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Thread: Update from Mattel

  1. #1
    Loves MOTUC canon! PaTrIcKfOgArTy's Avatar
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    Update from Mattel

    Check out the below just posted on facebook:

    Q. Why do things sell out so fast and why don't you make more?
    A. The line is clearly picking up more and more fans as we go along. This is good news-bad news for fans, because when the line does better it gives Mattel more incentive to keep it going, but things do sell out faster, making them harder to get.

    Production numbers will increase, but it can't happen overnight as raw materials are purchased months before a figure goes on sale. Adding figures to an existing factory order just isn't cost-effective as it would cost us more per figure than we actually sell them for. For other first-time out items, like the stands or dioramas, there's just no way to know how many will sell until we offer them.

    We promise you, the Matty team is very aware of everyone's frustration. You wouldn't think making toys and selling them on a website would be such a complicated business, but it would blow your mind to see the inner workings.

    But here's the good news: MOTUC figures are not a one-time deal! If you missed a figure you really wanted, be patient because we often re-release products. We do a second run so everyone has a chance to complete their collections.

    Q. Why can't you do pre-orders?
    A. We know this is something fans ask for and we do hear you. It's just not logistically possible for a variety of reasons that we, unfortunately, can't go into with the public. What we do offer is the Club Eternia™ subscription program that basically lets you "pre-order" a year's worth of figures, although you are only charged when they actually ship to you. While this option doesn't work for all fans, it's the only "pre-order" option we can offer.

    Q. Why is there only one sale per month?
    A. There are a couple of reasons why we have one on-sale date per month. First, we want our customers to save on shipping, which the single sale day model accomplishes. As we mentioned below , this is especially appreciated by our international fans. Second, because many products sell out quickly, a set sale day is the best option for giving all customers a chance at the products they want. We're sorry, but for the foreseeable future, we won't be doing multiple on-sale dates.

    Q. Why don't you reduce the 10 per order purchase limit?
    A. A lot of fans are asking specifically about the 10 per order limit. First, a little history. Back when we first started the line, the limit was only four. This was loudly rejected by fans as not being enough, so we increased it to ten. This was an especially good way to help our international fans who could combine orders and save on shipping (which is HUGE for them).

    After we made the change, we kept an eye on orders to see how many figures people were actually ordering and very few customers were ordering more than three or four. Then, after our Moss Man® sale, Toy Guru personally went through every order and, once again, VERY few customers ordered ten - in fact, there are only a small percentage of orders that are for even more then four figures.

    We know people are seeing a lot of figures on the secondary market. We honestly have nothing to do with this market (believe us, no one here is getting a cut), but we think it's probably people who bought multiple Club Eternia™ subscriptions when they were on sale back in the summer of 2009. The subscriptions were open for three weeks and anyone could buy as many as they needed or wanted. It's likely some fans bought subscriptions for the sole purpose of reselling them, which they have every right to do and we have no control over.

    We will increase production as demand continues to go up, and Moss Man®, along with other quick sell-out figures, will be back in time. For those customers who want their figures guaranteed with no wait and no hassle, we hope you'll take advantage of the subscription when it goes on sale again this July.

    And speaking of the subscription…

    Q. What's the story on the 2011 Club Eternia™ subscription?
    A. The basic structure will remain the same for 2011 as it was for 2010. Although you commit to a full year of figures when you purchase the subscription, you are only charged for them when they are actually shipped to you. For 2011, we are continuing to offer one type of subscription (sorry, tiers are just not logistically possible for us), which will be the fan-requested "all-in" model that includes one of every product, including quarterly figures and "oversized" figures.

    We're still working out the details, but the tentative plan for 2011 is to have the following:
    12 Monthly figures
    4 Quarterly figures
    4 Oversized figures ($30 - $60 each)
    1 Subscription-exclusive figure (similar to Wun-Dar™)
    Please note that before you purchase the 2011 subscription, we will tell you exactly how many of each figure and at what price they'll be. We won't reveal the figure names, but we will tell you how many at each price point so you'll know the total purchase commitment amount, not including shipping (although you aren't billed until the figures are shipped).

    This year, there's another great benefit… in addition to being guaranteed to get every figure, we're also processing subscription orders two business days before the sale, so subscribers get their figures shipped before everyone else!

