A $3 DCUC Price Hike?

According to Scott of Enchanted Toy Chest, DC Universe Classics will go up $3 per figure starting with Wave 11.

I’ll write more on this later, but feel free to discuss/rant/go apeshit below. Try to maintain a modicum of decor, por favor.

Comments now closed (120)

  • Lol, I'd just like a straight answer from Mattel on why these figures are so expensive. Like, why did they decide to set the price at $12 or $15 or whatever it will be.

    And not just "cuz oil is expensive", I mean actual numbers. I'd be willing to bone-up on my calculus and trigonometry or whatever if they just gave me the numbers that lead to why they're so expensive.

    That, or please, someone just say it, "Because you idiots will pay it." That's all I want to hear from Mattel, and any other company out there, just a little honesty.

    They could make the things $20 and I'd still find a cheaper way to get them, like trading cheaper figures for them. There's always someone out there willing to trade for the junk you have if you look hard enough.

    And if none the figures you trade for the DCUC figure are made by Mattel, then good, they get none of your money, to help turn the screw a little more.

  • I really do think the economy is at least partially to blame. I'm a Transformers collector and Hasbro recently added a few dollars to every single Transformer line and class (Deluxes, the most common size class, used to be $10, now they average about $12 depending on the line). It can't be a coincidence.

    The fact is they wouldn't spring a second price hike (DCUC used to be $10 when they started, then went to $12) on us without having a good reason. And, NO, "They'll pay anything" is not a valid reason. They might be an evil company only in it for the money (I'm exaggerating, of course), but being nice to their customers IS a legitimate concern.

  • @presidentjuggernaunt

    Meaning, how are the chances of having the license extended(beyound 2012) to continue makeing the DCUC line. That's what I ment.

  • I think Marvel Legends is a good indicator. Hasbro, in fact, is probably ready for the obligitory "I told you so" and scratching their heads as to why DCUC can survive at all in the current market. One thing I think we can all agree is fact is that toy companies no matter who they are will never blame themselves for anything that goes wrong with a line – EVER. Whether its bad manufacturers, distribution, character selection, or even lackluster sales pitches.

    If you look at the action figure market as a whole over the last 35 years, this has happened before. GI Joe and Mego reigned supreme until much smaller Star Wars figures during and following an oil crisis forged the 3 and 3/4" standard which stayed for quite a while until figures gradually got bigger and bigger again. I remember discussing with a Hasbro rep in the mid 80's why they didn't rerelease the old 12" GI Joes again and they said it wasn't feasible cost-wise. Yet not long after, Hasbro put A LOT of money in to reviving 12" GI Joes. That lasted a while until just like in the late-70s they went down to an 8 inch scale — which again fizelled soon after and went back to the 3 & 3/4" scale.

    It's all cyclical. 6" figures seemed like a great in-between but we're already seeing the market favor smaller figures over them. I'm sure Mattel thought they were planning for that inevitablilty by running their 3" line simultaneously, but from what I've seen in the aisles and online these little "crisis" figures were dead when they hit the floor. Mostly because of their obvious $1 store quality no doubt. JLU is $1 store quality too and that's why that line still lingers despite no show on the air- cheap to make and sell.

    Toy companies are scaling back once again because of the old stale habits of retail. Walmart just rejected Marvel Legends last line and yet they announced they're going to keep trying anyway. DCUC seems to have done what Marvel Legends hasn't lately – gain Walmart's confidence (due in no small part to Batman and Joker I'm sure).

    And so, in the end, my guess is despite the price increase we still have a lot of DCUC figures ahead (thank the gods)but I'll be amazed if DCUC lasts beyond next year.

  • Oh. Eric, I thought you meant like extending it to include like Wildstorm Vertigo and whatnot.

    That's a good question, but I assume their answer about DCUC beyond 2012 would be something like "We do not discuss future business plans blah blah blah, ask for Mattel by name!"

