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Thread: Mattel not in control of anything offered on mattycollector.com

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior CicconeSC's Avatar
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    Mattel not in control of anything offered on mattycollector.com

    Ok, so I called the number on mattycollector.com which goes to Mattel (not digital river) the representatives said that the subscriptions, the website, everything to do with the line except for the production of the figure is NOT done or controlled by Mattel.

    All of the services offered are by Digital river, including the sub according to two of the Mattel representatives I spoke with. The female (2nd person I spoke to) seemed more inclined to be helpful, she stated they used to be involved in the line but now it is all run by another company. I explained to her the subscriptions were announced by Mattel reps not Digital River, but they still said it has nothing to do with Mattel, anything from mattycollector.com besides the production of the figure is not a Mattel choice or offering. All Mattel is to mattycollector is the toy manufacturer, they don't deal with anything else on mattycollector.com including subscriptions. According to the first guy who was very rude said the subscriptions are ran by the company (DR) who runs mattycollector. Mattel has nothing to do with any of the products, sales, subscriptions or anything else but the production of the figures.

    This came as quite a shock to me, especially with the WWE line coming to mattycollector.com. Those fans are going to be very upset about shipping prices (again not Mattel's choice according to the Mattel consumer phone number). I explained how outraged Mattel's WWE design and support team (basically everyone involved in the WWE for Mattel) was upset and couldn't believe the price of shipping on mattycollector.com due to the numerous complaints they had from WWE fans for the Rockers. I guess Mattel messed up and offered the rockers for $20 on shop.mattel.com and S&H was the normal $5 at mattel.com. However the fans who were told it was to be sold only on mattycollector.com, had to pay $30 and anywhere from $12.50 - whatever the highest shipping price was for international or Alaska. Whatever state or country cost the most.

    Why run a site with Mattel logos and offer subs, but then your consumer line states everything to do with mattycollector is not up to Mattel, the subs, the shipping, etc...all ran by who runs the distribution and site (Digital River)[/B][/COLOR].

    I suggested why doesn't shop.mattel offer the figures instead of putting up a site with Mattel's logos and Mattel reps commenting in the news section for the site, but then stating they have no control on what is offered on mattycollector as per subscriptions or shipping, etc because Mattel is only responsible for producing the product.

    Again Mattycollector.com has nothing to do with Mattel and Mattel has no rights in changing prices or anything to do with subscriptions or other offerings on mattycollector.

  2. #2
    Reaper of Crom Riddle of Steel's Avatar
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    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    I can't even consider Matty Collector a legit online store. From day one they have been nothing but a scalping outlet with these scheduled sales. They are not a real store that has product in stock, they're scalping goods. Not that Mattel isn't at fault for this but come on. The scheduled releases and no normal stock on hand is really just not what an online store does and no other vendor sells toys this way. To top it off, anything that takes more than 24 hours to sell out is consider by Mattel to be a "failure". Eventually the FTC or some other government group is going to peer their head into the way Matty works and things aren't going to go well. I can't even find anyone willing to admit that scheduled releases are a good thing.

    Come on, Hasbro has Hasbro Toy Shop and it works. This Matty Collector "we'll release it on this day and time" stuff isn't how a store should be run. It's largely why I abandoned the line because the one time I did order from them it was a nightmare to do so, and the prices of the toys are just too high for me to justify buying them when this is a budget line of recycled molds.

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior kup's Avatar
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    Wait, wait, wait...Isn't Scott Neitlich the brand manager who works for Mattel?

    Scott as brand manager clearly has a big say on what happens with the line and he works for Mattel therefore Mattel is the one managing it not DR.

    DR takes care of sales, subscriptions, customer support and distribution and that may include shipping costs but I don't see them doing more than that. The rest is clearly Mattel.
    Last edited by kup; February 17, 2012 at 05:23am.

  5. #5
    Heroic Hero Grayskull's Heir's Avatar
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    Maybe the Mattel representatives are just tired of people complaining about Mattycollector, so they claim to have nothing to do with the site?
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  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior
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    Sounds like the Mattel reps have been on a DR customer service course. I don't think they can detach themselves that far. Ultimately DR is just the contractor. I think there might be some copyright issues over the use of images and logos if Mattel actually had nothing to do with the site.

