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Entertainment Earth

DC Club or: How I Learned to Stop
Worrying & Love the Unknown

I have mixed feelings about Club Infinite Earths. I’ve wanted to respond with my thoughts on some forums, but stopped myself. I decided the best place for that is here. I’m not going to pitch it to you outright, but I think most of the people speaking against it shouldn’t be.

I’ve written this article a few times. The first version went over the facts and tried not to step on anyone’s toes. In the second version, I got a little more fired up and while I liked it, I’m not out to diminish the opinions of the opposition because I understand most of their concerns. I think this version is a fair compromise, it’s got the facts, it’s got the passion, and if it steps on your toes, well, at least it was free to read.

Originally, I included a section about how the subscription works, but I cut it due to the length of the article. If you have questions about the subscription, I did my best to lay out the specifics here.

Why I’m buying (and you should too):

Mattel is rebranding the retail line and while it will “not necessarily” focus (Fangirl 2.0’s words) on the relaunch looks, it will drop the collect and connect aspect completely and switch to mix assortments. The easiest way to explain what they’re talking about is to look at Hasbro’s Marvel Universe line. While Hasbro is gearing up to copy Mattel’s version of the Toy Biz model (right down to important characters being “All-Stars” without BAF pieces), Mattel is gearing up to copy Hasbro’s MU line with multiple revision cases per wave being mixed between new figures, old figures, and standby figures. I have concerns about the whole thing (expect Hal Jordan to pile up like Iron Man), but the important part is: No More Collect & Connects. Oversized figures will only be in the sub.

That alone is enough to get me to subscribe. I need Elasti-Girl and Lead and I’m not going to get them in the retail line. No subscription means no completeness for those two teams. Plus, I really want Magnus & Chief and those were never going to happen at retail, so I have hope the subscription might include those someday. I’m in. It didn’t require much thought at all.

And I know what some of you are thinking. It’s the first bullet point on the “against list” – we’re not guaranteed to get Elasti-Girl or Lead. We might end up with Black Lantern Swamp Thing, more Super Friends, or more “INSERT SOMETHING I DON’T WANT HERE”.

I’m going to tell you right now that that doesn’t matter. It’s not really one of the valid concerns. Money is a concern. The shipping is a concern. The commitment is a concern. Who’re they’re going to make doesn’t matter though.

The MOTU fanbase is relatively small, but it has its fractures. Some fans want more MO2K influence. Some fans want more focus on POP characters. Someone out there is sad that there aren’t more NA characters. Some only want updates to their classic toys. In fact, there was a dude the other day complaining about the “new” characters in the 30th Anniversary line*. It wasn’t that he didn’t want them, it was that he didn’t want them to exist. If only I could virtually slap someone upside the head…

* – Now, he’s lucky because he can buy a sub and not worry about them because they’re not in it. Meanwhile, I’m going to have pay $52 in extra shipping next year so he and his like-minded fans can sleep at night.

My point is that in that small slice of MOTU there is division. So I’m not surprised in any way that a DC Subscription is going to be about eleventy-billion times more difficult for Mattel to administrate. There are many more factions, many more fronts for the battles between fanbases to be waged. I don’t want crappy old heroes! I don’t want that newfangled crap! I don’t want super-stereotypes!

I understand. Even I have complained ad nauseam about Black Lantern Swamp Thing the last few days. I even made a protest graphic. I don’t want him. But what I want isn’t the point. This subscription isn’t about me or even about any of you, not individually anyway. It’s about all of us that have been buying DC Classics.

On one forum, a collector characterized figures he didn’t want as “dogs”. He was sure the line will have dogs in it. It won’t. Someone out there wants Black Lantern Swamp Thing. Sure, to me – he’s a dog, but to someone else, desperately in love with Brightest Day #24, he’ll be a prized figure. Now, that guy is way crazy and I hope I never meet him, but I would like him to get the figure he wants. Especially if it means that I can get some figures I want.

That’s the value of this subscription. It provides an excellent opportunity for fans of different eras and aspects of the DCU to band together and keep the Classics brand alive, keep Collect & Connects alive, and to help fill the holes in our collection while this newly minted line can go off and do whatever it is that it’s going to do (which, so far, is “not necessarily” be all Relaunch looks).

The last thing we should be doing is making post after post worrying about who’s going to be in the subscription that we don’t want. I mean think about that for a second – we don’t know who is going to be in the sub beyond Thom Kallor and many of us are sitting around worrying about the figures we don’t want to be in it. What? We’re fans! We cast fake movies that will never happen! We create wishlists of figures that we hope will be in the next wave or even what figures would be in a hypothetical last wave! But this time, instead of being true to form, we’re making lists of who we don’t want and then making plans to miss out on this chance because of fears that we’re stoking ourselves!

Why aren’t we talking about what we could get? Elasti-Girl is a C&C needed to complete the Doom Patrol. Lead is a C&C needed to complete the Metal Men (in the subscription, he might be a regular figure – but Mattel has considered him as a C&C for the retail line). Starro (Vault will do cartwheels on our Youtube channel)! A Four Horsemen sculpted Brother Warth (I might pee myself! …and no, that won’t be on Youtube)! The new C&C’s aren’t limited in height by the packaging, so how about a Classic Anti-Monitor that can really look down on the retail one? And that’s just the big ones, what about non-retail friendly figures like Oracle, Lois Lane, the Chief, Will Magnus, Phantom Lady, Bouncing Boy, the Lieutenant Marvels. Bleez.

Wait… do you… do you not want some of those? That’s okay – I imagine that’s what would happen if Mattel provided us a list of exactly what would be in the subscription too. That’s part of why they don’t. The subscription IS going to include figures that each of us may not want because it has to cater to all kinds of DC fans. I wouldn’t tell the subscribers if I were in charge either. The blind aspect has less risk of alienating potential buyers than a complete list would. What if you’d only buy five or six of the revealed list, would you sign up? Probably not. This helps Mattel sell the subs and I don’t begrudge them for it (and, hey, the “begrudging Mattel” list is rather long already anyway).

Look, I’m a DC Classics collector. It’s not the best line out there, but it’s pretty good. And if you’ve been trying to collect DC Figures anytime in the last forty years, then you know how good we finally, really do have it. We cherished Super Powers for longer than may have been fashionable because that’s all there was (and luckily they really are pretty cool). We didn’t get an expansive 5″ line that was all the rage of the 90s. We had DC Direct which showed promise in 6″ only to turn into the Superman/Batman/Hal Jordan show with the occasional great figure thrown in. We had to wait six years to even start to catch up to Marvel Legends. Classics, warts and all, is the ultimate DC line and I’m not ready for it to alter course with this rebranding. I want the Collect & Connects. I want the retailer-unfriendly figures. We can have those now! The retailers can’t be used as an excuse with this subscription. We have an opportunity to get a line direct from Mattel that we can influence. And we’re going to turn away from it? Because we’re concerned that not all the figures will be tailor made to our individual wants? C’mon!

The first time I wrote this article, I didn’t like it. I played it safe and tried to be reasonable. But, man, I can’t do it. The ball is in our court. Look at the MOTU line. Look at how humbly it started out and look at how it’s grown. They’re getting (and paying $80 for it, I know) a huge Granamyr. They’re getting vehicles. That line, while expensive, is verging on insane amounts of coolness. And we’re squabbling as DC fans about whether or not we want to follow that path? And if that kind of growth isn’t enough for you, think of the influence we can exert. If you haven’t followed along with MOTU Classics – think about this: a purple power axe, Keldor’s swords, the MO2K gear with Fisto, Battle Armor Faker & Bikini Teela (whole figures), etc. All of those things were fan demanded – for some of them, we were even outright told “no”. But we fought on, and all of those have come out or will come out now. I plan to be just as loud and obnoxious with this DC sub as I have been with the MOTU sub. My DC readers know that I’m not above breaking open a (hard-to-get at the time) figure to prove to Mattel the neck articulation was being made incorrectly. I won’t fight any less for us on this subscription. And I’m going to start right now…

What Mattel needs to do better:

Mattel is to blame for part of these backasswards “what we don’t want” wishlists. The MOTU fans were never told “subscribe or else” like what’s happening to us. And I do hold that against Mattel a bit and I keep hoping they don’t really mean it as I watch that stupid thermometer on Mattycollector go up so slowly. They should’ve have just had faith in the brand and us and offered it outright like they did for Voltron or Ghostbusters. They also should have announced it better instead of springing it on us with just two weeks to judge its merits and while we’re processing the sudden rebranding of the retail line.

To put it simply, I don’t think this rollout went as planned. Damage control interviews with AFInsider and AFTimes have fixed most of that in my eyes and if you’re on the fence, I hope you watch both. I still wanted to shout a few things at the computer while I listened (please stop saying “Flash 1 and Flash 2” and learn their names!), but I better understand what they’re trying to do. Things are a little marred right now, but there are things Mattel can do to fix it.

The figures are “just” $15, but the shipping will make them cost more. Mattel, you need to take that into consideration and increase the value of figures post-Starman at the least. An accessory, an alt head. Whatever. I understand that the lower production run from the subscription causes per unit price to go up, but with the C&C piece removed the value of these figures must be corrected for this to not be a price increase. The prices can’t go down, so the value must go up. If there’s not an obvious accessory or alternate head, Mattel needs to be hitting up the Four Horsemen’s spare parts bin. Bottle City of Kandor. JSA Trophy Room. Other colored constructs. Mattel, if you want this to be a collector’s line, then you have to make it one. If you’d rolled this out better, more of us would be apt to sign up. The MOTU & Ghostbusters (particularly) trade on their accessories; the DC line shouldn’t be any different.

I mean, Mattel put it on the collectors to keep Classics going (and I really believe we will, thermometer aside), but they still have to make it worthwhile. They didn’t really do that at the panel or in the interviews. Well, in the AFI interview, Mike (I believe) mentioned that Atrocitus should be a little bigger than an average figure, so if the current plan is to scale his 2up down to “a little bigger” than normal before April, that’s terrific! In that same AFI Interview, Bill said they’ll look to include second heads if they don’t think they can get back around to the figure – well, are they going to get back around to Jay Garrick? Because he needs a young head. And not to mention, as a runner, he NEEDS rocker ankles (and you Mattel guys know Hasbro was mocking you when they made a point to say that Marvel Legends will have rocker ankles, right?). Let’s bring those back since neither the subscription or retail lines will have C&C pieces. Starman could use an 80s head to get closer to the classic look, or for fun have a head with his mask partially up and a half eaten sandwich! I really don’t think these figures can be too far along to not make changes to, because Mattel shouldn’t even know if they’re making them at this point (and the April MOTU figures aren’t generally produced until after the first of the year). But, if, for some reason, these three can’t have anything added to them? Fine, but let’s make July spectacular! That one should be awesome anyway, because Mattel will no doubt be trying to sell us on the 2013 subscription… unless y’all are worried the world’s gonna end if “adult collector” becomes more than a packaging buzzword.

In closing:

Anyway, I’m not concerned about buying blind. I’ve been pre-ordering DC waves blind for years. I love that line, warts and all. I’ve been a satisfied, “blind” MOTU Classics subscriber for two years even though I haven’t liked every character. If you don’t want to make a commitment to Mattel, I understand. But in my clearly skewed lollipops and ice cream world, I see it as a commitment to each other. I’ll scratch the back of the Black Lantern Swamp Thing guy and hope that he dislikes Elasti-Girl or Lead just as much. We have to get along to get along just like the MOTU fans do. And, as a MOTU collector, I feel pretty catered to and I think the DC subscribers can angle for the same treatment if we move units. That’s why I’m excited.

That said, I understand that there are other concerns. Paying shipping sucks. But there are positives to balance that out – no hunting, no gas, no off-hours shopping, no scalpers, no shitty store employees, and no competition – the figures will just show up like the mail-ins of our youth. You won’t even have to go to Mattycollector except* to change your card (which is easy) or when it comes time to buy the 2012 SDCC exclusive (and maybe you’ll luck out and it’ll be Wendy & Marvin and we can all skip it!).

* – If Mattel deigns to add a non-sub DC item to the site, I might rage a little bit. The single biggest problem with the MOTU subscription is that they don’t offer tiers or a truly all-in sub to skip the site entirely. If DC goes that way, I’ll be annoyed and everyone will hear about it. All-in is all-in, dammit!

And look, if you can’t afford the sub, you just can’t afford it. There’s no “blank check” like some have suggested – the costs are set in stone and laid out for us. If you can’t afford that, then what I’m saying doesn’t apply to you. It doesn’t make you a bad DC fan or draw my ire. There are a lot of great toys out there and you have to spend your money where you want to or where you need to – especially in times like this. I don’t want to apply pressure or ill will to the collectors that can’t afford to purchase this subscription. I really, really want Arnim Zola, but I’m a DC fan first and the money for Marvel toys might not be there for me. There are good reasons not to buy in and I understand and sympathize with most of them.

If you don’t want the sub, you just don’t want it. That’s fine. I’m really talking to the fans who are on the fence here. But, no matter who you are, we don’t need to sit around and dream up worst case scenarios about Conjura, Cosmos the Phantom of Disguise, or that new guy that appeared in Flashpoint last week. We don’t need to discourage other people from buying in (particularly if you’re not a DC Classics Collector, that’s just poor form). I’m hoping for the best because that’s what I do. I’m being positive because that’s what IAT is about. I’m not saying cross your fingers and hand over your credit card info – it doesn’t stop there. We must make clear the things we do and do not want from Mattel. Right now, that appears to be that the figures cost the same without a C&C piece and don’t have value added to make the shipping sting less. That’s where we start working on Mattel.

My ultimate hope is that Mattel can make this subscription so great that we wish characters released earlier had been saved for it. And after we get a few months in, when things look more fully formed instead of what appears to be a hastily put together “throw DCUC21 into a subscription” thing (and even if it isn’t, Mattel, you should act like that’s what happened… yeesh!), I think the subscription will be more appealing already. I know it sucks that we have to sign up and then encourage Mattel to do better, but that’s the breaks this time constraint has given us. I’m ready to work at it until Mattel rues the name of this site if it means better toys and character selection.

If you don’t want to take the leap of faith with me, I won’t hold it against you, but the ball really is in our court for the first time. If this falls through and Mattel blames us – they’ll be right for the first time. I don’t want that to happen. I want this to go through and I want to throw that ball back at them hard. I want this to be the collector line it should be. I want this to be what DC Direct should have always been. I want this subscription to kick ass like the MOTU one already does. And I think we can get it. Even if that means we end up with a kickass… sigh… Black Lantern Swamp Thing.

250 comments to DC Club or: How I Learned to Stop
Worrying & Love the Unknown

  • you_will_forget

    I voted Rocket Red, but I wouldn’t say no to BL Swamp Thing.

    I got my sub in on saturday night (it went live at 10pm here in the UK) and I’m happy to go forward.

    My concerns: Higher shipping costs – my usual moan that as a club/sub member outside America it costs me MORE to get my figures LATER than those living in the US.

    Otherwise, I’m really hoping this happens. I’ve been with DCUC since the beginning, and it would be amazing to have that bit of influence over the line.

    Jo

    • Glad to have you aboard, ywf!

      Shipping is going to be the biggest issue facing the subscribers even here, so I can’t imagine hwo it is for you international guys. Thank you for signing up though even with the international costs.

      Rocket Red will be cool, but how would you want him? The version they show in the poll is the new one, are you up for that? Or one of the classic ones?

    • Brainlock

      I was begging on the DC Direct boards YEARS ago for a RR *BRIGADE* armor figure, hopefully with swappable heads (Dmitri, 2x random other head), but the red number sticker sheet is/was ESSENTIAL for army building. And YES, I know the RRB armor became more streamlined over the years, but I never cared for Dmitri’s Apokalips armor and Gavril is still too new to deserve a figure before Dmitri or his RRB brethren.

      and Noisy, I’m with you 10000% on the “VALUE” portion. no CnC part = these *should* be cheaper, but Matty is practically price gouging the other lines (MOTU, GB, etc) by having them cost so much above retail and THEN charging a higher rate of shipping than is necessary.

  • Rob

    Honestly, if I could afford the shipping to Taiwan, I’d be all over the subscription. I think the subscription will get fans a lot of the figures they’ve been wanting, but didn’t warrant a release at retail. Though if they release Poison Ivy in the sub, I’m sure there will hell to pay.

  • Sephron13

    Great read! Valid points/concerns laid out. I bought a sub, along with re-upping my MOTUC. I was a bit on the fence about the DCU one, but just from a cost perspective. Then I took into account the very things you mentioned and thought “what the heck, I want these figures anyway”. There have been some figures I haven’t wanted in DCUC already, but I bought them anyway. Why? To support a line I loved (or to complete a C-n-C). So, I’m in. C’mon DC fans!!

    • Thanks, Seph!

      I’ve bought a few.. uh, “dogs” already so one or two more in the sub isn’t going to phase me. And I really think that big DC fans will be happy with the majority of the choices. Hopefully, we’ll find out!

  • Nicholai

    Well said. It would be fantastic if this thing took off. I think the biggest point is that not everyone is going to be satisfied and if we all listed the 9 normal and 3 oversized characters we want we wouldn’t agree among ourselves. My hope is for this to take off not only to finish Doom Patrol and the Metal Men, but also to get characters like Lois Lane who I feel are important but who I understand just aren’t going to happen at retail.

    • I really think this is a great way to see that stuff. I can see Mattel using 2012 to finish up the Doom Patrol and hooking us for 2013 to finish the Metal Men. I’m okay with that.

  • Todd

    I’m not the biggest Dc fan,but I have a ton of DCUCs.
    Can’t see myself going with a subscription though.
    Maybe if I can pick and choose like I do with the
    MOTU line,but other than that DCUC is going to lose
    my cash altogether because The Legends are back and
    I won’t have the money to risk getting Lois Lane
    or Black Lantern Swamp Thing…sorry. 🙁

    • No worries, Todd. I say it in the article – the costs are laid out and if you can’t afford it you can’t afford it. Hopefully, the line will get the support it needs and you’ll have a chance to pick some of these guys up in “day of” sales.

  • .

    It must be nice getting your toys free from Mattel.

    • I imagine it would be nice, but if you’re a regular reader, you’d know that we’ve purchased every Mattel toy we’ve reviewed. Thanks, though!

  • Toyman521

    I just bought a subscription.

    Damn you, Noisy.

  • He-Mullet

    My main beef against it is that it’s still Mattel. The C&C are gone, but we will probably get Zero accessories but the price tag will still be overpriced due to Mattel’s Cost-Cotting Mania… (The retail line, with super mega distribution and huge numbers is in some places a bit over $18 + Taxes…)
    Also I’m a mega cherry picker… I’d LOVE to have Oracle, but not enough to commit to a sub possibly full of characters that I don’t want just to get a Babs and luckily a Lois Lane.

    With that said, I DO HOPE that this sub prospers for DC Fans!

    • Like I told Steve, I hear that complaint – but I look at Thunder Punch He-Man compared to Stratos and I feel good about the possibilities.

      I view you as a bigger MOTU fan, so I would imagine your money has to go there first and foremost – and Mattel is really making sure us MOTU fans coffers are empty in 2012. Whew.

      If there’s one drawback to this DC sub that I am afraid of, it’s if it get as big and cool as the MOTU one.

  • MEGOMAN65

    WELL SAID. LET’S ALL MAKE THIS DC SUB AS GOOD AS THE MOTU SUB.

