It’s a well known fact at the moment that Star Wars Rebels figures have been few and far between at retail. With series one of Star Wars Rebels almost at a close, it comes as quite a shock to many that they still can’t find figures from wave one in their local stores, and find themselves travelling a great distance in search of Rebels figures.
With frustration growing throughout the Star Wars community at the lack of figures in shops, and collectors finding it extremely difficult to get their Rebels collection of the ground, the blame is pointed immediately at Hasbro.
The limited amount of action figures found at retail is not down to Hasbro not making enough, or even leaving them sat in warehouses deciding what to do with them. I’m pretty certain companies like Hasbro want their products out there on the store shelves selling, I mean how else do they make money right?
I understand there has been issues with Hasbro and distribution in the past, and I also understand completely the frustration of going into your local stores and finding zero Rebels figures. However blaming the manufacturer (Hasbro in this case) is unnecessary, the real issue right now is with shipping. When the toys come of the production line in Asia, they are shipped off around the world to distribution centers where from there they are sent to retailers to sell. But what happens if these goods aren’t reaching the distribution centers? What happens if there are extreme delays at the ports and shipyards? The answer, we can’t purchase the products we want at retail as they aren’t there. They are either sat on the ships waiting to be unloaded, or sat at the manufacturers warehouses waiting to be distributed behind the huge backlog of products not being moved. It’s an issue which is not actually the manufacturers fault.
Below is an extract from an article over at JOC.com. The article points out the serious issues Los Angeles-Long Beach are having anchoring and working the ships:
“Congestion in Los Angeles-Long Beach has reached a crisis stage with 20 container ships stuck at anchor Tuesday in the largest U.S. port complex – and no relief in sight.”
“The Marine Exchange of Southern California reported that the vessels at anchor increased by four since Monday. Shipping lines say vessels in recent weeks have been sitting at anchor for seven to 14 days, and when they proceed to berth, it takes another six to eight days to work the ships. Vessels in the trans-Pacific have been thrown so far off schedule that at least one line has no vessels available to carry containers from Asia because all of its ships are stuck on the West Coast.”
That shows the real impact of the crisis at LA-Long Beach, if it’s taking up to three and a half weeks to unload some vessels! Here’s more:
“The PMA said the crisis began to unfold in Los Angeles-Long Beach when the ILWU on Nov. 3 notified employers that the union hall would slash from 110 to 35 the number of yard crane operators.”
As you can see the issues became serious on November 3rd 2014. That would explain why there has been extreme delays on Star Wars Rebels figures hitting stores, and why people are really struggling to find the figures they are looking for.
After reading about the extreme congestion issues at LA-Long Beach it really changes your opinion on the lack of Rebels figures at retail. It informs you that it is not necessarily Hasbro’s fault, and that it is effectively out of their hands. I’m not saying they couldn’t do a bit more to update fans and collectors alike on the situation, that would probably help ease the blame and tension. I’m just saying, don’t be so hasty to blame Hasbro, they want their products on the pegs as much as we do!
Thanks to Yakface.com for the heads up on the article!