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View Full Version : Here's what a "little bird" told me...



plasticfetish
02-22-2006, 04:02 PM
It's funny that I'd post in the Dear Hasbro section about the weird lack of new figures, and then today I bump into someone that has an answer for everything that I can think to ask.

Some of you have had similar conversations with similar "individuals" while out there hunting, so you'll probably guess where this info came from. I said that I wouldn't run off and say, "_____ just told me this!" but I was told to spread the word, so...

...about new figures and why we are and aren't seeing them in certain stores.

For the most part, The Saga Collection figures are just now really starting to hit. What we've found at stores like Target and Wal*Mart over the past month or so, has been a bit of an early trickle of what's to come. Toys R Us is just now putting them out (as most of you know), and the sale price is their way of kicking the line off. They've held off 'til now, because of the amount of ROTS stuff that they still have, which is still selling really well for them. They've been in no big hurry to get the new stuff out -- they wanted to wait until after Toy Fair, etc. -- but now they're going for it, and I'm told that TRU is going to be "the place" to find new Star Wars toys.

Why TRU over say Target or Wal*Mart? Well, Target does not back stock any kind of real quantity of figures. They like to put what they have out -- nice and neat -- and then maybe stock a half case or whatever in the back to keep things tidy on the floor. The real point is, they do not have a place to store a bunch of back stock cases like TRU, so each store will only order a case or two at a time. Wal*Mart has in the past ordered big numbers of figures, stocked what they can, and then back stocked the rest. They're trying to get away from the old messy way that they've done things -- a bit of Target envy -- so they're cutting back on the quantities that they'll have on hand. Just like Target, Wal*Mart will only order a case or two at a time.

Another thing about Wal*Mart... there's some kind of huge nationwide inventory scr**-up going down. They accidentally changed the new TSC figures product codes (and I'm not to savvy about this, but W*M people might know how this works) to be the same as their old ROTS product codes, so huge amounts of the new merchandise is sitting in a distribution warehouse, because the old stuff was marked as being over and done with... and so now the computers are just ignoring the new merchandise. (Does that make sense?) Point being, until Wal*Mart fixes the problem, you're not going to see very much on their pegs.

So, what's the upshot? TRU will always have more stock than the other places. The current sale price will probably not stick beyond this run, but you never know. (They will probably have other "deals" as time goes on.) Also, TRU is not likely to clearance the ROTS stuff. They've done extremely well with the line and are still doing very well with it. I was also told, that the current restructuring is working out very well for them, with some stores showing decent (20%+) profit increases. (New stores will probably open now to replace the old withered ones that died off.)

Well... there you have it. For the record, I did mention that a lot of people have been finding and buying TSC figures at Wal*Mart. I was told that what's gotten out has been a bit of a fluke, and that there's a lot more waiting to come, but the amount that we see in both Target and Wal*Mart will end up (or continue) to be pretty controlled and minimal.

Also, since I was standing there holding a few Marvel Legends figures, I held them up and said, "So, is Hasbro ready for this?" I was told that they're being primed, that all sorts of things are being worked out -- and that they're excited about the whole thing. Come the first of the year, they'll be ready to roll.

JediTricks
02-22-2006, 04:17 PM
I asked you this in the DH forum when you mentioned it, but I will ask again here and delete that post...

Was this person you talked to a Hasbro store rep? Because if so, I would suggest not trusting them, they don't have any inside info and often talk a big game when they're just hired to ensure the Hasbro shelves are presented well and the product is not sitting in the back.


Toys R Us is just now putting them out (as most of you know), and the sale price is their way of kicking the line off. They've held off 'til now, because of the amount of ROTS stuff that they still have, which is still selling really well for them.This is one of those sickening stock answers I hate hearing from corporate Hasbro or corporate TRU, "ROTS stuff is selling really well" translates into "TRU got too many ROTS cases foisted onto them by Hasbro and they're *still* shipping into TRU warehouses even though the line hasn't sold a single figure at TRU stores in months".


I'm told that TRU is going to be "the place" to find new Star Wars toys. If my theory about this source being a Hasbro Rep is correct, it's a good thing you weren't at Kmart else or you would have been told that "Kmart is going to be 'the place' to find new Star Wars toys." ;) I know TRU is getting a couple exclusives in this line, but being 'the place' for SW is in the realm of 'gotta see it consistantly happening for a month to believe it' in my book.



Why TRU over say Target or Wal*Mart? Well, Target does not back stock any kind of real quantity of figures. They like to put what they have out -- nice and neat -- and then maybe stock a half case or whatever in the back to keep things tidy on the floor. The real point is, they do not have a place to store a bunch of back stock cases like TRU, so each store will only order a case or two at a time. Wal*Mart has in the past ordered big numbers of figures, stocked what they can, and then back stocked the rest. They're trying to get away from the old messy way that they've done things -- a bit of Target envy -- so they're cutting back on the quantities that they'll have on hand. Just like Target, Wal*Mart will only order a case or two at a time.Funny, Hasbro was the ONLY major toy retailer to NOT support TRU in the battle against WM last year, so I'm *really* surprised to hear the comment above. It sounds to me like business as usual for Hasbro and they just want TRU to buy more product so they can bury them in old crap like they always do.



