Masters of the Universe Classics – Subscription concerns and my thoughts
Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 by Pixel Dan
By now I think it’s no secret that there has been a lot of discussion on the future of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics line, which all started because of a post by Scott “ToyGuru” Neitlich stating that subscription sales were down, and therefore MOTUC may potentially be “on the chopping block.” This thread on He-Man.org sums up everything said by ToyGuru relating to this issue nicely in the first post.
Many of you have been contacting me via e-mail, PM, Twitter, Facebook, etc asking for my opinion on this situation, and/or asking me to relay messages to Scott. I feel I must apologize that I have stayed pretty quiet on this whole thing so far. I didn’t want to jump the gun. I wanted to get as much information as possible on this whole thing before I made any sort of comments. After talking with Toyguru on a recoding of the Roast Gooble Dinner podcast for a few hours this past weekend, I finally broke my silence and started posting updates and thoughts.
I was live-tweeting during the podcast recording, as I felt Scott was giving us a lot of very important information that fans needed to know. If you don’t follow me on Twitter or you missed it, here is a summary:
Talking with ToyGuru for RGD right now. Good info: 2014 will NOT have a price increase. So 2013 increase will hold for a few years.
ToyGuru has 2013 mapped out. Legal wont let him announce all of the figures. He would if he could.
2014 promises to complete the vintage MOTU figures and core PoP and NA. Its already figured out. Does NOT mean 2014 is def the end though.
It all depends on how sales are.
2013 subscription sales are about 60 – 70 percent less than last year st this time. That’s the reason for his posts.
However, ToyGuru is sure that they will hit the minimum, and 2013 will be fine. But subscribers are needed. So that’s the best way to help.
ToyGuru: “Best way to say it, if you invest for 2 more years, you’ll have pretty much everyone.” He three out names like Scorpia.
After 2014 they can go down to 6 figures a year to get out the more obscure or fan demanded figures.
ToyGuru: “When Classics does finish, MOTU as a brand won’t go away. It will continue, possibly with new toy lines.”
Mattel realizes MOTU is an important brand. It’ll be like Transformers, Star Wars, etc…ToyGuru promises MOTU wont go away.
This episode is set to go live on He-Man.org by the end of this week. I’ll let you all know when it’s up. It’s a must listen episode for fans of this toyline, as Scott goes into a lot of great detail on why things are the way they are, and what we can do to help.
Scott seemed pretty sure that the 2013 subscription will be fine, despite the current low sales. So that is certainly refreshing. I tend to share his sentiment. I feel that we’ll be OK for 2013, and probably 2014. But, I will say this: if you have an interest in this line, and you want many or most of these figures, do not hesitate to subscribe. The subscription numbers are the “guaranteed” sales Mattel needs to see in order to keep producing this line. I know there are many fans who do not like that method, but at this point I think we just have to live with the fact that that’s how this line works. It’s not going to change. MOTU Classics is a small line, and it’s subscription based. If we want to see it keep going, people have to subscribe.
Now, please don’t think I’m here to bully you into buying a subscription. That’s not my intent whatsoever. I understand it’s too expensive for some people. I know that a lot of folks don’t want everything. I also understand that some don’t like the idea of buying blindly without knowing what’s coming. I don’t fault anyone who does not want to subscribe. But if you can afford it, want these figures, and want the line to continue, then you should definitely subscribe.
MOTU Classics has always been known as a line that encompasses everything, with a mixture of vintage figures, Princess of Power, New Adventures, Concept, Mini Comics, 200x, Filmation, etc. I have always loved that diversity. I understand that there are a lot of people out there who don’t really care for the unknown characters, though. I really feel that the folks like myself who want everything are now in the minority. And I feel our group is continuously shrinking.
With that being said, I agree with Mattel’s decision to rework the 2014 line to only include vintage figures. This way, at the end of 2014, per Scott, we will have received EVERY vintage MOTU character and MOST of the core PoP and NA characters. I think that is really the best we can hope for at this point, and I think that is a smart move on Mattel’s part. That way, if the line cannot survive past 2014, at least we can feel pretty good about the collection we were given. And if the line can still go forward in some fashion after 2014, well that’s just icing on the cake!
I have faith that we will at the very least get through 2014. I have a good feeling about that. And if we make it through 2014, and Classics comes to an end, I will still be very happy that we received 6 years worth of amazing action figures.
Keep the hope alive! Good Journey, my friends!
Well said Dan….I really hope this line continues for many more years. I want the whole universe before the end….sigh.
Well said, Dan.
TBH, Mattel really only has themselves to blame for a reluctance by people to pick up the 2013 sub.
