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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Toy Guru Shares 2015 Masters of the Universe Classics Update – Video

2015 Masters of the Universe Classics Update

Mattel may not be making its previously scheduled stop at New York Comic Con this year, but to make up for it, Toy Guru posted a rather substantial video update for the Masters of the Universe Classics line. Clocking in at nearly 12 minutes, it’s as much content as you’d likely have gotten if you were sitting in the Mattypalooza panel just for the MOTUC portion. And then there’s the added bonus of Toy Guru actually demonstrating each figure’s articulation and accessories, complete with the occasional figure knockdowns.

One thing you will miss without an actual panel this time around is the Q&A portion – for example, what finally caused the policy change that allowed not only 200X heads but a complete 200X two-pack into the line? By the power of Grayskull!

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Soapbox Sunday: Mattycollector to Close Doors after 2015?

To be frank, I haven’t been paying much attention to the Mattycollector subscription drive this year. Last year, I did a fair bit of agonizing over Club Eternia before re-upping very late in the game. Sure, I chuckled a bit and wondered what was behind Mattel’s announcement that they would *limit* subscriptions for 2015 – but I still waited to see Mattel’s 1st quarter selections for Club Eternia, then subscribed without much further thought.

So it was somewhat of a surprise to see the subscription drama starting to unfold just like it did last year – with an impassioned plea from Toy Guru followed by a confirmation from the Four Horsemen along the lines of “hey, this isn’t a marketing ploy – it’s real.” To state the obvious, this is not good news for Mattycollector. And it begs the question if the collector-oriented site will follow Masters of the Universe Classics into the sunset after 2015.

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SDCC 2014: Mattel: Mattypalooza 2014 – Video

SDCC 2014 Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Hsss Robots

From San Diego Comic-Con this past Friday, here’s our video of the Mattel’s Mattypalooza panel. The panel was understandably a bit light on the DC and Ghostbuster properties – DC Universe Classics is wrapping up this year with the Conner Kent Superboy, Damian Wayne Robin, and the Super Powers 6-figure line-up, and Ghostbusters has an anemic offering of the four Ghostbusters with removable Proton Packs – they had these tooled up in anticipation of making the Ecto-1, which sadly didn’t hit the pre-order minimum last year.

Most of the panel was devoted to Masters of the Universe – the bulk of which was focused on the “last year” of Classics (including the Snake Armor He-Man / Battle Armor King Hsss two pack and Skeletor’s Hover Robot 3-pack shown above), but also included a portion on the “franchise” outside of toys, mostly comic books. For the action figures, Toy Guru was a bit enigmatic on what we’d see after 2015 – he did say in the panel that 2015 would be the wrap-up of the vintage line, but that 6-inch might continue, just in a different way. For his comments, you can skip to about 44 minutes into the video.

What is also uncertain is the future of Mattel’s long-term collaboration with the Four Horsemen after 2015. Was Cornboy hinting at a change during his sentimental intro? What do you guys think?

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SDCC 2014: Masters of the Universe Classics Starts 2015 Strong, But Future Uncertain

SDCC 2014 Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics 2015

Toy Guru made it clear when he kicked off their Mattypalooza presentation with a Masters of the Universe Classics video with the message that all toy lines must end (an homage to the Game of Thrones marketing campaign for the past season). I suppose that’s Mattel’s way to drive subscriptions for Club Eternia for 2015, now billed as the last year for MOTUC and Four Horseman figures.

And they certainly loaded up the sub with extra goodness in the first quarter of 2015, in case there are people still on the fence to subscribe. It’s fan favorite Lizard Man from the Filmation series, Ninjor from the vintage line, and Huntara from last year’s SDCC fan vote. The Club Eternia exclusive is Oo-larr, the He-Man from the original mini-comic – and to make this extra tempting, the exclusive will include an extra He-Man head sculpt in the vintage style.

You can see all this and more in our SDCC 2014 Masters of the Universe Classics album.

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SDCC 2014: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics (Preview Night)

SDCC 2014 Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Battle Ram

With Mattypalooza this Friday, Preview Night for Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics lines (Club Eternia and Club Etheria) was mostly catch-up – showing off figures in public that had already been revealed via their social media programs. For me, the highlight of this group of figures is Rio Blast – which I didn’t have as a kid, but whose kookiness mixed with badassery has won me over.

The big push from Mattel is for the Battle Ram, which sports an updated front half (to ameliorate the pain of having to buy it again) and a Man-at-Arms with Filmation-inspired head sculpt. The Battle Ram, due in October, is *not* part of the subscriptions – so it is not exactly a lock for Mattel, which will be pushing collectors’ tolerance for price creep with a $110 price tag.

