Subpocalypse, Cont’d

A Poester writes in:

I was chatting to a friend of mine today [who owns a specialist collector toy shop in England] – mostly Transformers, Star Wars etc.  We where chatting and the whole situation with MOTUC came up, as I know he collects them. During our conversation he told me that last year, he contacted Mattel and wanted to be a supplier for MOTUC in the UK. They replied and told him that unless he was willing to purchase $55,000 worth of each figure, they would not supply him. Realistically he was willing to spend £500-£1000 on each figure, but he said there was no way he was going to order $55,000 worth of one figure.

It puzzles me they would turn down a retailer willing to spend £1000 on one of their monthly figures, yet they are claiming there is not enough support. Mattel must really want to keep retailers and customers away from their products.

Obviously this is entirely unsourced, so it’s nothing but hearsay without actual corroboration. Still, it doesn’t sound made-up to me, and it also sounds entirely plausible.

And of course, I have no idea what would go into establishing an official MOTUC supply chain in the U.K. (or anyone in Europe). So what I’m saying is, $55K/figure could be what’s financially necessary for it to be worthwhile to Mattel. $1000 a figure works out to about thirty figures, which is just a portion of what, for example, BigBadToyStore has ordered in the past (I don’t know the exact number, but I believe BBTS orders somewhere between 150-200 subscriptions).

On a related note, this is probably the bleakest response I’ve seen from Scott Neitlich to date:

I wish MOTUC could work for every customers with every type of buying habit but it just can’t.

This is what we are offering.If we get enough sub holders great. If not, we’ll move on. It will make me sad, but it might be what we need to do. I love this line too and have done everything I can to make it work within the Mattel structure. Not an easy thing to do. Mattel is set up to mass-produce dolls and die cast cars and Batman figures. Doing tiny runs of MOTU figures is VERY difficult to do and requires guaranteed sales to continue.

Time for all MOTUC fans to step up. We either subscriber or we don’t. That is about as black and white as I can make it.

At this point, I think a lot of fans are going to cry foul if the sub does go through. Neitlich no longer appears to be trying to gin up support, but rather trying to manage expectations for its failure.

Comments now closed (76)

  • I'll be honest, I thought this year would go through just fine and it would be dead next year, once Ram Man was out… I really don't mind it dying, I just want my Ram Man, that was the unspoken promise I had made, I'd subscribe one last time to guarantee him and then I was done…

    it seems it's too little too late…

      • Are sub supporters going to get personal now? That should make the next ten days even more interesting.

        • Not being personal, just saying it like it is. You can't have your cake & eat it too.

      • That's an awful lot to pay for one figure, though. I don't blame anyone for saying "No" in such circumstances.

      • I subscribed the day they went up… for DCUC too, thanks for making assumptions with no information to back it up

  • I'm confused, why can't the reseller just purchase 30 subs? Obviously he wants a discount and that's what Mattel is balking at. Unless he's going to move HUGE volume, they aren't going to give him one. Mattel would possibly give him a bulk discount if he was moving huge volume, but otherwise they're just competing with themselves. There's no incentive for them to give him a bulk buy price. UK subscribers have to go the Matty site otherwise.

    At this point TG more or less HAS to shut down MOTUC if they don't hit the limit. Because if they go ahead with the sub, everyone will cry foul and the line will be considered "unkillable" by fans. So when this happens next year again, but with a better lineup, everyone will be caught off guard when they pull the plug.

    I honestly question how TG can keep his job if it all goes bust though. MattyCollector might as well shut down without MOTUC and DC is deader than MOTUC at this point. GB is dead and WWE Legends has been a colossal failure on Matty. So TG's masterful creation of MattyCollector will have been a huge waste of time and resources for Mattel. If this is all his brainchild, how does that not put his head on the chopping block?

    The problem is MATTEL, end of story. Not any one particular person at the company, but the entire way the company is set up. If MOTUC were housed on the REGULAR Mattel store, the line would be much more successful. But thanks to Mattel's internal practices that have so much legal red tape and restrictions, the line is constantly suffering. It truly, boggles the mind.

    They don't care about making money, they care about maximizing profit… And those are two very different things.

    • "They don't care about making money, they care about maximizing profit… And those are two very different things."

      Beautifully spot on

    • In today's Corporate climate unless something is going to turn a profit no one is going to invest time or money into it. That's just how it is.

