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Messages - Jesse James

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I don't think anyone's arguing that Leia or Greedo would have been a better choice than Han.  The example I gave was Fett versus Han.  I have seen Han on pegs, but I've never seen Fett.

Nor am I, I'm simply making the point that seeing Han doesn't mean he was necessarily a bad choice...  I'm also pretty sure Hasbro said Fett's coming back, no?  I thought that was the case, but maybe I'm wrong.  I bet he does though.  Perhaps Han is doubled up because of all the extra stuff?  They need to get their money's worth out of the mold? 

Regardless, he's selling well enough here I think he's a fair choice...  The best?  I never said that, nor do I believe it, but he's not a bad one either by my estimation to see again.

The total numbers of Greedo and Leia at my area Target stores indicates to me though, that being a tad more conservative with their orders would've benefited them.  Like other stores were.  Or run a sale to manage the overstock they now have of Wave 2, to help Wave 3 come in, like TRU does.

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I think that's a cop out on Hasbro's part.  If they would normally sell 1,000 cases at an expense of $20 per case or sell 1,500 cases at an expense of $30 per case, they should be break even at worst, and you can't tell me the reissued stuff sells as fast as the new stuff would.
 

It's something Hasbro's consistently said throughout the Q&A...  If you think it's a cop-out that's your prerogative, but I disagree.  Accounting on a wave-by-wave basis is done because Hasbro has to be conservative...  Rather pay for a wave now, than hopefully pay for it later...  Which would be much later because, as I said, decisions in toy manufacturing are like steering a tanker, not a speedboat. 

You'll plan out this "Greatest Hits" wave, but by the time it's ready for release who knows what's going on, right?  The line's popularity at retail or what they're willing to order, etc.  By costing it out by wave, Hasbro forces the retailer to pay for it now, rather than decide to cover manufacturing costs later on by buying what essentially is an all repack/repaint wave.

What if that wave sees no support?  They're not fans of high risk choices I've noticed...  Especially where the 4" line's concerned.

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If you issue 6 new figures x2 then I can gobble up two of each as one buyer, I can split the assortment with a friend, or I can sell off a complete set on the secondary market.
 

I don't disagree with that as a COLLECTOR, but Hasbro's hardly one to place its bets on the collector market either.  To them, toys are still for kids.  Not the guy willing to buy the whole case.  They say we're the minority.  Feel free to not believe that either, I just know that's their stance, and that they want the mom/dad or kid $, and the casual consumer $.

I'm not even disagreeing that it's ideal for us because my buddy and I would split cases all day long, ordering online...  Then again, Hasbro wants bigger retailer support first, so maybe that plays some part in case assortment decisions too?  I'd love 2x 6 new figures in each case though, but I'm simply saying what Hasbro's position is...  Costing out a wave is done so on a wave-by-wave basis so a wave pays for itself, rather than paying for it down the line.

TPM3D was "paying for it" down the line (a wave of almost entirely new being paid for by repacking what you can for the next 3-4 waves).  It didn't work well because TPM3D didn't work well.  We saw this coming (me too, I was bemoaning TPM3D merchandising all the way).  Hasbro didn't.  Perhaps they couldn't.  Perhaps they were being told to support it LFL's way.

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I get there's a cost element to what they're doing - I just believe that the added volume sales and increased sales velocity more than makes up for it.


Again I say it's a risk, and time issue...  Pay for it now than later, taking a risk you won't make up the costs in all these new toolings by putting out repack waves further down the road, which would have to be much further because of the boat steering analogy.  You won't know what's "good" till wave 1's out a while...  Maybe even wave 2 or 3...  when does that Greatest Hits wave even get compiled, produced, and shipped?  You can guess, but the first wrong guess and you've got collectors once again up your ass online saying you're the devil because you guessed wrong, plus you've got the same issues you always had.

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Which is why I suggested a Greatest Hits wave each year.  You want cheaper cases and need repacks for profit?  Evaluate which figures from the last 1-2 years are in greatest demand by end of May, then release a Greatest Hits wave for the holidays every year.  There's no new tooling time involved and they can make 1x of each figure to minimize peg warming.  And its the holidays, so they can capitalize on added gift volume.  Nevermind the fact that you're getting HTF figures out to people who missed them and at least giving the appearance that you care about something other than your profit per case metric.

I've noticed that, like I said, in today's market even the slightest bit of saturation means the figure pegwarms...  I think your view is idealistic, and I don't think it's a bad idea, I just don't think it'll work.  I like idealistic, and wish it would work, but I don't think it would work NOW is maybe the way to put it. 

