Author Topic: Drop in Collector Interest?  (Read 9869 times)

Offline darth_sidious

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2009, 06:00 PM »
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.

I havent listened to the Forcecast in a long time - but it should be nice to hear from Hasbros lead SW man - so thanks for passing it along.  In the most recent Hasbro Q&A, when answering a question about comic packs - Hasbro flat out said collector interest dipped by 30-40%, which to me seems huge.  I'm optimistic about the future of Legacy related products though, because its the foundation for modern collecting.  At this point, I think Hasbro knows price and collectors being overwhelmed with too many products are two of the main issues.  The cutbacks across the board will help, and since we wont be spending as much money on various other products, maybe it will equalize the collector base, and people wont mind spending $8 a figure if they are buying less each year.

Offline Brian

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #31 on: February 4, 2010, 10:24 AM »
Just bumping this up again with more Hasbro responses this week pointing to the "drop in Legacy/collector interest" - now even leading to the last Legacy wave becoming a TRU exclusive.  They mention the reason being that retailers "have plenty", but that certainly isn't the case here.  It may still be in the system or something, but none of our local stores (Target, WM, or TRU) have any Legacy on the pegs at all (aside from one Agen Kolar I guess).  Other than that, it is all Legends or Clone Wars stuff, and stocked pretty much to the gills on all the SW pegs.  I guess I can buy that collector spending has gone down to some extent, heck we've seen it on our boards here alone that a few are stopping or at least cutting back as prices get higher and collection/storage rooms get too full, but it still seems like when some Legacy stuff finally hits around here, it is gone pretty quickly.  I'm not saying it necessarily outsells CW or anything, that seems like a real hit with kids and collectors alike, but it certainly isn't a pegwarming stinker either.

Offline McMetal

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #32 on: February 4, 2010, 10:50 AM »
I think there are collectors and then there are Collectors.

Some folks will just buy figures they like, or that they feel are priced affordably. They'll pick and choose and participate based on whatever relative interest they have in the line at that time. Seems like most people fall under this category.

Then you have the Collectors. (Big C) These are the folks who buy EVERYTHING, regardless of price point, articulation, character selection, etc. Just make it and put it on the shelves. As soon as possible!

I don't think Hasbro has to worry much about losing that second segment, but they are sure in jeopardy of losing that first contingent if they keep screwing with the lines they way they have been recently.

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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #33 on: February 4, 2010, 10:54 AM »
I'm beginning to lose interest, which I thought would never happen.  But it's because there's barely ever any new Legacy figures at retail; my area is mired in Legends and Clone Wars; and more and more news that Hasbro's cutting back on lines like the Comic Packs, and even the upcoming EU wave being scaled back to just TRU. 

I blame all of my diminishing interest on Hasbro's shoddy distribution and terrible case assortments. 

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #34 on: February 4, 2010, 11:52 AM »
I think there are collectors and then there are Collectors.

Some folks will just buy figures they like, or that they feel are priced affordably. They'll pick and choose and participate based on whatever relative interest they have in the line at that time. Seems like most people fall under this category.

Then you have the Collectors. (Big C) These are the folks who buy EVERYTHING, regardless of price point, articulation, character selection, etc. Just make it and put it on the shelves. As soon as possible!

I don't think Hasbro has to worry much about losing that second segment, but they are sure in jeopardy of losing that first contingent if they keep screwing with the lines they way they have been recently.

Great analysis of the demographic. I fall in that Big C for sure. While I cut back only on the truly ridiculous I am always ready to add something new to my collection.

They have to stop the Drought/Glut cycle of product, to me it's a major contributor of the decline. You cannot starve the average collector and hold their interest. You cannot expect them to run out searching for so much product while spending so much money in a short period of time. You take away the enjoyment of collecting replacing it with a feeling of being burdened financially and mentally.
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Offline Morgbug

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #35 on: February 4, 2010, 11:56 AM »
Just bumping this up again with more Hasbro responses this week pointing to the "drop in Legacy/collector interest" - now even leading to the last Legacy wave becoming a TRU exclusive.  They mention the reason being that retailers "have plenty", but that certainly isn't the case here. 

Pardon my French, but "bull****".  I suppose they're only referring to the US situation, which is clearly all that matters.  We haven't seen jack new other than Clone Wars (which I get but I'm not interested in).  Some retailers have brought in U.S. carded figures, which could actually get them fined, in minimal amounts and they aren't sitting (outside of Malakili but that is in no way the fault of the store, it was completely unnecessary to release him at this point).  We don't even get figures.  Hasbro's own toy shop is out of popular Legacy figures and hasn't restocked of late.  

