Why we get so many "pointless" same-character barely-redecos lately

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Nevermore, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    As many of you have noticed, Hasbro have recently largely steered away from releasing redecos of toys of popular movie characters as different characters.

    Instead, they release the redecos as the same characters. And they're often not even redecos anymore - in many cases, they're just the same toys with slightly different color layouts, different paint operations, decals and such.

    I see a lot of people complaining about that, calling Hasbro "lazy" and the redecos "pointless".

    First of all, nobody forces you to buy those redecos. Considering there are people who complain about redecos in the first place, you should be thankful that these redecos are similiar to the first versions of the molds. Saved you a lot of money there by not having to buy the same toy twice just because the colors are different. (Of course the OCD completists will buy them anyways and complain regardless - but then again, that's your problem, guys.)

    That being said - why? Why does Hasbro do all these "lazy" barely-redecos lately? Are they not paying their deco artists enough anymore? Have they run out of plastic colors? Do they just want to screw with their loyal fanbase?

    Of course not.

    The answer consists of two components: "Character popularity" and "Walmart is stupid".

    Simply put, retailers don't like shelfwarmers. And more often than not, stores like Walmart won't understand why Hasbro is shipping the same toy over and over again in five subsequent waves. They don't understand that Bumblebee is an insanely popular character who had a major part in two movies and is loved by kids. All they see is the same unchanged Deluxe Class Bumblebee from four shipments ago, and therefore a potential shelfwarmer.

    That's one of the main reasons why Hasbro have to do redecos in the first place. By releasing a redeco, they can tell the retailers "See? Different toy!" and get it into stores again.

    Now, Bumblebee the yellow-and-black Camaro is a lot more popular among kids than than Cliffjumper the red Camaro who looks very similar to Bumblebee, but is a different character who never appeared in the movies.

    So for Hasbro, it's commercially more viable to release a redeco of Bumblebee as Bumblebee rather than Cliffjumper.

    And for the same reason, Hasbro try to keep the characters as similar to their onscreen counterparts as possible so kids can easily identify Alliance Bumblebee as Bumblebee, while making him different enough to satisfy those moronic Walmart buying agents.
     
  2. Grimwing

    Grimwing Scientist Supreme

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    surprised how much I agree with that later half of your article.

    Just like with marvel and star wars. They need to repaint spider man and Clone Troopers over and over again to keep the figure in circulation. Hasbro does'nt have to make a new mold and kids get the character they want. At the same time though the "OCD collectors" like myself benefit for having something fresh looking to pander and pick up rather than that same wave 1 figure popping up in wave 6 revision 3.

    Of course there is a thin line between that and the mess mattel has with their batman toy lines. The same batman mold makes up more than half the product line. I would'nt be surprised if that has repulsed collectors on that side of the fence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  3. ryan.j

    ryan.j Well-Known Member

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    it's happened since beastwars hasn't it? off the top of my head waspinator has, like, four different molds and twice that number of redecos.

    besides i thought some of the movie repaints were a bit different, spoons and red baron ransack (divebomb?) being particularly interesting ones. i guess it's the similar looking figures is the result of some god-awful focus groups or marketing group-think where people just favoured the existing figures.

    it's a tired saying, but if we didn't buy them they wouldn't make them. perhaps the fandom needs to be a little more selective and stop compulsively buying any old shit hasbro find lying on the floor!
     
  4. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 "No Mas" My Wallet

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    I find myself in agreement with nevermore and while i know Wal-Mart is just an example its all stores and it comes down to money and getting out product that Kids want and will buy or ask to be bought for them as they are the lion's share of the TF market.

    I buy what I like and while its more often than not a neew mold I do have plans to get a few of them ( Thrust, Deadlift, Divebomb) and i already own Nightbeat the repaint of scout class Deadend
     
  5. thenatureboywoo

    thenatureboywoo Veteran

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    I got nothing to add to the first post except "yup".
     
  6. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Villain

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    Yeah, makes perfect sense to me. Well said.
     
  7. MegaHavok

    MegaHavok Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, no your all wrong here. Walmart has a very detailed tracking system of what figures are selling and which are not. They provide all of that information to hasbro. Walmart couldn't care less if the figure is old or new or what it looks like, it just has to sell. Take a look at Star Wars legends line. The whole toy-line is recycled and old stuff. No repaints or remolds just rereleases. Fans complain about it constantly but hasbro has stated it sells as well if not better then many of the figures fans request. The main hero characters are a toylines strongest seller Hasbro has to keep them in rotation. Thats why we get a million batman or spider-man or now bumblebee toys in a line, they simply sell better them some 5th string villain.
     
  8. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Well-Known Member

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    I think in a way, bare redecos sometimes help one get a character. For example, Sideswipe is all but gone on shelves and if kids just saw the movie on DVD and wanted him, viola! the red-tinted-glass Sideswipe (whatever they call him) is now here!

