I suspect a great deal of the collector animosity is because this years exclusives are being offered in more limited quantities than they had been in recent years. Over the past couple of years there had been an expectation that if a collector could not make it to a summer convention that there would be PLENTY more to go around at HTS afterward. Hasbro seems to have responded to what they may have regarded as an overstock of past summer convention exclusives by limiting their production numbers this year. In the case of last year's SDCC & C5 exclusives, those were readily available for months following the summer convention season.
Here's where I'm going to get in trouble. With some of you guys, and not anyone else: This kind of thing in the long run is GOOD FOR THE LINE. Lots of people get upset, yes. Lots of people wind up disappointed, yes. But this kind of "buzz" serves to stir up interest in Hasbro's Star Wars line. This limited number of exclusives may be an effort do just that. So in effect this may be something of a marketing ploy on Hasbro's part to make the line hot again in the eyes of collectors. Will the ammount of interest it stirs up outweigh the damage it can do? That is very much a calculated risk.
I couldn't disagree more.
#1 - if you have set an expectation with your consumers that they can get a product via some avenue, then outside of not being able to sell enough product, you should continue to support those avenues. Most businesses would love to sell another unit of whatever they make - the more you sell, the more you can offset your fixed costs, but Hasbro seems to thrive on making product people want, then not making it readily available. I don't see that as very smart or sustainable - selling then than you could have while continuously alienating a shrinking consumer base.
#2 - what is the point of the exclusive? To create hype? They've got a lot of attention right now, unfortunately none of it is good. Do they want to use this to bring people to the show? Maybe, but isn't the show already pretty much sold out a year in advance? Doesn't seem like you're getting incremental attendance from this. And if so, why make it available via HTS at all? I think more people would be accepting if they just said you know what? This is only available at the show. But instead you waste peoples time with 1-2 hours of refreshing an error screen and not getting what they wanted. Not a great way to build loyalty or interest in your brand.
#3 - I don't see how this buzz creates any renewed interest in buying Star Wars or Hasbro in general. Consumers have a short memory for things that work well, but a long memory for being wronged. I'm in line with others on here who have said any goodwill they had for Hasbro has dried up. The next time I'm on the fence about buying something from them, you can bet I'll be on the side of saving my money. I am one of the few carded and loose collectors still around based on what I know from others in the MN collector group and others on the site. And I've been buying up at least 2x of all the vintage figures, with plans to scoop up incremental Revenge figures as well. Based on the antics today, I'm planning to avoid Revenge stuff like the plague. I hope they can find 10 other suckers to make up for the product they could have sold to me if they hadn't made this such a complete cluster.