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  1. #1

    How Saggy Legends Can Save Our Hobby

    Okay, so we all know the bad news: no new Legacy waves after the coming month's EU wave -- not until August. So says Hasbro. Say what you will about past "droughts," this is possibly the longest we will have seen; certainly the longest I can remember, in fifteen years of collecting the modern line.

    No new product for Legacy = no new sales. Hasbro anticipates this, of course, and will draw down their expected revenues accordingly. But what will exacerbate the situation is the economy. People are more tight-fisted than ever, and with good reason. The country is still hemmorhaging jobs, and we may see inflation -- or hyperinflation -- in 2010. This is bad news for all toymakers. Also, many may have overspent for Christmas 2009, hamstringing their ability to make future purchases on luxury items, such as Star Wars action figures. So sales of said luxury item will take a hit on three fronts: fewer available product, the broader economic conditions, and historic consumer debt.

    I can't imagine that these conditions will invite Hasbro to do any expansion of the Star Wars line beyond what they've already announced, which I guess is fine. But beyond that, there is absolutely nothing to prevent them from shelving Legacy altogether, seeing poor sales for the first three quarters of 2010. They have been wrong in their estimates before, and have also changed their previously-announced plans in the past, to meet changing economic conditions.

    The way I see it, Legacy -- even the somewhat different Legacy Hasbro has talked about, a kind of mish-mash of Legacy and Legends -- is in great jeapordy. I'm surprised it's not being talked about more here; surely I'm not the only one worried about the dearth of new product between now and August? But it's coming, whether we want to talk about it or not, and it could (despite what Hasbro says) spell the beginning of the end for our hobby.

    But then, we have pegs full of Saga Legends figures -- Anakins, Obi-Wans, Super Battle Droids, Bespin Hans, various and sundry Clones, and (of course) the hordes of Saesee Tiin's and Plo Koon's. None of us collectors here give a crap about adding more of those figures to our collections, right? But there they sit on the pegs nonetheless, and we with our wallets and our need to collect look at them and shake our heads.

    I suggest we buy them.

    Seriously. I for one plan on doing just that. Not all of them, all at once, but one here, one there, as my budget allows. Not to keep 'em all, mind you -- they'll make great Christmas gifts next year -- though I won't mind adding a few Clones to my pitiful little band of prequel troopers.

    So what's the point of buying them at all? To support the line, to encourage Hasbro to go on with their plans of continuing to make figures. I love this hobby, and I would be sad to see it end. I don't want it to end. Therefore, I'm going to send some money Hasbro's way, via Saggy Legends. To my mind, and my eyes, seeing Saesee Tiin and Plo Koon on the pegs is better than not seeing any Star Wars figures at all; and that might just happen, if we don't support the line during this time of crisis in our hobby. We need to get a sense of urgency about it, all of us, if we want it to keep going, I believe.

    Mind you, I'm no blind fan of Hasbro's. They've done a LOT of stupid things. And I'm sure a lot of us are, like me, tired of putting up with them doing said stupid things, like making upwards of eighty billion Saesee Tiin figures. But the you-know-what is hitting the fan right now, albeit in slow motion, and we need to be there for our little plastic Jedi and Clones and droids and aliens, and the characters we've loved since 1977.

    So I say, support the hobby, and BUY SAGGY LEGENDS!

  2. #2
    If we buy figures we don't need or want aren't we encouraging Hasbro to make figures we don't need or want?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Droid View Post
    If we buy figures we don't need or want aren't we encouraging Hasbro to make figures we don't need or want?
    Of course that's a risk. But I'll gladly take that risk, if it means maybe getting new Star Wars figures that I DO want. If you don't want them, then give them to a kid you know, or save 'em for Toys for Tots. There's a lot of children in need out there these days.

  4. #4
    Interesting timing for this thread, I just purchased two SL Shocktroopers last night. For some reason, I have kind of a weak spot for those particular red highlighted clones.

    It is an interesting idea and I would have no problem supporting it as long as Hasbro resets the selection more frequently. The only way Hasbro is going to know that we don't want any more Saesee Tiins or Plo Koons is if we DON'T buy them. Hasbro will put more stock into what we say with our wallets than what we say on the internet, so I would highly recommend against buying figures that you don't want just on the off chance that it MIGHT help keep the line successful in Hasbro's eyes a little longer. That would just lead to resentment when and if the line does fold.

