Author Topic: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?  (Read 4477 times)

Offline Brian

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The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« on: February 13, 2012, 08:54 PM »
I was just reading through one of the reports at JTA, and it sounds like the overall feeling from Hasbro is that the Clone Wars line will continue to see about 20 figures a year through the duration of the 3D releases.  They mentioned it being considered more of a "sub line" now, and they would be very careful about what characters were included.  They did admit to a dip in the ratings of the show (although I think I've enjoyed this season much more than last year).  I'd be curious if the show would even be on the air (new episodes at least) for another 6 years, that's a long time for a cartoon these days.  I think usually once they hit the 52 number, they often wrap things up (or change the name), although there are exceptions.  Anyways, sounds like CW will be run very similar to the way things are this year - barring a disaster with the 3D releases I guess.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 09:54 AM by Jeff »

Offline McMetal

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 10:44 PM »
I was just reading through one of the reports at JTA, and it sounds like the overall feeling from Hasbro is that the Clone Wars line will continue to see about 20 figures a year through the duration of the 3D releases.  They mentioned it being considered more of a "sub line" now, and they would be very careful about what characters were included.  They did admit to a dip in the ratings of the show (although I think I've enjoyed this season much more than last year).  I'd be curious if the show would even be on the air (new episodes at least) for another 6 years, that's a long time for a cartoon these days.  I think usually once they hit the 52 number, they often wrap things up (or change the name), although there are exceptions.  Anyways, sounds like CW will be run very similar to the way things are this year - barring a disaster with the 3D releases I guess.

I read this as well, but it doesn't quite ring true somehow. If the ratings start to go back up this season and next, does that mean they will re-evaluate things and start making more TCW toys? No, they're going to continue to focus on the movies no matter what. So throwing that line out about the ratings is pretty weak sauce if you ask me.

Also, you can't blame the show, or the movies, for how badly the line is being managed right now. It's not the show's fault you couldn't get that Mando Transport to retail, even with SIX PLUS MONTHS of lead time. Or the fact that you continually under-produced toys for this line and made poor character choices and case assortments.

I'm fine with it being a sub-line, but at least run it with some integrity. I'm fine with them making smarter choices on some of their selections, but that does not mean only give us clones and Obi/Ani retreads. I mean, you've already spent the tooling dollars on Season 3 Ahsoka, but in Wave 1 we get more pegwarming Snow Koons? Who authorized that?!?! And don't even get me started on how they are rolling the clock back on articulation..oy vey!

Less is fine. Worse is not. If you're going to commit to the line for at least the duration of the show, please do it right.
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Offline Jabba the Slug

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 11:39 PM »
I read the JTA report too, and I can totally see why Hasbro would put TCW aside. But for 6 whole years?! That's just way too much. Especially with the show headed into a more action/intense/dramatic/evolved direction. I say just put Movie Heroes at 3-4 new figures per wave and go all-out on TCW again.

I heard something around the lines of that Hasbro would have to "put away" TVC for awhile. It sounds like it's temporary, which I'm glad about, but this line is so awesome, why would they even do that? JTA reported something like that BAD would return, but I really don't want Hasbro ditching TVC for a few years in favor of BAD.
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Offline Captain Piet

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 08:50 AM »
I loves me some Clone Wars, seen every episode, own all the DVDs, Blu-Ray, etc., but do any of us honestly expect the show and the line is going to continue over the next six years? I understand the movie strategy, however, Hasbro has multimedia most of the year with Clone Wars as opposed to a February film release. I do not understand the thinking. I guess will have to see what 3D pulls in. Remember, George said a movie each year "if they do well."
I guess with the MTT slated for the fall, which probably means late July/early August, Hasbro's hedging its bets on a 3D home release, although the market is still developing. I guess the strategy is going to be to push stuff twice a year at roughly six-month intervals.
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Offline McMetal

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 09:04 AM »
I loves me some Clone Wars, seen every episode, own all the DVDs, Blu-Ray, etc., but do any of us honestly expect the show and the line is going to continue over the next six years?

