Author Topic: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?  (Read 1576 times)

Offline Brian

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Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« on: November 19, 2003, 03:45 PM »
I got to thinking about this earlier today, and while out shopping, collecting, or just scanning the action figure aisles, which lines do you think are doing well...selling wise?  Including Star Wars, Clone Wars, Turtles, Marvel Legends, Gi Joe, MOTU, LOTR, Muppets, Simpsons, or any other lines you might take a look at.  Do you think there are any lines in particular that really seem to be doing well, or ones that you think are probably on their way out due to sales, etc.?  Personally, I mainly just collect Star Wars, and the X-Men from ML (and I'm also looking for Roboto), but I do take a look at other lines from time to time...there are a lot of great ones.  Just curious as to some of your opinions, thanks!

Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2003, 02:34 PM »
MOTU, Mattel Batman, and probably Justice League are on their way out. Wal-mart is close to dropping the MOTU line because their Snakemen order has not been received yet, and some of the cases they did receive were full of Smash Blade He-Man and Spin Blade Skeletor (the very same figures that nearly killed the line last year). Add to it Wal-Mart being pissed that Aldi's got the Snakes before they did when WM had their order in first, and you've got yourself a recipe for disaster.

Mattel Batman has one villain in every other case, and the rest of the case is Batman variants. This line won't see a fourth series.

I don't pay much attention to JL, but if the lack of Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl is any indicator, this line isn't much better than the other two I mentioned.
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Offline Famine

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2003, 02:38 PM »
BIONICLE, Beyblade, WWE (except for those stupid Bendums figures), McFarlane, and a few other simple things, like the YUGIOH toys, and those Cargames all the kids are playing with. (Dear God, listen to me...the guy who plays with toys is calling younger people kids...)


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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2003, 06:52 AM »
-G.I. Joe...  They're doing AMAZING sales with Joe for whatever reason.  They have a strong adult market hooked on their product and they also have a strong child market hooked as well...  It's odd, but every time I'm in a store anymore I see kids rifling through G.I. Joe figures anymore.

-BBi's Elite Force 1:18...  Surprisingly well, this line's kicked off with a bang, and the initial 2 waves of basic figures have seen multiple reshipments.  They're starting to sit some now, but you know the first sale/mark-down these have that they're gonna go fast.  Between SW fans wanting custom fodder and the fans of the line itself wanting to army build...  I nab one here and there when I'm at TRU anymore just to build up the ranks of my marines and army as of late...  $4.99's a darn good price for these too.

-21st Century Toys Battle of the Bulge 1:18 line...  Well, it's not on the shelves now, but it came and went in a breath.  The Japanese infantry with Marine Corps grunts are hotly anticipated 2004 product, as are a reshipment of Battle of the Bulge Infantry reshipments of the U.S. figures and the first ever release of the German BoB infantry through likely an online venue (Probably direct from 21st).  These figures came and went fast...

Same could be said for the U.S. and German paras when they first shipped.  They came and went, and the Both the U.S. and German paras are ALLLLL long gone at every TRU in my neck of the woods without any markdowns or clearance.

Not too shabby 21st Century...  Too bad they can't get their affairs in order to put out figures routinely like large companies do.

-Barbie (Don't laugh)...  Barbie does so many millions in profit yearly that they scoff at the slightest inkling of "competition" from side brands and trendy new lines.  This toy line is a staple, and its success is hard to compare with any other line.

That's just a few toy lines that seem consistent...  I'd toss the Masters o fthe Universe reissues in there too.  They seem to come and go in the blink of an eye.  

I can't stand them myself, but you can't doubt that kinda push they have on the sales floor.  Good product to have leading up to X-Mas I think.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2003, 11:26 AM »
In my area, these lines sell well:

Star Wars:  Lot's of collectors around here.  The only stuff that ever hangs around are leftovers from last year.

Marvel Legends:  There are a lot of fans of this line here.  Word is that wave 5 showed up, and you woulnd't know is since the collectors around here have been choming at the bit for it.

Muppets:  Sure, they don't have a presence at TRU anymore, but they don't hang around Target or various other chains for very long.

Lord Of The Rings:  With the exception of some items that shipped late in the TTT run, and the first assortment of ROTK, this line sells VERY well.  It's tough to find some things even when they're current.


