« on: March 19, 2014, 01:18 AM »
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.