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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:59 pm 
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Daniel Pickett
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I'm not sure why fans are getting SO hung up on this lenticular thing as a sticking point. With these new pictures that Bob Gale and BTTF.com posted with his two SCREEN USED hover board props side by side with Mattel's version and Bob's own screen used props... the ones he took to the Mattel offices ALSO DO NOT HAVE LENTICULAR STICKERS.

There were 30 different boards used for ONE prop and not all of them had those lenticular stickers. Mattel looked into the stickers and it would have doubled the cost of the item. but again looking at these new side by side pictures I feel like the lenticular argument goes out the window. it might not be "accurate" to your personal favorite SHOT of the hover board in the movie... but it's accurate to the actual prop they had access to.

If you want to be upset about something not being "screen accurate" or a "replica" get upset that the handlebar hole is cast in pink plastic instead of black.


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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:35 pm 
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Wow, Mattel must be pulling out all the stops to do damage control on this thing. Removing message board posts on Matty, a backtrack from Bob Gale, and now a reply from Julius! ;)

Look, we are not dealing with the crisis in the Middle East here. Collectables not important in the grand scheme of things. My only motivation is to provide feedback to make Mattel better in the future. I have been disappointed lately in their collector offerings and I want nothing more for them to turn it around and make some great products, other than He-Man. I give them major credit where credit is due, like the Movie Masters line, which I still consider a great success, and completing the JLU lineup. A real gift for the fans.

But come on, DOUBLE the cost? Really...double? $125 for each sticker when bought in bulk? I have no doubt Mattel told you that. But when I see lenticular stickers that you can purchase out of a $0.25 gumball machine, I find that really, really hard to believe.

And it was BOB GALE HIMSELF WHO CITED THE LACK OF THE LENTICULAR STICKERS TO BE THE BOARD'S BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT. And I agree with him. First and foremost, you want the board to look visually correct, and the lenticular surface covers a massive area of the correct movie board. From what I can see, the two boards Gale posted side by side do look like they have lenticular tops.

It's one thing for Mattel to throw a crazy looking $9.99 JLU Galatea in my collection. No biggie. But a $125 mistake? Yikes. Mattel sometimes reminds me of the director Ed Wood. Instead of taking the time to do it right, they just throw out the product for better or worse. Mattel didn't even ask Gale for help when they were having trouble with the sticker. Mattel holds some of the licenses that I collect the most, and I am rooting for them to make all of their collectibles great. Fingers crossed.


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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:04 pm 
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Daniel Pickett
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Bob Gale states in the text of the article right under the pictures:

Quote:
Neither of my boards have the real lenticular finish that's seen in some of the movie shots.


It's not the BUYING of the lenticular material that doubles the price. It's having the custom made lenticular material created (if you just want ANY lenticular pattern then you should take a roll of quarters to that gumball machine you spotted and buy up a bunch and cover your hover board with lenticular kitties! :) )
So, after you make the custom material, you have to have it custom cut and hand applied at the factory (which would also involve making templates or guides for each person working on that part of the assembly). Also because the lenticular is a much thicker material than a standard sticker, Mattel would have needed to resculpt/retool the top part of the board so it would have recessed areas/channels for the lenticulars to sit in (much like what was done for the velcro straps on the front).

The factory is going to charge you extra for all that extra work. It IS an increase in price. They don't do any of that for free overseas.

My original point was that Bob himself is holding Mattel to a higher standard on their replica than the SCREEN USED props that he owns.


I don't have much of a dog in this fight in that I'm not a huge BTTF2 fan. I look at the thing (especially in the comparison pictures posted yesterday) and I think, "Yup. That looks like the thing in the movie."

I've just been really surprised by the fan reaction to this one thing. As I mentioned earlier I think the handlebar hole is the bigger "miss" on the finished product.


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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:18 pm 
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batfink wrote:
I'm inclined to agree with you too, fball. Mattel is, at heart, a mass market toy company. And maybe they will eventually decide to stick to that genre.

My personal belief is that being "detail oriented" has little to do with the industry you're in, and more to do with the type of professional/manager/organization you are. People think that a price tag buys "care", but... not really. I've seen people in the food service industry put as much care and pay as much attention to their work, as the guys in Apple. I've also seen organizations much bigger than Apple put little to no care into what they do. So in reality, a company's commitment to excellence has more to do with the professionals they hire, than whether or not they make toys.

