Monday, July 21, 2014


Oui'. These look terrible...

It seems to me that toy companies are moving further and further from quality action figures that would appeal to both kids and collectors. Some of these new figures (Hasbro's Titan Hero line comes to mind) seem to almost be of knock-off quality rather the the kind of toy we'd expect from a company with the pedigrees of Hasbro and Mattel.

These are obviously another attempt to pander to the likes of Walmat and Target with their new "give us cheap toys" demands to toy companies. (Although LEGO doesn't seem to get that same decree.)

Toys-- particularly action figures-- have been in a steady sales decline for years now, and obviously the market has changed in a major way as companies attempt to find new ways to keep figures on shelve while still earning a decent revenue.

If recent news reports are to be believed (that toys/action figures are in a major and steady decline), we can only expect things to get worse... Or perhaps just "different".

I hate to keep beating the same drum, but I truly believe that in the next five years there will be almost no "collector level" action figures from the major toy companies anymore. You may see them do direct market sales (like Matty Collector), or perhaps smaller companies will rise up to take their place, or-- and sadly this would be the best case scenario-- figures like Marvel Legends and Star Wars Black will climb to 25+ dollars per figure due to the limited space allowed by stores on toy shelves and mainly adult-based appeal.

I know that Japanese toys are much more expensive than what we're used to here in the states (although the quality of their toys are far superior to match the higher price), but I would be ecstatic if we could follow their lead in how they sell and market their toys.

Different figures in the same line can-- and often do-- cost completely different prices. To give an example that would relate to the US market (i.e. Hasbro and the like): a 6" Star Wars Black version of  ESBYoda may cost $15 due to the smaller scale and lack of major accessories, whereas a larger figure (more plastic) with extra accessories, like a Darth Vader with removable helmet, detachable hand with snap-on stump, etc, would cost $25.

Also, they don't restrict themselves to a certain price point like we do here. Marvel Legends cost $19.99, but what if they want to do a larger, far more complex character than that price point will allow? Well, in Japan, they still do that figure with all the necessary parts and pieces and scale to make him the best representation of that character possible. Here, Hasbro is stuck having to fit into that predetermined price point, so either they would not do that figure, or they'd have to make him less than he could-- or should-- be.

If we could do that here, it would be amazing! Hasbro and Mattel can do brilliant toys and figures-- but they are restricted by that predetermined price point and what the big box stores are willing to buy and at what price.

I guess we'll all just have to keep watching the market and try to evolve with the changes and hope that we still have stuff to collect in the future...

Oh, and here are those crappy Mattel 12" DC figures. Some of them come with accessories. Yay.

No price or release date yet.

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