Author Topic: Walmart done with 4" Line?  (Read 2604 times)

Offline Jim

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Walmart done with 4" Line?
« on: September 10, 2005, 11:20 AM »
Two of my local WM have not carried the 4" line for around 2 months now.  I ended up talking to the Store MGR and he told me that they are no longer under contract for that line.  I thought it to be strange, so I asked the other Store MGR and she said the same thing.  They have both done resets and there are no pegs to be found.  They both said that they would still continue to carry the Playskool line and that crappy oversized Galactic line as well as lightsabers.  If anyone else has seen no figs in there stores for some time, can you get some feedback to me?  This makes no sense, but at the same time my two stores do not carry this line anymore. 

Offline SpudTrooper

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2005, 12:06 PM »
which ones are the 4" line?

 ;D oh you mean 3.75" oops
« Last Edit: September 11, 2005, 12:19 PM by SpudTrooper »

Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2005, 12:11 PM »
I've heard that from every store, every year, since 1995. The manager has no idea what he's talking about. He's proably just a frustrated Wal-mart employee. The only time Walmart made an adjustment to their buying habbits was durring the Saga line when they decided not to carry 12" and vehicels.

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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2005, 01:06 PM »
It's a misinformed manager/employee, or someone who has decided to not carry Star Wars at their store anymore.  There is a Walmart about 45 minutes from here that only carries them in the movie years.  Idiots.   ::)

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Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2005, 01:28 PM »
I concur with what everyone else has said.  Since the beginning of the POTF2 line, every year there has been some report that Target or Wal-Mart is dropping the Star Wars action figure line, and it never ends up happening (thankfully). 

There have been points in the line where certain sublines were not carried by certain retailers, such as Anton's mention of Wal-Mart not carrying the 2003 12 inch dolls, any Unleashed between the Padme/Anakin/Vader and Boba/Han/Yoda waves, anything from the Clone Wars line that wasn't a basic figure or a lightsaber, however.  It should be noted that, despite these "discontinuations of stocking", Wal-Mart brought each and every one of those lines back to the shelves after a few months had passed. 

If Wal-Mart stops carrying the 3.75 inch action figure line for Star Wars, I would expect the 3.75 inch SW figure line to die completely within six months.  Like it or not (and I hate hate hate it), Wal-Mart dictates the majority of what gets made by most toy lines these days, and if they put the kibosh on something for themselves, it is curtains for the rest of the retail availability too.

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2005, 02:21 PM »
I've seen a couple Walmarts around here do the same thing, where all of a sudden they're not stocking anything at all for suspicious amounts of time. Then, there are other stores that have been receiving and selling through and then restocking like the toys are the hottest line ever. It makes no sense at all why some stores would just suddenly stop stocking.

DocP summed it up perfectly though - they'll come around, just as they always have. I'd be shocked that they'd stop carrying the line in a movie year, with the DVD looming (and themselves carrying exclusive tie-in toys), and the movie actually being popular, for once, with kids and adults.

Next year I could see Walmart stop carrying the line, and possible killing it off as a result, but I think that this year the only way to ruin the line is by letting Hasbro do it themselves.

Offline Jim

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2005, 03:31 PM »
The reason for concern is that both of these stores have always been heavy on figs since 95 and this is the first time I have seen none whatsoever.  Plus to go 2 months without a single fig seems strange.  Also that fact that there is no space alloted for any SW figs except the ones I previously mentioned.  I tend to believe the one Store MGR since he has been a friend of the family for around 15 years and has been a MGR in at least 5 stores throughout NE. Plus the fact that he knows how long and how much I love the line.  He did mention that other WM would carry but that the two stores I mentioned just chose not to carry this line due to unable to sell through enough product.  So it looks like this may determined store by store.  I sure hope not since I live in the middle of nowhere as it is and cant afford to be driving 45min to an hour plus for figs.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2005, 03:35 PM by rebeltrader »

Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2005, 04:41 PM »
I have to wonder if there's a shred of truth to this after all. Both my area WMs have done their reset, yet they have had no new 4" product since July.

Maybe they're just laying off on ordering until the DVD release, and of course, Christmas, when they'll be back in the game full throttle.
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Offline Dressel Rebel

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2005, 04:43 PM »
I doubt it, my WalMarts have never been as good as they are right now.  I always come out with figures.  It's TRU, KB, and Target that suck.

