Author Topic: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.  (Read 20045 times)

Offline CorranHorn

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #135 on: May 23, 2007, 12:47 AM »
THIS is why I want to see an end to the "vintage" line. It's a nice novelty, but it's starting to stretch thin in terms of selection - I question putting Bossk and IG-88 (though it's an awesome figure) in this year's lineup - as well as putting the additional dents in our wallet when they have an increased field of competition from within their own brand and elsewhere. They know we'll buy this crap (and I'm every bit as guilty as everyone else for that) so they see no need to put the efforts elsewhere, i.e. SA or near-SA figures in the "basic" line, but it's damn annoying.

If there's one thing in Hasbro's line-up that isn't crap, it's the vintage style figures.  They're the highest quality sculpts (threepio notwithstanding) in awesome collectible packaging.  And like you pointed out, you're as guilty for buying it as anyone.  As always, no one's forcing anyone to buy anything - if you don't like it, don't buy it.  If enough people feel the same way, it will stop being profitable and they'll stop being made.  In the mean time I agree with you that I want to see an end to the vintage line - right at about 95 figures or so.   8)

Rob - "crap" was used here in the same vain as "stuff", probably should have used that instead. Nonetheless, you're right that the "vintage" figures are of the highest quality, but that quality isn't limited to the "vintage" line. So collectible packaging aside it sucks that Hasbro pushes this "vintage" line instead as the cream of the crop when it doesn't have to be, and that's every collector's fault (me too) for buying into this. Though I can't possibly see how anyone would want all 96 original carded vintage figures (got to count Yak Face, RL C-3PO, and the 2 R2's they haven't made yet) done in this "vintage" style. Do figures like Barada, Prune Face, and Rancor Keeper really need this treatment? And what about the figures like the AT-AT Driver who are already of this quality, do they just get re-carded? It's a slippery slope with this "vintage" line, the selection is limited for them to truly gain a profit from re-doing actual vintage figures and branding any post-1995 figure OT or PT as "vintage" is just lame.

Offline Dressel Rebel

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #136 on: May 23, 2007, 12:55 AM »
Do figures like ...Prune Face...really need this treatment?

You betcha.
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Offline Matt

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #137 on: May 23, 2007, 01:20 AM »
I don't think they'll ever see the vintage line to it's completion.  They've already hit most of the iconic characters/outfits, and after a few more waves made up of the remaining "good ones," there's just not gonna be anything all that compelling left to do.  Warok.  Rancor Keeper.  General Madine, etc.  A bunch of boring-ass characters, who would warm the pegs at $7 each in the basic line, nevermind a $10 deluxe line.

Unless they start seriously watering down and thinning out their vintage waves by recarding past vintage figs, and by adding in "newly vintage" characters (prequel and/or otherwise), I just don't see it happening. 

If today's poll is any indication, I think we'll get a "vintage" Tarkin or Darth Maul before we'll ever get a vintage Lumat, for example.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #138 on: May 23, 2007, 01:58 AM »
About the "slippery slope" CH mentioned, I concur with that line of thinking in a lot of ways.  I would like (part of me anyway) to see all the vintage cardbacks and things in one line...  But what about those AT-AT Drivers, Death Star Gunners...  I don't know so much.  I'm a big fan of the idea of the full vintage line redone but I guess at the end of the day I'm a bigger fan of cheaper figures than what we get in vintage.

Add to that the figures I'm sure many just won't want regardless of how nice they are done, like the mentioned Malikili...  Some figures just have universally little appeal at all and would be rough purchases to choke down for "the complete set" feeling.

About the costs and "inflation", I think there's some holes in the inflation between movie years and non-movie years...  99 things go up to $7 a figure, 2002 they drop to $5 a figure, 2005 the price dropped for only part of the year and was going up before Christmas in one of the most profitable years Star Wars has ever seen...  There's been less rhyme/reason to the price increases/decreases than there have been patterns...  Then again there's only been 3 movie years to draw comparisons on in the modern collecting world, so it's a little bit of a hollow argument.

But like I said, going back to my original argument agains the inflation argument...  Inflation is a fraction of the equation.  There's no doubt it impacts everything in the world of consumers from milk and eggs to toys and computers...  But any economist will tell you that comparing one industry's inflation rates/specifics to another is the old "Apples & Oranges" argument.  And if you look around the toy industry, the oil crunch is being felt but not at the rates Hasbro's Star Wars line seems to be going...  Leaving Star Wars aside from the argument, what's a Barbie cost now compared to 1995...  What about GI Joes?  What about POwer Rangers?  Hot Wheels?  Slot Cars?  You'll see lots of toys made of plastic that aren't feeling that crunch...

