Author Topic: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations  (Read 483 times)

Online Jeff

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Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« on: February 5, 2018, 07:51 PM »
it seems the new hip thing is for these companies to pay media outlets like USA Today, MTV, or the NY Times to officially reveal stuff.

It's the other way around - the media companies are paying Hasbro for the exclusive reveals. 

That is why Hasbro has had to clamp down on the fan sites.  If EW/Wired/Gizmodo/io9 is paying for an exclusive reveal and then Yakface reveals it three weeks early from a DPCI/Brickseek search?  Hasbro lawyers get breach of contract emails from EW/Wired/etc and the fan site is on the **** list for ruining that revenue.  :-X
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #1 on: February 5, 2018, 08:04 PM »
Yeah I thought about saying something but I felt Jeff's call on that one, but yeah that's totally how it is.  It's also why fan whining about Hasbro "giving" this news to big outlets instead of fan sites always makes me lol.  Our readers buy the **** already, and seek the news out.  USA Today's average reader does not.  Why exactly again should Hasbro be giving all this news away then to us?

That said, YF gets the screws put to it but others have been leaking stuff, then gloating about leaking stuff, and they're the same ones who bitch about stuff leaking cheapening the shows and things...  It's a big cluster F of stupidity really.  But yeah Hasbro has reasons.  It sucks, but it is what it is.  It isn't always evenly spread punishment though I'm noticing.   :-X
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Offline Darby

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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #2 on: February 5, 2018, 09:08 PM »
It would be one thing if Hasbro's ire was applied equally. JTA continues to 'leak' and smack their gums about their relationship with Litzky while pissing on the shoes of other collector sites. That's on Hasbro. Hasbro is probably reluctant to penalize JTA, despite their pattern of behavior well documented here and elsewhere, because JTA generates a lot of awareness around their brand that other sites may not. I knew something was wrong when Hasbro was talking about having JTA on a collector panel at the same time he was running his mouth about women and minorities and there was no manifest Hasbro response.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #3 on: February 5, 2018, 09:59 PM »
Eh, I don't think Hasbro looks at sites like that really.  There's not much fear there.  Nothing generated by any site is anything but gravy on the heap of mashed potatoes they get from the major news outlets, which they of course will always get because that's just how it is and that's logical.  I mean they maintain a relationship with the sites like ours, and that's great, and we love working with them.  You get the insight from designers and things that you otherwise wouldn't really have, and that's the kind of thing readers of sites like ours enjoy hearing, but I don't really think Hasbro worries one iota about pissing off any one of the "fan sites" because ultimately even if all you do is bitch about the product they put out, you're still advertising it.

Personally though, I've never had a bad thing to say about any of the Hasbro employees themselves, or the PR companies we talk to.  They've all been pretty cool people digitally and in person.  And they're ok with fair criticism for sure, or outright whining really, just not leaking materials before they want them leaked.  They've clamped down on that.

They used to be much cooler/looser to deal with too though...  That got shat upon, once again due to a collecting site, so they're maybe not quite as loose at shows as they used to be.  Anton can kind of back me up on the structure of that more than I can say myself even, since he does our SDCC stuff for us every year. 

But when a site decides to push an agenda, over just reporting, then rules have to be put in place and enforced more strictly. ::)

Hasbro I can't say gets into the microcosm that is comments on boards...  That's not their thing, and they stay away from it.  The sites are their own people and represent themselves.  I don't think Hasbro wants to get involved beyond that, nor would I blame them.
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Offline Darby

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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #4 on: February 5, 2018, 10:23 PM »
This is kind of what I'm saying -

Quote
But when a site decides to push an agenda, over just reporting, then rules have to be put in place and enforced more strictly.

I have no issue with anyone at Hasbro. It seems odd to me, though, that the site that doesn't play by the rules also isn't penalized for them. I've lost interest in the play by play relative to JTA and so on. I think Hasbro does what it does and the fan sites do what they do, and somewhere in between we're kind of limping along, collecting as we go.

But I don't want to get bogged down in all that stuff. I did like what I saw of the Solo toys so far, and the movie. Seems like it could have a lot of potential for cool toys and figures.

Online Matt_Fury

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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #5 on: February 5, 2018, 10:40 PM »
You would think Hasbro would look at talking to JD and other collecting sites because it's a direct line to a good portion of their customers.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #6 on: February 6, 2018, 03:37 AM »
Honestly Matt, collectors have not been as relevant for a while and I'm firmly in the camp that we're relevant only to a point with them, but that they're after the broader audience at all times.  I think it's because our tastes are very specific (generally), and I think we're an ever-shrinking segment just by the simple march of time.  But also I think the broader economic shadow has forced it to where Hasbro has an ever more difficult time "catering".  Add in Disney, and how the game basically changed completely from when Lucas ran it, and collectors just don't hold much power.