    I think the real reason this message has been given is because Mattel knows DR is a disaster and they're trying to do damage control. That might turn out to be a good thing. We'll see.
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  7. #7
    Evil Apologist of Mattel Count Marzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diosoth View Post
    Come on, Hasbro has Hasbro Toy Shop and it works.
    Unless it has something on there that is not in retail and people actually want...like nearly ALL of MattyCollector's products. Jus sayin.
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  8. #8
    Evil Lord Of Destruction
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    Well, its called "outsourcing".
    In a desperate, and sometimes really unnecessary, bid to spare cash a company delegates a third party some services, distribution in this case.
    With some outstanding exception, this results in a worse service, that may or may not eventually harm the product the outsourcing originally was arranged for.

  9. #9
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    This explains a lot, actually. I'd say we've learned two important things, if the information from the Mattel reps is true:

    Mattel really did give away the baby with the bath water in this case. I've stated many times that the only way Mattel couldn't do anything or ditch DR is if the contract was written by idiots; this points to that being the case. If Mattel turned everything over to DR as far as running the site and Mattel is only the supplier, it explains why nothing is ever done. Things that have been said in the past, where TG and company were "working with" DR rather than telling them to fix things, would tend to support this idea. Mattel originally ran the customer service portion, but then turned that over to DR about a year after the site opened, another thing that fits this scenario. Basically, Mattel laid the groundwork and then turned the whole thing over to DR. The site still carries information and news supplied by Mattel, but apparently more like other sites carry press releases (and recall that, for some unexplained legal reasons, Mattel initially couldn't post news on the site for some time). It actually fits with a lot of what we've seen; DR, who never ran a website like this, was given the thing lock, stock and barrel, in an agreement that pretty much left Mattel with little power but to flail about frenetically and "work with them" when major disasters occurred. It also explains why Mattel can't just replace them; the site is basically a separate entity, like a license holder. They aren't really Mattel employees; it would be like Mattel trying to fire someone in the toy department at Target. It was a very badly conceived deal that allowed a very poorly run company to run a site with Mattel's logo on it that the geniuses at Mattel have almost no control over; they contracted themselves into a poorly considered corner. The poorly trained chimpanzees really are back at the helm of the world’s largest toy maker, as this site was destined for idiocy from the day the contract was signed.

    And, apparently now that things are quickly deteriorating, we see Mattel deliberately trying to distance themselves, perhaps? We're looking not only at technical foul-ups, but reports from more than one person of added charges (looks like I'm not alone anymore on that count) and cancelled subs not re-instated that, so far, have apparently not involved any refunds (that I've heard, at least). My own bank is still investigating the bogus charges to my card last November, and there was the recent spate of fraud alerts triggered by the double charge for the Star Sisters, so there may actually be some mounting legal concerns about the site’s practices that Mattel may not want to be held liable for, despite their name and mascot being so prominently displayed on the site. They might also have a problem considering that they have, in the past, publicly promoted the site as “theirs.”

    It does explain a lot of things about the disaster that is Mattycollector, and why this failing site hasn’t simply been absorbed into Mattelshop.com. Mattel apparently blew it even more completely than I ever imagined here.
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  10. #10
    Got Filmation? shadowfall1976's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Count Marzo View Post
    Unless it has something on there that is not in retail and people actually want...like nearly ALL of MattyCollector's products. Jus sayin.
    Sorry to differ with you on that, but Hasbro has exclusives to HTS off and on all the time, SDCC Soundwave & SDCC Blaster, SDCC TF: Prime Prime, the special edition SDCC movie Prime, there have been other exclusives to other lines as well, and the only way to get them is HTS or a convention. So not all things on HTS have been retail releases, and I'm sure not everything on HTS is what people want....I don't want MLP, GI Joe or Star Wars, but they are up there, and same goes for Matty, I don't want anything but MOTUC, and possibly a few more GB's, I would have gotten in on the Voltron if not for being so expensive, and would hinder my MOTUC collecting.