  • Tom McCraw

    I got a subscription. I’m guessing this will be only chance I’ve got to complete my Metal Men set, and having Rita would be cool too. She has to be one of the over-sized figs. it’s only logical. I would gladly pay over $25 for those figures to have them, so the shipping + cost of figure thing doesn’t bother me. If there was a figure I didn’t want, I’m sure I could offer it for sale t someone who would want it. I doubt that is ever going to happen since I’ve been buying the lackluster Lantern deputies, cause I want the Anti-Monitor and I’m a completist. I’m really hoping that this idea goes forth and Matty comes out with some really cool figures. Then I can sit back and watch gleefully as the nay-sayers groan that they can’t have them.

    I wish Mattel had some kind of forum for the subscribers to offer suggestions. Like Thom Kallor should come with an alternate bearded head so he can fit in with his Legion 12 pack buddies and we can scream at the top of our lungs until we get a CnC Starro.

    I appreciate this article you wrote. I’m hoping for the best. Thanks.

    • Thanks, Tom!

      I don’t know if I’d take bets on who will be in it, but Rita seems like a shoe-in…

      I had two MOTU subs this year and last (dropping to only one to afford the DC/GB subs this year). I kept the double when I wanted it and had absolutely no problem selling off the extras. The same can be true for this subscription I think. Maybe not every figure will be easy, but it can be done (though some folks will not want to put in the elbow grease with that and I understand).

  • A great point about someone’s “dog” being a prized figure to another. It’s a very valid one that was worth saying.

    I do like DCU, but space is an issue for me, so I have been very limited in what I grab from this line, as such that is how the subscription does not work for me. I might buy 2 figures out of every 3 waves (again it’s more space than anything).

    Now something like the Voltron sub works great because I know I will want everything in it (then again that is a whole different animal to begin with, but I was just saying, although there is still the space issue with that one too, but the point is if I get one, I get thme all cause of course I would want to make Voltron).

    Now there is going to be a GI Joe sub next year, and I am kind of wary of it, Ironicly it is not done through Hasbro but instead through the company that organizes Joe con (yeah I know, weird). My hesitation there is the fact that the company has a reputation of producing figures and chargine exorborant prices ($40 for 2 3 & 3/4 inch figures last year for a “special” mid year that was not a con exclusive).

    Point of all of that is I am warry of subs, its a good chunk of commitment. Although I will say I wouldn’t mind a black lantern Swamp thing LOL.

    • That Voltron amazes me. 23″? Vault and I went back and forth about one of us picking this up, but neither of us can afford it.

      This sub really isn’t for cherry pickers grabbing only a couple from each wave, maybe the guys grabbing 5-6 to come over, but less than that? You’re safer outside the sub.

      Vault & I are excited about the Joe sub too, but the prices may keep us out on that one.

      • Comments about the GIJoe sub seems like a great place to jump in. Say what we might about the cost of a DCUC figure, I expect it will pale compared to the figures in that club. Notwithstanding your comment about Jay’s ankles and Hasbro’s Legends’ comments, it really is Mattel fans who have the last laugh. And I say this as a Transformers fan. We get repaints with the chance of a new head. You get BRAND NEW figures made by some of the best in the industry. I was never a fan of Masters of the Universe – either the figures or the show with the exception of Hordak and the Battle Damage He-Man and Skeletor figures – and even a non-fan with only limited nostalgia for the toy has amassed a half dozen of these beautiful figures. (Except, irony of ironies, the aforementioned He-Men and Skeletor – the biggest disappointment is that Mattel didn’t tool up a new chest with a spin chest for those guys a la Brave and Bold Metallo.)

        All that to say if, as you surmise, the DCUC will improve in the way that the MotU line has, how can DC fans say no. Even if it means a Black Lantern Swamp Thing? Suee, Mattel botched the announcement (not enough groundwork laid, terrible large scale choices) – it was only this week for example I was able to confirm it was Jay and Thom who were getting made, after all. But speaking as a current TFclub veteran and an occassional JoeClub member, I’ve accepted worse for less interesting and more expensive toys.

        All this to say, you’ve convinced me. If this is what it takes to add to the greatest hero line of the last thirty years and give me a shot at my dream figure (Terry Sloan, Mr. Terrific if you must know), I’m in.

        • There were many a TF exclusives I wanted but ultimately couldn’t buy because of the price. I still dream of scrounging a spare $150 to order the Adventure Team Joes, but even then I wonder if I could really do it…

          Some people saying that the licensing approval process could somehow stymie the DC one from being able to achieve MOTU success. I don’t know – I don’t see why and I don’t look for reasons to be negative, I’m not trying to talk myself out of it. Besides, any one that has followed the MOTU line knows is that MOTU has had to struggle with an internal approval process and has still prospered.

          I’m glad to have you aboard. I love Terry and I’d love to see his figure in the line!!

          • Rystar

            I can never keep up with Transformers!! The sheer volume of product is enormous and the prices add up so fast. Whenever I see a guy with a Trnasformers collection, I just assume he’s a millionaire!

  • I passed on the subscription… because I’m not a DCUC collector. Sure, I do dabble in them, but I pick and choose my figures (or more accurately, my waves). I was on the fence for about a day for this, but I decided that if it does go ahead, I’ll get it off MattyCollector on the 15th of the month, since I’ve to be there anyways most of next year to pick up the MotUC stuff. If there’s is DC stuff, then that’s better value for money for my shipping since the shipping per figure drops as the figure count increases. If there’s no DCUC line at all, then I’m not too bothered. They could have sold me to it if one of the 4 figures is something/someone who I would like to have. However, I’m very much apathetic towards the 4 figures announced, so that, plus the fact that I have to be on the site almost every month anyways, made me decide not to take up this subscription.

    • Best reason I’ve heard so far, Novelty!! 🙂

      Like I told Zed, if you’re buying one or two then the sub isn’t for you. I do hope we can get this through though so the cherry pickers can account for some day of sales.

      • I hope I won’t have to pick up every single figure in the line! Atrocious = yes. I like the red lanterns. Star Man, of course – he’s Legion. Everything else so far is a no.

        • I wonder if Atrocitus could be in the regular line and still be appropriately sized of if them considering him a C&C at retail will preclude him entirely.

  • I appreciate the fact that you *tried* to be balanced about this, but the article takes a bit of a Pollyanna view on the whole situation. Yes, in all the uncertainly, it’s better to be optimistic than pessimistic, but the scenario as you put it just isn’t good BUSINESS. You admonish the poster for calling certain figures “dogs”, but from a monetary perspective, that’s what they’ll be. That’s why we call them “pegwarmers”. There won’t be enough interest. You also have to look at the fact that these are toys based on comics – a market that already has a diminished fan base. Even if everyone who BOUGHT Brightest Day #24 bought a figure, would that be enough to meet Mattel’s quotas? Now, let’s focus on those who bought that issue and decided “Man, I’d love to have a toy of BL Swamp Thing!” Of those, how many are diehard DC Direct fans, and have decided to just wait and see if that line produces the figure? As nice as it would be for that handful of DCUC fans to get a BL Swamp Thing, those numbers are necessarily high enough to keep this thing going. As bad as it might sound, the subscription line has a better chance of survival by cranking out Zebra Print Batman and Super Constipated Hal Jordan than giving a chance to things like Shaggy Man.

    And there really is too much uncertainty to justify the cost. As optimistic as we might want to be, there’s no guarantee you’ll EVER complete those teams you’re wanting to complete. Hell, we all claim to LOVE the line, but we’ve done nothing but complain about it since it launched. We weren’t necessarily in the wrong by doing so. There were QC issues, and the distribution was sub par. But we kept buying, hoping things would get better. Now, we’re being asked to buy BLINDLY, hoping things will get better. “The definition of ‘insanity’ is doing the same thing over and over, but hoping for different results.” I get what you’re trying to do, and I’m glad you’re excited, but there’s just too much evidence to the contrary. I’m not some fly-by-night fan. I have a DCUC collection that would make some people weep. That said, I just can’t buy into this.

    • Well, to be honest, I didn’t really try to be balanced. LOL

      The beauty of the sub is that Black Lantern Swamp Thing is guaranteed a certain number of sales. There are some important MOTU characters (some of the MO2K ones for example) that many a MOTU fan might consider a dog was able to be successful because we all agreed to buy it. From the responses I’m seeing, a lot of DC fans have that in them… just maybe not enough? We’ll see.

      You are right about the variants on the big guns though. A Batman or Hal Jordan version is the sub would’ve probably helped sales. So I’m glad that Mattel avoided taking the easy out there and picked two characters that each represent the two biggest factions of the DC classics collectors (classic & neo-classics? 😀 )

      We haven’t been wrong to complain over the years because we do need things to be better. I try to complain constructively and I intend to keeping doing that if we can put this over the top.

      Anyway, I hear what you’re saying, but I know what I want and I know what I need to do to try and get it. That’s the path I’m on.

      • Tom-Tom

        Even if they are being sold on Mattel’s site, do you really think Mattel cares about what collectors think? Once everyone buys the sub, they can go back to their old ways of re-using the same body over and over. Once they have your initial payment, your input won’t matter because they have your money.

        In my mind, the idea of a DCUC sub makes the new Marvel Legends at much more appealing…

        • Look at the MOTUC sub and ask yourself if you’d be happy with it as a MOTU collector. The answer may be no, I’d understand, but there’s no trap. Mattel will want to do a 2013 subscription and the 2012 sub will do marketing for it every month. If Mattel screwed us over like you describe, they hurt their chances of a repeat subscription. And again, I direct you to my comments about the MOTU sub and the input/sway fans have had – why do you think it would be different? Your position is difficult for me to understand in light of those facts.

  • Eric

    I passed because they aren’t worth $23 shipped. That, and quality is still likely to be crap. I just got a Deathstroke to replace my current Deathstroke (arm feels like it’s about to be wrenched off), and his hips were so gummy that both of them broke off and I am going to return him instead. Also, his arms also feel like they are going to be wrenched off, so it was more of a design flaw then a specific flaw.

    Point is, the quality isn’t likely to improve, and if the sub fails, there’s still that new line they are pushing out.

    • Nicholai

      That new line that won’t contain any of these more niche figures.

      • Not that in helps the cause here, but I do hope that Jay Garrick could end up in the the DCnU line. With the JSA being “retired” for now, it may be awhile, but we might get him someday. Atrocitus is as DOA as Lead, Rita, a fixed Doomsday, etc. though.

    • I’m not ready to right off quality until I get the first few (and I know that’s too late). Wave 3 (or did you get a Wave 16 All-Star Deathstroke) was so poorly done that they took the line away from that factory.

      I know that the QC has ups and downs, but I haven’t had many QC problems on the last few waves of figures and haven’t had much at all with MOTUC. I’m curious to see how these sub figures measure up.

      The new line will be something to subsist on, but the subscription sounds like the dessert to me.

      • Eric

        My original Deathstroke was wave 3, and I was always disappointed with him because his arms felt like they were going to be wrenched off and his arms were causing unsightly scratches all over his balls.

        The new Deathstroke was from wave 16, and it had the same issue with the arms AND his legs were so crappy they were wrenched off almost immediately.

        • Wave 3, I believe, was one of the worst waves. I have a “CL” factory Slade and he’s the only figure from that wave I really keep with the others. The rest are that “OB” factory and all have various issues.

          I hadn’t heard about issues with the new Deathstroke. That stinks! I wonder if the accessories or something else cause them to use a cheaper grade on him. The newest factory, “MTN” doesn’t do as a good a job as the “CL” factory either, so that doesn’t help. MTN has gotten better though – I haven’t had any QC issues with the last few waves – but I haven’t bought any All-Stars.

  • Brilliantly argued and very well written. Nicely done. And I’m with you for every single reason, which is why I subscribed the first day. And to be honest, a part of me is kinda glad I won’t have to make endless trips to [INSERT BRICK-AND-MORTAR RETAILER HERE] in a vain attempt to find the last C&C figure part…

    Go Matty, GO!

    S.

  • Adam

    I recently did a review and found that I only wanted four of the MotU figures from the 2010 subscription. 2011 fared a little better; I wanted six of those figures.

    Not one of the figures previewed was on my must-buy list, although I wouldn’t *mind* the Flash. And none of the characters up for voting are all that persuasive to me.

    I’m keenly aware that most the big box stores in my area haven’t carried new DCUC in a while. The retail line seems to me like it won’t last much longer.

    So I’m torn. I have a little disposable income, and I like the idea of supporting a high-quality toy line. I REALLY want figures like Changeling, Elasti-Girl, and a Perez Zatanna that I’m not confident will be made in the retail line.

    My concern is that this subscription will be treated like MotU; in that line, key characters like Ram-Man have been deliberately held up for years in favor of things subscribers didn’t necessarily have a reason to believe were coming.

    Sometimes, the character selection for DCUC has seemed brilliant; other waves, like the Rainbow Lanterns, have been bafflingly tone-deaf. The selection for the DCUC two-packs – combined with awkward figures for Ultraman and Starfire – mostly misfired, I suspect because the price point was too high for a pack aimed at different collectors. (By comparison, the Wonder Twins and Sinestro Corps sold much better.)

    I don’t understand why Mattel wouldn’t share a list of figures to be produced. They’ve been doing this for YEARS in terms of the retail waves, and yet people still buy entire cases in order to get the figures they want.

    Given how slowly that meter is moving, any discussion of this may be moot. I wonder what magical number they’re trying to hit; I suspect it’s significantly higher than the number of subscribers for MotU.

    • I don’t plan on getting a specific MOTU figure when I sign up. If I were looking for Ram Man, yeah, I’d be an unhappy camper. I don’t really know who to expect for the DC 2012, but Mattel will have to make it good enough for us to be willing re-up for 2013.

      Yeah, we haven’t gotten Ram Man yet – but I’ve been so happy with what I’ve been getting in the MOTU sub that it doesn’t even cross my mind to not sign up again. (Except for the 30th line not being in the damn sub, that annoys me).

  • I really appreciate you posting this Noisy, I can’t imagine how I would feel if a toyline I was passionate about was on the verge of cancellation and you’ve really put your thoughts out there clearly and persuasively.

    I’m not a DCUC collector at all but I really was shocked and sad when I heard there was a chance the line we all know would be gone!

    I think people will claw past their initial anger and frustration and realize that this is going to be good for the toyline in the long run. The idea that a Kirby Metron with his Big Ass Chair even a possibility makes me so excited for DCUC collectors. Hell, I want one too!

    • Thanks, Rex!

      I think the rollout of the news hasn’t been the best. Take the fact that Atrocitus will be bigger than a regular figure – that’s buried in an audio interview that was started by the guys at AFI! How was Mattel going to get that info out to us? It’s important and they weren’t going to mention it without being prompted? Blows my mind…

  • Lovable-Bill

    As soon as payday hits on Friday I am picking up my sub. I have been there from the beginning and own practically 99% of the line. I’m the guy that buys the variants even if there is little difference in the figures (like the Superman/Parasite pack). I love the DCUC line and the sub is just pure gravy as far as I am concerned. If you are a die hard then there is no reason not to sign up.

    • Thanks, Bill!

      If you are a die hard then there is no reason not to sign up.

      I understand the concerns of my fellow funs, but this definitely sums up my feelings.

  • Michael

    I completely agree with what was said in the article. I am a DCUC collector (As well as JLU, RIP, and various Japanese toys) and want a way to get more figures made. It gives me hope for some of the less retail friendly characters such as Death, Dream, Granny Goodness, Oracle, John Constantine, Mr. Zsaz, and Captain Carrot. I am pretty much collecting every figure. The only things I skip are Super Friends characters (Not having to worry about Gleek is a blessing) and pointless repaints (2 Pack metallic Aquaman). I want all manner of characters. JL, JSA, YJ (Comic team, not animated), Titans, Infinity Inc, Metal Men, Doom Patrol, Marvel Family, Suicide Squad, Global Guardian, New Gods, Vertigo characters who are in the DCU, Legion of Doom, Legion of Superheroes, Golden Age Heroes and Villains, Silver Age Heroes and Villains, Bronze Age Heroes and Villains, Lantern Corps, Secret Identities and Supporting Civilians, etc… Unlike what seems to be a decent amount of collectors, I rarely complain about these lines and don’t understand why people do so with trivial things. I am actually somewhat put off on MOTUC because of the complaining. Threatening Scott’s family because a bio or color is “wrong”. Or the guy who cried for a day or two because the Star Sisters are not exact to his specifications. DCUC is the last DC line I am interested in. JLU is going, DC Direct is “bleh”, and none of Mattel’s other DC lines interest me. I will be very happy if the sub takes off.

    • Thanks, Michael.

      Doesn’t it just seem like there are a lot more positive possiblities than negative ones? hat’s what I’m talking about!

      • Michael

        The possibilities for the sub are indeed endless. With the word “endless” in mind, I am really hoping for some of the DCU characters who were generally regarded as Vertigo (Despite being in the DCU) being released through this. Constantine is a normal DCU chara again, Death showed up in Action Comics, Dream (Morpheus persona) last showed up in Kevin Smith’s Green Arrow run, and the Daniel Hall Dream was in a few issues of JSA and one of JLA. I want EVERY corner of the DCU covered.

  • I find myself swayed by your argument. I’ve been on the fence for two reason, Atrocitus is cool but I don’t care about the other two previewed figures. The bigger reason is that it’s going to be tough to afford the sub and still keep up on Transformers like I will want to, and the many other lines I like to pick at.

    But I have nearly all the DCSH and DCUC figures to date, and I’d like to keep it going. There are plenty of figures I’d really like, so I really should support the subscription in hopes of seeing those figures, it’s not like I mind all that much having figures I don’t care about, after all, it’s just with wave 16 and 18 that I’ve started to cherry pick the line.

    • I love the classic eras of the DCU as much as the new ones, so I’m a guy with equal love for Jay Garrick & Atrocitus, but I know a lot of collectors would be divided over those two figures.

      And man, you try to balance Transformers and other toys? I applaud that! I try to dabble in TFs, but it always spirals out of control quickly and I have to lick my wounds because of the stuff I can’t afford.

  • americanhyena

    This may be a stupid question but, the DCUC sub items will work like the MOTUC ones in that they will be available on Matty outside of the sub right? ‘Cause I’ve really entered the cherry picking stage of my DCUC fanship.

    • The Flash III

      There will be one exclusive figure, but the rest would be up for sale. I know a lot of people feel that way. The problem is that if enough people don’t bite the bullet and get the sub, they aren’t going to sell them on sale days.

      Good article. I hope that DCUC fans get the message that we’re all in this together and we want the sub because we love the line, not every single figure, but the line as a whole, and we want it to continue.

      • Thanks, Flash! That’s it exactly. I’m buying the sub because I want DC figures – I’m not terribly concerned about which ones at this stage. I would like Mattel to complete some small teams early on (so they can start new ones…) and that appears to be their intention, so I’m onboard.

    • Yes. Like Flash says, if we can get this to go through then the cherry pickers can pick the items up on the site (which may or may not be difficult, I don’t know). Hopefully, we can reach that point because I’m sure some ‘day of’ sales will help the line too.

  • Rafa

    Great article!!

    I was at the DC Matty panel and I asked to bring back rocker ankles and only got laughed at! So I know we aren’t getting those. ;(

  • Rich

    Great article. I especially liked your arguments around price points… My “wish list” starts with Jay Garrick, and then moves to other teams that need to be completed… Fire; Ice; Huntress; Poison Ivy.

    I quickly realized that the majority of what I consider ‘gaps’ in my DCUC collection are female figures. At one per wave, I was already in trouble. In a 9-figure-per-year sub at a $15 price point, I’m in even bigger trouble. They’d be cost effective for Mattel, and I’d be thrilled to get Platinum, Livewire, Vixen, and Dr. (Kimiyo) Light… but I think everyone else would revolt at the costs, shipping, you name it.

