Author Topic: Hasbro Q&A Sessions  (Read 79512 times)

Offline Brian

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1095 on: December 11, 2009, 10:54 AM »
I haven't gone through all the answers yet, but just from the ones highlighted in this thread, it does seem a little down again this round.  Like others, I sort of welcome the slow down as well, although 24 new figures for 2010 does seem a bit low (that doesn't count the EU wave correct?).  More than that though, I'm really tired of the 6 month plus breaks between waves.  I mean, sure, it is a chance to save up money (which I'm truly going to try to do this time around), but I do think it has an effect on the TLC line sales at some point as people (even collectors) may lose interest.

The other thing that bothers me is all the hints we've gotten about a "big collector year in 2010", and "you'll like what we have in store for collectors next year", and the talk of a big focus on ESB and it sounds to me that we'll see little to no OT product for the majority of the year.  Couple that with the Bespin Han getting pushed back, the new Taun Taun getting scrapped, and the BMF rumors of Slave 1 or the AT-AT getting iffier all the time...and it doesn't sound like there is that big of a deal after all.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still looking forward to the new movie line figures (even if the wait is until August), and the slow down doesn't even bother me either...but the drought gaps are getting old.  I do think we're going to see some vintage-esque packaging for that movie line though, when it launches in August.  Hopefully there are some other surprises in store as well at Toy Fair, etc.

I think Jesse is on the nose with the future "mixed waves" being a sign of the well getting dried up a little more all the time.  I guess I don't really mind, as that is how it was in the POTJ days, as long as it doesn't get too PT heavy (ROTS in particular has been heavy the past few years).  I mean, looking at our lists here even shows that they are getting made up of resculpts and "bottom of the barrel" characters more and more.  Heck, the majority of the figures I want (for the most part) anymore are OT resculpts it seems.  Overall, sounds like there should be plenty of CW product throughout the year but the "movie" stuff will be scarce for the majority...once again leading to a crazy 4th quarter (although 24 figures wouldn't be as bad, depending on exclusives).

Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1096 on: December 11, 2009, 12:34 PM »
I have mixed feelings about this all.

While I don't mind a slow down of product as I had planned for years to reduce my budget. (And that's been working) The fact that we've basically been told there will be yet again a several month gap between new realistic product is bothersome.

The last wave of comic packs getting scrapped bothers me. I REALLY wanted those sets. I'm guessing this means the Delia Blue and Jarael sets. I really wanted those figures.

Variant missteps this year, not including accessories and such... Really Hasbro? You're going to blame the manufacturing plant for those mistakes? We as consumers don't stand for that kind of stuff which translates into less sales. Retailers will let you know about it too, and that means either a fundamental change in manufacturing from you (using a different plant or pressing on the existing one to do as you say and not just settle for whatever funk they send you), or you come right out and tell us from the onset that variant B or set A won't be made or made with certain accessories.

The FAILINGS of the variant Hoth Rebel Trooper, Imperial Scanning trooper and no accessories in the McQuarrie sets should be quite enough for you, Hasbro, to reconsider how you and you're manufacturing plant operate. Those two figures alone were much anticipated and would likely have been multiple purchases for a great many people. The McQ sets would likely have sold better had the accessories been included. Once I found out they weren't I knew I was going to bypass them for certain. Initially the sets intrigued me even though I'm typically an opener. In the case of those two McQ sets, I'd have bought them to stay boxed. But without them being displayed in their iconic poses with weapons in hand, the sets became very boring and uninteresting.  BTW, thanks for saving me money on that then.

Doing away with BaD parts if you're not going to drop the price of your figures by at least $1, will no doubt have  a big impact on collecting. Just look around here and on other collecting sites. You'll see post after post form people who bought more figures this year than previous years due to those BaD parts. In some cases buying whole waves of figures JUST for those BaD parts.

I can agree that Oola Needs remade, the Cantina Band is Meh to me. And Jabba's band is even more Meh. The bands don't scream action to me, so what we have is fine by me. Though I'm sure not everyone shares that sentiment.

