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Thread: Hostile Makeover: The Man Who Hijacked Masters of the Universe

  1. #176
    Snoogans Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    A lot of Michael's position is based on assumptions based on experience as a toy collector. We've all been "guilty" of drawing our own conclusions on a similar basis, so I can kind of relate, but it is of course one that doesn't have all of the behind the scenes facts.

    The one point that I strongly do agree with Michael on is the ridiculousness of the subscription fee for the Hasbro Pulse site for people to just have a chance to get certain items. That is a very predatory business practice. I understand Scott defending the corporate end of things up to a point in terms of making money, pleasing share holders, etc., but that is a step too far IMO.

    Both of them seemed to be mixing up opinions with facts, which makes sense why the moderator put a stop to the debate over opinions vs. facts in and of itself.

    Even if I don't always agree with Scott (don't get me started on the whole Mattel losing MOTU in 2023 thing), he made some good points here from the corporate side of things. I do think that Scott put a little too much stock into his experience and the supposedly "factual' conclusions he could make (i.e. stating that it is a fact that Hasbro looked at the resale volume and prices on ebay of the Sail Barge to judge future projects... while it may be logical to infer that, saying its a fact goes too far... I think it would have been fine for Scott to say that it was highly likely instead of a definite fact), but at the same time Michael kept trying to completely discredit almost any and all experience that Scott has had on the basis of how long it has been, and that was over the top.


    I went into this debate with a relatively open mind. I already had mixed feelings about both of these guys, so it's not like I was necessarily "rooting" for either of them in particular. In terms of the larger overall debate on the issues with toy collecting today, I don't know if there was a clear winner in my opinion. I'd probably lean a bit in Scott's favor as Michael's positions tended to be more assumption and emotionally based rather than on data. And given that this whole thing was in response to Michael's video about Scott, I would argue that Scott did a decent job of standing up for himself against the accusations.
    Last edited by Dynamo of Eternia; September 28, 2021 at 05:19pm.
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  2. #177
    Heroic Warrior nickdoobs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScarePlow View Post
    What are you qualifications sir?

    "I AM A LIFELONG TOY COLLECTOR!"


    LOL!!
    that was hilarious. also, "Don't patronize me, Scott!"
    Hit me up on instagram @MOTUdoobs

  3. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by FASAfan View Post
    I have a lot of opinions about this debate and a lot of feelings. None of that, honestly, is worth much in the grand scheme of things.

    To distill those in their simplest form:

    I empathize greatly with Michael.

    Scott definitely double-downed on the corporate position and made it clear that toy companies do us no favors by offering what they do: itís purely for profit and they only (maybe) respond when bad PR is a possibility Ďcause it would hurt the bottom line. Scott even admitted that the Classics storyline was written to help support the line, thus sales. Thereís no darn soul in anything. From a logical point of view, this is what a bean counter would do.

    Itíd be nice to think that small favors and bones were thrown to us collectors, but this is fantasy. The toy companies arenít obligated to do so and we shouldnít expect it. Ok. Accepted.

    But, as others have noted, this whole thing makes me want to wash my hands of adult toy collecting - especially modern stuff.

    PS

    I give them both props for agreeing to the debate. Iím sure they had other things they could do and the prep alone surely took up a lot of their time. Big kudos to Scott for trying his best to get a steady connection when he was having connectivity issues. He could have easily thrown in the towel, but he stood by his commitment.
    It's not just about counting beans though, I don't think you need to be quite that cynical.

    It's a simple matter of if you want a project to continue, you need to create something that a substantial number of people want. So of course the story is there to drive thr toys. That's the only reason the MOTU story was EVER there. They didn't make the minixomics or the cartoon for fun. They made them to drive toy sales, and in doing so, did it in a way that appealed to a large portion of people.

    The only difference between those and Scott's bios is that you like one and you don't like the other. The original teams didn't have any more soul or passion for it than Scott did. They were doing a job.

  4. #179
    Evil Warrior jibernish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
    And given that this whole thing was in response to Michael's video about Scott, I would argue that Scott did a decent job of standing up for himself against the accusations.
    I agree with you on that one. I think Scott defended himself pretty well regarding The Mighty Spector and Lt Spector and all of those issues.

  5. #180
    Heroic Warrior Bonehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkkosis View Post
    Were those facts that Scott provided in that debate similar to the ones that Mattel have refuted and denied themselves at Power-Con?!

    Scott says a lot of things, but many including who work in the toy industry also disagree with him. Also his info about the collector market is somehow inaccurate or/and outdated! He literary says in that debate that toy collectors to the toy companies are nothing, they're less than 1%... And most of the toys were catered to toddlers and their parents!

    Adult collector market isn't just action figures, it's building toys, it's puzzle and games, it's RC, it's board games it's die cast and so on!
    Yes the toddler market has a good chunk, but it's not exactly how he represented it! I know for a fact that a big percentage of people who buy LEGO sets for example are actually collectors and adult collectors, that's also why LEGO and other toy companies catered lines for collectors and adults alone!
    I don't agree with many points Scott makes especially his opinion on Origins and things like the rights to MOTU, which for the record Mattel never really said they own and only made a cryptic statement about MOTU toys still coming past 2023 but never directly addressed the rights issue at Power-Con. I do believe they own it still but why not address it and make a clear statement and dispel the rumor? That though is a separate point of discussion for the other thread.

    The collector market is small. That is a fact that even Hasbro has confirmed with lines like Star Wars which have a HUGE collector base. Almost every toy in the toy isles are catered to moms and kids. Collectors are less than 1%? I doubt that and disagree with Scott on that but it is rather small compared to the other half of the equation, Moms and kids. I do remember HASBRO once said that their split for Star Wars was probably about 40/60 but that was years ago which I would agree with for Star Wars. Other lines is probably a bit less. There are some specialty lines and companies like POPS, NECA, and McFarlane which actually do cater to collectors which is why those items are in separate areas in stores like Target and Walmart. They're not looking for Mom and Timmy. Also stuff like Hasbro's Fan Channel stuff is clearly catering to the collector market.

