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Author Topic: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?  (Read 5919 times)

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Offline hathorcat

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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2012, 03:48:27 PM »
This, but I really think the main aim for the line has become Bronies.

I don't agree with this actually. What Hasbro, very cleverly, seems to have done is cater to this unexpected fan base through licenses - WLF, Hot Topic, Funko, Enterplay these are all licensed products not Hasbro products. Hasbro are making money through licenses that they would never in any previous MLP generation have thought they could sell - a whole line of adult clothing, vinyl collectable figures, trading cards. Therefore, yes in many ways large sections of the licensing line has become brony focused but if you compare it to the other licenses for everything from food to clothing to bath products, even the merch line still has little girl products at its core. But by licensing out the production of an adult fan favourite like :muffin: Pony to Funko, they satisfy the call for the character but don't have to include her as part of the toy line. 

Little girls are going to remain the focus of MLP and a toy manufacturing company like MLP which is only to be expected. Hasbro know that come gen 7 and 8 and 9 [fingers crossed it goes that long] they may not hold on to that adult fan base therefore their mission statement for the line will continue to have the core target market it has had since the 80s and will continue to have in the future.

Thats why we get a continual line up of main 6 again and again. Compare MLP to any other line now a days and unfortunately repeat characters, especially on lines based around cartoons/web episodes/tv shows, is becoming more and more common - whether it be Barbie or Monster High we see the same characters on repeat. Little girls grow tired and out of a line very quickly - there is always a group of children becoming old enough to suddenly watch the show and they are going to want to find Twilight Sparkle on the shelves not Bon Bon. FiM costs Hasbro money, the toys make Hasbro money - as much as we can all enjoy it and as much as it is getting more attention than ever before, the cartoon will stop before the toy line does unfortunately due to syndication.

Personally I agree to becoming a little disillusioned in the line a little - new characters are basically being satisfied through blind bags - pocket money, pocket sized ponies, an inch in height and with no brushable manes. A cheap and easy way to satisfy the cry for new characters. Even the one new brushable character we are waiting on is a repeat of a Glimmer Wing already released!
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Offline BrightIdea

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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2012, 03:51:30 PM »
Yes, the show is influencing the toy line more now, and this can especially be seen in the miniature ponies.  We know almost the whole main 6 have been available throughout every wave, so here is a chronological breakdown of new brushable characters (forgive the wonky spacing and possible inacurracies) :
*put into the show to sell toys
**designed by writers or animators, not necessarily to sell the toys

                    Total New Characters      Show Ponies A*    Show Ponies B**  Non-show/remakes of other gens
Wave 1:       7                                      7                           0                           0
(Euros):        2                                      0                           0                           2
Wave 2:       2                                      1                           0                           1
(Canterlot):  2                                      1                           0                           0
Wave 3:       6                                      1                           0                           5
Wave 4:         7                                    1                            0                          8
Wave 5 (train): 2                                 1                            0                          1
Wave 6:            2                                 0                            0                          2
(Euro):               1                                 0                           0                            1
(Target):            1                                 0                           0                            1
Wave 7 (wedding): 2                            2                          0                           0                                                     
Wave 8
(wedding 2) :          4                            0                          4                          0             
ToysRUs:                 5                            0                          5                          0
Wave 9
(Crystal Empire):     0                            0                           0                          0

We just had a great assortment of new brushables, with the 2nd wedding wave and the Collector's set, so I think the Crystal Empire set is going to be a huge letdown. Let's also remember how abysmal the train wave was with new characters, and then they stuck in Diamond rose and Cherry Pie, which was nice.

Let's hope they add some new ponies on to this new Crystal empire wave!

Oh yes, also wanted to add that the brushable lines aren't necessarily catering to bronies, they are catering to everyone who likes brushables. Let's take Lyra, etc wave as an example:
Bronies, or show fans: sometimes like the characters, even background characters
Purely Toy Collectors: Get new ponies with varied colours (green yay! more blue yay!)


« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 07:30:16 PM by BrightIdea »
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Offline Koudoawaia

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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2012, 03:59:24 PM »
Frankly I love it that Hasbro is catering more to adult fans lately since I am an adult and not a kid and do not have kids. It's great they're recognizing that adults love My Little Pony too.
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Offline Bergamot

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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2012, 04:11:26 PM »
Hathorcat, I agree! Great point about the licensing!

Offline Mlphammy

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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2012, 05:44:20 PM »
*snip*

people who want the mane six (though it's not like they're hard to find or anything)

*snippy*

^^ This made my day, particularly considering my last couple outings to TRU and WM, faced with walls of nothing but M6.  Thank you! :lmao:

Edit to add:  However, it occurs to me that if the powers that be over at Hasbro were truly catering more to Bronies than children/collectors, there'd probably be a big line of plushies out there by now, considering the interest and astronomical figures some of the custom plushies on eBay seem to command...

