The end of Modern Collecting?

monkey_roo

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OK - maybe a headline better suited to the tabloids - or to a younger viewers a bit of clickbate - but I think it is fair question.

I am sure most of us pop over to JediTempleArchives now and again, and there are always some interesting articles there, often moaning about Hasbro and the quality of their output of late, but if we are being honest currently Hasbro is making a mess of things and as a company they are in a spot of bother.

I read JTA's recent article on how Hasbro haven't even got a wave lined up to go with the new Mando season (criminal when you think about it), add to that how badly they performed last year sales/profit-wise and then look at what is coming out (reissues, repaints, kit bashed figures) - and then what is looking like a lackluster 40th Jedi line (that said I will be getting it all) - Where are the big exciting items, Jabba's palace, Ewok Village etc, and the silly prices we are now being asked to pay, and it does start to raise the question of how bad are things getting and are we looking at a similar situation to the end of the 80's, i.e. the end of a toy line?

For my own part I am seriously thinking this could be the end of the line as a modern collector for me, after the 40th Jedi stuff (again, which I will buy as I have the other 40th stuff and want all three films together) I am seriously thinking enough is enough, nothing majorly exciting, too expensive and now almost always click and buy within minutes or you miss out, so no fun... - but what do others think? Is Hasbro up the creek without a paddle or as collectors are we just going to buy whatever they serve up at whatever price they set regardless?
 

kabuchi7

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I have a modern collection which i started collecting around 2018 when the vintage collection figures returned. I bought some older ones ( mainly the new figures 2010+ on the original cardbacks) and i haven't missed a figure since then but the last year or so has taken its toll on me!

My biggest concerns:

Pre-ordering figures months before release is'nt much fun and had me questioning if i actually had ordered it around release day as i had forgot.

Having to pre order items on the day/time of release or risk them selling out and having to go to ebay and pay inflated prices.

The amount of clone troopers or re-issues, wheres the missing figures from the original 96?

I think this year i will be more selective with my purchases and i'm definately giving up with the black series, retro collection etc.
 

Mini99

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Yeh your both correct, I don't buy "Modern" Star Wars anymore and haven't for about a year now for all the reasons above.
Some of your concerns maybe dealt with this year….but we will have to wait and see.
If you don't regularly listen to these podcasts (I can highly recommend them) give these episodes a go as they are all about this subject.

Star Wars prototypes & production - ep121
Galaxy of toys - ep109
 

db94

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2010 - SW Vintage Collection comes out. It's in the shops, actually hanging on pegs. My daughter and I just love it.
I'm going daft over the original card art on the figures and ships and she's adding to her toy collection.

We make regular trips to local toy shops and supermarkets knowing there will be plenty to choose from, availability isn't a problem and we get to spend quality time searching through them looking for best paint apps.

It was a fantastic time, I remember making a 4 hour round trip on a particularly snowy night to get the VC snowspeeder from Forbidden Planet Aberdeen in time for Christmas. Toys R Us was always fully stocked and 9 times out of 10 had some kind of offer on.

Slowly over the years the fun just went right out of it - they changed the bubbles to larger ones that looked out of place on a VC style figure. Local shops stopped stocking them, online exclusives became a thing.

Got excited about wave 1 of the Retro line only to find out they were a bit cheap and nasty - couldn't hold their weapons. Wave 2 came out and they opted for the stupid large bubbles which looked even more out of place on that line.

For many years my modern collection was on display in my room next to my vintage, looked great and a fun way to add regularly without breaking the bank. Now it's all boxed up and in storage. I was tempted with the Speederbike but in the end I've just decided to drop modern collecting. My last delivery of VC figures arrived - 2 x R2D2 and 1 Stormtrooper, cost me just shy of £50 with postage. I opened the box and just thought, nope, this is silly, £50 for 3 figures.

Remember my Dad talking about the bakery he worked at - the owner sold a delicious fruit cake that was really popular. To save pennies he started to change the recipe, substitute ingredients for cheaper alternatives until slowly over time no one bought the cake anymore. Modern SW should be a sure fire money spinner for Hasbro/Disney but they insist on getting the basics wrong.
70A487D1-1074-45F9-BCA9-1BE8DE9C1662.jpeg
06A60E4B-B513-4E64-8443-388E0BA4EDBF.jpeg
 

monkey_roo

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That all does look lovely laid out like that.

The price point has to be the biggest killer now - you called it £50 for 3 figures is insane - and certainly no kids are buying these at these prices. Yes I have ordered the Jedi AT-ST - partly because it is a 40th branded set, but also I passed on the Mando one from a few years ago, but £90.... no parent is buying that for their kid and no kid would want it - SW VC figures and Black service are rapidly becoming a collector only lines and since a lot of collectors appear unhappy it seems inevitable the end is coming.

