Soapbox Sunday: Latest Mattycollector Sale Shows Shortcomings; How to Turn it Around

Mattycollector Shortcomings

Remember the good (or bad, depending how you fared) old days when there were toys that you actually wanted to buy on Mattycollector on their monthly sales dates? Those toys would sell out in hours, sometimes minutes. And while that truly meant missed opportunities through lost sales, the quick sell-outs became the barometer for successful products.

Fast forward to today. We’re a couple of days past the Mattycollector sale for October, and looking at the sale page, there’s not a single item on the page that’s sold out. There’s not even a single item that’s marked with the “Almost Gone” tag that Mattel would add to give you a sense of urgency to grab up those soon to be sold out toys. And for a company whose marketing team is so fond of saying “We’ll keep making them as long as you keep buying them,” I’ve got to wonder how much longer Mattel will keep making them, because we certainly not buying them – at least not like we used to.

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NYCC 2014: Hasbro and 3DPlusMe Make You the Super Hero

It’s a kid’s (and this particular adult’s) dream come true. In a collaboration worthy of Marvel Team-Up, Hasbro and 3DPlusMe have joined forces to make you and me into super heros – in action figure form at least. We got to try out the experience last night at Hasbro’s ‘Twas the Night Before extravaganza, and it was a blast. Sure, with 3DPlusMe’s digital artists tuning up our head sculpts, we’ve got a cliff-hanger straight from the comic books – it will be four to six weeks until we have our own Rescue 12-inch action figure, featuring Cara inside the Iron Man armor.

We all know who Hasbro is, but if you are curious about 3DPlusMe, they were spawned from the acquisition of Digital PlaySpace by 3D Systems, the same company that acquired Gentle Giant. 3D printing has permeated the manufacturing industry primarily due to its strengths in rapid prototyping, and at the time of the acquisitions, I wondered what we might see in terms of more mass market-oriented applications. We’re starting to see the pay-off – Super Awesome Me is making its debut in Toys ‘R Us Times Square today and FAO Schwarz tomorrow.

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NYCC 2014: Hasbro Shares Press Pics from ‘Twas the Night Before Party

Marvel Infinite Series Wave 2

The mood lighting at Hasbro’s ‘Twas the Night Before (New York Comic Con) party was great for getting us in a festive mood, but is hell on the smart phone I have convinced myself is better than lugging around a few pounds of camera gear. (How’d I do? Check out my own pics from the event.) But Hasbro planned ahead, sharing press pics of pretty much all the reveals from this evening’s soiree.

And of course, we’re sharing them with you. We’ve got the official pics from Marvel, Star Wars, Transformers, KRE-O, and the latest of the Angry Birds mash-ups – Angry Birds Transformers. Enjoy!

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NYCC 2014: Hasbro’s ‘Twas the Night Before… Party Reveals

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It’s the eve of New York Comic Con, which means it’s time for another ‘Twas the Night Before… bash hosted by Hasbro. For the past few years, they’ve opted to hold an intimate (well, compared to the Con itself) cocktail party the night before NYCC in lieu of exhibiting at the show themselves.

It’s always a fun time, and we’ve got the latest reveals from Marvel, Star Wars, Transformers, and more, in our Hasbro ‘Twas the Night Before album.

HAIL HYDRA! Marvel Legends Hydra Agent in Stock at ToysRUs.com

I was just checking to see if the Marvel Legends Black Cat was still in stock at ToysRUs.com (yes, she is), when I noticed another gem which is once again available – the Marvel Legends Hydra Agent from the Captain America Infinite Series. Now, I’m seriously out of display space, but I can’t help but pick up these guys whenever I find a deal – and you’ll have a hard time beating the regular price of $21.99. Sure, that “regular” price is a far cry from the good old days of army building Marvel Legends at Wal-Mart for $6.99 a pop, but you can insert yourself in the Cap movies and pretend it’s a Hydra plot to take over the world.

TRU has a limit of two on these bad boys, and while I can’t get them to qualify for ShopRunner free shipping, if you get two and add one more item, you can qualify for the standard TRU free shipping deal. Here’s a suggestion: the Funko Dancing Groot – it comes out at the end of the year, but TRU will still count it towards the $49 threshold. HAIL HYDRA!

