Preview fatigue?

I’ve got a question for you, Poesters. I’ve been reviewing a lot of Masters of the Universe Classics lately, and of course you get to see MOTUC weeks before my own review thanks to the samples sent out to Fwoosh, AFI, Pixel Dan etc.

Do you find that these previews dampen your interest or enthusiasm in my own reviews? I’ve noticed the number of comments in those reviews has been going down, and I’m trying whether that’s due to lack of interest in the figures, this preview sample issue, or a general waning of PGPoA’s popularity itself in my post-DCUC-collecting era.

Comments now closed (47)

  • I look forward to your reviews over those others because I know they aren't advanced copies that you review and you also talk about things I'm more interested in than most of the others.

  • I wouldn't say preview fatigue is a factor for me. It's more like I've already got it fatigue. I check out reviews mostly for pics of figures I don't have yet or to learn about figures I was thinking of buying. With MOTUC, by nature of living in California and having the subscription, I have my figures before most reviews hit. I don't really need to read them at that point.

  • I only collect DCUC, but I still check in on your MOTUC reviews because they tend to be even-handed and you address issues as you see them. A lot of other sites seem a bit beholden to Mattel, if you ask me.

  • If I may be honest?

    The line just doesn't interest me, so I rarely feel the need to comment.

    That said, I do generally tend to read over the reviews.

    Personally, I'm a DCUC man but you gotta go where your heart is and if it's in MOTUC, then that's the direction you have to be.

  • Poe, I read each and every single one of your posts. Hell, you and Yo Go Re are the entire reason I've starting review figures myself. You know your stuff and write a hell of a lot better than most people.

    Here's the biggest thing: you pay for your toys, a lot of the other guys don't. If you drop $30 on something and it's only okay, I want to know.

  • I just haven't been interested in the last few figures. Teela was the last figure I got, and the last review I commented on. Randor and Adora have especially been duds for me. I promise you will have a comment or two from me on Trap-Jaw and Battle Cat.

  • @jestergoblin, why thank you sir! I was lucky enough to have a friend who knitted one not just for me but for my entire family.

    Also, kudos to Poe for buying his toys, it;s a labour of love I tells ya!

  • The previews are okay, but it's tough for me to take reviews too seriously when the reviews are:

    1. Toys given to the reviewer.

    2. Toys given to the reviewer WEEKS before the general public has a chance to buy them.

    Advance previews sometimes feel a little too much like commercials and not enough like critical reviews.

  • I read all your reviews, but don't comment on MOTU because I don't collect them.

    And I agree, that the previews seem more of like, "Hey Here is this toy", and less like "Hey, here is my opinion of this toy."

  • No offense, but this site is slowly dying. You just don't have the time to update it like you used to–which is totally understandable. But with less content comes less reason to visit the site, and fewer inclinations to comment. (Of course you may be enjoying your reprieve from my Mattel bashing and MOTU 200X pining).

  • This doesn't happen often, but I kind of agree with DMW. Not necessarily that the sites dying, but that there is a general malaise pervading. I'm not pointing an accusatory finger; you have other stuff to do, real-life stuff, so you're busy.

    I for one was sad to see the DCUC reviews go, but it wasn't a deal breaker. And as far as previews, I don't go to any other toy sites so you're where I get my news. I'd hate to see you drop them.

  • I'm less inclined to comment because a lot of the reviews just tend to devolve into the same tired old Mattel bashing.

  • Plus the last several releases for MOTUC have been less that stellar character-wise. Godess, Randor, BA He-Man and Adora is a murderers row of zzzzzzzz.

    Believe me, shit will be blowing up like Hiroshima next month when Battlecat, Trap Jaw, Wun Dar, and the stands come out.

  • Pixel Dan's voice drives me insane. Literally. Like I hear him, froth at the mouth, kick my dog, and start cutting my thigh with a plastic spoon.

    Yeah, I hate his reviews.

  • @AnimateTed: Hallelujah! I though I was the only one. I just can't stand the fake-enthusiasm-turned up-to-ten sound of his voice. Talk like a regular person!

  • I usually comment on the MOTUC reviews, but the comments do sort of end up Mattel bashing which I'm tired of. I understand the dropping of DCUC, but it does hurt because of there were more figures to preview, review, or simply comment on (Sinestro's height problem etc.).

  • @Poe: There is nothing at all wrong with your reviews of the figures, they are excellent. Its just more of the fact the last few characters have been real bores, like finkrod said I'd say there will be more interest in the more dynamic figures like Battle Cat and Trapjaw etc.

