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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    They aren't abandoning collectors, collectors' passion drives the variety and creation of new molds, both are attractive to casual consumers just not in the ravenous needs of the hardcore collector. Hasbro always said that TVC was meant to get the hardcore collector base to re-engage with the brand, the idea that they'd simply abandon that altogether is very unlikely. The problem is that they permanently lost a lot of hardcore collectors after the prequels, the economic hits in manufacturing and materials prices wiped out more audience, and then Hasbro hedged their bets on collectors coming back by further splitting their buying audiences and lost.

    Your point about product rotting in a warehouse is almost dead on, except Hasbro doesn't have warehouses anymore, they sold them off during the restructuring after the 2000 crash from TPM nearly killing the company, so in the 2012 case what happened is they put all this money into cutting new tools and then the big retailers didn't order much product from those tools. So it basically rotted in a theoretical warehouse in this case, same problem - money spent and not seeing return - but now not even any product to sell off to liquidators for return (although also no tax burdens from old unsold product sitting for over a year).


    Certainly there's no malice on Hasbro's part, they are a business entity and trying their best to make business decisions that do well by the company and the brand. Some of it probably is management stumbles (buying into Lucasfilm's overhyping TPM 3D was a massive error), it happens, to err is human, and some of it is undoubtedly cost issues.

    In '96, Hasbro ran 2 lines, POTF2 and SOTE - SOTE did pretty poorly and eventually liquidated out (there were a lot of left-over Xizors and Snoova figures).
    In '98, Hasbro ran 2 lines, POTF2 and Expanded Universe - EU did ok at first then petered out to slow orders and eventually hit liquidation as well. Those were both separate SKUs meant to focus more on collector-interested product, and just like we're seeing today, both of those didn't fare well.
    '03 saw a pair of Star Wars lines - Clone Wars and Clone Wars animated, both of which bombed hard and clearanced out, but didn't go to liquidation.
    '04 saw a separate SKU for Hall of Fame, those I don't remember how they did but I do remember buying several on clearance. VOTC doesn't really count because that wasn't taking away from the mainline SKU, it was taking away from the deluxe SKU - supplanting it, really.
    In '05, the OTC line spewed out a second SKU for Post-OTC, and that short-run didn't fare well with retailers who simply didn't want a limited product line taking up a whole second set of pegs, so that led to low orders, transitioning into ROTS' single mainline.
    '06 saw 4 SKUs on pegs although only 3 were active, ROTS was wrapping up, TSC was going, and then TSC had 2 other basic lines - Ep 3 Greatest Hits and Ep 3 Heroes & Villains, both different SKUs from TSC - and this is where things get tricky. The idea behind those Ep 3 re-releases was to keep and capture casual consumers - kids who were still familiar with the movie but who weren't really into the depth and breadth of the brand. The idea is an extension of Hall of Fame but taken to the next level.
    '07 is where Hasbro made a total philosophical shift, putting 2 active SKUs out in roughly even amounts, creating the Saga Legends SKU where they took tooling that they felt was fairly modern but not currently active and made it available to appeal to a casual consumer, shifting the mainline to a more hardcore colector-only focus. From day 1, our Q&A asked them whether this was bound to create a schism that would undermine the foundation of both lines - Hasbro said no, but then sales showed otherwise and pricing started going up as the brand, some would argue, started cannibalizing its own sales.
    '08 saw 3 active SKUs that were meant to run in parallel but with new content support in the form of The Clone Wars tv show, so there was Legacy Collection, TCW, and Saga Legends SKUs all running at the same time as basics. TCW ran hot for a while, Saga Legends was like printing money for a while because it was existing quality molds that kids were looking to find but couldn't in the regular mainline, and the regular mainline was uneven due to distribution issues. That business model eventually led to the mainline driving away collectors in droves as they couldn't find new product and stores couldn't satisfactorily stock due to serious pegwarming problems. Eventually Hasbro tried to recapture the hardcore collectors via TVC but intentionally lowered volume and raised prices to match, yet even there they played an odd game of hedging the casual consumer interest in a hardcore line which led to a number of first-wave pegwarmers choking the line, and now here we are.

