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Ask Mattel December “15th”
& Link Round-Up



Ask Matty – December “15th” Edition

MOTUClassics.Com Asks: Octavia’s tentacles have us worried about Squeeeze, but we noted that Mattel’s NautKeLoi from the GL line featured a great internalized articulation design. Is something like that possible within MOTUC’s budget?

Anything is possible, but we simply don’t have a Squeeze in the works right now so we simply can’t offer a clear direction.

MOTUClassics.Com Asks: Does Mattel have an upper cap on how much product they’ll put out for a particular toy line in a calender year? While the total number of SKUs for MOTU has dropped in 2013, the Castle has equalized out the price to consumers to be about the same across both years. Is that by design?

No, we don’t have an overarching rule like this. It changes year to year to year.

DCClassics.Com Asks: The number of figures in the DC & Batman Unlimited reveals has changed up with each announcement. Is Mattel working towards a set number of figures per release or will it continue to change?

The DC Unlimited and Batman Unlimited figures are released in mixes, not specific waves like DC Universe Classics. There are a number of different factors that go into determining which figures will be in which mix, and there is no set number of figures.

DCClassics.Com Asks: We know both companies plan their product lines well in advance, but both Mattel & DC Collectibles are now heavily overlapping in terms of character selection. Is there no coordination between the two companies? Would it not be better if the lines were producing different characters or does Mattel prefer to be offering similar product?

We do our best to coordinate with our partners at DC and DC Collectables but with so many uncontrollable factors in the toy industry it is not always easy to be 100% coordinated all the time.

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18 comments to Ask Mattel December “15th”
& Link Round-Up

  • Black Arbor

    Jeez, that picture of the two Darksied’s at the end… If they coordinate so well with DC, why has no one told them he’s too small? Or is Mattel the “special” company where you pat them on the back for at least trying?

    • Pete

      I don’t think those two figures are actually photographed together–they appear to be the same stock photos we’ve already seen, edited together.

      • Banner

        Yeah, that’s definitely photoshop. Is the DC Direct Darkseid really that big though?

        • dayraven

          he’s huge… there are some photos of him posed next to some dcu guys and darkseid is easily like 13 or 14 inches tall… here’s the link for the TNI review of him, check out the photo of him in front of the dcu CnC ‘seid… i don’t think he’s quite the execution to warrant his price tag, but size is not where i’d critique him
          http://toynewsi.com/news.php?catid=10&itemid=19497

    • Brainlock

      right now, 90% of the problem is the suits at DC are heavily pushing the nu52 nonsense, so there’s obvious overlap with them getting all the “Big Guns” out at the start. Reformatting DC Direct into DC Collectibles isn’t helping any, either.

      lipstick on a pig and what all nonsense.

  • Beedo Sookcool

    It’s getting kind of depressing being a MOTUC collector. With a bit of hyperbolic exaggeration, this is how it feels to me:

    “We won’t do this, we won’t do that, we weren’t even THINKING of doing the other thing, everything you hate was “a design choice,” you’re not getting any more vehicles, and we’re leaning toward killen teh lien in two years’ time. Since when are we supposed to care what customers want? It’s all your fault. We hate you. Leave us alone.”

    Okay, I’ve vented.

    • As a former MOTUC collector, I feel your pain. I stopped buying figures a yera or so ago just because I got so fed up with Mattel’s BS. I can tell you, though, it’s not just MOTU they treat this way. They talk down to fans of all their brands.

  • dayraven

    that last answer feels like bogus. i know, me and my irrational “feelings” but come on… dc collectibles faces the same issues w/ manufacturing, yet they’re much better at maintaining a schedule… maybe being the biggest toy company in america isn’t a boon?

    and don’t feel bad beedo, you’re not the only cat getting that vibe… that’s a large part on why i’m skipping giantapalooza today. i’m just drained, i’m tired of motuc… and sadly, i was one of the guys whispering procrustus’ name in every ear since motuc kicked off w/ king grayskull! and here i am, i just refuse to pull the trigger. the whole of motu fandom deserves better than what we’ve gotten, which, as you say, feels like a series of excuses why this isn’t the dream motu line we were kind of told at the beginning that it would be. i’ve settled in to what it is, kind of, but it’s far from my dream incarnation of motu… but to be real, they’ve screwed the pooch on that. i’m not re-re-re-investing in motu, not anymore. this is my last go-round in the figure world for this line. and i suspect even the figs i missed will be pretty cheap in a couple of years… don’t ask me why i think that, but i suspect, given 3 or 4 more years, even the exclusives like wun-dar will be pretty easy to acquire without breaking the bank. i don’t see motuc breeding much loyalty.

