So believe it or not, this article and it’s title I had planned a few days ago before all this brouhaha over MOTUC ending started. In fact I had to change some of the original article I’d started because of the recent controversy. In a nutshell, though, the premise here is that I am pretty much done with Masters of the Universe Classics. Ram Man is the finish line.
I’ll confess that I was afraid Mattel was going to make Ram Man be the incentive figure for the 2013 subscription (and I’m shocked they didn’t make him but I assume that’s because they’d have to charge more) and I was relieved when he wasn’t announced as the subscription exclusive. Why is Ram Man the goal post? Because he was one of my favorites as a kid and he’s the last figure I feel I truly have to have to complete the line.
Apparently I’m not alone in this. Yes, there are lots of figures I would also really like. In fact there are likely lots of figures I’ve never heard of or seen before that I might would like to buy. However for too long Mattel has come to depend on the subscriptions and people’s willingness to blindly buy whatever the heck they decide to put into the sub and that’s it.
I pretty much knew 2012 would be the last year of the MOTUC subscription for me, because they said last year that it was the final time we could get the subscription at the $20 price tag. I jumped on MOTUC from the beginning. I bought King Grayskull immediately and joined the first sub, no questions asked. I loved it.
Each year I feel the subscription program has become more of a burden. They’ve added extra figures which raise the cost, they made it so that if you ordered anything else from MattyCollector you have to pay separate shipping and let’s not even go into all the issues with the site itself. The price hike seemed to indicate that this was a good time to get out.
Likewise, the figure selection has gotten somewhat bizarre and this year I was forced to pay $60 + shipping for the Star Sisters. It was very much a camel back breaking moment for me. In December, they’ll release Granamyr and if you want him, you’ll be paying $140 BEFORE shipping to get him and sub items. Don’t forget, those items won’t ship together, so you’ll get hit with double the shipping fees.
These are the kinds of things that make me wonder why on Earth I would continue to subject my pocketbook to that sort of abuse. I know at times it feels like the only time I ever mention MOTUC on this site is some sort of rant, but the truth is, they constantly keep doing things that make collecting the line a burden. This year’s SDCC reveals left me very cold. I already knew I was out, but aside from Ram Man, I just wasn’t feeling it. I liked the vintage characters who appeared and I think Fang Man looks cool. I would buy him for $20, but probably not for $25 and almost certainly not for $28.
This is the inherent problem with the line at this point. It’s not necessarily that I can’t afford it, it’s just that I don’t want to buy this stuff at these prices. There are other toy lines out there that I’m really excited about. I can buy THREE Ninja Turtles figures from Playmates at the price of one non-sub figure from Mattel in 2013. In fact I may be able to buy four Turtles figures when you factor in shipping. Are those figures as “adult collector friendly”? No, they’re not, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think they’re a much better value.
Now Scott Neitlich has come out and said the line is not doing well at all. First he said that there would potentially no longer be day of sale figures. Essentially saying that if you don’t sign up for the subscription, you won’t be able to get the figures. People didn’t like that, naturally, since day of sales still seems to be going good for MOTUC. Mattel still routinely “sells out” on every figure, but who knows with the way they operate.
Apparently every year the subscription hits it’s mark in about 48 hours and everything else is just extra. Scott previous said that the 2012 subscription numbers were down considerably from the 2011 subscription, but noted that if even half the people from 2012 subscribed, the numbers would still be great. So now we’re led to believe that less than half of that previously low number, have subscribed.
Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s true. While I have no doubt that the MOTUC subscription will continue on throughout 2013, the writing is on the wall. Neitlich now has added to the paranoia by saying that if things don’t go well, they’ll only release the one or two figures they’ve previously tooled up and that’ll be the end of the line. That seems a bit far fetched. The line will continue in some fashion, no doubt, but it may not be able to ride the current model anymore.
In addition, he’s said that 2014, should the line make it that far, will contain the rest of the unmade vintage figures. This also seems like hyperbole to me, when you consider how many vintage figures are left who would need unique tooling, but it’s a nice promise. If true, 2014 sounds like a good year, but I doubt I’ll buy a sub then, either.
I’m done with the subscription model. If Ram Man is the last MOTUC figure I get, that’s fine. If Ram Man someone doesn’t get made, oh well. If they continue to roll out good figures and make them available to purchase I will continue to buy them… IF they interest me and the price is right. This is how I operate with every other toy line and frankly, I’m tired of holding Masters of the Universe Classics to a different standard. I love the toy line, I really do.
But MOTUC is coming to an end for me. Whether the subs sell through the roof or they wither on the vine, I’m for all intents and purposes, done. I’m content with where my collection is at and while I may add the occasional $28 figure to the collection, I will no longer buy figures I don’t want.