« on: December 7, 2013, 11:07 AM »
That's a great point about the CommTech Reader. Way ahead of its time and shy of the mark of real interactivity. If they had integrated that technology into the vehicles/playsets, or beyond to any kind of gaming, then maybe. But that was 15 years ago (!!!). The more I think about it, it's the toy industry in general, rather than any particular brand, that is suffering right now.
We've talked about it before, but SW is actually proving to be somewhat bulletproof - very few if any brands could survive the (many) near death experiences it has had, and that includes right now, post TPM 3D. The line chugs along, hobbled, but alive. The toy industry is suffering from rising production costs, labor costs, loss of customers to video games/electronics, and I think the internet - Amazon and their batshit prices are a great example of the slow bleed online has had on retail toy shopping. Who out there right now on the fence on 6 inch is going to pick up those shelf warming Lukes or R2's when they can get them for $10 online? $9? Maybe it gets them into the game long term, but it also keeps the shelves nice and warm.
A gigantic part of collecting for most of us for a long time has been the hunt. That's slowly eroded, and with the state of things being what they are, we've reached a tipping point where ordering online is really your only option. That only escalates the situation at retail, and you have articles out there now about Toys R Us struggling quite a bit. If TRU shrank or went under, you're talking about the effective end of the retail collector. Wal-Mart may be the largest toy buyer in the world, but TRU supports such a broad range of lines unavailable anywhere else that the toy industry would be reduced to whatever kids play with right before they turn on their first iPad.
I think there will always be a place for action figures, and Star Wars toys, but what does that look like? No idea at this point.