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Banding together in NZ.

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:28 pm
by Dawfydd
I have brought up the topic before and i have no idea where to start.
So i'll share an email that i got from Hasbro last year when i was trying to track down the exclusive walmart figures, that the Warehouse and other toy companies weren't even aware existed.
Hello D

Unfortunately we do not always have the final decision in what is released in New Zealand.

The rebels vehicles are old items which we did not bring to NZ.

We are not bringing in the 3.75” figures to Australia or New Zealand due to lack of retailer support i.e. companies like The Warehouse & Farmers need to want to sell the product and if they do not wish to sell them then we are unable to force them.

We are always happy to pass on collector feedback such as yours to the retailers but the final decision is theirs.

New Zealand is a small market and therefore is unable to cater for every wave of figures & vehicles that is released although we do try hard to ensure our collectors are catered for.

We are sorry we are unable to assist further.

Kind Regards

Lynn Sansum | Customer Care Representative | Hasbro New Zealand (A branch of Hasbro Australia) | 221 Albany Highway, Auckland, New Zealand | tel +649 915 5232 | fax +649 915 5212 |


There is an important bit in there "New Zealand is a small market and therefore is unable to cater for every wave of figures & vehicles that is released"
So as collectors we are just "*censored* out of luck" if we want to buy local, but i do remember a couple of years back, the local stores having a cry about tax costs and how Kiwi's weren't buying from them and ordering online.
This could be our ticket to pressure places like the Warehouse into carrying all the released starwars stuff, even Mightyape could import whatever the Warehouse can't get, there are more than enough specialty stores which Hasbro just are ignoring.

I've also given another email this time pointing out how not giving them stock encourages collectors to for the most part ignore them and buy online/overseas to mightyape/warehouse/toyworld
But i am one person trying to tell them the tide is coming in, and they're going to get wet i'd love some backup, some advice, anything!

I can just buy online i've done it this far i only have about 20 items brought from retail stores, and less than that i've paid more than retail price for, most of my thousands of figures collection is bulk less than $10 a figure so the fact our local stores act like idiots while hasbro's poor choices screw them is kind of a moot point.

But i'd like to walk into a store and pickup some figures from the shelf and be like "wow, i'll buy this" because besides last weeks 6 inch reduction to $10 i hadn't bothered doing it.

I also said there is no reason each of these places all need to buy the same stock.

What if each retailer did something different?
The warehouse had 4 inch, Vehicles and 5poa.
toy world did 6 inch, all their vehicles (limited they are) but brought more stock.
and Mightyape picked up the slack, they could get cases of exclusive stuff, like the Captain rex directly from hasbro's website, pickup any stray vehicles hasbro nz doesn't bother to import, and even have collectors tell them when certain 4/6 inch waves are going to be "very popular" like the royal guard wave we still don't have, and they'd pick up a couple of them.

Wouldn't that encourage people to buy locally? would you build some personal interaction with "your store" like we used to if your local Toy world was stocking the entire 6 inch wave you could go and pre order, be in there for every waves release, get to know the service people, Right now i imagine its just getting in the car and traveling to as many places as possible to find your figure and get home, if you don't just buy online.

Maybe i'm crazy i can't find a good deal of collectors who seem worried about this or anything, and i'd rather not have to step up and speak out but i feel like its required.
Disney are going to keep making more films - Hasbro and Co are going to make more figures Hasbro have already kicked Bandai somewhat limiting their releases while keeping their own from us.

Its a matter of what we kiwi's want, do we want to spend money overseas or support local stores? surely we can collect and support our country at the same time if they work with us, but at the same time if they can't be bothered then why should we?

Re: Banding together in NZ.

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:09 pm
by Reverend Strone
I admire your passion, Daw, though I wonder what difference a handful of enthusiastic collectors can make. I don’t wish to seem defeatist, but it’s hard to imagine how we can build a compelling case when there are so few of us.