Hasbro, you've done a lot of things right, and some things right by we collectors, however, this business strategy of holding off for months until the latter half of the year is what is really killing this line. Not we collectors. We would happily buy all year round if you made this stuff available to us. So please, when your first and second quarter reports come in and you see a slide in SW product, look at yourselves first for the decisions you've made and STOP blaming we collectors. In many cases we've been buying SW toys for decades. Under your specific brand name for 15 years, approx. So don't give us a hard time about loyalty to the line and your business in particular.

For the mixed waves, I'm again Meh on it. I expected it to come to this eventually. I'd rather have this now to be honest, rather than having to have an "anchor" character for each wave. Anchor to me means WEIGHING DOWN a line. In this case, the umpteenth Han, Luke, Leia, or Vader figure. I'd rather see new characters never before made or only those previously released characters in serious need of an upgrade in both sculpt, articulation, paint app and overall quality.

Well, I've said my peace (piece-whichever it is) for now. Don't get me wrong Hasbro, I love the majority of what you produce, but it's the when and how you are producing it that is causing the greatest amount of consternation among the collecting community at large.
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Offline speedermike

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1097 on: December 11, 2009, 12:50 PM »
I think mixed cases might work better than what is happening now.  Let's say a mixed case hits the pegs, 6 new figures, six repacks.  The collectors will buy the new ones, and kids/moms/dads will buy the repacks.  The only thing is, the repacks have to me very mainstream..  Plo-Koon is not a mainsteam figure.  Keep the repacks, Luke, Vader, Han, Yoda, Darth Maul, Anikin, Obi-Wan, Chewie and a few others, and it should be fine.  Vader and Luke should ALWAYS be on the pegs...

24 new figs?  They better be great choices.
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Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1098 on: December 11, 2009, 12:56 PM »
24 new figs?  They better be great choices.

Damn right! I do not want to see either of those friggin useless Naboo queens. I want to see that ass faced Walrus, the Scottish Snout Evezian, Ackbar, Piett etc kind of choices. They better be some damn good choices because there is no wiggle room for weak ones.

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Online Jeff

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1099 on: December 11, 2009, 01:53 PM »
I really can't get too upset about all this cutting back stuff.  There have been super-meaty years with 80+ figures and there have been very lean years... ebb and flow.  I mean, let's take a look back at 2004.  We had a pretty decent spring with 21 new figures, but the Fall OTC line had about 40 figures... and only SEVEN were new.  That's 31 new figures in the calendar year and about 33 repacks.

I figure we'll have 6 EU figures in Spring, then 24 in the fall.  30 is low, but it isn't unheard of for Hasbro to slow things down a little bit.  Maybe they are cutting back because they need to focus more on CW to strike while the iron is hot?  Maybe they are cutting back on the movie line because they are working on a new sub-line for the SWTOR video game... or maybe they are already thinking about the new TV series if that happens in 2011/2012?

30 figures in 2010 will help my budget and will leave a little extra cash in there to finally go back and finish up my loose vintage collection or maybe dabble in some other things a bit more.  And I'm fine with that.
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Offline Keonobi

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1100 on: December 11, 2009, 02:00 PM »
I'm actually a bit excited that there are only 30 figure in the line next year.  Sure I get geeked looking at all the pictures from Toy Fare, Comicon, etc., but I still only end up buy 40-60% of them anyway.  So having a smaller number I'm excited about next year will let me go back a get a few figures from previous years that I never got and help me pay better attention to my budget (I'm very much an impulse buyer, if they have something new/cool when we're at Walmart I'm likely to pick it up, if there isn't, I'm not driving all over town to try and find it).

Its too bad LEGO doesn't do a similar discussion to Hasbro, I'd be interested to hear if they've seen a similar slow down in sales to Hasbro and if they'd attribute it/blame it on collectors, or if they've seen weakness in their product selection, or just the slow down in consumer spending generally.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1101 on: December 11, 2009, 04:03 PM »
I really can't get too upset about all this cutting back stuff.  There have been super-meaty years with 80+ figures and there have been very lean years... ebb and flow.  I mean, let's take a look back at 2004.  We had a pretty decent spring with 21 new figures, but the Fall OTC line had about 40 figures... and only SEVEN were new.  That's 31 new figures in the calendar year and about 33 repacks.

