Author Topic: Drop in Collector Interest?  (Read 9453 times)

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #15 on: May 1, 2009, 05:07 PM »
Anyway, thanks for the good read JACKOFTRADZE.

Thanks Sal!

Going forward the best thing for Hasbro to do if they want to cut back is merge Legends with Legacy. Legends is clogging up shelves more than Legacy or Clone Wars. In a case of 12 figures you can have 6 new and 6 refreshed/carry forward figures. So if they get 6-7 waves a year we would still get 36-42 new figures a year and all the Kids favorites could be on shelf.

It's time for Legends to go.

I do not want to see regular SW go to the wayside, after 13 years I do not now how I would function without having something to look forward to add to my collection. It's part of everyday life. That's pretty sad when I stop and think about it.
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Offline Darth Broem

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #16 on: May 1, 2009, 07:48 PM »
Well this is the story for me.  I shy away from buying stuff now because the prices are just a bit to damn high.  For me it was going over $7 a figure.  Now we are at $7.50-$8.00.  By the time I buy a couple of figues that's close to $20 dropped.  A wave of 6 figures is nearing $45-$50  It's nice to get the B-A-D if you happen to like the droid that is.  I just kind of cring now when I look at the receipt. 

A lot of 30 plus year old collectors probably have a wife, a kid, a home.  Most of us have been collecting a long, long time and probably have almost everything you could have wanted from SW in toy form allready by now.  I am at that point anyway.   Yeah, they can always make another figure you always wanted them to make, but for the most part you got it all I would assume? 

So, for me I only want to buy stuff that really interests me or I do not have yet.  In other words I am not out there even wanting to buy up entire waves any longer.  There is no new film where they can crank out figures from a film I don't have.  They made every clonetrooper from the films and/or stormtrooper.  I am pretty much set.  So, when they re-release the 501st yet again I won't be buying 5 of them.  It will be zero.  I may buy 1 of those black pauldron Sandtroopers since I don't have it but more than likely I will not. 

It's not that I am not interested in the line any longer, but I really don't need to go after the new Rancor Keeper either.  Yeah, the Clone Wars has new figures, a new audience.  So, yeah it probably kicks Legacy's booty all over the place. 

Maybe when Lucas re-releases the live films in 3-D it will pick up again?






Offline Nicklab

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #17 on: May 3, 2009, 03:04 PM »
Very good look back down memory lane, JACKOFTRADZE.  There have definitely been some highs and lows along the way.  Certainly POTJ was a great line in it's time.  And I also think we were in pretty good territory from 2004-2007 after the change in leadership with the Hasbro Star Wars team along with the heyday around the ROTS days.

I think that a few things have been a negative influence on the line with it's current direction.  And I think the army building phenomenon was a big contributor to some of the collector burnout that we're seeing now.  How many people in the ROTS days were buying multiples of every trooper they could find?  And I think the answer was quite a lot.  But when you look at that ROTS Neimoidian Guard that turned into a pegwarmer, I think that may have been the indicator that collectors weren't prepared to buy every army builder under the sun.  And when we started to see offscreen Clone Troopers placed in the line?  I think that happened around the time the term "skittles troopers" entered the collecting vernacular.  And because of those attempts to exploit the army builder market, I think Hasbro may have driven off the customers who were accustomed to buying multiples of a single figure.  I know that in the past I may have been good for some 12 - 20 of a single trooper.  And now if I get up to about 6 or more it's because it's a truly remarkable figure, like the VTSC Snowtrooper.

I think we're also venturing into some pretty fringe territory with the collector focused characters/figures.  The collectors who have been patronizing websites like this one are pretty well versed in characters like Willrow Hood, Yarna, Ackmena, Ben Quadrinaros, etc.  But the average fan who may or may not buy a figure based on remembering the character from a movie?  Or better still, a parent who's buying a figure for a kid's birthday?  I think we're in a whole other realm than those folks.  And I think it boils down to us being a very vocal minority while all of the parents have the mass spending power.  A very valid question for us all to consider is this:  how many of those parents would buy their kids a $100+ Sail Barge toy?  I know that I saw more than a few conversations between a parent and child in the toy aisle talking about the Millenium Falcon, and that it was a little too much money for them to justify that purchase.  Would we even see that conversation over a Sail Barge?  I'm not so sure.

