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Thread: Fan relations - what is it fans want us to do that we are not?

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  1. #1
    Marketing Manager at Mattel Toyguru's Avatar
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    Fan relations - what is it fans want us to do that we are not?

    Hey all,

    I didn't want to just post this on the Gooble Thread as I honestly want to get some good action-able feedback from everyone on a dedicated thread I can check back in on.

    The Gooble crew discussed a lack of fan relations in the latest episode and I honestly want to know from fans what it is we are not doing that we could be doing better.

    First off, Eamon, as for the whole Green Goddess art issue, let me see if I can jump in on this one and tell you for the record, in no way was your name intentionally left off our NYCC presentation about MOTUC.

    I put that presentation together myself and simply Google image searched a few characters I wanted to put in the fan presentation to illustrate how deep (from a character stand point) we intended to go with the line.

    Your Goddess art came up when I image searched "MOTU Goddess". The image on Google was not credited to anyone so I honestly did not know who made it. I just thought it was pretty *****ing and popped it into my presentation simply based on it being a cool piece of art of the character.

    Your name was in no way intentionally removed. I cropped ALL of the images used in that presentation simply to make room for as many images on one slide as possible and I must have unintentionally cropped the area with your name. In no way did I intentionally remove your name or anything like that. It was just a slide done for the fans at NYCC using whatever art I could find on Google Images per character. Yours just happened to catch my eye without me knowing who made it. That is why it was used. If the Google image had credited you I would have reached out!

    As for James not being credited for the DVD, that was before my time being employed at Mattel, but on behalf of the brand I do totally apologize. Most of the peolpe if not all who worked on that are no longer with Mattel and if there is a way to make it up I'd gladly look into it.

    In terms of other "fan relations" stuff we could be doing, I humbly ask the fans what it is you are looking for that we are not doing?

    Our goal for the brand and for the company is to drive people to our own site Mattycollector.com for news and interaction. I post almost daily under the "Ask Matty" section and I do post on other fan sites including He-Man.org. In fact I think I post more on He-Man.org then any other fan site (i.e. actionfigureinsider.com, Fwoosh.net etc...).

    We send out samples for review and are always looking at fan polls online. We work with He-Man.org the same as we do any other fan site. You guys participate on the Ask Matty Q & As and I've even done two episodes of Roast Gooble.

    There are a lot of talented folks at Mattel (including out sculpting team the Four Horsemen) who are huge MOTU fans and one of the perks of the job is getting to work on MOTU packaging and figure design. These are perks that the hard working folk who work on MOTUC really love about their job. If you really want to work directly on the brand what you need to do honestly is what I did, come work for Mattel!

    I am a fan too. In fact, I'll boldly claim I am one of the biggest MOTU fans in the world, so much so that I redirected my entire career so I could work at Mattel and managed to climb my way up to a position where I could work on my favorite brands, MOTU and JLU.

    The best way to be involved in MOTU is to work for Mattel. You can apply anytime at Mattel.com and search for job openings.

    So this all being said, I am totally open to any suggestions on what else beyond interacting online, sending out review samples and hosting bi-weekly Q & As fans would like to see. Let me know! We really pride ourselves on our fan interaction and in terms of amount of stuff, from where I stand we seem to be doing more now then ever (Mattel never did Q & As or an "Ask Matty" thread or review samples for the 2002 line!)

    We love fan sites, but understand that our goal is to drive traffic and information/news releases to Mattycollector.com (and not any one fan site). We love fan sites, but you can understand from a corporate strategy why we want Mattycollector.com to be the official place to go for news and interaction with brand managers. With this in mind, please tell me what it is fans would like to see and if it falls under our brand strategy and bandwidth capabilities (time wise) I'd be happy to see what can be done!

    Suggestions?

    Good Journey,

    Scott

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior orbles's Avatar
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    Great post Scott. I am not familiar with all the topics, but the over all sentiment is genuine, in my opinion. I will think hard on this and if I have any useful suggestions, then I would be happy to share. Thank you.

