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Ask Mattel April 2nd
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Ask Matty – April 2nd Edition


DCClassics.Com Asks:
In last month’s Q&A, Mattel stated that the incorrectly scaled Rocket Red figure was approved by DC, but we’re not sure how that relates to why he can’t be fixed before release. Is Rocket Red being out of scale an error that Club IE Subscribers are just being asked to accept?

He is final and we can’t make changes at this point.

DCClassics.Com Asks: We’re not sure if that many folks will armybuild Rocket Red since he’s an incorrectly scaled $45 figure, but was any thought given to including a sticker sheet with different numbers? That would allow for him to be “customized” by the consumer as opposed to locking them into one number with the tampo?

This is something we looked into but it was not working for the cost.

ItsAllTrue.Net Asks: What figures is Mattel aiming for the 6″ BTTF Hoverboard to be compatible with? Mattel describes Movie Masters, DC Classics, and MOTU Classics as 6″ lines, but one hoverboard won’t work for all of them. Which of those lines do you intend to be most compatible with the hoverboard? Basically, who gets to zoom around? Venkman, Batman, or He-Man?

It will work with a variety of 6″ figures. We hope to have some comparison shots soon!

MOTUClassics.Com Asks: We understand that all of Mattel figures are subject to the same safety standards regardless of the ‘adult collector’ label, but do the Snakemen teeth have to be so rounded/dull? Is there anyway to make them appear more fierce and stay within safety guidelines?

Yes, we do have standards. Although these are adult collectables out of the box they work as kids toys so we have to apply that standard.

DCClassics.Com Asks: Any chance of swapping out one of Poison Ivy’s fists for an open hand sculpt? Either something new or a Cheetah hand for a “plant summoning” pose?

No, we don’t have time for the Horsemen to make sculpt changes to her. We are going with their design.

We need your questions for the next round! Submit your suggestions on the ItsAllTrue.net Forums…


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37 comments to Ask Mattel April 2nd
+ Link Roundup (Updated!)

  • Seth L

    Wow, kinda cranky replies.

  • Rich

    (On Pendragon’s Post) …did they just blame their retail partners for ‘leaking’ news of the All-Star reshuffle? How is that a leak? That’s just good customer service!
    What did they expect the retailers to do? Send a letter like this: “Dear Customer, your pre-order has changed significantly. We cannot give you details at this time, nor can we cancel your order until the manufacturer provides a press release on their facebook page that was properly vetted by 8 different judges from 4 different areas of Mattel’s Design, Packaging, Marketing and Franchise groups. At this time we would like to solicit pre-orders for the new line-up so that we can place an order with the manufacturer, but they’d rather we not do that either. Thank you for your loyalty! Sincerely, Online Retailer”

    • This part, this confuses me.

      “Unfortunately, the decision to cancel the wave came as a result of the ordering process…”

      are they saying the wave was canceled because orders didn’t meet what they expected? Or are they saying they canceled the wave because the retailers told customers what the wave was?

      And if they killed the wave and are reshuffling what’s going to be in the new solicitation THIS FAR INTO THE PROCESS, doesn’t that put a lie to all the “we can’t change that” nonsense, because, ya know, takes a year or so to go from greenlight to finished toy and all.

      Or, maybe in Mattyspeak ™, “we can’t do that unless we do” or “We can’t do that specifically and solely because you asked us to do it”

      • Brainlock

        That’s a good point, Steve. On one hand, they can’t change a certain minor detail (or details), yet on the other, they wait until AFTER orders are taken to totally revamp a line? wtF?

        and just checked AFi, adding to the confusion:
        “Q4. So what is the deal now with the retail DC All Stars line? Most retailers canceled previous orders and set up a new solicitation for the re-worked wave 1, but aren’t taking pre-orders for the cancelled? re-worked? Series 2 and 3.

        A4. We have an announcement coming shortly, but due to the order cancellation, word has gotten out faster than we can get this announcement up. The All Star concept was a good idea but executed Band-Aid style. We’ve decided to hold tight until we can create the right line with the right packaging, etc. … For now, we’re going to finish up DC Universe with one last wave.

