Yes, it's very interesting that you were able to edit my post. Very troubling.
In answer to your reply:
paulskywalker wrote:"I'm not sure if this is sarcasm on your part, but aren't you over simplying it to in that you assume the high price is so their families eat? Every other day here in the UK we hear how big business bosses are getting away with giving themselves high wages and then bonuses on top, this is why people see the high prices as unfair not the likely poorly paid eastern workers who make the things.
I'm not oversimplifying at all when I say there are families here that need to eat. Hasbro has had to let go of part of its workforce over the years, publicly and not so. The "big business bosses" to which you refer are most likely in the Fortune 500, and Hasbro isn't currently on that list. Regardless, I think you're letting your local media coverage paint an unfair picture of this toy company.
paulskywalker wrote:Wouldn't it cost a lot more to create an entire new tool over using the same old existing one? Likely the second sculpt was create to ease up heavy use of the first one in my view?
Tooling costs are a one-time investment. Leveraging existing toolings is a good way of amortizing the cost but if the design is dated (IE - no longer meets LFL's approval) or if it's simply more cost-effective to create a more efficient tool, the original gets retired. You've got to think long-term with these decisions, and over the long term, a figure with fewer parts will be less expensive to produce.
paulskywalker wrote:I think it unlikely anytime soon you'll see vintage figures on Legends cards, as they like to use their usual choices for that.
Some of the previous (and over-packaged) Vintage figures eventually found their way to standard cards. I think once Hasbro has what they consider to be "definitive" versions of key characters, they'll continue offering them to attract new collectors as long as they can.
paulskywalker wrote:I know you say you don't like it when people over simplify Hasbro, but in my academic work i'm always complaining about polarisation and i feel you've done this, people complain about Hasbro so you have gone the opposite and painted them too positively; Big business doesn't have a reputation for self-insterest and greed for nothing.
Again, it seems you're letting your overall opinion of "big business" taint your view. Hasbro's certainly trying to turn a profit and for plenty of legitimate reasons. You can blame greed for everything from Hasbro's manufacturing costs to the retailers' inflated margins all the way to collectors' desire to spend less on toys so they can spend more elsewhere. Hasbro exists in a capitalist society and greed is part of the equation, from manufacturer to consumer.
I don't think I'm painting Hasbro too positively as much as I'm trying to point out that there are other parts to this equation many collectors don't recognize. Some seem to think that the toy goes directly from Hasbro to their shelf and it's not that simple. I know from professional experience that certain decisions get made by the retailers, and it's awkward at best for Hasbro to tell consumers in a Q&A that (and this is just a hypothetical example) the reason Darth Maul is featured on the 2012 packaging is because Target's toy buyer really likes Darth Maul. Believe it or not, retailers actually have that kind of influence.
I've been telling collectors for years that all too often complaining to Hasbro is like preaching to the choir. As a mass market manufacturer myself, believe me when I say I can sympathize with consumers because I'm also a consumer. For example, I share that frustration when Hasbro says "Playsets don't sell." But I have a sneaking suspicion that it's not that Hasbro doesn't believe it so much as ONE of their key retailers doesn't believe it.
So if you really want your voice heard, point it at Walmart and Target and Toys R Us and every other large retailer with enough buying power to warrant exclusives. Let them know how you feel because when consumers talk, retailers listen and when retailers talk, manufacturers and licensors listen. They might not be able to do anything about the price of fuel but they may decide to rethink product categories in a way everyone can find more satisfying.
[/stepping off the soapbox]