Attachment 25579After a break in the schedule for September, Q&A is back. Every month, we get to ask Hasbro 2 questions. Back on October 21st we sent in 2 questions, and Hasbro has just sent us back the answers.
SSG: Since the release of the ROTJ wave Fall of 2010, there really wasn't much product for either line making a big appearance on shelves at any major retailer up until this September. Many waves have come and gone in very small, sporadic, scattered numbers. Your recent answers about some figures slowing things up doesn't fully account for what seems to be extremely-low retailer orders or problematic case assortments that continued even a year after figures were showing problems to continue pushing slow-moving product rather than focusing on newer and more popular stuff. Beyond the slow-moving figures, what is happening with the spotty distribution and case assortment planning for this year so far? You've always told us that you monitor what's selling and adjust future case assortments to address problems, yet we haven't seen that lately, why not slip in Wedge and the Gamorrean and the like, truly sought-after figures, instead of just another pass at recarded figures? (We know Wedge and the Gamorrean are slated for return in 2012, but that's over a year after they were needed.)
Hasbro: We constantly adjust assortments throughout the year based on in-market trends, but the nature of our processes requires up to 6 months or more of lead time. So while we would like to turn on a dime and affect changes within a month or two, usually there is a significant time lag (as you mentioned) between what we see happening at shelf and how soon adjustments can be made to product flow. All it takes is one or two slow moving figures to slow down the replenishment in store with newer figures. On the flip side, we do not react to every data point that appears at retail because sometimes preliminary slow movement on some figures does not translate to a longer-term peg warming situation.
SSG: Lucasfilm is all of a sudden talking about the February 2012 cinema release of Episode I in 3D as an experiment -- one that, should it not live up to their expectations, will end the Saga's theatrical re-release train then and there. They've also said that the live-action TV series is on hold at least a few more years. Should the 3D release not pan out, that would leave only the Blu-Ray release as major entertainment support for the realistic incarnation of the brand. Granted, Hasbro's Star Wars line has survived plenty of waves without entertainment support, but the state of the toy industry seems more brutal, more dire than before. What is Hasbro looking forward to using as support for the main Star Wars movie line should the 3D movie release not pan out? Hasbro hasn't done any major advertising for the main Star Wars movie line in a while, might there be a renewed push into that realm?
Hasbro: We are planning for a successful launch of Episode I in 3D in February 2012. Lucasfilm has not offically made any statements about further 3D movies or other entertainment. As fans can see from our 2012 product line, our strategy during the Episode I in 3D movie year is to focus our line against the six Star Wars movies, with a heavier emphasis on Ep I during the beginning of the year. Clone Wars animation themed product will be part of the line throughout the entire year, but it will represent a smaller portion of the line than in previous years.
Well, that's it for this round's questions and answers. Thanks to everybody who participated in picking these questions, and to Hasbro for the answers. Feel free to let us know what you think of this round by posting below!