Another thing about Wal*Mart... there's some kind of huge nationwide inventory scr**-up going down. They accidentally changed the new TSC figures product codes (and I'm not to savvy about this, but W*M people might know how this works) to be the same as their old ROTS product codes, so huge amounts of the new merchandise is sitting in a distribution warehouse, because the old stuff was marked as being over and done with... and so now the computers are just ignoring the new merchandise. (Does that make sense?) Point being, until Wal*Mart fixes the problem, you're not going to see very much on their pegs.This would explain the lower price on the figures at WM, so I can sorta buy it.



So, what's the upshot? TRU will always have more stock than the other places.5 will get you 10 that it's "more BACKstock than the other places" :p TRU has been miserable about stocking ever since the Concept 3000 floorplan which limits lines' shelf space, there's nowhere to put new figs so they just stay in the back room.


I hope I'm wrong about all this, and TRU does pull it together with Star Wars very soon, but my 11 years collecting SW under Hasbro has taught me different, that it's a lot of hot air from corporate that will translate into more doom for TRU.

plasticfetish
02-22-2006, 04:28 PM
Was this person you talked to a Hasbro store rep? Because if so, I would suggest not trusting them, they don't have any inside info and often talk a big game when they're just hired to ensure the Hasbro shelves are presented well and the product is not sitting in the back.Quick answer, and then I'll come back after I pick the kid up from school for the rest...

Yes, but considering that their job is to put merchandise on shelves, the info that I got seemed to be mostly about that. I've also had my share of useless chats with Hasbro reps, but this conversation was a little more... informed. The person also seemed to actually care about about what we talked about. It was a unique event. (I'm no rube... remember, I lived in LA for 18 years. I'm used to being BS'ed night and day. ;) )

Okay, back in a bit.

Kidhuman
02-22-2006, 05:03 PM
It doesnt help you if your TRU's are closing down or far away.

Darth Cruel
02-22-2006, 05:10 PM
Although I don't know the situation and am talking mostly out of hope, I wouldn't be too quick to discount ALL Hasbro reps. I realize that it is likely that most of them are not that well informed (that is nothing unusual in ANY line of work), it is also possible that in this case it could be one of those exceptions to the rule. I see people on these boards who soak up information like sponges and want to get the truth out. And I like to believe that there are at least a few Hasbro reps like that as well. Although I will remain open minded until I have "eyes on" the product. This does give me hope.

plasticfetish
02-22-2006, 05:55 PM
Was this person you talked to a Hasbro store rep? Because if so, I would suggest not trusting them, they don't have any inside info and often talk a big game when they're just hired to ensure the Hasbro shelves are presented well and the product is not sitting in the back.I know exactly what you're saying, and sure, I only believe it when I see it also, but most of what we talked about made sense. It wasn't so much cheer leading or excuses, it was mostly, "This is why you are or aren't seeing stock on the shelves."


This is one of those sickening stock answers I hate hearing from corporate Hasbro or corporate TRU, "ROTS stuff is selling really well" translates into "TRU got too many ROTS cases foisted onto them by Hasbro and they're *still* shipping into TRU warehouses even though the line hasn't sold a single figure at TRU stores in months".While we were standing there talking a half dozen people came over to look at figures, including one mom who was buying Anakin's Starfighter for her kid. She then asked where to find an Anakin figure, but couldn't find one, so we told her to look at TRU.com. The stuff is still selling, but now that the new stuff is being stocked, they know that they'll have to do something to get rid of the last of the ROTS stock. What they have out is "it" BTW -- there's not that much left, but I did say that TRU should do what they used to do, and clear the ROTS stuff out for a buck. I was told that they probably wont bother, because they don't mind (obviously) keeping the older stuff around -- as they can just bin it, and shove it over in the corner.


If my theory about this source being a Hasbro Rep is correct, it's a good thing you weren't at Kmart else or you would have been told that "Kmart is going to be 'the place' to find new Star Wars toys." ;) I know TRU is getting a couple exclusives in this line, but being 'the place' for SW is in the realm of 'gotta see it consistently happening for a month to believe it' in my book.Funny, K-mart was never mentioned (everyone hates K-mart.) We only talked about W*M, Target and Fred Meyer (a local store.) The whole "the place" thing only has to do with TRUs stock philosophy (good or bad) vs. Target and Wal*Mart. Point being, they will have more than one case on hand at a time. I watched five cases of wave one figures come out, and then I saw a few cases of Titaniums go out. Say what you will, but that's better than glimmering empty pegs at Target. (Though I did find Sun Fac there this morning... it was kind of like spotting a rare butterfly in the jungle or something.)


Funny, Hasbro was the ONLY major toy retailer to NOT support TRU in the battle against WM last year, so I'm *really* surprised to hear the comment above. It sounds to me like business as usual for Hasbro and they just want TRU to buy more product so they can bury them in old crap like they always do.Yeah, well, do you blame them for wanting to be more enthusiastic about the company that's going to buy more of their stuff? Keep in mind, I got somewhat biased info. This was a "friendly" conversation between two Southern California transplants, and in order to get any info at all, I'm mostly asking for his/her personal opinion. But with that said, it wasn't, "Which store does Hasbro like best?" it was simply... "Where's the new stuff anyway?" I was given some facts. TRU orders more to keep on hand, Target and Wal*Mart will only do it little by little.


