Poe’s Point > Obligatory Club Infinite Earths Post

A few fellow collectors have asked me to promote Club Infinite Earths. I recommend you read NoisyDvL5’s thoughts on the matter, as he’s much more passionate about it than I am.

Thing is, the Club isn’t doing so well. As of this writing it hasn’t even hit 20% of the subscriptions needed to put it into production. And as I imagine the majority of these subscriptions are sold in the first day or two of the sale, I have to say this seems like a lost cause already.

I didn’t order the sub; I only collect Bat-characters these days. Of course, if there had been some sort of Batman Legacy Club, I’d be here screaming at you to sign up for it. On the other hand, part of me suspects a Batman club wouldn’t be as hard a sell.

CIE isn’t going to be the only place to find 6″ Mattel DC figures at retail. But moving forward, Mattel will be focusing on more modern looks (i.e., the September reboot) for characters in the retail line and eliminating BAFs, while many of the “Classics” of DC Universe Classics and the large figures will move to the Club–if it gets enough subscriptions.

And now a bit of editorializing: if this subscription doesn’t happen, Mattel will no doubt say, “Well, enough fans just didn’t sign up!” But that will only be part of the story. Since its inception DCUC has been plagued by quality control problems, poor production values, and the occasional lame figure–and all of those problems are hurting this subscription’s chances.

I think the QC issues are the most relevant; many fans don’t want to take a chance on receiving a single DCUC figure in a subscription and find it has a duplicate bicep or frozen hip. And sure, you could mail them back and get a replacement from Mattel, but I can certainly understand if there are people who would rather just not bother.

Again, I urge you to read NoisyDvL5’s post, especially if you’re on the fence. He’s making the case for the sub. I’m not here to make one against it, but as I’m no longer a diehard DC collector, I can’t make one for it, either–and I’m certainly not going to spend my own money on a sub. I might consider it if it looked like the numbers were getting really close, and I could help put it over the top. But right now, Club Infinite Earths looks very finite.

One final note: how painfully cruel does Matty’s smirk look next to that meter? “Pffft. You guys are pathetic.”

Comments now closed (35)

  • I agree with Noisy, but I think that the momentum just isn't there and so I'll be left without complete teams and even Jay Garrick while Mattel will always be able to trump the fact that fan demand just wasn't there. No matter how big a line seems or how much support you hear about online you see that when push comes to shove there aren't the fans there for it (JLU for example).

    Looks like my DCUC collection may finally be wrapping up with not much to collect on the horizon. Two actual retail waves left along with a 5-pack, a SDCC Swamp Thing, and a Legion 12 pack. I assume that it'll be quite a while before Mattel can start pushing out "new" DCU figures so we will probably have a lack of product for 2012 while Mattel struggles to go to the rebranded line.

    • Noisy has some EXCELLENT points but I think a lot of collectors are worried about QC like Poe said, but also about who they'd be getting in this sub. Many people didn't get the MOTUC sub so they could pick and choose who they need/want, and the same thing applies here. To me, Jay Garrick is a must have, I'm on the fence about Atrocitus since I have the DC Direct version, and I don't give a rip about Starman. Maybe if they would've shown 5 figs instead of 3 and if they said for certain who the sub exclusive was instead of a vote, it might've been more successful. I have no problem with a MOTUC sub because I know I'll want 99% of them, but DC has too many weird, wacky characters for me and I think most people to want to commit to it.

  • I really like the DCUC line but I wont be signing up for the new club. Over priced Matty shipping + horrible Mattel QC + unwanted figures = No interest. I personally feel that this new club is DoA. Sorry Noisy!

  • It's a shame, but foreseeable… DCUC falls into ruin as Marvel Legends rises from the ashes…seems appropriate.

  • What's all this talk about "mailing back" a dud figure? Whenever I get a MOTUC figure with QC issues, I just email Digital River and they send me a new one. I've done it several times and I never need to mail it back.

      • I’ve heard of both scenarios. Personally, like RageTreb, they’ve always sent me new figures if I every received a dud. However, I remember stories of people having to send their duds back in order to get new ones. Don’t remember where I read them, though.

        Regarding the mattycollector logo, I’ve always despised it but I find it accurately shows Mattel’s attitude towards its collectors and fans. They really should get a new logo.

