DEFINITELY! We don't have Meijers here in NY, and the red Red Wings 3-pack was exclusive to Meijers.
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QuoteI personally think that this is an extremely unfair comparison. Just from a business model standpoint, Hasbro and these other companies are completely different animals.
First, licensing. Star Wars is a license that is paid from Hasbro to Lucasfilm Ltd. So right off the bat, Hasbro is operating at a loss. The SW license cost them plenty, including a 10% stake in the company that George Lucas now owns.
Differences in companies doesn't necessarily make an unfair playing field though Nick. That's a tad shortsighted. So we're to assume that Hasbro's licensing fee means they're in a weaker financial situation right off the bat when compared to a company like 21st Century Toys, BBI, or Dragon?
Come on now... We're talking about a public corporation, muliti-national, and with a capital reserve that makes the small private companies like Dragon, BBI, and 21st look like a mom & pop general store up against Wall-Mart.
Licensing is not the big crutch everyone claims it to be...
Tack onto that the fact other companies DO pay licensing fees too (Though smaller), and it's hard to say Hasbro's licensing issues are a solid excuse as to any shortcomings within the Star Wars brand.
I will agree with you that we're comparing 2 very different company styles, but I can't help but laugh when anyone gives the "unfair advantage" to the smaller private companies who struggle financially. Hasbro has a distinct advantage as a large corporation that helps negate licensing as a real issue (If we're doing comparisons here).
LFL's personal approval process can be compared to anything within any other company as well. For 21st Century, their process relies on the strictest historical accuracy in deco or details... For Dragon, their approval process is reported to take up to 20 different tries at a single figure before the heads of Dragon say "OK, now it's ready for production".
LFL's maybe strict, but let's face it... Some of what we've seen isn't exactly amazing in accuracy sometimes so how strict can their approval process really be? They stamp it as "OK, you didn't cross our guidelines" likely and they Hasbro starts cranking it out. Star Wars, by its very nature, is going to have more leeway in that regard. It's fiction, and as such some things can be compromised. The companies working on military product tend not to have that luxury.
QuoteThe fact is, the small companies like BBi, Dragon, 21st Century, etc don't have anywhere near the cost factor. Let's face facts: it's far cheaper for these companies to do business than it is for Hasbro. As a result, they can offer a somewhat superiro product at about the same price points.
No, there's no "fact" to that at all.
Once again, you negate the fact that these are dramatically smaller companies with much higher production costs than Hasbro due to capital restraints. You don't recognize their own licensing fees, and the fact that they're working under the same pressures and overhead that Hasbro is, and doing it from a much smaller company's standpoint.
To say they're able to put out product cheaper than Hasbro is simply misinformation... Some of these companies, even with very high sales, are struggling because their profit must be turned right back into the company for its own growth. 21st Century continuously makes profit but has financial issues because their overhead bogs the company down, even with good sales.
So they're somehow still able to make things cheaper than Hasbro does? That doesn't really make any sense unless you're looking at it black & white in that Star Wars is just a huge license and 21st's brands aren't. Not a fair analysis by any stretch, but then you'd be correct I guess.
QuoteRegarding GI Joe: GI Joe is able to make more money than Star Wars because Hasbro owns all the rights to GI Joe. As a result, they don't have to pay any licensing fees, and has free reign over this property. A very different business model.
Actually it's the same business model since it's Hasbro producing a toy line (Even same markets, trying to balance between older and younger/newer collectors). It has a distinct overhead I'm sure, with a lot of similarities too, but you're right there's no cost for licensing...
Of course, does licensing suddenly become the key overhead cost t hough? No, so I don't think one rather small overhead variance is what makes G.I. Joe more profitable than Star Wars.
Wayne, at around 2004 X-Box will be getting a Star Wars game called "Commando"... LucasArts released a little trailer for it several months ago... It's very awesome looking so far (though I've seen none of it is in-game footage)...
Also - Hitman 2 : Silent Assassin is easily one of the best shooters I've ever played (I've got a PS2 but I doubt it's much different)... REAL fun... REAL bloody, too...
I suggest buying a demo CD, which has about 6 (not sure) demos of games on the shelves at the moment...
It sure is. It does bear out Jesse's point that the license in effect is mostly paid for, and the cost of it has been reduced going forward into the future.