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Darth Monkey

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Re: Basic Figure Distribution
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2010, 09:31:59 PM »

So, I'm going to go out on a limb and weigh in on a few things here.  We need SOMEONE else to weigh in on such a hefty topic!

For starters, let me tell everyone where I'm coming from.  I still collect select Star Wars items, but other than two figures (ironically, Yarna and Wilrow Hood), I haven't been collecting 3-3/4" stuff for Star Wars since early 2008.  Up until that point, I was a hardcore completist, as evidenced by the trades I did back in the day on this board.

I also have some weird circumstances.  Is the economy affecting me?  Absolutely.  But in early 2008, I was finished grad school and for the first time in my life, I was employed full-time, not just around classes.  So I actually had more of an expendable income to spend on collectibles at that point.  Basically, I've been concentrating much more on collecting vintage stuff, because I felt like collecting new stuff would limit my vintage budget.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  The economy is probably affecting SOME toy buying habits, but not all.  Let me give an example.  At Christmas, I interviewed a couple of people about whether or not their spending changed during the holidays.  When it came to families, the adults said they cut back on buying for themselves, but they did not cut back on buying for their kids.  Toys are still selling, and it's important to keep in mind that unlike the stuff that Gentle Giant or Sideshow produces, the stuff Hasbro makes is not just for collectors.

I was looking at the Star Wars selection in Target, particularly the ROTJ wave.  If you were a kid who had just discovered the Original Trilogy and wanted to buy a new figure, your selections (in this particular Target) would have been Malaki, Giran, Nien Nunb, Prune Face's brother or whoever he is, and the Nikto Gunner.  Now, for their scale, these figures are (in my opinion) far superior to ANY other 3-3/4" offering at the moment, including the really nice Iron Man 2 figures Hasbro just put out.  But anyone has to admit, that selection of characters is pretty darn obscure to the casual eye.  And even as a Star Wars nut myself, I can't help but think, "Wow, it's come to THIS?!?!"

This is one of the reasons I felt it was time to stop collecting the line.  I was collecting the new 3-3/4" stuff since day one in 1995 when I was in sixth grade.  I remember the excitement among all Star Wars fans when we heard we were getting Grand Moff Tarkin, Slave Leia, Vader with a removable helmet, etc.  It is absolutely amazing that the Star Wars universe has provided enough characters to last 16 years AND BEYOND.  But as far as completely, never-before-seen-as-toys characters...they've got to scrape the bottom of the barrel at this point.  That's just a casualty of the line's tremendous success.

But let's look at the OTHER aspect of collecting Star Wars figures.  We need main characters.  We need Lukes, Hans, Vaders, Obi-Wans, etc.  But much like I was getting fed up with George Lucas's constant tweaking of the Original Trilogy (oh, if ONLY he had stopped at the Special Editions), I'm getting fed up of Hasbro constantly redoing the definitive versions of certain characters.  And yet those that people actually still want (a NICE Luke Jedi, an awesome Episode One Obi-Wan) still aren't here.  I was getting a little tired of buying figures only to have them become obsolete a couple of years later.  The worst was when the redid the Kasshyyk Trooper only about a year after its initial release.

I've looked at these Q & A sessions, and like MattyCollector's Q & A's, a lot of fans get more frustrated than satisfied by the answers.  I understand the need to keep an open line of communication, but to end communication when someone presses a little too hard...well, that's a sign that collectors are frustrated, and not answering questions, or preventing those questions, makes matters even worse.  Yes, if you communicate your concerns by harassing Hasbro, that's going to get you nowhere.  But ignoring that frustration instead of addressing it is irresponsible.  I don't care if that's on a personal level or it's coming from one of the world's biggest toy companies.  Except in the latter case, a lot more people can get hurt.

Pete, you're not happy with the way Hasbro is handling things now, and from what you describe, it sounds like you have valid frustration.  But let's think back to 1999.  Yeah, 2008 TLC stuff clogged the pegs...but that PALES in comparison to the glut of Episode One merchandise more than 10 years ago.  Hasbro was banking on a phenomenon.  And by the end of 1999, it looked as though the line was on its last legs.  The result was POTJ, which, in my opinion, corrected MANY of the problems facing distribution (cases of 16 were cut down to 12, four collections of figures were cut down to just two, collections mixed prequel and OT and EU characters, etc.).  When Hasbro was in trouble, they thought creatively, and the line was saved.  Based on some of the artwork I was shown at C3, it was amazing to see some of the truly awful ideas Hasbro had to save the line initially.  They did the right thing.

