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  1. #1

    Hasbro, I'm drifting away from the line in favor of Artwork because your distribution

    I'm now buying posters and books rather than figures mainly because distribution is so awful. Tycho just texted me about how he hasn't been able to buy anything lately because of Hasbro's distribution issues on SW and Transformers, and I realized I was in the same boat, using that collecting-mojo to pick out McQuarrie artworks and books, as well as looking into Gentle Giant stuff and Kotobukiya... all of which I actively didn't want to collect because they were too expensive, but now they're getting my collecting dollars because Hasbro absolutely has failed my collecting yen.

    Up until this year, I could at least look to Clone Wars to carry me when the mainline was in short supply, but now Clone Wars is nearly all dried up, Movie Heroes isn't working out so well, and the later waves of TVC are nowhere to be seen.

    The worst part is that that I almost feel lucky about not finding new Hasbro product because if I did, I'd have to struggle to decide whether or not it'd be worth the heavily overpriced pricetags it now carries.

    So I''m being turned against my will away from my 17-year-long collection not by choice but by outside ineptitude. Such a strange world, this is.
    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.

  2. #2
    Unfortunately, I know where you're coming from. Even where I live and have usually had good luck finding things, it's a wasteland. I'd really love to get new Star Wars and GIJoe stuff, and, worse, I know it exists. I just can't find it.

    Maybe at Marshalls in six months, who knows?
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  3. #3
    The horrible distribution, case assortments, and general lack of anything interesting on the shelves drove me to start buying Lego's last year rather than wasting time searching for Star Wars and GI Joe toys. I do think vintage has gotten a little better so far this year (compared to last) but Qui Gons and Obi wans are starting to stack up as badly as green tinted clones were last year with more apparently on the way. Since the beginning of the line, there have been about 20 clone wars figures I've been really interested in getting and I've run across and bought about 25% of those. That's a lot of money Hasbro hasn't gotten from me. The same goes with GI Joe, although I probably would have bought around 50-75% of what was released there.

  4. #4
    I think were all in this boat to some degree or another. I still have a healthy appetite for Hasbro's products, but it has diminished because of distribution issues and price, plus other issues that have nothing to do with Hasbro. I've been spending more money on prop replicas lately rather than SW figures. I get the impression that Hasbro doesn't really give a rats *** about the line or its customers anymore. They used to have decent PR and at least communicated decently with us. It seems like now they don't really care what we think even when we are trying to tell them what the problems are. Its too bad they continue to bang their heads against the wall with distribution because they are making some of the best figures they've ever made.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    Unfortunately, I know where you're coming from. Even where I live and have usually had good luck finding things, it's a wasteland. I'd really love to get new Star Wars and GIJoe stuff, and, worse, I know it exists. I just can't find it.

    Maybe at Marshalls in six months, who knows?
    If all we ever see is liquidators, then the line is back to where it was in '85 - dead. I certainly don't want it to be like that. Right now I haven't seen any credible sightings of TVC wave 2, and sites are now reporting sightings of wave 3 and are talking about waves 4 and 5. Vehicles have bombed out entirely, there's not a new one in sight, the TPM release came and went without the new Naboo Fighter, the Mandalorian Assault Transport got a microscopic release and disappeared not even into Marshalls. And poor Clone Wars, I haven't a clue what's coming next or when it's coming, all I see are the new line's wave 1 which I have zero interest in for the last 4 months.

    Transformers is pretty much in the same boat too, Generations is coming later in the year, and Prime is limping so far. It's like Hasbro has forgotten that toys are part of the "turn toys into licensable brands" game.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtriv73 View Post
    The horrible distribution, case assortments, and general lack of anything interesting on the shelves drove me to start buying Lego's last year rather than wasting time searching for Star Wars and GI Joe toys. I do think vintage has gotten a little better so far this year (compared to last) but Qui Gons and Obi wans are starting to stack up as badly as green tinted clones were last year with more apparently on the way. Since the beginning of the line, there have been about 20 clone wars figures I've been really interested in getting and I've run across and bought about 25% of those. That's a lot of money Hasbro hasn't gotten from me. The same goes with GI Joe, although I probably would have bought around 50-75% of what was released there.
    I hear ya, although Lego costed me out of that brand years ago so I don't even have that, and now I can't get back into it, I've grown old and bitter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowtrooper View Post
    I think were all in this boat to some degree or another. I still have a healthy appetite for Hasbro's products, but it has diminished because of distribution issues and price, plus other issues that have nothing to do with Hasbro. I've been spending more money on prop replicas lately rather than SW figures. I get the impression that Hasbro doesn't really give a rats *** about the line or its customers anymore. They used to have decent PR and at least communicated decently with us. It seems like now they don't really care what we think even when we are trying to tell them what the problems are. Its too bad they continue to bang their heads against the wall with distribution because they are making some of the best figures they've ever made.
    That's too bad that we're all stuck there. Prop Replicas are nice and I love seeing collections with them, but few and far between for new releases and right now too expensive for my collection which is why I started with Hasbro in the first place. I don't want to keep harping on Hasbro's new brand management coming up at the same time with both my lines - SW and Transformers - but the timing is awfully coincidental to both brands imploding like this. It really does right now feel like Hasbro is more interested in selling movie tickets (anybody going to see Battleship? ) than selling action figures, and they have jacked prices for them way up while they do it.
    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.