Yes Mattel has been forced to raise shipping and production costs and the rises in production costs are completely out of their control. To cover themselves, they've also instigated a policy where items will only be covered under tracked shipping. All of these things are fair enough.
HOWEVER, the same is false regarding shipping. Some international fans have done the math on this and while the cost of getting a single figure shipped via DHL is $30; the cost of getting 6 figures shipped is only $58. Furthermore that's the threshold point where DHL actually becomes cheaper than International Post.
If Mattel instituted Quarterly bulk shipping drops where there were 5 or 6 figures or the equivalent thereof; the shipping issues would go right then and there. Yet despite the money spent on some top notch distribution centre in Sweden dedicated to all international customers and despite their software already being able to combine sub-based orders; the whole thing has been thrown in the two hard basket.
Honestly, considering how hollow Scott's claims of "we're all in this together" are (if he was serious about that, he and Matty would be using these 5+ months to MAKE bulk shipping possible); it honestly reminds me of that famous line attributed to Marie Antoinette when the people of France were starving and needing bread of "well let them eat cake."
Scott needs to wake up and realise that actions speak louder than words.
But do you really think that international shipping is a major factor here? Honestly, I don't. I think the bigger factors that resulted in less subscriptions sales are A) Increased prices on figures and B) Online retailers buying less subscriptions because they are still sitting on 'less desired' product. The second reason is why I feel that those of us who want "everything" are now in the minority.
I'm not going to pretend to understand how International Shipping works for a company such as Mattel, but I do feel that it's not quite as easy as you may think it is. The MattyCollector stuff is the only stuff Mattel even offers international shipping on. So at least it's even an option. I know there are problems, so I'm not questioning that at all. But we have also had a few international fans write or call in to RGD and tell us that they are very satisfied with their service (most seemed to be in Germany.)
I feel like their US shipping is too expensive, also. I can ship a MOTUC figure via USPS for only $5 and it'll only take 2-3 business days to get to it's destination. Matty charges me $10 in shipping, and it takes almost two weeks. So believe me, I'm not saying you are wrong. I'm just trying to see both sides of the picture. And I honestly don't feel that international shipping is the factor that's causing the lower sales. I may be wrong, but that's a personal opinion. 🙂
Its always so weird to me Dan, I live near Peoria (really close to you) and my Matty stuff always gets here in a week using USPS.
yeah – i mean, in truth i have never had a problem with shipping (apart from the fact it takes like a month to get here! 🙂 ) … at the end of the day, if i want a figure THAT badly, i'm gonna pay the shipping – and when it comes to MOTUC i want all the vintage figures so i'm gonna buy them shipping n'all …
my only issue here is that i don't want to pay high overseas shipping for something that i don't actually want and will have a hard time selling on the secondary market …
Dan, I can tell you it's what's stopping ALOT of us internationally from subscribing. Here's the thing. International post up until now has cost $10 with figures being replaced if lost in transit – meaning figures individually costing roughly $30 a figure.
Now lost figures will only be covered by tracked shipping, pushing the cost to roughly $65 a figure. That's ignoring parts of Europe where taxes and duties push that amount to $70+ a figure.
Secondly in terms of logistics, I just can't buy it being impossible for the following reasons. First up, they recently forked out several million on an international distribution centre in Sweden, meaning they're geared up for a heap of warehouse space – including keeping figures in reserve for possible replacement requirements. On top of that, every single mailer box is barcoded, meaning the entire stock inventory is computerised.
Furthermore, subscriptions have been combined this year, meaning that it is possible to combine invoicing across multiple subs. Therefore if it's possible to combine invoicing across subs, then there's no reason why the same software subroutines couldn't be reworked to allow for combining invoices internal to subs.
In short short of DR's software development team getting off their butts and upgrading the software they use internally; there's no reason why bulk shipping couldn't be implemented in the 5+ months we have left until the 2013 subs go out.
i'm still willing to bet it's not as simple as you may think. We always think we have the solution, but we don't really know what all Mattel needs to do.
I don't know. You may be right. But I just don't know if this is what's causing the biggst decline. And really, we'll probably never know for sure.
I'm not doubting it'll be more complicated – my fiancee works as a software engineer and things always do get more complicated than they intially sound.
HOWEVER we're talking a 6 month cycle for a software release which is in software engineering terms is a pretty large development cycle (the Australian govt for example runs 3 monthly cycles, often with changes even more radical than what's proposed here). The only reason it couldn't be done in that time frame would be the quality of software engineers employed by DR.
