Like you mentioned, if they would debut figure waves/etc. on their site, and not act like these toys are national security issues, they wouldn't have nearly the problems with rumor lists and speculation most likely. Its part of the age we live in now with the internet, but if they kept their site a little more update with news and not just new games or things like that, it would probably help the situation a bit for Hasbro.
I totally agree with this and I have always felt this way with regards to Hasbro releasing information as soon as they possibly can as opposed to waiting for Toy Fair or the Summer Conventions.First Argument: They don't want fans to be disappointed if something doesn't come out
This makes absolutely no sense to me. Ok, so they said a Yuuzhan Vong figure was coming and they decided to push it back to next year. BIG F***ING DEAL! I mean, we all got to drool over the Force Unleashed figures at Toy Fair in Feb 2007 and what happened to them? They got pushed back to being released in 2008. I saw all of the collectors out there committing suicide or sending death threats to Hasbro over this delay, it was truly a dark day for collecting indeed. Second Argument: They don't want other toy companies to know what they are up to, afterall selling toys is a competitive business
Ok, this one is b.s. too. When I was a kid and my mom asked me which I wanted for my birthday, of course I said "Star Wars figures!". I did not care that they had less articulation than GI Joe, I liked Star Wars and that's what I wanted. My mother and I did not jump from Star Wars to GI Joe because Hasbro had out-innovated Kenner with their line of army-based 3.75" figures. There is only ONE maker of 3.75" Star Wars figures. Hasbro has the monopoly on the Star Wars franchise. No one competes with them directly. Kids who are fans of Star Wars are not going to want Ben 10 figures because they "look cooler" - if they think Ben 10 is cooler than Star Wars then you've already lost their purchase, it had NOTHING to do with what innovations Ban Dai put into their P.o.S. toys.Third Argument: We need to hold information back for Toy Fair
To this, my response is simple.Why?
With all of the fan forums out there, you couldn't BUY the kind of marketing research we provide them. If Hasbro were to post pictures of the AT-TE today and a list of features of the vehicle. They could scour the boards between now and Toy Fair and everytime they speak with a buyer for a major retail chain, plop the stack of message board comments a mile high and say "all of these fans are EXCITED about this vehicle and 95%+ of them don't seem deterred by the $100 price tag - you can't loose with this piece!" The converse could work to their advantage as well. Propose something like Star Wars Customs/Choppers or whatever those turds were called, see all of the negative feedback on the collector boards and perhaps you might decide to rethink them since it sounds like they might rot at retail (which the DID!), perhaps you pull them and don't even bring the line as a discussion point with the buyers.
I can come up with MANY more examples like this where showing us stuff BEFORE Toy Fair could help them better sell aspects of the line that might otherwise be a tough sell with the buyers for the chains.
Perhaps I'm over simplifying things a bit, but I do not understand why they have to react like they do. How about just coming out and saying "Yeah, we're planning on doing A, B, D, E, F, H, I but items C, G & J have been held back for re-imagining/re-work to see if we can improve on the concept." No harm, no foul, no one boycotts Hasbro, cause afterall, they are the ONLY game in town when it comes to Star Wars 3.75" action figures.