Birds available on BBTS

Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby kgswaim » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:54 pm

White Raven is sold out as well.
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby Sir Real » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:47 pm

One Cardinal is now available.
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby EDcomics » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:09 pm

Yikes. I just saw this. That's some pretty wild pricing, but people bought the figures at that price. I'm surprised, but maybe I shouldn't be. I wonder how this will affect pricing moving forward, if people are willing to drop $65 to $85 on a single figure.
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby kgswaim » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:15 pm

If anything I hope it makes the 4H aware of how in demand their figures are, and tempts them to do more production runs. I didn't want to pay that much for the Ravens but I didn't see any other option. I'd much rather give my money to the 4H for their products rather than a second party. Make more Ravens available and their wing accessories!
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby domu » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:15 am

It's a bit of a tricky thing with "collectibles," I think.

For whatever reason(s), the easier it is to get something, the less some people seem to want that thing. The very nature of being limited creates desirability.
The more common 4H figures become, the more work it will take to get people to buy them.

If production runs were doubled or tripled or whatever, obviously, more real fans would be able to purchase the figures. But, there's an upper limit to how many people want sort-of expensive toys aimed at adults. I think that saturation point is reached even more quickly than would be expected as filthy scalpers have less incentive to buy up figures that won't command high prices on the aftermarket. Then in a sort of domino effect, those who are more motivated to want things because of rarity also stop buying, leading to even fewer "investment" buys, etc, etc. It makes the number of real fans difficult to gauge.

As evident by how long certain figures have sat unsold at Storehorsemen, this has happened at times with the 4H. Just being on the store for a few months makes figures appear unpopular/undesirable, like something on a clearance rack. It could be that those figures had much higher production runs and sold through more product than other, sold-out figures, but we don't know. Appearances are that they are unwanted. And the longer they sit around, the worse the perception.

Have too much "unwanted" product, and it can taint the perception of the rest of your products. It feels like this may have happened with the Outer Space Men to some degree (complete speculation).

The 4H at this point seem to be at an all time high in terms of popularity. They could probably stand to up numbers without too much risk. But, they still have to be very careful with inventory control. They are still small players. My guess is that they can't do much bigger numbers without investing a lot more money into things like advertising and distribution. Dead stock will kill them.

It's all about balance. I think the Horsemen have done a fairly good job of satisfying most of their customers. Compare them to a company like Mondo that appears to create more unsatisfied customers than satisfied customers. They keep their numbers low (and it seems to work for them) but their instant sell-outs are really frustrating as a fan. (In the end, though, I can't argue with their continued and lengthy success.)

To me, the 4H have done a better job of keeping fans happy, mostly through offering open pre-orders. Customers almost always have a very large window in which to purchase 4H product. There are rarely (if ever?) instant sell-outs. If you follow their work, and have the money, it's almost always possible to get any 4H figure that you want at normal retail price at some point in time. You just have to know when it happens. That's way better than many companies can say.

In these times of etewaf, I think it is difficult for people to accept that sometimes we all still miss out on things (mostly physical items). So, I say be happy with what you can get. Don't sweat what you miss out on. Pre-order whenever you can. Try not to feed scalpers.
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby Angohtar » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:42 pm

domu wrote:If you follow their work, and have the money, it's almost always possible to get any 4H figure that you want at normal retail price at some point in time. You just have to know when it happens.
(Emphasis added.)

I wonder if a good way to gauge the number of people who would be genuinely interested in 4HM figures would be to have a newsletter or subscription email alert system. For example, you enter your email on the 4HM site, and whenever they announce a new Kickstarter, or plan to put up pre-orders soon, the 4HM send out an email to everyone on the list letting them know about it. I would have gone all-in for the ravens Kickstarter, but I missed it by about a month. Fortunately, I was able to pre-order the figures I wanted from Store Horsemen, but that was only because I began checking Source Horsemen daily for news afterwards. An email subscription service would mean that casual fans who don't visit the 4HM website often but still enjoy their figures wouldn't miss out on Kickstarters and pre-order opportunities.
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby Izdawiz » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:07 pm

domu wrote:It's a bit of a tricky thing with "collectibles," I think.

For whatever reason(s), the easier it is to get something, the less some people seem to want that thing. The very nature of being limited creates desirability.
The more common 4H figures become, the more work it will take to get people to buy them.

If production runs were doubled or tripled or whatever, obviously, more real fans would be able to purchase the figures. But, there's an upper limit to how many people want sort-of expensive toys aimed at adults. I think that saturation point is reached even more quickly than would be expected as filthy scalpers have less incentive to buy up figures that won't command high prices on the aftermarket. Then in a sort of domino effect, those who are more motivated to want things because of rarity also stop buying, leading to even fewer "investment" buys, etc, etc. It makes the number of real fans difficult to gauge.

As evident by how long certain figures have sat unsold at Storehorsemen, this has happened at times with the 4H. Just being on the store for a few months makes figures appear unpopular/undesirable, like something on a clearance rack. It could be that those figures had much higher production runs and sold through more product than other, sold-out figures, but we don't know. Appearances are that they are unwanted. And the longer they sit around, the worse the perception.