Also you have got to think of the amount of storage space needed to hold your 5-6 months worth of figures. I know there aren't a lot of international buyers, but even then, Mattel isn't in the storage business and has to get product out. Shipping is and I think sadly will always be a problem mostly because of the still rising cost of fuel. I work at a place that deals with shipping via UPS and it's insanely expensive. I always try to get people to go though the post office due to costs (don't tell my managers lol). Dan you're right about the costs and time. I don't understand what the heck that company that Mattel uses (the name escapes me right now) is doing???? It doesn't take me 2 weeks, but for living 45 minutes away from the Ontario California distribution center it sure a heck does take a really long time to get my stuff (about 4-5 days). All that aside, I'm still a massively huge MOTUC fan and even though it really hurt me to cough up the money for next years sub I still got 2. This figures are just so darn cool that I will do my best to find a way to pay for them in the end because I love them that much.
Except that Mattel supposedly spent MILLIONS on a distribution centre in Sweeden geared to handling all international distribution. Considering that amount and the claims of this being a collector's scale line (meaning runs in the thousands presumably); I fail to see how the space wouldn't be there- even for quarterly shipping if bi-annual shipping was unfeasible – especially since international customers supposedly make up such a small percentage of the market for this line as we seem to be constantly be told..
Where is the info on them spending millions for a facility? I'm not dounting you, this is just the first I've heard of that. And are you certain they acquired this facility for their MattyCollector lines?
I forget where I read it exactly (might have been on the matty forums), but I remember it coming out at the beginning of the year right in the middle of the Feb shipping debarcle.
great post dan – thanks 🙂
i agree – i think we are good for 2013/2014 … i know that's not a given but i think that mattel will hit their target, thanks to some awesome fans out there … trouble is for me – as you know – i'm a vintage guy … and i just can't justify subscribing for over $500 worth of toys (before international shipping) – half of which i will have no interest in or no use for …
it does pain me to say that, because i know guys like scott and yourself are driving this line in the right direction – i don't care what people say about scott, he is a fan first and his passion for MOTU is amazing, he is a great guy … i'm just really sorry that i can't help the subscription situation that might guarantee some more fans some awesome toys that they actually want …
i truly hope that all MOTUC fans – be it MOTU, POP, NA etc. get everything they want in the end – and i'm sorry i can't help the push for subscriptions! …
good luck to everyone
hey danny – just to follow on, i know this might sound pointless – but if there's a way i can help support MOTUC without subbing-up, then i'm all ears … if you talk to scott soon and he has any ideas i'd be willing to help in whatever way i can …
Cool man. But at this point, it looks like it's "sub or nothing." But if any other option comes up, I'll post it!
I stopped my sub after the second year is was available. I only want the original 80's characters from MOTU and POP, so I had to constantly sell all my other characters (of which there are far too many, in my opinion) on e-bay, usually for a loss. I just found it cheaper to buy the figures I wanted either from Matty or from the secondary market.
I think that Mattel's plan to add these other characters to the line to excite a handful of fans and drag out the amount of time it would take to get to all the characters most of the fans want might have seemed like a solid one in the beginning (given the popularity of the line), but I think it's come back to bite them in the butt.
People started to realize that half their committed money (which can be hundreds of dollars a year) was going to figures that they otherwise wouldn't buy or want. Are Optikk, Chief Carnivus and Slush-Head cool? Yes! Very cool looking figures! But would I want to commit to dropping almost $100 on them– no. Not at all. I can live without them. Just give me Ram-Man and Mantenna and all the other characters I loved as a kid!
I know that they're trying to ADD to the line with new characters and ideas– and if we could chose what to buy via a better method– then that might be a great idea. But asking the collectors as a whole to commit to THEIR plan? People will eventually get tired of losing money and having to re-sell stuff at a loss all to commit to 6-10 characters a year that they DO want.
I hope we do make it through 2014. I'd love to have ALL the classic MOTU characters in my hands, as these are probably the best made modern action figures out there and everyone involved does an AMAZING job! Even at $25 a pop, I still think that they're worth it.
Anyway, that's my two cents.
Everything you said is exactly what I'm starting to really see with a lot of colelctors on this line. There is a large group of us on He-man.org that want everything we can get, no matter how obscure the cahracter is. But everything you said about liking those figures, but not wanting to neccesarily spend the money on them, I think that's how the majority of collectors now feel. So in a way, I do think you're right. The idea to incorporate the diversity was a great idea in the beginning, but eventually it just became too much.
I'll be very happy if we get through 2014. I think that will end us with a pretty fantastic collection of figures. 🙂
I almost wish Scott would remove a bit of uncertainty and just come out and tell everyone that while it would have been nice, THERE WILL BE NO CASTLE GRAYSKULL IN CLASSICS! I keep seeing this brought up verbatim since this news hit and perhaps addressing it head on would cause some of the tension to go away.
