Author Topic: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?  (Read 17051 times)

Online Nicklab

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #225 on: January 26, 2013, 02:01 PM »
I don't think it's necessarily a shift in costs for the existing toy business model.  And I don't think it's a case of Hasbro VS Mattel VS McFarlane, etc. 

I think it's more of a case of the toy industry we know as a whole VS companies like Apple, etc.  Apple devices and similar personal electronics are proving to be more of a kid's play platform.  Especially since devices like iPods and iPads are designed to support applications/software that appeal to kids as well as adults.  If you look at parents discretionary spending on their kids, I think you'll find a growing shift away from the toy aisle toward these personal electronic platforms and their related software / apps.

THIS is the big fight that Hasbro and other toy business companies need to be wary of.  I think they're far more worried about the Apples of the world than any other traditional toy company.
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Offline Jayson

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #226 on: January 27, 2013, 03:47 PM »
I'd like to see Hasbro employ a more interactive experience with the basic figure line. Imagine if each figure included a unique QR code that allows kids/collectors to download bio/stat/digital trading card that could be used trade or track your collection. Toy play patterns are evolving and I think this concept could bridge a gap that Hasbro (at least for Star Wars figures/vehicles) hasn't tapped into.

For 2013, Hasbro is pimping their Fighter Pods line pretty heavily. That ad. concept could easily be tweaked to a more educational experience to let kids learn more about each character/vehicle in a new way.
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Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #227 on: January 27, 2013, 09:26 PM »
I think it is possible in the near future that Star Wars figures get included in Disney's new Infinities video game. Basically this game is a cross between Skylanders and Minecraft. You put a figure on a pedistol and you can use the figure in a game within a virtual playset. The first figures released for this game will be ones from Pirates of the Caribean, the Incredibles and Monsters University. I could totally see Episode 7 figures having this additional play concept.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #228 on: January 28, 2013, 01:03 AM »
See, I don't think it is a chicken and egg argument, to go back to the earlier issue...  I think it's pretty flat out that, since 2008, figures have gone up, extras and quality (some, not all) has decreased...  cardbacks are cheaper, paint aps are cheaper, accessories and pack-ins are less or non-existant.  But prices went up, steadily.

Hasbro's made it abundantly clear that reworking pricepoints is an issue...  That's why you see the Class I set format changing, Class II ships changing, etc.  There's obvious changes there to that issue.

And for a lot longer than since last January, Star Wars figures haven't done as well as they did for many years.  It wasn't like January hit and Star Wars suddenly died from that.  2012 assortments are definitely a place to point a finger at Hasbro, but Hasbro banked on TPM3D being popular...  So did Lucasfilm, and McDonald's, and Pepsi, and Lays, and whoever else put money into the idea of that film coming back out.

That's the risk's Hasbro has taken with every movie release, and some have done better than others.  2002 was a failure too.  This isn't their first rodeo with bad decisions on a movie release.

It just screwed them, top to bottom, at a time when retail support seems, maybe just to me, to be thin at best.  Toys R Us is the only one sticking, and for them it's all they do so what else can they do really?

HTS.com isn't Hasbro...  It's been said a lot, but collectors have to differentiate the two.  Hasbro can't just say to them, "Well take this stuff and sell it!  Here's what it costs!", because they're a wholely separate company under the Hasbro umbrella.  Hell, THEY have to ask Hasbro for exclusives and work out a deal similar to any other retailer.  It's my understand THEY were the ones to do a HTS.com exclusive at C6 till they decided it's too costly to do C6 so they didn't go.  Brian's Toys stepped in and took it.  I may be off on some of those details but that was my understanding at the time.

I think what's being said is a natural progression going forward for the line but also to some degree all toys.  Interactivity is ever-increasing.  Every store has an ap.  Every company has a site.  From Social Media to free online games, etc.  Action figures aren't always "it".

At the same time though, something Hasbro's relied upon (selling the same figure, again and again), is becoming increasingly difficult.  I think you can tie that somewhat to the decreasing attention span of kids.  Life's changing and Hasbro has to change with it.

I think the line's in for serious shifts.  I think collectors won't like them all, or even many of them.  I like figures, and figures done well, and for me that's what I fear I'll lose (at a fair price).  The problem there is, I'm an old guy with a pretty disturbingly focused attention span on a toy line I've collected since 1995, and that's not counting of course Vintage I was collecting from childhood.  I'm not who Hasbro can always rely on to carry it, and I'm not who they have to try to hook into something and keep them hooked on it for as long as they can.  So what I like may be taking a back seat to something I hate.  Or several something's I hate, and one I can maybe tolerate a little bit.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #229 on: January 28, 2013, 09:54 AM »
I think the line's in for serious shifts.  I think collectors won't like them all, or even many of them.  I like figures, and figures done well, and for me that's what I fear I'll lose (at a fair price).

