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Thread: Hasbro 4th quarter losses, layoff planned

  1. #26
    Supreme Fudge Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    I personally collect almost nothing from Hasbro, which is mostly due to a personal lack of interest in their lines.

    I like Star Wars, but dropped collecting any of the toys a long time ago. I got into it for a while, particularly when Episode III was coming out, but eventually my interest in the figures dropped off and I haven't bought anything for several years now.

    I was never a big fan of Transformers or GI Joe growing up. I had a handful of toys from both properties, but I never really got into either property on any kind of significant level. Despite this, however, my single, solitary Hasbro purchase this year was the Masterpiece Optimus Prime at Toys R Us. While I'm not a huge TF fan, having the iconic look of the main character was appealing to me. I doubt that I'll buy anything TF related again anytime soon if ever again.

    I think Phil makes something of a good point here...

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil.Pastel View Post
    The bottom line is you can't put out an Iron Man line with 20 different versions of Iron Man. Particularly when they are all the same size and none of them stand out from the others.
    This sort of thing is a problem, and even was to an extent when we were kids. The main issue for super hero movie lines, unfortunately, is that there are often very few characters in a film that can be sold as an action figure. Often times you have the main hero and main villain. Sometimes that may be more than one villian and/or a sidekick or something, but for the most part that's it. They typically won't make figures off of other plain human characters from the movie (i.e. any love interest, friend, etc.) largely because they don't sell well (though I personally, even as a kid, had more interest in those characters than in weird variants of the main character).

    Looking at Iron Man specifically, aside from maybe making a few variants based on the different suits that he wears in each movie, there's not many "logical" variants they can do. So they make a lot of weird variants. I remember this being an issue for the Batman figure lines from the two Michael Keaton movies (and most Batman lines in general). There would be all of these oddly colored variants of him. One or two would strike my interest, but for the most part I just wanted the "normal" looking Batman, and then I'd have to hunt to find a Catwoman or something.

    The problem, though, is that the toy companies don't want to make a toy line with only 3 or 4 different figures in it in total to collect. That's why they make these odd variants.

    Then you have a line like The Avengers, which is something of a catch-22. On the one hand, there are more characters in it, and therefore more potential toys to make. The problem, however, is that they are all characters that had their own individual movies in recent years with their own separate toy lines, and save for one or two exceptions (i.e. Captain America), the versions in this line don't look drastically different from the versions from the previous lines, so there's little incentive to buy the same characters again.


    Star Wars is something of a conundrum at this point. On the one hand, contrary to most other movie lines, Star Wars has had the kind of interest that allows them to make and sell figures of almost every background character that ever appeared in a movie, cartoon, comic, etc. The problem, though is that they don't so many of these for so long that save for the occasional character that NEVER had a figure before, most of the figures coming out now have been released before. They are either the same exact figure repackaged, or they are variants of variants (meaning it's a new sculpt/"version" of "Bespin" Luke or something like that, and not much different from the previous versions). I would be like Mattel and the 4HM re-sculpting and tooling the standard the standard MOTUC male buck parts that have existed from the beginning of the line, and they turn out looking 99% the same with no major functional improvements.
    Aside from the occasional purchaser who never got a previous version of "Bespin Luke" or a kid that is new to Star Wars, the average figure that has seen many previous releases isn't going to sell in mass quantities.


    Then we get to GI Joe and Transformers.

    Both of these series kind of suffer IMO from overly constant reboots. It seems like every couple of years or so there's a whole new cartoon introducing slightly redesigned versions of the same characters, which is, of course, what the toys end up being.

    The Transformers movies exacerbate the situation. Since there's a new movie every couple/few years with a corresponding toy line in addition to any cartoon toy line that is already going, it's just further variants of the same main characters over and over again. And it's not like the design of Optimus Prime changed much (if at all) from one live action movie to the next, so if a kid still has their figure of him from the previous TF movie, and it's still in good condition, there might not be much incentive to go out and buy a figure from the new movie which might either be the same figure repackaged or a new one very similar to it.

    And of course the new GI Joe movie getting pushed back didn't help anything.




    The thing is back when we were kids, there weren't these CONSTANT reboots like this, and toy lines typically lasted long enough to give us a variety of figures. The ones that really overdid it with variants tended to be movie lines. Even lines like TMNT, while definitely being variant heavy, also had A LOT of different characters to pick from, which helped maintain interest. If the only thing that we kept getting had been variants and reboots of the same main characters over and over again, I would have lost interest. The same goes for MOTU in the 80s.

