Author Topic: How Much is Too Much?  (Read 10074 times)

Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #45 on: August 26, 2009, 05:34 PM »
Again though you're just taking into account the wages of the two countries. What of the savings in exporting materials, importing the finished goods, and shipping those goods around the nation. (not to mention the rest of the world)

I'm willing to bet there are a good number of those millions of unemployed Americans who would gladly take a factory job making $20K/yr as opposed to nothing right now. For one, they'd be covered by medical insurance. But an honest wage and paycheck is a big motivator to most people out there, especially those who don't have job.

Ask those towns who's major industry was auto manufacturing. Their towns are dried up now and losing population and money like crazy. Stick a toy plant there with the complete knowledge that there is no way they'll get the same wages as the old plant. Something more modest yes, but a good job for fair pay, plus those benefits. I'm betting there are towns out there who would take the offer in an instant. As I mentioned before, this recession has taught a lot of people to live within their means now or even less than that. So lower wages than before VS. NO wages is a big difference to them.

I'm not saying a company should take advantage of this either. Again, honest PAY for honest WORK. 

It's troublesome to me when (and I'll use myself as an example here) someone with two degrees who has been in his field for more than 10 years makes barely as much or less than some factory worker who comes in off the street gets a job and who seemingly has more "rights" because they belong to a union. Switching careers here to make a point, the starting salary of a bus driver is $18+ an hour here in Pittsburgh, I make a little over that and I've been in my field over 10 years. It doesn't take all that long to learn how to drive a bus. So why should they be paid the same or better than me, when they don't have a degree or comparable experience? One word: Union. The cost for mass transit in Pittsburgh is abnormally high. Besides gas costs, the blame can be squarely planted on the Union.

Anyway, back to the topic...I still think Hasbro needs to make this stuff more affordable to us. If that means dropping the price, great. If it means keeping jobs overseas, it's regrettable, but I'll bite, but that hasn't saved we consumers anything. The price STILL keeps going up.

I'm certain there is a solution out there.
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Offline Keonobi

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #46 on: August 26, 2009, 06:27 PM »
Not to belabor the point, but even paying a factory worker in the US $20k to make SW figs is still about 6 times more than what you'd have to pay a Chinese worker.  As for the raw materials, we don't export plastic to China to make these, they do it in China.  The only shipping is of the final goods and due to their small size (meaning they can be packed densely and neatly) and light weight (the shipping containers will be full before they hit the weight limit), shipping is a relatively minor cost factor.  (Think about it, there are probably a couple hundred ships leaving China daily, how much "extra" do you think it costs to add one more container to a ship (and that container carries 200k action figures), that's why shipping costs are such a small component of total costs.)

While there may be other factors at play, a large part of why prices have crept up is because we're still buying.  Hasbro hasn't yet hit the point where a further price rise would lower their profits.  Does that mean some buyers will be priced out of the market?  Yup.  But it seems the other sales they are still making are keeping them profitable.  Look no further than Walmart and Hasbro's pricing decisions on the BAD sets.  They wanted to hit a certain revenue number and based on a smaller order size they had to increase the price.  And the sets still sold through pretty well, given the feedback here on JD (they've been scarce in most locations after the initial sightings).
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Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #47 on: August 26, 2009, 10:16 PM »
Loved you post Sal!
It's not a case of Hasbro gouging in every SKU, look at the market place right now your average action figure is $8. So SW is right in line with everything else out there. If you think prices are bad now just wait, hyper inflation is coming in the very near future. If cap and trade is passed figures will be Canadian prices in the states. Everything is going to be a lot more expensive than what it is right now. Hasbro only has so much control of pricing, manufacturing in China is getting expensive, freight is a killer and packaging is 30% of the product cost in a best case scenario. I have been in the toy industry for almost 10 years, freight is a huge expense not a small one. Just downsizing the package by 10% can save a lot of money, I have to do this on every project I work on. Retailers want higher margins on everyday driver like figures, die cast cars and low priced items so they set the stage as well. We are in a messed up period right now but I hope in a few years we see OTC pricing again of $5-$6 a figure but something tells me that's 4-5+ years off.

