Author Topic: Drop in Collector Interest?  (Read 9933 times)

Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #90 on: March 17, 2010, 01:34 PM »
Hasbro says "Legacy" figures aren't selling well - I disagree.  Get the product out there and it will sell.

Agreed 200%.  They have really disgusted me with that sentiment over the past six months.

I agree as well.  I would have purchased much more in the last year than I actually did but there's quite a bit I never saw at retail.  I would have even purchased some items I didn't want just to get the BAD part (btw....if anyone has a right leg and left arm of a YVH BAD they don't need, please PM me).  I would also have purchased mltiples of the Katarn/Vong and Luke Lumiya comic packs if I ever saw them in a store.
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Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #91 on: March 18, 2010, 11:05 AM »
What is Hasbro supposed to do if the retailers ain't buyin' the stuff? There's a reason why the value packs have hit the market. It's not like Hasbro didn't make enough and offer enough to the retailers.
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Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #92 on: March 18, 2010, 01:46 PM »
What is Hasbro supposed to do if the retailers ain't buyin' the stuff? There's a reason why the value packs have hit the market. It's not like Hasbro didn't make enough and offer enough to the retailers.

Well, their supposed to sell the idea of the Legacy line better to the Big Box store buyers.

While it seems counterintuitive to us, it really seems like Hasbro has been selling the notion of the Animated line and the Legends line, and not so much the Legacy line.

They (Hasbro and stores) want to sell Animated because it's the "hot" "new" thing out there. Legends I'm fairly certain is being billed as a cheaper line for stores to buy (Maybe Adam can fill us in on that) therefore more profit for stores. Likewise, Hasbro's profit margin is more on Legends since there is virtually no R&D into figures, since they are all old molds. So it stands to reason the Hasbro would want to promote the "hot" line and the line that gives them the greatest profit margin.

Unfortunately that means the Legacy/Vintage/Realistic line gets the shaft when it comes to sales. Less was made because less was ordered from stores. So Hasbro twists this around and states that there are less sales. It's only less sales because there is less of this specific product out there.

I'm am willing to bet my left nut that if we compared percentages of Animated to Legends to Legacy, the greatest percentage of sales in terms of what's moving on the pegs and what's being left behind, would go to Legacy.

What I mean is it is very difficult to find Legacy figures, while Legends abound, followed by Animated.

We know it, and Hasbro knows it too. But again, stores want the "hot" product and Hasbro is pushing the "cheaper" product for higher margin.

Until/unless this way of thinking changes, the SW line in general is going to persist like this to the point where we'll be lucky if we even have a realistic line in a few years that are NEW figures (with Legends taking over). If/when that day comes, I'll definitely be done with collecting SW figures.
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Offline Adam_Pawlus

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #93 on: March 18, 2010, 03:27 PM »
I don't think it's a retailer "cost" issue so much as it is a Hasbro investment issue.

The "collector assortments" used to be 2-4 new figures per wave and the rest were repacks, sometimes doubling up on the new guys.  Now it's 6-8 new figures per wave with 4-6 repacks.  So their investment to bring that case of Legacy to you is way up, because of articulation and the more new figures they think they have to do because of build-a-droid.

Meanwhile, Saga Legends is 100% existing tooling-- and they haven't even introduced a new OLD figure into the mix in ages.  How many new ones were trotted out since the orange packaging changeover?  3 tops?  (Mynock Han, Mynock Chewie, Pilot Obi-Wan?)  This SKU is gravy for them, but lumpy gravy.  There's money left on the table with a lack of Stormtroopers, probably not enough Darth Vaders, not enough Clone army builders, and so on.  Some Legends figures really do sell, and we're not seeing a bunch of them.  Still-- it's basically free money at this point, just maintaining the tooling and the cost of raw materials/labor/freight.  There's certainly no significant development taking place specifically for this assortment.

