Author Topic: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?  (Read 18650 times)

Online Master_Phruby

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #150 on: June 27, 2012, 11:32 AM »
So selling product is a no risk situation for Walmart. If something doesn't sell, it gets shipped back for a refund. The unsold stuff gets sent to Ross, TJ Max or Kohls for resell again. That's pretty nice for walmart. I wonder if EE can do that.
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Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #151 on: June 27, 2012, 11:40 AM »
I don't think EE really has to worry about that. They actually sell through most of the basic figures they get.
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Offline McMetal

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #152 on: June 27, 2012, 01:10 PM »
Crazy to think it is almost July and we have pretty much had just 1 wave on the pegs all year. Of ANY line.

I think one thing that has been glaring in its absence is the role of the Hasbro "street team". What happened to them going out into stores and culling all the pegwarming detritus like they used to do?

Guy I know at Target says he hasn't seen their Hasbro rep all year.

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Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #153 on: June 27, 2012, 01:37 PM »
I have bumped into a local Hasbro rep a couple of times during my pre-work morning toy runs and while being a very nice lady, she really didn't strike me as a dedicated "go getter" - she did just what she needed to do and really didn't seem to be interested in even trying to clean up the Hasbro product on the aisle.

She did tell me, speaking strictly about the store we were in, that the manager was rejecting all orders for replenishment because there was so much stuff still in stock. The problem was that he was issuing blanket rejections  - so rejecting Vintage Collection even though they have like three Vintage figures, because they have 30+ Movie Heroes and Clone Wars figures.

With this example situation, I can't really blame her for having a "defeatist" attitude, because it's not like her superiors were saying "go ahead and pull the product" and the WalMart manager was (and still is) sitting on a lot of Star Wars junk that isn't selling.

No matter which way you want to approach the problems currently facing the line, the common denominator is always that Hasbro put out too much re-packaged junk this year. Pure and simple.
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #154 on: June 27, 2012, 03:46 PM »
Maybe, believe it or not, WalMart is actually being SMART - they have looked at sales trends, realized the product is a turd and want in the worst way to get their money back from Hasbro.

I have no doubt that the people making business decisions at Wal-Mart are much better at what they do than the folks at Hasbro.


She did tell me, speaking strictly about the store we were in, that the manager was rejecting all orders for replenishment because there was so much stuff still in stock. The problem was that he was issuing blanket rejections  - so rejecting Vintage Collection even though they have like three Vintage figures, because they have 30+ Movie Heroes and Clone Wars figures.

I bet that's a widespread thing... and once again, I blame Hasbro.  They should know that retailers are going to group all Star Wars action figures together rather than separating the lines. 


No matter which way you want to approach the problems currently facing the line, the common denominator is always that Hasbro put out too much re-packaged junk this year. Pure and simple.

Yep - Hasbro's fault.  But I expect they are going to come across as ******** and deflect the blame on retailers, a drop in Clone Wars TV ratings, and point the middle finger at collectors who have been supporting Star Wars for decades.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I am starting to hope Lucasfilm finds a new partner after the contract is up.   A different company that is more in tune with their market might even explore dioramas/playsets... because God knows Hasbro is clueless on that front. 

Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #155 on: June 27, 2012, 04:46 PM »
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I am starting to hope Lucasfilm finds a new partner after the contract is up.   A different company that is more in tune with their market might even explore dioramas/playsets... because God knows Hasbro is clueless on that front.

I've been hoping for this for quite some time. Any company that takes over would want to start from scratch and I have no interest in starting from scratch. So essentially, it would be my time to bow-out of Star Wars collecting. While it would suck that I would never get figure representations of anything new that came out post-2018, at least there would be a clearly defined "end point" with the Hasbro collection.

There is a part of me though that hopes that salvation can come, most likely in the form of a regime change or even them putting DePriest back in charge.

I so wish I could be there for the SDCC presentation, while I think most people will be polite and professional, with the way things have been this year, there has never been a greater possibility of fan backlash then there is this year - it would all depend on how the Star Wars brand team acts, if they act like "nothing's wrong" or blame outside factors, then that will just make things worse. If they basically pull a mea culpa and say they are working on fixing mistakes made, I think that will diffuse A LOT of issues.

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Offline Greedo The Green Menace

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #156 on: June 27, 2012, 08:47 PM »
One thing that would go a long way to fixing all of this is to axe Movie Heroes/Legends all together. Hasbros merchandise is competing with itself, you've got Obi Wans and Battle Droids and Mauls across multiple lines competing with each other. It makes no sense. Get rid of this extra assortment, because whether it's crappy versions or the ultra articulated versions, it makes no difference. If every kid in town already has an Obi Wan, they're not gonna buy another one just cuz it's on a different card or slightly more poseable, or has a slightly different accessory. I can understand having main characters available at all times, but mix it up a bit.

