Author Topic: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?  (Read 7999 times)

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #105 on: October 28, 2009, 01:15 PM »
The Falcon and AT-TE still seem like a sure bet for another 50% sale at TRU. I was at one this morning before bringing my mom in for a pre-biopsy and they must have got another 4 of each in on top of what they have already.

I don't care what H claims but these large vehicles were either produced in far too lrage of numbers, or sales really weren't there.

I know myself, I bought both of these on clearance after XMas last year and am still holding out on the Turbo Tank. One WalMart here is just about done finishing up a remodel and has the Tank on clearance for $85, but I definitely see it going even lower soon.

Just not the right time or economy for such substantial vehicles with such substantial prices.

The AT-TE sold fine in its initial run and the Falcon did not do bad either. 

TRU received more this summer of the AT-TE, but before that there were not to be seen in stores for 6+ months... and it's not like Wal-Mart or Target have them anymore.  Some did hit clearance last year, but not in high numbers.

The Falcon is currently only available at TRU and you might spot one at a K-Mart, so nothing to worry about there from what I can see.

Both of those must have done well enough for so many retailers to be carrying the Turbo Tank.  If they took a huge hit on last year's big vehicles, they would not have dedicated shelf space to a big item in 2009 (and Hasbro's GI JOE line would not have supported their $100 item either, which actually HAS sold very poorly it seems).  But in terms of the AT-TE and Falcon, what you're seeing at TRU now is a certain retailer carrying additional product that you really can't find at other retailers... after all, they are a toy store chain.

However, I agree that the Turbo Tank offering has not sold as fast as the big items we saw last year.  I think part of it is the economy, but I think a bigger part is that fewer people are fans of it as compared to the AT-TE, which was something people had been clamoring for since 2002.  The Turbo Tank has a smaller support base simply because the demand is lower.

Will we see more big items in the future?  I surely hope so.  The success of the Turbo Tank is probably going to dictate how Hasbro moves forward.  I did my part and bought one at full price (love it actually, and would have gladly paid more than $100 for it), and might get a second one as well.  And personally, when you look at getting something as big as the Turbo Tank versus a dozen figures, I think your $100 is better spent on the big item.

Offline JES

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #106 on: October 28, 2009, 01:52 PM »
I see it much differently.

And I promise I can speak with some knowledge having known, or knowing Hasbro employees. Hasbro is moving dead stock at the moment to TRU on both the AT-TE and Falcon for a song. True, they are the only store taking on these items, but that is due to the stylized stores they are (as well as being a "toy store".

Both Target and WalMart have much less shelf space to share and dedicate to large items these days. Target has always been somewhat restrictive, but WalMart has also no taken that stance. If you notice Target has never had isle featured shelving. Also they never have overstock except for a month to month and half period before XMas.

WalMart on the other hand has always had featured isle shelves along with the dept isles as well. Also many have had overstock along outer walls. They have completely moved fromt that though now and any new store or store that has gone through a redo has completely moved away from this. Isles are clear and wide.

They have also shrunk their toy sections based on economic times. The necessities are the bread n butter these days as it is for the consumer. While I'm sure Hasbro offered these pieces up to both Target and WalMart on the same discount they did TRU, both seemed to have declined due to being able to get the most for their buck.

Both of these items take up some major shelf or overstock room.

Being TRU still has isle shelving, isle presentations (i.e. Falcons stacked in a cube style 4-5 high), and overstock they took the offer up. It's much like the POTF2 clearance days, but on a smaller level. AT-AT's at $10 anyone?

TRU has opted to not give such a huge discount as the AT-AT days, but they also aren't getting these for free or next to free like they did with the POTF2 glut stock. So even at 50% TRU is still making money. I have heard they could go even a bit lower and still make a profit, but these days every dollar counts so throw the customer a bone, they bite, and we still make a little more than blowing them out for less than we could.

Turbo Tanks? They are sitting pretty much everywhere here. A few initially sold, but honestly they are collecting a few layers of dust now.

What I think so many people don't realize is Hasbro DOES give product away to retailers. Yes, 100% free. I know a local WalMart that received their first full endcap of Shadow ARC's for absolutely no cost to WalMart. This is just a scratch my back I scratch yours deals. It's nothing new by far. The old WalMart exclusive Clone Wars two packs from the first micro series was the same. Why do you think WalMart let them go for $4.97 for a two pack???

So it's really no sign pointing to the validity at all these large vehicles were bought up to keep them going on.

