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.

I’m still going to talk about the factors that influenced my decision on each pre-order.

Ghostbusters Ecto-1 – NO

Mattel made this one rather simple for me – it costs too much for what I want out of the line. The GB 6-inch line was a disappointment to me. I should have stopped collecting after the four Ghostbusters, because without a Dana Barrett that matches up to them, the other supporting cast members are incomplete. So to buy back in at $215 plus shipping, with the prospect of re-buying two figures I have because of an initial design decision with the original figures to make the proton packs irremovable – it’s a no-go.

Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Mattel Batman Classic TV Series Batmobile

Like it or not, the retail Batmobile is a tough price anchor to dismiss at $60. Maybe if Mattel hadn’t decided to do lights and sounds they could have brought the price down.

No update from Digital River!
No update from Digital River!

Club Eternia: Masters of the Universe Classics – NO

I truly love what Mattel and the Four Horsemen have done with this line. MOTUC brings back a lot of pleasant memories of my toys from when I was younger, and does it with figures that kick-ass from the perspective of my snooty, adult collector sensibilities. To contrast this, G.I. JOE was the other big toy line I had in the 80s. The 25th Anniversary figures provided the nostalgia kick, and even though they were better than my old toys, they didn’t have the same kind of breakthrough jump forward factor that MOTUC has when compared to vintage. So they didn’t hold my attention for that long.

But I guess I’m just not as deep into the Masters lore as I would need to be, to subscribe this year and next. It was what Mattel showed from the Masters of the Universe Classics 2014 line-up that got me questioning re-upping. Out of what they showed and hinted at, there was only one figure that I thought my collection would be incomplete without: Two Bad. I can’t remember if I even had him as a kid (I think I did) – but I had him from the 200x line and loved him then too. All the others – Glimmer, Hydron, Modulok, Scorpia (her tail flashed in the Mattypalooza panel), Blade from the movie, and Squeeze or Tung Lashor – are non-essential to me. And the Unnamed One exclusive? Hard to judge when I can’t even see him.

That got me thinking about what possibilities were left for 2014 and 2015.

Masters of the Universe Classics – What Figures Are Left?

Masters of the Universe Classics has been a pretty amazing line. We’ve received so many classic characters from all eras and factions of the MOTU and POP properties. With 2014 and 2015 dedicated to wrapping up the line, what characters are left? Join Pixel Dan as he examines what vintage figures have yet to be made in Classics!

via Masters of the Universe Classics – What Figures Are Left?

So I watched this video by Pixel Dan that fills in the 2014 – 2015 gaps. And my conclusion was a lot different from his – there’s not a lot that I’ll miss if they’re never on my toy shelves. I was never a huge fan of Princess of Power show (even though I am appreciating it even more than Masters as an adult). And I’ve never seen an episode of New Adventures. And, no offense to fans of the movie, but I have never had the urge to re-watch it since I saw it on cable many years ago.

There wasn’t a single character that I felt as strongly about as Two Bad in the entire remaining line-up, and two that I’d consider buying if they’re available day of – Rio Blast and Ninjor. That’s three out of 24 monthlies, plus quarterlies, plus exclusives. So it’s a pretty clear decision, even though it does hurt to make it.

Club Infinite Earths: DC Universe Classics – YES (but I almost said no)

My connection to DC Comics has been almost lifelong, but I hadn’t been too enamored with the change in focus of the retail lines to New 52 and video games. That malaise amplified my lukewarm feelings towards the announced figures of hook-handed Aquaman, Ice, and Conner Kent. And Doomsday – I still think it’s a huge turnoff to offer the containment suit version with the better, unleashed Doomsday as a “stretch” goal.

Best of 2012 - DC Universe Classics Metal Men

But as I looked at my DC toy shelves, I remembered how they originally pitched the Club Infinite Earths sub – as the opportunity to fill in the blanks and complete teams from back when the line was at retail. The Metal Men are a great example of this, as are both the Jay Garrick and Wally West Flashes, and Capt. Marvel Jr. Because of the lifelong connection, it’s much easier for me to see how almost all the figures from the sub fit with other figures we got from when the line was at retail.

I suppose it also helps that I recently re-watched all of Justice League Unlimited and am zipping through Batman: the Brave and the Bold on Netflix. I can’t be sure of this, but knowing Toy Guru’s love for those shows, it’s not a wild supposition that the character line-ups on those shows have influenced what we’ve seen in the DC Universe Classics line. And that’s not a bad thing to me, especially since they’ve been rendered in most cases in their classic comics costumes.

JLA 100-00 The Unknown Soldier of Victory Vixen 01

For example, I am somewhat surprised we haven’t seen Vigilante and the Shining Knight (from the Seven Soldiers of Victory), and Vixen in the DC Universe Classics line. All three were featured heavily in JLU, and they’d look great in the Classics style. Now, I have no knowledge whatsoever about the line-ups to come (if the Club Infinite Earths subscription makes it), so I guess I have taken it on faith that the team at Mattel will make more good choices, like these would be, and less of the bad ones, like Batzarro. And, it goes without saying – these are purely subjective, so my “good” may be shit to you. I can deal.

All right – I’ve said my piece, so now it’s your turn. What are you subscribing to, and why or why not?

4 thoughts on “Soapbox Sunday: I’m KILLIN THE LIEN (One out of Three Subs Ain’t Bad)”

  1. I agree that it’s a big turn off on offering the Bound Doomsday while the Unleashed Doomsday is absolutely amazing looking. I think this, along with many other things, back fired on them this year.

  2. I hear ya! I am just sick of all this nonsense. The prices are just too high, whether subscription or day-of. Committing to an entire year, without knowing all of what’s coming in that time (even though I know they explain why it’s not possible) is just ridiculous. All of it is insane, and I am no business expert, but this all-or-nothing approach has got to go, and I feel like there must be alternatives.
    They just come off desperate, and I think the meters may hurt more than help. When I see how low something like the DC one is, I am just inclined to think along the lines of “Well, my subbing isn’t going to help, at this point”, like a lot of people who don’t vote because they think their vote doesn’t matter.
    Couldn’t they have looked into MOTUC being maybe at least a specialty store item for collectors, if they didn’t think major big box retail could support it, with kids today not knowing the characters from other media? I mean, I just can’t believe it when I pick up a single 6″ scale action figure (Castaspella) for my 80’s loving wife, and after taxes and required S&H, it comes to over $40. I know some of it is just a sign of the times and the seemingly increasingly crappy economy, but come on! Marvel Legends at retail are between $15 and 20. That sucks enough, but $40+ for a single figure?
    Mattel says to us fans/collectors that it’s because of tough times that they need to do the sub and charge so much. Don’t they realize that times are even tougher for the individual little guys in the equation, compared to the massive toy company? Sorry to rant, but forget killing the line, I feel we’re living in the time of killing the hobby. How can this be sustained, outside of especially wealthy people, at this rate?

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