Author Topic: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?  (Read 229217 times)

Offline P-Siddy

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #660 on: January 25, 2021, 10:46 AM »
It'd be nice if Hasbro would drop Walmart and Target exclusives, since they both suck at cancelling preorders (mainly Walmart).  It won't happen, but at least make them shared exclusives with EE or BBTS, Dorkside, whoever.

Offline Jeff

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #661 on: January 25, 2021, 11:45 AM »
They'll probably be able to keep that current TVC repack wave in stock. Was anyone, anywhere clamoring for Peasant Anakin?

It really shows that there doesn't seem to be anyone on the Star Wars team that really has a passion or interest in the 3.75" segment.

Long gone are the days Rob craves, where an actual Star Wars 3.75" fan on the team would find a way to get us stuff we actually want (ultra-background deepcuts like Willrow, cantina dudes, Jabba's Palace dudes) in TVC.  Now we basically have to beg them just to get Super-Articulated MAIN CHARACTERS like the Rogue One crew, the SOLO crew, etc.  With the current direction of the line, it feels like we're never going to get TVC Krennic or TVC Beckett let alone background TVC 3.75" figures from Maz's castle, from the SOLO Sabaac game, etc etc.

Looking at Jayson's 'rumor' list it doesn't look like it's any different in 2021.  It just seems like bad repacks and chasing The Mandalorian will finish out the year.

May is brining us Mando catch-up (Child, Greef), a long overdue resculpt (Bespin Escape Leia) and a Boba Fett resculpt no one wanted.

July brings us new TCW Ahsoka and Maul (more main characters) and a Mando Jawa repaint.

August - more repacks!  Endor Han (for the hundreth time?), Hoth Luke (another multiple issue figure), Royal Guard (another multiple issue figure), and Ackbar (ANOTHER MULTIPLE REISSUE FIGURE) - get the theme - more of what we've already see again and again.

October - rumored to be more from The Mandalorian (IG-11, Kuiil) and maybe new resculpts from ESB/ROTJ (main characters)

So, I guess what I'm saying can be summed up with:
- current state of TVC makes me sad
- don't hold your breath for good stuff, Rob :(
- don't hold your breath that repacks waves are getting any better in 2021
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 11:47 AM by Jeff »
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Offline Dave

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #662 on: January 25, 2021, 12:20 PM »
It just seems like a waste of energy to release some of these repacks.  Are kids going to buy Peasant Anakin and Ackbar, and every collector already has these or can easily get them on eBay.  If these ever hit retail they'll just sit.

At least keep it cool and core with repacks of Boba Fett, Royal Guard is okay I guess, Han, Luke, Stormtrooper.

I agree it'd be great to get all sorts of characters from Solo, Rogue One, or even the sequel trilogy where things have been thin, but I'm glad we're at least getting some new The Mandalorian figures.

Offline Nicklab

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #663 on: January 25, 2021, 12:46 PM »
Some of the leaks about the Black Series have been a little disappointing.  Granted, it looks like Hasbro is trying to take some of the positives from the Gaming Greats sub-line and they're addressing some comic characters.  But Jaxxon?  Really?!?!?  It's one thing for us to get Easter Egg type offerings like the Rik Duel gang in carbonite with the Razor Crest.  But a Black Series figure of what amounts to a space rabbit???

The hints about TVC have been mixed.  I'm glad to see rumors continuing to circulate about Kuiil and IG-11.  Frankly, they should have been released last year.  I can only imagine how long it's going to be until we get some season 2 characters like Bo-Katan, Cobb Vanth or even Boba Fett.

Some of these reissue choices just boggle the mind.  Outland peasant disguise Anakin?  REALLY?!?!?!  I only see people buying this wave because it's the only TVC that people can find.  And the rumor about reissuing that Endor Han Solo is like a slap in the face.  That figure is at least 15 years old.  And in comparison with modern Han Solo releases it has not aged well - just look at the TVC of 3.75" Black Series releases of that figure compared with the recent TVC Han Solo (Stormtrooper Disguise) - the Endor Han Solo looks like trash!  While I would prefer to get some all-new characters, I could support re-doing the Endor version of Han Solo.  But in this case the photo real paint apps on this figure would be like putting lipstick on a pig.

