How bad can price increases get?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Iruini, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. Iruini

    Iruini Some shitposter

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    Transformers seems to keep getting more and more expensive, but how expensive can that inflation go? In like the far distant year of like 2050 will we have to contend to 35 dollar delxues or like in 2094 will deluxes eventually become 60 dollars? Will we all be dead by the time of 2094? I don't know. Just is there a point where price increases level out or does inflation continue forever? will it matter or will the heat death of the universe or nuclear annihilation happen before we have to pay 80 dollars for a deluxe
     
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  2. superman27344

    superman27344 Well-Known Member

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    This is an interesting topic. I tend to think that our hobby probably has an expiration date on it anyway, but time will tell. As far as price hikes, they havent gotten that out of control when it comes to the regular retail stuff you can get at Walmart and Target. The masterpiece line is going insane though in my opinion.
     
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  3. Imperator

    Imperator Be like Optimus, wear a mask.

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    Getting in early to say two things.

    1) Inflation is a thing. Your dollars are not worth the same as 10 years ago.
    2) Transformers are still cheaper in North America than anywhere else in the world and when your prices increase you're still only paying what we've been paying for years. And then ours go up too.

    Carry on.
     
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  4. TheDecepticon

    TheDecepticon Resident Asshole

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    If the minimum wage goes up across the board, so will the cost of goods and services. $35 deluxes arent out of the question imo
     
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  5. SRK

    SRK Active Member

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    Very correct

    For example:
    If starscream cost 12 buck in 1984 that’s about 27 ish dollars today. So starscream costs almost the same as he did in 84 when u take inflation into account ( which you should)
     
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  6. Redog75

    Redog75 Well-Known Member

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    The stability of the economy has a lot to do with anything in a luxury or collector's market. Prices are usually based on what people are wiling to pay. It's very subjective.

    Looking back, Transformers G1 toys were still really expensive back in the mid-80's (compared to the 3.75" G.I. Joe figures, for example). My mother was a government employee making a "good" wage. That same number is incredibly below the poverty line by today's standards. Inflation plays a role. It's not just profit gouging as Hasbro and Mattel made way better overall profits in the heyday of the cartoon/toy boom (AKA, pre-video game era). Materials, distribution, blah blah blah are more expensive today.

    *NOT* a fair comparison, but...look at what we spent on MP-10 and the many iterations over the years. Look at what MP-44 is going for. That's double or triple the "old" version. Sure, it's newer and gooder. Is it three times gooderer? {bad grammar intentional}

    I'm still amazed how reasonably priced the Siege line is! In case Hasbro is reading this my official stance is: too expensive :p 

    MP has always catered more towards the adult market than kids. I don't know too many kids who get $150+ action figures to play with and break *LOL*

    This is an interesting topic and will surely have wildly varying points of view.
     
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  7. Ikkstakk

    Ikkstakk Well-Known Member

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    Geez, I for certain will be. I'm not living to the age of 119.

    As to the price increase question, look at comic books. They were ten cents in the 1930s and sold millions of copies each issue. Now standard cover price is, what, $3.99 or thereabouts? And most struggle to crack 10,000 copies. So toys might very well get exorbitantly expensive, but their sales will plummet. $60 Deluxes might be a thing in the far-off future of 2094, but there will only be a handful of collectors left.
     
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  8. Iruini

    Iruini Some shitposter

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    what are talking about? by then we will probably all be artificial intelligence hologram things all complaining about how expensive our toys are
     
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  9. Ikkstakk

    Ikkstakk Well-Known Member

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    But for real, putting on my serious prognosticator's hat for a minute, by 2094 3D printing will be commonplace and Hasbro will just be selling downloadable plans and everyone will be printing their own toys. But your holography suggestion might not be too crazy either. Maybe kids will be solid light programmers in 2094, playing with holographic toys.
     
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  10. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    The problem across the board in many consumer goods industries - not just toys and Transformers - is that production costs keep going up (for varying reasons) while customer base is fairly flat. Furthermore attempts to grow the consumer base barely work. The solution by manfactuers has been to carpet bomb the market and extract as much revenue as they can from the existing consumer base.

    Let's look at three instances of that.

