Page 2 of 3

Re: Hub no more

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:19 pm
by Shockwave
I think part of the problem is the way toys are made and distributed now compared to how it was done a couple of decades ago. I mean, back in G1, Hasbro put out maybe 30 figures per year and they just kept shipping copies of those same figures throughout the year. Now, we supposedly get new waves of figures every few months, except that nobody is getting the waves before and as such the new ones sometimes never make it to retail. I also can't help wondering if there were more figures produced per toy back then vs. now. I'd love to be able to see some numbers on that. Like how many Optimus Primes were produced in 1984 vs. how many Classics voyager Primes were produced. I'm willing to be there are fewer Classics Primes in existence than G1 Primes. Honestly, I kind of wish they would go back to that model, it would make things easier, distribution would be much less of an issue (refreshing the same case assortment throughout the year means everyone has a good shot at getting the toys they want), and there would be less confusion between lines. I think it would definitely help if hasbro didn't have like six different versions of the same TF on the shelf. The AoE line was an absolute mess to try and sort through. Part of that can be blamed on packaging but honestly, if there weren't literally 8 different versions of a character the packaging would be irrelevant. I mean, if I wanted Not Slag, I'd currently have to sort through the deluxe version, an evolutions version (not sure if there's a difference) the one step changers, some deluxe sized wind up pull back dino rider thing... Eliminate all that and just have the regular line of deluxe/voyager/leader, Kreo off in the Lego section (which would eliminate constructbots), and just get back to basics. I really feel like the franchise is cannibalizing itself right now with so many different toys competing but nothing really standing out. It would be easier for consumers to just get regular ol' Slag if there was only one toy out there of him.

Also, Prowl's right about Mattel, MOTUC is so much of a headache that even I'm all but done with it. I currently have like, 7 figures but if I wanted to get more it would be so cost prohibitive that I'd be better off buy an MP TF for that.

Re: Hub no more

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:53 pm
by JediTricks
BWprowl wrote:I was referring to just the AoE line being a learning experience, I have no idea WHY they decided to try something like that after they had done pretty good with the 2007 and ROTF lines (alright ROTF took time to find its footing, but still). Like I said, I’d THINK that experience would lead them to not so that again after AoE, except like you said (and as I alluded to) they’re already primed to do so with RID15. Whoever the packaging czar is over there he must really be attached to this concept, regardless of the evidence of its failings.
AOE doesn't exist in a vacuum, they shouldn't be able to look at it as a learning experience, they should have already learned. Yet every few years we get a partial regime change and it's back to square one or worse. I think the packaging in this case was directed from the brand manager, that the intent was a broad shift in how aggressive the brand is marketed from the perspective of its characters - this is the new groupthink at Hasbro, market characters, not toys (maybe they'll get licensed!).

I can't speak to Bandai's Power Rangers now, but I remember clearly the Power Rangers of the '90s being total cheapo kiddie shit: thick plastics, exposed screws, simple joints and paint apps.
That was my point, yeah. Until Hasbro’s offerings actually get down to that level, it’s hard to disparage them as much as some do.
Hasbro's offerings cost way more, so valuation has to be the equalizer, and it's to the point where Hasbro is under that level, all things being equal. Compare the product you get in a Legends figure to a basic Power Rangers figure, and you're still a buck apart.

That’s a laugh, unless by ‘needs’ you mean they know the proper lubricant to use before they bend them over and ream them. Look at Mattel’s ‘collector’ efforts: Their Watchmen line was a failure out of the gate, costing more but looking worse than Hasbro’s Marvel Legends that sell for half the price at Wal-Mart. MOTUC has always been a joke, offering average, department-store crap at premium prices through a janky webshop that they admit caters to scalpers (look at the latest Skeletor, where they just slapped a larger chest-shell over the stock body instead of sculpting a new one!). Their distribution for their retail lines is even worse than Hasbro has gotten recently. As barely as Hasbro’s keeping TF afloat at this moment, if they ran it like Mattel, it’d truly be dead in the water.
I'm rolling my eyes at that there, the hyperbole is off the charts. MOTUC "average, department-store crap" just totally lost your point with me, you may not like the missteps they make but the sculpting is a step up from regular retail product, the articulation is a step up, the breadth is significant despite it being a small-market collectible, and it keeps running.

