Han Solo (Bespin Outfit) - Kenner - Vintage The Empire Strikes Back (1981)
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You've Just Crossed Over Into The Hasbro Zone

You’ve always collected Star Wars toys with relative availability at the retail level. But recently, you’ve encountered another dimension of nothingness; nothing to purchase because there’s nothing found. You’re desperately trying to spend your extra income on the latest Star Wars figures. But instead, you’ve just crossed over into The Hasbro Zone. (more….)

Is it just me, or is anyone else stunned by the lack of Hasbro Star Wars products for The Rise Of Skywalker? As a 3.75”-focused collector, it’s especially frustrating. But collectors of The Black Series 6” line aren’t faring any better. For the 6” line, to date, Hasbro produced six figures. SIX FIGURES! What kind of craziness is this? For The Vintage Collection, well, those collectors did a little better and received seven figures from Hasbro. SEVEN FIGURES! That’s madness! These counts are based on all characters from Episode IX, and not the Jedi Fallen Order video game or The Mandalorian Disney+ series. From October 2019 to now, that’s all collectors of these respective lines have from The Rise of Skywalker. I have to ask. Are you all really content with this? Yes, collecting is a different ball of wax these days. The collector base has shrunken to almost unrecognizable numbers. And generally speaking, kids are more interested in being entertained by devices than playing with action figures. Still, all I hear across the board from most collectors is that they’re frustrated. And yet, I also hear that people are content with the relative “nothingness” Hasbro is producing since the Disney takeover.

Yes. Everyone seems to agree Disney is a huge problem for Hasbro, and thus collectors. For example, Hasbro is kept out of spoiler information, so they can’t even prep these awesome characters behind the scenes. As a result, characters collectors desperately want to purchase don’t come until years later. Even if Disney kept Emperor Palpatine a secret from Hasbro, you’d think that at the very least, Hasbro would announce that products based on Emperor Palpatine in Episode IX are forthcoming. They completely missed the mark on Baby Yoda. They were the last licensee to announce something was coming. Others scooped them on this for weeks. Think of how much money Hasbro lost on Baby Yoda thus far. But it’s so much more than not being prepared for the deluge of collectors looking for the latest characters from Episode IX and other Star Wars sources. Why is the volume of products merely a trickle in this day and age? Star Wars is supposed to be the biggest and best it ever was, yet merchandising is probably the worst it’s EVER been.

I know it’s easy to blame Hasbro for everything. And perhaps that’s not fair to get upset with Hasbro when Disney is responsible for the parameters they force them to work within, but there is also due diligence. And when your main market is impatiently waiting for key products to be released that they desperately want in the toy line, you have to wonder how engaged the licensee is to its market. Six action figures on average per scale are not the way to keep engagement strong with the collecting community. If you have products ready to go for Toy Fair this year, why not tease something, and reassure the collecting community that you’re still producing products for them? If new products are announced at Toy Fair next month and have an approximate release date of April 2020, that’s SIX MONTHS since the Triple Force Friday product launch. Oh my heck. How is that possible? The volume of toys needs to increase. There need to be more announcements beyond straight repack for The Vintage Collection. And 6” collectors, although treated the best by Hasbro, should be concerned that there are so few new announcements.

Sure, I am interested somewhat in the TVC repacks. All of the figures will receive Phot Real updates and that’s enough for me to repurchase them. But come on already. How cool would it have been to reach out to the collecting community and say to everyone “New Emperor Palpatine figures are coming on every scale! More details are coming soon!” Or anything. It’s a barren wasteland at retail now. It doesn’t give the consumer base any confidence that Hasbro cares about the state of the Star Wars line. I am tired of hoping for things to get better, when, in fact, they progressively get worse. Things that I’ve been told are coming that were supposed to come are no longer part of the first half of 2020. That could mean nothing and that things are pushed out further. Despite any of this, Hasbro had plenty of time to plan a steady release of products from October 2019 through March 2020. And there have been so many missed opportunities that I’ve lost count.  Here is hoping that 2020 turns over a new leaf for the Star Wars line. Collectors are desperate for super-articulated newness. The repacks are great for certain collecting needs. But newness is more important.

Also, Hasbro, on a related note. If you’re no longer going to produce 3.75″ 5POA figures, please lease out the license to another company that will produce them. It’s ungodly that there wasn’t a full 3.75″ line for The Rise Of Skywalker. I personally didn’t miss them, but the collecting community as a whole felt the big hole not having that line created

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