Hasbro/Takara needs to have a "collectors" division

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Alucard77, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Alucard77

    Alucard77 Kaon Gladiator Champion

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    [I needed to edit this, to get the thoughts across.]

    I was actually thinking about this this morning. It is disappointing that Hasbro does not have a "collectors" division at their offices.

    There is two ways to make money in a tough economy. The first way is what Hasbro is currently doing. Stick to one product, reduce over head and sell in bulk. The second way is to go niche. I would love to see Has/Tak go niche and have a small "collectors" division responsible for collectors figures only. These figures will give the fans what they want. Here is what I am thinking.

    The current Has/Tak model is this:
    - No large figures are made any longer. The market cannot bare it according to them.
    > Combiners
    > Large figures like Fortress, Omega Supreme, etc.
    - Figures cannot be created that kids don't play with, (Insects, 80's Tape Decks, Microscopes, Tape Cassettes, etc)
    - Moms don't pay high prices for toys
    - Distribution is the problem with shelf space, price demands from retailers, etc.

    The pruposes Has/Tak "Collectors" group model:
    - Have a collectors group you join
    - No retailer distribution, just direct orders from Hasbro
    - Figures are made in limited releases for the people in the collectors group
    > Additional figures can be also made for sale
    - Prices of the figures are in line with they should be to have a niche market. So more expensive then the norm.
    - Collectors toys that are made include:
    > Transformers that transform into their correct alt mode and represent their proper robot mode
    > Large figures like Omega Supreme, etc.
    > Combiners
    > Master Piece Combiners
    > Top notch paint jobs with panel lining, etc.

    I mean at this point the 3rd party companies are filling this niche for us. However, until very recently they have been afraid to push the envelope. Our Warbot, Insecticons, Ultra Magnus and so on give a resemblence of G1, but don't go all the way, as to not get in trouble. Hasbro can go all the way.

    Also, I don't think we will ever see a MP combiner from a 3rd Party company. However, a Has/Tak designer did mention at the MP10 meeting that he would love to work on a MP Menasor after working on the MP10. This would give them that ability.

    What do you guys think.
     
  2. BarBoBot

    BarBoBot Well-Known Member

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    they tried that already with alternators,(aimed at collectors) and alot of them shelf warmed unfortunately.

    It would be cool though to have has/tak live up to their potential and make some true collector gems.
     
  3. mechfiend

    mechfiend Well-Known Member

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    totally agree with you, hasbro is missing out by not being its own third party company. Just think of the wonders they could come up with
     
  4. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Well-Known Member

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    It's a nice idea, but distribution problems faced by other companies with this approach show that it's not an easy idea to execute. Just ask fans of MattyCollector.

    One thing interesting about Hasbro, though, is that their "collector" type figures are still released in mass retail. For example, all their Masterpieces and the Classics lines aren't really the most ideal Transformers to sell, based on kid popularity, but I can still find them in my local TRU (ignoring TRU's own distribution) without having to fight with other collectors for a limited run toy online.

    I'd love to hear more opinions on this issue from other, more experienced collectors.
     
  5. katch26

    katch26 Well-Known Member

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    they do with the masterpiece lines (its just not chock full of releases), and to a lesser extent you could consider the takara line collector's grade.
     
  6. mechfiend

    mechfiend Well-Known Member

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    If start up companies like fansproject, i-gear, tfc can do it, I don't see how hasbro.. the mega corp can't put the items these guys make out. even if there is zero retail distribution. These other companies do it and don't have hasbro's resources.
     
  7. Matty

    Matty @StayingInTheBox Moderator News Staff

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    I think that's exactly what they are achieving with their state side release of Masterpiece figures. And just to ask, but what exactly is a collector's market? Are we talking about having figures with sharp pieces and small weapons? Obscure characters? I just consider myself a collector, I go to the store, and I see (prior to DOTM) pegs full of Classics characters; is that in a sense catering to the collector? Granted I understand Hasbro will never give us a Six-Shot transformer with all six modes, but they do throw a lot of bones to collector's specifically.
     
  8. Alucard77

    Alucard77 Kaon Gladiator Champion

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    Well, Altrenators and Classics did not start out with the idea of being collectibles. They became collectible. Also, I think your missing the point of limited release collectible figures. The point is that they cannot shelf warm. You are making it in limited release. If you release 5,000 Classic Dinobots, they will not shelf warm. They will sell out. If you make 50,000 of them, they have a chance to shelf warm some of the figures.

    Also, there is no distribution problems. All there is, is a shipping department. You order directly from Hasbro. You cannot get it at any retailers. Just Has/Tak.
     
  9. Altimus Prime

    Altimus Prime Shift perceptions

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    Smacks of elitism.

    You don't need figures of $75-$150 in price, plus an annual "charge," to appeal to collectors.

    I'd be happy enough if they just made the likes of RTS Windcharger available.
     
  10. Alucard77

    Alucard77 Kaon Gladiator Champion

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    I think you got it. The collectors stuff is similar to what third party companies are doing. So here are my thoughts:
    - Transformers that transform into what they are supposed to transform into. No 1 character representing reflector. MP Soundwave, which transforms into a Tape Recorder/Deck or whatever you want to call him. Yes, Hasbro thinks kids don't want to play with Tape Decks, but Collectors want an appropriate representation.
    - More paint apps. Nice paint apps.
    - Combiners
    - Voyager and larger sized Transformers to fill in our collection (Omega Supreme)

    So the basic idea is that they work outside the rules Hasbro has setup. So Hasbro continues with the deluxe scale stuff they are doing, and collectors goes with the rest.
     
