Scott Neitlich (ToyGuru) on the State of the Subs

MOTUMeter_fullsizeimage726DCUMeter_fullsizeimage726

With three weeks to go, the MOTUC and DC subscriptions aren’t in great shape – especially considering we’re nearly a week past the SDCC reveals.

Before we go further, how about a trip down memory lane?

Now, I’ll be surprised if Club Eternia doesn’t go through. I feel like we go through this every single year, and by August 19 the numbers will be there (or maybe they’ll extend it a week or two). Club Infinite Earths I’m not so sure about.

I'll take any excuse to use this graphic again.

I’ll take any excuse to use this graphic again.

Anyway, some fans are panicking (this is the Internet, some fans are always panicking), while others are evidently claiming that brand manager Scott Neitlich’s statements that the MOTUC sub numbers are below expectations are “scare tactics.”

Neitlich posted an update on the Mattycollector forums on this and other issues:

MOTU fans,

I’ve seen a lot of emails and posts over the last few days about the meter and reaction to my post on Facebook yesterday that we are still tracking below expectations. Let me see if I can clear up some common questions.

1:The meter is 100% accurate. It is not a scare tactic. It was designed as a communication tool to let fans/customers know how close or far we are from the sub happening.

2:If the meter is not hit, what will likely happen is the 4 figures that are already tool’d (the ones revealed at SDCC) will be released quarterly and perhapes an item at SDCC. After that, that will be it. End of story. It is not a scare tactic, it is a truthful statement. MOTUC and in fact everything we do on Matty is a tiny tiny spec for Mattel. We continue to make these great toys because we love our fans, we love these brands and we want to keep them going. But the raw facts are in today’s market we simply can’t keep these high end low run collector lines going with out guaranteed customers. That is why we have the presale sub and the meter to communicate how far along we are.

3:We can’t reveal additional figures simply because we don’t have anyone far enough along to reveal. We can only reveal a figure after an internal milestone called “FPR” (Final product review). We revealed eveything at SDCC that had made it to this stage. Counting the “sneak peaks” at the panel and in the case on Sunday, we’ve revealed 5/12 monthly figures. So customers know about 1/2 of the entire year at this point! The reason we don’t reveal more figures is because we don’t want to show something that might not happen. For example, in the DC brand, a few retail figures were shown at NYTF in Feb. like Damien Wayne and a new Batman Beyond that were canceled. Have you seen the posts about this? The last thing we want to do is reveal a figure that might not happen. That is a lot worse, believe me. That is why we don’t reveal figures that have not made it to FPR stage internally. We don’t want to show something that might not happen or be changed. We need to wait until FPR stage to reveal.

4: A lot of the issues last year like QC and CS have really been tackled head on as promised. Combine that with our sub portal letting you easily change addresses or make adjustments as well as a new quarterly shipping option that will help save on overall shipping. Shipping is an area we just don’t have as much control over, but we are doing everything we can and by offering a hold and ship quarterly option you will be able to save.

5: Again, I know fans want to see the entire year, but this is the 4th or 5th year of doing this.You guys know the drill and as noted above the reasons why we can’t show further figs. They just aren’t far enough along. And really, in today’s market, the customers we need to keep all of the subs (and the Ecto 1) going are customers that are “all in” no matter what. It really shouldn’t matter which figures we are doing, the type of customer needed to keep the line going, the customer that is the life blood of these lines is the type of MOTU (or DC) customer who wants anyone no matter what. In today’s market we just can’t build a line around cherry pickers. Subscribing isn’t just about the bonuses of subing in like the Unnamed One, Early Access or less expensive figureds ($25 vs $27 day of). Sub’ing in is about supporting all of the figures and ensuring the line itself goes forward. The question is do we have enough of this type of customer? I think so! We did in 2011-2013!

6: We have indeed re worked the line up and as seen by our reveals at SDCC 23014 is packed full of A list charcters. No concept figures like the FFM or Vykron. 2014 and ideally 2015 will be all the figs we want to complete the line including vintage MOTU, vintage POP, A list NA figs and A list figs from other media like mini comics or animated series. The SDCC reveals should have confirmed this.

So to wrap up, I promise this is not a scare tactic or a roller coaster ride. The meters are 100% accurate and show the sub in level. Without hitting our goal, likely we will just release the first 4 figures and call it a day.We just can’t keep these lines going without locked in support anymore.

Hope this helps. If anyone is not sub’ing in and you have a sepecific reason, please post here or over in Ask Matty MOTU/DC and I’ll do all I can to address your questions.

Getting 2014 to happen will take all of us and a combined effort. No one wants to see MOTUC go away, but without the min number of sub holders, that is a very realistic possibilty. Not a scare tactic, not a marketing gimick, just us being as open and honest with our customers as possible!

Hope this helps! We can do this! I know we can! If everyone from 2011-2013 subs in we are golden. That is all it takes!

Scott

Comments now closed (103)

  • I'm still waiting for proof that it's all a conspiracy, Mattel will produce next year's line regardless of who subscribes, the thermometer is a fake, and it's all a "scare tactic" designed to get more money.

    • to be fair, what constitutes "proof?" if the sub doesn't make it's numbers, but they release more than 5 figs in 2014, is that proof? if the subs make their number, but only in the last 24 hrs, is that proof? part of the problem in requesting proof of a conspiracy is that, if it's being done correctly, there isn't proof. a conspiracy is a secret.

      if the subs aren't making goal, but there's a sudden spike in sales at the very last minute, is that coincidence? cuz that's happened the last 2 years the same way, doesn't one more year of that same buying behavior seem a little fishy? doesn't it seem odd that toyline in continual threat of cancellation adds new SKUs in a year, and increases their production budget three years in a row?

      i'm duly curious at this point, what would it take to convince you, shy of god itself rending open the heavens, declaring scott neitlich to be a tumorous example of its creation, then laying lo the entirely of el segundo with pillars of flaming sulphur? it surely has to be more reasonable than that, right? so what qualifies?

      cuz at this point, you could refute any fact given, even if an official statement from mattel, by saying that they're just telling us what we expect to hear, right? we the ones reading mattel's press releases and paying attention to the boards when scott chats the fanbase up have caught him in blatant lies before, many times over… that's why we in general don't trust his words now. despite his seeming innocence, anyone paying attention has read him cry wolf SEVERAL times over now, so we disbelieve everything out of hand. this is the same guy who tried to explain at one point that we couldn't have the 200x skeletor swords because they were the same as the vintage power sword halves, and they couldn't do any more 200x pieces because that look had been abandoned… how can you trust anything the man has to say on any topic at all after a load of shit like that?

      • I’ve said it before, but people do not listen:

        Anything from the company, or even somebody who used to work there, or a meeting, or something. See, your “isn’t is curious” logic is the same logic used to “prove” that Freemasons run everything, the moon landing was faked, 9/11 was an inside job, etc.

        And as for the sudden spike in sales, use your brain. You know how these maaaagical things called “retailers” tend to order 10-50 subs apiece, and generally only tie up sub money at the very end?

        Congrats! That’s your answer, unless you believe that on-line toy stores are part of the rand Mattel conspiracy, and never order anything.

