Two Open Letters About Club Infinite Earths
August 11, 2011

In my last post, I told you all why I’ve subscribed to Club Infinite Earths.  Since then, I’ve seen a lot of conversation about the club here, and elsewhere, and I feel like there’s a crippling amount of cross-talk and misinformation coloring perceptions on all sides of the issue.  So, here are two letters I hope will make things plain to all concerned.

First, my frequent Men of Action pen pal…

Dear Matty,

Four figures isn’t enough.  I understand what you’re saying about the haste with which this has been done, but Atrocitus, Jay Garrick, another Starman, a picture of Poison Ivy, and the possibility of Metron’s chair or Rocket Red clearly isn’t enough.

There is one consistent concern flowing through the torrential flow of complaints and bile surrounding this club; it’s too blind.  I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect every figure to be revealed in prototype, but you’ve got to give people something else.  One of the over-sized figures, a Doom Patrol member, another Metal Man; something to make this less a blind purchase and more an indicator of the depth and direction you’re willing to go.

I think there are a lot of people out there who want to subscribe to this club, but are rightly reticent to commit their money to so much uncertainty.  Only you can change that.  You should change that.

Your Friend,

Jasey

 

Now the other group…

 

My Fellow Serious DCUC Collectors,

Let me translate for Matty and tell you what he can’t, DCUC as you’ve purchased it is dead and it’s not coming back in the foreseeable future.  If you have the means to do so and you don’t subscribe to this club, you’ll have only yourself to blame when the only 6″ Mattel DC figures available to you are those Jim Lee and Dan DiDio allow you.  That’s what every single indicator points to, none stronger than the prospect of Club Infinite Earths itself.

You don’t like the way Mattel’s handled a lot of things, I don’t like the way Mattel’s handled a lot of things; neither of us particularly like the way they’ve handled this thing, but you have to see past that.  DCUC isn’t going away because the sales aren’t there, or Matty butchered the distribution; it’s going away because it’s been ordered away.  In 99.99% of cases, so ends the line.  This is the .01% of the time there’s a chance to do something about it.

If you’d rather see Hasbro handle DC, I’m not talking to you.  If you want to see DC 6″ die so you can have a 3 3/4″ line, I’m not talking to you.  If you’re not someone who’s purchased the vast majority of existing DCUC figures, I’m not talking to you.  If you can’t afford the sub and what it entails, I’m not talking to you.  I’m talking to you, the serious, hardcore DC fan whose been with this line since the beginning, loves it, but feels burned by Matty and how he handles his business.

Matty’s not the problem this time.  Don’t spite yourself to spite him; we’re all going to lose, that way.

Three days left.  Really think about it.

Thanks for reading,

JJJ

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Jason "JJJason" Chirevas
Jason Chirevas is a toy collector whether he likes it or not (and he often doesn't). This former Would've-Been Action Hero is as interested in the humanity, psychology, and psychosis of collecting as he is in the action figures themselves. Fun guy.
Read other articles by Jason "JJJason" Chirevas.

 

 

 

33 Comments »

  • We would certainly love to reveal more figs, we simply don’t have approved characters at this point. MOTUC only has the first three months of figures revealed, GB only has two figs revealed. We know fans would love the full year’s line up and I know we are asking for a bit of a leap of faith here. But have faith! This sub is our way of completing teams, offering more females and more fan demanded characters. Their won’t be more reveals. We just don’t have enough locked in or approved to do so.

  • Fred Mackle says:

    I feel like I should throw an angry bird at you.

  • Jeff says:

    Sorry, but I can buy 2-3 comparably sized, well-constructed Transformers with highly detailed, unique sculpts, more articulation, better paint applications, and accessories with every figure, for what Matty wants us to pay for a single figure with no accessories and mostly reused parts. I’ve bought most of DCSH-DCUC, and I could probably afford this, but what I’d be getting is simply not worth what I’d be paying (i.e., shoddily constructed figures with cheap plastic, stuck joints, mediocre paint apps, no accessories, reused pieces, and poor customer service). I’m a DC fan, but I’m not a DC addict, so I’m perfectly happy getting what happens to trickle through retail in the future.

