UPDATE 9/30/2022: When the Selfie Series launched during PulseCon 2022, customers noticed that price had been switched back to $59.99. At this time, it’s unknown if the $79.99 price announcement was a mistake (HA!) or the price reduction was in response to customer backlash online.
On Monday, Andrew Liszewski of Gizmodo reported that Hasbro has finally set an official launch date for their highly anticipated Selfie Series. With the help of a face scanner app, fans can have their portrait 3D printed onto a selection of Hasbro’s most popular action figure sculpts.
Following a leak back in May, the line was officially announced during San Diego Comic-Con in July. It also came with a steep $60 price tag, but that didn’t seem too bad when you considered the novelty of getting an action figure of yourself. According to Liszewski’s report, however, that price has been unexpectedly jacked up to $80 just a few days before the line’s September 30 launch.
This follows a trend of colossal PR blunders by Hasbro during the last few years. Some of the highlights include:
- Prices rising exponentially faster than the inflation rate.
- Figures being given a “deluxe” price point for no discernable reason.
- The Black Series Rancor campaign, which failed due to an inflated price and poor stretch goals.
- Vintage Collection Boba Fett figures being priced higher than similar figures in the line.
- The Black Series Reva lightsaber campaign, which was never given a chance to succeed (and Hasbro turning off Instagram comments on its post so they didn’t have to hear about it).
- The switch to windowless packaging (which looks terrible) combined with a surge in quality control issues.
- Hasbro’s claim that they switched to windowless packaging as part of a green initiative while simultaneously including NFTs (which are terrible for the environment) with their new Starting Line Up figures.
- Charging $50 for Starting Line Up figures that don’t even have the players’ tattoos while Mattel puts out well-made wrestling figures that actually do for $23.
As if all that weren’t bad enough, the $350 Ghost Rider HasLab campaign has lost nearly 700 backers/units and counting since missing the Robbie Reyes early bird stretch goal on Friday. Meanwhile, Marvel Legends fans have been pointing out that this surprisingly cool-looking Bratz car from MGA entertainment is only $37. Someone on the Marvel Legends Collector Facebook Group even showed how it scales perfectly with Marvel Legends figures.
So with all that happening, the suits at Hasbro thought this was the perfect time to also hike the price of a new and highly anticipated toyline days before it’s supposed to launch.
And to those of you who are about to excuse all this because of inflation, just don’t. First off, even at its worst, the inflation rate never hit anywhere close to 33%. Also, Hasbro was all types of quick on the price increase trigger when gas prices went up. Now that gas prices are dropping, though, I don’t think any of us are naive enough to think the company will follow suit.
Suffice it to say, I’ve gone from being a hesitant buyer of a Selfie Series figure to eliminating yet another Hasbro figure from my budget. It’s a good bet that plenty of other collectors will be doing the same.
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