    In looking that whole thing over, something which hadn't occurred to me before shows up, Hasbro's splitting the brand into "collectors vs casual" consumers did create a schism, splitting the market interests out of a single SKU seems to have raised costs on the casual lines instead of saved the hardcore collector line until now there's a higher waterline and everybody's paying through the nose. Did Saga Legends and TVC bring the Hasbro SW brand to its budgetary knees by cannibalizing sales away to Saga Legends and Movie Heroes? When you factor in all the outside economic issues, I think there may be some truth there, but only Hasbro has the numbers to be sure.
    Y'know, I probably learn more from reading your posts than just about anything else on the internet. Thanks for the info!

    I didn't know that about Hasbro and their warehouses. When I worked at Walmart I tried to learn as much about the retail chain as I could, so I know that the usual system is that manufacturers sell to warehouses and those warehouses sell to retailers, who sell to us.

    So what was the reason that Hasbro did away with their warehouses? Was it just to reduce costs by eliminating a middle-man?

    EDIT: I just thought of this, but wouldn't the 1999 POTF2 "Commtech" figures be another example of Hasbro splitting the line? I remember that line pegwarming pretty hard, because I was able to find about 20 of those Commtech Stormtroopers rotting on the pegs at $2 each back in 2001.
    "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

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    Oh, no, it's malice. Hasbro would rather lose money than make collectors happy.
    With passions running so high these days, I don't even like to make jokes like that, people read that and take it too seriously. A lot of folks have big misconceptions about Hasbro and the brand management, they don't make it to conventions and they don't scour the 5.5 years of Q&A so a lot of made up stuff and conspiracy theories fill the holes of what they don't know when they're frustrated. They expect that Hasbro has their act together enough to do them harm, but somehow don't consider that if Hasbro had their act together that well they would rather do business than fail, but that theory doesn't involve the damage collectors feel done to their person so it's not as popular.


    Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
    Y'know, I probably learn more from reading your posts than just about anything else on the internet. Thanks for the info!

    I didn't know that about Hasbro and their warehouses. When I worked at Walmart I tried to learn as much about the retail chain as I could, so I know that the usual system is that manufacturers sell to warehouses and those warehouses sell to retailers, who sell to us.

    So what was the reason that Hasbro did away with their warehouses? Was it just to reduce costs by eliminating a middle-man?

    EDIT: I just thought of this, but wouldn't the 1999 POTF2 "Commtech" figures be another example of Hasbro splitting the line? I remember that line pegwarming pretty hard, because I was able to find about 20 of those Commtech Stormtroopers rotting on the pegs at $2 each back in 2001.
    Thanks BB, I'm glad to hear that.

    This is all "IIRC", obviously. In the '80s and '90s, Hasbro had 4 very large warehouses between the US and China, and whenever they'd manufacture more than orders bought, they'd just drop product into the warehouse assuming they could sell it later, that demand would somehow come back around eventually. They owned these warehouses, there was never a middleman between Hasbro and their retailers like that, they were manufacturer and wholesale distributor, so the warehouses were just holding their wares awaiting new demand from retailers.

    Operating warehouses for long-term has 2 significant problems: one is obviously paying for organization and upkeep of said warehouses, not to mention that a warehouse is a finite resource but the company keeps producing (and overproducing) inventory which has to be kept somewhere. The other is that US tax law says that old unsold product sitting on warehouse shelves after a year is now a drain on sales tax income so it becomes a taxable item - finished inventory over a year old generates tax burden on the owner. These warehouses were holdings that weren't generating profits, only usurping them.

    So it was an effort to reduce costs, but not by eliminating a middleman, instead it was by eliminating warehouse operating costs and tax burdens, streamlining operations by doing away with valueless stockpiling of product that will never have demand again.

    As for POTF2 Commtech, you are exactly correct that those were a separate SKU (and different from past POTF2 SKUs), stores had unsold original POTF2 products from older SKUs and now they were being told to sweep that out to make room for Ep 1 and the new POTF2 commtech line, but why would stores have faith in POTF2 commtech when it didn't have a new movie with a mountain of hype driving it, as well as being largely the same characters that just got swept off shelves from not selling in the 1998 expressions? So they stocked in cautious numbers for POTF2 and massive numbers for Ep 1 which quickly pushed the line out, causing big retailers to halt orders. Hasbro however had already manufactured much more POTF2 Commtech product and no major retailers would touch them so what did they do? Shoved it into a warehouse assuming someone would want them again eventually. The reason we saw them for $2 a pop in 2001 wasn't because of pegwarming, it was because the warehouses had been liquidated - TRU made a deal with Hasbro to buy up a lot of old Star Wars very very cheaply, so they were selling the AT-AT for around $20 despite the $75 product having not been on their shelves for years, they had bins of Hasbro '90s figures for $2 each simply because they knew at those prices they'd move - TRU would make a pittance of profit through the volume and Hasbro either saw no profit or even heavy losses, but those one-time losses were something more valuable than keeping warehouses full of old unselling product around.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    I have several questions for JT:

