How was the TF toy scene before the live action film success??

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by rodrigorajao, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. rodrigorajao

    rodrigorajao New Member

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    I played a lot with TFs as a kid (along with Masters of the Universe, GI Joe, Matchbox, etc.), but I naturally outgrew all that stuff. Now, after enjoying the new movie a lot, I started collecting toys again. I'm sticking with the HUGE figures (Unicron, Ultimate BB, etc.), because they're more fun to display (and I now have more $$$ to spend).

    All my figures were bought online, as I have a hard time finding them in stores. And I usually get good deals.

    I wonder ghow hard it was to find figures before the movie came out.
     
  2. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    Wasn't very hard at all. A few could be troublesome, but even with the movie out they weere still readily available. Its only because of Christmas that it seems that Transformers are impossible to get.
     
  3. Jeremy.B

    Jeremy.B Formerly Leader Blackout TFW2005 Supporter

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    about the same.
     
  4. Kando

    Kando Well-Known Member

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    Before the movie, Classics were dominating the shelves at my local stores, as well as Beast Wars Anniversary and what was left of the last of the Cybertron line. Other than a select few molds, the selection was plentiful and always fully stocked. Before that, the previous few years had plenty of A/E/C junk, some selling well, others not. But the shelves were still full. And of course throughout that time, the reissues and Alternators were sitting around and not selling, making sure shelf space was occupied.

    Now things are different. Shelves at said local stores have been pretty light since June, '07. Anytime they'd fill up, the next day they'd be empty again. Many figures are still very hard to find (here). Of course the holidays didn't help matters. I'm hoping that demand will finally go down enough to give me a chance to actually finish up the movie cast.

    I've still never, ever seen a deluxe concept Bumblebee in any of the local stores...
     
  5. Noisemaze2006

    Noisemaze2006 Banned

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    Had no problems finding any TF I wanted. They would post the first sighting on the boards & within a week I'd find it. Now I cant find anything. The stores around me restocked with a ton of movie deluxes but only the old ones, nothing new. Target restocked with a ton of exclusive scouts but only the old ones, nothing new. It's not fun anymore & I've pretty much lost interest.

    When the stores refuse to stock anymore & you're only option is Ebay or BBTS with their evil scalper mark-ups what do you do? You lose interest & give up. That's where I'm at now. Thanks to Wal-Mart,Target & Toys R Us I'm completely out of options.

    Also most of the Ebay auctions are PAYPAL ONLY & I won't freely give Paypal access to my credit cards & bank account, (I've read the horror stories) so I'm really being pushed out of the hobby.
     
  6. MegaPrime33

    MegaPrime33 Follow me @NerdActivist TFW2005 Supporter

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    Only problem I ever really came across in finding the latest TF was searching for a store that had a new one when others were finding it. But that's part of collecting, the hunt. I just wish I got into G1 before BW came out. Figures were going for really low prices then.
     
  7. Ktulu

    Ktulu Whoosh TFW2005 Supporter

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    The toys were still successful. In most lines there were a few figures I'd never see locally. There were shelf warmers here and there, but that all varies from store to store, state to state, country to country, etc. Obviously, public awareness wasn't to the level it is now, and the toys might not have been selling out as quickly, but it was far from a "the toys were everywhere and not moving because no one wanted them" sort of deal. Not even close to that.
     
  8. Switchblade

    Switchblade Just a raggedy man

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    It kind of depended on what you were looking for. Main line stuff like Cybertron and Classics, you could find most things. Problems only really arose if:

    - one toy became incredibly popular and was thus harder to find. Didn't happen much in the last few lines, but we're seeing it now with Bumblebee.

    - one toy proved incredibly unpopular, thus clogging the shelves and holding up new product. This is especially a problem in larger size classes, where one figure can make it really hard to find later waves in that category. Cybertron Defense Red Alert made it really hard to find Wingsaber, for example, because nobody was buying CD Red Alert, meaning most stores didn't order new cases which included Wingsaber. In one particularly notorious example, the entire Mega size class in Energon was torpedoed by the fact that the first wave figures - Ironhide and Jetfire - were almost universally unwanted by anybody (especially Ironhide). These two figures clogged shelves for the entirety of Energon's run, making it really hard to find other Megas since so few replacement cases needed to be ordered.

    - a figure shipped at the very tail end of the line, when most stores weren't bothering to restock. When a line is winding down and the store knows it's going to end soon, they usually don't go out of their way to restock the old line. This can make some toys really hard to find, like Armada Nemesis Prime or the last four Energon combiner limbs.

    - shortpacking. This is something Hasbro doesn't do much, but it pops up occasionally. Basically this is where one or more figures are shipped in either significantly smaller numbers than the others or only shipped in one case assortment, making them relatively hard to find. Energon Ultra Magnus is a good example of this. Shipped in only the first Ultra assortments for Energon, he was virtually impossible to find. Shortpacking is also one of the biggest factors that killed the revived Masters of the Universe line from a few years ago. Every case was about 75% He-Man and Skeletor, with a couple of other characters in small numbers.

    Aside from the main line, the sublines could sometimes be a major pain to collect. Alternators especially suffered from terrible distribution patterns and incredibly unpopular shelfwarmers, making it a huge pain in the ass to find new figures.
     
