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Thread: "Designer personal preference"?

  1. #1
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    "Designer personal preference"?

    Usefulness of 2016 polls

    you once told us that you just can't make business decisions based on what 200 very loud .org posters ask for. That's understandable as it must be a small percentage of your customers.

    Nowadays everyone's busy voting for their favorite characters to hopefully make it into the 2016 line-up. However, there are already less than 400 voters taking part in the polls.

    In light of the above mentioned statement, does it still make sense to spend time on the polls?

    With so many non vintage characters in the potential pool (for 2016 and beyond) it is VERY helpful to get an idea of which characters fans are gravitating in both polls and online posts (as well as feedback at the conventions this year in person, come chat with us!).

    But that being said, the polls and onlone posts do not just dictate who will or will not be in the line. We are not (for example) just going to "make" the top 12 figures from polls. We would love to know figure/character preferences (once vintage is complete) but other factors ranging from tooling costs, legal issues and even designer personal preference will affect any potential line up.
    "Designer personal preference"? Is that how Nepthu got made? Or even Batzarro?

    With the line in such dire straits, why not "make" as many of the top figures as resources would allow? We've got loads of figures fans still want.

    I'd love for TG to chime in and explain this intriguing statement further.

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    I think 'designer personal preference' isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'd like to think it means the FH identify an occasional jewel that slipped through the polls.

    Considering the polls can't do anything but slash the options, it's inevitable that they need to look beyond the results. The trouble with the polls is that the placement of characters was arbitrary. The best ones could all be in the same pool.

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    I think 'designer personal preference' isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'd like to think it means the FH identify an occasional jewel that slipped through the polls.

    Considering the polls can't do anything but slash the options, it's inevitable that they need to look beyond the results. The trouble with the polls is that the placement of characters was arbitrary. The best ones could all be in the same pool.
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  3. #3
    Totally Dyslexic Niki's Avatar
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    …now thatīs a slippery slope.

    I donīt know who it was but one of the FOUR HORSEMEN said he is so looking forward to creating Scorpia and back than he said he hopes she is coming soon.

    I think everyone could agree with that since she was high an almost everyones list.

    And why would you ignore a top 12 list assembled by the fans since itīs the fans who pay for this line.

    I know as the fans we shouldīt be cocky and we should be grateful to MATTEL for making MOTUC possible but this goes both ways. I have the feeling most of us know how lucky we are and that MOTUC is such a great chance to bring all the the factions together in one toyline so why not make the most wanted if you clearly can see who the are?
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    +2 Against Harpies Sword2Blanket's Avatar
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    I don't think the org polls are necessary the best way to determine which characters are wanted by the most people, but they are way, WAY better than "designer personal preference".

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    Toy Guru for President! He-Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niki View Post
    …now thatīs a slippery slope.

    I donīt know who it was but one of the FOUR HORSEMEN said he is so looking forward to creating Scorpia and back than he said he hopes she is coming soon.

    I think everyone could agree with that since she was high an almost everyones list.

    And why would you ignore a top 12 list assembled by the fans since itīs the fans who pay for this line.

    I know as the fans we shouldīt be cocky and we should be grateful to MATTEL for making MOTUC possible but this goes both ways. I have the feeling most of us know how lucky we are and that MOTUC is such a great chance to bring all the the factions together in one toyline so why not make the most wanted if you clearly can see who the are?
    You can when only 400 of your 10000 plus subscribers vote. I think people overestimate the power of the org polls sometimes. They are fun but they don't mean much in the grand scheme of things.

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    Heroic Warrior WDWFreak53's Avatar
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    Ok I take it like this...

    Just going on visuals from the media we've seen, Light Hope wouldn't have scored very high from an aesthetic point of view. The 4H came up with a completely new version and knocked it out I the park.

    I'm that way with Melaktha. I don't want him because he's such a boring looking character. That being said, the 4H may take a different approach with him and really change my opinion.

  7. #7
    Totally Dyslexic Niki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He-Dad View Post
    You can when only 400 of your 10000 plus subscribers vote. I think people overestimate the power of the org polls sometimes. They are fun but they don't mean much in the grand scheme of things.
    But Mattyīs forum runs another poll. They ask about factions and even dioramas and specific unproduced characters.

    So there are at least two pools and if people simple donīt care enough for the upcoming characters and they buy what ever is offered iīm okay with that no one has to vote in any of those polls but i think those who chose to vote made their wishes clear and that helps to narrow it down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niki View Post
    …now thatīs a slippery slope.

