Author Topic: The Playset Thread  (Read 9190 times)

Offline Deanpaul

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #30 on: July 6, 2007, 01:39 PM »
What exactly would prohibit another company like GG doing so if they created something similar, but not cast in metal?

 :P

Whining about scale.  Whining about price.
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Offline CHEWIE

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #31 on: July 6, 2007, 03:12 PM »
What exactly would prohibit another company like GG doing so if they created something similar, but not cast in metal?

 :P

Whining about scale.  Whining about price.

We're not talking about Hasbro.  Gentle Giant, Attakus, Sideshow, etc. target a more mature audience wtih deeper pocket books and not competing for shelf space in the traditional brick and mortar stores.  The Attakus piece is outstanding, but when the price is that expensive, very few can afford it and they know that - hence the low production number.  Besides, scale would not be a problem with dioramas or mini scenes.  We're not talking about AT-AT's, Sandcrawlers or Geonosis Arena playsets here.

Hasbro's playsets have sucked because they've targeted kids with them.  The've pretty much mastered the figures themselves but haven't gotten too far past that.  I don't think they'll ever get a clue about how to make a playset that would go over well.  But I guess ruiner is probably right, the problem mostly lies in Hasbro holding the rights in their back pocket, but does nothing with it.  Funny how they say there's not enough demand for playsets, considering I think they said the same thing about the 12" line, now look how successful Sideshow has been with it.  Ha!

I believe the only way GG could get away with something like this in this scale would be to promote it as a collector piece with non articulated figures, similar to what Attakus has done, but of course smaller pieces than that gigantic mega set.  For those that have trouble visualizing a collector targeted type of diorama, the customs that I commission from Owen D. are exactly what I have in mind.  Most of you are probably familiar with his dioramas.







When a company finally makes something like this to where it's actually affordable, people like me will quit beating a dead horse.  Until then, I'll continue to beat the living **** out of it.

 :P

Offline Jeff

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #32 on: July 6, 2007, 03:19 PM »
the customs that I commission from Owen D. are exactly what I have in mind.  Most of you are probably familiar with his dioramas.

I can't say I am familiar with Owan D as I don't think I've seen those before.  Are those pics of a large playset or are each of those items separate playset?
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Offline Brian

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #33 on: July 6, 2007, 03:22 PM »
Quote
Funny how they say there's not enough demand for playsets, considering I think they said the same thing about the 12" line, now look how successful Sideshow has been with it.  Ha!

This is one thing that makes me think Hasbro won't be giving up the playset rights anytime soon (if that applies here).  They did that with the 12" license, and I think they see how much success Sideshow is having with it and it has to be frustrating.  Granted, its two different markets in a way.  I don't think Hasbro is as interested in a "direct market" type of $50/figure line the way Sideshow is doing it.  They're more about the mass retail, and toys in that price range don't really sell all that well at retail on a regular basis (maybe at Christmas time).

Those pics (from Owen D's custom work) look amazing, thanks for posting those Chewie.  I think we'd all be on board for playsets that looked like that.

Offline CHEWIE

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #34 on: July 6, 2007, 03:28 PM »
the customs that I commission from Owen D. are exactly what I have in mind.  Most of you are probably familiar with his dioramas.

I can't say I am familiar with Owan D as I don't think I've seen those before.  Are those pics of a large playset or are each of those items separate playset?

Jeff, Owen Driscoll from www.owenscustoms.com made 4 levels of a Death Star playset for me.  It certainly wasn't cheap but it's probably the coolest Star Wars piece that I have.  Unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to afford many more pieces this nice though.



Sorry for the large image, but that's all four levels stacked on top of one another.  If anyone wants more images just shoot me a PM or I could start a thread showing about 20 or so images of this in the customizing section here.

Brian, yeah, I think most collectors who spend as much money on their collections as most of us seem to here would probably bite, but I do realize that the chances of anything like it actually being made are pretty slim.

 :P

Offline Matt

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #35 on: July 6, 2007, 04:34 PM »
I guess Barbaro wasn't quite dead enough for you.



 :P

Offline CHEWIE

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #36 on: July 6, 2007, 06:24 PM »
Matt, that's the kind of reply I'd expect out of a zit faced 7th grader who mutilates his arms for attention.  You need help.  Good luck with that, because you do need it.

 :P

Offline Adam_Pawlus

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #37 on: July 6, 2007, 07:03 PM »
<snip>

 Funny how they say there's not enough demand for playsets, considering I think they said the same thing about the 12" line, now look how successful Sideshow has been with it.  Ha!

