Club Eternia 2013, Cont’d

Scott Neitlich posted the following on the Mattycollector forums last night in response to a question as to where the MOTUC subs stand right now:

We have over 50% to go. We are at 46% of the min orders we need as of right now.

If we don’t hit 100% of the min it means fewer figs at higher prices (i.e. 30-35.00 per figure and likely only 4-6 figs for the whole year)

Forty-six percent of the required minimum tells me that all the discussion of the Star Sisters, QC, and CS issues is fairly inconsequential. The QC and CS issues have been around for almost the entire life of the line, yet they easily hit the required number last year. I have a difficult time believing that Star Sisters are holding anyone back, because the truth is, they were part of last year’s sub, not this year’s – if they were going to hold anyone off subbing, it would have been last year. (It could be argued the incentive figure, King He-Man, is no Shadow Weaver, but I think Ram Man makes up that difference.)

The SS/QC/CS stuff may have eaten away at the margins, but I think the main reason for the lower sub numbers was the price and international shipping increases, plain and simple. If it had been just the price increase of just the shipping increase, the damage might have been more mitigated. But with both hitting at once, MOTUC may have been dealt a mortal blow.

There’s not going to be another rush of subscribers – those happen in the first few days. I don’t like being a downer, but I just don’t see how they double the sub numbers by August 6 – unless there are some e-tailers who hop on board and save the line.

There’s been some talk that many people have been holding off to get paid at the end of this month or the first of August. I’m skeptical that 50% of the needed subscribers are in that boat, but I guess we’ll see.

UPDATE: On second thought, the total cost of the 2013 sub (before shipping) is $505, while the total cost of the 2012 sub was $510. It’s pretty much identical to last year, it’s just more per figure. So now I’m not sure how much the price increase figures into it, although I’m sure there’s a certain psychological resistance to paying an extra $5 per figure that factors in to collectors’ thinking (including mine, but I went ahead anyway).


Pic of the Day > Ultraman Woo Kaiju figure 2002 by splittyhead


NECA Bets They Can Get You To Buy Another Robocop…


  1. Finkrod

    I may not be able to speak for anyone else, but I can certain say why I’m not subscribing again. I’m not spending hundreds of dollars on figures I don’t want. I have like a dozen She-Ra figures sitting in my shed right now, plus all the c-list stinkers from 200X. One month I’m paying $28, next month $95, $48 after that. That’s a lot of money for only liking maybe half of what I got.

    The honeymoon was over for me when the Star-Sisters showed up at my door. I still don’t know who or what they are, I just know that I can’t afford to throw money away on stuff I don’t want. Your reasons may differ, but those are mine.

    • I can't be alone in thinking Tallstar is pretty awesome. The other two, though, meh…

    • Starla is actually the only one that I don't like a lot. She's ok, but these aren't figures I would have purchased given the option.

  2. It's really unfortunate that the subscription model, which reportedly started as a fan-requested option, ended up becoming the crucial barometer that Mattel uses to judge the sustainability of the line.

    I wish they could institute a pre-order system for each figure, even if all they could show that far in advance was a concept drawing.

    • And you, sir, have hit the nail on the head, in my opinion.

      That subscription went from "there's no way we can do it" to "there's no way we can do without it" is the true cosmic irony of this whole kerfluffle

  3. ero

    Hey Poe, can you post the 4H's response?

    • jumper11

      To the four horsemen's comment that people seem to think it's a ruse…
      I don't think it's a ruse, I think it's a high pressure sales pitch on an awful business model. Subscription services like this are lame when they cost $500, you aren't certain of all the figures, and no one is really happy with the reveals as a whole.
      And speaking of rising costs, and boo hoo expenses, Mattel, it's a bad economy, consumers are suffering big time. Is it a wonder even dedicated fans aren't plunking down big bucks?

  4. Matty tried their very very best to bully DC collectors last year. And what did they get? No pick-up. Hells, they extended the deadline three times because their bullying backfired and offered more information on who was coming, and STILL went ahead even though by their own admission they were still shy of their target.

    So I'm sure there are MOTUC fans out there who are letting this affect their decision. Even if Matty is doubling down this year with more threats about not producing many extra figures and allowing those with a sub to buy first. But they haven't done the carrot yet – letting people know what they can expect.

    What it comes down to is this – are there sufficient figures coming out that warrant a $500 + shipping price tag. And I gotta say no, at least not on the information available. Ram Man and Jitsu really seem to be the only highlights. And King He-Man is a terrible figure as an enticement. What Mattel could have said is we plan do the following figures and had quick art pics done for the show to sell the line. Then people could say yes or no based on reasonable expectations.

    But asking people to pony up for the unknown based on bullying tactics is not the way to run a business.

    • I initially interpreted Matty's position as bullying, but I'm now pretty certain that's not the case and Scott is just being honest about what's needed to save the line. We're not obligated to buy a sub if can't or don't want to, but the fact is a lack of sub will kill the line.

  5. Composite Ghost

    About the Scarabus figures… I bought one last year and I was so happy with it I was going to buy more, but when I was ready they were sold out of most of them, and I wasn’t really interested in the ones that were left. So after reading they were still in stock, I was like, huh? It looks to me like the figure did so well they were able to make another run. I could be wrong though. It happens sometimes.

  6. Zach S.

    Yeah…they better make Ram Man.

