Anyone else tired of the "you have to buy it now" culture that's developed?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by TheBeastman, Apr 28, 2021.

  1. videriant

    videriant Well-Known Member

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    Even then. People who were in the game at the time had lots of opportunities.

    - Legends Decepticons Target Masters were still available for a long time at MSRP ~ $30-$40.
    - Didn't TR Sixshot hit Ollie's for cheap. Alternatively, Legends Sixshot was available for months.
    - I was able to purchase Legends Topspin and Twintwist for retail prices months if not over half a year after release.
    - Missed out of PM Prime but that's my fault. Saw him several times but waited for a sale.
    - Blastoff, Repugnus and Grotesque all has reasonable pre-order times. And you even had a second chance for the last two at only double USA retail from Japan.
    - Can't remember about the T30. Were they hard to find?
    - All the females molds weren't easy but also not hard to find at the time. I actually think Novastar was the rarest. I believe Greenlight has shot up in value the most but I remember being surprised at how long it lasted. I had several chances to buy extras after I had them in hand but I hated the Elita-1 torso so it's not like they were not available.
    - TR Nautica - This one's a real kicker. But it's not a must-have. I hate boxsets. TRU going out of business didn't help. Funnily enough, I got the boxset for sale at a TRU in another state in a small city on a business trip. They had four boxes. I was tempted to get more than one box but only had one coupon. AT that time, when I posted online, nobody showed any interest. Still a lot of people complaining about her being a Blurr remold at that time.
    - CW Victorion. No idea if you can call this core or not but Target had several 20-30% off sales on her spanning months if not a year.
    - Another horrible box set but also one that did not have any key figures. I only chased it down for Tital Wave. Got this online. And it didn't sell out for months.

    I know not everybody has access to Ollie's or Ross or even Walmart and even then there's competition but these things weren't impossible to find and there was always times when they were reasonable.

    Speaking of which. The only things I can call a true fiasco would be the ER seekers, Ironhide and Ratchet sets. I know Amazon screwed the pooch by not delivering on pre-orders but the pre-orders themselves were open for months. I'm wondering, how many people pre-ordered in the first month or first two months and did not get their order fulfilled. The Ironhide Amazon canceled on me I ordered in month four or three right before release.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
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  2. Lex79

    Lex79 Well-Known Member

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    That's another problem, because I'm not actually seeing costs going down, if anything they are going up. You may say that they would go even higher with a different distribution method, but without direct evidence I'm going to consider that a positive aspect.
    But let's assume it's true that we are seeing lower prices and let's go back to the PS5. The only way here in Italy to buy a ps5 is either be extremely lucky and get one when it's available from Mediaworld or Amazon (usually by the time you click on the link it's already sold out) or try with Gamestop, which means going to the site at a specific time in a specifing day, waiting in queue for up to an hour and then if you are lucky you'll be given the chance to buy a 700+ euro bundle that is still sold out by the time you put it in your cart. Is this a taste of the future? Then let's me just say no, thanks, I'd rather pay more and be actually able to buy the things I like when I want to.

    Since we mentioned the ps5, there is another thing we need to address. Bots. I don't know how diffuse is the phenomenon in the toys collecting community, but we know this is the next step, and then we'll unable to even preorder popular and sought after items without setting up a bot ourselves. And that's again something to which I say no, thanks.

    Agreed, discoverability is an important factor in attracting new fans. It happened to me lots of times.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
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  3. CyberShadow

    CyberShadow Wheeljacks Lab

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    This is my objection right here, the implication that I am somehow 'collecting wrong' because I have scaled back my preordering. Thats rubbish. I dont even deny a lot of what you are saying but at the end of the day, to me, in my individual situation, I made the decision that dealing with uncertain preorders, and the hassle of tracking them down, and all of the issues that go along with them, is simply not a price that I want to pay to have every toy that I like that is released. That is a choice that I have made, and I stand by it. To me, I WILL preorder anything that I HAVE to have, but there is a lot of stuff that is released that is 'nice' and that is the stuff that I consign to the 'buy it when I see it' list, firstly because its a vast majority and I dont/cant preorder absolutely everything, and secondly because if I do miss out on some of it, it doesnt hurt as much.

    There are also two markets here, the US, and everyone else. This is not only the case but also has got a lot more defined in the last 12 months. Outside the US, we deal regularly with situations where we get one member of a group (Runamuck, Thrust) and the rest of the group are exclusives to a US store, making it hard to source easily. On top of this, the current model is primed for scalpers, and this is already a real problem and likely to get worse. In situations where stores get preorders online and they sell out in minutes, and there are no limits on the number that people can buy, you get.... well, you get the situation with Gigawatt on its limited, numbered release. Instances of him were on eBay for about $700 within 24 hours and most collectors couldnt get one at all. Dont even talk about the GI Joe exclusive launch. How is that good for the collector and why is that something that 'real collectors just accept'?
     
