Home Forum Columns Galleries Archives About

It is currently Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:35 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: When did the train go off the track?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:23 pm 
Santos L. Halper
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 1434
I am not starting this thread to push anyone's buttons...and I am not announcing that the JLU line is dead...I am just trying to go back over my tracks to figure out when it was that Mattel let the JLU train go off the track...

Let's start with the Toy Fair 2006 product...The start of the product line hit shelves as usual...Rocket Red was fairly easy to find and the three packs were in abundance...but then the second half of the assortment seemed to create an avalanche of problems...

*Was it when the Vigilante single came out? That was the first wave for me that was an absolute teeth-puller to find! I only saw Orion and Elongated Man a handful of times...but I have never seen a single carded Vigilante a single time...Thankfully my parents were on the prowl in another state and came through for me!

*This was also the start of the bizarre 3pack case pack outs...SUPER heavy mixes that were filled with Batman-Zatanna-Shining Knight sets, but very few Etrigan and Huntress 3 packs. At the beginning of the year, the pack outs were even between Kyle Raynor-Katma-Arkiss, Batman-Zatanna-Shining Knight, and The Flash-Green Lantern-Martian Manhunter Lorders...but by the end of the year the mixes were a mess.

*Adding to the problem of the poor product mixes, was the fact that one of the 3 packs never materialized on store shelves. With no word from Mattel, the Shayera-Ray-John Stewart 3 pack failed to debut. Because this 3 pack didnt hit shelves the case of product was packed with MORE Batman-Zatanna-Shining Knight 3 packs and the debut of another current peg warmer...

*The "Trinity" 3 pack...It made sense to me, that big box retailers would love three pack featuring Superman-Batman-Wonder Woman...and there is no denying that it definatly DID sell...however, it seemed like the pack was greatly overproduced and still sits on shelves gathering dust today.

SDCC 06 Product: What started out as a VERY surprising and exciting assortment, slowly became the thorn in many a collectors side...

*Much to the delight of collectors, both Huntress in her new costume and Shade made there debut on single cards...while they were easier to find than Vigilante, this was no walk in the park...it would be several months after the assortment hit the pes that I would find Shade.

*Once again, the 3 pack product mix was a disaster...we no longer got even pack outs, we got weird assortments of one new 3 pack and all old assortments....MORE Batman-Zatanna-Shining Knights and TONS of Trinity packs. Nemesis-Lightray-Amazo snuck out in small quantities, but those numbers were generous compared to what was coming.

*The staggered mix-ins reached new levels of absurdidity when Stargirl-Parasite-Aquaman and Volcana-Hawk-Green Arrow came out. To date, I have seen Stargirl twice and Volcana NEVER. What a dissapointment to a collector that these figures are so hard to get a hold of.

*Around this time, Wal-Mart ceased carring the JLU line...while I myself am NOT a fan of Wal-Mart, it is nice to have another avenue to collect these toys, but alas, the retail giant said "NO MORE" to JLU.

*Well over a YEAR after the products were displayed in SD, I still have yet to find Obsidion-Vigilante-Brainiac, but stumbled ONCE upon a Barda-Deadshot-Martian Manhunter and a Star Sapphire-San-Superman three pack.

*Maybe some people were put off by the Comic Con exclusives that were sold...Solomon Grundy in 06 and the awol Shayera-Ray-Green Lantern on 07.

*Another crushing blow for me was the Toy Fair 07 line...While I was thrilled by the annoncement of a single carded Blue Devil...we are almost 4 months after it was first found in stores and I still have yet to see it on store shelves.

*The reduced assortment shown at Toy Fair 07 also graced us with Fire-Ice-Green Lantern and a Mr Miracle-Orion-Darkseid assortment...but who knows when or IF they will ever be seen.

*I would guess that MOST fans were defeated at SDCC 07 when Mattel debuted their beautiful new kiosk, unveiled their license to the entire DC Universe and then announced they had nothing to show for the JLU line.

So, here we are today...left scratching our heads and wondering how it is this hobby became so darn hard. There is much to be said for the "thrill of the hunt", but the days of a fair hunt are long since passed. I have said this before, but I have the fortune of having NUMEROUS Targets, Toys R Us stores, K-Marts, Wal-Marts and comic book stores around me...as a collector, I scour toy aisles weekly or (sadly) daily...but for the life of me, I can't figure out how mattel has been able to rationalize thier strategy with this line.

It's amazing to me, that a company with so many years in the toy business appears to be so clueless when it comes to getting the toys on the shelves.

This line has so much potential to carry on and be a perinneal seller, but unfortunatly the mistakes Mattel has made are deal breakers for many fans.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:57 pm 
User avatar
Kool Moe Dee
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 2496
The real problem is that the line became popular with collectors but stores were still ordering it like only moms were buying it for kids.

