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Ask Matty – 12/15/8

mattel.gifMatty and Toy Guru are back for a holiday edition of Ask Matty. See what they have to say about all of  your most burning questions.

*Editor’s note: these questions were submitted on November 15, 2008.

1. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen the prices of action figures spike up 50% which is incredibly drastic due to the oil crisis. Changes had to be made. But suddenly oil prices are dropping just as fast. As a result, will Mattel:

A) now LOWER the prices of figures in stores in conjunction with the oil prices dropping, or

B) include accessories that previously couldn’t be budgeted out due to the price of the petroleum in plastic (i.e. Ares’s missing weapons, Wonder Woman’s spear, Cyborg arm attachments all in one card) or adding size to larger C&C’s that couldn’t previously be done due to the cost of oil (Making Giganta 12" or larger even by accident like Grundy).

If you plan to do neither, then Mattel would need to explain why the prices will stay as high as they are with dropping oil prices. If they can’t lower the prices, at least add something to give us our money’s worth (More unique tooling).

The retail price of our toys is not tied directly to the price of oil. Other factors such as increasing labor costs, transportation and materials also contribute. We work hard to keep our prices down and will remain vigilante in doing so, but as the economy changes, manufactured goods retail prices change as well.

As for your specific suggestions, the “missing” accessories are not in fact missing, but rather have not been tooled. It is less expensive to sculpt an accessory (as the Horsemen do) but it is very expensive to create the tooling mold. The Horsemen have done a phenomenal job with great enthusiasm sculpting lots of possible accessories for DCUC figures. But when it comes time to spending the larger chunk of cash to create the tool, that is when we have to cut back sometimes to keep the figures at a price that works for retail. If we tool’d every accessory the Horsemen sculpted, the figures would be too expensive to sell at retail. Tooling is one of the most expensive parts of the toy making process.

So to make a long story short, these accessories are not missing as much as they were never produced. The pictures you see online are often the original sculpts by the Horsemen and not the production tool’d figures and accessories.

As for the size of Collect and Connect figures, the largest we were able to product to fit pieces in package is 10 inches. If we produced figures larger then 12 inches we would need to spread the figure out over multiple waves. We’ll throw this one back at the fans, is this something you would be interested in?

2. Will DCUC series 8 Giganta’s skirt limit her poseability? Please find a way to keep it from doing so, be it very soft plastic, cuts at the sides, or anything else that allows the hips to retain full range of motion. What kind of hip articulation does she have? Ball? Standard DCUC?

She will have the same articulation as a standard DCU figure, she is just twice as tall. The actual design was created by the Horsemen and we are taking there lead.
3. With so many collectors worried about actually being able to find the DCUC Wal-Mart exclusive wave, what (if anything) can you tell us to quell our fears of not finding this wave at our local Wal-Mart stores? If you’re not able to get into specifics, can you tell us if this wave was produced in a small limited run, same number of figures produced as a non-exclusive wave, or a larger production run than a regular wave? Originally we were told that the Wal-Mart exclusive wave would hit sometime in the summer and ship throughout the remainder of the year. Obviously switching vendors threw a wrench into that plan, so with less than 2 months remaining in the year, is there a new plan for this wave? i.e. how long will this wave ship?

Although the Wal-Mart wave hit a bit later then we originally planned, we still produced the same number of units as originally planned. While it is a bit less then a standard wave, we are working closely with Wal-Mart to get these figures out to every collector looking for them.
4. When can we expect to see what the overhauled Infinite Heroes figures look like? What all will that entail? We heard that there would be added articulation but will that make it so the new figures will look out of place with the older figures?

The new IH body will start to show up in Spring 0f 2009 with added all joints in the knees, elbows, shoulders, wrist articulation and ankle articulation.

5. When will DCUC Wave 9 and the next round of Matty 2 packs be revealed? Toy Fair? New York Comic con? How about packaged pictures of DCUC 7?

New MattyCollector 2 packs are in this month’s Toy Fare magazine on news stands now. Wave 9 will be revealed at NYCC in Feb.

*Thanks again to Toy Guru and Matty for all the great answers. Please note that the next round of of Ask Matty will be on January 15th due to the holidays.

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