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Old 2004-05-29, 12:18 AM   #21
Windrazor
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
Hasbro and Takara have a rough agreement whereby each doesn't poach the other's customers, which may have some bearing on things, but I do think it's as simple as Hasbro not wanting to have to quantity balance products competing with themselves. Alternators are already a sub-market.
I tend not to look at it as competition amongst themselves but a chance to make something for collectors as well as to increase their profits. Poachful amongst other customers, doubtful, since a collector will go after each variant anyways. I agree that Alternators are already a submarket, and Binaltech figures could fall under that submarket.
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 01:15 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alpha Trion
The packaging would have to change to make it clear which version was plastic and which was metal.
Hence my suggestion of borrowing the cardboard part of the box from the Binaltech line, the inside packaging (plastic, wireties) would remain the same

Quote:
Originally posted by Alpha Trion
Walmart and TRU already have plastic Alternators all over their shelves. Do you really think they want to put near-identical toys next to them on the shelf?
Near identical toys? Same as Armada and Energon Unicron? Or perhaps the Universe lines with copies of the RID car brothers? If they are willing to carry the Universe lines, then yes.

Quote:
Originally posted by Alpha Trion
We all know it would be physically possible for Hasbro to release diecast Alternators. It's just that it's so impractical that it will never happen. The sales would be so low that it would be a disaster. Think about it: if Hasbro suffered huge money loss like that, they might even stop producing Alternators entirely, or close the Transformers line altogether.
I doubt that they would stop producing alternators even if there was a loss. Even though you may have a point there, I don't quite believe that they WOULD suffer a loss if they happened to produce diecast alternators. It's not exactly that impractical either. Japan makes the die cast toys. They are reproducing the G1 series with diecast. So why can it not be done with the Alternator line? My logic points to that it could be done, the demand could be just as high, and they could make a profit. Of course, know one knows the TRUE answer to this unless it happened. Expansion though usually does make for a more successful outcome.
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 01:21 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Windrazor
a chance to make something for collectors as well as to increase their profits
Unfortunately, it just comes across as "me, me me, and damn the economics."

Toys in the US are about 40% cheaper than in the UK (it's cheaper to pay US retail and shipping than buy retail here in a lot of cases) and K-Mart has still just filed for chapter eleven bankruptcy, mostly because its prices were slightly higher than other stores.

Quote:
Originally posted by Windrazor
a collector will go after each variant anyways.
How many collectors who are that obsessive do you know? That haven't already imported Binaltech, have no plans to, or wouldn't if they could finance it?
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 01:28 AM   #24
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Out of, what, a hundred or so regular posters to this here Transformers board, how many are completists? Seriously? I don't think we actually have a single variant fanatic...

EDIT: Just set up a quick poll to see how the board members would think...
 

Last edited by Cliffjumper; 2004-05-29 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 2004-05-29, 02:36 AM   #25
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I'm a completist to a point. After all, I have all 4 versions of Armada Jetfire.. or at least the packaging.. (Original Jetfire, Target Jetfire with 3 free minicons, Powerlinx Jetfire, Kmart Jetfire/Optimus Prime/6 Minicon pack) I have yet to collect all of the Universe line.. and probably don't plan on it.. other than that I have everything else. Well.. except for Energon Ultra Magnus.
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 03:00 AM   #26
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I really don't see why they can't make them with die-cast parts. Die-cast metal is not that expensive. It would be nice to see them that way. For $20 they should have some metal parts.
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 03:03 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Windrazor
Near identical toys? Same as Armada and Energon Unicron? Or perhaps the Universe lines with copies of the RID car brothers? If they are willing to carry the Universe lines, then yes.
Twit...

1 - Armada and Energon Unicron are on shelves together because there was a significant surplus of the Armada version, not to give people extra choices. This has already been covered, but since you're only listening to your own delusions...

