Mattel Missing the Mark with Epic Creations?

Movie Masters™ Epic Creations™ DC Classic TV Series Batman™ Utility Belt Movie Masters™ Epic Creations™ Ghostbusters™ Neutrino Wand

Maybe I’ve been conditioned over the years by quick sell-outs, but it was still somewhat of a shock to check in on the Mattycollector December sale to find that the big three Epic Creations items, the Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull, and the prop replicas for the Batman Utility Belt and the Ghostbusters Neutrino Wand, are all still in stock. None of the three are even at the point where they’ve got the special tags indicating they’re “Almost Gone.” This is particularly surprising for the Castle – from the point of pre-order through the pre-hype for this sale, Mattel has consistently said that they’d have just a very limited amount of Castles for day-of sales.

If we don’t see this change in the short term, here’s what I’ve reasoned could be behind the slower than expected sales.

  • Mattel overestimated the size of the market. This might apply more for the Batman Classic TV Series Utility Belt, since this is the first big product for that license. But for Masters of the Universe Classics, there’s been sales data for the action figures for the past few years. And Ghostbusters have had a couple of props sales to look at for market sizing purposes.
  • The perceived value isn’t there. The Castle is $300, the Wand $130, and the Utility Belt is $125. The Castle is significantly more than when it was up for pre-order, and then there’s a pretty hefty shipping charge on top of it. I had a blast opening up the Castle and putting it together, but that price tag is a big hump to get over. The Wand might feel incomplete without the Proton Pack. And maybe the Utility Belt deserves a few more accessories.
  • The timing is bad. We’re right at the holidays, and there’s a lot of other people that need gifts to go under their trees. Maybe putting these big ticket items up for sale in October or November would have been better, when people weren’t feeling the pinch with all the gift purchases.

Castle Grayskull®

Of course, just a couple days (and Early Access) into the sale is too soon to say there’s trouble with Epic Creations. But when I checked Mattycollector last night, there was not one single item that had sold out. That includes the regular MOTUC and DC figures (even the limited Club Filmation Strong-Or), as well as the “essentials” items. Toy Guru had said a lot of the essentials were running low on stock, even before the ill-named Cyber Monday sale (that started on a Tuesday and lasted 8 days). If this keeps up, it’s not a good way for Mattycollector to end 2013.

4 thoughts on “Mattel Missing the Mark with Epic Creations?”

  1. As off Wed Dec 18th at 10:30pm MattyCollecter still had all items available . I really think this month the collectors said enough of crap and bought other things.

  2. I think you’re right, Ron. Maybe they should have spread some of these items out into the September or November sales. I think everyone’s wallet is hemorrhaging this month. Between buying gifts for loved ones and all of the Mattel product up for sale earlier this month. People who pre-ordered Castle Grayskull, got hit with that credit card charge. Then, there was the “Cyber Monday”along with Flash Sales and before that the Early Access sale. All that and then the regular mid-month sale, on top of it. No wonder they didn’t sell anything out yet. Pair that with already high shipping charges, and seperate sale orders not being able to be eligable for combined shipping. It’s just too much for one month!

  3. It seems Mattel is trying to market the utility belt and the wand as screen-accurate replicas when they might be better off going in the direction of selling them as role-play props, like Spider-Man web shooters and Wolverine gloves with pop-out claws.

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