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jedi master sal
01-20-2005, 01:22 PM
Looking back on army building sets that have been released over the last ew years, I'd have to say that Hasbro has done a good job. However, I do believe they could have been done or at least sold or cheaper.

Considering that the molds for these figures are already done, the need for research and development is next to non-exhistent with regards to producing a figure.

Let me pose some examples and experiences to help illustrate my points.

When the Stormtrooper 4 pack set was made available through the fanclub, Hasbor utilized the Commtech Stormie. The fan club had a deal that if you bought 4 sets, you'd get a fifth set free. I did this receiving 25 Stormtroopers for $75+shipping. A GREAT deal! I think with shipping it brought the cost of figures to about $3.50 each. Not bad at all.

Now however, someone got greedy and charged MORE than what we paid for the Super Articulated Clone Trooper. Again, I point out that the mold is done. Only thing I see with the new sets are new paint apps and that can't possibly justify $1.50 more per fig. (Especially considering some of those are unaltered clones (without battle damage).

Also, why force us to buy a case that must have officers?
Again, buying them in seperate 4-packs was an option but costs $40. FORTY DOLLARS! Way too much and shame on you Hasbro for doing it. This is clearly a "stick it to the collectors" move.

IMHO, we sould have been able to "custom" order cases or you should have had a case option of all white non battle damaged clones.

Here is my example at how you (Hasbro) lost out, at least with regards to my patronage:
I bought one of the "super" cases that includes 3 sets of each 4 variant styled clones. Those being:
White (clean)
White (Battle damaged)
Officers (clean)
Officers (Battle damaged)

for a total of 48 clones. Breaking down the cost per figure including shipping, they are still approx $6.80 pre fig. Again shame on you. Whe these were sold in stores last year, we could get them (if they could be found-yet another reason for argument) for $5+tax which for many was anywhere from 20-30 cents.

I'd say fine, go with a regular case as you already have, but then go for a case of ALL white CLEAN clones. I can honestly say that had you done this, I would have note only bought the super case of clones that you already have but at least one if not TWO super cases of all white clean clones.

Add that up and you'll see that that's a loss of $650. And that's just from one collector. How about all of those others ou there who would have bought more, but in order to save money had to buy in bulk vaitions they really didn't want? Look at the U.S. military for a real comparison and you'll see that there is NOT an equal distribution of Grunt soldiers and officers. Grunts comprise the majority of any military. Now you may say well there's a 3 to 1 ratio of grunts to officers, but let me take this a step further to say that even within the officers ranks, the higher you go, the less of each rank there is. So you could have chosen some very clever case assotments to sell these. Instead, if we want only the clones we want, we'd have to buy the 4 packs seperately and at great cost-averaging aroung $8 per fig. shame shame.

Here are just some examples of how you could have released these and not only made collectors happy, but lined your company's pockets with more of our money:
(First, please let's do away with battle damaged-we can do this ourselves and there's only so many battle damaged needed.)
(Second, have nice boxed versions as you have done but also have the option to buy these in the plain white boxes. This would save you on printing and us on shipping cost--a win-win situation)

Case variation 1 (super case that includes 48 clones) in nice printed boxes as already available.
Yellow-2
Red-2
Blue-4
Green-8
White-32
Packaged as such:
2 4-packs one each of the four color officers-Yellow, Red, Blue, Green
2 4-packs of lower grade officers Blue(1) and Green(3)
That would take care of officers and then have 8 4-packs of white clones

If sold seperately, you would still have people buying the four officers colors variant and the all white variant. The Blue/Green assortment would either not be made for single set purchasing or made in lower quantities. The Blue/Green sets are more of an army builder thing anyway.

Case variation 2 (super case that includes 48 clones) plain white boxes
Since they are plain boxes the distribution doesn't matter much if you are selling these in case, but allow me to play devils advocate and give an example:
2 sets with 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 green
2 sets with 1 blue, 1 green and 2 whites
2 sets with 1 green and 3 whites
and finally 2 sets all white (4 each set)

Still the same color count as case 1 but now in varying order and distributed more as how a command structure might be.

Case 3 (Super case of 48 clones)
This one more closely resembles how an actual company in the US military would look with regards to command structure:
1 yellow
1 red
3 blue
6 green
36 white
1 special figure (read below)

Here is the reason for this cases figure distribution:
The Yellow is the commanding officer. In a typical command, the CO (commanding officer) and XO (excutive officer or second in command) are not the same rank. You only need one CO and one XO. This allows then for the Red (captain) to be the XO. Since we are talking about a limited amount of clones here then you wouldn't need too many more officers. So you only need 3 Blue (Lieutenant) to act as Platoon leaders. Each Platoon leader needs squad leaders and would get 2 Green (Sergeant) each for a total 6 green. Each Green gets 6 grunts (white clones) to make up there squad.