The show was originally slated to run for 5 seasons, so based on the original plan next season would be the last, but there are reports out there that they have already started writing for Season Six, so who knows?

I agree another 5 years for the show is probably overly optimistic, but I can see it going another 2 seasons easily, and that will make 100 episodes, which is the magic number for *ding ding ding* syndication;D

So the toy line could potentially run another 2-3 years just off the repeats and maybe the odd TV movie here and there.

There are a lot more toys I think they need to make before they kill this thing, so I'm in as long as they stick with the animated style, which it sounds like they will, thankfully.
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Offline Jabba the Slug

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2012, 02:11 AM »
The show was originally slated to run for 5 seasons, so based on the original plan next season would be the last, but there are reports out there that they have already started writing for Season Six, so who knows?

I agree another 5 years for the show is probably overly optimistic, but I can see it going another 2 seasons easily, and that will make 100 episodes, which is the magic number for *ding ding ding* syndication;D

Back when the show was first being developed, there were reports floating around that Lucas said, regardless of ratings, the show would have at least 100 episodes. You said it would take another 2 seasons before they reached 100 episodes, so I can honestly see that happening.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2012, 02:35 AM »
syndication seems like a bit of a stretch for a series with falling ratings though.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 09:52 AM »
You said it would take another 2 seasons before they reached 100 episodes, so I can honestly see that happening.

With 22 episodes in each season, it won't take 2 more seasons - just one should do it.  We are sitting at 84 episodes right now, with 4 left to go in Season 4.  We should hit the magic #100 with Epsiode 12 of Season 5.

That's why, like McMetal said, the show was originally slated for 5 seasons - that is how many it would take to get to 100 episodes and potential sydication, which was poppa George's original plan/dream for the show.

syndication seems like a bit of a stretch for a series with falling ratings though.

If some channel out there is willing to run "Laverne and Shirley" on a Sunday afternoon or "Saved by the Bell" on a random mid-day morning, there is definitely a place for Clone Wars re-runs someplace - Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Hasbro's Hub, where ever.

Falling rating or not, I have to imagine that a old episode of Clone Wars would do just as well as an old episode of The Wonder Years or whatever else Hasbro has on the Hub.  ;)
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Offline Captain Piet

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 10:56 AM »
Listen, George Lucas doesn't need somebody to pick up his show. He had to foot the entire bill on "Red Tails" right down to the prints. He will do as much Clone Wars as it takes to tell the story, which I suspect is 2-3 more seasons. On the 100-episode mark, I'm fairly certain it's no longer the magic number for syndication. If they want to run it elsewhere, they'll run it elsewhere.
I just think Hasbro's strategy on Clone Wars figures is incredibly flawed.
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Offline Brian

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 02:14 PM »
Falling rating or not, I have to imagine that a old episode of Clone Wars would do just as well as an old episode of The Wonder Years or whatever else Hasbro has on the Hub.  ;)

First of all, the Wonder Years was a great show :P.  Anyways, I think Jeff is right, I don't see any way the show doesn't make it to syndication - somewhere.  Also, despite reports of falling ratings, I don't know if it has gotten to the point so bad that they're thinking of shelving it.  It does seem like it gets way less attention on the network as it used to though, with reruns in the earlier mornings on the weekends and not much else.  I've always been surprised that they don't run it on weekday afternoons or something, as part of an action block with one of their other shows (Ben 10 or whatever), but maybe it has to hit the 100 mark before that happens too.  I have to think that it will at least get five seasons, and possibly a couple more.  This might be a special situation, but usually cartoons don't get much more than the "magic number", unless they change name slightly (like the original JL cartoon to JL Unlimited, or Batman: TAS to The New Adventures of Batman....).

