Author Topic: What Hasbro really wants to do...  (Read 2020 times)

Offline CHEWIE

  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 14437
    • View Profile
What Hasbro really wants to do...
« on: April 25, 2005, 12:05 PM »
According to GH.com -

"The big surprise to many was that Hasbro really, really wants to do a big, massive, all-new Death Star Playset, cardboard dioramas, a Cloud Car, AT-TE, and everything else you could probably think of.  The reasons for not seeing them produced is that they want to wait for either the "right time," or find an appropriate partner to develop the item as an exclusive, which is tougher than you might think.   Creating new tools (molds) and selling through the required minimum quantity makes for a difficult time, so if you want something like the round end cap to the Cantina bar sections, start making a fuss over it and odds are you'll see it down the road."

So... is there new hope for a Death Star and AT-TE?  I'm not too excited about more cardboard dioramas, but this does seem interesting... man, I hope we get a Death Star someday that is done well... and an AT-TE too.  I'd rather have the AT-TE though as a Death Star playset is a lot easier to make on your own than an AT-TE is!

 :P

Online Jeff

  • Administrator
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20446
  • come join the murder
    • View Profile
    • www.JediDefender.com
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2005, 12:37 PM »
Like everything Hasbro says, you have to take it with a grain of salt.

You can take this 2 ways -

#1. This answer is more Hasbro BS.  On some of the answers (like the AT-TE and the Death Star questions) you definately got the impression that Hasbro was passing the buck - "Gee fans, we here at Hasbro would LOVE to give you a DS playset or an AT-TE, but the big bad retailers won't carry it.  Sorry, but it's not our fault, it's the retailers."  ::)

or

#2.  For some things (the U-shaped part of the bar and Cloud Car), you definately got the impression that they are both just sitting someplace finished, waiting for someone to pick it up and it really IS the retailers fault we don't have it yet. 

There were a LOT of hints and verbal cues that are hard to capture in writing for QnA sessions and it causes a lot of confusion.  They give you the SAME answer for a lot of things, but that same answer doesn't always mean the same thing if you get what I'm saying.

Jeff

Editor-in-Chief  - www.JediDefender.com
Follow me on Twitter - @jedidefender / @jlsmentek

Offline Darth_Anton

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 9838
  • Whatever
    • View Profile
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2005, 02:03 PM »
Question about doing new molds -

Were all the big Gi-Joe sets that came out in the last couple of years re-hashes? Wasn't the mobile command center new?

Bottom line, if they can make new Gi Joe sets, they should be able to do Star Wars.
"Snark is the idiot's version of wit."

Offline Matt_Fury

  • Jedi Master
  • *
  • Posts: 6319
  • I aim to misbehave.
    • View Profile
    • Every Action Figure Parody has a beginning.
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2005, 02:37 PM »
I'm kinda suprised that they don't think an AT-TE would sell.  The AT-AT's always been a popular item and they have made the gunner figure.  Why make that figure and NOT make the vehicle that goes with him?

I know we're also still waiting on a Cloud Car too.  ::)
Peacekeeper, when it absolutely, positively has to be nuked in 30 minutes or less.  Or the next nuke's free!

Offline Jim

  • Jedi Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 1806
    • View Profile
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2005, 02:38 PM »
So for those who went to C3, can you give any feedback on the unproduced toys?  You could not make out squat on any of the pics shown.  And as far as the proto Death Star Playset.  I realize it was only a drawing? but what could be made out on the layout?  

Online Nicklab

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 8400
  • Deceived? WHAT?!?!
    • View Profile
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2005, 02:48 PM »
You can rest assured that the guys who design the Star Wars line at Hasbro do want to do this stuff.  ALL OF IT.  Guys at Hasbro like Mark Boudreaux have been working on Star Wars since the Kenner days.  They do have a passion for it, and they want to do the best work that they can.

The issues that we're grappling with as they pertain to larger items are these:

-Can Hasbro persuade a retailer to take on a large item?  The issues of price-point and shelfspace are so incredibly important to retailers that perhaps this is where we as collectors should start shifting our attention.  Start writing to customer service rep's at Toys R Us, KayBee, WalMart & Target to let them know that Star Wars fans will in fact support these items.  Let's face facts:  if Hasbro can't get a major retailer to support something like the Death Star playset or the AT-TE, it just won't happen.

-Then comes the issue of marketability.  Can Hasbro produce something that will make them money?  That's where people who are in Hasbro corporate come into play, and are going to decide whether or not to spend the time and money on development, tooling and marketing.

