There never going to release the main characters at the start or else the line dies off..even if it doesnt its too risky for business.
The Retro Ghostbusters set at TRU is on sale for $19.99. Picked one up yesterday. Drastic price difference from the original price.
Just to respond to your comment "There never going to release the main characters at the start or else the line dies off..even if it doesn't its too risky for business."
I respectfully disagree. Mattel's Retro Action DC Super Heroes is based on the success of Mego. Look at the original Mego line up: Batman, Robin, Aquaman, Superman. All four are main characters, no villains. Then Spider-Man, Captain America, Tarzan and Shazam, etc, followed by a set of main villains, Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Mr.Myx (however the heck his name is spelled! . All are of these were main characters in the early 1970s. Skip ahead to the early 1980s Super Power Collection. This was the first action figure series to feature DC Super Heroes since the Mego line ended. It had Batman, Robin, Joker, Penguin, Superman, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Green Lantern and Flash. All main characters and guess what...the series was huge! Following this were mainly Batman figures until DC Direct, which catered to the comic book store market, so it was natural to be more exclusive in character selection in that market. Retro Action in my view should have been targeted to a main stream market, kids first, collectors second. This means making the main characters, same as Mego and Super Powers. I don't see how it would be "too risky for business" if a toy company offered fans the main characters that they actually wanted. The idea is to sell as much product as possible as quickly as possible, rather than to self sabotage your own toy line with poor character selection that sells slower, or have poor distribution of the selection. Just sharing my point of view.
In my opinion Mattel could have offered all 5,000 characters in DC's stable and it wouldn't have mattered. The floppy bodies killed this line, not character selection. Once collectors starting opening $20 figures and they wouldn't hold the same types of poses that the vintage Mego's did they were boycotted. No sales = no line.
It wasn't just the floppy bodies on these, it was everything.
Yes, EVERYTHING was bad on this line. The packaging, the oil leakage that was never fully explained, the Fisher-Price head sculpts, the emblems that cracked, the costumes, the haz-mat boots, and above all, the BODIES.
Calling them Retro (a word I've grown to loathe) didn't help either.
Now, I know these were never meant to be Hot Toys, but come on, would it have been so hard to make these half way decent? Customizers do it every day, for FREE!
You know, if you think about it, Hot Toys (and others like them) are just glorified G.I. Joes. Light years ahead of what Hasbro did, yes, but the concept is the same, 12'' figures with removable clothes.
Does HT market their products as Retro? No, they don't. Do they make them look goofy on purpose? No, they don't.
Because that would be stupid.
This could have been a cool idea, but they decided to go another route and it just didn't work.
As a result, these ended up being too silly for collectors and too pricey for toys.
Not a great combination.
Well, it was an expensive lesson for Mattel yes, but hopefully one that others who make these kind of figures can learn from.
Customizers, good ones anyway can get hundres for a good custom so I don't see how that helps make your point. Also these were meant to be like toys from the 70's which to me means they should be somewhat goofy looking. I mean c'mon look at the Thing from the original Mego line, that's not goofy looking? They were meant to fit in RATHER seemlessly with a 35 year old collection, not outshine them. In my opinion they looked exactly as they should have. You did do one thing, prove MY point. Everyone had lists of reasons why NOT to buy yet the wobbly bodies, oil & cracked emblems were all addressed going forward based on our feedback (well complaints and demands). I did not love all of them (Wonder Woman being the biggest disappointment in my opinion), yet I own ALL of them (2 of Wonder Woman, the worst figure in the line). I say it all the time, if you want a line to continue you have to support it especially through the rough patches.
Can you get a bigger picture than that?
My point about the customizers wasn't a point at all. I was just commenting how one person with limited resources can do a better job than a "team" of designers and a multi billion dollar company backing them.
Also, I don't know about other scales, but custom Megoes hardly fetch, "hundreds of dollars". Not since Charlie Flatt anyway, and those won't get anywhere near that today.
What someone asks for, and what they get, are two different things.
Again, I'm not sure of the point I was proving to you about the problems with this line, because from what I saw, nothing was ever addressed.
First of all, the bodies were never "fixed". They were the same junk that they always were. What did they do different? They added the clip that was supposed to make them not slouch? Big deal. They needed to fix the entire LOWER HALF (which it was implied that they were going to do just that). Not just add something that they supposedly, "forgot".
How was the oil leak addressed? I never heard any response from Mattel about it. All I ever heard was that, "some guy who's been in the business for years says it's ok". What's that mean? And then his name couldn't be mentioned because, "people might bother him at work". That was all the answers about it I ever heard.
Sorry, but that's not good enough.