Not factoring in Hasbro's insistence that a wave be costed out on its own...  Forgetting that, it's not 2007 where "Greatest Hits" was a glorious group of things people hadn't found before.  And it seemed to sell well.  2007 was a great year.  Greatest Hits financed the main line, for the most part, it seemed, and fans were clamoring for both.

Does that model work NOW though, in 2014?  The line's limped along for some years.  It's far more costly now than 2007 as well.  That worked 2 years removed from a movie and with a big cartoon blitz on the horizon, in a 30th anniversary year of the original film.  THAT was a great year to collect.  The greatest year, hands down, to me.  It was fantastic, and it kind of worked in a fashion like you're talking about Justin, but I just don't see that working now.  Collectors are at an all time low, and if we are, then you know kids really are out of it.

I think you might see something like that come back in the future, with new movies and new material, but not right now.  If those Greatest Hits DON'T sell that holiday season, and they may not, then Hasbro's in trouble on what it sunk a lot of $ into with all the new tooling they put out leading up to the holidays.

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Sophisticated retailers don't have some guy with a clipboard deciding when to reorder each line of SW figures.  These are automated systems that for the most part do a pretty good job of determining volume needs vs. inventory on hand.  In my opinion, the crappy assortment offerings (I'm looking at you TPM wave, Malgus wave, earlier waves etc.) drove slower turns and backed up retailer inventory.
 

I had the benefit of learning both systems when I graduated in 1998, working management for J.C. Penney first, then Service Merchandise.  Both had on-hand store merchandisers, but also automated systems for reordering product.  I'm pretty well versed in both, which most people here are.

My point is that K-Mart also doesn't have a man with a clipboard...  But they're able to keep a conservative order rate going, and sell through.  They have a comparable number of stores, yet are considered the most incompetent retailer in America.  But they're ahead of Target on this.  Because Target's re-ordering has been a disaster of late.  With 4" TBS it was their DPCI debacle, but as soon as the flood gates of that were opened, TBS wave 1 poured into my local Target stores even though they're already behind the curve on it.

KM on the other hand, conservative ordering meant smooth shipments of new product steadily over the holidays.  4" TBS Wave 1, 2, and 3.  Same with 6" TBS Wave 1 and 2.  Target's capable of that, no?  That's all my point is on the matter.

Likewise, Wal-Mart is, but they are the opposite of Target...  They're basically abandoning much of the Star Wars line right now, probably biding their time till new movies...  They could conservatively order and have steady streams of new figures as they're released without the logjam of getting in 3+ cases at a time of any given wave. 

Perhaps Target and WM don't want to be like that because they feel the sales volume doesn't meet the floor space it would eat up, and Target would rather sit on 8 of each 6" Greedo/Slave Leia, and scads of Wave 1 4" TBS figures, but K-Mart manages it well and so I think it's safe to say two superior stores should be able to do the same.

TRU manages it through sales...  Larger volumes wind up sitting and they do a BOGO50% sale, which tends to move larger volumes of toys.  Their method is different, but it too works. 

Wal-Mart doesn't support the line for the most part, right now.  I think we all see that pretty consistently.  Target is overzealous in what's coming in when they are ordering, things back up, then they stall out...  Case assortments can be blamed for part of that, but when other stores aren't running into the same problem Target is, and are having sell-through, it makes you think maybe case assortments aren't ALL the problem, and perhaps during these lean times Target should start taking a more conservative ordering approach, ala K-Mart, and keep product flowing through its stores on its own...  since, obviously it's an attainable goal for a retailer...  even without a guy with a clipboard in each store micromanaging the situation.

I'd agree with you on this 6" OWK...  Hasbro loves him, says kids love him, but while I'm sure that's probably the case, I think $20 figures are a clear Collector item, very little else aside from casual adult buyers, and a kid isn't looking there.  I am guessing they feel 6" Ani will push 6" OWK sales?  But I agree with you, I think doubling up on OWK is a dumb move.  I think Clone repaints were a dumb move too for repacks, but then again the Scout didn't exactly blow out the door either in the 4" TBS line.

I'm far from saying Hasbro's blameless...  But I just feel at this point retailers should shoulder the majority of it because I see retailers selling Hasbro's cases well, through sales or conservative ordering.  I see other retailers either not supporting the line (WM) or overordering the line and then sitting on their thumbs (Target), and you can't blame Hasbro for that when others are coping.

Maybe things will change during a movie year?  2007 feels like a lifetime ago though, and I just don't think that tactic works till there's more interest in Star Wars globally than there has been in the last 5 or so years.