I'd be very surprised.
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Offline Jon

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2005, 04:59 PM »
I wonder if there IS some truth to the contract statement

Out of my 4 local WalMarts-only one is still stocking-the others not for a month and a half. I wonder if there was a deadline in a contract for initial ROTS basic stock like until Aug 1 or something. Then, like was mentioned, maybe there is (likely-since my WM's have sold cases and cases of figs) another "fall contract" for additional figs from betwenn certain dates.

Target seems to have a different policy/contract- the 2 I have locally have yet to get 54-56 waves in and they JUST stocked 51-53. They seem to be getting the cases at a seemingly :-\ smarter/slower rate so they can keep selling figs on shelves and there is no lull until the newer figs are released. I really wonder if it's helped them at all- how much money have they now lost since everyone in my area went to WM's to get the newer figs- now when Target does finally get them in they'll just pegwarm like the 54-56's that are left at my local WM's are now. ::) 

Offline TheBlackDog65

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2005, 05:12 PM »
Ok, Wally is all about profit, and these figures bring in a nice profit. What I was told is that my one store is out because they are not shipping from the warehouse, but expect shipments to begin in abotu 2 weeks. Well, that works with me since it is around the time I would expect to see the final 12. The mgr said it is not because they do not want product, but trying to get product in. He said the warehouse may be clearing out all old stock to make room for the holiday stock that is allocated to each store (not sure if this was true, and he was an asst mgr).
The other Wally asst mgr told me that they are getting their allocation in of SW and are putting the stuff out as they receive it. He did say they have been clearing out overstock lately and no new 3 3/4 inch figures have come in, but he checked his computer and said in 2 to 3 weeks he should see plenty of SW stuff in.
Not worried.
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Offline Jon

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2005, 05:19 PM »
Makes sense we'll see them right around the end of Sep/beg. of Oct like I thought ::)

Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2005, 05:26 PM »
The thing that continually baffles me is how Wal-Mart doesn't follow any set practice from one store to another.  In Targets across the country, you can pretty much guess what the SW section of the aisle (or the action figure aisle as a whole) is going to look like, and there are seldom any surprises to be found.  In Wal-Mart, one store might have 16 pegs for basic figures, while another store less than an hour away has four pegs for basic figures and 18 pegs of Titanium ships (this was the case in my area up until about 2 weeks ago).

I remember reading once that Wal-Mart stores are unable to order specific items for their own store, such as needing more Evolutions Clones as opposed to more Anakins, and they rely on the central distro center to send the stuff to them on a rather random basis.  To this day, none of the WMs within a 30 mile radius of me have ever gotten the Battle Arena 2-packs from this spring, but a WM that is slightly further away than that got at least 100 of them, and they are sitting in the clearance aisle.  Weird.

The point I was (and am) trying to make, I suppose, is that the only way for Wal-Mart to stop carrying the SW action figure line as a whole would be for the Suits/Agents of Satan in Bentonville to tell Hasbro that WM didn't want to be in the SW business anymore, and that would be that.  Target and TRU might hold onto the line for a while, but WMs "cancelling" the line for their stores overall would be the death knell for the Hasbro action figures within six months.

Could individual stores not order anymore?  I don't know if they could or couldn't, but it could also be Wal-Mart's HAL (Hal-Mart?) seeing pegs full of Neimoidians, Super Battle Droids, Palpatines, Clone Pilots, and Wookiee Warriors and saying there's no point in shipping more stuff to the stores when the stuff there isn't selling.

Oh, and a local Wal-Mart nearby just reset again for the second time in about three weeks, which blows my mind.  We're not talking slight rearrangement either: I'm talking completely different layout and aisle from last month.  Very weird.

Offline Darth Broem

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2005, 08:34 PM »
You know what though.  Some of these Wal-Marts are so idiotic with how they order toys.  In a movie year they order about 25 cases too many of the same exact wave in a small region that can not support the numbers long term.  So, they end up with a surplus of pegwarmers that will never move off of their pegs.  It's not really do to the fact that the figures did not sell it's just that they do not know how to order worth a crap.  Then it's the "Ohhhh, that Star Wars stuff just does not sell.  Get rid of it." 

Oh well they are the ones missing out on all the clonetrooper sales right now.  I just bought a Bacara, AT-RT Driver, Green Clone Commander, and 2 SA Clonetroopers at Target. 

Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: Walmart done with 4" Line?
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2005, 09:43 PM »
In a movie year they order about 25 cases too many of the same exact wave in a small region that can not support the numbers long term. So, they end up with a surplus of pegwarmers that will never move off of their pegs. It's not really do to the fact that the figures did not sell it's just that they do not know how to order worth a crap. Then it's the "Ohhhh, that Star Wars stuff just does not sell. Get rid of it."

Well, and Jebus forgive me for defending Wal-Mart here, the problem in the case you're referring to DB comes not totally from WM, but also from Hasbro's case assortments.  From this point on, I'm going to be referring to a single WM store instead of the entire chain, just for the sake of clarity.

Hypothetically, WM decides that it is going to devote 24 pegs, each of which holds about 6 figures, to Star Wars figures.  That is 144 figures, or going by Hasbro's ratios, 12 cases (12 figures per case).  The problem is that Hasbro does not enable a salesperson for the major chains to say, "I want to order more of Case Assortment 97800.B"; their only option is to say, "I want to order more of Case Assortment 97800."  They could see pegs devoid of Collection 1 figures except for Neimoidians and Clone Pilots, but reordered cases contain more Neimoidians and Clone Pilots.  So, while the figures that people want (Clones, Vader, etc) from those cases disappear, more and more Neimoidians and Clone Pilots are shipped, and they add to the glut already on the pegs.

When inventory is done, the employees at individual stores couldn't care less WHO is on the pegs as long as SOMEONE is on the pegs.  All they see are "We have 120 units of UPC 97800" and not "We have 80 Neimoidians, 40 Clone Pilots, and nothing of anyone else."  And the problem that comes up there is that when it comes time to reorder, they see full pegs of figures and don't order more.  The pegs are full with the same two figures, but it's all Star Wars to them.

The surplus is because Hasbro still cannot figure out how to do market research outside of their mythical focus groups they spout off about every time someone questions them about their silly ratios.  Retail is choking on Clone Pilots and Neimoidians?  SHIP MORE.  Grievous' Bodyguard and Neimoidians dying at retail?  REPAINT THEM AND SHIP MORE.  Clones nonexistent?  "A solid case of Clones would be retail suicide!"  AND MORE NEIMOIDIANS ISN'T?   >:(

So, you've got Hasbro shipping the figures that are clogging the Wal-Mart pegs over and over due to Pawtucket existing on an alternate plane of reality, and WM who are ordering things based on a uniform UPC that they have no say in which case assortment they can get, and both of them are contributing to a glut of the same six figures that are preventing more figures that would sell from being ordered.

The Wal-Mart that is closest to my current place of residence has 20 pegs devoted to SW figures right now.  As of earlier today, the only figures they have on these 20 pegs, filled completely full with no room for new stock, are the following:

-Wookiee Warrior (43)
-Neimoidian Warrior (42)
-Clone Pilot (34; Gray)
-Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (14)
-Palpatine (35)
-Grievous' Bodyguard
-Bail Organa

NOTHING ELSE.  And we're talking a mountain of the first three figures in particular that I don't think clearance could even make a dent in at this point.  But from WM's perspective, the pegs are full and that's all that matters to them.  As the months go by though and those same figures are there, it won't be entering their minds that these figures aren't selling, it's that "STAR WARS AIN'T SELLIN'."  This gets reported back to Bentonville, and I'm sure a large portion of other WMs across the country make the same report, and WM starts to wonder if they need to be in the SW business anymore.

Is there a simple solution?  No, there's not.  Could things be done to lessen the pegwarmer problem?  Well, Hasbro could always keep up on what is actually selling vs. what isn't at retailers, but that's just crazy talk, isn't it?  After all, it's all retail's fault that we can't find what we're looking for. 

People have pretty much been unanimous on the pegwarmer problem being better this time around than with Episodes I and II, and for the most part I agree.  The problem that I'm seeing now is that while the other two collections had their major pegwarmers, there was still a variety of characters to choose from and main characters and army builders were available.  This time around, it's the same 8-10 characters of dubious importance, and main characters are nonexistent.  So, while the pegwarmer problem isn't as bad as the first two, it's worse in a totally different way.

Again, I hate to say it, but the day that Wal-Mart puts its foot down and says, "Enough is enough" is the day that Hasbro literally does what they've been doing figuratively as of late and kills the line completely.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2005, 09:45 PM by DoctorPadawan »