    • Kevin

      DC Collectibles does not face the same issues dayraven. Mattel is a huge company with tons of lawyers looking out for it’s interests. That is why they’re products must pass onerous safety tests that DCC releases do not. Even when you look at Darkseid, sure that DCC figure is huge (far too huge imo)but how many kids can afford an $80+ figure of the big villain in DCU? None. So Mattel puts out their cheaper version and kids can afford to get one.

      I think fanboys often forget that these are toys and when it comes down to it there are not enough adult collectors to keep these lines going without kid support. If kids can’t get the main good and bad guys they wont get into these properties and eventually they will just die off. Look at GI Joe. i love GI Joe, but since the 25th Anniversary started collectors have scooped up every good figure that comes out leaving just the peg warmers for any kid who might want a toy, then we wonder why kids show less and less interest in the brand.

      Mattel has given you a huge line encompassing every arm of the MOTU world even while dealing with fanboys whining about every little thing like a ten year girl who just missed the Justin Bieber concert. Be grateful for what you have, MOTUC could have been another huge disaster like 200x.

      • It kind of seems like the only people who would even like that god awful Darksied design are kids…

        • I’m so hoping the proportions change upon production. It was obvious those leaked photos were not meant for customers to see, as they look like early prototypes. You can tell, because the joints are held together with poster tack. So hopefully they alter the proportions once they start producing them.

      • dayraven

        ah yes, how quickly we forget…

        a)- mattel caused the premature demise of millenium motu. that said, that line produced more vehicles and playsets and unique sculpted characters than motuc ever will, and was popular enough to be supported with a full brick and mortar release… whatever parameters you want to judge motuc by, millenium motu surpassed them in almost all categories (save character selection) if millenium was a disaster, motuc is a cheap knockoff. whatsmore, character selection, the one thing motuc has over it’s predecessor, is the one thing griped about by the fanbase more than any other… explain that to me. as for the onerous safety standards, you do know that mattel, due to their “size,” is allowed to do all their safety testing in-house? their safety testing is cheaper than any other toy maker on the market… and in a lot of ways, that shows. but the dc collectibles stuff and the motuc stuff are both direct market adult collectibles, so i’d love to hear any proof you have that the requisite safety standards for both lines aren’t identical.

        b)- dc collectibles faces the same factory issues, the same rising costs of raw materials, the same capricious buying trends in their intended market, the same transportation options, and the same character selection that mattel faces, yet manages to keep QC a fairly constant thing, keeps their release schedule more accurate, and their PR is not so spotty. they’re much timelier w/ costume updates, and more diverse in “artist/story” specific variants. so yeah, they do face the same issues, and that’s what i said in the first post. to put this another way, dc collectibles already has their nu52 darkseid out while mattel has yet to make it to market w/ theirs… mattel’s excuses did not help them get their product to market, even though both companies “work with DC and warner brothers closely,” and would have learned of the costume change pretty much simultaneously.

        c)- kids… trust me my man, i have school age kids who are watching the cartoons and movies, and reading some of the comics, and still don’t give two poops about the figures (and neither do their friends.) when i hand them the figures for FREE they barely care. not to mention, mattel is featuring fewer and fewer figs at retail cuz they’re not selling well… there are no hordes of kids, nor scads of grandmothers buying the young justice figs, nor the batman unlimited figs, nor the dcu figs… hate to be blunt, but none of those lines are bearing out the kinds of sales that imply anyone is buying them in large quantities.

        d)- i enjoy a good whining, especially when they’re selling me crap and calling it shinola. 😉 i’d rather that than be a posturing toadie, unable to tell or care when i’m being dumped on. that said, whining isn’t the same as a fair criticism, and there’s plenty of room for fair criticism in how motuc has been handled since day one. from sarcastic press releases to cheap variants, character selecton to release schedule, QC, paint aps, and design execution, motuc has offered botches in every category… that’s fair to say. do we turn a blind eye to that, or care enough to bring up the problems and offer solutions? to me, that’s the definition of a fan, wanting to see the very best for the property we care about.

