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View Full Version : Hasbro Q&A for the week of October 22nd



JediTricks
10-22-2006, 04:08 PM
A Sunday update can mean only 1 thing... invasion! Or, it's Hasbro's answers to SSG questions for October 22nd, 2006.

Thanks again to Hasbro for the answers, to all the folks who sent in questions and especially those who voted on them. Here come Hasbro's answers, and remember to check out ActionFigs.com (http://www.actionfigs.com/index.php?categoryid=12&p2_articleid=162) for their weekly Hasbro Q&A as well (which also got an update today).



Hasbro Q&A for the week of October 22nd

Q: Buyers have long suffered basic figure case assortments that cause more collecting problems than they solve, whether they be cases trying to refresh older product, focus on unpopular figures across multiple cases, or an extended lack of focus on popular figures - even a perception of intentional shortpacking (and I don't mean chase figures like UGH, that's a separate can of worms). Case revisions often don't do enough to remedy the problem, sometimes making it even worse. Currently, the "Greatest Battles" and "Heroes & Villains" older-figure assortments are in heavy rotation and are choking off shelfspace for actual new assortments in many markets. Nearly every Target, Toys R Us, and Wal-mart is stuffed with those figures which move much slower and have no room to put out the newest TSC wave, Endor 2/The Phantom Menace. Now Hasbro is saying this "greatest hits" style of assortment will be continuing next year. Why are new-product case assortments still such a problem, what is Hasbro doing to deal with the problems beyond simple case revisions, and - understanding that there is some need for older figures to keep a continued presence on shelves - how will the current problems of the "greatest hits" assortment be addressed?

A: Just as Collections 1 and 2 in prior years had dediciated space on the pegs, so too will the two basic figure assortments next year (and they also do now, by the way, sit side by side with separate assigned space in the planogram). Retailers replenish figures based on the sell through rate of the assortment, so when stores sell down on 85770 (TSC), they will reorder more. The 87181 (Greatest Hits) have no effect whatsoever on this replenishment. Inventory is managed to keep ample stock on both assortments, independent of how you see them put back on the pegs at the end of the day. One more thing, too - you couldn't be further off regarding the sales of the Greatest Hits figures. They have been a runaway hit and the reason why we are creating a new assortment for next year to keep this going.


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Q: On the issue of perceived value with small figures like Ewoks, Jawas, Astromech droids, etc., while scale-accuracy is important, smaller figures have often come in 2-packs - Wicket & Logray, Jawa 2pack, Gonk Droid & Jawa, Yoda & Chian, Jedi Padawans, Library Droids, even the just-released Dud Bold & Mars Guo; Wicket & Logray are not only a 2-pack but are scaled-up for perceived value - yet the recent Chief Chirpa feels like a very empty package because it's a very small figure with few accessories. Why was Chirpa not part of a 2-pack, and would Hasbro consider using the basic 2-pack format with smaller figures again in the future to give greater value for buyers' money and get more figures out there?

A: We will consider it in the future. As to why Chirpa was a single pack, it was needed to help cost average the wave somewhat.


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Q: We often wonder why the current "kids market" is treated so much differently from the "collectors market", could you explain Hasbro's perceptions of the distinctions between the "collectors market" and "kids market" in Star Wars collecting? What are the percentages of "kids" collecting the line right now? Isn't that line blurred since most adult collectors started their interest as kids dating back to Kenner's first Star Wars action figures with notions of "collect them all" in 1978? There's a notion among collectors that the "kids market" is more important to Hasbro in the Star Wars collecting even though collectors make up a significant portion of the line's consumers and often buy multiples of each item, are kids today that much different in how they buy and enjoy their toys from 28 years ago that they should be treated as "non-collectors"?

A: Last year, kids outnumbered the collectors by a very wide gap. The reason is simple - we had a great movie, and Star Wars became the thing that kids everywhere wanted to get involved with. Just like collectors love Star Wars figures, kids piled on that bandwagon too. Well, kids didn't jump off that bandwagon this year, just like we thought they wouldn't given the product that we were designing to keep them engaged in Star Wars. Usually after a movie year we see kids' interest shift in a different direction, and some did wander away this year, but kids continue to be involved in Star Wars in a big way and are a very important component of the line's current and future success. Collectors do not want to see us focus on just collectors either - a healthier overall line means we can do more products than we otherwise would because retailers see the demand. If the line were just focused on collectors, the relatively smaller volumes would be at risk for being delisted, or we would have to create so many new, more obscure figures to keep the line going that we could not commit the resources and tooling dollars to get everything done. The healthiest Star Wars line is one that has both audiences, kids and collectors, engaged in the highest possible way. How do kids interact with Star Wars figures? Some have a more casual engagement, picking up a few core hero figures, while others dive deeper and appreciate another tier of characters like Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, Plo Kloon that are the next step for someone who really wants to build up "the world of Star Wars." Others do a deep dive like an adult collector, and these kids may never leave the brand like many of us never did. These kids behave like colelctors but our data shows them as kids.


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And the questions from ActionFigs.com (http://www.actionfigs.com/index.php?categoryid=12&p2_articleid=162):

- Recently you were quoted as saying that Hasbro had subcontracted the 12" figures to Sideshow as their smaller business model allowed them to manufacture collector-quality 12" figures in a more cost effective manner. Given Hasbro's shelfspace limitations and struggles to generate profits with playsets, larger vehicles, and Micro Machines/Action Fleet, would Hasbro consider subcontracting those fan-desired items out to other companies?

