Monday, March 19, 2018

Toys R Us Closing: What's it mean for Sonic?

As you may have heard...
Toys R Us is closing all the USA stores because it went bankrupt somehow. It had increasing sales for several years in a row but something went wrong with the debt it had (or something) and now they are all closing. This is bad news for several reasons:

It was the last big dedicated-toys-only retail store in the USA
It carried its own brands of stuff that people liked
It often had Sonic exclusives
It would take risks on smaller brands with licenses that other stores wouldn't
It was really large and toys-only so it would have better selections of stuff
Lots of people worked there
It was very nostalgic & fun to visit for many people because it had been around 'forever'

If you want to find out more about why TRU is closing & what business people think will happen this is a good article

But what does it mean for Sonic?
As you know, TRU was pretty much the ONLY retailer to carry the Tomy stuff, and certainly so for Jazwares. Does that mean nobody will sell Sonic stuff? No. If you hadn't been in a GameStop in a while, there's a clue there. Many people had commented on how GS was getting to be 'more toys than games', because too many games were turning to apps, digital downloads and other stuff that wasn't cartridges & CDs. Well, that IS true, and they ARE more toy-focused now...but in that article up there you can be surprised to read just how much so.

So, a likely first destination for figures will be Gamestop. But they're often WAY smaller than the warehouse sized TRU...and often more costly plus they don't generally run sales or have coupons like TRU what's Tomy going to do? This is probably something Tomy is thinking really hard about right now. The article says Walmart & Target are likely to (slowly) add aisles to their toy sections to fill in the market. In the meantime Amazon could do something too, but because they're online only the whole 'test the toy' and 'carry out now' thing goes away.

Prediction zone:
Sonic stuff like the Tomy figures & plush could get scarce for a while unless Tomy is really on the ball about this. With TRU as basically their only big seller where there was actual selection that kids and collectors had easy access to, they're really going to have to do something because Gamestop's not going to want 2 boxes of emoji booms, a thing of classic/modern pose-plush, their comic n' figure packs, boom packs, collector figure/s, and all that (literally, pun) hedge-hogging up their shelves.

Collector Figure:
This is going into the spotlight next week with photos as it's now in the SonicGear collection. It IS Tomy and it IS in GameStop (only) so if you want one, now's your chance. So, it's proof...ish, GS can work.

But, what will really happen...we'll only be able to wait and see after this bad news.

Regular Gear Stuff:
Boom ban seems to be further lifting, as the Target 'triangles' tee proves with (finally) something modern in clothing that's not Boom & also not scarce or online only. Same with quite a bit of other stuff too like the Display figures and some of the Segashop items. Good to see for sure, as it means Shadow/Chaotix/Rouge & etc fans could finally see merchandise again.

Item of the week: Eggman & Metal Sonic mug
There's nothing exceptional about it, it's just a standard black ceramic mug with a picture/s on it, but it matters because the Eggman symbol takes up 1 whole side & Sonic is no-where to be found on it. A great item for villain fans & collectors. Stuff that spotlights Eggman like this is nice to see, as it adds real variety.

Next week: Really good rundown on the Tomy figure, with review.
A look at a rare & seldom-seen item...The Glow Zone! Get ready to glow with the internet's only images of this item. (Yes there's probably a photo of the cover but Gear's going inside for a closer look)