Things I learned at Toy Fair

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Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Counterpunch » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:41 am

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So, I took the opportunity to speak with the gracious folks at Hasbro during Toy Fair. I was able to get answers to several questions. While these things I am going to post may change over time or as circumstances change, it's still good stuff to know for now.

General info from Hasbro Reps
-MP Rodimus is not immediately forthcoming-
So, there is real interest in bringing it over. However, don't expect to see anything soon. Essentially, this will depend on a retailer coming through with an exclusive. From the tone of the conversation, it seemed as if that was not going well. Remember though that it took around a year to get Grimlock from Japan to the Western markets. However, we also got info on that at Botcon and SDCC. So, I would look to that as your answer on if we'll see Rodimus in this year or next.

-Powercore Combiners appear to be done...ish-
There was no trace of the line at Toy Fair. The rep seemed surprised that Undertow wasn't at market yet and that the Dinobots were hard to find.

Info from Greg Lombardo, Senior Director of Global Marketing for the Transformers brand at Hasbro
-Those Wal Mart SKUs for Arcee and Starscream-
Those were meant to be the Prime toys. They are NOT Classics style figures. Originally, the Prime toys were going to be fit into the Generations line. Now they are getting their own 4th quarter 2011 line. What we have seen so far is a pre-cursor wave, kind of to avoid the whole Animated show/toy debacle. We will get a new Prime and Megatron in larger sizes. Starscream will not necessarily get a larger toy.

-Mechtech-
The figures are smaller due to the Mechtech toys. It's not a cost of oil/production issue.

-Generations/RtS/United Decos-
How Takara gets the decos they do, is by individual pricing of their figures. For Hasbro, a wave has a cost to it that is split up amongst the figures in the wave. They have to ration out who gets what and how many paint apps. Takara is able to price a figure individually and as such, the budgets are different per figure. They aren't bound internally by wave. So, instead of Jazz costing $12 or 1500Y at retail, they can give him the appropriate deco and charge $13.42 or 1572Y...whatever it takes to cover the cost. It's a matter of flexibility.

-DotM-
Many or most of the toy decisions were made such that the toys would not be a rehashing of what they've already done. There was an effort to ensure that figures were fundamentally different.

I can clarify any of these points, but I can't tell you anything about stuff I didn't ask about.

Other things that I took away from the show:
-DotM voyagers are SMALL.
-Hasbro really seems to be taking the product back to kids, perhaps leveling it down by 2 years in the age bracket.
-The Star Wars team really knows their ****.
-The GI Joe collectors are getting really, really, really nice 3 3/4 inch figures. Really.
-Mechtech looks dumb, but it is probably fun for kids.
-Ultimate Optimus Prime is kind of cool looking. Much better than the pics.
-Legends figures have really come into their own. (They're just not coming into my house)
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby bionic_radical » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:07 am

I think i just learned more in those few paragraphs, than i have in almost an entire year of the "OMG!! ASK TEH HASBRO 2 WISHES!!" Q&A sessions. Thanks for that.

Also, Legends are a gateway Transformer.

And yes, your children will learn how by watching you.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Mkall » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:15 am

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So my theory was right on on Arcee and Starscream. Kinda glad I got the iGear one then.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Autobot032 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:22 am

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Things I learned from reading about/viewing Toy Fair reports, including this one:

-DOTM toys are not my cup of tea, and outside of a handful of exceptional figures, I'll be saving a LOT of money this year.

-I'm fine with them going back a few ages to allow younger children to become involved in the world of TFs. In fact, I welcome it.

-Obviously, I made a good choice by importing Masterpiece Rodimus. Was it expensive? Yes. I'll be feeling the sting of it for quite some time, but now that it seems like a maybe, eh...glad I went for it.

-And the main thing I learned about this year? A very underwhelming show. Just flat out snoozefest worthy.

I wonder what it's going to be like once the movies are finished? I know we'll be getting Prime toys, and they'd be stupid to forget us C.H.U.G./RtS collectors, so those will come back, but I think we'll see much smaller Toy Fair displays from here on out.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Counterpunch » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:35 am

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Autobot032 wrote:I wonder what it's going to be like once the movies are finished? I know we'll be getting Prime toys, and they'd be stupid to forget us C.H.U.G./RtS collectors, so those will come back, but I think we'll see much smaller Toy Fair displays from here on out.


