OFFICIAL TRANSFORMERS TOYS NEWS

Figures, collectables, customs and collecting.
User avatar
Clay
Articles: 0
Posts: 7129
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 2:19 am
Location: Murray, KY

Re: OFFICIAL TRANSFORMERS TOYS NEWS

Post by Clay » Sun Aug 29, 2021 5:20 pm

Warcry wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 6:14 am
A part of me hopes that this campaign fails because I really don't like the idea of billion-dollar companies like Hasbro using crowd-funding. They avoid taking any risk and guarantee themselves profits, while charging a higher price than they could get away with at retail and pocketing buyers' money years before they hand over the product. It's just another in a pile of decisions they've made lately that are openly hostile to the consumer.
I mean, you're not wrong, but I've never taken these crowdfunded things as a matter of, "oh, woe is us, a company who cannot afford to manufacture a toy for collectors, please give us money now." Rather, I see them as big-ticket niche items that hasbro simply doesn't want to make in the numbers to justify a retail release. Doing it the crowdfunded way means they know exactly how much income a figure will generate without having to worry about producing a volume large enough to cover what goes on remainder or clearance, plus the general fanfare and publicity that goes with a big announcement draws a lot of attention.

The Ark is an excellent counterpoint as to what one would expect a crowdfunding project to be, but I guess after... six(?) or seven(?) other Titan figures, they felt it was a reasonable risk.
Unicron wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 4:38 pm
Glad I'm not the only one who remembers this. Thought I was having one of those Mandela things.
Yeah, it was short of the minimum backers until fairly late in the process, I think. Then of course people started whining that stores were scalping the thing for 30% markup when the only reason the figures they had to sell even existed was because the stores ordered them in bulk. Like, the whole "made-to-order, must meet minimum amount of backers" aspect that was clear from the beginning was something that just didn't click with some people until way after the ship had sailed.

That said, I still think the whole, "surprise! Cough up $600 for this figure in the next six weeks or you won't ever get it at the price again! And also MP44 Convoy which costs $450 comes out in that same window of time! Hope you didn't want both!" could have been planned out radically better.

(I wanted nor own either, fwiw)

(changed "whoa" to "woe." oof)

User avatar
Denyer
Articles: 3
Posts: 32491
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2000 4:00 am
Contact:

Re: OFFICIAL TRANSFORMERS TOYS NEWS

Post by Denyer » Sun Aug 29, 2021 7:16 pm

Clay wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 5:20 pm
And also MP44 Convoy which costs $450 comes out in that same window of time!
That's the madder thing. Jacking the price of a regular figure to unheard of levels -- the 3P manufacturers would have tried for, what, a couple of hundred or so for the product provided? Maybe three for including the trailer, tops?

It might not be woe-is-us but Hasbro has store/online exclusive releasing as an option. I do think the crowd fund option is more about hype than a concern that they won't hit minimum numbers; I don't think we'll ever see them try to crowd fund something that doesn't. The company wouldn't accept the public rebuke and bad press that would result.

Edit: some of it could be Hasbro bean counters determining that crowd fund maximises income on certain products, they did basically kill a profitable publishing division when they bought out Wizards of the Coast (which is why virtually no new D&D novels for years);

https://thewertzone.blogspot.com/2020/0 ... re-no.html

User avatar
Heinrad
Articles: 0
Posts: 6222
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2001 5:00 am
Location: Riskin' it all on my Russian Roulette!

Re: OFFICIAL TRANSFORMERS TOYS NEWS

Post by Heinrad » Mon Aug 30, 2021 2:29 pm

While I had no real interest in Unicron(I've got the Armada version with nowhere to put it, do I need another Unicron that's the size of a piece of furniture?), I would love to get Star Saber.

Just Star Saber.

It's nothing against Victory Leo, but given where the figure will likely wind up, having wings sticking off of it probably won't work. Which means I either go with the horribly overpriced Masterpiece, a 3P, or buy this one, never open it, and sell it when it goes up by 3 billion percent on the aftermarket and then buy the MP version. Or just get this one and leave Victory Leo in the box.

Do they charge you for the thing as soon as you preorder, or only when they ship?