Personally, I am so used to having to source from overseas that I have fairly well-established channels, and indeed, when occasionally stuff I’m after does show up locally I am usually floored by the price. Smaller volumes and long haul freighting seems to mean we get severely gouged at retail when compared to the US at least, though no worse than Europe or Australia.

That all said, given the chance to pick up desired toys locally, in person, I would absolutely do so. I am always susceptible to impulse in-person purchases, though I suspect the bulk of my acquisitions would still be from overseas if for no other reason than the savings and surety of being able to get it. I simply couldn't have accumulated my current hoard paying NZ retail prices for it all, even if it were available here.

To your point, less stock but more variety would be great. That really is a big part of the problem. Often we get tonnes of product, but it’s the same stuff over and over, either due to poorly structured assortments, too many carry-forward repacks in subsequent waves, or over-shipping of a given wave. We received such a pitifully cut down selection of the Rogue One range that I had to order almost everything I wanted from abroad, for example, and much of it is still on shelves now, even after the school holiday blow-out sales. This is not unique to Star Wars, either. I also keep my eyes on other Hasbro brands like Transformers and My Little Pony, and the NZ range seems to always be the bottom end of whatever is offered overseas, frequently missing many of what I and my kids consider the most desirable products.

One range I am eager to see released here is the Forces of Destiny. To my way of thinking, this kind of product expands rather than divides Star Wars’ market share, so I am very hopeful they will appear on shelves here, as are my daughters. Once again, I am somewhat fearful they will be priced out of my reach and force me to look overseas again, but maybe I will be pleasantly surprised?

I agree that different retailers carrying different skus seems like a better idea than everyone carrying the same reduced range, and with Hasbro’s plans for 2018 being to have three lines of figures running concurrently (3.75” 5POA, 3.75” Vintage, 6” Black Series), there are natural divisions that would favour an arrangement of that sort without robbing any one retailer of the ability to stock a full range. The question would be, who gets what, and how do competing retailers agree on that stuff? Personally, I’d love to see The Warehouse continue to support the main 3.75” and 6” lines, while Farmers could be well placed to take on 3.75” Vintage alongside one of the other two, perhaps?

So, what do you think we need to do to demonstrate our appetites to Hasbro? Whatever we do, it has to be realistic and we must be truthful with ourselves and Hasbro, because there is no point in demanding product we won’t follow through and buy.

Re: Banding together in NZ.

Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:49 pm
by Dawfydd
I don't think we collectors can say anything to hasbro to get their attention, not without 10k signs on something to draw their attention, i think if we pick up this fight its a two parter.

Part one would be talking to all the retailers within NZ and get as many of them understanding that hasbro isn't just screwing us, the retailers are also getting screwed, getting as many collectors as possible to admit they buy online because local stores just don't have the items we want, and it is very important to have all items of stock locally otherwise bulk shipping makes it more cost effective to buy from online.

At the same time drum up local support with "If local businesses want local money they should be listening to the consumers who want X Y and Z"
as there was a massive fuss about Kiwi's buying online and none of that money going into local stores a while back, i'm sure we can find other collectors who just can't get the items they wanted shipped into the country for example did anyone see the new Voltron toy line? they look great and i've been keeping an eye out :(

Next up is creating a little good will between whatever starwars collectors are willing in some kind of forum *cough* to take a look at the numbers of items being brought into the country the items which don't sell and look at upcoming waves and do a little prediction for the future when the retailers might look at a "suggestion" list of waves/items they don't want to over stock based on the list, i'm sure we could even rope in a couple of younger fans to tell us which figures would they pay for if they had money.

Once we have something like this in motion i think is the kind of time to get a petition going not just as a "hasbro give us more toys" but a "New Zealand doesn't want sloppy seconds if you aren't going to give the best why do we want your worst"

I've always thought mightyape was in a good area to be able to pickup loose vehicles and more exclusive items that normal retailers couldn't get but i don't know if that is true or not and if they wont then do we know any stores who might?

