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Thread: Why not pre-orders?

  1. #51
    Evil Sorcerer! Pravus Prime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmb410s View Post
    Does anyone know of any other companies that do pre-orders on their products?? I only collect MOTU so don't know.
    Glad I wrote a post 3 above yours with companies that do preorders.
    Matty, Great Black Wizard figure please!

  2. #52
    Heroic Warrior
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    As already stated...

    Mattel and 4H would just need to offer up pre-orders far enough in advance. This would also mean, prototypes would need to be done and complete far in advance as well.

    A pre-ordering system is possible, but it may be too late or too difficult to switch over. I'm not a subscriber, but I wish Mattel catered to you folks better(such as letting you guys order non-sub figures before us non-subs).

    In my 1/6th scale collecting experience, its common for companies to offer pre-orders many months in advance. Promo shots are posted and various retailers open up pre-orders. Granted, there are limits as it is possible for the figure to be sold out during pre-order. If Mattel wanted to insure everyone got the figures they wanted. As someone explained using Takara as an example, pre-orders would have to be available even farther in advance.

    Hopefully, Mattel recognizes that something isn't working - angry and/or frustrated fans aren't good business.
    Last edited by andrantos; February 16, 2010 at 08:34pm. Reason: added thought

  3. #53
    Merchandise Collector jmb410s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravus Prime View Post
    Glad I wrote a post 3 above yours with companies that do preorders.
    Whoops! Sorry about that, so you did Good information to!
    Contact me if you have MOTU Merchandise Items for sale or trade! Please view a sampling of what I am looking for Here:
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  4. #54
    Lord of Darkkbricks Darkkosis's Avatar
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    We've been this Pre-Order discussion numerous times already... Granted it's the best way to get the figures and to make a sufficient amount of figures for most fans...

    HOWEVER... Mattel prefers the hype and the fast sell outs over just making everyone happy...

    That's their strategy to keep the line as hot as possible, even if they had to cut on production numbers, they would do it just to tell everyone the line is more than successful with record sell out numbers, so everyone can lock in at the same time and fight over those figures... That's how they operate IMO, and that's why we never get a straight answer to the most logical solutions, and that's also why they keep avoiding the real questions.

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  5. #55
    Heroic Warrior Nameh's Avatar
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    Why can't they just do Pre-orders?

    I'm sorry but i'm your little rinky dink video game stores and pull together pre-orders for $5 why can't Mattycollector do pre-orders paid in full? I don't get it, i mean if we have to pay for them 2-6 months in advance so be it. They would know to make 10,000 of one figure or to only make 2,000 or whatever amount, then they could add on the amount to sell live on their website. It's such an obvious answer yet they are too stupid to do it. Also pre-ordering would possibly enable everyone to combine all their shipping so we weren't paying double shipping some months. OH MY GOD MATTY!!! Get with the 21st century!

  6. #56
    Why not? j-bird's Avatar
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    Pre-orders would be genius. I wouldn't even need the prototype for most of the figures.

    Someone like Man-E-Faces or Mekaneck or some other "main" character would be on my "buy" list regardless of what the proto looks like (as if the 4HM aren't going to make it look good).

    I really do think they're riding this sellout hype for all it's worth, but I feel like that horse might be on its last legs ...

  7. #57
    Down With the Sickness! Jack T. Chance's Avatar
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    Pre-orders is the way these should have been done from DAY ONE. I will NEVER buy a subscription, because I only buy 1 to at most 2 of these a year, as I'm only collecting the ones that fill in holes from the 2002-2004 MOTU figure collection. I ordered King Grayskull. I ordered Man-At-Arms since he came with the REAL King Grayskull Power Sword. I ordered He-Ro because he's a significant character that was NEVER produced before. And I'll order Count Marzo, because he's the figure I've requested the most that was never made in the 2002-2004 figure line! But I have ZERO interest in rebuying all the other characters that I had already purchased from '02-'04 in a styling that I prefer over the MOTUC styling. So the subscription idea just DOES NOT work for me.

    Sadly, I know why Mattel won't let us pre-order individual figures: because that would MAKE SENSE. And if it makes sense, IT'S NOT ALLOWED!
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  8. #58
    Heroic Warrior Sir Auros's Avatar
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    I mostly copied and pasted my response in the latest Q&A thread, but my two cents are:

    BigBadToyStore.com offers preorders on items when they are RUMORS, and they get by just fine. As far as release dates slipping, look at BBTS again and you see an online retailer that occasionally has preordered items that don't get fulfilled until months after the originally expected date. That's why their stories about figures missing their release dates is bunk. Even mainstream sites like Amazon can take preorders and have the items slip in release date. Brick and mortar retailers do this as well, especially with videogames.