I think it was always a longshot to get Grayskull. But I agree. He might as well just say "It's not happening." But, idunno, maybe he's still holding out hope and doesn't want to give a direct answer "just in case."
they should sell them at retail and not force everyone to pay for ones they don't want in an subscription, like japan does with figma and s.h.figuarts.
I just don't think this line is a retail line. It won't work. The big box retailers will be demanding case rations that consist of 5 He-Man, 3 Skeletor, and 1 Ram Man and people would be just as upset. They'd be cheaper, but impossible to find. And we'd probably have another 200x on our hands.
how come takara (japan) release equal amounts of transformers in their stores but hasbro have to ration it into precentages then have individual cases for one character?
Comparing toy companies in America to Japan is seriously like night and day. Its such a different beast.
bu they do has/tak sell the same transformers more or less? except america sell repaints up the waazhoo
Big problem with international Shipping is customs charges. For us guys in the UK its $25 for the figure and $30 to ship. Then its $11 VAT and another $13ish for charges. Basically if we get hit for the lot its $80 for an individual figure. I love MOTU as much as the next guy, but im going to feel that in the morning.
That's not Mattel's fault though, is it? We in the US have to pay incredibly high prices when importing figures as well. It sucks that one Figma figure costs us $75 plus shipping when all said and done.
It is when they wont use the next 5+ months to make bulk shipping possible.
No its not, Yes they could do more to ease the worldwide distribution, but I am realistic enough to know that won`t happen. Honest answer is the line has been hit by too many blows at once. The community is rallying, but I don`t know many people at this point that can justify at least $80 a month, Europe is in a bad way and as much as people love MOTU real life will get in the way.
I have been talking to a few of the other retailers about pulling together and trying to get bulk orders. The problem is Matty has been unresponsive and nobody wants the stock dropped on them like has been the case in previous years. Actually Dan if you have any good point of contact their can you DM me on Twitter please and I will see if I can get a response.
It IS Mattel's fault. They could offer payment of EU sales tax when you check out on the website. They already have to do this for certain US states, so the system is already in place. Amazon and dozens of other companies offer this. Sure you have to pay the sales tax still, but there is no 'processing fee' from the postage company to manually calculate it for each package when it crosses in to the EU. This processing fee is always greater than the actual sales tax for me – the actual sales tax is less than 1/3 of the money I pay to the postage company.
If I want a Figma Figure or a Tformer from Takara Tomy I have to pay double with Shipping. It' makes me think twice but If I really want it I shell out the money. Hell if I want figure stands I have to pay double most times.
Then you're not buying them from the right places. There are plenty of options there such as Hobby Link Japan which make importing QUITE affordable.
Oh and I might add that HLJ DOES offer a "pile of loot" function 😉
I order from HLJ on occasion. I don't see any affordable options from them that are any better from ordering from Japan directly. As a matter of Fact when I ordered directly from Japan for the same price I pay On HLJ I get a trackign # that HLJ doesn't give me.
Depends on whether you use EMS and whether you use their pile of loot function. That can save you a fair bit in shipping – doing it with the Masterpieces coming from them at the end of the year.
I'm subscribing. I don't mind the secondary characters. It makes we look them up and find what was cool or not cool about them in the past. This line is about nostalgia for me and the characters I've never even heard of just add more to that.
How much did Thay pay you to say all that???
$0.00. This is my personal feelings. And i'd like to knwo what in there I said came across as someone "paying me" to say it. I was very upfront about saying I understood why people can't and won't subscribe. As I said, I'm not bullying anyone. I am merely giving some facts that I know, and my own personal opinion on the whole matter. Personal is the key word.
I know that to some people, no matter what I say I'm going to be looked at as a "Mattel shill." Fine. That's your opinion. Everything I posted above is my opinion.
I don't think you are a "Mattel Shill" but I do think you are bias. I don't know how you bully someone online to buy something, but you are obviously trying to make a case to convince people to subscribe. I don't fault you because you are obviously a fan of MOTU and you probably get most of your site traffic from MOTU fans, but at the same time I think its pretty reasonable to see why people might think your interests are aligned with Mattel's.
I'll always freely admit to being bias towards MOTU. It's my favorite property. Anyone would be bias towards their favorite thing.
Everyone connected in any way to MOTUC is going to be biased one way or another. If someone wants a totally objective opinion you'd have to get someone that's never heard of mattel. Fat chance.
I appreciate PD's attempt to rally a bit of support for a toy line he loves; he's not rallying support for mattel etc.
I also appreciate the fact that he realises that not everyone can sub even though they might want to. I did sub, but it'd break my heart if I didn't have enough money to sub.
