Author Topic: 2006 American International Toy Fair  (Read 6738 times)

Offline Mikey D

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2006, 01:35 PM »

Also in the same mindframe, "Why do you pass on making movie style/accurate playsets and vehicles, yet you decide to waste time, money and resources on Star Wars Choppers, 2" Unleashed, Transformers, etc?"


Fixed.

Choppers and Transformers I agree with, but Galactic Heroes is a pretty good line (minus the transforming vehicles but that's minor).  Other than Hasbro repacking certain figures - which really isn't that big of a deal - I don't think I've heard anything bad said about that line. 
Common sense isn't so common

Offline Jeff

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2006, 01:41 PM »
Jeff - who from the JD staff gets to go to NY?

The lucky bastich would be Dave (jokabofe).   
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2006, 02:34 PM »
Well, I do agree that questions like the ones I am focusing on probably won't be answered to my satisfaction by them, but I do think it's good to push them.  The more we bring up the topic, I think the more likely they are to keep things like that on the drawing board at least.

Whatever is going to be asked is fine, I fully understand that my passion for such things to be made is in the minority.  I do think that many of the questions already laid out are going to be answered soon enough anyway, which is why I would personally ask other questions that we might not otherwise hear anything at all about.

So, my main point is that I think they should take a look at Owen's Star Destroyer as an example of what some fans would love to see made, and ask them if they've ever thought about making anything that looked like a movie set.  Of course they'll probably say "That's too expensive to make" but I think it would be more profitable for them to make such items rather than some of their latest gimmicks that are warming pegs everywhere, or at least give the opportunity to another company to take a shot at them.  A lof of fans like to spend money on high scale items, so if these were ever made at least we would have a shot at getting them.

 :P
« Last Edit: January 20, 2006, 03:32 PM by CHEWIE »

Offline Jim

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2006, 04:33 PM »
I know some of us would love a huge DS playset, me included.  But what it all comes down to is even though this really is a collectors market, it still is a kids line in the eyes of Hasbro.  Not many if any parent is going to shell out a ton of cash for one playset.  Hasbro would rather sell 1 million units of a fig rather than a 1000 units of a playset.  It is a huge marketing, engineering and manufacturing nightmare in reality.  In short a huge loss.  What later becomes higher costs to the figure line that we have to absorb. :(

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2006, 04:59 PM »
I wonder how it is thought that other companies can afford to sell higher priced items? 

 :P

Offline JesseVader08

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2006, 06:58 PM »
I think Jim and Jeff are exactly right.  It's always easier for a parent to buy 10 items that are $10 each than a single item for $100.  It's a matter of perception.  And as for collectors, even you said CHEWIE that you are in the minority in your interest in playsets.  I'm not saying it's a question that shouldn't be asked, I just don't expect much of an answer from Hasbro since I can't see Hasbro profiting from expensive playsets.  And ultimately it's the allmighty buck that determines what gets made and what doesn't.

Now modular playsets, that's a different story.  I could see those doing quite well because each piece would be relatively expensive, say $20 to $30.  That way parents and collectors can pick and choose what they want rather than being "forced" to buy one larger and much more expensive one.

Personally, my biggest question is about the VOTC (and mail-in figure) and the Bounty Hunt chase figures - ie. I want to know exactly what the details are.

Secondly, I'm very curious to know what pace they have planned for releasing the next waves.  At the current rate, it seems we'll be through all of the waves by the middle of the year.  Additional waves?  New line?

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2006, 07:31 PM »
Modular playsets really do seem to be the way to go if they were going to try and do something at retail (like maybe the Simpson-esque playsets), I think that would be an excellent question to ask them.

As for larger, non-modular ones, again I think they should let some other company try a go at it, maybe as internet exclusives.  Sideshow is kicking ass with the 12" line, something that Hasbro seemed to never have a handle on.  12" collectors are in the minority, but another company is able to hit that niche.  So I have no reason to believe that another company couldn't do well with playsets, or model-esque dioramas if you want to call them that.  I'm not saying aim these at the kids and their parents, I'm saying try to find a way to get avaiable for the adult collectors that want them and are willing to shell out the money for them. 

 :P

Offline Jesse James

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2006, 08:59 PM »
Quote
Here's a question for all the JD members - do you not care about playsets/larger vehicles? 


Care?  Yes.  Expect?  Not at all.

While I believe the best possible chance of anything like this ever happening is a modular concept somewhere along the lines of Muftak's Modular Death Star or Modular Cloud City sets.  At the same time, I'm not sure that's what I'd personally even want really.