  3. #3
    Johan Eggink Eterniandreams's Avatar
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    To be honest, as a .org member I am pretty satisfied with the samples for Dans reviews, the Q&As and you popping in here at the .org clarifying things or just enjoying yourself here and/ or joining the Gooble now and then
    Most of the stuff mentioned during the gooble is probably "getting involved as a fan(site) on a professional/ work base" and has little to do with most .org members here IMHO.

    So keep doing what you are doing now and you are awesome in my books!

  4. #4
    Hover Robots in MOTUC! RockinHard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eterniandreams View Post
    To be honest, as a .org member I am pretty satisfied with the samples for Dans reviews, the Q&As and you popping in here at the .org clarifying things or just enjoying yourself here and/ or joining the Gooble now and then
    Most of the stuff mentioned during the gooble is probably "getting involved as a fan(site) on a professional/ work base" and has little to do with most .org members here IMHO.

    So keep doing what you are doing now and you are awesome in my books!
    I agree with this. I love the line and the possibility of growing even larger into vehicles and maybe even playsets is what is really exciting.

    From a fan's perspective, the interaction opportunities are great, but most fans' anger comes from the lackluster, frustrating ordering site of Mattycollector.com, and the lack of attention to fans' voices on the matter, as well as the lack of quality control on the figures (paint apps and loose ankles come to mind)--and this is after two years of the line's life. This is frustrating and upsetting to many fans that we aren't seemingly heard in a timely fashion, or at all after two years.

    Again, and nevertheless, the line is a dream come true and they are awesome figures. May the line indeed continue into 2017!
    My seller/trader/buyer feedback:
    http://he-man.org/forums/boards/showthread.php?t=195461

    MOTUC Most Wanted: 1) Skeletor's Robot Knights 2) Stridor 3) Night Stalker 4) Tung Lashor 5) Squeeeze 6) Lizard Man 7) Roton 8) Multi-Bot 9) Ninjor 10) Dragstor 11) Saurod 12) Blast-Attak 13) Karg 14) Gwildor 15) Lodar 16) Mask of Power Demons 17) TC Skeletor 18) FF He-Man

  5. #5
    Evil Lord of the Deadlift Larry Waters's Avatar
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    What do we want you to do that isn't already being done?

    Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinHard View Post
    ...most fans' anger comes from the lackluster, frustrating ordering site of Mattycollector.com, and the lack of attention to fans' voices on the matter, as well as the lack of quality control on the figures (paint apps and loose ankles come to mind)--and this is after two years of the line's life. This is frustrating and upsetting to many fans that we aren't seemingly heard in a timely fashion, or at all after two years.
    Apart from echoing everything that was quoted above;

    I'm going to do my best to refrain from being derogatory to creative people on Matty staff, BUT... Who in the world thought that the art for the Stratos and Mer-Man 2-packs was in ANY way shape or form acceptable???

    There is SO much talent on the org that is at your disposal, there's no reason for such slop to ever reach market.

    Considering that Eamon or Emiliano would have done the art for the 2-packs, I think reaching out to them might have been a great move.

    Again, I'm VERY happy with the reviews, etc..., but why not use the org for the occasional reveal? Why ToyFare? I don't even buy that mag and only see the images when they're scanned and posted elsewhere.

    And I do sincerely appreciate you taking the time to ask.
    Last edited by Larry Waters; January 9, 2011 at 04:17pm.
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  6. #6
    Marketing Manager at Mattel Toyguru's Avatar
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    Since those packs included DC characters, contractually we needed to use art provided by DC Comics. It was not an option to use anyone else. (and I do agree our MOTU characters were not as on model as we had wanted. We are working with DC on future package art)


    We often reveal things in Toy Fare in order to 1: Reach new fans and 2: We take out print ads in their magazine so it is good business to also give them exclusive reveals so people will read the issue and see our ads. We don't reveal on fans sites because that is "preaching to the choir". Fans on these sites are are an easier sale. We want our to reveals to either cultivate new fans or drive people to our website. Revealing product on a fan site like this one just doesn't work for those goals. (so its nothing personal!)
    Last edited by Toyguru; January 9, 2011 at 04:26pm.

