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Comic-Con 2015 Exclusives Speculation

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I wanted those toys so much when I was little.

The hasbro exclusive from last year for transformers with the giant ARK playset was epic. SDCC exclusives should be crazy cool boxes and character selection that would be hard to do elsewhere. Those are always the great ones.

Edited by arnim zola

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Most SDCC exclusives are as much about promotion as they are the actual product. They are a way of generating traffic to their booths/brands, a "hey come get this cool exclusive and also check out our other products we want you to buy" kind of thing. Some of the most crowded booths at SDCC? The ones with the exclusives. The companies getting press about SDCC? The ones with the exclusives. Its marketing and it works.

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I got into a big argument with Zach many years ago about their SDCC strategy. The fact is, their one attempt to think outside the box a bit, the two Alpha Flight sets, was a huge flop. That definitely seems to have colored their exclusives strategy. They also seem to be looking to promote as many lines as possible, so they spread their resources out among as many sets and licenses as they can. I think DST looks at exclusives as marketing tools for potential new customers rather then fan service like Hasbro does.

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I'm just waiting for Zach to step in and answer all the questions and statements in one swoop.

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I think it just comes down to the product itself, we have seen evidence that focusing on the hardcore fans doesn't sell very well with the Alpha Flight sets, and we have also seen that trying to tie in to a movie release can also be a huge flop with the Iron Man 3 10 pack. There is no perfect option, but I certainly think it doesn't have to be one or the other.

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DST just has a case of "Pedro Cerrano" and they need to find their "marbles" again, when it comes to their choices. biggrin.png

Edited by fwoosheyman

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I don't think comparing DST to Hasbro is fair, either in terms of what they could achieve with their budget, or what they have the liberty to take a risk on when they're paying for the exclusive.

Hasbro's run of exclusives is much, much higher – we're talking two or three thousand versus 20 or 30 thousand units – so they can spend the money doing a probably $5/unit package on a $60 exclusive. To make any money back, Minimate packaging needs to cost cents, not dollars. Doing a specialty one-off die cut, or anything with elaborate hand assembly just isn't in the equation.

As has been pointed out, DST has taken lots of risks on "fan favorite" exclusive sets (Alpha Flight, Age of Apocalypse, Dark Avengers) and gotten stuck with inventory almost every single time. That's not to mention all of the inevitable "why didn't they pick my favorite team" pissing and moaning. When it comes to "pleasing the fans," I'm pretty much convinced they can never, ever win at this point. Hell, do an Avengers "apology" set (that people would imply they have anything to apologize for is obnoxious enough) with Tigra, Black Knight, Crystal, and Moondragon vs the Wrecking Crew, and I guarantee we'd still have people whining about why we didn't get the original Masters of Evil, or how a 90's X-Factor set would be somehow more worthy.

Give it a rest, guys.

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...As has been pointed out, DST has taken lots of risks on "fan favorite" exclusive sets (Alpha Flight, Age of Apocalypse, Dark Avengers) and gotten stuck with inventory almost every single time...

I was under the impression that Dark Avengers did pretty good, as they command a pretty hefty price on the after market. What was the real case with them?

PS: This is a genuine question, not sarcasm or anything.

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...As has been pointed out, DST has taken lots of risks on "fan favorite" exclusive sets (Alpha Flight, Age of Apocalypse, Dark Avengers) and gotten stuck with inventory almost every single time...

I was under the impression that Dark Avengers did pretty good, as they command a pretty hefty price on the after market. What was the real case with them?

PS: This is a genuine question, not sarcasm or anything.

What he said.

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They demand it now But i was there that year and after the show they were plentiful for a bit. TRUs set was $5 more than the normal 4 pack though so I attribute that to part of the reason they didnt sell out. Plus aftermarket prices on mates back then was a different landscape than now. I delayed on lots of sets because I knew I could go online and get them for retail any time I wanted.