Simpsons:  There's a diminished interest in the Simpsons lately, but just try getting some of their exclusives, or a basic figure assortment when it's fresh out of the cases.  They're gone before you know it.

MOTU:  These were REALLY hot when they initially came out.  They've cooled off some, I imagine because of the case assortment, but they still move.

Beyblades:  I had no idea there was such an interest in these!  It's crazy to see people after them in the toy aisles!

Transformers:  According to some of my industry sources, Transformers are probably THE hottest toy line going!  The sales numbers are incredible!

Sports Picks:  Can you say hot?  Or perhaps HOT?!?!  The NFL line is SCORCHING HOT, and the other lines trail behind.  NHL is hot in Canada beyond belief, to the point where I've heard numerous anecdotes of fistfights in toy aisles.  McFarlane has a goldmine here.

McFarlane Matrix:  Sure, their case assortments stink.  They've packed too many Neo's into the first assortments cases.  Now, they're just as hot.  When I hear word that the new assortment has shown up, all I find are empty cases.  And the hunt for the Virus Twins in series one was an unenviable one.

These are the lines that just sell unbelievably well in the NY area.  And let me tell you, we've got a PLETHORA of collectors and dealers in this area.
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Offline Morgbug

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2003, 01:08 PM »
Those aren't anecdotes Nick, it is for real.  I have witnessed them and walked away empty handed and embarassed for collecting Sportspicks :-[  Very hot line, except for a few figures in each series.  The only problem is retailers are ordering fewer cases with each passing series.  Weird.  I think NHL5 did irreparable harm as far as the retailers were concerned.  Roy exclusive and too many Koivu, Domi and Hossa.  

Star Wars is all but dead up here :'(  TRU brings in a single case every two months or so :-\ and Walmart no longer carries it.  

MOTU is stuck in Skeletor and HeMan land.  Tons and tons of spin blade etc up here.  Near impossible to find the other figures.  Case mix from hell.  

The military and Gi Joe stuff is hard for me to judge since I don't pay any attention.  My inclination is to say they do well.  TRU has an entire aisle dedicated to them.  

ML does very well, but we are languishing up north.  Walmart continues to restock ML 3, Zellers is stuck with ML2 and TRU has a mix of left over crap.  Namor anyone?  Waiting for the massive Walmart Christmas stocking to occur.  Not sure what line it will be but a year ago I found four gold ironmen.  Hoping for similar luck.  

Simpsons languishes as well, though series 13 sold well.  Retailers up here are getting the shaft from warehouses.  Zellers ordered about four months after series 10 came out and still got it even after it sold through at TRU.  We skipped everything in between series 1 and series 10 >:(

Barbie rocks ;D though even with that, we lag behind the US.  I'd love to get my kid the superhero versions that are apparently out, but not up here :(  It is incredible to see the volume of stuff that moves.  

Muppets are like Simpsons.  They sell well when we get them, but we skipped series two and three.  Hoping five shows up.  Four is at comic shops but not TRU, the only retailer that carries them.  


Being pre-Christmas, I was hoping for some big excitement and opportunity to buy toys without having to pay shipping and duty fees.  It hasn't happened thus far :'(
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Offline Brian

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #6 on: March 7, 2006, 11:48 AM »
Its been a few years since we've discussed this, but what lines do you feel are doing the best at retail nowadays?  Sometimes, with poor stocking tendencies, it is tough to tell anymore.  If you look at our WM, Star Wars must be doing very well...since the pegs have been bare there for over a month.  However, at Target, the Hoth wave pegwarming trio (Veers, Derlin, Rieekan) has been there fairly consistently.  It does seem overall that the basic Star Wars line is doing quite well.  It hasn't been exceptionally well stocked in this area yet, but it usually sells through or close fairly quickly.  I sort of think, aside from maybe ROTS figures, that the Original Trilogy stuff really does move better overall.  Even though the prequels are fresher in people's minds, I still think the OT characters is what brings people to the line for the most part.  There are exceptions of course, but overall it sort of seems that way.

