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Thread: MOTUC and the Mattel business model.

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    Heroic Warrior Skeletortilla's Avatar
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    MOTUC and the Mattel business model.

    I just realized why Mattel is so reluctant to produce figures, vehicles, and playsets that are one-time original sculpts.
    ALL of their toylines have one thing in common...shared parts re-use. Their entire company is based on it.
    Think about it...all Barbies, DCUC, JLU, Monster High dolls use the same bodies over and over within their respective lines. Sure there's the occasional oddball in there but for the most part, everything gets recycled over and over and over.
    Even Hot Wheels have used the same number of models endlessly repainted for decades.
    It's no wonder they don't want to do one-use vehicles and playsets. At this point that concept must be alien to them.
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    Evil Collapsing Robot! Zodach's Avatar
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    It all comes down to money. They are a publicly traded company and they need to make lots of money to appease their shareholders. They are pushed to make more profit each year than the year prior and that cascades all the way down to budgets for each product line. Parts reuse is pretty standard in the toy industry today across all companies because newly tooled molds are very, very expensive to make. It is not just Mattel doing this.

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    Heroic Warrior fireball13z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zodach View Post
    It all comes down to money. They are a publicly traded company and they need to make lots of money to appease their shareholders. They are pushed to make more profit each year than the year prior and that cascades all the way down to budgets for each product line. Parts reuse is pretty standard in the toy industry today across all companies because newly tooled molds are very, very expensive to make. It is not just Mattel doing this.
    Its true that most all toy companys do it one way or another, but I will admit Mattel is the king of reuse parts. Sometimes its a good thing, sometimes its not.
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    I just realized why Mattel is so reluctant to produce figures, vehicles, and playsets that are one-time original sculpts.
    ALL of their toylines have one thing in common...shared parts re-use. Their entire company is based on it.
    Think about it...all Barbies, DCUC, JLU, Monster High dolls use the same bodies over and over within their respective lines. Sure there's the occasional oddball in there but for the most part, everything gets recycled over and over and over.
    Even Hot Wheels have used the same number of models endlessly repainted for decades.
    It's no wonder they don't want to do one-use vehicles and playsets. At this point that concept must be alien to them.
    This model may work better for dolls (Barbie, Big Jim, Max Steel) you can dress with many different outfits, making them "unique" in their own way, but it doesn't translate well to action figures !

    There are too many reuses, with Mattel.This might work for a while, but I'm pretty sure that, ultimately, it will cause the Company to go bankrupt.Today, Mattel is VERY different from what it was in the past. Here in Europe, you can hardly find their figures in stores anymore, when you could find so many of them in the 70's, 80's and even in the beginning of the 90's. I take it as a bad omen for this corporation... Oh, sure, they won't crumble tomorrow. But their presence and influence have greatly dwindled, already...

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    Evil Collapsing Robot! Zodach's Avatar
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    There are so many factors that I think it's hard to compare each company, brand, or line. Mattel is the world's #1 toy company thanks mostly to their Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Fisher Price lines. Hasbro has the best boy/action figure portfolio but they also have a huge media backing in television and movies for all of their top lines (Star Wars, Transformers, Marvel, GI Joe). Hasbro's sales are higher in this market segment when compared to Mattel's DC lines and MOTUC probably doesn't even come close to any of these lines since it's online only. The higher the sales the easier it is to absorb new tooling costs which is probably what you see with Hasbro. WWE is probably the best seller for Mattel and they reuse parts because it makes sense for wrestling figures.

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    CRITAcal for MOTUC 2015!! Barezz's Avatar
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    Vehicles tend to be a bigger risk, and I think it really depends on the line. In a line like Star Wars vehicles seem more important to have. But in Star Wars they are also a bit "safer" because they can reuse the molds. Heck I have 7 versions of the Episode 3 Jedi Starfighter alone, all recolored to look like a different Jedi's ship. Every couple of years they can reuse the molds to create a new version and just alter the paint apps a bit. And even a line like Star Wars that is fairly successful with vehicles has said that it is not profitable to do a large scale playset, and Star Wars still commands a large presence in toy stores.

    In MOTUC you can't really reuse the molds. How many people *really* want a "stealth" Wind Raider or whatever? Probably not too many. What may have been smart was to create a larger amount of Wind raiders and offer them year round like they did with core characters. They could have even bumped the price up a bit more after the initial sale, maybe to $50.00. That way they could have continued to make profit off of the toy, and I am sure that there would have been people who would have decided to buy one at some point throughout the year. May have been something that new collectors to the line would have grabbed as well, especially considering some of the great reviews it got.

