Ask Mattel February 1st Edition (WWE, DC Universe, Masters of the Universe & More)

Twice a month, Mattel is kind enough to answer questions around the web on its lines, including WWE, DC, Masters of the Universe, Ghostbusters & More. Check out the January Q&A session sorted out by catagory!

DC Comics

Q. Can we expect the All Star line to feature 4 figure waves only, or will there be multi-packs of some kind?
A. The All Stars will differ wave to wave. We know fans like consistency but due to the nature of this retail line, expect it to change up number of figures per wave as well as number of new and re-releases quite a lot wave to wave this year.

Q. Can we expect any news about the future of DC’s 3.75 plans at the upcoming Toy Fair?
A. No. We do not have a DC 3 3/4″ line planned at this time. Maybe down the road.

Q. Why does Mattel keep using grey plastic for white costumes – Captain Cold, Hawk, even White Lantern Flash all look much too dull. Will this be corrected for future products?
A. Usually it is that ongoing conflict between artistic choices and logistics for the line. We will pass this comment to design to see what can be done.

Q. What is the future of the “Action League” line? I’ve been collecting all the Green Lantern related characters and am only missing Kyle Rayner. What are the odds of him being released?
A. The Action League line is going strong with more to be revealed at NYTF. No plans for a Kyle quite yet. Stay tuned!

Q. We’re 20 waves into DCUC (More if we count DCSH) and The figures STILL are prone to breakage at the soft piece connecting the leg to the crotch. (The piece that is supposed to make the leg swivel forwards and back) When are you going to fix this consistent issue? (Reason #1 why I did not subscribe to Club Infinite Earths.)
A. We are constantly working on improving quality and will pass your note to design.

Q. You never really answered the question of what line the Super-Powers Penquin will be in. Could you clarify?
A. That is because we are not ready to reveal this! Stay tuned for more!

Q. In 2011, we saw 6 female DCUC figures (Dove; Star Sapphire Wonder Woman; Saturn Girl; Stargirl; Superwoman; Star Sapphire) We saw 5 new MOTUC female figures in 2011, and by March 2012, we will have a new 5 already! Poison Ivy has been announced but not shown for Club Infinite Earths, and a repaint Supergirl has been shown for the All-Star line. Can we hope for more female superheroes in 2012?
A. Yes, there will be more females in 2012 for sure!

Q. I know that Toy Fair is right around the corner, but could we possibly get a preview of what the new DC Club IE figure packaging looks like?
A. You will see this at NYTF!

Q. It seems with DCUC that accessories for the figures is random at time. Why accessories like the scythe for Nekron or the whip for Catwoman left out, but a character like Bronze Tiger, gets weapons?
A. It is not random, it is just the ongoing conflict with what we creatively want to produce and what time and budgets will allow.

Q. Considering the number and variety of vehicles already produced for the Brave and the Bold line, is there any chance that some of these will be repurposed or re-released as part of the DC Universe line?
A. No, not at this time.

Q. The DCU All-Star figures revealed so far have been an unusual combination of apparent repaints and figures requiring minimal tooling. Would larger waves allow more unique sculpts?
A. There will be some figures with more tooling and others with less depending on the best execution for each character.

Q. With Dark Knight Rises coming this summer, what product lines can consumers expect to see? 6 inch? 3.75 inch? Action League?
A. We will have this to announce at NYTF.

Q. With a fresh slate of DC direct-to-DVD animated movies coming out this year, can we expect any Mattel tie-ins like either the Public Enemies line, or the one-off retailer exclusive figure pack-ins?
A. At this time, no we do not have plans for this in out 2012 lines.

Q. A comment recently that Granny Goodness was not on the cards for Club Infinite Earths as figures that needed 100% new tooling weren’t possible. What exactly is the percentage of new tooling that is workable?
A. Tooling is based on sales. We had a very low sell in rate for the online 2012 DCU sub and therefore we had less tooling to use. We will have to see how day-of sales go and how the 2013 sub sell in rate goes before revisiting other highly tool’d figures. At the end of the day fans vote with their purchase. If DCUC sold as well as MOTUC we could certainly look at fully tool’d figures, but as of now, it does not so we have to be creative with the tooling we do have to use.

Q. Are there any firm plans to bring more Legion of Superheroes characters to either Club Infinite Earths or DC All Stars?
A. Yes in time.

Masters of the Universe

Q. You recently announced changes to the schedule for MOTUC and Club Eternia. Will there be any other delays/reshuffling on any of the other Matty collector lines?
A. You should absolutely expect more changes on all of our online toy lines. It is actually quite nice we have had so few in the past. Running an online toy line is prone to slight delays and these should be expected as a normal part of the line from time to time.

Q. What does Mattel consider a legitimate QC issue that would warrant figures to be delayed or exchanged in mass? For some figures who customers have perceived as having problems, these have been responses from some Mattel reps: “Mossman is not a bath toy.” “It’s not a big deal! Reviewers didn’t notice the backward shoulders.” “The figure is not defective, it just is not working as perfect as we will like.” Recently, we have seen widespread QC problems with Swiftwind’s legs. How defective or “not working as perfect as we would like” would a figure have to be for Mattel to take action on a QC issue? Missing limbs?
A. We don’t have a specific rule for this but we do replace any defective product so if a figure is assembled incorrect you can return it for a corrected item.

