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Thread: Some quick updates

  1. #51
    Evil Warrior jibernish'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.
    It's disappointing that customer input doesn't count here, that Mattel can't/won't listen to their customers. And that common sense doesn't matter either. It's common sense that paint will rub off on joints and Mattel's research should have known that (they probably did know and just pushed it through anyways). So now it's up to the fans to statistically prove a no-brainer defect that will really only be fully 'provable' over time, when Mattel's own research and testing department should be doing that.

    I did submit photos of my Spikor and paint is chipping and flaking off everywhere. And Spikor was my last figure.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by whbinder View Post
    Really? Are you being grumpy or can you actually not understand that? I know that may sound confrontational, but I'm honestly asking. Material costs have gone up. This isn't a Mattel fantasy. Plastics, paints and other petroleum products cost way more than they did in 2008. Mattel has to look for cost cutting tools to keep the cost close to the same. The production cost has raised more than the cost of the figures has been raised.

    Look, Mattel makes lots of mistakes. We all agree to this. But if their production cost goes higher than their profits, they can't just say "Well, we won't pay our employees this month" They have to raise the prices or lower the production cost, or in this case, a balance of the two. For all the things Mattel isn't clear on, they've been pretty transparent on this one.
    Most businesses that estimate costs badly have to eat that cost themselves. It is Mattel that insists on locking us into a subscription, and into a fixed price. It's wrong to lock us into a price and then give us shoddy figures when costs go up, just so you, who didn't estimate costs properly to begin with, can keep your profit margin. You mess up, you take a loss. You don't stick it to your customers.

  2. #52
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jibernish View Post
    Most businesses that estimate costs badly have to eat that cost themselves. It is Mattel that insists on locking us into a subscription, and into a fixed price. It's wrong to lock us into a price and then give us shoddy figures when costs go up, just so you, who didn't estimate costs properly to begin with, can keep your profit margin. You mess up, you take a loss. You don't stick it to your customers.
    You do know it is Mattel we are talking about, right? The company whose comparable product is always priced higher than their competitors, even though they are the only company that gets to do their toy testing in house since the recall fest a few years back?

    Face it, folks, part of the price increases we've seen across all their products are likely paying off the lawsuit they foolishly filed against Bratz and lost...
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  3. #53
    proudly outatime JoeyCruel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger View Post
    My problem is, the whole black plastic trouble is something that shouldn't need a lot of pictures. We're talking about something that, as far as I can tell, was done with EVERY Vykron; it wasn't a QC glitch, it was a choice that affected the whole run. There's no new design here, nothing that hasn't been put together millions of times since 1964. It is a problem that people working for the design segment of the world's largest toy company should have been aware of without a single picture, much less hundreds: painting joints that do a lot of rubbing of parts is going to result in paint wear.
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaultsofGrayskull View Post
    There are several things which I am happy to criticise Mattel for, but looking into cost savings isn't one of them. A business has to do that, and this is a small line afterall.

    Is the black plastic thing really a big deal if only a few people have been able to present evidence? Scott's correct to point out that a discussion doesn't amount to evidence. We've all seen how discussions can exaggarate the point.

    This doesn't mean every design choice is a good one.
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  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaultsofGrayskull View Post
    There are several things which I am happy to criticise Mattel for, but looking into cost savings isn't one of them. A business has to do that, and this is a small line afterall.

    Is the black plastic thing really a big deal if only a few people have been able to present evidence? Scott's correct to point out that a discussion doesn't amount to evidence. We've all seen how discussions can exaggarate the point.

    This doesn't mean every design choice is a good one.
    A petition is not a discussion. Both you and TG seem to be confused. A petition is a clear indication from the constituency that people are not happy with the practice and importantly, will not continue to support a line that engages this practice.

    I will cancel my 2013 sub if this continues, and I'm sure many others are on board. What black pastic really means is that there will not be a sub in 2014... and that is something that the design team ignores at their own peril.

    What ever happened to corporate responsibility and accountability? Good grief.

  6. #56
    Evil Warrior jibernish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger View Post
    You do know it is Mattel we are talking about, right? The company whose comparable product is always priced higher than their competitors, even though they are the only company that gets to do their toy testing in house since the recall fest a few years back?

    Face it, folks, part of the price increases we've seen across all their products are likely paying off the lawsuit they foolishly filed against Bratz and lost...
    You are on to something there. We're (well not me anymore) out the wazzooo for Mattel's bungling.

    MOTUC costs more despite no licensing fee, no middle-man mark-up, no bulk discounts to retailers, shared parts, we pay the delivery costs (Mattel doesn't pay to ship to Walmart), no advertising, and on and on and on.....

