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Collectibles => The Black Series 3.75" Figures => Topic started by: Brian on March 5, 2012, 09:21 PM

Title: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on March 5, 2012, 09:21 PM
I know we've had a topic like this here before, but with all the chatter lately (pre and post Toy Fair) regarding some recent decisions with the line, I thought it might be a good topic to bring up again.  We've seen a lot of frustration with things like the slow demise of the CW line, the constant repacks in the Movie Heroes/Vehicles/etc. areas, the rising prices, and of course distribution issues.  I also feel that the newly reveals battle packs (Naboo and Bespin) helps to add more fuel to the fire as to the future of the SW line(s).

Do you feel that the BPs are a "test" for a change in the regular figure lines, or something much less - just a different direction for BPs or maybe even a one wave deal.  I mentioned it in the BPs thread, but maybe this is a different way for them to do the "Movie Heroes" line in the future - as I could see these being good figures for kiddos.  I know when playing SW with our daughter lately, I can appreciate figures that are sturdy, can stand, hold their accessories, and fit in ships (although more recent TVC figures can do all that and more too).

The BPs seem to be just one of the various strange decisions with the Star Wars lines lately.  The TPM 3D "launch" seems to be pretty stale, at least around here.  The new Vintage wave moves fairly steadily, but everything else (Movie Heroes, Clone Wars, Vehicles of all sizes) seem to be collecting a lot of dust at the moment.  Although AOTC 3D hasn't even been officially announced yet, you have to guess that we'll be seeing more of this type of approach next year (and in the years after) unless Hasbro adjusts their strategy.

I also wonder how this year's "big" vehicle (the MTT) will end up doing with the Fall launch.  The price is higher, interest largely seems to be lower, and I wonder if there will be much parent/kid push at all for this.  Even the new Naboo starfighter will be out months after the movie release (if at all, with all the vehicle repacks lingering on shelves).  We haven't seen quite as much in the way of exclusives (which is good in some ways, bad in others), and the ones we have seen have largely been straight repacks as well (after having years of all new beasts and vehicles as exclusives).

All this, plus the rumors that the Vintage Collection may go on hiatus starting in 2013, create a little more of a murky future for SW in the coming years than we've seen in awhile.  We hear about CW ratings declining, the ho-hum box office of TPM 3D, and more things out there grabbing people's attention.  What do you think the future of SW collecting holds?  Is it truly a time where we're starting to see the light at the end in some ways, or another example of the "doom and gloom" we see every few years with the line.  I do feel that the Vintage Collection continues to put out top notch figures, even if the price stings a bit.  I've often been a supporter of a more simplified (and scaled back) approach for Star Wars (one line, 40-50 figures a year) - but with Clone Wars and now movie re-releases out there, I can see why we don't see that.  Prices don't seem to be going down anytime soon, unless these new BP figures are an example of what it would take to bring them down (not guaranteeing there would be a price change there anyways).  Just a lot of questions surrounding the line right now - and I'm curious to see where things are headed.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on March 6, 2012, 10:18 AM
Star Wars isn't going anywhere.  Eventually, even if it means Lucas has died, someone's making more movies.  More shows... more books... more everything.  It's too big of a money maker.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JACKOFTRADZE on March 6, 2012, 12:50 PM
Besides the lines internal problems one huge problem plaguing the entire toy industry right now is soaring costs to manufacture goods. Toys in general (and just about everything else) are becoming too expensive for the casual everyday purchase. They are no longer cheap commodities, they are becoming investments. $9 for a basic figure is the average price now in all lines, think about that. I been in the toy industry for 12 yrs I have never seen prices as high as they are now to manufacture them. I do not mind repacks and understand Hasbro's rounded out approach reusing old kid friendly tools (they are still tooling a lot of new stuff so I think some collectors go a little overboard with the repack complaints) However the choices can be so much better, no disagreement from me there. Even some minor deco changes on existing figures can bring in more collectors to purchase the Movie Heroes line that subsidizes the overall line. So many of the lines problems can be avoided and/or minimized with simple redecos and better case packs, that to me is the most frustrating aspect of all of this. I think the current team has been working on the brand too long, they need fresh eyes and a fresh approach on it. DD brought that once to the line and revived in it circa 2003. I think it's time to pass the torch to fresh blood.

Another overall factor that plagues the line in my opinion is the SW brand has been in our faces pretty strong for a few years straight now. If anything the brand overstayed/overplayed its welcome a bit as it feels a little stale to the average kid. Think about it, LF's big push to get kids back into SW was the TPM. Really? Everyone with a pulsating brain saw it was doomed before it began. Starting with the worst of the 6 films is not a winning strategy. No amount of 3D is going to make a crappy movie any better. Face it, TPM is boring, it's boring to the general audience and especially to kids sans a few scenes. FACT: Most people see it as a boring film, no amount of loving SW is going to change that. I have a hard time getting through it myself and I never got around to seeing it in theaters. (I still did not buy the Blue Ray sets yet either!) They stated that the other films were dependent on the 3D TPM's performance. I would not get my hopes up of AOTC and the other films being released in theaters. If it is expect an even more modest product offering for it. (I do think Hasbro did a great job with the TPM product offering I was very, very pleased with it. They just went a tad overboard like 99.)

That said, I get the need to make a modest TPM statement to support the release but what the hell is Hasbro thinking doing the MTT as the next BMF? It's a boring non hero vehicle and it has a $139.99 price tag. Look how poorly the attack shuttle did and that was only $80. (They do not even move at $39.99!) Who is making the choices on the BMF's lately. Most collectors know this is going to be a slow seller, why cant Hasbro see this? In my experienced opinion this item is doomed to fail and endangers future big vehicles like the Sailbarge Deathstar or Tantive. I am indifferent to the MTT but I will buy one to continue my support in hopes of getting the vehicles I really want. I can no longer support the redecoed PT vehicles like the Yoda Tank and CW starfighters, I do not have the room or interest in them. If it's an OT vehicle no questions I will buy it.

I do not think the line is going anywhere but I expect some disturbances as it works through the bugs. interest downturn and the tough retail environment. I do not think the BP's are anything to worry about, I think the new ones are a test. Anyone that has young kids know that SW figures do not play well as they are too intricate and fall apart.  These new BP's are defiantly kid friendly and if it brings more kids back I can support it as they pay for the obscure collector focused stuff.

The sky is not falling and while I like and appreciate STAN's posts they are not always accurate. I rather hear directly from Hasbro that Vintage is going on hiatus and the real state of the brands performance is dismal before I panic.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on March 6, 2012, 02:12 PM
Yeah, I definitely don't think the line is going anywhere either.  Even if interest may be a bit lower in some cases now (due to CW ratings, TPM interest, or prices), there will likely always be "enough" interest in SW to keep some sort of line going if Hasbro wants to.  I'm more curious if we're going to see the line change in some ways.  Like JACK mentioned, prices are really getting ridiculous anymore - enough to almost make an action figure more than a casual buy for a parent at the store.  They almost have to be given on birthdays and Christmas anymore, when you're talking nearly $10 for one figure.  Also, it is still early in the year, but I'd have to think that the TPM toy push has to be considered a failure.  Outside of TVC, I don't know that anything sold very well at all at this point.  Heck, we've seen exclusives (particularly at Target) on clearance less than a month after hitting pegs.  Sure, they were stinkers - much like a lot of the Movie Heroes type stuff - but either way it can't be helping the opinion of the line.

The "Star Wars in your face" point is an interesting one.  We have had a heck of a run in the modern line here, and in some ways the line may have branched out more than it needed to.  In the hopes of grabbing more retail space, they may have helped Star Wars-out people.  I don't feel "doom and gloom" about the line either, and I do think some things are really blown out of proportion with the line anymore too, but it does still feel like we're at a bit of a crossroads with the Hasbro line(s) right now.  Personally, I'm likely in it 'til the end (whenever it may be) - and although I don't want it going away at all (and don't think it will for some time), even if it ended in the next year or two I think things have been pretty well covered.  I mean, look at the wishlists, it is getting more difficult to fill out 10 slots for some of those movies each year.  I don't think SW is going anywhere for quite some time either - and even if Hasbro lost interest I'm sure there would be several companies more than happy to pick up the license - but I am curious if we'll see changes in the line in 2013 and beyond.  Whether it is fewer lines, figure releases, or a cut back in articulation/etc. that we've seen in the BPs - it seems some sort of change may be coming.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JACKOFTRADZE on March 6, 2012, 03:07 PM
Another aspect to all of this I find crazy is with all of the complaints and doom n gloom flying around the interent hrrrm RS....is the line in terms of detail, figure selection, articulation and overall breath has never been better. I think the toys themselves are at the top of their game, the majority of new vehicles have been stellar as are the figures. While more deco is needed on the vehicles especially (Think 2007 V-Wing and Rusty Droid Tank) it's hard to say that the new product itself is anything short of amazing.

We beat the hell out of Hasbro on the boards (They do deserve it sometimes) but we should give them some due credit and highlight the excellent job they have done on product execution. They managed to make a D-Rate losers like Dofine look awesome. They actually made you search for Ric Olie. Look how many much needed resculpts were knocked out this year alone. Just look at the last couple of years we got the ICMG, Yarna, Oola, Bom Vidam, BMF, BMF AT-AT, a new slave One, Taun-Tauns, Hoth Turrets, Hoth Radar Guns, Jabbaa w/ Throne etc. Hasbro delivered some amazing product in the last 4yrs alone. They set the bar so high it's no wonder why we all complain, we expect more after seeing what they can do.

All I know is I cannot wait to be resettled again in a new place to set my collection back up. I miss it, I always liked looking at it to see what I amassed on occassion. It sounds nerdy but when you have it all together it's just frigging awesome to behold! I just wanted to throw some positivity as I have zero intention of quitting the line. I love it despite it's issues. After 20 years of collecting SW figures it's a natural part of my routine and yes life. I intend to see it until the end but before that happens there are still alot of items I want to add to my collection.

Viva las Hasbro SW Figurines!!!!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on March 6, 2012, 03:11 PM
That said, I get the need to make a modest TPM statement to support the release but what the hell is Hasbro thinking doing the MTT as the next BMF? It's a boring non hero vehicle and it has a $139.99 price tag. Look how poorly the attack shuttle did and that was only $80. (They do not even move at $39.99!) Who is making the choices on the BMF's lately. Most collectors know this is going to be a slow seller, why cant Hasbro see this? In my experienced opinion this item is doomed to fail and endangers future big vehicles like the Sailbarge Deathstar or Tantive. I am indifferent to the MTT but I will buy one to continue my support in hopes of getting the vehicles I really want. I can no longer support the redecoed PT vehicles like the Yoda Tank and CW starfighters, I do not have the room or interest in them. If it's an OT vehicle no questions I will buy it.

Agreed!  If Hasbro is going to make a big vehicle that's doomed, I'd rather it be the Sailbarge so that at least the notion of large-scale vehicles can go out in a blaze of glory.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on March 6, 2012, 04:28 PM
Yeah, Star Wars isn't going anywhere, but it may be in for a slowdown... 

I think TPM3D made its minimum ammount for them to continue, but that translates poorly for the toy line.  The toy line needs hype, popularity, and extended presence...  The hype was there, the popularity wasn't where it needed to be to support a massive toy blitz though, I'm afraid, and TPM3D's presence is going to be shorter than they hoped I think because they're in stiff competition this Summer as it stands, and again I think they only did their minimums needed to make them happy and move on to doing the other films (or releasing them anyway if they are already done).

Releasing them in a similar fashion anyway (with lots of hype and things).

It's a ton of new product though, at a bad time of year for it, for a movie that's going to lose traction quickly I think.  That just seems bad to me.  Star Wars won't collapse from it, but when you add in all the other factors (cost of the toys and things), I think Star Wars might be in for changes...  Some possibly very lame changes, and some possibly very necessary ones too.  It'll be interesting to see how 2013 pans out, really.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Dan on March 7, 2012, 10:49 AM
It is hard to tell how much of the product push was Hasbro's idea versus Lucasfilm. I think we can all agree that a market saturated with any single movie focus is going to struggle. It seems it would be best to capture a wave or 2 at the time of the movie release that is more focused, but also contains core characters from the other films. The short duration of the theater life for these releases doesn't lend itself to such a broad swath of product. And as was well pointed out earlier, this is a tough time of year to be selling loads of toys. My suggestion would be to try to capture the imagination of the toy-buying parent or child that includes toys from the other saga films, and maybe even generates renewed excitement for the next release.
 
Things have changed in the broader toy buying market as well, and purchasing product from 10-20 years ago is as easy as ordering a book from Amazon. It used to be toy shows, specialty-comic shops, and garage sales. Just last week I felt the bug to buy a load of Episode 1 figures on ebay, because they were less than $3 each after shipping. Still brand new in the package, they looked like they could have come off the store shelf last month.  My daughter and I opened them all, laughed at the commtech chip lines, and packed the loose figures away. I would never do that at $8 plus each.

As parents get more savvy in the future, buying $10 figures for 10 year old boys will seem even more ridiculous, as other options to get the same or very similar toys become much more attractive. I think there will still be a niche for the Star Wars line in stores for a long time, but boatloads of toys from 1 movie with crossovers in Transformers, galactic heroes (or whatever the new iteration is), squinkies, stuffed dolls, etc is just asking for poor performance. It's too much supply, too little demand. I think a tightenting of the belts at Hasbro would be a good move, offering more re-tooled and re-release figures in packs that actually produce value for parents (back to 4-5 figures for $18-22). Put some on single cards too at $6-7 in the movie hero line. Start putting a pilot figure back in with the ships if they are hitting the shelves for the 3rd-4th or 5th time. Then have that collector focus of 25-30 figures per year in the vintage line.

I'll put in a small clone wars gripe though- Poorer ratings or not, they have more exposure to the kid audience then the 6 week release of a 12 year old movie. Clone Wars still seems like a way to keep kids engaged in the brand, and there is nothing on the store shelves that makes me think "oh yeah, that's from the TV show." I for one am sorry to see them moving to a more realistic look.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Sybeck1 on March 7, 2012, 11:45 AM
Hasbro cuts 170 jobs, mostly in U.S.


Reuters) - Hasbro Inc (HAS.O) is cutting about 170 jobs as the second-largest U.S. toy company tries to recover from sluggish sales during the holiday season.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/06/us-hasbro-jobcuts-idUSTRE8251JW20120306

Hope this doesn't effect collecting.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on March 7, 2012, 11:49 AM
Only 5,900 employees wordwide?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: darth broem 2 on March 9, 2012, 10:47 PM
I don't think it will disappear from the toy aisles.  They probably do need to scale down a bit though.  Especially with the insane prices.  That's been my gripe for a long time now.  Thirty dollar vehicles that not too long ago where $20-25?  $10 figures?  That may be okay for a limited set of figures but when you get 15-20 TPM figures mixed with movie heroes and Clone Wars.  No wonder they don't sell all that well. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on March 21, 2012, 12:28 PM
I was listening to the SW Action News podcast (from last week I believe) and they were discussing the recent layoffs at Hasbro and some possible future changes to the SW line as well so it got me to thinking about this again.  Like Scott mentioned in another thread, there is talk of a regime change in the SW line (and Hasbro in general), so I wonder if this is a period where we might see some changes being made.

To me, the TPM "launch" seems to be a bit of a flop.  TVC is selling decently, but beyond that everything seems to be sitting pretty heavily (or already discounted).  Combine that with Hasbro apparently not doing as well last year, and all the changes in personnel to spur the return to "great profitability", I wonder if we might see some changes in the line.  Action figures in general just don't seem to appeal to kids as long (or as mightily) as they did in our days, and when they are near $10 it may turn parents off from a casual buy at the toy store as well.  As a kid, I remember saving up allowance or what have you and being able to pick up a SW or Joe toy at our local variety or drug store for about $3.  Although parents often give their kids more money these days (or just toys in general), it takes more to drop $10 on a single action figure when there are so many other things vying for their money.  Video games have largely stayed the same price since next-gen systems were introduced, so it might make more sense to a kid now to just save for a game or something else electronics related.  Where we might have bought toys into our adolescent years, I think that ends much sooner these days (maybe 6-9 years old?).  I know our nephews are 10 and 12, and although they occasionally play with toys it is more about video games and their ipods.

I'm not sure if it means a scaled back line (less figures/year), more repacks, scaled back figures (less articulation/accessories/apps/etc.), or a combination - but I could see some changes being made.  I think they mentioned this in the podcast, but in the vintage days the figures were meant more as an "add on" to get parents to buy the vehicles/playsets - but these days the figures are so expensive themselves plus it is just a different retail landscape.  I know it is much different now than in the vinty days, but it seems like then a kid could realistically try to "complete" the line throughout the year.  I don't know what kid (aside from big b-day and Christmas hauls) could realistically get all the figures in any given year.  I'm really curious to see what the line will look like in 2013.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on April 2, 2012, 09:04 PM
Sort of replying to myself here, but I always enjoy reading Adam Pawlus' Q and A over at GH, and he sort of talks about the future of SW in one of his answers today (specifically question 5).  He mentions the possibility of taking a break from the 3 3/4" line and moving toward a "Legends" type, 6" scale line with a slower release schedule each year (similar to MOTU classics/Marvel Legends/DCUC, etc.)  Not saying that's what I want (although I know I would likely buy some), but it is an interesting topic.  I do think SW could stand a slow down regardless (although it seems nothing is getting to pegs right now anyways).  Although TPM is definitely not the most popular movie, and the figure choices for Movie Heroes are less than stellar, I think the oversaturation of SW might have something to do with it too.  A slow down (and one line, eventually...when CW is over) would be nice.

He also mentions in his wrap up some things about the excitement level for the SW line/brand, and actually how little Hasbro does to support it in some ways.  I thought it was an interesting read, and he made some good points.  Particularly after playing SW with our daughter lately, I'm really on the side of these things being good "toys" as well - able to stand, fit in vehicles, and hold their weapons.  It is quite frustrating when action figures can't do these simple things.  That being said, there are some excellent examples of ones that can too (I'm particularly fond of the recent Bespin Han, Bespin Luke, Jedi Luke, EB Chewie, and others from past lines).  If they insist on having multiple lines (and a seperate line for each of these movie releases), I wouldn't mind if they dropped the price and put out simpler figures that could accomplish these things.  Then again, I think for many (all?) of the movie releases, they could just recard their library of "ultimate" sculpts (they have so many for each movie at this point), sprinkle in a few new characters for collectors, combine it under one line and put the line dollars towards vehicle updates, a DS playset, or something of that sort.  I know when ANH, etc. are re-released, I wouldn't mind seeing figures like VOTC Han, EB Chewie, Resurgence Luke/Obi, etc. just re-released.  They are about perfect as is.  Anways, just wanted to apss that along, if anyone wanted to read it:

http://www.galactichunter.com/gh/story/qa-vehicles-exclusive-arrivals-and-no-foolin-around (http://www.galactichunter.com/gh/story/qa-vehicles-exclusive-arrivals-and-no-foolin-around)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scott on April 2, 2012, 09:39 PM
We've talked about a 6" Scale here before and I for one am more in favor of it than I ever was...I really think they could do some really cool stuff.  Just don't start with 6" TPM figures :P
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 2, 2012, 09:48 PM
I'd not be opposed to it.  I'm also not likely to buy it though.  I'm not a fan of mixing scales, at least not that close, so I tend to think I'd just bow out of the hobby at that point till either it came back to 3.75" or, well, never.  :D

But not that I'd be terribly upset either...  I've often thought the hobby dying wouldn't bother me, especially of late.  I'm just not as into things as I was.  I like it, I'm here if it's here, but yeah, I just don't care.  I've been disenchanted with not just the product though.  It goes so far beyond that, to all aspects of the hobby, that it's not even funny.

Love new figures when I get them, so that's the funny part I think.  I still like good stuff...  I'm downright giddy for things like the multi-packs coming up for the pilots and ewoks.  It's just basically every other possible angle of the hobby has me thinking negatively about it.

I was just going over some figures tonight I hadn't opened though, and had fun doing so.

If the 6" line was highly limited each year, I'd be more receptive to it...  10 figures maybe.  Not sure about 20 or so, but 10, I'd at least be more into giving it a whirl.  6" scale isn't my cup of tea though.  I like a scale that's much more likely to be broad in scope and 6" seems too large for that.  Maybe I'm overthinking it though.  Oh well.

Not caring is kind of fun though.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on April 2, 2012, 09:58 PM
We've talked about a 6" Scale here before and I for one am more in favor of it than I ever was...I really think they could do some really cool stuff.  Just don't start with 6" TPM figures :P

Does anybody have a memory?  Do we need to relive the Mega Action Figures (http://www.rebelscum.com/potjmegaaction.asp) all over again?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scott on April 2, 2012, 10:00 PM
No...but I do think people would buy SA Marvel Legendsesque SW figures
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on April 2, 2012, 10:08 PM
Marvel Legends style figures could be awesome.  But with the way Hasbro has been scaling back on tooling recently, I think an all-new scale seems unlikely.

BTW, I think the Mega Action Destroyer Droid was actually really cool.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scott on April 2, 2012, 10:13 PM
Right, I don't see it happening either due the economy and the fact that retail SW is all but dead.  Every store I have been too in the last month is stuffed with Legends and Clone Wars, there are still ESB Vintage figures at my local Target from over two years ago.  None of the vehicles and battle packs are selling.

OTOH...Brian is pointing out that Pawlus is more or less speculating on a He-Man or DC style subscription type thing where 10-15 6" figures are made each year.  It works for Mattel, SW is much more popular than those two franchises so in theory it should work too...right?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 2, 2012, 11:38 PM
Butttttttttttttttttttttttt...

Remember who's gonna be in charge of this. ;)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Matt_Fury on April 2, 2012, 11:55 PM
I have a coupld of those destroyer droids somewhere.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Qui-Gon Jim on April 3, 2012, 08:29 AM
I think I'd almost want to go in the opposite direction...  Smaller figures, sort of like the MASK figure scale, and more a focus on vehicles.  They are sort of doing this with the Jedi Force line (which are pretty darn cool toys), but I am think of a more realistic aesthetic.  Figures wouldn't need SA, just focus on making them work with the vehicles.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: MasterFisto on April 3, 2012, 09:42 AM
I'm just not as into things as I was.  I like it, I'm here if it's here, but yeah, I just don't care.

I can relate to this, since I have been feeling something similar lately.  For the most part, I have been apathetic about The Vintage Collection, with its emphasis on resculpts, resculpts, and a few more resculpts.  Granted, I am pleased to get figures of those characters that have never been made before, and I am pleased to get definitive updates to some older figures, but my fire for collecting them has simmered quite a bit because of all of the resculpts.  It's like my collecting zeal has slipped into neutral.  I still go to the store to get each wave, but I'm not getting out of bed at 6:00AM anymore to look for them.  Know what I mean?  For the past year and a half, my passion for collecting Star Wars toys has been driven primarily by the The Clone Wars line.  But now that that line has been relegated to the basement of priorities, with very little to offer, and very little to get excited about in terms of articulation and sculpting, I am left with little to get pumped about.  The show keeps getting better and better, but the figures have all but disappeared.  Sigh.  I think it was Pawlus (?) who said it succintly: there is nothing currently hanging on the pegs which corresponds to what is going on with the show right now, and that is a problem.

So, would I like to see Star Wars go on hiatus?  Hell NO!  I want to go back to 60 figures a year for each line, with new characters galore.  But I know that that is not realistic, given the current situation.  So, I am just waiting (im)patiently for news about General Krell, and collecting Fighter Pods.  Wake me up when y'all hear something about that badass Besalisk.   :P
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on April 3, 2012, 03:12 PM
I wouldn't buy a larger line or smaller one. Even buying better versions of old characters gets tiresome, a new scale...nah.

I only collect 3 3/4". And I'm pickier about that than ever.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on April 3, 2012, 04:04 PM
I'd like to see this approach to the line for 2013...

TVC - Keep it going, just be smarter about carry forwards, and for the love of GOD, fix the Phase 2 clone trooper helmets!  And limit each wave to 3-4 carry forward figures.

Movie Heroes - Keep it going, but sprinkle in more new stuff, and for repacks, pick ones that make sense.  Add some new deco/weathering to army builders here and there.

Clone Wars - Keep it going, but just sprinkle in more new stuff and don't be afraid to make some new aliens and try and get some figures out there that line up with what's on TV at the time.

Battle Packs - Throw in some cool accessories/small environment pieces that we otherwise would not get - seriously... this will draw in more people than Hasbro realizes.

Vehicles/Deluxes - Enough with launching new lines with REPACKS - when a line launches, it should be fresh and new, not stale before the stuff even makes it to the sales floor.

Big One - Make it OT.  We're due for OT anyway.  Sail Barge would fit the bill.

Playsets - For the love of everything holy, outsource to a company like Sideshow if you aren't willing to roll up your sleeves and make a kick-ass product.

As for a 6-inch line... pass.  I can't see myself having any interest, and they'd be priced close to $20... no way am I going down that road.  I'm sure the figures would be very cool, but they're just not my thing.  The only larger scale stuff I ever cared for was He-Man when I was a toddler. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Dan on April 3, 2012, 07:00 PM
Well, I think it would be better received a year or two after the 3 3/4 line goes away for a bit. You have to create some hunger if you are trying to sell plastic food- Look how excited some of us were when bend-ems and little metal action masters showed up, because we hadn't seen anything Star Wars at retail in years. Those were painted bird-poop compared to what we get now, but the lack of anything else made them look like gold.

If I had known in 1995 how many figures would be produced, and how many versions of them, I would have said "I guess in 2020 I'll go back and pick up the ones I like." If a new line showed up now, I would simply say "I guess in 2025 I'll go back and pick up the ones I like." Not to mention that 80% or more of these things are worth less a year after their release, not more. Patience and passion seem like strange partners, but I get a lot more bang for my buck on the aftermarket than I do at retail.

Clone wars was the main line drawing my interest the last couple of years. I like the stylized look, because they are toys, and it fits with the cartoon. I would actually like to see them re-do the entire movie series in animation at some point, with a toy line to support it. Some of gentle giants animated statues are fantastic, and a toy line like that might draw me back in. 

With that being said, my own kids are growing up, and the window of time I intend to spend gathering too much more stuff is closing. Even if they came up with something completely different, it is really going to be aimed at a different demographic than the one I am headed toward-
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on April 4, 2012, 11:51 AM
It seems like a lot of us here are feeling a little less excitement for the line at this point (not everyone, mind you).  I guess that will happen when we've seen 17 years of figures at this point, and multiple versions of many characters.  I guess I'm in the minority a bit where I still get pretty excited about resculpts (the "ultimate" kind at least).  I think one of the figures I'm looking forward to the most this year is the new Hoth Luke, even though we've seen him a few times before.  I've always said, I'd be in it in some capacity until the end, but honestly if they did slow things down or hang it up for a bit in a few years, I think I'd be ok with that too.  They've covered more than I ever thought they would, and just looking at the wishlists, you can see we're really getting to the bottom of things.

Scott brings up an interesting point with the death of Star Wars at retail.  I do wonder if we are really heading towards the end.  A lot I suppose depends on the 3D releases (and any future live action show/movie), but I think - at this point - their plan for TPM 3D's rollout was sort of a failure.  Hopefully they'll make adjustments for future releases.  I've said it before, but I really don't think collectors would mind repacks so much if they were of ultimate sculpts and supplemented by some all new characters (I wouldn't at least).  Hasbro saves money on the line that way (and a price drop would be great too), and they could dedicate tooling to more collector-centric areas.

As far as the Legends-scale idea, I may be down for that if it was the only game in town.  And, if they kept it in check (the 15-20 a year thing would be ideal).  I don't know if we'll see that, unless the 3 3/4" stuff really does go on hiatus or end at some point - and maybe then it would be online only like MOTU and DCU.  It really seems like a time of change for action figures in general.  Kids don't stay interested, and stores don't seem as interested if it isn't tied to a current movie (Avengers, etc.) or a tv show with sustained popularity (Ben 10, etc.)  Aside from SW (and to a lesser extent Joe/TF/Marvel), that is all that gets peg space at our stores aside from TRU having places for more obscure things.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: warinthefloor on April 4, 2012, 11:56 AM
The future of Star Wars collecting damn well better include a totally scrapped and reinvented distrobution Paradigm from Hasbro and their distributors or there will be no future and we promise you that.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on April 4, 2012, 01:39 PM
I've said it before, but I really don't think collectors would mind repacks so much if they were of ultimate sculpts and supplemented by some all new characters (I wouldn't at least).  Hasbro saves money on the line that way (and a price drop would be great too), and they could dedicate tooling to more collector-centric areas.

Agreed, Hasbro really needs to be smarter about repack selections. 

They need to try and appeal to both kids and collectors with that stuff... the characters can make be driven by the kid market, but the actual choice figure of said characters should also appeal to collectors... for example, when they want to throw a Han Solo in the mix, that's fine - but they should use a great mold, like the VOTC Han Solo rather than the weaker POTF2 Commtech mold.  I'm sure retailers would appreciate that as well!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on April 4, 2012, 08:23 PM
I'd like to see this approach to the line for 2013...

TVC - Keep it going, just be smarter about carry forwards, and for the love of GOD, fix the Phase 2 clone trooper helmets!  And limit each wave to 3-4 carry forward figures.

Movie Heroes - Keep it going, but sprinkle in more new stuff, and for repacks, pick ones that make sense.  Add some new deco/weathering to army builders here and there.

Clone Wars - Keep it going, but just sprinkle in more new stuff and don't be afraid to make some new aliens and try and get some figures out there that line up with what's on TV at the time.

Battle Packs - Throw in some cool accessories/small environment pieces that we otherwise would not get - seriously... this will draw in more people than Hasbro realizes.

Vehicles/Deluxes - Enough with launching new lines with REPACKS - when a line launches, it should be fresh and new, not stale before the stuff even makes it to the sales floor.

Big One - Make it OT.  We're due for OT anyway.  Sail Barge would fit the bill.

Playsets - For the love of everything holy, outsource to a company like Sideshow if you aren't willing to roll up your sleeves and make a kick-ass product.

As for a 6-inch line... pass.  I can't see myself having any interest, and they'd be priced close to $20... no way am I going down that road.  I'm sure the figures would be very cool, but they're just not my thing.  The only larger scale stuff I ever cared for was He-Man when I was a toddler.

I agree with everything Chewie has said here.

I think the loss of the Vintage Collection in 2013 will be a huge blow to the line.

I still don't understand the carry-forwards mentality. It just doesn't jive with the paradigm of "keeping the costs per wave down".

Wouldn't it make more sense AND result in cost savings if you had the following schedule:

Wave 1: 12 "new" figures - unlike a lot of folks, I'm okay with good/near-ultimate versions being just put onto Vintage cardbacks for the sake of us getting the character/figure packaged that way - Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are a great example of this.

Wave 2: 6 "new" figures, 6 carry-forward figures from the previous wave.

Wave 3: 6 "new" figures, the 6 "new" figures from Wave 2

Wave 4: 6 "new" figures, the 6 "new" figures from Wave 3

etc...

In my mind, this accomplishes the following:

1) you're going to end up with doubling your order for many of your figures which should bring costs per unit down from China

2) you're giving collectors a chance to start alternating case pre-orders - for example, if Wave 3 had been the Blu-Ray wave and the Malgus wave completely, I would have just pre-ordered two of those cases and just waited for them to come, I'd be done with both waves in one purchase.

3) if you have one or two Vintage packaged "greatest hits" figures, or slightly re-tooled figure in each wave, that should cut down on costs-per-wave as well - figures like FX-7, Hood-up Hoth Han, Ugnaught (BD#43 w/Gray Jumpsuit), Hoth Rebel Trooper (BD #42), AT-AT Driver, Chief Chirpa, Emperor (ROTJ), AT-ST Driver, Endor Poncho Luke (Kit Bash of VC23 w/parts from the Battle for Endor BP), Romba, Luke in Stormtrooper Armor, Warok and A-Wing Pilot (Arvel Crynyd) could all be peppered into the Vintage line to both (a) keep the cost of the wave down since the figure has long been tooled; and (b) fill much needed holes in getting a modern version of the Vintage figure on a modern Vintage Cardback.

There is something definitely to be said for consistency, and if starting with the BluRay wave (or maybe even the TPM wave) if they can have chains like Target and WalMart change the overall assortment SKU for a line to clearance out the pegwarmers from the previous year that's all they need to keep the line "fresh" and "current", what all-powerful moron in the sky keeps saying the packaging changes are what's needed?

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on April 5, 2012, 04:17 PM
Merge battle packs with whatever they are calling deluxe now and try to keep the price at $20 tops.

Speeder Bike/Scout Trooper and Ewok

Ewok Catapult/ 2 ewoks.

Escape Pod/R2-D2 and C-3PO

Wait...that's stuff people would buy. I mean, keep making that Naboo thingie in the same color over and over and charge $20 for it.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Hobbie on April 5, 2012, 10:57 PM
Put an astromech or other droid in every wave.  Save money since it's only a repaint, but still get good sales by making them or new, unmade characters. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on April 9, 2012, 02:40 PM
Looking at the retail situation, it sort of seems like this TPM push might be hurting the line as it did back in 99/00.  Granted, there are other factors now too (distribution, pricing, fatigue, etc.)...but it sure seems like there is a lot of product sitting right now.  It makes me wonder if we'll see a shift to a POTJ-sized line like we did back then.  Honestly, that was one of the best times for collecting for me.  I was finishing college, working part time and having an unpaid internship and I could still keep up with the line for the most part.  It didn't seem nearly as stressful, and I even lived 45 minutes from a town with stores that even carried Star Wars and could still keep up (before I ever ordered online too).  I was looking back on those POTJ lineups, and it was a much more subdued approach (with 30 or so basic figures a year, plus deluxes and a couple vehicles/exclusives).

Again, it is a different time.  We have current entertainment (CW, although largely ignored by Hasbro lately), and movie releases that they obviously want to tie into (although we haven't heard diddly about AOTC 3D yet).  I know some would be unhappy with too drastic a cut back (and losing vehicles), but part of me thinks the SW brand needs it a little.  It used to feel more "special" at retail, where now it seems like everything has a SW logo slapped on it and there are so many ancillary lines going at any one time.  I'd still like to see new/redone beasties and vehicles, but if they included those in a conservative lineup (and possibly a unified line), I'd be ok with a POTJ-like set up in the future.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: warinthefloor on April 9, 2012, 04:11 PM
that brings up a great post I have always thought we subisideize a lot of useless crap with our 3 3/4 pruchases

every molecule of plastic hasbro uses under this license that doesnt go directly to as yet unmade characters in 3 3/4 scale is a complete waste
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: iFett on April 9, 2012, 04:19 PM
It makes me wonder if we'll see a shift to a POTJ-sized line like we did back then.  Honestly, that was one of the best times for collecting for me.  I was finishing college, working part time and having an unpaid internship and I could still keep up with the line for the most part.  It didn't seem nearly as stressful, and I even lived 45 minutes from a town with stores that even carried Star Wars and could still keep up (before I ever ordered online too).  I was looking back on those POTJ lineups, and it was a much more subdued approach (with 30 or so basic figures a year, plus deluxes and a couple vehicles/exclusives).

I stopped collecting SW figures early last year, but I have to agree with you on the POTJ days - those were probably the best times I had collecting in this hobby.  The line was perfect for what it was back in the day.  :)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 9, 2012, 08:45 PM
every molecule of plastic hasbro uses under this license that doesnt go directly to as yet unmade characters in 3 3/4 scale is a complete waste

I don't agree with that...

I like resculpts.  I think this line is due quite a few of them...  I like new characters too, but they're really getting to where all new is real obscure for the most part.  Not entirely, but close to that point.

I'd buy a new ANH Han if they really went ga ga with him and delivered something amazing.  I'd buy almost any character, at least OT ones, that got a resculpt that really impressed me.  I still feel like Farmboy Luke is flapping in the breeze, there's Han's needing updating badly (Carbonite, just off the top of my head, aliens I'd rebuy (Nabrun Leids, Takeel, Lak Sivrak, Skiff Klaatu, POTF2 Nikto, Duros)...  I'm not against resculpts.

I agree on things like those choppers that bombed, and other similar ideas.  I also understand though, that Hasbro is grasping at straws with kids who they feel put more money into the line.  As always, feel free to believe that or not I guess.  I believe it though.

Now, as far as resculpts go though, to me, that's about the only way a 3.75" line can really go short of EU which is ultimately much more obscure than the film stuff.  I like new stuff, and seeing the collection grow to absurdly diverse proportions, but I'm maybe even more interested in the latest/greatest version of some of these characters.  Especially the longer they go without an update.  ANH Leia anyone?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on April 9, 2012, 09:06 PM
Now, as far as resculpts go though, to me, that's about the only way a 3.75" line can really go short of EU which is ultimately much more obscure than the film stuff.  I like new stuff, and seeing the collection grow to absurdly diverse proportions, but I'm maybe even more interested in the latest/greatest version of some of these characters.  Especially the longer they go without an update.  ANH Leia anyone?

I'm in the same boat.  I'm definitely all for all-new characters as well (particularly ones from the OT), but anymore I get more excited about resculpts of past figures (some from as far back as POTF2).  Looking at the year ahead, some of the stuff I'm looking forward to the most (Hoth Luke, Bespin Leia, Royal Guard, the recent Skiff Lando, Prune Face, Nien Nunb, Tarkin, Weequay, and even the VC Jar Jar) are all things we've seen before.  I still buy virtually all of the Vintage line, but I seem to look forward to the OT figures the most - and resculpted ones at that.  Oh, and put me in the camp that would really like to see a "new" New Hope Leia.  Our daughter has been way into SW the past couple months, and it made me realize how long it has been since we've seen the iconic white dress Leia on the pegs.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on April 11, 2012, 06:12 PM
I think resculpts are fine too... as long as it's an upgrade.  Repacks aren't the end of the world either, when done in moderation and for characters that are in high demand. 

It's the balancing act of case ratios and carry forward figures that is Hasbro's biggest problem right now, in my opinion.  Why on earth, for example, wouldn't they include two of Malgus per case in his initial assortment?  It makes no sense.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on April 11, 2012, 06:43 PM
I was really hoping we'd see the rest of the original Kenner line updated and put onto modern Vintage cards. Sure we'll still quite a ways away from that, but the fact that they're shelving the Vintage Collection at the end of this year does bother me quite a bit.

They could easily revisit many of them by just Vintage carding sculpts that already exist:
Luke Skywalker (Resurgence of the Jedi BP w/Soft Goods "skirt" from Death Star escape figure)
R2-D2 (Resurgence of the Jedi BP)
Chewbacca (Early Bird Kit)
C-3PO (Star Wars logo cardback using Resurgence of the Jedi BP figure)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Resurgence of the Jedi BP)
Han Solo (VC42 w/o Medal w/Original Kenner Cardback Photo)
Jawa (2009 Legacy Collection)
Death Star Droid (Build-a-droid sculpt, brushed nickel is fine, does not need to be chromed)
FX-7 (POTJ)
Hoth Han (Droid Factory version w/the hood up)
Ugnaught (take the Legacy Ugnaught w/apron, paint the jumpsuit gray and use the head from the second one)
Hoth Rebel Commander (Legacy Hoth Rebel Trooper)
AT-AT Driver (from the Imperial 3-Pack Set @Target)
C-3PO w/Removeable Limbs (C-3PO colored BAD protocol droid)
Black Bespin Security Guard (Legacy collection body w/a compatible better head sculpt, like from the Endor Rebel)
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight) (lightsaber construction BluRay figure w/correct cloak)
Chief Chirpa (2006 Saga Collection - it's good enough)
Skiff Guard Lando (just take the Sandstorm figure package, loose extra bits & put it on Vintage cardback)
Emperor (cobble him together from various Sidious/Palpatine parts)
AT-ST Driver (Target Attack on Hoth set)
Paploo (Legacy collection)
Endor Luke Skywalker (just take the endor capture figure and add the bits from the Battle for Endor BP)
Romba (TAC release)
Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Armor (Legacy Collection release)
Warok (Battle for Endor BP)
A-Wing Pilot (Arvel Crynyd from WalMart A-Wing exclusive)

That's 26 opportunities to just pack in a sculpt that ALREADY EXISTS and get it out there on a Vintage card, put it back out in circulation and help to keep overall wave costs down. That's the almighty denominator now right? Keeping the costs of a wave down? Seems to me that you could easily bulk up those 5 figure waves with two or three of each of the repacks I suggest above and there would definitely be folks willing to buy them or get a second chance at them. The Resurgence of the Jedi Battlepack Luke for example would be a great figure to get out there, I'd love to have more of him to put in vehicles like the T-16 and his Landspeeder. Not to mention add to a cantina diorama.


And then that leaves these re-sculpts/minor retools/new sculpts:
Snaggletooth (Red)
Snaggletooth (Blue) - can use same head as Red Snaggletooth
Hammerhead
Power Droid
Bespin Security Guard (the Legacy Collection figure w/new head sculpt)
Lobot
Imperial Commander
2-1B
Leia in Boushh Disguise
Rebel Commando (resculpt of the POTF2 figure)
Tessek (Squid Head)
General Madine
Bib Fortuna
Ree-Yees
8D8
Skiff Guard Klaatu
Teebo
Amanaman
Imperial Gunner - should be able to cobble something together starting with the 2006 Saga Collection fig
Han Solo in Carbonite
Anakin Skywalker - take the Ghost Hayden figure, pair it with a new Shaw head sculpt and done
EV-9D9
Imperial Dignitary
Yak Face


And there 24 re-sculpts/minor re-toolings/new sculpts in my 2nd list. Those could be peppered into the line OR better yet, if they kept Vintage going up through the rest of the 3D re-releases like they should, just spread them out during those movie years - heck - for ROTJ - Boussh Leia, Carbonite Han, Endor Luke, Rebel Commando, Emperor, Bib Fortuna, Chief Chirpa, Imperial Dignitary, EV-9D9, A-Wing Pilot, Skiff Guard Klaatu & TVC Vader re-released on ROTJ Cardback (second Kenner Photo) would all make for a great 12 figure ROTJ Vintage wave.

Ultimately there is no reason for the line to be so stagnant right now. I would much rather be getting re-packed-on-Vintage-cardback ultimate versions of figures then getting horrible assortments with carry-forward figures that are put in there simply for the sake of keeping wave costs down.

Why can't Hasbro just be smarter about their decisions? It doesn't take advanced Marketing or Business degrees or fancy forecasting analysis to realize that having the SAME Qui-Gon Jinn sculpt on Vintage, Movie Hero and Discover the Force cardbacks is a BAD idea and is going to result in LOTS of Qui-Gon clogging the pegs.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on April 13, 2012, 07:52 PM
This is kind of an off-shoot of this topic, but the vehicle line seems to be largely forgotten anymore.  Sure, we've got those TPM re-releases collecting dust, but announcements for new vehicles are few and far between.  I'm beginning to wonder when/if that new Naboo Starfighter will hit retail, and is there even anything else new announced in this area beyond that for the rest of the year?  I know we've got the deluxe vehicles, and the MTT, but it really seems like vehicles are forgotten right now.  I'm wondering if we'll see them phased out/exclusive similar to during other times of the line - or if we'll continue to just see mainly a round of re-releases for each of the 3D movies (particularly the prequel ones, as those vehicles have been pretty recently made/out).
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 13, 2012, 08:34 PM
When vehicles went above $20, they basically lost it to me except for that brief spurt of new OT goodness.  Snowspeeder?  I'm in.  CC?  Sure.  90th Jedi Fighter repaint?  Hahahah, no.

And when they went to $30, yeah, who gives a poop now?  The vehicles for that line are largely done (the ones I wanted anyway), and anything else is pretty much so underscaled I wno't even consider it.  For $30 I expect something really impressive, not just deco changes.

I love the V19, but even if it was repainted to look like someone actually used it, I'd not buy it now.  Only a Snowspeeder might get me.  Even then, it'll be one and done for me.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Ben on April 14, 2012, 04:28 AM
If Hasbro wanted this line to continue, they'd stop nonsense like only offering Wedge in a revision case (again) and repacking Qui-Gon (again) in the 4.1 case.

They've made some pretty stupid mistakes, and it's really their own fault. I know that if I was in charge of of the brand, there's no way in Hell I'd have put all my eggs in the TPM basket again, since it worked out so well the last time.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on April 14, 2012, 01:52 PM
A better skiff would be nice. Don't want to wait 5 years for it. But even it was releases tomorrow, $30 would still be a bit much, I'd more likely wait for a sale.

I expect they will have vehicles for AOTC 3D if retailers are still interested, like that spider droid they need to make more money from, and the Jedi fighter redone with tool/cargo containers and no pop off wings.

Watch them make Slave 1 in AOTC deco the "BMF", too, with an exclusive young Boba and Jango Fett. No OT version for you!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on April 14, 2012, 05:51 PM
In all fairness, all their eggs are not in one basket with TPM... and most of that stuff has sold fine... Too many carry forwards, but really we have not seen a disaster with logjams from the first TVC wave.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Captain Piet on April 14, 2012, 05:56 PM
Hasbro has to understand it has made horrible decisions about what and how much it has shipped. Question is does it care?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 14, 2012, 08:52 PM
In all fairness, all their eggs are not in one basket with TPM... and most of that stuff has sold fine... Too many carry forwards, but really we have not seen a disaster with logjams from the first TVC wave.