    I donīt know who it was but one of the FOUR HORSEMEN said he is so looking forward to creating Scorpia and back than he said he hopes she is coming soon.

    I think everyone could agree with that since she was high an almost everyones list.

    And why would you ignore a top 12 list assembled by the fans since itīs the fans who pay for this line.

    I know as the fans we shouldīt be cocky and we should be grateful to MATTEL for making MOTUC possible but this goes both ways. I have the feeling most of us know how lucky we are and that MOTUC is such a great chance to bring all the the factions together in one toyline so why not make the most wanted if you clearly can see who the are?

    The reason you ignore it ( or only use it as a reference) is because it's only 400 or so people voting. That number is really not that significant when comparing to the overall number of customers you're selling to. If the production numbers are anywhere from 8,000-20,000 it's a small percentage and checking out what just the hardcore fans want may not be in the best interest in selling the numbers needed to keep selling product to the most fans. For me I'm buying everything, unless the line becomes a bunch of characters I have no interest in instead of just 1 or 2. Seeing many of the main characters variants fall by the wayside in these polls, where as recognizable variant characters my be more popular with the casual fan as opposed to some of the more obscure characters that you or I want?

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior No-Ah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    "Designer personal preference"? Is that how Nepthu got made? Or even Batzarro?

    With the line in such dire straits, why not "make" as many of the top figures as resources would allow? We've got loads of figures fans still want.

    I'd love for TG to chime in and explain this intriguing statement further.

    I have no problem with the people in charge of a brand using their common sense and best judgement. One would hope that that doesn't mean they just make multiple figures of themselves, but personal preference is not, in theory, a bad thing.
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  10. #10
    Totally Dyslexic Niki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbomb23 View Post
    The reason you ignore it ( or only use it as a reference) is because it's only 400 or so people voting. That number is really not that significant when comparing to the overall number of customers you're selling to. If the production numbers are anywhere from 8,000-20,000 it's a small percentage and checking out what just the hardcore fans want may not be in the best interest in selling the numbers needed to keep selling product to the most fans. For me I'm buying everything, unless the line becomes a bunch of characters I have no interest in instead of just 1 or 2. Seeing many of the main characters variants fall by the wayside in these polls, where as recognizable variant characters my be more popular with the casual fan as opposed to some of the more obscure characters that you or I want?
    So now itīs the fault of those 400(or more) that voted that the numbers may not be accurate. Those polls are very well advertised here and on Matty. If you are interested in the line itīs easy to vote and put in your votes.

    Donīt blame the active members who made sure their voices were heard if you ask me
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niki View Post
    So now itīs the fault of those 400(or more) that voted that the numbers may not be accurate. Those polls are very well advertised here and on Matty. If you are interested in the line itīs easy to vote and put in your votes.

    Donīt blame the active members who made sure their voices were heard if you ask me
    You're not blaming them, but it's a small sample size and is it a true representation of the customer base you're selling to? If you make the top 12 characters from the poll and you only sell half the run of figures (or subscriptions) or less because in reality only those that voted wanted these the line doesn't continue on, but other characters that are wanted less in the polls are actually wanted more by those who are either not members, not interested in voting, or whatever. Is it in Mattel's best interest to make the top 12 from a poll of 400 people or so if only 1000 are willing to buy those figures? And of course this is all just speculation maybe those 12 are wanted by 15,000? They have the sales data and maybe it wouldn't matter at that point which characters are produced if there isn't enough demand for any of them? There may be enough customers to sell to but maybe not enough characters wanted by the majority anymore (plus the rising costs and other factors).

  12. #12
    Toy Guru for President! He-Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niki View Post
    But Mattyīs forum runs another poll. They ask about factions and even dioramas and specific unproduced characters.

    So there are at least two pools and if people simple donīt care enough for the upcoming characters and they buy what ever is offered iīm okay with that no one has to vote in any of those polls but i think those who chose to vote made their wishes clear and that helps to narrow it down.
    I agree it helps narrow things down but it should never be the end all be alln. There are so many awesome characters and variants that have been eliminated already in the org poll...not because people don't want them but because of where the fell and who they were against. Some of those characters may have placed much higher in another poll or bracket. So polls are flawed. A better judge would be would you buy (insert character here) with a yes or no and see what would sell. Thats kinda how Matty's poll was...on a scaled down version. I just don't see any problems with what TG said in that response. I think designer preference is important though cause if they don't want or like the figure it gets half assed and then we all get disgruntled. At least a passion project gets done properly. No one seemed to have QC issues with Spector as an example. He may suck but he was done well. I feel that way about all the NA stuff too. They suck and I have no interest in them but at least they are done well. As for Nepthu and Plundor....I love them both. Plundor more of course. So I say let them make who they want and who is feasible using parts sharing and available resources. Come 2016 none of the essential characters. Anything left anyway should just be gravy.