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadley View Post
    Must every thread devolve into the same pictures being posted? He said he addressed it as best he could with the evidence that we gathered. It was a necessary evil for 2012 and shouldn't continue in 2013. It's time to get over it.
    THIS!!!

    This is pretty much what TG was talking about. I've seen those same pictures in three threads now. Has anyone ELSE had a problem yet??

    Quote Originally Posted by TJRules View Post
    He said they've received hundreds of pics. They make thousands of figures.
    No. He said he NEEDS hundreds of pics... he's GOT about 30. A LOT of these complaints are about a problem that MIGHT happen SOMEday... Frankly, Design is RIGHT to blow off that kind of paranoia. I have a LOT of things at my house that were not 'molded' in the right color... MOST of my toys are painted in one form or another... MAYBE these will fall apart... but more likely the joints will go loose or they'll fall of the shelf and break first.

    I expect Mattel to fix their problems... but I DON'T expect them to scramble around because some people think there WILL be a Problem SOMEDAY... Maybe!!!

    I think my biggest gripe here is the claim that we're paying the same price we did in 2008.... DoS pricews Jumped THIS year TOO!

  8. #58
    World's #1 GOAT MAN Fan NastyNate's Avatar
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    WOW. TG bashing and threatening legal action against Mattel is a great way to make sure he sticks around and answers questions. Gotta love the Org
    He answered the best he could concerning the dreaded black plastic, yet people keep harping on about it. What more could he do? He's trying, he specificly stated that. Now move on...
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  9. #59
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    Funny how a quick TG PowerCon update has morphed into the black plastic discussion all over again. Obviously this issue is incredibly polarizing- with some fine with the idea that Mattel needs to cut costs to ensure profit and others definitely dubious of cost cutting on a line already sold in. Personally I feel that Mattel has heard just about all they plan to on the topic and further griping is simply wash/rinse/repeat, but cest la vie'.

    The biggest question mark now is this quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    and they have told me they will try to explore other cost saving issues starting with Dekker.
    Is no one else concerned what these "other cost saving" measures might be and how long they will continue? We've already been told that 2013 prices went up to meet the ever escalating costs of producing these collectibles, so in essence further cost cutting shouldn't be necessary (in theory), but I have a feeling this isn't the whole truth. We NEED to dig deeper on this subject NOW and although I doubt this is the forum for it I for one would like to know the answers to these questions.

    At the risk of pot stirring. If black plastic was subtly insinuated into the line THIS year what might be done next year to help further insulate Mattel's profit margin? For instance, I hate to think of dropped paint apps or further accessory cutting on favorites like Mosquitor or Granamyr or even 2013 guys like Ram-man and Fang Man. In other words, we have zero assurances that not so subtle cost cutting isn't the new norm. After all, we weren't warned about black plastic this year... so what does this bode going forward?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sabretooth View Post
    So the input for Toyguru is:
    please go back to saving cost by removing paint apps rather than doing black plastic. Try to remove paint apps on easily paint-applicable places.
    No offense Sabre, but you don't speak for me. There has to be a way to get these collectibles at the agreed upon price w/out a drastic dip in quality... even for the remainder of 2012. There just has to be.
    Last edited by Stygian360; September 19, 2012 at 01:39pm.
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  10. #60
    Heroic Warrior Barezz's Avatar
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    Honestly he passed it on to Design, they are working to make changes with the earliest possible figure in 2012 and he says it will not happen in 2013. I'm not sure what else people expect. He also asked for more pictures of issues because it is much easier to tell the team "This is an issue and I have these 200 pictures as evidence" as opposed to "This is an issue and here are 30 pictures. However there is the thread over at the Org where people are talking about it..."

    If 2013 comes and figures are still in black plastic and having paint issues, I'll be one of the first to post about it. I will also post pictures. I suggest that anyone having a paint chipping issue post pictures here so that we can keep a running tally.
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  11. #61
    Heroic Warrior Eternian Poet's Avatar
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    "other cost saving issues"

    My guess - soft plastic that is so gummy the joints come apart or break when you try to position the toys. Can't wait
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  12. #62
    Evil Warrior Invicta's Avatar
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    I think its pretty fair deal to ask for more photos, if it is widespread issue, posting about it should not be an issue.

    I agree that anonymous people posting in a thread cannot have much weight, and myself did post there too. They do not even have evidence that all who posted are customers.

