Author Topic: Hasbro Q&A Sessions  (Read 148833 times)

Offline Scott

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #375 on: January 2, 2007, 11:13 PM »
Heck, they said that large vehicles don't sell either.  But they went ahead and decided to rehash the AT-AT and Imperial Shuttle this year.  Guess what, both sold great!  Maybe Hasbro was WRONG about large vehicles.  Could it possibly mean they have miscalculated the playset market as well???

Both of those used vintage molds which have already paid for themselves many times over now.  NEW large vehicles (like...gasp...new playsets) are cost prohibitive which is what they said.  This is why the Turbo Tank and AT-TE are probably never going to happen, oh and don't forget the astronomical licensing fees attached to every Star Wars item too (when comparing to other properties etc)

Offline Matt

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #376 on: January 2, 2007, 11:28 PM »
I received a message at Yakface recently regarding this thread stating "you might find this interesting."

Interesting.

Quote
Seeing this started with a question that was submitted from Yakface and that I spent about two years here religiously, it's interesting

Interesting.

Quote
to see what my friends here are saying.  I do find the responses here quite

Let me guess.  Interesting?

Quote
interesting

Interesting!

I was prepared to go into great detail with a response here, but there's too much sanctimonious bull**** to wade through to begin with, so I'll spare everyone (and myself) the time.

So instead, just one question.  I think I've asked this before around here somewhere, but didn't get a response, because there really is no response to it, I guess:

If you ran a company, would you risk taking a huge loss on something just to make a small percentage of your customer base happy?

No, really, would you?

Be honest.












Didn't think so.
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #377 on: January 2, 2007, 11:32 PM »
Heck, they said that large vehicles don't sell either.  But they went ahead and decided to rehash the AT-AT and Imperial Shuttle this year.  Guess what, both sold great!  Maybe Hasbro was WRONG about large vehicles.  Could it possibly mean they have miscalculated the playset market as well???

Both of those used vintage molds which have already paid for themselves many times over now.  NEW large vehicles (like...gasp...new playsets) are cost prohibitive which is what they said.  This is why the Turbo Tank and AT-TE are probably never going to happen, oh and don't forget the astronomical licensing fees attached to every Star Wars item too (when comparing to other properties etc)

That's very true... I just wonder why they won't try using the old Death Star mold and give it as an exlusive to Target ir something?  With a new paintjob, I think it would be pretty cool.  Maybe it could be priced like the Imperial Shuttle was... around $60.00 with a couple figures packed in (like a VOTC Stormie and a TIE pilot or something) I think they'd do ok.

 ;)

Offline David

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #378 on: January 2, 2007, 11:52 PM »
I do too. Hell, Im all for large vehicles and playsets especially new ones. Ive got my Battle Arena set up in front of my mainly MOC collection.
You guys pointed out the AT-AT and Imperial Shuttle, but you forgot about the Republic Gunship repaints. Theyre big and are kinda playset-ish. They did so well I had to pay 70 bucks for mine at a scalper-owned store. And the ARC-170 was at my Target for a couple days last April, and then it was gone forever. It was fairly large.

I think a Death Star playset like you described would be fabulous. I'd certainly buy it.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #379 on: January 3, 2007, 12:09 AM »
Given the great bitch it is to complete a loose Death Star via Ebay (It most certainly can be a pain to try), the age of the set, etc...  I would be surprised if the mold even exists in tact, much less useable, for the vintage Death Star...  Could they re-release that?  If the molds exist and they're in good shape I'm sure they could but I'd question how happy anyone would be with it...  Let's face it, expectations are high and I can see the complaints on that even if it were possible, which I highly doubt it is.

That said, here's my thoughts on this...

Nobody was criticizing Yakface as a site, or its staff, so that's really an exagerration of the truth.  Nothing pertained to the site as much as it was to one question, so there's no bashing going on here of anything but a question that got asked.  So the real offense is probably reserved for the guy who asked it...  Though at the same time I scratch my head why it would've been asked.  I personally would've pointed out the answer(s) from the past on that exact question to the asker and told him/her to step it up in the creativity department if they wanted one to get through, and tone it down on the "Hasbro U R Dumb 4 not listening to us" department.

Quote
Instead of bashing a site or its readers for questions that are being asked, why not instead put your heads together and come up with some original ideas of your own to ask Hasbro, and maybe you will get that burning question that you have answered instead of ripping other sites?