Like others have mentioned in this and other threads, when you look at the plans for Iron Man 3  and Spiderman, you can see pretty easily where things are headed.

Simple, 5POA figures for $6 each.  A more "deluxe" line of figures for $10 (Iron Man Assemblers, Spiderman Power Webs).

There may be room for separate "premium" collector lines (Marvel still seems to have Legends for around $15 each), but all signs show a push towards the $6 price point for the basic figure lines (with "basic" being the key word).  Looks like they borrowed a LOT from Mattel's very well selling $5 Dark Knight 5POA figures.

A lot of folks speculated this would be the new direction for the lines when those 5POA battle packs debuted last year...  I'm just glad that they don't seem to expect us to pay $10 for 5POA figures at least...  of course, Star Wars has yet to be revealed so who knows if they will come at the Marvel $6 price point or not.   :-\
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Offline Brian

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #230 on: January 28, 2013, 11:46 AM »
I was just mentioning the same thing in the "Legends" thread.  More and more lines (specifically superhero based lines) seem to be going with the "cheap/small figures for kids, 6" scaled more expensive figures for collector" type lineups.  I wonder if Star Wars would be headed the same way.  I can't say I'm all that impressed with the quality of things like Green Lantern, Dark Knight Rises, or the newer Ultimate Spider-Man or Iron Man 3 small scale stuff so I sort of hope Star Wars doesn't go that way.  But, at the same time, I can see where they have slowly priced themselves out of the kid market (which they covet), and are even getting to the point where collectors are jumping ship.

If we go back to the days of 5 POA for $6 for Star Wars, I wonder what the reaction might be.  It seems like the majority of people here really like the articulation (and I do as well), but I also remember getting my first POTF2 figures (or even into POTJ) and not necessarily having a big problem with the smaller articulation count then (not knowing the potential for more I guess too much).  Now there are continuing rumors of the Legends scaled stuff for Star Wars, which I thought was a great idea to increase interest in the brand prior to the whole Disney/new movies announcement.

At the end of the day though, Star Wars is a 3 3/4" brand to me.  That's how it started, and it really revolutionized the action figure industry with the ability to have vehicles, playsets, etc. and a broader figure lineup.  I hope that Hasbro keeps that scale going (I think they will), and hopefully don't cut back on things too much.  I was some one who sort of liked the Battle Pack Bespin Luke figure (even with the reduced articulation), but that was because I already had a super articulated version as well.  I wonder if it would be as easy to take if there wasn't that option with new characters/versions from these upcoming movies.  I'm all for bringing prices down, but I wonder how many people like us here on the forums would stick with the line if it went to 5 POA, $6 price, but nicely sculpted/painted figures.  I'm hoping we get a clearer idea of the future at Toy Fair and beyond, but I'm wondering if we won't really know the picture until the new movies hit.

Offline speedermike

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #231 on: January 28, 2013, 12:01 PM »
If they go with lower articulation I just hope they keep up the accuracy, sculpt and paint quality. 
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Offline Jeff

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #232 on: January 28, 2013, 12:07 PM »
If we go back to the days of 5 POA for $6 for Star Wars, I wonder what the reaction might be....

... I wonder how many people like us here on the forums would stick with the line if it went to 5 POA, $6 price, but nicely sculpted/painted figures.

I think they will get much better reception on characters we don't already have.  For example, I'm probably not going to buy a 5POA Darth Vader for $6 when I already have so many Darth Vader figures.  Same with Clones or Stormtroopers or whatever.    BUT, when it comes to Episode VII?  I may bite on simple 5POA figures of the new characters simply becuase I don't already have figure versions of them yet.  Then they are free to give me better articulated versions as Ep8 and 9 come out and I'll buy them all over again, just like I did in the transition from POTF2 to TVC.  It's the action figure circle of life!  (And, in many ways, a sad commentary on my inability to quit buying this crap over and over again  :-[).
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Offline McMetal

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #233 on: January 28, 2013, 12:54 PM »
Hasbro, I'll make you a deal:

You make Clone Wars figures with 5 POA for $6 and I'll buy doubles of all of them.

My terms?

1) You must continue producing them in the source-accurate animated style

2) You must resume producing key supporting characters, IE: anyone with a speaking role in more than 4 episodes

Deal?  ;)
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Offline Diddly

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #234 on: January 28, 2013, 01:12 PM »
There may be room for separate "premium" collector lines (Marvel still seems to have Legends for around $15 each), but all signs show a push towards the $6 price point for the basic figure lines (with "basic" being the key word).  Looks like they borrowed a LOT from Mattel's very well selling $5 Dark Knight 5POA figures.