    In a wave of 5-6 new figures, fill out the rest of the case with whichever mains you want, throw in you're vader and maul if you want, then come the next assortment, bring out Luke and Anakin again, but never the same one back to back. This will go far in avoiding over saturation of any particular character. You could take it a step further and avoid putting any of the same character in a case. If you've got Jedi Luke in a case, don't put farm boy luke in there with him. Save him for the next batch. Just the slightest bit of thought being put into these cases can really make a difference. Two lines tops, one movie, one animated, distinctly different packaging so as not to confuse the brands.

Offline McMetal

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #157 on: June 27, 2012, 09:19 PM »
One thing that would go a long way to fixing all of this is to axe Movie Heroes/Legends all together. Two lines tops, one movie, one animated, distinctly different packaging so as not to confuse the brands.

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Like, 1000%.
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #158 on: June 28, 2012, 12:37 AM »
They could even combine Movie Heroes with Clone Wars, if they had to.  6 of each brand of figures in a case.  Or 8 Clone Wars, 4 Movie Heroes and just come up with a new name for that line. 
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 12:37 AM by CHEWIE »

Offline darth broem 2

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #159 on: June 28, 2012, 01:00 AM »
I wish they would just cancel the movie heroes line simply because they end up copying half of them into the vintage or regular lines anyway.  We don't need 4 Mauls out at the same time or 3-4 Vaders, Kenobis, and Anakins.  I know they are the main characters and all that but kill the multiples.  Grandma and Grandpa can find a Vader easily enough with just one version or two of each on the pegs. 

And please...knock down the price of the figures a couple of dollars.  Way overpriced for what they are.  I know...I know....the cost of plastics.  Retailers set the price....blah...blah.  You will actually move the product at a (gasp) lower price. 

For the love of God get those damn Phantom Menace figures off the freaking pegs.  Take them back Hasbro.  The retailers are to dumb to move them to the clearance aisle.  LOL! 

I can't buy cases because I can't hide them from the wife!  ;D

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #160 on: June 28, 2012, 10:36 AM »
Movie Heroes wouldn't be so bad if they used that line to get figures like Darth Nihilus, TFU Shaak Ti, etc. back into the mix.  But that's obviously not a good idea to them.

Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #161 on: June 28, 2012, 07:00 PM »
I think the simplest answer for me at this point is Lego or (for characters I really want) Sideshow.  Hasbro's made it completely cost-prohibitive to collect this line from a financial perspective, given the amount of money one devotes to either gas driving around in a futile attempt to actually find products in stores, or the amount of money one has to pay for shipping on their more-or-less internet exclusive Star Wars toys.  Quality-wise, Hasbro is going further and further downhill (more on that in a moment) and they're charging more and more for less and less with no real excuse other than "we can."  I'm really curious to see how the Q&As go at the summer conventions (starting this weekend at JoeCon) and how Hasbro responds to collector complaints (if they even do; I can honestly see them saying "NO QUESTIONS!" before the presentations of their PowerPoint).

As for the quality, I had an interesting situation a few weeks ago that I wanted to share, but didn't really know what forum to post it in, or if it was even relevant to Star Wars, as it doesn't involve SW but does involve two other Hasbro lines.  I bought two different Hasbro products on two consecutive days: the 6" Walmart exclusive Avengers Movie Hawkeye figure and a blue GI Joe Retaliation Cobra Commander (at Toys R Us).  When I opened Hawkeye, I noticed that one of the pins that connected his elbow joint to his forearm had not been assembled completely and any movement would cause the forearm to almost completely separate from the joint.  Luckily, having read many threads in JD's wonderful customs area, I was able to use some tweezers and the really hot water trick to soften the plastic and repair the joint.  Hawkeye still sits on my shelf aiming his bow and arrow and you'd never know that this had to be done.  But, alas, that is not the point.

Cobra Commander had a similar problem right out of the package, but this involved the right shoulder joint.  The plastic had not been attached completely and, as a result, his upper arm was simply hanging on by the equivalent of a plastic thread.  I examined him closely and tried to do the hot water trick, but given his construction, it was impossible to do, as I am not that skilled and would likely have burnt myself in the process.  So, I returned the CC to TRU and got my money back (the CC was placed in the damaged bin, but just this past week I noticed they had put it back on the shelf with its scotch-taped on bubble; I found this both amusing and sad, moreso considering how much TRU marks everything up these days).  Again, second toy from a second Hasbro line in two days that was damaged BEFORE I EVEN OPENED IT.