  • da man

    Dayraven, as one of the most outspoken people when it comes to MOTUC, I am curious as to what you would want that Mattel has not done with the line (just an FYI, tone is hard to get across in posts so imagine if I asked this while we were throwing back a few brews at a bar real friendly like). Like most others, I admit, they have made some big mistakes with this line from manufacturing issues to the WOSD and some poor design choices, but to say the “whole motu andom deserves better” makes it sound like we got 1 year of figures and it was cancelled. Also, you mentioned your love Procrustus, a character I had never heard of but think looks amazing, and how you are still not going to buy him. Seems like this would be the one character you would want to get based on you love of him. Just curious. Again, I do not know that history of MOTU like many on her do, so when details are left out of stuff like the bios or weapon, most of that is lost on me since I just like that we are getting cool looking toys from my childhood.

    Also, I have seen that Darkseid in person and half that size would have made me buy him. That price tag is also nuts…

    • dayraven

      oh man… the abbreviated version, alright? i already posted one library up there, noisy’s gonna make me stop commenting if i keep leaving huge posts. 🙂

      1- i’d love to have seen more bucks. not swappable parts between the core buck, more bucks. i’d prefer two bucks, one for spellcasters, one for warriors, for both genders, and i’d like to have had a better from-day-one plan to swap parts. swappable hair, interchangable hands and boots, and standardized weapons so every hand could hold every weapon… just basic things like that.

      2- i’d love to have seen better articulation. look at your motu shelf… despite the new improved articulation, how many of your figs on the shelf are in identical vanilla poses, the same pose as the 9 POA milllenium line… why? for all that articulation, the figs are barely more posable than their predecessors. i like articulation, but only when it serves to make the figure posable.

      3- i’d also love to have seen better control of materials… why is it every loin cloth is a little different in terms of stiffness? why do most of the loinclothes inhibit the hips so badly? why are some of the parts reversed and no real concern was made about that? i consider those moments spotty and cheap, the kind of actions i expect from much financially cheaper toys. it is a buck line, after all, and there’s a LOT of parts reuse, so i don’t think i’m asking for things that weren’t financially possible.

      4- procrustus, specifically, i want to know why no ab crunch, no ankles swivels, no H hinge hips, no ball shoulders… they’re just like the little guys, only way cheaper (in execution, but not price tag) and it’s worth note that only 1 year prior to tytus’ release, hasbro had fully articulated 12″ scale figs on the shelves, jakks pacific had fully articulated 12″ scale figs on the shelves… that were financially cheaper, but of better quality. now, i know motuc is a small collector line, but do the figs right or don’t do them… then the year after tytus, marvel drives the point home w/ a galactus that was 25% more cost but featured again full articulation, lights, sounds, and half again the size… i do love the procrustus character, and i like the sculpt alot, but what’s missing is the completion of execution that could have made me love him. i’m a fan of procustus, and have been for a VERY long time now, but i’m a bigger fan of a deal and getting my money’s worth, and the figure they’re selling, i don’t feel, is worth the money they’re asking for it.

      if you’d like to discuss it in more detail, we can hit the forums, i’m always in there w/ suggestions or chatter, both on what i like or what i think could be changed. i love “fixing” the bios too, if you’re into that kind of thing.

  • da man

    This was a nice summary. All good points and well stated. Thanks!

  • Tom

    Dayraven I read your comments with great interest and I may not always agree with you, but like how you stand your ground.

    You say that figures aren’t selling that well. which may have lead to the demise of the Young Justice figures, for a great cartoon series. In my opinion at least. I find it odd that Mattel does not advertise it’s product, unless it’s Barbie or Matchbox. How simple would it have been to run a 30 second ad while DC Nation is airing? There audience is already there watching the show. The same thing with the Club figure memberships. Print ads can’t be that expensive for them to run a page ad announcing the club memberships in August. There must be a lot of people not aware of the toys being sold on line.

    What’s your opinion on this?