While other major companies had booths at Toy Fair...Hasbro had a building to themselves. Just sayin'...
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Stumpybot » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:39 am

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gotta say, my opinion of mech tech has improved. Hasbro really have gone all out to make some figures for kids to play with (not just cars that turn into slightly fragile statues. eg ROTF Sideswipe or Skids).

I think i will pass on the whole lot tho, it just doesnt make me jump up and down going 'gimmegimmegimme!'.

Lack of Gen/Rts announcements is a tad disappointing but considering the HUGE step up in quality over Universe (aka Cybertron repaint-verse) i think they see that the market is there and we will continue to be supported

still........

I WANTED TO SEE A PAINTED WARPATH!!!! lol
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Andrius » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:56 am

Autobot032 wrote:
I wonder what it's going to be like once the movies are finished? I know we'll be getting Prime toys, and they'd be stupid to forget us C.H.U.G./RtS collectors, so those will come back, but I think we'll see much smaller Toy Fair displays from here on out.


I would be shocked if we don't see another film franchise within three years. I don't think we'll have to worry about Transformers the brand scaling back too much anytime soon.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby paul053 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:56 am

Counterpunch, thanks for those info and views. Glad the SW team knows their stuffs are S**t.

Stumpybot wrote:gotta say, my opinion of mech tech has improved. Hasbro really have gone all out to make some figures for kids to play with (not just cars that turn into slightly fragile statues. eg ROTF Sideswipe or Skids).

I think i will pass on the whole lot tho, it just doesnt make me jump up and down going 'gimmegimmegimme!'.

Lack of Gen/Rts announcements is a tad disappointing but considering the HUGE step up in quality over Universe (aka Cybertron repaint-verse) i think they see that the market is there and we will continue to be supported

still........

I WANTED TO SEE A PAINTED WARPATH!!!! lol


For some reason, I have the feeling that Hasbro have learned something this year (or through last year). That the main line is for kids while the sub lines are for collectors like us. That's why we got quite a few big G1 names in the Generation/RTS line so far. Didn't many people complain many of the ROTF figures are too complicate for a 5 year old kid? Or maybe they are testing the market but I think they are certainly trying and doing.

I showed my wife those toy fair pictures and told her she will be happy because I will pass a lot of figures this year and save some money. But then she said those money might go to my son because she is certain my son (or even my daughter) will love those Cyberverse playsets.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Kibble » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:32 am

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Weapon: No Weapon
Counterpunch wrote:Info from Greg Lombardo, Senior Director of Global Marketing for the Transformers brand at Hasbro
-Those Wal Mart SKUs for Arcee and Starscream-
Those were meant to be the Prime toys. They are NOT Classics style figures. Originally, the Prime toys were going to be fit into the Generations line. Now they are getting their own 4th quarter 2011 line. What we have seen so far is a pre-cursor wave, kind of to avoid the whole Animated show/toy debacle. We will get a new Prime and Megatron in larger sizes. Starscream will not necessarily get a larger toy.


:BOOM:

Should I thank you for the info or curse you for squashing my last bit of hope...that I already assumed to be the case. How about both? Thanks, ya hope crushing jerk-face!
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Autobot032 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:34 am

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Kibble wrote:
Counterpunch wrote:Info from Greg Lombardo, Senior Director of Global Marketing for the Transformers brand at Hasbro
-Those Wal Mart SKUs for Arcee and Starscream-
Those were meant to be the Prime toys. They are NOT Classics style figures. Originally, the Prime toys were going to be fit into the Generations line. Now they are getting their own 4th quarter 2011 line. What we have seen so far is a pre-cursor wave, kind of to avoid the whole Animated show/toy debacle. We will get a new Prime and Megatron in larger sizes. Starscream will not necessarily get a larger toy.


:BOOM:

Should I thank you for the info or curse you for squashing my last bit of hope...that I already assumed to be the case. How about both? Thanks, ya hope crushing jerk-face!


No no no no.

Punch people.

It's much more satisfying.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Counterpunch » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:42 am

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Autobot032 wrote:
Kibble wrote:
Counterpunch wrote:Info from Greg Lombardo, Senior Director of Global Marketing for the Transformers brand at Hasbro
-Those Wal Mart SKUs for Arcee and Starscream-
Those were meant to be the Prime toys. They are NOT Classics style figures. Originally, the Prime toys were going to be fit into the Generations line. Now they are getting their own 4th quarter 2011 line. What we have seen so far is a pre-cursor wave, kind of to avoid the whole Animated show/toy debacle. We will get a new Prime and Megatron in larger sizes. Starscream will not necessarily get a larger toy.


