And now that we've seen Hasbro's upcoming GI Joe movie figures, we know that they've decided to give us vehicle drivers with t-crotches, instead of ball joints - effectively setting the record for a GI Joe with the least amount of articulation ever. In 2012. So, please, let's not hold Hasbro up as a do-no-wrong example of the right way to run a toy company.
People keep posting about the fans taking action in some unified way - and it's just not going to happen. Here's why:
1) You'd need to actually get the bulk of Eternia sub holders on board.
We're not talking about just the people on the Org, we'd be talking about getting the bulk of everyone who has subs. What percentage of the subs are bought be online retailers? Or are bought by people who never spend time on the Org forums? All those "votes" are off the board right from the start.
Now, just within the Org subholders, what percentage of people are going to sign on? You'll lose a large number of people who just aren't interested doing something like this. Some think a strike will just hurt sales, which will cause Mattel to cancel the line. So those people are out. You'll lose another large number to people who think the likelihood of it working isn't worth the trouble. So what percentage of the overall subs will that actually leave you with? Is it even a noticeable percentage of the overall subs?
2) Who would decide what goes into the letter?
I won't put my name on a letter to Mattel that complains about the customer service at DR. I'm just not comfortable doing that. And each Org subholder who's willing to sign on will have their own similar ideas. Some only care about QC. Some focus on mattycollector and/or DR. Or shipping delays. Or whatever. Are you going to put it all in the letter? If you do, you'll have people decide not to sign because they aren't interested in some of the issues you're putting forward. People who, for example, don't care about swapped biceps, but care deeply about when their credit card is billed. So how do you decide what concerns deserve to be included? Every issue you leave out will cost you signatures. But if you put every little things on the list, it loses its message and focus.
3) You've got X number of Orgers writing a letter. Now prove they're sub holders.
Just because I post on the internet that I bought 37 subs last year doesn't make it true (I bought 34). If you trust the people who say they bought subs, I guarantee that you'll have at least a few people lie about the number they bought or that they bought them at all. And if Mattel looks over the letter and starts seeing names that aren't on last year's sales list, all of your credibility is shot. So who's going to verify how many subs everybody bought? And how would you do that?
4) At the end of the day, it's just an online petition. So what's the follow-through?
The internet is full of outraged letters threatening action. It's kinda been done to death.
Say you get your letter squared away, and it's endorsed by some number of sub holders. You give Mattel your demands and wait until the last day to order your 2013 sub. Ok, fast forward to July of 2013, when we're ready to sign up for the 2014 sub. Who gets to decide if Mattel's made enough progress to avoid the strike you threatened?
You see? It goes right back to being an individual purchasing decision. We've had Orgers admit that they tried to organize MOTUC strikes about the RSOD/WSOD, just to make their own purchases go more smoothly. No reason to think people won't back out of the strike once the 2014 figures are announced. Or worse, people follow through and don't subscribe, and Mattel interprets the decline to indicate a lack of interest and cancels the line. It's a business, after all.
Plus, consider this: Say July of 2013 rolls around, it's time to sign up for 2014. What if Mattel fixed everything you asked for? They held up their end of the deal... so are you obligated to get the 2014 sub? Is it likely people will follow through and get the sub, even if the figures they wanted were in the 2013 sub? Probably not, right? So what motivation does Mattel have to fulfill the demands of a letter or strike?
Again, I appreciate that people are frustrated for a wide, wide variety of reasons. And I'm glad to see a few people trying to come up with constructive solutions. I just want to make sure we think everything through.