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ToysRUs and price increases

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I thought we should start a dedicated thread to discuss the new, jaw-dropping price increases seen for toys across the board at ToysRUs.

I went to my TRU today since I had to do a return before the Jan 31st deadline.  It's definitely just about every collectible toy going up in price, the Hot Wheels are now $2 each, the Voyager-class Transformers that were $40 pre-pandemic are now $50. 

One interesting thing I noticed today is that the employees were jamming all the SW, Marvel and Transformers into one aisle whereas they normally occupy 3 aisles. I asked him why they were squeezing all the toys into such a tight space and he told me that TRU will now be selling books!  So they are making aisle space for a LOT more books.

His boss had told him that the reason is because books are higher margin.  Okay, but I'm not going into a TRU to buy books, I can go to other book stores including Amazon and get them for 50% off, so we'll see how smart that strategy is...  perhaps they realize that if 6-inch figures are jumping to $43, no one will be buying much toys and they're switching over to selling books???

It feels like this new owner is just trying to replicate the Sunrise Records strategy for overcharging on collectibles and hoping collectors (suckers) will still pay these insane prices.  If Walmart, Amazon and Gamestop are able to hold off on their price increases, then TRU is dead in Canada. It won't survive the pandemic. Although the owner could still make money if the business fails, by selling the land that they own for some of their stores and turning it into condos...

edit: oh, please free to join in and confirm if you are seeing the same thing happening at your local TRU (toys being squeezed into smaller spaces, to make room for books).

TRU = "Tomes" are Us 

Darth Woo:
Yeah.  It's crazy.  I only usually ever buy anything at TRU because it's an exclusive.  I bought my Rogue One Baze from them though because for some reason, one store had him priced at $23 instead of $34 when he was first released.  Even the shelf tag specifically for Baze had him for $23.  They corrected that a few days later though...haha.

Canadian Jedi:
My thoughts were that the new ownership at TRU is increasing prices.  New management is going to mean a different type of TRU store.  Hopefully they be able to find a product mix that gives them the margins they need to be financially successful.  But Bricks and Mortar stores are probably going to end.  The next Generation of Parents are going to be more against plastic toys and the affects the production of them have on the planet.  Lego is working on a new formula for the bricks that will be environmentally friendly, so if they figure it out they will be King of the Hill in terms of toys.  Hasbro best policy would be to forget retail and start focusing on selling direct with multiple warehouses like Amazon has and just keep all the margins themselves.   The manufactures are , excuse the pun, toying around with direct sales through Haslab and Pulse, but they need to fully commit and focus on getting supply consistently to the market.  What I would like to see is Hasbro buy out Mattel and create one large Toy company and one large direct supply chain.  Lego has proven that a manufacturer can have a very strong direct supply chain and a retail chain and be very successful. Lego has a strong online store, direct mall stores and retail chain and they do very well.

I am going to make a larger effort to be really picky on my 6" figures moving forward. The price increases definitely suck. I wonder if some of it is temporary with the crazy costs manufacturers are having to pay for materials and shipping. However, like with most things once prices go up they tend to stay that way.

Based on everything we've seen since POTF-95, prices have always, usually gradually, increased over time. I shudder to imagine but it's almost inevitable the day these 2022 prices will seem reasonable or even sound like a bargain,  compared to pricing we'll be seeing 2 to 3 years from now.

That's assuming the pricing doesn't kill the Hasbro side of the hobby altogether but i think it will carry on.  More likely Hasbro just make their releases more limited, less frequent and more expensive for the collectors who haven't tapped out or narrowed their focus to a minimal subset of what's being offered. $50 standard black series and $35 standard vintage collection figures, coming soon to a preorder near you.


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