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 Post subject: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:55 am 
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I'm about to head out the door, but I'd be remiss if I didn't post a couple Ask Matty links!

AFI - http://www.actionfigureinsider.com/main ... l-2nd-2012

IAT - http://www.itsalltrue.net/?p=17811

Fwoosh - http://thefwoosh.com/2012/04/ask-matty-4212

Pendragon - http://www.pendragonspost.com/2012/04/0 ... r-does-he/

IH - http://www.infinitehollywood.com/2012/0 ... -2012.html

Mint Condition - http://www.mintconditioncustom.com/2012 ... -2nd-2012/

Elkk - http://www.elkkthunderstoyroom.com/2012 ... or-42.html

Kastor - http://kastorskorner.com/index.php?opti ... &Itemid=54

AFBlues - http://www.actionfigureblues.com/2012/0 ... april.html

RumorBuster - http://therumorbuster.com/board/new-new ... ask-matty/



I won't be back home until late tonight, so I won't be able to add any more links until then!


Last edited by NoisyDvL5 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:00 am 
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Do I understand it correctly that Mattel screwed up the Rocket Red for the subscription line and we're still being stuck with a bad product?

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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:46 am 
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Well at least they said they've put a slot aside for the SP Penguin in next years assortment. The head on that sculpt looks way better than the first one, so I really hope it makes it out.

But the reply about not changing one of Poison Ivy's hands to an open one from an existing tooled figure is really poor. They said they won't be messing with the 4H's sculpt, but any other hand is a 4H sculpt, plus they don't mind messing with the 4H's paint masters do they?

They obviously feel it would be too inconvenient to make that change, despite it looking better for the character and being requested by fans.


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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:21 pm 
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My condolences to the Rocket Red fans. This seems like the largest disconnect between fans and Mattel in a while.

If AFI does get confirmation of a full Wave 21, that'll be surprising. Maybe they'll just relaunch the DCUC line proper and keep the super super obscure characters for the sub?


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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:43 pm 
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Wow, the answers this month are beyond snarky. Combine that with the mostly bad news we got and Mattel looks like a big customer service mess right now. And if I cared about Rocket Red I would be really pissed off. As a subscriber to the club I'm mad so I can't imagine what Red fans are thinking.


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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Here's ours.

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Mattel Q&A Infinite Hollywood

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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:13 pm 
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"Scott “Toy Guru” Neitlich oversees all of the Mattycollector lines including MOTU, GB, the Hoverboard, Voltron and Club Infinite Earths. Other brand managers handle the retail DC lines. We will leave it to them to make introductions as they see fit. It is up to each brand manager to work with online fans based on their brand’s needs and their time."

Its this answer here that makes me think we ought to just tell mattel to stop these Q&A things.
Because if from our usual sources we can now only get answers on the mattycollector stuff, it just makes these things not worth it.
Some people don't collect the matty stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:27 pm 
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Most of these Q&A's are little more than aggravating.

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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:01 pm 
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Here is AFi's

http://www.actionfigureinsider.com/main ... l-2nd-2012

I don't think the answers are snarky... but they have answered a LOT of them before. WE know Rocket Red was the one that DC licensing chose. They said at the Toy Fair press day that Bill really tried to get a sticker sheet of other numbers for Rocket Red but it didn't cost out.
And over on the Matty message boards they have answered the Poison Ivy open hand issue, saying there's not time to sculpt a new hand and even listing the other possible open hands they tried to see if they would work.

I'm sure they are just tired of having to reword the answers over and over again.


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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:33 pm 
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Daniel is right here.

Not to be even more "snarky" but if you ask better questions you will get better answers. It is also a good idea to check out the ask Matty forums on Mattycollector .com where myself and other brand managers hang out and answer questions. Here are some tips for getting better answers (whether on the forums or through the bi weekly Q & A with PR)

1: Be direct. Ask one solid question.

2: Leave opinion behind. We know their is a lot of emotion in this hobby,but it so much easier for PR when they can go right to you question vs. wading through extra editorial (not that we don't care or want to know!)

3: Don't ask "when will XX character come out" as that will always get the "great suggestion but nothing to announce now" answer. Asking instead about clarifications on current product or brand overall questions.

4: It is okay to ask our opinion, just know it is just that.

5: Understand that on licensed produce there is often a limit to what we can discuss without going through our partners first and this holds up answers.

6: Understand that it takes 12-14 months to make any change to product or to get a fan requested figure out. The toy industry is not instant and is not very reactionary due to the nature of production. When you see something happening now, realize it is a reaction or a follow up to something happening 14-16 month ago. It really is that slow.

