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Thread: why does mattel not just take pre-orders??

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior
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    why does mattel not just take pre-orders??

    He-man is going to be ava. in oct. and Mattel is going to have a limited amount, that may or may not sell all of their figures. I was just thinking if mattel took pre-orders they could have some idea of how many to make. That way if a figure was in more demand they could make more and vice versa, if orders are low make less. So if we could go online and order now then they would have some idea of how many to produce. This would help keep supply in line with demand.

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  2. #2
    Fake Casting Agent CocoaSmooth's Avatar
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    I'll do you one better... Why doesn't Mattel take subscriptions?
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  3. #3
    Doing my best Skeletor... Agent John Utah's Avatar
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    If possible, I would pay for a full year of MOTUC, and all 3 quantity at that! That would most likely run $720 plus customs charges to cross the border, so jack it up to $1000 even, and that would still be alright by me.

    If some one just wants 1 of each figure, that's $240; heck, Mattel should give a discount for subscriptions, $200 for all 12 that year.
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  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior theotherguy's Avatar
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    You guys should definitely bring this up in WTFWTK....these are really good points.

    I am thinking the subscription question may have been brought up before. The Pre order idea is superb.

  5. #5
    Merchandise Collector jmb410s's Avatar
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    Mattel people read these boards so...

    Please Mattel offer subscriptions or pre-orders.
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  6. #6
    Color'licious! JVS3's Avatar
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    Preorders should be a no-brainer.
    I think mattycollector should allow for these.
    They offer good insight on upcoming interest on project, help gauge total unit runs for production, etc.

    ----------------

    But my guess is that subscriptions could potentially prove of limited use.

    Not everyone has the expendable cash to pony up for 12 or even 6 months worth of preorder subscriptions on figures, even at a discount.
    Plus, a subscription of that nature is only for people who want every figure in the line.

    Based on those two factors alone, the number of people willing to do subscription preorders would be limited.
    And a limited number of subscriptions doesn't help Mattel financially plan further into the line.

    You really need thousands upon thousands of subscribers to make something like that work for Mattel.
    My guess is you'd see a few hundred tops for MOTUC.
    But that is just a guess.

    ----------
    Individual preorders should do the trick.
    I'm behind them 100%.

    That being said, I think there should be some way to offer a discount in some capacity.
    Maybe in the long run, Mattel might find another way to do that.
    Maybe for folks who participate in surveys, or get on mailing lists, etc.
    I dunno... any ideas?

  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior foots_mcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVS3 View Post
    Preorders should be a no-brainer.
    I think mattycollector should allow for these.
    They offer good insight on upcoming interest on project, help gauge total unit runs for production, etc.

    ----------------

    But my guess is that subscriptions could potentially prove of limited use.

    Not everyone has the expendable cash to pony up for 12 or even 6 months worth of preorder subscriptions on figures, even at a discount.
    Plus, a subscription of that nature is only for people who want every figure in the line.

    Based on those two factors alone, the number of people willing to do subscription preorders would be limited.
    And a limited number of subscriptions doesn't help Mattel financially plan further into the line.

    You really need thousands upon thousands of subscribers to make something like that work for Mattel.
    My guess is you'd see a few hundred tops for MOTUC.
    But that is just a guess.


    ----------
    Individual preorders should do the trick.
    I'm behind them 100%.

    That being said, I think there should be some way to offer a discount in some capacity.
    Maybe in the long run, Mattel might find another way to do that.
    Maybe for folks who participate in surveys, or get on mailing lists, etc.
    I dunno... any ideas?
    The advantage of a subscription I would think should be considered first and foremost as a convenience to the customer. You wouldn't pay months in advance. It would be like Netflix, Blockbuster Total Access or any other montly direct bill type thing where you can cancel anytime. You are charged once a month and in return you are guaranteed a figure.

    Other advantages for Mattel would be having a rough idea on the number of complete-ists in the consumer base. Mattel should be encouraging completism rather than discouraging it imho. There are very few people who will buy Rio Blast but not Trap Jaw. So Mattel should find a way to encourage those who buy 90% of the characters to buy the other 10%. Even if that means giving a $1 or $2 discount to subscribers on "less" popular characters, a rewards program of some sort based on the number of characters purchased, or enticing people to subscribe by making a "less" popular character only available to subscribers from time to time. That is if Mattel is sincere in the perception they've given regarding the variety of characters they hope to offer. Following this logic the only way to guarantee yourself a figure would be through subscriptions... no pre-orders. I really don't see how the line will survive long by marketing obscure characters just like popular characters. They have to provide some added incentive for people to buy those less popular characters.

    Just my 2 cents.


    All of that said I think both subscriptions and pre-orders reduce the hype factor. Maybe not for people who hang out here but for those who are more fringe fans. I believe this is why Mattel has not implemented either one yet. They want people to get excited with anticipation every month and talk on message boards. Much more of this happens when everyone is waiting for the hour they go on sale vs pre-ordering weeks in advance. If you had to choose one I'd go with subscriptions over pre-orders for the reasons listed above.
    Last edited by foots_mcgee; August 13, 2008 at 02:31am.

