Well, after a very short amount of time being pumped about the upcoming Masters of the Universe figures we get a lengthy message from Toy Guru that may raise some alarms. Go on and read through if you haven’t already. Basically he is addressing a lot of the issues people are having going into this next year. One of the big ones is that international fans are getting priced out of buying figures due to the rising cost of the figures, the higher cost of shipping, and now customs charges because of the higher prices. I know there had been quite a few complaints, but TG already reaching out and mentioning that MOTUC could be on the chopping block?
Is it just strong arming tactics to drive sales? Or was the response to subs this year so bad that something needed to be said? My personal opinion is it is probably somewhere in the middle. I’m sure the five dollar price increase had to have hurt sales. But in the past we had been told even if half the subscribers didn’t come back the line would still be fine. I’d imagine that the line will be fine, but the numbers are nowhere near where they had hoped they would be.
Anyway go on and check out the announcement. And if you are in to the line, get yourself a sub … as much as I don’t think MOTUC will go away, I also don’t want it to slip away.
[box style=”note”]Hey Matty Fans,
Just flew in from SDCC (yeah yeah, boy are my arms tired…) and we are revved up for an amazing 2013 with 3 fantastic subscriptions for MOTUC (Club Eternia), DCU (Club Infinite Earth) and our all-new line of 6” figures, comic book-styled WATCHMEN in our Club Black Freighter line! How awesome is that?!
We have had a few changes from past years, the most noticeable is a price increase on basic figures (i.e., MOTUC going from $20 to $25).To quell any rumors, I can confirm we are not overloading our pockets here. This price increase is 100% due to the skyrocketing cost of producing these figures over the last few years. Every 6” figure is handmade and hand assembled. And honestly, we just can’t keep 2008 pricing anymore in 2013. Labor, raw material and shipping has all gone way up. We REALLY don’t want to cost-reduce figures by removing deco and/or accessories. To maintain the same high quality and value in our figures in today’s economy, prices do need to go up. And there is another change…
Much like with our partner site Hotwheelscollector.com, in 2013 we are going to be switching much more to a subscription only model. Some figures will still have EXTREMELY limited “day-of” stock (meaning our regular sales to the general public on the 15th of each month), but many figures for all the clubs will have none at all. This means the ONLY way to know for sure you’ll be able to complete your collection for all lines now is to subscribe for the full year.
Why do we need to do this? Basically, it is economics. High-end, fully detailed, highly articulated figures take a lot or resources to produce. In the “new economy” we are faced with many production challenges and the solution available to us (for the most part) is to only produce high end collector figures if we have locked in guaranteed sales (that is the whole point of the sub). In 2013, we are really in a position where we can no longer put out collector figures day-of and just hope that fans will buy them.
So what does this mean? Honestly, buy a sub. Seriously. If you are a fan of MOTUC, DCU 6” or WATCHMEN, it is decision time. Quantities of day-of stock will be (and I mean this in the nicest way) ridiculously low or non-existent. Many figures for all lines will not be offered day-of at all.
While we would love it if our collector lines could work for every collector’s particular buying habits (i.e., some collectors only buy teams or females or vintage figs, etc.) or every individual economic situation. But at the end of the day, under the new economy in today’s world, in 2013 we just can’t do that.
If you are a fan of our lines, the sub is now your way to make sure you get your figures. If you are counting on day-of sales, you very well may be out of luck. We know this won’t work for every customer, but it is the reality of where we are today.
Now we are going to do everything we can to plus-up the subs as much as possible. In addition to sub-only figs like Mallah and King He-Man and being able to vote on the Fan’s Choice figure for 2013, MOTUC sub holders will also get items like the Subternia Map, the Origin of Skeletor mini comic, and all sub holders will get sneak peeks at upcoming figures well ahead of the general public (like we did for Mekaneck and Uncle Sam recently). We will redouble our efforts to ensure you have the info first! Sub holders deserve that.
