Author Topic: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?  (Read 8660 times)

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2009, 03:53 PM »
As for the title of the thread?  I really think it needs to be "2009...Worst Distribution Year Ever?"  Because the product is among some of the best we've ever seen.  It's the distribution that's the issue.

No one can argue that, I agree renaming the thread and the line being at its best.

As for what could be done better?  Honestly, I think the Saga Legends line needs to be folded into Legacy.  I understand it's place in the line.  But I think the concept could potentially be combined with Legacy the way the Greatest Hits line was, but in a less confusing manner.

You are already seeing this kind of change in the TPM & ROTJ wave cases. The ROTJ case has EP2 Ani & Obi, Jango Fett and the Scouttrooper in it. The TPM case has Luke & Han Stormtrooper, DM, Jawa, Spacetrooper, Scouttrooper. All kid friendly repacks, Hasbro has definitely made an adjustment to compensate for the slowdown in Legacy to make it kid friendly. While it sucks about distribution and case ratios it's a survival mechanism for keeping the line going. I am ok with that I just have a problem with the space between waves. I have taken into account that even prior to the economic downturn (a very valid point) the planning was slipping big time. That's where the bulk of the frustration comes in. When to  many waves hit at once and stores not getting stock in fast enough it creates a sense of panic and hurts or wallets as it takes a lot of loot to keep up (All by choice, but makes the hobby not as enjoyable in general).

I support the line more than the average collector as I buy multiple cases of each wave and multiple of exclusives all the way to even more extras for customs. I love this toy line and as pathetic as it sounds after 18 years of collecting SW figures (more than half my life) it has become second nature. I do not know life without it. I dread the day that it's really over. I have adapted by ordering online to avoid the hunt I just hope others continue to support the Willrows and the old mainline. Hopefully this is like the 2002 downtime for the line but will bounce back one day. Maybe the live action show will revive the enthusiasm in Legacy when we are at Midnight Madness.
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Offline JES

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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2009, 04:09 PM »
Also lets not forget Canada and many parts of UK/Europe are not getting waves at all. That also includes Battle Packs, Comic Packs, and more. So with that said demand being still fairly high here in US, and overseas - product is being spread even thinner.

Our fellow brothers and sisters across the line up north and water to our left (or right depending where you stand) are really getting shafted moreso than previously.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 04:14 PM by JES »

Offline JediJman

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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2009, 06:34 PM »
I've had pretty good luck finding things eventually, with the exception of the new comic packs (why are there so many repacks in this assortment!?).  I also collect at least 2x of each figure...I wonder what % of sales are made up buy the 2+ guys like us?  Personally, I have like 50 Target stores in the Minneapolis area to tap into and I'm part of a collector group that helps me find things, so that has really helpded me out the past few years.  But, I can see how a lot of collectors would be frustrated with distribution as of late. 

I don't pretend to know profit margins for Hasbro, but I think they'd be selling figures a lot better with smaller price increases and better timed distribution.  There's no reason for Battle Packs to drop a figure and move up $6 per item int he course of a year.  Even with basic figures - try raising the price from $6 to $6.50 to $7 to $7.50 instead of trying (and failing) for years to charge a buck extra, then dropping the price back down.  That would have better seeded expectations among their loyal buyers. 

As for the distribution, not releasing anything for several months, then pushing out three different waves in the course of a week seems like a bad way to keep consumers interested. I know this is tied to production issues and unforeseen demand on the CW figs, but why not purposely space these out a little better to keep wallets from drying up and maintain a constant buzz on new figs?
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Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2009, 07:57 PM »
I think it truly has been one of the worst years, if not the worst year, in terms of distribution in the history of the modern line.  I've been collecting (again) since the very first wave of POTF2, and the total lack of figures from the main, movie-based line, both from the perspective of not being shipped and not being stocked, is absolutely deplorable. 

