Author Topic: Beginning of the End?  (Read 10942 times)

Offline Morgbug

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #15 on: October 4, 2009, 12:01 AM »
As much as there's talk of lower Legacy sales, I bet sales still beat the tar out of anything else in the action figure aisle.  If a line can support equal or better sales than movie-backed figures (GI Joe, Transformers), retailers will continue to make space for it.  And if retailers still want it, Hasbro will continue to make it.

I suspect it may be the case in the MN region, but I know around here and in most stores I've been in through the US, they ain't beating the tar out of much of anything, certainly not based on the minimal space on planograms I've seen.  TRU is holding steady with space dedicated to it, but to my dismay I'd agree with Hasbro's contention about CW vs. Legacy - that's the way TRU plays it too.  And in our Walmarts, Star Wars doesn't lay claim to more space than anything really, save maybe Marvel Legends.  Everything else supported by a TV show takes up more space than it does.  8 pegs max; 4 high, 2 columns, that's it. 
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Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #16 on: October 4, 2009, 12:53 AM »
I am with JesseVader08 & Darth Vlad. Let's not be too chicken little right now. It sounds like quite the contrary given some of the Q&A answers that is talking about a New Hope wave being the first of 2011 and if the Dewback sells more sets like that will be on the way. Did they have a rough year? Sure but so did everyone else you are already seeing them adjust with case assortments and keep a closer eye on the offerings. This is playing into their BP strategy and smaller runs on certain offerings, it's hunkering down mode for them.

There is just too much money in this to let it die. Another Toy company would jump all over this, Hasbro is smart they will be more conservative for awhile until the economy picks up and a new event comes their way. While sales may have dropped off due to the many factors we talked about over and over it's not the end. As others have said scaling back for a period is the way they will go. The line has seen this before post EP1 and EP2. You will see a event wrapped around SW in high def remastered DVD's with all the blue ray 3d **** embedded in them and you will get another OTC/SE kinda marketing campaign. The Live action show will ensure you still see new realistic SW toys. Mostly everything is sucking so it's not just a SW problem keep that in mind.

Any store you go to stuff is selling, BAD is usually cleaned out. I do not even find Yarna anymore. As JJ mentioned SW does outsell every action figure line out there. I have access to NPD data so I see whats selling and whats not. CW is outselling Legacy but Legacy is beating the snot out of Joe, Marvel, Ben 10, etc.

Keep your heads up guys and where possible you wallets open to continue to support the line so we can enjoy it for years to come. There is still a lot of stuff I want before "the end" so the other thread is a fun what if I may partake in for ***** and giggles.



« Last Edit: October 4, 2009, 12:56 AM by JACKOFTRADZE »
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Offline darth_sidious

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #17 on: October 4, 2009, 01:33 AM »
I dont think its realistic for the Legacy line to end, and the CW line to thrive by itself, because there is a large segment of collectors that buy all the CW figures too - but scaling back is necessary, and in my case - welcome.  I want Legacy and CW figures alike, but I'm currently hunting for 3 waves of figures that have all been released in the past couple of weeks, not to mention countless retailer exclusives - who has the time or money to do it all at once?  I prefer this to be a hobby, not a job.

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #18 on: October 4, 2009, 01:47 AM »
from Galactic Hunter's QNA this week:

With Star Wars having a huge collector following, we know that the past year has presented challenges in keeping up with the line. Similarly, the line that we showed at Comic-Con has been in development since the end of 2007/beginning of 2008, and long-lead projects and commitments are difficult to change, especially when the efforts are exceptionally good as they have been this year. Right now, everything shown should make it to retail in the U.S. In some of the more collector-targeted lines, like Legacy/Droid Factory basic figures and Comic Packs, some of the waves may not be out until Spring 2010, assuming that the forecasted quantities move through and that we do not see further collector slowdown. If that happens, we'll do our best to see that they do get to retail somehow. It is our intention, going forward, to pull back on the breadth and depth of the offering, somewhat. For instance, we have been working to scale back some on the number of new/refresh figures in the Legacy basic figure lineup (the goal is approximately 40-45 new/refresh figures/year for the basic figure line). We are also re-examining the number of collector-targeted offerings and exclusives to pare down to the scope of the line for the time being.

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Online Rob

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #19 on: October 4, 2009, 02:01 AM »
That's nothing to cry about IMO.  Between the basic line, the vehicle pack ins, the 2-packs, the comic packs, the battle packs, the exclusives... there's just too much product over too short a period of time.  It's difficult to keep up.  I'd rather they cut it back by 25% or whatever they're thinking.  It'll be easier on lots of us, and it'll probably mean more collectors don't have such stretched collecting budgets... meaning people might not skip over as many items.