But another lesson was learned in 1999, and as collectors, it's one that we tend to ignore.  We're talking about toys, and these lines cannot survive without kids.  Kids were buying Star Wars figures from 1995 to 1998 without thinking twice.  They were great, popular toys.  But while we thought kids would respond to the newest Star Wars movie the same way we did when we were kids.  Guess what?  A little thing called Pokemon was making its debut, and that summer, THAT'S what the kids wanted.  They wanted those toys, they wanted the video games, and they REALLY wanted the cards.

In 1985, Kenner was done with Star Wars.  That was two years after ROTJ.  We're now FIVE years after ROTS.  I'm sure collectors have had a lot to do with the line surviving, but when you consider that Clone Wars stuff is selling well, it's not hard to see that the fact that there is a cartoon to support it really helps.  Look at all the successful toy lines of the 1980s.  A lot of the success of MOTU, Transformers, and G.I.Joe had to do with the properties having popular cartoons and comics.

I don't want to see the line just go kaput.  But I REALLY think Hasbro needs to scale back their ambitions.  Would you rather have eight completely unnecessary new characters with the risk of pegwarmers hurting distribution, or would you rather have four figures that are better and will definitely sell through?  In this economy, does it make more sense to release 50 new Star Wars figures this year or 30?  As long as there's something to collect, I'm sure everyone can be at least a little bit happy.

I think discussion like this is healthy.  I can't help but feel that these toy companies are actually listening (I've stopped collecting, but yeah, I might need the updated Cloud Car I've so desperately wanted).  But I think it's also important to keep it at the discussion level.  As collectors, the best response is with our wallets.  If you are truly unsatisfied, just stop buying the toys.  Nick, it seems like you're doing just that with your Gentle Giant collection, and given their track record, I'm not surprised by your response.

This is meant to be a fun hobby.  I remember how much fun it was to collect in 2005.  I did more trades that year than any other year, and we had new products to look forward to virtually every week.  We might not recapture that moment again, but it's important to focus on why you LIKE this stuff in the first place, not why you DON'T like it at this very moment.
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Nicklab

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Re: Basic Figure Distribution
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2010, 04:07:57 PM »

Moved this discussion here from the Hasbro Toy Shop thread was discussing almost everything BUT Hasbro Toy Shop.
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Nicklab

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Basic Figure Distribution
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2010, 09:03:22 PM »

Wow, way to make a broad generalization. 

Are there sites that take part in the Q&A process that have asked "tough questions"?  Absolutely.  Some whose tones border on belligerent.  Sandtroopers comes to mind.  They have not pulled any punches in their Q&A's with Hasbro.  And guess what?  When it comes down to it, they've been shut out by Hasbro when it comes to breaking news or getting images of new products in their Q&A sessions.  There's a give & take in the relationship between Hasbro and the collecting sites.  Treat Hasbro like crap, and they'll treat you like crap right back.  It's a fine line to walk, but there are some sites that ask pointed questions without getting nasty about it.  Some of them get results.  The site that I work for is among that group.  I do not try to offer "wiggle room" for Hasbro in responses.  And if Hasbro feels like answering questions, they will.  If not, you're out of luck.  So what do you propose Q&A sites do?  Take the principled angle and ask questions that we know Hasbro will not answer?  And when they don't answer them continue to press on to further denials or non-answers?  Or ask questions in a way that doesn't piss off Hasbro in order to get information of value?

And then what if you're a site that breaks some news that Hasbro doesn't want out there?  Guess what?  You're probably going to be bombarded with phone calls and threats of litigation from Hasbro's legal representation based out of Houston, TX (I'll leave how I know that detail to your imagination).  And that particular firm is one of the largest law firms in the U.S.  And while there may be a freedom of the press in the U.S. Constitution, it doesn't protect you from being sued.

As for TLC Blue's sales problems?  This is something that Hasbro has addressed in a number of venues at length.  The short version?  When the production numbers for 2008's TLC Blue line were set, it was prior to the economic downturn.  So production numbers of the line were more along the lines of what we saw in 2006 & 2007.  Hasbro did not project for the impact that the economic downturn would have on Star Wars sales.  The economic downturn led to a large number of collectors abandoning the hobby, hence the glut of product in late 2008.  Since then the production numbers have been adjusted, and they were reduced to more accurately reflect the current size of the customer base.  As for the ammount of product at retail in Fall 2008 versus Fall 2009?  That was like night and day.  There was far more product lingering at retail in 2008.

