1. Recently Mattel offered a refund for broken Goddess figures. This figure is no longer available and we were told there will be nor reissue of her. So, anyone who sends back the broken figure has no real chance of getting her again. Will you reconsider re-releasing her, maybe as an additional slot like you did with Bubble Power She-Ra and altering her, for example without the He-Man accessoiries and giving her something new?
This is highly doubful. We were able to take another pass at She-Ra because Bubble Power was a legit variant of her (like Battle Armor He-Man). It is unfortunate Goddess had some major QC issues, but there are no plans to do a second version of her. Maybe in a movie year if MOTUC goes retail we could think about working her into the line, but it is highly doubtful she will take up a monthly slot.
2. Mattel is not very confident on adding more vehicles into the Classics line because of the molds that cannot be reused. We are sure there can be parts that actually could be reused, though. For example Spydor has 6 of the same legs, parts of those could be reused for Monstroid. The Wind Raider could share the flightstand and wheels with Roton and we are sure the Horsemen could find ways to reuse tools. Would Mattel be more confident if there was more tool-sharing possible?
Yes, if the vehicles could share parts the way say Panthor and Battlecat could it would be easier to do more of them. You brought up some examples but even these are very minimal in terms of shared parts.
3. The sub-Exclusive posters so far have been maps. What if the next poster was a picture of the Grayskull facade in scale with the Classics figures? That way fans could get a cool background for their toyshelfs and a Grayskull below the 200-300 $-mark. It could be continued with Snake Mountain, Primus, Fright Zone or Crystal Castle posters... Jitsu's hand.
It is a cool idea but for now we are sticking to the maps. The new 2013 map is being worked on right now actually!
4. Most fans thought Demo-Man would be red and it was a big surprise he turned out green- and man- is he green! What was the decision on this? Why this neon green colour?
His deco was chosen by the Horsemen based on the original art work.
5. We got the weapons rack early in 2011, are there any plans for future diorama pieces?
Not at this time.Elkk Thunder's Toy Room
1- Will Toyguru's MOTU commentary continue on the forums?
We sure hope so! That is up to him and how much spare time he has these days. It is not part of his required job, but he loves doing it when he can.
2- After Toy Fair will there be much news before SDCC?
Some, but most will be at major shows
4- With the plan not to sell product unless 100% in the warehouse, by what date will be the cut off to know what will be on sale?
Now it is 15-45 days prior to sale
5- The QC issues have been well addressed, how about the Digital River cancellation email issues, why is that happening?
The reason subs were "canceled" was due to sub holders not having enough funds in their account/on their cards to cover the figure. We know fans were not trying to "cancel" their sub, this was an automatic message sent out to customers without adequate funds. Going forward we changed the wording of the message to clarify for customers that their sub will be "on hold" due to a payment failure, not canceled. This was out fault for a poorly worded automatic message.MOTUCfigures.com
1.) You stated that the Wind Raider sales were just "okay", despite the fact that there was no product left after 3 and a half days. When gauging the success of the Wind Raider, were the circumstances surrounding the sale factored into your assessment at all? It doesn't take a marketing expert to see that the confusion behind the Demo-Man shipping situation, and more importantly the fact that it was sold 10 days before Christmas when many fans don't have extra cash to burn HAD to be mitigating factors when it came to how quickly the item moved. Had the item been sold in October as originally planned (when the holiday crunch wasn't upon people and with Demo-Man and his problems months away), the ridiculously fast sellout you guys gauge as a "success" probably would have happened. It seems a shame that due to poor planning on your part in regards to the release date has reflected negatively on its performance, and therefore jeopardizes our chances at getting more vehicles... despite the fact that we did everything we could (i.e. buying everything you had despite those factors).
