Heavy paint apps, exclusive to a single online store.... Priced per figure same as WM TBS line... The price isn't that outrageous really. Like I've said this is basically what BAD figs cost at Disney. But this was pretty oversold. That definitely hurt perceptions I think.
Developing exclusives can be tricky - this set went through a few revisions before the version you see today. Pricing is also tricky. I do stand by that these do have levels of articulation of a vintage figure, and even though everybody is no doubt sick of me posting this on other comments threads, new sculpts are increasingly difficult in the current marketplace. The number of "one of everything" collectors has gone down a lot since 2005, and since 2010, so finding the right item to offer everybody something new at a price that - I hope - won't make people balk can be a challenge. That and I was a little Clone-d and Stormtrooper-ed out. Outside of Disney, droids have been in pretty short supply since the decline of The Legacy Collection, and I was happy that we were able to keep figures at more or less the same cost as a current release from The Black Series. Had we gone with the 3-jointed droid body (and believe you me, it was something kicking around) maybe we could have brought costs down. Some people would be happy, others would do it differently - and of course Hasbro also has the way they need to do things due to available tooling, their own expertise in the business, and whatever other factors I'm feeling too lazy to type out right now.
Because it was brought up, I still love limited articulation figures. For five or six bucks? Bring 'em on, all day long. Those were fabulous. Recent movie years tend to bring higher prices with them (see also: G.I. Joe) and other factors in terms of perception, features, filling out a line plan with varied price points, and so on can change up how things need to be run. I'm still pleased as punch with the 2-packs from last year, Ashoka and Vader for $15 ain't bad given the snowballing prices of plastic people from pretty much all manufacturers. The writing was on the wall in 2013 with the Star Wars action figure line splitting three ways, and Hasbro moving some areas into simpler/cheaper (12-inch figures) which saw wild, crazy success. I know they're not for everybody, but the toy market goes so far beyond what the older crew wants that it's easy to dismiss things that just aren't meant for us in the first place. I like Vintage. I like vintage. I like cheap. I like super-articulated. Generally speaking the 6-inch figure does manage to provide a pretty good bang for the buck compared to its super-articulated 3 3/4-inch counterpart, and the change in what is selling reflects that. I don't need ankles to enjoy a figure, but I get super cranky if my figure can't fit in a vehicle. Given the ever-changing options available to collectors, getting us to agree on everything is tough - and when you consider there's a vocal group of us increasingly older guys that fades away a little bit each year and also a new audience of whippersnappers and lapsed fans, I'm continuously amazed that so many of us are still here 21 years after it all relaunched.
I'm a toy fan, first and foremost. Articulation is good, and the goal here was always to come out with the best possible item with the resources at hand. Given that new sculpts weren't an option, I think the end result is pretty good - and I hope if it doesn't tickle anyone's fancy, what we do next might. (Full disclosure: I don't know of any 3 3/4-inch stuff on the drawing board for us for exclusives just yet.) There wasn't a way to do Jabba's Bartender (on my short list for almost a decade) or Ziro's droid without engaging the Vintage molds, and the others sharing the body just happened to work out nicely. We did our best - and we want to do more. Things like vintage packaging, the unmade Vintage 92/93/96/whatever are something on my lips on a regular basis, but after spending 10 years as a fan journalist and 11 years on the business end of things, you really get a good look at what happens and why. Hasbro and Entertainment Earth got to meet a variety of needs with this set, plus a few of my own, obnoxious demands. (I want new characters. I don't want to rebuy anything I've already picked up, even/especially if it was in the Disney Droids line.)
If for any reason anyone reading this - or talking to someone reading this - ordered on the teaser day and didn't like what they pre-ordered, we're very happy to make a change to your order. I wanted to give some awesome droids a new home - especially one of the "lost droids" from the pre-Special Edition era which I wanted to do for the first Droid packs - hey! New robots. I hope you dig 'em and if not, we'll try again later.
Now that I've thought about it a little more, and read some of Adam's comments, I have a different theory. That being this exclusive may be the way to release the last few remaining characters from the Kenner line (up through POTF) who have yet to be re-made in modern renditions.
"Five of these figures have never been made as toys!"
I'd assume, even not trusting the messenger, that includes vintage Kenner as well.
Ouch. At least trust that I do my homework, I've got my whole Vintage Kenner collection since I was a wee lad and spent time in the mines looking for Sise Fromm back when he was worth $4 carded. Ah, the good old days. Nobody cared. If there's one thing I'm good at, it's being obnoxiously thorough when saying "this one not been done as a 3D collectible before."
Hmmmm... D R O I D S... Seems like something is trying to be said there.
I'm kinda shocked if it's THOSE kinda those though, since Disney seems to be on those like stink on poop.
But none of those are offering to buy your other figures a drink.
Great catch on the droids... wondering if it's possibly from the Droids cartoon, or someone is, because he did say in one of his many pot stirring posts somewhere that one of the figures had appeared previously in a non realistic form. Took that to mean from CW as he DQ'd Rebels, but who knows. Maybe from Droids. I'd love it. Doubt it. This is definitely one of the highlights of the year so far. Looking forward to seeing the final product and hoping to be wowed by the choices.
Droids the cartoon is probably my most favored place to do new figures, and I'd say I've succeeded in nudging about 0 to the market. Doesn't mean I won't keep asking, and I hope anyone else out there that wants them (or anything, really) also keeps asking Hasbro and talking about it. Chatter is good. People see chatter. Chatter can change minds. Seeing what people are posting, I feel like there's a pretty good split between "More droids, please!" and "No more droids! Please!" I got a little overwhelmed with 3 3/4-inch Clones myself, for example, so I hear you. It was 10 years since we did our last Astromech packs so it seemed like a good time, especially given some of the more outrageous designs in The Clone Wars. (Some of which didn't make the cut.) There are conversations about most of the things you've all brought up in the threads here, but not everything is always possible to do as an exclusive. When you get right down to it, the main line is capable of a lot more thanks to the economy of scale. Exclusives are more limited by design usually.
Adam has been lobbying for Vlix for years and years, imma guessing that it what Darby is saying, Droids the cartoon with Vlix. Not many Droid's from the OT left to be made.
I was hoping for modern Owen, Beru and Jawas but that would be a terrible seller
Kenner updates would kick ass including the Lars Power Droid!
I'd love to see Kenner-style figures from the "Collect All 21!" wave!
I'm not shy about how much I want a Vlix. I hope other people are in the same "I never got a vintage one, it exists, I don't have it, so I want one" category... although part of the reason I want it is because the Droids cartoon just happened to air on my birthday in 1985 and Vlix just happened to be in it, along with the rest of the Fromm Gang. I like 'em.
I hope - I really hope - 3 3/4-inch has a future. I like 6-inch but I'm primarily a 3 3/4-inch guy just because of the time and money put in to the single greatest scale of licensed action figures ever produced. And, well, I want more... so if anyone wants to kick up more buzz on those original Kenner dudes, that'd be fantastic. For those concerned about Droid Overkill, I don't think there's a heck of a lot of chance of our doing another set for a while. After all, this is only our third pack at EE and it took ten years!