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Author Topic: Questions For Hasbro Canada  (Read 43267 times)

jjreason

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Questions For Hasbro Canada
« on: January 11, 2008, 08:35:43 PM »

Alright. With the exciting possibility of a Hasbro rep actually entertaining question directly from us, I'd like to propose the following method for NOT scaring them off.

Anyone who has a question they'd like to see asked, reply to this thread. I'll make a numbered list of all the different questions (*note* - please read the list of questions to see if yours might already be on there).

If your question is on the list already, please reply that you'd like to "vote" to have that question asked as soon as possible. The "burning issues" (okay, the questions with the most votes) will be forwarded first - I'll then post them and the answers in a new thread for discussion. Questions asked will be stricken off the list BUT NOT REMOVED so that we don't start forwarding the same questions after a few weeks.

 :fighting0072:

1. One thing that Hasbro Canada could do which would simplify things for collectors is to have a webpage established where we can get the latest information about what is or isn't coming to Canada. It does not have to be anything fancy at all, no Flash movies, no SW music playing in the background, just a simple page that indicates for example, if a Walmart exclusive is also going to be available at Walmart Canada, or if the final 3 waves will or will not be showing up here (and if it is coming, which retailer has ordered these waves). The page could also tell collectors in advance if special promotions like the George Lucas Stormtrooper figure or the VTSC coins are going to be honored in Canada, and if not, please give reasons why not too.

Would Hasbro Canada consider something like this for the future?  If you ever read through our forums you will find that many of us have been very critical of Hasbro Canada BUT that this may also be borne from the fact that we do not know what you are doing on our behalf and exactly what issues you encounter in delivering SW toys to the Canadian marketplace. We are extremely appreciative that you're willing to take the time to answer our questions but also we want your company to be proactive at supplying us with information i.e. we should not have to ask you in the future whether a certain product is coming to Canada in a Q&A like this one; instead a dedicated webpage would let you proactively tell us if it is or isn't going to come or if you simply do not know yet if a retailer will pick up the item.  It could simply be a checklist of the item and its status e.g.

TAC 2008 wave 4 - coming April 2008
TAC 2008 Wave 5 - coming summer 2008
TAC 2008 wave 6 - coming fall 2008
TAC 2008 wave 7 - only to be available in US (sorry!)
Target Exclusive Death Star playset - TBD (waiting for retailer interest)
Target Exclusive Millenium Falcon   - TRU Canada, Dec 2008
VotC 2009 wave 1 - est. Feb 2009, note: promotion is for US only (sorry)

..and so on. This type of clarity would greatly help us to budget our purchases, make arrangements to buy the item in the US if we know it will not show up here.

2. Is there anything that can be done by Hasbro Canada when certain figures remain in large numbers on store pegs for months and months, or is this solely the responsibility of the retailers themselves? These "pegwarmers" take up a LOT of store space in many instances and frustrate consumers because they prevent newer stock from being ordered & displayed for long periods of time.

3. In the last 3 years Canada has received the first wave of new figures before the US. This shows that the packaging and figures have already gone into production for the Canadian market, however there is then a 3-4 month delay until the second wave of figures is delivered to retail, by this point in time we are usually 2 waves behind the US. What are the reasons for this? Is there any chance this could change?

With generic cardbacks already in production there is no logical reason why Canada should be 2 waves behind the US all the time. Are you doing anything to improve distribution?

4. Does Hasbro Canada receive a timeline at the start of the year with an outline of the entire year's distribution or do you only know when then "next" wave will come in?

5. What plans does Hasbro have for the FX Sabers line in 2008 and beyond?

6. Are any further Disney Star Wars figures planned past the first wave? When could they be expected?

7. my question deals with just how the figures get to Canada.  Do they come bulk from China and then are they placed on the Canadian cards at Hasbro Canada or are they totally assembled where they are made and then sent to Hasbro?

