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Messages - Adam_Pawlus

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The Vintage Collection / Re: Tonnika Sisters coming?
« on: February 7, 2012, 12:20 PM »
Can you cite any one of them that was made coming off an appearance in an advertisement?

No, but I can cite aliens which *didn't* appear in movies or can't be found without the use of hi-def freeze frames.  It's not "From the hit commercial!" so much as it is "Here's a point of reference."   We've seen figures based on unused concept designs, (relatively) obscure 1980s comic books, and whatever the heck Jorg Sacul is. When you get right down to it, the bulk of what happens gets made because someone WANTS it to happen.  They don't need an excuse, or even a precedent, half the time.

Apples and bowling balls, Adam. Perhaps you should reread my original post. I'm not arguing we have over 1,800 from varied sources, I said it's doubtful the character(s) appearance here (and if you watched the commercial, you really have to know to look for them) will turn her/them into plastic. I'm all for it, I merely don't think it will happen if we're predicating it on a Superbowl ad.

No, I read your post before I replied.  I think we're having different discussions-- you're saying "Yes, the fact that it's from the ad matters as a marketing point on the packaging" while I'm saying "No, it doesn't matter where the figure comes from."  Hasbro doesn't play up where the figures come from half the time-- Vintage is a great example, like the ARC Trooper Commander last year.  It has a "Clone Wars" logo on it, and a figure, and doesn't even use the name "Fordo" even though (wink wink) it's Fordo.

How is that spiritually different from putting a girl with a beehive hairdo in a green costume on a Star Wars cardback?   Who cares if it's from a commercial?  Just use the classic Star Wars logo, use a still taken from the set of the ad, and presto-- here's a character who is a Tonnika but isn't from the original 1977 movie.  To the consumer, it probably doesn't matter.  (To me, as a collector, I don't care-- if the costume and the make-up and hair is right, the face can be a little off.  Lord knows they usually are anyway.)

All I know is Hasbro can take characters from any corner of the Star Wars mythos-- theme park rides, movies, comics, concept art, and things they JUST MADE UP-- slap a Star Wars logo on it, and it'll sell X0,000 units.  This might be an "agree to disagree" situation, as (and maybe we do agree here) there's no reason to assume the *toy buyers* care about the ad one way or another, and as a marketing point to the toy buyer, it's totally not remotely the slightest bit important.  I'm not concerned about selling fans on the notion of a toy from a car commercial, I'm concerned about the possibility of saying "Here is a picture of a character in the Cantina who looks kind of like but isn't this other person" with a Star Wars logo on the box.

But will legal care?  Is this new interpretation "different enough" to be cleared?  Is the fact that we're even having this discussion enough to highlight that this is exactly why Hasbro and Lucasfilm will never make this character as a toy?  Heck if I know.

The Vintage Collection / Re: Tonnika Sisters coming?
« on: February 5, 2012, 01:11 PM »
Can you cite any one of them that was made coming off an appearance in an advertisement?

No, but I can cite aliens which *didn't* appear in movies or can't be found without the use of hi-def freeze frames.  It's not "From the hit commercial!" so much as it is "Here's a point of reference."   We've seen figures based on unused concept designs, (relatively) obscure 1980s comic books, and whatever the heck Jorg Sacul is. When you get right down to it, the bulk of what happens gets made because someone WANTS it to happen.  They don't need an excuse, or even a precedent, half the time.

The Vintage Collection / Re: Tonnika Sisters coming?
« on: February 4, 2012, 11:49 AM »
I think it's a real stretch to try to get figures out of these characters just because they're appearing in an advertisement, but whatever.

Is it any more of a stretch than any of the reasons some of the other 1800+ figures got made? :)

Disney Parks Droid Factory / Re: Disney Star Speeder 1000 playset
« on: December 12, 2011, 11:08 AM »
Has anyone successfully got through on the phone this morning?  I keep getting a busy signal.  Yesterday I got through but, closed.

The Vintage Collection / Re: New York Comic Con 2011
« on: September 28, 2011, 07:46 PM »
Also in that podcast, Derryl confirms that NYCC will have a LOT ("a ton") of TPM3D reveals - movie line, vehicles, a new previously unmentioned sku, etc.  It sounds like they arer pretty much showing all their Spring 2012 cards at NYCC and rendering 2012 Toy Fair meaningless for the most part.

Depends on what 2012 looks like... I mean, all that TPM 3D stuff probably will be on-shelf with the post-holiday reset at all the major stores.