While there is a lot of talk around the entire brand of SW being tired and out of date other companies with SW licences don't seem to be suffering as much, Funko (while feeling the financial crunch) are still selling, likewise Lego (don't get me started on price there either..) I would say costumes and plush toys aimed at kids do well, as does clothing.

Maybe Hasbro should finally admit they have two targets - kids who want kids toys to play with at prices parents will pay and collectors who will happily pay more for a higher quality item, the key word being quality - a less is more approach here is maybe the way to go.

It is worth looking at Lego here - for years they stated they were a kids toy company and that was their target and while they acnolledged there were adult fans, they made up a small percentage of sales and therefore were not going to be 'pandered' to - roll forward to today and we see the Icons and 18+ branding on the side of high-value - high quality sets 100% aimed at the adult collectors (I will be buying the upcoming Raiders Of the Los Ark set day 1...) and the odd duffer aside, almost all those very high value sets sells well - Hasbro could learn something there maybe.

a junior line (which they have) aimed at 4-10 year olds (lets be honest by 10 most boys and girls are heavily into games and tech, not action figures these days)
a collectors line that is 18+

Oh and get rid of that haslab silliness...
 

grinchy

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Dec 2, 2013
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i think hasbro are killing interest with the price hikes, and the latest windowless packaging on black series is a killer for me, i mostly collect boxed, but i like seeing the figure, whats the point in going plastic free if you are then going to stagger preorders for a wave to one every couple of months forcing the buyer to have multiple preorders with multiple post and packaging and thus more emission's through the many individual deliveries not very green is it
 

monkey_roo

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Yep - So yesterday was the first for me and it reinforced the idea that the modern collecting is coming to an end for me, at least as a completist - the New Tuscan Raider popped up on IDT's but £16 for a figure no one was asking for, it is a pass and not in the way I think pass now and will come back later - just a hard pass - odd that it isn't sold out even now - maybe that is showing a slowdown in the market, since these figures were going out of stock so quickly before...

That said, I was happy to get the retro Mando figure but that was all (Star Wars anyway - must confess to getting the Indiana Jones figures and the two Re-Issue G1 Transformers).
 

lejackal

Grand Master
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Jul 1, 2015
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That all does look lovely laid out like that.

The price point has to be the biggest killer now - you called it £50 for 3 figures is insane - and certainly no kids are buying these at these prices. Yes I have ordered the Jedi AT-ST - partly because it is a 40th branded set, but also I passed on the Mando one from a few years ago, but £90.... no parent is buying that for their kid and no kid would want it - SW VC figures and Black service are rapidly becoming a collector only lines and since a lot of collectors appear unhappy it seems inevitable the end is coming.

While there is a lot of talk around the entire brand of SW being tired and out of date other companies with SW licences don't seem to be suffering as much, Funko (while feeling the financial crunch) are still selling, likewise Lego (don't get me started on price there either..) I would say costumes and plush toys aimed at kids do well, as does clothing.

Maybe Hasbro should finally admit they have two targets - kids who want kids toys to play with at prices parents will pay and collectors who will happily pay more for a higher quality item, the key word being quality - a less is more approach here is maybe the way to go.

It is worth looking at Lego here - for years they stated they were a kids toy company and that was their target and while they acnolledged there were adult fans, they made up a small percentage of sales and therefore were not going to be 'pandered' to - roll forward to today and we see the Icons and 18+ branding on the side of high-value - high quality sets 100% aimed at the adult collectors (I will be buying the upcoming Raiders Of the Los Ark set day 1...) and the odd duffer aside, almost all those very high value sets sells well - Hasbro could learn something there maybe.

a junior line (which they have) aimed at 4-10 year olds (lets be honest by 10 most boys and girls are heavily into games and tech, not action figures these days)
a collectors line that is 18+

Oh and get rid of that haslab silliness...
Haslab would be fine if they stuck to OT or PT mostly. Give us a Death Star, give us a Ewok Village, give us Mos Eisly in some form etc etc
 

Mini99

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Yep - So yesterday was the first for me and it reinforced the idea that the modern collecting is coming to an end for me, at least as a completist - the New Tuscan Raider popped up on IDT's but £16 for a figure no one was asking for, it is a pass and not in the way I think pass now and will come back later - just a hard pass - odd that it isn't sold out even now - maybe that is showing a slowdown in the market, since these figures were going out of stock so quickly before...