    1998 - also saw Collections 1, 2 and 3. Remember the color codes at the bottom of the cards? They did this for the Ep 1 glut as well.

    But Luke Bespin was Coll. 1, Ewoks were Coll. 2 with Biggs, Lak Sivrak, etc., and Coll 3 had Vader R.H., Piett, Ishi Tibb etc. (Freeze Frames).

    I might recall 1997 doing this as well.

    1999 certainly did with Qui-Gon (Coll 1), Panaka (Coll 2), and Ki-Adi (Coll 3).

    My Question was were they just different assortments? Not different Skus? It might have worked better if they were different Skus.
    With POTF2 starting in 1997, there were the various collections as you mentioned, and they were all different assortment numbers, "different SKUs". The Shadows of the Empire line is the same assortment number as POTF2 Collection 2, so technically SOTE was the same SKU as the whole of POTF2 (and this did continue into the Ep 1 line). All of them are different assortments, the intention was twofold as I remember it, on the collector side the different collections were intended to promote different interests - Collection 1 was more main character focus, Collection 2 was aliens and such, and Collection 3 was I think villains, or something. It got screwy pretty fast, I remember the old POTF2-era Hasbro Star Wars site's Q&A in the '90s talking about this a few times, commenting on how they messed up and put characters into wrong collections and even moved collections.

    On the business side, the multiple running SKUs were meant to change the product pacing so that they could get less overlap while moving more product throughout the year. Retailers would be less inclined to re-order product they already had enough saturation on when they could spread out their minimum orders across multiple Star Wars SKUs.

    For most of the time, those different collection SKUs were meant to share pegspace, but during SOTE and again with EU and in '99 with POTF2 Commetch they were meant to separate pegspace, so it was a complicated situation where the concept of an SKU doesn't quite convey the right idea, sometimes the SKU was a true assortment under one line (the 3 collections) and others it was an overarching line the way it is now (commtech, SOTE, EU).

    In 2007 (TAC)

    On the controversy about Saga Legends and TAC figures (the latter being more collector based with some great figures!)

    JT said:

    "From day 1, our Q&A asked them whether this was bound to create a schism that would undermine the foundation of both lines - Hasbro said no, but then sales showed otherwise and pricing started going up as the brand, some would argue, started cannibalizing its own sales. "

    Could you explain please? I think Saga Legends allowed kids to get General Greivous whenever they felt the urge, (or similar staple characters) and folks like me go crazy over Elis Helrot and Myoom Onith, not to mention Biggs Academy and a lot of great McQuarrie options, Padme black leather temptation - I mean there were great collector figures and space wasn't wasted in the case assortments with General Grievous and Mace Windu who never look any different.
    After TPM's flameout in 2000, Hasbro still ran multiple SKUs for a single line, POTJ had 2 collections and each had its own SKU that was unclear - Lando and Amidala were Collection 2 along with most of the aliens and background guys, while Aurra Sing was collection 1 along with Luke and Maul and such, and the line's 2 Leia figures were in different collections. So the SKUs were meant to work together as a single line better, the collections still separated the mass-appeal characters into one category and less-appeal characters into others but it wasn't as solid, it was done more to keep a one-two punch on retailer ordering. So POTJ was running 2 assortments/SKUs under its brand but they were trying to work together, and then Saga 1 continued this trend of running a single line both discretely but also discreetly ("discrete" meaning seperate SKUs, while "discreet" meaning hiding that they were separate SKUs in one line).

    Each line was really trying to promote a singular experience, there was some subtle behind-the-scenes social engineering intended but it was meant to be subtle, a kid would not be shown a divided Star Wars brand where one expression appealed to kids and another appealed to collectors, it was meant to look to that kid (the kid standing in for any casual consumer) as "Star Wars" where Darth Vaders they wanted were in the same line as Ketwols that the collectors wanted, the idea being that the kid or especially a kid's parent might come to the pegs to buy a Vader but see Ketwol and buy it too since they "go together" from being in the same brand. In that way, being one line sold the Star Wars experience to kids aka "casual consumers" and collectors at once.

