SWTVC: We just got the reveal of a Maldo Kreis Mandalorian and Grogu in both Vintage Collection and Black Series, and recently we have seen figures like Bib Fortuna and Figrin D’an pipelined for both scales around the same time. We welcome this “balance the scales” approach and would love to see more of it going forward. Can you talk a little bit about this approach? Are the Vintage Collection and Black Series teams able to share their development work across the scales?
Chris: Short answer: yes, we’re able to share back and forth. We do all the time. I mean, it’s critical in these things with as much detail and color and spec-ing as we do, and development work as we do, to share and talk constantly about that. Emily and Eric, who deal with TVC and Black Series principally, they’re in constant communication on stuff. So, in scenarios like this, with all the little spiders and stuff in those two sets, I mean, that one was a perfect example of doing both of those at the same time, really let us lean into having the array of spider sizes. So, we try and play a little bit that way, and be able to make offerings that work, and work with each other that way. But that being said, sometimes the priorities for TVC and filling a character void that we’ve had, or for Black Series the same thing, it doesn’t always make sense to do the same figures, the “balance the scales” thing like you said, it doesn’t always make sense for that to happen. So, it’s about what’s the priority, and what’s the most important thing for each of those lines, and for those fans.
Patrick: I should just say, Chris is the manager on the design side for our whole fan line, so sometimes the sharing of things is him talking to himself, so that definitely is happening!
SWTVC: It’s great to see so many Vintage Collection items coming from new and recent media like The Mandalorian seasons one and two and The Clone Wars season seven. However, these items are joining the line a year and a half to a couple years after the entertainment first aired, and will be hitting shelves as fans are enjoying one of the five new seasons of Star Wars TV coming in 2022 alone, leaving the line in a constant state of catch-up. We know it can take about 18 months to two years to get a figure to shelf, so does this mean you guys are gauging fan reaction to new properties before deciding to make product to support them? Or is the popularity of recent media, TVC in general, and the onslaught of shows about to hit us in the next few years, does that you more confidence to get new media figures into TVC earlier?
Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. We work closely with Lucasfilm and we’re always trying to strike the balance. We know in the perfect world, getting product right as the show or movie is airing is ideal. That being said, you know, we’ve said that the movies and TV shows are also important, right? We’ve said in the past for Episode VII, we saw Luke at the end of that movie the same time you guys did. We’ve said in the past obviously with Grogu/The Child, being able for fans to see that in that show was so, you know, emotional and so amazing and we certainly wouldn’t want that to have not happened. So we are still getting figures in some scales at some point with the show or shortly after. I think of, you know, Bo-Katan Black Series we announced last year during Mandalorian, I’m sure there are others. So, we certainly strive for that where possible. Where it makes more sense for fans’ enjoyment of the TV show or movie, then we make sure it’s a little later.
SWTVC: As worldbuilders, TVC collectors do really appreciate the recent focus on figures from Clone Wars season seven, allowing us to build out these Mandalore battle scenes with most of the key players. This is following on building out recent themes like the heroes of Endor, and filling out the recent TVC playsets. Will we be seeing more themed releases going forward, or does the onslaught of new media make that a bit more difficult?
Chris: It’s a difficult problem, but a fun problem to have, right? Themed releases, and figures that work together, are an important part of that worldbuilding experience for TVC, so that is something we do and intend to continue doing. But it is maybe a little more limited when there are so many properties, and we’re trying to get to everything in there. But I think you’ll see that sort of theming across multiple years too, where maybe we can’t do six figures at once this year, but maybe we can do a couple next year, kind of thing, that work with those, and continue those little windows and worlds that way.
Evan: I’ll just say, I hope to see a Client also make the jump to Vintage Collection for our Nevarro playset.
SWTVC: Intentional or not, the release of the specialty Vintage Collection Obi-Wan Kenobi and Mace Windu figures does coincide with the 20th anniversary of Attack of the Clones. There are still some other great Attack of the Clones figures, such as the one that Chris from Bantha Skull mentioned, the Anakin from 2013 Black Series; there’s also a Padmé there. They’d look great on TVC cards with photoreal updates. And of course we still need a new Count Dooku. Wouldn’t say no to another Republic Gunship, release either. We know you’re not going to do much, probably, for that anniversary, but is there hope, at least, that some more of these items might make their way into the line soon-ish?
Chris: Yeah, we don’t… I think you’re expecting the answer I’m gonna give you, is that we don’t have anything to tell you. In the interest of speed, we’ll leave it there.
Patrick: Yeah, I will also just say, like we’ve mentioned, 2022 has a lot of entertainment coming, so that's where we’re kind of laser-focused.
SWTVC: Going back to the Maldo Kreis pack in TVC in particular with that kind of line expression of the more deluxe, larger card with the spiders, does that kind of open the door for more worldbuilding, fun little pack-in items in this deluxe kind of style going forward, now that there’s a line expression that can accommodate that?
Chris: Yeah, I think that’s a safe bet that that sort of approach to things is… It’s fun, we enjoyed it. The fan response has been good, so I think that’s encouraging for future stuff.