Here is what the line was.
I think part of it was the timing of the movie's release. They put the movie out a few days before Christmas. By that time, many parents had probably finished their holiday shopping. I know I was too busy to get to the theater. I didn't see the movie until about 6 months later. Since I hadn't seen the movie, you can imagine I wasn't pumped up to buy figures.
I do seem to recall high retail prices on the deluxe figures, apparently, just because they had the projection technology that nobody really likes anyway.
"The better you get at this job, the more dangerous it becomes."
The 1980s disaster toy lines probably fared better than a lot of successes are perceived today. Infaceables and SuperNaturals come to mind. The 1990s saw 'Hook' - Mattel trying in vain to make Hook and Peter Pan as badass figures. the Stargate movie had figures as did the Conan animated series.
McFarlane, the game changers who gave us the 4H, had its times of peg warmers. 'The X-Files' movie didn't sell nearly as well as most thought while the tie-in figures for the John Leguizamo 'Spawn' movie were nice but didn't exactly sell.
My local discount store had Kenner 'Batman and Robin' figures right up to 2004 where they were a twentieth of their original price. I think I even saw Beetlejuice figures clogging the aisles.
I agree wih a previous poster that 'John Carter' and Clash and Wrath of the Titans missed a big big trick not having toy creatures - I don't think there were even tie-in fast food premiums. Way to not sell your movies Disney and WB!
Lastly, I have to agree that, much as I collect and love them in their packaging, the Movie Master Mattel range needs NECA sculptors or something if they can't lure 4H back to the project. NECA would have knocked Ghostbusters and Dark Knight out of the park, I mean, I wasn't a big fan of the PiratesOTC films, but boy were NECA's figures gorgeous and almost antique-looking mini Hot Toy style; exhibit quality.
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I didn't remember when the movie and the toys came out, but that's a good point about coming out so close to Christmas.
I still feel that they are a little gold mine when you find them at places like Ross and Big Lots. They cost so little and basic economics tells us that all resources are competed over (in this case, later rather than sooner).
In general, the figures are decent with nice packaging. There is a nice variety with small figures, larger figures, vehicles, die-cast vehicles, etc. I don't know how long it will take, but these will turn out to be good investments.
"The better you get at this job, the more dangerous it becomes."
The 6 inch Dark Knight Rises movie masters are doing extremely well, other than Batman himself. Alfred, Catwoman, and Bane are always flying off the shelves.
How about the next bing thing in the 80's that Mattel botched...BraveStarr. I think it could have been as big as MOTU if they would have done it right. If I remember correctly Mattel was in such a hurry to get these out for the Christmas rush that they put the toys on the shelves before the toon started. Needless to say with out a toon they didn't sell well and were basically done before the toon hit the air.
EDIT Sorry Firefly I just noticed after I posted this that you already brought this line up! I don't know how I missed it. Great minds think alike.
Last edited by motu77; June 21, 2012 at 03:49pm.
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I can't think of anything I've seen do worse than the ET movie line from when ET got re-released about 10 years ago. I think they sold about zero toys from that line and buried them all with the Atari game cartridges.
Mattel's 200X MOTU
Masters of the Universe with unique sculpts by the 4H. I loved the cartoon, loved the toys and loved the comic! It was such a great time to be a MOTU fan! New episodes would air, revealing characters and histories. It was like taking something I loved as a child and refreshing it with adult tastes, making it even better! Unfortunately, 200X started out good and then died. Cartoon Network failed to hype episodes; I knew what was going to happen in the next episode of Naruto and Teen Titans, but not 200X. Mattel put out too many non-show variants of the main players, while shortpacking the secondary characters. This killed the line, despite fans warning Mattel all about it. I hated Mattel for a long time after that one. I came back after DC Universe and MOTUC came out.
I collected Justice League originally for the original 7 members, then stopped because of the lack of villains. I returned to JLU around the time when I was started collecting DCUC. The things that killed off my interest was missing out on the extremely rare Target exclusive 6 packs that Mattel never wanted to reproduce, heavy reseller bait singles and two packs and the super high Mattycollector.com prices for those figures. The numerous holes in my collection grew so big that I lost interest in Bruce Timm's DCAU toys.
NECA's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
This is what I consider the ultimate Ninja Turtle line. These 4H sculpted TMNT were based upon the Eastman and Laird black and white comics. However, due to the TMNT being unrecognizable in all red masks overseas, the TMNT failed to make a profit. NECA foolishly made the line dependent on the SDCC sales of April O' Neil, instead of using a Foot Ninja (which would have sold like crazy as an army builder). Another fail is that NECA announced variants of April that never surfaced, including a yellow jumpsuited April that many fans passed up buying the blue jumpsuited April for. That line perished before the Shredder, Foot Ninja or April came out. That was a national tragedy around here. People LOVED that line and would have wanted to see Splinter and Casey.
NECA's Street Fighter IV
After NuSOTA dropped the ball, NECA was announced holding the license. This would ordinarily have been good news, but NECA is notorious for making only a few characters and then dropping their lines. Some fans hoped that Street Fighter characters were so defined by their multitudes of characters that it would be the exception, but NECA made 6 characters and was finished. I was so angry between that and TMNT, that I swore off NECA to this day.
