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Thread: In today's story...What did you learn from MOTUC subscription drive 2013?

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior
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    In today's story...What did you learn from MOTUC subscription drive 2013?

    Sorry, just watched He-Man before work...

    Just curious about what teachable lessons Scott and co. can take going forward for next year's sub reveal at SDCC. What did I learn?

    1) Not doing what you can for international fans from the get-go was truly cutting off one's nose to spite their face. I live in the US, and I am VERY thankful for all our worldwide friends for potentially getting us that much closer to the finish line, regardless of whether or not we crossed it. Big thanks to them. Any of them need a MOTUC pen pal for shipment savings? I am here!

    2) We are vocal, we are cranky...but we can move mountains as a community if we have to. I am very proud of all of us, regardless of the outcome. That really is more satisfying than if 2013 happens to me. We were not a minority this time.

    3) A weapons pack with NEW weapons was very well-received. Another one as a non-sub item would be great!

    4) For reveals, stick to sure things! Though locked in anyway, showing the FFM of obscure/new characters for $75 was enough sticker shock to make fence-sitters cherry pickers. The Star Sisters, though I love them, was all the warning sign you needed, and the FFM reveal was the opposite (though expected) outcome Scott wanted. Show your greatest hand at SDCC. If Horde Troopers are coming that same year, show them, not the FFM. Save them for Toy Fair. While variety and showing a bit of everything is novel, it's not preferred in getting niche vintage fans all-in. Netossa (again, love my PoP) had so few weapons and not a value for the money the way (I feel) Snake Face might have been. Maybe he could have been March, keeping the Snake Men trend in March ongoing.

    5) Two-Bad or a deluxe figure needs to be the 2014 sub-exclusive, and this figure has to promote buying multiple subs. Sorry cherry-pickers, this is my opinion. An A-lister NEEDS to be the sub exclusive. Those of us are going all-in, and in 2014, all the more reason for this to happen, given it's an all-or-nothing game changer now. It needs to be essential and it needs to be pricey. A Two-Bad/Tuvar/Baddrha set or Modulok or Multi-bot, or Mantenna, anything that would be deserving to throw down $500+ dollars/year in this economy has GOT to be compelling. In a vintage year, it makes it that much easier. Sadly, this should have been the way to promote a regular year, with PoP, Filmation, NA, comic, and maybe one fan-made create-A-character figure thrown in the mix.

    6) Re-work a PoP/new figure to fans' tastes or make them otherwise compelling buys. I know Four Horsemen choose the design elements of the toys, and I feel they now hit a nice stride for the likes of Frosta and Netossa aesthetically. The ladies, however, are consistently the most scrutinized pieces in the line, next to new characters. They need to be worth purchasing. The details and the accessories need to be there. Maybe the prior numbers are affecting how much money is being put in, but Netossa with no new weaponry and no 2nd working net or face guard in a $25/year 2013 vs all the stuff Spikor got in 2012 is a bad trend to start. I know weapons packs are an easy fix, but maybe the fan boards need to be checked a little more thoroughly to see what the fans are looking for in a character before sculpting begins? If PoP characters are that hard to move, maybe a variant head should be thrown in a la Demo Man/Alcala Skeletor. We were told Demo-Man sold better than Bubble Power She-Ra, and she was needed for Swift Wind. How about working in fan-demanded heads and weapons? Sweet Bee with 200x Buzz-Off head? Perfuma with Clawful 200x head? Folks are already paying 3rd party talent $25/head as it is.

    7) Size doesn't determine value, only perceived value. This goes into DCUC as well (Rocket Red and Lead spring to mind). If you run out of large figure slots/multipack slots, make them worth buying at least. I would rather have an accurate toy that's a bit more expensive but accurately-sized than an overblown piece of garbage. Accuracy is value, not size. Costs a bit more to do Ram-Man? Great! He looks accurate to me! Does Blast-attak or Stondar cost a bit more? $30 oversized figure it is? Five lousy bucks for a completely new tool is acceptable to me.