2 - Comparing your ill-conceived plan for releasing die-cast Alternators with the Universe line is ridiculous. The Universe line contains repaints of figures from previous toylines, not existing ones. If Universe had some repaints of Energon figures, then perhaps there could be some room for comparison, but it doesn't, so you're just sh*t outta luck.
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 03:12 AM   #28
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The Unicrons didn't shift in many places until they were marked down to unit value or below... how many stores are keen to reorder?

Anyone think the car brothers would sell at 150% of the price with some random extra metal bits? Or that Unicron would ever shift at a higher price with some metal? Or that Beast Wars repaints would ever shift with die-cast? Or that anyone would be even remotely bothered about getting heavier Alternators more susceptible to paintwear if they didn't know about Binaltech?

edit: BTW, can we stick to calling people's logic spurious, ill-founded, and detached from current market reality rather than going the easy route of calling 'em names? Thanks.
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 05:10 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Windrazor
My logic points to that it could be done, the demand could be just as high,
It would rely on them changing direction in the middle of a line, involve them in competing for a market with Takara, necessitate significant packaging redesign (the Binaltech materials aren't hugely different), possibly break the terms of whatever licensing they've arranged with car companies (Alternators compete with model kits in the same price range, which is another reason to keep products competitively priced) and taking a gamble on commissioning fresh mould sets at its factories.

'G1' reissues are sold as collectibles. They've also run into problems moving stock, since many fans regard them as poor value for money. Starscream was priced at £27 here initially, and is still on the shelves since being reduced to £10. More recent reissues suffer from limited character recognition.

But yes, Hasbro should disregard all of those factors and trust a hunch...
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 06:59 AM   #30
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Ok, I'm gonna use the local TRU in Spokane as an example and state outright that this has probably already been thought of by Hasbro and disqualified for reasons I'm not thinking of.

TRU has 16 boxes of Alternators on their shelf last time I was there, two rows. I assume that at some point some of those boxes will have sold or have been removed from the shelf to make room for Hound and Silverstreak. So why not instead of two rows of 8 drop to one row so as to clear space for some Binal Tech versions?

Here's my reasoning. They'd be marked up so as to make a profit so all they have to do is be sold. Well as has already been pointed out, they aren't going to sell to casual toy buyers primarily. So ship them in smaller amounts. Throw four boxes on the shelf and restock only as necessary.

Now all the hardcore fans out there that prefer the die cast metal but can't fork over for importing the toys can get them.

Hasbro could even reduce the risk by making them TRU or Wal-Mart exclusives.

The only real hurdle I can see to that is US toy safety standards of which I have little knowledge of.

That said, no one here is going to attack anyone for stating an opinion. It's the opinions that are stated that get attacked and not the poeple who state them.

You are, as always, free to have and express any opinion you choose to. This freedom though doesn't include an immunity to being disagreed with. You must remember that everyone else is equally entitled to their opinion.

What Dark Rodimus has suggested is that a majority of people here are bad people for holding and stating an opinion that is contradictory to his opinion. That we should be silenced and be ashamed for doing so. Can't say you're going to gain much respect from me for saying that.

All the time people here disagree with eachother. I disagree with Denyer and Auros often enough. I'm not ridiculed or attacked for it. (They ridicule and attack me for other reasons).

I love that I can disagree with someone here. With anyone here. I've never once felt unwelcome because I stated an opinion that others didn't agree with.
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 10:18 AM   #31
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The biggest hurdle would still be producing them/changing packaging. It could be done, but I doubt it could be made cost-effective enough so that people could actually get the things for much less than importing and then importing the product direct from Takara's factories runs into the same problem.

For all the trouble required just to get the things on shelves, Hasbro wouldn't be seeing a realistically good profit from them. Assuming you make them store-exclusive and produce fewer of them, you'd end up paying much more per figure for production, couple that with the higher cost of materials (metal and extra paint), and designing/printing/assembling new packaging. I'd say Hasbro would have to add at least $10 for those expenses alone, so you're looking at $30 without further jacking the price to make it all worthwhile, so I wouldn't expect to see them for less than $35-$40 and do you think there'd be a big enough market to sell out a row of 8 of those before selling out 16 Alternators?
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 01:00 PM   #32
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I can't see Hasbro releasing diecast versions of the ones already out, though if there were a huge swell of demand they might swith to die cast for future ones (though that doesn't seem very likely).

