SDCC13: Marvel Interview with Hasbro’s Adam Biehl And Dwight Stall
Behind The Scenes With Legends, Universe, Avengers, And More...
Just like we did with the Star Wars team (read our interview HERE), Figures.com spent a few minutes discussing the Marvel Comics side of Hasbro’s operation on the floor of San Diego Comic-Con. We got a chance to speak directly to Adam Biehl (Above Left, VP Global Brand Strategy & Marketing) and Dwight Stall (Above Right, Senior Product Design Manager) about all things Marvel, and we learned some interesting things in the process!
We first asked about the process for choosing which characters will appear in the Marvel Legends line, and what factors enter into into it from parts re-use to size limitations (for a character like Juggernaut or Apocalypse). Their response was frank; they have tons of characters they’d like to do but all of those factors play into the process. They’re Marvel fans just like us and have their favorite characters, but they have to balance demand vs. what’s economical.
Finally putting the question of the missing recent Marvel Legends variants (like Sentry) to rest, Hasbro is committed to getting them out into the hands of collectors, whether that’s through retail or possibly another channel. In the future, they’re going to try to get variants out to retailers sooner so they hit shelves.
Regarding the Build-A-Figure program, Adam explained that so many fans want so many different things, but they all want new stuff. The BAF program provides Hasbro the opportunity to make more characters as well as support retailers (as collectors will be incentivized to buy full waves/series). They’re learning from every release, and have more ideas to try in the future.
While we all want to see 6 inch figures from The Wolverine film, especially Silver Samurai, Hasbro will not be making them.
As LEGO has the license for constructable Marvel toys we will not see anything in the Kre-O line.
As many attendees and fans online have noticed, there were some really unique things in the Hasbro Marvel diorama display... including a multi-armed Ultron, Devil Dinosaur, and Moon-Boy. Dwight and Adam were coy about these figures, noting that the reaction to the diorama was perfect market research and that anything could happen. We even got to hear a little behind the scenes info on how the amazing display was created; Hasbro hires professional diorama builders to create the bones, then Dwight and a few others sit down with boxes of figures and hot glue and put everything together!
I was eager to know if the Marvel Legends Songbird figure would come with her energy wings, but alas she will not. Dwight acknowledged that they do not have not used a lot of traditional energy effects, but will be doing more of that going forward.
Lastly, we spoke a little about the controversial Iron Man 3 Assemblers line which some collectors have reviled (though many others enjoy). The Hasbro team designed that line with kids in mind, and after getting an early look at the movie and especially its last scene really wanted to provide young fans with an interactive way to play with their Iron Man armors. They also recognize, like many of us do, that the line looks great alongside Marvel Universe and likewise the Avengers and even Spider-Man figures, which was specifically proven with the upcoming “Igor” armor rocking a scene in the diorama. For 3 ¾ inch fans Hasbro promises lots more collector-friendly figures coming soon.
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