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Ask Mattel May 15th
Link Roundup



Ask Matty – May 15th Edition

DCClassics.Com Asks: What accessories, if any, do you have planned for the Black Mask from Club Infinite Earths / Signature Series?

He will come with a few accessories including a dagger that goes through Batman’s loose cowl!

DCClassics.Com Asks: Will more 8″ stactions debut at SDCC or is the future of the line contingent on Death’s reception at/after the show?

We don’t have any to show now, we are waiting to see the reaction and sell through of Death first.

MOTUClassics.Com Asks: As a MOTU fan, I’m super jealous of the functionality of the stackable stands made for the wrestling figures. Will future MOTUC stands continue to keep with the basic form of the previous two offerings or is the MOTUC team willing to look to the wrestling stands as inspiration to mix in some functionality with the design for some MOTUC Battle Stands 2.0?

We are actively looking into stackable stands maybe as early as 2014.

MOTUClassics.Com Asks: Some collectors that enjoy Vykron are planning to buy multiples and display him as three different characters. As a collector yourself, do you feel that same compulsion? If you do, which one would still be Vykron and what would you name the other two?

Toy Guru: I really never thought of them as separate characters and the bio does an awesome job of explaining all of the different outfits. It really is much more like He-Man. He is still He-Man whether he is in Snake Armor, Thunder Punch or New Adventures.


DCClassics.Com Asks:
Granny Goodness is a character that has been high on DC collectors want lists for multiple Mattel brands over the years, but Mattel has yet to produce a single version of her. Does her unique look pose logistic challenges that Mattel has difficulty conquering and thus avoids?

Not at all avoided. We did not have enough subscribers in 2012 to Club Infinite Earth this year to do a fully tooled figure. If we did get a bump in sub holders for 2013, we will definitely look at adding a fully tool’d figure (or 2) into the 2014 line.

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33 comments to Ask Mattel May 15th
Link Roundup

  • Beedo Sookcool

    Apart from the “kool spellyng” of “tool’d,” this looks like one of the most helpful Q&As I think I’ve ever read from Mattel!

    Stackable stands for MOTUC. Now that, I could go for. Better see how much they’re asking first, though. I got just about every MOTUC figure since 2008 (and duplicates on a couple of them); that could get expensive quickly!

    As for the Vykron issue, he had to get that extra armour from somewhere, didn’t he? Buy three, and you make make the two guys whose armour he stole off their cooling corpses (after he spludged them in the kidneys with his battle-axe, of course). That’s what I plan on doing. So, everyone: please leave me three Vykrons. Thank you!

    • Brainlock

      “tool’d” is basically the signature of one replier. We just don’t know who. There are other simple spelling mistakes amidst the answers as well.

      • Beedo Sookcool

        My proof-reading skills must be going, ’cause I didn’t notice any others on this set of answers. Having just acquired a new computer and new keyboard, I find myself a bit more forgiving of accidental typos lately, my own keyboard dyslexia notwithstanding.

    • u just got tool’d.

  • leolao

    hi i want to ask if the Batman Legacy line is also canceled or they gonna make more figures?

  • dayraven

    ’bout time someone got them to commit some of the WWE team’s creativity to the other lines.

  • Brainlock

    AFI – someone’s not going to let GB go down without a fight!

    Toyark – no SC Hal v Blue Kyle? I thought these were already spotted at retail?

    Naked Vykron? GIGGITY! LOL

    noticed numerous other typos amongst the answers, again. Someone even threw up the (sic) notation! LOL Even simple web browsers have auto correct, like “amongst” is red lined for me, for some odd reason?

  • I would like to explore Mattel’s thinking, how they just can’t seem to play it straight.

    Now, we had been told in the past it takes about a year from green light to production for toy lines. Buried in this batch of answers it’s stated that it’s actually a two year process, with toys coming out now that were started in 2010.

    If this is true, that means the process is so lethargic it’s just not possible to react to any changes. Yet they cite current events as reasons for things like the DCU characters losing accessories. and then there was this question:

    Q: Will Club Lion continue in 2013?

    A: It is too early for us to comment on 2013 at this point for any brand.

