We've been clamoring for years for more army builders. Even those who are casual collectors, carded collectors, 1carde/1loose collectors, etc, not to mention of course Army Builing collectors like myself.
It would only take a few short hours on the major Star Wars collecting sites to realize these are in heavy demand.
Just look at the going rates for movie accurate clones from ROTS. The blue TacOps trooper gets some major cash on eBay.
Why should someone else (scalpers) profit where you (Hasbro) can instead?
What I propose is that for every 2 regular cases of figures, you send out a case of nothing but army building figures. Don't even put army type figures in the regular cases. That allows those cases to have core characters, EU, fringe, etc.
Sending out whole cases of nothing but army builders would vastly deter the rampant scalping that plagues the wonderful hobby of collecting Star Wars.
Now even if you're against this from the collectors stand point, take a step back and think about which figures kids would want. I give my own personal example that even as a oungster, I built armies of certain figures. Nothing like what I do today, because I was on a kids budget. But I REALLY do think that barring the core characters neccessary to tell the story when playing with figures, kids want plenty of army type Star Wars figures to play out the battles they saw in the movies.
It's immensely hard to do that when you consistently short pack them.
For instance take the currently released Utapau trooper. They were VERY prevalent in the Utapau scenes, as well they were scene on Coruscant and the Star Destroyer when Clone commander Cody talkes to Obi-wan.
It's almost senseless to even come out with this figure if you are going to only pack one in a case. Now also considering that you are blowing through the waves of figures, kids and collectors alike have to scramble to stores to just find ONE. We all have to COMPETE with not just each other, but those money grubbing scalpers.
Collecting Star Wars should never be hard and we shouldn't feel the need to compete or feel left out because certain figures are hard to find.
Were you to pack cases as mentioned above, you'd get plenty of core characters out there, but you'd get scores more of the troop building figs that most people want.
It's too late for the present trooper, but in future wave even starting next year, you can easily plan for sending out troops. This extends to any type of character that would be consdiered a "grunt" in an army. Clone Troopers, Stormtroopers, Battle Droids are the best examples of these.
I can say from my experience as well as local collecting friends of mine that we would be happy to buy MORE product if you'd make it more readily available.
For instance, the Utapau trooper is in high demand in my circle. On average (not including me) ach guy wants 4-6 of that figure. You can see where the dilema is then by only packing one per case. My circle itself would account for all of that trooper (and still want more). Thus leaving out other casual collectors, kids etc. Now throw on top of that the scaleprs and it gets worse. Then you have fellas like me who want 40-100 of that trooper. There's no way you are meeting demand for that figure and I dare say most army building types.
Take the Tac Ops trooper for instance again. KMart had what many consider to be the best Battle Pack to datem because it included 3 highly desired troopers. We didn't care as much that we got yet another Anakin or Clone Pilot (though we could have done without those). The fact is that we got 3 of that trooper in a set. It's obivous by looking at the secondary market (eBay for instance) that that pack is going for a premium. Even the single carded one, for which most collectors didn't like the particular mold used, sold VERY well and was and still is in high demand. The continue to sell out through various on-line outlets. Many of those sites charging a dollar or two more than retail. Again I ask, why not you Hasbro make that money instead.
Making these available at regular retail establishments makes it easy for all involved.
Here's another way to consider this.
If a scalper is able to get $15 for one of these troopers and people are buying multiple of them, than why not make MORE of them. We would then be able to actually spend MORE on the direct market products (more figures at retail), than having to resort to scalpers.
You need to cash in NOW!
Clones are still VERY much in demand and there are still yet several from ROTS that have yet to be made.
Another idea is to put two or three on a card. Saves money on packaging for you (again meaning profit).
Here are some decent ideas for two and three packs that would most definitely sell (and please make these SA figs NOT the static 3 packs of the past)
Utapau Clone/Battle Droid
White SA (AOTC) style clone/Red Battle Droid
White SA (AOTC) style clone/Super Battle Droid
2 or 3 Tac Ops troopers (Use either the #41 or #6 mold)
2 or 3 Utapau clones
2 Kashyyyk Clones/"dirty" battle droid
2 Galactic Marines (Clone Commander Bacara's clones)
Those are just some of the many examples.
If stores are "gun shy" at having so many troops, then why not sell them yourselves?
Eliminate the middle man and sell these direct to customers. If stores complain, then turn it back on them why were they gun shy about these. We all know that retail stores are reluctant to have lots of troops due to limited shelf space and that they don't want to see pegs full of the same character. Heck we don't really either, but we have enough sense to know that those troops will sell.
Anyway, you can partner up with some of the bigger online stores like EE to sell these. Though PLEASE make them make these AFFORDABLE! I'm sure I'm one of only a few who was nuts enough to buy the "super case" of clones. That cost me $325. I can readily say that had these been at or below the normal retail cost, I would have easily bough another super case and I'm CERTAIN more of these would have sold overall.
There's been a running joke around here for you to sell a "Bucket of Troopers." I dare say that if you did, that would certainly sell. Personally I like the idea of selling troops in sets of 5 and 10. From the many years of collecting and interacting with other collectors from this site among others, locally, at convetions and the like, it's become apparent to me that hose collectors who army build on average collect between 5 and 10 troops. (again not accounting for those like me who are extreme army builders and on average get 50 or more. Personally I have over 500 AOTC style clones and 300 ROTS clones)
In one fell swoop you can garner the money from a would be army builder and not the scalper making the money instead. You'd make us happy and you'd gain a hefty profit in the meantime. So it's win-win for everyone, except maybe the scalper but who really cares about them anyway??
Here's just a rule of thumb with troop case assortments. Never have more than 3 different types of characters in a case. DO NOT short pack any of them (the whole idea is to troop build...)
Here are some brief examples:
Army building case assortment 1:
12 of the same figure
(This works best with basic clones like the Utapau trooper, Kashyyyk trooper, Tac Ops trooper, Stormtroopers, Snowtroopers)
Army building case assortment 2:
6 each of two different figures
(This works with lesser troops like Biker Scouts, Sandtroopers, Galactic Marines, Death Star Gunners, Battle Droids, Rebel Fleet troopers, Endor Rebel Soldiers)
Army building case assortment 3:
3 each of 3 different figures
This works best for those types of troops that are a little higher in rank than the grunts. For instance: Imperial Officers, TIE Pilots, Clone Pilots, Battle Droid Officers, Clone Officers, Shocktroopers, Clone Commandos!
Another good rule of thumb is take a look at the movies themselves. If a particular type of troop is prevalent in a scene, make MUCH more of them. IF they are in smaller scene, use the second example, and for quick scenes, but where some troops are seen go with example 3.
It befuddles the collecting community masses why after all these years you still haven't gotten it right. You were OH so close with the white clones of the ROTS line. The major problem there was that there weren't really just plain white clones in the movie. Certainly not enough to want to army build them. (Even though I got over 100 of them alone between the #41 and #6 molds, but I'm the extreme example)
Yes, we are fickle, but we also spends hundreds if not thousands of dollars on you product. But we'd get even more if you'd make the troops from the movies.
Okay, I've said my peace. I really hope someone from Hasbro reads this. But doesn't think of this as ripping on them, because that's not how I intended this thread. It's meant to implore Hasbro to cash in while the interest is still there, make ALL fans happy and make collecting SW easier.