    I think Mattel will listen to you (us!), and include re-used accessories to help sell the sub figures. For example, I think wave 20’s ‘White Lantern Flash’ is going to get the White Lantern Lantern accessory that WL Hal didn’t come with, burning a slot in that wave, sadly. But, for the want of that lantern, many fans will still be happy.

    I still buy every DCUC figure and the variants as well. No character is too obscure. I will buy the sub, too, because it’s so exciting to think of what we MIGHT get!

    I’m just ever so sad that we still believe ‘female figures don’t sell’. And it’s going to crush me when this sub is used as another nail in that tired excuse (eg “fans didn’t want to buy Arisia from Matty Collector for $15 plus shipping. She needed a newly-sculpted head, torso and skirt, so we didn’t include a lantern, ring constructs, or an alternate angry head. Fans couldn’t possibly be smart enough to vote with their wallet against our giant empty blister packaging and wasted shipping costs, so… the conclusion must be instead: females don’t sell.”). They already tried to sell us the ‘this one female figure you want would cost us three male figures’ line with Mera, which also hurt.

    (As an aside, Tin is going to be a gigantic waste of packaging)

    I’m one of the people out there who’s come to terms with the fact that I won’t get what I want. There’s no way Mattel would risk it, and yet I feel strongly that every character I’ve mentioned above has enough history to warrant a DCUC representation. So yeah, I’m sad at the direction things have taken, but… I’m in for the sub! It’s ok to be realistic about what cannot be, but still get excited that there can still be figures in our future at the same time, right?

    If, at the end of the year, the only female they included for us is Rita? And I have a completed Doom Patrol? I will join the rest of you cheering at what was, and I won’t regret buying into this for even a moment.

    And if you’re going to give me nothing but Male figures, bring on the rest of the Morrison-era JLA or Total Justice!

    VOTE METRON!!!

    • Thanks, Rich!

      You’re on to something with the female figures, all of those are on my lists. I think a lot of them can happen and we’ll see where Mattel takes us.

      And yeah, IAT voted for Metron as a block!

      And also… excellent point about White Lantern Flash! That white lantern question is going in the next q&a.

  • But it’s not going to work out the way you hope, Noisy, it just isn’t, and I’m really sorry for that.

    “No packages=no limit on C&C figures”

    Except they have embedded cost analysis on production for a specific size, plus legacy tooling.

    “Extras heads or something”

    Which would involve extra tooling and other development costs.

    “Completing teams”

    Why? It will be more important to tag onto whatever non-revamp comic figures that DC decides they’ll allow, as well as movie stuff (Green Lantern Movie Wave 3! YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT).

    Look, what I see is a company who is under the gun from DC/Warner Bros to conform to the new plan (which will likely crash and burn within a year) and all this sub does is allow more ROI for existing tooling, with the benefit of a higher profit margin. I wish there was love there, but what love we see is the cold fake passion of the hooker.

    I’ve been in any number of fandoms over the years and every single one has a point where we’re told “We HAVE to accept this crap now because MAYBE at some point something cool will make up for it, just do it or you’re not really a fan!!” (and please note I KNOW that you are NOT saying that) and frankly, I just don’t drink that Flavo-Aide anymore.

    And why are we calling ‘oversized figures’ C&C if they’re not being sold as part of a figure anymore? 🙂

    Seriously, tell me that the Forever People will be in the 2013 sub and I’m on board. All of them plus the bike as the oversized figure. That happens, I’ll apologize and everything. 🙂

    • THANK YOU! Sure, this was a well-written article, but it’s just not *realistic*. I’m not trying to “harsh your buzz”, Noisy. I’m not. Simple economics of the toy industry, however, support that most of your expectations won’t come true. I’m sure Mattel’s glad to have dedicated fans, and all of you are helping move this sub closer towards fruition. That’s a GREAT thing. I just ask that you temper your expectations. The sky is NOT the limit with this sub. And I thank you, Mr. Harrison, for not leaving me to look like some kook over here by myself!

      • “And I thank you, Mr. Harrison, for not leaving me to look like some kook over here by myself!”

        You guys aren’t kooks (well, maybe Steve 😉 ), all constructive opinions are welcome here. I’m going to reply to all these comments, but I think it’s best to start here (though no one will notice that when I’m done…)

        “No packages=no limit on C&C figures” – Except they have embedded cost analysis on production for a specific size, plus legacy tooling.

        I didn’t say unlimited C&Cs. The only way I’m getting a good-sized Anti-Monitor is to spend a few thousand when one becomes available on eBay or mug Julius Marx (sorry, J) outside a TRU when he’s on vacation. But Mattel does say they can/will be bigger. For inspiration on this, I’m going to look to Atrocitus. In the AFI interview, one of the Mattel design team states that he can be more appropriately scaled in the sub. I expect that to mean that he’ll be bigger – 6.75″, 7″ – I’m not sure what’s accurate for him off the top of my head, but the interview at AFI makes it feel like they know and they’re going to target it. If that turns out to be true, that gives them a new buck in the 7-8ft tall range right out of the gate. If they’re willing to do that for the regular figures, then think on the possibilities of the oversized ones? I’m not expecting giants, but I am expecting to stop having them all be the same height.

        “Extras heads or something” – Which would involve extra tooling and other development costs.

        2) The tooling costs of additional pieces is where I’m saying we have to struggle with Mattel. The per unit rise in cost aside, these figures do offer fans less (I’ll give a bigger Atrocitus a pass though), so we’re going to have to work to get that back. Look the first MOTU figures compared to the ones coming out now. Doesn’t that give you some spark of hope? Go watch Pixel Dan’s video about Thunder Punch He-Man (he’s going to be amazing) and compare him to the early figures. None of what MOTU has become would exist if we all sat around saying “We don’t want Carnivus” or “I’m not buying cause I don’t want those POP girls”. Think of the success we’ve seen in the MOTU Classics line had now imagine how I must feel watching us strangle a possible DC version in its crib.

        Why? It will be more important to tag onto whatever non-revamp comic figures that DC decides they’ll allow, as well as movie stuff (Green Lantern Movie Wave 3! YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT).

        3) The subscription is being sold as teambuilders and fan demanded characters. The new retail line (which is all we get if we let the sub go down in flames) is where we have to worry about what you’re talking about. This part does require faith in Mattel, I admit – and so I think about the giant collection that is DC Classics already and I feel fine okay with it. That said, I’ll have my truetorial pen ready to go should issues arise. If the sub doesn’t go through we will lose the one avenue to avoid those pitfalls.

        We HAVE to accept this crap now because MAYBE at some point something cool will make up for it, just do it or you’re not really a fan!!

        Anyway, I’m not saying wait for cool things. I’m saying the cool things are here if we just look. Atrocitus & Jay Garrick showing up in my mailbox? Metron with his Chair (which will surely be in the sub whether he wins the vote or not)? This giant behemoth of a DC Collection that’s already at my house?

        Seriously, tell me that the Forever People will be in the 2013 sub and I’m on board. All of them plus the bike as the oversized figure. That happens, I’ll apologize and everything.

        No, not all the Forever People will be in the 2012 or 2013 sub, but that could be a team that they start. What if Big Bear is in the first year? What if the bike could be an oversized candidate – one of the head writers at Fwoosh puts a bug for the Forever People in TG’s ear every chance he can. It can be in there. ‘Can’ is enough for me, but I understand that some people want to wait for ‘will’. I just hope all that waiting doesn’t eliminate the can.

        • I freely admit to my special madness. 🙂

          Maybe it’s an age thing. I’ve had the ‘football’ yanked away so many times over the years I just need to SEE my foot make contact before I believe it’s happening.

          I look at what Hasbro has done with Star Wars and my mind is just blown. I think they’re at the point where EVERY character and EVERY costume change has been made. And of course there’s all kinds of differences here, smaller figures, Lucas being part owner of Hasbro since Phantom Menace, company being 100% behind the license and retailers deciding that Star Wars can be an ‘evergreen’ like Barbie and Hot Wheels.

          You mention that maybe not all the Forever People would make it in a hypothetical 2013 wave but the chance to get them all exists at some point. Well, if Mattel were smart and didn’t treat all these things as one-shot ‘buy it now!!’ things, I’d go along, buy them when they were all out. But that’s not the plan.

          Really, if you read my post about “what if Mattel went to an opt-out subscription model like the SF Book Club” I think THAT’S the way to handle the DC heroes. Don’t want a figure? say no, wait for the next month. Everybody happy. Of course that’s not going to happen, because they want to get a fixed number of anticipated income on the books in order to make the ROI visible to the head office.

          GRRAAGGHH this could be so easily solved! dammit!

          • Now, all of that I do agree with. I feel like my foot has made contact with the MOTU sub – is that where I’m coming at this differently? That I can too easily see that same success being translated over?

            My biggest MOTU beef is the lack of a tiered system. Take 2012 – they know they’ll have 6 of the 30th line, so why not make a special, small sub for it (they want us to crowd mattycollector is why).

      • “I just ask that you temper your expectations. The sky is NOT the limit with this sub.”

        I don’t think I’m saying that exactly. Yes, I’m promoting and talking up and trying to get some folks fired up, but I don’t want anyone to think that motivating Mattel to do the things we want will be anything but hard work. It’s not been easy for the MOTU line, we got told no a lot. A lot.

        So you’re right, the sky isn’t the limit, but the subscription can end up being a cooler line than the retail one – and will definitely be a cooler line than the relaunched retail one. I don’t doubt that for a second.

  • globaldominationmachine

    had matty shown a few more figures from the sub, i’d likely be in. but as it stands, matty has made far too many idiot moves(in all of their brands) to warrant me tossing hard-earned money their way. what if the next 6 figures are figures i don’t want? i barely want what was shown(i’ve got a good jay garrick and atrocitus from dcd and that starman is an incredibly simple custom). what if the paint app is crap or the plastic quality sucks(as happens ALL THE TIME)? i’m not about to get boned by matty again.

    • Emerald

      Jay & Atrocitus are obviously tests. It speaks to what Golden Age fans have been wanting (with Jay) as well as those who worship everything Geoff Johns does (Atrocitus).
      As for Starman being a simple custom. Yes, his parts are all re-use, but that is offset by the fact that he’s cast in a translucent, glitter plastic. Are you a good enough customizer to cast your own figure this way? It’s a cool effect and makes for a very unusual looking figure.
      Matty is basically calling our bluff. Enough fans begrudged Wave 17 and 18, and it’s safe to say they weren’t expecting it at all. Retail barely made it to the shelf (thus poor distribution), and exclusive Matty 2-packs failed after the first year by their estimation…so now they’re putting up a thermometer to show the “louder than numerous” that there aren’t enough of them to cater to.

      Speaking of Matty DCUC 2-packs. It’s a shame they didn’t continue, because although B’Wana Beast is one of the lamest DC characters ever, he’s the best executed (paint-apps, tight joints, etc.)in the line. They were also $25 for 2 figures — doesn’t seem like so much now. Imagine the possibilities of what we could have been buying since and now gear yourself up for the possibility that Club Infinites is THE LAST chance to do the same.

      • But you can’t just blame the fans for not buying.

        Reality is the toy market has REALLY changed in the past 10 years and Mattel just isn’t doing the job of adapting to that change.

        Reality is, there’s only 4 national retailers carrying toys year round. Target, KMart, Wal*Mart and Toys R Us. That’s it. That’s the entire national coverage.

        Retailers, the office people who work up the planograms for the section, are lazy people. The way Mattel identifies the different waves tends to put the figures under the same SKU, and that means when one figure dogs out and there’s 6 on the pegs, that’s an entire case and the POS system says “you haven’t sold ANY, don’t put more out”.

        Now, Mattel is SUPPOSED to have local hire reps that visit the stores, make sure stock rotates and they identify problems and report to the home office. I suspect these folks have no idea who is what and if there’s too much of this and not enough of that. The reps are much more focused on keeping the Hot Wheels in order (given the treasure hunt scalpers who tear up the pegs), making sure all the POP deco is neat and clean in the Barbie aisle and whatever movie tie-in is fully stocked.

        There’s a lot of blame to go around. Why buy a case of superheros that as soon as the ‘shortpack’ is sold all the others will be pegwarmers, that case which if you took that open-to-buy you spent on it you could buy TWO cases of Hot Wheels which, given the price point, will do more turns and make more money?

        Wal*Mart cut the floor space for toys by 30% last year.

        KMart, man, they’re just barely hanging in there.

        Target is more focused on movie tie-ins which are seen as traffic builders.

        Toys R Us is hanging on by their fingernails and keeps making stupid deals with Diamond for exclusives that sit and sit and sit…hey, anybody need Exploding Peter from Heroes? I still have a dozen or so on the pegs here in my town…

        “But what about online? NOOOOBODY buys in a store anymore anyway, you luddite!!”

        yeah, well, Bulls**t. If Online Retailing was doing so well for Mattel they wouldn’t HAVE these problems, right? They’d be moving 50k figures every wave. Isn’t happening. This is because online retailers don’t buy for stock, don’t buy for longterm sales, everything is designed to turn within 3 months and presell weighs heavy in the buy.

        Arrgghh. 🙂

        • Our local Mattel rep is a very nice lady.

          I think direct online retailing is working okay for Mattel, as a backup, if they can’t put product in stores. He-Man is safe on the site, classic Voltron will be on the site while new merch goes to stores, classic GB is safe on the site while GBIII (in theory) will be in stores, WWE Legends will be safe on the site while modern stuff goes to stores, and… they’re trying to make classic DC safe on the site while modern stuff goes to stores.

          The only things I don’t like are paying a premium for this stuff, but I’m not the kind of guy to complain about the price of gas. I only pay or stay home more.

          • But they’re not doing it RIGHT, as least in my opinion.

            I can’t go to Mattycollector right now (well, OK, pretend I have a credit card) and buy a He-man. I can’t go there and buy a part I’m missing to finish a C&C figure. I can’t go there and buy some stands for my lone Kamandi and Skeletor figures.

            I CAN wait until there’s an announcement of a new figure and hope I don’t get the WSOD when I check out. But I still won’t be able to buy a He-Man.

            OK, I might well be a complete ass as I can see on the site there ARE items held as stock and ready to be bought. Mostly Ghostbusters. Huh.

            And the Grayskull stands are there! How did that happen? I thought they wouldn’t be revisited!!

            http://www.mattycollector.com/DRHM/store?Action=DisplayProductDetailsPage&SiteID=matty&Locale=en_US&productID=171121600

            I have to lie down now…

            • The Grayskull stands were brought back a few months ago and left on the site as open stock. We’ve added them to a couple orders here and there to bulk up on ’em.

              And He-Man’s been available for a few weeks as part of the All-Star sale and it’s the third or fourth time he’s been offered… but I get your point.

      • Exactly, Emerald. Couldn’t have said it better!

    • Honestly? it’s a hassle but any bad QC gets sent back to Mattel and replaced. If you check out our MOTU forums or the Org, you can find examples of people getting proper replacements without incident.

      I think for me, I’m looking at the MOTU QC – which is superior to that of DC and putting a little bit of faith in Mattel (and I know that some of you are rightfully not willing to do that) that they’ll ensure these figures are done better, more like MOTUC, than the product at retail.

  • Bigbot

    With the possibility of something like Golden Pharaoh coming up in the subscription, count me out. I really would just want to finish the JSA, Metal Men, and New Gods. That’s why I’m not buying a subscription. It won’t bother me if I can’t finish my teams because the figures we got are good.

    • Well, what possibilities are you really afraid of? Super Friends is done except for what? Wendy & Marvin? Rima? (who’s a DC character anyway). Super Powers is done except for that 4th wave stuff and, I could be wrong, but I think we’re safe from that. Some insiders do tell us there are some hardcore SP folks at Mattel who might want a Silicone or a Quadrex (and I will tell you right now, deserving or not, a Four Horsemen Silicone would kick ass), but I don’t see them being in the sub. Mattel will be out to create hype more than division.

      If you’re okay with not getting the teams, I understand, but I must have the rest of the Metal Men and Elasti-Girl. If this sub fails I will harass Toy Guru to no end to at least get a 6″ Rita, but I’ll be crushed without a proper Lead.

      • Bigbot

        Looking back at my message, I can see that using Golden Pharaoh was a poor example because Superpowers is pretty much done. However, there are other teams I have no interest in like the Outsiders and Doom Patrol (I know you want to finish them, but I never had any interest in them). Interestingly enough, I’d like it if we had gotten some Shadowpact characters like Enchantress, Ragman, Nightshade, Detective Chimp, and the rest. As it is we only got Blue Devil. I just think they should have shown more figures to come in the year. I can tell you now if they had shown Enchantress, I would have signed up in a second.

        Also, would it hurt them to include double elbows, knees, and rocker ankles now that they won’t include BAF’s?

        • The Super Powers example actually does carry weight! Check out this article on the Super Powers Lost Wave some fans are concerned that line-only characters like Quadrex, Silicon, or Howtizer might get some consideration (while still other fans want them… oy).

          I think wecould must up support for the rocker ankles if we get the opportunity, but the fanbase is split on the other joints. I don’t have a horse in that race, but I’ve seen those arguments get crazy!

  • j1h15233

    I feel like I should stand up and applaud! That was a fantastic article and that’s why i was looking forward to it so much. I knew you would put together something this good. I’m one of those guys who really doesn’t care for the Metal Men, the Doom Patrol or the “out there” Super Powers/Super Friends characters but I do love GL, the JSA, Secret Six (could you imagine the 4H doing a ragdoll!) and I’m willing to take that hit for my fellow collectors. So what if I don’t like the Doom Patrol? They’ll still be great figures on the shelf and I wish more of us had that attitude.

  • j1h15233

    Also, please post this on any forum you’re a part of so EVERYONE can read this.

    • I waited to get some regular readers reactions, but I posted it around tonight and I’ve got some links coming in from Forums I’m not a part of (TFW2005… that one threw me!) Hopefully, this will get out there and help turn the tide.

      • Fire King Xi

        Optimus Prime, He-Man, and the Justice League have teamed up to reclaim Cybertron. It’s a pretty popular idea over there. Fingers crossed they might even make a TV show of it.

        HissTank has linked to the article as well.

  • Sector1014

    Co-sign. Good stuff Noisy.

    Also, Noisy put more effort and thought into writing this (also including pics, etc.), than Mattel did as a unit in their entire marketing for the DC sub.

    • Thanks, Sec. I wouldn’t go that far…

      I do wish they would do to market it though. Atrocitus being bigger is a big deal and that’s something AFI had to draw out of them. I should’ve heard about that at the panel.

  • A very well thought out reason for buying the sub! If I had the money to do it I would totally sign up but the whole maybe it will happen maybe it wont happen is really stupid they should just do it or not do it. I hope it sells enough so we can at least maybe get some figures this year.

    • Thanks, Doc!

      Not having money is the best reason not to burden yourself. I really hope that we can get this over the top for some casual buyers to get back in and buy the figures day of.

  • Outofstep81

    Great article, I’m with ya and will be getting my sub on pay day (and a MOTU sub if I can afford it).

    Random question for everyone: When was the last time you actually paid $14.99 plus tax at retail? My LCS have never priced them below $20, and some at $22 while target has been as high as $18.99. It costs me atleast $3 in subway fare to get to a target or LCS so I’m pretty much paying the same with the sub. I know every region is different so I’m curious if anyone can still get them for $14.99. Also, I’m aware of BBTS and I never seem to have money to buy full waves, and it kinda leaves me a little underwhelmed to be honest on the few times I did.

    • Thanks, OutofStep!

      I got my GLC Wave 2 at Wal-Mart for $15, and those stores also got DCUC16 for that price, though I already had that wave from BBTS. I like getting them online like that because I don’t have to have incomplete C&Cs (drives me nuts…), but I do miss the fun of finding stuff from time to time.