  • you know what makes me laugh though? there aren't really any kids figs being made anymore. all the action figures are for adult collectors now… and the old saw about "kids have moved on to video games now" is crap. my kids are 5 & 7 and i haven't met a single one of their friends who doesn't own at least a half dozen transformers and wants 8 to 10 of them that they don't own. so the video game excuse is out. boys still like toys… so make some for them. video games, once we went next gen and mobile, priced themselves out of the casual market for kids entertainment. now is the hour that if fig companies stopped drinking their own kool-aid and tackled boys action figures, at a reasonable cost, they could again retake their market share. remember the toybiz 90's line? my kids still love those toys!! sure, they're crude compared to marvel legends, but for a kid who's going to take it outside and run through the sprinkler w/ it, or take it to the park and put it on the slides or play w/ it in the tub or the sandbox, that level of articulation is certainly acceptable and that level of paint aps & sculpt detail is perfect for them. and my kids don't know half the characters, they love tusk and have never seen a comic he's been in… so that character recognition crap is out too. give them cool, unique designs and bright colors, and they're in. they make up their own characters for everyone anyway.

  • There are plenty of toys for kids. I see kids all over the toy isles at my local TRU. I don't think you're looking hard enough.

  • The Golden Age of toy buying is over…in the 80's no matter wht you picked 9/10 you would get something awesome….there are great figures now but they are not in the toy shops like they used to be…instead they are in over priced speciality shops.

  • rage, i'm not saying there aren't toys, but there action figures aimed at kids.

    there's bakugan and that crap… not figures. and ok, i admit, there are still DB and power rangers figures… but again, the only ones that are decent looking figs are expensive and large and aimed at adult collectors. then there's the jakks pacific WWE stuff… and yes, they crank out tons of dress up accessories and tons of kid-friendly rey mysterios and undertakers, but when i see rocky johnsaon on the pegs, that's not there for my kids, that's for me. my kids don't care about tony atlas, they don't care about the hart foundation, or demolition, or… you get my point.

    all of these are damned near dead too. jakks is going to have to start having a lighter market share when they lose WWE and pick up TNA in 2010. mattel does NOT get the distribution that jakks toys do, so be prepared for the horsemen-sculpted andre figure to be damned near impossible to find outside CA. power rangers are in a holding pattern at walmarts until the GI stuff hits i imagine. the ben 10 alien force stuff too is DOA (and those are crap toys anyways, trust me, i made the mistake several times cuz my kids love the show), WWE already has almost no peg presence in walmart anymore, the wolverine movie figs are DOA… most of the action figures available at retail you find pretty much only at TRU anymore. and walmart was the biggest figure outlet, until this recent scaleback.

    but i'm saying, if you look at the 90's TB marvel line, the C.O.P.S., the TMNT line, MOTU, Go Bots, spiral zone, real ghostbusters, sectaurs, visionaries, micronauts, and the NUMEROUS remco lines, there's nobody doing THAT type of thing for kids any more… they aren't "cost effective" in the modern era (though somehow, i think hologram stickers have likely dodged recent market fluctuation.)

  • 112 comments..good god this is turning into a Comics Forum. ahahaha!

  • This probably won't really reduce the DCUC I buy. I'll just have to be a little more selective. I don't have too many must buy characters left anyway. Maybe this will mean higher quality/ new body types.

  • going really off topic…im offically in love with the new g.i.joe toys…so many vehicles and playsets …it's a throwback…just wish they would throw back the price

  • @George-bob – I remember those days myself. I used to get $5-$10 for allowance each week, so if I wanted to make a purchase, I usually had to save up for a few weeks. In a couple instances where we found stuff on clearance, like I found a G1 Ultra Magnus for $14 at a Sears Surplus store, so she bought him for me, but she hid him while I worked up the money to pay her back for it. That was like torture! It was worth it in the end. I’m pretty sure the same scenario played out for Power Master Optimus Prime too. Even when I was older in my early teens and had lost interest in toys, I still had a very limited budget, so if I made a purchase like CDs, movies (actually bought a few VHS tapes) I would have to be very frugal and selective about my purchases.

    @Emerald, et al.

    People say that the action figure industry is dying, but action figures as we know them, Big Jim, G.I. Joe, MOTU, Star Wars, TMNT etc. have only been around for 30-40 years (obviously not speaking about each respective property). But as the economy fluctuates so do the trends in action figures.

    As Emerald put it, toy companies would never blame themselves for a failed line. There are so many external factors that can tie into the success or failure of a line. There are some things that are just out of a company’s power, such as the latest trends, the economy, etc. However you’ll never hear Mattel step up to the plate and say they had a hand in destroying lines such as MOTU and 2K.

    David Willis had a great little “editorial” cartoon regarding Transformers 2 and GI Joe movies. It shows the Luxor Las Vegas hotel lit up with Optimus Prime on the side advertising ROTF, and a tiny crop duster plane towing a “GI Joe” banner. Obviously this is more to do with the advertising of the film, but being that both are based on toy lines, they’re kinda in bed with each other.

