Author Topic: OTC = Freeze Frame Waves  (Read 1114 times)

Offline Muftak

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OTC = Freeze Frame Waves
« on: April 23, 2004, 02:47 PM »
All of the rereleases to come in the Original Trilogy Collection due out this summer strike me with a certain sense of deja-vu, right back to 1998.

I thought the Freeze Frames were a novel idea to get a little more life into the POTF2 line after the huge success in 1997, but I quickly learned to hate the line. I had no idea at the time that practically every figure would be rereleased, I was only interested in the new figures, and so found myself stuck hunting. (Feels like I've been hunting through new shipments of old figures ever since.) Zuckuss was such a pain in the butt to track down...

I've always thought that the Freeze Frame rereleases were what killed the momentum in POTF2, I even remember Hasbro mentioning the fact that they learned a lesson about never recarding figures en masse again.

While I am looking forward to more shelf space in the fall for my favorite toys, I sure wish there were going to be a couple figures on those shelves that I wanted (or even didn't already own.)
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Offline CorranHorn

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Re: OTC = Freeze Frame Waves
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2004, 06:52 PM »
I've always thought that the Freeze Frame rereleases were what killed the momentum in POTF2, I even remember Hasbro mentioning the fact that they learned a lesson about never recarding figures en masse again.

While I'm not sure it was the Freeze Frame line that killed the modern line's momentum (that was probably due more to the glut of Ep1), I also remember Hasbro mentioning they learned their lesson with recarding figures en masse. However, they've seem to have forgotten that message in the last year or so.  There's been over a 2 dozen re-carded figs in the last year or so and when you take a look at their TRU  4packs they're primarily re-releases. Hasbro nowadays states that some of this is for new collectors who didn't get the chance to own these figs in the past, despite the figs being easily available in the secondary market for next to nothing. Also Hasbro is having to re-card many figs due to their poor distribution, i.e. the Aayla Secura wave. I see that happening with the OTC line for some of these later Saga figs, but at the same time we're going to be stuck with some figures which are getting re-carded for the 3rd or 4th time. Hasbro just can;t make up their minds, silly twits....

Offline JediMAC

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Re: OTC = Freeze Frame Waves
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2004, 07:30 PM »
Well, the one good thing I see going for these OTC re-issues, are the fact that they're on the most absolutely gorgeous SW packaging ever.  I've heard a lot of loose collectors say they may buy some of these to keep carded, just 'cause they look so great with those diorama-esque backdrops.

Like I've said elsewhere, they should've just started the OTC collection at the beginning of this year.  While I do understand the upcoming need to have the core characters available at retail for the DVD release, Hasbro should've just held off on all the gold stripe and HOF reissues (at least the OT ones), and just stuck them all on the OTC cards so they'd be sure to move at a much greater pace.

I can handle a re-card or two here and there, but when the former Commtech Han gets stuck on a Saga gold stripe, the HOF, and an OTC card all within a year, that's going WAY overboard, and is jeapordizing the line with an overabundance of pegwarming garbage.  All of my local stores are almost completely dry right now, with the ocassional exception of a few that have a plethora of the re-carded Aayla, Barriss, and Padawan 2-packs.  Not good.  Should've skipped all of these, and just held out for the OTC line.

Hell, I'd love it if every figure from the modern era got recarded into the OTC line.  It's freakin' beautiful!   8)

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: OTC = Freeze Frame Waves
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2004, 04:24 PM »
I can handle a few recards here and there for figures that actually need/desreve it, but their selection is a joke for most of this stuff.  A two handed b!tch slap in the face!! :-*

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Offline Muftak

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Re: OTC = Freeze Frame Waves
« Reply #4 on: June 2, 2004, 10:56 AM »
DoctorPadawan posted this in the OTC DVD sets thread, and it's exactly what I was trying to articulate with this thread:

The one phrase that keeps coming back to my mind these last few days is "those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."  How this applies to this situation is that Hasbro has simply not learned from its mistakes.  They have done this endless recarding before, and it ended up very badly and killed any momentum the line had at that time with retailers.  Only Episode I, believe it or not, saved the SW line.  