The better argument is in the company spreading the cost of decisions it makes throughout the line or the brand itself so it doesn't spread to other "teams".  Anyone who's worked in a "team" atmosphere in business knows how fiercely you defend your budget from overages caused by other teams...  Still though, think about this...

Star Wars is seeing more and more sales through re-releases, repaints, etc...  We get lotsa new stuff too, but the great repaint pushes at the holidays have only been common in the last couple years now, vehicles are more and more commonly remixed in.  That's all spread across the brand, but when we discuss why prices go up we never seem to take into account how the company continually SAVES money at the same time. 

I think it's really more retail spreading their increases in expenses to the lines/brands they feel they can fleece the most...  Retail space dedicated to a licensed brand like SW for over 10 years is really rather insane, and it's always been pretty decent space dedicated to the line...  It's pretty safe to assume retail acknowledges the success and realizes when they can do some fleecing without fear of the consumers backing away from the brand...  Is $1 or $2 increases per figure a big increase?  Not really per figure, but at 100 or 200 figures a year, it doesn't take a math major to figure you'd be saving a bit there.  That'd be anywhere from 5 to 10 full tanks of gas for me...  I hardly consider that a drop in the bucket, and in terms of value there's a step forward (or backward) at the $1 increase...  To me that's the difference between ragging on a figure because it lacks knee articulation or doesn't...  The Villie/Vos pack's great at $10...  Make it $12 or $13 and it loses something. 

It's a matter of how you perceive value and things I think, more than anything.  Right now I'm not too displeased with the value, so far in 2007 anyway, but that can change real quick with some limp efforts from Hasbro on a wave or something later in the year...  It's happened in the past.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #139 on: May 23, 2007, 09:25 AM »
Great comments everyone - and I agree, it really is becoming a slippery slope, for all the reasons mentioned here.  The vintage line has been one of my favorite aspects of collecting since it started in 2004, and the assortment I probably look forward to the most each year.  That said, I don't want to see the line migrate to included all characters for $10 a pop.  I simply couldn't afford that, and it isn't necessary for me to have the clamshell (or even spiffy cardbacks).  Like Brent mentioned, I don't see where prequel figures are "vintage" at all.  If they recard using the TPM cardback (or even worse - yawn - the AOTC/Saga cardback), I don't think that really compares to the vintage cardbacks.  The reason I purchase extras of the VOTC/VTSC to leave carded is because of the vintage cardback, the spiffy appearance and the nostalgia factor.  The other option Hasbro has is creating new "vintage" cardbacks for the prequel characters, making them match the OT ones from the 70s/80s.  I don't know if we want to see that either, because it sort of cheapens the vintage line in a way.

Bottom line, like everyone has said here, we can see the vintage quality of figures in the basic line.  In fact, we have, and have been seeing it more and more the past couple years.  Even though the vintage (and OT) are my favorite figures, I can't say that ROTS Pilot Obi-Wan is any less of a figure than VOTC Han Solo - but I got one for $5.24 and one for $9.99.  There are other examples of figures we've seen in the past couple years (Evolutions Anakins, SA Clones - AOTC and ROTS, ROTS Dooku, ROTS Jedi, AT-AT Driver, Leia Boussh, Death Star Gunner, Death Star Trooper, McQuarrie Fett, POTC Cantina figures, Comic Pack Obi-Wan/ARC, etc.) that show we can get essentially the same quality at the basic pricepoint.  I don't want to see the basic line turn into the "crap figures" line, and we only get "ultimate" figures if we pay $10 (or more).  I think this year is looking like one of the best years yet for Star Wars collecting, and that's because the basic line quality has been/looks to be pretty good.  The vintage lineup of course is on the money again, but to see quality through the comic packs, basic line, etc. really brings the whole line up overall.  Also, like Jesse mentioned, licensing fees and all that aside, Star Wars really is an expensive line from the whole "bang for your buck" standpoint.  Seeing some lines in the same scale for $5-6, and lines that are two to three times as big (or as much plastic used) for $9.99, comparatively Star Wars is a little on the high side - especially when you consider we see 60 basic figures a year, plus all the other stuff.  I don't know if any other line can compare with those kind of release numbers in a year (and a non-movie/TV year at that).  Anyways, this vintage line is becoming a slippery slope, and I hope we're not showing Hasbro that we'll pay $10 for all figures from now on.

