Author Topic: Tough Year For Toys  (Read 1329 times)

Offline Scott

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Tough Year For Toys
« on: February 18, 2004, 04:43 PM »
Man talk about an eye opener, MOTU, Simpsons both bite the dust, SW launches a new line with 14 rereleases out of 20, KB and FAO go down the tubes.  These my friends are sad times for the toy buyer

Offline Brian

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2004, 04:48 PM »
Yeah, I agree Scott, I was just thinking the same thing today after reading that news about Simpsons.  It sure has been rough times lately.  Don't get me wrong, I am really psyched about the Star Wars offerings for 2004, even though there are a lot of re-releases, but the other stuff looks great (particularly the vintage-modern OTC figures...Dagobah and Bespin waves as well).  Is it just the fact that kids aren't "into" action figures like we were when we were kids?  I will say that almost every time I visit Target to check out the SW stuff, there are a couple of boys looking at various lines (sometimes even Star Wars).  It does seem different than in the 80s though, unless I am out of touch with kids.  I know my friends and I all had fairly extensive collections of several lines at the same time (Star Wars, Joe, MOTU, MASK, Transformers, Thundercats, Marvel or Super Powers)...I don't know if kids today are quite like that.  All that Pokemon-ish stuff is more their flava now maybe :).  Anyways, you are right, definitely a tough time lately.

Offline jadesfire

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2004, 06:45 PM »
 I agree.  Barbie (Mattel) has totally changed its look and this has had a trickle down effect to the other dolls in the line.  Kelly dolls, in particular, are now redone to look like "Bratz" dolls with that awful 'squished' face.  The previous dolls in the line for the end of 2003 and beginning of 2004 have been sent out of the country to focus attention on the new look, which basically ends my ability to complete my daughters collection.
(But Brent and Dale are helping make amends to this) ;).

Mattel has now gone so far as to "break-up" Barbie and Ken so that they can add some new hype to the line.  Honestly, kids are fickle and jump from one fad to the next.  I think Mattel should really think hard about changing so much of Barbie's "standard" look in order to try to by hip with the times.  Barbie has been their bread-and-butter toy for years, I'm still surprised that they would risk the facial change that I've read about to try to lure girls back when a few years down the road, the standard Barbie face might be all the rage again.

As for the Simpson line, I did enjoy purchasing these for my son's collection but they have pretty much made as many characters as they could.   With so much out there competing for the expendable money kids (and adults) have, it's a given that some of the lines are going to take a hard hit and not survive.  

I wonder what other lines will fold in 2004.
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Offline Morgbug

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2004, 12:17 AM »
Disappointing, but timely for me.  I'm sad to see the Simpsons go, but they'd been waning for a while.  I can only presume I might not get all the Homers previously announced.  I had hoped for Sasquatch Homer, but oh well, I'll be happy with Deep Space Homer.  And if they are doing a THOH5, hopefully it too will have a Homer figure.  

I'm currently in a toy collecting doldrum anyway, so I'm kind of lackadaisical about the whole thing anyway.  Not sure why either.  All the toy fair SW stuff is great, but McFarlane just seriously disappointed me, which is my other main collecting line.  I guess I shouldn't be too sad, I still have good luck finding variants and they'll just be pure trade bait now.  

Hmmph. :-\
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2004, 12:32 AM »
BBI actually supplied me with a buttload of cool stuff...  Lots of new figures (Looks like some Brits, Maybe Canucks, Frenchies...  Various forces).  An F18 fighter TO SCALE.  You wanna talk huge?  You wanna talk "Hasbro should be making scale ships!" then just look at this thing.

It's just a huge airplane!

The unfortunate thing was that 21st Century Toys had little to show it seems aside from their upcoming Spitfires.  I want one of those, but am PO'd at no sign of new carded figures.

21st has jerked its fan-base along that we're getting Japanese Infantry, USMC figures, modern military figures, and a mass re-release (online or otherwise) of the Battle of the Bulge US infantry and German infantry (who'd be released for the first time).

