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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:17 pm 
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I've been thinking about the state of Mattycollector in general. And I think they are in need of a massive overhaul of their sales strategy and how they do business with fans.

If I were Matty, I would consider the following.

1) Preorders are better than subs. All of their subs are failing, but there are popular figures within those subs that would sell out in a heartbeat. Here is the way I envision a better system: Twice a year, a large amount of product is proposed to fans on Mattycollector in the form of preorders. The products that sell the most preorders are produced, the rest are shelved. All they would have to do is make one prototype for each figure or toy, post a pic, and see what sells. No more of this all or none stuff.

2) Stop waiting to make the important figures. This happened with JLU, and it's deja-vu all over again with MOTU. They held off on making the major figures and the result is lagging sales and an incomplete collection. I'm sure the MOTU fans will be happy with the Mighty Spector instead of Ram Man. That JLU Mary Marvel was great, but a Savage Time Batman would have been even better.

3) Stop experimenting with scale! I have to agree with Red Ricky on this one. You are just dividing collectors into smaller and smaller categories. For the DC Universe, I would only make figures in the two successful time-tested scales: DCUC and JLU. Maybe throw in Movie Masters scale but that's it.

4) Stop ignoring vehicles, playsets and cases. No disrespect to Uncle Sam and Constantine fans, but wouldn't a Mattycollector only Batmobile generate a bit more interest? Or how about some collector cases for those scores of DC and MOTU figures we have been buying? Your myopic "subs are the only option" mindset allows you to be lazier, but is it really helping your sales?

5) Stop blaming the fans. This is the most important lesson Mattel can learn. This is a major turn off when you are trying to get people to trust Mattel and buy into a sub line or collection. If you offer product that doesn't sell, you simply do not know your customer base well enough. Admit your mistakes and ask the fans for help in the future. Instead of fans throwing their hands in the air and giving up, they will feel like they matter and can help steer the future of their collections.


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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:22 pm 
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batfink wrote:
I've been thinking about the state of Mattycollector in general. And I think they are in need of a massive overhaul of their sales strategy and how they do business with fans.

If I were Matty, I would consider the following.

1) Preorders are better than subs. All of their subs are failing, but there are popular figures within those subs that would sell out in a heartbeat. Here is the way I envision a better system: Twice a year, a large amount of product is proposed to fans on Mattycollector in the form of preorders. The products that sell the most preorders are produced, the rest are shelved. All they would have to do is make one prototype for each figure or toy, post a pic, and see what sells. No more of this all or none stuff.

2) Stop waiting to make the important figures. This happened with JLU, and it's deja-vu all over again with MOTU. They held off on making the major figures and the result is lagging sales and an incomplete collection. I'm sure the MOTU fans will be happy with the Mighty Spector instead of Ram Man. That JLU Mary Marvel was great, but a Savage Time Batman would have been even better.

3) Stop experimenting with scale! I have to agree with Red Ricky on this one. You are just dividing collectors into smaller and smaller categories. For the DC Universe, I would only make figures in the two successful time-tested scales: DCUC and JLU. Maybe throw in Movie Masters scale but that's it.

4) Stop ignoring vehicles, playsets and cases. No disrespect to Uncle Sam and Constantine fans, but wouldn't a Mattycollector only Batmobile generate a bit more interest? Or how about some collector cases for those scores of DC and MOTU figures we have been buying? Your myopic "subs are the only option" mindset allows you to be lazier, but is it really helping your sales?

5) Stop blaming the fans. This is the most important lesson Mattel can learn. This is a major turn off when you are trying to get people to trust Mattel and buy into a sub line or collection. If you offer product that doesn't sell, you simply do not know your customer base well enough. Admit your mistakes and ask the fans for help in the future. Instead of fans throwing their hands in the air and giving up, they will feel like they matter and can help steer the future of their collections.

You should work at Mattel. I'm not saying your ideas would definitely work but if Mattel never tries them we'll never know. Clearly their current model is failing and they have reacted by doubling down on their strategy. What is it called again when you do the same things over and over again and expect different results?

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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:42 pm 
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Seems like Mattel is doing fine to me and they could care less about our corner of their business, with the exception of a few people like TG.