    8) Alternate heads = extra purchases, but choose wisely for cost-purposes. Horde Troopers, being a multi-quantity purchase to start with, are four pieces away from getting an easy variant (a Filmation Horde General Hordak with Filmation head, holster/blaster) or a new character entirely (General Sunder with same holster/blaster, head, cape). This warrants even more purchases. This could have been a separate SKU, but not anymore with the line winding down. The young Dekker head (never seen, nor nowhere to put him) was not a good use of tooling dollars in the slightest. You wanted folks to buy an extra Dekker? He was better off with the MAA arm cannon and repainted clawful weapons. Folks like me would have bought two for the arm cannon alone (one for him, one for kit-basked 200x MAA). That new head money could have gone to Netossa's headgear/net, or Jitsu's 200x staction belt. Think smarter is all.

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior Jor-El's Avatar
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    Just re #5... aren't all the figures sub exclusive now? That's the message I've been getting, anyway...

  3. #3
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    Very true, but I keep hearing that some folks would just take Two-Bad, Mantenna, Horde Troopers, and then walk away. These three aside, some folks are content after Ram-Man, particularly 200x fans. Some might be willing to pay a mark-up at BBTS versus going all-in even still.

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    CRITAcal for MOTUC 2015!! Barezz's Avatar
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    All good points really. I don't know about making the sub exclusive a demanded character though. But I imagine that will probably happen in 2014, if anything maybe it will be one of the vintage He-man variants.

    On the subject of 3 packs I say drop them completely and do another 2 pack. They are just too costly to make everyone happy. Even if it was a movie 3 pack people would complain, either about the figures being "obscure" or about getting Gwildor. If it was a Horde trooper 3 pack people would complain and say they only needed 1. I say just drop the 3 pack completely.
    It is spelled "Crita", not "Critta". Misspell her name and Crita will knock the "T" out of you!

    Also...get her into the line!

    Awesome "Yes Movement" avatar by The All American!

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    Heroic Hyperborean NorthCoast's Avatar
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    What did I learn? The Org is full of some really awesome people!
    Subscribe now for MOTUC 2015! Every sub counts!

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    Heroic Warrior seth-man's Avatar
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    I learned that Mattel wins!!...In the end...everyone will cave, no matter how much they complain. And for the people that actually stayed true to their dissatisfaction about the sub model and didnt buy, well that percentage of no sales has little impact because someone else will double, triple, quadruple their sub order to show they will buy anything dubbed He-Man.

  7. #7
    Heroic Hyperborean NorthCoast's Avatar
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    Good timing!
    Subscribe now for MOTUC 2015! Every sub counts!

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    So instead of $25/$30/$50/$75 for the extras, do $25/$30/$50/$50? $25/$50/$50/$50?

    Someone on mattycollector made a great point about the Horde Troopers set, if released, which was to move other items out to keep them alone for that month, given how many folks plan on buying multiples. Maybe the same should happen for these multipacks, making some months multipacks alone, and some months 2 single releases?

    Maybe for the all-in crowd, every month should be two packs? Given it's the best way to space things out financially, they can fit two bios on one pack. Save on packaging? One good vs one evil? Teammates? A-lister with C-lister? Thoughts?

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior wayne-klops's Avatar
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    I have been really impressed and moved by the passion and drive this community has displayed in the past two weeks. I have honestly been quite stressed out by this whole ordeal, but coming here and sharing that experience with others has been quite helpful. Like our own little MOTU support group . Hopefully Toy Guru and Mattel big wigs take notice of this, and do a much improved job of selling the 2014 sub (assuming the 2013 one will happen). They cannot take us for granted again. I don't think any of us have the energy to go through this again next year!

  10. #10
    CRITAcal for MOTUC 2015!! Barezz's Avatar
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    Seriously though, when the choices are buy a sub or the line goes away, it is a pretty easy choice. and more of one then I got when 200X ended (I guess I could have bought 100 smash blade he-mans or something).

