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  1. #1

    NYCC thoughts and the future of the line.

    First, great coverage. Thanks again.

    I am not surprised that I am underwhelmed by the showing at the convention. I have gotten used to the rhythm of having things we have known about for a long time or things that should have come out this year coming out next year being accounced as a big deal. I have also gotten used to the fact that they always end the presentation with the tease that something really good is coming at the next convention.

    I also know that the days of getting a wave of figures we never had before like Ackbar, Nien Nunb, Wicket, the Rancor Keeper, and Mon Mothma are long gone. We are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    But three things struck me at this convention.

    First, that they did not announce one new complete wave of Vintage figures. The big thing for is that we will be getting Evazan and Kithaba in April. But still no carded examples in the booth? The fact that those figures keep getting pushed back really bothers me. I would be upset if The Phantom Menace really kills the line, but I could live with it if I can get those two figures first. I have wanted a new Evazan since the first and second Evazans were so terrible and the line would really feel incomplete for me now if I couldn't get them. And Kithaba would be a welcome addition too, as I love the cantina and Jabba's Palace. I only got Bom Vimdin on Ebay, so I really hope that this isn't a sign of things to come, that the distribution never gets fixed.

    The other thing that amazes me is that they are not taking advantage of the Vintage line more. They could release figures who have had pretty good modern sculpts on vintage cards and get people to buy them again for the card. I am not into carded collecting, but a lot of collectors are. And the cards were supposed to be the main draw.

    Finally, I am really worried the Phantom Menace lineup may be the end of the line. The Phantom Menace was a problem of over production over ten years ago. And the film is a lot less popular now. I think this seems like we are getting ready for a glut. And I think they are over-estimating how popular Darth Maul is just a little bit.

    To me it would have made a lot of sense to get rid of Legends and not do this Movie Heroes business. THEN, they could have carefully chosen characters to put on Vintage cards.

    But I would think with the Phantom Menace, they should have produced the main characters, maybe even rereleases of the main characters on vintage cards, in reasonable quantities. Kids who liked the movie might pick them up and collectors would pick them up for having those characters on the vintage cards. Have one Darth Maul available. One Qui-Gon available. Etc.

    I think the light up lightsabers are kind of neat for kids, but just have that be its own deluxe subline for Obi-wan, Qui-Gon, and Maul.

    The new Naboo starfighter is a good idea and I think that this is a good time to rerelease the Anakin and Sebulba pod racers.

    But I continue to believe it confuses things a bit when there are several Qui-Gon options, several Darth Maul options, in different lines, on different cards, at different prices.

    Then, I think they could have released a few collectors figures from the film. I'll buy Daltay Dofine, because I wanted him originally. But I could care less now. It is kind of a nostalgia purchase. I that they chose Daltay over Tey How is beyond me. I can't believe they're not doing a super articulated Jar Jar on vintage card. (I don't really want that either...) Kitster, Wald, Ann/Tan Gella (people might buy two). If this is not their time, when? I think this is probably a good time to make Quadrinaros.

    Anyway, I know they have to honor the Phantom Menace, but I think 2012 would have been a good time to condense down to just Vintage and Clone Wars. Then to have each wave of Vintage be a few good sculpts of main characters, a few figures in lower numbers that play to collectors, and then a few rereleases it's neat to get on a vintage card (Hammerhead, Bespin Guard, Prune Face, etc.) Release a wave every two months or so like clockwork, and just let the line reset and catch its breath a bit.

    I understand the way things have to go now. I know the days of waves of completely new sculpts of never before made figures is behind us. But even under the current rules I do not understand their decisions. And I worry we won't see any better distribution except for The Phantom Menace, which will be everywhere, burying the rest of the line in its coffin.

  2. #2
    Well, as an adult collector primarily interested in the original trilogy, it seems 2012 will mirror 2011 in lines and amt of figures. Sure, Legends has been renamed, but still.