How do you know the people you're citing haven't had their questions asked in the past?  But more than that, like I said it's not a rip-fest on Yakface or any other site at all, and I am a tad annoyed it's trying to be portrayed that way.  It's definitely a rip-fest on that question.  And if that offended the guy that asked it, well that's definitely too bad for him but at the same time I agree with everything people have said against that question...  It was a bad question that has a clearly stated (and repeated) answer, and it really is overkill...  Plus it was a rather snottily worded question at that, which is just pointless on any level.

Next I disagree COMPLETELY that you don't learn anything from the Q&A's with Hasbro...  I'm not ignorant on the in's/out's of the Toy Industry at large or how manufacturer's partner with retail and their relationships and such, but I'd be short-changing the Q&A if I said there wasn't anything I had learned here and there, or if I didn't see clear signs from Hasbro that they ARE taking things said/asked in the Q&A with some interest.  Some questions we've asked in the past got favorable responses as something they maybe weren't thinking of for the line but would look into for the future...  Sometimes you have a good week with Q's, sometimes you have an average week.  It just depends what you get out of them and sometimes it's really good stuff.  

But Hasbro's been quite fair about sharing the how's and why's of their methods and decisions.  Sometimes it doesn't make sense, sometimes it sounds false even or like a cookie-cutter corporate response and it very well may be, but I think there's a lot of positive information to learn about their business and their point of view in the Q&A's and sometimes there's just cool things you didn't know on any given week, or new info on new figures that crops up...  You just never know.  I definitely think higher of the Q&A than it being just a publicity thing for Hasbro though.  It's been more interesting for us collectors than that.  Some weeks it's better than others, for all of us really, but it's definitely been cool.

In closing this, it needs to be clearly understood that this current focus of the discussion is about the Q&A, and in particular it's about a single question right now that got asked for the umpteenth time.  Nothing about Yakface, how they do their site or news, or any of that stuff...  I like Yakface fine as a site and go there sometimes.  This is about the question asked through their site by someone, and that's a whole other ball of wax...  The only one who has a right to have his feelings hurt right now is the guy that asked it, and even then he I'm sure has a thick enough skin to not care if people liked his question or not...  It's part of the Q&A every week at all the sites though, so it's gonna get talked about here, and that's a question that's been criticized BEFORE the last Q&A session though, so ridicule of that question was simply an inevitable product of asking it.

PS:

I want a cool playset like the next guy, and if I ran the show I'd make all vehicles to-scale (and if they were too big I'd either make a portion of them like the head of an AT-AT, or the gun turret of an AT-TE), but I'm also willing to accept the answers Hasbro gave, for the very simplified question Matt asked above me...  If you were a big corporation would you make high-risk, high-priced items that retail was even sketchy on picking up, or would you stick with what clearly works year-in-and-year-out because it is proven and profitable? 

I'd also add, the only big ticket items we've seen that did so well supposedly are exclusives (AT-AT, etc.) this past year...  Shorter production runs and whatnot.  New tooling investments alone would bump the risk up incredibly and I don't expect to see TE's on every retailer's shelf in the near future...  or a giant Death Star, or whatever it is.  Hell the $40 pricepoint didn't even do outstanding in 2005, one of (if not the) best years in SW retailing...  It's still a risk, regardless of what I perceive of the market myself.
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #380 on: January 3, 2007, 12:21 AM »
Jesse, nobody at Yak (including me) thinks that JD was coming down on us for that question.  My post was 100% regarding my personal thoughts regarding the question, and why I still defend the question being asked (though I do admit I wish it had been worded differently).  Even if you disagree, I hope you can respect that.  I think Hasbro is selling us short on playset opportunities.  That can be debated until we're old men (and very well might be!).

Anyways, I'll laugh my ass off if another site asks about playsets next week.  ;D

;)

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #381 on: January 3, 2007, 12:27 AM »
They might, and I'd be as critical of the question...

I respect the opinion that anyone wants playsets, but it's asking something you know the answer to that is where the harsh criticism comes into play...  Not the idea that anyone wants more playsets, most of us probably do like Scott and I, but that you know what you're going to be told when you ask it for the 30th time but ask anyway.  What's the point?  It's a bad question with nothing being learned, gained, and I'm sure it's as tiring to answer it as it is for anyone too...  Are questions really pushed back then, deservedly, for a question that has been answered repeatedly?  I don't believe it is.

