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Why Did ROC toys fail?


revsears
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New York Post

 

So the verdict is: FAILURE. Sure a sequel is green lit but i think you'd be underestimating Hasbro if the plan wasn't to try and hook more kids back on toys, and in that regard it didn't do so well. So why?

 

I'm sure i'm not the only one who thinks it has do with the following:

1. The economy, we are in the poopers guys, and it isn't getting better anytime soon.

2. Price Hike, the jump at movie time was insane. The alpha vehicles being more expensive than 2 of them w/ figs and STANDS just a couple of years ago. With less money up for grab in the leisure market a price mark up reflected some poor decisions. I know there is an argument out there that since they need to have licensed figs at that price a cheaper price would look like they were lower quality. (There is, i've heard this) that's a joke. In this market lower price = better than nothing or a "good value"

3. The digital age, this is hurting figures plan and simple.

4. Competition, Clone wars is hot, TF had a movie this year as well (which i think is INSANE these two should not have been out in the same year), and lets not forget the new Marvel scale.

5. The figs are very uniform. Mostly all black, very little color, it's hard to to tell the good guys from the bad guys (sometimes)

6. This Joe has alienated some older collectors, that has to be a factor wither you think this is the right direction for Joe or not. How big a factor? not sure.

7. A lot of people weren't a fan of the movie. Imo it was a terribly acted, directed, and conceived flop.

8. This one was entirely in Hasbro's Court and is incredibly simple. The Toys didn't match the movie. Kids that want to take Destro home, aren't going to find the version they saw in the movie (THE MAIN VILLAIN) The Doctor? Later wave! Looking for PP Heavy Duty? Fat chance but is a desert one instead, oh and Speed metal... PP Scarlet? Nah they pared others with bikes. Rex? never heard of him, at least not pre-cobra. Firefly? He is the pilot for the Night raven right? The Vehicles? Where are the real gunships, rhinos and Mantis's ? The women face sculpts look no where near what they do on film either. That PIT that was released? do i even need to go there?

9. Assortment Selection. I'm bewildered why so many non movie figs made into the early waves, why on earth did Hasbro hook them with movie version and figs first, then introduce guys like Shipwreck and Torpedo?

 

any other thoughts?

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New York Post

 

So the verdict is: FAILURE. Sure a sequel is green lit but i think you'd be underestimating Hasbro if the plan wasn't to try and hook more kids back on toys, and in that regard it didn't do so well. So why?

 

I'm sure i'm not the only one who thinks it has do with the following:

1. The economy, we are in the poopers guys, and it isn't getting better anytime soon.

2. Price Hike, the jump at movie time was insane. The alpha vehicles being more expensive than 2 of them w/ figs and STANDS just a couple of years ago. With less money up for grab in the leisure market a price mark up reflected some poor decisions. I know there is an argument out there that since they need to have licensed figs at that price a cheaper price would look like they were lower quality. (There is, i've heard this) that's a joke. In this market lower price = better than nothing or a "good value"

3. The digital age, this is hurting figures plan and simple.

4. Competition, Clone wars is hot, TF had a movie this year as well (which i think is INSANE these two should not have been out in the same year), and lets not forget the new Marvel scale.

5. The figs are very uniform. Mostly all black, very little color, it's hard to to tell the good guys from the bad guys (sometimes)

6. This Joe has alienated some older collectors, that has to be a factor wither you think this is the right direction for Joe or not. How big a factor? not sure.

7. A lot of people weren't a fan of the movie. Imo it was a terribly acted, directed, and conceived flop.

8. This one was entirely in Hasbro's Court and is incredibly simple. The Toys didn't match the movie. Kids that want to take Destro home, aren't going to find the version they saw in the movie (THE MAIN VILLAIN) The Doctor? Later wave! Looking for PP Heavy Duty? Fat chance but is a desert one instead, oh and Speed metal... PP Scarlet? Nah they pared others with bikes. Rex? never heard of him, at least not pre-cobra. Firefly? He is the pilot for the Night raven right? The Vehicles? Where are the real gunships, rhinos and Mantis's ? The women face sculpts look no where near what they do on film either. That PIT that was released? do i even need to go there?

9. Assortment Selection. I'm bewildered why so many non movie figs made into the early waves, why on earth did Hasbro hook them with movie version and figs first, then introduce guys like Shipwreck and Torpedo?

