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Thread: Improving Early Access...

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior Micro-Man's Avatar
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    Improving Early Access...

    On paper, Early Access sounded great but the execution of it so far has been pretty underwhelming, IMO. As a new subscriber, I was curious to see how this new perk would play out but it seems to present its own unique problems that diminishes its potential. In the worst case, you can have your sub figures, EA stuff, and extra DOS sub items ship out as three separate shipments and triple up the already increased shipping costs!

    Being caught up with my collection, I won't be needing EA most of the time, except for new out-of-sub items like a Weapons Pack. Still, I believe that subscribers deserve as many benefits as possible for going all-in, sight unseen, so I tried to think of ways that the EA experience could be improved...

    1. Open the Access Window Before Subs Ship: Being able to get early dibs on some items the day before DOS is not impressive to me. Why not make the access date a day between the 5th-8th so that any orders placed can be combined with sub shipments? It shouldn't be a big deal to change the EA date. It could also simplify Matty's handling of orders and we'd get every monthly offering in one fell swoop!

    2. Include Sub Items: I know, I know...What if someone buys all the Ram Mans? Just make it limited to 3 extras, regardless of how many subs we have, to facilitate those who may want multiples for customs or gifts. If anything, at least make the Army Builders available during EA. We probably won't need a bunch of Jitsu's but Horde Troopers just scream multiple purchases for nearly every collector!

    3. Offer Sub Discounts: It makes no sense for a brand new figure to cost us $25 but older ones still go up to $27. That $2 discount, combined with point #1 above, would mean a lot to us and should translate to better sales.

    4. Build an Early Access Library: Instead of taking down the monthly EA figures, like they do for re-issues, keep them up indefinitely after DOS until they truly sell out. Every month would add new figures to the EA page, giving subscribers an exclusive store for one day where every 2013 offering that's still in stock is available. It looks like leftover warehouse stock is worrisome to Matty, so why not give us the opportunity to buy remaining stock, at a profit to Mattel, instead of giving wholesale discounts to random retailers that we don't even know about? Plus, imagine how cool it would be to see a bunch of figures for sale in December instead of seeing "Sold Out" throughout the entire MOTUC catalog!

    5. Offer Special Exclusives: No, not a full-blown MOTUC figure...Something small in a polybag. Perhaps a weapon or accessory (Like an clear icy sword for Frosta, Mosquitor's blood tanks, or Rattlor's Armor) for $6 or a mini-figure, like Kowl, Imp, or a Twigget, for $12. It could be a quarterly item or even Semi-Annually...Although a monthly weapon/accessory would be cool to see. I thought Power Con's secret accessory last year was a neat idea that could be expanded here!

    Well, that's all that I can think of...What do you think?

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micro-Man View Post
    On paper, Early Access sounded great but the execution of it so far has been pretty underwhelming, IMO. As a new subscriber, I was curious to see how this new perk would play out but it seems to present its own unique problems that diminishes its potential. In the worst case, you can have your sub figures, EA stuff, and extra DOS sub items ship out as three separate shipments and triple up the already increased shipping costs!

    Being caught up with my collection, I won't be needing EA most of the time, except for new out-of-sub items like a Weapons Pack. Still, I believe that subscribers deserve as many benefits as possible for going all-in, sight unseen, so I tried to think of ways that the EA experience could be improved...

    1. Open the Access Window Before Subs Ship: Being able to get early dibs on some items the day before DOS is not impressive to me. Why not make the access date a day between the 5th-8th so that any orders placed can be combined with sub shipments? It shouldn't be a big deal to change the EA date. It could also simplify Matty's handling of orders and we'd get every monthly offering in one fell swoop!

    2. Include Sub Items: I know, I know...What if someone buys all the Ram Mans? Just make it limited to 3 extras, regardless of how many subs we have, to facilitate those who may want multiples for customs or gifts. If anything, at least make the Army Builders available during EA. We probably won't need a bunch of Jitsu's but Horde Troopers just scream multiple purchases for nearly every collector!

    3. Offer Sub Discounts: It makes no sense for a brand new figure to cost us $25 but older ones still go up to $27. That $2 discount, combined with point #1 above, would mean a lot to us and should translate to better sales.

    4. Build an Early Access Library: Instead of taking down the monthly EA figures, like they do for re-issues, keep them up indefinitely after DOS until they truly sell out. Every month would add new figures to the EA page, giving subscribers an exclusive store for one day where every 2013 offering that's still in stock is available. It looks like leftover warehouse stock is worrisome to Matty, so why not give us the opportunity to buy remaining stock, at a profit to Mattel, instead of giving wholesale discounts to random retailers that we don't even know about? Plus, imagine how cool it would be to see a bunch of figures for sale in December instead of seeing "Sold Out" throughout the entire MOTUC catalog!

