Wow! Could this all be for the better? Site Seibertron has posted a fascinating article that Hasbro may be changing the approach to how they allow retail to order action figures. Maybe it will be possible for us to order solid cases of that Rogue One Imperial Stormtrooper, huh? Special thanks to JTA reader Forcehunter for the alert!
The new owners of Toys “R” Us want to bring the brand back to the United States. But they can’t say when it will happen. The troubled toy company found another life last month as Tru Kids Brands, roughly half a year after Toys “R” Us closed the last of its stores in the United States. It is now owned by the company’s former creditors. More than 700 American Toys “R” US stores closed last spring. But the company kept 900 stores open in Europe, Asia and India. The new owners have plans to open another 70 stores overseas — mostly in Asia — by the end of the year. They’re also considering plans for the US market, including brick-and-mortar stores and online sales, though it’s not clear when a relaunch would happen. FOX6 has the full story.
Today, GameStop, the largest independent seller of video games in the USA, announced that they will no longer try to find a new buyer. The company had started looking for potential buyers back in June 2018, a search that ended today “due to the lack of available financing on terms that would be commercially acceptable to a prospective acquiror”, according to GameStop. In other words: not one of the potential buyers considered GameStop a good investment or having a viable business model.
Why exactly is GameStop in trouble? Click through for an explanation!
You likely remember when we reported about a plethora of Jyn Erso and Captain Cassian Andor TBS6 figures arriving at TARGET unexpectedly and in vast numbers. With your help, we figured out that the Five Below stock (both online and in stores) was purchased for $5 each and then people used their TARGET receipts to return the $5 figures with receipts of new figures they paid full price for. Well, it appears TARGET is onto the bait and switch. They’ve covered up the UPCs and created a unique UPC on the clearance sticker to ensure these never get returned to the store again. Acts like this will change return policies for the worse and could make some products ineligible for return for all of us. Let’s not make Hasbro’s bad case assortment decisions worse with this type of clearance life cycle that seemingly is without end. We’ll be seeing Jun and Cassian in stores until who knows when.
There is a new development in the closing of Toys R Us. Ollies, who purchased most of their remaining inventory, is now taking over some locations and leasing them out. How bad shape TRU must have been in if a discount chain has enough liquid cash to take over both their inventory AND real estate. CNN has the full story. Special thanks to friend Martin M. for the alert to this news.
Holy cow! Look what new Hasbro merchandise Entertainment Earth rescues from certain clearance doom! Order them while you can. Brick and mortar are dead! I can’t believe the Disney Store exclusives are getting picked up by EE!
Sears, America’s iconic but bankrupt department store chain, passed a critical milestone Friday when a deadline for potential buyers to submit bids on its assets passed. Before the 4 p.m. ET deadline its former CEO, Eddie Lampert, had proposed buying the struggling retailer in full for $4.6 billion through his hedge fund ESL Investments – including 500 Sears and Kmart stores, store inventory, the Kenmare and DieHard tool brands and other assets. As part of the deal, ESL would also forgive $1.8 billion of debt that the retailer owes the hedge fund. But the deadline passed without word of an official bid. Fox Business has the full story.
The Amazon of yesteryear has been killed by the Amazon of today. The retail apocalypse continues. As you know, Sears was a founding Kenner partner and offered the world some of the most significant Star Wars exclusives we ever saw for our collections. We’re sure many of you who grew up with the original Kenner line feel a bit melancholy to see this retail chain finally bite the dust. There is a chance a confidential bid is out there, but right now it’s looking very grim.
JTA reader eagerly sends us an email that he found a ton of The Black Series [Phase III] 6″ Snowtroopers at his local ROSS stores for $3.99 each. Where are all of these old figures hiding? It’s astounding how much stuff is ending up at clearance outlets. Again, I haven’t seen ANYTHING remotely similar to this devastation in my lifetime of collecting. I don’t even think The Phantom Menace [3D] debacle was this bad. Special thanks to JTA reader Christian C. for the alert!
Here is a story we missed. Sears announced a couple of days ago that it is closing another 46 stores which include many Kmart stores. The retail apocalypse continues. CNN has the full story.
You’d be silly to ignore the many things about the modern state of collecting that are devastating the line. Examples like collectors waiting as if they’re vultures for Hasbro stuff to go on clearance at Walmart and TARGET. And seeing Toys R Us’ merchandise that was clearanced out by competitors MONTHS ago sit and collect dusts on shelves are just some of the issues that don’t go away. Granted, Toys R Us has been foolish. They never were competitive with promotional prices and their clearance timing was the worst. But, see the image below. While anecdotal, it paints a broad picture of what is wrong with the Star Wars line. I could beat a dead horse here, but it’s clear to say that there is too much focus on certain Star Wars Entertainment that Star Wars fans aren’t supporting and buying. I have similar pile-ups at my local Toys R Us stores, albeit different products, but the same principles apply. Until the Hasbro line gets back to basics, we’re going to continue seeing these trends. And with Toys R Us gone, it means that either less volume will be produced, or the remaining retailers will be overstocked next. And I don’t think Walmart and TARGET will ever buy another bridge again when it comes to Star Wars. Their current stock levels are so low now that it’s almost impossible to find anything new there any way (except for the same repeated figures that shouldn’t have been reissued). It seems the Star Wars line is being forced into online oblivion. I am at a loss how this Titanic can be turned around. Special thanks to JTA Facebook reader Todd L. for the image!
Toys R Us has released documents, giving details for the purchase of the Canadian equity sale. Click through to read more about the Toys R Us Canada auction!
Fortune.com has written a fantastic article on why the Toy Industry would suffer if Toys R Us goes belly up. I have heard and seen many comments by readers ‘happy’ or ‘indifferent’ to see TRU’s demise because of various reasons, but there is a bigger picture. And Fortune goes into detail about it. Check out the article and then come back here to comment.
The brick and mortar retail Toy Store apocalypse continues, this time in France. French JTA reader Patrice P. send us word of France’s #2 toy retailer in financial woes. Click through for Patrice’s translation summary of the article’s main points.
Toys R Us UK is filing for insolvency. After the company failed to find a buyer and a 15 million pounds VAT bill was due on Tuesday, Toys R Us UK went into administration today. (more….)
-Click HERE to return to the home page-