The Future of Toymaking?—Hasbro’s New “HasLab” Crowdsourcing Initiative Attempts to Raise Funds For Production of Star Wars’ “Jabba’s Sail Barge”

jabbabarge

Will They Succeed?— This computer-rendering of HasLab’s (first-ever) crowdsourced toy project, “Jabba’s Sail Barge,” reveals the incredible potential for similar collector-driven toy projects in the future. But questions remain: Will HasLab succeed? Is crowdsourcing the future of toy production? Will fans be able to sustain “toys” that costs them $500 a pop? (Photo: HasLab) Click to enlarge.

In what may be the clearest view yet of toy-making’s future, Hasbro has just launched its new “HasLab” crowdsourcing initiative. The goal of this particular collector-funded toy project will be to locate and sign up at least 5,000 fans who are willing to pony up $500 each for an exclusive, 4-foot long (compatible w/3.75″ figures) “Jabba’s Sail Barge” from Star Wars. A prototype shown at Toy Fair and all of the computer renderings online look absolutely GORGEOUS. If Star Wars toys are your thing, you should watch HasLab’s customer recruitment video shown below.

crashcrewtrucks

Aiming High— HasLab’s new business model may reflect the future of “high-end” collectible toy production. The potential for such crowdsourced toys would seem to be sky-high. (Photo: JpM)

haslablogoBottom Line: If this approach to “high-end” toy production is successful for Hasbro, you can expect to see similar efforts forthcoming from other toy manufacturers in the future. Perhaps Hasbro would even consider creating something new, big and amazing for 12″ GIjOEs? How about an updated, more realistic version of a 1:6 scale USAF Crash Crew Truck? Joe fans can dream, too!

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2 thoughts on “The Future of Toymaking?—Hasbro’s New “HasLab” Crowdsourcing Initiative Attempts to Raise Funds For Production of Star Wars’ “Jabba’s Sail Barge”

  1. kneonknight says:

    I’m not sure I like this at all. Many collectors (myself included) who collect Vintage or Vintage – type Joes and accessories such as the Timeless and 40th Anniversary lines, do so because actual vintage pieces cannot be justified in our budget. If Hasbro has set the price of this piece at $500, it is simply putting it out of reach of anyone who spends $1000 or less per year on his or her collection. If somehow they did produce a modernized version of the venerable Crash Crew truck and it were priced in that range, a great many of us would much rather search for the vintage item in good shape which could be had at half that price.

    Hasbro is once again showing that they are completely out of touch with the people that collect the original Joes and set off the collector’s boom to begin with, mainly the folks who snapped up every vintage item they could at garage sales and flea markets, bought the Masterpiece Edition and went hunting for more, and grabbed every bit of Timeless and 40th we could lay our hands on. This community has expanded to people who offer everything from restoration services to reproduction and custom items and who would often rather arrange a trade rather than a cash sale for extra pieces in their collections.

    Now, while the Jabba’s barge does look neat and all, it kind of knocks the various incarnations of the AT-AT and Millenium Falcon into the proverbial cocked hat because they will be seen as being ridiculously out of scale. That alone is going to engender frustration and resentment among potential customers.

    I may be cynical and pessimistic about this venture, but it is not an issue that I can decide as an individual. Perhaps the response will be so overwhelming that Hasbro may be able to significantly reduce the MSRP, and if so, I will be the first to say “Well done!” I do think setting the initial bar that high is going to be a significant point of contention, but time will tell.

    • Mark Otnes says:

      HasLab’s push may have already stalled. I’ve been watching their progress bar for over a week now and it has barely budged. Apparently, they may be having trouble finding enough “investors” willing to part with $500 for a toy. We’ll see…

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