Sunday Soapbox: Help Me! – I’m Thinking About Second-Chance Subbing to Club Eternia

Club Eternia Second Chance Subs

By the time August 19th had rolled around, I had already decided. No Club Eternia and no Club Ecto-1 – it was just the DC Club Infinite Earths for me. Now it’s a month later, the DC subscription is dead, and I am seriously mulling over taking the second chance to subscribe to Club Eternia, since Mattel has re-opened the Club Eternia sub through September 24.

So what’s changed?

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Soapbox Sunday: What’s Wrong with Mattel’s New DC Retail Lines?

A couple of weeks ago, I posed the question if Hasbro could revitalize the G.I. JOE brand by launching a new 6-inch action figure line. I reasoned that if the Star Wars team could make it work with the Black Series and the Marvel team could go the other way (from 6-inch to 4-inch) with Marvel Universe, then it could work for Joes too.

DC Total Heroes - Superman DC Multiverse - Arkham Origins Deadshot

DC Total Heroes Superman (6-inch scale) and DC Comics Multiverse Deadshot (3.75-inch scale)

This past week I got my first look at Mattel’s attempt to breathe new life into their DC Comics license at retail with the DC Total Heroes and DC Comics Multiverse lines as pre-orders went live online. And good Grodd – I dislike them so much I want them to fail. Now I’m left wondering – are my feelings unfounded, making me a hypocrite? Why should I want to see this happen for G.I. JOE when I can’t stand Mattel’s attempt to do the same?

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Ask Matty Q&A for 9/15 (a Couple Days Early!)

Once again, Toy Guru and team are a few days early with their responses for the latest Ask Matty Q&A. Thanks!

1. A lot of collectors still want to get the unleashed version of Doomsday. Is it possible to offer him individually on Mattycollector, or even as the SDCC exclusive in 2014?

DC Universe Classics Club Eternia Doomsday Unleashed DC Universe Classics Club Eternia Doomsday Unleashed (2 of 2)

No. Doomsday was only possible when banked along with 12 partial tool’d figures at tier 2 production quotas. It is not possible to just do Doomsday by himself. His production was tied directly to producing a full year of partially tool’d basic figures at the higher tier 2 quota. After not even hitting tier 1, it becomes that much more difficult to get to this “bigger” more tooling intensive version of Doomsday. We hope this was made clear during the sub-in period.

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Soapbox Sunday: DC’s Deserving – a Guest Post by Cliff Francis

It’s been some time since we’ve heard from Cliff Francis, Publisher Emeritus of Costume Contumely. It took the cancellation of Mattel’s Club Infinite Earths DC subscription to bring him back for this special guest edition of Soapbox Sunday. Read on, as Cliff employs the latest in computer technology to reveal how Mattel could have saved Club Infinite Earths. You can read more from Cliff at Costume Contumely as well as a couple of pieces Cliff has contributed here at AFP. Excelsior!


MattyCollector’s Club Infinite Earths subscription has died, and with it, the entire existence of 6″ DC Universe Classics action figures has been wiped out as if swept away by a crackling, white Crisis wall.

I confess that I feel tremendous schadenfreude over this. Mattel ran this property into the ground from the very beginning and only managed to produce a measly 200-something figures over the span of six years. I have a personal theory that Mattel wanted this line to fail from the start, and was willing to lose money along the way in order to save money in the end by having the line die. But that’s not what this article is about.

This article is about the central problem with Mattel’s 6″ DC line. The fault that engineered the line’s downfall. The “reason for the treason,” if you will. So what is it?

Character selection. Pure and simple.

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Soapbox Sunday: Could Hasbro Revitalize the G.I. JOE Brand with a 6-Inch Figure Line?

G.I. JOE Snake Eyes 6-Inch Bootleg (1 of 3)

I’m not a good G.I. JOE fan. When I was a kid, I had a lot of the original 3.75-inch Joes from the mid-80s. I watched the cartoon whenever I could, and I’d wage a lot of war against Cobra on the floor of my bedroom. But as an adult collector, I don’t buy a lot of G.I. JOEs anymore. And although the Hasbro brand has seen some resurgence after a lackluster first live action movie outing with a better received sequel in G.I. JOE: Retaliation, that hasn’t exactly translated into better sales in the toy aisles to kids and their moms either. With the brand losing shelf space at retail, it’s looking rather bleak for the toy line for 2014.

A couple years ago, I picked up a bootleg Snake Eyes in the 6-inch scale. I don’t know the origin of the toy, but it holds together like something made in a factory. It’s got the articulation setup of the 25th Anniversary Joes. And it’s got almost everything that I’d want to see in a G.I. JOE toy line for the adult me.

That leads me to my topic today – could Hasbro breathe life into G.I. JOE with a new six-inch action figure line?

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Ask Matty Q&A for 8/31

Just in time for labor day weekend, here’s the Ask Matty Q&A for  8/31. Thanks to Toy Guru and team for answering our questions.

1) You’ve said that 2014 and 2015 would have characters that required more tooling, like Two Bad and Modulok. What does that mean for the number of subscribers needed to support the line? For example, do you need to increase the minimum subscribers needed to support more tooling?