        [Editors Note- I'm waiting on a clarification for that answer. If that means the re-worked DC All-Stars Wave 1 is now considered DCUC Wave 21 or if there is another Wave 21 coming that has not been announced yet. Will update if/when I get that answer.]”
        http://www.actionfigureinsider.com/main/afis-ask-matty-mattel-qa-answers-for-april-2nd-2012

        between this and the downright SNIDE answers, I have to wonder how people intend on keeping their jobs. If I were in charge of this division/company and I saw these responses, someone’s ass would be in the unemployment line.

        • Oh lordy I like that little statement, the All-Star line was “executed Band-Aid style” huh?

          And I think the Band-Aid people would like a word with you about mis-use of a trademarked item, Matty. Band-Aids work very well and help thousands of people every day. I think the word you meant to use was “Half-Assed”.

          Mattel wouldn’t be pleased if a company rep from somewhere else said “And man, when we did that we thought it was covered but it really had Hot Wheels level of lead in the paint!” now would they?

          (I understand what the Matty rep was TRYING to say, the common usage is “putting a Band-Aid on when major surgery is called for” or something like that, meaning the solution used is WAY WAY inadequate to the actual situation. So not only are they inept at customer service but they have no understanding of the proper use of context. :) )

          • Brainlock

            I wouldn’t worry about context when they can’t even spell common words right, like “tool’d” [sic] instead of tooled. There are plenty of browsers and writing programs out there that should highlight these nonsense words, but most of these replies come off as cut & paste or last minute blame game.

            I would be embarrassed to be associated with some of these people.

        • JamesLynch

          I’m pretty sure that, if you work for Mattel and your answers AREN’T snide, that’s when you’re in trouble. Matty’s entire attempt at customer interaction seems to be one giant middle finger to their customers.

  • 3B

    Yeah, what’s up with that? We’re the ones paying for inaccurate toys and crappy customer service, shouldn’t they be kissing our butts? Also, I’m sure that hover board will scale just fine with the new Marvel Legends, you know, because that’s what the design team decided on.

  • bentla

    Translation: Rocket Red fans, go f*#! yourself

  • Jason Todd

    I have a hard time believing the Horsemen would design Ivy with fists on purpose. The prototype uses the same buck as Star Sapphire, who also had fists, and I wouldn’t doubt the guys were in a hurry to get her done, so they might have simply used what was already there due to a time crunch.

  • Shadow_Contact

    Damn, Those are some of the Bitchiest answers we’ve gotten from Matty. Anyone want to chip in and get them some Pamprin?

  • Erik Dessler

    “Yes, we do have standards.”. That shouldn’t have cracked me up, but it did, especially as the questioner didn’t ask IF there were standards. Seems a bit defensive, doesn’t it? If that sentence were removed from the answer, it would sound so much less testy, more professional, and I wouldn’t feel like I were reading an exchange between an insensitive teacher and a student deemed “slow” by said teacher. Ugh.

  • Squigiman

    Who in the world would ever have designed a Poison Ivy figure with two closed fists? Because she’s always been a brutal, down-and-dirty hand-to-hand combatant, right? Yeesh!

    -Squigiman

  • Bigbot

    Ivy with fists just looks wrong. I don’t believe that some decided she should have fists over open hands. Unless they don’t want to use those tiny open hands they gave Cheetah, then I understand.

  • j1h15233

    Wow, what a response with Rocket Red there. Way to boost that customer service Mattel.

  • Beedo Sookcool

    They’re getting pretty damn uppity lately, ain’t they?

    Still, it actually beats the usual form letter I used to get back from toy companies saying “I’m sorry, we’re out of stock on that item,” regardless of what question I actually asked them. Seriously, I once asked Hasbro why they released 40 different candy-coloured Batman figures but only one or two actual villains every year, and they wrote back with “I’m sorry, we’re out of stock on that item.”

