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

  1. #376
    Heroic Warrior EldestSon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EldestSon View Post
    it would be nice if matty put together an official motu timeline. updated as new bio's are released.

    even if that means they have to retcon when a mistake is found or when something HAS to be changed.

    ETA: if you want to drive traffic to the site, how about investing in some of those cheap games (like you might find on cartoon network's site) on mattycollector and/or a farmville type game but based in eternia on facebook (that adverts for mattel).
    another idea: next time mattel is creating a Vikor or Oo-Lar (made up character) and they need a name, have a contest. The person who has the best name, get's a free figure.

  2. #377
    The Man Called 'V' Shecky's Avatar
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    There you go

    In regards to Vikor's quick sell out, Matty's Response on Facebook is a perfect example of what fans want done that is not being done:

    Darn those blustery Northern winds! They’ve waylaid our second Vikor shipment for the moment, but we expect it to land at our warehouse soon. As soon as we confirm its arrival, we’ll have more Vikor figures for sale.
    As Emiliano and others have pointed out in the Vikor thread, why was this not mentioned before today? Only hours after the fact was it brought to light, but by then it only served to pour the proverbial gas on the fire and not fan the flames. This isn't the first time this has happened, and if past history serves as any indication, this may not be the last. A simple courtesy goes a long way, you know.

    And while I'm at it, I kindly ask that Matty be upfront about the error instead of trying to make light of the situation, ie. the 'Northern Winds' comment. Personally, there are way more important things in life to be angry about than plastic toys, but I certainly understand the frustation here. That comment, while lighthearted and trying to bring a little levity to the situation, again (at least in my own opinion) only seems antagonistic. Anyway, I've said my peace .

    Regards,
    Victor P.

  3. #378
    Supreme Fudge Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shecky View Post
    In regards to Vikor's quick sell out, Matty's Response on Facebook is a perfect example of what fans want done that is not being done:



    As Emiliano and others have pointed out in the Vikor thread, why was this not mentioned before today? Only hours after the fact was it brought to light, but by then it only served to pour the proverbial gas on the fire and not fan the flames. This isn't the first time this has happened, and if past history serves as any indication, this may not be the last. A simple courtesy goes a long way, you know.

    And while I'm at it, I kindly ask that Matty be upfront about the error instead of trying to make light of the situation, ie. the 'Northern Winds' comment. Personally, there are way more important things in life to be angry about than plastic toys, but I certainly understand the frustation here. That comment, while lighthearted and trying to bring a little levity to the situation, again (at least in my own opinion) only seems antagonistic. Anyway, I've said my peace .

    Regards,
    Victor P.


    I very much agree. If they knew more were coming in a later shipment, why didn't they say this sooner? They wait until things spiral out of control to make an announcement that could have prevented said spiraling from occurring in the first place.

    This really isn't a Digital River/Customer Service issue in terms of something DR screwed up (as far as I can tell anyway). This is something that Mattel apparently knew about and just failed to mention it in a timely manner.
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  4. #379
    wants Dragstor!!! Sir Reilly's Avatar
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    I wanna add that I feel that whenever fans vehemently criticize Mattel, "suddenly" some good news pop up, almost as if to distract everyone from the bad stuff. Just like when the change of mind about the Keldor swords was announced. Maybe it's not intentional, but it certainly looks like that.
    Last edited by Sir Reilly; January 20, 2011 at 05:12am.
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  5. #380
    Do it right or not at all Reboot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shecky View Post
    As Emiliano and others have pointed out in the Vikor thread, why was this not mentioned before today? Only hours after the fact was it brought to light, but by then it only served to pour the proverbial gas on the fire and not fan the flames. This isn't the first time this has happened, and if past history serves as any indication, this may not be the last. A simple courtesy goes a long way, you know.