  • Wildcard says:

    Jeff, those Transformers also have a larger fan base. They appeal mainly to kids. Thus larger production runs and the costs per figure is spread out. The DC sub is a collector line… lower quantities, higher prices. Either that or many of these obscure but fan-desired figures will never get produced.

    • AJ says:

      It’s still a better value. If you’re super-obsessed with DCUC and desperately want a Four Horseman-stye Atrocitus, by all means get the sub. But for people for collect other lines equally, the Matty-only subscription is going to come up short when compared to a line like Transformers. Judging by the meter, a lot of people have come to that conclusion. My brother offered to get me a sub, but I am still unsure, because it seems like a terrible value, and I might be better off waiting to see if Jay Garrick Flash shows up at some point a few years down the line.

      And don’t tell me that the kids were clamoring for Generations Kup.

  • Eric Qel-Droma says:

    I think this is a really good explanation of who should be buying in. I’m not one of those people (you’re not talking to me for at least three reasons, JJJason), but I do think Mattel is doing its best here to help out fans that are going to cry when all we get are DCnU figures.

    And any Mattel folks who are actually reading the comments to stuff like this: I applaud your efforts here. I have strongly criticized your company in the past (DCIH!) and plan to do so in the future when your actions warrant it. But know that you have bought some goodwill from this fan by working to get this sub out there, because I think you’re fighting the good fight here.

  • Clint says:

    Stop being blinded by Matty’s greed! They have set their entire purchasing system up geared for this day! High prices, low hyped distribution, low manufacturing costs, total cost going straight to the company and overpriced shipping, and tax. Horrible customer service means you won’t call if you order too many itms as well. In these high stressed economic times they should make more for a lower price. Just rack up your cards. Its a complete win for Matty…..and you sub suckers are biting. The American Way.

    • JuliusMarx says:

      That makes no sense. “In these high stressed economic times they should make more for a lower price.” What? When they can’t even get enough pre-orders for the baseline? No one is being greedy. Mattel is trying something brand new. Giving fans the opportunity to save a line. Unfortunately right now it looks like they are ahead of their time.

      • AJ says:

        I don’t know, Clint makes some pretty good points: “High prices, low hyped distribution, low manufacturing costs, total cost going straight to the company and overpriced shipping, and tax. Horrible customer service means you won’t call if you order too many itms as well”. For a lot of people it’s not about “saving the line”: after all, you’ll still get 6-inch scale DC figures sculpted by the Four Horsemen at retail under a different name. The name will change, the CnC pieces will no longer be there, and you’re probably not going to get a Metal Man after it unless he has a drastic Jim Lee redesign, but it’s not all that different from the change from DCSH to DCUC. Mattel is pitching it as “You can save the line!”, but there are various flaws to be found, and the arguments aren’t wholly convincing.

      • Brett says:

        “Unfortunately, they are ahead of their time.”

        No, not really. Only comic fans and toy collectors are foolish enough to spend $255.00 on something sight unseen, product unknown.

        Even a comic book company wouldn’t have the unmittigated gall to turn around to their readers and say, “Hey, the comic books you love are changing forever. But you can keep the comics you love alive by purchasing ONE subscription and we’ll give you THIRTEEN COMIC BOOKS throughout the year. We’ll tell you which character the first issues will have but the others, we’re keeping it under wraps for now.”

        Only the fool who is soon parted from his money would subscribe to something when they don’t even know what they’re getting. Because its common knowledge that when you subscribe to something, the company tells you what you are subscribing to.

        Even if I was a millionaire, I wouldn’t and most discerning, responsible consumers would never commit to buying something without being informed of exactly what they are purchasing. Buyer Beware has many meanings and it couldn’t be more appropriately applied here.

        And to the nasty people who persist on calling us complainers because we don’t share your POV or because we don’t want to toss $255 on figures we may not want, you people are so rude, it’s repellant. You sound like a bunch of spoiled ten year olds whining because you can’t get your toy.

        GROW UP!