    5. Offer Special Exclusives: No, not a full-blown MOTUC figure...Something small in a polybag. Perhaps a weapon or accessory (Like an clear icy sword for Frosta, Mosquitor's blood tanks, or Rattlor's Armor) for $6 or a mini-figure, like Kowl, Imp, or a Twigget, for $12. It could be a quarterly item or even Semi-Annually...Although a monthly weapon/accessory would be cool to see. I thought Power Con's secret accessory last year was a neat idea that could be expanded here!

    Well, that's all that I can think of...What do you think?
    Perfect! I am especially keen on combining orders, adding army builder packs, and including discounts.

    Just think, when it comes to Army Builders, Matty could do something that may not reduce prices that much, but would at least be a bone to fans. For example:

    Order 1 Horde Trooper Pack for $50
    Get 2 Horde Trooper Packs for $48 each
    Get 3 Horde Trooper Packs for $47 each
    Get 4 Horde Trooper Packs for $45 each
    Get 5 or more for $44 each.

    Put up a preorder so that the actual numbers needed for production can be locked in, and Mattel can get a discount on bulk ordering from the factory.

    Other companies do things like this all the time...
    "Mattel's policy of things being seen as a failure if they don't sell out in minutes still annoys the hell out of me." — .org Member paulioscorchio

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  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior wayne-klops's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great plan....which means it will never happen

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior Dr Kain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayneepoo View Post
    Sounds like a great plan....which means it will never happen
    Yeah.

    Please, Digital River cannot even figure out the concept of moving to a new address, how would they ever handle all of that?
    Can someone PM me the US number for Matty? I want to talk to someone who might has a clue of what is going on.

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  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior ADPriceless's Avatar
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    Until they work out how to combine the early access order with your sub account and thus combine shipping I see the whole process as a waste of time.

    Micro-man makes some good suggestions but I don't see Matty offering any more incentives or discounts at this point.

  6. #6
    Got Filmation? shadowfall1976's Avatar
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    I say combine shipping by making it earlier, and offer the items at sub price for like a day, or hell even the first few hours of the access window.

    It's really stupid we have a thread about cutting something for a lower price on figures, yet, a perk that supposed to be for subscribers that actually support the line is a complete joke of what it should have been....
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  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior whbinder's Avatar
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    Instead of a limit of 3 items - why not just one per subscription. So if I have one subscription, I could oreder 1 extra Ram-Man. If I have two subscriptions, I could order 2 Ram-Mans.

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Dr Kain's Avatar
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    That's because Mattel prefers to be in the doom and gloom side of things. They would rather have this snotty attitude to make us feel like we should be lucky to be giving our money to them. Well this battered house wife ain't sticking around anymore!

    BTW, can someone PM me the US Matty number?
    Can someone PM me the US number for Matty? I want to talk to someone who might has a clue of what is going on.

    Evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

  9. #9
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    I think the DOS sub figures need to be in Early Access. Why should Sub Holders who want an individual 2nd fig have to fight with cherry pickers DOS? Sub Holders should be able to control the secondary market.

  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Kain View Post
    That's because Mattel prefers to be in the doom and gloom side of things. They would rather have this snotty attitude...
    Wait, wait, wait... could it be that the kettle is calling the pot black again?
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  11. #11
    Got Filmation? shadowfall1976's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stygian360 View Post
    Wait, wait, wait... could it be that the kettle is calling the pot black again?
    It's all normal....
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  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior Weasel's Avatar
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    These are great ideas. At least make the early access like a day or two before the subs ship, so sub holders can combine with their subs. And I'm sorry, but things sold that month should be offered to the sub holders first, even if it is a limited number they can order.

  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior Micro-Man's Avatar
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    Heheh, I know...Getting DR to make changes is like getting Skeletor to act nice! I wouldn't expect them to do all this in time for February's orders but if Toyguru is serious about making improvements, I'd rather see him focus on stuff like this instead of looking for things to cut. Even if only the access date is changed this year in order to combine Sub and EA orders, it's a step in the right direction, IMO.

  14. #14
    Heroic Warrior atlas0413's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eCollector View Post
    I think the DOS sub figures need to be in Early Access. Why should Sub Holders who want an individual 2nd fig have to fight with cherry pickers DOS? Sub Holders should be able to control the secondary market.
    That's exactly how I feel. The line is only still here because of our sub commitments so why can't we have first dibs on any extra figures available. For me it is not even to make money off eBay with them, it is for second head figures and customising.