For me, I'm with Jeff and thus I know I'm repeating him some here...  Redundancy isn't always bad though. :)  But I just know things will be disproportionate, they'll lack some elements I want while they'll have others I'm completely disinterested in (firing cannons, etc.), Hasbro has a bad track record with higher ticket items too so if things break the $30 barrier we're looking at potential shelf-warmers, and a negative impact on the line overall I believe...

Do I want stuff like an AT-TE?  Sure, but being a fan of scale and detail I'm sure I wouldn't want whatever Hasbro offered because I saw what basically ammounted to a to-scale AT-TE at Celebration 3 in the LFL Archives exhibit, and holy **** it's huge.  Same as me wanting a Falcon to-scale.  Saw what it would look like at C3, and it blows your mind to stand next to it and really get a taste of what those "big" items are like when done the way you want them...  So for that, I'm much more interested in figures and less interested in ships and playsets. 

I'd love to hear if Hasbro's got plans to maybe resculpt the Snowspeeder to-scale since it's oversized...  Same with the Speederbike.  Small, cheap, affordable...  They redid the Landspeeder so I have this hope for stuff like that some day.  The AT-ST would interact great with action figures too, so it's another I'd love to see redone and to-scale, and Hasbro's able to as it's not THAT big, especially if there's "some assembly required" as they say.  Those are doable items that if you asked you MIGHT get a response on...

If you ask for an AT-TE or new AT-AT, or Sith Infiltrator, or Death STar Playset, you get their cookie cutter responses that they gave us at C3, SDCC, etc., and then they ignore you the rest of the meet and greet. :)  *couth*Matt*cough*

BUt, as Jeff said (I think), I too am more a figure focused person with the line.  Good army builders in particular, so I've got a bigger interest in hearing what's doing for the basic figure line's future rather than ships/playsets overall.  To me, they're a complement to the line, not its focus.  I'm the same way with the X-Treme Detail line as I really view the planes, choppers, tanks, trucks and playsets as a complement to the figure line, and 21st Cent. Toys is only now getting the hint that they have to have a figure line as the core.

If the playsets or vehicles are real knock-outs I'm cool with them but I don't have much faith in Hasbro's ability to do that...  ANd subcontracting them to other companies isn't always a done deal.

GG's not set up to mass produce multi-plastic playsets...  Attakus isn't either, and the price of their little dioramas reflects that greatly.  Side Show doesn't do it...  I can't think of anyone off-hand who Hasbro would look at favorably to just make playsets actually.  They're the "big" company with the ability...  and they don't seem to want to I guess.  ANd it's tough to blame them too...  Of 4 prequal playsets, none have sold well at all.  Even larger ships haven't...  Gunships saw clearance in 02 and limited release in 05...  ARC's saw wide release in 05 and didn't move too fast...  The TIE Fighter saw clearance and was an exclusive...  B-Wings saw clearance widely here at their pricepoint, and I saw AT-AT's as low as $20 back in modern Star Wars' hey day.  The Imp Shuttle saw major price drops till it actually made it to a reasonable one, and the Sandcrawler saw clearance...  A lot of bad precedent looming over the area of large vehicles and playsets.  It's that pricepoint I think.

The XD line's planes generally sell well...  Of course, any given paint scheme can be fairly limited, but when you see 4, 5, or 6 paint schemes for one fighter you're looking at a ton of planes being put out there for $40 to $50...  Hell, their $80+ modern day jet fighters FLEW (no pun) off shelves.  I attribute this to their line focusing on borderline model-kits in their details and paint applications, but with durability as well, and an adult-driven market...  They do see some sales at times if too much is delivered anywhere, like the P-47 checkertail or Flying Pig Stuka saw...  But overall it seems their market can deliver their $ where their mouth is, while SW fans either back out when they see the price, or when they see the quality they get, or a combination of both factors. 

I mean, I can't blame them.  If Hasbro could deliver a scale AT-TE I'd probably be one of the first in line for it if i could afford what they were asking for it...  Hell I'd get two if I could afford them, but what we WOULD likely get is a disproportionate walker I'd just look at and not want.  I eliminated vehicles as a thing I needed to be a "completist" for because of ships I just didn't feel were up to my standards.

Got my Jedi Fighters, Tri-Droid, AT-RT, WOokiee Copter...  I get the to-scale things and love them even though they do lack some details.  I can't see me spending $40 on a Gunship though when, as cool as it is as a toy, it is undersized a bit and just doesn't appeal to me though...  So I do think that has an impact on the line, and how Hasbro thinks when they're pondering putting ships out...