Offline Morgbug

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #140 on: May 23, 2007, 09:58 AM »
Quote
The other option Hasbro has is creating new "vintage" cardbacks for the prequel characters, making them match the OT ones from the 70s/80s.  I don't know if we want to see that either, because it sort of cheapens the vintage line in a way.

Y'see, this is exactly what I'm wondering: how can they do this?  There's no vintage nostalgia feel with that to me at all.  They don't belong on those cards because they were never on them.  Hasbro made its design decisions in/for 1999/2002/2005.  Changing the styling to match something from the 70s/80s is pointless.  There's simply no need for it. 

Is it hard to do?  No, not at all.  I can easily envision a black rectangular cardback with The Phantom Menace where Empire Strikes Back used to be.  But what's the point?  If they wanted to invoke the ghosts of the past, they had their opportunity some time ago.  Doing it now is such a blatant rip off to me.  There's just no relation to the vintage cardbacks for the modern prequel figures in my mind. 

Yet again: Hasbro has shown they can release a good quality figure at a decent price point for a "reasonable" price (the quotes are for you JJ  ;))

And while I lean towards seeing the entire vintage line done, yeah, there are some real dogs out there.  As Matt mentioned, Madine isn't going to sell well.  I think there's STILL some OTC Madine floating around in stores near me.  Granted they aren't marked down much, but if they aren't moving at $6, they're sure not going to move at the $15 CAD pricepoint either.  Malakili, Rancor Keeper, Bespin Guards, many of the Ewoks (same argument here as JJ has for the Jawa, they're pretty small for $10-12), Admiral Ackbar, Bib Fortuna?  None of these are going to sell well at all at that price and there's relatively little they can do with those sculpts to justify the new price point. 

Do we need a new AT-AT driver sculpt?  How about the Tie Pilot?  Can they be improved?  Sure, everything can, but I don't see Hasbro changing them up much.  The Saga2 pilot and recent Driver sculpts are pretty decent and could go straight to the package, but I'd buy one of each to have carded and be done until they hit clearance.  Probably not what Hasbro wants to hear and definitely not what retailers want to envision happening.  Same can be said for the recent Cloud Car Pilot.

Now, where's that VOTC Lobot?  The Duplex has a need.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #141 on: May 23, 2007, 11:57 AM »
got to count Yak Face, RL C-3PO, and the 2 R2's they haven't made yet) done in this "vintage" style. Do figures like Barada, Prune Face, and Rancor Keeper really need this treatment? And what about the figures like the AT-AT Driver who are already of this quality, do they just get re-carded? It's a slippery slope with this "vintage" line, the selection is limited for them to truly gain a profit from re-doing actual vintage figures and branding any post-1995 figure OT or PT as "vintage" is just lame.

Some lengthy replies to read still in this thread - but I would absolutely love a high quality, definitive version of the Rancor Keeper, Barada, Snaggletooth, Jawa, Prune Face, B-Wing Pilot, General Nadine, Ackbar, Palpatine, all on nice vintage cards.

Imagine a wall with 96 carded vintage figures, and 96 carded VOTC figures.  It would be awesome.  IMO.

The catch as I keep repeating and most seem to agree, is that it needs to stay limited to the 70's and 80's figures for it to keep being special.  Again, IMO.

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #142 on: May 23, 2007, 12:39 PM »
Hmmm.... what else really could be done that would probably sell good enough to justify making them?  I don't think there's any way that all the figures would sell if remade this style.  Here's the ones that I do think should get this treatment eventually... let's say about 7 figures per wave - and make it TWO WAVES per year and limit production a bit more...  I also wouldn't stick with a certain movie theme either for each wave, I think that's just asking for a peg warmer buildup in some cases.


- 1 x Hammerhead
- 1 x Walrus Man
- 2 x Amanaman
- 2 x Han Solo Carbonite
- 2 x Jawa
- 2 x Hoth Luke Skywalker
- 2 x Emperor Palpatine


- 1 x Bib Fortuna
- 1 x Dengar
- 2 x Bespin Gown Leia
- 2 x Endor Rebel
- 2 x Squid Head
- 2 x Bespin Han Solo
- 2 x Emperor Royal Guard


- 1 x Lobot
- 1 x Nien Nunb
- 2 x Imperial Commander
- 2 x AT-AT Driver
- 2 x Emperor Royal Guard
- 2 x 4-LOM
- 2 x C3PO (removable limbs)