 

any other thoughts?

 

 

lies and slander i say!

 

they'll probily sell more during the christmas season other then that i shall not call it a failer.

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2. Price Hike, the jump at movie time was insane. The alpha vehicles being more expensive than 2 of them w/ figs and STANDS just a couple of years ago. With less money up for grab in the leisure market a price mark up reflected some poor decisions. I know there is an argument out there that since they need to have licensed figs at that price a cheaper price would look like they were lower quality. (There is, i've heard this) that's a joke. In this market lower price = better than nothing or a "good value"

 

7. A lot of people weren't a fan of the movie. Imo it was a terribly acted, directed, and conceived flop.

 

 

Here are your answers.

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That's a very poorly researched and poorly conceived article. Take a look around the toy aisles and you'll see that NOTHING is selling super-fast right now (unless it's new assortments of terminally underproduced lines like DCUC). This article makes no comparisons whatsoever to the rest of the toy industry. What makes RoC special? Further, the article fails to address the state of Transformers 2, Star Wars, and Hasbro's other product lines. If sales are strong in those lines, Hasbro can "suck up" weaker sales in G.I. Joe without their stock devaluing. Transformers 2 is an especially glaring omission given that it's another example of the "movies to toys" strategy that the article seems to be trying to debunk.

 

Finally, declaring any toy line a "failure" before the holiday shopping season has even begun points to someone that doesn't know squat about the toy industry.

 

RoC product may not be moving fast, but neither is anything else. We're in a recession folks...toys are low-priority, and with higher prices across-the-board (not just for G.I. Joe), that makes them even less attractive. We're definitely suffering from the typical movie "first wave glut" but declaring the line an abject failure at this point is premature and bordering on ignorant. If all those figures are still there on December 26th, then the "haters" can declare their victory, and start crying when they realize that the failure of RoC isn't going to bring their precious classic Joes back if retailers aren't buying G.I. Joe figures at all.

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I think the toys themselves were excellently executed for what Hasbro designed. I don't like the ROC theme, but the figures were excellent renditions of them.

 

I mean look at something like the Doctor figure, you can easily tell that Hasbro put in much more effort into that figure than many of the 25th figures. The 25th line is full of reused bodies and minimal effort to make a new character using old bodies. I didn't see much of that for the movie line. It seemed like they tried pretty hard with these figures. They were made with quality all around, and had plenty of accessories.

 

 

Where they failed is the design. The figures could only be as good as the designs they were based on.. and the ROC stuff pretty much stinks. I don't know how many new figures they put out for the ROC line, but I only bought a few of them (PP Snake Eyes, TRU Firefly, Paratrooper)... that is a huge drop off for me from buying at least two of every 25th figure.

 

The accelerator suits, the reactive armor or whatever.. the blue camo... it all just sucks ballz. The Vipers were equally terrible. I didn't buy a single one of those fugly neovipers, commanders, elites.. whatever. they suck.

 

 

the vehicles also suck. The only ones I wanted were the RAH reissues, and they were mucked up with action feature accessories and extremely high prices.

 

 

Plus, I think Hasbro again WAY overproduced the first waves, and the new stuff doesn't have a chance to hit the pegs. Nobody is ever going to buy the 40 Heavy Duty figures at Target, no matter how long they sit there.

 

 

So yeah, I think if Hasbro wants to make some money, they are going to have to have classic characters in the ROC line... not like how Shipwreck is in there in ROC gear... more like how firefly is in there in kinda a resolute look.

 

Or even better, give us a classic line concurrent with the ROC crap. Just like Starwars has their Saga and Clone Wars stuff

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I agree with the over production point. I've found every figure I wanted, and didn't want at retail and I think most everyone else has too. There's just too many leftovers.

 

 

7. A lot of people weren't a fan of the movie. Imo it was a terribly acted, directed, and conceived flop.

 

 

Here are your answers.

 

I don't agree with that point though. Personally I don't think that the movie affected whether people, fans or not, wanted a cool toy or not. IMO

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I dunno....I read the article and found myself thinking on each point "yeah, I can see that"

 

The number one plague in the action figure department of the toy industry is definitely the digital age, and the young boys are probably more into that than anything else and for the young boys that ARE into playing with action figures, the parents who are willing to buy these toys for them, probably aren't too keen on the champagne pricing of Hasbro's toys, when they can get 2 to 3 times as many action figures, they can beat the hell out of in the back yard, for half as much.

