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About jdubbs

  • Birthday June 20

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    Star Wars

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  1. I think there may be some confusion about "budget" when it comes to new molds. We've heard LEGO designers talk about how the line or the set they worked on only had budget for X number of new molds/new colored parts... but this isn't just about monetary budget... it's all the human resources required to get those molds designed, tooled, and tested, which are always going to be finite and in-demand. Even if LEGO had an infinite pile of cash to throw at creating new molds, there are still only so many 3D modelers, tooling engineers, QA testers — not to mention machines in the factory — available to produce new molds and parts based on them. "Budget" is more than just costing... it's bandwidth/capacity too. Also bear in mind that recolors of existing parts often require a new mold... so while we may perceive there to be just 5 or 6 new molds in the SW lineup in a year, there are no doubt many others that never occur to us for part recolors.
  2. I think this goes overlooked a lot among AFOLs. My son sees no reason at all to have a second of any figure or set, even something massable like a clone or stormtrooper. I've lost track of how many times I've heard something to the effect of, "I have a stormtrooper already. You can have this one." It's baffling to me, but there you go.
  3. The differences between LEGO and Hasbro BS are more than just target market. I didn't restate all of them because others have already done so, and this horse can only be beaten so much. But as others have said, Hasbro can issue every Clone variant in the rainbow with virtually no additional investment, because their business model is centered on recycling the same products (digital sculpts, molds, tooling, etc.) over and over with minor upgrades to paint deco, packaging, pack-ins, etc. Since they don't own their own factories or keep product in circulation for any length of time, the risk if any one action figure doesn't sell is minimized given another will take its place in the production line a month later. LEGO is in a very different boat, and steers that boat accordingly.
  4. As I think every EB member from Australia has and will attest to, LEGO's distribution in Australia is pretty uneven. I can only speak to my experience in the US, where the PT sets are as readily available as the OT sets. Certainly, the battlepack-type army-builder sets sell through their initial shipments each year, but then reappear a month or two later in greater quantities. Happened with the Praetorian BP, Mando BP, Sith Trooper BP, and most recently the 501st uber-BP. And, just to clarify: I'm not saying Clone or PT sets don't sell, or that LEGO shouldn't make more of them. Just that, anyone using Hasbro as a template for what LEGO should do has probably not spent a lot of time collecting Hasbro's products. Because, starting out as a Hasbro collector who only later made the jump to LEGO, I can tell you that the problems we face as LEGO collectors pale in comparison to what you deal with trying to keep up with Hasbro.
  5. Last I checked these were not Hasbro Black Series products, which is what I and others here were referring to: "Hottoys, Sideshow, and yes even Hasbro Black Series cater to a much older, more affluent audience..." Never said they were "selling badly". In fact I went out of my way to say that discounts did NOT mean they were selling poorly, just that there was enough stock in retailers' inventory to justify discounting them. Yes, this is why I said "all sets get marked down eventually". It typically happens 5-6 months after release, except for the $100+ sets which can take a year or longer.
  6. They underproduce now because for years and years, they overproduced, which combined with their abysmal distribution meant that one region would be flooded with product while another went bone-dry, only to receive a glut of product months after it was originally released. Resellers like Target would refuse to order more, or would wait to put out new stock until the old peg-warmers cleared away... All this created a vicious cycle where the product that actually got sold fed straight into the secondary market. Now, they seem to have migrated to a new model in which they've scaled back production runs, offer a very limited number of each figure to retailers as pre-orders (which sell out instantly), and then dump whatever is left onto Amazon or Hasbro Pulse months later. I did not think it possible for them screw this up worse than it was before, but they've made collecting Black Series an absolute nightmare. I'll happily take LEGO temporarily running out of a battle back or two each or year, over the mess that Hasbro continues to make of its SW line.
  7. You guys keep comparing apples to oranges, and trying to draw conclusions based on these faulty comparisons. Hottoys, Sideshow, and yes even Hasbro Black Series cater to a much older, more affluent audience... kids barely factor into their equation. As has been stated and restated a million times before, LEGO's target market is primarily kids (and parents of kids), with AFOLs a distant (but admittedly growing) second place. What appeals to one audience does not necessarily appeal to the other. The fact that Hasbro or Sideshow or whomever sells out of its Clone action figures does not mean that LEGO will do the same with its Clone minifigs. I see ample stock of two recent LEGO sets which collectively feature three different (all-new, unique) Clone designs at every Target, every online store, and every LEGO store I visit. In fact, both have been pretty consistently marked down 20% for the last 9 months... an indicator that retailers are trying to clear out stock of these sets. This doesn't mean they're somehow a failure (all sets get marked down eventually), but it certainly throws cold water on the "if only LEGO would release Clone sets, they would sell out just like Hasbro's Clones do" argument some of you seem to believe.
  8. Sorry, but this is a gross oversimplification. You're overlooking the feast-or-famine distribution woes that have plagued Hasbro for decades, resulting in some waves of action figures being impossible to find, while others warm pegs in massive quantities for months on end... Contrast this with LEGO, which keeps product flowing to both their own stores and their retail partners on a near-continuous basis for at minimum 9 months, and as many as 24 months depending on the set. (Yes, I know there are outliers like the UCS Falcon launch and the Bespin Duel convention exclusive, and Australia is another matter entirely... but for mainline sets in the US at least, they're ten thousand times better than Hasbro at distribution). The fact that any given action figure isn't on Target shelves has way more to do with the fact that Hasbro can't predict demand for and regulate flow of product to retailers, than it does with the popularity of any one character/theme/era. Likewise, the fact that LEGO's products are on shelves doesn't mean they're not selling... it just means that LEGO can actually replenish stock in a timely manner.
  9. jdubbs

    [MOC] Nebulon B Frigate by Anders67

    The rebel transporter GR-75 was made in shiptember 2018. Would love to see more pics of it!
  10. Someone’s been watching Foundation…
  11. jdubbs

    Third leg on R2?

    The lipstick part is strangely expensive (last I tried to buy them in white, they were $1 a piece). Part 78258 does the job with more reliable clutch/grip, and can usually be found for cheaper. Bricks and Pieces had it in stock recently for ±15 cents if I recall correctly.
  12. This topic has been hashed and rehashed eleventy billion times on this forum and it never comes any closer to a conclusion. Fact is that no one on EB knows what the terms of any of these contracts are, rendering any discussion of it conjecture.
  13. Licensees follow the money. We got a Galaxy's Edge set because Disney committed to tens of millions of dollars in marketing spend to promote the park, essentially free advertising for any products related to it. And if I'm not mistaken, the set was meant to be an exclusive, only available at the park... until COVID mucked things up and the exclusives all got re-routed to Target...
  14. This is why I stopped publishing my own personal judgement on upcoming waves. One person's trash is another person's treasure. When we are down to a dozen system sets per year, and 11 movies and 7+ shows to cover in them, there is no one wave that is going to appeal to everyone. At most, you can hope for a few good sets per year. I wasn't actually hinting at anything. I just wanted to point out that everyone was quick to assume OT (probably because of all the talk about the OT's dominance of sets) and there are in fact other possibilities.
  15. You know, not every Death Star battle took place in the OT...