A few things that have been bugging me:

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by bellpeppers, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Posts:
    15,007
    News Credits:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    302
    Likes:
    +1,592
    O.k., here's something that has been bugging me:

    We keep being told / hearing about / repeating how the movie toys are such a cash cow.. massive profits... selling gajillions of toys...

    but during the ROTF line, HASBRO has a massive mail-away program and we all get lots of free toys.

    Extras?

    Then this last Christmas season, we get loads of TF's showing up in discount stores like Marshall's and Ross.

    More extras?

    So sometimes people like me bitch about how high figures are getting, and are told that HASBRO sets the retail price... that molds are expensive... that plastic and engineering is expensive... yadda yadda yadda...

    Now, I'm in favor of profit, but holy crap! That must be pretty darn good profit f that have this much to give away!

    So if they were a couple bucks cheaper after all, wouldn't they sell more and have less excess?

    Now we have the PRIME figures. They make a few figures before deciding to actually doing a PRIME line (or something to that effect). Now, when fans want new molds instead of re-paints, other fans are right there an quick to remind / lecture about the massive expense of making new molds and how much cheaper re-paints are- so drop the entitlement attitude (or something like that).

    So what does HASBRO do? They make new molds of the molds they just did.
    If they were that strapped for cash / or if new molds are that freaking expensive, then why make new molds of the same existing current figures instead of re-purposing the existing figures?

    Now, don't think of this as a rage post because:
    A) I'm not into the PRIME line
    B) Not a heavy movieverse buyer either.

    However, a few of these things make me go 'huh?'
     
  2. MegaHavok

    MegaHavok Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Posts:
    4,506
    News Credits:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +18
    Because the fe molds do not fit the design ques of the new rid line
    I honestly don't get why people find that so confusing.
    Fe was designed as the end of the generations line. We saw the listings in Walmart computers. This is a new line with a new team and a new gimmick, why wouldn't we get new figures??
     
  3. RedAlert Rescue

    RedAlert Rescue Banned

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Posts:
    13,220
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    236
    Likes:
    +11
    Repaints (like the most wanted line) subsidise other things sometimes. I actually used to think repaints were something special not something cheap and nasty - I think they've devalued that coin to much in recent years so much so that I did even consider buying the Black Wing Optimus Takara made.

    But not getting enough sell through on Prime toys to recoup the costs of the moulds would be insanity - I suspect that was the reason the Classics Deluxe Optimus & Megatron came out what 4 times (at least maybe more not counting repaints) and I still suspect Optimus and Megatron's Prime Deluxes will show up again someplace or other perhaps even as regular Deluxes on cards or in another boxed set this time aimed a North America (repainted or otherwise).

    But the whole Prime thing does smack of crazyness lately especially now we find out that There's several versions of Starscream's Deluxe Mould and none of them seem to have a Hasbro America or European version just Japan, Asia and Canada.

    They didn't seem to mind making Movie Optimus in several colours - are they that worried people will buy the Deluxe and no buy the Weaponizer or Voyager versions ?

    I suspect that poppycock - if people were buying both/either in plenty of volume in Asia they'd buy both/either in N.A. too.

    Armada, Energon, Movie, Animated, G1, G2,Cybertron and Classics all got several sizes of Optimus Prime - why not even more for Prime ? (over and above the two RID ones).

    Considering there's always a dull spot at the end of a line or a need for boxed sets near Xmas - they really should be using the FE toys to fill that gap at some point.
     
  4. stepsongrapes

    stepsongrapes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Posts:
    557
    Trophy Points:
    117
    Likes:
    +3
    You're assuming the supply/demand curve and price elasticity of the toy market are 100% transparent and predictable.

    Hasbro has to guestimate demand at the production stage. The last thing they want is to be caught short and not able to fulfill orders (i.e., turn away money).

    Take, for example, cost to demand. If Hasbro were to cut the price to Walmart of a figure by half does not necessarily mean that Walmart will order double the quantity (or more). Walmart's demands includes issues like shelf space, their gauge of consumer demand (etc). This type of thing is precisely why Hasbro has several price points for figures (cyberverse, deluxe, etc.). They're trying to tap the range of the demand curve.

    You're talking about microeconomic issues that people spend years researching and entire departments in retail businesses sit around noodling over. One could argue that the ability to do this stuff well is one of the deciding factors between a successful and failed business, moreso than designing good toys.

