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Thread: Affording MOTUC and rethinking collecting MOTUC - a fan's letter

  1. #1
    scaly 2014 Subscriber! Dragonblaster's Avatar
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    Affording MOTUC and rethinking collecting MOTUC - a fan's letter

    I just posted this on Ask Matty...

    This isn't directed specifically to Scott, but to Mattel in general:

    I enjoyed all the reveals at SDCC this year. But your new conditions force me to rethink myself collecting MOTUC . A 5 $ price increase? That’s a steep raise regarding that this line was already more expensive in relation to other products.

    How can it be that other companies can produce licensed products (of properties they don't own) and sell it via other distributors and STILL be way more affordable than your products?!
    Mattel owns MOTU! The line consists mostly of reused parts! And you don’t have to share your profit. The price of 2012 already was steep - so how do you justify THAT price increase? Material costs? Sure they've gone up.
    And still I recently bought licensed figures that had three times the materials and were unique sculpts for the same price. Feel free to explain how this is possible…

    You told us that accessories won't get scrapped?
    That’s easy to say. With figures getting even LESS accessories than some figures got in 2012 there isn't much you can leave out right?
    2012's Fisto had 1 alternate head, 2 swords (including his massive MYP sword) and 1 MYP belt. I have yet to see a 2013 figure that has the same amount of accessories.
    Poor Netossa…

    The international fans didn't even get a response regarding their situation. Not only did your figures go up in price - the shipping costs also have risen significantly. Did you even bother to include this in your calculations? This will have a SEVERE impact on the international market, as most people will also have to pay import sales tax.
    A regular 2013 sub figure will cost me about 40 $ as a German fan because of that!
    Many people once bought more than one sub and now can be lucky to afford even one.
    So you shouldn’t be surprised if subscription sales will decrease while cherry picking increases.

    I myself would have LOVED to buy a subscription for 2013. But thanks to your unreasonable and injustified price increase I'll no longer be able to.
    To be honest I’d be happy if I’m able to “pick my cherries”.
    I know many other fans of your property that feel the same way.

    It is sad that I get the feeling that the fan's are exploited because of their dedication to this line. In my opinion it'll be Mattel's fault if this line "has to end".
    And the fans will be the ones that will be blamed because of decreasing sales.
    You will lose customers – the fans may lose their beloved line.
    Don’t let this line end like this - it’s your chance to do something about it…


    Sincerely,
    Michael



    Sorry I had to...
    Feel free to discuss everybody...
    Last edited by Dragonblaster; July 18, 2012 at 09:59pm.
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  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior
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    I'm an international fan, I feel the pain. But they can't base their prices on people possibly having to pay customs. Customs are a reality of buying something internationally.

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    Heroic Warrior
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    Nice... but Mattel will just view you as one person out of millions that buy these figures... If a few people step away from the line, they know a few more will climb aboard.

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    scaly 2014 Subscriber! Dragonblaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mekaneckpain View Post
    Nice... but Mattel will just view you as one person out of millions that buy these figures... If a few people step away from the line, they know a few more will climb aboard.

    I know that they will look at it this way. I AM one out of millions. Still I had to vent. I had to write this down...
    But honestly, I doubt that a lot of people will begin collecting MOTUC now with these prices.
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  5. #5
    Marketing Manager at Mattel Toyguru's Avatar
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    We do understand really. Prices (for sub holders) have been flat since 2008. The increase is 100% to account for rising costs in labor and material. Our margins are actually still down but we didn't want to raise prices any more.

    In the end, we simply can't design the line around every individual customer's buying habits or social/economic situation (including location).

    We raised prices as a counter measure to cost reducing the toys (losing all weapons and large amounts of deco). In the end the product needs to come first and we have absorbed 5 years of cost increases into one hike. Perhaps we could have done 1.00 a year every year vs one 5.00 jump. In hindsight that is what I would have done.

    But it would still be 25.00 in 2013.

