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  #1201  
Old 16th October 2018, 09:57 AM
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GoktimusPrime GoktimusPrime is offline
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Originally Posted by Jellico View Post
I knew a guy at school who said he had one when he was in the States.

My understanding was Predaking's selling point was size. Biggest and baddest etc.
Sure, but the greatest inhibitor was price - especially considering that almost all TF collectors in 1986 were kids (like us!) without disposable income. Boxed Transformers were always trickier to collect because we often didn't have the pocket money for them or it was harder to convince mum and dad to splash out and buy them for us. Boxed TFs for most kids were typically gifts for occasions like birthdays, Christmases etc., or if we were especially good or someone was feeling especially generous. But most of the time smaller and cheaper carded toys were easier to collect than boxed figures.

This is what made Devastator and Monstructor so ridiculously easy to collect. Teams comprised entirely of cheap carded toys that you could buy with your pocket money or convince mum/dad to buy them. The Scramble gestalts were trickier - while the limbs were easy enough to collect, the bodies were harder. And as a result, we often mixed and matched teams when we didn't yet have the body robot. You've all seen that photo of me taken in 1988 holding "Defensutron" -- I didn't have Scattershot at that time so I mixed some of my Technobots with my Protectobots.

The problem with Predaking was that every member was an expensive boxed toy. The individual toys were brilliant, and Predaking was awesome to behold. As a kid I knew kids who owned individual Predacons, but I didn't know anyone who owned all of them. We would get together to form Predaking, but when we all had to go home then Predaking would was disassembled. The set was only ever collectively owned but never individually owned.

And of course, Transformers in the USA are roughly half the price that they are here, so they would be cheaper for Americans to collect.
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  #1202  
Old 16th October 2018, 10:18 AM
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Damn that sucks (if it means that they lose kmart as I have a lot of toy memories from there). It is getting harder to shop for toys as a tourist in America. Online stores may be the future for domestic customers, but when you are a tourist, that isn't an option, and losing two of their national sources of toys will just leave Target and Walmart.
(at least this time, a collapse of kmart in America wont have anything to do with the one here as they are completely unrelated)
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  #1203  
Old 16th October 2018, 10:49 AM
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Damn that sucks (if it means that they lose kmart as I have a lot of toy memories from there). It is getting harder to shop for toys as a tourist in America. Online stores may be the future for domestic customers, but when you are a tourist, that isn't an option, and losing two of their national sources of toys will just leave Target and Walmart.
(at least this time, a collapse of kmart in America wont have anything to do with the one here as they are completely unrelated)
Thank goodness for that, although the quality of the KMarts has siginificantly diminished here in my opinion (in South Australia, at any rate)

While online shopping is good, and bargains can be had (and maybe I'm in the minority here) the ability to 'look and feel' something before you buy it is still a major must for me. Images can too easily be skewed with lighting, perspective and in the case of Transformers, mistransformations can easily put someone off. In the case of fan or customer reviews, online purchases are helped considerably for the TF community to make a purchase, but there are still other items this doesn't hugely apply for, and can bring down retail chains, with toys like Transformers getting caught in the crossfire.
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  #1204  
Old 16th October 2018, 12:57 PM
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One of my colleagues recently returned from a holiday in Singapore where she rode the TF ride. Before she left I asked her if she could grab me the exclusive Evac figure, but she told me that when she went to look for it they had none in stock.

Is this toy still in production? Has anyone been to any of the TF rides at any of the Universal Studios recently?
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  #1205  
Old 16th October 2018, 01:24 PM
Galvatran Galvatran is offline
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Default Sears files for bankruptcy - Article in SMH

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.smh...15-p509tx.html

Quote:
US shopping icon Sears goes bankrupt in face of Amazon onslaught

(By Rick Green & Dawn McCarty, 15 October 2018)

Sears Holdings Corp, the 125-year-old retailer that became an icon for generations of American shoppers, filed for bankruptcy, saddled with billions of dollars of debt racked up as it struggled to adjust to the rapid shift toward online consumption.

The company filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors with the US Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York, early on Monday and said Eddie Lampert is stepping down immediately as chief executive. At the same time, Lampert's ESL Investments Inc is negotiating a financing deal while also discussing buying "a large portion of the company's store base," Sears said in a statement.

The retailer, for years called Sears, Roebuck & Co. and famous for its massive catalogue, boomed in the decades after World War II along with a growing middle class. But it wasn't able to keep up with shifting consumer habits as online rivals including Amazon.com siphoned off shoppers, while turnaround efforts were hobbled by mountains of debt.

Sears, which sold everything from Craftsman tools to Kenmore appliances, lost its footing in the 1980s with expansions into financial products such as banking, mortgages, insurance and credit cards. Walmart supplanted Sears as the biggest retailer in the early 1990s.