Really?   :-\  TPM Vintage is stalled here to where even Maul isn't selling well now.  Movie Heroes is almost entirely TPM and isn't going anywhere.  Vehicles?  Lots of TPM stuff, not moving.  Deluxe STAP's and stuff.  The WM Wave of TPM figures are all easily found, and none seem to be moving now though these did do ok for a little bit.

And there's lots of TPM carry-forwards in the current cases available (Wave 2, 3, and 4).  None really should be carry-forwarded, knowing what we know now, but I do think Hasbro did hedge their bets on TPM3D lingering in the minds of kids longer than it ultimately has.  TPM stuff is all I see in the SW section right now, and it's not selling well.  It's not as bad as 1999, but it's not as big a blitz either.  1999 had an entire aisle of WM devoted to TPM crap.

It was a bet and by all accounts, it seems to have gone sorta poorly.  Vintage is the only line that's doing somewhat ok.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on April 14, 2012, 11:07 PM
I don't think all Hasbro's eggs are in one basket at all.  The initial launch for 2012 is TPM heavy, but it's not like Hasbro is focusing only on one film this year.

The first wave of Movie Heroes is about 1/2 TPM related.  Clone Wars has nothing to do with TPM... so that's not all their eggs in one basket.  And once we get past the first wave of vehicles/deluxes, the TPM drive is about gone. 

Has some of this stuff sat around?  Yeah - but it's the old sculpts in Movie Heroes and Clone Wars that are warming the pegs.  New figures are selling, including most initial shipments of Wave 1 TPM in the vintage line.  Waves 2 and 3 have more TPM carry forwards than necessary in my opinion, but outside of Target, most retailers that I've seen in the midwest and on a west coast trip I took across three western states showed the same thing - TVC is moving pretty well.

Has there been a pretty big TPM push overall though?  Yeah, and maybe more than I'd like to see outside of TVC and the Discover the Force exclusive wave.  But this isn't anything like what we saw with the initial barrage of TPM product over a decade ago.  Really, 2012 is nothing like 1999-2000 - back then, everything was dedicated to TPM until they transitioned over to POTJ. 

Some may disagree, but I don't see Hasbro has having "all their eggs" being in TPM this year.  Outside of the STAP (which has been released so many times now it's getting stupid) and the Podracers, I don't think the deluxes and vehicles were bad choices.  So quite a few eggs are in the 2012 basket, but certainly not all.  And that's coming from someone who has been disgusted by Hasbro lately on many fronts - but they are not focusing on TPM only - just TPM early and in a heavy dose.  I also think that TPM figures have sold great in the vintage line - much better than I thought they would.  But I am worried about them being carried forward again in Wave 3.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 15, 2012, 05:45 PM
That's not my point though, as I noted...  It's not really that it's all their eggs in one basket, so much as they loaded the basket early, and hedged their bets that TPM3D was going to hold onto kids a bit longer than it did.

Funny you mention TCW as "not counting" too...  since TCW, by Hasbro's own basic account, was put on hiatus while they focused on TPM3D for a while.  And TPM isn't done...  More to come later in the year like the WM figures finding their way to vintage cards, etc.  Unless they wisely cancel those.  I doubt it, but they should consider it, if it's even possible to stop.

It's not a comparison of 1999, at least not in any terms other than relative...  That's not fair, since like I noted, 1999 was an ENTIRE aisle devoted to a movie that was the first new movie in the SW franchise since 1983...  They did put a lot into this though, and in a pretty stiffly competitive movie year looking for the kiddie angle....  I think it was dismal on Hasbro's part and thought that since basically NYCC.

I know you say Vintage is selling well, but by my eyes I disagree.  Like I said, even Maul's pegwarming, and he really shouldn't be.  I think retailers just aren't ordering much.  I know my pegs aren't getting replenished anywhere in any kind of quantity.  A case now and then, but Wave 2 is still non-existant here, and it's April, and Wave 3 & 4 are now shipping.  That's not good to me.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on April 15, 2012, 06:16 PM
They never seemed to order much last year in terms of vintage (which is why the stuff goes to close-out stores). Yet movie heroes languishes more, probably because public interest in Star Wars toys isn't that high. Front loading with old crap didn't help. Had they Naboo fighter out there and the new Movie Heroes out there in january...might have improved their situation.

THEY KNOW THE STORES ORDER/GET MORE OF THE FIRST WAVES. Heck, they base releases on it (no more opening with Yarnas). So they sort of  shot themselves in the foot.

But this is the company that short runs main movie villains (Red Skull) and henchmen (why aren't the warriors of Loki's whatever-they-are army on store pegs now...getting fanboy army-building sales before the movie's release?).
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on April 15, 2012, 06:54 PM
And TPM isn't done...  More to come later in the year like the WM figures finding their way to vintage cards, etc.  Unless they wisely cancel those.  I doubt it, but they should consider it, if it's even possible to stop.

I hope not... just for the sake that I'm bypassing the WM figures to get them on Vintage cards. But I understand what you're saying.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 15, 2012, 08:34 PM
Well if you rethink the WM ones, they're readily available, and outstanding. :)  It was funny how, in this day and age of collectors supposedly being the ones that make the smart moves and support the line, even that short-packed droid is readily available, as is Ric Olie, and in a wave completely exclusive to one store. 

To me, there are two figures with probably short production runs, but it says a lot about things I think, as they currently stand.  They're everywhere here.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not doom and gloom on the line since it always has these peaks and valleys... but I think we're in for a rough patch...  er, the continuation of a rough patch anyway.  I don't think it's on a quick uptick is the point.  It'd be nice if Wave 3 and 4 see a really solid distribution, and Wave 2 is the wave that eats it.  I'd be ok with that, especially since 2 was so heavy with TPM repacks.

That's the wave I could stomach seeing making it to some discounter for cheap in half a year.

I totally see the point that not everything is TPM for a year though and so there's hope, but this also wasn't a new movie being released for the first time in this franchise's history after a 16 year hiatus...  So to that end I do look at it as maybe not all the eggs, but a solid dozen of the year's 20 were stuffed in that basket, to the point the packaging is centered on it even. 

At the end of the day, I just wanna go to WM or Target, and know something is there I want to buy.  Even if I already have one or a dozen of it, I'd just like to know I could go now and buy a few more and it'd be figures I wanted.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on April 15, 2012, 08:48 PM
Wave 2 could be hitting more than some people think too though... for example, a local friend of mine only hits about 1 store a week, and I'm pretty much the one getting his figures for him these days... he has only seen Cracken and the Mon Cal in the wild - none of the other new ones. 

I've personally seen evidence of at least 20 or so cases of Wave 2 at various stores in my area - but the new figures sell out within days... if I didn't hit stores nearly so often, I would swear they didn't hit much at all.  I've bought something like 10 Crackens now, and passed on quite a few more (not all those were for me, but these are out there in my area if one is hitting the stores enough - but it sucks that someone has to hit as often as I do to actually find the figures they want).

Anyways, I am optimistic that 2012 is going to be a better overall year on the TVC front than 2011 was in terms of finding figures - but as for the other lines, I think it's going to maybe be worse.  A lot worse.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on April 15, 2012, 11:34 PM
My biggest problem right now is the lack of product at my local stores.

For example, my local WalMart has SIX vintage figures - 2 Queen Amidala, 2 AOTC Obi-Wan, 2 Naboo Guards - that's it. Everything else is gone.

Movie Heroes is in even worse shape - 2x Yoda, 2x Obi-Wan, 1x Destroyer Droid

The pegs of the Clone Wars and the Discover the Force waves are pretty stocked, but the exclusive six figures are pretty much gone, I think there's only like 2 Mawhonics and a Rick Olie, everything else is Qui-Gon, Yoda, Obi-Wan and Destroyer Droids.

And this has been the state of things at this store for over a month. And I'm not one of those people who checks like once a week, I check this store EVERY day and thanks to the fact that there are so many carry-overs from previous waves in both Wave 2/3 of Vintage and Wave 2 of MH, I can assure you, nothing new has hit this store in quite some time.

My local Target is no better either.

So when you have four pegs dedicated to Vintage and four pegs dedicated to Movie Heroes, why are they sitting there with less than 8 figures in either assortment spread out between those pegs? Clearly SOMEONE isn't doing their job, either the store's toy person or the Hasbro rep, either way, my local WM is a great example of how distribution is clearly broken.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on April 16, 2012, 12:06 AM
Sounds similar to the Wal-Marts and TRU stores that I frequent... and I went on a road trip yesterday about 2 hrs south of STL, and it was almost an exact same picture there... the Wal-Marts and TRU for the most part have lots of room for more vintage, and even some Movie Heroes... some CW too. 

But Target is a joke.  No stores have room for any product, it looks like people aren't shopping there for SW these days... heck, why even shop there when Wal-Mart is cheaper and TRU keeps having Buy 1 Get 1 50% off?  Plus Wal-Mart and TRU put their stuff out way before Target did, so the collectors got their fill of the initial assortments there...

I don't think I've bought a single Star Wars item this year at Target.  And I've bought a lot of stuff... and oh yeah, Target charges $10.99 for GI JOE now, while Wal-Mart 200 yards away charges $6.97.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on April 16, 2012, 11:17 AM
Ok - well - here's an update regarding my local WalMart.

This morning on my way to work, I stopped at two other WalMarts and bumped into the Hasbro Rep for my area. I have had conversations with her before, and I've always been polite so she recognized me and said hello.

I asked her if her region covered my local store as well and she said yes, so I asked her about my store having 6 Vintage figures and 5 Movie Heroes figures on the pegs for over a month and she told me the problem at my store is that the store manager "feels he has too many toys left over from the holiday shopping season" and is rejecting ALL ORDERS for new stuff.

Meanwhile, Star Wars isn't the only line that's nothing but empty pegs - GI Joe has like three figures, there are barely any transformers and his Avengers section is loaded with Thor and Captain America figures from last summer's movies. The entire action figure aisle is bare - except for the end with the crappy Bandai junk.

So, I don't have much hope in things changing, but I am going to go there tonight and ask if he's around, ask him to take a walk with me to that aisle and explain to me why he isn't stocking his store.

At this point, something really needs to give, and the logical thing is for Hasbro to start offering to outlets like EE case assortments where you have a Wave of 5 figures and each figure is in the case twice and then you take two other figures which should be popular and put it in there 3 times. Charge a little more per case, since they are 100% new. The Wave 4 and Wave 3 cases at EE are now temporarily out of stock - but they were "in stock" and available for order most of the weekend. That would NOT have been the case if Wave 3 was 3x Malgus, 3x Imperial Navy Officer, 2x Hoth Luke, 2x Clone Wars Anakin, 2x Darth Vader. If EE had a case like that and charged $150, I'd have bought it in a heartbeat. Heck I would have bought two, just to be done with the wave, and I know many others would have as well. You would think it would be a win-win for everyone involved, Hasbro, EE and collectors alike.

So if WalMart managers are going to essentially ****-block the lines from making it to their shelves, then they really need to stop making case assortments that cater to the brick-and-mortar stores. Pure and simple.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on April 16, 2012, 12:12 PM
Or HTS could start selling individual figures again to people like us that are having problems finding anything in their neck of the woods? I know they say the B&M stores bitch and moan about it (I think someone once said this was the case, I could be wrong, that) but if the B&Ms aren't doing their part, it sucks for the person looking for fresh product.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: shmashwitdaclub on April 16, 2012, 12:44 PM
I really do think maybe there does need to be two different styles in case assortments like Pete suggested - one for online, one for retail.

First question though, do cases have to consist of 12 figures?  Has it historically ever been different?

Given the current state of the economy and how toy lines seem to be doing in general I think first things first is, there needs to maybe be fewer new figures released each year.

As for retail assortments?  perhaps Hasbro can keep doing things the way they are, but I honestly don't think they are doing it 100% right.  If they could move from 12 figure cases to 10 figure cases maybe they would choose their characters more wisely and not so many pegwarmers.  Fewer figures per case means cases will sell through faster and stores will order more sooner and thus get newer waves in the process.

Online assortments should be double of everything and all new - period.  Doesn't matter if it is a 10 or a 12 figure case.  This of course would give online retailers the opportunity to sell by the case or by splitting a case, or by individual.  There wont be any "zomg rare figures that are 1 per case and cost a premium for it!" type situations - there never should be (unless maybe it is like Yarna or ICMG - figures with limited popularity).

Collectors are tired of the current state of collecting.  Driving around from store to store whether it be once or a couple of times a week with gas prices the way they are only to end up with nothing is agonizing.  I honestly believe that if collectors were able to order case assortments as mentioned above online ordering fulfillment would go up in staggering numbers.  Even if collectors got stuck with a figure they didnt want out of the case or half case I am betting it would be easy to unload the figure or they would just be forgiving and keep the unwanted figure.

     
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on April 16, 2012, 01:22 PM
Collectors are tired of the current state of collecting.  Driving around from store to store whether it be once or a couple of times a week with gas prices the way they are only to end up with nothing is agonizing.  I honestly believe that if collectors were able to order case assortments as mentioned above online ordering fulfillment would go up in staggering numbers.  Even if collectors got stuck with a figure they didnt want out of the case or half case I am betting it would be easy to unload the figure or they would just be forgiving and keep the unwanted figure.

EXACTLY.

If I wasn't a completist and all I collected was OT - if I got a case that was all new, then I'm sure I'd be able to find someone who would be interested in Darth Malgus or Clone Wars Anakin, keeping Hoth Luke, Imperial Navy Trooper and EPIV Vader for myself.

If you have cases of 12, keep to having waves of 6, if you have cases of 10, keep to having waves of 5, either way, it shouldn't really matter, but like shmash said, if you have a wave of 5 new figures and you pack that wave as 2x of each figure in a case of 10, then that makes it so easy for an online retailer to sell by the whole case or the half case.

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JediJman on April 16, 2012, 01:45 PM
I can see some of the rationale to include prior wave figures in the current assortment.  There are many benefits to Hasbro selling at retail and I'm sure a big percentage of what they sell goes to kids or people who still would not buy online.  Including popular figures like Vader, Anakin, etc. in multiple waves makes sense because in the long term they are going to sell more of those figures than the oddball aliens or EU figures that have less overall demand. 

I do think there is huge opportunity to improve the assortments though.  I wouldn't mind something closer to 8 new figures in a wave and 4 repeats - that would be enough to get me to start buying cases.  Look at what Marvel Universe has done.  Ship a case of 12 figures with 5-6 new ones, then build out the rest of the case with hard to find figures from 3+ waves prior.  You should have a good idea of what people missed out on (take 15 minutes to do an ebay search), so round out new cases with those past figures instead of clogging the pegs with repeat figures that are probably still there from last month's assortment.  This provides much better variety on shelf, and let's your consumer know that they may be able to get that hard to find figure from you down the road. This is a constant with the Marvel figures despite what are likely lower production runs.  And yet we've waited how long just to see Wedge again?  Fail.

I like the option of specialized online assortments as well.  If they went back to a case of 12 with 2x of each new figure, I would be all over that, even at a premium price.  I collect 2 of everything anyway, but I woud think even those that don't would have an easy time selling off a full set to a friend.  I don't know how complicated that would be on Hasbro's end though or how they determine the right quantities.  I also don't think its rocket sciene to start including extras of the troopers from any given assortment, especially OTC troops.  Echo Base Trooper, Senate Guard, etc. seemed harder to find in recent history, and I think people are more willing to bite on a case with extras of these versus multiples of core characters. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on April 16, 2012, 02:04 PM
I just don't remember seeing so many repacks/carry forwards in the "main line" until the last few years... Remember back in the day when we'd get 4-5 new figures in each wave, and it would be packed something like 2 or 3 of each figure? 

I think Hasbro now fears they have so many characters in the TVC line that are very "niche", and priced higher, that if they pack a case of figures with 3 or so of a character like Evazan, then they're going to get burned - and maybe they would.  But why not have each case have 2 of each new figure?  Then the figures that will be obviously more demand, like great army builders, can be put back into slots here and there again.

One thing too, that I don't think can be overstated, is in the "glory days" in 2005-2007, Hasbro seemed to have a great thing going with clone troopers.  They could just dump those into each wave, and they would sell.  I think they actually COULD do that still (or close to it), if they didn't have the self-imposed VC #15 clone fiasco last year.  All they'd need to do is use the VC #45 body, with improved/accurate helmets for the Phase 2 clones... I think the demand is still there, but now Hasbro is gunshy because of the VC #15's failure - but that figure had so many issues - and it looks like the new 501st clone is also going to have issues because of the huge helmet.  But he's not packed in so many assortments at least.  Would be great if it were if he had a better helmet though.

Speaking of clones, Hasbro seems to realize that Fordo is popular - glad to see him back in the mix soon. I just wish they'd fix the phase 2 helmet issues, and also put some all-white Republic Commandos into the TVC line...

Another thing - there are SO MANY 3.75" lines now that Hasbro is trying to manage... I don't know if they're able to keep up with it all like they could a few years ago when their only 3.75" focus was Star Wars and GI JOE.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Qui-Gon Jim on April 18, 2012, 11:22 AM
One thing that many fail to realize when discussing this topic is that is very easy to see NOW that "figure x" is all over the pegs and isn't selling, but the decision on what goes into an assortment isn't made while product is on the shelf; it is made months before.  Those revision cases were picked before the first waves of TPM hit, most likely. 

Now if you say "Anyone should know that these would be a stinker," I would totally agree with you.

I think that Hasbro needs to work harder at market research, and some shakeups need to happen with the way they pick product.

I think the biggest change is to stop the bloat.  We don't need 70 figures a year.  Why don't we try 24 for the whole year, sprinkle them out over a 12-month period.  This would allow them to recoup some of their tooling dollars, and they can also take the time to make sure all 24 are completely up to snuff. 

There was a sort of successful toy line years ago that did this.  Maybe you've heard of G.I. Joe?  We knew (mostly) what was coming for the year from the cardbacks, and I while I was CRAZY for that stuff, I don't recall a single figure during my time collecting that I was not able to find.  Sure, some may have taken a few months to find, but I did eventually get them all.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on April 18, 2012, 11:38 AM
Now if you say "Anyone should know that these would be a stinker," I would totally agree with you.

I think that Hasbro needs to work harder at market research, and some shakeups need to happen with the way they pick product.

This is what I have been saying all along.

It is purely LAZY on the part of Hasbro... I see this as the logic:

Hasbro Employee 1: "We have from the Legacy collection, ultimate versions of Qui-Gon from TPM, Obi-Wan from TPM, and Obi-Wan from AOTC."

Hasbro Employee 2: "We need to keep the cost-per-wave down."

Hasbro Employee 1: "Using those Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan figures will help accomplish that. They're Jedi - kids love Jedi - they're sure to sell."

Hasbro Employee 2: "Are you sure? We seem to be putting these guys in a lot of the assortments, won't that mean we end up  having a lot of these sitting around after several waves ship? What about this clone that uses the body from one previous figure and the helmet from another? Granted he doesn't bring down the cost-per-wave 'as much' but wouldn't that help keeping the product moving at retail?"

Hasbro Employee 1: "Are you crazy? No one buys clones anymore, in fact, no one army builds either. I've conducted vast amounts of research by talking to my cousin Carl, who hates Star Wars, to help determine that clones are no good anymore and totally bad for the line. To that end, I've insisted that all army-building-type-figures are only to ever be shipped at one per case in only one assortment."

Hasbro Employee 2: "Why would you conduct market research about Star Wars with somone who hates Star Wars?"

Hasbro Employee 1: "It's brilliant, right?"

Hasbro Employee 2: "I dunno, that seems to be setting up the line to fail."

Hasbro Employee 1: "Exactly."

Hasbro Employee 2: "What was that?"

Hasbro Employee 1: "Oh nothing, frog in my throat. Hey wanna look at these cool squishie knock-offs we're calling Battle Pods? They're gonna be HOT!"

 ::)

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on April 18, 2012, 02:18 PM
Hasbro got the whole clone trooper thing so wrong with vintage... it's freaking unreal how bad they got it wrong.

It seems all the clone army building disaster could have been avoided if the VC #15 clone looked like THIS (http://www.yakfaceforums.com/Chewie/032011clonecompare3.jpg).

The VC #15 was a disaster in all aspects of the sculpt.  Instead, they should have waited until the VC #45 body was ready, then released that with a good, properly sized helmet (maybe non-removable).  That would be the ultimate Phase 2 clone, and they could have repainted the hell out of it. 

Instead they use a terrible figure, and then later give a half-ass attempt to fix the problem by using the VC #45 body (good) but with an oversized helmet (WTF???).  And of course, they decided to have a ROTS #41 all white clone along side it in Legends at the same time... yikes.

Just like the over-saturation of Obi Wan and Qui Gon - I really can't believe such simple concepts are so hard for Hasbro to comprehend.  It's beyond absurd... only a brand as popular as Star Wars could absorb such mismanagement.  The right hand doesn't seem to know what the left hand is doing sometimes with these people.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: warinthefloor on April 18, 2012, 03:20 PM
completely out of left feild

but its almost like they want to pass likeness use royalties on to as few actors as possible.

I cant think of any other reason OWK and QGJ were in every single case and assortment of every single line so far this year.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on April 18, 2012, 03:49 PM
completely out of left feild

but its almost like they want to pass likeness use royalties on to as few actors as possible.

I cant think of any other reason OWK and QGJ were in every single case and assortment of every single line so far this year.

I believe the LucasFilm contract for all of the Star Wars actors was that Lucas owns that actor's likeness as the character for all time. So the only fees are what Hasbro has to pay to LucasFilm for the rights to make Star Wars toys...
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JediJman on April 18, 2012, 03:53 PM
I cant think of any other reason OWK and QGJ were in every single case and assortment of every single line so far this year.

I can.  They thought TPM was going to be huge and drive a big SW push again - how could it not being a "movie year" and all.  I'm sure they wanted representation across the lines to coincide with the move.  Since availability of certain lines has been spotty, this pretty much ensures that there is a OWK and QGJ on the pegs at every store. 

I don't think Hasbro is lazy about assortments, but I do agree that they are out of touch with their bread and butter.  This certainly wasn't a move to inspire collectors and I'm not even sure kids care all that much about these two characters.  They don't have the same appeal as a Luke/Han would.

I saw a really interesting presentation today on the explosion in social media and how companies are utilizing these tools to connect with their consumers.  Companies are getting product ideas, fielding consumer questions, generating PR, and a host of other applications at almost no cost.  Hasbro should be all over this with a bunch of existing sites like JD to poll from and a large base of consumers who are probably online more than the average household. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scott on April 18, 2012, 05:01 PM
I saw a really interesting presentation today on the explosion in social media and how companies are utilizing these tools to connect with their consumers.  Companies are getting product ideas, fielding consumer questions, generating PR, and a host of other applications at almost no cost.  Hasbro should be all over this with a bunch of existing sites like JD to poll from and a large base of consumers who are probably online more than the average household.

That certainly is a double edged sword and there are very few fan communities out there that I think Hasbro would even dare interact with
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on April 18, 2012, 05:05 PM
Social media research, like what Evolve24 does, could benefit Hasbro.

Or, they could just hire a handful of collectors as advisors.  Or just read the dang forums more.  It shouldn't be that difficult.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 18, 2012, 11:33 PM
That certainly is a double edged sword and there are very few fan communities out there that I think Hasbro would even dare interact with

 :D

Sadly, I laugh because that's too true.

They've taken info from forums though, and readily admit it... the Q&A's were basically 50% idea suggestion, and some of it happened and some didn't.  I know some ideas are still on the table even, and were well received.  Just not put into motion (yet).

But yeah, slowly and steadily I think Hasbro's distanced themselves from fan communities...  Some of it justified and maybe some of it not.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Qui-Gon Jim on April 19, 2012, 07:33 AM
Social media research, like what Evolve24 does, could benefit Hasbro.

Or, they could just hire a handful of collectors as advisors.  Or just read the dang forums more.  It shouldn't be that difficult.
I have said this for the longest time.  These companies could easily grab a ton of free feedback if they would just share what they are doing during the development process.  That would have prevented that horrible action feature Jedi Luke from proceeding.

I think if they just took a pause with each character, mad sure that they create an "ultimate" version, that they wouldn't need to waste money retooling, and they could just reissue.  They could change the cardback to grab the carded completionists.  They don't need three different versions of TPM Obi-Wan.  Even if they wanted him in multiple SKUs, an "ultimate" version of him would suffice for this purpose.

I keep coming back to the scope of the line being the cause of these issues.  I look at the new Barada and Evezan figures.  I feel like Hasbro took their time with these two (unlike all other past incarnations of these two) and delivered what no reasonable person could complain about. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darth_Anton on April 19, 2012, 10:51 AM
I've been holding off adding my two cents on the subject because of my frustration of finding the DS wave. That frustration perfectly illustrates objective vs subjective nature of such thoughts and discussions.

If you're having no problem finding product, until the line becomes unpopular enough so that it dies, I think there's a tend to speak in the objective to inform the subjective - put Hasbro under the microscope, hoping that they'll produce exactly what one wants, in the quantity you want it and in the availability so you can get it. Decisions about the corporate end effect your personal enjoyment of the hobby. The future is then based on whether you think Hasbro is making the cut according to one's own personal taste.

On the flip side, when one can't even get the product, I think it adds to a personal feeling of neglect, therefor making the discussion subjective. It's a personal issue, if you decide to quit the hobby because of the external factors, the future has ended right then and there.

Myself, my biggest beef with Hasbro is the ridiculous carry forward formula. In a case of twelve with five new figures and seven carry forwards seems like a formula for failure. It's certainly doesn't work in Los Angeles. The only figures that were plentiful were the very first ESB wave of twelve and the recent TPM wave of twelve. Everything between and after has been a real pain in the butt to find. Maybe the formula does work in other areas of the country, but it's hard for me to acknowledge if it's not working out this way.

So what's the future? Make no mistake, Hasbro is producing top notch figures that seem to get better and better every year. They've got me in terms of quality. So long as they keep producing figures I like and can find, I will buy them and Hasbro will be able to keep making them.

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on April 19, 2012, 11:15 AM
Believe it or not, Hasbro HAS been reading forums for years.  In my own interactions with some of the people in the Hasbro-Star Wars team I've heard them reference things that only someone who has been checking out forums would know about:  Stan, the ICMG petition, wishlist polls and more.  They're checking things out but maintaining a low profile.  In other words, they're lurking.  Hell, at the NJ Star Wars forum I admin I saw that a Hasbro person had been checking out our site based on the IP address info.  And that was just a few weeks ago.

Direct interaction with forums can only end up badly for Hasbro.  Some people will be cool and levelheaded about things, but some people are more likely to get belligerent.  Once that happens the situation can quickly spiral out of control.  The Q&A process was a somewhat reasonable middle ground where fan sites could offer up questions from their readers, but the fan sites were acting as a filter to keep some of the craziness in check.

Social media research could certainly help Hasbro.  Polling like that can give you some real answers, and there are filtering mechanisms built into some surveys that will weed out some craziness.  Some of the action features have no doubt been meant for kids.  That's just a fact of life.  Collectors are still the minority interest in the overall marketplace for Star Wars figures.  At this point in time the market may be about 75% kids / 25% collectors.  But in movie years that ratio has been skewed far more towards the kids than the collectors.  The one ratio I've heard thrown around has been about 90% kids / 10% collectors.

However I don't see Hasbro involving collectors in the development process.  And that's because of the multiple layers of product approval:  product safety testing and of course there's approval by Lucas Licensing.  Hasbro's stance has been that if they show off a product to the public, eventually they intend to release it.  But what happens if they share a new product development only to have it fail safety testing or Lucas Licensing says no?  Then Hasbro is left holding the bag, and has to explain to collectors that FIGURE X is not coming despite their involvement in the process.

As for the future of Star Wars collecting?  I think it's going to hinge on a few things:
-How long will the Clone Wars animated series successfully carry on?
-Will the STAR WARS - UNDERWORLD live action series actually happen?
-Will the Hasbro line remain profitable for Hasbro?
-What's going to happen with the master toy license in 2018?
-Will the economy improve soon?

All of these things are linked together.  Still, Star Wars has been one of the best selling boys toys brands for a LONG TIME.  So it's got that legacy effect going for it at retail.  Lots of movie licenses come and go, but Star Wars remains.  And that's because it's shown that it has legs.  Very few other licenses have that kind of longevity.  That potential for long term profitability for both Hasbro and Lucasfilm is important.  But, will the Hasbro Star Wars line rebound with the economy?  If it does, I think we can expect the line to continue on through 2018 and possibly beyond.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Greg on April 19, 2012, 11:30 AM
A lot of folks seem to be against the carry-forward figures in case assortments, but personally I think having a variety of figures in each case is essential. As nice as it might be to have new figures shipped 2x per case, that can quickly poison the line due to boring characters like the pod racers and skiff guards. What Hasbro should improve on is not which figures are selected as carry-forwards, but rather how often they are packed into cases. There is no reason for any figure, whether it's a clone, Qui-Gon, Evazan, or Darth Malgus, to be packed in four consecutive waves/cases. When the same figure is stocked week after week for several months, it is going to quickly hit a saturation point. If Hasbro were to alternate carry-forward figures (put Qui-Gon in every other case, Ratts Tyrell every three or four cases, etc.) I feel that the line would flow more smoothly. Even though old figures would still be shipping alongside new figures, the old figures would seem "fresh" after having some time off the shelves.   
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Greg on April 19, 2012, 11:52 AM
Direct interaction with forums can only end up badly for Hasbro.  Some people will be cool and levelheaded about things, but some people are more likely to get belligerent.  Once that happens the situation can quickly spiral out of control.

I agree that things would get crazy if Hasbro opened up an avenue of communication thru forums. Hostility from people wouldn't be the only problem Hasbro would have. There would most likely be an insane amount of "I want figure a", "Make character x" comments  which would make it a challenge to find and keep up with any valid concerns and criticisms.

The Q&A process was a somewhat reasonable middle ground where fan sites could offer up questions from their readers, but the fan sites were acting as a filter to keep some of the craziness in check.

As much as I enjoyed the Q&A, there seemed to be an attitude problem at some sites toward the end of the program. Several questions were unnecessarily harsh, with a couple having foul language. I wouldn't be surprised if the guys at Hasbro got fed up with the lack of respect from those few bad apples, and decided to end the program altogether. I think some folks online forgot that Hasbro did not owe us the Q&A program and ended up ruining it for everyone.

However I don't see Hasbro involving collectors in the development process.  And that's because of the multiple layers of product approval:  product safety testing and of course there's approval by Lucas Licensing.  Hasbro's stance has been that if they show off a product to the public, eventually they intend to release it.  But what happens if they share a new product development only to have it fail safety testing or Lucas Licensing says no?  Then Hasbro is left holding the bag, and has to explain to collectors that FIGURE X is not coming despite their involvement in the process.

I think the Fan Choice Polls are the closest collectors will ever get to "running" the line. As you said, the development process is much more complex than some collectors seem to understand, and purchasing $1000 worth of toys each year doesn't automatically qualify a person to run a toy line.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: GrandMoffNick on April 23, 2012, 01:06 PM
I'm on board with being frustrated with how difficult collecting has become recently. Although sometimes I think it's a blessing in disguise because it makes it easier to just accept not having everything since I have no choice now.

With that being said I can't ever see that frustration making me give up my existing collection. I would rather have it and then every once in a while add to it than just say goodbye to the whole thing. I don't see how one leads to the other.

Anyway, mostly just thinking out loud about my personal collection.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on April 23, 2012, 01:48 PM
That's how I see it too.  I enjoy collecting/customizing and all that goes into it too much to just throw in the towel.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 23, 2012, 04:05 PM
If you're a completist, or live in an area that's particularly hard to collect in, I can easily see giving it up.  Not finding what you want kind of kills the desire to be active in it I think.  Things are to be fun, not frustrating.  I can see people throwing in the towel over that.  Actually I have seen people throwing in the towel over that, haha.

I always intended to ride it out till the line died, and then customize to my heart's content...  These days though, the hobby's losing a lot of the fun it once had.  The good days aren't here anymore.  The thrill of finding new stuff fades faster than it used to.  I'm always geeked over a new figure coming out, like the pilot/Ewok sets that are apparantly coming at some point, but at the same time the plight of knowing a toy run takes like 45 minutes and such, it just makes it seem less fun anymore.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: warinthefloor on April 23, 2012, 04:08 PM
star wars collecting is rapidly becoming a mistress who nags constantly and almost never puts out.
Wheres the beef?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JediJman on April 23, 2012, 04:40 PM
 ;D

I can't really see getting rid of my collection even if I did quit collecting new figures.  That said, when I don't have new stuff coming into it, the whole notion of "collecting" gets deprioritized, so I can totally relate to some people getting out entirely.  I've turned my attention to vintage toys lately to offset the lack of new product.  I haven't done much with vintage in a long time, so getting back to these almost feels new in a way.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: iFett on April 23, 2012, 04:48 PM
If you're a completist, or live in an area that's particularly hard to collect in, I can easily see giving it up.  Not finding what you want kind of kills the desire to be active in it I think.  Things are to be fun, not frustrating.  I can see people throwing in the towel over that.  Actually I have seen people throwing in the towel over that, haha.

I stopped (mostly) collecting Star Wars early last year, but up until then it always felt like a second job for me.  A job I enjoyed, but a job no less.  I'd probably be going bonkers right now if I was still in the game.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on April 23, 2012, 04:53 PM
I've kind of given up collecting somewhat, since I can't bear having 1-2 stores in my area with product that I have to pay premium prices for.  I just have to rely on my MN buddies...
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 23, 2012, 08:00 PM
I can't really see getting rid of my collection even if I did quit collecting new figures.  That said, when I don't have new stuff coming into it, the whole notion of "collecting" gets deprioritized, so I can totally relate to some people getting out entirely.

That's a better way to put it I think...  You've got a hobby you're hanging onto, but it becomes so distant in your mind, you start not to care.  And for many I think if you can't have the pieces you want, you will quit.  You've wanted a Hoth Luke figure, can't get it, have the Taun-Taun...  I can't blame people for saying screw it.

The nice thing about the hobby, and generally it's always been true, is that patience pays off...  I think there's just a lot of people thinking that times are changing with the line, and it's possible that now patience is going to cost you in the long run, or you'll simply miss out completely.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Dan on April 23, 2012, 09:05 PM
There is something about an active hobby versus a passive collection- As I find myself looking less and less for star wars items at retail, I feel less connected to the collection. I don't want to just echo myself, but as I see myself picking less up, I feel like I can let more go and not miss it-  I have to think the vast majority of us are in the same boat, where most of the collection is either in boxes or plastic tubs anyway. Speaking for myself, I far outcollected what I anticipated or can ever realistically use or enjoy in any signficant way. 

Another question for the thread might be "what does your final collection look like?"  I'm starting to spend a lot more time contemplating that question.

I'm a hoth luke and Dr Evazan away from thinking I'm 99% done with the retail figure game.

The next step is to figure out what I really want to keep for future displays, what the kids/nephews/nieces might want to have someday, and the rest will slowly be put up for sale or away in storage for a decision at a later date.

It's been a fun run, and I'll probably hang around and pick up an item here and there. I don't harbor any bitterness toward Hasbro- my collecting was going to come to an end at some point no matter what. Now it is time to figure out which parts to keep, and which to send to someone elses collection-
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 23, 2012, 09:38 PM
For me it was always the thought I'd customize down the road...  Always had plans too big to do when I was collecting, but when the hobby went kaput it wasn't an issue.  Part of me almost wants the hobby to go kaput because of that.  I like when Hasbro cranks out something really stellar though, like the new DST or whatnot.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Matt_Fury on April 24, 2012, 12:14 AM
I want to compare this when Saga 2002 started.  I was excited for new figures, new movie, etc, and Hasbro was putting out absolute crap.  I could still find nearly everything though.  Luckily, I decided to take a break from collecting....well, I went to Officer Training School for three months and that pretty much decided collecting for me.

Now flip it, the figures are awesome, for the most part, but distribution is so terrible I can't find a damn thing.  I don't even want everything...just a few figures here and there, but absolutely nothing is to be found.  It's not like I live on the damn Moon either!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on April 24, 2012, 09:49 AM
Now that I have remodeled the house, I have room for more figures. The problem is there isn't anything to add. Store pegs have very little stock on their pegs from the first wave. Stores don't seem to want to restock anything. Since prices are so high on new stuff I really have no desire to go hunting every day to make sure I find everything. I blame the days when Hasbro would make an exclusive figure for a store and sell it for $10 in a clam shell. This showed Hasbro we would buy anything at any price. There are only certain figures I want and I sure don't need the fifteenth Qui-Gon. Its amazing how many of that stupid character they made!

Ebay prices on star wars stuff is thru the roof! I have no idea how anything gets sold. When I look at completed auctions very little really does get sold. Newer stuff seems to go for high prices while older stuff never sells but you can't buy it because the asking price too high. It's like looking at the prices at the local scalper shop.

The social aspect of collecting has died down. There are very few of us left on these forums. Fortunately those that are here post alot but still there are only a few. I miss the meet ups we had at the local pizza place next to TRU. I miss the truck loads of figures people would bring to trade in the parking lot. I miss seeing everyone.

Customizing just isn't fun anymore. That got killed for me when the only thing people would customize is clone troopers. Most were pretty horrible. People use to make some fantastic EU figures but those days are gone. There is very little creativity left in that hobby. I still have tons of fodder parts laying around. I could easily make fifty or sixty more figures but I can't see the point anymore since everytime I make something Hasbro comes out with that figure a little later. Maybe I'll send all my parts to Chewie!

I now spend a lot of time over at AtariAge.com forums talking about video games. Its amazing how people still collect and create new games for those old consoles. Its amazing how many tiny details and variations old cartridges had. It's pretty fun to play a game that only lasts a few minutes at a time. There is a lot of creativity going on over there. People are designing new add ons for those systems. Case customizing is still pretty hot too.

Over all, I think we are at an end here. I haven't completed a collection in a few years now and I'm OK with that. Maybe Hasbro will fix their distribution and things will return but I doubt it. Their license is almost up and they seem to be doing everything they can to kill the line. I wonder what they are going to say about this at ComicCon. Too bad Uncle George is such a cranky old man these days.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: warinthefloor on April 24, 2012, 10:34 AM
I stopped, restarted collecting and had to catch up on ebay several times, but you know what has remained constant all my life? I PLAY with Star wars toys. And I dont think thats ever going to end.
Finally got the DS figs lately, played return of the Jedi, then had lando put together a task for after the battle of endor, that Mon cal pilo and the Purple B.A.D. R5 joined his motly crew, and they took the BMF out to clean up some residual impy resistance.
Had a blast.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on April 24, 2012, 09:16 PM
It seems like there is a lot of collector fatigue going on with the SW line lately.  It seems like we have the "line is ending" type of talk every couple years, but this is one time where it feels like it has a little more of a push to it.  There are so many factors in play here (price, availability, and recent questionable decisions with the line), not to mention the fact that so many of us have been in this "game" for awhile now.

I don't think any of us expected the line to reach these levels when it relaunched in '95.  There are so many characters that I never thought we'd see, not to mention having 40-100 figures a year for the past 10+ years.  That is just a crazy amount of stuff.  I think that leads to a lot of the ho-hum outlook on things that we see, and when we are excited about new figures we can't find them.  Personally, I'm in the camp that thinks that - for the most part - Hasbro's figures are pretty top notch these days (if you can find them).  I still get excited for new stuff (OT stuff in particular), but I've found that I'm getting more selective each year (particularly with PT stuff - like do I really need a $10 senator figure or Neimodian?).  Like others, I'll likely continue to the end in some capacity - and still enjoy it now - but at the same time if things ended in a couple years, I think I'd be ok too.

We mentioned it before on here, but I think the only thing (aside from a new movie/live action show/etc.) that would really generate excitement again (outside of us long-time collectors) would be a new "Legends" scale line or something like that.  After having so many versions of so many characters after all these years, that would be something truly "new", and likely more limited, that might get people on board again.  Making it a true collector line I guess.  Overall though, I continue to think a pretty significant scaling back of the SW brand would help a lot.  I think it only contributes to the fatigue when there is just so much stuff out there all the time.  I still really champion the POTJ model as far as releases, etc., but I may be in the minority there.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on April 25, 2012, 09:09 PM
Not sure if this plays into the future of collecting or not, but just something I've noticed.  I've been ordering SW stuff (and other stuff) from BBTS for the past few years now.  Retail has been so off and on, and it is nice knowing you can just get a set shipped to your door.  Anyways, I've noticed in the past that usually the new waves (particularly individual figure orders/preorders) are often sold out the second they come in (sometimes even before hand).  With these recent figures, BBTS has had the Hoth Luke, Vader, Evazan, etc. in stock for a few days now, and they seem to all still be in stock.  Granted, they are at $13.99 a piece, but that didn't always seem to matter in the past either.  Just an observation, and maybe it is nothing, but perhaps another example of collector fatigue a bit.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on April 25, 2012, 09:44 PM
The term collector fatigue is interesting to me.  I'm not tired of collecting.  I'm tired of not collecting.  I haven't seen a single new thing in months.  I don't even know what to write about when I come out here anymore.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on April 25, 2012, 09:58 PM
That's really how I feel.  What do I write about?  And I find the stuff.  Quite a bit of it actually.  I was very excited about the 3D line and the victory lap for TPM, and I really enjoy the figures, for the most part.  And then something has just gone out of it.  I got the Evazan case with Wedge today.  A carded Wedge has been at the top of my list since 1995.  I looked at him and put him down.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on April 26, 2012, 12:50 AM
I don't even know what to write about when I come out here anymore.

That's really how I feel.  What do I write about?

I just assume you guys are here to pimp your latest books...  :-X
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on April 26, 2012, 08:19 AM
I don't even know what to write about when I come out here anymore.

That's really how I feel.  What do I write about?

I just assume you guys are here to pimp your latest books...  :-X

I feel a short story coming brewing here.... about a boy who finds that ever-elusive Wedge figure... and the antagonist is the scalper HW guy.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on April 26, 2012, 09:15 AM
I always said that was Mike's next book.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on April 26, 2012, 09:44 AM
Who falls in love with a girl who actually liked star wars as much as him...
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on April 26, 2012, 11:39 AM
Not sure if this plays into the future of collecting or not, but just something I've noticed.  I've been ordering SW stuff (and other stuff) from BBTS for the past few years now.  Retail has been so off and on, and it is nice knowing you can just get a set shipped to your door.  Anyways, I've noticed in the past that usually the new waves (particularly individual figure orders/preorders) are often sold out the second they come in (sometimes even before hand).  With these recent figures, BBTS has had the Hoth Luke, Vader, Evazan, etc. in stock for a few days now, and they seem to all still be in stock.  Granted, they are at $13.99 a piece, but that didn't always seem to matter in the past either.  Just an observation, and maybe it is nothing, but perhaps another example of collector fatigue a bit.

Thanks for pointing this out Brian - I just ordered a set of the Evazan figures (Aayla, Evazan, Kithaba, 501st, Wedge, Anor) to open for $13.99 - I'm sure retail is going to surprise me and make me regret it down the road, but at least now combined with my wave 4.1 case from EE - I've got one of each of these figures open and one MOC and if I can't get more, like an Aayla for her Jedi Starfighter or more 501st troopers, oh well.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 26, 2012, 04:35 PM
The antagonist could be anyone in the hobby at this point since I think normal collectors would assault a child at this point for a new figure.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on April 26, 2012, 05:06 PM
Who falls in love with a girl who actually liked star wars as much as him...

Until she got tired of packages showing up everyday and not having enough money to pay the rent. She then divorces the boy and takes his entire collection. She sells it all to the HW guy.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on April 26, 2012, 05:40 PM

I just assume you guys are here to pimp your latest books...  :-X

Oooh...that hurt.  You know, I would love not to have to push my books, but the publishing industry has decided that since social media is free, the authors should do as much as they can.  In truth, I find it slightly embarrassing, but if I want to keep making more I have to do it.

And like I said, if I could actually find product, I would talk about that, instead of my work...

BTW, "Fangbone! The Birthday Party of Dread" comes out on Aug 2, 2012
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 26, 2012, 07:08 PM
Your font should be bolder, and redder...  and scroll.  :D
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on April 26, 2012, 07:57 PM
Where's the likey button? That's awesome, Mike!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Paul on April 26, 2012, 10:26 PM

I just assume you guys are here to pimp your latest books...  :-X

Oooh...that hurt.  You know, I would love not to have to push my books, but the publishing industry has decided that since social media is free, the authors should do as much as they can.  In truth, I find it slightly embarrassing, but if I want to keep making more I have to do it.

And like I said, if I could actually find product, I would talk about that, instead of my work...

BTW, "Fangbone! The Birthday Party of Dread" comes out on Aug 2, 2012

As long as my kids keep loving your books, you can pimp away Mike.  The little guy turns 4 on Saturday, soi think you've got plenty of time!

We gave "Good Night Goon" at all the fall b-day parties last year.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: shmashwitdaclub on April 27, 2012, 07:52 AM
Heck yeah!  My son has read the 2 Fangbone books a couple of times each now - he will love the next one I am sure!