  • Although I see all of the early reviews, I look forward to yours the most. As many have said before me, I don't use the preview reviews for anything other than getting some new photos of the figure. How many times can I hear that a figure is absolutely the greatest addition to the line, simply because it was given to the reviewer for free? No, I'll wait for your review and take your word for it, knowing that you'll be fair in the review (and if you're biased for some reason you'll say so), and that you spent your own money on the item.

  • Poe, I like your reviews and it's the one thing I think that makes this site stand head and shoulders above the rest.

    I also think that the popularity of a review shouldn't be tied into how many comments that there are, but the number of views instead.

  • I can't say I get super excited about toy reviews either way — especially since MOTUC figures are often sold out by the time I can read the reviews, making recommendations kinda moot — but I will say you need to get your freakin' Battle Armor He-Man review up already. 😉

    And I think I've said enough lately about one of those reviewers you mentioned (while not specifically naming anyone!), so don't think for a second that his reviews have any impact on my enthusiasm for anything that shows up over here. I'd rather read your reviews a year late than watch and listen to someone fellate Mattel ad nauseam.

  • I've always been a fan of quality over quantity, and there are a lot of other sites that seems to push out a lot of content, but nothing of any substance, most reviews read more like a personal blog than anything. I'm not trying to put anyone else down, I guess it comes down to preference and each individual's writing style. Though, as a personal comment, I wonder if some reviewers even bother to check their work or even run through a simple spell check.

    I enjoy checking out the preview pics, whether it’s AFI, Fwoosh, or wherever they’re posted. That said, I still enjoy reading any and all reviews of a toy I enjoy. I don’t read them to make a decision about whether or not I want to purchase them or not, but more just to see what other’s thought.

    A year ago MOTUC was still the biggest best kept secret, but now with so many sites running coverage there’s almost a saturation… not to say it’s a bad thing, but it gives people lots of choices, like where to get news, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, NPR, etc.

  • The point of view of someone who paid for something is always better than who get it for free.

    I hate those “this is a wow, wow, WOW, AMAHAZING thing you’ll be able to spend money long after I had mine. for free.”

  • I comment with regularity, I think. I too miss the DCUC reviews. I also lament the infrequency of content posting. Like the others, I understand, but it is still sad. This is pretty much my favorite review site, and I'd love to see it updated more frequently. Now that I have a nice new camera, I might even be persuaded into contributing. But everything that IS here is great.

  • (site won't let me edit my comment, so here are my intended remarks.)

    Like everyone else, I miss the DCUC reviews and lament the infrequency posts. Also like the others, I understand, but it's still a bummer. This is pretty much my favorite review site, and I'd love to see it updated more frequently. Like PrfktTear, I don;t really read the reviews as part of the decision-making process, I simply like hearing other people's opinions. But everything that IS here is great. Maybe you should look into gathering a few more contributors?

  • @Andrew: Just curious…are you talking about my actual reviews or the comments? Because I have to say, I think characterizing my reviews as “Mattel-bashing” seems risible…if anything, I’ve been accused of being too kind to Mattel.

    @finkrod: You’re right about Battle Cat. In fact, that reminds me of a contest I’ve got to run.

  • personally, i don't like the previews either… they are nice advertising, but the preview figs aren't being offered to objective or competant reviewers… and i can't stand a shill.

    that said, i check your reviews in the round of them that i read, that include here, IAT and mike crawfords… and for example, you were, this month, number three w/ the adora reviews… so i likely didn't comment like i do when you're number 1 or 2 in the rotation. but your reviews are great, your pictures are excellent, your opinions appropriately critical… i comment when i feel i have something to add. matty bashing or fawning don't bother me so much as lack of having a substantive opinion do, so i'm roused to post more frequently when someone says something flatly ignorant or when i feel a germaine detail has been glossed over.

    plus, as several others have mentioned, the last few motucs have been duds, kind of… i've bought them, and while i enjoy them, they're not my fave figs of the line, and they're not really unique… i liked randor cuz of the michael mcdonald beard, but adora and BA he-man are snoozers. plus, i vented my BA he-man vitriol on IAT… there's a 20 dollar fig that COULD have been a 5 dollar pack of armor and i'd have felt much more satisfied w/ the product… that purchase had better earn me two-bad or another unique sculpt in 2010!!

    as far as your content goes poe, i don't think that your content is in anyway affecting your comment rate, it's as top notch as it always is. nor are the previews hurting you. the other review sites beating you to press hurts a bit i wager, but i like your audience here and enjoy interacting w/ them when i feel i have something to say.

  • I have a couple different thoughts on this.

    First, I like your reviews. I’m guilty of not commenting here a lot, but I read POA regularly. Your reviews are the only place to get the “Poe” take, so to speak. That’s part of why I hit certain websites. I’m sure you have a ton of people coming here for that reason and it’s something I hope to emulate as my site starts becoming popular – a “Noisy” take I suppose.