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SDCC 2014: Icon Heroes Announces Princess of Power Letter Opener and Star Trek Book Ends

Icon Heroes has sent us info on two exclusives for SDCC 2014. It’s too bad Masters of the Universe Classics doesn’t have a 12-inch female figure, as the previous Icon Heroes Swords of Power letter openers work great with Tytus and Megator.

Hello we are pleased to announce 2 exciting exclusives for San Diego Comic Con, both to be sold at the Action Figure Xpress booth #3345!

First we have the She-Ra Filmation Sword of Protection Letter Opener.  Wield the power of a princess in your hands with the Masters of the Universe™ She-Ra™ Power Sword™ Letter Opener by Icon Heroes. Complete with gem, this sword of protection approximately measures 7”H x 1.4”W x .3”D and weighs 3 oz. Made of sturdy zinc alloy metal, this Masters of the Universe™ She-Ra™ Power Sword™ Letter Opener is a great addition for any She-Ra® fan. Fully compatible with the He-Man™ and other Masters of the Universe™ line of Power Sword™ letter openers. The massive bone base measures approximately 16.5″L x 13.5″W x 4.4″H.  $20.00 and limited to just 1,000 pieces worldwide.  Attendees may preorder and pick up at the show at http://www.shopafx.com/7-93573-70075-9-pup.html.

Last is the Star Trek The Original Series Yellow Logo Bookends Set.  Secure your favorite books or DVDs on your journey into space: the final frontier with these stylish Star Trek Logo Bookends by Icon Heroes. Together the two ends measure approximately 6.5” H x 7.25” W x 4” D and weigh approximately 6 pounds. Made of sturdy poly stone, each piece is meticulously hand painted. Easily recognizable, these Logo Bookends are sure to be a great addition to any Star Trek collection.  $80.00 and limited to just 150 sets worldwide.  Attendees may preorder and pick up at the show at http://www.shopafx.com/7-93573-70081-0-pup.html.

DCUC Fire and Ice Headline Mattycollector June Early Access; MOTUC Extendar On Sale Monday

Mattycollector June 2014 Sale

Early Access for Mattycollector’s June sale should be underway now, and if all goes according to plan they should have all product with the exclusion of the Club Eternia monthly figure, the Masters of the Universe Classics Extendar, available to subscribers. This would include the DC Universe Classics Fire and Ice and the DC Total Heroes deluxe Black Manta – although all three are labeled simply “DCU” – perhaps encourage collector adoption of the new Total Heroes line.

Ice is the quarterly Classics figure remaining from the Club Infinite Earths sub that didn’t meet the thresholds this year, and is smartly paired with Fire, who was the DC figure for August last year. It’s good news for subscribers – in March, hook-handed Aquaman was not available during Early Access and was a quick sell-out during All Access. I’ll be surprised if Ice remains in stock after Early Access – All Access for June opens Monday, June 16, at 9AM PST.

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Friday Freebie: Masters of the Universe Classics Loo-Kee and Kowl

It’s time for another AFP Free Stuff giveaway! I’ve been lucky with the Masters of the Universe Classics chase figures – so like we did last year with the Spirit of Hordak, we’ve got a Loo-Kee and Kowl 2-pack up for grabs. No more visiting the Loo-Kee and Kowl page at Mattycollector just to see they’re hiding! We’ll have one lucky winner this time around, and to keep it simple we’ll run the contest on Facebook. Here’s how:

Find the Facebook post for this article on the ActionFigurePics.com Facebook page. It will show up as “ActionFigurePics.com shared a link” with the Friday Freebie title below it. Like that post, add a comment, or share it – do all three if you like, and get three chances to win! And while you’re there, why don’t you give our Facebook page a like, too? Liking the Facebook page is not required to enter the giveaway, but it sure would be nice of you. :D

We’ll pick a winner next Friday, June 13. Good luck!

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Mattycollector Fills a Fur Diaper with Baby Skeletor Doll

With Masters of the Universe Classics winding down this year and next, it looks like Mattel is looking to make the most out of the MOTU property while there’s still folks visiting the Mattycollector site. Enter Baby Skeletor, loosely inspired by a Robot Chicken clip which explores some themes that might not have been appropriate if you were watching on Saturday morning back as a kid.

The clip (at the end of the post) – it might get a couple laughs out of you. But the Baby Skeletor doll will probably register a fair share of eye rolls when it goes on sale for $35 in a couple weeks, during the June sale at Mattycollector. I wasn’t a fan of Molarr the Eternian Dentist, but as a SDCC exclusive, maybe it worked for Mattel. I have a harder time seeing how this item will hit it big with MOTU fans. But what do I know? This won’t be the first entry in the category of strange dolls Mattel has actually made.

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