Yeah, collector's interest is down because we can't find much of anything to be interested in.  Store interest may be down but that might be attributable to Yarna sitting.  Walmart closest to me has a baker's dozen on the pegs and nothing else.  So 132 other figures sold but the stores stuck with her.  Now don't misunderstand, I'm happy they made her and I bought her but Hasbro still seems to not have a clue on their own end.  
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #36 on: February 4, 2010, 12:33 PM »
I think that part of the problem lies in there being too many sublines being out at once. I don't collect Clone Wars, but that line is here to stay and should be in my opinion.  There's a nice demand for it and a great media tie in. To me the line that I think has caused Legacy so many problems isn't Legacy, it's Legends. That line seems to sell through so slowly and has so many repacks of repacks, etc.

Add to it that Hasbro went a very long time in 2009 without any new Legacy hitting the pegs, or when it did it was just a random case here or there... we had a very long dry spell, then a bulge of product from ALL THREE lines hitting in the last few months of the year... talk about a kick to the wallet for a lot of people.  And for every case of Legends, there seemed to be 3-4 cases of Clone Wars and Legends hitting the pegs. Something just isn't right with that formula.  How in the world can Hasbro expect Legacy to compete with that?

I also think there's reason to believe that Hasbro is making less profit on the Legacy line due to there being more new tooling with these figures than the other two lines, AND the added cost of the droid parts for the B.A.D. line. Seems like if they're making $2.00 profit on each figure on the other two lines, this line would be less of a profit because they have more invested in it.  So, I think a lower GP on the Legacy figures could be determining factor as well, but not one that Hasbro is going to ever admit because it would hurt their image.  That's just my own theory, but it does make sense that this line costs them a bit more to produce; and Hasbro's bottom line is turning the highest profit they can (I really, really feel this is part of the reason for the changes we're seeing, and have been saying it for months...).

But, from what we are seeing Hasbro appears to be taking measures to try and turn this around. I just hope they do a better job of controlling the distribution this coming year and can throw in a few new surprises. They have a good thing going, but I think there really may be some collector interest dropping, because we've gotten some GREAT figures of main characters that everyone loves, and there comes a point where some people are going to already be happy with some of these figures and not feel the need to drop down another 8 bucks for a slight upgrade.

In spite of what they say, I think they need to dip into more of the awesome designs that a lot of collectors enjoy and have not been able to purchase, such as the KOTOR era and more TFU figures... not whole waves of them, but each wave in a year could have a KOTOR figure or TFU - some sort of tie in that could be as successful as the McQuarrie figures. They also need to stop with the constant inclusion of repacked figures into the Legacy line as well, which we did see last year some (remember the Jodo Kast wave?). And when they want to include a figure in a wave that isn't as interesting as Yarna, either throw her in a battle pack like they did with the fat Clone Wars Trandoshan, or simply limit production.

Just my two cents.  I practically copied that from a post I made at Yak, but I wanted to share those thoughts here without completely rewriting it.   :P

Offline Brian

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #37 on: February 4, 2010, 12:52 PM »
I agree with what others have said, there simply isn't a lot of Legacy stuff making it to the pegs at all.  I've been fortunate I guess this past year (2009) and saw most of the waves at least once, but it was usually just once and never again - for the most part.  Clone Wars on the other hand I see all the time, and it continues to sell great.  Like CHEWIE mentioned, CW is getting the big push now - and it should be.  For all intents and purposes, it is this generation of kids' "Star Wars" the way many of us had in the 70s/80s.  Taken by itself for what it is, it really is a pretty fun line.  It was mentioned in another thread here, but they probably go through 2 to 3 cases of CW figures for every one of Legacy.  I know I've been working part time stocking at Target, and we get a ton more CW stuff in than Legacy or even Legends, and it sells through pretty quickly for the most part.

Hasbro, for all its faults, does seem to be pulling out all the stops this year - aside from the large break once again.  We're getting the collector friendly vintage packaging, and OT "big" vehicle again, as well as re-dos of much requested items like the Cloud Car, Jabba with Dais, and Snowspeeder.  All that together makes for a pretty nice year.  I hope the line goes on for a long time yet, but if we get a couple more years with product like that, I think we'd be finished out fairly well with the movie stuff (not that I want it to go away).

Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #38 on: February 4, 2010, 04:01 PM »
They have to stop the Drought/Glut cycle of product, to me it's a major contributor of the decline. You cannot starve the average collector and hold their interest. You cannot expect them to run out searching for so much product while spending so much money in a short period of time. You take away the enjoyment of collecting replacing it with a feeling of being burdened financially and mentally.

Once again I agree completely. This is one of if not the biggest problems with the line to date.