  15. #15
    Heroic Warrior Dr Kain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stygian360 View Post
    Wait, wait, wait... could it be that the kettle is calling the pot black again?
    Huh? How am I contradicting myself?
    Can someone PM me the US number for Matty? I want to talk to someone who might has a clue of what is going on.

    Evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

  16. #16
    Heroic Warrior orbles's Avatar
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    I really expected the EA to allow us to add the purchases to our sub, otherwise what is really the point? Anything out of the sub is probably going to be produced in such numbers that we wont have to worry about ordering early. They should have EA and "essentials" available at the same time to save even further and then add them to our subs too. This was a total waste in my opinion. You usually want to open with a bang and they just kinda fell out of the starting gate. Sad.

  17. #17
    SoH Supporter He-Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micro-Man View Post
    Heheh, I know...Getting DR to make changes is like getting Skeletor to act nice! I wouldn't expect them to do all this in time for February's orders but if Toyguru is serious about making improvements, I'd rather see him focus on stuff like this instead of looking for things to cut. Even if only the access date is changed this year in order to combine Sub and EA orders, it's a step in the right direction, IMO.
    maybe we should buy them a puppy....

    I would love to see the changes mentioned with early access. Awesome ideas!

  18. #18
    Got Filmation? shadowfall1976's Avatar
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    Oh, and I forgot....maybe make it so the damn carts are able to combine.....I tried to add an essential to my main cart, and I had Griffin in my EA cart.... just to play, and much to my non surprise, each cart was a separate entity....the He-Man figure was not able to be put in the EA cart....you would have had to make two separate purchases....
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    Oh man, did I forget to use these [sarcasm][/sarcasm] again? Sorry....

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  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior InspectorZartan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micro-Man View Post
    On paper, Early Access sounded great but the execution of it so far has been pretty underwhelming, IMO. As a new subscriber, I was curious to see how this new perk would play out but it seems to present its own unique problems that diminishes its potential. In the worst case, you can have your sub figures, EA stuff, and extra DOS sub items ship out as three separate shipments and triple up the already increased shipping costs!

    Being caught up with my collection, I won't be needing EA most of the time, except for new out-of-sub items like a Weapons Pack. Still, I believe that subscribers deserve as many benefits as possible for going all-in, sight unseen, so I tried to think of ways that the EA experience could be improved...

    1. Open the Access Window Before Subs Ship: Being able to get early dibs on some items the day before DOS is not impressive to me. Why not make the access date a day between the 5th-8th so that any orders placed can be combined with sub shipments? It shouldn't be a big deal to change the EA date. It could also simplify Matty's handling of orders and we'd get every monthly offering in one fell swoop!

    2. Include Sub Items: I know, I know...What if someone buys all the Ram Mans? Just make it limited to 3 extras, regardless of how many subs we have, to facilitate those who may want multiples for customs or gifts. If anything, at least make the Army Builders available during EA. We probably won't need a bunch of Jitsu's but Horde Troopers just scream multiple purchases for nearly every collector!

    3. Offer Sub Discounts: It makes no sense for a brand new figure to cost us $25 but older ones still go up to $27. That $2 discount, combined with point #1 above, would mean a lot to us and should translate to better sales.

    4. Build an Early Access Library: Instead of taking down the monthly EA figures, like they do for re-issues, keep them up indefinitely after DOS until they truly sell out. Every month would add new figures to the EA page, giving subscribers an exclusive store for one day where every 2013 offering that's still in stock is available. It looks like leftover warehouse stock is worrisome to Matty, so why not give us the opportunity to buy remaining stock, at a profit to Mattel, instead of giving wholesale discounts to random retailers that we don't even know about? Plus, imagine how cool it would be to see a bunch of figures for sale in December instead of seeing "Sold Out" throughout the entire MOTUC catalog!

    5. Offer Special Exclusives: No, not a full-blown MOTUC figure...Something small in a polybag. Perhaps a weapon or accessory (Like an clear icy sword for Frosta, Mosquitor's blood tanks, or Rattlor's Armor) for $6 or a mini-figure, like Kowl, Imp, or a Twigget, for $12. It could be a quarterly item or even Semi-Annually...Although a monthly weapon/accessory would be cool to see. I thought Power Con's secret accessory last year was a neat idea that could be expanded here!

