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 Post subject: The JLU FAQ (updated 3/1/07) & Questions for Boy Wonder
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 12:20 am 
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THE FAQ
As figures related to these questions are released at retail or past their relevancy, I'll remove the question. As new ones are answered, I'll add them. Pretty simple, and this way you don't have to wade thru many-paged threads searching for BW's few posts to get the info you're looking for as far as JLU characters or the brand in general.

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LINE AS A WHOLE :

Q. What is the future of the line whether the show is on TV or not? Answered on 12/13/2005 :
Quote:
what I can say is that JLU will be a tough business proposition to walk away from in 2007 given the investment Mattel has made into the brand. Whether or not there is a continued show, I would hope that some of our partners, such as Target, would be interested in continuing to carry the line. If there is not entertainment, retailers tend to kill lines, not manufacturers. Therefore, it will be my job to make the retailers a compelling business proposition to continue to carry the brand if animation is no longer on air.


Q. Is character "X" in development or planned for the JLU line? Have you seen our JLU poll results? Answered on 12/11/2006 :
Quote:
I've shared your input with my team, and this chain has really helped. We just made some last minute 2007 adjustments because of it. As you have confirmed in the polls, we have only scratched the surface in what we can offer. Your input has made the 2006 line a great success story, and we are looking forward to a strong 2007, which is really remarkable. Thank you all for your input and for helping me make a line that you can get excited about. We have great figures coming out in 2007, and I hope this line continues to deliver beyond next year.

...and also with these interesting bits on 11/9/2006 :
Quote:
2007 will even be better for collectors, and we are working to make even a better 2008 for you guys right now.

Quote:
I think we will be looking to go more obscure if 2008 gets the green light.

Quote:
We are discussing '08 plans, and I think this line still has legs.

...on 2/12/2007 :
Quote:
We have a very good idea of how we want to proceed in 2008, so we are currently laying the foundation. We are in the process of picking up an internal candidate to help drive part of the collector business. He is a big DC collector and was hired to the HW's side after telling us about his JLU collection at SDCC in 2005. I am excited because I can only appreciate collector programs based on what I have learned at Mattel. I did not start off as a collector, and I think he will be a huge asset. We have also been doing a ton of research, so your polls have been very helpful.

Quote:
Can't comment much on 08 at this point... but we have some interesting plans for the line that we are working on. Things are still in the planning stages across all Mattel lines... We are hoping to provide more direction on 2008 later this spring.


Q. How do you decide which characters to make? Answered on 1/20/2006 :
Quote:
When we pick figures, we look at a few things. First, for the more obsure villains, we look at the tooling matrix. We can't afford to make big investments in these figures because they come out in limited mixes. Second, we look at what we are allowed to produce under our contract with WB. For example, Lobo is a no deal. Third, we will make a newly tooled figure if we know the demand is there. For example, the demand for larger figures is there, so we are looking at how we can make a newly tooled figure.


Q. Can you make the characters from the JLU animated-style comic? Answered on 12/13/2005 :
Quote:
Comic book appearances are tougher given our license agreement. We can only make figures in the 'look' of the line, and not in the 'look' of specific comic book story lines. The reason is because DC Direct makes those figures, and we would be infringing on their business.


Q. Why can't you make "X" character? Answered on 9/15/2006 :
Quote:
We are constantly working with DC/WB to extend the scope of figures that we are allowed to make. They have been great partners in working with us because wether it is apparent to you in today's line, they have allowed us to make many many more characters than any other DC licensed property, and they are as committed to offering you a great line as we are. Sometimes figures are not available to Mattel at a given time due to royalty issues with the character creators. Sometimes those issues are resolved, and we have more freedoms, and sometimes we have to wait. DC/WB has complicated contracts that I don't fully understand, but what I can say is that they have been willing to work with us in developing these lines.


Q. What are the characters from the show that cannot be made in the JLU line? Not directly answered, but general knowledge around here, so I'll (Chip) fill this in :
Quote:
Captain Atom, The Question, Captain Marvel, Lobo, Hal Jordan, and Static. As to why, it has NOTHING to do with Mattel, but with WB/DC licensing contracts...how they are structured, how the characters are owned (if they are by DC or whatever), what other deals are currently in place at other product companies, and WB/DC's own opinion as to what is appropriate (Lobo). There are no loopholes or other avenues to get these characters made by Mattel. End of story. :)


Q. How do you decide which characters will be in single packs and which will be in a three-pack? Answered on 1/20/2006 :
Quote:
First, we have two types of consumers for JL that make up the same market share. Ffor moms and kids, three packs are value plays. You get 3 figures for the price of 2, which is why we don't have accessories in the 3 packs. In order to keep those groups happy, we often times put a hero in, such as SM or BM, so that we can broaden the appeal. In the cases where there are two or three new figures, those three packs are targeted to the collector. Lex, Mirror Master, and Copperhead is an ideal example. The 2006 line is the first place where we made a big effort in making product just for collectors. The new Dr. Fate, Vixen, and Hawkgirl pack may fail, but if does, it will show that the collector market is not as strong as we gave it credit for.


