Author Topic: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?  (Read 90196 times)

Offline Ben

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #525 on: March 19, 2017, 06:46 PM »
Here's the latest article featuring Paul Harrison, where he declares his disdain for lots of things.

Quote
This doesn’t mean, however, that Hasbro can’t approach the super-articulated 3.75” line in a more direct-to-market approach. Heck, Hasbro Toy Shop is out of stock of good products 90% of the time. Why not utilize them to bring a 3.75” collector-focused line back to the general marketplace again?

This bonehead forgot why Hasbro started HTS in the first place- to sell GI Joe online when retail no longer wanted it. It didn't work out so well, and I don't think Junior here knows as much as he claims to.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #526 on: March 20, 2017, 11:58 AM »
Here's the latest article featuring Paul Harrison, where he declares his disdain for lots of things.

Quote
This doesn’t mean, however, that Hasbro can’t approach the super-articulated 3.75” line in a more direct-to-market approach. Heck, Hasbro Toy Shop is out of stock of good products 90% of the time. Why not utilize them to bring a 3.75” collector-focused line back to the general marketplace again?

This bonehead forgot why Hasbro started HTS in the first place- to sell GI Joe online when retail no longer wanted it. It didn't work out so well, and I don't think Junior here knows as much as he claims to.


He also doesn't seem to have taken into account that Disney upped the price of the Star Wars license for Hasbro back in 2013, to the tune of an additional $225 million running through 2020.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #527 on: March 20, 2017, 11:19 PM »
Facts seem to be annoying on all levels these days.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #528 on: March 21, 2017, 07:07 PM »
Facts seem to be annoying on all levels these days.

Who needs facts when you can have "alternative" facts?  Or the uncanny ability to project your own collecting wants on an entire collecting community with over the top commentary?
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Offline Darby

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #529 on: March 22, 2017, 02:25 AM »
The subtext is rapidly becoming the text these days.  :-\

Offline JediJman

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #530 on: March 22, 2017, 09:55 AM »
Good God, Paul is worse than Trump, and that's saying a lot.

"I, on behalf of Jedi Temple Archives, annoyed Hasbro about re-releasing the Emperor’s Royal Guard until they finally did."

I assume from his comments that Paul was also responsible for Disney buying Star Wars, the return of new Star Wars movies, and the sun rising every day.  Then he says he hasn't been on a retail store run since 2013 in dramatic effect, later saying he last bought figures in the store last Sept. for the Force Friday event.  He complains that the WM Black Series didn't contain new background figures or Tatooine aliens, but then later blames background characters for the distribution pile up.    ::) 

"Now that it’s mainstream, there are too many newbies that think they’re experts and it drives me crazy."  This guy's Ego could fill a city block.

I like the guy who wrote the article too - "whenever I walk down the toy aisle at a big box retail store, it almost always seems to be filled with whatever the latest offerings are from LEGO, Mattel, Playmates, etc...their Star Wars offerings are almost always behind by multiple waves."  How are they "behind" waves if that's the most current thing available at retail?   If there's newer stuff released and it's not in the aisle like other brands, isn't that an indication that the new stuff is selling through quickly?

This line is my favorite: "When I’ve asked more confrontational questions, even in the respectful manner that I did, I was told they wouldn’t answer that.  For example, I have brought evidence to them multiple times how Walmart is the ABSOLUTE worst retailer for the 3.75” super-articulated line.  Keep using that respectful manner, Paulie.

What an idiot.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 12:07 PM by JediJman »
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Offline Jayson

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #531 on: March 22, 2017, 11:34 AM »
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Offline JediJman

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #532 on: March 22, 2017, 12:08 PM »
LOL
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Online Jeff

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #533 on: March 22, 2017, 01:12 PM »
Honestly, I have a hard time finding any hope for the future of Star Wars 3.75" SA these days.

I know a lot of people and websites would like to see 3.75" SA return as the "main" basic figure line, but what does that look like? 

The $13 price point right now is off-set by 50% repacks in the line.  Is that sustainable going forward?  If you try to put out 36 figures a year, that's 18 new and 18 repacks.  That will get old pretty fast for $13 each, even on vintage cards.  And that's not even factoring what case assortments of distribution would look like.

And the quality.  The current Black Series at $13 isn't winning awards for great paint aps and deco.  What little deco there is can be sloppy at times (Poe's stubble; Cassian's beard; TFA Leia's eyes; etc).  Some of the missing paint aps really hurt the look of the figures, missing washes and highlights and whatnot.

