Are You Disappointed With Big Toy Companies?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by PikaManiac, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. PikaManiac

    PikaManiac Well-Known Member

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    I was walking in my local Toy 'R' Us, and I noticed how Playmates' action figures were not only cheaper than Hasbro's but also kept all the articulation of modern action figures. The Star Wars 3.75 inch, 5 points of Articulation action figures were more expensive and smaller compared to the Ben 10 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures. The biggest slap in the face was the combining Voltron toy; look at what Hasbro did with Fall of Cybertron Bruticus when they decided to start doing Combiners again. Playmates who are not even specialised in robots managed to get it right the first time.

    Then I saw the True Heroes toy line. The toys looked cheap compared to the big brand names, but you get a lot of toys for the price that you are paying, and with the type of plastic big toy companies like Bandai and Hasbro are using these days, I do not see how much better their quality can be. Let us not even talk about pricing and quality, how many vehicles and play sets did we get for the Marvel 3.75 inch toy lines since it started in the year 2009?

    Ultimately, I fully understand that Hasbro is a business and they need to milk the most out of their products. However, it still sucks knowing that they are always holding back. Could they not have given us Combiner Wars quality Combiners back in the Fall Of Cybertron toy line? Of course, they could. Also, look at Bandai saving paint on their Power Rangers action figures, but adding useless chuck of un-articulated plastic riders to their vehicles that nobody cares for since you would want to buy an articulated action figure for your vehicle anyway. They could have save those plastic and use the money for paint on their other products. We could have gotten so much more, but I guess scrimping on the quality to increase profit margin is much more important for them.
     
  2. funkmonkey007

    funkmonkey007 Bah weep gragnah

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    Have a look at this article, it might shed a little light on Hasbro's decisions.

    http://news.tfw2005.com/?s=Generation+3

    From my view, Hasbro is in a bit of a pinch right now. In 2007, we got a new live action Transformers movie with all new toys which we'd never seen anything like before. Slightly before that, the Universe 2.0 and Classics line brought up the brilliant new idea of
    "Hey, why not just make new toys of the original characters?"
    Classics evolved into Generations, and is still filling shelves over a decade later, and there have been many subtle price hikes along the way. Remember when Trailcutter and FOC Optimus came out, and everyone freaked out because we were paying the same money for shorter robots? The expense of Transformers increasing sucks, but it isn't exactly a surprise.
    Also, right now, Hasbro seems to be under more pressure than ever. With third party companies cutting into their customer base, and usually at a premium price, They're probably taking the hint that they can ask more money because of the nostalgia so many collectors have tied up in G1. It seems people will pay an arm and a leg for even a glimpse of their childhoods.
    Also encroaching on Hasbro's turf are newly popularised knock offs. Knock off figures have always been around, but they used to just be older molds with frozen joints, horrible plastic, broken english and stolen artwork all over the card. You'd find them in a dollar store for a few bucks, and they were harmlessly unrecognised by the community. But now we have companies like Wei Jiang making counterfeits of new figures; oversized and in the original colours. They're generally priced to undercut Hasbro figures, and they'll be twice the size too. Worse yet (for Hasbro), people are buying them.
    So, Hasbro finds itself in the middle of the market for its own intellectual property. And, if I were them, I'd also start printing little "Authentic" labels on the bottoms of my toys' packaging. I'd also sell something safe, like G1 characters. And I'd also probably jack the price up slowly over time.
    And, OP, your observation about the misuse/waste of paint on toys increasing price is absolutely the case with Transformers too. POTP Beachcomber has an all grey torso, but it was cast in blue and then painted grey. POTP Rodimus's torso is cast in orange, and then painted a slightly different orange. TR Overlord's gun, helmet, waist, chest flaps, shoulders cones, and backpack are all cast one colour, and then painted another. Is that why the new toys have stickers? To make the toys even more expensive and even more nostalgic?
     
