General Haslab Discussion (non-Transformers)

Discussion in 'The Toyark' started by PloverNutter, Dec 6, 2021.

  1. backhawkdown

    backhawkdown Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Posts:
    4,992
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +8,558
    How much profit could Hasbro make on such a project that would make it worth doing? Lower price, less profit, exponentially more backers required to hit the minimum to make it worth the effort. I don’t see low priced products ever being something HasLab does no matter how many fans want it. Will 50k fans buy it?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Other

    Other Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Posts:
    88
    Trophy Points:
    97
    Likes:
    +27
    Any suggestion that Haslab should offer multiple options for included content, exclusives to the first however many backers or anything that strays too far from the current 'just back it' model in a similar manner is incredibly ill-thought out. There are enough customers who don't understand crowdfunding and have issues with things like not understanding that they won't lose their money if the project fails as is and complicating things will only compound existing issues. Further, many foreign markets aren't offered access to backing at the same time, for example Deathsaurus was only offered to the Japanese in the past few days(well over a week since the project launched) and many are not serviced directly by Hasbro Pulse, for example in Australia Haslabs are run through EB Games/Zing, should those 3rd parties have to keep track of who want's what and who qualifies for what extras? If anything needs to change it's that Hasbro should publicly come out and say they will never consider early bird offers ever again, they should instead stick to a plain and simple model of 'Here's the price, either back it or don't, your choice. We'll shovel more crap in the box based on the number of backers', one option for everyone that grows based on project interest and is logistically simple to distribute and offer in various markets.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. TranslucentBag

    TranslucentBag Definitively "Graph Guy"

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    Posts:
    2,461
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Location:
    NoVa
    Likes:
    +10,275
    Ebay:
    Bobby Skull Face just dropped an entire 4 Dummies video looking at Deathsaurus and Haslab in general. As is par for the course, he gets a number of basic things just flat wrong, which infuriatingly could have simply been avoided if they had taken 10min to prep and familiarize themselves with past products. They don't realize that the tier rewards have all been announced and they they even suggest that the next Haslab should be Victory Leo--apparently unaware that it was included in the Victory Saber campaign. Their disdain for CHUG/Hasbro collectors also comes spilling through at times in annoying ways.



    The group's sheer laziness and 3rd Party elitism aside however, they do introduce and address an interesting point that we here have also bandied about.
    • Since Unicron, why are the Transformers Haslab offerings the cheapest projects across the entire platform? And what does this say about Transformers collectors or at least who Hasbro believes to be their target audience?
    The 4 Dummies seem to conclude that items such as Victory Saber and Deathsaurus fall more into the collecting wheelhouse of current CHUG customers. Unlike 3rd Party folks and Marvel and Star Wars collectors, Hasbro Transformer fans have typically capped their purchasing power at around $120-160 (ie Titan-Class). Thus setting significantly higher price points would run the risk of alienating the bulk of their target audience. At the same time, this may represent Hasbro attempting to test the 3rd Party waters as Deathsaurus is placed at almost exactly the same price as MMC's version.

    While I don't believe Hasbro is as tuned in or particularly concerned with the 3rd Party Companies as the 4 Dummies seem to believe, I think they are in the ballpark when it comes to Hasbro's awareness of potentially pricing their CHUG customers out of the market. To avoid contention, let's at least say that Project Unicron was at the very least a slog at $600 and its rocky road to completion probably did inspire the Transformers team to scale back their second campaign to a more manageable affordability. Victory Saber definitely appeared to hit that sweet spot and it seems like Deathsaurus will too. But does this put a soft cap on the scope of Transformer Haslabs? Would a $250-300 combiner set be palatable? We have seen that both Studio Series and Takara's Generations Selects did have success with expensive combiners, though they were spread out over time, which may have made the cost more acceptable to the market. Would the response have been equal if they had dropped all at once? Is the CHUG collector's hesitancy to spend upwards of $250 regardless of the product the truly limiting factor in the realm of Haslab possibilities?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  4. PloverNutter

    PloverNutter TFW2005: We're buying them but we don't like them.