- What are the chances that you will make the Homing Spider Droid and Corporate Alliance Tank Droid in 3" scale if they appear in the upcoming animated series? And their chances if they don't appear in the series, or perhaps do you already have plans to make either of them? Would you be willing to add cockpits inside each for extra play value which don't affect the look of the outside (this would be consistent with Star Wars Battlefront 2)?

- Hasbro was previously asked in a Q&A if the cancelled trophy edition OOM-9 could be released in a Battle Pack, and the response was "If [it] would fit into a future scene we want to do, we'd consider [it]." What about releasing cancelled OOM-9 and also the cancelled Destroyer Droid (from the Droideka vs Gungan 2pack) and Trophy Edition Obi-Wan as regular basic carded figures?

2-1B
10-22-2006, 04:16 PM
Hear that, JT ? :)
"We had a great movie." :thumbsup:

JediTricks
10-22-2006, 04:39 PM
Yeah, they also said the Droideka was a prototype and not a test-shot. :p

LTBasker
10-22-2006, 04:40 PM
Just as Collections 1 and 2 in prior years had dediciated space on the pegs, so too will the two basic figure assortments next year (and they also do now, by the way, sit side by side with separate assigned space in the planogram). Retailers replenish figures based on the sell through rate of the assortment, so when stores sell down on 85770 (TSC), they will reorder more. The 87181 (Greatest Hits) have no effect whatsoever on this replenishment. Inventory is managed to keep ample stock on both assortments, independent of how you see them put back on the pegs at the end of the day. One more thing, too - you couldn't be further off regarding the sales of the Greatest Hits figures. They have been a runaway hit and the reason why we are creating a new assortment for next year to keep this going.

Well that's fubar. It seems they don't get out to the stores and notice nobody's been paying attention to the line's ID numbers and placing them seperately, they all have the same packaging so to the stockers it's the same line. Physics seem to have escaped Hasbro as well, even if they have no TSC, if the pegs are full of Greatest Hits (since they don't give a flying trout about the planogram differences) then there is no space for them to stock TSC and thus no new stock is ordered. It was a generic, long-winded way of saying "We take no blame."

Kidhuman
10-22-2006, 04:40 PM
Off set what on Chirpa...repacks and rehashes?

Tycho
10-22-2006, 05:02 PM
Well that's fubar. It seems they don't get out to the stores and notice nobody's been paying attention to the line's ID numbers and placing them seperately, they all have the same packaging so to the stockers it's the same line. Physics seem to have escaped Hasbro as well, even if they have no TSC, if the pegs are full of Greatest Hits (since they don't give a flying trout about the planogram differences) then there is no space for them to stock TSC and thus no new stock is ordered. It was a generic, long-winded way of saying "We take no blame."

I disagree with that in so far as I think it IS ordered, but it sits in the back room or gets doled out to people lucky enough to have employees search the back for them.

The varying skus would make the computer order more of an assortment if it sold. BASKER is right in that the employees don't pay attention and just use the 8 pegs of Star Wars they have to stock whatever case is on top of the batch (seems to be Greatest Hits or Heroes & Villains). Thus, even if Endor/Naboo is being ordered by the computers due to back-room sales, the cases are always in the backroom because there's no room to stock them on the floor. If they are getting turn-around, it's from back-room purchases. I know because I've benefitted from back-room purchasing myself - yesterday as a matter of fact.

I don't know if GH or H&V are moving - they might be and they might be restocking them -or I could just see the exact same figures each time I have a chance to visit. I don't hunt as much as some of you do these days, so I can't say for sure.

JediTricks
10-22-2006, 05:13 PM
Well that's fubar. It seems they don't get out to the stores and notice nobody's been paying attention to the line's ID numbers and placing them seperately, they all have the same packaging so to the stockers it's the same line. Physics seem to have escaped Hasbro as well, even if they have no TSC, if the pegs are full of Greatest Hits (since they don't give a flying trout about the planogram differences) then there is no space for them to stock TSC and thus no new stock is ordered. It was a generic, long-winded way of saying "We take no blame."I feel the same way, when I read it while I was updating the news my eyebrows jumped off my forehead, they think it's selling well and stockers are paying attention to planograms when all anecdotal evidence points to the contrary. However, it was anything but generic; and they're not saying they take not blame, they're saying they have a working system and it's doing great - again, anecdotal evidence contradicts that at every turn on the consumer level.



Off set what on Chirpa...repacks and rehashes?Maybe they mean the entire Endor wave, not just what shipped with Chirpa, but the ones that shipped with the TPM figures as well, so you have the following:
- Chief Chirpa
- Moff Jerjerrod
- Death Star Gunner
- Endor 3PO
- Emperor (repack)
- Luke Skywalker (slight remold, new accessories)
- Emp Wrath Vader (slight remold, new accessories)
- Rebel Endor Trooper
- Black Rebel Endor Trooper (running change from previous, new head, slight remolded body)

It's a heavy wave. Granted, offering a crappy Jerjerrod was a complete waste, but even without him it'd be 4 new figures and a couple remolds.

Turbowars
10-23-2006, 12:16 AM
Hasbro is so full of crap. They have no idea what is going on at retail and to be honest I don't think hasbro cares what happens at retail as long as their junk cases assortments get ordered from corporate. This line will fail sooner than later because the way hasbro and it's retailers handle the line.

JediTricks
10-23-2006, 03:30 PM
Hasbro is so full of crap. They have no idea what is going on at retail and to be honest I don't think hasbro cares what happens at retail as long as their junk cases assortments get ordered from corporate. This line will fail sooner than later because the way hasbro and it's retailers handle the line.
This is what I fear is the truth in this matter.