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 Post subject: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:34 pm 
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Nothing like an ominous title to get you interested... :wink:

Anyone else feel like this next year is the beginning of the end for the DCUC line? Maybe it's just me, but it feels eerily similar to Marvel Legends 2005/2006, when the line was going really strong and the future of the line seemed unlimited. Yes, the circumstances are obviously different, but at the time no one ever expected the line was (basically) be done and over within 12-14 months. I'm getting that same feeling now with DC Universe Classics in 2011. Why?

*wave 14, Walmart exclusive: I am seeing TONS of these just sitting and not selling. Could low sales of this wave cause Walmart to order much less of the next exclusive wave, or worse, stop supporting the line entirely?

*wave 17, Blackest Night theme: already many fans of "classic" characters are grumbling about this themed wave, which may lead to lower orders from retailers and/or tons of peg-warmers. A potential for poor sales here.

*wave 18, rumored to be Super Powers/Super Friends theme: another controversial, themed wave, right on the heels of the previous controversial, themed wave. Potentially two poor-selling waves and a rough financial start to 2011 for Mattel.

*Expensive (albeit amazing) box set of the Legion: if this does poorly, which the odds are strong, then not only will it end the potential for any other Matty box sets, but it may also suggest to internal Mattel/DC execs that Legion characters won't sell.

*poor/inconsistent distribution and product selection: old news, but a real issue. Some stores don't carry the line at all, and in others I still see old cases of Shazam, Dr Impossible, Mister Miracle, etc. And they aren't selling.

*price increase: we've seen these figures go from $8.99 all the way to $14.99 (and more!) in only three years; how much will these be by the end of 2011? How many fans are already cherry-picking or even totally getting out of collecting this line due to the price? It will only get worse.

*the rumored mandate from WB and DC to have more figures in their current, modern looks: it may mean the classic, obscure, fun characters like Killer Moth, Vigilante, and Kamandi will be shelved in favor of the New Hot Thing (*coughBlackestNightcough*). While I want many of the current DCU characters, I'd much rather have complete teams and consistent classic versions of the Metal Men, JSA, Doom Patrol, Freedom Fighters, Legion, etc.

Any one of these issues, even a few of them, would be normal and expected. But when you add up all of these factors, there is the potential for 2011 to be a bit of a letdown for collectors and fans. Which may lead to slower sales. Which may lead to the line be scrutinized, reevaluated, revamped, reworked, and ultimately broken. I know the 4H are already working on DCUC 2012 and 2013 at this point, but we all know how plans can change.

Am I nuts? Paranoid? Maybe. I just see some troubling signs with my favorite toyline, and I worry for what the future might hold. I will be pretty damn unhappy if we never see the rest of the classic Flash Rogues, Freedom Fighters, Swamp Thing, Golden Age JSA, Perez Zatanna, etc. while I'm staring at the Sinestro Corps Batman and Star Sapphire Wonder Woman.

Alright - so tell me I'm nuts and totally way off-base and why. :P

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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:55 pm 
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I won't comment on the other things right now but I will say this about the price...if it gets too much higher I'm going to have to be even more picky than I already am or drop most of them altogether.


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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:56 pm 
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I have 4 Walmarts within an hour of me, but have only ever found a Tyr :/


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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:05 pm 
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I don't think you're being paranoid at all Ryan. Everything you've stated has a great deal of merit. Well, except your surplus of wave 14. Everyone but Kamandi seems to sell through very well here (and who the hell didn't see that coming :lol:). But I'll try to let my pragmatic side take hold and wait and see how things play out on wave 17. I think that will play the largest part in how the line will do for 2011, and into the foreseeable future.

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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:35 pm 
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I think these ALL the same THEME waves are bad. They defeat the point of the CNC figure which was to drive equal sales of characters that a collector might skip if they wanted 5 of the 6 figures of a wave.