    I think as long as there are action figures and toys it will be something that always fluctuates moving from the various scales. What really stinks for the consumer, and especially collectors is when the quality going down due to the market, and companies cut too many corners to save money, using the same molds and re-using plastics all while driving the price up. I like many others don’t mind paying decent money for a quality figure, but whether I’m paying $5, $10, or $20, I want the biggest bang for my buck. With the Infinite Heroes, a line I have not collected, but having seen them they look, as was stated before, look like dollar store bootlegs.

    @dayraven: I think you’re a little off base. Obviously there aren’t as many action figure lines out there today as there were in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Today it seems like most lines have a movie or a tv show to support it. You don’t see too many lines without any sort of tie-in.

    There just aren’t as many properties out there to base action figures on. Sure back in the ‘80s there were dozens of properties, many of them already mentioned, today there isn’t that. Heck, today Saturday morning cartoons don’t exist. Yeah, there is still Nick and CN, but getting up at 6AM to watch cartoons is a thing of the past. I think the ’03 TMNT series did well, and although they seem to be on a decline again, I’m sure when they release the new movie there will be shelves full of TMNT again.

    You mention lines like GoBots, Sectaurs, Micronauts, Ghostbusters, etc. but I stick by my statement that there just aren’t that many kid properties that are toyetic or that they feel are worth creating a line for. I find it ironic that you mention that the Ben 10 toys are crap, to me, they look like some of the funnest figures out on the market. Also, you’re forgetting Batman: The Brave and the Bold. I’ve been at TRU or WM on numerous occasions and I’ve seen kids going straight for those figures. I own a few myself, and despite the limited articulation and those big gaping holes in the arms and legs, I think they’re fun kids toys.

    Another thing to keep in mind also is that a lot of lines sprung up in the ‘80s and ‘90s as copycats to capitalize on the success of the big guns. What was the last really big toy line that made everyone go crazy? I know Transformers has been big in the last few years.

    Maybe it makes sense to make figures for adult collectors. I know you said the “video game excuse” is out, but I think it is a factor that comes into play. Young kids today have access to stuff that I didn’t get until I was a teenager. I didn’t get my first CD player until I was 14. Today, kids have ipods, Xboxes, and computers when they’re young. So in comparison action figures might seem kind of trite to them. It’s rather unfortunate I think. Not to say that I didn’t have Nintendo, but I still played with my TMNT figures. But yes, kids still play with toys and action figures. My nephew Logan, he’s a spoiled brat, he’s 8 and he has his own Wii, TV, and DVD player, yet he’s also in love with Transformers. I go over there and start playing with them and he’s always amazed that I know who they are and can actually transform them.

    From a business standpoint, it makes more sense to cater to adult collectors. We have more disposable income than a seven-year-old, and we’ve got a warm gooey feeling of nostalgia for the past, so whenever they release a new Optimus Prime, thousands of man-childs rush out to buy ‘em in bulk. Kids are at the mercy of their parents and if they were like me, only really got toys for Christmas and birthday presents, aside from an occasional reward/treat. “Adult collectors,” usually people in their twenties, thirties, and maybe forties who bought Star Wars figures back in the day.

    Will kids growing up on Ben 10 now want 25th Anniversary figures twenty five years from now? People once poked fun at that very same thing with Power Rangers, but they’ve been doing that exact same thing with the MMPR 15th Anniv. We may be a unique generation, a fluke even. I think the only thing we can do as consumers is support the stuff we like, don’t give-in to companies passive threats of “if you don’t buy this, then you’ll never get that”.

  • prft… i'm not saying the ben 10 toys are crap cuz they aren't inventive… the quality is almost non existant. i've had balsa wood airplanes last longer. my kids are not sid from toy story, but they still managed to break their ben 10 toys w/ minimal play. my comparison is always jakks WWE figs and sigma six, which have already w/stood TONS of more rigorous play. jakks especially, i always know what my money's buying w/ them.

    part of my beef is that very quality… when we were kids, getting a defective toy right out of the box just didn't happen. now, it's so common place, we barely notice. that's terrible for the kids, especially for parents like myself who ask my kids to save their money and they get to buy their own toys… so when one breaks on them, it's a BIG deal to them. i always supply them their money back, but they don't want the money, they want their toy back and i don't allow rebuys of shit toys. i have figs from 25 plus years ago, who've been moved 5 times and get EXTENSIVE play who are still in excellent shape, all things considered. i don't know if any of their toys will have that kind of longevity.