The retailer listed more than $10 billion in debts and more than $1 billion in assets in its filing, and said it is seeking to reorganize around a smaller base of profitable stores. Sears and Kmart stores will remain open with help from $600 million in new loans, but the company will shut 142 unprofitable outlets near the end of the year, on top of 46 unprofitable stores already slated for closure by November.

For now, Sears will be run by an Office of the CEO, and independent directors will oversee the restructuring. Lampert, who is Sears's biggest shareholder and will remain as chairman, acknowledged in the statement that turnaround efforts so far have fallen short.

"While we have made progress, the plan has yet to deliver the results we have desired, and addressing the company's immediate liquidity needs has impacted our efforts to become a profitable and more competitive retailer," Lampert said.

The company already has commitments for $US300 million of debtor-in-possession financing from its senior secured asset-based revolving lenders, according to the statement, and it's negotiating a $US300 million subordinated DIP financing with ESL. The hedge fund held about $US2.5 billion in Sears debt as of September, the result of multiple attempts to keep the chain afloat.

ESL said in April it would be open to buying some of the company's assets and urged the department store to put the businesses on the block. In said in a statement Monday it had proposed as recently as September a strategic plan that would include selling assets, including those ESL was seeking to purchase.

"While a comprehensive out-of-court resolution was ESL's preferred approach, it did not prove possible to achieve this outside the framework of a Chapter 11 process," ESL said.

Lampert tried multiple strategies to revive Sears since using the Kmart chain to acquire Sears in 2005, sometimes with his own money. He's shuttered hundreds of money-losing stores, cut more than $1 billion in annual expenses, and spun off units such as Lands' End.

Parts of Sears have already been through bankruptcy. Sears Canada Inc. liquidated a year ago and about 12,000 people lost their jobs. Lampert partially spun off the company from its parent in 2012 and was Sears Canada's biggest shareholder.

The company was started by Richard Sears, a train station agent in Minnesota who began selling watches by mail in 1886, according to the company's website. He soon partnered with watch repairman Alvah Roebuck.

The Sears catalogue eventually sold products ranging from hardware and automobiles to kits for building an entire house. Sears opened its first store in 1925 in Chicago, and the Sears Tower in that city, now known as the Willis Tower, was the world's tallest building when it opened in 1973. The headquarters later moved to Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

At various times, Sears brands have included Allstate Insurance, Coldwell Banker real estate and Discover Card. The company has said it's the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls a year.

Judge Robert Drain will oversee the bankruptcy, with Sears represented by the law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges, according to court documents.
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Originally Posted by DaptoDog
Yep I'm sorry Griffin I need to side with Galvatran on this one.

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  #1206  
Old 16th October 2018, 10:47 PM
Galvatran Galvatran is offline
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Default Sears declares bankruptcy - Article by CNN (American perspective)

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn...tcy/index.html

Quote:
Sears, the store that changed America, declares bankruptcy

(By Chris Isidore, CNN Business, Mon October 15, 2018)

Sears, the once-dominant retail chain that changed how Americans shopped and lived, has filed for bankruptcy.

The 132-year-old company has been struggling for several years and is drowning in debt. The final straw was a $134 million debt payment due Monday that it could not afford.

Sears Holdings (SHLD), the parent company of Sears and Kmart, is among dozens of prominent retailers to declare bankruptcy in the era of Amazon (AMZN).

The filing in federal bankruptcy court in New York came in the early hours of Monday morning. The company issued a statement saying it intends to stay in business, keeping open stores that are profitable, along with the Sears and Kmart websites.

As of the filing, about 700 stores remained open and the company employed 68,000 workers. That's down from 1,000 stores with 89,000 employees that it had as recently as February.

But Sears said that it's looking for a buyer for a large number of its remaining stores, and it will close at least 142 stores near the end of this year. That's in addition to the 46 store closings already planned for next month. The company did not rule out additional store closings as the bankruptcy process proceeds.

Eddie Lampert, the company's chairman and largest shareholder, gave up the title of CEO. The company will now be run by three of the company's top executives.

For years, Lampert has claimed the company was making progress to end its years of ongoing losses.

"While we have made progress, the plan has yet to deliver the results we have desired," Lampert said in a statement Monday. He said the bankruptcy process would allow the company to shed debt and costs and "become a profitable and more competitive retailer."

Although retailers typically file for bankruptcy with the intention of staying in business, many end up going bust after filing. In recent years,Toys "R" Us, RadioShack and Sports Authorityhave followed that path to the graveyard.

The upcoming holiday season will be a particular challenge for Sears. It will need to do better than last year. While other traditional retailers enjoyed strong holiday sales, Sears and Kmart both reported sharp drops.


Sears' problems go back decades

Sears fell out of shoppers' favor over the past decades as online stores and big box rivals, including Walmart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD), beat Sears on price and convenience.

But many of Sears' problems were self-inflicted. Its management tried to compete by closing stores and cutting costs. It slashed spending on advertising and it failed to invest in the upkeep and modernization of its outlets. Sears and Kmart stores grew barren and rundown.

