Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Looks like He-Man and crew are moving forward with another full year of figures and products in 2014, while the mighty DC has fallen to the wayside with a pretty major lack of support from fans and collectors.

Even the promise of a massive and amazing looking Doomsday (two versions no less) couldn't unite DC collectors to commit to another year of figures from Mattel.

I'm not a collector of the DC line, so I can't point to the specifics of why this line wasn't able to reach the minimum subscriptions to move forward, but I'm sure that it comes from a multitude of factors.

Unlike Master of the Universe fans who want to see the entire original cast of characters completed and released in the current "Classics" line, I think DC fans are more picky, choosing and collecting only the figures and character families that appeal to them.

Plus, moving a figure line from retail to a subscription based service is hard for many collectors to comprehend. They are used to picking and choosing which figures to buy when they find them at retail. So, the idea of having to pay $20 + shipping and tax each month for what could be a year full of mostly unwanted figures (for them personally) is too bitter a pill to swallow.

On the other hand, Master of the Universe fans have been doing this for a long time now. They're quite used to this method of collecting figures. And, despite a small group of vocal idiots cursing the MOTU line and Mattel for this or that (some valid, but mostly due to child-like thinking, selfishness and a severely insane lack of understanding how capitalism and commerce work in the real world) the line continues to go past its minimum subscription quote each year.

The MOTU line making it to another year comes as no big surprise. (Although 2015's "sub" might be a real hard one to pull off.) As far as the DC line, I felt like it could go either way. But, seeing it fall so far short was a bit surprising, only reaching 63% of its goal.

Mattel has said that it may find a way to bring the figures that have reached the prototype stage to collectors at some point in the future, but that the planning of any ideas is fairly far off.

The third item that was up for pre-order was an Ecto-1 vehicle for the 6" Ghostbusters figure line. While no prototype was ever shown (only a 2-D cardboard mock-up) this thing had a few things going against it-- mainly the price: $215.00

I sat in on the "Mattypalooza" panel at SDCC this year (as I do every year) and when this was announced, I was definitely excited. I love Ghostbusters, and the idea of an Ecto-1 was just too awesome. But my first thought was, "this thing is gonna be way too expensive". I was thinking maybe $125 - $150 at most. When "Toy Guru" said it would be $215, I said, "I'm out!" I knew that thing had no chance of being made at that price. None.

The second issue that this piece had going against it was the timing. This would have been great to release when they were in the middle of the big heat this line had, when the figures were going for $60+ each on the aftermarket, but to release it a year or two after the line is practically "dead"...? Yeah, that's probably not gonna work.

The Ecto-1 only reached something like 38% at last tally.

It would have been a great piece to own, but I'm not paying the same price I do for a Hot Toys figure for a vehicle that, if it had been at retail, would have sold for $75 at most.

So, MOTU fans rejoice. (I'm a big one myself!) We made it another year. 2015 is planned to wrap things up for the line, although it could go into 2016 in a limited capacity if the line still seems viable and strong through 2015. But, for now, I'm just happy that 2014 is good to go.

For you 63% that ordered the DC Club Infinite Earths, I feel for you guys. I'm sorry that you won't be getting all the great figures that Mattel had planned. And I'm really sorry to see such a fantastic figure line finally come to such a quiet and sad end.

But most of all, for the people who work so hard on both the MOTU and DC lines over at Mattel, I'm sure that today came as a very bittersweet victory.


  1. My theory on why lines such as DC Club go belly up is because the pieces are too limited, and in most cases, too expensive. When some (possibly even the majority of) collectors can't get a piece they're interested in, such as a figure, vehicle, etc., they lose interest in the line. They feel cheated by the company they supported, and as a result turn their back on them.

    It's also very frustrating when said limited items always seem to make their way to places such as eBay in abundance at way over inflated prices. This issue could certainly be elevated if supply came even close to meeting demand. But, it all goes back to what I said above.

    1. I would think that the Subscription Service would eliminate all the problems you mentioned. There would be no more missing out on figures, or having to pay more on the aftermarket, but I guess if a collector has already bailed on the line due to those issues when it was at retail that it might be hard to get them back.

  2. It still stings that Two Bad is not a day of sale. That, to me, was a slimy marketing move to push subs. I might be one of those childish complainers, but if I want to be a cherry picker, I should be allowed to be. I NO DOUBT believe there will be *some* awesome figures worthy of a sub...but then I remember the Star Sisters, which was a credit card equivalent to getting hit by a bus. :) Hey, maybe Ill kick myself in the ass every month over what I missed...Im an intelligent person, so I can see both sides of everyones argument. Im glad it went through for the fact that now I can grab a few figs here and there instead of not having the opportunity at all. However, I can also say with some degree of confidence that many sub buyers will start complaining as usual about what they thought they'd get, what they did get, and what they really wanted within a few months. I wont be one of them.

    1. I'm not a huge fan of the idea of committing to year-long Subscription without knowing what I'll be getting-- especially since I only like/want figures based on the original line, the rest I'm forced to sell, sometimes at a slight loss.

      But, I think at this point, we all have to understand that, if we want these figures at all, we have to do our part and commit to sticking by the line for another year. MOTU (or any "Matty" line), when it comes to Mattel's bottom line, doesn't even matter at all. They aren't making money on this line and their resources would be much better spent on the lines that DO effect their bottom line. (Barbie, Monster High, Hot Wheels)

      Luckily, there are people there who really care about collectors and the MOTU property and are willing to continue on despite the fact that it's often more of a burden than a reward when it comes to the company and its resources.

      Is Mattel wanted to REALLY to THEMSELVES a favor, they'd make the line "subscription only". And the reason they'd have to do this is because it sells SO LITTLE compared to a retail line that they really don't have any wiggle room between their budget and necessary guaranteed sales. (They need the same thing at retail when stores order new product months/a year in advance.)

      If the line was doing millions in sales, it would be a no-brainer to produce plenty more for the site for day-of and future sales. But Matty has learned that it doesn't always work. They've been stuck with a lot of over-produced stock that collectors just never bought. (This is what people are now seeing at Big Lots.)The company budget per figure is the same if they sell one or a million, so if they sell more and surpass their budget by a huge margin, then they can do a lot more for collectors who don't get the Sub. But that's not the case these days. The margin is tiny and leaves little room to produce unguaranteed extras for "day of" sales.

      In fact, I would not be surprised if Mattel makes the line "Subscription ONLY" in 2015. That's just the price of poker, as they say.

    2. I see your point, but I still see the Two-Bad as low down. This isnt a figure that only hard-core fans appreciate, its weekend warrior types like myself that had him as a kid. Something like Shadow Weaver is understandable...you want her, get a sub. Two Bad essentially became a chase figure, thats silly. But, I digress...I do understand both sides (believe it or not LOL). Im sometimes also perplexed as to why Matty has never pushed this into the mainstream 'over the counter' market to see what happens. They did it with the DC/MOTU two packs, but I sometimes think they could sell a good amount of normal figures. Im not saying its better than a sub, just curious as to why its never come up. With the amount of high priced garbage flying off the shelves (some of which is based on movies not even "kid appropriate") and the amount of nostalgia lines IE: TMNT, I think MOTU could create a nice niche with young, old, and collectors alike. Plus, there is something about hunting for the ones you want (not ebay) that makes it more exciting.