I figure we'll have 6 EU figures in Spring, then 24 in the fall.  30 is low, but it isn't unheard of for Hasbro to slow things down a little bit.  Maybe they are cutting back because they need to focus more on CW to strike while the iron is hot?  Maybe they are cutting back on the movie line because they are working on a new sub-line for the SWTOR video game... or maybe they are already thinking about the new TV series if that happens in 2011/2012?

30 figures in 2010 will help my budget and will leave a little extra cash in there to finally go back and finish up my loose vintage collection or maybe dabble in some other things a bit more.  And I'm fine with that.

I'm pretty much here completely.  The only thing having me worried is them claiming cutting back production.  I didn't read the answer where they said that, but that bugs me slightly as right now the newer waves aren't sitting at all locally.  So it makes me wonder what they're cutting production compared to.  Compared to TPM wave?  If so, that sucks.  If it's compared to Yarna/Breha/Bail figures thought, then I see their reasoning.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1102 on: December 11, 2009, 07:55 PM »
I think it may not be as bleak as it seems from the outset.  But with the EU wave being the final TLC RED basic figure wave until July/August, it does seem to be a bit of a downer.  The basic figure line represents the health of the line as a whole.  It's a symbol.  So when it slows down it has an affect on the overall line.  Because it's the circulation of the basic figure line that keeps bringing collectors into the stores on a regular basis.

Still, there are some significant things on the way.

-2 x Force Unleashed multipacks (TRU exclusives)

-3 x Comic 2-packs (general release)
    -Tholme & T'ra Saa
    -Blackhole & Stormtrooper
    -Exar Kun & Ulic Qel Droma

-3 x exclusive Comic 2-Packs (WalMart)

-2 x event exclusive Comic 2-packs (rumored)
    -1 @ Comic Con
    -1 @ Celebration V

That's not including any Clone Wars, vehicle releases or battle packs.


As for the gap itself?  I honestly don't know if we're going to see the EU wave before Christmas.  The EMPIRE wave is only just showing now.  If the EU wave doesn't show before Christmas, we're not likely to see it in quantity until February.  I also think we're likely to finally see the bulk of the TLC RED basic figures make it out some time over the next few months.  It's certainly been one of the tougher lines to collect in recent memory.  The break may allow some collectors to catch up or do some army building.

I'd expect the first wave of the new line look to launch some time in July.  Still, that would be about a 6 month gap in releases for the movie based figure line.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1103 on: December 11, 2009, 08:55 PM »
Yeah, the break is the main thing that kind of stinks.  I don't know that we'll see that EU wave until the New Year, and as you said, it may be February until it shows up in any quantity.  Hopefully the fact that it has several months to hang out on the pegs, it won't be too tough for people to find.  Otherwise, to fill in that 6 month waiting period, hopefully we'll see some of these recent TLC waves released again.  It seems like they have been coming fast and furious, and some people (in some areas) haven't been able to get them all.  Sort of a "blink and you'll miss them" situation, since it is one wave on top of the next.  We haven't seen the ESB wave around here yet, and I hope we continue to see that shipping in the New Year for awhile as well.

Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1104 on: December 12, 2009, 12:13 AM »
Still, there are some significant things on the way.

-3 x Comic 2-packs (general release)
    -Tholme & T'ra Saa
    -Blackhole & Stormtrooper
    -Exar Kun & Ulic Qel Droma

I thought the Comic Packs they kept referring to were:

  • Exar Kun & Ulic Qel Droma
  • Blackhole & Stormtrooper
  • Scout Trooper & Clone Trooper (Republic #83)
  • Cody's Lieutenant & Clone Trooper (Routine Valor)

I think in one of their recent answers they specifically referred to the "two comic packs with the Clone Troopers" - so I think those last two are definitely coming - it's not like they're expensive sets for Hasbro since they are 100% repaints.

Don't get me wrong, I would love it if the Tholme & T'ra Saa figures make it out, it would be great if they would provide specifics on what's still coming.
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Offline Darby

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1105 on: December 12, 2009, 10:29 AM »
It seems the break will be somewhat mitigated by the fact CW figures will still be pumping through, at least until summer, when Hasbro focuses all its attention its movie licenses.  I'm personally fine with that.  It took me a while to grow on these, but the show has improved dramatically, and the figures and designs are really cool.

