Sunday, July 22, 2012

There is time to save MOTUC... A FRIENDLY suggestion.

Despite any kind of personal animosity I've directed towards Toyguru, it's very clear from recent goings on that he is extremely passionate about the line and obviously doing whatever he can to ensure we have a line to complain about to begin with! 

To all the people that perhaps are on the fence about the subscription think about this: In 30 years when we're all old and in our golden years, would you like to think back on your adult life and childhood and be able to see this wonderfully diverse collection you were able to be a part of not only once but twice in your life; or would you rather look back at what could have been? The sub is certainly an expensive item and not for everyone but if you are even the least bit interested in seeing this line continue then please everyone...SUB UP NOW! 

It doesn't hurt that we get some amazing incentives this year as well with first access to outside of the sub items, King He-Man far before we thought we'd ever see him, and a mini-comic that finally tells the full story of Skeletor in detail! Plus don't forget the fan vote that will obviously shape the future of the line!

All in all, Toyguru does a heck of a job with a lot of pressure on him at the moment and I'm sure I speak on behalf of the fans when I say we appreciate everything he's trying to do- even if we sometimes disagree with certain decisions. Does this mean I want to marry Toyguru or think he's the best management could have chosen? NO- what it means is that like it or not, he's the manager that we are "stuck with" and perhaps certain individuals (myself) should perhaps learn to better communicate with him. I honestly write this to extend an olive branch to him as it would be extremely sad to lose a property for the fourth time in a row :(.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Killin teh lien or why Toyguru sends mixed messages.

I've been meaning to take the time out to address the recent controversy with the whole 2013 MOTUC sub fiasco and the major factor behind it: Toyguru

TG goes on and on about how he approves things with bosses, things can't be changed, we can't reveal the line ahead of time etc. and I've finally heard enough of it and finally I've decided to speak up.

1. The lineup CAN be revealed a year in advance, Hasbro has done it before with the G.I. Joe club as have other direct market lines. The idea that there is mystery is one of the things that TG falsely believes creates demand which is true to a very minimal extent- for most people however this creates frustration and uncertainty.

2. TG doing what his bosses tell him to do and having to approve certain figures is a bit of a cop out. Playaction Marketing is his division and he's in charge of mandates from budget to lineup  to logistic issues. Where TG bosses come in is when it involves securing money outside of the MOTUC budget, promotional issues on a larger scale with mass media implications, as well as canceling or creating new product/media. When TG goes on record and says his bosses won't let Illumina in the line, HE IS 100% FULL OF HOT AIR. Recently I contacted Tim Kilpin and he was extremely confused by the myriad of complaints and issues plaguing the customer base and the reaction was explained as such: HE SIMPLY DIDN'T KNOW THESE ISSUES EXISTED.

 Toyguru is the brand manager for a reason: he mandates and selects what he feels is best for the property and as long as it doesn't involve higher ups in a legal issue or promotional issue IT IS 100% UP TO HIM WHAT HE DOES WITH THE BUDGET. Approval decisions only go to his bosses when an item is either, 1. Above a certain tier of pricing "Granamyr" would fall under this instance as would items such as Stay Puff Marshmallow Man, and 2. If a decision he makes crosses into another brands territory, legal implications, or an issue with a brand license. Other than his duties to report finances and quarterly earning reports and demographic studies, Toyguru makes 100% of the decisions.. PERIOD. The Four Horsemen are very regularly asked to make suggestions and input on the line but the decision ultimately rests with TG. (I'm sure anyone at 4H will be glad to confirm this), which somewhat bothers me when TG passes the buck to them on mistakes such as the attempted snafu on Stinkor until fans called him out on it. 

3. The notion that product can't be changed is 100% false as well. Although initial work on prototypes STARTS  6-10 months in advance, there is always time to change something up until around 2-3 months assembly time and this exists in the industry as a norm to prevent safety hazards and last minute changes in legal issues and clearance. Example: Netossa comes out in January 2013 and can't be altered yet Frosta coming out in October now CAN have her deco changed- it's just an untrue falsehood. Now if we're talking about tooling issues then yes there is a much more narrow margin for correction but as of now we are still about 5 months and change from January and there is more than enough time to tool a crown for Netossa or modify the pliability of her cape.

These are all issues causing tension by Toyguru whom I don't think has the intention of lying in any way, but more so seems to be incredibly flustered and at a loss for how to deal with the numerous issues that are on his plate both at Mattel and from consumers.

One last note: The recent revamp of MOTU through DC is doing INCREDIBLY HIGH SALES, the digital editions are selling like hotcakes and clinging to the charts weeks after release. Next week, people will hear the first news about the director for the MOTU movie, and everyone already knows about the incoming retail products from companies such as Icon Heroes, Funko, Incase, and several other license holders. Does this sound like a property that is in danger of losing it's funding?

Thanks for listening to my brief soap box rant and have a good day! 

Vertigoink/Adam Freeman.
Former editorial graphic design freelance on Toyfare (yes I'm the one who used to have to edit the  MOTUC ads in Toyfare).