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View Full Version : Does Hasbro have a Security Problem in Hong Kong or what?



Warstar
05-31-2004, 08:56 PM
How are figure packs that are being released 3-4 months from now available right this second on Ebay (the Original Commemorative Trilogy Packs and the Endor Ambush Packs come to mind)?

Does anyone have an "in" on how these are being acquired months before release? Are they given to good employees who exploit Ebay? Are they stolen?

How?

Just curious. It's nice to see what's coming but a tad ridiculous. Of course, people from Hong Kong selling in advance is nothing new, although it's usually been by only a month or even a couple of weeks. Ebayers selling figures 3-4 months in advance and having the product in hand as they auction IS new- so what's the deal?

Anyone care to explain?

Kidhuman
05-31-2004, 09:00 PM
Who cg ares. You see the prices they are going for. Then add 25 bucks fopr shipping. They could have EP3 figures in hand and I wouldnt buy them.

dr_evazan22
06-01-2004, 08:34 AM
Maybe there aren't some of the same legal restrictions for exclusives and such over there. Plus the fact that the factories are over there. We still need to wait for the fig's to be shipped by sea, in most cases, to the US and then thru the retail pipeline.

B'Omarr Monkey
06-01-2004, 09:15 PM
Maybe the factory workers get to take complimentary sets home, the same way that comic book companies send all their writers and artists all of their comic books each month. It would make up for the fact that they're making 7 cents an hour to make us toys.

sith_killer_99
06-01-2004, 11:33 PM
Factory workers in Hong Kong are given an option, they can recieve cases of figures as part of their payment. When my brother-in-law was selling SW on-line he used to ask his rep about all that stuff.

How come Brian's get figures so early?

How come sellers in Hong Kong get stuff up on Ebay so quickly.

How do sellers in Hong Kong get store exclusives before the stores themselves, etc.

The rep basicly told him there was nothing Hasbro could do about it, if they wanted the mfg in Hong Kong to keep producing their product they will have to live with the way they do business, and that includes offering cases to their employees early.

Oh, and Brian's get their shipments direct from Hong Kong, as opposed to having them ship to a distro center in the US and then sent out. That is why they get them first. They have to place a much larger order to get them direct though.

SirSteve
06-01-2004, 11:51 PM
Anyone care to explain?
If you only knew...

I have a lot of pictures of new stuff that I have to sit on because of legality problems that would arise.... :(

Kidhuman
06-02-2004, 07:20 AM
Steve Email me some pics man. I wont tell anyone. :beard: Then I can post them and you wont get in trouble. :D

evenflow
06-02-2004, 08:50 AM
If you only knew...

I have a lot of pictures of new stuff that I have to sit on because of legality problems that would arise.... :(


Man that is awesome and sucks so much at the same time. You get to see and know about all the stuff, but then can't tell anyone.

So....What you got? ;)

B'Omarr Monkey
06-02-2004, 03:51 PM
What if you just described what sort of pictures you can't show....? ;)

Val Da Car
06-02-2004, 08:21 PM
Look at the can O' Worms that is now open.....

Hasblah & LFL could hold SirSteve accountable no matter what...(DMCA could be used againist him) ..

I would love to hear so picture decribed as well....

I would take 1000 words to one picture if it was cool!!!!

(Like the Cantina Set Wave 2 repackaged as a single three pack in OTC packaging)

Warstar
06-03-2004, 02:04 PM
If you only knew...

I have a lot of pictures of new stuff that I have to sit on because of legality problems that would arise.... :(

*Grins*

Actually, I *do* know...back in the day, when I had the second largest Todd McFarlane's Spawn Aciton Figure collection in the United States (and when I helped co-found www.mcfarlaneguide.com ;)), I used to get tons of pics from McFarlane "insiders" about new stuff. In fact, most of the stuff up until about Series 21 and 22 or so I actually knew about in 2001- and that was when Series 17 and 18 were released ;)

So Steve, I sympathize. Heh-

On top of that...I still have a pic of a never-produced McFarlane prototype that was made, but because the property it was based on, through some perverse set of means, was actually owned by Disney the horror action figure icon was never made by McFarlane! The character has been released through a different manufacturer now, though, but it's not the same sculpt- and since it's been a few years, and I no longer get insider stuff from McFarlane, I suppose I could "raise" some "Hell" and try to help people "pin" down the "head" figure I am talking about ;)

If that wasn't as subtle as a brick to the face then nothing is.

And no, I'm not going to share that picture either- more of as a favor to an old friend who shares the same name as the Emperor of this site than a legal issue

Anyway, I can see where these foreign workers selling their Hasbro Star Wars spoils would make a small killing- assuming they had Ebay access. Brian's Toys getting them direct from Hong Kong is nothing short of amazing- that company must be raking in the dough.

Heh- is it me, or is the AFA just another money-making scheme? I have been tempted to send some of my figures to them...

BUT...

Unless you're willing to pay shipping, their grading prices, and so on, it just seems too expensive over all- esp. when you consider that you have to submit your figure to their scrutinous eye. Thankfully, though, they have been largely consistent with their grading- but I feel sorry for the guy who spends $50 sending in what they think is a MINT figure and have it come back as anything less than a 90.

sith_killer_99
06-03-2004, 04:37 PM
I remember seeing pics of Shmi, Coruscant Guard and lots of other POTJ figs here on SSG.

