The Problem With Hasbro Children Toys

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

  1. PikaManiac

    PikaManiac Well-Known Member

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    Let us put Transformers aside first, and take a look at what Hasbro is offering to children these days.

    This is the upcoming main Spider-Man toy for the Into The Spider-Verse movie,

    http://news.toyark.com/wp-content/u...E-6-INCH-Figure-Assortment-Spider-Man-oop.jpg

    This is a basic Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo toy by Playmates Toys,

    https://playmatestoys.com/uploads/brand/ROTMNT_basic_LeoTheTrickster_pu1.jpg

    I think the differences in effort are self-explanatory; Playmates Toys produce toys like they always do, while Hasbro seem to deliberately go out of their way to neuter them. Where are the basic knee joints for the Spider-Man toy?! This lack of effort or deliberately neutering of their children toys is seen also in Star Wars, and more recently, Transformers too. It is both concerning and frustrating to see.

    When was last the last respectable main Transformers cartoon toy line? Transformers: Prime.

    Yes, I can agree to a certain extend that children probably do not care much about articulation and paint job, but this is definitely not a good reason to produce bad products.
     
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  2. Applejacktimus

    Applejacktimus Likes Alpha Bravo

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    ...the hell did they do to Leonardo?
     
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  3. Chris Bot

    Chris Bot AutoChrisbot

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    That's nothing. You should see the new Raph.

    But yeah. I bought nothing from the NuRid line, and only the Dinobots from the AoE line. The oversimplification killed it for me. The TLK line brought it back a bit, and the Studio Series even more so. But aside from Bayverse and CHUG, yeah, I haven't gotten any main show toys since Prime. How many years ago is that now? And it looks like Cyberverse is following the same trend. Oh well.

    Mainline show toys - just for kids

    Generations - for anyone, but mainly adults, and people who prefer higher quality products in general

    Masterpiece - ADULTS ONLY, do not hand these to children unless money is no object
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  4. DaveWire

    DaveWire Well-Known Member

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    Does Hasbro have a hand in the production designs for the show? TMNT is a Nickelodeon property. I’m guessing they created the new character models and Hasbro had to follow them to make the new Rise of the TMNT toys, right?
     
  5. DaveWire

    DaveWire Well-Known Member

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    The new show apparently has each turtle as a different species. No idea how that’ll work for them being brothers unless they follow IDW’s reincarnation storyline. I think Leo’s supposed to be a painted box turtle, Raph a snapping turtle. Not sure about Donnie & Mikey.
     
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  6. Fade2BlackZarak

    Fade2BlackZarak Well-Known Member

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    It's one of those weird things where kids are less interested in toys because of video games, so toy companies cut costs, but that just results in crappier toys that kids are even less interested in.

    Not to say that children need MP quality stuff with 15 minute transformations or figma-level action figures with 10 different styles of hands, but a kid will know the difference between a good figure and something that looks like it came out of a knock off Happy Meal. That Spidey is 6", just drop it back to Toybiz era 5" style and give it knees, if money is that big of an issue.
     
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  7. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    The other side of it is what Hasbro did with Marvel, which I've written about a few times. It's the exact same thing.

    Hasbro offers two lines (principally) for Marvel. The 6 inch Legends scale and the 3.75 inch (GI Joe sized). legends scale. And they're both kind of a mess. the 3.75 inch scale has a high MSRP for its size ($7.99), but the real offender is the shelf-warming, obscure character dominated 6 inch line that costs $20 per figure.

    There's cerwtainly some great figures and great molds, but consider what _child_ Marvel fans of yesteryear had.

    [​IMG]

    The 5 inch Toybiz line.

    Now bear with me. Does that Wolverine, with his $7.99 MSRP, hold a candle in terms of detail or articulation to either the 3.75 or 6 inch line? No. But it was more than sufficient (awesome even) for capturing the essence of the main character in the 1990s Fox Kids cartoon we grew up with, and the the comic book character, for any 10 year old. A 10 year old's appreciation of Wolverine, to put it in otherwords, is not made better by textured and painted harm air detail. Or a toe joint. It's size had more heft and playability than 3.75 inch, but it was neither detailed enough nor big enough to command a high MSRP.

    Perfect, in otherwords, for my mom, who whenever we went to the Mall, walked out of Kaybee with one for me, and one for my brother. A treat for her two boys, for less than $20 who loved them.

    Now I look at what Hasbro jams Toy shelves in toy stores with:


    [​IMG]

    Oh look 6 inch legends featuring Adult-oriented Netflix shows. Jessica Jones... kids show? Yeah right. These are children's toys, ladies and gentlemen.

    [​IMG]
    $20 each for Red Guardian and Nuke.


    [​IMG]
    Anti-Venom, Tiger Shark, The Reaper, and Bulldozer. $80 in Marvel figures for any true fan.


    Shall I continue?