    • Any chance we can stop calling for heads to roll (and really that's what you're doing)? Jesus. This is a guy with kids and a wife and a mortgage.

      Newton, you've made your point here and on your own site. Can you just relax it a bit? I'm happy for you that you're done with the line, but others aren't. So why don't you let the others have their shot at keeping the fire alive?

      And I swear, all the remarks I hear about being fine with the line dying, so long as I get my (insert childhood favorite here) are just annoying and mean-spirited. When TG stated the other day that there was no chance of seeing Super Powers in the DC sub, I decided that was it for me, there was no way I was subbing. But in now way do I want the line/sub today. In fact, I posted this news elsewhere in the hopes that it might mean fans who hated SP would be more inclined to sub now. I WANT it to continue because I think fans SHOULD get what they can out of a line.

      • First, let's get something clear. A lot of people are calling for TG's head and have through the years… But I am not one of them. I have never, EVER called for TG to be fired or even replaced. In fact the record shows that generally I've been very supportive of TG as I think he's a nice guy in a tough spot with at worst a penchant for sticking his foot in his mouth. So let's just unequivocally squash that falsehood there.

        To that end, I did say that I question how the fall of MattyCollector won't come down on his head. TG himself has said that he was the guy behind MOTUC coming around, he's the guy who's pushed for all the changes to MattyCollector and that essentially he is the brainchild of the whole concept. Remember that MattyCollector solely exists because of a model that TG created and it's sole purpose was to house MOTUC figures, his words, not mine. If that goes belly up, as it seemingly would without MOTUC, how would that not be a huge slight on him? This was my question and it's one of the things that I've pondered as to why he hasn't made a bigger push to save the line because it seems to me that if it goes down in flames, it would be a big black eye on his record.

        To me if MOTUC goes, the entire house of cards that is MattyCollector goes. Something that Mattel has invested a lot of time and resource in. Despite the fact that they may not appreciate it, they will resent the fact that it's fallen apart. Which was the crux of my post above, nothing more, nothing less.

        If the MattyCollector lines go bust, it would essentially be the end of ALL of TG's pet projects. That seems like a big deal to me, but maybe it's not to Mattel. DESPITE the fact that it did good for several years. If TG is to be believed, the entire thing only exists because he constantly bugs management to spend money that could otherwise make them MORE money elsewhere. If all that time and resources ends up being for a dying website, it seems that it would be a huge negative for TG.

        As for the whole "stop calling for the line to die" nonsense, I never have. While I have poked a bit of fun at the hysteria around this stuff, I have never once called for the line to die. Heck, I've been with the line since the very FIRST figure and immediately jumped aboard the subs. For anyone to question my allegiance as a fan or whatever, seems a bit much. Had I (and others like me) not spent thousands of dollars on Matty the last few years we wouldn't have the figures we do have… So no one should blame me for not getting the figures they want now, because I've helped bankroll plenty of the line.

        I have personally gotten several people to join the sub and I've promoted it throughout the years. I think being painted as a bad guy just because I've opted not to sub this year, is absurd. Hell I've even reconsidered maybe signing up before it's all said and done, just to lock in a cheaper price if the sub does go through.

        As I said above, Mattel itself is the problem. If you listen to TG on the RG podcast, you'll hear him basically say the exact same thing, though not as clearly, because he's an employee. Their infrastructure is why this line is falling apart and frankly, I'm not sure there's anything anyone can do about it. Hullabaloo and finger pointing at me or anyone else, aside.

      • I'm not fine with the line dying, but I'm also not willing or able to to subscribe. So if I can't get any of the figures I want, that's just the breaks.

        • And agreed, it's absurd that collectors like us who have poured plenty of money into this line but don't subscribe are being vilified.

    • Newt, normally, I agree with most of what you have to say, but in this instance, I really disagree that MattyCollector was a "huge waste of time and resources". Regardless of how problematic the site has been, It's definitely been a steady source of moolah for them. No doubt about it.

      & really, to be fair, I just don't think Scott thinks himself as masterful or whatever you're implying. Like he said in the text above, he also needs to jump through Mattel's hoops, to likely only get half of what he wants for the line, which is I'm sure exactly or close to what we want. He is a Mattel EMPLOYEE, let's not lose sight of that, & from what we already know regarding Mattel, he too must be extremely frustrated… I dunno, I'm just so sick of this guy being the heel, when really, he's an integral component in us "fans" ever getting this great, much maligned line in the first place.