-Then comes the art of being timely.  Making products when they would serve to be done so that they get the best possible exposure to the buying public.  Obviously the Death Star playset doesn't play well in the release year of REVENGE OF THE SITH.  It just doesn't.  It's somewhere between being confusing and losing focus for the line.  Hasbro needs to focus on making the best possible promotional material for the movie that's out.

-There are finer points as well.  One is longevity.  Hasbro can't flood the market with product in an attempt to satisfy every fanboy fantasy.  Then what will they do with the license for the next 13 years?  

-The next issue that we're looking at is legal.  Does Hasbro have the legal rights to make a figure of an actor.  This issue seemed to rear it's head several times over the course of the weekend with regard to the Tonnika sisters.  This is in fact an issue because it could leave Lucasfilm Licensing and Hasbro legally vulnerable.  The lawyers in both companies would cut this sort of thing off well before it would ever happen.

These are the real things that Hasbro has to consider over the long run.  In a way, I think it's far worse than bickering on websites like this can ever be.  Why?  Because these things are reduced to mere numbers, and not what the collecting community wants.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2005, 03:23 PM by Nicklab »
"You were entrusted to lead the Republic." - Vote for Ven Zallow from THE OLD REPUBLIC in figure polls!

Feedback

Offline Herbert_Ackermans

  • Youngling
  • *
  • Posts: 85
  • I'm a llama!
    • View Profile
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2005, 02:50 PM »
I think you can't compare 70's-80's Kenner toys to what Hasbro is doing now.

The market has changed a whole lot since then, just about any movie has it's toyline it seems.

Also, figure-lines of current times are huge compared to what the whole OT produced between 78 and 85, only 92 figures total.

Would we be satisfied with an AT-TE in the quality like the AT-AT? I think not. Compare KEnner Slave-1 to Hasbro's AOTC Slave-1, that is a world of difference, with regards to construction, detail, quality etc. etc. etc.

All that has to be taken into the picture as well.

Also, back in the good old days everything was released without there being any exclusives. Today, anything interesting becomes an exclusive. Reason, I don't get it. If you produce an expensive toy, I'd try to get it marketed as widely as possible.

Another thing. Hasbro seems to be seeing the world as the US and nothing much beyond that.

Again, in the 78-86 era, over here in the Netherlands, a lot of the line was readily available in the mainstream shops.

TPM was a big disaster here, AOTC consequently had only some 6 figures, the speeders, Reek and that was it.

Worldwide distribution has also changed significantly since the Kenner days.

All that makes the choice for the AT-TE rather difficult. I remember reading that the SW-line didn't make a lot of money for Hasbro, don't know if that still holds true, but it isn't a cash-cow like apparently GI-Joe is.

Would you pay $90 for an AT-TE? I think the answer is yes. Will the average public pay $90 for an AT-TE? Very different ballgame, and I think the answer is no.

Remember, after this movie... what will come next? How long will an AT-TE toy last? If you have kids, how will you feel if that expensive AT-TE is standing there, collecting dust in the corner of the attic while your kid is yelling for yet another piece of movie-mania toys?

That I think is why Hasbro is reluctant to release/produce the AT-TE. We are not the main target audience, kids are, and even more precisely, parents willing to buy it.

And these days, parents see toylines come and go liek there's no tomorrow.

Online Nicklab

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 8400
  • Deceived? WHAT?!?!
    • View Profile
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2005, 02:52 PM »
So for those who went to C3, can you give any feedback on the unproduced toys?  You could not make out squat on any of the pics shown.  And as far as the proto Death Star Playset.  I realize it was only a drawing? but what could be made out on the layout?  

Nothing of the sort was said about the Death Star being in development, and there were no images whatsoever.  Hasbro has said they would LIKE to do the Death Star.  Nothing else was elaborated on, except for the fact that IF they did it, they would like to do something better than the Kenner Death Star.

The most current items that were shown from the 3-3/4" line were the Evolutions assortment, the first set of Battle Packs, the Target Exclusive Clone Trooper and the Toys R Us exclusive Jedi Interceptor with Anakin Skywalker.
"You were entrusted to lead the Republic." - Vote for Ven Zallow from THE OLD REPUBLIC in figure polls!

Feedback

Offline CHEWIE

  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 14437
    • View Profile
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2005, 03:03 PM »
Hmmm.... if they did an AT-TE with AT-AT quality, I don't know how someone wouldn't be willing to buy one.

