Any chat Hasbro related. This includes unofficial Product Lists / Rumors (hearsay).

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By YAK_Chewie
#167653
Last night, I swung by my local Walmart to grab a couple things and checked out the toy aisle... and just had to snap a couple pics. The difference in the interest between Star Wars and other brands right now is staggering... for example, Jurassic World toys. Stores can't keep those dinosaurs and humans in stock (yet, Hasbro's Jurassic World line tanked at retail... coincidence? Not at all.).

And with Star Wars fully stocked, I saw parents and kids walking right past it, totally ignoring it. They looked at Jurassic World empty pegs, kind of looked at the Transformers, then sped right past Star Wars to the next section of toys. I even heard at teenager at Target last week tell his dad that "Star Wars figures used to be better."

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It's amazing just how poorly the Star Wars brand has been handled lately. Just staggering, to be honest. It's time to get back to basics and stop all the nonsense with the way the brand has been managed. Because if I were a buyer for retail, I would not want to go NEAR Star Wars in 2019. The way the brand has been handled has been way too toxic. Here's a possible alternative approach.


TVC - We know the problems here... TVC Wave One was mostly repacks of figures that went on clearance recently... and has crippled distribution. Go figure!!! Plus, they need to get the price down to $10 ballpark. If that means cutting down articulation from 24 pts to 12-14 on average... THEN DO IT. Throw in one gem in each wave that has 18-20 pts of articulation.


5POA - For the most part, these do sell fairly well, but the assembly of these figures sucks. Rebrand this line as STAR WARS SAGA. Drop the split torsos, and make it to where people who customize will buy more... and UPGRADE these figures to be 12-14 pts average articulation, and put at the $10 price point. Moloch, for example is a figure that can be $10 - great figure. Let's see more consistent quality, droids, aliens. Throw in some surprises with some good figure repacks from 2008-2012 in here once in a while. Something like this is also needed to support all the upcoming media.


2 Packs - Rebrand these as STAR WARS LEGENDS. All 2-pks should be from older material (prequels, OT, novels, comics, Disney movies that have been out a least a year, etc.). Each should come with two new figures, or in other cases, one new figure with a repacked ARMY BUILDER that is relevant to the new figure. $20 per set.


Doing the above will make BOTH TVC and the "generic line" the same price, with similar quality - nice figures that appeal to ALL FANS OF 3.75" scale. Done and Done. Just like 2010-2011 before the stupid Movie Heroes line killed things. Go back to THEMED WAVES... and then there's the other formats with figures...


Vehicles - Rebrand these as STAR WARS LEGENDS. Mix in some old with new. Throw in some upgraded beasts too. Stop the silliness with stuff like a $100 Falcon that is way out of scale. Do it right or don't do it at all. An AT-Hauler in the $100 price range would have been more successful.

Deluxe - Rebrand these as STAR WARS LEGENDS. Mix in some old with new. Throw in some upgraded beasts too.

6 inch series - Keep making these, but cut back on the number of new figures each year, and lower production some. There's just too many figures not making it to retail, and showing up at discount stores now.



Star Wars has always performed better at retail when the line is aimed at figures with high aesthetics and good articulation, with an approach that appeals to both kids and adults.

Of course, none of the above will happen. Hasbro and Disney are too set in their recent ways; too stubborn. Instead they will keep the same pattern of nonsense until it's too late, which it already may be. Kids are so bored by Star Wars right now, and adults have been force fed an approach that makes few of us happy.

We should see shrunk down Star Wars footprints in 2019 and unless Hasbro and Disney "wow" the hell out of retail with the toy offerings for Episode 9. But unless they are reinventing themselves, I don't see that happening. Who knows, we might even be seeing the end of the Hasbro / Disney Star Wars relationship.

Bring on the Barge.