I honestly wonder what the actual retail cost would be these days if Hasbro tried to roll out the 2007 30AC stuff.  What would a Kybuck/Yoda, Luke/Moisture Vaporator, Hermi Odle, or Torture Rack Han cost these days?  $20 each?

I know I'm in the minority, but I'd probably be OK paying $20 each if it meant we could get that 2007-2010 level of figure selection, quality, and accessories back.  Who am I kidding, I'm paying that now for Hiya/Aliens, Acid Rain, Boss Fight, and KFT/Cowboy figures.  I know I'd pay $20 to get top notch stuff.  But it's a pipe dream and I know it.

3.75" SA is a niche product now.  It just costs too much to give us (me) want we (I) want.  Hasbro knows that, which is why they moved to 6" in the first place.  I guess I've learned to be OK with that.  I'll buy the 3.75" SA scraps that we're tossed and I'll supplement my 3.75" collection with the 5POA versions of the new movie characters. 

It won't be the same, but nothing lasts forever.  We should be happy that we had it as good as we did for as long as we did.  :)
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Online Dave

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #534 on: March 22, 2017, 02:00 PM »
I for one think the paint apps, washes, etc. are far superior on the 5POA stuff, and as a result I actually prefer the quality and price point of the 5POA figures.

Although I agree with you Jeff that if Hasbro increased the quality and maybe added a useful pack-in I wouldn't have a problem spending $20 for 5.75" SA figure.  I personally find the current $14 price point with mixed quality and exclusive distribution very sub-optimal.  I've bought all the new sculpts they've created, and generally like them (after sorting through all the bad paint apps) but I don't think their product strategy is all that great for SA figs.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 03:10 PM by Dave »

Offline JediJman

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #535 on: March 22, 2017, 03:03 PM »
Okay, but to play Devil's Advocate the Walmart line is an "Exclusive."  We have almost universally paid higher prices for exclusive product, so the "norm" on SA figures shouldn't be $13ish, especially if you factor in they've bounced down to $10 and $6 on recent clearance.  You also have to factor in that there is some added profit incentive to sell that product in all stores versus just one retailer, even if the retailer is a big boy like Walmart.  I don't think it's beyond reason to say that a $13-15 range for SA figures could be both profitable for Hasbro and meet collector desire for something more than 5 POA.  The big question is whether or not retailers are interested in a product like that.  I personally wouldn't mind buying up assortments of half repack SA figures or repaints if it makes the line more feasible.  Who wouldn't buy up SA Shadow Stormtroopers and Biker Scouts and Rebel Pilots with some new cardbacks?

As for the aps, I'm not expert on factory production, but I see this as a quality issue not a pricing issue.  Hasbro needs to set better standards for their product and push back on the factories if a production run is below agreed upon quality.  I don't know if that translates to price (i.e. they have to get production done at a different facility that costs more) or if its just diligence in their standards (i.e. they have to get more involved with preproduction testing and/or be willing to accept delays when they discover faulty production runs). 

This isn't rocket surgery - if you demonstrate to your loyal fans that you're going to take special care of them, then they will follow you to the ends of the Earth.  When you start taking actions that show you're clearly not putting the consumer first, there's bound to be consumer backlash and erosion of the brand.
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Online Jeff

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #536 on: March 22, 2017, 04:49 PM »
Okay, but to play Devil's Advocate the Walmart line is an "Exclusive."  We have almost universally paid higher prices for exclusive product, so the "norm" on SA figures shouldn't be $13ish, especially if you factor in they've bounced down to $10 and $6 on recent clearance.  You also have to factor in that there is some added profit incentive to sell that product in all stores versus just one retailer, even if the retailer is a big boy like Walmart.  I don't think it's beyond reason to say that a $13-15 range for SA figures could be both profitable for Hasbro and meet collector desire for something more than 5 POA.

Ok... so which is it?  You just said the norm shouldn't be $13ish, then you turned around and started talking about a $13-15 range being profitable?  :P

And, like we've talked about before, being profitable isn't enough anymore.  It has to be profitable enough to hit certain margin expectations.


if you demonstrate to your loyal fans that you're going to take special care of them, then they will follow you to the ends of the Earth.  When you start taking actions that show you're clearly not putting the consumer first, there's bound to be consumer backlash and erosion of the brand.