    Besides, what difference does it make whether HTS has retail or exclusives, when no matter what, it is run 100% better, and actually has an order cancellation policy that does not include having to refuse delivery. The customer service is very nice, and I have yet to speak to anyone but in English, and also has a nice hassle free return or replacement policy....You can't compare HTS to Matty at all, DR sucks, and is the most inept E-tailer I have ever seen....whoever runs HTS runs circles around that company, and HTS blows Matty away in all aspects.

    I see that the main Mattel site is run better than Matty too....so where is your comparison to that like you did with HTS? And why doesn't Mattel do something about it, no matter how you look at it, DR works for Mattel as a vendor, and Mattel is in charge of all aspects of their products, once they leave Mattel's hands, they are still responsible for the durability and quality of the products, so they are always liable for them, at all times.
    Last edited by shadowfall1976; February 17, 2012 at 09:12am.
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  11. #11
    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    I thought a lot of this was common knowledge

    Mattel creates the product and gives direction on pricing, sales, etc but Digital River is completely in control of operations/distribution/management

    Again I thought this was all understood, then it seems people tend to ignore what I tell them that last 3 years when I try to explain why Matty can't just dump DR or why things happen the way they do
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    REMAINING MOTUC FOR 2015 synthalus's Avatar
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    If this is the case, then I'm sure Digital River doesn't have any authority to charge sales tax outside of CA.

    In TX we have the Texas sales tax Rule 3.303 which allows Tax over S&H, but that's within the state. All other companies that I order from like BBTS, Amazon, eBay, etc. only charges taxes within their own state and not outside so I never get taxed by them b/c they reside outside of TX. That's why I still don't understand why Digital River taxes outside of their own state of CA. It's worth noting that DR only started to charge taxes in Feb. 2011 while I've been buying from them since Dec. 2008. I find it shady.

    A business owner can be comfortable that the mere selling of products over a website or by a catalog and shipping them to a state (by the U.S. Postal Service or common carrier) will generally not trigger a sales tax collection obligation because such activity does not constitute a physical presence. The U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that such activities do not create nexus in 1992 in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota (504 U.S. 298).
    Last edited by synthalus; February 17, 2012 at 10:17am.
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  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior EldestSon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    I thought a lot of this was common knowledge

    Mattel creates the product and gives direction on pricing, sales, etc but Digital River is completely in control of operations/distribution/management

    Again I thought this was all understood, then it seems people tend to ignore what I tell them that last 3 years when I try to explain why Matty can't just dump DR or why things happen the way they do
    same here. but digital river isn't listed anywhere in the terms and conditions of website use.

  14. #14
    Heroic Warrior Exinferis's Avatar
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    My only real concern with the suggestion of moving all Mattycollector products to Mattel Toy Shop (or whatever) is that MTS do not ship outside the USA. I've made a hefty financial commitment to MOTUC, GB and now Voltron, if they decide to stop selling outside the USA that means I'll have an incomplete MOTUC collection (despite the fact I won't sub next year, there will still be figures I'll want), an incomplete GB collection and, if they change by the end of this year, possibly half a Voltron figure!

    It's bad enough international fans get the short end of the stick every month, but to take our money for three/four years and then say, "Sorry, US orders only from now on", well... I'd be one very angry collector and I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one!

    So if it's a choice of sticking with DR and their awful, awful service or moving elsewhere, I'd want to stick with DR.

    I cannot believe I just wrote that!

  15. #15
    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EldestSon View Post
    same here. but digital river isn't listed anywhere in the terms and conditions of website use.
    Why would they be? Mattel owns the site and DR is a contracted employee working for Mattel

    Legally Mattel is on the hook for everything at Matty, Digital River just provides the manpower and day to day operations
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    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    I thought a lot of this was common knowledge

    Mattel creates the product and gives direction on pricing, sales, etc but Digital River is completely in control of operations/distribution/management

    Again I thought this was all understood, then it seems people tend to ignore what I tell them that last 3 years when I try to explain why Matty can't just dump DR or why things happen the way they do
    This is the first time we've heard something like this officially from a Mattel employee (unless you work for them ).
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    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger View Post
    This is the first time we've heard something like this officially from a Mattel employee (unless you work for them ).
    No but I have worked closely with DR Corp since 2009 to help orgers and could have told you this

    It's not my fault people ignore me, it's how business works in many instances

    And what difference does a Mattel rep saying it make? Now you can make more comments and opinions of how Mattel runs business? I just don't see A) how this is news and B) what difference it makes outside maybe making some orgers finally realize it's not just a FIRE THEM solution...it's not black and white
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  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior EldestSon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    Legally Mattel is on the hook for everything at Matty, Digital River just provides the manpower and day to day operations
    well that's the complete opposite stance you took in another thread where i was saying matty is responsible for the mistakes dr makes and you were saying "nuh-uh" (paraphrasing).