However, at least one of the UK sfi-shops (Another World in Derby) was selling the Bineltech version of Sidesswipe ( along with Superlink toys), so it shouldn't be that hard to get hold of one if you don't want to go the internet route.
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 04:44 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hound
They ridicule and attack me for other reasons
We love ya really.

Further to what's been said, Alternators (like virtually all retail toys) maintain their price of $20 because of economies of scale. They also sell on that basis. Universe is already an speculative line, and probably fills that niche in Hasbro's corporate topology.

TRU tend to get exclusives and more variety, because they have acres of shelf space. They also have distribution through Amazon and aren't tied to production dates as tightly as some other mass toy retailers.

Whilst the Alternators appeal to casual collectors, anything else with would compete directly with the 'G1' reissues, which are already overpriced. People are waiting for the things to clearance before buying. Kids sure as hell aren't buying them in any quantity (other TF lines offer larger toys, have more play gimmicks, etc.) Energon stuff is about a third of the price.

Diecast Alternators wouldn't be any cheaper than reissues. Being considerably larger, the price would only scale up. Then they're competing with regular Alternators and reissues for the collector's wallet. If the reissues were dropped, perhaps Hasbro would be more willing to chance it.

That's assuming any conditions about not competing with Takara, having licensing agreements with car companies to not compete with other adaptions (Alternators are very clearly toys; die-cast would place them in competition with car collectible ranges) etcetera.

I don't think there's a snowball in hell...
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 05:31 PM   #34
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See, this is the thing... I'm pretty sure the way a Binaltech hits before an Alternator by a month or so is some agreement between Hasbro and Takara... and Binaltech doesn't seem to cost a huge amount more from the right sources for many US buyers - when you have an American store like BBTS which can make the shipping negligible and the price not much more than an Alternator, let alone a diecast Alternator, plus get it a month early AND have the Takara coolness factor [yes, I know... but it's undeniably of appeal to many collectors, and this is a collector-orientated theory], they're not that appealing at all, and certainly not a license to print money just waiting to be used.

As they've shown with the more recent reissues [Red Alert, Hoist, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Grapple], in the collector's market Hasbro are largely working with Takara rather than against them. They both exploit a certain area, with Takara using their k3wlness factor to cover the diehard fans, and Hasbro tackling those who are a bit less, erm, zealous.
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 08:54 PM   #35
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You consider BBTS to have Binaltech at more of an affordable price? I'm looking at a preorder for BT-07 and its priced out at $54.99 plus $4.99 for shipping and handling. I'm not sure which line of thinking you were going after there, but $60 doesn't appeal to me for these figures. Hasbro would just have to use the same technology, programs and equipment (which they already have) that Takara uses for these figures. They can be produced for $20 and sold for $30. Thats half the price of going to BBTS and paying $60. I recall when Rodimus Major first came out he was priced at $17.99 from Toys R Us. All of a sudden for the Series 2, prices jumped to $24.99. Was this due to production costs? No.. it was due to the manufacturers trying to make more money. I've worked in a plastics plant, that deals with graphics and has parts such as actual steel not just diecast, and I know from first hand that it doesn't cost as much as you seem to believe. Whatever the reason, its only that they figure they can make a bigger profit by making collectors that actually want the diecast figures, go to extra lengths to get them, instead of producing themselves. If you didn't happen to go to Botcon in 2002, you would have heard that Takara and Hasbro are working together in the Transformers lines. This means that there isn't an infringement on ideas or sales, but that they both design them, and go from there. Hasbro CAN produce them, but they choose not to, most likely because they are profiting in other ways.

BTW.. please refrain from namecalling... its immature.
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 09:09 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by Windrazor
You consider BBTS to have Binaltech at more of an affordable price?
Yes. I think it's because our currencies aren't gasping, to a certain extent... an Alternator will cost £20, the Binaltech version a little over £30 to import.

