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

  1. #26
    Spec'to'matic! Toyguru's Avatar
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    I hear you! Improving quality control and enhancing customer service and the shipping buying process is getting out full attention. It is happening and underway constantly we just can't go onto details for legal and logistical reasons.

    Okay. So for the most part fans are pleased with "fan relations" in terms of frequency and interaction (remembering that the forums and news on Mattycollector.com are our strategic destinations for primary contact. - Wow that sounded way more serious then I intended)

    Anyway. Most issues are related to DR, buying and shipping as well as quality control. Totally hear you and again, we are working on this night and day. It is not being ignored just because you are not seeing results lightening quick.

    But to go back to the points raised on Roast Gooble, the moderators there really felt we are doing a poor job working with He-Man.org. I feel like I'm still not seeing any examples of what we can be doing better. I'm heading back off line but I'll check this thread later on.

    If any of you Gooblers want to join in, please let me know what it is we can be doing (knowing again that our goal is to drive fans to Mattycollector.com and that for legal reasons we don't accept unsolicited work.)

    If you want to work for Mattel - i.e. on MOTU - you should go to Mattel.com and look for open positions or contact inventor relations if you want to propose a new toy concept you created. That is the best way to work directly on the line and get all the credit! We do not employ fans or consultants because there are already quite a few members of the MOTU team with a vast knowledge and insight into the brand and its history and getting to work on the brand and come up with toy designs is a perk of the job. A perk the team members just are not willing to give up! Would you if you were in there shoes?

    And when something comes up we are stumped on, we do have all your email addresses! We do read comment and polls online. So just because fans are not voting for the next figure, your posts and remarks have helped shape the line. Why do you think Optikk and Adora and Marzo have figures. Fans demanded them!

    Okay. Signing off for now, but I'm always all ears!

    Scott
    Last edited by Toyguru; January 9, 2011 at 06:49pm.

  2. #27
    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

  3. #28
    Heroic Warrior lannyjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    I hear you! Improving quality control and enhancing customer service and the shipping buying process is getting out full attention. It is happening and underway constantly.
    Scott, you can fix my problem by sending me a new Skeletor. I would be happy to pay for shipping to send my 2 broken Skeletors back to to you in exchange for a good one.

  4. #29
    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, letīs see if I can contribute...

    MOTU has fans from all over the world. Sometimes these fans just donīt 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 donīt know better. We came to know He-Mans power sword as "Das Zauberschwert", which would translate back to "The Magicsword". We just donīt 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?
    Gegen 2-Klassen-Gesellschaft in Internet-Foren

  5. #30
    Heroic Warrior
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    I think you guys are doing well but in one area.....

    Well I'm not a Filmation fan personally but i do feel for them, they are really in need of some kind of break. Maybe if you could tell them not to hope for the time being its not possible or if it is sort of possible and may happen in a few years? Just something vague giving an indication if they should even bother hoping right now, I think it's somewhat unfair to leave them in limbo like this and it honestly disturbs me slightly hearing them wish and hope for something that looks like it isn't really possible at this point despite us being asked a while back what fans would want.

    Why they didn't just add Shadow Weaver in to the 200x toon when the option was there is beyond me. lol

  6. #31
    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.

  7. #32
    Stridor in MOTUC! RockinHard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    I hear you! Improving quality control and enhancing customer service and the shipping buying process is getting out full attention. It is happening and underway constantly we just can't go onto details for legal and logistical reasons.

    Anyway. Most issues are related to DR, buying and shipping as well as quality control. Totally hear you and again, we are working on this night and day. It is not being ignored just because you are not seeing results lightening quick.

    Scott
    Two years later is NOT "lightening quick" when it comes to the problems with Mattycollector and loose ankles! Sorry to respectfully disagree.
    My seller/trader/buyer feedback:
    http://he-man.org/forums/boards/showthread.php?t=195461

    MOTUC Most Wanted: 1) Stridor 2) Night Stalker 3) Roton 4) Dragstor 5) Saurod 6) Karg 7) Lodar 8) Mask of Power Demons 9) TC Skeletor 10) FF He-Man 11) Talon Fighter/Point Dread 12) Road Ripper 13) Lord Masque 14) Filmation Teela

  8. #33
    Heroic Warrior bigsexy_j's Avatar
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    Sometimes I feel that all the fan is seen as is dollar signs. Not as much in MOTUC, but for sure in DCUC and Ghostbusters. Fans are expected to blindly order your items, and if they don't that is a reason for not making something. The DCUC 2-packs were cancelled because not enough blind orders through etailers. With the amount of quality issues the figures are having it is hard for fans to do. The price keeps going up, but not the quality. Online sites have pre-orders up to DCUC 20 and we don't know any of the figures. In Canada online is pretty much the only place that I can buy the figures. TRU has received 2 out of 15 waves so far, Walmart 1. Let us know what we are ordering, or don't expect us to order.