I am also planning on picking up Goodnight Goon on my next Amazon purchase   ;D

update:  Goodnight Goon has been ordered!  I have a feeling my 4 year old daughter is going to love it!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darth_Anton on May 2, 2012, 10:25 AM
The other frustrating aspect of this whole hobby is the catch 22 Hasbro puts us and themselves in. It's been brought up with Hasbro on a few occasions about selling more directly to the die hard collectors, but they take a very reasonable and practical stance - they can't do that without alienating the retailers. Well, the retailers aren't giving us what Hasbro's selling, so we lose. That being out of Hasbro's hands, they ask us to contact the retailer. Well, neither WM or Target have the customer service infrastructure to handle this type of costumer concern, at no level are they equipped to address, pass on, or even understand comments about ordering/distribution issues. Again, we lose.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on May 2, 2012, 10:47 AM
We can contact the retailers all we want about getting new product in, but it's all about assortment. They don't know case A from case B (we could advise them), but even still new cases have older product in them that aren't selling.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on May 2, 2012, 01:09 PM
How about the future in the short term?  There may be a summer reset in the works at WalMart stores in the next two weeks.  The focus will largely be on the summer movie season, but all properties are likely to see some new stock.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on May 2, 2012, 01:58 PM
I sure hope so Nicklab!  We need a summer reset desperately... most Wal-Marts in my neck of the woods could easily add 1-3 cases of vintage, and even a case or so of Movie Heroes/Clone Wars.  Same goes for TRU.  I just hope when it happens, it's with new stuff. 

Target isn't even on my radar anymore until Joe stuff starts showing up.  This is the worst year for Star Wars there that I can remember.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on May 2, 2012, 04:32 PM
Yeah, Target has really become a complete non-factor, it's as if they've abandoned the SW line completely. I know some people have reported finding the DS Wave figures there, but all the stores around here, and there are at least 10-12, have not restocked with anything new since January. It's pathetic.

When K-Mart is a better option for new SW figures than Target, you know something's wrong.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on May 2, 2012, 08:56 PM
Yeah, no Target restock around here since that 50% coupon sale.

If I even found new figures I'd be tempted to scalp them on ebay. I mean, distribution has turned every collector into a potential scalper...even it's just for 'trading'...we'd be fools to pass up some figures. In the past scalping was mostly about getting things first and selling them to the impatient. Now it's about getting things at all and selling them to the desperate.

Not that I'm gonna scalp. Because I never see anything new, nor do I want to turn the last toy line I collect into a desperate gasp for greed.

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Sprry75 on May 2, 2012, 09:25 PM
I hit a Target today and hit the motherlode...of Dengars.  Seriously, if anybody needs about four hundred of them, hit me up.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on May 2, 2012, 09:43 PM
K-Mart's almost always outdone Target here...  Not in quantity of any given wave, but getting just about each and every wave?  Sure.

It's funny people knocking them...  Saw every BAD wave there at least once.  Saw every 30AC wave there at least once, including Revan/Malak everyone bitched they never saw...  That's what happens when you don't go looking at a store because you think it's too dirty or something. :)

It's funny too, they're cheaper than TRU, run sales just as good or better (not as often though), and K-Mart didn't order TPM wave here AT ALL.  They're getting it due to repacks, but I never saw an initial Wave 1 shipment, ever, at any KM I visit.  I see them now that they've gotten Wave 2 and/or 3 in though.  That kinda blows, but that's not KM's fault.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darth_Anton on May 3, 2012, 09:50 AM
We can contact the retailers all we want about getting new product in, but it's all about assortment. They don't know case A from case B (we could advise them), but even still new cases have older product in them that aren't selling.

I've contacted Target's CS line before and the person I happened to be talking to didn't even know how their DCPI system works. They then got mad at me when I tried to explain it to them, which they wouldn't believe.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on May 7, 2012, 01:00 PM
It might be the prices, but I'm just not sure how much kids care about action figures in general that much anymore (at least not more than having a handful - and there are always exceptions).  I would say the Avengers line has sold decently locally (and maybe will pick up even more now that the movie is such a colossal hit), but honestly, the role play stuff is what is sold out (or close) around here, while many of the figures still hang on.  It may be a thing where they feel like they already have characters like Cap, IM, and Thor from the previous movie lines (which are still on pegs too at TRU or WM).

I was looking over the pics at GH of that upcoming Bespin BP.  Now, not necessarily taking CW into consideration here (not saying I want it to go away though), but if Hasbro does want to have a line for "kids" with the movie releases, I think they might want to go this way with the figures.  That's if - and only if - the price goes down fairly significantly due to the reduction in articulation, etc.  Also, if they keep a Vintage or Vintage-esque line for collectors.  Cut back on the releases, and have a modestly sized collector's line each year (probably at the continued $8-10 prices or more), then in the "movie heroes" slot have this line of nicely sculpted but more basic action figures, and charge closer to six.

I don't know if anyone here is familiar with them, but our nephews (and now our daughter to some extent) enjoys the cartoon Ben 10 - and have some of the figures.  After picking some of these up for Jayma, they run between $6-7, are fairly basic as far as articulation goes, but are nice solid "toys" that kids seem to like (they seem to sell like crazy locally anyways).  Maybe price is what really keeps kids/parents away from SW these days.  If we think $10 is too much for an action figure (and we're a tad obsessive about these things), what is an average consumer, or parent, going to think when they see that?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on May 7, 2012, 02:02 PM
Price is certainly a factor as we all talk about it here a lot, and parents surely are influenced by it as well.  Not too long ago, you could spend $20 and get 4 new figures, or even a battle pack with 5 figures in it.  Now you get two figures for that price, or a battle pack full of pegwarmers with 3 figures in it.  And as a parent, that influences me on what I splurge on for my son; who is obsessed with GI JOE.  But hey, we can't even find new figures anyway these days. 

I think a lot of the blame for seeing pegs full of pegwarmers really has to fall on Hasbro for poor case assortments, figure selections, etc.  The decision makers seem to have gotten very lazy or just gotten dumber.  They seem to have reacted poorly to the rising costs of manufacturing the figures.  They should be putting their best foot forward in these tougher economic times and fighting for our dollars, not curling up into a fetal position by packing Movie Heroes with figures that were lame 10 years ago, carrying forward the same Obi Wan and Qui Gon over and over, being too lazy to make a new helmet for ROTS clones, etc.

It's not like Star Wars is a failure though, year in and year out reports are that it's the number one seller.  But it could be better, one would think, if they tried harder.  They seem to be relying on the popular brand name to get them through a lot of their own manufactured issues.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JACKOFTRADZE on May 7, 2012, 03:53 PM
I have to agree with others that is the worst year for finding figures at retail and for the overall state of the brand since 2003. I been buying by the case since 2006, I have always been an advocate for that instead of searching stores as historically you come up empty handed but I get the thrill of the hunt position of some collectors. I was always able to buy my army builders and doubles at retail at some point. Case packs were perfect back in the day with 2 per case now it's iffy. I adapted by selling or sometimes returning the unopened case extras for army builders or other figures that I wanted. I was always able to find something I wanted at retail. Now, I cant even find much on the pegs, even Denger is disappearing.  Right now, I am not going to attempt to waste my time/gas to army build the Navy Commander since he is one per case and not yet on the radar of re-release yet. That's 19 figure sales Hasbro has lost from me until they fulfill demand. (Tunghori where are you?) It's such a sad state of affairs right now and it is concerning me for the lines future. (This time I really am concerned, I see the line scaling back big time.). I want another x18 of VC 501's but not sure I will find them. When the Shocktrooper hits it will be the same. I want to buy stuff but can't, it's just crazy. I am also not paying $14 a figure to army build from the etailers. Sorry but I am at a point now that I can wait until a better deal comes along like $4.95 for VC BD's.

Target like almost all box stores have truly become irrelevant when it comes to SW collecting, they do not even cross my mind to even look there. I only check the toy aisles when I go there to get household items. I was always backwards prior, check the toy aisle first then get the household stuff. WM is the only retail game in town and that is not saying much. Other brands outside of SW look the same too - dismal. The economy is still in really bad shape still so this compounds the problem as stores are reluctant to relaod whne they have stock on hand. I can't blame them when they are sitting on top of unmoving product.

The saddest part of all of this is that VC is the best line of figures in the line's history. I am really concerned about the MTT's impact on the line going forward. This one has mark down written all over it. The regular vehicles are struggling at $25-$30, a $130 Pez dispenser from the worst SW film is really going to have a hard time selling. I don't care how much you like it this is the Republic Attack Shuttle on Steroids.

I just want a ESB Slave one and Sailbarge befiore the lights are out on BMF's.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on May 7, 2012, 04:14 PM
And again, Hasbro has another big tentpole movie toyline (Avengers) that they say doesn't have any impact on SW at all, but it's too much of a coincidence that during April/May/June of each year SW is AWOL.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on May 7, 2012, 09:02 PM
I think so much of this could and would be better just this year alone already if they did the following:

Vintage Wave 2 - No carry forwards from Wave 1 other than Darth Maul, and the Battle Droid... make the other carry forwards Bastila Shan, Gamorrean Guard, Magna Guard and then fill in two other slots with new figures, or something good that was previously in demand.

Movie Heroes Wave 1 - Back to the drawing board.  Maybe see THIS (http://www.yakfaceforums.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=6890) thread.  And when Battle Droids are in an assortment, put two in each package.

Clone Wars Wave 1 - Back to the drawing board here too, replace Plo Koon with Darth Sidious for starters.

It really is amazing how poorly they decide on case assortments/wave ratios.  I really think that kills distribution down the pipeline... and they need to start limiting the first wave's production of a new line some.  Stores order so much of the first stuff then they don't want to order subsequent waves.  Hasbro should know this by now. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Sybeck1 on May 7, 2012, 09:26 PM

I just want a ESB Slave one and Sailbarge befiore the lights are out on BMF's.

Those and a good speederbike and I am in Sha Ka Ree........
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darth_Anton on May 8, 2012, 09:31 AM

I just want a ESB Slave one and Sailbarge befiore the lights are out on BMF's.

Those and a good speederbike and I am in Sha Ka Ree........

Of all the Star Trek references, you have to reference the worst.  :P
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JACKOFTRADZE on May 8, 2012, 10:54 AM
I was referencing my concern over the future of BMF's. I am not overly worried about smaller vehicles like the much needed Speederbike. even Mid size I am getting concerned with they have been rotting on pegs like no tomorrow.

That was one of the worst ST references...

In regards to the Avengers I will be interested to see how the Hellicarrier performs at retail.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Qui-Gon Jim on May 8, 2012, 01:32 PM

In regards to the Avengers I will be interested to see how the Hellicarrier performs at retail.
You mean the item that should be on shelves right now?  Silly Hasbro.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on May 8, 2012, 01:47 PM
The jet thing that is around $30.00 doesn't seem to be moving in my area, so that doesn't appear to bode well for the Hellicarrier.  Never in my life have I gotten much into super hero stuff though, so I'm just a casual observer.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JediJman on May 8, 2012, 01:58 PM

In regards to the Avengers I will be interested to see how the Hellicarrier performs at retail.
You mean the item that should be on shelves right now?  Silly Hasbro.

I can't see this doing very well.  It feels like its going to be pricey and just too small scale.  The Quinjet suffers from the same problems to a lesser extent.  I haven't even seen the figures move much, so I can't imagine the ships doing any better.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on May 8, 2012, 05:50 PM
Sheesh, by the time that friggin' Helicarrier finds its way to pegs the movie will already be on Blu-Ray.

I think the concern over the MTT is warranted. I could see this going the way of the Mandalorian Assault Transport, over before it even started.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on May 8, 2012, 09:12 PM

It really is amazing how poorly they decide on case assortments/wave ratios.  I really think that kills distribution down the pipeline... and they need to start limiting the first wave's production of a new line some.  Stores order so much of the first stuff then they don't want to order subsequent waves.  Hasbro should know this by now.

This has made me crazy for years.  I'm still seeing sections filled with the TPM wave, and I have not seen a single figure past that.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Hobbie on May 8, 2012, 10:46 PM

It really is amazing how poorly they decide on case assortments/wave ratios.  I really think that kills distribution down the pipeline... and they need to start limiting the first wave's production of a new line some.  Stores order so much of the first stuff then they don't want to order subsequent waves.  Hasbro should know this by now.

This has made me crazy for years.  I'm still seeing sections filled with the TPM wave, and I have not seen a single figure past that.

It's like 1999 all over again!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on May 9, 2012, 11:28 AM
This has made me crazy for years.  I'm still seeing sections filled with the TPM wave, and I have not seen a single figure past that.

In my area, most of the problem has come from the figures from Wave 1 carried forward into the BluRay Deleted Scenes wave.

For example - 1 Toys R Us is sitting on a whopping four different figures - Qui Gon Jinn, Naboo Trooper, Quinlan Vos & Queen Amidala.

Now I recognize that the TWO Queen Amidala figures are from their shipments of Wave 1, but this store got hit pretty heavy with the Deleted Scene wave - I would say at least 7 cases all at once, and I'm sure that those cases contributed to the 8 Quinlan Vos figures, 7 Naboo Guards and 4 Qui-Gon figures that are also on the pegs.

The problem is that when you add them all up, it leaves you with 21 figures on the pegs - almost two full cases worth, and I'm sure ultimately the reason why this store hasn't gotten in any more Vintage figures since that Wave 2 push back in February.

From a business stand-point, I agree with any store manager looking at the bottom line and saying "well I have 21 Star Wars  Vintage figures in stock, why should I order more?"

I have been tempted to "help" with the situation at this store and acquire more Naboo Guards - but I already have eight open, how many more do I really need? Now if there were great head swapping opportunities with the head on this figure - the Rebel Honor Guard, the Rebel Fleet Trooper, Endor Rebel Trooper, Imperial Navy Commander, etc... then maybe I would be compelled to do so, but Hasbro has yet to learn how to make it so they have a universal neck joint for their human figures yet - and that is a totally unrelated discussion...

I know it sounds horrible - but at SDCC and CVI this summer, I really hope Team Dimwitz at Hasbro are there and get their assess handed to them by the fans/collectors...
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on May 9, 2012, 04:24 PM
I know it sounds horrible - but at SDCC and CVI this summer, I really hope Team Dimwitz at Hasbro are there and get their assess handed to them by the fans/collectors...

That doesn't sound horrible to me. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on May 9, 2012, 06:39 PM
I know it sounds horrible - but at SDCC and CVI this summer, I really hope Team Dimwitz at Hasbro are there and get their assess handed to them by the fans/collectors...

That doesn't sound horrible to me.

Horrible of me to say... but yeah - the "evil" side of me, sincerely hopes it happens.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Sprry75 on May 9, 2012, 09:20 PM
I know it sounds horrible - but at SDCC and CVI this summer, I really hope Team Dimwitz at Hasbro are there and get their assess handed to them by the fans/collectors...

That doesn't sound horrible to me.

Horrible of me to say... but yeah - the "evil" side of me, sincerely hopes it happens.

It ******' A will. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tBSI0KgbaU)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darth_Anton on May 10, 2012, 09:40 AM
I was able to get some new figures yesterday, but the situation with the cary forwards really illustrates how much Hasbro is shooting itself in the foot. I know I'm sounding like a broken record here but -

The store had been completely devoid of Vintage figures for months. On Sunday, they put out two cases of wave 13, 10 sold immediately, 4 sold over the next couple of days. A new case was put out yesterday, 5 sold immediately, the rest are sitting with the others and will prevent new cases from being ordered. Where as the stores could be turning over nearly full cases twice as fast with 2 per case, they are now forced to sit on non-moving stock. A real shame.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: warinthefloor on May 10, 2012, 10:40 AM
so, like
did they fix distrobution yet?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on May 10, 2012, 05:04 PM
I'm really going to be curious what we hear about the line come SDCC time.  We've had down times before, and distribution has often been a problem, but this year seems like the perfect storm of things and it seems like change is/needs to be on the way.  It will be interesting to see a preview of what is coming in 2013 (they still haven't confirmed AOTC 3D), whether we see that at SDCC or at Celebration.

In regards to the MTT, it really is shaping up like that thing is going to be a dud.  I don't know that it would have necessarily flown of the shelves if it was released with the movie, but waiting until Fall might just kill it (combined with the price).  I really doubt kids are going to care, and I don't know that all collectors will either.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Dan on May 10, 2012, 08:13 PM
The MTT is looking like a tougher sell as the year goes along. This may end up at TRU and on-line, with big box saying no-thanks. That's just a wild guess, not based on any information anyplace-

The other problem is the combination of high price, low cool factor, and weak movie released at a down time for retail sales may make future BMF vehicles for the 3D releases less likely. I think the re-paint of the sweet slave-1 is a given at some point, but sure would have liked to have seen a stab at a decent size sail barge.

The lack of OT ships of any sort on the shelves for such a long spell is still surprising me.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on May 10, 2012, 08:42 PM
And I figure that we'll get the Slave 1 repaint, the Falcon and AT-AT again.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JACKOFTRADZE on May 11, 2012, 12:13 PM
The lack of OT ships of any sort on the shelves for such a long spell is still surprising me.

Ships in general are struggling more than the figures, they really collect dust. The Naboo fighter is going to be very hard to find me thinks.

Agreed on OT ships. I am ready for another 2 Snowspeeder repaints, a new Skiff and the ESB Slave 1.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on May 11, 2012, 03:56 PM
The problem with the vehicles, is pretty much everything that's been out now for quite a while is a repack or a repaint.  It's just another example of Hasbro's terrible selection choices.  The current vehicles are like super sized versions of the Movie Heroes figures.  Over priced and everyone already has the older versions.  Plus they kind of suck anyway.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on May 12, 2012, 12:01 AM
The lack of OT ships of any sort on the shelves for such a long spell is still surprising me.

Ships in general are struggling more than the figures, they really collect dust. The Naboo fighter is going to be very hard to find me thinks.

Agreed on OT ships. I am ready for another 2 Snowspeeder repaints, a new Skiff and the ESB Slave 1.

I think at this point only 1 Snowspeeder repaint would fly at retail.  Do that with Snowspeeder Wedge & Janson and it would make a nice little exclusive!

ESB Slave I might be a little further off.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on May 12, 2012, 01:23 AM
I don't think the ships out there suck... Well, not all of them.  I think it's a matter of price hikes (again) and lack of diversity.  Cranking out the same thing gets old, and without significant changes in deco, or even altering small things with minor tooling changes, can really add to a vehicle.

Repaints generally do well, at least initially.  Even the JSF's usually kick around for a bit, then trail off.

I think it's a good time to revisit things like Ani's 2nd ROTS JSF, and Obi's 2nd ROTS JSF...  Maybe with a hyped up deco instead of stickers. 

I'd take a McQuarrie Concept Blue Cloud Car repaint, wouldn't you?

I'd take two Snowspeeder repaints...  Wedge's since the tooling was done for this, and Luke's, but actually Luke's to look used/dirty/worn as in the movie.  I liked the ultra clean one, don't get me wrong.  I can dirty it up myself.  But one with a factory deco attempt would be nice and would get me to rebuy and to use my clean ones I got as generics/army builders.

The AT-AP really needs a significant deco change...  Extremely camoflaged like some of the AT-RT's have been maybe.

I wouldn't mind seeing the AT-ST come back out in some form, though not sure it can make it into the mid-size assortment.

I'd still buy the V-19 if they repainted it to actually look battle worn, or changed up squadron markings some.  A Rebel Alliance V-19?  Why not?  I'd buy it, and why wouldn't they have them if they're antiquated by then, ya know?

Some of the maybe tougher to get JSF's from various eras could hit again though, even with a much improved deco or slight retooling.

For "new", I wouldn't mind seeing things like a completely new tooling of the AOTC Jedi Fighter scuplt...  I'd rebuy Obi's ship if it had the 3 landing gear and was more a hyper detailed ship similar in quality to the CC and Snowspeeder.

How about a walking Imperial Artillery gun ala the Republic one?  Make a Death Star gun, slap it on legs...  Hell, slap it on the same legs.  That Republic one did great, and it'd give you something a bit more exciting than a basic OT artillery piece while giving collectors the artillery piece they want (especially if it detached and could sit by itself).  The original from the DS playset is actually scaled almost perfectly, it just lacked modern detailing.

There's ideas they can do...  $25 or $30 is just a tough pill to swallow without something being really new, improved, and impressive.  Great paintjobs can go a long way though.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on June 26, 2012, 11:24 AM
Might as well drag the discussion over here for those who don't frequent the other toy areas of the site...

Many "in the know" folks across the web are once again hinting/teasing that Hasbro's collector-themed lines (Marvel Universe, Vintage Collection, 30/35th Joes) are on the way out at the end of the year and a return to "kid focused" lines is coming back to the toy aisles (Marvel's movie lines, the GIJoe movie line, and reduced articulation in the SW lines like Movie Heroes stuff).

Nothing has really been confirmed (though there have been signs - hints from Hasbro employees at Toy Fair, the layoffs they had in the spring, etc), but man the rumors are burning hotter than ever right now with SDCC just a few weeks away.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on June 26, 2012, 12:33 PM
My thoughts are the further Hasbro distances themselves from the adult collector market, the more they are going to regret it.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on June 26, 2012, 02:05 PM
Sort of agree with CHEWIE except I think there's pretty much "irreparable damage" with the old guard collectors at this point...  I think they're leaving the hobby in droves.  Tough to tell since there's so little to buy to even tell if people are still collecting heavily but it seems like people just have lost interest and you're not going to get a lot of them back. 

I think if you look around you can tell a lot about the line as a whole by what pegwarms, or at least lingers longer, from repackaged stuff.  I've noticed that Wave 2's Deleted Scene Luke, who should be popular by all accounts, is one of the repacks (or even fresh from Wave 2 cases) who sticks around a while.  I don't think that would've happened in 2007, or 2006.

I think Retail is screaming for changes to the line as a whole, as I think the line's been on a downslope since the prices started to creep higher and higher...  They look at Star Wars as simply numbers, and I think they're the biggest reason things are the way they are now.  No ordering from retail is as equally likely, if not moreso, than "Hasbro just can't get the stuff out to the retailers" ya know?

The only wave I think you can point fingers directly at Hasbro for its scarcity is Wave 3 with Malgus/DSCommander...  And I think Hasbro intentionally tried to start putting the brakes on when Wave 3 was starting to ship.  I think at that point they'd seen that hedging their bets on TPM3D was a bad idea, and that this was an overly competitive Summer Movie Season, and they knew the TPM carry-forwards were a bad idea.  Hate Hasbro?  OK, but I think they probably hurt themselves with Wave 3 to stop the bleeding.  I'd not be shocked in the slightest to see Wave 3 in bins at 5 Below in the coming months.

People blame E1 wave for everything, but I recall not that long ago what a wonderous thing it was to have a solid case, of entirely new figures except two, and how fantastic they all looked, and how in-demand collectors felt about all of them...  They were knocking out all these things people wanted and stuff.  But now 2012 Wave 1 is the devil to collectors...  How is Maul pegwarming, at all?  Kids, collectors, and everyone in between should want him, and if this line truly had a thriving base of collectors and true popularity, that figure wouldn't be found in the first half of 2012... much less pegwarming.

So I think changes are coming...  I don't know that collector-focused figures will be abandoned ever by Hasbro, at least for us.  Marvel, Joe...  I think they're much more likely to face that, but who knows at this point.  Drastic times call for drastic measures I guess.

I think if there's significant price drops then the changes are justifiable, but they'd really have to be significant.  Not 5 POA figures and a $1 drop.  If things go too badly, and prices stay too high, I simply won't buy what I don't want or feel is worth it.  2002 all over, and those were relatively inexpensive, sadly.  It's a lot easier to say a POS figure for $5 is at least something I can fix at some point, while a POS figure at $8 is something I shouldn't have to fix myself.

I'm to the point where I see something has to change, but what?  And should it encompass everything?  Kids haven't been a focus though, for a long time, and the line's not chugged at a good pace since 2007/2008 it seems.

I can always get geeked and excited by, well, just about anything they show if it meets my standards and what I'm into...  I mean, the Ewok set, the rumored Speederbike (I've waited YEARS for that), etc.  I'm into it still.  I'm in the seeming minority there though.  But I'm always excited to see what could be...  If it sucks, so be it.  I'll pick and choose as I have for the last half of my collecting years I guess, and if it's really bad I won't collect at all then.

I don't think it's going out on a limb to say "changes are coming" though.  That's up there with going out on a limb that an ESB BF Slave-I was coming. :)  Between the firings, changing of the guard in brand management, and the current situation on retail shelves...  Miss Cleo could've called this one, unfortunately.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on June 26, 2012, 07:55 PM
I'm to the point where I see something has to change, but what? 

I think it needs to start with Hasbro realizing they can't front-load new lines by overproducing initial assortments of figures.  In the past they could get away with it more, and the market could absorb it a lot more when figures were in the $5.00 range. 

But since prices have nearly doubled, the market won't absorb it like in the past - especially when Hasbro is stupid enough to front load assortments like Movie Heroes and Clone Wars with figures that a high percentage of their target market already has; and their dumb idea to carry forward 7 figures from vintage wave one into waves two and three.  That's just stupidity on their part.

In other worse, I may be a jerk, but I blame Hasbro's problems on Hasbro.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on June 26, 2012, 08:28 PM
I think it needs to start with Hasbro realizing they can't front-load new lines by overproducing initial assortments of figures.  In the past they could get away with it more, and the market could absorb it a lot more when figures were in the $5.00 range. 

But since prices have nearly doubled, the market won't absorb it like in the past - especially when Hasbro is stupid enough to front load assortments like Movie Heroes and Clone Wars with figures that a high percentage of their target market already has; and their dumb idea to carry forward 7 figures from vintage wave one into waves two and three.  That's just stupidity on their part.

In other worse, I may be a jerk, but I blame Hasbro's problems on Hasbro.

I agree with you Chewie - they have this problem with EVERY line, not just Star Wars. When are they going to get it that Movie Heroes on the whole would have moved a lot better if they had launched with those "supplemental" six EP1 figures, and six truly "Greatest Hits" figures instead of 12 figures of suck?

Look at what they do to the Marvel lines - any movie line the ratio of "main" character(s) to supporting/bad-guy character(s) is like 10:1 - Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor, Avengers are all excellent examples of the same problem happening in those lines.

I never like to wish that someone looses their job - but I really hope the moron at Hasbro that comes up with the case assortments was fired. Instead of trying to understand the dynamic of what he was selling, what might sell, what would definitely sell and what was most likely going to end up pegwarming, he seemed to flip all of that logic on its ass and do the exact opposite.

You want to just grab the Hasbro folks and be like - "you understand not putting the Chitauri (sorry if the spelling is wrong) in the first wave of Avengers figures is like Kenner not putting out a Stormtrooper in the original 12 figures they made for A New Hope - where are your brains?"

Lastly, if Movie Heroes had been repacks of GOOD versions of figures, I think they might have sold better as well. For example, the Geonosis Battledroid and Naboo Tan variant could have been based on the Target 2-packs mold (if they didn't want to use the new Vintage one), the Darth Vader, Greivous and Super Battle Droid figures could have all been the Vintage figures from last year, the Shocktrooper could have been a pre-release of the one coming in the Carbon Freeze Chamber set which is just the AOTC Clonetrooper from last year with a new paint app and a Phase II helmet. But instead they went with inferior sculpts making up the difference with horribly functioning spring loaded weapons or features that NEVER work right and in the case of most kids - the accessory gets lost five minutes after opening the figure.

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on June 26, 2012, 11:49 PM
Lastly, if Movie Heroes had been repacks of GOOD versions of figures, I think they might have sold better as well.

I agree with everything you said too, and also posted a bit of a rant on how I wish they had handled Movie Heroes in a suggestion thread (http://www.yakfaceforums.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=6890) at Yakface.

I think three waves, designed more like this, would have been a much better approach...

Wave 1
1 - Obi Wan (light up saber)
2 - Qui Gon (light up saber)
3 - Darth Maul (light up saber)
4 - Jar Jar Binks
5 - Padme Amidala (battle outfit)
6 - Anakin Skywalker (with jet/backpack thing)
7 - Battle Droid (2-pk - tan)
8 - Stormtrooper (Tantive IV Battle Pack repack)
9 - Princess Leia (VOTC ANH repack)
10 - Han Solo (VOTC repack)
11 - C-3PO (B.A.D. repack - painted gold)
12 - Vong Warrior (Comic Pack repack)

Wave 2
1 - Darth Vader (light up saber)
2 - Luke Skywalker (light up saber, ESB)
3 - Obi Wan Kenobi (light up saber, ANH)
4 - General Grievous (Legacy repack)
5 - Magna Guard (TVC repack)
6 - Clone Trooper (Evolutions AOTC repack)
7 - Yoda (VOTC repack)
8 - Galactic Marine (TAC repack)
9 - Ki Adi Mundi (ROTS repack)
10 - Galen Marek (Evolutions Raxus Prime repack)
11 - Shaak Ti (TFU Legacy repack)
12 - K'Kruhk (Legacy repack)

Wave 3
1 - Darth Sidious (light up saber)
2 - Mace Windu (light up saber)
3 - Jango Fett (Evolutions repack)
4 - Clone Trooper (ROTS #41 mold)
5 - Battle Droid (2-pk - Kashyyyk camo)
6 - Kashyyyk Clone Trooper (TAC repack)
7 - Imperial Snowtrooper (VOTC repack)
8 - Hoth Rebel Officer (TVC repack)
9 - Snowspeeder Luke (Legacy repack)
10 - Darth Nihilus (Evolutions repack)
11 - Jaina Solo (Legacy repack)
12 - Jacen Solo (Legacy repack)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: evenflow on June 27, 2012, 12:32 AM
At this point with the lack of distribution and inability to find anything new (SW, Marvel Universe, and Marvel Legends) i wouldnt be upset if they all ended. As much as Mattel is plagued with quality control issues, i appreciate the fact that they have a collectors line in MOTUC.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on June 27, 2012, 09:14 AM
Not releasing the new Naboo fighter from the get go was just foolish. Since new  tooling costs money...why aren't new mold items front loaded?

The gap between vintage and movie heroes only made the Legends replacement almost soley aimed at gift givers and kids and thus linger in stores even more. Lots of folks complained about legends, but lots of folks got snowtroopers, battle droids and clones and that spacetrooper never lingered around here.

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on June 27, 2012, 10:40 AM
Worse than I thought! (http://www.jeditemplearchives.com/content/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=10072#disqus_thread)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on June 27, 2012, 11:20 AM
That looks about right. Walmart isn't selling anything. Those pegs are clogged with Quigon and Obiwan. The pegs are full but nothing is moving.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on June 27, 2012, 11:29 AM
Could this be a move on WalMart's part to force a merchandise return to Hasbro?

Hasbro sets the MSRP - it looks like all WalMart has done is price the figures at the upper limit of that range.

So perhaps WalMart has a clause that they can ship unsold product back to a manufacturer if it hasn't sold for X amount of days.

Maybe, believe it or not, WalMart is actually being SMART - they have looked at sales trends, realized the product is a turd and want in the worst way to get their money back from Hasbro.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on June 27, 2012, 11:32 AM
So selling product is a no risk situation for Walmart. If something doesn't sell, it gets shipped back for a refund. The unsold stuff gets sent to Ross, TJ Max or Kohls for resell again. That's pretty nice for walmart. I wonder if EE can do that.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darth_Anton on June 27, 2012, 11:40 AM
I don't think EE really has to worry about that. They actually sell through most of the basic figures they get.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on June 27, 2012, 01:10 PM
Crazy to think it is almost July and we have pretty much had just 1 wave on the pegs all year. Of ANY line.

I think one thing that has been glaring in its absence is the role of the Hasbro "street team". What happened to them going out into stores and culling all the pegwarming detritus like they used to do?

Guy I know at Target says he hasn't seen their Hasbro rep all year.

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on June 27, 2012, 01:37 PM
I have bumped into a local Hasbro rep a couple of times during my pre-work morning toy runs and while being a very nice lady, she really didn't strike me as a dedicated "go getter" - she did just what she needed to do and really didn't seem to be interested in even trying to clean up the Hasbro product on the aisle.

She did tell me, speaking strictly about the store we were in, that the manager was rejecting all orders for replenishment because there was so much stuff still in stock. The problem was that he was issuing blanket rejections  - so rejecting Vintage Collection even though they have like three Vintage figures, because they have 30+ Movie Heroes and Clone Wars figures.

With this example situation, I can't really blame her for having a "defeatist" attitude, because it's not like her superiors were saying "go ahead and pull the product" and the WalMart manager was (and still is) sitting on a lot of Star Wars junk that isn't selling.

No matter which way you want to approach the problems currently facing the line, the common denominator is always that Hasbro put out too much re-packaged junk this year. Pure and simple.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on June 27, 2012, 03:46 PM
Maybe, believe it or not, WalMart is actually being SMART - they have looked at sales trends, realized the product is a turd and want in the worst way to get their money back from Hasbro.

I have no doubt that the people making business decisions at Wal-Mart are much better at what they do than the folks at Hasbro.


She did tell me, speaking strictly about the store we were in, that the manager was rejecting all orders for replenishment because there was so much stuff still in stock. The problem was that he was issuing blanket rejections  - so rejecting Vintage Collection even though they have like three Vintage figures, because they have 30+ Movie Heroes and Clone Wars figures.

I bet that's a widespread thing... and once again, I blame Hasbro.  They should know that retailers are going to group all Star Wars action figures together rather than separating the lines. 


No matter which way you want to approach the problems currently facing the line, the common denominator is always that Hasbro put out too much re-packaged junk this year. Pure and simple.

Yep - Hasbro's fault.  But I expect they are going to come across as ******** and deflect the blame on retailers, a drop in Clone Wars TV ratings, and point the middle finger at collectors who have been supporting Star Wars for decades.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I am starting to hope Lucasfilm finds a new partner after the contract is up.   A different company that is more in tune with their market might even explore dioramas/playsets... because God knows Hasbro is clueless on that front. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on June 27, 2012, 04:46 PM
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I am starting to hope Lucasfilm finds a new partner after the contract is up.   A different company that is more in tune with their market might even explore dioramas/playsets... because God knows Hasbro is clueless on that front.

I've been hoping for this for quite some time. Any company that takes over would want to start from scratch and I have no interest in starting from scratch. So essentially, it would be my time to bow-out of Star Wars collecting. While it would suck that I would never get figure representations of anything new that came out post-2018, at least there would be a clearly defined "end point" with the Hasbro collection.

There is a part of me though that hopes that salvation can come, most likely in the form of a regime change or even them putting DePriest back in charge.

I so wish I could be there for the SDCC presentation, while I think most people will be polite and professional, with the way things have been this year, there has never been a greater possibility of fan backlash then there is this year - it would all depend on how the Star Wars brand team acts, if they act like "nothing's wrong" or blame outside factors, then that will just make things worse. If they basically pull a mea culpa and say they are working on fixing mistakes made, I think that will diffuse A LOT of issues.

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Greedo The Green Menace on June 27, 2012, 08:47 PM
One thing that would go a long way to fixing all of this is to axe Movie Heroes/Legends all together. Hasbros merchandise is competing with itself, you've got Obi Wans and Battle Droids and Mauls across multiple lines competing with each other. It makes no sense. Get rid of this extra assortment, because whether it's crappy versions or the ultra articulated versions, it makes no difference. If every kid in town already has an Obi Wan, they're not gonna buy another one just cuz it's on a different card or slightly more poseable, or has a slightly different accessory. I can understand having main characters available at all times, but mix it up a bit.

    In a wave of 5-6 new figures, fill out the rest of the case with whichever mains you want, throw in you're vader and maul if you want, then come the next assortment, bring out Luke and Anakin again, but never the same one back to back. This will go far in avoiding over saturation of any particular character. You could take it a step further and avoid putting any of the same character in a case. If you've got Jedi Luke in a case, don't put farm boy luke in there with him. Save him for the next batch. Just the slightest bit of thought being put into these cases can really make a difference. Two lines tops, one movie, one animated, distinctly different packaging so as not to confuse the brands.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on June 27, 2012, 09:19 PM
One thing that would go a long way to fixing all of this is to axe Movie Heroes/Legends all together. Two lines tops, one movie, one animated, distinctly different packaging so as not to confuse the brands.

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Like, 1000%.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on June 28, 2012, 12:37 AM
They could even combine Movie Heroes with Clone Wars, if they had to.  6 of each brand of figures in a case.  Or 8 Clone Wars, 4 Movie Heroes and just come up with a new name for that line. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: darth broem 2 on June 28, 2012, 01:00 AM
I wish they would just cancel the movie heroes line simply because they end up copying half of them into the vintage or regular lines anyway.  We don't need 4 Mauls out at the same time or 3-4 Vaders, Kenobis, and Anakins.  I know they are the main characters and all that but kill the multiples.  Grandma and Grandpa can find a Vader easily enough with just one version or two of each on the pegs. 

And please...knock down the price of the figures a couple of dollars.  Way overpriced for what they are.  I know...I know....the cost of plastics.  Retailers set the price....blah...blah.  You will actually move the product at a (gasp) lower price. 

For the love of God get those damn Phantom Menace figures off the freaking pegs.  Take them back Hasbro.  The retailers are to dumb to move them to the clearance aisle.  LOL! 

I can't buy cases because I can't hide them from the wife!  ;D
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on June 28, 2012, 10:36 AM
Movie Heroes wouldn't be so bad if they used that line to get figures like Darth Nihilus, TFU Shaak Ti, etc. back into the mix.  But that's obviously not a good idea to them.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: DoctorPadawan on June 28, 2012, 07:00 PM
I think the simplest answer for me at this point is Lego or (for characters I really want) Sideshow.  Hasbro's made it completely cost-prohibitive to collect this line from a financial perspective, given the amount of money one devotes to either gas driving around in a futile attempt to actually find products in stores, or the amount of money one has to pay for shipping on their more-or-less internet exclusive Star Wars toys.  Quality-wise, Hasbro is going further and further downhill (more on that in a moment) and they're charging more and more for less and less with no real excuse other than "we can."  I'm really curious to see how the Q&As go at the summer conventions (starting this weekend at JoeCon) and how Hasbro responds to collector complaints (if they even do; I can honestly see them saying "NO QUESTIONS!" before the presentations of their PowerPoint).

As for the quality, I had an interesting situation a few weeks ago that I wanted to share, but didn't really know what forum to post it in, or if it was even relevant to Star Wars, as it doesn't involve SW but does involve two other Hasbro lines.  I bought two different Hasbro products on two consecutive days: the 6" Walmart exclusive Avengers Movie Hawkeye figure and a blue GI Joe Retaliation Cobra Commander (at Toys R Us).  When I opened Hawkeye, I noticed that one of the pins that connected his elbow joint to his forearm had not been assembled completely and any movement would cause the forearm to almost completely separate from the joint.  Luckily, having read many threads in JD's wonderful customs area, I was able to use some tweezers and the really hot water trick to soften the plastic and repair the joint.  Hawkeye still sits on my shelf aiming his bow and arrow and you'd never know that this had to be done.  But, alas, that is not the point.

Cobra Commander had a similar problem right out of the package, but this involved the right shoulder joint.  The plastic had not been attached completely and, as a result, his upper arm was simply hanging on by the equivalent of a plastic thread.  I examined him closely and tried to do the hot water trick, but given his construction, it was impossible to do, as I am not that skilled and would likely have burnt myself in the process.  So, I returned the CC to TRU and got my money back (the CC was placed in the damaged bin, but just this past week I noticed they had put it back on the shelf with its scotch-taped on bubble; I found this both amusing and sad, moreso considering how much TRU marks everything up these days).  Again, second toy from a second Hasbro line in two days that was damaged BEFORE I EVEN OPENED IT.

I figured enough was enough and called Hasbro Consumer Affairs, not to yell and scream but to point out that they had some quality control issues that I, as a (more or less) adult was able to fix but one that children (their supposed target audience) would NOT be able to fix.  This decrease in quality along with an increase in pricing was likely to affect their public perception as what parent is going to buy a toy that is broken out of the package before the kid even plays with it and then actually consider buying more Hasbro products?  They're going to look at it and say, "No, Bobby, I remember how Hawkeye's arm fell off when we opened him so I'm not buying any more Avengers."  The woman I spoke with was very nice and I believe in treating people considerately, especially when she probably had no earthly idea what I was talking about in the first place.  She, doing what she was no doubt trained to do, told me she would send me two 3 dollars off coupons for my next Hasbro purchase and forward my comments to their Customer Affairs team.  I thanked her for her time and that was that.

I tell that story to make the point that not only can Hasbro not get product to stores so people can actually buy it, but the product they are getting to stores is of an inferior quality on a more regular basis.  Many of us have complained about saggy Battle Droids or rubbery guns, and it seems like everything is getting this slipshod treatment now.  They're charging twice the original retail price for a figure from 2002 that is made of inferior materials and expecting the market to be happy with it.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: all employees see when they look at that wall of Vintage Qui-Gons and gobs of Movie Heroes is STAR WARS.  Hasbro has had years to work on case assortments and instead of learning, they seem to be regressing each and every day.  And yes, retail isn't ordering things from Hasbro, but the fault lies with Hasbro for putting out inferior products, time after time, charging a ridiculous premium for them, and then blaming everyone but themselves for their mistakes.  If nobody bought that Saga Darth Maul in 2002 because the action feature was horrible for 5 bucks, they're certainly not going to buy it now for 10, and definitely not if it's going to fall apart after you open the card. 

All this said, I would like to complete my "new" Vintage collection by the end of the year, because I feel that's going to be my jumping off point.  Hasbro has made collecting cost prohibitive (as I said before), they have made it a chore rather than an enjoyable hobby, and they have made it impossible to even collect because the figures aren't even being sent out in the real world to be purchased.  And that, to be quite blunt, is not cool.  When Lego releases their fall Star Wars sets, I'm going to be able to walk into Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Lego's retail stores, Barnes and Noble, and even K-Mart and buy that Jabba's Palace with its 10 mini figures and not have to worry about case ratios or scalpers or what have you and JUST BUY IT.  And I'm going to enjoy putting it together, and admiring it, and showing it off to people who will no doubt think I'm crazy for having a Lego Jabba's Palace to begin with, but it's going to be fun.  No "hunt" no fuss no muss.  No having to order it from Entertainment Earth or Big Bad Toy Store or whoever else (unless I want to do so and, you know what?  THEY'LL HAVE IT IN STOCK TOO) because Wal-Mart has a stack of old crap in the way.  When's the last time anybody here can honestly say they saw a figure online and thought "I'm going to go to Wal-Mart and pick that up" and actually was able to do it?

Even Sideshow, limited and high end though they may be, has their system set up so you know what to expect, what you're going to have to pay for it, and when you'll get it.  I knew the 12" Boba Fett was going on sale a certain day, I made accommodations to order mine, knew what it would cost, knew approximately when it would show up, and here we are about 10 months later and it will be here in about two weeks.  Hell, Commander Bacara came with one less gun than advertised due to a clerical error and Sideshow didn't ignore it: THEY SENT OUT AN EMAIL SAYING SO AND EVEN ALLOWED PEOPLE TO CANCEL IT WITHOUT PENALTY IF SOMEHOW HAVING ONE LESS GUN WAS A DEALBREAKER.  Hasbro just says, "Oh we had to cut costs" and doesn't bat an eye.  And you know what?  That's why I keep ordering stuff from Sideshow.  Because they care about the product they're selling and stand behind it.  It's people who seem to genuinely like Star Wars, who understand what it is to be a fan, and know that they're going to have loyal customers and get new ones because they treat people well and stand behind what they sell.  Ditto for Lego who, in the year since I've been out of my dark ages as an AFOL, have shown that they are the single-best company in terms of customer care and satisfaction that I've ever dealt with in ANY situation. 

So yes, that is why the future of Star Wars collecting, for me, is with Lego and Sideshow.  Because they have fun, interesting products that are of a high quality and that bring a smile to my face without me having to search like Indiana Jones for the Holy Grail in the desert to find it, only to have its arm fall off when I open it.  So keep on doing what you're doing Hasbro, and Battleship won't be the only disaster that you're known for.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: evenflow on June 28, 2012, 09:54 PM
It seems like overall, Hasbro is writing off the collector market (especially with the T-crotch epidemic that they have going on and the rumored end of Marvel Universe). Once the vintage line ends, i see myself getting out of it. I am not excited but most of what has been shown and can't really think of that many figures left that i really want (I finally got Yarna a few years ago, and Kneesa is finally coming out). Outside of them introducing characters from the Droids cartoon I am pretty much content. I love the vintage packaging but that is really what is keeping me going. I already stopped buying battlepacks, sets, etc. a while ago. Distribution problems are another issue and in truth just drains my interest in the line (its not just with star wars either, all their lines seem to be plagued by it). As much as Mattel has their problems, i love the MOTUC line and subscription.  It makes things easier. Its not perfect by ANY means, but at least it really is a collector's line. Anyway, my future of Star Wars collecting looks pretty bleak.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Ben on June 29, 2012, 04:05 AM
I'd not be sad if Vintage/ new old movie stuff ended. I now have Tarkin, Slave Leia, and Wedge on vintage cards, which was really my last goal for Star Wars. It's been a great ride, and it's experiencing the painful, drawn-out death I always knew it would right now, so just let it go, please. It brought me a lot of joy, but you can only kick a dead horse for so long, and if AOTC and ROTS in 3D ever actually happen, they aren't going to help any.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on June 29, 2012, 09:14 PM
It is going to really be interesting to see what is revealed/talked about at SDCC this year.  It seems like we get these "the line is ending, Hasbro stinks" talks every few years or so, but this time it seems to have a little bit more behind it.  There is a lot of collector fatigue, prices keep climbing, quality might be going down, and action figures in general just aren't that popular any more it seems (particularly with kids).  Plus, the people who actually do want them can't find the darn things.

