Action figure sales are set to get a boost from lower-priced toy ranges being launched by Hasbro this autumn.
Against a backdrop of declining sales across the category and rising costs that have pushed the price of some 3.75-inch figures to almost £10, Hasbro is launching Star Wars and Marvel figures starting at £5.99.
To hit the lower price points, the company has cut the number of joints in the figures to five - shoulders, thighs and neck - but will still produce more articulated figures at higher prices for collectors and older fans.
The 3.75-inch Star Wars figures will be available individually (rsp: £5.99) under the Saga Legends banner and as two-packs (rsp: £8.99). The 3.75-inch Marvel figures meanwhile will comprise: four Avengers All Star action figures an Iron Man All Star range of six figures and four Ultimate Spider-Man All Star figures.
Higher-priced Marvel toys will include £8.99 figures tied-in with movie Thor 2 and the comic-inspired Marvel Universe range, which Hasbro described as a “collectors’ favourite”.
Also aimed at collectors is a new Black Series of detailed toys that will include 3.75-inch (rsp: £9.99) and six-inch (rsp: £19.99) figures.
The move was a “great opportunity” for Hasbro, suggested NPD toy industry analyst Frederique Tutt. “Last year, 13% of action figures sales went to adults/collectors and sales to this target group increased 21% compared with 2011,” she said.
Overall value sales of action figures fell 8% last year - and dropped 14% in the supermarkets [NPD 52 w/e February 2013].