    Scott's info though on how the industry works and the ins and outs about how retail works was spot on and more believable than any gibberish that Michael made. I actually agree with some points Michael was trying to make as a consumer but when he tried to address the corporate problems he was lost and had nothing to counter Scott with, that made him lose credibility. I could of had the same debate with Scott and I would have looked just as bad. Being a collector for 35+ years, doesn't make me an expert in the toy industry and it doesn't make Michael one either. He was out of his league.

    Quote Originally Posted by MGurlea View Post
    I agree with all of the above. I am glad that there are many people here who get it and understand how real life works. French reminded me of many posters who post on other toy forums. Especially Hiss Tank. I don't get this bizarre wrong idea that some people have that unless you currently work at a toy company TODAY as CEO and are divulging the company secrets then "you don't know jack!" French seemed to have this same idea and came across as foolish and stupid when confronted with an actual person who has experience in the toy industry. This is the same thing that would happen to the posters on Hiss Tank if they ever tried to talk to Bobby Vala.

    Like it or not, but if your only experience in the toy industry is going to Target and buying some toys and taking them home and playing with them you don't have any experience in the toy industry and your opinion means nothing. Absolutely nothing. People like Bobby Vala and Scott Neitlich have education, training, and experience in the toy industry making toys and their opinions carry weight. As stated above, they could be deemed "experts" when it comes to toys and could spout opinions as fact. This childish and ignorant idea that some toy collectors have that just because they personally don't like Vala or Neitlich so their resumes mean nothing and they know better and their opinion is just as good or better as a lifelong toy collector just exposes how stupid people are that espouse that. French here was a perfect example. After they got past the first part about why French's opinion means nothing compared to Neitlich's the rest of the time just showed why and showed how Neitlich is an expert and French really knows nothing. Which was to be expected because Neitlich worked there and French did not.

    I'm also not saying that you have to like Vala or Neitlich or even agree with what they say. Some just need to drop this bizarre sad idea that they know more than them and WWAAAAHHHHHAAAA! their opinion should matter too. Because all that will happen in the end is that these people will only be able to sit there with a dumb angry look on their faces and be able to only muster up, "OK," after either Vala or Neitlich drops years of knowledge on them about how things really worked at a toy company.

    P.S. I even share much of French's frustration too. I could see myself in him when he stated a lot of things he doesn't like about the toy industry.
    Wonderful write up and I agree completely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffman View Post
    I think Scott sometimes speaks in hyperbole, which ends up hurting him.

    Adult collectors are certainly not nothing, but they are definitely significantly LESS important than kids/parents.

    Also worth noting that he worked for Mattel, which seems to have much less of a adult collector focus than other companies.
    Great point! I agree.

    As I mentioned above, Hasbro is different than Mattel. Hasbro does stuff like their Fan Channel stuff which is directly for the collector market.

    Mattel Creations is nothing like Hasbro's presence in the collector's market.

  6. #181
    Heroic Warrior King Kahn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stygian360 View Post
    Call me obtuse, but are you implying nepotism? If so that's fine, but I don't see how that bears on the discussion. Michael's father "juicing him in" at UPS is perfectly fine with me. But he shouldn't have mentioned his time with UPS at all because it actually gave Scott's argument more weight. In other words if Michael had started into a diatribe about shipping business practices in general and not just UPS no one would smack him down and say you worked for them how many years ago... and you didn't work for FEDEX even though you were talking about business practices at FEDEX? It's a silly argument to make as anyone would consider Scott or Michael pseudo-experts in their given field simply by their years of experience and proximity to those industries.
    It def would explain his deep sense of entitlement.

    You are right though, he can't dismiss Scott's credentials and then throw out his own, without it bolstering scott's credentials like you said. I am not sure how working for a shipping company connects with this debate as i haven't watched all of it but it's a stretch, including his credentials as a collector for over 20 years, yikes to that

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScarePlow View Post
    What are you qualifications sir?

    "I AM A LIFELONG TOY COLLECTOR!"


    LOL!!
    I have eaten a crap ton of pizza so I guess I am an Italian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
    A lot of Michael's position is based on assumptions based on experience as a toy collector. We've all been "guilty" of drawing our own conclusions on a similar basis, so I can kind of relate, but it is of course one that doesn't have all of the behind the scenes facts.

    The one point that I strongly do agree with Michael on is the ridiculousness of the subscription fee for the Hasbro Pulse site for people to just have a chance to get certain items. That is a very predatory business practice. I understand Scott defending the corporate end of things up to a point in terms of making money, pleasing share holders, etc., but that is a step too far IMO.

    Both of them seemed to be mixing up opinions with facts, which makes sense why the moderator put a stop to the debate over opinions vs. facts in and of itself.

    Even if I don't always agree with Scott (don't get me started on the whole Mattel losing MOTU in 2023 thing), he made some good points here from the corporate side of things. I do think that Scott put a little too much stock into his experience and the supposedly "factual' conclusions he could make (i.e. stating that it is a fact that Hasbro looked at the resale volume and prices on ebay of the Sail Barge to judge future projects... while it may be logical to infer that, saying its a fact goes too far... I think it would have been fine for Scott to say that it was highly likely instead of a definite fact), but at the same time Michael kept trying to completely discredit almost any and all experience that Scott has had on the basis of how long it has been, and that was over the top.


