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View Full Version : Now that you're heading the right way with SW, let's talk your other lines



El Chuxter
01-30-2004, 12:55 PM
I'm loving what I'm seeing of the current and upcoming Star Wars toys. The animated figures are incredible, the return to the classic packaging is even better, and the line-up for the next year is the greatest. (Crix and Ewoks!! Yay!!) Not to mention that you've backed away from the mess some of the early Saga figures were, going back to the sculpts and articulation of the later POTJ figures.

Kudos on those! But since this is a "Dear Hasbro" forum, and you don't make only SW figures, there are two other lines that are near and dear to my heart, and I think to the hearts of most of my fellow collectors: Transformers and GIJoe.

First, regarding both lines: if it's in any way possible, get back the classic names! We want Shockwave, we want Bluestreak. Some fudging we don't mind (like "Autobot Jazz" or "Agent Scarlett"), but for most of us, there is no such character as Silverstreak, nor should there have to be. (I don't understand trademarks and copyright laws fully, but I think it's really strange that Dreamwave and Devil's Due have no problem using these old names for characters they license from Hasbro.)

Let's look first at GIJoe, since it's in bigger trouble. I've never seen a kid pick up any of the new Joe vs Cobra figures [and if you read my other posts, I'm constantly arguing that kids do indeed buy SW figures], and collectors are getting frustrated with the proliferation of useless resculpts and repaints, especially when they have to buy them to get one new figure because of the way the two-packs are set up. The "troop builder" sets I've seen in the Valor vs Venom sub-line are a step in the right direction, but no one needs yet another Snake Eyes or Cobra Commander. The vintage line had six Snake Eyes over 12 years. Since the Joe vs Cobra line started about two years ago, we already have eight! I like Snake Eyes as much as everyone, but isn't that a tad excessive?

Bottom line, you're scaring away the few folks who are picking up Joes. Without some serious help, this could be the next Masters of the Universe line, a potential cash cow that dies out prematurely.

But, oddly, Devil's Due is making some serious dough licensing it as a comic book. Serious enough that there are now two direct-sales only ongoing series in two different continuities. Without a cartoon to back the Joes up, you should latch onto this comic for dear life! (Plus, unlike Transformers, most fans accept the Marvel/DD comic continuity as GIJoe canon.) How about figures that actually correspond to the comic? Not just throwing out the name Kamakura on a figure, I mean; actual figures we can look at and recognize from stories. (And if you insist on making a gazillion Snake Eyes, how about the first "maskless" Snake Eyes figure, based on the black outfit and sunglasses he wears in the comics? Trust me, it would sell.)

Support the comics, and they sell more. More comic sales equals more licensing money for you and more toy sales!

While we're talking comics, the Reloaded series (if it turns out to be a success) would be a wonderful excuse to put out some larger (~8"), super-articulated figures geared toward collectors. A friend sent me this link (http://robo.hostilegaming.com/images/industrial/SnakeEyesnew.jpg) to a custom Marvel Legends-style Snake Eyes that should give you a few ideas.

Your 12" figures? For God's sake, man, make them not suck! I thought a Snake Eyes worse than the old hockey-mask version from the early 90s couldn't be made. I was proven wrong twice in the last few years.

A cartoon certainly wouldn't hurt, either. Not this one-off Spy Troops movie garbage, either. Something kids can watch and get into, something that will remind some adults of what they once loved. In short, something that sells your figures. We're still riding a wave of patriotism here; it shouldn't be too hard.

And now. . . the Transformers. It's a bit tougher to correspond with the continuity here, since there are three completely distinct ones just when we're referring to G1, and just about everyone has a different opinion as to which is the best.

Energon, Armada, whatever--no problem here. I don't collect them, but they sell. The constant recycling could go, though.

Alternators: keep them coming! I've never seen adults this excited about TF. Do your best to get licenses and bring us our favorites. (I can't be the only one wanting an updated Bumblebee.) Or go beyond the concept of cars. Alternators of Starscream, Soundwave, Grimlock, even Wreck-Gar would sell.

Capitalize on G1 whenever and wherever you can. Not necessarily to the detriment of whatever version is the current TF cartoon, but in addition to. Have you seen the number of adults with Autobot or Decepticon insignias on their cars? These are the folks who you should target. Remember Unicron finally showing up in the Armada line? That generated some excitement. Imagine working in never-released characters from G1 comics and cartoons (Alpha Trion, Elita One, Scrounge, Quintessons, Lord Straxxus, and Jhiaxus come to mind) in upcoming lines.

But the reissues? Too expensive. They clog shelves like nobody's business. Well, except for Prime.

Also, the "repaints tied to nothing" lines (Spychangers and Universe) are probably a waste of your money. They don't seem to sell, either.

I know I can come up with more ideas, so I'll probably be back. In the meantime, I'm sure others will have some ideas for you. :)

jjreason
01-31-2004, 12:12 PM
I don't know much about TF, so I'm going to stay away from that. Besides this one simple point - I'd buy them if I didn't think the Robot forms all looked like crap. If I wanted to display beautiful cars, I'd just buy the cars. Sacrifice the vehicle form's accuracy to make the robot look better. That's all.

GIJoe was a favorite of mine in it's hayday. The figures you're making now look exactly like the ones you made AFTER I stopped liking the line - too bright, too gaudy, too much gold and red paint applied to supposedly military issued clothing. Get back to basics here - we like the figures that actually look like army men the best. If the line is going to continue to look so much like the vintage line, you guys need to make it very affordable. The last ones I saw out here (green packaging, one figure and a CD included) were on the right track (4.99 CDN at WalMart is a great deal, and well worth the figure inside). Remake some of the classic vehicles, and you'd be off to the races with the 3.75" stuff.

A larger scale, Marvel Legends style line should be considered as little if any ground has been broken with these "new" Joes.

kool-aid killer
02-01-2004, 02:55 PM
I dont collect any type of GI Joes so i cant really comment on what they need improving on and what is working. But the line does look cool with its multiple vehicles and what looks like a wide variety of figures.

Transformers i do collect so i will throw in my two cents regarding this line. First off, the reissues. I like them and have bought one and gained two others from JJ in trades. But when i look at them and my Takara Sideswipe reissue, one clearly looks superior than the other. Ill give you a hint, its not yours. The packaging could use some updating as in a new color scheme and maybe include a little booklet inside much like Takara does. That and maybe find a way to drop the price down, even if its only $5 less. It just doesnt seem like im getting enough for the money i spend, hence my reluctance to buy more than the ones i really like. And the ones i have yet to purchase im already eyeing the Takara versions instead. Next up is Alternators. I like my newly bought Smokescreen. Easily one of the coolest Transformers of all time in my opinion. The price isnt bad and the figure looks awesome. The coming Sideswipe looks a bit off, but not too bad to the point where im not going to get him. Id like to see some bad guys. I have mentioned that i think an MP3 player capable of transforming into Soundwave would rock in another thread. Other than having no baddies yet i have no complaints and you will be getting my dollars with this line. Last, Energon looks alright, i wont be collecting it but my younger brother will and hes pretty easy to please so he has no complaints yet. If i can think of anything else, i will drop it in later.