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Thread: 2014 Subs, what's being done differently this year?

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior jzachery's Avatar
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    2014 Subs, what's being done differently this year?

    Last year both Mattel and fans were blindsided by the unexpected dip in subscription sales. Whatever the reason for that loss of subscribers has been detailed in numerous threads, so no need to recount them here.
    But what's being done differently this year to help ensure sub sales? Besides character selection that is.
    Subs generally open at SDCC and close after a mere few weeks, well before Power Con. That's not a long enough window for subs. What worked in 2010-12 won't work anymore. The line is different, the fans are different, and the world/economy is different. So far it looks like Mattel is approaching 2014 with a business as usual mentality. Clearly the 2013 sale model needs some improvement, and more time to sell.

    I was AT the Matty panel at SDCC, as I've been the last few years. Every year I usually sign up at the Con, but for the 2013 subs, I didn't. Why? I didn't think of it and I don't recall hearing much about it from Mattel. If they announced it, it was brief, the prior years they practically shoved it down our throats (which was a GOOD thing) as we were walking out the door and at the Mattel booth, they had tables set up and everything. I don't recall that last year, and if it happened, I didn't see it.

    2014 needs to be approached based on its particular needs. Has anyone heard of anything that Mattel might do differently?
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  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior No-Ah's Avatar
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    I have no idea what they will do differently, but they should do things differently. I got into this line in 2012 during the CG pre-sale and could not sign up for a 2013 subscription. I was told to wait until 2014. That was madness. If they want to have an enticement for early subs, that's fine, but they should leave that window open a lot longer and later. Instead of buying the new figures, I'm buying old ones this year, which doesn't make Matty any money.

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior jzachery's Avatar
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    They say they need to close the subs by a certain date in August to get the go-ahead to go into production, so okay, I get that. But why not open the sub window pre SDCC. I know SDCC is when the reveals happen, but if TG holds to his promise that 2014 is a big year for all vintage, Filmation, and POP, then the reveals are almost moot.
    Maybe have an extra incentive for people that sub early? A cardboard diorama? A comic? A sticker sheet? A special weapon? Etc. Because if you can get the general fan base motivated, the rest will fall into place, but SDCC is too late in the game if they want to close the sub in August. Ugh!
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  4. #4
    Claw Full Of It Clawful Ofit's Avatar
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    On RGD 115, Scott said he'd be cool opening the subs early, but you wouldn't know whats in it til SDCC. I think it's a great idea. You can judge how many diehards are willing to buy upfront & after they are locked in they can work on getting the fence sitters. I see only good coming from this. An extra month or 2 could generate alot of sales.
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  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior Weasel's Avatar
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    I'd be totally fine with getting a sub before SDCC. I'm in it all the way! Open the sub early and close it at the normal time August-ish. A couple things they should change though. Early Access should be earlier, so sub buyers could add to their sub already to combine shipping. Also I think new day of sales should be in Early Access, even if it is only like one per item. I think that'd draw more people into the subs.

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clawful Ofit View Post
    On RGD 115, Scott said he'd be cool opening the subs early, but you wouldn't know whats in it til SDCC. I think it's a great idea. You can judge how many diehards are willing to buy upfront & after they are locked in they can work on getting the fence sitters. I see only good coming from this. An extra month or 2 could generate alot of sales.
    But the question is, what does this prove and how is this information of value? Ultimately the amount of subs as balanced with minimum quotas is all that's important. Don't meet the minimum then no line, simple as that. IMHO it doesn't matter whether people subbed early or late. It's ultimately about the power of meeting or exceeding the quota by whatever deadline is set.
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  7. #7
    Plundor Promoter He-Dad's Avatar
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    no quarterlies in the sub. Make them all early access.

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Kid Canada's Avatar
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    Well, so far nothing new has been done this year. In some ways we have slipped backwards. Shipping prices went up by a fair amount and the lastest cash grab by DR has left a foul taste in our mouths. When the concerns over this started to arise over on the matty forums Scott just dismissed them. Only when the avalanche of complaints started did he decide to do something.

    Castle Grayskull is being gutted of accessories and shrunk in size.