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2021
    Posts:
    8,211
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +28,602
    I don't believe Hasbro is hesitant to do more expensive HasLab TF figures for CHUG since when Victory Saber was still funding it was more expensive than Titans were at the time, just not by much. They have also released more expensive box sets recently too. SS Devastator was eventually released together as SS-69 for $265. Then for the Gen Selects Takara combiners, only the Seacons were released individually. God Neptune, Volcanicus, and Abominus all released as complete sets that were over $180 each. Another thing to consider is just because Hasbro hasn't done something yet doesn't mean they won't do it ever. Before T30 Metroplex how many people thought Hasbro would do Titan figures as big as that, or that they would introduce a new Commander figure class in Siege that could be for bigger characters not Titan sized or so as to give extra engineering to important characters like Rodimus.

    I will say I do think there are a few too many coincidences where Hasbro's official figures are lining up with what is going on with 3P in recent years. 3P starts focusing on super accurate versions of G1 characters and soon after WfC starts. 3P does like 6 different versions of Menasor and Hasbro does Legacy Menasor. 3P starts doing JG1 characters and Hasbro starts to dip their toes with JG1, with 2 HasLabs being JG1. Fans Hobby does Armada Prime and Megs to great fan response and we know that official CHUG versions of them are coming next year. Not saying Hasbro is watching this site to see what we like, but we know that the current design team is made up of some super die hard fans and they could be looking at what 3P is doing as inspiration for what they want to design.
     
  5. Fenrys

    Fenrys Formerly Tigatron2002

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    61,624
    News Credits:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    492
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    Likes:
    +127,564
    I think some of that is really more coincidental than anything else and simply that it's lining up with logical times to do characters from those different continuities, hell, 3p really hasn't touched BW much yet Hasbro did the entire season 1 cast and then some in 2 years.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. RodimusRex

    RodimusRex Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Posts:
    13,107
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Likes:
    +24,662
    Hasbro does have a BW movie coming up.

    That said, these things are planned 2 years out so some of it is probably a coincidence. Both groups are probably identifying the same collector desires but 3P can move a bit faster since they don't put out over a hundred figures a year and deal with retail buyers.

    That said, I do strongly suspect Hasbro/Takara folks look at 3P transformation tricks.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Grun Gast

    Grun Gast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2022
    Posts:
    1,462
    Trophy Points:
    177
    Likes:
    +2,883
    Yeah, while I can completely understand some of the design team members keeping an eye on what 3P party groups are doing because they're fans (kind of like how some 3P designs wormed their way into official products like comics and games), I don't think they're going, "Hey, four different third party groups are making versions of Thunder Clash, maybe we should get in on this?"

    I'm genuinely angry to read this. If the idea is to educate and inform, then you better make damn sure you do your bloody homework.

    And I'm beginning to actually, genuinely dislike people who like to talk up third party products and imply that people who opt for the Hasbro or official offerings are "shills". I don't mind 3P products and used to collect quite a few myself, but I do believe that I have more respect for the Hasbro and Takara Tomy people who have to work under constraints. That's part of the reason I do like the Haslab project so much: now we're seeing what they could do if they didn't have to restrict themselves thanks to budgetary limitations.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  8. Ambrojh

    Ambrojh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    Posts:
    3,316
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +3,267
    While the TF team is aware of 3p TFs, Hasbro as a corporation probably does not care what 3p does and if Hasbro does it shuts that company down like with Zeta going Unicron to Unicron. I fall into the 3P and MP camp for TF and do not buy mainline, last official Hasbro TF I bought was the haslabs Unicron. I thought about Victorsaber last year, but did not buy one, same for this Deathsaber, people like Bobby and his dummy should not disrespect collectors that do not buy what they buy, and should encourage people as the more money and sales the TF brand brings in, then maybe one day Hasbro will offer a MP Devastator. One more thing Hasbro and Haslabs while technically are for adult collectors, still have to pass US child safety standards, where 3p does not.
     
  9. RodimusRex

    RodimusRex Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Posts:
    13,107
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Likes:
    +24,662
    This last part makes no sense to me.

    Sure, before Unicron, the most expensive Transformers were Titans or Takara boxed sets and VS/DS fit within that price.

    But all the Marvel Legends and G.I. Joe Classified Haslabs have been over $300 when the most expensive retail products in those lines was $45-65.

    And there was very little to suggest Ghostbusters fans would spend $400 if you only looked at retail products.
     
