Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Hasbro's Secret

What little boy doesn't want to be this?

This is a follow on from yesterday's post:

The only other company as badly hurt by Kennedy's Folly is Hasbro. Last year at this time their stock was sitting at a comfortable $110 a share and is now at a decidedly uncomfortable $90 a share and they are dreading the next quarterly report.

Hasbro bought up Kenner specifically to acquire the golden Star Wars brand back in 1991. It's never been a money loser for them...until now. Any sad stroll through Toys R'Us during it's tragic last gasps would reveal about a third of the shelf space in the entire store packed with First Order era Star Wars merch.

Situation at Hasbro is more of a problem than for Disney since they can't play the shell games that Disney does.

But Hasbro does have one potential savior that Disney does not.

According to one insider at Hasbro, they are strongly considering bringing back a toyline that was banished long ago in the name of Clinton Era political correctness. Unthinkable a couple of years ago but now the time may be right for the return of GI Joe.
The dirty secret of the toy industry is this.

The doll/action figure is really nearly a loss leader. They are almost sold at cost.

The real money is in the accessories. Planes, ships, tanks (etc).  That is one of problems Marvel has. The action figure is it. There isn't much in the way of secondary stuff.

That was why Star Wars was so huge, AT-ATs, AT-STs, Tie Fighters, X-Wings, Y-Wings, A-Wings, B-Wings, Landspeers, Star Destroyers, Slave-One, The Falcon and the list goes on and on.

It was a money making machine for Hasbro/Lucasfilm but one with an integral part: the Boy.

The Boy needed a reason to play with the toy.  The Boy needed a reason to want to pretend that he was Han or Luke.  The Boy needed a story.

There was plenty of reason to want to be Han or Luke or even the mysterious Bobba Fett.

No boy (unless he has truly hideous parents) is going to want to play with a Rey doll.


Tamaqua said...

Bingo. I was the Boy back when Empire hit the theaters in 1980. Seven years old, and my Christmas wish list was fulfilled with the tauntaun, Hoth Luke, Hoth Rebels, a snowspeeder, Chewbacca with the backpack to carry the 3P0 that broke apart, Vader and a full squad of Snowtroopers.

The important thing was that the toys were played with by all of us neighborhood kids together- we pooled our toys to make bigger adventures together. If you had that big ass AT-AT, you were the coolest kid around. And we didn’t rehash the plots from the film when we played- our imaginations took the characters far from what we saw on screen. We made our own EU long before it became reality. But the basic template was there of who Luke and Vader were, the story. As I recall, not one of those childish adventures involved Leia. Our group had epic battles with the opposing forces squaring off without the space princess on Planet Dinosaur or in a fortress our dads built from styrofoam boxes, but none of us clamored for Leia, because her story was already told on screen, and she was peripheral to the space dogfights and the land battles that only men fought in the OT. ( as well as in real life. We also played soldiers in the woods, emulating our WWII grandfathers or Vietnam fathers)

I feel bad for the little boys today that have soy based heroes and villains to play with. I hope some 8 year old has Kylo and Hux kick the shit out of Poe and that weasel deserter Finn without Rey, Rose, Admiral Gender Studies, or Leia anywhere near, and no one spoils it by saying “that’s wrong Jimmy. Rey and the girls always beat them all”.

Mr. Bee said...

Just hope they don't take their cue from the IDW GI-Joe for SJWs.

Andy said...

Was going to put this on the last post, but...

I question whether the good guys actually "won" GamerGate, given the ever-increasing convergence of modern gaming. Sure the gaming press doesn't call us racistsexisthomophobes anymore, but every current-gen publisher seems hell-bent on making us play as Bad-Ass Females until we knuckle under to the "GIRLZ ROOL" premise. They've all forgotten that video games are essentially a power fantasy, and men don't want to play as characters who are less powerful than they are in real life.

I don't mind playing as certain kind of woman (Kerrigan in StarCraft, who is basically Tetsuo from Akira with an army of Tyranids, is A-OK with me), but I am so, so sick of the Bad-Ass Female stereotype being shoved down my throat. Vox had a great post the other day about a woman who figured out it was crap in her twenties. My wife laughs at me when I say it's going to get women who believe it's real killed in the real world.

Frankly, it disgusts me to the point where I've cut off my current-gen purchases (other than Nintendo, who other than some needless censoring to remove weird Japanese crap is largely SJW-resistant) and spend most of my time these days playing PC classics and console classics via emulator.

buscaraons said...

I'd like to see the 12 inch/1 sixth scale figure make a come back as well. The older kids can collect the figures and Hasbro can make a ton on the accessories. Other companies like DAM Soldier story, etc's figures, the loose parts sell more than the figures.

It'd be nice to have a mix of real and fantastical weapons and uniforms for both the 3,75 inch figures and 1/6 scale ones

L. Beau said...

"... G.I. Joe is there!"

off topic: Bradley Manning was less G.I. Joe and more "G.I. Don't Know."