I think that we should still be vocal about collector focused characters.  But I think we should also be accepting of the fact that some of these characters should probably be shortpacked.  Yarna looks cool.  And as I get my collection room together I'm looking forward to putting her into my Jabba's palace display.  But it drives me crazy that every time I walk into the local TRU stores I see so many Yarna's on the pegs.  And because of the situation with Yarna I feel very comfortable in saying that Willrow Hood should also be shortpacked, and so should some cantina aliens.  And for those with concerns over how that kind of strategy might impact the Droid Factory build-a-figure promotion, I think Hasbro is more than capable of balancing out thosee BAF droid parts by including the same part from a collector focused figure in a repack that has a more popular/better selling character.
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Offline speedermike

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #18 on: May 3, 2009, 11:01 PM »
I disagree about the last part.  The BAD is the reward for buying the "new" figures.  I would not buy a repack figure for a droid part.

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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #19 on: May 4, 2009, 12:13 AM »
I disagree about the last part.  The BAD is the reward for buying the "new" figures.  I would not buy a repack figure for a droid part.



Well, perhaps you didn't get the gyst of what I was getting at.  My hopes with Hasbro cutting down the production numbers on the collector focus characters like Yarna is an effort to stem the pegwarming that they might cause.  I honestly think that pegwarming is one of the biggest threats to the line right now.  I would only propose making these collector focus characters one per case max, not any sort of a chase figure.  And offer the same BAF droid part with both the collector focused figure and a better selling reissue/trooper.  With this kind of scheme in mind the collector can get their figure along with the droid part, and the more casual collector can use that same part to build the same droid if they buy the reissue/trooper.
« Last Edit: May 4, 2009, 12:14 AM by Nicklab »
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Offline Brian

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2009, 12:31 PM »
This topic was sort of brought up again this week in the SWAN podcast, if any of you listen to that.  They were sort of bringing up the success of the new Star Trek movie, and drawing parallels how in the past it seemed the pendulum swung back and forth between Star Trek and Star Wars.  First it was Trek with its admittedly smaller following overall with the series and its repeats, then Star Wars hit theatres and pretty much ruled the late 70s/early 80s.  Then Star Wars slowly died down to just comics and a couple cartoons, then eventually nothing, and Trek made a bit of a comeback in the late 80s with TNG and more movies.  Then the prequels came, and Trek went back to being more obscure.  Now we've got a much buzzed new Trek movie, and Star Wars is maybe a little down (in the "general public" consciousness at least).

Now the wild card here is the Clone Wars animated series, which seems to be very successful both ratings-wise and bringing the kiddos into the toyline again.  I'm guessing for the most part though, outside of SW fans, it isn't being watched by a lot of general adult audience.  They were talking on here that it sort of looks like we might be headed towards another "dark times" period similar to the 85-95 period previously.  Again, this isn't taking into account the success of Clone Wars - but with higher prices, running out of room, and collectors possibly dropping out - do you think the "movie" stuff from Star Wars is heading for leaner times?  This is sort of what we've been talking about here - so I thought it was relevant, but it seems like a lot of us, while still enjoying collecting, are getting to the point where maybe less stuff (of higher quality) is preferrable to the 100 items years we've had since ROTS.

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2009, 06:15 PM »
(Thanks Nicklab for the kudos, I know the reply is over a week later.)

I agree about your Trek vs Wars pendulum for one exception - toys. Whiile they are not horrible by any means(They are no great either) I do not think the Trek toys will connect with kids the same way SW toys has. For sure we are headed for leaner times (The Dark times in my opinion)but what is really "leaner" is Hasbro's eyes? 1-2 less waves and less vehicles? I think we will see less realistic but I also think we will be surprised how much we will see at Comic Con.

I think slowing down too much can actually hurt the line long term. If there is nothing really new to hunt and really spaced out waves like we see now I really expect a big drop off like in 02-03. You know that interest is down when HTS has had the entire Wave 6 in stock with the HRS being the only one selling out. Even places like New Force comics and other etailers have not had any preorders on the last few waves. It's really sad, I want more realistic figures and hate how few we have been getting. I think every 6 weeks would be nice to see a new wave. Just please give me a killer SA Han Bespin before you really slow down Hasbro.