    And while I'm at it, I kindly ask that Matty be upfront about the error instead of trying to make light of the situation, ie. the 'Northern Winds' comment. Personally, there are way more important things in life to be angry about than plastic toys, but I certainly understand the frustation here. That comment, while lighthearted and trying to bring a little levity to the situation, again (at least in my own opinion) only seems antagonistic.
    Well, later on, Toyguru posted a much more open admission of fault, and said it was a left hand/right hand scenario - Dept A knew, but didn't tell Dept B or DR. And that "procedures had been put in place" - which I take to mean "heads were banged together to the rhythm of 'YOU. MUST. TELL. US. WHEN. STUFF. IS. LATE'" - to stop it happening again. They're learning, slowly but surely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shecky View Post
    Anyway, I've said my peace .
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  6. #381
    Heroic Razor-Edged Weapon Sword-of-Grayskull's Avatar
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    I actually believe fan relations are the strongest part of the MattyCollector/MOTUC experience, Scott, and kudos to you for that. I've had the pleasure to meet with you at three or four conventions, and you seem like a terrific guy who listens to what we have to say. And you certainly know how to work a crowd at a panel! The problem for me is twofold, and is more of a PR issue:

    1.Deceptive or Misleading Statements to the Press
    I find it deceptive when a press statement advertising your subscription mentions that we will experience the same quality figures in a line (e.g. Ghostbusters) only to find out after we've preordered that the Four Horsemen will not be involved. Or to make a statement at SDCC that Nunzio will have interchangeable torsos and then ship a figure that has only one. It is misleading to not have full disclosure of a product during a product's sale, and in the case of Courtroom Peter was a blatant untruth. Press Releases and statements made at conventions or ToyFair need to be more accurate and have better disclosure at sale time; when these statements are no longer true, there needs to be a louder or larger announcement so fans are better aware of what they're purchasing.
    In another example, fans log onto Mattycollector expecting the normal quantity of figures to be on sale, only to find out that MerMan or Moss Man or Vikor sold out in an incromprehensible amount of time because only half the shipment arrived in your warehouse. Prepping us ahead of time for tough sales may lead to cooler heads.

    2.Disconnect between the Hype and the Actual Product
    Okay, so you did a great job of getting us excited for the new figures and we've proudly plopped down our cash for the chance to own them. What happens next? I get a Zodak with a frozen foot, a Teela with a chunk of plastic missing from her shoulder, other fans get Roboto with reversed shoulders, etc. Then customer service is rude, or doesn't do what we asked (I waited two weeks for replacement Zodak and Teela only to call again and find out the rep didn't put the order through and your replacement stock was now all gone). There are plenty of these stories in a pinned thread on these forums. I now received a Courtroom Peter with black paint smeared all across his face. Should I bother calling for a replacement, or will that be botched again? While your sell is terrific, your follow-through needs a lot of work in order to avoid resentment and anger that the actual product is not what you hyped it to be. Better quality control and a much better customer service department will help things immensely.

    I would like to conclude by thanking you for using this medium to get in touch with your customers and find out how you can better serve us. I don't think of this as "fan relations" but as the concerns of people who are giving Mattel our money. By sincerely listening, you have opened up the door to a better buying experience.
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  7. #382
    Evil Sorcerer! Pravus Prime's Avatar
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    I think this needs to be bumped in light of the fact that they changed shipping on us without saying a word and continued to stay silent until the complaints started stacking up.

    This goes back to the letting us know ahead of time theme.
    Matty, Great Black Wizard figure please!

  8. #383
    Unexpected Attack! Sabretooth's Avatar
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    Hello Toyguru!

    ... seeing that you take fan ideas seriously lately ( Thanks!) in addition to my idea on page 9 of this thread I have more for your considaration:

    As discussed in the RoastGooble episode dedicated to German fans maintaining planeteternia.de the vintage MOTU magazines by Mattel were quite popular here in Europe/Germany. These magazines can be found here:

    http://www.he-man.org/publishing/sub...d=23&subid=100

    In the magazines you can find vintage MOTU figures set in various backgrounds. We could hear in the RoastGooble episode mentioned above that since these magazines were published in Germany in 80's, MOTU fans here in Europe like to customize their own backgrounds - even for MOTUC.

    You announced on Matty that there will be contests for the US fans for the best artwork and MOTUC collection. How about to do a similar contest for European fans - who creates the best background? The themes for the background could be chosen from the Eternia and Etheria maps released in MOTUC line.

    For example contest of the best Mystic Mountains background or the best Sands of Fire background, or the best Whispering Woods background ... etc. for European fans!