Q. Why has Mattel gotten away from episode based three packs? Does this have to do with the addition of so many background characters that wouldn't fit into an episode designation? Answered on 11/9/2006 :
Quote:
I wanted to go crazy with the figures in 2007, but it would make sense to go back to episode packs in 2008.


Q. Out of all the JLU characters that have been released so far, can you comment on which character was the most difficult for Mattel to negotiate in order to get made, if any? Answered on 11/9/2006 :
Quote:
If the character appears in the animation, DC and WB have been fairly accomodating in letting us produce the figures we want.


Do you personally have a favorite character that you are championing to get made? Answered on 11/9/2006 :
Quote:
They were already made with the Doomsday 6-pack anf Grundy. I am working on getting in the Designer's requestion, which is a Blue Devil that will only appear in a single.


Q. Is there a 'magic number' for redecos as opposed to new sculpts? Answered on 2/10/2006 :
Quote:
There isn't a magic number of redecos. We have a pool of D&D money, and we need to maximize it with completely new tools, some new tools, and redecos. It's always a balancing act.


Q. How about a mail-in figure? Answered on 2/10/2006 :
Quote:
We will not have a mail in promo for JLU.


Q. Would you ever consider selling figures directly through the Mattel website? Answered on 2/10/2006 :
Quote:
Would love to... it's a pet project... let's see if it gets traction inside the monster called Mattel. I agree, it would be a great way to reach the collector community.


Q. Is there any way you can stop doing 3 packs that have only one new figure in the future? Answered on 2/10/2006 :
Quote:
Some 3 packs will have one new figure, some with two. A lot depends on the popularity of the figures.


Q. How about an accessories pack for some of the characters that come in the 3-packs and don't have their accessories? Answered on 1/6/2006 :
Quote:
The problem that we run into is that if we were to make a assortment of accessories, it would be treated as a new toy. Each new toy needs development $, whether there are new tools or not. Since the Entertainment group at Mattel may bring in as many as 22 brands for 2007 vs. 12 brands for 2006, we may be increasing our development costs. As a result, a brand without TV and that produces small volume will have a hard time getting new assortments. Particularly if we are trying to add toys to other areas that require D&D. In short, not imposible, but could be a hard battle to fight.


Q. Why is it that many folks have found the Zatana/Shining Knight wave of three packs, and yet others of us have yet to even see the Dr. Light/ Vixen wave? (In other words, distribution problems at retail. - Chip) Answered on 9/15/2006 :
Quote:
I just met with our sales guys in order to address this very issue. We are looking at other things Mattel can do in order to ensure more consistency at all retailers. It's tough because every retailer orders off of a different system, and they ship the product from China verses a warehouse in the US. I feel we are having an awesome 2006, but the potential for further growth in 2007 is to help retailers fix these issues.


Q. Any chances for peg holes in everyone? Answered on 11/9/2006 :
Quote:
Our team has not discussed this in over a year. Let me bring up in the next team meeting. Probably too late for 2007. However, I think some females will get them.


Q. Why, on the recent waves of 3 packs (Zantanna, etc) are the paint jobs so bad? Everyone I have found has had serious paint issues. Answered on 9/7/2006 :
Quote:
I'll forward your comments to our engineer.


Q. I know mattel are trying to keep costs down by re-using alot of the same body types on figures, which is cool cos it does pay off in the fact we get more characters made. But can they retool the feet on the new female body (justice lord wonderwoman etc), because not every female character is wearing heels. It would just help keep things on model. Answered on 6/22/2006 :
Quote:
Fair question- In order to afford the variety in the line, we need to be smart in how we use our tooling. If I did a completely new tool for each figure, there is no way I could have gotten that approved by management.
With that said, I was able to get Doomsday and Grundy done as completely new tools, so there are instances where it makes sense.