  6. #6
    I'm not saying I want all the toys to wind up at liquidators. Just that, right now, that appears to be our only hope of finding any of the current stuff at reasonable prices.

    As cool as it was that so many of the later TF:RTS and Joe:ROC items were essentially "Ross exclusives," I'd rather pay a few bucks more for them and not have them signal the death of the line.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    I'm not saying I want all the toys to wind up at liquidators. Just that, right now, that appears to be our only hope of finding any of the current stuff at reasonable prices.

    As cool as it was that so many of the later TF:RTS and Joe:ROC items were essentially "Ross exclusives," I'd rather pay a few bucks more for them and not have them signal the death of the line.
    I wasn't suggesting you were, just pointing out that your statement about more product at liquidators is true but that it's a bad omen. I think we're on the same page there.
    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.

  8. #8
    The last few months have indeed been just horrible for the line. Nobody wants to buy decade-old repacks, nobody wants to buy the exact same 2009 Obi-Wan Kenobi figure in four different configurations, and certainly nobody wants to pay the insane prices Hasbro is asking for all this crap. They should have already known that repacks weren't doing so hot in Vintage, and that having the same characters and figures across multiple lines was hurting the sales all around, since it was happening consistently since summer 2010. They should have known not to start new lines with overpriced repacks, as doing that with the $65 shadow ARC-170 in 2009 ended up relegating the far superior Y-wing to rot on TRU shelves months after people wanted it. (I'd love to get vehicles in the new-vintage packaging, but I don't need another 2005 Obi-Wan Jedi Starfighter, or a mispainted AT-PT, and definitely not for $30.) Combined with Q&A taking an annoyingly patronizing and glib turn before disappearing altogether (they never had to do Q&A, but it really helped enthusiasm for the brand, especially in this post-movie era), the dumping of The Clone Wars almost completely, the terrible case assortments that consist mostly of old figures that are still readily available (and none of the easily repackable ones that people missed out on, at least not until wave 4), and now the announcement of all-new figures with five points of articulation is just f***ing ridiculous. I know Vickie left the line around a year ago for Marvel (which is seeming to have its own new lack of articulation issues) and obviously Jeff has taken on a lot of responsibilities, and I just can't help but think he has absolutely no idea what the hell he's doing. (Well, it's easy to pinpoint him because he's the ostensible "face" of the brand, but it could be an all-around goof-up.) I haven't gone on too many toy runs lately due to being busy, but I only got the deleted scene wave and Movie Heroes wave 2 because I just so happened to be at Walmart when they brought out the cases. We shouldn't have to check closeout stores for exclusives that were supposed to hit six months ago. I've always been against the doom-and-gloom talk that goes on a lot, but this year is just awful, and it needs to get better fast. The next few Vintage waves look really great, and it's great to finally have Wedge, more Gamorreans, and last year's delayed Evazan wave, but now we'll have even more Bom Vimdins to clog up the shelves and I can almost guarantee I'll never see Darth Malgus at retail. (Last year was the first time since 2006, I believe, when I couldn't find a first-run figure - that applied to both Bastila Shan and the Echo Base Trooper, who aren't slated for re-release anytime soon despite both being hard to find for many people.) I really don't want to see this stuff clearanced out at the end of the year only to be replaced by the greatest pegwarmers of 2002 for AOTC next year. But hey, this probably means I can get a few extremely cheap MTTs...with all their glorious pre-posed, backpack-less, inaccurately standing battle droids. A lot has to change at the brand, and fast.

  9. #9
    This isn't SW-specific, necessarily, but Hasbro has a way of not listening to fans over the past few years. Look at TF and Joe, both Hasbro lines licensed to IDW for comics. IDW introduced a new Autobot most people don't care about, and Hasbro made him into a figure (Drift). They re-designed a lot of Joes in ways that made them cool, and collectors were literally begging for the updated Crystal Ball and Croc Master... and they repainted the old 25th-style pegwarmer Croc Master instead.

    Same with the Prime and Renegades cartoons (stripping away the additional marketing problems with Renegades). They debuted in November of 2010. The first toys hit in late 2011. How the hell does a toy company not realize that kids will actually want the characters from current cartoons for Christmas? (On top of that, there's the weird "First Edition" wave of Prime figures, which I understand are inferior to the "regular" figures from about two months later, and Renegades just got tossed into the 30th Anniversary Joe line with Firefly being abundant, Ripcord looking nothing like the character, and Roadblock not even getting made. Again, can't speak for Prime on this one, but it seemed like folks wanted Baroness's battle armor, the Bio-Viper, and Mindbender most of all, none of whom were even planned.)
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  10. #10
    I'm finding that my interest level is higher in 2012 than it's been over the last several years. However, I'm used to the figures being difficult to track down. That's been the rule for me over the last 17 years. In fact, 2010-2011 have felt like a repeat of 1995-1996, except I'm far more satisfied with the figures now when I finally do track them down. Being able to just walk into a store and find whatever I want without too much effort is the rare exception to the rule.

    I do however find that there is far less to get excited about these days, but that's only because the OT has been so well covered. Also, my focus has been narrowing significantly over the last several years. Around 2009, I started to consider myself an ROTJ-collector first and a Star Wars collector second, but that's starting to narrow even further and there are now many figures from ROTJ that I'm simply no longer interested in.

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