 

The adult collecting community has encouraged the ridiculous pricing on this stuff, and even within that category, they're limiting the munbers who can continue to participate in this current economy, so if they're happy with just catering to the Richie Rich's of kids and the Richie Rich's of adult kidhood...they've got'em. :)

 

Keep in mind I have no college education on the subject, no degree in business management and no experience in the toy industry other than my own personal interest in it, and my comments are strictly for entertainment value over my personal observations and thoughts.

 

@haha@ Thought it best to add a disclaimer over my personal qualifications to offer a response based on mere opinion over any formal training and certificate of creditials to even express one at all. ;)

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I definitely think the movie tanked the toy line in a number of ways.

 

I'll start with the following disclaimer: I kind of liked the movie, it was a mindlessly numb action film similar in the scope to a Transformers. Not my GI Joe but still amusing.

 

Now on to the issues as I personally saw them in the toy line:

1) My kids were into GI Joe before the movie. The costumes, the figures (particularly the larger scale stuff), even the Sigma Six cartoon. Then I took them to the movie and it all went to hell. One, the movie at PG-13 was too graphic and intense for my 6 and 4 year old. They didn't like that Storm Shadow dies for example and the other deaths didn't sit well. What sucks is that I took a load of crap from my wife telling me this was going to happen before that and paid the price b/c, well, it turns out she was right. Now my kids don't even want the toys so getting them new one's is out of the question.

2) We all know that Hasbro/Paramount could have gone the smaller team/smaller scale Mission Impossible/Bourne/heck...Rambo 4 method and kept the budget reigned in while making a great movie aimed at it's true audience or gone all out and made Resolute. Either way had they leveraged the existing characters the way they have been presented in the last 25+ years or so they would have pulled all of us in and probably pulled the kids in too. Even if I hadn't taken my kids to see the movie the mre acurate figures I would have bought would easily have rolled down to the kids.

3) The price point is easily the worst point of contention with the line. They jacked up the prices and released 60+ figures and the vehicles. As was stated earlier there is more competition at this scale AND a recession to deal with so upping the cost and amount of product is like trying to sell a BLT during Passover. Even the folks who don't keep Kosher are probabling doing so for the holiday.

4) I have to agree with Clam on the ROC designs sucking. All dark figures with the same general design vs. Marvel Universe's mold reuse but very different figures (example the Daredevil mold is also the Moon Knight, Magneto, Union Jack, Bullseye, Yellow DD, Hydra Trooper, Shield Trooper, etc.) making the average buyer none the wiser while getting what seems to be vastly different figures. The reuse on the ROC side is generally the same color, different head with the exception of the Vipers which are the exact same mold with different colors. That is a big mistake. They don't have to be neon green and orange but they have to be different.

5) Apparently the 25th line did spectacularly in sales according to the Hasbro reps in the past. So the old adage of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" seems to have been forgotten. If they looked at the 25th line as a success then the thought should have been perhaps the movie and the new toy line should mimic this. Even Resolute managed to update the line without forgetting the classic look. They just improved on it.

 

Anyway as usual, opinions are like...well you know, so take mine with a grain of salt.

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1) My kids were into GI Joe before the movie. The costumes, the figures (particularly thr larger scale stuff), even the Sigma Six cartoon. Then I took them to the movie and it all went to hell. One, the movie at PG-13 was too graphic and intense for my 6 and 4 year old. They didn't like that Storm Shadow dies for example and the other deaths didn't sit well. What sucks is that I took a load of crap from my wife telling me this was going to happen before that and paid the price b/c, well, it turns out she was right. Now my kids don't even want the toys so getting them new one's is out of the question.

 

Not to discredit your story, but on an opposite side. I took my four year-old son to see G.I. Joe and he loved it. Every bit of it. And those have been the toys recently that he wants me to buy him. He was on a huge Star Wars kick, but now G.I. Joe is the way to go.

