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View Full Version : What percentage of Star Wars figures do you think are bought by kids?



Tycho
08-25-2003, 12:58 AM
This is a timeless debate around here.

Everybody from every position in the hobby, as some varying opinion on this.

What percentage of SW figures do you think are bought by kids?

Thunder Mouse
08-25-2003, 08:39 AM
I have a little brother,and lived on a few millitary bases thru highschool. THere are lots of childeren that live in base houseing. but, mabey my opinion only applies to the modern millitary family. But, from what iv sean, Kids dont buy action figures as much as they used to. When I was 4 to 10, I bought action figures to play with, then to collect afterward. By the time I reached highschool, things had clearly changed as far as who bought action figures. I saw pepole my age and older buying them for collections,but almost never saw childeren playing with them like I did when I was growing up. Kids dont play sports as much as they did when I was younger eather. So thats not it. So what are kids doing now with what money they can get or get there parents to spend? Simple. There playing the new high tech video games. I dont feal that childeren are as emaginitve or creative anymore . There rased by TV even more than my generation was.

bobafrett
08-25-2003, 08:54 AM
The times I have been out to the stores, I have mostly seen older collectors or scalpers buying the figures. Very rarely do you see kids taking an interest in Star Wars toys.

Thunder Mouse
08-25-2003, 09:13 AM
So what are kids doing now with what money they can get or get there parents to spend? Simple. There playing the new high tech video games. I dont feal that childeren are as emaginitve or creative anymore . There rased by TV even more than my generation was.

To be fair ,I should also say, that playing changes . for instance, when my dad and grandfather were growing up, they didnt have action figures at all. I heard alot that I should play more sports when I was younger. I did play, but not as much as they did. Im the more creative person type myself so action figures (and my scetch book) were more fun for me. I could wander the univers with the vintage star wars figures, or explore the new york city sewers with the teenage mutant ninja turtles or hunt after ghosts with the ghost busteres ( anyone remember them besides me?) with mabey 20 dollars worth of toys, and a million boxes and pipes to serve as anything from vehicles to biuldings and god knows what ells. ANYWAY, enough about memmory laine. To any kids who Might read this, (My little brother has ben surffing the net since he was 4, so its possible) Im not saying Im better than you because when I was your age, bla bla bla. But I am saying times have changed. and that creativity isnt as important as being up on the latest technoledgy now. The world has changed alot since I was born and I was only born 22 years ago in 1980!

Mandalorian Candidat
08-25-2003, 09:53 AM
I'm not saying this to insult anyone, but who in their right mind is voting for these percentages greater than 40%? Have you seen that many kids hanging out by the SW aisle counting their pennies hoping that they have enough to get that rare SW figure that's left on the peg?

I think the percentage is less than 20%. Probably closer to 10%. It is so rare for me to see any kid grabbing a figure off the peg or even just looking through the racks to see what's there. Just face the fact that it's the adult collectors (OK, there are a minority of teenage collectors on SSG) who're buying the HUGE bulk of SW stuff.

If Hasbro finally got out of denial about this maybe we'd all be better off.

jedi master sal
08-25-2003, 10:23 AM
I'm not saying this to insult anyone, but who in their right mind is voting for these percentages greater than 40%?

I think the percentage is less than 20%. Probably closer to 10%. It is so rare for me to see any kid grabbing a figure off the peg or even just looking through the racks to see what's there. Just face the fact that it's the adult collectors (OK, there are a minority of teenage collectors on SSG) who're buying the HUGE bulk of SW stuff.

If Hasbro finally got out of denile about this maybe we'd all be better off.

I hear ya MC. I almost never see kids buying SW, or for that matter parents looking to buy SW for their kids. If the choice or under 20%, or 10% and under were given I certainly would have voted for that. In my experience, it probably closer to 5 %. And I go to 20+ stores a week covering a range of about 200 square miles, so I can speak on a higly informed level.

SW collectibles are NOT for kids. (Well the toys are made for kids, but they are not buying them!)

thrawndude
08-25-2003, 11:02 AM
I agree with you all. Kids are spending most there time playing video games and collectors mostly being adults. (heck whenever i go to wm or kb's there is never ANYONE looking at the sw toys. of course i do live in idaho, and no i dont grow potatoes) ahh yes ninja turtles that brings back memories haha.I still have my old turtles, those were the days. but then my brother and i really got into star wars. so i am just 17 but our collection just reached over 150 figures with 10 vehicles most purchased with our own money (mom and dad didnt support a obsession so much). Ha! when i was about 14 and had a paper route i would just take my money onto ebay and buy the rare figures. like dark trooper etc untill my mom banned me from ebay lol.

Kidhuman
08-25-2003, 11:31 AM
I picked less than 30%, but I actually thinkit is less than 20%. I never see kids near the SW pegs. Always older collectors or scalpers. The only kid I ever see buying SW is my step son and he only gets them because Icollect them(not trying to sound like a Martyr or something.)

Dr Zoltar
08-25-2003, 12:17 PM
I have almost never seen a child looking at the Star Wars toys in the past 3 years. They've always been people at least in their 20's. I would have voted for "Less than 10%" if it was an option. I've seen kids with the toy light sabers so those do sell. But the figs -- definately less than 10%.

JangoFart
08-25-2003, 12:38 PM
I saw a 10 - 12 year old kid at KayBee once that was thumbing through the pegs with me. His parents were standing nearby watching over things. I started talking to him. This kid knew EVERYTHING about Star Wars toys. He started rattling off things that I didn't think he had enough years in him to know - the scalping horrors of '95 - '97 (when he was about 4 or 5), how hard it was (at first) to get an orange carded Leia, the tan vest Luke, black vest Maul, who he voted for as fan's choice, etc.

It was shocking; at the same time it was heartening. Knowing that the fire still burns in some of the younger generation is comforting and hopefully he has plenty of friends who are into it like he is.

Was this kid the exception or the rule? I'd have to go with "the exception." I travel quite a bit and in my travels hit anything that looks like it might sell Star Wars figures. I can count on both hands how many times I've seen someone under 17 going through the pegs in the past 3 years.

'Tis a sad statement, but a true one that kids just don't dig on action figures like they used to - not just Star Wars figures either. Their time is taken up with DVD's, video games, and other things that don't particularly require much imagination to interact with. I think with all the scene specific, pre-posed characters we've been seeing for the past couple of years, toy makers are aware of this fact and are trying to make it easier to play with their figures while reducing the amount of actual imagination required.

I'd have to go with less than 20% of "kids" buy ANY action figures - not just Star Wars. I wish more kids were involved in our mutual hobby because that would ensure a longer life to the product line. I just don't think it's the case, though.

J

zeroplate
08-25-2003, 12:48 PM
I am hoping that most people took the phrase 'bought by kids' to mean 'bought by AND FOR kids', and I think that the numbers are much different than the majority seem to think. I'd wager that the youth market still accounts for at least 50% of the sales. There are lots of anecdotes about only seeing other adults buying star wars figures, but judging by the number of beat up NEW star wars toys I see at thrift stores, garage sales, and the houses of people I know with kids, I'd say there is still a lot of star wars being bought, played with, and eventually discarded by kids. Even at 50-50%, the collector market for these things is dramatically different than what it was on the original run, but let's not count the value of making toys for kids out just yet.

TheDarthVader
08-25-2003, 01:37 PM
I voted for less than 30%. There has only been three or four times when I saw a kid picking out star wars figures. This includes every time I have went to a store to buy figures. I just don't think a child could have enough money to buy all of the figures for a given year. I also believe the interest in star wars figures is greatly higher for adults.

Jaff
08-25-2003, 01:39 PM
Like most have said I have only seen a handful of kids looking at SW toys outside the movie release period. There have been times where I have talked to little kids looking through toy isles. Although it may seem scarry for them because 30 year old guys don't usually talk to them about SW toys. Still they have been very open to me about their opinions on toys. One incident comes to mind. A little boy was thumbing through the pegs and I asked him if he had seen a big Elephant looking figure (ephant Mon), he said no, and noted that it was a weird sounding figure. I then showed him a picture of the fig, and he said he would never get that one. When I asked him what he liked, he said just Jango, and the flying monsters (Geonisans). I asked him if he knew many people his age who liked SW, and he said no. He said that SW is treated like kiddie toys with most of his friends. He also said that SW toys weren't really cool, and allot of his freinds were into other stuff. He then left, and that conversation seems to be the cornerstone of my perception that kids just don't care about it like we do. Now it's up to Hasbro to admit that!!!