  11. mechfiend

    mechfiend Well-Known Member

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    people are lined up to pay 600 for Hercules, look at the scouting force, and the other perfect effect stuff, 100 for a smaller mp optimus. I've never seen a third party item that would be considered an impulse buy, but it sells. I'm not keen on an annual charge, but there is a market for collector grade stuff that falls in line with the 3rd party companies.
     
  12. XxGeck0xX

    XxGeck0xX デストロン 情報

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    You guys could come to Japan where transformers is aimed at collectors/adults, but if I think the idea of hasbro actually making stuff we want and aiming it towards collectors would be cool also.
     
  13. MWG

    MWG Well-Known Member

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    Like, others have said, I feel Masterpiece and Classics (and by extension Club products) do fill the "collector" niche adequately. If the only products they marketed at us were $75+ limited quantity items (that would be much more expensive due to everyone trying to get them), I'd get out. It wouldn't be worth the expense or hassle to me. Third party figures are a lot more optional, they aren't must-buy official items, but nice supplemental items sometimes. Toy collecting started because people loved the toys the companies were making as they made them. When lines started getting to dedicated to catering mainly to specific groups, those lines started to fail IMO.

    +-MWG-+
     
  14. exomega255

    exomega255 Emerald Green

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    Well, I do want more bone---er....................................................... go has/tak!!!!!!
     
  15. Alucard77

    Alucard77 Kaon Gladiator Champion

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    So according to you, Hasbro products are must buys, and 3rd party are not?

    I think both are what you make of it. I just think it would be nice if Hasbro made the Insecticons for Collectors. Not some insecticon that Transforms into a car, cause kids don't play with insects any longer.
     
  16. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, in that case, it's not that they design figures that collectors want, but rather they make it limited to increase its value? In that case, I have to count myself out of this, because part of what I always liked about Hasbro' Transformers is their habit of releasing intricate, quality figures at mass market prices and distribution. They also occasionally give us figures for characters we want at mass retail, and this happens for many of their franchises, from GI Joe to Marvel Legends, from My Little Pony to Star Wars. All without the hassle of limited quantities, high prices and online competition.

    I must agree with this, Hasbro's current strategy is the only way I get to see remakes of my favorite characters from past lines that cost cheap. They've done an excellent job at occasionally fulfilling collectors' wants while still selling to kids.
     
  17. Alucard77

    Alucard77 Kaon Gladiator Champion

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    Well, there is another area there. It is not intended to raise prices, but prices will increase on these figures for obvious reasons.

    The fact is every collector would be able to get one. All you need to do is be part of the collector club. If you are part of it you get one at the cost associated to it.

    So it's not like anyone would be missing out. I guess there would be collectors who may not afford it, but they have this now.

    Also, keep in mind a designer at the Takara show for MP10 said that he wished he could make a MP Menasor after making MP10. You think we will ever see that with the current model Has/Tak has?
     
  18. Megatron31

    Megatron31 I Belong to Nobody! TFW2005 Supporter

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    first off as a general question, we refer to hasbro as an omnipitant power, can they actually make something on the level of a igear ironhide/ratchet or something like the PE figures and not violate toy laws (choking harzads, drop test's ......)

    sometimes i think we fail to miss the point that a lot of the 3rd party companies are not based in the US and can get away with making the small sharp designs that a larger company simply cannot.

    now with that being said can they give us toys that are complex (ROTF engineering but on a classics design plane), highly detailed (movie premiums) and make us happy as collectors yes. but they can't do it through retail stores, atleast not walmarts, and kmarts and targets.

    with all of that said i would love to see hasbro do a good combiner and i still hold hopes that oneday we will see that, pcc was a step in the right direction, but we are a long way from that.

    hell i would settle for citybots and duo-cons at this point
     
  19. videriant

    videriant Well-Known Member

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    1) Classics was originally a filler line. But Alternators was always a collector's line. Takara had to subsidize to make them as cheap as they were and they still shelf-warmed at $20 a pop.

    2) Hasbro also tried this with it's Special Edition Dragstrip, Overkill, Prime & Megatron. Making them repaints was the only way it could keep the price below $20. Collectors killed that also.

    3) The TFCC club and Takara together ARE the collector's line. Sure, they could be run a little better but what makes you think Hasbro can do a better job.

    4) There's a double standard where third parties can get away with things that Hasbro cannot. When third parties release repaint after repaint they become must haves. Historically, when Hasbro released repaints it got hell. Hasbro also has overhead and limitations related to safety laws, IPs, incorporation and other costs that the 3rd parties avoid.

    5) I'd be happy with Hasbro putting a little attention into hasbrotoyshop.com first.

    6) If you expand to fast or too far you die. What sucessful companies cover both the general AND niche market? Which popular niche companies tried to cover the general public first?
     
  20. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Well-Known Member

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    Alright, that's an interesting point you've put forward. However, I must ask, if the figures are made in limited quantities, wouldn't that mean that it becomes a survivor of the fittest issue? You've already mentioned the price issue, which I can get by, but what about those who simply aren't fast enough to buy them? Those who miss out due to unforeseen circumstances or a poor internet connection? For example, MattyCollector and Sideshow exclusives sell out too fast for even those with money to be able to grab them.

    Another issue I worry about is that HasTak would use the collector's club as an excuse to not put out fan-favorite figures in mainstream lines. I would cry to see all the Classics-style figures end up only for collectors at inflated prices, in limited quantities.

    I must admit I probably still don't get your idea fully, so I look forward to your explanation and clarifications.
     

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