As for character depth?  Based on what we've seen for the past 3 years in this line I don't think we're going to get that.  The rumblings that Hasbro is revisiting Rogue One is encouraging, but until I see something I'm not going to be optimistic.  Hasbro all but walked away from supporting The Rise of Skywalker after only 2 TVC waves (more like a wave and a half).  And they didn't even make a 3.75" Kylo Ren, Palpatine, Poe Dameron or Finn.  WTAF?????

Part of what I was wondering when I gave this thread a bump was "Oh, what kind of vehicle might we get in 2021?"  But I honestly don't know if we're going to get anything worthwhile.  Is there a chance that we might get an Outland TIE Fighter?  Who knows???
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 12:52 PM by Nicklab »
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Offline Greedo The Green Menace

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #664 on: January 25, 2021, 01:40 PM »
This is why the loss of the basic line sucks. I know there was a ton of vitriol around 5 POA, but it was nice for actually having some decent character selection that we likely won't be getting any other way. TVC didn't become more expansive with it's fall, we just have less options now. It would be nice if they could revive the basic line in some form or another. That there isn't a basic Mandalorian dedicated line seems like leaving money on the table if you ask me. Missed opportunity.

Offline Dave

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #665 on: January 25, 2021, 01:48 PM »
This is why the loss of the basic line sucks. I know there was a ton of vitriol around 5 POA, but it was nice for actually having some decent character selection that we likely won't be getting any other way. TVC didn't become more expansive with it's fall, we just have less options now. It would be nice if they could revive the basic line in some form or another. That there isn't a basic Mandalorian dedicated line seems like leaving money on the table if you ask me. Missed opportunity.

Totally agree. 

They've got a few repack multi-packs floating around out there, but I wish they'd do this with new figures.  A four pack of 5POA Maz's cantina aliens, or Sabbac card players, or Rogue One Rebels, or whatever.  I'd buy these all day long if they were new figures.  Make them retailer exclusives (not Wal-Mart) - Target, Best Buy, GameStop if necessary.  Crank up the price a little if you need to.

Sure I'd rather all new figures would be Vintage line quality articulation, but I'd rather have new 5POA figures than re-released Vintage figures.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #666 on: January 25, 2021, 02:10 PM »
I have mixed feelings about the 5 POA line, too.  It had the potential to give us interesting background characters.  But the background characters realized as figures seemed to have flopped in the films released after 2015.  And the Constable Zuvio thing became a huge joke.

I would like to see a line that can give us a little more character diversity at a lower cost.  The VC-177 and VC-181 Mandalorian is an amazing figure!  But I think a lot of people can agree that not every figure needs 16 POA, fully articulated wrists and rocker ankle joints.  A line of figures that have an average of 8 POA and a wider range of characters would be welcome by me.  Because it seems like the character choices have narrowed down dramatically.  I think what happened with the TFA, Rogue One and TLJ lines has made Hasbro assess their risks very carefully.  So they've been largely playing it safe - main or secondary characters and troopers.

When it comes to reissues?  It's a reasonable way to manage costs and keep main characters in rotation.  Some figures are difficult to improve on.  And others could be a good opportunity in light of how secondary market prices have exploded for other figures.  But as of TVC coming back in 2018, we've got an almost 50/50 mix of new figures to reissues.  It's not encouraging.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 02:12 PM by Nicklab »
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Offline Darby

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #667 on: January 25, 2021, 02:32 PM »
A lot of us have been around for the long haul. There have been a lot of ups and downs. This is probably the worst moment for the 3.75 line.

All the symptoms of a line about to die are present. Endless repacks, marked up and scarce exclusives, and virtually no distribution. Think Playmates Star Trek at the end. Hasbro does seem to be expanding TVC this year and I appreciate that but when Steve left, so did a lot of the passion in the team. The end of the 5 POA line was the effective end of the 3.75 play pattern. Everything now is simply ornamentation. The other major factor here is the Disney licensing fee, which is so high that it is effectively constraining what Hasbro can do with the line. That needs to change but won't.

