« on: July 8, 2005, 06:03 PM »
A couple of observations:
1) Hasbro is now in the same position Playmates found themselves with the Star Trek 5" action figure line. There is SO MUCH past product, the chances of picking up new collectors is slim-to-none. This is why, just like Playmates, Hasbro is investigating the possibility of starting new lines at entirely new scales so they can bring in new/fresh blood to collect that new line from "the beginning".
The problem with this methodolgy as Playmates learned is that you (a) piss off your core fans who have been with you since the beginning and are responsible for the line making the sales it has for so long and (b) you still don't really bring in the "new" collectors, instead you make your existing fan base pick and choose what they want to buy so your sales stay the same, but you've brought more product to the market, which in turn means you spent more money to make the same profit.
The only thing Hasbro has going for it that Playmates didn't was that the Star Wars brand is MUCH stronger than the Star Trek one.
2) Hasbro and the retailers have once again screwed up with estimating demand all they way around. Here are some examples:
a) Unleashed - the Anakin and Obi-Wan wave was OVER-shipped. Sure the General Grievous sells, but that's it - they would be making A LOT more sales if they had stopped shipping Wave 1 two restocking cycles ago and started putting out Wave 2 - which IMHO is a FAR SUPERIOR wave, especially since the Unleashed collectors LOVE Unleashed Sith.
b) Attacktix - like Doctor Padawan mentions they can't get rid of these things. There is an entire Collection 2 already developed and many retailers probably aren't going to order them for a variety of reasons including (i) many retailers were victim to local collectors who opened packaging in the stores to cherry pick booster sets to finish off collections and now they are stuck with these ripped open booster sets and (ii) while being a great game to play they should have done more to promote the new line - like having a free one shipped to anyone who signed up at the website (or something) - let's face it - the amount of money spent at developing Collection 2 has a chance of going to waste so what would have been the harm in instead spending that money to get people into the line FIRST?
c) Basic Figures: Here in NJ the Basic Figure selection is DISMAL. With the exception of one or two stores the selection is either (i) empty pegs or (ii) pegs full of nothing but Nemoidian Warrior, Clone Pilot, Exploding Grievous, Tarfful, Luminara Unduli and Mas Amedda. Occasionally you might find a Bail Organa, Mon Mothma and Pollis Massan, but that's it. Main characters of ROTS are no where to be found. This is an artifact of two things: (i) the cases for Wave 1 of both collections were packed one to a case, which may have worked for product shipped specifically for April 2nd, but after that date, the ratios should have changed DRASTICALLY and (ii) TOO MUCH of those original Waves were purchased which means the stores that DO have stock in are sitting on the non-sellers from those initial waves and most buyers have moved beyond them and are looking for new figures and/or army builders and can't find either. Clones are not mixed in enough, neither are the heroes or villians. Tried to find a Vader or Obi-Wan lately?
3) Attacktix, Force Battlers, Jedi Force and the [du]MPire - ok - so compared to when you first launched the line in 1995 with only two different scales, in the past year you've introduced not one, not two, not three but FOUR different and distinct toy lines with their own unique packaging, scale, level of detail and style. I could see one new scale/style, but FOUR? Did we need M&M figures? Did we need both Force Battlers AND Jedi Force? The answers to these questions is a resounding: NO. Think about when you do something either at work or at home - do 10 things at once you end up with 10 half-a$$ed completed projects, do one thing at a time and you end up with something that is well done and was given the appropriate amount of attention (unless you're a complete moron, but I digress). I would even throw in the Animated Clone Wars figures into this mix as well - that line, as "neat" as it was now is incomplete and will never include figures that would have been instant fan favorites. Think about it - instead of developing an animated line which included animated versions of Anakin, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Dooku, Durge, Asajj Ventress and Clones - wouldn't you have preferred that they just made a few more movie-style figures for the Clone Wars like Obi-Wan in Clone Armor, Snowbunny Padme and AquaTroopers? I know I would. The same can be said with these new lines.
Give me one bulky figure line I can buy for my step-grandson, don't start repainting figures after only two waves of Jedi Force!!!! Give me a Jedi Force Clonetrooper and Emperor to add to what we have so far. Oh - and if you're going to make the figures a bigger scale, put LOTS of articulation in them - yes, I'm talking to you Force Battlers - never have I seen such huge action figures that had SO FEW points of articulation!!!
With all of the things that have irked collectors regarding the regular 3.75" ROTS line, I would have preferred that they didn't make ANY of these other new scale/style lines and just focused on the core line. Again, what would you rather see - the Wave 1 and 2 Force Battlers or a AT-TE? Don't tell me the amount of $$$ spent on development, sculpting and tooling the first seven force battlers is less than what it would have cost them to make a 3.75" scaled AT-TE, it just isn't. Oh and don't start on me about how Force Battlers cost only $10 each and the AT-TE would be something like $50 - as far as I'm concerned there are probably only a handfull of people here who even bought Force Battlers, yet I would say 90% of us here would buy AT LEAST one AT-TE if given the opportunity. What would you estimate the percentage of us purchased the entire Force Battler line? My guess would be less than 10%
Ok - enough ranting from me for a while. Here's to hoping that Hasbro will start to actually listen to us instead of pushing us aside.