Author Topic: The Hobbit - Toy Line  (Read 14723 times)

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #315 on: November 5, 2013, 05:47 PM »
I think the boring yellow packaging in the first line hurt the line.  It's just so bland...

I also feel that they would have been better served to release the Pale Orc in the first wave, along with one of those mountain trolls.  Perhaps one of the giant birds as well... and even a playset?  Imagine the Baggins homestead... all of that would have really made the line more interesting.
« Last Edit: November 5, 2013, 05:47 PM by CHEWIE »

Offline Darby

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #316 on: November 5, 2013, 07:40 PM »
The line was very unimaginative. I don't know if that was resources, or lack of faith in the brand, or just a plain lack of understanding about the possibilities. Few properties are as slam dunk as this one (was) is. There may be some lack of interest to it at retail, but there is also a very substantial collector base. Splitting up the dwarves ultimately seems silly. Not having the Pale Orc early on does too. The one piece assortments (deluxe 2 pack - why isn't this just another two pack?; the Warg and rider) also indicated a lack of real retail planning.

Disappointing to say the least, as we're certainly locked out of LOTR figures in the 3.75 scale, unless the film explodes and there's a surge in demand.

Offline Darby

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #317 on: November 14, 2013, 07:38 PM »
From Bridge Direct's Facebook page:

"We know many fans would like to see a wider range of characters offered for DOS, however this is the complete line for this film. We are huge fans of LOTR and Hobbit, and would like nothing more than to release figures of every character, but there are many factors that determine how many we can effectively produce. For example, retailers have specific dates when new product goes into stores. To meet those dates, our development process starts 18 months before figures are in stores. This provides time for sculpting, painting, revisions, studio approval, manufacturing time, shipping, etc. Therefore, if character appearance is not finalized that far in advance (particularly for digitally generated/animated characters), we cannot make them in time for retail launch. There is also the matter of minimum order quantities in manufacturing: we have to make 10s of thousands of pieces of each character! So if we include 10 characters in the 6" figure assortment, that's over 100k pieces of product, minimum. If our retailers can't commit to buying that many pieces, we have to cut down the number of characters in the assortment to make the order quantity viable. It was always our goal to offer the widest variety of characters possible in both scales, within the parameters of how much our retailers can sell. Based on sales of product from Unexpected Journey, we found that there was a larger market for the 6" figures and therefore have been able to offer more characters in that scale. We know the Tolkien fan base is passionate and appreciate their continued interest in our line. We also hope that the fans can appreciate our passion and commitment to quality, as well as the conditions that make it impossible to offer every character in every scale. Looking forward to the film and a successful sell-through of the figures at retail so we can offer more cool stuff for part 3!"

So they mismanaged the line and now retail has abanoned it. There won't be any part 3 toys at this rate.

Offline Scockery

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #318 on: November 14, 2013, 08:09 PM »
So they had 10,000 each of the four reissued characters in the 5-pack lying around?

Quote
s well as the conditions that make it impossible to offer every character in every scale.

Why is there more than one scale? Did they hire playmate's marketing person who pitched the Terminator Salvation and Star Trek lines?

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #319 on: November 14, 2013, 09:35 PM »
I think a lot of it was, "Let's see what sticks", and 6" stuck apparently.

Honestly, the price, the availability...  I thought The Hobbit line wasn't exactly mismanaged...  The quality was above what was expected.  Would all 15 of the group been appreciated?  Absolutely.  The film got split to 3, and I'm sure that didn't help things much too, but really, what was out was great...  but wasn't really supported either.

I admittedly bought mine on clearance...  Not all at first, but after returns for price adjustments, yes.  And I like the line.  I just wasn't into committing to yet another toy line.

Sooooo from my perspective it is what it is...  *shrugs*  I liked what I got, and I'll be content with this as a short line.  Wish I had all of the core group, but alas, it won't be happening.  :-\

At least Lego got them all out, but it'll cost ya.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 01:13 AM by Jesse James »
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Offline Brian

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #320 on: November 15, 2013, 12:52 PM »
Nice to at least see something from BD regarding the line's current/future state, but it really is too bad the way things have gone now.  Like others have said, I thought the figures were all pretty well done, and I like the ones that I have.  I can understand, and see, how things maybe didn't sell the best (although our local TRU has sold through everything now - from the first movie - with the exception of the Gandalf/Bolg 2 pack), but it sure would have been nice to see things continue strong (and even get a Smaug).

I would have been happy if we could have just gotten all of the dwarves in the 3 3/4" scale, especially since we've seen them all completed in conventions this year.  At the very least it would be nice if they could throw those in a couple of multipacks and make them Amazon exclusives or something.  Maybe we'll see more next year, but it doesn't seem super likely.  I still think about how great a LOTR line in this style could have been.

