Author Topic: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs  (Read 2438 times)

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« Reply #45 on: February 18, 2015, 04:26 PM »
I think some of the wave breakdowns also falls into the realm where they're balancing waves financially...  Solid wave of all new is tough to do.  Rebels seemed like they were trying to phase it in with the existing MS and Legends stuff.

To be fair, I've not seen a Kanan, Ezra, Chopper, or Hera (is she out?) at all.  I have seen Zeb's set, and I saw Sabine at Target once.

I see both sides of the argument...  I didn't know what the first answer was, but seeing the second answer, I kind of see why Hasbro feels they've done well in the last year or two.  There are some pretty good female characters on their rundown, we're getting two Leia's, same costume, different scales soon...  Slave Leia's a top-demand figure, an outfit that's transcended into pop culture (for better or worse), and one of her more empowered outfits since she kills the dude that put her in it.  I dunno.

I think right now there aren't male characters to buy, nor female, haha.  I wanted Chopper, but if I don't get him that's ok.  But I also have never seen a sniff of him or the wave he was in, so I may have to deal without.

I think I'd be more annoyed with Disney, who I think made Hera and Sabine as kind of an answer to this outrage over lacking female characters in Star Wars, but I also feel they could've (and perhaps should've) gone the extra mile making either Kanan female, or Ezra, but not both of them human white males.  I'd have dug seeing Kanan a woman, and Ezra and her having a perhaps rough relationship because of that?  "Judge me by my gender, do you?"

Maybe cliche or something, but I'd find it a more interesting relationship dynamic I guess, than just the dudes going off and being forcey.

Anyway, off track there...

I'm not sure what to make of the question or answer really.  Was it a direct quote, or paraphrased?  If it was paraphrased, what was the exact direct quote then, assuming there's audio or whatever of it?  Without all that info it's kinda tough to say whether it was misquoting by one party or backpedaling by the other party, right?

It also is a weird situation at Toy Fair where people are really essentially fighting for time to talk to Hasbro reps amongst each other, especially when it's busier (not that it was this year).  And of course it's not something that's as private and controlled as SDCC is, so the answers can come a little on the quicker side.  What may seem dismissive was maybe not intended, but still came off that way because Q's and A's are getting rattled off fast.

I'd like to know more, really, about the question and the answer, verbatim, at least.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« Reply #46 on: February 18, 2015, 04:29 PM »
Okay, but the fact is that they did release Chopper and Zeb with the female figures still coming in a later wave.  While all of these have been hard to find, some people actually have Zeb and Chopper.  Pretty much no one has Hera and Sabine, who are at least equal-time cast members.  It's convenient to say that they have other female figures or they could have done this or that, but there is clearly a pattern of hesitation or bias when it comes to female figures.  When they are produced, they're usually in later waves and in limited numbers (per case) versus other characters.  Multiple versions of Ahsoka are among the hardest figures to find from their respective lines.  Flip over to other toylines like DC or Marvel. There are no females I'm aware of in the current DC 4" line.  The hardest figure to find from Marvel 4" Infinites?  The Wasp.  I see lots of Spiderman and Captain America Legends figures collecting dust, but there's virtually no sign of Spiderwoman, Black Cat, or Black Widow.  Even in the Guardians line, Gamora is among the hardest to find. 

Its just frustrating that after decades of selling figures, Hasbro and their ilk can't come to terms with anyone buying their product outside of 7-12 year old boys.
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Offline Darby

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Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2015, 04:37 PM »
To Jesse's point, I'd be very curious to on the exact nature of Hasbro's original comment given the storm brewing over this now. Was the original response paraphrased? Out of context? Did Hasbro really blow off the question and are now back peddling? Are the people making hay over this conscious of what has and hasn't happened in the brand relative to female figures in even the last 2 years? Or what's about to happen? Numerous Leia's are coming here in just the next few months. I've always been a huge proponent of female characters and their representations in toys, but this whole argument needs some perspective.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« Reply #48 on: February 18, 2015, 04:51 PM »
Hasbro has outright said in the past female characters don't sell as well as male characters, for what that's worth.  Sort of surprised that statement's not come up in all this debate actually.

