Today Star Wars News Net was invited to join the Hasbro Star Wars team for a roundtable. We were joined by Patrick Schneider (Senior Manager, Global Brand Development & Marketing) and Eric Franer (Associate Product Designer), where we discussed their line of products celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Lucasfilm, fan concerns with exclusives and distribution, and more.
Here are some of the highlights of our conversation:
Star Wars News Net: Hasbro’s Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary products feature a very cool timeline on the back of the packaging. Do you have a set number of products from each time period? Or can fans expect a random variety of characters and figures from all the Star Wars movies?
Patrick Schneider: I’m glad you like the timeline, we did as well. Obviously it’s a small detail, but we like how it really tied everything together and provided a nice wrap around the whole program. There’s not kind of the same number of figures for each timeline period, we wanted to do the figures that made sense, and so that’s 4 for The Phantom Menace, it’s 3 for the original Kenner deco retro Black Series figures. We tried to let the product guide us, and do the right product, rather than fitting it into a specific number of figures.
And in terms of the milestones again, you can go really high level and just do movies, or you could like celebrate every little thing. We tried to put the lens on of what are really the big beats within Star Wars in Lucasfilm’s 50 year history. We’ve talked so far about the original trilogy, The Phantom Menace, and there are more milestones to come, and you can see those hinted at on that timeline. So we’re excited to share those in the coming months.
SWNN: This past year has been crazy with more fans shopping online than ever before. With the retro kenner “soft goods execution” packaging, fans have seen issues with shipping where the card back is bent or ripped. Is there any plan to roll out a plastic sleeve to protect during shipping and distribution? Or maybe quality control with retail partners?
Patrick Schneider: It’s a good question. I think you’re right, this past year has been nuts. Across every industry there’s been a huge shift to more online ordering and e-comm, and I think that will remain to some extent even after the current crisis is over. At Hasbro we’ve learned a lot about the right way to ship things and I’m sure we have much more to learn and I think our retail partners as well. As always, the world sees these new evolutions and we react, and we learn what’s not going right and we strive to fix it. So continue to let us know where we’re seeing this frustration and it’s something we’ll address both internally and with our partners.
With figures in the pipeline (KOSKA REEVES!) and more livestreams to come, Hasbro is gearing up for a big year for Star Wars products. We covered a recent report about Hasbro Star Wars sales surging 70% in 2020 due to The Mandalorian, so fans can expect more figures from a galaxy far, far away to add to their collections in 2021.
We want to thank Patrick and Eric from the Star Wars Hasbro team for taking the time to chat with us. To watch the whole roundtable with more insights into the Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary line, The Vintage Collection, and what’s next – check out the full video below!