  • dayraven

    i’m going to say this… if i go to a restaurant, and there’s no menu, the whole execution in on the cook’s choice… i HAVE to know that that’s a world class chef leading up the kitchen. otherwise, if i’m being asked to shell out my hard earned, a couple hours worth of hard earned, i better know what’s coming and how.

    is there an element of chance in any restaurant? yes… do i get some say in the food though? yes. so it’s a fair analogy. and mattel, to take the analogy further, has not proven their chops in the kitchen. their moments of inspired and flawless execution are by far the exception, rather than the rule.

    i also look at the action figure world as a competition… for my money. the company willing to give me the biggest bang for my money wins. mattel is giving you (us) not a damned thing more for the money than they were, while other companies are constantly upping the ante. or to put this another way… how long as NECA had the gears of war license? and how many improvements to the line’s bucks have been made in that time? (4 years, 3 major revisions) that’s TRYING to earn my dollar. they’re making alterations so that, just in case i didn’t think the line 1 buck was my cup of tea, they’re listening to the gripes, and trying to make alterations that improve on the deficits, while at the same time remaining at an affordable price. in other words, they’re trying to draw new customers. what’s the dc sub offering that you weren’t already getting? what are they ACTUALLY offering, besides the carrot to keep your horse moving, to get new customers to the table?

    • Atrocitus will be bigger and still be considered a regular figure for starters. The oversized figures not being capped at 9″ is another. After that, I have to hope for more (that’s okay, I’m pretty good at it). I’m a satisfied MOTU subber, so I’m prepared to be a satisfied DC subber, even if I have to hoot and hollar to get there.

      Basically, I keep buying the MOTU sub because they’ve impressed me each year. Yeah, this DC deal is about taking a leap of faith, but they’ll have to impress us to get us to reup in 2013 and they know it.

  • Captain Zero

    Well written, Noisy. And very good points made. I’m with you!!
    I’m leaping into the subscription with high hopes that we DCUC fans can see that we’re all in this together. “All for one, and one for all”…Subscription approach.

    I look at all the work that’s gone into the line already, …from the work of the Four Horsemen sculpting the figures to Mattel putting those many wonderful action figures together—to “the Search” in finding those figures, (from driving through snow storms, to standing in the middle of WalMart’s with a tornado bearing down on the city…to the scalpers…to the fruitless trips…the disappointments of not finding figures that day… to the joy of finding a wave that day….) I can do nothing less.

    All in all… I can only “throw in” with ya.

    Thanks for article.

    • Thanks, Cap!

      That’s what really surprises me. I hear the people that focus on the neck articulation, the recession ankles, the bad QC on wave 3, the new factory causing the legs to shear in 4-5, the gummy plastic coming back here and there – I know there were low points. I didn’t like ’em either.

      But almost all the figures are great and there’s a ton of ’em. Do we not all have giant DC setups in our collections? Can we not look at those and find a little hope and inspiration to try for this new thing? How do have this giant collection and just write off Mattel as smarmy… okay, try not to think about the mascot…

  • Griffin

    I’m not sure I can afford this. I was hoping the damn thing would go through so I could just cherry pick like I do with MOTUC. But we need to be at 50% on that stupid thermometer by Friday at 2pm to be on pace. I just don’t see it happening. Maybe we’ll see a huge jump when people get payed, but, like Noisy, I’m stuck hoping this is a bluff by Mattel. Did they really go to the trouble of sculpting a Jay Garrick that won’t be produced at some point? My guess would be the three shown figures will make their way to retail if the sub doesn’t come through but who knows. If I had the cash I would be in though. I’m still trying to come up with a way to afford it.

    • It’s starting to look like you’ll be safe not scrounging up the funds. If the “big” push provided by SDCC only gives us 20%, we’re in trouble even with the wide collector support I’m seeing.

  • Wes

    First, Noisy, I appreciate the acknowledgement that there are good reasons not to buy in! Namely the money thing, though I do take some small issue with the slight condescension (not saying you did that here; just saying) of the assumption that people who hang back from these lines because of price “can’t” afford them. That’s not at all to knock people who legitimately can’t afford them, but it’s also possible to have the money and still not want to buy the figures for reasons of value! I continue to think that $15 is pretty steep for DCUC figures, and I’d find it pretty hard to justify paying $24-ish for them (which I imagine is what they’d come to after shipping) even if there were a figure I really truly did want… which isn’t even a guarantee with the largely blind subscriptions.

    I know that I’m probably that annoying guy who pops up in every thread and goes “too expensive, do not want” — and while I try not to troll with it or knock people who truly think these Matty lines are worthy values at their inflated prices, I do kinda hope/wish more people felt as I do. Granted, Mattel would probably just kill off the lines if they failed to sell at the high price… but if I were running the line, I’d drop the price a couple of bucks and see how it did then. Yeah, there’d be less profit, but you get zero profit when you kill off a product line.

    That said, rather than the blind subscriptions, I kinda wish Mattel had some kind of preorder scheme for individual figures instead of or even in addition to the subscription service. I say I’d find $24 DCUC figures hard to swallow, but I find $29 MOTUC figures almost as difficult to stomach and yet brave MattyCollector 3-4 times a year to get certain ones — and I know which ones they are months in advance. (200X Evie and Bubble Power She-Ra, I’m looking at you.) If Mattel took advance preorders, which could give them an even better idea of demand than the subs and better enable them to keep warehouses unclogged and whatnot, I imagine much time wasted/money spent on customer service and bandwidth/frustration could be averted on sale days and in general.

    • Not wanting to spend the money is just as valid as not being able to, you’re absolutely right. Toy prices are crazy at times and I know I’m just not the type of guy to complain about money all that often. If a toy is too expensive, you certainly won’t see a review at IAT. Same with why there’s not many negative reviews, heh.

      I like a lot of what you’re saying about how the subs should work too. I wish the terms for this could be better or even if Mattel would’ve just offered a subscription to 4-6 oversized figures. Anything would be better than what’s going to happen… it seems.

  • George

    I think its dandy and all to have blind “faith” in a line which has screwed us fans over the years, but your theory so far of things getting better just doesn’t add up to Mattel’s antics, we have gotten bigger normal figures in the DCUC line example-Ares wave 4 and Steppenwolf or Demon Etrigan in Wave 1, but it’s not to say that they have been accurate i.e. Mongul-Sinestro. Also other characters have been casted in clear plastic-Gentlemen Ghost so its not like it hasn’t been done before (we’ve even seen gimmicks like glow-in-the dark Spectre) and doesn’t make them more likely in the subscription, it’s an assumption. He-man is their property so they can do whatever they want i.e vehicles or whatever,on the other hand the designs have to be approved by DC..they have always have had to, which leads me to believe that the improved stuff that you saw in the MOTUC may never come in the DCUC, so far the collector orientated 2-packs never had anything special..same buck few to no accessories, why would it change now, when other problems haven’t? (don’t make me go through the QC/distribution flaws) In the end I’ll pick up all the figures and by the “exclusive to the exclusive line” on ebay…because I’m still a big DC fan, but I’m not bowing down to their threats-“if you don’t buy enough subs you won’t receive anything else”. It’s a matter of principal, and obviously other consumer agree to an extend because not only has DC become an online exclusive but so has WWE, which we can conclude to be because of weak sales at retail. I already have my Justice League and other characters I wanted, so switching over back to Marvel Legends because they aren’t being asses about their line wouldn’t be too much of a problem…I’m sure they want my money more and not have to make threats. The only thing I’m sad at is I got trash characters like Kamandi,Steppen Wolf or Golden Pharaoh before they released more wanted characters [which by the way had done so (added peg warmers) because they wanted to preserve the life of the line}] In the end that is what I was most scared of, me not having Commissioner Gordon or Huntress or Ra’s and yet having OMACs clogg up the shelves.

    • I can’t argue with the fact that I’m making assumptions, but I simply don’t agree with the assumptions your making either. I’m sure that a sub line would go on to make us wish retail figures had been in it. One, the subs have to be good enough to get us to buy the next one. It has to build as it rolls along. Two, I think the MOTU sub is a better indicator of a DC sub than the line was because they’re very different animals. I can see why some might not think so, but I feel good about the assumptions I’m making… And I think a lot of others do as well.

      • George

        Come on noisy you were rebuttal so well above, quite frankly I’m a little insulted you kinda just blew me off by saying you believe your statement or assumption makes you feel good.

        Can we take Ghostbuster Sub into account too? I mean what a full year of subscription figures and 2 body bucks (which I think at least 6 of those were the same gb buck)?

        • George

          Oh I forgot to mention that they don’t have to build into it, because they showed us three figures now, and people bought into it like drones…I honestly think the lines sells itself not to mention the number of press it gets on these forums type sites which promote their products to get free products at times (exclusive inside first looks)

          And I said this before and Ill say it again:
          I honestly don’t think Mattel is going to show an accurate “thermometer”, they did that as a scheme to sell more subscriptions, if a fan is worried about them not selling enough subs to keep the line they might purchase more or jump the gun…it sounds silly but its a Mattel type of scam….I mean really they can’t sell enough DC but they can sell enough ghostbusters…get real Matty.

          Sorry for the double post.

          • They have to build in to sell 2013 is what I mean. The MOTU sub this year so far hasn’t been much to my liking, but the second half? Thunder Punch He-Man! Flipshot! Snout Spout! Demo-Man! Those make me happy, make 2011 worth it and help support the 2012 sub – which looks great with Fisto, Kobra Kahn, & Sorceress. Those feelings I’m having about MOTU are what I’m seeking to replicate with DC.

            I do hope you’re right on the thermometer. I’m not typically prone to characterize marketing as ploys, schemes, and threats, but I understand why some do.

        • LOL Don’t feel blown off, I’m on my phone today so short responses are all I have to give at the moment. Maybe after work! 😀

          I don’t know what you want to tell me you though. Are we capable of swaying one another? Should I spend time on trying to get you to buy in?

          • George

            Honestly, I think after all that I’m gonna buy the subscription anyway.I feel like I won our small arguments (taking that one out of your playbook) In the end my DCUC addiction comes before any ploy/bad qc/ridiculous distribution. Thank you for busy time arguing with the little guy (first time I ever post here and not often do I get responses from the sites top dog.) 🙂

            I also thank you for being the voice of reason among a bunch of negativism.

            And now we sit and wait to see if it gets picked up.

            • Aww, George, I came home and had this whole long post for you… 🙂

              I appreciate you voicing your concerns. One of the things that I did before I wrote the article was read the dissenters opinions on various forums because I wanted to understand them.

              And you brought up some great points…

              -I do feel like the three regular figures we saw in the sub could find a home in the relaunch line because there is nothing special about them (as long as Mattel gets back to doing a 7″ figure in the line like they did early on). I want Mattel to make something special about them.

              -The DC approval process could complicate things, but I think it’s more of a learning curve than specific requests. Years of bellyaching about MO2K elements appears to have brought about a perfect Fisto that can be both vintage & MO2K. If Mattel does the legwork before approval, then things will go better. Some early figures will have to suffer for that though.

              I think the biggest thing we might disagree on is if Mattel threatened us or not. I feel they have in the past (typically in off the cuff posts on forums), particularly if you’re a JLU collector – but I don’t know if I count this one. The C&C is dead regardless and Mattel has given us an avenue to keep it alive. If we choose to accept it, we can have it. If not, we don’t. I see it as a simple cause & effect more than a threat. I’m open to interpretation on that.

              Anyway, feel free to post more! I’m always glad to hear more reader’s thoughts and I try to respond to everyone when I have time. Thanks for chiming in!

  • TSR

    Well written, thought out and passionate article, Noisy.

    Some minor nitpicks or why I’m not going the sub route:

    The first two work together hand in hand
    1) In the AFI interview, the Mattel folk agree with Julius that DCUC fans aren’t MOTU and vice versa
    2) ToyGuru has admitted that selling waves of DCUC on Matty didn’t work but they were pleased with how GLC sold when they allowed people to PICK AND CHOOSE

    MOTU isn’t available anywhere other than Matty; DCUC has been at retail for a while now. It’s going to be difficult to get people to switch gears and bad information spreading never helps. This company willingly put out false MOTU subscription info. It’s nice you’ve posted two interview links where they clear somethings up, but should the interviews even need to happen? Why does Mattel keep doing this? Just be clear from the get go.

    3) All or nothing. Matty never makes their subscriptions truly all or nothing it seems, they tend to add more stuff in later. I don’t understand that. YET, they want fans now to go in all or nothing. This subscription won’t exist unless fans buy into it and blindly doing so. And if it fails, they won’t be to blame, we will. I don’t like that and it’s always left a bad taste in my mouth. Does any other company blame their consumers like Mattel does?

    4) Voltron and Ghostbusters has a big enough base to have a subscription no matter what but DC doesn’t? You complained about this yourself. This ties back to #3, it shouldn’t be on us, it’s another threat.

    5) The thermometer. This is my final point. Another great Matty idea. It hasn’t moved. I have no clue why. Even with people complaining, I can’t imagine it’s scared that many people off. So why put up a thermometer if it’s not going to be updated? Or lets say it really has scared that many people off, then man, it’s hurting more than it’s helping right now. That thing is so low, why put my virtual money in? Why even take the couple of minutes to fill out a form if it’s going to go to waste? I know it’s not much to do, but it’s giving the appearance of a lost cause. Hell, lie to us (again, not something their against with false lists and keeping things under wraps to protect “surprises”) and bump that thing up to 50% or so, that may drive on some sales.

    For people like you, I want the subscription to succeed. I do want you to be able to get those figures. Me, out of what is shown, I want Atrocious, and I could still live without him. The other characters don’t appeal to me (and I know this is just my opinion). I think they choose some very different characters to try to appeal to a wide base. My armchair quarterback says someone else should have gone in that Starman slot; a Metal Men, Doom Patrol or a missing major character like Huntress or Poison Ivy. And maybe Elastigirl as a C&C choice. Just something to make this a no-brainer. But like you’ve said before, what I see as a no-brainer might be a turn off to someone else. *shrug*

    My prediction: the sub won’t go through, the fans will be blamed, the internet will rage, the sun will come up the following day and the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    • Et tu, Brute?

      😀 I’m kidding – all good points. Mattel doesn’t do much to help itself. Most of what some are characterizing as “blind faith” is in the product or in the fact that I believe a good subscription is in both the collectors and Mattel’s interests.

      I have some more answers for you with a mix of agree/disagree, but Im on my phone. I’m sure they’ll be time for plenty of aftermath conversation on the forum. 😛

  • Lay Ze-Man

    I’m not in because I’ve long stopped being completist with DCUC.

    I will say that I don’t think they did a good job hyping the line at all.

    When MOTUC was revealed, there were a bunch of figures revealed, and a photo compilation of the gamut of what to expect, and it was enough to build a lot of excitement.

    Here, we have pics of three figures and that’s it. They should’ve picked some big guns (like a really impressive fully-sculpted C&C-sized character) to show off to entice people.

    Based on the weak presentation, it almost feels like Mattel would rather not be bothered by having this sub program move forward.

    • The presentation IS the one thing I’m mad at Mattel for. I think it’s a bit odd to characterize marketing as ploys or think this situation constitutes a threat, but they didn’t really sell it. Where’s an editorial like this from Toy Guru? Where’s the push to make the characters must have? Why did no one at the panel or a sign at the booth give Atrocitus’ final height? Sigh.

      • Sector1014

        Yeah, and how about posting the pics you put in your blog on the Matty website and on the DC sub page? Seems pretty basic to pimp the product to push the sub. Most of the potential customers dig pics of the 4H’s 2-ups. ugh.

  • Alkatrazzz

    Great Read, I’m all in, but not until the last day which is my pay day!

  • I agree that Mattel is not doing a good job marketing this at all.

    The three guaranteed figures have all been done before by DC Direct, and recently (in fact, by this time next week, ALL of wave 20 will have been preceded by DCD releases). Part of the joy of DCUC has been in their never-dones. For those on the fence, there’s nothing in that sub to tip them, except the possibility hinted that we may get more Doom Patrol or Metal Men. If the sub is so tenuous, why NOT come out and say they’re going to make Elasti-Girl, Lead, Elongated Man, or whomever? Why the hints? They’ve got nothing to lose– if the subs are there, then they’ve got the money to make them, and if not, then they haven’t lost a dime.

    But where is the advertising for this? The word-of-mouth they seem to be relying on is confused at best. Mattel really needs to get in front of this if they want it to succeed.

    Unless:

    a) They DON’T want it to succeed.

    or

    b) it’s going to happen regardless, and the thermometer is just a marketing ploy, and not a good one at that, because it’s scaring some fans off.

    At this point, their apparent lack of involvement in promoting the DCUC sub is creating a negative vibe, that is only being contested by other fans like Noisy. And it’s not his job to do that for them.

    • Yeah, where’s our heartfelt editorial from Toy Guru? LOL

      Julius Marx signed up for a sub even though he’s guaranteed samples. I thought that was classy and a simple gesture that did more than Mattel to.

      I’d like to think the thermometer is fake. I was wondering if the growth was planned out, but it seems like the big SDCC push was only good for 20%. I think we’re hosed.

    • For the record, I actually bought four subs. One for myself, one for each of my sons, and one for alternate display, customs, whatever. I want to see this thing go through. but I’m starting to doubt that it will, because it doesn’t seem like Mattel carers, so why should anyone else?

      • WOW! A true believer!

        A week out, that’s becoming my biggest complaint. Where’s Toy Guru talking about this sub? Where are the interviews with the much bigger, much higher trafficked comic book sites? Where’s a shout out in a DC Nation? Something, anything.

        It’s exceptionally lame on their part. They put a slideshow together for a room of nerds (wish I was there!), put up a link on the site, gave out a couple interviews to the toy sites (will Fwoosh have theirs up before the sub deadline? – I’m not calling those fellas out, I had a hectic week and I can only imagine it’s much worse with the travel to/from SDCC).

        Basically, where’s the footwork?

        • JQ started a well-written “Show us a flying horse” thread on the Matty DCUC forum, which basically calls out Mattel for not hustling for this sub. I suggest everyone who cares about this line chime in there, or sends a question to “Ask Matty” about their lack or initiative.

  • Aaron Norton

    I went ahead and put a DC subscription in with my GB sub. I AM a little nervous, but…oh well. I had better have an AWESOME John Constantine sitting on my desk by April, 2013 though.

  • Aaron Norton

    Am I nuts for wanting an All-Star aspect of this DC sub? As a guy who has never seen a Jack Knight figure in person, it would be nice to have a way of getting older, hard-to-find DCUC figures.

    Just an idea.

    • It wouldn’t work in a subscription, but MOTU had some success with reissues for last couple years (though they’re done with it now).

  • On the marketing of this concept.

    I have the impression that Mattel was really taken by surprise by the upcoming DC change. As in the edict came down from on high that the classic DC was ‘old and busted’ and the upcoming thing was the new hotness, and Warner Bros doesn’t want any market confusion on this launch.

    All the talk of how sales at retail haven’t panned out and wave 20 is the last may well be true, but I think it’s an easy excuse for killing the line at general retail. The New DC must be supported and that’s the company line.

    “Well, what about the kids line?”

    Kid toys are different and don’t count.

    Yeah, I do see the mixed message there.

    (don’t mind me, I just have to laugh at the idea of selling ‘The Question’ to a 6-year old, and the happy Joker and giddy Two-Face. 🙂 )

    It bothers me that Mattel can be so…lazy on this, yet produce that AWESOME Ghost Trap. My god I want that.

