Very Interesting Article

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Thought my fellow RSers might find this article interesting.

ABSTRACT:
When Hasbro's Kenner division re-launched 3¾ inch Star Wars figures in 1995, it ushered in the age of the action figure collector. It was a time when comic book speculation had been waning and those in the nostalgia market began turning their attention to old '70s favorites, including original Star Wars toys and Mego superheroes.

http://www.playthings.com/article/CA6674011.html
 
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I just checked this out and the people they interview were very broad. Jakks Pacific, Mattel, McFarlane Toys.
Sad to hear the McFarlane is getting squeezed. I wish he did more figures I cared about besides just NFL. I was hopeful for his Simpsons but he only gave us 3.
 
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good article - gotta say I agree with McFarlane on how stores overdo it on big items (ie Transformers, GI Joe)

A good read though, Mr Crawford has some good insights as well.
 
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Thanks. That was a good article. I've collected McFarlane lines for a long time. I don't mind that they are statues over toys because the detail can be awesome. I mainly collect Mc's NHL line. I've been getting more than annoyed that I'm seeing the same sculpt over and over. You can paint whatever jersey you want on a figure but if the sculpt is the same it takes away from the overall look. Unfortunately for companies like McFarlane Hasbro has been putting a lot of detail in their 33/4" figures and with the added articulation Hasbro give you the best of both worlds(In most cases anyway).
 
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Toyfare uses way too many pages in Twisted Toyfare Theater. Sorry guys, I am not one of those who likes TTT. The humor always leave a bad taste in my mouth.
They should devote a bit of pages to some of these more "serious" articles.
 
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Fett_Hunter said:
Why doesn't an article like this show up in toyfare magazine?
Because it's a sorry excuse for a magazine. I've read it since the beginning, and I am just bored to death by it. I won't renew my subscription after this one runs out. I kind of always hoped they'd "grow up" a bit, but it was not to be. There's no great magazine for collectors. Lee's is super thin on text and is full of grammatical errors.
 

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Yeah have to agree Toyfare and Lee`s have both really lost their way. The only one I still pick up is Tomarts as it still has really good articles and plenty of pics. The printed price guide is redundent IMO.

Great article, thanks for sharing
 
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i, too have let my subscription to toyfare run out, mostly cause i just dont really care about modern toys anymore.

Lee's and tomarts lost me a long time ago, lee's cause it's just filled with crap and tomarts cause it's just way too expensive for 10 pages.
 
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As much as I like McFarlane (he's a fellow Albertan after all), I collected a few of his figures, like Freddy Krueger, Ozzy and Alice, in the end, he changed the face of action figures, and not always for the best. First, he set a standard that took toys away from kids and turned them into high end collectibles. Now, you want to find a certain something from some toy line or another, and it's a treasure hunt when you just want to buy a toy. Now, I'm not putting the blame squarely on Todd's shoulders for this, I'm saying he contributed to it, and this is a bad precedent that turned into a snowball effect by every other toy manufacturer.
Look at the He-Man figures from Mattycollector- talk about ridiculously overpriced, and they're just toys- kids are supposed to play with these things!
A lot of toy collectors and manufacturers lose sight of this fact because toys have become aimed toward serious collectors who are grown adults, but how did those grown adults become serious collectors in the first place? Because we were kids who played with these toys originally.
Would you as a parent spend $50+ on a He-Man figure for your kid to play with, knowing he'll eventually take a wood burner to it to add authentic battle scars, or take a red marker and draw bullet holes on him, or cut off one of his arms that he lost valiantly in battle? Say goodbye to a few hours of your paycheck. Back in the day, our parents paid a couple of bucks for those things for us, and the only consequence is that we showed little respect for our own property, and not that we were pizzling several dollars away that was spent on one action figure alone.
Toys have been taken away from the kids. So what if the retail chains have an overload of product like G.I.Joe and Transformers? At least it's affordable, and at least there's more of it there that kids will get a hold of. I can imagine being 8 or 9 years old again and wanting a cool looking Boba Fett figure, and hearing my father say "Fat chance you're getting that, I'm not paying $100 at the only store in town that sells it and it comes in a pack of 3 other figures".
I'd be totally crushed, I don't know about you. More effort needs to be put into making these things available for kids again, and I don't mean Galactic Heroes, Combat Heroes or Superhero Squad, either.
 
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TheRealDubya said:
Fett_Hunter said:
Why doesn't an article like this show up in toyfare magazine?
Because it's a sorry excuse for a magazine. I've read it since the beginning, and I am just bored to death by it. I won't renew my subscription after this one runs out. I kind of always hoped they'd "grow up" a bit, but it was not to be. There's no great magazine for collectors. Lee's is super thin on text and is full of grammatical errors.
Glad I'm not the only one who got tired of Toyfare. I tried to stay with them but when I noticed the pages were getting fewer and fewer, that's when I quit renewing my subscription. They still cost the same, but not worth keeping as a magazine. I just read them in the stores and leave them where I found them. Besides, you can't get any sensible answers from their staff anyway, so what's the point??

Tomart?? Is it still selling?? I thought Tomart's dead. Haven't seen one in awhile.
 
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very informative article. lots of key points discussed. i feel for MacFarlene Toys...loved collecting some of the Spawn characters from back in the day.

I agree would love to see articles like this in Lee's or ToyFare but sorta understand why they are not in those magazines as well. the magazines are basically just full page adds for upcoming lines and new product and not really for information on the actual industry.