  13. #63
    Heroic Warrior Wulff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He-Boy View Post
    Except that your paying exactly the same price whether they are made of black plastic or not. Using black plastic hasn't made things cheaper for you nor has it provided you with more accessories, so the only one to benefit is Mattel.

    It's not an issue to you yet, but if/when your figures start chipping you might care then.
    Why would anyone expect the price to go down for the consumer after a choice like this? As has been stated many times, Mattel has been struggling to keep the cost of production affordable on this line for years.

    They're not trying to squeeze more profit out of MOTUC, they are trying to keep it viable at all.

  14. #64
    Heroic Warrior fireball13z's Avatar
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    Glad to hear the black plastic thing is being changed, I haven't had any major issues with it yet, but Im sure my luck will run out.


    But i would also like to make a comment about this huge great online petition with less then 150 sigs on it, first of all online petitions really mean nothing and even when they do mean something its a lot more then 130 people.


    I do not spend too much time here posting any more, b/c any of the "legal" action or petition talk just gets old.
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  15. #65
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barezz View Post
    Honestly he passed it on to Design, they are working to make changes with the earliest possible figure in 2012 and he says it will not happen in 2013. I'm not sure what else people expect. He also asked for more pictures of issues because it is much easier to tell the team "This is an issue and I have these 200 pictures as evidence" as opposed to "This is an issue and here are 30 pictures. However there is the thread over at the Org where people are talking about it..."
    Again, missing the point, as TG apparently has. I have yet to hear a report of even one of these figures NOT having the black plastic. This isn't "some Spikors have googly eyes," where the extent of the problem is not clear from the outset. This is something that was done with the entire run of these figures; it's not a mistake, but an intentional choice that anyone who has experience in toy design should know would cause problems. Yes, there are always parts of figures that are painted rather than made of the colored plastic because there is no way around it. Superman's lower leg is blue at the knee and red at the ankle; if that is one piece, you have no choice but to paint one or the other, knowing that doing so may cause some paint rubbing (although that can be minimized if the design of the joints takes this possibiliity into account and leaves a little clearance, which is not an unusual practice). The biggest problem here is that the pieces in question are not necessarliy designed that way, and Mattel's track record for quality work is not exactly stellar to begin with.

    It's also a sign something is not right because we are getting 30 some odd pictures of paint cracking and peeling, because we had virtually no reports of such things with previous painted parts. Triklops left arm was green, painted flesh color, and, even at the joint, I've heard no widespread stories of the paint chipping (again, the elbow joint does have a bit of clearance that keeps the parts from directly rubbing against each other save at the flat vertical part that forms the hinge itself). The same with Fisto's upper right arm. The fact that so many reports of chipping paint are coming up right off the bat this time is a bad sign that either the choice of pieces or something in the plastic itself is affecting the way the paint adheres to the plastic. That Spikor's knee joint is flaking points to the latter, as there is some clearance where I'm seeing paint rubbing. It may simply be that covering the black means heavier paint is used, taking away said clearance or elading to excessive sticking, but, again, that is the sort of thing one would assume design folks would be aware of from the start.

    Bottom line, the specific problems cited weren't there before the black plastic appeared (although similar problems with painted hands have bee brought up), but they're here now.
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  16. #66
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    Those who don't care about black plastic and try to let Mattel off the hook for this might as well say that more foam parts are ok too. We know that both are a problem and represent extremely poor design choices to cut costs. Not ALL figures will be defective, but over time the majority obviously won't hold, but hey, as long as a huge corporation can save a few bucks at our expense, no worries!

    MORE FOAM PARTS!!! MORE BLACK PLASTIC!!! DOWN WITH THOSE WHO WANT QUALITY FOR THEIR HARD EARNED CASH!!! WE'RE LUCKY WE CAN GIVE OUR MONEY TO MATTEL AT ALL!!!


  17. #67
    World's #1 GOAT MAN Fan NastyNate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fball13z View Post
    Glad to hear the black plastic thing is being changed, I haven't had any major issues with it yet, but Im sure my luck will run out.


    But i would also like to make a comment about this huge great online petition with less then 150 sigs on it, first of all online petitions really mean nothing and even when they do mean something its a lot more then 130 people.


    I do not spend too much time here posting any more, b/c any of the "legal" action or petition talk just gets old.
    GREAT to hear from you fball13z. Hope you have a great time at Powercon this weekend. I dont blame you for not posting much anymore, but dont worry. Once everyone gets their figures for the month it usually gets better.
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  18. #68
    Pillar of the Community hadley's Avatar
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    No Draego, but speaking only for myself, it's not worth not having the line over. I would rather have black plastic and painted MOTU than no MOTU. Given the choice, I would pay more for appropriately colored plastic. And I'm doing that in 2013. I have faith that it won't be a problem then. And I won't punish 2013 (an deprive myself of figures) by canceling my sub over what's happening with 6 or so 2012 figures.