      • Just read my post above for answers to most of this (don't want to sound like a broken record) but I never once blamed TG for this, if you thought that was what I was doing you misread, I promise.

        As for the resources thing, it does seem to me that Mattel would view it that way. MattyCollector IMO will fall apart without MOTUC and all of this stuff they've created for it (much of which is set to debut this year or just recently went into effect) will be for a line that is now dead (if it dies) and that seems like it would be very frustrating for the Mattel higher ups, based on how TG has painted the situation.

        I could be wrong though, maybe they have other plans for Matty that I don't know about.

    • Yeah its funny Mattel cant sell WWE Legends in shops or on their own website yet Jakks could sell WWE Classics easily with more accessories at a cheaper price.

  • I will feel sad if and when the line ends but as has been discussed many many times over the last week, Mattel only has itself to blame. Hopefully we will still get a Ram Man and the other figures they announced.

    I have spent stupid amounts of money on getting a complete set of MOTUCs and although I'm upset, my wallet feels liberated, and will surely breathe a sigh of release when the curtain falls.

    Saying that I'm going to subscribe just in case. I don't get paid until Monday, So I will order then. I'm not holding out to tease, I'm merely poor until Monday!

    I'm not holding out a lot of hope. despite the fact that the he-man.org message boards have turned into a modern day internet equivalent of those cheesy charity telethons of the 70s and 80s. You know what I mean.

    Question though: what of the Watchmen sub now? Will that go ahead regardless? Are they gonna can the whole Mattycollector setup?

    For what it's worth, I think there is no single reason why subs are low this year. It's obvious there are more reasons not to buy, than to buy for the average Adult Collector. There are those on the .Org that will blindly purchase three subs and then another two or three to Saev Teh Lien!!!!1!!11 but those aren't an accurate representation of the average buyer, obviously. International buyers like myself have been priced out, and they represent so much more of the demographic than gives credit for. And I dont want to want to troll Poe's excellent blog, but the man's attitude kind of stinks. He's really depreciating towards the fans, and can be kind of condescending most of the time.

    Hell I guess I'll have to manage my own expectations. If it ends, it ends. And if it does I'm probably gonna spend a small portion or the money on completing my collection, maybe grabbing the MOTU/DC two packs, the King Grayskull SDCC exclusive and *shudder* that Mo Larr set. Will probably get that last!

  • It's funny. For years all I've heard is People saying "GIVE ME RAM MAN!" Now, With Ram Man on the Horizon, the Line is pretty much going to Die and Ram Man, the most Fan Demanded Character based on all the Posts I've seen over the years, goes unmade. Irony or just Unfortunate?

    • inaccurate. ram man will get made, if the sub dies, we'll still get figs in 2013, there will just be fewer releases at a higher day of price. mattel has made this quite clear. the reason being, several of those figs are already in production, so they can't afford not to release them.

      • Scott has been pretty clear that if the sub flops Ram Man will be a pretty hard sell to management and probably won't get made.

  • Not to kick a dead horse when it’s down, but another shame on top of all this is that the $50 item is almost certainly a two-pack, and even money says it would have been the Horde Troopers based on their previous two-packs.

  • I think Scott's best route is to just update on the percentage sales since they can't do a thermometer. The smart play, I think, would be next Wednesday for him to say "we're currently at 78% of minimum" or what have you. That's the kind of transparency we've always hoped for and frankly the ultimate expectation manager. So an update on Wednesday 8/1 gives time to accumulate tallies of the hopeful burst of paycheck waiters, and then a final update on Friday 8/3 to potentially drive last minute weekend sales. An contingent on how close it is maybe an update Monday 8/6 morning to possibly it push it through.

    Beyond that kind of thing there is little left to do to save this, and we all just move on in life (with MotUC just showing up as an annual SDCC item or two and mattycollector selling a new exclusive figure from any line maybe-once-or-twice-a-year)

  • I just finished listening to Scott on the brandy new Roast Gooble, and he stated that if the sub fails they'd shift to a pre-order model for the few heavy hitters they have left, a la Ram Man, at just a few a year. He referenced their sale of the hoverboard as the model.

