Author Topic: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?  (Read 14980 times)

Offline Jeff

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #375 on: August 19, 2013, 01:18 PM »
Just looking at my nephews, they moved into the video game era much earlier and left "toys" behind about that time too, for the most part.  The one exception to that is LEGOs, they still like, ask for, and "play" with those (they are 11 and 13 years old).  Action figures almost seem like an 8 and under thing these days (or 20 and over), so things have changed a lot.

My oldest boys just turned seven this summer.  They are being raised in a house where there are 1000s of action figures for them to see and want.  And do you know what they put on their birthday lists this year?  LEGO (Star Wars, Ninjago, Chima, Batman) and Nintendo DS/3DS games (Mario, LEGO, DK, etc).  They wanted (and received) 3DSs for Christmas last year because about half of their friends already had a DS/3DS (at age 5/6!).

Don't get me wrong, the boys have a nice little pile of star wars action figures they amassed from age 4-6, but these days when we get to the toy section, it's LEGO first, video games second, and then they'll let dad look at the Star Wars guys. 

I read a theory not that long ago that the biggest thing hurting Hasbro Star Wars toys with kids was LEGO Star Wars toys... looking at my kids, I'd say that's definitely something to consider alongside the rise of video games/ipads/etc for kids.  $10 for an action figure or $10-12 for a LEGO army-builder pack with four minifigs and a little vehicle/playset?
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #376 on: August 19, 2013, 01:36 PM »
When I went to the Lego Kidsfest in Pittsburgh for the site, it was a sea of Lego Star Wars tshirts.  I totally agree with Jeff.  There is one toy that stays and its lego.  I think the endlessly creative dynamic can't be ignored.  Kids not only express themselves they get a sense of accomplishment and pride...  They can do anything their parents wallets allow.  The price is right.  Its all always available.  It's diverse.

Lego ftw.

Hasbro would be elbow deep in keep Star Wars if they could...  The two companies have had rocky pasts over Star Wars.  Hasbro is hindered by more issues that Lego never will be.
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Offline Darby

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #377 on: August 19, 2013, 02:48 PM »
I see this too and for the first time at Chicago Comic Con this year (only one I go to regularly) there was a real presence of vendors selling LEGO, loose and all, and this was really where the action was with the kids. I think the kid aspect has moved to LEGO in force. It's creative, imaginative, and endless.

Offline Brian

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #378 on: August 19, 2013, 08:51 PM »
I see the same thing with our daughter.  Now granted, it isn't necessarily the same as little boys as we have plenty of princesses and barbies in our house right now as well, but she's always been into action figures/superheroes/etc. as well (the new Turtles show/toys are her favorite things in the world right now).  That being said, she does gravitate more towards games on the iPad (or our Wii), and LEGO sets as well.  When the new LEGO sets are out, she gets super excited and that aisle is always the first one we head to at TRU or Target.  I'm an action figure collector first and foremost, but I have to admit, after starting in the last couple years, LEGO really has things running nicely these days.  The stuff is so much fun, and always easy to find, which is a nice change to what we're used to.  It is nice knowing that, at least for the most part, if there is a LEGO set you want you can stop in and pick it up basically any time during a 6-12 month period (depending on the set).

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #379 on: August 20, 2013, 02:59 AM »
I was out this past weekend and I NEVER see kids looking at Star Wars toys...    I really never have even since the early days of modern, seen many kids looking Star Wars stuff over...  here and there, but just not frequently.

Then Sunday this girl and her younger brother are dragging their father through toys, the girl says, "Let's look at Star Wars toys!" and they ran to Lego which I thought was funny.  I finally see kids want Star Wars and it's not the Hasbro aisle even.
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Offline Qui-Gon Jim

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #380 on: August 21, 2013, 01:05 PM »
They can do anything their parents wallets allow.  The price is right.  Its all always available.  It's diverse.
Plus every set can "add on" to a previous set.  Compatibility is never, ever an issue.  There is so much more upside for Lego, it is ridiculous.

Offline Nicklab

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #381 on: August 21, 2013, 01:23 PM »
LEGO has done nothing but grow over the years.  Their foray into the world of licensed merchandise has definitely been successful since they've been able to take on properties like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and others with seeming ease.  And the fact that kids learn by playing with LEGO will continue to make it an attractive option for parents.

As for Hasbro & Star Wars?  I think we're in the middle of a transitional period.  Clearly, the 6" figure line is something that makes the Star Wars license much more competitive with other intellectual properties.  Just looking around the boys toys aisle, a good majority of the movie properties out there are primarily focused on 6" figure lines.  Marvel & DC Comics, NECA, McFarlane and others are focused on that 6" scale.  Because that's what collectors want.  The new 6" Star Wars line opens things up on that front.  And thus far, I've only been able to find a single 6" Star Wars Black Series figure at retail.  Initial indications are that the line is selling well.  Will that continue?  We'll see.

