Ultra Magnus wrote:
2 <submitted by Time Traveller> In previous Q&A sections, it was explained that various differences between transformers toys in different global marketplaces are to sell "what makes sense" to that market or demographic. What sorts of differences between the target markets in the western world and Japan exist that cause Transformers released in Japan to vary so wildly from their "export" counterparts? For example, it is well understood that some series target younger, general public buyers like Classics, while Henkei targets Japanese adult collectors. But what market differences exist that series geared to adult collectors in both markets (Alternators & BinalTech) to be so divergent in features and decoration? Or, conversely, what demographic differences determine the variance in paint applications on otherwise alike Revenge of the Fallen toys?
Hasbro: While we cannot speak on behalf of Takara Tomy and their business strategy, we can try to provide you with some insight from Hasbro's point of view. As a whole, Hasbro oversees every market in the world except for Japan. Needless to say, that is a lot of diverse markets that all have different needs. As we develop our toy line, we need to ensure that we produce great toys that are also at digestible price points globally so that we provide an opportunity to fans everywhere to experience the brand.
For example, we made the decision on Alternators and BinalTech to produce our toys in plastic vs. die-cast. This simple decision allowed us to sell these items at $20 vs. $40 or $50. While we know that there certainly would be fans that would have purchased the higher price point items, we knew that we would be able to get more fans into our brand at a lower price around the globe.
Meh. Something sounds hinky with this answer. In my grand unified TF-economics conspiracy theory, I think it actually boils down to something like this:
1) TakTom INSISTS Hasbro make changes to their superior product, in exchange for allowing Hasbro global distribution. This guarantees TakTom a relatively lucrative (and, more importantly, predictable) export revenue stream.
2) Hasbro willingly agrees, especially since that gives them a convenient excuse to lower the quality and price, thereby reducing their exposure (i.e less $$$ lost if they produce another dud like Real Gear Longview)
3) TakTom or Hasbro, or both, willingly allows the Chinese KO companies to rip off their product, for a kickback fee. (See reduced exposure above).
4) I forget what 4 is for.