    Sounds good to me.

    • I would rather have a pre-order model. I am willing to wait months for the figures I want.

    • I think you missed it where he has been saying that they probably won't be able to get Ram Man out if this sub flops.

      • I know he said that, but I'm not sure I believe it. That's a lot of money spent on tooling. I do think we'd get it as an SDCC exclusive or something if the sub doesn't go through. However, for now it's not in Mattel's interest to say that, because people might think, "well, then I won't get a sub if I know I can get Ram Man later."

        I guess it depends on how much you're willing to take Scott and Mattel at their word. I'm willing to take them most of the way, usually, but in this case I'm a bit skeptical.

    • I'm an "international" customer, as well as a "vintage first" kind of guy, yet I'd still rather have the sub. The variety & exploration of characters this line offers is amazing & truly unparalleled, & I for one would be sad to lose it to this type of model. That said, if it's the only way to ensure that MOTUC survives, albeit in a timid fashion, I'd do it.

  • Mattel's pleas for money are starting to remind me of a mall kiosk. You try to avoid it but once you have made eye contact you are stuck hearing the pitch from some eastern European pitchman with English that is just broken enough to be charming, or some 20 something barely hot lightly buttered face chick that could not cut it in college. They are always selling something that is "neat" you do not need it but you would not mind having it either. It also something that will not cut it on the store shelves. Price is always on the high side of reasonable. You know if you buy, you will be lucky if the quality is as advertised and more than likely it will break after a two to 4 weeks. The real hassle is the ability to never take no for an answer the never let you walk away until you are finally curt.

    The parallels do not all match up but I think its close. Scott is going to keep making puppy eyed pleases, but they do not want the sub to go through enough to actual change things. I think there have been plenty of ideas put forth that would increase number, but they also mean Mattel has to have faith and take some limited risks. Kind of like the sight unseen risk they have asked of costumers.

    I know I do not understand the Mattel culture or the fact that if it is not hot wheels or Barbie it is barely a drop in the bucket of their bottom line. Ok maybe that is true, but I have a decent grasp of business, and I know that no one's MBA focus was the Mattel way. In addition, why would I buy or trust a company that blatantly says, "We would make move of an effort if you were hot wheels or Barbie but you're not ".

    I am of 2 minds part of me wants you guys to get your figures, the other part hates the sub model and wants it to fail. However, all of me loves the melodrama, because at the end of the day it is toys (for adults) not matter what nobody is going to get hurt.

    As far a Scott, his kids, and his mortgage them the breaks, when I was building cars, management said they were sorry when they laid me off, but the reasons it was me and not another guy were solidly my fault, and if the line dies he's the man in charge and the captain goes down with the ship

    • I like your last line about the captain. Who made the decision to include Star Sisters in the sub? Scott, or his managers? Who decided it would be best to keep half of the figures in a subscription a secret, Scott, or his managers? Who decided to make figures like Catra and Netossa and Vikor? Scott, or his managers? Who decided to make the Mighty Spector a figure? Not Scott's managers. Who told us with a straight face they reversed Stinkor's forearms on purpose? I could go on. And on and on. There's no need to defend this guy. There are a lot of reasons why this line is dying, and most of them are because of this "guru".

      I'm sure corporate is responsible for forcing the subscription model on us and they are the ones who decided to stick with Digital River, but beyond that Scott could have done many things differently in order to entice current subscribers to renew and new subscribers to give them a shot.

  • I’ve decided to subscribe. I haven’t bought a MotU toy since I was a kid (I just collect Transformers) but I figure I’ll give the sub a shot and try to help out the fans. At the worst case if the figures aren’t for me I can always sell them later on.

    • You will have a hard time getting back what you paid for them if you open any of them. You should keep your money for Transformers and save yourself hassle lol.

  • After listening to Scott on Gooble, I honestly believe him in his plight as a fan who has tried to keep this line going, and even if this was a side project for him it cannot look good on his resume to have the wheels fall off the bus this dramatically. I feel for him. He has made mistakes, alternatively listening too much and too little to his customers, but if the line dies tomorrow succeeded in bringing many more MOTUC to market than I ever thought. For that I really do congratulate him.

    For my and my very small collection's part, I will try to get Ram Man if he's made, but hope that subbers stop requesting others help out so that the line can continue as it has been. I think it's finally clear that it should not.

