Author Topic: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?  (Read 14569 times)

Offline Darby

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #435 on: December 7, 2013, 11:07 AM »
That's a great point about the CommTech Reader. Way ahead of its time and shy of the mark of real interactivity. If they had integrated that technology into the vehicles/playsets, or beyond to any kind of gaming, then maybe. But that was 15 years ago (!!!). The more I think about it, it's the toy industry in general, rather than any particular brand, that is suffering right now.

We've talked about it before, but SW is actually proving to be somewhat bulletproof - very few if any brands could survive the (many) near death experiences it has had, and that includes right now, post TPM 3D. The line chugs along, hobbled, but alive. The toy industry is suffering from rising production costs, labor costs, loss of customers to video games/electronics, and I think the internet - Amazon and their batshit prices are a great example of the slow bleed online has had on retail toy shopping. Who out there right now on the fence on 6 inch is going to pick up those shelf warming Lukes or R2's when they can get them for $10 online? $9? Maybe it gets them into the game long term, but it also keeps the shelves nice and warm.

A gigantic part of collecting for most of us for a long time has been the hunt. That's slowly eroded, and with the state of things being what they are, we've reached a tipping point where ordering online is really your only option. That only escalates the situation at retail, and you have articles out there now about Toys R Us struggling quite a bit. If TRU shrank or went under, you're talking about the effective end of the retail collector. Wal-Mart may be the largest toy buyer in the world, but TRU supports such a broad range of lines unavailable anywhere else that the toy industry would be reduced to whatever kids play with right before they turn on their first iPad.

I think there will always be a place for action figures, and Star Wars toys, but what does that look like? No idea at this point.

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #436 on: December 7, 2013, 01:06 PM »
That's a great point about the CommTech Reader. Way ahead of its time and shy of the mark of real interactivity. If they had integrated that technology into the vehicles/playsets, or beyond to any kind of gaming, then maybe. But that was 15 years ago (!!!). The more I think about it, it's the toy industry in general, rather than any particular brand, that is suffering right now.

There was a second generation of CommTech chips in the works.  The figures that were to be offered with that second wave of CommTech technology eventually became what we saw in the POTJ line.  Rumor had it that when you placed multiple second gen CommTech chips on the reader that they would interact with one another.  But from a marketing standpoint the concept fell flat.  Hasbro probably would have been better served by packing a figure with the CommTech reader, but it's all ancient history.

The action figure segment seems to be reaching for SOMETHING to bring it back.  But I think it's really suffering because the market has become oversaturated by properties that THINK they can sustain an action figure line, and a shift towards video games on either console systems, computers and handheld devices.  I suspect that what may help is if we see a game developed by both Hasbro and EA with content that's unlocked by codes with a figure.  Will that happen?  We'll see.
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Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #437 on: December 9, 2013, 04:34 AM »
I think TRU and other such toy stores will survive. People are buying toys for the kids for Christmas and TRU is packed. Sure, people are not buying Star Wars figures but they are buying things like TMNTs, Legos, dolls, craft-type stuff, bikes, hot wheels, nerf, video games, etc. Toys do sell but regular people buy for gifts or implus buys for their kids. The Lego store down at Downtown Disney is always crazy packed. Collector oriented stuff doesn't sell at traditional stores. I think we get a little focused on our own little area of the toy world and think the toy industry is dieing but don't look at what kids really want. It ain't Star Wars but maybe superheros instead.
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Offline speedermike

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #438 on: December 12, 2013, 03:30 PM »
Kids love Star Wars, but they want SW Lego.

As much as I love 3 /34 figures, I don't blame them for loving the Lego figs.  They have vehicles and playsets. They fit in the vehicles, they hold their weapons, and there's big selection at any one time.  They are, closer to the Kenner line than the Black Series will ever be.
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Offline Brian

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #439 on: December 12, 2013, 09:16 PM »
I really do wonder about the future of Star Wars action figures (and action figures in general).  Obviously, things will likely pick up a lot when new movies start to hit, but what will things look like at that point?  The example of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line was brought up, and as someone who follows that line pretty closely (our daughter is way into the show and toys - and has a complete lineup so far), plus working Black Friday this year I can definitely say - those toys move.  I couldn't believe how many Turtles figures (not to mention the larger stuff, role play, vehicles, etc.) sold throughout the weekend, and in general.  The Star Wars section was pretty much untouched even with all of the shoppers coming through.  Granted, there isn't current entertainment, which I think makes a pretty big difference with casual/gift buying people, but it was a big difference.

On the TMNT subject as well, that line just seems to be run pretty well.  Just keeping track and shopping for all of the different characters for our daughter, I've noticed that we've been able to find everything at retail (usually several times) - things are restocked consistently.  Plus, there is a nice variety to the line.  Sure, there are multiple versions of the Turtles, but she has at least a dozen villains/supporting characters as well in the first year+ of the line.  They come with a nice array of accessories and all that, most are well articulated, and usually run about $8.  Anyways, enough about Turtles, but it really is the model of an action figure line right now it seems.  I just wonder what the make-up of the Star Wars action figure line will be going forward.  I have a feeling 2014 will be a relatively slow year, much like this year (but hopefully without the 6-8 month break to start things off).  I know I'm really looking forward to that Yoda/Luke wave on the way, as well as the 6" stuff.  Toy Fair should be interesting.

Offline Qui-Gon Jim

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #440 on: December 13, 2013, 12:33 PM »
I've noticed that we've been able to find everything at retail (usually several times) - things are restocked consistently.  Plus, there is a nice variety to the line.  Sure, there are multiple versions of the Turtles, but she has at least a dozen villains/supporting characters as well in the first year+ of the line. 

This echoes my experience with a different line I have been getting for my son, Disney's Planes.  There was one character, Rochelle, that was packed at 1 per case for one wave.  My SW experience warned me to expect a tough find on this one.  I've seen this one on three or four different occasions, and it isn't because these things sit.  Every store we frequent regularly turns over their stock (pegs empty then full then empty again).

I think other companies "get" it where Hasbro just doesn't.