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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:32 am 
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geoffdude wrote:
I'm a BIG DC fan, and a BIG DC toy fan... but that does not translate into an automatic LOVE for Mattel DC toys. In fact, typically with Mattel it has been just the opposite. JLU being the one toy line I did love, then couldn't wait until it was shot in the head to stop the suffering.

I've already stated my thoughts on this debacle, but to see all the extreme actions, and commentary, from both sides on this has been really interesting. Can't wait to see how it all plays out.

So... if the subs don't sell enough (NOTICE HOW MATTEL HAS NEVER GAVE A NUMBER NEEDED), then what will happen? Exactly? The new DCnU line won't ever have Jay, or Ivy, or Rita, or Lead? Fans who have supported this line for years (YEARS!) and spent hundreds, or thousands, of dollars are now kicked to the road-side so DC/Mattel can put out New Cyborg, New Superman, New Firestorm, etc? This is what irks me... and makes me say "no thanks" to the sub. Don't treat me like you're doing me ANY favors by letting me buy your toys. Either create a toy line I want, can buy easily, or just go away. Good God... how insulting to try and force sales thru long-time fans by threats (of toys not being done.). Mattel should really be ashamed of the business choices they have made lately... it's tragic.

G.


This is the exact response I don't understand. They're making it easier for us to purchase DC Classics figures, they've taken away the CnC concept and removed height restrictions for larger characters, they've already announced two highly demanded characters (and yes the Metal Men, Doom Patrol and other teams would be a part of this) and they've made the price of each figure less than what we've been seeing at retail. But for some reason they're insulting everyone by telling us the truth? Mattel could walk up to some of these DC collectors and hand them a check for a million dollars and they'd complain that the check didn't have their favorite character on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:11 am 
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j1h15233 wrote:
This is the exact response I don't understand. They're making it easier for us to purchase DC Classics figures, they've taken away the CnC concept and removed height restrictions for larger characters, they've already announced two highly demanded characters (and yes the Metal Men, Doom Patrol and other teams would be a part of this) and they've made the price of each figure less than what we've been seeing at retail. But for some reason they're insulting everyone by telling us the truth? Mattel could walk up to some of these DC collectors and hand them a check for a million dollars and they'd complain that the check didn't have their favorite character on it.

It's pretty sad, isn't it?

And honestly, what good would knowing the "magic number" do? I've asked the same question to JLU fans when they want to know how many of each product needs to sell or is being produced. They tell you a number - and then what? You broogle that it's too high? Band together and take out a loan to be able to afford to buy fifteen subscriptions each?


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:22 am 
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How is it bullying for a BUSINESS to want to make sure that their bottom line is going to get met before they'll make the figures? Mattel would like to make figures that fans want, but they can't just give them away. If something isn't financially beneficial; don't do it. Business 101


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:23 am 
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I will say up-front that I bought into the subscription, I'm excited about it, and I hope it succeeds.

I see a lot of people saying that they want to know what's going to be in the subscription before they buy it, and that doesn't make any sense to me. When I buy a subscription to Entertainment Weekly, I don't know what's going to be in each issue beforehand. All I know is that I'll get an issue of EW every week (or two, when they do double issues). Similarly, when I buy a subscription to Detective Comics, I don't know what's going to be in each issue for the full year, I just know that I'm going to get an issue of 'Tec each month, because that is how a subscription works. I don't go to DC Comics and demand to know what each issue is going to be about. I realize that I might not like all of the stories, but that's the risk you take when you buy a subscription to something.

I know I'm not going to want all of the figures that come from the DCUC subscription. I don't really care for Starman or Poison Ivy, and I could take or leave Atrocitus. But I love the DCU Classics line, and I love the idea of, every month, getting a brand-new DCU Classics figure. You might not want every one that you get, but the ones that you do want, you're guaranteed to get (without having to fight through the WSOD to boot). From a risk-benefit point of view, in my opinion, the benefit outweighs the risk.

Just my two cents.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:26 am 
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Joe G. wrote:
I will say up-front that I bought into the subscription, I'm excited about it, and I hope it succeeds.

I see a lot of people saying that they want to know what's going to be in the subscription before they buy it, and that doesn't make any sense to me. When I buy a subscription to Entertainment Weekly, I don't know what's going to be in each issue beforehand. All I know is that I'll get an issue of EW every week (or two, when they do double issues). Similarly, when I buy a subscription to Detective Comics, I don't know what's going to be in each issue for the full year, I just know that I'm going to get an issue of 'Tec each month, because that is how a subscription works. I don't go to DC Comics and demand to know what each issue is going to be about. I realize that I might not like all of the stories, but that's the risk you take when you buy a subscription to something.

I know I'm not going to want all of the figures that come from the DCUC subscription. I don't really care for Starman or Poison Ivy, and I could take or leave Atrocitus. But I love the DCU Classics line, and I love the idea of, every month, getting a brand-new DCU Classics figure. You might not want every one that you get, but the ones that you do want, you're guaranteed to get (without having to fight through the WSOD to boot). From a risk-benefit point of view, in my opinion, the benefit outweighs the risk.