  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior Tundra_Torque's Avatar
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    Thank-you, ToyGuru for asking us for our opinion.

    The one complaint that I have is that the customer service at MattyCollector / Digital River needs to be better. For example, I have found in the past that it is difficult to update simple information on the website, such as my credit card information and address. I often received an error message and when I called about it, the customer service reps didn't really seem to know how to help me. I asked to speak with a supervisor and the supervisors also did not know how to help with this task. It was a frustrating experience.

  8. #8
    Evil Lord of the Deadlift Larry Waters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    We often reveal things in Toy Fare in order to 1: Reach new fans and 2: We take out print ads in their magazine so it is good business to also give them exclusive reveals so people will read the issue and see our ads. We don't reveal on fans sites because that is "preaching to the choir". Fans on these sites are are an easier sale. We want our to reveals to either cultivate new fans or drive people to our website. Revealing product on a fan site like this one just doesn't work for those goals. (so its nothing personal!)
    That really doesn't make a lot of sense. Not the "throwing TF a bone" part, I get that. I mean the "reaching new audiences" part...

    If you're reaching a new audience, they're either going to like the figure or not. An Exclusive reveal isn't going to sway them one way or the other.

    An exclusive reveal on a fan site is the EXACT definition of appropriate. A way to reward those of us that have been on board from the beginning and stay on board, regardless of the numerous QC issues that we've seen every month.

    Again, not a rant, just stating reasons "why".
    Last edited by Larry Waters; January 9, 2011 at 05:02pm.
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  9. #9
    Eternian Sorcerer zodak74's Avatar
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    Honestly, I feel like you Mattel folks are doing an A+ job with customer relations and all issues that I have with MOTUC (quality control, paint apps, problems with the Matty site, Digital River, etc.) don't fall in this category. The Q & A's are fun, the reveals generate excitement... it feels like there's some sort of MOTU news once a week or so.
    My only gripe is in regards to Facebook reveals or pics on Matty's site... we could benefit from getting larger pics. But other than that, I can't imagine what we as fans could expect you guys to do... unless you wanna tell me what year Rokkon is coming... it'll be our little secret.

  10. #10
    Whomp, whomp! Rainboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    Since those packs included DC characters, contractually we needed to use art provided by DC Comics. It was not an option to use anyone else. (and I do agree our MOTU characters were not as on model as we had wanted. We are working with DC on future package art)
    This is where you lose me. There are quite a few MOTU fans who happen to be artists (contractually as you say) over at DC Comics. The art used for the packaging was almost, dare I say, amateur. I mean, heck, whoever drew them does indeed have more talent in one finger than I do my whole hand in terms of artistry, but still, the art for both 2-packs were incredibly lackluster to say the least. I feel like there had to have been somebody over at DC with enough spare time and desire to create two much better looking pieces of art. Especially with Geoff Johns being a relatively big MOTU fan and his position in the company, I find it hard to believe Mattel and DC couldn't have gotten someone more talented to depict these four characters for the box art.

    Other than that and the other more obvious issues (quality control, ordering off of matty.com) I have pretty much zero complaints. I love this line and I appreciate the effort that you put into your job, Scott. You deserve to be where you're at and I hope Mattel treats you well.
    Last edited by Rainboy; January 10, 2011 at 02:38pm.

  11. #11
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    It seems as though TG has left the building, but I’m hoping he’s still reading somewhere along the way. I’m not going to address specific points made here in particular, though I will refer to some of the things brought up in this thread while making my overall point trying to specifically answer his question.

    The problem with Mattel’s interaction with fans is not a simple thing. A lot of fans, like me, were basically given a “goodbye, good luck and good riddance” message when the 2002 line ended, and have continued to have much frustration in trying to actually give Mattel our money for their product. They can’t deliver to retailers in a reliable manner, and they have a website that turns buying product directly into a monthly battle with the White Screen of Doom. You can’t discuss fan interaction without addressing that history or the myriad QC problems or any of the other well founded complaints MOTU fans have had. And pretending you can separate those out of the discussion is part of the Big Problem, something that has been touched on in a number of responses here: good fan interaction and condescension are pretty much mutually exclusive. But that seems to be a concept lost on Mattel these days, and that is a big part of why fan relations are strained.

