Author Topic: Hasbro Q&A Sessions  (Read 83691 times)

Offline Dan

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #345 on: December 18, 2006, 08:15 AM »
Look, this site continues to carry the torch for a figure that defines obscure and uninteresting. And I signed the petition, because I'll support some fans getting something they want, even if it isn't something I am very interested in myself. It's part of supporting the community we have created.

I continue to kick the playset horse myself in some of these threads. I would like to see some products to showcase the thousands of figures I have bought in the last 10 years. I don't care much for play features, but some well made backdrops for my characters would be very welcome. They don't need to be huge or complicated, something like the backdrops they have been inserting into the ship boxes with windows (dagobah x wing, snowspeeder).

This is not 1977. These items do not have to be carried in a catalog, shipped to thousands of retail stores, and advertised on television. Hasbro has a sales website capable of carrying something like this, or it could be a shared internet exclusive like some of the multipacks. I think there are creative ways to look at making something to see how it does.

I just think the tone of this thread is not something the mods should be supporting. It is bashing- pure and simple. The message is clear, anyone asking for playsets or something like it is an idiot. But don't forget to sign the ICMG petition on your way out the door.

It's a hobby of toys- smearing someone elses ideas does not make you smarter or better then them. There is no right way to collect, and no wrong way either.


Offline Gatillo

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #346 on: December 18, 2006, 08:56 AM »
Agreed.  To be honest I would like some playsets too.  It is not about action feature, lights or sounds but just about adding something to a diorama or just having one period.

But Hasbro has said it a million times that playsets are not in their plan so the question is not needed.

Plus that whole send Yak a mold idea is weak at best.  Hasbro is not here for us but for them.  They may throw us a bone here and there but do not get any ideas about our influence over them.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2006, 09:17 AM by Gatillo »
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #347 on: December 18, 2006, 11:51 AM »
Do people not have any idea how basic economics in this world works?

Profit Margin= (Price Sold to Retailers - Costs/Revenue)

#5 Hasbro paid out the NOSE for the right to make Star Wars **** and that **** is a fixed X per item, it is exactly why other companies can make playsets and vehicles and Hasbro can not.


This is the one thing that Hasbro is dealing with that I think they're afraid to mention in the Q&A's.  They paid hundreds of millions of dollars along with selling off 10% of Hasbro to GL to get the Star Wars license.  The cost that those business deals have incurred is why Star Wars can't have the vehicles that GI Joe or other toy lines are capable of having (Hasbro owns GI Joe as an intellectual property and doesn't have to pay the licensing).  Perhaps we should redirect these sorts of questions to the appropriate people like Jim Ward of Lucas Licensing?
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Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #348 on: December 18, 2006, 12:00 PM »
The thing that gets me more than anything about lousy questions being asked is not the fact that the question was asked, but that the question was picked from a pool of questions to be asked in the first place.
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Offline Matt

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #349 on: December 18, 2006, 12:39 PM »
Look, this site continues to carry the torch for a figure that defines obscure and uninteresting. And I signed the petition, because I'll support some fans getting something they want, even if it isn't something I am very interested in myself. It's part of supporting the community we have created.

The difference between Willrow and playset questions is that Willrow's been asked about a handful of times, and playsets have been asked about literally dozens of times.  On top of that, there's somewhat of a glimmer of hope that Willrow will see the light of day sometime in the next couple of years, whereas playsets have continuously gotten shot down, time and time again.  Hell, the last time the site in question asked about playsets, they got a very candid (and hilarious) "we think we've discussed playsets to death" response, but they still went on to ask another repetitive playsets question, which received another repetitive playsets answer.

Quote
I continue to kick the playset horse myself in some of these threads. I would like to see some products to showcase the thousands of figures I have bought in the last 10 years. I don't care much for play features, but some well made backdrops for my characters would be very welcome. They don't need to be huge or complicated, something like the backdrops they have been inserting into the ship boxes with windows (dagobah x wing, snowspeeder).

