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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Anyone Else Feel Like We Are Getting Milked?
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Oct 4 2012, 8:35am

Post #1 of 49 (2958 views)
Anyone Else Feel Like We Are Getting Milked? Can't Post

Hi all,

Can't believe the endless merchandise we are seeing for The Hobbit. It kind of worries me the WB are seeing this movie as it's big cash cow to clear the studios huge debts. We all remember how the movie was nearly never made because of WB's debt problems. I just worry that this is also one of the reasons why we are getting 3 movies rather than 2. If the running times are short on these 3 movies it will confirm it for me. :(



Oct 4 2012, 8:50am

Post #2 of 49 (1215 views)
We're getting the same amount of merchandise as the LOTR trilogy [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't really noticed the amount of merchandise being significantly more?

But it's the same for all films. Ticket sales are only one part of the success of a film. Selling naff merchandise happens for all films!

Want Hobbit Movie News? Hobbit Headlines of the Week!


Oct 4 2012, 8:57am

Post #3 of 49 (1212 views)
Half-half [In reply to] Can't Post

While I am a bit unhappy about the low-quality merchandize for The Hobbit (think of the ugly action figures...) I am still quite content with the output by Weta which continues the tradition of high-quality statuettes and props known from LOTR Sideshow collectibles.

(are Weta and Sideshow separate now, BTW? Sideshow seems still to produce stuff for LOTR, but not for The Hobbit, as far as I can see)

About third-grade t-shirt posters and "original film cells" for an all-digital film, let me better be silent.

PS about debts: it was MGM who had debts, not Warner, IIRC?

Russian LotR/Hobbit Site:

Henneth-annun.ru - the Russian LOTR site


Oct 4 2012, 9:00am

Post #4 of 49 (1122 views)
Thing is, no one has to buy [In reply to] Can't Post

... and 'stuff' of all kinds is part of selling films these days. I don't think there's any more of it for The Hobbit.

Forum Admin / Moderator

Oct 4 2012, 10:54am

Post #5 of 49 (1039 views)
It's true that there seems to be much more merchandise this time around... [In reply to] Can't Post

... but I guess it comes down to business, pain and simple - if there's a market, flood it, while the interest lasts at any rate.

I guess the upside is there's much more variety in what fans can buy. One fan might buy a wonderful WETA prop replica at what another thinks is a ridiculous amount of 450 USD, while the latter might buy, at the wonderful price of 5 USD, what the former thinks is a ridiculous plastic water bottle. You get what I mean...

The spectrum of quality, unfortunately, is as varied as the quantity as far as I can tell from the images I"m seeing - there are some treasures and some downright shoddy collectibles Crazy


Oct 4 2012, 11:11am

Post #6 of 49 (1133 views)
Everything seems pretty low-quality [In reply to] Can't Post

The posters, for example, all look rather poorly photoshopped, as do related book-covers and promotional images. The trailers have even felt unprofessionally constructed at times! It seems WB has prioritised quantity over quality. I hope PJ hasn't taken the same approach to the movies themselves. Unsure


Oct 4 2012, 11:12am

Post #7 of 49 (973 views)
Seems about the same [In reply to] Can't Post

Feels the same to me and what in seeing as far as products look like some really good stuff. As Earl said the stuff we're seeing also allows fans with different budgets to get some cool stuff they want. The only way you're getting milked IMO is if you buy it all against your will.

Tol Eressea

Oct 4 2012, 1:30pm

Post #8 of 49 (823 views)
I really haven't noticed a dramatic increase [In reply to] Can't Post

in the merchandising area of the films LOTR had alot of toys and happy meal stuff and what not themselves.

That said if we get 3, 2 to 2 and 1/2 hour films compared to 2 3 plus hour films it will certailnly be the studio and or PJ milking the public.


Oct 4 2012, 1:41pm

Post #9 of 49 (936 views)
I have noticed that too, [In reply to] Can't Post

there has been some naff looking promo material and some wonderful promo posters, I find the scrolls to be the very best, both of them. The first scroll showing the various scenes and the second scroll showing the Dwarves,Bilbo and Gandalf, it was fabulous. The characters truly came alive. Then on the negative side I really disliked another set of photos from a calendar I think (cant remember exactly) with naff looking photoshop effects. Its like some is from LOTR 10 years ago and is top notch, and some is from a 1 dollar store, same with the figurines, the stuff from Weta is amazingly good, and the other stuff a bit second rate, its like the studio has lost quality control.

Tol Eressea

Oct 4 2012, 2:06pm

Post #10 of 49 (811 views)
There are kids and collectors out there [In reply to] Can't Post

They want this stuff, so why not give it to them? I know I enjoyed the toys of Star Wars when I was a kid, though I've never been a collector.