  • Part of the problem is probably just fatigue. I love DC and their characters, but have lost all passion for this line, between QC issues, the cost steadily rising while they pretend they have no choice, and the condescending attitude they have ( they release a Sinestro who’s finally the height he should have always been and act like they’re doing us a favor, while he’s in a two pack with a guy we’ve had ad nauseum and a couple of constructs all for the low low price of 35 dollars!! ) I loved DCUC, and if the figures consistently were released like the prototypes, instead of being mangled versions of them, I’d still be excited about the line, but it’s been like this since day one. Why would anything change now?

  • This is probably the worst time to introduce a subscription club. The economy is in the toilet and collecting action figures ranks low on the importance scale to me. So the main point for me is the price. The price of figures in general are, in my opinion, too high. And they will only get higher. When JLU went from 4.99 to 8.99 that's when I pretty much called it quites on the hobby altogether. DCUC seemed to be loosing steam anyway. I'll probably still get a figure here and there, but collecting an entire line is not going to happen.
    Oh well. It was fun while it lasted.

  • Rising costs and QC issues are the 2 reasons Why I barely touch DCUC… I will buy the Batman Legacy Babas and if I find a wave 16 Robin and that's it…

  • Are we sure that graphic is even accurate? Is that "thermometer" even active?

  • Yeah. I do not think it'll happen. I think mattel needs to give a lot modding about the sub and what will be at retail. I also think as others have said that they needed to show a couple more figures. At least one of the large figures and they should have had the exclusive figure already locked down rather thanvote. I have a friend that wants a sub and wants metron but of the exclusive is anyone of the other choice he does not really want it. He may have been happy with the others but withmetron on the table he will not be satisfied by any other character now

  • To be painfully honest, if DCUC is moving towards $15+ retail figures with no CnC at all, I've lost a great deal of enthusiasm entirely for the lineI bet they'll move towards some really nice looking packaging like the Batman Legacy series to add some perceived value, but that's just pretty trash for me.

    As far as the sub specifically, I can understand why Matty is only going forward if they get enough people on board. It makes total sense since the DCUC stuff they've offered on Matty hasn't has the success of other lines. At the same time, this lack of confidence gives me no confidence in signing up.

  • I hate how Mattel does 'business.' Either offer the goddamned sub or don't, but making a 'meter' upon which those who want it must hang all their hopes and dreams is just rude.

    Good lord, people will buy the shit out of these toys IF THEY CAN FIND THEM and IF THEY ARE WELL MADE! It's simple, really. Instead we all get this: 'We at Mattel have no damned idea what fans want, so we won't make anything unless we have their money first.' What the hell kind of 'business plan' is that?

  • I have issues buying figures online because I can't compare paint or possibly broken articulation, there's no way I'm signing up for a years worth, especially when I don't have a complete (or even halfway complete) character list, the characters that have been announced have either been made my DCD (Atrocitus/Flash), or are an easy custom (Starman, although I couldn't get the translucent effect, but not a big deal, and sure as HELL not worth the sub)

  • Why collectors should fight the Matty (Subscription) model. (Most of theses are pointed at the club infinite earths club). These are only my opinions. Please, agree or disagree, as you see fit.
    • Because Mattel can name this a “collector line” they can add 10-25% to what the figure should cost.
    • Shipping and handling only adds to the price of the figures (while that might pay for something it sure feels like a penalty on my end).
    • Most of the figures are unknown; we have known idea what you’re getting for your money. Does anyone buy, a new model car never having seen it, or an apple.
    • You’re locked in, meaning the money is coming out of your account, if it is there or not. Today with the fees that banks charge that means you could be paying an extra 20-50 bucks for your figure. Sorry I’m not a rich nerd, I’m a poor geek. To be continued…

    • •Generalizing about the collecting community, we could use the exercise that hunting down these toys takes.

      •Playing off the last point you could use the socialization and human contact too.

      •Hunting down your figure and finding it (even not finding it) is part of the fun.

      •Buying toys in a brick and mortar store, support businesses in your local community.

      •Subscriptions cater to the company not the customer.

      •Your buying something sight unseen. In the store I can judge the product and make an informed choice. While a sub means, I have to hope I get a “good one”

      •If you get a bad figure, it’s a hassle to deal with returning (though some say you don’t have to return) the figure and (hopefully) getting a replacement.

