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Thread: Why not pre-orders?

  1. #76
    Heroic Warrior Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaultsofGrayskull View Post
    Longer-term you will get more loyalty to the line by actually allowing customers what they want!
    This is the biggest thing for me.

    I know it's a business, but this is a bit much to put up with, and letting fans vote on Panthor and removing flocking from Moss Man's ears don't mean much next to debacles like Tuesday or each month having loyal customers wanting to spend money to buy product but being denied.

    You can't have your cake and eat it, too, but Mattel has been able to do just that all along (with the subscription being the biggest indicator of such), often by scare tactics (line dying, figs might not return, etc.).

  2. #77
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    If there is any doubt as to the level of support for a pre-order system, Mattel should consider the result of the poll on the Matty Collector forums (over 70% in favour) and the poll here (over 90% in favour).

    How does their refusal tie in with their mantra "MOTUC is what it is because we listen to the fans"?
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  3. #78
    Heroic Warrior Kane429's Avatar
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    Why are there no pre-orders, again?

    I remember Toyguru stating awhile back that there was a reason that Matty can't accept pre-orders, but I don't remember what the reason was.

    It's simply asinine...how is it that bigbadtoystore.com and other e-retailers can have a fantastic pre-order system, but the #1 toy company in America cannot? I remember budget being a part of it but, seriously, there can't be sufficient funds put aside for this service? Again, how do the small mom-and-pop online stores do it? Take it a step further--how does Hasbro do it?

    Forget the not-quite-all-in "all-in" subscriptions...Mattel, give us a reasonable pre-order system so that we don't have to crawl over broken glass to give you our money. If Hasbro can do it, why can't you?
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  4. #79
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    It's interesting to see this come up again. Since my posts on this subject earlier this year, I have also thought about the Chief Carnivus-type figures and how these characters, who probably don't prompt the same level of interest as the main ones, are the obvious beneficiaries of the subscription system.

    I still see a pre-order system as preferable to a sub, even if it means the line doesn't last all the way to 2017. I would rather have better characters and a shorter line than subs full of obscure characters I don't really want.
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  5. #80
    REMAINING MOTUC FOR 2015 synthalus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kane429 View Post
    Again, how do the small mom-and-pop online stores do it?
    Well, the small mom-and-pop online and even the local (that aren't online!) stores take pre-orders from the previews catalog for comics, figures, statues etc.

    So it's an easy system that Mattel can implement if they have the desire to do so at any time they please.

    The thing is, with the subscription they make you buy (almost) EVERYTHING.
    Pre-ordering would be cherry picking.

    My guess is Mattel makes more money with subscriptions that's why they can't/won't do pre-orders.
    There is a higher risk to it, but Mattel is willing to take it to make more money quicker.

    The way I see it, there should be the;
    - annual subscription for 17 figures which includes all the 12 monthly figures, 4 A-list variants + 1 bonus subscription figure ($340 + shipping & tax)

    and pre-orders for;
    - Large Scale / Oversized Creatures/Beasts assortment
    - Vehicles
    - Convention Exclusive Mattycollector variant

    And maybe pre-orders for the following;
    - Weapon Paks
    - Small Diorama Pieces
    - Action Figure stands

    The biggest thing they should offer is combined shipping for orders.
    I have no clue why they don't want to offer that. They even dodged it now by shipping the subscription figures 2 days earlier to get people to shut up about it.

    The one thing which is the most important of all to me is that this MOTUC line is going to last through 2016 and beyond! So we'll get releases of every single vintage MOTU/POP/NA/200X figure ever produced + many more!
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  6. #81
    Heroic Warrior vadersfist's Avatar
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    I am starting to think that figures outside the SUB should be a pre-order like IE: BC or any large beast or 2packs cause they will be tough to get your hands on to begin with.
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  7. #82
    Villainous Jerk RavenousPuma's Avatar
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    Ya pre-orders for things outside the SUB would be a great idea. After Battlecat this month and the Palace Guards I really hope 2011 not-in the sub items are limited to 'meh' things like weapon packs and diorama sets

  8. #83
    Heroic Warrior Adam_Portugal's Avatar
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    Pre-orders would kill the Club Ethernia SUB.