    Besides, I like all of the reveals. The 4 Horsemen won me over to Jitsu, Ram Man looks amazing and I love the Horde emblems for the FFM. Normally I'm not one for variants of He-man or Skeletor but I like King He-Man a lot. He represents a nice "happy ending" for a character I love. And after following and becoming disgusted with the EU in Star Wars over the years, I want my characters to have happy endings, not get the crap kicked out of them and each series being about how they cope with things getting worse and worse.
    It is spelled "Crita", not "Critta". Misspell her name and Crita will knock the "T" out of you!

    Also...get her into the line!

    Awesome "Yes Movement" avatar by The All American!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barezz View Post

    Seriously though, when the choices are buy a sub or the line goes away, it is a pretty easy choice. and more of one then I got when 200X ended (I guess I could have bought 100 smash blade he-mans or something).

    Besides, I like all of the reveals. The 4 Horsemen won me over to Jitsu, Ram Man looks amazing and I love the Horde emblems for the FFM. Normally I'm not one for variants of He-man or Skeletor but I like King He-Man a lot. He represents a nice "happy ending" for a character I love. And after following and becoming disgusted with the EU in Star Wars over the years, I want my characters to have happy endings, not get the crap kicked out of them and each series being about how they cope with things getting worse and worse.


    Very interesting take on King He-Man. That said, now it's kind of sad he is so battle-worn now with the dinged crown and rusty sword. Maybe they can clean up the sculpt before tooling him?

  12. #12
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    1. MOTU has one of the most dedicated fan bases around.
    2. Mattel cannot take our buying for granted—if customer service doesn't improve, the line will die at the end of this year.
    3. If you are going to release a multipack, don't charge the same amount as you would for releasing figures individually. Charge less, especially if they are obscure characters.
    4. Given the devotion of the MOTU fan base, Mattel has a vested interest in doing whatever it can to keep the spark going until a movie or other media can fan it back into a flame.
    5. Mattel needs to make things easier for International buyers, who have always been a key to MOTU's success in ways that International fans of G.I. Joe and even Transformers have not.
    6. Mattel better learn that character selection and price is not as much as a concern as quality customer service and quality control. People are more willing to swallow more obscure characters and price hikes if they know they will get a good product with little to no hassle.
    "Mattel's policy of things being seen as a failure if they don't sell out in minutes still annoys the hell out of me." — .org Member paulioscorchio

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  13. #13
    No Rio? We Riot! TheFallen's Avatar
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    I learnt that the fandom did more to promote MOTUC in one week than Scott has done in 4 years

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    CRITAcal for MOTUC 2015!! Barezz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun-Yor View Post
    So instead of $25/$30/$50/$75 for the extras, do $25/$30/$50/$50? $25/$50/$50/$50?

    Someone on mattycollector made a great point about the Horde Troopers set, if released, which was to move other items out to keep them alone for that month, given how many folks plan on buying multiples. Maybe the same should happen for these multipacks, making some months multipacks alone, and some months 2 single releases?

    Maybe for the all-in crowd, every month should be two packs? Given it's the best way to space things out financially, they can fit two bios on one pack. Save on packaging? One good vs one evil? Teammates? A-lister with C-lister? Thoughts?
    I say try it out at $25/$30/$50/$50 and go from there. Better to start small and add then start too big. I would definitely say that they should hold off on beasts for a bit. As for the selection, A-lister + C-lister would probably not be the best because people may complain that they are being "forced" into the C-lister. Teammates could work well, or if they selected people that could fill a couple of slots. I was sold on the FFM because they come with Horde symbols.

    So off the top of my head with some ideas on selection:

    Scorpia and Entrapta: Horde members and Filmation and PoP all in one pack. And these both seem to be pretty requested characters, Scorpia more than Entraptia but she still gets mentions.

    Hydron and Flogg: Even though NA is risky, the two top guys for the Galactic Guardians and Space Mutants may be more well received, and make sense as a 2 pack.

    Mara and Crita (2nd outfits): These figures both usually score high on people's NA wants, and I have seen people who aren't necessarily NA fans say they want Crita or Mara. Plus the pack could serve as the "1st Jetlag characters" slot in MOTUC history, and Mara is sort of a NA "Photog" or "Star Sisters" due to having a toy prototype but never getting made.