With one left over you could chose to include a Blue ARC trooper. They are afterall the elite of the clones and are small in number. (Besides how many of these might you have in back stock that you could get rid of this way?)
If not the ARC, then maybe a Clone Pilot. Hey, these clones need a pilot for their gunship.

OR and here's the biggie, you make an EXCLUSIVE. and here's what you make: Obi-wan in Clonetrooper armor (as seen in the Animated series-but done in the style of the regular figures)

You can bet that not only would you have a great case distribution of a reasonable command structure with plenty of grunts, but an exclusive that MANY upon MANY a collector would want to get their hands on. The exclusive Obi in clone armor would ONLY be available in the super case.


All this said and done you still could offer sets of plain clean white clones for a relatively inexpensive cost. If you were able to sell them at $5 a piece last year, then why not now. Especially considering that the Stormtroopers from years past sold less in the 4-packs then when they first came out.

I'm am 100% positive that had you sold these for at least retail or less, you would have had alot more sold.

Please try and do better market research. You only need look at some of the big collecting websites, such as this one to gauge how something like this would sell.

Yes, I bought a super case, but would have bought two more had the case distribution been better. Please keep that in mind.

I only hope that before you release Episode 3 clone troop building packs that you serious consider what we as collectors want.

Thank you.

mtriv73
02-04-2005, 03:23 PM
I'm just glad Hasbro made these available. I think they're really on to something here. They can take existing molds and produce a product for the (relatively) small group of collectors who wanted army builders. I can't imagine parents buying 16 of the same action figure for their kids (even if they do have different paint jobs.) And I really can't imagine me buying $600 worth of toys just to get the right ratio of grunts to officers. Personally, I'm happy with one of each (and that's what I ordered.) Hasbro is never going to please everyone, but I think they took a great step forward in making a lot of us happy with these sets. Not only can we now actually find SA Clonetrooper, but we can get SA Officers as well. $6 and change is kind of steep for these SA clone troopers, but it's still better than E-bay prices. Hasbro may not have to pay for development and a new mold for these figures, but they still have to set up the production of these figures which takes away space and labor from the production of other toys. I really don't think they planned to sell tons of these and the price probably reflects their cost plus a fair profit.

I'd like to see something similar done with astromech droids next. If they had repaints of various R2, R3, R4, and ESPECIALLY R5 units in several multipacks I'd buy them without a second thought. The same could be done with the Dutch Vander mold of the Y-wing pilot with different paint apps on the helmet to make more generic (or specific) pilots.

Those are just my thoughts on the subject, but I would like Hasbro to know that someone appreciates what they (and EE) have done for collectors here.

mtriv73
02-04-2005, 03:50 PM
I'd say fine, go with a regular case as you already have, but then go for a case of ALL white CLEAN clones. I can honestly say that had you done this, I would have note only bought the super case of clones that you already have but at least one if not TWO super cases of all white clean clones.



A thought just occured to me. Have you called EE to see if they would sell you a couple 48 packs of white clones for the same price as the mixed set? If they will, then I'm sure there are more than a few other people who would also buy them. If it means more sales for them, then they'll probably accomodate you. I would try to talk to a manager though.

jedi master sal
02-04-2005, 04:43 PM
I did call them. The response I got was no. They are only selling them as they are packaged/boxed. I did ask the person who answered if they would pass along the suggestion. I made a point to say that after the initial run of these, most collectors would be satiated and that would leave us army builders left.

Cases of all white non battle damaged clones would be UBER easy to sell. (I didn't say UBER to the person though).

When I explained that had these been able to have been purchased in that kind of case assortment that I would have not only bought the case with officers as ordered but 2 more cases of 48 clones, he seemed to perk up a little. I said, "Basically that's a $650 order gone."

He did said he'd pass on my suggestion and that "You never know..."

So here's hoping that they will be sold in cases of all white.

-Sal

mtriv73
02-05-2005, 07:44 PM
I hope it works out for you. Unfortunately, they probably ordered most of these last year in the case assortments they're offering them in. That kind of ties their hands (they don't want to get stuck with a bunch of any particular one.) I still think they may cut you a deal after they've been out for a month or two.

It's always worth a shot and all they can so is say no.