Masters Of The Universe, An Editorial

by Jay Cochran
August 07, 2004

Ever since Mattel debuted 2-up's of new Masters of the Universe figures for their struggling toyline, I have seen a lot of speculation go on as to what this means for the future of the line. I write this editorial to try and shed some light, express some opinions, and cash in on the current hype of MOTU by acting like there is some big breaking news announcement to be made in this article that will cause everyone to come running to this site to read it.

Ok, so first let's get that boring little fact part out of the way and be done with it. The purpose of Mattel showing the new 2-ups at San Diego Comic Con was not to torment fans with very cool looking figures they may never see, give that hot looking She-Ra model something to stand next to, or even to gauge the opinions of the general public. You see Mattel is actualy quite aware of how much interest this line has with you, the collectors. Now, that's not to say you shouldn't continue to make your voices heard, but Mattel doesn't need to show off new figures to figure out collectors want to buy them.

No the point of these being shown (which I'm told was actually a last minute decision) was...... wait for show off new product to potential buyers. Much like a car salesman shows off new cars to sell in a dealer showroom, this is essentially what Mattel was doing with MOTU. Now when I refer to potential buyers, I'm not refering to joe blow looking to complete his collection of Snakemen. No, I am refering to those that would actually sell these products to the end users (which is what we are). Retailers or distributors, those are the ones these 2-ups were being shown off to. Now before someone starts to try and question the reliability of this info, (cause we know how much more sense it would make to believe that Mattel took the time and effort to get these 2-ups to San Diego for the sole purpose of tormenting us), this is what I was told by the Mattel reps at San Diego, which those of you who followed along with our SDCC coverage on our forums heard me tell you that weekend.

Ok now that's it with the factual part. Now onto my opinion.

What does this all mean??? Well first it means we have to continue to be patient, which if you are like me is not an easy thing to do. I've got to know now dammit, but unfortunately until and IF Mattle actually finds a buyer who will sell these figures to us there just isn't anything more to say, and even if they are in serious negotiations with someone, they aren't going to tip their hand till all the t's are crossed and yadda yadda yadda. Now what can we do till then? Well we can continue to look at these awesome 2-ups that were shown at SDCC:

1.) Click here for a peek.

2.) We can continue to voice our support for the line: giving confidence to any potential buyer who might dare to think they can make a profit buy selling these figures.

3.) And we can keep our fingers crossed.

Now there is one more thing to ask yourself. In all likelihood IMO if these figures do return to retail, it is going to be through the little guy, at least at first. Though I'm not saying it's totally impossible these could be picked up by a large retailer right away, in the business of toys I have often been told that it's 1 strike and you are out. Large retailers have limited space on the shelves and if a product doesn't quickly start making money for them they often boot it out for the next toyline to come along. Well MOTU had it's chance at the major retailer and it failed. So regardless how much collector support this line has I honestly don't see a major retailer taking another chance on this line until it has proven itself as a financial winner. So I forsee that if this line does return, it will be through a small retailer like Suncoast or a distributor like Diamond. Now this would still be great IMO, however for something like this to be sold that route would almost assuredly mean we the consumer would see a price jump in figures. Now these price jumps are not because someone is trying to rip you off, it's simply because a small retailer just can't afford to sell them at the lower prices a larger retailer can.

If you check out our front page, you will find a new Online Poll where we ask if you would honestly buy these figures at the higher prices? Now keep in mind those prices are just prices I pulled out of my butt, based on my experience of previous purchases, but I think it's very important to ask yourself if you would be willing to pay the higher price. Obviously it's a no brainer if you had a choice of paying $7 a figure as opposed to $12 a figure, we would all choose the $7 but if it meant the difference of either paying more or not getting them at all which would you choose?

Also I think we should consider if a small retailer(s) were to pick this line up, and the line really started to take off and sell well. At that point then I could see a larger retailer becoming interested in selling this line again. After it's proven itself.

One final note I would like to make: I have been asked what kind of case assortments would we see if these returned to retail? I have no idea, but I would say that would be something Mattel and whatever potential buyer they would find would hammer out during the negotiations. If someone comes along who is willing to spend the money to buy these from Mattel and they want 10 He-Man variants in the assortment then I would bet Mattel would give them those 10 variants. If they told Mattel they would only sell the line if it had no He-Man figures in it then I would bet we would see an assortment with no He-Mans.

Well that's it, hope its enlightened you some or at the very least entertained you for the 3 minutes it took you to read this article, if for no other reason than to give you reasons to call me an idiot or dumba#@ for having no idea of what I'm talking about.


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