The NHL 14 lineup
has been twisted, turned, flipped and is now completely finalized and ready for your approval. The 2007 NHL Sports Picks schedule called for NHL 14 (six figures) in the spring, NHL 15 (six figures) in the fall, and NHL Legends 5 (six figures) just before Christmas. McFarlane wanted to find a way to make NHL product more of a year-round event, particularly in Canada, where summer sales (in hockey's off season) have been strong. McFarlane's new plan is to deliver four-figure lineups more often, to preserve our shelf space in Canada and offer more total figures to our NHL collectors. The new schedule for 2007 looks like this:
NHL 14: Four-figure line due in stores in mid-March.
Wal-Mart Canada NHL 3-packs (Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa): These are due exclusively in WMC stores in early April.
NHL 15: Four-figure line will have specific Canadian appeal, and may not be carried at standard U.S. retail. U.S. specialty and online retailers will be allowed to order this product. NHL 15 is due in stores in late June.
NHL 16: Four-figure line is our first-ever hybrid line, featuring two current stars and two players from our Legends series. NHL 16 is due in stores in late August.
NHL 17: Four-figure line will hit national retailers in the U.S. and Canada in late October.
NHL Legends 5: Four-figure line will hit stores in mid-December.
That listing doesn't include our 3-inch series, or anything else we might have in development right now. The new set-up provides for 20 NHL figures next year (plus a surprise or two), rather than the 18 under the original plan. The smaller lineups could hurt case sales for online retailers, but the ones in the U.S. should benefit from the NHL 15 line, which is not likely to be carried by any mainstream U.S. retailer.
Let's take a look at the final version of the NHL 14 series:
* MARKUS NASLUND 2
* HENRIK ZETTERBERG
* CURTIS JOSEPH 2 (Coyotes)
* CURTIS JOSEPH 2 (Oilers)
* MARIAN HOSSA (Thrashers)
In addition to the NHL 14 lineup next spring, we've also settled the NHL 15 lineup -- which was specifically created to have appeal to Canadian fans:
ROBERTO LUONGO 2
NHL 15 is expected to arrive on shelves in late June 2007.