I know Torryn Farr was one of the most short-packed TBS figures, but is one of the worse sellers...  That could be a sign though that collectors themselves aren't as into the hobby too.  Even a reseller nearby with a store in the mall has her on sale, haha.

Personally I can only own 2 Rebels figures (Stormtrooper aside) total.  I have only ever seen Sabine and Zeb, and I can get Zeb right now I know.  Sabine I'm not sure what Target's stock is like.

I've not seen any other figure from the series, personally.

If Hasbro's #'s say female characters don't sell as well, should they still make more of them anyway?  Is there justification there for them to not make as many or are they just not doing something right with the female figures on their end and they would sell well if not for their own mistakes?  I dunno.
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Offline Qui-Gon Jim

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Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« Reply #49 on: February 18, 2015, 05:18 PM »
Additionally, even 6" Greedo calls 6" Leia a peg warmer.

Offline McMetal

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Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« Reply #50 on: February 18, 2015, 05:19 PM »
Great discussion, and certainly a few topics here of particular interest to me.

First, to the "Q&A". I'm glad someone referenced the SSG vs JTA chats, because to me they could not have been more different. SSG asked some good questions, got some good answers (yay, Ghost!) and did not inject any sort of editorializing or personal complaints in their write-up. (Such as "too many other people at those darn other sites kept interrupting me!" or "I'm not asking all these negative questions that I solicited on my own site and wrote down and brought with me anyway for some inexplicable reason!")

Maybe the overall tenor of the questions is a reflection of the personality/maturity level of the fan base they have cultivated to this point. Maybe all those front page articles about the line's impending doom and OMG WTF are you doing now, Hasbro?!?! have had a trickledown effect on the people that read that stuff regularly, so that they cannot help but frame everything in a critical and frightening light?

It's nice to want to interact with the site members in some way, but maybe Paul should just come up with his own questions from now on. Or solicit some from other sites...I'm sure JD could have provided him with a few quality ones. I don't think that kind of snarkiness is necessarily representative of the collector community in general.

As far as the topic of female action figures, this has always been a sore issue for me. I have two young daughters, and I don't want their gateway into the world of action figures to be some humiliated woman in a metal bikini. So no thanks Hasbro. Hera and Sabine scream "Girl Power". Yeah, we got them as figures, but only in two packs, not single carded, and only after the primary male figures had long been out. The message sure seems to be "we don't think we can possibly sell these losers on their own". And they couldn't even put out Sabine with a removable helmet, which they did with Ezra. I guess they figure if they disguise her maybe noone will realize she's a girl. And to date there have been NO female characters made in the larger scales such as 12" or 20" or even 31". (Again, we got Ezra, Kanan, and even Kallus who is a more minor character than Hera OR Sabine)

I do recall them saying that female figures don't sell as well as male figures, but I think it really depends on the character choices. Season 3 Ahsoka in the CW line for example, was an oustanding seller. And yes, I'm still bitter about not getting Duchess Satine or Bo-Katan in the animated line despite them having major roles. Maybe Hasbro just needs to work on figuring out how to market more effectively to that segment of their audience.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« Reply #51 on: February 18, 2015, 05:48 PM »
Hasbro has outright said in the past female characters don't sell as well as male characters, for what that's worth.  Sort of surprised that statement's not come up in all this debate actually.

Hasbro stating something doesn't make it true.  I'm not at all inclined to believe that statement, especially when they post-edit Q&A responses to save face.  What's the last female figure you recall pegwarming?  Legacy Yarna? 

Look, I certainly don't have visibility to the entirety of retail, but I don't know how you can consistently find a full line of Avengers or Captain America or Spiderman sitting on shelves with nothing missing except the female figures, then turn around and say they don't sell well.  The analyst stating that probably compared female figure sales to male figure sales and said, "oh yeah, these 15 male figures way outsold this 1 female figure, so female figures must not sell well." 

I don't want to be just another Hasbro-hater in the midst of a hobby I still really enjoy, but I can't help feeling exhausted at their BS responses and just continued incompetence in so many aspects of running these lines from females to assortment to distribution to pricing to the damn packaging falling apart in my hands.  It really is a testament to the franchise that anyone still buys what little they see fit to produce.  I can't think of another product line where consumers would be so forgiving. 