    Matty needs Club Ethernia Subscription to make sure they have fans who actualy buy everything MOTUC related. And they have their money in advance I guess.

    That is why they don't fix de WSOD. Thay way people are almost forced to jump in the subscription, even if fans don't want every single MOTUC related item...

    It's my view, and it's sad because we should be able to buy freelly and in an easy way. I would be totally in for a pre-order system!

  9. #84
    Do it right or not at all Reboot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RavenousPuma View Post
    Ya pre-orders for things outside the SUB would be a great idea. After Battlecat this month and the Palace Guards I really hope 2011 not-in the sub items are limited to 'meh' things like weapon packs and diorama sets
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  10. #85
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Mattel won't dare do a pre-order system. Much of MOTUC's continued success has been attributed to the fanbase who will buy anything MOTUC. If we have pre-orders, then fan preference might kill the line. With the subscription, Mattel bypasses worries about unpopular characters for the most part.

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  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    Mattel won't dare do a pre-order system. Much of MOTUC's continued success has been attributed to the fanbase who will buy anything MOTUC. If we have pre-orders, then fan preference might kill the line. With the subscription, Mattel bypasses worries about unpopular characters for the most part.
    At least it's the closest we've had to an admission that they don't want people to be able to choose.
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  12. #87
    Heroic Warrior Kane429's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synthalus View Post
    Well, the small mom-and-pop online and even the local (that aren't online!) stores take pre-orders from the previews catalog for comics, figures, statues etc.

    So it's an easy system that Mattel can implement if they have the desire to do so at any time they please.

    The thing is, with the subscription they make you buy (almost) EVERYTHING.
    Pre-ordering would be cherry picking.

    My guess is Mattel makes more money with subscriptions that's why they can't/won't do pre-orders.
    There is a higher risk to it, but Mattel is willing to take it to make more money quicker.

    The way I see it, there should be the;
    - annual subscription for 17 figures which includes all the 12 monthly figures, 4 A-list variants + 1 bonus subscription figure ($340 + shipping & tax)

    and pre-orders for;
    - Large Scale / Oversized Creatures/Beasts assortment
    - Vehicles
    - Convention Exclusive Mattycollector variant

    And maybe pre-orders for the following;
    - Weapon Paks
    - Small Diorama Pieces
    - Action Figure stands

    The biggest thing they should offer is combined shipping for orders.
    I have no clue why they don't want to offer that. They even dodged it now by shipping the subscription figures 2 days earlier to get people to shut up about it.

    The one thing which is the most important of all to me is that this MOTUC line is going to last through 2016 and beyond! So we'll get releases of every single vintage MOTU/POP/NA/200X figure ever produced + many more!
    I'll agree with this--anything that is not included in the "all in" sub should have a pre-order, period. It feels ridiculously silly that this even needs to be discussed considering an "all in" sub should truly mean all in!
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  13. #88
    Villainous Jerk RavenousPuma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reboot View Post
    Forgot the Q4 vehicle?
    D'oh! And the Q4 vehicle....

  14. #89
    Heroic Warrior SuperMario's Avatar
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    Subscriptions? Why not pre-orders?

    I'm sure this has probably been brought up approximately 9,357 times in the past (I was too lazy to use the search to verify), but I just want to throw out a bone for the sake of argument.

    I realize this is likely a futile exchange at this stage in the MOTUC line and how it has slowly been moving to a subscription only model, but why not give the pre-order model a try? I'm going to throw out a very basic sketch/model.

    Example:

    1.) Announce a new figure (or multiples) every month.
    2.) Let's just say, for the sake of logistics, the figure(s) will be released 5 months from the reveal.
    2.) Have a system in place where there is a "one month window" to pre-order the figure(s) (in any amount) if you so desire. If you miss the window, it's off to eBay or whatever. (for those not doing the math, that's one month to generate orders and four months for production)
    3.) As for billing, there are two obvious options. Billing at the time of the pre-order or billing at the time of shipping. These both have major pros and major cons. I'm probably not the best person to hash this out.
    4.) Customer Service and shipping...I've got a few ideas, but I will refrain from snarky suggestions in the interest of keeping this a civilized post.