Tycho
08-25-2003, 01:47 PM
Mind you: I don't have a point, yet. Just some observations.

1) I usually shop and buy at store-opening hours 6:45-8:05, with breakfast in between. All new stuff is bought out then, and it takes weeks for it to be left behind for the average shopper - that includes parents who probably don't want to hang outside of Target at 7:45 am for their less-than-perfectly behaving brat at home. I mean you learn to be the morning early-bird by being into the hobby yourself, enough to want to be amongst the first to find the new stuff.

2) Collectors hit the stores on much a different pattern than parents: collectors (hopefully) only go when new stuff is hitting. There were months this past summer when I did not spend more than 1 or 2 days at all, checking stores. Maybe not at all. I only do the morning thing when I read about stuff hitting retail in stories posted by forum users here.

Parents go to the stores at their convenience, not 7:45 am, and they usually don't find anything new for even longer periods of time. If it took me months to be the first of us to find Lt. Faytooni, how long will it be for the "liesurely shopper?" If their kid (under internet or literacy age) doesn't have any more information, then "Wat Tambor, Darth Vader Removeable Helmet, etc. ARE NOT OFFICAILLY OUT YET. [says your parent]" When I was a kid, I accepted whatever my mother told me, because I coudln't go to the stores and check.

3) How can you tell if an adult buying these toys is not buying them for a kid? Many parents don't want their kids in stores. These are tight budget times, and some kids destroy their action figures pretty quick. Better the kid doesn't know that Wat Tambor is out, or Padme Wedding, because afterall, the parent only has $12 to spend on the kid's toys, or that's all that's in the allowance, and Darth and Luke to hack each other to pieces should be all that's necessary. They don't want to start a collecting habit that results in needing some 50 figures a year and hundreds or thousands of dollars. I was very lucky: my mother hunted the vintage figures for me just like I hunt them for myself today.

4) Distribution being what it is, a parent knows:

The Hulk
Spiderman
Batman
Transformers (that look cool)
Luke Skywalker
Princess Leia
Darth Vader
Yoda
Darth Maul
Obi-Wan Kenobi

And they'll buy what they think a kid would recognize and think cool.

I can't hear, "Honey I went to the store and found you Lott Dodd, Teemto Pegules, and General Madine, and Feltipern Trevagg!"

"Who are they Mom?"

"Well, they were in the same scenes, just off to the right, from Obi-Wan Kenobi, or somebody, I think."

"Does General Madine kick butt? Can he fight Darth Vader?"

"Well, it doesn't say on the package, but I suppose he might."

"But that's Luke's job!"

"Well, General Madine is a friend of Luke's."

"But I don't even have a Luke figure!"

"I'll return him then. The store had a lot of Spiderman figures you can stick on the wall."


Now good distribution would sell figures like this:

"Honey, I found you a Massif and Tusken Raider figure! It looks really cool! And here's Elan Sleezebaggano!"

"Who are they?"

"Well they cause trouble for these other figures I found you. Do you recognize them?"

"Oh thanks Mom! That's the new Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi! They fight these 'bad guys!' I'm going to go play now!"


So better distribution would help the kid market, though we can't tell who adults are buying for, but adult collectors in it for themselves are out getting new stuff at different times of the day than parents with kids, and in the end, the adult collectors are probably spending more money on their purchases.

So it depends if the kids outnumber the adult collectors enough to match the higher ticket sales of adult collectors, but only with much improved distribution could I see that as possible.

Lastly, in TRU two days ago, I met a father who collects and buys for himself, and 2 sons. The teenager shops for himself mostly. The kid, about 7-10 years old in my best guess, was there withthe dad. They were hitting the stores later in the morning, and I was just there because I felt like stopping as I didn't go out hunting that morning. I'm not sure if they were the excetion to the rule or not, but they are amassing huge armies for the Clone Wars stuff. This was an African-American family, the father being about in his 40's I guess, and from what he told me, a collector since the vintage days.

Jordashebasics
08-25-2003, 02:04 PM
I've seen a few kids checking star wars displays. It depends on where you go, and what day of the week. If you go to a mall on a saturday afternoon, then you'll find some kids.
I've seen one kid looking very feverishly through the discounted figures at KB a couple days ago.
At TRU last summer, I spoke with a kid who had found a Hangar Duel Anakin on the pegs, and I hadn't seen it anywhere yet. He let me buy it, since he said he already had one.
But I haven't seen any kids looking at the star wars displays at Target or Walmart.
I did run into a 65-year-old lady who collects the 12 inch line though.
And at a store that sells loose figures, I saw a kid picking out a handful of things (an interesting mix of prequel stuff and the OT. His father picked out about 4 stormtroopers since he felt it was really needed.)
I have no idea what percentage buys...I think kids are more interested in toys that have a little more bang for their buck - Transformers are great since you can do some fancy stuff with them, as compared to a star wars figure, which is smaller, about $5 apiece, and with limited articulation possibilities.

Vortex
08-25-2003, 02:22 PM
The 3 N's have kids attention these days...

Nintendo (or any video game system)
Nick (cartoons or videos)
Netscape (its old I know...but the internet is a kid magnet)

Times have changed, kids no longer are out all day riding bike, climbing trees, playing any sort of street ball, or getting together with all the kids in the neighborhood to play. Kids and teens and mid-20 folks are all getting self centered...life revolves around the net, being in digital contact with people and kids play time is very different from when we grew up. That's probably why most teens and little kids are over weight these days, but that's another topic...

We had to invent things to pass time...action figures helped with that, and growing up cartoons were only on in the morning and afternoons from 3-5...we never had a channel dedicated to cartoons. Kids are so over stimulated with cartoons, video games, internet, that using your imagination is no longer cool it seems.

If star wars was popular with the kids, why don't I seen obi wan at old country barf-if, or perkins, or out at stores. Heck my friends and I used to bring toys every where we went...I've seen power rangers flying around at Denny's and toy story stuff in purses, spider man toys all over fast food places, and peaking out of diaper bags, but I don't see anakin sharing a fry at mcdonalds...could be the times are changing, but I don't see a large interest in star wars with kids.

I think its us 20 somethings and toy dealers that are picking the pegs clean and hunting stuff down.

aceguide
08-25-2003, 02:39 PM
I think that there is a lot of truth here - but feel that there are a number of pruchases being made FOR kids. If the average kid was making minimum wage he/she would have a massive collection of whatever - He Man, SW, anything. But, since they get a meager allowance it is hard to say that their lack of purchasing negates their desire. It fine tunes their pruchases to what is hot at the moment. And forget vehicles, legos or other high end items - they simply can't afford them.

Darth Jax
08-25-2003, 05:50 PM
i say less than 5 % of figures are bought BY kids. i'd wager far under 30% are bought FOR kids. i've never bumped into a kid shopping for star wars figures. the only toys that really seem to draw kids attention is toy selections that have a regularly airing cartoon series - TMNT, dragonball Z, etc.

i recall things being much different when i was a kid. DVD's certainly weren't an option and even VHS was a rare treat. before atari the only video games were at the arcade. even once atari arrived it was still often overlooked for playing outdoors. i recall days spent in the sandbox waging massive battles with joe and the rebel heroes fighting side by side against the empire and cobra. it seems with my younger nieces and nephews the only times they leave the house are to be carted off to school. because it's no longer 'safe' to simply allow the kids to play outside unsupervised the only sporting events take place at designated ball fields on organized leagues (seems to take a lot of the fun out of it and the kids seem to fight having to participate).

El Chuxter
08-25-2003, 06:18 PM
Wow. I'm guessing that I must live in a world completely separated from the rest of you.

In the past three years, going to an average of at least one store per day, I have seen less than five adults without children looking at or purchasing figures (barring the masses at the AOTC midnight madness sale).

I've seen groups of several kids going through the SW figures more than once.

I can't tell you the number of times I've heard a kid tell his mom, "This looks cool!"

Once, I overheard a kid who looked to be about 8 trying to convince his dad to buy him K-3PO instead of a more recognizable character. "That's C-3PO's friend, Dad. You know, when they're in the snow!"

Every time the stores put SW Lego sets on clearance, I have to go through hordes of kids, not adults, to find the ones I want.

I personally know two 4-year old boys who have never met, live on separate sides of the country, and who play SW constantly. I always know what to get them for Christmas and birthdays, and it wasn't me who got either started on the habit.

I don't think less than 30% of figures total could possibly be sold to children. However, it's got to be more than 40% going to collectors, who are usually completists and more often than not buy multiple figures of at least the army builder characters. And, given that kids seem to grow up faster now, anyone buying who's over the age of 10 or 11 is pretty much a collector in my book.

