So this year I did not renew my Masters of the Universe Classics subscription. That noise you hear in the distance if the sound of my GF shouting with glee. She has come to hate Matty’s monthly raiding of our checking account. It’s interesting that I decided not to subscribe this year, when last year I was very close as well. Last year, Ram Man was the deciding factor. I desperately needed a Ram Man and he had the power to pull be back off the edge of not subscribing. What made the difference this time around? Let’s find out shall we!
Let me preface this by saying, despite whatever you might think, I am not a Mattel hater. In the past few weeks Matty has gotten some snark from me in regards to their handling of the MOTU line, but I honestly don’t think they’re the worst thing ever. Truth be told, I love a lot about the line and always have. I’ve never gotten into some of the more radical conspiracy theories or felt like the company was out to get me in some grand scheme of evil. Yes, I posted last week about how I thought they were intentionally limiting certain figures, but I truthfully believe that and given their history of doing that exact practice with false sell-outs and such, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it’s a possibility. Hopefully you agree, whether you believe that’s actually the case or not.
Lastly, I promise not to keep writing about the He-Man subs, but given the amount of responses recent topics have gotten versus some of my other content (that’s often a lot more work) I figured it’s worth mining for a bit longer. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m a bit lazy and terribly busy as of late and this is an easy topic to get some good discourse going.
Part 1 – The List
Before I re-upped my Club Eternia subscription this year, my GF challenged me to write a list of ten reasons why I should. She argued that if the line was worth it, this wouldn’t be that hard of a challenge. While some of the limitations she placed upon me were a bit over the top (I couldn’t list particular figures as a reason) it did get me to thinking about my allegiance to the MOTUC toy line.
While realistically I totally could have subscribed and told her to shove it, I thought it would make for a fun experiment. I originally planned to post 10 reasons why I wanted to subscribe on this website, followed by 10 reasons I shouldn’t. As you may have already figured out by now, neither came to fruition. The biggest problem was that I could barely come up with more than one reason why I should.
The crux of my argument for getting the subscription for another year was that “I like some of the figures”. It was specious at best. So I decided to look at the figures that are included in this year’s sub and evaluate which ones I like, which ones I wanted and which ones I never would have bought. The tally told me something very interesting. The numbers told me a lot about my MOTUC habit.
NEVER WOULD HAVE BOUGHT
Fighting Foe Men
LIKED BUT 50/50 ON IF I’D HAVE BOUGHT
Even if you split the 50/50 figures, literally, I would still have bought a lot less had I not gotten the subscription. This is multiplied when you realize that the Fighting Foe Men were a three pack, that I definitely never would have bought.
Now this does not necessarily mean that I don’t like a few of these figures I was forced to buy. A couple of them are pretty neat and I’m sure some of the ones coming down the pipe might be really cool in hand… But I wouldn’t have purchased them willingly. Some of them I wouldn’t have even bought for $10 at Big Lots.
I do not have attachment to every MOTU character. Even vintage ones. While a cool figure can win me over, there are lots of guys who still do much of nothing for me. Even popular characters like Jitsu and Clamp Champ are not high on my list of likes. I realize this sets me apart from a lot of other folks, but it is part of the reason that I just don’t care anymore.
Another real issue is the stuff I haven’t been able to get this year, but that I want, yet aren’t entitled to as part of the Club Eternia subscription. Strobo is the most obvious. Here is a guy I love, but haven’t been able to purchase. I also want Sky-High. Again, call me crazy. Perhaps I will score him, but having to pay separate shipping and such just makes the whole point of having a subscription moot.
In a nutshell, there’s just not that many figures left that I even care about, certainly not a year’s worth and that would even be if Mattel did nothing but my top picks and hit homeruns on them all.
Part 2 – The Mystery
Every year the subscription has a Club Eternia exclusive that you get for joining the club. Unlike most clubs, this figure isn’t free, but he is a rare and more limited figure. Most of these figures have been fun exclusives, but in the past few years they’ve gotten weaker and weaker to me.