In the end, I think that Mattel did right by their customers, when they offered their money back to those who weren't happy with the finished product. But that doesn't change the fact that, when it comes to Mattycollector, I've yet to see the level of care I expect from a Fortune 500 company.

Really. It's all about care. Caring enough so that your communications don't have typos and reflect positively on you and your business. Caring about your customer's buying experience and their satisfaction. And ultimatelly, caring that people actually get their money's worth. And that's the key. Regardless of whether you are in the ipad, gum or toys business; it all boils down to the level of care you put into your work. And when it comes to Mattycollector, more often than not, the simple things just slip through the cracks. Simple things that could've been corrected with just a modicum of due care.

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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:33 pm 
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JuliusMarx wrote:
I'm not sure why fans are getting SO hung up on this lenticular thing as a sticking point. With these new pictures that Bob Gale and BTTF.com posted with his two SCREEN USED hover board props side by side with Mattel's version and Bob's own screen used props... the ones he took to the Mattel offices ALSO DO NOT HAVE LENTICULAR STICKERS.

There were 30 different boards used for ONE prop and not all of them had those lenticular stickers. Mattel looked into the stickers and it would have doubled the cost of the item. but again looking at these new side by side pictures I feel like the lenticular argument goes out the window. it might not be "accurate" to your personal favorite SHOT of the hover board in the movie... but it's accurate to the actual prop they had access to.

If you want to be upset about something not being "screen accurate" or a "replica" get upset that the handlebar hole is cast in pink plastic instead of black.


Allright, let's take away the lenticular issue. Then you still have to face issues with the stand "poorly designed and damn near impossible to make work" and the poorly functioning gliding technology. Neither of these issues were brought up by fans. They were brought up by Bob Gale. Not that that should matter...

fball13z is correct. Mattel is "A mass market toy company, not a high end collectible company". Yet they chose to enter the collector market, selling high priced prop replicas and they applied mass market resources and strategies and this is where it got them. You don't delete posts on your message board if you stand by the quality of your product. But the best part of this strategy is when they flip the blame of poor sales on the collector market not showing up. A beautiful piece of corporate flim flam


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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:16 pm 
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Daniel Pickett
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The stand is not integral to the replica being accurate... but I will agree it doesn't work well!


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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:02 am 
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batfink wrote:
But come on, DOUBLE the cost? Really...double? $125 for each sticker when bought in bulk? I have no doubt Mattel told you that. But when I see lenticular stickers that you can purchase out of a $0.25 gumball machine, I find that really, really hard to believe.

I can't help but read "double the cost" as "double the cost for Mattel". Which is probably still just a small fraction of the retail price. But I don't doubt that Matty would've charged double anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:13 am 
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ed case wrote:
I can't help but read "double the cost" as "double the cost for Mattel". Which is probably still just a small fraction of the retail price. But I don't doubt that Matty would've charged double anyway.

Best point EVER! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:00 pm 
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Ok...I really don't want to stick on this lenticular issue, but the BS meter is off the charts here.

Hmm...if there was only some way to find out what you or I would pay to get a lenticular sticker made, and not a Fortune 500 company that gives millions of dollars in business to a printing company each year. Oh wait, there is, and it's called the Internet:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/285228

So, $8 apiece for 1000 18" x 24" posters (similar to the 28 X 8 dimensions of the Hoverboard) if you personally wanted to get an order of 3D lenticular collector posters made. I'm guessing the costs might go down a bit for a company like Mattel with the amount of business they provide.

As far as the "resculpting and retooling" costs? So that would either be 1) a mistake Mattel made in constructing this board in the first place, or 2) another "mis-truth" shall we say? So either Mattel doesn't know what they are doing or they are not telling the truth.

Julius, I completely respect you and really appreciate all of your feedback and insider information from the toy world. But exactly how do you not have a "dog in the fight" in respect to Mattel when they give you insider information and a large amount of Mattel collector products for free? If I were in your position, I would be towing the Mattel company line like crazy. Just keep sending me the free JLU Holiday Hals, Hoverboards and bonanza of other collectables!

