An business idea for Hasbro/TakaraTomy

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by JetBrawn, Oct 25, 2012.

?

TF toy fans - do you support this idea? (please vote only after reading the post)

Poll closed Oct 25, 2013.
  1. Yes! to legalized, better-quality 3P designs - for less $ than what they charge

    19 vote(s)
    41.3%
  2. No - and I will post reasons why not.

    27 vote(s)
    58.7%
  1. JetBrawn

    JetBrawn Intergalactic SUV

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    HasTakTomy, you want to sell toys.

    TF fans want to buy toys.

    However, a huge number of the quality products that TF fans want are created by 3rd party companies selling highly-inventive, but illegal products.

    So, HasTakTomy, why not do what knock-off companies have been doing to your brand for decades?

    Reverse-engineer the toys, improve on them, and then sell them to the fans for less.

    Illegal toys, now completely legitimized. Since these companies are practicing illegal business and have no copyrights for the toys based on your character designs and marketing (cartoons/comics), why not use their engineered designs, copyright them, and sell them to the fans?

    HasTakTomy wins!

    TF fans also win, by getting legal versions of toys for 1/3 of the cost of current 3P figures, but with higher quality-control (and official TF packaging for those that could care).

    Let the 3rd party companies do the leg work - the design and engineering, which would save HasTakTomy a huge sum of money and time in production design costs.


    What TF fan wouldn't like to have official releases of:

    Munitioner
    Classics/Henkei Magnus with trailer
    GrindRod/not-Roll Bar
    Hench/not-Brawn
    Glider/not-Powerglide
    triple changer Assaulter and not-Springer
    not-Devastators
    Weapons specialist and Medical specialist (Ironhide and Ratchet)
    the upcoming not-Superion and not-Menasor combiners

    and the list goes on...

    with better quality at a lower cost?

    of course, there would be at least 2 considerations:

    1) Toy safety laws/regulations might result in some minor changes to the toys (though TakaraTomy would be able to release many toys legally that could not be by Hasbro, such as the small-parts of Perfect Effect not-Reflector or the gun toy Hegemon)

    2) Creative pride - some in the HasTakTomy corporation might consider it's akin to surrendering to 3rd party companies products if you legitimize their designs - to admit that their designs are just as good or sometimes even better than official Transformer toy designs.
    The fandom would mind this, though. They already are "voting with their dollars" as to what products represent the G1 designs they are willing to pay for. You could even brand it as a new line marketed towards collectors.

    Would be curious to see what a sampling of TF toy fans think, with a poll included here... Unanimity wouldn't be expected on any issue put to a poll, so let's see.

    HasTakTomy, we leave the logistics of the legal and production process to the company that does it best.
    But, at least hear the fans on this and consider for a moment the win-win situation.

    Let's please keep this discussion cordial. There are ideas on both sides to be considered. We can explore the possibilities together.
     
  2. 03Mach1

    03Mach1 Logic has been replaced with blind ignorance.

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    Impossible. Many, if not all, of the third party toys would not pass safety tests. Not to mention the tooling involved is way more than Takara/Hasbro use on their mass releases. Just accept that aweome third party toys and their above average prices are here to stay.
     
  3. Torque

    Torque The WORDSMITH

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    I would just say hunt down and hire the designers. get the mind that gave us Hench to work with Hasbro's resources. HUBBOOM
     
  4. Trent

    Trent Froody

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    This, plus the fact that this practice would shut down the 3rd party movement almost overnight. Why put in all the R&D when Hasbro are just going to rip it off?? Thus no more 3rd parties, thus no more excellent TF figures to KO, thus we are back to the likes of FOC Combaticons being the standard for the CHUG lines.

    Everyone loses.
     
  5. dwong1207

    dwong1207 Well-Known Member

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    I vote yes, but I don't think it'll ever happen...has/tak and 3ps seem to be mortal enemies. I recall a convention had 3ps banned at a convention just to get hasbro there. Gonna have to do a Gang Summit and ask them to play nice and get along :p 
     
  6. JetBrawn

    JetBrawn Intergalactic SUV

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    Great idea!

    One that HasTak has likely considered

    but needs to actually DO more often - and then pay those designers well for their work.
     
  7. JetBrawn

    JetBrawn Intergalactic SUV

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    TakaraTomy can release many items that Hasbro could not.

    Most 3rd party toys mentioned in the list would seem to be within TakTomy's reach, almost as-is or with minimal retooling.

    Also, the price point for the figures would no-doubt be higher than the main TF lines, but even with more intricate tooling, doesn't have to be so high in price. Take, for example, igear not-Ironhide and not-Ratchet. A complex, but only deluxe-sized toy. It's not selling as well as some other 3P figures because the retail price is $120. Seriously? HasTak could release for $60 and still make a nice profit.

    Or X-Transbot Glider/not-Powerglide could be released for only $20 rather than close to $50.
     
  8. OptionZero

    OptionZero Well-Known Member

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    Such naivette. It's cute.

    Are you a lawyer or an engineer or something?
     