      •extra accessories (like Motuc) are not a guarantee at the mercy of Mattel.

      •Does Mattel have a great track record of listening to the fans?

      • •Math*

        *Ok, Mattel is basically saying that a six inch figure is worth 15 bucks and an oversized (CnC) figure is worth 30 bucks. I personally can live with both of those numbers. This means that at Toys-R-Us (at $18 a pop) to get the 3 oversize figure we would have to buy 18 figures (using the pretty standard head/waist, torso, 2 arms, and 2 legs CnC model). While, that means you’re buying nine extra figures, it is also a better value. 18 figures (with a CnC part) @ $18 each = $324. Now if we take away the $90 (the cost of the 3 CnC figures) we paid $234 for the six inch figure or $13 each. This means the subscription is making us pay more for less. And that does not even begin to figure in the shipping and handling cost. Please be advised no mathematicians were harmed while ciphering this out, but my head does hurt.

        • Again, my opinion, But I see the subscription model as harmful to collectors and kids alike. I don’t believe in “collector lines vs. kids’ line. If I wanted to collect something for adults I’d collect guns or playboys or something. Part of the fun is the Nostalgia of begging your mom to let you go to the toy aisles, or take you if Adam had been the ABC movie of the week recently. While, not every figure in a DCUC or a Legends wave “exciting” for kids, knowing how I was as a kid or how my 8-year-old is with superhero squad, kids want those “unexciting” figures (knew plenty of 11-14 year old boys collecting legends). Of course the wolverine, spidys, hulks, and Ironmen sell first, but kids want the B-listers too, just not as much as the collector.

        • IF a line isn’t healthy enough to survive in the chains and the LCBS let it die, because the subscription model in the long run will only lead to less value at higher cost and less kids becoming collector. It’s seem like Mattels DCUC money train is at the end of the line and this is there why to milk a little more out of it, Legends seem to think it can have a profitable line with all the trimmings and the average kid/collector isn’t super stoked to get a Hope Summers (or pick a characters). Now come out of the corners swinging 

  • I don't know if I've just been spoiled by Japanese figures, but the longer this line goes without universally-implemented double joints and the elbow and knees, the less interested I am.

    I mean, come on. They have a double-jointed Creeper, Robin and Azrael out, but no double-jointed Bruce Batman? What is this?!

    • I bet the reason that double joints are missing from most of the DCUC line is because they are ugly. The sculpt seems to be the only priority with the DCUC line. DCUC is really just a bunch of mini statues, not toys. IMO Mattel doesn't value articulation at all. Look at their shelf warming Green Lantern toys. They seem to think that 80's style action figures are going to fly off the shelf today. Mattel is so far behind Hasbro is embarrassing.

  • As someone who has 17 of the 18 waves, all the con exclusives, and virtually all the 2-packs, I can honestly say that I only had one figure with actual breakage (w16 Robin's foot) and that I've managed to work out stuck joints on about 5 figures. I have 2 or 3 that have really loose joints. That's 8 or 9 figures out of somewhere around 200 figures. As Noisy pointed out, it's not a line without warts–none are, unless you're paying $200 a figure for Hot Toys. Rather than get a bunch of reboot figures I don't want at retail, I'd like a year of team builders and oversized figures that didn't fit the C&C model and $255 a year + shipping is totally worth it–silly me.

    Thanks Poe for posting this; I was hoping to get some support or raise awareness about the sub, but it looks like most people just posted to rub it in DCUC fans faces. I'm glad everyone jumped on here to give DCUC their parting shots–thanks. I'll remember to jump on and talk about all the problems with MOTUC when it gets cancelled.

    • What is amazing to me is that you seem to see the “hate” or “shot taking” as unfounded, QC problems don’t just incompass, breakage and joints, there is also distribution, Mattels “blame game”, and price, to name just a few problems. Well, I to have figures from every wave of DCUC (most complete) but I don’t think that subscription based collecting is fun or good for the hobby. NO I’m not a MOTUC collector solely because of subscriptions model and I bought almost ever motu 200X figure and had a lot of “classic” figures as a kid so I’m a fan. I have bought the “Dogs” and the “pegwarmers” right a long side the superstars, but Mattel is a demanding company that tries to squeeze every drop they can out of it’s fan while really giving very little in return (yes we got so good figures but we paid for them) or if they do give you something they lord it over you. Well, when they were putting the squeeze on they were draining loyalty right with everything else. Mattel, likes to forget, WE are the customers. Plus all good things come to an end, and all middle of the road things come and end too.