Have too much "unwanted" product, and it can taint the perception of the rest of your products. It feels like this may have happened with the Outer Space Men to some degree (complete speculation).

The 4H at this point seem to be at an all time high in terms of popularity. They could probably stand to up numbers without too much risk. But, they still have to be very careful with inventory control. They are still small players. My guess is that they can't do much bigger numbers without investing a lot more money into things like advertising and distribution. Dead stock will kill them.

It's all about balance. I think the Horsemen have done a fairly good job of satisfying most of their customers. Compare them to a company like Mondo that appears to create more unsatisfied customers than satisfied customers. They keep their numbers low (and it seems to work for them) but their instant sell-outs are really frustrating as a fan. (In the end, though, I can't argue with their continued and lengthy success.)

To me, the 4H have done a better job of keeping fans happy, mostly through offering open pre-orders. Customers almost always have a very large window in which to purchase 4H product. There are rarely (if ever?) instant sell-outs. If you follow their work, and have the money, it's almost always possible to get any 4H figure that you want at normal retail price at some point in time. You just have to know when it happens. That's way better than many companies can say.

In these times of etewaf, I think it is difficult for people to accept that sometimes we all still miss out on things (mostly physical items). So, I say be happy with what you can get. Don't sweat what you miss out on. Pre-order whenever you can. Try not to feed scalpers.


Great post!
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby Sir Real » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:29 pm

Angohtar wrote:
domu wrote:If you follow their work, and have the money, it's almost always possible to get any 4H figure that you want at normal retail price at some point in time. You just have to know when it happens.
(Emphasis added.)

I wonder if a good way to gauge the number of people who would be genuinely interested in 4HM figures would be to have a newsletter or subscription email alert system. For example, you enter your email on the 4HM site, and whenever they announce a new Kickstarter, or plan to put up pre-orders soon, the 4HM send out an email to everyone on the list letting them know about it. I would have gone all-in for the ravens Kickstarter, but I missed it by about a month. Fortunately, I was able to pre-order the figures I wanted from Store Horsemen, but that was only because I began checking Source Horsemen daily for news afterwards. An email subscription service would mean that casual fans who don't visit the 4HM website often but still enjoy their figures wouldn't miss out on Kickstarters and pre-order opportunities.

But if pre-orders sell out already, then adding an email subscription service, which is yet another system to maintain, update, etc., just to bring in casual fans, is more work and wouldn't be worth it, since they sell out anyway. And the real/true/not-just-casual fans who visit the news sites and sourcehorsemen.com, for 4HM product info, are already getting that info. And how do you reach the "casual fans" anyway, if they're not hitting sourcehorsemen.com in the first place? Since, I imagine it would be on the sourcehorsemen website where the "newsletter sign-up" exists anyway. So for that reason, it seems kind of redundant and unnecessary.
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby kgswaim » Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:44 pm

There is obvious demand for the Raven figures that I've not seen for any of their other lines. I know this is the first line that I've been interested in. And I credit countless reviews from Fwoosh, AFI, etc for the line's popularity boom. I think the 4H need to decide whether they want to go mainstream and make their products more widely available or stay in the exclusive realm they're in now. It should come down to money and I think they're missing an opportunity with the Ravens.
Of course they may be completely fine with their current business and have their reasons for it. Regardless, as long as they keep making figures like the Ravens and Mythic Legions I'll be happy.
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby Angohtar » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:49 am

Sir Real wrote:
Angohtar wrote:
domu wrote:If you follow their work, and have the money, it's almost always possible to get any 4H figure that you want at normal retail price at some point in time. You just have to know when it happens.
(Emphasis added.)

I wonder if a good way to gauge the number of people who would be genuinely interested in 4HM figures would be to have a newsletter or subscription email alert system. For example, you enter your email on the 4HM site, and whenever they announce a new Kickstarter, or plan to put up pre-orders soon, the 4HM send out an email to everyone on the list letting them know about it. I would have gone all-in for the ravens Kickstarter, but I missed it by about a month. Fortunately, I was able to pre-order the figures I wanted from Store Horsemen, but that was only because I began checking Source Horsemen daily for news afterwards. An email subscription service would mean that casual fans who don't visit the 4HM website often but still enjoy their figures wouldn't miss out on Kickstarters and pre-order opportunities.

But if pre-orders sell out already, then adding an email subscription service, which is yet another system to maintain, update, etc., just to bring in casual fans, is more work and wouldn't be worth it, since they sell out anyway. And the real/true/not-just-casual fans who visit the news sites and sourcehorsemen.com, for 4HM product info, are already getting that info. And how do you reach the "casual fans" anyway, if they're not hitting sourcehorsemen.com in the first place? Since, I imagine it would be on the sourcehorsemen website where the "newsletter sign-up" exists anyway. So for that reason, it seems kind of redundant and unnecessary.

