Author Topic: Drop in Collector Interest?  (Read 9100 times)

Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #45 on: February 5, 2010, 07:29 PM »
Sal - I think we are in agreement more than you realize.

The only reason Hasbro seems to continually provide as to why Legends even exists is to provide access to "Core Characters" to kids and/or new collectors to the hobby.

So if that's the case, it really shouldn't matter if each Vintage assortment contains six new figures and six repacked "Legends"/"Greatest Hits" figures. That kid/new collector audience will snatch them right up!

Of course, I'm being sarcastic with that last statement. Of course it will mean that entire halves of cases go unsold and un-wanted product will clog the shelves.

The problem though is that Hasbro uses repacks/repaints to help keep the costs of assortments down. So they are going to happen no matter what, they are the reality of the line these days. Hasbro has even said that there will be 48 figures in four waves in 2010 with 24 of them being "new".

So if I were to have a choice between two options: 1) there are Legends and Vintage SKUs vs. 2) there is a single SKU and the other 24 "old" figures help (a) keep Hasbro's cost of each assortment down and (b) give Hasbro a way of getting "core characters" out to kids/new collectors.

I think I would gladly take option (2) over option (1).

In my area these Legends figures are ALWAYS in stock: Saesee Tiin, Plo Koon, X-Wing Pilot Luke, Ewok Throne C-3PO, Mynock Hunt Han Solo, Mynock Hunt Chewie, ROTS Clone Trooper, Sandtrooper, Super Battledroid and ROTS Obi-Wan Kenobi. The rest are hit-or-miss. But those numbers are really telling - 50% of the Legends figures really aren't selling.

Every single one of those figures that I list above could have been slotted into the Legacy line as fillers for their respective waves - instead of shipping Padme Amidala, Death Star II Luke, Boba Fett and Commander Deviss in an assortment dedicated to ANH - why not include X-Wing Pilot Luke, Darth Vader and the Sandtrooper? The end result would probably be the same - the figures left behind were the older repack ones.

The ROTJ wave could have had the C-3PO figure.

The ESB wave could have had the two Mynock Hunt figures.

The ROTS wave could have had the ROTS Clone, Saesee Tiin, Shocktrooper and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

I could go on and on but I'm sure you get my point.

By mixing repacked core characters into the case, Hasbro would be able to make a compelling argument to the retailers to order MORE of the various Legacy/Vintage assortments as opposed to what probably did happen:

Hasbro Rep: "Hey we got three lines, one for the cartoon, one for the collectors and one for the kids who want characters from the movies"

Box Store Toy Buyer: "I'll take lots of the stuff from the cartoon and lots of the line for kids who want figures from the movies and I guess I'll take some of the ones for the adults who still play with toys"

The other issue with the two separate lines is that you can end up with two versions of the same character on the pegs at the same time. When the Phantom Menace wave hit, there was the second Evolutions Maul and the Maul from the Sith Speeder. When the ANH wave hit, there was the Legends Electronic R2 and the "Jawa Capture" R2. And the worst example of this is the fact that the Legends Plo Koon is one of the more prevalent Legends peg warmers and Hasbro put an updated version of him in the ROTS Legacy wave, and to add insult to injury, they put him in the ESB wave, so on one visit, I had my choice of Legends Plo Koon, Plo Koon with YVH-1 Part and Plo Koon with HK-50 part. That's just lousy planning when you have two versions of essentially the same character out at once, you are competing against yourself. No kid, new collector or casual collector are going to feel compelled to own two different Plo Koon figures.

There just is no need for the Legends line to exist. NONE.
Peter

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Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #46 on: February 6, 2010, 11:08 PM »
Sal - I think we are in agreement more than you realize.

...There just is no need for the Legends line to exist. NONE.

 I'll agree with you on this one point for sure, but not in the execution of it. I want Legends gone for good, not another line, and definitely not mixed into the "vintage" line.

But alas, I know we need to have "core" characters on the pegs. That's part of the problem though. Hasbro's character choice of who/what makes a core character is downright dreadful at times. Don't get me wrong, I love the character of Plo Koon, but a core character he does NOT make.

