MOTUC 2013 Sub in Jeopardy?

Following up from the earlier post, there are two notable posts over on the Mattycollector forums.

First up:

Subject: MOTUC on the chopping block?

Q: With all due respect Toyguru, how could MOTUC possibly be on the chopping block when it’s the highest selling line on Is this an edict handed down by corporate or is this a brand decision from yourself? Do you feel Mattycollector could even exist without MOTUC?

A: In 2012 it was/is one of the hottest. But the 2013 sub has not sold the min yet. Until it does, it is on the block. We need sub support to continue it.


Subject: Can you do a sub meter for MOTUC?

Q: Like the one you have on DCUC? Clearly, we need it.

A: We’ll look into it. At this point we may need one. We were not expecting to which is why one was not prepped.

Before the reveals, I half-expected the 2013 MOTUC sub to have trouble. I thought the quality of the reveals, particularly Ram Man, would get it up to at least last year’s level. But it appears the somewhat lackluster selection this year, combined with displeasure regarding the 30th Anniversary figures (two hits and four duds) and, most important of all, the price increase have dealt a strong blow.

I’ve little doubt it’s the price increase that’s the biggest problem here. It seems to have priced out many international collectors, and I think they’re sorely missed. I know some fans are interpreting this as “scare-mongering,” but last year Scott did tell us the MOTUC sub was safe, even if the numbers were the lowest yet.

Of course, it’s worth noting that even I haven’t subscribed yet – I mean, me, Poe Ghostal. And why? Character selection and price. This year I’m getting Spikor and Mekaneck, two of the last figures I wanted aside from Ram Man. I’m not sure I want to pay $600+ for Ram Man and a bunch of figures that will likely be opened, reviewed, displayed for a few months, then placed in a ziplock bag inside a rubbermaid tote until they get unloaded en masse at Comicazi.

My toy budget is getting squeezed by other life concerns these days, so if I plan to continue collecting, say, S.H.MonsterArts and Ultra-Act, MOTUC just doesn’t make sense next year. That might mean I’ll have to pay some exorbitant amount for Ram Man – or maybe live without him. That’s the real crux of this for me – is it worth paying something like $200 for Ram Man, one third of the sub, to avoid paying that other $400? Because I can be damned sure I won’t be the only non-subscriber gunning for a Ram Man; and if sub numbers are as low as Mattel is intimating, Rammy will be a scalper’s dream. (And if you think Mattel will produce extra Ram Man figures so they can sell them on the day-of-sale, have I got a bridge for you.)

I actually suspect the MOTUC sub will go through no matter what, but it’s possible – perhaps even likely – we could see reduced tooling, accessories and paint applications.


MOTUC Bio Discussion > Dekker


Pic of the Day > Laser Beasts: #97 Sea Panic by chogokinjawa


  1. Zupahman

    I got a sub, i get teh QC issues / Price increases etc. but as long as i can support the line, i will.

    That said, I have to say, they have the worst PR possible, i don't think anyoen communicates as badly as this. These are Basics, no one would notice this stuff, customers would eb ok with some stuff if communications were handled correctly.

    Anyway, here's hoping we close out a few remaining figures:
    Clamp Champ, Two-Bad, Mantenna, Tung Lashor, Sssqueeze, Rio Blast

  2. toyman

    I have bought a sub since their inception and I did again this year, but I don't blame anyone for not buying one. You shouldn't have to commit to a year's worth of figures if you are only interested in 2 or 3. BUT… no one should be surprised that the line has reached the "sub or die" point. It was only a matter of time. If you're a cherry-picker and you're ticked off about that, I understand completely. I'm just saying that this was inevitable.

  3. Harrig

    Well, there are a lot of suggestions on Mattycollector by fans on how Mattel could help out the international collectors, but the line from Scott seems to be "We looked into things like this and it just isn't possible right now."

    So there you have it. Ram Man, I would love to have seen you, but it looks like it was never meant to be.

  4. Composite Ghost

    I love my MOTUC figures but I’m ready to see this line die. For years they have been disappointing customers with defective products, weak characters, and poor service. They’re a business, and when business fail to please the people buying their product, they go under. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that they are having such a hard time selling subscriptions.
    One thing that could have made the line a bigger success, in my opinion, is if they had allowed more fan input with the character selection. Unfortunately “Toyguru” and his team feel they know what’s best for everyone and their judgement should not be questioned. Was anyone really demanding a King He-Man figure?
    It was a fun ride, MOTUC, now it’s time for you to go.