And Clone Wars?  Each case is at least half old stuff.  And even though the new figures in 2009/2010 only seem to ship for a single wave, the kid-driven figures don't seem to stop shipping.   As far as dollars in against dollars out, Legacy looks to be the clear loser here despite seemingly moving a really good number of units. (And this is largely armchair quarterbacking.  I can't see Hasbro's balance sheets from here.)  Hasbro can and frequently does cancel products that sell because of unmet expectations from their investors/bosses/Wal-masters/whatever.
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #94 on: March 18, 2010, 06:39 PM »
Yeah, that makes sense.  Kind of falls in line with how I view it - Hasbro's profit margin on the Legacy stuff probably doesn't touch the other two lines in terms of percentage per figure.  That's my theory at least.  Hasbro's a business looking to maximize the bang for their buck - not that I blame them for that - but their reasoning to collectors leaves a lot to be desired.  Seems like they're not all that honest with us these days on this subject.

Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #95 on: March 19, 2010, 01:14 PM »
 As far as dollars in against dollars out, Legacy looks to be the clear loser here despite seemingly moving a really good number of units. (And this is largely armchair quarterbacking.  I can't see Hasbro's balance sheets from here.)  Hasbro can and frequently does cancel products that sell because of unmet expectations from their investors/bosses/Wal-masters/whatever.

Maybe I'm not conveying my thoughts right on this then.

What Im saying is something on this order (as an example since I too can't see Hasbro's info):

Let's say Hasbro made 500,000 Animated, 300,000 Legends and only 100,000 Legacy figures. (Again just an example)

My guess based on what I see left on shelves is that Legacy figures sell out almost all of the time, meaning darn near 100,000 figures sold. So essentially 100% of the figures are sold or at least very high 90s percentile range.

Animated seems to sell at about 80-90%. So the range of figures sold on that 500K is about 400-450K. Yes more than Legacy but not in percentage of figures sold. Legends is worse as I see those figures dragging for weeks on end.

So using that ever so basic math, wouldn't it make sense to sell figures that are selling out or at a much greater percentage than the other two facets of the line?

Legends may have a higher profit margin per figure for Hasbro, but if the figures are staying stagnant or not moving as quickly how can that benefit the retailors and consumers? No new product for Legacy because we have a heck of a time finding it makes it harder to stick with the line. Seeing rehashed stuff we don't want or certainly not for more than what we paid for the figure when it initially came out (and again that clone weapons locker in no means makes up the difference) isn't going to make us buy it.

I'm just saying Hasbro needs to scale back Legends in favor of more Legacy/Vintage/Realistic NEW/Severly upgraded figures.

Eventually the Legends figures not selling as quickly is going to catch up with Hasbro. And no doubts we collectors will get the blame when all along we've been telling them to lighten up on the Legends line.
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Offline shmashwitdaclub

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #96 on: March 19, 2010, 02:02 PM »


Eventually the Legends figures not selling as quickly is going to catch up with Hasbro.

it already has.  they have a current promo right now, yes it is more kiddie-intended, but when you buy a role play toy - basically anyof them that have an MSRP $19.99+, you get 3 free Saga Legends figures - and you don't even have to pay shipping to get them!

One could argue that it is a way to "hook" kiddies that only like the role play stuff into buying more action figures, and I would say that is a strong argument that probably has some merit, but I honestly think this was a way for Hasbro to unload some of these figures.  I mailed in for min last week after I bought the Clone Commander Blaster - and my half serious prediction of the figures I would be receiving was "Saese, Plo, and... Saese".  I honestly think I will be getting the first two - perhaps the third will be Obi or Mynock Han.  One thing is for certain, I will be completely knocked off my rocker if I get one clone or any "trooper" other than a SBD.

And in regards to your statement
Quote
So using that ever so basic math, wouldn't it make sense to sell figures that are selling out or at a much greater percentage than the other two facets of the line?
.