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Offline Brian

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #47 on: February 8, 2010, 11:59 AM »
One thing I'm kind of surprised with in the Legends line, is that why they aren't CW figures (or even just included in that line).  Hasbro continually talks about how the line (Legends) is big with kids, and the CW is all the rage with kids right now (in fact, I even question how much most kids care about the movie stuff at this point) - so why not just use CW figures as their "legends"?  I know they already include repacks in the regular waves (Anakin, Obi-Wan, Rex, etc.) - but they could just continue on.  Anything else that is in the Legends assortment for "new collectors" could be included in the Vintage cases - such as army builders (AOTC Clone, Stormtrooper, Snowtrooper, Biker Scout) or other "greatest hits" styled figures (EB/VOTC Chewie, X-Wing Luke, VOTC Han, Leia, Evolutions Vader, ROTS Obi-Wan/Anakin, etc.)  Anyways, a long way of saying I'd just as soon see them incorporate the best version of the main characters and army builders into the vintage cases (or in the army builders case, battle packs too) and put out more of the CW big sellers in those cases.  I'm in the boat of wanting to see the Legends line go away.  I understand the purpose of it, but I think it could be served another way - and get rid of the three lines competing for the same space at retail.

Offline JediJman

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #48 on: February 8, 2010, 12:11 PM »
Well, as someone who works in Market Research, I would question how knowledgable Hasbro really is about who is buying what figures.  I am sure they have consumer data showing that Clone Wars figures are popular with kids and I'm sure they have consumer data showing that Vader, Yoda, etc. are big kid favorites. 

On the flip side, I seriously doubt that the current Legends lineup holds much interest for kids.  It's just easier to say that than "This is our high-profit line of re-packs which provides us with the cash flow to keep newer sculpts at a reasonable price."  Maybe the line sells better in other areas, but it didn't move much in stores near me, even through the holidays. 

From a marketing perspective, it's best for them to hold on to as many different lines of product as they can.  If you have three assortments, big retail needs to carry pegs to support all three of them.  If you chop it to two assortments, big retail can reduce the minimum shelf space needed (and subsequently their orders).  I'm betting Hasbro just wants to hold onto the space Legends gets long enough to get CW/Legacy/TV Show figs into distribution.  If they dropped Legends now, it would be that much harder to find space for those three down the road.
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Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #49 on: February 8, 2010, 12:28 PM »
Legends would not be that bad if they repacked some new figure like:

Evo Maul
2 Part Helmet Vader
Resurgence Luke
Tin Pack Chewbacca in non snow deco
Dewback Sandtrooper
Dewback Sandtrooper as a plain Stormtrooper
Geo Kit Fisto
Evo Emporer
Evo Qui-Gon
Utupau Trooper with darker orange color
Clone Pilot

They can repack some of the best broad appeal figures that would sell and get many collectors to buy more of. Instead we get a 90's Maul with worse deco than before, Sae See Tinn again, Plo Koon when the new one is out at the same time, the 2006 Sandtrooper, 2001 Bespin Han. Legends would not be that bad if they reshuffled the mix more often. I am fine with repacks or having core characters just have the better versions of them. I would buy so much more for custom purposes alone.
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Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #50 on: February 8, 2010, 06:08 PM »
Legends would not be that bad if they repacked some new figure like:

Evo Maul
2 Part Helmet Vader
Resurgence Luke
Tin Pack Chewbacca in non snow deco
Dewback Sandtrooper
Dewback Sandtrooper as a plain Stormtrooper
Geo Kit Fisto
Evo Emporer
Evo Qui-Gon
Utupau Trooper with darker orange color
Clone Pilot

They can repack some of the best broad appeal figures that would sell and get many collectors to buy more of. Instead we get a 90's Maul with worse deco than before, Sae See Tinn again, Plo Koon when the new one is out at the same time, the 2006 Sandtrooper, 2001 Bespin Han. Legends would not be that bad if they reshuffled the mix more often. I am fine with repacks or having core characters just have the better versions of them. I would buy so much more for custom purposes alone.


