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Thread: Big Lots! vs MattyCollector.com, a Discussion

  1. #1
    Illumina & Cat please! Darkspecter's Avatar
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    Big Lots! vs MattyCollector.com, a Discussion

    Everyone's talking about their Big Lots! discoveries and there's been some controversy/hostility about it, which is my inspiration for this discussion.

    Some people have mentioned that Mattel selling their left-over MOTUC/Ghostbuster/DC figures to Big Lots! instead of offering them for sale on MattyCollector is a "middle finger" to those who have supported the line, buying these items at FULL price.

    These figures have been for sale on MattyCollector at discounted prices numerous times. In October, 2011, Mattel had "Mad Matty Monday" where you could buy a MOTUC Mystery package for $40 and were guaranteed the monetary value would be higher than $40. For example, one person received the following:

    Tytus
    Mo-Larr vs. Skeletor
    Moss Man
    Bow

    That works out to $10 per item. Those are Big Lots! prices right there. Here's what everyone else got if you want to read the thread:
    http://he-man.org/forums/boards/show...ilers-inside-)

    Mattel has also put these figures for sale on MattyCollector during Black Friday and on Cyber Monday. I think they have this sale every year, putting up items from previous years (never the current one). These are figures that were over-produced and/or customer service stock.

    Mattel has also offered these figures for sale at their outlet stores (as well as giving a FREE figure to every subscriber as an apology for Frosta's reversed forearms). As you can see, they have been selling them to us at discounted prices for at least two years...but Mattel still has a LOT of some figures left. As of November 25, 2011 (during the Cyber Monday sale), these were the numbers of figures they still had in stock:

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkspecter View Post
    Adora: 2,101
    Masters of the Universe® Art Prints: 155
    Battle Cat: 667
    Beastman: 1,525
    Bow: 404
    Catra: 172
    Clawful: 245
    Faceless One: 782
    Goddess: 2,140
    Gygor: 5,764
    King Grayskull: SOLD OUT
    King Hssss: 555
    Man-E-Faces: exactly 300
    Megator: 1,898
    Mo-Larr vs Skeletor: 8,327
    Moss-Man: 2,566
    Optikk: 174
    Orko: SOLD OUT
    Captain Glenn: unable to determine
    Palace Guards: 4,985
    Scareglow: SOLD OUT
    BA Skeletor: 325
    Skeletor: 3,871
    Teela: SOLD OUT
    BG Teela: 897
    Tytus: 4,673
    Vikor: 429
    Weapons Pak: Great Wars Assortment: SOLD OUT
    Weapons Pak: Ultimate Battle Ground: 65
    Weapons Rack: 2,994
    Whiplash: SOLD OUT
    Zodak: 431
    When you have nearly 6000 Gygors and over 8000 Mo-Larr sets, just selling them on MattyCollector won't cut it. Mattel TRIED selling them to us first. Does anyone remember just how many times the Mo-Larr set was on sale on MattyCollector? I think it was for sale at least 5 separate times. Holding onto all this merchandise in a warehouse is probably costing Mattel a small fortune, which is why they reached out to discount retailers. We've already seen these exact same figures that are showing up at Big Lots! for sale on another online store. I can't remember its name, but I registered just so I could see them.

    "I'm not buying the 2014 subscription because these figures will just be sold at Big Lots! for $10 again"

    I'm pretty sure Big Lots! and other discount retail chains will not be selling MOTUC figures again. Mattel guessed at how many figures they needed to produce, which is why the figures we're seeing are mainly the earlier ones (2009-2011), and characters Mattel did a second run on (and why I think we all understand why Mattel doesn't want to do second runs on MOTUC figures ever again). Mattel has a pretty good idea now of how many figures they sell. This is just a way to unload over-produced stock and some customer service stock. Each year, they're producing fewer and fewer figures and many are now sub-only: Fangman, Clamp-Champ and Sea Hawk were figures that were sub-only and then, of course, there's the regular sub-exclusive figure for each year: Wundar, Shadow Weaver, King He-Man. Some figures that were available day-of go for really high prices too, on the after market: Teela, Fisto, Sorceress, Scareglow, Ram-Man, Jitsu...the list goes on. I mean, if you REALLY want to chance it that the 2014 figures will go for $10 each, that's your choice...but I never see that happening. Especially since 2014 and 2015 will be the remaining A-listers (Modulok, Two-Bad, Glimmer).

