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Thread: Some quick updates

  1. #1
    Marketing Manager at Mattel Toyguru's Avatar
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    Some quick updates

    Hey guys!

    Okay so a few days until Power Con 2: The repowering. Couldn't be more excited.

    I didn't want to wait for this weekend to give a few updates.

    First off, the whole "black plastic issue". I did as reported note this for design and they have told me they will try to explore other cost saving issues starting with Dekker. They can't guarantee he will be the last figure to be molded together, but they have noted this ideally won't continue on 2013. Heard you loud and clear. BUT: I do need to note that a few more images would have helped. We had (as of this post) about 22 replies to my request. Honestly, that is pretty much within a margin of QC error. We make thousands of each figure. It really takes hundreds of images to show design that a change is needed. 30 or so images is a bit hard to bait a hook with. But I did make the case and they will see what can be done starting with Dekker (the next figure it is possible to make a change to). If anything like this happens again, I can't stress enough the importance of images. Design needs to see how extensive an issue is. 30 or so images really isn't enough to illustrate this is widespread as QC will always happen. Every figure is hand painted and hand made. But they have agreed to look into the black issue. Just next time, please more images. It will make changes easier and faster. Less begging on my part...! ;-)

    The whole Frosta issue is still being looked into. We RFP'd a few samples to review to see whether or not the figure has assembly issues or if some of the PR samples were legit errors. As soon as I know more I will let you all know. But we are looking into it. The Mattel "instruction" samples was definitely correct so we need to see whether or not their was human error in assembly. These things do happen but we will look into how much (if any) of the actual production was affected. Too early to know right now.

    We also know there were a few accidental early orders that went out this month. I can confirm less than 50 were shipped we did figure out what happened to the coding that allowed this to go through and fixed it for next time. Sorry for any confusion.

    Hopefully more updates at Power Con. Until then, keep them power swords sharp!

    SdN

    PS: Dying to know what you all think of mini comic 3! All three are really meant to be one story. Issue 3 really brings it home!

    PPS: Sorry for the type-o in the thread name. Didn't see that until after I saved.
    Last edited by Toyguru; September 19, 2012 at 12:44am.

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    Scott, your recent reply to a question on 'Ask Matty' regarding your thoughts on the recent sell out of the Snake Men 2-pack troubles me a bit:

    "Posted September 18, 2012 08:01 PM
    It is always good when a figure sells out! But in the end, the subs drive the sales now. Day of is a very small portion."

    Question, how are sub sales supposed to drive consideration for a line item- like the Snake Men- that aren't part of the sub? I get that for sub items mngt isn't exactly going to twitch when remaining day of stock sells out, but how is this viewed when it's not a part of the sub? I don't know how many of the Snake Men you made, but an almost instant sell-out SHOULD reqister as pretty significant. At least significant enough to warrant another run of Snake Men in different colors I would hope.
    Harken to the coming of RIO BLAST!!

  3. #3
    Marketing Manager at Mattel Toyguru's Avatar
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    The Snake Men 2 pack is the 3rd quarterly oversized item and is part of the sub.

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    The Snake Men 2 pack is the 3rd quarterly oversized item and is part of the sub.
    You know what.. you're absolutely right and that is my mistake. Okay, so same question but as it applies to non-sub items. I can't speak for the fan who asked the original question, but the intent seemed to be, is there still doom/gloom on Mattel's end as to the future of the franchise, possible lost fan interest, etc., even in spite of nearly instant sell-outs. IMHO this shows there is plenty of life left in the old boy yet. It just takes the right figures to motivate interest.

    EDIT: And let me say, I for one am completely pleased that design is looking into the black plastic issue. I thought for certain we wouldn't see changes until well into 2013, but Dekker in 2012 is more than reasonable and thank you for your efforts in bringing this to Ruben's attention. Looking forward to Power-Con!!
    Harken to the coming of RIO BLAST!!

  5. #5
    Toy Guru for President! He-Dad's Avatar
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    Good to know that the black plastic thing is being resolved. I'm suprised there wasn't more pictures as well since it sounded like it was a widespread issue. (My Spikor and SLL didn't flake in the joints....my SLL just had paint loss on the sword flaking into his hand). I do hope they use it on Mosquitor though . Sounds like no more for 2013 though (which is good. You would think paint would cost more than colored plastic). Hopefully we get a couple big reveals this weekend!

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior
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    Images or not, your consumers have spoken loud and clear that we do not want black plastic. I think that the petition thread is more than enough of a mandate to end this practice... http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...otected-Thread

    Bring that to design Scott and I think they will have no choice but to listen.

