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Thread: "the line will continue as long as people are willing to pay the price" Is that over?

  1. #1
    NA mini-sub Supporter ! Arkangel's Avatar
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    "the line will continue as long as people are willing to pay the price" Is that over?

    The quotation is not exactly what Scott (toyGuru) said, but it pretty much expresses the same thing.

    I've been looking at ebay prices and it seems that people are NOT willing to pay the actual prices of the figures, this means, that we as subscribers are actually pushing over what we (as a collector community) are willing to pay to get these figures.

    I know that some figures like Ram Man, Two Bad etc are currently overpriced in the secondary markets, they are the exception and example of MOTUC figures that are actually worth the price, numbers don't lie, search for ebay's completed listings.

    Point is, we are currently paying over the top for these figures, many of you know how hard it will be to resell some of 2014. Most people are no longer willing to pay mattycollector.com prices.

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior
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    I agree. I just wait for all the people that bought multiple subs to unload on ebay. I pick up figures there all the time for $10-$15 plus shipping. That is how I got most of my collection.

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    I feel that Scott's oft quoted line is actually incorrect or that he misunderstands fandom, which wouldn't be a first. The line won't die because the price goes too high. The line will die from, A) lack of good character selection, B) fans finally tiring of DR's constant inept mistakes, C) general ennui towards the property and a desire to see a new iteration.

    In its current form MOTUC could be due for an overhaul. I love-love-love what the Horsemen have done overall with this line and I still feel 2015 needs to finish out the 'A listers' before I'd consider it truly complete, but I can see some fans drifting away and losing interest simply because this is human nature. If you think about it MOTUC has carried on much longer than your average action figure line would at retail, so in that sense it's a huge success, but just because it's adults supporting the line and not children doesn't mean the ride can last forever. Eventually the character selection will be so anemic and fan opinion of the property so lukewarm that it will end simply because all things eventually do. So, really I don't see this so much a price concern. Fans will pay good money for quality. Look no further than Hot Toys for evidence. It's a lack of reinvention and good ideas that will kill it.
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  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior
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    The line will die when subscribers no longer see the value equal to or exceeding the cost. The value stems from the character selection, the execution of said characters (accessories, sculpt, paint apps, etc.), and potential resale value of unwanted figures. However, I don't think it can, or should, be looked at on a figure by figure basis.

    Personally, I'm all in until the end of the line... But if I were the type to only be interested in specific factions or figures, I have to look at whether or not what I can make from selling unwanted figures, even if it's below my cost, offsets the overall price I'm paying for what I am keeping. I may think some figures are worth more than what I paid, therefore making their value more. I might be willing to take a $2-$5 loss on Blade if it means I get Scorpia, for example.

    Day-of sales can dry up, as long as the minimum number of subscribers feel the overall value for the year is there still. That could mean that our year needs to be trimmed down to 6 figures and 1 oversized item per year to meet the value. But as long as enough people subscribe, it will continue.

  5. #5
    Randor Grizzlor Lovechild bigassbuzz's Avatar
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    Resellers (like myself) used to buy MULTIPLES of nearly every figure. I can personally say that has slowed down quite a bit. Looking back at 2013 was a big revelation of shipping + tax added cost. My rule of thumb as a dealer was to make at least $5 over my cost per item sold, or else I'm just BAD at business.
    Our ORG BST section is currently packed with opportunities to buy previous releases for well under my target price. Granted, this is the place where the best deals SHOULD be available, but if the resellers stop going big on Matty day, the Neitlich level folks will soon start to feel the pinch as well.
    December was a good example of this I think.
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  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjharwood View Post
    The line will die when subscribers no longer see the value equal to or exceeding the cost. The value stems from the character selection, the execution of said characters (accessories, sculpt, paint apps, etc.), and potential resale value of unwanted figures. However, I don't think it can, or should, be looked at on a figure by figure basis.
    Exactly. Once there are not enough subscribers to pay for a full year's worth of figures, the line is over.
    "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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  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior Cy-Chop's Avatar
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    This is a classic example of Mattel wanting their cake and eating it too, they saw figures going for over "retail" on the secondary market and decided they wanted a piece of it, so the prices kept going up. This killed DCUC and will probably kill MOTUC. People will buy more than one if they can move them easily. Resellers make or break a line.

