The story of the Toys
Everybody alive has some kind of story why he or she likes toys, likes a particular toy or has memories about their toys. Getting older I will always remember youth, growing up like all of you. Some who grew up and who try to be important and act so grown up try to deny, but deep in your hearts you all have those feelings. Feelings that some marketing efforts ignore.
In this fast paced world we live in now, connected around the world through the internet, TV, news channels 24 hours around the world, one can easily lose focus trying to make ends meet, be successful in his or hers position to show their bosses they deserve the job, the raise, the promotion. Why does some stuff sell and the other doesn’t? Emotions and story!
Having grown up with Star Wars seeing the movies in the theaters back in the 70’s, 80’s not even knowing what I saw there the first time, heck I thought the Stormtroopers were robots (lol), me and millions others fell in love with what we saw, it was new, we wanted to experience it, picked our heroes and sides. Back then Kenner brought us these great (3.75 inch) Action figures to live out our fantasies. Growing older looking back a lot of fans still love their action figures as they remember the good times (Emotions and stories). Some still prefer the old style now (emotions) and others like me want to continue to build upon the excitement (stories). But what makes a figure/toy sell and the other not? The story behind it and your emotions will make you decide to take it to the cashier, …or not!
Now, I’m not going to bash something in particular. I want you the reader to think about what you are doing or not. Watching these movies, reading the books, the comics, playing the games you are getting confronted with so many characters a company could produce. There were so many demands for products over the decades that succeeded, some did not. How come? No emotions behind the character or toy! If the viewer had no emotions attached to a character he or she had not enough interest to buy, combine it maybe with a poor execution of the product, you got yourself a pegwarmer. Which brings me back to the Tom Hanks approach in his movie “Big”. “Why is this fun?” Think like a kid! Would you have played with it when you were young? Would you have bought the same heroes over again or would you have wanted more aliens? Build your world?
Take the product in the image above. Hasbro listened to the fans and the echo is very positive. A Hero vehicle of an interesting character and an actor with a story, and a major part of the story in the movie “Rogue One”, emotions, story, world building. Emotions can be positive but also be negative. If a character sends the wrong signal regardless what product you are trying to sell (not just Star Wars) you will have a tough time selling it. Like the crazy idea that we are supposed to buy cars online. You need to smell, touch, like it. If you don’t build value, you’ll give it away. Same still goes for action figures and collecting. Most love the hunt and purchase in store not this I don’t know what arrives when I hit the purchase button.
Back to stories. Some of those actors if not a whole lot of them also grew up with Star Wars, for example take actor Benjamin Hartley who played Harb Binli. Seeing Star Wars as a kid made him want to become a pilot in real life. So he became a Navy pilot which in turn landed him a role as an X-Wing pilot in Star Wars decades later. Imagine how many of his fans would purchase products because of the back story. These are stories, those are emotions and bonds, something that makes this franchise so great, so strong. Ignoring these stories will lead to fewer sales. Listening to these stories, get a feel for the emotions ultimately will lead to success. Instead of looking at something and think, mmh we haven’t done this before, let’s produce x, y, z. Listen to the stories out there, listen to how people feel. Not to listen or cater to something specific because some talk louder or it is the political time to do so, but because the emotions, the demand is there.
This does not just relate to Star Wars this is important for all products out there. I used this brand as an example because like I said it is a huge part of my life.
Volker C., StarWars-Figuren.com
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