NECA continues to focus, DC Direct continues to focus on their work, Diamond Select continues to deliver straight across the board

And that one’s hardly fair. Those companies are fully collector-focused, making premium, adult-oriented figures intended to be sold through specialty retailers like comic shops (plus TRU). It’s not an all-inclusive kids-toys-but-collectors-can-get-them-too deal like Hasbro’s stuff sold at discount prices through Target. Yeah, if Hasbro was willing to sell premium figures at $40 a pop special ordered through your local comic shop, we’d probably see a jump up in the quality of those toys, but TF has NEVER been about that, so comparing it to companies and lines that are makes no sense.
Hardly fair? You can get the NECA Robocop with jetpack for $25, it's got way more plastic, more weight, more paint, and tighter sculpting tolerances than anything Hasbro has delivered with TF at any price, much less $25. And why defend Hasbro's insistence on compromising the COLLECTOR-FOCUSED line for the kiddie set as if it's a positive? Fucking Target wants $18 for that whack-ass Tankor figure.

This does bring to mind that the landscape for toys has changed since, say, the late 90’s/early 2000’s. The market can’t really support toys that kids can afford and ALSO cater to all the needs of collectors the way stuff like the original Marvel Legends did back in those days, which is why no other companies are doing it yet we still expect it of Hasbro for some reason. In that case, maybe that’s one way Hasbro could go back to the drawing board as it were, scrap the compromised dime-store attempt at a collector’s line that Generations is right now, and start doing specifically premium, collector-level figures sold like DC Direct’s stuff (or Bandai’s SH Figuarts or Robot Tamashii lines, look them up). You’d think the mountains of canceled and liquidated product that retail chains won’t sell or get to would be a wake-up call to Hasbro that it’s time to start doing something differently.
I haven't seen jack shit from Hasbro in the last 10 years that suggests they COULD deliver that level of quality, and even if we put that aside, they'd just compromise it to the kiddie set again and start budget-creeping the quality down the way they have with the Star Wars 6" line.

What’s really stupid is that it could ALMOST work for Bandai’s Power Rangers line; I might actually be tempted by a fuckhuge toy of one of the mecha from PR/SS (a 31” The Megazord would at least be one hell of a centerpiece for the display I have going on with the SHFs) but doing bigass versions of the Rangers instead with that staring you in the face? Dumb.
Smooth bodies are cheap to produce at this scale, details needed for a Zord would require actually doing some work instead of getting shitfaced and phoning it in.


Shockwave wrote:I think part of the problem is the way toys are made and distributed now compared to how it was done a couple of decades ago. I mean, back in G1, Hasbro put out maybe 30 figures per year and they just kept shipping copies of those same figures throughout the year. Now, we supposedly get new waves of figures every few months, except that nobody is getting the waves before and as such the new ones sometimes never make it to retail. I also can't help wondering if there were more figures produced per toy back then vs. now. I'd love to be able to see some numbers on that. Like how many Optimus Primes were produced in 1984 vs. how many Classics voyager Primes were produced. I'm willing to be there are fewer Classics Primes in existence than G1 Primes. Honestly, I kind of wish they would go back to that model, it would make things easier, distribution would be much less of an issue (refreshing the same case assortment throughout the year means everyone has a good shot at getting the toys they want), and there would be less confusion between lines. I think it would definitely help if hasbro didn't have like six different versions of the same TF on the shelf. The AoE line was an absolute mess to try and sort through. Part of that can be blamed on packaging but honestly, if there weren't literally 8 different versions of a character the packaging would be irrelevant. I mean, if I wanted Not Slag, I'd currently have to sort through the deluxe version, an evolutions version (not sure if there's a difference) the one step changers, some deluxe sized wind up pull back dino rider thing... Eliminate all that and just have the regular line of deluxe/voyager/leader, Kreo off in the Lego section (which would eliminate constructbots), and just get back to basics. I really feel like the franchise is cannibalizing itself right now with so many different toys competing but nothing really standing out. It would be easier for consumers to just get regular ol' Slag if there was only one toy out there of him.

Also, Prowl's right about Mattel, MOTUC is so much of a headache that even I'm all but done with it. I currently have like, 7 figures but if I wanted to get more it would be so cost prohibitive that I'd be better off buy an MP TF for that.
If there were more Optimus Primes back in the day than now, the G1 wouldn't be selling for so much money. Distribution is dogshit today, but volume isn't really the concern, it's an inability to foresee what will be popular vs what will sell slower. Hasbro doesn't have an eye for demand and as such they clog pegs by pre-selling cases with carry-forwards and assortments long before they know what will actually hold things up vs what will move product, and they let manufacturing dictate what goes out rather than demand.

The current market moves far too quickly for a couple assortments a year, retailers measure a brand's success in quarters now, so the old ways wouldn't work. But this barely works. AOE didn't work at all.

