Ninja Turtle Stealth

I am listening to your feedback!

So rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated… Okay, not that greatly.

I’d like to think that many of you missed me, but only one person asked about my whereabouts, so I assume I’m not THAT missed. Now that our good friend Poe is giving up the ghost, I have to wonder what I’m doing. We’ve been on hiatus for almost two months, after a pretty strong December performance. On the positive side, while I’ve been on autopilot, the traffic hasn’t taken much of a hit. That’s the benefit, I suppose, of having thousands of posts. Granted we’ve never fully recovered from the great Google “I’mma steal all your traffic for myself” purge of 2013, but what can you do?

Anyway, so I’m reevaluating where I will go with this site moving forward. I am unfortunately far too busy to post at pre-2013 levels. And with so many sites jumping into the fray as of late, it almost seems counter productive. When I got into this game several years ago, there were 3-4 real sites doing coverage of toys. Sure, others existed, but they were sporadic at best. Infinite Hollywood prided itself on featuring offbeat figure reviews and such, but as the market became more saturated, we lost our voice and perhaps what little market share we had.

So what should I do going forward? I have hundreds of toys that need to be reviewed, but I often wonder if they’re worth the work. Reviews take a ton of time, particularly because of the detail we put into them. I like to think we have generally the most detailed reviews around. Unfortunately, they rarely generate comments and people would rather watch Youtube reviews instead it seems. I’m certain I’ll still do reviews, but they’re going to be less, I think.

Are you interested in more articles? Interviews? Conventions? Fun sides of the toy industry you don’t normally see? Reviews? Photos? Videos? Specific toy brands?

I’m not asking you to convince me to keep running Infinite Hollywood, but rather, I’d like some feedback on what you like and what you’d like to see going forward. Consider this a huge suggestion box. Do you like the website layout? Do I need an overhaul? Any critique, good, bad or otherwise would be greatly appreciated. I’m definitely at a crossroads and I want to make sure I’m headed down the right path.

19 Responses to What Would You Like To See?

  • Monte says:

    It’s so hard to know how to approach the creative/critical/self-promotional/portfolio aspects of the hobby these days.

    As you note, there are many, many toy sites and toy blogs, and it’s not just (crappy) video reviews that are distracting people; it’s also social media. I would sooner quit buying and photographing toys than discuss them only on Twitter and Facebook, but apparently I am in the minority.

    You had quite a few regular guest contributors for a while; are they still interested, or did their attention wane?

    What might make the most sense is to take it in a completely self-indulgent direction. In other words, forget about your focus group questions above and just write about the kinds of things you want to write about.

    Barring that, if you want to keep doing reviews, make them more fun or unique or Newton/Hollywood-specific. Less here-is-the-toy-in-a-static-pose-at-every-angle and more “I thought it’d be fun to combine this Star Wars Black figure with a My Little Pony figure for this review” kind of thing.

    There’s also the possibility that toy blogging simply has nothing more to offer you. I keep starting new blogs and then quickly abandoning them. These days I get more reward from posting a long essay or a batch of photos on HISS Tank than I ever would on a blog.

    Whatever you decide, we’ll be watching eagerly.

    • Newton says:

      True on the social media aspect. Between the forum sites expanding to reviews and then blocking anyone that’s not part of their tiered system and all the Facebook groups, it can be a bit tough.

      As for contributors… I liked them, but they sort of waned after a while. I don’t think most people realize the work that goes into this sort of stuff and they give up after a bit.

      I appreciate the feedback. The site will stay around in some form or another for sure, but what exactly I do with it will depend. There’s going to be some evolution I suspect.

  • Nathan says:

    Although I didn’t ask about you, I did notice you were gone so don’t think that you weren’t missed. 🙂

    As for which direction you should take the blog, I’d say that you should identify what about the blog gives you the most satisfaction and really concentrate on that. If there are things that are annoying, give them the boot. Good luck!

  • clark says:

    I will start by saying that I checked this site almost daily since your last post to see if anything new has come up. If I didn’t check it, it meant that I wasn’t online at all that day (which oddly has become more frequent).
    I like the layout of the website, so I have no suggestions there.
    I really enjoy the toy reviews (and typically hate youtube reviews btw), but unless it’s a figure that I’m interested in, I don’t really comment. That doesn’t mean I don’t read the review, but I just don’t have enough of an opinion to say anything.

    Your interview with Rupert Valero was one of my favorite posts you’ve done, so I’m always down for more interviews. I’m curious what fun sides of the toy industry you have in mind for reporting purposes.

    I will say that my absolute favorite posts have been your opinion pieces. Whether it’s something that bugs you, or something you’re excited about in general, I always find them captivating. Heck, if you just wanted to start writing posts about toylines that you love or hate and why, I’d read the heck out of them.

    Nevertheless, I’ll keep coming to this site everyday, and try to remember to comment more 🙂

    • Newton says:

      Appreciate the kind words. I definitely have a few interviews I’m working to line up right now. I think the site will be a bit more diverse in the future, just so I can write on various interests.

  • Zach S. says:

    I agree with Clark on the opinion pieces. I’d love to see more editorials about certain toylines, manufacturers or the industry in general. At the end of the day, that’s what separates you from other bloggers, is your take on things.

    And honestly, I love reading retro reviews more so than current reviews just because there are so many sites doing the same thing, like you said. I’d love to see your take on all of the vintage TMNT, for instance.

    • Newton says:

      Good point about some of the vintage stuff. I used to a do a few spotlights on those sorts of things, but not enough. Perhaps some more is needed. It’d be easier than writing reviews for hours but still cover some good ground.