    So, yes everything you said matches up perfectly, Nevermore!
     
  9. WhiteRabbit

    WhiteRabbit Uncounted Outlier

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    Yes, exactly.

    Folks need to remember (and it's funny how often this needs to be repeated) that Hasbro isn't in this for the adult collector market. Toys are for kids above all else, and kids don't have the resources and/or timing to get the popular characters they want as they become available.

    Most kids might only get toys as birthday/holiday/special occasion gifts, and not every kid's birthday/holiday/special occasion is going to occur around the time the toy they want most is released.

    By releasing the same character across multiple waves, they are serving their intended customer base. Nothing more, nothing less.

    If this negatively effects your experience of the hobby aspect of the brand, then maybe it's time you reconsidered your approach to it.
     
  10. Grimlock_13

    Grimlock_13 Reformed Geewunner

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    Totally agree, Nevermore.
     
  11. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

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    Hasbro also screws themself out of money by barely-redecos. Many fans, including myself, do not buy barely-redecos because we pretty much have it already. For movie 1 BB, I bought the normal BB, the Cliffjumper & Stealth BB. Why. Because the deco is different enough to make me want the toy. BB & Stealth BB are the same character. I haven't bought any movie 2 deluxe BBs because the toy is pretty much the same as the one I got before. I never bought any Premium figures because they were too similar to the ones I already had.

    Another example is the Voyager Animated Bulkhead coming out. He's still green with some yellow added to it. At least to me, he is too close to his first release's deco. I won't buy it. If they had made him a dark blue or black/white and called him SWAT Bulkhead, I'd get it. Its still Bulkhead.

    So while I can understand wanting to keep certain characters on shelves, if they redecoded it into a whole new color scheme but kept the name, at least I'd be more willing to pick it up than I would if it looked similar to the 1st version.
     
  12. Dinobot Nuva

    Dinobot Nuva Johnny 3 Tears Veteran

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    Fans would be more willing to pick it up, sure. But fans aren't the target audience and only count for a teeny-tiny portion of sales.
     
  13. G1Wheeljack

    G1Wheeljack Well-Known Member

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    True, which means that if Hasbro is doing this then it's most likely making them money & they will continue to do so. We as fans often over-estimate our importance, especially when we get what we want (i.e. The Universe 2.0Line).
     
  14. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    I'm pretty sure your Star Wars example is because Hasbro are not retards and they know what sort of characters have kid-appeal, ie, the main characters.
     
  15. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    So I guess that's why Darth Vader is still the same mold and packaging as in 1997?
     
  16. Rattrap Primal

    Rattrap Primal Geek Overlord

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    yet we haven't gotten too many Seeker variants, even nameless troopers like Acid Storm or the other Rainmakers (since TC, Dirge, and Thrust are a little hard to release for now, unless they pop up in 2010)
     
  17. Waverider

    Waverider Supreme Dude TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yup. I agree. I once heard that we take up between 25-40% of the sales. Another thing that the fandom do not realize is that most of the stuff that we want and get ends up warming the shelves. In my area, I can point out MP Skywarp. Both Walmarts that I visit the most has them taking shelf space. As pointed out earlier, the bumblebees in it's various classes and repaints are selling really well, while the ice cream truck twins are now warming up the shelves since most people in the area that want one has one already. Heck, Barricade is selling well also.
     
  18. Counterpunch?

    Counterpunch? Interior Renovator

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    Interestingly enough, I didn't make it to church today...but this was preachy enough to make up for it. I'm set till Easter!
     
  19. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

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    Not even speaking as a fan, as a kid I would not want toys that are almost the same as what I already had. Using Star Wars figures as an example, I only wanted 1 Farmboy Luke Skywalker. I'd skip another version of Farmboy Luke because I already had one. In my mind, it was a wasted toy purchase (since I was limited to what my parents bought me). My existing Farmboy Luke was good enough for any Farmboy Luke scenes I'd act out. What would the new one add? Now if I saw a Jedi Luke, I'd go for it. It is still Luke Skywalker but now I had the option of having Farmboy for some scenes and use Jedi Luke for other scenes. Having the same figure essentially makes my collection 1 less since one would be not be used anymore.

    For a kid that uses his imagination, he could use both figures (w/different decods) at once. Farmboy Luke could be there beside Jedi Luke. Maybe they're cousins (or however the kid's imagination explains it). They don't look the same (for the most part). However when it comes to figures that look almost the same, unless the kid pretends their identicle twins or alternate universe Lukes, it is harder to use them the same time.

    I know i used X-Wing Luke as my Wedge before a Wedge figure came out right along side my Jedi Luke figure.
     
  20. Waverider

    Waverider Supreme Dude TFW2005 Supporter

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    I forgot about a childs imagination. My 5 year old uses it a lot for his toys. He has ROTF Sideswipe and Swerve and he and his buddies plays with them and say they are brothers. He also has many variations go Cobra Cammander and plays them in different ways.
     

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