    Mention of redo of Porkins was only one that made me go WTF. Very few Vintage I want, but ones shown will be definite must buys. I wish Hasbro would redo each Vintage figure from kenner days, but we will see

    As for preguel figure, I may get the Qui Gon to represent the only Vintage 'Phantom' figure in my collection.
    Real men buy Willrow

  3. #3
    As long as Kithaba and Dr. Evazan actually get released, then I'm good for 2012.

    I'm pretty sure what we've seen at NYCC is going to be what we can expect for the next 6 years. Unless Ep1 3D just totally flops in theaters (which I think is a strong possibilty). However, Hasbro has an opportunity to cash in on a theatrical release with as little investment in new tooling as possible. I think that's the ideal scenario for any toy company; so I can't say I necessarily blame them for what they are trying to do. I just wish they weren't going so all out on Ep1, because there are a couple of factors that could really sink this whole thing:

    1. The 3D fad already seems to be dying out. It doesn't add anything to the story, since the films have to be watchable in 2D as well, so I think most audiences are losing interest. Especially with the increased ticket prices for 3D films, which I've read might go up even more since theaters might have to start charging extra for the 3D glasses.

    2. I think Hasbro is banking too much on the "nostalgia factor" for Episode 1. Most kids who were really young when Episode 1 came out are going to be in high school right now and a kid's movie is definitely not something that they are going to go out of their way to see. They're going to be too busy trying to sneak into R-rated films. I can speak from experience here, because I was 4 when Star Wars premiered in 1977, so by the time I was in high school Star Wars was definitely not cool. In fact, in 1988 our 10th grade English teacher told us that we could watch a movie in class and, of the three choices given, Star Wars was the only film that was almost unanimously booed down by the entire class (I didn't boo it down, FYI).

    So I don't believe that the kids who originally saw Episode 1 at the ages of 4-6 are going to be rushing to stores to buy toys that they probably still have tucked away somewhere.

    Also, Star Wars hasn't really gone away like it did from 1987-1994. There has been a constant action figure presence in the toy aisle since 1995, so no one has really had a chance to "miss" Star Wars enough for nostalgia to actually build up.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
    As long as Kithaba and Dr. Evazan actually get released, then I'm good for 2012.
    And that's what concerns me. The latter waves of Indy Jones got called off because the original glut didn't sell up to expectations.

    I am very concerned if TPM toys tank that we won't get the Vintage figures coming in April. And though it never was for me before, now that it has been announced, Evazan is now the figure I really want before the line dies.

  5. #5
    I think talk of the death of this line is premature, but it got me thinking: what if Hasbro did the Vintage line as Mattel does with their He-man one? An adult directed, and marketed type situation. Top notch sculpt at an adult collector price. Seems to be working with the current HEman toy line
    Real men buy Willrow

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by AmanaMatt View Post
    I think talk of the death of this line is premature, but it got me thinking: what if Hasbro did the Vintage line as Mattel does with their He-man one? An adult directed, and marketed type situation. Top notch sculpt at an adult collector price. Seems to be working with the current HEman toy line
    Depends on how many figures they produce per year. I worry that something like that would focus too heavily on EU and there'd be absolutely nothing that I'd be interested in. When they are producing 20-30 figures per year, then I can usually find 1 or 2 that I actually want to buy. However, since my focus is narrowing more and more each year, I'd most likely not be interested in much that they produced that way. Especially if it was an online only type of deal. Impulse buys make up about 60% of my yearly purchases, since I see figures in the store that I never intended to buy, but like them enough when I actually see them in hand that I decide to pull the trigger. However, I simply don't do impulse purchases when I'm shopping online because I don't even bother to look at the figures that I'm not interested in.

  7. #7
    I'll buy any and all Neimoidians they make, since we rarely get them.

  8. #8
    theres so much more untapped figure potential to keep goin for years maybe thats why hasbro screw figures up just so they can keep remaking figures over and over again?

  9. #9
    hasbro needs to stop repacking figures in case assortments and needs to have more new figures in assortments. Instead of 5 or 3 new figures per case, there needs to be like 8 new figures in a case. that would be awesome!
    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.

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