    The ask matty is a great feature, but I know I get frustrated when I read a one and it pretty much says "can't comment at anything not announced yet" for all answers. I would also like more of an explaination then just 'logistics'. What does that mean from Mattel?

    I would also ask that DR not to be blamed for all the issues. Mattel made the choice to use DR, it is up to Mattel to get it working properly, if they are not find someone new. It has been 2 years and pretty much the same issues are there. Stand behind your choice. If there is a contract, is not holding up your end part of it? I'm still waiting on 4 call backs from the original Merman sale. If I employ someone to finish m business I am still held responsible.

    THanks for taking the time to always try and answer and communicate as best you can with the fans.

    J
    Last edited by bigsexy_j; January 9, 2011 at 06:59pm.

  9. #34
    Heroic King Of Zumba mk476's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilt View Post
    Why they didn't just add Shadow Weaver in to the 200x toon when the option was there is beyond me. lol
    That thought has haunted me for years!

    Thanks, Scott, for all these answers and thoughts.

  10. #35
    Heroic Warrior chuck20's Avatar
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    Well, it's always nice when ya pop by unexpectedly! Makes me feel like the line is in the right hands! The Q&A's are nice, but as has been noted, some feel better than others. The ones that offer genuine insight and direct responses are always the best, wishy washy PR buzzwords mixed with evasiveness are not. Of course, we all know certain things can't be talked about, but that's a minor complaint of mine. I know a lot of people are frustrated about the situation with 200x and the removal of 200x inspired heads. I know I love alternate heads, and it pains me to think of a great figure like moss man only being released with the vintage head. Also, I miss the year in review that we got last year. A look behind the scenes is always nice! Thanks for stopping by Scott and keep up the great work!

  11. #36
    Evil Lord of Dorkdom skeletom's Avatar
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    I also think that fan relations are just fine. My only complaint is, like others have said, quality control.
    I'm hoping for a Disco Skeletor for the next subscription exclusive! Fully flocked!

    "I don't like to feel good! I like to feel EVIL!"

  12. #37
    Heroic Warrior the headmasters's Avatar
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    Hi Toyguru, thanks for starting this thread.

    First of all while I'm new to this site, I've been collecting MOTUC since Grayskull went on sale at SDCC which was my first exposure to any He-Man merchandise since the 80s. And I'm sorry if this might sound whiny but I assure you that my experience with MOTUC is 95% satisfaction to 5% disappointment.

    But it seems like the 5% disappointment is already considered off topic since you say it's not fan relation but customer relation, which as others have said seems like it's one and the same. The only thing left for us to address are nitpicks, like why remove Adam's sword holder behind his back from the 4H's design.

    The one thing that bugs me that goes back to "customer relations" is why try so hard to reach out to new fans when you can barely handle the customer base you have. We're already climbing and crawling over each other to get the figures available on the mid month sale. It was really ideal the first couple of months thinking we had a month to get our figures but now it seems that anything that doesn't sell out the first day is considered a failure.

    Again... I'm very happy with the toys aside from some QC issues and thank you for the wonderful line. I'm happy for you and your dream job and hope that you experience further success in doing what you love.

  13. #38
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilt View Post
    Why they didn't just add Shadow Weaver in to the 200x toon when the option was there is beyond me. lol
    I think it's because Hallmark and every subsequent owner of the Filmation library considers the MOTU and POP cartoons separate brands. I'm guessing it would've cost more to tap into POP as well.

  14. #39
    80sMasters.com Brian Ozone's Avatar
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    TG I just want to collect this line worry free. It is so frustrating trying to order this toyline. Latley the ordering process has been taken an hour to and hour and half from start to finish. Id love to be able to log on place an order and checkout within minuets. It's not so hard to do if everyone else that has online sales does it right.

    What if you only have a sale date for motuc. And all other products a other day. It's no secret this toyline is golden. It has a huge following. And as a completist I need my toys.

    Thanks for the all in sub this year. Let's get everything included if the vehicles are involed now. Thanks.
    http://http://80sMasters.com/
    It's your place for Freedom of Speach for everything MOTU, POP, TMNT, , Horror, Wrestling, DC and Batman, and all other properties that are cool.
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  15. #40
    Heroic Warrior kk2's Avatar
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    Hey Scott, most times I get really nice figures, sometimes I have to do some minor fixes, which ain't a big issue for me.

    Till now I've had one bad Chief Carnivus of my three subscription figures and the three KG redeco's had terrible paint jobs on their hairpiece.

    Both times I called the matty help desk and got excellent customer-service. All figures where replaced and shipped quickly.