    Finally, I would like to end with saying why I think these figures being sold at Big Lots! is a good thing. Please hear me out before pelting me with rotten food.

    I think this is good for numerous reasons:

    1) This helps expose the line, and MOTU, to people who never would have known about it.
    2) People picking up the figures for the first time might go to MattyCollector and buy more figures or even subscribe.
    3) This helps people who have recently started collecting the line fill in holes in their collections.
    4) It's great for people who love this toy line, but couldn't afford to buy many/any figures.\
    5) People who are not fans of certain eras (NA, PoP, 200X, obscure characters, etc.) might pick up some of these figures because of how inexpensive they are and fall in love with them, realizing that all the eras of MOTU are pretty darn cool and they might consider subbing for the first time, or continue to sub (if they were thinking about not subbing again).
    6) These are great for making custom figures out of.

    7) If Mattel kept offering extremely discounted MOTUC figures for sale on MattyCollector, it could have killed the line. This ties in to the people who say they will not sub because the figures will just be sold for $10 again. When Mattel had the Mad Matty sales and Cyber Monday sales, certain people started having this "everything will be cheaper" attitude and one item that was mentioned specifically, was the Wind Raider. People were saying they weren't going to buy it because it would probably be 1/2 price "next year" during Cyber Monday. It wasn't, but as we all know, the Wind Raider had "extremely poor sales" and Mattel refused to do any more vehicles. That was until some fans kept pestering them about how the Battle Ram was fully sculpted already and they really wanted more.

    A better example is Ghostbusters, though. Mattel had a sale all of October, where Ghostbuster figures were $15 and then they dropped to $10 (I think the last few days of the sale, it was). Ghostbuster collectors who supported the line from day one FLIPPED OUT that Mattel was doing this because they paid full price and how wrong it was, etc. Well, when the Ghostbusters sub went for sale that year...it didn't reach the numbers it needed and the sub was cancelled. Mattel released the final figures that were already tooled, but at a HIGHER cost.

    My post here isn't meant to be some sort of "buy the sub, or else!" propaganda, it's just to present the facts of what has happened with MOTUC and other MattyCollector lines over the years. If you like MOTUC, want the figures and can afford a subscription, I think it's best to buy a subscription. It's all "A-List" figures for 2014 and 2015 (if we make it there) and I cannot see them being any cheaper than what you will get from Mattel. It's like every MOTU toy line that has every existed: as the line gets older, the figures get more rare/harder to find because fewer get produced.

    MOTU:

    Rotar
    Twistoid
    Laser Light Skeletor
    Laser Power He-Man
    Tytus
    Megator

    PoP:

    Loo-Kee
    Netossa
    Spinnerella
    Bubble Power She-Ra
    Shower Power Catra

    NA:

    Too Tall Hoove
    Hook Em Flogg
    Missile Armour Flipshot
    Spin Fist Hydron

    200X:

    Snake Armour He-Man
    Mecha Blade He-Man
    Mecha Blade Skeletor
    Trap N Smash Orko
    Claw Attack Stratos
    ...the weird repaint figures

    Mini Statues/Stactions:

    Jitsu
    Mosquitor
    Sssqueeze

    I really hope this will bring thought provoking discussion. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
    Last edited by Darkspecter; July 28, 2013 at 05:07am.
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  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior Stratos*Major's Avatar
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    I try not to read the Big Lots thread because it is a bit discouraging to see a few figures i need going for $10.00.
    I did check the only 2 Big Lot stores around me and they had nadda...
    That being said i think it's a bit foolish to think we'll find this years or next years figures for sale at Big Lots let alone Matty.
    I think We'll see Strobo on sale from this year and SOH but thats about it.
    Maybe Netossa & the FFM.
    We might get lucky...who knows.
    Thats the issue...u dont know.
    Oh i think Granamyr will show up on BF/CM.
    I just got him DOS...but whatever...i couldnt wait any longer and paid that price.
    No reasson to be mad or to not sub.
    Also, most retailers can sell products at 90% off the MSRP and still make a profit. That being said...its inevitable what we buy today may go on sale tomorrow.

