Good evening, Toy Runners! My internet was down until now, so today’s post is a bit late. I am working on some new customs I wanted to share. I also wanted to talk about distribution a little bit and probably rant a bit too. Click here to hear me out.
I did a Target run today during lunch, and as I came around the corner to the Star Wars aisle my peripheral vision caught a sign of new products. I immediately started skipping in elation in expectation of what I would find. As I got close, my stomach free-fell instantly. My local Target just received a new case of The Rise Of Skywalker 12-Inch Figures. I could barely pick myself up to exit the store. What a major kick in the you-know-what. But Star Wars is the best it’s ever been some will say! It’s the “Golden Era” of collecting what others will say too!
Unicorns do exist! I found the latest wave of The Vintage Collection at my local Target. To my amazement, Boba Fett was still hanging on the pegs and I didn’t get to the store until 11:30 AM on Saturday. Perhaps most have already given up on brick-and-mortar for Star Wars collecting and don’t bother anymore. There is little competition it seems.
There have been quite a few recent articles trying to pin down the blame on why The Vintage Collection is in the state that it’s in, and the editorials have been anywhere from ridiculous to conspiracy theory. After a recent audit of my The Vintage Collection stock, to my horror, I discovered I only have 38 Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight) figures in stock, 34 short of my six dozen minimum. (more….)
Yay! Aside from a few lucky exceptions, Walmart hasn’t had much when it comes to Star Wars. I just received a string of emails last night cancelling almost all of my pre-orders, from The Black Series 6″ figure, to The Vintage Collection figures. And ALL of my local Walmarts don’t have a blessed thing in years, including their Fall and Winter exclusives. I am tired of asking what’s going on with distribution anymore. But despite it all, the stuff that no one wants enters the stores with relative ease. Oh, and Walmart sure has plenty of stuff like this! Special thanks to friend Russ T. for the image.
Look, this isn’t another dig at “sixers.” So don’t take it that way. But will Hasbro ever throw a bone to TVC collectors? It’s pure frustration. The Vintage Collection cannot catch a break. Retail doesn’t care. Collectors are getting numb again. And it’s obvious that Hasbro certainly doesn’t care. (more….)
As you know, Ollie’s stores got multiple case assortments of The Vintage Collection in enough quantity to make a big deal about it and posted the news in their ad the week they went for sale. If you’re a collector of The Vintage Collection, you know that MANY of the figures that arrived at Ollie’s never made their way to brick and mortar stores like TARGET and WALMART. A lot of collectors saw the Rogue One Stormtrooper for the first time at Ollie’s, and on clearance to boot. One of the case boxes from the same Hasbro distribution center went to Ollie’s. And then we have another picture of a Walmart case from Walmart with the local label pulled back for comparison. What we discovered is not unexpected, but still disconcerting. It provides proof of how frustrating the current state of distribution is. Click through for more.
The Walmart Exclusive The Vintage Collection Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard) process seemed like things had changed for the giant retailer, but now things are turning for the worse, and orders can’t be fulfilled (despite order statuses claiming it will arrive today). It was too good to be true we suppose. WARNING: salty language exists on this thread, but if you’re interested to see what a fellow collector experienced, check out this thread at Rebelscum Special thanks to JTA reader Rich K. for the alert. And if you have better luck, let us know!
Wow! Could this all be for the better? Site Seibertron has posted a fascinating article that Hasbro may be changing the approach to how they allow retail to order action figures. Maybe it will be possible for us to order solid cases of that Rogue One Imperial Stormtrooper, huh? Special thanks to JTA reader Forcehunter for the alert!
Last week COTY, a manufacturer of luxury perfumes, with Calvin Klein being one of their brands, sued German discounter ALDI. COTY didn’t want ALDI to sell several of their perfumes anymore and a court found that COTY is in the right. The presentation and retail environment at ALDI stores hurt the brand image and thus the court ruled that ALDI has to stop the sale of COTY perfumes.
Now, what does that have to do with Star Wars? Very simple, whatever is going on with Star Wars toys at the moment, figures for $2.99, figures for $0.03, toys found at Ollie’s or Five Below are nothing that Hasbro would have to accept, unless they are ok with it.
Click through for a very brief primer on distribution and my own thoughts about how Star Wars toys should or could be distributed in the future.
JTA reader eagerly sends us an email that he found a ton of The Black Series [Phase III] 6″ Snowtroopers at his local ROSS stores for $3.99 each. Where are all of these old figures hiding? It’s astounding how much stuff is ending up at clearance outlets. Again, I haven’t seen ANYTHING remotely similar to this devastation in my lifetime of collecting. I don’t even think The Phantom Menace [3D] debacle was this bad. Special thanks to JTA reader Christian C. for the alert!