In 14 years of modern collecting, there is only ONE figure I NEVER saw at retail, and that was Ephant Mon in 2002.  There were others (such as the initial release of the SA AOTC Clone) that I only saw once or twice, but, by and large, it wasn't an ordeal to locate much of anything if you looked for it on a semi-regular basis (non-exclusive, wise, of course; the current trend of Target actually stocking and/or selling their exclusives in stores was the complete opposite back in the late 1990's/early 2000's for those of you who weren't around back then).  Nowadays, it seems "the hunt" has become much more difficult, much more taxing, and much more likely to result in empty hands than in previous years.

To me, there is absolutely NO excuse for there to be a Saga Legends line if they're only going to repack older figures in the regular, main TLC line as well.  If you're going to do a repack assortment, keep the repacks in that assortment, or don't do it at all.  If you're going to do a main line assortment of figures, do it with all new figures or don't do it at all.  Despite what Hasbro claims (and I tend to agree with the sentiment that the only reason that line is successful in Hasbro's eyes is because they don't have to do any new tooling for it), the SL line is, in fact, keeping new product from hitting the pegs, both from the TLC line and from the animated CW line.  I've said it once, I've said it a million times, and I'll say it again:  UPC/SKU differences or not, card color or not, character style or not, all retailers and stock people see is "STAR WARS" and it doesn't make a bit of a difference what assortment it is to them.  1000 SL Saesee Tiins are the same thing as 10 each of the last 100 basic BAD/TLC figures that have been released. 

To retailers, Star Wars is Star Wars is Star Wars.  Sure, Entertainment Earth might be able to tell the difference, but Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Target, and K-Mart don't give a flying rat's ass whether it's Saga Legends, Clone Wars, or the Legacy Collection, even if there are separate pegs and SKU/DPCIs for each assortment.  If the pegs are full of Star Wars, they don't need to be scanned or stocked.  Hasbro can go on and on and on about "What you see at a local level is not necessarily indicative of what is being seen at a national level", but if you walk into any Wal-Mart across this country, what are you going to see?:

About 500 figures, 400-450 of which are Saga Legends, 30 or so animated CW figures, and 20 TLC BAD figures on the white/blue card, mainly multiples of the same characters, over and over and over.  If this wasn't the case on a national level, why was Hasbro able to circulate a list to their field reps of what figures needed to be recalled due to saturation of the market? 

On a lighter note, would it be possible for someone to let me post a "beating a dead horse" emoticon from now on in these topics, since all of my posts regarding such matters tend to sound like a broken record?  :D

Online Jeff

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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2009, 08:21 PM »
Threads like this make me very appreciative of my collecting environment.  Between the reasonable on-line sources out there (HTS, EE, BBTS) and my local collecting group, I can't remember the last time I had much trouble adding something to my collection. 


would it be possible for someone to let me post a "beating a dead horse" emoticon from now on

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Offline Nicklab

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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2009, 08:39 PM »
I've got to agree with Jeff.  Between sites like JD, local groups (NJSWCC, PSWCC, KSWCC, etc), and online retail, there are networks/options for filling in the gaps.  I think the past few years of distribution have spoiled us somewhat.  There's been a level of availability that was fantastic.  And now that has dropped off, and maybe some of us need to rekindle the trading networks.  I know that I had been able to get everything on my own, and barely had to trade at all.  And most of the folks that I traded with were in the same boat.  Now things are different.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2009, 09:10 PM »
I've not run into problems with much other than long droughts and a lack of comic packs and battlepacks.  Those have been much harder for me to find than basic figures.

Though ESB Wave and AOTC Waves either were spotty or just came and went quickly. 

The figures are fantastic...  prices suck...  distribution seems hit and miss.
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Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2009, 09:17 PM »
a flying rat's ass

Hands down that statement alone to me made all of the distribution problems worthwhile just to be able to read such a phenomenal description of big box employee attitudes.
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Offline Ghost of QG

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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2009, 11:43 PM »
I'm gonna have to disagree. The entire 2009 line-up, minus the new comic packs, have been seen multiple times in my area. Might be a store issue, and not Hasbro's fault( they're already guilty of too much!!!) IMO I htink Hasbro's done a pretty good job. With that being said, case assortments have been extremely crappy!!!!