    • I listened to the Roost Gooble too. WOW it was like an NPR membership drive, to the point where they were asking people to give up just one Starbucks coffee a month or a couple of kit-kats a week to balance out the price increase.

      Props to Pixel Dan for saying he thought 25 a figure was too much to pay for an actions figure.

      There was also this you do not understand how happy MotUC make you logic, that I thought was somewhat bizarre. Scott basically promised that all major POP, Vintage, NEW U, and filmation holes would be filled by the end of 2014 (which seemed impossible)

      I thought it was sad, it really was flat out begging.

    • I feel the same way bigbo. Next appeal,that shouldn't happen will come from the underpaid factory worker who will be without a job. It's too bad the line can't sell out all the time. Of course it costs money. Of course not every figure is a sure sell or one that can please a diverse group of collectors. But holy hell, the sub model suuuuuuuucks. And the sub model should be buried and dead. Ironically a presell line will do well. But only after the line is about to have the plug pulled.

  • I just thought I would let you all know I am the Poester who wrote in.
    There is a demand for the figures in the UK, but a lot of international fans' credit cards are not accepted on Matty Collector and there is a no refund policy for international items lost in the mail. So it would seem a logical smart business move for them to supply some UK shops, if customers were not burdened with high international postage they would sell a lot more figures. I would probably even buy some myself LOL.
    When a retailer is willing to invest £500-£1000 for one monthly figure show there is a demand for them. Obviously when it would get out there would be a UK exclusive retailer surely business would increase even more and they could increase the orders as they go along. £1000 dollars would be like a few cases of figures…..but $55,000 worth is like what a full truck load of 1 figure . o.0 To ask that much of an order is crazy. Although it would explain why my TRU is still trying to sell off Movie Masters Dark Knight figures from 2008. 😉

  • Man, I wanted to think that David Willis is wrong in his jab at collectors in Shortpacked!, but reading the comments here and an “editorial” on toynewsi . . . he’s so spot on it’s painful.

    • Willis lost all credibility when he started whining publicly about how hard it was to remove metal twist ties from his TF toys. Let me say this one more time for him and the rest of the internet "experts" who cannot get it through their apparently challenged heads: MATTEL IS NOT A CHARITY. No matter what Nietlich or anyone else tells you, they make (or, at least, made) some profit off MOTUC or else they would not have made them in the first place. Is it a HUGE profit? Probably not. Is it trifling next to Barbie or Hot Wheels? Of course it is. I daresay even most other mass-market toylines profits are trifling next to Barbie or Hot Wheels – but that is not the same as making no profit at all.

    • I went over to check it out. I think Willis picked the wrong target for this. Very few people, as far as I've seen, look at MOTUC as a "cash grab," and think they're making anything other than, at best, modest profits off it. My own poll shows that the primary reason fans aren't re-subbing isn't the price increase, it's the ongoing Digital River issues.

      I'll agree there's plenty of unreasonable negativity being thrown around by collectors, all of which could be mined for humor. But I don't think he is "spot on" for claiming collectors are saying it's a cash grab.

      I think a better target would be the fans who heap so much disdain upon Neitlich. His main problem, I think, is that he's not the best PR guy (and I would have done all the Spector stuff differently, but that's a separate issue). But I don't question that he's done as much if not more for this line than the Four Horsemen, and I think fans are unreasonably negative toward him as a consequence of his difficulties with the PR side of things.

      We're not all naturally PR people. I wish Mattel could have helped Neitlich out a bit more by letting someone else handle that side of things, but I assume the money just wasn't there.

    • I disagree, that toynewsi article should be required reading for everyone at Mattel. The Shortpacked strip was a poor attempt at humour.

  • Does Mattel have to make the sub this year? There's no thermometer or official information of it not going through anywhere associated with the order page. If they don't fulfill the orders, they're backing out of their agreement.