What I'm referring to is the Freeze Frame line.  Very nice concept, but executed badly.  Yes, they released a wave of new figures on a regular basis, but mixed in with these new figures were a veritable truckload of older figures who hadn't been all that difficult to find in the first place, on new cards.  It had nothing to do with keeping popular characters out there for fans or newcomers; it had more to do with milking the completist carded collectors for all they were worth.  And it backfired.

Probably the best/worst shining example of this was the rerelease of a Collection 3 case with nothing but older figures.  Never mind the fact that they had just released the first Removable Helmet Vader in an earlier case assortment not more than a month earlier; they had to release a whole case of figures nobody had any trouble finding at all in their previous incarnations (Tarkin, TIE Pilot, Stormie), ignoring the previous wave with the RH Vader, and when it came time for the second wave of Collection 3 figures that were new, they were impossible to find (Ree Yees and DST).  All because of Hasbro's desire to cut corners and "maximize their profits."

The fact that they were releasing waves of figures with one new figure (usually packed at 2 per case) like the Ugnaughts or 8D8 wasn't helping either, because it was getting 2 new figures and 14 old figures on the shelf.  I don't think I need to explain which ones didn't sell.  It was also the FF line that necessitated the ridiculous clearance sales that fall (2 dollars a figure with those little stickers).  I have never seen a Wal*Mart so overrun with figures as I did that fall, and it was all the same figures.  Nothing new.

And then that winter, after a whole load of relative hype, Hasbro released the Expanded Universe line at the tail end of the FF series.  Was there anyone here who had an easy time finding any of these, particularly the Darktrooper and Spacetrooper?  Then the last wave (the Hoth Leia wave) wasn't even released to retail because after the clearance disaster, retailers pretty much told Hasbro "NO MORE."  They had to seek out alternative outlets because they had burned the retailers so badly with endless repacks.

This is all going to happen again.  Out of 38 regular carded figures, there are arguably 7 new figures, two repaints (Hoth Vader and Bespin Luke), and 29 repacks.  I don't care what Hasbro says: this line is NOT going to get new people to start buying figures because of the DVDs.  People are going to buy the DVDs and that is it.  Given the fact that the electronics section and the toy section are a good distance away from each other in most retailers, people are going to buy the DVDs and that's all, not even giving the toy section a second thought.  They're  basing their entire product offering (and a vast amount of their products themselves) on the assumption that new people will buy things, when in reality, this will be a very small portion of the buying population.  They should know this by now, but they obviously prefer to live in their ivory tower and develop new ways to package POTJ Obi-Wan and CTC Han than put money into developing toys that people actually want to buy.

Get ready folks, it's going to be 1998 all over again, if not worse.

Thanks, Doc, you took the words right outta my mouth!
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Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: OTC = Freeze Frame Waves
« Reply #5 on: June 2, 2004, 07:37 PM »
Quote
While I'm not sure it was the Freeze Frame line that killed the modern line's momentum (that was probably due more to the glut of Ep1),

Well, my reason for the FF line killing the modern line's momentum (which I mentioned in a prior post in another thread which Muftak has quoted above) was this:

In 1998, the appeal of the Special Edition theatrical rerelease in 1997 had cooled down considerably.  1998 was what Hasbro/Kenner calls a "non-movie year."  The problem was that they had not figured out how to do case assortments at that point in time and focus on the people who were actually buying the products in a non-movie year: the collector.  They did this very well with the POTJ line in the years between TPM and AOTC, but the FF line stunk of their oft-quoted "kids buy more SW figures than collectors do" philosophy.

So, first wave of figures hits, that being the first Collection 1 case.  Out of that case were seven new figures (two each of the Endor Rebel Soldier, Lando General, Ewok Gown Leia, and one Bespin Luke).  The remaining 9 figures (this was back when there were 16 figure cases, as opposed to the current norm of 12) were all recards of older figures.  The first Collection 2 case was a similar situation with two each of Biggs, Lak Sivrak, and the Ewoks, along with nine more repacks of older figures.  Collection 3 was a little luckier, with eight new figures (2 each of RH Vader, Ishi Tib, Zuckuss, and Piett), but there were also eight repacks.  I thought this would be the worst of it.  I was very mistaken.