From Toy Guru:
"Let me try and clear the air on this one. First off, we had originally planned on the WR (and Granamyr is planned for) a Sept release. Due to circumstances we could not control the WR was delayed twice and had to wind up shipping in Dec. So it is not like we purposely planned or due to "poor planning on out part" to make this a Dec item. The other thing to take into consideration (and this is NOT an attack on customers) but we did make it very clear the cost of the WR well in advance. If this was an item you wanted to buy, you had months to save up and stash away needed funds. It is not like this high prices item came out of no where and surprises people. At the end of the day, it just took too long to sell a very small number of units."
2.) As a followup to number 1- You do realize that if you sell all of your product in a ridiculously short amount of time (like the Battle Cat and original Tytus sellouts), then you are missing out on a large portion of willing customers, right? I for one didn't get Tytus when he was originally available due to the short sellout time... and I know I wasn't alone. That was $40 you could have had from me then, but with a goal of super-rapid sellouts to gauge success, you missed out on me as a customer. I wonder how many Wind Raider sales you would have lost out on had it not lasted the whole 3 and a half days that it was up?
We are looking into doing a second run and selling it during a non holiday time. We'll see if this works out to help pay for the high tooling cost.
3.) Do you plan on having figures other than Skeletor, He-Man, Battle Cat, and Panthor available on a regular basis? Teela seems to be a perfect candidate for this.
It is possible but no one is planned beyond those 4 at this time.
4.) It seems many of the other companies are no longer shying away from big playsets. Playmates just unveiled an enormous Sewer playset for their upcoming Turtles line, while Hasbro has a 3 foot long Hellicarrier coming in their Avengers line (as well as multiple large Star Wars vehicles currently in production or coming soon). With your 2 largest competitors showing that they aren't afraid to tackle the large items, isn't it about time Mattel stepped up to the plate and took a risk on larger items (like Castle Grayskull)?
If the Windraider and the 2012 sub has sold better we would have started looking into a playsets, but neither one did so the idea was put on the back burner.
5.) Have you ever thought of doing another spirit variant in the line? A spectral form of Demo-Man cast in green translucent plastic would be way cool!
That would be awesome! But no plans at this time.Infinite Hollywood
1. What did Mattel take away from the recent Demo-Man shipping debacle? Obviously there was a lot of changes made as a result, but what would be the overall consensus on the line moving forward as a result of that?
We changed our policy to no longer sell sub figures until they full quota is in stock. And clearly we will work on communicating changes earlier and clearer. But we wouldn't classify this 30 day shipping delay as a debacle or anything that dramatic. Delays do and will continue to happen. They should be expected from time to time. If anything we did a poor job communicating what was happening. But the delay is normal and will happen sometimes.
2. It was mentioned that although the Wind Raider sold out, it didn't move quite fast enough to be an impressive sell through. Isn't it possible that this slower sell through, was a result of other purchases fans were making at the time? In essense, can't a sell out still be successful, even if it takes a few days (weeks even)? Everyone doesn't get paid on the 15th of the month, ya know.
A few days to sell out would have been great if we had a normal quota. But our quota was EXTREMELY small. The fact that it took three days to sell out only a very small handful of units is why it was not a run-away success.http://www.planeteternia.de/
Q: Recently, Toyguru confirmed that the MotU Classics are "transitioning to a much more subscription-based line going forward", resulting into collectors worrying about the line's future if even less subscriptions will be sold this summer (for 2013) than last year (for 2012). Wouldn't dwindling sub sales be a reason to rethink the idea of offering an "all-in" subscription and another one just for the 12 monthly figures?
A: No, we need to bank all of the figures together to have a quota we can use for all figure (except for the few non sub items like large holiday items like Granamyr).
Q: We also were told that the Wind Raider sold "okay" but would've needed a "slightly faster sell-through to convince management that a fully tooled vehicle is the right expansion". However, some collectors assume the 3-day availability may also have been a result of the release date and the Wind Raider might have done better in October or November. Are you going to offer Granamyr earlier this year?