    First toys. Looking at just "Transformers" isn't correct exactly, because while one brand does well versus another, Hasbro is really in the business of selling molded painted plastic. The Siege "Deluxe" Price point of $20 is replicated in Hasbro's other lines, also all at $20 - Star Wars (The Black Collection), Marvel Legends (6"), Power Rangers Lightning Collection (6"). Hasbro has decided that the about 6" class toy will cost you $20, regardless of brand. So what has Hasbro given us in the past year and a change? They're pretty much going down the wish list of everything we ever wanted for their major brands. Transformers are getting figures we'd never thought we get at extreme high quality. Marvel Legends is machine gunning the long demanded 90s X-Men family out, one after another at the same time as using End Game and Infinity War to turn the Avengers side of things into a "best of MCU" line. They buy Power Rangers, then launch LC basically around the most popular iterations of the venerable franchise. There was a time all these figures would be spread out over many years, and wouldn't have such overlap. Now we're getting them very quickly, all on top of each other, because Hasbro wants as many $20 transactions from you as they can get, regardless of which brand that money flows into.

    Second, let's look at movies. The number of films released to theaters in a single year has nearly doubled over the past 20 years, from about 400 to just shy of 800. Despite this, theater attendance has been pretty flat for decades. Movie Theater chains have compensated by opening more theaters (nearly doubling the number of screens since 1999). Basically, movie theaters are emptier, but there are more movie theaters, so average revenue per theater per year remains the same (about $10 million). Movie studios have shown growth in the US despite this flatness by, again, putting out more movies than ever, charging higher ticket prices, and leveraging things like 3D that get a premium charged to them. While a film like "Avengers: Endgame" has to do well, and a studio can suffer a major write down for a flop (see: X-Men: Dark Phoenix), they're showing modest growth by keeping movies in circulation a shorter amount of time, and replacing them with more films to draw you to the theater. As was so perfectly put in a recent article, the entire MCU, the most profitable "franchise" in history, really isn't a franchise so much as 20-something part episodic series that just so happens to air in theaters rather than Netflix of TV. When you go to see "Doctor Strange", you aren't really seeing "Doctor Strange 1"; you're seeing "MCU Episode 14". Considering the other big franchises - Jurassic Park did 3 films then stopped, Star Wars went 15 years between Return of the Jedi and the Phantom Menace. How movie studios bring people in might fundamentally change.

    And it might be fundamentally change again. A huge portion of Marvel Phase 4 is on Disney+. There 5 movies and 5 Disney+ series. Phase 3 had 11 movies and Phase 2 had 6 movies. To Disney a dollar is a dollar. So if they produce "Loki" as a 8 episode / 8 hour mini-series for about what Ant Man cost (About $130 million), they may make far more than that over the lifetime of the show streaming it on Disney+ than they would releasing it to the theaters as a 2 hour film that brings in just $500 million. Putting more of MCU on Disney+ may be a way to make "middle income" Marvel franchises greater revenue generators and leavint theaters to the billion-dollar films. But all of them, as Episodes of the MCU, still count.

    It's just more of the same approach: carpet bombing the consumer.


    The third instance is video games. Costs of video games have exploded over the last 20 years. It used to take about $5 million to make a video game. Now a AAA title will cost well above $150 million to $200 million. Some even go above $300 million. Were talking as expensive as the most expensive movies. But similarly, a video game's MSRP hasn't really changed in over 15 years. It's $60 for most games. But $60 in 2019 is worth less than $60 in 2005. Video Game manufactuers have responded by producing dramatically fewer games (counter to the models above) - between half and 3/4ths fewer - and relying more on their mega-investments selling well. So how do they extract additional revenue? DLC. Season Passes that are basically mandatory to get the "full game", and "Deluxe Editions (aka the version they really want you to buy) for $90 that people do buy in huge numbers. And that's kind of the give away there. For a $200 million investment, the asking price for a video game SHOULD be about $90+ dollars, but the consumer base, even more than Transformers, sees $60 as pretty much an divine right, so publishers have avoided having basic releases that goes above that. And research shows: there aren't many buyers of AAA titles who stick to the $60 downpayment. Publishers have been very successful in extracting additional revenue from from their single investment on the game. But what about across their portfolio? The cost to make a single game keeps going up, but the size of the portfolio keeps going down, keeping expenses relatively flat for most of the big ones. That's how they show profitably. The other way is releasing to more platforms than ever. There are very few permanent platform-specific launches anymore and the concept of a "Port" is all but defunct. And why shouldn't it be? Pretty much everything is an x86 or ARM based computer. Most games are made on the same handful of licensed middleware engines using libraries which have all ready been ported. Not "porting" means giving up free money.