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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:23 pm 
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batfink wrote:
I've been thinking about the state of Mattycollector in general. And I think they are in need of a massive overhaul of their sales strategy and how they do business with fans.

If I were Matty, I would consider the following.

1) Preorders are better than subs. All of their subs are failing, but there are popular figures within those subs that would sell out in a heartbeat. Here is the way I envision a better system: Twice a year, a large amount of product is proposed to fans on Mattycollector in the form of preorders. The products that sell the most preorders are produced, the rest are shelved. All they would have to do is make one prototype for each figure or toy, post a pic, and see what sells. No more of this all or none stuff.

In order to make those prototypes and mockups Mattel is going to have to spend some money which they might not get back because the characters don't get enough pre-orders and are shelved. So that's a lot of work for nothing. Not sure they would be willing to do this. Not that their current plans are going that well and they might have just wasted some serious dough there too, I'm just saying.

batfink wrote:
2) Stop waiting to make the important figures. This happened with JLU, and it's deja-vu all over again with MOTU. They held off on making the major figures and the result is lagging sales and an incomplete collection. I'm sure the MOTU fans will be happy with the Mighty Spector instead of Ram Man. That JLU Mary Marvel was great, but a Savage Time Batman would have been even better.

I happy we got Mary instead. Again just saying :wink:

batfink wrote:
3) Stop experimenting with scale! I have to agree with Red Ricky on this one. You are just dividing collectors into smaller and smaller categories. For the DC Universe, I would only make figures in the two successful time-tested scales: DCUC and JLU. Maybe throw in Movie Masters scale but that's it.

Yeah they need to pick 2 scales and be done.

batfink wrote:
4) Stop ignoring vehicles, playsets and cases. No disrespect to Uncle Sam and Constantine fans, but wouldn't a Mattycollector only Batmobile generate a bit more interest? Or how about some collector cases for those scores of DC and MOTU figures we have been buying? Your myopic "subs are the only option" mindset allows you to be lazier, but is it really helping your sales?

I just don't see too many vehicles after the Batmobile being that popular. Besides Mattel likes to reuse a lot of parts to save money which they can do much easier with figures. Not a whole lot of parts reuse with the vehicles.


batfink wrote:
5) Stop blaming the fans. This is the most important lesson Mattel can learn. This is a major turn off when you are trying to get people to trust Mattel and buy into a sub line or collection. If you offer product that doesn't sell, you simply do not know your customer base well enough. Admit your mistakes and ask the fans for help in the future. Instead of fans throwing their hands in the air and giving up, they will feel like they matter and can help steer the future of their collections.

Yeah it does seem like they can throw a lot of the blame on the fans. On the other hand the fanbase seems to be made of a lot of cherry pickers instead of completest. Some guys like this, some guys like that. Once the fanbase gets fragmented like that we sometimes just don't have enough support to carry a certain subgroup. Every time they cater to one subgroup they run the risk of alienating everyone else which these days seems almost unavoidable. The problem might be that we just need a larger overall fanbase to start, that way when we are split we still have enough people left over to support the product Mattel is trying to sell at that time. Can't really blame anybody, Mattel or the fans. *Edit* Well then again maybe Mattel should take some blame for a decline in sales due to things like quality control and the use of Digital River's questionable service.


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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:01 pm 
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batfink wrote:
If I were Matty, I would consider the following.

1) Preorders are better than subs.
2) Stop waiting to make the important figures.


Pre-Orders would be the worst thing for collectors. I'm not saying the subscription model is the bee's knees, but it's protection for Mattel and protection for us. The pre-order system would be constantly subjecting us to disappointment. The sub barely works because we can at least come together and say "Hey, I really want Bronze age stuff like Stranger and I'll deal with Larfleeze" or "Larfleeze! Yes! Meh, I guess I'll buy the stupid dude in a suit to get him". Pre-Orders remove that entirely and is most likely to just leave us without enough folks wanting Stranger or Larfleeze and collectors getting neither. Pre-Orders sound great, each character must survive on it's own merits and what not, but very few of them are likely to - and I'm sure each of us has a character we would really like to have and absolutely know he'd never hit minimum. There's nothing good for us down that road.

