I think I’ve addressed everyone necessary in this discussion in the title, but if you feel neglected, please be sure to let me know.
Firstly, let it be clear. I love the Galaxy Of Adventures line. If you think you’re going to jump to the conclusion that this article is all about criticizing the line, you’re entirely in error. I will let it be said. Hasbro did a fantastic job of taking the two-dimensional characters from the Galaxy Of Adventures show and creating stunning three-dimensional super-articulated figures with them. Many have likened them to the Disney Star Wars Toybox line, and while that’s a fair comparison, the Galaxy Of Adventures line has a much more elegant approach to the characters. They’re not as clunky or thick, and Hasbro added a great deal of detail to their figures, something the Disney Star Wars Toybox line lacks a bit. The articulation is more fluid as well, thanks to premium joints. It should be also be noted that although the Galaxy Of Adventures line is evidently geared toward younger Star Wars fans (as evidenced by the inclusion of action features and a multimedia event – the YouTube shorts), the line will be supported by collectors if it’s to have any future. Kids are a losing market for Hasbro with the Star Wars brand. That’s a general overstatement, so please don’t take it wholly accurate or too literally. They are indeed young Star Wars collectors out there, but not nearly enough today to support the line as they did about a decade ago. But that’s for another article for another day.
Let’s face it. As Hasbro suffuses the Star Wars brand across every last existing scale available out there, they’re creating unnecessary competition against their brand. We’ve reached a point in our fandom where space is an issue. If you’re a 3.75“ collector, you know the sheer volume of products took up the last few cubic inches of storage space in your dwelling years ago. If you’re a 6” collector, you know how quickly those black and red boxes clutter up the walkways in your man cave and or overtake your closets. And if you collector anything more significant, well, I hope you have a 4,000 square foot home to support the collection you want to have. But for the average collector, there doesn’t need to be any more distractions for the Star Wars brand. Hasbro knows what works, yet they’re compelled to try things that no one asked for or wanted. Sometimes the risks work. But most of the time, they don’t. It will be nice if the Galaxy Of Adventures line picks up some momentum. I don’t wish for its failure (for the record, I don’t wish for anyone’s or any thing’s defeat). But I wonder if the Galaxy Of Adventures line is a “well, ain’t that special” line that Hasbro already knows will be fleeting and temporary. While I am not judging them for their decision, I wonder if the time and energy spent on the Galaxy Of Adventures line could have been put to better use. But that we’ll never know.
So, what about the Galaxy Of Adventures line? More importantly than liking or supporting the line, Hasbro makes clear the inconsistencies in answers given to the collecting community for YEARS now. Literal YEARS. And it makes clear that past answers are either not accurate, or truthful. Now a line has been drawn in the sand. Why does it draw a clear line of demarcation in the sand for the Hasbro Star Wars brand, you might ask? Well, there are many reasons, and I am going to address them all.
The Chicanery Of Hasbro
For years, Hasbro gave answers across the entire broad spectrum of articulation that kids don’t like articulation. Collectors who are parents laughed at these assessments, but Hasbro used it to justify the 5POA that was commonplace for the 3.75” scale. Longtime Star Wars collectors rejected Hasbro’s assessment of their kids. Collectors without kids also dismissed it. And parents knew that their children didn’t have an innate desire to see less articulation. Despite this, many just bobbed their heads yessing Hasbro to death believing every last thing they were told, while the longtime collectors refuted the merits of their explanations. To make matters more conflicted, hypocritically, Hasbro developed a line of Hero Mashers at the PEAK of the 5POA run and all of the figures in the line not only came with interchangeable parts, but the sculpts of the figures came with premium super-articulated ball-joints, something that flustered the 3.75” super-articulated crowd deeply.
With rumors of The Vintage Collection’s future hanging in the balance circulating and constant barrages of Hasbro implying the impossibility of keeping it an affordable line is becoming increasingly option-less, the Galaxy Of Adventures line blows up all arguments in their faces. It shows that they can produce super-articulated figures for around the $10 price point. Yes, I understand that TVC figures may need to come with a little less articulation, but fans of the line who have been collecting Hasbro’s Star Wars action figures are completely fine with this (as a whole, there are exceptions). We don’t need swivel thighs in TVC. We don’t necessarily need ball-jointed wrists on every last figure they produce. And we certainly don’t need ball-jointed hips every single time either, especially when figures aesthetically look better with standard swivel hips.
