Get Your Yakface Now at the New Hasbro Pulse Web Site
CORRECTION: This article previously said there was a $50 fee for Hasbro Pulse Premium. That is the case after Feb 24, 2019. From Feb 15 - Feb 23, 2019, any purchase made at HasbroPulse.com enrolls you in Premium Membership for 2019.
Hasbro today revealed a new web site to directly sell products to fans--Hasbro Pulse.
Hasbro Pulse had been a site Hasbro's brand teams used to interact directly with fans. The site Hasbro Toy Shop.com was a site where Hasbro sold items directly. It was revealed in late 2018 that Hasbro Toy Shop was changing and both fans and retailers wondered what that meant for fans' shopping options. Now we know the answer.
What is the new site?
The new Hasbro Pulse site appears to be a redesigned Hasbro Toy Shop with more focus on selling toys than on engaging with fans. The site currently has orders up for lots of older product (anyone feel like paying full price for a Black Series Rose figure?)
The site is much more visually oriented, though, with high-quality "action" shots of the toys, much like you would previously find on Hasbro's Pulse site.
There is a promise in the "Who We Are" section that the site will offer "behind-the-scenes material and insider details that you can't get anywhere else" but, as of this writing, that only seems to apply to the already well documented Sail Barge creation process.
Sorry, International Fans
For those overseas or south of the border, you may be out of luck with the new site. In the Shipping Policy it says they "are currently shipping to all US States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Canada, and APO/AFO addresses."
A Premium Membership?
There is also an interesting new part to the site - a Premium Membership.
Premium customers get free shipping on all orders through the end of 2019, as well as member-only "discounts and flash sales." This membership will cost $50 starting Feb 24, 2019, but from Feb 15 - Feb 23 any purchase made at HasbroPulse.com enrolls you in this Premium Membership for 2019.
More intriguing, however, is the offer of "Other perks throughout the year at select fan conventions & more." No further details on what these "perks" may be, but with Star Wars Celebration in April and the always-a-cluster San Diego Comic-Con in July, if it means Premium members get a better shot at exclusive toys (as Gentle Giant offered with their Premiere Guild) $50 seems like a reasonable price.
Either way, I purchased Yakface both to guarantee myself the figure and to enroll in the Premium membership.
Also on the new Hasbro Pulse site is a tab for Haslab - Hasbro's crowdfunding platform. All has been quiet since Feb, 2018 when the first (and, at present, only) initiative began for the Star Wars Sail Barge. This tab indicates there may well be a new Haslab project on the horizon...perhaps announced at tomorrow's Toy Fair Brand Preview Event.
I love the new site's look, layout, and search features. It's much easier to find the toys I want than on Hasbro Toy Shop.com.
That said, other than pre-orders for upcoming Vintage Collection figures, there's not much here I do want. The stock is overwhelmingly older items (a year or more old) at full prices. These toys were on clearance aisles six months ago so it feels silly for Hasbro to offer them at full price.
I'm not a fan of "premium memberships" that don't tell you exactly what you're getting, and $50 a year for free shipping on the overpriced, older toys is not enticing. But if Hasbro can confirm this Premium Membership means an early shot at hard-to-get figures (especially convention exclusives) and guaranteed home delivery instead of waiting in long lines at conventions, $50 is a very fair price.