    Although, buying up a bunch of figures to clear the pegs and then donating those figures to a charity or just giving them to your kids might not be a bad idea; but only if you have the money to spare.

    Personally, I believe the heavy focus on EU, in 2008 and 2009, is one of the reasons that sales have taken such a hit (second only to the price increase in the middle of a worldwide recession). Fortunately Hasbro is correcting that mistake.

    EU is only successful when the timing is right and history has proven to us that that time is NEVER.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
    Interesting timing for this thread, I just purchased two SL Shocktroopers last night. For some reason, I have kind of a weak spot for those particular red highlighted clones.
    That's along the lines of what I plan to do with Clones, myself.

    It is an interesting idea and I would have no problem supporting it as long as Hasbro resets the selection more frequently. The only way Hasbro is going to know that we don't want any more Saesee Tiins or Plo Koons is if we DON'T buy them. Hasbro will put more stock into what we say with our wallets than what we say on the internet, so I would highly recommend against buying figures that you don't want just on the off chance that it MIGHT help keep the line successful in Hasbro's eyes a little longer. That would just lead to resentment when and if the line does fold.
    Agreed on all counts... though I still plan on buying those Jedi, for the reason you state below:

    Although, buying up a bunch of figures to clear the pegs and then donating those figures to a charity or just giving them to your kids might not be a bad idea; but only if you have the money to spare.
    Personally, I believe the heavy focus on EU, in 2008 and 2009, is one of the reasons that sales have taken such a hit (second only to the price increase in the middle of a worldwide recession). Fortunately Hasbro is correcting that mistake.
    I dunno. We had some reall great OT-focused waves this year, though the ESB wave in particular has been difficult for many to track down, and I don't know that refresh shipments are forthcoming. There have been no reports of new cases being found, that I know of.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Fossil View Post
    I dunno. We had some reall great OT-focused waves this year, though the ESB wave in particular has been difficult for many to track down, and I don't know that refresh shipments are forthcoming. There have been no reports of new cases being found, that I know of.
    Well, that would lead me to reason #3 of why I think sales have dropped. I believe that the 2009 Legacy line has answered a very important question for us: "Is there a such thing as 'too obscure' when it comes to making successful action figures?" Obviously, as much as it pains me to admit it, the answer to that would be yes.

    This year has also demonstrated that Hasbro does know what they are talking about when they say that "aggressive" characters sell and background fodder doesn't (to a mass market, not to collectors).
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Fossil
    I dunno. We had some reall great OT-focused waves this year, though the ESB wave in particular has been difficult for many to track down, and I don't know that refresh shipments are forthcoming. There have been no reports of new cases being found, that I know of.
    Hasbro said that they had so much TLC product to send out that it didn't always get out in the order it was produced. This has led to some people finding more and more of the TPM wave recently, several months after it first shipped, well after several other waves were also shipped. So there's still a very good possibility that the ESB wave will be shipping for a while.

    I was at a Target today, and the problem wasn't Saga Legends or Clone Wars. It was the Droid Factory line. There were tons of ROTJ figures that weren't moving, and this is more bothersome to me than anything else involving this line. Of course, there were still a few Plo Koons and Saesee Tiins, but nothing horrible. This time last year, the pegs were mostly devoid of figures except for Yarna. Even the Organas had sold out; it was the continued post-Christmas shippings that killed it. Every store is different, but hopefully the downtime will allow the pegs to clear out a bit more.

    Kids and casual collectors are still going to want Anakin, Obi-Wan, and the other main characters, so having collectors waste their time and money isn't going to help anything in that department. (None of those guys are pegwarming here, anyway.) Buy up all the extra Major Pannos and Nien Nunbs if you really want to do something. Hasbro has confirmed that Saesee Tiin and Plo Koon will be pulled from the Legends lineup, so buy what's remaining from there if you really feel like it. (I got a Plo Koon for Toys for Tots, so that's at least something.) And they still claim that the Legends line is doing better than the Droid Factory line, so buying more Legends is only going to cause them to make more Legends.