Here's the thing, collectors (big "C" or not) collect all year around. So we need to see that product all year around.

Kids may very well buy into stuff all year as well, but traditionally parents by MORE in the fall to early winter in preparation for Christmas. This is a known fact.

I'm betting that if the Legacy stuff (and I'm talking the new stuff per case, not the crappy refresh cases with previous figures) were available all year around, Hasbro would have seen a MUCH better showing for sales.

but they chose the quick and easy path by going with Legends. No new tooling, no BaD part, same price, instant profits...or was it. Other than some figs for charity I bought no Legends figures for myself. All Legacy and a scant few CW. Hasbro can blame me for that as a collector.

Why on God's earth would I buy the same clone repacked when I already got him a year or two or more and for CHEAPER, in some cases significantly cheaper? My best example I can think of off hand is Commander Devis. This was just a clone commander for ROTS back in 2005. FIVE years ago. What were we paying for figures back then? About $5 to $5.50 per figure. Okay, so he includes a BaD part. That part isn't worth a $1, but let's say it is. The figure should not have cost more than $6-6.50. Yet, he was reissued as a Legacy figure for close to if not $8. Other clones are similarly done but in the Legends packaging. Again, $8? All we get more of are some weapons accessories that I'm betting a PENNIES to make.

If Hasbro is going to have a subline like Legends, then be at least FAIR about it. Have it packaged as a completely different look from CW and the realistic line. Sell those cheaper since the molds are already long done. Call it the "Armies of SW" or something, I don't care, but quit screwing the consumer. You, Hasbro, wonder why we collectors have started to buy less? Read this thread alone and you have your answers.

Honestly, I'm SO glad I decided to budget myself years ago. It's made it easier to buy less. But to add to that Hasbro's decisions have made it even easier than that. I'd buy more (since I'm still well within my budget) if they made the figures I want, made them available all year around and didn't try to wring every dollar from me.
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Offline ruiner

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #39 on: February 4, 2010, 05:12 PM »

Why on God's earth would I buy the same clone repacked when I already got him a year or two or more and for CHEAPER, in some cases significantly cheaper? My best example I can think of off hand is Commander Devis. This was just a clone commander for ROTS back in 2005. FIVE years ago. What were we paying for figures back then? About $5 to $5.50 per figure. Okay, so he includes a BaD part. That part isn't worth a $1, but let's say it is. The figure should not have cost more than $6-6.50. Yet, he was reissued as a Legacy figure for close to if not $8. Other clones are similarly done but in the Legends packaging. Again, $8? All we get more of are some weapons accessories that I'm betting a PENNIES to make.

Well, according to Hasbro (and I tend to agree) the Legends line was designed for casual collectors and kids who are looking for core characters.  Made sense...a few years ago.  Then the economy hit folks (say bye bye to casual collectors) and the kid part of that equation transitioned to gobbling up the CW stuff for obvious reasons.  They don't even LOOK at the Legends when there are CW figs on the pegs!

Quote
If Hasbro is going to have a subline like Legends, then be at least FAIR about it. Have it packaged as a completely different look from CW and the realistic line. Sell those cheaper since the molds are already long done. Call it the "Armies of SW" or something, I don't care, but quit screwing the consumer.

Will never happen.  You can't have the same product (don't kid yourself, it is) right next to each other at different price points.  That will definitely screw with the consumer!  ;-)

Plus, how many times have you seen the Legends, Legacy, and CW figs all intermixed on the pegs?  

Exactly.

Stores can't afford to have every other consumer come up to the register claiming they found the newest Legacy figure on the $5.50 peg.

« Last Edit: February 4, 2010, 05:14 PM by ruiner »

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #40 on: February 4, 2010, 06:37 PM »
Yeah, the pricing sucks but it's not a problem you can really fix.  Look how when an ad comes out, it may specifically mention Legends or something, but people take CW and Legacy trying to get the sale price...  and often it works.  The different SKU's should fix that and I think Hasbro believes there's less a problem than there may be, but if there's Legends right next to Legacy but 2 different prices, there's going to be mass retailer/consumer confusion and stuff.
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Offline JesseVader08

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #41 on: February 4, 2010, 07:41 PM »
Distribute the figures regularly and people will buy.  Continue this drought/glut cycle and it will kill the line.  Why is this so hard for them to understand? 

Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #42 on: February 5, 2010, 07:35 AM »
I just don't understand why the legends figures can't be slotting in with the Legacy case assortments and get rid of the Legends SKU altogether.

The benefits would be:
1) Help keep the assortment cost down
2) Gets the core characters out there like Hasbro wants

and now with the Vintage collection coming
3) Brings an impressive variety of figures to the vintage packaging style that collectors may want to pick up solely for the look of the line

I could take the complete list of all Saga Legends figures and all Legacy waves from July 2008 through to the EU wave and I could easily slot in the characters that Hasbro wants out there.