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior
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    Time for Mattel to get the Palace Guards to the stores, easy armybuilding

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    Well that was dumb! Is-rael's Avatar
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    Wow thank you for the perspective, that is some great info! I have to say the big lots thing was a great thrill. I only picked up some I didn't have and one my daughter wanted. But I have to admit I'm going to be chasing the feeling for awhile of walking in a store turning a corner and seeing 4 shelves full on MOTUC! Oh and please subscribe to keep this train going.
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    Heroic Toy Addict soundwavempl's Avatar
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    I think MOTUC showing up at Big Lots is a good thing overall as I have had a couple friends who never collected MOTUC before and now may start since they got some of the figures for cheap.
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    Heroic Warrior Nekk-ra's Avatar
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    I pretty much agree with what you've stated, Darkspecter.

    I have no problem with Big Lots getting excess stock to sell. It's a smart way to get rid of the excess, since Big Lots is a "sell what it gets" retailer, and Digital River was probably nailing Mattel with big inventory costs (they can't just mess us over ). DR probably also charges Mattel every time it has a big sale, so dumping it onto a retailer who will deal with selling it (as well as the corporate tax write-off) works out very well for them. And if it lessens the cost to run this line, that's good for us, too.

    The only problem with this has been a small group of determined resellers who've mistaken a desire to buy these figures cheap or fill holes in a collection with a demand that really doesn't exist. So fans go looking only to find empty shelves, and a casual buyer who didn't know this line was back misses the opportunity to even know those figures were there.

    Don't get me wrong, Mattel is no angel in this. They've made quite a few poor decisions that led to them having this much excess stock to liquidate. However, I do enjoy seeing Masters on the shelves again irregardless of how they winded up there.
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  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior wayne-klops's Avatar
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    Darkspecter, you made a very well written post, and I agree with what you have said.

    I think that the thing people have to keep in mind with what's being shipped to Big Lots is, for the most part, stuff in the line that wasn't the most popular and had been on sale many times.

    With some of the figures that SHOULD have been popular and sold out quickly, like Man-E-Faces, Orko, Adora, and Sy-Klone, it appears that they made two entire full runs of these figures; way too many to get all the way sold through. Others, like Icarius, Chief Carnivus, Marzo, and Faceless One, they should have been a little smarter about and know that these characters aren't strong enough to have produced as many as they did.

    It seems like Mattel made the same mistake they did in the 80s about overproducing some figures which then causes the line to be in danger. Hopefully there is still enough support to not have the line outright canceled for 2014. But we can see as a result just how scared Mattel is to pull the trigger on anything new MOTU-related without guaranteed sales. For their ineptness, we get punished, yet again.

    None of the figures being sold at Big Lots are ones that you couldn't have gotten easily many times on Matty or for a decent price on the second market (with the exception of flocked-ears Moss Man). Sure, you couldn't have gotten them for $10, but they weren't the ones being sold for $40+ either.

    I know that it's happened to me countless times in the past that I've bought something for full price and the next day or next week, the store is having 40% off sale or the item I bought is on sale or clearance. This is no different. If I had wanted to take the chance of possibly getting some of these figures for $10 later on, I could have waited, but I'm someone who needs instant gratification and can't wait, and am willing to spend the extra money for that. I can't even wait three months to have figures shipped quarterly to save on shipping .