I'd agree with most of those choice Jack, but not Fisto. He;s just not a main character. Likewise, Qui-gon is so far removed from the movies and isn't in the cartoon. And I'm really tired of Sandtroopers. We've plenty of those over the last year or two. Army builders yes, but very specific ones. Regular Stormtroopers I can understand. As to Vader, while he should be out there, he should be limited. Look what happened a couple of years ago when we had a plethora of Vader out there.

While I bought a ton of the Utapau trooper, and I'm assuming you mean the ROTS version and not the CW phase 1 armor, again, it's rather scene specific. Also, it's from a movie and not the "more popular cartoon."

Frontline main characters should have some presence in the Legends line, so to main army builders. Secondary characters not so much in fact nearly not at all. Secondary army builder a little. Tertiary characters and troopers forget about it.

I stilll think the Legend sline has to end. I understand Hasbro's want for it, but I think it's been mismanaged and yes, it's help in collector drop off and disinterest.

Now here's the funny thing about that statement, which is basically what Hasbro is saying.

If kids and casual buyers are the main focus, then why even blame we collectors at all. In fact shouldn't it be the kids they blame for buying trends? You know they won't do that. And if it's we collectors who are being blamed and subsequently are seeming to be the driving force in the Legacy line, then we've caught Hasbro in their own lie that they've tried to cover up. Fact is we ARE important to then for sales, otherwise they would just drop the realistic line altogether.

As JediJman astutely showed, Hasbro cannot afford to give up the third line, be it Legends or Realistic, less they give away precious peg and shelf space.

They created the Legends line for more profit per figure since virtually no tool and dye was needed. So cost of figure was less and it isn't as bad when they don't sell because they supposedly have a much higher profit margin per figure than the Legacy line.

I defy anyone to say that they have a flood of Legacy figures on the shelf though that aren't moving. Yes, maybe an occasional figure, but not from the black topped new cards. Those are practically nonexistent. Just read here on JD or any number of other collecting sites. But take that analogy to Legends and you see we're swimming in figures.

Hasbro SCREWED up. Not we collectors.

Hasrbo MUST lower the production numbers for Legends while increasing numbers for Legacy (soon to be Vintage).

Sorry for the rant, I'm just getting tired of the argument, especially from Hasbro.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #51 on: February 8, 2010, 08:56 PM »
I wouldn't buy any of those figures.  A line of repackaged figures has zero interest for me.  I was game back during TAC when they were releasing previous exclusive figures and army builing repaints, but outside of that I'm not buying.

Now, if the line including figures like...
- Wal-Mart Exclusive Comic Pack figs (Ewok 2pk, Amanaman, etc.)
- SDCC Stealth Scout Trooper
- TIE Exclusive Hobbie
- TIE Interceptor Pilot
- Cade Skywalker
- Darth Talon
- BAD Figures like C3PX

Man, I'd buy every one of those.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #52 on: February 8, 2010, 09:20 PM »
The problem with a lot of those is their relative obscurity...  I'd buy various ones you listed too Jman, but Hasbro's repacks are more of a thing for the casual buyer, or army builder...  more than something for the collectors.

I'd love another shot at multiple Amanin Warriors from that set.  Really I'd probably go nuts with those.  Hobbie from the TIE Fighter was an interesting figure but who does he ultimately appeal to, ya know?  But the TIE Interceptor pilot's a vision of near perfection, so I would be in on those too... 

Unfortunately though the Hasbro mantra is getting Vader's, Han's, Lukes and that type of stuff to the pegs.  I like some of JACK's ideas on updates though and I agree some of the stuff they've dished out is really not appealing to the collectors.  I think Hasbro has the ability to at least draw some attention from them as well, and they're simply not doing it right now with many figures.  Bespin Han for instance...  I think it's a good idea to get Han back out in some form, but POTJ Bespin Han?  And that Speeder Maul too?  Really?