    I think there is a right way to do things. So far the new TMNT series and toyline are doing very well. I hope they keep it up and don't screw it up badly. As long as the maintain the different characters in addition to the variants, it should be fine. Turtles hasn't had nearly as many reboots as these other series, so for a lot of kids, it's a relatively fresh thing, and it's being handled well so far. It makes sense why it is doing well while other properties are not.
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  2. #27
    Heroic Warrior He-Kal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galmorzu View Post
    My all-time favorite toyline has been Transformers, and for several years I've been really happy with what they've released (for the most part). But lately, the quality has dropped so much that I've pretty much stopped buying completely, and just turned my attention to the 3rd party stuff.

    I know the economy is bad, but the figures themselves have been hurt so much that I've felt incredibly disappointed with the last several figures I've bought. The Classics/Generations line has sunk, what with the much smaller figures with basic transformations and molds, which...just feel and look cheap. Coupled with the nearly $20 price tag for the deluxes, I can't justify buying them anymore. Even the larger scale figures just feel terrible. FoC Soundwave was alright, but Grimlock is terrible. He looks okay in bot mode, but in hand, he feels like really cheap plastic, and the transformation almost feels like knock-off level. The Prime toys are even worse with the voyager class feeling incredible toned down and cheap.

    I think the last transformer I got that I really, really liked was the Generations Lugnut, which looked and felt amazing. The last LARGE scale transformer I was utterly blown away by was Primus. Nowadays, the only time we get large scale figures are when they release yet ANOTHER Prime or Bumblebee, and I have no desire to own more of those two. I miss the days when large scale releases were actually new, LARGE SCALE characters.

    I would still love a FoC Trypticon that size that transforms into the Nemesis, but I think about how it would probably come out, and I lose all hope for it. Hasbro has really gone down across the board, and I hate to see a line that I once collected hardcore since the Beast War days (those were some great figures...) turn into what it is now.
    I agree with you that some of the TF figures do seem kindof fragile,etc---esp deluxes. But, Usually with the voyagers and up the figures are nice--esp the Masterpiece figures--they are sooooooo nice. But, like you said too they are hung up on doing like 20 versions of the same character, or they get wonky with their scaling. For example--Universe Galvatron that came out like 2 years ago is a deluxe figure--when he should at LEAST be a ultra or higher (am hoping for a Masterpiece Galvatron soon), bu then they release others in ultra sizes like Onslaught (although it IS a nice figure). Overall though, I'm happy with the TF line in general esp Masterpiece. I am amazed sometimes how they can make the bot and alt modes look like the cartoon so much and still have a functioning figure

  3. #28
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    Just a quick legal question about the 3rd party Transformers stuff. Why doesn't a retailer like BBTS get in trouble with Hasbro for selling 3rd party Transformers? I understand it may legally not be wrong for BBTS to do, but wouldn't you think Hasbro might threaten them by taking away there other lines from them until they stop selling copy written properties?

  4. #29
    Angast's #1 fan Bonehead's Avatar
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    No surprise about Hasbro. Just look at what they are putting out nowadays...garbage.

    I've dropped every Hasbro line I collected. The only thing left I buy is 3rd party TFs to help finish off my Classics/Henkei/RTS/Generations/United line. I would buy from Hasbro if they offered anything I wanted but I'm not a fan of Prime or WFC. If I did buy some of the new stuff, I'd more than likely spurge on the Takara version since they always look so much better. Either way, Hasbro doesn't get my money.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Kain View Post
    I never understood why you guys can stand to buy the Star Wars toys. They have very little articulation, especially in the legs.
    The original MOTU line had only 5 POA and I still think they're better than most stuff out now.

    More POA don't always mean better toys.

  5. #30
    Heroic Warrior Dr Kain's Avatar
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    I disagree. Star Wars should have at least as much articulation as the current GI Joes do (well, the pre-Retaliation stuff, since they got cheap on those).
    Can someone PM me the US number for Matty? I want to talk to someone who might has a clue of what is going on.

