Okay, so not quite $40, but $38.70. That’s what you want from me for a Justice League Unlimited four-pack, Mattel. And that was cool, at least until you dove headfirst into the deep end of the crazy pool with some of the character selections.
For a team that was so concerned about the sales of a pack with a JLU Clock King and TNBA Harley Quinn, Bane, and Scarecrow, you guys really made a couple of odd choices with the Doom Patrol and Justice Guild sets. Even an army builder pack of four identical Parademon figures would have made more sense (especially on your end, since you’d only have one new figure to tool). I bought two of the Gotham Criminals sets, and I bought your Legion Of Super Heroes set, even though the Legion has never had much appeal for me. Captain Marvel and Mary Marvel are winners; the Doom Patrol is okay. You can get forty of my dead presidents there. Could have had it for Jonah Hex, Bat Lash, Ohiyesa Smith, and El Diablo from "The Once and Future Thing". Even young Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern from "Kid Stuff" would have been fun. I have some news for you on the Justice Guild set, though: I ain’t buying it.
You keep insisting that the future of the JLU line is in our hands, so I’ve decided to be proactive with the responsibility you’ve thrust upon me. What I’m going to do is give you the Matty Collector strategy for JLU in 2010. Unless the next groupings you have planned consist of 1) Toyman, Killer Frost, Vandal Savage, and Livewire, 2) Gypsy, Speedy, Crimson Avenger, and Dr. Mid-Nite, and 3) Granny Goodness, Desaad, Steppenwolf, and a Parademon, then knock it off with the four-packs. And sure, I’d love to personally suggest the Joker’s Royal Flush Gang from "Wild Cards", since I want Ace as much as any character from the show. I refrain from doing so, however, because 1) there are five of them, and 2) they would have limited appeal just like the Justice Guild. See? Pragmatism before selfishness.
These are four-packs that would have broad appeal for collectors of the line and feature prominent characters from the animated series for which it was named. If that’s not the direction in which you’re headed, though, I’d like to remind you that it’s been some time since you released an oversized character. We paid $20 for Solomon Grundy. We paid $20 for Giganta. In fact, she is the only JLU product to sell out on your site thus far. We paid a combined $40 for Doomsday, Grodd, and several figures we already had. If you’re not too busy working on a four-pack of Deimos’ Dino Troopers or the Newsboy Legion, maybe it’s time to revisit the idea of larger figures at a premium price.
Start with Kalibak, and if sales are good, you can continue with S.T.R.I.P.E., Clayface, Mongul, Despero, Metron (with his chair, or else he wouldn’t work in this format, and preferably with a clear stand to elevate it), and maybe even (yeah, but it’s worth mentioning) Lobo. I know I’m not alone when I say I’d rather give you my scratch for one oversized character than for four superheroes from a comic book that a superhero from comic books I read as a kid read when he was a kid. See? Just putting it in print looks stupid. And sure, someone would inevitably complain if you priced Kalibak at $30, but without the additional sales an SDCC logo or Big Box retail support would generate, and with the weakening dollar, higher price of oil, and increasing cost of labor in China, maybe that’s what it would take. But hey, if you can meet them halfway and sell a figure like this for $25 plus shipping, even better.
You want my forty clams, Mattel? Gonna have to do better than the Justice Guild.
But something has to give, Mattel. If the line is in our hands, as you keep repeating, give us a reason to part with a couple of Jacksons every few months. Not for nothin’, but there’s a lot of collectible competition out there for my hard-earned simoleons. I don’t know if you keep track of other companies’ releases, but Hasbro has been knocking them out of the park with their Marvel Universe and G.I. JOE lines. DC Direct’s Blackest Night figures can satisfy my craving for DCU characters if you can’t deliver something more worthwhile than the Justice Guild.
If, "the best place for the future of this line is on MattyCollector.com," as you said in your recent Facebook note, do you know what that makes you? My retailer. So here I am, taking the advice you’ve shared so many times, and telling my retailer: Cut it the hell out with the Justice Guild stuff. Unless you’re ready to commit to those three sets I recommended above (which, aside from Steppenwolf to fill out an Apokolips pack, I didn’t just pull from thin air; check the latest JLU poll here on AFI), maybe you just need to get over the, "through the 4 packs," bit.