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  4. Thundercracker Blue

    Thundercracker Blue Well-Known Member

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    Can we take a moment to appreciate that we’re witnessing two board members disagreeing vehemently yet respectfully by making cogent and well-thought out arguments?

    This debate should be pinned.

    Also, I took this picture:
    I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was amazing...
     
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  5. bufferunderrun

    bufferunderrun Well-Known Member

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    At last you live in the right country where you can drive and have at last the chance to buy it; here in italy we didn’t get any exclusives not even the netflix series unless you find a store that import them from usa or the takara from japan , the only chance is to buy them online and pay at last 20% of custom duties.
    I had to pay 265 euro for siege omega supreme imported from takara japan , had to shell 180 euro for dirge and ramjet and another 180 for the seekers had to pay over 120 for Netflix soundweave and almost 150 for ironhide and prowl.
    I hate it so much even more because I vividly remember the time when i walked inside my local store with my mom back in the 80 and find an entire isle full of transformers; a time when you could see 10 packs of the devastator multipack .
    Damn how i miss those days
     
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  6. Thundershot

    Thundershot Ratchet Fanatic

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    The only recent releases (CW-present) that I feel sorry for people in the US about are the Amazon coneheads, Ironhide/Prowl, and Ratchet/Lifeline because people who preordered had their orders canceled after the aftermarket prices had already skyrocketed. Everything else was readily available to preorder and some even went on clearance. I know I got my kids the Jumpstarters and Targetmasters at Ollies.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
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  7. Fito

    Fito Little Buddy

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    Not to mention that, collecting wise, Brexit hit us as well, since it effectively cut off the likes of Kapow, ID and co. (or at least, put import prices on par if not over those from Japan and USA).
    And the strange prices from Amazon itself, lately: Netflix Bumblebee and the SG two pack, sold and shipped by Amazon, respectively at 80 and 190€. The heck.
    I wish that preordering or not was the only problem.
     
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  8. bufferunderrun

    bufferunderrun Well-Known Member

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    Exactly i won’t even touch searching for update kit, nonnef not available in Europe , Pc cost almost like a commander .

    Price like that
    BAA96327-DA13-45B4-AD22-55FC3AA2FB0A.png


    Also hasbro don’t offer any support over imported products that mean if you buy a 250 euro figure and it has issues you suck it up and have no chance to have support.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
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  9. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    Sales are really out of whack. Remember when stores used to run "buy two get the third discounted/free" types of sales? You couldn't run a sale like that now because they only put four toys on the shelf in any given month. They just aren't pushing any sort of volume; it's like they only stock anything at all because they're legally obligated.

    God I used to bitch about getting everything two or three months late 15-20 years ago. At least it eventually showed up back then. Now, I am thankful not only that BBTS exists but that they price high enough to keep the riffraff out (doesn't always work - see FT lately). Otherwise I wouldn't be able to collect anything.
     
  10. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    So I freely admit (and said upthread) that everything I've written is from a US/Canada perspective. I have no experience being an international fan (obviously) and don't know how you guys typically get stuff, so I can't offer an opinion on something working or not either. From what I've heard though is that in the last decade Transformers has gotten to be ever more US/Canada centric with ever worse distribution internationally, and if that's the case, that is something that should absolutely change. But I would place that more in the realm of larger business decision (Hasbro deciding there is a market worth supporting) that supersedes much of what I've discussed (which is mostly business approach and mechanisms for US customers).

    Internationally, if collecting has become problematic, then that is something I am very sympathetic to and understand why its frustrating. But for the US/CA audience, I stand by my comments.
     
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  11. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    He was rare/expensive even before we knew there would be an Earthrise version. That's what happens when important characters get a decent figure after 30 years of bad ones.
     
  12. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    We also can't ignore the TR Misfire just casually lurking there. No big deal.

    But yeah I've thoroughly enjoyed the discussion. Where's the fun in everyone agreeing?
     
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  13. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    Two reasons it went unsold::
    1. Retail stores forgot they had to buy and stock products in order to sell products.
    2. "Wholesale" price through distributors like Embarrassment Earth was actually higher than retail.

    Hasbro had to take a bath selling to Ollies? Boo fucking hoo.
     
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  14. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    Again, and this is my fault because I was speaking from what I know and my experiences, my comments are from a US perspective.