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The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars Episode VII
« on: March 19, 2014, 01:24 AM »
BDW isn't looking so hot on Dancing with the Stars...  Was kinda hoping he'd get in shape from the show for the movie, but, uh, no.  :-\

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I thought the Snags/Droids set came out together, but didn't recall a 3rd set.  Again though it's so easy to forget because it is old stuff in a new box.  I thought all that wave had a new figure in each set though?

What was the wave of 3-packs before it?  Was that the 9-pack set?

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Kmart distribution is easier to manage now that they're down to 37 stores. You're lucky to still have one around.  I definitely think retail plays a role in lack of availability,  but I think you're ignoring some really terrible assortment choices from Hasbro that aren't helping matters.  Look at the 6" line.  The first wave sold fairly evenly with 4 different figs.  W2 doubles up on Han and no one can find Fett. W3 doubles up on Kenobi when everyone wants at least one Stormtrooper.  Complain about retail all you want - if it was your store and you were sitting around with extra Ben and Han figures, you'd be gun shy about ordering the next wave of figures too.  There are some obvious misses in these selections (double up on Fett, use a repainted Sandtrooper for your 4th "extra" figure, double up on Stormtrooper, etc) that would help retail sell through faster and regain their confidence in the line.  On the 4" side I will never understand why they don't release all new figure cases (2x of 6 for example), then manage in a greatest hits case one a year with the figures that were most popular.

I have 2 within 20 minutes, both pretty clean nice stores...  I have 4 within 45-50 minutes...  maybe a few more actually, not sure, but they're all in different directions ultimately.

The two fairly close to me though I hit regularly since both are on my commute, plus between my gf's house and mine.

Anyway, quite the contrary on ignoring case assortments...  You point out 6" Wave 2, which I just mentioned recently on this very topic.  It's EVERYWHERE here, for sure, but Han isn't among it.  Maybe your area's suffering because of it being Target's HQ?  In our area, Greedo and Leia are out in scads, including Target, TRU, and K-Mart.  But Han's a tough find.  Last one I saw was overpriced at the book store, but it's gone now too as of last weekend.

WM doesn't carry 6" figures at any of the ones I haunt.  Target has steadily got Wave 2 in, but that steady flow has led to tons of Leia and Greedo.  There were 8 of each at my nearby Target just last weekend.  Again, I say over-ordering caused that, but Han is gone. 

My KM got a case of 2 in, they sold out, they got another case in, sold out, and on the 3rd case Leia and Greedo haven't sold.  The other K-Mart I hit frequently has Leia, no Greedo.  An X-Wing Luke as well.

I don't disagree on Fett, Stormtrooper...  They're no-brainers to come back at some point. But again, in my area where a store ordered Wave 2, it's more Leia/Greedo than Han...  Even if it were Han, the finger I'd be pointing is how many cases the store ordered though.  Target having 8 of each of the other 2 figures is pretty sad.

I don't think K-Mart's that much "easier" to manage in that regard...  I don't work there though, or Target, but they have almost the same number of stores by your numbers, so I guess I don't consider that a factor.

On the 4" end of things, Hasbro's said a wave is costed out by itself...  6 new figures doubled-up in a case isn't likely to happen, short of a line launch or movie line...  Even then, unlikely they haven't factored in repacks for subsequent waves.  Repacks/repaints are something Hasbro's basically said are a necessity to get that obscure new character or whatever...  I don't know why they do things that way.

If it takes a repacked Scout or something like that, to get you Plagueis or Vizam, I tend to accept it.  Much like if cheap low-risk junk like Angry Birds toys nets me a figure I want while Hasbro grasps at the kid dollar, I'm ok with that.

Like I said...  If you short any figure, you'll have griping.  If you overload any figure, griping.  Since the line's like steering a tanker, rather than a speedboat, in terms of turn-around time with adjustments, I think Hasbro's GENERALLY (again, I think that 6" Obi-Wan is a misstep, and some of the Clone repacks they've gone with) done well for a time when the line hasn't had much of any media support at all.

I think we've also seen that retailers who don't contain their ordering, or who go the polar opposite direction and basically ignore the Star Wars section all together, are miserable to deal with for the most part.  Hasbro's certainly not perfect, but they shoulder 99% of the blame in the collector community.  I think that's anger that should be sent more to the retailers not supporting the line at all, or not being conservative enough to manage the flow of product at all.

