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Aug
05

Subscribing to Madness

As I type this there are hundreds of action-figure collecting nerds sitting around staring at a static .jpg of a sad thermostat; waiting to find out the fate of a toy series they have been slowly collecting for the past x years. Waiting with false optimism to complete their obscure teams, hoping that this isn’t just another way out for a toy company looking to self- destruct. Or is there really no one to blame in the end but the fans? If you build it they will come, and if they don’t…well, I guess it was a good try?

Rewinding to SDCC 2011, Mattel announces that it will offer a subscription for the beloved DCUC, as it is coming to an end. Not so much an end as it is a rebrand, a reboot much like the rest of the DC universe. Nerds cheer, nerds whine, nerds react strongly to the news much as they did to the reboot itself. Unfortunately it all begins to go to hell once Matty announces that the decision whether the DCUC Infinite Earths sub will go through or not will be entirely up to the fans. “IF NOT ENOUGH SUBS SELL, IT WONT HAPPEN” This is pretty shitty to those of us that really want it to go through; many for the promise of a super exclusive fan chosen figure available only to subbers, voted on by fans (Metron?). While the rest couldn’t care less assuming that if the sub does not go through the figures revealed will still be availabe at retailed, squished into a sibling line or online at Matty… there are of course the fans that have concluded DCUC is over, end of story pending the result of this depressing thermometer.

A thermometer which isn’t an actual counter btw. Just a static .jpg that some intern changes every now and again whenever the memo is received. Who knows how reliable it actually is and how much its a metaphor. A metaphor Mr.Ipkiss! Well what isn’t a metaphor is the WHY this is happening. Its become clear that although the DCUC style will continue to live on in retail it will not be as waves and it will begin to feature more and more the DCnU.. y’know the Superman without the panties. Which I’m kinda excited about but I would like some of the classics that will not be included- hence the Sub. Which is supposedly tailored to characters they won’t sell at retail for whatever reasons.

The big-headed corporate mascot releases news on a subscription that the fans have supposedly been demanding only to place it too far from the collector’s reach, all the while
“threatening “that the much gushed over figures revealed will not be released ever if the subsciption perscription is not filled. Considering how upset many fans and collectors have been over QA, Customer Service issues, distribution and price with this line its a pretty ballsy stunt to pull. But at the same time it wouldn’t make sense to simply let it go through if it will result in a complete loss. Lord knows ActionFigure Collectors and the sort are not the easiest people to please. Assembling a year’s worth of sub figures + exclusive (13) only to have everyone bitch and complain regardless and ultimately operate at a loss wold be a terrible move as well. Again, if ALL the figures were announced at once… that would be terrible as it will obviously remove the buyers that then know they wont be getting what they want. Its like a blindbox figure. Which personally I enjoy.

This has divided the community into 3 groups, 3 Corps as it were.

Hope— Many of us have bought the subscription, hoping it will go through, and hoping that the rest of the figures to be released will happily fill the gaps on our shelves, and if they dont… well, we can always sell them and make someone else happy. Staying optimistic and pushing in the right direction.

Rage— Many are infuriated by the tactics Matty has sunk to in order to make a buck. As such they are refusing to buy the sub on principle alone, and are actually hoping it will blow up in their face. Feeling somewhat betrayed and are pretty angry about it.

Will— The third group is composed of those that are still on the fence. Those asking for more time and/or more info on the secret figures that they refuse to blindly buy into. Filling message boards and forums with these demands.

Demands which are actually being met, which is surprising if you believe all the not-nice things some of these peeps have to say. Nonetheless met, Matty announces that Poison Ivy will join the sub, now making a total of…. well 5. Atrocitus, Jay, Starman, Poison Ivy, and the voted on figure which I will simply say is Metron. And of course in true nerd fashion many have begun to complain that they want MORE revealed and that they don’t like THIS version of Ivy. *Sigh

Its a mess it really is. It was poorly timed as it was execute with a short time window too close to SDCC not giving bank accounts enough time to recover. In regards to advertising… it was practically underground. If it was a band it would earn a hipster +9 hipster points for knowing of it.

The way I see it its a pretty easy decision for the fat -cats at Mattel to make. If the Sub fails they will have a bunch of pissed off fans, resulting in non-stop bitching, possibly less sales, and Matty’s “good” name will be dragged through many miles of mud. Not to mention how much money they have to release/refund. Which has the potential to become a huge Customer Service mess from what I have heard.

If the Sub DOES go through, well, thats a whole ‘nother bag of chips. Those that bought the sub will be happy it went through though they will probably bitch about figures released down the road… but that cant be helped. Those that didn’t buy the sub will have the option to pick and choose from the figures that will then be availabe online, as well as from scalpers on eBay. Its a win win!

If this was a choose-your-own-adventure story one choice would be a dark, foggy path with broken tombstones, bats, and creepy trees; whereas the other would have a rainbow, bunnies, and a pony. Sure the former is the more exciting path but… you are low on health and will probably die. Yea its that easy a choice… no its not a trap. If the choice is that simple to someone with a BFA and no “real” business skills then it should be an obvious slap in the face for the money-makers at Mattel. But then again maybe its more up to the fans than we realize and maybe we/you are dropping the ball on this. If it doesn’t happen I will be pretty bummed and like most people will blame the big guy… Matty, opposed to the average Joe ranting on Matty’s facebook about how this is stoopid and he will never buy, all the while really wanting one of the sub figures. If you don’t have the money well… thats fair. But if you just want something else to Rage Against.. then you’re just not being very nice.

At this point I predict one of two things happenening. 1- “Hey guys we are extending the deadline so that all you cool kids can buy our groovy DC sub! yeaa!” or 2- “Wow due to a sudden surge of buyers we have hit our goal and the coolio sub will go through!” All the while laughing their evil laughs for the few extra subs they were able to gain with their “OR ELSE” approach. Which, needless to say… is a shitty thing to do. Of course they can always just… screw us all over, or did we screw ourselves over? Lots of finger-pointing action going on indeed!

Either way I will keep my blue ring glowing, counting down the hours to see what route they decide to take, all the while hoping thay they will come to their sense. I really want that Metron!


The funny thing is that I typed this up away from home without being able to check my email. Arriving at home a few hours later I had an email from Matty saying that the Subscriptions Sale Date Extended! which is great. Its what HAD to happen, its what many wanted! You’d think there be more happy going around… but no. Still an incredible amount of complaining and nay-saying. Maybe the Madness in all this isn’t so much Matty and his bosses but the fans and their tighty-whiteys always in a bunch. On the plus side, there is much talk and action resulting in more advertising for the sub which of course would not hurt. Well… we’ll see what happens.

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