Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Marvel legends 3: Case Ratios

Marvel Legends was moving along well for two years. Each series gained sales, popularity and characters. Fan favorites like Nick Fury and Elektra were making appearances. Collectors were lining outside Toys R' Us every day at opening for first pick.

Toy Biz even added a second line for Spider-Man, tossing his complete rogues gallery into the mix. But there was an ugly side. An ugly side called case ratios.

When a toy company releases a wave of figures, they know Apocalypse won't sell as well as Wolverine. So, a case of 12 figures ships, there should be more Wolverines than Apocalypses. Simple, right?

The problem comes in the guesswork. And by the sixth and seventh series, Toy Biz guessed wrong. Cases were shipping with four Wolverines but only one Phoenix and Deadpool. Suddenly half the series was treated as rare, expensive figures. Fights broke out in toy stores.

The next series was no better. Apocalypse, Hawkeye and Vision all major characters were shipped one per case while the pegs were clogged with yet another Wolverine. And fans were ready to give up.

Tomorrow: A new idea that not only saves the line but pushes it into a whole new dimension.

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