    I went into this debate with a relatively open mind. I already had mixed feelings about both of these guys, so it's not like I was necessarily "rooting" for either of them in particular. In terms of the larger overall debate on the issues with toy collecting today, I don't know if there was a clear winner in my opinion. I'd probably lean a bit in Scott's favor as Michael's positions tended to be more assumption and emotionally based rather than on data. And given that this whole thing was in response to Michael's video about Scott, I would argue that Scott did a decent job of standing up for himself against the accusations.
    Positions built off of entitlement, wants, clouded views of the toy industry of yesteryear, and just misinformed about basic business and marketing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonehead View Post
    I don't agree with many points Scott makes especially his opinion on Origins and things like the rights to MOTU, which for the record Mattel never really said they own and only made a cryptic statement about MOTU toys still coming past 2023 but never directly addressed the rights issue at Power-Con. I do believe they own it still but why not address it and make a clear statement and dispel the rumor? That though is a separate point of discussion for the other thread.

    The collector market is small. That is a fact that even Hasbro has confirmed with lines like Star Wars which have a HUGE collector base. Almost every toy in the toy isles are catered to moms and kids. Collectors are less than 1%? I doubt that and disagree with Scott on that but it is rather small compared to the other half of the equation, Moms and kids. I do remember HASBRO once said that their split for Star Wars was probably about 40/60 but that was years ago which I would agree with for Star Wars. Other lines is probably a bit less. There are some specialty lines and companies like POPS, NECA, and McFarlane which actually do cater to collectors which is why those items are in separate areas in stores like Target and Walmart. They're not looking for Mom and Timmy. Also stuff like Hasbro's Fan Channel stuff is clearly catering to the collector market.

    Scott's info though on how the industry works and the ins and outs about how retail works was spot on and more believable than any gibberish that Michael made. I actually agree with some points Michael was trying to make as a consumer but when he tried to address the corporate problems he was lost and had nothing to counter Scott with, that made him lose credibility. I could of had the same debate with Scott and I would have looked just as bad. Being a collector for 35+ years, doesn't make me an expert in the toy industry and it doesn't make Michael one either. He was out of his league.



    Wonderful write up and I agree completely.

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    Great point! I agree.

    As I mentioned above, Hasbro is different than Mattel. Hasbro does stuff like their Fan Channel stuff which is directly for the collector market.

    Mattel Creations is nothing like Hasbro's presence in the collector's market.
    I don't like either of them. As a collector I get the frustrations that RB guy has but I am also not as entitled as him and have rational thinking skills to understand why things aren't the way I want. I see companies doing decisions I def feel aren't great.

    Yeah whenever I hear 'collectors don't matter" or arent a bit part I assume in ALL of toys. This includes puzzles, games, toddler toys, etc. Sure will allllll of that we are not a huge segment but if you walk down the boy toy isle I would say collectors are a significant segment since as you and others have said we wouldn't have lines that catered to us. Hell mattycollector was ONLY about collectors, right there in the name. I would say right now, in a non movie year, star wars is predominantly collector bought for instance.
    cogito ergo doleo

  7. #182
    Lord of Darkkbricks Darkkosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonehead View Post
    I don't agree with many points Scott makes especially his opinion on Origins and things like the rights to MOTU, which for the record Mattel never really said they own and only made a cryptic statement about MOTU toys still coming past 2023 but never directly addressed the rights issue at Power-Con. I do believe they own it still but why not address it and make a clear statement and dispel the rumor? That though is a separate point of discussion for the other thread.

    The collector market is small. That is a fact that even Hasbro has confirmed with lines like Star Wars which have a HUGE collector base. Almost every toy in the toy isles are catered to moms and kids. Collectors are less than 1%? I doubt that and disagree with Scott on that but it is rather small compared to the other half of the equation, Moms and kids. I do remember HASBRO once said that their split for Star Wars was probably about 40/60 but that was years ago which I would agree with for Star Wars. Other lines is probably a bit less. There are some specialty lines and companies like POPS, NECA, and McFarlane which actually do cater to collectors which is why those items are in separate areas in stores like Target and Walmart. They're not looking for Mom and Timmy. Also stuff like Hasbro's Fan Channel stuff is clearly catering to the collector market.

    Scott's info though on how the industry works and the ins and outs about how retail works was spot on and more believable than any gibberish that Michael made. I actually agree with some points Michael was trying to make as a consumer but when he tried to address the corporate problems he was lost and had nothing to counter Scott with, that made him lose credibility. I could of had the same debate with Scott and I would have looked just as bad. Being a collector for 35+ years, doesn't make me an expert in the toy industry and it doesn't make Michael one either. He was out of his league.
    Just according to the LEGO group one of the biggest toy companies in the world which also isn't a public-traded company (no shareholders) and a company I know about also from the inside; 20% of their total sales were consumed by AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) by buying LEGO sets for themselves! And that "reserved" percentage is rather growing every year. You can google it if you want.

    I don't know much about Hasbro's or Mattel's numbers, but like I said in my previous post, the toy market isn't just action figures! Therefore what Scott was saying is simply incorrect and not factual according to what I know! Just because he had a tenure at Mattel with some ambiguous info to share, that doesn't mean he's spot on and holier than thou!... Yes he had some perspective about the trade, but the market is also changing globally, especially in Asia.

    If you guys wanna take Scott as a credible source, that's your prerogative of course, but I advise you to take his info with some precautionary measures before galloping it up!

    And BTW, I'm not defending Michael from RetroBlasting simply because I don't know much about him other than his You Tube channel, but at least he had some balls to counterattack Scott's claims unlike many out there. Also, I don't think mentioning Val and Dan in his video was a smart move, fair or eloquent, which probably did him more harm than good!