User avatar
Clay
Articles: 0
Posts: 7129
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 2:19 am
Location: Murray, KY

Re: OFFICIAL TRANSFORMERS TOYS NEWS

Post by Clay » Mon Aug 30, 2021 2:37 pm

Clay wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 5:20 pm
Doing it the crowdfunded way means they know exactly how much income a figure will generate without having to worry about producing a volume large enough to cover what goes on remainder or clearance
I've thought about this some more, and while I still think it applies to Unicron, I'm not sure that it does to the others. They're not particularly large enough to require additional expense via warehouse storage, nor expensive or intricate enough to preclude them from just upping the production numbers to the level of normal retail stuff. I guess the remaining explanation is publicity.
Denyer wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 7:16 pm
Edit: some of it could be Hasbro bean counters determining that crowd fund maximises income on certain products, they did basically kill a profitable publishing division when they bought out Wizards of the Coast (which is why virtually no new D&D novels for years);

https://thewertzone.blogspot.com/2020/0 ... re-no.html
Double-edged sword, I'd guess. I can't speak of D&D, but I do remember Magic back in the 1990s before Hasbro bought Wizards of the Coast. For any missteps they may have made since then (I haven't played with physical cards since said 1990s), Hasbro's market share has meant that you can actually find the things. When WotC was on its own, the product was limited to niche shops and comic stores. Now you can buy it at Walmart... which, speaking of, I saw a 5e AD&D rule book and dungeon master's guide at Walmart over the weekend. That kind of market exposure/penetration for something like D&D is great, and I'm not sure it's possible without the backing of large company that employs bean counters that clip off the fun-but-not-completely-profitable tangents.

User avatar
Unicron
Articles: 0
Posts: 2444
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2000 5:00 am

Re: OFFICIAL TRANSFORMERS TOYS NEWS

Post by Unicron » Mon Aug 30, 2021 3:16 pm

Heinrad wrote:
Mon Aug 30, 2021 2:29 pm
Do they charge you for the thing as soon as you preorder, or only when they ship?
Middle ground, as far as I've seen. They charge at the end of the campaign (or when they've reached the required number of backers, the thing is unclear).

User avatar
Denyer
Articles: 3
Posts: 32491
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2000 4:00 am
Contact:

Re: OFFICIAL TRANSFORMERS TOYS NEWS

Post by Denyer » Mon Aug 30, 2021 5:29 pm

Clay wrote:
Mon Aug 30, 2021 2:37 pm
That kind of market exposure/penetration for something like D&D is great, and I'm not sure it's possible without the backing of large company that employs bean counters that clip off the fun-but-not-completely-profitable tangents.
Not having a large enough profit margin to satisfy rather than not profitable. The decision's been to effectively give up keeping the brand next to other gateway fantasy in bookstores, since reprints also tailed off ten years ago. It doesn't matter much in terms of availability with legacy content being monetised through Amazon plus gaming materials with DriveThruRPG, but they're missing out on the nostalgia dollar and on getting new generations onboard by not having a regular trickle of fiction to cross-sell with the gaming products, even if they cut overheads and went ebook only.

For all their other failings, Games Workshop is an example of doing tie-in fiction successfully.

User avatar
Skyquake87
Protoform
Articles: 0
Posts: 3889
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:34 am

Re: OFFICIAL TRANSFORMERS TOYS NEWS

Post by Skyquake87 » Tue Aug 31, 2021 3:35 pm

I'd like Star Saber, but don't know that I want to sign up for this sort of exclusivity nonsense. It's probably a sign of how the toys/ action figure market is heading, mind. I think it's fine for stuff like Unicron, but for things that may have made it into a mainline anyway (particularly given the 'Generations' focus Legacy will bring), I dunno... it's a bit 'we'll make it, but only if you stump up a few hundred bucks' - great if you've that kind of disposable income to throw around on toys, but can end up making you feel a bit left out if you don't. Perhaps the natural business response to a 3P market fans'll happily spaff hundreds of dollars on and a shrinking market place for action figures (especially as Funko Pops continue to destroy everything in their path...!).

These sorts of business decisions, like the palaver with store exclusives and everything else, really are turning me off collecting Transformers. Collecting Transformers is just no fun anymore.

...Did notice Hasbro are now going for this sort of thing with Marvel Legends and the recently announced Galactus. Not really paid much attention to how that's gone down in that collecting community. I suspect the relatively cheaper price points for those figures will have less grumbling/ resistance.

Post Reply