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Old 2012-02-14, 05:39 AM   #82
Cellar Door
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Yeh, I think it's very much that the Dark of the Moon line has been cancelled, and as yet there are no plans to release the figures in question. But the moulds are there completely ready to go, and will surely be out in something - I suppose the precedent against that is Animated Blackout, but then I doubt TF4 is going to have a vast visual makeover so the toys will likely fit into the look. Even the deaths of Que and Soundwave aren't that much of a problem really what with HA Jazz coming out three years after the first film; it'll be whether the licenses with manufacturers expire or whatever.

Regarding what we did get, I don't think it can be really underestimated how much kids like Bumblebee. The character must have shifted something like 25 figures in the past five years, I don't think a couple more are suddenly the reason for the line not shifting. It wouldn't surprise me if he still outsold the likes of Topspin, Sideswipe and Roadbuster.

Regarding the Twins, as I say I don't think they'd have been included if the short life of the DotM line had been known when the first couple of waves hit. Now they're out and plans have changed Hasbro can't go back and change it. I would suspect for the average buyer there's not a lot of difference between not in the film and being in the film for a handful of scenes with half a dozen lines - Que wouldn't have been serious paydirt or anything. For most kids it's probably Prime, Bumblebee and then everyone else, with a Transformer being a Transformer after that.

When the line's doing well it can sell anyone really (witness how well the likes of Landmine went in 2007); when it's not it can't. I don't think there were a huge amount of casual buyers consciously abstaining from DotM until relatively minor screen characters came out, more that they were skipping the line altogether anyway. Removing Skids, Mudflap and Jolt from earlier waves would have meant a little less variety in the shelf-warmers and not much else.

Regarding Prime, it probably wasn't so much retailers wanting Prime as wanting anything other than DotM, and Prime makes all the right noises for Hasbro.

As I say, it really wouldn't surprise me if the TF4 line is vastly down-scaled from even DotM. The Autobots will probably follow much the same cast pattern - Prime and Bumblebee central, ranks padded out with extant models, maybe a couple of new grunts; the Decepticons only had a handful of new toys last time out, and we won't get much more this time. It wouldn't surprise me if we mainly had recolours and retools in the line, TBH - it's going to be more like a cinema line than a toy line.
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