So what does this mean then for future waves?

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Re: So what does this mean then for future waves?

Postby kingflame81 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:42 pm

Yeah I don't get what the hell the problem is here either; if you ask Mattel, they'll claim it's Wal-mart/Target/K-Mart/TRU's fault, and if you ask them, they say it's Mattel's deal. So who's right and who's wrong. I myself will point the finger @ Mattel. Wal-mart and other stores only put out what they recieve/order. I bought Captain Cold @ my local TRU last decemeber. They had one other, a couple new, shiny Hal Jordans, some 2-packs, and the then new Hal/Sinestro 2-pack. A mixed bag in all. So yeah everything's screwed up. I will say I lucked out last year @ my local Target, snagging Wave 7 figures like BB, Aquaman, and Firestorm(Raymond). A couple months after that, I picked up The Spectre.
So I really don't get how these waves get distributed either. It makes no sense, as you're left to the hands of fate in what wave you can buy. I guess location/geography plays a part, as diff waves are available in diff regions, but still, damn!
This needs to be fixed.

TSR's right, in that other toy lines, such as WWE figures, JLU, and the like have no availablity problems that I can tell, so why does DCUC get the crap end of the stick? Someone's priorities are all f'd up if you ask me [angry]
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Re: So what does this mean then for future waves?

Postby Junkpile » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:18 pm

TSR wrote:I honestly don't understand distribution and don't read that as me trying to make a slight on Mattel.

I bought probably waves 1-7 in stores (well, I didn't find 5 myself, but got it from a friend who found them in an actual store and not online). From 8 on, I've bought them all online with the exception of 10 and 14 again coming from friends who found them at Walmarts and thus have much better luck than me.

There is no real glut of DCUC at the stores near me. The closest Target to me has not received new stock the entire year of 2011. When speaking to a manager about this, he said he had no clue and that the ordering was automatic but could confirm they've not received any stock all year and that his inventory count was zero. Odd, huh?

Other Targets and TRU near me have had the same few figures for a while now. Walmart continues to move through them though and talking to employees, cases are few but move quickly.

Mattel can definitely put figures on the pegs - WWE is in no short supply by me, but DCUC is. I'm purely guessing that this is a case of no show/movie tie-in. But that doesn't seem to be an issue with say JLU. *Shrug*


I think one of the issues that Mattel can/should control are these damnable mixed cases that they've been using in a few places. Targets aren't really stuck on wave 9... there are no more G. Ghosts, Parademons or Black Adams to be had. But the Targets in our area that I hit are still getting the mixed cases from those waves. I finally saw a new figure in Target the other day, and it was Mercury from 16. That's totally bizarre to me. Last non-mixed case figure they had was one Omac.

TRUs have been getting mixed cases of 15 and older waves. Nothing there but Darkseid series and a few Omacs again. The mixed cases aren't wothwhile anyway, but they're crowding the shelves with older peg-warmers and glutting them with some new peg-warmers (Omac just aint moving).

WWE is hit-or-miss to me. The Elites move fairly well, but again, Target has been choking on their huge order of the first few waves. Matter of fact, some are clearancing their Legends down to $7.50 or so. K-Mart and Wal-Mart are seemingly doing better with their stock.
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Re: So what does this mean then for future waves?

Postby NoisyDvL5 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:00 pm

kingflame81 wrote:So who's right and who's wrong.


It's both their faults.

On the Mattel side, they're simply not going to say no to a giant order even if it's not in their long term interests. They will happily sell target 10,000 cases of whatever - Wave 7B, a revision case, etc. Mattel can try to say, "hey, order less, but more often" to the retailers, but they'll never turn down an order.

On the flipside, if Mattel does convince retailers to "order less, more often" then they can't have issues like they did earlier this year when they transitioned to a new factory and didn't produce anything for three months right in the middle of DCUC14.

