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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:13 am 
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Caped Crusader wrote:
I'm not sure how many times this needs to be said, but the case ratios are based on requests from corporate buyers from the large retailers. These things don't go to Target on a consignment basis, and Mattel cannot force them to purchase more obscure characters most people have never heard of to stock in their toy aisles. So your "fact" isn't a "fact" at all. Mattel did exactly what their customers - for those keeping score, those are the big retailers - wanted them to do.


Actually, in this case, you're 100% wrong. These specific case ratios (trinity) were not requested by any stores. And, the heavy trinity skew to the cases was, as BW stated, something they decided to implement even if in error. BW and team were instructed (by Mattel upper management) that if they were to make a mistake in case ratios, then it would be better for it to be heavy towards the big 3. I don't know about you, but for anyone with a sense of business life, that pretty much means the cases are (in fact) going to be packed heavy towards the big 3. -- "I know the 3-packs are just setting there, but it's what I was instructed to do." -- This approach in business typically means "CYA".

Also, Target does not make specific "request" for general case ratios they may receive. Exclusives yes, certain mixes periodically, maybe. But Target uses the same skin number for every JLU figure, they can't even track which figure sells better than the next. For the common JLU skin assortments (singles and 3-packs), Target gets what mattel ships them, and they ONLY care that those skin numbers sell. (Which currently not too many are.)

Sure, store buyers will convey that they "want" certain figures (characters) in a line, and that they will "carry" them in their stores, but once a figure assortment is set or changed, then that's what Target is going to get; and based ultimately on what Mattel decides to make available.

gd

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:54 am 
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geoffdude wrote:
Actually, in this case, you're 100% wrong. These specific case ratios (trinity) were not requested by any stores.

Cute. See below.

geoffdude wrote:
But Target uses the same skin number for every JLU figure, they can't even track which figure sells better than the next.

That's not even remotely relevant. Corporate buyers still decide what the retailers buy. That's their job.

geoffdude wrote:
And, the heavy trinity skew to the cases was, as BW stated, something they decided to implement even if in error. BW and team were instructed (by Mattel upper management) that if they were to make a mistake in case ratios, then it would be better for it to be heavy towards the big 3. I don't know about you, but for anyone with a sense of business life, that pretty much means the cases are (in fact) going to be packed heavy towards the big 3. -- "I know the 3-packs are just setting there, but it's what I was instructed to do." -- This approach in business typically means "CYA".

First of all, what you don't seem to understand is that Boy Wonder doesn't go in and try to convince the retailers to buy DC superhero figures himself. Of course he was told what to do by others in Mattel, because they're the ones who deal with the retailers, as spoken by Boy Wonder himself:

Boy Wonder wrote:
As a result, I was told that if I have a mix issue, it better be with Superman or Batman because that's what the retailers want.

So while Target may not say, "If we buy these, there has to be six Trinity packs in every case of twelve," the Mattel guys have to say, "Half of every case is filled with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, just like you guys wanted," in order to make the sale. So once again, I'm not sure how many times this needs to be said, but the case ratios are based on requests from corporate buyers from the large retailers.

Tell me how I'm "100% wrong" again.

geoffdude wrote:
For the common JLU skin assortments (singles and 3-packs), Target gets what mattel ships them, and they ONLY care that those skin numbers sell. (Which currently not too many are.)

Right. Manufacturers get to hold their customers hostages and ship them whatever they want, and that's why Mattel ships fewer of the figures they just spent money developing. Uh huh.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:49 am 
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geoffdude wrote:
These specific case ratios (trinity) were not requested by any stores. gd


Boy Wonder himself said that it was the big box retailers that had asked for the trinity 3 pack to be put together. Supes, Bats, Wondy all in one 3pack. he stated that 3pack would continue to ship throughout the length of the line. This was at SDCC while I was talking to him at the Mattel booth.

I think putting the big 3 in one pack and removing them from several of the other 3packs is what skewed the ratio. Parents no longer needed to buy 2 packages to get Superman and Batman. They no longer had to pick up several unknown characters to get the 3pack 'volume discount'.