    What's going to happen if they miss a release date and can't ship a figure until the next month? People may complain online (we certainly don't do that once a month now, right?), but what are they going to do? Change their preorder to the other stores that sell MOTUC? Oh wait, since Mattel is the primary retailer, that won't happen.

    The bottom line is that Mattel makes more money and has more leeway to make unpopular figures by forcing you to get a subscription if you want to be guaranteed a figure instead of fighting with the "resellers" and hordes of actual fans at noon once a month.

  9. #59
    Heroic Warrior KUZEH's Avatar
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    I don't mind the current approach if the servers worked and not a ton of orders were duped due to their crappy system, DR knew what they were doing, and production was increased, then maybe we would all be talking about how cool BC/TJ looks... instead of trying to figure out how to get our money, or our figures on secondary markets, or trying to come up with ideas to solve MATTEL'S problems...
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  10. #60
    Heroic Peace Officer Eternian Knight's Avatar
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    I am all for this idea. Matty should look into this.
    However I wonder if DR would mess this up.

  11. #61
    Heroic Warrior optibotimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkkosis View Post
    We've been this Pre-Order discussion numerous times already... Granted it's the best way to get the figures and to make a sufficient amount of figures for most fans...

    HOWEVER... Mattel prefers the hype and the fast sell outs over just making everyone happy...
    Your message about the fast sell outs seems very true. I recall them bragging about the reissue skeletor "selling out" in record time on their facebook..when in fact, it was just they didn't get their full shipment in time for the initial sale.

  12. #62
    Heroic Warrior Eric's Avatar
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    I find it hard to believe they can't do it. It's 2010, the internet has been around for two decades almost, and online stores have all kinds of different methods for serving their customers.

    I think Mattel just doesn't want to do preorders (which is their right). It's still a business at the end of the day, and they're out to make money -- I think (massively underproducing figures that people would buy seems contrary to that idea).

  13. #63
    Retro Artist River's Avatar
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    pre-orders all the way! Thank you for starting this thread BCI Guy!

  14. #64
    Lord of Darkkbricks Darkkosis's Avatar
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    Here is Toyguru's official response to the pre-order system:

    The reason we can't do preorders is because figures often slip schedule. For example, Adora was originally going to be a 2009 figure, but she slipped and became the Jan. 2010 figure. We often do not know which figure will ship until 2-3 months before hand. Preorders would need to be taken almost 8 months ahead due to material purchase.

    Think about this, what if we offered a preorder for a figure by name, say it was "Man E Faces", and then for reasons beyond our control he had to be postponed or even canceled. How angry would fans be?

    This is why we offer the subscription program. It is the most logistical way of guaranteeing figures ahead of time. It may not work for everyone, but it is the best option.
    I don't know if this is a legitimate excuse or not, but how come other Toy companies can offer it and the giant Mattel can't?...
    Also, if Mattel really cares about fans' anger that much, why in hell they didn't fix their flawed system including their crappy website and it's "Castle Grayskull size" server? Many angry fans have been crying for more than A YEAR now, and still all the problems persist to this day!!! Go figure...
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  15. #65
    Heroic Warrior Marek's Avatar
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    I think TG is hiding behind release dates. In terms of pre-orders I am ordering a figure not a release date. I might be annoyed that a figure is pushed back a month or two but I would be more annoyed being forced into a subscription and getting a figure I do not like.

    We are not asking to pre-order dates...just figures. THIS IS THE MOST LOGICAL approach!
    Matty needs to do pre-orders !!

  16. #66
    The REAL Mo-Larr yodafreakmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCI Guy View Post
    I think that would help some, but probably not nearly enough. If figures are selling out in less than an hour they just aren't making enough. If they did pro-orders BEFORE manufacturing, they'd have a much better idea of how many to make, and they wouldn't have to worry about overproducing.

    That way people could order as many as they want. 5, 10, 100. It doesn't matter because Mattel would already have the money for all of them before they made them.

    Then they just make enough for the subscriptions, for the pre-orders and a smallish overage for people who want to order on the actual day.


    This would be great!! The "all in" sub is moving things in the right direction, but if they were truly catering to the fans, they would do a pre-order. The reasoning about moving completion dates on figures could be solved by having "tentative release" dates setup.

    I personally think the real reason they are not offering this is that they want every figure to sell evenly by not having people picking and choosing what they want. They probably make more money from the sub's than they would if people were picking and choosing which figures they really wanted.

    I buy them all, but many are more selective. Just my opinion

  17. #67
    A Real Master Of Arms nato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marek View Post
    I think TG is hiding behind release dates. In terms of pre-orders I am ordering a figure not a release date. I might be annoyed that a figure is pushed back a month or two but I would be more annoyed being forced into a subscription and getting a figure I do not like.

