So I'm in Providence, RI right now, attending the NCMPR conference (basically a conference for public relations and media workers in Community Colleges - I'm here because the lit. mag I run won an award - anyway...), and the keynote speaker from this morning was Terry Scott, a senior VP for Hasbro (which is located in Providence) who manages global marketing and creative services, etc. It was a pretty interesting presentation, which focused on how Hasbro has evolved and is continuing to reinvent itself as more than a toy company, moving towards a multimedia corporation.
One of the more interesting parts to me, as a SW collector, is that, based on the presentation Mr. Scott gave today, Star Wars is not even CLOSE to their main focus - they mentioned it in their powerpoint presentation just a few times throughout. Their focus is very much on the brands they own - Transformers, GI Joe, My Little Pony, board games, etc. I don't think this is news to anyone here, but it was interesting to see just how little they really focused at all on a general Hasbro presentation on anything SW related. He did seem excited to see what would happen in the aftermath of the 3D rereleases, as well as the future prospects of TV shows, but they're committed mainly to their own brands, which makes sense, obviously.
Another area they're not focused on? Collectors, again, pretty obviously. He at one point mentioned the "cellar dwellers", the 20 somethings living at home who buy out of nostalgia, but it was with a sort of sarcastic look to the crowd in passing.
I don't know how much of this is really news, but I thought it worth mentioning here, as usually the interactions any of the collector groups have with Hasbro is directed towards us as an audience, so they know what to say to keep us engaged. It's quite a different rhetoric to the general public. We're not the biggest cash source for them, so it's not without business sense, but the next time you wonder about all the minutia of issues collectors have, keep in mind, they're worried about a far larger picture.