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  1. #1

    Post The surprising (or not) reduction in future vehicle sizes.

    Josh, Arnie Carvalho and I had a lively discussion, after a day at Celebration VI, about how the smaller scale would actually be great if you were building a diorama on a two-foot shelf and needed to add perspective.

    Seriously though, it surprises me on one hand because Hasbro is constantly giving us the "tooling costs" excuse in regards to increasing prices. So, why redesign the Jedi Starfighter, Republic Tank and the Slave I as well as any forthcoming vehicles if creating a new mould is so expensive? The nice lady at the Hasbro booth explained to me that they were trying to decrease the shelf footprint while at the same time being able to lower the price to under $20 (USD) for a ship. Great reasons, both of them. Still, wouldn't the initial costs be more due to the development of these new moulds? I guess I find it a little odd since it seems like reusing existing moulds would actually be cheaper.

    At the end of the day, these ships were not designed with me or any other collectors in mind. These are "para los ninos". I do hope that they find success with these ships and that kids start buying them. If not, this could affect the collector scale vehicles in the future.

    I'm glad that Hasbro will continue to release the "collector's scale" ships as exclusives. The new ships come packaged in boxes that have little graphics that specifically state these figures are for use with Movie Heroes and Clone Wars figures, which I found interesting. To be honest, I think you will really need to cram the Movie Heroes figures into the cockpits in order to get them inside. 'Cos... Movie Heroes are just retired Vintage or Movie-styled action figures that are larger than the Clone Wars ones.

    I do hope that Hasbro has success with these in that they will be priced to sell better to kids. I think they are doing something good by giving kids the option to either get one vehicle or a mini-rig with two pack-in figures at the same price point.
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  2. #2
    I'm under the impression that these new molds were made partly so that they would be easier to produce in the factories, since labor costs are going up and they need to find ways to keep overall costs down. And even though these are new molds, they're in fewer pieces than previous versions of these vehicles have been. I just assume that they looked at the costs and ultimately this was going to be cheaper in the long run.

    Seeing the vehicles in person at CVI, the Jedi Starfighter and Republic Fighter Tank didn't really strike me as being too undersized. The only real giveaway on the Jedi Starfighter is the smaller droid head - it's halfway between the scale of the figures and the scale of the ship, according to Mark Boudreaux. The Slave I, well, obviously there's a big difference there, but we already have several options for this ship (and evidently a Vintage-packaging ESB version coming next year).

    I'm interested in seeing how this line progresses. Since collectors already have more accurate versions of all three of these ships, I bet many will just ignore them, but I wonder how many all-new ships are planned. I've seen a good amount of nerd rage on this topic already, since anytime anything is done for kids, people flip out. Still, $20 is far better than the $30 pricepoint they hit this year, so SOMETHING had to be done.
    My Photos and Reviews: SSG Toy Guide
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  3. #3
    Yeah, I think if Hasbro had just dropped the price of the existing ships, then it would have made it more difficult to make new ships in the old $20 format.

    For instance if consumers get used to paying $20 for ships that were $25-$30 last year, then what's Hasbro supposed to do when they want to make a new ship in that scale? They couldn't charge only $20 for that toy and still make back their investment; but consumers are not going to accept one toy being priced at $20 and another toy, that's about the same size, being priced at $30.

    So, I believe starting again with all-new $20 vehicles will ensure that Hasbro is still free to make new vehicles in the old scale without undercutting their own profits.
    "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

  4. #4
    Hasbro's already decreased the shelf footprint by making retailers not want to order Class 2 vehicles anymore - first by putting out nothing but boring revisits nobody was asking for, and now by putting out hollow cheap junk. Hasbro raised the price on the classic vehicles because of higher costs and poorer sales, but why were there poorer sales? Was it perhaps Hasbro pumped out the SAME OLD JUNK OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER?!? They utterly wasted the Vintage-style packaging for vehicles - sure, maybe a few collectors wanted the SAME OLD ROTS JEDI STARFIGHTER they had gotten 6 times over already in that packaging, but the majority of everybody else was bored with it. Where's the T-16 Skyhopper, where's the new A-wing at main retail? Here's a list of vehicles that would have worked in that packaging IMO:
    A-wing
    T-16 Skyhopper
    Skiff
    TIE Interceptor
    Hailfire Droid
    Grievous' Starfighter
    V-wing

    All great vehicles, all $20/$30 mainline class 2 fleet, a wide variety of sources. So what do they give us instead? Number 37 of the Jedi Starfighter, and the V-19 Torrent and the AT-AP and Sir Not Appearing in this Line (aka the Naboo Fighter). And that V-19 Torrent didn't sell the first time because it's not a great sculpt and it's a really bad paint job, so do they give it a spiffy new paint job to move product? HELL NO! They put an image on the box of the boring white plastic turd it is! And we have the green AT-AP - a vehicle that nobody was terribly impressed with, so they slap a green paint job on it to make sure any possible interest is sapped out of a Vintage-style packaged release. Why? To pander outside the base, I'll guess.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  5. #5
    I would have bought that AT-AP if it had been released in the correct colors, but I had no use for an EU paint job and the vehicle itself is a little underwhelming with it's unarticulated legs.
    "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

  6. #6
    Yeah - the AT-AP's color scheme was first released in The Clone Wars line a few years back; I might have bought another one if it were in movie colors, or a new scheme.