Regarding the spring lulls?  It pretty much goes without saying that Hasbro's marketing focus at that time has shifted to other entertainment properties.  This year that's Iron Man 2.  Star Wars gets the marketing push when a new season of Clone Wars gets set to premiere.  Hasbro hasn't stated this publicly, but anyone who watches the boys toys sector as a whole can grasp this pretty easily.  And it also goes without saying that some of the licenses under Hasbro's umbrella are sharing production facilities.  The same factories in China that were producting Iron Man 2 toys a couple of months ago are probably being retooled right now for the fall Star Wars line.  Spreading things out over the course of the year sounds like a good idea from a collector standpoint, but it seems clear that Hasbro is trying to streamline their production process.  And you won't see any kind of public acknowledgement of the sharing of facilities because Hasbro's upper echelons don't want fans of one license turning against another Hasbro license.

Numbered figures?  Guess what.  They're here to stay.  In fact, other Hasbro licenses have picked up on this theme.  You can see it in the Iron Man 2 line.  The theory is that it makes things more collector friendly because collectors can have a definitive list of figures.  But with TLC Red Hasbro had issues and didn't get a BD24 Grievous out to market. 

I don't know that you're going to see a lot of change in the case assortments, either.  They're actually pretty lean, with even more limited production numbers of collector focused characters like Willrow Hood.  Most if not all figures are close to 1 per case now.  Also, Hasbro learned a very tough lesson with the Yarna fiasco.  And that has been attributed in large part to the much higher production runs of the TLC Blue line of 2008.  Your idea of 6 new figures at 2 per case may fit your collecting pattern very well, much like a lot of collectors who buy both 2 of each figure; 1 for MOMC and 1 to be opened.  But what about the broader market?  There just is not the demand for an obscure Cantina alien that there will be for Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Boba Fett or Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Even case packs will leave us with those obscure Cantina aliens pegwarming.  And isn't that something that we're trying to get away from?  From a sales perspective an unbalanced case pack works better simply because some characters sell better than others.

Is the current retail landscape great?  Not at all.  And the health of the line isn't so great since Hasbro had to scale the EU wave back in scope as a TRU exclusive.  And a number of the collector media that I was speaking with at Toy Fair seem to think that the Vintage Collection may be something of a "Hail Mary" for the Star Wars live action figure line.  I get the feeling that you see the current problems as Hasbro having driven off the collectors.  There I have got to disagree.  I think the problem is more attributable to the economy, the lack of entertainment support and an aging collector base.  As for the role of Hasbro Toy Shop?  I think it's good for plugging holes in a collection.  But it's probably not going to be anybody's primary collecting outlet.
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Pete_Fett

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Basic Figure Distribution
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2010, 07:27:46 AM »

I'm sorry Nick - I guess I am arrogant for refusing to drink the "kiss Darryl DePriest's ass" kool-aid that exists in the community among all of the people who run collector sites.

None of the sites ever want to ask hard questions and when they do, they never press him that he didn't really answer the question.

Case in point - during the podcast you recommended I listen to - Dan Curto asks him if the July through December 2008 glut which followed months of drought had something to do with collectors becoming more selective on what they buy due to so much stuff coming out at once - to which DePriest replied that the loss of collectors had more to do with the lower sales numbers of the Blue/White Legacy line. How about addressing the fact that yeah - maybe the huge amount of stuff that came out during that six month period, it just might have been TOO MUCH stuff. Of course he's not going to blame their inability to spread out releases on the trouble the line is seeing at retail, 'cause they had the exact same problem in the fall of 2009 and they're doing it again in the fall 2010.

So if you want to call me arrogant for saying that:

1) better case assortment pack-out ratios;
2) removing the numbering from figures; and
3) spreading out releases throughout the year

Would do wonders for helping the line.

Then go ahead, call me arrogant.
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Nicklab

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Basic Figure Distribution
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2010, 05:42:05 PM »

Listen to the audio HERE.  Derryl DePriest explicitly states that he's getting sales data on a weekly basis from WalMart.  Or is that an elaborate lie?  Call it a wild gues, but a VP for a publicly traded company like Hasbro is probably not going to be permitted by their PR people to make completely false claims to a media outlet about their largest account.  Even if the media outlet is a podcast.

