Sadly, you can't divorce emotion from a toyline built on nostalgia.
Got Man-E-Faces, give 'em Whiplash when I Battle-Cats
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TG said that within 48 hours, sub sales were low compared to last year. Has it occurred to anyone that this might not be true either? I'm sure he will say anything at this point to make people buy subs. This is a critical moment for the line apparently so whatever works.
With the higher figure costs and higher international shipping, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if subs were down considerably at this point.
Sadly, you can't divorce emotion from a toyline built on nostalgia.
Got Man-E-Faces, give 'em Whiplash when I Battle-Cats
Last edited by Wulf-Gar; July 21, 2012 at 04:24am.
I don't post here often, but i felt the need to do so for this topic.
I have been a life long MOTU fan, and have supported the 200X comeback and have had a MOTUC subscription every year since the beginning.
I have also worked in the Toy Industry as a project manager and designer the last 10 years, so i know both sides of the coin.
From an industry perspective you have to understand that prices on all aspects of production always go up and the last 4 or 5 years have been brutal...
Seeing 35% increases from factories in China is a huge hit and that happens yearly or sometimes twice a year.
Tooling costs in general always go higher, its something many companies have tried to go around in the last 5 years….some have failed and those companies don’t exist anymore or have dramatically changed how they work.
You have to consider each point of articulation has a labor cost for assembly attached to it.
Items in soft and hard plastics need separate molds respectively, and cutting steel costs $$$$
Packaging art and assembly cost money.
Blisters, mailer boxes, color printing…those are all pennies and dollars that add up in the long run.
Each application of paint costs money.
Molds for re-use parts are doubled or tripled (copies are created)
And after long use they start to wear out and need to be recreated….that cost big $$$!
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hero buck has been tooled 4-6 times since the beginning considering it’s heavy use.
Factories are getting hit too and need to keep their profits.
There is only so much haggling that can be done back and forth.
A company like Mattel doing a subscription/online only line is a great thing for the fans, but it would not make sense in the overall business model of the company (or most companies)
It would not be worth the $$$ to most companies, since they are producing nowhere near as much product as they would for a line that has mass market support.
Having mass support is HUGE for a company and will make or break what they produce….
Consider the 200X line…
There was a cartoon and revival of the property.
Mass market backed it and Mattel was able to do unique sculpts for just about every figure.
They created tons of accessories and playsets and vehicles.
None of that would have ever happened without the support of mass market (which was only there because a cartoon existed)
So MOTUC, which has only nostalgia behind it is def a GIFT from Mattel to the fans.
No factory will produce a line of product without a minimum purchase order promised in advance for the production run.
(hence the need for Mattel to gauge their production run on subscriptions to ensure the factory that they will in fact make a certain amount and also for Matty to know that they can actually sell this amount and not be left with tons of unsold product)
They factory may tell them they need at least 5,000 pieces of each figure (at the very very minimum, most companies would produce way more than that on any given figure in a line)
So if the subscriptions aren’t where they should be from past experience the red flag from TG must come from a place of sincerity.
From a fan’s perspective I know each person has their preference to faction and release order.
Some may not want to commit to them all.
I personally am not a fan of POP and NA but have a subscription nonetheless since I LOVE the entire mythos, think the figs come out looking really cool and want to support it all now since this line DOESN’T have to exist.
I seriously doubt Matty is seeing huge dollars on this line.
I also think they idea of “scare tactics” is ridiculous.
Mattel is too huge of a company to worry about the dollars coming in from this line to tease the fans.
There are PR people in place, I am sure, to watch every word that comes out of it’s representatives, so just saying something just to say it or tease people would never happen.
Hell, much smaller companies would not let that fly from an HR and PR position.
I am not making any excuse for Mattel, but I appreciate the line existing at all.
The 200X cartoon ended and toy line was cancelled.
For most companies a fail or the end of a line means you move on and find your $$$ elsewhere.
So its revival must come from some genuine love and care for the brand.
Just the fact that we are getting figures and have gotten so many to this point is an amazing thing.
I mean Procrustus?? Tytus??? Concept figures?
Hell they could have stuck to only vintage MOTU and not done any POP or NA.
I love the depth of the universe, and hope it continues.
The price increases suck, the negative vibes suck.
But I signed up for a 2013 subscription since I love the MOTU universe.
I can afford the $$$ spent, I totally understand those that cannot.
Last edited by darkmoon766; July 20, 2012 at 04:22pm.
and my thought is, i understand where everyone is coming from, but if we don't support what we love, well it's time to move on and that is what Matty will do
to think Matty is making millions off this line is crazy, the production is so limited and the fact that we even get to see artists like the 4 horsemen create them... come on.. round up a few extra bucks and sign up i know everyone wants to see the line continue and to keep blaming matty.. well that's just pointing the finger and really if we don't support the line as fans, we should really be only pointing the finger at ourselves.
