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View Full Version : My Theory on Toy Marketing and Finding the "Newer" Figures



mrmiller
10-16-2002, 08:16 AM
I may be way off base here, so feel free to coment (duh,.. that's what the forums are for)

Maybe I'm an idiot, but I've just recently noticed something that I must have been too stupid to see before. Why are toys aimed at kids pushed out in such large numbers when a movie is released, but not when the Video comes out? I have a 3 yr old, and we went and watched Monsters Inc when it was in the theater. She loved the show, but never really was interested in the toys. At the time, there was tons of Monsters inc stuff everywhere. Now that we have the DVD, she has watched it quite a few times, and is really into getting the toys. Lucky for me, TRU and KB still have quite a few of them on clearance now. Anyone with kids knows that a kid will watch a movie/video/show they like over and over. I mean over and over and back to back if you let them. To me this seem like the best time to push the toys at the stores. Normally that's when all the toys are just about gone. Lucky for us, Star Wars is getting a pretty quick Video release, with still tons of toys at the stores.

I haven't been able to find any of the newer figures (starting with the TA anakin and Training maul). Normally if I go a few weeks to a month after a figures release and I don't have it, I start getting anxious. But I'm thinking that when the Episode 2 video comes out, in addition to the Christmas Shoping picking up, that will no longer be a problem. As kids are watching the Video release over and over, in additon to being pounded by toy commercials for Christmas, the interest will rise in Star Wars toys. I was thinking that the Star Wars sales will pick up to a pace where the stores will constantly be stocking new stuff. So I'm not so worried, and would think that anyone who is desperatly looking for newer items will start finding them shortly. I don't really see a need in panic right now, and resorting to Ebay or over-priced seconday market dealers.

My theory is: If you are a fairly consistant figure hunter, in about a month you will start finding every figure and other Star Wars items you're looking for.

Historically I found that if you wait long enough you will find most all of what you want anyhow, but I think it will all come in pretty quick this November into December. Then again, what do I know... Like I said at the start of this post, maybe I'm an Idiot.

=MATT=

thespar
10-16-2002, 09:14 AM
theory there sounds pretty good to me. look how well toys with a cartoon to back them up sell. it as hard to find some of the background chacter for the new motu.

Sinister Lord
10-16-2002, 09:55 AM
I don't know... that "waiting" strategy doesn't always work. And Christmas time always messes things up. Remember how hard it was to find the Sio Bibble wave of EPI figures? And how about the POTF2 Expanded Universe figures? Those came out at Christmas time when the stores were filled with poeple and they came and went so fast... if you blinked... you missed em.

carnifexold1eye
10-16-2002, 10:51 AM
I do agree with all of you to some extent. I think the reason the EU stuff was gone so quick was that there was no movie to back it up and kids wouldn't recognize most of the figures in the line so most stores ordered conservatively on them. I myself only found 2 at retail: the darktrooper and the spacetrooper. The rest was actually luck, at a street fair near where i live some guy was selling the entire set of figures for like 20 bucks, he didnt know what they were and he wanted to get rid of them. I'm sure thugh the next few waves will be easy to find in stores, my nearest TRU has already started to get the ki adi/ teemto wave and TA anakin/ ST maul. Along with a few padme pilots and what not. TRUs as of late seem to have started getting the new figures and kaybees have had them for a few weeks now.

Vortex
10-16-2002, 11:43 AM
Well from what I've read, experienced and observed you're partially correct you can usually find every figure if you wait a little while, BUT...

Just because a specific figure is made, isn't a guarentee that a store will have it at a later date.

I leared from Lee's & Tomart at various times from blurbs and details, and my time at TRU, that cases and quantities are pre-ordered months in advance from toy production, and the retailers just make a guess as to how well a line will sell and just blindly order so much. They are under no obligation to make sure they get every figure or order every case or toy. If the line sells poorly, the movIe or TV ends, the pre-orders on other cases stop or are ordered in very small quantity.

To add a little more weight to this, about a year prior to Ep II, there were 4 Targets in the metro area (Minneapolis/St. Paul) 3 Wal-marts, 2 K-marts, and 1 TRU that didn't have a figure on the pegs. The odd times they got a exclusive they would push older Ep I figs, but then they would disapear from the shelves again.
And it's happening again. As of last Sat, I was out car shopping, and decided to stop in at Target. Not a SW figure to be found in the action figure isle. The only that was out was Zam's speeder and a Reek.

i agree, it would make more sense to push stuff with the DVD release, but the toy industry and retailers are probably already gearing up, pre-ordering, and planning for spring and summer of next year.