    Second, I think Matt K has it right about “already got it fatigue”. We all live a certain number of days out from California and that affects our ability to get the reviews up in a timely fashion. I’m in the Midwest and can get the figure in about 4-6 days. On a day where I feature a MOTU review, my visitor profile is overwhelmingly east of me instead of the usual balance between the big cities. The further west the MOTU reviewer is, the easier go they’re going to have of it.

    Third, the He-Man fanbase is very loyal to the Org. It’s been an uphill battle to draw them out of their shells to come to IAT. My Battle Armor He-Man review had half of the referrals coming from Facebook alone, another fourth from the Buzz. The .Org? Well, the number of referrals coming from the Org were comparable to referrals coming from here yesterday. I’m not knocking your site, it’s one of the most popular toy blogs out there – but that shouldn’t happen. The Org should be the biggest referrer for MOTU reviews – but it’s not. Most Orgers don’t want to ‘travel’ from there to IAT and I wonder if that same thing might be true for you as well. They’re a hard lot to court.

    In the end, do what you feel is best for your blog and for your life outside the blog. But do know that we’re reading. If the views are there, the comments aren’t as important.

  • It's basically the same figure over and over with different heads and accesories.

    If you've already bought a He-man, you basically know what you'll be getting for the male figs.

    I just look at the pretty pictures and check the raven's at the end and maybe skim the text.

  • Wow, chiming in way late, but here goes nothing…

    Part of the reason I rarely do MOTUC reviews is because EVERYONE does them. Several sites get previews as you mentions, sometimes MONTHS in advance. If I review MOTUC shortly after I get it, chances are every other major toy site is going to review it too.

    With MOTUC you either like the line or you don't, so there's very little variety by the time you're reading the reviews.

    That's not to say I won't ever review another MOTUC, nor is that to say I won't read your MOTUC reviews or someone elses, but it's to me, an over reviewed genre.

    I also hate Pixel Dan's voice, but that's unrelated. My main complaint with Dan would be that he pretty much only reviews freebies. I understand that he is a real fan, but he seems almost too much like an extension of Mattel PR to me.

    I would love it if companies sent me freebies. I'd review them honestly, but I'd also review other stuff. I have stacks of stuff I plan on reviewing for my site, but it's stuff I've bought. Investments I made good or bad. Certainly a freebie now and again would be fine, but that's pretty much all Dan does and it sticks in my craw a bit.

    As for your site Poe, I still make daily trips here. I post less, probably because I've been very busy myself.

    Even though I love MOTUC itself, I don't have an opinion one way or the other on the reviews. I'll read yours, I always do, but I can totally understand wanting to cut them out. I've had people actually request that I do more MOTUC reviews, but I'm always just like "why?" because there are so many other reviews out there.

    IMO Mattel's MOTUC and DCUC are over exposed in the community as a whole.

  • Hey Poe,

    Your site is great and has quickly become a fav since I found it a month or so ago.

    It does seem like content wise the updates are fewer and more spaced out leaving less reason to check the site as often. Maybe bring back the DCUC news with a guest reviewer?

    I always check out your MOTUC reviews though. You seem honest about them. Pixel Dan and his videos are just a really odd format and hard to sit through him talking to me like I'm in kindergarten. Keep up the great work!

  • I appreciate the comments all, particularly their honesty, be they genuine efforts to boost what you evidently perceive to be an eggshell-thin sense of self-esteem (no comment) or rumors of my site's impending demise (exaggerated or otherwise).

    I have an ongoing "To Do" to find someone to review DCUC figures for the site, but honestly, as Newton Gimmick said above, I do feel as if the line is over-exposed as is–but so is MOTUC. And I also realize that a large part of the fanbase I built up here at PGPoA was based around my heavy early DCUC coverage, back when I was obsessed with the line. (MOTUC fans, fear not: there's no way I'll drop this line before it ends. It didn't happen with 200X and it won't happen now. I've got a subscription.)

    It's incumbent upon me to maintain your interest, whether via reviews or in other ways. And I'm working on that, but I do need your feedback when something's working or when it isn't (Toy Aisle Trolls seems to be popular, though). As for the lesser frequency of posting, I know this sounds like an excuse, but as many of you you know, I've got a new job that's keeping me quite busy…plus it's the damned winter and I live in New England and so I generally don't feel like doing anything other than playing videogames and watching movies until the sun comes out again…

    But I digress. The review of BA He-Man is coming, as is Man-Bat. I'll try to get to those before the weekend is out. I can promise you the fourth and final He-Man poster A-Z this Friday.

    BTW, NG, thanks for reminding me to post my reviews on Facebook–totally forgot about that.