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Maybe Mattel wants the line to die and is proving that in a two week span it won't survive. Reading a lot of what is being said here who knows man...
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@ToyKing82, I appreciate your perspective on the industry. I can't deny that Mattel needs to have some idea of how many figures they will sell. But why not put into place an advance pre-order system for each figure instead of the sub (with the sub still as an option)? It just seems like a way to please everybody and sell even more product. For one thing, the quick sell-outs certainly mean that not everyone who wants the figures is getting them. Pre-orders can please everyone.
You know this whole thing of international fan are not real fans for backing could have been solved with oh I don't know a European disturbing centre, you know the thing international fans have been asking for from day 1
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I am usually one of Toyguru's most ardent supporters, and will usually back most of Mattel's decisions as well--note, not all, but most.
But there is one key decision where I think Mattel really screwed the pooch: waiting until Comic Con to announce the price increase.
Yes, I know for many these are "economically difficult times"; but...Mattel should've already know that. They've been in business since at least the 1950s, they've already gone thru about 12 boom-and-bust economies since that time. As a company who's successfully weathered all that, they should've understand the changing market, and known how to prepare for financial setbacks. This was not considered.
And speaking of changing markets, I fail then to understand why they were waiting til Comic Con to announce the price increase seeing as they clearly don't see any viable market for their brand past what they already have, if they're insisting from this point on it pretty much be all sub-in based sales.
Face it: MOTUC may be pretty much the end of the road for Masters; this may be the last real chance the line has. Most of those who grew up with the brand are at a far different point in their lives now, and may be mostly moving on after this. Nostalgia can only take a property so far.
I was actually attached to this property--at this point mainly not from nostalgia. My nostalgia time was in my late teens/early '20s, and after that I gained a brand new appreciation for the things that I fell back in love with.
That's me, though...it doesn't appear to be most other folks.
Outside of possibly a movie, while I think Toyguru as all the faith in the world and love possible for MOTU...I don't think Mattel does. I think they know this is likely it for the brand, and that future generations will take to He-Man about as much as collectors were eager to pick up Dorothy's Ruby Slippers on Hollywood Treasure.
I even said that 2017 would be a perfect cutoff point for this line, and perhaps I was being a tad bit on the generous side.
However it stands, Mattel needed/needs to let this price increase sink in for people; it doesn't bother me in the slightest...but then economics, and history( and economic history) are also two of my special interests. Basically, most people are not taking it the way I am.
I just fail to understand why they'd invest in all that effort for Filmation, and all that money into Mattycollector if they don't even see any market for this stuff past the next few years. I honestly expected a lot more out of Mattel than that.
"Whoever says money is evil...doesn't have it"- Boiler Room
I mean i totally get all the gloom and doom, being on the inside you read that stuff all the time, you are always checking out what the fans say.
I think the coolest thing is how active TG is and the kind of insider info he gives.
The Q&A's are awesome too
I know companies that NEVER talk to their fans.
Man i hear some horror stories about DR, luckily i haven't had any probs
Well i think they pre-order thing would not only create lots more paperwork and behind the scenes stuff that may not be worth it to the company.
I dig the idea of not having to worry about it month per month and just being set in the subscription.
The sell-outs do seem to say that all would be ok...but i understand Matty needing to know far in advance...and in bigger chunks not just one or a few figs at a time.
That knowledge helps them give the fans a lil more here and there in terms of accessories or whatever.
But as to the sell-outs, those could just be them selling out of the LOWEST possible production run from a factory, ya know.
So in big company terms that little win may not be worth all the hassle in the long run.
Dealing with vendors in HK ain't easy!
Are you guys thinking a pre-order system would be how much in advance of each figures release?
So this whole subbers pay for this line argument is rediculous, because as an international subber i pay even more! should i be allowed to therefore tell all US subbers they should buy 50% more subs so they can support it as much as me?
We are all MOTU fans and any money we spend on this line is supporting the line
Anyone else notice the update on mattys main page, Concerning M.O.T.U.C.'s?
I prefer my pop in a 12 ounce can.
I can see that a pre-order system might not be as easy to set up or manage, but I wonder if they've looked into it. Personally, I'd be willing to purchase a good number of figures on name alone, even without seeing the product. They could probably get away with illustrations of the products, if they wanted to offer a little more. Both options would provide more information than the sub, where you don't even know some of the figures you're buying. If Mattel told me characters liked Ram-Man or Mosquitor were coming months ago and gave me a chance to secure them with a pre-order, I would have jumped on the opportunity.