 :P

Online Nicklab

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 8400
  • Deceived? WHAT?!?!
    • View Profile
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2005, 03:08 PM »
Hmmm.... if they did an AT-TE with AT-AT quality, I don't know how someone wouldn't be willing to buy one.

 :P

Customers?  Yes.  Retailers?  Unclear.  It's chains like WalMart that you should all really be focusing your furor on.  They're the ones who are cutting the legs out from under all of us on these items.  They have THAT MUCH sway with Hasbro.
"You were entrusted to lead the Republic." - Vote for Ven Zallow from THE OLD REPUBLIC in figure polls!

Feedback

Online Jeff

  • Administrator
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 20446
  • come join the murder
    • View Profile
    • www.JediDefender.com
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2005, 03:08 PM »
So for those who went to C3, can you give any feedback on the unproduced toys?  You could not make out squat on any of the pics shown.  And as far as the proto Death Star Playset.  I realize it was only a drawing? but what could be made out on the layout?  

Nothing of the sort was said about the Death Star being in development, and there were no images whatsoever.  


I think he was talking about the pictures Vic Wertz had at the Collector Panel about unproduced toys.  At that Panel they DID have a drawing/plan shown for a DS playset that was planned around 97.

Both JesseJames and I were at that panel, and some of the toys they showed were great!  Specifically on that DS Playset though, it was basically a 3ft diameter round ball  It opened into 2 halves and inside each of the halves were removable "environments" that could be taken out and played with separately (like removable shelves).  There was a Trash Compactor shelf, a DS Detention Shelf, a Falcon Hangar shelf and more.

You could use it as a HUGE diorama, one big playset, or several smaller playsets.  So, you basically had a 3ft tall "Death Star" for your X-Wings to fly around OR a kick-ass diorama or a super-fun toy for kids.  It was verycool, just waaaaaaaay too expensive to ever get made.  It was targeted at a $250 price point!  :o  No wonder it never got made.... no retailer thought they could sell it.  :(
  
Jeff
Editor-in-Chief  - www.JediDefender.com
Follow me on Twitter - @jedidefender / @jlsmentek

Offline Brian

  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 11091
    • View Profile
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2005, 03:17 PM »
I believe that there are people at Hasbro (at least some) that are probably just as excited at the prospects of things like the AT-TE and new Death Star Playset as we are.  I mean, you know some of those people have to be fans and/or collectors.  As much as I'd like to see both of them (among other things), I agree with the points that have been made about it just being a different retail market nowadays.  I thought I read somewhere that an AT-TE would have anywhere from a $60-$90 pricepoint, and although most of us here would likely pay that for a nice AT-TE, parents really wouldn't I don't think.  I'm not saying that kids drive the line, but judging from the number of vehicles I've seen clearanced (at least around here) over the years since I started collecting....we (as collectors) must not represent quite enough sales to get things cleared out off the shelves.  That said, a lot of what we have gotten in recent years have been repackaged or slightly differently painted ships, so that might say something as well.  Thinking back of some of the ships I've picked up over the years, most were on clearance, or were clearanced later:

POTF 2 Falcon - Clearance at KB $30
POTF 2 FX X-Wing - Clearance at KB $20
POTJ B-Wing - Paid Full Price ($40), saw clearanced for down to $10 shortly thereafter
POTJ Tie Interceptor - Paid Full Price ($30), used to see a number rotting the TRU shelves
POTJ AT-ST w/Speeder Bike - Paid Full Price ($30), saw them rot for awhile after as well.
Episode I Naboo Starfighter - Wife gave me as gift, picked up on clearance for about $8 I think.
Saga (AOTC) Jedi Starfighter, Slave 1, Gunship, Speeders - Paid Full Price for all, saw all on clearance shortly after.
OTC Slave 1 - Paid $25, saw clearanced for $15 or less not a month later.  Also saw OTC Falcon clearanced for $20 or less (and still sitting in piles at TRU).

Anyways, not all ships covered there, but just an example.  I really enjoy the vehicle line (although I don't have the room for it much anymore), but I just don't know if retail can support the big ones anymore.  However, I do see the ROTS vehicles selling pretty well right now, especially the ARC-170.  That might change once the movie gets closer, but the only ships I see sitting much now are the Jedi Starfighters...which I think are pretty cool.  Maybe just released in bigger numbers.  I think if we get something along the AT-TE lines, it might be through the same avenue as the Sandcrawler, but you never know.