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    There's some variables to deal with. If the figures were cheaper many of us who didn't sub would probably have more figures, look at the big lots thing. I for example wasn't planning on getting Moss Man, Clawful, Adora, or Grizzlor at all. I had a 200x Orko which I was fine with. Then 10 dollar figures come out with no shipping of those guys and bought them up.

    Mattel is actually trying to take into account resellers by how many figures they are releasing, of course there seems to be questionable choices with that though. I agree with the thought, it's more the figures that have nostalgia behind them are coming fewer and fewer.
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  9. #9
    Evil Collapsing Robot! Zodach's Avatar
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    Prices are not something Mattel has all that much control over. When MOTU started in 2008/09 they were $20 each and 5+ years later they are $25-27. How much was a Star Wars figure, MU figure, or NECA figure back then? Compare it to today and you will see that prices have gone up across the board.

  10. #10
    Evil and Reads Everything Straight Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cy-Chop View Post
    This is a classic example of Mattel wanting their cake and eating it too, they saw figures going for over "retail" on the secondary market and decided they wanted a piece of it, so the prices kept going up. This killed DCUC and will probably kill MOTUC. People will buy more than one if they can move them easily. Resellers make or break a line.
    That has absolutely no basis in fact. The figures were *introduced* at $20, and the prices have increased along the levels of retail action figure prices. The exception has been that Subscribers (who make up *The Majority* of paying customers, have been getting a price break for a year before having to pony up for the increase. This means Mattel has been *delaying* the increase for a year each time, for most of the product they sell.

    Say what you will about the line, and 'greedy profit-hungry" Mattel, but the way subscribers have been given such a break on per-figure costs year over year is hardly indicative of Mattel price-gouging or "wanting their cake and eating it too".
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  11. #11
    Heroic Warrior Cy-Chop's Avatar
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    There is no reason for the prices to go up at all, except Mattel says they should. They are just trying to find the ceiling on how much people are willing to pay and I'd guess that most people have already passed that point. It's really about perceived value, I watched DCUC jump from $10 to $18 figures literally overnight and then figures that are little more than McDonalds toys became the new $10 price point. You can't have super awesome deluxe figures AND really simple limited articulation figures both be $10.

    I have no problem with Mattel making money and this is pretty much the action figure business across the board, but it does not take people long to figure out that their $25 toy is only worth $15 and once that happens people stop buying them.

  12. #12
    Evil and Reads Everything Straight Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cy-Chop View Post
    I watched DCUC jump from $10 to $18 figures literally overnight and then figures that are little more than McDonalds toys became the new $10 price point. You can't have super awesome deluxe figures AND really simple limited articulation figures both be $10.
    Yup. Overnight. From 2005 to 2011 in just 6 simple fiscal years.

    Your argument dies the moment you fail to take into account the economics of the world you're living in, and the changes we've undergone in that time. There are a *large* number of world economic factors that caused the price of *lots* of things to increase. Explain to me why a bottle of Tide I used to pay $10 for now sells for 18, and the price of the giant tub I used to get for $15 now sells for $25.

    Oh, right. Greedy Toy Manufacturers.
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  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior bribri4u's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight Edge View Post
    Yup. Overnight. From 2005 to 2011 in just 6 simple fiscal years.

    Your argument dies the moment you fail to take into account the economics of the world you're living in, and the changes we've undergone in that time. There are a *large* number of world economic factors that caused the price of *lots* of things to increase. Explain to me why a bottle of Tide I used to pay $10 for now sells for 18, and the price of the giant tub I used to get for $15 now sells for $25.

