AFi Interview with ‘Matty Justice League’ the Mattel Retail Team
May 15, 2012
Last week we posted an interview with Mattel’s Scott Neitlich talking about the collector/online side of Mattel’s DC action figure business.  Today we get to hear a bit from the newly formed retail team.  The retail team is a bit more coy.  They have asked that we not publish their names and instead they will go by their MattyCollector.com screen name of “Matty Justice League.”   They are not as used to the spotlight as Scott is in his many years in that role.   We will respect their privacy and we thank them for taking the time to answer some of our questions that have been on a lot of fans minds.   I’m sure as time goes on they will become more and more comfortable with the fans and we’ll see more of them around these parts and answering more questions on the MattyCollector.com.


AFi:  Traditionally Mattel employees have adopted nicknames/screen names for their on-line interaction with fans (Walker Texas Ranger, Boy Wonder, Fangirl 2.0, ToyGuru, etc.) have you given any thought to yours yet?

Matty Justice League: The DC product development team answers questions on Matty as Matty Justice League. Multiple people will answer under this name to make sure that we address questions.

AFi: Can you tell us what else you have done for Mattel before jumping into the DC properties?

Matty Justice League: I came from Hot Wheels Basic Cars and interacted with collectors on Hotwheelscollector.com as HWC JohnF.  Before that, I interned in Games.

AFi: Are you already comic fans, or have you been catching up once you got on board the DC team? And is that even a relevant question with the new direction?

Matty Justice League:  Actually, this is a funny story. I interviewed for a cross-department job change into Batman (before taking over all of DC Mass) and made the change a year ago. When I first learned about the opportunity, I looked around my house and realized that next to the life size 3D Darth Maul and Yoda were tons of Batman stuff, from Action Figures, to DC Comic coffee books to Six Flags capes. So yes, I was a fan before, but not just of the comics, but all mediums and honestly, everything that was/is an action figure – ever heard of Saint Seiya?

AFi: Do you see fan outreach as part of the job, or is it an addition to try and do outside of your workday?

Matty Justice League:  A little bit of both. I wish I had time for more as I love interacting on the boards.

AFi:  Have either of you been to Comic Con before?

Matty Justice League:  Yep, twice. I went in 2007 as a Games intern and again last year as the Batman Manager.

AFi:  What happened with Young Justice?   I’m sure it was a tougher sell when it was on Friday nights, but it seems like once it moved to Saturday mornings on the DC Nation block it would be getting a lot more kids eyes on the show.

Matty Justice League:  We actually just published a story on Matty and a lot of answers have been provided on the Matty boards. Essentially, we’re really bummed. The show is great, but unfortunately, the toys didn’t work. Sometimes, it just happens that moms/kids love the show but don’t buy the toys.

AFi: It seems as if Walmart is really cutting back on the amount of toy lines it carries at retail.  Is that having an effect on what gets made?

Matty Justice League:  That’s hard to answer right now. At the moment, we aren’t seeing that.

AFi:  There is a tendency to romanticize each new line and want to extend it indefinitely, but looking back over the past 20-30 years most action figure lines lasted 3 years, tops. Do you see this as a natural reboot of the DC properties, or is it an attempt to extend the existing product line in some form of continuity?

Matty Justice League:   If you look at the past 20-30 years, the top brands have always remained in some form or another. Hence, this is more of a reboot to make sure that it is fresh.

AFi: Can we ask about a few other properties that haven’t been mentioned lately when it comes to the new division of labor?
Batman Legacy
Action League

Will we continue to see 6″ DCUC-style sublines for major DC movie tie-ins like we have seen in Batman: Legacy and Green Lantern Classics?
We know Danielle aka Fangirl 2.0 went off to work on the upcoming Superman movie retail line.  How does that that tie into the other work you guys are doing?  Is she part of the retail team?

Matty Justice League:   Fangirl 2.0 actually works for me at the moment under the mass DC team. As for the other pieces, it’s too early to comment at this moe =ment.

 

Thank you to the new Mattel retail team for answering a few of our burning questions.  We look forward to hearing much more from you guys.

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.

 

 

 

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