    Eventually, the behind-the-scenes social engineering got cocky and decided it should be up front. Hasbro felt that the idea of "Greatest Hits" was working so well in small tries that they went bigger with it, and created an entire seperate SKU just for Greatest Hits-type figures called "Saga Legends" which was intended to have its own separate pegspace and appeal primarily to the kid/casual consumer audience, the packaging would look very similar to the main line but it was also visually separate and planned to peg separately. This was obviously a very successful concept since Greatest Hits figures are generally popular characters with broad appeal so they'll sell well, and they're also toolings that have long since been paid off by prior sales, so they have much lower costs to the brand. The influx of funds from Saga Legends could help balance the brand's books, making riskier main line 30th Anniversary Collection figures that wouldn't see as strong of a return due to their collector-oriented focus a lighter impact on the brand's budget.

    In simplified terms, think of the brand before Saga Legends being a single path, the consumers - both casual and hardcore - being a mob of people all walking down that path. Saga Legends however created a fork in that path, one that intentionally separated the consumers into 2 distinct groups that walked 2 distinct paths the whole experience was becoming a "Y" shape - Saga Legends consumers going one way and Legacy Collection consumers going the other. That's the schism we said was happening, Hasbro created a second audience with a divergent path that was wandering off to the left while the other audience went off to the right. The casual consumers are a larger group so the left path is full of people, yet the hardcore consumers on the path to the right drive the brand to be more diverse and speak with a more rounded voice.

    Why would retailers want to focus on a smaller group when they're seeing easier sales from the larger group? Retailers aren't terribly good at focusing on the longterm benefits here, they just want sales to keep trending for the immediate future. Casual consumers no longer have a strong draw to cross over sales from Saga Legends to Legacy Collection, so Hasbro's move may ultimately cannibalized sales away from Legacy Collection to Saga Legends, one Star Wars line was suffering because the audience was being drawn away to another Star Wars line. The hardcore group is ultimately what's pushing Hasbro to create higher quality products that aren't just the same handful of guys over and over again, which fuels new quality molds for the other group, with those sales lagging it eventually catches up to the casual group as we're seeing now - there's a downward spiral at play where Saga Legends products are taking away consumers from the main lines. That's the schism.

    OK, I've now read the concluding theory. I would say I could agree.

    I honestly never look at the Saga Lengends / Movie Heroes stuff so I don't even know if they are a lower pricepoint at retail. I guess they are? Unfortunately, if I didn't notice the numbers, they couldn't be more than a dollar or so off the VTC.

    In theory, if the price difference was even "worse," such that Legends were $5.99 and the VTC $8.99, this would make sales of VTC even worse?

    Following up on that, "including Darth Vader, Luke Tatooine, "same-old-same-old PT Jedi figures," all in the case with my greatly yearned for Sim Aloo (Imp Dignitary) and Nyrat Agira (Outlander Club hottie) would make the cases pass through better than having "my figures" in a separate line geared towards the hardcore folks like myself?"

    And I don't give a darn what they do to General Grievous or Mace Windu next - I will never buy more figures of these characters or Darth Vader and Tatooine Luke for that matter. So would just recarding the ideal molds for these characters not be better than wasting materials improving them (like better legs Han Solo) when the money could be spent producing Taym-den Garen or Sgt. Doallyn?
    Then put them in the same case and I can still ignore Darth Vader.

    Maybe all Hasbro has to do is rotate Vader in an out of case revisions under the same sku to keep him available to new fans?
    Saga Legends were $6 while TAC prices were $7, SL prices had no startup costs of creating molds to suffer so it could generating pure profit instead of having to pay down startup costs so it was able to keep its price low at first. Of course, charging a whole buck less than the main line further drew buyers away from the main line to SL, why wouldn't it? Eventually Hasbro saw the problem and raised SL to match the main line price which kept pace through to the end of TLC. That was really important to do because The Clone Wars line was also intended to focus on casual consumers and did have startup costs for new tooling on each figure, so you couldn't have 2 casual-focused lines costing different, they realized that would cannibalize sales away from TCW.

