Author Topic: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation  (Read 349 times)

Offline JediJman

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2014, 12:28 AM »
I'm guessing you didn't read much of the previous page, which is understandable given the lengths of the posts.  The idea I proposed was to issue new cases of 6 figures with 2x per case, then offer a greatest hits case every year around the holidays sourcing figures from the last year that were highest in demand.  That list could be based on custom research, collector sites, etc.  They could even make a dedicated site for people to vote and include a notice about it on packaging to market the idea.  If you only did this once per year and decided on the assortment around end of May, that would give Hasbro nearly 6 months to produce a lineup of more desirable repacks.  I don't think anyone is suggesting "Hey, Darth Plagueis is really selling well!  Churn out another 3,000 and get them to me next week!"   ;)
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. " -Jack Handey

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2014, 01:34 AM »
EDITING is a wonderful thing.  As are concise, direct arguments.  Is it any wonder that people would tap out of reading the tomes that were posted on the previous page?

Your idea is interesting.  But again, it is operating under the assumption that Hasbro will be able to respond QUICKLY to market research and get their manufacturing contractors to do the same.  These are very BIG ASSUMPTIONS.

Hasbro doesn't communicate a lot about their production methods, but some things do sneak out.  Like the timeline:  12-18 months for a new figure to be developed.  And another thing?  Not all figures are produced at the same factory.  Certain figure tools are located at specific factories.  Hence certain characters from some waves tend to be grouped together.

How does that play out with your concept?  Well, suppose we have 4 waves of figures to draw from for this year end greatest hits case.  And of those 4 waves, wave 1 and 4 were produced at factory number 1, wave 2 was made at factory number 2 and wave 3 was made at factory number 3.  8 figures are going into this case of 12, with 2 each of 4 different characters and 1 each of the other 4.  From wave 1 you have 2 figures, wave 2 is represented by 1 figure, wave 3 has 3 figures, and wave 4 has 2 figures in the greatest hits wave.  In terms of sourcing that might mean that this greatest hits wave has 4 figures from factory 1, only 1 figure from factory 2 and 3 figures from factory 3.

So then you have the logistical issue of drawing together figures from 3 seperate factories and getting them packed into a single case for shipment.  From a production standpoint that's a possible nightmare.

And this isn't taking into account the production schedule at the factory.  It's very likely that when the factory isn't turning out Star Wars, they might be working on Transformers, or Marvel figures, or GI Joe.

Sometimes it's tough to go from concept to reality.  It also seems very clear that Hasbro's market research is not perfect.  Over time it has become more and more refined.  Hasbro studies the problems and adjusts.  And then the market changes again.  And it takes Hasbro more time to adjust.

Does your idea have merit?  Possibly.  But I think the timeframe is overly optimistic considering the timeframe that Hasbro works within.  If Hasbro were to plan on a greatest hits of 2014 wave?  Given their current production schedules, I think it would be much more likely to hit retail in Q2 or Q3 of 2015, and not in Q4 of 2014.  Additionally, both Hasbro AND the retailer would seem far more likely to want NEW product on the shelves and pegs for the holiday season, and not a refresh wave.
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Offline GrandMoffNick

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2014, 07:38 AM »
My take: Hasbro's assortments aren't good. Retailers have done a bad job ordering. I don't care why since clearly I'm not smart enough to know why. And it sucks because I hate the fact you can only get figs any more by ordering online. The end. Up yours Hasbro, Target, WM, KM, TRU
"A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he'll give you his. How many people can you say that about, how many people can make you feel rare?"

Offline JediJman

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2014, 07:58 AM »
EDITING is a wonderful thing.  As are concise, direct arguments.  Is it any wonder that people would tap out of reading the tomes that were posted on the previous page?

Your idea is interesting.  But again, it is operating under the assumption that Hasbro will be able to respond QUICKLY to market research and get their manufacturing contractors to do the same.  These are very BIG ASSUMPTIONS.

