It's the Busness of toys

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Re: It's the Busness of toys

Postby Tekwych » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:13 pm

Lutz Muller, a writer for Toy Directory Monthly, has written an article on how Hasbro has blown it this year and may not recover for three years. Hasbro felt the article important enough that they asked to respond and TD Monthly has posted the Q&A here.

When the senior vice president of corporate communications is willing to sit down with you 24 hours after you slap his company down then you know you've hit the right cords.

I'd love to see this kind of Q&A with the top brass at Mattel.
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Re: It's the Busness of toys

Postby dayraven » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:45 pm

you know, the guy hit several obvious right tones, but there are a few details i don't think he mentioned:

the avengers bomb- the movie was a huge hit, the toys are doing well, but by no means great (as would be implied by the success of the movie.) the collector's market product was WAY behind release schedule, the kid's stuff was not really stocked past the initial wave of product (at least in my area) and there's no advertising or discussion now of avengers product being targeted for the xmas buying season... that's a bad fail. that's owning the rights to a titan of the summer box office and not being able to capitalize on that momentum. my kids LOVED the avengers movie, and have walked through that toy aisle repeatedly w/ nary a sideways glance given to the merch. MAJOR fail.

the skylanders getting snagged by mega-bloks.- mega bloks misunderstands what makes skylanders fun. building a toy for the property won't hit note one. the video game portion is the fun the kids have w/ the toys, and the collectible aspect of the little guys. i suspect we'll see, between this summer and xmas, that core skylanders does very well for itself, again... and the mega-bloks extrapolation fall on it's ass. the blok toy things don't add anything to the game and the game is what people are buying. unless there 's some media content tie in for the mega-bloks that i've not yet read about, they will peg warm, while the re-released skylanders figs and the new ones will be the hot in demand product for Q3 and Q4. skylanders will also ration release of items to hit during that xmas buying season, succeeding there were hasbro's avengers line will fail.

you know what could have been huge? like mega huge nuge? they should have released thor, iron man, and cap masks w/ 3D glasses built in. so the kid could have cosplayed to go see the movie? especially if they'd have included some easter egg type scenes where the hero in question spots a kid in the scene wearing their gear, like the kid in the theater was... you could have quadrupled the sales of those dress up items. instead, there's a total disconnect of the two, and today's kids need to be handfed the play experience. the kid will watch the movie and walk out completely uninterested in the dress up toys, because the dress up toy isn't directly allowing him the "superhuman" experience that say, a video game, readily hands the child.

similarly, for girls toys, if they had littlest pet shop fashion shows, where a girl uses the toy she bought, and some basic graphics tools on a company website, to organize a runway show or something, and they do a "reality" competition style presentation of their pet shop toys and win a prize for having the most creative one, judged by some teen buzzword kids (ask disney, i'm sure they have a dozen new tween and teen heartthrobs all lined up), that brand could be american idol for girls... which is to say, bigger than eliot spitzer's hard on on "BOGO" night at the local strip club. furreal friends are great, but they lack the urgency of a "buy 'em all" mentality, nor the competitive nature of the very TV programs that tweens (and seemingly every one else) are watching on TV. work those elements into the brands and by 2014, hasbro will be buying mattel stock a/ a sack full of nickles. kids bringing mattel stock to school for lunch will be trading the kids who brought facebook stock instead, if they're good con men. i say this because mattel is vastly more adept at license procurement than execution on the idea.

the board game category... they have to branch a bit. board games sell like gang busters to mormons, but mormons are not huge movie goers. you either have to bring some mormons in to right the movie tie-in scripts, and thus ensure that mormons see the movies, or the game tie in movies are going to have to be really innovative... which should read "NO TAYLOR KITSCH!!" you can not hang a huge budget movie on a dull star, unless the movie surrounding the star is LASER focused on the target demographic. the example i give here is the fast and furious franchise. they took a terrible risk on paul walker, but they featured tons of geargasm shots of the cars, and just enough of jordana brewster's daisy duke covered ass, that the gearheads walked out w/ empty nuts. unless they can do that on each game, they're a waste of time. who the mangosteen wants to watch a movie about some real estate magnate buying up their whole town and bulldozing the homes for casinos? nobody, especially in this economy. hence, NO ONE will go see a monopoly movie. unless there's a random chance lottery that hasbro will pay the mortgage of one lucky movie goer. then, maybe...
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Re: It's the Busness of toys