    Well, that’s rather silly given that by this new info on the time the process takes, they had to decide what was ‘up’ for Club Lion 2013 back in 2011, before the first figure shipped. In other words, Sorry, Club Lion is dead for ’13.

    So what the hell was the POINT of that?!

    argh. I think my brain is becoming all tied up in knots. :)

    • dayraven

      in their defense… and it hurts to say that… they said it was too early to comment, not that they didn’t have anything to comment on… they’re not saying anything of substance on motuc either, and we know damned well that’s running in 2013.

      that said, i don’t think it would come as any great surprise that voltron’s dead… the property was not that hot when they snagged it, but unless they tease some crazy cool robeasts, what else voltron is there to sell us? the vehicle voltron? and those pieces would be, as voltron is, and as the robeasts would be, impossible to “buckize.” that just doesn’t compute in mattel’s business model. frankly, i’m amazed y’all got voltron in the first place. he’s too unique for the model of business that mattel wants to run right now.

      • On the other hand, if they did have plans, couldn’t they have said “while we can’t discuss anything yet we think you’ll be thrilled when we announce” or something?

        You know, tease the prospect.

        Because I cannot believe that at this stage, May 2012, they haven’t even begun planning for ’13.

        And isn’t SDCC when they do the max pimp for the subs?

        Other than all that, yeah, I just don’t understand the entire reason for Voltron. From pics the small Voltron is pretty cool (and should have had a wide mass market release, frankly) but I am befuddled by the big lions. bah. :)

      • Brainlock

        yeah, the Lion Force Club was a “Five and Done” shot. I’m not a big fan, but I do remember watching the original cartoons (Lion and Vehicle) back in school. No singular Robeast stands out, so unless Month Six was going to be a pack of Prince Lotarr, the witch, and…was there another Big Bad? maybe the Chief(?) and some mice for Pidge, I wasn’t going to expect anything.

        I only bought the “Blazing Sword Voltron”, which the batteries were already dead in the stand and I gave up trying to get the damn thing out of the box after half hour, closed it back up and threw it back in the box it came in. (Much like the disappointing Star Sisters. Still thinking about ebaying them all!)

        You do make a good point, that most properties are considered successful with only a handful of “bucks” they can re-use to death. At least by Mattel’s standards. Hasbro does it with GI Joe and Marvel, even TF redeco’s, but have done it better so that fans/collectors don’t seem to mind as much. I know it’s the business of business to keep costs down, but Mattel doesn’t seem to mind jacking up the prices at the drop of a hat.

        I was surprised Jay was only $18 in the monthly sale, as I expected him to be $20-22. I am seriously thinking about dropping the sub once I get the “exclusive” Metron or (the giant) “Rocket Red”, mostly because what else has been announced is cherry picking for me. (Poison Ivy, yes, Black Mask…meh.) There’s also my financial situation to consider, as well. (Waiting on Disability, car accident settlement, and only have dad’s estate “severance” from Primary Trustee for now.)

        • dayraven

          you got stymied at the box? methinks you and steve need to work something out for that voltron.

  • Gregor

    Noisy, which Batman is that in the pic on the Q&A? That’s my favorite style and I really need one. I started in on DCUC in 2010. I love my GA Bats but, well, he’s just not mean enough.

    • StrangePlanet

      That sure looks like the Detective Batman from DCUC series one.
      Not up on all the various repaints, but it looks a lot like the first one

  • manekochan

    Did you perform a sacrifice of some kind? Is that why they actually answered things? If there was not exchange of blood involved, I am confused. How did this happen?
    :P

  • da man

    It is shame that they could not keep Ghostbusters going and scary that they did not think to give every Ghostbuster a proton stream. That Venkeman just happened to be the best seller? Did they really thing people would buy 4 of him just for the streams? Why not just have 2 or 3 accessories come with every figure to make hem worth buying? And now Dana is a SDCC exclusive? Wow ruff year for this line…

    As far as Voltron, I was a huge fan back in the day, but it is just not a relevant property right now and I really did not like how the Lions looked. I was hoping for come vac-metal or chrome and without that, I couuld not commit that kinda money. Wasn’t a new cartoon supposed to come out? What happened to the new series?

    • Russ

      Da Man, I think basically this was the first licensed property they tested on Matty, and it gave them a better idea of how to go forward with licensed properties on Matty in the future.