EDIT:  By the way, I cited the differences in criticizing the question and critizing Yak because you implied that a couple times CHEWIE, and it just wasn't true at all...  To me the question and Yak as a site are two different topics all together and Yak as a site has nothing to do with this.  If there's a criticism at all it's with the question even being asked and not just being dismissed with a link to the asker that shows the answer he/she would get...  That's a fair criticism for anyone who dislikes the question I think, but it's nothing against the site either and there need not be any confusion on that.
« Last Edit: January 3, 2007, 12:31 AM by Jesse James »
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #382 on: January 3, 2007, 12:59 AM »
Jesse, basically from my perspective, it was implied by the tone of the thread that we were idiots for submitting the question and even bigger idiots for discussing their response.  I wasn't the first person to get that impression. 

Personally I don't see any reason to blame a reader for their question if they feel it has not been aswered with a legitimate answer in the past.  What would you and everyone who was upset with the question have said if Hasbro had said "Guess What - we ARE making a Death Star playset and had been holding details back until now!" - would you still be critical of the question, or instead be doing cartwheels in the streets? 

Anyways, I do understand that it was nothing against the site.  No worries, no worries. 

 ;)
« Last Edit: January 3, 2007, 01:00 AM by CHEWIE »

Offline Nicklab

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #383 on: January 3, 2007, 01:28 AM »
I think it's the discretion and responsibility of the site that's submitting the questions to weed through them in an effort to get the most pertinent question answered.  That's my own take and I'll stand by that.  Now if that question was the best of the bunch, then that's that.  I don't know who's responsible for the Q&A submissions over at Yakface, but this question in particular might serve as a wakeup call for trying to elevate the level of the questions that get submitted.

My issue with the question we're talking about is the complete disregard for everything that had been asked and answered previously about playsets.  Now perhaps the person asking the question isn't quite as tapped into the collecting community as a lot of people here.  Because many of us know that these questions have been asked and answered before.

But then you get to the ammount of attitude that's dished out in the question.  To me that's where this particular question crossed the line.  I think we can exercise a reasonable level of civility in the process.  This question didn't have that.  It basically said that we (collectors) know the toy business better than Hasbro and drew some very inappropriate comparisons.  I honestly would have liked to see Hasbro lay out the numbers for this guy to show how far off-base he was in his assumptions, but that would have been a PR blunder.

And I think that it's here where the staff of a website should get involved in the process once again.  Since some of them do have direct contact with Hasbro they're more likely to have an understanding of the business aspects.  Elaborating on Hasbro's answers with forum members wouldn't be a bad thing for any website to do.  For instance, does this forum member know that Hasbro owns GI Joe as a intellectual property, and therefore doesn't have any licensing costs to factor into their unit costs?  My guess is no.  Does this forum member understand that Hasbro paid hundreds of millions of dollars for the Star Wars license, and that business deal impacts every Star Wars item that Hasbro produces?  And does this forum member know that Zizzle is a very different business from Hasbro, owing it's entire existance to it's Pirates Of The Carribean license?  It is all of these factors that should be presented to this forum member in an honest dialogue.
« Last Edit: January 3, 2007, 01:33 AM by Nicklab »
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Offline Matt

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #384 on: January 3, 2007, 01:54 AM »
Personally I don't see any reason to blame a reader for their question if they feel it has not been aswered with a legitimate answer in the past.

Exactly.  I'd put it more on the site, than the individual.  After all, all the individual can do is write the question, but the site has to select it for that week's submittal.  At that point, it's out of the individual's hands, and it becomes a "site question" rather than a "userXYZ question."

If I could be allowed to quote my December 18 self:  any "bashing" that's been done has been focused more on the question itself, less on the site that asked it, and not at all on the individual who asked it.

And even if Yakface never, ever reads any other site's Q & A's, that still doesn't change the fact that the last time they asked about playsets, they received an atypically-candid response:  "We've discussed playsets to death, I think."  If that wasn't a subtle hint to quit asking about them, I don't know what is.  "But we don't like that response, so let's go ahead and ask them again, anyway."  Anyone have the definition of insanity handy?

We can beat Hasbro over the head about playsets all we want, but the reality is, they've been beating us over the head about them this whole time:  Playsets aren't economically feasible for them right now.  It's time for some sites to wake up and smell the ******* coffee.

