Frustration is a curious concept for a collector. We want our collections to have some amount of difficulty. Something that makes us feel a little more savvy or gives us a story to regale others. Maybe we hunted something down. Maybe we got stupidly lucky while we were out picking up milk. We say we’d like to walk into a store and just find everything we want, but I don’t think that’s always true. That sentiment only comes out after a long drought for most of us.
But collecting “online” is exactly the opposite. There’s no romance to collecting online. It’s acquiring in a pure sense. We accept no frustration. We don’t want to hunt. We don’t want to have to get lucky. We just want it to be orderable and it better damn well ship fast with minimal handling time. We want it virtually hassle-free (and we often pay more for it becuase of that).
While I lament the loss of that romance (honestly, part of my collection does feel a little less meaningful without it), I do appreciate the hassle-free toys. I subscribe so that MOTU just shows up at my house. And I tell you, all of you, that no matter if you love subs or begrudgingly sub, the day that MOTU figures aren’t coming every month is going to be a sad day indeed… but I digress.
See, the thing about online toy collecting lacking that romance, that “fun”, was something that Toy Guru and the folks at Mattel tried to address this year. They added an extra, non-subscription figure to their MOTUC rolls this year, the Spirit of Hordak. (See, I may be ramble, but I’ll always get there…)
The problem though was the idea behind this “fun” addition to MOTUC collecting was inherently flawed. It wasn’t a completely bad idea. It has potential. So I offer this advice to Toy Guru should they do this again (and they should (and probably will)). Do more of these unannounced chase figures. Maybe not a bunch, maybe 1-2 a year at most. Do keep setting out to surprise us. Put the chase figures up on the site like you are, but then leave them there; no quotas on how many to sell before it’s taken down or a time limit in minutes. If you must – make it available for only half a day or six hours. But long enough so that the information about it can get out on social media and folks can come buy your wares.
No more of this 10 minutes here or 20 minutes there. It wasn’t fun. I didn’t enjoy it. I won’t enjoy it if you do it again. The loss of romance is regrettable, but this is toy collecting online and hassle just isn’t supposed to be in the vocabulary anymore, romantic or not. The surprise was wonderful, but, Mattel, you just need to keep things a little easier going forward.
Before I get any further in this review, I need to give a HUGE SHOUT OUT to Jon over at Preternia.com! See, I didn’t* catch ol’ SoH when he was available on Matty and Jon was kind enough to give me hook up last week. So a big thank you to Jon and if you guys aren’t checking out his site every day, you should be. He’s doing some of the best toy reviews out there (that aren’t on IAT, of course) and he covers news like he’s several people working on one site. We have two and we still can’t find time to post any damn news!
* – Ironically, after Jon sent Hordak my way, I did manage to see the figure not “in hiding” on Mattycollector and snagged one for Vault. It’s funny how life works… Continue to Page 2…