On the retailer side, they're the ones responsible for distribution. If my Target keeps getting DCUC regular and yours get none, that's completely on Target deciding where to send the product based on store volume and past sales.


kingflame81 wrote:TSR's right, in that other toy lines, such as WWE figures, JLU, and the like have no availablity problems that I can tell, so why does DCUC get the crap end of the stick? Someone's priorities are all f'd up if you ask me [angry]


JLU is pretty spotty. There were four waves of singles this year and two were plentiful, one was somewhat HTF, and one was a pain in the ass, so I think it's still safe to look at things like WWE selling better because of the tie-ins.


As for my area, the waves went like this (if I recall correclty)
Target:
2008: 1, 2, 3, 2, 4, 2 Glut
2009: 6/7, 8, 6/7, 6/7 Glut.
2010: A couple extra 6/7 cases.

Wal-Mart:
2009: 6, 7, 10 Glut, 11
2010: 12 Glut, 13, 14 Glut

TRU:
2008: 1 Glut
2009: 7 Glut, 9 Once, 8/9
2010: 8/9, 11, 12, 12/13/15 Glut

Vault hasn't been able to finish Validus yet because we've never had a regular case of 15 show up anywhere. That's the first time (discounting Wv5) that the figures haven't been easy to find in our area.
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Re: So what does this mean then for future waves?

Postby Tekwych » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:40 pm

What most people don't realize and what neither the manufactures nor the retailers will talk about is that shelf space is purchased. Hasbro buys entire 8' sections the beginning of an isle and facing the front of a TRS for their Star Wars line. Since TRU is under contract to have 8' of SW at that location they are inclined to buy product to fill the space or else have empty peg hooks that give bad press. Mattel will not play the 'pay for space' game and therfore gets whatever is left over. This is why you see Mattel product, even Fisher Price and Barbie, move all over the toy section while other companies stay more stable in their location. This lack of extra income makes buyers less willing to make bigger purchases of new product and more willing to bargain for cheeper product ( ie mix cases with older figures)
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Re: So what does this mean then for future waves?

Postby twofisted » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:55 pm

All of those points make sense...but seriously! I see ZERO DCUC at most of my Targets and TRU's...with the rare exception of an exclusive here and there. If you were a casual buyer and never looked up toys in the internet...you wouldnt even know this toy line existed at all. I can see the occasional wave being harder to find than others...or the old one per case rule leaving one figure yer really looking for hard to find where others collect dust, but my area stores just dont carry this toy line at all it seems.

I'm also a huge collector of JLU figures and its the same thing. I was able to find the Ultraman/Omac/Superman Red.Blue wave at TRU....but i havent seen any new product like that in at least 2 years. I seriously dont even bother looking for toys at my local stores anymore

I bet you at some point Mattel will cancell the DCUC line and blame it on us not buying their product
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Re: So what does this mean then for future waves?

Postby dayraven » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:07 pm

Tekwych wrote:What most people don't realize and what neither the manufactures nor the retailers will talk about is that shelf space is purchased. Hasbro buys entire 8' sections the beginning of an isle and facing the front of a TRS for their Star Wars line. Since TRU is under contract to have 8' of SW at that location they are inclined to buy product to fill the space or else have empty peg hooks that give bad press. Mattel will not play the 'pay for space' game and therfore gets whatever is left over. This is why you see Mattel product, even Fisher Price and Barbie, move all over the toy section while other companies stay more stable in their location. This lack of extra income makes buyers less willing to make bigger purchases of new product and more willing to bargain for cheeper product ( ie mix cases with older figures)


which in turn then creates the self-fulfilling prophecy... mattel won't pay for premium peg space, then their stuff doesn't move as well, retailers buy the stupid mix cases w/ mixes that won't sell, then mattel says "see, that product doesn't sell, make less and jack up the cost, because our profit margin can not take a hit."