Quote
What would you and everyone who was upset with the question have said if Hasbro had said "Guess What - we ARE making a Death Star playset and had been holding details back until now!" - would you still be critical of the question, or instead be doing cartwheels in the streets?

Terrible argument.  In other words, "I guess what we'll do is just keep on keepin' on, asking the same ol' questions, week-in, and week-out, and when the response finally changes, we're gonna look like a bunch of geniuses."

It would easily be possible to be elated about an answer, and at the same time, be amazed that a site blew yet another question that had literally been asked about dozens of times before.  That the response suddenly changed doesn't make the question any less ******.

 ;)
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #385 on: January 3, 2007, 02:14 AM »
Like I said though CHEWIE, the tone of the thread is focused on a question and the Q&A as it is around the internet and it's not just a one-site deal...  JD isn't attacking anyone, or critical of another site in general...  No way at all and this thread didn't imply that in the slightest.

This thread is critical, harsh, mean even in its tone of a question your site asked...  To Nick that's your responsibility, and he makes his case why that is...  To me I'm not saying anything negative about the site or the staff (nor were the other staffers here), but I am right in line with EVERYONE criticizing the question.  The question is just simply bad because it's been answered before, extensively, to death.  If anyone else is criticizing the site, I don't personally see it that way at all, but like I said the only way you can tie the question (which is the topic here) and perceived bashing of the site together is that it was asked at all...  Maybe that's all there was to ask that week though, and so you ran with it so who am I to judge that.  I am being harsh in my criticism of the question though, through and through.

The implication that this was a JD bashing of Yak is and was unappreciated...  It wasn't true, the staff here don't care about that one way or the other and anyone not on the staff with that opinion is entitled to it I guess but I don't see anyone pushing that agenda here...  I do see a lot of people who couldn't help but do the old ::) when they read the SAME friggin' playset question, again, last Q&A go-round...  I personally couldn't believe it was asked again.  It just seemed like a wasted slot, and got the same response.

About the hypothetical argument that Hasbro turns around and pulls a playset out of their ass some week...  Like Matt said, that's a bad argument anyway.  Hypothetical arguments are pointless anyway, but let's add to it that the cartoon comes out next year and just blows away the public...  They do a CW Playset that's really cool...  Q&A repetition didn't impact that, it was just in the cards for it to happen like playsets happened in 1999 and 2002...  Just was their time.

Like I said though, and I reiterate here.  The Q&A thread we're in is harping on the question right now, that's the focus.  I dont' know who took it wrong other than yourself CHEWIE, and maybe it was taken just too personally because you like the question, but Yak's not part of the equation here other than they were the vessel by which this Q got asked at all.
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #386 on: January 3, 2007, 03:42 AM »
Jesse, I never said that JD was attacking Yak and said in a previous post that nobody at Yak thought that.  When you said "The implication that this was a JD bashing of Yak is and was unappreciated" - I think what I was saying was misinterpreted.   I did say that bashing was going on, but I never implied it was by JD staff (which is what I refer to when I say JD).  So there's no reason to be defensive on the JD-Yak front.  All is fine.

There was some bashing going on that in my opinion was directed at Yakface for allowing the question to be submitted.  If you don't think the tone of thread was implied that way, then that is your opinion.  You're seeing it from a JD perspective.  And I have mine.  I have said several times now that I didn't think that JD was coming down on Yak, and I mean it.  Just the tone of the thread was (not by staff members) hostile.  I hope I don't have to say again that I don't feel JD was being critical of Yak and am sorry that you received that impression. 

Now, I'll say again that I didn't like how that playset question was worded when it was sent to Hasbro.  That was the only bad thing about it in my opinion, it came off as rude.  And I hate seeing that, I wish it had been at least edited down some.

This has sparked my curiosity some and I've looked back at some of the questions that I've missed.  Here's a great one from here at JD not too long ago -

----------------------------------------------------------------

3. What's been the biggest learning point that you've taken away from participating in the first 20 Q&A sessions? Has there been anything in particular that made you sit back and think, "wow, those crazy collectors are really after product X?" Have there been any specific products set into motion for 2008 or beyond based on the collective Q&A input?