However, I don't think this is a solid defense for Hasbro's shoddy practices. From what I hear, kids seem to want what we want: lots of army builders, cool aliens and robots (even if they have no idea who they are), neutral sculpts, and more characters and outfits rather than the same ones over and over. If Hasbro pays attention, IMHO, they'll see their figures are close to right, but they can make everyone happier by listening to collectors. After all, most of us buy what we'd have thought was "totally radical" as children.

dr_evazan22
08-25-2003, 06:55 PM
I voted for less than 30%. I can only remember a few times in the last 4 years, since TPM, that I've seen kids (or parents shopping for kids) picking out figures.

The SW franchise just isn't them same now as it was back in the day when I was a kid. Like the first guy that posted pointed out, kids are playing video games a lot more, and if they're not playing vid games they're probably playing w/ fig's from those games (DBZ, Yu Gi Oh). Or from more popular name brands like Spider-man, Batman.

If it means anything, I also define a kid as being 12 or under. Once you hit 13 and middle school things change. If a young teenager is buying SW I don't think it's so they can reenact the battle of Geo endless times.

htownray
08-25-2003, 07:33 PM
I voted for less than 30, i have never seen a kid go crazy in the star wars section of ANY store i have been in, its mostly older collectors (who had the original figures as a kid) or greedy swindlers trying to make a few bucks of someones hobby (or pasion if u will).Kids now days have LITTLE to NO imagination ......all video games and internet thats why i beleive the figures all have "extreme" poses, because not all kids just can't imagine like we use to. Is that sad?

JediTricks
08-25-2003, 09:38 PM
Last I heard from a source, it was right around 30%. You couldn't prove that by my area though, it seems to be 0% kids and 1% collectors, nobody ever seems interested in the line anymore.

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
08-25-2003, 11:03 PM
While it's hard to arbitrarily pick a number, I am willing to bet dollars to donuts that the figure of kids purchasing figures is realistically between 10-15% of the total sales. The reason why has been mentioned before, there are just so many different and varied lines of figures out there that Star Wars is probably at the bottom of the list in terms of appeal to children. It seems like that every movie that comes out now, has to have a line of toys (X-men, Hulk just to name a few of the recent ones). It's pure market saturation. The adults really don't go for that new stuff. That's what the kids buy. Plus as others mentioned, the competition from other mediums is fierce for things such as video games and Pokemon cards, plus tons of others non action figure stuff which all try to grab the attention of kids.

skeeziks22
08-26-2003, 01:20 AM
I still run into kids in the action figure section of stores... but they are more into Zoids, and to a lesser degree transformers, Yu-gi Oh!, Power Rangers and various other lines. I rarely see kids looking at star wars, but I rarely see kids looking at GI Joe, Justice League or He-Man either... I think all these toy lines (and TMN Turtles) rely on the collector base for their success.

That's fine with me... BUT Hasbro is going to lose that fraction of the market too if the stuff doesn't make it to the shelves.

AdmiralPiett
08-26-2003, 01:24 AM
I voted 30-40% because I have met a few kids at stores (or their parents shopping for their kids), comic conventions, etc. that buy Star Wars to play with. However, I will say that it's not like the vintage days when EVERYONE had these things. I have some friends at work with children and they know I collect toys so they keep me posted on what their kids want so I can check the stores for them and mostly I hear that the kids like Ninja Turtles, He-man, Wrestling figures, and video games.
Piett

fishyfett
08-26-2003, 02:02 AM
If I am living in a world that's separated from the rest of you, then it must not be that far. For the weather is the same over here. Dry, gloomy and no kids. Yeah, I, too, would love to see more kids get into SW, but its just not happening. I'm even trying to get my nephews to like SW, but again, it ain't just happening. They're more into vid games and would appreciate figures from the games better, like Soul Reaver figures. Yet, with all their disinterests, they still awe at my collection and would spend hours talking about certain characters and catching up on what's new in the SW universe. But toys don't really matter to them, they're just conversation pieces as far as most kids are concerned. Let's face it, it is us who's keeping this hobby alive. Not just SW, but all other toy lines that we find nostalgic and memorable. After all, kids got less money, choices, time and freedom than us adult collectors. Not to mention less attention span and imagination. Kinda makes me wonder where will this hobby be 20 years later. :confused:

shabo451
08-26-2003, 06:20 AM
If you're counting just the number of kids in stores looking at figures (which has always been a small number where I've been), that's only part of the picture. To be honest, I only occasionally look in Target or KB since I preorder everything online now from New Force. And, judging by how fast they (and other companies) sell out quickly, I find it hard to believe that kids are ordering these cases of figures, sets and vehicles. This brings the total percentage down even further, in my opinion, to about 10%.

InsaneJediGirl
08-26-2003, 10:06 AM
I say 30-40% of kids/their parents are buying the Star Wars figures.Aside from two younger brothers and a few kids here and there,I doubt many look at SW in my area.Theres a collector and his daughter that I've seen regularly,but other than that kids are looking at Beyblades and Zoids along with video games.Seems action figures are for those aged 4-8ish now.

SirSteve
08-26-2003, 10:38 AM
What it comes down to is being a movie year or a non movie year...

icatch9
08-26-2003, 10:43 AM
I'd like to have this same poll conducted in a 3rd or 4th grade classroom. Just to see what the results are.

This is not a fair poll as we are not a fair cross section of the community. We are collectors that's it, by no means are we diverse.

By the way I voted that 60% of the product is bought by kids. Why? Simple. Go to your job ask every co-worker you can find if they themselves have a Star Wars figure at home that they bought for themselves. Unless you work at a comic shop chances are you'll find no one else who collects these things.

Now go to any grade school in the land ask the same question to as many kids as you can. I bet you 95% of the boys say yes they have Star Wars figures at home, and I bet a surprising number of girls would say yes too.

It's that simple. Sure we don't see kids that often in the store, but I don't see collectors either. Heck I rarely see anyone buying anything.

It's true that more kids play video games more so than with action figurs, but I played both when I was a kid. I had every gameing sysetme from Atari to Playstation and still found time to play with Star Wars, GI Joe, Transformers, ect. Kids have a lot of time on thier hands :D.

plasticfetish
08-26-2003, 04:44 PM
I voted 30-40% ... but we'd all better cross our fingers and hope that it's better. "Adult" toy collectors are a fringe element. I can't imagine a company surviving off of our dollars alone ... not when it comes to a license like this one.

Last I heard from a source, it was right around 30%. You couldn't prove that by my area though, it seems to be 0% kids and 1% collectors, nobody ever seems interested in the line anymore.
I'd been reading through all of these posts thinking that ... and then I read it and laughed. For the most part, I don't see anyone buying Star Wars toys at all when I'm out. I don't see anything for them to buy, so I suppose the debate is pointless.


However, I don't think this is a solid defense for Hasbro's shoddy practices. From what I hear, kids seem to want what we want: lots of army builders, cool aliens and robots (even if they have no idea who they are), neutral sculpts, and more characters and outfits rather than the same ones over and over.
I'll single this point out as being "it" as far as I see. I have a 5 (2 months from now 6) year old boy. He has a nice sized pile of Star Wars toys (a little of everything from over the past 7 years) that get their share of abuse and play. He's watched the movies ... but they don't have very much to do with his play patterns. He does what he wants with the toys and plays with the various characters how he likes ... despite the limited play value that Hasbro has molded into many of their more recent efforts. Kids do want toys that they can really play with ... they don't want little spring loaded mini-McFarlane statues that melt in warm weather or need a special stand (not included) to make them stand up. If a kid has to fumble and struggle with a toy to make it do something for too long, he/she will basically end up loosing interest (HEY! me to.) That probably sums up Star Wars for most kids.

I've spent the past year around all of my son's friends ... been to the birthday parties, spent a few hours a week in the classroom. I've listened to them talking and watched them play. I've seen what they have in their grossly over filled toy boxes and for sure, there's plenty of "action figures." Sure, there's some Star Wars in there ... but it's just part of the pile for most kids. What Steve said about it being a "movie year" is totally important. I remember reading a few years ago that the Japanese toy company Takara was near to bankruptcy because in Japan to have a successful toy line of any kind you MUST have a cartoon or television show to support it. Apparently in Japan you've got to pay huge sums of money to have your show broadcast ... Takara couldn't afford it anymore and was just about ready to fold. Same applies to Star Wars here and everywhere ... if there's no "show" to support it, then it dries up. The "show" is what gets the kids hooked on the toys, the quality of the toy is what keeps the kids interested. Likewise, the amount of effort that the toy company puts into promoting and generating enthusiasm for the brand is crucial. I remember a few years ago, Bandai drove a huge truck painted with Gundam logos, full of toys, models and costumes around to promote Gundam. You could play the video games while waiting in line to look inside ... brilliant. My son was 3(?) when we saw that and he still talks about it today. What about Star Wars? Well ... I suppose the new cartoons will generate interest. When they start to promote the next movie there will be more interest. I suppose it all depends on how Hasbro handles it and just how dedicated they are to the idea of making toys for kids, that kids want to play with.

