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Dear Mattel, I Quit.

By March 17, 2010

MOTU MossmanWell, once again, Mattel serves up a heaping amount of misery for it's fans as another stellar example of poor customer traffic management and inadequate stock production this past Monday when their much anticipated, and equally debated (flocked ears or no flocked ears?), MOTUC Mossman figure went on sale.

I have made no secret about my love/hate relationship with Mattycollector, and have occasionally had to make the decision either to skip a figure out of lack of interest (Trap Jaw) or lack of funds (Skeletor reissue), but I was there with bells on at 9 AM Pacific time when the Mossman figure went on sale. To make a long story short, 9 minutes of white screen later and the figures were completely sold out. I never even got a chance. I later heard that one version of Mossman sold out in 4 minutes.

Couple this with the fact that I spent several hours at a comic convention this past weekend looking at piles and piles of over-priced MOTUC figures being hawked by low-life scalpers (none of which were being bought by anyone, so how exactly does this work?), and I have decided that I have to take drastic measures.

I hereby declare that I am washing my hands of this whole MOTUC thing. Collecting action figures is supposed to be about having fun, not being routinely exasperated by toy-makers and gouged by scalper scumbags. I'm not having any fun whatsoever in my endeavor to find these figures. Sure, they're awesome figures, as you'll see in my upcoming Battlecat review, but they're just not worth the aggrivation to me.

So, I quit Mattel. I will no longer buy your MOTUC figures. Which is probably fine for other MOTUC collectors, because that's just more figures for them, or at least more figures for the scalpers to snap up and resell to you for over twice their original prices. You all have fun with that.


March 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm
(1) BubbaShelby says:

The secondary market is going to nosedive on these in a couple years, when the hoarders are still sitting on fifty of each figure and Mattel has re-re-re-released everyone about twelve times over.

Mattel is putting all their eggs in the “gotta have it now” basket and that marketing strategy is not sustainable. I give the line another year and a half, two years tops before enough people tire of Mattel’s shenanigans and Mattel then blames us for not buying enough and “killing teh lien.”

March 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm
(2) Brothermidnight says:

I guess I was lucky with this one, was able (for the first time ever) to order my figure with it almost no problems .I received notification earlier today that it had ship and I must say I was very surprised how easy things went this time around.

March 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm
(3) Kafir says:

This was by far the worst buying experience to date on the Matty site for those without subscriptions. Most sell-out times were 40-60 mins. and then when Adora came out it was less than 30 mins. Trap jaw was even lower but this 4-min. sellout takes the tamale.

Although they did say they’ll once again up the production numbers in time for She-Ra’s release, it’s too little too late for those who’ve been burned too many times. And I dare say most of us have been burned at least once by Mattel in the last year that this line’s been running.

March 24, 2010 at 11:10 am
(4) Cool and Collected says:

Good for you! I hate it when companies treat their biggest fans like this. If it wasn’t for us collectors, they wouldn’t have a market for these toys. it’s not like a parent is going to go out and spend 50 bucks on eBay for a Mossman figure just so their kids could rip its arms off.

March 24, 2010 at 9:54 pm
(5) TheCornKernel says:

Well I’m not too much into the MOTU classics line, I’ve been getting my figures from 200X with the release of the new line the 200X stuff is much cheaper and easier to find. However…. I am a collector of the DC universe Classics, I have every wave that’s cameout so far, and I bought all but two of them in local retail stores.

I don’t think you can get that mad at the scalpers though, I mean capitalism is about competetion and quite honestly they one. They have something you want and they’ll charge as much as they see fit, and why the heck shouldn’t they be able too?

They bought the product fair and square, so what if it wasn’t to collect like we do, they’re just trying to make a buck and you know what like any good salesman will tell you ya gotta know your clients. They have what we want and they know just the price range to put it in so we will buy it, and they can make a sizeable profit. Buy low sell high. It’s economics 101 guys, not a dirtbag scheme.

