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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SDCC 2014: Hasbro Marvel Universe Infinite Series

SDCC 2014 Hasbro Marvel Universe Infinite Series

I’ll wrap up my posts tonight coming full circle back to Hasbro and their Marvel offerings – this time here’s a look at their Marvel Universe Infinite Series 4-inch offerings, including the massive diorama that got a very cool update this year (I’ll have to go back to get some more pics of it). The line had become a little too hard for me to follow even back when it was still just Marvel Universe – with the re-issues and often-delayed variants, with my casual interest it was hard to keep up. And it’s even more true now that I’m cherry-picking the line.

But I can say this – the line continues to deliver some obscure figures that please fans of the broader Marvel Universe, and the current crop of base bodies is holding up just fine. I hope the brand refresh to “Infinite Series” can come close to living up to its name. Look for an update after the Hasbro Marvel panel this Saturday.

SDCC 2014: Recap of Hasbro’s San Diego Comic-Con Exclusives

Hasbro SDCC 2014_30th Ann Tour Edition_subway lineup

We’ve already covered Hasbro’s SDCC exclusives for the Star Wars Black Series, Marvel Legends and Marvel Universe, but they’ve got so much more.

Included in this update are their exclusives for G.I. Joe, Transformers, Magic the Gathering, and more. Read on!

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SDCC 2014: Hasbro Goes Cosmic with Marvel Exclusives

Hasbro has released the details of its Marvel exclusives for San Diego Comic-Con, and we’ve got the pics in all their high res glory. Like last year, they’ve got figure packs in both the 3.75-inch (formerly Marvel Universe, now Marvel Infinite) and 6-inch (formerly Marvel Legends, now Marvel Legends Infinite) scales. The figures continue to be comics-based – this is for Comic-Con, after all – but this year there’s a unified Cosmic theme. The Marvel Legends Star Lord we knew was coming shows up in the Legends pack, as well as Hasbro’s second attempt at Black Bolt. There’s heavy reuse on the figures, all fan favorites, but I think they’re all smartly done with nothing to complain about at this stage.

The cosmic theme is a nice tie-in to Guardians of the Galaxy, which opens shortly after SDCC, but with the connections to Thanos on both exclusive packs, it begs the question – is Hasbro tying in to Marvel’s upcoming films in the cinematic universe? Thanos was revealed in one of the after credits scenes in The Avengers movie, but we were surprised that the big bad for Avengers 2 was Ultron. It might be too early to start hyping Avengers 3, but perhaps Thanos could rear his ugly mug in a Guardians sequel. Where do you guys think Thanos is going to show up?

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The Pre-Toy Fair 2014 Hasbro Marvel Update

This upcoming weekend we’ll be braving the cold weather in New York City to attend the Hasbro Toy Fair Preview, of which Marvel will be one of the major brands to show – among others, Transformers, Star Wars, and in a limited capacity, G.I. JOE. But we’ve got some catching up to do, so here are some updates to the Hasbro Marvel lines which will bring us up to speed before the big event.

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Weekend Toy Run: Exclusive Marvel Universe X-Men Collector Pack at ToysRUs.com

Toys R Us is running a special promotion – take an extra 20% off of items already on clearance. There’s 151 action figure items that qualify, including this exclusive Marvel Universe X-Factor 6-pack – for just $27.98 when you include the extra discount. The regular price is $44.99.

Unlike the Marvel Legends X-Men set coming out next month (also exclusive to Toys R Us), this set excludes Beast – but it does come with two villains that were created in the X-Factor comic – Mr. Sinister and Apocalypse.

Hasbro_Marvel_Universe_X-Men_Collector_Set_X-Factor_Team_Pack_Toys_R_Us_TRU_SDCC_Exclusive_Action_Figures-1-

A powerful group of X-MEN goes undercover to form a new team. Posing as humans, they will hunt down mutants, not to do them harm, but to secretly ensure their survival. These courageous heroes are known as: X-Factor!

With CYCLOPS as their fearless X-Factor leader, JEAN GREY as their telekinetic mind reader, ANGEL as the vigilant winged warrior and ICEMAN as the ice-wielding controller of cold, the X-Factor team seems to be ready for almost anything. But are they ready to take on the immortal APOCALYPSE and the devious MR. SINISTER villains? Only you can tell!

via Exclusive San Diego Comic Con 2012 X-Men Collector Pack – Hasbro – Toys “R” Us.