    To put it simply, there’s an inescapable air of condescension and sometimes outright arrogance from Mattel (and I’m not singling out TG here, as it is something coming across in much of the dialogue from Mattel). Truthfully, it starts with the Great Papier Mache head himself, Matty. Whoever thought Jughead's obnoxious brother smirking at you while slouching against the wall was the kind of image Mattel should have for adult collectors needs some intense marketing training. The thing is, the attitude conveyed by that image also carries over into many of Mattel’s responses. A concrete example is the infamous “Moss Man is not a bath toy” debacle. This was a textbook example of how NOT to talk to people you hope will buy your product. It was terse and condescending, and flat out unprofessional. Worse, I remember this argument being brought up a second time when the problem was addressed again a bit later, leading into another specific point…

    If something you say offends once, you try not to say it again. This is something that, I’m sorry to say, TG is the main offender on. When it becomes obvious that one of your clever turns of phrase is actually ticking off a portion of your target audience, that’s a phrase you should avoid using again. But how many times have we seen the words “hyper-anime detail” or, as in this thread, “louder than numerous?” Marketing is a form of diplomacy, and a good diplomat doesn’t keep repeating things he knows are going to rile the people he’s “negotiating “ with.

    Thirdly, the arrogance has too often translated into an apparent lack of respect for both the customer and others. Some really good examples have occurred and been cited in this thread. The comments on Illumina did little to dispel the notion that there’s some lingering problems between Mattel and Val/Emiliano; in fact, the dismissive tone (she’s the Star Wars Ice Cream guy for MOTU?) only reinforced the idea. A very large part of the target audience has at least visited this site, and both of these gents are highly respected by a good part of that market (and that respect has been earned; these guys kept MOTU alive when Mattel had better fish to fry). They aren’t just fans or owners of a fan site; they are professionals who officially contributed to Mattel’s property, and deserve to be treated as such, as does the site they run. Treating them any other way is not going to endear Mattel to the MOTU fans they are courting.

    The market for this line is adults; now, one can argue that, on occasion, we the fans fall a little short of that measure ourselves. And, yes, we collect little plastic men and women and yellow gorillas. But we are still grown men and women ourselves, and simply because of that and the fact that we are the people paying for the product being produced (and thus the reason TG and his team have a job on MOTUC), we are deserving of some respect. I have to re-iterate: marketing is diplomacy, and diplomacy means treating the other side with respect, even if at times they may not quite earn it.

    If Mattel wants to improve relations with its fans, that is the starting point; everything else will follow.
    "I will use this power for all the good that can be done, to work for peace, to encourage virtue, and above all, to preserve life in all its forms..." Superman

  12. #12
    sculptor - fantastique JimPansen's Avatar
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    I would be thankfull for official online polls, concerning such things as Panthors flocking, Battle Armor Skeletors feet/ax, Palace Guards Boots, etc..
    It often seems to me, only a few "loud" fans are responsible for such decisions.
    Just take advantage of the fan resources

    Thank you for your efforts Scott!

  13. #13
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Fan relations-wise (and mattycollector site problems aside), I'm pretty satisfied for the most part with the amount of time that Mattel invests communicating with the fans. You guys are definitely way more involved than the team that was working on the 2002 line... though I do remember Jeremy Padawer hosting chats in the .org chat room from time to time. (hint hint...hehehe) It's much appreciated.

    One request that I have is with regard to the POP end of things in the MOTUC: I would like to see Mattel be more open-minded and receptive to suggestions, so far as doing some 100% pure toy-line updates from the POP line, instead giving off the impression that style guide and hybrid looks is all we can expect.

    From this fan's perspective, it seems like there's a rigid set of rules, style/look-wise, when it comes to POP, whereas with MOTU you guys are drawing from many different areas. Basically what I'm saying is - please mix it up from time to time to keep the element of surprise and to give every "side" a chance to be excited.