ALL the same THEME makes it so you either want them all, or none of them. A terrible marketing strategy in my opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:53 pm 
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There are many that need to be made, (and technically already are), but may never see the light of day because once again, non-fans, and people who are out of touch with the fan base are dictating the rules. :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:31 am 
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I don't think you're nuts. In this economy, anything could happen. Nothing is scared [edit: sacred]. Even if DCUC ended in a year or two, I think we'd still see some products here and there, if not full Waves. My biggest issue is:

*wave 14, Walmart exclusive:

*poor/inconsistent distribution and product selection:


I spy other message boards and I hear people complaining that their stores have endcaps and 15 cases of Wave 14 sitting on the shelves. Meanwhile, nothing comes to my city. I live in a large metropolitan city , and it is just SO HARD to get anything (yes, I'm bitter) :) . 6 Walmarts and I've found one store that actually got in a case and reordered. It's high demand and low supply here in my town. I'm trying to pick up a set for a board member and here I am driving around for hours again. Getting DCUC is a terrible experience. I truly hate it. I don't particularly like pre-ordering but I have no choice.

*price increase:

I made a commitment to myself to not be a completist in this line, but at $12.99 I could actually take a chance on characters I don't really like. At $16 , I have to be really selective and cherry-pick. Which is fine. I feel this line, which could go on forever is whittling away on major characters. I can only name 10-15 that are truly essential and mandatory for completing teams (well atleast for me)--Jay Garrick, Lead, Platinum, Tin, Elasti-Girl, Poison Ivy, Huntress, Sandman, GA Atom, GA Hawkman, Stargirl, Samurai, Batgirl reissue, anyone left from the Legion Of Doom like Bizarro, Toyman and Scarecrow) Everything else I feel is extra gravy, imho. But everyone else has different lists, I know. I have much beloved, personal favorite characters that are not on the "Essential List" but I really really want made. I feel bad for Flash fans at this point. I don't really care for the Flash rogues, But I feel bad for people who are waiting for them.

*Expensive (albeit amazing) box set of the Legion:

I really hope the Mattel DC Team is not basing the health and viability of the line on this box set because then they would really need to check themselves. A lot of people don't have a job. More people have a job that doesn't pay any money. Hardcore collectors will buy this. If I had the extra $200, I would buy it, but I don't. If Mattel is going to blame us for not voting with our wallets again on this one, they have another thing coming.


Last edited by funtime3 on Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:17 am 
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I haven't seen a single Wave 14 figure at Walmart. I've gotten info from one of the posters here that there is a Walmart an hour and a half away that is fully stocked but I don't want to drive there just to get Zatanna and Obsidian. I can hold off. Besides Wave 10 started showing up in droves after Christmas last year so I'm not too worried.

Yeah I have no interest in that rainbow blackest night wave. Yeah the big Legion set, although something I'm really looking forward too maybe too pricey for folks.

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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:24 am 
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[quote="Nitewing73"]I haven't seen a single Wave 14 figure at Walmart. I've gotten info from one of the posters here that there is a Walmart an hour and a half away that is fully stocked but I don't want to drive there just to get Zatanna and Obsidian. [quote]


Zatanna wont be the problem-- of the many times I have seen this wave- she is the one that is there at almost a 2:1 ratio of all the other figures combined..

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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:23 am 
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This ALL goes back to Mattel's "quarterly earning strategy" and not a big picture philosophy. It's so frustrating to watch something with such potential be squandered by short sightedness. Ryan, you are DEAD on with everything you've mentioned. It's all just a wait and see. But I promise, that when this all blows up... Mattel can NOT blame those of us that have supported the line.

Here's what I suggest, you know how Toy Guru has his little catchphrases "Vote with your wallet" and "Loud but not numerous" and whatnot...

We need to have some recurring chants in our threads. Nothing that can be mocked like "Their killing teh lein" But serious cautionary chants like:

"Think long term, Mattel" or "Know your audience!" or "Check your work!" or my favorite "We pay your salaries!"

Phrases that, if they see them enough, may start to ring.

At the end of the day, we're all fans of the product... not the company. If the line dies, it will be sad for what could have been, but life will go on for all of us. We'll all find something new to occupy our time and wallets.