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  3. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's evil!"

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    No. Well, maybe BoA a little bit. But Hasbro? No.
     
  4. Fallen Jedi

    Fallen Jedi Well-Known Member

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    Some of it has to be the cost of licensing, not necessarily Transformers, but SW for sure. Lego sets are the same. The SW licensed sets are far more expensive than any other licensed set
     
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  5. Fallen Jedi

    Fallen Jedi Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree, but if true I would be disappointed in Hasbro. I believe that anytime someone encroaches into your business and takes market share away, you need to examine why. What is 3P doing that interests customers? Why are people buying knock-offs? Look at the root causes behind those customer actions and address them with your product. Instead, companies raise prices to account for falling revenues (and maintain ever-increasing profit levels) instead of addressing why their customer base is shrinking. For 3P, it is about choice. Fans get movie accurate, or cartoon accurate, IDW-based, products and there is a market for that. Does Hasbro want to enter that arena? As for knock-offs, how is it a Chinese company can re-engineer your product, address design flaws and even increase QC at a lower price? Customers attracted to knock-offs buy them because of price. Again, Hasbro needs to determine if they can maintain same quality at cheaper price. I acknowledge that the Chinese companies don't have to design the figure in the first place and so that reduces their cost somewhat, but does it justify IT or THF Megatron for $100 versus MP36 at $300? In my mind, that is how Hasbro can address knock-offs. Maintain quality but get their price point to a place where customers won't bother with knock-offs.
     
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  6. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's evil!"

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    That's not Hasbro's market, though. Hasbro sees transformers as a brand. Their mainline is geared towards:

    1. Are kids excited for the product? (Focus on Optimus, Megatron, Bumblebee, Strascream)
    2. Are parents excited for the product? (Focus on nostalgia elements like G1)
    3. Is it price-effective? (mainline deluxe figures are still cheaper than Black Series superhero figures)

    If it does not meet those criteria, then the product either finds its way to a shelf as an exclusive or it doesn't get made.

    3P companies rely on different criteria:

    1. Will the online community be excited for this product? (Focus on maximum articulation and paint apps)
    2. Does it have a Hasbro analogue? (if yes, can we make it better? Cheaper?)
    3. Can I move my limited amount of supply to vendors?

    While both companies make transforming robot toys, one is a corporation while the other is a mom'n'pop shop. It's like comparing McDonalds and your local Shake Shack dive.
     
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  7. Fallen Jedi

    Fallen Jedi Well-Known Member

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    I was addressing funkmonkey007's post regarding 3P and KOs encroaching on market share:
    I understand that Hasbro sees Transformers as a brand, completely get it, but "their" brand is being blurred by 3P and KO and that was the point I was addressing. Regardless of how you gear your brand, if someone comes in and takes a piece of your pie, you need to decide if you are going to do anything about it. Forget about 3P for a second. KOs alone are eating into a portion of Hasbro's revenue stream and address your points 2 and 3 (I assume many KO buyers are parents looking for the nostalgia hit at a more attractive price). If they didn't, people would not be buying them. That is the point I was trying to make. If the KO market is hurting their market share, they need to address the reasons why people are buying KOs. It is Hasbro's intellectual property (IP), but that won't stop the Chinese KO market. China does not see IP the same way the Western market does and does not enforce IP regulations unless it hurts them. That leaves Hasbro with one option, eliminate the desire/need for KO market. Same with 3P, if that decline in market share associated with 3P purchases is impacting Hasbro. I don't disagree with your points, but they do not address the point I was addressing from funkmonkey007's post.
     
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  8. T-Hybrid

    T-Hybrid Undersea Warrior

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    Huh, must be a day that ends in "Y."
     
