Author Topic: If No Prequels - Would There Have Been More Figures/Product?  (Read 1306 times)

Offline Brian

  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 11026
    • View Profile
I'm not sure what forum this exactly fits in, since it kind of covers all the time from vintage to now - but I thought I'd place it here.  If it doesn't belong, feel free to move it mods :).  I was just thinking about this today.  If we wouldn't have had the prequel movies, and the Original Trilogy is all we ever had from the Star Wars movie universe - would we have seen more product?  Would some of the other companies involved ever have come about?

The Star Wars action figure line was relaunched in 95 with the Special Editions on the horizon.  Say that still happened, but there were no "new" movies beyond that.  We probably still would have seen the Special Editions released in theatres, but I know that was in part to promote the new Star Wars on the way (TPM) as well.  What do you think the Star Wars collecting landscape would look like now, had Lucas decided to just leave the Saga as is with the three original movies?

Of course, the prequels - ROTS in particular - have really created a lot of new collectors and interest recently, but we've always had a strong fanbase.  Things fizzled out in 1985 with the vintage line, but there wasn't necessarily the collector market then that there is now.  Heck, quite a few of us were kids then and some of us weren't even born yet.  When I see all the different movie, TV, and other franchises out there that have action figures/statues/other products (comics, LOTR, Simpsons, LOST, Trek, Galactica, and many, many more) I'd have to think we'd at least be seeing something in the way of Star Wars product.  There would likely still be the replicas and some of the other higher end stuff, since those companies cover a number of movie/TV licenses.  Would we still be seeing action figures?  Maybe not at retail, but in some sort of special order/online type of line?  Would we have even seen great things like the VOTC/VTSC if we never had the prequels?  It would definitely be a different collecting world, and to be honest, it (Star Wars) might have even effected the development or creation of other action figure lines.  Many of those might not even be here if it wasn't for the ongoing success of Star Wars, and other companies/lines trying to imitate that formula.

Anyways, long story/question short, what do you think Star Wars collecting would look like if the prequels wouldn't have happened?  Not saying they shouldn't have happened, or that we dislike them, I'm just curious if you think Star Wars movies from the 70s/80s would still have the power to support the product we see today.  I'm thinking we still might have seen the POTF2 line, or at least the early part of it, as the Special Editions were released and beyond that its tougher to say.  I think a specialty line could always be supported, but would Hasbro/Kenner have even messed with that - or maybe let the license go?  I'm just curious what some of your thoughts would be.  If there was a line (or lines) what would they look like as far as number of releases, online/retail, etc.?
« Last Edit: October 2, 2006, 12:52 PM by Brian »

Offline Darth_Anton

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 9782
  • Whatever
    • View Profile
Re: If No Prequels - Would There Have Been More Figures/Product?
« Reply #1 on: October 2, 2006, 04:07 PM »
Interesting question. I would like to think so. It's hard to imagine a world without the prequels, but it's also hard to image how the line could have evolved with out them. That said, there's enough interest by us old timers that the line would have adapted to a more intimate consumership because, in the end, there would still have been a way to make some money.
"Snark is the idiot's version of wit."

Offline R5Don4

  • Jedi Initiate
  • *
  • Posts: 169
  • just ignore this *******
    • View Profile
Re: If No Prequels - Would There Have Been More Figures/Product?
« Reply #2 on: October 3, 2006, 01:06 AM »
I think it should be noted that there was a huge over abundance of TPM merchandise for a long time after the movie left theatres to the point where it is a case book study in badly judging consumer demand.  This effected the limited amount of product that was initially released to promote AOTC.

Overall though the prequels made a ****load more money for Lucas than the OT did.  ::)

Offline Darth Depressis

  • Jedi Padawan
  • *
  • Posts: 545
  • i've never seen garbage eat garbage before
    • View Profile
    • http://swfanon.wikia.com/wiki/User:Darth_Depressis
Re: If No Prequels - Would There Have Been More Figures/Product?
« Reply #3 on: October 3, 2006, 09:34 AM »
yes, but of poorer quality than we have now, like those cheap batman figs they have at big lots. but i really cannot imagine a world without the prequels, in a world without the prequels: spider-man,lord of the rings, & Harry Potter would have been judged alot harsher.


Offline CorranHorn

  • Jedi Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 1737
  • I can't think of anything witty to say...
    • View Profile
    • The Power Of The Customizer
Re: If No Prequels - Would There Have Been More Figures/Product?
« Reply #4 on: October 3, 2006, 07:16 PM »
I think it should be noted that there was a huge over abundance of TPM merchandise for a long time after the movie left theatres to the point where it is a case book study in badly judging consumer demand.  This effected the limited amount of product that was initially released to promote AOTC.