Supply and demand will take care of what it takes care of. Companies won't produce things that sell poorly and will produce things that sell well.

I'm not going to make any decisions on 2 vs 3 until I've started to see some movies. If they drag on or belabor anything then yes I'll feel milked. If they all entertain and I forget I've been there for 2 or 3 hours as I watch in delight - I'm going to want 4 or 5 movies, possibly. Wink

King Arthur: You know much that is hidden oh Tim.

Tim: Quite.


Oct 4 2012, 2:12pm

Post #11 of 49 (798 views)
It feels the same to me, too [In reply to] Can't Post

I just think there's more online marketing now then 10 years ago. Before, we just had to go hunting for it in the stores. And 10 years ago, the stores I was hunting for stuff in don't exist now so there's even more need for online marketing.

There was a lot of cheap stuff for LOTR, too. I found a lot of it discounted after ROTK came out and the market for the goods was declining. I was a crazy collector and there was stuff so cheap I wouldn't buy it. I will now, if I find it for less than 1.69 at the thrift store.

Dang, at one store, I bought a figure and they gave me a second one for free. I think they weren't going to let me leave that store without taking it!

We haven't seen one fourth what I saw for LOTR. I saw gumball machine busts of Gandalf and company. I bought candy bars wrapped with LOTR labels at the theater. I have playing cards, bookmarks, pins, TOPPS cards, CCG cards, figures for those kinds of games where the figures have hexogonal bases that you can turn for different points/power/something, journals and large cards I don't know what you were supposed to do with.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Oct 4 2012, 2:18pm

Post #12 of 49 (787 views)
Yup [In reply to] Can't Post

There was a ton of cheap stuff for LOTR as well.

The difference, I think, is that the core advertising stuff, such as official posters, etc. seem to be of a much lower quality than during LOTR's run.

Ah well. It's only the movie that matters to me!


Oct 4 2012, 3:00pm

Post #13 of 49 (794 views)
Quality [In reply to] Can't Post

I think saying its lower quality stuff is off the mark. I have have a lot of stuff from lotr and have several things already from the hobbit (more on the way with all my orders Monday) and its every bit as good. Obviously there are cheap items like the gum ball items and such but the high end items are every bit. I think it's one of those you have to actually see them to get that or it could be your positive or negative thought towards things.


Oct 4 2012, 3:04pm

Post #14 of 49 (792 views)
Kids? [In reply to] Can't Post

There's at least one adult in this thread that would happily buy all the merchandise ... Tongue

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Oct 4 2012, 3:06pm

Post #15 of 49 (754 views)
At least 1 [In reply to] Can't Post

I wouldn't buy ALL of it but there are several things I will buy.

Tol Eressea

Oct 4 2012, 3:13pm

Post #16 of 49 (734 views)
To play with it or collect it? [In reply to] Can't Post

Because I did mention collectors... Wink

If you play with it of course you're a Big Kid. Laugh

King Arthur: You know much that is hidden oh Tim.

Tim: Quite.


Oct 4 2012, 3:14pm

Post #17 of 49 (729 views)
Of course [In reply to] Can't Post

We are getting milked. We might view these films as works of art based on beloved classics. To those who are funding them, they are products whose main function is to earn a profit. And they will "milk" them for whatever money they think they can make off of their "product".


Oct 4 2012, 3:16pm

Post #18 of 49 (747 views)
Play with, of course! [In reply to] Can't Post

LEGO LOTR is on my Christmas list!

And yes, I still have a Christmas list. Tongue

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Captain Salt
Tol Eressea

Oct 4 2012, 3:27pm

Post #19 of 49 (726 views)
Well, I believe we had around the same amount of merchandise for FotR alone... [In reply to] Can't Post

but the quality of TH merchandise does appear to have gone way down. The action figures look like cheap Happy Mean toys, IMO (though am still going to pick up some of them), and the video game spin-offs are fremium things.

As for the trilogy thing, oh yeah, they appear to be milking it IMO...but who knows...perhaps when all is said and done, we'll look back and wonder how they ever thought they were going to fit everything in just two movies? :)

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!

(This post was edited by Captain Salt on Oct 4 2012, 3:31pm)


Oct 4 2012, 3:33pm

Post #20 of 49 (715 views)
Never forget the "business" part of the "film business" [In reply to] Can't Post

so if you want to be milked you can buy everything offered or as has been said above, be selective in your product choice. For me, it will be EE all the way and will probably skip the theatrical unless it is really marked down. With one kid in college and another coming up I will not be plunking cash down on collectibles.