On another point mentioned earlier, sometimes I do wish that the line was (or could be) handled like the vintage days.  Don't get me wrong, the more stuff the better, but there is something about that vintage line having less than 100 figures total in the span of all three movies, and the vehicles spread out/re-released throughout that time too, that makes it seem more simple and appealing.  Then again, I just picked up around 40 figures, plus a few vehicles/beasts for ROTS here within the span of a month, and I'm still going out looking for something "new" ;).  I guess a part of me wouldn't mind seeing the line slow down a little bit next year, offering figures the quality of VOTC (or those Evolutions packs), and having a wave a month or something like that.  As far as playsets/dioramas and things like that...to me the current status of Marvel Legends (for those who are familiar with it) comes to mind.  They now have the "build a figure" assortments, where each figure in the wave comes with a piece of a larger figure.  Although I haven't gotten a "set" able to complete the larger figures, part of me wonders if Star Wars couldn't do somthing along these lines too.  Maybe each figure having a piece of an environment, to build part of the Death Star, or to build Yoda's hut on Dagobah (thinking of the OTC Dagobah wave), or something like that.  Maybe it isn't as feasible in a 3 3/4" line, because it would take lots of figures to make up some of the Star Wars environments, but it was just something that had me thinking.

Online Nicklab

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 8400
  • Deceived? WHAT?!?!
    • View Profile
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2005, 03:19 PM »
My bad, Jeff.  Given the topic of the thread, and how most of the news that has been circulating has been about the Hasbro Q&A, I was hoping to quell any kind of speculation based on what was said at that event.  It's misunderstandings about things like that which can snowball out of control.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2005, 03:20 PM by Nicklab »
"You were entrusted to lead the Republic." - Vote for Ven Zallow from THE OLD REPUBLIC in figure polls!

Feedback

Offline CHEWIE

  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 14437
    • View Profile
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2005, 04:24 PM »
$250 for a Death Star?  Good Lord!!!  But I am one who would buy it at the full price.

Yeah, it really, really sucks that almost every time they make a nice semi large vehicle, it goes on clearance because people want to save a buck (hilarious when they complain later though about not finding it on clearance, and they kick themselves for passing it up).

To me, the way to do these bigger items is online exclusives, at shopstarwars.com would be fine with me.

 :P

Offline Jesse James

  • Staff Member
  • Grand Master
  • *
  • Posts: 31721
  • Slippery When Poopy
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender.com
Re: What Hasbro really wants to do...
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2005, 05:04 PM »
People waiting for clearances is a sign of actual demand though...  If they really wanted it for $x, they'd pay it.  If they don't, they wait, whether they find it or not.  I tend to see very little of people kicking themselves over NOT finding something on clearance, and more that if people wanted it badly enough they bought it while others either waited and got it or missed it because demand just wasn't as strong as it may seem to a handful of us.

I'd love a Death Star...  not sure I'd like the spherical one shown on Vic Wertz's panel myself, as it's sort of "different".  Reminded me more of an AF type of playset, but if they did something akin to a stackable playset...  Maybe one you could even connect multiple sets together side-by-side and atop one another, then to me that's great.  Sadly though, for those who want things like this, the big stuff doesn't have that strong a support in the general collecting community I think.  Not from what I see...  Stuff wouldn't go to clearance if people wanted it that bad.

G.I. Joe has two luxuries in its favor Star Wars doesn't.  They have had stronger sales #'s generally, and of course they're Hasbro's property to begin with.  Believe it or not, Joe has done very well, even with a slump last year+.  Star Wars has had some very bad times though...  two years of film toys that either did flat out poorly or didn't meet expectations, and then non-movie years that weren't a juggernaught of sales.

I think if ROTS really makes a big impression, larger items are more likely as there's new people involved in the hobby to drive it, but till then I think we'll be more apt to get a Cloud Car and Cantina endcap before an AT-TE... 

I will say, if you got to see the Lucasfilm Archives exhibit (one of the more consistantly LONG lines in the event), the AT-TE they had on display is almost dead-on 1:18 scale, and so was the Millenium Falcon model.  OOOOoooo baby!  I took lotsa detail pictures for "future projects" hopefully.  ;D
2011 Rebel Fleet Trooper Gets My Seal Of Approval!  But Where's The Friggin' Holster On Him!?
Jedi Defender.com Contributing Editor, Twitter @JediDefender & @Jesse_James77