    The 2011 subscription will be available starting July 21, 2010 (preview night at San Diego Comic-Con), and you'll be able to purchase as many subscriptions as you like. If you want to be reminded, sign up for email or follow us on Twitter.

    Q. What about the 2002 line?
    A. The Masters of the Universe® Classics line is all about looking at the vintage style first and sprinkling any other needed elements to create a cohesive line for MOTU, Princess of Power™ and New Adventures. As for the 2002 line, that line and interpretation of the MOTU world is retired. Yes, there are many fans who prefer it to the "classic" interpretation of MOTU in the current line, and that's cool. We're also huge fans of the 2002 hyper-detail version, but there are no plans to produce any further figures based on this stylized interpretation.

    That said, there is some good news: if a character was not in the vintage line, such as Count Marzo™, for example, we may do it in MOTUC as if it had been a figure in the vintage line and we are "updating" it. So, we will include 200X characters from the show, just not in the hyper-detail interpretation. We'll also look at how a 200X figure might have used shared parts based on what is available in the vintage line. We think this will really bring some magic to these characters when we do get to them in MOTUC!

    Q. If we ask for it, will you make it?
    A. As much as we'd like to, we can't produce products based only on fan demand. While we love to listen to fans, there are myriad legal, logistic, and technical issues preventing many things fans demand from going forward. As often as we can, though, we certainly will, like we did with the flocking on the ears of Moss Man®, and adding a second highlight color to the sword of She-Ra™.

    Q. Can children play with MOTUC toys?
    A. Although we have labeled them "Adult Collector," we still safety test them the same way we do all of our age 4+ toys. So, yes, children are totally encouraged to play with MOTUC. But we still don't consider them bath toys, so Moss Man is not ideal for water play, as some fans have found out!

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior orbles's Avatar
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    This is awesome news. I think this shows that Mattel is listening to us as these comments go directly toward many of the concerns voiced here on the Org. That being said, it is obvious that Toy Guru did not write these. They do mention him in the 3rd person and these are much more professionally written (nothing against TG, just more of an "official" response than the casual conversations we have with TG). I like the answers and hopefully this settles some of the anger around here.

    Now, what kind of beast would cost $60? Maybe a large prominent dragon? Do you think they would include the previously mentioned 2 packs in that category? Or maybe some sort of castle? I cant wait for SDCC. I wish I could be there!

  3. #3
    The Cerebral Assassin hhhelmsley's Avatar
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    Cool thanks, PaTrIcKfOgArTy.

  4. #4
    Sorcerer of Zalesia bcrduke's Avatar
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    Why can't they just be honest about why they only have one sale date??

    It's CHEAPER for them. They'd owe Digital River more money if they had multiple sale days.

    There is nothing wrong with saying that... answering by claiming they care about how much we spend on shipping is just kind of silly LOL
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  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior He-Boy's Avatar
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    I am happy with all of those answers. If anything, I wonder if 2 Oversized figures per year would be better...?

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior orbles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcrduke View Post
    Why can't they just be honest about why they only have one sale date??

    It's CHEAPER for them. They'd owe Digital River more money if they had multiple sale days.

    There is nothing wrong with saying that... answering by claiming they care about how much we spend on shipping is just kind of silly LOL
    I obviously do not know for sure, but it seems reasonable that they have to pay DR by the order or something like that. When something does not sell out all in one day, then DR is still handling orders for Mattel, so it doesnt seem that they only pay DR for sale dates. I am sure it probably is easier for them as well, but if they spread out the sale dates, then there would be plenty of complaining about how Mattel is "forcing" people to pay extra shipping. Mattel should just get out of the business because they are never going to win with us.

  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior Mern-Ra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbles View Post
    i am sure it probably is easier for them as well, but if they spread out the sale dates, then there would be plenty of complaining about how mattel is "forcing" people to pay extra shipping.
    Quoted for truth!!!
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    Heroic Warrior nicholighkun's Avatar
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    Can we say, broken record!?

    "That's just something we can't disclose to fans." i.e. If we told you, you'd see just how we're milking you, and we can't have that now, can we?.