        • The only people referring to a "conspiracy" are people like you – people who are determined to paint those of us who question what we are told and what is withheld from us as somehow out of line to the point of literal mental deficiency. You know, kinda like you tried to paint me as a violent malcontent last week?

          I don't think there is any "conspiracy" at all. I think that a power-mad brand manager with delusions of grandeur just likes to lord it over the fandom, and does so at every opportunity; meanwhile, a company in the business of making money is busily – *GASP!* – making money hand-over-fist with this line while poor-mouthing all the way to bank.

          You can kneel and kiss Scott's ring all you like, son, but don't you dare try to tell the rest of us that we are crazy.

        • Wow, that is a little extreme now, don't you think? Why should anyone you're accusing of wearing a "tin foil hat" listen to you when you yourself do not listen to them either? I usually agree and laugh with what you write online, but this type of statement does not endear anyone to your point of view, and does nothing but create more divides and zero bridges.

          You keep throwing out political conspiracy theories that, while I myself don't buy into them, do actually have some merit and great questions that aren't answered. Except the moon stuff, you're right on point there. ;) If you can't see that, then you're not really looking at stuff objectively. Some people take that conspiracy stuff as serious as a car crash, so it would probably be in your own best interest to stay away from those topics as you would religion, politics, etc, when talking toys. :) The PRISM program was the territory of crazy bearded men in the mountains last year, but now is fact. The banking crisis was often looped into this type of theory too in the early 2000's, so please, let's not pick on people or paint them as nutters because they don't agree with you, because you may be proven completely wrong when the Scott Neitlich book comes out in 2025! No one knows the "truth" about Matty's numbers or intentions internally- me, you, no one.

          There is some evidence for you in the links provided in the article. You can see the pattern and decide for yourself whether you wish to investigate further. I'm not sure what evidence would convince you, not as if myself or others are even trying to, but really, if you can't even open your mind to the possibility that there is some serious wordplay afoot every July, then please take this investment opportunity I have for you with this Nigerian bank you will make millions and help our kingdom ;)

          Regardless, the tactics used may be true, may not be true. All I know is, for a fact ;) , in the early/mid-2000s when my Japanese vinyl addiction was at its height, I saw *all* the same techniques Matty uses (Controlled stock, heavy PR through social media, toy lotteries, limited surprise exclusives, funding meters, subscription services, using celebrities to design toys as PR, heavy secondary market attention-seeking, toys as "luxury items") in those Japanese companies. They were the envy of marketing people world-wide, how they got collectors to jump on in force and on such a small (or non-existent) PR budget. Everyone wanted to know how they got people to go from buying $10 vinyls at Toys R Us to waiting on line for eight hours for a chance at buying one of five $100-150 vinyls. These exact same techniques are used in fashion and luxury goods all the time, and Matty's been doing the same things since the site started.

          You should ask yourself: Are these techniques morally right? Am I betraying the morals the He-Man cartoon taught me as a boy in the 80's by supporting these type of methods? What would He-Man do? :) Isn't that kind of what Lou Schiemer and everyone was doing with He-Man when this all started, trying to give kids fun and adventure as well as learn how to treat others with respect and courtesy? So why should we dump on those lessons just to get a few more figures, or push a few more subs? We may be older now with kids of our own in some cases, but the morals at the end of every episode still ring true, and to blow that stuff off isn't a "real fan".

          Ridureyu, I doubt I'll convince you to see things from mine and many other fan's perspective. But if you take a look out there (especially at the Japanese vinyl scene) you will see a lot of the same type of ideas and techniques that have been used to promote/sell MOTUC. Whether you think they are predatory or not, that's your call; there are a lot of people who think that those methods are immoral. There are some who think they're great. And others who don't care. I didn't really care until this year as a sub holder and I saw how I was considered by some online as a "member of the real fans" over people I remember from He-Man.org in the 90's, which honestly isn't right. Prior to MOTUC, the He-Man community was a lot more unique and open and friendly. Now, there is a lot of selfishness and bile and ego and closed mindedness thrown around on a daily basis. Some of the people I met in the 90's collecting the vintage toys online were amazing, and now to see them post such angry things is really sad. I do feel this has a lot to do with how MOTUC is sold to fans.

          So look if you got this far, take a look at the other side's point of view, you may not start posting rants about how Scott kicked your dog, or how you want his kids to fail their 1st grade handwriting test, but maybe, maybe, you'll see *why* people feel this way. See why they get so worked up and post ridiculous things. Who knows, maybe you'll convince them to see things your way, just like the numbers, who knows!

        • so there's no further evidence needed for you to believe that there's a false hype machine at work? you live in a world where three years in a row no online retailer has their matty order in until the last day? where no one can budget for a sub until the last 24 hours of an almost month long process, during which we were hearing the whole time that the whole line ends if we don't sub up and that subs are "behind schedule?" why is mattel expecting a rate of purchase of day but you aren't?

          look man, you want to live in a world where your butcher is the one honest one who never mixes your ground beef with pink slime, and your soda is the one with the artificial sweetener that's got vitamins, and your government has never done anything unseemly, that's fine, you go right ahead and get your head all the way in the sand.

          but you're the one who asked, again, after person after person on this sight, and on others, have pointed out times when mattel's representatives, on their boards and in the press, have directly lied, have obfuscated the truth on a matter or answered in nonsensical circular statements, and then you continue to disbelieve those statements/actions. to me, it appears that you don't want logic, you don't want proof, and you certainly don't want anything approaching honest conversation about the toy business.

          so sure, mattel has never used lead-based paint, they've never used inferior glue on a tiny magnet, nor cut any other corners like charging a premium price for regrind plastic, and they get to police their own compliance with federal safety standards because they're just good honest folk. you keep on believing that, and by all means, try the sushi.

          and for the record, fox mulder was right

        • Only if this is a wo0rld where the moon landing was faked, the CIA killed Kennedy, 9/11 was an inside job, and Barack Obama was born in Africa. You have no more "proof" than the proponents of those theories.

          None.

          See, here's the thing. if the sub goes through, you will say, "I knew it! Mattel was never gonna cancel the sub! It's a conspiracy!"

          But if the sub fails, you will say, "I knew it! mattel was never gonna let the sub go through anyway! It's a conspiracy!"

          No matter what happens, no matter what's going on, you will interpret it to believe a crazy conspiracy theory, and there is no changing you. And what happens when people like me respond with logic?

          You call me dishonest, as if I am part of your so-called "conspiracy." You called me a liar because I asked for solid proof rather than swallowing everything you said. This conversation is conversation is over.

        • There is zero logic in trying to flaming people across what, two, three different sites? I don't think anyone's called you a liar or dishonest, but you most certainly have called large swaths of people nutters, crazies, and aren't really endearing anyone to you, even those that agree with you. You honestly are starting to sound far crazier than those moon people. Take a deep breath there and use your head.

