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.