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Scackmgack
12-03-2010, 11:48 PM
Dear Hasbro,

I'm 36 years old, and I've been collecting Star Wars toys since I was five. As I've gotten older, my collecting habits have truncated accordingly. I have other hobbies, I'm married, I like to travel, and so the amount of money I'm willing to spend on my Star Wars habit has waned. But sometimes I like to buy a figure or a vehicle or a Battle Pack when I see it talked about here on SirStevesGuide.

If only I could find these things I'd like to buy in stores, because they're never around. I'll tell you where I do find them, however: on eBay, or Amazon.com, where scalpers are selling them for two to three times the retail price because you never make enough of the hot-item toys, and I can't figure out why.

It has been about a year since I really wanted a particular item, in this case the ARC Troopers Battle Pack. I saw it once at a Target, decided to pass that day, and have not seen it since. It was $25 at Target. I can expect to pay up to $50, plus shipping, to purchase one online.

I saw the Mandalorian with Speeder Bike online, but have yet to see one in a store. The list price should be $16.99 or so if I find one on a peg. It's much more likely that if I want just one of these, I'll be paying upwards of $30.

This is what I'd like to know: how is it, with decades of experience manufacturing and distributing toys, you still can't seem to figure out which items are going to be the most popular, and produce them at high enough levels, and which items are going to be warming pegs?

I actually stopped collecting for a while because I was so frustrated at finding rows upon rows of peg-warmers which nobody wanted, likely because they were yet another variety of a core character who everyone already had, including the little kids in my family. I turned to building models because I could always get what I wanted, whenever I wanted it.

Now, after maybe six months away from the Star Wars hobby, I return to try and pick up a few items, and it's the same old song and dance. The hot items get picked up by scalpers and try to re-sell me the items for preposterous prices.

How is it that you couldn't figure out that the ARC Trooper set, which has three original figures, was going to be a hit, and produce three times as many as you did? Scalpers won't bother buying all of an item up if doing so takes up all their ready cash. Or make four times the normal run of an item which you ought to be able to predict is going to be hot, such that scalping isn't worth the scalpers' time. No one will pay scalping prices if the item is readily available.

How does it benefit Hasbro by shorting the best items such that consumers cannot pick them up at retail? Does Hasbro make any money off the secondary markets? Is it some kind of a marketing scheme, to intentionally short the hot items such that children and collectors continually return to the shelves and pegs hoping to find that item they really want, and eventually just break down and purchase anything just to not walk away empty-handed for the umpteenth time?

At some point, I've hoped that this problem would go away, but it's as rampant as ever, and it turns my stomach. I just want to buy some toys. It shouldn't be a source of agita...or getting screwed by scalpers.

Neuroleptic
12-04-2010, 12:50 AM
Amen!

Flooding the stores with shipment after shipment of the wave no one wants RIGHT before the next wave hits is driving me insane and is something I'v had to deal with for years now! It's caused me to miss several figures I really wanted due to the wave never showing up at retail around here.

Add scalpers to the mix, and it becomes impossible to find what little of some waves ever hit stores here.

jonthejedi
12-06-2010, 03:28 AM
You folks seriously need to pull the reins back on Saga Legends, in spite of what the demographics are telling you. I would strongly advise changing this 1 of each for new figures in your case assortments as well as battle packs & mid-size vehicles...it's just not working. I saw the Mando. with speeder assortment once; I have never seen the ARC trooper battle pack at retail. This should be sending a clear message.

Sean the Hutt
12-06-2010, 08:02 PM
ditto

I only collect what i an find or really want. between hasbro distribution, theives, re-sellers has just about killed the hobby for me. I don't feel bad when hasbro stock hits the dumps either. They are no Kenner! i don't mind too much if i miss something anymore. less money for hasbro. more for me.
How about this. I hate it when the re-sellers can't sell their treasure, so they hall it back to the store and return it 3 months or 6 months later. I am just glad i am not that "guy" I can only imagine the small minded person that lives like that.
Sooner or later greedy hasbro will re release everything, devaluing everything you already have.
if you look around on the net you can get some good deals if you can wait it out. i got a Ephant Mon for 9.99 in package this year for 9.99. That was reasonable enough.
It is a good thing that you don't collect religiously. It is a sign of maturity! star wars is great, however i have learned myself that it is not really a priority in life. especially when you get to a certain age or have certain responsibilities. Then it becomes about collecting the cool things you like, and not about getting every last star wars item produced. It is a better place...for me anyway. I still collect, however if it ended tomorrow. that's cool. here is the thing though...it won't end! Star wars is ingrained into society! Global pop culture!

sith_killer_99
12-06-2010, 08:30 PM
Just do what I do.

Wait for a line to end, then hit ebay and buy the complete set for basically retail price.

I can go on ebay right now and find 2003 Saga, POTJ, ROTS, etc. for about $6.00 per figure (complete sets for like $300-$350). :laugh:

I have seen the same thing for just about every line from '95-present.

As for the HTF exclusives, they will always be a bit more expensive. Hasbro may not profit from the secondary market directly, but it certainly stirs up enough interest to hook new collectors. So, yes they do stuff like this on purpose.

I couldn't care less about finding the newest releases, as I know they will never be that hard to find. Why bother hunting for them when I will be able to go to ebay in a year or two and buy a complete set for $300-$350. I'll just set $20-$30 aside each month and save myself the headache. lol

morpheus282
12-06-2010, 08:49 PM
i got a Ephant Mon for 9.99 in package this year for 9.99. That was reasonable enough.