Some for sure, and they always like to keep PR good with the old folks like us, but collectors are not even the same as when we all got into this mess.  They're now 6" fans, or there's the people who were little when the PT came out and became fans in a different way than we did and stuff.  I just don't think we're all that important.  Or rather, maybe, not as important as we once were maybe.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #7 on: February 6, 2018, 11:07 AM »
Honestly Matt, collectors have not been as relevant for a while and I'm firmly in the camp that we're relevant only to a point with them, but that they're after the broader audience at all times.  I think it's because our tastes are very specific (generally), and I think we're an ever-shrinking segment just by the simple march of time.  But also I think the broader economic shadow has forced it to where Hasbro has an ever more difficult time "catering".  Add in Disney, and how the game basically changed completely from when Lucas ran it, and collectors just don't hold much power.

Some for sure, and they always like to keep PR good with the old folks like us, but collectors are not even the same as when we all got into this mess.  They're now 6" fans, or there's the people who were little when the PT came out and became fans in a different way than we did and stuff.  I just don't think we're all that important.  Or rather, maybe, not as important as we once were maybe.

This is all anecdotal, but there is a sub-reddit I subscribe to called Star Wars Collectors with 5,500 members...   I don't go to stores often, but when I do there are regularly adults who don't look like parents taking a look at SW stuff.  There's Facebook groups now where collectors buy/sell/trade...

Basically, I'm not sure about the idea that the collector has diminished that much.  I think it's fractured a bit, and maybe Hasbro's share isn't quite what it used to be, but I also think that's because they've been putting out simpler figures with a less collector-oriented lineup for years now.  The good stuff is only available at Walmart and there's not much of it, and 6" is competing for collector dollars.

I just think the people using forums like this has diminished and guys our age have started moving into Black Series 6", Gentle Giant, Sideshow, Hot Toys... even Lego.
« Last Edit: February 6, 2018, 11:15 AM by Rob »

Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #8 on: February 6, 2018, 11:20 AM »
Some for sure, and they always like to keep PR good with the old folks like us, but collectors are not even the same as when we all got into this mess.  They're now 6" fans, or there's the people who were little when the PT came out and became fans in a different way than we did and stuff.  I just don't think we're all that important.  Or rather, maybe, not as important as we once were maybe.

What also doesn't help is that if we were draw a venn diagram of "Star Wars Collectors" and "40-something Star Wars fans who hate everything since Disney bought Lucasfilm" there is unfortunately A LOT of overlap. There is an entire site dedicated to showing how large the overlap actually is.  ::)

So if you're a licensee who paid $$$ to acquire that license, do you appease a vocal minority who seem hell-bent on bashing everything your licensor is doing or do you get on the bandwagon with your licensor who, at some point, is going to pressure you to totally ignore that vocal minority because it's contribution to the bottom line is negligible?

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Online Jeff

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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #9 on: February 6, 2018, 11:36 AM »
You would think Hasbro would look at talking to JD and other collecting sites because it's a direct line to a good portion of their customers.

They talk to the sites quite a bit, but due to agreements and things Hasbro has with Disney, we can't really talk or tease things with our readers the way we once did.  I have four kids and a life and really don't need hassle from Disney/Lucasfilm/Hasbro lawyers because of a hobby.  I have chosen not to fight the issue, but other sites out there have chosen to bravely press on teasing and revealing... but they are paying a price for that.


I just think the people using forums like this has diminished

I agree with you here - "Collectors" are still out there, but they're not in places like this anymore.  Reddit, Facebook, etc have all caused many websites and forums like this to dry up.  Social media has also made it easier for etailers to interact directly with customers and not need to rely on fan site word of mouth as much as they once did.   

There are plenty of collector facebook groups out there that are thriving... but places like this are dying.  It makes me sad, but it's the truth.  We are getting old.  :-\
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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #10 on: February 6, 2018, 11:38 AM »
Good points Jesse, but Hasbro should look at sites like JD, Yakface and others as a resource to put out news and gauge sales....at least in the collector market.