    I couldn't think of anything you should do different now (knowing what's possible and what's not, cheaper international shipping , ok I won't go there).
    As mentioned before the WSOD is currently probably the major thing you should fix for fans without a subscription. For the rest you do a damn good job.

    Of course everybody has wish lists and stuff they want to get that are off limits right now or just too expensive to make and this is not the thread to ask for those.

    What we've got now is awesome. We always can look at things we don't have or we can appreciate what we already have. The line probably will last for some years and what the future brings won't be less than what we've got now. In the beginning I just wanted to score He-Man and Beastman, never thought I would have all the cool stuff I have now.

    So let's hope for the best and enjoy Motuc in all its beauty.
    Thanks for making this possible Scott.
    Last edited by kk2; January 9, 2011 at 07:08pm.

  16. #41
    T-Man tmc1984's Avatar
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    i think scott is asking about fan-relations only, we shouldn't really be turning it into a mattel complaints thread ...
    ''He-Man lives and possesses that key, I must possess all or I possess nothing!'' (Skeletor, 1987)

    USE YOUR ILLUSION

  17. #42
    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.

  18. #43
    Heroic Warrior the headmasters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmc1984 View Post
    i think scott is asking about fan-relations only, we shouldn't really be turning it into a mattel complaints thread ...
    Fans relationswise...

    Can you get a professional photographer to take pictures of your wonderful SDCC conventions dioramas? It would be great to see those toys in that setting without all the reflections and people walking behind it. You can release the pictures on He-Man.org and Mattycollector after all the new toys have been revealed. They remind me so much of those awesome JCPenney toy catalogs we used to get back in the days.

  19. #44
    Heroic Warrior Agent-GHQ's Avatar
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    I'm a bit skeptical about this! Lets not be navie people. Big corporation are in business to make "Mulah." What if Mattel is throwing us a few bones here and there to keep the anticipation level for this brand to last til 2017 or so. I mean look at the constant failure with the ordering online after 2 yrs!? Then offer the subscription to lock us in a yr. Why not preorder the figures we only want?? I mean think about it. If you were the stockholder, wouldn't you want your stocks to increase in value.

    How is it any different to interact in here than directly at Mattel? I think this is nothing but a marketing tactic!!
    Accept the unacceptable.

  20. #45
    Heroic Warrior Khror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmc1984 View Post
    i think scott is asking about fan-relations only, we shouldn't really be turning it into a Mattel complaints thread ...
    I think so too

    Anyway, adding to what I said before, it would be great if you Scott could do a review from time to time of a figure just as Pixel does. (hosted on Mattycollector.com of course)

    You probably have plenty of things to say about each figure from some details to a part of his history (just as what you did in RGD episode about SDCC King Grayskull)

  21. #46
    Heroic Warrior kup's Avatar
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    Please include more 200X elements into the figures. I believe that the line is at it's best when it's using hybrid concepts like the earlier release figures that had 200X heads or weapons.

    I personally have no interest in figures that are little more than larger more articulated versions of the vintage counterparts such as Buzz-Off.

    I would also like to see some reissues of not main characters like Zodak (200X), Moss Man, Scareglow, Keldor and others.

    Thanks

  22. #47
    Heroic Warrior Donimo's Avatar
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    Hi ToyGuru.

    I am surprised to see that so many responses to your post are merely Wish Lists, CS complaints, Filmation questions, and praise over how awesome the MOTUC line is. While all of those things are valid issues, I don’t think that is the point of the thread you’ve opened. Believe me, I think the Matty website and CS is atrocious and if you opened a thread to discuss CS problems, I’d be first in line with a huge list of complaints. But, I don’t think that should be the focus here.

    From what I understand, especially with you directly stating that this thread was opened as a result of the recent Roast Gooble Dinner, the point of this thread is discuss what specific interaction the Org as a fan community wants with Mattel.

    One of the first things you could start with is acknowledging that He-Man.org is not just another fan site to be lumped in with the others. He-Man.org is THE Masters of the Universe website where fans go to feel at home. The Org (Val and Emiliano) have kept the MOTU property alive for many years while it lay dormant in Mattel’s hands. This website is the only reason that the Masters of the Universe property still has this large of a presence in the collector and fan community as it does. So, instead of trying to fight that or feel threatened by it, you should embrace it.

    No matter how hard you try, the MattyCollector.com forums will never become headquarters for fans. Most people will always drift to the Org to discuss, ponder, argue, and keep MOTU alive. Sorry for being so pessimistic as far as Matty’s forum is concerned, but I feel that that is just the reality of it. Although, I still think the Matty forum is useful and it has its place for news and interaction. It just will never overtake He-Man.org.

