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officialnathanbanks

With Hasbro's action figure lines on the brink of collapse could we see a Star Wars CMF soon?

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Not sure if many of you are aware of the situation with Star Wars action figures, but Hasbro haven't produced a proper figure line for Rise of Skywalker since it's release. Many are claiming it's due to bad sales of previous waves and so on. Toy Fair at the moment isn't looking promising for the current lines they have either and allegedly, the figure lines are looking to be in a sales review heading into 2020 to see if they can continue. Their normal line has died; the Vintage Collection line contract is up this year also. They have the black series, but I do believe if they don't make a large sum for Disney, they'll pull the plug on Hasbro entirely.

So with that in mind; it got me thinking about Lego Star Wars. I know we have't had a CMF because Hasbro are little shakey when it comes to Lego (competition, much?). It's been heavily hinted that Hasbro soon wag their finger at Lego if they produce too many figures. Not sure if someone can confirm this...but I'm sure I heard that Hasbro had a few harsh words about polybags which contained Star Wars themed minifigures? Help me out if I'm hallucinating that one.
But with Hasbro likely to be running out of steam with the Star Wars figures; it's obvious that Lego Star Wars is essentially one of the most successful lines TLG has going. I can't see any reason why they wouldn't be able to take advantage of Hasbro's failings by introducing Lego Star Wars' first CMF wave? What do you guys think? It's more likely now than it ever has seemed before, surely?

Edited by officialnathanbanks

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I don't believe there will be a Star Wars cmf line. 

Lego Star Wars became more and more about the figures. If Lego releases a good selection in the cmf - including Vader, Storm Trooper, Maul, Yoda, Clone Trooper and so on - it will effect the set sales dramaticly. Imagine a standard set like  Yoda's hut standing next to a cmf bag with him. Or the most pathetic SW-Set ever released - the Walker with Phasma as it's only selling argument next to a cmf with her. I was shocked when heared Afols owning the slave 1 with Bobas printed arms already say they bought even cloud city just because of the red sripes on Hans legs while hating the whole build. (Good) Battlepacks or Micro Fighters sell. But they have lower detail, no Cape or Kylo Ren without helmet. So there will still be People buying a larger set with the deluxe version. The cmfs are superior to most of the "deluxe"-Versions.

If they make a series just with random unreleased side characters like some AFOL fan lists these AFOLs will be happy to be able to complete their collection. But children wont be interested as well as the "i don't play with Lego anymore but love this character, so i want to put a small Figure of him on my desk at my workplace"-buyers that bought lots of Disney cmfs.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Gorilla94 said:

I don't believe there will be a Star Wars cmf line. 

Lego Star Wars became more and more about the figures. If Lego releases a good selection in the cmf - including Vader, Storm Trooper, Maul, Yoda, Clone Trooper and so on - it will effect the set sales dramaticly. Imagine a standard set like  Yoda's hut standing next to a cmf bag with him. Or the most pathetic SW-Set ever released - the Walker with Phasma as it's only selling argument next to a cmf with her. I was shocked when heared Afols owning the slave 1 with Bobas printed arms already say they bought even cloud city just because of the red sripes on Hans legs while hating the whole build. (Good) Battlepacks or Micro Fighters sell. But they have lower detail, no Cape or Kylo Ren without helmet. So there will still be People buying a larger set with the deluxe version. The cmfs are superior to most of the "deluxe"-Versions.

If they make a series just with random unreleased side characters like some AFOL fan lists these AFOLs will be happy to be able to complete their collection. But children wont be interested as well as the "i don't play with Lego anymore but love this character, so i want to put a small Figure of him on my desk at my workplace"-buyers that bought lots of Disney cmfs.

 

 

Theae standard OT characters you mention are not even in most sets anyway that are on same right now and they are still easy accessible on the secondary market so really doubt that is a reason. 