    The Eternia nad Etheria maps could be available for view on Mattycollector and by clicking on a place on the map a winning background for that particular place would be displayed - it would be like 'travel with your finger on the map across Eternia/Etheria'
    Last edited by Sabretooth; March 11, 2011 at 07:41am.

  9. #384
    Master of My Soul MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Thought I would bring this back from the grave in light of Stinkor....
    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul.

  10. #385
    Heroic Warrior
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    I want you guys to respect the fans and not treat them like dumb people has you've done on Stinkor's issue.

  11. #386
    Heroic Warrior nicholighkun's Avatar
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    I want you to poll fans on issues like Stinkor. It doesn't take much time at all, and it would have saved you a heck of a lot of backlash, and would have made a majority of the fans of this line happy. I'm not asking for polls on every issue, but this was a simply asthetic, that didn't require tooling, or any work what-so-ever, but you guys just assumed that fans would be happy with a part swap, even though that's one of two hot button issues among fans. Makes no sence. You could have asked, we would have said no, and that would be that. Also, why didn't you mention the swap at Toyfare?

  12. #387
    Got Filmation? shadowfall1976's Avatar
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    Poll the fans before you pull another thing like Stinkor....because seriously, you failed this time around, especially on a vintage character. If it was Slush Head....no one probably would have ever noticed, but the vintage figures have way too many followers to screw with, and especially since the 4H did their job, but you guys screwed him up.

    I never had Stinkor, this was to be my first, and now my first ever Stinkor will be an on purpose defect, because instead of painting the accessories for the POP, you guys decided to swap the forearms for the POOP.
    Last edited by shadowfall1976; April 24, 2012 at 05:12pm.
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  13. #388
    The Scare is in the Glow! Scare Glow's Avatar
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    How about some good old-fashioned accountability?

    Between the time you started this thread and this day in history there have been numerous problems across the board with seemingly no slowing of pace.

    Quality control issues have accelerated.

    Billing and account/credit-card security issues reared their head for many customers.

    Customer service issues have not been corrected.

    Shipping and fulfillment issues have gotten worse.

    Price of service is increasing.

    There have been apologies, excuses and promises ad infinitum, but nothing has changed other than a clear and demonstrable breakdown of relations between yourself and customers.

    Again, we're back to that old concept of accountability.

    Where does the buck stop? So far, there has been very little done in the way of improving the situation or, for that matter, sucking it up, taking a few lumps, and making even just one these problems right and square with customers.

    Every time Mattel, Digital River, or one of the factories you utilize does something in error, the customer has to pick up the slack. The customer has to eat the cost. The customer has to fight your broken system in order to attempt restitution. All the way, comments like "pretty cool, huh?" are thrown at us instead of solutions.

    So again, what I think is in order is a good 'ol serving of old-fashioned accountability.

    Thank you.

  14. #389
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    Mattel could have asked the fans which look they wanted to see, Stinkor correct, or Stinkor looking different on the shelf, before they "decided" to make him just look different on the shelf.

  15. #390
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    My Gosh, it took me a minute before I realized this thread is well over a year old.

    It's the same stuff that's going on right now. Only it's seemingly gotten worse.

    I hope the mod's do not label this a "nercro", because a) the topics are ongoing issues, and b) nothing is so powerful as this thread IMO in communicating the stangation, and further decline, of all of the issues herein - DR, quality control, and the general ways in which the line is managed.

  16. #391
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Scare Glow - You pretty much summed up the whole thing. This thread was originally started with the purpose of finding out what fans wanted to see in Mattel's interactions with them, but that very purpose rather missed the whole point. The one thing Mattel can do to improve interactions with the fans is to fix the problems we've been complaining about for the last three-plus years. Fix those and you won't HAVE that many problems with customer relations.

    We don't want a bunch of niceties from your marketing department; all we want is decent service from a competent website and decent figures with decent quality control. Give folks that bare minimum standard and most of your troubles with fan relations basically go away.
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  17. #392
    sculptor - fantastique JimPansen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfall1976 View Post
    .... because instead of painting the accessories for the POP, you guys decided to swap the forearms for the POOP.
    Awesome depiction!!! I would be right there with you, if i would believe that they switched the arms intentionally . I do not!
    And if im on the opinion that somebody lied to me, i draw the consequences.
    The bond of trust between a customer and his vendor is destroyed.
    So i want Mattel to fix this! But i have no idea how they could restore it.
    Last edited by JimPansen; April 25, 2012 at 01:13pm.

