May the Force be with Hasbro’s supply chain

Star Wars – The most anticipated movie of the year has hit the big screen, which also means the merchandise is hot on the High Street. We take a look at Hasbro’s supply chain.

BB8 Trolley Case

It’s launch week for The Force Awakens and it’s going to be a scramble for Star Wars merchandise.  Going away for a year-end break?   How about a BB-8 droid trolley case?  Intergalactic adventurers can bring BB-8 with them on their travels! That’s if it’s still in stock.

Hasbro’s CEO, Brian Goldner assures us that they will be able to satisfy most customers although he concedes that not every one of the 111 collectable items will be available in every store. The Company has struggled to keep up with demand in the last two months.  His current confidence stems from high quality real-time sales data and new supply chain agility. Hasbro has managed to reduce lead times from the manufacturers in the Orient to eight weeks.

What is behind the feeding frenzy in the toys shops and on-line stores is a whole generation of 40-something parents. The first Star Wars toys, although a bit primitive by today’s standards, were in their Christmas stockings in 1977.  They are reliving their childhood dreams through their offspring. That’s a great boost for sales.

1977 Star Wars Figures

BB8 Image (top of page) – Hasbro. Stormtrooper Image – Ebay


If your budget is a big tight but you need a drink after all the exertion of Christmas shopping, go for the coasters. The blurb says “use the force to protect your surfaces! These coasters are perfect for any Star Wars fan as well as being a great gift. Keep your ‘space’ free of stains with: Boba Fett, R2-D2, a Stormtrooper and Darth Vader”.

Star Wars Coasters

Image – Etsy

Dedicated fans may stop at nothing. Paul Snell of Supply Management Magazine  reports on a recent survey that says “stock shortages would prompt some Star Wars fans to take desperate measures to get hold of the merchandise. Some 11 per cent said they would shove someone out of the way, 7 per cent would be willing to trip an elderly person and 5 per cent would be prepared to fake a panic attack”. Let’s hope for an agile supply chain.

The Force Awakens. Batteries not included.

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