Not a damn word from them other than more planes that'll clog shelves at Wal-Mart.

When they'll wake up and see that planes don't sell well but figures do, I don't know.  They can move minimal #'s of high-ticket items, but not 30 or 40 of the same damn plane on a single WM's shelf ya know?

Oh well...  Hopefully all in good time.  We need more WW2 figures.

Oh, and Dragon had some 1:18 offerings, very few though, but some amazing 1:6 figures including a wonderful German Medic.  First German Medic figure I've ever seen.

And Army of Darkness 1:18 figures.  Keep your eyes peeled for those if you're a customizer.  Skeletal remains for your Lars Homestead burnt corpses may be a reality finally.  ;D
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Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2004, 02:09 PM »
Simpsons bit the dust, eh? That's too bad.

Even after seeing all the neat stuff Toy Biz has coming up for the Marvel lines, I can't help but not care.

Add to it all the stuff coming for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, and my ever-tightening budget, and new Buffy figures costing so much... oooof.
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Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2004, 10:54 PM »
I guess we're kind of getting burned out here, eh? Tired of hunting, tired of shortpacks and chases, and tired of repacks.

Not to mention spending oodles of cash too.
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Offline Darby

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2004, 01:14 AM »
I think Simpsons, MOTU, and the whole action figure aisle when you think about it may be suffering from simple fatigue.  Lots of companies embraced collectors but then went after nonsense chase figures and case-ratios, botiqued lines to death, and I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but I'm a little tired.

You run out of space, out of cash, and out of patience.  

Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2004, 01:38 AM »
Yeah, I'm kinda tired in general. I've taken to ordering the next series of Buffy figures online, as I really don't feel like going to every comic shop and Suncoast in Iowa to complete my set.

Might have to do that with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings too, since local retail is swamped with overpacked pegwarmers.
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Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2004, 01:40 AM »
BTW, Masters of the Universe isn't quite dead, unfortunately. It's being redesigned for a online- and mail order-only thing, which could be Mattel's way of keeping the .org quiet whilst Mattel sweeps MOTU under the rug.

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Offline Morgbug

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2004, 10:41 AM »
Yeah, I'm kinda tired in general. I've taken to ordering the next series of Buffy figures online, as I really don't feel like going to every comic shop and Suncoast in Iowa to complete my set.


Don't you find this reduces the excitement though?  

I'm already there, in terms of on line ordering or relying upon the good graces of others.  I find that tedious and without excitement.  Oh sure, down the line I'll be happy I did it because I don't have to go and chase the lines backwards.  But I can't get past missing finding something on the shelf.  Just that little burst of happiness is great and it happens so seldom with toys these days.  
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Offline Scott

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2004, 10:48 AM »
I think the economy is playing a huge part here too, toys are a luxury item, downswings in money mean less toys for everyone :-\

Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2004, 02:22 PM »
Yeah, I'm kinda tired in general. I've taken to ordering the next series of Buffy figures online, as I really don't feel like going to every comic shop and Suncoast in Iowa to complete my set.


Don't you find this reduces the excitement though?  

I'm already there, in terms of on line ordering or relying upon the good graces of others.  I find that tedious and without excitement.  Oh sure, down the line I'll be happy I did it because I don't have to go and chase the lines backwards.  But I can't get past missing finding something on the shelf.  Just that little burst of happiness is great and it happens so seldom with toys these days.  

Yeah, that feeling is great, but I kinda get the same reaction when I tear open the box and there the stuff is.

It's rare that I find what I'm looking for, so the online ordering is the way to go for me. :-\
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Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2004, 02:23 PM »
I think the economy is playing a huge part here too, toys are a luxury item, downswings in money mean less toys for everyone :-\

This is true. Rising tuition costs have forced me to cut down on spending on everything.
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Offline Darby

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Re: Tough Year For Toys
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2004, 04:09 PM »
Oh yeah, the economy thing... how could I forget about that?   ;)