A bit of an aside here.  Most of our "Glock K-Mart" stores are gone...  One is more along the lines of a 30-06 store than a Glock, but it's in a poorer rural area.  At this one, your car will be there, but dependent upon how "Purdy" your mouth may be, you may wish you had remote start.  It's a pretty rough store, shittiest of employees, and camo's a bit of a uniform there.  I got my first Ewok sets there on store pick up.  What a fiasco.

My area's rural but it zoned against big box stores actually, so K-Mart's about the only thing here aside from small places like Family Dollar, a Big Lots, or Dollar General.  It's kind of nice in a way, but kind of not when you want variety.

On the other hand, I have literally $90 in free money to spend at K-Mart because I use the Reward Zone thing a lot, and if you pay attention to it and all the coupons you can make an assload of cash to use on anything, plus $.30 fuel perk coupons at BP.

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The Bullpen / Re: Captain America: Winter Soldier: The Toys!
« on: March 18, 2014, 01:00 AM »
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not sure there is a foul here.

This is funny when in the context of talking about a guy named Falcon.

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Watto's Junk Yard / Re: The Walking Dead
« on: March 18, 2014, 12:12 AM »
Killing off those awful girls is the best thing this show has done all season.

Yeah, totally agreed...  I didn't care for them as characters, and I hated the TD "somber" tone going with it.  A) it's a TV show, grow up.  B) Lizzie was annoying as a character and I was glad she was gone.

Totally agreed Brent, on the "serial killer" thing...  When it got into my head via here that Lizzie was the one doing the feeding I figured she was at killer-level then, and then her attempt on Judith just solidified that.

Melissa McBride is HAWT I think...  But she's dull as a dick in dishwater on Talking Dead.  Very much like Maggie...  Some of the actors have little to say.  She's one of them.  She's as timid seemingly as her character is on the show.

Anyway, loved the arc, and how that wrapped up nice and tidy...  Tyrese doesn't want to kill her.  She's back in the fold.  The kids are gone (except the baby), which is much simpler to deal with...  I liked it.

It was well acted and shot...  Lizzie playing with the zombie in the yard and things. 

You could just see the little girl's death coming, but yeah, I didn't expect it to come as it did...  I really figured zombie.  LIzzie lures one in, it gets her sister, etc.  No way I saw the twist.  I didn't think they'd go there, but wow.

I liked it all around though.

I too agree with you McMetal on the fire being Darryl/Beth's place they lit.  That puts Darryl/Beth somewhere down the tracks theoretically, further towards TurmANUS I guess?  It does seem to me like episodes have jumped a bit in terms of timing, but they all almost had to basically end up in the same place so it makes some sense I guess.

I'd been missing Ricchone for a while but I liked that they said the long absenses is to make you realize how "separated" the group is ultimately.  I like that aspect of the show.

TD, the comedian wasn't funny, and Carol wasn't interesting...  CM Punk seemed to be ignored, and Hardwick was acting like he was at a real funeral over it...  Good lord.  If you guys who hated TD before had watched it, you'd be ranting today I feel sure.  I was bored to tears, and basically just found the facts about the episode, the make-up effects thing, and the preview to be interesting.  The rest was too much people making more out of it than it was.  I didn't freak out after the Red Wedding like they were moping around over this episode of TD.  Lame.

The Ol Yeller moment was rough, but come on...  Sophia's sequence was far more intense, from Shane's first freak-out moments to the end when Rick was the only one with the pair to go do the deed.

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The Black Series 6" Figures / Re: 6" Black Series - 2014 Wave 1
« on: March 17, 2014, 11:43 PM »
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My point about the store report was not some inane "hey look at me" self-wank

Haha.  That just read funny.

We appreciate anyone reporting their finds, especially new stuff...  It helps everyone, ultimately.

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I suppose if it's the one you need.  I can't recall what those sets were now...  I never paid them much mind because they were all repacks for the most part.  I wanted the Hoth Trooper one and the ones with new figures, and that was it.

Even with new figures though, they didn't do great...  Even on sale...  Further proof at the overall line's health through no fault of anyone.

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I honestly don't recall seeing this, but if it was in those large Target sets of 9 figures, I probably would've not known, nor cared, because they were all repacks...  It'd only be of interest to a carded collector, but I have a feeling if this is part of the Target big 9-packs then you can find it in the 9-pack for less than what he paid for it individually, which would be funny as all get out.

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Joe Defender / Re: 2014 Club Membership Figures/Vehicle
« on: March 17, 2014, 01:35 AM »
I get Joe info second hand since I don't buy the line, so I didn't even know who the figure was that was causing a fuss, but man it sounded like Star Wars bitching x 1000.  :)  Part of me always likes knowing there's a crowd more manic than the Star Wars one in some way.

