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 Post subject: Oil Prices
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:24 am 
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proverbial old fart
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I've been thinking about this topic for some time now and the recent dismal announcement by Hasbro on it's quarterly earnings makes me wonder if the continual hike in oil prices will have a negative impact on action figures.

Will we see more oversized figures like Galactus and the Sentinel from Marvel Legends?

Will DCD scale back?

Julius, do you have any information?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:58 pm 
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I actually started a thread on this on one of the GI Joe boards.

If the oil prices continue to stay high, it will at some point impact action figures.

Remember in the 70's and 80's, we had small scale lines (Mego and then 3 3/4" Joe and SW) replace 12" lines due to petroleum prices.

For ML I don't think it will effect the oversize figures as they are bonus parts and realistically no different than the bases in terms of cost.

Similarly for DCD, they are already marked up very high and small run so for them worst case scenario would probably be fewer offerings rather than a new scale (being almost 100" collector focused, a new scale could kill their sales.)

The situation that I see the Petroleum prices effecting the most would a change in scale for an entire line, like what Hasbro is doing with GI Joe Sigma Six.

To double the size of your figures takes a lot more plastic! (but it may be offset by fewer vehicles...)

SpyMagician


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 6:22 pm 
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I have an article at work that got sent to me that I'm try to dig up tomorrow about the impact of oil prices on the toy industry.

Short answer: yes, toy companies are already taking a hit. Plastic prices have gone up, more importantly shipping prices have gone way up. So far, companies take the hit because wal-mart and other retailers don't want a price hike.

This is already changing, though. All we can hope for is the price of oil to stableize or start going down.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 8:37 pm 
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We can send over more troops, that'll fix it! *ahem* sorry!

Interesting topic though...now Georg and Jesse have another excuse as to why each of us isn't seeing our favorite character - "Metal Men? Sorry son, just can't do it. The oil prices, you know!" :P

Otter, please post that article if you find it!

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 Post subject: Oil Prices
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:29 pm 
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I hadn't thought about transportation costs, but that will probably have a larger impact on toys because the vast majority of stuff is not manufactured in China and elsewhere in Asia.

Will it mean smaller orders from Wal-Mart/TRU/Target/etc. to offset the shipping costs? Will it be even more difficult for some of us to find figures than it is already?

*sigh*
:?
Glenn


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:42 pm 
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Still looking for the article in the mountain of crap all over my desk. I may have passed it around the office...

On shipping costs, the transporation costs involved in Asian manufacturing are usually more than the material costs, IIRC. Labor is dirt cheap.

To have all the costs go up is what's going to kill it (as China becomes more developed, cost of lviing will rise leading to higher labor costs. Oil prices will make plastic and shipping more expensive, too. Kiss cheap toys goodbye within 10 years or so.)

Wal-Mart is the big factor here, especially once they drive everyone out of business. Wal-Mart demands cheapness and effientcy, so companies will either go lean or go under. Be interesting to see what happens...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:00 pm 
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ToyOtter wrote:
Wal-Mart is the big factor here, especially once they drive everyone out of business. Wal-Mart demands cheapness and effientcy, so companies will either go lean or go under. Be interesting to see what happens...


Which is one of the many reasons I don't shop at Wal-Mart. You may save a few pennies, but you lose a little bit of your soul every time you shop there. Buy local if you can, shop at other stores if you must, but for gosh sakes people don't give the Evil Empire any more of your money!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:18 am 
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Finally found that article. It was in the March 23, 2005 Wall Street jopurnal, but you need a subscription to view it on their site.

Here is a bad scan of a beat up clipping. ;)

http://toyotter.com/wsjtoyoil.jpg

J.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:24 pm 
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Thanks, Otter, for digging up the article and sharing it.

:wink:

As for Wal-Mart, I fully recognize these guys are not our friends, but in many small towns like the one I live in, the local businessed died out when Sam moved in and they are the only game in town unless you drive to Tulsa - 50 miles away...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 6:19 pm 
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I hear ya, Glenn!
I been b!+<hing since WM dropped JLU that I have to drive an HOUR to the nearest store that carries them.

but SOME good news the other day:
Rehab show "Town Haul" is coming to Washington, MO, home of SuperCenter #1!
They are going to remodel the old theatre downtown (again! I saw Twilight Zone and Godzilla '85 there, and it hasn't been used much since!) and some other storefronts in hopes of attracting the locals that have left the struggling businesses that haven't moved to the various stripmalls centered around WM.

they are supposed to start shooting sometime in late May, and ep may air in August. Just in time for the local County Fair! w00t!



(yeah, Wash sux, but they think they can compete with the St. Louis 'burbs. whatcha gonna do?)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:17 pm 
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I found another article in my stack of crap on the desk, this one thankfully also online:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/04/19/news/costs.php

Not about oil per se, but more bad news about rising costs.

J.


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