  13. #13
    Supreme Fudge Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niki View Post
    So now itīs the fault of those 400(or more) that voted that the numbers may not be accurate. Those polls are very well advertised here and on Matty. If you are interested in the line itīs easy to vote and put in your votes.

    Donīt blame the active members who made sure their voices were heard if you ask me
    I see what you are saying, but none the less, these polls are unofficial and ultimately only give so much of an indication if only a few hundred people vote. If there were at least 1,000 unique members voting, preferably even more, that would give a better indication. Even then it's not perfect, but the larger the sampling, the better the overall indication.

    I think more people would vote in these polls if they were a lot simpler. The process of ranking these characters can be daunting and time consuming. Plus there's a lot of "fluff" characters that easily could have been left out of the polls in the first place (i.e. "Here's 3 different, random, unmemorable, one-off prince/king characters from Filmation that look almost identical"), making the process less daunting. So I can see why there hasn't been more participation. I would imagine the earlier polls probably had more of a turn out, and a lot of people since that time have said, "Screw it." Plus unlike some other past polls, these require you to be a registered user and signed in. And odds are a lot of people don't have much faith of their even being a 2016 line, so they just aren't bothering to vote.

    The statement of "Designer Personal Preference" does concern me, but so does Mattel potentially basing what figures to be made off of a very vocal minority. As much as they state that they don't do that or try to avoid it, at least a few of the obscure items that have come out in this line (and have caused a great deal of controversy in the process) have proven the case to be otherwise. Sometimes they have made figures based on a couple of hundred loud voices, if that.... in some cases it's more like a couple/few really loud voices, a few dozen semi-loud followers, and then maybe another hundred/ couple hundred or so vague shows of remote interest.

    My hope is that if we actually get to 2016, they find SOME way of narrowing down several characters that fans actually want. If it comes down to there only being one "slot" left in the line and there are two or three different potential characters of roughly equal demand and "caliber," I can understand "Designer Personal Preference" being the tie breaker. But we better not get another Nepthu situation.
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    Nothing surprising there. Basically, all Scott is saying is that Mattel is taking the .Org poll and the other polls into consideration, and combing it with all the other things they have taken into account since the very beginning, and shaping a list. I do understand why people's ears would perk up at designer preference, though. LOL. But, I think we've seen throughout the years that a certain amount of "this would be cool to do" has existed in the line. It does seem a wee bit odd to do that in the waning years of the line, though. If it does happen, hopefully it's sparingly.

    This is why I think people don't need to be so frantic or concerned about the polls.

    A.) They are meant to be fun. Remember fun?

    B.) They are combined with all of the above, so it's not like if your favorite character doesn't make it it's the end of the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by cbomb23 View Post
    If the production numbers are anywhere from 8,000-20,000 it's a small percentage and checking out what just the hardcore fans want may not be in the best interest in selling the numbers needed to keep selling product to the most fans.
    I would say with about 90% certainty that it's nowhere near that. At PowerCon, Rueben casually threw out the figure (in a conversation I had with him on the Con floor, not in an official presentation) of 5,000. Maybe a higher number was true in the heyday, but those days are past. The truth is, we're much more down to hardcore/completists than we were. Now, I don't think that's a reason to stop having a good product mix in 2016, but the idea that they could build a 2016 line that wasn't really more about catering to the more hard core/completist crowd that is probably the same crowd voting in these polls seems weird.

    The only thing I can really see added into the mix is maybe something like the 2.0/greatest hits subs that people sometimes mention for what you might term a more "casual" collector.