JLU took time to build up popularity, for the first couple of years it was easy to get any figure at any time.

If it continues in some new form I expect figures to be a lot easier to find as it sounds like Mattel is ramping up something big across all DC brands.

Right now is the calm before the storm.

VC9k


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:36 am 
User avatar
Loose, Missing Package
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 10390
Location: Cox's Creek, KY
I think that the biggest problem Mattel has with JLU (and all of their "Male Action" lines) is that they just don't have the clout in this category that Hasbro, Playmates or Jakks has with the big retailers. Before the DC licenses Mattel had only had the original Masters of the Universe and Max Steel as real success stories in the action figure aisle. Mattel's marketing and sales people just don't have the statistics to "prove" to the retailers that their product people know what they're doing so the retailers really got to dictate the products more than they would with Hasbro on Star Wars or Jakks on WWE. The BAFs in DCUC should really help with the product mix problems that have plagued the 6" DC lines and the last attempt at MOTU -- hey, maybe BAF could be the saving grace of a MOTU re-launch?... Hopefully, Mattel has something up their sleeve that will help JLU like the BAFs should help DCUC...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:52 am 
An Insider
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 1071
I think the real issue is that the show has been canceled and there were several summer blockbusters with their own toy lines this year. Remember, a summer blockbuster is a 2-hour commercial that kids are seeking out and paying $7.00 to see. Laying low was probably a good strategy (ducks tomato) albeit frustrating for us fans. We have Batman in theatres next year. Let's see what happens. Also, I wonder if New Frontier will renew some interest.

-R


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:12 am 
User avatar
Super Amigo Fantastico!
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 8292
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
robiwan wrote:
Also, I wonder if New Frontier will renew some interest.


If Superman/Doomsday didn't renew interest (#1 selling comic of all time, Baldwin/Heche in main roles), then New Frontier certainly will not.

Peace,

Chip

_________________
WANTED (all MOC) : Kenner "Free Poster Offer" Brainiac, Playful Super Amigos Brainiac, Trilingual Brainiac (without poster sticker), Lili Ledy Super Poderes Brainiac, Nibo Brainiac


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:22 am 
User avatar
Corporate Spin Monkey
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 2389
Location: Kent, England
marillion wrote:
robiwan wrote:
Also, I wonder if New Frontier will renew some interest.


If Superman/Doomsday didn't renew interest (#1 selling comic of all time, Baldwin/Heche in main roles), then New Frontier certainly will not.


I actually think it might. Its more Justice League centered than Supeman /Doomsday was, and if it follows the graphic novel well enough it should be more popular with fans than Supes was. I think it will help promote JL as a brand.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:42 am 
shirtless hugger
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 1276
Location: Orlando, FL
Superman/Doomsday DID help, at least around here. We had dozens of the gray Doomsday packs restocked on store shelves, and most didn't move at all until after the movie was released. Once the movie hit, I started seeing the Doomsday packs move (yes, I go into several Targets several times a week, so I can nail down the timing with absolute certainty). Now most Targets are down to two or less, and at least one Target finally restocked with the JLU Lava Doomsday. Of course, I'd already eBayed it, but I paid less than retail on eBay, so no big deal.

Anyway, I have some hope that New Frontier will move animated product, IF that product is on the shelves. There is certainly a difference in styling, but kids don't really care -- most don't even notice (my daughter can't tell the difference between my Super Friends -- my Super Powers figures -- and my JLU figures).

I also think people put WAY too much emphasis on media tie-ins. While media tie-ins help, Marvel Legends did fairly well without any movies, and the DC properties are much more recognizable to kids and parents.

Bottom line: Best way to sell toys is to put them on the shelves.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:36 am 
User avatar
Former King of Posts
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 10589
Location: Happy Harbor, RI
Personal opinion?

When Mattel gave fans what they asked for, 3 packs without Supes and Bats in every pack AND when they gave retailers what they asked for, Supes & Bats in the same pack.

SDCC 06. Look at the 3 packs before then and after then. Before - every pack has either Superman, Batman, or Flash (one execption, Wonder Woman, Hawk, Dove). After - many packs without either.

Mattel gave us ONE collector pack, they told us it was a collector pack, to gage the collector demand. Doctor Fate/ Vixen/ Hawkgirl. No Batman. No Superman. The problem is that this IS NOT collector friendly. Two of the 3 pieces had already been available many times. Many collectors on this and other websites had already said they skipped 3 packs with 2 repeats and waited for the probable single of the one new piece. A true collector pack woudl have taken that into account, but this did not. If this pack had been Superman/ Dr. Fate/ Vixen it would have sold to moms as well.