    We are not asking to pre-order dates...just figures. THIS IS THE MOST LOGICAL approach!
    .............And the thing is, the excuse of the potential of delay or cancellation doesn't cut it with me. To me, their subscription is like a pre-order, except with the sub, you have to buy all figs for the year. The pre-order allows you to select the figs you want. That's why Mattel doesn't like the Pre-Order system.......they can't lock you into buying a less popular figure that they may have trouble selling.

    With the sub, we really don't know which characters we are getting for the whole year, but even then, toyguru has mentioned that even a monthly figure can get delayed.....and then what happens? The recent example we've been given is that King Greyskull would be moved into a monthly slot instead of a bonus...................and that wouldn't anger some fans who already have a King Greyskull and may not want another one?

    I think I'd rather deal with a cancellation of a Pre-Order and save my money, over having a sub and having what I feel as a Re-Release inserted in the monthly slot and forcing me to pay for it.
    Last edited by nato; February 18, 2010 at 12:07am.
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  18. #68
    Heroic Warrior MrRoboto's Avatar
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    This is from a post i made elsewhere on the 15th but since this is the thread for this topic i'll put it here too:

    I still feel that the whole system would benefit from an advanced pre-sale.

    I've had little sleep so bear with me lol: figures are released on the 15th of every month and the way i see it there should be an advanced pre-sale from the 16th onwards with a time frame of X number of days for people to put in orders. Obviously it would have to be implemented down the line as Moss Man, Evil Lyn etc... would already be in production.

    This advanced pre-sale would give the opportunity a). for subscribers to pre-order extra(s) & bonus figure(s) and b). for non subscribers to pre-order figure(s) and bonus figure(s). Obviously i don't know what system Mattel uses to determine how many figures to produce currently but clearly there weren't enough for T.J/B.C. to say the least, whereas with this method i feel they could determine numbers easier. I'm not saying this system is perfect by any means and can be honed to suit.

    Anything outside of the window will mean being at the computer and manually ordering on the day of the sale. Now i understand that subs are supposed to take care of the problem of ordering but they are determined easy whereas outside of the sub is anyone's guess - which is where the problem is. I'm not trying to rock the boat but i really wanna help steady the ship so to speak. If pre-orders are ruled out then there has to be another method that can help determine how many figures are needed on top of subscription figures.

    It's not the best idea but something at least so Mattel can determine how many figures to produce.

  19. #69
    Retro Artist River's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkkosis View Post
    Here is Toyguru's official response to the pre-order system... I don't know if this is a legitimate excuse or not...
    That response is a "little song and dance number." And, ya know... sing and dance 'till you're blue in the face, but it's pre-order time all the same.

  20. #70
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    I've come to the conclusion that Toyguru and Mattycollector have no comprehension of how he adult toy collector's mind works. OF COURSE we would prefer pre-orders over the current way they handle things. I'd be ready to pre-order a bunch of the stuff they revealed this weekend if I knew I was guaranteed to get it, even if I had to wait 6-8 months for it. So would most of us. And we would be considerably less upset with cancellations then we are with the way things are now. We deal with it all the time with other online stores and other lines. This is the model we are used to, the one we prefer, and the one that makes sense. This battle for the figures for 20 minute sell-outs is only going to make the line hot temporarily. It already is driving people away, and will continue to do so. A pre-order system is the best possible solution, and I'm not sure why they don't see it. There's no reason they can't continue to offer subscriptions, as many will do this to get extras like Wun-dar that are only available that way.

    They're just not getting the big picture about things. People are going to buy more Trapjaws because he is essentially two figures in one. That needs to be considered as well. With pre-orders they'll know ahead of time which figures have a greater demand.
    Going back into production has to be more expensive than just doing it right the first time, not to mention the cost of dealing with an irate customer base.

    Oh well,enough ranting. All I have to do to realize Mattel doesn't get it is to think about the survey they put out recently that assumed none of us had more than 100 toys (I have probably over 5-10 thousand toys) and just wanted to know why I didn't collect Avatar toys....

  21. #71
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    There seems to be enormous support for a pre-ordering system here. I wrote about this on Vaults too.

    I have never liked the idea of subscribing to something you can't see - there is something unethical about expecting people to pay for things they may not be interested in.

    I know there are lots of people who will collect everything, but there are also plenty of fans who want the option of being selective about buying figures from specific original lines.

    I would like to see an end to the bonus figure / subscription arrangement. I also think the potential size and cost of the 2011 subscription, with all the extra giants etc they're talking about, is making the whole idea even worse.

    We are frequently reading how Mattel are trying to anticipate how many figures to produce each month. A pre-order option, with the forthcoming figures being identified months in advance, would negate the need for any guesswork.

    The only reason we would not see a pre-order system is Mattel obviously believe subscriptions guarantee more income. That may be true in the short term, although I think gradually people will drop out of collecting altogether if they aren't given a choice.