  9. Badman Forever

    Badman Forever More Than Meets The Eye

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    I remember back in the mid-80s.. all the large stores such as Toys R Us, Target, Kmart, Sears all had an ENTIRE aisle row dedicated to just transformers (not just a section of a row like most stores have now). Even some stores had both sides of the aisle filled only w/ TFs!! Keep in mind the rows were mostly stacked shelves since TFs were mainly in boxes back then. The endcaps typically had the carded figures.
     
  10. Noisemaze2006

    Noisemaze2006 Banned

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    The stores are getting a lot worse. More un-cooperative. Letting scalpers work in the toy dept. The hunt is getting harder/more frustrating/less fun. More scalpers/Ebay sellers every day grabbing all the new stuff. It has gotten a lot worse in the past few years.

    The only way it's gonna get better is if Hasbro sends out cases of only one specific figure. The assortment crap they've been doing simply doesn't work. If people can't find concept BB then the stores should be able to order a case with nothing but CCBB. For every 2 CCBB's they get in , they also get a whole box full of crap that won't sell. It just doesn't work!

    I'm getting deja-vu here, this is the same stuff I wrote back when I was collecting the 2002 Masters of The Universe line. The toy companies need to change their ways but they simply refuse to. The only way this is gonna get better is if they send out figure specific cases. I would love to see what would happen if the stores & the toy companies gave a serious effort to bring it back to how it was back in the 80's. It was great back then, but now it sucks. Everything was better back then.

    I'd love to know what the hell happened to KB toys. Back in the 80's they were the best place to get the new toys. Now look at them.:(  Everything is do damn depressing nowadays.
     
  11. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

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    Classics sold pretty well, and Alternators were always a pain in the ass - you could never find the new ones and the old ones would warm the shelves.

    They did that with Alternator Smokescreen, and he was warming shelves for almost two years after the fact.
     
  12. Hiro Prime

    Hiro Prime Cybertronian Guru Veteran

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    I remember those days. Good times. :cool: 
     
  13. JBrock

    JBrock TFW2005 Supporter

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    I don't quite remember those days being so great. I only got good TFs (or any toy for that matter) during Christmas or for my birthday. Any time that I would find my way into Kidde City, the shelves were full of Ironhide, Ratchet, Thundercracker and Skywarp. Endcaps were full of red bumblebees,yellow cliffjumpers, beachcombers, etc. They also shortpacked back then as well as shipped toys in assortments. TFs never came in cases of the same figure except for small cases like Ultra Magnus.

    I am much happier with today's internet availability. I'll shop the local stores for a few weeks and if I cannot find something, I know I;m sure to find it on EBay even if at a premium.
     
  14. Prisoner1138

    Prisoner1138 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yea, I remember when stores had the "transformer aisle", not just a few pegs on one side.
     
  15. Liege Prime

    Liege Prime Well-Known Member

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    This sums it up well. I recall having a little bit of problems for the first month or so they were available trying to find Classics Grimlock and Jetfire, but aside from that, things were easy to find but not really warming shelves.
     
  16. Dirge121

    Dirge121 Eat the chikums

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    They clogged shelves over here. I couldn't walk into a toystore without seeing rows and rows of unsold transformers.

    I remember when Woolies had Energon megas.
    Powerlinx Ironhide (or whatever the green version was), a huge display full of them. Must have been at least 25-30. Half price and buy one get one free. Still they didn't sell.

    I recall during Energon, Starscream and Rodimus I found to be hard to track down.

    Cybertron showed Hasbro UK's ability to not only drop the ball, but kick it into next-doors pond too. For about 2-3 months, they shipped solid cases of Downshift + CD Hotshot, then again with Unicron and Skywarp.
    Excellion and Override GTS seemed to dissapear forever within a day or two, never restocked.

    I still recall hearing that when Cybertron launched over here, Hamleys in London ordered 50 cases of deluxes so they would have plenty of the main characters. Who did they get, solid cases of Snarl and Sideways X 50. I also recall hearing that they didnt bother restocking once the stock had sold out for a very long time.

    Alt Silverstreak was another nightmare, for 2-3 years he clogged shelves anywhere that sold Alts. Only after these years did Hasbro realise we didn't want him, and stopped packing him in solid cases.
     
  17. Basketball Jones

    Basketball Jones Decepticon

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    I can't say that I ever recall seeing an entire aisle of Transformers, but I do recall an entire aisle of Legos in TRU in 1993 or so.

    Still, I don't doubt that it occurred.
     
  18. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    :confused2 

    Naw, just kidding. I never had any issues, but since getting into the fandom, I've been more aware of more toys, so I've had more to look for. That's made things a little more difficult, but also more rewarding when it pays off with that hard-to-find figure.
     
  19. Star Cracker

    Star Cracker Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, movie and animated toys have helped me NOT spend money on the Transformers franchise. The only thing I've bought are the IDW comics as of late.

    Once I have a new job, (pending), I may celebrate by getting some things I've wanted for a while but never quite had the money to go off spending.
     
  20. Soundblaster1

    Soundblaster1 The Heisenberg of Toys

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    Who would want two of them? Even if it is free.

    Pre movie: If I wanted it and it was part of the current line, I could find it. No problems at all.
    Post movie: What are these "Transformers" you speak of? Are they the empty pegs? Bare shelves? Kiddie toys? Very little main line stuff can be found here. When it is, it isn't around for more than a day or two.
     

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