For those who are collecting these, I found a post by a Rep explaining the Death of the Line after only 3 Posers.
This also may explain the uncertainty of other Future products and Higher end collectibles of how the collectible Industry works. How long can Sideshow keep going? .................................................. ..............
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and yes, we could have done things differently or perhaps better, but we cannot change that now. What is important is the future and how we go forward. Nobody likes to be the bearer of bad tidings or give bad news, but honestly folks its tough out there. Its brutal. We do this for a living, it puts food on our tables and pays our bills. Its not a game, or a joke. So lets have some FACTS
1)Gonzo and Animal have been very disappointing. We have attempted to push sales by drastically reducing the prices and they are still very slow.
2)We showed Fozzie at all major trade and public events in 2007 and early 2008 such as SDCC and got absolutely ZERO interest from potential buyers. It was too big, too expensive and too risky were the common complaints. We did not even get a glimmer of interest, sure lots of people loved him, as we do, but were not willing to translate that love into an order, which in the cold light of day is what matters. The few retailers who did choose to speculatively list Fozzie as a pre-order had similar lacklustre results.
3)Believe us we have tried and tried and tried to get our Muppets posers in with every possible stockist, all the ones that have been suggested on this thread, turned the range down flat. They see it as simply too specialist.
4)We cannot find a factory who is able to produce Fozzie to the standard and quality that you and we both require. We want to meet or exceed expectations, and do not want to face similar complaints to those we faced with Gonzo and Animal on accuracy and authenticity. We will not simply throw out a sub-standard Fozzie out there, or any product for that matter.
5)Its not just a quality problem, it is simply an availability problem. A total of 3,631 toy exporters in China or 52.7 percent of the entire industry's businesses shut down in the first seven months of 2008. It is a bloodbath out there. Many of our long term partners are no longer in business. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7670351.stm
6)If you do not pay your bills you do not get product. Its quite simple, we wonít bore you with the details of how the toy trade works. Just look in Wikipedia under Letter Of Credit or LC if you are interested. In most cases we have to effectively pay up-front to have items produced and this is why we always try to avoid producing anything before we have a firm number of orders or a definite idea of demand. Expensive unsold products sitting in warehouses means you go out of business quite rapidly.
7)Marketing toys is a catch 22, economically you cannot afford to spend marketing $ promoting a product that will have limited results , there simply is not the margin to pay the costs. However without marketing results will be limited. Sadly with specialty products this is even more the case. We only have limited resource and would rather put that into products and packaging than potentially waste it. So we rely heavily on viral and direct marketing for these products. We think that we have effectively reached the vast majority of the target market for our Muppets products.
8)This is also born out by the response to the Fozzie polls if we are hugely optimistic and combine all results from various forums into one it would lead us to believe there are less than 200 globally who want Fozzie. So lets be hugely generous and double that. We are still 100 away from even a semi viable edition size of 500 pieces, let alone an edition of 2000+. Producing 500 pieces if we could find a factory would mean that any costs on packaging, shipping, tooling, moulding or any production whatsoever are then divided across 500 rather than 2000 and this means a higher $ unit price out the factory.
9)We are investigating the potential of producing Fozzie and other posers in a semi bespoke method, having them effectively hand made to order, perhaps even in the USA or other locations for individual domestic markets. We are talking to all the right people. HOWEVER and read this carefully, firstly the prices that have been proposed so far would shock you, and thatís just the cost to us. This is a specialist craftsman-led business that takes many, many hours and sadly that means $. Additionally we are restricted by the terms of our license and cannot simply do what we want, everything has to be approved. The practicalities of retaining consistent quality through this method are haphazard to say the least and it is highly likely that we will be prevented from being able to do this, but we are looking at it.
Our feeling is that the Posers line is a dead end in its current form. It simply does not have the ability to support itself economically. Prove us wrong or suggest other ideas. We know the Muppets is great, we love it too, and we know that demand will grow over coming years. But are posers the right way to service that audience?
Let us know directly, you can call or email, and if anybody thinks they might know somebody who can get batches of these things produced in say 50ís lets hear from you. i am really upset to hear that. i was extremely excited for the release of fozzie bear and other muppets characters. i really hope that MR can keep it up!