    Early Access for all non sub items is...not correct. Not all items are available as they were promoted to be.

    In this case, I think they can take a page from the GI Joe Figure Subscription Service and do something similar. Figures ship 2 per month. You know the entire line-up with prototypes BEFORE subbing. The only secret figure is the bonus 13th figure (which is not an extra cost but built into the monthly price). The shipping is calculated upfront so there are no surprises.

    I personally don't think that offering the sub earlier will have any affect. You still won't know any details and the die hards who are going to sign up early, will sign up after SDCC as well. Anyone that may be on the fence in going to wait until after SDCC.

  9. #9
    Stridor in MOTUC! RockinHard's Avatar
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    If they did no day-of sales at all, I'm sure that would increase sub sales, even if it made some mad. G.I. Joe has a sub-only club.
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  10. #10
    Plundor Promoter He-Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockinHard View Post
    If they did no day-of sales at all, I'm sure that would increase sub sales, even if it made some mad. G.I. Joe has a sub-only club.
    That's a good idea too.

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    President of Primus Ornclown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stygian360 View Post
    But the question is, what does this prove and how is this information of value? Ultimately the amount of subs as balanced with minimum quotas is all that's important. Don't meet the minimum then no line, simple as that. IMHO it doesn't matter whether people subbed early or late. It's ultimately about the power of meeting or exceeding the quota by whatever deadline is set.
    I think what he is trying to say is that if the option to buy into a subscription is open for a greater amount of time, that (hopefully) allows more people in. The longer the amount of time (in theory) the larger amount of people subbing - Inevitably leading to more money for Mattel/MOTUC line...

    With a longer window of opportunity, MOTUC may sell more than their quota, which could only mean good things in the future.
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  12. #12
    Claw Full Of It Clawful Ofit's Avatar
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    ^ Yup all in all 30 extra days certainly wouldn't garner less sales. Regardless if it's only 50, thats 50 less than we need. I'm just trying to avoid Twitter campaigns & celeb input this year.
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  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior Micro-Man's Avatar
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    I'd sign up for the 2014 sub, sight-unseen, if it goes up in May. I like the idea of a special incentive for those who go all-in without any info. Nothing fancy, perhaps a secret accessory...The Diamond Ray of Disappearance, Strobo's gun, or a Son of He-Man sticker sheet!

    Anyway, I think opening up the subs early is a good start to get things moving towards 2014!

  14. #14
    Evil Collapsing Robot! Zodach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockinHard View Post
    If they did no day-of sales at all, I'm sure that would increase sub sales, even if it made some mad. G.I. Joe has a sub-only club.
    I'm sure Fang Man will help people decide when it comes time to subscribe for 2014. I think Mattel should announce another monthly figure that will not be available on the day of sale right before SDCC so people are reminded about one of the benefits of being a subscriber.

  15. #15
    Heroic Warrior MaxGoof's Avatar
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    Honestly, I feel like Mattel could just open subscriptions early and say--not even show--the subscription exclusive figure and they could still sell subscriptions like wildfire (particularly if the exclusive was, say--Two Bad).
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  16. #16
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ornclown View Post
    I think what he is trying to say is that if the option to buy into a subscription is open for a greater amount of time, that (hopefully) allows more people in. The longer the amount of time (in theory) the larger amount of people subbing - Inevitably leading to more money for Mattel/MOTUC line...

    With a longer window of opportunity, MOTUC may sell more than their quota, which could only mean good things in the future.
    Okay, gotcha. With a longer lead window you certainly open up the potential for more sales, but I'd say on average the pattern of how collectors sub should be fairly historically evident to Mattel by now, which helps to validate all of the various times when Scott said last year during the 2013 sub madness that a longer lead window shouldn't be necessary. The majority of collectors sub as soon as they go on sale anyway, so no need.