Does the situation at retail suck right now?  Absolutely.  But as a collector I'm not going to be so arrogant as to tell Hasbro how to run their business when I don't have all of the information at hand.  As a collector I get a grasp for the situation at retail through my own experience in stores, as do other collectors.  We do not see the big picture, and Hasbro does not release sales data.

The economic troubles of the past couple of years hit everyone hard.  Collectors, retailers and the manufacturers.  I do not think we are going to see an improvement in the collecting market until the broader economy recovers.  Whether or not the line can survive that timespan is still TBD.
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Pete_Fett

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Basic Figure Distribution
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2010, 12:32:41 PM »

Every time you check out at WalMart, Target or Toys R Us your merchandise gets scanned.  And it's not just the assortment that's taken into account, but each individual figure has it's own UPC code.  You'll see the names of individual figures listed on the checkout scanner as well as on your receipts.  So for the sake of the discussion let's say that the TLC RED Empire wave just hit WalMart stores.  Provided the cashier scans every single figure (as they're supposed to) they will be able to give Hasbro actual sales data that shows how many AT-AT Drivers sold, how many Luke's sold, how many Snowtroopers sold and how few Willrow Hood's sold.  WalMart and all of the other retailers compile this data and share it with Hasbro so that Hasbro can get a real feel for what is selling.  Don't believe me?  Derryl DePriest has gone on the record saying this on the Forcecast for all to hear.

Sorry, you're at least partially wrong here.

Target doesn't care jack squat about what figure they just scanned. Check your Target receipt next time you pick up some figures there. There will be a SINGLE line item for all of the figures that share the same DPCI #.

To further prove my point, buy a Legacy figure you need at Target and then go buy any Legacy figure you don't need at WalMart - it doesn't have to be the same figure you just bought at Target.

Target will allow you to return the figure you bought at WalMart using the receipt from the figure you bought at Target.

So what does that say about Target giving Hasbro accurate numbers of any kind? It means that Hasbro isn't getting sh*t from Target.

Lastly if you know anything about dBs, and the numbers we're talking about, I highly doubt that they get anything more from the other chains than purchase counts that roll up to the base SKU - there are base SKUs that all of the individual figures fall under at both WalMart and TRU - you can use those SKU barcodes to ring up any figure that isn't already in the WM or TRU computer.

I highly doubt that WalMart is data mining their transaction data so they can tell Hasbro how many of which Star Wars figures were sold.

They tell Darryl gross sales numbers and then probably based on reports back from the Hasbro retail reps who check out the stores, he gets a feel for what sells and what doesn't and then based on know the numbers shipped vs. the numbers sold and seeing reports from reps on which figures are peg-warming and which ones aren't they make an educated guess that the difference between the shipped vs. sold numbers can be attributed to those peg warmers.

Nick - I hope you don't think that I'm looking to argue with you here... but can you honestly look at the state of the hobby today and not think that Hasbro could be doing something BETTER than they actually are?

For starters how about dropping figure numbering and shipping waves of six new figures at 2 per case. Perhaps they might get better traction with collectors if some casual collectors can order cases of only (or mostly) new product that isn't numbered so they aren't immediately left with the feeling that their recently acquired collectibles are "incomplete".

It can't be a coincidence that the death of collector-friendly case assortments has occured at the same time Hasbro has made the blanket statement that collectors have left the hobby.

To me, it just seems that they are content to continue to complain about the collectors and the demise of the realistic line, it's almost like they have their minds made up and they are planning on killing it off in a year or two and when they do, they can parade several years worth of Q&A answers and say "well, it's not like we didn't warn you it was coming".
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 05:15:34 PM by Pete_Fett »
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Nicklab

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Basic Figure Distribution
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2010, 11:22:07 PM »


If they were SMART (and they have shown us time and time again that they're not) they should be using that store/site as a way of truly getting a feel for what figures are selling and what figures are duds. Clearly if they put up all of the Red/White Legacy waves and they end up with mountains of repacked figures, that should be an education for them - the education there would be to make available to online retailers, SMARTER case assortments of more new figures per case.

There has to be a point of diminishing returns when the number of repackaged figures in a case when compared to the new figures becomes a deterrant to online ordering by-the-case.