There is no way this line is going to continue into 2014. My guess Mattel has already planned out 2013 and has figures for 2013 already in the pipeline, therefore they aren't going to pull the plug now. All these posts from Scott about the line possibly ending now is to scare people into signing up so they can get the most subscriptions possible. The simple truth is most people only want the remaining core MOTU characters and not interested in all the other ones. The prices are now going up, prices that were already extremely high to begin with, and so people are deciding more and more that its not worth it. Mattel has done nothing to bring new people into this hobby and now the ones they have been milking for the last couple years are dropping off. This line like most of Mattel's "collector" lines is on it's final legs and the diehards might as well face that. If that wasn't the case we wouldn't be having these discussions. It's Mattel's and Scott's fault cause they did nothing to bring new blood to these things and now that strategy is going to bite them in the butt.
I don't neccesarily agree that Mattel is using scare tactics, but I can see why people think that. I agree with you that 2013 will definitely happen. But I'll continue to hold out hope that 2014 will also. 🙂
personally i'm not subscribing, i never have and dont see a point now. i know i had to limit my purchases with this line at the start and have done so, its simply i just can not afford or have space for all the figures. i truly wish i had and would be subbing if these problem did not exist, but as an old saying in N.ireland goes is my granny had balls she'd be my granda
whats really annoyed me with this whole SAVEN TEH LINE campaign is the underlying message from a large group of supporters that unless you subscribe you have no place in saying you are a "true fan" of the product. this hasn't made no subs ok ohh sorry here take my money. all its done is get people back up and cause fights, yet its the people who dont buy the sub or criticise elements are the villains. look i'm not saying there are not haters out there looking for a fight but people who speak intellectually and actually put forth well thought out opinions are just labelled as nuisances or the colourful hate-ors
hell people have resorted to insulting peoples income saying if you can't afford it get a better job or even that no sub no org membership. it seems unless you worship at the shrine of matty and the guru you have no place and are not wanted in this fandom
this line is great and i love the property as a whole not just the toys, and will be extremely sad when the time comes that it does end, but there has to be a balance in the fan community but the recent changes(prices, product sold out before general release, pressure selling and over doing really obscure characters) along with extreme opinions from both sides seems to has hastened the end and really tore one of the few united fan communitys apart
I agree that attacks are downright unneccesary. I don't really understand that mentality whatsoever. We are ALL fans, and should be treated with respct.
I'll help push the subscriptions, but as I stated above I will NOT bully anyone into buying one. If you have reasons for not, then that's not my concern. I cannot and will not hold that against anyone.
and i never expected you would dan, sadly it seems your mentality is becoming the minority in the masters fandom
I'm actually excited about the new characters, bios and story lines. While I haven't purchased a MOTUC sub, my habit of buying only core characters has expanded to the point where I buy nearly all of the day of offerings (and have backtracked to pick up items I missed). In fact, I am buying a sub this year because of how my affinity for the line has evolved and how amazing the reveals at SDCC were. There's no denying the sculpts are fantastic and I am enjoying how Mattel is intertwinning the stories into the universe. With that, there are always going to be some duds and I wonder how much sub sales are directly related to the sub exclusive being the underwhelming King He-Man, as opposed to the Filmation King Randor? I'd be curious to know if that would have made a difference in sub commitments.
One thing I do want to mention is the energy surrounding MOTUC at SDCC was infectious and unmatched by any other brand, license or toy company (collectible/ action figure related). The booth was always bustling, there was a positive buzz surrounding the figures on display and this went on every day, without cessation. In comparison, the Hasbro booth was relatively quiet with handfuls of people shuffling through from time to time. The Hasbro Star Wars panel was stoic and subdued, while the Mattypalooza panel was rowdy and lively. Mattel obviously has the right energy, but don't seem to be capitalizing on it… that or the interest in toy collecting as a whole is waning and there really isn't much anyone can do about it–gadgets, phones & electronics are becoming the new "toys."
You are 100% right about SDCC. Mattel and MOTUC had the most positive energy I have ever felt at SDCC. It was amazing to witness in person. They outshone every other company, imo. Witnessing other toy panels in comparison to Mattypalooza was like night and day.
That's why a lot of this came to such a surprise to me. I left SDCC feeling really great about the longevity of this line. It's bizarre seeing this "call to arms" now. I didn't think this would be coming for another 2 years, at least.
But, that's how this business goes, I guess. It's always unpredictable.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who left SDCC with that impression of Mattel and MOTUC; that's what makes the whole "call to arms" perplexing. People were so happy and excited about the line and the vibe was so positive that this is a complete shock to me. Even comparing the attitudes from last year's Mattypalooza to this years is night and day. I too thought this meant that MOTUC received a two year, at minimum, longevity injection.
