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Vacation Fozzie

Discussion in 'Action Figures' started by kmcphoto, Jul 30, 2002.

  1. Louis Kazagger New Member

    They hire the job out to a small mail distribution center who bids on the job as a contract for a flat fee, no hourly wages or new staff for Toyfare are involved.
  2. grail New Member

    man i wish he weren't right...

    he has this annoying habit of being so whenever he posts, though...so i'm gonna retract my earlier theory...especially since this fills in the blanks and draws all the arrows between the various rumors that i've heard but didn't want to believe.
  3. ResidentLilly Active Member

    Not trying to dis you, but I am not sure that is the way they do it anymore. They used to do it that way...but apparently I was under the impression in my conversations with a dude from Wizard that they were more home grown now...
  4. Louis Kazagger New Member

    You could be right. They may have changed back because of the problems. They used to be home grown, then it got too overwhelming for their staff to handle the distribution so they hired it out. That caused a whole other batch of problems with shipment quality control (a few hundred Boxing Homers were shown as shipped when they weren't). So they may have switched back, but as of early 2002 they were still hiring the job out. They may have decided that the hands on approach was better and switched back.
  5. grail New Member

    hey, isn't tomorrow a travel day for you? what are you still doing here? not that i'm complaining, but geez man, get SOME rest...

    heh
  6. Louis Kazagger New Member

    Yeah, I hope that you have a blast at the con Ken. Wish I was going. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZT!!!!!!

    :D
  7. ResidentLilly Active Member

    Travel..shmavel...I don't leave until 3pm...besides, I'll zonk on the plane.
  8. grail New Member

    yuck, i can't sleep on planes...if it's moving, i'm awake. took a trip to Vegas once that almost killed me...
  9. Louis Kazagger New Member

    So I guess the duckies got finished in time for the Fozzie exclusives Ken? Are they in San Diego yet, or are they being shipped express as we type? How many did you guys end up producing for the convention, and how much will he be at the con?
  10. ResidentLilly Active Member

    The ducky made it.

    They will start to arrive tomorrow. The rest of my hair is safe for now.

    Not sure how many total we will make. Depends on demand at the show. But we should have enough to cover all four days.

    We are also auctioning off at the show four preview sets of unnaproved factory sets of carded Series 2 samples. We get these things called PPS samples that we sign off on or don't (we didn't with these, many changes to be made) and we are taking them to the show to auction off. One set each day. These are the unrevised samples, that don't have all the fixes on em quite yet...usually painted first shots, in the blister layouts for review and on the cards. Some people are into that stuff.
  11. Louis Kazagger New Member

    Wow, the first shot sample sets sound very cool. Well, hopefully we'll have someone here on the forum who's local to the show and they can fill us in on the goings on so that we can feel like we're there. Have a safe journey Ken, and I hope that you have a great time. Gotta go get some sleep now....
  12. kansasteen14 New Member

    first hope you have a great and safe trip Ken.next ok when someone said there were 2 other toy magazines was one you were talking about Tomart,I love that one probably not what you were talking about though.
  13. Luke Active Member

    I'm not dissing the figs or anything but i don't really believe this 'Next Simpsons' line. As a person in the media i can see straight through it as an easy tagline for someone writing an article. If you say that, it's guaranteed to get people's attention and they will be curious enough to buy the magazine to see how the line is going, and as you say - carrying the exclusives gives the extra incentitive for all this basically because whether the figure is good or not, the editor running the show would berate anyone who wrote a bad review - it's not in their interests.

    The Palisades Muppet Line could never be 'The Next Simpsons' because a) they are produced in more limited quantities, and b) the brand itself just isn't that hot. There's nothing that Palisades can do about it, it's been the same for every licensee more or less over the last ten years at least. The only thing that will ever change that is if they had an ongoing TV show as popular and regular as the Simpsons. The toy press just need something to grab onto to sell their magazine each month and are very fickle - once those Osbourne figures come out November/December believe me, the Muppet line will struggle for anything more than a favorable review, much the same was as they don't approach the WOS line now with as much enthusiasm as they once did. This is kinda why i have personal doubts as to the line getting past Waves 4 or 5 - once the hardcore collectors and magazine readers have moved on to the next big thing it's just us Muppet fans be they casual or hardcore left and we know how limited that market is however dedicated we are because Henson refuses to put many products out for us.

