The closest I know of was Jesse Falcon during the Toybiz run of Marvel Legends. Much less communication however.
Hey all, just curious since quite a few of us collect other toylines, what other toylines have brand managers like ToyGuru who tries to communicate with fans? I don't want to get into a disussion about how good of a job ToyGuru does or doesn't do, just curious what other toylines that have people that work on them go out of their way to share info with fans?
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The closest I know of was Jesse Falcon during the Toybiz run of Marvel Legends. Much less communication however.
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Jerry Macaluso from SOTA toys. He would talk to the die hard Street Fighter fans regularly on Action-Figure.com every week about the toy making process, the marketing and how hard it was to make them. It's eerie how the Street Fighter line is just like this one...HUGE character selection from not only Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but Alpha and SF3 as well. Jerry managed to get more than 25 characters done before he sold the company.
The new management wasted three slots on out of scale new versions of Ryu, Ken and Akuma, tried to pre-order a Darkstalkers line and finished the line with Dhalsim, Zangief, Honda and R. Mika (who had notoriously thin pegs that could break if you looked at them hard). In short, they were not Jerry Macaluso.
Those toys are still the highest point that Street Fighter has ever reached. Unfortunately, Dee Jay is missing from the cast...
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He did his job and did what he said he was going to do. He may have mis-spoke a few times about certain things, but overall he did a pretty damn good job!
I hope he continues to pull through for us and is around for years to come. He takes so much time out for the fans and goes above and beyond what he gets paid to do. I am happy to have him. Whenever something goes wrong somebody has to take the blame everytime something goes wrong(not not he didn't makes mistakes). I think he is a smaller voice than we would like him to be in a very large company, none the less, I still have faith in him. I guess I always try to look at the positive side but I am truly happy overall...unless the end is near.... then I guess that could quickly change how I feel (Not about toyguru) how i would feel about Mattel. Being a toy collector Mattel making people unhappy not good p/r
Nobody has TG but us motu fans and thats the way I want it!!!
Right now? There isn't one. Randy Falk from NECA is probably the closest, but there is much less to communicate about.
MSWord, who is a social media manager for Marvel Select posts on The Fwoosh and answers whatever questions he can. That's a little more broad though, since he's not in charge of the product lines. But Chuck does regular ASKDST segments, and apparently answers every question that comes in. There isn't "on the fly" communication though.
Hasbro learned their lesson that it's actually better to NOT communicate with fans too much. It just causes too much dissent. It's important to pay attention to the forums, but sometimes responding with corporate answers does more harm than good.
Last edited by Hoffman; July 29, 2012 at 12:07am.
I was thinking about this earlier today! Toyguru has indeed gone beyond and above the call of duty to communicate with Mattel's He-Man and She-Ra fans, and in some ways this has been a benefit to us and the company.
Ken Lilly from the Muppets line via Palisades was amazing. To the point where they would sho early sculpts and get feedback from the message board member.s I even remember discussion over the colour of certain characters 'felt' and members would be active in posting screencaps of the characters so the designers would make sure they were on the money. There was one character where they (Palisades) even posted possible colour swatches to get feedback. Amazing. Then in his reviews of the figures, Ken would even be critical of what could have been done better etc. along with all the good. It was an absolute tragedy when that line - and the whole company - folded. For so many reasons.
David Vonner for Marvel Universe. Hasbro let him go last year and the line's just not as cool (or, heck, even on on the shelves of late) without him.
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When Aaron Archer was Brand Manager for Transformers, he had his own forum at tfw2005.com where he answered questions, gave feedback on figures, and so forth. It ended when other Transformer sites complained.
Matty, Great Black Wizard figure please!
You had Steve Sansweet for lucusfilm ( know i know some people will say he didn't discuss the figures as much as star wars as a license as a whole, remember Scott is in charge of the Motu license its just the figures are the biggest part, i imagine thats why alot of toy comanies don't have people like scott, not because they don't won't to talk but because the companies can't discuss the license is such a way since they aren't in charge of it)
Not many, because in the end - it's not good business. Sure, interaction and input from customers is great - but there are so many things that go wrong, especially when the person in charge is considered such a "super fan" when it's taken to the levels it has been here (I mean, TG...Scott - see, issue right there - just plastered his face all over a MattyCollector section with a header larger than the store itself - it doesn't take a PhD in psychology to call that one).