I figured enough was enough and called Hasbro Consumer Affairs, not to yell and scream but to point out that they had some quality control issues that I, as a (more or less) adult was able to fix but one that children (their supposed target audience) would NOT be able to fix.  This decrease in quality along with an increase in pricing was likely to affect their public perception as what parent is going to buy a toy that is broken out of the package before the kid even plays with it and then actually consider buying more Hasbro products?  They're going to look at it and say, "No, Bobby, I remember how Hawkeye's arm fell off when we opened him so I'm not buying any more Avengers."  The woman I spoke with was very nice and I believe in treating people considerately, especially when she probably had no earthly idea what I was talking about in the first place.  She, doing what she was no doubt trained to do, told me she would send me two 3 dollars off coupons for my next Hasbro purchase and forward my comments to their Customer Affairs team.  I thanked her for her time and that was that.

I tell that story to make the point that not only can Hasbro not get product to stores so people can actually buy it, but the product they are getting to stores is of an inferior quality on a more regular basis.  Many of us have complained about saggy Battle Droids or rubbery guns, and it seems like everything is getting this slipshod treatment now.  They're charging twice the original retail price for a figure from 2002 that is made of inferior materials and expecting the market to be happy with it.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: all employees see when they look at that wall of Vintage Qui-Gons and gobs of Movie Heroes is STAR WARS.  Hasbro has had years to work on case assortments and instead of learning, they seem to be regressing each and every day.  And yes, retail isn't ordering things from Hasbro, but the fault lies with Hasbro for putting out inferior products, time after time, charging a ridiculous premium for them, and then blaming everyone but themselves for their mistakes.  If nobody bought that Saga Darth Maul in 2002 because the action feature was horrible for 5 bucks, they're certainly not going to buy it now for 10, and definitely not if it's going to fall apart after you open the card. 

All this said, I would like to complete my "new" Vintage collection by the end of the year, because I feel that's going to be my jumping off point.  Hasbro has made collecting cost prohibitive (as I said before), they have made it a chore rather than an enjoyable hobby, and they have made it impossible to even collect because the figures aren't even being sent out in the real world to be purchased.  And that, to be quite blunt, is not cool.  When Lego releases their fall Star Wars sets, I'm going to be able to walk into Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Lego's retail stores, Barnes and Noble, and even K-Mart and buy that Jabba's Palace with its 10 mini figures and not have to worry about case ratios or scalpers or what have you and JUST BUY IT.  And I'm going to enjoy putting it together, and admiring it, and showing it off to people who will no doubt think I'm crazy for having a Lego Jabba's Palace to begin with, but it's going to be fun.  No "hunt" no fuss no muss.  No having to order it from Entertainment Earth or Big Bad Toy Store or whoever else (unless I want to do so and, you know what?  THEY'LL HAVE IT IN STOCK TOO) because Wal-Mart has a stack of old crap in the way.  When's the last time anybody here can honestly say they saw a figure online and thought "I'm going to go to Wal-Mart and pick that up" and actually was able to do it?

Even Sideshow, limited and high end though they may be, has their system set up so you know what to expect, what you're going to have to pay for it, and when you'll get it.  I knew the 12" Boba Fett was going on sale a certain day, I made accommodations to order mine, knew what it would cost, knew approximately when it would show up, and here we are about 10 months later and it will be here in about two weeks.  Hell, Commander Bacara came with one less gun than advertised due to a clerical error and Sideshow didn't ignore it: THEY SENT OUT AN EMAIL SAYING SO AND EVEN ALLOWED PEOPLE TO CANCEL IT WITHOUT PENALTY IF SOMEHOW HAVING ONE LESS GUN WAS A DEALBREAKER.  Hasbro just says, "Oh we had to cut costs" and doesn't bat an eye.  And you know what?  That's why I keep ordering stuff from Sideshow.  Because they care about the product they're selling and stand behind it.  It's people who seem to genuinely like Star Wars, who understand what it is to be a fan, and know that they're going to have loyal customers and get new ones because they treat people well and stand behind what they sell.  Ditto for Lego who, in the year since I've been out of my dark ages as an AFOL, have shown that they are the single-best company in terms of customer care and satisfaction that I've ever dealt with in ANY situation. 

So yes, that is why the future of Star Wars collecting, for me, is with Lego and Sideshow.  Because they have fun, interesting products that are of a high quality and that bring a smile to my face without me having to search like Indiana Jones for the Holy Grail in the desert to find it, only to have its arm fall off when I open it.  So keep on doing what you're doing Hasbro, and Battleship won't be the only disaster that you're known for.

