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Thread: 2013 Eternia & Filmation "Lite" Subs Available Again from 4/15 - 4/30!

  1. #176
    Heroic Master of Sleep Lay Ze-Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uaxuctum View Post
    The "sane" thing to do would be to promote the line to raise awareness of its existence (the influx of new customers following the CG reveals should prove that there's still a sizeable untapped potential out there in this respect) and implement effective strategies to attract new customers (for example, offering "starter" A-lister packs, such as He-Man+MAA+Teela and Skeletor+Evil-Lyn+BeastMan, as evergreen items at a discounted price for newcomers to "taste" the line and get initiated). Which is exactly the opposite of what cutting off DoS will achieve, only making it near-impossible for the "non-initiates" to get on the bandwagon, alienating the cherrypickers, and also enraging the subbers who won't be able to buy extras of particular figures.

    The problem with "sane" management strategies is that we're talking Mattel here, a company with an abysmally dismal record with the Better Business Bureau and whose chronic mismanagement practices led to the demise of both the vintage and 200X lines. The line is in desperate need of new customers to replace the hordes of customers that have left, but instead of promoting sales Mattel's strategy is to cut off, restrict and minimize access to their product, therefore exacerbating the problem. Solving long-standing DR/CS/QC issues could prevent further customer "defections" and maybe help to woo older customers back in, but after 5 years this seems already like a lost cause—there's simply no will whatsoever from Mattel to actually solve those issues. An outside observer looking at their past and present actions might easily conclude their heavy-handed anti-customer behavior in managing the MotUC line seems almost purposefully meant to doom it by progressively eroding the customer base while doing nothing to bring new customers in—the dedicated passion of the fanbase being the only reason the line has managed to stay alive despite Mattel's aggressive strategies and DR's constant blunders.
    Excellent post.

    The problem is that Mattel is still operating under false and outdated "action figure collector" strategies. Instead of just creating a quality product and accurately gauging demand for said product, while actively trying to increase that demand, they take the position of making the customer come to them, with Mattel dictating every term of sale. They also are still enamored by the idea that limiting access with false sell-outs, sales limits and the like will create demand. The problem here is that you can't actively create it with totally positive results. If you intentionally short-pack a character, we've seen it does little more than anger fans who can't get ahold of the figure, something that puts that collector on their first step towards dropping the line. If you unintentionally create a lot of demand by not having enough supply, then you face a similar danger if you don't step it up in a timely manner. This is the situation Mattel faced at the beginning of MOTUC, where they failed to prepare for the large demand the line would have. They were off by half, in fact.

    Maybe by the time Mattel gets around to trying a 3rd attempt to cater to the collector market with MotU, they'll get it right. But with MOTUC it's definitely too late IMO. Too many lost fans, and too few recognizable characters left. Yes, they absolutely could do what you suggest and release A-list starter packs, but they only way that truly works is if they don't turn their backs on DOS, because what good is it to bring in a new collector with the starter packs and then tell them they HAVE TO subscribe? The line was not built on subscribers, and it won't be sustained by them, either.


    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger View Post
    I've rarely seen a more succinct summation of the problems with Mattel's strategy here. Well stated.
    Agreed!!

  2. #177
    Widget Skeledak's Avatar
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    Hi,I have been collecting classics for just over a year and have just recieved my 50th figure in Fang Man.I have bought them all from e-bay and he cost me £47.I cannot keep paying these silly prices so i am thinking about subscribing to the club eternia.I live in England and would like to hear from any fellow uk subscribers about subs/shipping/prices etc.I am 45 going on10 and i love these figures but e-bay is just too greedy and im sure a sub would be cheaper!
    Thanks everyone!

  3. #178
    Heroic Warrior No-Ah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeledak View Post
    Hi,I have been collecting classics for just over a year and have just recieved my 50th figure in Fang Man.I have bought them all from e-bay and he cost me £47.I cannot keep paying these silly prices so i am thinking about subscribing to the club eternia.I live in England and would like to hear from any fellow uk subscribers about subs/shipping/prices etc.I am 45 going on10 and i love these figures but e-bay is just too greedy and im sure a sub would be cheaper!
    Thanks everyone!
    Congratulations! I've been collecting since December and I got my 22nd figure today: The Griffin!

