If you’re a toymaker like Hasbro, things over the past year have definitely changed in terms of your business model. Heading into the holiday season at the end of the year, Hasbro warned of soft sales and profits, which the Rhode Island-based company blamed on the bankruptcy proceedings of major retailer Toys R Us.
But one bright spot in Hasbro’s portfolio is in Star Wars franchise toys, and the manufacturer has been making some changes in order to bring them to you in a brand-new way. Enter Haslab, a new toy building model that uses crowdsourcing to build new and often pricy specialty toys on demand. In its inaugural effort, Haslab has designed a toy that appeals to superfans and collectors – a massive, 4-ft., 14-lb model of Jabba’s Sail Barge from Return of the Jedi.
The barge is described as a premium product, utilizing high end materials and intricate details – perfect for your Star Wars super fan. The decks are accessible and panels can be removed for dioramas and other tomfoolery and it, of course, comes with a 4-inch Jabba.
If it piques your interest, Haslab asks you to commit, much like Kickstarter, to the project. Once it reaches a certain number of pledges, the toy is produced. If not, then no harm done – you know, besides the design and marketing… Haslab will just can it. Interested parties who pin their hopes on this barge will be no worse for the wear, and have their money refunded if the product doesn’t take.
According to Gizmodo, Haslab’s angle is one that allows Hasbro to tap into its most passionate fans for their involvement in franchise toys that “would otherwise be considered far too lavish as part of a mainstream toy line.”
Two days into the Haslab launch, there were more than 1,200 orders for the barge, and the minimum target for a production run was 5,000. Don’t worry, there are still 42 days to get your order in for this $500 toy.