8. With the new trend of multiple "exclusive" figures that are available only through U.S. stores or U.S. websites, would it be possible to release a figure that would be a Canadian exclusive?  With the release of figures such as the holiday editions of vader, yoda, ect., or the disney star tours with donald duck as han, the figure wouldn't have to be a movie based character it could be a repainted droid (red and white proticol droid?) or a snowtrooper with Canadian flag on his shoulder or even a yoda tapping a maple tree...jk.  Seriously though, this figure could be Zellers exclusive or a WalMart Canada exclusive figure, or even just a Canadian website exclusive (...maybe even available through snowtroopers.ca).  I think this would give Canadian collectors a feeling of recognition from Hasbro.

9. Admiral Piett is the only Imperial Officer who has lines in 2 of the movies, and plays a VERY major part in the movies. The last one we saw was in 1998 (Captain Piett), ten years ago. There are figures that have no lines in the movies and play minor roles, while this fairly major character has been left untouched for so long. Will there be a new Admiral Piett (From The Empire Strikes back, with Admiral badges) planned any time soon or ever?

10. Is there a downloadable/printable version of the Captain Rex order form?

11. Now that Hasbro has made a 3 3/4" scale falcon, can we expect that they will look at making a scale AT-AT Imperial Walker? Ok that is more begging then a question, I must admit.

12. Hasbro does not want to look at diorama/playsets would another company be able to approach Lucas to fill this void? Would another company be allowed to make these sets in 3 3/4" scale?

13, Here is a suggestion rather then a question, why doesn't Hasbro have a link on there web site where people can download diorama/playset backgrounds to display their loose figures? I think that even large stickers could be mailed, packed in that people can apply to any backdrop of their choice (cardboard/foamcore etc) I believe that Hasbro could benefit from this feature and make tons of collectors/kids very happy. I know that I would rather a free cardboard diorama over a coin, stand or similar pack in!

« Last Edit: May 10, 2008, 09:24:30 AM by jjreason »
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napseeker

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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2008, 09:46:03 PM »

Here are my questions, which is a more general version of jj's about the final waves:

2. Year after year Canadian collectors have been extremely frustrated by the fact that the last 2 to 3 waves never show up on retail shelves. As a result, we have to scramble to trade with (or buy from) our US collecting friends, or buy them at a higher cost from smaller hobby stores with sometimes a markup that is 50% over regular retail, or simply go without these figures. For some customers, this has driven them out of collecting completely, while the rest of us endure, but with increasing frustration every year. 

Please note that we'd heard promises during the TSC run that the last waves would make it to Canada but there were so few that actually showed up on the shelves that even making daily toy runs did not ensure a chance to buy these figures. And while it's a good solution to let some of the '07 wave spill into the 2008 cases, there are still going to be collectors who wanted to also obtain the coins along with the figure. What is Hasbro Canada doing specifically to remedy this situation?  We obviously want to buy the figures but it is the distribution that is failing to meet the demand.

3. Target stores down in the US often seem to get the best exclusives, especially when it comes to the battlepacks. Is Hasbro Canada aware that we also have a very strong interest in obtaining these exclusives without resorting to eBay or making trips down to the US in the hopes of coming upon an exclusive?  Do you try to offer these items to retailers up north and if so, what has been the response?  We did see the Target-exclusive Zev Senesca Snowspeeder that appeared at TRU last year -- how did this come about and was the offering considered a success (as it seemed to be since it sold out nicely whereever I looked). If it was deemed successful, why haven't we seen more US-exclusives since then?

4. One thing that Hasbro Canada could do which would simplify things for collectors is to have a webpage established where we can get the latest information about what is or isn't coming to Canada. It does not have to be anything fancy at all, no Flash movies, no SW music playing in the background, just a simple page that indicates for example, if a Walmart exclusive is also going to be available at Walmart Canada, or if the final 3 waves will or will not be showing up here (and if it is coming, which retailer has ordered these waves). The page could also tell collectors in advance if special promotions like the George Lucas Stormtrooper figure or the VTSC coins are going to be honored in Canada, and if not, please give reasons why not too. 

