Poe’s Point > Mattycollector Customer Service is unacceptable, and here’s why.

I went back and forth on whether to post this, because the anti-Mattel ranting and general negativity around here lately has, well, made running this blog not very enjoyable as of late. But then I remembered part of my original mission statement for this blog (in my head, anyway) was to provide commentary on aspects of the industry that don’t show up on the news sites and so forth. And so, as the Joker might say, here…we…go.


As I wrote about last week, I had a bizarre experience with Mattycollector. Well, on Saturday–which was a very crappy day for me in general for reasons that were not toy-related*–I received an email from Mattycollector informing me my subscription had been renewed and charging me another $50 for the two subs and shipping (the other sub is for a friend). Fortunately both extra Teelas have already been claimed by friends, but I’d much rather have not had to deal with the whole thing at all.

When the whole thing first went down on Thursday, I sent an email to Mattycollector customer service explaining what had happened. Basically, I wanted to make sure my subs hadn’t been canceled and would still be in effect for Scare Glow next month. Here is the text of the email I sent.

Back in May 2009, I ordered the 2009 MOTU Subscription under this order number (I ordered 2 subscriptions). I received my Webstor figures last month as planned and everything went fine.

This month, I received a message that my 2009 subscription had a subscription renewal failure due to a credit card authorization failure.

I quickly ordered two Teela figures in case the issue couldn’t be resolved, with the order number of 4427***.

Then I contacted customer service. They informed me that the October sub orders HAD gone through, with order number 8712***. Since the 4427*** order was already in process, I had the CS associate cancel the 8712*** order.

However, in looking at my order history now, it appears that my 2009 subscription orders are listed as “Order Complete,” unlike my 2010 Subscription Order, which says “In Process.”

My question is this: is my 2009 Subscriptions Order, under the original order ID of 6704***, still active, and will I receive the November and December subscription figures as planned?

Or will I have to go to Mattycollector.com and order those figures myself, because the subscription has been canceled?

My preference is for the subscription to stay the same. I’m also concerned about my 2010 Subscription order (Order Number: 6083***).

Pedantic, nerdy, and confusing? Yes. But I think I could reasonably expect them to figure out what I was talking about.

Here is the answer I received Sunday. I haven’t changed anything about the spelling, wording, punctuation, formatting, or patronizing links to third-party websites.

Thank you for contacting the MattyCollector.com online store.

Please be advice if you are using firewall make sure it is turned off
A cookie is a small file written to your hard drive by some web sites. We require that a cookie be set on your computer so you may access our secure server for processing your credit card transaction, downloading your software, and checking your shippable order status information.
For information on setting your browser to accept cookies, please visit:

I don’t care who’s responsible for this–Mattel, Digital River, or whoever the hell Digital River is outsourcing their CS too. It’s unacceptable. Call me an idealist, but I expect a modicum of professionalism, including proper English, from the customer service of an American corporation, or one working for a large American corporation.

More to the point, the response has nothing to do with the problem, since I didn’t physically make the subscription order–it was an automatic renewal. More importantly, the subscription went through fine last month for Webstor. My browser’s cookies didn’t have a damned thing to do with it.

Look, lots of other bloggers would engage in a frothing, profanity-filled rant in this situation. That’s not my style, and I think such rants make it easy to discount the author as a crank. So I’m just going to tell Mattel calmly and clearly: the customer service on Mattycollector is inexcusably bad and needs to be overhauled immediately. Mattel should be embarrassed by this situation, not standoffish with collectors in their Q&As.

*In fact, the one bright spot of that day was finding a MOC Toynami Thundarr the Barbarian figure for $15 at Comicazi in Arlington, MA…just minutes before my car’s alternator died.


Pic of the Day


Pic of the Day


  1. @neoolong: Indeed there is a Grodd for DCIH. He looks like crap, but they did make one. I got pics of him here if you're interested… Apparently he was sculpted by Willis O'Brien:


  2. PrfktTear

    I need a Barney Stinson graph here… the more frusterated I get about stuff like toys, the less enjoyment I get from owning them. The less frusterated I get the more enjoyment I get from owning them.

  3. neoolong

    Grodd? There's a DCIH Grodd? Or do you mean Monsieur Mallah?

  4. Master Ba-Tor

    Thanks for telling it like it is Monkey Boy! Mattel needs to start firing some employees and I know who should be first on the list.