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #107 on: October 28, 2009, 03:20 PM »
I don't think we're in complete disagreement here as we both see why TRU took these items in... but I will say that the AT-TEs that are at TRU now aren't part of the 2008 run - these have the fixed legs.  Hence, it doesn't look like these came to them as something Hasbro wasn't able to push last year, as we know those were faulty product.  Regarding the aisle feature shelving, last year Target had no problem stocking Falcons and AT-TEs on their shelves, and also have the Turbo Tank in their current planogram which is a big item.  I don't think this is the end all determining factor if items like this are going to continue to be made - it's how well they actually sell.

It kind of sounds like you're advocating for Hasbro to stop making these items though when you say there's no sign pointing to the validity that the 2008 large vehicles were bought up to keep them going on.  It seems like you're looking for more justification for Hasbro to just stop now with big items.  Personally I want to see these items continue to be made... ever think that part of the problem is people waiting for them to go on clearance like you have been doing?  Not that I can say I blame you if other things are more important to you, but for anyone who is an advocate for these items being available, I'd hope they would actually support both Hasbro and the retailers when items like these are released.

Offline JES

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #108 on: October 28, 2009, 06:25 PM »
First my error on the misspelling... My mind isn't all that crystal clear being what I might be facing with my mom...

Secondly, the AT-TE are indeed not being made any longer and haven't been since 2008. Don't believe it grab one of those boxes at TRU and check date stamps. The AT-TE has long been out of production. If you know anything whatsoever about toy lines they are made a year to 6 months in advance. It's dead stock and it's alled that for a reason.

Sure Target stocked the AT-TE, and Falcon on the shelves in the aisle because it was part of last years existing line. Target's stock is based heavily on trend hence why they clearance faster than anyone.

If these vehicles had sold how Hasbro thought, or claims, TRU would not be getting the dead stock they're getting now. I can also assure you (which I know for fact) the Tank of this year was made in smaller numbers. Of course numbers with Hasbro are Fort Knox like, from what I was trold they opted to go a little more conservative with the Tank this year.

You seem to have some back up when it comes to Target, but nothing with America's largest retailer/discounter WalMart... No thoughts there?

Third, I never said to end the large vehicle idea. I do however think there might be a better time and/or place in the future for them as now really isn't one. If you determine sales of said vehicles based on stats of these days it's really not a truthful determination. People are holding their wallets and pocketbooks far tighter than they have in over 10+ years. People need to just make it through the day, week, or month and $100+ toys aren't topping out their lists of needs.

So there you have it. Don't assume taht of which you don't know there Chewie.

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #109 on: October 28, 2009, 08:24 PM »
No worries, there's a spell check feature too, and good luck with things with your mother.

I think it's a given that since you didn't see any AT-TE's shipping for about a 6 month span, the initial launch of those did just fine and justified Hasbro releasing the Turbo Tank.  If they had done poorly, you would have seen more clearances with them, and also them collecting dust at places that refused to lower the price.  And of course it's a no brainer that if they had done bad, Hasbro would have put the Turbo Tank on the backburner and it would not have been released (at least not yet).

As for Wal-Mart, I'm not sure what you're asking me to explain.  I can't speak for the rest of the country, but in the midwest most Wal-Marts had big displays for the AT-TE and Falcon last year, and also had dedicated shelf space in the main Star Wars aisle for the AT-TE.  The Falcon stayed on promo endcaps and island displays.  Some stores moved them out on clearance when they deemed they needed the promo space for newer items, which often weren't toy related.  

And yeah, I can see that the boxes for the AT-TE at TRU are the same, hence the blue packaging.  However the product inside from what I have seen and heard is that they all have the "fixed" legs.  I don't know what we're even arguing here, unless you're stating that you think there's a whole bunch of these from last year that never got out to retailers when Hasbro was hoping they would.  Unless I see an official statement from Hasbro on that, I'm going to question it, especially given the legs issue being fixed on the ones that are at TRU now and the fact that they all of a sudden got in massive shipments of these in July or August (or whenever it was) and they had a huge sale on them as soon as they came in.  That clearly was a worked out deal that TRU and Hasbro had planned, probably for a long time that was in the works.  And it worked great - those suckers sold like hotcakes at that price.  Also, based on some Q&A responses from Hasbro, the AT-TE seems to have done fine and met expectations well before any of the recent shipments hit TRU.

