While this latest rant may seem like I am misdirecting my discontent at "bad" parenting (hey, some of my closest friends are "bad" parents), I can assure you it's not and instead all directed at Hasbro. I shouldn't be more excited over digging out my Revenge Of The Sith figures for the Research Droids Reviews than the new stuff hitting the shelves (but there is sadly no contest). Click through to see what's going on in Paul's pea-brain today.
Things at the moment are quiet at retail. New product is expected shortly so we’ll make this brief as possible, but we wanted to address the collector climate to you. The temperature is dangerously low. The frigidness in collectors’ attitude and energy, the all-time high apathy of the current line and the feeling we get when we check the local retail toy aisle each day is so boring that we almost fall asleep in the Star Wars section daily. The 2012 line is a total bust. And while this may come across to you as too harsh, please know that we tried to get behind it and embrace your decision to rerelease the action figures you did but are no longer able to do it. The Movie Heroes line in particular is a collectors’ nightmare. You already know of our disdain for the line and you have expressed that it’s not for us out of one side of your mouth, then the other side of your mouth explain that it will include all-new sculpts for collectors. Yes, but all-new sculpts should not celebrate the technology of the 90s just because we are celebrating a film from the 90s.
Why do these seemingly excellent action figures come with so many points of swivel articulation? The awesome sculpts are encumbered with minimal articulation we haven’t seen in years! We don’t know what kids your production team has polled, but the kids we know get excited when an action figure has unbridled movement or an infinite array of poses. Are you sure you’re testing these products on today’s average American over-stimulated and entitled youths? While that obviously comes across as tongue-in-cheek we are actually trying to make a point that kids are not an excuse to cheap out on articulation. Whether you like it or not, collectors are the ones with money buying these toys on the shelves. And the kids not gulping down sugary soft-drinks while playing the latest violent video games as their arteries harden do play outside with action figures. And they’ve come to expect what today’s technology guarantees them: well-made, super-articulated figures. Also, you can’t repack and repaint every single last item intended for rerelease and expect it to fly off of the shelves. Take for instance the Podracer Pilots Toys R Us exclusive. That poor set is rotting on shelves and Toys R Us is unable to move it out despite it being on sale in one fashion or another since its original release.
This isn’t a trend of the poor economy (well – at least not to the degree you believe) or collectors pulling back. This is indignation that we’re not going to take it any more. What valid reason could you possibly give for not including ONE all-new figure to ensure the complete sell through of the Podracer Pilots multipack? You gave us the brilliant Royal Starship Droids Battle Packs set with four never-before-available astromech droids sculpts. Yes. We have had the opportunity to purchase R2-R9, R2-B1 and R2-D2 multiple times beforehand. But giving us these characters in the Build A Droid sculpt with (for the first time) correct paint operations including the black eye port (and other details) makes this more than a worthwhile purchase. And let’s not forget how awesome it was for you to give us R2-N3, a character that is new to our collections for the very first time in this release. (Um, do you see how wrong it is that we actually show gratitude that we got ONE all-new character in a Battle Packs set when this should be the standard instead? We think that is quite egregious that we’ve been that battered by your incessant repacks that we think this way now. Do you see how many things are wrong here?!)
We probably sound like those spoiled, entitled (and pitifully lazy) and over-sensitized children we just criticized, but we hope that’s not the tone we leave you with because it has nothing to do with entitlement. Let’s use the excuse of the economy if you want. We can no longer spare any extra dollars on figures we have 100 times already. This includes the nightmarish TARGET Movie Heroes two-packs, 90% of the Movie Heroes line and even your choices for what figures you choose to rerelease in The Clone Wars facet of the 2012 line. (We digress, but did you really pack 2007’s Saga Legends Battle Droid once for $8.99/$9.99? Are you kidding us? And how many cases are we going to be seeing the peg-clogging Snow Kloon? Please say it isn’t so!) In order to save our hobby things are going to have to change for the better. And if that means exhausting some unexpected tooling budgets here and there, you’re going to have to do that and skip a few repacks instead. Comic Packs and Evolutions are dead because of the lack of interest created by the nonstop repacks. Those are two lines we are still devastated to see extinct even today. We miss them. And we believe they would absolutely be running strong if you didn’t decide to repack so many of the older sets in the new case assortments.
As a side note, please work better with retail to get clogged product marked down and/or out of the store (we're talking to you Toys R Us and Walmart to a lesser degree). It prevents new and much more exciting product from coming into stores. Also, please micro-manage The Vintage Collection’s distribution like white on rice. I am becoming concerned over so many The Phantom Menace figures already hanging on the pegs. Although relatively fit (from a cardio-vascular perspective from running everyday at the gym), my body cannot handle another stressful year of figure hunting to never reap any benefits of finding a new wave of figures on the shelves thanks to an overabundance of the first wave of figures due to "street date syndrome". Don’t advise me to go online for them, just get them into the stores. Thank you for listening. But after you listen, please act and help us.