    Habro isn't necessarily doing it "right" everytime. But that's not the relevant question. The real question is whether you think that you can get it more right than them, going forward.
     
  5. Transbot90210

    Transbot90210 Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Posts:
    14,849
    News Credits:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    236
    Likes:
    +7
    I think the Movie Toys were a cash cow for the first two movies but flopped for the third.

    As I mentioned in the reboot thread. People are saying reboots are for franchises that flop and the movies obviously didn't flop this 4 is a re-whatever. I say WRONG, Hollywood loves the movies but Hasbro is the cheif of this tribe and when the toys flop the movie franchise flops. THE TOYS FLOPPED HARD. Through no fault of their own, people just got sick and tired of the same figures on the shelf for 5 years. So Hasbro decided to reboot the franchise to reboot the movie toy line. Personally I think the movie toys will look a lot more liek Prime toys vs the original trilogy toys.

    So bottom line, the DotM line did flop. It flopped so hard it killed the FE line and the remaining DotM line.
     
  6. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Posts:
    15,007
    News Credits:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    302
    Likes:
    +1,592
    Because they already HAVE molds and figures. That's a big deal to just shit-can.
     
  7. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Posts:
    7,871
    News Credits:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    292
    Likes:
    +525
    Ebay:
    Right, per the quarterly reports.

    Who else was free besides Ravage? I don't think you can actually mark these up purely as freebies, since these promotions have their own marketing benefits, and for all we know, profit. I.e., "we spend $50,000 more on this promotion, but it generates an additional $75,000 in sales."

    Only Hasbro can know how that works.

    Without seeing the big picture, it's impossible to say if this is an acceptable loss, or if it's actually a problem for Hasbro.

    In theory, perhaps. It could also be that their research shows, and I'm just speculating here, that 90% of shoppers only purchase 1 figure, and they're willing to spend up to $20 for it. Again, we can't know these things.

    It is a little perplexing. Maybe the First Editions ran their course, and they don't need them anymore. Maybe they have high predictions for the RID line. Again, I think only Hasbro could tell you.

    That's the great thing about elective hobbies. If at any point it begins to wear on you, you're free to opt out.
     
  8. MegaHavok

    MegaHavok Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Posts:
    4,506
    News Credits:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +18
    But that it has happened before where figures get whole new molds of the same character despite looking the same

    There are three movie voyager prime molds, two ironhides and so on... The molds were replaced to fit the designs and gimmicks of the newer toyline

    The big difference with prime is we didn't get to buy the fe molds

    Consider that the rid toy line was already well into developement before hasbro got news that none of the big retailers really wanted prime first edition toys

    Theyre not gonna redo all the rid stuff or toss them out so they just kept moving forward
     
  9. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Posts:
    15,007
    News Credits:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    302
    Likes:
    +1,592
    Makes sense.

    I got Ravage, Sideways, Skorponok, Brawl. Other people got other figures.

    Well, as I already stated, the PRIME and MOVIE lines aren't for me so it's a non-issue to me. Just being curious.

    Those were over a course of years.
    This is over a course of months.

    So you acknowledge the waste.

    If new molds are such a big deal, why shit can the FE existing molds to create new molds of the same figure for RID?

    Just re-purpose the FE molds for RID. Wouldn't that have been less waste? Especially since so few people has access to the FE to begin with.

    ???

    That's not the issue- the issue is them making the FE molds, make a few toys only to toss them out to make NEW molds of the SAME figures for RID.
     
  10. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Posts:
    11,216
    News Credits:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Likes:
    +271
    Ebay:
    The wasted figures and stuff are a shame, and I doubt Hasbro bean-counters think of that as a good thing. However, big picture, unless they are lying to their shareholders the entire Transformers brand has been going consistently well for several years, with production, sales, and profit margins increasing for that whole span. Even when the whole company has an off-year, TFs have a strong one.

    The give-aways, the FE debacle, all that is still a rounding error in terms of the profits we are talking about. Fan discontent is a problem for the people who work in the brand and think about its long-term health, but people are over-interpreting it into some kind of systemic problem with all of Hasbro. Movie boom-and-busts are just how they do business in a lot of brands. They aren't the TFCC, they aren't looking to sell out. Under-producing can be worse than over-producing when it comes to movie toys.
     