    also, where's the knockoffs? it was an idea that worked well for many companies when we were kids… go bots were obvious, the remco lines were obviously riffs on motu, the toxic avenger was a riff on the turtles… and both OG concept and knockoff did well… where is that logic now? i think it's still a valid idea, they just aren't tapping it anymore.

    i do see where you're at, that most modern lines are targeting properties that are already in other media… but it baffles me to see missed opportunities. for example, both yugioh and chaotic are current sat morning fare, and both have tons of cool creature designs that would make awesome figs… yet, the yu-gi-oh figs are few and far between and look like garbage, and there's nothing for chaotic. you'd think, w/ the huge recurring cast and a constant flux of new critters getting showcased that these properties would be RIFE w/ fodder… but alas, it's not to be. the only thing i've seen lately that surprises me is the gormiti things… they seem to be moving relatively ok (though they are still pale in comparison to battle beasts for me, since they don't move!) and have no media exposure here. but they advertise. and there's the secret, i think, they advertise… i never see advertisements for the ben 10 toys on the ben 10 programming… why not? in fact, i don't think i've EVER seen ads for any of the ben 10 stuff since it added the alien force name. the only toys getting adverts these days are the TF, and even they aren't advertising like they did when i was young. that i think, the shift away from advertising, is what has damaged action figure industry's sales more than any other factor. when we were kids, you didn't get through a half-hr of programming w/o a gi joe or he-man commercial.

    as far as video games go… my kids get to play video games (what games they can play) but in the middle of summer? do you honestly think those kids want to be indoors playing games? they want to be outside, playing, and even when told they can't take toys outside, they'll smuggle them out to the back yard to play! there's a market, trust me. i still think video games did their damage to the AF industry in the nintendo era… but i think the damage has lapsed. maybe you're getting your kids 60 dollar games… i'm not, and i know a ton of parents who aren't either.

    i totally agree on not capitulating to the corporate "blackmail" system some companies chose to use. it's CRAP. but many of our fellow "adult collectors" simply put, don't have that willpower. i'm reading daily posts of folks all over the internet saying, "you know, i was gonna pass on that ghostbusters line, but boy, that egon looks great, i might just have to cave," and they will, and for a month, they'll love that fig. then, it's off to the storage room to be forgotten until the next purge. if you're a "buy and purge" fan, sure, that's ok, at least you know what you're up to. but lots of earnest fans are going to buy it just cuz it's out, and that's a travesty. i love the GB movies, but apparently, not as much as some folks, cuz these don't interest me at all. c'est la vie.

  • As far as Ben 10, I’ve only seen the first series, and a few episodes of the “Alien Force” show itself. I can’t say I’m much of a fan of the AF spin-off, it didn’t have quite the same charm that the original did. I’ve seen them in stores many times, and I always thought they looked like fun toys, like if I had a kid I’d want to buy them for him or her.

    Nobody likes getting a defective toy. I remember I got a Super Soaker 100 that didn’t work and I was so upset! Or how about having parts break? That was always a crushing feeling as a kid. trucks used to be made out of metal and they were indestructible… now they’re all plastic. When I was a kid my mom frowned upon me taking toys outside, but I still did… of course I’m still traumatized by having lost one of Trap Jaw’s arm attachments over at my Grandmother’s house… and after having taken Roboto into the sandbox… his gears never worked the same way again.

    I usually skip over the Yu-Gi-Oh/Power Ranger/Bakugon section, so I don’t even know whats there. Isn’t YGO more rooted in a card playing game? Thanks to the invention of the DVD, I haven’t watched cartoons on a Saturday in quite some time, so anything I would I record to watch at my leisure. As a kid though, half of the fun & excitement about watching TV was the new toy commercials. You’d get MOTU commercials during GI Joe or something.

    I know its been debated before and beaten to death like a dead horse, but I don’t see how toy companies to buy figures they do not want simply to support a line on the chance that they will eventually get the figure they will want.

    I’m not sure where the Ghostbusters line comes into play on that. I think this is a line that a lot of people have been waiting a long time for. Yes, there will be some casual fans who may purchase a figure only to put it in storage a month or two later, but I’m sure there are many more who are looking forward to picking them up. I’m not planning on getting Slime Goo Egon, but when the line starts up over at MC, I am definitely picking up the 4 GB!

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