Q. A keen observer dissected Bubble Power She-Ra and diagnosed the bad engineering of the v2.0 pelvis creating the ugly “diaper-crotch” look seen on Tallstar and Jewelstar. Please see the attached pics. A byproduct of this effect is that the new body was supposed to make the women shorter, when it in fact keeps them tall and misshapen as seen on Sorceress and Starla. PLEASE, can this be addressed and corrected immediately and successfully before the next female figure is revealed?
A. We will certainly pass this comment along to the design team as we are always trying to improve figures whenever possible!

Q. In MOTUC, the molded unpainted faces just aren’t as nice as the painted faces in MOTUC. Generally, Adora, Teela, Sorceress, Evil-Lyn, Tallstar, and Jewelstar comes through production looking a lot more polished than the waxy unpainted faces of Starla, Queen Marlena, She-Ra, Catra, and especially Battleground Teela. Maybe it’s because the Horsemen completely paint their prototypes, but can Mattel please look into painting skin tone on ALL faces, regardless of the color plastic used for the head?
A. We don’t have an overall rule for how this is handled. It is on a figure by figure bases as determined by the Horsemen and design. But we will pass this suggestion along!

Q. The MOTUC Wind Raider was a smashing success, selling out quickly despite its price tag and lack of inclusion in the sub. Does this vehicle’s success– and the new online home of DC Universe with Club Infinite Earths– change the previous precedent of no 6″ scale vehicles in the DC Universe line?
A. The Windraider actually only performed “okay” for us and therefore we have no plans for more vehicles in the near future.There is just too much tooling involved that is a one time use.

Q. Digital River is requiring damaged or defective Wind Raiders be sent back before a replacement can be issued, but there are now reports that customers who return the defective product are being issued refunds instead of replacements, thus making their collections incomplete. Is there no stock allocated for defectives for vehicles, and will this lack of replacements for defects and damaged items be the same for all subscription products going forward? More to point for the Wind Raider, will it be offered again for those who were issued a refund instead of a replacement?
A. There are still customer service stock of Windraiders available if you have a defective one to send back for a replacement.

Q. What steps have been taken in order to ensure customers that a repeat of the Demo-Man shipping debacle does not occur in the future?
A. Going forward, we have changed policy so we will only ship figures when we are 100% in stock if it is a subscription item. If not, the item will be moved to the next month (as we did with Jan’s Sorceress and Photog figures).

Q. How often do Mattycollector personnel monitor the Facebook page and Mattycollector forums? I know you are all busy people, but it seems like having someone posting regularly and answering questions on the forums could help you connect better with your customers and keep them from becoming panicked and agitated as a lot of MOTUC subscribers did with the Demo Man logistics issues.
A. We try to hit the boards as much as possible, but to manage expectations, the brand managers and designers at Mattel have a lot on our plate and usually online interaction is done during their spare time and off hours. Toy Guru tries to get on as much as possible. Just look at the time stamp on most of his late night and weekend posts!

Q. Has Mattel finalized plans for their Conventions for 2012 or at least where the Traveling Sorceress will be available?
A. We will announced this at NYTF in Feb.

Q. Is the Star Sisters Three-Pack a one-off, or are Three-Packs a possibility for future MOTUC releases?
A. We are not going to force any figures into a 3 pack, but if there is a logical pairing of 3 figures we are open to this option.


Q. Is there any possibility that multiple packs of WWE figures might be sold at Mattycollector? This would be away to bring collectors a few fan-demanded characters at once!
A. Yes, this is something we are looking into.


Q. Recently, the response to early reviews of the Voltron Red Lion & Lance were very positive. We know that the pilots and lions are bundled together, but does Mattel have any plan to sell the pilots separately, as originally planned? Many have voiced a desire to purchase the pilot action figures, but cannot afford to purchased the entire set of lions. Maybe a boxed set of all 5 pilots with the alternate helmets and key stands, minus the collect-n-connect sword parts?
A. This is something we are looking into but no plans to announce yet. Stay tuned. We have heard you!

Q. Voltron’s Lance still has the lighter brown hair of the prototype. While he does pass in that he does have dark brown in the series, Keith and Sven actually have black hair in the cartoon. CAN we PLEASE see this important change in hair color from brown to black in these two pilots since there is still time?
A. Keith is confirmed to have black hair. We are working on seeing if we can make a change to Sven.

Q. We have seen all of Voltron 2012 since SDCC. Will we see any new Club Lion Force items at NYTF or will we have to wait until SDCC?
A. Not at NYTF but possibly at SDCC. We are waiting to see how the Red Lion performs before committing to a 2013 line.

Q. Any chance for packaging pictures for Voltron soon? Will it be at ToyFair?
A. Yes, we will have this up very soon.

Q. Has Club Lion sold well enough to ensure a second year of the subscription?
A. The subscription did not so we are waiting to see how day-of sales go before giving the green lite on a 2013 extension of the line.


Q. The Retro Action series seemed to be the perfect outlet for animated-style Real Ghostbusters. However now that it looks like the Retro Action line has run its course, does this increase the chances that we may see some animated Ghostbusters in the Matty Collector line?
A. At this time, there has not been enough interest in the 6″ movie style GB (which is arguably more popular overall) so there are no plans right now to expand to a more tooling intensive animated 6″ line. Maybe one day!


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