I hate to admit it, but I picked up my Ephant Mon at a Kay Bee on clearance for $3.99 about six months after the wave left normal retail channels. I count it as one of my luckiest finds yet. It also speaks to the benefit of being in the right place in the right time. In my experience, the only thing you can count on is luck.

sith_killer_99
12-06-2010, 09:44 PM
I hate to admit it, but I picked up my Ephant Mon at a Kay Bee on clearance for $3.99 about six months after the wave left normal retail channels. I count it as one of my luckiest finds yet. It also speaks to the benefit of being in the right place in the right time. In my experience, the only thing you can count on is luck.

In my experience there's no such thing as luck.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. :laugh:

Mr. JabbaJohnL
12-09-2010, 12:39 AM
So much of this depends on how much effort you're willing to expend. If you only go looking every few weeks, then yeah, you're not going to find much. I'm not saying you have to do toy runs every day, but find a happy medium and you'll find much more.

I've seen the ARC Troopers battle pack on a few occasions. Same with the Mando Speeder Bike, which I've seen several more times. But both are still shipping and will continue to do so for a while. There's absolutely no sense in resorting to the secondary market for items that are still shipping to stores, so just don't do it.


Sooner or later greedy hasbro will re release everything, devaluing everything you already have.
What's wrong with them re-releasing something? Why should a toy be rare and expensive? Aren't these products that should be available to anyone who wants them (which is kind of the point of this thread)?

Jon Dougha
12-09-2010, 08:23 AM
Glad to see folks venting about these issues.
I do think this has to do with the hording and obsessive-compulsive aspects of our personalities. Do you have to have every single figure as soon as it comes out? The only time that I'll do regular toy hunts is when there is a particularly good sale. Then I can justify the cost of gas and my time to get the figures that I want at a great price. Otherwise, paying full retail for something, that a number of your have noted already, will probably show up at a reduced price later or become more easier to get at some other point in time just doesn't make sense. Consider all of the reissues of hard to find figures that are coming out in the CW series.

One last point, can someone explain to me when B&M stores like TRU do not offer the opportunity for collectors to put in orders for figures in advance just as BBTS and other online sellers do? It seems like they are missing out on a chance to improve their cash flow as well as do a better job of gauging exactly how much of a product they should order. I seem to recall signs in their stores promoting such a program for figures like Assassins' Creed, but never SW. I would pay full retail for figures if I knew that I could pick them up in person and not have to incur a surcharge or S&H charges.


JD

Neuroleptic
12-09-2010, 09:30 AM
Glad to see folks venting about these issues.
I do think this has to do with the hording and obsessive-compulsive aspects of our personalities. Do you have to have every single figure as soon as it comes out? The only time that I'll do regular toy hunts is when there is a particularly good sale. Then I can justify the cost of gas and my time to get the figures that I want at a great price. Otherwise, paying full retail for something, that a number of your have noted already, will probably show up at a reduced price later or become more easier to get at some other point in time just doesn't make sense. Consider all of the reissues of hard to find figures that are coming out in the CW series.

One last point, can someone explain to me when B&M stores like TRU do not offer the opportunity for collectors to put in orders for figures in advance just as BBTS and other online sellers do? It seems like they are missing out on a chance to improve their cash flow as well as do a better job of gauging exactly how much of a product they should order. I seem to recall signs in their stores promoting such a program for figures like Assassins' Creed, but never SW. I would pay full retail for figures if I knew that I could pick them up in person and not have to incur a surcharge or S&H charges.


JD

I actualy never make a run into town just to shop for figures. I do, however, check every single time i'm in town even though the situation hasn't really changed much for months here. Granted that's the deffinition of insanity, but that's not the point.

For me, I'm frustrated because the figures I usualy want most are ALWAYS the ones that never seem to show up in my area. And the ROTJ R2-D2 is probably the figure I want most in the modern line, so ofcourse, the previous wave of figures is currently clogging up inventory in every store for a hundere mile radius around my house.

I'm frustrated, because this seems to happen several times a year, causing me to miss entier waves of figures every year. I'm mad as hell and the rent is too damn high!

El Chuxter
12-09-2010, 11:43 AM
I don't like the shortpacking and the scalpers, either, but there's one bright spot at this time of year: in about a week, procrastinating parents across the country will descend on stores looking for Star Wars figures, and they will not know (or give a crap) which ones they get, so all those stupid ROTS figures will be cleaned out after Christmas.

sith_killer_99
12-09-2010, 01:06 PM
I don't like the shortpacking and the scalpers, either, but there's one bright spot at this time of year: in about a week, procrastinating parents across the country will descend on stores looking for Star Wars figures, and they will not know (or give a crap) which ones they get, so all those stupid ROTS figures will be cleaned out after Christmas.

Maybe.

I went to Walmart last night and discovered not one, not two, but 3 MASSIVE Star Wars displays jam packed with figures. It was a sight to behold, honestly I haven't seen that many SW figures in any store ever, not even during midnight madness SW specials.

I guess it wouldn't have been too bad if they had gotten any of the Vintage figures. :sad:

nohagent
12-09-2010, 05:43 PM
too true too true

JEDIpartner
01-23-2011, 07:49 PM
I've seen WAY too many Legacy figures at retail. I thought Those were assortments to supplement the CW and Vintage lines. :( I guess not. I hate to say, but I think that line is really languishing at retail. I mean, are most of those even selling through?