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

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  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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    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
    Plundor Promoter He-Dad's Avatar
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    no quarterlies in the sub. Make them all early access.

  7. #7
    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.

  8. #8
    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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    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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  10. #10
    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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  11. #11
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger'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.
    Did congress pass a law I'm unaware of that forbids Mattel from showing figures from next year's sub before SDCC? Is there some unimaginable curse that will befall any company that does not wait for this event to show their wares?

    THis is the kind of self-imposed idiocy that we see so often from Mattel; there may well be a real, logical reason to set August as the deadline for getting the subs in due to production schedules and such. That's understandable. But there is nothing in the world preventing Mattel from opening the subs up at the beginning of July and showing some of the figures (especially some they know the fans have been begging for) at that time. Save a few reveals for SDCC, but don't sacrifice potential sales because you want to make a big splash. Truthfully, MOTUC can get a little lost amid all the things being shown at SDCC, and, with most companies waiting to show their wares there, there's usually a bit of a drought of toy reveals during the weeks preceding the event. Toy collectors are looking for some snippets of news, and a few major reveals and the start of the subs could very well get a little more attention because its a slow news time.

    Locking yourself into self-imposed restrictions simply because "that's the way we've always done it" is a foolish way to run a toy line, especially when there's a chance you might actually get a longer sales window and more sales by changing your game up a little. They'd still have SDCC and a couple of new surprises to spark the usual interest in July.
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    Heroic Warrior GFunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger View Post
    did congress pass a law i'm unaware of that forbids mattel from showing figures from next year's sub before sdcc? Is there some unimaginable curse that will befall any company that does not wait for this event to show their wares?

    This is the kind of self-imposed idiocy that we see so often from mattel; there may well be a real, logical reason to set august as the deadline for getting the subs in due to production schedules and such. That's understandable. But there is nothing in the world preventing mattel from opening the subs up at the beginning of july and showing some of the figures (especially some they know the fans have been begging for) at that time. Save a few reveals for sdcc, but don't sacrifice potential sales because you want to make a big splash. Truthfully, motuc can get a little lost amid all the things being shown at sdcc, and, with most companies waiting to show their wares there, there's usually a bit of a drought of toy reveals during the weeks preceding the event. Toy collectors are looking for some snippets of news, and a few major reveals and the start of the subs could very well get a little more attention because its a slow news time.

    Locking yourself into self-imposed restrictions simply because "that's the way we've always done it" is a foolish way to run a toy line, especially when there's a chance you might actually get a longer sales window and more sales by changing your game up a little. They'd still have sdcc and a couple of new surprises to spark the usual interest in july.
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    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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    Heroic Warrior eddie3429's Avatar
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    Personally, i don't think the reveals matter as much as we think they do, Ram man and shadow weaver were revealed at sub selling times to no avail. But the SDCC 2010 reveals for 2011 (the most subbed year) was Vikor,Bow, PE He-man, Palace guard, shadow beast... the only major release was King Hsss

    I am sure it effects some folk it effects but i think its more maturation of the line. IMOA i think its silly to worry subbing on reveals, its either your in for the full hall or your cherry picking , i think most people know how they collect now, the only big impact matty can make it if it does Sub only, (personally i think its what the filmation sub was a test for )

  15. #15
    Heroic Warrior
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    2014 Subs, what's being done differently this year?
    In order for you to get an answer to this particular question, you'll have to wait until SDCC, in July.

    So this means that all there will be in this thread is pointless speculation.

    There's only one thing you can bet : TG and Matty will have another aggressive marketing campaign for the 2014 MOTUC sub.

    Now, another big question is : will there be a 2014 line, and if so, how many figures will there be in that 2014 line ?

  16. #16
    Heroic Warrior fireball13z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prahvus View Post
    So this means that all there will be in this thread is pointless speculation.
    boy are you just not a ray of sunshine.

    yes its speculation, which is no different then 98% of the threads on any toys board lol
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  17. #17
    Awaiting Spinwit! Swift Wind's Avatar
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    I think no more 3 paks or giants are a given. However the only thing else Mattel will do differently is character selection. I doubt we will ever see the likes of the Wind Raider pilot or anything from concept drawings again.
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    Evil Warrior jibernish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prahvus View Post
    In order for you to get an answer to this particular question, you'll have to wait until SDCC, in July.

    So this means that all there will be in this thread is pointless speculation.

    There's only one thing you can bet : TG and Matty will have another aggressive marketing campaign for the 2014 MOTUC sub.

    Now, another big question is : will there be a 2014 line, and if so, how many figures will there be in that 2014 line ?
    I can agree with your 'aggressive' label - since they are always crying that the sky is falling and we had better sub up or we risk missing out on figures and that the line may die entirely. But a big problem is that Mattel has done virtually zero marketing with this line. They can't even buy an HD camera to do videos with. I don't think you actually meant a real marketing campaign - you're just talking about TG showing up on RGD and message boards and trying to scare people, right? Because that's all they do (plus sending out review figures). Pixel Dan, The Fwoosh, and the other reviewers should get a commission because I bet he sells more of these figures than TG does.

    Maybe Mattel should send some of these figures to celebrities who grew up in the 80's in the hopes they might throw a tweet or two out. God forbid Mattel spend any money - why would they, there's little reason for new subscribers to come on board since they can't catch up outside of ebay. Mattel doesn't really care about keeping their current customers, much less attracting new ones.

  19. #19
    Ravage ThunderCat blackiecats's Avatar
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    I think the quarterlies should be $30 single figures that require major tooling like Ram Man did (so characters like Modulok, Muli-Bot, Madame Razz (with Broom and Loo-Kee), Dylamug and Sagitar etc... I think folks would be happy with 12x $25 figures, 4x $30 figures and the $25 sub exclusive.
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  20. #20
    *batteries not included Captain Atkin's Avatar
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    After the "Fisto Fiasco" last year, I am very hesitant to buy a sub in 2014. They never addressed the mistake to their customers in a meaningful way, and many loyal sub holders had to resort to buying the figure on Ebay, because Mattel didn't give them the Fisto figure they were promised. If they offer a re-release of Fisto, I will buy a 2014 subscription. Otherwise, I will just be cherry picking.
    Last edited by Captain Atkin; March 26, 2013 at 01:31am.
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  21. #21
    AZ Mazter Shokoti's Slave's Avatar
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    Is there even going to BE a 2014?
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  22. #22
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shokoti's Slave View Post
    Is there even going to BE a 2014?
    I think that's the whole concern, and the reason for this thread. Folks don't want a repeat of last year's sad spectacle, so that's why people are tossing out ideas that one can only hope Mattel might pick up on.
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  23. #23
    Heroic Master of Sleep Lay Ze-Man's Avatar
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    What's being done differently is that I will PASS on "Sub or Die".

    Oh wait, that's what I do every year, nevermind.

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