Did Hasbro Break The Collecting Community?

Posted by Chris on 05/10 at 11:44 AM Category: Hasbro
Land and Vader on Bespin It's 2012. The world is starting to think that Eli Manning is the greatest living quarterback and Tom Coughlin has a job for life. Call Me Maybe is burning up the airwaves. And Star Wars 3.75" collectors are angry. They're angry about distribution. They're angry about repacks, and most of all they're angry about the astronomical MSRP of $10 for one measly 3.75" figure.

Fast forward to 2017. The Giants have drafted Eli Manning's replacement. Tom Coughlin is in the NFL Siberia of Jacksonville. I still won't admit that I like the song Call Me Maybe. And after a 5 year hiatus, Hasbro dramatically announces a return of the super articulated 3.75" Vintage Collection line. Their only evidence is a repacked Black Series Jakku Rey. Paul Harrison of Jedi Temple Archives warns that we should be expected to pay "more". And collectors are euphoric?

WHAT GIVES?!? These are not the collectors I know. Did the Large Hadron Collider at CERN bounce me into a parallel universe where collectors and Hasbro have a friendly collaborative relationship?

Many are offering suggestions for repacks. Our own resident completist even penned an article suggesting repacked/repainted vehicles as a means of ensuring profitability for Hasbro in this venture (and per his completist oath he would have to buy every one of them). We also proposed some fairly conservative suggestions to Hasbro for the launch case assortment. Suddenly, we collectors are more interested in the overall health of the collector line than our own selfish interests.

Did Hasbro pull an even bigger and better version of New Coke? Did they see a consumer landscape that was growing bored, complacent, and angry? Did they know they had a customer base that would never accept yet another MSRP increase (even though that's what global economics demanded)? So they starved that market just long enough that the 3.75" collector community would become Lando to Hasbro's Vader and accept any onerous terms of the deal to include more repacks and an even higher MSRP?

Probably not. Common sense says the collector market isn't worth that much manipulative effort. It feels akin to counterfeiting one dollar bills. But I have a feeling that a more acquiescent collector community will be a coincidental result. And per the rules of every office comedy ever, some sycophantic junior executive will take credit for this unintended bit of serendipity.

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