Postby PrfktTear » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:06 pm

Both of those articles are very interesting reads. I think Lutz hit the nail on the head in regards to relying on movie-based properties to sell their lines --- If the film tanks then so will the toy line, but of course this is not necessarily true --- look at Thor and The Avengers. Heck, some TRU’s still have Iron Man 2 stuff on shelves. I don’t think Hasbro is about to enter the poor house, but I don’t think they’re quite on top of the game, bringing in the same earnings like they were five years ago.

The only way I would pay to go see a film based on ouiga board is if they got to use Morrissey's song "Ouiga Board" --- that or if it starred Christoph Waltz --- and I really doubt either of those would happen.
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Re: It's the Busness of toys

Postby dayraven » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 pm

walking through the aisle today, my kids completely dismissed the new lizard figures... they hate now weird the thing looks.

that said, they saw the dark knight quick armor things, and responded quite positively... though not to the point of begging for a purchase.
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Re: It's the Busness of toys

Postby PrfktTear » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:55 am

I just don't think some superheroes are as popular as others and while they may deserve their own figure they're just not strong enough to support their own line.
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Re: It's the Busness of toys

Postby dayraven » Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:31 pm

you don't think spidey is kid friendly enough to carry his own line?

i would LOVE to see spidey classics come back, only w/ upgrades attention to plastic grade and QC (as spidey in particular, at least mine, are not enduring the age well. his limbs being kind of thin, the plastic seems to be taking a lot of stress, and it's hard for most of them to stand properly anymore. his villains, who are largely larger framed, are holding up well, but we're still missing a ton of spidey villains... and having a separate line would help keep redundancies out of legends, and perhaps lend itself to some different executions. i think big time spidey really sold me on the idea that he needs a different buck than the slim hero buck. spidey is capable of acts of agility/contortion that other heroes simply aren't, so making him fit on a standardized body doesn't really work. he needs his own buck (which, maybe, he could share w/ nightcrawler or carnage.) but if you're doing multiple spideys in a line, the exclusive buck costs out better.
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Re: It's the Busness of toys

Postby PrfktTear » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:22 am

I didn't mean Spiderman. I was more specifically thinking Thor and Capt.
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Re: It's the Busness of toys

Postby dayraven » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:27 pm

PrfktTear wrote:I didn't mean Spiderman. I was more specifically thinking Thor and Capt.


ah, w/ ya now... and yes, those guys aren't heavy hitters enough to carry their own line, you're right there.
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Re: It's the Busness of toys

Postby zedhatch » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:05 pm

I think Cap and Thor are plenty popular to have thier own lines supporting thier own movie, but I think Hasbro screwed up on them.

Thor was loaded with movie only figures which as IM1 and 2 should have told them the movie guys don't sell as well (then again Hasbro doesn't pay attention to indivdual sales, bad choice IMO).

Cap's first two waves were ok but lacked villians and should have had more. the final two waves were just repaints which was pointless.
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Re: It's the Busness of toys

Postby twofisted » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:03 pm

I'm of the mindset that superheroes are kinda slowly leaving the consciousness of children. It would definitely explain the big toy companies really at a loss to find a way to capitalize on the superhero craze. It seems to be all the same stuff over and over again. They're still seem to be using marketing formulas form 10 and 15 years ago. Action figures that tie into movies seem to be all they're capable of. That kind of material seems to be fairly easy to convert into toys...with little or no effort from the toy companies themselves...just look over the shoulders of the people producing the movies and let them do all the work.

In my opinion...apart from the collect and connect/build a figure concept, theres very little inovation going on in the realm of toys. This is just my opinion...it by no means means that i have a solution
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