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Old 09-28-2017, 02:08 AM   #1
CyberCubed
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With/if Toys R Us goes bankrupt, how will that affect Playmates TMNT toys?

If you hadn't heard, Toys R Us is filing for bankruptcy. As we know the vast majority of Playmates TMNT has always been sold at Toys R Us. If all Toys R Us' go bankrupt, then Playmates will just have other stores like Walmart, Target, etc. to sell in.

But I imagine Toys R Us closing would be a huge blow to Playmates, wouldn't it? Just think of all those thousands of stores shut down and all the TMNT toys they wouldn't be able to sell.

We know each TMNT cartoon is affected by toy sales, and the one affected now would be the 2018 series. Do you think it will have any impact?
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Old 09-28-2017, 02:57 AM   #2
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Toys R Us is more expensive than other retailers & has a notoriously terrible online shipping service (carded figure packaging is often destroyed by not being properly secured, wholly deterring collectors) so I don't think it'd deal too big of a blow. Wal-mart, on the other hand, would probably kill Playmates if they stopped carrying their stuff.
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
If you hadn't heard, Toys R Us is filing for bankruptcy. As we know the vast majority of Playmates TMNT has always been sold at Toys R Us.
Two important clarifications:

1. Where do you get the idea that Toys R Us is responsible for the majority of TMNT sales? According to this article from CNBC (link)
"Toys R Us made up 11 percent, 9 percent and 15 percent of Mattel, Hasbro and Jakks Pacific on 2016 global sales respectively, according to Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink."
So what makes you think that they are so much more important to Playmates and the TMNT line?

2. This bankruptcy doesn't mean that Toys R Us is going under. This video on Youtube does a pretty good job of explaining what is going on with them: link. The TLDR of it is that Toys R Us has a mountain of debt as a result of some risky
decision making ten years. The bankruptcy isn't necessarily an indication that they aren't profitable, they just aren't profitable enough to cover that amount of debt. So it's a bit early to assume that you'll be seeing going out of business signs going up anytime soon.

Still, even if the worst comes to pass and Toys R Us does go under, the overall effect on the TMNT license would probably be quite minor. Playmates should have more than enough support from all the other stores out there to carry on almost unchanged.

If there were any change, it would probably just be a slight narrowing of the line which most of fans wouldn't even notice. Toys R Us can't compete with Walmart on price. Walmart will often sell toys at or below cost just to draw in customers to buy other stuff. (Or at least that used to be the case. And I have seen no sign of it changing.) For Toys R Us to compete they have to find other ways to compete. One of those is carrying items that other stores don't, especially exclusives. In particular, I could see large playsets and toys like the various sewer lairs, Jakk's Colossal figures (the four feet tall Turtles) or some of the recent huge Transformers such as this year's Trypticon no longer being produced. Such items take up too much room in stores with limited space for toys. And they don't sell all that fast. But they are a perfect for Toys R Us as they have much more space.

Where you would see a change is with other companies no longer making TMNT toys. We've already seen this twice when NECA dropped their TMNT Mirage line when they couldn't sell through Toys R Us and the TMNT Minimates have now been canceled because they couldn't get enough orders without Toys R Us' support. Though to be fair, even that would be limited since Playmates' license already limited this.
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:49 AM   #4
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First of all Toys R Us is NOT closing....

They are filing Chapter 11 which is a corporate restructuring of debt. This has been a long time coming due in no small part to the leveraged buyout of stock to take the company private back in the early 2000's. Their income has dropped and while they have been able to make payments on the debt from the buyout they are not able to keep pace with the payments due to lowering income. Some might say the lowering income is due to the online sales model, but if you noticed they have drastically increased their online pressence since about 2008, so they arent failing there, they just have too much debt from the leveraged buyout.

Once they restructure their debt they will be back on track. I would assume they will try to cut operating costs with a small number of store closures, like the super expensive one in times square, but they are NOT going under by any means.


