Mattel Update: Ecto-1 & 2014 MOTUC and DCSC Subscriptions
July 25, 2013

As a DCUC fan it seems like every year it’s the same story for the subscriptions.  They don’t look like they will fund for weeks on end and then the last possible day they shoot up and it goes through…usually.   We’ve also seen subs and products NOT fund before such as the Ghostbusters sub and the 6″ Young Justice 2-pack.   It does happen.   And here we are again.   MOTUC is doing the best so far but it still has a long way to go.  DC and the Ecto-1 have a much longer road ahead of them.   Mattel sent out an update today about the subs and how they will… or won’t work:

Matty Fans,

Just got back from San Diego Comic Con.  We had an AMAZING show showing off the rest of our 2013 line up and huge sneak peaks of our 2014 lines including the subscription figures for Club Eternia, Club Infinite Earth and our Ecto 1 presale.

With that in mind, I wanted to clarify for fans where we are and where we hope to go. A lot of folks have been asking about the meters for the different subs and the Ecto 1 presale. Some asking if they are just “marketing gimmicks” or flash and substance filler. The straight and narrow is they are not. They are 100% indicators of where the subs and the presale currently are. While not updated daily, as they are updated on a semi weekly basis the meters do show the current status and are designed really to be a communication tool for our customers to explain and illustrate where each sub level/presale is.

The bottom line; if we do not hit the minimum for tier 1 for both subs and the minimum for Ecto 1, these lines and items will likely not happen. A lot has changed in the toy industry over the last few years. Factors like labor, raw materials and transportation have skyrocketed and in order to continue bringing collectors high end Mattycollector toy lines we are really at a point of being subscription and presale dependent. This isn’t 2004, or even 2008 anymore!

At this time, both of the 2014 subs and the Ecto 1 presale are quite below our expectations. We want nothing more than to see both clubs and the amazing Ghostbusters vehicle move forward. But we can’t do that if we don’t hit the bottom level of sub holders. This is very similar to “Kickstarter” campaigns. Only for the subs and Ecto 1, due to the logistics of the toy making process, we need to lock in our quota and customer base early before we start spending on tooling and other fixed costs.

Because of this, Aug 19th is the DEADLINE for both subs and hitting the bare minimum on the Ecto 1. While we hope to keep the Ecto 1 presale open longer after Aug 19th to gain additional presales, if we don’t hit the minimum by Aug 19th, the Ecto 1 will also close down.

So now is your time! Glimmer! Aquaman! Two Bad! Superboy! Ecto 1! These meters are not a marketing gimmick, they are our way of offering open honest communication to let our customers know how each sub presale is going.  Please help spread the word! We only have a few short weeks to make these great toys happen. I’d hate to wrap things up in 2013, but if the subs and the Ecto 1 don’t hit the minimum we may not be going forward. Remember after all what happened to the Ghostbuster 6”  Club and even the Superboy/Miss Martian YJ pack. When the minimum presale is not met, we just can’t go forward.

Aug 19th will be here before we know it! Let’s get out there, spread the word, blog, socialize and let everyone know where to  sign up for some of the best collector toys out there!


Scott “Toy Guru” Neitlich

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on,, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post,,,, Boing-Boing,, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.





  • shishalzafrazz says:

    Yeah, except the gb sub was cancelled without any warning whatsoever, and I gotta believe that a lot of people like me would have bought in even though we didn’t want to if it meant the difference between the line continuing or not, and I think the line stopping completely lost the momentum that would have been needed to make this happen. again, I am in for this, but honestly, I don’t see it happening. I hope it does, a lot, but even the people who really really really want Ecto-1 really really really don’t want to pay what is obviously more than it should cost. if they lowered it down to $150, I bet you they’d sell twice as many as they needed to hit the bottom line and I bet you they wouldn’t be losing any money on it. so make some money and give the fans what they want or make no money and get the fans’ hopes up pointlessly once more. your call, mattel.

  • Chip Cataldo says:

    …except every other company manages to get out very similar product in the same “toy industry” without resorting to such “gimmicks.” Nice try, Mattel.

    • Aaron says:

      It’s very sad. Max Steel gets a ton of throw away toys released to retail but MOTUC may end. I wonder how many consumers would subscribe to blindly buying every Max Steel toy released this year? I imagine none.

    • But you aren’t talking about an “apples to apples” comparison. There aren’t any other companies attempting this sort of “one figure a month” collector line subscriptions for lines without retail support so that’s not really an accurate assessment of the industry.

  • Aaron says:

    I would like to see the sub model go away. They lost me with the MOTUC Bunny guy.

    • Chris L says:

      Mattel is not the only company doing this. The GI Joe collector club is on its second year for their figure subscription service (FSS) . With that I’ll point out some “apple to apples” comparisons.

      1. Believe it or not but the GI Joe club handled their first offering even more horribly then Mattel has ANY of their years and it still got off the ground.