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    Even after the so-called perceived disaster figures in this line I still prefer that Mattel cull through our lists, but ultimately make their own decisions about who to actually produce as toys. Simply making to order everything that we want saps the sense of mystery that I feel is an integral part of the fun of this line. That said, I still sincerely hope that getting to the remainder of the Vintage and 30th Anniversary C-A-C is high on Mattel's list of things to do for 2016!
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  16. #16
    We can choose these? Matthew K's Avatar
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    First off, I think the less time you spend parsing out statements from Scott and fretting over the possible meaning, the happier you'll be. Since you asked, I think it's a good thing to have the line not be completely fan-driven and letting the artists have a little creative freedom. You get cool stuff like Lighthope, who I didn't even know I'd want until I saw the figure itself. It also keeps an element of surprise and freshness. But don't listen to me, I actually love my Cy-Chop and Gorpo figures so I'm clearly in the insane minority of fans.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    "Designer personal preference"? Is that how Nepthu got made? Or even Batzarro?

    With the line in such dire straits, why not "make" as many of the top figures as resources would allow? We've got loads of figures fans still want.

    I'd love for TG to chime in and explain this intriguing statement further.
    It's also how He-ro got made, and Vikor and a few other really obscure yet well received figures.

  18. #18
    +2 Against Harpies Sword2Blanket's Avatar
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    I realize that 400 is an absurdly small sample size and that the polls are far from perfect, but I'd rather have our picks over Scott's. I mean, 400 is a relatively small number, but it's a heck of a lot bigger than 1.

    Don't get me wrong, I've never been under the impression that Mattel would take a great deal of stock in the polls; I just hope the choices are made for meaningful reasons, not just because Scott likes some stupid character. *cough*Nepthu*cough*

  19. #19
    The Line of Eld Lioncourt's Avatar
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    I'd think that designer preference is a good thing, in general. The 4H are artists, after all. If there is a particular character they think they can do a knock-out job with, I think they should have the freedom to do so.

    As someone who can't really participate in the main page polls, I'm glad they aren't the only, or primary, source for determining character selection. Also, since the characters were divided more or less randomly, they are not entirely effective in narrowing down the list to the most wanted characters.

    Ultimately, I think the 4H should have some say, and I think input should be taken from as many quarters as possible. The statement from TG was reasonable, honest, and non-controversial, as far as I'm concerned, anyway.

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  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior Kowl's Avatar
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    I think the polls are giving them a good idea of what characters got weeded out during the first bracket of the polls... I never imagined they that would only produce the figures that "win" the poll... They are going to continue making figures based on the current model and reusing the bucks... The "designer preference" is probably meaning that the 4H are going to pick characters that not only fit in the line, but also require appropriate levels of tooling.

    The polls themselves have a very small sample size of 400-500. We know the production quotas are WAY higher. I also believe the poll results are somewhat skewed due to the whole "ranking" system being used. You can be guaranteed that not every poll taker is fully sorting the list, therefore skewing the overall results.
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    Because my dear MegaGearMax that would make too much sense. Not trying to be negative, just honest.
    It's all been done before. Everything to say has already been said. Do me a solid and pretend I posted something witty and and original here

  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior AdultCollector's Avatar
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    Choosing one highly demanded figure over another highly demanded figure is one thing. Selecting characters no one wanted is something else entirely.

  23. #23
    Heroic Warrior SpiritOfTeela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonWes View Post
    Nothing surprising there.
    I agree, there was nothing there that surprised me at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    It's also how He-ro got made, and Vikor and a few other really obscure yet well received figures.
    That was a far different climate, though, so early in the line.

    Back then, it was a whole other ballgame where folks were much more open to those things when they were still content with "we'll get to all the vintage, etc....in time" versus now. I think the big turning point was FFM - and that's why Mattel made the promise to start churning out the remaining vintage and highly demanded unmade characters not long after.

    While I completely understand that some folks just want "cool looking characters", and like the mystery/"surprise" - subs are a lot of $ and I think that unless we move into more directed mini-subs after next year, there aren't going to be enough folks who want to be surprised with what their $600+ a year with shipping and taxes can get.

  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior goluphi's Avatar
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    It means that Scott is going to completely override what the Horsemen or anyone else on the design team want and make a subline of The Mighty Spector figures.
    Hey, if you want to wallow in the negative, go nuts. Sure, things aren’t absolutely perfect, and people passionate about a property can get all keyed up about things. But I don’t collect toys to be miserable. So I’d rather think about the things that do excite me
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  25. #25
    Marketing Manager at Mattel Toyguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goluphi View Post
    It means that Scott is going to completely override what the Horsemen or anyone else on the design team want and make a subline of The Mighty Spector figures.
    How did you find out!

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