    I agree that it is not likely you will find any 2013 figures or any coming after that to be sent to Big Lots. If that does happen, I hope they wait until 2016 at least so we can finish up the line through 2015 in ignorant bliss .

    I just hope that the Big Lots ordeal is not causing some people to decide not to get a 2014 sub because they think the same thing will happen again later on down the road, because I don't think it will, and would not want to jeopardize getting the figures at all just because there is a small chance for a big discount down the road.

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    Heroic Warrior KeldorTheCursed's Avatar
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    Personally, as someone on a small budget, I've been DYING to find some figures at my local Big Lots stores, but I've been coming up dry.
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    Heroic Warrior RyDell's Avatar
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    I think it's great... I just hope I can get a few that would enhance my collection. I'd love a few Vykron's and I need a Mo-Lar. Just for extra heads and things. I have every figure except Mo-Lar. But this is a great / cheap way for others to get their collections going... BUT it's even better for kids to get some great toys!!!
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    Heroic Warrior
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    Great post.

    Not buying a sub because there are figures on sale at Big Lots is not really a justifiable reason, IMO. Not having enough money or not wanting all the figures, those are good reasons, especially the not having enough money. But it is a simple fact of life that what you buy today at full price might be clearanced tomorrow. There is rarely a way to be sure of when you are getting the best price. By the time it goes on sale, you might miss it.

    Mattel overestimated the demand for figures. How anyone could come up with an overstock of Gygors and Molarrs in the thousands is beyond me, but this is Mattel and they hired Digital River, so there you go. But there's no reason to feel burned. Mattel isn't doing this to spite anyone; they're doing it to reduce their losses.

    Rest assured that this will not happen again. If you are not buying a sub because you think you will get them at a massive discount later, you are making a massive mistake.
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    Heroic Warrior
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    I guess Mattel really needed to be defended... ESPECIALLY during the sub sales...

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    Heroic Warrior bigsexy_j's Avatar
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    The difference between biglots and matty sales is still the price. Biglots must still be making some sort of profit when selling the figures at $10 or they wouldn't do it. They need to factor in the cost to get them to there stores as well. So they must have gotten the figures for $5 or cheaper each.

    When matty sold them for $10 you needed to factor in shipping of $5 - $10 on top of that. If matty put up the figures for $5 - $10 all at once and not some stupid different figures every hour and people could get them shipped for an actual USPS rate I'm sure they would have sold out as well.

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    Heroic Warrior Kowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsexy_j View Post
    The difference between biglots and matty sales is still the price. Biglots must still be making some sort of profit when selling the figures at $10 or they wouldn't do it. They need to factor in the cost to get them to there stores as well. So they must have gotten the figures for $5 or cheaper each.
    The deal had to be profitable to both side of the equation too! Mattel must have crunched the numbers and decided it was a better financial decision to liquidate the entire stock to Big Lots (and perhaps others) for a set price. By doing this, they have ensured a complete "sell-out" of the overstock product and the deal is done. We aren't privy to the Digital River/Mattel contract. It is entirely possible that putting these figures back on sale through MattyCollector may have not been the best financial option for them, especially if sold at a clearance price. Also to consider, putting items back up on Matty doesn't guarantee a sell out like the liquidation deal did. As collectors, we naturally tend to consider what seems like the best solution that benefits us and forget that Mattel is a business that will do what actually benefits them best financially.
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    Heroic Warrior bigsexy_j's Avatar
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    ^^
    If that's is the case then Mattel must be getting hosed on the Spirit of Hordak figure, random 10 minute sales, housing the figure in the warehouse and production costs would all pile up.

    Also hasn't Scott told us numerous times that the resources put into MOTUC could make much more profit if put towards Barbie or Hot Wheels? If all they really cared about was profit then there must be some benefit for them to keep this line going. The only thing I can see it being is getting paid for movie rights.