Of the other lines I pay any attention to, it sort of varies from store to store.  For the most part, Marvel Legends fly off the shelves here, especially when they are newer waves.  The exception to that is our Wal-Mart, which has had gobs of ML 10 for a loooong time now.  ML 11 and 12 have shown up sporadically at Target and TRU, but sell out pretty quickly when they do.  Since the "Showdown" figures have started at other stores outside of TRU, they seem to be selling pretty good.  I know our Target in particular restocks and nearly sells out of these fairly regularly.  I also collect a little of the Justice League Unlimited line (or now, DC Superheroes - JL), and those seem to sell pretty well around here too.  Our Target has quite a few of the Orion (exclusive) 3 packs warming the pegs, but aside from that things have sold decent.  WM is sold out of them, TRU is close, and Target moves them pretty well.  The DC Superheroes (larger) line is hard to judge so far, with just the retooled Batman wave out so far.  At first, they sold out at Target, but now they've had some sitting for a little while.  I haven't seen the Batman from that wave recently though, usually just the bad guys.  WM here isn't carrying these yet, and TRU had a couple on the pegs the last time I was there.

Anyways, this is getting long, but those are the main toylines that I watch.  We look through the Power Rangers and TMNT when we're shopping for our nephews, but I couldn't tell you what's selling and what isn't.  Both of those lines do seem to be stocked fully, and probably in larger numbers, than any other line in the action figure aisles around here...no matter which store you are at.  Overall, the Marvel lines (Legends in particular) sell out very quickly.  Star Wars seems to be as well, but like I said, I don't know how often it is really re-stocked around here.  Specifically at WM, which seems to not be stocking any lines lately.  What are things looking like in your area?

Offline Morgbug

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #7 on: March 7, 2006, 01:30 PM »
Interesting time to bump things Brian, it would seem there's been some change. 

The most fascinating of the bunch is McFarlane Sportspicks.  TRU up here has pretty much stopped carrying the line, another retailer refuses to carry them except prior to spring (going so far as to cancel orders of the Team Canada series, NHL10 & 11 and Legends 3 hockey).  Walmart and Zellers still carry a fair number of cases, but even that has diminished.  I'm not clear on what killed it either.  I do think, as I mentioned above, the peg warmers of unpopular or overproduced figures really hurt the line.  NHL Legends 1 was by far the worst with 7-8 Wayne Gretzky figures per case of 12.  I can still find either of those figures on any given day at one retailer that never cleared them.  Walmart had the Legends 1 Kings Gretzky priced at $2 and was still hanging around.  It finally cleared for $1.  What a change in just three years.

Star Wars moves well, but Hasbro Canada has no clue what they're doing any more than the parent company in the US.  They don't understand what products they're making and what the demand will be.  As such we have a ton of Carkoon wave sitting like crazy and it will be there for a long while.  But retailers cannot specifically request certain waves, just more cases.  Fortunately we've moved onto the Hoth wave for now, though even at that Rieekan, Claven, er Derlin and to a lesser extent Veers are already warming a bit.  Funny thing is at TRU retail is $9.99 and there's still some deluxe Saga Rieekan sitting there for $7.99 with the accessory not moving.  Doesn't bode especially well.  I suppose someone has to keep all the Lobots, Madines, Undulis and Shmis company ::)  Walmart sucks horribly with this line, bringing in a couple of cases every six weeks or so, selling them out within a couple of days and then filling that space with Turtles figures. 

Marvel Legends moves well, but I think ToyBiz is making the exact same mistake with the line that McFarlane did with Sportspicks by flooding the market with chase figures.  I'm sure they got lots of grief about the difficulty of finding chase figures and the prices on the secondary market but they are making the same mistake that McFarlane did by upping the numbers.  There's no difficulty in finding chase figures now and that will ultimately depress the line. 
That said, the line sells well, to a point.  Our obscenely high regular retail prices ($14,97 after taxes) make picking these up primarily a collectors market.

And speaking of ToyBiz, one word:  Gollum.  Ok, maybe not one word...Gollum, Frodo, Aragorn.  These guys learn case ratios from Mattel?  Want to know why the line is dead?  Look no further. 

Turtles and Power Rangers must sell, because they're everywhere with considerable shelf space.  I don't quite understand it, but I guess there's some profit to be had there. 

DC does ok, but not great here.  Same product line as Brian mentioned and it sells, not spectacularly.  The newer Batman line with Bane in it is selling very well. 