For me then, asking about things I've yet to see Hasbro TRULY deliver on then just isn't something I push for.  They're skittish about risks like that, so I'd rather find out what figures are coming and what quality will be like...  Some small vehicles though, I'd love to hear what they're maybe gonna do, and hopefully do right.  Love that Saga Landspeeder resculpt afterall. :)
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Offline Darby

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2006, 09:27 PM »
I personally don't care as much about playsets as some others, simply because I wouldn't have the space to accomodate them.  I would however be behind the modular idea, especially if it involved including a section with each basic figure, like the ML Galactus stuff.  It would make much more sense than these little holo guys.

As for vehicles, I'd love to see more, newer, bigger, but like Jesse, I don't see it.  Repaints and exclusives are all I think we can expect from here on out, unless (as I've said before) the TV shows make use of unproduced PT designs.  If the AT TE is in the show, then I bet you we'll see it.

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2006, 10:56 PM »
Great points JJ, as always you do a great job of seeing it from both sides and explaining your thoughts, something I do not always to so well with just words, which is why I showed the pic of Owen's Star Destroyer for reference, but I don't think anyone even replied to that.

The Main thing I disagree with though is not wanting stuff it if isn't to scale... sure, I'd rather an AT-TE or whatever vehicle to be to scale, but if the rule was that big items had to be to scale for us to get them, we never would have had the Falcon, Imperial Shuttle, AT-AT, Royal Starship, AT-ST, etc.  Most people I've talked to are glad they released those items.  So I don't think everything has to be a mammoth proportion for it to be popular. 

The Falcon has had limited success in sales, but hell they've rehashed that thing how many times now?  TRU is littlered with them.  The Shuttle was way overpriced and given to a terrible source in FAO (but at least it was available if you wanted it), the AT-AT seems to have done well for the most part (though I did see a $20.00 one and they are re-releasing it so they couldn't be that afraid of an item this big), the Royal Starship bombed (but the darn thing was a non-military item which hurt it, even though it's one hell of a display piece) and the AT-ST's always seem to sell well.  So did the larger scaled X-Wings.  So, I think there is always potential for something if it's done right.  In my opinion, it's less of a pricepoint problem as it is of a quality problem.  Would someone want the Arena at the $40.00 tag?  A lot of people said no, because the playset sucked, and that they wouldn't even want it on clearance because of that.  But make it look more like something out of the movie, add a few bucks to the price to increase the quality, and your market for it just went up.  And the bad track record they seem to have is quite often their fault, I blame them.  Do we need a gigantic blaster on a Freeze Chamber?  Uh.... NO.

The difference to me, is doing things that make sense for the larger items, for God's sake, the playsets they did release lately are terrible.  They look nothing like a movie scene, yet they spend so much time on figures like the VOTC's, but where in the heck are you supposed to display them?

As for Attakus, is it going to cost so much for that playset?  Because they are casting the damn thing in METAL.  It could be done for a hell of a lot cheaper with plastic and made affordable for those of us aren't CEO's of companies.  So I disagree that nobody has the resources for such an item in our price range.  I respectfully disagree 100%.

I can see the direction this is going, and fear that if you have different questions to be asked than the staff had planned on, they won't be asked, and that's playing into Hasbro's hands by asking them about stuff they are already planning on making.  What's the point in having an imagination in this hobby if all you want to do is get information they are going to be giving soon enough anyway?  Why not inquire on some stuff they could be working out a solution on, but aren't doing?  I view that as viewing the cup as half empty, as not having any influence on what is being made, and just telling Hasbro, make whatever you want.  If I like it, I'll buy it.  If not, then I'll leave it on the shelf and bitch about it.  I'd rather them make stuff we want.  Quit waisting resources on the gimmick lines and make something worthwhile that makes you look at it, and say "Damn, that's awesome!" 

So much of the stuff from the vintage days is overpowering in size, it would be nice to get that feeling again.  As much as an impact as the movies had on me back them, the scale of the vehicles/playsets did it even more for me, and still does.  Star Wars is about grandeur, not about measly little $20.00 ships.

Anyways, a Gun Tower from the Death Star would make for a great playset too.  This is the difference between a gimmicky, stupid playset and a quality one.



