Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When will Mattel wise up with the DCU?

Has there ever been such a great line of figures so horribly mis-handled by it's brand managers in the history of toys? The six inch DC Universe Classics line by Mattel is absolutely on par with the best of the old Marvel Legends figure line when Toy Biz was calling the shots for the brand. You want 'em, I want 'em, comic fans of all ages love 'em. So why do the powers that be at Mattel continue to screw this line up so badly?

Mattel can't continue to claim overseas production problems are to blame for poor instocks or bad assortment circulation. This line is at least two years old now, if you blame manufacturing at this point, it's total bullshit. Based on how we continue to move backwards with really odd random case assortments of older waves to date, and the god-awful choices within (Gay Blue Aquaman! Keep putting him out, collectors love him!), you have to wonder why the same people at Mattel get to handle this brand. It's like someone at the company is trying hard to tank this entire line.

Retailers only have so much patience...if a company can't maintain in-stocks, any large scale retailer will look at removing the sku from the shelves until the company can demonstrate they can produce a regular flow of product. Target does this all the time with problem items. Mattel can't maintain in-stocks with the new DCU waves so they are sending out older stock to keep their shelf space until the new figures are ready to ship in a more controlled fashion. But the catch-22 here is that most collectors don't want all these older figures they already chased down months ago. And if collectors don't want the current assortment, for god's sake Mattel, at least ship mainstream iconic heroes and villains so at least kids and parents want 'em. No Gay Aquaman, no Booster Gold, no Dr Impossible, just Supes, Bats, Flash, etc. How hard is that to figure out, really?

So, we are all watching current DCU inventory rot on the pegs. Sales will slow to a point where the retailer questions the viability of the line, or simply tires of Mattel's antics and just cuts the line out entirely and moves on. This summer is make or break for Mattel and DCU with all the big retailers...if the brand managers don't get their shit together fast, we can kiss this line good-bye in 2010.

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