There wouldn't be as much repitition in my list though - I wouldn't ship the 2005 Plo Koon in the same year an updated Plo Koon sculpt is being released. I wouldn't put out two different General Grievous, Darth Maul or ROTS Obi-Wan Kenobi figures either. And new figures wouldn't get re-shipped in the four follow-on assortments.

There's no reason why Mynock Han and Mynock Chewie couldn't be filler figures in either of the ESB Legacy waves.
There's no reason why Yoda w/Kybuk couldn't have been filler in the EU wave.
There's no reason why Saesee Tiin couldn't have been filler in one of the ROTS waves.
There's no reason why C-3PO on the Ewok Thron couldn't have been filler in the ROTJ wave.
There's no reason why X-Wing Luke and Darth Vader couldn't have been filler in the ANH waves.

Removing that third SKU from rotation helps to situation immensely.

Retail chains don't see/understand/care what figures in a case of 12. They just order cases.

If everything was in one case, here are the scenarios:

1) (Big C) Collectors would buy every figure in the assortment to have a complete set of the line - Win-win

2) Next tier collectors would buy all of the "new" figures in the wave leaving the slotted in "Core Characters" behind for the kids Hasbro claims are the audience - again win-win

3) Cherry-picking collectors who buy only what they want get those and again, kids are still left with the "Core Characters" to buy - slightly less of a win since you may end up with one or two figures left over.

The retailer's inventory systems would note the sale and more cases would be ordered. Mission accomplished.


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Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #43 on: February 5, 2010, 12:08 PM »
...If everything was in one case, here are the scenarios:

1) (Big C) Collectors would buy every figure in the assortment to have a complete set of the line - Win-win

2) Next tier collectors would buy all of the "new" figures in the wave leaving the slotted in "Core Characters" behind for the kids Hasbro claims are the audience - again win-win

3) Cherry-picking collectors who buy only what they want get those and again, kids are still left with the "Core Characters" to buy - slightly less of a win since you may end up with one or two figures left over.

The retailer's inventory systems would note the sale and more cases would be ordered. Mission accomplished.

On these points I need to disagree.
Having these in the same case and in the same packaging and same SKU is going to lead to (going to your points):
1) Not so many "big C" collectors out there to take a whole case. Really you're one of a very rare few these days.
2) While true we "smaller c" collectors would by the new figures, that just leaves the Legends types figures on the pegs.
3) Don't we all kinda not like those who cherry pick (at anything)...lol

Seriously though, leaving just the core characters for kids is a problem. I almost never see kids or their parents, grandparents buying realistic style figures anymore. The CW line really killed a lot of that interest with the kiddies.

So what you're proposing will leave many of those legends type figures on the shelves, and once stores start having clogged up shelves they won't be able to order anything new.

Which means we won't see the NEW figures. Once a case would come in, you can bet, either the store clerks would cherry pick the new figs or the first collector to come along would snatch them all up, again leaving only the legends type figures. Which once again will add to the glut.

I think the bad thing was having all three lines look virtually the same. If you're only looking at the front (as most casual people will-not talking casual collectors, just anyone), you don't see a difference. What some little red, orange, or black strip at the top? That means nothing to a casual person and you can bet it means that or less to store stockers.

You can bet that the stockers are just pulling any SW figure case to fill pegs or their managers are telling them something on that order.

Since Hasbro produced less Legacy figures, it stands to reason that stores could only order more of CW and Legends cases. Thereby the glut.

IMO, the big solve here is to do away with Legends, but we know that won't happen. So the next solve is to produce less Legends and more Legacy/Vintage. Hasbro should try that out for a year at least to see if the numbers change. I'm betting heavily they would.

But in this, those card designs MUST be different. Otherwise there is no way to differentiate them quickly to the stockers or their managers. I know, I've tried. They look at me like I'm crazed. They don't care or don't see the difference between an orange, red or black topped card. They just know to fill the pegs.

If the cards were significantly different then I could say, "see THIS style of card. This is the Vintage style, this is what is selling and isn't on the pegs, you need to order more of this specific style." Or something to that affect.

Respectfully.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #44 on: February 5, 2010, 01:19 PM »
I think the discussion is moot.  Figures have not sold as well in the past few years, so there is no way retailers are going to carry four lines of figures.  The Clone Wars is their best seller, we already know there is a vintage line on the way, so that just leaves one spot left for some kind of Legacy/Legends line.  Further out, we'll have the TV series figs, the Clone Wars, and some combined form of Legacy figures.
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