Sunday, January 28, 2007

Brian Wilk Interview in Lee's Toy Review Magazine #171

One of the biggest things in the trading games right now is Hasbro's Attacktix brand of collectible gaming figures. It all started with the Star Wars figures, and has expanded to include Transformers and Marvel. It looks like a natural for the GI Joe brand, though we haven't seen anything hail from that sector yet. We caught up with the brand's head cheerleader, Brian Wilk, of Hasbro, and chatted with him about the line. Here's what he had to say.

Tell us a little about how the Attacktix concept came about.

There are a lot of us here at Hasbro that are longtime fans of trading card games and miniature games. Honestly, we were fooling around one week about four or five years ago and said, "wouldn't it be great if..." we could have them both in one game.
The idea just grew from that. We knew we could make great kinetic based action figures and we started to explore cool ways to move the figures around. Right from the start, our motto was no dice, no board, no rulers. We wanted an easy, straight forward, out-of-the-box, play experience. No matter how many figures you had, you could battle a friend and have a great time. But we also wanted a game with multiple layers of depth that could be as complicated as you allowed it to be.

Describe the play action inherent in the concept.

The play action is completely kinetic based. There are visual and audio representations that make this game different than any other game on the market. I like to joke that once you fire your first missile, you are hooked.

What is it about the brand that you think makes it collectible?

Obviously, it's because the figures are so well designed! It's a game that incorporates the trading card game concept with action figure features - two great collectibles on their own. Look at the essence of a Trading Card Game (TCG), you get powers and abilities that can help you in battle, but there's that fun collectible rarity model; not all characters are equal - some are powerful and tough to get. Hunting for that certain figure is all part of the fun collectible 'thrill of the chase' play pattern. We tested the blind pack concept with kids in our Funlab, and they loved it! So, add that onto an easy to learn and hard to master game, and you've got Attacktix.

And, as the game expands in tot different "universes," it is one of the first times where you can finally settle the score between different brands and licenses to see who would win in the ultimate showdown. Oh, and then there are the chrome based figures, which are also fun to collect.

How's the brand doing in the marketplace right now (going into the 2006 Christmas shopping season)?

The brand has a lot of momentum right now. We look forward to the launch of the new Marvel series as they get introduced into the mix.

What's next for Star Wars Attacktix? What should fans of the Star Wars franchise be looking for in the year ahead?

There will be a few more waves of fan favorites as well as some exciting EU characters in the upcoming year.

Do you have an all-time favorite Star Wars Attacktix figure?

Absolutely. My favorite character is Wicket, and of course there is a story behind it. We were leaving Celebration 3 and we ran into Warrick Davis in the airport. He was with his family and it came up that his kids were fans of Attacktix. We got to talking and they asked if Wicket was going to be made. I told them that not only was he going to be made but he will have a fantastic power and be an integral part of the Ewok army.

If you were a Star Wars Attacktix figure, which other figure would you most loathe to square off against?

I would never want to face off against SW-16 Darth Vader. He is just the man. I fear him when he is on the opposite side of the table.

Pick up a copy of Lee's Toy Review today!

1 comment:

Cameron said...

I love this interview, especially the story behind the Attacktix Wicket... :-) over at the Attacktix forum, I ran a "Favorite Striker" poll where people voted for their favorite Star Wars Striker figure. Wicket thrashed everyone else in the voting. It's neat to hear 'bout the good old days when they created Attacktix. It's one of the best board games I've ever played, right up there with chess. The strength of the missiles, the way the figures move around... perfect.