I truly mean no offense by this but when you live in highly populated areas their are a lot more collectors and competition competing for the few figure pout there including the new crappy case ratios. It's all relative to where you live. While you may be finding stuff now there is also no denying the consistency of waves. Drought then gluts.

I have been with this line since 95, lived in NJ/Philly area, Ca and Chicago so I have a perspective from the East & West Coast and the Midwest, this year's distribution is truly the worst. I do not say that lightly as I defend Hasbro, I turned down a job there last summer, I love the company. If it was not for location I would be working on this stuff so I am not a hater. They are great guys but as I said I put more of the blame on their movie push.  Nevertheless I hope we as a community press the issue and step up to support the line. I like to see it go until 2018 when they have to renew the license.

I live right in the middle of Kansas City, so I do live in a highly populated area. I'm just saying it's been very easy for me to find the 2009 figures , with just a little work and effort.

Offline Darth Broem

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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2009, 02:17 AM »
I don't have much to say other than the merchandise overall is fine with me this year.  I just hate the inflated prices especially on certain exclusive items.  I am no distribution expert.  I have no idea how they send that stuff out, etc.  I live in a big metro area and seem to always find what I want to eventually. 

I thought the worst year was back in the Saga days with the AOTC stuff/era.  I could find nothing new for liteally 9 months it seemed like. 

Offline JesseVader08

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Re: 2009...Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2009, 03:19 AM »
Also lets not forget Canada and many parts of UK/Europe are not getting waves at all.

 :'(  

Retail is dead in Canada.  And the HTS / EE / BBTS online shops are not a great deal for Canuckians since shipping is so extreme.  (EE minimum shipping is $17.95 and HTS adds $25 to ship up here, thanks for the kick in the nuts  ::))

Argh.

(time to start a Wanted thread in the Classifieds...  ;))
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 03:22 AM by JesseVader08 »

Offline iFett

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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2009, 11:44 AM »
I don't have much to say other than the merchandise overall is fine with me this year.  I just hate the inflated prices especially on certain exclusive items.  I am no distribution expert.  I have no idea how they send that stuff out, etc.  I live in a big metro area and seem to always find what I want to eventually. 

I thought the worst year was back in the Saga days with the AOTC stuff/era.  I could find nothing new for liteally 9 months it seemed like. 

Same here - haven't noticed anything different this year other than the insane amount of exclusives.  I do remember that big drought back in the Saga/AOTC days though and that was a headache.  Feel bad for the rest of you who are hating this year though.   :-\
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Offline LandotheScoundrel

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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2009, 02:01 PM »
Have to agree, Mike. I've pretty much switched over to only collecting off the internet. Hasbrotoyshop has been pretty damn good so far...but the Walmart exclusives are killers, especially for people in NYC (which has no Walmarts near it).
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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2009, 02:11 PM »
Have to agree, Mike. I've pretty much switched over to only collecting off the internet. Hasbrotoyshop has been pretty damn good so far...but the Walmart exclusives are killers, especially for people in NYC (which has no Walmarts near it).

Really? What's up with Walmart and NYC? That shocks me...almost as much as the fact that there are no Targets in Vermont.
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: 2009...Worst Year Ever?
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2009, 02:14 PM »
I live just south of STL.  Gotta say, that it definitely does take work and effort to find things (at least find them early).  I'd rather find this stuff at the stores than online any day though, because that adds to the thrill of getting something new.

I have never missed on a single figure at retail, but that's because I go on a bit of a toy run practically every day of the week, and have a good number of Walmarts, Targets and TRU in my area.  I absolutely have to be persistent, but I've always had to be.  I can't expect to go on just one run every two weeks and count on finding anything in the stores that I don't already have.