    Oh, right. Greedy Toy Manufacturers.
    Very well said. But u can't reason with some people. Everything should just always stay the same price.
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  14. #14
    Heroic Warrior retcon's Avatar
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    Cost and value are different.

    MOTUC stands on a precipice right now.

  15. #15
    Heroic Warrior Spikor1982's Avatar
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    I plan to be in until the end, I've been here since the beginning. But because of the prices, this has become the only new line I still collect. Over 65.00 this month alone for two figures before shipping, Glimmer/Mod- thats crazy isn't it. I retired Transformers with Metroplex Titan and SW is so far and few between these days that I maybe buy 3-4 figs/year. 2015 will be a tough sell for Matty though.

    MOTUC may cost alot, but I still find value in them.

  16. #16
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkangel View Post
    The quotation is not exactly what Scott (toyGuru) said, but it pretty much expresses the same thing.

    I've been looking at ebay prices and it seems that people are NOT willing to pay the actual prices of the figures, this means, that we as subscribers are actually pushing over what we (as a collector community) are willing to pay to get these figures.

    I know that some figures like Ram Man, Two Bad etc are currently overpriced in the secondary markets, they are the exception and example of MOTUC figures that are actually worth the price, numbers don't lie, search for ebay's completed listings.

    Point is, we are currently paying over the top for these figures, many of you know how hard it will be to resell some of 2014. Most people are no longer willing to pay mattycollector.com prices.
    You're talking about two different things. TG and Matty's stance has been that they will make the figures as long as there are enough people buying them to justify production (which is, admittedly, a logical business stance, sub model not withstanding). Mattel could care less about aftermarket prices as long as they are making theire money.

    Now, I understand that there is a relationship between ebay and MOTUC sales because of the sub model: folks want to sell of their unwanted figures to at least break even (which, again, is understandable from the fan's point of view). And there is a problem in that the figures most likely to be sold there are going to be the least popular characters, creating a selling problem. Thing is, from the posts we saw at sub time, most folks taking the plunge knew the situation going in, and had few illusions about selling off their unwanted figures. I think we've pretty well moved past the point where resellers are pumping up the sub numbers on pure speculation; BBTS seems to buy enough subs to cover their pre-orders, and then goes back for another helping if those sell out. I don't think the dynamics of all that have changed considerably this year, and, if they have, it's likely for the better. There's no expensive three pack to have to sit on, and the figures are, for the most part, needed to complete the vintage lines. THe offerings are more tailored to the mainstream tastes this year and likely next, so I don't think we've reached the point of no return just yet. When we do reach that point, I think it will be because of higher prices and continued foolishness and foul-ups from DR. Those are going to have a much bigger effect on subs than the secondary market, which I think has found it's balance (things like Big Bad charging a bit more for the more popular characters to balance out the less popular ones an example).
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  17. #17
    Heroic Warrior CapricornDefender's Avatar
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    Been overpaying for these figures since inception.

  18. #18
    Motuc Blister Eater OnlyOneSkeletor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retcon View Post
    Cost and value are different.

    MOTUC stands on a precipice right now.
    From the moment i got on this ship, experience taught me to not underestimate Scott Neitlich
    and many surprises he keeps under his sleeves.
    He's a very smart & talented manager,besides let's not forget vintage also means remaining
    and very impressive beasts yet to be announced such as dinos, Mantisaur, Mechanical horses,
    steeds from She-Ra universe, Vehicles, a few playsets, Mini-comics anticipated figures (Lodar, MOP Demons)
    CAC entrant characters (Great Black Wizard, Three Beasts, Bublor..)Filmation (Sundar, Hunga, Dylamug, Kittrina)
    200X (Prahvus, Evil Seed, Calix..) Despara, and of course these very few & selected figures as "2.0" (Green Goddess, Roboto, He-Man..)God, i'd rather stop for today but i guess i refreshed your memory.

