Hasbro started the Haslab “crowdfunded” projects in 2018 with the stunning Khetanna, Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge from Return of the Jedi. Since then, they’ve done a few other projects, like the Razorcrest from The Mandalorian or the G.I. Joe Skystriker.
The collectors who have been following the newest Star Wars Haslab project, The Rancor, know that the project did not reach its goal and will not go into production. Now fans are asking the question, “What now?”
Some collectors are worried that Hasbro may drop the crowdfunded Haslab projects in the future due to the failure of this one, but that seems very unlikely. There have been six successful Haslab projects, and the newest Ghostbusters Proton Pack has reached its goal, which will make it seven. Although this may have been the first Black Series Haslab project, it certainly won’t be the last.
A Positive Outcome?
The failure of the Rancor is good news for the Star Wars fans who want more out of these projects. For those fans who backed the project and wanted to see this become a reality, I am truly sorry. The Rancor was a dream piece for Black Series collectors, but the price was set very high and scared off a lot of potential buyers. There was a large portion that waited to be sold on the different tiers, but those turned out to be disappointing repaints and a cardboard backdrop that should have been included with the initial 9,000 backers. I was entirely on board until they started to announce the tiers. After that, I could not justify the price.
Malakili, the Rancor keeper, was not originally made a tier, and the fans let Hasbro know how disappointed they were. Hasbro responded by including a Malakili figure with the Rancor and the initial 9,000 backers. This was an exciting announcement because it showed how powerful the fans are, once united.
So, How Is This Good?
Well, if there is anything I took away from High School, it is from my government teacher repeatedly telling us that “our money is our power.” And this was a perfect example of that. Hasbro didn’t see the numbers rise, and the interest wasn’t there. With each announcement of tiers, the number of backers dropped.
What was the response? To listen to the fans and release a Malakili with the Rancor. And that is only the start. The underwhelming tiers, repaints, repacks, and cardboard backdrop wasn’t good enough for the fans. Now, Hasbro will need to respond with something better and offer more to the fans.
The whole purpose of a business is to make money, so why wouldn’t Hasbro listen to the fans and make adjustments with the next Haslab project? The project was close but could not reach the 9,000 needed for it to go into production, and after all the backlash on social media, Hasbro will get the message.
That is if they truly believe in their slogan, “Where Fans Come First.”
The fans sent a clear message to Hasbro and let them know they were not satisfied with the project. There were thousands of fans demanding that Oola also be a part of the tiers, but that never happened. The “No Oola, No Moola” campaign picked up in popularity and may have affected the outcome.
But this is just one idea that the fans did not want to support. It doesn’t mean that Hasbro will scrap any future Haslab projects for Star Wars. It just means that the fans did not want what was offered this time around. It was a learning process for Hasbro, and the future of Star Wars Haslab projects can only grow from this.
So don’t allow yourself to think that the crowdfunded projects are Hasbro’s attempts to do fans a favor. The company makes a nice profit from the projects, and after the success of the Khetanna and the Razorcrest, more Star WarsHaslab projects will certainly be seen.
The first attempt at a Black Series project may have failed, but it taught Hasbro (and the fans) a valuable lesson. The fans MUST come first.
And again, to those fans who desperately wanted to see this become a reality, I am sorry you could not get your hands on what could have been a unique piece to Star Wars history, but there is no doubt that fans will see something similar to the Rancor in the future, and maybe this time with the figures the fans want to see.
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Expand the market, not just US and UK
That would definitely help. I know a lot of Australia fans would love the Pulse exclusives.