Same thing applies to holding off important figures. We all hate it, myself included. Martian Manhunter in frickin' Wave 15. Wally West teetering in this subscription. Kyle taking so long as to get stuck in the modern costume. But burning through the big characters fast is bad for the long term of the line, always will be. I know that everyone has an opinion and promoting it as the main reason why the MOTU sub is failing, but in addition to price, perceived frustration, etc., Toy Guru did burn through the biggest draws way too quickly. He wanted the line to run at least 2.5 years beyond what we saw at SDCC this year and yet Rio Blast is the biggest heroic master left? Really? There's maybe a half dozen figures that have the highest demand and none of them are A-list. The current July-Jan lineup for MOTUC is unbelievably overloaded with big guns (and it doesn't even matter because the collectorbase is still complaining about character selection right in the middle of it). It's kind of a joke at the Org right now because so many people are saying that there's plenty of time for non-vintage stuff after all the vintage stuff is done, but they're not being honest - they'd walk away from the line when that time comes. They're already doing it.


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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:33 pm 
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NoisyDvL5 wrote:
Pre-Orders sound great, each character must survive on it's own merits and what not, but very few of them are likely to - and I'm sure each of us has a character we would really like to have and absolutely know he'd never hit minimum. There's nothing good for us down that road.


If that's true, then y'know what? Mattel spent way too much money for the DC license. They should have just stuck with Superman and Batman.


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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:35 pm 
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SDcomics wrote:
If that's true, then y'know what? Mattel spent way too much money for the DC license. They should have just stuck with Superman and Batman.


Well, I'd rather have the awesome collection that I have with a few holes than nothing at all. Mike, I didn't take you for a "burn it all down" kinda guy.


That aside, I would imagine the cost of production is more expensive than the cost of the license as diffused across each figure.


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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:42 pm 
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:D Maybe I should say I should hope the production costs more. If Mattel is paying DC more than they're paying the factories per figure for such low runs, that'd be awful.

Actually, thinking about DC Comics getting paid when I buy a Mattel figure kinda rubs me the wrong way now that I think about it. Ewww. :x


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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:46 am 
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All great points guys! Mattel clearly put a lot of time and energy into the Mattycollector website, and I just don't want to see it fail. Clearly fans are not as into the subscription model as they are, and doubling down on that may be a mistake.

Mattel does know how to really pease the fans. The collect and connect MM bat signal, the YJ Hall of Justice diorama were great...I just wish they would bring that sort of creativity to mattycollector as well. How about a Wayne Manor or Fortress of Solitude diorama? Or a Dark Knight Returns 3 pack with Batman, Robin and mutant leader to coincide with the animated film's release? I love to see the occasional third stringer make it into the line, but squeeze them in with crowd pleaders to make them sell better.


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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:10 am 
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Personally, I feel stupid for getting sucked into MOTUC after JLU. I should have learned my lesson. For some reason I felt safe with MOTUC, it seemed to be doing so well, and I really thought they'd get to my few remaining must haves before the end of the line (Ram man, Jitsu, Glimmer, Angella, Mantenna). But nooooo, they hold off on important characters for too long. They end stuff too soon. They cry the same tune every year.
I vow, this is the last line I collect with them. From now on, I'm vintage stuff only and Hasbro. If Hasbro ever makes something I want. LOL.
I'm not stomping my foot, but I invest too much time and money into what I collect, and to constantly walk around with important characters not being released, it's not worth starting. They have me til the end of JLU, and MOTUC, but after that, no more Mattel lines.

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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:31 am 
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jzachery wrote:
Personally, I feel stupid for getting sucked into MOTUC after JLU. I should have learned my lesson. For some reason I felt safe with MOTUC, it seemed to be doing so well, and I really thought they'd get to my few remaining must haves before the end of the line (Ram man, Jitsu, Glimmer, Angella, Mantenna). But nooooo, they hold off on important characters for too long. They end stuff too soon. They cry the same tune every year.
I vow, this is the last line I collect with them. From now on, I'm vintage stuff only and Hasbro. If Hasbro ever makes something I want. LOL.
I'm not stomping my foot, but I invest too much time and money into what I collect, and to constantly walk around with important characters not being released, it's not worth starting. They have me til the end of JLU, and MOTUC, but after that, no more Mattel lines.