 

I do think the price hike hasn't helped. I don't understand why their own personal product has to be just as expensive as the products they have licensed. The time when these figures seemed to move was at Toys R Us and their 2 for $10 sales. I've cherry-picked the ROC line - because I do like some of it. Although, I've spent more time back-tracking and picking up the 25th items I've missed. Throwing in the occasional classic figure in with ROC is nice, but Thunder is just a re-painted Resolute Duke with a new head and ANOTHER Armadillo... And I was a huge fan of Heavy Metal from ARAH. But I don't want to buy the clunky R.H.I.N.O to get him... *sigh*

 

And obviously the over saturation of their earlier waves isn't helping. I have the elusive PP Snake Eyes, PP Baroness, Accelerator Suit Duke,Dr. Lewis, and Artic Snake Eyes, but in many cases I've only seen 1 - 2 of each. I would love to get my hands on a Charbroil or Kamakura, but I have to wait for old product to move first.

 

I still don't know if it has "failed" yet, however. And the article is pretty vague. Aside from the video game sells (which has nothing to do with the toys... I would think?) and comparing it to Batman (why not compare it to another movie video game release seeing as Batman is one of the hottest games to come out in MONTHS) no real numbers were given. I feel like I could have given the same basic assessment of the situation by going into my local Target and Wal-Mart over a month's time and see the same figures sitting there.

 

I don't want to be a doomsayer. And I don't want G.I. Joe off the pegs. Hasbro wants movie toys out there right now and I want to suck it up and wait till more 25th esque product comes out.

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1) My kids were into GI Joe before the movie. The costumes, the figures (particularly thr larger scale stuff), even the Sigma Six cartoon. Then I took them to the movie and it all went to hell. One, the movie at PG-13 was too graphic and intense for my 6 and 4 year old. They didn't like that Storm Shadow dies for example and the other deaths didn't sit well. What sucks is that I took a load of crap from my wife telling me this was going to happen before that and paid the price b/c, well, it turns out she was right. Now my kids don't even want the toys so getting them new one's is out of the question.

 

Not to discredit your story, but on an opposite side. I took my four year-old son to see G.I. Joe and he loved it. Every bit of it. And those have been the toys recently that he wants me to buy him. He was on a huge Star Wars kick, but now G.I. Joe is the way to go.

 

Yeah, my six y.o. is kind of a wuss...lol. But my4 y.o. usually can see most things and go unphased and even he was generally not happy with the death scenes. Not as much as the 6 y.o. mind you but the movie just didn't seem to "do it" for him. I can't wait until they are older so I can show them Resolute (and all my favorite action/horro/sci-fi movies for that matter).

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I own every single pack figure and most vehicles from the ROC line, but the price definitely hurt. I certainly used the TRU sales and HTS specials to bolster my troops.

 

As an adult, the price wasn't bad for some of the nicest figures of the year (imo) but for a kid or a parent, 7.99-8.49 is pretty steep for a small action figure. On future waves, Hasbro needs to drop the BFG's, drop the price by a dollar, and see how things work out.

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With the exception of stores who went berzerk on Wave 1, I have to tell ya I do not see these toys being stagnant. In this particular area I am seeing Star Wars and GI Joe doing pretty well, with the TF and Marvel lines kind of lingering.

 

On a side note, I was happy to finally find Dr. Lewis, Charbroil, Adder, etc. this past weekend. I have yet to see Arctic Snake Eyes at retail, though!

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That's a very poorly researched and poorly conceived article. Take a look around the toy aisles and you'll see that NOTHING is selling super-fast right now (unless it's new assortments of terminally underproduced lines like DCUC). This article makes no comparisons whatsoever to the rest of the toy industry. What makes RoC special? Further, the article fails to address the state of Transformers 2, Star Wars, and Hasbro's other product lines. If sales are strong in those lines, Hasbro can "suck up" weaker sales in G.I. Joe without their stock devaluing. Transformers 2 is an especially glaring omission given that it's another example of the "movies to toys" strategy that the article seems to be trying to debunk.

 

Finally, declaring any toy line a "failure" before the holiday shopping season has even begun points to someone that doesn't know squat about the toy industry.

 

RoC product may not be moving fast, but neither is anything else. We're in a recession folks...toys are low-priority, and with higher prices across-the-board (not just for G.I. Joe), that makes them even less attractive. We're definitely suffering from the typical movie "first wave glut" but declaring the line an abject failure at this point is premature and bordering on ignorant. If all those figures are still there on December 26th, then the "haters" can declare their victory, and start crying when they realize that the failure of RoC isn't going to bring their precious classic Joes back if retailers aren't buying G.I. Joe figures at all.

