They can say it all they want, its a cop out, or at the least very bad portfolio management. Like Dave, I work for a manufacturer of a variety of products and those come with a variety of different margins. Beyond basic portfolio management, it's just simple math that If you put out product that turns faster and sells more volume, you can afford higher input costs. Putting out mostly repacks that take a long time to sell probably does drive them to minimize their cost per case, but that's failure of their own design.
I don't know what industries you or Dave work in, but I'd guess managing a toy line for a major movie series differs slightly unless you're in a similar field.
For instance the TPM3D line... First wave, pretty good stuff from the standpoint of it being new, quality figures... The film it's surrounded by, not so much, and it failed. We personally all probably agreed this looked ugly when we saw repacks of TPM3D figures, but Hasbro was banking on popularity, possibly at the behest of LFL.
I'm simply saying many factors would go into why they did what they did. We may disagree, and we'd have been right to, but why they did what they did has many levels to it I'm sure.
Your idea I think revolves, a lot, around the idea the line will turn anything around quickly. I think the line's not suited for that right now. I think it's at a point where anything doubled up will sit if a retailer gets just that one too many cases. Like Dave said, double up on Torryn Far and you may not like what you see.
Then again short her, and a retailer only gets one case in, and others aren't supporting the line maybe like we are seeing right now, and you'll have people clamoring for her... Then she's being demanded in that greatest hits assortment you're hypothesizing and she gets out in droves at the holidays... Then she's a pegwarmer. See the pattern?
That could be said of any case. Do you think a single greatest hits wave with the 12 most sought for figures from the last year or two will sell LESS volume than a constant flow of cheaper-to-produce, less popular remakes that were just made available in previous waves? That Malgus wave is a prime example of what happens when you only offer a few new figures per case. As a retailer, crap like that would surely scare me away from reorders, and that's why I'm not willing to fault them much for not having what I want to buy.
I think Hasbro's looking not at just cost savings, but what they think will move... You say less popular, but the Clone repacks in theory should still do well at retail. This is basing it on Hasbro's idea that the line has to appeal to someone other than you and I.
Again, is a case of 12 HTF figures great for us? Yes. Is it great at retail if it's the case available? I'd argue the idea would be possibly catastrophic. You put out something collectors say they couldn't find too much, and it'll clog pegs. Collector figures don't necessarily drive the line would be my point there. Again, according to Hasbro (feel free to assume they're lying to you), obscurity is paid for by the things we hate, like a Clone repaint/repack. Put Vizam or Torryn Far out again because you had a hard time finding them the first time, they're possibly pegwarmer bombs just waiting to happen.
I'm sure some figure names you're throwing out will do well, but hypothetically others won't. You're in the same boat, but with their system (whether you believe or not) they're accounting for the wave now, rather than waiting to account for it later via your system... Which they may not accomplish. That's maybe poor portfolio management to you, but I'd say it's strong conservative accounting to them, in a year far removed from ANY media support for this toy line.
How is a greatest hits wave more risky than releasing less desired reissues throughout the year? A 12x1 wave based on input from fans, call centers, etc. couldn't do any worse than the repacks they're currently putting into new cases. I also suggested a holiday timing, when any figure is more likely to sell for kids and gifts. I would think retailers would eat this up, especially if Hasbro was willing to discount the case price a little. If you want retailer support, do something to earn it.
See above... Costing a wave by itself is obviously a more conservative move. Costing a wave by banking its costs are covered by a wave you're planning on releasing only through the 4th quarter of the year? You think that's not "risky"? Holiday timing is nice in theory too, but I don't know if you noticed but things getting here on time doesn't always happen with the Star Wars line.
Now you're wanting discounted prices on the cases designed to make up the cost of the figures you put out all year too. I just don't see how that's anything but "risky" when things aren't paid for yet, but you're going to put all your eggs into a basket for the end of the year.
Not to mention you'll still take the chance that something in THAT assortment doesn't move, especially if it's all hypothetically collector-targeted stuff that collectors couldn't find and are demanding.
I don't have the data to prove or disprove this, but my belief here is that Hasbro is fooling themselves. They don't really use the free research from sites like this, so I don't really trust their research elsewhere. Regardless, I think kids also prefer new figures to repacks, so this doesn't explain why repack assortments would fare any better than all new assortments.
Again, you're free to believe what you want. I can't argue against that. I think that kids do appreciate some new stuff, but I also think kids like main characters, Clones, and other stuff like that... When the line is actually popular. Which, at this point, I don't think it is with the mass market.
I thought Hasbro didn't care what collectors think? If that's true, then they're no worse off. Frankly, I think collector's would welcome any kind of plan other than packs of 12 with 4 new and 8 old figures. People are a lot more accepting when they see that you're trying to make things better versus staying the course on something that isn't working. I'd also argue that you don't have the same issues you always had because as soon as that next case comes in, its all new. Their problem is having pegwarmers, then a follow-up case that resupplies the figures already not selling.
Don't recall ever making that statement since there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. I never said Hasbro didn't CARE about what collectors think, I just simply stated they have to gear the line to other segments because collectors aren't the majority. If you feel differently despite being told otherwise, again that's your prerogative, but I doubt the line would've lasted half as long if it were a collector-targeted thing. Collectors as a whole like to talk big, and rarely back it up financially I've noticed.