A: From Toy Guru: "Let me try and clear the air on this one. First off, we had originally planned on the WR (and Granamyr is planned for) a Sept release. Due to circumstances we could not control the WR was delayed twice and had to wind up shipping in Dec. So it is not like we purposely planned or due to "poor planning on out part" to make this a Dec item. The other thing to take into consideration (and this is NOT an attack on customers) but we did make it very clear the cost of the WR well in advance. If this was an item you wanted to buy, you had months to save up and stash away needed funds. It is not like this high prices item came out of no where and surprises people. At the end of the day, it just took too long to sell a very small number of units."
Q: In addition to the previous questions, wouldn't a preorder-system help Mattel in case 2012 subscriptions dwindle? Not to forget the non-sub items like Granamyr or potential upcoming vehicles - if not enough collectors pre-order the item, it just won't be produced.
A: It is one option, but we did announce the WR and the cost months in advance so customers can clearly save that amount of money in their account or even in a cookie jar and wait for it to go on sale if it is something they want to buy.
Q: Whatever happened to Prince Adam? Is he still planned to be (re-?)released on single card (inluding his own bio)?
A: Prince Adam was released with Orko as a two pack. There are no plans to release him as a single in 2012 but anything is possible for the future.
Q: Since tooling for the Wind Raider was so expensive, wouldn't it be an idea to re-use most of it for a "Water Raider" (and determine the demand for that through a pre-order offer)?
A: It is one idea, but a Water Raider is not planned at this time.MOTUClassics.Com
MOTUClassics.Com: Fans are happy to finally have Demo-Man in-hand, but we’re still left knowing next to nothing about the character. You know we’ll keep reading the bios, but are there future bios in the pipeline that will shed more light on Demo-Man or the Fighting Foe Men?
Yes, you will find out more in time!
MOTUClassics.Com Asks: With interchangeable parts coming back into style, are Mattel and the Four Horsemen making a more concentrated effort to look for interchangeability in MOTU figures? Fisto is awesome, but his inability to part share with Roboto & Trap Jaw ended up being a drawback. Will future figures have that aspect more carefully considered so opportunities aren’t missed?
Fisto was never intended to share parts with Roboto or Trap Jaw. We leave these choices up to the Four Horsemen.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Kastor's Korner
Kastor's Korner: We are aware of many cost-saving strategies that have been intorduced into MOTUC, from reducing accessories on a figure like Draego-Man to the new smaller shipping boxes… these techniques have protected the 2012 sub-holder prices, but should sub-holders expect this to be the final year of $20 figures?
Matty: While we don't know 2013 prices yet, we can bet they will not be at 2008 levels. Prices continue to go up due to labor and raw materials rising every year. We will do all we can to keep figures cost down but we do not want to cost reduce the figure itself and remove weapons or deco ops to do this. It is always a delicate balance.
Kastor's Korner: Masters that require less tooling have been coming fast and furious, while many who would need more unique parts seem to be more paced out to accommodate a larger production budget. Have you considered pricing the basic figures on a scale based on new tooling requirements? For example, Clamp-Champ, who only needs a head and accessory would be $20, while a new tool like Ram Man would be $25?
Matty: No, all basic figures will be the same price regardless of how much tooling they need. All of the figures roll up under one Profit and Loss statement and the low tool figures often help pay for the higher cost figures.
Kastor's Korner: Recently, you discussed the QC issues that have affected figures like King Hssss and Roboto, but have there been discussions as to how these QC-impacted characters will be re-introduced to the line now that the TRU sets are finished? Quarterly variants maybe?
Matty: Now that we are no longer doing reissues we would need to use a monthly slot for a new Roboto or King Hssss. If fans would prefer a fixed or updated version of these characters over an all new character as monthly sub spot, let us know!
The sites listed below are the sites who want to participate in the Q&A round-up in these threads and on the He-Man.org homepage news entry.
Be sure to check out their sites! There's a lot there to see in addition to the Q&As.
ElkkThunders Toy Room
The Ultimate She-Ra Guide
All other sites haven't gotten back to us yet about participating, or have asked not to be included which we completely understand and respect.
So, please do not post the actual questions and answers from any site not listed above.
But you are welcome to post a direct link to their Q&A, and discuss the info here in this thread.