Author Topic: What killed the deluxe line?  (Read 2242 times)

Offline Muftak

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What killed the deluxe line?
« on: May 6, 2003, 07:07 PM »
Hasbro announced at their big "open house" a while back that the deluxe line was being scrapped in favor of the new Clone Wars 3-packs. So what happened to kill what was touted (back in 2001) as the "fixed" deluxe line?

I think it was pure assortment problems that did the line in. Even great figures like Bacta Luke sat on shelves when packed in cases of consisting of only 2 different figures. The first AOTC deluxes still glut shelves everywhere, while the later (and unquestionably superior) asssortments sit in warehouses somewhere, only slowly creeping out.

Sure there were a few duds in the line (Deluxe Jango being one of the low points of Star Wars toymaking ever), but I thought the quality of the figures overall was very good, and Hasbro was definitely moving in the right direction (modular backgrounds and/or double figure packs) in the end.

What do you think contributed most to the death of the deluxe line?
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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #1 on: May 6, 2003, 07:29 PM »
Quality. The new Jango Fett Deluxe figure itself is horrible.

Offline Chris

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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #2 on: May 6, 2003, 07:42 PM »
Personally, I feel that the Deluxe were not good enough to be labeled "Deluxe". There were some nice sculpts like the Luke Skywalker Bacta Tank but a lot of them were just not worth the money IMO. I think that all of the Saga Deluxe so far have been "crap". The moronic flipping poses, horrible sculpts, etc.

The POTJ Leia (Jabba's Sail Barge) and Luke (Bacta Tank) were much better and Hasbro killed the deluxe Saga when they stopped producing the POTJ style [deluxe].

Offline Boba Binks

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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #3 on: May 6, 2003, 07:50 PM »
I agree with Chris.

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Offline dustrho

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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #4 on: May 6, 2003, 08:05 PM »
dustrho

Offline MisterPL

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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #5 on: May 6, 2003, 10:08 PM »
Hasbro lost sight of what makes the product "deluxe."

Let's look at the history of the Deluxe line. To a manufacturer, the word "deluxe" simply means a higher pricepoint for a similar item. Take a standard figure, toss something in to add value, and presto, "deluxe."

With POTF2, Hasbro tried the Batman formula of offering weird, over-sized pack-ins as value-added components. This worked for retailers looking for a higher pricepoint, but it left fans thinking, "WTF?" Eventually Hasbro offered more authentic pack-ins and the Deluxe line was off in a better direction.

Until someone said, "Hey, what's so 'deluxe' about the figures?" Nothing, really. So enter Electronic Force F/X. This gave us an Artoo that really beeps and an Emperor that shoots lightning! It also gave us Luke, Vader, and Ben in the most unforgivable sculpts ever, all for the sake of a gimmick that's supposed to make us WANT to pay twice as much as a regular figure. Welcome to Pegwarmer City.

With Episode I, Hasbro did away with the bulky electronics in favor of something with more play value: action features! Deluxe Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan could battle Deluxe Maul with or without those little lightsabres attached to their waists. Collectors and civilians alike yawned aloud.

Enter POTJ. Finally, someone at Hasbro has a good cup of coffee and says, "Hey, what if we create a Deluxe line with accessories too big to fit in the standard line but too small to package as playsets?" Faboo! Bacta Tank Luke is a critical hit with fans, especially given the timely release of the new, improved FX-7. And Leia is sexier than ever sporting a firing deck cannon from Jabba's sail barge. Things are looking up, until the release of a less than deluxe looking Maul and Fan Choice lightweight Amanaman. A shirtless villain and an obscure alien hardly excite the masses, critically or otherwise. Not to mention the most popular hero of the line is sporting what looks like a diaper.

What was once fixed is now broken virtually overnight. Back to the drawing board.

With the introduction of the unified Saga line, we get a lot of trial and error. This time, action features dominate the line. Attack of the Clones, arguably the most toyetic of all Star Wars films, is set to ignite the imagination of a new generation of fans and Hasbro wants to make sure the toys are loaded with as much action as the film! (Can you tell I work in corporate America?) Figures will "Force attract" their lightsabres and "Force flip" during battle! (Kewl!)

Unfortunately, thanks to the painfully random success rate of the Force-Flipping figures, even to the masses the toys are less "action figures" and more "skill game." Hasbro DID manage to change the course of the line in a better direction, but once again, just before pulling the plug. The Clone Trooper with Speeder is a good example of what might work, while the Geonosian with sucking turd thing is not.

