Author Topic: No! I changed my mind!  (Read 2530 times)

Offline CHEWIE

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No! I changed my mind!
« on: July 22, 2004, 11:44 AM »
Oh great.  Now the pics that were posted of the VOTC Stormtrooper look freaking awesome.  They seem to have adjusted the helmet to more closely resemble the CT version.  Guess I am going to have to get several of these now!  

I still think the CT version is great, and will blend in rather well with this new one.

What does everyone else think about this figure?  Doesn't it look unreal?  Man oh man, I want an army of these now!

:P

Offline Diddly

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2004, 11:59 AM »
It's not that great. :P

It's ****ING AWESOME!!!!! Tied with Chewie and Vader as my favorite VOTC figs. Good God, this is a GREAT figure! I may be buying more than one. Heck, I would like to see it rereleased on an E3 card next year.

Offline LandotheScoundrel

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2004, 12:01 PM »
Crap...now I'm going to have to get several of these...
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2004, 01:35 PM »
See my post in the VOTC thread...

Even at $10 I'm buying at least a few extras if I see them.  I'll just have to hope I can build a 100+ army like the CT army...  

I'm still going to make a hand/gun set for my CT's though and fix them up special too.  I just want these new ones for EVERY pose possible.

Hasbro, if you're reading, you can have my $...  Just make these available at some time for $5 a piece (or less in big army builder sets).

A neat idea would be a set of 6 figures like their Cobra set...  5 Stormtroopers, maybe a black tuniced officer, and maybe 1 of the Stormies with a white pauldron and the other 4 with black or something.

THAT would kick ass.  Unlikely to EVER happen, but it would be so nice.
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Offline Force Guy

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2004, 01:45 PM »
Yeah, I originally wasn't planning on buying the VOTC Stormtrooper, but it looks so great, I have to pick up at least one.  However, as amazing as the Stormie looks, the 100% markup price is still very discouraging (especially for army builders).    
Binders full of astromechs...

Offline Jesse James

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2004, 02:06 PM »
No doubt there...  I want 100's, but will be appreciative of having even 3 I think.  I'm setting a goal of 5 at the $10 pricepoint.

That's $50 alone...  Yeesh.

Anyone wanna take bets on whether Hasbro makes these available at a good price or not?

There's a real gamble.   :o
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Offline Jeff

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2004, 02:51 PM »
I bet, because the vOTC figures are so awesome, that we never see them again.  :(

I said it before and I'll say it again: I really think this is a one-shot deal.  That's why I'm not taking any chances and buying my second set to open now.

I would have to imagine that in the future, it will be cheaper for the Big H to crank out the 15th version of Cantina Han, PotJ Ben, Mechanic Chewie, et al instead of going back to run more of these vOTC figures.

When you think about it, the "regular" figures must be cheaper to make.  Where is the incentive for Hasbro to recard vOTC R2-D2 with all those extra accessories/parts, when they can just crank out more PotJ sculpt R2?  Same goes for almost all of the vOTC figures.  There is a cheaper alternative ready to go.

You may say, "Yeah, but they already have the molds for vOTC figures so that should keep costs down since most of the cost of a figure is in tooling."  That may be true, but it's even cheaper to use a less complicated existing mold.  There are a lot fewer parts/joints involved in Mechanic Chewie than vOTC Chewie.  Therefore, there is less cost associated with re-running a batch of Mechanic Chewie than vOTC Chewie.

So, that is why I think that Hasbro will take the easy road and keep cranking out PotJ Ben instead of ever re-releasing vOTC Ben or any of the others.  If there is one thing I've learned from OTC, it's that the future of this line in non-movie years is to cheap out as much as possible.  :(

Now, I could be wrong and eventually they will all get re-released after Ep3, but I really doubt it.

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Offline Jesse James

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2004, 03:09 PM »
The thing is, the more they make of a figure, the more the fixed costs (mold toolings in this case) depriciate over time...  They can keep cranking out Han Cantina but it's not affecting what it cost them to do Han VOTC, PLUS, and this is a biggie...

How many more Cantina Han's are you going to sell?  At some point the figure does become an outdated resource.  Only something "new" is going to sell...  This is a varying concept with certain figures, but it's pretty solid with the Han.

On a Stormtrooper, CT's are gonna sell still, but at some point I'd think you'll alienate your market even, and sales may drop off.  A VOTC's going to sell better, and costs are only going to depreciate.

They really have the control when you think about it...  I wholely believe they see this though, and will someday at least re-release some of these figures.

Also, the more parts doesn't really cost more...  You're into just raw plastic totals used (very minimal) and even with more parts it's not cost effective for Hasbro to mold a "simpler" figure in any way other than final construction.  Costs saved is minimal at that point.  Negligible really due to the simplicity of construction.

Not to mention, modern figures are single-piece torsoes, and cheaper plastic...  Even VOTC.  Cantina Han's a multi-piece torso (both upper and lower), with a more complex construction system.  

Again though, the costs at this point are negligible.

The "cost" for these VOTC's carding and packaging.  That's the short-term variable costs since it's a limited run.  It's pretty elaborate too, even when compared to other action figure lines with similar types of elaborate packaging.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2004, 03:23 PM »
I see your points, but to me, even negligible savings are savings in Hasbro's book (six sigma and all that).  I think that is why we keep getting FF Leia instead of mixing in a CT Leia once in a while.