the reason they're jacking up prices is that they're selling less product. the spotty distro and uneven case mixes means that even dedicated fans can't find the toys w/ any regularity or ease, and so, they either stop collecting or hit the secondary market (which by mattel's standards, should be considered a loss, because that's a sale of their product that they don't get a taste of... but mattel is peopled by retards). then, because mattel has self-capped the potential of the sales beyond simply how many items got produced, they have to, to hit their profit margin bottom line, which is ever-increasing, raise the price per fig.

for example. let's say i produce 1000 of an item that i sell for 10 dollars each (it costs me $.05 per fig to produce.) my gross take on the product is 10,000 dollars, right? my production costs are 50 bucks, so i net $9050 profit.

but let's say i don't maximize those sales, so i can't sell 1000 units, i can only sell 600, the other 400 are all sitting on shelves, waiting to be clearanced. that means my production costs for qtr 2 are still 50 dollars, but i'm only making $6000 gross, thus my net income has decreased this quarter to $5050... the stock holders will not be happy.

how much do i have to drive up prices to show my investors that i'm making money? so at jack up prices, at 17 bucks a piece, i was selling 600 units for a gross return of 10200, so minus production costs, i'm netting 10150... i'm UP this quarter! yay happy investors!

but the price hike knocks out 50 people who used to buy my goods. so next quarter, i'm selling 550 units, even though my cost of production, for 1000 units, hasn't changed, cuz i'm still making that many (so i'm still spending 50 bucks up front)... BUT i could sell 550 figs ONLY if every retailer that was buying 1000 units still buys them. but thanks to my unusual business style, i've got some retailer still sitting on that 400 clearanced figs... so now, i can only move 450 units to the retailers who sold completely through their stock the first time. that means at best, i make 450 sales at my expected mark-up (17 bucks per fig.) so 7650 is now my gross income, so i'm down to $7600 net profit. [wtf] boo invetors!

now, if i want to make my nut, we're closing in on 23 dollars per fig. that's 10350 gross, and my income is 10300 dollars :cool: investors indeed happy... i still make a tiny profit on the 400 clearanced figs, but not until two or three quarters after i produced them and accrued those costs of production... so i made let's say 1 dollar per fig on those clearanced items... so for this quarter, i'm at a total profit of 10700 dollars. i am king right?

till next production cycle, when my production costs go up to $.1 dollars per fig... UH OH! gotta pass that on to my consumer, so my 450 unit sales at $23 dollars, just became 450 units @ $24 dollars... and my buyer pool drops again, and i'm now selling 450 units to my retailer, but i got those 400 clearanced fig moved, so in theory, 400 more units can be sold, right? WRONG! thanks to burning the retailer, and my continually increasing MSRP, i'm out a starfruit load of potential customs... down to 375 units. that would leave me at a gross income of 9000 dollars, but my production costs and all, so i net $8000 this quarter, unless i jack prices up to 27 bucks...

at this point, i'm concluding the lesson. but you can now see what the hell is going on w/ DCU and why it won't be getting any better. have a nice day. [grin]

well, almost... unfortunately, because i'm down to 350 retail units moving, i decrease production to 650 units... that leaves fewer pieces languishing in clearance every production cycle, BUT because i decreased my production run, the factory now charges me $.25/unit to make, rather than $.1 and i simply can't tell the shareholders that i'm making less money, so my new production costs ($162.50) can NOT hurt my total profit, i NEED to report a quarterly income of 10,900 dollars... so I need 32 bucks per fig to make my nut this quarter.
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Re: So what does this mean then for future waves?

Postby kingflame81 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:36 pm

Damn man! That's depressing; probably true, but depressing. [wtf]
So then what? What to do now?
That just means more consumers going on-line to get hard-to-find figures, more more $ going towards really over-priced figures from on-line retailers, and like you say less $ going towards Mattel, meaning further price hikes. It's a vicious cycle I really don't like, but it seems I have to play the game if I want my figures.

I don't know what the solution is, as there seems to be many solutions needed for various secenerios, still this will just lead me to cherry pick the figures I really want, and skip the rest. Of course this practice just serves to drive prices back up if there's too many consumers/potential consumers that do this.

Can't win can you?