    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger View Post
    This is the first time we've heard something like this officially from a Mattel employee (unless you work for them ).
    to be fair, a mattel employee saying something on a call is not an official comment.
    Last edited by EldestSon; February 17, 2012 at 11:19am. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  19. #19
    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EldestSon View Post
    well that's the complete opposite stance you took in another thread where i was saying matty is responsible for the mistakes dr makes and you were saying "nuh-uh" (paraphrasing).
    Not at all, legally Mattel owns it all but you won't get any help from them so they are not responsible. You misunderstood what I was saying. You cannot blame them if DR is late, overcharges, ships wrong, etc. Mattel can call DR and order changes but at the end of the day DR remains DR.

    It's a technicality, Digital River handles 99.995% of operation of the line and business. Mattel pays the bills and if a lawsuit were to come then Mattel would have to deal with it.

    It is totally a double standard but welcome to business.
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  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by diosoth View Post
    ... Come on, Hasbro has Hasbro Toy Shop and it works. ...
    No it does not. The Hasbro store can't even ship internationally...

  21. #21
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EldestSon View Post
    to be fair, a mattel employee saying something on a call is not an official comment.
    Point taken there; "official" is definitely stretching it. Let's just say it's the first thing we've heard from from people who actually works for the company.

    Markatisu - no offense intended, but something being said by an anonymous person on a website doesn't have the weight of words from someone who actually works for the company. Working with DR doesn't necessarily mean you're privy to all the inner workings. Apparently, you were right on many counts, but, let's face it: unless something comes straight from DR or Mattel, it's second hand information at best, from either you or me or anyone else. Now, if I had a choice between believing you and a DR rep, you'd win hands down, given my experiences with DR. My dealings with Mattel CS before the changeover, though, was fairly positive, and I was able to call and solve problems in one shot with folks who seemed to have some idea of what they were doing, so what they say carries a little more weight with me, though I admit, it falls far short of "official word."

    Let's face it, it's all a bit of conjecture, regardless of who it comes from, until someone like TG does make an official statement (which I doubt would happen unless Mattel really does want to distance itself from Matty because of legal problems). What we have now is another nugget of information that does indeed back up your take on the situation, but the haughty "I told you so!" attitude was a bit uncalled for the above reasons.

    So let's put that to rest and get back to discussing what this means (if true), regardless of who knew what when.
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    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Fair enough but again what are we supposed to do with this info? I mean do we now just be mad at DR? do we realize Mattel cannot dump them instantly?

    I just don't see the point of this thread outside offering a hearsay glimpse into how the business works. Not saying we can't discuss , just not sure what we are wanting to find out, debate, work though is all
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  23. #23
    NA mini-sub Supporter ! Arkangel's Avatar
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    Outsourcing problems always end up with the customer not knowing who's to blame. It's so easy here (in Portugal) though ...

  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior
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    The title of this thread is actually... very believable.

    Either Mattel has lost control, or they hold true to the on going theory, that they just don't care.

  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior EldestSon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    Not at all, legally Mattel owns it all but you won't get any help from them so they are not responsible. You misunderstood what I was saying. You cannot blame them if DR is late, overcharges, ships wrong, etc. Mattel can call DR and order changes but at the end of the day DR remains DR.

    It's a technicality, Digital River handles 99.995% of operation of the line and business. Mattel pays the bills and if a lawsuit were to come then Mattel would have to deal with it.

    It is totally a double standard but welcome to business.
    wow. if one of my vendor's screws up, they are responsible to me. i am still responsible to the customer. i expect the customers to come to me with complaints. i expect them to blame me. i might talk about the vendor when i explain the issue to the customer, but ultimately the responsibility ends with me. the customer doesn't care if i use a vendor or not. just that they get what they paid for.

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