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  6. #31
    Heroic Warrior RocketPunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Kain View Post
    I never understood why you guys can stand to buy the Star Wars toys. They have very little articulation, especially in the legs.
    Actually, many modern Star Wars figures are super articulated. Check out this Luke Skywalker for example: http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?i...ke/TVC-069.jpg

  7. #32
    CRITAcal for MOTUC 2015!! Barezz's Avatar
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    Yea most Star Wars figures have decent articulation, in my book anyway. They usually have 14 points or more, while not losing the beauty of the sculpt.

    I'm sure the marketing they spent on the GI Joe movie, only to have it pushed back at the last moment did not help. Episode 1 being the main thing they pushed for their Star Wars line this year didn't help either. The Episode 1 figures just died at retail. Now the next assortment (Droid Factory) has been cancelled, and the plan had been to rally around the 3D releases of Episodes 2 and 3 in the fall. The releases that were cancelled as of yesterday.
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  8. #33
    Heroic Reviewer of MOTUC Pixel Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Kain View Post
    I disagree. Star Wars should have at least as much articulation as the current GI Joes do (well, the pre-Retaliation stuff, since they got cheap on those).
    Heck, G.I. Joe figures don't even have G.I. Joe articulation any more...heh.

    Articulation has never been a selling point for me. As long as the figur elooks good and can get into a few key poses for display, I'm happy. For the most part, I'm totally happy with how the Star Wars figures have been articulated.
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  9. #34
    Heroic Warrior RyDell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman View Post
    MOTU Classics might as well not exist in the mind of the general populace, since they are only marketed online, not advertised anywhere, and are extremely overpriced for their quality. The line has no discernable impact on the toy market of the US, much less the world, and even less impact on Mattel's revenues. Every other line on Mattycollector has been a huge flop. While I will agree that the US retail system is crazy and that online distribution is the way to go, Mattel still isn't making any boy's toys worth mentioning.
    I disagree with this. MOTUC has its occasional flop figure, but value wise I think we are getting it good. Marvel select just went up to 25 a pop (the new rhino figure is incredible, I really need to buy him) but those figs don't always come with accessories. 3 3/4 inch figs are now selling for $12 in the US... that's CRAZY. I have 2 sons, and we have more action figures that I can count, so I'm not certain that the boy toy market is dead, it's changing tho. TMNT is king of the action figure toy aisles, and Skylanders is ruling the niche they have created. Boys toys are changing a little, but there is still some great stuff out there!
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  10. #35
    Heroic Warrior Dr Kain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixel Dan View Post
    Heck, G.I. Joe figures don't even have G.I. Joe articulation any more...heh.

    Articulation has never been a selling point for me. As long as the figur elooks good and can get into a few key poses for display, I'm happy. For the most part, I'm totally happy with how the Star Wars figures have been articulated.
    For me, it depends. Certain anime designs like One Piece just do not work with articulation. However, when it comes to things like Star Wars, GI Joe, Transformers, He-Man, Sentai, Kamen Rider, comic characters, etc, I want to be able to put them into various dynamic poses.
    Can someone PM me the US number for Matty? I want to talk to someone who might has a clue of what is going on.

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  11. #36
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    Retail seems to me to be really frustrating. My TRU does not have any cyberverse Prime figures now, but they have a ton of Dark of the moon toys that they refuse to mark down. ***??? Then they get She-ra and Zodac 2-packs in this afternoon from what I can tell the first time they have gotten them in. Where the hell are those coming from??? They also got in some Iron Man Transformer crossovers. Somebody please put the damn iron man 2 line out of its misery already. Not to be outdone, my local Walmart got a large load of Spider-man flip-n-attacks from who knows where .
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  12. #37
    Heroic Warrior sportsandstuff777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman View Post
    It's unfortunate that the american toy climate is so hostile right now. Hasbro are the only large company producing boy's toys of any quality, and even with Star Wars they're doing badly. Mattel has surrendered the boy's department due to unprofitability, and everyone else is minor. The age of action figures truly is past...
    Yeah the action figure section at my TRU has gotten smaller
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  13. #38
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    Am I the only one wondering if there will be a toyline for Iron Man 3
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  14. #39
    Quester JonWes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil.Pastel View Post
    Am I the only one wondering if there will be a toyline for Iron Man 3
    Possibly. There are definitely going to be. In several different scales, actually.
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  15. #40
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonWes View Post
    Possibly. There are definitely going to be. In several different scales, actually.