This would explain the lower price on the figures at WM, so I can sorta buy it.Wal*Mart undercuts their competition as a rule, but I also wondered if the low price was about something else. (Do I think it'll go up? No.)



5 will get you 10 that it's "more BACKstock than the other places" :p TRU has been miserable about stocking ever since the Concept 3000 floor plan which limits lines' shelf space, there's nowhere to put new figs so they just stay in the back room.Well, given TRUs money problems, it's pretty obvious that they've specialized in doing things wrong. I don't really know for sure, and this is a huge guess, but I think there's probably going to be some changes for them. At the very least, some serious store level management changes. If not...


I hope I'm wrong about all this, and TRU does pull it together with Star Wars very soon, but my 11 years collecting SW under Hasbro has taught me different, that it's a lot of hot air from corporate that will translate into more doom for TRU....yeah, if they can't pull it together and get smart about how they put the toys on the shelves, then yeah, they're goners.

Sadly, and as much as I believe in retail natural selection, if TRU does die off, we're kind of scr**ed. At this point, Target or Wal*Mart can decide to buy maybe one case of new figures every two weeks (or month) and it'll have no impact on their business. In fact, it's probably better because the mere hint of new stuff is enough to lure us into their store, which is all they care about. I suppose that didn't bother me as much back when I could find stuff there, but now I'm a little less forgiving.

decadentdave
02-22-2006, 06:41 PM
I was just about to start a new thread about how frustrated I was finding TSC figures when I saw this one and...

If TRU does become extinct (which it should) then we will most likely see distribution migrate to online sellers such as HasbroToyShop, Star Wars.com, Entertainment Earth and others. I just purchased some G.I. Joe exclusives from HasbroToyShop and the fact that they are still producing these for the "Old School" collectors is very satisfying since there is no chance I would find them on the shelves at TRU, Target or Walmart. When those retailers DID carry these 3-Packs, the best ones were usually cherry picked while the pegwarmers lingered around until clearance.

Now, with regard to my frustration about distribution of TSC... I hope your info is correct that we are about to receive a deluge of these assortments. I went to every Walmart in my area and found nothing but Major Derlins and Veers warming the pegs and at Target today I found the last Poggle the Lesser hanging on a bare empty peg. If this trend continues, I am going to break down and start ordering by the case from EE or individually from HasbroToyShop which, as I stated above, would be the transition to exclusive online distribution for the line to continue to survive due to the apparent lack of retail support. Personally, I do not mind considering the gas and time I spend making the rounds every week as I have done for the last ten years. Sure, that is part of the thrill of the hunt I will miss and old habits die hard but it beats the frustration of coming up empty handed week after week when they are shipped directly to your doorstep.

TheDarthVader
02-22-2006, 08:55 PM
It really sucks because when I go to stores the pegs are NEVER full. They always have like 2-6 figures for many pegs. I wish Hasbro and these companies could get it together for us collectors. If I saw 10 snowtroopers in a store, I'd buy all of them. Snowtroopers are about the only figures I army build with. But every store around is out of snowtroopers.

B.
TDV

Turbowars
02-22-2006, 10:28 PM
Maybe this rep is a SW collector. What a great job to have is you were a collector. Well maybe not, but who knows. The TRU around here in Burbank CA is haven for Scalpers and the manger actually holds stuff in the back for them. So all this PRO TRU BS is BS around here. Even if this is all true the majority of the figures will not even see the pegs. It's only after the scalpers get their fill and only then figures see the pegs.

decadentdave
02-22-2006, 10:43 PM
I've actually been to the Burbank TRU a few times and I live in Denver. Last summer while I was in L.A. to see ROTS at the Arclight I stopped in to the Burbank store and saw a lone Anakin Starfighter on the shelf and I asked if they had any more in back and low and behold they brought a whole case from the back and brought it up to Customer Service. I bought one for me and one for my friend. At least they were friendly.

Turbowars
02-22-2006, 10:51 PM
Well there's another issue. The scalpers wont buy things that cost too much. So things like the star fighter sit around for a bit more. I remember seeing about 3 cases of that fighter up on the top shelf when they were around. It's the basic figures that are the main Target.

plasticfetish
02-23-2006, 03:16 AM
I hope your info is correct that we are about to receive a deluge of these assortments. I went to every Walmart in my area and found nothing but Major Derlins and Veers warming the pegs and at Target today I found the last Poggle the Lesser hanging on a bare empty peg.I don't know about a deluge, but let's hope for a little something more at least.

I was out looking today and saw different things at different stores. TRU had put out several cases of Carkoon wave. Each of my local Targets had the remains of the Geonosis wave. A local store, Fred Meyer, had put out a case of the Hoth wave -- which really surprised me, because I haven't seen much there since Christmas. My K-mart just put out the ROTS Tarkin wave. :rolleyes:

We'll just have to wait and see I suppose. TRU's sale is nice... we'll see where things go from there.