    Also, it would be cool if we could get more frequent updates on the status of the live-action movie.

  14. #14
    Marketing Manager at Mattel Toyguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallstar View Post
    Fan relations-wise (and mattycollector site problems aside), I'm pretty satisfied for the most part with the amount of time that Mattel invests communicating with the fans. You guys are definitely way more involved than the team that was working on the 2002 line... though I do remember Jeremy Padawer hosting chats in the .org chat room from time to time. (hint hint...hehehe) It's much appreciated.

    One request that I have is with regard to the POP end of things in the MOTUC: I would like to see Mattel be more open-minded and receptive to suggestions, so far as doing some 100% pure toy-line updates from the POP line, instead giving off the impression that style guide and hybrid looks is all we can expect.

    From this fan's perspective, it seems like there's a rigid set of rules, style/look-wise, when it comes to POP, whereas with MOTU you guys are drawing from many different areas. Basically what I'm saying is - please mix it up from time to time to keep the element of surprise and to give every "side" a chance to be excited.

    Also, it would be cool if we could get more frequent updates on the status of the live-action movie.
    If we did an online chat it would be through Mattycollector.com to drive people to our site. And this is something we are looking to do soon.

    More POP figures are coming and I think fans will be very pleased with what they see. Try not to spin your wheels or worry too much on this one. If you have liked Adora, Bow and She-Ra you should like what else is coming!

    We'll update fans about new projects like a live action film when and if there is news. The lack of updates just means nothing to report yet!

    Quote Originally Posted by kagamigod View Post
    Great post Scott/Toyguru.
    As everyone has stated you already do a good job keeping us fans in the know as much as you can. My only thing is I really miss your ocassional pop-ups in threads to help clarify things or drop hints. If you could do that alittle more often when you have the time, of course, would be much appreciated.
    I wish I did have more time to pop by. Since my time to hit the boards is kinda limited (just look at the times and days when I do post) I try to focus my attention on the Ask Matty thread on Mattycollector.com. The best place to get the quickest response to well asked question is on this thread. As stated above our goal is to drive online fans to Mattycollector.com. While I will totally pop by fan sites when I can (like today!) Mattycollector.com is the best place to interact with myself and other brand managers!
    Last edited by Toyguru; January 9, 2011 at 05:05pm. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  15. #15
    Greg at your service AnnnaMot's Avatar
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    i just like to say that you are doing a fantastic job with the line , all the characters look awesome and i dont think this line would of gone as long as this without your fan iteration . so keep it up

  16. #16
    Beastly Moss Man bobshumway's Avatar
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    TG, I for one appreciate the post and appreciate the efforts made on Mattel's part to respond to fan demand.

    As a fan, I don't find that I have any real issues with how Mattel's relations with fans. But honestly, this is the first line that I've been this involved in for a while.

    I understand reasoning behind the creation of the Matty forums, it's always the goal of a company to bring the most amount of traffic to their own site, especially when dealing with an online only product.

    And I've also even signed up for the Matty forums just to see what it was like, even though I was already an Org member. But, with all honesty, it just doesn't have the same feel.

    I definitely feel more at home here and I've only been a member since early 2009.

    I think that maybe a merging of the Matty forums with the Org forums would make the most amount of sense. It seems logical on many levels at least on the MOTUC part. I'm not sure if this is logistically possible but it might make things a little easier on Mattel since the majority of the MOTUC fan base seems to be using these forums anyway.

    I'm honestly not entrenched in fan forums for the most part and not sure how they're normally run, but this seems like an answer that benefits both parties and the fans most of all.

    Again, I think that both TG and the guys at the Org and the 4H and everyone involved with the line for the most part are really doing a great job. I love everything about this line and enjoy reading and responding to it on the Org more than anything. But I think it's time for some sort of a merge!

  17. #17
    Heroic Warrior Khror's Avatar
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    Hi Scott!

    As it was said before, I think you do an excellent job by communicating with the fans. That is really great and this is the first time I can see so much involvement from a brand manager.
    Thank you so much Scott!