  11. MegaHavok

    MegaHavok Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Posts:
    4,506
    News Credits:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +18
    Hypothetical time line

    1. Generations toy line
    2. Plans to generate prime toys as the last waves of generations and squeeze a few out before the movie ( remember the Walmart listings for new arcee and starscream
    3. Ordering on generations too slow and waves are cut off (black shadow, junk heap, prime molds)
    4. Dotm line happens
    5. Unused prime toys are repurposed in to FE
    6. Work begins on RID toy line incorporating sizes, design ques, and play patterns from dotm
    7. Major Retailers show no interest in fe prime
    8. Hasbro says oh well and keeps plans for RID intact
    9. Fans shit themselves when hasbro crushes their dreams

    I don't have much "proof" but when you look at the timeline for this info coming out and the design styles I think this makes sense to me
     
  12. PlanckEpoch

    PlanckEpoch Just a regular old plumbus

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Posts:
    8,229
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +359
    I generally accept this timeline as well. I think the key is that by the time the First Edition toys were already done and packaged with, the factories have already switched gears to producing RID. By this stage you can't just stop an entire factory and tell them to go back and make more of the previous product. They have to keep churning out what they're doing to meet market demand.
     
  13. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Posts:
    7,871
    News Credits:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    292
    Likes:
    +525
    Ebay:
    I wonder if the conversation was something like...

    Hasbro: "We have developed two Prime toylines. The second one has lights and mechtech, and costs about the same. The first li-- "
    Retailers: "Yes."
     
  14. Transbot90210

    Transbot90210 Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Posts:
    14,849
    News Credits:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    236
    Likes:
    +7
    That timeline sounds about right to me. And as Process added, I'm sure the second Prime line with its lights and gimmicks was much more appealing to retailers.
     
  15. Noideaforaname

    Noideaforaname Pico, let's go up to Zuma

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Posts:
    8,325
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +525
    Movieverse had some of that "two molds of the same character"-thing going, too. See: Deluxe Ratchet and Voyager Optimus. It almost seems like Hasbro thought it necessary to make all DotM-and-later TFs fit in with this new gimmicky thing they've got going, even if it meant making brand new molds yet again. IIRC, NONE of the non-exclusive mainline figures are repaints of Movie 1/RotF molds.

    This Walmart listing from January 2011 strongly implies at least some of the FE molds (SS and Arcee, at least) are from before DotM, and thus the apparent gimmick "rule." Why Hasbro feels compelled to redo everything for their flagship TF series suddenly is beyond me, but it's awfully odd to be just coincidence.
     
  16. PlanckEpoch

    PlanckEpoch Just a regular old plumbus

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Posts:
    8,229
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +359
    Because they were originally slated for Generations. That's clear enough I think. Generations gets cut for a focus on Prime. Prime toys that were at the end of Generations get moved into "First Edition" to tease the RID release. Retailers don't want FE...and the rest is history.
     
  17. Paxtin

    Paxtin Why am I here?

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Posts:
    8,681
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +116
    I really couldn't say for absolutely certain what the whole deal was with the FE line. But I can say that I'm pretty sure why they remade them in the main line.

    Line wide gimmicks!

    Cause in the mind of Hasbro, and likely the retailers, flashy gimmicks sell toys.

    That sounds fairly probable.
     
  18. stepsongrapes

    stepsongrapes Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Posts:
    557
    Trophy Points:
    117
    Likes:
    +3
    Probably in the minds of "reality", too. That's life.
     
  19. PlanckEpoch

    PlanckEpoch Just a regular old plumbus

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Posts:
    8,229
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +359
    I want to add though that there MUST be blame put on Hasbro's shoulders. Brick-and-mortar retailers not wanting First Editions does not explain why TFSource and BBTS, who were solicited for the First Edition stuff, did not get them. We have to remember that it was BBTS themselves who stated that only they AND specialty retailers would get it. Them not getting the product that they had a near exclusive deal on is completely Hasbro's blame here.

    That's the question I'd like to see answered...what exactly transpired behind the scenes that allowed for Hasbro Canada to get theirs, and Hasbro to make enough for Asia. My FE Cliffjumper was from Taiwan, and it has Hasbro Australia marked on the package with all Hasbro stamps rather than Takara ones.
     
  20. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Posts:
    24,229
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    367
    Likes:
    +1,105
    There may also be critical points along an equlibrium of economy of scale, relative to material inputs (minimum orders/volume discounts/contractual obligations) or mold lifetime or manufacturing capacity or runtime that makes overproduction more attractive than underproduction.
     

Share This Page