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    Keyboard Warrior The Blue Beetle's Avatar
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    Subscribers had 4 years of 2008 prices. Towards the end of that, we started getting situations where Mattel couldn't afford to pack in the accessories they wanted. Now, with a $5 increase, the shouldn't ever happen again.

    There's absolutely no difference between a $5 increase now, or if they'd raised the price of a figure by $1 every year since 2008. You either want these figures, or you don't. If you do, figure out a way to afford them.
    Last edited by The Blue Beetle; July 18, 2012 at 10:13pm.

  7. #7
    Let's get Crita in MOTUC! The All American's Avatar
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    I would just like to add, it's amazing how well MOTUC has done in a terrible economy. Literally since the economic woes (especially in the US) started in the fall of 2008. I think it's a testament to the great fans of Masters of the Universe, here and worldwide!

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    Heroic Warrior
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    Which brings me to another conspiracy therory... Is the economy really that bad??? NO, It's just the same old story, the rich get richer and the poor buy MOUTC figures to make the rich richer.

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    Heroic Warrior Beastmaster's Avatar
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    Scott, since you're responding, can you please explain the 5$ price increase for shipping?

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    Let's get Crita in MOTUC! The All American's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mekaneckpain View Post
    Which brings me to another conspiracy therory... Is the economy really that bad??? NO, It's just the same old story, the rich get richer and the poor buy MOUTC figures to make the rich richer.
    Well, it's a toy addiction, and like any addiction, money is usually no object.

    Mattel did a great job brainwashing us 25-30 years ago. Seriously, look at the residuals!

    But seriously, many of us are married and/or have children, and we're still forking out a lot of money (including shipping) to get a toy fix. I think it's just amazing to see this happening, especially this time, when most of us are in our 20's/30's/40's and the economy is terrible. It's surprising how much of a MOTU fanbase there is. I can't blame anyone for quitting due to the rising costs, but for those of us who are staying, wow. We must be the insane ones.

  11. #11
    Heroic Warrior
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    I just don't think the economy is really as bad as we are lead to believe. But I'll stop there since that's a topic for the tar swamp or something like that.

  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior Balthus Dire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Blue Beetle View Post
    Subscribers had 4 years of 2008 prices. Towards the end of that, we started getting situations where Mattel couldn't afford to pack in the accessories they wanted. Now, with a $5 increase, the shouldn't ever happen again.

    There's absolutely no difference between a $5 increase now, or if they'd raised the price of a figure by $1 every year since 2008. You either want these figures, or you don't. If you do, figure out a way to afford them.

    Personally, I could live with the price increase of the figures, but it was the additional shipping increase that killed the sub for me. One or the other would've been easier to live with, but international customers saw a $10 increase overall before customs.

    But, I guess they can't do anything about it. Some explanation or clarification regarding the shipping cost increase would be nice, though.

  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beastmaster View Post
    Scott, since you're responding, can you please explain the 5$ price increase for shipping?
    I am not a large company, but I ship a lot both USPS and UPS. Both have raised their rates in the last few months due to fuel costs, etc. I imagine that DR's shipping increases reflect these changes.
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    Heroic Warrior DO4M's Avatar
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    I'm more worried about the "Lost your package? Too bad! Thanks for the money though!" thing for Internationals...
    DHL doesn't do PO Boxes. So my only option is the International mail with the "Lost your package? Too bad! Thanks for the money though!" clause... which is not cool since DR has sent my package the wrong way a couple of times...
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    "No Lashor, We Bash Ya!" Robzy's Avatar
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    Nice post Dragonblaster But unfortunately it's not going to amount to anything You will only ever get selective responses!

    Just look at ToyGuru's response above! He didn't even address all your points*, so he (& Matt-El are not interested in hearing your complaints/questions about this)

    *Points not addressed:
    1. Other companies distributing licensed products for cheaper that Matty sells their own directly to public!
    2. Accessories won't be scrapped... But look at Netossa (less than any 2012 figure)!
    3. International shipping charges have also been inflated!
      And here's an extra one...
    4. Why won't Matt-El deal with Int customers' parcels that get lost in transit anymore? Why no refund if they don't arrive - you call that customer service?