The trinity packs near me sell. the Batman/ShiningKnight/Zatanna packs which are clogging the pegs do not.

If I was a retailer, I'd want more packs with Supes & Bats, less packs that did not have them.


I think the solution is to go back to what we had before.
1. Supes or Bats in every 3pack.
2. Stop shipping the older pieces in with the new.
3. Stop trying to use other characters as the driving sales force.

1 new character with Dr. Fate and Hawkgirl - bad idea.
Superman or Batman and 2 new characters - good idea.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:50 am 
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Caped Crusader wrote:
Arrakhat wrote:
And did I say that Mattel promised figures? No. But they promised that we would be excited by big things. That falls under the building expectations problem.

And I am excited by big things. Captain Marvel is available. That's exciting! No problem there. So on what "promise" did Mattel fail to deliver?

Captain Marvel is available, and now a whole year with only two new figures? I'd have rather seen the few repaints they had ready as well, that would have stopped much backlash. Hard to get excited without any figures to look at at a toy show. Hell, if they'd even listed actual figures that were planned, that would have been great, but they just mentioned some characters that they had heard about from fans. Still cool, but falls short of expectations.* That's me though, your mileage may vary (and probably does).

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Arrakhat wrote:
I was also hyped because someone had a source that indicated "more than six figures," and similar ideas.

Well, Mattel can't really be blamed for rumor and speculation.

Never blamed Mattel for that, so sorry about the misunderstanding. I was just trying to mention that which added to the feeling of dissappointment.



*However, if we see Cheetah, Giganta, Mr Terrific, Blackhawk, and Captain Atom at the next showing, let me be amongst the first to apologize for doubting. That was just a letdown of a weekend, so the venting was understandable.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:23 am 
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superfriend wrote:

1 new character with Dr. Fate and Hawkgirl - bad idea.
Superman or Batman and 2 new characters - good idea.

Great point, superfriend. The new Flash/Starman pack that's coming out with Fire/Ice and Mr. Miracle 3 packs will definately be a peg warmer. :roll:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:47 pm 
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geoffdude wrote:
But Target uses the same skin number for every JLU figure, they can't even track which figure sells better than the next. For the common JLU skin assortments (singles and 3-packs), Target gets what mattel ships them, and they ONLY care that those skin numbers sell. (Which currently not too many are.)


Actually, this is where you're "100% wrong". Target (as well as Wal-Mart, TRU and K-Mart) uses a single SKU for the assortment, but the fact that each distinct package in the assortment has it's own barcode means that each barcode has to be in the system for the items to scan at the register. Even if Target doesn't print the individual barcode number on the receipts like Wal-Mart and TRU that doesn't mean that they can't track the sales of an individual item in their system. I know at Wal-Mart the cashiers are trained to scan each item that goes through the registers instead of just one so that accurate sales data can be captured (yes, I know that doesn't often happen, but that's the plan) even if the items come from the same assortment. Actually, the only action figure line on the market right now that I know of that doesn't use individual barcodes for each unique figure is Jakks WWE line -- one barcode for the entire assortment, next assortment has a new number.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:51 pm 
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riddler2403 wrote:
superfriend wrote:

1 new character with Dr. Fate and Hawkgirl - bad idea.
Superman or Batman and 2 new characters - good idea.

Great point, superfriend. The new Flash/Starman pack that's coming out with Fire/Ice and Mr. Miracle 3 packs will definately be a peg warmer. :roll:


Well, I don't think any of us expected the Justice Lords or Green Lanterns to be peg warmers either with all of the new characters in those, but yet they were/are. Even requested characters like Huntress and Etrigan are warming the 3 pack pegs around here. Of course, putting Batman in a pack with Zatanna and Shining Knight didn't help a lot, either, nor putting Superman in with Supergirl and Steel...


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:12 pm 
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>>For most of my adult life, I've been an action figure expert. Not because I say so, but because that's what the TV, radio, and print interviewers called me.<<

Image

>>I joined the forum here because it seemed much more smart and reasonable than the other geek forums. I hate to say this, but judging by some of the more recent posts in various threads (by various people), I'm obviously playing in the little leagues here. I kept repeating my concern about Mattel because I wasn't getting any sensible, constructive answers, just the same old pat, parroted responses. <<

And if you really are an "action figure expert", as proclaimed by the "TV, radio and print interviewers", wouldn't you pretty much already know the answers to those concerns?