  • I do check out the preview images but just to look at the pretty pictures. For reviews I'm checking here along with OAFE and MWCToys. The reviews of the preview sites seem a little too skewed towards the positive and while that may be the genuine opinion of the reviewer I take it with a grain of salt. I much prefer the more objective reviews of you Poe and the other OAFEers as well as Michael Crawford.

    As for commenting, well I'm not a MOTU fan and don't collect the figures (though I will be getting Battle Cat, can't pass that one up) so I don't really feel comfortable commenting on something I don't have a vested interest in. On the other hand I do miss the DCUC reviews and even though I'm only picking up a few of the characters that I like I feel much more comfortable commenting on those reviews than the MOTUC stuff.

  • I love this is site and if I lose it like I lost Conan, I'll go insane. So please don't quit. Also I really really miss DCUC.

  • Poe I really love your site, its one of only a few I regularly check.

    I know your busy with work etc but it would be nice to see some vintage toy reviews to make it a bt more diverse. The past several months its nearly all been MOTUC and DCUC….and due to there construction there is very little new to say about each figure.

  • I might be a little biased, since I'm doing MotU reviews (including the Classics line) myself for years.

    But I'm always looking forward to yours and in fact think yours are among the best throughout the web.

    To be frank, I'm not at all a fan of the "advance reviews" anyway. Almost all the time, they whether have bad pics, little text, or seem to be written/filmed in a rush of "blind" excitement. That works as free advertisement for Mattel, but not as a real review for me.

    I'm always looking forward to your reviews, since there's nice pics, detailled comments on the various categories and background details. No matter how many ravens you give in the end, you're always giving good and fair arguments. And you neither hype nor bash any figures.

  • I’ve never commented much, ’cause I hate when there’s no e-mail notification of replies.

    Now that I’ve got snail-speed internet in Africa, I’m even less inclined to reply.

    I admire the lack of hype at your site. I admire your grammar and punctuation.

    I tend to read most of your reviews, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure you’ve never reviewed a single figure I planned to get.

    DCUC is the most over-hyped, overrated toyline of the decade in my opinion, and while I want He-Man himself, our internet speed and time zone here in Africa make it impossible, and I don’t want any of the other MOTUC figures ’cause I think the 2002 designs were a hundred times cooler.

    Crawford remains my favorite reviewer, with you and Newton Gimmick tied for second; I like his unique subject matter.

    …that’s about it, I guess.

  • I'm sorry, what was the question again? Previews? They don't do much for me; I'm not a MOTU guy, but I do enjoy the reviews.

  • I don't post much here because I don't post much anywhere these days, but I do always enjoy your MOTUC reviews, even for figures I don't plan to get. I like that you give a little history on the character and I enjoy your writing style generally.

    I propose that from now on if one of us reads something here that has no posts, we should post "FIRST!" like all those really classy interweb sites. 🙂

  • Late again:

    Well I spend a lot less time here (sorry Poe) but that's much more a consequence of a busier life than it is a lack of interest or a comment on this site.

    I have those sites that I check in with whenever I get some "me" time mainly to follow-up actual news – Rebelscum and JediNews for my Swars fix and the Org for He-news – but other than that I'll dip into other sites that have a degree of quality to them – like this one just to see what's occuring. But with the way normal/abnormal real-life is working out at present I get a lot less "me" time than I'd like.

    I can't say I'm too fussed about whether you carry a heavy DCUC content or not – my interest in that Line has well and truly peaked as I pretty much have everything I want from it bar a Martian that Manhunts and a decently sized Doomsday – when they get to those I'll get excited again. I'm ok with your He-focus too, but as a fellow subscriber I'm in for another year's worth of figures anyway so even reviews by you are going to make no difference to whether I pick them up or not – hence their really isn't any "urgency" about rushing over here to find out anything critical.

    I do think your reducing role here may (that's may) be a factor in less traffic – if that's what prompted this – passing this way. But you've explained the reasons for that so really that part of things is up to you – you have to balance this and your life so that you are happy with it.

    Just what I think.

  • Poe, I love your site and always appreciate your reviews and opinions. It's my favorite action figure site for the type of commentary.

  • Poe, your work is so vastly better written and presented than that of most websites, I would prefer to read your review of a ten year old figure than theirs of something that is not even available to buy yet. There is no need for you to change anything.

  • Hello Poe!

    Well, I visit this site everyday looking for news and I really like your reviews ( All of them, even the ones written about lines that I don't care at all, like Ghostbusters for example ).

    I read other reviews as well, but this site is way better ( and more honest ) than the preview ones in my book.

    Keep up the great work!



  • The guys who get preview figures aren’t cool man.Real men buy their own toys.

  • Just for the record: I never saw ( If memory serves me well ) a preview review talking negative things about the toys reviewed…