When The Vintage Collection made its debut in August 2010 (the figures were found as early as June at some retail locations), Hasbro continued themed waves for the line, something that they started with The Saga Collection in December 2005. It impressed collectors that they managed this technique so well for so long. We imagine it was an arduous task and effort to release basic figures in this manner, but it helped keep things very organized in more ways than one. There were always a couple of exceptional figures here and there that Hasbro included in these waves that didn’t entirely fit the theme, but mostly these waves were sourced all from one Star Wars film or theme. (more….)
After the fourth wave of The Vintage Collection (the Attack Of The Clones wave), Hasbro announced that going forward they would abandon the themed waves and start mixing up the case assortments. In all honesty collectors at that time were indifferent about it. As long as Hasbro kept the line alive with new sculpts and smart repacks, most of us were okay with any direction the line took. This approach worked for the original run of The Vintage Collection because Hasbro filled each wave with a ton of newness, and collectors pretty much bought anything in the basic figure line back then.
As the reawakened 2018 The Vintage Collection continues to struggle to gain its foothold in the current market, I can’t help but wonder if going back to themed waves is something that would intensify or invigorate the line. As you know, collectors and their interests are more fractured than ever. It’s impossible to make us happy at all one time. I don’t feel that Hasbro would have to get TOO specific if they went this new direction. They could theme up waves by Original Trilogy, Prequel Trilogy, Sequel Trilogy, A Star Wars Story film and Expanded Universe (to mean everything outside of the movies – not necessarily Legends or Canon.
What about all of those repacks? I am glad you asked. Back in the glory days, Hasbro worked in a couple “repack and repaint” waves into the line. Wave 5 and Wave 15 are two examples that stick out in my mind. However, Hasbro either refreshed previous sculpts with new tooling or by completely repainting them to be different characters. (The Clone Trooper Lieutenant, the Shock Trooper, Commander Gree and Luke Skywalker (Death Star Escape) are all examples of figures that met this definition.) Hasbro made “old” new again, and collectors bought them up. And along with these refreshed figures, they also added some of the “greatest hits” (straight repacks) that made the most sense in the line.
Anyway, we believe that if Hasbro returned to purifying case assortments, fans would be able to focus better on what cases they’d want to purchase. It’s common sense that the Star Wars community is divided now. And while there are some who will buy everything, we’re discovering that fan tastes and focuses have changed to the point that they’re cherry-picking most of what Hasbro releases today. A better concentration on a specific Star Wars film or comic might warrant more success with the cases they put together.
Hasbro has to treat the collector line like a collector line. And to satisfy customers, they have to give their customers what they want. Let me know your thoughts about this in our comments. JTA brought up this topic before in different ways, but I think now is the time to get serious about it. Thank you!
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