Hypothetical numbers here - if it costs Hasbro $0.50 to make a CW line figure and sold them for the upcoming MSRP of $6.99 - then that nets them $5.49 in profits to divy out between them and retail.  $5.49 * 450,000 units sold, like in your example, nets them an insane number of profits $2470500.  For clarification purposes here I know they are not making that much per figure, and perhaps it costs more to manufacture, I am just using numbers.

I believe Legends would follow a similar example to the above - I just still don't think they have number that they should be producing down enough - but they still make great profit off of them.

If it costs Hasbro $1.00 to make a Vintage line figure - higher costs due to articulation, brand new tooling, likeness rights, lower production runs, etc. and sold them for the upcoming MSRP of $7.99 - then that nets them $6.99 in profits.  $6.99 * 90,000 units sold, again using your numbers, nets them $629000 - roughly 1/4th of what was made under the CW line. 

Again those numbers were wayyyyy off interms of reality - but I think that is what hasbro is looking at

Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #97 on: March 21, 2010, 12:15 AM »
You know, I've chimed in on this thread and I've had a pretty heated discussion on this topic on another site as well and this still is a topic that seems to be on my mind a lot lately. Having bought enough figures in the Legacy line to have double (and in some cases triple) built every one of the Build-A-Droids, plus having a complete set of all Blue/White and Red/White figures in my MOC collection - I seem to take it personally everytime that they blame collectors for a lack of sales in their Q&A answers.

So instead of complaining about case pack ratios or production numbers or the Legends line (all of which I feel are to blame to a degree), I'm going to throw out a new discussion point and dig up a REALLY old argument...

Would we be even having these discussions if they had decided to make Clone Wars figures in the "realistic" style instead of trying to release figures that more closely match the 3D animation?

I know this is a mute point now since we've had almost two years of the animated style figures, but bare with me for a moment...

POINT 1: We already have had the precedent set where the 2D Animated Clone Wars designs were taken and translated to the realistic line - Yoda w/Kybuck, Roron Corobb, CloneTrooper Armor Obi-Wan, Quarren Warrior, Mon Calamari Warrior, Lancer Droid, Snowbunny Padme, Chameleon Droids, Saesee Tiin in Clone armor, Nelvaan Tattoo Anakin, Voolvif Monn, ScubaTrooper, Quad-Gun Trooper, ARC Trooper, Ventress, etc.... So it's not like it would have been the end of the world if figures like Rex, Ashoka, Yularen, ARF Troopers, etc... were done in the realistic style.

POINT 2: If Clone Wars figures had been made in the realistic style, there would have been a greater ability on Hasbro's part to reuse parts from a much deeper catalog of parts. I think regardless of what Hasbro says, they are putting most of their sculpting resources into building out the library of animated figure parts - that effort instead could have been spent on developing parts for the realistic line, benefitting figures based on all SW media.

POINT 3: But what about the kids? They want to buy figures that match the media! Well, if that's the case, then why would kids even buy Legends figures? The truth is that the kiddies really don't care whether Anakin looks exactly like the cartoon or not. When we were kids did we care that Bespin Luke didn't look exactly like Mark Hamill? Of course we didn't, we enjoyed them because they were Star Wars figures. Kids today are no different. If a kid still wants action figures the only thing they want them for is to play with them and if Anakin and Ashoka were done in a realistic style but still true to the costumes of the cartoon, that would still be perfectly fine. Getting back to Legends - if kids only want what's in the media, then why would they even glance over at Legends figures? So either kids don't care about mixing animated and realistic stuff which means they don't care about the style of the figures or kids aren't interested in Legends and therefore are only buying the animated stuff. It really can't be both no matter how many times Hasbro might say it is.

POINT 4: There are supposed to be four or five seasons of the Clone Wars cartoon - five makes more sense based on the plans to make about 100 episodes of the show. That means the last season will end sometime in 2013 - five years before the end of the license. Who here doubts that between 2013 and 2018 we'll get realistic versions of Ashoka, Rex, CW Armor Anakin, CW Armor Obi-Wan and any other major CW characters that shake out between now and the end of the series? When the cartoon ends and all that is left is the live-action series on HBO and the kiddies are all gone, I'm sure that we'll get realistic versions of them and at that point, the animated line will have been deemed pretty pointless.

