I think it was the price and overstocking "half"
So we've heard over the last couple of days, that the MOTUC vs DC two-packs are coming to an end. Now, I'm in the U.K. so have never really experienced these (I could get them shipped in on ebay if I really desired them, but most of my money is going to the main line (ahem, and customs!) at the moment. But either way, I feel this was a big way of getting the MOTUC word out there to a wider audience.
Now as we're all MOTU fans, it'll be hard, but let's try to be unbiased: Which "side" of the two-packs let the sales down enough to be cancelled?
Was it the DC element?
Or was it the MOTU element?
I suppose the more "mid-road" answer would just be "they weren't selling".
But maybe one side could have been "upped" a bit to make them more appealing to the casual customers?
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I think it was the price and overstocking "half"
I collect both lines. I brought those packs for the MOTUC stuff. I already had the DC figures that came with them, so the DC figures are spares.
The DC side sank those two packs. Everyone already had those figures. At least the MOTUC stuff was new to retail and had unique color schemes making them attractive to MOTUC collectors.
DC had none of that. No repaints of characters that fans really wanted like the light blue Super Powers Superman or White faced Harley Quinn or variants such as the Naked Cheetah, Modern Red Tornado and Golden Age Hawkman. Hell, Zodac could have been packed in with a tall version of the Sinestro Cprps Sinestro.
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I do not think it was that neither side was not able to carry it weight. After all DC has been active in the form on DCUC in stores for about 4 years. MOTU could have been the not one carring their weight because they had nothing to back it for the last decade. But over all I think the big issue was Mattle and Toys R Us did not know how to handle the line. But think what the was the kicker was the lack of accesories and the price point. For 20 I know we get alot out MOTUC. But form want I seen most of DCUC comes with 1 accessory but all come with CnC Piece which i guess they can not do in cross overs. But over all I think it was Mattle the failed the line like when the failed MOTU back with the 200X series.
Last edited by Morbebanur; July 19, 2011 at 12:02pm.
Toys R Us is what sank the packs, ultimately. These sets followed TRU's normal form of getting the most money on the price tag for the least amount put in. They have a history of all kinds of exclusives like this - an all silver Wolverine from Marvel Legends, repacks of repacks in several lines, etc.
They set the budget for these and I think Mattel worked with what they had. Sure, there could have been some different color choices for some of the figures, particularly the DC characters, but at the same time I don't think we would have gotten the most highly demanded variations to any of the characters in this execution anyway.
TRU's ordering practice is also not collector-friendly: they front load so heavily that if multiple releases are planned, the late stuff is really hard to find. Everyone can get the first releases though.
I get more and more agitated with TRU all the time. They are dipping their toe into the collector market pool but they only grasp the BAD side of it in insanely high prices, non-demanded and cheap exclusives and poor ordering practices. They have yet to display any of the good or collector friendly practices for anything in that market in any line.
So, while some different choices could have been made, ultimately, TRU is to blame because they don't have the handle on the market they think they do.
I would say price point and the DC caused this to sink. Had it just been MOTU two pack I bet they would've sold out.
Considering that MOTU and DCU are my two favorite properties of all time, and I'm thus a huge fan of both lines, I don't think I run any risk of slighting one or the other unfairly.
The weak link was definitely the offerings in the DCU area; every DCU character was a straight re-release of something that had already been on the pegs. Only Aquaman had some draw, because he was hard to find when his DCUC wave came out. Lex had just been released in a TRU 2-pack in exactly that form. Hawkman wasn't particularly hard to find in his release. And only Mattel could possibly make me say, "Enough Hals, already!" concerning my favorite super hero of all time. And that Supergirl was the lesser demanded of the two released in DC Super Heroes, although the blue costumed version was in the aforementioned 2-pack with Lex.
It would have taken little to spark interest in the DC side: the lighter blue Supes that was shown for a dufenct two pack, a Super Powers version of Lex's chest armor, the aborted yellow cowl head for the Golden Age Hawkman we never got, etc. But Mattel, as usual, cut whatever corners could be cut, and weakened the appeal of the packs.
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- 2 different figures from 2 different lines
- 1 line already in retail, pointless to buy figures twice
- MOTUC is unknown by kids (no cartoon, comic, etc.). Why should they want them?
- Bad character selection with Stratos and Zodac
- She-Ra is 100 % exactly like in the regular line.
- TRU ordered too long the same wave...
Yeah, it's hard to be unbiased about DCU vs MotU on a MotU message board,
but it's pretty clear that the DCU side was the weaker of the two.
These were all characters that were completely unchanged from their original offerings.
And that wouldn't be bad if they were characters that DCUC collectors had a hard time getting originally.
But they weren't. *shrug*
That said, I think VB's pretty spot on about TRU here.
Just too many poorly planned exclusives from Hasbro and Mattel for them not to shoulder a large chunk of the blame here.
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It seems like everyone has covered this already, but I'll jump in and add my thoguhts.
Looking at just the figures themselves, not factoring in pricing issues, stocking issues, etc., I definitely think the DCUC figures drove these down.
#1 While everything in this line was either a repaint or a repack, the MOTUC figures managed to be repaints which specifically referenced the characters appearance in a particular form of media, where any DCUC repaints were pretty minor and not particularly recognizable. The MOTU repaints were certainly more necessary than the DCUC repaints.
