Author Topic: EE Clone Trooper 4-Packs  (Read 22584 times)

Offline Violentfix

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Re: Clone Trooper 4 Packs!
« Reply #120 on: April 13, 2005, 05:00 PM »


My question posed would've been, "why the hell are these costing $10 a figure when sold as individual packs, instead of being a reasonable $5-$6 a figure except when you buy by the case?", or something to that effect. :) 


I think the price just has to do with the fact that it's Entertainment Earth.  Their prices are always out there.
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Offline ruiner

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Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« Reply #121 on: April 15, 2005, 02:31 PM »
That and the production run is a lot lower than a "mass" produced figure.

As well, I think this particular figure costs more to make because of the super articulation (more parts).

I'm very excited to get these and am thinking I should order another set to open - these look really cool in the box.

 :P

Offline Jesse James

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Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« Reply #122 on: April 15, 2005, 11:47 PM »
Technically, more parts doesn't cost more than a figure with less parts except the mold toolings...  For all intents and purposes, that cost was likely made up with the figure's initial run in Clone Wars.  While it seemed limited to most people, I know I saw tons of the remnants of his wave at stores around my area...  Most people seemed to find those figures easily enough, but the Clone was (of course) not so easy to find.

Construction's a minimal cost though, so really he doesn't cost more to produce now than before, and as more units are made, all the "fixed" costs of production will then decrease...  So technically for every time this guy's put back into circulation, the cost comes down a little bit more. 

I have it on pretty good authority that the packaging is a major reason for the cost increase...  It's at least a driving factor.  I think Violentfix's idea that it simply being an EE item doesn't bode well for it having a low price either.  They do tend to charge that little bit extra...  That puts it about right that they're still profiting when selling a full case, and the per-figure price comes to about $6.25/figure/case.  That's not much more than retail.  Where it stings is buying individual 4-packs and things.
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Offline CorranHorn

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Re: Clone Trooper 4 Packs!
« Reply #123 on: April 16, 2005, 04:29 AM »
To me, I agree that a non-painted rifle should've been included.  I'd have liked it much more.  I don't see why they didn't pack BOTH in though, so you could choose.  It seems the more "Hey, we like our customers!" kind of thing to do.

Silly you for thinking Hasbro cares enough to make an appropiate decision as to which weapon the Clones should come with. As you mentioned earlier, I'm sure it came down to someone saying ok we're making new runs of the Clonetrooper from the Clone Wars line with some new paint apps on the figures. But those who were in charge of making the order never bothered to look into the details of said figure and it was completely overlooked by everyone involved. Poor QA from a customer appreciation level. Matches the oft poor QA from a production level....

The decision of only giving these Clones the blaster, instead of including the rifle is even more baffling now that the ROTS #6 Clonetrooper comes with BOTH weapons. So glad I didn't buy these exclusive figures.....

Offline Jesse James

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Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« Reply #124 on: April 16, 2005, 05:54 AM »
If I didn't know people going in on cases, I would've skipped this too I think, or been very selective anyway.  I lucked out with locals who were banding together on this one...  really it was the only way to go.

At $8 to $10-ish a figure if you bought them by them individually or by getting all 4 variants in a set, that just wasn't gonna happen for me...  :(
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Offline Violentfix

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Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« Reply #125 on: April 16, 2005, 01:02 PM »
I just wish they had better case selection.  I was thinking about the case but I want more clean white clones than anything else. 

A perfect case would be 10 clean white clone sets and two color clean clone sets.  that would be worth $300 to me and I would absolutly buy it.  I have no use for dirty clones and an army of seargents and officers.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« Reply #126 on: April 16, 2005, 03:22 PM »
I agree.  I'd go so far as to say a whole case of whites should've been offered...  I'd have figured a way to get one just for myself...  2 officer sets is a good idea too though. 

As it stands though, there are gonna be "too many captains, and not enough mates", as it were.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« Reply #127 on: April 16, 2005, 05:52 PM »
I split a case of these with one friend.  We're both army builders, and that quantity of figures was ideal for us.  We're each getting 1 complete set of all 4 variant packs.  We're also going to divide the third set between us, and we'll actually split the figures out from that.

