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Haslab August Update

Two weeks after SDCC the two current Haslab projects seem to be in the doldrums. While that is normal for most crowdfunding campaigns (anyone remember all the angst about the Barge which was absolutely unnecessary?), it seems the Transformers and Sesame Street Haslab project are facing a somewhat steeper hill than most other campaigns that succeed. Actually, most successful campaigns reach their funding goal in the first few days.
As of now, Unicron is lagging the Barge. Now, the Barge had this huge, huge boost on the finishing line that elevated the project close to 9,000 backers. So Unicron might still make it, but it seems like it will be a close call, the project is at 27%. But the Cookie Monster seems to be dead. I really doubt it’s going to make it in the remaining three weeks. The project gained 73 backers in the past 9 days, which is the last time I posted an update. He still needs another 2,607 backers, or 86.7%. There must be some overwhelming love for Cookie Monster in the final hours of the project for it to be successful, in my opinion.
Which leads to the question: what happens if both projects fail? I certainly hope both will succeed, both projects are fun, Unicron is actually impressive even. But what would it mean for future Haslab projects should both the Transformers and Muppet collecting community fail to support their Haslab project? Click through for a few thoughts!

Haslab Projects August 2019

So what could it mean for the future of Haslab if both projects fail? Could Hasbro feel discouraged from continuing Haslab? Also, what would it mean for the respective collecting communities? Transformers have many, many fans, worldwide. Was it a mistake to exclude anyone outside North America from such a prestigious crowdfunding campaign once again (despite promises by Hasbro), should it fail? Did Hasbro not take into account that many Transformers fans probably also buy Japanese figures and that Unicron is colliding with the upcoming Takara Tomy Optimus Prime figure?

Should the two projects fail (and there’s still a chance both might succeed, we cannot estimate at this time how much of a boost both projects will get in the last 24 hours or so) then Star Wars will be the only project so far to be successful. That might strengthen the Star Wars brand at Hasbro, even with declining toy sales. It would certainly tell Hasbro that Star Wars fans are willing to support even expensive projects, that they show up when needed and put the money on the table when asked.

So, what other Haslab projects could Hasbro come up with? What other collecting communities may be as passionate as Star Wars?

GI Joe? I would assume that there are quite a few passionate GI Joe fans still out there who would support a Haslab project.
I’m not sure about My Little Pony, I’m not all that certain MLP collectors would support some crazy $400+ toy.
What about Frozen etc? I don’t think that would succeed. This is mostly for children, I assume.
Marvel? That seems promising, there are a ton of Marvel fans out there, Marvel Legends is enjoying huge success, but of course there are so many, many releases already for Marvel Legends that the question is if many collectors would be willing and have the funds to finance an expensive Haslab project on top of the regular releases they buy anyway. It would be unwise of Hasbro to launch a Haslab project that hurts regular toy sales, it would make no sense if people started saving for the $500+ Haslab project by buying fewer regular ML figures (or fewer Hasbro toys in general).

Then there’s Star Wars. I don’t think Hasbro would or should launch a new Star Wars campaign each year. There are only so many times you can ask the collecting community to finance a crazy expensive toy before most collectors would have to say “no, thanks, I don’t have the money right now”. But a Star Wars Haslab project every other year might be feasible. And Star Wars has one advantage over Marvel Legends, so to speak, there are not all that many releases, so there is still some headroom maybe.

Possible future Star Wars Haslab projects have been discussed already…

  • Black Series Snowspeeder
  • Black Series Rancor
  • Black Series Millennium Falcon Cockpit
  • TVC Death Star
  • TVC Bespin playset
  • TVC figure sets with characters such as Sim Aloo and other figures that would probably not be successful as a general release but find the support of the hardcore collecting community (the same could be made for TBS as well, with Cantina aliens etc)

So what do you think? What other Hasbro brands could have a successful Haslab project? Do you think the future of Haslab is in doubt should both current campaigns fail? Or do you think it will only strengthen the Star Wars brand and convince Hasbro to focus more on that? And provided Hasbro keeps the license… how many Star Wars Haslab campaigns do you think are realistic? Don’t base this decision just on your finances, think of other collectors as well, with families to support and wives who will maybe not tolerate expensive spending habits all the time.

Leave your thoughts in the comments!


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