You might already be aware of this, but Hasbro has had a string of misfortunes lately. The giant toy company has had its stocks falling and sales dipping. In fact, a recent article posted by Bloomberg detailed how its CEO admitted that the company made errors on some of its toys.
To be specific, he was talking about the Star Wars action figures released shortly after the blockbuster film “The Last Jedi”. Given the Star Wars in insanely popular, what could explain why Hasbro action figures are recently failing in the market?
Reasons why Hasbro Star Wars action figures are not selling
1. Volatile Fan Preferences
The first reason is that sales of action figures depends on fans’ satisfaction with the franchise. Star Wars toys released by Hasbro are often made as follow-ups on movies. With the recent Star Wars sequel trilogy, for example, collectible sets are then shelved to earn sales following the hype of people watching the film. This is where the potential problem lies. If the movie did well, then most probably, the action figures released will do well. If not, then they might just have messed up their sales.
For avid Star Wars fans, this applies. Their die-hard love and loyalty to the first original trilogy has been a marketing nightmare. For instance, when a follow-up sequel is made, they tend to be very critical about it. They’re not just upset about their favorite characters dying. They also criticize the storyline of the movie franchise.
Given that the market base for Hasbro Star Wars action figures are fans slash collectors, sales will drop if the plot betrays their expectations. Not to be a spoiler, but did you know that there is boiling hate going around for Han Solo, Kylo Ren, and the “last” Jedi? Therefore, fans’ displeasure might have contributed to the decline in Hasbro action figures sales.
2. Wrong Target Market
With rapid digitalization, the toy industry is struggling to survive. Kids nowadays prefer playing video games and surfing the internet. As a result, toy companies are in a fight to stay relevant. There became a need to adjust and redefine the concept of selling toys to consumers. The options are basically what business giants face daily – be flexible or go broke.
Hasbro erroneously thought that the formula for survival would be simple: focus on the adult collectors as the target market. By selling their toys ludicrously expensive, they thought they can minimize the declining sales brought about by shifting consumer tastes. First, instead of marketing to children, they thought they should zero in on the adult collector market exclusively. Second, the focus would be on quality, not quantity.
As it turned out, these solutions did not pan out. By minimizing the market scope to only a handful of collectors, Hasbro crippled its ability to sell to a more massive crowd. It’s a very risky move, since the fans and collectors make emotional purchasing decisions. They would buy depending on whether they’re satisfied with the franchise. Ultimately, this leads to Hasbro Star War action figures not selling like they used to.