Hasbro doesn't communicate a lot about their production methods, but some things do sneak out.  Like the timeline:  12-18 months for a new figure to be developed.  And another thing?  Not all figures are produced at the same factory.  Certain figure tools are located at specific factories.  Hence certain characters from some waves tend to be grouped together.

How does that play out with your concept?  Well, suppose we have 4 waves of figures to draw from for this year end greatest hits case.  And of those 4 waves, wave 1 and 4 were produced at factory number 1, wave 2 was made at factory number 2 and wave 3 was made at factory number 3.  8 figures are going into this case of 12, with 2 each of 4 different characters and 1 each of the other 4.  From wave 1 you have 2 figures, wave 2 is represented by 1 figure, wave 3 has 3 figures, and wave 4 has 2 figures in the greatest hits wave.  In terms of sourcing that might mean that this greatest hits wave has 4 figures from factory 1, only 1 figure from factory 2 and 3 figures from factory 3.

So then you have the logistical issue of drawing together figures from 3 seperate factories and getting them packed into a single case for shipment.  From a production standpoint that's a possible nightmare.

And this isn't taking into account the production schedule at the factory.  It's very likely that when the factory isn't turning out Star Wars, they might be working on Transformers, or Marvel figures, or GI Joe.

Sometimes it's tough to go from concept to reality.  It also seems very clear that Hasbro's market research is not perfect.  Over time it has become more and more refined.  Hasbro studies the problems and adjusts.  And then the market changes again.  And it takes Hasbro more time to adjust.

Does your idea have merit?  Possibly.  But I think the timeframe is overly optimistic considering the timeframe that Hasbro works within.  If Hasbro were to plan on a greatest hits of 2014 wave?  Given their current production schedules, I think it would be much more likely to hit retail in Q2 or Q3 of 2015, and not in Q4 of 2014.  Additionally, both Hasbro AND the retailer would seem far more likely to want NEW product on the shelves and pegs for the holiday season, and not a refresh wave.

Read your first line, then read through the rest of this.   ;)
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. " -Jack Handey

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2014, 10:25 AM »


Read your first line, then read through the rest of this.   ;)

Petulance and deflection instead of actually addressing the realities of the current situation and how I laid some of those out?  Disappointing.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2014, 11:58 AM »
P ???etulance and deflection instead of actually addressing the realities of the current situation and how I laid some of those out?  Disappointing.

Sooo you admit you haven't read what I posted, but want to bash me for not taking the time to reply to your post?   ???  Look, neither of us has concrete data on how long it would take to produce a full wave of repack figures from decision to shelf or how many factories Hasbro uses across waves or what potential exists for mold sharing across factories.  If Hasbro is using 4 different factories to produce 4 consecutive waves and cannot produce a wave of repacks on shelf within 6 months notice, then I would suggest they have some even bigger issues to solve beyond improving their figure assortments. 

Does the 12-figure Greatest Hits assortment have to be the exact 12 most desired figures sourced from an independent poll of every possible consumer as verified by an elite team of specialists from Price Waterhouse Coopers?  No.  They could make adjustments based on figure costs, availability, etc.  I'm just tossing out a potential idea to reduce the backlog of pegwarmers that currently reside in pretty much every case distributed.  You don't have to agree with my idea, but maybe come up with your own solution then instead of an 8 paragraph dissertation full of unlikely speculation and wild-eyed caps locking on why it might not work. 

"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. " -Jack Handey

Offline Darby

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2014, 06:25 PM »
I like toys.

Offline Dave

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2014, 02:23 PM »
I don't mean to dig at any fresh wounds, but wanted to post a question continuing on the thoughts of case assortments and how well (or poorly) Hasbro manages the Star Wars assortments.

Does anyone know if Hasbro runs HasbroToyShop.com and the inventory associated with it?  I tried digging around I couldn't find anything that indicated one way or the other.