Personally I feel that all toys line should be done in the same scale, it promotes cross playability and gives kids a better chance of having perhaps their favorite superheroes battle each other. As a kid I always loved the fact that I could have Star Wars meet G.I. Joe on the battlefield, but always wanted perhaps characters from the ThunderCats and He-Man battle G.I.Joe as well but do to the scale issues it was no dice.

Price is another option that has driven the market as well. i can remember as an adult buying some fo the highly detailed statues (and i say statues because they were not action figures) and finding that moving some of the joints would result in breaking/snapping off of limbs, heads, parts etc. if i'm going to spend $10+ on a action figure toy i want the action figure to move and work, not be afraid of breaking it as I'm taking it ouot of the package. so if i was a parent and spotted these problems while buying toys for my kids i would also be affected by cost and not want to spend money on a toy that might break right out of the package and may have little to no playability.

I think all toy companies need to wake up to the fact that in today's economy alot of people may be scaling back buying/collecting and looking for perhaps a few key pieces and not buying entire waves of product. lines like the build a figure series...it's simple if the companies are willing to make the parts, and the collectors and buying the figures to make the build a figure..then logic suggests that the build a figure would sell on it's own and does not need a complete wave of figures in order to sell it.

look at Star Wars build a droid..some of the waves would set you back $60 for a complete wave of figures in order to get 2 droids....fans bought the entire wave to get the 2 new droids (i was one of them)...i would have bought the same droids if they were individually carded and perhaps saved some cash in the process by not buying every figure from that wave. case in point do we really need another Vader figure...yes if we want the piece of the droid to complete. same thing holds true for Mattel's DC line...figures start at $14.99 at local Walmarts by me.. if i wanted to build DarkSeid from the line it would be close to $100.00 for the figure and i may have be stuck with a few figures that i had no interest in. this is one of the reasons why i passed on the line to begin with.
 
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DarkArtist said:
I think all toy companies need to wake up to the fact that in today's economy alot of people may be scaling back buying/collecting and looking for perhaps a few key pieces and not buying entire waves of product. lines like the build a figure series...it's simple if the companies are willing to make the parts, and the collectors and buying the figures to make the build a figure..then logic suggests that the build a figure would sell on it's own and does not need a complete wave of figures in order to sell it.
I think, from a business perspective, you're missing the point of the Build-A-Figure promotion. It isn't that these figures won't sell on a single card (after all, Hasbro releases a variety of astromechs on a single card). It's that they can use these pack-ins as a vehicle to increase sales. I might not buy an Ishi Tib figure if it only came with a few accessories and a coin. But I'd sure think long and hard about it if it had the head to a droid I wanted.

Judging from your description of your experiences alone, I'd say their strategy went off just like planned.
 
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Eleyre said:
DarkArtist said:
I think all toy companies need to wake up to the fact that in today's economy alot of people may be scaling back buying/collecting and looking for perhaps a few key pieces and not buying entire waves of product. lines like the build a figure series...it's simple if the companies are willing to make the parts, and the collectors and buying the figures to make the build a figure..then logic suggests that the build a figure would sell on it's own and does not need a complete wave of figures in order to sell it.
I think, from a business perspective, you're missing the point of the Build-A-Figure promotion. It isn't that these figures won't sell on a single card (after all, Hasbro releases a variety of astromechs on a single card). It's that they can use these pack-ins as a vehicle to increase sales. I might not buy an Ishi Tib figure if it only came with a few accessories and a coin. But I'd sure think long and hard about it if it had the head to a droid I wanted.

Judging from your description of your experiences alone, I'd say their strategy went off just like planned.
this is true I was one of the suckers who wanted the Build A Droids and therefore bought the entire waves to secure the figures... my point is that if Hasbro would just package the figures seperately (the actual Build A Droids) then alot (myself included) would have saved money.

my point is also clear with the DC line... I'm a huge DC fan and would have loved to get amazing versions of DarkSeid, Superman, Batman etc...but I'm not dropping $100 a wave so that I can get a DarkSeid or Chemo figure.... I would rather play the $14.99 or even $20 price tag for a figure and just buy the ones I want and not drop the $$$ for a complete set.
 
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DarkArtist said:
[this is true I was one of the suckers who wanted the Build A Droids and therefore bought the entire waves to secure the figures... my point is that if Hasbro would just package the figures seperately (the actual Build A Droids) then alot (myself included) would have saved money.

my point is also clear with the DC line... I'm a huge DC fan and would have loved to get amazing versions of DarkSeid, Superman, Batman etc...but I'm not dropping $100 a wave so that I can get a DarkSeid or Chemo figure.... I would rather play the $14.99 or even $20 price tag for a figure and just buy the ones I want and not drop the $$$ for a complete set.
I get that, but again ... The point of the BAD droid line wasn't to help collectors round out their collections while saving money in the process. The point was to get collectors to spend as much money as possible buying their products in order to fill in the holes in their collections.

With the BAD promotion, it worked when it came to you
. You got entire waves, that you might otherwise not have, in order to get the complete figure. With the DCUC line, perhaps it didn't work for you.

But I think it's a safe bet to say that the money they made off of collectors who were willing to buy the whole wave for the Build-A-Figure vastly outweighs the money they might have made if they'd simply packaged that Build-A-Figure as a single carded figure.

I guess I'm a bit confused by your initial post. You seem to be saying that Hasbro got it wrong with the BAD promotion because those figures would have sold well on their own. Yes, the BAD figures would have sold well on their own. But that wasn't the point of the promotion. The promotion's not to get you to buy the BAD. It's to get you to buy all the figures that the BAD is packed in.
 
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