    When we went to the mall growing up, mom treated by brother and I for less than $20 for the both of us. Now? At target, shelves are clogged with these non-selling 6 inchers, that mom would treat us both for $40+tax, were we still children. Of course these things don't move. It's a pretty sick joke that $20 for "Marvel's Bulldozer" is even a thing.

    Hasbro just reintroduced a 5 inch line with Toybiz level of posability for Infinity War and Black Panther, perhaps sensing the sweet spot they existed at. Too little too late. This is what they produced.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Yep. No knees, and less detail than 20 year old Toybiz toys. Oh and like those cards? This is what we got growing up:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    It's really quite simple. Time and again, it's been shown people are perfectly happy with small, frequent purchased, but far more hesitant about larger ones. This is why a couple X-Men for my brother and I was no big deal. But asking a parent today to drop $40 on a whim when Middle class finances are getting squeezed harder than ever? It's sick.

    All of this, collectively, has made me ask for a while: pricesly who is this shelf-jamming Marvel line for? Is it really that much for adults, but for some reason sold in a kids asile? Because an adult-oriented collector line has long existed - it's called Marvel Select.

    I can only suppose what this all represents, but form my own experience in a completely different field, I'll take an educated guess: designers are making the product essentially for themselves. These are the toys they never got, rather than the toys that kids would love. So what we get instead is either the patronizingly terrible and simple toys as we've seen in the marvel and transformers aimed squarely at kids, or the "are you serious? You're targeting that for Children?" type of thing we see with Marvel legends, and to be frank, the entire hideous and kid-unfriendly TLK line. Remember:

    [​IMG]
    A toy for children.

    [​IMG]
    Another toy for children.

    [​IMG]
    Incredibly awesome... but again... a toy for children.


    I mean, again, the Studio Series is the superbowl of "who is this stuff for"? Clogs shelves... barely moves (no matter the fact that it's pretty awesome as a line on its merits). Adult collectors don't buy it in enough quantity to justify its existence. Today's 10-14 year olds would have no affinity towards a line largely based around a movie that first came out in 2007, when they were either a fetus or less than 5 years old and likely never saw. The 10 year olds of 2007, todays 21 year olds, don't really have money yet. So who is this for?

    A quick walk down the action figure asile of Toys R Us when the bankruptcy was announced made, at least from that angle, the lack of sales and the overall state of the action figure industry so clear. It is a walk of "who are these for?"

    Marvel Legends figures at $20, of obscure characters, that do not sell.
    Transformers movie characters, that are hideous and unappealing to a 35 year old, much less a kid... that do not sell.
    The recent Power Rangers movie, perhaps the greatest shelfwarmer in years. Not a single thing sold out of that insult to childhood sensibilities. I mean seriously:

    Their megazord:
    [​IMG]

    My megazord.
    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah. And WWE which doesn't sell, and Star Wars, which is the worst impulses of Marvel's figures and Transformers, combined.

    A lot of us are adult collectors. We drop a lot of money on Transformers, for one reason for another. But regardless if we buy official or even third party, we know exactly what we're doing: dropping dollars on molded plastic of fictional characters in a fictional universe we appreciate because it brings us satisfaction. But in buying my $18*4 + $30 Hasbro Abominus rather than a $500 TFC Abominus, I am buying fully into something, that first and foremost, is meant for children. That's fine. That's cool.

    But we adults never can and never should be the primary audience, and it seems like Hasbro has largely forgotten that. In many ways, with Generations, it gets it *most* right. The PotP Abominus pieces, while a little pricey I'd say, kind of hit the "look/complexity' sweet spot somewhat akin to the Toybiz X-Men line of old. But it's a rarity because everything else is either cheap and terrible or expensive and not meant for kids.

    You know what I point the finger to in all actuality? MacFarlane's Spawn line and the X-men line of 2000 with it's movie-styled realism. That's when my brother and I, I think, finally cashed out of action figure buying for playing, and it would be years before I started really collecting Transformers. And that line came around the same time as the Toy Biz Marvel Legends too, that displaced the 5 inch line.

    In the post-TRU era, if Hasbro wants to truly save itself, it needs to really ask the question about what the hell it is trying to sell. The "All Ages" look and engineering of Generations, with a premium, high end, 3 piece a year "Masterpiece" subline seems like something would almost universally work - for Marvel, Star Wars, Transformers... and soon Power Rangers too. It is essentially what that TMNT example above is doing.

    But their current route? If they haven't actually walked down an aisle and seen that nobody is buying their movie or cheap crap, regardless of line or franchise, they haven't been paying attention.
     
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  8. Chris Bot

    Chris Bot AutoChrisbot

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    That was a long ass post Strife, but hey, I appreciate you bearing your heart so passionately.
     
  9. T-Hybrid

    T-Hybrid Undersea Warrior

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    :rolleyes: 
     
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  10. GoldDeadEnd

    GoldDeadEnd Well-Known Member

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    Characters like Tiger Shark and co are actually why I'm tempted to get Marvel Legends, but I don't have money for another toyline and dread the possibility of the whole line stopping and restarting. That said, I totally agree about Toy Biz Marvel. I have the bulk of all the lines from 1990-96. Tons of fun, reasonably priced, and so many characters represented. I only dropped out because I was getting in my teens and they started making gimmick centric waves with dumb new versions of the main characters we already had and maybe one character that hadn't been done before.
     