Considiring more obscure characters, isnt most lego movie CMFs like that, like they have continurd to release four series from their own movies, so its like that reason doesnt stop them either.

By that being said, I think it will take time to get a SW CMF series, because of the uncertainties of license, planing and other priorities, so probably not until earlist 3-4 years, but more likely even slightly later. But I dont think there is a reason for lego not to take a chance and see what happens. I mean relatively speaking, in comparison with for example releasing a large Stranger Things set, a SW CMF is not a strange thing.

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I'm primarily a collector of SW minifigures so my opinion is completely biased, but I really can't see any reason why Lego wouldn't release a SW CMF, if they were able to.

Clearly it wouldn't make sense to just throw 16 of the 'main' characters into a cmf series, but given the recent expanse in films / tv series, as well as many legacy characters there are hundreds of great possibilities with costumes and aliens etc etc. Characters that would be hard to ever place or envisage in an actual set - many obscure characters but also some key ones. The list is even greater if you delve into the comics - and with that in mind they could also include some 'main' characters in different outfits to the films / tv series - like yellow jacket Luke (without medal), or Leia in her tan waistcoat and blue starbird rebel helmet for example.

The prospect genuinely excites me and I can't imagine it would be anything other than a rousing success in sales terms, however secondary or tertiary the characters where. If the minifigures look good with interesting colour palettes and cool accessories / weapons / helmets etc - all ages will want to buy them I'm sure.

My assumption was that Lego simply aren't allowed to do one, and also that they're restricted with their printing / detailing on the SW figs. If Hasbro's or anyone else's influence on this diminished, I'd certainly welcome that, so something to keep an eye on. I also assumed the Black Series was incredibly popular though!? I don't see why that should influence Lego though as they're not all that comparable are they!

Here's hoping!

Edited by ThousandMoon

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I can't see why they would do it.  Their business model is to use minifigures to sell sets. The only comparison I can think of is Harry Potter, but in that case there was a phalanx of fans waiting to buy any and all Potter march.

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I also cannot really see why they would do it, as they use figures to sell sets.

That said, they are also doing the DC Superheroes line (in addition to the HP series) and almost half of those are characters that are new to LEGO, with variants on existing characters for the other half. I imagine they would need a similar ratio for SW. If they were all essentially unknown to kids, then the series would not sell well. They need the well known characters to sell blind packs. And one problem is that there are not that many outfits they can be done with. Vader is Vader, Luke, Leia and Han have been done so many times there are no screen outfits they do not come in.

Of course, it would be interesting if Hasbro do stop making figures, and LEGO suddenly starts, as it would show if the Hasbro deal has stopped LEGO producing individual minifigures for sale all this time.

Edited by MAB

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The counter argument to be made is that Lego’s business model is to make profits. And CMFs have clearly been very profitable for them, especially licensed CMFs, which have come to dominate the lineup. Yes, figures drive sales of sets, but they clearly can’t be all that important (to the point of ruling out a CMF) given 1) the Harry Potter sets continue to sell really well despite the overwhelming success of the HP CMF line and 2) LEGO doesn’t appear to be prioritizing unique figure selection in its Star Wars sets (if you look at how many 2019 sets had no new figs). Bottom line is there are a ton of characters in the Star Wars universe that could fill several CMF series while still leaving room for exclusive figs in sets. 

1 hour ago, MAB said:

They need the well known characters to sell blind packs. And one problem is that there are not that many outfits they can be done with. Vader is Vader, Luke, Leia and Han have been done so many times there are no screen outfits they do not come in.

Still lots of opportunities to make unique versions of key characters. Arm printing, leg printing, unique accessories, etc. Vader could come with a new interrogation droid mold. Or a better helmet. Leia could come with a hood-up-over-cinnamon-buns hairpiece. Luke could come with his floppy hat. We’ve never gotten a snowy Chewie. And so on. 