This depends on your definition of "success."  For Hasbro, selling under 10,000 units of a 12-inch figure (including variants) isn't usually a step in the right direction.
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Offline CHEWIE

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #38 on: July 6, 2007, 08:38 PM »
For a larger company such as Hasbro they're almost always going to look at something that they can capitalize on higher production numbers with, as their product is being distributed through retail chains.  Naturally they are going to be more interested in a broader base than a narrow market.

For a smaller company like Sideshow, they recognized a niche and have done a fantastic job marketing their product to their target.  They obviously did their research and found a forumula that would work for them in order to be successful - lower production, with higher quality and a higher pricepoint that is still reasonable for the market.  So where Hasbro failed, Sideshow is experiencing success.

I'm not surprised if you would side with Hasbro though.  ;)

 :P

Online Nicklab

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #39 on: July 6, 2007, 10:29 PM »
<snip>

 Funny how they say there's not enough demand for playsets, considering I think they said the same thing about the 12" line, now look how successful Sideshow has been with it.  Ha!

This depends on your definition of "success."  For Hasbro, selling under 10,000 units of a 12-inch figure (including variants) isn't usually a step in the right direction.

Adam is more right than you know here Chewie.  10,000 units won't satisfy Hasbro's retail partners.  Just look at this breakdown in terms of the number of stores that Hasbro is serving with their major accounts:

Toys R Us:  586 stores in the US / 670 stores internationally
KayBee:  605 stores in the US
Target:  1502 stores in the US
WalMart:  3366 stores in the US / 2701 internationally

That's 9,430 stores that Hasbro has to serve with product.  And that's not counting K-Mart, Meijers, Zellers, Diamond distribution, etailers, etc.  With Sideshow producing in the neighborhood of 10,000 figures for a single 12" figure run, that doesn't go far enough to supply those outlets.  Those numbers should give you an indication of just how different of a playing field Hasbro is on compared with the boutique licensees.

And get this:  Hasbro had to CONVINCE WalMart to carry the 30AC assault vehicle line.  WalMart had cancelled that SKU in their inventory system after The Saga Collection.  Now we know just how popular the vehicle line is, right?  To lose WalMart on that segment of the Hasbro Star Wars line could be potentially devastating to the health of the 3.75 inch line.  Hasbro literally had to show just how good Target's sales on that line were to WalMart just to convince them to carry those $20 vehicles.  WalMart doesn't seem to care that Star Wars is one of the most profitable licenses of all time, and they're not being generous with space in their planograms.  So mass retail is pretty much out of the question right now for playsets.

As for Gentle Giant?  They're having a difficult time satisfying their own customer base right now in a number of ways.  Their limited edition pieces have not necessarily met demand.  Their website architecture has not been able to cope with high traffic levels.  Their deliveries tend to be behind  schedule.  They don't seem to be sure what to do with their Bust Ups line, which has really been one of their only broader market products.  Some people are questioning their dedication to collectibles, when they also seem firmly entrenched in their film business.  And there are rumblings that GG's customer service has been poor to the point where Steve Sansweet may be questioning the value of having them as a Star Wars licensee.

As for the Attakus Falcon?  It's well outside of the price range of any toy at a price of over $2,000.  It weighs in excess of 300 lbs.  And the metal figures are a larger scale than the Hasbro 3.75 inch figures.  They also cost about $80 per figure.  Try army building like that.
« Last Edit: July 6, 2007, 10:30 PM by Nicklab »
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Offline Artoo

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #40 on: July 6, 2007, 10:52 PM »
Well, W*M shouldn't have a problem wanting vehicles next year. I haven't seen one vehicle there this year, some interesting stuff Nicklab.

That dead horse picture was disgusting.  :-X
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Offline CHEWIE

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« Reply #41 on: July 6, 2007, 11:09 PM »
Very disgusting indeed Artoo.   I didn't realize this thread was going to turn into a rotten.com slide show.  :-X

Thanks for the reply Nicklab.  Those are good points that you make and I'm not saying at all that I disagree with Hasbro needing to have well over 10,000 of an item to satisfy the retailers.  I wonder how many of the exclusive Imperial Shuttle were produced though, or TIE Fighter?  Granted those weren't new molds (or not much of new molds outside of the TIE wings) but they didn't have to try and supply each retail chain. 

Exclusives, whether it be at retail or online is the only way I think we will ever see anything like this made.  Which is exactly why I applaud the way Sideshow has handled the 12" line with their niche marketing.   

Also though, just to make it clear I was never trying to say that a $2000 toy is affordable, or that $80.00 figures are.  Maybe if Attakus molded these in plastic it would cost less.  A lot less.  But maybe the mere fact they are doing them in metal, and at such a premium price is why they are able to do so - because it really isn't any sort of competition at all for Hasbro.