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    Chillin' He-Man54's Avatar
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    Great post, Darkspecter! I absolutely agree with everything you wrote. This Big Lots! deal has allowed me to fill some holes in my collection. I have to prioritize my collecting due to budget, so it's a welcome surprise to be able to finally pick up some figures I had written off as a low priority. As a customizer, I'd never gotten much in to Classics customs due to price, but again, with these Big Lots prices I can finally start delving into MOTUC customs and that has me really excited!

    As far as future BL stock from Matty, I agree with you that Mattel has likely adjusted their production numbers to avoid this happening again. Clamp Champ not being sold DOS is a great example. I really don't see a downside to this situation, aside from those who are striking out at their local stores, but such is he risk of buying figures at a B&M stoe.

  16. #16
    Evil Apologist of Mattel® Count Marzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundwavempl View Post
    I think MOTUC showing up at Big Lots is a good thing overall as I have had a couple friends who never collected MOTUC before and now may start since they got some of the figures for cheap.
    Exactly!

    It's a quick, cheap fix for a lot of potential new customers. Maybe eventually they'll get hooked on the harder, more potent stuff.

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    USF Bull chuc98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prahvus View Post
    I guess Mattel really needed to be defended... ESPECIALLY during the sub sales...
    I guess if you consider Darkspecter laying out facts to be "defending" Mattel then I don't know what to say. It's even mentioned in the post that it's not meant as propaganda for Mattel, that it's just presenting facts. I agree with Darkspecter…if you can afford the sub and want it, get the sub. I personally want everything because to me it's all MotU. Mattel has attempted every avenue selling these figures. At first there was no sub. Fans begged for a sub so Mattel created a sub. Mattel said from day one that Classics would be an all inclusive brand including vintage MotU, PoP, NA, 200X, comics, undeveloped figures, prototypes and eventually even Filmation. That's NO SECRET, they've ALWAYS been up front about that. Darkspecter is correct…as Classics has gone on, there are less and less of what the broad fan base would consider "A-List" characters, which is JUST LIKE what happened with vintage MotU. Personally, everything shown for next year is A-List to me.

    In the end, I think Mattel is doing the right thing by sending a hand full of figures to Big Lots!, they need the warehouse space most likely and keeping older figures around probably isn't the most economical thing for them to do.
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  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior
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    In the end, I think Mattel is doing the right thing by sending a hand full of figures to Big Lots!, they need the warehouse space most likely and keeping older figures around probably isn't the most economical thing for them to do.
    Hum... what did I say again ? Oh yeah :

    I guess Mattel really needed to be defended... ESPECIALLY during the sub sales...

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior AuraBoyX's Avatar
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    What the heck is Big Lot anyway? Is it a west coast thing? I am in New England and I have never heard of them. What type of store is it? What would be an equivalent store out here in the northeast? Ocean State Job Lot?

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    Again we are talking about things we don't know about. May be they are losing money or may be not. but again we don't have numbers to prove it. it is just speculation.

    The point about not subscribing because of big lots, is just an isolated case of not thinking properly. If you read the other thread you would find a lot of real reasons not to subscribe.

    I agree this could attract new customers. Taking into account that this line never had advertising aside from the web reviews. Motuc at retail is a good way to start it. I think CG also attracted new customers.

  22. #22
    Illumina & Cat please! Darkspecter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundwavempl View Post
    I think MOTUC showing up at Big Lots is a good thing overall as I have had a couple friends who never collected MOTUC before and now may start since they got some of the figures for cheap.
    That's awesome!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nekk-ra View Post
    The only problem with this has been a small group of determined resellers who've mistaken a desire to buy these figures cheap or fill holes in a collection with a demand that really doesn't exist. So fans go looking only to find empty shelves, and a casual buyer who didn't know this line was back misses the opportunity to even know those figures were there.
    That's unfortunate. It would be nice if people only picked these up if they needed them, for customs or to trade.

    Quote Originally Posted by KeldorTheCursed View Post
    Personally, as someone on a small budget, I've been DYING to find some figures at my local Big Lots stores, but I've been coming up dry.
    I hope you can find some!

