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Messages - Nicklab

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Revenge of the Sith / Re: ROTS Recent Purchases
« on: October 2, 2005, 03:51 PM »
Some scores from the past few days...

-Commander Bly
-Commander Gree
-Cat Miin
-Passel Argente
-Wookiee Commando
-Grievous' Bodyguard (repaint)
-Neimoidian Commander

Darth Vader figure with cup
Stormtrooper figure with cup

Not a bad weekend.  :)

Other Toy Lines / Re: McFarlane Sportspicks
« on: October 2, 2005, 03:48 PM »
Made a couple of decent scores this weekend.  Got a Cooperstown Catfish Hunter (Yankees) and NFL 11 Tiki Barber.  Very cool scores, IMO.

The Bullpen / Marvel Legends
« on: October 2, 2005, 03:47 PM »
Got a chance to see ML 11 this weekend as well as the Sentinel series.  I'm waiting on the Sentinel series to show up at WalMart before I plunk down my hardearned.

The Legendary Riders are OKAY.  Not great per say, but OKAY.  Wonder Man and Hulkbuster Iron Man are probably among the best of the bunch.  I didn't particularly care for first appearance Thing...he doesn't look lumpy enough.  I have no interest in Vengeance at all.  I didn't see Ultron, but the pictures don't look good.  And as for the Days of Future Past Wolverine?  I still think it sucks.  Especially since I was able to see the Marvel Legends one in person and was then able to see the Marvel Select version a few minutes later.  Do yourselves a favor and leave this Wolverine on the pegs and buy the Marvel Select one.  It's much better.

Middle Earth / Re: LOTR Trilogy Figures
« on: October 2, 2005, 03:40 PM »
I picked up a couple of Gondorians today.  Very cool figure!  Passed on the others for the time being.

Also managed to pick up some older stuff for a pretty decent deal, including the Pellenor Fields set, Council Legolas, burning Ring Wraith and Mount Doom Sam.

Other Toy Lines / Re: McFarlane Sportspicks
« on: September 22, 2005, 10:00 PM »
Here's hoping that the variant for the Nolan Ryan is the METS piece. That will make all 4 teams he played on then!!!

And here I was hoping for a version of Nolan with Robin Ventura in a headlock and punching him for charging the mound.  Oh well.

Other Toy Lines / Re: McFarlane Sportspicks
« on: September 16, 2005, 11:24 PM »
Nice lineup!  It looks pretty strong all the way around.  The only demand I have?  Fisk better be in his infamous "Stay fair!  Stay fair!" hop, making his way down the 1st base line in the '76 series.  And this is from a Yankees fan.

On that note though, it's great to see 3 of NY's finest in the lineup.  ESPECIALLY Jackie Robinson!

Other Collectibles / Re: Unleashed Again
« on: September 7, 2005, 10:07 PM »

Providence, RI (AP):  Hasbro Toys, known around the world for their inept handling of one license after another, has announced that their popular line of Star Wars: Unleashed is going to be moving into "new" territory: a 2 inch scale of less detailed, less interesting figures under the Unleashed banner...

Funny post!  But it's Pawtucket, RI.  Sorry!  8)

Other Collectibles / Re: Unleashed Again
« on: September 6, 2005, 11:02 PM »
The news from Comic Con about Unleashed is definitely discouraging.  I've thought of a couple of ways that Hasbro can try to keep the line going, but it might be tough to achieve.

The Unleashed line was inspired in part by a desire for Hasbro to compete stylistically with boutique toy companies like McFarlane, NECA and the like.  This is a new breed of toy company that is focusing more on collectors and collectability rather than on play features.

Bring this line back to the places it was intended to cater to:  COMIC AND COLLECTIBLE SHOPS!  Hasbro should actively court Diamond Comics and Online Retailers to be the EXCLUSIVE market for the Unleashed line.

While these outlets are smaller and are not representative of Hasbro's biggest accounts, they're the prime territory for a line like Unleashed.  They manage their inventories much more efficiently than the big box stores like Toys R Us and WalMart.  They work with pre-orders which helps tailor their business much more in their favor from a stock standpoint.

This kind of scheme can work well for both Hasbro AND their retail partners.  Hasbro can manufacture a more appropriate production run.  This would also have the effect of sending more customers to Hasbro's smaller accounts, whether they have Diamond Comics handling their distribution or if they're a small Hasbro account.

Looks like I called it back in July.  In this case I really dislike being right.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: EP3 Clonetroopers
« on: September 3, 2005, 02:24 PM »
Wasn't Merumeru the Preview Wookiee?

The Preview Wookiee is most likely Salporin.  At least that is the Wookiee that most closely resembles the Preview Wookiee.  If you look at the photo on the package, this is most likely the same Wookiee.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: What's spinning?
« on: September 2, 2005, 09:03 PM »
Ok Go, Oh No

Revenge of the Sith / Re: ROTS Recent Purchases
« on: September 2, 2005, 08:58 PM »
Picked up the TIE Fighter today.  Big box!  ;D

Revenge of the Sith / Re: Covert Ops Clone Trooper
« on: August 31, 2005, 12:03 AM »
All that mumbledy-jumbledy about exclusives is fine and good.  I think everyone understands WHY exclusives are at a higher price, no one is debating unit cost or exclusivity.

