I’m not privy to Hasbro’s production numbers or details regarding their exclusive offerings, so you may be right. However, If my company makes an “exclusive product” for someone, we always over produce to ensure that we can meet order numbers. If someone orders 20,000 units for example, we may make 21,000 units in case there are errors, lost cases, etc. I’m assuming Hasbro does the same to avoid lost sales opportunities, so it makes perfect sense for them to say that there will be some vague amount of additional product sold through their site.
Using the numbers above, if all goes well they would have 20,000 convention exclusives and 1,000 leftovers to sell online. But if there is an error or mix-up with 950 items, then they still have 20,000 for the convention, but only 50 to sell online. Had they NOT made the extra product, they would have not been paid for 950 items via the convention and wouldn’t have anything to sell online – not a good move. If the convention has 1,000 leftover, it’s also easy enough for Hasbro to put those available online as well to sell through the extras. This is a win-win process for the convention/store, Hasbro, and the collectors who either attend or can buy online.
Now if you apply this to bundling exclusives, there are two easy reasons we’ll never see this:
#1 – Hasbro is likely to upset companies that are signing up for said exclusives because bundling would take away part of the draw to come to the event/store. If I know for sure I can get a SDCC exclusive online, then maybe I don’t need to go this year and that hurts attendance. Sure, I can maybe get one online, but that’s a little risky for die-hard collectors.
#2 - A guaranteed bundle would also hurt Hasbro’s ability to move extra production or convention leftovers via the example above. Most people know up front if they want they item or not, so if we all signed up for a bundle, who is left to buy the production extras and convention leftovers? There’s more detriment than benefit to Hasbro with bundling.