    • dayraven

      will smith has a knack for being the guy spouting the catch phrase of a generation, doesn’t he? he makes fun of puffy in a song, and all of a sudden, “jiggy” gets added to the lexicon, then he drops a simmple “old and busted… new hotness” in MIB2 and here we all… i say it too, i can’t help myself. and of course, i sing the damned theme song from the fresh price all the time, only i usually use it in casual conversation, and say a verse or two until the glimmer of recognition hits, and then i bust into the rap… damn big willie style.

      • awww HELLS no!

        *heheheh* sorry, I really didn’t mean to make a Will Smith-ism, I was trying to emulate the bizspeak of the crew likely to be in charge of the division that Mattel is dealing with.

        with the bluetooth earpiece and the sunglasses and the too cool for school attitude…hmmm, like the Matty mascot!

        And for what it’s worth, I NEVER use the phrase ‘git jiggy wid it’ 🙂

  • Megaduce Flare

    Here’s something I’ve been wondering; will Mattel extend the sub-deadline like they did last year?

    • I talked about that a bit in an earlier draft, but I think it got cut somewhere. They may extend it for a few days or a week, but I don’t know that it would do much good.

      I think that’s the biggest thing that I regret about what Mattel has done here – they may be under time constraints because of the WB, but the Digital River is putting them in a vice. They “have” to sell these subs at the same time because they can’t combine orders or shipping (I’d love a 30th sub, but it wouldn’t save us any on shipping at this point… lame). DC may have screwed them on the front end and DR is surely screwing them here at the finale.

  • […] collectors have asked me to promote Club Infinite Earths. I recommend you read NoisyDvL5′s thoughts on the matter, as he’s much more passionate about it than I […]

  • I read your essay here and I for one am convinced. I stopped collecting DCUC circa Wave 13, just after I finished my C&C Darkseid. I ended up jumping on the bandwagon once more for Wave 15, but that was mostly because they were so damn cheap @ K-Mart.

    I have been a MOTUC subscriber since they first started offering subscriptions. When I started I had to piggyback off a friend of mine as I didn’t have access to a credit or debit card at the time. But over the last year I have enjoyed the hell out of this subscription. Figures aside, not having to login to MattyCollector every month, but even beyond that. Just the thrill of knowing that I’m guaranteed a figure every month and the peace of mind and assurance of not having to go hunting fighting other fans & scalp-or for them as well was well worth it. I don’t know what category of MOTU fan I fit into, I’m usually pretty agreeable and just enjoy the line and I’m not very vocal. I have fond memories of the Filmation series, role-playing as He-Man & She-Ra with my cousins and of course playing with the vintage line. I can’t name every single episode and I don’t know every single factoid there is, but my love for the man that is He is more than enough to keep me going.

    When I first started collecting DCUC it was for multiple reasons. I read the reviews and couldn’t help but absolutely love the figures. It started with Wave 1’s Batman & Penguin, and then became a passion bordering on obsession for twelve solid waves. I didn’t even know who some of the characters were, but I still collected them. As a fan of mostly DCAU, I didn’t grow up on Superpowers or reading comics, but I just went with it. If anything I guess it started as a stop-gap line for me to collect waiting for MOTUC, but even when Classics started selling I kept on collecting. Each wave had a few great looking figures as well as one or two “dogs” but I’d still get them anyways in order to complete the Collect & Connects. I stuck with it through the thick & the thin, the WM Wave 5 exclusive debacle, and even with the non-existence of Wave 9 in my area I even managed to assemble myself a Giganta even though I don’t have the entire wave.

    I suppose as a subscriber of MOTUC since the very beginning I’m more comfortable with dealing with Matty Collector and their sales model. It might feel like you’re being led into uncharted territory, and I suppose a little apprehension is due. However if you’re a big fan of DC Universe and the toys Mattel is making, then to me it makes perfect sense to subscribe.

    Honestly, I think this is a prototype for how collectibles will be marketed towards adult collectors. Sure there will be lines sold in specialty stores , but in the next five or ten years I believe this is where collecting will be going. I’m not talking about the end of toys, sure, there will always be a toy aisle but the brands will be marketed towards kids (and their parents) and less in mind with collectors. Take the last few waves of DCUC for instance, I don’t think anyone can say that any of those figures are toy-shelf friendly and I’m sure when the purchasers at Wal-Mart or TRU look at a wave of virtual unknowns in comparison to a line with A-list characters (like the Batman Legacy line) it’s a no brainer as far as what will sell more.

    As it is, don’t most fans order from online retailers MONTHS in advance of their actual sale date, and still yet even more time before they’d actually start hitting shelves.

    Another part of the sub model is that it keeps anticipation high. Mattel very strategically reveals upcoming figures periodically so that you’re always wondering who the next one is, and the next one. This year’s SDCC was pretty huge for MOTUC in that we found out what the next sixteen figures will be, including the normal monthly sub-figures as well as the bonus figures, and multi-packs, etc. I almost considered trying to avoid any discussion the newly announced MOTUC figures just to further delay, but in the circles I travel in at least, it would be nearly impossible to avoid spoilers like that.

    In summation, I can feel how frustrated some fans might be and while some fans may feel alienated or left out in the dark I think in general terms this is mostly a positive step forward.

    • You hit a really great point. I pre-ordered Wave 19 without knowing who was in it. I can’t remember every single wave where pre-orders would up before the list was revealed (mostly the non-convention seasons announcements, I’d suspect), but I pre-ordered the wave’s blind every time I could. For me, it doesn’t matter who was in it. I guess that’s why I have a hard time seeing how that is a downside. The comics, the source material, are almost a separate love to me.

      It’s the same with MOTU. I’m right there with you – I can’t quote episodes or remember every little thing. But I can love the toys. And I do. The MOTU sub has been great for MOTU fans (again, the primary drawbacks are that it’s not cheap and then they go and add additional non-sub items – I enjoy everything else).

  • da man

    Great article.

    I am going to get the sub (along with MOTU and maybe Voltron) cause I usually buy entire waves and do not pick and choose. I am willing to take the chance even though some of the decisions Mattel makes can be mind boggling when it comes to character selection(looking at you Kalamandi) and poor distribution.

    Noisy, any chance you will give us your thoughts on the Voltron one (even though it is happening no matter what)?

    • Thanks, da man!

      I’ll have to look more into the Voltron sub since Vault and I decided against covering that line early on (and, sad, that it’s too late to add it when the DC one dies). Look to the forum, we’ve got a Voltron thread on there and I’ll make a note to post some stuff there about it.

  • Mose

    A lot of people like George, Lay Ze-Man, Rod Keith and TSR have pretty much summed it up better than what I would have said about not joining.

    I was originally interested in DCUC but that was quickly squashed due to the usual Mattel antics (terrible QC, terrible distribution, ridiculous prices, figures that I’m not interested in, etc.). My interest started with getting Deadshot from wave 9 and continued with me buying all of waves 11, 12, reissue wave 5 and ending with wave 13 due to what I said before. I actually had interest in completing teams like the Doom Patrol and the Metal Men, but again those interests got crushed due to Mattel’s clowning around with the line mentioned above.

    Of the three shown, the only one I’m interested in is Atrocitus due to having no attachment to the other two. Looking at the unrealistic expectations Mattel set up, it feels like they want to kill this line off though I hope I’m wrong for the sake of its fans. This brings back feelings of Transformers Animated getting canned, and I really liked that line.

    I wish you luck, Noisy, but I doubt that will help much. Still, good luck.

    PS: I’ll comment on the logo here as well since Poe mentioned it in his article. I’ve always despised the mattycollector logo but I find it accurately shows Mattel’s attitude towards their collectors and fans. They should really get a new logo ASAP.

    • Mose

      Dang! I forgot to mention my interest in the Green Lantern Classics line but skipped them do to the usual Mattel problems.

      • Thanks for the luck, I probably don’t have enough this time. Can’t win ’em all…

        When/if this doesn’t go through, I feel better about the whole thing. The responses here and following back the tons of links that have been coming from all across the net (sites I love and I sites I’ve never heard of) has made me believe I’m in the majority. There is much more positive response to this than negative.

        Either the bar is simply too high or there’s really just not enough of us… I imagine it’s the former.

  • Fries Against

    It’s only a matter of time before Mattel kills your optimism and enthusiasm.

    • No, it’s really not. Mattel may tick me off or disappoint me now and again, but, at the end of the day, I love the toys and don’t really care about the company behind them. I’ll look to grab old characters out of the new DC line and lament what could have been sure, but it’s not going to damper my outlook.

      That’s not within Mattel’s ability.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    Just reading some more of the comments and such . . .

    Got me thinking about what WOULD have piqued my interest enough to sign up.

    Three words: NEW DOOMSDAY C&C

    Seriously.

    • Dude.

      If there was one thing that would cut a large swath through the disenfranchisement, he might just have been it. I will always wonder if this sub would’ve taken off better if Mattel had approached it with proper preperation.

      • Lay Ze-Man

        Especially if he had been the club exclusive, I would’ve REALLY been gnashing my teeth over the decision, compared to my current “no chance whatsoever” stand.

        Whether I personally would’ve liked it or not (having to get several figs I don’t really have any interest in) they really should’ve picked something that most DCUC collectors really *need* to have in their collection. I wonder if they were worried about backlash from a sense of “forcing to subscribe” but that pressure is kind of inherent in this kind of plan anyway, no?

        And I mean, that’s just what probably would’ve hooked me. It doesn’t have to be a C&C-sized Doomsday, but they should’ve kicked this off with at least one absolute must-have figure.

        And that’s not ANY of the oversized characters they’ve mentioned so far, and it certainly isn’t the 3 standard figures shown either.

        • I hear ya. They needed something that appeals across the boards – that’s a bit harder to find in DC, but they do exist. They needed to Shadow Weaver up this subscription so to speak (and why not… why save anything for the retail line?)

          The biggest problem is the lack of a definite oversized figure. They have to know or have a loose plan of who the first (non-signup) OS figures is – they’ll ship with whichever of the current trio is third! Why not tell us the identity of that C&C (or would it be Metron unless he wins?).

          There are definitely some rollout problems that, if eliminated, when make this uphill battle a little easier. Too bad we can almost bet on the Mattel crew staying silent until the tough luck message in two weeks.

  • Chris

    It seems feasible that it was somewhat a surprise and Mattel basically used what was supposed to be a teaser of wave 21 to sell us on a sub. I’d like to believe that Mattel plans to go through with this sub anyway, that the thermometer is just to gauge interest and are currently working to push out at least some concept designs (kinda like that pic of prototype Metron that popped up on FB). That being said I’m looking forward to getting all three of the figures shown and plan to get the sub. BTW, awesome that Marvel Legends are coming back and I will be buying those as well. Should Mattel be an ass about it and “Kill teh lien”, there will still be plenty of comic characters joining their brethren on my shelves.

    • Man, I want to afford Marvel Legends so badly… I guess some money saved on a defunct DC sub could ensure I get that Arnim Zola. Sigh.

      Thermometer no 16 is barely higher than thermometer no 19 (the name of the image files being used) shows some growth that you really can’t see unless they’re compared together. So it’s still going up, though it feels like a slow death march.

  • GaryG

    Noisy, do ya think this would be a good vehicle to get a Giganta head and torso? Notice I said “a” and not “the”. If Mattel offered a slightly different head as a subscription pack-in or bonus, we who missed out might be satisfied while not upsetting the one who managed to get the original. Just a thought. By the way, I am in for the sub and I basically agree with what you said above. Very well said.

    • Lay Ze-Man

      This is another awesome idea!

      It just doesn’t feel like Mattel is really picking DCUC collectors’ minds to see what holes are truly missing in collections.

    • That would be the most fan friendly thing Mattel could do, in one of the many interviews he has given, Scott said they’re ‘contractually obligated’ to sell all the parts of one character within a certain timeframe.

      I’m not sure how that works out, but it sounds like Mattel would need special dispensation to sell just some alternate parts like that. It also means the folks of Mattel should’ve worked harder to get those pieces out before a deadline they knew existed instead of being less than truthful and saying the pieces were made in equal quantities (when a good mathematician can prove that wasn’t possible).

      • I think the contractually obligated part has to do with the turnaround of the ROI, we put this money into this tooling for Q1 and we must get it back by Q4, something of that ilk.

        I can’t see ANY reasonable way that DC would stick their nose in and say “NO MORE DARKSEID AFTER Q3 2010!!”

        (given the stated lead time Mattel says it takes to get a figure into production, I don’t even see how they can co-ordinate with DC to comic events. In the gross, say, Blackest Night, sure but specific events within a comic? no way)

        • It’s my understaind that it’s from DC, not an internal issue. And it’s not about specific characters so much as specific pieces. Toy Guru explained it as that they’re not able to just go and get approval for more Giganta heads or arms as separate things to sell.

          Most of that lead time is changing though. Action League Wave 5 (shown at SDCC) are all Flashpoint related (the current event).

          • GaryG

            So then why not issue Elasti-Girl as part of the Subscription AND include an “alternate” head and torso that just happens to reuse the Giganta parts? They re-use bucks all the time, right? Parts of Joker used for Gentleman Ghost, Stel legs on S.T.R.I.P.E.S, Grodd arms on the Ultra-Humanite and so on. So this is just the same thing. Repaint them slightly or recast in a different color plastic. I can’t buy in to the contractual issue about specific pieces. Molds already exist and the upfront costs have been amortized already. The torso is non-specific, so the head is the only issue? It’s a generic head and hair, so just re-issue it with Rita Farr. What am I missing here?

            • You’re not missing anything. Elasti-Girl’s parts would’ve definitely come from Giganta (except the head), it’s just some legal loophole that Mattel created and Giganta feel through. It would’ve been been easier for them to solve if they had focused on a solution instead of spending weeks insisting that the figures all shipped in the same quantities (they couldn’t have).

  • Tribsaint

    Sorry so long. I under stand your point though they seem a bit RA RA Chreeleader to me.

    Why collectors should fight the Matty (Subscription) model. (Most of theses are pointed at the club infinite earths club). These are only my opinions. Please, agree or disagree, as you see fit.

    • Because Mattel can name this a “collector line” they can add 10-25% to what the figure should cost.

    • Shipping and handling only adds to the price of the figures (while that might pay for something it sure feels like a penalty on my end).

    • Most of the figures are unknown; we have no idea what you’re getting for your money. Does anyone buy, a new model car never having seen it, or an apple.

    • You’re locked in, meaning the money is coming out of your account, if it is there or not. Today with the fees that banks/credit cards charge that means you could be paying an extra 20-50 bucks for your figure. Sorry I’m not a rich nerd, I’m a poor geek.

    • Generalizing about the collecting community, we could use the exercise that hunting down these toys takes.

    • Playing off the last point you could use the socialization and human contact too.

    • Hunting down your figure and finding it (even not finding it) is part of the fun.

    • Buying toys in a brick and mortar store, support businesses in your local community.

    • Subscriptions cater to the company not the customer.

    • Your buying something sight unseen. In the store I can judge the product and make an informed choice. While a sub means, I have to hope I get a “good one”

    • If you get a bad figure, it’s a hassle to deal with returning (though some say you don’t have to return) the figure and (hopefully) getting a replacement.

    • extra accessories (like Motuc) are not a guarantee at the mercy of Mattel.

    • Does Mattel have a great track record of listening to the fans?

    • Math*

    *Ok, Mattel is basically saying that a six inch figure is worth 15 bucks and an oversized (CnC) figure is worth 30 bucks. I personally can live with both of those numbers. This means that at Toys-R-Us (at $18 a pop) to get the 3 oversize figure we would have to buy 18 figures (using the pretty standard head/waist, torso, 2 arms, and 2 legs CnC model). While, that means you’re buying nine extra figures, it is also a better value. 18 figures (with a CnC part) @ $18 each = $324. Now if we take away the $90 (the cost of the 3 CnC figures) we paid $234 for the six inch figure or $13 each. This means the subscription is making us pay more for less. And that does not even begin to figure in the shipping and handling cost. Please be advised no mathematicians were harmed while ciphering this out, but my head does hurt.

    Again, my opinion, But I see the subscription model as harmful to collectors and kids alike. I don’t believe in “collector lines vs. kids’ line. If I wanted to collect something for adults I’d collect guns or playboys or something. Part of the fun is the Nostalgia of begging your mom to let you go to the toy aisles, or take you if Adam had been the ABC movie of the week recently. While, not every figure in a DCUC or a Legends wave “exciting” for kids, knowing how I was as a kid or how my 8 year old is with superhero squad, kids want those “unexciting” figures (knew plenty of 11-14 year old boys collecting legends). Of course the wolverine, spidys, hulks, and Ironmen sell first, but kids want the B-listers too, just not as much as the collector.
    IF a line isn’t healthy enough to survive in the chains and the LCBS let it die, because the subscription model in the long run will only lead to less value at higher cost and less kids becoming collector. It’s seem like Mattels DCUC money train is at the end of the line and this is there why to milk a little more out of it, Legends seem to think it can have a profitable line with all the trimmings and the average kid/collector isn’t super stoked to get a Hope Summers (or pick a characters).

    Now come out of the corners swinging

    • The RAH RAH was intentional. 😉

      You make a lot of good points that I’ll admit are simply unassailable, but you’re comparing this situation to an ideal. This situation isn’t ideal – we can either make the best of it and buy-in to get the C&Cs we want or we can let it wither on the vine and loose any chance at getting C&Cs going forward. If I got to choose between this sub or the line going forward the way it has been – I’d take the line hands down! But that’s not a choice – the choice is fight for the sub to get the C&Cs or lose them.

      As a MOTU subscriber, I’m a very happy MOTU collector. The prices are a little higher than I’d like, but the “blind” purchases and regular releases don’t phase me in the slightest. I quite enjoy the sub actually – and I’m a much bigger DC fan than I am a MOTU fan, so this sub is a no-brainer for me.

      • Tribsaint

        I get why you want the sub, hell I almost broke my anti matty rule, I even talk to the wife about budget (we could have swung it), but the math and honestly your article made me decide against it. I don’t take this the wrong way, but the article seem…no I think it is desperate. I’m sorry I’ m not… no we are not dogs eating the scrapes from the masters table, we are the costumer. We are always right, and Mattel has rarily if ever taken that tact with us, and it should not and will not be rewarded. I have bought every Dcuc wave putting up with a lot and I have gotten a lot to, but Mattel has taken advantage long enough. I would buy all the subs if I thought they were a fair and honest value, but really they’re not across ever line we can name problems, above and byond QC and price (though both of those are biggies). This hobby is one that changes a lot, I thought 6 in was dead with the end of legends and the failure of a lot of chains like kaybee, and sun coast, But Dcuc came along. Now, legends are back, and TRU carries Iggy pop. As I stated I really believe that matty’s subs are bad for the hobby and I want my boys (or at least the one that is geeky) to take his sons haction figure hunting, not log on to a matty, and answer a security question. Hope we all get our “black swamp thing” but on our terms not theirs.

        • You don’t have to worry about me taking it the wrong way – it’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it.

          I’m not sure what I want to tell you because this seems to require a more general response and I don’t want to stray too far away from the topic at hand.

          But I will say this – the source of our disagreement may stem from the very outset – the notion that the customer is right is metaphorical in nature. The customer is very often wrong, but should be treated like they’re right. For the retail DC line, Mattel’s customer is the retailer and, boy, don’t they always get treated like they’re right? Even now, the C&C is disappearing because Mattel feels retailers will be more satisfied with a Marvel Universe model than the Marvel Legends one.

          Anyway, that’s one of the tragedies of missing out on the subscription. We’d be the customers Mattel is most concerned with for the first time and, if it were to be anything like MOTU, our chances of being heard would’ve been greatly improved.

