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Hasbro Canada WTH?


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So I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I just had to get my rant of my chest. I have been a huge fan of GI Joe (RAH) since it first started in the early 80's, when I grew up with it. There was nothing more exciting then going to the local department store, and seeing a wall of RAH figures, and picking out a few to buy. In recent years since I've been an adult, I've got into toy collecting and now collection Star Wars, Transformers and GI Joe stuff.

 

Here is Canada Transformer stuff is easy to find, Star Wars is a little hit and miss, but GI Joe is non-existent. I guess Hasbro Canada simply does not see a market for it here in Canada.

 

Anyways, with the recent release of the 25th Anniversary figs, I have been going crazy with frequent trips to the States (Syracuse, Watertown, Ogdensburg, Massena and Even Orlando the odd time) buying anything I come across.

 

However although I go fairly often its still hard to find a good selection of figs, as I guess each city has their own bunch of collectors and cross border shoppers, so I often come away empty handed.

 

So here is where my rant basically starts. I'm was in a local walmart (Ottawa, Canada) the other day, and decided to take a trip down the toy aisle, for months I have kinda been avoiding it, as there hasn't been anything on the shelf worth buying. So I stop and take a look at some Star Wars Mighty Muggs (or something like that), stop and think that they look cute, but it, then start to walk away, but to my surprise my eye catches something just as I turn away... there is ShipWreck stair back at me.

 

Holy Snap! whats this 25th Anniversary figs here in Canada? is this a dream??? I quickly look through the figures, a complete wave of

 

Crimson Guard, ShipWreck, Flash, SnowJob, Destro, SnakeEyes, and maybe some others. There was at least 8 or so figs on the one peg. I grab Flash, SnowJob and one Crimson Guard... I notice the price, which I'm not too happy about... $7.96 CDN.

 

SIDE RANT: Price?

What is up with the price of these figs in Canada? $7.96?? Last time I checked American and Canadian money were pretty much even. Sure I can go to Macdonald's with an and American 5 dollar bill, and get the change back in Canadian, and vice versa in the cities I visit in New York State. These figs are $4.88 in the US, I would have expected a better price here in Canada, not nearly double.

END SIDE RANT

 

Ok, back to my original rant. so I'm walking away with my 3 new figs, happy as can be. I can't believe I managed to pick up SnowJob, Flash, and the CG, and I didn't even have to go on a road trip. Then it happens. I notice what I have picked up, and why I sometimes hate the country I live in.

 

Take a look at the attached picture (borrowed from joecanucks.com newsletter)

 

GIJOE.jpg

 

The one thing that I love from my childhood, the detailed packaging of RAH GI Joe figures, ruined by Bilingualism. First off, if the white sticker with the tril-lingual words wasn't bad enough, what is up with the lack of art work???????? OMG ... why even put these things on the shelf with out the artwork. I couldn't get over it. I understand its the LAW that things have to be bilingual (for those 15% of people that speak French) but, last time I checked artwork doesn't have anything to do with language. someone (i.e. Hasbro) is just getting lazy and cutting down cost value, which isn't cool when your producing a collectors item.

 

So after having a discussion with my wife, I decided to drop Flash and the CG, and only buy SnowJob, with the condition that if I find him in the states, I'll buy him there, and return this one.

 

Hasbro Canada.. what are you doing to me??? this is horrible. Now in joecanuck's newletter he actually got to ask Hasbro about this, and they came back with a pretty good answer, but I don't care. This is just ridiculous. Needless to say I will be buying my GI Joe figs in the states from now on, or maybe just maybe, they will fly off the shelf here in Canada and will be replaced with an Emergency import of American carded Joes.

 

End Rant... sorry. just had to get that off my chest.

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I don't think it has anything to do with bilingualism. Take another look at the card of the Joe figures. Something other than the artwork is missing. The American cards say "A Real American Hero" on the Joe packaging. The Canadian ones do not. Apparently this is the reason for the lack of artwork. The bilingual text is on a sticker after all.