As I've said before, I'll be in it in some capacity until the end, but I'd be ok with a slow down and condensing of the line as well.  As much as I like Star Wars, there's just too much of it out there these days.  I think it has gotten a bit overwhelming.  You can see collectors are losing interest, whether it is due to having nearly 20 years of the modern line, pricing, age, distribution etc.  For example, although they are priced higher than the already high pricepoint, I don't know if 5 years ago you would see new waves of figures stay up and available at places like Amazon like they do now.  You can still get many of the recent figures (that haven't made it to retail), and that didn't used to happen.  Sure, they are $12-13 each, but still that didn't stop in the past.  I think that shows the lack of "heat" behind the line at this point.

I'm not sure what would bring that back.  We've mentioned it in this thread before, but I honestly think something like a Legends (6" scale) approach to this line is the only thing that would really rocket up the interest.  I remember times when we'd see new stuff at SDCC, Toy Fair, or just leaked stuff online, and it would drive discussions for weeks or months due to the anticipation.  These days it only lasts a few days most often (until closer to release), and then it is even often to complain.  It is possible that if we get to the 3D releases of the OT, that might generate more interest (depending what the line would look like at that point), but maybe not.

Personally, I'm starting to gravitate more and more to only the OT stuff.  I still like PT and CW (and pick up a few things from both), but I'm really at the point where I'm running low on space (and I think the Mrs. might be losing patience with that aspect as well ;)) and after so many years of buying this (and other lines), it is just a heck of a lot of stuff.  I'll continue on with at least some of it (and may be one of the few that still get pretty excited about new stuff coming up), but as much as I like it I think I'd be ok with things winding down too.  I've often been a fan of a condensing of the line, and wouldn't mind seeing a return to the POTJ days of releases - 36-40 figures, some exclusive vehicles/etc. - it was easier (and cheaper) to keep up.

I can see some people's points where it is just too difficult to collect these days too (unless you just order online).  LEGO is something I've "tested the waters" with this year with a few sets, and it really is much easier to collect.  You know what's coming, generally when it is coming, and that it will probably be there for at least a year to pick up.  Hasbro's stuff is blink and you miss it (or it never shows at all), which is frustrating.  The case packs that have been mentioned are really a problem too.  I know it is a different retail landscape these days, but the vintage line managed to always have the "big guns" available, and still add in new characters, so why can't they do it today without backing up the entire line with pegwarming problems.  Anyways, way too long of a post here, but I think we're in for changes - and I think we need some.  Hopefully they won't be bad ones, but I think a "less is more" approach would be good for SW.  Ideally, one line would be nice (although I do like CW, but if it is being phased out).  Use all those nice figures they've already made over the years as the "greatest hits" approach (thinking the "ultimate" verisons), and supplement it with some collector figures and new sculpts.  One thing is for sure, if they do end up going the direction of that recent Bespin BP with less articulation, they better lower the price pretty considerably or they might lose nearly everyone.  I'm interested to see what SDCC brings.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Simdog on June 30, 2012, 01:08 AM
Who thinks this is a do or die year and SDCC for Hasbro? I believe its next year. Another year of this and I believe the end is here.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on August 14, 2012, 04:16 PM
Not sure where else to stick this, but Hasbro's distribution problems have been solved!

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/14/toy-thief-wanted-to-rip-off-stores-in-all-50-states-police-say/?hpt=hp_t1

They were shipping stuff all along, these perps were just stealing all the best figures!
 

LOL
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Spirit of MAC on August 27, 2012, 06:05 AM
I can't remember where I saw the rumor this past week, but a blurb came out during C6 that Hasbro had gotten their license extended a couple more years 'til 2020.  Can anyone else confirm or deny this?  I was really kind of hoping 2018 was going to be it.  If that's no longer the case, I'm going to have some serious explaining to do with my wife!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on August 27, 2012, 07:12 AM
I can't remember where I saw the rumor this past week, but a blurb came out during C6 that Hasbro had gotten their license extended a couple more years 'til 2020.  Can anyone else confirm or deny this?  I was really kind of hoping 2018 was going to be it.  If that's no longer the case, I'm going to have some serious explaining to do with my wife!

In the interview with Curto/Burns, DDP mentions that the license now runs to 2020 and says that it is "public information" - so my guess is that means that a press release went out that indicated the extension of 2 years had been made.

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on August 27, 2012, 09:39 AM
That's the worst news to come out of the Con, IMHO. I was really hoping they would get a firm non-renewal from Lucasfilm so they could focus on pumping as much money out of the line as they can for the next five years. Might have actually lit a fire under them to get things back on track.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on August 27, 2012, 03:51 PM
Official Hasbro Press Images Posted (http://www.jedidefender.com/gallery/imageFolio.cgi?direct=Conventions/Celebration_VI/Hasbro/Official_Press_Images)

Check 'em out and feel free to link to specifics to discuss the highs and lows and all that jazz.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on August 31, 2012, 11:19 AM
What do you think happens when there are no more Star Wars figures to collect? Do we try to fill the holes in our collection? Does customizing become popular again? Just looking at the classic gaming sites, they seem to have moved to creating homebrews and finding obscure packaging variations of rare Atari games.

I wonder how much this hobby will change by then.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on August 31, 2012, 11:58 AM
What do you think happens when there are no more Star Wars figures to collect? Do we try to fill the holes in our collection? Does customizing become popular again? Just looking at the classic gaming sites, they seem to have moved to creating homebrews and finding obscure packaging variations of rare Atari games.

I wonder how much this hobby will change by then.

Well, with the writing on the wall for The Clone Wars line, I am already looking ahead to how I will fill the void. I plan to focus initially on some very obscure alleged variants that have been produced, followed by foreign exclusives/alternate packaged items, followed by prototypes, and then finally turning to customizing to keep myself entertained.

I am also considering going back and picking up those horrible "realistic" Clone Wars figures from the Tartakovsky show. Man, I hated those things when they came out. Can't be worse than the crap they are planning to trawl out going forward though...
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: iFett on August 31, 2012, 12:43 PM
Just think of how many more Lukes, Hans, and Darth Vaders you'll have in 30 more years!!  That's an angle that kinda caught me last year when i finally stopped doing the carded figure game last year.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on August 31, 2012, 02:39 PM
What do you think happens when there are no more Star Wars figures to collect? Do we try to fill the holes in our collection? Does customizing become popular again? Just looking at the classic gaming sites, they seem to have moved to creating homebrews and finding obscure packaging variations of rare Atari games.

I wonder how much this hobby will change by then.

I plan on continuing to customize no matter what!   :)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on August 31, 2012, 09:16 PM
I think we've got a fair amount of life in the line yet, but if we do reach the point where it ends I'm sure I'd be buying something else.  I sort of get the feeling that if Hasbro lets the line/contract lapse, that some other company would love to pick it up just to do their own take (whether it be 6" scale or something else), so it seems like there would always be some sort of SW line even if it was a more focused "collector" line (exclusive to online, TRU, etc.)  Otherwise, I buy Marvel stuff too, so I'm sure there would be something to buy.

That being said, it would be a nice place to cut things off a bit too.  I've been putting off completing the vintage line (loose) for years now, and it is one of my "eventually" goals.  I'd probably move on to that, and pick figures up here and there while working towards that goal.  If I reached that, I would maybe look at other vintage stuff....or just save the money.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on September 1, 2012, 12:06 PM
Just think of how many more Lukes, Hans, and Darth Vaders you'll have in 30 more years!!  That's an angle that kinda caught me last year when i finally stopped doing the carded figure game last year.

When I was filling my display cabinets with my collection, I was shocked on how many Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon and Vaders I have. That makes me never want to collect those characters again!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on October 11, 2012, 08:51 PM
This is more of a rumor I guess, but I noticed in JTA's coverage of NYCC, they had a Q and A with Hasbro where Hasbro said that "something new and innovative is coming for collectors and will be announced at Toy Fair. Jeff expressly stated that he hopes nothing leaks prior to toy fair. Apparently its such a big deal that it should bring back those who have fallen away from the collecting faith.... our interpretation, not his."

No idea what this could be, but should be interesting.  I wonder if it could be something like "build-a" environments or something, who knows.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on October 11, 2012, 09:04 PM
I'd really have to be floored for that to be true...  Hasbro's got great stuff every year, but I think for them to recapture the lost collectors they'd really have a mountain to climb.  Vintage was supposed to do that for the 2008-2009 figures that supposedly didn't do it despite the BAD concept being popular...

I think you can boil it down to a line just costing enough to a point where you've lost people and things won't right themselves till they're back below the cost threshold...  These aren't necessities, and I think they've been pretty good quality for 6 years now...  longer really, but 6 great years of quality for the most part.  What idea can "bring back everyone who left" ya know?  You've been hitting homers for the most part, and concepts were pretty great.  You've been giving collectors almost everything they ever ask for short of Tonnika Sisters and Vlix...  What more can you do before you realize it's not the product.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on October 11, 2012, 09:38 PM
You've been giving collectors almost everything they ever ask for short of Tonnika Sisters and Vlix...  What more can you do before you realize it's not the product.

Introducing Hasbro's Star Wars Action Figure Direct-to-Consumer Premium Subscription Service! For the discriminating collector!

Would not surprise me.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Diddly on October 12, 2012, 08:08 AM
I agree on the price bar reasoning, the other obvious fix would be distribution. I'll elaborate on this more once we get our traditional Best/Worst of the Year/Year in Review thread, but this year we saw prices increase with "distribution costs" as the excuse, yet there is only one store in my area that has actually been restocked. Most stores are clogged with Movie Heroes and the TPM Vintage wave. There's SO MUCH that never hit store shelves (Naboo Fighter anyone?) yet we're expected to pay even more for the stuff that's been on the pegs for a year now?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: LandotheScoundrel on October 12, 2012, 11:24 AM
I have a feeling that it will be a subscription service...which will, quite possibly, blow.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: bobafett14 on October 12, 2012, 01:43 PM
Sticking with the future of collectng topics...

Ecnomics/prices:
Long term I think we're going to see a slow demise (If we haven't already) of the traditional brick and mortar stores in ALL categories, not just toy/toy collecting. I think for many reasons...mainly technology and I think the country is going to strugle for a bit becasue of it.  Collecting will slow a bi..for a sot while, prices will fall slightly across the board, and slowly after some years will begin to rise.   Distribution, the numbers game, production,etc. will all remain a struggle for some time.

Items/availability/trends:
Electronics, video games will continue to dominate and become even more prevalent, both leading to fewer companies producing "toys" and fewer companies producing non-electronic/tech rlated "toys" in the future.  Therefore the tradtional mediums we're used to now and in the past...action figures, comic boks, etc.will eventually become more collectible, and possibly a thing of the past to some degree (I don't think things like traditional toys like dolls, comics, board games, bikes, etc. will ever go completely away, but we'll see much less being produced.

Supply/demand:

I think as technology and population increases, the globalization of collectibles will also increase. Foriegn countries are becoming more predominant when it comes to collecting (look back jus 30 years ago or in the 70's...anyone buy/sell/trade with anyone in Germany or China ??  How many action figures were YOU sending to Denmark?)  Even once the internet and Ebay came about... in the beginning I didn't see too many folks from foregn countries at all, and NOTHING like I see today.  Lots of countries want what the western world has to offer.  When I was in college foriegn kids used to fill thier suitcases with Levi jeans... in some countries collectibles may not be as big now but I bet they wll be in the futue, an steadily grow.  Eventually I think this will dry up supply.  Vintage items will contine to rise, and probably skyrocket eventually, as the kids today get into the hobby as well things that ae moder TODAY wll also be hihly coveted.  New to us today will be old when the kids tday get older and into collecting.

It's a natura tendancy for u to want everythin and want it NOW.  Relax, look at the long term bi picture.

As the world changes...sports collectibles used to be the big hing when I as a kid..today techies love Star Wars...and what do we see more than ever TECHIES everywere you go. More jobs in the technology segment means more dollars to techies, more dollars to techies, IT departments, etc. mans more dollars for SW colectibles.

Yeah, I gotta say the future looks prett bright.  Pretty safe bet with SW these days.

Buy up...but be smart about it and don't forget to take care of your priorities... and try to have some fun.
 
 



Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Dan on October 12, 2012, 06:14 PM

I'm a hoth luke and Dr Evazan away from thinking I'm 99% done with the retail figure game.

The next step is to figure out what I really want to keep for future displays, what the kids/nephews/nieces might want to have someday, and the rest will slowly be put up for sale or away in storage for a decision at a later date.

It's been a fun run, and I'll probably hang around and pick up an item here and there. I don't harbor any bitterness toward Hasbro- my collecting was going to come to an end at some point no matter what. Now it is time to figure out which parts to keep, and which to send to someone elses collection-

I found that Luke and Evazan, and have picked up virtually nothing since. I've been letting some things go, and intend to pick up the pace of decumulating. But I will always have some sort of small collection devoted to George's galaxy.
 
For me the change is more about my age, my kids becoming teenagers, and other interests of my own- not any decision the big H makes. I'm sure i'm not the first to reach that point, and I won't be the last. I'm still shocked by how much time and money I'm saving. 

As I said this spring, no bitterness, it was a good time. And to everyone who is still enjoying it, I hope the line lasts a long-long time.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on October 12, 2012, 06:20 PM
I understand, Dan.  I'm kind of that way myself, though from the past few weeks it doesn't feel that way.  Regardless, you can still come and hang out with the geeks when you can.  ;)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JediJman on October 12, 2012, 11:19 PM
I actually like the slow down.  I've had more time to really enjoy the things that are coming out.  I'm psyched about the chance to start over with a brand new collectibles room as well.  Like a few others here, I've gone back to picking up some of the vintage holes in my collection and am loving every minute of it.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: bobafett14 on October 15, 2012, 09:24 AM
I actually like the slow down.  I've had more time to really enjoy the things that are coming out.  I'm psyched about the chance to start over with a brand new collectibles room as well.  Like a few others here, I've gone back to picking up some of the vintage holes in my collection and am loving every minute of it.

I am not actively looking like I was in years past, but occationally when somethign pops up, I'll jump on it.  I just snagged a vintage ESB At-At w/Box for $50.  The box was in excellent shape (unfortunately had one of the flaps cut off and taped back one, but they did a really good job.  At-At was a little beat on the edges, and legs discolored, and one of the side gusn looks like a dog got hold of it.  It's only missing the clear chin guns.  I have a minty vintage At-At just never had a box for it.  A local collector posted on Craigslist and I grabbed it this weekend!  Even with the flap being cut, it will diplay really nice on the shelf.

I'll probably sell the beat up one, or sell for parts...not sure yet.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: jono on October 31, 2012, 05:09 AM
So Disney aquires LucasFilm!

Lets hope Hasbro don't suffer the same fate as Palisades did with their Muppets line.

Havn't they just re-newed the license for 2020?

Is it safe?

where's a dentisit when you need one? ;D
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on October 31, 2012, 09:20 AM
where's a dentisit when you need one? ;D

There is one on the boards.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on October 31, 2012, 09:34 AM
So Disney aquires LucasFilm!

Lets hope Hasbro don't suffer the same fate as Palisades did with their Muppets line.

Havn't they just re-newed the license for 2020?

Is it safe?

where's a dentisit when you need one? ;D

ugh, don't remind me...I was in the process of getting a job at Palisades when they went under. That was a great toy company. Their Adult Swim offerings are some of the best stuff ever.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: bobafett14 on November 2, 2012, 03:35 PM
I'm curious to seewith Disney buying Lucasfilm, and announcing what everyone has been hoping fo EP 7,8,9...  will there be a sudden surge of collectors?

Will folk that "dropped out" get back into it again?
Will this bring on any newcomers? 

What about all the "Disney" collectors with $$$ in thier pockets...will any of those folks jump onto the SW band wagon now????? (I think not, but you never know Disney collectors are as nutty as we are)

Will current folks spend more on the hobby, now the the futurelooks intact?
Will anyone drop out because they don't like where this is headed?

If I had to guess I think we'll see a surge right now...then a steadyrise in the overall hobby...I would guess the normal trends would remain, but at a slightly higher level.  Overall I think it makes the hobby a little stronger.
 



 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: iFett on November 2, 2012, 04:21 PM
Maybe this is a good sign for me.  Was planning on dumping most of my modern Hasbro collection so hoping this means the value will get a bump rather then taking a loss.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on January 8, 2013, 12:15 AM
Now that it's confirmed that there will be no new product until the fall, what will you focus on?  I'm going to pick up some ebay things here and there that I have missed. And I'm going to be finally setting up my Star Wars room.  I am going to bill it as "The Smallest Star Wars Room on the East Coast."  It's stupid small.  I'm hoping to have it done for May 25, which will be the 35 Anniversary of SW!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 8, 2013, 12:25 AM
Lego's...  LOTR and Hobbit.

I may nab a SS figure or two.

I will get the Lego Planet sets too of course, love that sub-line that you can get into without feeling compelled to jump all-in on all Lego SW stuff.

I'm going to be putting some cash into my Jeep this year too, and some elbow grease.

Otherwise I plan on saving some extra...  unless Hasbro really impresses me at Toy Fair of course.  :-\  I'm not expecting that.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on January 8, 2013, 06:11 AM
There's a few points where I've got some hope for Star Wars over the next few months.


-Class I Vehicles:  These have been something of a bright point for the line, even with the crappy distribution.  The new offerings are more interesting than a lot of other things in the line.  We got 2 new sculpts in this first wave of the Class I vehicles.  And I'm hoping for some more new Class I offerings in the next few months.

-The long rumored TRU exclusive TESB Slave I:  This one got teased a while ago, and I'm hoping that it' still in the pipeline.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on January 8, 2013, 08:03 AM
What now? Let me tell you what now. I'ma call a couple of hard, pipe-hittin' collectors to go to work on Hasbro here with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. You hear me talkin' Rhode Island boy? I ain't through with you by damn sight. I'ma get medieval on your ass.

(I couldn't resist.)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on January 8, 2013, 09:16 AM
Well, I am hoping that they see the light and are preparing to fill the early 2013 void with tons and tons of exciting new Clone Wars product and , er...ah, who am I kidding.

I guess this will be the year I go back and start collecting all the realistic-style Tartakovsky stuff.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on January 8, 2013, 10:48 AM
....or save up for retirement or buy a house.   ;)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on January 8, 2013, 08:46 PM
Like others, likely work on organizing the collection room and condensing down what I do have.  My wife would love to see me unload a lot of the stuff that is being stored throughout the house, so I may start to go through that stuff too.  If we really are seeing a break in "new" figures until Fall, I'm hoping to just take the opportunity to save up (and possibly catch up on my loose vintage collection a little).

My other primary line is Marvel stuff, but I'm sort of thinking of taking a break from that as well.  We'll see what is available I guess.  I may pick up some stuff here and there, but get a little more picky.  LEGOs are always a temptation, and I've got my eyes on the Jabba's Palace and Rancor sets, so that is a possibility.  Overall though, as much as the delay stinks, I know deep down it is a good opportunity for me to save the money and prepare for the future.  I have a feeling there is a chance we'll see a "little bit of new, lots of old" type of scenario until the release of the new movies, similar to what we saw with the OTC line, but maybe that won't happen.  This year might be a mix of that though.  I hope we get some news out of Toy Fair.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 8, 2013, 08:57 PM
Funny but it's become a routine where every year...  EVERY year...  We say, "Well I hope something good comes out of Toy Fair".

The Star Wars line is has become like the CW toon...  They both like to dick us around a lot.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: LandotheScoundrel on January 9, 2013, 09:45 AM
What now? Let me tell you what now. I'ma call a couple of hard, pipe-hittin' collectors to go to work on Hasbro here with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. You hear me talkin' Rhode Island boy? I ain't through with you by damn sight. I'ma get medieval on your ass.

(I couldn't resist.)

Ha! Good reference! :D

I'm alright with the break, and it will be a welcome one. I am hoping we do see the ESB Slave-1 as Nicklab mentioned.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on January 9, 2013, 11:57 AM
Oh yeah, I really hope we still see that ESB Slave I that's been mentioned (and teased) as well.  I'm hoping that doesn't get shelved or pushed back as well.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on January 9, 2013, 12:34 PM
Maybe the Mayan apocalypse was really Hasbro's schedule?  :-[
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 9, 2013, 02:08 PM
You will, but it'll be a repaint of the new Class II Slave-I. :P

Part of me thinks that would serve anyone right who was claiming, "Well those ships look pretty good to me and scale doesn't matter".  You kind of don't deserve a BMF Falcon Slave I if that was your stance on the Class II ship reduction.  Those things are pathetic.

The question of "So What Now?" makes me think about aliens today for some reason.  No clue why.

But I was thinking, Jabba got some cool ROTJ goons out last year, and this (or whenever) year I'd like to see some more Cantina and, more in general Mos Eisley, characters make it out.

I'd really like to see a couple humans, actually...  Garrouf Lafoe and Jabba's Douche Bag 94 goons really need to get out there.  I'm also into seeing Nabrun Leids redone, as well as the Cantina Midget.  I need this stuff.

For Jabba, I'm thinking his snaggletooth and Sgt. Doallyn.  It's their time.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jayson on January 9, 2013, 02:58 PM
Part of me thinks that would serve anyone right who was claiming, "Well those ships look pretty good to me and scale doesn't matter".  You kind of don't deserve a BMF Falcon if that was your stance on the Class II ship reduction.  Those things are pathetic.

I’m buying them but only to serve as vehicles for my Kubricks. :P
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 9, 2013, 03:51 PM
I slipped and meant Slave-I, not the BMF Falcon, but the point's basically the same...

And if you're using them for something else I think that's great.  I just noticed a lot of, "These are for kids, and so scale doesn't matter and people complaining should just shut up" type comments were flying around when the reduced size came up on these sets.  To me, they're comically underscaled.  They're mini-rigs for a lot of money, more or less...  and that's sort of an insult to mini-rigs since those at least were an attempt to LOOK like they were plausible.  These are just the same stuff we've gotten since 1995 only way smaller.  They're crap.

Hasbro is doing what they feel they have to do to keep a price point where it should be, since they seem to realize what they were charging was absurd and not selling anything, but at the same time I think this is a misstep in general.  Even from when I was a kid, part of the fun of the toys was they weren't dinky little knock-off looking ships.  These are, to me, for the most part.

Flying the B-Wing around in my front yard as a kid was, to me, a great memory.  And yes, the size of that ship was part of the fun for me as a kid.  Just as now I'm sure the BMF would have had my eyes fly open on Christmas morning.

I think they should've ditched that price point all together and refocused that money into the Class I sets.  They're just better in concept.  Save ships for exclusives then, and put the $/effort into something more substantial (retools of existing molds, repaints, etc).  You'd make them more appealing to retailers by there not being smaller/cheaper things on the shelf next to it, plus you'd get something out that everyone would be interested in.  You could maybe do larger runs too.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on January 9, 2013, 05:19 PM
I'm hoping this whole idea was just an experiment they will soon abandon. I totally agree about those Class II abominations...if you go that route, better to at least sculpt something new and interesting, like the Twilight for example. Or the Z-95 Headhunter.

Really though, I'd much rather see them put the money into the Class I sets too, and maybe even shift the larger scale midsize vehicles to semi-annual special releases. Medium is the new big, and all that.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on January 9, 2013, 06:52 PM
I think there's the potential for Class II to blow up in Hasbro's faces.  I certainly don't see the potential for sales with collectors.

As for other hopes?  Hasbro has always pledged to get product that they've shown publically out to fans/collectors.  So it leaves me thinking that they'll try to find a way to get these BAF droids out to market.

Personally, I'm hoping they can parlay this situation into a modern Droid Factory playset that includes the parts for the 4 droids Hasbro has already shown.  And if they can get some more droid parts in there, too?  So much the better.  Obviously, developing something like that could take a while.  And then there's the matter of shopping it to a retailer, because it would almost certainly have to be an exclusive.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jayson on January 9, 2013, 08:16 PM
What I also find troubling about the new class II size is the accompanying packaging. We saw packaged samples at CVI, and if you didn't know any better, you'd think that there was a larger vehicle in that box. This might be an issue for parents thinking that they are getting something more than advertised, especially with that hollow bottom Republic Fighter Tank.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 9, 2013, 08:22 PM
That doesn't shock me at all, but yeah that's dickish.  They're acting like a potato chip company.  ::)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jayson on January 9, 2013, 09:44 PM
That doesn't shock me at all, but yeah that's dickish.  They're acting like a potato chip company.  ::)

It reminds me of the TVC Tauntaun (http://www.yakfaceforums.com/TGuide2004/ActionFigures/TVC/exclusives/lukes_tauntaun/cf5.html): a relatively huge box for a small beast
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Greg on January 9, 2013, 09:47 PM
The Class II's definitely suck, especially since there isn't a "normal" alternative available. When they were first revealed I understood what Hasbro was aiming for with the reduced size, but that shouldn't have come with a step down in quality. Hopefully vehicles go back to normal sizes for Episode 7. I would be extremely bummed if new stuff ends up being undersized with cheap construction.

As for what to do in 2013... I was balancing pretty well between Star Wars and GI Joe over the past couple of years, so I'll continue collecting GI Joe as I have been and try to save what I would have spent on Star Wars for the Fall. I do plan on picking up the Class 1 Vehicle sets and an Endor AT-AT, but those are minor purchases when spread over the course of the next six or so months. As always I'll be keeping an eye out for any good clearance or discount store deals. *cough*Five Below*cough* I don't think I want to focus on filling holes in my collection, as that ends up getting expensive very quickly for me as I think of more holes that require filling.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on January 10, 2013, 10:35 AM
I'm working overtime to get caught up on SW Lego.

After that, I might pick up a vintage brown haired Luke and a few other minor variations that I am missing...

Mostly, I'm going to enjoy not having any new product on the horizon that I feel compelled to collect for the first time in about 17 years.

If I get really bored though, I might save up and pick up a vinyl caped jawa.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: LandotheScoundrel on January 10, 2013, 06:39 PM
You guys should start working on some dioramas.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 10, 2013, 08:00 PM
I'm gonna make Bossk's Bungalow to rival Lobot's Duplex.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: LandotheScoundrel on January 11, 2013, 11:48 AM
There's no way you can make Bossk's bungalow with any degree of accuracy. There aren't enough hot chicks in the Star Wars line to properly populate that debonair Trandoshan's pad.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 11, 2013, 02:25 PM
I've been looking outside the box.  There are hot chicks in other lines I plan to use.  From Fisher Price to Narnia.  Trandoshans get ALLLLLL da ladies.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: bobafett14 on January 15, 2013, 12:48 PM
hahaa.

Back to the original qestion.  Hasbro is always petty good for keeping the line going through the ups/downs...movie years/non-movie years.  Thye have REALLY pumped out the product over the years.  I won't mind at all seeing a break for the summer.  Maybe come back and hit it with the 3-D movie tie-ins on and off over the next 2 years.   

From a collectors standpoint, I think it lets everyone get caught up, gets everything in order for the new moves in a few years.    From a company standpoint they just want to keep the product rolling out, and it makes sense.  I'm excited for the new movies, but if they keep pumping out rehashes for 2 years...ugh..I can see the collector burnout starting to hit.  I went through it for a few years not too long after ROTS.  Sometmes a little break is all you need.

I think a lo are going back ad flling in holes, which is great for SW collecting.  Purges some product off the  secondary market,  lets everone take a  breather and get focused.  I may even finish the search for the last couple comics I need.  God, I'm hoping theydon't get carried away wth the LE Variant covers..the whole money grab LE/variant thing has been handled quite well in the comics category, hope it stays that way.

Should be a fun year!




Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Sybeck1 on January 20, 2013, 03:32 PM
At least hopefully we will get some good exclusives for us OT fans. New ones, not repacks like the BMF or AT-AT. I would easily buy a battle pack if something new was found in it.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: iFett on January 25, 2013, 05:22 PM
I didn't know where to put this, but uh oh..

http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2013/01/25/hasbro-shares-sink-on-weaker-revenue-outlook/
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on January 25, 2013, 06:13 PM
"We had a number of strong product initiatives, but consumer demand through much of the holiday season was less than anticipated in both the U.S. and certain international markets. As a result, fourth quarter revenues did not meet our expectations."


Yeah, all those awesome brand new GI JOE and Star Wars toys that came out around Christmas time just did not sell at all did they?

Oh wait, you guys didn't even bother putting anything new out. At all. You TOTALLY whiffed on X-Mas 2012. But yeah, blame it on consumer demand. How could people NOT rush out and buy all that old, played-out garbage?

Two words, Hasbro: Naboo Fighter.

I know it's easy to bash, but I swear it is amazing to me how this company is still in business as poorly as they seem to be run.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 25, 2013, 08:15 PM
I hate to say it again but hasbro is every bit looking at "consumer demand" through the eyes of their retailers...  Again did hasbro f up getting Naboo fighters out?  If so, is Adam Pawlus a wizard and thats why EE has that case available?  And Target, WalMart, etc. were all c-blocked by Hasbro somehow?  Or did retailers just maybe say, "we're tired of buying into and devoting space to lines that have low sales rates", and they just didn't buy stuff?  If the latter it's not distribution.  It's a far bigger problem and one hasbro is making clear attempts to fix.  Collectors may not like their ideas to fix said problem though, myself included.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on January 25, 2013, 09:56 PM
Do they really need to lay off workers?

Doubt it.

Goldner can take a freakin salary cut.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on January 26, 2013, 08:15 AM
It's a chicken and egg argument to be sure. I'm sure retail malaise plays a part here too, but after that redonkulous TPM deluge how can you really blame them? And if retail really is the heart of the problem, why not just say so instead of shifting the blame straight to the consumer? And how does that prevent them from selling new toys on HTS.com?

Anyhoo, dead horse and all that.

Let's hope they don't repeat the same mistakes with the Feb 11th street date this year.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on January 26, 2013, 09:42 AM
It'sa combination of things. You have clear economic realities which are impacting all toys. The rising cost of plastic and also labor in the last few years has resulted in the absolute shrinking of nearly every toy line, literally and figuratively. Articulation is gone, and so is any kind of scale, which SW is somewhat insulated from. Transformers have turned into their legendary knockoffs.

Couple that with the high price of the SW licence and the fact that the brand is fatigued, with a serious lack of mass market interest, you have the scenario we do now. Actually I'm surprised the line has endured the last year at all given the circumstances.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on January 26, 2013, 02:01 PM
I don't think it's necessarily a shift in costs for the existing toy business model.  And I don't think it's a case of Hasbro VS Mattel VS McFarlane, etc. 

I think it's more of a case of the toy industry we know as a whole VS companies like Apple, etc.  Apple devices and similar personal electronics are proving to be more of a kid's play platform.  Especially since devices like iPods and iPads are designed to support applications/software that appeal to kids as well as adults.  If you look at parents discretionary spending on their kids, I think you'll find a growing shift away from the toy aisle toward these personal electronic platforms and their related software / apps.

THIS is the big fight that Hasbro and other toy business companies need to be wary of.  I think they're far more worried about the Apples of the world than any other traditional toy company.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jayson on January 27, 2013, 03:47 PM
I'd like to see Hasbro employ a more interactive experience with the basic figure line. Imagine if each figure included a unique QR code that allows kids/collectors to download bio/stat/digital trading card that could be used trade or track your collection. Toy play patterns are evolving and I think this concept could bridge a gap that Hasbro (at least for Star Wars figures/vehicles) hasn't tapped into.

For 2013, Hasbro is pimping their Fighter Pods line pretty heavily. That ad. concept could easily be tweaked to a more educational experience to let kids learn more about each character/vehicle in a new way.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on January 27, 2013, 09:26 PM
I think it is possible in the near future that Star Wars figures get included in Disney's new Infinities video game. Basically this game is a cross between Skylanders and Minecraft. You put a figure on a pedistol and you can use the figure in a game within a virtual playset. The first figures released for this game will be ones from Pirates of the Caribean, the Incredibles and Monsters University. I could totally see Episode 7 figures having this additional play concept.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 28, 2013, 01:03 AM
See, I don't think it is a chicken and egg argument, to go back to the earlier issue...  I think it's pretty flat out that, since 2008, figures have gone up, extras and quality (some, not all) has decreased...  cardbacks are cheaper, paint aps are cheaper, accessories and pack-ins are less or non-existant.  But prices went up, steadily.

Hasbro's made it abundantly clear that reworking pricepoints is an issue...  That's why you see the Class I set format changing, Class II ships changing, etc.  There's obvious changes there to that issue.

And for a lot longer than since last January, Star Wars figures haven't done as well as they did for many years.  It wasn't like January hit and Star Wars suddenly died from that.  2012 assortments are definitely a place to point a finger at Hasbro, but Hasbro banked on TPM3D being popular...  So did Lucasfilm, and McDonald's, and Pepsi, and Lays, and whoever else put money into the idea of that film coming back out.

That's the risk's Hasbro has taken with every movie release, and some have done better than others.  2002 was a failure too.  This isn't their first rodeo with bad decisions on a movie release.

It just screwed them, top to bottom, at a time when retail support seems, maybe just to me, to be thin at best.  Toys R Us is the only one sticking, and for them it's all they do so what else can they do really?

HTS.com isn't Hasbro...  It's been said a lot, but collectors have to differentiate the two.  Hasbro can't just say to them, "Well take this stuff and sell it!  Here's what it costs!", because they're a wholely separate company under the Hasbro umbrella.  Hell, THEY have to ask Hasbro for exclusives and work out a deal similar to any other retailer.  It's my understand THEY were the ones to do a HTS.com exclusive at C6 till they decided it's too costly to do C6 so they didn't go.  Brian's Toys stepped in and took it.  I may be off on some of those details but that was my understanding at the time.

I think what's being said is a natural progression going forward for the line but also to some degree all toys.  Interactivity is ever-increasing.  Every store has an ap.  Every company has a site.  From Social Media to free online games, etc.  Action figures aren't always "it".

At the same time though, something Hasbro's relied upon (selling the same figure, again and again), is becoming increasingly difficult.  I think you can tie that somewhat to the decreasing attention span of kids.  Life's changing and Hasbro has to change with it.

I think the line's in for serious shifts.  I think collectors won't like them all, or even many of them.  I like figures, and figures done well, and for me that's what I fear I'll lose (at a fair price).  The problem there is, I'm an old guy with a pretty disturbingly focused attention span on a toy line I've collected since 1995, and that's not counting of course Vintage I was collecting from childhood.  I'm not who Hasbro can always rely on to carry it, and I'm not who they have to try to hook into something and keep them hooked on it for as long as they can.  So what I like may be taking a back seat to something I hate.  Or several something's I hate, and one I can maybe tolerate a little bit.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on January 28, 2013, 09:54 AM
I think the line's in for serious shifts.  I think collectors won't like them all, or even many of them.  I like figures, and figures done well, and for me that's what I fear I'll lose (at a fair price).

Like others have mentioned in this and other threads, when you look at the plans for Iron Man 3 (http://idlehands1.blogspot.com/2013/01/toy-fair-2013-hasbros-iron-man-3.html)  and Spiderman (http://idlehands1.blogspot.com/2013/01/toy-fair-2013-hasbros-ultimate-spider.html), you can see pretty easily where things are headed.

Simple, 5POA figures for $6 each.  A more "deluxe" line of figures for $10 (Iron Man Assemblers, Spiderman Power Webs).

There may be room for separate "premium" collector lines (Marvel still seems to have Legends for around $15 each), but all signs show a push towards the $6 price point for the basic figure lines (with "basic" being the key word).  Looks like they borrowed a LOT from Mattel's very well selling $5 Dark Knight 5POA figures.

A lot of folks speculated this would be the new direction for the lines when those 5POA battle packs debuted last year...  I'm just glad that they don't seem to expect us to pay $10 for 5POA figures at least...  of course, Star Wars has yet to be revealed so who knows if they will come at the Marvel $6 price point or not.   :-\
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on January 28, 2013, 11:46 AM
I was just mentioning the same thing in the "Legends" thread.  More and more lines (specifically superhero based lines) seem to be going with the "cheap/small figures for kids, 6" scaled more expensive figures for collector" type lineups.  I wonder if Star Wars would be headed the same way.  I can't say I'm all that impressed with the quality of things like Green Lantern, Dark Knight Rises, or the newer Ultimate Spider-Man or Iron Man 3 small scale stuff so I sort of hope Star Wars doesn't go that way.  But, at the same time, I can see where they have slowly priced themselves out of the kid market (which they covet), and are even getting to the point where collectors are jumping ship.

If we go back to the days of 5 POA for $6 for Star Wars, I wonder what the reaction might be.  It seems like the majority of people here really like the articulation (and I do as well), but I also remember getting my first POTF2 figures (or even into POTJ) and not necessarily having a big problem with the smaller articulation count then (not knowing the potential for more I guess too much).  Now there are continuing rumors of the Legends scaled stuff for Star Wars, which I thought was a great idea to increase interest in the brand prior to the whole Disney/new movies announcement.

At the end of the day though, Star Wars is a 3 3/4" brand to me.  That's how it started, and it really revolutionized the action figure industry with the ability to have vehicles, playsets, etc. and a broader figure lineup.  I hope that Hasbro keeps that scale going (I think they will), and hopefully don't cut back on things too much.  I was some one who sort of liked the Battle Pack Bespin Luke figure (even with the reduced articulation), but that was because I already had a super articulated version as well.  I wonder if it would be as easy to take if there wasn't that option with new characters/versions from these upcoming movies.  I'm all for bringing prices down, but I wonder how many people like us here on the forums would stick with the line if it went to 5 POA, $6 price, but nicely sculpted/painted figures.  I'm hoping we get a clearer idea of the future at Toy Fair and beyond, but I'm wondering if we won't really know the picture until the new movies hit.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on January 28, 2013, 12:01 PM
If they go with lower articulation I just hope they keep up the accuracy, sculpt and paint quality. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on January 28, 2013, 12:07 PM
If we go back to the days of 5 POA for $6 for Star Wars, I wonder what the reaction might be....

... I wonder how many people like us here on the forums would stick with the line if it went to 5 POA, $6 price, but nicely sculpted/painted figures.

I think they will get much better reception on characters we don't already have.  For example, I'm probably not going to buy a 5POA Darth Vader for $6 when I already have so many Darth Vader figures.  Same with Clones or Stormtroopers or whatever.    BUT, when it comes to Episode VII?  I may bite on simple 5POA figures of the new characters simply becuase I don't already have figure versions of them yet.  Then they are free to give me better articulated versions as Ep8 and 9 come out and I'll buy them all over again, just like I did in the transition from POTF2 to TVC.  It's the action figure circle of life!  (And, in many ways, a sad commentary on my inability to quit buying this crap over and over again  :-[).
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on January 28, 2013, 12:54 PM
Hasbro, I'll make you a deal:

You make Clone Wars figures with 5 POA for $6 and I'll buy doubles of all of them.

My terms?

1) You must continue producing them in the source-accurate animated style

2) You must resume producing key supporting characters, IE: anyone with a speaking role in more than 4 episodes

Deal?  ;)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Diddly on January 28, 2013, 01:12 PM
There may be room for separate "premium" collector lines (Marvel still seems to have Legends for around $15 each), but all signs show a push towards the $6 price point for the basic figure lines (with "basic" being the key word).  Looks like they borrowed a LOT from Mattel's very well selling $5 Dark Knight 5POA figures.

Wait, do we have any sales data for those TDKR figures? Because all of the stores near me were clogged with those things, and I'm pretty sure exactly zero figures were sold. Even local grocery stores got in awful yellow/green/orange Batman repaints that were priced at $3, and they have four pegs clogged with them.

Back to Star Wars, sorry, but I'm out if articulation goes back to 5 POA. I could tolerate a bare minimum level of articulation ala the 2006 Saga Collection. Figures that had about 9-11 POA (ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, swivel elbows, swivel hips, ball jointed knees, swivel wrists) were genuinely well received, as long as they were sculpted in a neutral position. I think we've all agreed that the AT-AT Driver and the Death Star Gunner are two of the best figures from that line, and they both had this minimum standard of articulation. And I think I could live with that for $7-ish.

But 5 POA? Just no... not in this day and age. Sure that was okay back in the 90's and early 2000's but things have changed, stuff evolves... I feel it would be like Microsoft announcing that their next Xbox is going to be standard definition, no DVD/Blu-Ray player, and no wireless connectivity. A step backwards. I don't even think I would buy new characters from the new trilogy at 5 POA because they wouldn't fit in with the figures I have now. Yeah they might look good but you can't play with them pose them on shelves very well.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 28, 2013, 01:48 PM
I'd be torn, but I have thought about it a lot, and at $6 a pop I'd be more interested in lower articulated figures.  If we were lucky, Hasbro would TRY to add more than 5 POA, but I don't know how lucky we'd be.  Angle-cut elbows maybe?  Wrists?

I'd be interested in newer characters though, so long as the price is LOW.  It has to be a low price.  Anything above $6 and a 5 POA figure is a pure POS figure.

And I could hope some premium $10 line continues in quality we see now...  NOTHING less though.  It's gotten ridiculous with the **** paint aps at times.  So $10 premium and $6 non-premium...  I'd be selective, and probably far more than I ever was before, but I'd probably buy...  I'd also probably buy for customizing again, something I haven't done with the current line's incarnation much at all.  I basically went from buying 3 of everything almost to 1 of most with some stuff I passed on completely.  That was a huge drop for me, and all because of their penny pinching.

I'm still in a holding pattern though.  I'll not be shocked at all if the 6" figure line winds up coming true.  Not a single bit of surprise there.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on January 28, 2013, 02:05 PM
2) You must resume producing key supporting characters, IE: anyone with a speaking role in more than 4 episodes

Well, there are some cool figures that didn't last 1 episode, so I wouldn't limit it.  ;)

As for 5 PoA for less money, I don't know how I'd feel about it.  I think I would be very selective on the ones that are that way. ..buy 'em if I like 'em.  It depends on the quality too.  If the sculpt and pain apps are bad, then I'm probably all out.  If they do a collectors and kids line, then I'd focus on the collectors line.  Give us good, obscure figures (with sculpt, great paint apps and 10+ PoA) but limit the # per year, I can do that while they still catering to the kids with the other line. 

I'm still on the fence about New Trilogy figures, about whether I'll get into them or just focus mostly on OT figures since they mean more to me.  It'll probably depend on how I feel about the movie.  If the 6" figures come to fruition, it depends on what they look like.  I don't think I'll go all in, but I might get my main heroes, villains and Bounty Hunters. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 28, 2013, 02:34 PM
Here's a way to look at it...

Is Ellors Madak worth $5 or $6 to you?  Forget what you paid at the time because times changed.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on January 28, 2013, 03:07 PM
Wait, do we have any sales data for those TDKR figures?

Sorry, I wasn't talking final sales to consumer numbers, I was talking sales to retailers numbers.  I know from a Target source that Target ordered more Batman $5 figures than a lot of Hasbro lines last Summer.  Some of it was popularity (the GD Batman!), but a lot of it was the price.  They could afford to take more risk because the potential clearance loss was lower than if it was a $10 line.  Plus the "impulse buy" was higher with a $5 item, so they got used in a lot of impulse buy locations around the store, including the front checkout aisles (where a Star Wars figure hasn't been pegged in years).
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on January 28, 2013, 03:30 PM
Yeah, but those Batman figures were one step above Happy Meals.  The Bane figure was just horrible.  It looked like it had maybe three colors of paint.  I doubt SW would ever get that cheap looking, but that's the sort of quality I would pass on.  If they could do them like the Target Battle Packs, then I would really like them.

Speaking of that, any thoughts as to the six figures in those battle packs (Luke Bespin, Fett, Vader, Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon and Maul)...perhaps they will be the first carded inexpensive figures?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 28, 2013, 03:33 PM
I'd be far, far less interested in the cheap-o figures if they're things I already have a superior version of.  I think Jeff mentioned that above, but yeah, I'll second that.  Why buy Bespin Luke again when the last Vintage one was so phenomenal?  I really just have a hard time wrapping my head around that figure's appreciation among collectors.  From sculpt, to poseability, to paint, I thought the last Vinty one was perfect.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on January 28, 2013, 03:46 PM
Isn't that Bespin battle pack Fett out of scale?

Here's a way to look at it...

Is Ellors Madak worth $5 or $6 to you?  Forget what you paid at the time because times changed.

Ellors had 6 POA.

5 POA is less than 1995. People seem to gloss over that. Even in those days, the waist joint was missed when it was missed.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on January 28, 2013, 03:55 PM
Is Ellors Madak worth $5 or $6 to you? 

I think I bought him for $4 second-hand market.   ;) 

As to present day... if it's the same PotJ Ellors Madak repack, then I can see $5-6, but I won't buy it since I already have it.  Now, if it's Vintage styled with more PoA (he doesn't need to be SA, but give him some knee articulation) then I'd pay $8-9 for him.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JediJman on January 28, 2013, 03:58 PM
You bring up a good point with this.  I think Madak is worth $6 and would continue paying $6 per figure for low articulation as long as the sculpting was good.  Madak and the like have far more detail than the Spiderman/Batman crap on the pegs right now.  IF the line is moving to both low articulation and crummy sculpts, then it's an easy pass, but I think new characters that still look good will sell even with low articulation.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 28, 2013, 04:42 PM
Look good, yes, but a good toy?  I disagree.  GI Joe helped put a nail in the Star Wars coffin for good reason.  In 1982, that became my life, and because they were just better.  Helmets on/off, the visors and headgear attachments, removable packs, and...  articulation.  They were revolutionary, to me.

