Gamorrean Guard (Target) - Hasbro - The Black Series [Phase III] (2018)
Star Wars Collectible News, Photos, and Reviews

The Rancor HasLab Latest Developments

On November 19th Hasbro livestreamed their final HasLab Rancor video on YouTube in which they revealed the remaining two tiers. Salacious B. Crumb and a new Luke Skywalker figure. During the livestream the YouTube chat was filled with angry or incredulous comments. First YouTube videos from disappointed collectors who said they would now cancel their Rancor were uploaded that same day, those videos were viewed by a lot of people, often vastly outperforming other videos on those channels, showing an increased level of interest in the shared disappointment. In the days following the livestream the Rancor HasLab lost about 400 backers, it went down from almost 5,150 to below 4,750. So what is the situation now? Click through for more!

Nothing to see here, please disperse!

Hasbro’s chief of Star Wars marketing at work

In the past few days the initial downward trend stopped, instead the campaign is treading water now. Sometimes gaining a few backers, only to lose most or all of them again hours later. The Rancor is currently at 4,759 backers, with a little more than 7 days left. In other words, it needs another 4,341 backers to get funded. It would almost need to quadruple the number of backers to unlock all tiers. The most successful HasLab yet, Galactus, managed to somewhat more than double the number of backers in the last few days of the campaign, so you can see that quadrupling the number would be quite the feat.
And what is Hasbro doing? They do nothing. Are they playing a game of chicken with the fans? Whoever moves first loses? What is going on in Rhode Island?

It’s getting increasingly unlikely that the Rancor will unlock all tiers. As mentioned, even the most successful HasLab yet, Galactus, only somewhat more than doubled its numbers in the last few days. There is still a chance the Rancor may get fully funded, but it’s becoming ever more likely that the Rancor may not unlock any of its tiers. Which means backers would get a barebones Rancor without one single accessory. This is a deal that is getting worse all the time.

And Hasbro? Complete radio silence. What is their strategy here?

So either they cross their fingers and hope for the usual FOMO effect that will get people to pull the trigger in the final stretch of the campaign or they really don’t care at all and will sweep the Rancor under the proverbial rug should it fail and never mention it again, similar to the poor Cookie Monster, the only other failed HasLab so far. You cannot even find a mention of that campaign on Hasbro’s website anymore.

If Hasbro want to do something, they should do so very soon, since there’s not much time left. What can they do? Pull a Unicron and extend the deadline by another six weeks or so, which saved Unicron from not getting funded. Announce that one or two tiers will come with the basic Rancor, no matter what, to somewhat sweeten the deal, unless that ruins Hasbro’s precious profit margins, the only thing that really matters to them.

Collectors can only hope that Hasbro will arrive at the right conclusions here. To make things easier for Hasbro I will list the reasons why the Rancor performs so badly here:

  • the Rancor may be an iconic Star Wars monster, but it’s not even remotely as interesting or attractive to display as the Sail Barge and Razor Crest. Both of these can function as playsets and diorama pieces and both of these can be posed with lots and lots of figures. The Rancor only ever interacts with five characters and you, Hasbro, will give collectors only two of the five, and those two are basically repacks, even if Luke is an all new sculpt, you refuse to make the very characters fans have been literally asking you to make from day 1 when it was accidentally announced
  • price is simply too high for what is offered and the tiers do nothing at all to sweeten the deal. When a Black Series Dewback was $60, and it came with a figure too, it’s very difficult to understand why a Rancor with zero accessories should be almost 6x that price. It looks like something that should cost $150 at best
  • the Rancor doesn’t look all that great to begin with. Also, the 900+ paint apps are VERY deceptive. Sure, maybe the artist had to use the brush 900+ times but what we get are shades of brown. Also, even though you proudly announce all the paint deco the HasLab Rancor is inaccurate and it’s missing various paint apps like virtually all your other Black Series figures, including your deluxe figures. The toes are the wrong color, very much wrong actually, and spending 5 seconds with the original maquette or even a cursory Google image search of the original maquette made by Phil Tippet would have revealed that to you. Also, the Rancor has a bony tail with a white color, NOT all brown. On top of that the sculpt looks akward. Yes, it’s all for articulation purposes, but the Rancor looks like a mutated turtle because of the neck gap. The extra shoulder armor gives the Rancor an NFL linebacker look, it’s not really attractive. No one expects the same quality as the $3000 Regal Robot replica of the original maquette used in the movie offers, but for $350 you surely can and should do better, for example, at least the paint deco can be much more accurate to the movie version and find a plastic material that is less shiny and makes the Rancor look less like, well, a toy

What is really disappointing is Hasbro’s complete lack of honest communication. Yes, we get it, all the livestreams are basically infomercials, Hasbro do these things to sell toys. And now it seems Hasbro simply duck under a table, hoping it will soon all be over.

And finally, if in light of Disney’s licensing fees, insane shipping rates (at least for now) and production costs this is the best Hasbro can do and repacking, repainting and kitbashing is a desperate effort to somehow have acceptable profit margins, then maybe Hasbro should think hard about how much sense it makes to keep making Star Wars toys the way they do now. People may accept repainted gimmick lines, fake deluxe figures and repacks galore (not to mention the many exclusives) only to a certain point. Maybe the Rancor could be a turning point.

But in all likelihood Disney keeps Hasbro on a very tight and very short leash, similar to all other Star Wars licensees. So whatever disappointment or even anger collectors may feel should most likely primarly be directed towards Disney first, then Hasbro. It’s not unreasonable to assume that Disney / Lucasfilm micromanage Hasbro’s Star Wars team to a degree that would make anyone’s head spin.

Meanwhile the Rancor has lost enother 2 backers.




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