You kept repeating yourself over and over and over and over because, as you said, you see it as your job to "keep things from getting boring around here". But when you bring up the same topic in multiple threads on the same day it can quickly become annoying. Not just to me, but to several people. And it's also a waste of bandwidth. There's no forum that I can think of (Save perhaps the DC Direct board at DC Online) that will let you or anyone else get away with that. A moderator will always call you out on it. Nobody likes getting beaten over the head with the same message day after day after day.

>>And by the way, all the Pirates 3 and Spiderman 3 figures on Earth aren't filling up those ten or twelve mostly-empty pegs of 6" Superman and Bizarro and JLU Zatanna and Trinity packs.<<

And by the way, you're gonna have to bring that up with the retailers. They're the ones who decide on the case ratios.

Mattel and the retailers tried even case ratios with the first wave of DCSH, remember? That didn't work out to well. To this day, you can still find Scarecrow, Bane and Killer Croc figures from that assortment in some stores. The Batman figure, however, is long gone.

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, Batman is going to sell. Period. Batman has always been a big ol' cash cow for whatever company happens to hold the rights. Hasbro knew that when they were cranking out the Mission Master repaints. Collectors don't always believe it, but it's true.

The trinity three pack and the 6" Bizzaro figure sell. That's why the stores keep asking for more.

>>Thanks to those who have spoken up and supported me, it took guts. And Mike, I don't need to provide links, just read my old threads and see for yourself.<<

Yeah, I looked. Sorry, but I didn't see the multitudes singing your praises, oh savior of the Mattel-ALL forum.

Mike
(Quite the opposite, in fact.)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:35 pm 
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>>Fact, Mattel made the decision to heavy pack the trinity sets, thinking this was a good tactic for maintaining the lines sell through during this "tough" time. This might of been a good idea for a few months, but for most of the year? This should of been a temp thing, that got changed by now. <<

Caped Crusader, superfriend and Jim Abell already did a fine job of responding to this. The retailers know exactly what sells and what doesn't. And it is indeed the retailers who determine the case ratios. And it was the retailers who requested the trinity packs and more 6" Bizzaros.

Again, let me point out that Mattel and the retailers tried even case ratios with the first wave of DCSH. You can still get a Scarecrow, Bane and Killer Croc around here if you need one. The Batman figure from that assortment is pretty hard to find, though.

Look, I've spoken to several reps from Mattel, Hasbro and ToyBiz at SDCC over the years and they all have said the same thing: It's the retailers that decide the case ratios. And it's Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and Wolverine that are the big sellers in the mass market.

Mike
(I'm not saying that the toy companies are perfect. They've made their share of mistakes. People do that. But you can't place any blame on Mattel for the DC stuff being hard to find at retail right now. )


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:05 pm 
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Man, that makes me wish we had inside contacts with Target, TRU, and Walmart.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:26 pm 
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SDcomics wrote:
>>Fact, Mattel made the decision to heavy pack the trinity sets, thinking this was a good tactic for maintaining the lines sell through during this "tough" time. This might of been a good idea for a few months, but for most of the year? This should of been a temp thing, that got changed by now. <<

Caped Crusader, superfriend and Jim Abell already did a fine job of responding to this. The retailers know exactly what sells and what doesn't.