    This may seem like we moved way far away from Transformers, but we haven't really. Because movie studios and video game publishers are all trying to answer in their own way, the same question Hasbro does: how do we stay profitable and show growth when there is more competition for dollars than ever and expenses keep going up? Is the $25 deluxe coming? Yeah it's coming. Same as the $3.99 comic book already did (and the $4.99 well on its way), and same as the $69.99 basic edition for most games is coming. Same as how you can take to the bank that Avengers 4 will enjoy a $25 / ticket price for the honor of witnessing the spectacle (a price already paid, at least if you live in Manhattan).

    The only way these prices don't move is if the consumer base grows, which, frankly, they aren't by much.
     
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  11. stephen

    stephen Well-Known Member

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    When we get to the point of a small icecream cone at DQ gets to be $20.99, then there is a problem.
     
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  12. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    Why? They're not manufactured anywhere that's subject to labor laws (minimum wage or otherwise).
     
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  13. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Blue=Sarcasm; Purple=Snarkcasm

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    Well broadly speaking, the existence of such things is gonna have to change eventually.

    The world is going through all sorts of growing pains and selfish hobbies like this one are not exactly major issues lol
     
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  14. iacon45

    iacon45 Missing: One Custom Title

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    Cool topic. I know that there are collector items that people seem to be willing to pay a bit more especially adult collectors with adult money. But what I wonder is what is that price level where it gets too expensive for Mom and Dad to buy little Timmy that general release Transfomer at Wal-Mart. You get to that point where parents don't buy Transformers due to price levels then I don't see Transformers being sustainable on just us collectors. At least for very long anyway.
     
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  15. worldsgreatest

    worldsgreatest Well-Known Member

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    I hope that I live long enough to be absorbed by the hivemind and see this happen.
     
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  16. Blackout32

    Blackout32 ANTHRAX - PERSISTENCE OF TIME

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    I dunno about inflation but I'm having a BLAST collecting what I'm doing now. Yes,....it's driving me bonkers collecting some of these extra figures outside of siege. I just don't worry about anything like this and buy what i enjoy and have fun at the moment doing.
     
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  17. RetrogradeMercury

    RetrogradeMercury Well-Known Member

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    I mean, from an economic and ecological perspective mass-produced plastic toys isn’t really a sustainable industry is it?
     
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  18. Redog75

    Redog75 Well-Known Member

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    This is why toy (properties) are diversified. They don’t have one line for their properties. They have many revenue streams. The high end market today catches those of us who are nostalgic about the mid-80s. There are less expensive brands geared towards kids (RID, Cyberverse, BotBot). Hasbro wants the current kids to get as hooked on the toys and shows as we did so they are constantly growing new generations of customers.

    Bumblebee, the movie, wasn’t released because they could. It was made to sell tickets, turn a profit, and drive merchandise sales. Yes, there is a lot of targeted data and analytics to show what strikes a chord with what audience. The companies making the movie want a return on their investment. Hasbro wants but also to keep the Transformers brand relevant do they can sell more stuff.

    Nothing is sustainable forever. They will take advantage of it while they can. When the proverbial well runs dry they will mothball one property (short or long term) and invest their money on something else.
     
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  19. Canbot

    Canbot Well-Known Member

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    The question isn't so much how bad prices can get, rather...has your income increased along with the price hikes? If so...well, that's just the way things work.

    If you are stuck at the same income and prices keep climbing, you're slowly getting priced out of a hobby you love and need to make some decisions.

    It's a much bigger discussion than simply raising prices over time. That is inevitable. In any hobby.
     
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  20. ObakaChanTachi

    ObakaChanTachi We are all fools in love

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    I’m not sure I can live until 91 unless in the nearby future we discover ways to totally prevent ageing (natural causes), diabetes, and heart disease.

    Anyway I’m also not sure “toys” will still be a thing by the 2090s. Plastic and oil are getting more expensive every day and to be honest there are WAY more useful things to use our limited resources of them for over toys of cartoon characters from a century ago.

    At best, I think we’ll see new, eco-friendly substitutes for plastic take over in the near future while costing a little more.

    At worst, Hasbro will retool the brand so that Transformers will make their money off other more sustainable mediums such as video games and movies.
     
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