  5. Kid Nicky

    Monkey Boy is my new hero.

    I can go to my local Kmart and buy characters I don't even recognise from Obscure Star Wars Comic #253,but yet they can't market characters like the Joker? Come on,that's crap.

    I used to collect Infinite Heroes,but now I have to buy 3 or six packs full of characters I already have to get the ones I still need,like Power Girl or Gorilla Grodd. I guess I'm just supposed to feel blessed that I can even find them at retail.

    On the positive side,I was happy to see at least Gorilla Grodd got a new sculpt. I half expected them to just put a monkey head on the same male body everyone else uses. 😉

  6. monkey boy

    if you think the customer service is the only thing that's inexcusable, at this point, then i gotta say you're living in the world of make believe.

    did you know that, while mattels profits have fallen 8%, hasbro's has actually gone UP about the same amount (8.8%)? is it just possible that they're god awful annoying business practices are causing at least some of this?

    there's no doubt that kids control the mass market toy industry…or at least that's what mattel and hasbro continue to tell us and refuse to alter their main focus because of it. however, hasbro courts collectors in an entirely different way than mattel. hasbro continues to offer collector themed figures at retail, while still courting kids with the more kid focused figures…so while your goofy cartoony clone wars toys have spring loaded accessories and 5 joints, your legacy collection figures are super detailed and articulated…and some collectors even like the CW stuff, and some kids enjoy the legacy stuff.

    there are other lines that straight up appeal to both: like transformers and GI joe. while transformer/star wars/gi joe fans are all a ravenous bunch of loons who constantly harp and whine on message baords, you almost never see a collector of these lines just up and say "eff it guys, i'm giving up the hobby". if they do it tends to be due to some personal issue, lack of time, lack of money, or they just don't enjoy it anymore.

    with mattel, it's radically different. rather than try to find ways to combine their properties to make everyone happy, they pretty much go out of their way to lose friends and alienate people.

    for example, why do infinite heroes suck so bad? mattel could be giving us BAD ASS DC 4 inch figures to fight our marvel figures, but instead they're under-articulated, under-detailed and too small.

    and the JLU figures, which theoretically should be for kids in the first place, end up being more popular with collectors. why? because as toys, they SUCK. as collectibles, you can at least put them on a shelf and let them sit there, but NO KID WANTS TO PLAY WITH THESE UNARTICULATED UNACCESSORIZED HUNKS OF PLASTIC.

    why couldn't they have just aped hasbro's strategy directly, and marketed a "justice league" line of figures, with kid-themed cartoony JLU figures and more collector friendly realistic comic style figures, all with some degree of playability? why, you ask?

    BECAUSE MATTEL IS DUMB. look, i'm not prone to incoherent fanboy rants. but mattel is either not very smart as a business, or they just don't give an eff. and you'd hope it was the former, because if i was a toy company down 8% while my chief competitor was UP almost 9%, i'd certainly give an eff. maybe two effs.

    BUT THIS IS MATTEL. you know, the company that decided it was a good idea to change the scale of its harry potter figures between films, apparently just to screw with anyone who gave a crap about that line in the first place beyond the 4H sculpted deluxe figures. keeping in mind that this is harry potter, a ridiculously popular property that is almost universally adored, and mattel could barely move the figures even with a movie to support them. because they sucked that hard. and they figured "hey, would changing the scale help? so that even the poor saps who bought any of the previous figures wouldn't have a reason to keep buying them?"

    this is one case where i think the company deserves most of the mud that is flung at it. they make a decent product most of the time. but they seem to purposefully sabotage their own product by making it hard to locate. their "brilliant" online only collector community is rife with all sorts of problems not the least of which is the ridiculous prices. their answers to their Q and As are running gags that offer NO useful information whatsoever. they create their own fiascos, such as the "gleek disaster", the "wave 5 debacle", and other such catastrophes that date all the way back to the "big moss man SCREW YOU" in which mattel essentially made sure that anyone who wanted a moss man would have to rid their local shelves of the peg clogging smash attack he-men.

    and i'm sure we'll have loads more problems that will have fun names, i can already hear the rumblings of the "wave 10 mattel takes a big dump right into my mouth" which currently appears to be unfolding.

    mattel flat out does not run their company well. they can blame the 8% drop on the economy, but when your competitor is doing 9% better selling basically the same stuff, you can only place so much blame on the economy.