    They absolutely shouldn't have put out seven old molds (well, six completely old molds and a tank that they'd put out almost every year for a decade with a new cockpit) to start the line this year, but the fact that they already started out at $30 shows that they were going to have to go with that price anyway. I'm not sure if even new molds could have sustained the line at that price, but yeah, the re-releases killed it for sure.
    My Photos and Reviews: SSG Toy Guide
    My Star Wars Fan Film: The Lazy Jedi
    Follow Me: Twitter | Instagram

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    Where's the T-16 Skyhopper, where's the new A-wing at main retail? Here's a list of vehicles that would have worked in that packaging IMO:
    A-wing
    T-16 Skyhopper
    Skiff
    TIE Interceptor
    Hailfire Droid
    Grievous' Starfighter
    V-wing

    All great vehicles, all $20/$30 mainline class 2 fleet, a wide variety of sources. So what do they give us instead? Number 37 of the Jedi Starfighter, and the V-19 Torrent and the AT-AP and Sir Not Appearing in this Line (aka the Naboo Fighter). And that V-19 Torrent didn't sell the first time because it's not a great sculpt and it's a really bad paint job, so do they give it a spiffy new paint job to move product? HELL NO! They put an image on the box of the boring white plastic turd it is! And we have the green AT-AP - a vehicle that nobody was terribly impressed with, so they slap a green paint job on it to make sure any possible interest is sapped out of a Vintage-style packaged release. Why? To pander outside the base, I'll guess.
    Don't forget the newest snowspeeder sculpt in different paint apps. I'd buy Wedge's and Zev's speeders no matter what kind of box they came in.

    I don't think I'd rebuy anything I already have just because of the vintage box (in fact, I didn't) so I don't think a lot of the ones you listed would do too much better than the ones they picked to re-release.

    Are you talking about a retool for the T-16 or a straight repack of the very dated piece of work we got over a decade ago?

    The skiff would have gone great with the deleted scene wave and if the deco was improved or minor retooling was done to improve it, I would have bought that.

    I'm not buying another TIE interceptor until it gets bigger wings.

    Hailfire, Greivous starfighter and V-wing fall under the category of have it and don't care anymore. I was so disappointed in the articulation of the AT-AP that I would buy another one no matter what.

    The new smaller vehicles are cute and I'm sure my sons will want a few. They'll be easier for them to play with than the larger counterparts, but I have no interest in them for my collection. I guess that's really the point anyway, these are toys for kids. Kids don't care nearly as much about scale and minute details as we do so the lower price point may just help save the vehicle portion of the line. Rereleasing the same old stuff in a different box certainly won't do it.

    As for the Naboo starfighter, I have 2 (that I paid $10 or $15 above retail for) and they're awesome.

  8. #8
    They released the Snowspeeder in Vintage box as a Target-exclusive, when I created my list that made it unlikely to re-release so soon so I left it out, but you're right, they had 2 packages running at once, they could have released it in non-Vintage packaging again, it's a really nice piece and they have a Snowspeeder Luke on pegs even.

    I'm not talking about a remold on the T-16, the original isn't all that bad but more importantly it's simply not vital enough to Star Wars to warrant a retooling budget use - new materials would help with the wing joints though. A new deco would be nice though, it uses that period's speckled plastic which isn't that great and also is pretty soft. I would think there's a lot of collectors who didn't get the POTF2 T-16 back in the day because they jumped in later when the line got better-looking.

    Bigger TIE Interceptor wings mean bigger pricetag, I'm trying to get product that average kids AND collectors might be into which are better than the junk Hasbro actually pushed out at us.

    Basically, I think the health of the line is up to making smart repack choices when necessary, not just relying on the same mold OVER AND OVER, especially when it's already hit saturation and is boring to begin with.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mtriv73 View Post
    I'm not buying another TIE interceptor until it gets bigger wings.
    Judging by photos of the model, I think the wings on the toy are actually too large if anything. At least too long from front to back.
    "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

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
    Judging by photos of the model, I think the wings on the toy are actually too large if anything. At least too long from front to back.
    The gentleman from Hilsboro is correct, too long front-to-back.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

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