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Messages - Darby

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Vintage Kenner / Re: Latest vintage acquisition
« on: November 24, 2013, 11:33 AM »
That's pretty cool. I have a small growing collection of cardbacks. I always get some at Quake in chicago for a buck or so, and always pick some up at shows too for cheap. You always find really interesting variations and it's a nice way of collecting carded without doing it.

Middle Earth / Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« on: November 21, 2013, 10:21 PM »
Reading around the webs I discovered some of the 4 inch scale figures are currently available in the UK:



Apparently Vivid, TBD's European counterpart, may be playing a different game with the line.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: 16 Most Useless SW Figures
« on: November 20, 2013, 11:18 PM »
Io9 itself is actually a really good site. The article was a little whatever but I thought it might prompt some discussion on what we thought were useless figures. Suppose it depends on your perspective. R5 definitely isn't useless. He's the quintessential I want that other droid gateway figure!

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / 16 Most Useless SW Figures
« on: November 19, 2013, 02:20 PM »
Interesting (and funny) article over at io9:

Be curious to see what we all consider the most 'useless.'

Star Wars is definitely singular and unique, in just about every way. And it's probably not fair to hold any other toy line against its past performance, even its modern incarnation. SW is an evergreen brand that maintains an aisle presence now going 20 years media support or no. These last few years have been unsuccessful perhaps in contrast to even 5 years ago, but compared to other toy lines? GI Joe for example? Hasbro owns GI Joe and they can't even make that work.

A good measure of what is working is TMNT. This is no doubt the hottest toy line out there right now. It has a weekly TV show, expansive product tie-ins, a legacy brand, and it moves. When Rebels shows up, and the new movies, SW will be fine. It won't be what it was, because it won't be for anyone. But whatever the future of toys is, SW will be a big part of it.

Middle Earth / Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« on: November 17, 2013, 12:02 AM »
That article I think explains a lot of this lines issues. I said before that this line was mismanaged - in a lot of ways I still i think it was but a combo of the movies being split into three (leaving us with legolas, tauriel and bolg but not azog) along with soft interest at retail all led to its failure. I'd be curious to know how well the Lego stuff is doing.

Sky landers is probably a good indicator. Witness the emphasis they put on telepods. An interactive element to the toy probably becomes necessary the further we go along. Definitely agree the model we are used to is history.

Outstanding article on the downward trend of action figure sales despite the proliferation of the movies that drive them:

Worth a read.

Middle Earth / Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« on: November 14, 2013, 07:38 PM »
From Bridge Direct's Facebook page:

"We know many fans would like to see a wider range of characters offered for DOS, however this is the complete line for this film. We are huge fans of LOTR and Hobbit, and would like nothing more than to release figures of every character, but there are many factors that determine how many we can effectively produce. For example, retailers have specific dates when new product goes into stores. To meet those dates, our development process starts 18 months before figures are in stores. This provides time for sculpting, painting, revisions, studio approval, manufacturing time, shipping, etc. Therefore, if character appearance is not finalized that far in advance (particularly for digitally generated/animated characters), we cannot make them in time for retail launch. There is also the matter of minimum order quantities in manufacturing: we have to make 10s of thousands of pieces of each character! So if we include 10 characters in the 6" figure assortment, that's over 100k pieces of product, minimum. If our retailers can't commit to buying that many pieces, we have to cut down the number of characters in the assortment to make the order quantity viable. It was always our goal to offer the widest variety of characters possible in both scales, within the parameters of how much our retailers can sell. Based on sales of product from Unexpected Journey, we found that there was a larger market for the 6" figures and therefore have been able to offer more characters in that scale. We know the Tolkien fan base is passionate and appreciate their continued interest in our line. We also hope that the fans can appreciate our passion and commitment to quality, as well as the conditions that make it impossible to offer every character in every scale. Looking forward to the film and a successful sell-through of the figures at retail so we can offer more cool stuff for part 3!"

So they mismanaged the line and now retail has abanoned it. There won't be any part 3 toys at this rate.

The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars Episode VII
« on: November 7, 2013, 06:18 PM »
A real surprise. I was expecting it to slip to 2016. The main reason is not so much the time for the film but Disney's economic pressures. Releasing the movie in May allows for a major media push which then extends to the DVD release right at the holidays. Releasing the film in December only catches half of that. Of course you get the DVD, but it's outside the holiday shopping season, and with all the talk and concern with money... still it's great to see an actual date finally, and I am looking forward to standing in line. In the cold.  :-\

The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars Episode VII
« on: November 6, 2013, 02:38 PM »
It's a valid concern, at least from the standpoint of someone like hasbro, that traditionally maintains that female action figures don't sell to boys. I think there are very valid story reasons for this, which I applaud, and there are economic realities as well. A female protagonist is not an obstacle to the YA run of films recently (Hunger Games) and that's a fan base that SW does not currently cater to. SW would be insulated against any kind of fan boy resistance to a girl hero, but it does better by expanding its horizons. I'm all for it.

Middle Earth / Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« on: November 5, 2013, 07:40 PM »
The line was very unimaginative. I don't know if that was resources, or lack of faith in the brand, or just a plain lack of understanding about the possibilities. Few properties are as slam dunk as this one (was) is. There may be some lack of interest to it at retail, but there is also a very substantial collector base. Splitting up the dwarves ultimately seems silly. Not having the Pale Orc early on does too. The one piece assortments (deluxe 2 pack - why isn't this just another two pack?; the Warg and rider) also indicated a lack of real retail planning.

Disappointing to say the least, as we're certainly locked out of LOTR figures in the 3.75 scale, unless the film explodes and there's a surge in demand.

The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars Episode VII
« on: November 5, 2013, 07:35 PM »
Fairly major news:

Lots more to speculate on. This should erase some of the doubts on the film's schedule - these casting sessions typically prelude filming by a few months at most.

Love the idea of Hoth themed sets. Snowtroopers with the E-Web would be perfect. I don't know necessarily that we'll get another Ewok themed set, though they're obviously popular. I'm all for it if we do, but I feel the Catapault was a hold over from that super battle pack that the other KMart sets spawned out of.

Cantina sets with bar pieces is what I'd love to see. I'd like to see a centerpiece/distillery with an updated Wuher. Compliment that with a pair of two packs of new or updated aliens, and great. Cantina Band Members, maybe, but probably not exciting enough.

Since I'm dreaming:

Set #1: Updated Duros and Bannis Keeg

Set #2: Updated Hammerhead and Arleil Schous

Right, I think there's room for them to rotate Vader, Fett, and what are sure to be all those different Sandtroopers we saw listed. Probably different ranked Clones, etc. Beyond that, just from purely local observation, there will not be demand for these beyond their initial release.

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