Everyone knows why exclusives cost more (Dressel said it best) - putting aside all the businessy reasons, it comes down to the fact that the retailers know we'll pay the higher price.  We proved it with the vOTC, with the Target figures, etc, etc, etc.

Sometimes the why should be explained.  I don't think everyone's aware of why some of these things cost what they do.

Are the retailers taking advantage?  Possibly.  Originally, exclusives were designed as a gimmick to get more foot traffic in the stores.  They get people soliciting a store on a more frequent basis hunting for exclusives and that will usually translate into greater overall sales.  But time and experience with all of these exclusives has shown plenty of execs at Hasbro as well as at the retail chains that collectors will pay the price for exclusives.  Like I said before, they're businesses, not charities.  They're out to make a buck, pure and simple.  We should never question that motivation.

And while you're busy blaming Hasbro and the retailers, make sure you blame Lucasfilm too.  After all, Lucasfilm licensing has to approve each product.  And remember that Uncle George also owns a substantial stake in Hasbro as part of the licensing agreement.  He's got just as much of a vested interest in Hasbro being profitable as he does in Lucasfilm being a leader in the film industry.

All of this being said, do I like this situation?  No.  I'm on a budget like a lot of other people.  But I think you have to go into this with your eyes open and try to have an understanding of the situation.  Why things are the way they are is a very important question.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: Covert Ops Clone Trooper
« on: August 30, 2005, 04:35 PM »
If things like this are completely inexcusable...don't buy them. Plain and simple. If enough people are outraged and make it known by not buying these products then Hasbro will get the point.

If you don't like it don't buy it.  That sounds all fine and good, but doesn't it run the risk of creating a brand new problem...

For example, what do you do?

Buy the $14 Clone Trooper you hate to show your support for the idea of a Clone Trooper line of figures that might one day give us Utapau, Kashyykk, and Mygeeto Clones.
Pass on the $14 Clone Trooper you hate and then suck it up when Hasbro says "Oh, we've cancelled the Clone Trooper line we had planned because they didn't sell well".   :-\

Whether it's the Cinema/Screen Scenes or the Wal-Mart Cantina Packs or something else, we hear something like "Oh, we cancelled wave 2 because there was no demand for wave 1" - Well no **** sherlock, you packed rehashes no one wanted in the first wave and put the newer figures in Wave 2 and 3.   ::)

Either way, we lose on crap like this.  Either you buy **** you don't like to "support the line" or you pass it and then suck it up when line X gets cancelled due to "poor support".  

Let's look at the reasons why this particular piece and other exclusive figures are priced the way they are:

-First and foremost we're talking about a retail or online retail promotion.  An exclusive is designed to be a promotional tool to attract buyers to a certain outlet.  It's designed to be both a promotional item and a profitable one.  Hence the higher price.

-Unit Cost.  The cost of producing these figures is going to be higher.  Since they're exclusives they are going to be limited to a smaller production run than a figure in the Basic Figure line.  The profitability of a Basic Figure is based on a relatively large production run that's sold in volume in numerous case assortments.  A larger run of a given Basic Figure is cheaper to produce since manufacturers tend to discount bulk orders.  Smaller, more specialized orders tend to cost more per unit.  That increased cost for Hasbro is then passed on to the consumer.

-Special Features.  This figure has special features whether we care to admit it or not.  It has new paint apps, new packaging and the additional Star Case thrown in.  Those additional features further drive up the cost of this item.

-The Retailer.  Take a look at which retailers are pricing in what manner.  Because when an exclusive like this is proposed both Hasbro and the retailer have a hand in setting the price point.  Toys R Us has actually been somewhat reasonable with the prices of exclusive figures.  They've set a price point of $9.99 per unit (Holo Yoda, Silver figures).  Target and Star Wars Shop have set different prices.  This is where you can really make your voice heard.  If the $9.99 price point for an exclusive figure is acceptable to you, then patronize those retail outlets.  If the $14.99 price is too high for you, then don't partake in those exclusives.  Hasbro will see that pattern emerge and will work accordingly with retailers on future exclusives to price them at a point that the market will bear.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: Covert Ops Clone Trooper
« on: August 30, 2005, 03:45 PM »
They have the license from Hasbro until 2018.  They need to space things out.  Do you seriously think there are enough characters to make first run figures over the next 12 years?  No.  That's why there are going to be products like this.  That's why we're going to get a couple of dozen more Luke Skywalker's and Han Solo's.

If things like this are completely inexcusable...don't buy them.  Plain and simple.  If enough people are outraged and make it known by not buying these products then Hasbro will get the point.

There's no excuse for doing this crap before all the film characters have been done. (Well, besides short-term monetary gain.)

When did Hasbro stop being a business and become a charity?  We have to deal with reality here.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: Covert Ops Clone Trooper
« on: August 30, 2005, 03:27 PM »
Given Hasbro's history with the way they handled the Batman line, how are people not surprised by this?  Maybe I just have incredibly low (or perhaps realistic) expectations of them given their track record.  Because let's face facts...there are no more movies for them to draw from to fill out the toy line.  This is probably going to be the first of many such products.

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