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Messages - JediJman

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Rogue One / Re: The Playset Thread
« on: August 19, 2016, 12:06 AM »
I placed my first order today.  I'd say these guys have pretty much "nailed it" - this is exactly the type of thing I've been begging to be made now for years. 

Once the 3.75" ones are available, I'm going to probably drop a few hundred bucks on that first order.

Thanks for the tip.  I just placed an order for two of the core sets and one add on set.  I was going to get two add on sets, but it knocked the shipping up from $27 to $45.  Woot!?  I must have crossed a threshold for shipping. 

Rogue One / Re: Rogue One - U-Wing Starfighter
« on: August 17, 2016, 12:17 PM »
I wish there was some happy medium here.  I get that Hasbro wants to scale it down because of costs, limited shelf footprint, play factor, etc.  But they clearly could have made this a little bigger like the $40-50 X-Wing and TIEs we got for TFA.  I don't care so much that its to scale, but when the movie clip shows two people in the cockpit and this clearly only seats one, that's a big miss for me.  Skimp on the cargo hold or other areas if you need to.  That's the best part of the BMF for me - the fact that you can get four figures in the cockpit the way you see it in the movie.  I'm less excited about the design than most people anyway, so this is another one I'll probably wait on for a sale. 

As for 3P companies, you would be surprised what's out there for other toy lines. The Masterpiece Transformers market has several 3P companies constantly releasing new items, to the point where there is probably 3-4 times as many 3P products coming out as official Hasbro figures.  Despite being smaller, their costs are typically on par with what Hasbro is charging.  What they lack in volume and staff, they make up for in not having overhead, marketing, etc.  And once the design is out there, there are copycat companies that reproduce a fair amount of official and 3P figures for a fourth of the cost. 

Here's an example - a 3P company called Warbotron made a Combaticons set, with all five individual bots that transform into their own vehicle, then also combine to form Bruticus.  The designs and quality are incredible.  You could buy the set for about $450, but that's under $100 per figure and these are far more complex designs than a standard figure/playset/ship given that they need to transform into multiple things.  Once these were on the market, two different companies started producing knock-offs with different color designs.  You can buy a knock off version, which apparently has similar quality standards, for about $20 a bot.

So, the dream of having 3P companies produce ships isn't that unrealistic from a "can they do it" aspect.  There just hasn't been much of this in the Star Wars space for some reason.  Hasbro is probably more protective of the Star Wars property internationally, and I think there's some loop holes in getting around the licensing depending on the country of origin.  They would just need to be creative in keeping it differentiated enough to not incur copyright infringement. 

Don't want the whole case?  Pre-order Hux and Asty singles now at EE -

First Order General Hux - $21.99, September arrival

X-Wing Pilot Asty - $21.99, September arrival

Those are great prices - wish they had offered that before I bought the full case!

Vintage Kenner / Re: Restoring Playsets and Vehicles
« on: August 17, 2016, 09:09 AM »
Do you guys know of a printable sticker paper that's higher quality that would work well?  Something that feels smooth or vinyl-ish and not like a cheap paper label?

I haven't found anything yet that doesn't look like an obvious reproduction.  I've actually had better luck finding stickers from spare parts and just gluing them onto my keeper vehicle or playset.  I was a little apprehensive about using glue on a vintage collectible, but its just adhesive with the authentic sticker, and comes out looking the best IMHO.

Star Wars Anthology / Re: Star Wars Spin-Off #2 - Han Solo!
« on: August 12, 2016, 03:37 PM »
Apparently they have also posted some of the Young Han Solo audition tapes.  I feel better about the actor they went with now.

Star Wars Anthology / Re: Star Wars Spin-Off #2 - Han Solo!
« on: August 12, 2016, 12:17 PM »
One actor who's name is popping up for the role is Donald Glover. 

Donald Glover would be perfect.  Here's a random picture of him on the street for reference.

The Bullpen / Re: Marvel Universe
« on: August 11, 2016, 01:57 PM »
I almost wish Hasbro would just pick a scale for Marvel and stick with it... stores locally don't bother stocking 3.75 inch figures, and we get like 2 cases of 6 inch a year that pegwarm. Then there's the non-collector stuff that sits there. Could possibly free up some resources for Hasbro, etc.