  • What problems with MOTUC? Aside from some backwards biceps and the hassle of having to buy through Matty’s site for non subscribers, I don’t recall a lot of issues with MOTUC. If Mattel had put the effort into DCUC at retail that they did MOTUC online, these concerns wouldn’t seem so valid. But as someone who has been with MOTUC since day one, I can tell you I have yet to have the warped limbs and broken joints I have had with several DCUC figures. I don’t think people have been rubbing it in as you put it, and I’m glad you haven’t had as much of a problem as some have with the QC on the line, but their concerns and feelings are valid. A year ago I would have been all over this sub, but Mattel’s nonsense has burnt me out at this point.

    • I didn't mean necessarily QC problems, I just meant the character selection, the fees and ordering hassle you mentioned–you know, the stuff MOTUC fans complan about. I understand people's problems with QC, but I was able to get a voucher for Robin, and most people got replacements if they ordered of Mattycollector. I was just joking, too–I feel for anyone whose toy line comes to an end. I just really like the line and it seems like everyone just came on to talk about more reasons not to buy the sub, which just seems like piling on at this point.

  • I really just think that Thermometer just doesn’t get updated and it is intentional so that it panics the collectors into signing up. Looks like its working too. After reading on forums all over the net I would be very surprised if this doesn’t take off considering how many subs the collectors will get along with how many subs sites like BBTS will get.

    • This. The therm hasn't changed since the day of the announcement and I'd have to believe there'd be SOME percentage increase.

      I'm not buying. DCUCs are getting far to expensive for what they are and space has become a significant issue for me. Most of the DCUC I have now are in storage bins, save for a select few (less than 5 actually on the shelf). And, while I've been thrilled with the addition of double knees and elbows, it's really made it hard for me now to pick up a DCUC that doesn't have the added artic (at least make the dbl knees standard!). Adding in the somewhat obscure character selection, it's all made me something of a pick-and-chooser. I went from collecting entire waves to buying only three or four individual figures in the past year. What Mattel has shown so far for the sub figures hasn't wowed me either.

      If they wanted to sell this competently, they really need to show more of what will be offered. They've shown all of three figures with a semi-random fourth. They're asking customers to commit to spending around $400 total (with shipping) for the next year without knowing even a third of what they're committing to buy. I understand why they couldn't have more tooled figures for SDCC, but a few more names and mock-up artwork of at least three-quarters of what's to be offered was essential. Matty can't afford to be secretive in order to build collector interest, especially when they're just trying to get this line off the ground. The whole thing was really poorly planned.

  • What really ticks me off is that if we don't sub we won't get these characters, meaning Atrocitus, Star Man, Flash 1, and ******* POISON IVY!!!!!!! won't get made. What made me mad the most is that they act like they don't have the Batman Legacy line to put Poison Ivy in, and they can't just continue the Green Lantern Classics for characters like Atrocitus.

  • No, man, they want to start a Club so that the fans can get figures that could not make it at retail.
    So, instead of just dropping the line, they make an attempt to find another way to get some of these lesser known characters to us.

    It certainly is worth getting mad about. Imagine that. A company trying extra hard to see action figure fans get some of the figures they want,… that would not sell at retail. Da#%$* them!!

    Makes me angery just thinking about it!!

  • "One final note: how painfully cruel does Matty’s smirk look next to that meter? 'Pffft. You guys are pathetic.'"

    I have never liked the look of Matty's avatar. Reminds me of the Mac vs. PC adverts where Apple was incredibly cultish; it was an advertisment which drove me away from Apple's products. The snarkiness almost seemed calculated to make me uncomfortable to do business with apple. At some point, Apple shifted the advertisment theme: "see this cool thing: look what it can do." I now happily own an iPhone, without guilt or that sick feeling I'm wallowing in slime. (and the phone is just fun to use!)

    Matty, to me, just looks like some damned too-cool preppy drug pusher, mocking me for some invented infraction. Not the association i would imagine a company would want from their ad campaign.

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