    If people really want to help out, they can buy the several exclusives that the stores picked up. Those, not the Legends line, are what are truly aimed at collectors, and I saw a lot of "eh, I'll wait until it's on clearance" talk around here, which is frustrating. What's even more frustrating is people getting these items, like the Rancor or Octuptarra, on clearance, and realizing that these are truly great pieces far too late to actually help the line. Legends will continue no matter what we do.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
    Hasbro said that they had so much TLC product to send out that it didn't always get out in the order it was produced. This has led to some people finding more and more of the TPM wave recently, several months after it first shipped, well after several other waves were also shipped. So there's still a very good possibility that the ESB wave will be shipping for a while.

    I was at a Target today, and the problem wasn't Saga Legends or Clone Wars. It was the Droid Factory line. There were tons of ROTJ figures that weren't moving, and this is more bothersome to me than anything else involving this line. Of course, there were still a few Plo Koons and Saesee Tiins, but nothing horrible. This time last year, the pegs were mostly devoid of figures except for Yarna. Even the Organas had sold out; it was the continued post-Christmas shippings that killed it. Every store is different, but hopefully the downtime will allow the pegs to clear out a bit more.

    Kids and casual collectors are still going to want Anakin, Obi-Wan, and the other main characters, so having collectors waste their time and money isn't going to help anything in that department. (None of those guys are pegwarming here, anyway.) Buy up all the extra Major Pannos and Nien Nunbs if you really want to do something. Hasbro has confirmed that Saesee Tiin and Plo Koon will be pulled from the Legends lineup, so buy what's remaining from there if you really feel like it. (I got a Plo Koon for Toys for Tots, so that's at least something.) And they still claim that the Legends line is doing better than the Droid Factory line, so buying more Legends is only going to cause them to make more Legends.

    If people really want to help out, they can buy the several exclusives that the stores picked up. Those, not the Legends line, are what are truly aimed at collectors, and I saw a lot of "eh, I'll wait until it's on clearance" talk around here, which is frustrating. What's even more frustrating is people getting these items, like the Rancor or Octuptarra, on clearance, and realizing that these are truly great pieces far too late to actually help the line. Legends will continue no matter what we do.
    I would agree with this. It's more important that we keep retailers happy, not Hasbro. They are a critical link in the chain as well and if all the retailers lose faith in the Star Wars brand, then it's over, regardless of what plans Hasbro has for the future.

    I would also agree that those collectors who wait for clearance princes on EVERY exclusive do nothing but hurt the hobby for everyone.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  9. #9
    IMO, we should buy what we want, what we like, as individuals. That will tell them what is working, that alone will send the message. The Soggy Legends line isn't really meant for collector interests, so the kids and casual collectors need to keep buying it for it to matter more than anyone else. But that doesn't mean we should ignore it, there are some figures worth buying in it for a lot of us. If they had the TAC Stormtrooper in there, I'd probably buy 1 a week, but sadly that is not one of the SL figs for some reason.


    I also agree that buying exclusives is a good indicator of how the future of the line looks. A lot of collectors are holding off on buying great stuff like the Rancor, the Clone Wars Y-wing (not an exclusive, but it fits in the "great stuff folks aren't buying category), the AT-ST, the big-wing SOTE TIE Fighter, the Octuptarra Droid, because of the perception that they are overpriced and will go on clearance. Well, buying them on clearance sends the wrong message altogether, that the line doesn't have legs. Buying on clearance helps your pocket now but DOOMS the future of the line. And there isn't a single item I just mentioned that is notably overpriced. The AT-ST is nearly double the size of the original, far more detailed, and comes with a figure. The Rancor is big and rad and comes with a figure. The Octuptarra is huge. The TIE Fighter is nearly perfect, looks great, and comes with a figure. Granted, not everybody will be into these, but collectors should be buying what interests them now, not waiting for it to tank. Back in '85, a trip to Pic-n-Sav would net a MOUNTAIN of clearanced SW toys; then in '86, there were no more SW toys at all. That's not what we want.
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    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  10. #10
    I rarely wait to buy something, because I never know if I'm going to see it again.

    I might be inclined to buy some Legends figures if there is a long drought, but it will probably just be troopers or other generic figures that I can use.

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