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  9. WarInTheFloor

    WarInTheFloor Well-Known Member

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    Distribution
    THATS What I'm disappointed in from big companies, if buying off politicians and price fixing and collusion and antitrust violations cant even buy you decent distribution your are #doinitrong
     
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  10. Venixion

    Venixion Member of the notorious Pew-Pew Posse

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    Yeah a little. They're relying too much on repetition, not bothering with decent quality control and not trying much of anything new or interesting.
     
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  11. Fallen Jedi

    Fallen Jedi Well-Known Member

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    That is definitely true of Lego, particularly Star Wars Lego. The same ships come out every couple of years with minor improvements. It is not that I mind so much, but repeat models come at the expense of a newer toy. Just like TF, I would like to see stuff that is not a simple repaint.
     
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  12. Mizzinno

    Mizzinno Merc With A Mouthplate

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    I've stopped buying Star Wars figures do to the lack of articulation. Really don't get why other companies can do fully articulated figures for cheaper than a 5 PoA Star Wars figure.
     
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  13. T-Hybrid

    T-Hybrid Undersea Warrior

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    Are we watching the same lines?

    Crash Combiners reviving Duocons, the Team Combiners scaling down combiners for younger audiences, Primemasters + Decoy armor w/ built in Targetmaster modes, the Evolution gimmick....

    It's little bits and pieces from the history of G1 revived and applied on a larger scale.
     
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  14. Lex79

    Lex79 Well-Known Member

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    There is no way Hasbro can compete on price vs chinese companies that don't spend for market research, don't spend for advertising, don't spend for safety certifications, don't spend on design (or just the minimun to do some twaks), maybe don't even spend for the mold if they have the right contacts with the factories. Given that there are also KO for 3p figures that are incredibly cheaper than the originals, I'm convinced that it's not about the greediness or laziness of the companies who do their own design but how much are able to save whose who copy.
     
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  15. Fallen Jedi

    Fallen Jedi Well-Known Member

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    Good points, but I imagine they were the same arguments they used when Napster was pirating music. Eventually, the industry changed and Napster was gone. I know it is not the same thing, but unless companies address the issue head on, they will continue to lose market share.
     
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  16. WarInTheFloor

    WarInTheFloor Well-Known Member

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    Oh the toys are better than ever, the market is going to shit.
     
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  17. Terradives

    Terradives Well-Known Member

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    It really is hasbro’s fault for not listening to fans. They didn’t really do it through beast wars rid or aec. That’s when fans were waiting for a g1 revival. They’ve stayed in this ignorant mindset that the movies and the tv shows could not be g1. Kids will buy whatever you put in front of them that’s good. There isn’t a point of maintaining three distinct lines. If they had focused the brand correctly in 2007, they wouldn’t be competing for their own ip.
     
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  18. Noobimus Prime

    Noobimus Prime Well-Known Member

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    The title of this thread should just be renamed “I think Hasbro is cheap part 37555.”
     
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  19. Majestic Senzu

    Majestic Senzu Cautious Optimist

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    Oh the times, they are a-changing! *harmonica solo*

    I would point the finger at 3P/Knockoff, but of course there are factors that none of us see that influence how a company operates. Maybe Hasbro is cheap. Anyways, Pro tip: if I am disappointed with some business decision, I just don't make the purchase.
     
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  20. KnightHawkke

    KnightHawkke Flynn Lives TFW2005 Supporter

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    My truly biggest point of disappointment with Hasbro is the inexplicably stupid design decisions they repeat over and over and over. The inward curling elbows (monkey wirsts/gorilla arms,) Adding extra plastic in places to limit articulation or transformation (The fist guards on Deluxe RID Prime being held from rotating down, the hood hinge on the Breakdown mold in Combiner Wars.) Trucks that are smaller than cars, Lack of heel spurs, et all.

    It boggles my mind these things keep happening, TR TwinDoubleCrossInferno's robot mode arms were ruined by those inward curling elbows. Why was there no bicep or wrist swivel?? even most legends these days have Bicep swivels. The AOE Dinobots were riddled with those elbows!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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