March 25, 2010 at 6:10 pm
(6) actionfigures says:

You make a point, CornKernal (if that is your real name), but as much as I understand the basic workings of capitalism, I also know it can be greatly abused and that is called gouging.

When scalpers buy up all of the stock to cause a false sense of rarity and then gouge their buyers, I call foul. There’s a difference about swiping up all of the stock minutes after it goes on sale just to force a higher profit, and investing in something over time, which is why I’m fine with pricey vintage figures.

I predict that these will be dirt cheap (or at least back to their original price) in a couple of years and I’ll pick them up then.

The same thing happened with those “Death of Superman” comics back in the early ’90s. Scalpers were buying them up with the purpose of making a quick flip and people paid up towards $100 a copy and now they’re clogging up the 25 bins.

Also, we as collectors, should stand together as a brotherhood, not trying to virtually rob one another.

We’ll have to agree to disagree, CornKernal, as I still find the practice of scalping shameful.

March 31, 2010 at 4:15 pm
(7) Jay says:

Yeah, I’ve had it with them as well. I would have taken either version, but selling out in four minutes is just stupid. Obviously they don’t care about customers, despite their PR dept.’s pleas to the contrary.

April 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm
(8) harlank46 says:

It is not just mattel. This has happened before and the companies are too thick to learn from each other.

In the late 90′s, Playmates had the license to do Star Trek.
In the smallest scale line (Star Wars Size ) they decided to do a special boxed anniversary of some kind set. They decided to limit to only 1701 being created (numbers on the enterprise). Previous editions were in the hundreds of thousands so needles to say Fans were Pissed. THen they released a gangster Kirk through ToyFare (very limited) and more limited editions through other Comic Shops.

It is still being done Today. Mattel is doing the Worlds Greatest Super Heroes in the style of the old DC Mego heroes.
So far Just Green Arrow has come out. They are waiting on Batman and Superman and Green Lantern and Lex Luthor (all retro).

Then series 2 has Aquaman (better costume) and for the first time Two Face and Black Manta. Some dealers are soliciting for it, but according to ToyFare magazine, Mattel will now go thru Toys R US only for all future releases including series 2 and it will be doled out with an eye dropper in terms of quantity.

Here we go again. They make it very hard to love our action figures.

Then They are supposed to do Aquaman Retro and

May 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm
(9) jelajasha says:

I’m cherry picking figures from E-Bay plus the DR horror stories of subscription renewal authorization failures, difficulty in changing mailing addresses, multiple charges on credit cards, and credit cards being rejected even if they aren’t expired is enough for me to not ordering directly from MattyCollector.

Either way, they have “in demand” product and the stringent methods of business is currently enough to keep the line alive through 2011. Neitlich has impressed his superiors enough that MOTUC is getting stressed more than the other collector lines like DCUC. So they’re putting all there resources behind it, even though they are short changing customers with scare product and short selling popular characters with bad customer service from Digital River.

Plus you have to look at the all the new collectors who are unfamiliar with the practices and probably will be clamoring for a subscription come July 2010. The influx of subscribers and the “all-in” feature will give the company more money. And all the moron fans that voted for it, pretty much got gyped even though they will be getting figures they won’t want which will collect dust over time.

Sounds very strange but really no different than any other business like Apple, Dell, Microsoft, or AT&T who are all selling overpriced products that cost a lot less to produce.

May 24, 2010 at 9:33 am
(10) actionfigures says:

Very well said! You’ve hit the nail on the head, Jelajasha. Of course, this also puts into stark contrast my own personal hypocrisy, because even though I made this declaration, who was there plunking down $28 for the Merman re-issue? Me! *sigh* I’m a slave to my collection.

My only problem with cherry picking them on eBay is that Mattel still got their money from the scalpers that bought them and now I’d have to pay an inflated price to some neckbeard. So that doesn’t help things, either.

Perhaps it’s a matter of choosing the lesser evil.

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