7: Ask an original question. See what other sites are asking and really, do head over to the Ask Matty forums on Mattycollector.com. A ton of questions get answered over there every week.

Hope this helps! Keep those questions coming. The better your questions the better we can answer!


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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:45 pm 
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I got to admit even I was in the boat of these are snarky answers but that was some nifty PR work just now, ToyGuru. You didn't have to address this at all and could have left it alone but you did and that says a little about character. Color me a tad impressed. So I guess I can understand it gets tiresome answering the same question again and again or having to drown on through opinion and rhetoric.

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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:19 pm 
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JuliusMarx wrote:
I don't think the answers are snarky... but they have answered a LOT of them before. WE know Rocket Red was the one that DC licensing chose. They said at the Toy Fair press day that Bill really tried to get a sticker sheet of other numbers for Rocket Red but it didn't cost out.

I'm sure they are just tired of having to reword the answers over and over again.


Not to be snarky, but how would we know they're tired of rewording their answers over and over again if there's no trace of it in their answers! :wink: I don't really mind, mind you. The flavor of the answers never really rubs me one way or the other. I don't find them particularly snarky, just disappointing.

Anyway, Big J, I didn't know DC licensing chose Rocket Red. I don't even know quite what you mean right now. Chose him out of what? The remaining poll options? A list of easy-to-do oversized characters? A hat?

Sometimes, you know things that the rest of us don't, little innocuous things that were said in person at an event that might not have gotten reported on (there are plenty of times that some information doesn't trickle out until someone posts a video, Evil Lyn's GITD staff is an example that springs to mind). Forgive me if you know exactly where this particular tidbit was reported and you can make me look like a fool with a simple link, but I didn't see it doing my TF armchair coverage and it doesn't sound like I'm the only one that was unaware of it. (This is kinda similar to a few months ago when you told me that the black costume Supergirl was a previously released figure - I've never heard that Mattel had planned her in the black costume and have yet to find a trace of it aside from you mentioning it to me - which, btw, if you leave me a comment at IAT come back and check on it!)

But back to my point, no matter who chose Rocket Red to be in the sub, no matter what clearly misinformed person decided the modern 6" version should be an 8" figure, it's a stupid mistake that the consumer will be footing the bill for. They may as well make Hal Jordan an 8" oversized figure because it's that ridiculous/inaccurate. We should be asking about it over and over. We should be voicing that we're upset. I know that you understand the ins and outs of the industry, you know the people personally, you know the power of staying positive - basically, I know that you consider plenty of angles beyond "me unhappy with bad figure" - but even you, as a collector, has to be at least slightly "meh" about that Rocket Red. Heck, I know that Mattel personnel can not publicly express their own disapproval, but I hope that they too realize/feel that Rocket Red is everything that the subscription isn't supposed to be.

Which brings me to my second point - the Q&As are not just questions, they're feedback. How many times did Mattel tell us that Atrocitus was going to be short and it was out of their control? Were we, as a group, just supposed to ask one time, get told no, and leave it at that? Of course not. We kept hammering away collectively and the folks at Mattel, to their credit, found a way to give Atrocitus that extra oomph.

That's why I'm more than happy to ask again and again about the little inane things. I'm going to laugh and play with my Classics Keldor Swords some day soon. I've got a Battle Armor Faker sitting on my desk. I see no reason to stop asking the questions over and over. If Mattel wants me to stop, they've got to revoke my Q&A privileges or stop fixing at least some of the stuff we ask them to fix! Because at IAT, we're not always looking for answers - Mattel isn't going to give lil' ol' me a scoop or a product sample - but they do let me send five direct pieces of feedback to the people that make the decisions. Repetitive answers, perceived snarkiness, and disappointment will not dissuade me.

Finally, Julius, I really do appreciate you being the voice of reason, stepping up to the plate and trying to quell the mob, clear the air, etc., but sometimes the mob needs you.


Last edited by NoisyDvL5 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:28 pm 
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Anyway, I was really here just to add the newest links now that I'm home. :P

I added AFI and Infinite Hollywood to the first post along with these links:

Mint Condition - http://www.mintconditioncustom.com/2012 ... -2nd-2012/

Elkk - http://www.elkkthunderstoyroom.com/2012 ... or-42.html

Kastor - http://kastorskorner.com/index.php?opti ... &Itemid=54

AFBlues - http://www.actionfigureblues.com/2012/0 ... april.html

RumorBuster - http://therumorbuster.com/board/new-new ... ask-matty/


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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:32 am 
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First of all let me just say up front my reply was not meant to chastise anyone or make them feel foolish. It was really an attempt to inform... but it was hastily typed while my daughter was brushing her teeth before I had to go put her to bed so I apologize it it appeared 'short.'

