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  1. #1

    Here's what a "little bird" told me...

    It's funny that I'd post in the Dear Hasbro section about the weird lack of new figures, and then today I bump into someone that has an answer for everything that I can think to ask.

    Some of you have had similar conversations with similar "individuals" while out there hunting, so you'll probably guess where this info came from. I said that I wouldn't run off and say, "_____ just told me this!" but I was told to spread the word, so...

    ...about new figures and why we are and aren't seeing them in certain stores.

    For the most part, The Saga Collection figures are just now really starting to hit. What we've found at stores like Target and Wal*Mart over the past month or so, has been a bit of an early trickle of what's to come. Toys R Us is just now putting them out (as most of you know), and the sale price is their way of kicking the line off. They've held off 'til now, because of the amount of ROTS stuff that they still have, which is still selling really well for them. They've been in no big hurry to get the new stuff out -- they wanted to wait until after Toy Fair, etc. -- but now they're going for it, and I'm told that TRU is going to be "the place" to find new Star Wars toys.

    Why TRU over say Target or Wal*Mart? Well, Target does not back stock any kind of real quantity of figures. They like to put what they have out -- nice and neat -- and then maybe stock a half case or whatever in the back to keep things tidy on the floor. The real point is, they do not have a place to store a bunch of back stock cases like TRU, so each store will only order a case or two at a time. Wal*Mart has in the past ordered big numbers of figures, stocked what they can, and then back stocked the rest. They're trying to get away from the old messy way that they've done things -- a bit of Target envy -- so they're cutting back on the quantities that they'll have on hand. Just like Target, Wal*Mart will only order a case or two at a time.

    Another thing about Wal*Mart... there's some kind of huge nationwide inventory scr**-up going down. They accidentally changed the new TSC figures product codes (and I'm not to savvy about this, but W*M people might know how this works) to be the same as their old ROTS product codes, so huge amounts of the new merchandise is sitting in a distribution warehouse, because the old stuff was marked as being over and done with... and so now the computers are just ignoring the new merchandise. (Does that make sense?) Point being, until Wal*Mart fixes the problem, you're not going to see very much on their pegs.

    So, what's the upshot? TRU will always have more stock than the other places. The current sale price will probably not stick beyond this run, but you never know. (They will probably have other "deals" as time goes on.) Also, TRU is not likely to clearance the ROTS stuff. They've done extremely well with the line and are still doing very well with it. I was also told, that the current restructuring is working out very well for them, with some stores showing decent (20%+) profit increases. (New stores will probably open now to replace the old withered ones that died off.)

    Well... there you have it. For the record, I did mention that a lot of people have been finding and buying TSC figures at Wal*Mart. I was told that what's gotten out has been a bit of a fluke, and that there's a lot more waiting to come, but the amount that we see in both Target and Wal*Mart will end up (or continue) to be pretty controlled and minimal.

    Also, since I was standing there holding a few Marvel Legends figures, I held them up and said, "So, is Hasbro ready for this?" I was told that they're being primed, that all sorts of things are being worked out -- and that they're excited about the whole thing. Come the first of the year, they'll be ready to roll.
    plasticfetish.net

  2. #2
    I asked you this in the DH forum when you mentioned it, but I will ask again here and delete that post...

    Was this person you talked to a Hasbro store rep? Because if so, I would suggest not trusting them, they don't have any inside info and often talk a big game when they're just hired to ensure the Hasbro shelves are presented well and the product is not sitting in the back.

    Toys R Us is just now putting them out (as most of you know), and the sale price is their way of kicking the line off. They've held off 'til now, because of the amount of ROTS stuff that they still have, which is still selling really well for them.
    This is one of those sickening stock answers I hate hearing from corporate Hasbro or corporate TRU, "ROTS stuff is selling really well" translates into "TRU got too many ROTS cases foisted onto them by Hasbro and they're *still* shipping into TRU warehouses even though the line hasn't sold a single figure at TRU stores in months".

    I'm told that TRU is going to be "the place" to find new Star Wars toys.
    If my theory about this source being a Hasbro Rep is correct, it's a good thing you weren't at Kmart else or you would have been told that "Kmart is going to be 'the place' to find new Star Wars toys." I know TRU is getting a couple exclusives in this line, but being 'the place' for SW is in the realm of 'gotta see it consistantly happening for a month to believe it' in my book.


    Why TRU over say Target or Wal*Mart? Well, Target does not back stock any kind of real quantity of figures. They like to put what they have out -- nice and neat -- and then maybe stock a half case or whatever in the back to keep things tidy on the floor. The real point is, they do not have a place to store a bunch of back stock cases like TRU, so each store will only order a case or two at a time. Wal*Mart has in the past ordered big numbers of figures, stocked what they can, and then back stocked the rest. They're trying to get away from the old messy way that they've done things -- a bit of Target envy -- so they're cutting back on the quantities that they'll have on hand. Just like Target, Wal*Mart will only order a case or two at a time.
    Funny, Hasbro was the ONLY major toy retailer to NOT support TRU in the battle against WM last year, so I'm *really* surprised to hear the comment above. It sounds to me like business as usual for Hasbro and they just want TRU to buy more product so they can bury them in old crap like they always do.