  • "high end low run collector lines"… I would rather call S.H. Figuarts or whatever Tamashii Nations offers "high end collector lines". Thats why I stopped collecting DC Universe and MOTUC, they are the same figure just with new head and no accesories over and over again, with bad QC, and shitty packaged…. For the same price of a MOTUC, I can buy a S.H. Figuarts with unique sculpt, good materials, lots of amazing extras (Im done with variants, when the same figure can offer you 2 heads and 4 faces, im looking at you normal Vegeta), amazing detail attention, for pete sake I just bought Kamen Rider Ryuki for 40$ and it is friggin amazing. I dont think Mattel´s offers are "high end collectible", only the prices are. Heck, even Neca put more detail and better quality than most of MOTUC or DC Universe, with they swirly legs

  • I'd love to move over to Figuarts, but I have less than interest in tokusatsu. So we're stuck with Matty for our American nostalgia. But right there's them, NECA, Sideshow, Hot Toys, Play Arts Kai. Just look through the merchandise at the back of the Previews catalog, there's plenty of businesses getting this done. If it's "tiny tiny spec for Mattel, why can't it operate at a loss in order to keep up brand recognition of MOTU?

    There's not going to be everyone from 2011-2013 because we're at the end of these lines, the characters are getting more random and people don't want to go all in because of that. There's also all the customers they lost with the "issues last year like QC and CS".

    • Digital River bled them of a large number of the original fans of the line that weren't all-in but still supplied plenty of the income from the line. They've never really recovered from that, and as you said.. the issues last year cost them even more – and the hoverboard did nothing to help with calming pre-order jitters.

    • If it helps you at all, Andy, Figuarts are now making Iron Man and DC Comics / Injustice stuff. The Figuarts guys seem to be moving into more Western properties, and that's something that makes me really happy.

      I mean, the quality of most Japanese releases leaves Western figures in the dust. The only American company that I am completely, a hundred percent rooting for now is NECA, and even they make some weird missteps.

      • To be fair, QC varies by company in Japan (just as it does here). Tamashii is pretty good with their various lines, but they're not perfect – witness S.H.MonsterArts' Ghidorah's wings. And of course, Square Enix is a Japanese manufacturer and Play Arts Kai has one of the worst QC records of any toyline I've seen that wasn't made by NECA in the mid-'00s.

        • It is true, but just compare the total value of what you get with any of the S.H. figuarts/monster arts/d-arts/ultra act, with what you get from Mattel or Hasbro. Actually i believe that most western lines are triyng to incorporate the swapables heads and interchangeble hands thanks to the eastern offers… and the western market take over by Tamashii seems an indication they know what collectors have been rooting for with their lines. Also if we compare how Tamashii interact with collectors, specifically with the DBZ Figuarts, they are making the figures including almost all of the fan request (Vegeta even have the crush scouter); instead mattel just ofend and menace their buyers understimating them

        • I think we have to consider the cost in here. US company made their figures in china mostly, and they have to ship it back to US to sell it. Meanwhile company like bandai made their figure in some area near their market (cmiiw, dont know well how to explain this) hence there is Bandai US, Bandai japan etc. For those SHF, even if they made it in japan, they just have to export it to US (sell it from japan, the same country where they made it) so maybe the cost is lower from those US toy companies.. Just a thought..
          If Bandai really will make a DC figures based on comic, i doubt they will make it deep into the C/D list characters.. But who knows..

        • Just grabbed a random bandai tamashii nations figure and it has a china stamp. As far as I am aware all bandai stuff is made in china then shipped on a boat over here (this is why bbts and amazon get bluefin stuff about a month after the japanese shops do). So both bandai and the american companies are sending the figures to US by boat.

        • But doesnt that mean they ship it to japan first and then sell it from there? China to japan is not so far. But china to US thats really far i think.. But i dont know about toy industry detail..

        • Doesn't Bluefin sell their imported figures for roughly the same price as they cost in Japan though? And those are either imported from China to the US or from China to Japan to the US.

        • Yes and no? They probably get a bulk discount as distributor in America since we usually buy the figure for the equivalent cost in Yen. I believe it because Figmas that are imported are usually almost double what they cost in Yen if you import them yourself.

  • Can you really call these "high end" when they are the same as the product you'd offer at mass market retail?

  • He briefly touched on why I never got into this line (thank the heavens). the price was always too much, especially after shipping, which is also too much. cherry-picking doesn’t happen if you make characters everyone wants & make then readily available. How many motuc characters are secondary, c listers? The 2002 line was a failure because of case ratio. 1 core, a-lister per box of jungle he-mans? they have done the same with motuc. The final word is walk into big lots. I haven’t read about anybody finding a he-man or a skeletor which proves just how “classic” those others are.

    • the issue with Big Lots is one of Mattel policy – Digital River will only sell a product on-line if it meets a certain minimum of stock. The items liquidated at Biog Lots did not have enough remaining stock to meet that minimum, and thus Mattel couldn't sell them on-line if they wanted to.

      • Where did you see that? I've never seen a mention of minimums for Digital River.

        I have, however, heard Scott talk about rising warehouse costs as a big reason as to why the focus went from day-of to sub. So to me it makes perfect sense to see all these figures at Big Lots- they don't want to pay to house hundreds of figures.

        • That narrows it down. :) If you would, provide some "proof" to that statement with a link.

          Scott mentioned the warehouse thing in several places: Roast Gooble in 2012, the Matty forums, and at least one Q&A.

        • Heh heh heh… nice one! And yeah, I'd have to do some digging, so it'll take me a sec.

        • Can you add a link? I've spent an hour trying to find it. Not to be a pest, I would be surprised if he gave two different reasons as to why MOTUC items are at Big Lots.

        • I found a reference to it by a board member named Kowl in a thread that was deleted but still cached by Google as of this writing:

          "Wow… as others have said on the ORG before… Mattel utilizes several close-out companies to move their liquidation product. Big Lots, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross to name a few. Scott has ZERO control on how the company decides to liquidate its unsold stock. It has been explained before the Digital River has a minimum quantity per item that they will process. Mattel has no obligation to clearance out the product on the website. From a P&L point of view, it is probably more profitable to move the product to a liquidator than it is to sell through DR at a clearance price."

          It is possible this is something that's been repeated a few times on Roast Gooble but only repeated on the forums by forum members – just to be fair to Ridureyu. That said, nothing is official unless someone can find the quote on a Roast Gooble or find it in writing by Scott Neitlich.

        • I think Ridureyu knows I was joking about "proof" ;)

          I only ask because that was something that was mentioned in 2012 on Roast Gooble Dinner Podcast, straight from the Toy Guru himself, that warehouse costs were rising, as the initial big reason they weren't doing more day-of sales. That would explain the Big Lots closeouts pretty darn well- they're clearing out the old stock. Never saw this post (obviously as it was deleted!)

    • And speaking of Big Lots, isn't it interesting that they can "liquidate" these "high end collectables" to a retailer who can turn around and offer them for a whopping $10 a piece? Because, you know, Mattel didn't just give them to Big Lots…they made something back in the liquidation…

      • Yup. If they can turn a profit for $10, there’s the proof that they’re overpriced & not “small” runs like they claim. I own a skeletor that I got from the 2 pack that I split with a buddy. I’m honestly happy my big lots didn’t get any a-listers!

        • I don't know anything about the business side of things, but is it necessarily an obvious assumption that they made much, if any, profit off the liquidation? Couldn't it just have helped them break even?

        • Certainly! And if it only allowed them to break even, then per the math they are "only" marking the figures up by around 80% when they sell them for $25/$27…so, not really much of a defense.