    I don't see how they are going to manage that when stores are loaded up with Iron Man 2 figures. I was at a Walmart today that had a big box full of them. My local Ollie's has 6 pegs full of them. They didn't even sell during the 40% sale a few weeks ago. Reminds me of the Swamp Thing figures from Kenner.
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  16. #41
    Quester JonWes's Avatar
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    Every store but TRU got rid of their stock a long time ago around here. Probably not all by selling them, I'd imagine. One day my TRU is going to have to give up the ghost and clearance them or chuck them. The thing is, I know everyone looks at the leftover IM2 stock and thinks it wasn't a success, but it was. The most recent Avengers line was a success too, from what I've heard. With IM2 they turned over a lot of stock, but they were just left with a lot of overstock of a few IM variants (usually the red and gold, possibly because parents didn't see the point in buying what they thought was the same figure over and over.) Now, that's never GOOD, but it sold well enough to keep retail interested in future IM product. It'll be interesting to see if/how Hasbro has changed up their cases and all that for IM3 to avoid this problem.
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  17. #42
    Heroic Warrior Sky Breaker's Avatar
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    10-20 years ago, boys aged 5-15 played with action figures, and Nintendo. Boy entertainment culture has been shifting for quite some time now, moving away from action figures and self made play. Young boys have become increasingly more reliant on electronic games. Cell phones, ipods, tablets, online gaming and consoles. My best lady friend's 8 year old is glued to the ipad most of the day. His toy box is less than half the size of mine was at his age, and its not due to lack of money. Its due to lack of interest.

    Sure there will always be parents that refuse to give their children their expensive electronic gadgets, and some boys, well just love action figures, however its easy to see how silly the notion of action figures are to our precocious, Internet obsessed, overly informed youth. There is much more social appeal to boys at 10 years old, to don a head set and scream at people online in a competitive game than to pick up 6'' plastic men and play make believe.

    I would say that the American toy industry survives solely on adult collectors. Its kind of sad to think that one day there may be no more awesome Transformers, Star Wars or MOTU (even if that's another decade away), but down sizing is probably the reality Hasbro has to face. I think the collectors of these items are safe for a few years. Toy enthusiasts can always find something to hoard.

    Truth be told, if Hasbro and Mattel were to collapse tomorrow, I won't lose any sleep. The world keeps turning. I'm always seeking new things to do with my time and money anyway.
    Last edited by Sky Breaker; February 4, 2013 at 12:57am.

  18. #43
    Lightning League Leader kylun flac's Avatar
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    Boys toy have really suffered in the last few years. I only see the same old figures clogging up the shelf's at all the local stores including TRU.
    The only boys toy that seems to have the best sells or attention is Star Wars & TMNT. even those don't move very fast.

    Is the lack of boy toy sells because of prices, quality, maturity/age range, competition with video games or lack of interest?
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  19. #44
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    I saw some Iron Man 3 figures at Kmart today, heh. 7" tall figures that talked. Looked gimmicky and unarticulated.....
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  20. #45
    Lightning League Leader kylun flac's Avatar
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    Yes! Iron Man & Avengers toys have not gone away from the toy selves. Heck I still see old Power Rangers, Pirates of the Carabian, & G.I. Joe movie figures. Batman & those Avengers/Iron Man toys are clogging up the toy stores.
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  21. #46
    Heroic Warrior Wundar_Grayskull's Avatar
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    I'm a huge Transformers fan, and have been for a long time. As for Hasbro, if they would stop making the meaningless sucky transformers no one buys, and more of the more popular ones It would greatly help out at least in that part. For an example: Reveal the Shield Optimus Prime (Laser G2 Version) was rarely seen. Never actually seen it at any of my local stores or even on the Walmart or Target or even Kmart sites, and had to buy it on eBay. Also pulling characters out of their bungholes for the movies that have no history in the series at all, and the fans having no Idea who they are, and producing toys of them has got to stop. They always end up on clearance anyway, and usually don't even sell then.

  22. #47
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    My kmart moved all their hobbit figures to the clearance section. The smaller figures are $4. The 2-packs are $8. I think the bigger figures are $9. They have tons of 'em.

    Doesn't look like anybody wants 'em. I can't really blame them. I don't want them either.
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