Crazy that back in July the Mimban Stormtrooper TVC figure hit eBay, and since then, there has been only one store report from Australia that this figure has even touched retail pegs (and they don’t even have Walmarts). Yet, on the eBays, there are plenty available if you want to pay the price. If you’re wondering where on earth this figure is… It’s still in China since that’s where 135 of them has been sold from! Again: Hasbro, you are already killing us with the repacks, at least distribute the few good figures you choose to make!
In Australia that is! Complete with Walmart stickers! Australia doesn’t even have Walmarts (yet)! How sad is it that the exclusive The Vintage Collection Stormtrooper (Mimban) figure for American Walmarts (that should have arrived months ago) is hitting in considerable numbers in Australia first? I mean, we’re happy for our fellow collectors in the land of “down under” but this is ridiculous. Special thanks to JTA reader General Solo for the image and report.
You have to wonder if The Last Jedi was such a “masterpiece” as some claim it is why the merchandising of it is in the toilet. (That’s not a dig at the film. I didn’t hate it as YouTube does.) While I think both extreme unbridled praise as well as volatile criticism of the film are a tad ridiculous, I can’t deny how poorly the merchandising performed (and in all honesty, this is where the real money comes into play). How many of us actually found the final wave of 3.75″ The Black Series [Phase III] exclusives? I have seen more reports of no one finding them than finding them. And if we did see retailer exclusives, how many of them clogged up shelf space until discounted and eventually removed? JTA reader Scot G. found some key “The Last Jedi” exclusives at his local Tuesday Morning store along with other unsellable stuff. Hopefully, the next film will be a marketing juggernaut.
How is Walmart going to be the new “Toys R Us” when they can’t even get out a single Star Wars exclusive from Hasbro? Well, maybe they won’t be able to achieve this business goal. Or maybe something will drastically change with their protocols so it can become a possibility. We have learned something shocking about one of Walmart’s exclusives and received an update on another. The answer for a third exclusive is still in limbo, however. (more….)
So, what’s the deal with The Black Series [Star Wars 40] wave 2? You heard Hasbro say wave 1 is basically done, but wave 2 is on the way now (from our SDCC Q&A). Much of this is 100% accurate, then again, we said the same thing as well also. What you may want to be reminded about is that for wave 1 solid case packs for Han Solo and Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) are still coming, so this first set of figures is not truly “done” from that perspective. But most collectors are much more concerned with wave 2, and rightfully so. (more….)
Do we then expect
the future lines The Vintage Collection to be handled better? I don’t know. What’s going on? (more….)
JTA regular Mark directs our attention to an interesting turn of events on a much wanted action figure. The elusive Rogue One (Star Wars: Rebels) Fenn Rau that once showed as “This item is no longer available” has just changed its status online at Walmart to “Coming Soon”. As you know, we CANNOT get a straight answer on this figure from official sources. Can this product page update serve as any glimmer of hope, a sign or guarantee that it’s still coming? Probably not, but we still believe that this currently hard-to-find figure will see future better availability – we just don’t know when exactly.
UPDATE: It DID say “Coming Soon” earlier (see attached screen shot as evidence), but it’s now showing as “No Longer Available”. I guess our hope is shot down now.
How many of these did Hasbro make? The last time we recall asking this question was in 2012 with the Star Wars [The Phantom Menace 3D] line which was a total and utter retail debacle. However, now it seems the same is becoming true for The Force Awakens line. Who would have thunk 5POA for a new Star Wars film WASN’T the way to do things? Huh! How about that? JTA reader Mark L. also chimes in with “My Five Below in Denton TX restocked all their SW figures so that means a whole new set of $4 (down from $5) unmasked Kylo, Resistance Rey, Nien Nunb and Squad Leader FO Troopers. Where are these coming from?” We’ll probably be seeing the TFA 5POA figures for a VERY long time.
How did all of you make out pre-ordering/ordering wave 11 the last couple of days? There was a LOT of doubt from many who didn’t believe these would be avaialble in solid case packs like we confidently confirmed. But just like we advised, all figures were available in this format. I hope you all got what you wanted! This wave will hopefully get slaughtered on the aftermarket now. There have been plenty produced, so please don’t pay more than MSRP for these four figures (Qui-Gon Jinn, Imperial Royal Guard, Lando Calrissian and Tusken Raider).
-Click HERE to return to the home page-