Rant over.
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Offline Darby

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Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« Reply #52 on: February 18, 2015, 06:57 PM »
+1 on seeing Bo-Katan and Sabine someday. Everything is eventual with this line, so hope springs eternal. So many CW figures left to do. But I digress.

Great points all around. Nobody looks good in this. Not the question, the answer, the revision, or the pot-stirring afterwards. To the last point - even in the SSG Q&A there was some corporate speak and non-answers. On the question of why Hera or Sabine are paired with troopers, and not single carded, the answer was 'it could have been anybody paired with a trooper.' But it wasn't. Fair enough - we got Zeb with a trooper. But you paired them up deliberately because of your (Hasbro's) self-stated belief female figures don't sell. I personally don't mind getting another trooper along with them, and love the concept of them pairing figures with troops like this, but with these two figures, you did it to insulate yourself against potential peg warmers. Fair enough. Just be upfront about it.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« Reply #53 on: February 18, 2015, 09:56 PM »
McMetal,

I think you've got an interesting perspective since you've got daughters, you're wanting to share fandom with them, and collecting...  I respect that.

I think Hasbro's stance on the whole male figs/female figs sales is really just a numbers game, with a buttload of factors that go into it that nobody but themselves are privy to, and it spans all these years I'm sure.  Is it true?  I don't know.  I assume since they stated it, there's some numbers that back it up.  I mean, women aren't the dominant force in action figure buying, but they're a growing segment I think.  Is Hasbro, as a company, trying to adjust to the trend?

I'd say Rebels is just hard to gauge this topic by because Rebels is so new and obviously grossly unrepresented, to where nobody's easy to get (my personal experience) aside from Zeb.  No clue why they didn't do Sabine with a removable helmet and Ezra with one.  Maybe they want to sell two figures?  Maybe they hate women?  Maybe they couldn't cost the extra gear in for some reason?  Maybe it's Ezra's smaller size allowed the helmet accessory?  Again, no clue.

BTW I agree on Ahsoka ultimately...  I think they dropped the ball there.  She was (is) popular, she got a few figures, but none were ever easily available for one reason or another it seemed.  I still want a young Ahsoka done realistically. :(

Jman,

Since I have no details on how much they post-edited a comment, and how much the comment may have been paraphrased, I'm unwilling to say Hasbro is a villain in this situation, or just misunderstood, or (a worst case scenario) misrepresented.  There's no context to go by to make the assumption, but it sucks if they really just backpedaled to save face.  To me it's neither here nor there really without the context, the full quote, etc.

That said, the last figure I saw pegwarming that was a woman?  Torryn Farr and Luminara Undulli both come to mind immediately, 6" Leia as well...  I remember quite a few over the years.  So yeah, it happens and it's a tad disingenuous to insinuate female figures just fly off the pegs, haha.

Then again I've seen an army of Ree Yees at TRU, and 6" Han Solo figures, Greedos, and OWK, lots of 4" Hoth Luke, 6" Speederbike sets...  So I think the reality is anything can pegwarm.  The question is do female figures pegwarm faster?  How does Hasbro gauge this stuff?  I don't know really, beyond sales data they've cited (but won't show) that claims this...  Which all may be a lie.

As I have said before, I am sure any sales info is something Hasbro has and we don't, so it is what it is.  Ultimately you either believe it or you don't...  Not much argument to be made from either side on that though.  I don't think their data applies across the board that ALL female figures sell poorly.  I think some do.  Then again so do a lot of male figures.  I'm sure there's data available to them on that as well.  And aliens, and so on.  And what Hasbro says, you either believe or not...  Not much argument against either POV I guess, since it's simply a matter of what you believe is reality or not.

Going back to the point about getting the entire crew out quickly, and regarding Hera and Sabine, specifically, I think Hasbro would've been wise to get the entire crew of The Ghost out at the same time, like Jeff said maybe in all 2-packs or something, then sprinkle singles in down the road...  No reason not to I can see, if you want the cartoon to have support all around.  They really needed to have EVERYONE from the show's main cast out there immediately.  Even the villains can be sprinkled in later and kids will generally not notice, or maybe they'd even be more excited to finally get the bad guy when he finally comes out.

