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They did a great job, glad my nostalgia didn't over ride my fiscal common sense this time.
Loved the show as a kid but my respect for Batman the character as I got older makes me do eye rolls when I see any thing related to that show.
( Except for Yvonne Craig and Julie Newmar ;p )
Thank you Neal Adams and Denny O'Neil for saving the character.
 

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Excellent review, very thorough with nice clear pictures. I ordered both Batman and Robin, and as soon as the Batmobile is announced, i'll PO that as well. Looking forward to adding these to my shelves, as they'll add a touch of colour and humour to my collection. I have a lot of figures, that are mainly black.

(picture link works for me, try another browser)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank for reading guys (gals?)! I always have a lot of fun putting these together. Time is not always a friend, so I can't do them as much as I used to.. but it's a satisfying hobby when I can.

Sorry for the picture link issues! I'll have to remember to list an actual link next time as well just in case there's some issue with the html. Thanks for pointing it out.
 

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Great figure, great review, great pics.

This figure really reminds me of my frustration with the marketplace for these things, separate and apart from just being Expensive. For various reasons, can't justify @$400 at the moment. If these things sold like normal objects in the normal world, and I could be reasonably sure of getting a Robin off the shelf in the future whenever I felt like it, without some gross mark-up, I'd probably be getting Batman now. We all complain about the HT prices, but even worse is this whole culture of "pre-order or blink and miss it". I really wish these things had a more normal "window of time to purchase normally" like most consumer items. Not only is HT uninterested in making that happen, but I think they actively work against it, for an appearance of prestige or being in demand. End of rant.
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It's not a hot toys specific problem as much as it is an industry problem. The products that remain on shelves for extended periods are just poor sellers typically (Hot Toys Noland anybody?). The majority of consumer items operate on yearly cycles, it's just a question of how much of a risk a distributor is willing to take in holding stock in some cases. In other categories the longer sustainability of the product cycle is more of a reflection of the factory/brand extending longer credit terms to the distributor to facilitate a larger load in of inventory, something which you don't see in this industry.

Great figure, great review, great pics.

This figure really reminds me of my frustration with the marketplace for these things, separate and apart from just being Expensive. For various reasons, can't justify @$400 at the moment. If these things sold like normal objects in the normal world, and I could be reasonably sure of getting a Robin off the shelf in the future whenever I felt like it, without some gross mark-up, I'd probably be getting Batman now. We all complain about the HT prices, but even worse is this whole culture of "pre-order or blink and miss it". I really wish these things had a more normal "window of time to purchase normally" like most consumer items. Not only is HT uninterested in making that happen, but I think they actively work against it, for an appearance of prestige or being in demand. End of rant.
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The guidance counselor was surprised: "I didn't even know career aptitude tests had a Super-Villain category."
 

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It's not a hot toys specific problem as much as it is an industry problem. The products that remain on shelves for extended periods are just poor sellers typically (Hot Toys Noland anybody?). The majority of consumer items operate on yearly cycles, it's just a question of how much of a risk a distributor is willing to take in holding stock in some cases. In other categories the longer sustainability of the product cycle is more of a reflection of the factory/brand extending longer credit terms to the distributor to facilitate a larger load in of inventory, something which you don't see in this industry.
Totally valid points, and a good analysis. I think credit terms to the distributors have a lot to do with it but there is probably also the question of manufacturers committing to warehouse space and an inventory system (that would make product reorderable within say 6-12 months) rather than burn everything out the door and move onto the next figure.

And I think that Hot Toys probably does exploit "get it immediately or it's gone and will go up in value" deliberately and more than necessary. It keeps the product at a niche / hobby / insider level rather than a more accessible normal marketplace. I'm not saying ideally figures should be longterm as easy to get as everyday products, but at least sustainable for a few months, like eg Neca figures which are comparable. As it is, Sideshow accommodates the Hot Toys "drop one and move on" model (and otherwise HT would have much less presence in North America) but I think if they had slightly more re-orderability, Diamond Select might be more willing to support Hot Toys which it really doesn't do now.