        • Brett says:

          PS. When I compared the Matty Sub to a comic sub, at least with a subscription to a comic, you know the character you are subscribing to. Buy a subscription to Superman, you get Superman. No one ever in the history of the comic industry ever offered a subscription but refused to tell the subscriber which comic character/title you were subscribing too.

          And Matty’s subscription is a whole lot more expensive than a year’s sub to a comic. What it boils down to is, some of you don’t care, you’ll buy the figure regardless and others, like me, won’t pay for something until we know what we’re buying. If there aren’t enough people out there who have that much blind loyalty to Mattel, we’ll that’s the breaks.

          Get over it. It’s a toy.

      • Clint says:

        Thanks for the back up fellas! Julius don’t take me wrong my heart and passion is Marvel and DC and any figures I can get. Personally I love my DC Direct Jay Flash and Atrocitus a hell of alot more than the Matty ones…so I’m good there. Sight unseen there’s no way a Poison Ivy could beat the Bolland one I have….so I don’t want to be FORCED to buy figures I do not want! My problem is what everyone doesnt seem to get!!!!….Matty made it hard to get these figures in stores ON PURPOSE!! They will never admit it but its true I know it in my heart, they are scammers! I love the figures I have so far but I’m not going to be told how its gonna be….. its time to change this poor consumer attitude that we just accept now! Its ridiculous when I hear people say “I’d pay 80 bucks for a figure!” Production people see that and they know that they’ve got you! I will still buy from Matty and this crappy online store way to do it but only for individual ones I want, if there site sucks as usual on ordering day, then I may have to go the Ebay route…..I may pay more…but y’know what….Ebay didn’t lie to me and Ebay didn’t force me to buy everything on their site either!

        • Vendguy68 says:

          In my case, I have purchased the bulk of my DCUC figures on eBay for less than retail price, even with shipping. Not the way I wanted to do it(no C&C pieces), but, with few exceptions, these figures are never on store pegs.

  • Erik superfriend says:

    I think the retail line was a difficult balance between DC fans and the average retail Mom. I’m sure none of us would have picked the same character waves as Mattel did. I think the ALL (or almost all) ONE THEME in a wave was a horrible idea. I feel most of the collector hate aimed at waves 17 and 18 would have been minimal if the figures from waves 16 through 20 were spread throughout the various waves instead of put together in themed waves.

    Imagine: 1 Batman character, 1 deputy lantern, 1 Super Friend, one JSA, one Brightest Day. I think the fans could have gotten behind that.

    Making waves of only 1 theme made the entire wave an instant “pass” for fans who would have happily bought 4 of 6 figures and bought the other 2 to complete the CNC.

  • mrArticulate says:

    Ugh! I’ve been pretty polite to this point, but I am so sick of the whiners and complainers blasting Matty. Shut up already! If you don’t want it, don’t buy it! No need to try and “convince” the rest of us how smart you are that you can see through all that is not said. Good golly, the internet is breeding the worst group of rude lunkheads in years. I bought two subs, and look forward to possibly getting things like Forever People and the Super-cycle! The $15 price tag per normal figure is fair and in some cases less than what we’ve been paying at other retailers. True it does not come with a C&C part part neither does Hasbro’s 6″ Iron Man figures. And as someone who’s had to buy DCU from online stores that sell sets, I’ve been paying close to that $15 for some time – luckily my corner store of choice offers pickup so I save on shipping. As for online exclusives, anybody remember how disappointed we were by Hasbro’s attempt to keep Marvel Legends alive with the AOA Sunspot, Sunfire, whoever? He was $12, plus shipping back in 2008. Hasbro gave us one shot and pulled the plug on anymore ML online. In addtion to this sub, Mattel at least has given us several two packs, as well as the upcoming Legion 12 pack. I’d say Mattel is the more collector friendly of the two, and based on what they and the Four Horsemen have done with MOTU, and Ghostbusters (they changed the slime blower!) they clearly want to make stuff for the fans. Oh and let’s not forget, Mr. Miracle and Darkseid’s mother boxes and other cool details. It would be a real shame to see such a cool line slip away into history because we got spoiled by 20 amazing waves plus a whole lot more. I saw it happen with the Simpsons, Star Trek, the Muppets, Rudolph, and Captain Action toys and even Marvel Legends – we take for granted that these well made, collector friendly lines will go forever and we can buy them later on clearance. Well not when they stop making them. If you like DCU, don’t let it slip away. If you don’t like DCU, as Robocop would say “Step away from the vehicle”.