    But then with Hasbro recognizing that the hardcore collector-focused main line had lost its way and needed to regain its hardcore-collector audience, they chose to make a line that further diverged the brands by creating The Vintage Collection which focused more on the hardcore and sacrificed production volume to do so, but at the cost of raising the price a dollar more than the Saga Legends and TCW (and in second year of TVC the price went up again, so the difference was now $2 from TVC to SL & TCW), which again drove a deeper wedge between the 2 consumer audiences.

    Movie Heroes being the successor to Saga Legends was intended to simplify the interests further of that casual audience but eventually the casual consumer audience finally started showing saturation, so where Movie Heroes and TCW started $2 less than TVC in the 2012 launch, they simply weren't generating the same sales as previous casual consumer lines had been, and I think what's happened is that as Hasbro's costs went up through materials and manufacturing, the lagging sales of the MH/TCW lines forced them to quickly jump up, first a buck and now two, even three at Target, while TVC basically found its level and stayed unchanged.

    So, in your question of whether an even greater price difference would drive a further wedge in the brand, the answer is yes, but as we've seen with MH/TCW it'll also self-destruct quicker. I think if the price difference from TVC to MH were $3, it'd bother collectors significantly and drive them away more, which would leave TVC vulnerable to collapse. MH however would lose the drive that comes from running TVC-type lines, the drive to make better figures, and losing that would cause it to stagnate faster with its casual kid audience.

    Let's now toss out discussion of The Clone Wars as it's become a wildcard in the last 2 seasons and I don't know what Hasbro's going to do with it.

    Just putting major characters into the cases isn't enough, the brand I think needs to go back to a single expression which puts the 2 consumer groups - casual and hardcore - back onto the same path. I don't think just jamming a main character into a case is enough, Hasbro never stopped doing that with TVC to the point where the line had far too many old molds collectors didn't need to see again so soon merely because Hasbro thought seeing them on vintage-style cardbacks would be enough to move them. Were I to be directly advise Hasbro on this matter, I'd suggest that they intentionally create scarcity of low-level characters. Had Yarna and Breha Organa not been in every case of their wave, that would have created demand for those figures to a point where even consumers who didn't really want them would be interested in looking for them, they'd go through pegs just to see if something rare was there, and this keeps the product in rotation longer by simply stretching out when it'll hit. This is essentially the Hot Wheels business model, but the problem with this plan is that retailers like to know when they'll see product and they want to know that they will see replacement waves on a fairly quick schedule which is more difficult with a $10 toy than it is with a $1 toy. Don't flood the market with too many Vaders at once, plan it so there's about 3/4s as many Vaders as the market wants but keep rotating the figure back in there so consumers on both sides keep coming back looking for - and more importantly finding - rewards to their hunts. When kids are looking through racks for their guys and come across our guys, maybe those kids will find appeal in our guys, but not when there's a flood of them. When we were kids, everybody wanted Jordache jeans because they were a brand that was a big name but they were a product that was not everywhere, in the '90s they overbranded and now Jordache jeans are sold as cheaply at places like Kmart so nobody is hungering for them anymore, they are a name brand nobody cares about.

    Creating ideal versions of a Mace Windu is important, but now Hasbro's redefining ideal: there's collector-ideal which is super-articulated and high paint apps; and kid-ideal which is visually recognizable but simplified to be easier to play with quickly. If that sounds like another place for a schism to develop when collectors drop interesting in kid-ideal figures and kids don't want 2 of the same character, you'd be right, and that shows why the line is in trouble or at least at a crossroads waiting for management to decide which path to take.
    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.

  3. #23
    Point taken. All the Hasbro people I've encountered on the actual action figure teams have clearly been passionate about what they do, and want to put forth toys that reflect their best work and make everyone happy. There's a bit of a disconnect between them and the penny counters, though, it seems.

    I do, personally, think, though, that they might be better served in not constantly resculpting figures, but only doing it when necessary, and rotating the existing figures onto whatever the current card design might be. It seems like it would save a ton in design and tooling costs.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  4. #24
    Thank you JT for thoroughly answering my questions and others' - a lot of effort! Good job and many more thanks. You sounded like Darryl. Did he answer that "off the record?"

    Chux, I agree with you (above).

