Each month we submit 3 questions to the Hasbro design team for G.I.Joe. Here is the latest batch of questions and answers for July 2009:
TNI: When are the "Assault on Cobra Island" 7-packs going to be released and will they only be available at online etailers and comic book specialty shops or will any major retail chains like TRU also be carrying these? Question by reader Draven79.
EDITORS NOTE: We had to send these questions in the day before etailers started listing these sets for pre-order.
Hasbro: The Cobra Island sets are now available for pre-sell and will only be available at online and specialty retailers.
TNI: Inevitably, the focus is going to shift from the movie line. When that time comes, what should we expect in the spotlight; the as-of-now unreleased Resolute figures and possibly more figures based on the animated short or the "classic" 25th line? Question by reader die fighting X.
Hasbro: The focus will remain on the movie universe, even after the movie has passed. At JoeCon this year, we plan on revealing the focus for the 2010 line so we can't reveal too much right now.
TNI: I first saw the new ROC toys well over a week ago at all of the major retailers. However, they were not available for purchase at any of the stores because of the release date (7/10). I have purchased a few since then because of the new release date at TRU and Target. However, Wal-Mart still will not sell them. Why does Hasbro go so far and impose so many regulations with these release dates, is it to keep me from buying their product, while at the same time allowing TONS of product to be STOLEN from their factories and sold on eBay? It is incredibly frustrating to have to wait to rightfully purchase something that has been available via the black market for so long. Question by reader Clam.
Hasbro: Clam, the reason for shelf dates is that it allows Hasbro and the retailers to align on specific plans for getting product into the hands of our fans. For example, Wal-Mart and Target will not reset their shelves until August. Therefore we needed to work with them to find ways to get GI Joe out of aisle before the movie. In order to have fairness across all the accounts, we set a date when everyone can start selling. As for the second part of the question, when we have to make millions of figures for the movie, it takes time to produce...so we have to start the process very early. As a result of this, the lines in China are running the product months before product hits...and a small number of figures find their way to the black market.