      I think it’s part of the reason they’ve announced no BTTF figures yet.

      Look, I’d buy several variations of Doc and Marty…but even I now realize most people would not.

    • The thing that’s so frustrating, they had easy money by doing an accessory pack. Some streams, some PKE meters, some traps, maybe some kind of base, heck, re-pop the MOTUC base in ‘broken concrete’ gray or something. There was plenty of ways to do a pack that could be low in development/high profit margin that would have made the fans happy.

      Just couldn’t do it. There are excuses like nobody’s business but it all boils down to not having the will to make it happen.

  • Tom McCraw

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if it takes Mattel over a year to produce a figure, doesn’t that mean the the current DC CIE figures were really future waves for DCUC? (you could even include the cancelled All-Star waves) Otherwise, how would they have gotten them ready to show so fast?

    • That’s been my thought. It makes me wonder if Metron’s chair was intended to be either a C&C item or (more likely) originally planned to be SDCC 2012′s DCU item.

      “but but but the POLL! How would they know what was desired by the poll!”

      Well, duh. We don’t see the count, do we? They could have easily have said “Black Lantern Swamp Thing WINS!!” and how could we dispute that?

      I dunno. Talking about Mattel tweaks all my paranoia to max mode. :)

    • Jay & Atrocitus were in the rumored Wave 19 & 20 lineups. If you read all the stuff TG & his team say about the planning stages of the sub though, the sub appears to have been planned before the DCnU announcement. When Mattel said the DCnU announcement put things in a tizzy, I think the fandom at large assumed the sub was in response to the announcement & Mattel never corrected that particular assumption.

      If I want to delve into rampant speculation, Metron could’ve been the SDCC exclusive seeing as how we’re not getting one. Though that’s no reason to suspect the poll results, he merely would’ve been the second oversized figure in the subscription.

      • But if the DC Club was in process before the chaos of Nu52, why does the execution seem so haphazard? There’s really nothing about the Nu52 that seems to actually impact the supposed ‘in the planning stage’ DC Club, the key impact of Nu52 was on retail.

        Or am I missing something?

        And I speculate that Metron+chair was most likely the 2012 SDCC due to one point. Lights. or is it lights and sound? Either way they don’t seem to do that at retail and I don’t think they’ve done it with any Mattycollector exclusives, it seems to my memory the only time we get light&sound is the recent SDCC exclusives.

        • There’s the key. What about the presentation of the sub was haphazard? Here’s the first three figures, here’s the poll to pick the exclusive, sign up during this period.

          Nothing was haphazard about it. The panel was handled poorly, the changeover at retail messed up sure, but the sub chugs along. The only thing that went wrong was lack of interest.

          We, as the internet, assumed the sub was in response to nU and while offhand comments have indicated that’s not the case we continue to believe it. Toy Guru hasn’t set the record straight, but he may not even be aware we believe that. I don’t think he’s been asked about it directly.

          The Mattycollector stuff is always handled on the cheap. Toy Guru getting the bean counters to agree to the sub probably came with the stipulation that the development costs come from other places like SDCC and the retail line.

      • Lee in MI

        This was all a set up. Metron was already paint mastered before SDCC last year. The figure was rumored to be a con exclusive so chances are it was planned before the goofy sub. The 4H had him posted on their site during lasts years SDCC. They also said Phantom Stranger was also supposed to be shown last year as it is already sculpted & paint mastered but didn’t make it to last years show. I suspect we’ll see him in the sub this year.

        • You know, I realize Noisy and all have jobs and lives and all that, but given the end of the DCU retail line maybe someone who has all accumulated info, the promises, the reveals, the problems, the rumors that were denied yet were true, pull that all together and write an autopsy (necropsy?) for the line.

          I don’t know why, maybe nobody else actually cares, but I think it may be useful to catch patterns for the next toy line that everyone gets behind, whatever it may be. Like maybe the relaunch of the DCU line when Nu52 burns out by the end of the year. :)

          • Tom McCraw

            I think if given a little time with all the figures that were announced a pattern of waves could be figured out (before the sudden cancellation for DCnU) Atrocius with Larfleeze. Metron as the SDCC figure, etc. I realize Matty has to put a spin on things, but they look dumb when we catch them lying. And if we see a Phantom Stranger in the sub real soon, this will prove it even further.