    International fans are likely to be faced with huge Customs charges if Mattel go ahead with these bulk releases.

    We are used to being able to order DVDs / CDs etc before they are released on sites like Amazon, so it's not exactly difficult to organise.

    I really hope Mattel realise that identifying figures in advance will not damage their income, and that a pre-order arrangement is the fairest and most respectful system that they could use.
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  22. #72
    Movie sub for 2015 Andy Adams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCI Guy View Post
    There are lots of ways of adding pre-orders without losing subscriptions:

    Keep offering a "subscription only" figure each year - that locks in the completists.

    If that's not enough, I'd be happy to pay a "pre-order fee" for the convenience. I'd pay 3-5 bucks extra per figure just to assure that I get everything I want, nothing I don't want, and that I never have to camp around the computer hoping to buy something.

    At $3 per figure that saves a subscriber 36 bucks a year on a current subscription and 72 bucks if they do the "all-in" subscription. AT $5 its 60/120. That's a serious savings.

    Or do tiered pricing (using standard figures as an example):
    • $18.00 for subscribers
    • $20.00 for buyers on the 15th
    • $22.00 for pre-orders.


    Right now they are basically saying if you want to guarantee you get the figures you want (even if its only 3 or 4 of them), you HAVE to buy all 12 (or 24 if they only offer the "everything" subscription.
    i agree, matty needs to seriously offer a pre-order option, even if a deposit is needed. In my opinion, this is the best system to use to properly gauge how each individual characters will sell.

    Not all of the characters are going to have the same demand or appeal and now that they upped the production on the monthly figures I hate to wonder what happens when any one character stays available long enough to appease the fans but too long for Mattel higher-ups.

    Some figures realistically quadruple in popularity compared to others and subsequently would need higher numbers in production. The re-issues are a nice idea towards fixing that for those who miss out because of fast sell-outs or insufficient servers but they can’t be included in the subscription and are delayed months anyways, which I'm having troubles understandingwhy this is any better than waiting for pre-orders.

    With re-releases there are still no guarantees taht everyone who wants a (trapjaw as an example) will get one or, and in the end we are still left trying to find the magic number with 2nd and 3rd re-issues but with a pre-order in place atleast they'd be accounted for.

    Besides as others have said the pre-order system is nothing new to the internet and can be managed successfully. Mattel may want to really consider learning from the other online retailers including the rinky dink ones.

    I don't agree with TG when he says that the subscription program is the best option and I'm glad to see how others are thinking the same.
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  23. #73
    Heroic Master of Puzzles Thatman's Avatar
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    I do think Matty's answer to the no pre-orders thing is a song and dance. Their excuses are flimsy and weak.

    But as has been said, I think the bottom line here is Mattel knows that if they can get people to commit to the subscription, then why bother thinking about something like pre-orders? The bottom line is that they can get more money with under-producing the figures, building up the hype, and giving people the line that if you don't like it, then you have to commit to buying absolutely everything they care to make in a year if you want any guarantee of getting anything.

    It's incredibly greedy, but what are you going to do? As long as they keep making money, they're not going to change their business model.

    But none of this would be HALF as frustrating if it wasn't for Digital River. A built-up demand for a short supply is one thing, but unheard-of ridiculous levels of incompetence that make the purchasing experience miserable is another.
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  24. #74
    Heroic Warrior
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    I believe the only way Mattel will even consider pre-orders is if NOT ONE PERSON ORDERS A 2011 SUBSCRIPTION. Pre-orders are the only way to go.

  25. #75
    Heroic Warrior
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    Let's take a look at the official verdict from Toyguru on pre-orders:

    "The reason we can't do preorders is because figures often slip schedule."

    Doesn't matter. We're patient and will gladly receive the figures we want whenever they are released.

    "We often do not know which figure will ship until 2-3 months before hand."

    Rubbish. Elsewhere you have told us you're planning an entire year in advance.

    "Preorders would need to be taken almost 8 months ahead due to material purchase."

    That's fine. Just give us the list of characters, you'll get an exact number of how many figures to make and your material purchase will be precise. It makes perfect business sense.

    "Think about this, what if we offered a preorder for a figure by name, say it was "Man E Faces", and then for reasons beyond our control he had to be postponed or even canceled. How angry would fans be?"

    So you might have to give a refund. Other companies do this and customers understand.

    "This is why we offer the subscription program. It is the most logistical way of guaranteeing figures ahead of time. It may not work for everyone, but it is the best option."

    No, it's not the best option. Look at the huge number of people here who want a pre-order system instead of a subscription.

    Please, Mattel, reconsider! You're not gaining support by blanking this idea! The subscription system is going to dwindle. You only need to read how many objections are being posted on these threads. Longer-term you will get more loyalty to the line by actually allowing customers what they want!
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