What is the disconnect between Hasbro execs and HTS?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Omnus, May 22, 2008.

  1. Omnus

    Omnus needs more time TFW2005 Supporter

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2008
  2. nkelsch

    nkelsch Do you know this Icon? TFW2005 Supporter

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    TLDR

    Street dates" have valid reasons and they are valid for all the merchandise not simply "things you don't want.

    And your rant is filled with a few too many political statements and misunderstandings of business which make it hard to actually discuss it without breaking the N&P rules.

    Just wait a few more weeks like everyone else.
     
  3. BrokenSVT

    BrokenSVT It's not broken anymore.

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    Quoted for truth. You cite that you have no way of knowing these are waiting in the mysterious HTS warehouses.

    If such a trivial thing is dominating your thoughts, you truly should consider another hobby, or perhaps some "help."
     
  4. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    While I agree that such a thing as not wanting street dates is rather trivial, I think Omnus brings up a valid point in that Hasbro may or may not be investing enough in HTS. Considering that major retails basically dictate to Hasbro what toys they want made, developing HTS into a major competitor with those stores seems to me very logical.
     
  5. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    Hasbro Toy Shop is a licensed out entity that operates on behalf of Hasbro but is not actually something that Hasbro controls. That being said, if Hasbro the company has a street date on a said product, Hasbro Toy Shop is legally binded to that street date until Hasbro lifts it.

    Example:

    I had Speed Racer toys for a month before the "street date". The reason there's street dates? It's a marketing ploy as well as a product ploy. Marketing may not start a major push until that date, or they are clearing out room of older, non-selling product to make room for it and saturating the market with the new while the old is still there creates congestion.

    Welcome to being a collector. Now sit back and wait with the rest of us.
     
  6. Omnus

    Omnus needs more time TFW2005 Supporter

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    I know I shouldn't even attempt replying to you, as for quite some time now, you have been rather trollish in what you say to anyone you disagree with (in threads that I've seen anyway, I don't check out the lounge or more conversational threads much), but curiousity gets the better of me here.

    What the blazes does TLDR mean?

    Ugh, I might as well go for the rest while I'm at it...
    Yeah, this is an example of that trollish behavior that I was referring to.

    You didn't even stop to think that maybe I cited these other things as examples of items which street dates are more practical for because they run smoothly and efficiently when used for those products. You also didn't stop to think that I may have actual waited for street dates on those products not only because I have wanted them, but I thought there was no reason not to wait given the distribution circumstances. You just didn't think that somebody might have a sensible reason for drawing distinctions on things that you do not think have a distinction.

    Political? Other than the Wal-Mart slur, I'm missing what's too politcal to not have a reasonable discussion about.

    As to the "misunderstandings of business", if that genuinely is the case then you should be able to point out the proper workings of business without breaking the rules.

    There are several responses which come to mind which are just as inappropriately inflammatory as yours are, but I'll try a different way to put it.

    Such a trivial thing is not dominating my thoughts. The state of stock of various items at HTS was a conclusion that didn't take very much time to reach due to knowledge gained from previous employment that I alluded to in my rant.

    In reality, tonight was only the second time I had even thought about the subject of my rant since the TF items in question were put up on the HTS website. The difference is this time, the thought stuck in my head for longer than the half-hour that such a trivial topic should be alloted. I thought I would type out a rant here and warn that it was a rant, so people would be able to react appropriately (like ignore it). I was hoping the extra time that this topic took hold in my head might be offset by getting an educational or intelligent reply.

    I'm derailing the rest of my response there, because no good will come of it.

    Well, given what Kickback has stated, I have to reverse my position on this (making the core of my rant pointless).

    I was genuinely unaware that HTS in not a division of Hasbro and is simply a company that operates in service to Hasbro. HTS and Hasbro's own site have so much linkage that it didn't even occur to me to check that HTS wasn't a division of Hasbro. I can't even recall the last time I saw two corporate websites linking to each other so much without an easily visible legal disclaimer noting that they were separate corporate entities.

    Given that, Hasbro can't let HTS ship prior to the street dates without damaging its relations with its primary customers, as I noted in my rant. Assuming that relationship, it would also be unwise (as far as I can see anyway) to build up HTS into the position I suggested as it could very easily backfire and leave Hasbro with a host of problems that Hasbro wouldn't otherwise have (such as HTS wanting undue input into product line development as a couple of Hasbro's primary customers have done before).

    Yeah, that assumption was a big screw-up on my part.
     
  7. BrokenSVT

    BrokenSVT It's not broken anymore.

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    I'll leave it short and sweet, and exit this thread.

    You appear to think that Hasbro won't release TOYS(keep in mind they're toys) early, citing that it's a ploy to "string people along," as if inconveniencing the consumer is a part of operating a business. The reality is that to smoothly operate said business, all departments need to cooperate; among those departments: marketing, advertising, distribution et al. Surprising as this may be to some folks, this requires a structured business plan, including marketing calendars which lay out proper overlap of product lines. Sure, they can be deviated from to some degree as we've seen in the past, but one can't PLAN to deviate in advance without rewriting that business plan.

