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 Post subject: What is Hasbro doing RIGHT that Mattel... isn't doing?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:52 am 
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Every time someone complains about the lack of availability of Mattel's DC action figures (pick your favorite line) the excuse comes up that Mattel is still new to the whole action figure market, not having the experience of, say, Hasbro.

NONSENSE.

Mattel has been producing action figures almost since action figures began. In the 60s they had Major Matt Mason, in the 70s Big Jim, and in the 80s a little thing called He-Man.

But when I go looking for DC product in the toy aisles, here's what I do see: 25th anniversary Joes widely available, with the shorter-packed figures only available in maybe 40% of the stores I randomly walk into. (Which seems pretty reasonable to me.) I wish I collected Sigma Six, because even though I see Duke, Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow everywhere I go, every 60-90 days it's a DIFFERENT Duke, Snake-Eyes and Storm shadow. And the other characters roll in, hang around for a while, roll out, and are replaced with new characters on a regular basis. I don't recall seeing Destro but otherwise I believe I've found EVERY Sigma Six character at least once. The GI Joe product seems to be fairly well distributed from chain to chain, too, unlike the "don't bother looking in Wal-Mart" situation with some DC product.

So, could someone explain-- what does Hasbro do right that Mattel does wrong?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:17 am 
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Well for one, Hasbro is pretty much flooding the market with product. You can't walk into a store without seeing Spider-Man 3 or FF figures. and you can find the villains as well, not just Spidey or Thing.


Last edited by MrTheFrog on Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:18 am 
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One point.
Hasbro owns a couple of those licenses outright,
GIJoe and Transformers
so there is no licensing fee overhead for them.

No idea if this has any impact on distribution, but money not spent on licensing could be spent anywhere.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:35 am 
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>>So, could someone explain-- what does Hasbro do right that Mattel does wrong?<<

Okay, this has been explained about ten gazillion times around here, but hey, what the heck. Let's do this again.

2007 was a tough year for retail shelf space. There were four, count'em four, major movies that were released this year that had a toy line. Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Carribean, Transformers and Fantastic Four 2. Wal-mart, Target, TRU and the other retailers only have a limited amount of shelf space that they can devote to each line. And I can tell you right now, they're going to devote the most space to the lines that have a movie that they can tie the toys into. The movie promotes the toys. The toys promote the movies (And the inevitable DVDs.) See how that works? It's just good business.

All four of those action figure lines will hang around through Christmas. When the stores do their January and Spring resets, you'll see some major changes. The Dark Knight movie toys will be huge next year. So will the 6" DC Classics line. Mattel and DC will get a lot more lovin'.

Go to your local Target or Wal-Mart today and take a look around at the action figure aisle. Look at how much space Spider-Man 3, Pirates and the Transformers are taking. And then think about how much more space the retailers are going to have when that stuff is gone.

Mike
(Thank goodness that the January resets aren't that far off anymore. Frankly, I'm getting tired of going over this.)


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 Post subject: Re: What is Hasbro doing RIGHT that Mattel... isn't doing?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:37 am 
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killer mothzilla wrote:
and in the 80s a little thing called He-Man.

Let's not forget the Secret Wars line.

killer mothzilla wrote:
here's what I do see: 25th anniversary Joes widely available, with the shorter-packed figures only available in maybe 40% of the stores I randomly walk into.

I have yet to see a single carded 25th anniversary figure at retail. I got tired of looking and purchased a set off eBay at an added cost of four bucks + shipping. I don't know where you're located, but your experience does not match mine at all.

On the other hand, I did manage to score the 25th anniversary five-packs without any trouble. They were directly across the aisle from Doomsday packs. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:13 am 
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SDcomics wrote:
The toys promote the movies (And the inevitable DVDs.) See how that works? It's just good business.


Is the Lord Beckett quote intentional? :D

In all honesty, while the explanation for the current toy-aisle situation makes complete sense, I do feel that Hasbro has a better grasp of the action figure market. I know many folks were glad when they lost the DC/Bat license a few years back, but I don't recall (with the exception of the original BTAS Penguin) ever having the frustration I've had with new DC figures over the past year.

I can also say that when it comes to Transformers, G.I. Joe and Star Wars, I think I can honestly say I've never had major difficulty in finding what I'm looking for within a reasonable amount of time. Plus, I think the methods of communication with fans (esp. on Star Wars) is fantastic, and I wish other companies would do the same.

I understand that different properties come with different "rules" (Movie tie-ins, licensing fees, character choices), but to me, with the MOTU relaunch, the Harry Potter series, the comic Batman line, and lately JLU & DCSH, Mattel does not seem as able as Hasbro, IMO.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:18 am 
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The most basic, and proven problem, for Mattel is they're not understanding the basic case ratios, and store restocking systems relationship.

With the cases from the JLU line being so heavly packed with the trinity packs, and knight 3-packs and now the steel/supergirl 3 packs, stores like Target, Wal-Mart, TRU etc. will not replenish these items until the peg-warmers sell. Target's computers do automatic stock ordering based on units sold per store, wal-mart too, and TRU orders for all stores based on overall product sell through.

Bottom line, if JLU skin numbers are not being seen as "sold" by the computers, then new stock is not going to get ordered.

I presented this specific concern up awhile back to BW, but he didn't seem to think it was much of a worry... I tend to think it still is.

After awhile, if a store can not move a specific product, then the normal conclusion would be that the product is done; run it's course. And ultimately these stores will use the bottle-necked peg space for new items that sell.

This shouldn't be too hard to figure out. Mattel needs to get the old stock off the shelves, and new stuff up, ASAP. This will keep the cycle of sell/restock going. If this doesn't happen soon, I don't think it matters how many new JLU figures come out, no stores will be carrying the line.