I can understand if the line was in regression and the figures weren't improving, but everything looks fantastic and the sculpts keep getting better every year. Why would anyone be content with this line ending knowing it's only getting better and Mattel is delivering on the characters everyone wants?
The only figures I've disliked so far are Sir Laser Lot and I’m kind of on the fence with Netossa. I've loved this line from DAY ONE! I've got 2 of every figure except Battle Cat and zero of the first King Grayskull. I'm saddened by the fact that things like QC and bad customer service and I guess price hikes are the things that are killing the line. It's really hard to blame anyone or point the fingers because honestly we don't know what goes on behind closed doors. Maybe Scoot really really really tried to get things changed for the better, maybe Mattel figured these guys will buy it no matter what so let’s go cheap on CS… We don't really know. The truth of the matter is we have a line that is amazing. We as fans love all or most of the figures. They cost a lot to make and in the end it's a business. They have their rules on how we have to buy their product and sadly that’s the way it has to be.
I say we give this line a second chance not because of the things that they have been saying, but simply because we love this line. If you’re able to afford a sub or two or whatever please buy one. If you feel you’re getting stuck with figures that you don’t like or want then resell them on the secondary market. I know there are people out there who do want them and I’m sure there are customizers who would love to have the parts too. Plus you could make a little scratch off it at the same time ;). Lets just stop with all the negative talk and blame and move forward. 2013 is looking like an awesome year and it looks like it’ll continue to be awesome.
Thanks for your time in reading this and lets all share in the power of Grayskull.
Thank you for posting this. I’ve been all in since the beginning, and what I love most about this line is the diversity. I had no idea who Optikk or Icarius were when this line started, but now I own volume 1 of the New Adventures. MOTUC has given us so many amazing figures that I really never believed would ever exist in toy form (Horde Prime and Granamyr, for example) that the thought of the line ending really depresess me.
Also, if I don’t get Extendar, there will be blood.
When I was growing up I had every figure put out in the vintage line, I never collected any of the PoP or NA line because to me they weren't MOTU. I came upon the Classics line too late to sign up for the first sub and suffered through many a WSOD on the 15th of each month to get the figures I wanted, and I want them all. Now years down the road I've managed to bring my collection up to date as well as pick up several figures for my son who is now the same age as I was when I first started collecting in the 80's. I see the way he looks at these figures and doesn't care what faction they belong to or how obscure they may be, he simply likes them all and I'm sure at that age we all felt the same.
Like pretty much everyone else I've had my various issues with Digital River and Mattycollector and I don't necessarily agree with all the decisions that Mattel has made, but I also don't let that affect whether or not I buy the sub. At first $20 a figure seemed like a lot, but I found a way to afford it. The $5 price hike could have been worse but in the end I found myself buying two subs this year, one for myself and one for my son. Regardless of what ever happens with this line (I expect it will last through 2014 and hopefully longer) I plan on continuing to pick up 2 subs each year and share my support.
I understand what Scott is saying and it's not so much the price increase that I'm upset about, I just plain ol' couldn't afford it. It's been with the character selection choices and some of the things that Matty has done in the few years that I have been collecting MOTUC figures, mainly making Shadow Weaver a sub exclusive and the Fighting Foe Men. I just think that what they are planning for 2014 is what they should have done all along, and then after all the figures that were based off of the three main toylines MOTUV, POP, and NA, then started creating the figures off of the prototypes and concepts and Filmation cartoons… I will be able to finally afford a sub for 2013 and have many friends on both the He-Man.org forums and the Matty forums and we have our own little trading group going on for the fig we want or need and the ones we don't want.
If in our heart of hearts we really want the line to survive, then it will – we'll afford them, somehow.
I almost skipped the sub this year. SDCC helped push me over. I have to admit if they didn’t hit me hard with some good figures I would have skipped it. I won’t be getting the sub next year though. Even though I can afford the sub I can’t justify spending the high price for toys. I have to get Granamyr and Masterpiece Soundwave at the end of the year and the price is becoming an issue. Although I love MOTU Classics I do have other interests (other toy lines) and I just have come to the point where price and interest in the line are converging. I’ll suck it up for 2013, but that will be it. I’ll just have to hope it will continue without my sub dollars.
As far as the various problems people have had with the subscription, I have to admit I have never had a problem since day one. My first figure was SDCC Grayskull. I’ve been with Mattycollector since they started up the website. Not once did I have a problem with changing my info for payment or shipping. Other than 2012 shipping speed I have 0 complaints.