I could go on about the cracked emblems, huge boots, lousy packaging and bad head sculpts, but what's the point? Nothing was addressed or changed.
Obviously the people involved thought that what they were doing was correct, and sales proved otherwise.
But hey, if you want to buy something subpar just so you can get more, that's you. Not everyone subscribes to that theory, probably because it doesn't make a lot of sense.
Buy crap so you can get more crap? Hogwash. It's Mattel for God's sake, get it right the first time.
And since you decided to post the picture of the Thing, let's talk about that. I agree that it isn't the best, but it's still better than any Retro figure.
When Mego made the Thing and Hulk, they created a whole NEW body for them. It wasn't perfect, but they did it.
Did Mattel do that for Darkseid? No, they stuffed him with bean bags and called it a day. That was lame. Better to just make another character then make one that looks ridiculous.
The Thing figure isn't great, but Mego wasn't making their figures goofy on purpose. They weren't made to be over-priced collector's items, they were just toys, that's it. They at least have an excuse.
These new figures don't fit in seamlessly with the old ones, not by a long shot. Megoes were never the best, and they had their problems too, but they still beat the new ones by miles.
The Retros weren't made to outshine them?
Mission accomplished.This message has been edited. Last edited by: The Joker,
Wow, such hostility from Joker. I never knew toy collecting was such a serious hobby! Dare I follow that post with my own thoughts? (just kidding with you)
I agree with Joker's comment that calling the line "Retro" didn't help. I believe that this series could have been marketed with modern style packaging to find a more mainstream audience. The Mego style packages were well done, but I thought they looked really out of place at Toys R Us next to other modern action figures. Even Mego was starting to update their packaging toward the end of the 70s, with one larger illustration of the specific superhero replacing the "heads in circles" style of art. Mego also used art that showed a collage of characters such as on the Dukes of Hazzard cards from 1980. Later, Kenner's Super Powers collection followed Mego's newer style of packaging with one large illustration of the hero next to the figure. I think that style of "Retro" packaging would have been more appealing to both a mainstream market and collectors - aside from the die-hard mego maniacs (and I use the word "maniacs" here with affection).
Also, I agree with Freddie's comment about the floppy bodies being a big problem for this series. That was a huge fiasco for this line (and a strange one considering that Mattel is supposed to be a world leader in doll manufacturing), but when wave three came out with the adjusted midsection, I thought that was a suitable improvement. Unfortunately they didn't do anything about the lack of pose-ability at the figure's hips. It's odd that they didn't bother to put in a ball-like joint (same as the figure's shoulders) or use a stronger elastic. But as for the sculpt of the Retro Action doll body, I thought they were well done and an improvement over Mego. Don't set me on fire for saying this, but I like these Retro Action figures better than the original Megos, and I've been a fan of Mego from childhood. So I give Mattel points for that! But I'm still quite disappointed that the series was cancelled. It's so weird because there is such a huge Mego revival going on right now. I just read online yesterday that the KISS Mego's are being re-released in both 12" and 8" size! We're at the point now where essentially every Mego series has been redone! So any argument from Mattel that this style of figure doesn't have a market is nonsense. They need to take a look at improving the product they are offering (quality and character selection), distribution, and the marketing.
In all fairness though, I also found that some collectors were/are being too darned picky and negative! (This is a toy hobby forum after all, not a political rally!) Some quality issues were a disappointment, but the head sculpts were all very well done, and for the most part, the costumes were well done too. I hope Mattel will give Retro Action another try. This series is my new all-time favourite toy line, ahead of Mego!
As for "goofy looking", you bet! This is what I like most about Megos, and Retro action. It's what gives them their charm! You can't do a beard and rooted hair on the same doll head without it looking goofy! (aka Mego's One Million BC series - which is awesome!) The stuffed tail on Mego's Lizard is also classic goofiness! Freddie, I thought it was interesting that you weren't impressed with RA Wonder Woman. I thought that was one of the best in the line. I read elsewhere that someone thought Captain Cold was one of the best, which I thought was one of the worst. So I can begin to see how hit and miss some things are and why Mattel had difficulty with pleasing collectors, which supports my logic that a mainstream market should be targeted instead of just collectors.
Lastly, I agree with Joker that RA Darkseid should have had his own body sculpt, like Mego's Hulk. This is another example of how the DC Comics RA series wasn't really taken seriously by Mattel,and just treated as a side project. I found that disappointing too. A larger body sculpt would have been much better, and Mattel could have also used it for Kilowog as they were pushing the Green Lantern series. In my view it would have been far better to have Kilowog instead of a second Sinestro.
