I got to say I'm not against this stance by mattel. The subscribers are the ones solidifying the motu future. Here's an analogy. If I'm a soldier on the battelfield fighting every day and joe blow is a mercenary who only fights when they are in the mood who should the country cater to? the loyal solder who fights everyday or the mercenary who fights when they choose to?
Mattel is doing the right thing in my opinion.
I want the line to continue so I buy a sub. I just want people to know that I really don't believe the line is in danger. And I don't mean to be rude to anyones opposite stance on the subject. I just feel that mattel is cutting out the non hard core motu fans and losing a few hard core fans that can't afford to buy the subs, plain and simple.
I understand that, but to the same extent, they must budget for those kinds of losses in their budgeting plan, no? If that's the case, then why can't they just say "X amount of returns/refunds a year" or whatever?
Example: if I buy something from Walmart and make a return without a receipt, they write it down and I'm only allowed to make X amount of receipt-less returns in a given time frame before they tell me to get lost. That makes sense, because I can't just keep ripping them off if I so chose.
Another example: I used to have a subscription to ToyFare. For whatever reason, their shipping was so unreliable that I almost never received my monthly magazine to the point where they flat-out said (very politely, of course) that if it continued to happen it would be a better idea to just refund the remainder of the subscription, which made sense.
What neither of them said was: "Too bad." I get that Mattel must eat losses sometimes, but lumping every international collector into the "too bad, so sad" category seems ridiculous to me. Surely, there's another solution, no?
Yeah, the chopping block remark was the kind of turn I feared we could see after last year. The subs can only shrink now as the economy continues to stink and these figures continue to cost more. I hope we sort of stabilize with the twelve monthlies, four bonus items, exclusives and one or two outside the sub surprises for a few years without another price hike. One more hike and we'll have to go down to only 12 monthly figures again, and who knows how long the original tooling can last. Frankly if we had to drop down to like six figures a year and they're all army builders like the ones He-Mike makes, I'd love that, but I doubt they could survive just by catering to me and those who feel that way.
We'll see soon, a lot of international subscribers are now wondering what they should do, pay more, or just suck it up, and try their odds elsewhere....there may be a lot os subscribers in the US, but globally, that is where Mattel will lose their footing, and the global collector is likely just a plentiful....and now, many don't know what to do....they simply can't afford a sub, paying a ridiculous price for one figure, let alone a couple....
Don't forget, were in a global economy now, not and isolated economy, Mattel gets just as much money from overseas buyers of the their lines as they do from the US. I see a lot of Canadian and German fans on the boards, as well as many other countries, and many have subs, just about the same ratios as US subscribers vs pickers.....so if Mattel loses too many of the global sub buyers.....the line will fail, so unless the rest of you plan to triple the amount of subs to compensate....good luck, the die hard core fans will not be enough to sustain the line.
But I wouldn`t say, MOTUC is a high end product. It`s just a toyline from a toy company, which is only amazingly sculpted.
*tweets Christina Aguilera for help* :calol: Just kidding.
I'm going to be so annoyed if Classics ends without getting Star Sisters variants. I want the other gals too, but those versions are what I've been dreaming about since Day 1 of this toy line. Maybe they will still have a chance if it gets so bad that 2014 is nothing but repaints with like one or two additional pieces of tooling. :cashift:
Its apples and oranges, anyone ignoring that does not realize the vast difference between niche online and mass retail. Its a great divide
Also customs charges are not up to Mattel, they are most of the time the problem of the shipping company which is one of the reasons Mattel is changing. You don't know how many times I hear from international customers that shipping prices are too high, well you know what they are high and that is just the reality of it. If its pricing international people out its because the shipping companies are fighting to stay afloat and cheap shipping is no longer an option.
I'm not happy with the price hike at all. But I've been a sub holder since the beginning and I'll always will be. So finally it sways towards the people paying for it. I don't mind.
All they're really telling you is that *if* you want to use the least expensive shipping method that THERE ARE risks. Buyer beware. They don't have control over what happens to this stuff once it leaves their hands and have no way to prove otherwise so why should they be accountable is the attitude.
I mean look at it this way, at least they're still providing the option. They *could* just flat out FORCE you in to using some thing Priority Mail, UPS, or DHL, but they still leave it up to you.
I see where you're coming from with the whole Walmart thing, but that's a whole huge hassle and such. Not to mention, I'm not even sure if Walmart is doing that any more at least over here.
