Cost of Freight Shipping Rises, Hurting Retailers (via)

By Adam May — Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stephanie Clifford for the writes:

The grills shaped like kegs and toolboxes, ordered for a Father’s Day promotion at Cost Plus World Market, arrived too late for the holiday. At the Container Store, platinum-color hangers, advertised in a summer sale catalog, were delivered days after the sale began. At True Value Hardware, the latecomers were fans and portable chairs.

Doesn't it seem like this is

Doesn't it seem like this is the sort of thing Mattel and Hasbro would be telling the fanboy community directly? Like "HEY! You complainy guys that smell of basement and Cheetos! It sucks for everybody! See!!" instead of having that stupid paper mache head say stupid crap like "We're addressing the distribution issues...." like they're gonna be able to fix it...

Not quite...

Mattel had toxic LEAD in their paint, and it took a firestorm of media attention to address the issue. So they don't even factor in here. I'm sorry, but putting Hasbro in the same basket as Mattel is patently offensive to ME. (Don't worry - I need to be offended at least a dozen times daily or the defibrillator kicks in.)

So here's my personal opinion on this topic (and please note that I don't speak for Hasbro or GH in this capacity) is: There is no way on earth that Hasbro can address this in any realistic manner, and that's why we use the tag "KEEPING (STAR WARS) COLLECTORS ON TARGET" — which has nothing at all to do with that store. (I won't even touch that one.) It takes the combined effort of ALL of the sites out there to keep COLLECTORS informed and ready to warm up the car for crazy toy runs.

Hasbro cannot predict the cost of oil, the collapse of the economies of Greece and Iceland (their biggest export is Björk) or the economic roller coaster of the United States economy. (Fun Fact: We are their biggest market by far. Period. HUGE.) I keep up with this kind of news every single day, and even I couldn't predict a cargo shipping slowdown of this level. Also, contrary to popular belief, Team Hasbro (Star Wars) can't hop into their private jumbo cargo jet and heave on over to China to snatch the toys and magically deliver them to distribution centers, well, everywhere. (Said jet does not exist, but I'm sure the team would LOVE to have one if any of the major suits happen to see this.) In the event... I want a seat on the first flight.

As a quick side note, I will say that I was nonplussed that we (collectors) have received blame for a segment of the line slowing in the last 18 months. I'm an insane collector, and I had to cut back dramatically. (Queue the defibrillator and a shot of adrenalin.) Across the country, people had to pay off credit cards quickly or face INSANE (and barely legal) interest rates. (May the Force Be With American Express.) I hope at some point that this bad mark on The Collectors' permanent record will be erased (either in the form of an insanely gorgeous KhettanaJabba The Hutt's Sail Barge— at or below the $99.99 pricepoint, or just a public, "We sowwy").

Now back to shipping...  No one could predict that a robotic rat (or whatever that was) would be "the" hottest toy for last winter's "Holiday Gifting Season" (which also ran into distribution hiccups). Almost exactly the same, no one can predict cargo boats slowing down to save fuel and money. I knew that cargo boats weren't leaving the dock with epic levels of merchandise at first, but I didn't know that they had started overloading the barges and throttling their speed back to save money. (I don't believe that even the finest of the worlds insurers, or even Vegas gamblers, would back that venture up with cash.)

When things go off-the-rails (er...) the people that we (collecting sites) deal with may not be aware of all of this. I'd venture to guess that  they know what's going into their warehouses and then to retail distribution, but shipping from the Pacific Rim to the States? Good luck. Even Santa Claus fell short in 2009.

A Comment From Under The Floor Boards

Shhh!!! Don't tell anyone (because, well, I'd like to have a little extra cash for Celebration V) but I will be monitoring comments (for quality control, naturally) for a bit.  Comments can lead to goodies like Hasbro's Star Wars posters from Comic-Con 2010 (and maybe even surplus posters going back a few years); a set (or more once we take stock) of those oh-so frame-worthy backer cards (from Hasbro, naturally); and whatever goodies I may stumble upon along the way. My last big poster-bonanza wound up costing me about $200 in shipping out-of-pocket, so only tell your nearest and dearest. As always, (see Jeffrey) the most stylish replies win. —AM (Void where prohibited, watch your language, and this offer is only valid in the continental United States.)

Are those Hasbro posters

Are those Hasbro posters going to be made available at CV? I know the sproof cards (spoof-proof - good one, eh?) are supposed to be a new batch, but maybe they'll have some leftovers from SDCC for us at CV?


Hasbro is, naturally, trying to keep as much as they can under wraps until Celebration V. Your guess is as good as ANYONE's at this point. They could give out door-sized posters of Jane Lynch from Glee wearing the metal bikini. (For the record, I would BUY that. I would buy one for every door in my house — inside and outside.) Can someone make that happen sooner than immediately?