Their statement makes it sound like the 6" line was more of a success for them, but we still only saw two new figures this time around (I think the Legolas is the same, or close).  I'd even settle for getting the dwarves in that scale, but with only 2-3 a year, that isn't happening either.  I've seen the new stuff at our TRU, and I'm pretty sure the 5 packs are all still sitting there last I checked.  I don't know if the store has gotten more than one shipment of the 6" figures or not, but I did pick up the Radagast and noticed that Azog was gone the last time I was there as well.  Legolas was still hanging about.

Online Nicklab

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #321 on: November 16, 2013, 07:23 PM »
Very surprised that Bridge Direct waited a full year to release an Azog figure.  He's the main villain, after all.  It's cool that he's finally on store shelves, but really only at TRU.

The offering of Bolg in the 3-3/4" line last year was equally puzzling.  Although I finally spotted him in a flashback scene as the Dwarves were battling the Orcs at the gates of Moria.

The multipack with Legolas, Thranduil and the others looks interesting.  But admittedly kind of cheap, too.

From a big picture standpoint, I think that Bridge Direct has been engaged in an uphill battle since they took on the license.  Especially in light of this article that Darby posted elsewhere in the forum.  Action figure lines in general are in a rough spot.  The manufacturers are trying to stay profitable, and what we're seeing are figures that are cheaper to produce.  And this line doesn't appear to have the level of interest of ToyBiz's Lord of the Rings lines.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2013, 07:25 PM by Nicklab »
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Offline Darby

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #322 on: November 17, 2013, 12:02 AM »
That article I think explains a lot of this lines issues. I said before that this line was mismanaged - in a lot of ways I still i think it was but a combo of the movies being split into three (leaving us with legolas, tauriel and bolg but not azog) along with soft interest at retail all led to its failure. I'd be curious to know how well the Lego stuff is doing.

Offline Diddly

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #323 on: November 21, 2013, 07:39 AM »
So, I stopped by my TRU yesterday and they had both versions of the 5 packs... on clearance for $10 each. I passed because I don't want to get sucked into the line and I also didn't scan them to see if the new set was clearance price but I might go back today to check.

Offline Darby

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #324 on: November 21, 2013, 10:21 PM »
Reading around the webs I discovered some of the 4 inch scale figures are currently available in the UK:

Radagast:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FEDI5MI/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A162E15OAFIFV4

Azog:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DVEAFF2/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A162E15OAFIFV4

Apparently Vivid, TBD's European counterpart, may be playing a different game with the line.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 10:21 PM by Darby »

Online McMetal

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #325 on: November 21, 2013, 10:48 PM »
I saw that too, and at first was convinced that these were just the 6" figures, because those just happen to be the EXACT same two new figures they released in that scale. But after digging around a little more, these do actually appear to be legit 3.75" figures.

That's so weird and frustrating I don't even know where to start. It's just like what they did with the 6" Yazneg.

They have to find a way to make these available to American collectors.
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Online Jeff

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #326 on: November 22, 2013, 10:49 AM »
Apologies to those of you collecting this line, but more and more I'm glad I was happy just picking up a 3.75" Gandalf from this line. 

Gotta be super-frustrating hearing one thing from TBD and seeing stuff pop up OUS.    :-\
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #327 on: November 22, 2013, 02:53 PM »
I'm kinda happy with the complete set from the first film myself...  It is what it is.  After its dismal sales, I honestly didn't expect to get more.  :-\  The overseas stuff is just icing on the cake if it becomes affordable down the line or surfaces from Asian sellers, I figure.
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Offline Brian

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #328 on: November 22, 2013, 08:57 PM »
I stopped in at TRU today and noticed a full shelf of the 5 packs, and a full peg of the 6" stuff as well.  I also noticed that the 3 3/4" had been restocked fully, with last year's product, so we'll see how that does.

I'm still holding out hope that we'll see the rest of that stuff shown at SDCC eventually, but you just never know.  If not, I'm happy with what I have as well, just wish we could have finished out the dwarves.  Honestly, if anything, I was hoping it would do well enough to justify a LOTR line in this scale :).

Online McMetal

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Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« Reply #329 on: December 3, 2013, 11:21 PM »
I finally picked up Invisible Bilbo from a UK seller on eBay tonight, and for a great price, so that is a nice get. I'm on the verge of breaking down and ordering Azog and Radagast too...

I really hope the new movie does well and somehow resuscitates the line, but I'm not overly optimistic. It would be great if the rest of the stuff they showed off found its way out through Vivid, if nothing else.

I'm also curious how far, if at all, they got into designing/sculpting a Smaug, or if that was always off the table due to sheer size.
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