We’re also adding Early Access in 2013, which gives all subscription holders the chance to buy NON-SUBSCRIPTION items from any brand approximately 2 to 3 business days (depending on the sale date) before they’re available to the general public!
So, for example, when a product that isn’t part of a subscription goes on sale (like Granymyr or the PKE Meter), all subscribers will get the first chance to buy product through Early Access. If it sells out during the Early Access period, that’s it – there won’t be any product for non-subscription holders to buy.
Once Early Access opens, it will stay open for until the product sells out or the monthly sale begins, whichever comes first (again, approximately 2 to 3 business days). For the most part, purchase limits will be set to the normal limit of 10 (any changes will be noted on the product page). We’re still working on getting Early Access products to ship with subscription products and will post as soon as we have an answer. Right now it is just early access to buy but we hope to also let you combine Early Access with sub shipments. Update on this as soon as we confirm it will work. All subscribers will get a reminder email before Early Access opens and we’ll also post reminders in our Forums and on Facebook and Twitter.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Early Access will NOT allow you to buy SUBSCRIPTION items from other brands early. If you have a Watchmen subscription, you can’t buy Club Eternia subscription products early – but you CAN buy MOTUC Classics products that aren’t part of Club Eternia, like Granymyr. Again, Early Access lets subscribers have the first chance at purchasing products that aren’t available in one of the subscriptions. If you want subscription products, you need to buy a sub or take the chance that it may not be available day-of.
For our international customers, we’ve done our best to hold our shipping rates at 2008 levels, but the truth is we’ve been losing a ton of money on shipping and are now forced to raise International Postal (non-trackable) rates by $5 just to cover our costs. To help this, though, we’re offering a new, lower cost option for international customers for 2013: UPS International will be replaced with DHL, which provides a better service, including signature delivery and 2 to 3 day delivery times in most regions, at a substantially lower price than UPS International. We will still offer International Post as an option if you really want it but “lost” or “not received” shipments will not be replaced or refunded.
And to address the big elephant in the room: we know the buying experience has not been perfect. In the past few months we have made great strides to improve this with initiatives such as our new US-based Customer Service team and a soon to be launched revamped “My Subscription” page letting customers control things like their shipping address and payment options. We are 100% committed to continuing to improve the buying and shipping process until it is perfect. You have my word on that.
So if you are on the fence as to whether or not to get a sub, remember, day-of may not be an option anymore. DAY-OF STOCK WILL BE EXTREMELY LIMITED and MANY FIGURES WILL NOT HAVE ANY DAY OF STOCK IN 2013. It may not work for everyone, but in today’s economy, without guaranteed presales, we just can’t move forward anymore with high end collector figs.
If anyone has questions, feel free to post on the Ask Matty forums on Mattycollector.com. We have some amazing figs planned for 2013. If you want a complete collection, now is the time to act and the 2013 subs are the only way to know for sure you’ll get all of next year’s club releases. There will also be no reissues of any 2013 fig (or 2012 figs for that matter!). And please remember Club Eternia and Club Infinite Earths products that are purchased day-of cost will be priced higher than when you get them through a subscription.
Subs are on sale now through Aug 6th. We won’t be doing any extensions so there are just 18 days to go! Don’t get left in the dark and find yourself with an incomplete collection, missing that figure you’ve been waiting for all these years (Ram Man, anyone?)!
Scott “Toy Guru” Neitlich
PS: While we are only metering DCU’s sub, all of the subs are technically on the chopping block now (including MOTUC). If we don’t receive the minimum number of orders, any figures already tooled may be released quarterly but the full year can potentially be canceled (much as we unfortunately had to do for Ghostbusters in 2012). So again, if these are toy lines you love, the best way to support them and guarantee your figures (and that the lines actually go forward) is to subscribe. Without the minimum number of subscribers, none of our lines will be able to move forward. If you are on the fence and we have a toy line you love, subscribe to see it continue! Your sub purchase is your vote for more toys. Simple as that.[/box]