  7. misterbigbo

    I'm getting so bored with this topic. Mattel's not going to change its business practices until their bottom line is hurt. Period.

    So I'll continue to fight the good fight with Kid Nicky on this one.

    I'm curious about what will happen next year when they run out of mainstream MOTUC characters, when scalpers are less excited about the line. There are currently 50 Webstors on eBay and the next one to close does so in three hours, and is still less than retail; Tri-Klops is fairing just barely better. Think they'll listen to the tiny voices in the wilderness then? If you hard-core fans want your line to continue, you really need to do something about it. Maybe boycotting a month would do it.

    Bravo, Poe, for doing something.

  8. Dead Man Walking

    @Poe: To badmouth Mattel. I thought I made that clear.

  9. Replicant

    Negative or positive, Mattel needs the feedback! They won't know about all of the issues if no one complains. Problems may or may not get fixed but everything takes time!

    For all of the negative look at some of the positive things:

    A) That Mattel is even making a MOTUC line!

    B) The 4 Horsemen are designing and creating a lot of Mattel's products!

    C) There are figures getting produced that only made it into prototype form or were never made at all: He-Ro & Princess Adora.

    Collecting isn't always fun and easy; it requires a lot of money, patience, and time!

    Masters of the Universe Classics is better than no Masters of the Universe at all!!!!

  10. Shipment notification for Teela and Ray. There is no logic. Delicious talking deer at the Narnia Walmart.

  11. So I got a ship notice for Teela, which is nice. Not for my subscription Teela, which I assume we can safely now say is dead. But for my second Teela order.

    Here's the odd part, still no ship notice for Zodak or Ray who I ordered hours before.

    I've given up trying to figure it out and I'm just reporting news as it comes along, lol.

  12. Poe

    @Dead Man Walking: Dude, why do you come here?

  13. Dead Man Walking

    @Poe: Mattel would kill you and everyone you love if it would raise their share price half a percent.

  14. finkrod

    The Zodak I ordered after my sub supposedly went through is now on it's way to me. As for Teela, I'm still getting a "Order In Proccess" status. Getting a bit nervous about her.

  15. Fengschwing

    @Poe, I checked Narina, their Wal-Marts don't have wave 10 either.

    Cheap smoked salmon though.


  16. Reverend Ender

    @Poe: That last comment was the funniest thing I've seen (and probably will see) all day! Sorry for your woes. I buckled and bought my first MOTUC figure, Teela, this round. Did it normally, got an order confirmation, no shipment notice. Fortunately I am a patient man. It shows up when it shows up. But yeah, Mattel sucks.

  17. Nicholai

    To try and be upbeat I'm just going to say: Good find on the Thundarr the Barbarian!!

  18. Poe

    Well maybe if Digital River didn't outsource to Narnia they wouldn't have these problems.

  19. I got another Subscription Renewel Failure on Saturday instead of a confirmation. I'd rather not deal with the rest of the 2009 Subscription issues and just order them manually.

    I still haven't gotten a ship notice for anything, be it my subscription, my backup Teela or Ray and Zodak… All ordered seperately.

    This site is laughably bad. It's not Mattel bashing, it's just the facts. 99% of all homebrew e-tailers have far superior service to MattyCollector.com and that's just sad.

  20. Valo487

    Kid Nicky,

    Don't buy the product? Done. I can't. I can't find it. I buy MOTUC because I haven't had any major issues with it, although it is discouraging to hear the Matty Curse(now available exclusively at Wal-Mart)is spreading to MOTUC as well. But as far as not buying the product to send a message, the problem is a lot of people can't buy the product anyway. My chief complaint is that it's impossible to find DCUC, so I can't send that message even if I wanted to. I apologize if I was hostile, but I made a similar point on another site and got the same reaction, "If it's a hassle why bother? Stop buying it." I wish it were that simple.

    My chief point is that I LOVE the product, but everything else is a world class cock-up. If everyone who has issues with Mattel stops buying, which is probably around 75%, the lines will end, which would definitely get their attention, but I don't want the lines to end, I don't even want to hurt Mattel although it sounds like fun at times, I just want them to send their products to stores for purchase. I'll then buy them. How sad that this is proving elusive.

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