I've had my doubts about their sincerity. Most of the toys that we've gotten since episode 2 has come out, have been very play-unfriendly. Flimsy plastic (best for getting that wanabee McFarlane detail quality, but awful in just about every other kind of way), gimmicks that limit and in most cases hamper the play value of a toy, accessories that break too easily, too many versions of key characters too soon, key "army" characters being nearly impossible to play with because they can't hold their weapons, stand up or even keep their heads on for more than an instant. My frustration as a toy collector and as a parent who still ... given all of the current short comings, encourages his child to play with and enjoy these toys ... has mostly to do with the fact that I know and have seen that Hasbro is capable of better. The toys from Episode 1 and the POTJ line were brilliant (some of the Saga stuff too) ... I'm hoping very sincerely that the toys to come will get back to and perhaps exceed those standards. If so, I'll be the first to praise Hasbro's efforts ... if not, then I will not be one of the people standing around at ToysRus saying ... "What happened to Star Wars?"

jedi master sal
08-26-2003, 04:46 PM
Here's another observation. Look at how the toy line changes back too more original trilogy characters in non movie years. We, the older collectors associate with that while many young people, especially kids do not. They know it is part of the story but don't feel the same way we do about it. Anyway, the point is this, kids do not have the attention span for action figures like we do. (Now I'm generalizing here and I know there are exceptions.) To further this point though, remember for those of you that are old enough how SW was the number one movie for months and months after its release. It's because it wasn't on as many screens as movies are nowadays and people sometimes had to wait 6 months before seeing it for the first time. We that were kids at that time got the toys and PLAYED with them. We didn't have this digital library that is the Web for information. AND we didn't have video games, well at least not until near ROTJ. We had to make due with toys, and we did. I know I played for hours on end and my mom never had to look in on me to see if I was being bad. (Although sometimes she would check in on me just to make sure I was okay as I didn't make a whole lot of noise when playing SW other than the occasional laser blast of ship blowing up.) SW was around for so long, that we got used to the idea of it always being present and we looked forward to getting more figures to complete the collection to have even MORE fun playing with MORE characters from the scenes in the movies.

Nowadays, a movie is a hit one week and gone the next. There's NO time for it to remain popular long enough for toys to sell well and for a long time. You wonder why some movie toy lines come out weeks or months in advance, it's so the companies can make any money they can off of the prospect of a hit movie. Look at Hulk for instance. It was hoped to be huge, so toys were made. It didn't do well in theaters but had the manufacturer and retailers waited for the movie to be released they wouldn't have made ANY money off of that venture.

Star Wars remains the exception because of COLLECTORS! There was no other movie during that time that had such an impact on young boys and even some girls as well, as Star Wars. When the modern line first started hitting shelves, fans from that era lit up. And fans who had only known of the movies from VHS found something to have from the movies. So that includes people from 20-40+. Kids today do really connect the way we do with SW. They really only know the prequels and those not that well either. TPM was only on the charts for a few weeks (mostly because of it being the first NEW SW movie) AotC even less. So you can see where kids do not have the association like we do with the story. Again there are some excetions, but they are just that, exceptions.

There may be that parent who buys SW for their kid, but I'd venture to guess that many of those either collect themselves or get for their kids to live vicariously through them, because they (the parents) are indeed fans themselves.

Okay, there's so much more to say on this subject but I should leave it for others to ellaborate on. What do you fella's (and ladies) think of what I've said here?

plasticfetish
08-26-2003, 05:52 PM
What do you fella's (and ladies) think of what I've said here?
Not that I haven't said enough, but I agree with you.
The vintage stuff was special ... because it was unique. I do believe that it lived beyond being merely a fad because the toys were great to play with. Hasbro has been guilty of unwisely trying to force a "unique" quality on the more modern toys. Kids don't see the difference between this and any other toy fad, so they turn away. They look for the next quick thrill ... I did the same thing as a kid, but always had the good Star Wars stuff to turn back to when I was bored with the rest.

Tycho
08-26-2003, 07:55 PM
I think adults are going to like the Clone Wars cartoon series.

I know kids will see it, but I'm not sure if they'll schedule their lives around the Cartoon Network schedule like uh...well...uh....someone who looks like me, might.

With all the comments about popular cartoons, as well as CCG's, you'd think Star Wars would do well to tap into that more than with only 3 minute cartoons! I can't speak for RPG players or CCG'ers, I'm not sure what SW is doing in those areas, however, last I saw, they did not have SW Manga-style cards, which is probably where it should be, competative with Yugi-oh. With all the new Jedi and Dark Jedi, any company can do anything with Star Wars now (if set during the Clone Wars). Heck, if people knew what NJO was, they could have a bunch of Luke's Jedi vs. the Vong and bounty hunters working for the Peace Brigade.

Hopefully, CW (and it's awesome!) will spur a full 30 minute SW series from any era, and it will take off with action figures. I'm not sure movie-purists will be happy with what SW becomes, but the EU is SW's survival!

JediTricks
08-26-2003, 10:13 PM
What it comes down to is being a movie year or a non movie year...I dunno, it might have swelled a bit last year, but I don't think it was the major change they were expecting. I think the whole concept of the Action Feature was an attempt to try to get those kids to check it out, but I haven't heard fantastic numbers there and I haven't seen results. By July 2002, the line seemed to hold little interest with the kiddies around here.


When I was a kid, a large part of playing with Star Wars and GI Joe figures was that they interacted with something larger - vehicles and playsets. Unfortunately, both have fallen out of popularity of late because they're more expensive to buy and take up more shelf space and require large packaging, but I think they're a big part of what's missing today in toys.

Tycho
08-27-2003, 01:57 AM
I don't know if I do or do not agree with JediTricks about the vehicles.

I love:

Jango's Slave-One
Obi-Wan's Jedi Starfighter
The Republic Gunship!!!
The Federation Tank is back in stores. (a really cool vehicle!)
The green Jedi Starfighter (SaeSee Tiin's?) is in stores now, too).

and we're getting:

Anakin's Jedi Starfighter
the Geonosian Starfighter with an exclusive pilot!
the Hailfire Droid with 32 missles!

The speeders had nice crash features for low end of the price range.

Dooku's and Anakin's speederbikes should be out there (yeah).

The N-1 fighter, a great ship, might be re-released.

The TIE fighter's in KB's here in San Diego.
The A-wing's at least on Target.com.

All of these could fit on one bookcase if you squeezed them in, not that kids would get the $230 plus to assemble a fleet that big.

(both dollars and space for the 30 inch wing spanning Gunship wasn't applied in that example)

But heck, for $60 bucks in vehicles or less, I could have a heck of a fight with Jango and Obi-Wan's ships, or something similar like an N-1 vs a Federation tank.

What is the typical kid's toy budget though? Or parents' toy budget for their kid?

Baseball gloves cost nearly $100, as does assembling other league equipment for your average young sportsman. You sign up for the team and get lucky at try-outs, and you end up with a $500 bill before you wash the grass out of your hair.

A Gameboy costs less than a baseball season, so I see where they are going with that.

Star Wars *could* be enjoyed for a little less, but it leads to spending a lot more as all of us down $700 on April 23, 2002 know.

The average time spent playing "foil the challenge" presented by Hasbro's twist-ties on your Screen Scene figures is a lot less than it takes to beat a computer game. So the latter entertains for longer. But remember the Tatooine skiff? Kids could have fun for hours trying to untie those knots!

Anyway, it's not lack of vehicles. It might be lack of funds and an alternative to "day care."

A Gameboy costs less than Little League and holds the attention span longer than the SW toy. So who knows what's going on in sociology these days?

stillakid
08-27-2003, 09:08 AM
The kids I have, and the kids I know because of them, like Star Wars, but aside from just one of them, the rest are really really into Yu Gi Oh at the moment. Before that it was Digimon and before that it was Pokemon. Anything having to do with a Gameboy is and has been hot for a few years and of course the newest console systems fill in the other gaps. I just don't see any kids of late playing with "toys" the way we used to.