Just 'cause I think a particular question is horrible doesn't mean that I'm against whatever the subject of the question was.  Believe it or not, I'd like more playsets and new vehicles, too, and I agree that they've gotten the shaft in the modern line.  But I'm sick of reading these tired questions about them, so I can only imagine how tired Hasbro is of having to answer them.  Regardless of what you think of those answers, Hasbro is performing a nice service to the collecting community with these Q & As, and if all you can muster up is a question that's seemingly been asked (and answered) every other week, then it's probably time to do something else.  Think of some better questions, or if you can't do that, don't submit those questions at all.  Take a break until you can brainstorm up some better ones.  One good question is better than three garbage questions, any day of the week.

Quote
I just think the tone of this thread is not something the mods should be supporting. It is bashing- pure and simple. The message is clear, anyone asking for playsets or something like it is an idiot. But don't forget to sign the ICMG petition on your way out the door.

It's a hobby of toys- smearing someone elses ideas does not make you smarter or better then them. There is no right way to collect, and no wrong way either.

It is a little negative, which is why I changed the verbiage a few weeks ago.  If the mods still deem it bad for the site, I'll be happy to stop doing it--at least in an official capacity, anyway.  But yeah, as long as dumbass questions keep being asked, then I'll keep pointing them out, in some way, shape, or form.

And I will point out that any "bashing" that's been done has been focused more on the question itself, less on the site that asked it, and not at all on the individual who asked it.

Offline Sprry75

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #350 on: December 18, 2006, 10:20 PM »
Quote
I know the Q&A has had a lot of new vehicle and playset questions and you have told us why you don't make them, but fans are not convinced by these reasons because, they walk down the toy aisles seeing other large toy companies and small companies (who have less funding and resources than Hasbro, make new molds without the issues Hasbro has with making new molds) filling the shelves with new vehicles and playsets for their toy lines, which the retailers obviously don't mind selling in their shops and are being bought; many items could be listed in one store alone. GI Joe being an example of the outcome of this. I would of thought as a toy maker, Hasbro would want to constantly put out new product not just new packaging to keep it fresh, to be Innovative and up to date in your chosen business. For example Hasbro has said no to build-a-figure suggestions, but the next Buffy wave of figures will have it so it must be a good idea. This is the point most fans donít get Hasbro turned it down; though the company will experiment with items like Choppers and Playskool etc.

As well as fans, Kids want new Vehicles and Playsets to put their favourite figures in, as we all did when we were kids. Collectors will only buy so many Jedi Starfighter repaints before they've had enough and most kids will only want one of each different vehicle, again as we all did when we were young, because we wanted new ships not the same we already had but in a different colour.

Sorry if this sounds more like a rant than a question, but this is the frustration many fans have, we feel let down compared to other fans and kids. You have given us some great figures and battle packs but what about the rest? My question boils down to how come you give reasons, saying you can't do something or you say retailers have an issue with shelf space, when other Toy companies are doing it and retailers are stocking it? (YF, 12/15/06)

Bwah-hah-hah!

What a retarded, dickheaded question.  Not just because it beats the living **** out of a dead, dead, dead horse; and not simply because of its brilliant logic ("the next Buffy wave of figures will have it so it must be a good idea"); but because it has to be the most egregious collection of poorly worded sentences in the history of the internet.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2006, 10:21 PM by Sprry75 »
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #351 on: December 19, 2006, 05:01 PM »
Quote
The message is clear, anyone asking for playsets or something like it is an idiot. But don't forget to sign the ICMG petition on your way out the door.

Bob, don't get me wrong on this and I see your point in a way...  However I completely agree with Matt about the differences in a figure and a playset...  Figure tooling and playset tooling aren't even in the same design teams at Hasbro.  Figures aren't considered "risky" since they can offset them usually via other means (repacks, repaints, etc., etc.), and even dull figures DO seem to sell at some point...  You can slip a less than interesting character in as a fan wank, into a case of army builders, main characters and whatnot, and that cost incurred is diminished on the duller character.  Case-in-point is Lushros Dofine or his ilk...  Hasbro have said these figures usually get a lower production run, but at the same time they're able to be made because other figures are going to make up that slack...  Be it a clone, a stormtrooper, random army builder or what have you.

A playset doesn't have that...  plain and simple. 

Believe me I'm all for people getting what they want.  I for one would love to-scale ships ALL the time, and I'm sure most everyone here (that know me anyway) knows that about me...  I also have the common sense to realize a scale AT-AT isn't going to happen and I'd even be shocked if we got a new sculpt at all on that vehicle.  Or insert any other vehicle you want in there...  An AT-TE could happen if TE's play a major role in a TV series...  What are the odds ont hat happening though, honestly? 