    I wonder if I'm the only one reminded of the unopened Stinkors that were returned for not smelling...
    Last edited by hadley; September 19, 2012 at 03:09pm.

  19. #69
    Heroic Subscriber He-Dude's Avatar
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    I don't think Mattel would miss you as a customer D-Man... maybe go spend your money on something else.

  20. #70
    Heroic Warrior Sgt. Slaughter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eternian Poet View Post
    "other cost saving issues"

    My guess - soft plastic that is so gummy the joints come apart or break when you try to position the toys. Can't wait
    Mattel would never do that!

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  21. #71
    Heroic Warrior Seril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draego-Man View Post
    Those who don't care about black plastic and try to let Mattel off the hook for this might as well say that more foam parts are ok too. We know that both are a problem and represent extremely poor design choices to cut costs. Not ALL figures will be defective, but over time the majority obviously won't hold, but hey, as long as a huge corporation can save a few bucks at our expense, no worries!

    MORE FOAM PARTS!!! MORE BLACK PLASTIC!!! DOWN WITH THOSE WHO WANT QUALITY FOR THEIR HARD EARNED CASH!!! WE'RE LUCKY WE CAN GIVE OUR MONEY TO MATTEL AT ALL!!!

    ha... that's about as extreme as saying 'I got a very small scratch or imperfection on my figure that you can't really see! These should never scratch ever! Mattel needs to stop making figures forever immediately!'
    Right or wrong, buying a sub tells Mattel you want more MOTUC figures. Not buying does tells them you don't. Don't let MOTUC end early because you might not like their marketing strategy! Plus polls show you won't regret subbing!

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  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by He-Dude View Post
    I don't think Mattel would miss you as a customer D-Man... maybe go spend your money on something else.
    Well sadly that is the exact response we keep getting from Scott... that Mattel would not miss any of us as customers. How many times have we been told we are a drop in the bucket compared to Barbie or Hot Wheels money? Never mind that most of us have spent almost $4000 on this line, which IS in fact turning a profit.

    If they really don't like profiting on MOTU... then SELL THE BRAND!!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Seril View Post
    ha... that's about as extreme as saying 'I got a very small scratch or imperfection on my figure that you can't really see! These should never scratch ever! Mattel needs to stop making figures forever immediately!'

    Uh no... Snout Spout's trunk is utter garbage, and so is black plastic. Quit making excuses and trying to silence those with a legitimate complaint. I have plenty of minor imperfections on my figures and I don't care. However, I do care that my Snout Spout figure is ruined.

  23. #73
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    So, is it fair to say (and at the risk of boiling down the various complaints too succinctly) that the real issue here isn't the use of black plastic (as the color of plastic shouldn't matter if you think about it), but is instead the fact that paint is flaking off of more recent figure releases? If so I wonder if this might steer the discussion away from calling for Ruben's head over the use of black plastic and instead incite a whole new discussion about the quality of paint(s) being used. Could it really all be down to the use of cheaper quality paints?

    Perhaps someone more knowledgeable about the deleterious effects of paints used in typical toy production when applied over black plastic can chime in. I would assume the color of plastic underneath should be less of an issue as long as the paints are of high enough quality, applied correctly, and no egregious shortcuts taken during the production process. Just not something I have a lot of native knowledge about.
    Last edited by Stygian360; September 19, 2012 at 03:23pm.
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  24. #74
    Heroic Warrior Man-Man's Avatar
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    ITT, Toy Guru addresses the black plastic issue and proposes a solution going forward. In response, the same people continue to complain about black plastic. Sometimes I wonder why the guy even bothers anymore.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stygian360 View Post
    So, is it fair to say on any level (and t the risk of boiling down the various complaints too succinctly) that the real issue here isn't the use of black plastic (as the color of plastic shouldn't matter if you think about it), but is instead the fact that paint is flaking off of more recent figure releases? If so I wonder if this might steer the discussion away from calling for Ruben's head over the use of black plastic and instead incite a whole new discussion about the quality of paint(s) being used. Could it really all be down cheaper quality paints?

    Perhaps someone more knowledgeable about the deleterious effects of paints used in typical toy production when applied over black plastic can chime in.
    Yes, it is about paint chipping, not the color of the plastic. Painting articulated joints is just plain stupid because in the long term they WILL chip.

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