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #20 on: October 4, 2009, 02:09 AM »
I was more referring to the end of comic packs but in regards to basic figures I think it sucks because too many slots will go to prequels. Part of the slowdown is truly Hasbro's fault. The uneven shipping in huge chunks turned off a lot of collectors. I had no problem with the offering, just the spacing/timing of it. I hate seeing it cut back for animated stuff.

(We still have to get together Rob, PM me and let me know your schedule. I still want that X-Wing.)

Back to the topic For all the chicken little I think G.I.Joe will die before Legacy ever does. "The Pursuit of Cobra" will be more like the "Pursuit to get to Retail'.
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Offline Adam_Pawlus

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #21 on: October 4, 2009, 02:33 AM »
It's gotta end eventually, but we're probably a ways off. Even the most successful movie tie-in lines don't last as long as one packaging line look does for Star Wars.   Seriously, aside from tiny little sad lines of 2 figure a year from NECA or another company, nothing is as huge as this line, nor will anything ever come close to this level of success for quite some time.  If ever, given the toy business today.

If history is any indication, the line is going to end as a surprise-- the last series will be hard to get, and future series will just not get made.  The original TMNT line had a year or two of showings at Toy Fair where a chunk of product never got made before going away, and when it went, it was pretty quick.  Playmates' original Star Trek range ended with increasingly goofy limited editions and exclusives, with the final batches being Target exclusive figures probably culled from the main line.  Or Indiana Jones... just kinda up and ended there, but the writing was clearly on the wall.  Which, for Star Wars, it is not.  Show me another line with this much new stuff every year that isn't the same body with a new head on it (excepting, of course, the clones.)

Comic Packs have already been pared way back-- the Dark Empire Luke/Palpatine and Republic Quinlan/Faie set were very late 2008 entries.  In 2009, we have been given exactly 6 non-exclusive packs, 3 of which just hit about a month ago.  It's already on the way out the door, but it's interesting to note that Wal-Mart has had 3 already this year and 3 more are due any time now.  On the whole, anything but basic figures tends to come and go in fairly short order, the fact that we got about 3+ years of comic packs is pretty gosh darned great and certainly bolstered the expanded universe toy lineup.

There's still plenty of money to squeeze out of us, so it's not going away.  Fans may remember 2004 as a particularly slow year for new basic figures, between Saga and non-Vintage OTC, only 28 new figures were made, plus a couple of POTF2 repaints.  By comparison 2003 had 45 basic numbered figures (the last 2002 figures hit early 2003), and 2002 had 54 if you count the Rebel Trooper variant.  Things come and go, go up and down.  Don't forget, Wal-Mart virtually dropped the entire line save for basic and deluxe figures around the end of 2003 during the Clone Wars push, it was really tough to find some of these items for a while.  Things have been absolutely nuts since 2005, and frankly, I'm just fine with a year that doesn't have $600+ worth of exclusives in Q4 before the basic line even comes into consideration.

40-45 "new/refresh" (assuming "refresh" is slang for "new accessories/slight retools/repaints") is totally reasonable to me.  We got 44 in 2008.  We got 35 so far in 2009, with another 22 or so likely before the end of the year.  I'm sure there will always be a couple of token Cantina aliens and Jabba's Palace aliens each year, just to keep us interested, alongside the token Han/Luke/Anakin refreshes.   If Hasbro and Toys "R" Us can successfully sell a $50 TIE Interceptor this holiday season, seriously, what do we have to worry about?

When Wal-Mart drops the basic movie-themed figure line (which probably won't be "Legacy" or "Build-a-droid" forever anyway), that's when I'll expect the line to die in 6-12 months.
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Online Rob

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #22 on: October 4, 2009, 03:25 AM »
I was more referring to the end of comic packs but in regards to basic figures I think it sucks because too many slots will go to prequels. Part of the slowdown is truly Hasbro's fault. The uneven shipping in huge chunks turned off a lot of collectors. I had no problem with the offering, just the spacing/timing of it. I hate seeing it cut back for animated stuff.

(We still have to get together Rob, PM me and let me know your schedule. I still want that X-Wing.)

I'll be in touch. :)

As for the comic packs... personally I'm not terribly into EU and would be fine if the product was much more film-centric.  Sorry for everyone who's into that stuff though.

Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #23 on: October 4, 2009, 10:43 AM »
I don't think we're near the end yet. As Adam said, it will end eventually, but I don't think we're that close. Only fools give up at the first sign of trouble. Sure, Hasbro might have hit a snag with the movie line, but that doesn't mean the line is dead. You restructure accordingly. There's a fan base out there, it's just a matter of finding new ways to reach it.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #24 on: October 4, 2009, 11:17 AM »
I think the shipping delays/inconsistencies hurt things a lot too, as people have mentioned.  It is really tough to keep up when you're buying the majority of product in the last four months of the year or so.  Sure, you could/should save up preparing for that, but how many of us really do that - even if we should?  I think scaling back could be a good thing for the line at this point.  I don't want to see it go away either, and don't really think it will anytime soon, but if we averaged 40 new basic figures a year, I'd be fine with that.

Its funny, with all of the talk of the CW push, I think we actually get more basic carded Legacy figures in a year than CW (not counting Obi/Ani repacks and all of that).  I think Hasbro has done a pretty nice job with the handling of the CW line.  I'm not positive on numbers, but I think there are around 30-35 "new" CW figures in a year (like this year).  We see repacks of Obi-Wan, Anakin, Rex, etc. - but if a kiddo/collector just wanted the "new guys" it wouldn't be impossible to keep up.  Plus, if you look at how many brand-new vehicles the line has seen since the launch in 2008, it is pretty impressive.  Heck, there have probably been more new vehicles for CW than for all of the prequels combined.

Slowing down the pack, shipping them more consistently throughout the year, and not having $600 in exclusives to track down in the last quarter of the year would help things a lot.  And, like others have said, I think when Star Wars is released on Blu-Ray or in theaters in 3D, we'll see another fairly significant movie push.  I used to have a problem with the OT getting left behind in recent years in the Legacy line, but this year's offerings have made up for that a bit.  We're getting two ANH waves, two ESB waves, and a ROTJ wave this year alone, so that's been nice.  If anything, it seems like - aside from ROTS - the prequels are getting forgotten more and more as those characters are being covered in the CW line.  Anyways, like others said, I think the SW line (even non CW) is still doing pretty well when compared to other similar lines at retail.

Offline David

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #25 on: October 4, 2009, 12:12 PM »
I don't think we have to worry about Legacy dying for at least a few more years. But I do think next year we're gonna start seeing fewer waves and probably fewer new figures in them. And I'm totally fine with that. I'm happy with what we've gotten. I think if they could get even half of what I really really want made in the next few years and then wrap things up, I'd be pretty happy with it.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #26 on: October 4, 2009, 02:16 PM »
from Galactic Hunter's QNA this week:

With Star Wars having a huge collector following, we know that the past year has presented challenges in keeping up with the line. Similarly, the line that we showed at Comic-Con has been in development since the end of 2007/beginning of 2008, and long-lead projects and commitments are difficult to change, especially when the efforts are exceptionally good as they have been this year. Right now, everything shown should make it to retail in the U.S. In some of the more collector-targeted lines, like Legacy/Droid Factory basic figures and Comic Packs, some of the waves may not be out until Spring 2010, assuming that the forecasted quantities move through and that we do not see further collector slowdown. If that happens, we'll do our best to see that they do get to retail somehow. It is our intention, going forward, to pull back on the breadth and depth of the offering, somewhat. For instance, we have been working to scale back some on the number of new/refresh figures in the Legacy basic figure lineup (the goal is approximately 40-45 new/refresh figures/year for the basic figure line). We are also re-examining the number of collector-targeted offerings and exclusives to pare down to the scope of the line for the time being.

 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

I think this is something that we should've expected for some time.  A scaling back of the line.  Things have been ratcheting up to something of a fever pitch for some time.  We saw some downturns in the line between Episodes I & II, and then between Episodes II & III.  But ever since Episode III things have been coming out at an incredible pace.

The numbers Hasbro cited in that response to GH for the Basic Figure line are more in line with what we saw in 2004 with the OTC line.  That year we had 38 basic figures plus the vintage line.  And there was also no Clone Wars line like we have now.  And IIRC, a lot of people were fans of the OTC line.

Compare that with 2009's TLC RED line.  That's 50 basic figures in the space of 6 months!  And add to that another 18 Saga Legends figures.  Oh, and there's another 40 Clone Wars figures in the CW RED line, too.  That's over 100 different carded figures being offered in the space of 6 months.  That is just an insane release schedule, and I think we should not be surprised that Hasbro is having issues.  And this was just with the red packaging.  I didn't even account for the blue packaging which would bring the numbers to an even more astounding total.


So what could be more manageable?  Here's what I see happening (potentially).

