Saturday April 19th 2014

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Action Figures in Demand Vs. Hasbro’s Lines


Last week, I began to feel some of my worst fears for the Black Series were coming to fruition as I see so few retailers ordering new product for the Christmas shopping season.

By contrast, there are action figure lines that are thriving; so don’t let Hasbro fool you into thinking that kids don’t like action figures anymore, or they don’t like articulation… as those of us know who check more than the Star Wars section, other toy lines like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are constantly selling out and being restocked these past several months.

What do you think?  Is Hasbro going to finally right this ship in 2014?  Share your thoughts in the forums!

  • Jayson Krebsbach

    Funny you should post this. Today I hit up Target before work and was shocked at how barren the TMNT section was (mostly role-play toys) vs. the Star Wars section. TBS pegs were clogged with Biggs, Vader and clone pilots with a few AOTC Anakins for good measure. TBS6″ was rife with 5-6 R2s, 3 Lukes, a shelf deep allotment of Soapbottle 12″ figures, 8 Vader multipacks and of course – Angry Birds Star Wars flotsam. Saga Legends figures and were Mission Series sets were light for having 8 pegs of space.

    • Rykrof_Enloe

      Yeah… I’m seeing this at walmarts, kmarts, targets too. What a shame. I bet if wave one had a better assortment things wouldn’t be so dreary at retail.

      • Jub Goobles

        My TRU keeps opening another TBS Wave 1 case about every week to a week and a half (Mondays and Thursdays). It’s painful to see.

  • Jub Goobles

    Same thing here at the Jersey Shore. My TRU must sell through 200+ TMNT figures per week by my estimate. That stuff moves!

    Star Wars, on the other hand, is lucky to get through a single case in a week. Even Padme and Ceremonial Luke hang around for more than week after being put on the pegs. I’m pretty sure the SL and MS are even older, but I haven’t been tracking those.

  • Rykrof_Enloe

    My local ToysRus stores seem to put out about 2-3 cases of Black Series in a given month… always Wave 1.. and those only sell when they have the Buy 1 Get 1 40% or 50% off sales. Contrast that with Target and Walmart who each put out 1-2 cases in September-ish, and haven’t retocked at all. They still each have 4-5 Black Series figures at each store dating back several months. I can definitely see why the retailers aren’t ordering more, the intial 2 waves are terrible. The situation is similar to Mission Series and Legends in my area… and TMNT sells like crazy everwhere. Hasbro’s line is stale… time for some new strategies… take a look at what worked in the past and quit carrying forward so many figures in consecutive waves!

  • Punchy

    TMNT is based on a current & popular kids TV show that creates excitement/demand from actual children to purchase products. I love Star Wars but the property has been running on fumes from a mainstream perspective. We have not had a live action film in 8 years. Angry Birds and Lego movies are the only things left keeping Star Wars somewhat relevant to children. I find it amazing that Hasbro has been able to keep such a large slice of the toy aisle without a film to support the merchandise. Star Wars toy sales will likely remain slow until Rebels or Episode 7 makes Star Wars exciting again for the mainstream kid.

    • Todd

      You took the words right out of my mouth. I don’t think the problem is with the toys as much as it is no current media. Kids want what they see on television or in the movies.

      • Rykrof_Enloe

        True, but Hasbro was already giving Clone Wars the shaft when the series was still on TV, pumping out little more than repacks/minor changes on the figures. They did NOT put effort into the 2012 kids lines… and for 2013, they made new sculpts in the $5.99 line, but have delivered a very boring lineup. As for the collector line… good grief. It’s as boring as they could possibly make it.

        • Todd

          I can not argue that. It’s really sad to see because I was 8 when the figures came out in 78 and can vividly remember the first figure that I got and opened and now with 3 kids who find the toys boring themselves makes me wonder if there will be a future for Hasbro. Lego is who holds kids interest now. They can not make a bad move!

          • Rykrof_Enloe

            Yeah, the kids love LEGO. Which is why Hasbro’s into KREO… which by comparison, is unfortunately kind of weak.

    • Rykrof_Enloe

      I don’t disagree with that – I think a lot of the problem is Hasbro doesn’t seem to realize they during these non-film years, they gotta try harder and with launch waves, be smarter! Oh, and quit carrying forward stuff like Biggs, Anakin, etc. Where’s all the cool aliens and droids?? Hasbro has an entire universe of source material but have had tunnel vision lately with their launches.

  • Peakob1

    This is all about “the bang for your buck” with the turtles!
    if i was a parent and i wasn’t a nutcase about star wars, I would be instantly won over by these TMNT characters. The price of star wars has reached an all time high for figures we all have over and over and over again. Even kid have Multiple Anakin’s and Ob1′s

    I think its just not time for star wars right now we need a fresh start for sure. bring on rebels make it new inspire collectors again and yes please “PUSH the envelope” take chances and bring down the dang price!

  • David Strohmenger

    My Target had 12 pegs for basic TMNT figures and every one was completely empty. Plenty of SW figures though.