Now Hasbro's left with the quandry, "What do we try next? How do we offer a $10 product everyone can get excited about?" Two-packs? (Already ofering those in the standard line.) Electronics again? (Ditto.) What to do...

Hasbro needs to get back to the idea of offering large, authentic pack-ins with popular characters or army builders. A Han Solo in Stormtrooper Disguise with Exploding Detention Cell Kiosk would be a winner. How about a Death Star Gunner with Turbo Laser Battery? And what about a General Rieekan with Light-Up Tactical Display just like on Hoth?

It ain't rocket science, is it? At least, not to collectors.
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Offline JediMAC

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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #6 on: May 6, 2003, 10:25 PM »
Excellent analysis and history there, all of which I agree with 100%.

It ain't rocket science, is it? At least, not to collectors.

That's the part that drives me just a tad bit batty!  WE get it...  Why doesn't Hasbro?  Seems so simple really...

I'll even throw a few in for Brad, that I'm sure he'd like to see:
Ewok with Glider (forget that lame opening planet thing)
Ewok with Catapult
How 'bout Han with Torture Rack...
If they don't polish off the Jedi Council in those 3-packs, how about a Jedi with his respective Jedi Council chair...
Imperial officers seated at a part of the table in their planning room at the Death Star (brainfarting on names right now)
How about Ion Cannon Control chick with her tactical readout panel thingee...

Just so many more decent ideas than what Hasbro comes up with...  Bacta Luke, Slave Leia, and the Clonetrooper were the best ones in my book too - by far!  Though, based on a local tip, I hope to be checking out the Spider Droids and SBD Assembler tonight...

Quote
the Geonosian with sucking turd thing

 ;D   :P   ;D

Offline Jesse James

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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #7 on: May 6, 2003, 10:58 PM »
I'd say overproduction is a killer for the Deluxe line primarily...

Figures for $10 just aren't going to go anywhere fast.

BAD figures for $10 aren't gonna go anywhere at all.

The Bacta Luke rocked to me, but Deluxe Maul (The supposed crap figure of that wave) outsold it by a long shot, at least in every retail outlet I ever visited.

Hell I STILL find Bacta Lukes, but Maul is long gone.  Go figure...

The line could be a LOT better, just like the upcoming 4-packs, the army builder packs, the accessory sets, and Hasbro's entire vehicle line...  Will Hasbro improve any of those though?  Eh, not likely.  
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #8 on: May 6, 2003, 11:43 PM »
The bad items from the Deluxe line?   Jango Fett with backpack and the force flipping figures did it for me.  There's so much potential for the Deluxe line, too.  And there are so many great ideas for the Deluxe line at numerous collecting sites and forums.  You'd think that people at Hasbro might do some serious reading at sites.

One of the biggest problems for the deluxe line as we know it now were the initial Deluxe pieces in the SAGA line.  They were overproduced, and didn't have the quality that would attract collectors.  The force flipping Tyranus and Obi-Wan, and Jango with backpack were geared more towards kids and playability than anything else.  And Hasbro thought that Mom's and Dad's were going to buy tons of these for kids.  But no, they wound up buying their kids electronic lightsabers.  Way to know your market, Hasbro.

So, what happened?  SAGA Deluxe wave 1 wound up warming the pegs, and prevented later deluxe waves from shipping.  And as it turns out, the later SAGA Deluxe figures were superior to the initial wave of SAGA Deluxe figures.

What's even more disappointing is that the current crop of Deluxe figure are far better than last year's SAGA Deluxe figures.  In the past couple of weeks, I managed to get the Super Battle Droid Builder, Dwarf Spider Droid, Obi-Wan Kenobi-Kamino, and Jango Fett-Kamino.  These are great pieces!  Are they on par with the POTJ Deluxe figures?  They're close.

The real reason why I think the Deluxe line is taking a backseat?  It's got to be one of two reasons.  

1) The Hasbro brass didn't see good sales numbers on the Deluxe, so they opted to cut it instead of improving it.  

2) Hasbro may only have so many items that they're going to allow Star Wars in a non-movie year.  We get army builders, screen scenes and multi-packs?  Okay, you've got to give up the Deluxe figures.  Plus, from reports I've heard from Hasbro's media day, they're going to be focusing more on their GI Joe and Transformers lines this year.  This might mean that Star Wars is seeing a diminished production run.