I realize that pre-orders sell out already, but given that fact, there exists the opportunity for the 4HM to make more sales. The inflated prices seen on Ebay indicate that the demand exists from people who missed the Kickstarter and pre-orders. Just because someone doesn't participate in the forum or frequently check the news sites doesn't make them a "fake fan".

Take the SDCC figures for example; their pre-orders are only open for a week. Seven days is not a lot of time. If a person only checks Source Horsemen once a month, they will probably miss them. Why should resellers on Ebay make hundreds of dollars off of the 4HM's figures? Wouldn't it be better if more figures were made, and the proceeds from them went to the 4HM? I think an email notification system could help make that happen. I have seen such a system work well for another collectible company that I follow.
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby domu » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:54 am

Angohtar wrote:Take the SDCC figures for example; their pre-orders are only open for a week. Seven days is not a lot of time. If a person only checks Source Horsemen once a month, they will probably miss them. Why should resellers on Ebay make hundreds of dollars off of the 4HM's figures? Wouldn't it be better if more figures were made, and the proceeds from them went to the 4HM? I think an email notification system could help make that happen. I have seen such a system work well for another collectible company that I follow.


I think your email idea might have benefits (but even then, there will still be people who will complain that they missed out. With the Kickstarters, people claimed they weren't getting email updates. Spam filters? Incorrect address entered at registration? Who knows why.)

EDIT: If you keep reading this thread, you'll see that my info is way off on this.
The part I put in bold in the quote is what I was sort of addressing in my long-winded post above. How many more should they make is the million dollar question. The birds went up on BBTS about a week ago. They started with a couple dozen of each (from what I recall using the BBTS stock trick). Some have sold out. Some have not sold any. Yes, the prices are way higher than original retail, but they are way lower than the ebay prices everyone is quoting as evidence of super high demand. (Not to overly downplay the price mark-up; it's why I didn't pick up another griffon.)


kgswaim wrote:There is obvious demand for the Raven figures that I've not seen for any of their other lines. I know this is the first line that I've been interested in. And I credit countless reviews from Fwoosh, AFI, etc for the line's popularity boom. I think the 4H need to decide whether they want to go mainstream and make their products more widely available or stay in the exclusive realm they're in now. It should come down to money and I think they're missing an opportunity with the Ravens.

There is some huge confirmation bias going on here. One's particular interest in a release can't be generally applied to a measurement of demand overall. There have always been lots of reviews for the 4H releases. There has been unfulfilled demand for almost every release. As fans, we just don't have the numbers to make really accurate statements.

EDIT: Again, I was completely off on this.
Even with the "obvious demand" for the birds that is out there, zero sales for some of the figures over a week at BBTS, even after being highlighted in a regular email update. That's a harsh number.
Last edited by domu on Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby Ghost Whisper » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:02 pm

Angohtar wrote: I realize that pre-orders sell out already, but given that fact, there exists the opportunity for the 4HM to make more sales. The inflated prices seen on Ebay indicate that the demand exists from people who missed the Kickstarter and pre-orders. Just because someone doesn't participate in the forum or frequently check the news sites doesn't make them a "fake fan".

Take the SDCC figures for example; their pre-orders are only open for a week. Seven days is not a lot of time. If a person only checks Source Horsemen once a month, they will probably miss them. Why should resellers on Ebay make hundreds of dollars off of the 4HM's figures? Wouldn't it be better if more figures were made, and the proceeds from them went to the 4HM? I think an email notification system could help make that happen. I have seen such a system work well for another collectible company that I follow.


Higher secondary market prices do nothing to indicate how much demand there is for certain items. If they make a bunch more figures and they get stuck sitting on unsold inventory that has a huge negative impact. That would far outweigh the benefits of selling 20 or 30 more of each bird. We are not talking a huge retail chain that can produce as many as they want, sit on them until sales fall flat and just discount the remainder. A large inventory of unsold items could ruin a small business. Best to play it safe at this juncture and minimize risk.
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby kgswaim » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:09 pm

@domu

I'm not sure how you attained your information of BBTS stock levels but it's inaccurate. I only know because I ordered one of each of them the day they went on sale.

As I said, there is demand for the Ravens but it seems like it'll just be secondary market sellers reaping the profits. But if the 4HM don't or can't deal with prdoucing more figures after an initial run then we fans will just have to accept it. Buy early and often.
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby domu » Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:41 pm

Huh, that's weird. Usually the BBTS in stock trick works (Put a huge a number in the cart. Update cart. What's available is shown). I'm probably mis-remembering the numbers then. My mistake.

Maybe it was 48 of each at first. My memory has really gone to shit. Still, that wouldn't be a lot sold, but definitely better than none.

Currently shows:
Falcon - 24
Griffon - 24
Phoenix - 24
Owl - 14
Flamingo - 6
Vulture - 22
Everything else - Sold Out

I usually check to see if I can wait before purchasing. I remember thinking the number was high enough not to worry about buying immediately, but still something I'd have to make a decision on sort of quickly. (The price kept me from buying, ultimately.)
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Re: Birds available on BBTS

Postby kgswaim » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:56 pm

That's a pretty good trick. I'll have to try that now...
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