I mean, when I was a kid, my brothers and I played with Legos (actually played with them...not build a prepackaged model and let it sit), Hotwheels, and Star Wars action figures and ships. Kids today have so many other options, including Cartoon Network (I mean, when I was a kid, we had Saturday mornings for cartoons and maybe Tom and Jerry after school and that was it) to fill their time.

Oh, and of course, the last time I saw anyone else in the Star Wars aisle at retail store was weeks ago. I know they've been there as the newest stuff is picked through, but from previous experience, it is most likely morning collectors trying to snag everything before the rest of us have a chance to have a fair shot at it. But kids? Rarely seen browsing the Star Wars stuff.

jjreason
08-27-2003, 04:20 PM
Around half during a movie year, and then declining steadily from the release of the movie to about a quarter until the hype starts up again. Pure guess though.

Kidhuman
08-27-2003, 07:12 PM
The kids I have, and the kids I know because of them, like Star Wars, but aside from just one of them, the rest are really really into Yu Gi Oh at the moment. Before that it was Digimon and before that it was Pokemon. Anything having to do with a Gameboy is and has been hot for a few years and of course the newest console systems fill in the other gaps. I just don't see any kids of late playing with "toys" the way we used to.

I mean, when I was a kid, my brothers and I played with Legos (actually played with them...not build a prepackaged model and let it sit), Hotwheels, and Star Wars action figures and ships. Kids today have so many other options, including Cartoon Network (I mean, when I was a kid, we had Saturday mornings for cartoons and maybe Tom and Jerry after school and that was it) to fill their time.

Oh, and of course, the last time I saw anyone else in the Star Wars aisle at retail store was weeks ago. I know they've been there as the newest stuff is picked through, but from previous experience, it is most likely morning collectors trying to snag everything before the rest of us have a chance to have a fair shot at it. But kids? Rarely seen browsing the Star Wars stuff.

What? Me and stillakid agree? Heaven help us..........LOL ;)

I do agree that with all the things out there, kids can not concentrate on what is in. Everything is in. They have there heads spun in so many directions that I am suprised they are still attatched. When we were kids, I really only remember 2 lines of toys that stuck around, Star Wars and G.I.Joe. You either collected one or the other. Very rarely did I see both at someones house until around 1986 when SW pretty much died out.

Kids now adays have Transformers, Max Steel, G.I. Joe, Sw, Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh, TMNT, and whatever superhero movie comes out Friday to pick from. Plus all the things on Cartoon Network. My step-son has Star Wars figures, but i gave him most of them. He has bought a few himself with B-day and X-mas money. If I didnt have them I don't know if he would even look at them.

Plus with the lack of Sw available in most areas, I havent seen a soul besides myself digging through a SW peg to see if I can find one I havent got yet.

Maybe with the Clone Wars cartoon it might pick up. If they are stillonmly three minutes(I dont know if they made itlonger or not) it wont. To kids it will be the time to go to the bathroom befor Ed, Edd, and Eddie or Courage come on.

And Tycho, Kids can not aford to have allthe coolships and what not. They are too expensive for kids nowadays. I remember when I was young and such that I treasured my Millenium Falcon and Tie Fighters. Kids nowadays get these big toys ans destroy themwith in days of having them. I refuse to buy my stepson anything big and expensive for that reason. We bought himthe Spider Man playset for Christmas last year. It took me more time to put it together for himthan it did for himto destroy it. It has been sitting in his toy box since Dec. 26. If they didnt have all these little parts(missles, etc) than maybe it wouldnt be so bad. But they lose the missles and everything else 20 minutes intoplaying with them and then they do not want it because it doesnt work anymore. Plus they are so cheaply made, they cant handle the abuse kids put it through.

Tycho
08-27-2003, 07:57 PM
You think kids play with these things differently than how we did?

I think it'd be hard to prove.

I'd shoot rubber bands at my figures to make a fire-fight happen.

I never lost my Y-wing's missle, but it hit my Death Star on many bombing runs!

Never lost R2's little launching lightsaber, let alone any of my Luke's.

I took them outside to play with. When my mom's flower garden was muddy from the sprinklers, it was totally Dagobah. I was somewhat successful in preserving R2's stickers ;) My x-wing faired pretty well, too. It can still make the laser sound.

It took a nerf football to knock the AT-AT over! But I got my spiral practiced pretty good.

Nothing damaged, nothing missing or broken.

My parents were always taking their chances on getting me anything, but by ROTJ, I was spending my own money from my odd jobs to buy stuff for myself.

Teach kids to earn stuff, they'll respect it. Even if they do throw a football at it ;)

There's never a garauntee, but I asked my parents if they'd replace my AT-AT if I lit it on fire. They said no, and told me not to play with matches, so I never really did neither. Well, technically...

Kidhuman
08-27-2003, 09:31 PM
I never lost any of mine either, maybe after a few years I did. I was 3 or 4 when I got a Shogun Warrior. It had about thirty missles in it. When I got rid of it, ten years later I had lost 2 of em. I kept my stuff in great shape. All my vintage stuff has play wear on it. I lost alot of my vintage collection in moving but thats about it. I never lost a sliding saber on my vintage either. Kids (to me) seem alot more spoiled today then we did. They seem to have an "I dont care" attitude. That combined with the way toys are made, dont mix. Plus combined with the prices of them really dont mix. I would rather loose my wallet than pay 40-60 dollars for a toy that is gonna be broken in the matter of a week.

I played rough with my toys. I would slam them against walls and everything. They were made like football players. Nowadays it is like roughing the kicker.

stillakid
08-27-2003, 11:45 PM
What? Me and stillakid agree? Heaven help us..........LOL ;)

Open your mind and I'll take you to a world of enlightenment. ;)

Have some of this KoolAid first. :cool:


And Tycho, Kids can not aford to have allthe coolships and what not. They are too expensive for kids nowadays. I remember when I was young and such that I treasured my Millenium Falcon and Tie Fighters. Kids nowadays get these big toys ans destroy themwith in days of having them. I refuse to buy my stepson anything big and expensive for that reason. We bought himthe Spider Man playset for Christmas last year. It took me more time to put it together for himthan it did for himto destroy it. It has been sitting in his toy box since Dec. 26. If they didnt have all these little parts(missles, etc) than maybe it wouldnt be so bad. But they lose the missles and everything else 20 minutes intoplaying with them and then they do not want it because it doesnt work anymore. Plus they are so cheaply made, they cant handle the abuse kids put it through.

My first ship was the Landspeeder which I got for Christmas or a birthday. Then I got the Falcon for Christmas 1978, I think. Both got parked in their boxes after I was done playing with them (and I'm proud to still have the original packaging in pretty decent shape after all these years.) The next ship I recall getting was the Slave I. I had saved up about $20 and begged my mom to allow me to buy it. That too, remains well kept even today in it's grade A original box even with moderate to heavy play use.

As Tycho says, teach a kid to take care of his stuff and he probably will. However, accidents happen. Some of my friends did things like "fly" their ships around on strings until they broke and went crashing into the ground. Kids are kids. And toys should be built to take heavy abuse even if kids are expected to be gentle.

My son got the new Slave I for his birthday. Within seconds, his friends took off around the house shooting the missiles every which way. To this day, we're missing at least half of them. That's how kids play with stuff. That's just the way it is. The toy companies can't be held responsible for that, but by the same token, they should take care in crafting their products in a way that can stand up to rough play...if they're making them for kids that is. We "adults" :rolleyes: treat this stuff with kit-gloves as if it was frickin' Tiffany glass or something. But kids? Well, they have different ideas about what to do with toys.

JediTricks
08-28-2003, 01:14 AM
The speeders had nice crash features for low end of the price range.Except most Saga figures can't really interact with those 2 ships.

Anyway, it's not lack of vehicles. It might be lack of funds and an alternative to "day care."They have to be good ships that hold figures inside IMO, the AAT is pretty pathetic in that department really, the Hailfire Droid is a complete bust there, the aforementioned Coruscant Speeders fail pretty badly, the Ep 2 speederbikes are nowhere to be found and really only accomodate a specialty figure, Jedi Starfighter only holds 1 figure, TIE Fighter isn't that great and is in the same boat with only 1 figure, Green A-Wing is nowhere to be found and in the same boat, and so is the Naboo Fighter. So that really only leaves Jango's Slave 1 (cool toy, sucky interior and small exterior though) and the Rep Gunship (bland interior) for available figures to play with. And notice how most of the 1-figure vehicles don't hold many Saga figs and have to come with their own pack-in figure.