    • I just checked the matty site and the CIE sub has an asterisk saying restrictions apply referring to the minimum order, but the Eternia and Watchmen subs do not have this asterisk. I kinda wonder if Mattel has to make that sub no matter what since they have not provided any restrictions. Clearly they could always just not make and assume nobody fights them on it, but still interesting…

  • you know who i blame for all this? pixel dan! that dude has been all "oh, this figure is GREAT! this character is AWESOME! this upcoming fig is THE BOMB!" through the whole line… and he's clearly the fan that has the closest access to toy guru and has been painting a whole "the glass is overflowing" picture for the man when some of the critiques of the masses have been more realistic. also, he's now what, rolling a 4 grand worth of free toys?? the money could have spent on new tools!!

    just kidding dan. 😉 just thought i'd try a new brand of vitriol, just for variety.

    i don't think PD is responsible for anything… but that said, were i pressed on "is that any truth in that there rant?" i would ask, for all the sites that have been getting comped motucs, how much has that tally run? not enough to afford all of us a lower per fig price, i'm sure, but enough to slot ram man or two bad in already… maybe. enough to launch a true ad campaign over the TV… likely. enough to try a coupon code in the TRU 2 packs? certainly. that money could absolutely have used to market the line in ways it wasn't. or to monetize a new character. or fun some kind of fan appreciation coupon code or something.

    • Dayravan
      One thing you cannot fault Matty for is over marketing. We have had the should they should they not discussion about freebies (I am firmly in the should not camp). if they gave out 4000 in product to 10 sites over 4 years that is less than what one TV spot can run. If there is a place, you cannot fault Mattel it's being frugal with promotion dollars. In addition, no matter what we think of Pixal Dan, I bet he is responsible for more than a few figure and sub purchases.
      I think it's unfair to put any blame on site that take freebies. If Mattel cannot invest in tooling without guaranteed sales is a few grand in their pocket going to get us appreciation coupon code.

      • um… i did fault mattel for their marketing. just above, just a couple hours ago. clearly, you read that faulting, as you responded to it… so yes, i can in fact fault mattel for their marketing.

        for crying out loud man, on the TRU 2 packs, how long do you have to search to find the words "mattycollector.com"? go ahead and check, i'll wait…. even something that simple, and cheap, could have broadened the audience on sales days. awareness is everything.

        as for TV spots, they failed to run a ad during the adult swim programming block before mo-larr was released; the single most focused and loyal spot viewers in the entirety of cable, and they failed to run an ad. if that cost was 10 times what they spend hooking veebee and dan w/ freebies, it still would have been money well spent. again, here i am, critiquing away at their slipshod advertising tactics, and why? because they're still trying to liquidate mo-larrs.

        i'm also curious how pixel dan got the hookup to begin w/, since critical mess, as an example, gets 10 to 15 times the daily site traffic that PCN did. why wouldn't you hook up the top 3 or 4 draws for web traffic? again, no offense to dan, i was clearly jesting about his impact on now (as i specifically said) but the guy didn't justify the freebies before the freebies… how did he score that hookup? color me curious… right now, IAT and poe both score higher than pixel's new digs.. where's their freebies?

    • I agree that (at least now in hindsight) advertising for the site has been pretty weak. They've pretty much targeted the people who are already aware of and are buying the product anyway. The only time they branch out is the G4 comic-con reveals, but even then (and probably as a result of the nature of the show's focus) the emphasis is on the Con not Mattycollector. It's like all the companies who used to only advertise in ToyFare. Scott should be sending samples to Aintitcool News and sites like that, which have a significantly broader market which would then help draw in new buyers/more sales, and that would also naturally boost hits for all the MOTUC related sites, like Pixel Dan & Poe.

      The one thing I would fault Scott with in terms of running the line is that optimism you mention – things like the Star Sisters (dead horse, I know) simply were an unreasonable thing to begin with, and I think he allowed the scope of the line to go simply too wide and he lost site of what the core audience was after (i.e. MotU characters).

    • Did Mattel do a piss-pour job of properly marketing these? More or less.

      But the idea that comping the dozen or sites that they do has a negative influence is absurd. If the figures were produced in quantities under 1000 or 500 maybe, but the cost of a dozen figures a month is meaningless even at MOTUC’s limited production scale.