Sales declined. Losses piled up in the billions of dollars. Debt mounted, and the company's cash reserves disappeared. Sears sold many of its most valuable assets, including its massive real estate footprint, to raise the cash it needed to survive. According to the bankruptcy filing, the company was losing about $125,000 a month.

It ditched Lands End in 2014. Three years later, Sears dumped the Craftsman brand, which it had sold exclusively. The company has been looking for a buyer for its Kenmore brand of appliances for years. The only acquirer it could find was Lampert, who offered $400 million for Kenmore through his hedge fund. The Sears board never accepted the offer.

By last month, Sears' market value had fallen below $100 million, less than quarter of the value of Kenmore itself.

The retailer's problems have mounted in recent years. Sears warned investors last year there was "substantial doubt" it would be able to stay in business. It has lost $11.7 billion since 2010, its last profitable year. Sales have plunged 60% since then. The company shuttered more than 2,800 stores over the past 13 years.

With the writing on the wall that a bankruptcy was imminent, suppliers demanded Sears pay cash up front for the items in its stores, putting it at an even greater competitive disadvantage with other retailers.

Whirlpool, (WHR) which had started in business more than a century ago selling its appliances at Sears, pulled its various brands out of Sears and Kmart stores last year. Once the dominant appliance retailer in the country, Sears accounted for only 3% of Whirlpool's sales worldwide in 2017.

In September, Lampert proposed that Sears restructure its finances without filing bankruptcy. But he warned that the company was running out of cash. The company's stock quickly fell below $1 a share for the first time in its history.

Creditors opted instead to try their hand in bankruptcy court. Without a deal and with $134 million in debt payments due Monday, Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


The brand that shaped a nation

Sears was once the nation's largest retailer and its largest employer. In its heyday, it was both the Walmart and Amazon of its time.

Formed in 1886 by railroad station agent Richard Sears, the company started as a watch business in North Redwood, Minnesota. Sears moved to Chicago in 1887, and he hired watchmaker Alvah Roebuck as his partner. The first Sears Roebuck catalog, which sold watches and jewelry, was printed in 1896.

The Sears catalog was the way many Americans first started to buy mass-produced goods. That was an enormous shift for people who lived on farms and in small towns and made many of the goods they needed on their own, including clothes and furniture.

Sears' stores helped reshape America, drawing shoppers away from the traditional Main Street merchants. Sears brought people into malls, contributing to the suburbanization of America in the post-World War II era. Its Kenmore appliances introduced many American homes to labor-saving devices that changed family dynamics. Its Craftsman tools and their lifetime guarantees were a mainstay of middle-class America.

Sears truly changed America.

But long before the rise of Amazon and online shopping, Sears was struggling to keep up with Americans' changing shopping habits. Big box retailers such as Walmart beat it on both price and merchandise selection.

In 1999, it was booted out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, where it had been for 75 years. Big box rival Home Depot took its place.

Sears and Kmart merged to form Sears Holdings in 2005. At the time, they had 3,500 US stores between them. They have fewer than 900 today.

In July, Sears closed its last store in Chicago, once its hometown. In August, the company announced another 46 store closings. The company had 89,000 employees as of February. That's down from 317,000 US employees in early 2006, soon after the merger.
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Originally Posted by DaptoDog
Yep I'm sorry Griffin I need to side with Galvatran on this one.

DaptoDog for Ozformer Member of the Year 2018
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  #1207  
Old 17th October 2018, 08:50 PM
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griffin griffin is offline
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Originally Posted by GoktimusPrime View Post
One of my colleagues recently returned from a holiday in Singapore where she rode the TF ride. Before she left I asked her if she could grab me the exclusive Evac figure, but she told me that when she went to look for it they had none in stock.

Is this toy still in production? Has anyone been to any of the TF rides at any of the Universal Studios recently?

Evac was re-released in 2017 packaging, and is still in stock at the Orlando online store... along with the Kreo Evac set. But as noted in that topic, the prices are expensive (though pretty standard for a themepark souvenir), and the shipping to Australia is really expensive (if they still ship here after the GST thing started).
It may have been sold at the Singapore park at some point in time and just sold out, but I have noticed that the different parks can often have different toys and merchandise that the others don't ever have.
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  #1208  
Old 18th October 2018, 10:56 AM
Galvatran Galvatran is offline
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Taking a step back in memory lane.

Remember when Hasbro Masterpiece Soundwave (& his minions) was about to be released at TRU then got delayed then mass hysteria when it did finally hit stores in late 2013? Ah, those were the good days.

Or how about G1 reissue Trypticon for "$70" at TRU, only to find out later the cancelled invoices of the many online orders due to a "pricing error".

Or the G1 Predaking reissue fiasco when Amazon.com decided to slap a postal label straight on the box (due to the an error with shipping weight estimated at 1 pound).
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Originally Posted by DaptoDog
Yep I'm sorry Griffin I need to side with Galvatran on this one.

DaptoDog for Ozformer Member of the Year 2018
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