  • The DCUC sub (last year? 2 years ago?) not hitting its numbers but still going through shows they're willing to put a line into production despite the sub sales…

    I just don't believe it anymore. No business would ever, ever *add* more product to a line that is in trouble, period. The statements about the themometer aren't accurate either- it's different than what he said last year, in which it was a general representation of the numbers, and that it wasn't constantly updated by the day. Last year the price increase was explained as a way for them to continue to do figures of the quality experienced in previous years; now it's just to keep things the same. Sigh. Since no one really hold him to his word, this "say one thing/do another when you're not looking" thing will continue on and on and on.

    It's not a "conspiracy" or a plot to make He-Man a cheaper IP or any of the other craziness I've seen out there mentioned when this topic comes up- it's just a dirty hard sell. I don't begrudge Scott or Matty for trying to sell me something, or to push the MOTUC line. But your customers shouldn't be guilt-tripped into it; they're already pimping the line for Matty *on a daily basis* by writing about it on Facebook, telling their friends on Twitter, Instagram photos… show some respect to your customers and don't treat them as if they were born yesterday. A hard sell on a car or a TV I can handle. A hard sell on my childhood memories, not so cool- you're messing with people's emotions, their memories with their families, the connections fans try to make with their own kids now… this line would be far more successful without all the drama, the word games, and the never-ending need for "buzz."

  • All of his points are very thoughtful, reasonable and valid. It amazes me that people think this guy is just flat out lying about everything, that Mattel is just dicking us around because they can, and that these mattycollector toylines matter that much to the giant corporation that is Mattel.

    Mattel probably didn't want to lose all the copyrights for MOTU, so they made a new line…one that's outlived it's usefulness to them and is only being continued because some people really care to make it work. All to please a fan base that is ridiculously unforgiving, critical and cynical. Strange qualities for people who collect toys.

    Picture the meeting Scott has with his superiors each quarter about MOTUC…where they tell him the only way to continue this low-run, expensive line is to guarantee customers, hence the sub. Mattel is about bottom line, like any well-run corporation…so the fact they committ resources to something like MOTUC, which people really love, is pretty cool.

    There's no retail support for MOTU, so it's either this or nothing. And don't say there could be retail support if they tried; there's no relevant media (movie, tv show, game, etc) that would make MOTU more retail friendly. Unless the big boys like Walmart buy MOTU, it won't ever find a meaningful space in the market. The collector market is too small to support them.

    I wonder why people don't think of this more like Kickstarter? It's more or less the same thing, just minus the goodwill. If the Four Horseman can raise $65K in two days because fans want to produce a small run of a figure line, all sharing the same body with new heads, why is the MOTUC sub that much different? if you love the figures, sub. If you don't, don't sub. But stop pointing fingers please and just enjoy a good thing while it's in our collecting lives. And when the line goes away because everyone holds out, don't be too surprised.

    All this is coming from someone who wouldn't sub up until last year, because I saw the writing on the wall. I love this line and want all the vintage MOTU figures produced. Anything less seems like a failure, considering what MOTUC set out to accomplish.

    • You are so eager to put the blame on yourself, it really surprises me. The vintage line became a classic because it released who it did when it did. That Mattel decided to spread those figures out over many years is not the fault of the collector, and any failure for this line to do so would rest solely on Mattel, who decided Spector and Standor were more important to get to.

      This is absolutely nothing like Kickstarter. But let's say for a moment that it is. A kickstarter, to be successful, has to be upfront and detailed on exactly what would be offered and why. Even Lords of the Underworld was very clear about the figures that would be produced, which allowed them to raise the capital they needed to really launch their line.

      Here is the truth: Mattel has a shady track record. Pre-orders often end badly, such as the hoverboard that was over-hyped. Their tendency to recycle bodies for everything has bitten them many times, such as the Ghostbusters. Their over-reliance on the Four Horsemen has led to lines that share exactly the same visual elements with nothing different or standing out because of it.

      Scott gets paid more than enough money to stand before his bosses each quarter and to give an update. He also gets paid plenty of money to deal with fans both good and bad. He is the face. That is his job. He is very good at parseltongue.

      I don't think they are intentionally dicking people around, but the understand the power of supply and demand and don't hesitate for a moment to harness it. Not all toy collectors are ridiculously unforgiving, critical, and cynical. I actually would very much like to buy and enjoy the line, but I'm not going to invest hundreds of dollars each year on unknown items in the hopes of getting some of the ones I like and selling off the rest.

      If Mattel can't manage to sell Masters of the Universe, it doesn't deserve to sell and shouldn't sell. That is the sign of a "well-run corporation." Blaming their inability to sell product on the consumer or causing them to feel guilty for not spending even more of their hard-earned income on unknown products is just utterly unacceptable to me. There are too many great toys out there. It's up to Mattel to keep up, not up to us to hold ourselves back and "settle."

      • If they can't sell MOTU, then no one will. So then we have no MOTU toys, which is sad. So I support them. Thing is, we are not in any position of power here as people that want these toys. Either we pay for them or Mattel doesn't make them, because making product that won't sell is not conducive to profitable business. Especially high risk, low reward product like MOTUC.

        And don't be surprised that I blame myself. I blame myself for everything.

        • Wanting a figure or line is not the same thing as being vulnerable. The company has no money if consumers don't spend it. They did not launch the MOTUC line because they thought the fans deserved it. They launched the line to make money. There is no other reason to do so. That they are incapable of understanding that it might be their own fault for the "failure" of the line is beyond idiotic.

          I'm not desperate for every MOTU figure. I enjoyed them as a child. I bought a few of them to put on my shelves. I was never going to fight through the crowds to buy a figure online. I was never going to hit their website at random times in the hopes of getting a clear variant. I was never going to complain when they reissued figures at the fear of it dropping the value of the originals.

          What that means, for me, is that I'm not powerless. I have money that Mattel would like to have, but that money goes to companies like NECA and Hasbro, or Diamond Select. It goes to companies that make their product available for me to buy, quality control issues that I'm aware of before giving my money over, and have to constantly consider what figures and lines to produce in order to please their fans and keep making the money.

          Make no mistake – the idea that Mattel thinks they can claim that what they make doesn't matter is incredibly shameful, and a bad sign for the company overall. Their DCUC line died because of all the problems with buying figures. Their Movie Masters line died shortly after appearing due to delays and shipping issues. Their MOTUC two packs were paired with lacking DCUC figures, limited to one store, and badly advertised. The failure is all on them and not on you or any other fan. The failure of a product can only ever be laid at the feet of a business, whether they choose to realize that or not.

          That is one of the basic foundations of capitalism that we, as western civilization, seem to be working hard to utterly forget.

      • And you're right. Mattel can't make Masters of the Universe profitable, so they're willing to abandon it to focus those resources on their lines that are profitable. Knowing what to pursue and when to quit are characteristics of a well-run corporation. So the fact that they are allowing this line to go on in it's current form says something. It's in our hands, which was my point. They want to axe it, we can keep it going.

        Also, the nature of a subscription in any other form seems to always entail unknowns. You don't know the content of a magazine in December when you subscribe at the beginning of the year. Or book of the month clubs, music clubs…this model has existed for a long time. Mattel didn't invent it. I know those examples are different, considering the price, but still you have to consider that.