I would be curious to see what everyone else thinks, but I think that if the Clone Wars figures were mixed in with figures based on the movies, I think we wouldn't be having the problems we're having now. Sure some obscure characters like Yarna or Breha Organa might not have been made, but at least kids and collectors would be spending $$ in support of a single line.

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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #98 on: March 21, 2010, 02:16 AM »
Lucasfilm demanded the CW3D figures be a mix of animated/realistic styling.  Not 100% accurate to the 3D models always, but not realistic either.  There was a nice picture from, I think a Q&A that showed the 3 distinctly different sculpts of an Anakin that Hasbro showed to LFL and LFL went with the hybrid as their choice and shot down realistic.

I think Hasbro even argued for realistic, actually.

I don't know if we'd have a problem or not if it were a different more realistic look to the line.  I think if it were kept separate still though, and the numbers weren't jumbled, there'd still be higher sales among the current media-supporeted toyline compared to the movie stuff.

It was pretty much the same way during movie years for the past 10 years where the movie's line dominated sales and OT stuff lagged.  That's really to be expected of course, but I think it's been the same with Clone Wars, and if things were all realistic I think as long as the numbers could be discerned from one another, it'd still be the same basic trend.  The current media has the highest sales.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #99 on: March 21, 2010, 03:01 AM »
You know, I've chimed in on this thread and I've had a pretty heated discussion on this topic on another site as well and this still is a topic that seems to be on my mind a lot lately. Having bought enough figures in the Legacy line to have double (and in some cases triple) built every one of the Build-A-Droids, plus having a complete set of all Blue/White and Red/White figures in my MOC collection - I seem to take it personally everytime that they blame collectors for a lack of sales in their Q&A answers.

When Hasbro talks about the declining sales numbers from the collector market, they're not talking about you Pete.  They're talking about the people who dropped out because of whatever circumstances. 

Financial, personal and family reasons have driven plenty of people out of the hobby in the past 2 years or so.  People who have experienced economic hardships or lost their jobs and need to be able to pay the bills.  So what goes when people need to make some hard economic decisions?  Items that are bought with disposable income.  When it comes to adult collectors that can translate to toys.

Those of us who are still here have fortunately been able to hang in during the tough times.  But are most of us still spending at the levels that we might have been in 2005 or 2006?  I know that I'm not. 

Also, movie year pricing isn't an option for Hasbro or the retailers.  The volume sales aren't there.  Entertainment support means a great deal to the Star Wars line or any other toy line.  That is precisely why Clone Wars is selling better than Legacy.  And given the fact that Clone Wars has been selling in it's animated form since the summer of 2008 I can't see Hasbro or Lucasfilm licensing deciding to make the Clone Wars line look photo realistic.
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Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #100 on: March 21, 2010, 10:58 AM »
Lucasfilm demanded the CW3D figures be a mix of animated/realistic styling.  Not 100% accurate to the 3D models always, but not realistic either.  There was a nice picture from, I think a Q&A that showed the 3 distinctly different sculpts of an Anakin that Hasbro showed to LFL and LFL went with the hybrid as their choice and shot down realistic.

I think Hasbro even argued for realistic, actually.

I don't know if we'd have a problem or not if it were a different more realistic look to the line.  I think if it were kept separate still though, and the numbers weren't jumbled, there'd still be higher sales among the current media-supporeted toyline compared to the movie stuff.

It was pretty much the same way during movie years for the past 10 years where the movie's line dominated sales and OT stuff lagged.  That's really to be expected of course, but I think it's been the same with Clone Wars, and if things were all realistic I think as long as the numbers could be discerned from one another, it'd still be the same basic trend.  The current media has the highest sales.

