Sorry about the unnecessary hostility. I had come off a long shift at work and was venting in the wrong place.
It's just so wild that this seems to be the only toyline that I can think of that survives primarily on reissues for so long. Transformers, Star Wars, etc. all have reissues mixed in with new figures. It's just weird to me that Bandai's okay with being "just good enough" with this line. The reissues sell but wouldn't new figures sell twice as much since more people would be purchasing them than the reissues?
Here's what I mean. Let's say this line has got two types of customers:
- The casual side: those who collect one or two items based on a single character or younger kids who buy them to play with
- The hardcore side: completists, those who collect box variations, etc. are usually long-time fans who've been with the line since the beginning
The casual collector wouldn't know that these are reissues since they wouldn't be the type to look up the line's history and would only see the figures in stores. They would also not be the type of collector who notices the differences between each version of the characters. The hardcore collector is someone who knows the figures are reissues and doesn't buy them because they're the same ones he's collected years prior. Of course, there's tons of variations on these two (the hardcore collector who missed out on a certain figure years ago, the casual collector who bought the same one years ago, etc.) but you get what I'm saying.
With this in mind, I really don't think it's the molds themselves that sell well but the characters. Casual collectors see a King Ghidorah figure and buy it because it's King Ghidorah. The hardcore collector, who bought the original release of the King Ghidorah back in 2003 or bought the recent Movie Monsters EX version, doesn't buy it and thus, Bandai doesn't get that sale. So why not ensnare both of these mindsets by releasing a new King Ghidorah figure, maybe based off the Showa incarnation? Now, casual collectors and hardcore collectors would both be buying, thus doubling the amount of sales they would've had if they released the GMK version. You can do this with all the other characters released in the line as well: Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, Mothra. I'm sure both casual and hardcore collectors would be satisfied with a wave consisting of Godzilla 84, Showa KG, GMK Mothra, and Kiryu 02.
Of course, maybe the line isn't selling well enough to justify new molds, even for popular characters. That's probably the case, but I still think a risk should be taken here. You never know, if Bandai America corners the market with a new mold of their own, it could be a hot-ticket item. The original release of King Caesar was pretty big as it was often viewed as the superior option between it and it's Japanese counterpart.
Speaking of Japanese counterparts, yes as a Godzilla fan I would be buying the superior Japanese figures. But guess what? It's not 2006 anymore. Bandai vinyls aren't $12 from a reputable Western dealer anymore. Websites inflate the prices of Japanese imports to almost twice their retail price and buying them straight from Japan comes at the cost of some hefty shipping fees. What would be a $12 figure back in 2006 is now a $27 shipped one today. As for myself, I don't collect individual monsters, I collect any and all Godzilla-related things, even similar figures like Bandai and Bandai America. So "Go buy Japanese stuff" doesn't really apply anymore to me or this hobby. The two just aren't comparable. You're essentially damning people who want a good Western alternative.
Bandai has the same kind of approach WWE has: they're gonna continue to make money by putting out the same stuff year after year, so why bother doing anything innovative or new? It's a successful business model, but it comes at the cost of integrity and creativeness with their product. As a fan, I don't feel like Bandai is doing a service for me. It just feels like they're taking advantage of a hot property to push the same items they've pushed since 2014. They're a business first and foremost but even still: with all the old interviews and polls, it truly seemed like the company started to care about the fans as a whole. Now, whoever's in charge, doesn't have that drive at all. Care has been replaced with complacency.