    Jerkbags.

  • Isaiah

    “DCClassics.Com Asks: Any chance of swapping out one of Poison Ivy’s fists for an open hand sculpt? Either something new or a Cheetah hand for a “plant summoning” pose?
    No, we don’t have time for the Horsemen to make sculpt changes to her. We are going with their design.”

    That’s why we need interchangeable hands & heads.

    • dayraven

      they have them… this is a buck line, they can swap during production any female hand w/ any other… this is mattel being buttheads.

      • Lee in MI

        In theory, not in practice. I once bought two Aquaman/ Black Manta sets with the intentions of swapping out the parts, the hands in particular, so I could have a set that didn’t have broken parts. As luck would have it, each AQM had different hand pegs. One was shaped like a small angular ball and the other was larger and shaped like an arrow head…wierd.

        • dayraven

          being the factory and all though, they get to make the call on which set of hands get used. so like, for you as the consumer, you buy two packs, but those packs may well have been assembled at different factories w/ different molds… but mattel knows that shit, and they can coordinate.

  • nateg360

    So, is this final wave of dc classics gonna have a collect and connect figure!!??!!

  • Lee in MI

    These guys are douchbags to the extreme. Why wont they just say, we asked the 4H to pull a ready made buck out of the closet and paint her up…NO CHANGES!!! And here’s what we got! This is obviously this:

    http://www.itsalltrue.net/?p=12875

    with a retooled mid torso, a new head and the hole in her chest covered. No more money for hands and whatnot. Just the torso and head. Since the sub didn’t hit the numbers Mattel wanted, we can expect just about every figure to be some type of repainted buck with a new head. Jay…repaint with very little new parts. Metron…repaint with new head. Mirrow Master…repaint with new head and holsters. Atrocitus…new head and shoulder armor. Rocket Red…repainted large c&c buck with new glued on parts and head. Poison Ivy…see above. O_o

    I don’t think we can expect to see ANY figure this year that isn’t mostly a “take this figure, and paint him like this picture…and add these 2 parts too.” This is gonna really turn some of the casual collectors off and may just prove to lower next years sub members even lower than last year.

    For these guys to be a bunch of MBA grads with resources to draw on like Barbie and Hotwheels, they sure seem like they don’t have a clue at times.

    And again, I’m really amazed that sites keep submitting questions. They certainly don’t garner any real information and mostly serve to alienate the core fan base…just saying.

    • Brainlock

      A- you just described the last several waves of DCUC.

      B- I suggested before that several sites coordinate and send in identical questions, forcing them to realize that WE KNOW WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON.

  • da man

    More snark from Mattel. They love to say the 4 horsemen designed it that way. I am pretty sure Mattel has the final say on all the final design choices(not 4h) so I am sure if Mattel put some more thought into little design elements like open hands on Ivy, etc 4H would gladly make the changes where appropriate (didn’t Cheetah and Raven have open hands?). I kinda doubt 4H says “This is the design we are going with, closed fists, and that is final!!!” and Mattel just says okay go with it. I am sure they give 4H some creative liberties, but Mattel has the final say. With a buck system, there is no need to mess up stuff like that when you have so many parts to choose from. These figures go through massive amounts of revision before getting finalized by Mattel management and it sucks that we keep seeing the same stuff over and over.

    • Here’s my confusion.

      Isn’t Scott/ToyGuru brand manager? Now, maybe I’m confused about what a title means and what responsibilities go with that title, but where I come from that means he’s the guy in charge, right?

      So, like, in the end, he has to APPROVE everything, right? I mean, he takes the sculpt, passes it on to the licensor, gets back the notes about what to change or not change and says “OK, make it”, right? Right?

      The boss over him can say “cut the budget” and he has to make changes, I get that but in the end, something like “use open hand buck parts” or anything else that doesn’t involve spending money on new tooling, that’s all him, right?

    • Brainlock

      Cheetah has open hands, but they are small and weak.
      Raven has open hands that are stronger, but they also have rings molded onto her index fingers.