  9. #9
    USF Bull chuc98's Avatar
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    $30-$60 for the "oversized figures"…I wonder if some of these "oversized figures" could actually be vehicles?? What figure is there that would actually be $60? The PoG dinosaurs? I'm happy with all the answers at any rate.
    200X fan? Classic fan? What does that mean? I'm a MotU fan!!!

  10. #10
    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaTrIcKfOgArTy View Post
    Q. Can children play with MOTUC toys?
    A. Although we have labeled them "Adult Collector," we still safety test them the same way we do all of our age 4+ toys. So, yes, children are totally encouraged to play with MOTUC. But we still don't consider them bath toys, so Moss Man is not ideal for water play, as some fans have found out!
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  11. #11
    Evil Lord of the Deadlift Larry Waters's Avatar
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    So, producing more figures costs them more... Interesting. I suppose that we should expect a price hike in June then, huh??

    As far as the 2011 sub answer...if they can tell us how many of each price point, then they DO know most (if not all) of what they'll be producing. They certianly know what the beasts will be. Why not tell us? I'd LOVE to avoid getting stuck with Swift Wind or some other NA or POP pap.

    I digress...

    So, instead of telling us all of the BS about how they, for logistical reasons, "can't" tell us anything, why not just say "We're not telling because we don't want to and you'll buy the sub and figures and like it anyway."

    I'd respect that a WHOLE lot more.
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  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior starbasetoys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuc98 View Post
    $30-$60 for the "oversized figures"…I wonder if some of these "oversized figures" could actually be vehicles?? What figure is there that would actually be $60? The PoG dinosaurs?
    What if the $60 price point item is a Castle Grayskull?

    I'd drop $60 on a nice Grayskull to use as part of my MOTUC display in a heartbeat! I'd love to replace my 200X Castle Grayskull that currently is in that place with an updated MOTUC Castle Grayskull.


    P.S.
    I seriously doubt that's what the $60 item is...but wouldn't it rock if it was?

  13. #13
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    I'm intrigued by the phrase "stands or dioramas." Dioramas!?!? That would be awesome.

  14. #14
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    A oversized figure, that is $60 is amazing to me! Sooooo excited for that lol. I mean, Tytus, BC, and Gygor is no more then $40, so to raise it $20 more dollars, instead of even $10 has me so curious.

    chuc98-I agree...Or how about maybe a Grayskull? Not a full one, but maybe a shell, or just a detailed plastic front for a backdrop.

  15. #15
    Master of the Arashikage J_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Country View Post
    So, producing more figures costs them more... Interesting. I suppose that we should expect a price hike in June then, huh??
    Hehe, yeah I found that funny myself. I know what they are trying to say, but if they actually are subbing out to a third party Chinese manufacturer and this is the case, they need to look elsewhere. I ain't getting into it with anybody here, but I KNOW enough about manufacturing to know better than that. I'll just say I have knowledge I can't and will not post about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Country View Post
    As far as the 2011 sub answer...if they can tell us how many of each price point, then they DO know most (if not all) of what they'll be producing. They certianly know what the beasts will be. Why not tell us? I'd LOVE to avoid getting stuck with Swift Wind or some other NA or POP pap.

    I digress...

    So, instead of telling us all of the BS about how they, for logistical reasons, "can't" tell us anything, why not just say "We're not telling because we don't want to and you'll buy the sub and figures and like it anyway."

    I'd respect that a WHOLE lot more.
    All I expect on a 2011 sub is to be able to buy 1 sub and each month be able to have enough time to get any extra I want. Usually it's just 1 more of certain characters and that's all. That's all I wanted out of this years, but Mattel sees it other ways.

    Yeah I understand and respect the idea of doing whatever you can to get the line popular, but I don't understand making it impossible to get anything. They're a broken record with their answer to these questions, and I'm a broken record in saying they need to rethink their marketing and look at the history of Beanie Babies.

    I'd rather see the line settle in to being something while collectible and a little on the harder side to get maybe, but not being impossible. I don't want to see the line crash and burn then go away. If the only "popularity" that there is due to the "keep away" game they are playing, that means the property isn't really popular at all.
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    The problem with the subscriptions is they aren't really reasonable when you don't know what you're getting. And the only reason they don't tell you, is so you'll buy some stuff you don't want. That seems pretty obnoxious. I mean, if they were up front and said "when you buy the subscription you're going to get Stinkor, but you're also going to end up with that weird creepy guy from She-Ra with a giant heart on his chest." At that point, you can make an INFORMED decision, and not feel ripped off down the road.