I DEFIANTLY know that a lot of stores over here discontinued stuff like that as they were loosing a TON of money and will NOT take returns no matter what with-out a receipt. Target for one, only second to Walmart doesn't take returns with-out a receipt.
Now...if you complain and cause a riot which in turn brings in a manager that might be another situation, but under normal circumstances even a brand as big as that won't even do it.
I figured this update was coming soon... but I didn't expect it only a week after subs went up for sale. Initial numbers must be worse than I imagined they were going to be.
And Mattel has nobody to blame but themselves for that. I bailed out on this year's sub, and I won't be subscribing again next year. Remember the saying "fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice, shame on me"? That has never been more applicable than it is with Matty. Well, except I was fooled more than twice before I finally realized that things were never going to get any better with this line.
Because as long as they make money, there is no reason to work on issues. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. MOTUC made Mattel money, so there was no reason to improve the customer experience.
It is why we STILL have the same problems we have had since the line started. It is why Digital River is still around. It is why limbs are still reversed ("Pretty cool, huh?"). It is why international fans have been promised better options since the beginning. It is why Scott can still have his horrendous PR statements. It is why some fans STILL haven't got their Fistos. It is why subs sometimes ship later than day of sales. It is why there are unresolved double charges. It is why subs get cancelled without you knowing. It is why it is a nightmare to change any of your info on your sub.
And on, and on, and on...
What long-running problems have they actually fixed? They do a great job of promising that things will get better... but yet they never seem to. Remember the shoulder committee? Yeah... it was less than 6 months before that happened again. And then it happened again with Stinkor (but this time it was a "design choice").
So here it is. Signup time once again. But it looks like fans have finally started to realize that things aren't getting better. They never will. They no longer want to blindly hand over the credit card numbers for 8 months of figures sight unseen. They no longer want to take that 50/50 shot each month that there will be another problem in the line. They'd rather just take the chance with day-of on stuff they do want.
So what does Matty do? Well, the smart thing to do would be to reveal the rest of the 2013 schedule. Think about it- You already have a bunch of folks locked in. The ones that are truly willing to buy it all, despite the issues and despite what may be a lackluster second half in 2013. So what do you have left? The guys who won't sub without knowing what they are getting. The ONLY way to get those guys is with a tentative FULL 2013 schedule. Then you might lure some of those guys to sign into your sub too...
But no. Matty instead implores the old "you better buy or else... we promise things will get better this year". But like the boy who cried wolf one too many times, I just ain't buying it anymore. Might things get better this year? Sure... but I am not signing over my money on that gamble one more time. You have burned me again and again, and as much as I still love MOTU... it just isn't worth taking that chance anymore.
So no. That is it for me. If you don't make enough for day-of on certain characters... well that's fine. I guess you didn't want my $27 that bad and I didn't need that figure all that much anyway.
My apologies to my fellow MOTU fans that are sticking this out. I wish you the best and I hope for better things for you and for MOTUC. I just can't support this business model anymore. A model that shows so little appreciation for its customer base...
If they could come out and guarantee a fairer mix, I'd get three subs right now. I dont see it happening. I'm still on the fence. Dont want to get one more year made if it just means we just get more model kit vehicle drivers named after four horsemen employees and figures of lame characters toy guru created for the mini comics like gladiator and beast master.
Maybe in defense of everyone here on the forums Matty let's make a deal...
For ordering a sub and accepting the price increase (which is understandable) how bout from Jan next year to Dec....
YOU PROMISE TO.... make sure there are no production errors or defects
YOU PROMISE TO... set aside enough replacement figures for said errors and defects
YOU PROMISE TO... make sure that every subscriber gets there sub figure (Fisto anyone?) that they actually ordered.
I have 6 subs :skwink: and am doing my best to keep this line running so how bout you help out my friends and commit to these things that we assume to be guaranteed in collecting a HIGH PRICED, HIGH QUALITY Line? And maybe we can all play nice...
As I predicted, the line could tank before 2014, thanks to Matty's awesome business practices and services, and as always, keep blaming it on your customers you nitwits...
I bought the 2013 sub earlier, but after reading this news, I'm very disappointed for sure. I hope Mattel will find away to produce vehicles and eventually playstes (even if they were just displaying shells). I might not be into POP, but I committed to buying so I can see more of the products that I want... Oh well, if this line tanks anytime soon, I'll spend more of my money on my other hobbies (LEGO, music gear and art related gadgets)...