It's hugely disappointing. Like I said there have been ups and downs, so there may be better days ahead. The fundamentals of the market and the license would have to change though and at the moment I don't see that.


Offline Rob

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #668 on: January 25, 2021, 02:55 PM »
I blame the Black Series.  Their effort is divided, and it's probably like 60/40 at best.

Offline Diddly

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #669 on: January 25, 2021, 04:58 PM »
I kind of don't care about what product we're getting, I just want to hear Hasbro offer an explanation as to why they can't get product into stores. Like it's one thing to not have stock in the middle of a global pandemic, but we've had so many exclusives over the last few years that never even saw the light because the lone case a store received was sold out of the backroom. Then you can't even order the store exclusives online. The new GI Joe line has had a pathetic retail rollout. Star Wars, Power Rangers, and Marvel sections are completely empty. Meanwhile, Mattel toyline pegs are always jam packed.
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Offline Dave

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #670 on: January 25, 2021, 05:32 PM »
I kind of don't care about what product we're getting, I just want to hear Hasbro offer an explanation as to why they can't get product into stores.

This seems really weird to me as well.  Preorders of even standard releases sell out quickly and barely get to retail when they do hit.  Exclusives can be just as bad.

It kind of feels like 1995-97 all over again when the hobby was restarting.  Back then they were making tons of stuff but it came it went really quickly.  If you were persistent you could track stuff down.  These days I feel like even if you're diligent you can still really be SOL - e.g. Walmart Incinerator Trooper.

There are a couple of standard releases I'm still struggling to track down as well and am probably going to have to resort to eBay.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #671 on: January 25, 2021, 11:55 PM »
Iím boggled by some of the repacks too...  peasant Anakin is a rough one but that Endor Han and Hoth Luke absolutely suck dong as figures in genera imo. 

3.75Ē is dead.  Stick a fork in it.  This is life support at this point.

I wonder if itíd survive a price hike enough to make Hasbro look at it as having enough meat on the bone to be viable as a line with less repacks?  Or is it all just the repack choices would right the ship?

Stuff sells but part of me feels thatís because production seems to be turned down to low numbers on most new figures now...  is that on purpose?  Help artificially spread the hype of this line by making it insanely difficult to collect and have instant secondary market hikes?

I dunno anymore. 

Iíd be sad if it ended all together but there are days I just donít care anymore because thereís so little, new properties feel terribly incomplete with their collections, and what they do make can be such a bitch to actually collect and enjoy.  ☹️
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #672 on: January 26, 2021, 09:46 AM »
There does seem to be am almost abusive psychology associated with The Vintage Collection at this point.  I ordered the repack wave on Amazon, but a couple of days later I saw the entire wave at Walmart.  My first impulse was to buy them, but I had to stop myself - because I had just ordered the whole wave from Amazon and at a lower price.  But that was a serious moment of recognition.  For the sight of any new figures to elicit that kind of reaction in me makes me think that Hasbro is trying to artificially create demand.  And I've also seen some somewhat odd collecting patterns at some TVC Facebook groups, where people are buying 3, 4, or even 8 of an individual figure.  Some say that they're looking for the most pristine cards, others are looking for unpunched samples, an in other cases it's troop building.  But it comes across almost like hoarding.  And secondary market prices on the line seem to be exploding.  I was shocked to learn that a TVC Ahsoka can sell for $300, and TROS Rey is selling for around $100!

And on the retail front?  I noticed something remarkable yesterday at a Target store.  The Star Wars section of the action figure aisle now has signage for The Mandalorian.  And the graphic for The Mandalorian is now larger than the Star Wars logo.  It seems a little late to the game, but maybe the marketing and merchandising teams are finally catching up.