:neutral:
#167654
With Hasbro making some staff changes, hopefully the new SW brand manager has an affinity for the 3.75 scale. It will be interesting to see what direction is taken in 2019 and beyond, assuming they renew the license. I'd honestly like a smaller more focused line, one of my biggest pet peeves is seeing the same characters / same outfits in both basic and TVC. It strikes me as wasteful and leads to overproduction and reduced interest in both - they should limit the offerings and focus the 3.75 collectors toward a single line.
User avatar
By Raylen
#167655
It's definitely hard to look at one aspect and point that out as where the problem lies. I think there are a LOT of factors in play including the things we'll never hear about.

I do believe some things affecting this could be SW fatigue. My level of fan involvement is crazy but even I can't keep up with all the new content. You had a mess of a film with TLJ that divided and turned off a large portion of the fanbase (I imagine Snoke probably would have sold better if he didn't become a throwaway character) Then follow it too quickly with Solo which regardless of quality (I liked it) was a box office flop. On top of that, you had employees of LFL berating fans (their customers!) who didn't like the direction the franchise was heading.

SW Celebration is becoming so big it may end up another SDCC or NYCC where it's too expensive, there's just too many people and its difficult to enjoy it. My wife and I are likely going to skip this next year's.

I haven't listened to any SW podcasts in a couple months now. I just had my cup overfilling since Disney took over and I can't drink much more. I'd probably be more "into it" if we were getting a regular influx of new GOOD product but its always long droughts followed by just enough good stuff to keep from walking away.

I don't know what the answer is but I can tell when things AREN'T working. Starting off TVC with almost all repacks (we just got a year before) was a stupid move and we're paying for it. First wave should have been ALL new figures. If they're going to put a repack in, just see whats going for ridiculous prices on ebay and there's your answer. AT AT Commander is going for $40+. Throw a new Veers head on that sucker and it'll fly off the shelves.

Another problem I see is people playing the long game on everything. You can't blame the people doing it. If you can save 50% of your spending dollars, more power to you BUT we all have to realize in the long run, we could be hurting ourselves when they stop making good product because we don't want to pay full retail. It even makes me wonder if the stupid high MSRP on some things is being inflated specifically because they know stores will have to discount before people buy.
By Lance Quazar
#167657
I honestly think that multiple lines with different pricepoints and quality is seriously harming the brand.

Forget 5POA, forget TVC. Just release a unified line that is a mixture of new and old properties. Go crazy when a new film comes out, but then settle back into a line that refreshes classic characters with a mixture of new ones.

But they have two different lines that are competing with each other. Releasing two different versions of Snoke at the same time was just idiotic.

I think Chewie's suggestion about finding a "middle ground" of articulation is great. Make every figure in the 9POA range.

TVC isn't a cure-all to lure hard -core collectors. It just isn't. Nostaligia doesn't work when married to new characters and new films.

TVC should go back to what it was when it first came out - a once in a while "premium" figure with extra articulation that can command a higher price point, or be limited to conventions and other exclusive venues.

And, yeah, the repack situation is just appalling.

The line also needs decent mid-range vehicles again with fair prices. $30 for the Rebels Y-Wing Bomber is nuts.

By now, the high-priced vehicles have been proven to not sell. $100 should be a rarity and forget about trying to sell anything above $150. EVER. (except for HasLab initiatives or whatever...)
#167658
That was my suggestion as well, 9 POA for $9, and only one 3.75 line. We've been discussing a "compromise" line for a few years now, but Hasbro isn't biting. Perhaps if TVC gets cancelled they'll make the change in order to secure collectors that prefer more articulation. That's a big part of the fatigue for me - we don't need competing 3.75 lines anymore, not with diminished interest. Have kids and collectors focus on a single 3.75, and give it the tooling budget it needs to be a success.
By Doctorossi
#167669
I'm a little confused by the direction of your rant.

First you propose a solution that seems to largely rely upon the idea of lowering the number of points of articulation in the existing lines... and then you conclude by talking about Star Wars historically performing better with more points of articulation.

??
User avatar
By Raylen
#167670
Doctorossi wrote:I'm a little confused by the direction of your rant.