    • AJ says:

      “If you like DCU, don’t let it slip away. If you don’t like DCU, as Robocop would say ‘Step away from the vehicle’.”

      This is not a black/white dichotomy here. It so happens that the sub isn’t enticing enough for a lot of people who do indeed like DCUC.

      • Clint says:

        No, I won’t shut up and I don’t feel like I’m whining. I think I speak the truth and believe in what I think about them. Matty is scamming you and you can’t even see it.

    • Vendguy68 says:

      I don’t think we are whining. We are responding to appears to be a firm consesus from everyone officially associated with AFI to push Matty’s DCUC subscription as a fantastic undertaking. Every article I have read on this site tells us why we should purchase this subscription. We are only trying to balance why we cannot or will not.

  • herofan says:

    I’ve bought almost every figure in every wave (minus one or two of the variants) until wave 17 which I skipped entirely. I have wave 18 on order, and I plan on getting 19 and 20. I will NOT be buying into this club unless they tell us what figures it will contain.

    You can spin this all you want, but Mattel is asking us to take way too much on faith. Even if they had a perfect track record I would be very hesitant to spend $255 (plus fees and shipping) without knowing what I’m getting. With the kind of track record they do have — no way.

    If that means there are no more DC action figures for a few years, so be it. There are plenty of companies out there that have good products and who actually want my money enough to tell me what they are selling.

  • demoncat says:

    i have bought almost every dc charcter from mattel the ones i wanted for a long time and if this sub is the only way to get certain characters like the rest of the metal men or the doom patrol so be it. for Mattel by deciding to set this is up is proving for all its faults in the past with its lines its proving that it willing instead of letting dc classics die by having to make it be the big guns at retail and lose the fan base that helped it be a sucess willing to even as a sub continue the trend. besides a chance to finaly have metron and that chair maybe is too good to miss

  • Lee in MI says:

    I’ve dogged Matty, Scott, FG2.0 & Mattel for how they’ve handled this sub but today was a bright spot in their otherwise less than stellar handling of DCUCs and it’s fans.

    Today they did what was right…TWICE!

    First, they finally showed up to the party! Glad you could make it. I think their presence may not sway everyone but it certainly will help with some. Hopefully they can clear the air and offer some more insight into what 2013 holds since SDCC was almost devoid of any meaningful information for next year.

    Secondly, they extended the sub sign up period again after releasing some very pertinent information. That was a very good move.

    Bravo Mattel. Hopefully with your help, this sub will have a fighting chance to be successful. Now…HYPE THIS SUB!!!!

  • ULISES M says:

    I AGREE WITH YOU JJASON ! I AM HARDCORE FAN AND WAS NOT SURE ABOUT THE SUB BECAUSE OF THE REASON OF ME GOING IN ON THIS BLIND ! I WAS HOOKED WHEN I SAW JAY , BUT I WANN SEE MORE !! MAYBE A BIGGER DOOMSDAY !!! HINT HINT MATTEL ! SHOW US MORWHO AM I KIDDING I’M GETTING THE SUB ANYWAYS !! BUT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE PLEASE !!?

  • George says:

    If Mattel doesn’t even know what figures are even going to be approved, let alone made, how can they sell this line on “trust us” ? Really? That’s all you got? How’s one of the biggest toy companies not even aware of what product they can actually put forth? It’s insane. And I bought a sub. But I can see why others aren’t, easier than why people are or should. And maybe I’m crazier in purchasing a sub. What a complete fiasco this is.

  • Sllim says:

    I bought the sub, and I’m not even a hardcore collector. I just like the figures and figure that it’ll be easier to buy the ones I want with the sub than trying to get them on the website, or get scalped on Ebay. And the ones that I don’t want, I can unload them easily enough to someone who didn’t order the sub because they didn’t know that they were going to get that figure.
    You guys that are complaining are way too picky, look at the GB and MOTUC subs from last year, you don’t think that Matty would do at least as good of a job with this sub as those?