          • Tribsaint

            I think you have a point about us being the “primer” customer when it comes to the subscriptions. You’re also right that my arguments are general and a bit larger in scope, than just one line. But I also think it’s a cop out to say that the retailer is mattels real customer. Yes, they are a link in the chain but that chain ends with us. Ultimately it all depends on us in both models. Sure the retailer gets some say on brick and mortar end, but really that say is mostly a reflection of the customer’s reaction to a product. It’s a very rare occurrence that safe profitable well selling products are pulled or stop. Matty is a greedy company (most companies are) that has the leverage that there other big sellers have given them, and we know they use it (who wouldn’t). I don’t trust Mattel, and I don’t think many of us do. Subscriptions not an innovative, modern answer to collecting, they are a necessity; that is outcome of mattels gross miss handling of the Motu 200x line and the lack of faith in their products. And BY many accounts including yours they have start the Dcuc sub, by miss handling it. I think for the most part your right, the line up is a moot point if you’re a fan you’re a fan, but they didn’t exactly come out guns blazing (with the possible exception of Atrocitus) and for a sub that they weren’t sure would fly they might have want to come out a little (a lot) stronger. Out of the 9 there will be 2 duds, 4 middle of the road characters that will have their fans and haters alike, 3 solid figures. As for the Oversize, who can say, truthful of character selection CnC’s are not the meat and potatoes of the line they’re gravy. I mean I had plenty of “who’s that?” moments when it came to CnC’s. But, now that they are separate product they will have to step it up, and just hearing the maybes, and the could-bes, doesn’t help their case. I don’t blame Mattel for everything. It hard to please, everyone, and the most agreeable nerds are still pretty unagreeable, I’m a good example I can take a silk purse and turn it into a sows ear by the same account many of us have the “thank you sir may I have another” attitude. I have more points but I have rambled enough, I’ll bank them….big money no whammies!

            I would like to thank you, this was my first exposure to the site and, generally these things degrade to name calling and nerd rage, but this has been a civil exchange of ideas. We could just do the agree to disagree, but imho this more fun. So, again thanks, and sorry that I tend to be long winded.

            • The relationship between Mattel and a retail consumer is complicated at best. The reason that I don’t find it a cop out is because it’s how Mattel approaches it. The C&C is going away because of retailer feedback, not consumer feedback. The lack of female figures or villains is based on retailer feedback. The size of the packaging is based on retailer feedback. Mattel sells a product to the retailer that the retailer intends to sell to us. As the end buyer, Mattel does have to court us to a degree, but our wants will always be secondary to the retailer. Mattel is still not very good and courting us directly (just look at their complete inability to sell the sub – they seem to think they can just sit it out without any promotion and let it do all the work). Anyway, a subscription gets us closer to an ideal toy line because it eliminates the middle man (the retailer). I said I don’t disagree with you on a lot of your overall points and I don’t. I would much rather buy He-Man in stores, but if you take a trip around the Org – that’s not a sentiment shared by many MOTUFans. They enjoy and prefer this model because it allows them greater feedback and it’s produced what is easily the best iteration of MOTU figures. It’s going to be a travesty that DC fans can’t receive the same.

              • Tribsaint

                I feel ya, and I’m kinda rooting for ya, only kinda cause I don’t want this to become the collecting norm. If it does go through at least I’ll get figures I’ll just pick them up secondary. Yeah I bought all Motuc and GB at retail (Dcuc vs motuc and the GB boxset), so they grace my shelves in some form and I have supported the lines when my principles allow it. I would LOVE to get the Voltron, but 300+ is just too much same with stay puff. The wife puts up with a lot of action figure BS for me, but a 300 dollar robot would at least leave me lonely for a week when the lions came in the mail. I think it’s 50/50 no matter what the thermometer says.

                • I was tempted by the Voltron, but he was just too expensive for me considering I’d be buying it for being cool instead of being a big Voltron fan. I’m trying out the Ghostbusters sub this year – I passed on it last year, but ended up buying nearly all the figures anyway (except Vinz, he just seemed like a subpar figure).

                  • Tribsaint

                    Maybe I’m dumb, or I haven’t been paying attention, but exactly why do retailers dislike CnC? In the long run it has to sell more figures there are plenty of wave were I wanted 4 figures and bought 6 to complete the CnC. It seems like they don’t do much research, I headed a product evaluation (DVD) project over the summer for one of the national big box stores, and I was amazed by some of the absolute junk that they were thinking about give shelf space to, there were titles that would not have sold 100 copies nation wide, and other things that were being marketed wrong. I was amazed by the lack of good sense and “little guy” prospective. It was my first one I’m not and insider, but it was eye opening, I mean the stuff I evaluated I was told I could keep what I wanted as a perk, but hell, don’t think I could eBay it for anything, that would make it worth my while (did get some stuff that I can use in the classroom). SO I get that good buyers, sales reps, and category manager with any vision are hard to come by, but it doesn’t seem that hard, especially when you see some of the stuff that gets Major shelf space (tron toys). DCUC has been a hot cold line there were waves (not just walmart waves) that sold like bottled water in the desert and others like 13 & 15 sell like sand. It boogles the mind 🙂

                    • I think it’s more about the case assortments than the C&C parts specifically. The MU model that Mattel is adapting to (which they say is to please retailers) would be a nightmare for C&C builders. It’d be like those that mix 6/7/8 cases that more or less made Target useless for new DC figures during all of 2009.

              • Gee, so much of this sounds familiar. 🙂

                Mattel bringing the C&C figure into the DCU figures was a mistake from start one. Reason being, retailers DO NOT operate like they did back in the ’60s.

                The C&C is a ‘treasure hunt’ item, the customer is supposed to buy EVERY figure in the line even if they don’t want that figure, in order to complete the C&C. If a customer needs a specific figure the OLD WAY would have been he goes and asks the retailer and the retailer orders another case to satisfy the request.

                Hasn’t worked that way since the late ’70s and all local department stores stopped going to local jobbers (because there either are NO MORE local department stores or they no longer have a toy department. sigh.) to fulfill their toy needs.

                I know Mattel has a return allowance with larger retailers, but often companies would trade allowance credits for higher discounts or longer billing.

                Clearly the best way to buy these figures was by the sealed case (and pray the online comic shop you deal with isn’t cherry-picking shortpacks and replacing them with ‘dog’ figures!) but man, I don’t have the money for ONE stupid $15 figure let alone a case.

                That’s why I’ve felt the C&C pieces for EVERY build should be available on Mattycollector to buy, either as whole figures or just the piece you need. Man, think how amazing and game changing THAT would be. I mean, since the development was built into the wave, that C&C figure is pure profit.

                • I don’t think the C&C/BAF is bad for retail. Toy Biz really revolutionized comic-based toys with it, Mattel’s run on it was great (though a little lagging at the end), and even Hasbro is trying to get back in the game on it.

                  I’m sure Mattel got some beancounters to figure things up for them, but I personally think the new DC line will suffer without it. The MU distribution model ends up with a lot of pegwarmers and Mattel doesn’t seem to suffer those well.

  • grinning smiley face disqus avatar man

    So you got 6 slots for regular figures open but they mostly could be leftovers of the last planned DCUC waves. Add the markup of 35% or whatever for each figure. There better be really illusive stuff in this sub otherwise people will just subscribe for the first few months and then cancel later after they get the exclusive. And this is if the exclusive isn’t something “bland” like Tim is bland or Black Lantern Swamp Thing. You can already do the same thing with MOTUC.

    • I have faith that the items offered beyond this initial showing will be better – this feels rushed. If they just had one must have figure to show for the sub this entire process would probably be smoother.

  • j3h

    After pondering for quite a few days, I decided the sub wasn’t for me. I might pick up a choice figure here or there on the monthly matty 15th chaos, but seeing I wasn’t interested in two out of three of the first shown offerings and only Black Lantern Swamp Thing got my vote (unlikely to win anyway) it didn’t make $ sense. Yes if zombie Swampy wins, that’s the club exclusive…but sounds like I’ll be able to get him easily from subscribers who don’t want him (for a price far less than all the figures I would assume I’m passing on).
    I did resubscribe to Ecto-1 since I can’t think of a ghostbuster figure I wouldn’t buy.

  • Shellhead

    It’s a moot point, Noisy.
    I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, so while I know the meter isn’t updated live, I don’t think the sales meter is intentionally being misrepresented. We have 7 days to go, and we haven’t cracked the quarter mark. Do you honestly think sales in the last half are going to surge so much from the first half? Even if they give us an extra week, at this rate we won’t make it.
    Very heartfelt and well written article, however. While I don’t completely agree with it (I don’t think you can fairly compare DC, a licensed property Mattel pays for, to MOTC, which Mattel owns), it sums up much of my own opinion.
    Sadly, though, I think the DCUC sub is dead.

  • Agreed on a fine argument in favor, Noisy. In a nutshell, I believe that collectors need to stick together now more than ever. This isn’t a hobby that will last long at retail, certainly not as we remember it. That’s the reason I went with the MOTUC sub. I only care for characters from the first two or three years of the vintage line. If the sub helps She-Ra, New Adventures, or the 2002 relaunch’s fans as well, then I have no problem with it.

    With DC going off in a completely different direction, the only chance for me to add Jay and Thom to my collection is through the sub. Otherwise, this line will end for me much like Infinite Heroes: Not with a bang, but a whimper.

    • Agreed. I don’t love every MOTU figure, but it works for me.

      That whimper seems more and more likely… especially with what I see as a weak lineup in Wave 20!

      The “not necessarily” Fangirl 2.0 mentions for the retail line gives me some hope that Thom, Jay, and Atrocitus will show up there. Maybe I can hope for a scaled down Elasti-Girl in that line too.

  • fball13z

    I was so happy when I heard about the DCUC sub, for me its great b/c it gives my MOTUC figures some company in their box.

    But then I keep hearing people talking how “dumb” this idea is. And it just depresses me that, this amazing Sub will not happen b/c people are too scared to give it a chance.

    I want my Doom patrol and metal men to be finished!

    DCUC is my 2nd fav toyline of all time, right behind MOTUC.

    Great read man, if this doesnt knock the fence people off that fence, nothing will.

    Come on people join us, you know you want to!

    • I think us MOTU subbers have it a lot easier putting some faith in Mattel because it’s been an amazing ride! That’s what I was hoping for with this article, to take some of the satisfaction I have for MOTU and declare it to the DC doubters – this can be cool if we’ll let it!

  • See, that’s what I’m thinking, what others have said. What we’re seeing as the tease for the sub is the paid-for development work for the (seemingly) canceled Wave 21. And if the club doesn’t meet its goal then magically there’ll be one more wave, #21, that will be someone’s exclusive. Probably Entertainment Earth.

    I do want to believe, but Mattel makes it so very hard to do so. Show me something surprising, not just a guy doing an interview saying “maybe”.

    I mean, maybe I’ve walked on the Moon. 🙂

    • I think we’ll see some of them possibly mixed into the “not necessarily relaunch” line. It’s just the big figures that seem to have no hope at this point.

  • textual

    The thermometer just makes me angry. At best the numbers are a ploy to get more people on board to a subscription they did not have a good pitch for (3 figures, 1 out of scale and some vague promises?) At worst they never intended to go through with this and will use poor sales to say fans didn’t want it bad enough. In either case, the thermometer is a joke.

    I won’t buy because of scare tactics, end of story. If it does take off, great, I’ll brave the feeding frenzy for the few I want. I’d rather put my money on Voltron, because every product in that sub has been shown. With DCUC it’s russian roulette, you COULD get Metal Men but you could just as easily get a Hal Jordan variant. i shake my head looking at wave 19, how did all those characters get made before Jay Garrick? Mattel hardly seems to have a fire lit under their ass on this, they don’t even know the names of the various Flashes. Toy Guru catches a lot of heat but at least he knows MotU.

    • textual

      “i shake my head looking at wave 19”

      I misspoke there, JSA wave is fine. It’s wave 18 that’s perplexing (who was begging for El Dorado?)

      • I knew what you meant. 🙂 I’m happy to have Apache Chief & Black Vulcan, but even I think El Dorado is a head scratcher. I don’t mind though – his teleportation power is my favorite thing to make fun of from Super Friends.

        I’m not ready to write off the thermometer just yet. Used poorly? Sure. Inaccurate and not updated? Possibly? I can see it getting it’s biggest push during SDCC and that resulting in the 20 and then nil after that. That’d suck if it were true – I’d much rather you be right about the thermometer than me.

  • redddevil

    Last night, I signed up despite my own reservations. (The 3rd figure, if you look past the glitter plastic, is just a simple buck already!) I’m telling myself that this will be Mattel’s way to deliver us characters they never would have at retail for whatever reasons, Metron and his chair being a great example. Perhaps there’s hope then for Elongated Man, Amanda Waller, Salaak, Vixen, etc. Basically, characters who would need extra plastic or re-tooling, or who don’t fit that “moms and kids” demo Mattel was always throwing in our face. At the very least, there should be no excuse now for not producing more female figs.

    • I can only imagine what they could have come up with to sell us on it, had they given this subscription the proper leadoff time instead of trying to cram it with the other ones. It would be the perfect opportunity for the type of figures you’re talking about.

  • Explosionboy

    I have been collecting DCUC myself since the beginning, but I admit it took your article to convince me to take the leap and subscribe. While I agree with most everything the detractors have said about Mattel, I’m curious where the online retailers are during all of this. The MOTU subscription was supported a great deal by the likes of BBTS for the first couple of years (or so it seems), and the Mad Monday sale was most assuredly helped along by them as well. Where are they now, in regards to DCUC? If its a case of the retailers (both online and brick & mortar) losing all faith in this line, I don’t see how the fans can carry it alone. It’s my sincere hope that the subscription is a success, but I’m not holding my breath. All that said, I’m while its a bit jarring to say the least, I’m looking forward to DCnU, and will continue to haunt my local stores in search of whatever new cool figures the Fourhorsemen serve up in the future.

    • I think the retail line is the other half of the equation here. The line isn’t leaving retail completely, so we’ve still got some hope. It sucks to think that I’ve only got two waves of DC figures coming in the next year (my money is on the DCnU line debuting at/after SDCC like ML is doing this year). The big thing I have to decide on is if I feel like covering that line. I’m down for the DCUC-compatible ones for sure, but there’s currently no incentive to get me to buy a single DCnU design. I guess I’ll appreciate the lack of C&Cs in that regard.

      Anyway, thanks for signing up. It’d be great if BBTS or the other online retailers would swoop in like you say and clean up these sub numbers for us.

  • wilyjeff

    This article was interesting, but I have to disagree with you on a few points (some of which were made in subsequent comments). First, I find it difficult to believe that this subscription is the only choice we’re ever going to get for continuing DCUC (if one assumes that Mattel even wants to). Why? Because if Mattel truly believed in their product and the DCUC line (a very BIG if, which I’ll get to in a moment), then the failure of a sight-unseen subscription program would motivate them to find a different model for getting out DCUCs on Mattycollector. And we’ve been seeing this to some degree: the exclusive two-packs failed, so they tried selling complete wave sets, which failed, so they started selling individual figures which, if you believe the Q&As, was successful. The ass-backwardness of not sticking to this model moving forward is astounding, especially when you go back and think about how and why the MOTUC subscription model came about in the first place: the gigantic hassle of buying them monthly through Digital River, and the quick sellouts due to underestimated demand. The subscription model is a second-best solution at best (the best solution being to do what Amazon, hasbrocollector, bigbadtoystore, and almost every other online toy seller does– take preorders to gauge demand, order more, be willing to let the product sit in the warehouse while buyers trickle in and product trickles out, and put old stock on clearance after a while). We should also remember that what makes MOTUC a successful business model isn’t the subscription alone– at NO point in the life of MOTUC was availability incumbent upon there being enough subscribers, and figures have always been available to without subscription. It even took a long period of gestation and word-of-mouth praise before MOTUC became the website-crasher we know today– those initial He-mans, Skeletors, and Beastmans sat around for MONTHS on Mattycollector. (When I first got them, I was able to buy He-man and Skeletor, two different figures released months apart, at the same time to save on shipping, an event unheard of today.) Why not give DCUC on Mattycollector the same chance to regain the trust of their customers, rather than offering this blackmail approach to offering action figures?

    This brings me to the point about Mattel not believing in the quality of their DCUC product. This selling strategy makes me feel like they don’t. If the only way we’re going to see these figures is if a sufficient number of fans are willing to buy them completely sight-unseen, it makes me feel like Mattel is unwilling to take the chance that these figures can sell themselves based on the quality of character selection and production alone. Toy fans generally buy a particular figure for one of two reasons: they see a figure, evaluate it on its merits, and decide to purchase OR they’re locked into the gotta-get-them-all completist collector mentality to some degree or another. From the tone of your article, you sound like the second type, at least for DCUC and MOTUC, and with this marketing strategy, that’s who Mattel is targeting. But they are completely missing the mark for the first type of collector like me, and judging by the white screens that still prevail on sale dates for MOTUC, we are not an insignificant portion of their customer base. The worst part is that failing to draw sufficient CIE subscriptions will demonstrate to Mattel that the demand for DCUC isn’t there, when it fact, it’s only failed because they’ve completely ignored collectors like me who refuse to purchase a figure without knowing anything about it. Besides, why should I have faith in a product that Mattel seems to think requires sight-unseen toy addicts to survive? If Mattel is not willing to stand by their product based on quality alone, then why should I?

    But, you say, the subscription model will make Matty more accountable to customers because they want people to renew. Again, this argument forgets why a lot a folks subscribe to begin with: to avoid the nightmare that is Digital River. I suspect that if Matty switched to a hasbrotoyshop-type system, they would sell far fewer subscriptions (since the site is relatively hassle-free) but probably about the same amount of figures, with perhaps the need to clearance out the stinkers every now and then. They may even grow their customer base more quickly, because the ease of purchase would allow more people to pick up figures and see if they want to continue to collect.

    In other words, the subscription model worked for MOTUC because 1) people were able to buy individual figures and become fans of the line until demand reached a critical mass and 2) people hated having to go through Digital River every month or even every other month so much that they were willing to take the risk of being stuck with figures they didn’t want just to avoid the hassle. #2 may well apply to Matty DCUC… eventually, not not until Mattel achieves #1 by demonstrating they there are capable of offering product of relatively consistent quality that justifies the price. Judging by the lukewarm response to CIE, they haven’t.

    • The subscription isn’t the only choice, the retail line will continue. I imagine Jar Garrick and his sub brethren can even worm his way into the new line given enough time. The loss here is Starro, a proper Doomsday, Elasti-Girl, Lead, etc.

      You have some valid points albiet amid some incorrect facts. He-Man & Beast Man took six weeks to sell-out, Skeletor took 11 days and things skyrocketed from there. The only MOTU items available for ‘months’ were Mo-Larr & the battle stands. Skeletor and He-Man have only been available together as reissues. Nothing major, I just have all that on the brain from maintaining the MOTU checklists over the last few years.

      I wouldn’t say that the CIE is receiving a lukewarm response. The threads on the various DC toy sites have filled up with buyers and the response is mostly positive just as it is here in this thread. Since so many signups have happened, I would presume the minimum is simply too high, probably much higher than MOTU or Ghostbusters… hence the reason for the stupid thermometer.

      I do agree though that I’d rather not go through this and see it offered outright. It’s worse to see any potential new c&cs slip through our fingers. I just have to hold out hope that next years new line will be Classic enough and that Mattel can handle the MU business model.

    • Bobby Fett

      I subscribe to MOTU Classics because I love the line and I want to make sure I have them all. That’s what most of us MOTU fans do. If you head over to the Org, we want the items outside the subscription to be added to it! It’s not all about Digital River like you suspect.