  • BP

    DCClassics.Com Asks: Any chance of swapping out one of Poison Ivy’s fists for an open hand sculpt? Either something new or a Cheetah hand for a “plant summoning” pose?

    No, we don’t have time for the Horsemen to make sculpt changes to her. We are going with their design.

    Oh, really? Pardon my ignorance, but is it really that difficult to sculpt and paint interchangeable hands? The figure won’t be coming out until….August or September? soooo five months is insufficient time to do this?

    • dayraven

      they don’t need to sculpt new hands, take the wonder woman open hands and poor green plastic into them… DONE.

      • You know, I would be very curious just how the tooling is arranged. I’ve been schooled here that they can do insert molding (shoulders) but we know that things like the softer plastic for weapons or armor tend to have their own mold (as seems obvious from the ability to run weapons separate for the weapons packs), but how much of a figure is ‘shot’ in one mold? Is it a bunch of small molds in separate injector machines or are all the ‘buck part’ molds loaded into a larger ‘holder’ and shot at once?

        Because as DR says here, if Ivy is made of common buck parts they should be able to say “use mold # 17B” (or whatever) for the hands instead of “use mold # 32″ without a single problem whatsoever.

        I would assume that Scott, as brand manager, would have a complete list of the different ‘buck’ molds to help cost out the figure for accounting to say yea or nay over.

        Oh, there I go again. :)

        • Lee in MI

          I would venture to guess that the WW hands are a completely separate mold that encompasses several other parts that would have to be cast with them and used somewhere else or thrown out. Of course, it’s easier to just blame the designers instead of explaining the o so secretive industry process the is somehow Mattels policy not to discuss O_o

          Mattel is just a behemoth of a company with too many corp rules that just don’t apply to today’s modern customer. With so much access to information, the old rules just don’t apply. They would find that if they were more straight forward about certain situations, they would garner widespread support.

          Even Hasbro told us why G. Grevious’ legs kept getting produced with soft plastic…didn’t seem like they were exposing their “company secrets.”. It’s just the realities of modern production vs cost. People understand that and are smarter than Mattels gives em credit for.

          • Tribsaint

            I work in molding for sometime and with many molds certain parts of the mold can be “shut off” and all unused parts can be reground so that no material is lost . That isn’t prefect maybe not even idea, but it really seems like molding over seas isn’t at the level that is here. I mean QC that an iso 9000 certified plant would never see something like missing wind raider guns go past how many part could be made in a hour. Quality is double and triple checked. Who knows but something is rotten in Denmark.

  • Ismail Kaddoum

    Everything is just no, we can’t fix the problem, blah, blah, blah.

    They better not mess up Dark Knight Rises Movie Masters.

    Thanks a lot, Matty.

  • StrangePlanet

    I haven’t been following the details – I’m not getting the sub – but Rocket Red, mostly a redeco, is $45??
    Holy cow. I am so glad I didn’t sign up for that.

  • iLegends73

    long time reader, 1st time poster….i read all the replies u guys left and the matty Q&A i just wanted to say this. if everyone is so upset about how mattel goes about with there answers and even products then just dont buy them. ive been getting alot of figures from them over the yrs but stopped completely with the “super friends” wave. cant you guys complain to the BBB about quality control, or even the Q&A since mattel is a business?
    or even make a petition to have one of posion ivy’s hand swapped out. we are the ones who buy these figures so in a way we are their companies bloodline. if enough ppl clog a mattel vain, they will notice

  • I’m thinking about it more and more. I’m coming to believe that Mattel was completely and totally blindsided by DC’s ‘New 52′ move, the reboot of the entire DCU.

    But how could that be? DC had to have made that decision a year in advance. Surely that was communicated to Mattel.

    OTOH maybe not. There’s all manner of new things going on in various media still using the ‘old’ DC logo instead of the ‘new’ stupid one. I thought the idea was to unify branding and all that?

    man. this is what the world has come to, ineptness as a goal, not as a thing to be quashed.

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