    Quote Originally Posted by Is-rael View Post
    I only picked up some I didn't have and one my daughter wanted.
    Quote Originally Posted by RyDell View Post
    But this is a great / cheap way for others to get their collections going... BUT it's even better for kids to get some great toys!!!
    Yes, exactly! Kids getting into Masters of the Universe is very important for the future of the brand.

    Quote Originally Posted by He-Man54 View Post
    Great post, Darkspecter! I absolutely agree with everything you wrote. This Big Lots! deal has allowed me to fill some holes in my collection. I have to prioritize my collecting due to budget, so it's a welcome surprise to be able to finally pick up some figures I had written off as a low priority. As a customizer, I'd never gotten much in to Classics customs due to price, but again, with these Big Lots prices I can finally start delving into MOTUC customs and that has me really excited!
    Glad to hear it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Scientist View Post
    The point about not subscribing because of big lots, is just an isolated case of not thinking properly. If you read the other thread you would find a lot of real reasons not to subscribe.
    Yes, there are very valid reasons for some people not to subscribe: space, financial situations, nightmare issues with Digital River (like a member here who had his account combined with another guys account and was getting charged for BOTH subscriptions), etc. I'm not trying to push the subscription on people who can't afford it or don't want it (for many valid, reasons). I'm just trying to explain that this Big Lots! thing is something that will probably never happen again.

    I agree this could attract new customers. Taking into account that this line never had advertising aside from the web reviews. Motuc at retail is a good way to start it. I think CG also attracted new customers.
    I agree. Hopefully it will bring in new customers. I still can't believe there haven't been ads in the new MOTU comics! I mean...it's a MOTU product that isn't advertising the other MOTU products!
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  23. #23
    CRITAcal for MOTUC 2015!! Barezz's Avatar
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    Very good post Darkspector

    This might not be the most popular thing to say to some people...but if old figures being sold off to Big Lots makes you that upset that you are not subbing to 2014 I don't think you are being honest with yourself. That is just not rational at all. More likely you are angry about other things, or more likely tired of the line or had most of your personal preferences met. I would be fine with anyone saying "I'm not going to sub because I have the characters I want". That's cool I can respect that. But someone who was planning on subbing and was "all in" and then has a meltdown because old stock shows up at Big Lots? Yikes.

    Things go on clearance all the time in the world of toys. I remember buying a Star Wars item, the Republic Attack Shuttle I think, for $75. Within a year it ended up being cleared out on Amazon for $25. I didn't freak out on Hasbro, it just was what it was.

    Most of these figures were on at least 1 Mad Matty sale and still didn't sell out. If Ram-Man was showing up at Big Lots I would be a bit ticked off too. But it is not, it is BG Teela, and the Faceless One, figures that most people ***** about anyway.
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  24. #24
    USF Bull chuc98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prahvus View Post
    Hum... what did I say again ? Oh yeah :

    I guess Mattel really needed to be defended... ESPECIALLY during the sub sales...
    At least TRY to think of it logically…
    If you were selling a product and you only had a hand full of a particular item left and it wasn't economically feasible FOR YOU to sell that small amount online why would you? AND why would you continue to pay for warehouse space for that small amount of old product when it could be dedicated to new incoming product?

    This isn't defending anyone. This is just a matter of being a logical human being and knowing how business works. Mattel isn't doing anything any other business wouldn't do.
    Last edited by chuc98; July 28, 2013 at 05:07pm.
    200X fan? Classic fan? What does that mean? I'm a MotU fan!!!

  25. #25
    Pffft!!! mkpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkspecter View Post
    The only problem with this has been a small group of determined resellers who've mistaken a desire to buy these figures cheap or fill holes in a collection with a demand that really doesn't exist. So fans go looking only to find empty shelves, and a casual buyer who didn't know this line was back misses the opportunity to even know those figures were there.

    That's unfortunate. It would be nice if people only picked these up if they needed them, for customs or to trade.
    Checked the marketplace lately? Nekkra is exactly right.
    My post count just got bigger.

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