They can still show off SDCC exclusives if they feel like doing that again, whatever Vintage waves got bumped from the end of 2011 that they didn't reveal yet, new Clone Wars, whatever new exclusives will be hitting in the Spring (if any)...

...and a lot of Avengers stuff.  So much Avengers stuff.

One could argue the "Deluxe w/Vehicle" line is getting a reboot...  It sure seems it to me.  Not much fanfare, but it's gotten one.

Plus the 2012 Star Wars marketing plan has a built-in need for a new parade of assortments-- the 3D Phantom Menace line will likely mean a new line look with lots of new SKUs, so other than the stuff they're bringing out new now (Mini Vehicles, Adventure Heroes, Battle Packs) we'll probably see new Saga Legends, new Clone Wars, maybe even new Vintage.  Given the timing of the new film, there's really no better time to push new Star Wars than with a midnight madness (or its non-midnight, non-mad equivalent) right after the holiday sale bonanza wraps up.

The more I think about it, this problem is gonna solve itself.  Until the Great Ben Quadinaros Pegwarmer Storm of 2012 starts.

Not necessarily-- sometimes Hasbro plays it very, VERY close to the vest.  Toy Fair 2011 is a great example-- they announced 4 waves (2 TVC, 2 CW) at Toy Fair, and two of those waves were ready to ship *immediately.*  They're increasingly hard to predict, there's enough data out there where I could build a convincing case to dang near anything! :)

The Vintage Collection / Re: 2011 "Vintage" Collection Wave 9
« on: July 19, 2011, 05:38 PM »
The case ratio problem isn't just Star Wars - Iron Man, Thor and Captain America also suck.  The people responsible at Hasbro for these ridiculous case assortments should be on the hot seat, or replaced.  There is simply no excuse for it to be this bad.

The mixes are definitely not great.   Iron Man was actually quite good in spots-- usually they doubled-up on the new guys and while it was still like 10-11 figures Iron Man by volume, 50% or so was "new."  (The last comic case with Ming, and the 2011 new-packaging asst were pretty heavy.)  50% is, I think, fair on a mass-market kid line.  The one that kills me the most is the kid-driven 3 3/4-inch Spider-Man-- great line, quality fun figures, and good effing luck if you want a newish villain.  Monster Claw Carnage took me months to even SEE, and I still haven't seen Lizard or Scorpion in person.  So those'll be expensive in five years maybe.

...followers of Transformers may note Target's recent exclusive assortment of translucent figures.  The ratio of 4 figures in an 8-piece case is 4:2:1:1, which is shaping up to be quite interesting.  Sometimes Hasbro totally nails the needs of kids and new collectors, like the abundant Darth Vaders and Boba Fetts in 2010's early TVC cases, I really do get a kick out of watching this stuff to find out how (and when/if) it works.  I personally would prefer 100% new stuff in every case after, let's say, 45 days but that'd probably hurt Hasbro's bottom line and turn of young fans who don't have birthdays during the release window.   As collectors go, I'm not sure how we're doing as to our Next Generation of fans.  It seems Clone Wars is picking up serious heat on the secondary market, which, maybe, is a good sign.  I have no idea, as a group we've become increasingly splintered between our requests as fans and the sheer number of outlets for discussion and news.

Generally inside two months I see Star Wars stuff around-- I still haven't seen Vintage Wave 7 in full (most of it) in the wild or Wedge, but I've seen all of Clone Wars and every vehicle save the Y-Wing Scout Bomber (which I got elsewhere, woo.)  I don't think I ever saw single Thi-Sens in the wild but at least Hasbro made good and reissued it in a Battle Pack. 

I'm kinda surprised to see more of TVC waves 4, 5, and 6 continuing to ship, given those were January/February items.  Don't get me wrong, I *like* seeing stuff shipping as long as the interest is there, it just seems very out-of-character that any figure get this kind of lifespan at retail.  Unless it's Malakili, in which case it is expected.

The Vintage Collection / Re: 2011 "Vintage" Collection Wave 9
« on: July 19, 2011, 03:29 PM »
If the poor distribution is due to their emphasizing the Big Movie Toys over the brands which perform well-- Thor over Star Wars, or what have you-- that'd explain a lot.  Meaning next year should be good for us, or at least next Spring, when we're all probably going to see a ton of Phantom Menace stuff that we wouldn't buy for $.10 on the dollar on eBay right now.