However, you are right, eventually EVERYONE is going to have Cantina Han, so it would be in their best interested to mix in a few vOTC figures... but just because something makes sense, doen't mean they will do it :P

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Offline Darby

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2004, 03:33 PM »
Hasbro never met a repack they didn't like.  It's obvious they will have exhausted the interest in figs like Cantina Han or POTJ Ben this year (the most repacked SW figs of all time?) and like Jesse says, if they keep doing it, no one will care.  

It would be a waste of resources to do these once in a limited time frame and never again.  Especially if they go back to figs like the Sandtrooper, Han/Luke Stormtrooper, Bespin Han, etc. and have these base parts lying around.

I'll buy one of the Stormtroopers, and wait for the repack next year.  (crosses fingers)

Offline Jesse James

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2004, 03:49 PM »
Quote
but just because something makes sense, doen't mean they will do it

Hasbro's crede.  :)
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Offline Scott

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2004, 03:57 PM »
(six sigma and all that)

 ::)  We should see if they've adopted this as many other companies have.  

THing is with Six Sigma you need baseline data for almost every cost saving measure you implement...and while their data may indicate that they save money by cranking out the same figure over and over as both of you have pointed out their sales forecast numbers can't be that optimistic

The #1 cost in getting a figure to market is the tooling/engineering isn't it?  I would guess the following goes into making of the figures

R&D (Hasbro R.I. development team)
Wax Sculpting (Hasbro R.I. sculptor)
Tooling (Asia? making the different dies for plastic parts)
Plastic and Paint (asia)
Card Back (asia)
Bubble (Asia)
Molders, Painters, Assembly, Shippers (asia)
Freight to US
Liscense Fee
Middle Men Fees
Hasbro Profit Margain
(Retailers add on their own profit to all of this)

Most of these are pretty much fixed figure to figure...its the added pieces and articulation that would make one version of Han cheaper than the next.  So if they make a mold and keep reusing it over and over I don't see why they would save anything in the long run in not doing the VOTC Han's...unless there is more labor and more pieces in there compared to the CTC Han (I guess there is isn't there????)

Offline Jeff

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2004, 04:04 PM »
In one of the many Six Sigma presentations we've had here at work, I saw their name on the list of "Fortune 500" companies who are using it to cut costs.  So, it's pretty safe to say they are using some form of it in their business models.

I just really wonder what is going on in their heads sometimes when it comes to stuff like this, which figures cost more/less to make, etc.

Jeff
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Offline Scott

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2004, 04:24 PM »
Well then that could also involves bullying their suppliers and factories into reduced labor rates and raw material costs as well as shipping

But I don't see how they can make the tooling any cheaper, its the gonna be the same

Offline Jesse James

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Re: No! I changed my mind!
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2004, 04:35 PM »
More pieces doesn't necessarilly denote more labor involved though...  In the case of CT Han, he's more "complex" to put together...  VOTC's vastly simpler in construction.

As a comparison, VOTC Han is made of 17 individual pieces NOT counting the "pin" in each ball/socket joint (other than neck), but the pin would count as a single piece technically I believe, since they are all the same I think, just unique colors.  The pistol, which I counted, technically isn't new either.  The figure's construction is simply a matter of popping each limb into the appropriate socket in a sequence.

The Commtech Han is made of 15 pieces (not counting the 2 knee pins again whicha are a single mold I'd assume, and its construction is that which requires sonic welding for the torsoes, which costs more, as well as the articulation points being "constructed" at the knees.

In that view, they're fairly close in pieces, but not close in construction style, with one being noteably more complex.  

The articulation points on VOTC (As well as many ball/socket style joints on SW figures) are using a method where the pins are molded to the individual piece as well, which is actually a cost-effective method that 21st Century Toys has used on part of their figures (the torso) for making the removable limb feature more "sturdy".  It's only possible on the pliable plastics both cmpanies use now for the majority of their figure's construction.

The thing to remember is that EACH of these figures has a base cost that's unique to them, and with every unit produced Hasbro's costs increase variably, but fixed costs depreciate to a greater extent.  IE: it costs a little to cast the parts, etc., and get a figure on the shelves frm a previous set of molds, but in the end it's taking $ off the long-term fixed costs like the mold toolings.

The Han Cantina's really being played out...  VOTC's not (yet, as it is too early to say they won't run him into the ground now), and his costs are still relatively high given that he's not a figure that is going to see the pegs (so far) as much as Cantina Han.  I think Hasbro's going to address this and produce more...  The figure's construction is simple, it requires no more plastic than any other figure (just more individual pieces, and how that breaks into costs isn't necessarilly more), and from a "consumer happiness" standpoint it's vastly superior and "untapped".

I think we'll see VOTC Han for cheaper someday, somehow.  I think we'll see most, if not all the VOTC released again someday, but again this all boils down to Hasbro...  Some of their decisions are so clearly perplexing to us, and cannot really be explained ANY which way, that it's just so hard to predict anymore.

I like to THINK the Stormtrooper will see a wide release...  I hope it does, really.  Like Jeff said above though...  It could just be too logical a choice for it to ACTUALLY happen, haha.  :)
2011 Rebel Fleet Trooper Gets My Seal Of Approval!  But Where's The Friggin' Holster On Him!?
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