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7 hours ago, Sneakguest said:

Theae standard OT characters you mention are not even in most sets anyway that are on same right now and they are still easy accessible on the secondary market so really doubt that is a reason. 

Considiring more obscure characters, isnt most lego movie CMFs like that, like they have continurd to release four series from their own movies, so its like that reason doesnt stop them either.

By that being said, I think it will take time to get a SW CMF series, because of the uncertainties of license, planing and other priorities, so probably not until earlist 3-4 years, but more likely even slightly later. But I dont think there is a reason for lego not to take a chance and see what happens. I mean relatively speaking, in comparison with for example releasing a large Stranger Things set, a SW CMF is not a strange thing.

I don't get what the middle section of the first sentence means ("that are on same right now"). I know there is no Vader in most sets. Because of that he is a selling factor to those who don't have one. I know that you can buy old ones with a bit of luck on flee markets - some in terrible condition, some very overpriced... i got most of my cmfs second hand. It makes some time finding what you want, but you can. Because of that Lego tries to update the figures from time to time - like my Han solo example with the red stripe. That is the reason why i dont think there will be a cmf. If it isn't a very poorly done cmf the quality will be much higher than standard sets will ever get- printed arms and sides of legs, fitting moulds. Except something like the printed Boba with printed arms most sw-minifigs are below the quality of cmfs.

Think about what type of obscure characters were used. Giraffe suit Guy, "Where are my pants?"- guy, villain in a calculator-suit or the Pencil-Eraser-Guy from Batman 1? Compare that for example to Shmi Skywalker or Owen Lars or the two gangsters from the cantina scene.

Edited by Gorilla94

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11 hours ago, Sneakguest said:

I mean relatively speaking, in comparison with for example releasing a large Stranger Things set, a SW CMF is not a strange thing.

Yep, I would believe this too. There is no risk for them to make the series, but possibly huge gains. After all, it most certainly would be the best selling CMF line ever. If they make characters that are not appearing in the current sets (you could fill 20 different characters simply by different phases and armors of clone troopers alone, so there is plenty to choose from), they probably wouldn't affect the sale of the sets too much, the easily accessible figures might pull in a lot of new fans, and even if it didn't, there wouldn't be any major damage to anything really. So I guess we only have to wait for the licence issues to resolve.

- Samppu

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9 hours ago, MAB said:

They need the well known characters to sell blind packs. And one problem is that there are not that many outfits they can be done with. Vader is Vader, Luke, Leia and Han have been done so many times there are no screen outfits they do not come in.

There's plenty of unreleased variants of the main characters to choose from for a CMF series. Many of them are obscure enough that it wouldn't affect the main line of sets.
 

Luke Skywalker
1977 "Star Wars" Poster
McQuarrie Concept Art
Medical Frigate (ESB)
Sandstorm Deleted Scene (ROTJ)
Crait (TLJ)

Jedi Training Flashback (TROS)
Force Ghost

Princess Leia
1977 "Star Wars" Poster
McQuarrie Concept Art
Rebels
ANH with Hood
Bespin Escape (ESB)
Sandstorm Deleted Scene (ROTJ)
Battlefront 2
Jedi Training Flashback (TROS)
Any "General Leia" outfit (TLJ, TROS, D'Qar Gown, Crait, FG)

Han Solo
McQuarrie Concept Art
Pyke Sentinel Disguise (Solo)
Numidian Prime (Solo)
Sandstorm Deleted Scene (ROTJ)
Battlefront 2
Starkiller Base

Lando Calrissian
Numidian Prime (Solo)
Rebels
Smuggler (ESB)
Sandstorm Deleted Scene (ROTJ)
Passana Disguise (TROS)

Chewbacca
McQuarrie Concept Art
Snow covered on Hoth (ESB)
Sandstorm Deleted Scene (ROTJ)

C-3PO
McQuarrie Concept Art
TPM
AOTC


Darth Vader
McQuarrie Concept Art
Battle Damaged (Rebels)