I think you nailed the main source of the problem.  Some of the same guys work on the lines mentioned and some of the same factories are used on some of the stuff so it could be a capacity issue.

COULD be but I can't believe it's everything.  There was an Iron Man "Movie Assortment" and a "Comic Assortment" (early 2011 and late 2010, respectively) that didn't get ANY distribution at brick and mortar retail outside some of the comic figures hitting grocery stores, so far as I can tell.  In many of the Transformers distribution cases, the product exists and just didn't hit until it got dumped at Ross/Maxx/etc. 5-6 months after it started shipping to online retailers, Australia, Canada, the UK, etc.

It doesn't ultimately add up.  Capacity or no, the development was done, tooling has been made, and the past 9 or so months is not consistent with Hasbro's behavior.  (I think the last time anything similar to this-- at this level-- happened was the Temple of Doom wave of Indy figures.)  I mean, we can speculate, but unless all the top retailers collectively told Hasbro to get stuffed-- which with new Transformers product seems damn near impossible-- there's gotta be a story behind this.  The product exists, it's not like Hasbro cut their runs down to 5,000 pieces or anything.  It's not impossible to think that we're going to see a glut of formerly rare figures dumped somewhere in the next 12 months either... which still wouldn't explain the retail snub of many great items.  This was brought up at BotCon this year and got something of a non-answer.  ("We're trying to find a home for these items" was, I believe, the answer given despite the fact the items had been shipping online and overseas for months.)

I'd agree with you except they have said in the last few presentations that Vintage would be around for the next two years.

(...this was originally much longer.)

Doesn't mean Hasbro can't re-launch it.  As far as I know (in retail land) there are no new assortment SKUs scheduled between now and September (and beyond that who knows?).

Hasbro can CONTINUE Vintage while relaunching it-- this sort of thing happened with Saga between 2003 and 2004.  To the consumer, the change was invisible.  Hasbro changed the 5-digit assortment SKU (asst) which would mean to Target, the DPCI would change, and to other stores, it's treated like a completely new product-- it just happens to look exactly like the 2003 assortment.  This gives the stores the chance to purge and clearance 100% of "old product" as the computers see the new SKU (whatever it ends up being) as a completely new thing, and clearance is largely automated by discontinuing a SKU (although clearance as a policy varies from chain to chain).  This is how taking humans out of the equation can work, you CAN easily filter old products out of your system if you're willing to change the SKU for new product, but this needs to be planned months in advance as product can take a while to get to shelves.  (From the look of things the Bespin Han wave was manufactured in March and didn't make it here until June or so, if that gives you an idea.)

So... where was I?  Right, TVC reboot.

Hasbro can reboot the TVC at any time in a way that's invisible to the consumer and allows retailers to purge old product.  It's easy, the packaging can still LOOK exactly the same, it just depends on how Hasbro wants to manage its lines.  The same thing happens with other product-- Kleenex discontinues one configuration of its product, but a new configuration immediately replaces it.  It might be new packaging, more sheets in a box, or whatever-- it's the same basic principle of refreshing a product line, and it's why you might see Fruity Pebbles on clearance despite the product not being removed from the marketplace.

In this case-- and this is pure speculation here-- it's possible Hasbro is winding down 2010/2011 97568 TVC in favor of a new 2011/2012 TVC SKU-- so we see fewer new characters because they're holding them back on purpose for the new asst SKU, whatever it is.  With a new SKU they can easily adjust prices up or down, change the size of the casepack (12 figures, 16 figures, whatever) and so on.  Since we're at the 12-month mark for Vintage give or take a few days it's not unreasonable to assume Hasbro might be planning for this soon, but I'd be surprised if it was before December 26 of this year.  Odds are if it WILL happen it will coincide with the post-holiday reset of the toy aisles, meaning we'd see it happen after Christmas but we'd probably see evidence of it happening (new Target DPCI, or if EE calls something "Vintage 2012 Wave 1") before then.  (Heck, possibly as early as SDCC if they put out the assortment SKU on the tent cards in the display case.)