    C'mon Matt-El and TG... Answer the questions!
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    Heroic Warrior fireball13z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robzy View Post
    Nice post Dragonblaster But unfortunately it's not going to amount to anything You will only ever get selective responses!

    Just look at ToyGuru's response above! He didn't even address all your points*, so he (& Matt-El are not interested in hearing your complaints/questions about this)

    *Points not addressed:
    1. Other companies distributing licensed products for cheaper that Matty sells their own directly to public!
    2. Accessories won't be scrapped... But look at Netossa (less than any 2012 figure)!
    3. International shipping charges have also been inflated!
      And here's an extra one...
    4. Why won't Matt-El deal with Int customers' parcels that get lost in transit anymore? Why no refund if they don't arrive - you call that customer service?




    C'mon Matt-El and TG... Answer the questions!
    Well I can tell you if you are selling licensed toys to Walmart/target/TRU you are selling way more figures over MOTUC

    also technically nothing has been scrapped from Netossa, if they had shown something and then taken it away, then it was scrapped
    the ignore list is my new best friend

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    scaly 2014 Subscriber! Dragonblaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robzy View Post
    Nice post Dragonblaster But unfortunately it's not going to amount to anything You will only ever get selective responses!

    Just look at ToyGuru's response above! He didn't even address all your points*, so he (& Matt-El are not interested in hearing your complaints/questions about this)

    *Points not addressed:
    1. Other companies distributing licensed products for cheaper that Matty sells their own directly to public!
    2. Accessories won't be scrapped... But look at Netossa (less than any 2012 figure)!
    3. International shipping charges have also been inflated!
      And here's an extra one...
    4. Why won't Matt-El deal with Int customers' parcels that get lost in transit anymore? Why no refund if they don't arrive - you call that customer service?




    C'mon Matt-El and TG... Answer the questions!
    Thank you Robzy.
    But honestly I didn't even expect them to answer anything.
    I'm not at all surprised though which questions Scott didn't want to/ wasn't allowed to answer...

    In the end I can't change Mattel's decisions. I could live with the price increase of the figures. But with the additional shipping increase it isn't possible anymore for me to buy a subscription.
    Cherry picking will be hard as I want all of the revealed characters. But the only figure of 2013 I really NEED is Ram-Man (plus Snake face once we get to see him).
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  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior Paul Justice's Avatar
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    Does Quantity count in all this? I mean Classics sells well for the quantity that is made. But Classics quantity does not compare to the other licensed products out there that are higher numbers and possibly much higher sales. The question to ask is, will prices go down during a movie year?

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior bigsexy_j's Avatar
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    I have a question about the movie year. We keep hearing CG maybe in a movie, I have collected DCUC since it was DC Superheroes, through that there was 1 Superman movie and 2 Batman movies with a 3rd coming this Friday. I still do not have a Batmobile for these figures. So 4 movies and we can't even get a 6" scale Batmobile but TG want's us to believe that Mattel would be all over making a 4 sided 6" scale Castle?

    Sure the prices have remained the same, but Mattel is known for over charging on the collector community. DCUC vs ML, DC has no accessories and has lost the CnC, ML has accessories and a BAF piece for $1 cheaper. Mattel knows that fans will still buy, maybe loose a few but not enough to cover the extra profit from the increase.

    J

  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior omee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    We do understand really. Prices (for sub holders) have been flat since 2008. The increase is 100% to account for rising costs in labor and material. Our margins are actually still down but we didn't want to raise prices any more.

    In the end, we simply can't design the line around every individual customer's buying habits or social/economic situation (including location).

    We raised prices as a counter measure to cost reducing the toys (losing all weapons and large amounts of deco). In the end the product needs to come first and we have absorbed 5 years of cost increases into one hike. Perhaps we could have done 1.00 a year every year vs one 5.00 jump. In hindsight that is what I would have done.