--------------------------------
Wal-Mart & TRU do, Target not so much. (at least individual figures) When all the JLU tracks through as the same item, the home office looks at the sales of skin/sku (whatever) as a whole, then they ultimately clear items out that don't sell based on the whole category, not just an individual, poor selling, unit (figure).
----------------------------------
And it is indeed the retailers who determine the case ratios.
---------------------------------
No it isn't, they "suggest". Mattel does not employ the retailers. They wanted the trinity packs, I never said they didn't, but it was Mattel that decided to place 3 or 4 per case. Sure Wal-Mart may order "specific" case mixes, and "special" case ratios, but that's typically for specials. Mattel's research Dept., and line managers, ultimately determine what each "regular" case ratio will be.
------------------------------------
And it was the retailers who requested the trinity packs and more 6" Bizzaros.
------------------------------------
Trinity packs yes, case ratios no. My "point" all along. Many of you need to try and comprehend what is *actually being said, and not what you want to hear.
-------------------------------------


Again, let me point out that Mattel and the retailers tried even case ratios with the first wave of DCSH. You can still get a Scarecrow, Bane and Killer Croc around here if you need one. The Batman figure from that assortment is pretty hard to find, though.
-------------------------
So? Should the cases be full of Batmans? No, this is a poor forward thinking objective. Sure, mix it up to heavy pack the favorites, but then have a new case ratio asst ready to follow quickly. The point being, when the pegs start to clog, then action needs to be taken. This is what Mattel is failing at. Hasbro, for what ever reason, seems to manage this issue better.
------------------------

Look, I've spoken to several reps from Mattel, Hasbro and ToyBiz at SDCC over the years and they all have said the same thing: It's the retailers that decide the case ratios.
----------------------
Again wrong. They "suggest". And again, to the point, relating to this issue specifically, BW said he was instructed to decide this latest ratio per management instructions to address the movies, limited peg space, and keeping the big 3 in view. He, or they (Mattel) made the call.
--------------------
And it's Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and Wolverine that are the big sellers in the mass market.
---------------------
We all know this, and that's not the point. The point is, when it's obvious new product is not reaching the shelves as it should, due to very old product preventing restocking, then... there's is without a doubt a problem somewhere. And at the end of the day, it's Mattel's problem (ours too) and they must be held accountable for how they distribute their product. Target or Wal-Mart could care less. If the line is not selling.... well, in with the new BANDAI toy line, and Mattel can close their doors forever for all they care.
--------------------

Mike
(I'm not saying that the toy companies are perfect. They've made their share of mistakes. People do that. But you can't place any blame on Mattel for the DC stuff being hard to find at retail right now. )

--------------------
Yes I can. And I do. They (Mattel) are basically on the path to killing the line. At some point, when does basic business common sense kick in? You can't keep doing the same wrong things the same. Try some new wrong things every once in awhile. That's how businesses find long lasting success, and in this case it's how a toy line may find long lasting life.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:08 am 
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geoffdude wrote:
Many of you need to try and comprehend what is *actually being said, and not what you want to hear.

There's only one person having difficulty with comprehension. That the overload of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman was based on a request from the retailers came from Boy Wonder himself, and you still can't grasp it. You're at it again here:

geoffdude wrote:
BW said he was instructed to decide this latest ratio per management instructions to address the movies, limited peg space, and keeping the big 3 in view. He, or they (Mattel) made the call.

:roll:

Boy Wonder himself wrote:
As a result, I was told that if I have a mix issue, it better be with Superman or Batman because that's what the retailers want.

The "management" get their instructions from their customers.

geoffdude wrote:
Yes I can. And I do.

Because you're right, and everyone else - Mattel employees included - is wrong.

geoffdude wrote:
At some point, when does basic business common sense kick in?

That's what I'm wondering. How on earth does anyone really imagine that a manufacturer dictates to a retailer what they will buy in their orders? :lol:

I worked in manufacturing for several years before I got into the entertainment industry. That ain't how it works, sport.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:55 am 
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Caped Crusader wrote:
geoffdude wrote:
Many of you need to try and comprehend what is *actually being said, and not what you want to hear.

There's only one person having difficulty with comprehension. That the overload of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman was based on a request from the retailers came from Boy Wonder himself, and you still can't grasp it. You're at it again here:

geoffdude wrote:
BW said he was instructed to decide this latest ratio per management instructions to address the movies, limited peg space, and keeping the big 3 in view. He, or they (Mattel) made the call.

:roll:

Boy Wonder himself wrote:
As a result, I was told that if I have a mix issue, it better be with Superman or Batman because that's what the retailers want.

The "management" get their instructions from their customers.