        Additionally, what Scott says about the final production approval process is right on in any sales or marketing industry…it opens the door to unnecessarily damaging PR and possible litigation. Until that stuff is fully approved, people can't see it. Mattel doesn't need some class action lawsuit against them because they showed a toy prototype they didn't release. I mean, you've seen that already talked about with Grayskull, which is a ridiculous and extreme example, but nonetheless happened.

        • See, your first paragraph had me nodding until your final sentences, where you ascribe to them altruistic motivations that I specifically denounced in my post. If they are allowing it to continue, it is because they are still making money off of it. This isn't Gilette. They aren't giving away the razors and making money on the blades. There is no money loss for them at all. With the all-in subs, it is quite literally the least risky business venture possible.

          The subscription is not comparable to your examples. Please let me explain why. First of all, music clubs and book of the month clubs have failed to the point of total non-relevance. People didn't like the excessive fees and the limited control over the content. Magazines can be easily purchased without subscriptions allowing for plenty of cherry picking, and no major magazine has ever attempted to guilt its readers in paying for additional subscriptions it may or may not be able to afford in order to keep the magazine going. Beyond all that, magazines actually take feedback and modify their content to the reader expectations. Mattel has clearly failed to do so. Case in point – they still use Digital River and piss of Euro customers every month.

          MOTUC is an in-house line. They don't have to worry about rights falling through. They don't have to worry about getting likeness approval from actors or agents. If they can only manage to announce five or six characters at a a time, great. Do bi-annual subscriptions. They also could easily produce a list of 12 figures, add "subject to change," and then actually try and honor that 12 figure road map, being HONEST about issues when/if they come up.

          I can't help that you want to see this as landing personally on you and others like you. I can't make you understand that you're being played and manipulated, with emotions being taken advantage of. I wish I could. The MOTU line was massively mishandled and died in the early 2000s. Despite their not making money on it, there was still a new MOTU line made later. This will die out and be replaced eventually by another one. Every toy line is going to die and every toy line is going to leave disappointments and regrets behind. It's part of it.

          But you make none of the decisions, and can vote in only one way that really matters – your wallet. As long as you refuse to do that, you're going to continue to be taken advantage of. There are a significant number of examples of toy lines being managed properly, pleasing both collectors and casual fans. Mattel needs to learn to step up and actually move their business practices forward instead of adopting the viewpoint of cult leaders and bullies.

          And yes, the Castle Grayskull pre-order has been terrible from the start and only proves to get worse over time – which is exactly why I put no money into it to begin with.

        • Valid points. And no, I don't really blame myself, nor do I feel like I'm allowing myself to be manipulated…I was being sarcastic. The window for these figures is very short. If I want a complete collection of vintage-inspired MOTUC figures, I understand what the current reality is and the situation we are in. And yes, you can say two things through your choice to sub or to to sub: 1.) I will not support this model, and show this by not paying you, or 2.) I want these toys and will pay to get them, as currently this is the only way. Lack of support may kill the subscription model long-term, which would be fine if the toys were otherwise available. Short-term, however, we lose the figures, and I'm not ready for that. It all comes down to what you want out of this. I want the toys, and nothing about the subscription strikes me as horribly wrong or offensive, otherwise I wouldn't do it.

          Also, yes, they wouldn't produce MOTUC if they were doing so at a loss. I understand that completely. I just think people overestimate the ROI on the line quite a bit and misplace it's overall position of worth to Mattel. If they cancelled MOTUC and reallocated the resources elsewhere to maximize profits, it wouldn't surprise me at all.

        • "If I want a complete collection of vintage-inspired MOTUC figures, I understand what the current reality is and the situation we are in."

          See there are two things about your statement here.

          First if you want vintage figures, *buy the vintage line.* It's cheap loose compared to many other 80's lines, and pretty easy to get a complete loose collection (minus the Euro exclusives) for under the price of two years of MOTUC. I too would like to have a "complete collection" of MOTUC- but I would rather have the Eldors and the Icers- characters never made- than the Dragstors or Multibots.

          Secondly, since Mattel doesn't give out numbers or hard facts about their lines, *we don't really know the current reality is.* We know what has happened in the past, what was told to us, but not facts or a definitive, checkable statement. No one does, except Mattel employees. Matty (and other toy companies to be fair!) doesn't release numbers or give out sales data, so Scott can say "This sold, this didn't" and there's no real way to see if it's a "fact" or not.

          If you want to sub, that is your prerogative. But not everyone can- financially, or they don't like this year's figures, whatever reason… but I don't think guilting your fellow fans into spending $500+ blind or insulting those who have been on the MOTU train far, far before 2009 is really a very good thing to be doing. No one is paying you to promote Mattycollector.com.

          As an aside, it's pretty clear with the Big Lots situation, the ROI is much much higher than they admit, which would fall into line with standard practices for the last few years. It would be a 100%+ markup over cost on Matty if Big Lots is selling MOTUC figures at cost- which I can not believe that they would sell that much product at a loss to a retailer.

        • People are definitely entitled to do what they want. My initial response was in regards to the posters who slam everything Scott says and rant and rave over everything Mattel does with MOTUC. Every reveal or statement is met with much agonizing, finger-pointing, and crying BS when no one, except Mattel, knows the real story. And honestly, it's not like we're shareholders. There's no reason for Mattel to maintain absolute transparency with us, considering our relationship. They do a fine job of dealing with an incredibly difficult-to-please customer base, who oftentimes come off as ridiculously unappreciative.

          Point is in all of this, everything is speculative. No one knows the story. But there are two ways to approach this: say forget it, or be in it for the toys. I love this line, don't want it to die, so I'm in. That said, there's nothing wrong with being critical and sharing your mind as a customer. But trying to base arguments on perceived injustices doesn't seem all that helpful.

          And yes, this is the reality that we know — sub goes through or no toys. Pretty straightforward. Sure, we don't know everything behind the scenes, but do you really think this is some giant conspiracy or twisted, evil corporate plot? I mean, reality is perceived, based on your understanding of what's happening and what you know/understand about it…so if you distrust Mattel, then everything involving MOTUC or DCIE is met with the same distrust. I get that. Thankfully, I'm not so concerned with that because the sub model is not outrageously offensive to my consumer sensibilities.

          If people can't afford the sub, or don't want to pay the price being asked, then that's a perfectly valid reason to dislike the system. But trying to find reasons why and rationalize how the sub should not, could never, should never be as expensive, and how Mattel is hiding this information from us because it's our right to know everything about their bottom line…that strikes me as strange. The arguments are valid, sure, but there's nothing concrete behind them.

          Our relationship with Mattel is simple. They have a product we want, and have clearly laid out what we have to do to get that product. If you don't want to do that, the don't. Speak your mind, sure…but everything isn't so black and white all the time. Mattel is to blame for many things, but maybe not everything.

        • You know, I get why you say "conspiracy" but honestly, only the nuttiest of the nuttiest is worthy of those words. The fact that you and many others repeatedly use that word shows you're not really paying attention to what those you disagree with are saying, and that's ok. Only those truly detached from reality are those calling for class actions, or online polls, or talking about being censored on a private forum.