Q. Will there be any new characters added to the die-cast line? Answered on 9/15/2006 :
Quote:
Not in 2007.


Q. Why isn't Mattel's own website promoting JLU (and a number of other) product lines? Answered on 9/27/2006 :
Quote:
We are hoping this will change sometime in 2007.


Q. Can you make character X in the correct show colors (ie Booster Gold) ? Answered on ...:
Quote:
IT or BW told us Booster Gold is in the correct colors based upon the model sheets WB/DC gave them. They told us they have to follow the model sheets.(sf)



CHARACTER-SPECIFIC REQUESTS :

Captain Atom, The Question, Captain Marvel
Quote:
Worth fighting for!


Cheetah
Quote:
We are looking at ways in which we can incorporate her into the line. Cheetah has been on and off the list. If we do not make (her) in 2007, 2008 could be a good year to see (her).


Batman Beyond & related (future JLU, Jokerz gang, etc.)
Quote:
Probably not for 2007, but we are discussing 2008, and I think we will be looking to go more obscure if 2008 gets the green light.


Giganta (10")
Quote:
The JLU Designer would love to do Giganta. She was pitched in an execution yesterday to management and was turned down. However, we are still looking at other opportunities. JLU has become great for customized product for retailers, so there are still more opportunities. The plan was to have a 10" Giganta with 5 other 4.75" figures. Whatever packout execution we will do, she will be big.

...on 2/12/2007 :
Quote:
We tried to get Giganta in this year, but for a variety of reasons it did not work out. I like the idea because I would like to make a modular tool of the 10" figures in order to expand that assortment.


Manhunter Robots
Quote:
Probably something for 2008+. Manhunters have been on and off the list. If we do not make the Manhunters in 2007, 2008 could be a good year to see them.


Atom Smasher (10")
Quote:
I just suggested a 10" Atom Smasher as the replacement for the 10" Giganta (which was turned down). Management wanted to launch with a male figure. I should know more before xmas...


Solomon Grundy (retail)
Quote:
Very Very Very unlikely. It would require new tooling. Basically, the only way I was able to afford to make a Grundy was by offering him at Comicon. He was very expensive to make, and I needed the higher price point in order to justify the tooling expense.


Supergirl (new costume)
Quote:
As for Supergirl from Far From Home, yeah, that would be a terrific figure. It would however (to do her right) require new parts and a new head. If we do get to Supergirl decked out in blue, we would want to do her justice, which means no repaint of the little girl version. Plus she will prob leave that iron purse at home too. As for if she will be in the line, only time and collector support will tell.


Alfred
Quote:
As for Alfred. We got some of Hasbro's tools. Don't know if Alfred is in there. Typically, we have learned that guys in suits don't sell well, so we try to stay away.


Harley Quinn
Quote:
We're not working on (her) at this time, but let me look into it. I have to see if we have the rights.


Justice Guild
Quote:
That one is unlikely.


Lobo
Quote:
The Lobo request has become a joke between my boss and I. WB and DC just do not feel Lobo is appropiate for a line that theoretically is meant for kids. Definitely not.


Hal Jordan
Quote:
Last comment on Hal. The answer is not likely unless someone posts their Hal (for sale) on Ebay. There are no further plans to produce Hal. Definitely not.


Peace,

Chip

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Last edited by marillion on Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:11 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:51 pm 
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Rules:
1) Post in this thread only if you're asking questions.
2) Please don't ask questions not about the toy lines.
3) Please don't ask "are you going to make X?".
4) No wish lists
5) No posts of "I'd like that too", they just clutter up the thread.

I'll be cutting stuff out of this thread that is not related. Post it in its own thread. You have been warned.

Really good questions from the last thread:

Could we get the main 5 heroes (Supes, Bats, Flash, GL, Martian Manhunter) with the standard 5 points of articulation that the rest of the characters have?

Can we have peg holes in all the figures?

Can you look into distribution in Canada - they seem to not be getting all the waves.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:04 pm 
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I would also like to add that you shouldn't make comments or berate Mattel for case pack ratios, as these are retailer driven.

I have one question :

What is the status of JLU for 2008...has it been picked up for another year?

Peace,

Chip

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:17 pm 
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Not to go around Marillion but i seriously want this answered:

Is there nothing Mattel can do about what the distributors ask for in terms of cases? If so, will Mattel not release so many of the same stuff??

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:25 pm 
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Updated the specific character section of the FAQ, removing the confirmed characters and adding the recent comments about Captain Atom, The Question, and Captain Marvel.

Also updated and added to questions based on Boy Wonder's communique on February 12th, 2007.