Its a massive undertaking however and i'm much better at crazy ideas than putting them into practice, But because at the end of the day we can all "just buy online" i'm not sure if there would ever be enough support for this kind of thing to get it rolling.

I think i have to include this at the bottom cause i just kept rambling on for too long to include a quick note before what i think the required plan is.

I really also like the idea of just sitting down with retailers and saying there is loads of the starwars cake to share around, but right now you are only selling the icing from each range, if you divided up the ranges you all had you could sell more selection and build a dialogue with collectors who want those items, i Don't think it's as easy as getting a bunch of people who say "we'll buy X every release" but we need to talk to these retailers and tell them what New Zealand collectors at least moderately want to buy.

Its a little like the Hasbro votes, There is always every vote a bunch of people who want Yakface but that percentage is very low compared to the rest of the people who vote, those who pick a character or those who see no character they want and don't vote, the way Hasbro does its waves is the main limiting factor in giving retailers a "real choice" of buying the items they know we'll buy right now if i had to guess they buy 3-5 cases of the wave they are offered.

Just looking at the last couple of "Waves" that entertainment earth offer, if retailers here are buying similar they are getting a BOATLOAD of Rogue one figures that just aren't selling some of the figures have been released twice or three times along the recent waves, Wave 9 is a stand out wave, in which every retailer should have a heads up "These figures are more likely to drum up people to pick up the items in store so you might want a couple more" wave 11 which i'd LOVE to see an over stock of, has mostly garbage in it, everyone and their kid wants the Royal guard, but if we think of retailers K2S0 and Krennic *Will* warm their shelves until the cows come home, the other four figures have a chance of being sold before they open the cases but they are stuck with a bunch of extra Rogue one figures nobody really seems keen on.

Is it just the repeated figures, is it the lack of stock, or is it just people like me who aren't very keen on collecting figures from a single movie when i don't have the funds to buy all the figures i'd like as it is! - That is something we'd need to figure out.
And if Retailers can combine these with dvd's or other things, what if say the warehouse ran a special on the Rogue one dvd last holiday period for a "Keep kids out of trouble for a few hours" and throw in whatever rogue one character is the most stock in said store i imagine it'd be MUCH easier to throw away a couple of those 5poa figures with a dvd but if you give the kid a really cool toy they'll want more of said "size" most of the time.

Assuming they have stock of all of the main characters they could combine the bunch in their own kind of mutlipack for abit of a lower price "grab the dvd, and the characters your children will watch the epic story unfold and then they'll make their own epic story unfold and you parents wont have to worry about what figures to buy, with our mutlipacks" "Buy the rebels crew and the evil stormtroopers they battle" "Buy the rogue one rebel forces" "buy the rogue one imperial forces!"
But it also comes back down to the hasbro release limiting cool things like this.
The reason we saw so many anakin/and rex+others mutlipacks must had been because hasbro saw good sales in a package deal which parents could grab and KNOW! those were main characters from the show if they had to pick through the ranks it'd overwhelm them so can retailers do the same? and are there enough left over figures and can the warehouse do it?
I imagine if they made a couple of good packs and they knew next wave would include figures for the rogue one group they could put a notice on shelves "Coming next wave this pack, we plan to combine these figures for this price" and parents could even pre-order the bunch, I dunno a bit of ramblings.

Re: Banding together in NZ.

Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:23 pm
by Dawfydd
I imagine a good start might be a facebook group and word of mouth spread around but more feedback would be good, so if there is anyone else you know who might care about this kind of thing even if it is going to move forward as a one man job more input would be great.

I think just a group of collectors importing stuff could do the same job if not a better job for certain items considering we can find them cheaper at times online or loose but it'd be good to hear what other collectors would really like to see in stores.

Is person a b and c really going to be okay with a $20 retail cost on figures they'll want to army build they'd also have to understand if we want to get all the vehicles into the country they'll want most of the figures to go right along side, but if we can't move those items from the shelf the importer wont get those vehicles.