I think there's a lot to learn in these forums for Hasbro.  Look back at when the switch to 5 POA happened.  You had folks like myself, who pretty much stopped buying figures....the only 5 POA I've purchased were for my kids (minus a K-2S0 which will be replaced in my display as soon as an SA one is made).  You had others that didn't mind the change and their spending habits didn't change, then you had others that complained and then said that they'd still purchase.  Someone at Hasbro can look at all those data points and refine their practices to try and please everyone (perhaps that first example is why the VC is making a return).

I agree, Disney taking over changed the game, but I still think it would be Wise for Hasbro to have a more open relationship with collector sites (except for JTA...**** those guys).
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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #11 on: February 6, 2018, 11:40 AM »
You would think Hasbro would look at talking to JD and other collecting sites because it's a direct line to a good portion of their customers.

They talk to the sites quite a bit, but due to agreements and things Hasbro has with Disney, we can't really talk or tease things with our readers the way we once did.  I have four kids and a life and really don't need hassle from Disney/Lucasfilm/Hasbro lawyers because of a hobby.  I have chosen not to fight the issue, but other sites out there have chosen to bravely press on teasing and revealing... but they are paying a price for that.


I just think the people using forums like this has diminished

I agree with you here - "Collectors" are still out there, but they're not in places like this anymore.  Reddit, Facebook, etc have all caused many websites and forums like this to dry up.  Social media has also made it easier for etailers to interact directly with customers and not need to rely on fan site word of mouth as much as they once did.   

There are plenty of collector facebook groups out there that are thriving... but places like this are dying.  It makes me sad, but it's the truth.  We are getting old.  :-\

Of course you post this while I'm replying to Jesse.   :-\

Great points Jeff, and I hope JD doesn't go anywhere...I'm sure I'm not the only one willing to help you keep the lights on here.  ;D
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #12 on: February 7, 2018, 03:32 AM »
Yeah I should've worded things a little better maybe.  Hasbro DOES work with the sites, and I mean clearly they care about collectors because the tank, even the AT-ST, the fact that 3.75" articulated anything existed, they care.  I think even the probot redo is a "Hey look, we care!" moment.  And genuinely they think 6" is a big collector grenade too and that everyone loves it.  I think it's cool I just won't jump scales really.  It's just too much for me.

But like Jeff said, you can't always say what they share...  and I think to them they're in a weird place too where we aren't everything when it comes to collectors, and there are (like you say) a lot of varying interests pulling collectors different directions.  They're not like they were when the line was the line, and there wasn't 9000 other things pulling collector attention from Hot Toys to Lego to 6" specialty stuff from Japan and all that stuff.

It's just a weird time.  And at the same time too, things collectors demand are tough to sometimes justify, especially at the prices collectors think they should be.  Case-in-point this tank that's coming, or Black Series 3.75" figure prices and repacks...  Collectors have always been tough to please, and I've been at the forefront of that the whole time bitching about the little things (Still want a fleet trooper holster that works).  But Hasbro has increasing difficulty doing that stuff too.  And when they do, everyone bitches about prices, or repacks...  it's a tough place to be in for them, I feel sure.

Hasbro isn't ignoring collectors though, or collector sites.  They listen, but also have their hands tied up pretty badly too.

But as long as they're working in 3.75" in some capacity I'm here I guess.  I always find something cool to buy somehow.
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Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2018, 01:56 PM »
I refuse to join Facebook (or any social media, really) so, it sounds like I'm missing out on some things to some extent. That said, JD is my primary site for all things collecting and will be for as long as I collect.

I do have a twitter account tho...
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Collectors, Fan Sites, and Hasbro Relations
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2018, 04:39 PM »
I like the ease of things with twitter.  There is a simplicity there I enjoy.  Facebook Iím less a fan of and more am tolerating it to follow Dime Novel legends Cowboy figures (Paulís line).  There are some acid rain groups but people from overseas are very against helping us out Iíve noticed unless theyíre running an actual toy store.  Similarly I find other specialized groups have a lot of unhelpful people or opportunists.

The acid rain American group youíre just SOL on help haha.  And all the groups have a level of condescension that blows the old forum groups out of the water (or so goes my current experience).  I quit some I joined because the food doesnít outweigh the bad so far..  Basically youíre a new name to them so they assume you know bunk.  Iíve seen people talk to guys who run old sites like they just started the hobby yesterday which is comical.

I have noticed a broader audience though too.  More diehard EU folks, more die hard Disney and anti-Disney to the point itís nauseating...  not much rational debate to be had, just dumb stuff and yelling.

Just my experience.  For me itís food to follow start up toy lines though and itís a lot easier to follow some of the foreign things I like in modeling kits and toys and stuff.
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