** Interesting question. If anything, it has been that our intuition and interest in expanding into the EU definitely struck a vein of fan interest and the large number of EU-related questions have enabled us to think as broadly as possible about the prospects and think about other opportunities. Another thing we have taken away is that beyond the EU, we think that we have been constructing the whole line in a way that touches upon many, if not all, of the specific sub-classes of figures and themes that fans like at least as far as the figure and vehicle selection goes that fans have been asking about. If fans are asking detailed questions that is good for us and helps us think more deeply about things. Of course, the hardest thing about the Q&A is holding ourselves back a bit in our answers and not "spilling the beans" about the exciting things we have coming out. We prefer to keep things as close to the vest as possible so we have new things to talk about, and not have the line gradually revealed all the way until the end of 2008 .

----------------------------------------------------------------


Maybe read that answer over again, and see that Hasbro said that asking in more detailed questions is good for them and helps them think more deeply about things.  Plus they mention that since EU was mentioned so many times, they are thinking as broadly as possible about how to incorporate the EU line.  Hmmm.... what's so different about bringing up playsets again in a Q&A when EU has been done several times and they admit it has gotten them more serious about it?  What if because they saw a lot of interest in the playsets in the Q&As, they started to take it more seriously?

The more you look into it, the more it appears that if you do want playsets, you're wasting an opportunity to maybe have them think as broadly as possible here.  Ask once and you get a "NO" and then drop the subject without addressing it in another fashion when your readers are still asking about it?   If we drop it when there is clearly still interest there by collectors, Hasbro might see it as "See, we don't need to make laysets for them because they're not even asking about it anymore." 

But if they hear it enough, they might take on a new attitude and at least go to the drawing board and see what might be accomplished, put forward a project plan and put out a couple examples for fans to vote on.  Then put it out there as an exclusive to limit production enough to cover their costs/profit margin.  That is what I meant when I said what if Hasbro announced in a Q&A that a playset was in the works because of the overwhelming interest by the fans... I think at that point people would be GLAD that the question was asked.  People can say this would never happen all they want, but I've been around boards for almost 10 years and have seen people say all kinds of things would never happen, that eventually did.

I don't believe in giving up on something that I want to see happen, especially when I know there are people out there who want the exact same thing.  When there is something you want to see done, see if you can do something about it... what other opportunity to we have to express to Hasbro that many of us want playsets?  Do they have a suggestion box that I'm not aware of?  We have their ear with these Q&A's at least to some degree.  I want to see fresh, creative, original questions as much as anyone, but if someone brought up ICMG or something else they haven't seemed interested in before, I'd respect that person and the site enough to not ridicule them for the question being answered. 

I work in market research and we do a lot of focus groups/data collection.  There are opportunities for respondents to use open ended qualitative responses to explain what they want to see in a product.  Time and time again, our clients find answers that surprise them thought this methodology and discover breakthroughs in their research.  Maybe Hasbro just isn't open minded enough, or maybe they have it all working like a well oiled machine.  They must do a lot of research, but I don't think they've figured out the kid/collector mix they have in their market just yet.  Getting better, just not there yet.


Before I call it a night, Bob Dylan SW fan's post earlier regarding this clearly represents my point of view.  -

Look, this site continues to carry the torch for a figure that defines obscure and uninteresting. And I signed the petition, because I'll support some fans getting something they want, even if it isn't something I am very interested in myself. It's part of supporting the community we have created.

I continue to kick the playset horse myself in some of these threads. I would like to see some products to showcase the thousands of figures I have bought in the last 10 years. I don't care much for play features, but some well made backdrops for my characters would be very welcome. They don't need to be huge or complicated, something like the backdrops they have been inserting into the ship boxes with windows (dagobah x wing, snowspeeder).

This is not 1977. These items do not have to be carried in a catalog, shipped to thousands of retail stores, and advertised on television. Hasbro has a sales website capable of carrying something like this, or it could be a shared internet exclusive like some of the multipacks. I think there are creative ways to look at making something to see how it does.

I just think the tone of this thread is not something the mods should be supporting. It is bashing- pure and simple. The message is clear, anyone asking for playsets or something like it is an idiot. But don't forget to sign the ICMG petition on your way out the door.

It's a hobby of toys- smearing someone elses ideas does not make you smarter or better then them. There is no right way to collect, and no wrong way either.




 ;)

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #387 on: January 3, 2007, 05:07 AM »
I'm all about the people keeping hope alive for what it is they want...  I want super articulation, or at least an increased standard, across the board...  It happens in some ways but fluctuates so I'm not 100% content, but I keep my hope alive...  That said, like I mentioned earlier in this thread, I don't ask a question weekly about an increase in articulation because I know the answer to that question. 