That said, I think an Ellors Madak level figure is worth $5 to $6...  When I say that I'm talking about the deco, the sculpt, the features (working holster), the details (individually sculpted fingers)...  I hear you on the 5 vs. 6 POA Scockery and you're right, though at times I can deal without a waist joint.  The OTC AT-AT Driver comes to mind as I believe he doesn't have one and I don't miss it, and he's even an Imperial army builder.

But say they made some guy seen outside on Mos Eisley's streets, Ellors Madak levels of detail and stuff, a working holster, maybe a removable hat or something, a decent (not great, just decent) paintjob...  I'd probably be happy to plunk down $6 for that, and a 2nd for custom pieces.

If it came with an accessory of some substance, I'd be even more geeked at the thought.

For $7, $8, or more, it's pure BS.  For more money, I want a real action figure, not a statue.  Hasbro can't have their cake, and eat it too, and still keep the attention of collectors like myself.

Now if it was the same all around, but the figure was Obi-Wan...  Why bother?  I have a great old Obi-Wan.  I have great young Obi-Wan's out the ying yang.  I'm out all together, UNLESS, there is some grand accessory pack-in I'd really REALLY want to pay full price just to get, and chuck the figure into the fodder pile.  That's a huge variable though, and not likely.  Even if there was something cool, I'd probably wait a little while to see if I could get the figure cheaper.  I've found even "rare" stuff cheap at toy shows.  Less than retail.  It's just how it has always gone.

I'd obviously pay for a new Ellors Madak...  $9, $10...  I've been paying it for stuff like that.  The problem is Hasbro knows kids don't want him that much (if they had long attention spans and dedication to the line, I think they'd want the obscurity, but they don't and so they won't want aliens like WE wanted aliens as kids.  It's not a fair comparison between then and now).  So now Hasbro's left with the dilemma to put out a $10 soon-to-be pegwarmer, or a $6-ish obscure hardcore collectors figure, but probably would be far happier with the better figure, and where quality paint aps and other details come into play in the minds of these collectors over the kids that now the $6 pricepoint is more appealing to (IE: Parents, who buy for kids obviously).

Or, the $6-ish figures could all be kid-targeted...  main characters, heroes, villains, but not the stuff we get geeked about as much.  Of course, this line will get verbally tore apart in the forums around the net, but as with Legends and such, it won't be aimed at us, but that rarely matters where forums are concerned.

I think it really matters to me if Hasbro makes figures for kids with a lower pricepoint and articulation, and tries to keep a higher-end figure line going if they can, but not raise the price at this point because price has utterly killed this line in my view.  To me it's no surprise the line slowed when the prices went up.

Hasbro's basically doing the exact same thing with vehicles...  It's cheaper to make new, simpler, smaller ones to sell for less, than it is to put out larger better ones that maybe appeal to collectors more but which are selling slower and slower to kids because the value just isn't there as the price keeps increasing.

There just isn't a "collector vehicle" sub-line or shorter-run larger ships, with higher pricepoints, for collectors to enjoy.  All there is now are the ****** little Class II's.

With figures, it's maybe in the line's best interests for those cheap figures, and even if they aren't up to snuff by our standards and look too much like the cheap Marvel stuff coming or the Batman figures, they may take off and sell well.  I have no clue how well Batman did, but with Marvel seemingly looking at similar concepts, I think they maybe feel they did well enough.

If that trend worked, and is being copied by one Hasbro brand, more really when you think about GI Joe and the pack-in driver issue, then I think you'll see it translated by the Star Wars brand in some capacity, at some point.

All this is not even considering that the "premium collector" line could possibly be a relaunch in and of itself as well, to a new 6" format.  That, to me, is a desperate grab, but this thing's been waning since 2008/2009, so that's a long time for a line to be slipping on you.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on January 28, 2013, 05:33 PM
3D rereleases in limbo. This close to Toy Fair. Hasbro's gonna be crying tears in their beers. 2014 will be as confused as this year.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on January 28, 2013, 05:40 PM
Just jumping on to say the same thing...AOTC and ROTS 3D cancelled.  I really feel bad for Hasbro.  Honestly.  G.I. Joe last year, and SW this year.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on January 28, 2013, 06:10 PM
Assuming the OT 3D releases are also delayed, and if the Episode VII slips from 2015, hasbro will have nothing but Clone Wars - wait, that's good!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Greedo The Green Menace on January 28, 2013, 08:20 PM
I've been thinking about this lately, and for me, I could take an articulation reduction fairly easily, but not a detail and paint apps reduction. Articulation was never that high a priority for me, since I usually just stick my figures in vanilla poses anyway to take up less space. At this point in the game, all I'm really interested in is getting more Cantina and Jabba goons, and I really don't need any more than Ellors in terms of joints, as long as they look as solid. I do wonder if Hasbro shouldn't look into an online collector line though. If Mattel can keep lines going like that, I don't see why Hasbro couldn't with Star Wars.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on January 29, 2013, 09:41 AM
Maybe the line should just go to sleep for a few years with no new product until ep7 comes out.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on January 29, 2013, 10:51 AM
Just read that all the 3D theatrical releases have been postponed to focus on the new movies.  This is more likely the reason all the Hasbro stuff is now on hold. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Captain Piet on January 29, 2013, 11:36 AM
No sympathy whatsoever for Hasbro. You reap what you sew.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on January 29, 2013, 12:06 PM
So the 3.75" figures are going to continue under a new "Black Series" branding just like the new 6" line.

If that's the case, why don't they just keep the Vintage line going? That packaging is Black & Silver...

stupid stupid stupid....

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on January 29, 2013, 12:10 PM
Maybe they will keep the vintage kenner cardback style, but just change the name from "The Vintage Collection" to "The Black Series". 

Could be they are trying to escape the "vintage" part of the name to be more future focused...  after all, if it's just a plain black cardback, it'd be a little boring. ;)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Corman on January 29, 2013, 12:24 PM
Star Wars: The Black Series

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2013/01/29/hasbro-star-wars-black-series-action-figure-toys/1872035/

Corman
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on January 29, 2013, 01:09 PM
Peopl wear black at funerals. LOLZ.

I also don't quite get WHOLE NEW BLACK SERIES and 3 3/4" will also be under the  Black Series. But whatever.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 29, 2013, 04:16 PM
I like Jeff's thought...  black line, Vintage Collection sounds too "old".  Makes sense.

It's continuing...  hope it's good...  hope it's fairly priced and NO price hike this year because this line's already grossly overpriced.  Hopefully if there's a borderline knock-off sub-line alongside it for significantly less, it'll drive prices down on the future collector 3.75" line a little.  $8 would be nice to get to.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Greg on January 29, 2013, 06:45 PM
I wouldn't mind Hasbro updating the Vintage cardback style for future releases. I really enjoyed the "Lost Line" look, so if they could freshen up the classic Vintage design in a similar manner I wouldn't complain. Small window boxes, like the new Iron Man Assemblers, might also be interesting.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on January 29, 2013, 08:48 PM
I wonder if this means the death knell for more "realistic styled" Clone Wars figures? (fingers crossed) Why bother doing a figure in a kiddie-aimed line that would probably have LESS articulation than its animated counterpart in the OTHER "kiddie-line"?

Unless of course there is soon only going to be just ONE kiddie line.

Damn, I wish I had not thought that out to its logical conclusion...
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 29, 2013, 08:51 PM
I don't see the reasoning since the article says TVC is continuing...  so why would there be instant assumption of changes galore?

I think Hasbro's going to test the waters with 6" at the very least, but it become the core collector line?  At this point that's very rampant speculation on the part of collectors...  I think it's going to go like this:

Lower priced "cheapo line".

Higher priced 3.75" line, less stuff but keeping the status quo.

very much higher priced $20-ish line, 6" figures, testing the waters.

And then go from there.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on January 29, 2013, 08:52 PM
Glad to hear the vintage collection is continuing, whatever it is going to be called now.  I'm a little confused regarding the future of the line.  On one hand, that Black Series article makes it sort of sound like from now on "3 3/4 is for kids, new 6 inch is for collectors", but at the same time, they do mention that the vintage collection is continuing under this new banner as well.  How many lines are there going to be now?  Movie Heroes, Clone wars, Black Series, and now 6" Black Series?  Or are they unifying things more?  We've already seen the Yoda and Vader packaging as well, so who knows.  I hope they don't spread it even more thin with simple $6 Movie Heroes stuff (and possibly CW), $10 vintage collection stuff, and $20 Black Series figures (not to mention vehicles and all that).

I like the looks of the new Black Series stuff, and don't mind it since (at least of the ones announced) we already have great 3 3/4" versions of these.  I would have been more upset if it represented an end to the smaller scale line, because that is Star Wars to me.  I wonder if that line will all be the simpler 5 POA type stuff, or if we'll still get the "collector style" stuff in the continuing vintage lineup.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Paul on January 29, 2013, 09:04 PM
Did anyone else read DD's quote and catch a bit disdain for collectors (who they now cater to)?

If it means OT goodness, I'm in.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on January 29, 2013, 10:07 PM
I think it's going to go like this:

Lower priced "cheapo line".
Higher priced 3.75" line, less stuff but keeping the status quo.
very much higher priced $20-ish line, 6" figures, testing the waters.
And then go from there.

Yeah, you can almost see the separation:

$6 - 3.75" for kids (5POA like Iron Man, Spidey)
$12 - 12" for kids (Like Anakin/Clone)

$10 - 3.75" for collectors
$20 - 6" for collectors

Buy at the basic or double your money for extra big fun!  :P


Did anyone else read DD's quote and catch a bit disdain for collectors (who they now cater to)?


I don't think so, I think that was him more speaking to the general USA Today audience...  but based on some of the things collectors have had to say about Hasbro (or even him specifically) over the past year, I would not be surprised if he is harboring some annoyance with the hard core "I want Cantina Guy #15" folks.  :-X
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 29, 2013, 10:49 PM
To Paul/Jeff's points, I agree with what Jeff was saying...  I think it was that broader audience, but I wouldn't be shocked either.  People have flat out been dicks lately.

Don't get me wrong, you have every right to be mad...  the consumer has rights, all the time, but I think fans have been unfair to Hasbro and the Star Wars team at times.  Not all the time...  case packs and price points, they deserve flak on.

But I'll never get over the "Let's blame Hasbro for it all" mentality.  It's way more complex than that, and always has been.  But at the same time, and I know people like to say they f'd up case packs, and it's easy for us to point out what they did wrong, but when they're planning out a line and TPM3D is hyped as such a big deal, can you blame Hasbro ultimately?  Short, undertain timelines, lots of shifting around, sorting things out, and then that ever-present gamble on what will be in hot demand.  IMO TPM's failed, twice now, and I hope Hasbro's not going to drink the LFL/Disney kool-aid going forward and make maybe more conservative decisions.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JesseVader08 on January 30, 2013, 03:57 AM
I think it's going to go like this:

Lower priced "cheapo line".
Higher priced 3.75" line, less stuff but keeping the status quo.
very much higher priced $20-ish line, 6" figures, testing the waters.
And then go from there.

Yeah, you can almost see the separation:

$6 - 3.75" for kids (5POA like Iron Man, Spidey)
$12 - 12" for kids (Like Anakin/Clone)

$10 - 3.75" for collectors
$20 - 6" for collectors

I think this could be a very effective way of separating the lines and satisfying both parents and collectors.  Honestly, I'm quite excited to see what they come up with.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on January 30, 2013, 06:38 AM
Did anyone else read DD's quote and catch a bit disdain for collectors (who they now cater to)?

If it means OT goodness, I'm in.

I saw the "15th Cantina alien" remark as a bit of tough truth more than anything else.  As time has gone on Hasbro has made a lot of definitive versions of the main characters while working through the more obscure background characters.  Over time that narrows the pool of characters that might have a broader appeal, and ultimately that may hurt sales.  Why?  Because a kid may not really care about getting a Danz Borin figure, or whichever other cantina character you want to insert into that scenario.

I think from a sales perspective, Hasbro is still banking on the Star Wars line having mass appeal to a wide audience.  And it's in the name of sales to both kids and collectors.  I think what we're very likely to see is this:  higher production numbers of the kids oriented line, along with greater shelf & peg space, and lower production numbers on the Black Series, but with an eye towards serving collectors.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on January 30, 2013, 10:05 AM
But Danz Borin would be in the Vintage line, which isn't aimed at kids.  Legacy/Movie Heroes/Whatever is aimed at the casual audience. This is where I can't understand Hasbro's logic. 

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 30, 2013, 02:36 PM
I can't say TVC isn't aimed at kids a little bit too...  That's why you get your Obi's, QGJ's, Vaders there as well.  I think EVERYTHING's aimed at kids, with one line having some fan wanks stuck into it, and costed out throughout it, a bit more.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on January 30, 2013, 02:55 PM
Just tossing this out there to alleviate concerns - straight from the latest PR email from Hasbro:

Quote
Yesterday, Hasbro's new line of collector-targeted Star Wars figures, Star Wars Black, was announced on USAToday.com, which will include both traditional 3.75-inch action figures and a brand-new scale, 6-inch figures.

If Black Series is for collectors and it contains traditional 3.75" figures, then it stands to reason those 3.75" figures will continue to be $10+ collector-style 3.75" figures.

Whether or not the Movie Heroes/Clone Wars lines end up in $6/5POA land remains to be seen, but there should be enough evidence now to stop the "OMG the 3.75inch collector line is dead" stuff...  for now.  We'll see where we are next year if 3.75" has another year like 2012.  :-X

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on January 30, 2013, 03:20 PM
EXACTLY!  That's what I'm saying.

There may not even be a cheap-o $5-ish range of figures.  That crap may all come back like always, with TCW and MH having their own sub-par lines dedicated pretty much solely to children.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Greg on January 30, 2013, 03:56 PM
traditional 3.75" figures

Traditional meaning... 5POA? OMG DETH OF TEH LINE!!!!!!11!!!!!1111  :P
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on January 30, 2013, 07:04 PM
Yeah, they wouldn't bother releasing 33/4" under this "black series" if the figures would be kiddiefied, they'd stick those under Movie Heroes. Collector aimed 3 3/4" is probably safe for now, by "now" I mean the last 6 months of this year.  :P
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scott on January 31, 2013, 12:35 PM
From our Facebook page thanks to speedermike :-*

(http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/221931_4760410162370_1529851818_n.jpg)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: bobafett14 on January 31, 2013, 01:39 PM
I kinda like the initial looks of the 6" line, but I'm also torn.   Seeing the Luke... the figure itself looks great, plusthe packaging is really nice!  I also like how the accessories are not just packed in, but almost displayed.  Very much aimed at the collector.

I say I "kinda" like the line, and I'm probably goin to buy it, but I may wait ad play the clearance deals on this one, ad see what happens.  Iget that odd feeling I'm going to get burned if I shell out $20 a pop over and over again with this line.

I'd be gung ho for it, but I just don't have the trust in Hasbro they'll treat this line well.  I completely get that they are a company and thier #1 goal will be to make money and keep thier investors happy.  No secrets there.  I just think there's a way to mke money AND keep collectors happy.  Maybe  say "Hey, let's keep things going with all the toys and all like we always do, but what if we just steppd aside and had this nice little 6" line and devote it to the collectors/fans.  We'll treat it a little different an try not to bastardize it.  We may not make as much as the rest of the stuff we churn out, but it will make our fanbase happy, and it might just give them a warm fuzzy feeling, put the fun bck into it all, and keep them coming back for more...for the long haul...which would be a good thing for everyone

...wouldn't it?

Bob
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on February 13, 2013, 12:00 PM
So, after the Toy Fair reveals, what does everyone think of the "future" of Star Wars collecting at this point?  I really like the look of the 6" figures - and personally, I'm on board for at least the OT characters - but it seems like actual buyers are pretty split at least on our forums.  As far as the 3 3/4" scale, as we said last year when we saw these, the figures look nicely done - just kind of boring.  I'm the type of person that can understand that we're not going to get waves of "all new, never before done, first time ever" figures, especially at this stage of the collecting game - but the lineups so far just seem sort of blah.  I'm wondering if that won't hurt the 3 3/4" scale even more going forward.

Switching the Legends line to 5 POA/$6 figures is ok with me.  I do think that kids need something more affordable to collect, even if the action figure age window is smaller these days.  I remember being able to save up allowance or just collect a few bucks and be able to buy a SW (or Joe) figure at our local hardware/variety store for $3 or so.  Although I'm sure allowances have gone up, it has to be tough for kids who do have an interest in SW to keep up these days.  I think we're seeing a more definite line in the sand as far as "this is for kids, this is for collectors".

I'm also fine with the addition of 6" figures.  I'm a 3 3/4" scale figure enthusiast first and foremost, but I do think that the SW line (much like the brand in general) needed a shot in the arm.  The Disney acquisition/movie announcement did that for the brand, and I think the 6" figures are going to do that for the toyline.  Many won't buy in due to such an investment in the smaller scale at this point (but at least we're still getting those too), but I think this will be a popular line among collectors in general (non-SW focused included).  Probably stupidly, I plan on buying both, with a continued focus on OT.

My one future concern comes mainly with the lines that will accompany the new movies when they start up.  I know I'll be in for some stuff, and I just hope that the 3 3/4" scale is going strong at that point.  I would think it would, because otherwise you really miss opportunities for vehicles, beasts and maybe even playsets.  I would hope that alone would keep the scale going.  I am curious if they'll continue with "collector" versions and "kid" versions at that point, or - if sales of the upcoming Black Series waves are poor - we'll just get the simpler figures with scaled down vehicles, etc.  It is a ways off yet, but I think that is one of my main concerns going forward.  I'll continue buying 3 3/4" figures this year and beyond, but honestly, if they were taking a break or something I think I'd be understanding.  We really have had an incredible run of figures, and a very broad selection of characters - even ridiculous when you think about some of the things we've gotten.  Sometimes I do think we get too riled up about "Cantina Alien #15", when you look back at when POTF2 started we couldn't have imagined getting Ephant Mon, the AT-ST jackin' ewoks, etc. let alone start asking for stuff like Jaxxon and Jabba's human goons.  Not saying I don't want them all, but I don't think any of us imagined we'd get this deep into the lineup.  Anyways, what's your outlook on the future of the line at this point?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: bobafett14 on February 13, 2013, 04:59 PM
The more I think about it...I think were SW kinda ran into it's own dilema is that I would say that Eveyone agrees the OT was just phenominal.  On the other hand, the Prequels were received with mixed reviews. 

That said, we have people that have been arond for 30+ years now and we've lived though the same fiures over and over and over. So, if you'regoing to be bringing out the OT all over a gain for the 67 and a half time...I just see where the novelty eventually wears off somewhat.  Even if you're thatdie hard OT guy and an eternal optimist you can only see 634 different (and same) versions of Han Solo released over 30+ years before you say oh great...another han.

As as the prequel characters..even though they've only been out for about 14 years o so.. still I think you can only see Obi-Wan i his brow tunic so many times before you say...great ANOTHER Obi Wan.  3 3/4", 6", 12" 8 1/2"...whatever.  As bad as the companies are for churning out product over and over and over again...they became their worst enemies.


Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on February 13, 2013, 07:10 PM
Quote
Anyways, what's your outlook on the future of the line at this point?

Public interest will continue to decline until Episode VII, and sales the toy line will suffer for it. Things may even get worse before...if they ever get better.

That aside, I'm annoyed that Hasbro is shooting down  potentials for the 3 3/4" Black series. Plans to update Bespin Lando? No. Rebo Band? No, because the crappy exclusive Hasbro made of old figures didn't sell well. Yak Face and Ree Yees? Saving them for the return of vintage (to heck with the retro packaging fetish...okay...just reissue them on vintage cards whenever).  EU stuff? No.

Reissues of rare/highly desired figures? No. New figures will be entirely new.

Also something like "Don't expect a horde of cantina patrons".

So just what can we expect? X-Wing Luke do-over? Farmboy Luke do-over? Anakin do-overs? Clones? Not expecting too much interesting for 2014 now, either.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on February 13, 2013, 08:50 PM
I think that is only partially because, and I'm only speculating, but I am pretty sure Hasbro's been given the same edict that all possible attention should be getting paid and prepared for the new era of Star Wars... 

I think you'll see some things that were on the table, developed already, cranked out for The Black Series...  Things that were already far along in at least conceptualizing and possibly prototyped, and beyond that they're holding off or focusing a lot of the "new" towards new ideas like 6" and cheap(er) figures in the Legends. 

Outside that, I think 3.75" is going to be a little bit of a lull till new movies, all together.

I can safely say that the edict to focus on the future is true...  How each company goes with that will be different.  I think a lot of it will depend on the company's size.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: jono on February 14, 2013, 12:26 PM
Anyone care to guess what new sculpts we will see in this line?

I reckon for classic characters we will see new sculpts of

ESB Yoda
Dagobah Training Luke
Carbonite Han
Bespin Escape Leia
Boba fett
R2 D2
C3 P0
Tusken raiders

Backgrounders, From Cantina  -Tivizzt and Bannis Keeg and from jabbas Palace -Sgt Doalyn and an Ishi Tibb.

From the prequels i havn't a clue -hopefully not another ROTS Anakin and Obi?

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on February 16, 2013, 10:00 AM
I am really wondering now about the NEAR future, IE: now til August/September when the Black Series/Saga Legends lines debut.

I figure TRU will probably keep doing their thing, random restocks of TVC greatest hits for awhile, Yoda Class I & II sets as long as those last...probably nothing else for MH or TCW.

Hard to figure out Walmart right now. I saw one store that got the Greatest Hits TVC wave in, so I guess they are still stocking new figures. Not MH or TCW though. No sign of any of the new Yoda packaged stuff though - are they planning to stock those Class I and II sets? Seems like maybe they clearanced those price points already.

Target got the new Yoda Class I and II sets, but no new figures. With TVC being clearanced there it seems unlikely they will get any of the Greatest Hits stuff. And no new MH or TCW obviously. When the Yoda stuff sells through, will they be re-stocking?

I sort of wonder what kind of quantities the Yoda packaged stuff was produced in, and if what is out there in circulation is all that will be produced. (Guessing so)

I also have to think there is still MH and TCW product stuck in warehouses somewhere out there that may still see the light of day. Those may go straight to discount chains, ala the recent Assault Sub and Recon Fighter Class I sets.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Greg on February 16, 2013, 11:06 AM
I am really wondering now about the NEAR future, IE: now til August/September when the Black Series/Saga Legends lines debut.

I figure TRU will probably keep doing their thing, random restocks of TVC greatest hits for awhile, Yoda Class I & II sets as long as those last...probably nothing else for MH or TCW.

Hard to figure out Walmart right now. I saw one store that got the Greatest Hits TVC wave in, so I guess they are still stocking new figures. Not MH or TCW though. No sign of any of the new Yoda packaged stuff though - are they planning to stock those Class I and II sets? Seems like maybe they clearanced those price points already.

Target got the new Yoda Class I and II sets, but no new figures. With TVC being clearanced there it seems unlikely they will get any of the Greatest Hits stuff. And no new MH or TCW obviously. When the Yoda stuff sells through, will they be re-stocking?

I sort of wonder what kind of quantities the Yoda packaged stuff was produced in, and if what is out there in circulation is all that will be produced. (Guessing so)

I also have to think there is still MH and TCW product stuck in warehouses somewhere out there that may still see the light of day. Those may go straight to discount chains, ala the recent Assault Sub and Recon Fighter Class I sets.

While scouring local stores over the past week looking for clearance deals, I found quite a few instances of Movie Heroes Wave 2 (Light-up Obi Wan & Qui-Gon, plus TPM characters) being stocked. This week marked the first time I saw the wave at Target and TRU. While I did see it at one local Wal-Mart last year, it was limited to just that one store. This has me thinking that stores are attempting to finally start moving out old stock, or that the "Greatest Hits" re-shipments aren't limited to just TVC. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on February 16, 2013, 02:22 PM
Target got the new Yoda Class I and II sets, but no new figures. With TVC being clearanced there it seems unlikely they will get any of the Greatest Hits stuff. And no new MH or TCW obviously. When the Yoda stuff sells through, will they be re-stocking?

Jedi Temple Archives reported that Target is cancelling Star Wars action figure aisle product for their reset planograms. Some stores reset before the official deletion.

We might just see Yoda packaged stuff hit clearance already there already?!

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on February 16, 2013, 05:27 PM
I checked a couple of Target stores that had reset this week earlier today and the new stuff still came up at regular price, but I will be curious to see if they restock once they sell through the initial case. (Class I sets I mean, those 12" abominations aren't going anywhere)

The Darth Maul BP has officially been terminated in their system as well.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on February 17, 2013, 01:20 AM
They may just be purging things, since the line's taken a major shift.  I'm going to guess they'll have something, but incase anyone happened to miss it the last year or two, Target kind of already "cancelled" Star Wars too...  They haven't exactly been restock happy all year.

People found some Class I restocks?  Fantastic, but from my angle, Target was pretty down on Star Wars ALL year, as was Wal-Mart...  TRU was the only one actively putting product out, and putting it on sale...  Oh if they only knew they had zero competition aside from online stores.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on February 18, 2013, 08:50 PM
I was reading through Adam's Q and A this week over at GH, and he mentions in there that he feels the 10+ articulation range 3 3/4" line won't make it past 2013.  Do you think there is a chance of this?  I could see that maybe they are testing the waters a bit with having the 5 POA line be the "main" line, and the 6" line being the "collectors" line, but it all depends on how things do.  Unfortunately, I don't know if the lineups for the first couple waves of the Black Series are going to do it any favors.  Like I said, I like the idea of there being a durable, affordable "kids" line out there...but I do sort of hope we continue to get TVC-quality figures for collectors as well - particularly when the new movies come out.  I still love what we're getting in the line now too, but can admit that the well for new characters (or even necessary resculpts) gets a little drier all the time.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on February 18, 2013, 09:30 PM
I think anything's possible...

I was an articulation snob for sure, still am.  To me, it's what makes an action figure, an action figure.  To me, the $5-$6 figures are practically knock-offs by comparison...  But at teh same time even I viewed it as having a limit.

Not ALL figures NEED super articulation.  Even I, and I was a guy who took IMMENSE ammounts of **** for championing articulation as I did, can see not all figures need it...

Think of some figures that are outstanding as-is, like the Death Star Gunner, Saga AT-AT Driver, or the 3 Cantina patrons like Myo, and the Gotal guy, and stuff.  Articulation to sit down and acheive a wide range of poses with the arms too.  Wrist joints, knee joints, and a working but simpler elbow joint.

For me, those figures are EACH outstanding and worth purchase.

Same goes for so many other figures too... 

Now did I want a super aticulated Fleet Trooper?  Absolutely.  WOuld I want all the Rebel Troopers done that way?  Mostly, yets.

Could I have been perfectly happy with an AT-ST Driver with just knee joints, elbow, and wrist joints besides the hip/neck/waist?  Absolutely.  No ankles needed, and angle-cut elbows would've sufficed.

Do I want Anakin to have SA?  Absolutely...  Do I want OWK to have SA?  Absolutely.  Stormtroopers and Clones?  Sure.

Sgt. Doallyn?  No.  I appreciate it if I get it, but no.  Or Beru/Owen resculpts.  No, I'm ok with a reduced articulation count.

Now, all that said...  If articulation cuts, and I mean really drops, how can collectors care?  Articulation drove a lot of interest... 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and so forth, weren't flukes...  Will collectors stay?  Maybe, maybe not.

To me that's why 6" figures aren't a great value, nor are they interesting to me much at all...  $20 for basically buying the same thing you own only slightly larger...  I'd rather they redid something I already own, but made it better, or whatever.  But that's me.  Re-use most of it, whatever, but just add something small...  Hell just paint changes, those are enough to get me to rebuy a lot of the time.  I dunno.

I think the 5POA line won't take off with collectors heavily unless it gets into seriously demanded (and obviously obscure) stuff.  It'll go well with kids... It can help fund collector figures, but I don't foresee collectors ******* to own the 5 POA characters when most have what MOST collectors consider a superior figure already.  Will they flock to 6" then to make up the difference?  I don't think so.  I think scale change is bad.  I think people see it, like Clone Wars, as a separate line and something they can easily pass on to save money.

Just my take.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Muftak on February 18, 2013, 11:09 PM
At the end of the day, I am buying these things now to complete my collection OCD and put 'em on display on a shelf. Articulation is barely a factor to me, but price matters A LOT if we are going above ten bucks each. I was happy to get hyper-articulated figures at a premium price as far back as VOTC if it was a mainstay iconic character that needed it. But then I collected the entire POTF2 line happily before that.

Cantina Alien #15 (let it be Ranat, please) can be 5 POA for all I'm worried, as long as I can afford it and find it at the store.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: MasterFisto on February 19, 2013, 08:11 AM
I was reading through Adam's Q and A this week over at GH, and he mentions in there that he feels the 10+ articulation range 3 3/4" line won't make it past 2013.  Do you think there is a chance of this?

I was discussing Pawlus' column (via text) with a buddy of mine, and he said that there is always someone out there eager to predict the death of the line.  It's just too early to tell.  It's kind of premature to do the Chicken Little routine. 

Although I am not overly excited about the character selection for waves one and two, there is still plenty there for me to buy.  Ever since the onset of TVC, I have been buying resculpts of main characters, because I have been seeing these figures as the definitive version of the character.  This will continue into TBS for me.  Truth is, I see TBS as a continuation of the same kind of quality and character selction that we got in the TVC line, but now it's just in a different package.  I want that new Biggs, Ceremony Luke and Padmé; and that new Anakin looks really nice (he appears to be the best AOTC Anakin to date).  More clones are always a welcome addition to my collection, so I'll gladly nab that repainted clone, and the clone pilot.  No brainers for me.  I'll pass on Mara Jade, since I don't collect figures from the comics and from the video games.  And I really wanted that Rex.

I still love what we're getting in the line now too, but can admit that the well for new characters (or even necessary resculpts) gets a little drier all the time.

True, but I can still nerd out and tick off a few from my ROTS want list: Cin Drallig, Office Duel Palpatine, MeruMeru, Wookiee Warrior, Sheltay Retrac and the Birthing Droids.   ;D
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on February 19, 2013, 12:16 PM
Possibly just wishful thinking on his part. I disagree with almost everything Adam Pawlus thinks about everything action figure related, other than that action figures should be able to sit. He's in opposition to the things that got me back into collecting. Waxing romantic about the 90's and the preposed/action feature happy Saga Collection figures is one thing...advocating a return to those times? No thanks. 

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on February 19, 2013, 12:20 PM
Waxing romantic about the 90's and the preposed/action feature happy Saga Collection figures is one thing...advocating a return to those times? No thanks.

Isn't that what GG does now?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: LandotheScoundrel on February 23, 2013, 06:45 PM
Possibly just wishful thinking on his part. I disagree with almost everything Adam Pawlus thinks about everything action figure related, other than that action figures should be able to sit. He's in opposition to the things that got me back into collecting. Waxing romantic about the 90's and the preposed/action feature happy Saga Collection figures is one thing...advocating a return to those times? No thanks.

+1

If the Star Wars line goes back to preposed, 5-POA figures, I'll just quit...no big deal, I've had a good run.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on February 26, 2013, 01:28 PM
This isn't so much about the future of Star Wars, but more about Hasbro's recent past:

The more I think about it, the more I start thinking that between the G.I. Joe - Retaliation line (and the associated movie), along with the Battleship movie might be partially related to the current state of things we're seeing from Hasbro in the Star Wars line.  I get the sense that Hasbro getting itself involved (more directly) in the movie business may have been an unwise move, and it may have cost Hasbro a serious ammount of money.  You may recall that Hasbro has been trying to get more involved in generating their own media, like movies, television series, etc.  Is it possible that this foray into a new business has had a major impact on their toy business?

Look at the movie track record:  Battleship was a major bomb.  It cost some $200 million to make the movie, and it only grossed $65 million in the US.  The international numbers were not impressive.  Not a rave success for Hasbro Studios, by any stretch of the imagination.  Seeing how this movie was a partnership with Universal, I don't think Hasbro Studios was left completely holding the bag, but they probably dealt with a significant loss in the tens of millions of dollars.

And then there's GI Joe - Retaliation which essentially got pulled from it's original release date last year.  It sounds like the movie had major problems and needed to be seriously overhauled.  All the while the toy line was released and then there were rumors swirling that the product for the movie was going to be pulled from the shelves.

And then there was the news from the investor conference call that preceded Toy Fair.  Hasbro's CEO called on their various units to cut costs and to cut the number of SKU's for each license.  Lo and behold, we saw that the Star Wars line has been scaled back considerably with a focus on serious cost cutting.  Coincidence?  Hmmmm.

Another potential explanation is that the current ownership of Hasbro might be looking to sell the company.  Extreme cost cutting like we're seeing is occassionally the hallmark of a company trying to make themselves look as profitable as possible to a potential buyer.  All of this is food for thought on the state of things now and in the near future.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on February 26, 2013, 01:52 PM
That is a well thought-out post and I think raises some very valid points.

It seems like they had some initial success with Transformers, but maybe that got to their head a little bit and they went overboard. Seriously, Battleship?

I do feel as though they perceive and treat the SW line differently because it is not one of their own properties. And not necessarily in a good way.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on March 4, 2013, 09:17 PM
Adam's Q and A at Galactic Hunter today got me thinking about this topic again.  He mentioned something along the lines that Hasbro was probably really hoping things like the 6" line and the 5 POA line would really take off, and it got me to wonder if/when that happened, if we'd see the eventual end of the "Vintage style" 3 3/4" figures (or at least a hiatus).

Honestly, I'm more interested in the articulated stuff, like most of us here...but I guess in some ways I wouldn't be crushed if it went on a break either.  I still love what is coming out, but if for some reason it did have to end, we have pretty much ultimate versions of all the big players and army builders...and we're really starting to scrape the bottom for the background stuff anymore.  I'd still like the vintage line finished up (as far as having the modern equivalents), and I'd really hope to see a return to articulated stuff in time for the new movies.  Again, I don't want it to end, but in a way I'd understand it.

I'm not sure if I'll get any of the Saga Legends stuff.  The Kenner-ness of them is sort of appealing, and if there was some OT characters in there, I'd probably buy at least a few...but the selection we've seen so far isn't that exciting to me either.  Once again, really prequel heavy, but that is understandable with the 3D releases that were supposed to happen.  I suppose they might have data that tells them otherwise, but I just don't know if the prequels have that strong of pull that they need entire waves/lines dedicated to them (even with re-releases).  Having a mix of the Saga for each wave seems like a little better option.  Plus the fact that most of the stuff that hits is Anakin, Obi-Wan, Maul, Grievous, Yoda, etc. every time, and even the kids probably have their fill of those guys by now.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on March 4, 2013, 11:03 PM
It's funny that you mention Adam's Q&A - most of the time, I agree with the commentary he makes on the line, but in this week's column he said a few things that I hope never come to pass...

I'm sure he is correct - Hasbro would love to see the Super-Articulated 3.75" line go away and leave us with the same garbage stuff that they're doing now for Iron Man 3 and Spider-man.

And while that may work for a one-and-done movie line, I'm afraid it really won't work for Star Wars.

Hasbro can hope that the 6" line takes off all they want, but the history of Star Wars toys at different scales is littered with more failure than it is success. Sure some of the other figure scales lasted for a couple of years, but they eventually died out and the only scale that has endured is the 3.75" one.

I think right now, more than ever, Hasbro is seriously misguided in the decisions they are making. Pure and simple.

There was no reason they couldn't have released the 2013 Clone Wars and Movie Heroes figures in the United States. If they are soliciting cases of 2012 product in new case-pack ratios it tells me that THEY are at fault, not the retailers. The retailers are clearly looking to buy product, they just don't know the difference between a 2012 Wave 2 Movie Heroes case and a 2013 Wave 1 Movie Heroes case. To the retailer, it's just a box with 12 Star Wars figures in it.

You have to wonder why EE is even soliciting these cases - if I was EE, unless Hasbro was essentially giving them to me for free, I would tell Hasbro "no thank you". (not exactly how I'd put it, but if I typed what I'd really say, it'd just get edited out anyway)

Hasbro says that we (the collectors) aren't the audience for Movie Heroes and Clone Wars, yet collectors are showing determination in acquiring foreign-packaged versions of figures that are not slated for release here in the US, at double or even triple the MSRP just to make sure their collections don't have any holes.

If that's not the definition of a disconnect, I don't know what is.

So while I'm sure Hasbro may be hoping that they can re-tread all of the same characters yet again in a new 6" scale. My hope is that the 6" line will fail - it may not be right away, it may take 2 or 3 waves for its failure to be complete - but it WILL fail.

What kind of figure line will we get for the Sequel Trilogy and other movies that are in the pipeline?

Unfortunately, I think we'll get the 5 POA stuff. My hope is that Hasbro will see wisdom in offering limited "Collector Grade" lines of 6-12 figures for each of these movies as well. After all, the characters and/or versions of characters from these movies should be ALL NEW - and whether you're a new collector or a long-time collector, you SHOULD want high-end versions of the Sequel Trilogy characters. Fingers crossed they never start releasing 6" figures of characters that have never been made in the 3.75" line.  :-\


Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: LandotheScoundrel on March 5, 2013, 12:58 PM
If the 5-POA line is all we get (and I can't imagine what the **** is going through Pawlus' head that he actually wants that to happen), I'll gladly just stop collecting. I've had a really good run, but I have no interest in going backwards...and that is a complete backwards move.

Here is the future of Star Wars collecting (http://www.mwctoys.com/REVIEW_030413a.htm).
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on March 5, 2013, 04:21 PM
Like I said, GI Joe replaced SW for me in 1982 almost completely... Star Wars was there, I stuck with it when a movie was out, but GI Joes got my allowance $ for the most part.

The SW vehicles usually were more appealing to me at that point though, or clearanced ones for coats and guns that I gave then to my favorite GI Joes, haha.  Then again I don't have trouble putting my figures in vehicles.  Even the Dropship, I get a pilot in there with little problems.  Tight fit sure, but that's the toy more than the figure.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on March 5, 2013, 07:03 PM
The SW vehicles usually were more appealing to me at that point though, or clearanced ones for coats and guns that I gave then to my favorite GI Joes, haha.  Then again I don't have trouble putting my figures in vehicles.  Even the Dropship, I get a pilot in there with little problems.  Tight fit sure, but that's the toy more than the figure.

For me it was the reverse - I always thought that the GI Joes had some great vehicles and I'd get a couple here and there and use them to augment the vehicles I had for my Star Wars figures.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on March 5, 2013, 08:05 PM
First time I got a Joe, Flash from K-mart that just had opened on the hill above my house, i was hooked...  The visor that moved on the removable helmet, the backpack and laser that hooked to it, and the articulation...  Even without the swivel joint, it was insanely great.  I loved posing my Joes...  Star Wars figures became innocent victims in the plots Cobra would hatch.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on March 5, 2013, 09:11 PM
I definitely understand the desire for the line to maintain its standard as far as articulation. I also do understand Pawlus' sentiment about the Kenneresque figures and I share it. I'd be more interested in these than a lot of the Black Series (four inch) stuff we're getting. Articulation isn't the end all be all for me. A lot of my favorite figures are from the POTJ era, with minimal articulation compared to today. A lot of my favorite figures are tricked out. It just depends on what the individual figure requires. If the 5 POA line has great sculpts, they can hold their weapons and can sit in a vehicle, then awesome.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on March 6, 2013, 05:52 PM
Look at the movie track record:  Battleship was a major bomb.  It cost some $200 million to make the movie, and it only grossed $65 million in the US.  The international numbers were not impressive.  Not a rave success for Hasbro Studios, by any stretch of the imagination.  Seeing how this movie was a partnership with Universal, I don't think Hasbro Studios was left completely holding the bag, but they probably dealt with a significant loss in the tens of millions of dollars.

Internationally it made $237 million.  The total gross was $303 million - budget was $209.

So they made $90 million, plus DVD / Blu-ray sales. 

It's difficult these days (for a major studio) to actually put out a movie that loses money when all is said and done.

You're right that it wasn't a "rave success" - but that movie, for all its warts, still brought home well over $100 million in net profit.  Unless I'm missing something, there wasn't a bag to be left holding - everyone should have come out ahead, just not as far as they'd have liked.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on March 6, 2013, 08:51 PM
Well, there's also the promotional budget to consider for Battleship as well.  A general rule of thumb in the movie business is that the promotional budget for a movie is another 50 % on top of that production budget.  A budget of $209 million is going to garner a marketing budget of at least $100 million.  With that in mind, it looks like the movie barely even broke even by your estimations.  And it still leaves me wondering why Hasbro thinks they belong in the movie business.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on March 6, 2013, 10:22 PM
Well, there's also the promotional budget to consider for Battleship as well.  A general rule of thumb in the movie business is that the promotional budget for a movie is another 50 % on top of that production budget.  A budget of $209 million is going to garner a marketing budget of at least $100 million.  With that in mind, it looks like the movie barely even broke even by your estimations.  And it still leaves me wondering why Hasbro thinks they belong in the movie business.

Didn't realize promotion budgets would be that large.  So yeah, dollar for dollar they probably about broke even on the gross vs. spending - but they probably made something on the dvd sales which I probably drastically under-estimated when I rounded up from $90 million to $100 million.

Hasbro probably feels they belong in the movie business because Transformers makes them a ton of money.  They'll probably be more careful next time.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on March 10, 2013, 04:53 PM
Obscure ANH Rebel character in 2014?
http://www.jeditemplearchives.com/content/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=11462 (http://www.jeditemplearchives.com/content/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=11462)

Who's wishlist was Hasbro looking at?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on March 11, 2013, 09:04 PM
I definitely understand the desire for the line to maintain its standard as far as articulation. I also do understand Pawlus' sentiment about the Kenneresque figures and I share it. I'd be more interested in these than a lot of the Black Series (four inch) stuff we're getting. Articulation isn't the end all be all for me. A lot of my favorite figures are from the POTJ era, with minimal articulation compared to today. A lot of my favorite figures are tricked out. It just depends on what the individual figure requires. If the 5 POA line has great sculpts, they can hold their weapons and can sit in a vehicle, then awesome.

I'm kind of in the same ballpark.  Articulation isn't the end all for me either, although I'm not sure if I'd like to see a return to 5 POA stuff necessarily either.  I guess it would all depend.  The fact that we've already gotten SA versions of pretty much everyone that matters at this point (aside from the upcoming new movies of course), it is easier for me to not get as worked up about it - at least for now.  If Ep7 rolls around and 5 POA is the only option, I'd have to see.  The sculpts would have to be pretty amazing.  One thing I do like is toys for kids, and that aren't $10 each.  I can understand the points that are made about figures holding weapons, fitting in vehicles, and being durable/able to stand.  Of course, there are examples of SA stuff that does all of those things just fine too.

With all of this shift away from prequel era stuff, and rumblings that Disney really wants a return to the OT "magic" times, part of me wonders if we won't see a line approach similar to the vintage days by the time the new trilogy comes around.  Simpler (and cheaper) figures, vehicles (not necessarily to scale), and maybe re-releases throughout the year(s) of the "big guns".  Who knows, maybe those days are gone, but with all the changes we've seen with the franchise lately, you never know.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Ryan on March 18, 2013, 02:58 PM
Obscure ANH Rebel character in 2014?
http://www.jeditemplearchives.com/content/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=11462 (http://www.jeditemplearchives.com/content/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=11462)

Who's wishlist was Hasbro looking at?

I'll take him... :-X

I like these obscure Rebel and Imperial military characters, but I now I'm probably in a minority here. I wouldn't mind a few to round out any medal scene dioramas.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JediJman on March 18, 2013, 05:45 PM
The rebel medal-bearer?  Is this guy really higher on the list than the top 100 Cantina aliens?  I'm all for troop builders and various rebels or imperials.  But the guy who carries the medals is getting an "action" figure?  That's just about as lame as it gets.  Next thing you know they'll go and make the guy who runs the diner or a librarian. 

 :-X
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on March 18, 2013, 05:47 PM
He'd make a good multi pack release, and maybe that's what is going to happen. Not that a medal ceremony is that exciting.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on March 18, 2013, 06:33 PM
Obscure ANH Rebel character in 2014?
http://www.jeditemplearchives.com/content/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=11462 (http://www.jeditemplearchives.com/content/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=11462)

Who's wishlist was Hasbro looking at?

LOL!

This is beyond bizarre as far as character selections go.  It comes across as REALLY fringe, and much more like wishlist fodder than something that might have a chance of actually selling well.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on March 19, 2013, 08:51 AM
Yeah, sounds like a Con exclusive figure.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Diddly on March 19, 2013, 11:25 PM
The rebel medal-bearer?  Is this guy really higher on the list than the top 100 Cantina aliens?

This was my first thought as well. Why not spend the money giving us an actual Medal Ceremony Han?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on March 20, 2013, 10:06 AM
The rebel medal-bearer?  Is this guy really higher on the list than the top 100 Cantina aliens?

This was my first thought as well. Why not spend the money giving us an actual Medal Ceremony Han?

You assume too much. They probably think they already gave us that one recently even if it was completely wrong.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on March 20, 2013, 11:22 AM
Yeah, sounds like a Con exclusive figure.