    Another thing about Wal*Mart... there's some kind of huge nationwide inventory scr**-up going down. They accidentally changed the new TSC figures product codes (and I'm not to savvy about this, but W*M people might know how this works) to be the same as their old ROTS product codes, so huge amounts of the new merchandise is sitting in a distribution warehouse, because the old stuff was marked as being over and done with... and so now the computers are just ignoring the new merchandise. (Does that make sense?) Point being, until Wal*Mart fixes the problem, you're not going to see very much on their pegs.
    This would explain the lower price on the figures at WM, so I can sorta buy it.


    So, what's the upshot? TRU will always have more stock than the other places.
    5 will get you 10 that it's "more BACKstock than the other places" TRU has been miserable about stocking ever since the Concept 3000 floorplan which limits lines' shelf space, there's nowhere to put new figs so they just stay in the back room.


    I hope I'm wrong about all this, and TRU does pull it together with Star Wars very soon, but my 11 years collecting SW under Hasbro has taught me different, that it's a lot of hot air from corporate that will translate into more doom for TRU.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks
    Was this person you talked to a Hasbro store rep? Because if so, I would suggest not trusting them, they don't have any inside info and often talk a big game when they're just hired to ensure the Hasbro shelves are presented well and the product is not sitting in the back.
    Quick answer, and then I'll come back after I pick the kid up from school for the rest...

    Yes, but considering that their job is to put merchandise on shelves, the info that I got seemed to be mostly about that. I've also had my share of useless chats with Hasbro reps, but this conversation was a little more... informed. The person also seemed to actually care about about what we talked about. It was a unique event. (I'm no rube... remember, I lived in LA for 18 years. I'm used to being BS'ed night and day. )

    Okay, back in a bit.
    plasticfetish.net

  4. #4
    It doesnt help you if your TRU's are closing down or far away.
    thanks Chux Turbo LBC Bobafrett Mtriv73 Rjarvis JF96 JT JMG FB Rogue2 Tycho Slicker Deoxy Caesar JontheJedi JJReason Brandon Solo JMS UK for great deals.
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  5. #5
    Although I don't know the situation and am talking mostly out of hope, I wouldn't be too quick to discount ALL Hasbro reps. I realize that it is likely that most of them are not that well informed (that is nothing unusual in ANY line of work), it is also possible that in this case it could be one of those exceptions to the rule. I see people on these boards who soak up information like sponges and want to get the truth out. And I like to believe that there are at least a few Hasbro reps like that as well. Although I will remain open minded until I have "eyes on" the product. This does give me hope.

  6. #6

    OK, sorry, I'm back...

    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks
    Was this person you talked to a Hasbro store rep? Because if so, I would suggest not trusting them, they don't have any inside info and often talk a big game when they're just hired to ensure the Hasbro shelves are presented well and the product is not sitting in the back.
    I know exactly what you're saying, and sure, I only believe it when I see it also, but most of what we talked about made sense. It wasn't so much cheer leading or excuses, it was mostly, "This is why you are or aren't seeing stock on the shelves."

    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks
    This is one of those sickening stock answers I hate hearing from corporate Hasbro or corporate TRU, "ROTS stuff is selling really well" translates into "TRU got too many ROTS cases foisted onto them by Hasbro and they're *still* shipping into TRU warehouses even though the line hasn't sold a single figure at TRU stores in months".
    While we were standing there talking a half dozen people came over to look at figures, including one mom who was buying Anakin's Starfighter for her kid. She then asked where to find an Anakin figure, but couldn't find one, so we told her to look at TRU.com. The stuff is still selling, but now that the new stuff is being stocked, they know that they'll have to do something to get rid of the last of the ROTS stock. What they have out is "it" BTW -- there's not that much left, but I did say that TRU should do what they used to do, and clear the ROTS stuff out for a buck. I was told that they probably wont bother, because they don't mind (obviously) keeping the older stuff around -- as they can just bin it, and shove it over in the corner.

    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks
    If my theory about this source being a Hasbro Rep is correct, it's a good thing you weren't at Kmart else or you would have been told that "Kmart is going to be 'the place' to find new Star Wars toys." I know TRU is getting a couple exclusives in this line, but being 'the place' for SW is in the realm of 'gotta see it consistently happening for a month to believe it' in my book.
    Funny, K-mart was never mentioned (everyone hates K-mart.) We only talked about W*M, Target and Fred Meyer (a local store.) The whole "the place" thing only has to do with TRUs stock philosophy (good or bad) vs. Target and Wal*Mart. Point being, they will have more than one case on hand at a time. I watched five cases of wave one figures come out, and then I saw a few cases of Titaniums go out. Say what you will, but that's better than glimmering empty pegs at Target. (Though I did find Sun Fac there this morning... it was kind of like spotting a rare butterfly in the jungle or something.)