    Happy Collecting.
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  8. #183
    Snoogans Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    Correct me if I am wrong (it has been a couple days since I watched the debate and a lot was covered in it, so maybe I am mis-remembering something), but I thought Michael's entire purpose in bringing up his former employment with UPS was to point out that just because he used to work for them does not mean he can assume how competitors like FedEx are doing now.

    He only brought up his former employment as a counterpoint to Scott. Scott WAS using his former employment with Mattel as a basis to draw conclusions about how Hasbro is handling their business practices now. Michael disagreed with that, and said that just because he used to work for UPS does not mean he can assume how FedEX runs their business.

    So I don't get why so many people in this thread are acting like Michael was being hypocritical for bringing up his employment with UPS.

    Michael's core point was that one cannot use their former employment with a company in a particular industry to assume what a competitor in that industry is doing now. While I mostly disagree with that core point (I do think Scott's employment with Mattel is relevant in a discussion about Hasbro.... though I do think Scott still makes some guesses and assumptions and treats them as fact), Michael did not make a hypocritical statement in bringing up his former employer. His entire point is that he is in no position to assume how FedEX runs their business just because he worked for UPS..... just like (in Michael's opinion) Scott is in no position to assume how Hasbro runs their business just because he used to work for Mattel.

    As much as I may disagree with it, Michael's point was consistent in this regard.
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  9. #184
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    It's a silly position to take regardless. Of course you can make some generalized high-level assumptions about how a major competitor operates. Certain things are 'industry standard', or just realities of business operations.

    That's like saying years of experience at one company wouldn't have any transferrable skills to a job at another. If he really worked closely with the CEO of UPS, he should absolutely have certain insights into how FedEx operates.

  10. #185
    Heroic Warrior King Kahn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong (it has been a couple days since I watched the debate and a lot was covered in it, so maybe I am mis-remembering something), but I thought Michael's entire purpose in bringing up his former employment with UPS was to point out that just because he used to work for them does not mean he can assume how competitors like FedEx are doing now.

    He only brought up his former employment as a counterpoint to Scott. Scott WAS using his former employment with Mattel as a basis to draw conclusions about how Hasbro is handling their business practices now. Michael disagreed with that, and said that just because he used to work for UPS does not mean he can assume how FedEX runs their business.

    So I don't get why so many people in this thread are acting like Michael was being hypocritical for bringing up his employment with UPS.

    Michael's core point was that one cannot use their former employment with a company in a particular industry to assume what a competitor in that industry is doing now. While I mostly disagree with that core point (I do think Scott's employment with Mattel is relevant in a discussion about Hasbro.... though I do think Scott still makes some guesses and assumptions and treats them as fact), Michael did not make a hypocritical statement in bringing up his former employer. His entire point is that he is in no position to assume how FedEX runs their business just because he worked for UPS..... just like (in Michael's opinion) Scott is in no position to assume how Hasbro runs their business just because he used to work for Mattel.

    As much as I may disagree with it, Michael's point was consistent in this regard.
    ah if he was using it as a counterpoint like you said that makes sense. I haven't watched the entire thing and likely never will because I just can't stand either of them that long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffman View Post
    It's a silly position to take regardless. Of course you can make some generalized high-level assumptions about how a major competitor operates. Certain things are 'industry standard', or just realities of business operations.

    That's like saying years of experience at one company wouldn't have any transferrable skills to a job at another. If he really worked closely with the CEO of UPS, he should absolutely have certain insights into how FedEx operates.
    correct. you can make assumptions etc. Knowledge can transfer over (not everything though), otherwise no one wouldever get hired at a dif company in the same industry ever.
    cogito ergo doleo

  11. #186
    Lord of Darkkbricks Darkkosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong (it has been a couple days since I watched the debate and a lot was covered in it, so maybe I am mis-remembering something), but I thought Michael's entire purpose in bringing up his former employment with UPS was to point out that just because he used to work for them does not mean he can assume how competitors like FedEx are doing now.

    He only brought up his former employment as a counterpoint to Scott. Scott WAS using his former employment with Mattel as a basis to draw conclusions about how Hasbro is handling their business practices now. Michael disagreed with that, and said that just because he used to work for UPS does not mean he can assume how FedEX runs their business.

    So I don't get why so many people in this thread are acting like Michael was being hypocritical for bringing up his employment with UPS.

    Michael's core point was that one cannot use their former employment with a company in a particular industry to assume what a competitor in that industry is doing now. While I mostly disagree with that core point (I do think Scott's employment with Mattel is relevant in a discussion about Hasbro.... though I do think Scott still makes some guesses and assumptions and treats them as fact), Michael did not make a hypocritical statement in bringing up his former employer. His entire point is that he is in no position to assume how FedEX runs their business just because he worked for UPS..... just like (in Michael's opinion) Scott is in no position to assume how Hasbro runs their business just because he used to work for Mattel.

    As much as I may disagree with it, Michael's point was consistent in this regard.
    I've worked in a retail managerial position dealing with magazine distributors for a good amount of years as a side gig, and while some have similar business operations, other were completely different!

    You'd be surprised on how efficient some of them were and how other were all over the place... I guess it comes to finances and how their basic structures work from the day they've started. Also the type of publishers and the type of merchant accounts they've dealt with also reflects on the type of operations they conduct within their own circles including their investors!

    That's also why a few have survived and a lot have perished away, and the size of the company doesn't always count for longevity!

    Toy companies like any industry out there, they operate differently. Some have similar basic standard operations, however each company has its own structural DNA. And how they adapt to the market and the consumer demand vs their own basic DNA structure is a major key to their prospect. Also the type of people they adapt in their operations could make substantial differences in how they run. Also the passion for the product people have worked on was also a major drive to the restructuring operations of the company to deliver a quality product the market was ready for or not!