Would Hasbro Canada consider something like this for the future?  If you ever read through our forums you will find that many of us have been very critical of Hasbro Canada BUT that this may also be borne from the fact that we do not know what you are doing on our behalf and exactly what issues you encounter in delivering SW toys to the Canadian marketplace. We are extremely appreciative that you're willing to take the time to answer our questions but also we want your company to be proactive at supplying us with information i.e. we should not have to ask you in the future whether a certain product is coming to Canada in a Q&A like this one; instead a dedicated webpage would let you proactively tell us if it is or isn't going to come or if you simply do not know yet if a retailer will pick up the item.  It could simply be a checklist of the item and its status e.g.

TAC 2008 wave 4 - coming April 2008
TAC 2008 Wave 5 - coming summer 2008
TAC 2008 wave 6 - coming fall 2008
TAC 2008 wave 7 - only to be available in US (sorry!)
Target Exclusive Death Star playset - TBD (waiting for retailer interest)
Target Exclusive Millenium Falcon   - TRU Canada, Dec 2008
VotC 2009 wave 1 - est. Feb 2009, note: promotion is for US only (sorry)

..and so on. This type of clarity would greatly help us to budget our purchases, make arrangements to buy the item in the US if we know it will not show up here, and reduce some of the frustration which would normally get directed at Hasbro Canada in lieu of no one else to blame :)

« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 10:21:46 PM by napseeker »
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obi_wan_canuck

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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2008, 10:05:33 PM »

My question -

Is there not something that can be done about all the "peg-warmer figures" figures that take up shelf space) that hog valuable retail space?  These figures clog up big stores like TRU for eons, and don't seem to move.

A good example would be the Naboo Soldier and the Endor Soldier.  These were originally marketed as troop builders (figures collectors would want in large numbers for "armies" or dioramas) but they sit and sit and aren't being sold.  Send a rep to TRU stores and you can see for yourself.

Isn't this a big loss to you if products sit and are not being sold?  Does it not prevent newer products from being shelved?  Can Hasbro Canada or the stores do something to recycle these figures or something?  I know TRU is responsible for the number of products that are ordered, and that Hasbro packs cases based on perceived demand, but it seems like a waste when newer product either a) is ordered in low quantities or b) misses Canadian retailers altogether.
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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2008, 10:55:43 PM »

In light of the missing Waves in Canada (Wave 6, 7, 7.5 and 8) will there be any way that Canadian collectors who fully supported and intended to collect all the coins will be able to obtain the remaining coins in order to fill the albums they purchased?
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Jangotat

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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2008, 11:26:57 PM »

Vote in for napseekers questions. They sound great :)`


hellboy has a good question too but i think their just going to give us the whole, "dont't worry it will come to canada :crazy:" line.
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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2008, 12:05:14 AM »

Vote for Napseekers questions as well as JJs. Another question would be why was the Endor AT AT orginally at 89.99 at TRU, then dropped to 69.97 for 30% off sale then jacked up to 99.99 after sale and still not clear shelves. Is this a store issue or a Has Can issue. How about getting info. on more (3.75") vehicles that may or may not be coming to Canada. What is the real deal with the generic packaging for Cdn figures as opposed to the US?
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Morgbug

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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2008, 01:28:47 AM »

Vote for Napseekers questions as well as JJs. Another question would be why was the Endor AT AT orginally at 89.99 at TRU, then dropped to 69.97 for 30% off sale then jacked up to 99.99 after sale and still not clear shelves. Is this a store issue or a Has Can issue. How about getting info. on more (3.75") vehicles that may or may not be coming to Canada. What is the real deal with the generic packaging for Cdn figures as opposed to the US?

I know you want to hear from Hasbro directly, unlike a schmo like me, but:

Prices are set by the retailers.  There is a Manufacturer's suggested retail price but stores are not bound to honor that.  If they wish to alter prices during the course of sales, they are free to do so and Hasbro cannot control that once the product is in store. 

As for the generic packaging, it is offered in Canada due to French language requirements, similar to what is offered in Mexico, with Spanish language requirements.  AS both the Canadian and Mexican markets are too small to warrant their own production runs, this is the most cost effective way to make this product available without substantially increasing production costs and therefore further increasing retail price to consumers. 