First you propose a solution that seems to largely rely upon the idea of lowering the number of points of articulation in the existing lines... and then you conclude by talking about Star Wars historically performing better with more points of articulation.

??


Well TVC now does go a bit overboard like wrist pivots for example. Some of the extra articulation is overkill. And some figures just don't require it like Moloch. So you split the difference. Add elbow articulation for Moloch maybe. Then get rid of wrist swivel across the board. The costs of the two should (in theory) balance out. What you hopefully get is the articulation that's needed for each figure instead of all or nothing. That used to be what we had. Not to mention saving a boat load of money on tooling. Why do we have a 5 POA and TVC Lando in the same outfit. Ditch the 5 POA figure and that frees up tooling for other things.
User avatar
By YAK_Chewie
#167676
Doctorossi wrote:I'm a little confused by the direction of your rant.

First you propose a solution that seems to largely rely upon the idea of lowering the number of points of articulation in the existing lines... and then you conclude by talking about Star Wars historically performing better with more points of articulation.

??



It's about trying to strike a balance...

5 POA = not enough but the price is nice
24 POA = too much and expensive

Meet in the middle with a range of articulation of 10 pts, 12 pts, 14 pts, etc. depending on the figure. Then moderate the price between the $8 range and $13 range, and hopefully land around $10

:wink:
#167723
TVC should focus on classic characters from the OT. I understand Hasbro doing tie-ins with the new movies, but when the waves only include one figure from the OT is just insane. There should 3 or 4 figures from the original trilogy in each wave.
User avatar
By Raylen
#167794
I just received two of the Solo TIE fighter from Walmart.com at half price. Heard they were much better than the TFA TIE in regards to the wings. I didn't get the TFA TIE so I can't even imagine how bad that must have been. The wings on the one I opened are warped and these suckers are going right back! They used rubber (maybe for "safety") on the edges. The very structure that needs to be ridged the most. I rarely buy more than one of a vehicle but I had heard good things about this one and the proportions looked better than any TIE proceeding it. Oh well. Maybe I'll buy a VC one to go with my Legacy one. Of course I'll wait like most people till the overpriced thing gets discounted. Waaay discounted.
User avatar
By YAK_Chewie
#167872
I thought I'd post a little more clarity on what I mean by the "over-engineering" of some of the articulation in TVC now, which we also saw in some in the more recent 3.75" TBS figures.

Basically, it seems like Hasbro seems to feel they have to hyper-articulate new figures that are geared at collectors... is that really necessary? I say no. But it would be great to get back to this kind of quality:

Image

^ Those figures are simply outstanding. Just the right amount of articulation, aesthetics, etc. But what we're seeing more and more of now are figures with all kinds of additional engineering on the hips, which just isn't needed in most cases.



Image

^ Those hyper articulated hips also look bad on a lot of figures. The hips are too rounded, on a lot of them you can't even position them to sit in vehicles, etc.

It would seem this extra engineering and assembly raises costs too. I wish they would just simplify it a bit - keep the ball jointed shoulders, elbows, knees, ankles - but what is not needed on most figures is ball joints at the waist, hips, wrists. Maybe that could also drive costs down just a bit and knock a buck or so off MSRP, pulling in more buyers.

And as a customizer, I like to buy lots of extras... but only for figures that are easy and fun to customize. These overly articulated ones don't work too well for the old boil-n-pop (much better than the split torso 5 poa figures though... however some of the highly articulated figures also have the split torso design which is a nightmare... not to mention the colors don't match up too well in many cases with the soft plastic on the arms or legs).

Hopefully that made some sense.

:wink:
User avatar
By The Professor
#167873
I hate those hips on almost every figure. They cannot sit correctly and look awful. I think my ideal level of articulation was around the 2005-2007 era. Not every figure needs to be super-articulated.
User avatar
By Jodo
#167874
Agreed 100%. Hasbro doesn’t understand anything about middle group or what collectors really like. Plus, their idea of asthetics must be something stupid, because all those legs (and most split torsos) look terrible.
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