  10. Robogeek28

    Robogeek28 Proud grandpa

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Posts:
    63,444
    News Credits:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    462
    Location:
    Rotterdam NY
    Likes:
    +72,950
    Ebay:
    You're better than I am, because after5-6 minutes I had to turn that garbage off.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  11. TranslucentBag

    TranslucentBag Definitively "Graph Guy"

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    Posts:
    2,461
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Location:
    NoVa
    Likes:
    +10,275
    Ebay:
    Yep, I still wouldn't bee too surprised to see a Transformers Haslab next spring/summer that serves as a tie in to the movie. The film's delay really seemed to do a number on Hasbro's product scheduling. Since we know that Deathsaurus was already in some form of planning as early as November of last year, it wouldn't surprise me if the team didn't take advantage of a potential rescheduled ROTB Haslab and pitch an upgraded Deathsaurus in its stead to fill the void.

    Classified and Ghostbusters are a very poor comparison though which is why I (and perhaps the video didn't mention them). GI Joe folks have been begging for years for product. Like a starving dog they jumped at the chance to get something (which just so happened to be the best Haslab this year.) Ghostbusters in turn is a very vocal but niche collectors group, who also hadn't had any real product for decades. Yet talking to just a few people within the fandom reveals how much these folks are willing to spend. It's not uncommon for them to put up over $1000 for electronic proton packs for example. So you do have a bit of a baseline for those consumers from which to work.

    The issue that the 4 Dummies jump on (perhaps too harshly in their bid to criticize CHUG fans) is that Transformers also had a baseline, but one that indicated that higher price points are a difficult sell. They were slow to respond to a $600 offer after having been accustomed to paying under $150 for product, and no one knows how they will respond to a $300 offer. The boxed sets are our best guess but I don't know how well the King Neptune Takara box sold.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. fschuler

    fschuler Post Count Inflated With Hot Air TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Posts:
    25,474
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    452
    Location:
    NKY/Cincinnati
    Likes:
    +51,522
    You got me beat! I didn’t even click on it…haha…
     
    • Like Like x 4
  13. Robogeek28

    Robogeek28 Proud grandpa

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Posts:
    63,444
    News Credits:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    462
    Location:
    Rotterdam NY
    Likes:
    +72,950
    Ebay:
    Usually I would've passed as well, but figured I'd give it a shot since it was about Deathsaurus.

    But nope, he's still a dumbass.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. RodimusRex

    RodimusRex Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Posts:
    13,107
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Likes:
    +24,662
    If anything -- and I hope Hasbro isn't reading this -- evidence would suggest IMHO that Transformers fans are willing to pay more.

    Who else pays $55 for a 6.5 to 7 inch figure at retail?

    Who else imported product from Japan at higher prices for slight paint variations?

    Who spends more on direct repaints with no sculpt changes?

    Who else spends $400+ on ten inch figures?

    What about $1500+ for a remote control Optimus Prime with trailer?

    Looking at third party, people pay money for DOWNSCALES of existing products like MP10V, pay close to $100 for 5 inch figures, and pay hundreds for combiners.

    I think Transformers fans spend more.

    I also think Transformers Haslab offerings are most clearly a case of things that almost fit into retail categories (Victory Saber and Deathsaurus as Commanders, Unicron as a Titan) that have maybe 25% more mass and a slightly higher parts count being sold for double or more retail price.

    I think there's a serious over-estimation of how cheap these are and an underestimation of how cheap Galactus/Sentinel/Proton Pack are just because the absolute prices are different.

    A more comparable offering to the TF offerings from ML would be a 7" Mephisto with two heads, six hands, a throne and fire effects for $100+.

    The big difference as I see it is not price per ounce of plastic or whatever but that Hasbro's non-TF lines have been bundling objectively large pieces with 3-5 extra figures and trying to price around all the tiers being unlocked whereas the TF projects have more value in the base package and less in the tiers.
     