    • dayraven

      here's the thing man… the line has it's duds, sure, but by and large, they've done well in the line-ups. there about 20 names in the property that could have killed the line where it stood by including them too early, and they've tried to ration those names out (ram man being the last one of those, i believe) and for every star sister pack, there's been a vikor, a figure no one was asking for, but that was totally aced and universally appreciated. i do think we're more hits than misses as far as selection goes, but when you heap QC problems, return policy issues, PR failures, shipping fiascos, etc… up on top of that, the line has been tough to be a full-on supporter of.

      i do think that the price tag was a sword of damocles, and that eventually, be it today, or tomorrow, it will fall and the line will die. regardless of the line up shown this year, the price hike meant a portion of the line's customers were going to drop out… and they already did the day-of price hike that likewise cut off some customers, because by and large, the fanbase had said, since day one, that they did not perceive the line to possess the value of the price tag being asked.

      and on top of that, mattel has done pretty much everything they could have done to avoid growing the fanbase of the line, and avoiding accessibility to the casual fan, so no new customers were jumping in. when you're shaving people off your customer base, and not replacing them, you're literally in the thick of the shit. so when said shit hits the fan, don't look around all bewildered and beg for the grass roots bailout. acknowledge how and why you got where you are, celebrate that the ride lasted this long, and try some thing else in a few years.

      cuz honestly, let's get real… if motuc dies in 2014, i suspect it won't be much past 2020 when we get umotu (that's Ultimate Masters of the Universe) that will be mo2k only super-articulated and accessorized… and that will get planned for a 15 year rollout and die in a less than a decade too.

  5. I do speak for a company (though not a large business), both online and at conventions, quite often. It's a difficult job at times. But it is also fun and rewarding. I try to always be as direct and honest as possible and share as much information as I can (there are trade secrets and company details that are not public). I deal with everyone from hardcore fans who love everything we do to people that HATE everything we do. But I don't think I've ever gained anywhere near the amount of hatred directed at me that seems targeted at Matty.

  6. Kevin

    It's embarassing for the community all of the animosity aimed at Scott. He's the spokesman for a major company. Are any of you? I am sure he would love to always be 100% upfront at all times regarding everything, but that is not his job. At your work are you allowed to go into every minor detail about anything bad that happens at your company to every random person on the street?

    I kind of hope that the line just ends with all this negativity and all those saying they wont be forced to get a sub are just screwed out of ever owning a Ram Man or any of the other great figures in the pipeline.

    • A.J.

      You can empathize with a public figure, but having a tough job doesn't make them immune from criticism when they outright blunder.

    • Dark Angel

      …and yer a real class act yerself, "Kevin". Thanks for sharing.

    • Kevin

      Your right AJ, but I hope you expect to be held to the same impossible standard you hold Scott to at your job.

      Dark Angel, I assume your a whiner who is part of the problem. Thanks for replying with an insult instead of addressing anything said.

    • stack32

      What impossible standard? The guy has a singular gift for communicating things in a way that will upset as many people as possible. You'd almost think he was doing it on purpose. Scott may be very good at the rest of his job, but PR is something he's just not good at.

    • joe

      I don't think it's embarrassing for the community to call out a brand manager when he screws up. In the past he's even admitted when they f'd up. My problem is they admit a screw up and act like that alone is sufficient to take care of their paying customers. I've never dealt with a more frustrating company than MattyCollector. I want them to fail because they are bad at what they do and deserve to fail. Yeah, Neitlich has a hard job, but seriously, he heads a line of toys DIRECT MARKETED TO THE NICHE COLLECTORS. Last time I checked, that group is kinda sorta vocal about getting crapped on. I'm not going to change your mind, I know that, but you're wasting everyone's time going around and being Scott "Toy Guru" Neitlich's white knight.

  7. I'll take my chances buying Ram Man on the secondary market. He's the absolute last figure I want and if he goes for too much I can live without him. I didn't subscribe to MOTUC this year, and I don't regret it.

    I did sub to Infinite Earth because I have a lot more invested in my DC Universe Classics collection and I've been happy with what we've got so far. If CIE doesn't go through this time, and I doubt it will, I'll live, but I will be disappointed.