Only if the likeness of the figure is that of Bob Iger, and not some extra who was in the actual scene.  ;)

The new paradigm shift we're experiencing in Hasbro's Star Wars line makes a figure like this seem almost like an impossibility.  Sure, Rebel figures seem to be experiencing some sort of a resurgence with collectors.  But THIS GUY?  It seems like so much of a stretch that it's incredibly unlikely.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Greedo The Green Menace on March 20, 2013, 03:04 PM
Taking a closer look at the costume, it kind of looks like it might be the same more or less as the Rebel Honor Guard, so maybe this'll be similar to the Rebel Fleet Trooper and just be an Honor Guard with an extra hat and a few medals?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on March 20, 2013, 06:39 PM
I just wonder how they are going to justify putting a goatee on the figure this time.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on March 20, 2013, 07:20 PM
I'm with Ryan, I'll take him.  :-\  When it comes to Rebel characters, I love diversity and this works for me.  Most of it's made already, except a head and accessory.  I hope they get a nicer color on the uniform is all...  if that is the same uniform at that.  Actually several different but very distinctly separated and organized looking uniforms for Rebel Officers at Yavin.  There seemed to be a rhyme and reason to it too. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on March 21, 2013, 11:31 AM
I'm down for more obscure characters like that medal guy... beats seeing more Qui Gons on the pegs, right?

In my opinion it's a good sign if Hasbro is looking toward making a figure of this character... because that hints that Hasbro is looking at focusing back on collectors for characters we don't have yet.  It seems when they do that, they succeed a lot more than when they repack the same figure over and over and focus on the kiddy stuff. 

I don't want to see him essentially be a Rebel Honor Guard repack with a new head though - for some reason that sculpt doesn't do a lot more me.  The outfit is fine, but something about the sculpt has always seemed weird to me.  Not sure what it is that bothers me.

Anyways, an obscure ANH character like this gives me hope we'll see a few more obscure OT characters made in 2014 as well... an Imperial officer borrowing parts from the Imperial Navy Commander would be cool, a cantina alien or two (or three), one of the humans roaming around Mos Eisley, the "tall" Jawa, another Hoth Rebel or two, a couple more of Jabba's pals, etc.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on March 21, 2013, 06:00 PM
To me, the Medal Ceremony guy is like certain death for the line.  He would be like the Naboo Soldier of 2013 (http://www.rebelscum.com/tsc050naboosoldier.asp).  A head scratcher of a figure that appeals to perhaps 10% of the collector market, and next to none of the kid market.  I think collectors need to be prepared to compromise.  Get on board with a figure line that has a majority of characters with broad appeal, and a SMALL minority of collector focused figures.

If Hasbro is interested in Rebel figures, I can think of a good number of other Rebels that would make for a more compelling figure than Rebel Medal Ceremony Guy.  Like?

Captain Raymus Antilles (RESCULPT)

(http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130223001432/starwars/images/thumb/f/fc/Antilles.png/1000px-Antilles.png)



Wenton Chan - Red 11

(http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111104223711/starwars/images/thumb/d/d5/Wenton.JPG/1000px-Wenton.JPG)



General Jan Dodonna (RESCULPT)

(http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080330003210/starwars/images/9/91/Dodona.jpg)



Del Goren

(http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20061217125708/starwars/images/7/7a/DelDoren.jpg)



General Bob Hudsol

(http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060218060004/starwars/images/0/09/Bobh.jpg)



All of these guys are just as much if not MORE deserving of a Rebel figure.  And they're just from A NEW HOPE.  Add in TESB & ROTJ and there are loads of more recognizable Rebels than Rebel Medal Ceremony Guy.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on March 21, 2013, 07:00 PM
If I had to guess, it's just because it's inexpensive...  new head, maybe slight new tooling, but for most part just an old figure with a minor tweak.  Like so many filler "slightly new" figures they've thrown out there.

Orrrrr like was said, part of a multi-pack perhaps, but I almost find that hard to believe.  I could see this being like the TRU Pilot sets though, easily.

That's if it's even happening, who knows.

I just would like him because I like about any random Rebel...  I'd much prefer getting the Vintage Endor Rebel redone, as well as the POTF Endor Rebel, and for that matter the Saga ones in the vest need it too...

I'd take a "Rebel Commander" from Hoth too with the big stache...  More of the Echo Base Troopers in general wouldn't hurt.

And I'd say Antilles resculpt is probably at the top of my ANH wishlist at this point.  The original figure's nice for cheap, but a new top-notch one would be nice for more.  I pick the old one up for cheap background officers and that's fine but I so want a more accurate (older) looking version in the right colors.

For that matter I'd take more Fleet Troopers...  Love to get a younger one, at some point...  holster might be nice.   :-X

I kinda hope sets like the TRU pilots expand to Rebel Troopers that way.  Non-helmeted guys need love.  Some non-helmeted Impy's would be fine too, for sure.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on March 21, 2013, 09:58 PM
To me, the Medal Ceremony guy is like certain death for the line.  He would be like the Naboo Soldier of 2013 (http://www.rebelscum.com/tsc050naboosoldier.asp).  A head scratcher of a figure that appeals to perhaps 10% of the collector market, and next to none of the kid market.

He was a pegwarmer and not even a well made one at that. However,  your statement applies to a lot of figures. The kid market is so fickle that when fans use that as an arguing point they are arguing against a Star Wars line with ANY collector focus.

Quote
I think collectors need to be prepared to compromise.  Get on board with a figure line that has a majority of characters with broad appeal, and a SMALL minority of collector focused figures.

The majority of characters with broad appeal would be under 20 characters. Even characters with a lot of screen time probably don't have much appeal in terms of selling toys, Lando, Palpatine, Leia, Padme...

Why comprise towards that?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on March 21, 2013, 10:59 PM
I think the problem with the Naboo Guard from TVC was that it was vastly overproduced... like almost everything else from the initial launch of 2012.  If they had a normal production run things would have been a lot different for that figure... and all of TVC for that matter. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JediJman on March 21, 2013, 11:11 PM
Man, I would happy with them just rereleasing thie Hoth Rebel Soldier.   :P
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: LandotheScoundrel on March 22, 2013, 10:55 AM
Man, I would happy with them just rereleasing thie Hoth Rebel Soldier.   :P

Ditto.

And regarding that Rebel medal-giver, I can honestly say that I never really noticed he was there. I mean, I know someone was handing medals to Leia, or Dodonna, but he's so insignificant as to not qualify a $10 purchase.

Honestly, after the comment from Hasbro about background Cantina aliens they're looking at producing this guy?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on March 25, 2013, 02:08 PM
You know what?  If it's a new dude then I don't care who it is, I want him.  Yeah, there's 100 figures I'd rather have first, but it beats another Vader or Obi-Wan.

Practiced optimism my dear freinds!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: LandotheScoundrel on March 25, 2013, 02:57 PM
You know what?  If it's a new dude then I don't care who it is, I want him.  Yeah, there's 100 figures I'd rather have first, but it beats another Vader or Obi-Wan.

Practiced optimism my dear freinds!

Only Obi-Wans for you!  :-*
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darth_Anton on March 26, 2013, 09:29 AM
I'm just happy with any new OT character. At the top of my ultimate wish list though, is a newly sculpted snow-biker scout from the incredible cross-sections book with snow-speederbike.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on March 26, 2013, 12:21 PM
I kinda hope sets like the TRU pilots expand to Rebel Troopers that way.  Non-helmeted guys need love.  Some non-helmeted Impy's would be fine too, for sure.

^ This.

TRU has had what seems like a lot of pilot sets in recent memory.  I think we need to see an expansion into more generic army builders - in the realm of ground troops. 

Rebel Forces
- Rebel Fleet Trooper (TVC, new head)
- Endor Rebel (TVC, new head)
- Mon Calamari Officer (TVC Ackbar, repaint)
- Rebel Marksman (http://battlefront.wikia.com/wiki/Rebel_Marksman) - NEW!

Imperial Forces
- Stormtrooper (Legacy Spacetrooper - Joe Johnston version)
- Death Star Trooper (TVC Imperial Navy Commander, gray paint)
- Imperial Officer (Needa sculpt, new head)
- Imperial Terror Trooper (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Terror_Trooper) - NEW!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: LandotheScoundrel on March 26, 2013, 12:41 PM
I kinda hope sets like the TRU pilots expand to Rebel Troopers that way.  Non-helmeted guys need love.  Some non-helmeted Impy's would be fine too, for sure.

^ This.

TRU has had what seems like a lot of pilot sets in recent memory.  I think we need to see an expansion into more generic army builders - in the realm of ground troops. 

Rebel Forces
- Rebel Fleet Trooper (TVC, new head)
- Endor Rebel (TVC, new head)
- Mon Calamari Officer (TVC Ackbar, repaint)
- Rebel Marksman (http://battlefront.wikia.com/wiki/Rebel_Marksman) - NEW!

Imperial Forces
- Stormtrooper (Legacy Spacetrooper - Joe Johnston version)
- Death Star Trooper (TVC Imperial Navy Commander, gray paint)
- Imperial Officer (Needa sculpt, new head)
- Imperial Terror Trooper (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Terror_Trooper) - NEW!

100% agree. We have way more pilots than ships for them to fly. Ground forces need some multipack love. And yes, I do mean SA figures...I'm definitely not into the 5-POA nightmare. Sure, figures like Dorme and Amidala don't need to be SA, but troops definitely do.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on March 26, 2013, 02:34 PM
Troops make the collecting world go round.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on March 26, 2013, 07:29 PM
Make 'em 5 packs.

Toss in Echo Base Trooper (minor repaint or new head) and Imperial Riot Trooper (all new). I'd ditch Needa's legs, too since I hated them on the old Death Star Trooper (it's that awkward looking right foot).

I only got one of the Battle of Endor sets (where'd they all go?) and passed on the Yavin pilots set.  I tired of pilots some time ago.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on March 27, 2013, 10:59 AM
Yeah, I'm exhausted by all the pilots too - have been for a while now. 

The thing that makes it worse for me is when they keep using that Luke body over and over - I don't like that sculpt.  The only reason I bought the TRU Rebel pack was for the Porkins.

I also agree on Needa's legs.  They are pretty bad.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on March 27, 2013, 01:38 PM
Could've done without Luke's body on 2 pilots in a set too...  Needed to use Red 10.  Not everyone in the Alliance is 5'8" or less.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on April 17, 2013, 08:51 PM
Just judging from the news of a Star Wars movie every year starting in 2015, the future of Star Wars collecting just became....never ending :).  I'm excited at the prospects of what we might see (seems more likely that all those spin off/solo movies that were rumored could be true, along with the new trilogy), but it really could lead to a LOT of stuff overall if we continued to buy most to all of it.  I know my collecting "room" is already full, and this type of news makes me want to plan ahead already.  I guess it all depends on the quality, quantity, and mindset at the time these movies are released.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 17, 2013, 09:05 PM
The question is, will it be similar to Iron Man? :P

Star Wars is, to me, a lot more character rich visually than most super hero movies are, but I'm just more worried about what could be coming, or not coming, even with all these new movies.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on April 19, 2013, 12:10 AM
I guess the danger of a new film is that there will only be time for top-tier, main characters.  With such a short window before the next film arrives, Hasbro might not have time to go deep with selection.

On the other hand, maybe they will just do one big release when the film hits (May) and one more round in the Fall for the holidays.  It would make for easy shopping.

From a rough count, I believe that there were over 70 basic figures in 2005.

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 22, 2013, 08:44 PM
Compared to other film franchises I could see Hasbro going nuts on character selection honestly, but I don't know if I'd like that really...  I just worry things getting sloppy with the line in general.  Going back to 2002 type stuff, or just POTF2 levels of quality really.  I know it's the sort of hipster thing to long for "the good old days" but to me it took so long to get this line to where quality was almost always up at the top...

So to that end the "premium" line shipping along a sort of sub-premium line works better I think...  Just hope that keeps up.  Worrying it might end, and things may look a lot more like, say, Iron Man on the shelves.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on April 23, 2013, 08:16 AM
And with new source material, will it be harder to get that "15th Cantina patron?"
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on April 23, 2013, 10:05 AM
Worrying it might end, and things may look a lot more like, say, Iron Man on the shelves.

I think Episode 7 toy line will look a lot like the current Marvel approach actually.  Would not surprise me in the least to see that current planogram build for SW too - $6 basic figures, $10 deluxe style figures, some vehicles, the ugly 12" figures, etc.  They've already started moving towards it with the stuff/lines they have planned for fall. 

And with new source material, will it be harder to get that "15th Cantina patron?"

Yeah, that's one of the big outstanding questions, isn't it?  If Hasbro continues the "premium" basic figure line for collectors in 2015, will it focus entirely on the new movie(s) or will it be more like Marvel Universe that mixes in both new comic figures and classic comic figure/costumes?

I can see the argument for both I guess.  During the prequels, there were definitely periods when the OT figures took a backseat to the new.  If that pattern continues and you have a situation with a new movie each year, there could definitely be a long break for OT/PT figures as they work on the new stuff.  Or, they could set it up like Marvel Universe, that continues to crank out whatever they want to give collectors independent of the movie lines.

It will be interesting to see which way they decide to go with the collector lines (3.75" and 6"):   "all sequels" or "happy mixture of OT/PT/ST"?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on April 23, 2013, 12:35 PM
Everything is such a 'wait and see' right now.  It just doesn't feel like there is a 'future' for SW stuff right now (at least Hasbro-wise) because there is nothing new on the shelves until August and that feels like a long time coming.  It's like the saying goes, "Out of sight, out of mind."  The mindset will change once new stuff starts hitting and the movies come, but right now it's tough.

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on April 24, 2013, 09:15 AM
I think we are going to see all sequel figures with multiple variations of the core "new" characters. I don't think we will see a lot of Luke, Leia, Han figures but of the new stars the sequels will focus on. Every other movie-based toy line only has the main characters and very rarely do we see the supporting characters. I don't think we will ever see weird alien #6 ever again.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Muftak on April 24, 2013, 11:38 PM
But of course there is an economy of scale to consider. If we get a new movie every summer, the chances that anybody would want an exhaustive collection of figures from any one movie is pretty nil. There's simply no time to gain an attachment to the background characters from last year's movie when you're poring over behind the scenes photos of next year's big event. At the same time I would expect some of these movies we've all cherished for 30 years to continue to have some support, albeit scaled waaaaaaaay back. We may never see prequel figures again.

Gauging by what was done for ROTS in its one year, we could see quite a depth to any single movie's line...with the caveat that Hasbro basically took a year off to prepare for that one.

Hasbro could give us a solid fifty 5POA figures a year for as long as the movies last, timing big pushes to spring/summer for the theater release and the holidays for the home movie purchase. That would leave room for some classic figures to take up some slots, maybe in waves that hit in the fall or new year.

...or we could see 20 different versions of Boba Fett (a la Iron Man) when his movie comes out. And, y'know, somebody here is gonna be thrilled by that prospect.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on April 25, 2013, 07:50 PM
As far as the future, with movies coming every year, I think we could see a Marvel like approach as well.  Like it was said, it is already moving that way and I think it is probably a more profitable approach for Hasbro right now.  As far as character depth, I could see a vintage like approach in a way there too (like, real vintage).  Focus on the main characters and sprinkle in interesting looking aliens, etc.  Honestly - and maybe it is the nostalgia of it - but the vintage line(s) seemed to cover what was necessarily pretty well overall.  Sure, more is always better, but aside from a few characters (Tarkin, Stormtrooper Han, Jabba's Leia, RFT, etc.) they seemed to cover the most important stuff pretty well.  I could see the same approach with new lines.  Disney in particular seems most interested in OT era/feel stuff, and would maybe push for an approach like this.

I do wonder how much prequel stuff we'll see.  As mentioned by Muftak, we may be seeing the end of that stuff eventually.  It really seems like they are glossing over that era as much as possible right now, although some of it might be coincidental.  I do think there is a pretty good chance that with all the characters we've seen done over the past few years, that our best chance for OT (or even PT) characters might be the 6" line (if that succeeds).  It is definitely going to be interesting to see how things go once the new movie(s) start ramping up.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on April 26, 2013, 06:09 PM
I get the impression that Disney will almost ignore the prequels.  They want to recapture the "magic" of the OT.  Granted, that's impossible, but they can dream can't they.  I mean, I always wanted to see a SW film directed by Spileberg, and since Abrams has no style of his own, and simply want to be SS, I'll get my wish.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: shmashwitdaclub on April 30, 2013, 11:18 AM
when will "new" product start hitting the shelves? By "new" I mean black series wave 1 or a new exclusive or something.  I am at a loss for the timeline of releases for upcoming Star Wars product.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on April 30, 2013, 02:03 PM
August, per Toy Fair.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darth_Anton on May 16, 2013, 09:08 AM
It's kind of weird how that despite the fact that there's nothing really new out there, I still look for stuff to buy to fill in holes. I've been browsing eBay a lot more looking for deals on imperial troops to fortify some of my squads and platoons. Still looking forward to the new releases though.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on May 16, 2013, 09:24 AM
Dude, I still go into Toys R Us when I know for a fact there will be nothing to buy.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on May 21, 2013, 09:07 PM
Its funny, I still check the SW section too, even though I know there is absolutely nothing out to check for really (that goes for most lines lately actually).  I'm really wondering about the future of Star Wars action figures lately, it has been such a strange year.  I don't think I've spent a dime on SW in 2013, and that hasn't happened since I first got on this train during the later POTF2 years.  Also, it is starting to seem concerning that now etailers have preorders up for these waves yet, although I guess the 6" and Movie Heroes lines aren't available yet either so who knows.  I just wonder if the 3 3/4" Black Series stuff is going to continue much longer, or if we'll see a switch to 6" "collector figures" and lower articulation stuff across the board in 3 3/4" scale.  Now, with news of a new cartoon, I wonder if we'll see changes because of that too.  I hope this time around, they just stick to one "style" for the line.  It is definitely a strange time to be a SW collector these days.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on May 21, 2013, 10:15 PM
Dude, I still go into Toys R Us when I know for a fact there will be nothing to buy.

So, it's pretty much like how Toys R Us has been for the past 2 years.  ;D
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: DoctorPadawan on June 2, 2013, 11:37 AM
As I wrote in another thread (probably very off-topic, but I started out rambling about Vintage, so...), Hasbro's handling of this line has pretty much driven me out of collecting any of their properties, with the exception of Transformers, which you can occasionally find SOMETHING from.  Having to go pretty much online only on a limited collecting budget last year was the major straw that broke the camel's back, but their continual seeming self-sabotage on SW recently has just taken any and all fun out of what used to be an enjoyable part of my life.  I was spending more time and energy trying to find pieces and getting very little emotional return on my "hobby", so I just decided that, unless I see it at retail, I'm not interested. 

It's enabled me to find things that truly do bring me enjoyment (namely Lego, but also gave me time to get back into X-Men comics, and I've been catching up on the stories/books I've missed since graduate school lately), and that don't cause me to develop an ulcer because Hasbro didn't ship them, or the only place I can get them is on Ebay for 40 bucks a pop.  I really feel sorry for completists (if they're still out there), because I know better than most what a need to be complete can do to people on an emotional level, especially when you can't be complete. 

The thing that really strikes me as telling about where I'd rather put my energy has to do with this being Return of the Jedi's 30th anniversary.  That is a HUGE deal for a film to still be relevant and loved after that time period, and when asked what they planned to do to celebrate, Hasbro said they were doing nothing special.  Sure, they're rereleasing the TIE Interceptor in a vintage box, but you'd think there would at least be a wave of figures they could release to celebrate.  But no, instead we get yet another prequel wave with a few ANH figures mixed in.

Lego, on the other hand, has (in the last year) released or will release:

-Jabba's Palace with Bib Fortuna, Leia Boussh, Jabba the Hutt, Gammorrean Guard, a B'Omarr Monk, Chewbacca, Salacious Crumb, and Oola
-Desert Skiff with Luke, Boba Fett, Han, and Barada
-A-Wing Fighter with a pilot, Han, and Ackbar
-Rancor Pit with Luke, Gammy, Rancor Keeper, and the Rancor
-Jabba's Sail Barge with Ree Yees and Max Rebo (amongst others)
-UCS B-Wing Fighter
-AN EWOK VILLAGE WITH 16 MINIFIGURES
-Two planet sets (Endor and Forest Moon) with minifigures and mini-ships

Even Sideshow is doing that incredible (yet out of my price range) Darth Vader 1/6 scale doll, but Hasbro can't do anything outside of reissue a 4 year old toy in a new box at (what will likely be) a 10 dollar price hike?  I just don't get it.  The only thing that would be more bizarre would be if Hasbro did ANOTHER wave of Episode I figures in the Black Series line.  Then again, we've only seen the first two waves, so maybe they have another Qui-Gon or Daultay Dofine on the drawing board because "kids love random Neimoidians."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go build a Lego Superman set because, you know, it's fun. :)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JesseVader08 on June 3, 2013, 04:53 AM
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go build a Lego Superman set because, you know, it's fun. :)

Fun.  Now there's a great word.  Fantastic post Dr.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Qui-Gon Jim on June 3, 2013, 08:18 AM
Well said.  I got out at the end of the RotS line when they were releasing those final waves of repaints, and they were near impossible to find here.  With that headache, and escalating pricing, I decided to get out.

I still buy figures here and there for my son, particularly ESB related stuff, and almost only when there is a deal to be had (for example, I bought a bunch when TRU had vintage down to $5 per).  I can only imagine how frustrating it is now to someone who wants to be complete.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on July 23, 2013, 12:47 AM
Thought I'd drop this in here...  Hasbro gets the Disney Star Wars Sequel toy license (http://investor.hasbro.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=779213).  Yeah it was bound to happen, but it is nice to see it announced officially. 

Doesn't sound like the deal was extended (still expires 2020 currently), but the license was expanded to include the sequel trilogy movie toys and "other potential Star Wars related entertainment", which would be TV and spin-off/standalone movies I guess.

And the price for the sequels - $225 million!  $75 million now plus $50million due with each sequel movie release year.  Better sell a lot of Angry Birds to help pay for all that.  :P
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jayson on July 23, 2013, 12:55 AM
I think we'll definitely see some Star Wars: Rebels stuff in addition to the Ep. VII glut. Imagine that, toy aisles filled with merchandise for characters/vehicles never done before.  :P
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on July 23, 2013, 01:33 AM
Wonder how that spreads, if at all, further to one-off type movies?  Those seem to be a lock too.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Diddly on July 23, 2013, 01:45 AM
I think we'll definitely see some Star Wars: Rebels stuff in addition to the Ep. VII glut. Imagine that, toy aisles filled with merchandise for characters/vehicles never done before.  :P

All with 5 POA!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on July 23, 2013, 09:09 AM
Well, that sucks, IMHO. I was hoping Disney would bring the toy production in house like the video games, animation, etc. I know logistically speaking that was not likely to happen but it would seem to fit their overall business model.

Over the past few years it's just become apparent to me that they have had the license too long. They've gotten greedy and lazy and don't seem to have a clue how to effectively manage the brand anymore. A younger, hungrier company could really work wonders to liven things up. Someone who is passionate about the creative opportunities and not hung up on the $%^&* bean counting.

I get that it's a changing economy, changing play habits, more competition, whatever. But that doesn't explain or excuse a lot of the missteps we have seen over the past few years. It's hard not to be curious about what a leaner more motivated company might do with the license.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on July 23, 2013, 10:25 AM
Over the past few years it's just become apparent to me that they have had the license too long. They've gotten greedy and lazy and don't seem to have a clue how to effectively manage the brand anymore. A younger, hungrier company could really work wonders to liven things up. Someone who is passionate about the creative opportunities and not hung up on the $%^&* bean counting.

Maybe, but a younger, hungrier company could also have years worth of growing pains that would frustrate collectors all the same.  Meanwhile, you'd probably have consistency gaps in terms of sculpt and quality.  Additionally, a new company is probably going to start from scratch in terms of what they're making, so it's not like you're going to get a break in the constant roll out of classic characters.  It'd be all Han, Luke, Leia, Vader, Maul, Obi-Wan all over again.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on July 23, 2013, 11:32 AM
I like the balance between toy and collectible that Hasbro maintain or maintained. The idea of some company like Jazzwares or somebody doing Star Wars. Or McFarlane highly detailed and painted statues. No, thanks.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: LandotheScoundrel on July 23, 2013, 01:28 PM
NECA is hitting stuff out of the park right now. But I don't think they'd have the bandwidth.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on July 23, 2013, 05:48 PM
I'm with Scockery...  I like Hasbro's balance.

I think they still try to hit that, but another company, they're gonna miss.  McFarlane's stuff is dismal if you ask me.  Not even a toy...  It's mass produced low-end GG stuff and nothing more.

If I want higher-end I buy higher-end stuff.  If I want mass produced toys, I want Hasbro at the helm.  I'll take a not-quite-100%-great Stormtrooper helmet on a figure that 500,000 of them exist and mine is no more unique than anyone else's.  My collection doesn't need to be special I guess, is my point.  And I think $10's frustrating enough per figure, so any more is way out of the question.

For me, Hasbro's done well...  They're still doing well (I like TBS figures for the most part even though I'm a little PT'd out.  I think that's about to change some).  Give me more of the same...  Even dial it down a notch on the ammount a year and focus that 5POA on the kiddies.  Just don't quit giving collectors of the 3.75" line something they can appreciate.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on August 5, 2013, 02:50 PM
I was thinking about this today, but what do you think the future holds for the SW line once the movie(s) start up?  If things hold true to the original plans, there could be some sort of Star Wars movie every year for the forseeable future, which offers a lot of toy opportunities for Hasbro.  Do you think the line may go more towards the current Legends/Mission Series format of 5POA?  Then, there's the upcoming Rebels series as well.  Will we see seperate "animated" and movie lines.  Also, where does that leave characters from the OT, or the PT?  Do you think we'll see figures from those movies, or are these last couple of years the last hurrah (at least for a little while)?  I guess there is a chance that maybe the 6" line will be the avenue for people who want classic characters, while the smaller scale will focus more on the current movies, television, etc.  Of course, they could have multiple lines covering everything, you never know.  I kind of get the feeling that if we get a Rebels line, it may not go the animated style route that CW did, and may blend more with the regular line, but who knows.  I do wonder how much we'll get from the past movies when the new releases start up though.  I know when the ROTS line was going strong, we didn't really see anything from the OT, and the same could be said for the other prequel movie years for the most part.  Anyways, what do you think the future of the line is for 2015 and beyond?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on August 5, 2013, 03:02 PM
My hope for Star Wars: Rebels is that they'll do a cheaper, kid-"friendly" 5POA line and then more popular characters will get the Vintage/Black Series treatment.

I think at this point, putting out a third figure line would just be too much product at once - and I believe even Hasbro acknowledges that less is more for the time being. When the new movies come out? Perhaps they might get away with a bit more, but not right now.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on August 5, 2013, 03:18 PM
I was thinking about this today, but what do you think the future holds for the SW line once the movie(s) start up?  If things hold true to the original plans, there could be some sort of Star Wars movie every year for the forseeable future, which offers a lot of toy opportunities for Hasbro.  Do you think the line may go more towards the current Legends/Mission Series format of 5POA?  Then, there's the upcoming Rebels series as well.  Will we see seperate "animated" and movie lines.  Also, where does that leave characters from the OT, or the PT?  Do you think we'll see figures from those movies, or are these last couple of years the last hurrah (at least for a little while)?  I guess there is a chance that maybe the 6" line will be the avenue for people who want classic characters, while the smaller scale will focus more on the current movies, television, etc.  Of course, they could have multiple lines covering everything, you never know.  I kind of get the feeling that if we get a Rebels line, it may not go the animated style route that CW did, and may blend more with the regular line, but who knows.  I do wonder how much we'll get from the past movies when the new releases start up though.  I know when the ROTS line was going strong, we didn't really see anything from the OT, and the same could be said for the other prequel movie years for the most part.  Anyways, what do you think the future of the line is for 2015 and beyond?

Just thinking about it makes my head hurt.  I was secretly looking forward to the idea that Star Wars had run its course... that I'd sit back and look at a giant wall of 3 3/4" figures and finally have a complete set.

In the meantime, I'm past 30 now, and what started as a small hobby at age 15 has gone 10 times farther than I ever thought it would.  I'm getting to the point where pulling the plug on everything other than OT is creeping into my thinking more and more.  As excited as I am about the new films, I can't fathom trying to keep up with movie releases every year from 2015 until who knows when.  By 2025 I'll be 45, and no offense to 45 year old's here, but I don't particularly want to be doing this at that point.

I think Army Builders are the next thing to go... then maybe Prequel Mini-busts.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on August 5, 2013, 03:27 PM
I'm getting to the point where pulling the plug on everything other than OT is creeping into my thinking more and more.  As excited as I am about the new films, I can't fathom trying to keep up with movie releases every year from 2015 until who knows when. 

Kind of condensed it a bit, but I agree with Rob.  I was glad to think 6 movies and it, with occasional (rare) CW figure.  But I'm leaning more and more towards Classic Trilogy figures and even then they really have to be new or arguably better for me to buy them.  6" is nice and I might bite on a few of those, but the price is over my budget and then I reason that I already own that figure in 4" so what's the point.  I can't foresee picking up anything from the new movies or cartoons unless it's really cool... like how Maul felt when I first saw him (though in hindsight, he was just a pawn).
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on August 5, 2013, 04:22 PM
Count me down for a separate Rebels line in the source-accurate animated style. Produced by Disney. With no Hasbro involvement whatsoever.

 ;D
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on August 5, 2013, 07:36 PM
Count me down for a separate Rebels line in the source-accurate animated style. Produced by Disney. With no Hasbro involvement whatsoever.

 ;D

Won't happen - Hasbro just revised their agreement to include the upcoming movies and the new cartoon - so you'll get what Hasbro makes and you'll LIKE IT!  :P
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on August 5, 2013, 09:17 PM
I have to admit, I've felt a little bit of fatigue at times as well.  Like Rob mentioned, the prospect of all that could be coming a few years down the road is a little daunting.  I'm actually pretty excited at the notion of new movies (and the toys that come with them), but honestly, our office (which is where my collection is allowed to be) is already pretty much at capacity.  I'm going to have to either dump some stuff, pack a bunch away, or make a lot more money and get a bigger house if I want to continue collecting like this.

I even noticed a change the other day while at TRU.  They had the entire new wave of Black Series figures on the pegs.  In the past, particularly after this gigantic drought we've experienced this year, I probably would have grabbed them all.  This time, I only got a few, and even those I hesitated on a bit.  Some of it may be the lack of newness, but even looking at the next couple of waves beyond that I don't think I'll be getting much more than half of those waves either.  We'll see I guess.

I still get the most excited about OT figures, so I'd be sad to see those go away in a couple of years (if that happens).  Then again, I think we can all admit that we've really had a good run of these things too, and have a lot of it covered.  I'm always a fan of simplification with the Star Wars brand and lines, so the prospect of multiple lines isn't really appealing to me, although I do understand it.  Right now, the prospect of having a new movie line each year, the Rebels line, the 6" line, and possibly another 3 3/4" line (depending on what they do with "collector" figures and the current Legends format, not to mention Mission Series), and you're starting to look at half an aisle of SW figures at the stores.  I wish things could work like the old vintage days, but things have changed too much since then.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on August 5, 2013, 09:38 PM
I just don't know myself. Very ready to give it a rest but then I'm out buying the millionth version of Yoda and Obi-Wan today. The older I get the more involved I am in vintage collecting, and I expect that to continue. I will be excited to see how the new films translate into toys, but I just don't know how much I will get involved. One thing i do know is that I've been a lifelong collector, and I don't see why that will change.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on August 17, 2013, 07:50 PM
I was reading through Adam's Q and A at Galactic Hunter this week, and really liked some of the points he made in his wrap up section.  You can check it out here, if interested:

http://www.galactichunter.com/gh/story/qa-big-figures-big-articulation-and-old-figures-gear-eternity (http://www.galactichunter.com/gh/story/qa-big-figures-big-articulation-and-old-figures-gear-eternity)

After all the questions, he talks about how the action figure/collectible (and video game) world is changing - and the effect it has not only on collectors, but on kids.  To be honest, the kid aspect is something I've thought about before, but this really hit home for me the way he wrote it.  I order the majority of my stuff online (I collect primarily SW and Marvel), partially because it is easier for me, but also because I feel like I'm maybe not taking a kid's chance away from finding it if I just order it from an e-store.

I can't imagine how difficult it would be to be a kid collecting an action figure line these days, even without the distribution issues we've seen.  In the vintage days, I could take my ROTJ cardback and see what figures were available, and probably find most of them at the local store - or at least have a decent shot.  Also, although I personally didn't do this at such a young age, but you could probably stay reasonably complete on the action figure side of it with prices being low ($2ish I think?) and different figures being more in the 10-20 range in any given year from 78-85.  I know times have changed a lot, but it sort of saddens me that you can't do that anymore.  Heck, I have a tough time keeping up, and I'm an adult with some disposable income.

Anyways, I just thought it was a well written and interesting read - and something I think about a lot these days too.  I do wonder if these recent stripped down, basic figures are more of an attempt to get kids and a broader fan-base back.  I think maybe Hasbro really did price themselves out of a lot of collectors and casual buyers/kids the past few years.  ROTS had to be one of their modern heydays (and the POTF2 days too, not sure which would be more), and the figures were in the $5-6 range then since they were moving so much product.  I wonder what we'll see when Ep. 7 rolls around - if the 3 3/4" line will be all these 5 POA, and maybe the 6" stuff will be the "collector figures" much like other lines are doing these days.  Also, on a side note, I find the quote that Adam started his write up with (Head of DC Comics: "We don't publish comics for kids, we publish comics for 45 year olds") kind of sad...sad, but true.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on August 17, 2013, 08:31 PM
If you say so. For the most part, kids are gonna say "screw it" and move onto video games regardless of availability. The age at which boys quit action figures is younger than it was in the 80's.

Quote
I'm sure some people love scarcity so there's a strong secondary market, but a scarce figure just means that's more money Hasbro isn't going to have in their own pocket.

Yet, how many fansites have at least one web retailer known for gouging scarce figures as a sponsor?

Quote
Did you want a figure for $5 with your allowance? Too damn bad, we demanded better articulation and now it's $8 or $10.

Who demanded the price increase that was Comm-Tech chips? Not collectors. That was the first big jump in basic figure prices.

Quote
By this time next year, I hope Hasbro expands its "5 points of articulation" program to include collector characters, because I believe they will most likely be very happy with the results

Right, like the characters that wouldn't sell in the past when they were $5 or $6 or $7 and had more articulation, accessories, etc.? Does Pawlus remember the pegs of Ponda Boba's in the late 90's? And Rancor Keeper? Or that even not so-long ago when fickle collectors wouldn't buy readily available cool cantina aliens that were instead  recalled and shredded?


The adult collector guilt trip: If Hasbro cannot get product that kid's supposedly want to store in quantity, how are collectors to blame? Some guy bought the ONE Season 3 Ahsoka that made it to one store in a 40 mile radius of some kid who likes Star Wars? The odds were against the kid (or anyone) getting it. Hasbro didn't care to ship more. Or the store didn't care to order more.  But we are gonna dump on adult collectors in general?

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on August 17, 2013, 09:17 PM
I'm more to Scockery's side of things...  I think Hasbro's listing too hard to port, trying to compensate for all the folly of listing too hard to starboard for so long...

Happy balances seemed to work out better for all...  2007 anyone?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Dan on August 17, 2013, 10:18 PM
Balance is important for the line- and for us too.
I'm one of the dustier monkeys on this branch at 44.
My kids have gotten past the point where they enjoy the hobby with me. That makes it tougher to keep adding new items. If I want something, I sell something else to get it. I limit myself with arbitrary numbers, and space to devote to the hobby. I still enjoy what I own, but it takes up far less of my brain than it used to. I spend more time working, teaching and training karate, reading, with my wife, and my daughters before they get tired of that too (they are 13 and 15).
Don't let what you own define you. If Hasbro turns out great stuff, enjoy it. If not, find something else to enjoy. It's all over way too soon to waste a moment blaming or pestering a multinational toy company- what they do or don't do should have a negligible impact on your life, if any. I know someone with a small hobby store as part of his regular business. He's had more than a few families come to him in the last few years with dozens and dozens of boxes of brand new star wars toys, trying to figure out how to liquidate it as part of an estate. You don't want the biggest thing you pass on to be a bunch of unused toys.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on August 17, 2013, 10:48 PM
Good points.  Jesse bringing up 2007 really hits it well too.  That seemed like one of the more recent examples of everyone being pretty happy, as far as this hobby goes.  Prices were under control, we were getting a pretty great balance of figures from the various movies - they were for the most part easy to get a hold of, and we still got some big bonus accessories on top of things.  It would be nice to get back to those days, somehow.

I guess we're just in the age of the $10 figure if we want articulation and all of the detail that we were used to, and I wish we could get back closer to $7 to $8 of those days.  I also continue to think that Hasbro is just putting out too much stuff per year.  Although more and more collectors are starting to become selective these days, I think prior to the price hike (and countless repacks, etc.) you had more of us trying to keep up with a year's releases.  I still say that some of the best years (like Jesse's 2007 example, or also the POTF2 or POTJ days) were when we had more in the range of 25-40 figures per year.  That's easy to come up with.  Heck, when I was collecting when I was first married, fresh out of college, and on a tight budget, I could keep up on about $30 a month.  Try doing that now.  Movie years are another story, of course.

Also a good point about kids in general going towards video games much earlier.  When I was a kid, we had video games in the house to some extent (the Intellivision, does anyone remember that?), but action figures stayed with me all the way through elementary and into jr. high years.  I think I even kept the shoebox of my Star Wars and Joes in the closet beyond that, although they didn't really move from there until I got back into things.  Just looking at my nephews, they moved into the video game era much earlier and left "toys" behind about that time too, for the most part.  The one exception to that is LEGOs, they still like, ask for, and "play" with those (they are 11 and 13 years old).  Action figures almost seem like an 8 and under thing these days (or 20 and over), so things have changed a lot.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Muftak on August 18, 2013, 12:11 AM
I find myself agreeing a lot with what Dan says. I'm 39 and I've been collecting these guys since 1978. I remember looking forward to finding the holdouts of the'82 line (Tie pilot was really hard to find.) all the way through stuff like the anticipation of the Shadows of the Empire line in '96 as golden times.

In my old age, I really look back fondly on that Potf2 era as the best we've ever had it as far as line consistency, depth, and availability. I no longer have most of those toys, but I could see that set being a collection I would put back together if everything OT comes to an end someday and the collecting bug starts biting. But right now it jut isn't biting, and from all I read I feel fortunate because lately things would be maddening. There are plenty of figures from the past 3 years I would buy if I ever saw them, but I'm not going out of my way to look.

2007 was definitely a turning point in the line and how I collect. I set myself a master list of everything I might ever want, rather than feel obliged to buy stuff just because it got made. I have since only been suprised a couple of times by hasbro's selections to the point that I needed to add a figure to my list ( I think Jacen and Jaina were the biggest nice suprise I've had since then.) That being said, in 2007 I was able to go to the store once a week and buy one figure or so with very little stress in finding what I wanted. 2008-9 stuff was not as easy to find, and by the time vintage rolled in and the price hit 10 bucks I pretty much lost the compulsion. It may not be a coincidence that I lost that drive just after my first son was born in late '09. Now we look at toys for the boys and even though I still look in the Star Wars section, I haven't seen anything to interest me in quite some time.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on August 19, 2013, 01:18 PM
Just looking at my nephews, they moved into the video game era much earlier and left "toys" behind about that time too, for the most part.  The one exception to that is LEGOs, they still like, ask for, and "play" with those (they are 11 and 13 years old).  Action figures almost seem like an 8 and under thing these days (or 20 and over), so things have changed a lot.

My oldest boys just turned seven this summer.  They are being raised in a house where there are 1000s of action figures for them to see and want.  And do you know what they put on their birthday lists this year?  LEGO (Star Wars, Ninjago, Chima, Batman) and Nintendo DS/3DS games (Mario, LEGO, DK, etc).  They wanted (and received) 3DSs for Christmas last year because about half of their friends already had a DS/3DS (at age 5/6!).

Don't get me wrong, the boys have a nice little pile of star wars action figures they amassed from age 4-6, but these days when we get to the toy section, it's LEGO first, video games second, and then they'll let dad look at the Star Wars guys. 

I read a theory not that long ago that the biggest thing hurting Hasbro Star Wars toys with kids was LEGO Star Wars toys... looking at my kids, I'd say that's definitely something to consider alongside the rise of video games/ipads/etc for kids.  $10 for an action figure or $10-12 for a LEGO army-builder pack with four minifigs and a little vehicle/playset?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on August 19, 2013, 01:36 PM
When I went to the Lego Kidsfest in Pittsburgh for the site, it was a sea of Lego Star Wars tshirts.  I totally agree with Jeff.  There is one toy that stays and its lego.  I think the endlessly creative dynamic can't be ignored.  Kids not only express themselves they get a sense of accomplishment and pride...  They can do anything their parents wallets allow.  The price is right.  Its all always available.  It's diverse.

Lego ftw.

Hasbro would be elbow deep in keep Star Wars if they could...  The two companies have had rocky pasts over Star Wars.  Hasbro is hindered by more issues that Lego never will be.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on August 19, 2013, 02:48 PM
I see this too and for the first time at Chicago Comic Con this year (only one I go to regularly) there was a real presence of vendors selling LEGO, loose and all, and this was really where the action was with the kids. I think the kid aspect has moved to LEGO in force. It's creative, imaginative, and endless.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on August 19, 2013, 08:51 PM
I see the same thing with our daughter.  Now granted, it isn't necessarily the same as little boys as we have plenty of princesses and barbies in our house right now as well, but she's always been into action figures/superheroes/etc. as well (the new Turtles show/toys are her favorite things in the world right now).  That being said, she does gravitate more towards games on the iPad (or our Wii), and LEGO sets as well.  When the new LEGO sets are out, she gets super excited and that aisle is always the first one we head to at TRU or Target.  I'm an action figure collector first and foremost, but I have to admit, after starting in the last couple years, LEGO really has things running nicely these days.  The stuff is so much fun, and always easy to find, which is a nice change to what we're used to.  It is nice knowing that, at least for the most part, if there is a LEGO set you want you can stop in and pick it up basically any time during a 6-12 month period (depending on the set).
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on August 20, 2013, 02:59 AM
I was out this past weekend and I NEVER see kids looking at Star Wars toys...    I really never have even since the early days of modern, seen many kids looking Star Wars stuff over...  here and there, but just not frequently.

Then Sunday this girl and her younger brother are dragging their father through toys, the girl says, "Let's look at Star Wars toys!" and they ran to Lego which I thought was funny.  I finally see kids want Star Wars and it's not the Hasbro aisle even.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Qui-Gon Jim on August 21, 2013, 01:05 PM
They can do anything their parents wallets allow.  The price is right.  Its all always available.  It's diverse.
Plus every set can "add on" to a previous set.  Compatibility is never, ever an issue.  There is so much more upside for Lego, it is ridiculous.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on August 21, 2013, 01:23 PM
LEGO has done nothing but grow over the years.  Their foray into the world of licensed merchandise has definitely been successful since they've been able to take on properties like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and others with seeming ease.  And the fact that kids learn by playing with LEGO will continue to make it an attractive option for parents.

As for Hasbro & Star Wars?  I think we're in the middle of a transitional period.  Clearly, the 6" figure line is something that makes the Star Wars license much more competitive with other intellectual properties.  Just looking around the boys toys aisle, a good majority of the movie properties out there are primarily focused on 6" figure lines.  Marvel & DC Comics, NECA, McFarlane and others are focused on that 6" scale.  Because that's what collectors want.  The new 6" Star Wars line opens things up on that front.  And thus far, I've only been able to find a single 6" Star Wars Black Series figure at retail.  Initial indications are that the line is selling well.  Will that continue?  We'll see.

As for the 3.75" line?  Again, it's a wait and see game.  Will lower articulation figure outsell the premium articulation figures?  And will 6" outsell the 3.75" line?  These are things that Hasbro is going to be studying closely in advance of the Episode VII toy line launch of Spring 2015.  And no doubt those sales figures are going to shape what comes to market when the Episode VII line is unveiled.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on September 9, 2013, 12:26 PM
Adam P sort of touched on this in his Q and A this week, but how long do you think the Black Series (at least the 3 3/4" line) is going to last?  Will it go all the way until the new movie (or the new toon, next year)?  Just three to four waves and then done?  It just seems like it might not be a very long-lived line, but we'll see.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on September 9, 2013, 12:46 PM
I'm thinking it's probably going to last through 2014.  We'll probably have the 3 waves in 2013, and perhaps 6 waves in 2014.  After that we'll probably see a preview series for the Episode VII line in early 2015, followed by the full-blown launch of that line in Spring '15.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on September 10, 2013, 08:51 AM
The way I read Adam's comments was that he feels that we will eventually end up with two lines:

6" Black Series (or whatever they call it) for collectors
3.75" 5POA Legends/Saga (or whatever they call it) for kids

He's saying that the highly articulated, highly detailed 3.75" line is going to go away - period.

I will be incredibly disappointed if the only way I can get EP7 figures is in the 5POA style.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on September 10, 2013, 01:32 PM
I think the death of the articulated 3.75 inch line is a little exaggerated right now, but it's not out of the question. The fact is that Hasbro is on record saying that the Vintage line over the last few years has been its worst seller in the modern era. We've all seen the proof of this. That's the economy but combine that with rising prices, terrible distribution, and yeah, this line is serious trouble.

People coming back for the 6 inch may jump in 3.75 again, but the character selection is terrible. Casual buyers will not drop $10 on Biggs or some random Jedi. In order for this line to be successful the price has to come down and the selection has to even out. That means less and less opportunity for background characters but there are very, very few that still need representation in this scale.