YMMV on Legends/Clone Wars.  Since fans are not as engaged in the line, in some areas, I don't think we're paying as close attention.  I saw lots of NEW Saga Legends in the past week with Wave 3 (Death Star Troopers, Boba Fetts, etc.) hitting after several months of nothing new.  New cases of Saga Legends have been shipping-- there have been 14 revisions since the 2010 blue-card-weapon-pack reboot by my count-- but you as the consumer would have no way to recognize this without a new figure or a new variation to signal a change.  Most of the Saga Legends assortments were remixing previously-shipped products, and were things you didn't care about in the first place as repacks, so odds are it ALL looks like a waste of space to the average collector despite churning over at most retail locations.  So to Hasbro, they're shipping a lot of product and mixing up the cases.  To us, there's maybe 30 figures between what looks like only 3 waves, and we probably didn't want 27 of those in the first place.

Clone Wars may be similar, with at least 17 different mixes shipping since the blue card assortment changeover last June-August.  It's just over 50% reships in every case, so even if new product is shipping to stores it won't look that way unless the NEW characters stop selling so dang quick.  As to the stores plagued with stale product (which happens a lot), that's why you reboot the line with a new SKU.  It clears out the system.  The 2010 Clone Wars relaunch kicked off with 3 new figures and 9 old ones, basically setting the stage for this exact scenario of a glut of product that was old before it hit the shelves. 

It's like Star Wars Transformers-- it's a kid line, I don't get excited about it, you probably don't buy it, but it's a big enough seller for Hasbro to keep doing it.  Hasbro likes to diversify its brands to a ridiculous extent these days, during Beast Wars Hasbro had only about 4-5 assortments (plus waves in those assortments) per year.  In 2011 alone, there are over a dozen shipping RIGHT NOW plus another 7 or 8 which have been phased out with the movie launch, with more still coming.  This is how Hasbro does its brands now-- eggs in many baskets, which means they don't take care of some eggs, and some of those eggs are, to the collector, quite rotten... but they're still successful products.  I'm not saying Hasbro can't do a better job reorganizing its product line in a way which could make things easier for collectors (no 2010 Battle Pack should be so rare that it's worth $150 by now, that's a tremendous failure in planning) but I can see why they're doing what they're doing.   Twelve years ago, Hasbro's roleplay offerings were basically just lightsabers.  And today it's an electronic helmet assortment, electronic lightsabers, non-electronic lightsabers, FX Lightsabers, Ultimate FX Lightsabers, removable blade lightsabers, electronic blasters, dart-firing basic blasters... I could go on.  The beast got too big.

And one last thing, what's hanging on the pegs really varies by neighborhood.  Some places it's vintage leftover from June 2010, and others it's Clone Wars or Legends or whatever.  In the few dozen stores I visit, I can tell that poor sellers are not always consistent.

The Vintage Collection / Re: 2011 "Vintage" Collection Wave 9
« on: July 19, 2011, 12:49 PM »
The slide show at Toyfair said 35 new figures in 2011, with deleted scenes figures this fall. Not shaping up that way, and you have to wonder what has happened in these 5 months since Toyfair.

I forget-- new SINCE Toy Fair or new for 2011 period?  Because Hasbro's shipped 29 figures in Vintage so far this year, counting repacks, 27 were new or had some modifications.

Since Toy Fair they've shipped 16, and most years tend to squeeze the bulk of new product between September and December lately (2007 and 2009 being great examples).  So they could crank out another 20 in that time frame, or... not.  I'm mostly surprised they don't just throw in more repacks to cash in for demand on existing characters.

2011 has been extremely poor for Hasbro toy distribution-- Transformers (5 un[der]shipped waves of Reveal the Shield toys, 3 waves of Power Core Combiners) and Iron Man 2 (2 waves) resulted in numerous items having never hit big retailers or, by some indication, anywhere in the USA outside online or closeout stores.  (It seems most if not all Star Wars has hit, just not in sufficient quantities as of yet.)   G.I. Joe has been weak too but that seems like more of an issue of retailers not ordering enough [just some], whereas I can't tell what happened with TF and IM.

If the poor distribution is due to their emphasizing the Big Movie Toys over the brands which perform well-- Thor over Star Wars, or what have you-- that'd explain a lot.  Meaning next year should be good for us, or at least next Spring, when we're all probably going to see a ton of Phantom Menace stuff that we wouldn't buy for $.10 on the dollar on eBay right now.

The Clone Wars '08-'13 / Re: CW Deluxe Figure & Vehicle Line
« on: July 15, 2011, 06:43 PM »
Where is the Boba Fett on Speeder Bike and Obi-Wan and Attack Shuttle, though? I thought they were in Wave 1 of this assortment - or did things change after Toy Fair?