      2. The GI Joe club somehow magically can show off its entire offering with only one exception – a surprise 13th figure which they do on purpose.

      3. The club’s second offering seems to be going off without a hitch and both offerings didn’t have 50% the drama Matty seems to have every year.

      Now, some “apples to oranges” comparisons:

      1. The GI Joe club doesn’t have anywhere near the same backing or resources a big company like Mattel does, yet again they are magically pulling of their offerings without all these excuses we keep hearing from Matty.

      2. The GI Joe club intuitively has MANY more hoops to jump through to bring their products to consumers while Matty has direct control of their license and SHOULD be pulling these subs off without a hitch.

      3. The GI JOE club is shaming Matty in all these areas and is STILL selling a product that is cheaper to make for MORE money per figure than what Matty is selling their figures for. I’m sure someone won’t get this point and say this point is actually a positive for Matty because they are selling their figures at a lower price. Let me spell it out. The price differences only serve to further shame Matty because they can’t lock in their subs even when they are selling a more expensive figure to make at a cheaper price than the GI Joe club is selling their figures for.

      Finally there is the ridiculousness of the Matty battle cry “We’re giving you all A-listers now.” If the first quarter’s offerings are any indication we are going to get 1 MOTU figure, 1 POP figure, and 1 NA figure per quarter. These are not “apples to apples” A-listers. Clearly the MOTU fans ARE the core market and easily dwarf the other two factions. So instead of catering to the substantially larger core market Matty has decided they are going to force POP and NA figures onto fans that simply don’t want them. I have 3 figures from this year’s sub (POP/NA) that I can’t even sell on ebay for less the retail. I sold 1 other figure (POP) for exactly retail but lost out because I had to pay to ship it.

      What does this all mean? It means Matty DECIDED for their fans that POP and NA are A-listers too and they are using them to push the line into 2015 at the expense of their MOTU core fans, effectively getting MOTU core fans to subsidize figures for their much smaller POP/NA fan base. This is not even a debatable point. Would a 2014 line of entirely MOTU figures sell? Of course. Would a 2014 line of just POP or NA sell? Not a chance. Is there a POP/NA fan base? Sure, but it doesn’t even come close to the MOTU fan base. I just can’t bring myself to sub up again only to get half of what I want and be stuck with half of what I don’t want and can’t sell on EBAY even at a reasonably loss.

      The last thing I’d like to point out is as a project manager, Toy guru’s 2014 approach is terrible as the sub meters are revealing. I understand, from a company stand point why they want to push the line into 2015 but as a project manager myself you must always entertain and prepare for numerous outcomes and have viable responses to bring the project to fruition. Here Toy Guru is rigidly saying buy the bloated sub or just get the last 4 figures revealed. Toy Guru and Matty should have been prepared for this outcome, especially given last year’s experience, and been ready to offer at very least 2-3 other options…ONE OF WHICH should have been a last resort option of a 2014 that finished out the most popular MOTU figures and used the remaining spots for POP/NA…easily done when utilizing the very reason they claim not to display the whole line in a sub year. Even to wait until 2013 SDCC to debut their choice of 2014 line ups was sloppy work. The second the 2013 lines made it through by the skin of their teeth, TG and Matty should have been running massive amounts of customer polls showing the make up/mix of various lines ups for each sub. By the time SDCC 2013 came, Matty should have utilized that data, had the most viable line up for each sub ready and as a result would have already locked down a slam dunk 2014 sub reaction going into SDCC 2013. TG and Matty have chosen to be defensive instead of reactive. In project management this is a VERY poor trait and never gives the best results possible. Unfortunately, Matty and TG are going to find out the hard way this year.

      BTW, I LOVE the idea of getting Two Bad and Modulok, being stuck with only 2 other figures I can’t sell for cost and then calling it quits. Where do I sign up for that sub?

  • Longbowhunter says:

    So if the subs DONT go through,what then? Does Mattel lose the license? ‘Cause they should if,as they claim,they’re unable to make the most of them without resorting to begging. Just give the DC line to NECA…I’m sure they’ll know what to do with it!

    • Nope. They keep the license and keep cranking out the kid stuff and movie based property stuff. It’s just the adult collector stuff that goes away because the market won’t support it.

  • StrangePlanet says:

    Has Mattel ever said what the dollar amount to move forward with a sub is?
    They mention a Kickstarter comparison, but in Kickstarter there is a certain dollar amount to be hit.
    Does anyone know the dollar amount for the DCUC sub? For the MOTUC sub?

  • Bennett says:

    I need that doomsday!!!!!!!!!!!!! and plus why cant Mattel just stop the 4 inch stuff most adults don’t buy I mean dcuc are the best!!!!

  • Verm says:

    I came into the MOTUC late…and have to pickup most of the essentials from ebay. they should offer a special sub for older reissues…that would pay a portion for the newly tooled toys that the extreme collectors want like Skyhigh or whatever are subscribing for now. Anyone who finds out about the MOTUC line late in the game like I did would be up for something like that.

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