Owning a toy store I have been watching this pretty regularly....the toy market is booming in recent years and one of the few shining spots in the economy over the past decade. This is in part due to nostalgia since all us 70s and 80s babies are coming of age and want to rebuy things from our youth.
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:34 PM   #5
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Hasbro and Mattel wont let them close. they saved them

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...n-t-let-it-die
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Old 09-28-2017, 04:01 PM   #6
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I can't see them going anywhere yet (thankfully) but like others have said, it might not harm Playmates too much either way.

Do we know how much longer Playmates has the license for before it needs renewing? I'm hopeful that Nick/Viacom might not give them such a strangle hold on the main license when it comes up for renewal.
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Old 09-28-2017, 04:09 PM   #7
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Do we know how much longer Playmates has the license for before it needs renewing? I'm hopeful that Nick/Viacom might not give them such a strangle hold on the main license when it comes up for renewal.
I don't think any real details have really been made public. But for some reason it sticks in my mind that the contract was for a ten year period and was renewed shortly before the sale to Viacom. If that is true, then the contract is likely to be coming up in the next few years.
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Old 09-28-2017, 04:18 PM   #8
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I wonder if this explains why my TRU still has 4 inch basic figs released about a year ago or more, and nothing new. They have gotten some new stuff. The XL figures and micro mutants. I have seen NECA 1/4 turtles too. But seem to be lagging behind in basic figures.
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Old 09-28-2017, 04:21 PM   #9
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It was before the sale? That's interesting to know! Thanks Given how many other companies have had success with the license (domestic and international) and Playmates failure at a collectors line hopefully Viacom will be less willing than Mirage to grant such a restrictive license when it does come up.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by inaheap View Post
I wonder if this explains why my TRU still has 4 inch basic figs released about a year ago or more, and nothing new. They have gotten some new stuff. The XL figures and micro mutants. I have seen NECA 1/4 turtles too. But seem to be lagging behind in basic figures.
No. That is because they haven't sold their stock of the old figures. If they sell through, they'll restock with newer figures.

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It was before the sale? That's interesting to know! Thanks Given how many other companies have had success with the license (domestic and international) and Playmates failure at a collectors line hopefully Viacom will be less willing than Mirage to grant such a restrictive license when it does come up.
Take what I posted with a giant grain of salt. I have no reference for that information at present. To the best of my recollection, the issue came up back when NECA had their Mirage Comics Turtles, so around 2008 and again when the sale to Viacom happened. But obviously those both happened many years ago.
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Old 09-29-2017, 04:53 AM   #11
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Does Nick have to give the main license to anyone when it comes up for renewal? Wouldn't it be better to keep it open in order to keep Playmates from having such a stranglehold on companies like NECA? Personally NECA should have the license at this point anyway.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:49 AM   #12
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Does Nick have to give the main license to anyone when it comes up for renewal? Wouldn't it be better to keep it open in order to keep Playmates from having such a stranglehold on companies like NECA? Personally NECA should have the license at this point anyway.
Depends what you mean by main license. Someone (probably Playmates) will always have the main license to do the basic line for the current show aim at kids. But that doesn't mean they have to give Playmates a license that restricts everyone else like they have at the moment.

In recent years Nick/Viacom have seemed more keen to work around Playmates restrictions wherever they can (the Neca figures at conventions, the Japanese Figuarts classic Turtles and the RevolTech Nick Turtles, more licenses for 1/6 scale where Playmates don't have any restrictions, etc). I'm hopeful that when the contract eventually comes up for renewal/renegotiation they separate collectors stuff from the main line. Give Playmates the license for the main kids line but then let others do collector action figures based on older media (Mirage 84 through the Nick 2K16/PD movies). Maybe split the new movie license as well (if/when we get one) so Playmates can do the main line but someone else can do collectors stuff.
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Old 09-29-2017, 10:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by tmntman View Post
This video on Youtube does a pretty good job of explaining what is going on with them: link.
I randomly stumbled upon that video yesterday. Insightful video.
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