Wait, do we have any sales data for those TDKR figures? Because all of the stores near me were clogged with those things, and I'm pretty sure exactly zero figures were sold. Even local grocery stores got in awful yellow/green/orange Batman repaints that were priced at $3, and they have four pegs clogged with them.

Back to Star Wars, sorry, but I'm out if articulation goes back to 5 POA. I could tolerate a bare minimum level of articulation ala the 2006 Saga Collection. Figures that had about 9-11 POA (ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, swivel elbows, swivel hips, ball jointed knees, swivel wrists) were genuinely well received, as long as they were sculpted in a neutral position. I think we've all agreed that the AT-AT Driver and the Death Star Gunner are two of the best figures from that line, and they both had this minimum standard of articulation. And I think I could live with that for $7-ish.

But 5 POA? Just no... not in this day and age. Sure that was okay back in the 90's and early 2000's but things have changed, stuff evolves... I feel it would be like Microsoft announcing that their next Xbox is going to be standard definition, no DVD/Blu-Ray player, and no wireless connectivity. A step backwards. I don't even think I would buy new characters from the new trilogy at 5 POA because they wouldn't fit in with the figures I have now. Yeah they might look good but you can't play with them pose them on shelves very well.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #235 on: January 28, 2013, 01:48 PM »
I'd be torn, but I have thought about it a lot, and at $6 a pop I'd be more interested in lower articulated figures.  If we were lucky, Hasbro would TRY to add more than 5 POA, but I don't know how lucky we'd be.  Angle-cut elbows maybe?  Wrists?

I'd be interested in newer characters though, so long as the price is LOW.  It has to be a low price.  Anything above $6 and a 5 POA figure is a pure POS figure.

And I could hope some premium $10 line continues in quality we see now...  NOTHING less though.  It's gotten ridiculous with the **** paint aps at times.  So $10 premium and $6 non-premium...  I'd be selective, and probably far more than I ever was before, but I'd probably buy...  I'd also probably buy for customizing again, something I haven't done with the current line's incarnation much at all.  I basically went from buying 3 of everything almost to 1 of most with some stuff I passed on completely.  That was a huge drop for me, and all because of their penny pinching.

I'm still in a holding pattern though.  I'll not be shocked at all if the 6" figure line winds up coming true.  Not a single bit of surprise there.
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Offline P-Siddy

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #236 on: January 28, 2013, 02:05 PM »
2) You must resume producing key supporting characters, IE: anyone with a speaking role in more than 4 episodes

Well, there are some cool figures that didn't last 1 episode, so I wouldn't limit it.  ;)

As for 5 PoA for less money, I don't know how I'd feel about it.  I think I would be very selective on the ones that are that way. ..buy 'em if I like 'em.  It depends on the quality too.  If the sculpt and pain apps are bad, then I'm probably all out.  If they do a collectors and kids line, then I'd focus on the collectors line.  Give us good, obscure figures (with sculpt, great paint apps and 10+ PoA) but limit the # per year, I can do that while they still catering to the kids with the other line. 

I'm still on the fence about New Trilogy figures, about whether I'll get into them or just focus mostly on OT figures since they mean more to me.  It'll probably depend on how I feel about the movie.  If the 6" figures come to fruition, it depends on what they look like.  I don't think I'll go all in, but I might get my main heroes, villains and Bounty Hunters. 

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #237 on: January 28, 2013, 02:34 PM »
Here's a way to look at it...

Is Ellors Madak worth $5 or $6 to you?  Forget what you paid at the time because times changed.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #238 on: January 28, 2013, 03:07 PM »
Wait, do we have any sales data for those TDKR figures?

Sorry, I wasn't talking final sales to consumer numbers, I was talking sales to retailers numbers.  I know from a Target source that Target ordered more Batman $5 figures than a lot of Hasbro lines last Summer.  Some of it was popularity (the GD Batman!), but a lot of it was the price.  They could afford to take more risk because the potential clearance loss was lower than if it was a $10 line.  Plus the "impulse buy" was higher with a $5 item, so they got used in a lot of impulse buy locations around the store, including the front checkout aisles (where a Star Wars figure hasn't been pegged in years).
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Offline speedermike

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #239 on: January 28, 2013, 03:30 PM »
Yeah, but those Batman figures were one step above Happy Meals.  The Bane figure was just horrible.  It looked like it had maybe three colors of paint.  I doubt SW would ever get that cheap looking, but that's the sort of quality I would pass on.  If they could do them like the Target Battle Packs, then I would really like them.

Speaking of that, any thoughts as to the six figures in those battle packs (Luke Bespin, Fett, Vader, Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon and Maul)...perhaps they will be the first carded inexpensive figures?
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