For alpha flight, Great sets of characters that I know of because of 1 or 2 episodes of x-men animated. As much as we all want more sets like that or obscure characters, more boxes like that might not sell well, and Im sure DST realizes it might not be the case with all of the sets they COULD do, but they dont necessarily have the wallet and output of hasbro to put in that risk.

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F**king wanted that Transformers Kre-O set. If I could've gotten my hands on that I'd never have to longingly stare at Kreons ever again...

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I, regrettably, agree with almost literally EVERYTHING being said here...

I would love to see more ambitious/inventive SDCC Minimate exclusives, BUT I don't know that they'd perform well enough to justify them. I don't want DST to sink itself on being overly ambitious and failing miserably.

What would be GREAT - imho - would be comic cover recreation 8-packs. Avengers vs. Wrecking Crew, All New X-Factor (issue 71), and so forth. The cover of the box would mimic the comic cover, but feature Minimate versions of the characters (like the recent comic covers/posters). It would be an opening flap and the mates would be displayed inside in their tray. It would be one new box build, that could be reused every year.

I DO think there would be a greater level of excitement for the exclusive if we knew it would be more than just a standard box set. AND I'd gladly pay a mark up to cover the cost of ambition. Say... 50 for an 8 pack?

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Nobody is saying that DST shouldn't charge accordingly for a more elaborate exclusive, just that they should take the chance. Super7 managed to release this bad boy last year at a rediculous price point, and people bought them up, and that was even prior to Funko's involvement.

alienplayset.jpg

The fact is that SDCC is the one place where anything goes in terms of price/product, and it would be cool if DST took the leaps that other companies large and small do to get their product in front of consumers in new and unique ways. Maybe just a SDCC exclusive logo isn't enough anymore.

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I assume that DST has only a limited amount budgeted for exclusives, and they've decided the cost associated with those fancy packages isn't worth it. I think that's probably right; I'd gladly sacrifice the cool boxes for any Hasbro exclusives (or Mattel, back in the day when Mattel made exclusives I wanted) if it meant the price point was lower. Of course, those high price points don't seem to be hurting Hasbro, so maybe if DST went all in on one big exclusive it would really pay off.

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Let's keep in mind that con exclusives also enjoy a better sales margin. Manufacturers are paying shipping to the venue but they're not charging wholesale prices to collectors.

So for end consumers, $100 for five Marvel Legends figures in a really nice box is a good deal while whatever markup Hasbro would usually enjoy is put back into the fancy packaging to attract said consumers.

But if there's no fancy packaging (and I'm talking about the structure of the box, not the printed graphics) then selling the con exclusive at MSRP yields an even better margin.

This is part of the reason I was disappointed with the Iron Man 10-pack. Knowing the armors were almost repeats (but not exactly; compare the originals and the 10-packs used fewer parts) I was hoping the packaging would have more display value. I know there are restrictions about how much of the actual figure can be shown (IE - no blisters) but a fifth panel could have solved that and revealed an insert that looked like the armory.

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The super fancy packages that Mattel and Hasbro do are nice, but add cost and are mostly thrown away. I can see why DST would want to avoid going to that extreme.

It wouldn't take much to make the exclusives more appealing packaging-wise. The single pack Alien from this year is a good start and I love the comic flap idea that Mnemosis posted above.

But ultimately what I'd like to see is DST be more creative in their SDCC exclusives. I'm not looking for a super fancy package boxset of only C/D listers, I understand why that's not feasible.

Everything is so "white bread" anymore. SDCC the biggest geek/nerd thing out there. Put in a little more creativity and some pizazz, get people talking about the exclusives in both the content and how they are presented.

Edited by fwoosheyman

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Considering they're making a product that they want people to give them money for, I think any feedback is the right of the consumer, and it's a bit absurd to tell anyone to "give it a rest."