  4. #179
    Ravage ThunderCat blackiecats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeledak View Post
    Hi,I have been collecting classics for just over a year and have just recieved my 50th figure in Fang Man.I have bought them all from e-bay and he cost me £47.I cannot keep paying these silly prices so i am thinking about subscribing to the club eternia.I live in England and would like to hear from any fellow uk subscribers about subs/shipping/prices etc.I am 45 going on10 and i love these figures but e-bay is just too greedy and im sure a sub would be cheaper!
    Thanks everyone!
    Check out the UK arrivals thread from around July last year. There are some detailed posts covering cost break down (with shipping and custom fees) for the subscription. I think on average with shipping, they cost around £25 ($25+$15 shipping =$40), but that doesn't include customs fees (though looking at the UK thread, some folks recently have been lucky with their parcels escaping the fees!) Also the bigger items like Ram Man, Fighting Foe Men and the unrevealed 2-pack cost a little more for shipping.

    The subs are actually going back on sale from the 15th April for all the May-Dec items (so far to include: Karatti, Fighting Foe Men, Octavia, Clamp Champ, New Adventures He-Man, Castaspella and Mantenna) We also know Geldor is the November figure (as that character was selected by a special fan vote)

    Figures yet to be revealed are the October and December figures, along with the final quarterly item (priced at $50 and rumoured to be Horde Troopers) Hope this helps! If you have any further questions send me a pm
    10 figures I'd like: 10/Filmation Tung Lashor, 9/Saurod, 8/Perfuma (for completeness of POP ONLY!), 7/Sprag, Sprocker and Spritina, 6/Peekablue, 5/Hunga the Harpy, 4/Sssqueeze, 3/Filmation Clawful, 2/Dylamug, 1/Queen Angella.

  5. #180
    Evil Warrior jibernish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lay Ze-Man View Post
    Excellent post.

    The problem is that Mattel is still operating under false and outdated "action figure collector" strategies. Instead of just creating a quality product and accurately gauging demand for said product, while actively trying to increase that demand, they take the position of making the customer come to them, with Mattel dictating every term of sale. They also are still enamored by the idea that limiting access with false sell-outs, sales limits and the like will create demand. The problem here is that you can't actively create it with totally positive results. If you intentionally short-pack a character, we've seen it does little more than anger fans who can't get ahold of the figure, something that puts that collector on their first step towards dropping the line. If you unintentionally create a lot of demand by not having enough supply, then you face a similar danger if you don't step it up in a timely manner. This is the situation Mattel faced at the beginning of MOTUC, where they failed to prepare for the large demand the line would have. They were off by half, in fact.

    Maybe by the time Mattel gets around to trying a 3rd attempt to cater to the collector market with MotU, they'll get it right. But with MOTUC it's definitely too late IMO. Too many lost fans, and too few recognizable characters left. Yes, they absolutely could do what you suggest and release A-list starter packs, but they only way that truly works is if they don't turn their backs on DOS, because what good is it to bring in a new collector with the starter packs and then tell them they HAVE TO subscribe? The line was not built on subscribers, and it won't be sustained by them, either.




    Agreed!!
    Good points.

    For the line to succeed in the long term, Mattel needs to know how many figures people are happy to buy over the long term.

    But here's what happens. Mattel doesn't make enough figures. People pay more than they are happy to pay. Resellers get involved, and Mattel now thinks they can sell more figures, so they make more next year. But now that everyone who wants a figure can get one for retail, the resellers drop out because there is no profit to be made. The next year Mattel makes about the same number of figures because they sold everything the year before, but resellers drop out and Mattel is stuck with extra figures.

    Now this is where the market should kick in, Mattel accepts what the true demand is, and they make the amount of figures people are happy to buy.

    But Mattel implements strategies that manipulate demand, causing people to buy more figures than they are happy to buy, causing resellers to increase or decrease their purchases as well. So now Mattel can't accurately gauge demand anymore. And now Mattel makes as many figures as they want regardless of how many figures people are happy to buy because they think they can change the demand for the figures. But every extra figure they sell that people don't truly want is a strike against a figure being sold in the future. And so things go off course, there are shortages, overages, super-low prices for some figures, super high prices for others, policies that make it hard to get new customers to start collecting, policies that push old customers out the door, policies that take sales off the table because Mattel was stuck with extra figures because they have no idea how many to make (which is 100% their fault) and because the brand manager wants to make very obscure characters that people don't atually want, and all sides have bad information to make decisions from. It gets crazy complicated because Mattel thinks it has all the power. And too often, we give them that power.

    If a company implements strategies that cause people to buy more than they are happy to buy, eventually they become unhappy and will stop buying altogether. And we have seen that with the decreasing sub sales. The only rational thing to do for the long term health of the line is to let people buy the number of figures they are happy to buy, so that Mattel knows how many to make without taking a loss. And if there isn't enough demand to make every figure, it shouldn't be made. The fact that Mattel is more interested in short terms gains than long term sustainability means that we are being taken advantage of to some degree. Mattel's insistence on doing things their way results in fewer sales and fewer happy customers in the long run.