As for the 3.75" line?  Again, it's a wait and see game.  Will lower articulation figure outsell the premium articulation figures?  And will 6" outsell the 3.75" line?  These are things that Hasbro is going to be studying closely in advance of the Episode VII toy line launch of Spring 2015.  And no doubt those sales figures are going to shape what comes to market when the Episode VII line is unveiled.
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Offline Brian

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #382 on: September 9, 2013, 12:26 PM »
Adam P sort of touched on this in his Q and A this week, but how long do you think the Black Series (at least the 3 3/4" line) is going to last?  Will it go all the way until the new movie (or the new toon, next year)?  Just three to four waves and then done?  It just seems like it might not be a very long-lived line, but we'll see.

Offline Nicklab

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #383 on: September 9, 2013, 12:46 PM »
I'm thinking it's probably going to last through 2014.  We'll probably have the 3 waves in 2013, and perhaps 6 waves in 2014.  After that we'll probably see a preview series for the Episode VII line in early 2015, followed by the full-blown launch of that line in Spring '15.
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Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #384 on: September 10, 2013, 08:51 AM »
The way I read Adam's comments was that he feels that we will eventually end up with two lines:

6" Black Series (or whatever they call it) for collectors
3.75" 5POA Legends/Saga (or whatever they call it) for kids

He's saying that the highly articulated, highly detailed 3.75" line is going to go away - period.

I will be incredibly disappointed if the only way I can get EP7 figures is in the 5POA style.
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Offline Darby

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #385 on: September 10, 2013, 01:32 PM »
I think the death of the articulated 3.75 inch line is a little exaggerated right now, but it's not out of the question. The fact is that Hasbro is on record saying that the Vintage line over the last few years has been its worst seller in the modern era. We've all seen the proof of this. That's the economy but combine that with rising prices, terrible distribution, and yeah, this line is serious trouble.

People coming back for the 6 inch may jump in 3.75 again, but the character selection is terrible. Casual buyers will not drop $10 on Biggs or some random Jedi. In order for this line to be successful the price has to come down and the selection has to even out. That means less and less opportunity for background characters but there are very, very few that still need representation in this scale.

With the new movie I can see this segment making a comeback, but it's going to be a difficult path ahead.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #386 on: September 10, 2013, 06:47 PM »
I hinted at this a long time before TBS 3.75" was released, but basically its end was already in the works...  Consider it a stop-gap.  Hasbro was already moving on...  to what?  That's not as simple, but suffice it to say TBS as a line for 3.75" was already moving onward.  The packaging was more new than the planned figures, more or less. :)

6" was an experiment.  I think it'll continue, but not sure what the deal is on its packaging.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #387 on: September 11, 2013, 11:34 AM »
At the moment, I'm more concerned with "what will we get in the collector 3.75" line" than I am with whether or not it will exist in the future.

Once the Sequel juggernaut starts, with the "one-off" side-story movies squeezed inbetween ep7/8/9, will there be room for OT 3.75" collector figures at retail?  Or will the toy lines be so movie/tv focused from 2015 and beyond that the days of "obscure OT background alien" are over? :-\

It's probably a pipe-dream at this point, but my best case scenario would be:
- a 5-POA 3.75" sequel/new movie line for kids filled with gimmicky movie figures for kids (and some collectors)
- a 6" line for collectors with 2 waves of movie-inspired 6" figs in the Summer/Fall and 2 waves of OT/PT figures in the Winter/Spring
- a "Star Wars Universe" style 3.75" collector line that can give us figures from all over the place - OT, Prequels, CW, EU, KOTOR/SWTOR, Rebels, Ep7/8/9, Stand-Alones, etc.   

If Hasbro doesn't find a way to include OT/PT/EU figures in the 3.75" collector line going forward, then I guess I won't really be all that upset if it dies. :(
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Offline Brian

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #388 on: September 11, 2013, 12:29 PM »
That's something I've really thought about as well, as Jeff mentioned, could this be the last hurrah for figures (particularly background/never before made figures) from the OT (as well as PT/EU)?  If we do indeed start seeing a new SW movie every year starting in 2015, you would think the majority of the resources would be dedicated to those movies each year.  I mean, in general, we've gotten a lot of things covered so that is nice...but it would be nice to knock a few more off the list in the next year or so (or however long the Black Series lasts).

It really feels like we might be headed for the 5 POA stuff by the time the new movie(s) starts, along with the 6" line for "collectors", but you just never know.  It would be nice to see more of a collector line like Jeff mentioned to run alongside it, but it is difficult to say if Hasbro would be having all of these lines running at once during a movie year.  I really wonder what the future holds at that point.

Offline P-Siddy

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #389 on: September 11, 2013, 01:45 PM »
Granted that the current TBS choices are pretty much based on the 3D movies that never came to be, but yeah, with the new movies coming out every year, I'm curious to see what happens to the older movies' (and EU) figures.  Will that be a 6" thing only or will 3.75" continue with collector being the focus (or will it be 5 PoA-focused?).  If we're suppose to be getting yearly movies soon, it'd be nice to get some never-been-done figures out of the way because it may be difficult to get them later.