Regarding Gentle Giant, thanks for the information on them.  I don't follow much about them other than I've bought several of the bust-ups, which are great items.  I think their style is condusive to what a lot of us would like to see though in a diorama.  If they're having all the issues you say, hopefully they can get them resolved.  I do know that I had frustration ordering from them before - I've tried ordering bust-ups through them, but their site wouldn't let me increase quantity on any items.  Do they have a strict 1-per-customer policy or is this just a bug with their site?

Anyways, I know that odds are that some sort of playset like I'm describing won't be made by Hasbro, Gentle Giant, or whoever.  So I'm certainly not holding my breath waiting for something like this to be made, which is why I commission Owen D. from time to time. 

I think we'd all be happy though if somehow, someway, playsets/dioramas made a comeback and were designed with collectors in mind.

 :P

Online Nicklab

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #42 on: July 6, 2007, 11:19 PM »

Thanks for the reply Nicklab.  Those are good points that you make and I'm not saying at all that I disagree with Hasbro needing to have well over 10,000 of an item to satisfy the retailers.  I wonder how many of the exclusive Imperial Shuttle were produced though, or TIE Fighter?  Granted those weren't new molds (or not much of new molds outside of the TIE wings) but they didn't have to try and supply each retail chain. 

Exclusives, whether it be at retail or online is the only way I think we will ever see anything like this made.  Which is exactly why I applaud the way Sideshow has handled the 12" line with their niche marketing.  

New products are too expensive to design, tool and produce for most of them to be exclusives.  That's why you're seeing big so many recycled items being done as exclusives.  Just look at this year's exclusive vehicle lineup:

EXCLUSIVE VEHICLES/BEASTS
___  ARC-170 - Clone Wars deco TARGET EXCLUSIVE
___  Gold Squadron Y-Wing Starfighter TOYS R US EXCLUSIVE
___  181st Squadron TIE Interceptor TOYS R US EXCLUSIVE
___  Geonosis Creatures TOYS R US EXCLUSIVE
___  Jedi Starfighter w/ Hyperdrive ring TOYS R US EXCLUSIVE
___  TIE Bomber TARGET EXCLUSIVE


Then compare that with the general market lineup for vehicles:

VEHICLES
___  AAT
___  Anakin Skywalker's Jedi Starfighter
___  AT-AP
___  Darth Vader's Sith Starfighter
___  Darth Vader's TIE Advanced X-1
___  General Grievous's Starfighter
___  Hailfire Droid
___  Mace Windu's Jedi Starfighter
___  Obi-Wan Kenobi's Jedi Starfighter
___  Saesee Tiin's Jedi Starfighter
___  Sith Infiltrator
___  TIE Fighter (white deco)
___  V-Wing Starfighter


Hasbro needs to be able to make those new designs work for them in volume.  So that means trying to get them in 10,000 stores as opposed to 1,500 stores in the case of Target or even 5,000 stores in the case of WalMart.  Greater volume helps Hasbro to recoup the costs of new designs, otherwise it isn't worth it financially for Hasbro to produce new product.
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Offline Matt

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #43 on: July 7, 2007, 03:24 AM »
Matt, that's the kind of reply I'd expect out of a zit faced 7th grader who mutilates his arms for attention.  You need help.  Good luck with that, because you do need it.

 :P

Very disgusting indeed Artoo.   I didn't realize this thread was going to turn into a rotten.com slide show.  :-X

It may have been a tad untoward, but to me, it's no less disgusting than the neverending pimping (or is it whoring?) of BLOwen_D's customs around here, just so you can get a break on all the crap he makes for you, which is already overpriced to begin with.

But thanks for the psychoanalysis, Doctor. 

 :P
« Last Edit: July 7, 2007, 03:25 AM by Matt »

Offline CHEWIE

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The Playset Thread
« Reply #44 on: July 7, 2007, 04:32 AM »

It may have been a tad untoward, but to me, it's no less disgusting than the neverending pimping (or is it whoring?) of BLOwen_D's photonovels around here, just so you can get a break on all the crap he makes for you, which is already overpriced to begin with.

But thanks for the psychoanalysis, Doctor. 

 :P

The stupid comments you make as you slither behind my every post looking for something to cry about rarely get under my skin these days, but when you accuse me of something you know nothing about, then your complete ignorance of the subject truly shows.   Normally I wouldn't feel any reason to explain anything to you that you aren't going to understand anyway, but when you accuse me of something like that, you are blasting my integrity; which is starting to cross a line.  You really don't know me as well as you thought you did Matthew.  So perhaps you need a refresher course.   

