• APP REVIEW: The Hasbro Pulse App

    Yeah… I'm sure I'm not the only one who will confuse this app button for a heart monitor.

    Greetings everyone! The Illustrious Q here once again with another review post. Only this time it's for an app, which was actually created and published by Hasbro surprisingly enough.

    It's called the Hasbro Pulse App, and contrary to the naming convention this is not a news app. This my friends is a collection manager app. And it was first revealed back at New York Toy Fair!

    Yeah, this review is a little late, but I have several excuses reasons as to why. The first, I've been on travel for my actual day job. Second, I really wanted to make sure I put this app through its paces before I talked about it.

    Now that the business trips have dried up for the time being, and I have thoroughly scrubbed through this app for, it's time for a verdict!

    How well does Hasbro pulse serve as a collection app? You can find out after the break!


    Almost right out of the gate, the app earns a strike against it. Yes folks, this app does surprisingly require a constant internet connection to work. There are a number of reasons why I am annoyed by this. Like you could be in an area without 4G LTE cellular coverage or a wifi network with you come across a new piece of merchandise. Or the cellular network could be overworked because there are over 100,000 people trying to access the network at the same time in a convention center the size of two city blocks.

    Or at a fleemarket. Or a yard sale. You know, the usual places where older harder to find merchandise crops up.

    Another issue with the app is the database for the available Hasbro Merchandise is a bit limited at the moment. This is understandable, since the app just came out a month ago, but it is a drawback. First of all, the app only covers four of Hasbro's toylines. Namely Marvel, My Little Pony, Star Wars, and Transformers. It does not include Hanazuki, G.I. Joe, Furreal, Littlest Pet Shop, Play-Doh, Nerf,  I could go on but I think you get the point.

    The other limit with the database is it only goes back 10 years. For My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, that's not a problem. All of Generation 4 for My Little Pony has come out between 2010 and now. So every toy Hasbro has produced for the line is in here.

    Toys from Generation 3.5, Generation 3, Generation 2, and Generation 1 are not in the database. That goes for Transformers, and Star Wars. Hasbro started acquired the license to produce Marvel toys on January 1st, 2007, so theoretically everything for Marvel should be in there, except for the first toys produced in 2007…

    Has it really been 11 years since 2007? Where did all the time go? I mean aside from those last 8 years… I know which franchise ate up those.

    MY COLLECTION



    The app is divided into five parts. The first part which appears is the products/home tab, which showcased the four Hasbro toyline databases accessed in the app. I'll get to that in greater detail in a minute. But first, let's get into the the most useful part of the app itself: The Collection Manager!

    Or the "My Collection" tab if you prefer to go by the official nomenclature. Though I wouldn't know why since "The Collection Manager" sounds so much cooler.


    Anyways, the My Collection Tab is then further subdivided into at most four more divisions. Though those subdivisions depend on whether or not you actually own the toys in question. If you own Star Wars Toys, and put the information of what you own into the app, then a Star Wars Tab will appear. If you own Marvel Toys, then a Marvel Tab will appear. If you only own MLP toys, then you will only have an MLP tab and nothing else…

    Let's not kid ourselves, this feature serves two purposes. The first is what is obviously stated, it allows the user to keep track of their collection of Hasbro Toys, from any location in the world, at any given time provided they have an internet connection.

    The other purpose is that this app also gives access to that same information. The Hasbro Toyline Databases are kept on a server under Hasbro control, and each item you list in the collection is a checkmarked entry for your access account on the server. Which in turn allows Hasbro to get a better idea about purchasing habits for those who use the app.

    In short it's also a tool for Hasbro market research. Which in turn allows them to develop new products based on the information gathered.

    I wonder how much that research will be skewed if Seth were to input his entire Trixie Lulamoon Collection…

    BARCODE SCANNER


    Anyways, there are two methods for inputting your toys into the app. The first, and most convenient, is the built in Barcode Scanner. Which just so happens to be the second tab in the app! And there is really no better way to test how far back this database goes than by scanning the oldest piece of MLP merchandise I own… still in its original packaging.

    The barcode reader requires a barcode. Yeah, who knew.

    Anyways, this Cheerilee is part of the second wave of the original series of brushables for Generation 4. It came out in 2011 and has two different variants. The first one with bangs, the second one without. I own the Cheerilee without bangs, so let's go scan the barcode and see what happens!


    So I scanned the barcode and the variant which popped up is the Cheerilee with bangs.This isn't a surprise since the two variants shared the same barcode. So yeah… that's another limitation of the app. It can't distinguish between variants of toys which share the same barcodes.


    However in order to be extra thorough, I needed to do one more test. My collection of MLP products is made up of almost nothing but licensed products. So I needed to see what would happen if I were to scan in a licensed Hasbro product.

    Like this Rainbow Dash Hallmark Ornament from this past Christmas. Will scanning it work?


    Unfortunately not. The databases in the app only work with products produced directly by Hasbro and not their licensees. Which is a pain because, as I have stated before, most of my MLP collection is made up of licensed products.

    Lots and lots of Funko MLP figures.