Many people have made valid points about the successes and failures of past exclusives that varied in terms of how much they catered to collectors and casual fans. It's a real shame but also a bit of a reality check that the Alpha Flight sets didn't perform better when DST clearly put so much effort into them, but at the same time I'm rather glad to see the IM3 10-pack selling for 50% or more off the original price because that set was a blatant attempt to cash in on the movie while putting in almost no work or incentive to purchase it for people who had been collecting more than about a week. I certainly don't want to see that sort of product encouraged either. There is no sure bet choice, and I have to grudgingly admit a Wrecking Crew or Masters of Evil box set might not be as exciting to the casual fan as it would be to me. However, I call total BS on this idea that a set of four two-packs where each one contains one member of the Crew and one well-known Avenger won't sell, which has been claimed in the past. When characters are selling at retail in other Marvel lines at higher price points, I grow weary of hearing that they're not viable for 'mates.

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I do appreciate that DST makes their exclusives easy to obtain. If you're making a set the only place you can obtain a character it's ridiculous to limit it to little more than the people who travel to a convention. How does that help a line?

I don't really blame DST for taking a more conservative approach to these boxsets, heck, even an awesome set like Luke's exclusive hasn't moved as fast as one would hope. Still, when you look at what Hasbro has done lately it's hard not to be struck by the contrast and think maybe it would be possible to tweak things a little.

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I hear what you are all saying a pretty much agree, but have they not delivered with this exclusive.

I believe the packaging here is a throw back to the original toy release.

afx-sdcc-2015-exclusive-alien-1979-retro

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That's definitely a compelling start. Big thumbs up from me.



The super fancy packages that Mattel and Hasbro do are nice, but add cost and are mostly thrown away.

I wonder how many multiple purchases such packaging encourages for those collectors who want one to open and another to stay closed. I'm an opener but I'll admit to having a few packaged toys simply because of how cool the toys look IN the package. It's like an instant diorama.

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I wonder how many multiple purchases such packaging encourages for those collectors who want one to open and another to stay closed.

I definitely do that for any packaging I really like. Special packaging grabs collectors' attentions and attracts them to the booth. I think it would help the Minimates at the con to get more attention.

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Considering they're making a product that they want people to give them money for, I think any feedback is the right of the consumer, and it's a bit absurd to tell anyone to "give it a rest."

Many people have made valid points about the successes and failures of past exclusives that varied in terms of how much they catered to collectors and casual fans. It's a real shame but also a bit of a reality check that the Alpha Flight sets didn't perform better when DST clearly put so much effort into them, but at the same time I'm rather glad to see the IM3 10-pack selling for 50% or more off the original price because that set was a blatant attempt to cash in on the movie while putting in almost no work or incentive to purchase it for people who had been collecting more than about a week. I certainly don't want to see that sort of product encouraged either. There is no sure bet choice, and I have to grudgingly admit a Wrecking Crew or Masters of Evil box set might not be as exciting to the casual fan as it would be to me. However, I call total BS on this idea that a set of four two-packs where each one contains one member of the Crew and one well-known Avenger won't sell, which has been claimed in the past. When characters are selling at retail in other Marvel lines at higher price points, I grow weary of hearing that they're not viable for 'mates.

Pretty sure Chuck said recently in Ask DST that the Wrecking Crew makes more sense for two-packs. And I don't know how well the first split-run Legends figure did, but I'm pretty sure they still have not released the remaining members.

Calling the IM 10-pack a cheap cash-in seems a bit much. It was meant to be a nice display set for established collectors, as well as an introductory set for someone who hasn't been buying every variation of Iron Man since the first movie. Some of those figures hadn't been available at retail in five years.

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When characters are selling at retail in other Marvel lines at higher price points, I grow weary of hearing that they're not viable for 'mates.

Many people will spend 7 dollars for a latte at Starbucks. That doesn't mean Wendy's can successfully sell 3 dollar lattes. I understand your line of thinking, but it's apples to oranges, really.

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