First off, Owen makes dioramas, not photonovels.  Big difference.  Keep it straight next time. 

Do I kiss Owen's ass?  At times, yes (he is my best friend in his hobby after all and my collection would be pretty bland without his dioramas).  But I think he deserves a hell of a lot of credit regardless if he's my friend or not.  Owen is making dioramas that would be the ultimate playsets if Hasbro followed his style.  And, he's the only person who is doing so that I'm aware of, and filling a huge gap in my collection by doing so, as well as for a lot of other people in the community. 

But why did I start pimping Owen's work here?  Not that I feel obligated to explain myself, but for you I'll make an exception, because lately you seem to be getting a bit stressed.  I started discussing Owen's work here a while back because Owen doesn't post at Jedidefender and I thought people should see his work.  He doesn't have DSL and only posts at RS, which is pretty rare for him to even post there.  So, after getting my first diorama from him a couple years ago, I was amazed at the quality and wanted to show some new items in my collection, and naturally I credited Owen for his work.  So I opened This Thread showing the stuff I had purchased from him.  And from time to time when a topic comes up where I want to reference something with a visual, I'll use one of Owen's items as an example if it applies.   

Now, if you think Owen's stuff is overpriced, whatever.  You've never ordered something from him and I doubt he'd deal with you anyway.  And I've never seen evidence of you doing absolutely anything in customizing, so I'd say you're have a lack of knowledge on how much work goes into a work of art.    Overpriced?  What a joke.

As for you questioning my integrity, I started getting some discounts from Owen after my first 10 or so items I ordered from him (more than anyone else has ordered to that point), but also because we've become friends.  But you mean to tell me that I also get discounts from Owen because I show pictures of his work?  That's new to me!  I'll have to tell him that since Matt said so, I get a discount moving forward. 

Really Matt, if you have any more questions about the fine art of customizing, there is a great customizing section here where many people would be more than willing to assist you, or please feel free to PM me.  This is a thread about playsets; not rotting horses in Kosovo.




Thanks for the reply Nicklab.  Those are good points that you make and I'm not saying at all that I disagree with Hasbro needing to have well over 10,000 of an item to satisfy the retailers.  I wonder how many of the exclusive Imperial Shuttle were produced though, or TIE Fighter?  Granted those weren't new molds (or not much of new molds outside of the TIE wings) but they didn't have to try and supply each retail chain. 

Exclusives, whether it be at retail or online is the only way I think we will ever see anything like this made.  Which is exactly why I applaud the way Sideshow has handled the 12" line with their niche marketing.   

New products are too expensive to design, tool and produce for most of them to be exclusives.  That's why you're seeing big so many recycled items being done as exclusives.  Just look at this year's exclusive vehicle lineup:

EXCLUSIVE VEHICLES/BEASTS
___  ARC-170 - Clone Wars deco TARGET EXCLUSIVE
___  Gold Squadron Y-Wing Starfighter TOYS R US EXCLUSIVE
___  181st Squadron TIE Interceptor TOYS R US EXCLUSIVE
___  Geonosis Creatures TOYS R US EXCLUSIVE
___  Jedi Starfighter w/ Hyperdrive ring TOYS R US EXCLUSIVE
___  TIE Bomber TARGET EXCLUSIVE


Then compare that with the general market lineup for vehicles:

VEHICLES
___  AAT
___  Anakin Skywalker's Jedi Starfighter
___  AT-AP
___  Darth Vader's Sith Starfighter
___  Darth Vader's TIE Advanced X-1
___  General Grievous's Starfighter
___  Hailfire Droid
___  Mace Windu's Jedi Starfighter
___  Obi-Wan Kenobi's Jedi Starfighter
___  Saesee Tiin's Jedi Starfighter
___  Sith Infiltrator
___  TIE Fighter (white deco)
___  V-Wing Starfighter


Hasbro needs to be able to make those new designs work for them in volume.  So that means trying to get them in 10,000 stores as opposed to 1,500 stores in the case of Target or even 5,000 stores in the case of WalMart.  Greater volume helps Hasbro to recoup the costs of new designs, otherwise it isn't worth it financially for Hasbro to produce new product.


I think the only way that any sort of good quality playsets/dioramas/enviromas can be done successfully would be a different approach than what they've been using with their mass retail.  And they're probably not even interested in a different approach.  We know they're out to make money, which is what they should be doing.  But I think if they researched this some more they could find a way to get it done.  I'm guessing internet exclusive is the best way.  Maybe they could do something along the lines of a preview of the playset, and take preorders to get an idea on what the production should really be.  Or something.

Anyways, your arguments do make complete sense Nicklab and I'm not disagreeing with you, just throwing out ideas.

 :P