          I'm not saying there is an evil plot afoot, or some of the more crackpot theories. I'm not asking for info on the bottom line either. All I'm saying is that there is a clear pattern here: in the spring, the line is doing great. The day after SDCC is over, it's inches from being cancelled. Three years in a row. It's not hidden, and it's not multiple people conspiring against anyone. It's one person saying this, who's mouth says very, very contradictory things, which in turn riles up a niche group.

          Everything isn't as black and white as you paint it either… as has been shown previously, if Mattel wants the sub to be on, it will (DCUC); if it doesn't, it will kill it (Ghostbusters) regardless of how many extra subs I buy, or retweets a plea to save the sub gets.

          People I think get too worked up over what is and isn't shown, made, produced, or what things cost; the classic "Why hasn't ____ been made yet?" type argument, and I agree with you that these type of posts are over the top and derisive. But Mattel really hasn't done anything to fix the bad experiences that buyers have had over the last few years. I don't think a single thing was really done to make up for the fans who missed out on Fisto and Sorceress, some missed both. And that is only one example since the start of the sub program.

          There are a lot of people who have trust issues with Mattel and rightly so. I think just a little bit of compassion for those who've had issues with DR or QC might make you see things differently.

          (FYI here's a fun fact: I actually was a Mattel shareholder up until a few years ago, and I can confirm from my secret lair of hidden knowledge there is no mention of MOTUC in any of the paperwork ;) )

        • Well said. I have been fortunate to have not had to deal with any of the QC and DR issues, so my enjoyment of the line hasn't taken any severe hits (although trust me, the FFM and Star Sisters were challenging). I can understand how repeated issues would cause excitement and allegiance to wane.

          My general distaste for this time of year and the circus surrounding MOTUC is based on the vitriol that many bring forth, and those extreme examples are what cause something so great and fun to be rather exhausting. People with realistic and thoughtful opinions, like yours and Wesley's, are part of a good dialogue…it's the more extreme opinions I have trouble with. And yes, that includes the sub-or-die people.

          And your secret lair of knowledge sounds quite mysterious.

  • The idea that anyone would be okay with this part of the statement is entirely beyond me. "And really, in today’s market, the customers we need to keep all of the subs (and the Ecto 1) going are customers that are “all in” no matter what. It really shouldn’t matter which figures we are doing, the type of customer needed to keep the line going, the customer that is the life blood of these lines is the type of MOTU (or DC) customer who wants anyone no matter what." So it shouldn't matter what figures they are collecting? No one will buy it unless they want to buy every figure anyway? It just reeks of arrogance and dismissal of the actual interest of their customers. I haven't bought MOTUC in a very long time for this reason. I got tired of fighting to be able to buy a toy and by the time they sorted it out, they managed to still put so few up for sale that it would sell out in minutes. I simply do not understand, and have never understood, how GI Joe and Transformers have managed to be on shelves for over 20 years while MOTU can only be sold to people who are incapable of having anything other than a complete collection, despite how impossible Mattel has made it to ever have a truly complete collection and how evident it has become that they will not hold their value over time (for those who have bemoaned the value aspect of the line).

    • GIJoe and Transformers have, for the most part, always had media supporting them. MOTU simply does not and probably will not for quite a while more. You are comparing apples to turkey sandwiches.

      • How so? All three are in-house properties. There was a long period where Transformers weren't prominent on American television. Also an even longer period where GI Joe was confined to comic books, with the occasional attempt at a reboot or a movie. Both survived on the shelves with multiple lines. You can say that they are apples and turkey sandwiches, but that doesn't make it true.

        Mattel has the same options that Hasbro has had to get that entertainment in other areas. They can shop their product for television shows, movies, or any other productions that they think would be profitable. The Transformers and GI Joe are not such unique concepts that they don't have to constantly be revamped and conceived all over again. Hasbro works to keep GI Joe and Transformers relevant.

        Or hell, just compare the Marvel and DC lines. Mattel has limited themselves almost exclusively to online marketing of DC figures, and those on retail shelves aren't all that easy to find on a regular basis. On the other hand, Hasbro has both a 3.75" line and a 6" line that are successful and available on the shelves of pretty much any store I walk into that carries toys.

        There's no difference between them beside the focus of the line, the approach of the companies, and the marketed and considered appeal to the fans.

        • I think the "success" of the Marvel lines is more of an open question than you suggest, since both MU and ML are being folded next year in favor of movie-supported lines. And it's the movies that have helped all of the Marvel stuff be a success. The reason the Nolan Batman films and Man of Steel haven't been quite as successful for Mattel is because those films skew to a somewhat older audience.

          But you're absolutely correct that Mattel seems to want to have their cake and eat it too by being unwilling to put the money into really building a fan base for MOTU in order to get the cultural penetration needed to talk a studio into a movie. If Mattel was really serious about turning MOTU into a mega-brand like Transformers or G.I. Joe, they'd subsidize MOTUC by taking less of a profit, give fans almost everything they wanted, and then use that enthusiasm to their advantage to sell a movie or cartoon or whatever.

          I actually wonder whether Mattel may be thinking pursuing this strategy with Max Steel. I have this hunch they may have MS as a more marketable property because it's more "superhero" than "fantasy hero," and therefore may have a better chance at becoming a movie in today's climate.

          At the same time, Mattel doesn't really seem to be pursuing a Barbie or Monster High movie, and both of those are far, far more successful than MOTU. So who knows.

        • Barbie, and maybe Monster High, still have plenty of direct to video movies that come out. Those must be selling, because there seems to be a new commercial for one every 6 months. So at least there is still media.
          It's unfortunate that Cartoon Network had the MYP series. Maybe if they come up with a new show they can get it on a network that isn't known for randomly swapping around time slots with minimum announcements to let fans know when they can actually watch the show.

        • CN is a different network than it was ten years ago. That said, they still couldn't keep Thundercats going. I've been much more impressed with how Nickelodeon has handled TMNT – but then, they actually own that property.

        • In fairness though the Thundercats 2011 cartoon was a mess….and the toys were even worse.

        • Yes it's similar….so similar Dan Norton (the art director) tried to blame Chima for the 2011 series being cancelled.

        • Doesn't seem THAT different, Poe…

          ThunderCats, Green Lantern, Young Justice…all great shows that were canned because their toylines didn't take off.

        • In Thundercats case it wasn't entirely down to the toy lines lack of success..

        • Very fair points, Poe.. unfortunately, I see the changes with the Marvel line as indicative of the overall toy industries health – as the prices of oil keeps going up, the plastic is only going to become more expensive. I honestly don't know what the next decade will bring to the toy industry, but I do fear for action figures altogether, personally.

          And you're absolutely right about the DC movies skewing to the older audience. I actually cringed when I went to see Man of Steel for the first time and saw all the kids sitting in the audience. Definitely not a kid's movie by any stretch.

          I don't have much dedication to Mattel right now, but I keep watching and hoping. I really want them to win me back. I truly do. I want to see them embrace the art of the figure as well as the business. I want to see them excite the fantasy of both children and adults. I just don't know how long it will be before they get back to the business of fun and entertainment.

        • I have a few guesses as to where the action figure market will be in a decade. First off, the writing has been on the wall for a while now regarding the kids' market for articulated action figures – it's going to continue to contract as kids increasingly turn to Bakugan or Skylanders-type games with figure components, or abandon toys altogether in favor of electronic games.