My whole point with all of this is that I don't think that there's reason to think that the big items in the line are a failure by any stretch of the imagination.  Hasbro might be more gunshy about this sort of thing in the future depending on the economic forecasts, or of course if the Turbo Tank proves to not have sold well after the Christmas season.  However, I think the bigger factor is the sales of it and not projections for the rest of the economy.  Hasbro doesn't seem to be slowing down one bit with this line and are enjoying amazing profits even in an economic downturn.  Is there a better time for something like the Turbo Tank to be out?  Sure - but if you look around the boards, a lot of people have said they also haven't bought it simply because they don't like it that much.  So that's a factor too.  And like you originally said about last year's items probably going to be on sale again at TRU - I agree.  I can't see them not doing another sale, and would guess one has already been planned for quite some time.

BTW, the Turbo Tank is on sale next week for $79.99 at TRU... really a good deal for this thing.  I think I'm going to flip a coin between getting another one of those or the $49.99 Gunship.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 08:32 PM by CHEWIE »

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #110 on: October 28, 2009, 10:07 PM »
By the way, JES, I really don't mean to argue with you on this.  We both have our opinions, and that's good enough for me.  And I find it enjoyable to talk to another collector about this sort of topic that I haven't interacted on the boards with much.  You make some very valid points.

Offline efranks

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #111 on: October 29, 2009, 01:07 AM »
I passed on both the AT-TE and Falcon last year strictly on price.  Even though I really don't have room for either, it was price that decided it. I didn't think either was overpriced but I just didn't have the cash.  I did kind of mess up because I could have scored a clearanced Falcon at Target after Christmas but forgot to stop on the way to work on discount day and they were gone when I got out. 

I did buy the AT-TE at TRU when they first offered it for $50 this summer.  I don't have any plans to buy the Turbo Tank at any price, however, as I just don't care for it quite as much.  It seems to be lacking some of the cool play features of the AT-TE, at least IMO. 

If I could pick up a Falcon for around $75 I might do it as I think that may be one of the best toys Hasbro has ever done for the SW line...and that's saying something because they've done some really excellent toys over the years.

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Offline tmanthegreat

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #112 on: October 29, 2009, 01:50 PM »
I got the AT-TE last year with a slight discount from Target.  It needs new legs (or at least my own modifications to make them stay on) but is otherwise an excellent vehicle and truly an impressive piece of work by Hasbro.  

The Falcon was very tempting, but I did not get it right off the bat.  $150 was way too much for me at the time, even despite the sentimental fact that I had always wanted the Falcon since I was a kid back in the '80s.  They did not move quickly in my area so then came the discounts after the holidays.  First the Falcons were at $90 and then to $60 at Wal Mart, whence I got one.  Totally worth it at that price and it has to be one of the greatest toys Hasbro has made in 25 years.

I have been less impressed with the Turbo Tank.  To me it seems underscaled and more toyish than the AT-TE, especially for the price point.  For whatever reason, it just has not had the appeal to me, so I have not felt inclined to get it.  
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 01:53 PM by tmanthegreat »

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #113 on: October 29, 2009, 04:32 PM »
I agree it's underscaled, but it's still really cool in my opinion. 

Just for fun, here's some cool pics of a couple in action that a few customizers in the Chicago area put together for the Hasbro diorama contest:

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c138/billytracy/SWDiarama42.jpg

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c138/billytracy/SWDiarama20.jpg

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #114 on: October 30, 2009, 12:50 AM »
I have been less impressed with the Turbo Tank.  To me it seems underscaled and more toyish than the AT-TE,

This was my gripe with the Turbo Tank as well...  It felt much more toyish than the AT-TE, which really just looked like it needed a better paintjob to feel more like a prop replica and less like a toy.  The Turbo Tank's a good toy for sure, and so is the Gunship, the ARC-170, and tons of other stuff.  But the scale + price on this really just made it a no-go for me, and an easy pass.  It's more like a small armored scout vehicle than a big rolling command center.

I've loved the AT-TE since I got it.  I may try for a 3rd one here too on sale. 
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Offline Darth Broem

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #115 on: October 30, 2009, 02:04 AM »
I actually like the fact that they made the Turbo Tank toyish.  I know where they were going with it.  They know it's not nearly as in high demand as the Falcon or AT-TE was with collectors and general public.  So, they wanted to broaden the appeal a bit I think and try to aim it at kids.  I think it will start selling better the more we get closer to Christmas.  If there are kids out there that are as into the show as claimed to be you will have parents or grandparents snag it as the "big" Star Wars item for that kid.   