GD

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:05 pm 
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SDcomics wrote:
>>So, could someone explain-- what does Hasbro do right that Mattel does wrong?<<

Okay, this has been explained about ten gazillion times around here, but hey, what the heck. Let's do this again.

Mike
(Thank goodness that the January resets aren't that far off anymore. Frankly, I'm getting tired of going over this.)



You own a comic shop, right? Because restating the obvious rather than offering any additional explanation, complete with Jeff Albertson-esque sarcasm, is just what a comic shop guy would say.

If you had read my post correctly you would have seen I was asking about what Hasbro does right versus Mattel, not the kind of idiotic "duhh, why so many Spiderman 3 figures but hardly any DC figures" question you probably get all day at your comic shop, where your off-the shelf, Standard Summer Movie Toys Rant #7B passes for wit, I guess.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:06 pm 
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MrTheFrog wrote:
Well for one, Hasbro is pretty much flooding the market with product. You can't walk into a store without seeing Spider-Man 3 or FF figures. and you can find the villains as well, not just Spidey or Thing.
-Artie


Well, that's summer movie tie-in product. I was comparing evergreen lines like GI Joe to Mattel's non-media DC lines.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:08 pm 
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superfriend wrote:
One point.
Hasbro owns a couple of those licenses outright,
GIJoe and Transformers
so there is no licensing fee overhead for them.

No idea if this has any impact on distribution, but money not spent on licensing could be spent anywhere.


As far as it goes, absolutely right. But I don't see how it could impact distribution directly-- maybe one of the insiders could explain.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:09 pm 
Hasbro seems to be getting product into stores here in Canada. Mattel isn't.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:12 pm 
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Thatman wrote:
I don't recall (with the exception of the original BTAS Penguin) ever having the frustration I've had with new DC figures over the past year.


The animated Penguin is an interesting case. Apparently he was either dropped from the cases or drastically reduced fairly early on, then when the line took off with collectors, Penguins were scare. Pretty ironic that a figure so few people wanted to pay $5.99 for wound up costing over $100 for a while on the collector market. It's the character design, methinks. Awful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:18 pm 
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geoffdude wrote:
Bottom line, if JLU skin numbers are not being seen as "sold" by the computers, then new stock is not going to get ordered.

I presented this specific concern up awhile back to BW, but he didn't seem to think it was much of a worry... I tend to think it still is.

After awhile, if a store can not move a specific product, then the normal conclusion would be that the product is done; run it's course. And ultimately these stores will use the bottle-necked peg space for new items that sell.

This shouldn't be too hard to figure out. Mattel needs to get the old stock off the shelves, and new stuff up, ASAP. This will keep the cycle of sell/restock going. If this doesn't happen soon, I don't think it matters how many new JLU figures come out, no stores will be carrying the line.

GD




See, that's what I keep arguing about. I'm told by Forum members, "Dummy, didn't you read what Mattel said? They're FIXING the problem." And yet month after month I see pegs with no recent product and dust covered 2006 stuff and I say "I don't see how they can reverse this terrible situation after all this time." And it's NOT JUST because getting the DC master license threw a monkey wrench into their plans and it's NOT JUST because this was a movie-toy summer and Mattel didn't have too many (or any?).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:40 pm 
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>>You own a comic shop, right? <<

No, I don't. I moderate an action figure message board where the same two or three guys continually beat the same two or three topics right into the ground.

Why do these two or three guys keep doing this? I have no idea. But they kinda remind me of little hamsters spinning around in a wheel.

>>Because restating the obvious rather than offering any additional explanation, complete with Jeff Albertson-esque sarcasm, is just what a comic shop guy would say.<<

Jeez. What is it with you? What other "additional explanation" are you looking for?

Do you want someone from Mattel to personally apologize to you because Spider-Man 3, Transformers and Pirates all came out this year?

>>If you had read my post correctly you would have seen I was asking about what Hasbro does right versus Mattel, not the kind of idiotic "duhh, why so many Spiderman 3 figures but hardly any DC figures" question you probably get all day at your comic shop, where your off-the shelf, Standard Summer Movie Toys Rant #7B passes for wit, I guess.<<

You're right. Next January, when the Spidey 3, Pirates, Transformers and FF 2 toys cycle through, the pegs they were on will be filled with ... nothing.

Mike
(What is it about "There's only a limited amount of shelf space" that you're not getting?)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:09 pm 
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SDcomics wrote:
[Mike
(What is it about "There's only a limited amount of shelf space" that you're not getting?)


See, you're doing it again! :lol:

Hey, I just took offense because I feel I'm addressing a real problem and got what I, in my opinion, felt was an insultingly stock response that dismissed my feelings out of hand. (Sorry if I offended you by to calling you a comic shop guy, but that is the kind of thing they say.)

If you feel I'm beating a dead horse, well, you're a moderator, I'm not. If I post a new thread you feel has been answered umpteen times, just remove it. And there's no need to threaten me, as you did in a different thread a moment ago. I really don't think I say anything so caustic as to derserve getting kicked off the boards-- and many, many members have risen to my defense over some of my most supposedly outrageous comments.

I don't launch personal attacks, I don't use foul language, I've never participated in an AICN-level "flame war" even with the most pompous, self-appointed "experts" on this forum. I don't even WRITE IN ALL CAPS.

I feel my job around here is to keep things from getting boring. Sure, I say wacky things, and sometimes if they're really dumb I'm justifiably skewered for it.

But you know, first and foremost, this Forum should be fun. I don't think I deserve to get kicked off, or even to be threatened to be kicked off.


But it's your forum, you're a moderator, it's your choice.


KMZ out


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