Purely personal opinion of course, I'm not a market analyst.
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I agree it would be far better to see the manufacturers willing to take on some inventory carrying so there is re-orderability. As it is right now, it's typically preorders get shipped out and unless another retailer cancels an order there is no chance for a reorder or for a bumped up order quantity once the preorder deadline is past. The exception to that would be someone like Sideshow that is often stuck with slower moving inventory for longer periods due to the amount they carry.

Essentially all of the risk is transferred from the manufacturer and the distributor to the retailer (no or limited net terms in most cases), so you see most retailers not willing to order much beyond their preorders which they see as a guaranteed sale, or for releases they are certain of sales. I've seen systems like this before with manufacturers in other industries, and the attitude generally becomes it should be a privilege to carry their product since it will sell out anyways, so please don't complain.

The bigger problem for Hot Toys seems to be the total production run. On popular releases Sideshow routinely cuts dealer allocations, while in China it's not uncommon even for smaller dealers to sell 100+ units due to the market size there. I suspect the product run numbers is part risk management but as you mention there is a certain brand cachet they likely wish to create by having limited availability. On the one hand the smaller military brands often struggle to move the 1-5000 units runs of certain figure, while on the other for Hot Toys that is fairly rare except for the total duds. As you allude to, that can result in the manufacturer confidently selling out without overproducing, and avoiding their self perception of watering down their brand. Frustrating for the retailer and end customer alike.

Totally valid points, and a good analysis. I think credit terms to the distributors have a lot to do with it but there is probably also the question of manufacturers committing to warehouse space and an inventory system (that would make product reorderable within say 6-12 months) rather than burn everything out the door and move onto the next figure.

And I think that Hot Toys probably does exploit "get it immediately or it's gone and will go up in value" deliberately and more than necessary. It keeps the product at a niche / hobby / insider level rather than a more accessible normal marketplace. I'm not saying ideally figures should be longterm as easy to get as everyday products, but at least sustainable for a few months, like eg Neca figures which are comparable. As it is, Sideshow accommodates the Hot Toys "drop one and move on" model (and otherwise HT would have much less presence in North America) but I think if they had slightly more re-orderability, Diamond Select might be more willing to support Hot Toys which it really doesn't do now.

Purely personal opinion of course, I'm not a market analyst.
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The guidance counselor was surprised: "I didn't even know career aptitude tests had a Super-Villain category."
 

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I agree it would be far better to see the manufacturers willing to take on some inventory carrying so there is re-orderability. As it is right now, it's typically preorders get shipped out and unless another retailer cancels an order there is no chance for a reorder or for a bumped up order quantity once the preorder deadline is past. The exception to that would be someone like Sideshow that is often stuck with slower moving inventory for longer periods due to the amount they carry.

Essentially all of the risk is transferred from the manufacturer and the distributor to the retailer (no or limited net terms in most cases), so you see most retailers not willing to order much beyond their preorders which they see as a guaranteed sale, or for releases they are certain of sales. I've seen systems like this before with manufacturers in other industries, and the attitude generally becomes it should be a privilege to carry their product since it will sell out anyways, so please don't complain.

The bigger problem for Hot Toys seems to be the total production run. On popular releases Sideshow routinely cuts dealer allocations, while in China it's not uncommon even for smaller dealers to sell 100+ units due to the market size there. I suspect the product run numbers is part risk management but as you mention there is a certain brand cachet they likely wish to create by having limited availability. On the one hand the smaller military brands often struggle to move the 1-5000 units runs of certain figure, while on the other for Hot Toys that is fairly rare except for the total duds. As you allude to, that can result in the manufacturer confidently selling out without overproducing, and avoiding their self perception of watering down their brand. Frustrating for the retailer and end customer alike.
Totally agree AdamC, I think your comments are insightful. Just because items are collectibles it shouldn't be out of the question to support a few months of sustained availability and some minimum reorderability. It could widen the market and get products into places that won't handle them now because they are too volatile - like the network of collectible/comic stores fed by Diamond Select. Currently very few of them source premium 1/6 figures, and only as a specialty item, and as you say it's mostly pre-orders so it gives the manufacturer no advertising or exposure (except for the rare item that makes it to the display window). To keep us on topic, if they did that, I could comfortably buy Batman '66 right now and not feel pressured about Robin '66.

Now if only we could get "Them" to listen...
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