I have a new thread I will open, a hypothetical one. If SW Realistic was ending summer of next year and you only had 18 figures (3 Waves) and 4 vehicles left to pick who/what would they be?
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Offline Brian

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2009, 06:40 PM »
Yeah, I definitely see your point regarding the toylines.  I can't take credit for the pendulum theory, it was just something I heard on that podcast and thought it was worth mentioning.  I'm totally unfamiliar with the various Trek lines over the years, but I can't imagine any of them were super sellers overall.  I remember having a couple of figures of the original series characters (I think from one of the movie lines), and a few Next Generation figures (which I have no idea what happened to those now that I think of it), but otherwise I've never really given Star Trek toys a second look until this new movie line.  Honestly, I don't think there is any movie-based line out there that can or ever will compare with Star Wars.  Joe has the longevity going for it, but as long as there has been a Star Wars line on the pegs, it has been one of - if not the most - relevant it seems.

I sure hope we don't see the end of a realistic line, and I really don't think that we will.  Hasbro can talk all they want about the CW success, but I still believe the realistic style is this line's bread and butter.  It is nice that a new generation is getting into SW with the CW toon, but once it is over, that will be that.  They can sell realistic style figures consistently whether there is new entertainment or not it seems.  If they ever made the switch over to entirely animated (doing OT too), or just drop the Legacy Collection-type line and focus solely on Clone Wars or whatever the current "entertainment" was, I think they would see a big change in their sales as the line continued.  I agree with you though, I want my "ultimate" Bespin Han Solo if/when things are ever going to wrap up (not to mention Hoth Luke & Leia, and maybe a Skiff Lando).  I like your idea for a new thread topic.  It seems like we're getting closer and closer to wrapping up some of the "Top 10" lists, or they are getting more obscure with each round.

Offline Brian

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #23 on: June 2, 2009, 09:28 AM »
Somewhat related to this topic....I haven't listened to it yet, but it appears that the Force Cast podcast has a special this week with Derryl DePriest called the Collector Cast - where they apparently discuss the state of the line past, present, and future.  Just thought I'd pass it along.  Like I said, I haven't listened yet, so I don't know if there is any worthwhile news or not.

Offline Brian

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #24 on: June 2, 2009, 07:38 PM »
I got a chance to listen to that podcast this afternoon, and it seemed to reiterate a lot of what we've been hearing in the Q and A's lately.  CW/Legends doing great, Legacy not so much.  They did a lot of talk about the "Yarna issue", and how they really have to reign in the numbers on the collector-focused figures.  It certainly wasn't all doom and gloom, but (and this is despite the great figures coming this year), I'm really starting to get the feeling that the Original Trilogy focus is going to get less and less over the years if this continues.  They talked about the "new generation" experiencing Star Wars for the first time, as well as the kids that were 9/10 for TPM and are now entering that collector age group.  I still sort of doubt that generation comes "back" to collecting toys the way many of us did, but who knows.

One quote from this podcast that did sort of hit me (I think it was from Curto), where it was mentioned that many kids are really getting into Star Wars through Clone Wars - and will continue to over the years, and could maybe not even know (or vaguely know) who Darth Vader is.  That could be right, and it is crazy to think that.  Star Wars to me has always been Luke, Vader, Han, Chewie, Leia, the droids, and Stormtroopers.  Those days seem to be going away though.

Anyways, I may have to listen again, but they didn't necessarily get real specific about the future of the line - but I do wonder what it holds for the realistic/movie (and OT) collectors.  Like I said, I can't really complain personally.  I think the realistic waves we've gotten this year so far have been great, and there has been a nice OT focus with the ANH and ESB waves, and more on the way as well.  Add in the BMF last year, and rumors of new vehicles like the AT-ST, Snowspeeder, etc. in the next year or so - and there is still plenty of good stuff on the way.

Offline Brian

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #25 on: June 3, 2009, 01:20 PM »
This is sort of loosely related here, but I didn't know if this warranted its own thread or not.  I was listening to Star Wars Action News where they mentioned that news had come out that Wal-Mart will be reducing its overall toy sections in its stores.  I recently noticed that our local store had a significantly smaller toy section, but they are in the process of a remodel so I wondered if it was due to that or not.  They were not finished resetting the aisle last time I was there, but at the time a lot of stuff was missing (perhaps returning when they're done).  Anyways, I thought this would be interesting news if it indeed happened nationwide.  It should make upcoming Wal-Mart exclusives even more fun to find :).  Anyways, just wanted to pass the info along.