I think the AOE thing of marketing characters at multiple pricepoints is the brand showing its cards about not knowing what the market will want and not having the fortitude to dictate what it should buy.

MOTUC is now over 4 and a half years old, it SHOULD be done! The original line lasted 6 years and that was on mass-market kid sales! The fact that it's survived almost as long on direct-market, collector-only sales means that no matter how much a headache it is, it's still a whopping success and could end at any time in a positive way. You bitch about the line, but you're still in it half a decade later, and the figures are only $6 over the price Hasbro and Matty ask for mass-retail figures of similar focus and quality.

Re: Hub no more

PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:53 pm
by Shockwave
I dunno... I mean Optimus Prime was consistently produced and sent to toy stores over at least two years (84 for pre-rub and 85 for rubsign versions and that doesn't even count the later 89 packaging release). So I have to think that there were more copies produced for a figure being available for two years consecutively than the three months that it is now. plus, if you just want a G1 Prime, he really doesn't go for that much, depending on condition.

As for MOTUC, I haven't been actively in it from Mattel for years. Part of that is because, after shipping, the base cost of one figure is around $30 and actually, about two years ago that went up to around $35. Similar size/quality figures can be purchases at retail for around 20. The line started in 2007, so it's been going for 7 years now, which is a long time, but it has been far from perfect and fans have had plenty to bitch about. From under produced toys, website problems making it almost impossible to for fans to even purchase figures to begin with, shipping problems, MASSIVE customer service issues, misassembled toys, toys made of shoddy materials that break before even being removed from packaging... It certainly is not a model of success that you think it is. And even Mattel consistently says that it's not a major money maker for them. Next year is it's last year.

Re: Hub no more

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:09 am
by Onslaught Six
if I wanted Not Slag, I'd currently have to sort through the deluxe version, an evolutions version (not sure if there's a difference)


The latter had a Minicon that was, I think, from the Classics Dinobots.

Re: Hub no more

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:38 pm
by andersonh1
I still think the idea of Hasbro trying to promote their brand by putting a show on a niche cable channel doesn't seem very effective to me. I'm not sure why they bother. It does appear to have been a failure.

Re: Hub no more

PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:10 pm
by Tigermegatron
andersonh1 wrote:I still think the idea of Hasbro trying to promote their brand by putting a show on a niche cable channel doesn't seem very effective to me. I'm not sure why they bother. It does appear to have been a failure.


I agree with all of this.

Not sure as I have no inside retail stores info. But i'm heavily guessing USA retail stores ordered in higher volume for Armada,Energon, Cybertron and Animated toys due to it being on a more popular cheaper level cable network which was the cartoon network.

Think even in Cartoon Networks worse time slots, More kids and fans saw those TF cartoons series compared to how many saw TFP-BH.

Re: Hub no more

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:29 pm
by Sparky Prime
Well it seems the end of the Hub is going to have an effect on the new series after all... Hasbro announced today that Robots in Disguise will instead be shown on Cartoon Network.

LOS ANGELES-- Hasbro Studios, the Los Angeles-based entertainment division of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), announced today that Cartoon Network, the regularly top-rated primetime network for boys' ages 6-11 and 9-14, will become the U.S home of the brand new series, Transformers: Robots in Disguise.


Given how poorly Cartoon Network treated the last several Transformers series they had, I can't say I'm optimistic.

Re: Hub no more

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:02 pm
by BWprowl
Sparky Prime wrote:Well it seems the end of the Hub is going to have an effect on the new series after all... Hasbro announced today that Robots in Disguise will instead be shown on Cartoon Network.

Called it.

Given how poorly Cartoon Network treated the last several Transformers series they had, I can't say I'm optimistic.

I dunno, I'd think it's still gotta be better than running on a premium cable channel that nobody had.

I'll still be at least giving it a shot when it does come out. I'll admit that last trailer was a lot more inspiring than the initial publicity blurb we got.

Re: Hub no more

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:32 pm
by Sparky Prime
BWprowl wrote:I dunno, I'd think it's still gotta be better than running on a premium cable channel that nobody had.

At least the Hub was consistent and promoted its shows. Erratic scheduling making it hard to watch and then being left at the 6am slot with little or no promotion to be forgotten and die isn't my idea of better.

Re: Hub no more, RID moves to Cartoon Network

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:12 pm
by Shockwave
HUB wasn't a premium channel though. It wasn't like HBO that people had to pay extra for, it's part of the basic package. Most people probably just didn't know they had it.