Yeah, more than likely it won't have a chance at outselling or even really competing with the Falcon or AT-TE especially since those 2 items were just out on the shelves recently.  Although I never see the Falcons anymore, just a few AT-TEs here and there.  Anyway, I am glad I got a shot at the AT-TE and hopefully in the future they will make some more big items like this.  I don't know what they would actually consider though?  Probably just the AT-AT?  I can't ever see them actually adding the Landing Craft with all the battle droids.  They always shoot down the Sail Barge. 

Offline efranks

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #116 on: October 30, 2009, 02:36 AM »
I agree that the Turbo Tank looks like a better toy, or at least more like a toy than the AT-TE but I don't hold that against it.  I think that's great, actually, but I just didn't think it looked like something that I wanted, as a toy, in my collection.

I'm not sure what else Hasbro could do in the BMF style but the AT-AT would be a good one, make it a little bigger to go with the new AT-ST we're getting.  I think the Twilight from the Clone Wars would be a good one...it's getting plenty of exposure, it's aggressive and if it's made large enough it can have a playset in the back for staging Clones and droids and whatnot, just like the Tank or AT-TE.

I think the Gunship could be up-sized as well, but I don't think Hasbro will do that.  It's already pushing the $100 limit now and to make it much bigger would put it over the top.  Plus, unlike the Falcon or even a Twilight, the Gunship needs to be of a size where it can be "flown" around by kids.  I'd like to see it, but again, don't think Hasbro would do it.

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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #117 on: October 30, 2009, 02:52 AM »
I think an upsized Gunship is a to-scale Gunship...  Which I'd like because the turrets look comical ont he current one IMO, but I love them so (just found them tonight).

The "toy like" aspect is a really person-to-person thing...  For me, the AT-TE is pretty well perfect.  The X-Wing is not.  The TIE Interceptor/Fighter/Bomber is.  The Juggernaught is not.  And so on.  For me though it has a lot to do with what's to-scale or falls within the leeway I'm willing to give (because scale often varies slightly with SW stuff).  The upcoming AT-ST falls into the hell yeah category, but current Snowspeeders don't.

Sometimes that's usually all it takes.  The X-Wing is good though in that it's a great toy I think for the most part, and it's very realistic looking, it's just far too underscaled to suit me.

That same thing can be said for the Gunship, ARC-170, and so on.

The Turbo Tank I feel isn't as good as those though...  It looks a little realistic, but not as nice as the above.  It's a bit more, to me, toyish looking.  Not horribly so, but enough I really feel it just looks off a bit.  Definitely off from what it's intended to be, and obviously nowhere near to-scale.

The same would be said for a new AT-AT because there's no way they're doing a 50" tall AT-AT.  I gave the BMF a pass because I got it on uber discount and, hey, it's the Falcon.

I think the Twilight would be a great addition to the bigger vehicle line-up though, and if they delivered something real spiffy I may cave, but for $100 I really don't think they'd pull something off I was totally happy with. 

I heard a funny story about "big vehicles" not too long ago.  It was interesting actually because it entailed a lot of "what they want, and what can be done" discussion.  I wish there was a series of "1:18 (Star Wars isn't exactly this scale though)" vehicles that were done as a collector's series.  It'll never happen, but it's one of the few things I'd pay through the nose if it came to be in some alternate universe.  In the end, doing them yourself is ultimately the only answer for a lot (most) stuff.

A weird story that sort of goes a little with this discussion though, the 1:18 military lines I'm into are going to do pieces of flight deck from aircraft carriers, to display modern jets on, as well as flight crews, pilots, and vehicles for support of the planes.  Pretty crazy stuff, in terms of scale because 1:18 modern jets are pretty massive.  Much larger than a lot of scale Star Wars fighters and things, actually.
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Offline McMetal

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Re: The Big Vehicles - Did You Buy Them?
« Reply #118 on: October 30, 2009, 04:39 PM »

I think the Twilight would be a great addition to the bigger vehicle line-up though, and if they delivered something real spiffy I may cave, but for $100 I really don't think they'd pull something off I was totally happy with.

I agree with you 100% on that one. I think the Twilight would be an excellent, and logical, choice for that price range. As far as TCW, I don't think there are a lot of compelling candidates for big toys left, except for maybe the Republic Attack Shuttle.

I would not be surprised to see the Twilight in 2010 if the show continues to hold strong.
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