These are the types of lessons they COULD be learning if they kept Hasbro Toy Shop well stocked with new merchandise. And if ANY of the online or brick-and-mortar stores cried "foul" they could always come back with the response that the Hasbro Toy Shop is a site where they can gain first-hand information about what sells and what doesn't to help service all of their accounts with a better flow of product.


Honestly, I think you may not have factored some things into the equation here.  I've had some of these same discussions with Hasbro at events like Comic Con and Toy Fair.  And truth be told, there is a lot of REAL SALES DATA that comes from the retailers to Hasbro on a weekly basis.

Every time you check out at WalMart, Target or Toys R Us your merchandise gets scanned.  And it's not just the assortment that's taken into account, but each individual figure has it's own UPC code.  You'll see the names of individual figures listed on the checkout scanner as well as on your receipts.  So for the sake of the discussion let's say that the TLC RED Empire wave just hit WalMart stores.  Provided the cashier scans every single figure (as they're supposed to) they will be able to give Hasbro actual sales data that shows how many AT-AT Drivers sold, how many Luke's sold, how many Snowtroopers sold and how few Willrow Hood's sold.  WalMart and all of the other retailers compile this data and share it with Hasbro so that Hasbro can get a real feel for what is selling.  Don't believe me?  Derryl DePriest has gone on the record saying this on the Forcecast for all to hear.

It's this sales data that has also shown that while Cantina Aliens are popular with collectors, they don't have mass appeal.  We saw figures like Brainiac pegwarm.  And the sales data showed that overall Cantina Aliens aren't that popular.

But what does this mean about Saga Legends VS the Legacy Collection?  Saga Legends ships a lot more than the Legacy Collection.  But it also sells a lot better.  The sales data backs that up.  Obviously Hasbro has put some stinkers in the Saga Legends mix like Plo Koon and Saesee Tiin.  They saw that in the sales data and they're going to be refining Saga Legends so that this doesn't happen again.  But we are NOT the target market for this assortment.  We've bought our Lukes, Vaders, Anakins and Obi-Wans.  We might dip into Saga Legends for some army building.  And the completists might get into it.  But the target market here are parents who are buying for their kids.

Now we did see instances where HTS was stocked better than brick and mortar retail.  The recent ANH and ROTS waves come to mind.  A LOT of collectors wound up ordering those figures from HTS because the situation at brick and mortar was pretty bleak.  And now the only TLC RED figures that I'm seeing linger at retail are mostly the ROTS wave.

So where does Hasbro strike the balance?  Stock new figures at HTS first?  With a diminishing collector base there's the potential that Hasbro could hurt sales at brick & mortar retail by offering too much supply at HTS.  And they can't use that HTS sales data to create case assortments.  Both production numbers and case assortments are calculated well in advance of figures actually making it to market.  The size of each blister has to be accounted for in order to put together a case assortment.

Now, it sounds like you're proposing that Hasbro use HTS like a test bed, right?  Offer a wave initially at HTS in order to judge demand, and THEN do a larger production run for wider retail?  Again, I can't see that serving both Hasbro AND the retailers well.  Collectors would flock to HTS to get the new wave right off the bat and probably stop going to retail.  And the ensuing lag in offering a wave's first run on HTS, and then following that up at brick & mortar MONTHS later?  I can't see that working well at all.  There is NO WAY that Hasbro would make two different production runs of the same wave in order to do things this way.  It would just be too costly.  Rather, they have to go by sales data from past waves that are built on their A figure, B figure and C figure formulas.  
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Captain Piet

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Basic Figure Distribution
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2010, 09:53:46 AM »

Hmmm.  Service the accounts of their retail partners where they get less of a cut?  Or service their online store and get more money per unit?

I'm not trying to speak for Pieter here, but I think what it really comes down to is that Hasbro continues to indicate that there is a lack of demand for product. Well if that is indeed the case, that means they would be having a hard time selling their cases of figures to both Brick-and-Mortar stores and also online stores like Entertainment Earth.

So what else could they do with these figures?

Well, it doesn't really take a rocket scientist to figure out that they could make some of that "unwanted" stock available to Hasbro Toy Shop to sell through. Right now, for example, the ESB wave seems to be FINALLY moving steadily into stores. But why couldn't that wave have been in plentiful supply for a while now on Hasbro Toy Shop?

If TRU, Target and WM aren't buying, then they should be doing SOMETHING to get rid of all of the excess product that surely exists in a Hasbro warehouse SOMEWHERE.

That is, if there actually IS all of this over-flow of product due to a "drop" in collector interest.

