AFi’s “Ask Matty” Mattel Q&A Answers for June 1st, 2011
June 1, 2011

Twice a month the gang from Mattel are kind enough to answer five questions from AFi readers.  Matty from and ToyGuru, have replied with the answers to our latest round of questions that AFi readers have posted in our forums

We have already submitted our questions for the June 15th round, but you can submit your questions in now for the July 1st round of questions.

 Let’s get to the questions and the answers!

Q1.  We all really appreciate that you got the 12 in. comic style Hal out to us in the Green Lantern line but why did that figure not include a unique stand? The other 12 in. figures have come with some great stands that featured their specific logos and it added so much value to the look of the figure when being displayed so it was disappointing to see that Hal didn’t have one as well. Was it a cost thing or just an oversight? Would it be possible to have one sold separately somewhere?

A1.  We’ve been trying to find a way to release this figure for quite some time now (much as we wanted to release an updated correct height Sinestro). It took the vehicle of a GL movie to do so (to find a retailer interested in taking this). Costs are significantly higher compared to a few years ago and a base was just not possible at the price point this item needed to be at. There are not plans to release just a base.

Q2.  Will there be any in scale villains (Ro-Beasts) in the Voltron subscription? In all the different incarnations (having changed toy manufacturers several times) I’ve seen of Voltron, I don’t remember the Ro-Beasts ever being done. With the scale being as large as it is (36"?) collectors wouldn’t even be able to customize a villain, because there isn’t even anything else of comparable size to use as fodder. The MOTUC giants are even too small.
Voltron needs something to smash. Please don’t leave us hanging.

A2.  At this point we are not ready to discuss further Voltron plans. More will be revealed at SDCC at our fan panels!

Q3.  What ever happened to the last two waves of JLU singles? I was really looking forward to picking up the singles of KG Beast and Atomic Skull since I missed them in the previous 6-packs. Is there still a chance they will be released?

A3.  We did not have significant enough orders from retailers to go into production. If the Space and Golden Age 3-packs, STRIPE and the fall 7-pack do well it is possible we could put these out, but considering there are no “new” figures in this assortment it is less likely these will show up. But if we do have enough demand for more JLU skus our priority will be to put out the remaining 3 packs (Toy Man, Vandal Savage etc…). But again, that is completely dependent on support for the remaining items mentioned above! Never say never, but first stop is seeing enough support for the upcoming items first, then we can look at other JLU items in the wings starting with the 3 packs.

Q4.  Re: Young Justice two packs – Still with the unnecessarily large packaging? They look like a 5 pack that lost three figures. I know you have said that it wouldn’t cut the cost down, but I have to believe that with smaller package sizes, you could ship/sell more figures.

A4. Our package sizes are often dictated by retailers to fit into their displays and shelves by price point. It is not something Mattel has total control over. We often have to follow the size specs our retailers request.

Q4.5.  Mattel, with all the effort and attention being made by many companies to "go green" what efforts are you putting into the products you release?
Can we expect to see smaller box/blister packages? Better, more economical usage of packing materials? A change to recyclable plastics in the blisters and tray liners?
The new DCUC blister cards and the Young Justice 2pack boxes are just screaming for a more "green" redesign. The amount of wasted material and space in those products is absurd and grossly apparent.
It wasn’t too long ago that Mattel sent out a large press release touting its efforts in this area and the main call to action … a decrease in the use of twisty ties

A4.5.  We actually are working on company wide programs to create more green packaging. You should see this roll in over the next few months and years.

Q5. How do you pick which characters chosen for the MOTUC card backs on each release?  Is there any kind of formula?  Is there a ratio of good guys and bad guys each time?  Have you ever thought of "announcing" a new figure that way by putting it on the card back, like how we used to find out about new figures coming out? (just for fun)

A5.  For the first year we were using figures we had available. Now that we have a significant number of figures we try to use figures in the cross sell that relate to the figure being sold (team members, relatives, arch enemies etc…). We have a master Cross Sell matrix that stretches out for the full year. The reason we don’t announce new figures on the back is because new figures are often not ready in time when the packaging needs to release.


The next Q&A have already been submitted, but if you’d like to ask a question for the June 15th submission then feel free to post your questions in our Mattel Q&A question submissions thread!   Remember they can be about any Mattel product including MOTUC, Ghostbusters,WWE any of the Mattel DC lines and Cars. Twice a month we draw our submission question directly from the ones that AFi readers post. 

You can submit new questions in this thread.

You can find our past Q&A’s here.  And you can discuss the answers on our Mattel board.

Thanks again to the team at Mattel for taking time to answer our questions!


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 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,,, Boing-Boing,, 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.
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