I really, really don't see why they haven't moved to just doing multi-packs for the POP and NA characters. It's been so stupid not to. They say that they don't want to lock people into buying multi-packs, but at the same time, they insist on locking people into subs that are essentially $500 multi-packs. Like, "Oh, we don't want to make you buy two to four characters you don't want just to get one you do--we want to make you buy eleven characters you don't want to get one you do!" Oh, and then they stick multi-packs IN the subscriptions, and fill them entirely with characters that only three or four people really wanted. (No offense to those people who were clamoring for Star Sisters or Fighting Foe Men.)
Seriously, just do two POP five-packs, a "Galactic Heroes" multi-pack, an "Evil Mutants" multi-pack, a small characters pack for Comic-Con, a "voyage to Earth" MOTU movie multi-pack w/ Gwildor, Blade and Saurod and then focus the subscription on the remaining vintage toys, Filmation characters, etc to keep the hardcore vintage people interested. Everyone will be able to get the characters they want and the line can continue on for as long as it looks to be going now. This should be a no-brainer.
That was the entire year for 2012. 2013's budget is being determined NOW.
Alot of people probably remember the various things Toyguru, Mattel and Digital River said or did over 2012, and those chickens might have come back to roost when it comes time to purchase the 2013 sub.
Some people haven't gotten paid yet. The sub has only been available since last Friday. It's not over. There is still time for the subscription amounts to rise.
Very disappointing, but not surprising.
I really wish Mattel would implement a pre-order system where customers can pre-order and pay for individual named/announced figures before they figures are put into production by Mattel (even if that meant paying up to 9 months in advance). But, for whatever reason, Mattel refuses to do so.
I'm pretty happy with the size of my MOTUC colletion and if I can't purchase a figure through the "day of sales", then I guess I'll just have to prioritise my most wanted figures and save my money to buy them on the secondary market. Surely paying an extra $50.00 for Ram Man is better than paying $75.00 for the Fighting Foe Men (and Woman) who I have absolutely no interest in.
I agree that it's good that Mattel at least gave the option, but here's the kicker: I can order from BBTS if I so chose and pay the same cost as the cheap shipping per figure from Mattel, but I won't be screwed out of my money if the package doesn't show up.
So, really, why bother with Mattel? Yeah, I'd pay a bit more of a premium for each figure through BBTS, but I'd have A) the choice of skipping ones I don't want B) the same shipping costs as I'd pay at Mattel C) the peace of mind knowing that I'd get a full refund if the package was lost or whatever.
I want to sub. I really do. But Mattel really isn't giving me much incentive right now as an international buyer.
Someone posted this about buying a sub and being granted the early access 'benefit'
"from the customer experience perspective this just looks bad. Yes, subscribers should get incentives and bonuses but not at the expense of other customers. (Non-subscribers are still customers, most of them loyal and valuable). Most companies have higher paying and lower paying customers - those who pay more get more perks, but a company should never take away the product from anyone, that's just bad business. Subscription exclusives are fine, that's an added benefit, but pitting people against each other and telling subscribers that they can snatch figures from "low class" customers is just bad. If you buy a business class ticket on an airline, you can relax and drink your champagne, but you can't walk into coach and kick passengers out of the plane. Such an airline would not last very long on the market..."
Customers are customers, sub or no sub! Just because you choose to buy a sub doesn't make you any more of a fan. I hear people all the time on here who buy subs, but then get rid of anyone who either isn't a Vintage character or a mini-comic character. Are they more of a fan than someone who buys and keeps more than the person with the sub who's just sold on the ones they dont want?
short answer - No!
I don't think it's a 'scare tactic' like some have suggested. Sure, Toyguru wants as many people as possible to subscribe since more subs sold I would imagine makes the line look stronger to management and thus they would be willing to do more things with MOTU. Less subs makes it look weaker and moves it towards the chopping block. How close it is? No idea. I honestly think ToyGuru wants to get more subs so the line can keep up steam. If it's much lower this year, then 2014 might have just the 12 figures. Who knows the year after that. ToyGuru just wants to keep it going not only as the brand manager but as a fan as well, and I can say I don't blame him. I want it to keep going too.
Also I understand people not wanting to subscribe as they only want certain characters and what not. I think to management if a 'less popular less known' character sells poorly, they are less likely to do them. That leaves quite a few characters in the 'might not get made' category. Subscriptions helps that by forcing people to get everyone so we get more obscure characters. Personally I'm not a fan of Netossa, but glad we're getting her for those who really want more PoP. I like the line that I'll take the handful of figures I don't care for in order to get a majority of figures I do.
I'm in for a 2013 sub, just like every year so far and I plan to be until the end.