- 1 x Admiral Ackbar
- 1 x Lando Skiff Guard
- 1 x Hoth Leia
- 1 x Chief Chirpa
- 2 x TIE Fighter Pilot
- 2 x Zuckuss
- 2 x Bespin Guard
- 2 x Gamorrean Guard


- 1 x 2-1B Medical Droid
- 1 x Rancor Keeper
- 2 x AT-ST Driver
- 2 x Death Squad Commander
- 2 x Death Star Droid
- 2 x Luke (Jedi)
- 2 x Imperial Gunner


- 1 x FX-7
- 1 x Wicket
- 1 x Ugnaught
- 1 x Cloud Car Pilot
- 2 x Hoth Rebel
- 2 x Ree Yees
- 2 x Weequay
- 2 x Stormtrooper Luke

...I really think they need to fix the case assortments moving forward...  A figure, like VOTC Lobot should be packed only 1 per case while a desireable army builder could even get 3 per case.   Regardless of redemeptions/etc, the current mix of ratios is a bad idea from what I see... just look at all the VSTC Greedos and Hans that can still found at retail, and not even selling on clearance.

Who knows how they'll move forward with things... I'd be fine of the vintage line ended altogether since I'm an opener and all this translates to is more money out of my pocket.

 :P

Offline darthmac

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #143 on: May 23, 2007, 03:40 PM »
As much as having all the old vintage done this way would be cool, it would be a financial disaster for Hasbro.  They need to have at least 2 more waves of this line to get all the essential characters done.

Characters I feel really should be done before line is ended:

Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight Outfit)
The Emperor
Emperor's Royal Guard
Hoth Luke
Hoth Leia
Bespin Han
4-LOM
Zuckuss
Dengar
Leia (Boushh Disguise)
Jawa
Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard Disguise)

That is 12 and makes us good for at least another 2 years.

Beyond that the choices for me get tougher.  But I can see the following having legitimate bids:

Amanaman
Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot
AT-AT Driver
Rebel Soldier (Hoth Battle Gear)
Rebel Commander
Admiral Ackbar
Chief Chirpa
Rebel Commando
AT-ST Driver

Offline Rob

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #144 on: May 23, 2007, 04:13 PM »
I'm confident that Hasbro will take it one wave at a time - if a wave fails to be profitable, they'll probably do one more.  If it happens twice, they'll look into repacks of Stormtroopers or Snowtroopers or repacking existing SA molds into Vintage Cards (if applicable) and if none of that works, they'll stop making them.

I'm buying until then.

Offline Morgbug

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #145 on: May 23, 2007, 06:26 PM »

Characters I feel really should be done before line is ended:

...

Where, pray tell, is the Death Squad Commander?
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Offline Paul

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #146 on: May 23, 2007, 11:00 PM »
I want the Original 12 no matter what.

I will burn my entire collection if they poison the "Vintage" line with Prequel Computer Generated Characters. 

If it didn't get a Carded Figure before 1985, it shouldn't get a Vintage Line figure.  Which is sad, cuz that means Blue Snaggletooth won't get one, and he was a favorite of mine back in the old days.


Offline Brian

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #147 on: May 24, 2007, 03:46 PM »
Just looking over the initial pics from C4, I think this once again proves that Hasbro can do the "vintage" quality of figures in the basic line (or comic packs).  I'm not saying I don't want to see more VTSC figures, but it really seems like we're paying for the packaging now - because they could be released in the basic line for a few dollars less.  The quality level seems to be very similar, and they're starting to integrate soft goods into the basic line more too (looking at Hermi, possible Spirit Anakin, Clone Wars Clonetrooper w/poncho, etc.).  Either way, its nice to see more and more figures of this quality - no matter what line we get them in.

Offline Rob

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #148 on: May 24, 2007, 03:54 PM »
Yeah - seeing these new figures has me tweaking my stance on some of this.

4-LOM for example... the figure looks pretty close to awesome - so there isn't much need to do him again.  If they want to eventually slap him into a vintage card to help complete the run, I think I'd be okay with it.

I'd only buy one to keep carded since I'll have a loose one - but it would still help get to the goal and it would reduce costs for Hasbro to repack in a sense a figure like that.  As long as the figure is SA and looks really good, I think it could work in some cases.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2007, 03:55 PM by Rob »

Offline ruiner

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Re: Let's discuss the future of the retro-vintage line.
« Reply #149 on: May 24, 2007, 05:40 PM »
Makes one wonder why they didn't hold Zuckuss 4-LOM back for 2008 Vintage?