Napseeker, excellent questions.  And thanks JJ and snowtroopers staff/admin for trying to make this fly. :love0030:
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jjreason

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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2008, 07:57:33 AM »

Okay, I've amended #1 to deal more specifically with the coins and have added #'s 2-4. Please read them over - I've changed a few things (spelling out store names and defining "Pegwarmers" and "Battlepacks" specifically), but only to clarify the questions for the Hasbro rep.
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fishfan

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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2008, 08:19:14 AM »

I'd like to point out that some of the more exacting information that people are asking (ie. what stores have orderded what amounts of which waves, what stores may or may not get exclusives, etc) will more than likely be deemed sensitive information that the retailers themselves do not want out in the public forums for other retailers to see.  There is a certain amount of confidentiality that the retailers and maintain in order to be competative with one another and Hasbro is more than likely bound to not give out that type of info.  Don't be disappointed if you dont get specific, or even vague information for some questions.

I seem to remember a Darth Keg that worked at TRU ages ago.  He was giving the collectors info on what was coming and when.  Then he disappeared.  Rumor was that he was told by the company to keep quiet about that stuff as other retailers have people that go online to see if they can basically "spy" on what the other guy is doing.

Just a heads up.

 :u:
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jjreason

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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2008, 08:45:02 AM »

Excellent points, FF.

Regarding Darth Ket, I got the inside scoop on what TRU actually did to that guy - he's likely still in traction at some backwater third world hospital, or worse yet locked up in some Siberian gulag for treason.  ;)
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Canadian Jedi

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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2008, 10:18:31 AM »

JJ Another question I think some of the people here would be interested in is whether Hasbro is going to have the HASBROTOYSHOP ship and sell to Canada directly like LEGO does?






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jjreason

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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2008, 11:02:27 AM »

Can you tell me more about the Hasbrotoyshop ship so that I can be really specific with the guy?
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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2008, 03:17:00 PM »

I think he' talking about shipping - and a specific ship.

Right now Canadians cannot order from HTS because they won't "ship" (a verb, not a noun) to Canada.

Also - I suggest question 2 be worded, and split into 2 questions.  IMHO - the current question could be considered "condesending.

My suggestion only:

2A. Target stores down in the US often seem to get the best exclusives, especially when it comes to the "Battlepacks".  Many Canadian collectors have a very strong interest in obtaining these exclusives without resorting to eBay or making trips down to the US.  Do you try to offer these items to retailers up north and if so, what has been the response? 

2B.  We did see the Target-exclusive Zev Senesca Snowspeeder that appeared at Canadian Toys R Us stores last year -- how did this come about and was the offering considered a success (as it seemed to be since it sold out nicely wherever I looked) and if it was deemed successful, why haven't we seen more US-exclusives since then?
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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2008, 04:22:25 PM »

why was the Endor AT AT orginally at 89.99 at TRU, then dropped to 69.97 for 30% off sale then jacked up to 99.99

 :fighting0072: I had to buy it at 99.99... I was gonna wait for a clearance, then it went up, and I got scared it would reach 150$... Then I had to buy it at 99.99...  :mad0177:
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Re: Questions For Hasbro Canada
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2008, 04:35:04 PM »

1) How does Hasbro Canada plan on repairing the fractured faith with Canadian collectors after so many years of broken promises by not delivering all figures from a specific line to Canada even after they have stated they would?

2) As an alternative to bilingual packaging is it not possible to return to the days of old and place a bilingual sticker on the package to identify the product, thus keeping the more appealing American packaging intact and still adhering to bilingual standards.

3) In the last 3 years Canada has received the first wave of new figures before the US. This shows that the packaging and figures have already gone into production for the Canadian market, however there is then a 3-4 month delay until the second wave of figures is delivered to retail, by this point in time we are usually 2 waves behind the US.

With generic cardbacks already in production there is no logical reason why Canada should be 2 waves behind the US all the time. Are you doing anything to improve distribution?
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