Now, I was gonna quote something here but it's so incredibly extensive and long-winded that it'd screw this page completely...  It's the Playset portion of the Q&A Archive that Matt puts together around the forums.  There are questions from every site (including here) on playsets...  There's almost every variation on playsets within this grouping you could imagine from little interlocking playsets to subcontracting playsets to another better company for it...  You name it and it seems asked in here.  Please, check it out as there's a lot:

Categorized Playset List Of Q's & A's From Hasbro

Now, honestly...  Totally serious here...

Did the question asked at Yak innovate on ANY of those ideas at all?  A single one of them?

I think when Hasbro answered our question about EU and in-depth questions and such, they're talking apples and oranges in comparison to playsets...  Playsets don't have the variety to discuss even.  They are what they are...  EU, as per my interpretation of the answer, is something so broad that they get this or that brought to their attention from a source they didn't think of...

Looking through the Q&A archive though, I don't see how you can get more involved in asking a playset question and get them to stroke their beards in contemplation and think about the topic at this point.  I'm sure if that question existed and got asked, it really wouldn't get this kind of a reception when people talk about the Q&A...  I'm sure it'd get some interest and discussion going, it would have put some light on at Hasbro.

But we're here talking about this specific question that was asked, and there was not one innovative thought in that question, it didn't make anyone think "wow, that's a good idea that Hasbro is sure to listen to!".  It just fell flat...

Hell, take away the condescending attitude, and I think it still sucks...  It didn't ask a single variation on anything already answered.  It's just repetition, and repetition gets old when you've laid out a clear answer to the query.  It just isn't a go for them.  The closest to positive Hasbro has ever said, is that "If ______ is important in the cartoon, maybe", which is hardly a positive towards getting playsets.

The irony of it all is that in this thread I think even the people who think the question sucked, also feel that they would love a nice playset in the vein of what I've heard you talk about in the past.  I mean, how many of us were stoked when we saw the Attakus resin dioramas?  I know I was...  Then I saw the price and realized that was a pipe dream.

Nobody's squishing people's toy dreams by criticizing this thread, I think people are just being realistic as to the question's validity at this point.  It has none...  If I see it expanded upon so it's really innovative, I'd gladly applaud the sly wording and innovative thinking.  That question just basically told Hasbro that they are mistaken, and that they should abandon their data and listen to whoever the guy was that asked that question.

Anyway, that's about it...  I don't know what more to say that makes sense on the matter other than I hope at least that future playset questions somehow take a turn nobody thought of yet in all those myriad of questions I linked to above...

About Bob's quote though, there was a lot of response to his quote...  namely, this one point:

A figure is feasible at this point, no matter how obscure.  Hasbro's track record is past precedent for that, and they have said in the Q&A themselves that even our obscure support of the ICMG is something they are "looking into".  It's a low-risk action figure like any other they can mix in with army builders and main characters to make sure it doesn't hurt them in the long run...

Playsets aren't figures though...

Nobody here wants to squash playset dreams, and most of us want a cool playset too...  I know I sure do.  But the question is just so dead...  If we were told by Hasbro that the ICMG wasn't going to happen ever, because he's just too obscure a character and they won't waste money on him or something, we'd have quit asking them to make him as one of our questions any given week...  We'd still be pushing for one here, but ICMG would really have a death nail in him at that point.  The Playsets seem to be at that point, and I see no way of rewording the question to make Hasbro suddenly agree to make this stuff.  Thus I see questions pertaining to it as fairly wasteful when something else could've been asked.  That's me though, and I still want a playset, I just don't hold out hope for getting one...  Nor do I hope to see SA a standard for this line either.  Just not gonna happen.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #388 on: January 3, 2007, 11:54 AM »


3. What's been the biggest learning point that you've taken away from participating in the first 20 Q&A sessions? Has there been anything in particular that made you sit back and think, "wow, those crazy collectors are really after product X?" Have there been any specific products set into motion for 2008 or beyond based on the collective Q&A input?

** Interesting question. If anything, it has been that our intuition and interest in expanding into the EU definitely struck a vein of fan interest and the large number of EU-related questions have enabled us to think as broadly as possible about the prospects and think about other opportunities. Another thing we have taken away is that beyond the EU, we think that we have been constructing the whole line in a way that touches upon many, if not all, of the specific sub-classes of figures and themes that fans like at least as far as the figure and vehicle selection goes that fans have been asking about. If fans are asking detailed questions that is good for us and helps us think more deeply about things. Of course, the hardest thing about the Q&A is holding ourselves back a bit in our answers and not "spilling the beans" about the exciting things we have coming out. We prefer to keep things as close to the vest as possible so we have new things to talk about, and not have the line gradually revealed all the way until the end of 2008 .