    Flying Fists He-Man and Terror Claws Skeletor: A good way to get both of these figures out at once without feeling like the single figure slot for the month is taken by a variant.

    Rotar and Twistoid: Just makes sense to do them as a 2 pack. gets them out of the way at once.

    Blade and Saurod: These two would make a good 2 pack. They are teammates, both evil warriors, and both fairly popular. Gwildor could come as a single release.

    Those are just a few ideas off the top of my head, I'm sure there are others. I think it would be a good idea to avoid any "b-lister" and down NA figure as a 2 pack. I also really can't think of many PoP 2 packs that would go over well (Glimmer and Angella may tick people off who only want Glimmer, but it could work.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jun-Yor View Post
    L

    Very interesting take on King He-Man. That said, now it's kind of sad he is so battle-worn now with the dinged crown and rusty sword. Maybe they can clean up the sculpt before tooling him?
    Oh I don't mind the dinged crown (or the scar). He's still He-man, I'm sure he gets in a scrap every now and then. The rusty sword maybe should be less rusty, just because a rusty sword tells me that the sword is not taken care of and neglected, and a good warrior like He-man isn't going to neglect his sword.

    Nothing wrong with a few adventures though. Take the difference between Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker. Harry goes on to become an auror (magic police). I'm sure he sees some occasional conflict in that line of work, but his scar never hurts, there is no "Voldermort Jr" that rises, and "All was well". Luke on the other hand constantly fights new "big bads" constantly, including the Emperor who returns from the grave. He loses 2 nephews, the second who went evil and was killed by his niece. His wife is killed by that same evil nephew, and last i knew he had been forced into exile by the Republic for some idiotic reason. After awhile enough is just enough. Poor Luke should have had a nervous breakdown long ago.
    It is spelled "Crita", not "Critta". Misspell her name and Crita will knock the "T" out of you!

    Also...get her into the line!

    Awesome "Yes Movement" avatar by The All American!

  15. #15
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    In today's story we learned that fans with a strong sense of nostalgia are willing to go the extra mile to help endure what may be one of the greatest toy lines ever created. That despite obstacles, poor customer service and perhaps even shady business practices including skewing figure and subscription demand, the greater good is perceived in preserving and even sharing a valuable piece of memories, lessons, and joys from the past while creating similar ones for the future. In this way, most can be winners and share in the victory...

    Until next time

  16. #16
    Ray of Sunshine Lookie's Avatar
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    We learned that 200 fans (Scott's estimate of org members) CAN account for a greater number of subs than originally thought. No matter how small the fanbase, if they are loud, you might want to listen to them.
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  17. #17
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    The three biggie lessons as I see them-

    1) Never underestimate the power of a great subscription exclusive. God bless King He-man, but he wasn't enough to motivate people to buy this year and looking at his 'amateur' status in the iconography of MOTU it's not hard to see why. In truth Ram Man should have been the exclusive. End of story.
    2) Never understimate the power of our international brethren. They are NOT a drop in the bucket. 'Nuff said.
    3) Never allow your customer service issues (in this case with DR) to get so bad that the build up crushes your momentum going into a new sub year. This one hardly requires clarification, so I won't bore you with that here.
    4) Hubris is your enemy even where your flagship line is concerned. Scott has been riding high on the fumes of goodwill brought about by the uber strong MOTUC contingent; however, as a brand manager you can never assume that goodwill is endless. This year proved that fans can speak very loudly with their wallets... or as 2013 proved, without.

  18. #18
    Heroic Reviewer of MOTUC Pixel Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun-Yor View Post
    We are vocal, we are cranky...but we can move mountains as a community if we have to.
    I just want to say that that's an awesome quote.

