Author Topic: A Death Star Playset?  (Read 4764 times)

Offline Jesse James

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Re: A Death Star Playset?
« Reply #45 on: May 21, 2009, 03:56 PM »
No, however like I said it's similar to the Carbon Freeze chamber (the transporter that is).  I really would say they're almost identical in similarities, in that both are very detailed, both feature very limited "play" features (the big gun on the chamber was removable of course).  Comparing the two seems fair...  And the Freeze Chamber sold dismally.  I still dig it though...  but apparantly I'm in the minority on that.

The ST Bridge playset is really nothing special, but I'm still finding it interesting...  I think it's a shame it's not selling.

I also wouldn't necessarilly say ST ISN'T selling.  I know my Target, which was first to put figures out, sold through them for several weeks...  The playsets aren't selling, but the figures are.  My WM has a huge ST display and they've moved through a lot.  It's not Star Wars sales, but it's modest enough that I think the line has legs for a couple waves.  I'm giving it Indiana Jones life expectancy at least.
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Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: A Death Star Playset?
« Reply #46 on: May 21, 2009, 04:28 PM »
There are some fundamental differences between us Eric on how this playset should be done. I'm fine with that.

I'll point out some of the key reasons why an all-in-one shouldn't be done.

1) Cost to consumer. For this playset to be done "right" with all the major scenes and fit at least action figures, it's going to be HUGE. Which also means it's going to be expensive. If the BMF was $150 at the start, and it's been reported that if this is the BMF version of the Death Star and it's significantly bigger, then how much do you think THAT is going to cost? I'd guess $250 at minimum. With the economy the way it is nowadays, most parents either can't afford something like that or will just flat out refuse to buy it.
Doaling the modular sets out a little at a time is much less of a money crunch on any consumer. It's much easier to buy something for $20, 30, 40, then a one time purchase of $250 or more.
Again if Hasbro markets this right, they can get people excited about buying modular. Imagine say a new piece (playset section) of the Death Star every 2-3 months. In a year the whole thing would be out to market. Over that year though, we would actually be spending MORE than the $250 that Hasbro would get for the all-in-one. Over just a little more time, Hasbro makes a lot more money. In my case frankly, I'm not plunking down that much money for something I know is going to not meet all my wants and desires for a playset for the most grand location in all of the Saga.
2) House space or kid/collector. This thing would be one big ball. Bigger than the Falcon. Now before you start the retort that the modular design would be bigger yet, understand that initially it won't. As well people can set it up how they want. So they can acommodate the space issue to their own specific needs/wants.
It would also be much easier to make space for something smaller at the start and plan it out over a longer time, than to have one honking big thing right away.
3) Retailer space- We all know shelf space is a big issue that Hasbro has brought up from time to time. Do you honestly think WM, TRU, and Target would stock something 3ft wide by 3ft tall (I'm approximating of course) for a long period of time? I don't. It would be much easier to stock smaller playsets and reorder them as needed. Also keeping that room for the new room/hallway playsets taking their place.
4) Asthetic value-while some people want the shape of the Death Star as it is from the outside, the playset itself from the inside would hardly look like the "real" thing. With curved walls all over it would detract from it. Making these specific locations within more closely replicates the scenes that were shot and also creates the room neccessary to "play" in with the figures from those scenes. Ultimately the modular set would not look like the outside of the Death Star, but it's not meant to. It's supposed to look like the scenes that were shot in the movies.

One big problem that I'm reading into this is that those in the all-in-one camp want it NOW. Right now. You (general you, not pointing to anyone in particular) can't fathom that it may take a year to get the whole set. Yet, those of us in the modular camp know that in the end, we'll have something that looks more like the actual scenes and has a potential to have much more detail, accessories, figures (if Hasbro chose to include them) and even elcetronics.

There is a HUGE difference between the BMF and the Death Star. The BMF was well made and while still not to scale, looks great because it's close enough for most.

A big ball of a playset just won't have the kind of detail in it that a modular set would. Yes it may have many of the same play features, but you are completely tied to that ONE toy.  Giving collectors and more importantly kids the option to build a grand Death Star playset how THEY want to adds to the imagination of it all. That in turn fosters more creativity and play value. Something an all-in-one just can't deliver.

For an all-in-one Death Star to be done in a manner that would satiate the modular minded folks, it would have to be much bigger than even this picture shows and it wouldn't hurt if some of those rooms could be switched round. Again though the initial cost would be through the roof. Not just for kids/collectors, but Hasbro as well.

Also take into account if this all-in-one were to bomb. Now retailers are stuck with this big POS (because were it to fail it would become a POS), they can't possibly hope to recoup costs on.

If the DS was of a modular design then were it to fail, Hasbro could either stop production or reintroduce sets at a later time.