And I advise you not to wait too long to find the figs. Every area is differnt, but there have been a lot of phantom figures that were made and never hit the pegs in areas.

Think back the vintage line. One minuet the force coin figs were out, the next they were gone. Its the life of toys. Don't wait too long.

Good luck hunting.

JEDIpartner
10-16-2002, 11:50 AM
Most of the stores here in ohio skipped an entire wave and went from the one that came out in early summer (Han, Chewie, Endor Soldier, etc.) and just got in the latest wave of basic figures. All the sotres skipped the T.A. Anakin wave. It doesn't necessarily pay to wait. You MAY just end up having to pay higher prices after the fact on the net when you could have gotten them on the net for a buck or two over peg cost during the months that you SHOULD have been able to find them.

Jedi Drew
10-16-2002, 12:09 PM
TRU at Parmatown had....let me say again "Had" the T.A. Anakin wave a few days ago. But as of today they are all gone. It doesn't seem that we were skipped here in Ohio. Maybe all the new stuff is sitting on ships off the West coast????:eek: :eek:

mrmiller
10-16-2002, 12:42 PM
Do you think that Retailers would be expecting an increase in Star Wars sells? With it being Christmas of a movie year, and the release of the video during the holiday season, I think that retailers should have pre-ordered quite a bit of Star Wars stuff. My thinking was that there should be a lot of stuff cycling on and off the shelves, giving collectors a greater chance to find figures. I know for weeks I could go to my Wal-Mart, and the same figures would be on the rack, in the same order and positons as the day before. Now maybe more will be sold and moved out, and replaced with new items from the back.

=MATT=

Jedi Drew
10-16-2002, 12:56 PM
I spoke with the Toy Manager at my local Wally World and she told me that when the DVD is released they will have a bunch of new SW stuff out. We just have to wait......:cool: :cool:

JEDIpartner
10-16-2002, 01:00 PM
Well... TECHNICALLY it skipped. It seems that they got the T.A. Anakin wave AFTER you found the current wave... no?

KEBco
10-16-2002, 01:01 PM
Don't want to poke holes in anyone's theory, but ---
The larger retailers (Walmart, TRU, etc) do not order their toys based on what is selling. The order is placed months in advance by someone at their corporate office, who in my opinion, does not have a clue what kids, much less adult collectors, really want. To make matters even worse this year, Hasbro, in their corporate wisdom, is not releasing any new figures for the Christmas season. The only figures left this year are the Destroyer Droid and the new redeco Yoda - thats it.
So why will anyone want to order more (which they can't easily do now) of the same peg warmers just to get one, maybe two new figures in the case???
You will be able to find cheap, old, peg warmers for months to come, but it is unlikely any of the later released figures will be anywhere in large numbers.
This comes from someone that buys directly from Hasbro and is kinda puzzled why there will not be more new figures. I know Hasbro does not want another EP1 fiasco, but gimma a break - no - gimma 6 new figures for Christmas. :frus:

Vortex
10-16-2002, 01:28 PM
Thanks for the additional support.

mrmiller
10-16-2002, 01:48 PM
Of course I don't know, but I would think that if Hasbro wanted to make some money, they would be hitting up the corporate office of the large retailers months ago. If I can see the potential increase in sales, I'm sure Hasbro's marketing department can too. I know tjovonovich's post has a lot of valid points, and I'm sure there is some merit to it all, but I can't help think KEBco would be biased. Sorry.

=MATT=

Vortex
10-16-2002, 01:59 PM
When they order toys and cases, its seasonal. Odds are retailers are in the spring and summer of 03 already if not farther down the road. They already have their lot for this christmas. Besides that movie year or not, the demand for SW toys outside the collectors market is slim to none. Kids forget fast and demand fades. Movie year or not, the toys stopped moving fast from the retailers weeks after movie.

You do have logical thoughts, but unfortunatly that's not the system works. Its all about pre-sales.

Its not hasbro making money, they get it up front during the pre-orders. The retailers are the issues not hasbro. Hasbro is pushing next years stuff. Its up to the retailers to shuffel stock or assortments and its not worth their time.

mrmiller
10-16-2002, 02:03 PM
Touche' my friend. I guess it’s off to KEBco to order the new figs… ;)

In all serious. With the pegs at my local stores being mostly full, I'm hoping they have those figures in the back, ready to stock them when/if they ever get room.

=MATT=

Vortex
10-16-2002, 02:08 PM
I only hope soo too. We have a major drout here too...

I have to resort to EE, or my friend who owns an indepentant toy shop. He sold me Mon yesterday.

Good hunting.