Oct 4 2012, 3:38pm

Post #21 of 49 (725 views)
In a word: sort of. And a niggle -- [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Hi all,

Can't believe the endless merchandise we are seeing for The Hobbit. It kind of worries me the WB are seeing this movie as it's big cash cow to clear the studios huge debts. We all remember how the movie was nearly never made because of WB's debt problems. I just worry that this is also one of the reasons why we are getting 3 movies rather than 2. If the running times are short on these 3 movies it will confirm it for me. :(


It wasn't WB's debt problems that held things up, it was (among other things) MGM's debt. WB and the NZ government actually overcame MGM's lack of funds.

Now back to your question:

Not long ago we were talking about the word vulgar...

We (well many of us) have been looking forward to seeing the merch this thing would generate. However, if the T-shirts and the Hobbit Annual are any indication, the merch just looks cheap and unappealing to me.

The film-makers, and Tolkien before them, put so much care into The Hobbit. It's a shame that, taken in total, the merchandise creates a very different image --it's a shame too that the production was so indiscriminate apparently when it came to sharing its license.

But no matter how vulgar the merchandise, nor how promiscuous or lacking in discernment the license holders may be, as dormouse says, we are under no obligation to buy the stuff.

However, I think it will be difficult to avoid the stuff altogether, as it seeps into our culture. It's a kind of pollution, like smog, or noise... we can try to ignore it but it's still there affecting the world around us.

(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Oct 4 2012, 3:40pm)


Oct 4 2012, 3:50pm

Post #22 of 49 (708 views)
I like milk [In reply to] Can't Post

I may use bbts later but for now ill order straight from the sources.

Right now my hobbit haul:
Most of the figures from TBD
Thorin Oakenshield Comic-Con Ex from Weta
The Hobbit Art Print Comic-Con Ex from Weta Auto by Richard Taylor
Gandalf The Grey from Weta
Bilbo Baggins from Weta
2x Film Cell Frames from Film Cell Ltd.
Hobbit Art Book Special Edition From Weta
Hobbit Art Book via Amazon
2013 Wall Calendar
The Hobbit Annual 2013
Hobbit Movie Story Book
Hobbit Movie Guide
Hobbit World of Hobbits Book
Hobbit Visual Companion
Official T-Shirt from WB shop

(This post was edited by Elessar on Oct 4 2012, 3:54pm)

Grey Havens

Oct 4 2012, 4:29pm

Post #23 of 49 (665 views)
Cows [In reply to] Can't Post

The difference between us and the cows we use to produce milk is we don't give cows a choice. WB doesn't strap us in and force us to buy. Unlike us and cows, they can't do that to us. We have a choice. If you buy it, it's your choice. If you don't buy it, and enough other people don't buy it, there's a natural selection of what is acceptable and what isn't. People who actually buy the junk are like people who click on email ads and then actually spend money to support spam. They deserve what they get - but they still had a choice.

(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Oct 4 2012, 4:31pm)


Oct 4 2012, 4:37pm

Post #24 of 49 (646 views)
Nope dont feel the same way [In reply to] Can't Post

Its no different than any movie, go to Target or Toys R Us and see the flood of batman avengers, Cars, Ironman, toys (and many other movie tie-ins) and you'll see its no different than the hobbit. Among all the hobbit actions figures and stuff, the Weta stuff is really nice.

Really any big blockbuster movie that comes out has toys, games, books, videogames that come out alongside of it. I dont think they are overdoing it. Now Cars on the otherhand, they milked it. I think I heard somewhere they made more money from the toys than the movies. The second Cars was terrible, and I feel the made it just to sell more toys.

WB obviously sees Hobbit as a big investment to get an even better return, so of course we are going to see merchandise. But really I dont see it any different than other movies that have come out.

And honestly, I doubt this movie will bomb in box office and I expect WB knows that, I expect worldwide record breaking opening day and weekend sales and I expect their $500 million budget to be covered in days. Merchandise is just icing on the cake.

3 movies isnt milking it either, PJ shot an epic, they announced extended editions already so I doubt 3 shorter movies. We're gonna be in for a treat. Sit back and enjoy Dec 14th.


Oct 4 2012, 5:12pm

Post #25 of 49 (609 views)
No. I'm glad for the plentiful variety of stuff. [In reply to] Can't Post

We all have different tastes, so it's nice that we have so much to choose from. My film-related treasure hunt includes books, magazines, CDs, jewelry, calendars, keychains, and buttons. I do not feel at all milked, manipulated, or exploited. Just happy.

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