        • Metron already being done doesn’t mean the poll was a farce. My conspiracy theory? What if Metron wasn’t going to get his chair (he was done, it wasn’t) and the perceived PR value of the poll allowed the sub the development budget to get the chair done (should Metron, the most requested of the lot, win).

          • Well, you could be right, and your take is just as valid as mine. As they say, don’t mistake ineptitude for intentional evil and vice versa. :)

            See, here’s my convoluted logic. The chair is as much a part of Metron as the…oh, crap, what was it called? Astro-sled? was for Orion. Metron’s chair is too big to be a pack-in with the figure for retail, and I can see it would be a poor choice for a C&C. Hard to sell “hey, buy them all and you build a CHAIR!!” to the moms, right? :)

            So, you sculpt Metron, you gotta have the chair, so ipso facto you make it a con exclusive.

            Now, as to why they pulled it from SDCC this year…

            I mean, why? They could have still done it. That would have given them time to do something else for the club. Doesn’t the fact they DON’T have some key DC figure hurt them image-wise…Ohhh, that Death ‘soft vinyl’ statue is the DC thing. OK. Kinda lackluster compared to Starro and Plastic Man but whatever, right? Cute underage girl statue, I know where Mattel thinks the money is now… :)

            • and BTW, I’m still thinking part of the problem in the total mix is the huge amount of money they may have lost with the Green Lantern movie stuff. I’m sure a lot of numbers had to be moved from one side of the ledger to the other to cover up THAT stench. :)

            • You don’t “have” to make the chair. DC Direct didn’t on the only Metron figure up to this point. I think he could’ve been the SDCC exclusive or he could’ve been a regular chairless figure, who knows. Either way, I’d pull him for the sub to help the sub. Not having an SDCC exclusive really doesn’t really matter. Swamp Thing sucked and appeared to sell poorly. That could be reason enough for the different direction.

              Also, if Scott’s team was developing Metron, but the SDCC items are usually the province of the retail team, why wouldn’t they keep it for themselves in the sub after the switch? There’s a million scenarios that don’t involve ineptitude or evil.

              I wouldn’t count Death out yet either. Neil Gaiman has huge appeal outside of comics, Sandman’s one of the best-selling trades over the last twenty years. The vociferous among us have expressed disdain, but we know better than to believe they can predict how they’ll sell. Though we all did correctly guess Swamp Thing didn’t set the bar all that high. lol

  • da man

    Russ – I agree that this was new ground for them, but it seemed like they overlooked small little things on all their toy line(only one guy gets a proton stream, not re-releasing Winston Version 1, no accessory packs, bland “Ready to Believe You” versions, etc) that would have helped make this a success. They almost should have taken the approach “What would make a mom who has never bought this heard of the movie pick this toy up for $22 if it was sold in toy stores?” Why wasn’t there any cross promotion with the video game? Why did they decide to use the same body buck, but decide they should not all get the same basic accessories with maybe 1 extra accessory specific to that character? I agree that the sub going down kept this line from continuing, but bad figure and accessory combos and that fact that Matty seems to do no advertising or marketing outside of toy boards and facebook (which is really the same folks) really hurts this property (and in some cases MOTUC). An what the heck was the TRU box set? Bad paint jobs and minimal accessories for over $50. I was so hoping for BTTF toys, and Ghostbusters being poorly handled hurt any chance of getting them

    • Prediction on the BTTF Hoverboard. Regardless of what warnings Mattel puts on it, there will be a LOT of people who want to stand on it. It’s just NATURAL given what it is!

      And it’ll break. It’ll snap like a Slim-Jim. And Mattel will be like all “but we told everyone it was a display item! We didn’t think anybody would actually stand on it!”

      I assume the reason they’re NOT making it using real skateboard manufacturing technology (they could easily fit the sound effects and battery unit in the hover devices and still put ‘furniture sliders’ on the bottom) is that if the board was stressed for standing on some dang fool would then try to take it down the stairs or something and break their fool head, so lawsuit there.

      I dunno. Product kinda seems lose-lose in today’s world. :)