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight Edge View Post
    That has absolutely no basis in fact. The figures were *introduced* at $20, and the prices have increased along the levels of retail action figure prices. The exception has been that Subscribers (who make up *The Majority* of paying customers, have been getting a price break for a year before having to pony up for the increase. This means Mattel has been *delaying* the increase for a year each time, for most of the product they sell.

    Say what you will about the line, and 'greedy profit-hungry" Mattel, but the way subscribers have been given such a break on per-figure costs year over year is hardly indicative of Mattel price-gouging or "wanting their cake and eating it too".
    Right I forgot. They've been making up their "loss" (by waiting a year to hit us with the increase) with egregious and out of step with reality higher shipping prices, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cy-Chop View Post
    There is no reason for the prices to go up at all, except Mattel says they should. They are just trying to find the ceiling on how much people are willing to pay and I'd guess that most people have already passed that point. It's really about perceived value.
    I'm no Matty apologist, but I can't stand by and watch comments like this be thrown around without saying something. This is just blatantly untrue. Mattel is a publicly traded company and like any large company has rules of behavior and standards they must adhere to. They can't simply set arbitrary prices for their products until they hit a price ceiling. These prices are a delicate dance of cost to produce v.s. hoped for dividends, with a reasonable rate of return as part of that equation. I think it's safe to assume that the VP's aren't buying new yachts with the profits from MOTUC.
    Last edited by Stygian360; February 11, 2014 at 04:39pm.
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  20. #20
    I'm Galactic! ChgoMarc's Avatar
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    I think everything should be 5 cents.
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  21. #21
    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cy-Chop View Post
    There is no reason for the prices to go up at all, except Mattel says they should. They are just trying to find the ceiling on how much people are willing to pay and I'd guess that most people have already passed that point. It's really about perceived value, I watched DCUC jump from $10 to $18 figures literally overnight and then figures that are little more than McDonalds toys became the new $10 price point. You can't have super awesome deluxe figures AND really simple limited articulation figures both be $10.

    I have no problem with Mattel making money and this is pretty much the action figure business across the board, but it does not take people long to figure out that their $25 toy is only worth $15 and once that happens people stop buying them.
    Strongly recommend an economics course or two.
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  22. #22
    Got Filmation? shadowfall1976's Avatar
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    I for one am done subbing after this year. The new price outlook plus a guaranteed shipping increase makes it so. I will buy a few DOS here and there, and if one doesn't have DOS, I'll just pay BBTS or something. Dragstor is my absolute last must have from Vintage, I'd love FIlmation Hordak, and maybe a few more POP, but other than that the number of figures I have to have is outweighed by buying another entire year of figures next year, and will no longer be worth it.

    $25 per figure is my cutoff for an entire year being what these figures are and come with, so picking will be the game for 2015.
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  23. #23
    NA mini-sub Supporter ! Arkangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChgoMarc View Post
    I think everything should be 5 cents.
    i was about to write a wall of text in response to the many here but then you came in with that argument and .

  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior Skeledor's Avatar
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  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior Lipster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapricornDefender View Post
    Been overpaying for these figures since inception.
    Not really. Most action figures are approaching the $20 mark. That is for a figure that they make 50,000-100,000 of. I think for the most part we are getting are $25 worth when they make less than 10,000. Prices go up when you are not buying in a large quantity.

    Where we are getting hosed is on shipping.

    I am hoping that by getting quarterly shipping this year I same some money. I was one of the few I guess that did that the first year for the last 4 figures of the year. It would be nice if they could do a pile of loot for the entire year like bidbad but on the same note I have had my pile of loot not be in stock when I go to release it. I think another idea would be for Mattel to release the figures quarterly rather than monthly to save shipping. I can probably go up to as high as $30 but I better get an extra weapon or head more often that we did last year.
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