Preternia Disguise He-Man is one of the largest piles of plastic crap ever created, but he came so early in the line that few people noticed. I hated him and avoided the sub that year like the plague, largely because I didn’t want that figure. Last year’s King He-Man had a lot of potential in my eyes, but I felt he was largely a wasted slot.
This year Mattel decided a new strategy in that they would make their exclusive a mystery. Every year I’ve subscribed, the exclusive has always been a heavy factor in my determination. The entire idea of a mystery, just annoys the crap out of me. To make matters worse, it’s a mystery figure who’s also a mystery character.
Mattel just gets to make this guy up. Now Mattel made all of these characters up at some point, but their track record with recent creations hasn’t been that stellar in my opinion. While I’ve heard some neat theories, such as this figure would be based on Snake Mountain, it’s not enough for me to feel confident throwing $30 at. I mean, I might expect something as cool as Snake Mountain Man and end up with something like Cy-Chop!
I doubt I’m the only person who feels like their commitment to the subscription is heavily tied to who the subscription bonus figure is. Wun-Dar is still my favorite sub exclusive for the record. To me he was the perfect balance of what was needed and I was really excited to find out who this year’s sub exclusive was. It very well could have swung me onto the side of buying the sub, but not knowing who it is and having no idea what they look like just doesn’t work for me.
I find they whole mystery aspect just perplexing. If Mattel feels that the line is spoiled by people getting to see the figures months in advance, perhaps they should stop sending Pixel Dan the figures 6 months before they go on sale? Maybe that’s just me. Most of the “leaks” are Mattel’s own fault. And it’s not like this figure would even be a mystery, because as soon as one person gets it, they’re going to spray it all over the internet like a fat kid with White Castle diarrhea.
Part 3 – Fatigue
It honestly feels like we just did this whole subscription drive thing yesterday. I don’t know if it’s because everyone and their brother is doing some sort of Kickstarter campaign or because I end up pre-ordering and subscribing to so many toy clubs these days, but I’m tired. I miss being able to go out to a store and actually find stuff I want to buy.
This is not something that is inherently Mattel’s fault. I suppose it’s just the nature of the business, but I’m beginning to wear thin. The other problem that Mattel has with MOTUC, is that I don’t really even know what I’m subscribing to. I know a few of the figures, but as mentioned above, it could realistically be a lot of things I don’t want. Most of the other clubs or pre-orders, I at least know what I’m paying for.
Part 4 – Variety
There are simply too many things fighting for my dollars these days. Whether it’s my addiction to vintage figures from my youth, expensive imports or branching into new areas like designer figures, there’s just so much more fighting for my cash than there used to be.
I mean, NECA is making a Spider Gremlin and an ED-209 for crying out loud! Figuarts is making incredible Power Rangers figures and Godzilla figures! Everywhere I turn, someone is resurrecting an old property or making a new version of a great toy.
In a lot of ways Masters of the Universe has become an antiquated thing. Are the figures cool? Sure, but there’s so much stuff out there right now that is vastly superior in every way. It’s just hard for me to justify spending $30 on a single MOTUC figure when I can spend about the same and get so much more. The days when MOTUC was the hottest thing on the block are long gone and with companies willing to take risks on other things, there’s just a cornucopia of stuff I want to spend money on… And sadly a very limited amount of money and space for me to use on all of it.
Part 5 – The End?
And so I didn’t subscribe this year. I hear they may open it back up for a bit, but I doubt I’ll cave. Last year I was so worried about Ram Man, but this final year really did me in. There’s just too little that I want, too much dissatisfaction with what I’ve been given and far too many other things that command the attention of my wallet. With Mattel offering fewer answers than ever, I’ve had to officially move myself into “cherry picker” status.
Could MOTUC get me back? Possibly, but unlikely. I may jump on some mini subs but I just don’t think I’m willing to commit to anymore $500+ subscriptions for Masters of the Universe Classics anymore. Ultimately, these were the deciding factors that helped me realize that the MOTUC sub just isn’t for me this year. I’m glad it went through, but I’m also glad I’m not locked into it anymore. It’s the end of an era, but I’m not shedding any tears over it.