    We should put that on an official He-Man.org T-Shirt.
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  19. #19
    Assimilate, or else!! krosfyah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seth-man View Post
    I learned that Mattel wins!!...In the end...everyone will cave, no matter how much they complain. And for the people that actually stayed true to their dissatisfaction about the sub model and didnt buy, well that percentage of no sales has little impact because someone else will double, triple, quadruple their sub order to show they will buy anything dubbed He-Man.
    not true. I don't know if they CARE but Mattel (more importantly Scott) has learned their antics DO have consequences, such a LARGE drop off from one year to the next and the feedback of the fans spoke volumes. we will see if it lasts but Scott seems humbled by the experience, at least to a degree. his comments about what 2014 will be shows that the fans have made a voice heard, the Digital River message even if it turns out to be lip service also shows Mattel "wow, these guys ARE really ****** off" a statement WAS made and HEARD. We'll see what actually happens from here on it, but I wouldn't be so cynical about the fans coming together to get what they want while a statement was made.
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  20. #20
    In disguise! Barbecue17's Avatar
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    Now, here on this ragged patch of cyberspace called He-Man.org, Matty's efforts to ruin this line face obliteration!
    Just there the corporate suits huddle, sheer terror gripping tight their hearts with icy fingers... knowing full well what merciless horrors they suffered at the subscriptions and campaigning of two hundred. Yet they stare now across the plain at *thousands* of subscribers subscriptions purchasing tens of thousands of MOTUC figures! HA-OOH!

    Digital River and Matty's ineptitude outnumbers our ineptitude a paltry three to one, good odds for any .Orger. This day we rescue a toyline from cancellation and death and usher in a future brighter than anything we can imagine.

    Give thanks, men, to He-Man.org and the brave 200! TO VICTORY!
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lookie View Post
    We learned that 200 fans (Scott's estimate of org members) CAN account for a greater number of subs than originally thought. No matter how small the fanbase, if they are loud, you might want to listen to them.
    Ok I'm tired of seeing this quote tied to the number of members on the Org, he didn't use it in reference to the number of members/active members/regular posters/etc. on the Org. He used the statement in terms of the number of fans on the Org supporting or asking for a figure of Illumina. I mean good lord Scott takes so much flak at least people can get the reference right.

  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior Inhibitor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seth-man View Post
    I learned that Mattel wins!!...In the end...everyone will cave, no matter how much they complain. And for the people that actually stayed true to their dissatisfaction about the sub model and didnt buy, well that percentage of no sales has little impact because someone else will double, triple, quadruple their sub order to show they will buy anything dubbed He-Man.
    Not just "anything", we're talking high grade 4H sculpts! The best representations of MOTU to date. If it weren't for them I wouldn't even think about going the distance. This is what was needed to keep the great figures going and not blind alliegance to Mattel at all. I think most people would agree.
    Your support means more research for the Myostatin-challenged.

  23. #23
    Assimilate, or else!! krosfyah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inhibitor View Post
    Not just "anything", we're talking high grade 4H sculpts! The best representations of MOTU to date. If it weren't for them I wouldn't even think about going the distance. This is what was needed to keep the great figures going and not blind alliegance to Mattel at all. I think most people would agree.
    i do agree.
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  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior Count Judas's Avatar
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    I agree with all points made by Jun-Yor


    Quote Originally Posted by TheFallen View Post
    I learnt that the fandom did more to promote MOTUC in one week than Scott has done in 4 years
    Hear Hear!!


    ----I only bought one sub but I'd still like to be a chocolate & bacon flavored sucker, Ha-cha-cha!! ----
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  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFallen View Post
    I learnt that the fandom did more to promote MOTUC in one week than Scott has done in 4 years
    Such a great point. Which goes along with my hubris comment in my earlier response. Scott has been able to count on the 150% support for MOTUC since it first started rolling along and hasn't really done much (and in that 'much' I'm counting convention appearances) to support spreading the word. I realize the line is small and resources finite, but there are obviously a metric TON of great fans willing to help pro bono in support of advertising for this line, lean on them going forward. Designate a 'Mad Matty Marching Maniacs' society, where fans get a little something extra for supporting the line in interesting and out of the box ways. The comics company Valiant back in the 90's used to give out Gold foil special editions of their flagships titles to fans who advertised on behalf of their company in such ways and that seemed to work pretty well. If we're a small but proud community there are ways to leverage us without having to put us on the payroll. C'mon Scott, think! Or is that asking too much?

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