Hasbro Refers To Layoffs As “Meaningful Organizational Changes”

Back in February, Hasbro reported an “unexpected drop” in toy sales.  Despite this, the Hasbro CEO remained “Bullish” on Star Wars toys.  In March, Toys R Us would go out of business as Rian Johnson proclaimed that myths were not made to sell toys.  The Hasbro CEO then gave six excuses for poor toy sales in late March; releasing toys too early, the Toys R Us bankruptcy, other toys hitting the market, an array of entertainment initiatives hitting the market, TLJ was not the first film in the trilogy, and other toylines doing poorly too.  Many would claim that kids weren’t wanting traditional toys anymore due to video games, despite the fact that it was reported in August that US Toy Industry Sales Grow To $7.9B After Toys R Us Closure.  Every toy line was growing in sales except for Star Wars, which saw toys for a film that wouldn’t be released until May already on clearance in April.

toys

At least someone is buying them.

Now the Jedi Temple Archives posts news from Providence Journal which publishes a piece entitled, Hasbro: ‘Difficult’ changes in progress; won’t confirm layoffs.  In it, Paul Edward Parker and Tom Mooney write:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — While not explicitly confirming that layoffs were taking place Wednesday, Hasbro Inc. said that “difficult” changes are underway that affect “a single digit percentage” of the toy company’s global workforce of 5,000 employees.

The company refused several requests for further specifics on the number of layoffs that are apparently taking place, except to say that the company was not required to file a federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification — or WARN — notice. Such a notice would normally be required 60 days in advance of laying off 50 to 499 employees at a “single site of employment,” but only if those laid off account for a third or more of the employees.

“As part of Hasbro’s ongoing transformation we continue to make meaningful organizational changes,” said an emailed statement from company spokeswoman Julie Duffy. “While some of these changes are difficult, we must ensure we have the right teams in place with the right capabilities to lead the company into the future.”

The statement went on: “We continue to add new capabilities based on our understanding of the consumer and how our retailers are going to market, while evolving the way we organize our business across our Brand Blueprint.”

Nora Crowley, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Labor and Training, the agency that receives WARN notices in Rhode Island, said that Hasbro had not filed one as of 4:30 p.m.

But, spurred by media reports and social media posts that layoffs were underway, the department’s team that assists workers in mass layoffs reached out to Hasbro to offer help. Crowley said the department left a message with the company’s human resources department. “But, at this point, that has not been returned,” she said. Among the services that would be offered to displaced workers, the department would help them file for unemployment insurance benefits, make available job-search resources and point workers to job-training services.

Hasbro spokeswoman Duffy said the apparent layoffs have nothing to do with the news Tuesday that a law firm, Pomerantz LLP, is investigating claims on behalf of investors at Hasbro that certain officers or directors have “engaged in securities fraud or other unlawful business practices.” Duffy said, “The claims have no merit and we intend to vigorously defend against them.”

The company is scheduled to release third-quarter financial results on Monday, when it will discuss business conditions with investors.

I’m looking forward to the insight of Jeff from World Class Bullshitters into those third-quarter results that Hasbro promises to release on Monday.  This development will come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying to Jeff’s groundbreaking work on the languishing Star Wars toy market.  If you haven’t watched his videos, you should.

16 thoughts on “Hasbro Refers To Layoffs As “Meaningful Organizational Changes”

  1. The solution is so simple: release SW figures of PT & EU characters. Fans WILL buy them. They rigged one poll that favored Doctor Aphra over the Tonnika Twins (who’ve never been action figures) so reverse that decision. Here’s some suggestions for more characters who’ve never been made into action figures: Tenel Ka Djo, Queen Jamillia, Queen Apailana, Peppi Bow, Ensign Nanda, Kyle Katarn, Jan Orrs, Ken the Jedi Prince (because why not?), Cindel Towani, Noa, Charal, Trioculus, Triclops and so on and so on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The problem is that the character selection for action figures sucks since 2013. Also the introduction of 6″ and 5POA action figures and the resulted splitting of the collecor base was a “great idea”. Quality issues, increased and unjustified prices, store availability, endless repacks and carry forwards clogg the stores … Hasbro knows all of this for years and they have done nothing. And E8 SUCKS! But now they have excuses like to early releases…

      Liked by 1 person

        • The 3.75″ scale is the basic foundation of Star Wars Hasbro (Kenner) toys. Since around 2003 with the introduction of the super articulated Clone Trooper figure, the figures became more and more articulated, reaching the tip of the most amazing toys and figures around 2006 (Saga Collection) – 2012 (Vintage Collection).

          Then in 2013 the decline begun. Scaled back selection of toys, super bad paint decos, 5POA figures, and a new 6″ Collectors Line, scaled down vehicle sizes, etc. The real reason behind the 6″ figures was a higher price point of $19.99 per figure instead of $9.99 for a super articulated 3.75″ figure. The 3.75″ of 5POA was / is around $7.99. In short I would say “cost cuttings”.

          Hasbro promised that they would continue to produce both super articulated scaled figures, but in reality they wanted to phase out the 3.75″ super articulated line. So when the first Disney Star Wars movie came out in 2015 they had in the first month no super articulated 3.75″ figures from that movie. And that segment became a Walmart exclusive until 2018.

          So some new collectors joined the “community” for the first time, because of the new 6″ scale. They always wanted lager star wars action figures. Some collectors begun to buy both scales, partially because of a lack of SA 3.75″ product. But the fans who got used to premium 3.75″ product declined to change and “rebelled”.

          After petitions to bring back the super articulated 3.75″ figures, Hasbro brought back the popular Vintage Collection (2010 – 2012) back in 2018. But this line lacks the diversity (not a SJW term here) of figures it once has.

          This Paul guy (http://www.jeditemplearchives.com) can tell you more, because he was loudly advocating the return of the super articulated figures.

          Links:
          The petition: https://www.change.org/p/victoria-s-cantina-hasbro-make-super-articulated-3-75-star-wars-figures-mainstream

          The first super articulated figure: http://www.rebelscum.com/CW0350clonetrooper.asp

          Reference for the tip (2006 – 2012) and decline of Star Wars toys (since 2013 Black Series): http://www.rebelscum.com/hasbro.asp

          Introducing 6″ scale: https://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-black-series-the-6-figures-youre-looking-for

          Half the truth about continuation of 3.75″ figures: “The current “vintage”-style line of 3¾ figures will also continue under the Black Series banner.”
          https://eu.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2013/01/29/hasbro-star-wars-black-series-action-figure-toys/1872035/

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          • Thanks for the info! So the split is between those who purchase the new scales, and those who won’t purchase any because they don’t make the 3.75 available. Is that correct?

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            • Yes, but it is more complicated. You have three main action figure groups 6″, 3.75″ POA (points of articulation) and 3.75″ SA (super articulated). And some collectors collect all, or only certain scale, or only SA, or only 6″. Hasbro had once a homogenous customer group, that collected 3.75″ SA, that is now fragmented.

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