But, back to the original toy line, I would guess it would get at least some attention as long as new episodes are airing.  It seems like Hasbro could keep it going a lot longer even with syndication, but the interest does seem to be waning.  It is already down to about 20 figures a year (and it sounds like it will be that way throughout the 3D releases), and we know that probably only half of those would be "new" if they follow the current strategy.  Unless they gradually make the switch over to making them all "realistic", I could see the toy line ending in a couple more years (or likely as soon as new episodes are done).  They don't seem real dedicated to it at this point anyways, and I don't see the CW series lasting another six years until the movie series is.  As much as I enjoy the show, I don't think it should necessarily hang on that long either.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 02:17 PM by Brian »

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2012, 03:30 PM »
The show's practically a commercial though, nothing more.  I question whether anyone would want it if it (and Star Wars in general) decline in popularity is what I'm saying. 

I guess I just don't equate people's nostalgia for old TV shows with a cartoon about Star Wars.  I'm not saying someone wouldn't I guess, I'm just saying I don't think anyone's gonna care if Star Wars itself is declining a bit.  The Hub maybe, but I don't think The Hub's shelling out big for what it airs, and Lucas isn't known for letting his precious be used without him getting hefty cuts.

And the way they're setting things up in the series I really question if it'll be here much longer.  I agree, they really are setting up the ROTS lead-in... a lot.  I just hope they don't completely dump on Tartakovsky's version in the process, but I'm sure they will ultimately.
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Offline Jabba the Slug

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2012, 12:26 AM »
And the way they're setting things up in the series I really question if it'll be here much longer.  I agree, they really are setting up the ROTS lead-in... a lot.  I just hope they don't completely dump on Tartakovsky's version in the process, but I'm sure they will ultimately.

The old cartoon was a hit: none of that political trash; each episode was 5-12 minutes of pure, sweet action that hooked the viewer. This new series is totally wrecking EVERYTHING. At this point I've just come to pick and choose what I think is canon and what isn't.

As crappy as this show can be, it has created hundreds of awesome Hasbro figures. Hasbro was just beginning to get collectors warmed up to the TCW line. I don't think we'll ever really see it revive. The line's being put on the backburner for the next 6 years, and I certainly don't think the show will last that long. What happens after the show ends is up in the air, but, like we've seen with the films, Hasbro can potentially find stuff to make even once the show has had its run.   
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Offline JediMoses

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2012, 11:36 PM »
I know that last season the show took a hit in the ratings, probably due to the unevenness of the show, but its ratings have made a decent comeback.  Almost 2 million viewers for a Friday night show doesn't seem that bad by cable standards, but I am sure the show costs a lot more than an episode of Storage Wars.  I have really come to love this line and I am quite disappointed in the way Hasbro just bailed on it this year.  They have done some amazing things in the show and I would love to see figures made of many of the characters they have introduced us to.   

I can live with a smaller line, and lord knows my wallet can.  But it should be a great line then, and this year is not that.  It is disappointing to read that they will not re-release some of the harder to find characters.  It would be nice if Hasbro would just open up about what is going on with everything, from the management of the brand to the distribution issues. 

The show is not going to make it through the 3D re-releases, and I am wondering what the benchmark is for considering that experiment a success.  My guess is that they run 6 or 7 seasons and call it quits at that point.  I appreciate what Filoni has done and how he has brought a fans perspective to the series.  I can only hope we get some really good CW figures between now and then. 

The Vintage Collection is worth the scale back for 2012, but if they keep dragging out ten year molds to clog the pegs in the Movie Heroes line, then I hope they revisit their decisions about the CW.   

Offline Scockery

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2012, 08:15 AM »
IIRC, wasn't it planned for 100 episodes, ratings or not?

Offline Darby

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Re: The Future of the Clone Wars Toy Line?
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2012, 01:29 PM »
Pretty much.  Lucas actually most or all of Season 1 done before ever getting a network committment, so ratings (like studio backing) is largely irrelevant to him.  The ratings are actually fairly decent.  The show has to be considered an unqualified success, regardless of it ends next year or years from now.  The Hasbro line has to be seen the same way, even if it's in decline.  It's been an amazing line that still has major gaps to fill.  Kind of reminds of me the vintage line (the real vintage line).  Even if CW ends tomorrow, there is no expiration date on getting figures from it.  We have 30 years of plastic to prove that.