          So whither the action figure market? I see three things going on:

          –Kids' action figures (based on big movies, etc.) will be primarily cheap stuff a la those Dark Knight Rises toys that are still pegwarming at TRU, or those new Wolverine limited-articulation figures.

          –Adult collector action figures will move further and further toward the Japanese model – lots of articulation and detail for higher prices.

          –3D printers will turn independent toy creation a cottage industry – not just for companies and individuals looking to make stuff and sell it, but for individuals just looking to make one or two toys for themselves.

          I'm also hoping bioplastics makes enough progress to become a viable alternative to petroleum-based plastics for action figures, but I don't have much hope for that in the short term.

          Sorry, went into a bit of a digression there. Really should make that an actual post.

        • I rather enjoy your digressions, so no apologies, please!

          And I can pretty much agree.

          I do think that the cheap stuff that's been coming out is the near future of toys. Getting back to the big five and seeing a reduction in all the progress that the toy industry has made in terms of sculpting, etc. Cheaper is definitely going to be the watchword. Still, those were the toys that we grew up with that made us love the little plastic crack, so I don't think that's all bad. Kids tend to supply the imagination needed to fill in any fun the toys are lacking.

          I definitely think Japan is the future for the adult collector. It will take a while for the styles and concepts to sort themselves out, but I see the licenses going more and more to Eastern companies that will keep the articulation and sculpt innovation alive.

          I honestly don't know much about 3D printers or their proliferation. The prices for the DIY set have definitely come down, but it's similar to Linux to me in that regard. While it's great for the set that knows how to use it, marketing it to the individual, casual consumer is going to be a much tougher sell, at least at first. The fact that they can create with more than just polymers is a plus, however, and I do think there is some potential.

          Anyway, I'm with you on the bioplastics. Not just for our toys, which would be nice, but also for all the medical plastics that we rely on so much these days. If we can't replace the natural oil for the creation of plastics, things are really going to change as it becomes more and more scarce, I suspect.

          Anyway, like I said – I like your digressions. It's fun to ponder the direction of things to come.

        • GI Joe 1:18 does had a hiatus i think. Around 1995 to 2000 after a long run from 1982-1994.. Transformers still has its media to promote so it'll always saved from hiatus and its fanbase is growing..
          What i'm saying is, a figure line sometimes reach its peak. And maybe its time for DCUC to reach its peak where it looks boring and nobody wants it anymore, everyone have to cherrypick. And if the sub is halted then it will really reach its peak (if we count from the beginning of DCSH, thats kinda long run).. Maybe its just about time for DCUC to stop and maybe in the next few years the excitement will grow again and a new line is made again.
          For MOTUC club eternia, i think its safe to assume it will survive 2014-2015 (with the assumption Mattel keep their words by really making the A list characters

        • Actually, it seems to me that DC Collectibles may be trying to step in and take over the DC collector action figure business. Their latest figures, especially the ones they showed off at SDCC, have a lot more articulation than usual.

        • I guess you're right.
          Maybe DC want to rid off DC Collectibles competition and contrastly split their market at retail. Mattel will only make the "mom friendly" figures and DC Collectibles will make the collector friendly figures..
          Now you've made me think to collect DC collectibles again (if DC Club dont make it).. But still, i doubt the durability of DC Collectibles figures, its usually brittles.

  • I think the 2-Doomsday thing is hurting. The last thing I want is to sub for DCUC and end up with a $35 (almost $50 after tax+shipping) that is not the version I want; and I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking that way.
    I am actually considering subbing for MOTUC (for the first time), not because of anything Scott said, but because all the figures they showed at SDCC are ones I'd be happy to own. Crazy, I know. Show figures that have a wider fan base and reel in people who would otherwise never sub.

  • I’m in for MOTUC again and in for DC for the first time (I really, REALLY want Doomsday unleashed and should it, by some miracle, go through would rather not pay $100 for it.)

    I’ve grown to hate this time of year, if only for the inevitable subbers vs. non-subbers arguing. (I don’t begrudge either, I just hate the arguing.)

    Should this be MOTUC’s last stand (though my gut tells me it’ll go through), I’d be sad. To be honest, I didn’t even have a huge nostalgia factor in buying this line. I just think they’re great toys. So long as Matty can churn them out, I’ll be happy to make room on my shelf. (Seriously, of the dozens of figures they’ve released / revealed I can honestly say I only actively dislike one and sort of dislike another. All the others I think are great.)

    • Might I ask which figures you actively dislike and sort of dislike? That statement was intriguing…

      • I’m not crazy about Spector. It’s not even the idea, as I actually like the time traveling background and I think a character with a mask / secret identity is a novel idea in MOTU. I just think it’s a mediocre design.

        The one I flat out dislike is the blue guy from the Foe Men. (I don’t know which is which). I love the other two and think they look like very complimentary designs and partners but the blue guy is just very bland and boring to me.

        • Definitely agree on both of those. Spector seems like he belongs in another toy line, and the blue guy from the FFF seems like an unfinished test shot you buy on eBay.

        • One of my favorite figures of the year. His image from the model kit box art is so vacant and haunting, and the figure captures that to perfection. Sorry you don't like him.

  • …. Almost lost amidst all the noise is the fact that Damian Wayne isn't getting made. Is this the first time it's been confirmed, or have people figured it out form the fact that he wasn't shown at SDCC?

    Ooogh, Mattel. That was the only figure of yours that I was waiting for.

    I am now free and clear to jump ship completely to DC Collectibles, and hope the Greg Capullo line churns out a full Bat-Family.

    • Again, I think Mattel may be slowly handing off the adult collector action figure market for DC over to DC Collectibles. They'll still do stuff for the movies, of course, but the mainstream comic stuff seems to be going away.

    • I wanted the winged Batman Beyond as well. I don't have any inside info, but I think DC may have withdrawn approval on Damian being sold in Batman Unlimited, especially considering that he died a few months ago. It doesn't make sense to market him. His removal may have helped hasten the end of the retail line.

      • While I always hated Damian myself, I'll concede there actually seemed to be a fairly significant cadre of fans – many of them younger, maybe? – who really liked him. And so both killing him off and pulling his figure are perplexing to me. But hey, that's today's DC.

        • It's heavily rumored they're bringing him back. So, yeah, today's DC.

          Personally I loved the character- the first "Batman & Robin" series was a breath of fresh air and the first time I really got excited about Batman in a number of years, it was something new and fresh, and not just a re-do on another story.

  • The sub is expensive (i'm not from US, have to pay extras for shi[ping and custom), and sometimes the figure is not what we wanted..
    But i still think both (DCUC and MOTC) are my most favorite toylines ever; heck, both are my main focus at collecting. And i hope there will be 2014 and 2015 for MOTUC so that at least the A list character is made and many years to come for DC Signature (DCUC) so that every character from DC universe is made..
    I know its not a perfect toyline for everyone, but for some its a toyline of their dream.. And for me, i will join the sub again even if that was just a scare tactics.. Want them badly.

  • Okay, what's really hilarious here is the "2:If the meter is not hit, what will likely happen is the 4 figures that are already tool’d (the ones revealed at SDCC) will be released quarterly and perhapes an item at SDCC. ".