Same with playsets...  The only chances we've been given by Hasbro are if it's prominent in the series, and even then I doubt it happens.  A new playset/ship has to meet a certain price ranger for it to have the diminished risk, plus it has to be appealing on top of that, and Hasbro's said again and again that playsets and larger scaled vehicles are not in the cards for the most part... 

Wilrow though, supposedly is...  So there's a big difference.  It's comparing apples and oranges really.
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Offline Jayson

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #352 on: December 19, 2006, 07:09 PM »
"Hasbro, we know how to run your business better than you do, and we know that making playsets is like making a license to print money, and we know that your entire business philosophy actually revolves around us (even though you've repeatedly said it doesn't), and although we know that this question has been asked (and answered) multiple times throughout the Q & A sessions, we're gonna ask it again anyway, because we're naive enough to think that if we ask it just one more time, that maybe you'll snap out of your non-playset-making coma, and fulfill all of our wildest playset fantasies, no matter how many times you've said that they're bad for your business, because the pirate ship from the pirate movie is selling really great at my K-Mart down the street, and surely something like a $50 "gray hallway with sliding door" playset from a thirty-year-old movie would sell just as well in today's market, so we know that you're actually just lying to us, because you know that you'd make a ton of money with such a playset, but you won't make any because you just like being mean to us collectors more than you like making a profit on something."

Wow.
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Offline Scott

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #353 on: December 19, 2006, 08:38 PM »
I see that Playmates/Simpsons and Zizzle/POTC are brought up at Yak...

Hasbro originally paid $600 million dollars to Lucasland for the rights to produce toys...I can guarantee Playmates or Zizzle did not pay anywhere near even $100 million for the rights to make toys.  As Nick pointed out, that is a huge reason why stuff is not getting made (see new Unleashed, 12" figures etc)  Things like Choppers and Transformers are cross promotional across all Hasbro lines, Transformer and SW Attacktix, Star Wars Transformers, Marvel Galactic Heroes etc are all part of a grand Hasbro scheme to dominate the toy shelves.  Large Boxed dioramas with low profit margins due to high license, tooling and plastic costs just do not make business sense.  Its pretty black and white to me and has been stated as such by Hasbro ad naseum.  Plus the track record of playsets at retail is pretty horrible.  The Queen's Starship, the Arena and the Mustafar Volcano all saw clearance...the Carbon Freeze Chamber didn't even get to retail because nobody wanted it and then was clearanced out on line as well.

Me, I'd love a Attackus style Millenium Falcon or Dagobah playset made of plastic in the $20-$50 range but I'm not going to hold my breath

RE Willrow Hood, I think Matt and Jesse stated it perfectly...I do agree with you though Dan that people shouldn't be belittling what other people want, although I would agree that badgering and continually asking over and over again when its already been stated several times in the last 6 months is going a little bit overboard


Offline Nicklab

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #354 on: December 19, 2006, 09:56 PM »
I see that Playmates/Simpsons and Zizzle/POTC are brought up at Yak....

I saw the CEO of Zizzle on The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch on CNBC last night.  As you mentioned they have the POTC license.  Prior to them getting that license they had only ONE product on the market.  It's been profitable, but Zizzle is still very much in the startup phase and is depending on POTC to succeed in a big way.  Their CEO has a good history in the toy business, but the POTC license is still a gamble for them.  They no doubt have a direct percentage of their sales going back to Disney to pay for this license, or have some major financing set up to do so.  But there should be no doubt that POTC could make or break Zizzle financially in the blink of an eye.

But if you look at Zizzle and their product line, they don't have a lot of big ticket items on the shelves.  And they also *NEED* to have a pirate ship as part of their line.  It's inherent to the story to have a pirate ship.  There also aren't a lot of other vehicles in the line, so that's going to bring their tooling costs down.