  8. #8
    Heroic Photog Supporter musclor's Avatar
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    I'm surprised that pre-orders for He-man haven't popped up yet. As has already been said here, it helps gauge demand and is a good early indicator for how heavy production needs to go...

    As far as subscriptions go, I am all for it. And I see it helping Mattel even if "only" hundreds sign up for it. That is *guaranteed* money for them each month and allows them to take a few more chances in who they produce. It also allows completists to calmly collect the line without missing any figures. (and although completists are often a smaller percentage of sales, I would assume that in a line like this, completists would have to be Matty's bread and butter. If you lose even one completist, you lose a lot of potential sales when it is a low visibility collector's online-only line.)

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior Berzerker17's Avatar
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    i would be up for either pre-orders or a subscription, as long as you pay monthly for the subscription and not yearly
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  10. #10
    Color'licious! JVS3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foots_mcgee View Post
    The advantage of a subscription I would think should be considered first and foremost as a convenience to the customer.
    Ah, I gotcha.
    Yeah, I could see that.
    but as I mentioned before, if it's only a few hundred people, it may be more trouble than it's worth for Mattel.

    You are charged once a month and in return you are guaranteed a figure.
    Well, there's really no need for that one.
    Mattel has said that they will continually produce a figure if the demand is there.
    It's not like they will be limited.

    Of course, if they don't get enough additional orders to cover a 2nd run, and they don't think they'll have the trickle-down sales to justify going ahead on production,
    then yeah, you'd be correct about that advantage.

    Other advantages for Mattel would be having a rough idea on the number of complete-ists in the consumer base. Mattel should be encouraging completism rather than discouraging it imho. There are very few people who will buy Rio Blast but not Trap Jaw. So Mattel should find a way to encourage those who buy 90% of the characters to buy the other 10%.
    That's a good point.
    And I agree if it's the "charge as you go" subscription you mentioned and not the "pay in advance" like I was thinking which limits the number of subscribers.

    But a problem that would arise is Mattel would need some sort of contractual commitment from subscribers with a "charge as you go" subscription with discounts or free incentive figures/accessories.
    Otherwise, if a customer can cancel at any time, it doesn't help the completionist angle you proposed, and it could cost Mattel money in the long term.

    All of that said I think both subscriptions and pre-orders reduce the hype factor. Maybe not for people who hang out here but for those who are more fringe fans. I believe this is why Mattel has not implemented either one yet. They want people to get excited with anticipation every month and talk on message boards. Much more of this happens when everyone is waiting for the hour they go on sale vs pre-ordering weeks in advance.
    I think there would be just as much hype.
    Instead of people gearing up to order it, you'd have the same people talking about being excited about it coming.

    Take a look at the thread of people just waiting for a KG, or talking about getting it.
    The hype is still there.

  11. #11
    Scrolls Reviewer Jukka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVS3 View Post
    Of course, if they don't get enough additional orders to cover a 2nd run, and they don't think they'll have the trickle-down sales to justify going ahead on production,
    then yeah, you'd be correct about that advantage.

    Hopefully those won't occur too many times during MOTUC's run.

  12. #12
    For Hordak. To the death. lorde trooper's Avatar
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    I like these ideas, i am concerned however when the mattycollector site makes these characters available on the site international fans (not all of them) are asleep, or working, a pre-order or a subscription im all for, than i dont have to worry about missing out.
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  13. #13
    Master of Good Hair Eamon's Avatar
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    I gotta say that Mattel running out of He-man (as I think he'll sell most) is my biggest concern. Look how fast King Grayskull sold out!
    I'm gonna be up a stupid o clock making sure I get my order in come October. I'd rather not have to do that though.
    I just hope there's enough made!
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  14. #14
    Masters Chronicles Host! Vinto-Man's Avatar
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    I think they should allow us to pre-order the figures. even those who have signed up to the newsletter, why not get an email saying the figure is going on sale but you can put your order in now, that kind of thing. also have a post-order facility available so if they run out, they can inform you as to when the new batch would be available and even take a deposit to secure your item. thats my view anyway . reading this mattel????
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  15. #15
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    I agree that having some sort of pre-order and a subscription service would be good. If I am not mistaken didnt Mattel say they had a subscription type thing in the works for the 1st of the year, and that it would be like Val has stated...a buy a years worth at once type of thing?

    If that is the case I agree with Val....it may not be as good benifitial to Mattel or the average fan. It could actually be a bad thing. I mean if there is no true incentive to doing it, other then saving 10-20 bucks I think the cost it self is gonna limit the number of people doing it. There are a lot of people that dont have the money to throw 200plus bucks out there and not see a full return on it for a year. And becuase of those potentially limited numbers it could influence Mattel's production of the line in a negative way, like lowering the number produced, especially on 2nd and 3rd tier characters. And I think that wouldnt be a good idea, nor a good judge of the true number of collectors, completist, or even people that like the idea of a pre-order/subscription service. It also wouldnt help Mattel judge the popularity of a specific character either, thus not helping them adjust the production runs appropriatly.