  9. JetBrawn

    JetBrawn Intergalactic SUV

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    Interesting, Trent. A very valid consideration. Though even if that were to happen, it would take a little while and both HasTakTomy and fans would benefit... but only initially, it would seem.


    Perhaps one of the solutions to help stem the ever-increasing, already-exorbitant 3P prices is for more high quality KOs of 3P items to emerge.
    (such as with the FansProject Protector trailer KO)
     
  10. courtdevil

    courtdevil Well-Known Member

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    They did. They borrowed Jizai's Cyclonus years back to make Universe version.
    But seriously why do they make toys that only can sell to the fan communities? Their whole team are spending a huge salary, you do believe only us can feed them?
    In the meanwhile, children only need something simple and cheaper to make, and they can sell way more to this market. That is where their pay check coming from!
     
  11. archieboy

    archieboy Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the idea, but not with everything OP said. I wouldn't go so far as suggest that HasTak copy 3P designs, that would completely ruin the brand.

    We can glean a few things from what has been happening in the past couple of years, however:

    1) The "collector market" that 3P companies are trying to serve can be profitable, despite higher costs, higher prices, and lower sales volumes than the "mainstream" market. If it were not, there would be no Fansproject, no Maketoys, no TFC, and MMC, etc.

    2) Online retailers, big and small, continue to grow. And collectors now seem to prefer these over brick and mortar stores, for both 3P/collector items and mainline figures. Sometimes, online retailers can even offer lower prices than traditional retailers for the same product. One example, I can get G2 Brut shipped to my doorstep from Robotkingdom for 5 USD cheaper than the store that I frequent.

    3) The secondary market for both collectors' and mainline figures continue to thrive, with places like eBay, user forums like this one, and other auction sites. Why is this important? With a healthy secondary market, a 300 USD item doesn't seem too expensive anymore, not when you can always resell it if you don't like it anymore, and probably at least recoup your cost.

    All of these observations show that the collector market that we represent is here to stay, and continues to grow. The problem for HasTak, and it's so obvious that their eyes must be closed or they're just plain stupid if they don't see it, is that now--at this moment--3P companies are our main provider of "Transformer" needs. How much did you spend on 3P products in the last two years? Now compare that to how much you have already spent, and are planning to spend, this year and next?

    My point is that 3Ps are getting more and more of our "Transformers budget"--which for most people is a scarce resource--and that HasTak has done almost nothing to reverse the trend. MP Soundwave and the MP cassettes are a move in the right direction (and maybe Fort Max, too, but it's a lazy move), but compare that to all the recently released and upcoming goodies from 3Ps: Assaulter, Steel Core, Menasor, Colossus, Giant, Herc, Uranos, all the MMC HoS stuff, Hexatron, and even all the 10 USD swords and faces from Dr. Wu.

    We are a profitable, passionate, loyal, and maybe sometimes finicky market that wants to be served: it would pay for HasTak to regain a portion of our wallets. I don't know what HasTak should do, but I do know that they can and should do something about it. If Fansproject can come up with designs that retail for 60 USD and then resell at thrice that after a few months, I'm sure HasTak would have enough talent/chops to come up with even cooler designs at lower costs. And I'm talking about collector's items comparable to 3P offerings, and none of that KO-quality mainline crap. And they don't even need to copy anything from Fansproject.
     
  12. wildfly

    wildfly Fermenting pork tube.

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    I see a longish first post, but all i seem to hear is 'I want better toys for less money.'
     
  13. JetBrawn

    JetBrawn Intergalactic SUV

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    well said, ArchieBoy.

    and Courtdevil, I hadn't realized that HasTakTomy did that with Cyclonus.
    Link: Seibertron.com Energon Pub Forums • View topic - Henkei Cyclonus VS Jizai Toys Cyclonus
    Goodjob to HasTak designers for the notable improvements made and reclaiming the market on that figure! (though that's only one in the last 4-5 years of great 3P toys.)

    I'm no longer in favor of HasTakTomy assimilating all of the popular 3rd party market designs, but it would be nice to see official improvements based on them more often, a la JizaiToys Cyclonus.

    I also agree with the comment that HasTak should consider hiring some of the best developers (though some of them might already have, or used to have, dayjobs with HasTak). No doubt that the 3P designer pool has some experienced talent.

    yes, Miscreant, the entire fandom wants better toys for less money. It's no secret. This thread was merely a collective brainstorming on how that can be achieved and an appeal to HasTakTomy to incorporate creative 3P designs more often.
     
  14. Kuma Style

    Kuma Style I'm boney. I'm boney; Leave me aloney! TFW2005 Supporter

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    This pretty much sums it up.

    What's kind of a bugger is that people actually seem to think that these third party companies have "better" engineers and designers because they make toys that are more collector oriented with an adult-aimed price range, while ignoring the fact that $100 in a third party gets you Steel Core while $100 on a Hasbro TF gets you MP-10.

    Instead, the most common comparisons are third party toys that are $50-$80 to Has/Tak toys that are $14.