  7. #7
    I Love Filmation Variants TUC138's Avatar
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    So what about Filmation Randor ? Is he stands "before" OR "after" Dekker ????

    I hope he is not painted !!
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  8. #8
    Court Magician Sarzac's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update, Scott. I was hesitant on purchasing extra Snakemen this month (I ended up getting three extra sets anyway - generic Snakemen are something that I've wanted since the first Snakemen mini-comic from the vintage line) because of the black plastic issue, but I'm reassured to hear that you guys are working to resolve this asap. If I see any noticeable black plastic on my figures (I haven't seen it on some of the earlier figures that were reported with this flaw) I'll be sure to post an image of it for you.

    Now any chance we can get a sneak peak at any soon to be announced reveals? ;-P

  9. #9
    Marketing Manager at Mattel Toyguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draego-Man View Post
    Images or not, your consumers have spoken loud and clear that we do not want black plastic. I think that the petition thread is more than enough of a mandate to end this practice... http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...otected-Thread

    Bring that to design Scott and I think they will have no choice but to listen.
    Actually. No. To be straight up, a petition or discussion like that has zero effect on design. They need to see images, and especially in terms of a QC issue, WIDESPREAD images. Pictures are a thousand words and proof of what the issue is. People discussing it can help bring attention, but not resolution. We need images. And since we are talking production in the thousands, really a few hundred images are what we are talking about. That is the most direct way fans can help communicate change to design. Its what I need to be able to pass along. Not a discussion.

  10. #10
    Master of Shapeways He-bro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    Actually. No. To be straight up, a petition or discussion like that has zero effect on design. They need to see images, and especially in terms of a QC issue, WIDESPREAD images. Pictures are a thousand words and proof of what the issue is. People discussing it can help bring attention, but not resolution. We need images. And since we are talking production in the thousands, really a few hundred images are what we are talking about. That is the most direct way fans can help communicate change to design. Its what I need to be able to pass along. Not a discussion.
    Thank you Scott for your attention with this.

    I'm sure we will have more pictures after we get DB Skeletor. Do you want us to keep posting them? (It stinks I had 2 Vykron figures, but I sold them both because of the black plastic issue so I couldn't take pictures, since they were already gone)

  11. #11
    Quester JonWes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    PPS: Sorry for the type-o in the thread name. Didn't see that until after I saved.
    Fixed it for you.

    I'm glad they're listening about the black plastic. I think the biggest fear is less a stray mark here or there but what it might indicate in the future a month, two months, six months and years down the road. Of course, I still wonder if the black marks are happening later (as in it's easy to scratch) or during painting when it's still wet. I still need to take pics of my few little marks on mine.

    Oh, and everyone if you DO have pics be sure to post them here for Scott and the design team:

    http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...tic!-POST-HERE!

  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior
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    They can't guarantee he will be the last figure to be molded together, but they have noted this ideally won't continue on 2013.

    I don`t want to pay more money for price increased figures in 2013 produced this cheap. This design decision is another example why customers loose interest in this line.

    I expect more from Mattel products which are referred to as high end collectibles.
    Last edited by Berserker79; September 19, 2012 at 01:55am.

  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior
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    "explore other cost saving issues".

    So it was a cost saving measure. That is interesting since I always thought it would be more expensive to use the correctly coloured plastic rather than painting black plastic the correct colour.

    I'm glad this issue is being looked into and that Mattel is investigating alternatives.

  14. #14
    Heroic Master of Maturity SCB's Avatar
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    Scott, why are some of our subs shipping so late? Mine still hasn't shipped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haephestus View Post
    "explore other cost saving issues".

    So it was a cost saving measure. That is interesting since I always thought it would be more expensive to use the correctly coloured plastic rather than painting black plastic the correct colour.

    I'm glad this issue is being looked into and that Mattel is investigating alternatives.
    I find it more puzzling and even a bit disturbing that the black plastic was a cost cutting measure, even though the price of the figures have went up.

  16. #16
    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Porkchop View Post
    I find it more puzzling and even a bit disturbing that the black plastic was a cost cutting measure, even though the price of the figures have went up.
    100% agreed...I absolutely have no understanding for decisions like this.

  17. #17
    Heroic Warrior
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    I think 30 pictures are more than enough!
    Keep in mind that this is not a kids line where hundreds of thousand kids play extensively with the figures.
    This is a collectors line where figures are handled carefully.
    When after such a short time the figures paint scrapes off already, there is definately a problem.
    It just takes longer to show on more figures because people don't play with them,
    they only pose them from time to time.
    30 pictures plus 120 petition subscribers should be more than enough!

