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Thread: How did the original line drop from 400 million in sales to 7 million in one year?

  1. #76
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Hello everyone.

    I was 10 years old when Motu arrived in my country Spain. I remember it perfectly as the stream line to all the toys of the time. It sold without stopping and we all had motu. It was the main toy for everyone. The second wave remained very popular, also the third and fourth. From the Horde the following waves did not give the size, reissues of He Man and Skeletor that do not convince and it was impossible to acquire the original He Man and Skeletor and the most popular figures of the first waves. They produced antiquity of figures that did not get to convince the children of the time, I lived it because I have Menksres brothers who engulfed Ninja Turtles and Gi-Joe. The next and overnight Motu disappeared from the toy stores. Mattel has never known how to redirect this line, always obsessed with short-term profitability and whether to give time to its products, other brands have done well, Turtles for example.


  2. #77
    Master of New Adventures!
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Larry was one of the most talented writers in the industry and a true gentleman to boot. When I sent him the series bible for NA, asking him if he'd like to write for it, he took the time to thoroughly read it, then called me back and graciously said it just wasn't for him -- no slamming of the concept, no pompousness; just a graceful turndown and sincerely wishing me and Jetlag the best of luck on it.

    What a guy. Class. He's missed...terribly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris85 View Post
    I wanted to like it, but no. When Larry DiTillio left Filmation, the writing for She-Ra went downhill.
    - - - Updated - - -

    Amazing information. Thanks for it, Penny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Dreadful View Post
    It always cracks me up when I see this.

    According to my interview with Mark Ellis, former Mattel Director of Marketing, it was discovered that 30-40% of the customers collecting MOTU in the 80's were girls: "Girls loved Masters of the Universe and we were blown away when the first purchase study came back and said 30 - 40% of the purchases were for girls. That result set the girls side of Mattel in motion and they developed and launched the She-Ra line."

    I think it might have been Jill Barad or Janice V. Hamlin who put the number a little lower, at 20%.

    However, in 'Mastering the Universe', Roger Sweet basically corroborates what Mark Ellis said: "Worth noting here is that girls accounted for an incredible 38 percent of the sales of all Masters figures."

    So, technically, you could argue that MOTU was already a "girly" thing. Ha!

    The interest from girls in the MOTU toys and the cartoon led directly to She-Ra, which was also very successful in its own right.

    Re: the reason things went down the tubes for MOTU...
    As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I have it on good authority from someone who was at Mattel during this time that it came down to the following - "despite warnings to the contrary, Glenn Hastings and Tom Kalinske at Mattel utterly flooded the market with MOTU in the Spring (after the Holidays). It was compared to shipping out massive amounts of Winter coats to stores in the middle of Summer. Retailers still had product and couldn't handle the huge influx which glutted the market during a time when people weren't buying as much."

    Whether that's accurate or not is a matter of conjecture at this point, but they were very clear with me about why it happened, and even said several people tried tried to warn Kalinske and Hastings not to do it.

    I think there might have been another component as well.
    It could be that the brand itself didn't age along with its audience. The subject matter and tone probably should have matured a little bit, sort of like how the Harry Potter books did as Harry and his friends got older and progressed through their years at Hogwarts.

    I know when things shifted to New Adventures, the Italian comics got into themes and stories that were more in keeping with what I imagine a teenage audience would have liked. There are some storylines with political overtones and gray area moral dilemmas along with more serious dialogue and extremely detailed and somewhat psychedelic artwork.

    An evolution into slightly more mature or complex stories for MOTU/POP might have kept more of the first waves of fans, who were in their early teens or pre-teens going into their teens at that point, onboard. As much as I love that stuff now, I remember feeling kind of like MOTU was skewing more to a younger demographic as we went from '85 into '86. But maybe it was more that I was getting older while the brand was “staying the same age.”

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