June 05, 2013 | By FLYGUY

Black Series Images. Lets All Throw The Toys Out the Pram. You CAN Fix This Hasbro. Please Do So.

About 48 hrs ago, I emailed Hasbro PR (again) to complain at the nonsense that has been going on for several years with images for Star Wars product. In particular the inability for us to get access to all (not just some) images. Yet many images seem only to be secretly dished out to select retailers or perhaps some other site as an 'exclusive'. Frankly who knows, it's all a bit cloak and dagger and no one is spilling the beans.

Meanwhile, earlier today a girl guide bun fight broke out publicly between two Star Wars fan sites, which got quite sad and ugly and simply could have been resolved, if Hasbro had just shared the bloody images with us all in the first place.

We're all here to promote Star Wars product because we are die hard fans and love and buy the product right? Yet there appears to be a war* over getting access to these images and you dear reader, are the reason everyone is fighting. Many sites (coming across a little desperately to my mind) want really deeply to be the king of exclusive images. And it's all because your eyeballs and clicks help make sites more money in revenue. However, lets be clear, no-one is buying a fleet of Ferrari's off a Star Wars fan sites revenue.

Images are about as exclusive as poop. The ones in question are stock images, so this is not people fighting over  an original rocket firing Fett or vinyl cape Jawa on the pegs, yet for a brief glimpse of traffic, exclusivity and potentially more ad money, threats, name slinging and and some really bitchy unprofessional shit is going down. I am sick of it.

Most large Star Wars fan sites including ourselves get select images directly from Hasbro and we all do our own thing with them. Our personal preference is to;
  • Leave the images alone, never brand them (as they belong to Hasbro and the photographer) and frankly do you really want us peeing our brand all over images you want to see? No.
  • We then upload them to our site and social channels for you to share, download or drool over. Emphasis on 'share' and not greedily restricting them to force people to your site or pimp your brand.
Stock images should be given out to all sites to promote the product at the same time. Yet because Hasbro limit these and only give us a few, this makes many sites so desperate for traffic, exclusives and 'likes' they will throw (as we've now seen today ) the toys out the pram in public. And it's really quite sad.

If you haven't read the exchange yet go here.
  • None of these sites involved actually owns the rights to these images, they are in fact likely pinched from a retailer who has gotten access to these from Hasbro
  • Both sites then took others copyrighted images and applied their brand to it. Not Kosher.
  • The girl guide squabble started quite bitchily which was uncalled for, but then cascades in to swearing, and threats and enough mentions of balls, dicks and assholes to make me think I had ended up on some gay porn forum. Waaay unprofessional and not needed, especially if we all had the images.
  • Most of the Facebook fans didn't even care about the bitchfest and were more interested in discussing the images themselves.
  • The Black Series card designs are not really great at all, so even more reason not to get too fussed about them
  • As someone who advises advertising strategies on behalf of some of these sites clients, I'm taking note of the kind of responses they give and I'm sure the clients I advise are too.
  • Whilst all this bitching was going on we've simply added the (unbranded images) to our Facebook albums and Google+ image library. Please re-post, share, and post on your own sites, blogs and social channels and lets end the image wars nonsense which frankly Hasbro you can fix very easily...

*akin to two teenage Bieber female fans arguing who loves him more in their Bieber panties and pelting each other with petals

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