  17. #17
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuc98 View Post
    I wonder if some of these "oversized figures" could actually be vehicles?? What figure is there that would actually be $60?
    There is a somewhat recent trademark for the Battle Ram Chariot. Hmmm.

  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior Teacher of Madness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Man View Post
    Hehe, yeah I found that funny myself. I know what they are trying to say, but if they actually are subbing out to a third party Chinese manufacturer and this is the case, they need to look elsewhere.
    I took what they said to mean that it would cost them more to up the production while the toy is being produced. If they buy all their production materials months in advance, to increase production when the toy is IN production they'd have to scramble for more of those resources, or take them from something else, which would cost more money than having stuff long preordered and ready for when the time comes.

    That's how I understood it anyway, not that it costs more to make more, just costs more to make more in short notice.

  19. #19
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    Adding figures to an existing factory order just isn't cost-effective as it would cost us more per figure than we actually sell them for.

    That's a load of bull.


    we still safety test them the same way we do all of our age 4+ toys. So, yes, children are totally encouraged to play with MOTUC.
    Of course they do NOW.... They can't afford to take any chances after that whole lead incident(s)

  20. #20
    Teela's Cup Barer Teela-Na's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaTrIcKfOgArTy View Post
    Q. Can children play with MOTUC toys?
    A. Although we have labeled them "Adult Collector," we still safety test them the same way we do all of our age 4+ toys. So, yes, children are totally encouraged to play with MOTUC. But we still don't consider them bath toys, so Moss Man is not ideal for water play, as some fans have found out!
    I think Teela, the Goddess, Adora, Evil Lyn and She-Ra should be able to be played with in the bath, but that means that they all need removable clothing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teela-Na View Post
    I think Teela, the Goddess, Adora, Evil Lyn and She-Ra should be able to be played with in the bath, but that means that they all need removable clothing!
    Oh my!

    Sadly, that would be about my only shot a bathing with a woman.

  22. #22
    A Real Master Of Arms nato's Avatar
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    We know people are seeing a lot of figures on the secondary market. We honestly have nothing to do with this market (believe us, no one here is getting a cut), but we think it's probably people who bought multiple Club Eternia™ subscriptions when they were on sale back in the summer of 2009. The subscriptions were open for three weeks and anyone could buy as many as they needed or wanted. It's likely some fans bought subscriptions for the sole purpose of reselling them, which they have every right to do and we have no control over.

    My question is how is this any different than if someone tried to order more than 10 off the website? Why didn't Mattel limit subscriptions to 10 per person?
    I mean, if somebody has 20+ subscriptions, that is still at least 10 figures that won't be sold to customers logging onto the website on sale day.

    So yes, Mattel, you do have control over this. Limit the subscriptions to the same amount allowed for purchase on the website.
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  23. #23
    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    The answers to no pre-orders and tier subscriptions are lame. They are non-answers. Also, if they did some multivariate analysis & predictive modeling, they could stay more on top of how many figures to put out each month rather than being strictly reactionary. The line has been out a year and a half and they still have no clue on the number of figures to put out each month.

  24. #24
    #1 Meteorb Fan! Joe Amato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    Unless it is the Goddess figure
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nato View Post
    We know people are seeing a lot of figures on the secondary market. We honestly have nothing to do with this market (believe us, no one here is getting a cut), but we think it's probably people who bought multiple Club Eternia™ subscriptions when they were on sale back in the summer of 2009. The subscriptions were open for three weeks and anyone could buy as many as they needed or wanted. It's likely some fans bought subscriptions for the sole purpose of reselling them, which they have every right to do and we have no control over.

    My question is how is this any different than if someone tried to order more than 10 off the website? Why didn't Mattel limit subscriptions to 10 per person?
    I mean, if somebody has 20+ subscriptions, that is still at least 10 figures that won't be sold to customers logging onto the website on sale day.

    So yes, Mattel, you do have control over this. Limit the subscriptions to the same amount allowed for purchase on the website.
    I thought the purpose of subscriptions was that they could more accurately order the number of figures they'd need. For example, if I bought 5 subscriptions, they'd up their order by 5. Am I wrong on that?

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