    Now a comment: I already think the darn Movie Heroes or whatever the "junk line" is that's shipping now is almost just that. Junk. That Yoda figure with part of his robe packaged separately looks just awful - and it's Yoda! That line is mostly prequel characters that sit. I've noticed the few and far-between OT characters included in that set sell pretty fast. I see the occasional Luke Snowspeeder every now and then. Leia is totally absent from that collection as may be Han Solo (I think). Lando's not there. But I think the Death Squad Commander (Imp Navy Trooper) is shipping now. That's a good choice and a better quality figure than those Super Battle Droids (I think). But then again, I bought so many battle droids of all types for my dioramas, that I'm sick of seeing them, but I guess even those army builders sell.

    They've come back with light-up lightsaber gimmicks for Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Vader. I think if they made Maul with his double-blades, that would be a popular light-up figure. Then you could run with a few Luke outfits, and the age progression for Anakin and Obi-Wan from AOTC to ROTS and ANH for Obi-Wan. Mace would be interesting due to the purple saber. I strongly believe that Plo Koon and SaeSee Tiin are saturated and they should remain scarce for a while. (I don't know what it is with Plo Koon fans - they're making Boba Fett fans look normal - and I even like Fett better now because I have Plo Koon to complain about). A light-up Kit Fisto might sell, but he's a risk.

    I think they could try EU expressions with light-up sabers, but fan favorites like Mara Jade, Jaina Solo (new outfit please), and Jacen, Anakin, Leia training to be a Jedi and Luke as a Master might go over alright. EU for collectors and a cool gimmick for kids. But the figure parts should be such that replacing an arm or something would allow for the non-electronic versions of those characters so Jaina could have an "un-lit" lightsaber in her new outfit expression (like how would you put her pilot figure in an X-wing with a lit saber?)

    I don't know if that's an idea worth trying? And I don't mean to get carried away with it. It's not the right way to bring out Nomi Sunrider.
    BAD Pts Need: R5-C7 lf leg (x2), , R4-P44 right leg BAD Pts Offered For Trade: PM me - I have lots of parts now including BG-J38!. New Kyle Katarn is also available.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    Point taken. All the Hasbro people I've encountered on the actual action figure teams have clearly been passionate about what they do, and want to put forth toys that reflect their best work and make everyone happy. There's a bit of a disconnect between them and the penny counters, though, it seems.
    First off, I've met a few team members at cons that aren't as passionate as the rest of the team, but I'd agree with you that the majority of the team in person have been clearly passionate about what they do.

    As for the "disconnect" point, it's complicated. Derryl as brand manager (and now I guess Jeff) are technically penny counters, it's their job as brand managers to think exactly about those issues, to balance the bean counting against the creative and emotional aspects of the brand.

    I do, personally, think, though, that they might be better served in not constantly resculpting figures, but only doing it when necessary, and rotating the existing figures onto whatever the current card design might be. It seems like it would save a ton in design and tooling costs.
    That complaint is very outdated IMO. Aside from Luke ROTJ who just seems to suffer at each new release's outing, I can't think of a character that's getting "constantly resculpted". We keep getting different expressions of characters like Vader that most of the time don't use a resculpt and suffer for using such an outdated mold, the latest resculpt got top nods from both JabbaJohn and me in the YIR. We still don't have a quality resculpt of Farmboy Luke or Leia ANH or Han ANH or Lando ESB. This isn't 1983, re-releasing the same figure 5 years in a row doesn't even work for the kiddies anymore - look at Movie Heroes now suffering awful molds and not moving product as fast as before.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    Thank you JT for thoroughly answering my questions and others' - a lot of effort! Good job and many more thanks. You sounded like Darryl. Did he answer that "off the record?"
    Sure thing. No, he didn't, I want to clarify for readers, although I'm confident you forumites all know this, but my post is merely educated conjecture on my part, just paying attention to the interviews and Q&As, looking at trends and applying past events to current problems.

    Chux, I agree with you (above).

