And with Star Wars fully stocked, I saw parents and kids walking right past it, totally ignoring it. They looked at Jurassic World empty pegs, kind of looked at the Transformers, then sped right past Star Wars to the next section of toys. I even heard at teenager at Target last week tell his dad that "Star Wars figures used to be better."
It's amazing just how poorly the Star Wars brand has been handled lately. Just staggering, to be honest. It's time to get back to basics and stop all the nonsense with the way the brand has been managed. Because if I were a buyer for retail, I would not want to go NEAR Star Wars in 2019. The way the brand has been handled has been way too toxic. Here's a possible alternative approach.
TVC - We know the problems here... TVC Wave One was mostly repacks of figures that went on clearance recently... and has crippled distribution. Go figure!!! Plus, they need to get the price down to $10 ballpark. If that means cutting down articulation from 24 pts to 12-14 on average... THEN DO IT. Throw in one gem in each wave that has 18-20 pts of articulation.
5POA - For the most part, these do sell fairly well, but the assembly of these figures sucks. Rebrand this line as STAR WARS SAGA. Drop the split torsos, and make it to where people who customize will buy more... and UPGRADE these figures to be 12-14 pts average articulation, and put at the $10 price point. Moloch, for example is a figure that can be $10 - great figure. Let's see more consistent quality, droids, aliens. Throw in some surprises with some good figure repacks from 2008-2012 in here once in a while. Something like this is also needed to support all the upcoming media.
2 Packs - Rebrand these as STAR WARS LEGENDS. All 2-pks should be from older material (prequels, OT, novels, comics, Disney movies that have been out a least a year, etc.). Each should come with two new figures, or in other cases, one new figure with a repacked ARMY BUILDER that is relevant to the new figure. $20 per set.
Doing the above will make BOTH TVC and the "generic line" the same price, with similar quality - nice figures that appeal to ALL FANS OF 3.75" scale. Done and Done. Just like 2010-2011 before the stupid Movie Heroes line killed things. Go back to THEMED WAVES... and then there's the other formats with figures...
Vehicles - Rebrand these as STAR WARS LEGENDS. Mix in some old with new. Throw in some upgraded beasts too. Stop the silliness with stuff like a $100 Falcon that is way out of scale. Do it right or don't do it at all. An AT-Hauler in the $100 price range would have been more successful.
Deluxe - Rebrand these as STAR WARS LEGENDS. Mix in some old with new. Throw in some upgraded beasts too.
6 inch series - Keep making these, but cut back on the number of new figures each year, and lower production some. There's just too many figures not making it to retail, and showing up at discount stores now.
Star Wars has always performed better at retail when the line is aimed at figures with high aesthetics and good articulation, with an approach that appeals to both kids and adults.
Of course, none of the above will happen. Hasbro and Disney are too set in their recent ways; too stubborn. Instead they will keep the same pattern of nonsense until it's too late, which it already may be. Kids are so bored by Star Wars right now, and adults have been force fed an approach that makes few of us happy.
We should see shrunk down Star Wars footprints in 2019 and unless Hasbro and Disney "wow" the hell out of retail with the toy offerings for Episode 9. But unless they are reinventing themselves, I don't see that happening. Who knows, we might even be seeing the end of the Hasbro / Disney Star Wars relationship.
Bring on the Barge.