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    Always Hungry.... Megalodon's Avatar
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    Sounds like what Mego did back in the day re-used the same male & female buck and dress it up that might work in 1971 but not 2012...

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    Evil Collapsing Robot! Zodach's Avatar
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    Well it still works because here we all are on a MOTU forum talking about and buying MOTUC figures that feature heavy parts reuse. I don't understand why you guys think this model is such a bad thing when the line wouldn't be able to exist without it. Scott has said many times that the better the line sells the more new tooling and SKUs they can get management to approve. I think the Four Horsemen and the Mattel Design team have done a very good job reusing parts that make sense and making the best use of new tools where needed.

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    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeletortilla View Post
    I just realized why Mattel is so reluctant to produce figures, vehicles, and playsets that are one-time original sculpts.
    ALL of their toylines have one thing in common...shared parts re-use. Their entire company is based on it.
    Think about it...all Barbies, DCUC, JLU, Monster High dolls use the same bodies over and over within their respective lines. Sure there's the occasional oddball in there but for the most part, everything gets recycled over and over and over.
    Even Hot Wheels have used the same number of models endlessly repainted for decades.
    It's no wonder they don't want to do one-use vehicles and playsets. At this point that concept must be alien to them.
    Well to be honest Monster High has probably more unique parts than any other line Mattel makes. The only big reused part is the main body. Each head is individual, hands, clothes, accessories.

    But its not a foreign concept, you want to get the most of your money. Even people who make their own toylines (Glyos, etc) on a small scale understand this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    Sounds like what Mego did back in the day re-used the same male & female buck and dress it up that might work in 1971 but not 2012...
    Works fine for a majority of the industry in 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Prahvus View Post
    There are too many reuses, with Mattel.This might work for a while, but I'm pretty sure that, ultimately, it will cause the Company to go bankrupt.Today, Mattel is VERY different from what it was in the past. Here in Europe, you can hardly find their figures in stores anymore, when you could find so many of them in the 70's, 80's and even in the beginning of the 90's. I take it as a bad omen for this corporation... Oh, sure, they won't crumble tomorrow. But their presence and influence have greatly dwindled, already...
    That is why they are still the #1 Toy Company in the world right? What does that say about all the others.

    Sometimes I wonder if anyone here even understands the business and can look beyond their fan desires to see what is involved?
    Last edited by markatisu; February 6, 2012 at 02:11pm. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    Evil Collapsing Robot! Zodach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    Sometimes I wonder if anyone here even understands the business and can look beyond their fan desires to see what is involved?
    A lot of fans don't understand MOTUC's place in the pecking order at Mattel or how a major Fortune 100 company operates. They stay around as long as they do because they are more concerned about profit margin, controlling expenses, and pleasing shareholders than catering to fanboys' dreams and desires.

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    Heroic Warrior fireball13z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    Sometimes I wonder if anyone here even understands the business and can look beyond their fan desires to see what is involved?
    Sadly the answer is no. Some people's blind hate or pure hard headness makes it impossible to see past what they think is "right"

    Quote Originally Posted by Prahvus View Post
    This model may work better for dolls (Barbie, Big Jim, Max Steel) you can dress with many different outfits, making them "unique" in their own way, but it doesn't translate well to action figures !

    There are too many reuses, with Mattel.This might work for a while, but I'm pretty sure that, ultimately, it will cause the Company to go bankrupt.Today, Mattel is VERY different from what it was in the past. Here in Europe, you can hardly find their figures in stores anymore, when you could find so many of them in the 70's, 80's and even in the beginning of the 90's. I take it as a bad omen for this corporation... Oh, sure, they won't crumble tomorrow. But their presence and influence have greatly dwindled, already...
    You do know that Mattel is a US Company, that has always been their major concern. Its how they do in the states that matters to the suits.
    Last edited by fireball13z; February 6, 2012 at 02:23pm. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    Always Hungry.... Megalodon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post


    Works fine for a majority of the industry in 2012



    That is why they are still the #1 Toy Company in the world right? What does that say about all the others.
    Other use parts but they actually spend the money to make MORE new parts as well

    Mattel is NOT #1 in overall

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    Assimilate, or else!! krosfyah's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with sharing parts if you can make it work, and a lot of times they make it work, it's the online only business model of most of their boy lines that is short sighted. very minimal exposure, very high price points and only one line that is actually a success. not to mention a very limited market as we've seen re vehicles playsets and the like.
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    Heroic Warrior fireball13z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    Other use parts but they actually spend the money to make MORE new parts as well

    Mattel is NOT #1 in overall
    what are you basing this statement on?
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    HAAAAAAAAAPPYYYYYYYY..... Prince Adam's Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravhus
    There are too many reuses, with Mattel.This might work for a while, but I'm pretty sure that, ultimately, it will cause the Company to go bankrupt.Today, Mattel is VERY different from what it was in the past. Here in Europe, you can hardly find their figures in stores anymore, when you could find so many of them in the 70's, 80's and even in the beginning of the 90's. I take it as a bad omen for this corporation... Oh, sure, they won't crumble tomorrow. But their presence and influence have greatly dwindled, already...
    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    That is why they are still the #1 Toy Company in the world right? What does that say about all the others.

