• Hasbro Toy Box Quarterly: Fun for All Canceled by IDW Publishing

    Equestria Daily is sad to report that the second issue of the Hasbro Toy Box Quarterly (Diamond Code: DEC170521) was canceled in March of 2018.

    News of comic cancellations usually fall under the radar, usually because there is always shiny new comics being released or announced at any given moment. The news eventually gets out once someone asks the question "Hey, I wonder what happened to that?"

    While the cancellation is disappointing, it is not unsurprising. Repackaged reprints, meaning Trade Paperbacks, do not sell well at comic book shops. Dedicating an entire floppy to nothing but reprint materials was a risky venture. Made even more so by the price point of $5.99.

    Taking IDW's library of Hasbro Licensed comics, and repacking them together in Hasbro Themed release is a good idea. This cancellation ended up being a case of a good idea executed the wrong way.

    I'll explain why after the break.

    The comic company most successful at repackaging and then selling previously released material to the masses is Archie Comics. Contrary to popular belief, Archie gets the vast majority of its revenue not from the direct market (meaning comic specialty shops), but rather from newsstand publications. With the newsstands being grocery stores, pharmacies, Walmart, Target, and any other retail location which has a magazine rack.
    Archie Comics sells what is known as the Archie Comics Digest, which is basically what it sounds like. It is a Reader's Digest sized magazine publication filled with repackaged comic material, and usually one new story sold at the prince point of about $6.

    Why Archie makes most of their money through this model is because these digests are quite literally everywhere in the United States. It is much harder to find a retailer with a magazine rack who doesn't sell these books than it is to find one who does. Furthermore, it is the Archie Digests which have made the best headway out of any comic publisher breaking into the international comic markets.

    Comic Digests sell, and they sell extremely well. They have a page count of 140 pages. That is a ton of room to do… just about anything really.

    Had IDW approached the idea of repackaging their library of Hasbro comics together in a digest format, use create a new comic cover for each issue (as opposed to reused vectors), a short brand new 10 page comic story, Put in 5 different 20-22 page comics for Transformers, MLP, G.I. Joe, and whatever else you want to rotate, and use the remaining pages for ads/interviews/editorials/etc.

    The Hasbro Toy Box quarterly is $6 for 48 pages.

    The Archie Double Digest is $6 for 140 pages.

    Is it any wonder why the Hasbro Toy Box Quarterly failed?

    Until the next bit of cancellation news comes in, this has been The Illustrious Q. See you in the comments.