Other Marvel stuff.... does pretty well.  Figure factory sells, but not huge volumes. Spiderman is a staple and continues to sell well but I've never seen less product on the shelves than I have right now, so that's a bit odd.  FF stuff is clogging the pegs much as the Hulk movie stuff did.  Blech.

Simpsons.  Gone.
MOTU.  Gone.
Muppets.  Gone.
Military - seriously reduced amount of space. 

Actually a general trend is to a serious reduction in the amount of space alotted to action figures as compared to three years ago.  They just don't seem to be doing well as a genre. 

Barbie's still kicking ass, as are hot wheels.  I'd say that the die-cast market is the hottest segment these days.  All that space that used to go to action figures is now die-cast in various scales.  I blame NASCAR.   

As opposed to my last reply in this thread I don't really expect to see much at this time of year, so what does show up is a bonus.  Post-Christmas, pre-spring is generally depressing for toys.  Not really expecting it to brighten until late summer, but we'll see what happens.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #8 on: March 7, 2006, 02:51 PM »
Quote
Actually a general trend is to a serious reduction in the amount of space alotted to action figures as compared to three years ago.  They just don't seem to be doing well as a genre.

Barbie's still kicking ass, as are hot wheels.  I'd say that the die-cast market is the hottest segment these days.  All that space that used to go to action figures is now die-cast in various scales.  I blame NASCAR.   

As opposed to my last reply in this thread I don't really expect to see much at this time of year, so what does show up is a bonus.  Post-Christmas, pre-spring is generally depressing for toys.  Not really expecting it to brighten until late summer, but we'll see what happens.

Great points Brent.  The general trend you mentioned is something I've noticed as well.  The action figure space has been reduced quite a bit around here, especially at Wal-Mart.  Target hasn't been too bad really, although some of the aisles isn't technically "action figures" with things such as Transformers and some of the dress up kit type things for Power Rangers and Spidey.  Our WM has really gotten smaller, with about an aisle (one side) and a half dedicated to action figures.  I think it goes something like this: Turtles (large space), Power Rangers (large space), Star Wars basic (couple pegs), SW Unleashed Battle Packs/Transformers/junk, "CORPS" (small area), Sigma Six (couple pegs), The Batman (couple pegs), JLU (couple empty pegs), SuperHeroShowdown (medium space), Marvel Legends (several pegs, full of ML 10), Spidey Classics (a few pegs, current wave), and Fantastic Four movie figures (couple pegs).  The rest is filled in with various cars/titanium based things, and basically the rest of the toy section (the boys part anyways) is more of the same.  Lots of different brands of cars, not just Hot Wheels/Matchbox, but various types.  I'm wondering if action figures aren't in a sad state right now as well, as their section seems to be getting smaller and smaller as the years go on.  I'm starting to think that WM would just as soon not carry them or carry very few.

Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #9 on: March 8, 2006, 03:50 AM »
Two things here: jack and ****.

There's loads of stuff, but for the lines most collectors are interested in, there isn't much. Star Wars gets soaked up quicker than a drop of water in a desert, ML is feast or famine, Sportspicks (and other McF lines) are relegated to TRU, and there isn't much space for action figures at WM. I was walking through my local WMs one night when I noticed they don't carry the Beast Wars reissues, and one of them didn't even have Alternators. But there die-cast and RC aisles were friggin' huge. Action figures had one side of a single aisle.
And, of course, no basic SW figures, but they had an assload of baby Unleashed and other crap with a Star Wars logo on it.
Target's pretty much the same, just with bigger spaces between the aisles.

Oddly enough, TRU has become a huge player locally. It's getting less common that I walk out of there empty handed. They had ML 12 a month before anyone else, and to date, are the only ones to receive the FF and X-Men Classics lines. They're also the only ones continuing to get the FF movie line. Still no cursed Ben Grimm in spacesuit.  >:(

I figure if WM and Target continue to downsize action figures, that will only help TRU.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #10 on: March 8, 2006, 10:25 AM »
Its been much the same here with TRU, as Ben mentioned.  Its the only place in town with the X-Men/F4 Classics figures, and is probably the store that supports "action figures" the most.  Wal-Mart's section gets smaller and smaller all the time it seems.  Target hasn't been too bad I guess, they just haven't had anything new for awhile...at least here.  They just recently started to get more SMC figures in, just carrying the 'villains' assortment before.  They do get ML, but they sell quickly, so the pegs are usually close to empty.

