Quick caveat: I appreciate so much about MOTUC and Scott's work, and say this out of concern, confusion and a little frustration. I don't mean this as a deth of the line rant or attack on Scott. Just curious if anybody else had the same reaction...
I usually just read the Q&As and try to stay out of the sometimes heated conversations, but a few responses in particular seemed to illustrate a dissappointing and worrisome disconnect between company and customers. I love that MOTUC has a MOTU fan as a brand manager, but this statement was dissappointing because I would have figured a fan would be more in touch with the fan base, and worrisome because when this kind of disconnect between consumers' actual wants and company's perception of their wants occur, it usually means trouble for sales and the longterm health of the line.
ToyGuru wroteI know others have bristled at the term "cherry pickers," and it irritates me, too. That label, coupled with the "didn't even bother" line sounds like Mattel/Toyguru view MOTUC day of sales customers as nuisances; that they are doing us a favor by offering anything beyond the sale. That might actually be the case (as the statement says), but there's a serious problem of tone here... Something that's popped up from time to time, but this struck me as a particularly bad example of it.Obviously their (sic) will be cherry pickers and we do plan for that, but in the end, the line would do just fine if we limited it to a sub only and didn't even bother with day of sales.
ToyGuru wroteand(you have noticed we are doing Fearless Photog right? Who ever thought that would happen? But it did!
We just need to be mindful that despite adding in Filmation, free mini comics, Shadow Weaver, Granamyr the 30th anniversary line, the create a character contest and the Windraider, we still had a reduction in sub purchases for 2012 (which we thought would be our biggest year ever- come on, free Mini comics people! Fearless Photog! Filmation! What else can we do?!)
Again, the "you have noticed, right" and "what else can we do" come across as condescending, but what really frustrates me is that Mattel and ToyGuru seem to think that the majority, or perhaps even a significant percentage of the fanbase have been wanting these things.
To preempt the "I want Granamyr" etc replies, let me be clear: I know plenty of people want Filmation characters, the 30th figures, etc. I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is that I don't think the majority of the fanbase does, and that the percentage of fans who do want each/all of these is much smaller than what TG/Mattel believe. We can fill this thread with anecdotal replies to the contrary, but I see Toyguru's statement as evidence of that disconnect between what they think fans want and what the actual demand is. When you make all these additions and expect the reception to be an increase in sales, but in fact, sales decline, it says to me you have some misunderstandings about your customers.
And that misunderstanding, coupled with what sounds like frustration and, at times, condescension, frustrates me as a customer. I collect other toy lines, and none of them are run by a brand manager as open to the fans. People who are tired of the "can't comment" comments in the lengthy, bimonthly Q&As should read the quarterly, much smaller, much shallower Q&As from Hasbro. I want this line to succeed for company and customers, and can certainly understand the frustration Scott may feel from time to time with the fandom, but you can't ever let that come across in your tone when addressing customers, especially when you're own surprise at sales figures seems to indicate you do not understand them as well as you thought.