Hasbro originally paid $600 million dollars to Lucasland for the rights to produce toys...I can guarantee Playmates or Zizzle did not pay anywhere near even $100 million for the rights to make toys.  As Nick pointed out, that is a huge reason why stuff is not getting made (see new Unleashed, 12" figures etc)  Things like Choppers and Transformers are cross promotional across all Hasbro lines, Transformer and SW Attacktix, Star Wars Transformers, Marvel Galactic Heroes etc are all part of a grand Hasbro scheme to dominate the toy shelves.  Large Boxed dioramas with low profit margins due to high license, tooling and plastic costs just do not make business sense.  Its pretty black and white to me and has been stated as such by Hasbro ad naseum.  Plus the track record of playsets at retail is pretty horrible.  The Queen's Starship, the Arena and the Mustafar Volcano all saw clearance...the Carbon Freeze Chamber didn't even get to retail because nobody wanted it and then was clearanced out on line as well.

I think that those of us who have some understanding of the business end of the toy industry are probably going to be more accepting of these facts.  But I think that even if Hasbro were to communicate these facts to the fan sites via the Q&A's, there is still going to be this group that is outraged at the situation and will continue to complain.  I don't think it's a knock on fans or collectors, but on people who will continue to disregard the facts on any range of issues because they don't look into the facts at hand.  And it is that ignorance that is continuing to drive this line of questioning in Hasbro's Q&A's. 

I can only imagine the level of frustration at Hasbro regarding this topic.  How many times can they answer the same question?  And while we know from the press clippings that Hasbro paid over half a billion dollars to Lucasfilm for the license, it's not a good PR move on Hasbro's part to outwardly say "We paid over half a billion dollars for the Star Wars license.  As a result we have to maximize the profitability in the line, and that means we have to cut some items that have been loss leaders.  Unfortunately that means playsets.  Sorry."

Me, I'd love a Attackus style Millenium Falcon or Dagobah playset made of plastic in the $20-$50 range but I'm not going to hold my breath

Same here.  I think those pieces look fantastic, but they remain out of my price range.  However I think it's entirely possible for some ingenious collectors/customizers to get take Attakus' cue and find some materials that are similar to what's in the Attakus set and get to work.  I think some kind of grey and/or black linoleum of some kind might make a good source of material for your own Death Star display.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 10:09 PM by Nicklab »
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Offline Matt

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #355 on: December 19, 2006, 10:11 PM »
Wow.

I know, right?

That's the same thing I said when I read yet another whiny "why won't you guys make any more playsets" question:

"Wow."

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #356 on: December 19, 2006, 10:13 PM »
Personally I don't mean to really bust anyone's bubble via this thread either.  I have my own quirks in this hobby that get my dander up...  Hell imagine how I feel about articulation even.  Hasbro's not actually given an answer on that question that says, "it's risky and cost-prohibitive to make all figures SA".  Quite the contrary, Hasbro's actually said they simply won't add additional articulation to figures they feel don't need it...  I've taken that to mean it's just a corner they cut where they feel they can.

Dumb as I think it sounds, because to me it shows an inferior quality in the product offered, Hasbro have simply said they won't do SA across the board because they don't want to...  No real major cost issues involved and whatnot that dominated their decision, no major aesthetic issues...  Simply their choice.

The playset thing though...  They've given actual cost reasons, every time.  They're too risky, too costly, take up too much shelf space, etc., etc., etc...  They've beat the topic to death equally in return to it being asked semi-routinely in Q&A.

I feel the same about Unleashed though...  I know there's some guys who LOVE the 7" line and want new figures.  I wish those guys the best that they could have new figures, but the fact is Hasbro said they're abnormally expensive toolings and costly production pieces that have done traditionally poor at retail despite the claims of collectors (a key thing to remember here of course).

I know everyone says, "I'd buy it!  Regardless of price!", and I'm sure some would, but I haven't a doubt in my mind that the truly vast majority would not put their money where their mouth is...  

And while I agree that Matt's quote sounds harsh in it's wording, I think it also rings a little true to it as well Jay...  Telling Hasbro time and again in the Q&A that Joe Collector knows more than the guy with the sales sheets at Hasbro really does sound condescending and this last question even had a tinge of lecturing in it...  