    Sometimes I wonder if anyone here even understands the business and can look beyond their fan desires to see what is involved?
    While I agree that Pravhus' post may be a little over the top, you can't argue that their influence in the action figure aisle has lessened considerably.
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    Heroic Warrior Marvelous0ne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Adam's Dad View Post
    While I agree that Pravhus' post may be a little over the top, you can't argue that their influence in the action figure aisle has lessened considerably.
    That's true! If Mattel has the license for a property and there's a film. You'll see a action figure. Otherwise, most everything with exception of Batman now is out of the isle where the action figures are. But the small kid toys seem to sell well.
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    Heroic Warrior fireball13z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Adam's Dad View Post
    While I agree that Pravhus' post may be a little over the top, you can't argue that their influence in the action figure aisle has lessened considerably.
    but who ever said being the number one toy company means you have to be number one in action figures? Toys is a big ranged of items. Go look how much Mattel stuff are in stores that is not action figures.
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    Greed. Pure, simple, greed.

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    Heroic Warrior fireball13z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvelous0ne View Post
    That's true! If Mattel has the license for a property and there's a film. You'll see a action figure. Otherwise, most everything with exception of Batman now is out of the isle where the action figures are. But the small kid toys seem to sell well.
    Dont forget WWE figures, which has always been a HUGE seller in action figures

    Quote Originally Posted by Executioner View Post
    Greed. Pure, simple, greed.
    so its greed to want to make a profit? do you think that should just barely break even?

    I wish people really understood how much costs go into running a real business
    Last edited by fireball13z; February 6, 2012 at 03:20pm. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    HAAAAAAAAAPPYYYYYYYY..... Prince Adam's Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fball13z View Post
    but who ever said being the number one toy company means you have to be number one in action figures? Toys is a big ranged of items. Go look how much Mattel stuff are in stores that is not action figures.
    Being the #1 toy company by selling a boatload of dolls and toddler cash registers doesnt' necessarily mean you are going to be good at selling action figures.
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    CRITAcal for MOTUC 2015!! Barezz's Avatar
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    Who the heck cares if parts get reused? Do they need to sculpt a brand new body for every figure? I think the figures look fine, and different enough that i don't feel like I am getting cheated or something.

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    Heroic Warrior fireball13z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Adam's Dad View Post
    Being the #1 toy company by selling a boatload of dolls and toddler cash registers doesnt' necessarily mean you are going to be good at selling action figures.
    No one ever said they were the #1 action figure company, we said toy company

    find me another toy company that is on the Fortune 500 list, Mattel is the only one, number 392 I believe
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    HAAAAAAAAAPPYYYYYYYY..... Prince Adam's Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fball13z View Post
    No one ever said they were the #1 action figure company, we said toy company

    find me another toy company that is on the Fortune 500 list, Mattel is the only one, number 392 I believe
    Pravhus commented on the lack of Mattel figures on the shelves (and followed it up with some talk of going bankrupt, which I highly doubt). Markatisu followed up with a reminder of how Mattel was still the #1 toy company in the world. I simply made the point that just because you can sell a lot of one kind of toy does not necessarily mean you can sell a lot of another kind. It's very possible that Mattel just isn't any good at selling to boys anymore. And honestly, I'm not concerned with how well they can sell Wall Tracks. I'm concerned with how well they can sell He-Man.
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    Heroic Warrior fireball13z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Adam's Dad View Post
    Pravhus commented on the lack of Mattel figures on the shelves (and followed it up with some talk of going bankrupt, which I highly doubt). Markatisu followed up with a reminder of how Mattel was still the #1 toy company in the world. I simply made the point that just because you can sell a lot of one kind of toy does not necessarily mean you can sell a lot of another kind. It's very possible that Mattel just isn't any good at selling to boys anymore. And honestly, I'm not concerned with how well they can sell Wall Tracks. I'm concerned with how well they can sell He-Man.
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