Mattel gave the retailers a pack with Supes, Bats, Wondy. Mom and grandpa no longer have to buy 2 packages to bet both of the World's Finest Heroes. Potential overall drop in sales to that group.

No facts, just my ideas based upon what I've heard, read, and observed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:44 am 
Hangin' with the big boys
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 340
Location: El Paso Texas
Whether the product moves or not is really not the issue here. The question is why did Mattel put out such poor distribution mixes?

The JLU line sells but Mattel clogs the shelves with trinity packs. I have never seen the single packed Vigilante figure on the shelves. I've also never seen certain waves from The Batman.

I was pure luck that I happened upon the new 3 packs with Sand, Deadshot, and Star Sapphire and a Blue Devil, but that was just luck on my part. I have never seen Nemesis pack or Volcana pack.

Wal-mart can canceled the line because their shelves were clogged with Martian Manhunter packs and Vixen packs. They reduced those to $3 the last time I saw them. It was ridiculous

I still don't understand a lot of Mattel's reasoning. Who sits on their Mattel desk and tells distribution to release 4 Trinity packs and 2 Zatanna/Shining Knight packs, and 1 Entrigan pack?

The line sells and I believe this line can last if they go beyond what JLU characters have appeared but if they continue with their distribution policy, they will repeat Masters of Universe all over again.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:07 am 
User avatar
Super Amigo Fantastico!
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 8292
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
elvis8batman wrote:
I actually think it might. Its more Justice League centered than Supeman /Doomsday was, and if it follows the graphic novel well enough it should be more popular with fans than Supes was. I think it will help promote JL as a brand.


I was talking about the general public, where this stuff actually can impact sales. Sales to the fans will always happen.

Peace,

Chip

_________________
WANTED (all MOC) : Kenner "Free Poster Offer" Brainiac, Playful Super Amigos Brainiac, Trilingual Brainiac (without poster sticker), Lili Ledy Super Poderes Brainiac, Nibo Brainiac


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:10 pm 
Prototype
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 7237
Location: Maryland
I don't know why the Zatanna/Shining Knight pack was ordered and stocked in such large amounts but that is certainly the biggest peg warmer of this line. There are very few Trinity packs left in my area. Stores will not put more JLU products on the shelves when they are already clogged with dust collectors. . .and don't even get me started on the Superman singles. My Target is completely clogged with them. :roll:

_________________
Please visit us at the Hall: http://hallofjustice1.proboards77.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:38 pm 
Factory Worker
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 806
robiwan wrote:
I think the real issue is that the show has been canceled and there were several summer blockbusters with their own toy lines this year. Remember, a summer blockbuster is a 2-hour commercial that kids are seeking out and paying $7.00 to see. Laying low was probably a good strategy (ducks tomato) albeit frustrating for us fans. We have Batman in theatres next year. Let's see what happens. Also, I wonder if New Frontier will renew some interest.

-R

I disagree, most transformers, POTC3 and spiderman 3 stuff is still on the pegs and most of it went on sale.

_________________
[center]www.dchallofjustice.com[/center]
visit the DC Hall of Justice!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:47 pm 
An Insider
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 1071
Right. My point was that movie related merchandise took up peg space in the first place leaving less room for JLU. Remember Toy Guru has been saying that once they make a toy, it has to be picked up by retailers in order for it to be released. I am betting, as evidenced by the large quantities of still-hanging movie merch, that retailers were more interested in Spider-Man, Transformers, and POTC3 merchandise this year.

-R


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:42 pm 
shirtless hugger
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 1220
Location: Moore, Oklahoma
Y'know, I've been one of the lucky few to find everything except the con exclusives at retail. And in all instances, except for the Stargirl 3-pack, I've seen them all more than once. that being said, if I hadn't grabbed them the first time that I saw them, waiting on the second time around was really tempting fate - everything since the vigilante yellow-carded single and the Volcana 3-pack waves have blown in and out leaving only countless Zee, Bats, Shining Knight and Trinity 3-packs.

It's not that my area Targets aren't carrying them, it's that they can't move what they have in stock right now which is decreasing automatic reordering, which sends the message to the big box retailers that the line has run it's course.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:31 pm 
Santos L. Halper
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 1434
keep in mind that for some reason Mattel kept putting out the Zatanna 3 pack over and over....she was released with the justice lorders and the green lanterns.....then she was put out again with Huntrss and Etrigan in place of Shayera and Ray.......then she was put out a third time with Lightray and Stargirl.....

The oversaturation of that three pack was puzzling, but likely because it had batman in it.....but we never saw rereleases of the justice lorders or green lanterns or even etrigan.....I am convinced that it was one of the major contributors to the downfall of this line.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Copyright © www.actionfigureinsider.com


[ Time : 0.115s | 11 Queries | GZIP : Off ]