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maybe you could be right, but why is the artwork missing? I'm sure they could just remove the text, if they have already removed the artwork. However one thing I forgot to mention in my original rant, was if you turn the blister card over, its also different than the American version, and has big versions of the art work, displaying other figures in the series instead of the regular file card. So the artwork is one the back of every card, just not on the front.

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Here's an earlier thread about the Canadian packaging.

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As far as price goes, yeah it's a crock, but it's not like Hasbro's the only one doing it. If you were in the market for a new car right now, then you'd be REALLY pissed. There was even a big controversy about dealers and/or auto makers working with dealerships down in the States and getting them to refuse to sell to Canadian customers, in order to force them to buy at a 20-40% markup in Canada, which may have made sense when the dollar was at .65 cents US, but now that it hovers one or two cents over or under parity, that's extorsion, pure and simple. Now they say that imported goods has all sorts of duties and extra taxes, to which I have to wonder what NAFTA was about?

 

As far as packaging, at this point I don't care. I'm sick and tired of stores in Canada. In the past few years I've been living in Victoria, BC and Halifax, NS - both of which are major Canadian cities, not metropolises mind you, but provincial capitols - and I've never been able to find the stuff I've wanted, except maybe when I was into Star Wars, and even then it was limited, and the new waves were incredibly slow to get here. I have never found any 25th figures, except a couple lonely comic-packs (neither of which I wanted) at a Zellers here. I'd rather have the product with crappy packaging than no product at all.

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Here is Canada Transformer stuff is easy to find, Star Wars is a little hit and miss, but GI Joe is non-existent. I guess Hasbro Canada simply does not see a market for it here in Canada.

 

Its not Hasbro Canada at work here, its the retailers.

 

Years ago, I was told face-to-face by a lady who was THE head toy-buyer for the now long-defunct Toys and Wheels chain that retailers up here are really skittish about US military toys--notably GIJOE.

In fact, the reason GIJOE was not carried by more retailers is because many of the retail stock buyers up here DON'T LIKE MILITARY TOYS ON THEIR STORE SHELVES.

It was a trend that began at a point in time when three of of the largest retail chains up here had women in charge of buying stock, and all three were moms that did not favour war toys.

Their excuse was that if they did not like such things then other Canadian moms would not too.

They set the decision not to carry such toys and , for the most part, the managers that have followed them have followed this myth of a trend ever since. Its not something that's questioned because the bias continues in like-minded stock buyers being handed the reins.

 

 

For the longest time, the only stuff you could find was Lanard's The CORPS stuff, and 12" Twenty First Century Toys, and the only reason you could get the latter was because Toys R Us carried it.

Sigma 6 and the Spytroops and Valor vs. Venon sold well at TRU, but again, they were the only ones carrying them in any depth.

Walmart had some GIJOE stock, but it was VERY timid amounts--a case here and there--again, due to the above myths still being at play.

 

Its this self-fullfilling prophecy now, with a lot of consumers frowning at war toys, followed by retailers frowning at them, followed by retail stock buyers.........its why you'll find 10 times the amount of similar kinds of toys stateside than you ever will up here.

 

In the past few years, I've found more GIJOE stuff at discount and hardware stores than I ever have at large chains like Walmart or TRU, and some of the stuff is surprising. I've learned to look further afield and usually find things in the process.

 

For current stuff though, the best bet is to order from the States, and that will be the case for the forseeable future.

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Yeah, well, that little interest group has reared its ugly head in the States too, so keep vigilant. Personally I don't think stores here listen to it all that much anymore - the toy isles have toy guns, McFarlane military figures, the Corps and Sigma 6 (when it was popular). You could even buy the Valor Vs. Venom and Spy Troops stuff pretty easily. The real problem is they don't carry much of ANYTHING, and when it was a "new" toyline like the 25th Anniversary stuff, stores were cautious both here and in the States... The nice thing about the States though, is that stores have more of everything, so it's easier to buy.

 

As far as I'm concerned, the almighty dollar speaks loudest. We'll probably see a lot more GI Joes when the movie hype starts hitting. When all is said and done, TRUs, Walmarts, heck EVERY store in Canada doesn't stock a whole lot of any line, but when there's a movie behind it we do tend to get a bit more.

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