    I think, for what its worth, that if Mattel made all three of the options listed in this thread available it would be a great judge of the number of hard core fans, and the fans ofa specific character. Offer a 6&12 month subscription service with the option of paying monthly, and signing a contract where if they offer any incentive you have to have been in the program for x number of months before you are eligible...offer to pay 6/12 months up front and be eligible for a discount or incentives...and offer preorders of a figure 45 or so days in advance up till the figure release date. Or cut it off a week or so before, or something like that.

    What does everyone think about that?

  16. #16
    Heroric Drummer Brian Ozone's Avatar
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    I defintily would go for pre orders. Mattle could get an idea of hoe many figures they'd need to make to meet the demand sorta.

    Id also be down with a 6 month pre order as well. Anything to keep this line going.
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  17. #17
    Heroic Warrior plasmapulse's Avatar
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    Having a subscription is a logical step. Billing when each figure is shipped. Nobody would like to pay about $400,- (International.) upfront. It would also keep things transparent.

    You could always preorder any monthly figure, in case you want more than one alongside your subscription.

    Or go for preorders alone, so you can pick the ones you like. Regardless of which option they offer, it would make site traffic less intense and you can just go to bed or work without worrying you miss out

    I'd get a subscription service myself. Hopefully with con exclusive offerings as incentive.
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  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior RyDell's Avatar
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    I don't think Mattel will run out. KG was supposed to be a comic con exclusive with a few left over to get Matty started. It wasn't designed to be sold in the numbers that the rest will be. I don't think we'll have any worries.
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  19. #19
    Master of Good Hair Eamon's Avatar
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    I certianly hope that the case!
    What does JVS3 think? Will Mattel run out of He-man's?
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  20. #20
    Wise Old Trollan Uncle Montork's Avatar
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    I don't think Mattel will run out of He-Mans, especially since Toyguru and Matty's Minion watch and post on these boards, what happened with KG, and all the folks on here concerned about them running out of He-Mans. If anything, they're upping their production of the man.

    I want 2 He-Mans, one to open and one to keep MOC. I have absolutely no worries at all about getting them.
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  21. #21
    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyDell View Post
    I don't think Mattel will run out. KG was supposed to be a comic con exclusive with a few left over to get Matty started. It wasn't designed to be sold in the numbers that the rest will be. I don't think we'll have any worries.

    Yeah but I am sure the production on him overall was equal to the other con motu exclusives mattel has done and those number close to 8500. They all sold out this time. ANd that was with out basically ANY international ordering. I bet He-Man sells out with in the first 2 weeks. I am sure they will go back into production if they had not by that point anyway. But I wouldnt be surprised if he sells out even quicker. What would surprise me is if he doesnt sell out. And to me that would be a very bad sign for this line. If the most popular, the flagship, character doesnt sell out as the first figure in a line that could be very very bad. I doubt he sells out first day (but i wouldnt be shocked) though. And unless Mattel gets their site up and running better then when KG went onsale I see the site having even more issues, as you are opening up the sales to potentially 1000's times more people. As KG was limited to USA only, He-man can go anywhere.

    Anyway....I HOPE he-man sells out within the first week....otherwise I am gonna be very very worried about the line.

  22. #22
    www.thecomixverse.com Flint's Avatar
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    I just want to make sure that I get a He-Man. I think that The Big Guns will get better production numbers and will be more readily available. I think the 2nd stringers will be the ones that will prove tougher to buy. Preorders would slve alot of problems.
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  23. #23
    Supreme Fudge Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    I do hope some sort of preorder option is made available.

    I do like the subscription idea. Though if they would even do preorders, and even if they would only start taking them anywhere from 2 weeks to a month before the figure comes out, I'd be happy with that.

    My problem with this 15th of the month concept is that people will likely order like crazy the first day the figure is actually available, and for all we know they may sell out. And I can't guarantee that I will be able to be at a computer ordering the figure on the 15th each month since it will fall on different days of the week and I don't know what I may have going down the road.

    I know my wife and I are possibly taking a trip in March of next year. We don't have the dates nailed down yet, but if our trip occurs during the 15th and goes well beyond it, then I may be out of luck for that month's figure.

    Here's to hoping preodering becomes an option.
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  24. #24
    Color'licious! JVS3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eamon View Post
    I certianly hope that the case!
    What does JVS3 think? Will Mattel run out of He-man's?
    No idea.
    They'll definitely make more for the regular run than they did for a con exclusive.

    But previous convention production numbers are all over the place (see the Toy FAQ).
    And since we don't know how many KGs were made, we're really taking shots in the dark in that regard.

    I have no clue how Mattel is determining their production numbers on He-Man.

  25. #25
    Mattycollector.com The_Robin's Avatar
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    I'm all for pre-orders. The sooner my order is in,the better! Course then people will worry it will get "pre-sold out" before the 15th of every month.
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