I’m sure 2013 will be fine, but I really have reservations about a 2014 sub continuance, at least in its current definition.
Dan I love you! This site is great but if you don't believe the "scare tactics" that's going on at Mattel and by Toy Guru i have a bridge to sell you. They have no one to blame but themselves for their lack of and poor subscription sales. I understand them raising the costs of figures to match the quality they're putting out but it's become really ridiculous. They had a great thing going now it's blowing up in their face. Mattel never gave a damm about the fans! All they care about is $$$$! They got Greedy and now it's the begining of the end for Matty Collector.
have you been paying attention at all to the world around us? In the last 5 years the US dollar is worth 30% less in china and add that on top of the cost of plastic in the past 5 years. They are not greedy, they are finally catching up to the price increases.
have you seen how much a 3 3/4 GI joe figure goes for in Walmart? $10+ back in 2008 I was buying joes for $5 at walmart. And if a figure line that is sold across the country in 1000s of stores goes up that much, how can you not expect a every small online figure line to go up?
It's cool Binks. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I don't neccesarily agree with you, but if everyone had the same thoughts the world would be a boring place. 🙂
At least you love me and my site! 😀
Why don't they offer Castle GreySkull as a Club-Exclusive? I bet the subscriptions would go through the roof! I know I would subscribe just to get the Castle.
I don't know…as much as people want Grayskull, I think once they saw the price the sales wouldn't be as high as you might think.
Im confident they will squeeze MOTUC in but im worried about DCIE.
Im not one of these people that can afford 5 subs.
If I could, I would but 1 of each is it for me.
Yeah, I'm worried about DCIE as well. They announced some great stuff, and I hope all of the DC fans get those figures.
I'm in the same boat as you, jayare. I didn't sub MOTUC this year, as there were too many figures I had little to no interest in and I won't be subbing next year.
I did sub CIE and Voltron this year and very happy I did. I'll be putting my subs in for CIE again this week, but at this point I don't see it happening and I'm pretty sad about that.
There is some good news-
If the Sub doesn't come through,We will still get 4-6 figures next year at higher prices.Hopefully Ram Man and Jitsu is included in that…So the Classics isn't ending,it will just get much smaller in 2013…..I really want Ram Man and Jitsu to feel good about this line coming to an eventual end
I also think that is good news. And I feel this is what will happen: if the subscriptions don't go through and that has to end, I'm willing to bet Mattel will at least give us 3-6 new figures a year any way, just at higher prices. Scott spoke of this as a possibility.
So even if the subscriptions have to end, I still think MOTUC will live on in some form. Just at a much smaller scale.
Actually TG has "threatened" that we may not even get that.
i've been an all-in completist since the line began. i have had nothing but one headache after another with this line and ALWAYS because of the lamebrain jackasses at DRI. mattel has had more than enough time to drop them and fix the QC problems. they have chosen not to and for those reasons, i won't morn the demise of this line, no matter how much i love it. it's been a nightmare since day one. i know because i was one of those who recieved the first run of he-man and beast man figures. i still have them downstairs. they are carded without the plastic hangers attached to the back. these were the first off the boat and i haven't missed a single release since (included the god aweful star sisters). if mattel were a competent business they could keep this line going much stronger for much longer. they should have dumped DRI and that shitty shipping policy years ago. there.
If 2014 does end up being the last year with a full subscription and figures every month, I don't see MOTUC just ending. Look at the JLU line. Hasn't that line been "over" for a while now? They still put out 3-packs of figures every so often. And those things don't sell out near as fast as MOTUC items. I imagine we will see Classics figures sprinkled throughout the year after subscriptions done and the line is "over". And if Classics continues to trickle long enough, maybe a movie year could bring it back to life to see even more figures.
I'm just wondering if you actually subscribe, Dan. I do and I know you love the line, but you get figures early for review. Do you actually pay money for MOTUC?
Guys, just a heads up. Now that I'm starting to get notifications that posts are being reported, I feel I need to pop in and ask that we please keep this conversation civil.
I won't tolerate name calling, bashing, cursing at eachother, etc. If that continues, I'll simply close the comments for this post and move away from this discussion. We are all adults here, and we are discussing a line of action figures. Let's all understand that everyone has their reasons for subscribing or not subscribing, and we should be simply discussing this. We should NOT be attacking people for their decisions.
Please try to keep our cool. We're just talking about toys, after all. 🙂
dreadedskin, you do understand that Mattel, TG and DR are not your friends, most likely don't know you from a bar of soap and have no likely interest in you beyond being a consumer don't you (either that or the scare tactics just got worse)? The fact is that we are consumers, they are the business. As businesses they have a right to offer products/services in exchange for money and to try to entice people into purchasing said products/services (within certain grounds), however businesses conversely have a responsibility to effectively process customer feedback or their right to says may be negated. They also have a responsibility to ensure that their products/services are of reasonable quality – both through the implementation of high quality control standards and high customer service standards. Failure to do so may not only result on loss of sales but possible criminal charges depending on the circumstances.