    That said, no body has a crystal ball to predict the future! Sometimes a quality product only appeals to a small niche market even if there was a major marketing campaign behind it, and sometimes a simple low cost product with a lesser driven marketing campaign pays the bills and makes up for the other losses the company has endured with the prior campaigns!
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  12. #187
    Heroic Warrior MGurlea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkkosis View Post
    "Just according to the LEGO group one of the biggest toy companies in the world which also isn't a public-traded company (no shareholders) and a company I know about also from the inside; 20% of their total sales were consumed by AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) by buying LEGO sets for themselves! And that "reserved" percentage is rather growing every year. You can google it if you want..."
    If I recall correctly, Neitlich did a video where he stated just what you did above here. Something like adult collectors account for about 20% and usually the first 20% of stuff that gets bought. That is why I also did not get what he said in this debate video. It was like he through out totally different numbers this time. That is why I would like to see a roundtable discussion with him and do a deeper dive into areas we collectors want to know more about. I think that would be better than a debate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong (it has been a couple days since I watched the debate and a lot was covered in it, so maybe I am mis-remembering something), but I thought Michael's entire purpose in bringing up his former employment with UPS was to point out that just because he used to work for them does not mean he can assume how competitors like FedEx are doing now.

    He only brought up his former employment as a counterpoint to Scott. Scott WAS using his former employment with Mattel as a basis to draw conclusions about how Hasbro is handling their business practices now. Michael disagreed with that, and said that just because he used to work for UPS does not mean he can assume how FedEX runs their business.

    So I don't get why so many people in this thread are acting like Michael was being hypocritical for bringing up his employment with UPS.

    Michael's core point was that one cannot use their former employment with a company in a particular industry to assume what a competitor in that industry is doing now. While I mostly disagree with that core point (I do think Scott's employment with Mattel is relevant in a discussion about Hasbro.... though I do think Scott still makes some guesses and assumptions and treats them as fact), Michael did not make a hypocritical statement in bringing up his former employer. His entire point is that he is in no position to assume how FedEX runs their business just because he worked for UPS..... just like (in Michael's opinion) Scott is in no position to assume how Hasbro runs their business just because he used to work for Mattel.

    As much as I may disagree with it, Michael's point was consistent in this regard.
    I would also have to watch it again but if I recall correctly French was trying to also say that Neitlich cannot say anything about any other company, PERIOD! Like unless he currently works at those companies. That I disagree with based on my own experience. Yes, other places may do things differently but there are still things that are going to be consistently done a certain way across industries just because that is how it is done. Also, there are industry standards and best practices. Or simply this is how they should be doing stuff even though they might not be. Neitlich should be able to say something about another company in his industry and/or make some good educated guesses. That is why Neitlich pointed out that a top Mattel consultant never even worked at Mattel but rather Hasbro. Saying that he is not allowed to say anything at all is not valid. I know nothing about the toy industry but if I had to guess I would bet Hasbro and Mattel do a lot of things similarly.

  13. #188
    Heroic Warrior herbie747's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickdoobs View Post
    that was hilarious. also, "Don't patronize me, Scott!"
    "Amazon started in a garage" was the biggest LOL for me. It came out of nowhere and wasn't even relevant to the conversation. Like someone shouting "my favourite colour is orange!" out of nowhere.

  14. #189
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    how that michael guy has any audience is amazing to me. he clearly knows ZERO about toys. im not the biggest fan of scott be he schooled michael really bad. michael actually made scotts point several times. and somehow his experience as just a toy collector is more fact than scotts experience as a toy brand manager? he literally knows nothing about business or marketing, which is why maybe he used to work at UPS instead of currently works at UPS. probably because he has no idea how a business should be ran.

    also love how everytime scott asked where he got his industry information he would just reply well from you scott and follow it up with a quote that wasnt even relevant to the current topic or actually just proved scotts point even more. and basing his whole argument that scott knows nothing but then saying all of his facts are based off of scotts info just shows how clueless he is or is at least dumb enough to think that type of strategy works in a debate. as toy collector you would think he would have even a 1% clue on how distribution, manufacturing, and marketing work and he was 100% wrong on every topic.

    for people who follow him, may god have mercy on your soul

  15. #190
    Evil Warrior jibernish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong (it has been a couple days since I watched the debate and a lot was covered in it, so maybe I am mis-remembering something), but I thought Michael's entire purpose in bringing up his former employment with UPS was to point out that just because he used to work for them does not mean he can assume how competitors like FedEx are doing now.

    He only brought up his former employment as a counterpoint to Scott. Scott WAS using his former employment with Mattel as a basis to draw conclusions about how Hasbro is handling their business practices now. Michael disagreed with that, and said that just because he used to work for UPS does not mean he can assume how FedEX runs their business.

    So I don't get why so many people in this thread are acting like Michael was being hypocritical for bringing up his employment with UPS.

    Michael's core point was that one cannot use their former employment with a company in a particular industry to assume what a competitor in that industry is doing now. While I mostly disagree with that core point (I do think Scott's employment with Mattel is relevant in a discussion about Hasbro.... though I do think Scott still makes some guesses and assumptions and treats them as fact), Michael did not make a hypocritical statement in bringing up his former employer. His entire point is that he is in no position to assume how FedEX runs their business just because he worked for UPS..... just like (in Michael's opinion) Scott is in no position to assume how Hasbro runs their business just because he used to work for Mattel.

    As much as I may disagree with it, Michael's point was consistent in this regard.
    Yes that is how I remember it going down as well. I thought about bringing it up but felt the point would be argued, and I just didn't want to argue about basic reading comprehension again on this forum.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkkosis View Post
    Just according to the LEGO group one of the biggest toy companies in the world which also isn't a public-traded company (no shareholders) and a company I know about also from the inside; 20% of their total sales were consumed by AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) by buying LEGO sets for themselves! And that "reserved" percentage is rather growing every year. You can google it if you want.
    Yes, I brought this up a page or so ago. Scott has always used that same 80/20 number himself, in his own videos. Then he got upset on the debate, wanted to win the debate rather than provide actual facts, and changed his stats to try and beat Michael.

