A Poester writes in:
I was chatting to a friend of mine today [who owns a specialist collector toy shop in England] – mostly Transformers, Star Wars etc. We where chatting and the whole situation with MOTUC came up, as I know he collects them. During our conversation he told me that last year, he contacted Mattel and wanted to be a supplier for MOTUC in the UK. They replied and told him that unless he was willing to purchase $55,000 worth of each figure, they would not supply him. Realistically he was willing to spend £500-£1000 on each figure, but he said there was no way he was going to order $55,000 worth of one figure.
It puzzles me they would turn down a retailer willing to spend £1000 on one of their monthly figures, yet they are claiming there is not enough support. Mattel must really want to keep retailers and customers away from their products.
Obviously this is entirely unsourced, so it’s nothing but hearsay without actual corroboration. Still, it doesn’t sound made-up to me, and it also sounds entirely plausible.
And of course, I have no idea what would go into establishing an official MOTUC supply chain in the U.K. (or anyone in Europe). So what I’m saying is, $55K/figure could be what’s financially necessary for it to be worthwhile to Mattel. $1000 a figure works out to about thirty figures, which is just a portion of what, for example, BigBadToyStore has ordered in the past (I don’t know the exact number, but I believe BBTS orders somewhere between 150-200 subscriptions).
On a related note, this is probably the bleakest response I’ve seen from Scott Neitlich to date:
I wish MOTUC could work for every customers with every type of buying habit but it just can’t.
This is what we are offering.If we get enough sub holders great. If not, we’ll move on. It will make me sad, but it might be what we need to do. I love this line too and have done everything I can to make it work within the Mattel structure. Not an easy thing to do. Mattel is set up to mass-produce dolls and die cast cars and Batman figures. Doing tiny runs of MOTU figures is VERY difficult to do and requires guaranteed sales to continue.
Time for all MOTUC fans to step up. We either subscriber or we don’t. That is about as black and white as I can make it.
At this point, I think a lot of fans are going to cry foul if the sub does go through. Neitlich no longer appears to be trying to gin up support, but rather trying to manage expectations for its failure.