Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mattel's DCU Failure at Mass Retail

Mattel's most recent round of product updates on their Mattycollector facebook site confirmed that for the first time ever, an entire upcoming wave of DC Universe action figures would be available for purchase via thier own online store.

On the surface this is fabulous news to long suffering hardcore collectors who are tired of the runaround and poor distribution of nearly every wave of this brand over the past year. As we've recounted here in this blog many times, Mattel's team handling this brand have done nothing but a piss-poor job getting this line to retailers and thereby into the hands of the collector.

But while this news of online sales may seem great on the surface, consider the larger picture and fate. Why would Target or Wal-Mart bother to invest in a line of toys when the main repeat customer in the toy aisles, the collector, can simply sit home and order them directly from the vendor? Outside of desperate retailers like Toys-R-Us, the other big boys don't have the time of day for that kind of a deal. As a toy buyer, how do you justify giving up the valuable space on the shelf or dealing with the constant headache of inventory controls when you now know a good percentage of your customer will buy directly form your vendor who is now a COMPETITOR for the same sales?

The answer is that they won't. Mattel has already caused the main retailers plenty of trouble this year with the brand. If Target hasn't already told Mattel it's done messing around with the DCU (which is our bet and why Mattel is announcing this online route now), then they absolutley will soon enough.

The DCU brand is not strong enough to support itself longterm with only online sales and reduced mainstream retail distribution. Proof? Show us any DC Universe exclusive that has yet to sell out in thier store.

Yes, the online route will be great in 2010 and will save the Bittergeeks just as much frustration as anyone out there trying to track these figures down. But we know better and can see the bigger picture and ramifications long term. The brand is severely damaged and now limping home to a likely demise.

And all because Toyguru and his team blew it.

No comments:

Post a Comment