-----------------------------
But "he" decided it (case ratios) not the retailers, "based" on request from the retailers. He still could of errored in the other direction if he "chose". Again, my point. The retailers want what "sells" bottom line. If it's "Batman" or if it's Dancing Elmo, they don't truly care. My point all along is that at some point when what you're currently doing isn't working, then a few retailers are not the best guides to determine how a company's complete product line should be distributed. Mattel needs to look after it's own long term existence (or the lines) and make changes to ensure success.
----------------------------------
geoffdude wrote:
Yes I can. And I do.

Because you're right, and everyone else - Mattel employees included - is wrong.
--------------------------------
Now you get it. :)
-------------------------------

geoffdude wrote:
At some point, when does basic business common sense kick in?

That's what I'm wondering. How on earth does anyone really imagine that a manufacturer dictates to a retailer what they will buy in their orders? :lol:
--------------------------------
They don't. They buy an "assortment" of a "toy line". I think you need to try and better understand the issue at hand.
--------------------------------

I worked in manufacturing for several years before I got into the entertainment industry. That ain't how it works, sport.

-------------------------------
Don't know about the rest here, but that doesn't impress me. Should it? I've worked in Marketing for a major media business for over 20 years. So what? That doesn't relate to anything being discussed here... especially when most of this is based on perspective.

By the way "pops", if the *retailers (as you propose) are so in control of Mattel's case ratio configuration, so much that Mattel can't do anything themselves without permission, then how is Mattel's BW or TG going to fix the ratio and distribution problems as it was "clearly" stated "they" were going to do?

Hmmmmm....

gd

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:45 am 
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Oh. My. Gawd.

Caped Crusader wrote:
I'm not sure how many times this needs to be said, but the case ratios are based on requests from corporate buyers from the large retailers.

geoffdude wrote:
Actually, in this case, you're 100% wrong.

geoffdude wrote:
But "he" decided it (case ratios) not the retailers, "based" on request from the retailers.

I'm not sure if it's funny or sad.

Caped Crusader wrote:
Because you're right, and everyone else - Mattel employees included - is wrong.

geoffdude wrote:
Now you get it. :)

So what's life like in Neverland?

geoffdude wrote:
They don't. They buy an "assortment" of a "toy line". I think you need to try and better understand the issue at hand.

When you start to "better understand" what's even being posted to this thread, then we can come back to me.

They buy that "assortment" based on what it contains.

Caped Crusader wrote:
I worked in manufacturing for several years before I got into the entertainment industry. That ain't how it works, sport.

geoffdude wrote:
Don't know about the rest here, but that doesn't impress me. Should it?

You have an overactive imagination if you think that was intended to impress you.

geoffdude wrote:
I've worked in Marketing for a major media business for over 20 years. So what? That doesn't relate to anything being discussed here... especially when most of this is based on perspective.

But not manufacturing, which is exactly what does relate to the discussion. You obviously know nothing about that side of business, or else you wouldn't be persisting in an argument with people who 1) have worked in that sector, 2) have worked for toy manufacturers, and 3) have had face-to-face conversations with the Mattel staff responsible for this line. You've gone from telling me I was "100% wrong" to repeating exactly what I said back to me, so can I have my "perspective" back now?

geoffdude wrote:
By the way "pops"

I'm your junior by at least a decade, but okay... :?

geoffdude wrote:
if the *retailers (as you propose) are so in control of Mattel's case ratio configuration, so much that Mattel can't do anything themselves without permission, then how is Mattel's BW or TG going to fix the ratio and distribution problems as it was "clearly" stated "they" were going to do?

They have to convince retailers to buy a more diverse line, which they know will be easier to do with a Batman film being released in 2008. It's called a sales pitch, and that's their job. I would think someone who's spent 20+ years working for a company that generates its revenue by selling ads on a few radio stations and in little newspapers would understand that concept.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:32 pm 
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You know what else Hasbro is doing that Mattel isn't? Making Star Wars toys. Way to miss out on that one, Mattel.

Seriously, are we even talking about Hasbro anymore? This has turned into multiple posters articulately explaining the case ratio situation, and geoffdude arguing anyway.

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