Hasbro, I am an avid fan of the Star Wars line. And as a Moderator and a poster here I have seen many posts and opinions. I have come to this conclusion, You are in danger Hasbro.
I have been noticing a growing rumble through the collecting community. It started with sub-par materials being used for weapons in the Sneak Peek line. The rumble is growing. I have heard many collectors declair that no longer will they collect because of poor distribution, short pack, shoddy paint jobs, etc. This disheartens me. Here are some of the problems I have noticed.
Poor distribution - There are areas of the country that still have not received any Count Dooku's to date. In my area I have not seen any of the Teebo Wave, nor anything from the Bespin wave or Palpatine wave. You must find some better way of getting an equal amount of figures out to the puplic. Hasbro, you do not make money from eBay! And that is where most people will turn to find these figures. Meaning that they will have to spend more money to purchase a hard to find figure, and then they will have nothing left to spend when their area finally gets the new waves. You just lost sales!
Shoddy paint/materials - One of the most important things in a figure is how well it stands up. Now I do not mean in an up-right postion(although that helps), I am speaking about how sturdy the figure/pack ins are. If a blaster "droops" over a matter of days, that does not speak highly of the manufacturer. These figures are suppose to be made for children, not us adult collector. While we do make up a majority of the sales, these are still toys. That being said, how long do think it would take a child to break a lightsaber peg, or completly muck up Shaak Ti's arms, or the Clone Troopers blaster. How long would it take for them to lose Hanger Duel Anakin's arm????
And if these figures are being made for the collector's, how many of us are going to pick up a figure with a really bad paint job?? I have passed on many figures because there is a paint smuch on them, or their eyes bleed into the face, or the colors are different from figure to figure that I do not know which one is the correct one. Part of my purchasing is the paint application. If it is not good, I pass. Now I didn't saw perfect, I said good.
Gimmicks - There are a good number of people who despise these gimmick. They have passed of figures they were looking forward to because of how the gimmick made them look or pose. The Arena Padme is a prime example. I love everything about this figure, except that nasty looking arm! The sculpt is great, and even the pose is "dealable", but the peg in the shoulder, and "I can't even really put my gun down" is what really detract from that figure. And please stop with the HUGH magnents! I love the idea of the Metal lightsaber hilts. I think this is the best improvement to the Jedi that you could have done! Keep them coming! But, reduce the size of the magnents, or hide them in the hand! Poor Chase Obi-Wan looks like he has a tumor growth on this right hand!
If you are going to add gimmick, at least make sure they are in line with the character, are pretty well hidden, and does not interfer with the over all look of the figure.
If you can improve some of what is above, I assure you that the fans will back it. And you will see it by the number of figures that would be sold. If not, I sense a decline coming on the horizon. It is the same decline that I saw hit the Comic book community. If your customers have to go to eBay to full fill their collecting needs, then you are not doing something right. There is no need that 2 days after a new wave is released, someone has to go to eBay to get the figure they want. Ebay is costing you money!!!
Thank you for you time in reading this, and hopfully correcting some problems. If you would have any need to contact me on anything above please do.