I'd say it would be better to fail at the modular side of things because Hasbro wouldn't have all that much vested into this as the all-in-one would.

If the DS is ever done as a playset, it's going to have to be one or the other and it's going to piss off one group of another. So whichever camp you reside, be that all-in-one or modular, let's hope it just gets done. If it fails then the other group has every right to complain about it.

Thankfully this all is conjecture for the time being. Though I do enjoy a good debate on the subject and look forward to more responses. Not just from Eric either.

Oh and E, I didn't take it personally. I understand you were using my reply as a means to sound off further. No worries. I've had this very discussion more than one here and on other boards. I'm quite happy to talk it out again. especially if it garners the attention of Hasbro and gives them some ideas one way or the other.
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: A Death Star Playset?
« Reply #47 on: May 21, 2009, 05:41 PM »
I kind of liked the Freeze Chamber playset too, I have one on display.  I'd buy a ton of playsets done in that manner... did that thing ever even make it to retail?  I seem to remember it being online only, but maybe I'm wrong.  It's a good argument though that given it wasn't all that popular that Hasbro used it as a reason to stop on playsets for a while... but really, I think Star Wars has a lot more popularity and market share in 2009 than it did in 2001.  So that sort of item I think would do better in today's collecting climate than 8 years ago.

Anyways, another way to maybe design a Death Star playset would be to look at the old vintage micro line for inspiration.  I always loved the look of those playsets and thought they had a good diorama feel to them as well as nice play features.

Also it's fun to see this sort of speculation again across several forums, regardless of what Hasbro has in mind.

Offline Brian

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Re: A Death Star Playset?
« Reply #48 on: May 22, 2009, 09:41 AM »
I sort of forgot about that Freeze Chamber set, I always wanted to pick that up.  I might have to see what they are going for these days.  Although a lot of the focus for playsets is on bigger (or modular) stuff, I wouldn't mind seeing more along the size of the Freeze Chamber (or, as an example, the Trek sets).  I've often looked at vintage Dagobah sets to pick up to display modern figures, and I wouldn't mind seeing a new version of that and some of the other small-to-medium sized sets from the vintage days.

I'm someone that could definitely appreciate all the detail and overall look that modular sets could bring.  I do think the "big set in a box" might be a better choice as far as Hasbro's outlook, and the retail situation.  If you have parents looking to buy a big SW item for their kid this holiday season, seeing an endcap with a big Death Star playset on it is probably a better draw (although are kids really interested in OT stuff that much anymore?).  The fact that something like this is even being considered with all the Clone Wars focus right now is great, and somewhat unexpected.  I can appreciate the "slow build" over time with a really nice Death Star set, and I think a lot of us have been clamoring for "build-a" sets for awhile now - but it might be tricky at retail.  You have the issues that have been mentioned (trying to sell a $15 hallway), and there's also the standpoint of someone who comes in late (new collector or kid), and missed the first few pieces.  These likely aren't all going to continue shipping (like figures), and someone who isn't going to track them down on ebay (thinking mainly of kids/parents) would be out of luck.  You don't have that issue with a set in a box.

If/when this does get made - particularly if it is action figure scale (and not GH) - it would be interesting to see how it does.  Honestly, if it does hit that $250 pricepoint mentioned earlier, I think it will likely be a failure.  The Falcon, as awesome as it is, was a tough sell at $150 - and hit clearance in many to most markets.  I don't think a Death Star can go much higher than that price.  Plus, if it is on the way this year, it once again is going to have the competition of a CW vehicle (TurboTank) - not to mention the new $60 line with the Y-Wing and others.  That's not to mention the rumored exclusives (Wedge X-Wing, new AT-ST, etc.) - and it is going to stretch collectors pretty thin once again.  Many of us have to choose one "big item" over the other, no matter how much we'd like to have both - and I think parents most definitely are just buying one or the other.  Although times are definitely different now, I think you could use a little bit of a model from the vintage line and just have the one "big item" each year for the holiday season.  The other stuff can come out throughout the year, and then build to the big finish at Christmas.  Also, those were simpler times, and now we essentially have two "main lines" going with Clone Wars and TLC.  Back then it was just "Star Wars", and they weren't competing with themselves as much as they are these days.

Offline speedermike

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Re: A Death Star Playset?
« Reply #49 on: May 22, 2009, 10:53 PM »
I think the only way that a modular Death Star would make sense financially, is that the sets would have to be chosen specifically so that people would have the opportunity to buy 2 of a certain piece.  For instance, let's say that one of the piece is a Detention block.  Some of us might buy 2 or 3 and customize a bigger DS.  However, I don't think anyone would buy 2 conference rooms, or 2 trash compactors.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 02:02 PM by speedermike »
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