    Thanks for bringing it up as no one replied to my comment where I asked if I had misremembered or misinterpreted the 80/20 vs. 99/1 numbers he's brought up.

    As far as facts go, and having had to work at a company to be able to trust your own opinion, I took two university level business statistic classes. My professor was well respected in his field and has published quite a few books on the subject. He told us on day one of our first class, if someone gives you a statistic and it doesn't gel with what you have observed in the real world, question it. So when Scott gave that 99/1 number on Sunday, I was pretty sure it was a statement of pretend-fact from him because: it doesn't gel with what I've seen, it doesn't make sense from a profit and loss perspective of why a company would even make these toys for us if we are nothing, and Scott himself has always said it was 80/20.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffman View Post
    It's a silly position to take regardless. Of course you can make some generalized high-level assumptions about how a major competitor operates. Certain things are 'industry standard', or just realities of business operations.

    That's like saying years of experience at one company wouldn't have any transferrable skills to a job at another. If he really worked closely with the CEO of UPS, he should absolutely have certain insights into how FedEx operates.
    I agree - Michael was arguing that point because he wanted to win the debate, to discredit Scott, not because it was a salient point to anyone besides him and Scott.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by MGurlea View Post
    If I recall correctly, Neitlich did a video where he stated just what you did above here. Something like adult collectors account for about 20% and usually the first 20% of stuff that gets bought. That is why I also did not get what he said in this debate video. It was like he through out totally different numbers this time. That is why I would like to see a roundtable discussion with him and do a deeper dive into areas we collectors want to know more about. I think that would be better than a debate.
    I agree with you. I'd like to see that roundtable where they discuss the situation in general (growing tension between toy manufacturers, retailers, and the customers), not specifically a debate about what each other has said.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by herbie747 View Post
    "Amazon started in a garage" was the biggest LOL for me. It came out of nowhere and wasn't even relevant to the conversation. Like someone shouting "my favourite colour is orange!" out of nowhere.
    It made sense to me. I think Michael was so upset that he didn't make the most coherent arguments at times, and so his points were easily lost. But this is what I gathered, and why it made sense to me:

    Michael argued that since toy manufacturers and big box retailers have been unable/unwilling to figure out a way to get adult collector toys on the shelves consistently, the adult collector toys should be sold online, by companies LIKE BBTS and EE.

    Scott wanted to win the debate, so he didn't answer Michael's real point. He tried to discredit Michael by attacking the point from a different angle. Scott said that BBTS and EE (he worked at EE) make most of their sales from selling to small toy retailers. Scott didn't address Michael's real point - that some other company, any other company, could provide that service. To Michael's fault, he didn't press the issue he originally brought up. Michael wanted to win the debate by discrediting Scott, so he didn't say what he should have to press his original point: "Scott are you saying no other company would be able to perform that service? Maybe BBTS and EE don't want to, but there is money to be had and some other company could?" Instead Michael and Scott argued about BBTS and EE and Scott said EE can make their money however they want... blah blah blah.

    Scott basically said (I can't remember the words) that it's impossible for any other company to sell these adult toys instead of big box retailers. Michael disagreed and made the Amazon comment. Because Michael is actually right. Some other company could do it. Maybe not BBTS or EE, but if there is money to be made, someone will take that money. 100%. I don't have any research papers to prove it or scientific proof, but Scott is 100% wrong on that. I think if the two of them were actually having a civil conversation about the general topic at hand, Scott would probably concede that point. Amazon is selling groceries now - of course they could take on the burden of selling adult collector toys. And I'm sure Bezos would be happy to take that money from Walmart and Target for himself.

    But Michael and Scott, especially Scott, were unwilling to concede any point the other person made. Which discredits them both in my eyes. Michael actually did concede a few things about Spector, but in general, they both just wanted to be right. And it's not really a conversation if neither side will concede any points the other makes, because neither side is 100% right. So they both have an agenda at hand other than trying to get to the truth of the situation. So again, I would be interested in seeing a roundtable discussion rather than what we got.

    Don't take that as a criticism against Jay and John at Geek Dad Life. I love that show and they are great guys. I think you'd need a professional debate moderator to have kept those guys in line on Sunday. I appreciate that Jay and John tried at all.
    Last edited by jibernish; September 29, 2021 at 09:48am.

  16. #191
    Heroic Warrior Durendal's Avatar
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    I'm a bit stunned that so many of you are sitting here and analyzing this crap.

  17. #192
    Evil Warrior jibernish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Durendal View Post
    I'm a bit stunned that so many of you are sitting here and analyzing this crap.
    We find it interesting. You don't. It's that simple. I'm sure there are things you like that I'd have no interest in. What's the point of your comment anyways? You're on a discussion forum saying you are stunned that people are discussing something.

  18. #193
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    There is a massive opportunity for smaller retailers to fill a void, the problem is that the toy companies don't want to invest in the infrastructure to deal with them directly. So it pretty much all does flow through a handful of distributors, like Diamond or EE. (Pretty sure BBTS stopped wholesaling years ago)

    The problem with this structure is that the distribution just isn't consistent. It is very difficult for smaller retailers to get product on a consistent and timely basis. The other issu is the added cost of another level of fulfillment. Small retailers still have to hit a similar price point as the big box stores, even if those stores don't have any stock to sell. Customers aren't willing to pay more for a product thst is available when they see the potential availability at a lower price.

