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. outburst

    @yo go re:

    They make good figures. That's probably the only thing they do right.

  2. lw

    It's a bit of a problem. What can fans do that would actually help?

    Mattel obviously doesn't want to deal with the headache in-house, and has had some rather large customer-relations failures related to these lines. So they outsourced to Digital River. Digital River has subsequently been an unqualified, miserable failure that makes Mattel look like a doting grandmother in comparison. But Mattel probably can't afford the legal expense of getting out of a contract or setting up a new customer service option for such small-run lines.

    In the end, this could be yet another MOTU line killed by Mattel missteps.

  3. neoolong

    @Newt: Yeesh. And Mallah turned out so well. I had to get the pack just for Mallah. Gorilla with a beret. Can't beat that with a stick.

  4. dayraven

    @Poe: you know that's not true… beaver's are IMMACULATE record keepers, they'd NEVER botch an order.

  5. finkrod

    Latest from Matty via Facebook:

    "Hey fans,

    We know there has been a lot of confusion floating around on some recent orders and misinformation. I'll do my best to clear this up.

    We did swtich over our customer service to Digital River, and it appears a few customer service reps have been going "off book" and giving out some incorrect info. Here is the latest:

    1: Wun-Dar is most definately the subscription figure only. He will only be available if you purchased a 2010 Club Eternia subscription and will be mailed out in the spring along with the all new poster. Wun-Dar will not be sold in any other way. If you did not purchase a subscription, you will not be getting Wun-dar. Nothing has changed on Wun-Dar from our original plans announced at SDCC 2009.

    2: All 2009 subscribers WILL be getting Teela. The shipping confirmation should have gone out immediatly and I appologise for this not happening. Going forward, we have made it very clear to Digital River that subscription figures need to ship out first (along with confirmation emails).

    This may not have been the smoothest sale, but everyone will get their product.

    I'll do my best to keep an eye on Facebook and answer any other pressing questions. Unless you hear an annoucement from me, there shouldn't be any major changes. We'll talk to Digital River and make sure their customer service reps are up on the latest info and training!

    Doing all we can to correct these issues! Nothing is more important then creating a smooth process and pleasing our fans. Not every sale goes by the book, but we are working on fixing all of these issues. Thanks for everyone's understanding!


  6. finkrod


  7. All my items have finally shipped.

  8. finkrod

    Here's Toyguru's quote on he-man.org:

    "At this moment (Saturday AM) Teela and Zodak are still in stock. (although likely they may be gone by Monday based on inventory levels on Friday!)

    If a customer service agent reported otherwise, they may have just been mistaken. Mattel customer service deals with thousands of toys and not every rep is familiar with the difference between Teela and Webstor.

    This is why we are moving customer service over to Digital River in a few short weeks. It will help keep the shipping information directly in the customer service reps hands and be better for everyone. You will also see a lot of other improvements such as more galleries, message boards and more!

    For those who ordered a subscription, your orders are filled first. Then remaining stock is put up for sale until it sells out.

    Hopefully this should help!


  9. finkrod

    I've been checking around and it seems like this is happening to ALOT of the subscribers. The only people that seem to have gotten their Teelas are non-subscribers.

    That contadicts what Toyguru has supposedly said, that Teelas are being deverted away from regular orders to fill the Club Eternia ones. I don't know if that's true, but that is the very definition of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    This in turn has led to another unconfirmed rumor. Some people claim they are being told by Digital River or Matty that they are going to make Wun-Dar available for either regular order or to those who's orders get pulled. As a peace offering. Grain of salt not included.

  10. Valo487


    Don't totally panic yet, every time I order from Matty the charge disappears then reappears a few days later. I just checked mine and the charge is gone, but I got the email last night saying they had shipped. Hopefully this is the case for you and you'll get Teela although I can't speak for subscribers.

  11. Jii Dee

    @Monkey Boy …preach it brutha!

  12. finkrod

    Well so much for getting Teela. My "subscription renewal" is still listed as being processed, but the charge for it has vanished from my bank statement. I am at a loss for words to convey just how angry I am about this. The camels back is offically broken, and he's really pissed off about it. And this time, it's personal.

  13. Monkey boy

    I honestly really feel for people who love motu so much they are compelled to collect this line no matter how awful Mattel makes the process. If this were my dream line I'd be more pissed than I already am (most of my mattel rage is focused on DCUC which I actually want to collect). I'm sure I'll start feeling the pain when the dark knight figures start going up on mattycollector….although you know what? Even though I really want the TDK figures and would have hunted them ravenously in stores…I'm still on the fence about going through the mattycollector hassle and paying inflated prices for them…I might just say screw it.