I think the missing variants and accessories is a sign the line is too big even for Hasbro to manage.  Communication gaps and oversights increase - and these are few in number - the larger the operation.  I won't complain too much, we get a lot and almost always get what we want.

Offline Nicklab

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1106 on: December 12, 2009, 11:05 AM »
Still, there are some significant things on the way.

-3 x Comic 2-packs (general release)
    -Tholme & T'ra Saa
    -Blackhole & Stormtrooper
    -Exar Kun & Ulic Qel Droma

I thought the Comic Packs they kept referring to were:

  • Exar Kun & Ulic Qel Droma
  • Blackhole & Stormtrooper
  • Scout Trooper & Clone Trooper (Republic #83)
  • Cody's Lieutenant & Clone Trooper (Routine Valor)



Actually, it appears to be 5 x 2-packs that *MAY* make it to market.  These were all originally slated for Fall '09 release:

  • Exar Kun & Ulic Qel Droma
  • Blackhole & Stormtrooper
  • Bogey Squad - Scout Trooper & Clone Trooper (Republic #83)
  • Cody's Lieutenant & Clone Trooper (Routine Valor)
  • Tholme & T'ra Saa

It's the sets like Rohlan Dyre & Jarael and Darth Nihl & Deliah Blue that seem to be cancelled for now.  One certainly hopes that Hasbro can offer these as either exclusives or perhaps split them out into basic figure waves at a later date.
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Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1107 on: December 12, 2009, 11:11 AM »
I'm kind of bummed about no more comic packs, since that was the only way of getting figures from the Legacy comic, but since Hasbro's done so much development on them, I'm sure we'll see them in the basic line eventually, much like I expect to happen with the 2nd versions of the Scanning Crew and Hoth Soldier. It might not be 2010, but I expect them eventually.

I think we all expected them to focus all their energy/resources on CW and for the regular line to take a backseat. I really do welcome the break. 60-odd figures every year, and almost 40 of those in the 4th quarter- I'm so tired of that.
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Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1108 on: December 12, 2009, 11:21 AM »
I think we all expected them to focus all their energy/resources on CW and for the regular line to take a backseat. I really do welcome the break. 60-odd figures every year, and almost 40 of those in the 4th quarter- I'm so tired of that.

Well - just because they indicate that those four waves will feature 24 new figures doesn't mean the count won't be more like 48 total figures for 2010.

I'm willing to bet that EVERY one of those four assortments will feature 6 new figures and 6 repacks bringing the grand total of carded movie-line figures up to 48.

So if you're a carded collector who likes to have all of the numbered figures in sequence, it's only a slight drop from this fall which was 54 figures total and out of those, 17 of them were repacks.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 11:22 AM by Pete_Fett »
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Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: Hasbro Q&A Sessions
« Reply #1109 on: December 13, 2009, 09:40 AM »
I'm okay with the vast majority of the information that came out in the Q&A (with the obvious exceptions of the Bespin Han and Scanning Crew news).  I think that Hasbro's been going at too large and quick a pace for the last couple of years and, heresy as it may be to some, I think that CW deserves to have the limelight right now, given that it is the most visible entertainment outlet.  I'm not saying that I prefer the animated CW stuff over the PT/OT realistic figures at all, because I don't, but to put out as many if not more realistic figures in a non-movie year instead of figures that are more visible literally week after week is kind of silly, IMO.

If they're doing the rumored "vintage" look for the figures that are coming out and there is good character selection (both in the brand-new figures and the recards), this could be one of the better lines of figures in recent memory, if only for the aesthetic appeal.  I'm a loose collector, but vintage style cards might push me into buying a few recarded figures to keep carded for that reason.  The real problem here will be Saga Legends, whose existence is useless with this new line approach, given Hasbro's mantra of "kids are buying animated CW and collectors are the only people buying realistic/TLC" these days.  Dump Saga Legends, go back to two SKUs, and pick figures with actual appeal across both audiences (i.e. NOT Plo Koon and Saesee Tiin) for the repacks.