Peace,

Chip

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:23 am 
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superfriend wrote:
Rules:
Really good questions from the last thread:

Could we get the main 5 heroes (Supes, Bats, Flash, GL, Martian Manhunter) with the standard 5 points of articulation that the rest of the characters have?


Dont forget the 5 POA Wonder Woman, that original sculpt from the Justice League wave is much nicer than the one they are releasing at the moment.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:15 pm 
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Perhaps I'm being overly anal here, but reading the above BW comments I want to say that any DC character (besides the insidious 5) can be negotiated for in the JLU line as long as they are done in "the style of the show". He never said they could not produce figures from the JLU comic (at least not above). So could we hypothetically wish for the likes of Black Lightning and Firestorm (among many others) from this line as well?? Just curious. I had a long day, I'm tired, old and I get confused late at night :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 2:04 am 
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What's the status on Dollar General? Will we be seeing more of the earlier waves come through FD or is what we have it?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 5:14 am 
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Why would Mattel want to make a 10" Atom Smasher before a 10" Giganta, a figure (along with Cheetah) that has been at the top of a lot of "want" lists? Why do they need a male first?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:41 am 
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wws1fan wrote:
Why would Mattel want to make a 10" Atom Smasher before a 10" Giganta, a figure (along with Cheetah) that has been at the top of a lot of "want" lists? Why do they need a male first?

I guess they figure male figures sell better.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:07 am 
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Azrael24 wrote:
Not to go around Marillion but i seriously want this answered:

Is there nothing Mattel can do about what the distributors ask for in terms of cases? If so, will Mattel not release so many of the same stuff??


Mattel has nothing to do with it. Hell, DCSH wouldn't even exist if it weren't for WalMart & Target. Mattel develops the product and produces what is requested from the retailers.

WalMart, Target, KMart and TRU want 75% Superman and Batman, and then 25% of whatever.

Peace,

Chip

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:44 am 
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this was in the old thread but got lost in the shuffle;

Could you folks consider going back to the original wonder woman sculpt, or using the justice lord wonderwoman head (with new hair) on the current body?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 7:40 am 
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grouch wrote:
Perhaps I'm being overly anal here, but reading the above BW comments I want to say that any DC character (besides the insidious 5) can be negotiated for in the JLU line as long as they are done in "the style of the show". He never said they could not produce figures from the JLU comic (at least not above). So could we hypothetically wish for the likes of Black Lightning and Firestorm (among many others) from this line as well?? Just curious. I had a long day, I'm tired, old and I get confused late at night :wink:


Actually, he did say at one point that the liscense only covers characters on the show and not the comics. Now, could DC Direct pick up the ball and make animated style figures of these characters? Sure. Would they be wise to do so, considering their last attempt to start a small scale line (pocket superheroes) failed? Yes.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:51 am 
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...This was copied from the previous Boy Wonder/JLU thread, so I apologize for the repeat, but I want to see the question possibly answered...

Okay, Boy Wonder. I have a toughie of a question to ask. And I'm not so sure it's within your/Mattel's best interests to answer it, but I just have to know.

You've been quoted as saying that certain characters couldn't be made into figures in the JLU and DCSH lines due to not wanting to step on DC Direct's toes(or something to that effect) Here it is:

Q. Can you make the characters from the JLU animated-style comic? Answered on 12/13/2005 :
Quote:
Comic book appearances are tougher given our license agreement. We can only make figures in the 'look' of the line, and not in the 'look' of specific comic book story lines. The reason is because DC Direct makes those figures, and we would be infringing on their business.


So, in light of the upcoming Superman/Doomsday direct to DVD animated feature, DC Direct is releasing animated style Superman characters in the same scale as Justice League Unlimited. Granted, the two projects(Supes VS Doomsday and Justice League Unlimited) are two completely separate entities with no ties to each other, couldn't one say that now DC Direct is infringing on Mattel's business by producing and releasing DC Universe Animated figures?

Sorry to be a pesky question-asker, but that's the info I'm curious about. And, as if I had to tell you, keep up all the great work on the DC stuff, and I'm looking forward to what SDCC brings!

Later!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:10 pm 
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I just wanted to say thanks to Boy Wonder for answering so many questions for us. Also, I recently picked up the Lightray/Nemesis/Amazo 3pk and when I took them out I just about shouted QC for the bent legs, but they really seem to help the figures stand up. The paint aps were great as well. This really makes me think that Mattel ARE addressing issues with this line. Keep up the great work!

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