The Gullibility Of 6″ Collectors
Before you get worked up on how I’ve titled this section, be sure you’re getting upset for the right reasons. I never understood the universal acceptance that $20 is fair for a 6” action figure. In all honesty, I think the MSRP is ridiculous. I am clearly in the minority of that assessment. Otherwise, the line wouldn’t be the success that it is. I understand that Hasbro will likely never be able to produce 6” figures for $9.99 and still make a profit, but I feel confident they can make the figures for significantly less. Does that mean $12.99? Probably not. Does it mean $14.99? Perhaps, but unlikely. Does it mean $17.99? More likely. But here’s the thing. Hasbro produced a new 5” figure with 23 points of articulation (about five to seven articulation points less a 6” figure) and kept the MSRP at less than $10. How can they do this all of a sudden? The Galaxy Of Adventures line has a significant amount of premium articulation points, including “rocker” ankles! No one can tell me otherwise that they could produce 6” figures for less and still keep the line of high quality. But that’s me. Instead, we’ve now reached a point in the 6” line where they’re packing “silly stuff” with the figure so they can set the MSRPs to double the standard $19.99. When will it stop? My point here is that $20 action figures should be super-articulated have premium paint operations and a complete set of accessories that capture every interpretation of the character from every scene in the Star Wars saga. Not everything I listed is happening.
Pervading The Man-baby-ness
3.75” super-articulated collectors have received the shaft from Hasbro for almost a decade now. Some feel that saying something like that is looking a gift horse in the mouth, especially since The Vintage Collection line is active and releasing some great products. Maybe that’s partially true, but Hasbro is not doing a good job working in what longtime collectors want to see added into the line. There always seems to be an excuse to give us figures I this scale that we don’t want, and an unprecedented amount of explanations of why Sim Aloo and the blue Power Droid STILL are not part of the modern lineup. We continuously beg for more Original Trilogy aliens left to do, and they stopped listening. Why? Because Jabba’s Sail Barge is past tense now? Do they wonder why there is such an apathetic interest in The Vintage Collection now? Many are just hanging along for the ride until they do get to things they want to see. Now I am not trying to make a direct comparison between The Vintage Collection and The Black Series 6” line. There are significant differences, and they each have specific markets that sometimes overlap. The 6” figure has many more parts, more instances of premium articulation, and they utilize more materials than the 3.75” line. But using the same logic for the 6” line, if Hasbro can make an action figure with 23 points of articulation and keep the MSRP at $9.99, why can’t they do the same for The Vintage Collection, and reduce articulation here and there as needed to maintain the lower price point? Wouldn’t everyone be happier? Cheaper figures? And perhaps a higher volume of characters?
Hasbro has said FOR YEARS that more parts and their assembly are directly responsible for the cost of our action figures. And the more articulation a figure has, the greater the expense it is to produce it. They’ve also moved to different factories across the globe because there is no other way to reduce these costs. After they couldn’t contain costs anymore, the 5POA range became a focal point. Now they’re producing 5” figures that are super-articulated for only a couple dollars more than the 5POA. How can I not be irritated by this inconsistency? Collectors have complained for years that action figures are too expensive. And when TVC isn’t getting the full attention it deserves, it doesn’t become a line that makes its way successfully to retail.
My suggestion is to follow suit with The Vintage Collection line as Hasbro is doing for the new Galaxy Of Adventures line. What perplexes me the most is the bigger scale. They can’t even use the “more materials” excuse anymore because they are producing larger action figures WITH ALL NEW TOOLING with super-articulation for less than $10 each. How about treating The Vintage Collection the same way. Why do you treat it as a child you no longer want to deal with anymore?
Why am I bringing this up while The Vintage Collection is active? Well, nows the time to turn the Titanic around, and it’s going to take some time to do that big task. I want to see the Star Wars collectors’ lines thrive and be the best they can. Imagine if everyone could save $3 per figure, even if that meant reducing some of the articulation of the figures in the assortment. Also, the more significant point to take away is that Hasbro is producing ALL-NEW sculpts for the Galaxy of Adventures line for SUPER-ARTICULATED figures and keeping the MSRP BELOW $10! We’re getting WAY too many repacks in the current TVC line, and it’s killing it.
Obviously, I don’t know it all. There may be reasons I don’t understand preventing my wishes from happening, so I will accept that there is some room for error in my logic. But right now, I am heavily leaning the other way.
Regardless, Hasbro, can you please change your approach? Give us lower prices. Give us more newness. And give us a line that fully engages us all. Thank you!
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