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Old 2014-07-17, 02:53 AM   #191
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Originally Posted by Clay View Post
I may be taking a shot in the dark, but I think overpopulating the shelves with a bunch of foot-tall dolls that don't transform, three different styles of "EASY TO TRANSFORM" assortments, tangential products like Kreons and Constructabots, and finally the "actual" figures... you might be diluting your brand and confusing customers a bit. I know that I have trouble divining out the generations deluxe figures that I want, and I'm a damn internet weirdo adult fan that's supposed to know this stuff.
They've done a terrible job of differentiating the different sublines for AoE. I can't tell what's what either. There's almost no difference between the packaging for Deluxe and One-Step or Power Battlers or whatever, and I need to look at stuff like the number of transformation steps or recommended age to even be able to guess with some of the stuff. Toys'R'Us and Walmart are no help either, since they stuff the figures wherever there's room instead of trying to differentiate the different assortments.

There are two other huge problems with the line:

1) Almost no bad guys! A lot of kids get bored if their heroes don't have any enemies to bash. There's not much incentive for kids to buy the whole Autobot/Dinobot cast if they have nobody to fight.

2) Way too many toys of the same ten or so characters! There are something like eight different Grimlocks and Primes. Six different Drifts! Four different Strafes! How many times does Hasbro expect to sell the same characters to the same people?

If Hasbro had stuck to one line for older/more experienced TF buyers and one for young kids/newbies, with no more than one version of most characters in each, I think the experiment would have gone over a whole lot better. DOTM proved pretty strongly that the appetite for movie TF merch was on the wane, and scaling back the line for AoE would have been a wise move. Instead, Hasbro doubled down.

[EDIT]Re: iPads, I think a big tipping point was the advent of cheap mobile gaming.

Games have been getting cheaper for decades while the price of toys gets higher and higher. When a video game costs $60, it's a big investment and a kid will probably only get a couple a year. Even when they're in the $20 bin, it's a toss-up between that and a good-sized toy. But a $1 iOS game? That'll occupy as much of little Billy's time as the Bumblebee he was eyeing, and it's way cheaper. Games have been stealing some money and attention from toys for a long time now, but it's only really become a huge thing for the industry since video games started to undercut them on price.

It also bears mentioning that today's parents all grew up playing games, so a lot of them probably don't have the same "put that controller down and go play outside!" aversion to kids sinking time into gaming that a lot of our parents did.
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