    I take that to mean Nepthu and Plundar… What an ignoble end to the a noble line. But at least Scott gets his favorites, right?

    • Nephtu and Plundor is for 2013. I think what he meant is the 2014 figures revealed at SDCC?

      • Yes, he was referring to Glimmer, Modulok, Two-Badd and Hydron. Pludor and Nepthu are assured mass production and sale as they are in this year's Club Eternia and Club Filmation subs, respectively.

  • We've done this dance before. I've subscribed for my 3 subs. If it goes through, great. If it doesn't, it's not the end of the world. I'm tired of all the yearly drama…

      • That was one reason I posted all those links at the top. To show we've been through this before. I believe the 2013 sub ended up being above the minimum number required.

        It's a bit tough, because on the one hand, history shows the sub always makes it through. But if you just assume that and don't make an effort to get more people to subscribe, then you really do risk it not happening.

        The main problem here is lack of information. While I'll agree the Kickstarter comparison doesn't work because Kickstarter requires people to say exactly what the backers will get, one thing I do wish Mattel would do is have a meter, updated in real-time, showing exactly how many subs they need and how many have gone through. I think that would actually help them sell more or, on the flip side, help make it clear to fans exactly how difficult it's going to be to get the sub through.

        The fact that they don't do that, however constrained by Mattel's lawyers or whatever, mean the conspiracy theorists will always have something of a leg to stand on.

  • As much as I'd like to contribute to the unemployment of Neitlich, I'm in as always for MOTUC, it will go through again, and he'll scare everyone into buying enough that he gets his annual bonus.

    • "The meter is 100% accurate"
      I seem to remember last year's meter stopping about (just eyeballing it) 20% short of goal, then it didn't budge. The final day came and went, and what do you know? We hit goal!!! Not only that, we smashed it, with (working from memory) about 135% of what was needed to move forward.

    • What a terrible thing to say. This is a man with a family. My God, they're just toys.

      • When we get to the point where someone says "they're just toys," we've reached the "Godwin's law" of toy discussions.

        (Not meant as an endorsement of the original comment – I don't wish ill on anyone. Just an observation.)

  • "It really shouldn’t matter which figures we are doing, the type of customer needed to keep the line going, the customer that is the life blood of these lines is the type of MOTU (or DC) customer who wants anyone no matter what."

    This really bothered me. The fact is that it DOES matter which figures are being made if they want me to spend hundreds of dollars on items that are not in any way necessities. I loved collecting the DCUC figures, but that was when there was a steady stream of great characters done well (Etrigan, Gentleman Ghost, Killer Moth, etc). Mattel has gone from offering fan-favorite, quality figures to offering whatever is cheapest. Ice is great, but anyone with half a brain knew she was coming. There is no demand for Batzarro. Why on earth, if they want to sell subscriptions, would they think of that character as an incentive? Yet another move that makes them look cheap and oblivious.

    It seems that they're perfectly fine with the demise of the DC line. Otherwise, they'd be trying harder. There are enough quality DC characters remaining to really nail an awesome subscription (Vixen, either Dr. Light, Ragdoll, Vandal Savage, Mad Hatter, Frankenstein), but they choose to give us whatever character fits on a standard buck (even when the character doesn't…Atrocitus).

    You need to spend money to make money. If Granny Goodness had been revealed at Comic-Con, I'd wager that Club Infinite Earths would be in the bag. And they know that. It's too bad, but the Club has not convinced me to give money for a mystery product that will likely disappoint.

    • I have an alternate proposal, actually – one that's a bit more charitable to Mattel. Perhaps Mattel realizes that DC Collectibles is going to be taking over the adult-oriented DC figures business (perhaps DC Collectibles has even intimated that to them), but they're keeping Club Infinite Earths going as long as they can for the fans. Unfortunately, this requires them to keep it as cheap as possible, using as much reuse as possible.

      I don't know. Maybe that's not that great a theory, but it's another possibility.

      • Ha. Yeah, I guess that's a much nicer way of looking at it, and you could be right. Still, you'd think they'd want to fire on all cylinders at Comic-Con and really show some great product to inspire people to subscribe. If Ice, Batzarro, Ra's, and Doomsday were their big sells, I'm worried (although I admit that Ra's and Doomsday both piqued my interest…just not enough to spend the money for a sub).

        Oh well.

      • No, that kind of fits with what was shown this year. After DCUC started, it really killed the DC Direct lines. They were two companies doing the same characters and selling them to the same limited audience. It makes perfect sense for them to split the figures down the middle (DC doing the more collector oriented figures, Mattel doing the products aimed at children) and I think a lot of direct market shops, like comic shops, will be pretty happy with this. There's a limited market to some of these designs- does it make sense to continue to release two different versions of the same character in the same costume at the same time, like they've been doing the last couple years?

  • At this point who cares we are all well aware of how Mattel does business. Either you buy what they are selling or you do not. Some of thing they are on the up an up some of think they are liars. However, the yearly debate is stale as old as Matty's shtick.

    I will be checking out the 2 big lots in town this week. Big Lots across the country carrying "exclusive" online at 40% the online price bring some interesting questions.

  • Wasn’t the 2013 subscription. Supposed to be all “A-list characters” to also finish the vintage toy line?

    Reall Scott, you are tackling CS & QC, it only took you 5 years to do this. Had you possibly done this say, idk 4 years ago, the subscription may not be in this possition.

    Cherry pickers, is this similar to you cherry picking your favorites to be introduced into the line before others?

  • I think the DC sub is in trouble for sure. A reason for this is the 2 versions of Doomsday for sure, but another is the fact that they throw things like the Red Hood version no one wanted and f&*$ing Batzarro into our sub. While we love DC, I'm pretty sure no one ever asked for those. I understand that/why they can't reveal all the figures, but it hurts the sub nonetheless (not that people wouldn't pick apart the lineup if they knew all 13 figures. There are tons of characters I'd love to see join the DCU, and there are no more DCUC-style figures at retail, but I'm just not sure there are enough diehards left. Maybe they should announce there'll be no day-of-sale figures?

  • It kind of bums me out that I finally get nearly 100 comments on a post, and yet again, it's related to Mattycollector controversy. (Not saying I won't take the traffic – not even saying that I didn't have a hunch that I might get this kind of traffic with this post – but still, kind of a bummer.)

    There's gotta be something good I can write about that will get you all talking…

  • You can write about the Four Horsemen Kickstarter, how it's been an unprecedented success and how crowdfunding may impact the future of independent action figure design. That may not get 100 comments but I'd love to read it.

  • Oops! Sorry, I double-posted. But the good news is that it got you to 100 comments! ;)

  • Preorders are up at BBTS for those who don't want to subscribe (providing it goes ahead) Some of the prices are a bit on the high side, but they are clear on the risks they are taking on potentially unsellable stock.

  • The fact that Neitlich has to make a statement saying that these aren't scare tactics proves that he's full of shit. When are people going to learn that roughly 10% of anything he says is true?

    They just might say "sorry, the sub numbers didn't meet the goal. However, we still want to provide our fans with the figures." then they will announce their new sales strategy.

    I don't think they want the subs anymore and are looking forward to phasing the line out by first downgrading it to a one figure a month kinda thing… prices will go up, supplies will be limited. They will rape the fans one way or another.