Two-Bad to be exclusive to the 2014 Club Eternia subscription


Sigh. In an effort to counteract some of the negativity surrounding MOTUC at the moment, we here at PGPoA are in the midst of prepping a very positive post about the line. So of course, brand manager Scott Neitlich (a.k.a. ToyGuru) writes this:

How about this, we just confirmed from logistics that Two Bad, like Clamp Champ or Fang Man will be short produced and therefore will only be for sub holders in 2014. I don’t know if that is an incentive, but it is the latest info we just got.

Many fans are up in arms again, but this doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. MOTUC has been moving toward “subscription-only” for so long I’m surprised they didn’t announce at SDCC that all 2014 figures would be sub-only. And while it definitely sucks for those who can’t or don’t want to subscribe, I don’t see why anyone should expect Mattel to offer day-of-sale product at this point, particularly when we know they’re going to have less money to work with in 2014.

Lower subs suggest fewer people want MOTUC action figures. Why shouldn’t they lower production numbers? Yes, you can certainly argue they’re shooting themselves in the foot and losing money by doing this with such a high-profile, popular character, but speaking for myself, I don’t know the logistics behind producing such a large figure with so much unique tooling. Maybe there’s a non-sketchy reason for this. Perhaps day-of-sale product has declined to the point where the only extra they have is the replacement stock for quality control issues.

I’m playing the devil’s advocate here. I do think that, as usual, this has been bungled from a PR standpoint. Announcing this in a reply to a question on the Mattycollector forums isn’t exactly making sure your entire potential collector base as well as the diehard fans are aware of this very important piece of information.

What Mattel should have done, in my opinion (and Nemo Eight at least agrees), is announce at SDCC that the 2014 sub would be entirely sub-only. None of this picking-and-choosing BS, where certain figures have no day-of-sale stock but others do.

Anyway…we’ve got a positive post about MOTUC coming tomorrow, we promise.



It’s Castaspella Day


Pic of the Day > D-Arts Megaman & Bass! by thedaytimeninja


  1. dayraven

    poe, my man… you're a writer. you've got to chose your words more carefully because they do carry weight (especially from one of your renown.)

    "Lower subs suggest fewer people want MOTUC action figures."

    is just categorically not true. there are a lot of factors that go into a decision to sub up or not, many of which have nothing to do w/ how many people want motuc. affordability, execution, competition, and selection are all factors worth consideration. corporate policy is yet another.

    make no mistake, two-bad in this case, is extortion… they're using coercion (buy the sub or no two bad) to compel me to fork over my credit card number. is it the same as doing it at gun point? no… but it's in the ballpark, and some people have completely founded feelings of disgust at that kind of behavior and won't reward it with a purchase (which really truly is telling the company that those tactics are OK in the marketplace.)

    not to mention, it then begs the question… why the hell would i ever go to they're a webstore for 4 weeks a year, then they're shuttered and closed the other 48? what kind of business model is that? if they want me to sub, they don't need me day of, that's the point of the sub, isn't it? so who do they think it buying all that customer service stock that before they mark it on their site as sold out, then liquidate it by the cubit truckload to big lots? the exact same audience who subbed (or didn't) and the reward for paying more on day-of is limited availability? what ***ing sense does that make?

    when they make a motuc, are they making money on the damned toy or not? cuz i sure would think they're making it on every one, not piecemeal on one release while they take a bath on another… that's not a smart move, for a billion dollar corporation. so if they're making their nut on the $25 figures, than they're making more on a 27dollar fig… why on earth would they not allocate 3 or 4% of the production run to make an additional 7% per figure? the TRUTH is the subbers are COSTING mattel money… and we day of folks, we get the shaft just because we don't feel like buying Uncl-Or, Spector's favorite relative from another dimension? simple math proves me right here…

    let's say motuc makes 10,000 units of every figure…
    they're making 7% more on the day of sales, for every piece, every size category, etc… than they are on the sub pieces… just as a round number, let's say they make an even 1 million dollars in profit a year from the subs… that means if they switched from 100% Sub Land to 100% Day-of Land, they're making an extra $70,000 bucks a year… are there additional costs in guessing production quotas every month and adjusting them character-to-character? probably… but at this point, if mattel has been paying attention, they should have production quotas pretty well figured out. and in large part, selling pieces is a marketing problem, not a budget problem. you can't backload your retail items with costs because you haven't figured out your marketing and distribution channels yet, those should have been determined well ahead of time and be factored into costs on the front end.

    and finally, the question begging to be asked is, would it have cost mattel more money to leave stock open 24/7 on a piece until it's gone, rather than resorting to selling thousands of units to big lots for cost? you've got HUNDREDS of stores nationwide getting an entire endcap of "matty collector exclusives) that they're liquidating for 50% or less what those pieces cost on day-of sale… exactly how expensive was THAT to their bottom line, and why am i being forced to pay for a sub to subsidize their retail chicanery? screw subbing up for two-bad, and screw ebay… i'll sit back patiently and wait till the line dies (this time next year, courtesy of star wars black!) and go on down to big lots and snag five of him for 12 bucks a pop, just so i can video myself blowing four of them up to preserve his "collectibility"

    • Harrig

      That's just a waste – there are far more creative things you could do to destroy the extra 4, not all problems are solved with explosives.