I didn't mind everyone having a stormtrooper as a pack-in though.  I think that'd be neat, actually, since it'd help kids amass squads for their Rebels to destroy.  I liked that concept.  I wish they'd carried it over with every main hero having a stormtrooper, actually.  It'd help spread costs around over the stormie's mold tooling too.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 10:02 PM by Jesse James »
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« Reply #54 on: February 18, 2015, 10:10 PM »
I do recall them saying that female figures don't sell as well as male figures, but I think it really depends on the character choices. Season 3 Ahsoka in the CW line for example, was an oustanding seller.

BTW I agree on Ahsoka ultimately...  I think they dropped the ball there.  She was (is) popular, she got a few figures, but none were ever easily available for one reason or another it seemed.  I still want a young Ahsoka done realistically. :(

I agree that character choice is the ultimate factor in who will sell, male or female.

Star of popular EU books (Mara Jade), star of a video game (Bastilla Shan), star of a popular cartoon (Ahsoka)?  You'll sell. 
Star of Echo base's radio staion (Toryn), star of Jabba's fat dancers (Yarna), star of holding baby Leia (Breha), star of the Jedi Library (Jocasta)?  Peg-warmer.

You could say the same about the male figures.  There have been plenty of stinkers on the male side as well thanks to their boring status...

I could see Bo-Katan doing well if she had hit when the show was on since she actually did stuff.  Satine though, don't recall much ACTION there, just moping with Obi-Wan unless I'm mis-remembering.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 10:10 PM by Jeff »
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« Reply #55 on: February 19, 2015, 07:15 AM »
Overall, I find it REALLY funny that this whole affair was the result of the nonsensical way that things are running over at JTA these days.  Hasbro's response to that particular question was certainly glib, but JTA should have pressed for more than a yes or no response.  As for the slew of ridiculous questions from the sites readers?  Well, it's the result of this mindset over there that all ideas/questions/comments are equal.  If you're running a collecting site and are interacting with a Star Wars licensee, it's incumbent on that news outlet to act like the adults in the room.  And from what I've seen since my departure there is no sense of sound editorial judgement at work, and little effort to weed out questions from the JTA readership that are pointless, unrealistic or perhaps even insulting to the people at Hasbro.  Personally, I'm very glad that I left the site because my own philosophy about running a site was in contradiction with Paul Mancil's (not his pen name of Harrison) ethos of entertaining the whiny contingent of fandom in an effort to drum up traffic.  I've conducted this Hasbro Toy Fair Q&A for JTA in the past.  And had I done so again this year it would have yielded actual news instead of just stirring up ****.

As for the whole female characters issue?  The long standing trend in the action figure business has been that female characters do not sell as well as their male counterparts.  Hasbro has confirmed that in the past, and like Jesse said, Hasbro has the sales figures but will not release them.  They never will, and consistently cite trade secrets as the reason why.  I'm sure if you checked with other manufacturers you could probably find comparable stats.... provided that they would release similar data.  But they won't.

Does it come down to character selection?  That's probably a major part of the equation.  Ahsoka sold VERY well in pretty much every offering:  the initial TCW figure was popular, the second version with the two lightsabers was one of the most HTF figures in the CW figure line, and the TVC version is pretty sought after, too.  But was she the exception to the rule?  Looking at The Black Series of 3.75" figures, female characters made up about 20% of that basic figure line.  The TBS Padme figure seem to have sold through reasonably well.  As did Mara Jade and Bastila.  But Luminara?  She sold pretty slowly, despite being a Jedi.  And Toryn Farr lingered the longest out of her wave.  So this could come down more to character selection.

As for the REBELS figures?  I maintain the fact that Kanan and Ezra are the central protagonists in the show.  You could even go so far to say that Ezra is the protagonist, with Kanan in the role of spirit guide, much like Obi-Wan Kenobi was a guide to Luke in ANH.  Agent Kallus and the Inquisitor are the chief antagonists. That means that those 4 characters have greater importance in the scope of the story than anyone else.  Zeb, Hera, Sabine and Chopper?  They're interesting, but they're also all supporting characters.  Hasbro, Lucasfilm Animation and Lucasfilm Licensing all know this.  And that's what steers their choices in terms of filling out the action figure line.