I get what you're saying Greg, but if you were guaranteed that ONLY some sanctioned club thing could get you the Tonnika's and a handful of figures Hasbro just out and out said, "Nope, never will happen under us specifically, but a 'fan club'...  eh...  yeah...  we'd let them do something", I'd cave on something like that.

Something mass produced, not "garage kit" stuff made out of resins and whatnot...  Something real, sanctioned, and interesting.  I'd pay the premium I think if it were done decently.

It is far, far more difficult (and impossible, really, given licenses and such) for that to happen with Star Wars, than Joe, since part swapping isn't nearly as universal...  But the thought just entered my mind.  To get the Tonnika's?  And I mean, good Tonnika's, not just Padme's with a different deco or something, then I'd probably be in.  I'd bitch on the price, but I'd be in.

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TV-9D9 / Re: The Clone Wars - Season Six?
« on: March 14, 2014, 02:12 AM »
Not watched all these yet, just got through Mace/Jar Jar, but I think Jar Jar was having tantric sex or something...  I'm skeeved.

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I can't recall POTJ a lot now that I think back...  I know I got tons of the Imperial Officer at Wal-Mart though, and I think some at a store called Family Toy Ware(whore)house that we used to have around here...  Not sure how national they were back in the day but their prices were always a tad higher but the store was 15 minutes away so I couldn't gripe in my young days.

I remember getting tons of that Imp Officer/FX7 Wave though at WM.  K-Mart, I can't recall, but I know they had the Deluxes in before everyone else...  And I cleaned up on the wave 2 of deluxes on clearance at Ames (heh, Ames...  The poor man's Hills).

Just thinking back, hell, how many stores did we have that aren't around anymore too...  That's what happens when places like Target and WM kill off competition.  It's kind of disheartening to know how many fewer places there are now, than then, that sell toys.  No wonder Amazon and online stores like EE and BBTS are better options.

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JD Sports Forum! / Re: NHL 2013-14
« on: March 13, 2014, 12:06 AM »
3 Point System thoughts?

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The Black Series 6" Figures / Re: 6" Black Series - 2013 Wave 2
« on: March 13, 2014, 12:05 AM »
Should be multi-use Rob.

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Another reminder for all our readers!


Pittsburgh's Steel City Con (www.SteelCityCon.com) returns to the Monreoville Convention Center just East of downtown Pittsburgh, on April 11th, 12th, & 13th!

Steel City Con has grown, and doubled in size recently, and it has so much to offer that it's much more than just a toy show now...  There are costume contests, gaming tournaments, celebrities, special guests, panels, and more. 

This show features some special sci-fi guests for April as well!

Star Trek: The Next Generation fans will be excited to see Jonathan Frakes (Cmdr. Riker, and Brent Spiner (Lt. Cmdr. Data) both are attending!  This is a first for the show, and I actually have to say as a fan of the show I'm pretty star-struck to see these two...  I'm excited that they're attending!

Star Wars fans aren't let down though, as Demot Crowley (General Crix Madine) and Femi Taylor (Oola) will also be in attendance, flying in from England for the show!  These are pretty special guests, and I'm excited to see both attending!

They're a huge get for the show, since they're coming in from England for it.  Very nice!

Other guests include Lee Majors, George "The Animal" Steele, local legend Bruno Sammartino and continuing a new tradition of always having a Walking Dead actor, Travis Love (The Governor's gunman Shumpert, who escaped with Martinez), are all in attendance!  It's an ever-growing show I'm always excited to attend.

3 Day Passes go fast now, and get you priority seating at events, and into the show earlier than non pass holders.

December's show was packed, and I'm sure April's will be as well with hopefully better weather!

As always I'll be there, and I'd really love to see some Jedi Defender fans there as well!  Hit me up if you're attending, and we can hang out after for some dinner with members of the PSWCS.

If you have ANY questions on attending you can contact the show itself or you can contact me as well.  I'm always happy to act as an ambassador for the city and the area.

www.SteelCityCon.com

I'll be attending as will members of the PSWCS throughout the weekend...  I have a few Vintage wants I'm going to be tracking down this show now that I put my loose figure collection out.  I need some upgrades and a Wicket for some reason.

It's been ages since I bought a Vintage figure it seems!  Need a new Leia for sure. :(

This show's always great for Star Wars...  Vintage has dwindled but there are gems, always.  Modern is more dominant and I always walk out with deals there!

Look forward to going, and hopefully seeing some of you at the show!

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