Agreed on Vader too...  Put the 2-piece helmet Vader back out and I may actually buy one for a specific shelf display with Luke, either dueling or Luke holding him with the helmet off and the parts of it laying beside the two figures.  That was a dandy looking figure, and it's a dandy companion to the new DS Duel Luke we got.

Likewise I could see the Dewback Sandtrooper coming out in white and dirty...  Why?  I'd buy dirty ones to put on my Dewback, and wouldn't many others?  It's the only trooper that can ride it realistically, but the ones we got are very clean.  Why not milk that mold a little more?  I've got 3 Dewbacks, so 3 Troopers bought by me right there if they're redecoed.  Likewise I'd probably buy 10 more clean too, for the rifle and to have a super-duper articulated basic Stormtrooper.  I'm game there.

Here's a figure I think they'd be wise to put into the rotation too...  The SA Removable helmet Clone Trooper from the Ball Turret battlepacks.  SA, + removable helmet.  Include a pilot helmet and a plain white trooper helmet and 2 guns.  Voila, great army builder and I think people would get sucked into buying 1 or 10 of them, even if they felt "Cloned out" to a degree.

The key's appealing to the kiddies who want these characters, but also trying to draw any collector-interest you can while you're at it. 

There's really a TON of figures I think have this cross-interest-ability to them...  It sure as hell ain't POTJ Bespin Han and Speeder Maul though.  ;D
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Offline JediJman

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #53 on: February 8, 2010, 10:10 PM »
The problem with a lot of those is their relative obscurity...  I'd buy various ones you listed too Jman, but Hasbro's repacks are more of a thing for the casual buyer, or army builder...  more than something for the collectors.

I actually think these would do really well with casual buyers and army builders.  I'd army build TIE pilots, stealth scouts, and ewoks.  Maybe even BAD figures as I could mix and match more of the pieces.  As for casual buyers, those are the guys probably not buying big exclusive sets like the Oversized TIE or Stealth Trooper from SDCC, so all the more opportunity for a sale to someone new.  Case and Talon may be a reach, but I think those are two of the most popular EU figs right now and I know a few people would pick them up if they were single carded.

As for the current lineup, I totally get the idea of appealing to kids, but that doesn't seem to be happening since these are just sitting.  There's no Darth Vader in the current assortment...there's a darth maul, but most mom's I know don't find him very kid friendly.  The Wave 5 lineup includes Han, Chewie, Obi, Anakin.  Those are well and good unless you factor in there are likely a couple of animated Anakins and Obi-Wans right next these in the Clone Wars line.  The rest of the figs are clone repaints and a couple of alien Jedi, which you could get from the Legacy line. 

Everyone's tastes are different I suppose, but I'm betting some of the exclusive obscure stuff would sell much better in this line.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #54 on: February 9, 2010, 01:27 AM »
I actually think these would do really well with casual buyers and army builders.

I agree on the Army Builders for sure...  That TIE Pilot I'd love to add many more to my army, same with some of the others.  But the whole Legends thing's aim at casual buyers is targeting what they recognize...  Will they recognize any EU character at all?  Will they buy Hobbie in TIE Pilot garb, or whatnot?  Hasbro's looking to get the most out of the Legends is their aim, and so they're aimed at army builders who almost buy anything (and who Hasbro's been acknowledging a lot more in recent years), and then the kids/casual buyers who want a Vader for their sandbox or their cubicle I think... 

I'm not saying I wouldn't want to buy another Hobbie or two because I kind of wouldn't mind making all the Rand Ecliptic defectors actually, but how many people really would want that figure out of the "core" collectors out there?  Same with characters like Cade Skywalker, or the Amanin (who has at least an "army building" thing going for it, but again probably more among the core collectors than the other markets).

I would love to see the Yavin Hangar Technician personally, but Hasbro seems to feel exactly like I'm saying that it's a "boring human character nobody but core collectors would want".  So he's ultimately still a rarity.  To me they'd sell a lot of him, at least to a point, but I guess they don't feel Legends is the vessel for a figure like him.  Maybe a more limited re-release as a repack in the basic line would be more likely for things like this?  Still they're weird about what they slip in the repacks too.