So Mattel, no more bs excuses, and like Red Ricky said just take more care with your future collector products, Mkay?


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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:52 pm 
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Hey Batfink,

Also not trying to harp on this, just trying to have a discussion (so don't take this like I'm comin' at you).

But I feel like the info you just cited actually strengthens my argument.

As you say in the forum post you quote it would be roughly $8 per 1000. And depending on the printer/company you use I'm sure there would be decreased cost for printing more and 1000, but there would also be added cost for making the pieces die-cut into the multiple shapes needed to apply on the deck of the hover board.

So if we just take it at the face value of the quote you found it's $8 per 1000 if you have them made here in the US. Mattel probably made between 5000-10000 of the hover board (I don't know an exact number on the run of them) so that would add between $48K and $80000 to the overall cost to produce this item. Then you have to pay to ship all your new custom lenticulars overseas to the factory, and again you have to pay some amount to have a set of guides created and to have them hand applied. It would add cost to the item.... and they would absolutely pass that cost onto us.

You mention that Mattel is a "Fortune 500" company... that's true and that allows them to go after big, difficult to get licenses like BBTF and the 66 Batman... but it also means they have HUGE overhead... more than a lot of other toy companies and that means their profit margins are WAY higher than most other companies. They are not going to ANYTHING that doesn't MAKE them money. Make no mistake they are NOT selling these to us at cost. I don't think they are making a ton off them, but BECAUSE they are so big they have to charge more.

If a smaller company, like say NECA were to make this item it would probably be less because NECA is smaller with less overhead.


When I say I "don't have a dog" in this fight, I mean I'm not that big of a Back to the Future fan so the thing I got in the mail looks like the thing I saw in that movie 20-odd years ago. Now if Mattel was making a Dr. Fate helmet that I pre-ordered and was looking forward to, and when I got it, it would have mouth slits cut into it so I could breath, I'd be upset with them.

I'm not shilling for Mattel. I don't think they can "do no wrong." The people that I know at Mattel have thick enough skin that they can take me and other websites giving them a bad review. Just like with the hover board. My main "beefs" with it would be the stand doesn't work and that the handle-bar hole is pink instead of black.

As always - your mileage may vary.

Thanks for having the discussion batfink.


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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:37 pm 
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Thank you Julius. Good discussion and it's always nice to hear your take on the inner-workings of the toy business.

I agree that the mistake would cost Mattel some of their Hoverboard profits. If Mattel pockets 50% of what they offer the Hoverboard for, that means they would make anywhere from $300,000 to $600,000 based on the count you provided. So their profit margin would be reduced by $40K to $80K. No small chunk of change, and ultimately one that they could not live with, for whatever reason.

Really its the "double the cost" thing is what struck me as funny. And having to deal with vendors in my job, I know that with a little effort you can negotiate with them and still make your final product done right, even if it means a bit less money for your company in the end. That's just my take on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:42 am 
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Not having seen the hoverboard first hand I can't speak directly to that, but I have seen the PKE Meter and ghost trap up close. Very nice toys, but not really prop replicas. I look at the props Mattel is making like the F/X line that Master Replicas made. Master Replicas was known for making great metal replicas of Star Wars props, but the F/X sabers were made of plastic/lightweight metal and full of electronics. Half the price of the "replicas" but full of function and looked damn good to the casual observer. I can see the PKE Meter being plastic (though much heavier), but the trap would have to be metal to be a "real" replica. What I'm saying is very neat toys with a beyond expected level of accuracy, but they *are* toys with neat electronic functions.


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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:06 am 
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Whatev's Dudes.

All I know, I is sending mine back.


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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:58 am 
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Got mine today . Overall I should have saved this money.
The sound is completely muffled! Doesn't sound clear at all. The stand sucks IMO. I do like the design and its cool having a replica however I don't think this was worth the "big hype" or the $120 cost. I guess we live and learn.


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 Post subject: Re: Back to Future Producer Apologizes for Matty's Hoverboar
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:03 pm 
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red ricky... is that IT? Really? That's the couple hundred dollar hoover board? Jaysus kringle it looks like a POS.

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