  2. gnollah

    See at this point in the line, this decision makes total sense. From what I understand he is released as a regular figure so the amount of new tooling is offset by the other figures. If you want him at the regular price you gotta go all in. I'm fine with that because for the most part I want all the other figures as well. Same reason for the filmation line that I subbed for. Icer, strongarm Shotoki and batros will make up for nepthu and to a lesser extent seahawk. 4.5 out of 6 is a fine percentage for me. Plus the subbers will be the ones that keep the line going not those that pick up 3 or 4 a year. I want the line to continue thus I will sub.
    After cherry picking for the first couple years, I realized I liked the majority of figures and this past year I subbed with no regrets. the quality has been spot on and I think will continue to be the rest of the way. plus I think the new reveals are fantastic and will continue to be so. I can nitpick here and there (each of the 3 packs were disastrous choices) but I choose not to because this line is the only one I collect- When it is over: I'm out.

  3. Ba Chewy Chewy Chomp

    so glad i dumped all my motuc stuff. i'm done with mattel's hostage negotiations.

  4. pemberto82

    Ow. This one hurts.

  5. _RZ_

    Do people even really look at the sub sign-up sheet? I don't think buying $500 of toys to save $20-50 on one is really all that smart. Since I only really want the first three announced, it makes zero sense to pay for all the other stuff that will simply be put on ebay, that even at cost you lose 20-30% as you sell it. You will not be able to move the POP, NA or other items you don't want as everyone else will be selling them too, as anyone who's tried to sell stuff this year will admit.

    I mean, I can score a Fang Man or Clamp Champ for $50 right now, which is really not that much over original price for something that we all deem to be so rare, expensive, and difficult to find. Ram Man is really only ten or twenty over as well. Just be patient for a few months or longer and the gotta-get-it-now-now crowd moves on, and it makes buying these things so much less stressful. I too wish they'd just say "sub-only" if only so that the over-the-top Barnum and Bailey's salespitch that it encourages would end. It really only creates gloating, hard feelings, and teenage gossip-type posts. It doesn't win in any new fans, or keep old ones at the table.

    • clark

      That's why I never subbed in the past, because I really only want 3-4 figures a year, so why am I trying to save $15 on them. As you pointed out, selling them on ebay is not a great money-making scheme either.
      I purchased a Spirit of Hordak (who costs $25 at matty, just like if he were a subscription figure) during the last sale for a friend, not knowing he had already secured one. I had to sell it on ebay for $50 just to break even.
      purchased for $25 + $9.90 shipping + $2.89 tax = $37.79
      sold for $49.99 – $4.50 ebay fee – $1.75 paypal fee – $6.20 shipping = $37.54

      And most MOTUC figures do not sell for $50 on ebay. I just bought a NA He-man for $36 shipping, and fighting foe men for $46 shipped. I almost bought an Icer for $28 shipped, but that was still too much for me.

      I just don't buy the line that a lot of people are trying to sell on matty's forums and the .org that you can make money by selling the guys you don't want. Or even worse, buy two subs and sell all your second figures, you'll make so much it will essentially pay for the first sub (that was stated on the matty forums).

    • _RZ_

      To be fair to the .org guys, they are right, you can make a profit by selling the guys you don't want. You just have to three subs or more in order to keep whichever figures you want. Less than that and you're guaranteed selling the exclusive and at least three "hot" figures in addition to the ones you don't want, in order to just break even. Which I think, at that point, you're doing so much work for so little, you're better off just getting a part time job. 😉

  6. I must say I'm SHOCKED! And just a week after they told me that it was impossible to do this because of logistics.

    I'm sure the next thing will be that Two-Bad and Modulok won't get made if the sub doesn't go through. Just lime Ram Man last year.

    Seen it and heard it all before.

    • The_Fun_has_been_Doubled

      What I've read online is that Modulok is already in the chopping block if the sub does not make it. Only Two Bad, Glimmer and Hydron would get made if the sub doesn't make it. The 4 figure would be either goat man or the unnamed one. Not sure which one. These Fantastic Four would be released quarterly and probably at a higher price if the sub doesn't make it.

    • Harrig

      I could live with that 😉

  7. stack32

    I still don't think Scott has any idea what logistics actually means.

  8. Mark

    How convenient.

  9. Just based on the .org , lots of people have chosen to sub because of this news. So I’d say the strategy worked – it’s getting people off the fence!

    • Good thing it was announced in the most public, widespread way possible!

    • _RZ_

      Yeah, posting it in the Matty forums as a response to a question was clearly a way to get people into a panic and repost it everywhere.

      While it might get people off the fence now, it will definitely not endear anyone to join the line, or get anyone paying attention to join next year.

    • Robzy

      I don't think "the strategy worked". It had the opposite effect on me (and I've seen many others who don't post on the "org" who feel the same!!)… Personally, It has pushed me further away, and made me decide to NOT buy other figures that I was on the fence about… all because I can't get Two Bad on DOS now!

  10. Harrig

    I pre-ordered him at BBTS in anticipation of a bunfight – and he was a pretty penny there, so at least I feel a little less stupid about that. (I am not moaning about their price as they have to cover the pegwarmers)

    Pixel Dan has recently posted a video about what figures are still left to be produced from the vintage line, and with a couple of exceptions, Rioblast, for example, the potential line up does not appeal to me personally.

    It's a real shame – at the very least they could have a nice little earner out of releases like him.

  11. Meanwhile Shokoit, like the prior Filmation offering, it just hanging there and will be until the weekend. Another case of Mattel not being able to provide the fans with the characters and purchasing system they demand because of internal bean counters

  12. Misterbigbo

    “None of this picking-and-choosing BS.” Yikes, that’s a bit sharp. I’d like to think the $100s I’ve given to Matty hasn’t been bull****.

    Cherry picker and proud.

    • I meant Mattel picking-and-choosing which figures don't have day-of-sale stock, instead of just making them all no-DOS, or all-DOS.

  13. or they will sell out in 10 minz for stupidly cheap at job lots in a year or so………. i know a guy who works at one. he bought some then came in the next day and everything was gone.

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