Quote:
Originally posted by Windrazor
Hasbro would just have to use the same technology, programs and equipment (which they already have) that Takara uses for these figures.
I think casting metal requires higher-quality moulds, and I suspect they'd have to get more from Takara than they have for Alternators production. That would need to come with an added incentive for Takara. (Which Takara would be very happy to supply for a fee or a break, I'm sure... they'll cheerfully cash in on anything.)

Quote:
Originally posted by Windrazor
its only that they figure they can make a bigger profit by making collectors that actually want the diecast figures, go to extra lengths to get them, instead of producing themselves. If you didn't happen to go to Botcon in 2002, you would have heard that Takara and Hasbro are working together in the Transformers lines.
They don't share profits directly, though. Takara does a hell of a lot of international business, and Hasbro sells to the mass market. It's a gentlemen's agreement.
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 09:27 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer

I think casting metal requires higher-quality moulds
I'm reasonably sure that this is true. I don't know the specifics, but I used to be a collector of Games Workshop stuff, and they produced both metal and plastic versions of some models. I remember reading reference to different types of molds in regards to Games Workshop (they called them 'soft' and 'hard' molds), so I assume it'd be the same for Transformers.

-Ss
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 10:45 PM   #38
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Actually, it's just struck me that the Hasbro/Takara agreement is a lot like the way Marvel handled Transformers in the 1980s. US Transformers was just about the only US comic not mass-imported to the UK in the 1980s, and apparently both it and Generation 2 weren't avaliable via the likes of Forbidden Planet, while no copies of TFUK went the other way... I'd say export is a significant portion of Takara's audience [by significant. I mean they're well aware of it, not that it's 40% or something], and what with the company's constant financial problems [you wonder why Car Robots panned out at about 50% recolours, and from then on they jointly developed the line with Hasbro?], it's a market they might want to hang on to. As they're designing most, if not all, of the moulds, Hasbro won't piss with them. I'm aware they work together, and I'm just curious where you got the notion I said otherwise; but DC and Wildstorm work together, and both have their respective markets which they tend not to tread on.

BBTS was more a random example, and it turns out to be an inaccurate one. ebay is probably a better one, and assuming most hardcore collectors have access to ebay isn't much of a leap.

Is $20 cost, $30 sale really accurate figures? Because by that logic, Hasbro would only be in profit if three-quarters of the figures shifted at full price. It's not about the simple cost. I'm certain that diecast Alternators would make money. But Hasbro don't want to turn a few grand on this. Why should they go to huge efforts to be a little bit more in the black and please a handful of people?

No-one's denying that the reissues are overpriced. But that's the vagary of an entirely collector orientated line [I'm sorry, but if anyone actually thinks reissuing Prime was so that kids today can experience his 'greatness', there's jaw-droppingly naive - Supercon Op can move his legs, and has a back...]. You honestly think Palisades or McFarlane are pricing their stuff at anywhere less than, oh I dunno, 1000% of production cost?

Also, where specifically did I namecall? Don't get me wrong, Windy, you're a waste of oxygen which could be used by decent people. I'm just wondering what you're referring to.
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 11:01 PM   #39
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He's referring to Auros' "twit" and I'm not sure if it means something different in America...

I think I remember seeing one or two copies of US G2 in John Menzies, funnily enough. Definitely saw a G.I. Joe crossover or two. But I've never found one in a comic shop apart from those Marvel Collectors packs. To be fair, I've never found very many decent comic shops.
 
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Old 2004-05-29, 11:04 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dark Rodimus
You’re all a bunch of monkeys.


You'd better apologize for calling him a monkey. The Librarian hates that.

Sorry, had to edit that. We're a TF board, after all. Besides, internal links are cooler. But kudos for the idea. - Nevermore

Yeah except I disagree.
- Strafe


 

Last edited by Strafe; 2004-05-29 at 11:49 PM.
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