January 15, 2009, 08:03am
Answers to WTFWTK 2.10!
Toyguru has once again provided answers to your questions.
Check out his answers to your Round 10 questions!
1. Does Mattel own the rights to release the video game that was made a few years ago for the 200X series, and if so, is there any chance that it could be released on Matty collector?
We wish we had a more straightforward answer for you, but this is one of those things that falls into “Not at the time”. We are looking at new ways to bring the MOTU characters to fans, but at this time do not have news about this video game.
2. It was announced in a recent Q&A that Convention Exclusives and any other "Extra" figures produced would not be included in the annual preorder system. When will the full details of the annual preorder system be announced and what are the advantages/incentives for the customer to invest their money upfront in a year's worth of figures?
We are working hard with our distribution center to set up this system but likely will not have it ready until later in Spring of 2009. The advantage to placing an order like this is you are guaranteed the next 12 figures without them selling out or without having to go online each month and place an order. We know a lot of fans have discussed only there would be an extra bonus such as a special figure or accessory but we are just not set up to do that at this time nor was it ever announced this way.
3. Are there any plans to put the MYP Masters of the Universe in syndication or to re-syndicate any of the classic series? It's possible that if the show was aired again on channels like Kids WB or Fox, it could bring new life to the franchise.
We have discussed this with our Entertainment partners and were told this is something being looked into based on how the DVD sales go. But it is not something the folks who work on MOTUC line control.
4. Can you give us a general idea of how the "old parts to new parts" ratio has to be budgeted out for MOTUC? And, if the line is successful, will the ratio of new parts increase?
There isn’t an exact formula that says figure A has 80% new parts and 20% old. Instead we work with an overall budget of XX dollars for 12 figures. We look at how many tools we need for all 12 figures in a year and then look at which figures would work the best for this budget. Sometimes not doing an extra accessory (such as with Stratos) lets us afford an extra head (like with Mer Man) This is why we are starting out with a lot of figures that share parts (i.e. Mer Man uses Skeletor’s body). If the line continues to do well and we can get more tooling funds we will look into more 100% tool figures like Ram Man or the Rock people. This is all dependent on overall sales of the line.
Additionally, when we look at all 12 figures for an annual tooling budget we look at where it makes the most sense to spend money on a new tool. Where will it be coolest for collectors vs. where does it makes the most sense for parts that can be reused later in the line. (we do this on DCUC as well, just look at Gentleman Ghost in Wave 8) It is always a delicate balance!
5. Hasbro produces a plastic protector case for the single carded GI Joe figures. Would it be feasible for Mattel to create the same type of plastic case for the new MOTUC line as well as the 2002 line?
This is something we are looking into. Stay tuned, we are well aware of fan demand for this type of case.
6. With the adjustment of the line's debut, what is the schedule by which fans can expect to see new figures shown on MattyCollector, and how does NYCC play into the debut of new figures?
In general we will keep collectors at least 3-4 months ahead on release schedules. Right now we have revealed up to the March figure (Mer-Man) and plan to show at least 3 to 4 new figures at each convention this year at our fan panels. (both NY and SD).
7. How does Mattel pick who gets early product samples to review? Many fans would like He-Man.org and other MOTU sites to be some of the first places to get samples to review for fans everywhere to enjoy.
Our PR department distributes samples based on the coverage sites give to existing product. (i.e. if a site does a great job reviewing and promoting new figures bought on shelf, those of us in the marketing department who surg the sites on a regular basis will notice and push to get those sites early PR samples). We only get a few samples in and try to do our best to get them to the major sites that will cover the product the best for as many fans. For MOTUC we will do our best to send an early sample for review to He-Man.org as they are one of the best sites dedicated only to MOTU brand. So far we have had a sample of each Classics figure to send to He-Man.org and hope to continue this partnership into the future. They do some great reviews!
8. Could Mattel upload the art from the ToyFare ads to MattyCollector or He-Man.org without the text? They would make awesome wallpapers for the desktop.
We will look into the logistics of this request and see what can be done. We chose to use the 2002 backgrounds entirely for cost reasons. They were available and we knew would really make the figures pop in the print ads!
9. Aside from the 800 hotline which still costs international fans a lot of money, is Mattel taking any steps to offer other methods of customer service?
We are actively working on setting up an email customer service options for early 2009.
10. From time to time, could Mattel implement a type of "Vote for a character" program where fans & collectors pick the next character that will be released?
While this is something that works very well for a line like DCUC, it is harder for a line like MOTUC simply because we do not have the tooling bank set up yet. The MOTUC line has been VERY carefully thought out over the next few years to tool parts which can be reused for future figures.
For example, when we do Buzz Off, we would also get the feet and arms for Clawful (or vica versa). Because of the very limited tooling budget we have for this line, it would be difficult to throw a wild card into the line up as each and every character has been selected based on both fan demand and on what common parts he or she will generate for future use. It is a very carefully balanced scale.
Once we have gotten about 20-30 figures under out belt it will be easier to do. (and yes we know at only 12 per year this will take longer) But then again, once we do that many figures ideally we will have covered a lot of the fan requests, after all, MOTU does not have the thousands of characters DCU has. We understand a lot of fans request this type of contest and we do hear you, so we are looking at ways of setting one up once we have enough parts in our tooling bank and logistics make this possible.
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