But the figure line does come across as being soulless.  Data seems to be driving almost every business decision these days.  But in the case of the Hasbro Star Wars line it seems like it's sucking the life out of the franchise.  Data can teach us a lot of things about what sells, who buys it, and what is less popular.  But following data is also an exercise in following trends, and not leading the marketplace.  What set Star Wars apart in the vintage era was that the Kenner line blazed new trails.  It was innovative and had a sense of wonder.  Now it seems like the line is about checking boxes.  And in the case of Grogu?  Develop any and every kind of merchandise possible and sell, sell, sell!  It sucks to be this cynical about things, especially in light of the new life that The Mandalorian has injected into the franchise.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 09:47 AM by Nicklab »
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Offline Brian

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #673 on: January 26, 2021, 01:00 PM »
This is why the loss of the basic line sucks. I know there was a ton of vitriol around 5 POA, but it was nice for actually having some decent character selection that we likely won't be getting any other way. TVC didn't become more expansive with it's fall, we just have less options now. It would be nice if they could revive the basic line in some form or another. That there isn't a basic Mandalorian dedicated line seems like leaving money on the table if you ask me. Missed opportunity.

Agreed 100 percent. Donít get me wrong, I love my OT movie product (and the others as well), but there has definitely been a part of me that throughout watching seasons 1 and 2 that was thinking ďman, I just wish they had a dedicated 3 3/4Ē line for thisĒ, even if it was all we got for awhile. So many characters, background aliens, vehicles, beasts, etc. It almost seems like it could have had the same appeal that the vintage line did in its time. Sure, maybe more kids have moved on to video games/devices, and at an earlier age, but I think it would still be selling like crazy.

And like it was said, it isnít like things are pegwarming at retail, it is just a lot of ďone and doneĒ opportunities at the store. I was just telling my wife the other day that collecting has truly become a buy it if you see it game, or you very well wonít see it again. I even saw the Black Series Jar Jar sell from 6 down to none in about a week at our Target.

The lack of releases I donít really get. Iíve definitely heard, and believe, the whole licensing cost issue....but at the same time they license Marvel as well, and let me tell you as a Legends collector they have NO troubles getting those out. Too many really. The amount of figures per year there really is staggering. Similar for Transformers. But Star Wars and GI Joe is a trickle, and then helloooo secondary market.

I hope it isnít the end of 3 3/4Ē, but it certainly isnít the bright times for the line. It really does feel like an after thought anymore, with the company and retail in general.

Offline Muftak

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Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« Reply #674 on: January 26, 2021, 01:22 PM »
I came to the conclusion that Hasbro and I had different intentions for the Star Wars line around 2007...it was the Pax Bonkik repaint figure that broke me of my "I want them all!" habit for good. At that point I decided the only complete collection I wanted was a master list unique to me, so I went about making that list and I've been gratified over the last decade+ to get 20 or so figures off that list. No mistake--there have been figures I never thought of that I have bought because they were cool or neat (this was pre-Disney, after all) but for the most part I have approached everything from the beginning of the Vintage Collection until now as "gravy."

The change at Hasbro seems obvious over the years. It used to be an attitude of "new figures sell well, we need to make new figures." Today, there must be a formula that they crank things through. "The line will be most profitable if we maximize mold usage and minimize new tooling development. Individual waves can only support 18% new tooling at the current MSRP." It definitely changes how the old idea of the "Parking Lot" of potential figures will be approached. And part and parcel with this comes a much lower product run than what they used to make.

It's sad, because for that window between 2013-2018 they tried to adhere to the "new figures" paradigm by cutting costs with the 5POA line. But the new media (and more importantly, the unwillingness of Disney/LFL to share resources for said media in a timely and robust fashion) led to a glut of poor character choices that made the line flop with kids and collectors.

The worst part is, even with the TVC line getting drowned in it's necessary repack percentages, I can see the supposedly popular Black Series slowly but surely becoming more reliant on repaints, rereleases, and kitbashes to maintain its profit margin. That 8-year old line line has a lot less depth than the TVC does at this point, so the prospects there are scary and could strangle it to death if left unchecked.