There are plushies, at Wal-mart. But they all have yarn hair and the only ones i've seen are Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash. They have really big heads though, thats why I haven't bought any  ;)
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Offline HoustonCollector72

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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2012, 06:20:48 PM »
the Ploomette I just got from China is part of the new wave, gem eyes and tinseled hair, so I think it would be some new brushables on the  "Crystal Empire " wave :)

I hope that they at least make some of these 3" ponies into Fashion Style size in the future,
but there are planty of background/secondary characters that can be released into a brushable size, I would be surprised if Hasbro  ignores that.
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Offline Rainbow Dash

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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2012, 06:53:50 PM »
Even the one new brushable character we are waiting on is a repeat of a Glimmer Wing already released!

That's okay with me- I don't collect the Glimmer Wings but I think Ploomette is gorgeous and can't wait to add her to my herd.

I agree with everything else you said as well.

The part that I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around is non-brushable MLPs.  That's been their gimmick since day one- they're brightly colored ponies with hair you can comb.  It hasn't stopped me from grabbing the blind bags (I like new characters and they're cheap enough) which makes me part of the problem.  I'm voting with my wallet and my wallet is saying I want more blind bags.  And I'm not buying more brushables because I already have the ones available at retail.  But that's not what I really want- they could stop the blind bags tomorrow and I'd be happy as long as brushables continued.  But I suspect I'm not alone on this- how many others here are buying blind bags because that's where new characters are available, as opposed to those who like them better than the Playful Ponies line of brushables?

Obviously the brushables are not as profitable as repaints of the same five molds for blind bags.  Considering since the G4 line came out we've already seen a reduction in quality (loss of forelocks), Hasbro is squeezing every ounce of quality out of the line to stay profitable at the $5.00 price point.

Walmart is big enough to demand prices from their suppliers.  That's why so many companies squeeze every penny they can before raising the price anyway (you can't fight inflation with quality cuts forever).  I'd rather see quality remain the same and increase the price accordingly, but I know I'm in the minority on that one.  Especially on a product that's designed specifically for children as opposed to adult collectors.  Mom & dad are more likely to spend $5.00 on a toy than $7.00.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 07:08:11 PM by Rainbow Dash »
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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2012, 07:04:04 PM »
*snip*

people who want the mane six (though it's not like they're hard to find or anything)

*snippy*

^^ This made my day, particularly considering my last couple outings to TRU and WM, faced with walls of nothing but M6.  Thank you! :lmao:

Edit to add:  However, it occurs to me that if the powers that be over at Hasbro were truly catering more to Bronies than children/collectors, there'd probably be a big line of plushies out there by now, considering the interest and astronomical figures some of the custom plushies on eBay seem to command...

There are plushies, at Wal-mart. But they all have yarn hair and the only ones i've seen are Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash. They have really big heads though, thats why I haven't bought any  ;)

They do, it's true - my son has a Dashie, and he loves that pony to bits!  (Thanks again, madhatterda! ^.^)  But notably missing, if there was a stronger focus on kowtowing to the brony market, are the other three of the Mane 6 (Fluttershy does have her legions of fans, and Rarity and Applejack have their devotees as well), not to mention She Who Must Not Be Named, then other brony faves like Lyra, BonBon, DJ Pon3, Dr. Whooves, and so on.  If they just crank out a few Mane 6 plushies, it's just more of the same, alas... though a lot of custom plushie makers will be happy, as it's more business for them - and there are some downright gorgeous custom plushies out there! ;)

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see pony merch of any stripe!  I just kind of get the impression that Hasbro doesn't really know which way to turn with regards to their unforeseen success in new markets.  In my humble opinion, they find themselves in the same spot as the miller and his son, in Aesop's fable.  ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_miller,_his_son_and_the_donkey if you aren't familiar with it.)
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Offline shabbychicdee

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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2012, 07:12:09 PM »
I DO wish there were more new ponies, but my wallet is happy that there are only 4 every so often! It's much easier to budget!
agree, sad but saving $$
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Offline appletini

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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2012, 08:27:58 PM »

But notably missing, if there was a stronger focus on kowtowing to the brony market, are the other three of the Mane 6 (Fluttershy does have her legions of fans, and Rarity and Applejack have their devotees as well)...

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see pony merch of any stripe!  I just kind of get the impression that Hasbro doesn't really know which way to turn with regards to their unforeseen success in new markets.  In my humble opinion, they find themselves in the same spot as the miller and his son, in Aesop's fable.  ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_miller,_his_son_and_the_donkey if you aren't familiar with it.)

