Monday, May 28, 2007

JayDouble Nabs an Exclusive Brian Wilk Interview for JoeAttacktix

Questions for Hasbro, regarding Attacktix, were posted on the Attacktix Forum, and JayDouble managed to have a nice chat with Brian Wilk, Design Director for Hasbro's Boys' Toys.

*I'm paraphrashing a lot, so don't take it as gospel. -JayDouble

Q: Why [does Hasbro] alienate so many loyal customers by making the same figures over and over again, such as DareDevil, Hulk, and others?

A: A few reasons. The main market is kids, so to get them in the game you need to keep making main characters. Main characters draw more attention/familiarity and give them the opportunity to make lesser known characters.

Q: Are there any plans to return to the larger number of figures being released per series [30] or will it remain at the current lower per series [18] amount due to the number of lines that are being marketed at present?

A: [Hasbro is] going to stay with smaller amounts. The main reason for the bigger sets was boosters made of three Attackitx figures and not two.

Q: When will we see replacement missile packs (a bunch together that are affordable)?

A: [Hasbro is] still working on it. Unfortunately no timetable is set.

Q:Are there any plans for more 'mini-series' [Starter and Mega Sets, without accompanying Booster figures] ala the Ghost Rider (GR) and Spider-Man (SM) series?

A: There are plans in the making. Think of two new Marvel movies in the works. If they will be made is yet to be determined.

Q: Are there any plans to improve the quality of the figures. Such as misspellings, bad grammar, and odd figures being made. We deserve one more Hasbro employee to proof read each figure before [Hasbro] makes 100,000 of them.
-Annointed 1

A: Unfortunately quality control is never 100% so some errors do make it out.
As far as the quality of the Attacktix go [Hasbro is] working on it, specifically Star Wars. [Hasbro] realizes Marvel and Transformers are made stronger and weigh more. The problem is most of Star Wars are human based characters so you can't really put that much plastic into them. Hasbro is researching this now.

Q:Will Hasbro ever introduce a fantasy-style Attacktix line (similar to D&D or LOTR)?

A: [Hasbro] wants to venture into other lines. The problem is Attacktix is not as well known in the gaming world yet. Until that happens it will still be SW, Marvel, and TF for now. So spread the word to make Attackitx mainstream!

Q: Is Hasbro limited to introducing new Attacktix lines only at the time of a scheduled release of a movie (such as what happened with Transformers, Ghost Rider, Marvel, Spiderman)? If so, isn't Hollywood, then, setting the standard as far as what gets produced by Hasbro and when the products are released?

A: That is pretty much correct. Again it goes back to Attacktix becoming mainstream. Once that happens I think there will be plenty of creative freedom.

Q: We've had shooters, line-shooters, saber/staff strikers, limb-based strikers, prodders of all kinds, double-shooters, even a figure where you squeeze to launch his projectile AND who can also strike...
Are there any other kinds of attacks in the foreseeable future for Attacktix?

A: They're always testing various ways to attack. One example is a power up base. Say you like a Clone Trooper who is worth 10 points. With a power base you put the CT in it to give it a bigger base. But instead of it being worth 10 it's now worth 30. 20 for the power base and ten for the CT.

Q: Are there any plans of releasing Expanded Universe characters for the Star Wars line?

A: Think new Star Wars entertainment. [Editor's note: Star Wars Clone Wars, Star Wars Animated Series, Star Wars TV, maybe what he is Brian Wilk is alluding to.]

Q: Is there any more word on the possibility of G.I. Joe Attacktix?

A: Not at the moment. [Editor's note: G.I. Joe's action figure line has taken a hit this year, an anniversary year. I do not think this is a reflection of the Attacktix sales, as much as G.I. Joe.]

Q: Why is it so hard to come up with more Transformer strikers? Marvel is 55% strikers! Star wars including the SW5 not yet out is 28% strikers... And Transformers including TF2 not yet released is a measly 16% strikers.

A: They're working to make it a balance between shooters and strikers. We may see more TFs with objects in the future to act as strikers. [Editor's note: In the future, so TF series 4 is in the works?]

Q: Despite the fact that the Star Wars Battle Case failed, will Hasbro take what it's learned from the Battle Case and release any other form of Attacktix terrain?

A: There's no plan for Battle Cases, but [Habro is] testing out terrains. When I mean terrain; up, down, objects, everything. Say you have this block and hit it, but the block also knocks your enemy down, the enemy is eliminated. Imagine Grievous up top shooting down, Jedi Knights hiding behind objects, bases that shoot, etc. Possibilities are endless.

Brian also covered a few more topics with JayDouble, regarding the future of Attacktix.

Hasbro is working on marketing Attacktix better in the aisles. They're looking at changing the location of where they're located, maybe in the hobby section or Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh! card section.

They're also working on redesigning the boosters. Starters easily sell better because you can see what you're getting. There's talk of half visible/mystery boosters. If you have a good design idea to make boosters sell, let them know.

As far as translucent sabers and projectiles go, they were having problems with them shattering so they shied away from it. After lots of testing and retooling translucent matrials should be the norm now.

Squad killers like Jedi Knights/Wicket will be shied away from in future series. BUT, army builder packs could be an option. Most likely a 4-pack retailer exclusive. (Not set in stone, just an idea.)

Thanks to Brian Wilk for his time, and great product, and also thanks to JayDouble for getting the voice of Attacktix fans heard!

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