I'm curious if EE has offered a semi-firm delivery date on these yet.  My friend made the order on these, so I haven't been in the loop on these as much as he has.
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Offline Brian

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Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« Reply #128 on: April 18, 2005, 09:22 AM »
I preordered one set of these when they first went up for sale, but to be honest, as cool as the figures are, I've considered cancelling it lately.  I don't know if it is the fact that I'm a little more into ROTS clones right now, or that collecting spending is tight enough as it is, or a combination of both...but I'm not sure right now they are worth it to me or not.  I still haven't cancelled them, because I'm afraid I'll end up regretting it, but I've definitely been thinking about it.  I just have one set of the four, non-damaged, colored clones on order...but at $8-$10 each, I'm not so sure.

Offline ruiner

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Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« Reply #129 on: April 19, 2005, 09:27 AM »
Technically, more parts doesn't cost more than a figure with less parts except the mold toolings... For all intents and purposes, that cost was likely made up with the figure's initial run in Clone Wars. While it seemed limited to most people, I know I saw tons of the remnants of his wave at stores around my area... Most people seemed to find those figures easily enough, but the Clone was (of course) not so easy to find.

Construction's a minimal cost though, so really he doesn't cost more to produce now than before, and as more units are made, all the "fixed" costs of production will then decrease... So technically for every time this guy's put back into circulation, the cost comes down a little bit more.

I have it on pretty good authority that the packaging is a major reason for the cost increase... It's at least a driving factor. I think Violentfix's idea that it simply being an EE item doesn't bode well for it having a low price either. They do tend to charge that little bit extra... That puts it about right that they're still profiting when selling a full case, and the per-figure price comes to about $6.25/figure/case. That's not much more than retail. Where it stings is buying individual 4-packs and things.

Not to start an argument or anything, but more parts = more assembly labor and more tooling ammoritization.

If extra parts did not increase the product cost, one would think we'd see that level of articulation across the entire line.


Offline Jesse James

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Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« Reply #130 on: April 19, 2005, 11:32 AM »
But minimal costs are involved in construction, etc., while mold toolings are regarded as a principle cost in development of a single item.  I agree though that construction's going to cost more to put together a SA Clone than a 3-pack Clone comparing 1 - 1...  It's going to be a really minimal ammount however.

It's like drawing a comparison between what a vivid/intricate paint application would cost compared to just additional colors (well, loosely anyway).  For instance, if one added many simplistic additional colors sprayed/splotched on to form a faded camo will be an additional cost but minimal whereas something akin to painting an intricate/accurate camo pattern on a figure's going to cost more even if it only utilizes 3 colors.

Articulation's key cost comes in its additional mold toolings.  The construction's increased, but one can always look at what yields the additional cost of the articulation (all costs it incurs) bring about as well, like potential higher sales, etc.  If I can sell more of unit A because it's got higher articulation than I can sell of unit B because it has less...  or if I can sell unit A (a 3-pack of SA Clones for instance) because while there's more parts they're also 3 of the same figure which also simplifies construction, while unit B has a higher construction cost because it's 3 unique items within a package constructed differently, etc...  But these things are all minor issues. 

I think the reason we didn't see articulation increase over the years was simply that mold toolings aren't cheap and Star Wars didn't give anyone an impression of longevity.  I don't know that it does now either though, but it's certainly become a more competitive brand in comparison to other toy lines. 

If articulation construction was enough of a reason to keep Star Wars in the "dark ages" of toy line advancement, then I think smaller and "cheap" toy lines like Lanard's, or PTE would have dropped off long ago.  They make their costs in mold toolings up quickly though through reuse of them repeatedly, and their construction's even more complex in some sense than SW (not the injection molding portion always, however). 
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Offline Violentfix

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Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« Reply #131 on: April 19, 2005, 03:46 PM »
I preordered one set of these when they first went up for sale, but to be honest, as cool as the figures are, I've considered cancelling it lately.  I don't know if it is the fact that I'm a little more into ROTS clones right now, or that collecting spending is tight enough as it is, or a combination of both...but I'm not sure right now they are worth it to me or not.  I still haven't cancelled them, because I'm afraid I'll end up regretting it, but I've definitely been thinking about it.  I just have one set of the four, non-damaged, colored clones on order...but at $8-$10 each, I'm not so sure.