    This makes it very difficult to remain profitable, and thst is why you don't see more small retailers flourish, or even survive.

  19. #194
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong (it has been a couple days since I watched the debate and a lot was covered in it, so maybe I am mis-remembering something), but I thought Michael's entire purpose in bringing up his former employment with UPS was to point out that just because he used to work for them does not mean he can assume how competitors like FedEx are doing now.

    He only brought up his former employment as a counterpoint to Scott. Scott WAS using his former employment with Mattel as a basis to draw conclusions about how Hasbro is handling their business practices now. Michael disagreed with that, and said that just because he used to work for UPS does not mean he can assume how FedEX runs their business.

    So I don't get why so many people in this thread are acting like Michael was being hypocritical for bringing up his employment with UPS.

    Michael's core point was that one cannot use their former employment with a company in a particular industry to assume what a competitor in that industry is doing now. While I mostly disagree with that core point (I do think Scott's employment with Mattel is relevant in a discussion about Hasbro.... though I do think Scott still makes some guesses and assumptions and treats them as fact), Michael did not make a hypocritical statement in bringing up his former employer. His entire point is that he is in no position to assume how FedEX runs their business just because he worked for UPS..... just like (in Michael's opinion) Scott is in no position to assume how Hasbro runs their business just because he used to work for Mattel.

    As much as I may disagree with it, Michael's point was consistent in this regard.
    You're remembering correctly, but IMHO no matter how you slice it Michael bringing up his time at UPS actually helped make Scott's argument. Again, IMHO. Any rational person with no serious axe to grind against either person wouldn't throw out their expertly informed opinions because they no longer work for UPS or Mattel. If you worked there as the right-hand to the CEO or managed a brand for years, you automatically know more than someone who says they are a lifelong user of UPS when shipping their packages, or are a lifelong collector of Mattel's toys. Get out of here with that argument as any position of authority or even an informed opinion. If that's considered a viable credential then I think Michael and I could both be expert level in discussing the inner workings of every major big box and every major toy company simply because we shop at Walmart & Target and both buy toys. And he better be ready to hand me that "expert toy collector" baton when the time comes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffman View Post
    There is a massive opportunity for smaller retailers to fill a void, the problem is that the toy companies don't want to invest in the infrastructure to deal with them directly. So it pretty much all does flow through a handful of distributors, like Diamond or EE. (Pretty sure BBTS stopped wholesaling years ago)

    The problem with this structure is that the distribution just isn't consistent. It is very difficult for smaller retailers to get product on a consistent and timely basis. The other issu is the added cost of another level of fulfillment. Small retailers still have to hit a similar price point as the big box stores, even if those stores don't have any stock to sell. Customers aren't willing to pay more for a product thst is available when they see the potential availability at a lower price.

    This makes it very difficult to remain profitable, and thst is why you don't see more small retailers flourish, or even survive.
    The infrastructure is there to scale up, but the demand is not. BBTS, EE and businesses like them cater directly to adult toy collectors and the shops that support them, but the customer base simply isn't there to need to scale up. Not to mention there is a plethora of choices when it comes to where you shop for your adult collectibles, unlike the big box monopoly of Walmart and Target. Those businesses sell waaaaaay more than toys and therefore any scaling up/down of their business model would likely include toys as merely a line item, whereas EE, BBTS, etc., only sell toys. If they branched into groceries and household goods then you're talking a major scale up. It's the same reason Amazon went from selling books to pretty much everything. They scaled up because they had growth built into their DNA. Toy selling businesses aren't setup that way and because the market is flattened and spread out the chance that an Amazon-like business in the vein of TRU could grow out of that market is IMHO slim. Sure you could start up your own Dorksidetoys and start to swim with the big fishes and likely do quite well within that space, but the chances of you becoming a monopoly like TRU is-- at least in the current economy and business landscape-- unlikely. So Michael using that Amazon model was simply myopic and misinformed, although "expert" from a toy collector only viewpoint one might say.
    Last edited by Stygian360; September 29, 2021 at 11:47am.
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  20. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong (it has been a couple days since I watched the debate and a lot was covered in it, so maybe I am mis-remembering something), but I thought Michael's entire purpose in bringing up his former employment with UPS was to point out that just because he used to work for them does not mean he can assume how competitors like FedEx are doing now.

    He only brought up his former employment as a counterpoint to Scott. Scott WAS using his former employment with Mattel as a basis to draw conclusions about how Hasbro is handling their business practices now. Michael disagreed with that, and said that just because he used to work for UPS does not mean he can assume how FedEX runs their business.

    So I don't get why so many people in this thread are acting like Michael was being hypocritical for bringing up his employment with UPS.

    Michael's core point was that one cannot use their former employment with a company in a particular industry to assume what a competitor in that industry is doing now. While I mostly disagree with that core point (I do think Scott's employment with Mattel is relevant in a discussion about Hasbro.... though I do think Scott still makes some guesses and assumptions and treats them as fact), Michael did not make a hypocritical statement in bringing up his former employer. His entire point is that he is in no position to assume how FedEX runs their business just because he worked for UPS..... just like (in Michael's opinion) Scott is in no position to assume how Hasbro runs their business just because he used to work for Mattel.