  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haephestus View Post
    "explore other cost saving issues".

    So it was a cost saving measure. That is interesting since I always thought it would be more expensive to use the correctly coloured plastic rather than painting black plastic the correct colour.
    Well.... they have always said that the more you produce... the cheaper it is. I have a feeling that instead of making 2000 blue arms, 2000 flesh arms, and 2000 green arms... it's cheaper to order 6000 black ones and then paint them.

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior bigsexy_j's Avatar
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    So when fans were on the fence and speaking with their wallets, why did you Scott not mention that Mattel is looking into cost cutting measures even though the price has increased?

    So far with your buy subs and such and such will happen has been changed to 100% all vintage characters has changed to I meant 100% renewal and $5 increase due to cost increase has now been shown as "we are looking into cost cutting measures"

    I'm sorry but it's been 2 months and we have this much smoke and mirrors already shown from Mattel during the sub drive, sadly doesn't look too good for 2014.

    J

  20. #20
    Heroic Subscriber He-Dude's Avatar
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    Maybe they are cutting costs in order to find ways to get us more... like vehicles and such.

    Thanx Scott... a lot of us are hoping you can keep the line going for us.

  21. #21
    Heroic Warrior retcon's Avatar
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    So cost saving measure = design choice huh?

  22. #22
    Got Filmation? shadowfall1976's Avatar
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    At least there's some good news, but a petition with so many people united in one voice against one issue not telling design anything? I doubt it, when money talks, they listen, and money was talking loud and clear about the plastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by He-Dad View Post
    Good to know that the black plastic thing is being resolved. I'm suprised there wasn't more pictures as well since it sounded like it was a widespread issue. (My Spikor and SLL didn't flake in the joints....my SLL just had paint loss on the sword flaking into his hand). I do hope they use it on Mosquitor though . Sounds like no more for 2013 though (which is good. You would think paint would cost more than colored plastic). Hopefully we get a couple big reveals this weekend!
    The pics I have seen look more than QC flaws, with the paint not just being applied badly, but coming off after the first movement of the figure, that was never a QC defect, it was a design defect, painting tight joints and expecting the paint not to come off, is just wishful thinking, it's a no brainer that in time it will happen.

    And MOSC collectors can't take pics, unless the paint is visibly off, but it's enough for anyone with common sense to know that a 3/4 painted figure is just a stupid idea, and a cheap way out, absolutely no one wants in MOTUC. Pics or not, it never should have been explored as an option, as I said, this is not, nor was it ever a QC issue, but more a design flaw.

    Now we will have at least 10 figures that have the same design flaw....not a QC defect, just as Stinkors forearms were design flaws....But at least there could be a light at the end of the tunnel for the black plastic train.
    Last edited by shadowfall1976; September 19, 2012 at 02:21am.
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  23. #23
    Marketing Manager at Mattel Toyguru's Avatar
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    We have to cut costs on 2012 figures because we got hit by cost increases after selling in the sub at 20.00 per fig. This is why the price increase in 2013. So we don't have to delete as much deco or accessories or anything else we can think of to catch up to skyrocketing costs. The 2013 price should prevent us from doing this type of cost saving moves (which we hate doing but have to fro 2012 since we locked in a low price to customers. We didn;t have the option to raise the price to compensate)

  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    We have to cut costs on 2012 figures because we got hit by cost increases after selling in the sub at 20.00 per fig. This is why the price increase in 2013. So we don't have to delete as much deco or accessories or anything else we can think of to catch up to skyrocketing costs. The 2013 price should prevent us from doing this type of cost saving moves (which we hate doing but have to fro 2012 since we locked in a low price to customers. We didn;t have the option to raise the price to compensate)
    So you do what you can to stitch us up... And then you can't afford to honour the deal? Great

  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior Sgt. Slaughter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post

    I do need to note that a few more images would have helped. We had (as of this post) about 22 replies to my request. Honestly, that is pretty much within a margin of QC error. We make thousands of each figure. It really takes hundreds of images to show design that a change is needed. 30 or so images is a bit hard to bait a hook with.
    I hate to be snarky, but this is a problem that seems to be showing up on a lot of the newer figures. Lots of us are still waiting on these new figures to arrive. Shipping is slooooooooow. My MOTU guys probably still got another couple weeks to hang out in NV before heading to me.

    Likewise, surely you guys have some of the figures in question floating around the Mattel HQ. Can't you just like, take a figure from a year ago and twist his arms and shoulders around a dozen times and then do the same with one of the newest figures and see the difference? It's paint... It rubs off. We're not talking about balancing nuclear equations here.

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