  18. #393
    Heroic Warrior mjw41's Avatar
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    Scott you have said time and time again in the matty forum for the figures look "we leave the look up to the horsemen" Yet Mattel design took it upon themselves to swap stinkors forarms. Mattel didn't consult the horsemen or the fans before making this final and thats where it went wrong. The Horsemen were asked by fans about this and they sounded like it was the first they heard of it and replied we haven't see the figure so we don't know. I think it's better to ask the horsemen if they mind if you screw with their design and ask fans is this something you would like to see? But neither of those things happend and people are upset over stinkor and because mattel didn't check with fans who are paying for it now many feel screwed over. I don't think you would like mighty spectors look changed from the horsemens designs by swapping out stuff without your knowing or aproving it since it's your creation.

    Respect and fairness is all were asking for here. Consult us before making a major unnessesary change final?

  19. #394
    Master of My Soul MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjw41 View Post
    Scott you have said time and time again in the matty forum for the figures look "we leave the look up to the horsemen" Yet Mattel design took it upon themselves to swap stinkors forarms. Mattel didn't consult the horsemen or the fans before making this final and thats where it went wrong. The Horsemen were asked by fans about this and they sounded like it was the first they heard of it and replied we haven't see the figure so we don't know. I think it's better to ask the horsemen if they mind if you screw with their design and ask fans is this something you would like to see? But neither of those things happend and people are upset over stinkor and because mattel didn't check with fans who are paying for it now many feel screwed over. I don't think you would like mighty spectors look changed from the horsemens designs by swapping out stuff without your knowing or aproving it since it's your creation.
    Respect and fairness is all were asking for here. Consult us before making a major unnessesary change final?
    Right on........
    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul.

  20. #395
    Evil & armed for combat TJRules's Avatar
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    Fix Mattycollector.com. There's always something wrong with that site. For example, the only place I see Stinkor on the site is on the first page! Click on Store.... nope. Click on the banner.... nope. Even selecting MOTUC from the left and looking at the entire MOTUC selection... he's not there! Most days, Mattycollector.com seems like a mess.

    Also... if Mattycollector.com is the "place" for everything MOTUC news and such... why do Facebook fans know about new and exciting things that are happening with MOTUC before it's even on Mattycollector.com?? Doesn't happen ALL the time, but I have noticed it every once in a while.

    Thanks, Scott! I'm glad you opened a thread like this. Good on ya, mate.
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  21. #396
    Fake Casting Agent CocoaSmooth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    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
    Sticking to the Fan Relations portion only...He-Man.org-wise I think you are great as far as keeping as being involved with us. For me personally the Org is king with all things MOTU related. The Org came first and I am emotionally invested in the fans, Val, Emiliano, and many of the other professionals that have been part of the Org community. When they feel that they have been slighted I automatically take there side because I know them personally and I have seen them struggle when it comes to the way the have been treated by Mattel in the past. For me I was hoping you would be their advocate and on their side because I have not seen a harder working bunch do so much for the brand for nothing (at their own personal and great financial expense). It makes me happy to see you ask because it demonstrates to me that you at least seemingly care. I am sure legal issues and politics have probably prevented you from setting right all the past wrongs that Mattel has done our guys but it would be even more awesome (in my mind not that it matters or anything) if you at least acknowledged that your friends Val, James, and Emiliano got treated poorly by Mattel in the past and that you would be working on trying to smooth things with Mattel on there behalf.
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  22. #397
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger View Post
    We don't want a bunch of niceties from your marketing department; all we want is decent service from a competent website and decent figures with decent quality control. Give folks that bare minimum standard and most of your troubles with fan relations basically go away.
    You hit it on the head, Scott. It's not like we are asking for perfection - most of us are willing to settle for mediocrity, which everything but the figures themselves struggles to even approach.