Happy New Year! – Watch the Marvel Legends Wolverine Epic Split

Marvel Legends Wolverine Epic Split

Hope you had a great holiday. If you did any surfing over the past couple weeks, you probably encountered the Chuck Norris Epic Christmas Split, the interweb’s response to the Jean Claude Van Damme Epic Split commercial that was produced by Volvo.

Not to be outdone, the Marvel Legends Wolverine from Toy Biz one ups them both, with some help from a couple of Hasbro Sentinels from the Marvel Universe line. The video is from Reckless Abandonment Pictures, the guys who brought us some action figure stop motion videos for the openings of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-Men cartoons.

We’ll get back into the swing of things this week – in the meantime, enjoy the video!
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My X-Mas Wish – Hasbro, Make a Marvel Legends Squirrel Girl Already!

This holiday season, I’ve found myself playing a fair amount of Marvel Heroes, the action RPG from Gazillion Entertainment. I was a big fan of the earlier Diablo games (not so much Diablo 3), and the team behind the first two games drove the development of this one. As such, the game may look a bit “classic” but the non-stop action coupled with the Marvel lore makes it a very fun experience.

Before I started playing, I wondered about what it would be like, since as a player, you are limited to choosing from the roster of Marvel heroes in the game (versus designing your own hero, like in many other RPGs). But with a steady release of new playable characters, it’s not all a bunch of Wolverines running around. Which brings me to my point – of *all* the playable characters (and a fair amount of villains in the game), there’s only one who doesn’t have an accompanying action figure in Marvel Legends – Squirrel Girl. It’s time for Hasbro to step up to the plate and make her!

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Thanksgiving Toy Run: Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier on Sale for $39.99 at ToysRUs.com

As a Rewards R Us member, I saw that the Marvel Universe SHIELD Helicarrier would be on sale in Toys R Us stores for Thanksgiving. Thankfully, I was spared having to write a diatribe about how TRU should stop treating its online customers different from its brick and mortar customers, because the Helicarrier is also on sale for $39.99 on the TRU.com website.

I won’t go so far as to call it the USS Flagg of the Marvel Universe generation, but I doubt we’ll ever see another vehicle this large from Hasbro’s Marvel team any time soon. At half off it’s a good deal, and you’ll only need to add $10 to your cart to trigger free shipping. You could also wait until TRU opens their doors at 5PM tonight to look for one in the stores – but does anyone want to go out shopping right after a big turkey meal? Isn’t Black Friday in the wee hours punishment enough? Happy Thanksgiving!

The Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier 1 The Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier 2

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes need Earth’s most amazing vehicle! Straight out of the upcoming MARVEL film THE AVENGERS, this mobile battle station, a.k.a The Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, features launching projectiles and an incredible scale at over 3 feet long, it’s the largest MARVEL vehicle ever created by Hasbro, with space for over 30 3.75-inch MARVEL action figures! (Figures sold separately.) Ages 4 & up.

via The Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier – Hasbro – Toys “R” Us.

Weekend Toy Run: Marvel Universe Iron Man 3 Hall of Armor 6-Pack

Iron Man 3 Marvel Hall of Armor Collection Action Figure 1 Iron Man 3 Marvel Hall of Armor Collection Action Figure 2

Amidst all this diecast Iron Man goodness from Play Imaginative, let’s not forget that there’s already a line of Iron Man action figures that could satisfy your urge to build a hall of armor. Sure, the Marvel Universe figures from Hasbro are all plastic, not diecast, but that combined with their smaller size means they’re a lot easier on the wallet, too.

However, this six-pack of figures has been selling in the neighborhood of $100 on the secondary market – while 4 of the figures are repacks with the ARC Reactor glow, the Mark 42 and the Tony Stark figures are exclusive to the set. And the only other way to get a Mark 42 in this scale is via the Assemblers line, which is not as articulated. Luckily, the set is now more abundant, and Amazon has it on sale.

Note: Just saw that Wal-Mart has the Iron Man 3 Hall of Armor for the same price, but you have to get to $50 to get free shipping.

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