    Since everything is already above my expectations ("Fan relations" speaking and compared to what I was used to see before), it's difficult for me to ask for more, but since you ask the question well... I would be happy if ALL the questions in the "Ask Matty" forum would have an answer even if the answer would be ("Sorry, we prefer not answering to that question for the moment").
    I know you already spend al lot of your personal time to answer and that's why I think someone else should help you to make sure all the questions have an answer.

    Also, I would be happy if in the "Matty Asks YOU!" forum, the questions would be more serious and would be directly related to the toy lines and/or what the fans want or not.
    Sometimes the questions are just a joke for fun... well... I feel I waste my time trying reading that forum whereas at the beginning the idea was great.

    On the same way, doing some polls on mattycollector.com would be welcome.

    Now, a suggestion in order to make more people visit mattycollector.com would be to host a digital monthly comic (with 1 or some pages for free and the others as part of a monthly subscription).
    I know you don't have the logistics to do so right now but after more than 2 years the MOTUC exists I think the upper management at Mattel should involve more people, the brand and the fans deserve that… and I don’t think it is so hard to do.

    Thanks again Scott for this thread, can't wait to hear your voice again in a RGD episode

  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior
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    This is a marvellous topic, Scott! This alone shows that Mattel is doing really great in fan relations.
    Still, let´s see if I can contribute...

    MOTU has fans from all over the world. Sometimes these fans just don´t speak english all too well (or not at all) and they might have problems understanding english texts. I know of a lot of fans on German forums that complain about not being able to understand the bios for example. Furthermore, some German translations back in the 80ies used to differ from the originals, albeit being officially from Mattel Germany for the German market. This lead to many contradictions. Teelas tagline for example ("Warrior Goddess") was translated to "Die Herrin von Eternia", which translates back to "The Mistress of Eternia".
    While we fans do our best to support those not being able to understand the English language, sometimes what fans can do is not enough, simply because we don´t know better. We came to know He-Mans power sword as "Das Zauberschwert", which would translate back to "The Magicsword". We just don´t know how to call He-Mans sword translated in German nowadays. Yeah, I know this is a goofy example, but an example nonetheless

    What would Mattel be able to do in regards to the foreign fans and the language barrier?
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  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior Paul Justice's Avatar
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    I think you guys are doing a fantasic job, and I know MOTUC and Mattycollector.com are not the only responsibilities you have. I also know there are a lot of office politics to deal with, and you have to watch what you say for legal purposes. But giving us the truth from the start would be greatly appreciated. There seems to be a lot of things said that contradicts itself. I know over the years as the line has grown, that rules have changed, like addition of dioramas and vehicles.

    It was first said nothing filmation and all scale will be 6", 200x and spare heads instead of mini comics. And from a legal standpoint you did not want to skirt that line by making filmation looking characters by changing paint apps and such to resemble them. Then we get a Filmation accurate Adora, She-ra and Orko who is also to scale, also with Zoar and Screech who all are not to scale of the original toys, but to filmation.

    Of course I am not complaining about this, it is a dream come true, and I hope this is continued in the line.

    But giving us the 200x techno sword which is the sword of power, changing its bios to give it a new purpose, but will not do the same for the heavy fan requested Skeletor swords seems wrong. And the truth from the begining would help keep the complaints and arguements from fans way down. As "Adult Collectors" I think we can handle the truth. Other than that keep up the fantastic job.

  20. #20
    Masta of da Fryin' Pan PanMan's Avatar
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    Thanks for coming to the boards with this topic Toyguru! It's nice to know that you would like to do whatever you can to improve relations between us.

    Off the top of my head, a few things stand out. Most important is honesty between us. There have been many instances in the past where Mattel would be untruthful to us and try to 'pull one over' on us, for lack of a better term. One recent example is the issue with the 500 years history thing for the bios. Originally it was said that it was an error on the bio and that it should have read 5000 years, which caused an uproar because it was quite obvious that it was never originally meant to be 5000 years (as corroborated on multiple bios). Shortly thereafter, Mattel admitted that this was changed to better fit the story and not just a typo, and fan reaction to this was welcoming. So in short, be honest with the fans and we can avoid unnecessary hostilities.