Again increased availibility/distribution helps aliitle bit, but still I see your point, and doubtless Mattel does as well regarding what you just layed out. I noticed that certain lines/waves will stop being exclusive and more available this year, but I hoping it's not all in vain.

In any event, I love that a CSA 5-pack is coming out this fall. I'm know what I'm asking for christmas this year :love:
Damn, I bet it's gonna be close or right at the same price as the GL 5-pack!
I want the SP Mr.Freeze, Bronze Tiger, Capt. Boomerang, Toyman, and Black Vulcan.
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Re: So what does this mean then for future waves?

Postby Scissors » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:02 pm

It's all good ol' fashioned supply and demand. But just to add one point to dayraven's example: there is a point of no return on that supply-demand curve. You can only gouge your customer so long before they decide enough is enough. If a figure that used to cost $11-$12 goes up to $24 (just as an example), it'll hit critical mass and no one will buy. Well, no one except a handful of die-hard fans or independently-rich ones. Hopefully a toyline will have died by then, rather than be supported by half a dozen customers. [sweat]

Also, don't forget Mattel is ultimate just another corporation. I'm working in a company which has come up with some very decent revenue-generating projects, which are ultimately turned down because senior executives decide the estimated revenues aren't as attractive as a competing project. Mattel has a limited amount of investment it can spend; I'm sure they would prefer to spend it on properties with high return potential. A toyline's demise is just as likely to be caused by internal competition.
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Re: So what does this mean then for future waves?

Postby kingflame81 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:15 pm

True, and dispite all the negative things about this line, I still want it to not just survive, but thrive.
I truly hope this line won't limp on to wave 20 and then stop. This is what happened to Marvel Legends(?) and I was stuck w/o a viable toy line for me in the 6'' line until DCUC came out. God I hope this line can make it, but again like a broken record, if the price hike doesn't stop, I'm leaving. As it is I cherry-pick who I want, and most collectors, unless rich like you say, will probably do the same.
Now new sub-lines are coming out, and they won't have too long of a future, unless DCUC starts to pick back up.
Oh god, the future is a truly scary, but exciting place. [dead]
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Re: So what does this mean then for future waves?

Postby dayraven » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:48 pm

the answer is verboten in the corporate world, but simple: sacrifice profit margin for a period of time to decrease retail price, thereby re-invigorating the buying base. like, if i said, this quarter i'll eat it, and dropped price from 18 dollars per toy to 12, a TON more people who were not buying for budgetary reasons just got an incentive to get back in. now, instead of moving 200,000 units, i moved 300,000. then, i return price to say 14 dollars, making more per fig, but i market to keep those twelve dollar buyers thinking "well, last week i was paying twelve, but last month, i was paying 18, so this is still a deal"... even though it still only costs me 1.25 per fig to make.

or, you invest in advertising. as someone said on here, this line is almost beyond notice except to the percentage of buyers on the internet, whom the toy industry continues to tell us is a fraction of their actual sales base. so, get word out. ever see a TV commercial for DCU product? nope. not during BatB for kids, nor during robot chicken or family guy for adults. if i were mattel, the early hours of the adult swim block of programming in the evening should be rarified turf for hawking new product. so should during WWE programming (VERY rarely see product there either.) mattel also misses a HUGE WWE opportunity by not staffing a full on booth during wrestlemania fan access week every year, which is for the wwe universe the equivalent of sdcc for us. mattel could make their nut for the quarter at that event alone, but instead, they're mangosteen retarded. like clinically, will eat their own defecation if left unattended retarded. but again, this would require eating the profit margin a tad, and they're loathe to do that.

just look at their quarterly profit reports... the last several years, quarter after quarter, it's "sales are down, but profits are up." the only way that mechanic works is if an ever-decreasing buying pool is eating ever-increasing price tags for fewer units of toys. they're cornholing us into the ground, and once they're done, there'll be nary the obligatory kiss on the cheek, they just zip up and move on to the next poor sap.
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