Offline evenflow

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #162 on: June 28, 2012, 09:54 PM »
It seems like overall, Hasbro is writing off the collector market (especially with the T-crotch epidemic that they have going on and the rumored end of Marvel Universe). Once the vintage line ends, i see myself getting out of it. I am not excited but most of what has been shown and can't really think of that many figures left that i really want (I finally got Yarna a few years ago, and Kneesa is finally coming out). Outside of them introducing characters from the Droids cartoon I am pretty much content. I love the vintage packaging but that is really what is keeping me going. I already stopped buying battlepacks, sets, etc. a while ago. Distribution problems are another issue and in truth just drains my interest in the line (its not just with star wars either, all their lines seem to be plagued by it). As much as Mattel has their problems, i love the MOTUC line and subscription.  It makes things easier. Its not perfect by ANY means, but at least it really is a collector's line. Anyway, my future of Star Wars collecting looks pretty bleak.
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Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #163 on: June 29, 2012, 04:05 AM »
I'd not be sad if Vintage/ new old movie stuff ended. I now have Tarkin, Slave Leia, and Wedge on vintage cards, which was really my last goal for Star Wars. It's been a great ride, and it's experiencing the painful, drawn-out death I always knew it would right now, so just let it go, please. It brought me a lot of joy, but you can only kick a dead horse for so long, and if AOTC and ROTS in 3D ever actually happen, they aren't going to help any.
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Offline Brian

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #164 on: June 29, 2012, 09:14 PM »
It is going to really be interesting to see what is revealed/talked about at SDCC this year.  It seems like we get these "the line is ending, Hasbro stinks" talks every few years or so, but this time it seems to have a little bit more behind it.  There is a lot of collector fatigue, prices keep climbing, quality might be going down, and action figures in general just aren't that popular any more it seems (particularly with kids).  Plus, the people who actually do want them can't find the darn things.

As I've said before, I'll be in it in some capacity until the end, but I'd be ok with a slow down and condensing of the line as well.  As much as I like Star Wars, there's just too much of it out there these days.  I think it has gotten a bit overwhelming.  You can see collectors are losing interest, whether it is due to having nearly 20 years of the modern line, pricing, age, distribution etc.  For example, although they are priced higher than the already high pricepoint, I don't know if 5 years ago you would see new waves of figures stay up and available at places like Amazon like they do now.  You can still get many of the recent figures (that haven't made it to retail), and that didn't used to happen.  Sure, they are $12-13 each, but still that didn't stop in the past.  I think that shows the lack of "heat" behind the line at this point.

I'm not sure what would bring that back.  We've mentioned it in this thread before, but I honestly think something like a Legends (6" scale) approach to this line is the only thing that would really rocket up the interest.  I remember times when we'd see new stuff at SDCC, Toy Fair, or just leaked stuff online, and it would drive discussions for weeks or months due to the anticipation.  These days it only lasts a few days most often (until closer to release), and then it is even often to complain.  It is possible that if we get to the 3D releases of the OT, that might generate more interest (depending what the line would look like at that point), but maybe not.

Personally, I'm starting to gravitate more and more to only the OT stuff.  I still like PT and CW (and pick up a few things from both), but I'm really at the point where I'm running low on space (and I think the Mrs. might be losing patience with that aspect as well ;)) and after so many years of buying this (and other lines), it is just a heck of a lot of stuff.  I'll continue on with at least some of it (and may be one of the few that still get pretty excited about new stuff coming up), but as much as I like it I think I'd be ok with things winding down too.  I've often been a fan of a condensing of the line, and wouldn't mind seeing a return to the POTJ days of releases - 36-40 figures, some exclusive vehicles/etc. - it was easier (and cheaper) to keep up.

I can see some people's points where it is just too difficult to collect these days too (unless you just order online).  LEGO is something I've "tested the waters" with this year with a few sets, and it really is much easier to collect.  You know what's coming, generally when it is coming, and that it will probably be there for at least a year to pick up.  Hasbro's stuff is blink and you miss it (or it never shows at all), which is frustrating.  The case packs that have been mentioned are really a problem too.  I know it is a different retail landscape these days, but the vintage line managed to always have the "big guns" available, and still add in new characters, so why can't they do it today without backing up the entire line with pegwarming problems.  Anyways, way too long of a post here, but I think we're in for changes - and I think we need some.  Hopefully they won't be bad ones, but I think a "less is more" approach would be good for SW.  Ideally, one line would be nice (although I do like CW, but if it is being phased out).  Use all those nice figures they've already made over the years as the "greatest hits" approach (thinking the "ultimate" verisons), and supplement it with some collector figures and new sculpts.  One thing is for sure, if they do end up going the direction of that recent Bespin BP with less articulation, they better lower the price pretty considerably or they might lose nearly everyone.  I'm interested to see what SDCC brings.