Boba Fett
Holiday Special

Yoda
McQuarrie Concept Art
Hooded Robe (2003 Micro Series)
Force Ghost

Anakin Skywalker
ROTS Concept Art
Padawan (TPM)
Outlander Disguise (AOTC)
Naboo Pilot (TCW - Season 2)
Scuba Suit (TCW - Season 4)
Zygarrian Disguise (TCW - Season 4)
Space Suit (TCW - Season 6)
Force Ghost

Obi-Wan Kenobi
McQuarrie Concept Art
Prequel Trilogy Concept Art
Space Suit (TCW - Season 1)
Cold Weather Gear (TCW - Season 1)
Zygarrian Disguise (TCW - Season 4)
Death Watch Disguise (TCW - Season 5)
Force Ghost


Padme Amidala
Over 30 costumes across TPM, AOTC, TCW and ROTS to choose from

Palpatine
Pre-Scarred Darth Sidious (TPM/AOTC)
Senator (TPM)
Black Chancellor Robes (AOTC/ROTS)
Formation of the Empire (ROTS)
Senate Duel (ROTS)
Exegol (TROS)

Darth Maul
TPM Concept Art
Spider Maul (TCW - Season 4)
Death Watch (TCW - Season 5)
Siege of Mandalore (TCW - Season 6)
Malachor (Rebels - Season 2)
Rebels - Season 3


Rey
Jakku Flashback (TFA/TROS)
Starkiller Base (TFA)
Ahch-To without vest (TLJ)
Kijimi (TROS)
Dark Side (TROS)

Finn
Crait (TLJ)
Kijimi (TROS)


Poe Dameron
Resistance Officer (TFA ending)
Kijimi (TROS)

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9 hours ago, jdubbs said:

The counter argument to be made is that Lego’s business model is to make profits. And CMFs have clearly been very profitable for them, especially licensed CMFs, which have come to dominate the lineup. Yes, figures drive sales of sets, but they clearly can’t be all that important (to the point of ruling out a CMF) given 1) the Harry Potter sets continue to sell really well despite the overwhelming success of the HP CMF line and 2) LEGO doesn’t appear to be prioritizing unique figure selection in its Star Wars sets (if you look at how many 2019 sets had no new figs). Bottom line is there are a ton of characters in the Star Wars universe that could fill several CMF series while still leaving room for exclusive figs in sets. 

Still lots of opportunities to make unique versions of key characters. Arm printing, leg printing, unique accessories, etc. Vader could come with a new interrogation droid mold. Or a better helmet. Leia could come with a hood-up-over-cinnamon-buns hairpiece. Luke could come with his floppy hat. We’ve never gotten a snowy Chewie. And so on. 

It's a fair point; TLG profit margins are north of 20%; I believe CMFs are probably closer to 50% (maybe more).

That said, if you pay $40 for a set with two figures you want, they are still making a lot more than if you bought two CMFs.  So, I would say that it's not "just" about making profits, it's about maximizing profits.

But I agree with others on a point - if the SW CMFs were largely background figures that you wouldn't be able to get otherwise in sets, and rounded out with the main characters in rare design (like military dress instead of standard uniforms), or with a hairstyle they may have had only in one or two scenes, then they could conceivably to both.  So you make the point - exclusive desirable figures in sets - but perhaps many of those extra characters or designs are something they are also planning.

I guess the bottom line is that whatever TLG doesn't do, but could if they wanted to, can be explained by "because money."

 

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3 hours ago, fred67 said:

But I agree with others on a point - if the SW CMFs were largely background figures that you wouldn't be able to get otherwise in sets, and rounded out with the main characters in rare design (like military dress instead of standard uniforms), or with a hairstyle they may have had only in one or two scenes, then they could conceivably to both.  So you make the point - exclusive desirable figures in sets - but perhaps many of those extra characters or designs are something they are also planning.