I'm guessing that if the line bombs due to lack of subscriptions, then the likes of Ram Man, Jitsu, Mantenna and any others must haves that have been worked up will be offered as pricey one offs.

Now JLU is winding down, MOTUC and DCUIE were the only lines I'd be getting. I was always a cherry picker with MOTUC as I only wanted the characters I had as a kid, but for DC I was all in. My hope was to have a DCUC version of each of my JLU figures, but that doesn't look like its going to happen now.

If the lines die, then other than the Man of Steel movie masters next year, I won't be getting any more stuff from Mattel and my collecting days will end.


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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:49 am 
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jzachery wrote:
Personally, I feel stupid for getting sucked into MOTUC after JLU...

But why? I think Mattel has given collectors a nice, extensive collection of JLU, DCUC and MOTUC. Are they all "complete?" No, and as a DCUC collector, it can be frustrating to have incomplete teams. But taking in what we have received in the line, I have no regrets buying into DCUC or JLU (I don't collect MOTUC).

Now, Young Justice, both scales? Yeah, that might be considered a mistake. Maybe all the other lines with pre-mature endings, like Infinite Heroes, Brave & The Bold, The Batman, Ghostbusters, etc., could be considered a mistake getting into, although some here could make a good argument against it (I was happy with The Batman output, and satisfied enough with Infinite Heroes and Ghostbusters).

But taking a step back to look at it, MOTUC, JLU and DCUC are the three lines that I think Mattel has done a pretty good job with over time.


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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:43 am 
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TRDouble wrote:
But taking a step back to look at it, MOTUC, JLU and DCUC are the three lines that I think Mattel has done a pretty good job with over time.


I'd pretty much have to agree. While there were always a few headscratchers for me (Vigilante? Kamandi? The Super Ethnic Stereotypes? Golden Pharoh? No Huntress? No Mera? Only one female Legionaire in a 12-pack), DCUC has been a very nice line. It was the first to get me into the DC universe as a whole. I give it an A-.

MOTUC has been a great line, although sometimes a bit on the expensive side. It got me to buy a lot more figures than I ever thought I would (and they owe those sales to the excellent 200x series, which is when I jumped into He-man for the first time). It gets a B+.

I don't collect JLU, but it seems to me that Mattel (or at least Toyguru) really bent over backwards to get the fans as many characters as possible. I don't see how fans of that line can be disappointed in their collections (although the price towards the end got really high).

My biggest beef with Mattel is over the Young Justice line. Putting Sportsmaster and Red Arrow in the 6 inch line up before the rest of the original team was a huge mistake.

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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:54 am 
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I am in utter disbelief that these precious subs are in danger, especially the MOTU one. In my opinion, it might be due to shrunken interest, but has more to do with rising costs and a raised limbo-sales-bar imposed on the Matty group by the higher-ups at Mattel. But without actual sales and production numbers for us to look at, we cannot be sure.

Why can't AFi have Mattel spies? Those sales and production numbers would sure be interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: Matty 2013 Subscriptions Update 7/12
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:48 pm 
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whakojacko1976 wrote:
batfink wrote:
I've been thinking about the state of Mattycollector in general. And I think they are in need of a massive overhaul of their sales strategy and how they do business with fans.

If I were Matty, I would consider the following.

1) Preorders are better than subs. All of their subs are failing, but there are popular figures within those subs that would sell out in a heartbeat. Here is the way I envision a better system: Twice a year, a large amount of product is proposed to fans on Mattycollector in the form of preorders. The products that sell the most preorders are produced, the rest are shelved. All they would have to do is make one prototype for each figure or toy, post a pic, and see what sells. No more of this all or none stuff.

In order to make those prototypes and mockups Mattel is going to have to spend some money which they might not get back because the characters don't get enough pre-orders and are shelved. So that's a lot of work for nothing. Not sure they would be willing to do this. Not that their current plans are going that well and they might have just wasted some serious dough there too, I'm just saying.


Then before Matty spends time creating a prototype and getting the figure approval from DC, they should post a character poll on their website. This way they will be able to tell if a character is popular enough to sell through their website.


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