The 6 inch Build-a-Figure concept also has its pros and cons.  In theory, Hasbro sells more figures as someone who would have only bought some of the wave is forced to buy all the figures to make the BAF.  In practice, I don't think that's working so well at retail for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, outside of die hard collectors most people don't want to drop $160 on a set of action figures or don't want all of the various characters, so they only cherry pick a few from each wave.  Those that do want the full wave likely won't see them all in the same place at the same time, so why buy a partial set at retail?  It pretty much forces peg-warming with each and every wave, especially when some figures are 2 per case or you get an extra set of Odin arms.  I don't even see the pegs clear out with 50% off sales.  I ordered the XMen wave online from EE because its so hard to find them all in one place at retail, and I didn't even want Iceman, Cable, or the Juggernaut BAF.   ::)

I think there's also something to getting a figure that includes a BAF part you will never use.  Instead of feeling like a cool pack-in bonus, it feels like something unwanted or unusable that you paid extra for.  That doesn't create a lot of good will for the line.  I really enjoy the 6 inch figures, but between the extra BAF parts I don't need and the constant repacked/return/theft you find at almost every store, it's a disheartening line to collect sometimes.   They must be doing okay because Hasbro keeps making them, but I'd much rather see $15ish figures without BAFs. 

The Force Awakens / Re: Retail Prices/Sales/Discounts
« on: August 11, 2016, 09:08 AM »
The Takodana Encounter multipack is now on clearance at Target.  I saw one yesterday for $17.48.

Yeah, someone local found one for around $13 already.  That didn't take long.

Vintage Kenner / Re: Restoring Playsets and Vehicles
« on: August 10, 2016, 02:23 PM »
Can you actually order from them or just access images you need to print on your own?  Looks like their last update was in 2010...

I'd take the Sandtrooper, Dave, if you want to go for it a split costs.

Done deal.  You get the Sandtrooper for $30 and I get the other three figures for $30, right?   ;)

I might bite at this price.  Have to check the checkbook, but $15 per fig isn't awful...

It wouldn't be if the figures were more interesting.

- Might be nice to have another Sandtrooper variation, but I don't have to have it
- A red Stormtrooper is just kind of stupid (sorry for those who love it)
- I really don't need another TIE Pilot 
- I would love to have the astromech

Yeah, that's pretty much my assessment too.  My collector math says the astromech is cool for $20, and I'd probably buy up an extra Sandtrooper variation for $20 if it was released on its own.  Another TIE Pilot for $10 isn't bad and that leaves the goofy red Stormtrooper as a $10 novelty.  Not a great deal, but I'm thinking about it...

The Bullpen / Re: Marvel Universe
« on: August 10, 2016, 11:47 AM »
It's a tough environment for sure, but I'm not sure much can be done about it.  All these big companies have goals to increase margin percentages (vs. overall profit).  I know they fall back on rising production costs, and I'm sure those are increasing, but what they don't talk about is their internal need to make higher percentages on new items as well.  Margin percent growth is typically tied to senior leader compensation and is highly valued by Wall Street Analysts for stock price growth, so most big companies tend to focus on growing the margin percent versus the overall profit.

For example, let's say a figure used to cost Hasbro $5 to make.  If they made a 50% margin, they would sell to retail for $7.50 and if retail sells at a 50% margin, our cost was $11.25.

Now let's say that same figure costs $7 for Hasbro.  We don't just see the price go to $13.25.  Hasbro's margin target has maybe moved to 75%, so they sell to retailers at $12.50.  Retailers want higher margins as well, so if they also have a 75% mark up, now our price is $21.40. 

We're paying $10 more per figure in this example, but the cost is only 20% of the increase.  The rest is all higher margins demands.   :-[  Even if they could get lower production costs, they're not going to move backwards on their margins.

I might bite at this price.  Have to check the checkbook, but $15 per fig isn't awful...

Got mine in the mail today.  I was on the fence about them, but they're pretty cool additions in person.  Good value for the $55 price tag I think.

When the price is marked down to a '4' as the last digit, that is the final clearance price. 

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