    The second thing is showing us prototype shots of figures as they come along during production. I know there were problems with the Grizzlor face fiasco when the second head did not get produced, but fans want to see things like this! Even if it doesn't get produced in the end, just put a disclaimer that it is not the final product and let us see it. Even if it is after the figure is released, it is always nice to see the development of the figures. An added bonus to showing us early though is that we can act as an extra thousand set of eyes to spot any problems, like the backwards shoulders on Roboto for instance. As much as you guys spot things like that, there's people on the boards that would spot even more. It's just another step to ensure that the best possible figure gets produced.

    I also want to ask that fan input is taken into consideration on figures earlier. For instance, we asked whether Roboto's left hand could be detachable. It's understandable that nobody at Mattel thought about doing this, but it was too late in the process to change even though you tried. This can be avoided by responding to questions on un-announced figures. For instance, how will Spikor's arm be handled? Sadly, when questions like this get asked we get a response stating that you cannot comment on figures past King Hssss. These are theoretical questions on future figures aimed at getting you to start thinking of all the fantastic ideas that can be incorporated to produce the best possible figure. Instead we get stifled because we know you will not answer those questions.

    One last thing is revealing new pieces of concept art or other interesting things that you have come across at Mattel. In particular I am referring to the ideas for the second and third parts to the last mini-comic. Now I can understand if you want to hold on to that for the time being so as to not 'spoil' the bios, but that should definitely be revealed at some point. And I'm sure there are other things you've come across so let us see them too!

    These are just some examples of things that can be improved. When I've had a chance to think more on this I will let you know. But thanks again for listening (and by the way, this thread is an excellent example of improving fan relations!)
    My name is Pan . . . and I am the Man.

  21. #21
    Heroic Warrior Mijet's Avatar
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    Fan relations I'm pleased with and also pleased with you being the one here to help talk to us and help this line in general, also having 2 Q&A's a month is nice... the only things I'm displeased with is the quality control and MattyCollector/DigitalRiver. More so the quality control, like my Buzz-Off having 2 left shins, I can look passed some paint app errors but messing up the assembly is ridiculous. I've taken care of my problem, but it shouldn't have been one in the first place. I know you said it's a small line and catching it etc. but it is a collector's line and exclusive online, we should be getting better quality control because of this, not worse.
    Quote Originally Posted by ajac71
    'Picture it, Eternia.......'

  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior ForTheHonour86's Avatar
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    That was a great thing to post as a response. It is nice to see that sugesstions and advice were taken on board.

    I think that Mattel is being somewhat distant from the fan community. I know you do a lot of stuff and appreciate what is done and what you continue to do on behalf of Mattel and the MOTU brand in particular.

    Although, I cannot help feel that the MOTU franchise was the biggest of its kind and the genesis of TV animation and merchandising. In spite of this, I feel that given the success the MOTU line has been limited of its potential. I believe that more fan probing into character requests and additional bonuses would definitely satisfy and benefit both Mattel and the fans.

    Perhaps one way could be giving fans a poll to choose a MOTU figure creation for release in x months (giving the whole process ample time for everybody involved.) Also, giving fans a choice of features or accessories could give fans a sense of satisfaction in knowing that the line is making fans feel a part of the process without affecting the process. Even a step by step process on the website of making the chosen figure would be an excellent bonus.

    Further to this, I personally would like to see if there could be other bonuses added to the franchise that would appeal to many fans. Things such as a direct to DVD movie or even a comic (which I'm sure you could find additional help for) or an encyclopedia (akin to the DC comics version) would entice fans and surely be a great opportunity for Mattel. This could be an end of line bonus that could tie in the timeline of history that fans could have as one continous piece of media as opposed to referring to multiple cardbacks.

    Whilst I realise there is a lot of new ventures I have propsed, maybe even using existing resources could be a great way to interact with fans. Things like concept art and drawings, interviews with key players and an online bio database could be ways to keep fans interested and a part of the MOTUC franchise.