Masters of the Universe Classics Two Bad Masters of the Universe Classics Modulok

No, the min number of sub holders has stayed the same year to year, we are just very strategic in banking a few fully tool’d figures with other partial tool figures so the year balances out.

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STGCC 2013: Interview with Army of Snipers by Jedd

STGCC 2013 Army of Snipers

Luke Chueh, Aaron “Angry Woebots” Martin, and Jesse “J*RYU” Yu of Army of Snipers

At last year’s Singapore Toy, Game, and Comic Convention, Jedd conducted a great interview with Max Toy Co’s Mark Nagata. This year, he shares with us a great conversation he had with with Angry Woebots, J*RYU, and Luke Chueh from the Army of Snipers. The Army of Snipers is an international collective of artists, with a wide variety of backgrounds including street artists, videographers, photographers, painters, sculptors, musicians, and graphic designers.

Angry Woebots, aka Aaron, started the group in 2011, and is well known for his designer resin figures and vinyl toys. J*RYU is a west coast-based sculptor and artist well-known for his Forest of Sorrows, the ongoing story of the ghost girl who haunts his works. And Luke Chueh is an award-winning graphic designer and painter active in the artist community in Los Angeles.

Jedd: Aaron, in 2008 you designed the album artwork for Fall Out Boy. If you could choose another musician to work with, who would it be and why?

Aaron: I’m a huge Muse fan, I’d love to work with Muse. I’m a huge Explosions in the Sky fan, and also Mogwai. Even the Killers, I’m a huge Killers fan, or Beck too. I think those are…Cornelius I would love to work with.

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Soapbox Sunday: Sour Grapes – Club Infinite Earths Doomsday was too Big

Mattycollector Club Eternia Doomsday Comparison

The Club Infinite Earths subscription was declared officially dead last week. So what? – the club exclusive Doomsday, if he had gotten enough subscribers to get him made, was too damn big anyways.

For this edition of Soapbox Sunday, let’s take a look at how Doomsday was portrayed with Superman in the comics that led to their mutual destruction – spoiler! If you’re not convinced that the Doomsday(s) we were shown at San Diego Comic-Con (and subsequently did not support enough to save Club Infinite Earths and get him made) was way too big to be in scale with DC Universe Classics, then you’re probably one of the weak-willed individuals that signed up for Club Infinite Earths, and will never wield a Green Lantern power ring (just like weak-willed me).

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Just One More Reason to Hate Digital River

Club Infinite Earths order Matty Tracker 2014 - T-0-2

Update: Thanks to Kevin, who left a comment below, I checked my credit card activity and only have a pending charge for $38.15. So instead of having another reason to hate DR, I just dislike them a little more for being confusing. Please don’t let this discourage you from subbing to any of the Mattycollector subscriptions. Like I have suggested before – compare what figures you’re likely to get from the sub (pretty easy to do in case of Masters) against what you want from the line, and let that guide your decision-making. How you feel about Mattel, Toy Guru, or Digital River is just noise.

It’s more like seventy-five reasons – that’s what I was charged to pre-order the Club Infinite Earths subscription from Mattycollector. For two items that I will (potentially, if the sub actually goes through) get four and six months from now, I was charged the full price for the figures, the shipping, and tax. “Why are you surprised?” you may be asking – after all, I have subbed from the beginning. So I used the dreadful Customer Service link to find my previous orders to compare.

For reasons that are beyond my ability to fathom, the cost has gone up. Last year, for THREE subs, I was charged in the neighborhood of $150. Two years ago, for TWO subs, it was around $100. So, Digital River has found a way to increase what I’m charged four months in advance by 50% ($75 for one sub compared to $50).

But I suppose the more interesting thing here is that while this crappy practice of Digital River sitting on our money has been going on since the beginning, I didn’t even bat an eyelash before, even though the amounts were higher. I guess my dissatisfaction with Mattycollector and how Digital River handles the front end has been building up to the point where I don’t feeling good about buying from them. For someone who loves the toys, that’s saying a lot.

Anyways, time’s nearly up. What did you guys end up doing for the Mattycollector subs?

Soapbox Sunday: I’m KILLIN THE LIEN (One out of Three Subs Ain’t Bad)

Last Chance to Subscribe - Club Eternia, Club Infinite Earths, Ecto-1 KILLIN THE LIEN

Yes, I’m a procrastinator. I haven’t submitted my pre-order for the Mattycollector subscriptions. But when I do, I’ll be one of the guys KILLIN THE LIEN. When it comes to Club Eternia, Club Infinite Earths, and the Ecto-1 pre-orders, I’ll be saying no to Ghostbusters and Masters of the Universe Classics, and giving a hesitant yes to DC Universe Classics.

When I started thinking about this post earlier in the week, I was planning on something a little different. The gist was going to be, “I’ve subbed for Masters and DC (note: I always knew I was going to pass on the Ecto-1), and now it’s up to you” – I’d present my rationale for my decisions. I wouldn’t tell you to sub too (I hate that), but rather ask you to consider how the subs line up with what you want and to make up your own minds.

For the past couple of days, I started to really put that into practice for myself. As someone on the bandwagon since the subscriptions started, it was the de facto choice to keep subbing. So I was pretty surprised to come to the decision to stop subscribing to Club Eternia.

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