All this to say that in spite of their initial flaws, I hope Mattel will keep trying to market Retro Action DC Heroes!
There's no hostility coming from my end. I just find it funny that everyone who's a fan of this line thinks that the only problems that they had were, "Marketing and Distribution".
Marketing? Does anyone really think that Mattel was going to spend 50 million+ on commercials for figures that can't even stand up straight? Or have floppy legs? Come on. They would have to add a disclaimer at the end of every spot that would say,"Figures may not stand as advertised..".
Don't think they wouldn't either. When Mattel was blowing the Captain Colds out for $4.99 on their other site, they wrote just that.
Also, NONE of Matty's DC offerings are advertised. They just don't do that anymore. Mego did, sure, but that was 35-40 years ago. That was a much different marketplace than the one we have today.
Distribution? Now, I agree that TRU was slack about carrying these, but can you blame them? They carried the first wave, and there's Luthors and Sinestros still sitting there two years later.
Would it have been different if they changed the ratio on the characters? Maybe, who knows? But how many of the ones that were sold were returned? We'll never know that.
I do know that there had to have been a reason why the wave 2 figures were shuffled to TJ Maxx and Marshalls, that's for sure.
Whatever the case, Mattel has been been dealing with TRU long enough to know their shortcomings. Everyone else seems to, so that's neither here nor there.
With the bodies, I guess we can go on and on about it, but I think it comes down to whether you like it or not. If anyone thinks it's better than the body Mego made, great. That's your opinion, and you're entitled to it. But personally? I think you're crazy. Mego bodies are going into their 4th decade and they're still going strong. Retro bodies were junk right out of the factory.
I can't honestly see how anyone could think otherwise. I mean, what's so terrific about it? The torso that's too long? Is it the undersized pelvis? The abnormally large thighs? What?
The whole thing was a mess.
If you like them, then just say that, but don't act like everyone else just doesn't get it.
That goes for the head sculpts and the costumes too.
I don't think anybody was being picky when it came to these. A lot of people were complaining (or just stopped caring), the issues weren't being addressed and sales reflected that.
A good example of complaining about the head sculpts would be the Shazam and Black Adam production figures.
Now, you can say until you're blue in the face that you liked them, but they were awful. These were so bad, they should have never seen the light of day. But there they were.
I don't know who was in charge of greenlighting these, but if it were up to me, they would have never gotten past my desk.
It wasn't just the sculpts either, the necks were way too long also.
What happened? People complained (even the die-hard fans), and what did they do?
They shortened the neck on the Shazam.
Did they change the sculpts like they should have?
People are too picky? Black Adam didn't even remotely look like the guy on the package. Not even close.
It's not like Shazam and Black Adam are hard figures to put together. It's all about the head sculpts, not whether Shazam has the button on his tunic, or his cape is trimmed in gold.
It's all about the head sculpts and they just didn't get that.
And it wasn't just those two either. That was wave 4! With every wave, everytime these were shown, there were complaints. So what, all those people were wrong, and they were right?
You know, people weren't complaining about these because they wanted to hear themselves talk, or be haters, they complained because they wanted these to be the best that they could be, period.
And these were fans that were hard-wired to be into these, and most weren't.
What does that say?
Well, all of this doesn't make much of a difference. There's nothing anyone can do about it now. I really doubt that Mattel will be revisiting the Retro Action Superheroes anytime soon.
Not in our lifetime anyway.
One last thing I would like to add is, that while some may think that the Mego heads were goofy, I don't agree.
Take the Mego Shazam. That isn't a bad head sculpt, it's just not a great Shazam head sculpt.
There's the difference.
Use that head for another character, and it WILL look great.
In fact, if you repaint most of the Mego heads, they'll look a lot better.
Except for the Captain America, there's no repainting that. It's bad.
BUT....use it for a Daredevil, and it's perfect.
And not all all goofy.This message has been edited. Last edited by: The Joker,
And now there goes Young Justice, why, because of their hands. THey were sculpted in a way that the collectors didn't like, the collectors didn't buy and now the line is dead. Of course there will be list after list of reason why they didn't buy and what they would have bought but the reality is not enough people did so there goes another DC related line. Oh well. We can always demand they bring it back and then complain about the distribustion/quality/sculpting/gaps between new episodes/character selection and not buy them and hope they stick around longer but I doubt it. Oh well, there's always customs.
I just picked up Capt. Marvel , Darkseid, and Martian Manhunter at Tuesday Morning for $6.99 Whats that say?
They had everyone from that wave except Darkseid -- the one guy I wanted the most! Scooped up all of them. Have an extra Supes if you want to trade.
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