I'm guessing they changed the assortments.  It still doesn't account for how some of these are $18.99 and others are $19.99 at TRU.

Looks like the line got kinda rebooted? Wonder why the shake-up. More specifically, I wonder if these got canned or not.

Did I miss the memo?  Hasbro included a weapon-swapping gimmick here with standardized holes and pegs for weapons.  You can take the guns off the Scout Speeder and slap them on the Y-Wing Scout Bomber.  I had no idea.  It's a lot like the G.I. Joe Sound Attack/Transformers Energon weapons and Mini-Cons thing but they don't activate anything, it's just a "power-up" thing.  The Y-Wing box doesn't even  mention it, and it's just a tiny bullet point on the Scout Speeder.  I'm surprised they didn't brand it with some goofy name, include spare guns with basic carded figures, and play it up like they did MechTech on Transformers.

...admittedly it isn't as cool as MechTech but it's a missed opportunity to say "buy another thing like this and you can swap their guns."  That's actually a nice feature.  Why not exploit it?

The Vintage Collection / Re: K-Mart Vintage Collection B-Wing
« on: July 15, 2011, 04:51 PM »
Found mine today.  It was in the overstock, so look up.  $39.99.

...last weekend I saw shelf tags for it at the very bottom of the shelves, so I guess look down too.

It's a nice piece-- fully-assembled, no labels.  Lots of paint aps, great canopy, wonderful deco throughout but it's a little bland under the wings.  I love the paint job on the engines, there's some blue on the cylinders which rotate the wings.   I haven't popped in the rocket-firing guns yet to try those out.  Also, the canopy actually latches shut which my 1984 B-Wing does not. (I have but have not opened yet my 2001 and 2008 B-Wings for some reason.)

It's really good.  I think I paid $30 for my MISB one (which I opened, of course) back in 1989, so seeing this for $40 is something of a bizarre head trip.  Nice box, nice design, nice deco, good deal.  Can't wait for the Y-Wing now!

Yet you can find Clone Wars figure (the supposed golden child of line now) all over creation.  Yet, they can't make the vintage line readily available???

Some of the minor Clone Wars guys were/are really hard to get.  Prices vary but several of the minor characters climbed to $20-$40, and the ARC Troopers Battle Pack topped $150 a few weeks ago.  The same distribution problems are occurring on every line right now-- Iron Man 2 had its final comic assortment not hit brick and mortar toy retail (I saw it in a grocery store, and we got them at work), Thor's later waves are very difficult to come by, and the bulk of 2011 Transformers never hit ANY US shelves other than online and closeout.  And GI Joe has worse distribution than Star Wars, by and large, as some stores dropped the line entirely and a lot of fans (myself included) flat-out never saw certain figures hit.

The problem isn't necessarily Hasbro either, unless you want to blame the sheer quantity of stuff they put out in a year.  The assortment system with its 12-piece cases and limited pegspace isn't really ideally suited to assortments which rotate in and out 50 figures over the course of a year, and the bizarre shutting-down of new product at some stores (Transformers everywhere in early 2011, Star Wars at TRU past vintage wave 2 last year) makes very little sense in the grand scheme of how retail toy business works.

I have to assume Wedge will be coming in a later case, if not, Hasbro has a golden opportunity to reship it in future assortments.  Obviously, the demand is here... and it could even show up as a 2012 SDCC exclusive like we saw with the Stormtrooper Commander in 2009.  (Although I'd love to see him on a POTF coin card if they went that way, but that's me.)

All I can say is I hope everybody keeps complaining.  Complain at SDCC.  Complain at NYCC if Hasbro's there.  Complain in the Q&As.  Make it front page news.  Hasbro doesn't ignore mandates from the fanbase if they're loud enough.  A figure commanding $450 on the secondary market benefits no one in the grand scheme of things, and I think the last time something like that happened was Playmates Star Trek.  That wasn't good.  And today we got word is shutting down next week.  That's not good either.

This may be the first year I actually have no interest in waiting in a line to get Hasbro stuff at SDCC.  $130 as a minimum buy seems high... granted, if they did just Crumb and the Mouse for $20/set I wouldn't want that either.  I'll just go buy my Outer Space Men instead.

...a boxed set of vintage ethnic/hair variant Endor Commando figures would've been sweet. Revenge, Return, POTF, trilogo cardbacks with whatever goatees they feel like and differing skin colors, I'd sign up for that.

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