    Now a comment: I already think the darn Movie Heroes or whatever the "junk line" is that's shipping now is almost just that. Junk. That Yoda figure with part of his robe packaged separately looks just awful - and it's Yoda! That line is mostly prequel characters that sit. I've noticed the few and far-between OT characters included in that set sell pretty fast. I see the occasional Luke Snowspeeder every now and then. Leia is totally absent from that collection as may be Han Solo (I think). Lando's not there. But I think the Death Squad Commander (Imp Navy Trooper) is shipping now. That's a good choice and a better quality figure than those Super Battle Droids (I think). But then again, I bought so many battle droids of all types for my dioramas, that I'm sick of seeing them, but I guess even those army builders sell.
    Movie Heroes was a big step down from Saga Legends in terms of quality, that Yoda they put out is among their worst figures of the last 8 years, and is missing the accessory that sets off the spinning gimmick to boot. These weren't fun figures when they came out, they were the lesser figures to satiate demand from the movie but they weren't home runs any of them, and almost 3/4s of the run is from ROTS which has run pretty stale the last few years with buyers - kids have shown they're reaching saturation on Jedi Starfighters and Phase 2 Clones and battlin' Yodas and long-hair Anakins. It's like someone is looking at decisions from Saga Legends 3 years ago and is trying to expand and simplify based on that.

    They've come back with light-up lightsaber gimmicks for Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Vader. I think if they made Maul with his double-blades, that would be a popular light-up figure. Then you could run with a few Luke outfits, and the age progression for Anakin and Obi-Wan from AOTC to ROTS and ANH for Obi-Wan. Mace would be interesting due to the purple saber. I strongly believe that Plo Koon and SaeSee Tiin are saturated and they should remain scarce for a while. (I don't know what it is with Plo Koon fans - they're making Boba Fett fans look normal - and I even like Fett better now because I have Plo Koon to complain about). A light-up Kit Fisto might sell, but he's a risk.

    I think they could try EU expressions with light-up sabers, but fan favorites like Mara Jade, Jaina Solo (new outfit please), and Jacen, Anakin, Leia training to be a Jedi and Luke as a Master might go over alright. EU for collectors and a cool gimmick for kids. But the figure parts should be such that replacing an arm or something would allow for the non-electronic versions of those characters so Jaina could have an "un-lit" lightsaber in her new outfit expression (like how would you put her pilot figure in an X-wing with a lit saber?)

    I don't know if that's an idea worth trying? And I don't mean to get carried away with it. It's not the right way to bring out Nomi Sunrider.
    There's no way to change the battieres, what's the point of collector-focused figures that have to be thrown away in a few years when their batteries stop working and leak out the waist joints? Kids have literally zero interest in those EU characters because they have no exposure to them. As well, changing the arm from a hollow piece with wires running into the torso into a modular connector would be pretty expensive and probably fragile at this scale. Adds up to a wrong turn IMO.
    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.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    I want to clarify for readers, although I'm confident you forumites all know this, but my post is merely educated conjecture on my part, just paying attention to the interviews and Q&As, looking at trends and applying past events to current problems.
    What? You mean you examine the facts objectively and then form a logical conclusion based on those facts? You do realize you're on the internet, right? That's just not how we do things here.



    Seriously, the whole rational discussion thing is a nice change of pace from the "Hasbro Hate Parade" that seems to be steamrolling every other Star Wars fan site right now. I don't even know why I bother with those other sites anymore... probably more out of habit than anything else.
    "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. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
    What? You mean you examine the facts objectively and then form a logical conclusion based on those facts? You do realize you're on the internet, right? That's just not how we do things here.

    I know, I've embarrassed myself forever with that move, paying my penance will require leaving thoughtless nasty comments on 50 Yahoo News articles, and watching a dozen cat videos on Youtube.

    Seriously, the whole rational discussion thing is a nice change of pace from the "Hasbro Hate Parade" that seems to be steamrolling every other Star Wars fan site right now. I don't even know why I bother with those other sites anymore... probably more out of habit than anything else.
    Variety, I'm sure. We're now a smaller-knit group. But vitriol won't change the facts, we can either analyze them and try to learn from them, or stomp our feet and feel bad - neither will change the current situation though, but one is just ugly so it makes more sense to help think it over, get a real engaged dialogue going.
    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.

  8. #28
    What's additionally intriguing is that this marks the second year in a row that Hasbro postpones a line. They postponed the GIJoe line last year. That was for a different reason, but I'm sure many people on both sides of the metaphorical toy aisle are upset by this development.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post

    There's no way to change the battieres, what's the point of collector-focused figures that have to be thrown away in a few years when their batteries stop working and leak out the waist joints? Kids have literally zero interest in those EU characters because they have no exposure to them. As well, changing the arm from a hollow piece with wires running into the torso into a modular connector would be pretty expensive and probably fragile at this scale. Adds up to a wrong turn IMO.
    Yeah. You're right. I think trying to make a line that's kid popular AND a collector staple stocked with cheap movie release product - even making cheap movie release product in the first place -like a spinning Yoda or quick-draw clone is or at least should be - beneath this line.

