I think we'll just let this one sleep for now then, it's just about business being business and the teams trying to do their best to get product out in spite of that.
Originally Posted by El Chuxter
This I will add, and recommend floated towards the top with an asterisk (because it may get answered at the panel).
On a related note, could the more high-demand figures from the last Vintage wave be re-released on whatever card they're doing next? I'm thinking that Emperor's Guard figure is going to be a pain to get, being an army builder and all.
Yeah, don't allow that to happen to us if you can help it, that really made me scream "ASK A FOLLOW UP ABOUT FORCE FX!!!" :p Just try to get something in about the future. Stupid Hasbro minimum ordering system makes this such a hamstrung question though - that's something that goes to the core... hmm, maybe it's above the scope of Derryl and Jeff but it gives me inspiration:
Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL
- Hasbro corporate policy requires retailers to order monthly minimums to start with Hasbro, several thousand in purchases a month supposedly, which favors high volume retailers over small and niche retailers, and by doing so that limits the types of items Hasbro likes to focus on, going for mainstream audiences over smaller audiences, non-collectors and such. Force FX lightsabers have become an icon in our society, they're well-known with fans who would never buy a Star Wars action figure or toy of any kind, and those people buy from places that wouldn't move a lot of Hasbro product so they can't get wholesale orders from you. Some of those stores can go through Diamond for distribution but others aren't comic shops - mall video stores used to be a good place to buy FX sabers, for example, but now they are not able to get in on the marketing which limits Hasbro sales and limits Force FX's exposure outside the hardcore fan view. Is there anything that can be done for small-market-focused items like Force FX beyond buying them from a 3rd party distributor, or is the Hasbro business model simply too rigid to allow that?
Not sure if this question would be in my top 10 though. :D Yeah, I just wrote all that for a 2nd- or 3rd-tier question.
I see. Ok, well focus not on the specific characters then but on the problem and the why/how-to-fix parts.
Well, if I could just tell them to stop packing identical (or near-identical) figures in multiple lines at once, I would; I'm just trying to phrase it in the form of a question. :p There are of course other factors that turn a figure into a pegwarmer, but this is a more recent issue, and one they keep doing. They're treating such figures as Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan as three distinct releases - Vintage, Movie Heroes, Discover the Force - when they really shouldn't, because the different versions don't really offer anything greatly different (other than packaging or repacked accessories). I guess the point is, "Are the near-identical simultaneous releases cannibalizing each other's sales?" Because it's not just that the Movie Heroes versions are hanging (as is the case for those droids I mentioned), it's that all three versions are hanging around pretty equally and I don't think it would be as big of a problem if the figure only existed in one version at a time, or if the different versions offered something distinctly, drastically different.
Brian Merten is fairly new to the mainline team, so you won't get much out of him on it compared to exclusives where he is king.
He's definitely got a very different style from Derryl, I see what you mean. I'll just count on Derryl or Brian to give the more thorough answers, I suppose.
Repacks are obviously necessary in this situation, but yeah, they could be brought to market more dynamically.
Okay, I'll gladly ask about how it's doing overall and that sort of thing. Do you want me to ask about the repacks and how uninteresting they are?
Sounds good. If you intend to publish what they tell you outside the official interview, make sure to recognize when they're telling you something off the record and not break that trust. It happens from time to time, and with so much going on it's hard to compartmentalize that sort of thing.
True, and neither question is that exciting, so if I don't ask either then I won't really care. If I'm able to just chat with Derryl at the booth or something, I think they're better suited to that environment.
Then it was probably someone from design, it's very hit-and-miss who from design comes to these things, I may not have met or heard of him, or maybe I did and just forgot because he wasn't at last year's. If it were me and I got something like that, I'd go after the "why not" and then probably talk to Derryl about it.
I know it wasn't Dave, as he was usually showing his sculpting at a little station and he wasn't at the booth when I was. Andrew was younger than everyone else, it seemed, aside maybe from Chad Donvito. (I just checked the write-up of my CV talk with them and I said it was Andrew, but I could still be mistaken - I now know that there's a guy named Erik Arana on the team, but he looked different, so I dunno.) I see what you mean; if I get to that one, I'll bring up the no-tooling aspect.
Getting caught up in the overhype is what nearly took Hasbro as a company down 12 years ago with the original TPM release, I would think they'd have learened a little from that. I'd ask it to remind them to learn from it, anyway. ;)
I'm sure there will still be a lot of PR talk on this one, and I bet Lucasfilm thought the demand would be higher as well, so it is still interesting.
I took his question as a company policy question, "why does Hasbro in general - not just Star Wars but Transformers, Marvel, etc. - bring product to these conventions that then evaporates and never makes it to market?" type of thing, but the answer is just that they WANT to bring everything they show to market and sometimes factors outside their control make it impossible, which is why they are so secretive with their news so as not to disappoint their market... that sort of thing.
Chux, of course, the SW team has no control over what the other lines are doing, so that's their thing. There have been a few SW items - the Obi-Wan and Boba Fett class I Clone Wars ships, the Naboo plains pack at Target - that have done this recently, but things get cancelled or changed with some regularity and the only issue there is that Hasbro showed us these things too soon. I suppose I could include those examples with the Utai. On the tooling point, as JT said, sometimes they're not tooled yet and that's a way bigger expense than sculpting is, from what I understand. So is there a "will we ever see this" aspect there, or are you just wondering on the business/philosophy of it all?
I'd still hold their feet to the fire on that issue to press it home, give hope to the hopeless, show that we're here to fight the fight even if we don't win that day. That's part of how I look at these things for myself.
They said somewhere at SDCC that they'll be looking at ways to re-ship popular Vintage Collection figures and army builders in the future. Amazon has the Royal Guard individually, unless it's pre-sold out now or something.
If nothing else, they need to say it officially and clearly and loudly.