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Maybe read that answer over again, and see that Hasbro said that asking in more detailed questions is good for them and helps them think more deeply about things.  Plus they mention that since EU was mentioned so many times, they are thinking as broadly as possible about how to incorporate the EU line.  Hmmm.... what's so different about bringing up playsets again in a Q&A when EU has been done several times and they admit it has gotten them more serious about it?  What if because they saw a lot of interest in the playsets in the Q&As, they started to take it more seriously?

The more you look into it, the more it appears that if you do want playsets, you're wasting an opportunity to maybe have them think as broadly as possible here.  Ask once and you get a "NO" and then drop the subject without addressing it in another fashion when your readers are still asking about it?   If we drop it when there is clearly still interest there by collectors, Hasbro might see it as "See, we don't need to make laysets for them because they're not even asking about it anymore." 

But if they hear it enough, they might take on a new attitude and at least go to the drawing board and see what might be accomplished, put forward a project plan and put out a couple examples for fans to vote on.  Then put it out there as an exclusive to limit production enough to cover their costs/profit margin.  That is what I meant when I said what if Hasbro announced in a Q&A that a playset was in the works because of the overwhelming interest by the fans... I think at that point people would be GLAD that the question was asked.  People can say this would never happen all they want, but I've been around boards for almost 10 years and have seen people say all kinds of things would never happen, that eventually did.

Chewie, I understand your rationale here.  Hasbro saw just how much interest there was in the EU and they've responded in kind by saying that they're planning on supplementing OT and PT characters with some from the EU.  And to their credit, the people that have been asking for EU figures for years are getting their wish (to an extent).  But when we compare that interest in EU figures with playsets, we're really comparing apples and oranges.  The figure line is broad enough that Hasbro can afford to take some chances with it.  And the costs are low enough that they can at least afford to give things a try.  Plus it's not that hard of a sell for them to get retail involved.

Then we look at playsets.  Sure, the collector interest is there.  But is there kid interest too?  And vice versa, is there a playset design that's geared towards kids that will appeal to collectors as well?  And then there's the costs.  The costs for design, engineering and tooling are considerably higher than those for a figure.  Then factor in getting a retailer on board that is going to make space in their planogram for such an item.  These are the challenges that Hasbro and collectors alike are facing when it comes to playsets.  I think that it's this kind of honesty that we need to have in this kind of discussion.  Now I want playsets as much as any other diorama oriented collector.  But I'm also honest enough to lay out those facts.
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« Reply #389 on: January 3, 2007, 12:16 PM »
Jesse, I think we both want just about the same things made in the hobby.  I know you want actually some more large items like the AT-TE if it comes out to be "in scale"; while I'd be happy with a downscaled version because I think it's the only way it could ever be made. 

I think really we just disagree on the validity of the playsets question.  That's a great list compiled of playset questions (thank you), I hadn't realized that there were that many that had been asked.  I'm not sure why it's an invalid question or why this time when something was asked about it that it created such a negative vibe or if that happened the other times it was asked by other sites or not.  I think too big of a deal was made over the question. 

With the number of times it has been brought up to Hasbro though, it at at least has to be getting the point across though that there's interest out there for them.  Hasbro just isn't being creative enough in my opinion to make the idea work.  I don't know how they can prove that playsets don't sell when they are unwilling to actually put a GOOD playset out on the market.  Until that happens, there will always be a number of fans who will and have every right to debate Hasbro on this.  But it's not worth getting into an argument over, it's water under the bridge. 

Nicklab, you make good points and I understand exactly what you're saying.  But I look at the tooling that was required for a Gunship or the ARC-170, and see perhaps even less tooling to go into a simple modular playset.  All you really need is a floor (which is essentially just a sheet of plastic), a few walls that snap on the sides, and a ceiling.  It could be just a few pieces of plastic that interlock.  Throw in a couple accessories and an exclusive figure or any army builder and package it nicely, and I don't think TRU or Target would turn their nose up to the idea of carrying it.  I just don't think it would be that expensive.  Just my opinion.   :)

 ;)