BTW, my point wasn't just about SW, look at GI Joe for example. And the few vehicles and playsets there are barely interact with the figures, there's no cool interiors anymore, they're usually taken up by gimmicks and batteries and whatnot.

fishyfett
08-28-2003, 01:32 AM
Open your mind and I'll take you to a world of enlightenment. ;)

Have some of this KoolAid first. :cool:



My first ship was the Landspeeder which I got for Christmas or a birthday. Then I got the Falcon for Christmas 1978, I think. Both got parked in their boxes after I was done playing with them (and I'm proud to still have the original packaging in pretty decent shape after all these years.) The next ship I recall getting was the Slave I. I had saved up about $20 and begged my mom to allow me to buy it. That too, remains well kept even today in it's grade A original box even with moderate to heavy play use.

As Tycho says, teach a kid to take care of his stuff and he probably will. However, accidents happen. Some of my friends did things like "fly" their ships around on strings until they broke and went crashing into the ground. Kids are kids. And toys should be built to take heavy abuse even if kids are expected to be gentle.

My son got the new Slave I for his birthday. Within seconds, his friends took off around the house shooting the missiles every which way. To this day, we're missing at least half of them. That's how kids play with stuff. That's just the way it is. The toy companies can't be held responsible for that, but by the same token, they should take care in crafting their products in a way that can stand up to rough play...if they're making them for kids that is. We "adults" :rolleyes: treat this stuff with kit-gloves as if it was frickin' Tiffany glass or something. But kids? Well, they have different ideas about what to do with toys. Which is why I allow NO kids near my collection without me around. Kids are innocently destructive. And let's face it, we're into Star Wars cause we grew up with it. Same thing with He-Man, Thunder Cats and all the other toys that we enjoyed as kids. Ironically, the much reviled Power Rangers and anime's like Yugi-oh, Pokemon and other anime wannabees are what kids are mostly interested in. Why? Because these are the toys kids nowadays are growing up with and are very fond of them. Maybe todays kids are just different from us. Just as we are different from our parents when they were kids like us. Gotta change with the times. :cool:

jedi master sal
08-28-2003, 02:16 PM
I'd like to have this same poll conducted in a 3rd or 4th grade classroom. Just to see what the results are.

This is not a fair poll as we are not a fair cross section of the community. We are collectors that's it, by no means are we diverse.

By the way I voted that 60% of the product is bought by kids. Why? Simple. Go to your job ask every co-worker you can find if they themselves have a Star Wars figure at home that they bought for themselves. Unless you work at a comic shop chances are you'll find no one else who collects these things.

Now go to any grade school in the land ask the same question to as many kids as you can. I bet you 95% of the boys say yes they have Star Wars figures at home, and I bet a surprising number of girls would say yes too.

Actually, we are a bit diverse. There are teens, 20 somethings, 30 and older here at SSG. We buy toys at different times of the day. Some early morning buyers, some like myself (right after work) and so on. Many of us have collected the modern line from the begining. So I personally have 8 years of experience to speak from (Of course I collected the vintage line when it first came out) when I can say there are virtually no kids buying SW. Also in that time you can get a good read on people if they are buying the toys for themselves or their kids. Again based on 8 years of collecting this percentage of kids is low, from my observations.

Also the poll question eluded to the TOTAL percentage of SW toys being bought, not whether a kid has one, two or a few figures. Shoot I alone have more figures than probably 2 average grade schools worth of children or more.

And Steve, that's unfair to say movie year or not. Even during the movie years the purchasing of SW toys buy kids or their parents still wasn't great. Sure it's more than non-movie years but nowhere near the purchasing habits of collectors. I know my purchasing habots increase during the movie years, but that's just because more product is available. As I've mentioned before, on 4/23 I bought nearly $700 worth of SW toys alone. I can honestly say that there were no kids there and the closest any other collector came to me in amount purchased was $200, but the average collector seemed to be buying somewhere in the range of $100-150. NO kid or even parent for that mater with only the rarest of exceptions bought like that on 4/23. And they still don't to this day. In the last 1 1/2 months alone, I again have sunk another $400 into the collection. (this due to the rather sudden appearance of new product from a drought of almost 6 months) What kid I ask can do this. Again, you'd have to look to the RARE exception. That's why it is clearly apparent that this toy line is and forever will be about collectors. Shoot even during the dark times of early 2003, I still bought SW toys. I army built a little. I broke down and bought some things off the net. I started collecting non toy SW paraphernalia (sp?)

Movie year or no, action gimmicks or not, we will be the ones to sustain the line. PERIOD.

Sorry for going on the rant. I'm just tired of this debate. Where are the "kids" who collect. You'll find even here, the best SW collecting site in the world, that that percentage is disproportionate to that of adult collectors.

The average kid does not go on the net looking for lead to new SW toys. Like has been mentioned SO many times before, they've got Video games, Yu-Gi-Oh (and stuff like that), other toy lines and so on.

When Kenner got the right to produce the modern line, do you honestly believe they thought, "WOW, we are going to make a killing on these toys in the 4-12 demographic". NO, I tell you. They were probably thinging more like, "YES! WE are going to score a bundle on those people who used to collect this stuff years ago. Shoot, now they're all grown up and have the money to buy a ton of this".

See we have the nostalgia factor we as kids back in 1995 didn't have that. Sure they had the movie on VHS but that's just not the same. Now sure some of those kids have grown a bit since then and of course with the release of the Special Editions, then EPI and EPII they started to buy more.

Let look at that example though. Let's say "Billy" was 10 back in 1995. He wasn't even born yet when ROTJ came out. He wouldn't even be able to understand the movies at least until he was roughly 5 (in 1990). How many times do you think he saw the Original Trilogy during that time. IF his parents were fans, amybe a little but if not, then virtually not at all. So here comes this new toy line in 1995 with characters from movies almost 20 years prior. He has no interest. Now here comes the Special Editions. His interest is piqued a little. So now he wants some of the figures after seeing the movies in the theaters (which BTW is still the best way to see them). So now in 1997 during the SE "Billy" is now 12. So he understands the movies a bit more. Slowly rumors arise that George Lucas is going to make a new "Prequel" trilogy. He again show interest. So in 1999 (he's now 14) he sees the movie and get more toys. This kid still isn't old enough to have a job that pays decent for his age, so he can only get a sparse amount of stuff. Besides his parents who are not fans are trying to steer him away from toys (in general not just SW) and want him to grow up a little. Well, luckily for us "Billy" keeps up as best as he can and in 2002 AOTC comes out, now "Billy" is 16 and working at his local McDonalds. He has the money to buy the toys but is torn if he should get them or that cool ride or some designer clothes to impress his girlfriend. So he decides a little of each. Well, here we are in 2003. "Billy" has a modest collection but still isn't old enough to have a good paying job. He's thinking about college now, so interest while high in the movies, isn't so much on the toys.

Now this can be rearranged a little to say, what of kids today? Again, unless their parents are fans themselves, I just can't see them buying $100's of dollars at a time for toys, especially for a kid 4-8 years old.

Now if you turn this example around and plug in a collector's age, the dynamic become quite different.

I'll use me as an example.

I was 7 when SW came out. I through the help of my mom figures and ships and such. Again there was no internet or video games and collectible card games where unheard of then. So all we had were toys for the most part back then. I was 10 when ESB came out and my mom knew I was a big fan so again she bought me more stuff. (I was easy to buy for though since I only like SW, Lego's then later G.I. Joe and Ninja Turtles) Then in 83 ROTJ came out. I again was able to get toys and did so. Then came the dark times for collecting. The line started to die off and I started growing up. I got a girlfriend, nice clothes had a job and so on. So my focus wasn't SW. Yes, I've always been a fan, but like most, the passion subsided, only to be in part replaced by natural things that occur while growing up. Well, speed up to 1995. I'm now 25-26. I've been in the military, have a decent job and am starting college (many my age have already completed college and have good jobs themselves). So at this point I here that SW toys are making a come back. I'm ecstatic, because I remember how much joy they brought me when I was a kid. I didn't think back then that the to line would ever grow into what it has become. I thought that there would only be a couple dozen figures and that would be the end f it, so I bought all of the first wave. Funny thing though, the figures didn't stop coming and I found that while I was a bit disgruntled by the "buff" figures, I still wanted them. Then the news of the re-release of SW and with EXTRA footage! This really got me going and I found that I wanted to get my hands on any SW toys I could. (I guess that's when I can say I honestly knew I became a collector, though in truth I was before that.) Now by the time of 1998 I had been happily collecting for 3 years and had amassed a nice collection. Then the news of TPM. Well by now I had finished college and was going back for a second degree and had a great job and could afford the toys, so I got them. During midnight madness for Menace, I spent nearly $300. (BTW, I don't say this to brag, it's just the point that we adults can and do buy MUCH more than kids and/or their parnets when it comes to SW) Well, the rest is pretty much history because when he EPI toy release happened I got one of my first tastes of scalping and saw that this was going to be a bigger undertaking than I had anticipated 4 years ago (from 1999). Still I stuck through it because I had been a fan of the Saga at that point for 22 years! I bought heavily as mentioned for the EPII toy release and continue til this day. If all goes as planned and Hasbro has a lot to offer, I'm planning on a $1000 EPIII toy release. Little "Billy" is now a collector like me (he's 20 now BTW). While he can't buy in the amounts that I do, he still can afford more than the average kid.