SOTA's Street Fighter/Darkstalkers
The best Street Fighter line ever! We had four waves of figures when the fighting game genre was dead. Unfortunately, SOTA fell into mismanagement when the original owner sold the company. The new owners foolishly tried revamping the line by making a new Ryu, Ken and Akuma that were too big. Then they tried to save Dee Jay for last and used Rainbow Mika instead. Lastly, their final wave had ball joints so thin, that they would break very easily. NuSOTA tried to put out a Darkstalkers line starting with a pre-order, but no one wanted to buy Demitri and J. Talbain first (fans wanted Morrigan and Felecia).
Jazwares' Street Fighter
I was horrified when I heard that Jazwares was getting the Street Fighter license. And my fears were realized when I discovered that these wretched things break straight out of the package. Capcom has the worst luck...so many great characters that could have toylines, but they keep on choosing toy companies with no staying power. I'm not looking forward to starting all over with yet another Ryu, Ken, Akuma, Chun Li and Guile.
Bandai's ThunderCats 2011/ThunderCats Classics
I didn't collect the Classics because I wanted to wait until the next few waves were announced before I jumped on board. If Wave two was hitting, then I would have gotten waves one and two, while awaiting wave three. I DID collect the 4" modern ThunderCats because ALL of the characters were available in that scale from the rip, even the ThunderTank! On the first day I saw them, I lucked out and brought every character except for Grune (they didn't have him). I hope either ThunderCats line doesn't go. I would have loved to get 4" versions of Jaga, Pumyra, Voltaire, Kaynar, Addicus and Slythe. Heck, I would have wanted some 6" TCats that put my old LJN figures to shame...
Last edited by MegaGearMax; June 21, 2012 at 09:39pm.
The Mask. Successful movie, pretty bad toys by "Kenner"(really Hasbro) that were hard to find. Successful cartoon series, were you even aware toys were made? No? because Toy Island made them and only sold them at KB. The movie and cartoon figures are all but worthless now, commanding no real aftermarket value. The cartoon line was canned before actual cartoon episode figures got made(we got that goofy part-swap line but no Pretorius?). And the only recent offering- the 1:6 figure from Asmus- is an unlicensed item.
Sadly, I do agree that Disney lost out in John Carter. There could have been some great action figures there. But then that movie got at sorts of lost and injustices happen to it.
DCU line was a big disaster. The figures were sculpted so badly that they looked like they could have been made in the 70's. Has Mattel even looked at what Hasbro can do with 3 inch figures? I'm not a business guy, but it makes some logic to me to produce action figures that are on par or better than what is selling in the market today.
Mattel really needs to get a grip on their DC license. They really messed it with Green Lantern and Young Justice. Those figures are just chunks of plastic.
We survived the long night.... MOTU Forever!
1. The Power Lords (cool concept but kinda came out of left field)
2. Thundercats (original) Wily Kit n Kat makes me think I can stop with that alone!
3. Robotech.... For a groundbreaking franchise: HORRIBLE!!!
4. Inhumanoids Giant Bodies Tiny Heads???
5. Bionic Six: Because those figure were actually dangerous!
I think there are more but I went for ones that not due to sales, but engineering and design aspects.
'Tis the wind and nothing more.....
When it comes to successful toylines based on movies have they ever stopped making Buzz Lightyear figures? Toy Story is here to stay. Same with Cars.
As for disasters The New Adventures of He-Man comes to mind. What a disappointment.
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I really liked the GI Joe: Rise of Cobra movie toys. The movie was ehh, but I really liked the action figures and vehicles.
Anyway, the worst toyline I can think of would be the Playmates Star Trek 2009 line. The figures just really, really sucked and are STILL warming the pegs at TRU.
"Everything comes to he who waits."
The new Star Trek is the worse toy line of late, at least around here. Every Toys R Us has tons, even at the clearance price. Big Lots also has quite a few left too.
I saw a good Green Lantern on clearance last year with in a month just like MIB 3. So GL would rank high on my list of failed toy lines, of recent years any way.
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Bionic 6 figures were darn heavy! I had quite a few, although not sure where most of them ended up.
I sold it at a yard sale quite a few years back (hate myself for that) but the headquarters in that line was pretty fun. I used it as the Death Star for the POTF relaunch toys! It worked so well!
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6" Avengers sells well and nobody can even find them.
Hasbro 6" Marvel Legends are flying off shelves so of course the smart thing for Hasbro to do is make the Avengers 6" figures Walmart Exclusives that aren't even available at every Walmart. Then to top it off they release every member EXCEPT Black Widow. Remember kiddies, "she won't sell cause she's a female character", ...yet all of the 6" Marvel Legends female characters sell. Female comic book characters from ML, that the general public don't even know about, sell out yet Hasbro thinks a character that is prominently featured in a HUGE summer movie will not sell. At the very least they could have made her a CNC figure.
I agree about John Carter and the Clash/Wrath of the Titans. Both of those movie should of had figure lines. There were several good designs from both that would have translated very well to an action figure line. Just the different amount of creatures and monsters alone would have been awesome. Unfortunately, I thought the same thing about Avatar and look how that line did.
How many figures are the shipping in a case, I would assumed 1 of each figure making it a six pack. In that case to ship her out they would have to short another character.
Female characters are also funny, fans tend to be more picky in regards to them. And typically the reason they do sale out is they are short packed, when they are packed just as much as male figures they tend leave figures on the shelf.
And on the movie lines not doing well, they typically just aren't a success based on how much product is made and shipped. I see kids buying the stuff quite frequently it's just a matter of there is too much, when a movie line can take up half an aisle in a walmart chances are you are going to have lots of lingering product.
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At least it outlasted Young Justice by 8 years.
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