Anyway, this is all just supposition.
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #9 on: May 7, 2003, 02:04 AM »
This is a good topic.  What killed the line? HASBRO DID.

They just made too many dumb decisions.  Their marketing team seems to be just awful.  Every time they have a good thing going, they decide to change it.  They make dumb decisions that make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

All they need to do in order for the Deluxe line to be successful is take a look at the ones that measure up as being successes.  Hoth Rebel, Snowtrooper, Bacta Luke, Slave Leia, 3PO w/ Battle Droid, Nexu, etc.  And then look at the flops; flipping figures, lightsaber spinners, battle pack Jango, etc.  

Just make ones that are movie accurate (for the most part), are collector oriented, and come with an accessory that makes a good addition to a diorama or display.  It's not rocket science, Hasbro just makes stupid decisions.

I swear, almost any collector could come up with a better Deluxe lineup than Hasbro has done...

 :P  

Offline JediMAC

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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #10 on: May 7, 2003, 02:12 AM »
It ain't rocket science, is it? At least, not to collectors.

Then from CHEWIE:
Quote
It's not rocket science, Hasbro just makes stupid decisions.  I swear, almost any collector could come up with a better Deluxe lineup than Hasbro has done...

Hey, are you plagiarizing MPL's post CHEWIE Justin?!    ;D    ;)

 :P
« Last Edit: May 7, 2003, 02:27 AM by JediMAC »

Offline Jedirhino

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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #11 on: May 7, 2003, 06:50 AM »
I think that Hasbro decided to lower their prices on the regular figures and included many cool pack-ins with them as opposed to chips, books, or slides...then to make some more money create an extra figure or two that people have to pay more money for...figures that are not worth $20 but worth more than $5!!!That's what killed the deluxe line!!!

Offline MisterPL

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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #12 on: May 7, 2003, 08:48 AM »
Hey, are you plagiarizing MPL's post CHEWIE Justin?!

Two dollars.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #13 on: May 7, 2003, 03:20 PM »
Imagine if you will for a minute...

New Hoth Rebel Trooper in the deluxe range...  Not a carded multiple head variant figure, but a guy able to hold binoculars or a rifle up to aim it...  Comes with a scarf wrapped all around his head.

What makes him deluxe?  His base (And in the same year you release a new carded Hoth Rebel soldier that's uber poseable, removeable helmet, the works...).  The base he comes with is a "trench" piece that can connect at EITHER end...  When connected  in various patterns they make a long (as long as you wanted/could afford to buy) jagged trench from ESB...

Include some accessories, like maybe the heavy cannon that sometimes just rested on the bank of the trench or whatnot.  

Would it sell?  

I know I'd buy it....  I know I'd buy a few...  I know a few other folks who'd buy a few or more...  Why doesn't something cool like that happen?  One can only fathom.
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Offline JediMAC

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Re: What killed the deluxe line?
« Reply #14 on: May 7, 2003, 03:40 PM »
Imagine if you will for a minute...

New Hoth Rebel Trooper in the deluxe range...  What makes him deluxe?  His base (And in the same year you release a new carded Hoth Rebel soldier that's uber poseable, removeable helmet, the works...).  The base he comes with is a "trench" piece that can connect at EITHER end...  When connected  in various patterns they make a long (as long as you wanted/could afford to buy) jagged trench from ESB...

An excellent idea of course Jesse.  Does it remind you of anything we've already seen though...   ;)

Hint...  Think Cantina bar...   :D  It's pretty much an identical, and equally excellent, concept really.  I didn't mind the Cantina sets being in their own special subline, but essentially, these were just really nice "Deluxe" figures that we're brainstorming about right now.  Unfortunately, something stinks rotten at Hasbro with the cancellation of the Cantina line (at least domestically).  I'd still like to know what the hell is up with that deal?  That Cantina line had so much potential - think long, double sided bar, with the "U" section at one end, and the distillary section in the middle.  Oh, very pretty...   8)   :'(  Why no other retailers chose to pick this second wave up is beyond me (if it was indeed shopped around)...

Hmmm...  That was basically one of our good "collector" ideas that for some bizarre reason didn't pan out.  That's not such a good sign...