What a breakout year it was for the return of He-Man and all his friends and allies in the first MOTU line aimed at the adult collector! To really look at the last year, lets take a quick walk on how this line came about.
Originally as we conceived MattyCollector.com and the best toy lines to put out for our audience, we knew we wanted to do a MOTU collector line. Out of the blue, during our planning stage the Horsemen brought in a prototype He-Man figure. The stars were lining up perfectly. We put him out at SDCC to see if there was buzz, and boy was there!
The original plan was to offer MOTU Classic figures in two packs similar to the DCU figures. Three two packs were planned out, He-Man vs. Beastman, Skeletor vs. Stratos and Zodac vs. Mer-Man. The idea was to release one every other month at a $40.00 price point. At the last minute we changed plans betting on this line being a success and the packs were broken up and sold as singles. (gulp - please be a success!) We even added one last character - Hordak - in hope it would take off and we could sell a baseline number of figures each month. Faker became an easy repaint for NYCC assuming again that the line took off. If not, we would have gotten at least to Hordak and that would have been it.
Well obviously the line was a huge success, enough that we planned out a full year of one figure a month ending with Adora in December, making sure we got in one POP figure in year 1.
But Mer-Man ran really late and not only did Faker need to get bumped into a monthly figure slot, but it threw off the rest of the year so that Scareglow was no longer the Halloween figure and Adora had to get bumped to year 2. Not the end of the world, but it showed that we needed a system in place to guarantee at least one figure a month shipped.
Hence the "bonus figures" were born. Despite speculation that these figures were done to increase the number of MOTU figures we sold each month, Zodak and Goddess were chosen as extra figures as our insurance policy. They were relatively inexpensive to do and in case another figure ran late we could simply slot one of them in to guarantee one new figure was available per month.
Luckily we did not run into any more problems in 2009 and the remaining monthly figures all shipped on time. So Zodak and Goddess were released as "bonus" figures at the end of the year. This is why "bonus" figures will not be part of any subscription program. We need to hold onto them to make sure there is at least one new figure per month if any slip-ups happen in production.
We are going to continue to create a few back up variations of A level characters starting in Jan. with Battle Armor He-Man. If a "monthly" figure slips schedule, we will just slot in one of our back ups in its place. If everyone ships on time, the back ups will be offered as bonus figures about once a quarter. We'll do 3-4 in total in 2010, all variants of A level characters. And again, this will not be part of the subscription.
We're also very excited to be getting to larger scale beasts in 2010. You've seen Battle Cat and we have some great ideas to continue this line if he takes off. We'll have more to reveal at NYTF during collector night on Feb. 14th. (yes, we know this is before his on sale date - we're taking a bet again - gulp...)
There will also be a few more re-releases in 2010. Not every figure will get re-released and they will not be re-released in the same order offered the first time (despite He-Man, Skeletor and Beastman setting this up). We also hold a few of every figure for customer service each month. If these are not needed we'll bring any extra to SDCC. Many are gone in full, so we may only have one or two customer service figures at SDCC.
Our end goal is to get to every classic MOTU, POP, NA and new or majorly redesigned 200X series figure in the line; all in "Classics style". Right now we have a long term roll out in place taking us through 2016 with bios for every figure. Because MOTU has a limited number of A list characters, it was important to create this road map to make sure the line had a long life to it (we didn't want to front load all the fan requests into year 1 and 2 and kill teh lein erlay). Of course a movie release or if Mattel is able to gain access to any additional MOTU characters things could change. It is a very flexible plan, but at least we have a roadmap to get us where we want to go and to make sure the bios tell a nice full story revealed bit by bit.
All of us at Mattel couldn't be more excited about the future of the MOTU Classics line. And of course it would not be a success without all the fans. Your continued support and input is most important. This line is for the fans. We're working on ironing out all the shipping and ordering issues so hopefully this will be a thing of the past by January.
Look for some major surprises in Feb with at least 4 new figures revealed and some additional skus no one is expecting! - Oh, and we'll have images of Evil Lyn with all of her accessories including 3 additional ones not seen yet in early January.
Lastly, we will get to a re-release of King Grayskull with slight deco changes, but don't count on this until very late in 2010.
Happy holidays to all and see you next year!