Yesterday Mattel released images of the packaged Count Marzo, complete with the bio, which reveals the fate of King Miro and a surprising alliance.
Implication: Randor and Keldor teamed up to kick Marzo’s ass. (Then Randor became a racist.)
I like the figure and the bio, but I do have to ask: the prototype had the Tri-Klops-style matching bracelets. Why does the figure now have the He-Man style different ones? I think the matching ones looked better. But that’s a minor, geeky nitpick.
They also posted this bonus Q&A on Mattycollector, in an attempt to put to rest some questions that I think we can all agree (some) fans will never let rest, i.e., pre-orders, Anime Hyper Detail™ and sell-outs.
Q. Why do things sell out so fast and why don’t you make more?
A. The line is clearly picking up more and more fans as we go along. This is good news-bad news for fans, because when the line does better it gives Mattel more incentive to keep it going, but things do sell out faster, making them harder to get.
Production numbers will increase, but it can’t happen overnight as raw materials are purchased months before a figure goes on sale. Adding figures to an existing factory order just isn’t cost-effective as it would cost us more per figure than we actually sell them for. For other first-time out items, like the stands or dioramas, there’s just no way to know how many will sell until we offer them.
We promise you, the Matty team is very aware of everyone’s frustration. You wouldn’t think making toys and selling them on a website would be such a complicated business, but it would blow your mind to see the inner workings.
But here’s the good news: MOTUC figures are not a one-time deal! If you missed a figure you really wanted, be patient because we often re-release products. We do a second run so everyone has a chance to complete their collections.
Q. Why can’t you do pre-orders?
A. We know this is something fans ask for and we do hear you. It’s just not logistically possible for a variety of reasons that we, unfortunately, can’t go into with the public. What we do offer is the Club Eternia™ subscription program that basically lets you “pre-order” a year’s worth of figures, although you are only charged when they actually ship to you. While this option doesn’t work for all fans, it’s the only “pre-order” option we can offer.
Q. Why is there only one sale per month?
A. There are a couple of reasons why we have one on-sale date per month. First, we want our customers to save on shipping, which the single sale day model accomplishes. As we mentioned below , this is especially appreciated by our international fans. Second, because many products sell out quickly, a set sale day is the best option for giving all customers a chance at the products they want. We’re sorry, but for the foreseeable future, we won’t be doing multiple on-sale dates.
Q. Why don’t you reduce the 10 per order purchase limit?
A. A lot of fans are asking specifically about the 10 per order limit. First, a little history. Back when we first started the line, the limit was only four. This was loudly rejected by fans as not being enough, so we increased it to ten. This was an especially good way to help our international fans who could combine orders and save on shipping (which is HUGE for them).
After we made the change, we kept an eye on orders to see how many figures people were actually ordering and very few customers were ordering more than three or four. Then, after our Moss Man® sale, Toy Guru personally went through every order and, once again, VERY few customers ordered ten – in fact, there are only a small percentage of orders that are for even more then four figures.
We know people are seeing a lot of figures on the secondary market. We honestly have nothing to do with this market (believe us, no one here is getting a cut), but we think it’s probably people who bought multiple Club Eternia™ subscriptions when they were on sale back in the summer of 2009. The subscriptions were open for three weeks and anyone could buy as many as they needed or wanted. It’s likely some fans bought subscriptions for the sole purpose of reselling them, which they have every right to do and we have no control over.
We will increase production as demand continues to go up, and Moss Man®, along with other quick sell-out figures, will be back in time. For those customers who want their figures guaranteed with no wait and no hassle, we hope you’ll take advantage of the subscription when it goes on sale again this July.
And speaking of the subscription…
Q. What’s the story on the 2011 Club Eternia™ subscription?
A. The basic structure will remain the same for 2011 as it was for 2010. Although you commit to a full year of figures when you purchase the subscription, you are only charged for them when they are actually shipped to you. For 2011, we are continuing to offer one type of subscription (sorry, tiers are just not logistically possible for us), which will be the fan-requested “all-in” model that includes one of every product, including quarterly figures and “oversized” figures.
We’re still working out the details, but the tentative plan for 2011 is to have the following:
12 Monthly figures
4 Quarterly figures
4 Oversized figures ($30 – $60 each)
1 Subscription-exclusive figure (similar to Wun-Dar™)
Please note that before you purchase the 2011 subscription, we will tell you exactly how many of each figure and at what price they’ll be. We won’t reveal the figure names, but we will tell you how many at each price point so you’ll know the total purchase commitment amount, not including shipping (although you aren’t billed until the figures are shipped).
This year, there’s another great benefit… in addition to being guaranteed to get every figure, we’re also processing subscription orders two business days before the sale, so subscribers get their figures shipped before everyone else!
The 2011 subscription will be available starting July 21, 2010 (preview night at San Diego Comic-Con), and you’ll be able to purchase as many subscriptions as you like. If you want to be reminded, sign up for email or follow us on Twitter.
Q. What about the 2002 line?
A. The Masters of the Universe® Classics line is all about looking at the vintage style first and sprinkling any other needed elements to create a cohesive line for MOTU, Princess of Power™ and New Adventures. As for the 2002 line, that line and interpretation of the MOTU world is retired. Yes, there are many fans who prefer it to the “classic” interpretation of MOTU in the current line, and that’s cool. We’re also huge fans of the 2002 hyper-detail version, but there are no plans to produce any further figures based on this stylized interpretation.
That said, there is some good news: if a character was not in the vintage line, such as Count Marzo™, for example, we may do it in MOTUC as if it had been a figure in the vintage line and we are “updating” it. So, we will include 200X characters from the show, just not in the hyper-detail interpretation. We’ll also look at how a 200X figure might have used shared parts based on what is available in the vintage line. We think this will really bring some magic to these characters when we do get to them in MOTUC!
Q. If we ask for it, will you make it?
A. As much as we’d like to, we can’t produce products based only on fan demand. While we love to listen to fans, there are myriad legal, logistic, and technical issues preventing many things fans demand from going forward. As often as we can, though, we certainly will, like we did with the flocking on the ears of Moss Man®, and adding a second highlight color to the sword of She-Ra™.
Q. Can children play with MOTUC toys?
A. Although we have labeled them “Adult Collector,” we still safety test them the same way we do all of our age 4+ toys. So, yes, children are totally encouraged to play with MOTUC. But we still don’t consider them bath toys, so Moss Man is not ideal for water play, as some fans have found out!