  8. Robzy

    Scott has been caught napping, and caught out lying far too many times. Like Misterbigbo said above it's the "Brand Manager who cried wolf!" – that perfectly sums it up!! He's an habitual liar, and has brought all of this garbage on himself. I've long written that all the vitriol he attracts is warranted.

    But, just to clarify (as an international customer myself), it's not JUST the price increase + increase O/S shipping charges that are alienating me… it's also the new "WON'T REFUND LOST ITEMS" scheme he's implementing. That's what's concerning me and many others too!! It's a HUGE issue, that seems to be getting over-looked (even by Scott himself, who refuses to address the issue o.0 ).

    Someone had a great idea elsewhere… they suggested that Mattel ship the items internationally and we (the customers) only pay for the ones that actually arrive! That's what Scott's basically asking of us in reverse (especially after the debacle of Fisto subs that never arrived).

  9. Jesús Santillán

    Matty killed the goose of the golden eggs.

  10. Dark Angel

    I have been leaning toward "no" on the sub. These threats serve only to push me closer to it.

  11. carl

    i feel totally forced to buy the sub this year. Totally. Without a sub I predict I will never own a Ram Man for under $150+. It feels like crap to feel backed into a collecting corner, forced to question my morals and what is right and wrong to do to people. Im not a completeist by any stretch but i do really want the 1st three years of vintage MOTU in Classics…

  12. clark

    If the sub was for 1 figure a month, I would go ahead and do it. I can't afford beasts, three packs, two packs and everything in between.

    • fishandcross

      Yep, I can't afford all that is available either. When the line first came to be, we truly wanted more than 1 figure/month because we couldn't wait for the next figure to show up! Then Mattel started throwing qtrly variants, beasts, large figures, etc., and now we can't keep up with their greed! Yes, if they went back to one figure per month [especially if they do only "heavy-hitters" like Scott apparently noted recently for 2014], then I will be glad to pick up a subscription. Until then, I only want Rammy, Jitsu, Clamp Champ and Tuvar (not Two-bad). Please, Matty, work with the fanbase "cherry pickers"!

    • doctorkent

      Mattel is greedy because they made what the fans wanted?

    • The 2013 Sub only includes 4 Quarterly SKU's — the $75 (which we already know is the Fighting Foe Men) the $50 (which is most likely a 2-pack), the $30 (Which is Ram Man) and the $25 which is the Fan Choice Figure. I don't know this for a fact but I believe it to be true.

    • ero

      The $25 is the fan choice? Didn't know that.

      I agree with clark that this whole thing could be more simple, but Matty is hardly greedy for delivering more product. I just the 3-packs weren't around, because for two years they've been the biggest thing standing in between me and a sub.

  13. Lovable-Bill

    I love how people blame the 30th anniversary figures, which were their own separate thing, for the decline of the line. Whatever, I'll keep subscribing like I have since the beginning.

    • Bigbot

      I'd rather have the line fail if it meant not getting Draego-Man (the line will not fail because of the 30th Anniversary figs).

  14. Valo487

    I’m more keen on this years sub than last, and I was pretty happy overall with last year aside from the constant delays. My biggest concern is I hope they sort out the QC this year. I will not tolerate nearly as much this year, if they’re going to increase prices they better sort that stuff out. I know the increase isn’t for QC, but it shouldn’t be an issue for any price, and my extra $5 is going to increase my volume if they screw up. Ball’s in your court Mattel.

    • stack32

      What would cause you to believe Mattel is going to address quality now? They claim they need the extra money to keep making the figures as they are currently, it seems very unlikely they would suddenly sort out quality issues.

  15. Sunny

    This is so sad – I hope it carries on. MOTUC is a great line – I can't believe we're discussing it's demise. I don't know what to say – dumbfounded!!

  16. AmericanHyena

    Scott just posted that he is officially no longer following the 2016 roadmap and that if the 2013 sub goes through, he will rework 2014 immediately to include all remaining major characters so the line goes out with a bang.

    • jumper11

      That is clown ass. The line could have been stellar throughout it's run. The mighty Spector killed it. Deadpool of spades.

    • Dark Angel

      Oh, FFS. 2013 is up in the air and this blasted idiot is making promises about 2014? Please.

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