It really sucks because when I go to stores the pegs are NEVER full. They always have like 2-6 figures for many pegs. I wish Hasbro and these companies could get it together for us collectors. If I saw 10 Snowtroopers in a store, I'd buy all of them. Snowtroopers are about the only figures I army build with. But every store around is out of Snowtroopers.We can blame Hasbro for less than brilliant case assortments, but in order to get merchandise on the pegs, the stores need to put it there. Like it was explained to me, Target will not risk having back stock, so they've been shy with their ordering. As the line sells, and sells well -- which it seems to be doing -- we can only hope that they'll order more stock. Wal*Mart's problem is something else... but I don't have a Wal*Mart near me right now, so I've no idea (and don't much care anymore outside of their exclusives) about what kind of stock they have. You guys know, how's Wal*Mart's stock right now?

As far as army building goes... that can really make things tough for stores I suppose. If we constantly snatch up the Snowtroopers and AT-AT drivers (and I'd like a few more of each) then the stores are stuck with only Veers, Derlin and Rieekan -- which probably aren't the most exciting figures for the average kid that wanders past the Star Wars section. Hasbro needs to make these army builders available online (somehow) and perhaps at a slightly reduced price. If for instance, TRU.com can offer the Snowtrooper online for $5.99 or maybe less, then army builders have an option that wont drain the stores. We'll still check the stores, but it's nice to have other options, and see, to me that's what will keep a place like TRU going -- more options.

JEDIpartner
02-23-2006, 09:09 AM
Thanks for posting the interesting info! Hopefully, word of this will get around and the fans will start buying at TRU-- otherwise, we'll see a glut of unsold figures there. :(

Val Da Car
02-23-2006, 09:54 AM
I have some info as well..

My trips to WM in my area +/- 30 miles between work and home have provided interesting info.

One WM got 2 Hoth & 1 Geo wave so the trickling inventory is starting to improve.

Another one the Toy dept manager is very, very nice and knows of some scalpers that hit the store at opening to clear out the overnight stocking that has been doen and has implemented solutions to address that, at least so taht everyone gets a fair opportunity at the figures.

Targets by me are also not doing overnight stocking in the toy section but one of my information sources (reliable, maybe but accurate none the less) is changing up the game so everyone gets a chance (here in the Midwest).

btw what will be the EE figures that are coming out on the 28th at noon?

Kir Kanos and someone else?....I mean Sora Bulq is a figure and I just picked up and got the TP comics and now I understand where that figure came from.

Tycho
02-23-2006, 10:26 AM
Well, I'm here to give you guys "the bird." ;)

My Wal-Mart got 3 cases of the Geonosian Wave in and I walked with all the Utopau Clones and Scorch's (1 for a friend) plus a Sora Bulq for the same friend. I am almost done (want 2 more Clones, which would give me a total of 7, and I'll buy for my group or Sal depending upon if they still need me to - when I'm there). When I get my 2 more Clones, I'm done and won't be going to ANY store until the Coruscant Wave ships (in which the Clones will be 2 per case anyway, though I won't need any myself by then).

dindae
02-23-2006, 11:31 AM
I am unsure if this will help TRU or not. The fact that Wal-mart is gun shy and ordering less will send more people to TRU. The main problem I see with this is TRU is just now getting the first wave in stock. Most people on the boards have all the figures they need from this wave. So that leaves kids and casual buyers to buy the stock. But those people don't want Reikan or Derlin they want main characters, troopers, and interesting aliens. The biggest problem with TRU is they keep old figures forever. They need to go back to the days of throwing old figures in a big bin and charging $2 for them to get rid of them. Their stock is so stagnant it's sad. I'm definately in the wait and see group. I like TRU but in collector markets they are not competing. If they really wanted to make an impression with me they would get a deal with Hasbro for eclusive vehicles that are new and not repaints of ships we have 3 of already. To me this just seems like more broken primises like the intelligent restocking program they were bragging about that would automatically track inventory and make orders so the product could be replaced the next day. Hopefully the increase of purchasing for TRU and decrease for Wal-mart will mean TRU has more pull on when they get product and how often.

DarkArtist
02-23-2006, 12:01 PM
It's a hit or miss with Hasbro. plus we are in a field of collection that is in as hot spot, hence all the scalpers.

"I say Patience."

Look at how stores finally recieve shipment months after others are already sold out. As far as TRU, the story might be true, TRU buys there stuff on consignment, so I think they want to sell as much as they can before ordering anything new. Proof is in the fact that you can see go to certain TRU's and find POTJ figures on clearence racks along with VOTC Lando's. Hopefully I will be able to stop by TRU this Saturday and pick up a few of TSC that I missed. If not i have faith that eventually I will find them.

El Chuxter
02-23-2006, 12:13 PM
I'd be glad to support TRU, if they hadn't closed down most of the ones in the world, aside from a few that actually smell bad.

I foresee most collectors not going to TRU to get figures due to the distance most of us will have to travel. We'll stick to WM and Target, while the scalpers clean out desirable figures from TRU. Then all the TRU's around the world will be left with millions upon millions of that stupid C-3PO with Battle Droid head.

Darth Cruel
02-23-2006, 12:19 PM
On the contrary. I am fully intending to replace all of the first two waves that I returned to Target with the 4.99 offering from TRU. I am quite pleased with the way things are transpiring between the stores right now. Prices are dropping like most of us expected (albiet temporarily), the waves are all hitting at the same time thanks to TRU's delay, and I don't have to go to Target! Collecting life is good!