    I'd actually raise the question, whether Palisades should have given an exclusive like this (that mostly everyone will want) to Toyfare, given all that bad press. Is this someone we want involved in the Muppet license ? It might be worth it for the publicity but if the fans get burned then it's gonna affect the image of the line and sales. I notice Ken was reading but didn't comment yet - so do Palisades sell these at a higher price to Toyfare and is THAT why they are so much more expensive, or is it that Toyfare are scalping the fans ? If neither are correct then how and why does Toyfare charge so much, and how can you justify them selling your product openly at such an increase on the RRP ? I think it's just taking advantage of the fans and people collecting the line.
  14. ResidentLilly Active Member

    The reasons people compare this line to Simpson's by saying it will be the next Simpson's:

    1. Large character base to draw from.
    2. Figures and playsets. Similar format.
    3. Quirky universe appealing to similar fan types.
    4. Similar price point and general "scale" range.
    5. Non McF or superhero line that has both kid and adult appeal.
    6. Exclusives marketed to collector community.
    7. Multiple character variations of same character in different costumes.
    8. Similar flavor of it. Not definable I know, but one of those intangibles.
    9. Simpson's figures came out late in the real licensing scheme of things. Not as late as Muppets but Simpson's had been on for almost 9 or 10 years and there was suddenly a real place for them in market.
    10. Prior attempts at figures had not done so well or appealed to the collector market as the current line for both licenses.

    I don't think that anyone using this tag line is giving a false statment. There are lots of similarities. I think that they are just drawing a parallel in the toy community, the same way one would compare LOTR to McF figures and stuff like that. These are toy mags or toy site coverages for the most part, so they speak a language of metaphor that mostly their community of readership would understand.

    Most people did not believe the Simpson's would make it past Series 4 or 5 either, but it has. Muppets may or may not, only time will tell. But in the toy market it does have certain ingredients that make me optimistic, because most action figure collector's want to get into a line that has something to collect, like a large number of releases. Which is why I expect next weeks sell through numbers on Series One to spike a bit. Some people on regular action figure boards have even stated that after seeing pics for Series Three they want to go get Series One, primarily because it is shaping up to be a real line, and not a one or two series thing. Happened on Simpson's that way too. Series One and some of two was all over the place, sitting there, back when it started. Now you'll be lucky to find them on ebay for a reasonable price.

    Regarding ToyFare prices or other exclusive prices. Exclusives do cost the retailer more money. They cost us more money to make and we have to pass that along. It's volume related. Costs X to make figure. You'd be suprised at how expensive it is to make a figure of this type. Any figure really. X equals License Fees, Overhead, Sculpting, Prototyping, Painting, Casting, Tooling, Shipping, Unit Costs, Testing Costs and on and on and on. X divided by number of units equals your total amortized cost. Exclusives have lower runs and many of ours have quite a few sculpted components, not just repainted ones. So higher amortized cost over smaller number of units equals higher wholesale equals higher retail. ToyFare is higher even than the general retailer because they are not a retailer. They have extra costs built in to their exclusives because they don't have, say, a shipment of Barbie or something like TRU does coming in that day that they can put an exclusive in the same container with. ToyFare has to do each item separately.

    It's also market driven. People pay that much for the figure and assign that much value to a figure, and until the paying public decides it is too much, that's the price you'll see. Basic economics. Why are diamond's so expensive? Or cars or stereos? If you knew what it cost to make or dig up each one it would probably shock you. Market demand. If the public as a rule said, "You know what, diamonds are too **** expensive...I won't buy anymore at these ridiculous prices" then I guarantee that the prices would go down. Why is Dr. Teeth selling for 150 bucks on e-bay? Because someone is making a decision to pay that and assigning the value to it they can live with.

    ToyFare exclusives, or any other, are good for this type of product line. It helps drive sales and collector interest. ToyFare exclusives are good because it gets you more coverage in, like it or not, the magazine with the largest number of readers. Those spreads in ToyFare that showcase a Vacation Fozzie don't cost us a thing. A regular two-page ad is expensive.
  15. Luke Active Member

    Cool explanation Ken, thanks for that - must have taken some time. I'm not saying that the WOS comparison is a false one, as you have clearly pointed out it's not. Just that a magazine with this type of readership is going to use a line like this to get their readers buzzing if they have the opportunity to - i guess i'm saying it's an easy comparison for them to make but same way you have pointed out all those similarities there are also a few differences too. It's cool that the regular toy forums are saying what you said - it gives a little more hope because the Muppet fan base in the past, has pretty much not shared a consumer base with any other groups and it has meant the products have been limited to say the least. I guess from what you say with this line it's most important to keep the regular figure collectors into the products just as much as the hardcore Muppet fans and be it exclusives, variants it's gotta be done to ensure the longetivity, and i guess the free Toyfare coverage doesn't hurt either - it'd good to hear they actually have a reason for those high prices too, that can easily be taken by the fans as something else.
  16. tomahawk Member

    osbourne figures?