  • Noam says:

    considering the long design to figure process Mattel should at least be able to tell us the first 5 or 6 figures planned for the subscription. Atrocious is no classic neither are any of the rainbow of lanterns someday, but not today. I like DCUC, but can’t go in blind.

  • Vendguy68 says:

    If they offer the figures singly on Matty, I will more than willingly purchase the ones I like, if it is financially feasible at that time. I can’t commit to buy things in the future right now.

  • Big Aussie Evan says:

    G’day fellas.

    One point of view from the land down under. DCUC has never I repeat never been available at retail in Australia. So I have bought and fought for every DCUC figure made (even the crap ones like “OMAC” hellooo!!) I bought on evil bay and other places, for well above the US$15 price tag that Matty offers. But let us cast our mind back to 2009/2010 did everybody complain about not being told what was on offer with the MOTUC sub or the Ghostbusters sub ?? NO and if “yes” I cant recall Mattel has to be the only place where dreams come true. yes they are crap at getting their stuff out there. But you do get it posted to you eventually. Mattel listens to the fans and they make stuff most people want and most people would think of as WTF! and that is why Mattel rocks. DUCU sub is a pinicale of the “True fans choice” for a non Mattel owned collection, just think!!! an oversized Hall of Justice or an Impulse figure or Doctor Polaris, Blackhawk Plane/Island, Lois Lane, Waverider Whatever the possibilities are endless!!!. I’m not a massive fan of He-man but I bought the first offered sub cause I wanted it to get up for the hardcore fans, some of the figures have been great and some like Marzo and the lion face guy are like WTF!! but I have been happy with them or I sold them on evil bay. Please as one 1980’s toy fan to another, who lived through the barren 1990’s with no great toys of any kind. (Yes true belivers Samuri Pizza Cats sucked!!) join us in our crusade to get “our” sub going like many supported the other matty offered subs. And if cost is such a factor then stop drinking milkshakes and choking on a Hamburgers offer your stuff on ebay for more than you paid for it!! as a proud fair dinkum Aussie to my brothers and sisters (thank you brother!Monty Python Ref) overseas support THIS SUB!!! and let wonderful capitalism do its work! Thank you and its goodnight form me and goodnight from him.

  • Big Aussie Evan says:

    I forgot for people who dont want to commit blind. Tell me what action figure are you going to buy on the 2nd of Febuary 2017?? dont know ? who cares? the whole fun game of collecting is not knowing what is gonna come next. Hot Toys Chris Reeve Superman my case in point..

  • gl666 says:

    There’s a reason I don’t go to casinos: the deck is stacked against you, and 9 times out 10, you lose. Just like with Matty.

  • Spilldog says:

    The “tough economic times” card is starting to get worn out because everybody is pulling it when it comes to asking why businesses are doing what they’re doing.

    If Mattel is doing this because sales of DCUC are bad, here’s an idea: Blame Walmart! When Walmart did the Wave 5 exclusive, they didn’t order enough figures and a lot of collectors got left out. The Walmart exclusive Wave 10 did better because there were just enough figures placed in stock to keep fans coming back (plus high-demand characters like Joker and Man-Bat). But when they did the Walmart exclusive Wave 14, Walmart went overboard, flooding the market with these figures… more than collectors were willing to buy, so now these figures are still collectind dust on the pegs almost a year later… and Walmart jacked up the price to $15.97… does that make sense??

    I feel like Mattel is punishing their customers and fans by saying, “If you aren’t going to play the game by our rules, then we’ll take our ball and go home.”

    Shame on you, Mattel!

    • Jason JJJason says:

      It’s not about sales. Even if it was, I’m not sure how Walmart’s three exclusive waves could be blamed for the performance of the entire line, but I digress.

      DCUC has been cancelled by DC/Warner to focus on DCnU; it’s as simple as that. Mattel has said everything to confirm this but the previous sentence.

      Subscribe or don’t, but do it with all the facts.

      -JJJ

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