El Chuxter
02-23-2006, 01:00 PM
Yes, but do you speak for "most" collectors? Like I said, I'd gladly get everything at TRU, especially for $4.99, but the cost to get there outweighs any potential savings. Add to that the fact that I've found jack-squat in my last year or so's worth of TRU excursions, and it's not worth it.

TRU doesn't even advertise in the local newspaper here, so the coupon's pretty much out of the question, anyway.

If there were a store that I could get to in less than 30-45 minutes, I'd be there daily.

jedi master sal
02-23-2006, 02:04 PM
Personally, I do not mind [Ordering online] considering the gas and time I spend making the rounds every week as I have done for the last ten years. Sure, that is part of the thrill of the hunt I will miss and old habits die hard but it beats the frustration of coming up empty handed week after week when they are shipped directly to your doorstep.

I hear ya DD. I've spent a bit of money on gas too. If the figs were always available online and for the same amount as retail INCLUDING SHIPPING!, I'd be more apt to buying online.

I too enjoyed the thrill of the hunt for years, but now it's become almost a chore...


BTW fellas, go on over to the Dear Hasbro section and post there about this too. I posted a rather exhuastive post regarding army builders, how to case assort them, battle pack them, etc...

But this thread here goes well beyong just army building.


Well, I'm here to give you guys "the bird." ;)

My Wal-Mart got 3 cases of the Geonosian Wave in and I walked with all the Utopau Clones and Scorch's (1 for a friend) plus a Sora Bulq for the same friend. I am almost done (want 2 more Clones, which would give me a total of 7, and I'll buy for my group or Sal depending upon if they still need me to - when I'm there). When I get my 2 more Clones, I'm done and won't be going to ANY store until the Coruscant Wave ships (in which the Clones will be 2 per case anyway, though I won't need any myself by then).

Oh, buddy, I'll be needin' those clones for sure. So PLEASE dont stop looking (providing the stores are on you way). To quote a friend of mine, "It's dry as a popcorn fart" here for figures.

wedge1968
02-23-2006, 03:35 PM
I am not trying to brag, but I'm with Tycho on this one. I've found everything I've needed without any problems (I am actually kind of shocked to hear that people are having trouble). Whereas last year I was killing myself to find half of the stuff Hasbro put out, this year, I am on top of everything. I feel like this year is going to be the year for stress-free collecting.

If Toys R Us actually puts some merchandise on the shelves, it can only add to the feeling of bliss that I am currently enjoying.

DarkArtist
02-23-2006, 04:01 PM
It's very frustrating not to see the products you are looking for one the shelves, but then I go back a week or so later and find them. Like I said "patience" eventually they will be falling off the pegs and people will get who they want. look at the ROTS #41 Clone Trooper. Hard to find in the first waves when he came out, still clogging the pegs to this date in some stores. Hell in my Walmart, you couldn't walk down the isles withouot tripping over him.

Blue2th
02-23-2006, 05:56 PM
One of the 2 TRU's in my area stocked the 2 Packs with Covert Ops Troopers today. I managed to get 4 of them. Now I have enough for a decent army. The guy at the register said the next one would be with the Shock Trooper. I think he was full of BS, but it would be nice. I think this strategy of the 2 packs with a Clone is a very good idea on TRU's part. Maybe down the road we might see this with the new Saga figures and a Utapaun Trooper.

DarthAngel
02-23-2006, 10:46 PM
Well if I was making enough money where I could pay my local comic book store or most online retailers (like Entertainment Earth, BriansToys) the $15-$20 that they are asking for for some of these figures, then I would buy the whole collection from BriansToys. But alas I don't have that kind of money (gosh it would be nice to win the 200+ million jackpot tomorrow night in the mega millions drawing).

But who do you blame when all your local stores have not seen ANY new figures since the ROTS Tarkin wave? Do you blame the retailers like WM TRU and Target? Or do you blame Hasbro? Or do you blame the scalpers in my area?

Grr...I blame all 3, and if this is the way it is going to be, then it looks like my collection stopped at the end of the summer with the ROTS Destroyer Droid. But hey if anyone still needs an Anakin Jedi Fighter, just let me know, all my local WM, TRU, and Target have an over abundance of those. Just ****es me off.

JediTricks
02-23-2006, 10:51 PM
I've also had my share of useless chats with Hasbro reps, but this conversation was a little more... informed. The person also seemed to actually care about about what we talked about. It was a unique event. (I'm no rube... remember, I lived in LA for 18 years. I'm used to being BS'ed night and day. ;) )I went through that at Kmart in Eagle Rock a while back, this person was full of knowledge and very earnest... turns out they were just full of "it" instead, NOTHING they said came to pass.

Believing these people because it seems like they want to help and they're spewing a lot of facts is "grain of salt" territory, these folks generally don't know any better than any of us, often they know less, but they want to take pride in their jobs so they sound official when they speak. I hope this person was right, I really do, but I am not ready to accept their word simply because I *want* it to be right. For me, I know to temper my hope with reality lest my hopes be dashed to bits.


I know exactly what you're saying, and sure, I only believe it when I see it also, but most of what we talked about made sense. It wasn't so much cheer leading or excuses, it was mostly, "This is why you are or aren't seeing stock on the shelves."That's often where it's been in my experience, they say things that sound official and important and in-the-loop, either for an ego-stroke or they've pieced together little tidbits of info from various sources or whatever, but I've never found one to be accurate in the long haul.


