The folks who work on the new Indiana Jones toy line at Hasbro have agreed to do a regular Q&A session with us here at TNI regarding their new toy line hitting shelves now.
: There are rumors the Toht wave of figures has been canceled. Is this true?
: This is true - the second Raiders line will not be coming to retail in 2009 as previously planned.
: As a follow-up to the first questions, many readers fear that this line is basically dead in the water and about to be canceled. Is this true or is there something you can tell them that will help put their fears to rest?
: Without a movie or entertainment backdrop to maintain kids' interest in the line, it's just not possible to maintain momentum in the intensely competitive boys' action aisle. We are extremely passionate fans of the IJ line ourselves and anticipate that the line will return if and when there is another IJ movie. Until then, the decision to rest the brand will position it for the best possible return.
: Why is it these days (and probably since Star Wars first hit the shelves back in the late 70's), an action figure line has to have something like a movie or TV show pushing it to survive? Why isn't it possible to create a cool action figure line (not nessecairly Raiders but any line), promote it with other ways (like advertisements on TV, web and magazines), and have it survive? There are many toy lines that fall outside of action figures (like girls dolls and video games) that seem to survive without a movie or TV show pushing them, but we always hear with action figures that if there is no show or movie, the line can't survive. I'm just curious where this line of thinking in the toy industry comes from and do you think that it's a possible reason why boys' action figures have become somewhat limited as far as sales in the overall toy industry as compared with video games, girls toys, etc etc? (This question really pertains more to the selling of action figures to parents and their kids not adult collectors.)
: Toys are grouped together at retail by consumer-insight driven play patterns (as you mention), but the retail performance expectations for each category are very different regarding top line sales, margin delivery and the like. It is entirely possible that a toy line one aisle over delivers a fraction of the sales but meets retailer satisfaction in other areas, and this is measured against different standards. In an aisle dominated by entertainment, as the boys aisle is and has been for 30+ years, expectations are very high and the competition intense. It is very difficult for non-entertainment-backed brands to succeed, and even GI Joe (the only standout in the last 15 years to have succeeded continuously without persistent entertainment) has a major movie coming down the pike. Entertainment is not only the cost of entry to the boys' aisle, it is necessary to keep kids engaged and coming back to provide a healthy core of support for any line.
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Indiana Jones Q&A With Hasbro Round 7
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Indiana Jones Q&A With Hasbro Round 4
Indiana Jones Q&A With Hasbro Round 3
Indiana Jones Q&A With Hasbro Round 2
Indiana Jones Q&A With Hasbro Round 1