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Where Transformers is failing

I know you're looking at the title of this blog and thinking, "What in tar nation is he talking about?" On the surface, it seems the recent Transformers movie is a huge boom to Hasbro. The movie has been one of the biggest movies in what is shaping up to be a blockbuster year in the theaters. While the movie wasn't perfect, the cutting edge CGi and character presence brought people in from all ages and genders to see the movie. That's a good score for ANY movie. Read the full entry.

Also, from the scenes at the stores, TF is doing very well. There's been uncountable times I have seen kids walk by some type of display and start chanting "Transformers!" Now, how long has it been since you've heard that happening? With the past few lines, we were used to pegwarmers and slow moving stock. This is what brings me to my title. Hasbro is letting TF fall flat on it's face once again due to a simple economical factor: Supply & Demand.

Hasbro has admitted that the recent TF movie has gone over better than expected and that the merchandising helped push them to a very profitable quarter. However, they has also admitted that demand has exceeded supply. For years, toy companies have been forced to deal with a shedding toy market. Today's kids are more enveloped in electronics than ever before. Items such as iPods, Leapfrog consoles and Playstations have displaced action figures, dolls and toy cars. Hasbro finally found a chord that resonated with kids and they can't even keep demand!

The ramifications of this oversight are starting to become apparent. One thing retailers don't like is empty display shelving. In my area, which covers Central California, many retailers have had a good square footage of pegboard empty of product. That doesn't fare well for sales. They have to fill that space somehow. Lately, I've seen TF space give way to... guess? SPIDERMAN! Seems the webcrawler is extremely venerable.

Of course, supply outweighs demand in other areas. Items such as the voicechanger helmets (which are the non-Cullen models), plush toys and the desktop computer have already collected some dust on them. I have already seen 3" Titanium sets on clearance at Targets. This proves that after all this time, Hasbro still doesn't get it. They still overproduce items that aren't desirable while limiting production on items which have broad appeal.

So who wins? Ultimately, the scalpers win. By snapping up what little of the Deluxe figures that are out there, then turning them on eBay for outlandish prices, they profit off of Hasbro's oversight. Is this good business? One wouldn't think so. The big loser here is Hasbro. By not having shelf presence, they are losing the interest of the very market they are so desperate for: the kids. By the time Hasbro ramps up production, it may be too late to get the kids back. After all, if it doesn't stay fresh in their minds, it'll soon be replaced by the next new thing.

In closing, I'm just interested to see on a worldwide basis how the stocking woes are affecting shelves. Here in this area, Deluxes are extremely rare. FABs are therefore becoming somewhat thin after weeks of warming shelves. Leaders are all but extinct and anything else is gathering dust. How's it look where you are?

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