    PRODUCTS



    Which once again brings us back to the Home/Products Tab. Click on the My Little Pony Filter and you bring up the Hasbro My Little Pony toy database… kind of.

    The database you have at your fingertips does contain everything Hasbro has produced for MLP, Marvel, Star Wars, and Transformers for the last 10 years. There is a caveat to that though. The products listed on the Products tab are only the toys listed on Hasbro's corporate site.

    This website specifically:

    https://www.hasbro.com/en-us/toys-games/

    So while it is searchable, trying to find a toy which you own, but no longer have the box to—like for instance the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Gift Set from 2010—is a pain in the neck.

    I tried inputting two different search criteria for this particular toy into the app. The first is the Item Model number (21473) from the Amazon listing. The second was an abbreviated version on the title.

    As for the results…


    On the one hand, I am kind of disappointed the Item Model Number didn't work. On the other, using Hulk as a search engine is delightfully amusing.

    So the only way to input products you own from earlier in the product lines is to scan the barcode. If you no longer have the original packaging for the product, you are out of luck.

    So if you're the type of toy collector who likes to take the toys out of their packaging and set up dioramas, be sure to scan the barcodes before you get rid of the original packaging.

    WISHLIST


    Now we get to the Wishlist part of the collection app. One of the options you have when you are viewing a product's page in the app—in addition to clicking on the purchase option or the add to collection button—is to add the product to your wishlist. The Wishlist is to keep track of the various items you do not currently own but ultimately wish to.

    Like for instance the new Equestria Girls 3-inch Minis Rainbow Dash figure I have posted above. So let's just go hit the buy button and see if the "purchase in app" feature really does work.


    Would it surprise anyone to find discover that it doesn't? Would it surprise anyone that the app opens up a separate webpage to Hasbro's corporate website (https://www.hasbro.com/en-us/toys-games/) instead of adding the toy to a checkout cart which then asks you for your credit card?

    With the amount of limitations and other problems I have discovered while going through the app, this doesn't surprise me at all. This is an annoyance, but a manageable one since we can still buy the product which was featured in the app.

    After all, the Hasbro Corporate Website has the "Buy" button touchable right underneath the $3.99 price for the item. That only shows up when you are able to buy it, right? Since doing anything else is a really, really good way to frustrate your customer base, and Hasbro is smart enough to avoid this obvious pitfall, right?


    If you thought any of that was logical or reasonable, you would be sadly mistaken. Instead the "Buy" button on the Hasbro Corporate Website opens up yet another tab on your phone's internet browser. This time to www.hasbrotoyshop.com and theoretically to that webpage's product page for the item featured in the Hasbro Pulse App.

    In theory. In practice, the products listed as available for purchase on Hasbro's Corporate Webpage and on the Hasbro Toy Shop are not identical. So clicking on the "Buy" button for an item listed on Hasbro's Corporate Webpage which is not listed on Hasbro's Toy Shop will bring up the wonderful webpage on Hasbro's Toy Shop showcased above.

    The "in app" purchase feature of the Hasbro Pulse App is non-functional. I wish that it were. I also wish the app was linked directly to the Hasbro Toy Shop rather than Hasbro's Corporate Website.

    I wish there was a lot of things different about the app. Does that impact my final review about it? You'd better believe it does.

    FINAL REVIEW

    This app is not designed for kids. Hasbro even states "This app is intended for adult audiences only." right in their Terms and Conditions for the app. The primary audience is geared toward toy collectors who never take the toys out of the box. The database this app has access to goes back 10 years (so 2008) for the My Little Pony, Transformers, Marvel, and Star Wars toy lines, with plans for the database to extend even further back in time in future updates.

    The secondary audience is parents who need a way to keep track of what they have already bought for their kids. It's helpful when shopping at toy stores or the toy aisle of department stores to be able to scan a bar code quickly and check if they already bought the toy their kids are pleading with them to buy.

    However the app is so unbelievably NOT user friendly that it is useless to both parties. The app is currently on version 1.0.2, which means it is technically functional, however actual use of the app has proved it to not be.

    Do not download this app. If you are looking for a way to keep track of your MLP collection, your best bet is to make use of the MLP Merch Database and a Google Spreadsheet to manually keep track of everything.

    Because the Hasbro Pulse App just does not work.

    Official Description:

    Your Collection in the Palm of your Hand!

    The Hasbro Pulse App lets you scan, browse, buy, and collect Hasbro products across brands like My Little Pony, Transformers, Star Wars, and Marvel! Users will have access to their collection whenever and wherever they are.

    OVERVIEW
    • Use the in-app scan feature to scan your Hasbro product's barcode to add it to your collection!
    • Search a wide variety of products through the database search function.
    • Filter and sort product by brand and segments.
    • See the latest products and get notified when new products become available for purchase.
    • Purchase products through the app*.
    • Organize and customize your collection.
    • Create a wishlist of existing and new products that you'd like to eventually own.
    iTunes App Store

    Android App Store

    * NOTE: It has been discovered through use of this app that the purchase product feature opens a webpage in your mobile device's web browser to the designated product on Hasbro's corporate site under https://www.hasbro.com/en-us/toys-games/. Purchasing products through the app is a non-functioning feature.


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