I guess the bottom line is that whatever TLG doesn't do, but could if they wanted to, can be explained by "because money."

 

I've thought about this as well, I think a 60/40 mix of obscure figures that we'd probably never get in sets and the rest are well-known characters either in outfits we might not get in sets, or things like concept art figures.  For example, people like Chancellor Valorum, Aunt Beru, or even people like Biggs/Fixer/Camie from the deleted scene at Toschi Station, and then variations of characters like Mustafar Padme, an extra-snowy Han/Chewbacca from the scene where they shoot the probe droid on Hoth, Trash Compacter Luke, Lando during the Death Star II run, or even like an Ep I Bib Fortuna.  You'd get the casual collectors/kids who only want the main characters and easily appeal to them, the appeal to huge fans to get characters that they'd never otherwise get, and some overlap there with people who are just general SW fans and will buy it regardless.

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4 hours ago, Kit Figsto said:

I've thought about this as well, I think a 60/40 mix of obscure figures that we'd probably never get in sets and the rest are well-known characters either in outfits we might not get in sets, or things like concept art figures.  For example, people like Chancellor Valorum, Aunt Beru, or even people like Biggs/Fixer/Camie from the deleted scene at Toschi Station, and then variations of characters like Mustafar Padme, an extra-snowy Han/Chewbacca from the scene where they shoot the probe droid on Hoth, Trash Compacter Luke, Lando during the Death Star II run, or even like an Ep I Bib Fortuna.  You'd get the casual collectors/kids who only want the main characters and easily appeal to them, the appeal to huge fans to get characters that they'd never otherwise get, and some overlap there with people who are just general SW fans and will buy it regardless.

Yes, not to forget a new option for birthday presents from other kids, Im not certain what people pay in other countries but here (Sweden) I would say generally not more than the cost of a battlepack. So a new CMF would also increase their profit for kids WHO only want SW lego

13 hours ago, Gorilla94 said:

I don't get what the middle section of the first sentence means ("that are on same right now"). I know there is no Vader in most sets. Because of that he is a selling factor to those who don't have one. I know that you can buy old ones with a bit of luck on flee markets - some in terrible condition, some very overpriced... i got most of my cmfs second hand. It makes some time finding what you want, but you can. Because of that Lego tries to update the figures from time to time - like my Han solo example with the red stripe. That is the reason why i dont think there will be a cmf. If it isn't a very poorly done cmf the quality will be much higher than standard sets will ever get- printed arms and sides of legs, fitting moulds. Except something like the printed Boba with printed arms most sw-minifigs are below the quality of cmfs.

Think about what type of obscure characters were used. Giraffe suit Guy, "Where are my pants?"- guy, villain in a calculator-suit or the Pencil-Eraser-Guy from Batman 1? Compare that for example to Shmi Skywalker or Owen Lars or the two gangsters from the cantina scene.

Dont know what I meant either, hehe, looks like autocorrection messed my sentence up.

Its not like they have to introduce armprinting and such to the SW CMF, it would be nice, but people buy regardless.

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TLG are allready selling every SW minfig they ever made, individually

You can buy them through Bricklink. TLG owns Bricklink

Yes, it's an extra step from buying them on lego.com but I'm not sure the lawyers agree *oh2*

Interesting times, indeed

Cheers,

Ole

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18 hours ago, Sneakguest said:

Yes, not to forget a new option for birthday presents from other kids, Im not certain what people pay in other countries but here (Sweden) I would say generally not more than the cost of a battlepack. So a new CMF would also increase their profit for kids WHO only want SW lego

I'd say it's about the same in the US, probably $15-20.  So, yeah, that could be either one battle pack or a couple of Microfighters or something, or 5-6 CMFs, which I honestly think most kids would prefer, since it gives them more characters to play with, and more unique ones at that.