That said, I was happy to get the retro Mando figure but that was all (Star Wars anyway - must confess to getting the Indiana Jones figures and the two Re-Issue G1 Transformers).
The Tusken is still available, definitely shows a change in collectors minsets.
As for the IJ figures, I would certainly have been in the market for these, but just can't get past not seeing the figures in the box (I'm not an opener).
But saying that, I have fallen down the rabbit hole with the Dungeon & Dragon cartoon figures….🙄
 

monkey_roo

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Apr 1, 2011
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Just looked at those D&D Cartoon figures - they look amazing.
Like everyone - I wish that clear plastic was still a thing for all figures - but I do appreciate good box art. The Transformers artwork is amazing (as is that D&D art work) and the Indiana Jones stuff is good (could be better) - but hey, that the thing with Toy collecting - there's always another Toy :)

Likewise - Haslab is so silly. It could easily produce smash hit after hit if it understood the market - i.e. who is going to spend 400+ on a SW set - answer middle-aged collectors like us... An Ewok village, Death Star Playlet, Full Jabba's Palace, Royal Naboo Starship (At the same scale as the Galaxy Edge Falcon) all would be fantastic, basically avoid the Disney films and focus on high end special sets... But it isn't going to happen.

At least there is a rumour this morning that Lego will be producing a 'full' Jabba's palace set later in the year - so one company is going all in on the 40th Birthday at least.

Still less money spent on new stuff means more to spend on older stuff.....
 

Slayer2k16

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Dec 28, 2015
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21
I guess I'm more of a casual collector who after selling their vintage collection to someone on this forum wanted to pick up some figures mainly for nostalgic reasons.

The first choice was Vintage Collection or Black Series while troopers and Droids looked good in Black Series the human's ie Blaze looked terrible and the Vintage Collection were more what I had and cheaper especially when they were on sale so I went with that line.

At first, things were ok figures were decent and you could still find plenty on sale didn't buy many just before covid I pre-ordered some and the card backs were damaged but around this time the price started rising and hasn't stopped. I've ordered from most of the main online retailers and received damaged cards from all. I understand that the issue is with Hasbro but saying just open them doesn't really make sense your still paying for damaged cards.

As someone else mentioned the whole pre-order debacle was a nightmare it's not really Hasbro's fault with the global distribution chain but brick & mother shops got stock while the online stores never and in some cases it was months later. Combined with a couple of retailers going under taking people's money with them. All the while Hasbro kept increasing the price we're around eighteen quid a figure now kids can't afford them hell, I can't really afford them either.

I stopped collecting and only had the hobby for about two years before damaged cards or figures combined with silly prices and endless repaints meant that I just gave up.

I did get the first three Retro Collection waves but the exclusives, and poor cards lack of some figures like Ned B I've just about given up.
 

Grant_C

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I think a lot of it comes from lackluster Disney+ series that Hasbro are forced to put merchandise for.

I'm sure if they focused on every Instagrams top 100 instead of Reva, Val and Imperial Sand Snake, the collectors would ignore Fett and Clone repaints
 

monkey_roo

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There is something in that - Disney have rather last the plot (literally) when it comes to mapping out their story worlds right now. It seems there was never a master plan/vision for Star Wars. The films, while enjoyable enough in places, never resinated and never hung together coherently, the Mando was a surprise hit that took them by surprise and then they lost control of, the spin-offs, again, fun in places didn't really work, Andor is a great show, but not for kids in any way.

The master plan for Marvel that, to be honest absolutely nailed it for the first 10 years is now a shambles (almost worse than SW I think).

all of that does leave Hasbro at a bit of a disadvantage, but since other retail partners (LEGO...) manage to mostly smash it with their SW and Marvel sets, and they work from the same playbook as Hasbro, Hasbro have little to moan about.

Star Wars figures are too expensive, too repetitive and the quality of the product has dropped too low. Why was the Ghost a Haslab thing, when a stripped back version at £200 would have flown off the shelves and appealed to a lot of folks. The lines are a muddled mess and if you watch their Marvel toys they are heading in the same direction.

Given all Hasbro's well documented problems and their recent announcement that 20% of their workforce is being laid off (has been by this point). They just need a massive rethink.

For me...

The Retroline could morph into a 5 points of articulation line at 9.99 a figure aimed at the mass market, simple yes, but kids don't care about 27 joints, they just want to create adventures and so forth.

The current VCT line should be stripped back and targeted at collectors, so maybe £20 a figure is fine, but major quality over quantity and focused on what the customer wants (which is the mantra of a product led organisation...)

The Black series should also be scaled back and for me focused on major items for collectors and come with the big price tag, but few and far between.

Broadly the role-play stuff (Sabres, helmets etc.) are good (quality not so much sometimes) but as products they hit the spot.

That is maybe a bit simple, but it is clear, what is for what demographic and so on.

But I know nothing......... Except Winter hasn't yet arrived, too damn warm for Christmas....
 

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