  15. Grun Gast

    Grun Gast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2022
    Posts:
    1,462
    Trophy Points:
    177
    Likes:
    +2,883
    Yeah, that's the reason why I mentioned I respect Hasbro and Takara Tomy's designers for being able to come up with some amazing designs even though they've got so many restrictions like budget limits and safety standards. I suppose the 3P parties ought to be grateful Hasbro isn't as sue-happy as something like Disney or Warner Bros.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  16. RodimusRex

    RodimusRex Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Posts:
    13,107
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Likes:
    +24,662
    From what I've read, essentially, the designs of robots are incredibly hard to trademark and most of the 3rd Party companies are outside the U.S. The Autobot and Decepticon logos are enforced more, which is why third parties leave those off. I'm amazed Toyhax doesn't get sued over those though.

    Fashion can be trademarked and that tends to cover super-heroes, even though -- I'm going to make a bold statement here -- a lot of surprising super-heroes are to some degree in the public domain.

    There are the obvious ones who everybody who follows this stuff know about like Black Terror or the Golden-Age Daredevil.

    But Captain Marvel/Shazam's first appearance is public domain. So are most of the Marvel family. Ditto Plastic Man. Due to the same copyright loophole as the widely accepted public domain heroes.

    And I've found, through research of actual 1940s comics and the copyright registry, Superman and Batman comics in the public domain. Plus, you have the Max Fleisher Superman cartoons.

    Essentially DC's argument there is trademark, not copyright. And they'll keep using that argument after Action Comics #1 enters the public domain in 10 years.

    It's not an airtight argument even. Supreme Court precedent frowns on using trademarks to keep people from making derivatives of work not protected by copyright. Theoretically, I should be able to make a comic or toy based solely on the 40s Superman cartoons, as long as I don't reference anything else. But Warner lawyers would put me through hell if I tried it.

    But Hasbro is lax on some stuff. I still can't believe an American company was able to make the Roboskull and Skeletron figures.

    To be clear, the trademark had lapsed, which is why the new company got the names. But there were a ton of copyrights still in effect from the Action Force and G.I. Joe comics. All I can figure is that Hasbro didn't think it was worth the filing fee.

    I guess their library is so large that going after questionable cases of infringement isn't worth it?

    They pursued this stuff a lot harder in the 80s.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Grun Gast

    Grun Gast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2022
    Posts:
    1,462
    Trophy Points:
    177
    Likes:
    +2,883
    It might be a similar situation as doujinshi in Japan: it just isn't worth the hassle and potential fan backlash. Like, the companies behind manga magazines like Shounen Jump cracked down on doujin (both SFW and NSFW versions), they risk alienating their fanbase.

    Taking down that Not-Unicron shortly after the Unicron Haslab was announced made perfect sense from a financial standpoint, since here you had a 3P group directly trying to compete with Hasbro and their brand new Haslab project. That had to be stomped into the ground immediately. But why go after a company like Iron Factory that seems to specialise in Legends Scale stuff that Hasbro itself doesn't really dabble in? Hasbro was never going to make a Core Class or Legends Class-scaled Overlord or Black Zarak, so why go to the bother of trying to shut down Iron Factory?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Huktonfonix

    Huktonfonix Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Posts:
    1,855
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Likes:
    +3,438
    Perhaps Hasbro could do a poll of some sort for a future haslab. They could provide projects with possible price point ranges (example: Liokaiser for 280-400) While the data would have all kinds of potential issues (people voting multiple times, etc...), it could be useful. It could give Hasbro an idea of what the fanbase is looking for and also give people a heads up on the price point with time to save. Or they could just leak out info a bit sooner.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Grun Gast

    Grun Gast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2022
    Posts:
    1,462
    Trophy Points:
    177
    Likes:
    +2,883
    In an era of bots, I do think that it's entirely possible to get flooded by people who really, really want something made. I can easily imagine some enterprising fan sending a ton of bots to vote for, I dunno, a Haslab Mephisto with the garbage justification that "he's the one who really deserves a Haslab" or something.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  20. PloverNutter

    PloverNutter TFW2005: We're buying them but we don't like them.

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2021
    Posts:
    8,211
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +28,602
    Yeah, like wasn’t it discovered that nearly 90% of the Snyder Cut supporters online were bots? Including the ones who voted for the fan favorite film and moment at the Oscars this year. A fan vote would just divide the fandom and no HasLab would ever get funded because a lot of people would lose interest in the project that won the vote if their choice didn’t win. Again there is nothing wrong with how HasLab is currently run. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.