There are good reasons it doesn't happen more often. To a fan, on paper, it sounds like a dream - but then you have the situation we have found ourselves in now - the five buck increase isn't what is killing this line (and no one can say "it's not dying" anymore, as it's empirical fact at this point, one way or another - our best hope being to sludge through to 2014). It's the slow-build up of a myriad of issues that may have gotten more attention if there was less "oooh shiny!" and people feeling a personal relationship - sort of like how a fan of the Kardashians thinks they "know" them and are part of some non-existent "family" that only exists to make you have that feeling so you buy their products.
He has made himself a target. For good or bad, he's become the boss of MOTU and to many, the buck stops at TG. Truth be told, he's got a lot of bosses above him and anyone of them can shut MOTU down.
It has its good and bad sides that he's made himself a public figure. On one hand, he shows that he care about the line. You don't see the head of Star Wars dressing up like Darth Maul at SDCC.
That's one thing I'll miss if this line goes.
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NO other toy lines have brand managers on Toyguru's level. Dude answers our questions on a regular basis, puts up with a ton of BS directed at him that he isnt responsible for, EVEN DRESSED UP AS THE MIGHTY SPECTOR!!!
He has done a lot for MOTUC to last as long as it has...and he doesn't nearly get enough praise, but mostly hate and rude comments. I couldn't be happier with Toyguru manning this ship. "Haters gon' hate".
I think MotU has always been blessed with great Marketing Managers, Jeremy Padawer was amazing and I did not think we would ever get anyone better, but Scott has broken his back for this line and continues to make me proud to be a fan. I always love hearing him on Roast Gooble Dinner, he's just like one of the gang, one of us, and not all corporate.
I don't collect any other lines other than DCUC so I can not compare him to other companies. But I feel we have the best.
Actually DC is a line that can help me with my point, its another line scotts in charge of but doesn't talk about near on the same level as MOTU, partly personal choice but also because he is not in charge of it as a license. he can discuss far more with MOTU,
And i am with count marzo, Scott gets more crap then he deserves, surehe ain't perfect but how truly is. IMOA he has done far more for the line then he has done against it ( and i don't believe any of those rare occasions were intentional ). I think scott will be fondly remembered when MOTUC dies off one day and we get someone else as brand manger to whom Motu is just a job, cause you never know what ya got till its gone ...
For people to say they wouldnt want a fan in control i would disagree, he knows the background history of motu, done extra research, id love to be in his shoes that day going into the mattel vault of archieves and discovering more stuff.
We could always have a brand manager like the script writer that wanted Adam/He-man to come from Earth.
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I learned a lesson when I had kids. Initially, you want nothing more than to be 'their friend'. Problem is, that's not how being a parent works. You can't always have your kids like you. You can't 'be their friend'.
Sadly, you can't divorce emotion from a toyline built on nostalgia.
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As mentioned earlier in this thread, Jesse Falcon, when Marvel Legends was at Toybiz, was the closest thing I've ever seen to Scott and the amount of communication he has with fans, but even Jesse was nowhere near as communicative as Scott has been. Longtime fans of Legends will also recall that a lot of people on the boards would excoriate Jesse mercilessly for every step in the line.
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None that I am aware of. Scott does a wonderful job overall with the line. I think it is great that he takes alot of his time outside of work hours to interact with MOTU collectors. He dressed up as Spector for SDCC for goodness sake!!! How cool and goofy was that?!?
My one and only complaint is that sometimes his text posts on the forums have a slight snarky edge to them. That is forgivable in my eyes though as I know that he truly wants what is best for the line. I've met him at Power Con and he truly is a nice fellow and exudes passion for MOTU!
We are VERY fortunate that he is running the show!!! It doesnt hurt that he has the best toy sculptors in the biz on the line either
What other toylines have brand managers like ToyGuru?
None. They've all been cancelled.