So then the question is how do you roll out those supporting characters in the action figure line?  If you approach this from the standpoint of sales demographics for a boys toy line, you're probably going to find that characters like Chopper and Zeb have greater appeal with the core audience for this toy line.  And I don't mean to demean girls who are into the REBELS show.  My daughter has watched the show with me a little bit.  She actually likes Chopper, truth be told.  Do I want positive depictions of female characters in Star Wars for her to enjoy?  Sure.  And I think characters like Sabine and Hera do that for her.  Is she into the toys?  No, not at her age.  Be that as it may, if you look at this from a sales perspective like Hasbro has, I think they're trying to put the potential best sellers out there first.  I think this backlash has caught Hasbro somewhat by surprise, and perhaps they'll change their thought process on this going forward.  Case in point, the Target exclusive version of the Phantom.  That might have been a good way to get Hera out there instead of Kanan.  It would have made sense and I would have sought out that version of the ship myself.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 10:14 AM by Nicklab »
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Offline JediJman

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Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« Reply #56 on: February 19, 2015, 11:29 AM »
I don't think anyone's arguing that Ezra and Kanan are not the focus of the show or even "more important" characters than the other figures.  But do we need 4 ways to buy those characters? 

3-4 opportunities to buy:
Ezra - Legends Single Carded, TRU 3-pack, Mission Series (Cadet) with Kanan
Kanan - Legends Single Carded, Phantom Pack-in, TRU 3-pack, Mission Series with Ezra
Stormtrooper - Legends Single Carded, Mission Series w/ Zeb, Mission Series with Hera, Mission Series with Sabine

2 opportunity to buy:
Inquisitor - Legends Single Carded, TIE Pack-in

1 opportunity to buy:
Agent Kallus - Legends Single Carded
Chopper - Legends Single Carded
Zeb - Mission Series
Sabine - Mission Series
Hera - Mission Series

There's a cast of essentially only 9 characters, but it's nearly impossible to find over half of them, while the other half are available in three or four different ways!  And that's not even counting the larger sized offerings.  You don't need sales data to point out that this is a missed opportunity for Hasbro and their buyers.

As for the female figures, I'm just so tired of that canned response to them not selling well.  As if boys couldn't possible play with a female character or the characters don't have any appeal to girls.  You can spin the data any way you like, but what we see in the aisles is fact, not opinion.  I'd be willing to put money down that Hasbro doesn't have anything concrete to support this - someone just came up with the excuse at some point and it became a sacred cow.  Just in our little group, the only female examples being brought up are bit characters like Toryn Farr who had half a second of screen time.  Core female characters like Sabine and Hera would sell just as well as the rest of the line, especially in a lineup of under a dozen characters.  Just sad that the people managing this line can't seem to get in touch with reality.

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Offline Dave

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Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« Reply #57 on: February 19, 2015, 03:38 PM »
The biggest logic flaw is that if this is a boys line and only male figures sell, then why would you even have main characters be female in the cartoon?  Disney/Lucasfilm can create whatever characters they want. 

I assume the mission of Rebels is prime audiences for TFA, and appeal to younger kids (boys only?) that will bug their parents to buy them stuff.

So they get my 5-year old daughter all excited about the program, all excited about Sabine, and "release" (not really available) her well after the Christmas surge. 

Sabine could have just as easily been a male character, or some androgynous alien, or a droid.  But they chose to make her a young woman / old teenager, I assume to appeal to young girls and pull them in to the story and collecting.

If that is the case, make and release the damn figure straight out of the gates.  Capitalize on your plan to pull in young girls.  It also kills me I have to buy a Sabine t-shirt from Her Universe because Disney and others don't make one.

To me there is a lot of shared ownership on these oversights.  Hasbro has missed the boat, and Lucasfilm/Disney licensing has missed the boat.  I'm sure Disney could have strongly encouraged Hasbro to have Sabine (or Hera) be available at launch.  Maybe they were too busy figuring out what new color of whiny fairy they could add to their Tinkerbell portfolio... ::)