I don't think these toys were meant to set there in till the Holiday season. Granted that will change things. the "ordering on ignorant" comment was a little unnecessary. Remember when VVV was canceled? I don't have links to the articles but i can remember reading it wasn't because they weren't selling, its because they weren't selling well enough. The toy industry puts a lot of focus on projected sales of a product by the retailers. If they don't sale as well, less will be ordered next time. Even at Christmas time with them getting cleared out, Hasbro has missed some restock opportunity because of stagnant waves. We also know the problem of trying to find the toys in that after Christmas almost never restock period. That's a lot of time that Hasbro isn't getting as many new orders as they had hoped.

 

I'm not a "hater" of the toys themselves, the movie? yeah i'd fall into that catogry. I too agree though that their failure isn't going to see classic Joes back. I think there are levels of Failure just like levels of Success. I'd say from the evidence this isn't doing what they wanted (failed to do that) but I doubt it is a complete bomb. It's hard for us to know the Quantity difference produced and sold.

 

I covered the recession in my post, I'm not blaming everything on Hasbro either. But causes inside and outside of Hasbro have hurt the line and need to mentioned.

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I don't think the article was really that good, Sure you could walk into a store and say that such and such line failed because there are lot of them on the peg. But I really don't think that any of the four major movie tie in lines (TF2, Star Trek, Terminator 4 or Joe) did well. I think the Joe figures sold pretty good and TF did well too. But I also know that some parents didn't "feel the need" to buy new TF2 toys when the characters from the first were exactly the same and their kids could just still play with those. In the end it won't matter because Joe sales will pick up with the DVD release and then the holiday rush that see's even the cr@ppiest of toys sell out.

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Not to knock RevSears, but I think too many people here took what he wrote as THE NY Post Article.

Click the link to read the actual story.

The reasons listed in the post are Rev's opinions, not financial facts from the stock market.

I agree with some of your points, Rev, but I think comparing it to TF and SW is hardly practical when you earlier blame the price hike. The price hike of Joes put them near but still less than SW and especially TFs in my area.

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i dotn think it was a failure......there are just as many 25th anni figs on the pegs at some stores as there are roc. and theres tons more tf2 toys than roc...so is that a failure too?

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Because I didn't buy any of them....

 

The figures themselves are ok, but don't really stand out like all the older 25th ones. I really do love the articulation though... I broke down and bought the RHINO (I like Heavy Met.. uhh, I mean Rampage)and Cover Girl & the first ROC Baroness because I had neither in ANY version. Everything is getting so expensive, and it seems Transformers (w/Videos ALL OVER the place), and Star Wars (Clone Wars on Cartoon Network), have most of the attention of the kids, as well as Game systems. I figure "Out of Sight, Out of Mind." There's so many distractions for the youth nowadays, toys seem to be a quick fix until the next thing comes along. :/

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i dotn think it was a failure......there are just as many 25th anni figs on the pegs at some stores as there are roc. and theres tons more tf2 toys than roc...so is that a failure too?

 

Where are you finding the 25th figures?

 

It COULD be argued that The Trnasformers line is, while not necessarily a failure, not as strong as it should be.

 

Think of it this way. The line is ALREADY done. In just under 2 months, EVERY movie figure is already out and all that is left is repaints (and pretty much all of THEM are out already too). What new Transformers products do we have on the horizon?

 

Walmart has already been doing price cuts on TFs.

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i dotn think it was a failure......there are just as many 25th anni figs on the pegs at some stores as there are roc. and theres tons more tf2 toys than roc...so is that a failure too?

 

I agree, there is way more TF overstock than Joe over all. That line seems to be slower moving and never really saw a burst like the Joes did at one point. But its way to early for anything to be called a failure, the holiday season is where WM, Hasbro, etc are banking on selling most of the things! Its not to far away, the Spidey 3 figs sat for ever that summer, then boom sold hugly over the holidays and so did the TF movie figs that year. Its the nature of the movie toy beast.

Draven

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i go into tru and see the last 2 waves of 25th anni peg warmers there. some walmarts here still ahve them too my kmarts just put the 25th anni stuff on clearance...and with the clearance prices they are just marked down to what regular price used to be in out stores.....ex cobra leigon set was 24.99...marked down to 19.99

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