    as in ozzy and family? not to say anything bad about the godfather of metal but lets just hope that this 15 minutes of fame in his wonderful career is over.
  17. Luke Active Member

    The Osbourne line looks pretty cool actually, from what i've heard they have voices in the bases, a playset of the house, and a fair few variants and chase figures - plus the accesories are cool. This is going to be (in my view) a big rival to the Muppet line because the TV show is so current and popular. Also dude, lets not forget his wife is seriously ill with cancer so we be a little nicer for a while. I don't think the guy has done anything other than be a gentleman !
  18. tomahawk Member

    i know

    like i said no disrespect to him or his family. he has been a major influence on some of my favorite bands,tool being one of them. sometimes the music side is sacred to me and i hate when it becomes one big commercial.
  19. Louis Kazagger New Member

    Good for you Kansasteen. Tomart's is one of the mags I was talking about. "Lee's action figure news and toy review" is the other, and they've both been around about five years longer than Toyfare.

    The boys and girls at Toyfare are slick, and they know how to market and how to cater to the comic and toy industries. The casual collector has little or no knowledge of what I would consider to be the questionable dealings or underhandedness that went on with the Simpsons line. Those are things that came out from the die hard Simpsons collectors and my conversations with the Toyfare editor.

    So there's no real stigma associated with Palisades hooking Toyfare up with exclusives. It's brilliant really. If I was running a toy line, that would be one of my top priorities, to get Toyfare to notice my line in a big way, and having them carry my exclusives would be even better.

    I strongly believe that variants and exclusives are necessary for a toy line to thrive in today's market. And, for the most part, as long as you make the exclusives fringe pieces that people can live without, you won't tick off too many people by making them. I mean, you wouldn't give a core character like standard Rowlf away as an exclusive, otherwise you'll get lynched.

    I still don't understand it, but it seems like the average collector out there wants to collect what's hot, instead of what they like. It's almost as if they need someone to tell them what they like or verify for them that what they want to collect is worthy. These harder to find variants and exclusives in a toy line can generate interest in a toy line itself simply because they are harder to find and people are looking for them. They create buzz and excitement. It seems like the death knell for a toy line can be that the toys are too accessible. Psychologically, a collector can turn disinterested in a line that they see well stocked in a store, with every piece available. "Well, if all the figures are right here, then no one must be collecting this stuff. It must be lousy. If nobody else wants it, I don't want to get stuck with it either." Again, people who are measuring a product by their perception of other's measuring stick, instead of their own or the product's own merits. And then it snowballs from there. Boom, dead in the water toy line with no future waves. I know it may sound crazy, but I've seen those collectors out there.

    Ken is right with what he says about the Simpsons line. When the line was first announced, I was skeptical as to how long it would last. I even thought of passing on the line and waiting for it to fail, and then picking the bones of wave one from the clearance bins. But instead I decided to set aside my skepticism and jump on with the release of wave one and enjoy the ride while it lasted, and look where we are now. So I can definitely see what Ken's talking about when people are telling him that now that they've seen plans for wave 3 they're going to start collecting the line.

    Also, I think that the toy market has shifted to a degree since September 11th. The Muppets figures fill a want in the market for a kinder gentler action figure product in the toy aisle in a world where people are doing enough damage to hurt one another without our children playing with war/superhero/monster toys that shoot/bash/slaughter one another. Laughter and comedy action figures may be the best medicine. I for one am very optimistic about the future of the Muppet Show toy line.

    And while the Osbournes are funny in their own way, I couldn't disagree more about their toys. I feel like these two lines are directed at two completely different markets. Sure there may be some people who will be interested in both products, but I can't see Ozzy taking away Muppet sales.
  20. Luke Active Member

    I agree totally that there needs to be some kind of a chase to get the exclusives/variants and people shouldn't be given easy access to them - anticipation is needed.

    I am one of those people who buy just the figures they want - if that happens to be an exlusive or a playset then so be it - but i usually hope it'll just be the cheap figures. Vacation Fozzie and the Swedish Chef wreck all that.

    As for the Osbournes - i think they are funky enough for the hardcore figure collector to get into, but i don't so much as see them as taking Muppet sales. I do though see them as taking away Muppet publicity. The Osbourne figs are gonna be all over the covers of the toy magazines once they hit.

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