    ^I know for a fact that at least two of those folks run a large business, but then I'm sure they don't know what they're talking about *wink*
     
  8. nkelsch

    nkelsch Do you know this Icon? TFW2005 Supporter

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    Don't take it personal dude... Kickback is basically right about HTS and Street Dates are one of those things which have been debated forever along with "Hasbro is losing Teh money, release early!"

    They know what they are doing. We just gotta wait!

    and TLDR = Too long, Didn't read. It is a way of saying your post is too long so most people are going to ignore it opposed to read it.
     
  9. Motor_Master

    Motor_Master Lets the balls touch TFW2005 Supporter

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    The toys will be released, orders will be filled and shipped.

    Remember patience is a virtue
     
  10. G.B. Blackrock

    G.B. Blackrock Autobot Ally

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    Actually, I find my self genuinely confused. Is this rant about the disconnect between Hasbro and HTS, or is it about HTS having to comply with street dates? It seems to be the latter, which is a rather different problem than the former (which I see as actually potentially legitimate), but the title suggests the former, which is why I'm here in the first place.
     
  11. Omnus

    Omnus needs more time TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'll make it short too (or at least short for me, I am not the soul of brevity).

    You don't appear to have read anything that I wrote. None of what you are saying makes sense if you did. What you are saying that I appear to be thinking is pretty much nothing like what I said.

    And I do know about the reality of business operations, on multiple levels. I have had two prior corporate employments. The first with the world's largest lottery company (which in reality is only a medium-sized corporation, but had the corporate culture of a large corporation) and a start-up company. The less said about the latter, the better my mood will stay.

    Well, I am taking it personally that people responded with ad-hominem attacks without even reading what was written to see if those statements were even marginally valid.

    Actually, before my previous reply Kickback and smkspy were the only ones that appear to have read what I wrote before replying, so I don't hold anything against them. Kickback even supplied a piece of essential information, which completely changes the understanding of the situation and makes everything about it very reasonable.

    I am aware of the unreasonable calls that people have been making, however I thought that what I was saying was not unreasonable. That was due to one bit of information that was unknown to me (due to it being harder to find than it always has been in similar prior cases). Given that information, my rant was mistaken.

    I'll reserve judgment on the 'know what they're doing' part until we see how the recent shifts in the various C*O positions affect operations.

    As to waiting, I've got too many other things to do. So one day I'll drop by to read something on the front page and go 'Ah, sh--! I forgot to pre-order when I had the chance.'

    Er, yeah, that's what I was hoping for. People would consider it too long, ignore it, and go on to something else. I was hoping that those who would take the time to respond would have also taken the time to read what they're responding to. However, my hopes were only partially fulfilled.

    It's mostly the latter, based on assumptions of the former. Since Kickback clarified an obfuscated point, most of what I typed is in error and therefore pointless.

    Since I've apparently missed certain important details of the relationship, I am interested in hearing about what disconnect you perceive.

    Other than that, I think this thread is all but dead.
     
  12. Omnus

    Omnus needs more time TFW2005 Supporter

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    Double-post. Sorry.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2008
  13. RKillian

    RKillian https://rktoys.myshopify.com

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    I haven't been impressed with Hasbro Toy Shop either, entirely because I saw it as a reaction to the Energon summer drought a few years back. The company and its apologists like to blame the retail chains for awful distribution, so of course a way around them was a really promising prospect. Except, it hasn't ever really worked out, as the Alternators and Titanium lines or anyone looking to HTS during the Bay movie craze and finding the same FABs and RGs that littered their local shelves can attest to. So in that context, the store is a complete and utter failure.

    On the other hand, if they're merely a _licensed_ entity, descriptions like stupid and redundant are arguably more fitting. Toys R(nt) Us, KB Toys, Walmart, Target, and K-Mart already do a perfectly adequate job of failing to stock the toys people want to buy and without the burden of shipping fees to boot. And if overpriced leftover stock is your thing, there's always the Club store. So tell me exactly where there's room for HTS's business model in this market?
     
  14. Veloxiraptor

    Veloxiraptor MoƩ than Meets the Eye

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    HTS should've been located closer to the West Coast. Maybe THEN it would actually get stuff in when it's supposed to. But no, they're in Pennsylvania. And they're just as hopeless as all the other stores in the state.
     
  15. unicrons_hammer

    unicrons_hammer Banned

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    AND YOU WIN THE PRIZE FOR FORESIGHT!!!

    plus for those of us on the west coast...the postal service invented a new method of shipment just for HTS...super fucking slow parcel post rate.....

    Christ it takes these losers forever to get something from PA to the west area of this country...Donkey express would be faster at times...
     
  16. Dinobot Nuva

    Dinobot Nuva Johnny 3 Tears Veteran

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    At least we're getting the chance to preorder their figures at retail price >_>
    DN
     
  17. Ray Kremer

    Ray Kremer Well-Known Member

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    Given the number of people overpaying for Animated toys on eBay, it's ludicrous to claim that letting HTS sell them now wouldn't cut into the sales at brick & mortar retail chains.
     

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