NoisyDvL5 wrote:
Not to be snarky, but how would we know they're tired of rewording their answers over and over again if there's no trace of it in their answers! :wink: I don't really mind, mind you. The flavor of the answers never really rubs me one way or the other. I don't find them particularly snarky, just disappointing.


The only reason I know they have answered them over and over again is because I subscribe to all of Scott's posts on the MattyCollector forums. Every night about 1am I get a digest email of everything he might have posted that day. Some days there are a lot, some days there are none. It's something I learned to do from the readers here actually.


NoisyDvL5 wrote:
Anyway, Big J, I didn't know DC licensing chose Rocket Red. I don't even know quite what you mean right now. Chose him out of what? The remaining poll options? A list of easy-to-do oversized characters? A hat?


I don't know exactly how it works in each instance, but I do know that in these types of agreements a licensee (Mattel) often will submit lists of characters that they would like to produce and all choices must be approved by the licensor. Sometimes the licensor will come back and say something like "we'll let you do "X", but we are using "X" in current publishing/story arcs/animation/promotions so we would need to to do 'Y' version of him to tie into our initiatives.

It was stated in one of the QA I think last month that DC licensing asked them to do that version of Rocket Red.

NoisyDvL5 wrote:
Sometimes, you know things that the rest of us don't, little innocuous things that were said in person at an event that might not have gotten reported on (there are plenty of times that some information doesn't trickle out until someone posts a video, Evil Lyn's GITD staff is an example that springs to mind).


Sometimes that is true, and when that happens I typically try to cite something like that if I can "I heard it from the horse's mouth..." In the earlier post I thought everything I mentioned was in the "public domain" and not a personal conversation. I think there are 2000 versions of that Toy Fair press conference on You Tube based on how many cameras were there recording it. We didn't even bother posting our recording of it because there were SO many others (some even live streaming) recording it that would have gotten it up before us.

NoisyDvL5 wrote:
Forgive me if you know exactly where this particular tidbit was reported and you can make me look like a fool with a simple link, but I didn't see it doing my TF armchair coverage and it doesn't sound like I'm the only one that was unaware of it.


Not trying to make anyone look or feel like a fool. My apologies again if it came off that way.

NoisyDvL5 wrote:
(This is kinda similar to a few months ago when you told me that the black costume Supergirl was a previously released figure - I've never heard that Mattel had planned her in the black costume and have yet to find a trace of it aside from you mentioning it to me - which, btw, if you leave me a comment at IAT come back and check on it!)


Ha. Busted. I'm TERRIBLE at following up on threads like that on other sites. i can barely keep up with the boards and threads here plus my email accounts.

NoisyDvL5 wrote:
But back to my point, no matter who chose Rocket Red to be in the sub, no matter what clearly misinformed person decided the modern 6" version should be an 8" figure, it's a stupid mistake that the consumer will be footing the bill for. They may as well make Hal Jordan an 8" oversized figure because it's that ridiculous/inaccurate. We should be asking about it over and over. We should be voicing that we're upset. I know that you understand the ins and outs of the industry, you know the people personally, you know the power of staying positive - basically, I know that you consider plenty of angles beyond "me unhappy with bad figure" - but even you, as a collector, has to be at least slightly "meh" about that Rocket Red.


Actually... I'd say RR is the one character announced in the sub that I am the MOST "meh" about. I have no connection to him, don't think I've ever read a story where he did anything besides show up in the background. My biggest connection to him is I have a JLU figure and a custom Super Powers figure of him. Him being 6" or 8" really doesn't matter to me. He's a guy in a metal suit so I would think he'd be a bit bigger. I have no emotional connection to either version/costume. The decal thing would have been a cool feature, so I'm slightly sad that didn't happen... but i'm sure some enterprising customizer will right that wrong.


NoisyDvL5 wrote:
Heck, I know that Mattel personnel can not publicly express their own disapproval, but I hope that they too realize/feel that Rocket Red is everything that the subscription isn't supposed to be.


I'm REALLY asking this honestly - Are you saying that NO Rocket Red ever in DCUC would be better that us getting this version? Is that really a deal breaker? It might be. I don't know.