    With regards to consoles, Europe has charged huge premiums on video game consoles going back to the 16 bit days. I remember going to the UK as a Child in 1996 and seeing Super Nintendo games on on sale for £130 or something. It was crazy. To this day, the MSRP for a Blu-ray PS5 is $499.99 in the US, £449.99 in the UK and €499.99. That €499.99 converts to $600 US dollars. £449 is worse - $621. Again, this is what Sony tells retailers to sell it at. The relative markup you suggest is the same thing going on in the US right now. But this is, as I said, somewhat different than the Transformers situation. This Microsoft and Sony's modern just-in-time manufacturing approach to console sales being disrupted by the semiconductor shortage and the pandemic. The toy industry isn't impacted by the semiconductor shortage, that is seeing $700 video cards retailing for over $1200 and general consumer products being on wait lists for months. This is very much a supply disruption price shock.

    In a world without the pandemic, you're seeing the cost savings. The $499.99 (with a blu ray) PS5 is a cost savings price. The Blu-ray version costs $575 to manufacture. So for every unit sold, Sony is taking a $75 hit ($50 for the version without blu-ray). By contrast the PS4 cost $381 to manufacture and retailed for $399 (so Sony made an $18 profit every unit). For PS3, it originally retailed for $499 but had $805 in manufacturing costs (sony lost $306 per unit). You thro win marketing and overhead, and the loss grows and grows. And considering what you're getting in a PS5 compared to a PS4, it's actually a crazy good deal. It's basically a $1400 desktop computer in mass produced, specialized form.

    With consoles, as you can see, this type of manufacturing is creating considerable cross-generation (comparative) cost savings. But it makes them vulnerable to supply disruptions.





    The bots thing is largely resolved by good website. The problem is that, incredibly, most major online retailers of the past year have proven themselves utterly disinterested in actually doing that. If bots became a big issue for TFs, particularly on Pulse, I'd be among the first to say that needs to get corrected. I was neck deep in the rtx3080 hunt this year. It was annoying losing to automation.
     
  15. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    Well my point is that "boo fucking hoo" leads directly to increasingly tighter distribution to mor exactly fite immediate demand, which then leads, to shortage, and then as we're seeing with Titans, to the end of them at retail. A business never wants to take a bath.

    And it's going to be a real big "boo fucking hoo" on this forum when the next Haslab Transformers project is Metroplex 2.0, going for $350-$375 because retailing Titans don't make business sense anymore.
     
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  16. Effigy

    Effigy Well-Known Member

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    I would be all over that, tbh.
     
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  17. GizmoTron

    GizmoTron Roobaticon Commander

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    Most would given what a $350 Haslab Titan could really bring to the table versus the current method of $150 at retail followed by a bunch of additional add-on figures and 3P kits later.

    (But, won't change the fact that people will be bitching up a storm online about it, anyway, just like with Unicron.)
     
  18. Robogeek28

    Robogeek28 Proud grandpa

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    Agreed.
     
  19. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. I just pretty much look at it like this.
    You go back 2 years, you ask people what the most likely TF thing for Haslab would be, #1 would be Unicron, #2 would be the Ark. #3 would be a lavish Metroplex.

    We got #1. #2 is a Titan. That leaves #3. Why Metroplex? He's the higher profiler of the Autobot citybots in Transformers marketing. And he's the oldest Titan. Compared to the design of the later ones (specifically Trypticon and later) his engineering and design is antiquated. It was very much a first effort by the modern Hasbro team. So a new Metroplex is "due". And if you include a bulkier (but slightly shorter) build, and all his accessories from G1 (the fake towers) and give him detailed paint instead of stickers... yeah I can see a $350 figure in my head. Legends Fortress Maximus with the DNA kits was about that.

    And I do think $350 is the magic number. The Sentinel and Razorcrest sold super fast at that price. $350 is a big gift to one sself (heck even the Target exclusive Millennium Falcon reissue was $400, so more than Haslab). $350 is a lot easier pill to swallow than $575. I doubt we'll see another $575. That was a true extravagance. Also I dont think any character besides Unicron demands it. Maybe Autobot City where a $165 smaller Mextroplex is a component of it.

    But I simply think it makes far more sense for both Hasbro and the consumer to go this route than another $165 Titan. Heck, I WISH the Ark was that. We're getting a cool Ark. But imagine what a $350 Ark would have been.
     
  20. MonsterMash

    MonsterMash Well-Known Member

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    Yup. I remember seeing Fans Toys products up on e-tailer sites for months, sometimes even on clearance. Now if you blink on the preorder for a Fans Toys product you'll probably miss it.
     
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