How is the Con so far?
Great responses on everything all across the boards.
How has the change from themed waves to more movie waves related waves of Marvel Legends?
I think the difficult side is that there are some, now that we’ve moved to the movies as our staple for some of our collector brands, it does leave a couple of the pieces of Marvel more difficult for us to activate upon. But Marvel is really good at being aware that there is a fan base for these toys that goes very, very deep and very, very broad. So, they work with us to help try to find those fringe characters sometimes when we have the comic waves and then give us a little flexibility to find characters that aren’t necessarily a pure Avenger or Cap type character, but allow us to, you know, branch out into some of those better or more fringe elements.
What about transferring movie specific characters like the Mandarin back into the line?
Its not an easy translation. Like the Mandarin figure, truth be told, you probably won’t see a Mandarin until there is an Iron Man 4, if there is an Iron Man 4 greenlit. You know he is a movie character from that movie franchise, and rightfully so Marvel is very particular about not diluting their brand, and having the right guys represented in the right places. A character like Pepper, she’s comic based, and she’s armored, not really an Avenger, but because she’s in the comic world we can probably find something for her almost anywhere, maybe an exclusive here or there. For the first time in a very long time we have exclusives for Legends again. We have one for Walgreen’s. We have one for Target. We have a wave for TRU. So, its been a while since the accounts have been coming to us saying “Hey, we are happy. We want more”. So, the chance of doing those types of characters, and those opportunities could arise.
How has the transition from Marvel Universe to Marvel Infinite Series going?
I think with the Infinite Series we are really excited with the way the new branding came out. It feels more premium. I think for the most part within the line this will stay as a comic based line. It will focus the movie figures within the movie line, so which just means that ultimately that we’ll have more and more figures across multiple brands. I’m really happy with the direction its going this year.
There has been less retail sightings since the change, what is happening with the line?
It’s national in terms of retail placement, and we work really closely with all of the retailers about getting these figures out. Ultimately, at the end of the day it becomes something with what they can get out on the shelves and what inventory they are ordering. Its certainly something that we work closely with them because we obviously want to get these out just as much as you do.
So it’s available to them, but they may just not be carrying it?
Yeah, for the most part all retailers should be carrying it, but again we want it out there just as much as you do.
So of all the lines you guys work on what is your favorite Marvel lines?
I think the Hero Mashers is one of the most exciting, newer play patterns that we have in Marvel right now. In the cases behind us, we have a half dozen of our own imagined super heroes. You know, its pretty awesome to take all of these fantastic characters from Marvel world and to be able to mix and match them and create your own. Whatever a child can imagine they can make their own superhero and their own story to go along with it, so I think that is probably one of the most magical play patterns we have.
And we know kids do that anyways right? They have one big toy box, and they kind of mix and match their different characters and figures. Back in the day, boys were pulling off heads and pulling off body parts, you know, we were just able to find out a really cool play pattern.
So since Star Wars has jumped into the 6 inch game is there a rivalry?
I’m sorry did you say copy cats?
I think that Star Wars brand going to six inch has been something that fans have been wanting for a very, very long time. So, I think that they are doing a beautiful job over there as well, so I’m actually excited about it. I think that if the six inch world grows and expands to these other major brands, and you can’t get more major than Star Wars, then I think it is going to have benefits for all six inch fans.
Does them experimenting with bigger things such as vehicles make it easier for you guys to approach that also?
Yeah, we’ve certainly had conversations about it, and we don’t have any immediate plans, but you know its certainly something that we’ve had a lot of discussion about. And we do want to expand collector business, and we know it is a huge business and a huge opportunity. Our powers that be have been challenging us for the last few months to start thinking out of box as to what more can we do whether its six inch, four inch or something else. Where are there opportunities that we can grow the business? Which is good. It just means that everyone is behind it.
You got Stryfe into the Marvel Legends line, so who are you fighting for next?
I haven’t come off my happy, happy time for getting that one in the line, so I haven’t put a whole lot of time into what I’m going to go into next. I do love the Reavers from X-men, the cyborgs from Australia. I mean cyborgs from Australia. That’s just awesome! There is a lot of fun stuff you can do with them. That’s one piece I would like to find a home for.
I’ve been pushing Dwight to get more females into the mix, and I will say that some of the ones I’ve been looking forward to we may be seeing later on.
Thanks to the Hasbro Team for talking with us, and check out the gallery below for more Hasbro Marvel images.