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I haven't read most of the other comments, but I wanted to add that while the 3 3/4" line is declining, Hasbro's Star Wars merch isn't slowing down. If anything, it's ramping up. As much as I love Lego, Hasbro clearly understands its fanbase. The Vintage Collection is pumping out new Mandalorian merch, the Black Series is cashing in on fan-favorites from the prequels, they've rereleased previous HTF figures (including Boba Fett, who ironically, is still hard to find). Now yes, Action Figures are very different from brick built toys, and Hasbro likes to monopolize the figure aspect of all it's licenses (Marvel being the next big example), but Lego scrambles to keep their fanbase happy, and fails on a near constant basis. What I mean by that is, for every 5 people who like/love a set (3/5 will buy), there are 5 who dislike it (1/5 will buy), 1 who regrettably buys it for completionist reasons, and 1 who complains on the high price for low value/doesn't buy it. Hasbro, on the other hand, pushes out figure after figure, and while they don't always hit with either the figure itself or (more often) distribution (which is Lego's strong suit), but they hit more than they miss, especially now.

Hasbro puts up with Disney, as does Lego, but whereas Lego has to keep producing T-70 after T-70, Hasbro has had enough of getting it's megablocks-kicked from 2014-2017, and past couple of years have been spent recovering from their losses and striking back with product people want.

But, that's the nature of the action figure business. It's not an apple-to-apple comparison, but Lego is more in trouble with its Star Wars license (which isn't even true) than Hasbro. However, they are the two best avenues for Star Wars toys. And to me, it's like Harry Potter. "Neither can die while the other lives."

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I've only skimmed but I thought Hasbro had a ridiculous contract that basically makes it almost impossible for them to ever lose it. Disney might not have options. 

 

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3 hours ago, BrickG said:

I've only skimmed but I thought Hasbro had a ridiculous contract that basically makes it almost impossible for them to ever lose it. Disney might not have options. 

You may be thinking of Kenner's original contract with Lucasfilm, which just required them to make a small annual payment of something like $10k and fork over a very small percentage of action figure sales. Despite terms that were incredibly favorable to Kenner/Hasbro, they did somehow manage to lose the contract when they neglected to make one of the annual payments. After which George was able to renegotiate on his own terms, which just so happened to coincide with the release of the Special Editions and then the prequels. There is an episode of "The Toys That Made Us" (on Netflix) that goes into greater detail.

Since then Hasbro has renegotiated the contract a few times (they gave up the 12" action figure license at some point, for instance, and allowances were likely made for Disney to make its own action figures) so I doubt Hasbro has all that much leverage over Disney.

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11 hours ago, ARC2149Nova said:

Hasbro puts up with Disney, as does Lego, but whereas Lego has to keep producing T-70 after T-70, Hasbro has had enough of getting it's megablocks-kicked from 2014-2017, and past couple of years have been spent recovering from their losses and striking back with product people want.

I agree with this part specifically. Hasbro has thousands of characters, from New Canon and Legends (of course figures have to be approved by Disney), that can be made. Obscure figures can be produced. LEGO, being more targeted to kids, is more stuck with making things that people recognize, like an x-wing over and over. We probably won't get to see Legends-style sets or Old Republic until we get a movie or TV show.

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On 1/17/2020 at 3:28 PM, jdubbs said:

We’ve never gotten a snowy Chewie. And so on. 

 

This one is snowy.

 

sw0763.png

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On 1/17/2020 at 8:06 AM, Retro said:

I can't see why they would do it.  Their business model is to use minifigures to sell sets. The only comparison I can think of is Harry Potter, but in that case there was a phalanx of fans waiting to buy any and all Potter march.

Compared to our phalanxes of fans for SW, where half of us are ready to complain vigorously about any and all products released with the exception of the mythical 501st battle pack. :laugh:

10 hours ago, MAB said:

 

This one is snowy.

 

i think he means a brown one with snow printing, and maybe not such a christmasy bandolier. :roflmao:

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