    However, in the new paradigm the longer lead in might be beneficial. The diehards sub early and often as they always have, but this would allow for word-of-mouth to spread and further sales to come in this way. More than likely though the 2014 sub will look much like 2013. Early subs, followed by nail biters- hoping for a positive on the line- subbing multiple times throughout the sub window. In other words, give us a longer window sure, it may even help a bit in the end, but I doubt 2014 will look dramatically different than 2013 from a subbing perspective. And I have to imagine at least on some level Mattel- through its vast wealth of experience with toy sales- know this.
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  17. #17
    Snappy Threader
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clawful Ofit View Post
    ^ Yup all in all 30 extra days certainly wouldn't garner less sales. Regardless if it's only 50, thats 50 less than we need. I'm just trying to avoid Twitter campaigns & celeb input this year.
    CO you are wise indeed. i agree. Opening it up early would give Matty more of an idea earlier (or at least I would think it would) about how the sales will stack up. Last year with the limited window, people were freaking out (me included) that it would be a no go. They won't necessarily sell more with opening it early, but it could help to clear the muddied waters so to speak, even if just a bit. Sure, there will still be people saying "if i dont know any of the figs included i wont sub" and/or the last minuters/fence sitters....but any extra days, either early or tacked on the end can only help in my opinion.

  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior Kid Canada's Avatar
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    None of any of these suggestions will work unless they change how they go about things at SDCC. They are not even going to reveal how many sku's are in 2014 until SDCC. Can't have an early sign-up when you don't know or won't disclose what the price is. And, after SDCC the window is tight to get that first figure of the year in production.

    We all know when the subs go on sale so that shouldn't be too big of a factor overall. Yes, we may get 50 or 60 more if the window is open longer BUT that puts 5000 or more subbers at risk of having production delays. Maybe offer a “latecomers sub” that has half or three quarters of that years figures with a slight cost increase and no sub exclusive.

    I think they really do need to look at shipping costs as well. It's just not good enough to say "shipping is what it is...".

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinHard View Post
    If they did no day-of sales at all, I'm sure that would increase sub sales, even if it made some mad. G.I. Joe has a sub-only club.
    Actually, they do have extra's on sale in the Club store. They are 50% higher in price than the sub cost per figure.

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior wundarwarrior's Avatar
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    I think a smart move would be to have the initial buy in and if the goal is met then they could reopen the sub sale and remove, let's say the map, and maybe charge them DOS price. It is obvious people do trickle in to this line by accident and are told too bad. Most people won't wait to buy the more expensive sub option because it would be pointless it would just allow some more people to buy in.

  20. #20
    Court Magician MykEdwards's Avatar
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    FWIW, I signed up for the Filmation sub this year because I know that I'll be getting figures I definitely want. Even though we only know three for certain and one more that's pretty much implied, I can't imagine the other two are going to be so offensive to me that I'll get into a hizzy tizzy.
    That said, I think one of the things that's kept me from signing up for subs in the past is the blind aspect. I mean, we don't even get a hint? And knowing that so many other people would be getting figures they don't want means I wouldn't have much of a chance of getting my money back on ebay.
    I've lurked here for years. Everything I see people complain about the subs made me want nothing to do with this line, but I stuck with it. I'm getting the Filmation sub because I know I probably won't get several of my favorite characters day of because they'll either sell out super fast or won't even be offered, but I am a bit weary. I know it's only 6 figs, but still, all the horror stories people have written keeps me on edge. But when all is said and done, I know I'll be able to live with it. Especially because I know a majority of what's being offered. I know for legal reasons they can't reveal everything, but it would help if they could find a way.
    That, in my opinion, is what needs to change with the regular subscriptions.

  21. #21
    Heroic Warrior galaxysurfer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MykEdwards View Post
    FWIW, I signed up for the Filmation sub this year because I know that I'll be getting figures I definitely want. Even though we only know three for certain and one more that's pretty much implied, I can't imagine the other two are going to be so offensive to me that I'll get into a hizzy tizzy.
    That said, I think one of the things that's kept me from signing up for subs in the past is the blind aspect. I mean, we don't even get a hint? And knowing that so many other people would be getting figures they don't want means I wouldn't have much of a chance of getting my money back on ebay.
    I've lurked here for years. Everything I see people complain about the subs made me want nothing to do with this line, but I stuck with it. I'm getting the Filmation sub because I know I probably won't get several of my favorite characters day of because they'll either sell out super fast or won't even be offered, but I am a bit weary. I know it's only 6 figs, but still, all the horror stories people have written keeps me on edge. But when all is said and done, I know I'll be able to live with it. Especially because I know a majority of what's being offered. I know for legal reasons they can't reveal everything, but it would help if they could find a way.
    That, in my opinion, is what needs to change with the regular subscriptions.
    Well, the good thing with the 2014 subs and not knowing what is to come is that you can easily get an idea of what will be in 2014 by looking at what hasn't been made in the vintage MOTU and PoP lines. Scott has said that 2014 (and 2015) will finish those lines along with the "core" New Adventures (pretty much just expect Flogg and Hydron) with perhaps a few most wanted Filmation figures that they don't get to in the Filmation sub (Madame Razz, Scorpia etc).

