I feel Randy may be right that 5POA is not OK. And I am not saying he is correct from a moral soapbox point of view, but from a practical point of view: that it’s killing the brand because so few people are supporting the line. But it’s also more than that.
I feel like this comparison gets worse every year, but in my 23 years of collecting the modern line, I have never seen a worse reception from the collecting community and their support for the 5POA line across all different types of retail. Sure, things have changed. Most people buy everything online now. Brick and mortar may be going the way of the dinosaur, but there are still things above and beyond this I think that are stunting the 3.75″ 5POA line. Basic things.
If Star Wars is supposed to be the biggest and best that it’s ever been, why is the toyline struggling so badly with every line look launch? Why are the worst figures getting repackaged in the line or given an unwarranted second chance at retail? Like clockwork now, an outside vendor has to come to Hasbro’s rescue to get out figures that should have been part of the normal case assortment distribution plan (and should have arrived on time no less).
Why, with as much focus as Star Wars is getting today, is the Hasbro toy line struggling to have an impact on retailers in a positive way? Why are we only able to get out the first wave of figures (thanks to a line launch let’s not forget) from a new figure line while the rest of the collection bottlenecks for so long that it eventually arrives at retail on clearance or ultimately gets canceled? This has been the trend since 2013! There are more canceled figures from 2013 to now than any other period of collecting history! Canceled figures were a rarity; now they’re a standard.
Why are store exclusives ending up on online shops for a fraction of the price while retail concurrently holds onto them like grim death trying to get full MSRP? Why aren’t exclusives new, exciting and innovative like they were in recent past? Why aren’t case assortments improving to help aid in the prevention of any bottle-necking at all and to reassure their retail partners that things are changing for the better? Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to see retailers like Entertainment Earth get figures out that would otherwise be canceled, but why can’t the line flow as it should?
All of these questions and more reinforce my personal opinion that Star Wars collecting is really supported by the men and women who grew up with the original films. And until the line supports that market we’re going to be playing this game for a very long time. I do not discount that we have gained a ton of new collectors. But my generation just does collecting differently. Hasbro is banking on new fans to follow in our footsteps with our buying habits, but they don’t have the same behaviors as us.
Hasbro, please get back to super-articulated figures and vehicles like there is NO tomorrow. Make this line a focus again and allow the market who buys these things prove that these should have never gone away for five years. I pray it’s not too late. But it’s 2018, and hopefully, that means good revolution is in the air. You already have us waiting with defibrillators at our sides after the first wave of The Vintage Collection. Please don’t make us need them. I do not want to see Entertainment Earth picking up wave 2 of The Vintage Collection just because you thought an opening wave of repacks makes sense. 🙁
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