Back in 2002 coming out of the Power of the Jedi line, there wasn't a dedicated "Attack of the Clones" line - there was Star Wars: Saga and sure, for the first year, most of the figures were from Attack of the Clones, but as the first year ended and we moved into the second year of that packaging design, we started to get figures mixed in from the other four movies that were out.

In 2005 when ROTS hit, the line for an entire year was 100% dedicated to that movie.

If the Clone Wars figures had been released in a realistic style, back in August 2008 the line could have gone for a year with only releasing Clone Wars related figures and the figures from the six movies could have taken a break and I don't think anyone would have minded. With realistic Clone Wars figures no one would have been running around freaking out that the realistic line was  "done".

Stopping realistic figures entirely for a year to focus on the new media wasn't an option with those figures being done in a non-realistic style.

So there is actually a huge difference between the two. Collectors who have passed on the Clone Wars line due to the figure style wouldn't be passing on the Clone Wars line since it would be in line with all of the rest of the figures they already have.

When Hasbro talks about the declining sales numbers from the collector market, they're not talking about you Pete.  They're talking about the people who dropped out because of whatever circumstances. 

I know that Nick - that why I said that for some reason I seem to take it personally, even though I know I shouldn't.
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Offline McMetal

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #101 on: March 21, 2010, 10:47 PM »
Didn't Hasbro sort of attempt that back in 2003 with the Clone Wars line? The ships were cool but I thought the character renditions were horrible. Durge in particular was a trainwreck compared to the Tartakovsky inspired version. I don't think they sold all that well either as my recollection is that this line was pretty short-lived.

It's a novel concept, but also my worst nightmare, frankly. I would definitely lose all interest in the TCW offerings if they went "realistic". I just don't think you can render animated characters well in a realistic style. It's true kids might buy them no matter what, but I think the animated style is sort of unique and holds its own offbeat appeal.

I do think you'll see the positive impact you are looking for when the live action show arrives. Those will likely inspire a whole new line in the realistic style, and likely help boost the associated realistic lines as well.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #102 on: March 21, 2010, 11:49 PM »
The interesting thing about the live action series?  According to IMDB and some recent reports the live action series could debut as early as the 2011/12 television series.  That in itself is interesting.  A live action series that debuts in 18 months might be a boon to the line.  And it could revitalize interest in the Expanded Universe, too. 

Ultimately though, we have to wait and see what happens.  There's a serious possibility that the vintage style packaging could be strong enough to bring some people back into the fold.  But we'll also have to wait and see if the economy rebound and gives collectors a little more breathing room with their personal finances.
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #103 on: March 22, 2010, 12:50 AM »
Didn't Hasbro sort of attempt that back in 2003 with the Clone Wars line? The ships were cool but I thought the character renditions were horrible. Durge in particular was a trainwreck compared to the Tartakovsky inspired version. I don't think they sold all that well either as my recollection is that this line was pretty short-lived.

It's a novel concept, but also my worst nightmare, frankly. I would definitely lose all interest in the TCW offerings if they went "realistic". I just don't think you can render animated characters well in a realistic style. It's true kids might buy them no matter what, but I think the animated style is sort of unique and holds its own offbeat appeal.

I do think you'll see the positive impact you are looking for when the live action show arrives. Those will likely inspire a whole new line in the realistic style, and likely help boost the associated realistic lines as well.

I haven't been following this conversation all that much - but are you saying that the realistic Clone Wars figures bombed?  I seem to recall most of them doing pretty good, but the animated ones having more problems.  A lot of those hit clearance in quantity. 

Anyways, I'm thinking the live action series is going to give the overall line a huge boost, and I'm just riding out this whole Clone Wars thing until then.  I don't really care for the animated figures at all to be honest and have bought very few of them.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Drop in Collector Interest/Figures?
« Reply #104 on: March 22, 2010, 12:55 AM »
I'm thinking the live action series is going to give the overall line a huge boost

Unless of course it's based on Rogue Squadron and more Rebel Pilots...  :-X
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