General Haslab Discussion (non-Transformers)

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

  1. Wheeljoker

    Wheeljoker Well-Known Member

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    Haslab projects being released after the fact would be a huge F U to the Fandom. These are supposed to be items that they tout as things that would only be produced via crowdfunding as a made to order piece. Putting "extras" up after the fact is only a way to create animosity among backers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2023
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  2. RodimusRex

    RodimusRex Well-Known Member

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    A big question here:

    Did they receive the list from Hasbro or another wholesaler?

    EE might have backed a hundred of these, realized based on aftermarket that they won't turn a big profit, and offered a large number up at a huge loss to get cashflow in for more profitable stuff.
     
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  3. SmokePants

    SmokePants Well-Known Member

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    The poison pill for HasLab would be Hasbro re-issuing a project. These are just leftover reserve stock that they are liquidating -- probably exclusively for international distribution. It's really not going to have any long-term impact on the aftermarket price and I imagine the available stock has already been gobbled up.
     
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  4. Laser_Optimus

    Laser_Optimus I'm simply one hell of a butler. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yeah, there are so many ways this could go when we think about where these potentially came from.

    Agreed. Even if this is Hasbro liquidating some small amount of stock they had leftover from production or whatever I don't see it affecting future HasLabs in any way. Especially considering the small amount we're talking about here.
     
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  5. Lazerwave

    Lazerwave My Most Prized Treasure

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    I sometimes wish Hasbro would consider giving second chances to failed projects. At least learn from their mistakes and fix them.
     
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  6. RodimusRex

    RodimusRex Well-Known Member

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    I am curious to see how or if they ever handle it with a project that has a popular redeco. The HISS is probably the first candidate for that.

    There are five VERY popular red HISS Tanks I can think of. Probably more popular than a lot of unique vehicles.

    Would Hasbro get away with it if all the tiers and add-on weapons were different? What about if they changed the basic sculpt by 25%? 100% unique sculpt but still a HISS style vehicle? Do you maybe forego treads/lights/figures and release it directly through Pulse cheaper WITHOUT a Haslab?

    I really think a Red HISS would be more popular than about 60% of what they could do. It's obviously not going to be the next project or the project after that but once Classified is 5 or 6 projects deep, it starts looking better than a lot of practical alternatives. Few vehicles have been done as many times as the HISS.

    And if your goal is to do half Cobra vehicles and you're not doing larger air vehicles and smaller vehicles are going to retail, it starts to narrow alternatives. Obviously, there's stuff like the Thunder Machine and Destro's Dominator but those aren't Cobra per se. If you're trying to test the limits of what people will buy, maybe you go there.

    Making the HISS a Haslab is kind of like making Starscream a Haslab. I don't think it's directly comparable to anything else.

    Except the Proton Pack. That's a case where you could do the 1984 pack or the Afterlife non-Spengler pack or whatever they do in the next movie. And it's similar but people REALLY want it.

    And the next best thing you could do would be something like a bundle of the Ghost Trap, PKE Meter, Goggles, and Belt Gizmo. But aside from the belt gizmo, those have been done at varying levels of quality a lot. It's not comparable to the pack.

    Maybe you could do the trap and containment unit. The containment unit is BIG but it doesn't need to be all molded plastic. It's closer to a small custom arcade cabinet.

    But what I see people really hungry for is another Proton Pack. And the closest DIFFERENT thing that would get that kind of response is a Slime Blower.
     
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  7. TranslucentBag

    TranslucentBag Definitively "Graph Guy"

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    This I think is the big question. It’s like the few Victory Sabers sold recently, which were likely pre-orders abandoned by the original buyers.
    These might be the same as well as a few purchased as replacements.
     
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  8. SmokePants

    SmokePants Well-Known Member

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    It's a conundrum. The ideal candidates for the HasLab model are projects that are one-and-done and aren't begging for repaints/slight retools. When you look at projects like the HISS, where they could do many repaints (Crimson, Blue, Tiger Force), perhaps that should have been done as a Pulse Exclusive and not a HasLab.

    Even if people are accepting of a Crimson HISS, it's going to be tricky to pull off. The price and value comparisons to the original are going to be scrutinized and referred back to for future HasLab projects. Price and value are the biggest hurdles for every HasLab to clear. They have to be very careful not to make the Crimson HISS a better value than the original. It's not as simple as paring down the offering, because a lot of people might have preferred the lights and bonus figures, etc to be removed in exchange for a lower price. They would have to charge pretty close to the $350, but then face criticism for gouging consumers for a vehicle that they already have the tooling bought and paid for. Either they trample on the value of the original release or they gouge their customers on the new version.

    And then what happens with something like the Sentinel. If they recolor that and release it, do they fix the knee issue? There's just a lot of "rock and a hard place" decisions to be made.