If bad business decisions keep causing Mattel to lose money... THEY are the ones that will suffer. Not us. I've said it before, they don't have the power - we do! This is a consumer driven economy. If they do not supply what is demanded - they lose. If they supply something that isn't demanded- they lose. Yeah... we don't get our toys... Wahhhhh. They are toys.

Right now the management at Mattel are like teenagers. We can tell them they are making mistakes, but they'll never listen. They have to make them and learn from them on their own. We can always be there at the end though, to say "We told you so."

I dont know about you, but that gives me great joy. I say it constantly. :-)


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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:40 am 
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Funny, but I was just about to post a thread to address a somewhat related concern about DCUC's future, but I might as well do it in here.

I think the three greatest points, apart from price hikes, that are of the greatest concern are:

Themed waves, since by inference this would eliminate certain characters from contention that would certainly be welcomed into the line (off the top of my head, ones which have been previously mentioned in polls that I would like to see are Catman, Geo-Force, and Captain Marvel Jr. Where do THEY fit in with a theme?)

An apparent mandate for characters to be dressed in current costumes. There's a reason the line is called CLASSICS people. I have no interest in the current Aqualad, for example, but I'd love to see Garth in his traditional duds. And most of the modern Legion costumes don't do much for me, either.

And there is the distribution factor. Ye gods, I could write an essay about that...

Now, as to the points I wanted to mention. The Super Target in this town has apparently stopped carrying DC Universe Classics. There's one forlorn Booster Gold mixed in with the Justice League sets. There isn't even a shelf tag for DCUC.

And today, the Walmart near me has decided to clearance its remaining DCUC's. Now, admittedly, except for a brief appearance by Wave 14, all they've had for months is a couple of lingering Cyborgs and Captain Colds (Captains Cold?). They did have Wave 11, but I don't recall seeing any of Wave 12 or 13 in this Walmart, even though other Walmarts in town did carry them. (I stand corrected, they did have a Superboy briefly. Never did figure that out). Nor has this Walmart gotten in Wave 15.

If the retailers are starting to balk, then that could be far bigger trouble than anything else. Mattel could probably take DCUC online, but I don't really like having to mail order my figures unless there's no alternative. And could it really survive that way? Masters has, but that's one figure a month.

What's the retail situation in your neck of the woods? I'm wondering if this is a local phenomenon, or more widespread...

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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:46 pm 
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I'm not concerned. On the Matty forums, Scott said that we'll continue to see a variety of eras represented in the line - and if the rumors for wave nineteen are true, we're looking at Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Atom, and probably the Golden Age Sandman - and he's said the line is going strong. In the past, Mattel has made no qualms about discussing when a line is in trouble (hi, JLU and DCIH!), so I don't think there's anything to worry about just yet.

And as for the "mounds" of wave fourteen that aren't selling, I only wish that Pittsburgh was experiencing such a crisis. I walked into a Walmart about three weeks ago and saw Alan Scott and Kamandi on the pegs - that are otherwise overflowing with Power Girl and Forager - only to walk out empty-handed because I had bought a set on eBay.


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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:38 pm 
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While I'm a bit ticked having to Theme waves back to back, but must admit Wave 19 (if that's what it ends up being) looks great. So, no, I don't think DCUC's trouble . . . yet. It sure would be nice to have Target get back into the game, though. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:21 pm 
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Shellhead wrote:
While I'm a bit ticked having to Theme waves back to back


More like FIVE themed waves in a row, not just two.

Wave 16: Batman and Friends
Wave 17: Skittles Bite-Sized Candies
Wave 18: Super Powers/Super Friends
Wave 19: JSA Golden Age
Wave 20: Blackest Night/GL Classics rejects

I wonder if Wave 21 will be that rumored Superman-themed wave with C&C Doomsday.


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 Post subject: Re: DCUC - Beginning of the End?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:32 pm 
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I'm just glad to see so much DCUC news on the 1st page of the Mattel-All forum. We're usually inundated with JLU stuff. Not that that's a bad thing (Quiet Shellhead! :P).

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