I see the problem there being the fact that the "loyal fans" and the "consumer" are two very different groups in Hasbro's eyes.  It seems like all our troubles began the moment Hasbro decided to move to a cheaper 5POA 3.75" line to put the general consumer buying habits first, much to the chagrin of the "loyal fan" collectors. :-\
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #537 on: March 23, 2017, 01:29 AM »
My mind, at least at this point, is that I'd just like to see Hasbro take things to 2006-2007 levels...  I like the angle-cut elbows of the Death Star Gunner, and I'm ok that my Academy Biggs doesn't have knees (It'd be cool if he did, but hey, I'm just happy we got that figure at this point).

Like Jeff said, at what point do SOME people (not pointing fingers...  at least not around here anyway) get off the preacher's podium and look around at everything Hasbro DID do for us.  A whole line of McQuarrie Concept action figures?  That STILL blows my mind that we got that.  We've gotten vehicles out the ying yang that NOBODY gave a **** about when they were new and they went to clearance en masse.  We got massive vehicles like the AT-TE that's actually pretty accurately scaled really, and nobody seemed to care much about it.

2007 alone is an entire toy line's life for similar action figure-styled lines (not saying like Lego or some such, but tell me a line that got that kind of diversity in the modern era?  GI Joe maybe).

At some point you should be more appreciative of what you have than what you don't.

And don't get me wrong, I'm a completely "articulated" 3.75" collector.  For me the 5POA are only there as customizing potential really.  Aliens get a pass but the mains?  Forget it.  They suck.  They really do.  Dave, I gotta say I'm way not in your corner on the paint ops on 5POA compared to the SA (meager as the offerings may be) line.  Compare the Jyn to Jyn and that WM Jyn is REALLY nice, and the paint apps are definitely superior.  The Death Trooper's paint apps are vastly superior to the 5POA figure's as well, and the weapon is even superior plastic and has paint details.  I really feel the $13 at least gets you something better.

The availability leaves something to be desired.  I'm in the same boat as we all are there.  And like Jeff said I don't have much hope for SA stuff.  I appreciate what we get, even Leia and Han, such as they are.  Not my favs.

Like I say, I'd love something 06-07 in terms of articulation being selective, but superior to what the 5POA line currently is.  And if it's at a higher price (but lower than WM's line's price) so be it.  But I don't know how that jives with what Hasbro wants.  I just don't know and so I don't get my hopes up.  And my hopes I consider more tempered and realistic than the current whining that everything should be SA and we should be still getting these deep runs of obscurity...  Sitting back and posting 30 news stories a month about what Hasbro "should be doing" but without factoring in any business-minded thinking besides "I like this a ton and so I'm SURE it'll sell a ton and I'm sure they can do it cheaper, but they just aren't...  for some reason", isn't productive, constructive, or even informative.

It's funny that my heart is in that realm of the very thing kind of being mocked here, but my mind is filled with all my schooling, and everyone I met who actually worked in the toy industry within the US and Asia, and all these other things that just make me realize that we are in a very different time than 10 years ago.  My god the "good" stuff happened 10 years ago even.  Wow.   :-\  Time flies.  And times change too.

The cool thing, I have other stuff I enjoy than Star Wars...  all my eggs aren't in one basket there, as far as hobbies go.  And Hasbro isn't missing my $, trust me.  I've seen that argument...  Collectors matter but Hasbro wants new generations over the old.  I get that.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #538 on: March 23, 2017, 08:51 AM »
Perspective is something that seems to be lacking in some circles.  And using that same perspective?  I get the sense that maybe Hasbro launched the TVC line as a way to put something of an exclamation point on the 3.75" figure line.  Sure, there was still the 3.75" Black Series that followed, but I think that some of the figures in that line were in development when Lucasfilm decided to pull back from releasing the entire Star Wars saga theatrically in 3D, and the sale to Disney ensued.


This line is my favorite: "When I’ve asked more confrontational questions, even in the respectful manner that I did, I was told they wouldn’t answer that.  For example, I have brought evidence to them multiple times how Walmart is the ABSOLUTE worst retailer for the 3.75” super-articulated line.  Keep using that respectful manner, Paulie.

What an idiot.

You said it!  Nowhere does this overblown idiot take into account that WalMart is the biggest retailer in the world.  Nowhere does he mention that they have the most store locations of any toy retailer in the U.S., nor does he mention that WalMart has the highest gross toy sales of any retailer.  He's completely divorced himself from those tangible facts.

