I’ve read the forums, I have listened to the Podcasts, and they all want to know the same thing: what the hell is Hasbro doing?
It’s obvious that they have alienated their main user base: the collector. Collectors like myself have been avid supporters of Hasbro’s various lines since the beginning, but lately the Hasbro executive is intent on killing what we have all come to love. So I have some things to get off of my mind…if you agree or disagree, please let us know in the comments section.
1. Too Many Damn Lines: When Hasbro started their 3.75″ (or 4″ or 1:18th scale, whatever floats your boat) action figure line with the Marvel Universe, it was well received. There was a hole left by Toy Biz in the Marvel action figure area and Hasbro stepped up and filled it with the Marvel Universe line. Through the years other lines have contributed to this initial scale including the Wolverine: X-Men Origins figures and other various movie lines, but the mainstay has always been Marvel Universe.
Now there are just too many damn figure lines on the shelves now. And then we hit our first mistake. Hasbro should have put an expiration on some of their figures. I bet you can walk into a Toys R Us right now and still find Thor and Captain America action figures on the pegs. Both of those lines are over two years old! When you have a main standard line like Marvel Universe, it is almost okay for the figures to sit on the pegs. But movie figure line should definitely have some sort of shelf date before major retailers have to shovel them out to secondary retailers (Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, etc).
I was in Target today and they had Iron Man 3 Assemblers (a crap line I did not buy), the crappy Iron man 3 cheap low articulated figures (more on that later), the Ultimate Spider-man cartoon line, the crappy Ultimate Spider-man cheap figures, the crappy Avengers Assemble low articulation figures, the Amazing Spider-man movie figures, the Avengers movie figures and finally about a total of four Marvel Universe figures. I’m surprised with the Marvel Universe figures because this particular Target has been devoid of Marvel Universe for months now.
Why so many dang lines? And why is your most popular line the least stocked? Do you not like money? I know tons of collectors that would love to give Hasbro and Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, etc. their money. So why low-ball us on what we want and give us tons of crap that no one wants?
2. Cheap Crappy Figures: Why did Hasbro decide to make and distribute crap figures with five points of articulation and a paint application that looks like my one year old daughter painted it? They claim they are looking for the more kid friendly market. So now I’m confused…when I was a kid, I stopped buying Star Wars figures so that I could get the new GI Joes with the Kung-Fu grip. You would not believe how much better having elbow and knee articulation in my action figures accentuated my level of playtime.
You missed the mark with that one. Keep these figures in the Dollar Store where they belong and stop putting your crap in major retail stores. It can’t be a cost thing. Wal-Mart has a line of GI Joe knock off figures that each have over 20 points of articulation…and sell for $2 or less a piece. If Wal-Mart can do that, why can’t Hasbro? Is compromising your loyal user base worth picking up another five dollars from some gullible kid?
By the way, no kid that I have met said that they wanted a figure with little to no articulation. Hasbro, stop sniffing the figure glue!
3. Distribution: This really pisses me and other collectors off. For two years in a row we got a wave of figures in the beginning of the year and a literal drought during the summertime. Granted, they did put out one or two decent figures with the Avengers movie line last summer, but other than that, many of us waited and waited for the next Marvel Universe wave to come out. We finally did get one or two towards the end of the year like we are finally getting them now at the end of this year (two waves have come out within a month of each other).
Your running changes and variants in the line has also backfired (again). Your once prominent relaunch of the Marvel Legends 6″ line has lead to missed schedules and promised running changes and variants that we never received (still no Blade for me to review). When will you stop screwing the consumer?
4. Name change: You have one of the most popular series of figures (next to GI Joe and Star Wars) and what do want to do with it? Kill that line and “try” to rebrand it with one of your successful properties that happen to be a subset of what you just killed. Still waiting to see where this one is going.
I have to admit, nothing seems the same since Marvel advocate David Vonner was head of the division. He made sure he delivered on what he promised.We now have collectors out there worried that we won’t get all of the figures promised due to previous record and bad distribution. I’m already sitting here hoping I get to see a Dagger figure (I already have Cloak) or a A-Bomb (again, I have an Abomination figure).
Whatever you do, make it right for 2014. Narrow the billion of unsellable brand you have and just stick with one. Give it a great price and awesome detail and articulation. Me and other collectors would love to give you our business…let’s not hope you lose that little faith that we still in you to produce awesome action figures.