NoisyDvL5 wrote:
Which brings me to my second point - the Q&As are not just questions, they're feedback. How many times did Mattel tell us that Atrocitus was going to be short and it was out of their control? Were we, as a group, just supposed to ask one time, get told no, and leave it at that? Of course not. We kept hammering away collectively and the folks at Mattel, to their credit, found a way to give Atrocitus that extra oomph.


I guess I don't know what "oomph" you are referring to. Atrocitus is built on the standard Superman buck from what I've seen. I would have preferred him even a little beefier with the Hawkman/MM buck.

NoisyDvL5 wrote:
That's why I'm more than happy to ask again and again about the little inane things. I'm going to laugh and play with my Classics Keldor Swords some day soon. I've got a Battle Armor Faker sitting on my desk. I see no reason to stop asking the questions over and over. If Mattel wants me to stop, they've got to revoke my Q&A privileges or stop fixing at least some of the stuff we ask them to fix! Repetitive answers, perceived snarkiness, and disappointment will not dissuade me.


That's fine. I feel you. I too have been perplexed, frustrated and disappointed on occasion with the answers I have gotten back. Especially on questions that I myself have carefully crafted according to their guidelines. I get that. And I think Scott and all of the design teams agree that they DO want fan feedback, and they know that fans catch stuff they don't see sometimes. Right now Scott is the only brand manager brave enough to pop his head up out of the trench and answer our questions because he IS a collector. Right now the other brand managers see how he is treated online and has become the face of the company and they want NO PART OF THAT. They don't even want us to know their names. I think the new retail brand managers are perfectly content to do their jobs, make their products and sell them to mom, kids and grandmas. And I can't say that I blame them.

I'm not targeting any one person in the next section - I'm just talking about the "broad strokes collectors" including myself-

Part of the problem is the "entitlement" thinking that SOME collectors wrap themselves in. They trumpet how "we pay your salary" and "without us you don't have a job", "WE are your customer base" and it's just not true. We help, but collectors still don't make up that big of the market to move the needle in any significant measurement. But MAN we act like we do! And often times instead of giving feedback, constructive criticism or open a dialog, when we see something we don't like we get pissed off and we attack and whip others into a frenzy. And that's not helping our cause.

So all that being said - yes. I agree. DO ask questions. And if you don't like the answer, ask it again. But also at some point if you keep getting the same answer over and over again you have to take into account that that just might be the real answer. Fan questions and fan feedback have made a difference in MANY cases with Mattel. Thank goodness there are people there that are willing to sort through the lunatic fringe and find the real feedback and make real changes as a result. Very few companies are willing to do that.


NoisyDvL5 wrote:
Finally, Julius, I really do appreciate you being the voice of reason, stepping up to the plate and trying to quell the mob, clear the air, etc., but sometimes the mob needs you.


I'm always willing to help out. I have delivered MANY messages, questions and feedback to the powers that be of toy companies in my 10+ years of doing this. And I'll keep doing it, cuz I love this stuff too.

And I've said it before but it's worth saying again - THANK YOU Noisy for pulling together all of the Q&As twice a month and putting them into one thread on a message board on a site that's not even your own! I appreciate it, and I know a LOT of AFi readers appreciate it. Because you do that, that's one more way I personally am able to stay current on Mattel news each month. Thanks!

Hopefully this message is somewhat coherent. As I am writing it at 1:36am I have my doubts. I'll have to proof read it in the morning.

As always, your mileage may vary.

D.


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 Post subject: Re: Ask Mattel for April 2nd
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:40 am 
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I just have to say a few things here.

1. The answers genuinely did feel like somebody needed to have their morning coffee this month. I would be tired of answering the same questions too but your representing the company so shouldn't the answers be more pr friendly?

2. I read all the questions that get submitted in the ask mattel thread and most of them come from people who don't follow the news closely enough to know that it's already been answered or they just flat out ask a bad question that will never get answered. That being said, we don't pick which questions go to Mattel every month either. You guys who choose which ones to send in please just ignore those bad questions.

3. I couldn't agree more about the entitled collectors thing. It is SO out of hand recently that I can't blame the other brand managers for hiding everything. I would do the same thing f I was in their shoes.

4. The Rocket Red issue is not something I'll fight for because I have no connection to him but this is not the type of mistake that fans signed up for and I guarantee you it will influence some purchasing decisions for 2013. And I have to ask, would the MOTUC crowd be told this same thing?

5. I too subscribe to all of TG's comments on the Matty boards and they're about 99.9% about MOTUC. They're so little about DC that I almost wonder what the point of the email is anymore.

6. Finally, I have to thank TG again for braving the collector waters and thank him for his hard work and dedication. Many fans don't appreciate it but please know that some of us really do.


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