For the record, I feel HASBRO has done a phenominal job through the years with many of their franchises (Star Wars, GI Joe and Transformers specifically). This is not a "Bash Hasbro" thread but rather an intelligent discussion to see how Hiss Tankers feel about the relationship between Hasbro and fan sites like Hiss Tank.
I know many of us get frustrated with Hasbro on occasion (myself included) but overall when you mass-produce toys and have to provide the product that can both sell and make the masses happy they do a great job. This thread is more about the parnership they have with fans at web sites like Hiss Tank.
Here's my case-in-point: Cobra Commander (no... I'm not re-hashing his helmet choice or if he's true to the vintage character).
Example A: First ebay sighting sold for $160.
Then we begin to see another variation of this figure. This one has changes to the color of the coat (production change to the paint scheme) as well as a removal of the breathing tubes that are packaged.
It seemed rather silly that someone was willing to pay $160 for a figure that is coming out shortly. $160 for a "Common figure" just seemed way too mysterious.
What should this tell us?
What this tells us is that there are people "in the know" who were wiling to pay up to $160 because most if not all of the bidders knew of the change.
How do we not know of this change yet several others did? Can't be pure coincidence that they bid $160 for it when it would only be a common figure.
I love Hiss Tank and all the info we get. However, this site does a lot to follow what Hasbro wants (Editing forums, pulling posts and pics when it is earlier than Hasbro wishes to have it revealed) etc...
How come HASBRO cannot return the favor and give Hiss Tank some inside track or the fans some detail on figure production, changes in design, a list of what figures are coming (even without pics would be fine).
We seem to have to rely on alternative sources like people who work at a retailer researching bar codes and saying:
"I see a listing for 0083345684 which is titled "SS
& Serp 2 pk". We would have no idea if this is Snow Serpent & Serpentor or Storm Shadow & Snow Serpent. (example is not an actual product listing).
My belief is that HASBRO should be willing to reach out to the fans in a couple of ways:
1. Provide a list of toys that have been decided on when they are decided. Not waiting for an associate to tip us off.
This would be a great front page item to see:
"Hasbro announces to fans a list of upcoming releases for the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2009". It can say the names (no pictures needed of what to find at any/all retailers. What's the harm in saying "there will be a battle pack coming out next fall at Target"?
2. I realize Hasbro doesn't want images posted prior to revealing the character. However, someone is getting items and putting it up on ebay prior to them revealing to the fans.
Why can't Hasbro come out and say:
"We're currently in production on these characters: Duke, Ripcord, Cobra Commander... etc... "
"Cobra Commander will have a new design... we will release images as we grow closer to the release of the movie... As for the action figure there have been a few production changes due to.... (fan feedback, changes desired)... Cobra Commander will have a new paint scheme and a change in accessories" (non-specific). This would have allowed many of us to make a bid on an item we felt was rarer than just a first release. Someone on this site may have wanted to spend $165 to win that figure.
I'm not asking for Hasbro to release info or images earlier than they are willing to do so. I'm not saying they owe the fans anything. However, I would like to see fan sites like Hiss Tank rewarded for their loyalty by giving us something exciting to look forward to, an idea of how much we're going to be spending, items we can discuss and get excited about.
I know there's existing platforms like the toy convention in NY. However, clearly there have been items that have surprised us that they did not reveal in that convention.
In my opinion Hasbro can make these simple changes to keep the fans in the loop. This creates MORE excitement and allows us to feel better connected to the franchise.
What are your thoughts?
... (remember to keep all answers within the rules of Hiss Tank)