    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks
    Funny, Hasbro was the ONLY major toy retailer to NOT support TRU in the battle against WM last year, so I'm *really* surprised to hear the comment above. It sounds to me like business as usual for Hasbro and they just want TRU to buy more product so they can bury them in old crap like they always do.
    Yeah, well, do you blame them for wanting to be more enthusiastic about the company that's going to buy more of their stuff? Keep in mind, I got somewhat biased info. This was a "friendly" conversation between two Southern California transplants, and in order to get any info at all, I'm mostly asking for his/her personal opinion. But with that said, it wasn't, "Which store does Hasbro like best?" it was simply... "Where's the new stuff anyway?" I was given some facts. TRU orders more to keep on hand, Target and Wal*Mart will only do it little by little.

    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks
    This would explain the lower price on the figures at WM, so I can sorta buy it.
    Wal*Mart undercuts their competition as a rule, but I also wondered if the low price was about something else. (Do I think it'll go up? No.)


    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks
    5 will get you 10 that it's "more BACKstock than the other places" TRU has been miserable about stocking ever since the Concept 3000 floor plan which limits lines' shelf space, there's nowhere to put new figs so they just stay in the back room.
    Well, given TRUs money problems, it's pretty obvious that they've specialized in doing things wrong. I don't really know for sure, and this is a huge guess, but I think there's probably going to be some changes for them. At the very least, some serious store level management changes. If not...

    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks
    I hope I'm wrong about all this, and TRU does pull it together with Star Wars very soon, but my 11 years collecting SW under Hasbro has taught me different, that it's a lot of hot air from corporate that will translate into more doom for TRU.
    ...yeah, if they can't pull it together and get smart about how they put the toys on the shelves, then yeah, they're goners.

    Sadly, and as much as I believe in retail natural selection, if TRU does die off, we're kind of scr**ed. At this point, Target or Wal*Mart can decide to buy maybe one case of new figures every two weeks (or month) and it'll have no impact on their business. In fact, it's probably better because the mere hint of new stuff is enough to lure us into their store, which is all they care about. I suppose that didn't bother me as much back when I could find stuff there, but now I'm a little less forgiving.
    Last edited by plasticfetish; 02-22-2006 at 06:07 PM.
    plasticfetish.net

  7. #7
    I was just about to start a new thread about how frustrated I was finding TSC figures when I saw this one and...

    If TRU does become extinct (which it should) then we will most likely see distribution migrate to online sellers such as HasbroToyShop, Star Wars.com, Entertainment Earth and others. I just purchased some G.I. Joe exclusives from HasbroToyShop and the fact that they are still producing these for the "Old School" collectors is very satisfying since there is no chance I would find them on the shelves at TRU, Target or Walmart. When those retailers DID carry these 3-Packs, the best ones were usually cherry picked while the pegwarmers lingered around until clearance.

    Now, with regard to my frustration about distribution of TSC... I hope your info is correct that we are about to receive a deluge of these assortments. I went to every Walmart in my area and found nothing but Major Derlins and Veers warming the pegs and at Target today I found the last Poggle the Lesser hanging on a bare empty peg. If this trend continues, I am going to break down and start ordering by the case from EE or individually from HasbroToyShop which, as I stated above, would be the transition to exclusive online distribution for the line to continue to survive due to the apparent lack of retail support. Personally, I do not mind considering the gas and time I spend making the rounds every week as I have done for the last ten years. Sure, that is part of the thrill of the hunt I will miss and old habits die hard but it beats the frustration of coming up empty handed week after week when they are shipped directly to your doorstep.

  8. #8
    It really sucks because when I go to stores the pegs are NEVER full. They always have like 2-6 figures for many pegs. I wish Hasbro and these companies could get it together for us collectors. If I saw 10 snowtroopers in a store, I'd buy all of them. Snowtroopers are about the only figures I army build with. But every store around is out of snowtroopers.

    B.
    TDV
    One way to out think people is to make them think you think they'll think what you are not really trying to get them to think what you think.

  9. #9
    Maybe this rep is a SW collector. What a great job to have is you were a collector. Well maybe not, but who knows. The TRU around here in Burbank CA is haven for Scalpers and the manger actually holds stuff in the back for them. So all this PRO TRU BS is BS around here. Even if this is all true the majority of the figures will not even see the pegs. It's only after the scalpers get their fill and only then figures see the pegs.
    [FONT=Tahoma]I was born at night, but not last night.[/FONT]
    You Shouldn't believe everything that you read.
    (Like my posts)

  10. #10
    I've actually been to the Burbank TRU a few times and I live in Denver. Last summer while I was in L.A. to see ROTS at the Arclight I stopped in to the Burbank store and saw a lone Anakin Starfighter on the shelf and I asked if they had any more in back and low and behold they brought a whole case from the back and brought it up to Customer Service. I bought one for me and one for my friend. At least they were friendly.

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