  • MST3KFan says:

    I’ve visited this site many times in the past when it had totally different layouts and all that and was a big fan of al the many things that were covered toy-wise, food-wise, and so on. On ideas for what I’d like to see….

    Well, I don’t mind modern stuff being reviewed, but what about mixing it up with more retro stuff?

    Talking about foods or drinks that have come and gone while still doing reviews like you have on new things to try out food wise.
    Old video games from the NES, SNES, GEN era or PSX, N64, etc…while still doing stuff on modern games that interest.
    Movies, the same thing, do anything modern you want to do, and review even older stuff for people who might not be familiar with them.

    And of course toys… Someone already mentioned the idea of doing retro stuff there along with modern stuff.
    An example, you were doing TMNT reviews for the 2012 Nick line often. Maybe add in stuff from the vintage or 2003 ones? I know of only one reviewer that ever really focused on the vintage TMNT, Suine Hallock, and he seems to have disappeared.

    I guess to put it simply, mix things up a bit. Go into things you like now and stuff you maybe recalled liking as a kid and so on.

  • A_Spidey_Fan says:

    I usually visit your site on a once a week basis, but I figure you were probably taking break, or that you had to deal with “Life stuff'(Like all people who run a site from time to time). I may not look at every review or posting, but you usually do a few postings that I will look at. I think I’m with everyone here, in that if you still can, do:

    – Reviews of current and old toys. I sometimes really found that “Odd toy review on some random thing I would of never thought of or seen before” sometimes the most interesting thing I read, wiether it’s a dollar store type toy, some odd toy from years ago that I never knew of, a line I never would of think of, etc. Sometimes, you would do a review on an item or toy that most people wouldn’t bother to take the time to do(Like the Robocop figure review based on the 1990’s Live Action T.V. series. Most reviewers wouldn’t even touch that, because it isn’t “Super Articulated” or they think it’s the most utter crap ever, let alone even knew that any toys from that T.V. series existed). Also, the odd stuff as well like food, candies, etc. To be honest, I’ve never minded if a review of a toy was like a few months or even a year later. I mean, I understand we are supposedly living in a more connected world, so there is that deluded sense that every reviewer gets that latest hottest toy 1st, and then post a review right a way or something. But you know, sometimes doing a review of a toy that’s months or a year or 2 later after the toy came out, can sometimes give fans a perspective. Not to mention, there’s always that chance that that odd toy is still out there in some odd Winners/Marshell’s like store, a comic book store, or some online places like Big Bad Toy Store or eBay. Plus, I feel you kind of give a different look to things, and having different voices instead of less voices is always neat(Like really, does every website have to state when Pixal Dan does a video review or something?).

    – Now and then, you have a special 1 week or month devoted to a theme(Like Halloween toys on Halloween time, specific character in relation to a movie or T.V. series being release, etc). Maybe if you can’t do it on a daily basis, that’s understandable, but still try and do the Month theme on a weekly basis. Or if instead of a 1 week event, you extend it to 2 weeks, and do them only every few days instead of daily.

    – Interviews, behind the scenes stuff, etc. Those are neat. Some sites mostly only do reviews or state news and that’s it.

    – Your Blogs/Editorials/Opinions about things in general are really fun to read. Examples included your opinions about Matty Collector. You could of just done some random “Rant” about how much you are a nerd and that Mattel owes you stuff because of it, but instead, I recall you stating more clam and valid reasons for your complaints. I still remember when you did a simple post that eventually got Alan Thicke to kind of support your Save MOTUC Twitter thing. I think that was the most weird and awesome thing I’ve seen happened in the last few years in reguards to toy releated stuff.

    If you have to hang it up, I won’t hold it against you. You’ve been on the web for a very long time. But I will miss your postings and your unique prespective on things.

    I’ve sometimes toyed with the idea of doing a blog on toy reviews, but I don’t know if I would ever do so, since I know it does require a bit of time to do it, and I unfortunally don’t have that time. Plus, I don’t think I would ever truly be as objective in my reviews, but then again, I’m not 1 who will complain about every single thing either. Having said that, for many of the toys I’ve been buying, I’ve been taking pictures of them at least in packaging right now, so that if or when I do decide to do a toy blog, I’ll have my own packaging pics instead of relying on some other website for it.

    As for looking video reviews, within the last year, I will admit I have looked at a bit more than in the past. However, a good chunck of the reviewers were on stuff that most reviewers wouldn’t cover too often(Like some of the variant Batman figures), or if I needed to conferm something that I couldn’t find in written review. I do find that some action features on a toy is better shown on video than when describing. But even so, I still prefer reading and looking at photos, since those don’t take as long to load than a video.

  • I thought you might be in “quiet retirement” the kind where you just stop posting. Glad to see you’re still around. 😀

  • jestergoblin says:

    Heh, now I feel like a trend setter having stopped updating my website with regularity like a year ago.

    But boy do I get it. The time of photographing, writing, formatting, editing, tweaking and going on and on gets tedious (and then Hasbro killed my favorite lines). So when I got back into LEGO, I just kind of gave up on reviews since LEGO is at least consistent with their products.

    When I started, I was filling a niche that I felt needed to be filled in the toy community. I didn’t have a lot of readers, but I was providing a service that the bigger sites weren’t and that worked for me.

    Now you can hang out with Poe and me as retired toy bloggers and talk about the good old days.

  • CLoud says:

    I never really liked Youtube reviews. I still have better appreciation for taking time to write out your thoughts about a toy or collectible and also spend time to take some awesome pics.

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  • Mark says:

    I have enjoyed your site for years. All I can say is keep up the good reviews as I have always enjoyed reading them….even figures from lines I do not collect.

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