Nice accessories too (something else Hasbro doesn't like to do) -



 :P
« Last Edit: January 20, 2006, 11:06 PM by CHEWIE »

Offline jokabofe

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2006, 11:16 PM »
I think it's already been proven, time and again, that playsets just don't sell. Even the modular idea has already been proven to a certain extent. Just look at TRU and see how many of the Jedi Council sets they have sitting on the shelves. Hell, at my TRU they marked them down to $6.98 each, and they still can't sell. This is pretty much a modular playset, if you get right down to it. You buy all 6 of them and connect them to form the Jedi Council Chamber. And before you start saying, "Yeah, but it's not complete/accurate/perfect/good/etc." - that's about the best you're going to get from Hasbro.

Which is why they don't make playsets.

Now, on to the questions. I'll try and make a list, and put the most asked questions at the top. Unfortunately, last year there really wasn't a lot of time to ask questions to the rep I spoke with, and the questions I did ask were ansewered from the point of view of someone who just shows toys, if you know what I mean. It's too bad they don't have some kind of panel set up like they did at C3, that was actually pretty informative.

Last year, Hasbro held their exhibit outside of the regular TF spot, and on a different day. Hopefully, they won't do that this year because I have to work on the day before TF opens (which is the day that Hasbro held their showing last year) and if they do that again, I'm screwed.

My biggest question for the Hasbro rep I speak with is going to "What's your presskit look like this year  ;D "

Offline TheBlackDog65

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2006, 11:24 PM »
Let me start by also saying I am mainly interested in the figures that ReHashbro is going to release. Vechiles are not a major interest of mine, so not a lot of questions there (except kudos for the ARC-170 which is a very nice ship).
I'm going to try to use the viewpoint of a 11 almost 12 year old boy/young man (my son) to make a few points on playsets. First, I took him by DeanPaul's to drop off an AT AT driver I had for DP. My son saws DP custom generic be all or whatever you want and he LOVED it! I haven't talked enough to DeanPaul to tell him, but all I have heard all week is how cool that is and how I need to build one. Take away. Kids will get into playsets but sometimes I think by being specific, we limit imagination. Making playsets that kids can use as whatever they want may allow kids to use their imagination to create their own stories in the SW universe (which is really what kids do. They might play DeathStar escape, but more importantly, they would make up their own story about whatever playstation is made up).
My other point is playsets need to be designed for both kids and parents. IF we buy a playset, and I play with my son, the playset gets used (he loves his Mustafar set because of this). So the playset should appeal to kids and adults somewhat.
So I guess my two points are probably not realistic, but I would like to see some playsets that are generic or general that allow kids to use their imagination in the SW universe. Second, I really would like playsets to appeal to both kids and adults. Unfortunetly, I think for this to happen, I will have to customise my own.

Last point. My son saw some of DeanPaul's playsets that we don't have; Dagobah/Yoda's tree; Rebel Transport, Ewok Village and I can tell you now if those were modified and re-released, not as a collector, but as a father of a son who LOVES Star Wars, I would have to buy those. Those are smaller in size, and though not generic, they do allow for some use of the imagination of the kid. So I would like to see a question or two asked about playsets that are pratical, somewhat generic, and smaller in size. What are the plans for those? Guess if I want em, to the Classifieds, Ebay or customizing I go.
I would agree that huge playsets don't sell, and we see that time after time. Thus I don't think we'll see them though they are cool to play with.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2006, 12:47 AM »
I can see the direction this is going, and fear that if you have different questions to be asked than the staff had planned on, they won't be asked, and that's playing into Hasbro's hands by asking them about stuff they are already planning on making. 

Come on now, CHEWIE.  I think you're getting a bit dramatic with this last comment.  I understand that you are passionate about playsets here, but implying that we're just going to ignore your request is kinda silly.

Why would we start a thread asking what kind of questions you want us to try to ask if we had no intention of asking anything other than what we were already planning to ask?  Kinda defeats the purpose of the thread...

And, I already said back here that we can certainly add the playset questions to the list and see what we can try to get answered for you.


and a ps.

As for Attakus, is it going to cost so much for that playset?  Because they are casting the damn thing in METAL.  It could be done for a hell of a lot cheaper with plastic and made affordable for those of us aren't CEO's of companies. 

Also, just to let you know, the Attakus figures are made out of 100% metal.  The Falcon playset that they designed is about 30% metal and 70% resin according to the info that went out at the end of the year last year.  The falcon is metal and resin and the hangar/hallway/base is all resin.

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Offline Diddly

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2006, 12:59 AM »
I thought about making a list of questions I'd like to see answered, but two factors prevented me from doing it. One, just about every question I had in mind has already been posted in here, and two, Hasbro more than likely won't give us any info.