I think having only three of the mane six as a start with the plushies is a way that they ensure not having to commit fully if it ends up as a bust toy sale wise. I know an official Fluttershy plush is hitting shelves in a few months which should soon be followed by the remaining two.

As for the lack of background characters that is purposefully intentional on Hasbro's part. A lot of the fan favorites have very iffy and problomatic issues to work around "officially" that they can avoid by cycling the work out. It's why the funko pop figures don't say ":muffin: Pony" and the "Doctor Whooves" one is probably going to say Time Turner. It's purely a tactic to avoid backlash should there be a lot. (After all, when you can claim the company you hired was "unaware" of the name/s or its/there nature, you can avoid problems down the line and easily fix issues should they pop up.) The trading cards are another perfect example: they are rife with inside jokes for the fandom that Hasbro "officially" could never acknowledge themselves but could always claim to be unaware existed if they needed to change what was said. This way no one gets sued and everyone's happy.

As for the main products decided shift into blind bags it's solely due, at least according to their people, on how those things keep flying off the shelves compared to the other toys in the line. Lets face it, a new brushable is about as much work for G4 as a new blind bag. It's just a recolor of one of the same six molds. But they are downplaying the brushies because they don't sell as well. Assuming most children are indifferent to blind bag vs. brushie (my little sister prefers the brushies but loves both) then it's the adults tipping the scale. The 3 dollar difference between the two toys isn't enough to chalk up simply to impulse buy/parent pleasing and compromising price.

Which leaves the adult collectors who like myself ;) horde the blind bags like no one's business. In short they market to the money and right now the money being spent is largely in the hands of the tv show's fringe following. Whether or not it's Bronies specifically the line is seeming to cater more to adults now.

(Btw in case I come off sounding like an ass/angry/any combination of both, I'm not trying to prove anyone wrong or piss anyone off. :) I just tend to ramble and come across as pig headed sometimes when I "debate" any issue. :P)

Offline Malicieuse

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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2012, 09:11:16 PM »
Frankly I love it that Hasbro is catering more to adult fans lately since I am an adult and not a kid and do not have kids. It's great they're recognizing that adults love My Little Pony too.

You don't need to be a kid to enjoy kids toys. I'm sure a lot of people here agree on that. XP
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Offline Pinecone

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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2012, 09:13:46 PM »
I hope the lack of extras isn't because bronies used to whine whenever Hasbro made a non-show pony. I don't think they mind now, but it used to be whenever Equestria Daily posted "Hey, here's a new toy that's been found but she's not on the show!" bronies would say "WAHHH WHERE'S LUNA?!"

Of course there's a parade of Lunas now so...
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Offline hathorcat

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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2012, 10:10:19 PM »
@Appletini I am interested in your comment that brushables are not selling? I am curious as to where that information has come from? You surely just have to look at the new leaflet of ponies to see the sheer amount of brushable ponies [albeit that they are the same main 6] that Hasbro intend to introduce this year? Most people may not like the continuous cycle of the main 6 but they are still churning main 6 brushables out - all of whom are a more significant investment in production cost than the blind bags would ever be.
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Offline banditpony

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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2012, 11:18:47 PM »
(': Technically no, because Hasbro's focus has always been on making money. It's just not how it used to be and it It all comes down to marketing. The releasing of tons of ponies with generic names, and lots of colors, and etc, is just not what seems to be profitable AT THIS TIME.

^^; I don't think this recent "wedding pony" thing was marketed toward Bronies. So it's not like they are ignoring kids either. Fact of the matter is, is there an adult line with merchadise -- it's not for Bronies, it's for  *** ALL OF US *** that enjoy FiM and are wanting to buy merch.

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« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 11:30:25 PM by banditpony »
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Re: Has Hasbro's Focus Changed?
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2012, 11:23:12 PM »
Before FiM/g4, Hasbro had already set their toy line to focus in the "core 7" at the end of g3. I think that with FiM, they always intended to continue to focus on a core group of recognizable characters. At Pony Fairs before FiM, Hasbro Marketing said that their research found that the target audience (little girls age 3-6) preferred a few characters that they could relate to, instead of endless different ponies with no known character to back them up.

I don't think Hasbro is focusing on marketing their toys to Bronies. As mentioned, they are doing that with licensed products. Hasbro is first & foremost a toy company. A toy company's long term success is dependent on what children & parents want, not what adult fans want.

As far as "fan favorite" characters go, my friend's 4 year old wanted nothing but Nightmare Moon last Christmas. The Target Princess Luna was ok, but she was still no Nightmare Moon. Her second biggest want? Zecora! So just because Bronies & adult fans love these characters, don't think that kids don't love them just as much. ;) This year that little pony fan will be getting her wish, lol.

 

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