Just my two cents.

I tried using that exact same comparison at the Matty forums, and it fell on completely deaf ears. Glad to see that someone else is thinking along the same lines.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:05 am 
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For those who want to know the number of subscriptions Mattel is seeking as a baseline, please be aware that Mattel does not release sales figures. Ever.

In fact, most companies keep sales figures a closely guarded secret because their competitors could use those numbers to their advantage. The best you can hope for are quarterly earnings reports broken down by unit.

It's not going to happen, so please stop asking. To keep asking a private corporation for this data is a waste of time.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:17 am 
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This is hardly the same as buying a comic or magazine subscription. With those, I can buy them off the stands individually after looking at them to decide if I want them or not. Here, I MAY have that option online through their terrible website IF enough people commit to the line first.

As I said on the FB page (point four mysteriously deleted from there - wonder how THAT happened?), a lot of the griping and complaining is because of lousy brand management. This sub service campaign has been so poorly executed (and NOT marketed) that it's no surprise it's failing - never mind the years and years of poor brand management that proceeded and caused this line to (maybe) go online only.

We may not have been looking at a Matty-only DCU line if Mattel had delivered quality product to retail on time. People say the fans are whiners and complainers, but that never stopped Mattel from begging and whining for the "loyal fans" to go buy the substandard stuff or bad character choices THEY made that have clogged retail shelves (fruit stripe Aquaman, Steppenwolf, 2nd release Power Girl, etc, etc).

We have no idea of what the new 6" DC line will be - maybe it will kick DCU's ass? If so, why would I care about getting more DCU figures? Although I consider DCU a better line than any other DC line to date, that's hardly a compliment considering the competition. I prefer Mattel's work done on the WWE line, from the sculpts to the engineering to the articulation choices. The figures are sleeker and less blocky than the generic 4H sculpts, and better articulated.

I hate dealing with Digital River - they still owe me a hundred dollars for returned merch that was authorized, received, but never refunded. I have little confidence that this "charge us now, refund us later" program will go smoothly if the number isn't met. And I can understand that they want a payment method now, but why charge anything until the line actually launches (EIGHT!8! months from now) - or is at least CONFIRMED to launch? Isn't that just more work for them and more grief for the "loyal fans"?

Why IS the voting open to everyone and not just subscribers? Isn't the definition of fair to let subscribers pick the figure they want, and not have them stuck with a figure non-subscriber votes picked? Is that so hard to figure out BEFORE you launch a poll?

Things they should do asap:

Guarantee no rubber band ties in the packages - IMO this was what caused the warping, not the "action poses". It still amazes me that, for a line that purported to "listen to the fans", it took years to get that problem resolved at retail. Way to listen! As if a Mom is going to decide to buy or not buy Samurai b/c it isn't in action pose. Are they high?

Guarantee no repaints or re-releases. If a dopey Night Skier Batman repaint shows up in this line (or God help us all, ANOTHER Green Lantern), they can all go to hell.

In the wake of the terrible subscriber showing, Mattel is clearly scrambling to find drivers that should've been in place before the program was launched / announced. Not dangling carrots? Does ANYONE think the Poison Ivy reveal would've happened now if they hit their sub number on day one?

If this team had come out of the gate with the right answers at SDCC and marketed this line to the fans in the aftermath of SDCC (rather than rely on WOM- great business plan!) there would be far less skepticism and they wouldn't be on the defensive (as they usually are). The arrogance & inexperience of the team is truly remarkable. Hope they can overcome these issues and get it right.

PS: Not sure why anyone cares about the number required - what's the diff? It makes it or it doesn't. I've subscribed (twice), but I'm ambivalent about it's fate.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:25 am 
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Jroug wrote:
This is hardly the same as buying a comic or magazine subscription. With those, I can buy them off the stands individually after looking at them to decide if I want them or not. Here, I MAY have that option online through their terrible website IF enough people commit to the line first.


What you're describing isn't buying a subscription - it's picking up an individual item at a store. I used the magazine or comic subscription analogy because I thought most people knew how those worked. I guess I was mistaken.

It sounds like your not interested in the subscription, and that your complaint is that the figures won't be available at retail for you to look at before you buy them. If that's the case, then any sort of shopping online probably isn't for you at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:33 am 
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Not to mention, that you wouldn't be able to buy those magazines off a rack if enough people hadn't subscribed to them in the first place.