Consumers on the other hand have a right to pay for products/services they want and get an acceptable level of value for the money they spend on said products/services. The flip side of that is that they have a responsibility to be vocal and vote with their feet when companies fail to deliver products/services of an acceptable level of quality and/or accompany it with a poor level of product support (customer service). Failure to do so results in their right to getting value for money being revoked.
In short dreadedskin, people like you who are clearly confused about the nature of things, need to realise that you are not in a friendship relationship with Mattel, TG and DR, but a business-client relationship and that therefore what you are doing is not defending a friend but distrupting the entire business-client process.
I personally do not subscribe, but have a contact here in the UK who has 10 subs and I get one set of figures from her – so in a sense I do sub I suppose (It just works out better for me this way) I agree with everything you said Dan and I am one of those people who wants everything just like you… I think the main issue we have is that we are a small community, I see everybody squabbling on The Org and on the Matty forums and see all the posts here going back and forth about why this is happening and what they could do to fix it but the fact is that its just us lot talking about it. we need to promote this line wherever we can and get NEW sub buyers interested.
On a side note, I understand Scott says 2013 is locked… but I wonder if he could put the Fighting Foe men as the SDCC exclusive next year and then just shift that exclusive to their slot? might make people happier… or just start work on those Horde Troopers right now…
I've already subbed, as I do every year.
The worst is the in-fighting between vintage fans and everyone else, when it should be a time where fans come together. Everyone from Vintage fans to NA fans wants their favorite characters and everyone buying the sub contributes to all of those figures eventually coming out. People are thinking about what they don't want, and it's preventing them from getting what they would want. If the sub doesn't hit it's mark, then those figures will never come out.
I wouldn't want to start this mess all over again. Same vintage figures all over, same arguments as to who should get made. We're past that now. Let's stay that way.
I don't think you're a shill. I've disagreed with your reviews at times, and I don't have the affection for Mattel properties you do, but I don't think they're paying you for positive reviews. It's great to see someone talk up the positives of a given toy and not obsess over the negatives. If I wanted to watch some mouth breather rant for 20 minutes from behind the lens about how the orange paint used on a piece of hand armor ruins the entire figure, well, there's a million dudes on Youtube doing that. I'm not a big MOTUC collector, I bought some that looked neat. All in all, I think they are nice, durable toys. However, I have friends who are insane for the MOTUC line and so I've been following the craziness the past week since Toyguru Neitlich put up his infamous post. The way they told me about it I couldn't believe all the drama. It's nice to see someone not have a knee-jerk reaction and instantly go into "BURN IT DOWN! BURN IT ALL DOWN!" mode. Thanks Pixel Dan.
PS-I'm guilty of being negative sometimes, but I work on not to be too big of an ass about it.
Agreed, I never thought of you as a shill either. As far as I can see it you're a toy enthusiast with a good attitude who has the added bonus of getting toys sent to you so you can make videos about them. It's every geek's dream, man.
Thanks. I appreciate this comment. 🙂
And I never have a problem with anyone disagreeing with me. I'm certainly not the be-all, end-all when it comes to the opinion of a toy. Toys are just fun for me. Not something I can really get angry about. 🙂
I got my sub earlier this week. The 2013 sub will actually be the first Club Eternia sub I've purchased. I've been a huge MotU fan since the 80s, and the 200X series was one of my favorite lines to collect while I was in college. Once Classics started coming out I'd always considered buying a sub when they started offering them a few years ago, but knew I couldn't commit the funds to it because of other lines I was collecting heavily at the time. Now, a lot of those same lines are falling out of favor with me due to disinterest in what is currently available and/or other frustrations. So, I've started working on catching up on a lot of the past MotU Classics figs that I missed out on by not being able to afford subs at the time and having to be very choosy about the few I'd buy during the monthly MattyCollector sales. I found myself super excited by the 2013 MotU stuff I was seeing from the Matty panel at SDCC via Twitter and toy sites, and it just worked out well that I could make a sub for 2013 work. It's so frustrating to see so much negativity and uncertainty surrounding this line now that I'm finally able to commit to it like I want to, but despite all that, I'm still very excited for what we'll be getting and I'm going to try and remain hopeful that this line can still get to where it was eventually headed in the coming years.
I love MOTUC but I dislike the subscription service. I hope MOTUC has a future that does not include subscribing.