    So, with embracing the Org as the web’s favorite go-to site for MOTU, why don’t you allow the Org work with Mattel to come up with additional marketing prospects and licensed content to grow the property? Comics, posters, t-shirts, etc. Even allowing Org members to vote on something in the MOTUC line would be awesome. Or, have some He-Man.org exclusives – maybe 1 per year or something. It doesn’t have to be a whole new figure, but perhaps just a repaint or an existing figure with an exclusive weapon. Mattel really should utilize the Org and realize its potential instead of trying to keep it at bay. This is a more modern and successful way to approach things.

    He-Man.org is not going anywhere anytime soon! So, please acknowledge that and allow a more open relationship with these guys. You can still do the marketing you're currently doing: reveals in Toy Fare, and even directing traffic to MattyCollector.com. This can all be done in addition to working closer with He-Man.org. These things are not mutually exclusive.

    Thanks!
    Donimo
    Last edited by Donimo; January 9, 2011 at 08:11pm.

  23. #48
    T-Man tmc1984's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khror View Post
    Anyway, adding to what I said before, it would be great if you Scott could do a review from time to time of a figure just as Pixel does
    cool idea! ...
    ''He-Man lives and possesses that key, I must possess all or I possess nothing!'' (Skeletor, 1987)

    USE YOUR ILLUSION

  24. #49
    Dinh Of Gilead vaderSW1's Avatar
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    Scott,

    I think you have done a good job staying in touch with the fans. While I cannot speak on behalf of the Gooble podcast crew, I will throw a few things out as far as my feelings on Mattel's relationship with He-Man.Org though:

    - I know you have gone out of your way to be good to us. However, something about the way that Mattel corporate is handling He-Man.Org rubs people the wrong way. Mattel has here, at the. Org, an already established website for Masters of the Universe here with a massive fan base! Why not utilize it to promote the product?

    - Why, oh why, is SDCC being used for important fan polls? I mean, come on, what real MOTU majority fan poll is going to vote Panthor having no flocking? Some of these folks at the SDCC fan panels aren't even there for MOTU Classics. This decision should not be left to random fans.

    - Have you ever seen the way Hasbro interacts with the Star Wars fans? The way that they do/did polls for the most fan-requested characters and then would create them? Why wouldn't Mattel do something like that with the fans here at He-Man.Org?

    - I can remember back during the 200x days when Mattel would allot Val some of the SDCC exclusive figures to sell directly to the .Org'ers that couldn't make it to the con. This was awesome and I feel it really showed appreciation and respect to the loyal He-Fans & She-Ravers. Why wouldn't Mattel consider doing something like this? It makes perfect business sense, given that there is a set fan base that would buy every last one of them. It's as close to a sure thing as one can get!

    - I get the need for MattyCollector.Com. I really do. It's Mattel's store front. It's where the collectors go to get their favorite figures. However, my question is why not work in concert with He-Man.Org? Is it really necessary to spend a lot of money constructing Mattel's own Masters of the Universe collectibles archive when there is one already available right here? I understand that this is a fan site BUT Emiliano is the BIGGEST fan in the world. The guy knows his stuff and he has so much available. I mean, he's the Stephen Sansweet of the MOTU realm!

    Bottom line is that it has and always will be the fans that have kept Masters of the Universe alive. We will love MOTU even after it is dead and gone from Mattel's mind again. We will continue to fan-create, we will continue to convene and converse, and we will continue to keep MOTU alive in our hearts and imaginations. The way that I see it, Mattel could only benefit from using He-Man.Org to it's advantage. It makes perfect sense. To cite an example of where a fan site and the institution work in concert together, I would direct you to the band Coheed and Cambria. Check out the way that they utilize their biggest fan site at Cobalt And Calcium! They work in concert together and it works great! It goes to show that it can work! I honestly don't think we're asking for too much here.

    Like I said, Scott, I have no beef with you at all. You've been terrific! On a side note, I just wanted to say that I can relate to you only being able to say certain things for legal and business reasons. I've worked in corporate America for over 10 years. I understand when a company mandates that you can only say certain things in response to certain questions. It's not a fun position to be in, but we do what we must.

    Take care,

    Mike
    Last edited by vaderSW1; January 9, 2011 at 07:56pm.

  25. #50
    Heroic Southpaw Lefty's Avatar
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    This is my impression, I don't want it to sound like I'm speaking for anyone but myself. I was very encouraged when I saw this thread. I became less so after reading it. TG asked how to improve fan relations, but also repeatedly reiterated that their goal is to pull traffic over to their forums. My impression from the podcast and these forums is we want .org involvement, not to be told to post somewhere else. This is a very special community (we even call ourselves orgers!) Notice no one asked for mattycollector reveals, they asked for .org reveals. I know this contradicts your corporate strategy, but you asked how to improve fan relations and I say involve the org.

    I'm also a little disappointed that the multiple QC and customer service problems were dismissed.

    All that being said, thank you for coming here to ask our thoughts, please do as often as you are able.

    Good Journey.

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