As I mentioned before in that prior post, around this time Hasbro/Kenner decided to do a case assortment for Collection 3 that was solely made up of repacks.  This is where some of the harder to find FF repack figures from Collection 3 came from (TIE Pilot, Fett, and in rare cases, Weequay).  The problem was that these (in most cases) did not move because the shelves were still packed with tons of these figures in their 1997 holograph card iterations.  So in addition to old figures on new cards, there was still a glut of old figures on old cards.  It did not get better.

The Blast Shield Luke wave comes out; again, eight new figures, eight repacks.  Collection 2 was even more ridiculous: 2 Ugnaughts and 14 repacks.  Collection 3's second new case assortment was two each of the DST and Ree Yees with 12 repacks, and I don't think I need to remind anyone of what a disaster that was.

Over the rest of the year, Hasbro released another Collection 1 assortment (Lobot, Chewie in Chains, Mothma and Prune Face), another Collection 2 assortment (with 8D8 as the only new figure), and no more Collection 3 figures (except for the Hoth Leia wave I'll address in a minute).  The entire year, Hasbro had been printing ads with photos and checklists focused on their upcoming Expanded Universe line, so people were actually really excited (at least in the collector community) about these figures being released.  

The problem was that due to the horrendous case packouts in Collection 2, where the EU figures would be released, stores were stocked to the gills with Rancor Keepers, Admiral Ackbars, and Nien Nunbs and because of this, everyone's ordering systems showed no need for any Collection 2 orders to be replenished.  Thus, many areas only saw the first three EU figures if they saw any at all (I was actually one who only saw the second wave minus Katarn and had to get the others elsewhere) and by the time the last wave, the one that arguably everyone was the most excited about, came out, they were impossible to find at all.  All because of that glut of older figures.

The stores took a big loss on those figures they couldn't sell, even with the 2 dollar off coupons.  The thing was that stores were able to sell Stormtroopers and other Imperial army builders fairly quickly, but who in their right mind needs those 50 Rancor Keepers and Ackbars hanging around with an inch of dust on them?  A local WM had a larger display area for those old dust collectors than they had for either TPM or AOTC.  It was one complete aisle, with almost 80 pegs, filled with all this old crap that nobody wanted.  They knew that Episode I was coming up in the spring and they wanted to allocate shelf space to it and not be stuck with all this old crap since (in their minds at the time) TPM would have a film to coincide with the toy release, and that would help sell things.

That's why when Hasbro/Kenner decided to release that last Collection 3 wave of Hoth Leia/AT-AT Driver/Pote Snitkin/and the DS Droid in November of 1998, the retailers basically told them "no thank you."  (for those of you who weren't around back then, it was the equivalent of Mattel's He-Man case assortments in a lot of ways, but not specifically; a case of the manufacturer sending out loads of the same old crap that won't sell and expecting the retailer to buy every last one of them anyway because "it's Star Wars").  Hasbro/Kenner had to then sell those figures as Fan Club exclusives (and I think anyone who was around back then remembers how much they were charging for those figures-$24.00 for two of them plus shipping on top of it, so $48.00 plus shipping for the set of four; thankfully I eventually got them for just under retail from the FC when they were still swamped in them six months later and had to mark them down) because retail pretty much told Hasbro/Kenner "NO MORE."  

So there's my reasons why the Freeze Frame figures destroyed any momentum the POTF2 line had at the end of 1998.  Yes, Episode I was, for all intents and purposes, a disaster at retail, but that disaster was shared by retail and Hasbro; the FF fiasco was all Hasbro's fault and I had thought they'd learned their lesson by now.  

I could ramble on and on but I'm sure that nobody wants to hear it after reading my conspiratorial nonsense. :)

Offline evenflow

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Re: OTC = Freeze Frame Waves
« Reply #6 on: June 3, 2004, 09:48 AM »
I think Hasbro is really screwing themselves over and in turn screwing us. The stores are not going to be selling all the re-issues. I know I wont be buying them. Stores will be stuck with over stock and stop ordering. :(
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