    As much as I may disagree with it, Michael's point was consistent in this regard.
    Correct. I swear we must have watched a different video than some of the folks commenting here...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by MGurlea View Post

    I would also have to watch it again but if I recall correctly French was trying to also say that Neitlich cannot say anything about any other company, PERIOD! Like unless he currently works at those companies. That I disagree with based on my own experience. Yes, other places may do things differently but there are still things that are going to be consistently done a certain way across industries just because that is how it is done. Also, there are industry standards and best practices. Or simply this is how they should be doing stuff even though they might not be. Neitlich should be able to say something about another company in his industry and/or make some good educated guesses. That is why Neitlich pointed out that a top Mattel consultant never even worked at Mattel but rather Hasbro. Saying that he is not allowed to say anything at all is not valid. I know nothing about the toy industry but if I had to guess I would bet Hasbro and Mattel do a lot of things similarly.
    Yeah. I was rooting for Scott to tell Michael that he was selling himself short on that one (would have been a nice gesture in a heated environment). However, I bet comparing UPS to Fed Ex is more difficult than what it may appear to be on the surface.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffman View Post
    It's not just about counting beans though, I don't think you need to be quite that cynical.

    It's a simple matter of if you want a project to continue, you need to create something that a substantial number of people want. So of course the story is there to drive thr toys. That's the only reason the MOTU story was EVER there. They didn't make the minixomics or the cartoon for fun. They made them to drive toy sales, and in doing so, did it in a way that appealed to a large portion of people.

    The only difference between those and Scott's bios is that you like one and you don't like the other. The original teams didn't have any more soul or passion for it than Scott did. They were doing a job.
    To clarify, I think bean counters are awesome. Wish I had one for my personal finances! That was not a slight, but...

    It does bolster my opinion about “everything being soulless”. I wasn’t JUST referring to the Classics storyline. Heck, that probably does have soul in it. What I was referring to was the corporate view of these toys is soulless: their view is a logical “on/off”, binary approach which sometimes, SOMETIMES, may be influenced by consumer preference (and consumer advocates which I think Scott probably was to some extent). However, the only real influence we have is our collective £££, €€€, •••, $$$.

  21. #196
    ‹ber Fan Adam_Prince of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stygian360 View Post
    So Michael using that Amazon model was simply myopic and misinformed, although "expert" from a toy collector only viewpoint one might say.
    It also inadvertently proves Neitlich's point that if it was profitable, an entity would have already identified the opportunity, and filled that void. It currently does not exist, because no one has found a way to make money doing it.

  22. #197
    Evil Titan of Industry melmoth666's Avatar
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    Whelp. I watched the "debate".

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  23. #198
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    It also inadvertently proves Neitlich's point that if it was profitable, an entity would have already identified the opportunity, and filled that void. It currently does not exist, because no one has found a way to make money doing it.
    Excellent point. And Scott countering Michael's point about the scaling issue shows that he's got the more expert opinion. It seems logical that some Amazon like entity would arise from amongst the toy sellers, but again per the point I made earlier and you echo, Adam, there really isn't the collector base to support that and the type of deliverable is limited to just toys. Even though "just toys" represents a lot it doesn't represent anything on the scale of what Amazon or big box offer. Like it or not big box has the strangle hold because they are such big players and dominate the retail landscape. TRU and stores like it are gone... stores dedicated to toys. Dedicating a store to just adult collector items (typically only a few aisles in a TRU) even further limits your growth opportunities. It's like a gold fish in a fish bowl versus a lake. The fish will grow to match the vastness of its landscape. Adult collectibles (and therefore we adult collectors) is in the grand scheme really just that drop in the bucket that Scott referenced.
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  24. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffman View Post
    The only difference between those and Scott's bios is that you like one and you don't like the other. The original teams didn't have any more soul or passion for it than Scott did. They were doing a job.
    Honestly, I think Scott's bios had more soul and passion than anything that came before for sure. There was a LOT of research, and a drive to combine every continuity into one cohesive narrative. Admittedly "I" didn't like some of it... okay, a lot of it... and I would have preferred a more 'tech spec' concept detailing each character and their powers rather than pushing the narrative... but whatever you want to say, that doesn't happen without 'passion'. It would have been a LOT easier to only pick one continuity or just make up your own... but there was a lot of work put into that.

    As for the original teams... My all time favorite quote from 'The Toys that Made Us' was regarding Battle Cat.

    Boss man #1: Use the tiger from Big Jim.

    Dude #2: Have you seen it? It's too big. It's as big as a horse

    Bossman #1: Then put a #&@#^@^ Saddle on it then!!


    Yeah, not a lot of 'soul' back then. Especially when I read the interview from teh author of the first 4 mini-comics... Bitter dude who couldn't understand why anyone would care about this crap 30 years later. He wrote it, forgot it, and moved on to something else immediately after. As a fan from the first releases... pre-filmation was always my favorite minicomics... and that was very depressing to read.





    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffman View Post
    I think Scott sometimes speaks in hyperbole, which ends up hurting him.

    Adult collectors are certainly not nothing, but they are definitely significantly LESS important than kids/parents.

    Also worth noting that he worked for Mattel, which seems to have much less of a adult collector focus than other companies.
    I think the problem is that Adult Collector's are not 'nothing'... and whether it's between 1% and 20% but they absolutely are a whole lot less than they they think they are.

    Even on these forums there is a lot of entitlement and screaming that kids don't buy toys, Adults have the money, so cater to them!!

    Hyperbole or not, Sometimes they need to have it pointed out just how small their influence really is.

  25. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffman View Post
    The original teams didn't have any more soul or passion for it than Scott did. They were doing a job.
    We sadly find this out about a lot of the things we loved. Maybe not so much these days as IP building has gotten more cohesive (IMO), but back in the 80s and before, many things were just churned out. We most likely loved them because we were kids and easily adopted the ideas, no matter what they were, in order to make them our own. So many of us identify with so much of it out of nostalgia.

    Before ever going to comic conventions, I remember being told "Never meet your heroes." In a way, that's proven a bit true when it comes to stuff like this. Finding out so many creators (not all, but many) just did things for a paycheck and have no actual attachment to the things I love can be a kick in the pants. But, that's just how it is. It was my choice to mistakenly assume they loved these creations as much as I do.
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