But that was before there was a POTJ line, when these figs were scheduled for EP1! It seemed like Steve was getting things pretty far in advance...no kidding Shmi didn't even hit the market til 2-3 years later! lol Poor Shmi was on hold for soo long I thought we'd never see her carded!

I wouldn't be surprised if Steve has pics of the EP III line, if they have a dedicated EP III line, otherwise we may be back to good old SOGGY.

Kidhuman
06-04-2004, 12:32 AM
WEll, if he cant show us, can he tell us?

jeffonthego
06-05-2004, 12:53 PM
Can make a few guesses . . .

First, as a correction, Hasbro Star Wars stuff is not made in Hong Kong, but in neighbouring Guangdong province in mainland China.

Quite unlikely that it's actually the low-level workers on the factory line selling the stuff. More likely to be people connected to management or middlemen who have the interest and more unfettered access to the stuff.

Living in Hong Kong, I can get much of what's sold in advance on ebay at a secondary-market toy store here in town (but prices marked up there as well, so still not paying way above US retail).

I can only deduce that the toys shop here (eg, Noble) have longstanding contacts at the factory and thus have a pipeline for the new product, albeit in limited quantities.

When you think of all the samples floating around a factory and between it and other parties, then it's inevitable to have leakage. Also, have to consider that despite pressure from buyer (ie, Hasbro), nature of business here in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, means that it's not common for favours to be exchanged (eg, giving a HK shop access to some stuff early).

That said, I can tell you that Hong Kong is not awash in the stuff. Even the big store that I go too and has all the advance stuff, it's not in huge quantities per item.

Had my girlfriend who runs a trading business out of China contact the factory and they didn't want to send her any Star Wars figure samples. This is actually quite unusual, as she can regularly get free samples of everything (or for a relatively small charge to conver manufacturing and shipping) from TVs, MP3 players to you name it.

Word from factory was that Hasbro does put pressure on them, but of course can't stop some leakage with people with personal connections to factory. One of these days I'm going to get my girlfriend to go to the factory (hopefully with me) and that should grease the wheel a bit. Face to face relationships are very important in Chinese business culture and usually opens doors.

Having toured some of the factory towns in Guangdong, it's pretty fascinating to see where these shiny toys on North American shelves start off. As for line workers squirling away Star Wars toys, I highly doubt it. To be honest, I would not be surprised if they're thinking, "What the hell is all this crap!".

rust
06-05-2004, 09:32 PM
Welcome to Hasblow 2003 dude.

You shoulda seen Transformers Armada last year. Unicron was on Ebay in June but wasnt released until September (A month late for Hasblow). This happened with a lot of TFA stuff last year. Now, its happening to SW.

I dont care too much though. Most of the repaints I need I'll wait for or just buy their POTF2 cheaper forms.
-rust

B'Omarr Monkey
06-05-2004, 11:43 PM
I suppose I could "raise" some "Hell" and try to help people "pin" down the "head" figure I am talking about ;)

If that wasn't as subtle as a brick to the face then nothing is.

And no, I'm not going to share that picture either- more of as a favor to an old friend who shares the same name as the Emperor of this site than a legal issue


Warstar, you are obviously the person to ask a long standing question I have. Weren't there supposed to be Movie maniacs figs based on the Exorcist and the Coppola version of Dracula? I remember seeing one of the sculptors working on a Gary Oldman Dracula in Tomart's, but were there going to be others, and do you know what the issues were about why they couldn't get the licenses?

Warstar
06-07-2004, 01:12 PM
Warstar, you are obviously the person to ask a long standing question I have. Weren't there supposed to be Movie maniacs figs based on the Exorcist and the Coppola version of Dracula? I remember seeing one of the sculptors working on a Gary Oldman Dracula in Tomart's, but were there going to be others, and do you know what the issues were about why they couldn't get the licenses?

...*Grins*

Perceptive. I can't say a whole lot, but it is true that there's a host of Movie Maniac sculpts made that have not been produced due to licensing issues. That Dracula (a red armored one) is one prime example. The Exorcist figures, too, had the same thing happen.

Sometimes the licensees want too much money. Other times, McFarlane wants too much control. Still other times companies get cozy with another toy maker and feel bad if they don't go with that toymaker (as is what happened with the...well, "Hell," I can't say- but I think you know what line I mean).

Hasbro was shrewed with its take-over of the Shrek line. Back in the day, McFarlane played a HUGE gamble with the orignal Shrek line, as no one knew if they film would be a hit or not. Sad thing is, McFarlane came out with Spawn Series 18 (BUY ALL 6 ROBOTS TO FORM A BIG ONE!) and other new figures (his Hockey figures, for example) that almost required you to buy multiples of them to form nifty dioramas and such. This was a good business decision at the time, for if Shrek was a total bomb and the figures didn't sell he would still make money off of people who bought 6 Spawn Series 18 figs to form one big one. Lucky for him, Shrek was a hit (his Tony Twistelli lawsuit was going on then, too, and he was facing paying over 20 million to Tony Twist back then- so yeah, he was financially nervous)

In rebuttle, of course, McFarlane also inched his way into Sports figures back then, and maybe, just maybe, Hasbro getting the Shrek 2 toy license from McFarlane was their way of getting some minor revenge on him for out-classing their Starting Lineup figures with his McFarlane Sports Picks figs :D The world may never know, but I can imagine the legal battles were cutthroat behind closed doors.

As for the scuplted figures we haven't seen but we know about (like the Dracula figs), maybe we'll get them someday. Whether or not they come from McFarlane or another source will remain to be seen.