If they were SMART (and they have shown us time and time again that they're not) they should be using that store/site as a way of truly getting a feel for what figures are selling and what figures are duds. Clearly if they put up all of the Red/White Legacy waves and they end up with mountains of repacked figures, that should be an education for them - the education there would be to make available to online retailers, SMARTER case assortments of more new figures per case.

There has to be a point of diminishing returns when the number of repackaged figures in a case when compared to the new figures becomes a deterrant to online ordering by-the-case.

These are the types of lessons they COULD be learning if they kept Hasbro Toy Shop well stocked with new merchandise. And if ANY of the online or brick-and-mortar stores cried "foul" they could always come back with the response that the Hasbro Toy Shop is a site where they can gain first-hand information about what sells and what doesn't to help service all of their accounts with a better flow of product.

There are a million and a half ways of justifying keeping Hasbro Toy Shop open and humming with new product. The fact is that there really ISN'T a slowdown in the collector community, the stores really AREN'T ordering less, it's that the distribution system is miserably BROKEN and the fact that they really can't keep a store run by the same parent company up and running with new product is proof of that. The fact that it would probably mean moving one case of figures from one side of a warehouse to another out on the west coast makes the lack of new stock at Hasbro Toy Shop even more ridiculous.

You can speak for me any time, buddy. ;)
I could not have said it any better myself, but allow me to embellish.
Indeed, the distribution system is broken, however, each line re-boot overs an opportunity to fix it that Hasbro continually fouls up. It seems it's not a question of this company not learning how to fix the system, but being unwilling to. Clear the pipeline of crap like Saga Legends and keep product moving steadily. These fits and starts they ship in, no good.
As fat as Hasbro Toy Shop is concerned, I think the Mattel site should be at least a partial model here. No I'm no He-Man expert past having a bunch when I was 8-9 (Trap-Jaw was the frikkin' man!), but there's a company that comes correct on the web. Yes, I realize they're web exclusives, but why not give yourself an exclusive window to get figures on HTS first. Then ship them to stores having gauged demand.
But I'm only a teacher, so what the hell do I know?
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Pete_Fett

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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2010, 07:41:13 PM »

Hmmm.  Service the accounts of their retail partners where they get less of a cut?  Or service their online store and get more money per unit?

I'm not trying to speak for Pieter here, but I think what it really comes down to is that Hasbro continues to indicate that there is a lack of demand for product. Well if that is indeed the case, that means they would be having a hard time selling their cases of figures to both Brick-and-Mortar stores and also online stores like Entertainment Earth.

So what else could they do with these figures?

Well, it doesn't really take a rocket scientist to figure out that they could make some of that "unwanted" stock available to Hasbro Toy Shop to sell through. Right now, for example, the ESB wave seems to be FINALLY moving steadily into stores. But why couldn't that wave have been in plentiful supply for a while now on Hasbro Toy Shop?

If TRU, Target and WM aren't buying, then they should be doing SOMETHING to get rid of all of the excess product that surely exists in a Hasbro warehouse SOMEWHERE.

That is, if there actually IS all of this over-flow of product due to a "drop" in collector interest.

If they were SMART (and they have shown us time and time again that they're not) they should be using that store/site as a way of truly getting a feel for what figures are selling and what figures are duds. Clearly if they put up all of the Red/White Legacy waves and they end up with mountains of repacked figures, that should be an education for them - the education there would be to make available to online retailers, SMARTER case assortments of more new figures per case.

There has to be a point of diminishing returns when the number of repackaged figures in a case when compared to the new figures becomes a deterrant to online ordering by-the-case.

These are the types of lessons they COULD be learning if they kept Hasbro Toy Shop well stocked with new merchandise. And if ANY of the online or brick-and-mortar stores cried "foul" they could always come back with the response that the Hasbro Toy Shop is a site where they can gain first-hand information about what sells and what doesn't to help service all of their accounts with a better flow of product.

There are a million and a half ways of justifying keeping Hasbro Toy Shop open and humming with new product. The fact is that there really ISN'T a slowdown in the collector community, the stores really AREN'T ordering less, it's that the distribution system is miserably BROKEN and the fact that they really can't keep a store run by the same parent company up and running with new product is proof of that. The fact that it would probably mean moving one case of figures from one side of a warehouse to another out on the west coast makes the lack of new stock at Hasbro Toy Shop even more ridiculous.
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Peter
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