    The issues with the line, and falsely perceived lack of success, are all Mattel's own doing. They have an almost sadistic penchant for murdering the various incarnations of MOTU (with horrible decisions, poor planning and a generally apathetic attitude) despite their popularity. Toylines have a natural life cycle, but Mattel seems to enjoy expediting the process.

    • I've always felt like this line would be more successful if Mattel took a risk and made more stock available for longer periods of time on their website. But I guess they're not willing to take that risk. (Granted, they thankfully gave in somewhat and have made some of the staple characters regularly available.) Yes, the subs aren't getting the numbers that are needed, but that's a lot of money up front. I can understand while people hesitate. Being able to buy individual figures when you want them would be more palatable for most customers, I'd think.

    • I also think it's possible that it's just the line's time, as much as we want to see it continue. There is no new media to grab new fans aside from the recent comic book, so Mattel is dealing with a limited fanbase. Maybe the numbers just aren't there.

  7. Mark

    Man that sucks for everyone wanting Ram-Man….Mattel seem intent on making it difficult for fans to collect MOTU. I gave up MOTUC long ago and I've given up Bandai's Thundercats. Just Playmates TMNT for me to collect now. πŸ˜€

    • Sadly TC ended before a Pumyra figure could be made. πŸ™

    • Mark

      Yep, I think Bandai should have just stuck to making 6" figures, I would have loved Grune and the Mutants to be made 6" aswell.
      But the new show was not as great a the original. πŸ™‚

  8. If this post hits 100 comments, I'm giving out a free Poe Prize to a random winner.

  9. Dark Angel


  10. muldertp

    They put his shield in the case last day of.SDCC.

  11. muldertp

    I also just read the fb comments. This is a real insult to ghostbusters fans who subbed.

    Since there is no sub, the Ecto goggles will be available to scalp for anyone with any sub.

    GB fans have no sub to give them access to the things they want.

    Now its being used to force people to buy a sub to have a chance at getting another property’s item.

    • Yeah, I didn't even think of this. I was in the GB sub before it got canned. I'd glady still be in it. Ecto Goggles should be removed from early access.

  12. muldertp

    I vowed to let this go, as I was at peace with possibly not getting Ram Man, but they keep making boneheaded moves.

    They just announced on Facebook that the post-SDCC sales will be early access and credited (blamed?) A fan for the idea.

    Along with the other announcement about ram man not getting made, I only get more certain of my decision not to sub every day.

  13. This is how I feel when reading the comments of this post.

    I am gaining a strange sense of satisfaction from it.

  14. Composite Ghost

    If Ram Man doesn't get made I see a perfect opportunity for a 3rd party to start work on a line other than Transformers. They can call him Cram Man and distribute him out of China.

  15. Harrig

    … and Frosta has been dropped back to October with a glib comment on Mattycollector.

    • Wasn't Frosta always coming in October…? (EDIT: Never mind, I guess really keeps their list updated.)

    • Wait, when was she originally scheduled? And what's the glib comment all about?

    • Harrig

      Apologies if I misread it – Mattycollector news posts:

      "Where’s the MOTUC Club Eternia® subscription figure for August? Fear not, all 2012 product will ship but Frosta™ will now show up in October (it’s a woman’s prerogative, right?) along with Rattlor™."

      I was refering to "a woman's perogative" as glib

    • Ah, I get it. And you didn't misread it, what happened is I went to MOTUClassics to see when Frosta was due and they had her in October. What I didn't realize was they had already updated it based on the Mattycollector note. I had forgotten she was due this month.

  16. Harrig

    Dealbreaker for many, I'd suspect.

  17. Harrig

    there is a reply to a post on the Mattycollector forum that states that Scott recently stated that it is unlikely that Ram Man will get greenlit unless there is a full 2013 sub as the tooling would be too expensive.

    • Misterbigbo

      Carrot, or stick?

    • jumper11

      Holy crap, really? If that's not the best example of the craziness some of us are talking about, then I don't know what is. So the figure that people care the most about might not see the light of day unless everyone submits to a sub?

    • Of course Ram Man won't get greenlit. They'll say ANYTHING to get you to sub at this point.

      I don't believe it. Unfortunately like I said in my thoughts on this earlier this week, if Ram Man ends up a no go, so be it.

      But I'm sure Ram Man will be made, they'll just up the price. As long a it's not upped to $510, I'm in for one.

    • Sadly, that sounds reasonable. He's what, all new parts? if the line is tanking, they are going to want to cut costs.

  18. Misterbigbo

    My math is just fine, Lord Condescendor, if the sub failed DOWN to 4-6 figures, which was what I was assuming. I haven't read each and every post all over the web on this controversy, but it would surprise the heck out of me if Matty dumped the sub altogether, throwing aside the few guaranteed sales they had, to go with day-of sales only. That makes as much sense as anything Matty has to date done.

  19. dayraven

    MBB… i don't think that's how it's works bra. if you get 4 to 6 figures, it'll be because the sub failed, and those 4 to 6 will be day-of scramble, w/ price increases, so you'd be looking at probably a 40 dollar ram man, but that's all you'd have to spend.

    if the sub flies after all, and you opt in, you're dumping 505 before shipping for the sub, and you're stating your OK taking a bath on the other figs you don't want just to avoid spending 100 on ram man… which means ram man will cost you, in essence, 475 bucks… why is that better than him costing you 100? right now, barring king grayskull and wun-dar, you'd be lucky to get 20 bucks a head for the characters you don't want… so even if you redeemed that 220, ram man will have still cost you 255 bucks, before shipping. i don't see how the math works the way you're calculating it homes.

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