So, in conclusion, SW is not a kids toy line it is a collectors line. Does it make collectors out of kids? In a lot of cases yes, but they are near adults or are adults by the time that happens. Will it have staying power in the future? Who knows. Without another trilogy, the line will eventually die. The books can only carry it so far. We (us old timers) will go into a small depression, because we have to yet again face a world without SW and the toys and those new fans will be facing the same thing.

Unless Hasbro changes it's thinking (and they seem to during the non-movie years), the line will fall into oblivion by the end of 2007.

Okay I'm done now. Can we be done with this endless debate? I wanna go home and play with my figures now......

Tycho
08-28-2003, 02:43 PM
Well said Jedi Master Sal!

Everyone go back and re-read what he wrote immediately above!

It couldn't be explained better, and it would be very hard to argue against!


The way he tells the story is great, too - and you'll find it surely describes a LOT of us!

plasticfetish
08-28-2003, 05:51 PM
No, I don't think you can argue or dispute how jedi master sal has presented the situation for the most part. My only question is, with what he's said ...

Movie year or no, action gimmicks or not, we will be the ones to sustain the line. PERIOD.
Sorry for going on the rant. I'm just tired of this debate. Where are the "kids" who collect. You'll find even here, the best SW collecting site in the world, that that percentage is disproportionate to that of adult collectors.
... what really is the point of the "debate?" Are we trying to say that ... the Star wars line is supported nearly exclusively by collectors, who are primarily adults and as such the line should be designed and marketed to them alone? If so, what does this mean exactly to anyone who agrees?

When Kenner got the right to produce the modern line, do you honestly believe they thought, "WOW, we are going to make a killing on these toys in the 4-12 demographic". NO, I tell you. They were probably thinking more like, "YES! WE are going to score a bundle on those people who used to collect this stuff years ago. Shoot, now they're all grown up and have the money to buy a ton of this".
I'm not about to entirely dispute that point ... I would only hope to amend it. I genuinely think (and I'm only speculating, so make of it what you will) that Kenner came into this thinking two things. First and yes foremost, that past fans of the line (now adults) will be interested because of nostalgia. Yet secondly, I think Kenner may have been counting on another and similar effect ... and that has to do with nostalgic parents buying toys for their own children. There must have been a great amount of faith put into the idea that a parent, who had been a fan of Star Wars ... to just about any degree, would spot these toys and think, "Hey, that's something I know ... that's something good." I think the initial design of the figures supports a lean toward the Star Wars line as being, at least in spirit, intended primarily for children. The big brawny figures were probably designed to catch a kids eye and offer that kind of GI Joe fighting fun that Kenner assumed all kids wanted. I frankly hated the way they looked ... and initially resisted the POTF2 line because it was such a weird departure from the vintage line. But, I did think that my own child might like them once he had gotten to know the story just a little.

Only point I'd try to make, is that there's never been anything wrong with trying to appeal to both kids and collectors. In many cases Hasbro's done a pretty good job ... in others they've done poorly. I think this kind of "debate" has lead to Hasbro's seeming schizophrenic approach to the Star Wars line. It's also what's gotten us into this distribution mess that we're in. The kids have dropped what fragile interest they've had in the line because there's nothing significant there for them to be interested in. So Hasbro thinks ... <begin Hasbro voice> if collectors are the only ones buying and they represent a smaller audience, then we can reduce the amount of merchandise that we produce and distribute. After all, those "collectors" will track it down and find it if they really want it. Maybe we can even play around with the quality of the product to see if they'll keep buying it no matter what ... after all, most of them don't open their stuff anyway. (Look at that Todd McFarlane, he's making a killing and he could probably get away with only gluing half of his figure together. Who'd know the difference?) <end Hasbro voice>

I'm pretty much convinced that if the line becomes geared entirely toward collectors in some fashion, that I'll probably lose interest also. I collect toys ... which are and should be designed with children's interests in mind. If Hasbro can't create a toy or produce a toy line that excites and effectively sparks a child's imagination, then I suppose the line deserves to die. At the very least, hand the license over to someone else that might approach it with more focus.

It's probably just a little early to be writing Hasbro off though. We should probably wait and see how things go over the next few years and wait to see what the "kids" think about this next movie.

thrawndude
08-28-2003, 06:14 PM
I totally agree with what jedi master sal said. I pretty much was that kid he described, grew up loving star wars but couldnt find any money to sustain my addiction. Then i got a paper route and all of my money basically went into buying figures. I admit now that i do have a decent paying job that not all my money goes into buying figures (college) but when they do have stuff that i dont have a spend about 20 bucks a week which isnt much, but over the years my collection is up to 151 figures and 10 vehicles, mostly bought by my own money which makes me even more proud of it. I only wish Idaho got some new figures, wal mart and TRU and target have nothing the only store that has anything decent is KB. I just wish now that I would have boughten that Death Star trooper when i saw him years ago or the Ree-Yees etc. I will prolly end up having to buy them off of ebay now, that is my only regret in my star wars collecting days. But suffice to say well done jedi master sal couldnt agree more and good points plasticfetish.

Tycho
08-28-2003, 06:57 PM
I think these ideas will appeal to both- they always appealed in the past:


neutral poses, with basic articulation, and even more poseability when possible
perhaps use that articulation to pose them in the package, to make them look more exciting
accessories that are appropriate and authentic to the character, and might interact w. other stuff
clear stands
scene specific base stands that connect, when appropriate (Padme Wedding)
cool packaging (especially like the vintage figure days)
a wide range of background characters that collectors want for dioramas, or just detail
Core characters re-released so that they're available for new collectors or kids just old enough
Distribution with army builders in cases with only other army builders
Color coding the cases so that Collection 1 is always stocked by stores to compliment Collection 2


In the 1970's-'80's, these figures appealed to kids - those kids were most of us!

This is what kids AND Collectors want to buy.

Obviously, cartoons, video games, rpg's, and ccg's will help sell the line to kids. Some of that is out of Hasbro's control, but it won't work unless they do the above as well.

stillakid
08-28-2003, 10:36 PM
I think these ideas will appeal to both- they always appealed in the past:


neutral poses, with basic articulation, and even more poseability when possible
perhaps use that articulation to pose them in the package, to make them look more exciting
accessories that are appropriate and authentic to the character, and might interact w. other stuff
clear stands
scene specific base stands that connect, when appropriate (Padme Wedding)
cool packaging (especially like the vintage figure days)
a wide range of background characters that collectors want for dioramas, or just detail
Core characters re-released so that they're available for new collectors or kids just old enough
Distribution with army builders in cases with only other army builders
Color coding the cases so that Collection 1 is always stocked by stores to compliment Collection 2


In the 1970's-'80's, these figures appealed to kids - those kids were most of us!

This is what kids AND Collectors want to buy.

Obviously, cartoons, video games, rpg's, and ccg's will help sell the line to kids. Some of that is out of Hasbro's control, but it won't work unless they do the above as well.


I really believe that "Playsets and Vehicles" should be added to your list. I vividly recall from my youth enjoying my action figures the most when I had them in a playset and/or vehicle. The Falcon, of course, was the best because it was both. I also played a ton with Dagobah and with the Cantina. Sure, I used the couch and the laundry basket and other stuff to "make" the environments that I didn't have from Kenner, but rarely did I just "play" with the action figures out on the carpet or a table. It was always more fun to put them in a ship and fly them around or "recreate" a scene from a movie with a playset. And certainly, I NEVER just displayed them. I don't even think that was in the vernacular at the time for kids. They had that action figure stand, but I didn't know anyone who had it.