That seems to be where their A-List stuff comes into play a lot.

I think that TIE Pilot has a good chance at coming back in some capacity at some point though... 

For the Shadow Scout I'd really rather they gave us that Storm Commando from the Evolutions set...  Man that's a sweet figure I would like about 30 more of. :(
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Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #55 on: February 9, 2010, 09:40 AM »

I think that TIE Pilot has a good chance at coming back in some capacity at some point though... 



There's no reason he shouldn't be in the ESB vintage wave.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #56 on: February 9, 2010, 11:00 AM »
I'm in the boat that would just as soon see the Legends assortment go away, but as we've discussed, it probably isn't happening.  I think Hasbro could cover what they are looking to accomplish with Legends with smartly repacked figures in both the CW and upcoming Vintage lines, but then there's that whole "space at retail" thing to add into the equation.

Aside from that, if we have to have that assortment, I think it could be better served if they just made smart choices.  Primary characters and army builders for the most part, and the absolute best versions available for that.  The same could be said for repackaged figures in the other two lines.  For the most part, no figures prior to the ROTS line should really be considered (there are exceptions of course).  Otherwise, I think you could rotate in any number of the "ultimate" figures we've gotten over the past few years and people wouldn't complain nearly as much:

VOTC Han Solo
EB/VOTC Chewbacca
Resurgence of the Jedi Luke Skywalker
VTSC Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot
TLC Luke Skywalker Jedi
VOTC Princess Leia (although Hasbro may be unlikely to include "girls")
Two Piece Helmet Darth Vader
TLC Obi-Wan Kenobi (TPM/AOTC/ANH)
ROTS Obi-Wan Kenobi (Pilot)
Evolutions Anakin Skywalker (AOTC/ROTS)
TLC C-3PO (Throne version)
Resurgence of the Jedi R2-D2
VOTC Stormtrooper
VTSC Snowtrooper
VTSC Biker Scout
Evolutions TIE Fighter Pilot
AOTC Clonetrooper (SA)
Evolutions Clone Pilot
ROTS Utapau Clonetrooper
Target Geonosis Pack Battle Droids
TAC Super Battle Droid/Destroyer Droid
Evolutions Darth Maul
Evolutions Count Dooku
TLC General Grievous
Evolutions Jango/Boba Fett
ROTS/OTC Yoda (honestly, the Yoda figure - prequel in particular - could probably be improved)
Evolutions Arena Padme

There are many others you could add to the list, but I think if you kept it to the "big guns" and the ultimate army builders, maybe you wouldn't see as many complaints.  I still don't think three lines are necessary, but if it was full of figures like this I wouldn't mind as much.  Like it was said earlier, you don't want to dip too deep into secondary stuff (with a few exceptions - possibly Commander Cody, bounty hunters, Lando, Mace Windu, etc.), and I still think this could be accomplished with the repacked figures we already see in both other lines - but this wouldn't be as bad for me personally.
« Last Edit: February 9, 2010, 11:34 AM by Brian »

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #57 on: February 9, 2010, 11:56 AM »
The Legends assortment does not have go away all they have to do is upgrade the offerings, it would greatly help without messing with the "space at retail" issue. If they have choice repacks in the Vintage line to boot they may be able to grow the so called casual collector as a larger variety of characters will be available. This is not rocket science so I really hope they took a look at this. I understand they were caught off guard but they need to be honest with themselves. Some apathy set in and they got a lazy without realizing it.