  • Tribsaint

    One thing I don,t get is MU is doning oversized figures that fit into the 6inch world very well, so I’m not exactly sure why mattel can’t and the way oversized 18incher figures are there to. And realistically Those were not the most dynamic characters (the 18 in her are more compelling), so, even if we lose CnC parts, we could still see the oversized figure without the shenanigans . The hurdle is Mattel, and maybe fans a lil too. Don’t get me wrong hasbro isn’t prefect but wiljef is right about there online, easy.

  • Anubis8

    I was on the fence for a good day before jumping into the pool. I’m a DC guy all the way and have been my whole life. The DCUC line was a line I longed dream about. I was able to get proper figures of the JSA and I FINALY got a decent Atom Smasher & Solomon Grundy. I supported this line despite the terrible distribution & QA issues. I wanted to finish my JSA & Doom Patrol line-ups. I DESPERATELY wanted a Wally West to add to my collection of Wally West figures. I have made no secret of being displeased & let down by TPTB at DC who had tossed aside Wally 2 years ago to focus on Boring Allen. And now with the latest “direction” DC will take I know that the days of Wally West and quite possible the JSA are in Limbo (Thank you Dan DiDio). So as a Wally West fan & a JSA fan I realize that this is the only way that I am going to get Jay Garrick, Starman & hopefully Wally West.

    I have no need for a BL Swamp Thing. I would have bought the Swamp Thing SDCC figure if the scale wasn’t so off, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

    I hope that this collector’s club does happen & thrives. I want to see folks get a Elasti-Girl, a Chief, etc. Hell I want a Johnny Thunder & T-Bolt so who knows. Right now I’m open minded and I have hope. But we shall see…

    • Man, I could write pages and pages bitching at DC about Wally West and their inability to make Barry’s return worthwhile whatsoever. The comics don’t sell better, they’re sure as hell not written better, and it’s turned the Flash franchise into a morass as quickly as they brought GL back to a thriving success. It’s crap. And Mattel – giving us Barry in red, dark red, blue, and now white – without a Wally in sight? Ugh. It’s crap.

      I’m working on a Swamp Thing review for tomorrow. I’m not going to nag on him the whole time, but he’s just not a very fun figure.

  • TwoFisted

    I’m subscribing simply because i’m a lifelong DC fan of over 30 years and DCUC has been IMO the longest and best line fo DC related action figures. I’ve lived thru all the costume changes and story reboots and continuity resets. I love the characters….ALL OF THEM. I’ve purchased every wave and variant of DCUC and i look foreward to whatever they put out in the future. I love how DCUC will have the standard characters or “expected” characters in any particular wave and then throw us a cool curveball (Kirby Steppenwolf, Vigilante, El Dorado) I dont think these are fan demanded characters…but its cool to see one every now and then. With a 75 year history worth of characters….theres bound to be a few clunkers out there. IMO the more unique figures put out that show the full spectrum of characters the better. Am i miffed that theres never been a Wally West figure? somewhat. I pretend that the “Cherry Barry” Flash is the Wally Flash.
    Call me naive…but the “sight unseen” part of the sub dosent really bother me. We’re all aware of Mattels buck system so i think we’re fairly sure what upsoming releases are going to look like. The one thing i cant understand is why people keep comparing this new DC sub with the MOTU sub. The MOTU sub has been strictly an online sub from the get go with a completely different and sometimes more rapid fanbase. I think the MOTU sub would have the same problem getting off the ground had they been at retail for 18+ waves BEFORE starting a sub. I personally am not tired of DCUC yet, but i can understand that this subscription might be a little late. Had this been rolled out after maybe wave 8 could have made more sense and might have been a good playground for the “dogs” to be sold. To try and put out a subscription system after so many waves, of course people have had plenty of time to form their opinions. I just think we’re dealing with apples and oranges.
    I AM however pissed over the subscription being held over our heads in a threatening manner. To me this smacks of how fans of JLU have been treated the last couple years. “if this dosent sellout we’ll not release this” or “if this dosent sellout in 2 hours its a failure and its OUR fault as consumers” To me thats BS and thats how Mattel is treating this DC subscription. I sincerely hope it takes off so i can keep collecting my favorite DC characters.

  • Rich

    This is one case where it would be REALLY interesting to know the production numbers.

    Not for the retail line, but the Matty 2-packs. How many Ultraman/Luthor packs were produced? How many of Karu-Sil/Tomar-Tu?

    There could be hundreds of reasons why the 2nd pack sold better than the 1st. My favourite was: “I’m buying three to get all her dogs and I’ll customize the duplicate figures. Can anyone tell me if there are other female Sinestro Corps members?”

    Character choices and a fickle consumer base aside, the real question mark here is production numbers. This is what Matty has shown a willingness to make for the online/collectors market in the past, and should help them set expectations for the subscription model.

    The first three figures of the sub use the same buck system, with minimal new tooling: hands; heads; a slipover collar for Atrocitus; and boots for Jay. I know you want to believe that Atrocitus will be taller, Noisy, but he already looks to share too many parts with Skallox for me to really buy that line, from one interview, to make the questions go away. In terms of parts, they’re on par with every online 2-pack in terms of tooling cost so far.

    If I were manufacturing the sub figures for the subscription, I wouldn’t set the # of required subs higher than the # of 2-packs I manufactured. I’m just curious what that number is, because I would expect subs to sell much much lower. I’m certain they know the proportion from the MOTU line, but will never tell us. Even if it’s 50/50 (which still seems high, for the sub portion), you’d only need to sell half as many subs as your production run dictates.

    The early MOTU characters were initially produced in 10K lots? Maybe 12k? Maybe less?? We figure they scaled up production to 16K at some point? Do we believe they’re at 20K now?

    So, IF they managed to produce and sell 10K Ultramen, and IF they set the sub meter to my imagined 50% (5K), are we really only seeing 1000 subscribers so far? I doubt that. 1000 now seems too low.

    Assuming every collector who wanted Karu-Sil wants Atrocitus as well, this would suggest that 1 in 10 Karu-Sil fans is in for the sub so far. The remaining are more cautious, and probably didn’t jump at Ultraman either and you can still sell to these customers, but probably not in a sub, sight-unseen. But, I find it super hard to believe that Karu-Sil can sell that fast, while nothing can make a dent on that thermometer. It reinforces the belief that the sub target was far too high – perhaps a full ~10K “make just enough profit” run is needed for the sub thermometer? Which is just ridiculous…

    Mattel needed to look at their least-popular offering, in terms of sales numbers (and I’m just guessing that it’s Ultraman) and KNOW that the number of first day sales for that product would be greater than those for a year’s worth of unseen character choices.

    If the # of first-day sales for Ultraman is below their break-even point (be it 1K, 2k, 5K, 10K…) then they probably should not have tried a “buy this or else” subscription target in the first place. It would be doomed by simple math, before it ever left the gate…

  • Shadow_Contact

    Ummm I don’t think there’s any thing in this conversation I can add that hasn’t been said. I just didn’t want to feel left out.

  • […] on this, with less speculation or suggested trickery, be sure to check out Poe’s site and the itsalltrue.net article about the sub. They both make great points for people on the fence or for those who aren’t […]

  • Man, I’m really tempted to do this. I just got back into toys recently, and just got a job even recent-er, so I missed out on a lot of awesome stuff.But DCUC is definitely a line I’ve been interested in, cause I’ve always loved DC, and despite all the shit I’ve heard about this line, I don’t want it to go away. I’ve been on the fence, but was pretty sure I didn’t wanna sign up, but shit, this is a good article. And all three of those figures they’ve shown are ones I’d really like to own. So I’m pretty sure I wanna give this a shot, but going by the thermometer now, I don’t wanna sign up if it’s not gonna happen. But if it’s just Mattel bluffing, then I definitely wanna make sure I get in. I dunno, I guess I’m more worried that if I pay, and then the club goes nowhere, I’ll be out thirty bucks. Oh well, I don’t get paid till Friday anyway, so it all depends on whether or not I can even join before the deadline or not.

  • Freefire

    Apparently Poison Ivy is now part of the sub…

    • Rich

      Heh; Marketing at Matty is pretty impressive:

      Aug 1 5:18 pm, a MattyCollector board member asks “Since we’re only at 20-30%, would Mattel be willing to at least tell us the names of the rest of the figures scheduled to be in the sub. as a way to get more people to buy this?”

      Aug 1 5:30pm, ToyGuru responds with: “We do not have additional figures approved yet. Much like the MOTU and GB subs we have done for two years now, only the first few figures for subs are revealed. The rest will be revealed as the year goes by!”

      Aug 1 9:18pm, Matty’s Facebook page posted this update: “Hey DC Universe fans, you asked for it, you got it! Here is the reveal of another 6″ character in the DC Universe Club Infinite Earths subscription program…Poison Ivy! To get this figure, as well as the other subscription figures, sign up for the club”

      Today’s been the first day we’ve seen any kind of message from Matty or ToyGuru. It’s rather amazing. I love how they don’t even agree with each other.

      The sites that get free review figures from Mattel haven’t done much promotion yet, either. I guess you can’t even pay others to do your marketing for you.

      Julius Marx has a video interview, a link to this page here, and a Facebook post asking for people to submit their questions because “there’s still a lot of confusion”…

      The only confusion I have is why do the 211 comments above this one make more sense than any of Matty’s PR efforts?

      • Rich

        I’m sorry – my times there are a little bit wrong. Those 5:18 and 5:33pm’s are PT (Matty forums are on the west coast, it appears), while the 9:18 from Facebook was my timezone – ET.

        so:
        5:18 PT / 8:18 ET
        5:30 PT / 8:30 ET
        6:18 PT / 9:18 ET

        It seems even *more* likely that the left and right hand aren’t talking.

    • MegaGearMax

      I don’t like those threats! I double dare Mattel to never to sell Poison Ivy at retail if the sub fails!

      • Freefire

        It really does seem like they are going out of their way to give people reason to be angry. I really want those figures!

      • Griffin

        They may be planning on making her show a little too much skin to work at retail. Just a thought.

  • Bigbot

    If they want to sell subscriptions, they need to reveal the whole line I think.

    • MegaGearMax

      Exactly. Preferably someone without the Batman Legacy safety net under them. Where’s Wally West, Phantom Lady, a better sculpted Starfire, or big guns like Killer Croc and Doomsday? Make us want to buy the sub, instead of threatening us if we don’t.

  • clark

    I just can’t do it. I really want this to happen, but not for $15+shipping for each figure. That is pretty much my whole months toy budget with one DC figure. MOTUC is really the line I love and I’ve only picked up two figures this year (one I like, one not so much), so for the cost I can’t commit to DCUC.

    • Freefire

      Sounds like a perfectly sound reason not too. I probably have to decide on DC or Ghostbusters. Both will probably hurt.

  • tribsaint

    There are a lot of “perfectly sound” reasons not to subscribe one is toy thug tactics, this whole two week sub thing has been. It was exercise in being bullied. First with the “3oclock high’ count down and thermometer warning us “we better act right”. A general vagueness that, is built more to a fans hopes than the realities. I mean there are some logical arguments made for the sub but they are, mostly built on assumptions, speculation and maybes, with a few details thrown in. Well guess where the devil hides? In the Mother F’n details (and I have seen the devil rape people with pineapples). Then there’s the abused spouse emotional rollercoaster treatment by threatening us, then throwing us a bone (poison ivy) the preverbal “I love you but” and when this doesn’t get enough subs, we’ll get the “this is for your own good, you have this coming”. And let’s pretend this goes through the club happens it only proves that Mattel never once played us straight. Mattel is the worst kind of company and the only reason we have gotten 17 or so waves, is because it suits them not us. Now, you may say their in business of course it has to suit them, but businesses spend, add, lose, kiss up all the time to keep a customer base. Mattel doesn’t, if they can’t make a BIG profit their way, then for get you. I’m so glad I decided against this sub. The One time Mattel could have courted us a little, wined and dined us, and made us feel just a little bit special before they unzipped, they just bought use drinks, flirted, and raped us on a pineball machine (just like every other time). Well, I won’t be Mattel’s Jodi Foster anymore, I’m F’Kelly McGillis damn it! Ok I need to stop…you get the point.

    And they won’t produce a Poison Ivy, if the sub fails, wow because that figure seems to fit right into the Batman Legacy line, huh go figure, what a coinkydiny.

    So, Mattel I’m not paying your ransom, I don’t care how many ears I get in the mail.

    If we wanted poor treatment we’d go slum’n for Shocker toys (least they register on a forum and call you and @sshole to your virtual face (and threaten a lawsuit) like real 21st century men. Ok I really need to stop now.

  • DCFett

    The biggest piece of info missing here is “WTF is the DC sub on the bubble?” I think everyone at the panel was so dumbfounded when they announced it, plus TG put FG2.0 up there and everyone seemed to just want to be polite (I know I did) and no one really asked any hard questions about what was going on. Now we are almost completely in the dark as to the why of it. But I guess they owe us nothing after making them the KINGS of 6″ figures?

  • tribsaint

    There are a lot of “perfectly sound” reasons not to subscribe one is toy thug tactics, this whole two week sub thing has been. It was exercise in being bullied. First with the “3oclock high’ count down and thermometer warning us “we better act right”. A general vagueness that, is built more to a fans hopes than the realities. I mean there are some logical arguments made for the sub but they are, mostly built on assumptions, speculation and maybes, with a few details thrown in. Well guess where the devil hides? In the Mother F’n details (and I have seen the devil rape people with pineapples). Then there’s the abused spouse emotional rollercoaster treatment by threatening us, then throwing us a bone (poison ivy) the preverbal “I love you but” and when this doesn’t get enough subs, we’ll get the “this is for your own good, you have this coming”. And let’s pretend this goes through the club happens it only proves that Mattel never once played us straight. Mattel is the worst kind of company and the only reason we have gotten 17 or so waves, is because it suits them not us. Now, you may say their in business of course it has to suit them, but businesses spend, add, lose, kiss up all the time to keep a customer base. Mattel doesn’t, if they can’t make a BIG profit their way, then for get you. I’m so glad I decided against this sub. The One time Mattel could have courted us a little, wined and dined us, and made us feel just a little bit special before they unzipped, they just bought use drinks, flirted, and raped us on a pineball machine (just like every other time). Well, I won’t be Mattel’s Jodi Foster anymore, I’m Kelly McGillis damn it! Ok I need to stop…you get the point.

    And they won’t produce a Poison Ivy, if the sub fails, wow because that figure seems to fit right into the Batman Legacy line, huh go figure, what a coinkydiny.

    So, Mattel I’m not paying your ransom, I don’t care how many ears I get in the mail.

    If we wanted poor treatment we’d go slum’n for Shocker toys (least they register on a forum and call you and A to your virtual face (and threaten a lawsuit) like real 21st century men. Ok I really need to stop now.

  • da man

    They really need to reveal one of the over-sized figures before the deadline. I think that would help people on the fence (like me) make a final decision before the deadline. So far, all the reveals are better than wave 20 (IMHO)!

    It seems like Matty and TG are on different pages. I would think that they have most of the sub nailed down but don’t want to put all their cards on the table. Hope we see more soon. It sounds like all the toy boards are getting to them at least, so that is a good thing.

  • Zach S.

    I think there’s something to be said for the 220+ comments on this thread. This issue has people seriously riled up on both sides of the argument.

  • Nicholai

    I think the minimum must be just too high for the amount of people online to get into it. I’ve seen a lot of people saying they’ve signed up on big toy sites, but that amount cannot compare to the people who buy stuff at retail. They needed to do press for it on sites like Newsarama, CBR, IGN, etc. to get people who don’t normally haunt online toy sites to bite. Poor Poison Ivy and Jay. Fangirl made it clear they will not be part of the rebranded line (which I’m sure the first wave will be the “new” JLA aka new versions of characters everyone has already.

  • GaryG

    Mattel needs to answer some questions:

    1. Why is the subscription $30.00? How did you arrive at that or did you just pull it out of the “air”? We need to understand why we pay so much?
    2. Same question involving figure costs, shipping costs and so on…We don’t need the specific numbers, maybe just the formula.
    3. If all of those costs are due to packaging and so forth, give us generic backer cards..do something to show you are trying to cus the cost to the subscriber.
    4. If the subscription figures are based on the standard buck, why so high? Surely your costs for molds, design work, etc have been amortized by now.
    5. Why the bullying tactics? Pick one person…ONE…to make all announcements and then make some. Ones that give us information and try not to piss us off.
    6. 24% of what? How can we hit a goal if you won’t tell us what it is? If it’s based on a certain number of people to hit a certain profit point, well OK. But remember…any profit you make IS profit you make. Sometimes good will to the customer is worth more in the long run and you haven’t done that here.
    7. Why only two weeks? Who dropped the ball on the plan and the announcements and marketing for this?
    8. Why haven’t you tried some other approach to “damage control” the perceived debacle?
    9. You obviously look at these sites, so you know the other complaints too…stuck joints, no accessories, “recession joints”, GIGANTA shortages, price increase that seem astronomical, shipping and retail shortages (or way too much). Why haven’t you addressed them? (Not to us, but internally…)
    10. Have you heard of “Poke Yoke”, “Damage Control”, “Supply and Demand”, “Customer Support” or Quality Control? I know you must practice these, why does it “appear” that you don’t give a %$#@ in regard to DCUC?
    11. Are you honestly telling us that if you don’t get 100% buy-in for the subscription club that you are willing to refund all of these people’s money? You don’t want it nless you get all of it, but are willing to spend more to refund it?
    12. If the sub doesn’t happen, why not “treat” the customers who did sign up by sending them something for their loyality and support? A couple of “blank” figures, a set of Starro spores, Gleeks and other little swags lying around, a poster or something to show that you appreciated that they tried.
    13. Seriously? You still expect us to believe Giganta was sent out in equal numbers and that contractual obligations prevent you from making more? OK then..howabout an extra generic head and torso for the Elastic-Girl figure that we hope comes out of this sub? Then if the sub doen’t happen, guess we’ll have to use the alternate head somewhere else.

    My point is…these people WANT TO GIV YOU THEIR MONEY. You want to take it, right? Why not just be a sport about it, put on your Big Matty pants and act like a corporation that is in the business of selling toys? …and be nice about it in the process.

    Communication and respect is all they want. Guess what? It’s a two way street. People usually give back what they receive.

  • GaryG

    I think Mattel needs to answer some questions:

    1. Why is the subscription $30.00? How did you arrive at that or did you just pull it out of the “air”? We need to understand why we pay so much?
    2. Same question involving figure costs, shipping costs and so on…We don’t need the specific numbers, maybe just the formula.
    3. If all of those costs are due to packaging and so forth, give us generic backer cards..do something to show you are trying to cus the cost to the subscriber.
    4. If the subscription figures are based on the standard buck, why so high? Surely your costs for molds, design work, etc have been amortized by now.
    5. Why the bullying tactics? Pick one person…ONE…to make all announcements and then make some. Ones that give us information and try not to piss us off.
    6. 24% of what? How can we hit a goal if you won’t tell us what it is? If it’s based on a certain number of people to hit a certain profit point, well OK. But remember…any profit you make IS profit you make. Sometimes good will to the customer is worth more in the long run and you haven’t done that here.
    7. Why only two weeks? Who dropped the ball on the plan and the announcements and marketing for this?
    8. Why haven’t you tried some other approach to “damage control” the perceived debacle?
    9. You obviously look at these sites, so you know the other complaints too…stuck joints, no accessories, “recession joints”, GIGANTA shortages, price increase that seem astronomical, shipping and retail shortages (or way too much). Why haven’t you addressed them? (Not to us, but internally…)
    10. Have you heard of “Poke Yoke”, “Damage Control”, “Supply and Demand”, “Customer Support” or Quality Control? I know you must practice these, why does it “appear” that you don’t give a %$#@ in regard to DCUC?
    11. Are you honestly telling us that if you don’t get 100% buy-in for the subscription club that you are willing to refund all of these people’s money? You don’t want it nless you get all of it, but are willing to spend more to refund it?
    12. If the sub doesn’t happen, why not “treat” the customers who did sign up by sending them something for their loyality and support? A couple of “blank” figures, a set of Starro spores, Gleeks and other little swags lying around, a poster or something to show that you appreciated that they tried.
    13. Seriously? You still expect us to believe Giganta was sent out in equal numbers and that contractual obligations prevent you from making more? OK then..howabout an extra generic head and torso for the Elastic-Girl figure that we hope comes out of this sub? Then if the sub doen’t happen, guess we’ll have to use the alternate head somewhere else.