    If they do a Crimson HISS, 1) it should be Pulse Exclusive, so there's no wholesale price that could be used against them in future HasLabs. And 2) they need to hold off until they see the whites of the eyes of the people demanding it. Value removed, value added, that's all less important.

    As for the Proton Pack, I guess it depends on what their future plans for Ghostbusters are. If the Proton Pack is the endgame for that license, then it doesn't really matter (as much) if they poison the well by offering a reissue/retool on Hasbro Pulse. It helps that it was perceived as a good value, so there won't be as much scrutiny on the price/value of a rerelease. I don't think a slime blower is really feasible (too big, way less demand). A trap is probably not big enough for a HasLab.
     
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  9. Omnibus Prime

    Omnibus Prime I'm too old for this shit TFW2005 Supporter

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    Haslab Crimson HISS with the twins in Joecon/crimson deco, Tier 1 SMS, Tier 2 Crimson Baroness, Tier 3 Crimson Guard Immortal or Commander in exclusive deco different from later retail release. I wouldn't hesitate to order two if it was the same or lower cost as the first.

    Pulse exclusive Crimson HISS with just the redeco twins, but cheaper than the Haslab? Still cool, just not as cool, and I'd probably just get one.
     
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  10. Bumblebee2000

    Bumblebee2000 Well-Known Member

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    They had to be thinking of repaints when making the HISS, makes me doubtful contemporary Hasbro have them planned. The designers talked Crimson HISS, they had this same debate about Haslab repaints potentially having a negative effect on the entire premise, and they then proceeded to make the HISS a Haslab.

    Tangentially, it hypothetically would have been cool to see them maybe sell a Crimson HISS concurrent with the regular one that cost more to account for the extra logistics, manufacturing etc, whose numbers contributed to the vanilla release funding but also had to have x number of orders to justfiy the concurrent production of it. And this is something I have pondered before as a hypothetical future Haslab instead. But I sure I am missing some complications here, and I even am ignoring one I do see regarding my proposed funding model.

    Prices always go up, my bet is that if it did happen, it would either cost more for a straight repaint, or the same money for less. But that they did what they did tells me we are not seeing it anytime soon. Maybe if Haslab dies with no hope of recovery, maybe if it is long enough that everyone working at Hasbro now is gone and maybe their successors too, maybe if someone is really sure that x number of years is long enough to wait before rereleasing something understood to be a forever exclusive. But no way is it happening in the next few years. Next decade?
     
  11. Fenrys

    Fenrys Formerly Tigatron2002

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    If a Crimson Hiss was the only way to get a Crimson Baroness I'd bite
     
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  12. LigerPrime

    LigerPrime Well-Known Member

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    IMO it’s ok if the ones being sold are leftover stock from cancelled POs etc because this type of situation is unpredictable.
     
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  13. SmokePants

    SmokePants Well-Known Member

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    I was going to suggest that they should have done a stretch goal to unlock the Crimson variant and give the backers a choice, but then I thought better of it. It would be asking (forcing?) people to purchase two HISS Tanks at one time, given the limited window of availability. It would be a painful choice for those that wanted both, but could only afford one at a given time.

    Also, giving customers choices can often backfire, as it locks up their decision-making process and delays them from committing to buy. You'd think you'd get more backers by offering an optional deco alternative, but you might wind up with less backers because they lack the confidence in their choice. When something is $350, it's very easy for buyers to be dissuaded.
     
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  14. RodimusRex

    RodimusRex Well-Known Member

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    I think, at the end of the day, that redecos/retools of Haslabs are fine as long as they aren't cheaper (no problem for Hasbro) and offered similarly in a way where there's no clearance stock direct from Hasbro. If they're much more expensive, there will be scrutiny but they shouldn't need to be much more expensive because the tooling is partly done.

    The big thing you risk losing there is FOMO but I'm not sure if FOMO is the big factor we think it is or if it's healthy to cultivate. Plenty of atypical Hasbro backers backed the Proton Pack (a lot of people who don't buy Hasbro products) and they're only going to buy a Hasbro product that's similar.

    I don't know if Hasbro looks at the aftermarket on Haslabs but there's an overall downward trend in resale value to a point where the latest ones lose money on the aftermarket.

    I'm not saying that logic should guide regular retail releases (although it is handy in knowing what to reissue).

    But with Haslabs and more expensive projects, failure to turn a profit on the aftermarket can cut into FUTURE project success. It seems to be biting Super7 that the aftermarket values of most of their made-to-order product isn't holding value. I'm not saying it should turn huge profits but it should recoup money spent plus shipping/selling fees if it's made-to-order. If you don't maintain that, future projects will get less support. In practice, that means that re-sale price inclusive of shipping needs to be 40% or so higher than original price.

    The only recent project I see bucking the downward trend is the Proton Pack. I don't see any in-hand European owners reselling theirs at all. In terms of preorders on eBay, it's reasonable to look at those now because they'll be in-hand within 30-60 days. At the low end, the current lowest resale price on eBay is high enough to generate around a $200 profit. And that's crept up because of actual sales. And at least one has sold for $2000.