Weekend Toy Run: Marvel Legends Jubilee X-Men Wave (Stryfe, Cyclops, and Wolverine) at ToysRUs.com

I’ve been on the road this week, but our good pal Paul wrote in with the heads up that part of the Jubilee wave of Marvel Legends, which is exclusive to Toys R Us and Previews, is showing up online. You can pick up Stryfe, Cyclops, and Wolverine for $21.99 each – get all three and you trigger the free shipping deal for orders over $49.

We’ll keep our eyes open for Storm and Magneto. Happy shopping!

Are You Seeing the Guardians of the Galaxy this Weekend?

Marvel Legends Drax Rocket Raccoon Star-Lord

Although there were some “preview” showings last night, Guardians of the Galaxy officially opened today. I purposely tried to avoid as much info on the movie before seeing it, but even so, the marketing machine of Disney / Marvel was so effective that I was worried I was over-hyped for it. Well, that worry was all for naught – we saw a showing in 3D earlier today, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It has all the fun of the first Iron Man movie, but with a much bigger heart.

Now, it’s the long wait, for the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, which Marvel announced for July 2017… and also the action figures! Sure, Hasbro has Marvel Legends figures for the movie Guardians – you’ll have a tough time finding a full set in stores or even on Amazon, but you can get a full case of Marvel Legends Guardians of the Galaxy at Entertainment Earth (all figures including doubles of Iron Man and Star-Lord) or pre-order a complete set of all six at BigBadToyStore. As for me, I’m getting the Hot Toys Guardians of the Galaxy figures – Sideshow has exclusive versions of Rocket Raccoon, Groot and Star-Lord up for pre-order, but those won’t arrive until March next year.

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SDCC 2014: Hasbro Marvel Legends Build-a-Figure Plans for Avengers and Spider-Man in 2015

SDCC 2014 Hasbro Marvel Legends Avengers 2015 (Saturday)

Here’s a quick update from the Hasbro booth, where the Marvel team has made another update to the figures in the Avengers display for 2015. The reason for the musical chairs with Thor, Sentry, Iron Fist, and Hawkeye is simply because they’ve had trouble fitting all the figures into the display. Current plan – all figures are part of Wave 1 for 2015.

In addition, they are planning on a variant Build-a-Figure, via running case pack changes like they did with Arnim Zola / Red Skull earlier in the relaunch of Legends. In this case, Odin’s head and arms will be changed for the head and arms of King Thor. Krakadoooom! Keep your fingers crossed that this actually makes it to retail shelves.

Hasbro also said that there are definitely more figures in the Spidey wave, but aren’t ready to reveal them. Hobgoblin, who I learned was from the Big Time arc, will be the BAF for this wave. As always, you can check out the pics in our SDCC 2014 Marvel Legends album. Excelsior!

SDCC 2014: Hasbro Reveals Marvel Legends Spider-Man Figures for 2015

SDCC 2014 Hasbro Marvel Legends Spider-Man 2015

(Apologies – connectivity problems in our hotel hampered our updates tonight, and considering how much we’re paying it’s a complete travesty. But after getting it sorted out I wanted to get at least this update out before sleep.)

The Hasbro Marvel team put out four new figures in the spot designated for the Marvel Legends Spider-Man wave for 2015. I’m not sure if this constitutes the full wave, but we’ve got Spider-Girl (Mayday Parker from an alternate universe), a Hobgoblin that I’m not familiar with, a Spider-Man decked out with accessories, and an updated Spidey 2099. We’ve got more pics of the Spideys in our Marvel Legends album.

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SDCC 2014: Hasbro Reveals Marvel Legends Avengers (Odin Build-a-Figure) Wave for 2015

SDCC 2014 Hasbro Marvel Legends Avengers 2015

As promised, the Hasbro Marvel team unveiled the Avengers wave that will join Marvel Legends in 2015. This wave finds a home for the Sentry variant originally planned for Hyperion back in 2013, and the fairly recent Thor that was part of the Jubilee wave before it went exclusive.

They are joined by a much welcomed update to Scarlet Witch (with this figure, I think Hasbro is out to make a point that they can do better than Toy Biz), Machine Man, and the Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel. I’m glad to see both a masked and unmasked version of Carol for this figure – and it’s nice to see her getting a lot of love in the recent reveals. To round it out, there’s the build-a-figure Odin – by His beard, finally!

You can see the Marvel Legends Avengers 2015 wave in our Hasbro Marvel Legends album. I’ve also included a bunch more shots of the Marvel Legends that were already up during Preview Night.

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