This is my rant of the day (actually, I don't post often enough to have a rant of the day, but I won't post more than one in a day). If for any reason you dislike or are irritated by rants, go somewhere else. There are better things to do with your time. For those people who think that no one who is not in a business in question can possibly have a better perspective or idea than those in that business, this is also not for you. Take the time you would spend reading this and read all the articles out there detailing the bone-headed moves that people who should know better, in every size of company, do all the time. In the alternative, just read or do something else that will be more entertaining for you. All that aside, the current state of Animated, Classics 2.0, and newer Robot Heroes at the HTS site have me seriously torqued off and I am going to state why. It basically comes down to the fact that they have all of these items in stock at HTS's warehouse(s), but will not ship them out. How do I know these certain items are in stock at HTS's facilities? I'm obviously not inspecting the site, so I can't say that it is 100% guaranteed. I can say that it's 98% guaranteed, however. I know this from having been a developer on systems where it was needed to be certain that you have track of your stock, but there are a liited number of states available in the system to do so, without paying (both monetarily and in terms of time) the high cost of changing the system to accomodate an increased number of states. So, they're in stock, but not shipping. Why is this? Ostensibly this is due to the street dates. Street dates for TFs are not a good idea. They're fine for CDs, DVDs, and books because the factors at work that get them to end retailers and on shelves have been documented as getting them from production to the shelves in under a week when distribution spans multiple continenets (half a week for one continent). When used for TFs, it's not about having the toys on every receiving shelf on that date, it's about getting 'saturation'. Saturation, in theory, means that all but a small minority, would see the items on store shelves near them on that date. In reality, with all but two TF street dates that I've witnessed, the majority do have shelves stocked and waiting for them on that date. The minority that doesn't, however, isn't that small. Some of that minority don't have to wait that much longer, others can end up waiting much longer. So, the end result of 'saturation'-dating comes down to this: Most of the people buying off of store shelves don't even know about the dating, so they don't even notice the difference whether it is or isn't used. The established fanbase, which is aware of the dating, doesn't see alot of difference from when it isn't used. It just takes longer to get to, and be put out on shelves, in some places than others. There are a variety of factors at work for why it happens, but that is simply the reality of the situation. Given that, what other reason could Hasbro have for keeping to the street dates for HTS? To stay in good relations with their primary customers: Treason-Mart (a.k.a. Wal-Mart), Target, Toys 'R Us, and K-mart. If a competitor of these big box stores is given a form of preferential treatment by Hasbro (like better prices, no street dates, etc), then these stores will feel that they have been wronged and relations will not be so good. This can result in a variety of punitive measures being levied against Hasbro by these corporations. However, the reality of the situation is that HTS in not a real competitor for these stores. Previous sales data shows that the overwhelming majority of TF buyers make their purchases off the shelves of these big box stores. Even if HTS makes TFs available sooner, that won't change, due to several reasons (I'm not spelling all of them out, but anybody still reading this can probably name at least two off the top of their head). So, who are the only ones really affected by HTS sticking to these street dates? Hasbro, HTS, and the customers who normally buy off the HTS site. How does it affect them? They all lose out. The customers lose out because they have to wait for something that they really shouldn't have to. Also, the feelings of frustration from realizing this fact generally causes stress (albeit relatively minor to many other sources of stress). Unfortunately, stress causes harm to the body. In high enough levels, it is noticeable and can cause lasting damage to the body (this situation should be very far from causing enough stress to accomplish that, however). HTS loses out because they've got items taking up space, but they can't move them (which is a cost because they need to pay for that space and could instead have items in that space will will ship out more quickly to earn them money). Hasbro loses out because their HTS division is accruing unnecessary costs. Instead, they could routinely release products ASAP on HTS and maximize profits from that division while slowly growing it. If the HTS division can gradually be grown large enough, this could give Hasbro a secondary benefit. It could give them leverage in dealing with their primary customers, so that they would never be in a poor bargaining position when negotiating terms (although they still obviously want to try to maintain good relations with their primary customers even with such a negotiation advantage in their corner). After all of this, I am left wondering. What is the disconnect between Hasbro execs and HTS regarding this situation? I would love it if somebody could find out what and where it is and fix the disconnect(s). End of Rant. Yeah, I know, even though people from Hasbro do watch the boards, they probably won't read through this. I'm also aware that even if they did and took the action that I'm asking for, things can't be changed fast enough for it to make a difference for the products on HTS that are the source of this rant. I'm just stupidly (extremely stupidly, really) optimistic that somehow this will cause a change. I mean they did just get a change-up of their CEO, COO, and CFO. Couldn't that result in other changes for the company. Okay, yeah, it's nigh-infintely more likely to result in completely different kinds of changes for Hasbro than what I'm looking for. Oh well, I guess I'll just hope for the best for all involved.