    Like with any model used by Matty, there are obvious pros and cons for both Matty and for the consumers. While this might be great for collectors in the sense that they can use per-orders to tell Toy Guru that we are sick of concepts, variants, etc., by just not pre-ordering those figures en mass, it could be detrimental to the business side of sales. On the flip side, it would be extremely efficient for Matty on the production side. They would know exactly how many figures to produce instead of getting a general idea from a subscription and the guesswork of day of sales. The best thing for me, personally, would be that I don't have to buy a subscription for the lady 8 months worth of figures on blind faith that the figures will actually be worth my money. The best possible thing in my mind is not having to deal with that awful waiting/refresh screen at Matty on the day of; constantly on the verge of a meltdown if I don't get through in time to get my figures ordered.

    Feel free to take these ideas and run with them, tear them apart or whatever you wish. I was basically just spitballing as I'm trying to figure out if I want to buy the sub this year for the first time since 2010 or not. Remember. This is not the only way to do per-orders. This is just an extremely primitive sketch that is likely missing many important details.

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  16. #91
    Heroic Warrior GozzoMan's Avatar
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    GozzoMan, Heroic Cherry Picker

  17. #92
    SoH Supporter He-Dad's Avatar
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    I think they should do preorders for large Items like Granamyr, Wind Raider, and such for sure. They did it for the hoverboard so we all know it can be done! As far as individual figures I can see it not working out well because the price would have to fluctuate. Producing in mass quantities is always cheaper than individual figures. If preorders don't reach a cost effective mark characters may get scrapped all together or obscure characters would end up costing more than popular ones. I think the best course of action is to ditch concept characters, start cranking out the A listers, monitor their quality and rekindle the desire in those that lost it. My flame still burns bright for the line and I hope Mattel does something that makes everyone else excited again!!!

  18. #93
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    Subscriptions or preorders, let's face it : Matty and DR won't be able to deliver this properly, and it will be the same mess as usual.

    I'll keep buying from the secondary market.

  19. #94
    Heroic Warrior Kowl's Avatar
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    The ONLY way that the preorder system would work is if we fans are willing to pre-order an item with just the character name revealed.
    Producing a prototype "sculpt" would be a "sunk" development cost for Mattel is the figure didn't hit the pre-order mark.
    Are you willing to pre-order a figure without seeing it first? Personally, I am. It really isn't much different than the 60% revealed sub we blindly buy already.
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  20. #95
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    I have my Pre-Orders....BBTS....

    DR will never be able to handle it, but I do say it's a great idea, and would give Mattel a proper figure by figure gauge on how many to make vs having stock months later sitting on a shelf.

    I mean come on, how many Star Sisters & Mo-Larr sets did they think were going to sell? And 3 or so runs of Carnivus, Gygor & Buzz Off? Really? According to the stock they and BBTS and other sites have or had left of them, I think they over ran the wrong figures....More Zodac, Teela, Tri-Klops, Sorceress and Fisto, not Carnivus, Gygor, Tytus, and Buzz Off, they apparently don't know how to gauge which are the most popular, and which figures just sell enough to break even. A Pre-Order will alleviate all of that guess work, a sub is nowhere near a correct model to gauge the fanbase, which is obvious far exceeds the amount of subs that will ever be sold.

    But they don't care about the fanbase, if they did they would do first runs, THEN, take Pre-Orders on re-issues, and actually give the customer / fan the options they need to have their version of a complete collection. All they care about is the bottom line, Mattel only cares about its subscribers, ONLY, so long as they are making money, no money to be made, they will tell even the most hardcore collector to **** OFF! See how your loyalty is rewarded then once the sub is gone....you are no more important to them than that wad of gum I just ran over in the road, just remember that everytime those of you who "apologize" or take up for Mattel, you're only as good as your money to Mattel....