Anyhow, figures are cool to have, but they need a place to go and some way to get there. :)

fishyfett
08-29-2003, 12:28 AM
And let me state 'The Sum of All Fears' in this survey:

After the third Prequel had breathed its last by the end of 2005, we collectors will still be the 'Last Men Standing' to sustain Hasbro megatoy business. With very minute exceptions, most of the kids would've have been 'Gone With the Wind'. Next movie please?????? :happy:

obi-dad
08-29-2003, 12:30 PM
I would definitely say below 20% and if I had the choice, I would have said below 10% with a little hesitation. To be honest, I seldom run into another collector when I go find SW figures. I run into more adults than kids, but I have run into kids as well (hopefully, I didn't hurt them much :crazed: :D :crazed: ) However, I see kids looking at Power Rangers and (parents with kids) more often when in the action figure isle than I see other collectors looking at any other action figure group. That probably didn't make sense, but when I see someone in the action figure isle... chances are, they are looking at Power Rangers, regardless if they are a kid or adult. And when I see an adult looking at Power Rangers, I can only hope they are buying them for their kids.

icatch9
08-29-2003, 02:07 PM
Yes, yes, yes, all good points. The bomarang effect on nastalgia toys is certainly a key factor. No kids in the stores are certainly a obvious factor. The pure amount of stuff a completests buys is a huge factor.

Yes we are diverse in our habbits, but we are mear collectors. We love these things and what they represent, but I doubt many of us run home after buying a new fig, rip it open and start playing with it. Take it out in the yard and recreate battle sceens with our imagination. I'm sure some of you will say you do, but the fact remains you are not buying that fig to play with, you are buying that fig to have becasue you collect them. We may have teens and college kids on here, but there are no pre-teens on here. No grade schoolers. No first grade kids. The ones that I know have these toys too.

You may have spent $700 when they first came out last summer, but you didn't buy anything Star Wars related for weeks at a time. Simply because you already had it all on the first day. Where as, thousands of kids were getting figs every day for weeks becasue they couldn't buy it all at once like you.

Collectors are hightly outnumbered. Our collections may be large, but we are outnumbered by the amount of kids that actually have these toys to play with.

Finally, what does it matter anyway? Who cares if we are the majority or minority. Is that going to change anything? Would you feel better about it. Would it justfy your colletion that other adults buy these things? Do you realy think Hasbro is going to make figs to suit adults rather than kids? No, way. We are in thier back pocket and they know this. It's the kids they have to try to persuade to buy there product.

If adutls were the main base we'd get more stuff driven towards adults. Like Spawn toys. Like adult quality Nascars and Hot Wheels. Star Wars has Unleashed; a line that is certainly not sustained at the retail level. Why? You tell me (and don't tell me about the lame Jango and Maul either as I've heard it all befor).

RiversdaleCaptain
08-30-2003, 07:08 AM
Hello, I live in Melbourne and when i have been to toys'r'us, K-mart etc. i have hardly ever seen adults buying star wars stuff. It usually kids under 10 making their parents buy figures for them. There is a specialist shop nearby, and you won't find kids there, but there aren't many adults either...maybe Star Wars just isn't that popular around my area. I'm 13 and i have on friend that collects star wars items. It might be the price thats stopping people buying figures, vehicles etc., I remember 4 or 5 years ago when i could buy one figure a month, and that forced me to stop collecting for ages. i recently took it up again now that I can get money for myself, selling things on eBay. I still luv the POTF 2 figures and they're hard to find now :(, i really want the millennium falcon, but now its sooo expensive! argh...

RiversdaleCaptain

Tycho
08-30-2003, 12:14 PM
I have a friend in Australia who collects. I know the import prices on the stuff make them extremely expensive even at retail. I hope Aussie TRU can make better arrangements with Hasbro for you.

Meanwhile, it's been years since we've had a Millennium Falcon in stores. If I were you, I'd wait and see if you want a newer version of one - Hasbro could make in the near future. ( we hope)

RiversdaleCaptain
08-30-2003, 08:54 PM
Meanwhile, it's been years since we've had a Millennium Falcon in stores. If I were you, I'd wait and see if you want a newer version of one - Hasbro could make in the near future. ( we hope)

At a local collectors shop there is a complete but loose millennium falcon selling for AU$200, which I think is a complete rip off. But i really want it, maybe if i don't find one for less or if a new one isn't released, i'll have to buy it...

Kidhuman
08-30-2003, 10:10 PM
Digging through the old threads I found this


http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?t=387

JediTricks
08-31-2003, 08:29 PM
Digging through the old threads I found this


http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?t=387
Boy, I used to be a lot more articulate and witty. :D

jedi master sal
09-03-2003, 03:51 PM
You may have spent $700 when they first came out last summer, but you didn't buy anything Star Wars related for weeks at a time. Simply because you already had it all on the first day. Where as, thousands of kids were getting figs every day for weeks because they couldn't buy it all at once like you.

Whoa, my man back up. Yes, I did spend nearly $700 on 4/23, but do you know how long of a break I took before buying another figure? Obvioulsy no. I took a matter of a couple of days off. Then started back into my routine. I still didn't have Dooku at that time and was also on the lok-out for several other collectors then too. I continued to buy SW merchandise all the while. In fact during the drought earlier this year, I still bought stuff. I caught up on some army building and purchased some non-toy SW related stuff. And I contend that many kids did not go wild with purchasing right after the movie. Even if they were lucky enough for their parents to buy say 10 of these figs, at $5 a piece that's $50. That's a reasonable amount of figs for the avg. kid. But that's only $50, so looking at my particular 4/23 purchase alone, I bought enough for 14 kids not just in one day but in one store. My income and buying habits are such that I can afford to buy in large amounts but that doesn't preclude me from buying small either. Shoot, there's many times I only get 1 figure and I'm happy for it. In fact, I'd rahter that it be that distribution was so good that you didn't have to worry about "getting the figure right now", so that I could just buy casully a couple of figs at a time. If Hasbro would have gotten things together properly from the start of this year, we all could have had a few new figs a month over the first six months and everyone (generally) could have afforded to get all of the figs (and found them).

Anyway, to condense all that. I bought big on 4/23 and still continued to buy after that on a regular basis.


Collectors are hightly outnumbered. Our collections may be large, but we are outnumbered by the amount of kids that actually have these toys to play with.

Still the question was how much of the [total] amount of toys were purchased by kids. (or even for kids for that matter) It's still very low. I'm not the only collector in Pittsburgh and I know from my years of collecting SW that kids here just don't buy alot. Even if you add up the numbers of kids vs collectors, with my other local collecting buds basically reporting the same experiences, the kid market is virtually non-exhistent here. I can count at least 20 other guys like me here and I'm sure there's more out there we don't know about. With each of us spending as we do, kids can't keep up with that. It would take literally hundreds of kids vs the collector. And buying 1 figure every month by a kid is not going to sustain this line. Not every kid collects SW and those that can, more than like don't like we do. Again, just talking from my experience, I nearly never seeing a kid buying SW or a parent for a kid. (and trust me when I see someone else buying SW, I ask if their a collector or buying for a kid) I ask that because if it's a collector then I can help them out with the more exclusive or pricier stuff. If it's for a kid, I try to get a feel for what the kid may like and try to help the parent make the best purchase based on what they may tell me about their kids playing habits/age and so on. here are those times (and thy feel great BTW) that I help out the rare parent or grandparent find something or point them to the store that has the exclusive a child wants or tell them where they can get this or that item for cheaper) It's usually well received.


Finally, what does it matter anyway? Who cares if we are the majority or minority. Is that going to change anything? Would you feel better about it. Would it justfy your colletion that other adults buy these things? Do you realy think Hasbro is going to make figs to suit adults rather than kids? No, way. We are in thier back pocket and they know this. It's the kids they have to try to persuade to buy there product.

If it truly is the kids they are trying to get to buy their product, they need to try a different angle. The clone packs are a good idea, but I fear that when a kids gets one he/she will be sorely disappointed because they can pose them how they want. The availability of even some of the more common figures is down right disgraceful right now. Newer waves that could have help the line by offering new characters for kids to play with still have hardly reached stores in numerous quantities for kids to keep their interest up.

By the time a kid can afford to ge these things in the volume they may want if they REALLY like SW, they'll be too old. Other things will come along. LOTR is an example of a trilogy that will stand the test of time to come. The attention span just isn't the same today as it was back then and as I mentioned before, this is one BIG reason why you don't see as many kids buying this stuff as collectors.

I have more thought on this and will post them tomorrow, but it's the end of work for me today, and I'm off to eight stores tonight to look for stuff.

Hmm, I wonder how many kids I'll see looking at or buying SW toys tonight.

(Sarcasm alert detected)