The stuff is still selling, but now that the new stuff is being stocked, they know that they'll have to do something to get rid of the last of the ROTS stock.You said the ROTS stuff is selling, out here the ROTS stock is clogging every store, all worn cards and messed up bubbles and such. They're all back FROM the bins which is why they look like they have the mange.


Say what you will, but that's better than glimmering empty pegs at Target. (Though I did find Sun Fac there this morning... it was kind of like spotting a rare butterfly in the jungle or something.)Target's ordering system makes that happen, as long as product keeps selling their computers keep ordering and the shelves keep stocking, they stock light to avoid TRU-syndrome. Go to Los Feliz TRU and look at the miles of disgusting ROTS carded figures, it will turn your stomach, and there's no room for TSC figs there because of it. Target's system doesn't work great either, but I find a lot more new figures there than TRU because of it.


Yeah, well, do you blame them for wanting to be more enthusiastic about the company that's going to buy more of their stuff?Yeah, I blame them, I blame them for being critically short-sighted so that when they side with WM and WM buries TRU, the fall of TRU eradicates the toy industry and Hasbro with it. Every analyst has said as much, every major toy company knows it to be true. So Hasbro dumps product on TRU without thinking about what will and won't sell, and quickly TRU clogs up with pegwarmers until there's nothing but a sea of Mon Mothmas. That is part of why Target changed how they do business with Hasbro by the way, the debacle with the 12" exclusives back in the '90s clogging stores so bad that there were whole aisles of Han Carbonites and Electronic Emperor sets.



If TRU does become extinct (which it should) then we will most likely see distribution migrate to online sellers such as HasbroToyShop, Star Wars.com, Entertainment Earth and others.Doubtful, Hasbro doesn't seem to want to do direct-sales-only business with their largest licensed brand, if they can't sell 50,000 units of each figure, they generally will cut and run - cheaper to fold up than risk not seeing enough profit.


I just purchased some G.I. Joe exclusives from HasbroToyShop and the fact that they are still producing these for the "Old School" collectors is very satisfying since there is no chance I would find them on the shelves at TRU, Target or Walmart.That is very different, they don't pay licensing fees for that so they can take bigger risks since each piece has smaller overhead. Don't expect the same treatment with SW - that's my nickel's worth of free advice. ;)



Well there's another issue. The scalpers wont buy things that cost too much. So things like the star fighter sit around for a bit more. I remember seeing about 3 cases of that fighter up on the top shelf when they were around. It's the basic figures that are the main Target.You are totally right, that's always been the case too, I was visiting Frank & Sons a decade ago and even then it'd be like the first week a vehicle or high-priced set was out (not 12" though, those were a different animal at the time) the scalpers would show a little interest, but then they'd go back to feeding on their regular basic figures since the risks were lower and the interest higher.



We can blame Hasbro for less than brilliant case assortments, but in order to get merchandise on the pegs, the stores need to put it there. ... but I don't have a Wal*Mart near me right now, so I've no idea (and don't much care anymore outside of their exclusives) about what kind of stock they have. You guys know, how's Wal*Mart's stock right now?Last time I was at 2 WMs a week ago, not a single basic TSC figure. Hasbro's crap cases are basically the problem, they ship a ton of Poggles and Derlins but not enough Boba Fett's initially, and then when they finally do catch on and ship more Fetts in updated cases, either it's too late and the interest has dried up or the stores' pegs are clogged with garbage pegwarmers (which increased-numbers Fett is probably shipping with, no less). Target threatened to stop dealing with Hasbro a while back, then shut their orders down to bare minimums after they ate TONS of money on those 12" exclusives from the '90s, and ever since then Hasbro and them have an agreement which the other big guys got in on where Hasbro eventually buys back pegwarmers for Hasbro credit, but it makes business sense that they're gunshy with so many dissatisfied customers seeing pegwarmers every single visit.


By the way, nobody get me wrong on this, I try to buy as many of my toys as I can from TRU, I have recognized the danger to the hobby of losing TRU for a while now, I've even spent a buck more on figures just to do so, but TRU still doesn't make it convenient for hardcore collectors OR casual fans (kids, parents, folks who only buy the occasional Boba Fett) to get this stuff even though casual fans and collectors are their year-round bread and butter.

Turbowars
02-23-2006, 11:06 PM
Well if I was making enough money where I could pay my local comic book store or most online retailers (like Entertainment Earth, BriansToys) the $15-$20 that they are asking for for some of these figures, then I would buy the whole collection from BriansToys. But alas I don't have that kind of money (gosh it would be nice to win the 200+ million jackpot tomorrow night in the mega millions drawing).

.I wouldn't put Brian's Toys and EE same category. One's a Scalper and the other is pretty much a retailer.

decadentdave
02-24-2006, 12:06 AM
Doubtful, Hasbro doesn't seem to want to do direct-sales-only business with their largest licensed brand, if they can't sell 50,000 units of each figure, they generally will cut and run - cheaper to fold up than risk not seeing enough profit.