Also while clearance is something us collectors LOVE and if we found all our favorite characters on clearance that'd be like hitting gold, but what it means for the store is that this wave hasn't been as good and the next wave despite how good or bad it might be might be ordered less of, because retailers have less of an idea of what figures in a wave will or wont sell.

Which is why i think its also important for somebody to make these lists of what sells and what doesn't off shelves, and i don't check stores so i'm certainly not the person for that job, i just know online prices of some.

Anyway i'll leave this post see what attention it attracts before i think about the next step.

Re: Banding together in NZ.

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:03 am
by Reverend Strone
It seems to me we can each point out what we think are problems, but we lack a clear call to action as far as how to solve them. One of the issues we face as selective consumers of this product range is that we all have such diverse tastes. I suspect any effort to gathering a kind of consensus is doomed, because everyone collects differently. Hasbro having so many product ranges now only makes it tough nowadays, too, because there is so much to choose from. It was easier to determine a clear way forward when there was just one line and essentially just one set of media upon which it was based. We as collectors are a fractured bunch. Votes? Majority rules? That's not consensus. I don't think they actually serve anyone's interests and you end up with a large chunk of the community that feels disenfranchised by the results. And I think it could be argued it has already been tried. We have seen the results. Though well-meant, petitions are only likely to garner a tiny number of signatures, which ultimately deliver the opposite message we want to send. I don't wish to be negative, but I can't see a path to success via these sorts of plans.

I am left wondering if, instead of trying to force local retailers and importers into carry what we want (something which is different depending on who you ask), we should be looking for ways to bypass the middle-men entirely and encouraging Hasbro to explore better direct to consumer options. At least then we are only dealing with Hasbro's agenda and our own, which should be easier to align than having to worry about everyone elses in the equation.

Re: Banding together in NZ.

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:04 pm
by Dawfydd
I do know overall hasbro have a huge line up but i'm not entirely sure which items we don't get, besides like exclusives and some vehicles.

Now i feign complete ignorance to the 5poa waves as i only own 3 of them, a two pack of ahsoka/vader before i knew 100% she was getting a 6inch, and a thrawn to complete my three, soon to be four thrawn releases.

But just as a quick example and i'm willing to review the 6 inch line releases, i can list all the releases here and somebody who's seen them in stores can update which ones are missing, i'll put what i know we didn't get or i assume in way of the exclusives.

Releases in order (i think!)
Stars next to the item are the ones we either didn't get or are waiting on, i am not sure if we've missed the royal guard/Lando/Gui-gon wave or they are delayed, i think Hera is also in that wave, which is a shame 3/6 i want from that wave and 2 are re-issues from rogue one k2 and director boring.
I also assume we missed out on all the exclusives but like i said i don't know 100% so i'll update said list.

If we decide to go over the other toy lines, i know the rebels "Large" (though its just the ghost and walker in that range) we missed out on, but i don't think we missed more than a handful of waves of the base 4 inch lines over the years? before 5poa


#01: Luke Skywalker
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#02: Darth Maul
#03: Sandtrooper
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#04: R2-D2
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#10: Obi-Wan Kenobi
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#12: Anakin Skywalker
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#13: Chewbacca Pushed to 2014 Blue Packaging
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#09: Han Solo (Stormtrooper Disguise)
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#10: Bossk
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#11: Emperor Palpatine
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#12: Luke Skywalker (Stormtrooper Disguise)
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#13: Clone Trooper Captain
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#14: Clone Commander Cody
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#15: IG-88
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#16: Princess Leia Organa (Boushh)
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17 Finn (FN-2187)
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31 AT-AT Pilot / AT-AT Driver
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32 Obi-Wan Kenobi
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33 Sabine Wren
34 Darth Revan
35 Snowtrooper
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36 Chirrut Îmwe
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37 Baze Malbus
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38 Imperial Royal Guard ***
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Rey (Starkiller Base)
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Rogue One Three Pack
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Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu)
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Stormtrooper Collection
-2015 Amazon

Re: Banding together in NZ.