      • do the math here AH… let's say conservatively, they send samples to 5 sites a month… 16 pieces a year, for 4 years, at let's say 35 dollars per piece (which is way under the real cost of the item plus the shipping) is 11, 200 dollars. we've been told a couple times that a steel tool runs about 10,000… so that's one additional fully tooled figure for the line… or as i've pointed out, funds that could be spent on any of several other promotional tools to draw in more buyers… and rustin is right, even sending samples to non-motu boards might have helped draw in new buyers. but they didn't do any of that.

        and there's no "more or less" on them doing a piss-poor job marketing the line. have you ever told any of your non-toy friends what you go through to get a motuc on day-of? has a single one replied "that seems completely reasonable."? i asked earlier if the motuc vs dcuc packages have the mattycollector .com site on them, and they don't, but even if they did… is there any mention that you have to be on the website at noon EST, on the 15th or closest business day after, to buy the toy? does it alert you that there will likely be a WSOD for the first 5 minutes at least? cuz all of that can derail a potential customer faster than a visit from chris hansen can derail a pedophile.

  • Tru had the dc vs MotU two packs at either bogo free or 2 for X amount, I forget which, but I remember setting the unad sale less than a year ago. I’m sure the promo was funded out of Mattel and not tru’s pocketbook.

  • I'd argue too that the subscription is also at fault because it created a false perception of security and success to the Team and Mattel. Because the bulk of us had put in for everything we simply lost our ability to "vote with our dollars" and help guide the team on what kinds of figures and price points were actually desired and viable.

  • I don't believe it. Too many holes in the story, too many contradictions. No one is speaking about this except Nietlich and the people who are taking Nietlich at his word. If the line is in such dire straights, why are there not emails, press releases, etc. to raise awareness of the line? I will tell you why: Because Nietlich is full of it.
    Oh, it will be so melodramatic when he heroically pulls the line from the precipice of oblivion next week! He will be such a hero! And he will expect to get a pass on addressing any of the very real issues with the line for another year, no doubt…
    I hope I am wrong, but if I am, the line dies…

    • Jesus, shut up already. We get it, you don't collect MOTUC and don't care about the line. The conspiracy theory crap is getting old. If you had been following the line, you'd know that TG has always been pretty straight forward that Mattel barely cares about the line and is only allowing it to continue as long as it hits a certain, very strict profit margin. Mattel's not going to spend resources to save a line it barely cares about. This is all up to the fans and those involved to drum up support. This is like when a cult favorite, ratings-challenged show is about to be cancelled. The suits and number crunchers don't care, at the end of the day, they'll still be making money, the fans have to circle the wagons. The last thing we need is people throwing out stupid theories and gloating about the misfortunes of others. But if that's what gets you off, you've probably had a great last week.

      • You are mistaken. I own every MOTUC figure save one. I am intimately aware of what Nietlich has said about the line and about Mattel's expectations for it for the past three years, and I do not like it when someone pees on my leg and tells me its raining – and that is precisely what Nietlich has been doing.

      • Let's put the discussion in perspective. Misfortune is losing your parents at a young age, not having enough to eat. Not a toy line "dying", if the line goes away we are all going to be just fine …even without a ram man.

  • Okay, the civility meter is getting close to falling below 50%, people. If it gets below 50% I shut off the comments – not to censor people, because I don't give a crap which side of the argument gets rude first or gets in the last word, but because I won't tolerate rudeness, name-calling, etc. Before hitting "submit" on that reply, everyone please take a minute or two to read their posts over and think about what they're saying. Or count to sixty, I don't care.

    I think we should all try not to make assumptions about other people – not fellow collectors, not Neitlich. I might be skeptical about how Neitlich is currently presenting some aspects of this, but I recognize I don't know what's going on behind the scenes and also try to recognize the realities of the industry.

    For example, it has been stated before that MOTUC figures can't be changed within a six-month window because the figure has already been tooled, but Neitlich is telling us they may not be able to produce Ram Man if the sub doesn't go through. That's odd to me, but I recognize the fact that for Neitlich to say, "Well, don't worry, even if the sub doesn't go through we'll produce Ram Man as an SDCC exclusive, because at least that way we'll get our money back for the tooling costs and maybe a bit on top of that" could severely hurt the sub's chances of hitting the 100% minimum.

    That's an obvious truth (the potential to hurt the sub), and I don't hold anything against Neitlich for it. I'm fairly certain he hasn't flat-out said, "If the sub doesn't go through, we will never make Ram Man." He's just suggested they may not be able to, which is entirely plausible, if not, to my mind, likely.

  • I think this is why a lot of companies have a general PR response team, not one dude. Ugh, I can't imagine being Neitlich. Nerds going insane on you all day every day? I think at this point if MOTUC gets canceled it will be doing him a favor.