    Now if they release a MOtUC optikk I will do whatever it takes to get one.

  14. Anton Phibes

    I’m a lurker on these pages, and I’m an intermittent toy collector. I might pick up maybe one, maybe three good quality toys a month. I don’t try to pick up all the toys in a given series; I just pick up what I’m interested in at that time.

    In the unlikely event that someone from Mattel should read this article’s comment section down to this point, I would like to say that I would not use their Matty Collector service. I don’t know if Mattel would be interested in my view, as I am such an intermittent collector and I suspect that their calculations don’t take intermittent collectors into serious account. I would think they would be happy to get business from as many customers as possible, and the bad press that Mattel has earned by their business practices and obfuscation—and is there a hint of contempt?–in their Ask Mattel events does not encourage new customers to buy their product. And that’s really too bad, because I know Mattel produces good toys. I have a Four Horsemen Superman looking over my shoulder and a recently purchased green Parademon guarding my Jack Kirby books, and I am pleased with the quality of the figures. If there was less balderdash involved in the online ordering process, I might have considered purchasing one or two of the MOTUC figures—I like steampunk and that Man-At-Arms figure looked pretty good.

    And while I’m thinking about my Parademon, I’d like to say that I appreciate your reviews, Poe. I want to get as much bang for my toy collecting buck, and your reviews help me do that. It must have been serendipity: I had just read a good chunk of Fourth World at the time I read the review, and I was glad to find that the figure had been released.

    And good luck with that alternator, I know from experience those can be a pain.

  15. Kid Nicky

    If MOTUC was available in stores at a normal price point,I would buy a regular He-Man and a Battle Armor He-Man,Power Punch He-Man,or whatever else as long as it was 80's inspired. Some of the 200x stuff was just so stupid,like the "stiltwalking" variants. Ice armor was pretty cool though.

    It doesn't really matter,though. Even if they were sold through stores,you'd still never see them in person,you'd be forced to buy them from greasy hotwheels guy on ebay. I honestly cannot tell you the last time I saw a 6 inch DC character that wasn't Cyborg or Captain Cold.

  16. Mark

    It will be so interesting to see how theyhandle the WWE figures.

    On Ebay UK MOTUC are going pretty cheap….I might even be able to get Webstor they are so cheap.

    Don't get me wrong I love the figures they are excllent and I want the line to do well and I want characters like Extendar, Spikor etc etc to be made.

    I just still think it would be great to be able to pick these up in Toys'R'Us….of course Mattel would have to send the right numbers in each case but you get my point.

    On the plus side, if lets say they were available in shops, would any one be dissapointed seeing a ton of MOTUC He-Man in the shops? As unlike a lot of the 200X He-Man variant (an awful lot were crap) MOTUC He-Man is excellent, I would buy a couple just to keep sealed on display, two or so to open….that is if they were reasonably priced.

  17. Brian (The Question)

    Oh, Poe – so sorry to hear about your car troubles.

    I think that this Mattel stuff is just becoming more and more ridiculous.

    I always think about what the motivation might be to lie to customers, or what circumstances existed to cause errors in the way Mattel/Dig River process orders, phone calls, emails, subscriptions.

    it comes down to money, and Mattel's lack of it… Barbie is doing POORLY. Boys action figures are doing "well" for them, even though they never seem to be able to fulfill orders and/or get them on retailer shelves. They seem unable to throw their own products up on their own collector-targeted website. Why?

    I think that with the pending "Lead Paint" lawsuits about to decimate Mattel's capital, Mattel is trying to cut corners everywhere… I also think that they saw that MOTU Classics was a huge hit, increased the budget (for new tooling and larger production runs of figures), and then renegged on that increase in order to make it seem as though they were being pro-active in cutting costs as the 3rd Quarter losses came out.

    Obviously the cutting of mattycollector's budget and boys action toys budgets would be one of MANY cuts they would have to make to appear as though money was being saved, but it's still a possibility.

    I think that if Zodak had not been available this month, we would have seen a larger number of Teela figures, and maybe HALF the subscribers would have received them along with the non-subscribers who ordered them manually. Mattel knows that the subscribers are dedicated and will put up with Mattel's antics… so instead of fulfilling the subscriber orders, they fulfilled the bulk and non-subscription orders, in order not to alienate possible casual and/or new customers.

    I believe that MOTUC received less money for the production run of figures for October, and because there were two figures coming out, the money had to be spread evenly. Teela will have to be a bonus figure down the line, and the left-over Zodaks will be subbed in for Teela. I bet that will happen, as Toyguru said that Bonus figures can act as an insurance policy.

    Of course, that would require that enough Zodak figures are left-over to fulfill the Teela-subscription orders.

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