    I don't think there's ANY reason for people not to sub in 2014 if they truly want this line to continue. It's going to be an all star year!! And if there will be one or two figures that you don't want, you WILL be able to sell them. It's not going to be like a Fighting Foe Men, Star Sisters, Vykor etc that people apparently sat on or took a loss on. These will be characters that *somebody* will want for certain. Think of the people that have dropped this line over the years because of too many concept characters or whatnot who happen to see in the middle of 2014 that figure they wanted all along, whatever it may be...Two Bad...Tongue Lashor...Glimmer...Mermista. There will be some people that won't get the memo that 2014 is going to be an All Star year early enough to sub. That's just a fact. But if there's a figure that you won't happen to want from those vintage lines (or NA or Filmation) in your sub, there WILL be somebody that didn't see early enough that 2014 was going to be full of those awesome characters that is going to be trying to play catchup and WILL buy your unwanted figure(s). 2014/2015 will be the gravy on top of this already amazing toy line.

  22. #22
    Weekend Warrior DrPAYNE's Avatar
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    As long as they don't increase the price of each figure by another $5 and introduce the sub with another $75 3-pack of figures that nobody cares about, I think the 2014 sub will do just fine.
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  23. #23
    Court Magician MykEdwards's Avatar
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    galaxysurfer, I agree 100% with you. I think it's probably going to be the most recognizable year in terms of characters we all know and love. However, there are always the people that want nothing to do with NA, or POP, or whatever...but hey, I wouldn't be surprised if they left out the concept and one-off characters, no matter what era they're from. While we might not know everything going into it, I agree, people will be happy with (mostly) everything that's coming.

  24. #24
    Heroic Rock Warrior jdscissorhands's Avatar
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    Character selection is a key element for the next sub"s success.

    Despite characters like Ramman or Jitsu, we all know that none of the other SDCC reveals for 2013 were enough to attract subbers: The FFM, Netossa, King He-Man and even Fangman weren't very highly requested figures. Had Mattel revealed some of the other 2013 characters (Castaspella, Mantenna or Shokoti for instance) things might have been better.

    You're not going to make people sub when there are a majority of characters that you don't want/don't know in the reveals! The FFM was clearly a bad move: 3 characters most people barely know included in the sub! Too bad they didn't do a Rock people 3 pack instead!

    I hope that Mattel really pays attention to all these characters popularity threads / polls. A great line up of reveals is absolutely necessary for SDCC this year!
    Make less characters in 2014, but make sure that collectors feel that these are necessary for their collection.
    Reveal Glimmer, Two Bad, Tung Lashor, Scorpia, Modulok and Hydron and you'll sell the sub.
    Reveal Gwildor, Flutterina, Multi-bot, Dylamug, Nephtu and Plundor and we're dead!
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  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior paulioscorchio's Avatar
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    I wholly agree with the last post. Opening the sub early will be fine for the die-hards but its the reveals that will really attract those that are on the fence.

    We die-hards know the plan is to get all the vintage out over the next 2 years. But the more casual possible cherry pickers out there need a big incentive to subscribe.

    I get the feeling that the reveals at SDCC will be huge.

    I would also support the suggestion that certain previous figures get reissues. If I was somebody trying to get into this line now and saw the secondary market prices of the likes of Teela, Fisto and the Sorceress then I would just forget the idea. Heck, I'd buy another of them each anyway.
    Last edited by paulioscorchio; March 24, 2013 at 06:49am.
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