Sorry for the hint of sarcasm… as many folks have no doubt noticed, HissTank.com reported earlier this afternoon that the third wave of Alpha vehicles has been canceled via GIJoeClub.com pre-orders. Friend of GeneralsJoes and JBL staffmember madmac41 went right to the source at the G.I. Joe Club, and was given the same information. Essentially Alpha Wave 3 is not being shipped to retailers as far as they’re aware. Hasbro has released no information about when they might get them out, if they ever do.
This news has, of course, caused fandom hysteria. The Rise of Cobra haters are out in force, as expected, while the folks who enjoy the toys are desperately trying to defend them and find reasoning for this seemingly sudden turn of events. I think everyone needs to step back and get a little perspective.
First of all, I have to think even the most ardent Rise of Cobra supporter (who I count myself one of) has to realize that there is a TON of product out there on shelves, and there has been for a long time. And as refresher cases hit with new figures, those also get packed in with the existing figures, the new figures sell, the existing figures build on pegs with previous releases, and you end up with pegs 12″ deep of version 1 Storm Shadows and not a whole lot else. This, obviously, is a problem.
I find it interesting that this news comes on the heels of Hasbro’s latest Earning Reports, which sounded amazingly optimistic in the press…but, of course, that’s a message to stockholders, which isn’t necessarily indicative of the “real story”. But, on the other hand, the cancellation of a single assortment of overpriced Alpha vehicles is NOT indicative of widespread failure and/or cancellation.
The rosey side says “profits were up 8.8%! The movie made 300 million dollars! There’s a ton of product for people to buy!”
The not-so-rosey side says “peg warmers galore! Cancelling assortments! Deth of teh line!!11!”
So, where’s the truth? As always, somewhere in the middle, I’m sure. I would bet big money that sales of Rise of Cobra product are not what Hasbro expected or hoped for. I have a feeling they did not anticipate such a glut of figures on pegs this deep into the release date, and I have a feeling that the earnings report behind the scenes was probably not as rosey as it appeared in the Associated Press, at least in regards to G.I. Joe.
But, on the other hand, I don’t think the fandom should look at the cancellation of a single assortment of Alpha Vehicles as all doom and gloom. The Alpha’s are overpriced, oversaturated, and undesired, and this 3rd wave of them was rife with repaints as it was. I’ll admit, I’m a bit bummed about the Polar Shark Sub, but nothing else in that assortment breaks my heart in the least.
I think folks on both sides should get some perspective as we eagerly await future Q & A sessions and Toy Fair in the beginning of 2010. I would not be shocked to see a somewhat scaled back push for Pursuit of Cobra, but I don’t think for a second that the line is in danger of assortment-wide cancellation. Ain’t gonna happen. Things may change a bit, but I’m sure Pursuit of Cobra will be right there as expected in 2010. Perhaps it won’t look quite the same, but it’ll be there. At least, it better be…if I don’t get my Resolute 7-Packs, heads are gonna roll…
Gotta say, though, I do have to see the humor in some of this…I especially loved a post on the HissTank forums from flash70…
“well that is that…like everyone one is saying bring back the 25th line.
we don’t want multiple dukes, heavy dutys, ripcords, and really bad neo-vipers.
get back to work and start making the 25th line a great product again with $5.99 price points.”
Heh…how soon folks forget. Bringing back the Anniversary line ain’t gonna magically drop prices and instantly “fix” the line, folks. And does anyone really think going back to the Anniversary will reduce the number of duplicate Dukes, Snake Eyes, etc? Did people already put on those rose colored glasses from last year? Wow.
Anyway. Those who are happily singing the death knell for RoC, keep singing…I don’t think it’s dead yet. For those folks who eagerly await the new stuff next year, hold your breath a bit, because it may not shake out how we’re expecting. But as always, things are not as black and white as they seem, and the truth is always somewhere in the middle…