Friday 28 February 2020

Earthrise retail in Japan

What is going on in Japan with Transformers at the moment? 

When I came for holidays many moons ago the shelves were often stocked with many toys (when shows were running).  When the Legends line was going they had a pretty good shelf presence.  Siege and the movie lines came along and well, the movie robots can look kind of similar (all them silver bots…) and Siege has been doing well enough for me to have never seen some of the figures in the wild.  I’ve only seen 1 Refractor on the shelves and even Ratbat and Laserbeak spy boxes were hard to find.

So now it comes to Earthrise… “Arse Rise” to say it phonetically for Japan… and quite a few figures have become TTmall exclusives….  Let’s have a look shall we?

(This is the listing page f the shop as of 28/02/2020)


Obviously they are doing waves as well I notice. So how many are regular retail and how many are mall exclusives?

Mall Exclusives
Optimus Prime
Bombshock and Growl Micromasters
Tripup and Daddy-o Micromasters



Wow, so currently more than half the line is limited to the TTmall....  and in an interesting situation, they are mostly little guys.  TTmall charges postage for orders under a certain amount, you can add that to the cost of getting Soundbarrier… 

And don't even get me started on the limited pre-order time they have on the site.  They are due on in August, and you have one month in which to place an order....  I'm going to wait and see if they sell out of preorders.  That'll make me chuckle.  Although looking at the pictures of the Allicon on Amazon US and TTmall, TTmall has pink coloured shoulders... Are they goign to change the colours a little bit?

Are we going to get the normal Earthrise US releases AND have the option to get these altered coloured versions?  If so... That is what TTmall should be about.

I had some points saved up which I was saving for that Armada Optimus that was listed as Selects last year (or year before) and I ended up using them for a pre-order on Cliffjumper, since they expire.  I also had to pay for postage.  So with that taking into account, Cliffjumper ended up ‘costing’  almost 4000 yen.  That’s a pricey meatball….  If he was in retail, I suspect I could have picked him up easily for about 2800 or less.

So, if previous lines were doing well enough to barely have stock on the shelves, why this change to a 70%mall rate?  It certainly won’t help sales that is for sure.  I don’t think Siege sales would’ve had the need to be heavily discounted at retail to clear stock.  It just seems to baffle me a little.  Surely you would want some little guys out there to get that pocket change buying right?  That’s what Soundbarrier and Slitherfang should be all about.   At their current prices though, the Micromasters don’t really fit into the spontaneous buying thing. 

Perhaps they feel that the Micromasters won’t really pull much money in?  I think they should push the base-bots a bit more.  Scorponok and Omega would work really well with the Micromasters and I think it’s a shame this opportunity is being missed out on.  Incidentally, I’ve not seen Omega Supreme on shelves in my travels wither, admittedly though I haven't really gone anywhere special looking for them…. but…

It just strikes me as odd.  In some stores, Transformers are struggling to keep their spot on the shelves, yet when stock is released you often have to be quick to get one or else it’s all gone.  Currently though, TT releases characters in box amounts, so 1 box will be full of Chromia, another is all Optimus etc etc, if they are swamping shelves with unsellable characters( POTP Chromia still hangs about in some stores), then perhaps they should look at splitting those boxes?  I dunno.

It’s just annoying as TTmall isn’t the cheap option to do your Transformers shopping.  Add to that the fact that TT and Hasbro both have the exact same figures, I find the wait between the dates of release, as well as some of their pricing making me move towards looking online and getting stuff from O/S.  One instance in particular is the Japanese release of Siege Jetfire.  TTmall has him priced at a whopping 19,800 yen.  Meanwhile I had a couple of opportunities to nab him from Amazon US at 60 bucks (postage would work out to about $25)  which ends up being almost half price….  I’ve also not seen Jetfire in retail as well….

I am concerned as one of the reasons I like Japan is that I can walk around the shops and buy things in them.  Sure online is convenient, but for me I really like being able to look at the actual thing I am buying, as well as just window shopping if I am in the mood.  I also don’t see the justification for it all, as they seem to sell well enough….

First world problems and impotent nerd rage I guess...

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