That is very different, they don't pay licensing fees for that so they can take bigger risks since each piece has smaller overhead. Don't expect the same treatment with SW - that's my nickel's worth of free advice. ;)
I hear ya, JT, but aren't we already seeing an increase in online exclusives? StarWarsShop with the Lucas Family, Internet Exclusive Wedge, and the Entertainment Earth exclusive Clone Trooper packs and Astromechs plus a new exclusive to begin pre-ordering on Tuesday the 28th. I know what you are thinking, that these are just exclusives intended to direct traffic to online retailers and that mass-market retailers also carry exclusives to attract collector business but considering how difficult mass market exclusives are to find and the inflated prices of ALL exclusives, I am seeing a common apathy among collectors for these. I am seeing more and more collectors sticking with just the basic figure assortments which distribution has been very weak. Unless Hasbro irons out these distribution issues and retailers increase their ordering of basic figure assortments, I foresee a lot of us "serious" collectors resorting to making their purchases online almost exclusively which will a.) assure that there are plenty of basic figures out their for kids and casual collectors to obtain, and b.) based on a decrease of heavy collector purchasing in volume, will cause retailers to cut back and only order 1 or 2 case assortments of each wave to fill what they perceive as a diminished demand as a result of decreased collector traffic to their stores. Either way, current distribution is changing collector purchasing habits which will, reciprocally, affect support at the retail level. Point is, its pretty screwed up right now. Granted this is a non-movie year but even with the 30th Anniversary next year with hype to support the license, the current distribution model is going to have a direct impact on the future of the line.

btw - stopped by WM on my way home tonight and found both Hoth and Geonosis waves on the pegs sans Scorch, Battledroid and Theepio. Not a deluge, only 1 case of each, but at least it was something.

JEDIpartner
02-24-2006, 08:51 AM
I wouldn't put Brian's Toys and EE same category. One's a Scalper and the other is pretty much a retailer.

I concur!!!

Darth Cruel
02-24-2006, 10:46 AM
Which is which? (Just Kidding...I like EE)

JediTricks
02-24-2006, 04:52 PM
I hear ya, JT, but aren't we already seeing an increase in online exclusives? StarWarsShop with the Lucas Family, Internet Exclusive Wedge, and the Entertainment Earth exclusive Clone Trooper packs and Astromechs plus a new exclusive to begin pre-ordering on Tuesday the 28th. I know what you are thinking, that these are just exclusives intended to direct traffic to online retailers and that mass-market retailers also carry exclusives to attract collector business but considering how difficult mass market exclusives are to find and the inflated prices of ALL exclusives, I am seeing a common apathy among collectors for these.Actually, I was thinking that exclusives have a much smaller edition size than regular basic figures and are seen by Hasbro as "if the retailer can afford to pay up front for all at our increased cost, let 'em have it". That's a simplification, but I think Hasbro doesn't seem to care all that much who the retailer is for the online exclusives, they work differently from major-retail-partner incentive exclusives.



I am seeing more and more collectors sticking with just the basic figure assortments which distribution has been very weak. Unless Hasbro irons out these distribution issues and retailers increase their ordering of basic figure assortments, I foresee a lot of us "serious" collectors resorting to making their purchases online almost exclusively which will a.) assure that there are plenty of basic figures out their for kids and casual collectors to obtain, and b.) based on a decrease of heavy collector purchasing in volume, will cause retailers to cut back and only order 1 or 2 case assortments of each wave to fill what they perceive as a diminished demand as a result of decreased collector traffic to their stores. Either way, current distribution is changing collector purchasing habits which will, reciprocally, affect support at the retail level. Point is, its pretty screwed up right now. Granted this is a non-movie year but even with the 30th Anniversary next year with hype to support the license, the current distribution model is going to have a direct impact on the future of the line. I *really* doubt online is making a major dent in the brick-n-mortar retailers' business at this point. We all talk a big game, but most of us don't go to the etailers for the majority of our basic fig requirements. And if collectors do go online-only, I suspect Hasbro will cut anyway since they REALLY want to aim the line at the casual buyer market (kids especially) since they have always had the most buying power even when they're not into the line anymore.

JediTricks
03-03-2006, 03:05 PM
So here it is just over a week later, and none of my TRUs have gotten in any more TSC figures since the sale, though they still have a few Bibs and Baradas and Chewies. I should really get you guys a photo of the Los Feliz ROTS pegs...

Kidhuman
03-03-2006, 11:27 PM
Cell phone pics.

JediTricks
03-05-2006, 05:23 PM
I don't have a cell phone camera, and they don't allow photos in the store so it has to be sneaky.

Tycho
03-05-2006, 06:17 PM
Who doesn't allow photos in their store? I can't believe it's one of the retail chains.

Me personally: I like to photograph Wal-Mart employees and then Photoshop their pictures onto milk cartons. You never know when that is going to help someone's family.

Kidhuman
03-05-2006, 06:27 PM
Actually, no retail store allows you to take photos in there. If you get caught you will be asked to leave.

Funny story:

When I worked in Security for home depot, some lady was taking pics in the store. I asked her to leave and she refused. I told her I would either confiscate her camera or call the police and have them take her camera if she didnt leave. She called me an a-hole. I wittingly responded, a well paid a-hole at that and escorted her out of the store.