:BOOM:

Should I thank you for the info or curse you for squashing my last bit of hope...that I already assumed to be the case. How about both? Thanks, ya hope crushing jerk-face!


No no no no.

Punch people.

It's much more satisfying.


Considering my user name...

Good luck. ;)
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby El Duque » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:58 am

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Glad I went with the iGear Arcee.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Autobot032 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:15 am

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El Duque wrote:Glad I went with the iGear Arcee.

I went with the Impossible Toys Arcee. iGear's is too expensive and too difficult to obtain.

Still, it's nice to have a G1 Arcee in my Neo-G1 collection.

Hasbro can come up with all the excuses they want, but the fact of the matter is, they just don't wanna cough her up.

I think it's because she's pink and boys won't buy it.

The WFC model would be a great figure, because the pink isn't ridiculous, and it's as close to G1 as we're going to get in this generation.

This is precisely why 3rd party companies prevail. Hasbro could give us the Arcee we've wanted, they just won't.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Kibble » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:42 am

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Anyone have both the iGear and Impossible Toys figs? I saw one review of the two on TFW and am curious if their opnion holds up. They said iGear's seemed to have better plastic and joints. I like iGears head better, but not sure if it's $40 + whatever they're charging for shipping better.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby El Duque » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:11 pm

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Kibble wrote:Anyone have both the iGear and Impossible Toys figs? I saw one review of the two on TFW and am curious if their opnion holds up. They said iGear's seemed to have better plastic and joints. I like iGears head better, but not sure if it's $40 + whatever they're charging for shipping better.


I have both, the iGear version is considerably better. IT's isn't bad, but she looks more at home with G1 figures (which is where mine is now displayed). She feels like she's made of model type plastic, she doesn't really lock together very well, and she's painted rather than molded in pink. iGear's looks much more at home with Classics line and feels more like an official TF. Her plastic feels sturdier and is molded pink rather than painted, and has better proportions.

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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Kibble » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:50 pm

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Thanks, that was good info. Now to go dig between the couch cushions and see if I can turn up $110 plus shipping...
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Flux Convoy » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:29 pm

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I'm a bit disappointed about Arcee. Especially after seeing what they can do in the last few years. Eh, maybe Botcon will have good news on that front. I'm pretty happy with how decent/good the Prime toys look. Good to know Prime and Megatron may be getting larger figures. I can't say I'm surprised if PCC is done with already. The only response I hear about them in general is negative. I love the 2 packs myself. Did you by any chance ask about any other WFC figures?
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Counterpunch » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:33 pm

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Flux Convoy wrote:I'm a bit disappointed about Arcee. Especially after seeing what they can do in the last few years. Eh, maybe Botcon will have good news on that front. I'm pretty happy with how decent/good the Prime toys look. Good to know Prime and Megatron may be getting larger figures. I can't say I'm surprised if PCC is done with already. The only response I hear about them in general is negative. I love the 2 packs myself. Did you by any chance ask about any other WFC figures?
:BOT:


No, I didn't. I don't know if I'd say PCC is done either. But it might seem that new molds may be done. They were really non commital about it all except for acknowledging that it had no presence here and no new product to show off.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Flux Convoy » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:39 pm

Motto: "Chaos... is coming!..."
Counterpunch wrote:
No, I didn't. I don't know if I'd say PCC is done either. But it might seem that new molds may be done. They were really non commital about it all except for acknowledging that it had no presence here and no new product to show off.

See, I kinda take that in stride. People either don't realize or forget that Toyfair isn't the fan event people think it should be. It's to market toymakers new product lines and wares to stores looking to buy what they're offering. It's to hype the NEW lines and not so much the products that are already spoken for. It's why I expected to not see any info about PCC or Generations. I'm okay with PCC continuing or ending either way. I really dig em though. They're fun to keep around and fidget with. At least the 3 I've got anyway.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby robofreak » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:39 pm

I will say that DOTM has a place in my collection. It wouldn't be right to have almost 2 complete movie lines and just forget about the 3rd.