    Victory Saber is trending for only around a $35 profit EVEN WITH all the order cancellations/losses and that doesn't account for the fact that it probably should recoup the seller around $15-20 extra based on inflation since they placed the order alone. Most recent Haslabs are aftermarket money losers.

    And while the Sentinel delivers some profit, its inflation adjusted return for a reseller is around $100. I bet resellers would have gotten more profit from buying 18 full priced, random Marvel Legends at Target or Walmart in August of 2020 than buying one Sentinel. If they could sell all 18 for an average return of $28.50 or more per figure -- counting build a figure sales towards the average price per sale, which may be separate -- then the figures are a better value. Looking back and gauging these, Fantastic Four and Venompool waves trend WAY over these numbers, Silt Man wave trends about par, and Sugar Man, Strong Guy, and Joe Fixit trend below. I'm comparing wave prices. But averaged out, the return after selling fees and shipping is in a ballpark range of $28.75 average per figure purchase. So buying 18 random 2020 Marvel Legends essentially is the exact same as buying a Sentinel. So it's not an outrageous value. You're getting the same return on a made-to-order Sentinel for $350 as you'd get for 18 retail figures for around $20 each. Granted, if you bought retail figures at clearance/discount, you'd do better there.

    That kind of thing incentivizes against backing future projects.

    It's worth considering how much of actual backing was due to sone kind of pandemic splurging or people buying in an inflationary period before feeling the impacts of inflation. If it's the latter then from an economic perspective, the price Hasbro sold it at was likely too high and offering similar value at a higher post-inflationary price is likely not a good value. If a made-to-order project doesn't get someone back the inflation-since-purchase adjusted value of what they have in it then it's not a good market value product and you'll see future projects suffer unless they're a lower inflation-adjusted price (ie. any nominal price increase is less than the inflation-adjusted price of the original) or a bigger value. If the value isn't there then the people won't be. This doesn't mean future projects won't fund at all (many aren't funding right now though) but it does really throw into question whether tiers will be hit or whether raw numbers will be as robust. And a percentage of backers is only going to be in if you hit all the tiers so it's probably worth considering that a future project that isn't going to hit 20k might also not hit 14k because of tier anxious hold outs or cancellations.

    In terms of brutally, economically looking at what made-to-order product has been sold, the value for price just hasn't been there for Haslabs since the days of the Sail Barge and Unicron.

    Please understand that I'm coming at this all as an MBA with economics training. I'm not defending scalping here in this analysis or saying that people should make a living off Haslab flipping.

    I'm looking at dollars as a measure of utility, aesthetic desire, and happiness with the value. Part of why people resell at the prices they do is because they unconsciously think the value of having something is less than the value of the money they could get, which lets them gave other things instead. The market value is a proxy for the real value.

    If Haslabs aren't generating much or any returns then people aren't collectively happy with the value. You couldn't necessarily say that if they were still in production or sitting on shelves (which would depress the price) but I think it's a fair judgment for made-to-order stuff that hasn't been available for 12+ months.

    And the Proton Pack is looking like the only big winner since the Sail Barge and Unicron.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2023
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  15. Fenrys

    Fenrys Formerly Tigatron2002

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    You wouldn't consider the Hiss Tank a big winner?
     
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  16. DukeFett

    DukeFett Well-Known Member

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    I can't imagine they made enough extras that they can offer it to retailers, and why the massive discount? That's the thing that makes zero sense. They could offer them at or near retail and shops would still buy them.

    If they're extras they could easily do promotions for people to win them instead of selling them dirt cheap.

    Are people cancelling preorders 12 months after paying in full? That makes no sense, they lose completely. You have a month after the campaign ends to cancel, but that's plenty of time for Hasbro to adjust their production and not actually make the piece or they wouldn't give you a grace period.
     
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  17. PloverNutter

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

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    Many retailers in international territories only require a down payment until the order is shipped. Many people could have canceled their orders or forgot to change their payment information in the year since the campaign, not realizing the original payment method is frozen/no longer works such as a cancelled credit card.
     
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  18. Fenrys

    Fenrys Formerly Tigatron2002

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    Is it even Hasbro offering them to wholesalers and do we even know how many there are? It could be a third party vendor (like Entertainment Earth for example) offloading extra stock that they bought to free up warehouse space.
     
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  19. Sunbow Prime

    Sunbow Prime Well-Known Member

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    If they do more Star Wars Vintage I hope it's actually 3.75 scale this time. The sail barge and the Crest look too small to me with 3.75 figures.
     
  20. Mark

    Mark Just here for the toys

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    Not sure on the Razor crest but wasn't the sail barge already huge? I don't know how practical it would be to make it bigger.
     
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