However what about if it's because manufacturing costs go up? Doesn't that consumer, in the interests of making civil, respectful and articulate comments have a responsibility to actually inform themselves as to why? Is there some issue say, driving up the cost of oil, or gravely affecting the economy - in which case lobbying for change in that area would force either a higher value dollar or a reduction in plastics and shipping costs respectively?
For the consumer of luxury goods or sundry items, it doesn't really make a difference why
costs go up.
Except that nothing exists in a vacuum in this world, and plastic goods are at the very least, the exception to what you've said here - even when they fall into the "luxury goods" category. Ultimately your 2 driving factors in cost increases of plastics goods (factoring out any devaluation of the dollar) are going to be the cost of labour and the cost of oil (which covers both materials and shipping). With materials, if the cost of oil is going up, then it's going to affect everything, including food and power, meaning that driving factor is going to be a far more universal concern. Granted if food costs are through the roof because of it, then people aren't exactly going to be more worried about toy price rises. However it becomes one more thing that adds fuel to the fire (no pun intended).
The other issue in there is labour. With companies having moved production to places like China, you run into some cans of worms in terms of issues like economic slavery. In fact it's telling that Alan Hassenfeld now fights those sorts of conditions in factories servicing the toy industry. In this situation, cheap labour costs means sweatshop labour conditions and even workers being abused, as well as possibly unsafe work environments. Conversely, labour costs going up means an increase in those conditions which is actually a win for justice and ethics in those situations.
Of course, the irony there is that when people complain about price rises which are due to working conditions improving, then they are effectively complaining about a move away from people being subjected to sweatshop conditions and the economic slavery which goes with it.
Of course the labour issue is one which is invisible to most consumers and reveals a very uncomfortable truth about cheap consumer products in the developed world- purely because it transcends consumerism too the human condition and makes every consumer product from these countries similar to "blood diamonds" in many respects.
Tresob wrote:One of the reasons why toys like Squinkies became so popular, and why Hasbro got involved in micro-figures, is precisely because manufacturers recognized parents can't afford to buy kids complete lines of action figures at $9.99 a pop...but for $9.99 they can get ten little versions of those same characters. It's probably why some collectors find Kreons so addicting...I feel like I bought all of the Predacons for the price of one deluxe action figure. (And they take up less space!) The same idea goes for Cyberverse and Botshots.
See, Hasbro responds to consumer complaints...by selling simplified, smaller, and therefore cheaper versions of its characters. But now we are far removed from the retailer conversation...
A couple of things here. First off, Cyberverse figures aren't a new invention. In fact you might have noticed that what are now Cyberverse figures, were formerly Scout Class and Legends Class figures.
Secondly, even that hasn't removed the complaints. People complain about plastic being in place of die cast, or about figures getting smaller, or about figures getting hollow- unsurprising as this is essentially an issue of value for people. The problem here is that those people complaining are doing so because they haven't bothered to understand what the driving factors are. If that happened, then you'd probably see complaints being alot more constructive, right down to the types of alternatives they expect from Hasbro. Heck in the case of working condition improvement, you'd probably see many ffans welcoming
the price rises.