With the new movie I can see this segment making a comeback, but it's going to be a difficult path ahead.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on September 10, 2013, 06:47 PM
I hinted at this a long time before TBS 3.75" was released, but basically its end was already in the works...  Consider it a stop-gap.  Hasbro was already moving on...  to what?  That's not as simple, but suffice it to say TBS as a line for 3.75" was already moving onward.  The packaging was more new than the planned figures, more or less. :)

6" was an experiment.  I think it'll continue, but not sure what the deal is on its packaging.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on September 11, 2013, 11:34 AM
At the moment, I'm more concerned with "what will we get in the collector 3.75" line" than I am with whether or not it will exist in the future.

Once the Sequel juggernaut starts, with the "one-off" side-story movies squeezed inbetween ep7/8/9, will there be room for OT 3.75" collector figures at retail?  Or will the toy lines be so movie/tv focused from 2015 and beyond that the days of "obscure OT background alien" are over? :-\

It's probably a pipe-dream at this point, but my best case scenario would be:
- a 5-POA 3.75" sequel/new movie line for kids filled with gimmicky movie figures for kids (and some collectors)
- a 6" line for collectors with 2 waves of movie-inspired 6" figs in the Summer/Fall and 2 waves of OT/PT figures in the Winter/Spring
- a "Star Wars Universe" style 3.75" collector line that can give us figures from all over the place - OT, Prequels, CW, EU, KOTOR/SWTOR, Rebels, Ep7/8/9, Stand-Alones, etc.   

If Hasbro doesn't find a way to include OT/PT/EU figures in the 3.75" collector line going forward, then I guess I won't really be all that upset if it dies. :(
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on September 11, 2013, 12:29 PM
That's something I've really thought about as well, as Jeff mentioned, could this be the last hurrah for figures (particularly background/never before made figures) from the OT (as well as PT/EU)?  If we do indeed start seeing a new SW movie every year starting in 2015, you would think the majority of the resources would be dedicated to those movies each year.  I mean, in general, we've gotten a lot of things covered so that is nice...but it would be nice to knock a few more off the list in the next year or so (or however long the Black Series lasts).

It really feels like we might be headed for the 5 POA stuff by the time the new movie(s) starts, along with the 6" line for "collectors", but you just never know.  It would be nice to see more of a collector line like Jeff mentioned to run alongside it, but it is difficult to say if Hasbro would be having all of these lines running at once during a movie year.  I really wonder what the future holds at that point.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on September 11, 2013, 01:45 PM
Granted that the current TBS choices are pretty much based on the 3D movies that never came to be, but yeah, with the new movies coming out every year, I'm curious to see what happens to the older movies' (and EU) figures.  Will that be a 6" thing only or will 3.75" continue with collector being the focus (or will it be 5 PoA-focused?).  If we're suppose to be getting yearly movies soon, it'd be nice to get some never-been-done figures out of the way because it may be difficult to get them later.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on September 11, 2013, 02:43 PM
I can see a 'SW Universe' line being an option during the next 5-6 years. Hopefully the new movies bring in a lot of new fans and there's interest in the original films - if Episode VII and the return of all the OT characters doesn't reignite some collector interest, then nothing will.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on September 11, 2013, 06:05 PM
I predict the upper management will fire all current Hasbro SW staffers, cancel anything collector aimed and future SW figures will be all 5 POA 3" scale, with even less paint ops than now and weapons molded into the figures' hands.


If you look at Jedi Temple Archives 2012 interview with DePriest from about a year ago, what he said came to pass. Weaning collectors to accept that CW figures would have 5 POA. Happened. Battle Packs gone at  mass retail. Happened. He said that Lucasfilm wanted them to change the size of the figures (smaller), they wouldn't and instead made the current $20 underscale vehicle assortment instead.  Now imagine 2015, new trilogy...the insistence returns (unless the Mouse says otherwise) and Hasbro caves in.

Whatever happens, happens. There's so much past stuff I don't have that I can keep collecting via ebay for years...(looks at rising prices on loose figures)...or not.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on September 11, 2013, 08:13 PM
For me, I'd hate to see it end...  I think it would end any initiative I have left to do news and things...  It's tough these days as it is.

There's a lot I want made still...  new, and resculpts.

If it went all 5 POA, I'm sure a figure here and there that is new will get my interest, but probably only to customize it into something better.

And that brings me to the fact I'll probably go full bore into customizing as my "Star Wars" hobby.  I may be more inclined to pick up a SS 12" figure now and again but honestly other than military and the odd OT figure, I want very little they make...  cost is too high these days for my tastes.

Lego might entice me more.  Lego LOTR/Hobbit is already on my plate though.

I am still buying 1:16 scale tanks and that is expanding to other things these days (artillery, etc.), and so that may have my attention more I suppose.

Ultimately I may just enjoy more money, but really I could see stocking up on loose figures/army builders I want more of.  Customizing supplies...  I buy paints every time I get a coupon, and have improved a lot of my workshop with materials of late...

I'll have things to do, for sure.  I just won't have new figures I really want.  Just ones I'll want to make.  *shrugs*

I'd hate seeing things like Mosep never get made, or Danz Borin, or a resculpted Captain Antilles, or Endor Rebel variations...  I'd hate never seeing a Han Bespin with a good belt/holster.  Or a new Han Carbonite.  I'd hate to never see a human Jabba goon from the SE's done either, or Garrouf Lafoe, or tons of Palace aliens.

That doesn't even get into EU, which I'd love tons of stuff from Marvel to Clone Wars done up for this line.

Am I over Clones?  Other than some Commander redoes ala Fordo style, yes.  And more to that point, am I over the Prequals?  Yes.  I'd live without a single PT figure being made from here out.  And there are ones I'd buy for sure, but if they never got made I'd never shed a tear. 

But the OT stuff I'd like, that hurts some.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Muftak on September 13, 2013, 05:31 PM
My predictions for the next two years:

2014
We see some new well sculpted figures (exclusively from the OT), all 5POA, in the movie heroes line.

TBS continues in 6" format with three more waves, including a cool ROTJ biker scout. Still no Vader.

TBS 3 3/4 stalls out with several waves planned but none show at retail. No one cares, because the figures are all clone repaints and slight upgrades of existing figures.

For the holidays target gets a gift set of repacked movie heroes from 2013. TRU gets a TBS 6" speeder bike/biker scout set that they sell for $45. Kmart gets a couple sweet TBS 3 3/4 sets including several Jabba's Palace characters and a scaled-up skiff from out of nowhere. Amazon gets a set of "retro-packaged" 5POA Prequel figures that were developed for the movie heroes line but pulled in favor of OT figures. Walmart passes on selling any gift sets.

2015
The year starts off with a wave of three preview figures from the new Ep7 line. One droid, one alien, one trooper. It will eventually turn out that none of these characters even have a line in the movie.

Ep7 line (3 3/4, 5POA) hits in May with a "double wave" of 14 figures, made up of: 2 versions of main hero, 2 versions of his sidekick, 2 versions of cool villain ( who is not main villain but is the visually more interesting one.), 2 versions of R2D2 (both of which are old sculpts,) and 6 versions of troopers resculpted from the preview wave in various color schemes (some never appearing in the movie.)

Two more waves are announced. Wave 2 (containing the main villain) shows up sporadically late in the summer. Wave 3 (containing the cameo versions of Han Luke and Leia) fails to make it to retail.

TBS 6" continues with Vader announced at toy fair for wave 4! The line shifts to a mix of two Ep7 figures and 2 classic figures per case. Surprising no one, the classic figures sell while the new movie ones fill the shelves. The third and fourth wave never reach retail, blocked by new movie stuff.

We get two terribly under-scaled versions of the main vehicles in the movie in May. By August they are joined on the shelf by an equally under-scaled big vehicle and a cheaply made (not cheaply priced) cardboard playset.
 
Five below and other discounters get the 2014 TBS 3 3/4 figures. Collectors shrug and go out to dutifully clear them out.

For the holidays/DVD release, Target gets a gift set of the main characters from wave 1. TRU gets a boxed set of troopers. KMart gets the cameo OT character gift set. Amazon gets a huge box with all the popular characters no one could find from wave 2, and charges twice the price of the other stores for it. Walmart passes on selling any gift sets.


Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on September 13, 2013, 06:16 PM
All the while a few vocal once-respected fans hail the return of Star Wars as toys for kids.

One of them is lynched at SDCC 2015 by assailants disguised as stormtroopers who then blend into a large group of 501sters. No suspects are ever arrested.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on October 22, 2013, 09:05 AM
So it seems that from a business standpoint, Angry Birds Star Wars Telepods may be the future of Star Wars collecting

Hasbro Sells 1 Million 'Angry Birds Star Wars' Telepods (http://mashable.com/2013/10/21/million-angry-birds-telepods-hasbro/?utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedburner).

This begs the question: are collectors who lived through the vintage era in touch with what works for the Hasbro Star Wars license from a sales perspective?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jayson on October 22, 2013, 12:17 PM
How are these numbers calculated? Does "sold" mean ordered/purchased by retailers/etailers to sell in their stores or does it mean purchased by the consumer? The reason I ask is I don't see that much sell through in any store I frequent.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on October 22, 2013, 12:51 PM
The press release (http://investor.hasbro.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=798679) says "one million TELEPODS figures in consumers' hands around the globe" and "With one million TELEPODS figures in consumers' hands", so I'd guess that's retail sales not retailer orders.

A few other things to note.  First, it's one million globally, not just US sales. Second, the one million number TELEPODS includes both AB:SWII and AB:Go! Telepods sales.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JediJman on October 22, 2013, 12:55 PM
Clearly, ABSW is huge in Germany, where they come packed with David Hasslehoff.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on October 22, 2013, 05:32 PM
Lotta kids in Angry Birds SW swag I've noticed....  I don't get it myself but I see it.

I think too, even if sell through seems slow to us, I'm pretty sure the AB stuff is insanely cheap to produce and has much more broad margins.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Diddly on October 23, 2013, 01:03 AM
I'm no math major but one million worldwide in a world with seven billion people is... not good, right?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on October 23, 2013, 01:30 AM
I don't know how they're sold...  Haven't paid a lot of attention.  Are we talking individual blind-bag figure type deals?  When did these launch?  3rd or 4th quarter 2013?  The Telepods things... 

It could be a very specific item/# they're talking there...  not counting playsets, multi-packs, etc., and other aspects of this specific line.  It really could all be launch numbers...  A million at launch seems not shabby if that's the case.  It's specific, yet vague at the same time...  Kind of tough to gauge how good or bad the reality is.

I don't know what they sell for either...  Let's say hypothetically they're talking some blind-bag thing that they sell for $4 or $5 a piece but costs like $.50 to make...  Not shabby if that's the case...  I can tell you, it's cheap to make, especially comparatively speaking.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Muftak on October 23, 2013, 04:12 PM
My 4-year old son has been a big Angry Birds fan ever since he started getting rewarded for good jobs with time on the iPad. He calls the Star Wars version "Space Birds" and loves them almost as much. It's been my way of getting him into the movies...he knows the droids, Chewie and Vader on sight now thanks to the Birds versions. Neither the standard toys nor the Clone Wars stuff ever really caught his interest. The other day at Wal*Mart he found a clearanced Early Bird set that he really wanted to take home, it's the first time he ever picked out a Star Wars toy. He looks at TelePods in the aisle, and has asked for the ABGo! Toys.

That being said, we've only ever downloaded the free apps and there's really no way I can justify bringing home any of the TelePod stuff with his 15-month old brother running around ready to eat/choke on them.

All in all, I can see how this could be the driving force of the Hasbro toy line right now. Certainly the action figure lines are not kid-friendly in their current formats.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Morgbug on October 26, 2013, 11:50 PM


For the holidays target gets a gift set of repacked movie heroes from 2013. TRU gets a TBS 6" speeder bike/biker scout set that they sell for $45. Kmart gets a couple sweet TBS 3 3/4 sets including several Jabba's Palace characters and a scaled-up skiff from out of nowhere. Amazon gets a set of "retro-packaged" 5POA Prequel figures that were developed for the movie heroes line but pulled in favor of OT figures. Walmart passes on selling any gift sets.



Chuckle. 

I haven't bought anything SW for quite some time.  The bolded part made me LOL.  The red part made me interested.  Really don't see myself buying anything anyway but that sounds more intriguing than anything of late. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on November 15, 2013, 12:34 PM
Outstanding article on the downward trend of action figure sales despite the proliferation of the movies that drive them:

http://www.toydirectory.com/monthly/article.asp?id=5446

Worth a read.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on November 15, 2013, 01:56 PM
Why were Star Wars sales huge in 2008? Or am I misreading?

The X-Men seem to have lost their luster. No wonder the Wolverine line was 5 crappy 5 POA figures
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on November 15, 2013, 02:13 PM
2008 = the launch of Clone Wars, both TV show and the CW theatrical movie push.

It also kicked off the mega-vehicle craze with the AT-TE and BMF/Falcon.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on November 15, 2013, 02:41 PM
"nobody beats Hasbro when it comes to bringing an action figure to the market"

unless you live in the United States and wanted that last wave of Clone Wars figures. Or Movie Heroes. Or that online exclusive TVC wave. or, etc etc

It is an interesting piece to be sure. I would like to see a box office/sales graph for The Hobbit...yikes.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on November 15, 2013, 06:15 PM
2008 = the launch of Clone Wars, both TV show and the CW theatrical movie push.

It also kicked off the mega-vehicle craze with the AT-TE and BMF/Falcon.

True, but man the drop off the next year was huge.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on November 15, 2013, 08:29 PM
Really?  I felt like 2009 was still a **** ton of product...  Maybe I'm cheap but I kind of like the scale back...  As big as 2008 was how about '07?  Holy cow was that year expensive and as I recall hasbro said it was one of the best years for the line.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on November 15, 2013, 08:54 PM
Interesting read....they mention the dropoff in action figure sales - despite the blockbuster movies - is just that there is so much out there these days, which I can see.  One thing that really helped Star Wars was that it stayed in the theaters half the year, and for the most part, it was the only game in town in those days.  Most of the "big" movies from our childhoods (Star Wars, Indy, E.T., Back to the Future, Karate Kid, Goonies, etc.) were movies without toylines (or very small ones).  Star Wars really dominated the movie-franchised stuff back then, and even into the 90s, whereas now there are 3-5 movie supported lines each year from Hasbro alone.  Different world.  It does make me wonder where action figures are headed in another 5-10 years though.

2007 was the TAC collection, and was pretty well received if I remember correctly.  Nice figures, nice accessories, and coins.  I remember that year being a pretty "fun" year to collect.  Like Jesse, I appreciate a more scaled back approach to Star Wars.  I don't need to be tracking down 60-80 figures a year, especially at these prices, and it gets to be burnout at this point.  Plus, although I know it won't happen, I really wish there was one, unified line.  Find that happy medium between the $6 Legends and the $10 Black Series and get a $7 or $8 figure, with 35-40 figures/year.  Easier to keep up with, and I'm sure we'd see more stuff on a movie year.  Of course, if Disney's plans hold, every year will be a movie year once Episode VII hits.  Collecting could really change for us again then, because if we do get a yearly movie, I wonder how much room there will be for OT stuff (or PT stuff for that matter).

They had a topic about this on Yakface the other day as well, about what we'd like to see when the big Episode VII push begins.  I know we'll likely never hit the glory days of ROTS and its $4.99 figures (and pretty nicely done figures even at that), but if we could get back in the $7 or $8 range, and have quality along that TAC collection lines, I think I'd be pretty happy.  It honestly seems like Hasbro is treading water (with 3 3/4" in particular) until the movie(s) start up, or at least Rebels.  Don't get me wrong, there is some neat stuff on the way with that Empire themed wave, but it doesn't seem like those lines - the Black Series in particular - are a top priority right now.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Muftak on November 15, 2013, 10:56 PM
I really think the happiest spot we could be in, the ideal situation Big H should be aspiring to create, is one in which there are about 52 unique figures a year that ship in multiple waves and in quantities that would allow the dedicated collector to pick up one new figure a week.

The closest I've come to being able to pull this off was in 2007, and even then I had to cheat by banking figure purchases on weeks I couldn't find anything new for the day I would find a whole new wave. Wouldn't it blow your mind to be able to count on a figure being available the next time you go to the store instead of having to grab them all the first time you see 'em for fear of never finding them again?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on November 16, 2013, 05:09 PM
That was a very stark read.  But it does illustrate through data the growing trends that we've been seeing develop over the past decade. 

The CGI era of movies has left us with an increased number of releases that seem geared towards a considerable licensed merchandise line.  Notably, anchored with action figures/toys.  And I think many of us have been left wondering why some movies had a related toy line, or why a particular movie had as big of a toy line as it did.

Clearly, the retailers are aware of these trends.  Case in point?  The current Hasbro line for Thor - The Dark World.  I've only seen those basic figures at TRU stores.  It seems like other retailers are being far more selective.

If you look at how previous Marvel movie figure lines have performed, it seems very likely that Hasbro over-produced product for Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America - The First Avenger.  Even though those movies did very well at the box office, their action figure lines didn't really follow suit.  Witness Hasbro scaling back on the figure line for The Avengers, which had some of the biggest box office numbers of all time.

I think that the traditional business model which we've grown accustomed to has run it's course.  The market wants something new and different.  What that is is beyond me.  But I can definitely see the potential for toy lines like the ones we've known and celebrated here at JD to make their way over to smaller manufacturers.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on November 16, 2013, 05:59 PM
Really?  I felt like 2009 was still a **** ton of product... 

The sales drop-off on the chart, not the amount of product released.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Muftak on November 16, 2013, 10:03 PM
If you look at how previous Marvel movie figure lines have performed, it seems very likely that Hasbro over-produced product for Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America - The First Avenger.  Even though those movies did very well at the box office, their action figure lines didn't really follow suit.  Witness Hasbro scaling back on the figure line for The Avengers, which had some of the biggest box office numbers of all time.

I would argue the point that Hasbro went too far afield in the IM2 and Cap film lines...there was far too much non-movie product too early. They need to get a grip on the established play patterns. You need the bad guy available on the shelf to help sell the hero. You need a line that lends itself to collecting them all. 50 versions of one character available on day one or 50 characters available for a movie that only highlighted six of them show Hasbro has forgotten the formula. 10-20 figures as the movie necessitates. When the line is a success you come back to the table to add depth. Repeat until you can't sell anymore.

Part of the reason the Skylanders have been successful thus far is they have been comparatively less expansive and reward the kid who collects them all. Hasbro can compete on that level.

I do wonder what Star Wars will morph into, Skylander-wise, to survive. Will Hasbro retain their license? Or will the action figure line be killed by Disney in favor of phasing the characters into Infinity? It will be interesting to watch.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on November 16, 2013, 11:54 PM
Sky landers is probably a good indicator. Witness the emphasis they put on telepods. An interactive element to the toy probably becomes necessary the further we go along. Definitely agree the model we are used to is history.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on November 17, 2013, 08:45 AM
If you look at how previous Marvel movie figure lines have performed, it seems very likely that Hasbro over-produced product for Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America - The First Avenger.  Even though those movies did very well at the box office, their action figure lines didn't really follow suit.  Witness Hasbro scaling back on the figure line for The Avengers, which had some of the biggest box office numbers of all time.

I would argue the point that Hasbro went too far afield in the IM2 and Cap film lines...there was far too much non-movie product too early. They need to get a grip on the established play patterns. You need the bad guy available on the shelf to help sell the hero. You need a line that lends itself to collecting them all. 50 versions of one character available on day one or 50 characters available for a movie that only highlighted six of them show Hasbro has forgotten the formula. 10-20 figures as the movie necessitates. When the line is a success you come back to the table to add depth. Repeat until you can't sell anymore.


We've been down this road in regards to how many hero characters should be released in relation to villains, etc.  There's the argument that movie studios may be intervening in an effort to avoid spoilers, too.  And I agree that from A COLLECTORS STANDPOINT there seem to be too many versions of the hero character and not enough of the villains.  But look at us:  we're Star Wars collectors.  Over time, we've really come to almost fetishize the Imperials!  And that's because they're such classically designed villains.

But back on topic?  What we don't know is how are all of those varying hero figures are actually selling.  Hasbro and the retailers have that sales data, and that data is probably shaping the nature of these lines.

And let's look at one line that DOES have diversity in terms of both hero and villain characters:  The Avengers.  The film was released in April of 2012, and the figures began to be available for at least a month or two before the film's release.  AND it had relative character diversity.  There were only a few versions of each main character.  And in the case of one Iron Man that was just a stretch?  Buyers/collectors essentially passed.  But was this particular line the exception?  It's an interesting thing to look at.  And again, this particular movie could be an anomaly, since it was one of the highest grossing movies in box office history.  But perhaps it is a clear indicator of one one thing:  perhaps a movie needs to be as big as something like Avengers in order to support a toy line.

And that's something that perhaps the toy industry needs to get back to:  making a licensed toy line a special thing.  Because now we're in an age where a large number of summer movies are trying to field a toy line.  Why?  Because there's big money in that sort of licensing agreement.  But I think we're in a spot where things need to be dealt with in some sense of scale.  How do you figure out which movies should offer a proportionally scaled toy line?  That's the tough part.  But I think we're getting there.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Muftak on November 17, 2013, 09:41 AM
You're absolutely right...when they went back to basics with the Avengers line it still didn't explode off the shelf. Another line I would have said was perfectly executed was the Star Trek 3 3/4 line...and it tanked horribly. So all I speak from is arm-chair toymaking and looking back on a line as far as its overall kid/collector appeal.

We do approach this through the prism of 1977 Star Wars, where it was the biggest movie ever in an age when movies didn't come home with you except in the form of something else. Oh, and those toys didn't even make it to the shelf until a year after the movie hit. When Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica tried to repeat the success the next year with the same bunch of non-video gaming kids, their toy lines failed too. So maybe its a historical truth that big movies/TV shows have toy lines that bomb, and we are just blinded by the solitary exception.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Dan on November 17, 2013, 11:37 AM
Most of these movies are targeted at adolescent and adult males- so even though the movie may do blockbuster numbers, that doesn't translate to toy sales. Most of them are based on comic characters, and we all know the average age of a comic book reader is probably pushing 40+.

Movies aimed at kids could sell toys, but they turn off the adult fan base, period (helly-o, jar jar binks). It will definatley be interesting to see what Disney does with this dilemma.

Companies looking to capture profit from kids habits/play patterns are far better off sticking to electronic media with some spin-offs. The rise of wages for factory workers, as well as increased costs for materials and shipping, make the old model of aisles of plastic toys a dinosaur, with far less cream for the skimming. Lego is the exception, but that is due to their niche. They don't depend on someone elses story to sell their products. Whatever they do sell from licensed merch is just gravy on top of gravy.

My kids will reminisce about mario-kart, webkinz, and all kinds of apps they played while they were young. My youngest daughter liked teen titans, avatar, and the clone wars. But she never cared for toys from them. A video game or app? That is what she wants to extend her enjoyment of the original media.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on November 18, 2013, 10:22 AM
So maybe its a historical truth that big movies/TV shows have toy lines that bomb, and we are just blinded by the solitary exception.

Well all the stuff me or my brother loved as kids was either A) Star Wars or b) based on a popular after-school cartoons we watched - GI Joe, Transformers, He-Man, Superfriends, MASK - way more than any movies we saw.  They all, just like Star Wars flicks, had repeat exposure for me.

All the other "blockbusters" of the era that I saw never really captured much of a toy line.  Indiana Jones was probably my second biggest movie toy line as a kid, but even that never really took off.  Maybe you're right and it's just the fact that Star Wars is/was a really special thing and everyone has been chasing it ever since...
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on November 18, 2013, 10:47 AM
I think the proliferation of so many movie based action figure lines has effectively diluted their impact.  There's been so many action figure lines that they're not as special as they were in the late 70's and early 80's.  And interest in some of those vintage lines are fringe at best.  Figures from Battlestar Galactica, Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Black Hole might have some fans here.  But that fanbase is pretty niche in the grand scheme of things.

Not to pick on you personally, Jeff (I know you're a Green Lantern fan), but the movie figure line for Green Lantern?  OMG, what a bomb!  Way too much product that was produced in too many different scales.  And I think that line was a prime example of how to NOT do a comic movie toy line based on a 2nd tier character.  There has to be a balance in a toy line for a movie like that which is built around key elements:  The Hero, the Villain, and the supporting characters.  But Mattel went all ape-**** and wanted to produce the WHOLE GREEN LANTERN CORPS, and the Guardians, and a BAF Parallax, etc.  It was unrealistically optimistic.  And I think that particular line may have been a tipping point in the licensed action figure business.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on November 18, 2013, 11:22 AM
Star Wars is definitely singular and unique, in just about every way. And it's probably not fair to hold any other toy line against its past performance, even its modern incarnation. SW is an evergreen brand that maintains an aisle presence now going 20 years media support or no. These last few years have been unsuccessful perhaps in contrast to even 5 years ago, but compared to other toy lines? GI Joe for example? Hasbro owns GI Joe and they can't even make that work.

A good measure of what is working is TMNT. This is no doubt the hottest toy line out there right now. It has a weekly TV show, expansive product tie-ins, a legacy brand, and it moves. When Rebels shows up, and the new movies, SW will be fine. It won't be what it was, because it won't be for anyone. But whatever the future of toys is, SW will be a big part of it.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on November 18, 2013, 11:25 AM
Not to pick on you personally, Jeff (I know you're a Green Lantern fan), but the movie figure line for Green Lantern?  OMG, what a bomb! 

Hey, I don't work for Mattel or I could have told them they were headed for trouble.   ;D

The GL line was a perfect example of way over-producing.  They had the 7" BAF stuff for their core 7" collectors, the gimmicky 3.75" stuff for the kids, and a "trying to please kids and collectors" 3.75" basic figure line, which featured tons of GLC figures that kids didn't care about and no real bad guy to fight.  Also, those tons of GLC figures were based on movie re-interpretations/versions that comic-readers didn't really like and they had crappy 5-POA that the average 3.75" adult collectors thought was lame. 

Excellent example of trying to serve too many masters (aka throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks).  It's kind of that way with Bridge Directs' Hobbit stuff.  Some 3.75", some 7".  Trying to hit all three markets (kids, 3.75" collectors, 7" collectors), but never satisfying any because it's too spread out.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on November 18, 2013, 12:20 PM
Star Wars is definitely singular and unique, in just about every way. And it's probably not fair to hold any other toy line against its past performance, even its modern incarnation. SW is an evergreen brand that maintains an aisle presence now going 20 years media support or no. These last few years have been unsuccessful perhaps in contrast to even 5 years ago, but compared to other toy lines? GI Joe for example? Hasbro owns GI Joe and they can't even make that work.

A good measure of what is working is TMNT. This is no doubt the hottest toy line out there right now. It has a weekly TV show, expansive product tie-ins, a legacy brand, and it moves. When Rebels shows up, and the new movies, SW will be fine. It won't be what it was, because it won't be for anyone. But whatever the future of toys is, SW will be a big part of it.

I think that's a reasonable analogy. 

I think we can probably expect some sort of toy offering that's going to interface with a video game platform.  That kind of interactivity is the hot thing right now.  And that's probably why Hasbro has been touting the success of Angry Birds.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on November 18, 2013, 09:03 PM
It really is an interesting time for movie tie-in lines.  Like it has been mentioned, Star Wars really has been the exception to the rule.  Maybe we just aren't judging it right, but it sure seems like the majority of these lines sit - a lot - no matter how well their movies do.  It did seem like Avengers did a little better than most, but even those weren't flying away after a bit either.

A lot of it has to do with having so much of this stuff hitting in any given year, whereas Star Wars basically had the aisle to itself and was such a phenomenon that we just won't really experience again with all the competition in the theaters these days.  Plus, as we've talked about before, kids just aren't as engaged with action figures (or at least not as long) as we were as kids.  I think in the 70s/80s, you maybe started in by age 3 and that carried through maybe to 12, 13, 14 (or even into adulthood like many of us).  That doesn't really happen anymore, at least for the most part.

Quote
A good measure of what is working is TMNT. This is no doubt the hottest toy line out there right now. It has a weekly TV show, expansive product tie-ins, a legacy brand, and it moves. When Rebels shows up, and the new movies, SW will be fine. It won't be what it was, because it won't be for anyone. But whatever the future of toys is, SW will be a big part of it.

Darby makes a good point about TMNT as well.  Our daughter has been way into the new show (which is really pretty good), and toys (also good), so I can tell you - at least in our area - these things move off the pegs pretty consistently.  They are good toys, with some nice variety with villains, etc. - a big playset, vehicles of various sizes, not to mention the role play stuff.  I was reading some info from the presentation at SDCC from Playmates, and they mentioned that in the 1988-1990 timeframe when Turtles began and started airing the cartoon that the toys represented 50% of the action figure market.  Crazy.

I wonder if we'll continue to see more conservative approaches with some movie tie ins.  I look at the new Thor movie, and there are only five figures and they've only been at TRU (at least locally).  It seems possible that will be all there is for that line.  Now I'm sure Star Wars will be way more expansive a line, but it will be interesting to see what kind of line it will be by then.  2015 (if the release holds) will be another huge action figure tie-in year with Avengers 2, Batman/Superman, Jurassic Park (I think?), Fantastic Four reboot, Ant Man, and probably others I'm forgetting off hand.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on December 6, 2013, 11:24 AM
Re: Amazon's crazy pricing

In the last few weeks, Amazon's had 40-60% off deals on various Black Series figures (3.75" and 6"), all the Mission Series 2-packs, and the exclusives - Droid Factory 6-pack, TIE Interceptor, Slave I.  I've seen some twitter comments damning the whole line because Amazon is "blowing out all it's Star Wars stuff", but others just seem to think that it's Amazon trying to spur holiday sales with popular items. 

So, what do you guys think?  Is this a sign that Star Wars isn't selling or just a sign that Amazon loves to have crazy prices on stuff during the holidays?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scott on December 6, 2013, 11:48 AM
Check out the Top 100 Toys selling right now on Amazon...

Top 100 Action Figures and Playsets (http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Toys-Games-Toy-Figures-Playsets/zgbs/toys-and-games/165993011/ref=zg_bs_nav_t_1_t)

#21 SW Angry Birds Telepods
#49 SW Angry Birds Telepods
#58 SW Angry Birds
#63 Darth Vader Voice Helmet
#80 Darth Tater

Yesterday when I looked 6" Sandy was like #98, but isn't on the list today.  To me that is NOT a good sign as to the health of the line in general.  That said, look at how few action figures outside of TMNT is on that list...I think our beloved action figures are not in favor at all right now.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scott on December 6, 2013, 11:52 AM
I just saw you can break it down further to just Action Figures:

Top 100 ActioN Figures (http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Toys-Games-Action-Toy-Figures/zgbs/toys-and-games/2514571011/ref=zg_bs_nav_t_2_165993011#1)

I see
#70 6" Sandtrooper
#85 6" R2-D2
#86 4" Darth Vader
#94 6" Darth Maul

Pretty sad :-[
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on December 6, 2013, 12:18 PM
Yeah, the turtles are sitting #15 (Leo), #18 (Raph), #23 (Mikey), and #26 (Don).   All signs everywhere suggest they are the toy line atop the hill the past 18months.

[waits patiently for CHEWIE to roll in here and tell us all how funny it is that the best selling lines on the list (Playskool Heroes, Imaginext, TMNT, Jake/Pirates) have big playsets to go with them :P]

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Greg on December 6, 2013, 12:51 PM
Re: Amazon's crazy pricing

In the last few weeks, Amazon's had 40-60% off deals on various Black Series figures (3.75" and 6"), all the Mission Series 2-packs, and the exclusives - Droid Factory 6-pack, TIE Interceptor, Slave I.  I've seen some twitter comments damning the whole line because Amazon is "blowing out all it's Star Wars stuff", but others just seem to think that it's Amazon trying to spur holiday sales with popular items. 

So, what do you guys think?  Is this a sign that Star Wars isn't selling or just a sign that Amazon loves to have crazy prices on stuff during the holidays?

I think it's just Amazon's crazy pricing. They have had similar deals on Lego over the past couple of weeks, and similar deals on Hasbro over the years. I think I got the Republic Shuttle for $17 back in 2011, and I picked up WAAAAAAAAYYYYY too many final TVC wave repack figures for a couple bucks apiece last year. Frankly I'm happy Amazon is offering these great sales, and I hope they continue stocking such a broad range of Star Wars going forward.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on December 6, 2013, 01:49 PM
Scott's information is far more solid than pricing...  How many years did we go with things getting clearanced in the supposedly "biggest year for Star Wars ever!", and it really meant nothing.  Wal-Mart dumping things at their stores, discounters getting great stuff...

Sometimes it means things are bad, sometimes it just means someone overordered but the numbers still did well for what Hasbro wanted or needed.

Where did Mission Seires, Legends, and 4" TBS land in that list Scott posted?  At $20 a pop I personally never thought 6" was that great of a formula, when at $10 a pop the basic figures already were struggling...  I'd love to see beyond 100 really.

However, what are Hasbro's goals there?  are they hoping to sell as many 6" figures as they used to sell vehicles?  Or were they hoping to sell as many 6" figures as they did 4" figures, or a number only slightly adjusted from that?

That's the kind of thing ya just don't know.

I also know there's been a bit of an edict handed down since last Summer that 2015's getting far more attention than 2013 and 2014...  that's obvious but there's even more to it than the simplistic "new movies are where we should focus".  And Hasbro's had to deal with that, after being zeroed in on 3D films and things.

Right now I think the line's in a bad place, but I think it's also there with some intent that right now doesn't matter as much as 2 years from now, to them anyway.

Either way, Scott's lists/info shows, I think at least pretty clearly, that stuff for kids trumps stuff for us generally.  People hate hearing that.

Hell, Angry Birds cracking the top 100...  Doesn't that tell anyone that the, "Angry Turds Suck! Why does Hasbro waste their time and $ on those!?!?!?" crowd is at least a LITTLE bit off?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on December 6, 2013, 01:56 PM
The general health of the line is something I question, since NOTHING is moving at retail, outside of soemthing 'new.' But then here in Iowa anyhow, nothing moves outside of Turtles. So hard to say. I think SW will be fine, but thank God for HTS - I don't expect to see Wave 3, or 4, of anything at retail at this stage.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on December 6, 2013, 02:05 PM
It does seem that play patterns are shifting towards interactivity with gaming consoles and computers.  When I go into TRU these days I'm struck by the enormity of the Skylanders feature display at the front of the store.  Some 30+ feet of shelf space is dedicated to this particular property, and it seems that popularity is due to how the toys interact with video games.

As for the current spate of sales?  We're in the home stretch of the 2013 retail season.  And we always see significant sales this time of year.  It is worth noting that retail sales stats show that spending in 2013 is DOWN from spending during the 2012 holiday season.  That macro statistic indicates a more broad softness at retail than being isolated to any one intellectual property like Star Wars.

As for Star Wars?  I believe I've said this before, but it bears repeating.  I think we're in a transitional stage.  Hasbro is trying to find the next big thing from a play pattern / marketing standpoint.  And Lucasfilm / Disney are still dealing with the new realities of the corporate takeover.  Much of the licensed future of Star Wars is going to depend on how Episode VII shapes up, along with the upcoming Rebels animated series.

So fear not, Chicken Little.  The sky is not falling.  We're just waiting to see where things are going next.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scott on December 6, 2013, 02:22 PM
The one arguement against that Nick though is that even within a catagory as broad as "Action Figures" Star Wars isn't even selling that well. 

I know Episode VII is going to be ga ga gangbusters and will have the full spate of product we expect but I agree with you, it isn't going to be the SAME product we expect.  Video game/Interactive model is the now and it is going to happen. 

I also want to reemphasize the point that part of the reason for the decline is lack of media.  TMNT is buoyed by a cartoon, SW has nothing but us, 30-50 year old men with disposable income.  That isn't exactly Hasbro's niche...they want to be more in the Turtle world unfortunately (for us)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on December 6, 2013, 02:52 PM
I know Episode VII is going to be ga ga gangbusters and will have the full spate of product we expect but I agree with you, it isn't going to be the SAME product we expect.  Video game/Interactive model is the now and it is going to happen. 

I agree.  The action figure model has been running since 1978 as we know it, and that trend appears to be on the decline.  Unless Hasbro can find some way of making those figures & toys interactive with gaming systems.

What I think we're likely to see in the next 1 to 2 years?  The Kinect concept is pretty big with X-Box, and I think we're going to see other consoles pick up that kind of technology.  I think Hasbro is very likely to offer a lightsaber that interacts with these consoles with a game.  Perhaps in a partnership with EA.  And I think Disney can bring those parties together to make something like that happen.

But the lack of media support is also at play here.  However, with the new animated series launching next year I think it's likely that we'll see an uptick in sales.  Will that translate across the board, and not be isolated to just the Rebels series?  We'll have to wait and see.

It's funny though.  I know that in it's time we decried the CommTech reader of 1999 as nothing but a gimmick.  But the concept seemed to be a little bit ahead of it's time.  The concept had some foresight regarding interactivity and media combined with figures.  I suspect that this "New Thing" might actually owe something to the concept behind the CommTech reader.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on December 7, 2013, 11:07 AM
That's a great point about the CommTech Reader. Way ahead of its time and shy of the mark of real interactivity. If they had integrated that technology into the vehicles/playsets, or beyond to any kind of gaming, then maybe. But that was 15 years ago (!!!). The more I think about it, it's the toy industry in general, rather than any particular brand, that is suffering right now.

We've talked about it before, but SW is actually proving to be somewhat bulletproof - very few if any brands could survive the (many) near death experiences it has had, and that includes right now, post TPM 3D. The line chugs along, hobbled, but alive. The toy industry is suffering from rising production costs, labor costs, loss of customers to video games/electronics, and I think the internet - Amazon and their batshit prices are a great example of the slow bleed online has had on retail toy shopping. Who out there right now on the fence on 6 inch is going to pick up those shelf warming Lukes or R2's when they can get them for $10 online? $9? Maybe it gets them into the game long term, but it also keeps the shelves nice and warm.

A gigantic part of collecting for most of us for a long time has been the hunt. That's slowly eroded, and with the state of things being what they are, we've reached a tipping point where ordering online is really your only option. That only escalates the situation at retail, and you have articles out there now about Toys R Us struggling quite a bit. If TRU shrank or went under, you're talking about the effective end of the retail collector. Wal-Mart may be the largest toy buyer in the world, but TRU supports such a broad range of lines unavailable anywhere else that the toy industry would be reduced to whatever kids play with right before they turn on their first iPad.

I think there will always be a place for action figures, and Star Wars toys, but what does that look like? No idea at this point.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on December 7, 2013, 01:06 PM
That's a great point about the CommTech Reader. Way ahead of its time and shy of the mark of real interactivity. If they had integrated that technology into the vehicles/playsets, or beyond to any kind of gaming, then maybe. But that was 15 years ago (!!!). The more I think about it, it's the toy industry in general, rather than any particular brand, that is suffering right now.

There was a second generation of CommTech chips in the works.  The figures that were to be offered with that second wave of CommTech technology eventually became what we saw in the POTJ line.  Rumor had it that when you placed multiple second gen CommTech chips on the reader that they would interact with one another.  But from a marketing standpoint the concept fell flat.  Hasbro probably would have been better served by packing a figure with the CommTech reader, but it's all ancient history.

The action figure segment seems to be reaching for SOMETHING to bring it back.  But I think it's really suffering because the market has become oversaturated by properties that THINK they can sustain an action figure line, and a shift towards video games on either console systems, computers and handheld devices.  I suspect that what may help is if we see a game developed by both Hasbro and EA with content that's unlocked by codes with a figure.  Will that happen?  We'll see.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on December 9, 2013, 04:34 AM
I think TRU and other such toy stores will survive. People are buying toys for the kids for Christmas and TRU is packed. Sure, people are not buying Star Wars figures but they are buying things like TMNTs, Legos, dolls, craft-type stuff, bikes, hot wheels, nerf, video games, etc. Toys do sell but regular people buy for gifts or implus buys for their kids. The Lego store down at Downtown Disney is always crazy packed. Collector oriented stuff doesn't sell at traditional stores. I think we get a little focused on our own little area of the toy world and think the toy industry is dieing but don't look at what kids really want. It ain't Star Wars but maybe superheros instead.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: speedermike on December 12, 2013, 03:30 PM
Kids love Star Wars, but they want SW Lego.

As much as I love 3 /34 figures, I don't blame them for loving the Lego figs.  They have vehicles and playsets. They fit in the vehicles, they hold their weapons, and there's big selection at any one time.  They are, closer to the Kenner line than the Black Series will ever be.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on December 12, 2013, 09:16 PM
I really do wonder about the future of Star Wars action figures (and action figures in general).  Obviously, things will likely pick up a lot when new movies start to hit, but what will things look like at that point?  The example of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line was brought up, and as someone who follows that line pretty closely (our daughter is way into the show and toys - and has a complete lineup so far), plus working Black Friday this year I can definitely say - those toys move.  I couldn't believe how many Turtles figures (not to mention the larger stuff, role play, vehicles, etc.) sold throughout the weekend, and in general.  The Star Wars section was pretty much untouched even with all of the shoppers coming through.  Granted, there isn't current entertainment, which I think makes a pretty big difference with casual/gift buying people, but it was a big difference.

On the TMNT subject as well, that line just seems to be run pretty well.  Just keeping track and shopping for all of the different characters for our daughter, I've noticed that we've been able to find everything at retail (usually several times) - things are restocked consistently.  Plus, there is a nice variety to the line.  Sure, there are multiple versions of the Turtles, but she has at least a dozen villains/supporting characters as well in the first year+ of the line.  They come with a nice array of accessories and all that, most are well articulated, and usually run about $8.  Anyways, enough about Turtles, but it really is the model of an action figure line right now it seems.  I just wonder what the make-up of the Star Wars action figure line will be going forward.  I have a feeling 2014 will be a relatively slow year, much like this year (but hopefully without the 6-8 month break to start things off).  I know I'm really looking forward to that Yoda/Luke wave on the way, as well as the 6" stuff.  Toy Fair should be interesting.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Qui-Gon Jim on December 13, 2013, 12:33 PM
I've noticed that we've been able to find everything at retail (usually several times) - things are restocked consistently.  Plus, there is a nice variety to the line.  Sure, there are multiple versions of the Turtles, but she has at least a dozen villains/supporting characters as well in the first year+ of the line. 

This echoes my experience with a different line I have been getting for my son, Disney's Planes.  There was one character, Rochelle, that was packed at 1 per case for one wave.  My SW experience warned me to expect a tough find on this one.  I've seen this one on three or four different occasions, and it isn't because these things sit.  Every store we frequent regularly turns over their stock (pegs empty then full then empty again).

I think other companies "get" it where Hasbro just doesn't.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on July 24, 2014, 01:16 PM
Was discussing the explosion of large scale Star Wars figures with someone this morning.  It's kind of incredible how fast it's spreading.

Since Hasbro kicked off the 6" line last year, we've had...
- a new 6" line from Hasbro
- a few 6" MAFEX from Medicom (Japan)
- a few 6" SHFiguarts from Bandai (Japan)
- a new 12" 5POA line from Hasbro
- a new 12" announcement from Hot Toys (1:6 scale)
- a new 13"-15" line from Disney Stores
- a new 18" announcement from Hot Toys (1:4 scale)
- a new 21" line from Jakks Pacific
- a new 31" line from Jakks Pacific

And there could be more announcements out there at SDCC...  crazy.

What do you all think is the cause?
- Is it everyone trying to cash in on the success of GG's Jumbo Kenner figures? 
- Is it Disney who opened the license floodgates to prep for Ep7?
- Is it yet another sign that 4" is dead and the future lies with bigger figures?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Dave on July 24, 2014, 01:57 PM
Normally I'm pretty open to new Star Wars lines, but I'm completely uninterested in nearly all of these, so I'm at a loss as to who these are targeted towards and if they'll be successful.

I mostly love the Hasbro 6" stuff, and I understand the 5POA from Hasbro and to some degree the Disney stuff, even though I'm mostly uninterested in the last two.

Not interested in the Hot Toys stuff.

The Jakks Pacific stuff completely confuses me.  It seems super lame.

Japan is Japan.  They've got their own licenses and can do some weird stuff sometimes.

Maybe they feel 3 3/4" is completely tapped out (without new cartoons/movies) and were just trying new things.  I would be surprised if even half of these lines still existed in 18 months.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on July 24, 2014, 05:32 PM
I'm very closed minded to new scales, so if bigger scales are (mostly) the future (4" maybe being relegated to kid-oriented things), then I'm maybe a little dejected but my wallet won't be.

I'll pick up the odd 1/6 Sideshow figure, but I won't be diving headfirst into that.  It'll be limited, militaries figures.  OT almost exclusively.

Bigger does seem to be perceived as "better" for collector-oriented toys though right now, and for the most part they're right.  If you read the article yesterday we posted a link to on the front page, regarding Jabba The Hutt's 6" figure creation process, Hasbro was very pro 6", and had a stance that what they do in 6" can't be done in 4".

Now, do I believe that?  No.  Only because they've proven they CAN do the things in 4" scale they seemingly were now claiming aren't possible in the 4" scale.  The washes to highlight hair sculpts?  4" had them for years, now cutbacks they don't.  Painted buckles and buttons?  They've done that...  They do is less now.

I don't disagree that you can do it better, or more elaborate in 6" scale though.  That's indisputable really.  But they've cut back and aren't doing it much at all in 4" scale now...  costs and all that jazz.  They're seeing that $10 is a threshold for 4" figures where people really are hesitant to spend it.  I think they're at this point afraid to raise a basic figure above that because they know price has hurt that line far more than any other factor.