    Do kids say "the figures don't DO anything?" Maybe they do, hence the action features. I still remember Obi-Wan Acklay Attack that makes him spank his monkey when he's not holding that spear. Tragic.

    As for the "disconnect" point, it's complicated. Derryl as brand manager (and now I guess Jeff) are technically penny counters, it's their job as brand managers to think exactly about those issues, to balance the bean counting against the creative and emotional aspects of the brand.
    Yes, but Darryl is a proven, real fan. He's WHY I have Ulic Qel Droma and Exar Kun figures, for which I'm grateful even if I'm pursuing Nomi Sunrider and Sylvar, amongst others from that series. I feel Darryl is more of a fan than even many here, as we both as passionate about Star Wars as far as the EU. Without looking it up, how many here can explain who Warb Null was and who he worked for? I'm probably right about my low estimate and those that don't know or don't care are indeed missing out on something.

    Concerning resculpts:
    That complaint is very outdated IMO. Aside from Luke ROTJ who just seems to suffer at each new release's outing, I can't think of a character that's getting "constantly resculpted". We keep getting different expressions of characters like Vader that most of the time don't use a resculpt and suffer for using such an outdated mold, the latest resculpt got top nods from both JabbaJohn and me in the YIR. We still don't have a quality resculpt of Farmboy Luke or Leia ANH or Han ANH or Lando ESB. This isn't 1983, re-releasing the same figure 5 years in a row doesn't even work for the kiddies anymore - look at Movie Heroes now suffering awful molds and not moving product as fast as before.
    Vader - I never even LOOKED at him. I passed him up on the pegs today - without a look. He is a vintage 12-back style front though. Noticed the card. I assume there was a figure of Vader in the blister. Heck if I cared though.

    Farmboy Luke - I think my favorite was Purchase of the Droids pack-in. I really could care less. Sell him if it keeps the line shipping and a new outfit of Jaina Solo is packed in the case. Put Jaina in the new movie, and step up featuring her in comics. (She has a huge amount of appearences in the novels which can continue as far as I'm concerned. She's doing something new in each one. Farmboy Luke just goes to the cantina and runs around the Death Star every single time I encounter him.)

    Leia ANH bores me the same way. ANH Han has some new books (Scoundrels) and potential scene uses with new characters. But an older version (in his 60's) paired with new figures of Droma and the Yuuzhan Vong would be more interesting to me. I'm betting he might have kept those clothes for 30 more years anyway.

    I don't need any Lando but him in new red or tan outfits from his appearances in the EU. The smugglers outfit for TAC was the last Lando figure I got really excited about.

    Now I agree with JT that releasing the same figure 5 years in a row (like Movie Heroes / Legends / Hall of Fame etc) doesn't work - but that might partially also be to adults not buying in that market. Newbies always would. Because someone just born when the Hall of Fame figures came out would not be "ages 4 and up" to own the figures until the Movie Heroes line came out.

    But if I'd needed any re-carded figures, I most likely would have been done buying them back in the Hall of Fame days. (And I don't think I ever needed them then).

    Now if Ephont Mon or Tessek were re-released (since I'd rather have Sgt. Doallyn and Taym-dren Garen from Jabba's), I bet the same sculpts of Ephant Mon and Tessek would sell regardless of whether Hasbro could improve them today. They're selling the same 2005 crappy Yoda! (Or they had sold enough of him to make them decide to keep shipping him for a while).
    BAD Pts Need: R5-C7 lf leg (x2), , R4-P44 right leg BAD Pts Offered For Trade: PM me - I have lots of parts now including BG-J38!. New Kyle Katarn is also available.

  10. #30
    I never bothered to look at Vader, either. He'd have to get up in the morning and make my coffee for me to get me to consider a new Vader figure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maradona View Post
    That was for a different reason, but I'm sure many people on both sides of the metaphorical toy aisle are upset by this development.
    Then there's you and me, who straddle the aisle and are doubly ticked-off!
    Tommy, close your eyes.

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