    Digital River - Story tells itself, digital goods company struggling to have a physical product presence. Mattel outsources to them, they outsource to several vendors in turn (one company handles their warehousing and picking/shipping, another handles their call center internationally). Poor service, contradicting policies, and it's more unusual to find someone who has not had any type of errors than those that have, of some form or another.

    Shipping - Although it ties in to the above, the highest priced, slowest shipping, worst packed company I have ever repeatedly bought from. I simply will not pay for their standard shipping, it's terrible - it would barely be acceptable if it were for free, instead of far above the standard for shipping a 1-pound box parcel for just one figure. UPS is a couple of bucks more, but at least I know where it really is - instead of a phantom box being passed off in the night from vendor to vendor, criss crossing the nation until I finally get it some near two weeks later the last few times I did it).

    Marketing/Attitude - It stinks. Treated like we are lucky to be spending all this money with Mattel, complete dismissal of many issues in a manner that sometimes offends and often in some way degrades those asking. Retconning of past events. Complete and total repeat of the same mistakes over and over with identical apologizes, mea culpas, and promises that go unfufilled. Just look at this thread - looks about every January "big positive changes are coming!" which never materialize.


    Thing is, it's starting to turn on even the one thing they had going. The figures. Sure, QC is and always has been an issue, the solution is to attempt to get a new one through the maze of Digital River. However, the problem is now leeching into design...which is sad, as the nearly flawless figures (should you win the "no errors" jackpot) are starting to become sub-standard as well.

    Snout Spout - how many questioned the foam usage, only to be dismissed with a "Mattel has a crack science team - no worries!" yet just a few months later, if you opened it it's largely dried out/almost brittle or worst he's broken and bleeding blue out his nose. Tallstar and her hips - they should be ashamed of that figure, the gap (by design, not QC error) between her leg and hip is something I would expect out of a Playskool toy line, not MOTUC. Sorceress - my gosh, those drums. Those drums they hid from us for quite some time, even in that video that supposedly showed all that TG made (where he artfully hid them, knowing the reaction they would get). And now Stinkor.

    These aren't QC errors, they are not bad sculpting by 4H - they are huge design mistakes Mattel is making.


    If they can't even keep the design of the figures at a high standard, there is little chance many of us will put up with the dozen other huge problems this line has for very long.

  23. #398
    Heroic Warrior Heli88's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure Scott's browser is incapable of visiting threads past page 3 or so, but just in case he spots this, there's some good advice above.

  24. #399
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EtherianChronicles View Post
    Digital River - Story tells itself, digital goods company struggling to have a physical product presence. Mattel outsources to them, they outsource to several vendors in turn (one company handles their warehousing and picking/shipping, another handles their call center internationally). Poor service, contradicting policies, and it's more unusual to find someone who has not had any type of errors than those that have, of some form or another.
    Too many cooks spoiling the soup, and nobody to take the responsibility. No wonder all of this is such a mess; a dozen right and left hands that have no idea what the others are doing.

    From everything I'd found out about DR, it did look like they had never done anything quite like this before (namely, fully running a website); what a great choice to run a new venture like this from the outset.
    "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

  25. #400
    Heroic Warrior AdultCollector's Avatar
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    Darn those blustery Northern winds! They’ve waylaid our second Vikor shipment for the moment, but we expect it to land at our warehouse soon. As soon as we confirm its arrival, we’ll have more Vikor figures for sale.
    I'm glad someone mentioned this quote regarding Mattel's communication to consumers about that particular issue. That was a serious topic that was communicated most unprofessionally and inadequately.

    Also I'd like to reiterate some peoples' comments regarding the issue of the Stinkor forearm issue. I saw this from Pixel Dan on his Web site:

    http://pixel-dan.com/motuc-stinkors-...eversed-contd/
    "Mattel says this was a decision from the in-house design team in an effort to make Stinkor “pop” and differentiate him from other figures who utilize the finned forearms."
    Yesterday, the Four Horsemen chimed in via their Twitter account, stating:
    “We haven’t seen a production version yet so we really can’t comment yet, but we can’t imagine why they would be switched.”
    I am left questioning whether Mattel is being 100% honest in communicating its intentions with its customers, or if Mattel is having communication issues between its departments (i.e. the in-house design team and the four horsemen, who I personally feel should have the final say on MOTUC design matters).

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