There are so many other points to argue there too but I don't think I'll waste my time.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:39 am 
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One of my biggest concerns is the price of the figures. At $15 per 6" figure we're paying almost exactly what they would be at retail. However, built into that retail price is the cost to Mattel for shipping that figure to the retailer, the cost of the retailer distributing the figure to their stores, and the profit margin for the retailer to stock the figure. With Mattel selling the figures directly to the customers through their website, there is none of that cost incurred but we're still charged the same price plus shipping. With the cost of the figure being what it is with another $10 in shipping on top of it, we're being asked to pay around $25 for a figure that costs us less at retail. This means that for someone who is on a tight budget in this economy, with toy purchases comming in low on the list of priorities, there is no real benefit to participating in Mattel's subscription service. Now if Mattel offered free shipping or at least a reduced cost on the figures, I would be happy to sign up for the subscription, but it doesn't yet make sense to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:48 am 
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Ram wrote:
One of my biggest concerns is the price of the figures. At $15 per 6" figure we're paying almost exactly what they would be at retail. However, built into that retail price is the cost to Mattel for shipping that figure to the retailer, the cost of the retailer distributing the figure to their stores, and the profit margin for the retailer to stock the figure. With Mattel selling the figures directly to the customers through their website, there is none of that cost incurred but we're still charged the same price plus shipping. With the cost of the figure being what it is with another $10 in shipping on top of it, we're being asked to pay around $25 for a figure that costs us less at retail. This means that for someone who is on a tight budget in this economy, with toy purchases comming in low on the list of priorities, there is no real benefit to participating in Mattel's subscription service. Now if Mattel offered free shipping or at least a reduced cost on the figures, I would be happy to sign up for the subscription, but it doesn't yet make sense to me.


You've got to figure that Mattel is also going to be making fewer of these figures for the online market than they would be for mass market retail, though. Lower production run = higher production cost, which is how we get to the $15 per figure even without all of those other costs you factored in.

I would love it if Mattel offered free shipping on anything. The day they do that, though, is the day the devil goes ice skating in hell.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:54 am 
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Don't put too much hope into retail prices.

The Crime Syndicate pack was found at Walmart. It was....hrm....$80 with tax.

http://toynewsi.com/news.php?catid=10&itemid=17543


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:32 am 
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nquick wrote:
What if you get a figure you don't like? Can you return it for another one or credit for next month figure?


Nope. If you decide to purchase the subscription, you are all in no matter what the figures are. If you are afraid that you might not like some of the character selections, then don't buy the sub. But you will miss out on the sub exclusive figure which could be Metron or Rocket Red. You might not have any trouble selling the figures you don't like but it is your obligation to take them as a subscriber.

nquick wrote:
Why don't they offer a reduce shipping or free shipping with these figures?


Mattel doesn't want to lose money by offering discounts on shipping. They are in this business to make money and they have to pay for postage and supplies just like anyone else as well as pay Digital River to pack up the items. You can combine shipping with all subscriptions (MOTU, Ghostbusters, and Voltron) which could be a great way to save some money if you are interested in those subscriptions.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:53 am 
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funtime3 wrote:
Don't put too much hope into retail prices.

The Crime Syndicate pack was found at Walmart. It was....hrm....$80 with tax.

http://toynewsi.com/news.php?catid=10&itemid=17543



WTF? Wow.

I'm not sure I want to drop 80 bucks on that. I'm really only excited about 2 of the figures. Yikes!

I guess they figure the individual figures are near 16 bucks a pop, so why not these.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you have questions about the DCUC Subcription?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:31 am 
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Joe G. wrote:
Jroug wrote:
This is hardly the same as buying a comic or magazine subscription. With those, I can buy them off the stands individually after looking at them to decide if I want them or not. Here, I MAY have that option online through their terrible website IF enough people commit to the line first.


What you're describing isn't buying a subscription - it's picking up an individual item at a store. I used the magazine or comic subscription analogy because I thought most people knew how those worked. I guess I was mistaken.

It sounds like your not interested in the subscription, and that your complaint is that the figures won't be available at retail for you to look at before you buy them. If that's the case, then any sort of shopping online probably isn't for you at all.


Way to insert a whole bunch of your own conclusions.

The original analogy was Entertainment Weekly & Detective Comics. Can you buy both of those by subscription and on stands individually? Yes, you can. One does not preclude the other.

So to clarify: My point/statement was this: with most comic or magazine subscription items, you have a choice to subscribe or buy off the stands after you've had a chance to evaluate them in person, which is not the case here. Simple. Any questions?

Further to that point, there have been some awful choices in the DCUC line, and while you can't please everyone, I think it's safe to say that few if any subscribers would be happy if they only got repaints all year, for instance. So maybe it would have been a better launch for this campaign if these issues had been thought through and addressed BEFORE the sub program showed signs of tanking. Even listing a pool of characters that were up for consideration would be better than "these three and a big one."

As far as online shopping and I are concerned, I buy almost everything online. The reason I don't like to buy from Matty.com is because it provides the worst online customer experience I have ever had - consistently!

PS: WOW! $80 for Crime Syndicate box? Hi-lar-ious. Anyone who buys it at that price is asking for buyers remorse - it'll be on clearance before the holidays of course.


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