#2 While the rarity (at the time of the initial releases) of figures like He-Man and Skeletor prodded MOTU fans to pick them up, most of the DCUC figures were already previously released and in fact many of them were in stores at the same time. TRU was carrying the Lex Luthor/ Supergirl two pack and Wal-Mart still had remanants of the Gotham city 5-pack which contained Super-Man.
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It might have been the MOTUC side that failed the most. The figures chosen weren't orinigals so they had no nostalgic value and only targeted completist. Overall the market for them was just too small. With no other tie ins the line was doomed to fail. Beyond He-man and skeletor there really wasn't a reason to continue anyway.
Scott actually commented on the cancellation of the 2-Packs on the most recent episode of Roast Gooble, and apparently they weren't supposed to go beyond the first wave. However, the sets did extremely well and so TRU wanted to make a line out of them.
the fact they were toys'r'us exclusives and international collecters had to pay through the nose to get them
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I agree with some of this (though I didn't mind Stratos and I do like the quasi-Filmation Zodac that we will be getting.... though there were some stronger characters that could have been chosen).
I think both sides can take at least some amount of blame for different reasons.
The DCUC figures for the most part were either identical to their previous releases or the differences were very minor that there would be little reason for DCUC-specific fans to buy them unless they are uber-die-hard completists.
While (with the exception of She-Ra) the MOTUC figures for the most part at least offered a different deco from their standard release counterparts, therefore giving people who already own the regular figure a possible reason to buy these, for anyone not familiar with MOTU, there wasn't necessarily much of an incentive.
For any DCUC fans who aren't familiar with or care about MOTU, there wasn't as much incentive to buy the packs as their was for MOTU fans.
And the fact that they aren't in-scale with each other really didn't help at all. I honestly can't see displaying these figures side by side as if they are all part of a single, cohesive toy line. Luckily (even though I've been shying away from it to some extent) I do have a DCUC collection going, so for any figures that I didn't already have, at least I could put them with that collection. But I can't really see anyone who was collecting one line and not the other to display the figures from the other line with the line that they do collect (or at all for that matter).
The attempt was well intentioned, but the execution was off for a number of reasons. And in all honesty, while it was nice getting some of these repaints, I can't say that I'm particularly sad to see it go. I actually just generally saw it as more cash to shell out in addition to the figures that I am already collecting.
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The problem with having cross-over products is that they are neither one thing nor the other. Being in the UK, this is rather irrelevant to me as I only have the Ebay option, but, as a collector of only one of the featured lines, I would always consider buying a figure I don't want to be a waste of money.
If this had been exclusively MOTUC, I think fate might have been kinder. I'm sure He-Man / Man-At-Arms, Skeletor / Beast Man, Hordak / Grizzlor two packs would have got more people into the line.
Surely it's far better to get fans into the line by actually giving them two figures they want for the price of two figures? There must have been some strategy behind it, but even if it worked initially, it obviously didn't work long-term.
I'm just hoping we get to buy left-over stock on Matty Collector!
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The TRU distribution - that is what killed these figures. Period. If they either sent less to each store - but sent to ALL stores or did most of the sales through the online store...the line would still be going.
Wave one never reached outside of US stores, and some are 8 or 9 deep in Skeletors / Luthors.
There are 13 sets NOW of Stratos / Mer-Man in 1 of the OTTAWA TRU, I know of 3 sales, my 2 and a frind bought the Mer-Man, so over 16+ sets in one store??????? How many people in the US stores have yet to see a set?
TRU Distribution is the only thing that really killed this line.
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I'm biased and collect both lines. My opinion is that the price tag is what screwed this line. As I said in another thread, I know it's not possible, but if these had only been 12 to 15 bucks, it would have made all the difference in the world.
Again... not many people other than die-hards are going to spend 30 to 40 bucks on two 6" action figures with no electronic parts, no video game included, no noise making devices, etc...
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Obviously the price and character selection were the most significative issues
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There are lots of reasons why what happened has happened (much like the downfall of the 200X line), but I have to say one of the biggest is NO changes to the DCUC figures. Those collectors could easily pass these sets up (unless they missed one of the previous releases) because the figures looked the exact same. If MOTU AND DC characters were variants, they would have sold better, in my opinion.
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The line was a horrible idea from the start. Not that anything is wrong with either fig in the package, the problem was they were in the same package.
As a biased MOTU fan, I blame the crappy out of scale DC figures, the sub par artwork, and of course the price. When they were on sale for $20 that one week, they sold a bunch of em. Then they raised them $5 to $35 once they realized they were selling good at first.
I agree on the price!
If I had to blame a half, I'd say DC. The DC figures were mostly really nice, but the fact that they were pretty much unchanged meant that the general type of collector who regularly walks into TRU willing to buy a $30 figure set is very likely to have the very same DC figures already.
Maybe not, but since rebuying the DC figures were what made the $30 price tag sting a bit more for me, I imagine that was enough for some collectors of both lines to pass.
I could also blame both MOTUC and DC for any collector who isn't into both brands. A mandatory purchase of a 2nd $15 figure you don't want can be tough to justify.
As a collector of both lines, I'd have to say that the DCUC half was, perhaps, more the problem.
None of the figures were significantly different enough to lure in a lot of DC collectors
Aquaman was the best choice in the packs because many collectors never had the chance to buy him with that deco.
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