So Toy Fair was this past weekend and as usual, there were lots of announcements, some previews and general industry news. I did not attend and honestly I didn’t update anything about the Toy Fair itself because I felt this year was probably one of the most underwhelming Toy Fairs in recent memory. However, there are a few things I would like to talk about coming out of the show.
– MattyCollector’s Facebook page posted up the entire Toy Guru presentation. It’s boring for the most part, but if you skip to the last part he does a Q&A. This is the most interesting part of the entire presentation and actually the most interesting thing coming out of Toy Fair for me.
– TG mentioned that the Mattel office Stay Puft also turned yellow. This has been a big issue of mine (after reluctantly plunking down the cash for Stay Puft) and one I’ve been pestering Mattel about. It sounds as though Mattel found out their Stay Puft was yellow once fans began to complain. The interesting part here is that TG does a blame shift and questions whether the factory didn’t follow their protocol or not. He also claims they are looking into it, but he doesn’t seem to indicate that there will be recourse at all. I’m not really interested in WHY it turned yellow… I already have that answer. They chose to make it out of a stupid squishy material instead of out of plastic, like people wanted. I don’t need the particulars. Give me a refund.
– Toy Guru also stated that Mattel is completely redoing the Digital River/MattyCollector system and it should be “90% perfect” and no more headaches. This is supposed to happen within the next three weeks or so. I have to wonder if this will be one of those instances where TG has stuck his foot in his mouth when they can’t deliver. Time will tell.
– Scott seemed a bit ready to “strike back” at fans who question him on forums and kept asking for hard questions, saying fans were nice in person. I found this very peculiar. He also clearly snaps at a guy who missed part of his presentation and when the guy asks about Super Powers Penguin, TG basically says he should have been paying attention. It was awkward. Likewise, he shut a fan down who asked about female figures and how they were often shortpacked and that perhaps they would sell better if they were more readily available. TG towed the old line that female figures just don’t sell. To be fair, I’m inclined to agree with him on that for the most part, but his attitude was so matter of fact about it that it sours his point a bit.
– In addition, TG kept reminding us how he’s “one of us” despite the fact that he doesn’t have to deal with any of the struggles that we do. Steve Jobs was a computer fan too, ya know. Doesn’t mean he was in the same boat as the guys standing in line for the new iPod after Apple released a new one three months after early adopters had already spent their money.
– Mattel is taking preorders on the ridiculous non-hovering hover board. Yes, Mattel has finally learned to take preorders, it’s just not on any of the items we’d like them to.
– The JLU figures will finally get released and as Scott pointed out so kindly, “they’re only $30!” I quit collecting JLU after YEARS and hundreds of figures when they reached $9, but I guess we’re at the point where $30 figures are a steal. That’s a truly scary mentality. He didn’t say that they were expensive, but a great opportunity for diehards, he stressed that they were cheaper than they originally said they might be, so it was like Mattel was giving us a deal. Again this just strikes me as a guy who claims to be such a fan, really seeming out of touch with most fans.
– Collectors are only 1% of Mattel’s sales. In case you forgot. Don’t pay any attention to the fact that they are having a collector’s night, Q&A session or have created an entire website built around catering to collectors. You are insignificant!
– Now here’s the kicker… Mattel did not think the Wind Raider sold well. So they’re going to MAKE MORE Wind Raiders and sell them during SDCC. Perhaps if you buy their new run of Wind Raiders, they’ll make other vehicles. WHAT?! I think we got our answer on the Wind Raider debacle. Mattel clearly pulled the item. Actually, I suspect that the Wind Raiders were not finished when they put them up for sale, but Mattel rushed them to market anyway. This is why so many had QC issues. Instead Mattel was waiting for the rest of their shipment so they claimed the item was “sold out”. This is why they have been so vague on the Wind Raiders. I’m sorry, but its incomprehensible that the item didn’t sell to expectations so they’re going to make more to see how those sell. I cringe when I see TG so clearly lying in person.
– Beyond that, I liked most of the MOTUC announcements, especially the Snake Men. The WWE Legends they revealed all looked terrible, particularly Bundy who’s suffering from a far too modern head scan. Bundy has lost 150 or more pounds since his “prime” and his face looks deflated as a result. The figure seems to reflect this, which is just odd.
– I didn’t see any other major toy announcements that struck me. I feel as though the overall Toy Fair this year was completely underwhelming. The neatest news came in the previews earlier in the week of the new Playmates TMNT stuff.