That's why I think they're pushing 6"...  They can do more, they've got basically a license to start over with the character pool depth, they've got selling points to adult collectors like higher detail and such...  Their only flaws are vehicles (which they clearly don't feel collectors are a target there anyway unless they're smaller ones), and they're $20, but again they're going to push the "Look what you get for that though!" angle, vs. the $10 figures which have steadily declined in quality while they attempt to hold that price point. 

While I'd be slightly annoyed to see 4" figures I personally find interesting go away, I'm also not going to worry too much about it.  It's been a very long run.  I'll be a little more annoyed that the new media maybe won't have figures I find "worthy" of standing next to my collection.  Customizing will pick up for me for sure though and I'm sure I'll be spending money elsewhere.  I already have been during this slowdown.  There's a lot of good compatible things out there that fit with Star Wars 4" figures, and appeal to me.  There's always something to spend money on other than Star Wars toys.  :-\
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on July 24, 2014, 08:48 PM
Actually, 6" prices are going to go up a couple dollars in the next waves.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on July 24, 2014, 08:52 PM
Wouldn't doubt 4" does too soon, if it sticks around.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on July 24, 2014, 09:22 PM
Actually, 6" prices are going to go up a couple dollars in the next waves.

Someone else said that recently...  did I miss a memo?  Why does everyone think the price is going up?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on July 24, 2014, 09:35 PM
Actually, 6" prices are going to go up a couple dollars in the next waves.

Someone else said that recently...  did I miss a memo?  Why does everyone think the price is going up?

If anything the price needs to go down a few dollars.  Neca makes a better product at a lower price point so far.

Meanwhile, every 6" figure other than Fett and the Stormtrooper has been available on Amazon for far less - the first wave was as low as $9.99 around the holidays.

At this very moment:
Luke is $13.49
Artoo is $15.79
Maul is $15.79
Han is $13.30
Obi-Wan is $13.49
Greedo is $12.51
Leia is $16.69

Most of those are Prime too.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Diddly on July 25, 2014, 05:58 AM
I realize that a lot of things are going up in price, but there has to be a breaking point. Can you imagine paying $15 or so at retail for that lame Yoda we're getting in TBS 4 inch Wave 4? Like Jesse said above, there's always more things to spend money on, and that's what I plan on doing if prices keep going up because honestly collecting hasn't been "fun" in about three years for me now.

Bigger does seem to be perceived as "better" for collector-oriented toys though right now, and for the most part they're right.  If you read the article yesterday we posted a link to on the front page, regarding Jabba The Hutt's 6" figure creation process, Hasbro was very pro 6", and had a stance that what they do in 6" can't be done in 4".

Yeah what was up with that? The first thought that popped in my mind was something like "Well if bigger is better then why did the Hasbro 12 inch line suck so bad in the later years?" I got the feeling like they're still really ticked about losing the 12 inch license to Sideshow and being one-upped, so they're trying to make things right with the 6 inch line.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on July 25, 2014, 08:47 AM
Actually, 6" prices are going to go up a couple dollars in the next waves.

Someone else said that recently...  did I miss a memo?  Why does everyone think the price is going up?

I was looking at figures on Beyond Mortality yesterday.  Wave 5 and 6 figures are at 21.99, while earlier ones are 19.99 (including the Stormtrooper).

But, yeah, I feel that I can't spend too much more than that right now, so I might be pulling the plug on 6" figures. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scott on July 25, 2014, 09:57 AM
Actually, 6" prices are going to go up a couple dollars in the next waves.

Someone else said that recently...  did I miss a memo?  Why does everyone think the price is going up?

I was looking at figures on Beyond Mortality yesterday.  Wave 5 and 6 figures are at 21.99, while earlier ones are 19.99 (including the Stormtrooper).

But, yeah, I feel that I can't spend too much more than that right now, so I might be pulling the plug on 6" figures.
I also saw that they were soliciting a case that has not been announced yet and contains figures from a JTA rumor list...I wouldn't put too much stock in a price hike (yet).
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on July 25, 2014, 10:26 AM
they've cut back and aren't doing it much at all in 4" scale now...  costs and all that jazz.  They're seeing that $10 is a threshold for 4" figures where people really are hesitant to spend it.  I think they're at this point afraid to raise a basic figure above that because they know price has hurt that line far more than any other factor.
I realize that a lot of things are going up in price, but there has to be a breaking point.

I agree with Jesse.  I think we hit the breaking point at $10.  Hasbro's afraid to cross it, so instead of $12 figures, we're getting watered down $10 figures now.  It's also why the Saga Legends 5POA reset happened to drastically reboot "kid figures" back down to $5-6 range.

Jesse has said it a number of times before and I agree 100% - the future has to lie in the middle somewhere for collector figures to live on much longer.  I think Jesse's example is like the 2007/2008 stuff - decent articulation (10-12 points) in the $8 range.  Not everything needs to be ball-joints, but 5POA is way below what they are capable of making.


I was looking at figures on Beyond Mortality yesterday.  Wave 5 and 6 figures are at 21.99, while earlier ones are 19.99 (including the Stormtrooper).

It will be interesting to see if that's a real retail-wide price hike or just the "Previews Effect" of shops buying the Previews solid-figure cases, which will indeed cost more because of the single figure pack-outs.  It's something that hasn't really been talked about much but it's the price you'll pay to get better access to certain figures.

The little signs with the figures at SDCC and the recent Hasbro press releases have all said $19.99 for the standard MSRP on the 6" Black Series figures still though.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on July 25, 2014, 10:40 AM
To add to the price issue, and maybe it's proof or maybe it's shooting one's self in the foot, but K-Mart has upped their 6" prices from 19.99 to 21.99 online and in stores.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on July 25, 2014, 10:41 AM
There's also the matter of the Disney store.  Of all brick & mortar retail, they've started to be a go-to destination for Star Wars figures.  And TBS basic figures sell there for $10.99 each.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on July 25, 2014, 10:42 AM
There's also the matter of the Disney store.  Of all brick & mortar retail, they've started to be a go-to destination for Star Wars figures.  And TBS basic figures sell there for $10.99 each.

And $24.99 for 6".
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on July 25, 2014, 10:58 AM
K-Mart has upped their 6" prices from 19.99 to 21.99 online and in stores.

Hasn't K-Mart always charged $21.99 for the 6" stuff?  Not sure about wave 1, but $21.99 was what they were charging for Wave 2 last November (https://twitter.com/Jesse_James77/status/405128245907296256). ;)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on July 25, 2014, 02:22 PM
Hmmm, I'll check that next time I'm in.  I never really looked.  4" is same price as everyone else.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on July 25, 2014, 02:36 PM
I just paid $21.99 for a 6" Stormtrooper at Kroger. (Grocery store chain) Their 4" stuff was priced as usual though. ruh-roh
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on August 18, 2014, 02:54 PM
Back to the topic of price hikes, I'm seeing lots of Twitter/Facebook reports of Target stores raising prices on the 3.75" stuff...

Saga Legends = $7.19-$7.59 (up from $5.99-$6.49)
Black Series = $10.49-$11.49 (up from $9.99)

No signs yet if this is Target being Target (historically they always jack up the price when a new line is hitting, going back to 1999) or if it's a Hasbro thing.  Kinda surprised if it's a Hasbro thing as all the SDCC info indicated $5.99/$9.99 for the basic figure lines.   :-\
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: RyanMan12 on August 18, 2014, 03:03 PM
I don't understand why Target hikes prices. I'm already skeptical of the quality of the star wars products, don't go raising the prices.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jayson on August 18, 2014, 03:45 PM
I think the price hike on the SL/Mission Series is a harder pill to swallow than the increase on the TBS figures. Granted, haters of the SL figures weren't going to be swayed with a price drop on this line either, but it sure hurts the enthuiasm I have had for the line.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on August 18, 2014, 05:31 PM
I bought a Legends Stormtrooper at Target Saturday and it was $5.99 if that means anything...
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on August 18, 2014, 08:46 PM
Prices were the status quo here, a store that's done the resets, but that's just my own store.

I am in the camp that further price hikes are a real nut punch from Hasbro, if it's Hasbro, but K-Mart reset and the prices were all the SDCC listed ones.  Guess this might just be SOME Targets testing the waters?  Target's a weird duck.

I think a hike in price is equally a kick in the dick for the 5POA or the Black Series stuff...  5POA is supposed to be the affordable thing, the paint apps have been so-so but kind of expected.  Black Series (and the collector line in general) has already seemingly priced itself out of the realm of "casual purchase" territory and anything further is damaging.  Also Hasbro's clearly made cutbacks in quality where they can on any given figure, and paint apps are down across the board on the TBS 4" line.  Any price hike is pretty devastating to something that's struggling and has been since really 2012.

It's the topic of the day.  The sky isn't falling yet though.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Diddly on August 18, 2014, 09:55 PM
My local Targets should think about actually stocking figures before they consider raising prices.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on August 18, 2014, 10:51 PM
Yeah I've not seen a 4" new figure at a Target store in eons.  K-Mart and TRU usually get anything long beforehand actually.  Target was the first locally to put out the 6" deluxe though and what new reset they've done with the 2014 packaging look.

Still yet to see one of those big X-Wings and I'm apparently the only guy not whining about them.  :-\
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on August 19, 2014, 10:31 AM
I saw the new Luke at a Target over the weekend.

It looked very out of place.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on August 19, 2014, 10:32 AM
I dropped by a nearby Target hoping to find some new 4" TBS figures since there have been 0 on the 3 pegs for months and they still haven't restocked even with the reset.  6"- yes.  Finally wave three.  There is one of the big X-Wings but the stickers on the cockpit are peeling back.  Not sure if that will sell at all.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Diddly on August 20, 2014, 06:38 AM
Yeah, my local Targets get a single case of 6 inch figs about once a month and sell through pretty quickly. They haven't stocked TBS 4 inch since they got one or two cases of Wave 3 maybe back in February or March. Our TRU isn't much better.

I haven't even been inside a Wal-Mart in ages. Apparently all they stock now are the kiddie accessories (masks, lightsabers, etc) for every toy line.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on August 20, 2014, 09:43 AM
In my area walmart doesn't stock figures at all. They have still have two lonely naboo pilots with the 3d glasses removed long ago by some kid. They also have one naboo guard. They still have padme and luke from wave 1 black series. I never seen them get any other waves ever. The rest is large figures, masks and lightsabers and angry birds. None of it sells.

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on August 20, 2014, 07:47 PM
The only consistently good rotation I've seen was between TRU (though they've slacked off) and K-Mart.  K-mart being the better of the two and stocking all 3 waves steadily.

Wave 4's not made an appearance here yet, at all.

Target hasn't restocked a TBS 4" figure since Wave 1 here, seriously.  Wal-Mart didn't even stock Wave 1 (none that I went to anyway, but one semi-near me did have Wave 1 and possibly 2).

Target did stock up to Wave 2 of the 6" figures, and were first to get the 6" Deluxe.  K-Mart has stocked and restocked 6" deluxe figures already though, actually.  Target has not that I can tell.

TRU I don't hit often so no clue what's doin' there at this point, and I try to avoid Wal-Mart but I'm usually there on the weekends and they've not had a new toy show since the Maul/Kenobi wave of Mission Series that I can tell.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Dave on September 2, 2014, 04:16 PM
Back to the topic of price hikes, I'm seeing lots of Twitter/Facebook reports of Target stores raising prices on the 3.75" stuff...

Maybe its to account for the extra labor they have in their distribution system now that they're splitting cases between multiple stores  ::)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on September 18, 2014, 10:33 PM
Was discussing the explosion of large scale Star Wars figures with someone this morning.  It's kind of incredible how fast it's spreading.

Since Hasbro kicked off the 6" line last year, we've had...
- a new 6" line from Hasbro
- a few 6" MAFEX figures from Medicom (Japan)
- a few 6" SHFiguarts figures from Bandai (Japan)
- a new 12" 5POA line from Hasbro
- a new 12" announcement from Hot Toys (1:6 scale)
- a new 13"-15" line from Disney Stores
- a new 18" announcement from Hot Toys (1:4 scale)
- a new 21" line from Jakks Pacific
- a new 31" line from Jakks Pacific

And there could be more announcements out there

Now we can add...
- a few 6" Revoltech figures from Kaiyodo (Japan)
- a few 6" Play Arts Kai figures from Square Enix (Japan)

That's now FOUR Japanese companies with planned Star Wars figures in the 6"-7" size.  All of them with plans for Vader and at least three are planning on Stormtrooper too. 

I said it before, I'll say it again - it's just amazing to me how fast and wide this large scale figure wave is spreading.  And you all know the merchandising ball is just going to get bigger and bigger as it continues to roll to Episode 7.   :-X
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on September 19, 2014, 12:44 PM
It really is crazy how things are exploding this year alone, looking at your examples Jeff.  It seemed to me there was too much stuff before, but it is really expanding since the Disney takeover as well.  I feel for those who really try to be "completists" these days, although I'm sure there are fewer of those anymore.  I know even Steve Sansweet has said as much with Episode VII on the way, that it is practically impossible to truly "collect it all" anymore.

I pretty much just focus on the Hasbro stuff anymore, with the odd other collectible here or there, but I really hope we see a simplification of the Hasbro line at least when the movies come around.  I know it is probably wishful thinking, because it is all about retail footspace these days, but I miss the days of "here are Star Wars action figures (one line), here are some beasts, and here are some vehicles".  I guess, like the vintage days, POTF2, relaunch, or even POTJ.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on December 22, 2014, 10:52 PM
Hasbro would be dumb not to do TFA figures, even if they are 5 PoA, with the vintage feel.  That said, I believe the first batch of these figures will be like what they did for RotS and AotC (or Saga), minimal articulation with action features and pre-posed.  I will skip these figures and wait for the SA figures when/if they get there.  If they don't do them, then I guess I'm not missing out then.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on December 23, 2014, 03:55 AM
The Saga Legends / Mission Series segment seems to be selling pretty well so I'd be surprised if that didn't continue. I don't think Hasbro abandons the 3.75 range entirely especially at the outset of what will be the year's biggest merchandise offering.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scott on December 23, 2014, 08:58 AM
At Christmas time to boot!  I would hope that they have enough wits to get product out like around Nov 1...the tricksy thing will be making things non spoilerish.  I still am not exactly sure why Hasbro held back on Count Dooku when AOTC came out, that was rather bonehead
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on December 23, 2014, 10:02 AM
I can't imagine there being no 3.75" line for Ep7. 

No 3.75" line planned for Avengers?  So what.  Maybe they finally realize the market for 3.75" Thor, Cap, and Iron Man figures is satisfied.  You can only carry a line for so long with countless variations of main characters.  Maybe there is no "Avengers 2" specific 3.75" Line because they are just going to do one unified Marvel 3.75" line with a wave for each movie - Cap3, Thor3, Avengers 2, 3,4, Spidey, etc? 

Star Wars is a completely different animal.  All new movies, all new characters.  I believe there will be a 3.75" line.  What it looks like?  That's a different question.

I'm going to guess:
$7 - 3.75" 5POA line
$15 - 3.75" premium collector line (like VOTC was back in 2004).  Maybe clamshells, maybe on vintage-style cards, maybe even exclusive.

I think we'll get what we want... but I think we're going to pay for it as well.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: P-Siddy on December 23, 2014, 11:01 AM
That pretty much sums up my feelings, Jeff... regarding Avengers and SW. 

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on December 23, 2014, 02:41 PM
No 3.75" line planned for Avengers?  So what.  Maybe they finally realize the market for 3.75" Thor, Cap, and Iron Man figures is satisfied.  You can only carry a line for so long with countless variations of main characters.  Maybe there is no "Avengers 2" specific 3.75" Line because they are just going to do one unified Marvel 3.75" line with a wave for each movie - Cap3, Thor3, Avengers 2, 3,4, Spidey, etc? 


I thought it was cause for concern because of the broader climate in the AF business and Hasbro.  We knew when the TBS 6" figure line was introduced that Hasbro was trying to appeal to this collector market that seems much more enamored of 6" figures.  That's where the bulk of collector interest in action figure lines happens to lie these days.

Avengers/Marvel is really one of Hasbro's big licenses.  The first Avengers movie was one of the top grossing movies of all time, so that license has the potential for some crazy value.  It also falls under the Disney umbrella, which as we all know is the new home of Star Wars, too.  And in some of the other Marvel licenses we've seen this shift towards 6" figures, too.  With Guardians of the Galaxy there was no 3.75" figure line, but there was a 6" figure line and a mini figure line that would integrate with their vehicle offerings.

Is Star Wars different?  Yes.  It's got status as a "Legacy" brand that bucks trends.  But it's not completely bullet proof.  Nothing is.  We've kind of rolled along despite the fact that Hasbro has downsized the collector focused 3.75" figure line and shifted to a more broadly focused 3.75" figure system that is simpler and cheaper to manufacture.  Plus, the fact that the first leak of TFA figures happened to be from the 6" figure line and not the 3.75" figure system?  That could just be a coincidence.  I'm not completely pessimistic about the future of the 3.75" figure line.  But do I know that I'm going to be watching these developments closely as Toy Fair approaches.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on December 23, 2014, 04:38 PM
I think a 2.5" line could happen and 4" figures could be canned...  It could be a way for Hasbro to reintroduce higher quality all around the line (vehicles, figures, etc.) while getting costs down so prices are at levels where they'll actually sell well.  I can see it going the other way too and being a 6" line for collectors and 4" line of 5POA stuff for kids and no 4" collector line at all.  I could see it being exactly what it is now too though as well.

I can't say I'll care tremendously, either way.  I'll be a little bummed at no 4" collector figures for the new films and what ultimately never was for the existing films and EU...  I'd also be glad to save the $ and move onto something else I find interesting.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on December 23, 2014, 11:55 PM

Star Wars is a completely different animal.  All new movies, all new characters.  I believe there will be a 3.75" line.  What it looks like?  That's a different question.

I'm going to guess:
$7 - 3.75" 5POA line
$15 - 3.75" premium collector line (like VOTC was back in 2004).  Maybe clamshells, maybe on vintage-style cards, maybe even exclusive.

I think we'll get what we want... but I think we're going to pay for it as well.

I'm not so sure it'll get pricier.  When Episode III came out figures dropped back down to $4.99 because they made money through volume and not MSRP.  I'm hoping we see cheaper figures (than now, not than 2005) when Episode VII hits.   It's going to be incredibly lucrative.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jayson on December 24, 2014, 12:40 AM
My guess: 5POA 2.5" figures (2pks) & vehicles, no Saga Legends figures, LE/Premium 3.75" figures & vehicles, 6" mainline

IF the 2.5" speculation comes to fruition, I just can't see Hasbro having a 2.5" 5POA scale and a 3.75" 5POA scale competing for retail space.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on December 24, 2014, 04:27 AM
We'll see what happens as Hasbro definitely is entertaining this new scale (which with Guardians didn't seem to move, but not sure) but I think if Hasbro were intent on abandoning 3.75 for SW, they would have done it. They seem to be investing further into Saga Legends / Mission Series into 2015 and I can't picture a scenario where they abandon that all of a sudden come September. Because it stops selling? 3.75 hasn't 'sold' properly since 2012 at least, and they still make it in spite of the market. Mission Series where I'm at least trumps everything else, and I can see this persisting in lieu of single SL figures; it's a better value for the consumer and as we've already seen it creates army building and repetitive buying potential, as well as cover for figures that may appear to be traditionally unappealing (girl figures, though I've never bought this concept myself).

Avengers/Marvel seems to have a particular issue at 3.75 that SW does not. Those figures simply don't sell. It's the same figure of the Hulk or Iron Man that it's been since say Iron Man 2 or early Marvel Universe and nobody is buying them anymore. SW is a universe which generates massive amount of unique characters and diversity and lends itself to more variety in the toy aisle. I was sad to see Guardians didn't get a 3.75 line as that movie was made for it but oh well. Maybe 10 years from now Funko will make one.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: RyanMan12 on January 15, 2015, 11:55 AM
I think hasbro is trying to kill the star wars line slowly in favor of their products
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on January 15, 2015, 07:08 PM
Kill off the 3 3/4" collector's market. They'll string the 6" fans for a few years with maybe a dozen new figures a year at most and how ever many clone/stormtrooper/astromech/Boba Fett repaints fans can take.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on January 15, 2015, 09:36 PM
I think hasbro is trying to kill the star wars line slowly in favor of their products

In favor of what, specifically?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on January 16, 2015, 03:00 PM
Stopped in at one of my area Target stores.  Lo and behold, TBS 3.75" basic figures were still priced at $9.99 each.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scott on January 16, 2015, 03:08 PM
Have they done their seasonal reset yet?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: iFett on January 16, 2015, 04:03 PM
My Target has..reset
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on January 16, 2015, 05:17 PM
The stores where I've se the increased prices along with this one have not done any resetting.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: RyanMan12 on March 6, 2015, 10:06 PM
has the newest darth vaders head been fixed?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darth_Anton on March 21, 2015, 11:10 AM
Saw something scary this passed week. Stopped in my area's flagship TRU in Los Angeles, the Porter Ranch store, and found a rest SW isle with no shelf space allotted for 3 3/4 inch figures whatsoever. Black, Mission, Legends, Rebels; nothing.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on March 21, 2015, 03:49 PM
Walmart has been like that since ep1 3d figures didn't sell. In fact they still have some with no price sticker.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Dave on March 21, 2015, 04:37 PM
Was travelling to a small South Carolina town (40,000 people) that surprisingly had a TRU.  I had the opposite experience of seeing a weird double aisle with Star Wars items on both sides.  Probably twice the content I've seen elsewhere and mostly allotted to Hasbro items.  Although they still didn't have anything I was looking for...
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: GrandMoffNick on April 27, 2015, 09:13 AM
Don't know what it means and maybe it's old news but hts shows everything out of stock if you search "black series"
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on April 27, 2015, 11:45 AM
That is weird. You know HTS only has one of each item available. Maybe someone bought them all?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: indysolo007 on April 27, 2015, 02:00 PM
I noticed this the other day. They also purged some of the marvel and transformer figures which later re-appeared. The Star Wars ones never did. I was hoping they were clearing the site for the new black series wave.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on April 27, 2015, 06:53 PM
Kent Brockman: Professor, without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say it's time for our viewers to crack each other's heads open and feast on the goo inside?
Professor: Yes I would, Kent.

 :D
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: indysolo007 on April 28, 2015, 10:16 AM
All I know is that I need some new figures soon! I'm getting way to excited over build a droids. I want my rex, doom, wolf, chewie and giant headed luke/vader
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on April 29, 2015, 10:02 AM
Don't know what it means and maybe it's old news but hts shows everything out of stock if you search "black series"

Looks like a lot of it is back up at HTS now... must have just been doing an inventory and/or moving stock to their ebay store (http://stores.ebay.com/hasbro-toy-shop/_i.html?_nkw=Star%20Wars)...
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on April 29, 2015, 05:32 PM
And now AprilShowers nets you 15% off...  I think?  I just got this coupon code today.  Didn't try it, but didn't see anything saying you couldn't use it on anything either.  I admittedly didn't have time to look too hard though either.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: indysolo007 on April 30, 2015, 10:30 AM
I've refreshed that site an unhealthy number of times hoping the next black series wave will pop up while the coupon code is valid.

I think what's worse is the thought of no longer collecting if Hasbro just goes back to the 5poa figures for the new movies. Also, while watching the new rebels trailer I was thinking of how many cool figures and vehicles they could make. A blue a-wing would be easy!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: indysolo007 on April 30, 2015, 07:05 PM
Wishful thinking but a full-on realistoc rebels exclusive set would be interesting. Could be a few kitbashes.

Hera-tw'lek x wing pilot plus comic pack Bultar swan parts.
Kanan- new head on a comic pack dash rendar
Chopped- retooled mcquarrie r2
And so on.

I'd buy that in a heartbeat!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on February 1, 2017, 05:48 PM
I've been thinking about this topic again recently as I finally tore into my Rogue One stuff over Christmas. Got all the figures opened up, and really like them, but then I was left with the realization "ok, what do I do with these now?" I don't really have room to display them, without really cluttering things up, but I'd hate to just pack them up too. It makes you realize that with this movie a year schedule, space will run out pretty quick. My focus will always primarily be the "Skywalker Saga" of the main movies, but I know things like the Han Solo movie will have me hyped as well. It just seems like unless you have pretty unlimited space decisions are going to have to be made at some point.

My Force Awakens vehicles (and TIE Striker from RO) already just have to sit on the floor, not to mention the 6" stuff if you collect it (which I do). What are your plans going forward? Do you limit it to certain movies, figures only, or another option?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on February 1, 2017, 06:15 PM
There was a comic pack Dash Rendar?  I think you're misremembering that one man. :)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Matt_Fury on February 1, 2017, 07:10 PM
I've limited my collection to The Black Series 3.75" figures.  Even of those I don't get everything.  Although they look good, I never started collecting the 6" figures because they just didn't really fit in any of my displays.

I do, on occaision, pick up some of the regular Hasbro stuff, but that's for my kids, so I don't really count that.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: tmanthegreat on February 5, 2017, 06:43 AM
I've never been a completist with the Star Wars toys, usually just trying to get those items I like best, army building certain figures, and leaving what I didn't care for.  Hasbro's re-introduction of the simple 5-POA style made my collecting much easier as I don't really collect much of the new figures.  I do like the Walmart-exclusive Black Series figures, but even then only collect ones they are new characters from the new films.  (For example, I got the new TFA and RO figures, but have left behind the Landos and Admiral Ackbars as I have those figures already). 

After TFA and RO, I have been further disappointed with the 3.75" scale ships for the most part, with exception to the TIE Striker.  They are just nowhere near as detailed as they were 5-7 years ago and really not worth it to me.  Everything from the extreme underscaled sizes, the weaker plastics, lack of details, and nerf dart guns has really wrecked what had been my favorite part of the Star Wars toy collecting since I was very young.  Unless Hasbro pulls out all the stops again for Episode 8, Im really not going to go after the vehicles anymore...

The figures I have really been enjoying are the Black Series 6" figures.  At first I was a little unsure about them, but I have become much more of a completist as time has gone on. My collection has greatly expanded with those and I will frequently get doubles where I can do I have one to display and one to keep packaged.  Given that many of the 6" figures tend to go up in value, it seems a good idea to keep some boxes.  However, even with the 6" figures, it's rare I'll get a complete wave, especially if the wave is mostly duplicate figures.  There are also no vehicles apart from the lovely First Order TIE Fighter and Imperial Speeder Bike.  Still, my Black Series 6" collection continues to grow and I'm starting to run out of display and storage space for it ;)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on February 5, 2017, 02:43 PM
Has everyone seen the announcement of the Marvel SA 2 packs coming this year?

http://marvelousnews.com/news.php?catid=252&itemid=21202

I think it should give us some hope for a rejuvenation of this format at retail beyond WM. Marvel has maintained a small footprint in SA 3.75, mostly because the cost of it has got to be much lower than SW with reusing so many parts. These figures are all new tooling (though all repeats of larger ML figures) so maybe things are tipping back in favor of SA for SW as well. I'd be happy for two packs at $20 if we got like an army builder paired with someone. What do you guys think?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on February 6, 2017, 06:48 AM
Has everyone seen the announcement of the Marvel SA 2 packs coming this year?

http://marvelousnews.com/news.php?catid=252&itemid=21202

I think it should give us some hope for a rejuvenation of this format at retail beyond WM. Marvel has maintained a small footprint in SA 3.75, mostly because the cost of it has got to be much lower than SW with reusing so many parts. These figures are all new tooling (though all repeats of larger ML figures) so maybe things are tipping back in favor of SA for SW as well. I'd be happy for two packs at $20 if we got like an army builder paired with someone. What do you guys think?

If the Marvel Hasbro pattern holds true, a number of these are probably exclusive, too.  I think a bunch of the 3.75" SA Marvel figures from 2016 wound up being exclusive or distributed VERY tightly.  The CIVIL WAR Cap with motorcycle and Falcon were available at wide retail, but I seem to recall the Black Panther/Agent 13 being a TRU exclusive.


But I was thinking of this particular thread regarding the Future of Star Wars collecting when I was in WalMart last week.  Because I saw some toys for the upcoming movie Kong - Skull Island, and boy is it low end.  The company that's making that toy line is the same one that makes that toy line called "The Corps".  There have been a couple of vehicles from that line that were a little interesting to me, but it has always seemed like the low end version of GI Joe.  How a company like this was able to get a toy license for a fairly big movie release is a surprise to me.  And I think it's an indication of how some of the bigger toy manufacturers are being increasingly cautious about going in on a movie license.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal on February 6, 2017, 08:35 AM
I saw those too and they are god awful toys. The creatures look ok but the people look like preschool toys. Kong is a nice size but barely articulated. These things have clearance written all over them.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Diddly on February 6, 2017, 09:36 AM
I'm thinking the opposite. Are the toys cheap? Yes, but so are the prices, and I'm thinking $30 for a giant tank with a few army figures is going to be a better buy for parents than a $50 Star Wars vehicle or a non-existent $7 figure line
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Diddly on February 24, 2017, 03:54 PM
Interesting tidbit from this article about JC Penney's closing stores (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/02/24/jc-penney-store-closures/98344540/):

Quote
Penney is adding toys, beauty products, appliances and home goods as it tries to appeal to a customer base made up of 70% women and 70% homeowners

I'm wondering if the toy portion means they'll be getting small stocks of Star Wars stuff ala Kohls.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on February 24, 2017, 03:56 PM
What I took from that is that JC Penny's is a good place to pick-up women.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on February 24, 2017, 04:08 PM
Penny's was the place for toys back in the day. I remember the WALL of SW stuff around the time of Empire. Penny's was the first place I remember seeing the Dinobots. Picked up the DROIDS and EWOKS figs there on blowout for like 90 cents.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Master_Phruby on February 26, 2017, 12:31 PM
Sears was like that. That is where I picked up my Bespin playset hundreds of years ago.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Scockery on February 26, 2017, 12:44 PM
When stores had toys, and they had stock. Not one-case of 12 figure on the pegs stock, BUT STOCK. We old timers can only wax romantic about it now. It'll never be like that again.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darth_Anton on February 26, 2017, 01:36 PM
I keep pondering the future myself. Although I'm enjoying the Rouge One product, I feel like the 5POA line is a step backwards and my enthusiasm has waned. I didn't even open most of TFA product. 3.75 in SA articulation is where my heart is and will always be. I'll snatch up everything in that line for also long as Hasbro makes it.

6 inch? I regret ever having started. It's nice, but it just doesn't fit into my collecting universe and in a lot of ways, I feel like we're starting collecting all over, especially with the vintage packaging coming out. I'd much rather have all that in 3.75 inch form.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Qui-Gon Jim on February 27, 2017, 01:48 PM
When stores had toys, and they had stock. Not one-case of 12 figure on the pegs stock, BUT STOCK. We old timers can only wax romantic about it now. It'll never be like that again.
Ah the days of a WALL of G.I. Joe figures...
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Pete_Fett on February 27, 2017, 07:15 PM
6 inch? I regret ever having started. It's nice, but it just doesn't fit into my collecting universe and in a lot of ways, I feel like we're starting collecting all over, especially with the vintage packaging coming out. I'd much rather have all that in 3.75 inch form.

I agree 100%. I decided for some reason to collect the 6" TFA figures. I don't know why, I just did. Thankfully, I was able to limit myself there - I didn't grab any RO 6" figures and I will not be getting any 6" figures from The Last Jedi.

I'm getting into a phase where I'd much rather have Lego anyway, so less $$$ spent on Hasbro means more $$$ to spend on Lego.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Rob on February 28, 2017, 10:30 AM

6 inch? I regret ever having started. It's nice, but it just doesn't fit into my collecting universe and in a lot of ways, I feel like we're starting collecting all over, especially with the vintage packaging coming out. I'd much rather have all that in 3.75 inch form.

The old proverb says 'no matter how far you have traveled down the wrong road, turn back.'

I started with the 6" stuff too, OT only.  Then about 35 figures in I decided I was out.  I found a buyer on Rebelscum that gave me about $20 each for them and I cashed out.  No regrets. 

All they are is bigger versions of something I've already got a massive collection of... I just couldn't see the point anymore.  It's not like I have tons of space.

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on February 28, 2017, 02:32 PM
The 6" line is it's own thing.  I got into it on the ground floor, and I think it's pretty apparent that this is the direction that Hasbro wants to take the collector focused line.  Either collectors will accept it or move on.  I also think that Hasbro saw the way the action figure segment of the business was moving towards 6" figures.  Look at so many other licenses, and the dominant scale was 6" figures.  I think bringing Star Wars to that scale drew in collectors who had more of an interest in 6" scale figures.  I think that's also what opened up retail opportunities like getting into chains like Gamestop.

I like what they've done with the figures, and I appreciate that Hasbro's approach with them was to present the best possible version of that character from a particular setting.  There's none of this gradual evolution of a character that we saw in the 3.75" figure line.  One example that really came to mind was when Hasbro rolled out the Saga line that supported the release of ATTACK OF THE CLONES.  There was this progression of Obi-Wan Kenobi figures that started out really lame.  And with every release they got a little bit better.  But they never got really good very fast.  Hasbro would get you to buy about 5 or 6 versions of Obi-Wan in AOTC before they finally got you a version that was pretty good.  But with the 6" Black Series?  There's been none of that noise.  There's ANH Han Solo, and that's it.  It may get repackaged a couple of times, but it's the same figure.

However, I think that the $20 price point has limited how wide of a net Hasbro can cast.  I don't think you're ever going to get the diversity of characters in the 6" figure line that we got from the 3.75" figure line.  If we get 6 x waves of 3 or 4 figures each?  Those action figure slots are just too limited to spend on a character like an Imperial Officer from TESB versus one from ANH versus another from ROTJ.

And on a similar front, I think that the days of offering up every obscure character from a setting like the Cantina or Jabba's Palace may be fleeting with the 3.75" figure line.  I just don't think Hasbro can pump out 60+ x 3.75" figures a year anymore, and the joke about "Cantina Alien #37" seems like it's just not in the cards anymore.  Especially with Disney pumping out a new movie every year, and the corresponding action figure line to support that theatrical release.  I think that will be directing Hasbro's focus.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on February 28, 2017, 07:46 PM
I'm thinking the opposite. Are the toys cheap? Yes, but so are the prices, and I'm thinking $30 for a giant tank with a few army figures is going to be a better buy for parents than a $50 Star Wars vehicle or a non-existent $7 figure line

Agreed... and at all the Walmarts around here, the Kong toys are selling like crazy, and keep getting restocked.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: CHEWIE on February 28, 2017, 07:48 PM
The 6" line is it's own thing.  I got into it on the ground floor, and I think it's pretty apparent that this is the direction that Hasbro wants to take the collector focused line.  Either collectors will accept it or move on.  I also think that Hasbro saw the way the action figure segment of the business was moving towards 6" figures.  Look at so many other licenses, and the dominant scale was 6" figures.  I think bringing Star Wars to that scale drew in collectors who had more of an interest in 6" scale figures.  I think that's also what opened up retail opportunities like getting into chains like Gamestop.

I like what they've done with the figures, and I appreciate that Hasbro's approach with them was to present the best possible version of that character from a particular setting.  There's none of this gradual evolution of a character that we saw in the 3.75" figure line.  One example that really came to mind was when Hasbro rolled out the Saga line that supported the release of ATTACK OF THE CLONES.  There was this progression of Obi-Wan Kenobi figures that started out really lame.  And with every release they got a little bit better.  But they never got really good very fast.  Hasbro would get you to buy about 5 or 6 versions of Obi-Wan in AOTC before they finally got you a version that was pretty good.  But with the 6" Black Series?  There's been none of that noise.  There's ANH Han Solo, and that's it.  It may get repackaged a couple of times, but it's the same figure.

However, I think that the $20 price point has limited how wide of a net Hasbro can cast.  I don't think you're ever going to get the diversity of characters in the 6" figure line that we got from the 3.75" figure line.  If we get 6 x waves of 3 or 4 figures each?  Those action figure slots are just too limited to spend on a character like an Imperial Officer from TESB versus one from ANH versus another from ROTJ.

And on a similar front, I think that the days of offering up every obscure character from a setting like the Cantina or Jabba's Palace may be fleeting with the 3.75" figure line.  I just don't think Hasbro can pump out 60+ x 3.75" figures a year anymore, and the joke about "Cantina Alien #37" seems like it's just not in the cards anymore.  Especially with Disney pumping out a new movie every year, and the corresponding action figure line to support that theatrical release.  I think that will be directing Hasbro's focus.

Nailed it.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Diddly on March 14, 2017, 12:54 AM
Here's the latest article featuring Paul Harrison (http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2017/03/13/articulated-exasperation-jedi-temple-archives-paul-harrison-on-the-declining-star-wars-toy-line/), where he declares his disdain for lots of things.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on March 14, 2017, 11:35 AM
Here's the latest article featuring Paul Harrison (http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2017/03/13/articulated-exasperation-jedi-temple-archives-paul-harrison-on-the-declining-star-wars-toy-line/), where he declares his disdain for lots of things.


(https://img.clipartfest.com/058625ee08e2387e68dc941f144f3b3c_broken-record-765056-broken-record-clip-art_693-693.jpeg)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Ben on March 19, 2017, 06:46 PM
Here's the latest article featuring Paul Harrison (http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2017/03/13/articulated-exasperation-jedi-temple-archives-paul-harrison-on-the-declining-star-wars-toy-line/), 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.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab on March 20, 2017, 11:58 AM
Here's the latest article featuring Paul Harrison (http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2017/03/13/articulated-exasperation-jedi-temple-archives-paul-harrison-on-the-declining-star-wars-toy-line/), 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 (http://variety.com/2013/biz/news/hasbro-extends-disney-pact-for-marvel-star-wars-toys-and-games-1200566115/) back in 2013, to the tune of an additional $225 million running through 2020.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on March 20, 2017, 11:19 PM
Facts seem to be annoying on all levels these days.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab 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?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on March 22, 2017, 02:25 AM
The subtext is rapidly becoming the text these days.  :-\
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JediJman 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.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jayson on March 22, 2017, 11:34 AM
(http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/001/044/247/297.png)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JediJman on March 22, 2017, 12:08 PM
LOL
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff 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.  :)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Dave 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.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JediJman 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.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff 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. :-\
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James 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.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Nicklab 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. 
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: McMetal 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.

Right?
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darby on March 23, 2017, 06:05 PM
Everyone has pretty much said it. So has Paul Harrison, for years now, but if he were to leave it at that, there'd be no site traffic or revenue, so...
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jesse James on March 23, 2017, 08:05 PM
There's something there to what you said McMetal in that I know I've had a LOT of what you said, in my personal life, and toys are kinda down my list.  I mean I love my hobbies so don't get me wrong there.  They're fun, but I have had major health issues since I was young.  I've been with the same woman for going on 14 years.  I've taken her sons as my own kids.  We've had football since they were 6 and now into college.  There is work work, side work...  I maintain a veritable fleet of cars myself for family.

I love toys, but I can't say toys make me mad.  Frustrated when I can't find what I want?  I can get that.  And like others have said, I hate Wal-Mart as much as the next guy but there's absolutely no evidence to even suggest that Wal-Mart  was in some "race" to get the exclusive rights to 3.75" SA stuff...  fact is, they may very well have been the only place to step to the plate to take those on even.  There's a chance we may be lucky they're out at all (perish the thought!) much less that they're out and we're all pitching a conniption about a fart crosswise with Leia's eyebrows or a misapplied paint app here and there.

Then again TRU Target KM and WM may all have been vying and bidding hard to get SA 3.75" in their stores...  but why don't I believe that to be the case?

Everyone's personal life is different for sure.  I just know personally for me toys are just fun...  and even though things aren't how I want them, and they really aren't right now, I'm always able to find things I do enjoy.  The Speeders in TFA (wherever the hell they were or weren't in the movie) all were really fun items to me.  I'm looking at 5POA stuff as at least customizable for me.  I'm in love with the SA Rogue One we got because man, I love that Jyn Cassian and DT...  I only wish I had 2 dozen Scarrif Troopers!

And today I got 4 Acid Rain guys in the mail and I'm a pretty happy toy guy today. :)
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Diddly on March 24, 2017, 10:10 AM
The distribution issue is a problem faced by EVERY toy line too. I see new Marvel figures maybe twice a year, and right now my stores are full of the same 2-3 figures that are going on 2 years old now. I don't buy WWE figures, but they change their packaging designs every year like Star Wars does, and you can find 3 different types of packaging on the shelves.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: JediJman on March 24, 2017, 11:42 AM
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.

This was in response to the notion that we'd have to pay $20 for a SA line of 3.75" figures sold everywhere (not just at WM).  My rough math is as follows: if a WM Exclusive costs $13, then those figures would probably be in the $10-12 range as a non-exclusive.  If Hasbro needs to sell for more than that to get to the higher margin expectations, a $13-15 price point should be profitable for them, while not moving the consumer's price point all the way up to $20.  I'm assuming the $13 was an acceptable margin for Hasbro, so with level costs (maybe even lower due to higher volume) and a buck or two bump in price, this should be margin accretive.  Make sense?  Am I missing something?   ???
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jayson on March 24, 2017, 11:54 AM
It's really tough for me to get worked up about toys. I've been collecting as long as I can remember, and like everything in life, things change. Who would have thought that after 40 years we'd still be getting new toys and new content, irrespective of their "perceived" quality?

There is not some grand conspiracy to kill the 3.75" SA line in order to up-sell collectors on 6". There are not Hasbro suits plotting the screwing of life-long collectors in order to usher in a new generation of younger consumers. The market is the market and the Hasbro's target market is children, not man-children.

Adult collectors have had an unprecedented run of getting some of the most obscure figures in any line, canon or otherwise. And there are more options than ever to cater to the adult collector with dispensable income in nearly any scale imaginable. If you can't find anything that you like, or if everything sucks since Disney took over, you need to rethink your fandom. No one is forcing us to consume the latest items they throw the Star Wars logo on.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Jeff on March 24, 2017, 01:47 PM
This was in response to the notion that we'd have to pay $20 for a SA line of 3.75" figures sold everywhere (not just at WM).

When I was talking about a $20 line, I had moved on pondering what the cost would be for a modern 2017 equivalent of the 2007 30AC stuff would be.  A line where you got a great, 9-14POA figure PLUS really nice accessories once in a wave - like Jawa/Ewok 2-packs, the Mositure Vaporator, Yoda's Kybuck, the Bespin Torture rack, Droideka with half-shield, etc.  Or giant-size figures like Hermi Odle , etc.

Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Brian on March 26, 2017, 01:24 PM
You guys said it. We really had a pretty glorious and unprecedented run of great stuff there for several years. I think it goes without saying that we'd all like to see things like a return of super articulated figures, large accessories, etc. but times have changed. Personally, I have been buying the 5 POA stuff, I don't hate it, but I've been more selective and army building is close to nothing. I get most excited about the newest WM Black Series offerings, but also dread trying to find them. A happy medium would be nice.

Honestly, one of the most exciting collecting times for me was when the VOTC (and later VTSC) lines were announced. We had our nice, medium articulated line as the main line, then we could look forward to the (at the time) "ultimate" versions of classic characters. Sure, some could and have been improved on, but most were pretty nifty. If they just busted out that vintage packaging for a special line like that (offered at all retailers like VOTC), and we got 18-24 of them a year, it wouldn't be too bad. Mix in smart repacks like the Royal Guard, Ponda, or other army builders/main characters to keep costs down if you have to.

As much as my heart is with the classic characters, I think we have to realize that barrel is about dry. Finish out the vintage line, maybe update a few here and there if needed, but probably focus more on the newer movies. Then we could continue to get "ultimate" versions of main, primary supporting, and army builders while still having the more affordable (and profitable?) main line. Add in just a little articulation there if possible, and it would be nice to see a bit more in the vehicle/beast area.

As for the six inch line, I don't see why we can't have both. Sure, many have hit discounted prices, but I think overall the line still does have a fair amount of heat around it. I personally enjoy both lines. If I had to pick one, I'd definitely choose the 3 3/4" line, but I think there is room for both.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darth_Anton on March 28, 2017, 11:19 PM
I love reading all your well thought out perspectives. They help keep me centered when I'm taking a break from life, enjoying my collection and wistfully reminiscing about the good old days of the 3.75 SA line and all the awesome upgrades to ships we were getting, knowing that we'll never see that "golden age" again. It's life. We've all been a community for quite a while and have seen friends come and go. And our hobby must change just as life itself. Let's face it, some of us in the next ten or twenty years are going to look at our collections and try to decide if we're going to will them to our children, give sale and proceed instructions to our estates or find a younger collectors who will care for our collections as much as we did. Then again, maybe some of us will be buried with our collections.  ::)

Point is, I think may of you know I fall into the 3.75 SA loyalist camp, and although things aren't what they used to be, I'm still enjoying what little we are getting and will continue to do so for as long as I can sustain the hobby.
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Matt_Fury on April 1, 2017, 12:49 PM
My fear is that my wife sells my collection for what she thinks I paid for it!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: GrandMoffNick on April 1, 2017, 01:15 PM
My fear is that my wife sells my collection for what she thinks I paid for it!

That's the funniest thing I've ever heard in my life!
Title: Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
Post by: Darth_Anton on April 18, 2017, 01:26 AM
After Celebration, the future of Star Wars collecting is... good.  :)