    But it would still be 25.00 in 2013.
    Seeing Toyguru's response I understand the cost increase part, the mold's required for tooling are DAMN expensive, I mean its costs anywhere from $100,000 - $500,000 per piece mold! So when doing Capital budgeting as a business you need to make sure all the costs (tooling, designing, marketing ect) can in time be re-covered if not each product is sold at a loss and because the product is not Mass Market and pretty much for adults, Mattel looses out on the very lucrative kids market. As an example it took Microsoft and Sony around 4 years before they saw any profit from producing the XBOX 360 and PS3, at one point Sony was loosing about $100 on each system, they were only making money from licensing.

    Anyways I totally understand the price increase but its the shipping cost which killed it for me this year. I live in Canada so shipping cost should not be the same as shipping to say Germany. Had the shipping for USPS stayed the same at $8.95 I would have bought the sub for next year. I dont even care about the no refunds thing because in the last two years as a sub holder I havent once had a single incident and I didn't care because the shipping cost was cool but at $13.95 for one item I excpect their to be some form of insurance.

    I really hope that Mattel will figure someway to lower the shipping cost to international customers, but deep down I know they wont. It sucks for the line because I honestly believe this will result in a LOT of international fans dropping off. Boo-urns.

    Also Dragonblaster, if you really want to get Mattel's attention post your letter to their Facebook page, its much higher profile. Just my 2 cents.

  21. #21
    Heroic Warrior Balthus Dire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omee View Post
    Anyways I totally understand the price increase but its the shipping cost which killed it for me this year. I live in Canada so shipping cost should not be the same as shipping to say Germany. Had the shipping for USPS stayed the same at $8.95 I would have bought the sub for next year. I dont even care about the no refunds thing because in the last two years as a sub holder I havent once had a single incident and I didn't care because the shipping cost was cool but at $13.95 for one item I excpect their to be some form of insurance.

    I really hope that Mattel will figure someway to lower the shipping cost to international customers, but deep down I know they wont. It sucks for the line because I honestly believe this will result in a LOT of international fans dropping off. Boo-urns.
    This. So much this.

    I feel the worst for EU/Aussie collectors, but the fact that we Canadians pay the same amount as shipping to EU/Australia is a joke IMO. We should be able to ship via USPS.

  22. #22
    scaly 2014 Subscriber! Dragonblaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omee View Post
    Also Dragonblaster, if you really want to get Mattel's attention post your letter to their Facebook page, its much higher profile. Just my 2 cents.
    Thanks for the advice, but I have no Facebook account and wasn't planning to get one
    I just posted it here and on "ask Matty" to possibly induce constructive discussions. And of course in order to vent a bit. I'm pretty passionate about the MOTU brand, so I wanted to share my feelings towards the changes.
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  23. #23
    Sorcerer of Zalesia bcrduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fball13z View Post
    also technically nothing has been scrapped from Netossa, if they had shown something and then taken it away, then it was scrapped
    The mask was cut.

    It's an internet world. We find out everything. Why lie about it?

    He'll say it wasn't cut. A bunch of us have heard differently. Oh well.

    She should have all of the accessories she had in the vintage line. That's what I expect from a price hike of $5.00 per standard figure.
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  24. #24
    Greatful his pants are on bskcase's Avatar
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    I think TG and Mattel is fair on this one. Prices have increased these last few years and it is really ignorant not to expect a price hike. I have worked with budgets and cost of materials in my business and I can say that prices have dramatically increased in the last 10 years.

    I feel the pain for the price hike too, but I made peace with it when they announced the prices would go up A YEAR AGO. You want an example: Look at Star Wars figures. Those smaller figures went from $6 to $10 in five years.
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  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior hopewell's Avatar
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    I'm okay with the price increase, I get the business side of this. I just wish we had tiered subscriptions so people who want to support the line can get in at a more economical price. I know most people want "All in" but I wish there was a bare bones, 12 fig only subscription. When I collect Ghostbusters, MM Dark Knight rises, Voltron, Lego and TMNT, it's hard for me to justify 75 bucks on Fighting Foe Men and Griffins that I don't want when I only have so much money in a year for toys.

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