It may be more than just a coincidence that we’re seeing “rumors” about a conscious move away from 5POA as well as the return of The Vintage Collection. It seems like a last ditch effort to revitalize the Star Wars toy line. (more….)
One of our sources has been having discussions with a clearance house. While we cannot release specifics, it’s a notable (large) one in the UK. This clearance house buys up inactive toy lines and sells them to trade stores at a huge discount (for resale). Their customers can include online sellers, or even Big Box stores in both Europe and the UK.
Apparently there is just so much [unsold] Hasbro Star Wars stuff out there on clearance at the moment it has become overwhelming. The merchandise includes all vehicles for the 3.75″ range, more TBS6 First Order Special Forces TIE Fighters than you could probably imagine, TBS6 figures, role-play lightsabers and other action figures (this could mean 5POA and/or Titanium Series stuff).
Has the “cancel 3.75″ SA and 5POA/6″ will save everything” lie finally exploded in everyone’s face? We’re beginning to believe so.
Our source went on to explain that the vibe in the industry is Star Wars is “untouchable” at the moment. (Please understand that this is a single person’s opinion/interpretation of what he/she is seeing from his/her customers.) This is not “untouchable” as in the Star Wars brand can do no wrong, but “untouchable” as everyone is turning away from it (THIS INCLUDES OUR RETAIL stores). It might be accurate to assert that the Star Wars line is becoming a risk for vendors. Star Wars for the last couple of years has experienced a very negative but simple trend: so much of it ends up at clearance. This is especially true at the Big Box retail level (which is inevitable suicide for any toy line)!
Please keep in mind that we have NO IDEA what this means for the Star Wars line going forward, but obviously this general information can’t be good!
We have already seen signs of this happening right here in America that can actually anecdotally back-up these claims. We see Rogue One stuff at ROSS/Marshalls. We see products arriving newly at stores at less than half price of their MSRP (the AT-ACT). Stores are ordering significantly less (as evidenced by broken up case assortments arriving at TARGET). Lines, complete waves and sought-after figures never EVER arrive to retail. The Black Series 6″ line is a compete mess at retail with most stores either stuck with the Captain Phasma/Poe Dameron wave or the Jyn Erso/Cassian Andor wave. Complete waves of 6″ figures have yet to hit retail. And Star Wars aisles in every last blessed retail location looks the same at month 1 or month 10. It’s heartbreaking.
My personal experience is THIS: I have been collecting modern Star Wars figures since 1995. I have NEVER seen the hobby in a worse state than it is right now. From the lackluster products being made to the nonstop rehashing of the same lead character and other boring secondary characters in an overproduced manner, the line offers very little to the longtime collector (the few people still buying toys/action figures). And my longtime experience includes the many nightmares of trying to complete The Legacy Collection, Legacy Collection and The Vintage Collection basic figures lines at retail. But AT LEAST I could find them at retail. I have not seen more than 10%-15% of what Hasbro has produced for any Star Wars toy line at retail since 2013. Most everything reviewed in our RDRs has been secured internationally or online. We have been for years now completely unable to rely on toy runs to find merchandise.
You better resign yourself to buying The Vintage Collection “2” online. Because I can’t imagine anyone finding anything beyond wave 1…. because that’s all retail will be getting and sitting on until the line is put into hibernation again. I hope for better, but I am not so sure anymore.
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