I understand completly.  If they had a set with the current clone uniform, I'd be much more willing to buy it.
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Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« Reply #132 on: April 19, 2005, 03:47 PM »
What is comes down to (when taking into account what Hasbro charges for these things) is that Hasbro is trying to minimize costs while maximizing profits, since a huge chunk of the sales of a SW toy go to LFL.  With GI Joe, they can make a figure with a larger amount of articulation and higher quality plastic, throw two of them in a package, and charge a buck more than a SW figure, and make more money because they own GI Joe and see all the profits from said toy.  With SW, I don't know the percentages, but they don't see as much.  Hence, they're going to spend less money, use a cheaper quality plastic, and put less effort into SW toys because they want to get every dollar that they possibly can.

The Clone four packs that EE got were a cheap "do" for Hasbro.  They got to reuse a mold they had lying around (no tooling costs) and that was most likely being produced anyway for those Vader cases and as the basis for the ROTS Clone figure (mostly), do minimal paint application, and use the pretense of a "much requested figure" to gouge for a higher overall price.  The fact that EE charged as much as they did for these doesn't surprise me at all in retrospect, as an EE price is usually retail plus 25% anyway.  Or, in the case of the four packs, retail plus 75%.

Hasbro is making a killing off these four packs and they probably spent about 1/50th of the price of one four pack in the actual development of the item.  The fact that they have (apparently) failed to include the peg holes on the feet and/or the large rifles shows that they put as little effort into these as they possibly could.  I would imagine that the cost/benefit analysis of these four packs is akin to the old stories about compact discs costing about 3 bucks to produce and they retail for 15 dollars (showing my age here, big time).

There's also an excellent commentary (related to Earth Day) in the latest "Fried Circuits" column at T'Bone's SW Universe that talks about how needlessly elaborate packaging is these days and how, at least for openers, a plain white mailer box is a lot more environmentally friendly than the fifteen million twist ties, rubber bands, plastic trays, inserts, and bubbles that are on the average figure these days.

I'm going to go back to hugging my tree now.   :)

Offline Jesse James

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Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« Reply #133 on: April 19, 2005, 04:13 PM »
I agree wholeheartedly on the packaging issue.  In a POP situation I can see the need for something more ornate, but in something that's A) being ordered online in the first place and B) that (theoretically) is targeting army builders (or more to the point, "openers"), then the whole packaging issue truly stunk to the heavens.  That stuff wasn't cheap to produce from what I've heard, from a packaging cost perspective, and wasn't important to the final product.

I think the %'s paid to LFL via Hasbro are exagerrated at times though...  They make a killing, no doubt, but they also spread it out over quite a duration, not to mention that production on Star Wars, which generally has matched retail demand for it, has been incredibly high.  It may not show in secondary numbers but what retailers want seems quite a bit.  Hasbro's done well with the line.

I like that we're seeing articulation increase though, and pretty intelligently across the board.  The army builders and "action" characters of the ROTS line got more attention than a Senator-esque figure...  It's as it should be, and should have been for the past 10 years...  The idea sticks on these Clones though, that this is a screwjob towards us that, for my $.02 worth, Hasbro could've done better (not just by us, but by their own bottom line) by selling more product at a lower price than selling less at a higher price... 

Honestly though, the better option to me is that they should have made a case of white.  I think that would've made many people happy in the long-run and been the amicable solution...  A case of whites would've garnered my $300+ for just myself, and I'd have a sizeable army at a modest price then.  Hell I'd have still gone in on a case of the officers/whites with my local collecting buddies too, just to flesh out the officers some more.  I think they'd have done better at that rate.

I wonder what the sales #'s on Clones for ROTS is though, and I'd love to see what kind of profit %'s that just THOSE figures generated in comparison to others.  It'd be interesting figures to see, not that we would ever get to.
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Offline jokabofe

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Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« Reply #134 on: April 19, 2005, 10:28 PM »
I ordered a case of these when they were first announced on EE, but over the course of the last few weeks I've been seriously considering cancelling it. Now that the Episode 3 Clones are out, I kinda feel like an ass getting an entire case of Episode 2 Clones. But that's nothing a quick head cast can't fix, I guess. But still, there's something in the back of my mind urging me to cancel my order for the full case and just buy one or two sets... but that's probably going to end up costing me almost as much as the entire case.

Decisions, decisions....