After $8 a figure is where I serious take a pause to rethink the purchase. With reports of $8.64 that really concerns me. I can deal with $7 but this is getting out of hand when TAC started at $5.99. In 2.5 yrs we have seen some steep increases and I am afraid the reality is it's only going to get worse. That's why I quit Joe for the most part, I am not paying $8+ for movie figures. SW I will still buy regardless (with a little cut bac)k but any other line I will think thrice before I purchase. I do not blame Hasbro, I point to bad decision making form our "leaders" who put us in this mess and are not fixing the problems. We just got to ride it out and work to make it better.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #48 on: August 27, 2009, 01:03 AM »
I hate to have to repeat this, again, but this topic is straying unfortunately into Sarlacc Pit territory where we're arguing why things cost so much...  Clearly one side feels one way, another side disagrees and feels it's another way.

Kindly keep it to the Pit.  That's twice now that this has had to be said here in the main forum...  I know you guys are all intelligent enough to know what's allowed outside there, and what's not, so if it's needed to be said again by staff, suspensions will be dealt.  No arguing your points with me as well, I really don't care to hear it right now.

Just stop it, and take it to the Pit.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #49 on: August 27, 2009, 01:04 AM »
I think that we need to weigh how much cost can be passed on to the consumer.  I saw figures at Target today for $8.24 each.  And there was almost an entire new wave of Clone Wars figures.  And you know what?  I passed.

As much as it would be nice to move those manufacturing jobs to the US, the consumer base is not prepared to pay the additional cost.
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Offline Brian

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #50 on: August 27, 2009, 11:01 AM »
Yeah, I do think price has a lot to do with it - even more so for "casual" buyers.  For example, our local Target has stocked the Cad Bane wave of CW three times now, and quite a few of them are still on the pegs.  Granted, it is CW and that maybe doesn't have as large of a collector base, but it has been pretty rare where I've seen a "new wave" sit at all.  It is usually gobbled up in a day or two at most, aside from possible repacks.  Heck, I still saw Cad Bane on the pegs a few days later (gone now), which you really wouldn't expect with a character like that.

The prices, in combination with just the sheer amount of product doesn't help things any.  Sure, we don't have to buy it all, but many buy most of it and already have a room or storage facility full of toys to begin with.  I think a slower pace (and the lines being spaced out better throughout the year) would help too.  I've often used the example of the POTJ line, where we had nice waves throughout the year and around 40-50 figures total.  I guess when I look at the CW or TLC lines individually, we'd still have that (about 54 TLC basic figures this year I think, even less than that of CW), it is just that when they're all jammed on the pegs together - along with "Legends" - it starts to become a mess.  Add to that this pattern of seeing 75% of the product from August to December (also prime holiday shopping time), many people don't have the budget to keep up (myself included).

Prices are what they are.  I doubt they are going down anytime soon, and that stinks, but like it was mentioned SW really isn't out of line with the other 3 3/4" lines anymore.  Heck, it is even cheaper than both Joes and Marvel Universe stuff here locally, which for some reason are both over $8 in many places.  I guess a good question to ask is when was Star Wars collecting the most "fun" for you?  I've said it before that I think the actual figures we get today (TLC in particular) are some of Hasbro's best work.  From that side of things, I like the current crop the best.  At the same time though, I don't know that it has ever been as much "work" to collect as it has been the past couple years.  So much stuff, often in a very short release-window, coupled with higher prices and competition within the brand for peg space makes it a little tougher to find things.  I remember having a good month or two to find the "new wave" during the POTJ days, but now - particularly with most Legacy waves - you better try to get it when you see it.

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #51 on: August 27, 2009, 12:55 PM »
I think that we need to weigh how much cost can be passed on to the consumer.  I saw figures at Target today for $8.24 each.  And there was almost an entire new wave of Clone Wars figures.  And you know what?  I passed.

