« on: March 19, 2014, 05:09 PM »
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.