    It makes good business sense to make your customer happy. I think Mattel has been spoiled by owning Barbie and Hot Wheels - two brands that you couldn't ruin if you tried. They think they know what they are doing and they don't.

  6. #181
    Heroic Master of Sleep Lay Ze-Man's Avatar
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    Good post, jibernish.

    Quote Originally Posted by jibernish View Post
    It gets crazy complicated because Mattel thinks it has all the power. And too often, we give them that power.
    The sad thing is though, they DO have all the power when it comes to MotU action figures. They won't let any other company make them, they won't let ANY retailers have a crack at 'em. They're rigging the deck so that the only middle man is Digital River (which is it's own separate, cringe-inducing conversation), but otherwise have done everything possible to create a single, direct line to our bank accounts. We give them the power, but only because they--and only they--have the toys we want.

    If a company implements strategies that cause people to buy more than they are happy to buy, eventually they become unhappy and will stop buying altogether. And we have seen that with the decreasing sub sales. The only rational thing to do for the long term health of the line is to let people buy the number of figures they are happy to buy, so that Mattel knows how many to make without taking a loss.
    Well said, but even when Mattel does a pre-order (Castle Grayskull) and knows exactly how many units to make, they are unable to crunch the numbers with enough accuracy to make it viable.

    So yes, gauging demand accurately has always been a major failing of this line, but sadly it's not where the problems begin and end.

    I get the feeling that long term health of the line was never as much a priority as was self-serving whims and a faulty assumption that fans would buy anything thrown at them.

    It makes good business sense to make your customer happy. I think Mattel has been spoiled by owning Barbie and Hot Wheels - two brands that you couldn't ruin if you tried.
    True, those brands pretty much run themselves at this point.

  7. #182
    Evil Warrior jibernish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lay Ze-Man View Post
    Good post, jibernish.
    The sad thing is though, they DO have all the power when it comes to MotU action figures. They won't let any other company make them, they won't let ANY retailers have a crack at 'em. They're rigging the deck so that the only middle man is Digital River (which is it's own separate, cringe-inducing conversation), but otherwise have done everything possible to create a single, direct line to our bank accounts. We give them the power, but only because they--and only they--have the toys we want.

    Well said, but even when Mattel does a pre-order (Castle Grayskull) and knows exactly how many units to make, they are unable to crunch the numbers with enough accuracy to make it viable.

    So yes, gauging demand accurately has always been a major failing of this line, but sadly it's not where the problems begin and end.

    I get the feeling that long term health of the line was never as much a priority as was self-serving whims and a faulty assumption that fans would buy anything thrown at them.

    True, those brands pretty much run themselves at this point.
    I agree with pretty everything you said here, and my only differing opinion comes in to play only when you are willing to play this game over the very long haul. Even then nothing good would probably come of it. I have little hope because it's all about money; it has nothing to do with MOTU.

    But here's where we do have power. IF we consider MOTUC the end game, then yes, Mattel has all the power because they are willing to let the line die if we don't play by their rules. But if you think of MOTU rather than MOTUC, we could stop buying figures and let the line die. At some point the property becomes worthless to Mattel and they sell it or license it. Then we'd have a shot at something better. But it's only a shot.

    I'm not advocating we do this, because for most people, having MOTUC is good enough. And who knows what a new owner/licensor would do with the product. It could be worse (although you can't get any worse than DR). Practically speaking, Mattel does have all the power unless you are willing to stop buying the figures. I personally did stop buying them, but the fact that I keep coming here means that I feel I'm missing out on something. I wish I could buy them, but I don't have $1000 a year to spend on toys, at least not anymore since I'm trying to start making my own short films. I have equipment to buy, talent to hire, etc... but MOTU isn't the most important thing in the world to me, but it is important and I miss it. And I personally blame TG for pressing me to make this decision by threatening to kill DOS, more and more and more as the months go by. I don't have the time, energy, and money to fight for toys. And I did buy about 90% of what was offered. I just didn't want FFM and a few other figures. So I just decided to cut my losses early. But they are still losses.



    And so I guess Mattel has done a good enough job of keeping enough people happier than frustrated. It could be so much more though. I have a business degree and I'd love to do an in depth post-mortem of MOTUC after it's ended, if I could get actual data. I think it would be fascinating to see how the supply/demand market operated on a figure by figure basis, and how each party (Mattel, customers, and resellers) reacted.
    Last edited by jibernish; April 10, 2013 at 12:20pm.

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