The thing I'm most concerned about are the prices this year. How do they expect people to be able to afford every figure at $6-7 a pop now, especially with the figures coming out as fast as they are? And why an increase in price when there's a decrease in articulation, accessories, new figures, etc.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: 2006 American International Toy Fair
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2006, 03:06 AM »
Quote
As for Attakus, is it going to cost so much for that playset?  Because they are casting the damn thing in METAL.  It could be done for a hell of a lot cheaper with plastic and made affordable for those of us aren't CEO's of companies.  So I disagree that nobody has the resources for such an item in our price range.  I respectfully disagree 100%.

Actually, metal is equal or cheaper to work with...  Look at die-casts.  They're cheapy cheap.

And the X-Treme Detail line is now making tanks out of die-cast metal.  80 to 90% of the tank is metal, and it comes in at a price equal to, or cheaper than the plastic versions...  Metal's not more expensive to work with necessarilly if you have the ability to work with it quickly and turn your production from one that owrks with plastic(s) to one that works with metals without much modification if any.  I know this first-hand from my own work with plastics and cast metals.

The thing with Attakus is more that they're doing limited production and working with resin.  I work with resin myself and can tell you it's nowhere near economically efficient to work with...  It's something used in prototyping a lot but for production it's something that jacks prices up high because it's expensive stuff.  It's cool though for the hobbyist anxiously awaiting the home injection molding machine at an affordable price.  ;D  I long for this day!

But to the point about manufacturing ability, I'm referring not to what capacity Attakus, or GG, or whahaveyou are able to function at...  I don't know if Attakus is able to mass produce a widely released playset or not, but I do know they're not a toy manufacturer...  They don't work with injection molded plastics, etc...  And few companies can just up and do that too...  SideShow has some ability to, but they work with specific materials to do these 12" figures and other products...  GG works with coldcast busts and things...  I doubt they could turn around and start making playsets because that's not what their business model is set up to do.  It's more the equipment these companies have, that is their manufacturing "ability" that I refer to...  They're simply not companies built to build this or that, nor more than saying Allegheny Technologies is built to make toys, or that Del's built to make cars... 

Attakus can make a playset, but they're making it mostly out of resin, and in limited production, and they're not equipped to start injection molding multi-piece playsets using ABS materials or whatnot...  Hasbro technically isn't even able to but has the partnerships overseas to.

I don't know who could be subcontracted to do it...  At least I can't think of anyone off the top of my head that Hasbro doesn't look down on as competition to them rather than someone they'd partner with.

I'd dig playsets if they were quality, but I'm at the point that I think of them much like Hasbro does.  They're seemingly unwilling to deliver quality beyond what they have so far for a pricepoint we've seen range from like $20 to $40, and they just don't go over well...  Plus, and this all goes back to the first point I think, people do ask this kind of stuff and Hasbro says "not at this time..." every time.

On the point of scale, that's a matter of taste...  To me, it is important, and to me the OTC/POTF2 Falcon is a comical toy to look at that I just have no interest in.  Same with the AT-AT and any number of other vehicles.  That's just my reasoning behind not being interested or asking questions about a new Falcon (or "big item" for a more general explanation).  I'd love a scale Falcon, but anything short of it really doesn't interest me...  I'd love a scale AT-AT, but small disproportionate things just aren't my cup of tea.

I have a scale P-38 Lightning Interceptor I got for $40.  It kicks ass so much I can't look at Hasbro's stuff without wincing at times.  The Jedi Fighters are to-scale, they rock to me, I'm happy despite them lacking some details I'd have maybe liked (controls, etc.), but at the same time the ARC-170 for instance looks like a nice toy but for my tastes it's just not "cool" because it's so out of proportion...  So I skipped it, and Hasbro's told me that if I'm gonna ask about a vehicle I wanna see, I have to keep my expectations within reason.  So Snowspeeder, Speederbike, AT-ST...  That kinda stuff I think they may resculpt and do it justice based on precedent...  If I wanted an AT-TE though (and I do, tremendously) I know what Hasbro's going to put out won't be to-scale so it's not something I personally care to ever see...  Not to begrudge someone one, but at the same time I think that the $ involved in R&D, prototyping, production, etc., is also $ I'd dig seeing focused on the ships I do think can be resculpted as I want them, or towards the figures which are my main focus and where I think quality can always improve across the board in the line.  That's why my interest just isn't there though for the playsets or big vehicles... 

I think we see the Flacon again every whipstitch, or the AT-AT because it's cheap.  Hasbro can take molds they already have and put something out very cheaply just like repacking figures.  It keeps a diverse line available for purchase at a minimum cost to the company, and retail can bite on buying any or they can leave it.  Most seem to leave it while TRU takes the bait generally.
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