Overall though the prequels made a ****load more money for Lucas than the OT did.  ::)

To add to that, 1997 and 1998 were bad years for the amount of Kenner/Hasbro product on toy shelves that did not sell. Some figures pegwarmed for years, to the point that until the last year or so we would hear reports of people finding POTF2 figures still in stores. Figures like Bespin Lando, Rancor Keeper, Han Hoth, etc were the bane of many stores and collectors. I can recall the Toys R Us in Downtown Chicago once having an entire display full of just these figures alone as everything else sold while this crap remained. The same story has been reported across the country, the figures may be different but it still has happened. And then there is the clearances of 2000, sure a lot of that stuff was from Episode 1, but a good chunk was from the POTF2 line as well. Stuff that had come out to market long before TPM hit such as the Deluxe line, the MMC figures, A-Wings, Vader TIE's, were being clearanced at pennies on the dollar at TRU and KB.

My point is that had their not been an Episode 1, retail might have not given much more support to an action figure line after seeing the results of 97 and 98. As such, the modern figure line as we know it today would be a lot different. We may have seen several years of no figures in stores without the Prequels being made. Or figures could have been sold only by select means, the Fan Club, online, exclusive to one store, etc... I think that without the Prequels, Star Wars Action Figure collecting would be an entirely different beast than what it is today.

Offline Artoo

  • Jedi Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 1979
  • Lucky catch
    • View Profile
Re: If No Prequels - Would There Have Been More Figures/Product?
« Reply #5 on: October 3, 2006, 07:25 PM »
No, not a yearly line. For speacal things like DVDs releases & the upcoming 30 A, therewould be a mini-line. Smaller kids wouldn't know SW w/o the PT.
KAY-BEE STANDARD RESPONSE:  "All we have is 1990's 'Robocop' toys."
WHICH MEANS:  "Holy ******* ****, please shoot m

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

  • Jedi Knight
  • *
  • Posts: 3192
  • The Battle Rages On!!!
    • View Profile
    • JCKOFTRADZE Customs
Re: If No Prequels - Would There Have Been More Figures/Product?
« Reply #6 on: October 4, 2006, 05:41 PM »
Without the prequels despite the EP1 product lag I really do not think the line would be here today. So for all you prequel haters out there is something to be thankful for from them.  we still have new toys coming!

Being a 29 year old fart I like both, OTC will always get my vote but I like the prequels and the toys. they really grew on me in the CW times after EP2. Its the only time  in my 15 year collecting stint that Star wars almost lost me. They have really helped the develpoment of the toy line.
My Customs & Collection Blog:
http://jackoftradze.blogspot.com/

Offline Jeff

  • Administrator
  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 19895
  • i stay down with my demons
    • View Profile
    • www.JediDefender.com
Re: If No Prequels - Would There Have Been More Figures/Product?
« Reply #7 on: October 5, 2006, 10:10 AM »
Without the prequels despite the EP1 product lag I really do not think the line would be here today.

Yeah, I kind of agree -

Kenner basically said the whole reason for the '96 POTF2 launch was to test the "SW Toys" water prior to the prequels.  Without the prequels to capture the kids, I don't think anyone would have bothered to revisit Star Wars toys.  Hasbro always always says "kids first" - no prequesl = no kids = no toys.

We may well have ended up with some of the high-end stuff eventually, but it would have been way less I imagine...
Editor-in-Chief  - www.JediDefender.com
Follow me on Twitter - @jedidefender / @jlsmentek

Offline Brian

  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 11026
    • View Profile
Re: If No Prequels - Would There Have Been More Figures/Product?
« Reply #8 on: October 5, 2006, 10:23 AM »
That's kind of what I was thinking as well.  We really probably owe a lot to the prequel movies, as far as continuing lines go.  Like I've said before, I wasn't really actively collecting when POTF2 first hit - although I wish I would have been - but was the line selling like "gangbusters" then?  I know I read stories of pegwarmers, usually later on as the line progressed, but I'm curious if having "Star Wars toys" on the pegs/shelves again was a big hit - and lead to the TPM onslaught we saw in 1999.  Was it sporadic sales, or were the figures, deluxe, beasts, and ships all selling out quickly?  These days it seems like you have to move pretty quickly to get new figures (especially when they first hit), although the collecting (and scalper) landscape has changed a bit since the POTF2 days I think.

Offline BrentS

  • Jedi Knight
  • *
  • Posts: 2688
  • I sense much fear in you.
    • View Profile
Re: If No Prequels - Would There Have Been More Figures/Product?
« Reply #9 on: October 5, 2006, 11:18 AM »

although the collecting (and scalper) landscape has changed a bit since the POTF2 days I think.

eBay has definitely been a HUGE influence on both of these.  My first eBay purchase was a "Hard to Find" Darth Maul .0000 figure.

Offline tonphanan

  • Jedi Initiate
  • *
  • Posts: 367
  • " Has anyone seen my wits?"
    • View Profile
Re: If No Prequels - Would There Have Been More Figures/Product?
« Reply #10 on: October 9, 2006, 10:47 AM »
Without the prequels the Star wars line probably would have gone the way of G.I. Joe with a release and disappear  then rereleased and dissapear then online exclusive. I love the old Joe line but they rely so much on repaints now I never got back into it. The Star Wars line relies on repaints, but I still buy those. Odd reapint a Viper and give him a new name, he is still a Viper. Repaint an AT-TE gunner and he's a HTF Army builder.
Throw an Ewok at him