I'd love a cool stackable playset myself, to the point I've worked on my own at times, and I think I'd pay a good price for one I felt was worth the price...  But at the same time, I completely believe Hasbro's reasoning on WHY they aren't doing it.  There's proof throughout the line, and not all the dismal financial failures have been "crap" that isn't what the collectors wanted...  Some of it's been pretty good stuff, and it still sat and saw price reductions.  Hasbro's got the reasoning why not to do it I'm afraid and I can't disagree...  Collectors DON'T put their money where their mouths are, and that alone makes them less than reliable on everything they feel will sell.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #357 on: December 19, 2006, 10:27 PM »
Dumb as I think it sounds, because to me it shows an inferior quality in the product offered, Hasbro have simply said they won't do SA across the board because they don't want to...  No real major cost issues involved and whatnot that dominated their decision, no major aesthetic issues...  Simply their choice.

Actually I think they have addressed this sufficiently.  They've said that a higher level of articulation leads to increased tooling.  That in turn leads to a higher cost.  Figure costs get averaged across the line, and bringing up costs across the whole line would probably lead to a price hike.

And with the figures that they tend to give minimal articulation I have seen them cite the aesthetic of the figure and whether or not increased articulation is character appropriate.  If it wasn't in the online Q&A's, then it has certainly been at shows where Hasbro has been exhibiting.  Certainly a Padme figure in some ornate gown isn't going to be very action oriented by virtue of the scenes that the costumes were derived from.
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Offline Oboewan

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #358 on: December 20, 2006, 11:25 AM »
I feel the same about Unleashed though...  I know there's some guys who LOVE the 7" line and want new figures.  I wish those guys the best that they could have new figures, but the fact is Hasbro said they're abnormally expensive toolings and costly production pieces that have done traditionally poor at retail despite the claims of collectors (a key thing to remember here of course).
that alone makes them less than reliable on everything they feel will sell.

As one of those 7"Unleashed guys, I kind of feel that Hasbro killed that line all on their own with the Force Battlers... I remember a number of times when I'd be in the store looking for Unleashed and see a kid look at the unleashed and say "I want this one mommy" only to be told "but THIS one has battle features" and after a bit of talking to her son, they end up getting the Force Battler (I have an even worse opinion about them than the SW transformers).   While I'd love some "new" unleashed figures, I'm won't be too bumbed with repacks even though I have all the originals.  Why?   1. The new Sideshow 12" line will feed my "larger figure" needs and 2.  I don't collect with intent to resell or stash for retirement.  If they redo some of the Unleashed I paid secondary market prices for, it's not going to bother me that my loose stormtrooper I already have won't sell for as much as it would otherwise.  It'll be 18-20 bucks I can spend elsewhere.

As for playsets,  I haven't been to enthralled with the few playsets Hasbro has given is "the modern era" in the first place- I'd rather they spend time and money on improving the 3 3/4 figures and vehicles instead.   

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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #359 on: December 21, 2006, 12:22 AM »
They've addressed articulation to an extent, and the Q&A online sure has been a lot more clear and concise than Hasbro ever was in the past, but at the same time their answers have contradicted themselves in the past and present between the Q&A online and at conventions and other avenues of contact with collectors, so that alone leaves me skeptical...  That plus we've seen their own actions with the line contradict their explanations of cost and balance issues by making figures vastly more complex when many times it seems overkill or unnecessary, or what have you...  That's not my point in this discussion though.  I think there is some explanation there though from Hasbro, I agree, I just partially disagree with their logic in many instances while I also see some contradictions.  For instance at one time the style of articulation was cited as a cost issue...  then that was backtracked upon by them in a Q&A and it was cited as an issue of construction costs due to the # of parts, etc.

And I think that same concept I'm getting at with the issue of articulation applies to other questions too...  Hasbro do seemingly say one thing while do another at times...  And I'm sure there's some skepticism too and I feel for that collector who wants to ask the same thing again and again, but at this point it's not worth it...  It's why we don't ask the articulation question here, again and again and again...   Or the playset question, or the Unleashed question, or the ICMG question, or whatever...  It's not always what you want to hear, and sometimes you can point out good (or bad) points that are quite contrary to Hasbro's data or opinions, but when you know what their answer will be it's just not worth asking it again.

I do think they've been a little more thorough on the issue of articulation than in the past though for sure...  Enough that I'm content.  I think though that with the direction the line's taken that articulation is something Hasbro can improve upon since they're definitely making and pushing out the door a lot of product that the margins are MUCH improved on for them...  And thus a boost for the line in quality (hopefully).  Seems to be the way it might be going, but then again I thought the same thing a little over a year ago and that turned around on me so, oh well.
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