    My point is…these people WANT TO GIV YOU THEIR MONEY. You want to take it, right? Why not just be a sport about it, put on your Big Matty pants and act like a corporation that is in the business of selling toys? …and be nice about it in the process.

    Communication and respect is all they want. Guess what? It’s a two way street. People usually give back what they receive.

    • Lovable-Bill

      Its $30 because the subscription figure is an oversized figure.

      • GaryG

        Not my point…regardless of what is offered as the figure, the price point could be anything. Example? A magazine off the rack is $5.00 plus tax. Take the card inside and order, you pay $1.00 an issue PLUS you get a few freebies, extra issues, and so on. We pay $30 because of an oversized figure AND pay the shipping? I just think there should be a price break or a greater incentive to subscribe. WE, as customers, seem to be paying MORE just for the privilege of paying more with no more than a general idea of what we are getting for the effort.

        That was my point…

  • Eric

    I think the main reason people aren’t biting is that this’ll cost $330 in the end, for 9 normal figures and 4 CNCs.

    In comparison, at retail, for $330 you get 22 normal figures and 3 and 2/3 CNCs. Point being, for collectors who are already irked about paying $15 a pop for figures, getting so few figures for that kind of cash at this point just seems ludicrous. Besides, Marvel Legends is coming back and NECA is still going strong, it’s not like people have money to waste paying twice as much on the same figures they’ve got before.

  • Jare

    I can’t believe is just in 30 at the meter… let’s see what happens this friday

  • da man

    Any chance we will see some more reveals (maybe one of the Oversize figure) before the deadline?

  • AJ2

    Let me get this out of the way first: Your articles are ALWAYS consistently entertaining! You should get free stuff, since you do more real fan service for Mattel than AFI BY FAR! Very annoying that Danielle called on Dan for three questions during the DC/Mattel panel and then he got a separate extended interview besides. Note to Mattel: Do not call on him at all, no matter how legit his questions are. I am glad Dan is out there, but spread the love, Mattel. They even called him by name.

    Do you think the cost and the numbers needed has anything to do with licensing? It’s seems clear that the DCnU direction is a DC edict. But all points are valid: Better articulation, and MANY accessories/accessory packs are needed to make this line worth the money. The issue I have is that Mattel lays this out and if we don’t bite, we are the convenient scapegoat, because they set the line up to fail in its presentation. They don’t get the message stated. The money is the message. I like the selection, and I can buy every character. I always find a way to rationalize my purchase. But as shown, what they will learn is that I will settle for a regular toy with no added heads and accessories and no rocker ankles, with little original tooling and they can still charge me $15, and they will RIDE that train until we hit the brakes. And then they will say that we didn’t want it bad enough. It’s not the characters, but rather the principle of the matter.

    I love all-in stuff, and the nature of a subscription is that the company does not have the year completely in place. People can’t understand that. That’s their problem. Mattel wants to charge us $15 with no explanation, no matter how honest an answer they may have. They think we are like children and can’t cope with the fact that smaller numbers in production merits the price staying at $15. It sucks, but I would understand. We are still adults. But they only understand the language of money.

    And another aside…Lead as a Collect-n-Connect? OK He’s wider, but he’s actually depicted as shorter than Iron (assuming we are getting Classic Lead). He does make shields and walls, but I don’t get this new notion that fatter = CnC. This goes double and triple for Granny Goodness and Bouncing Boy. Fans are calling them Collect-n-Connect. Why?! They are regular characters or regular size or shorter. They do not qulaify as CnC unless we are talking CnC for regular characters to add accessories (like Metamorpho). Fat or wide does not equal “CnC”.

    • Tom McCraw

      I think the term CnC is being misused. Mattel already stated that there are no more CnC’s. ‘Oversized figures’ would be the best way to describe characters like Lead, Bouncing Boy and Rita Farr. I say oversized because the problem with them is they would need new sculpts to make them since they would not use he standard 4 Horsemen buck. Well maybe Giganta’s buck could be used for Rita, but not those guys. Tin would be another new sculpt, but since he’s so small I would hope he would be packaged with Lead or Platinum. I think this is why we would have to pay a little more to get figures we want. New sculpts = more costs. The MOTU club members are very vocal on what they want and usually get it. I think Mattel would listen to CIE members if the club went forward. They would want our money the next year after all.

      • AJ2

        Lead isn’t an oversized character. That’s my simple point. 🙂 It’s the Ram-Man debate. People see him in his 200x version, when he is in fact a shorter stockier character, but not oversized at all. If the argument is tooling, then it still isn’t oversized, it just has many unique pieces.

  • DerrickUltima

    To be honest: I WISH I could commit to this subscription. I really do.

    There are too many characters left that I want and don’t have.

    And to be honest, if there were an option to pay it all upfront, I think I’d take it. But with money tight and getting tighter, I find my bank account at alarmingly low amounts far more often than I care for, leaving me scrambling to come up with enough to pay my bills. And I’m scared that my DC Subscription would ship and auto-charge me during one of those times.

    If the line continues, I’ll still order the figures off the website. But I NEED to be in control of when I spend that money. Something that I can’t do through a subscription service.

    • Tribsaint

      I’m surprised by the number of people that would rather pay 300+ all at once. I have heard it from a bunch of people. I have my doubts about that, it a big pill to swallow. Want to buy from a retail establishment 2-3 figures at a time, and occasionally at my leisure, fill in a gap from a web store. I have no doubt that Mattel for all their complaining, about the costs going up, are making a tidy profit, and their web model is only increasing it.

  • Tribsaint

    Wow, matty is a generous and forgiving master, they have realized that we weren’t smart enough to understand the great opportunity they were giving us, with club Infinite earths was (dripping sarcasm).

    Mattle is kidding themselves extending the sign-up date, the faithful didn’t even get close. This isn’t MOTUC, we are at wave 20 (17 in-store) Mattel would have really had to wow us, and let’s face it they didn’t (show us a proto of an “oversized figure in the vain of ML Sentential or Metallo. They barely went through the overpriced motions. Mattel is the boyfriend that been dating a hot chick way too long, they have forgot what they got (they think WE are the luck ones, even though they have a fan base that is virtually willing to through away all their deposable income). But the hot chick can only take so much BS, before they bail (we as the GF have given Mattel plenty of second chances, gleek anyone?). The sub isn’t going to happen IF they truly need to reach 100% extending might have helped if they were at 70-80% but 30- 40%, not likely.

    I do have mixed feeling, above (in a different post) I list a lot of reasons against the sub that are hard to argue with, and I stand by those and feel strongly that subscription are bad for a hobby that has in a lot of ways made me feel like a kid again. That said there are a lot of people (like NoisyDvL5) that really have a lot of hope for the sub and I think that these are more than likely good people that I would like to see them happy. At the same time their happiness isn’t worth my 300 plus S&H.

  • Tribsaint75

    IS there anyone that believes this sub is going to fly? we can have impassioned pleas all day along. But the simple fact is this has always been a cherry pickers line and ever the CnC only helped a little bit because DC lacks the Big guys and event the ones Mattel put out weren’t great. Example Bane is a great figure but should he be a CnC? Anyone remember ML Juggernaut a massive regular release figure that is just as big as all of DCUC CnC. Really that’s a small complaint. But after 20 waves are all released the bases have mostly been covered (ever line has gaps). With the prices and extra hassles that Mattel is determined to attach to DCUC (and most of there subs), it’s clear that fans don’t want it, and even those that “Claim” to aren’t signing up. Will it ever reach 50%? I doubt it.

  • da man

    Well Mattel has answered some more question of at Facebook today…. I think you need to do a follow up Noisy!!! Do you think revealing an oversized figure like DOOMSDAY would help? Do you think Mattel was forced to pull this sub together last minute due to the DC retcon? Do you think they could be handling the answering of the question better (they need to stop with the Matty persona a together)? Where is Toy Girl i all this??? I am sure they at least 2 -3 waves they wanted to show at SDCC, but are figuring out which ones from those waves make sense for the sub that would not make it into the new retail model since we have be promised no repaints…

  • Tribsaint

    Here is some of the answers, fresh from the Matty. As always the opinions are mine. That means they are only important to me, but that doesn’t make them wrong (or right but don’t say that to loud). Please respect me but you can tear the ideas a new one if your so inclined.

    “1: First off. Yes DC 6” will continue at retail in 2012 but their will be a lot of changes. Collect and Connect and the Wave strategy will be gone. The focus will be on much more mainstream and kid/mom friendly mixes/characters. This is WHY we created the club, to give a home to those team builders, C and D list characters and fan demanded variants who may no longer be showing up at retail in 2012.”

    Ok, I see the answer as a problem. First off who do they conceder C& D listers cause I (for the most part) don’t care about C&D listers without specifics. Because when they don’t give details I envision month after month of Omacs. C&D lister are C&D because in most cases they suck, so Mattel is litieraly saying we want to keep producing the worst the DC universe has to offer. That’s a little tongue and cheek but only a little.
    Plus, their wording “may no longer show up” also means these might show up at retail (care to roll the dice?).

    “2: A lot of fans were concerned over the limited purchase window and the timing with SDCC. This was very much due to the limited time Mattel had to make a required direction change for the line (due to both sales data and licensor requests). We wanted to keep the 6” line going (in terms of deep deep character selection). The Club concept was put together VERY quickly before SDCC which is why few details are not yet locked in at this point (i.e. packaging, full character roll out etc…). We’ve got our best collector team on this and are working hard with the die hard fans in mind to deliver what you have been asking for!”

    Ok poor rollout they admit it but it also feels like they don’t really own it.

    “3: To clarify on character selection, as most fans have speculated, there will not be any repaints or rehashes in the online club. The whole point of the online Club Infinite Earth is to keep delivering the fan demanded figures you want in 6”Four Horsemen scale. Because the retail line is going a bit more mainstream, this online club IS the avenue going forward for fans to get the team builders, females, aliens and obscure characters they want. While we can’t reveal all the details for the line up, as a reference, just check out Club Eternia. MOTU fans have enjoyed a steady stream of fan requests, deliberate team building and never before made figures. This is the same basic strategy and approach we will be taking with the DC Club Infinite Earth sub. We know we don’t have all the details yet, but our strategy is the same. Definately a trust request here from Mattel to the fan base, but we are comitted to deliver on that!”

    Throughout these answers they really play up the Four Horseman name. Which I could be wrong but seem kind of like them like Mattle saying “you hate us but you love the Horseman, so don’t want to support them”? Basically holding the Four Horseman hostage.

    Listen Motu isn’t the DC universe they are completely different . First off Motu including She-ra has around 150 characters give or take. In just the A’s of the DC universe there are 1400 characters give or take. That means that it is entirely possible for 1 toy line to end up producing every single MOTU character, and limits the possibility of a middler or dud, a with such a low number of characters the duds and middlers should be highly demanded. But with DCU having a vast array of characters selection is much much more nuanced, and more difficult. Do I think fan requests, will be considered of course, but where is Ram man? The shear vastness means fan request will greatly vary. There is just too much room to maneuver, not to have an almost complete line up, or at least some very firm idea of where selections are going to come from and how the decision is going to be made

    And Matty ask us to “trust” them is a joke, frankly most of us don’t, and the sub roll out has not help to sure up that trust. There were period of time (this just my opinion)when Toybiz, Todd, and Neca could do no wrong, if they had asked for a blank check with the promise of great toys, I would have give them 2 and sat patiently by the mailbox, Mattel has never enjoyed that kind of fanbase (much of that is their own doing).

    “4: Our meter really is the minimum number of “all in” sub buyers we need to turn the machines on. While Cherry Pickers are great for additional day-of sales, we need a committed baseline of sub holders to pull the trigger on this (much as we have for MOTU and GB each year, the sub is our guarantee that we can at least move the bare min number of units to keep the line going!). If you are on the fence, time to pony up and vote with your purchase!”

    This is just proof that Mattel does believe they can get it done, and do it right, and you know what? They have a hard job with DCU. Dc fans are different than Marvel fans (yes you can be both but you are one more than the other). Marvel depends on a more aesthetic coolness; stories sometimes come second to just awesome looking characters (Cable vague storyline huge guns cyborg arm, I’m in). This make marvel characters a little more toy friendly, and forgiving. Where as some one like say Killer Moth looking cool but totally sucking means something different to DC fans. I thing Mattel knows they have a daunting task and they want to make sure it’s going t be worth the lose lose situation they face. Do I blame them yes and no.

    “Club Infinite Earths is designed for the die hard DCU 6” Four Horsemen style collector. The Club gives us the opportunity to do figures that would not work at retail (due to size, character selection or other factors) and is the best avenue for us to keep building teams and pumping out fan demanded figures. Again, just look at MOTUC. It started off as one figure a month and due to fan support as blossomed well beyond that.”

    Sorry, but this comes off as a desperate weak guilt trip. ARE YOU GUY HARDCORE FAN OR WHAT? CUASE ONLY HARDCORE CAN DEAL WITH THIS S***! AND again while MOTUC is successful it’s not prefect, and it seem like fans are waning on MOTUC with the lower production (coughthreatscough) announcement.

    “So to do this we need your support! If you are still on the fence, hopefully this will clarify some concerns. Toy Guru, Fan Girl 2.0 and other members of our marketing staff will hang out on the Ask Matty forum and try to clear up any other remaining questions.”

    Desperate weak guilt trip playing off our hopes, and not the promise of great toys.

    “The future of DCU 6” is literally in fans hands. We know not every subscription program is perfect, but man, we really are burning the midnight oil to deliver a great program for you guys. If we have enough support, the club could potentially have unlimited potential!”

    Desperate weak guilt trip playing off our hopes, and not the promise of great toys.

    And much like the Poison Ivy announcement, this is a day late and a dollar short. Mattel does cover some ground here but to what end? They are 60% away from goal that is an out right rejection of the DCUC sub. This gap would need more than a no so impassioned plea and more stone cold fact and or concessions. Which we aren’t going to get .

  • Tribsaint

    This is just proof that Mattel does believe they CAN’T get it done, and do it right.

    Sorry

  • Benning

    Here’s the Matty announcement without the color commentary from the peanut gallery:

    Hey DCU fans!

    Okay, so the big elephant in the room. YES, we know fans have been asking for more info on Club Infinite Earth’s and we want to help clear the air on a lot of confusion.

    1: First off. Yes DC 6” will continue at retail in 2012 but their will be a lot of changes. Collect and Connect and the Wave strategy will be gone. The focus will be on much more mainstream and kid/mom friendly mixes/characters. This is WHY we created the club, to give a home to those team builders, C and D list characters and fan demanded variants who may no longer be showing up at retail in 2012.

    2: A lot of fans were concerned over the limited purchase window and the timing with SDCC. This was very much due to the limited time Mattel had to make a required direction change for the line (due to both sales data and licensor requests). We wanted to keep the 6” line going (in terms of deep deep character selection). The Club concept was put together VERY quickly before SDCC which is why few details are not yet locked in at this point (i.e. packaging, full character roll out etc…). We’ve got our best collector team on this and are working hard with the die hard fans in mind to deliver what you have been asking for!

    3: To clarify on character selection, as most fans have speculated, there will not be any repaints or rehashes in the online club. The whole point of the online Club Infinite Earth is to keep delivering the fan demanded figures you want in 6”Four Horsemen scale. Because the retail line is going a bit more mainstream, this online club IS the avenue going forward for fans to get the team builders, females, aliens and obscure characters they want. While we can’t reveal all the details for the line up, as a reference, just check out Club Eternia. MOTU fans have enjoyed a steady stream of fan requests, deliberate team building and never before made figures. This is the same basic strategy and approach we will be taking with the DC Club Infinite Earth sub. We know we don’t have all the details yet, but our strategy is the same. Definately a trust request here from Mattel to the fan base, but we are comitted to deliver on that!

    4: Our meter really is the minimum number of “all in” sub buyers we need to turn the machines on. While Cherry Pickers are great for additional day-of sales, we need a committed baseline of sub holders to pull the trigger on this (much as we have for MOTU and GB each year, the sub is our guarantee that we can at least move the bare min number of units to keep the line going!). If you are on the fence, time to pony up and vote with your purchase!

    Club Infinite Earths is designed for the die hard DCU 6” Four Horsemen style collector. The Club gives us the opportunity to do figures that would not work at retail (due to size, character selection or other factors) and is the best avenue for us to keep building teams and pumping out fan demanded figures. Again, just look at MOTUC. It started off as one figure a month and due to fan support as blossomed well beyond that.

    So to do this we need your support! If you are still on the fence, hopefully this will clarify some concerns. Toy Guru, Fan Girl 2.0 and other members of our marketing staff will hang out on the Ask Matty forum and try to clear up any other remaining questions.

    The future of DCU 6” is literally in fans hands. We know not every subscription program is perfect, but man, we really are burning the midnight oil to deliver a great program for you guys. If we have enough support, the club could potentially have unlimited potential!

    Click on over to Mattycollector.com to purchase any one of the 2012 subscriptions and don’t forget to vote in the Club Infinite Earths sub only bonus figure poll to choose the first oversized figure!

    Matty

    • Benning

      Noisy,

      Like da man, I’d also like to see you do a follow up article before the subscription period runs out. You’ve really done a lot for the sub and for the fans in general and there’s been enough new development that I’d like to see you try and right the ship again.

      I mostly say this because I’ve noticed you’ve haven’t replied to any comments in the last two weeks and I’m wondering where you stand on everything.

  • Tribsaint

    YEAH, sub due date is here…..but wait they have extended another week….wow subs must have really hit the wall…Dcuc is dead in the water, but Motuc, GB, and the new Voltron must not be that healthy if there’s has to a constant extensions. Why they keep doing this instead of just giving it say a month or even two, is what I don’t get (though I don’t think it’ll make any difference in DCUC case).

  • da man

    Where are ya Noisy? Your public awaits….

    All joking aside, things are looking pretty grim for the sub. I am not even sure releasing the whole list of characters would help. People like me who don’t want the line to die and do not really care about character selection have ordered already and people who are iffy will likely not get it. No list of characters will make everyone happy, so you can’t really win if you are Mattel.

  • Tribsaint

    I just want to say after reading the latest round on “Ask Matty”, which are like asking my 8 year old to explain the Laffer curve and trickle down economics. Even his best answer is just going to sound funny and be down right ridiculous. But back to my point, after all this time, and extension Mattel, has done virtually nothing, to court there customer beyond their initial pitch. OF course, I have been very vocal about my resistance to subs and this current online model that Matty is pimping. But I could be wowed into a subscription there are figures, incentive, or concessions that could bring me on board. I am I hard sale? For sure. Is it unlike? Probably, but Mattel hasn’t even tried. Instend, bloggers have to my thier pitch, for them.

  • […] is not a great publicity move. Or a way to build brand loyalty. So I was resistant, until I read this article on the blackberry, and agreed with the points made. Which can really be distilled to the main point […]