MOVIE BASIC FIGURE LINE - 40 figures
-32 new figures
-8 reissue core characters

COMIC 2-PACKS - 3 general release waves & 1 exclusive
-3 x comic packs / wave x 4 total waves = 24 figures

EXCLUSIVE 2-PACKS
Target - 1 wave = 12 figures
WalMart - 1 wave = 10/12 figures


Add to that a comparable Clone Wars line.  A Clone Wars line that still has vehicles and deluxe items that work across both the movie realistic and animated lines.  And I think you still wind up with a very respectable toy line.  One that has had staying power over 15+ years and is still the #1 boys toys license.
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Offline darth_sidious

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #27 on: October 4, 2009, 06:36 PM »
I have mixed feelings about the future of the comic packs - we've received some great figures over the past few years, but some of the upcoming choices are both boring and some leave collectors wondering - who are these characters?

The current wave of comic packs (Lumiya, etc) seem to be doing great and are actually hard to find, I'm sure the bad distribution has some fault in that though.  The upcoming comic packs for the rest of 2009 and into 2010 arent really that interesting though, and I dont think any of the characters are truly in high demand.  None of them seem to have the buzz that characters like Quinlan Vos had.

At this rate, with the EU expanding in a rather out of control fashion, maybe collectors cant keep up with comic packs either...

Maybe Hasbro needs to do a 'state of collecting' address lol.

Offline Simdog

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #28 on: October 4, 2009, 06:55 PM »
Scott, not sure if you are talking just the Legacy line or figs from the 6 films in general. I would honestly be quite content with Hasbro refocussing mainly on the Clone Wars and upcoming TV Show.  Maybe just limit figs from the 6 films to around 25 figs a year.  Maybe a wave for each film, a couple ships and an exclusive or two. We are really pretty close to having every main fig and background fig at a quality that most collectors can live with.  But then again, I am looking at it from my standpoint, which is I just cant afford or justify  this hobby like I used to.  I have totally refocused my collection and sold off more than 50% of it.  If it didnt appear in any of the 6 films then I dont bother.  If it ended tomorrow can anyone really believe it lasted this long?  Not me.  I thought 10 years would have been pushing it.  It would be sweet if Hasbro just released the best of the best on vintage cards much like the Joe series has done.  Looking over my figs, each film has released right around 100 figs each which is still a huge number to sometimes comprehend. Nothing personal to the people that want figures to keep coming out til 2018 but if it dies I am content.

I totally agree. Tone down the Legacy line for collectors to fill gaps. If there must be a Legends line, which I totally hate, make that an anvenue to release your Vaders, Lukes and R2's. Concentrate on CW and scale back 90% on EU figures. Thats what I'd do.

Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: Beginning of the End?
« Reply #29 on: October 4, 2009, 07:38 PM »
I have to say that I'm not terribly disappointed that the film-based stuff is going to be eased back; I've been advocating for the last four years that Hasbro is doing way too many new figures in a year with no film support, and I think it's finally caught up with them.  Clone Wars is hot right now, and in my opinion, it deserves to have the focus for a little while.  I'm not advocating the "end of the line" or anything, but there is simply too much stuff, in too short a period of time, in too short supply for things to continue at this current rate.

I agree with Nick to an extent on what his preferred layout would be, although the only things I would continue in a realistic style would be the basic action figures and the vehicles.  That would be it:

Basic Figures:  One wave per film, of 6 to 8 new figures, per year (36-40 new figures per year, total).  If you're going to do recarded older figures, confine them to 2 figures per film, for a grand total of 52 figures for the entire 12-month span of the line (40 new, 12 repack)

Vehicles:  Each store gets an exclusive in the spring, and an exclusive in the winter for the holiday shopping season.  No more of this Target getting 12 exclusives all at once nonsense, or Wal-Mart getting 10 exclusives and not stocking them in some areas.  All retailers would be required to sell their exclusives online as part of the deal.

No more Comic Packs, no more Evolutions, no more Battle Packs, no film-based deluxe lineup, no Galactic Heroes, no SW Transformers, and definitely no more Saga Legends.  If you're recarding older figures in the regular TLC assortment, there is absolutely no point whatsoever to have a third line of recards on the pegs, taking away shelf space from new product.  And before the "But they're a different SKU" crowd chimes in, I repeat my mantra once more:  Retailers DON'T CARE about the three SKUs.  To them, if there are Star Wars figures on the pegs, that's all that matters.  Star Wars is Star Wars is Star Wars to them, period.

Clone Wars can dominate the pegs and shelf space with the basic figures, deluxe mini-rig line, and vehicle assortment, as it currently does.  This way, the big seller (according to Hasbro) has the majority of the focus, although the people who have kept Hasbro in the SW business for the last 14 years still have their regular spot just like we always have.