Overall, I'm liking the new toys and while I wish they mechtech weapons weren't so big, the toys are growing on me. I would have preferred larger figures, but I think these will be nice.

I have a grand total of 3 Powercore 5 packs. I would have bought more, but funds keep me from getting them at the moment. I like the looks of them, but my gripe is that the drones don't have individual robot modes. Instead, they went for pure automorph gimmicks on all of them.

Thanks for all the info CP. I'm excited to see what happens with the coming toy lines.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Optimus1138 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:22 pm

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This has got to be the most disappointing bit of news in quite a while. I don't care for most of the DOTM figures (I'm not a movie hater or anything; many of the figures simply either seem completely unnecessary to me or poorly executed), and the news about Arcee is very disappointing. Now I may have to track down an Animated Arcee, a figure which I don't even like (unless we end up getting an Arcee anyway, which is quite unlikely, but we can hope). At least we'll be getting bigger and hopefully better figures of Prime Optimus Prime and Megatron.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby --B-- » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:47 pm

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Flux Convoy wrote:
Counterpunch wrote:
No, I didn't. I don't know if I'd say PCC is done either. But it might seem that new molds may be done. They were really non commital about it all except for acknowledging that it had no presence here and no new product to show off.

See, I kinda take that in stride. People either don't realize or forget that Toyfair isn't the fan event people think it should be. It's to market toymakers new product lines and wares to stores looking to buy what they're offering. It's to hype the NEW lines and not so much the products that are already spoken for. It's why I expected to not see any info about PCC or Generations. I'm okay with PCC continuing or ending either way. I really dig em though. They're fun to keep around and fidget with. At least the 3 I've got anyway.
:BOT:



And it's not just marketing to who you think. Walmart, Target, TRU and the other "big" retailers had their version of Toy Fair back in November, so this stuff is aimed more to the small fish in the pond. A good portion of Toy Fair is devoted to the "emerging channel" items in a certain line that are not carried by Target or Walmart, just by smaller retailers (and sometimes TRU) to give them a chance against the big boys. A good example of this is Disney Pixar Cars 2 merch, where "emerging channel" stores can carry cars 2 packs that Target can not order.

I really feel bad for the small vendors who are trying to get their life's work out there to be carried by toy stores, some of them put so much into that one item.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Slashercon » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:51 pm

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Wait, if the DOTM toys are simply smaller than before because of the Mech Tech gimmick, WHY THE HECK DID THE REUSE THE SAME D@#N VOYAGER RATCHET FOR ALL THREE MOVIES??!! I WANTED A NEWLY MOLDED VOYAGER RATCHET THAT WAS SIMPLY SMALLER, AND WHEN HASBRO HAD THAT OPPORTUNITY, THEY DIDN'T CAPITALIZE ON IT!! WHAT THE HECK??!! (Ugh!! Anyway, I'm just glad I passed on HFTD Bumblebee so I could get the better looking DOTM deluxe Bumblebee. At least he's the same size.) One major upside the DOTM toys being smaller though is that Skids and Mudflap can be in better scale with ma collection.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby Counterpunch » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:53 pm

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Slashercon wrote:Wait, if the DOTM toys are simply smaller than before because of the Mech Tech gimmick, WHY THE HECK DID THE REUSE THE SAME D@#N VOYAGER RATCHET FOR ALL THREE MOVIES??!! I WANTED A NEWLY MOLDED VOYAGER RATCHET THAT WAS SIMPLY SMALLER, AND WHEN HASBRO HAD THAT OPPORTUNITY, THEY DIDN'T CAPITALIZE ON IT!! WHAT THE HECK??!! (Ugh!! Anyway, I'm just glad I passed on HFTD Bumblebee so I could get the better looking DOTM deluxe Bumblebee. At least he's the same size.) One major upside the DOTM toys being smaller though is that Skids and Mudflap can be in better scale with ma collection.


The DotM Deluxe Ratchet is entirely new.
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Re: Things I learned at Toy Fair

Postby kirbenvost » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:56 pm

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Thanks for the investigative journalism, CP! It's nice to hear some actual answers for once. Good to know about Rodimus & Arcee, even if it's a little disappointing. Also some of the reasoning behind the paint app and figure sizing issues.
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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #260 - Pulsecon 2020
Twincast / Podcast #260:
"Pulsecon 2020"
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Posted: Sunday, September 27th, 2020

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