    They are throwing away one fan base now, they will throw you aside just as easily once things go bad.
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  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfall1976 View Post
    I have my Pre-Orders....BBTS....

    DR will never be able to handle it, but I do say it's a great idea, and would give Mattel a proper figure by figure gauge on how many to make vs having stock months later sitting on a shelf.

    I mean come on, how many Star Sisters & Mo-Larr sets did they think were going to sell? And 3 or so runs of Carnivus, Gygor & Buzz Off? Really? According to the stock they and BBTS and other sites have or had left of them, I think they over ran the wrong figures....More Zodac, Teela, Tri-Klops, Sorceress and Fisto, not Carnivus, Gygor, Tytus, and Buzz Off, they apparently don't know how to gauge which are the most popular, and which figures just sell enough to break even. A Pre-Order will alleviate all of that guess work, a sub is nowhere near a correct model to gauge the fanbase, which is obvious far exceeds the amount of subs that will ever be sold.

    But they don't care about the fanbase, if they did they would do first runs, THEN, take Pre-Orders on re-issues, and actually give the customer / fan the options they need to have their version of a complete collection. All they care about is the bottom line, Mattel only cares about its subscribers, ONLY, so long as they are making money, no money to be made, they will tell even the most hardcore collector to **** OFF! See how your loyalty is rewarded then once the sub is gone....you are no more important to them than that wad of gum I just ran over in the road, just remember that everytime those of you who "apologize" or take up for Mattel, you're only as good as your money to Mattel....

    They are throwing away one fan base now, they will throw you aside just as easily once things go bad.
    I don't see why that wouldn't work - produce a first run based on subscription numbers (if the numbers are high enough to generate profit) AND THEN do a pre-order run for people who want extras and/or "cherry pickers" (sort of like Kickstarter, if I understand that correctly). They could even do that for the fan-demanded OOP figures currently. The problem - for Mattel - would be that this model doesn't allow them the same amount of perceived revenue as forcing everyone who wants Ram-Man to also buy the same number of lesser desired figures (like January's figure whose name escapes me) via subscription and would reduce the overall length of the line (as interest and profits would decrease after the desired characters were released).

    Having said that, I don't think this current approach of holding the line hostage unless they reach a certain number of subscriptions is the answer. Mattel's approach in recent years seems to have been to generate ill-will amongst the community at large by turning fan against fan (subscription holders vs. cherry pickers) to have subscription holders 'motivate' cherry pickers to go all in. This seems to have resulted in decreased overall interest in the line, as 'cherry-pickers' don't feel valued. As someone mentioned before, being a 'cherry-picker' doesn't necessarily mean they are buying any less product (or spending less money) than subscription holders. They may just be hestitant (for lots of reasons) to commit sight-unseen to what has been a fairly problematic process (not getting sub items, charge errors, poor customer service, at times poor quality control).

  22. #97
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    I talked about pre-orders nearly three years ago and got shouted down by a bunch of people on these forums. Doesn't matter to me now-after this year, the line is dead to me. I'm not willing to fork over $38-$40 for an action figure that may or may not be available to me on the day-of sale.
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  23. #98
    Heroic Collector of MOTUC the.overlord's Avatar
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    According to TG, figures take many months to develop (from start to finish)....can you pre-order something 1 year before release?
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  24. #99
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    At this point, people are 'pre-ordering' an entire year of figures (2013) - so that's approx 6-18 months (depending on the month). TG likens the subscription to a pre-order system in his latest communication.

  25. #100
    Heroic Warrior evenflow's Avatar
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    The sub is basically a pre-order. I may be wrong but i imagine a pre-order for each individual figure is difficult to do. How could it work? Do you charge when the pre-order is placed? Then offer refunds if it doesn't meet the minimum? If you charge when it ships, then there is no guarantee of a sale for mattel as people would try to cancel, or not have funds in an account months later. Pre-orders just don't seem like a good business. I could be wrong but it just doesn't seem profitable and even more complicated of a system.
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