They could even freshen it the line up without new tooling and bring in more collectors back in. Here is a revision to balance the Kid collector appeal that I took a stab at earlier with Brians list but with more big gun "upgrade/newness":

VOTC Han Solo with the new Legacy Han DS Escape Head
TAC Tin Pack screaming Chewbacca (with no snow deco)
Resurgence of the Jedi Luke Skywalker (Leave him as is)
Two Piece Helmet Darth Vader (Leave him as is)
Evolutions ROTS Anakin Skywalker with Burn deco and Sith Eyes
TAC Obi-Wan with Burn Deco
Resurgence of the Jedi R2-D2 with Sailbarge Drink Holder from Saga
ROTS Utapau Clonetrooper with Darker Orange color
TLC Luke Skywalker Jedi from the Endor BP
Evolutions TIE Fighter Pilot (All Black)
AOTC Clonetrooper (SA) with Geonosian Dirt Deco
Target Geonosis Pack Battle Droids in all color and most importantly Eyes!!!
VTSC Biker Scout with Flip Visor and dirt deco
Legacy Dewback as a plain Stormtrooper
Legacy Dewback Stormtrooper with Dirt
Evolutions Darth Maul
TLC Obi-Wan Kenobi (TPM/AOTC/ANH)
Evolutions Count Dooku
TLC General Grievous
Evolutions Jango/Boba Fett

I am trying to be realistic as possible with this. EU characters would not work here I would plunk down money on Legends again in a heartbeat if they had 255 of the above. This is a no brainer, they can knock out some great redecos here and keep everyone engaged.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #58 on: February 9, 2010, 12:16 PM »
I know it has been discussed before on here, but in combination with the higher prices and wonky shipping schedule (and the fact that a lot of us have just be "in the game" for a long time now) - I think a lot of the problem that is contributing to driving some people off is the sheer volume of stuff put out in any given year now.  If someone is collecting both CW and Legacy it is even worse (and I can't even imagine the headache for completists).  Even with the supposed downhill slide of "movie style" Legacy stuff, we've still seen a lot over the past couple years.  I know a lot of us sort of welcomed a "scaling back" of the line, and maybe we will start to see that.  I think the pace we had back in the POTF2 (particularly later years) and even POTJ line wouldn't be bad at all.  I can't imagine how stress-free (and budget friendly) it would be to look for 36-40 figures a year, a handful of ships, and maybe a couple of exclusives.  Not that I want everything to go away, but it has been a little overwhelming lately.  If they could manage to space things out better, even having 6 waves of 6 figures each (one wave every other month ideally) - in addition to some well thought out repacks (good figures) - it would be kind of nice.  This is just speaking of Legacy (or now Vintage), as I think the CW line has a pretty good pace for it for kids (or collectors).  Still have the one "big item" to look forward to each holiday season, alongside some new starfighter assortment vehicles, a nice vehicle/beast/BP exclusive at each of the big three, and maybe a few more little surprises along the way.

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #59 on: February 9, 2010, 12:49 PM »
Beating discussions to a bloody Ewok stone axe death is a great SW past time!

I am in that rare camp that does not want to see a slowdown at all in the Figure department. The Vehicles and Exclusives is an area that I do not mind a slowdown on. In fact I thought this year had some of the weakest exclusives to date (Ecliptic Tie, CE pack, Most of the Comp Pack Exclusive, Target BW Tie, WM Droid Factory). I rather see fewer vehicles but have them knock them out of the park, seems like they are already on this path anyway for the most part.  I really enjoyed the high times of the Saga2/TAC days. Back then the product was spaced out so it did not feel overwhelming and always gave you something to look forward to and kept you engaged. Waves came out on a regular basis that gave enough time to track them down, store traffic was consistent and sell through was solid.

I would be very satisfied with 36-40 Single Card figures, I am not liking the current 24 count at all, but that may change after TF when I can really gauge the strategy. From the 52 days this is a major cutback, too deep of a cut in my opinion. However they may be factoring in that more hardcore collectors will buy the repacks more often because of Vintage card back. I for one will change my collecting habits as I am an opener but the only figures I ever bought doubles of to keep carded was the vintage. So I will be buying doubles again as I am hanging them on my collection room walls, this will get expensive quick but I make sure I budget save and sell to fund my addiction. I dread going back to the POTJ days, while the line was really great for the time it was so slow with new releases. I do not mind them scaling back but not a major yield. I am pretty much on the same page as you Brian but it will be interesting to see the amount of product Hasbro has on tap this year compared to last to see what they consider a slowdown while pulling out the stops for the collector to get them back in the fold.

Clouded the future is.
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