If you are a fan of the Young Justice TV show, like me, you might wish you could collect some form of figure of the characters on the show that reminded you of the show. Mattel offered this in 2 forms, 6 inch and 4 inch, both of which the general public rejected. Before they can offer something else, they and the mass market retailers – Walmart, Target, Kmart, Toys R Us – need to know why we rejected it.
I can only offer my own reasons. Price.
The 6 inch line. The price was too high. While the diorama bases were interesting, they did nothing for me. They did not influence the buying process. In my gut, I felt that the diorama was a way to try to justify requesting a higher price for the item. Now I perfectly understand that any good execution of a license offers both high end and economical product. But the price asked was just too high. At the same time, the price for the similar DC Universe classics product had jumped to 15.99 in my area. This was also too high. It forced me to skip buying waves at retail and to buy the characters I wanted on eBay, opened and without the CNC part, for a more reasonable price of 11.99. I only bought the 6 inch line when Mattel offered it at a cost of 34.00 for 4 figures on their website. This showed me that I was interested, but not at the original price requested.
The 4 inch line. Again, it was the price. The thing that hurt the 4 inch line in terms of price was comparing it to other Mattel lines of the recent past. JLU for the longest time was 5$ for a single figure. DCUC started out at 10$ for a figure. Asking 10$ for a 4 inch figure is a hard sell with those memories. Then there was the fact that McDonald’s offered Happy Meal toys based on the show before Mattel’s toys were available.
Beyond that, I have been collecting a long time. It takes something to spark my desire to collect a new line. It felt like Mattel was trying to market Young Justice not to YJ fans, but to fans of the JLU line. As a JLU collector, I had been angry that the initial offering of Infinite Heroes was full of characters I wanted in my JLU collection. I was not interested in starting a new line then. So appealing to the JLU fans made sense. And the CNC Hall of Justice was intriguing. It seemed like a good idea.
There was also the economy. Many who had previously bought a ton of unnecessary things like comics, music, toys, cut them out because they are unnecessary. I know I cut back.
A number of collectors have talked about the style of the figures, about the hand positions. But history shows us that even though Mattel never fixed the one leg shorter than the other problem in JLU, many of us continued to buy the line, not letting the fact that the figures could not stand on their own stop us from buying the figures.
Hind site is 20/20. I think the KEY is offering a product that people want at a price they are willing to pay. For me, the KEY problem was the price. Adding value is not the criteria here. It is the actual price per product. Unless Mattel and their retail partners can come up with a way to offer a product at a cheaper price, I think any retail line will fail.