New Walmart toy department reset plan-o-grams have just been posted on one of the SW collecting sites. The emphasis on 3.75" action figures is being noticeably scaled back to make more peg wall space for the new kid-oriented Fighter Pods toys. Walmarts are going to devote fewer pegs to Vintage Collection, Movie Heroes and Clone Wars action figures for the coming quarter and the holiday shopping season and more attention to the little kids' stuff.
There are quite a few upset collectors on the sites and their boards. After all the distribution and restocking issues this past year or so a lot of us were hoping for increased attention to the 3.75" product to make up for all the recent problems, but that doesn't seem to be what the largest retailer has planned. Don't know if TRU, Target or Kmart will also be scaling back on their commitment to regular action figures, but I won't be surprised if they do.
Right now Hasbro's trying to push the Fighter Pods almost to the exclusion of everything else Star Wars-related, going so far as to change the visual theme of their website to Fighter Pods. Oh well. Nothing we can really do except hope that more new product will show up on the reduced number of pegs.
One of the issues I've heard toy companies are facing these days is competition for the older kid's market coming from video games. Once they hit a certain age, they're gaming all the time and don't care so much for toys. So there's an increased focus on the younger set and making existing lines more little-kid friendly; we're seeing this in the Transformers lines as well, which have introduced a preschool-friendly line called "Botshots" and simplified the mane-line toys for a younger audience. It sucks, but what are you gonna do?