    Well, that's all that I can think of...What do you think?
    Exactly! Great suggestions! 1 and 2 seem like a no brainer and without number 1 I'll probably never use the early access unless it ends up being available for a special sale (like Black Friday).

    I'm sure all of these will be treated as "logistically impossible" but the only one that I see as being an actual issue is item #4 since I'm pretty sure they keep the old stock in a separate storage facility and probably have limited space at the shipping facility which is why they never have everything on sale even though they do have a lot in stock. In other words the stuff listed for sale each month is probably the only items they have ready to ship and keeping EVERYTHING at the storage facility and ready to ship year round is probably much more expensive then just keeping it in storage.

    QUESTION: So I know TG said early access will include when comic con exclusives go on sale on the site, but does that include the presale for those attending the convention or will in only be available in the post comic con sale where they are selling off the only for the left overs? I attend SDCC every year and do the preorder so I can just pick up my stuff at the show. If early access can be used for that then at least that's one situation were I'll actually use it. If not then the whole thing will probably go unused all year unless they do some of the things suggested in this thread.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by whbinder View Post
    Instead of a limit of 3 items - why not just one per subscription. So if I have one subscription, I could oreder 1 extra Ram-Man. If I have two subscriptions, I could order 2 Ram-Mans.
    Maybe but I could see this being an issue if an online retailer like BBTS or someone had like 100 subscriptions. It does seem like there should maybe be some type of upper limit.

    To me 3 seems like a good limit, but I could see reasons why people would argue for either a higher or lower number.
    Last edited by InspectorZartan; January 19, 2013 at 01:53am.
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  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior darkmoon766's Avatar
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    All of these are great ideas, that is why they will never be implemented. Even if it wasn't "logistically impossible" to combine shipping on these items (which has been stated), by the time they could put any of these changes into effect the line will be dead. It took more than 2 years for the my sub page just to actually exist from when it was promised it would be "coming soon".

  21. #21
    Quester JonWes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfall1976 View Post
    Oh, and I forgot....maybe make it so the damn carts are able to combine.....I tried to add an essential to my main cart, and I had Griffin in my EA cart.... just to play, and much to my non surprise, each cart was a separate entity....the He-Man figure was not able to be put in the EA cart....you would have had to make two separate purchases....
    I just noticed this! I was going to get an extra Khan but I didn't realize you couldn't combine him with anything else!
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  22. #22
    Reaper of Crom Riddle of Steel's Avatar
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    One issue that I just noticed that might make the whole combining EA with the subs. a bad idea/nightmare is that DR is actually making good and shipping the subs. before the actual sale dates this go around unlike years past.

    For both January and now February I've seen my subs. ship even before early access as I just got my February notice last night. Obviously when this happens there's nothing left to combine.

    To take it a step further don't expect them to come up with some system to where you can now put your stuff on hold as that will NEVER happen. If the workers at the warehouse are able to ship your order they're most certainly going to do so at "their" convenience.

    They aren't going to just let stuff sit around and sort through this one or that one just so that people can combine stuff.

    That said, with items actually shipping on time now, I'm fairly certain that combining sub. shipping with DOS items is dead in the water.....

  23. #23
    Got Filmation? shadowfall1976's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonWes View Post
    I just noticed this! I was going to get an extra Khan but I didn't realize you couldn't combine him with anything else!
    I guess it's something they don't plan to remedy, if they even are aware it's like that.
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  24. #24
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    Since they already know what is on sale and our items don't usually ship till about two days early anyway, why can't Matty put up early access 1–2 weeks early and then just combine our orders. Is it really that difficult?
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  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior Micro-Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfall1976 View Post
    Oh, and I forgot....maybe make it so the damn carts are able to combine.....I tried to add an essential to my main cart, and I had Griffin in my EA cart.... just to play, and much to my non surprise, each cart was a separate entity....the He-Man figure was not able to be put in the EA cart....you would have had to make two separate purchases....
    Yikes, that's another big issue there! Ok, new suggestion point...

    6. Allow the EA Shopping Cart to be Compatible with Other Matty Products on the Site!

    Quote Originally Posted by Skystalker View Post
    Since they already know what is on sale and our items don't usually ship till about two days early anyway, why can't Matty put up early access 1–2 weeks early and then just combine our orders. Is it really that difficult?
    Y'know, in my mind, I feel like the only thing they have to do is access their main system and change the "14" date on the access window coding to a "09" and the service would be improved by 300%...Provided that they hold EA purchases until sub orders ship instead of sending them out right away! I have a bad feeling that it may actually be an arduous 10-month long process to get the paperwork and approval from several departments within Mattel and Digital River just to make this simple thing happen!

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