Offline Morgbug

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #11 on: March 8, 2006, 10:56 AM »
Walmart up here has been along that trend line for longer than I think you've seen it in the south.  We've had discussions on the topic over at snowtroopers.ca on Walmart and more often than not they are questioning the lack of action figures.  Walmart seems to be heading towards carrying lower quality lines than anything else and certainly more kid oriented than collector oriented.  Cheaper stuff is much more prevalent, things I can't even name as I've never seen them before on tv or elsewhere.  It's really quite an odd trend.  I don't think our Walmarts have been consistently good for going on three years or more.  Probably the last time I saw anything really well stocked was around Christmas of 2002 when ML1 was really abundant. 

Quote
And, of course, no basic SW figures, but they had an assload of baby Unleashed and other crap with a Star Wars logo on it.
We see the same - transformers, baby unleashed, biker Vader ::) is more prevalent and restocked more frequently than the basic figure line.  I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that Hasbro is probably pushing those other lines more, particularly to a place like Walmart as it fits in much better with their marketing directions.  It's easier to place a transformer or bike in that diecast/RC aisle than it is elsewhere. 
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Offline Brian

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #12 on: March 8, 2006, 11:03 AM »
That's something I was thinking as well Brent, it seems like WM is really heading towards the lower priced, hot wheels-type lines overall.  They definitely have the majority of the space, and the collector lines are the most neglected (most of the time) at our local WM.  Same thing here as far as the Star Wars merchandise too, our local store has TONS of the first wave of Transformers, Unleashed BPs, and those bikers.  Endcaps full of them.  I wonder if the kiddos even like them, its hard to tell.  Plus, you can see with the "exclusive" rumors for the various stores (for Star Wars) in 2006, that they don't care to cater to collectors necessarily.  Stores like TRU and Target are likely getting exclusives figures and/or ships, while Wal-mart is rumored to have lightsabers with videos or something like that.  Aside from the Seperation of the Twins figures, it doesn't seem like WM has had much for SW exclusives for awhile.  Without any new movies, and the tv shows a little further off yet, I wonder how much longer there will be SW figures at Wal-Mart (as if there were any there now :P).  We might be doing our shopping at Target and TRU exclusively before too long.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2006, 07:28 AM »
Star Wars has done stellar since the first post.  2005 and 2006 I'd wager are some of their best years %-wise.  I'd love to see the specific numbers.  In 2003 Star Wars was pegwarmer prone, just coming off the lowest of lowpoints with Saga 2002...  2004 things picked up, and into 2005 the line just did incredibly well almost all year, and of course here we are...

From my perspective, BBI can't keep figures on the pegs at Toys R Us, and their WW2 figures (Infantry and non-jump Paras) are on back order everywhere including TRU I guess.  Almost all the stock there before X-Mas is gone icnluding the Corsairs, Zero, Mustang, the Jets, and the Sherman tank...  Tons of stuff, selling for fairly high prices ($40+) and it's all gone.  I see the Jump-Ready paras around, and random Series 1 Modern figures, but that's it and it's never a ton (2 pegs at most)...  And the jump ready paratroopers are so uninteresting, I'm amazed they sold at all other than they do look nice for what they are.

21st Cent. Toys had a Merril's Marauders set at TRU this holiday season, and it was here and gone.  If you blinked, you missed it, and some areas had as many as 20 of this $40 "exclusive" in their store. 

21st's figures are shipping heavily at Wal-Mart stores, though distribution is weird.  If you're not inundated with one wave, you get lots of variety...  Unfortunately the Marines plagued my area, and still do, so other stuff doesn't come in here, yet other places get tons of Bulge figures and no Marines so go figure...  Right now I have a good mix and they've sold through well.  My nearest WM has gone through at least 5 cases of Japanese in the past 2 months I'd say, which isn't bad.  Plus they've gotten other stuff too.

The things I collect are still holding up well...  The military lines are even expanding and getting better distribution in general...  Star Wars is just disgusting right now since you can't find anything, though is that high sales or simply less stuff? :)
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Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Which Lines Do You Think "Do the Best"?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2006, 06:15 PM »
I'm afraid 2006 will be a repeat of 2003 for SW, only this year has more interesting characters than 2003 did.

There was a bunch of releases early that year, then nothing for like six months.
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