Monday, January 2, 2012

The Price of Ponies

It was a very pony Christmas/Hanukkah for me. I was gifted Fashion Style (FS) Fluttershy, Ploomette, 2 pony t-shirts, a G1 binder for my ARC cards and a coloring book. After hearing about other fans that have parents that throw ponies away or kick their kids out of the house I suppose I am lucky that my family not only accepts my hobby but encourages it.

I feel like there has never been a time a pony for christmas would have been frowned upon. I remember asking Santa for ponies and getting ponies for Christmas as a little girl. I'm pretty sure I got some in 2003/2004 when the G3 line came out as well. However, I noticed something odd in the toy sections of all of the stores in Ohio...

Target, Toys R Us, and Kmart all had their basic ponies priced at $5.99! The Fashion style ponies were $14.99.

That's right. Ohio ponies cost MORE than California ponies. This is in a state where minimum wage is $7.25-7.40 (Small businesses pay $7.25).

I checked the price of ponies from Hasbro and they are at the standard $4.99. I don't think they hiked the prices right before the holidays either. It's weird because in the pony world we get so many mixed messages. Some members report ponies flying off the shelves and the sections being bare and other people say ponies are helping Hasbro make up losses from EasyBake Oven while other people say ponies aren't even a big deal to Hasbro and they get very little shelf space. If other states are selling at this higher price I wonder if it is hurting Hasbro sales? I'm sure there are multiple studies out there that show a parent will throw down $4.99 easier than $5.99. (I mean $4.99 is less than $5!)

Outside of the impact on Hasbro I wonder what the impact is on children receiving the toys for the holidays. Are parents shopping online and using the 20% off plus free shipping to score directly from Hasbro? Or are they simply buying fewer units due to cost? Or is there a difference at all?

All I know is as a collector and as someone who just loves the toys I hope to see them gain some footage in the toy section.

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