Dude, I do not blame you, I am with you. I have only been buying BAD stuff and never got into the animated. It's prices like this that make me thankful I never got into it. Prices will go down if demand is not there and I think we may see that if they continue to climb. SW is a resilient brand that would be able to take a hit and survive. They may make less product but it may need a price reset. Figures were $7-$8 in 1999, demand dropped over the next several years for several reasons and then we saw them drop down to $4.99 in 2002-2005. Could history repeat itself?
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Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #52 on: August 28, 2009, 01:19 PM »
...Figures were $7-$8 in 1999, demand dropped over the next several years for several reasons and then we saw them drop down to $4.99 in 2002-2005. Could history repeat itself?

One can only hope.

Okay, so to get back on topic, I have a 15X25 storage unit. It's about 85% filled with 90% of that stuff being mine in the form of toys, mostly SW stuff. (The other stuf us either my wife's or decorations). I'd say that's too much. Yet, I still buy.

Though I'm no longer the army builder I used to be. Age, cost and space helped to change that, plus there really aren't that many characters I'd care to army build now. The Gungan warrior is one of the last remaining ones for me.
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Offline Brian

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #53 on: September 9, 2009, 07:04 PM »
You know, as I was rearranging some things in our office lately, it does seem that with all the Clone Wars focus we see in the line right now - it actually does have a little more of the "conservative" approach we've wanted to see with Star Wars.  If you look at the line by itself, we've seen like 5-6 waves of CW figures planned for this year, with about 4-5 "new" figures in each wave (not counting the Obi/Ani/etc. repacks).  All told, maybe 30 basic figures for the year, along with one big vehicle (or two if you count the AT-TE re-release), several new starfighter vehicles, a few battle packs mainly focused on army building (various clone regiments), and maybe an exclusive ship or two.  Not really a bad approach to the line, if it was all you were keeping up on.  But, then there is the Legacy line (and Legends if you collect that), not to mention comic packs/battle packs/etc.  With all the CW spotlight and support, we're probably actually getting more "Legacy style" stuff this year, at least as far as basic figures go (vehicles/etc. are usually another story).

Offline Jabba the Slug

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #54 on: September 23, 2009, 02:02 AM »
At my Target stores, BAD and CW figs are $9 flat, including tax. I like it better when they were $7 before tax ... I remember that at my Target, a little after prices went up with the debut of the BAD/CW lines in 2008, prices went down for a few months so that they were once again $7-8, but went up again. $9 today isn't too bad, but at my local Walgreens, just in my neighborhood, a basic figure is $11.49 BEFORE tax! What's up with that?!
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Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #55 on: September 23, 2009, 10:11 AM »
At my Target stores, BAD and CW figs are $9 flat, including tax.

I take it you're in California somewhere?
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Offline Jabba the Slug

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #56 on: September 23, 2009, 06:11 PM »
At my Target stores, BAD and CW figs are $9 flat, including tax.

I take it you're in California somewhere?

Yep, SF.
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Offline speedermike

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #57 on: September 24, 2009, 12:46 AM »
NY is about the same.  I shop in Westchester, and the prices are steep.
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Offline darth_sidious

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #58 on: October 3, 2009, 08:23 PM »
With such high prices, I do all I can do - cut back, and try to use sales and coupons (like clone cash) to bring the prices down a bit.  Perhaps the price is a factor in collectors falling back, and some ceasing to participate in the hobby - Hasbro must know this, and they should do something about it.  High prices, and too much product will drive us away from collecting, not boost interest...

Offline Jim

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Re: How Much is Too Much?
« Reply #59 on: October 3, 2009, 08:45 PM »
For me the too much was a blessing in disguise.  I had collected every 4".  Ive purged most of my collecting and eliminated over 50% over the last several months.  If it wasnt in the film, I dont collect it.  That knocked the EU stuff out eliminating figs from comics, books, games, etc.  Ships I limit my self to OT only and I am very picky when it comes to this.  I'm sure that my PT stuff would be the next to go if I need to free up space.  I never really felt a connection with any of the characters like I did with the OT.