    Third party toys are awesome, and I obviously support them wholeheartedly, but I hate that people are so quick to "slag" on the company who's toys are the reason we even have these and are also producing a majority of the most anticipated TFs this season in their MPs and whatnot.
     
  15. JetBrawn

    JetBrawn Intergalactic SUV

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    Hey KumaStyle,
    There wasn't any intended putting down of HasTakTomy in my posts, at least. The great appreciation for the design talent of the highly-anticipated MP Sideswipe/Red Alert and MP Soundwave and friends is already broached in plenty of other threads. This topic wasn't, so I wanted to see what the fan community had to say. And some great points of view have been expressed.

    Totally understand how higher 3P prices also leads to better products, and not just because of the level of design talent involved. However, looking at the example of CHUG Cyclonus, where HasTakTomy essentially legitimized and improved on an existing 3P design, the result was a higher quality figure (RTS Cyclonus) for $10 versus the ~$50 or so for the JizaiToys Cyclonus. In that case, HasTakTomy benefitted, the fans also greatly benefitted, and even the 3rd party company reaped profits for a time. It's the perfect example of a "win-win-win" situation. If it worked for everyone then, it can work again.


    The thing that underlies the highly-anticipated MP figures and all of the popular 3P figures is that they're all improved G1 designs, but still very faithful to the original 80's designs. If HasTakTomy were to continue to heavily invest in the CHUG line, though with some of the great 3P ideas incorporated, fans would be more excited over the mainline product offerings.
     
  16. Kuma Style

    Kuma Style I'm boney. I'm boney; Leave me aloney! TFW2005 Supporter

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    - My name's TJ. It's in my username. Not being funny or smarmy, it's just weird being called by my website, haha.

    - I wasn't trying to call out your intention with this thread, but on the other hand, why would one feel the that they need to take 3PP designs unless they feel those ones are better than the ones Hasbro's able to produce on their own? And, that's why I brought up the comparison of Steel Core to MP-10. When given equivalent price ranges, Hasbro's able to produce stuff even at Mass that knocks these things out of the park.

    - What I think should happen... personally? I think Hasbro should take a leap of faith and make an "in between" TF line for collectors. Maybe $25 deluxes and $35 Voyagers, and throw in some $45 Ultras (and not the "current" versions of those size classes). Go all out with the engineering, detail, and tooling and focus specifically on G1 (including Headmasters/Victory/Masterforce) characters. No need to rip 3P products when they can just dedicate to a line that focuses on that quality of toy using their own designs.

    Just my opinions.
     
  17. CZ Hazard

    CZ Hazard @DiabraveSid

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    The most frustrating thing in the world must be being an awesome designer, getting a job with Hasbro and then seeing your figure get chopped, re-worked and cost-cutted to meet what Hasbro determines the current market needs. I don't doubt for a second that Hasbro has come of the best designers in the world, but the designers that work for 3P companies have more freedom.
     
  18. Kuma Style

    Kuma Style I'm boney. I'm boney; Leave me aloney! TFW2005 Supporter

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    I love this post. Exactly my train of thought, and yea it'd stink seeing some awesome designs you want to put out streamlined to death I bet.
     
  19. MC Rap Throne

    MC Rap Throne cancelled artist

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    Very unlikely, so no.
     
  20. Roufuss

    Roufuss Shots

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    It wouldn't even be a leap of faith, imo -- you make a line like that just for collectors, you will make a profit. Plenty of other lines are already doing it with decent success.

    You've got online only lines for both He-Man and DC, and I would wager in toy form, Transformers is bigger than probably both of them combined with collectors who throw far more money at their hobby. The Joe subscription went well too. If lesser lines can pull this off, Transformers absolutely could, because there are enough collectors to make the $100 + figures from third parties a success.

    The TF subscription service went well for TFCC, judging by what they say, and that's mostly a collection of repaints with some new heads and was something like $300 + for only six figures. Third party figures at their high prices sell well enough for this companies to keep cranking them out. At those prices you listed, people would flip out to give Hasbro money.

    There is definitely a somewhat large market that Hasbro isn't tapping and other people are filling the void. Hell, Hasbro could even make it a subscription model if they wanted to (probably the best way, to guarantee sales) and copy He-Man:

    12 Deluxes, one per month.
    4 Voyagers, once every three months.
    1 Ultra, maybe released near the end of the year.
    1 Subscription exclusive figure -- here is where you can throw in crazy shit like Scrounge.

    You do each figure once and once only and make it the definitive version of that figure. Transformers fans who would be interested in this are people who want complete casts anyways and they don't need to keep refreshing the big names since its collector only. Yea, Year 1 might bring us yet another Prime, Jazz, Sideswipe, etc. but when you get to Year 2 and 3, if this was successful, you start getting Dinobots and other figures.

    Look at the MOTU brand and look at just how complete and thorough that line has gotten. That line does exactly what you want to happen with Transformers -- amazing sculpts, tons of accessories, definitive versions of all of these characters. People would be falling all over themselves to throw money at Hasbro for something similar with TF.