    Lastly, I would like to stress the issue with the WSOD and international shipping and mandatory customs are definitely issues that I would like to see ammended and perhaps an outreach to international markets/branches would be appreciated.

    Should you have read all my points, I would like to thank you in advance for reading my points and hope you understand what I am trying to say. I would like to see a more opening to the MOTU fans who have kept the brand alive after many years since the brand has been established by giving a little more to the fans in ant way you can and not to keep them at arms length. Many fans go above and beyond the call of duty for everybody's benefit and I feel that this is a unique trait in the MOTU brand. The MOTU fans are special and as such I feel that they should be treated as they deserve to be and I hope 2011 is a step in the right direction.

    Many thanks in advance for your time for reading this and I wish that a deeper embrace of the MOTU fans will lead to a great future for the franchise for everybody!

  23. #23
    Marketing Manager at Mattel Toyguru's Avatar
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    Most of the comments you have here are related to new content fans want to see (comics, DVDs etc...)

    That is a different issues from fan relations. There are a ton of legal and logistical issues dictating what content we can and can not do at any given time. And these are factors that for legal reasons I can not go into with the public. We'd love to do more content too. And ideally it will happen when logistics allow. Clearly there is not a lack of demand!

    As for the technical issues with the site and customer service, this is also not really "fan relation issues". We and I am totally aware of the issues with Digital River, customer service and shipping and we ARE working on it.

    Same goes for quality control. When your productions runs are as small as some of our collector lines (like MOTUC) by the time you catch production issues, many times it is too late to affect a change. But we are working on this too- everyday!

    So back to fan relations. As brought up in the last episode of Roast Gooble, what type of fan relations are we not doing that fans want to see?

    Scott

  24. #24
    T-Man tmc1984's Avatar
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    in terms of fan-relations - i think you're doing a great job! ... the 'ask matty' q & a's are pretty neat and hey - why not do some more roast gooble dinner appearances?! ... i think the podcast is a really good way to relate to the fans, because it's pretty awesome and we can hear thing's directly from you, which is always cool ...
    ''He-Man lives and possesses that key, I must possess all or I possess nothing!'' (Skeletor, 1987)

    USE YOUR ILLUSION

  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior DO4M's Avatar
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    I know that your hands are tied regarding some Q&A stuff, hence the pre-made answers.
    Sometimes (lately it has decreased a bit, thank goodness) we get stock answers that had nothing to do with the question...
    More appearances on podcasts like Roast Gooble Dinner, etc...
    How about a Yearly Fan poll on Mattycollector.com so the fans can pick a special accessory to be packed with a figure or something (like a Diorama, beast or vehicle)... Since a fan's choice character poll could be a bit of a Logistical Nightmare... (either by the 4Horsemen or Mattel's in-house team...)
    Having the fans choose between a set of possible items like:
    *Vintage He-Man Axe (Ribbed Handle)
    *Vintage Power Sword (With the Extra Hand Guard)
    *Vintage Sword of Protection (Looking like the Vintage She-Ra sword)
    *"Classicized" Modern Gar Dueling Swords (More streamlined than their 2002 counterpart)
    *"Classicized" Techno Sword of Protection.
    Fans vote for one Item and the winner gets packed on a fig/beast/vehicle/diorama from the following year or whenever is doable... Taking in consideration Logistics and all that...
    That would make fans feel like they're part of the process instead of being just "loyal customers"

    Now for my fan requests:
    -A He-Mullet for He-Man
    -Allow the 4H to Squeeeze in extra non-vintage toy elements as much as possible. (hint The firefighting Elephant has a different cooler looking head in the mini-comics)
    -BTW I hope you don't mind;in My canon LT. Spector is Teela's sidekick... Kinda like a Jiminy Cricket to Teela's Pinocchio... Do you have a catchphrase I could use for Lt. Spector? (If and when I get him?)
    FINALLY!! GLIMMER IS IN MY SHELF!! Now I need a Crita!! Crita is to Mara what Evil Lyn is to Teela. If we ARE getting Mara, then we NEED Crita.

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