Well, as I get older and wiser I tend to look around at my many boxes of toys that I’ve acquired since college and wonder why I am still buying new ones when so many of my old one haven’t seen the light of day in many years.
The simple answer is that there is still a small part of me that loves toys. Not even necessarily a certain collection, or character, just toys in general. Unfortunately, most companies these days no longer turn out toys, but instead collector-focused shoddy crap that falls apart as soon as you touch it. But still, it gives us a deeper character pool to play with, and a more varied range of figures every year that a solely kid focused line could not do. This is the major reason I’ll continue to pick up Mattel’s DCUC line until it ends.
But as for any Hasbro toys, I’m done. I just bought my last one: Marvel Legends Union Jack. Ever since I started collecting comics back in the early 1980s, I’ve always been attracted to the goofy c-list and d-list characters that populate the margins of the comic universe. One reason I love Kenner Super Powers so much is that they not only embraced these characters, but went even more obscure and created their own! So over the years there have been figures that I never thought would ever be made that I just had to have: Morbius (except he needs his classic outfit!), Man-Wolf, Taskmaster, Black Knight, Wendigo, and Baron Strucker. Eventually, I’m sure Toy Biz would have made all of my "most wanted", including Jackal, Puma, Razorback, Carrion, Gladiator, and maybe even Swarm!
But even if Hasbro makes these, I won’t be buying them. Putting aside the incredible cost hikes these last few years for a moment (Union Jack was $15!), I just cannot support a company that mishandles so many lines when I’m feeling lukewarm on toys in general. Indiana Jones was dropped less than six months after launching. While this might not have even been more than a 1-2 year line, the incredibly bad planning behind it is inexcusable, especially since Hasbro has sat on the license since 1999 while awaiting for a 4th film. But bad character choices, case packouts, package design, distribution, shipping schedule, and horrible sculpt/paint jobs all prematurely killed it before they could even ship all the product already manufactured.
Then you have thing like the lack of a real animated style Boba Fett. I’ve always wanted a nice 3 3/4" version of the Holiday Special character. But what they put out was a repaint of the same sculpt they’ve used way too many times now, instead of a new sculpt that actually followed the streamlined animated style. They could easily do it- they’ve already put out two whole animated style lines! Gentle Giant made an incredible animated version as a statue. But Hasbro wants people to keep paying inflated prices for crummy merchandise. Thank God I’ve never cared about Clone Troopers!
Taking into account all that, the worst thing about Hasbro is that they’ve bought up all the great smaller companies (Kenner, Tonka, Galoob) and totally butchered what was great about them, leaving no competition for the great toys of yesteryear. I’ve missed Kenner for quite awhile, and I’ll miss Toy Biz now, too. But fondness for what they used to create alone cannot keep me buying lesser versions of their product.
Anyway, I’ve finally got my Union Jack, and even if he is basically a reused Spider-Man body he still looks OK. But my buck stops here. Sorry, Hasbro.