Torryn Farr and the invite to Toy Fair every year is enough to realize they care about collector happiness to some degree though.
I think collector's general "acceptance" of Hasbro sways with the wind though too... Make the figure they want, regardless of pegwarming suicide, and they'll praise you. Try to make the figures and decisions necessary to make that instant pegwarmer though? They burn Hasbro at the stake. Hasbro tends to be in a no-win situation a lot of the time, when it comes to the adult collector segment.
Again, you don't agree with those being necessary decisions though, so that's fine. But outside of major movie blitzes or residual line popularity like 2007, I can't recall when the line didn't seem to need that kind of decision making to keep it going in the lean years.
Not seeing any rationale here why all new figures cases wouldn't work. Yes, they could muck up production levels and have too much supply, but they have that same risk with what they produce today, right? With the system I suggested, you could keep production levels near the lower end, then resupply with the most wanted figures in the GH case. That should help them control production vs. demand better than what they're using today. Am I missing something? I just don't see how it could be any worse off...
I've given you my rationale and I think you're choosing not to see it, personally... Not agreeing with it, I understand, but it's not like I avoided making points. I see your point of view... It's a more liberal one, IMO, by the details I laid out to you, and according to Hasbro's own point of view on how they run the line. I just don't see it working right now, nor jiving with the times.
I think in 2007 it may work well because a variation of it, of sorts, did work well... It wasn't quite as liberal, but it was still a risk by today's standards to have Legends be so collector-focused for a whole year. In 2014 it wouldn't work though, I don't believe. I think there are variables in figure choices in that Greatest Hits wave that would come into play, and could cause issues. There are timing/release issues I can see cropping up. Prices are way higher now, and people are far choosier in what they purchase. Not to mention the collector segment, which in theory that Legends stuff would be geared at, isn't what it once was. The buying power isn't there like it used to be, and that was long before 2013.
That's all aside from the fact Hasbro simply seems to run a more conservative model, for reasons we could only guess at... As bad as its portfolio management may be to you. Without knowing why, or all the variables they have in making such decisions, or simply without believing them in the first place, it's a tough thing to even argue at this point.
I am curious to know what you think KMart is doing differently from Target and Walmart in terms of reorder. The way you portray it, KMart either closely monitors distribution levels or has programmed in set limits on the number of cases they receive to avoid massive pegwarming. In truth, I bet their reorder systems are actually very similar in principle. The difference is that Target and Walmart sell much more volume than KMart.
I would assume the systems are virtually identical, but in my neck of the woods they're steadily selling figures, and steadily getting new product in to replace it. Target's getting in a lot of stuff, seemingly at once, and it's sitting after a short time... Let's say 6" as an example since they f'd themselves with the DPCI issue on 4" and it's slightly different.
In terms of 6" they got in a TON of Wave 1 to kick off the line... $20 action figures, they went all in. They had lots of pegwarmers. They got in tons of Wave 2 as well though, but it's sat pretty stagnant aside from Han/Fett.
K-Mart got in at best 2 cases at a time of any wave, launch or now. And that was at the holidays. A case was replaced after a time... A single figure or 2 may have hung on the pegs, but then another would come in eventually after some time for some reason. Then those would gradually sell even though they were "pegwarmers" by most people's standards... There were still some Wave 1 hanging, one or two maybe, then Wave 2 started shipping...
The same pattern continued. Wave 2 would sell down. One or two cases came in, went... One or two, etc.
Now Wave 3's surfacing. I expect the same thing.
Nobody's monitoring it any closer, it's just set to some different standard than Target's cases. Target is sitting on scads of Greedo and Leia. K-Mart isn't. I'm not expecting my Target to get many Wave 3 in right now, but who knows. Perhaps, with things being as they are, maybe volume selling on a line that clearly isn't a volume seller right now is bad business?
I haven't seen anything past Wave 1 4" TBS at Target or WM... Again the DPCI thing maybe screwed Target up there though. K-Mart and TRU have seen all 3 waves, just through different means. Perhaps Target should adopt TRU's methods since volume is their issue then? Doesn't explain WM basically ignoring the Star Wars section all together of course, but either sales or a more conservative re-order schedule might be in order for them? K-Mart may not have done Target's volume, but they're able to keep new product flowing right now when cases are supposedly destroying the line overall.
I've seen 6" Boba Fett between my two K-Mart stores no less than 8 times! And that's assuming I was the first one there, and more have been at these two stores. That's not bad numbers on Wave 2 of the 6" figures. It maybe took longer at K-Mart for that much to come through, but the stores aren't bogged with Leia and Greedo either like Target is. Perhaps spreading it out a little bit would help. Assuming they can adjust their system like most stores are able to. I know Penney's stores could, and that was 1998, so I'd assume Target could as well. Perhaps not though, and they're just stuck.
Don't get me wrong though, I see your point and don't disagree with it entirely even... I do think Hasbro can do better on case assortments. I don't agree that they're just lying to us, and I don't agree that they're better off with your overall plan, but I do think they can do better on case assortments. I think figure choices could improve though.
TPM3D came up a lot, but that's a weird situation which because of the 3D cancellations we won't be seeing again hopefully. Will a new movie line be much different though? I dunno.