For the record, I HATE WalMart.  I hate their business model and that they've driven a lot of small businesses out of business.  I think WalMart doesn't offer a good experience for shoppers in their stores.  I don't think their employees are motivated to help customers.  And I don't think they manage their inventory anywhere near as effectively as a competitor like Target.

But WalMart has significant reach to a lot of customers.  All of those store locations count for something.  And while I don't like the experience that a WalMart store offers relative to other retailers, I understand some of the reasoning here.  And I remember having numerous conversations with Derryl DePriest when he was running the Star Wars brand.  Derryl was emphatic about saying that he wanted to make sure that whoever wanted to get a particular Star Wars toy was able to get it.  With an exclusive figure line like the 3.75" Black Series, the number of WalMart stores means that they will probably be able to get those figures to people who want them.  Hasbro is trying to make that outreach.  Is the retail partner perfect?  No.  But I think with the number of stores WalMart can reach that some stores will compensate for the failings of others.


I would also like to see the line in something like that 2006 - 2008 style model.  Not every figure needs to be super-articulated.  Use that where it's appropriate:  troopers, Jedi, Sith, etc.  Has there been a dropoff in quality in the current SA figures?  Slightly, I think.  But I also think that Hasbro's dealing with some challenges on the production end of things:  rising labor costs in Asia.  As well as possibly shifting manufacturing to emerging markets like Vietnam because of the increased cost of Chinese labor.  I think the quality of paint apps will improve but it's going to take time.

Something I've noticed over the past 3 or 4 years?  The fact that a lot of the solid characters from the OT and PT have been pretty well mined.  The core characters have been done almost exhaustively with very few exceptions.  And I think it's become  more than a little tough for Hasbro to keep it interesting to both the collector base as well as the more casual customers from that material.  The current entertainment properties offer a lot more options for Hasbro that have some broad based appeal right now (Rebels, TFA, Rogue One).  I definitely think that there's more to draw from in the PT and OT, but it might be down to perhaps one wave of figures per year for each of the two trilogies.  Until Mr. Hyperbole over at JTA can grasp the fact that the line has to appeal to a broad base of customers, not just hardcore collectors, he's going to continue to come across like an annoying idiot.

And then there's the target of his ire:  the 6" Black Series.  And I have optimism about the future of that line.  It's fertile ground to mine characters from across the saga:  all eight of the movies as well as television and video game properties.  And as a collecting community we're not dithering about this Cantina alien versus that Cantina alien, or Jabba's goon #17 versus Jabba's goon #22.  Plus there's more of a draw for more casual fans.  And those are the buyers who help to bolster volume sales.  Add in the customer base of collectors who are much more into 6" figures than 3.75" figures, and it helps expand the reach of the brand.  I'm not so down on the 6" figures.  I think anything that helps to breathe some life into things cannot be all bad.  And I like the fact that the 6" figures don't suffer from the incremental progress that we used to see in the 3.75" line, where I think Hasbro milked collectors for gradually improved versions of the same character over time. 

Unfortunately, I don't think the 6" figure platform lends itself to vehicles like the 3.75" line did.  But is that necessarily a bad thing?  I think that as long as vehicles remain challenging in the 6" scale, it will leave an avenue open for the 3.75" line.  My favorite vehicle from the Kenner line was my vintage Millenium Falcon!  And likewise, the BMF Falcon is hands down my favorite vehicle from the modern era.  You could NEVER make something like that in the 6" figure format, and I'm fine with that.  Will Hasbro pursue other vehicles in the 6" line?  Who knows?  I think speeder vehicles are an option, but you're never going to get those cool bigger vehicles like the Falcon, Republic Gunship or Imperial Shuttle.  And it's that realm that gives me hope for the 3.75" line. 
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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #539 on: March 23, 2017, 10:01 AM »
I think the main problem, let's face it, is this guys sad life. When all your palpable angst and frustration is tied up in little plastic toys, it's pretty clear you don't have a lot else going on in your life, I.E.: real job, spouse, children, health issues, mortgage and car payments, the political and cultural future of our country, etc. no perspective at all here. IT'S THE WORST POSSIBLE THING IMAGINABLE!  ::)

Maybe try building some relationships with other actual human beings outside of the Comments section and who knows, maybe one day it won't seem like the end of the world if Constable Zuvio doesn't have bendable knees.

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