Personally, I usually try to avoid Wal-Mart unless looking for an exclusive or a wave hits there earlier than another retailer - but apparently this (reduction of toy section) is part of an overall initiative to "de-clutter" their stores.  I know that has been the big problem with our closest store, which has been better recently (even with the remodeling).
« Last Edit: June 3, 2009, 01:23 PM by Brian »

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #26 on: June 3, 2009, 01:38 PM »
Wal-Mart will be reducing its overall toy sections in its stores.

Here's the story that created the shrinking toy section rumor.

Walmart has since responded to the original story denying the shrinking toy section -

"Walmart has no new plans to reduce allocated shelf space for toys companywide, and any story or rumor to the contrary is false. Store assortments and quantity levels at Walmart stores will differ based on consumer demand and product trends, as well as seasonal and geographical differences. We will continue to be a leading destination for affordable, high quality toys in the markets we serve."


So, believe what you will - maybe it's just re-organizing or maybe it's just some stores that are being "redefined" because that particular store has been hit harder by less demand or something.  Defeinitely doesn't sound like an overall corporate policy to shrink the toy dept though.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #27 on: June 3, 2009, 01:46 PM »
Thanks for the clarification Jeff.  I certainly didn't mean to make it a bigger deal than it was.  Honestly, SWAN was the first I heard of it, and just happened to remember our local store seeming somewhat smaller last time I was there (although, again, it was in the middle of a remodel).  Our store often has been a bit smaller I think though, as we've never had the DCUC line there and have missed a number of exclusives as well.

Offline Brian

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2009, 12:23 PM »
This is a topic that seems to have been covered in this week's Q and A (once again), that collector interest is down - in particular things like the basic figure line, the comic packs, EU figures, and now vehicles have all been mentioned.  I'm wondering, do you think Hasbro is right about the drop in collector interest?  I know we've seen a few people here stop, or considerably slow down, on their Hasbro collecting - either shifting to other interests or dropping out all together.

It seems like we're seeing a scaling back of the line, which in some ways I think is ok.  We've discussed this in other threads before too, so I won't go over it again now.  I just noticed them mentioning how figures like Willrow Hood are released at numbers 30% less than a few years ago, as well as them saying how collectors aren't "buying vehicles like kids/parents do"...so it made me think of this topic again.  Do you truly think the collector base is shrinking, and if so, do you think anything can bring them back?  Is the CW line really supported almost totally by kids - or are collectors pitching in there as well?  I know that I've picked up quite a few of the basic figures there at least, but have avoided a lot of the other stuff for the most part (aside from a few vehicles).  Anyways, just curious about some other thoughts on this topic.  Will we continue to see collectors drop year after year from here on out?

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2009, 03:26 PM »
Compared to 2006 or 2007, I probably spent half the money this year I did in those years.  It was purely what figures cost that forced me to do this.

That's not a drop in interest on my part, it's that figures, battlepacks, vehicles, and everything got jacked up in price beyond a point I considered it a value to me.  I went from buying multiples of almost every basic figure and comic pack to cutting back my army building, only buying singles of many figures, and waiting for sales before I bought many of my army builders.

Battlepacks I haven't bought a single one except the Yaving Hangar set unless they were on sale.  Same with the mid-sized vehicle line.

I think many people went this route, or abandoned the hobby all together.  I don't view that as a loss in interest unless you quit all together, and even then it's tough to blame people when they compare prices just a year ago.

This is just my perspective though, as someone who still collects, but who hates the prices we're being asked to pay.  The WM price drop, KM sales, and TRU sales have been pleasant little moments in an otherwise absurdly priced year.  My personal belief is they're overpricing the toys. 

If CW is selling fine at the new price, imagine how it would likely do if a price drop happened?  And just because it may still be doing well doesn't mean you haven't alienated the core collectors still by jacking up prices.  The two don't really relate to one another.  Parents buy because they feel obligated to.  Collectors buy (or don't buy) because they feel they have the ability to, and right now many don't feel they have the ability to stay on top of the modern line as it's currently priced.
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