My thought was that if they run this web site and own its inventory, the product line managers must have a pretty clear understanding of the true turns associated with the different figures and their case assortments.  There shouldn't be any way they could deny the peg warming nature of some of their assortment choices and how quickly some figures sell out.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2014, 03:25 PM »
It's a separate entity but falls under the Hasbro umbrella.  It is very separate if Hasbros manufacturing and design elements though. 
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Offline Dave

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2014, 05:00 PM »
In theory though you would expect that the product managers could request sales data from the internal business unit that manages HTS.com. 

If its anything like the company I work for their willingness to share data is suspect and the product managers don't realize the turns on a Saga Legends Stormtrooper is 1,000 times that of an X-Wing Biggs.

Offline JediJman

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #40 on: March 24, 2014, 06:12 PM »
Great question Dave.  I'm not sure how much interaction there is between those divisions.  I have a friend who works for Target Online and they have zero interaction/sharing with the retail store division.  Something of a different animal, but I'm betting their systems are probably a lot more advanced than Hasbro's.  Jeff and others probably know the cost structure better, but I think it really comes down to whatever is the cheapest for them to make.  Maybe including a stormtrooper or doubling up on figures per case is a more expensive proposition for them, so they lean towards the cheapest route.  Working in Market Research myself, I just find their apparent disregard for consumer demand to be incredibly frustrating. 
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #41 on: March 24, 2014, 08:25 PM »
The "Why can't HTS be a more useful option?" type of questions came up a good bit in the Q&A's and at conventions in the past...  It's my understanding they're under Hasbro's umbrella but basically wholly separate entities (possibly even sub-contracted to another company entirely?), and HTS is basically run like any other retailer for the most part...  They're at the mercy of whatever Hasbro's putting out or how they put it out, and their own inventory controls.  They can opt in (or out) on exclusives, etc.

It makes me wonder if they only got TBS 4" Wave 3 in (and select past waves of figures) because they are offered them when other retailers are not ordering as much.  Might be some trend there.  They go through goofy long dry spells then they're clicking along sometimes it seems.

Funny you mentioned HTS and stuff because I was just at their site the other day thinking I'd use the coupon code before it expired, and there was nothing there I wanted.  They didn't have a lot of TBS 4" in stock, they had basically no TVC left in stock.  I was shocked they'd moved their stuff from the past several years so well.  The coupons since TVC have been sporadic I thought.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 08:27 PM by Jesse James »
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Offline SnTrooper

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #42 on: March 24, 2014, 10:18 PM »
It's my understanding they're under Hasbro's umbrella but basically wholly separate entities (possibly even sub-contracted to another company entirely?)
I think that is entirely possible because my mother ordered some things from HTS for Christmas gifts and when it arrived the packingslip was from someone's WalMart order for pillows (or something like that).

Offline Dave

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2014, 10:05 AM »
It's my understanding they're under Hasbro's umbrella but basically wholly separate entities (possibly even sub-contracted to another company entirely?)
I think that is entirely possible because my mother ordered some things from HTS for Christmas gifts and when it arrived the packingslip was from someone's WalMart order for pillows (or something like that).

I'm 99% sure they don't fulfill their own orders, which is not uncommon.    The arrangement usually works that HTS owns the inventory and manages the stocking levels, but the stock sits in a shipping hub managed by a third party who actually does the shipping (sometimes managed by UPS or FedEx themselves).

My last several shipments have come from a bunch of locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.  I think that is why you see your order split sometimes, its actually being fulfilled from different warehouse locations.

Hopefully they at least manage their own inventory, and hopefully once in a while the product managers for the SW line get reports on how well or poorly things sell.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Hasbro/Retail/Case Pack Situation
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2014, 03:00 PM »
I think the SW brand team gets that information from all the retailers of course, or so they say anyway.  I don't think the SW brand team has any influence over the HTS people and vice versa is all.  In the past I know they've said how HTS is "separate".  They always said it that way, like it's not something they really would be able to work closer with than a Wal-Mart, Target or any other retailer.

It makes me wonder if the entire thing isn't just a subcontracted entity by Hasbro then, rather than basically starting a whole retail business up from scratch.  I forget when HTS went live.  If there was a press statement laying out any specifics on it?
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