« on: May 12, 2003, 12:46 PM »
I like Scott's point regarding competition. Spidey, LOTR, Marvel Legends have probably all captured their share of the attention, notably LOTR. Too few dollars for too many lines. Of course, this really shouldn't bother retailers.
Non-movie year? Well sure, but isn't it a non movie year for Spidey too? Sure, he has universal appeal, but that much more than a Darth Vader? I suppose, but I cannot get over the sheer amount of spiderman stuff out there. And where I am, lots of it is just sitting on the pegs. I think the spidey folks are suffering from Hasbro-itis - crappy case assortments. Never find a Hobgoblin, but about 8 billion spideys with that guy webbed to the lamp post (looks like crap, IMO).
A theory from a guy on another board (Canuckian) is that this is comparable to the slowdown post Episode I. Product will be hard to find because production has been ramped down considerably owing largely to a change in cardbacks to the Clone Wars line. Think R2-B1, holo Sidious, TC-14. Sales poor, glut of older, undesirable product (Tusken with child, Jar Jar). Almost makes sense. There may even be hope as POTJ (outside of the hideous continuous shipping of Leia, Chewie and Aurra that Canadians saw) had good case mixes and distribution. Maybe the same will happen for Clone Wars (quality wise as well).
I don't think the war had squat to do with it. China could care less (where product was made) and shipping goes nowhere near the middle east. The war was of short duration so there is no reason for a slow down. Besides, the drought started before the war began for many of us.
Same goes for SARS. I really don't expect much of an impact. Maybe someone from Toronto would like to comment but relative to what the media told you, for most places the impact was rather minor. Toronto being the example. Certainly China had a much larger number of cases, but I have never seen a reputable report that it ever impacted Hasbro's operations. People still go to work regardless.
I never thought of Easter as a hot toy season at all. Up North (eh?) once March rolls around, swimsuits and swimming toys dominate and the remainder of the toy section is largely ignored, as well as downsized. The local Zellers cuts its toy aisle space in half. Most is taken up by "girls toys" and infant toys - non-seasonal type stuff. "Boys toys" tend to get downsized in favor of sporting equipment. Please excuse the gender stereotyping. But I believe stores still do it.
End of card + slow season + increased demand = poor distribution?
Just my WAG.