Tycho
03-05-2006, 06:51 PM
Interesting. I've never been told not to take pictures. I don't take a lot, but I took some shots of Corps figures repackaged on ROTS cards at my Wal-Mart. During Celebration 1 in Denver, Grand Admiral Thrawn took shots of me buying Qui-Gon Jinn figures, the line, the toy displays, Steve amongst a pile of Star Wars items, etc. No one ever said anything to him that I knew of.

Now Home Depot: well there I would have wanted to get a shot of that man who was super-glued to a toilet seat!

JediTricks
03-05-2006, 06:52 PM
I was almost ejected from TRU Monrovia for trying to film that during Midnight Madness 2, some of the stores here have up signs about no photography.

DarkArtist
03-05-2006, 07:37 PM
Actually, no retail store allows you to take photos in there. If you get caught you will be asked to leave.

I don't know where you guys shop but I am constantly taking pictures in stores. It helps when you are asking for stuff that other people may not know about.

rich_of_the_dead
03-05-2006, 09:42 PM
plus a new exclusive to begin pre-ordering on Tuesday the 28th.

what and where would this be please? hmmmmm?

SirSteve
03-06-2006, 08:31 AM
You guys need to start sending in your pics! ;)

Val Da Car
03-06-2006, 10:35 AM
You guys need to start sending in your pics! ;)


Sweet...The wife just got a Razr....camera included...I bet she can get some HW dudes to pose for her!!!!

wedge1968
03-06-2006, 03:03 PM
I, too, would like to know what exclusive can be pre-ordered on the 28th. Also, is that March 28th or February 28th (both are Tuesdays)?

Toys R Us and Target wouldn't let my friend film his documentary during midnight madness. Target said he'd be arrested and gave him the number of their media relations person.

Darth Cruel
03-06-2006, 03:12 PM
I, too, would like to know what exclusive can be pre-ordered on the 28th. Also, is that March 28th or February 28th (both are Tuesdays)?

Toys R Us and Target wouldn't let my friend film his documentary during midnight madness. Target said he'd be arrested and gave him the number of their media relations person.

I may be mistaken...but I believe the exclusive that is available on Feb 28th is the Anakin reveal Vader bust on Entertainment Earth.

wedge1968
03-06-2006, 03:27 PM
Oh, good.

Does anyone know anything about that Kir Kanos on-line exclusive that was rumored a while ago?

JediTricks
07-19-2006, 02:38 PM
A new thread (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=32107) reminded me of this one. Not to put too fine a point on it, but here we are 5 months later and has any of this come true?

plasticfetish
07-19-2006, 02:56 PM
What do you want me to say? I never intended my initial post to indicate that every crappy TRU in the country would turn into a miracle store overnight. But yeah, for me... for the most part... Toys R Us has had the best variety, quantity and prices for Star Wars toys. I've found every new figure that I've wanted there. Their pricing has been lower than Target... I don't visit Wal*Mart that often (but they've had nothing anyway), so...

What'd I say?

TRU will always have more stock than the other places.
As far as I'm concerned, and I can't account for the dead end stores out there that probably won't last another year or two, but my TRU has had "more" stock than other places.

JediTricks
07-19-2006, 03:00 PM
Well, here and in a lot of other places I've heard about, they've been an unmitigated disaster, last with everything (well, that's not fair, they're still 3 waves behind generally), least amount of stock, biggest mess. But if ever I want some old Force Battlers or Unleashed Battle Packs or Asajj Ventress Unleashed or Titanium 6" Droid Tri-Fighters, or beat up old ROTS figures, or Titanium 3" leftovers from 2 waves ago, or last season's attacktix, I know where to find them... collecting dust.

plasticfetish
07-19-2006, 03:12 PM
Well, here and in a lot of other places I've heard about, they've been an unmitigated disasterI would bet money that you can kiss some, if not most, of those stores good-bye in the years to come.

Again, I think it all depends on the store... but that obviously applies to Target, W*M and all others.

...and not for nothing, I think there is something to be said for the fact that kids actually shop at my local TRU. There are families in there spending money, so they actually bother to stock the shelves.

JediTricks
07-19-2006, 09:04 PM
We'd be talking about every TRU in Los Angeles County, they're not going to close every TRU in LA, that's a dozen or more in the second largest market in the country. And they're *all* like this.

plasticfetish
07-22-2006, 04:32 AM
BTW... and for the record, I hit my local TRU today, and they've got orange clearance stickers on what's left of their ROTS figures. (As well as a bunch of other non-SW things.)

Saw the Falcon SWTF for the first time there also. :)

DarthQuack
07-22-2006, 06:07 AM
How much were they clearancing their figs for?

dindae
07-22-2006, 11:59 PM
Yeah my local TRU finally put the finally ROTS figs on clearance too. I couldn't tell you how much. There are only 12 of them and they are all Luminara.

Phantom-like Menace
07-23-2006, 12:05 AM
I could probably, probably, go to my local TRU and pick up an Utapau clone when it opens tomorrow if I want. They've had a pretty good selection of figures, an awesome selection of figures compared to everyone else locally, and they certainly have a greater number in total.

figrin bran
07-23-2006, 12:29 AM
How much were they clearancing their figs for?

they are $4.98 at 2 of my local TRU's.

plasticfetish
07-23-2006, 03:49 AM
How much were they clearancing their figs for?
I think they were going for $4.48 at mine... not that they had much left really.