  11. PikaManiac

    PikaManiac Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, but I want my Transformers: Generations toy line alongside the Masterpiece toy line because I do not collect Masterpiece, and children toys are much more playable.

    I remember about a decade ago, Hasbro was producing proper 3.75 inches Marvel toys for their cartoons and movies,

    https://media.entertainmentearth.com/assets/images/644ff9f8cbd74e1b8598ef8acff06b58lg.jpg

    It was nice to see they made an effort for all the main Marvel toys to be compatible with the collector's Marvel Universe toy line.
     
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  12. Venixion

    Venixion Member of the notorious Pew-Pew Posse

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    They hit him with the ugly stick. Like, really hard. But not as hard as Donatello. :/
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  13. Autobot X

    Autobot X Too broke for 3P and MP.

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    Hasbro doesn’t make TMNT toys. Playmate does.
     
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  14. WishfulThinking

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

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    I don't worry about toys for kids because I'm mostly not buying them. Those of us who do either

    1. Are a completist (or a character completist, such as wanting everything that bears resemblance to Optimus Prime)
    2. Enjoy the gimmick (butterfly knife transforming One Steps are the bomb)
    3. Are purchasing for their kids
    4. Bought it at a ridiculous sale price just because

    The recent Avengers basic line looked like knock-offs I'd find in the flea market. It was sad and appalling but didn't think too much more about it since I know fans like me would prefer Hasbro to put the most effort into the Legends line. But it really feels like 1989 in terms of toy engineering on the kids side of things.
     
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  15. Venixion

    Venixion Member of the notorious Pew-Pew Posse

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    5. Or just saw something we liked. ;) 
     
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  16. backhawkdown

    backhawkdown Well-Known Member

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    But the idea of a bad product is subjective, and if kids don’t mind it, and kids are the target, the product wouldn’t be considered bad product by those who buy it.

    I don’t like watermelon but I wouldn’t call watermelon a bad fruit. It’s just not a fruit I like.
     
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  17. siccoyote

    siccoyote Worst side of the fandom

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    You do presume to speak for a great many people.
    I buy mainly toys aimed at kids. Because I like toys and can't justify most if if expensive 3rd party stuff to myself
     
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  18. Venixion

    Venixion Member of the notorious Pew-Pew Posse

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    Not necessarily true. I consider a bad toy to be either/and/or butt ugly, poorly made, has flaws that make it unsuitable for actual playtime.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  19. PikaManiac

    PikaManiac Well-Known Member

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    You have to understand that this very much almost a Hasbro exclusive problem.

    Bandai of America is cheap as fuck, but look at their main Power Rangers action figures,

    http://news.tokunation.com/wp-conte...wer_Rangers_Ninja_Steel_Toy_Fair_2017_012.jpg

    But I will admit that their Zords and other stuff are crap. At the very least, in a way, their Zords are still fully functional.

    Playmates Toys are still making toys like they used to; Ben 10, and Voltron: Legendary Defender are very good toy lines.

    Then take a look at freaking Mattel's Jurassic World:

    https://images.mattel.com/scene7/FMM50_01?$oslarge$

    They have action figures with proper articulation, play sets and vehicles! These which used to be common, are now a lost art.

    Also, they now offer normal 5 inches Justice League Action action figures for children,

    https://www.supermanhomepage.com/images/action-figures/JLAction-4point5inch.jpg

    To me, these are toys both adults and children can appreciate and collect, not the Dollar Store crap Hasbro puts out.
     
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  20. Zappit

    Zappit Well-Known Member

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    It's a general dumbing-down across the board. If you look at the shows of the 80's and 90's that were simply vehicles to sell toys, you still got some fairly deep stories with complex characters. Starscream plotted to overthrow Megatron, GI. Joe had an episode that included a Joe selling information to Cobra to pay for his mother's healthcare, etc. Bruce Timm and Paul Dini did not screw around. Some of the writers gave kids credit, and tried to be more engaging.

    You don't see that as much now. Outside of a few shows now that don't treat children like ADHD-addled idiots, you deal with things like Teen Titans Go!, which has become, it seems, a template for modern animated kids shows. Thundercats is getting that treatment, and it looks like TMNT is going that route, too. It's cheap, devoid of intelligence, and very forgettable. App games on phones are overwhelmingly quick make-a-buck games with little to no depth.

    Kids are smart. Kids are creative, and they are being screwed over by a marketing machine even worse than that of the 80's. Yeah, kids were a commodity back then, no more than a means to get their parents' money, but they at least employed creative people that didn't see it the same way. It just doesn't feel that way anymore. It feels like if a cartoon gives kids credit for having intelligence, they are rebelling against the norm.
     
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