] will continue working with Sideshow on their 12" figure program." As we know, Sideshow sub-licenses their 12" Star Wars through Hasbro's Star Wars license, but the intricacies of this relationship are not fully understood. With your recent comment above, collectors are ever more curious as to how exactly Hasbro and Sideshow work together on that 12" figure line. What types of input and interaction does Hasbro have into the Star Wars items that Sideshow produces?

Hasbro: The line is sub-licensed by Hasbro, but we let Sideshow work directly with Lucasfilm to create the line that they feel will meet the demands of collectors. We have not provided any character selection input or direction, for example, but have occasionally consulted on various aspects of the strategy over the years. Overall, though, our guidance is minimal.