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:05 pm
by Dawfydd
oh and the anniversary wave but we got that all from the warehouse ya?

Re: Banding together in NZ.

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:33 am
by Reverend Strone
I'm sorry, I can be of no help with 6". I don't follow it.

Not sure what you are referring to by Rebels large.

As far as 3.75" goes NZ did not receive the Walmart Exclusive Black Series range but did seem to get most of the basic 5POA range not counting US store exclusives. I don't believe we received the AT-ACT vehicle, but did get some of the smaller and mid-sized vehicle skus.

We received no Micromachines of any sort for Rogue One, nor Titaniums, as far as I am aware.

That's about all the info I can supply you with for your list off the top of my head.

Best of luck.

Re: Banding together in NZ.

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:03 pm
by Dawfydd
Poop my reply went woosh.

So i'll just be quick, um from what i can see and you've said we've missed out on a wave here and there with the major things in 2016-2017 being walmart exclusives, some waves? or ranges of micro/titanium vehicles as well as periodic vehicle releases, for example the AT-DP and Phantom "larger than speeders" kind of vehicles.

I know we got the BIG falcon back in the way but i'm not sure if we ever saw the Vintage X-wing or other ships they had going in the vintage waves we must have had a release of AT-ST or two but i've never seen one as well as the ARC-170 and V-wing torrent because i've got those from bulk deals off preloved kids toys as well as the ATAT and clone at walker its name escapes me atm, as well as the turbotank and "fighter tank" aat, tank droids, hellfire.

But we've been over looked for like the trifighter i think despite getting the other CIS fighters, and i don't think we got the V-wing (non torrent) despite most of the rest, same goes for missing the clone artillery and droid gunship.
It seems most of them are just "random" missing vehicles i can't see a pattern in it.

I also know there are just some battlepacks we didn't get, and the dvd sets and exclusives from stores, which include most of the 6 inch exclusives if i'm correct?

so much for making it shorter than my last reply.
But from the vintage line and saga etc before the "new improved" 4 inch black series they bent us over for, can you recall any waves we didn't get? i don't think we got all the comic packs, though we got some of the more rare ones (Traa sha and tholme) but i think we never saw Exar kun and whats his face.
Did we ever get the wave that included the solo twins? Jacen and Jaina from saga or one of those nearby waves it was during the build a droid time, i think the same wave or next to the build a droid Darktrooper, and i believe we also got Malak/Revan wave from 30th anni? but i don't commonly see a lot of that wave so they either were few or went to avid collectors who'd never part with them.

So assuming the newest walmart exclusive black series is for the most part *Re-released* as walmart was horrid stocking it, and we get all those figures we'll still be missing some stuff.

"Now and then vehicle releases" "Exclusive/Battlepack / Battlepack-exclusive(AT-ST pack?) all the exclusive black series 6 inch"
As well as limited waves of certain lines intermittently including but not limited to the B6 line eg royal guard wave is still overdue or missing, Titanium and micro-machines.

I also suggest for sanity sake we think up how to tell the difference between the black series 6 and 4 inch lines, I'm thinking "B6" and/or "Black-legacy" or "black-vintage"

Re: Banding together in NZ.

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:08 pm
by Dawfydd
Also i do kind of think that vehicle releases might be an issue most of the time poor collectors like myself would much rather buy on sale or not at all, and there are times online is much cheaper, I recall a MMT i was drooling over for $200 and $50 shipping on sale and if i had space/money i would've brought it in a second, its one of the few vehicles from CIS i don't have.

And i think if we found a bunch of collectors/friends overseas willing to buy extra/help combine shipping we could likely manage those vehicles easily ourselves but for most people the waves being in New Zealand is a big part, there has to be an option that we can walk into a store and maybe find a royal guard for retail price.
I do see a time if the last warehouse sale was anything to go by when poorly chosen waves of B6 and 5poa sit on shelves for drastic specials when only a few move and they consider not selling them anymore.