Monday, August 19, 2013

The final day for subscriptions...a business point of view on how to profit from toy lines

Well, this is the final day for Matty subscriptions...The Eternia sub is at 84% We need a meager 16% to make it happen! I know many customizers are wishing this line would end so they can profit with the characters that fans wanted, but not this one. There are better ways to do so without getting your hands covered in apoxie

 I'm a fan, I love this line, is my constant source of inspiration for the work I do. I want every fan to have their fave character at an AFFORDABLE price...customs are not affordable for many, and the prices for them once the line is confirmed dead will skyrocket..I can see the Ebay auctions....That my friends is not fair, not everyone can pay the huge prices these figures will go for...and every time I'd see a figure go for $400...I will be saying, "Well 150 more and that would have been a FULL club Eternia subscription" . That is however how the market WILL work, we won't control those prices, its basic capitalism...less product, higher demand.

Speaking of market, those who want to profit from the line can't see far ahead, If profiting is your thing, well I'd say you are not seeing the yourself on 2016....will you have kids? will we have flying cars? we don't know those things for sure, but here is what we know for sure: Once the line ends, several of the LAST figures will be the ones that will become more expensive since -and we know this for a fact- these are being made in MUCH smaller quantities..and specially the ones that don't have a" day of" sales (a growing trend right? well, expect it to grow much more next year)

 People just think about the now...but have you stopped and think how much your "useless" Glimmer will be worth? Of course not every figure will become too valuable (NA figures i'm talking to you) but you can compensate profit with the other more valuable ones.

By Example, I have held an optikk for a ton of years, brand new in its box, back in the day people were throwing it in the garbage, trading it for fodder, etc the thing cost me $20 bucks when I bought it with other figures, I have sold it last month for $60 bucks plus shipping charges. What? you don't know how much Optikk goes for now? check Amazon and see...The good one eyed bounty hunter paid for my 2013 Eternia subscription this year.

Now let me give you another example. I have 3 extra shadow Weavers in my storage, they now sell for about $180 to $200..can you imagine how much they will go for once the line ends? If i'm pesimist I'd say $250 each...well if I sell 2 there is my 2011 subscription paid in full...that is not counting the rest of the 2011 figures,  if I  sell each for 10 bucks (of course they will sell for more) ....I still make a profit. I bought those extra Weavers out of impatient collectors who wanted her to skyrocket to 400 bucks on the first days...and yes I paid 80 for one, and 60 each for the other two.  Patience and foresight is not something that the collector world has in abundance, but for those who have learned it, pays quite well.

Over the last past days I have seen so much pesimism between my fellow fans, that is just inredible. I Have turned down more than 6 commissions from people saying :" Since the line is dead can you make me an Angella? " or a Mermista?"  I told these customers to not fall in despair, to subscribe and don't throw away their money in ONE figure...instead use it to buy another sub if they can afford it.

 Concessions in this sub are a given, and they are not new, We had the star sisters (for some a terrible 3 pack..well not for me) or the fighting Foe men, but that is how this line works, whe have to accept this kinds of figures so others can happen.   I'm willing to accept an NA figure (my least favorite) so others can have Glimmer or Angella. Heck! I will be willing to get a meteorb (...please noooo!) we can have Loo-Kee, Twiggets etc..That is how it works, that is how we've always done it and I know we can still do it...

I won't end up with the usual tag know what you have to do..

Pick  your poison:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kick Ass 2 commentary (Spoiler Free)

 Yesterday, I was invited to the Kick Ass 2 pre-screening event at the Dolphin Mall in Miami. I was thrilled like a school girl to see it cause Im a fan of the comic book and the first movie....I was even screaming out of excitement ala "comic con panel" style, when the announcer greeted us

I really enjoyed 95% of it, some things were obviously changed to better adapt to a movie format, there are scenes that are straight from the comic books and others well, changed so there is no headless dog...

While the adaptation is a complete riot, the gags are all there, the sense of humor, violence etc Biggest complain lies in the ending of the  movie... The last 15 minutes or so have been totally altered from the comic book. There is a controversial scene, and well, I think many hardcore KA fans will be totally displeased on how it

I'm not a purist, I do love me some changes on my on screen adaptations (EXCEPT THE MANDARIN CHANGE IN IRON MAN 3...that was pure garbage) and ignoring that part, it's a great  movie, I really enjoyed it, laughed, got horrified and glorified at how well some gory scenes translate to the big screen, and wanted more potty mouth Hit Girl. Sadly I feel there wasn't enough of her, instead a ton of Mindy. Alas, that is how the book was written so, no complains there.

The performances were great, including the ones from newcomers like Jim Carrey, John Leguizamo, Lindy booth, among others, and the main cast who reprise their roles spotlessly. Chloe Grace does a good job at portraying Mindy going through the hell hole that is freshman year...

Kick Ass 2 will surely start a controversy among fans who totally love it and don't care too much about the changes, or fans who will totally hate it cause of the disregard of the source material (only at the end!) but heck! I totally loved the movie!

In the words of Mindy Mcready (Hit Girl) ..."Game on Coc$^&ers!"

Kick Ass opens nationwide on August 15th.

P.S. Have you checked Neca's AWESOME KA2 figures?? they are amongst my faves! As soon as the movie ended I went to my local comic book store and grabbed a pair...Neca's exquisite attention to sculpt, detail and articulation makes them an absolute must in your collection!

Watch the red band trailer here: (age restricted)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

After the comic con dust settled...What is in store for the American toy companies?

 Now that Comic con is in the history books, we find ourselves in the subscription wars...

But why is it a war now?

Why can't American companies take chances anymore?

Why are we in such craptacular position?

Comic con is important not only cause of the exclusives, the costumes or the panels. For us in the design/customizing world, it shows us the future direction that the toy industry is heading, and I can tell you, it does not look good.

Each year the Japanese companies like Bandai or Chinese like Hot Toys are gobbling up the american licenses, giving us expensive but really good looking collectibles, and this comic con was not the exception. Bandai is already gearing up to make Predator and Alien figures, kicking absolute butt right under the nose of Neca, which is a company that I truly admire (along with Playmates) however the prices and quality will differ tremendously from the NJ company.

Need I mention Hot Toys? their unique and paranoid attention to detail has made them the SOLE option for any 1/4 collector out there, leaving in the dust offerings like the 12 inch joes from Hasbro or the Mattel stuff (can you compare the Christopher Reeves Hot Toys Superman vs the Mattel one? ) or Play arts, stealing the 8 inch scale with their unique "animesque" rendittions of american properties like Batman, Man of Steel and the list goes on. Sure they are not everyone's cup of tea but their legion of fans is growing more and more even as you read this note.

The truth is that now american manufacturers have to rely on Subscriptions to get the ball rolling, the anemic performance so far is a sign of the times. Collectors are tired of the same thing over and over, and if you don't step up your game, then waht is next? give up? let the Asian market gobble you up? The solution is simple: QUIT WHINING!

the Japanese/ Chinese, already got the idea, they stopped bitching of cost increases, and they just did it. "You pay me 50-60-70- bucks for high end quality figure , and I give you kick ass figure, better than American crap"

  Their offerings cost much more than the american counterparts but you pay for that with your mouth shut, cause you know that you will be getting an awesome figure for your collection, with the attention to detail that can't be found in an american toy.

As I write this, I feel terrible. America was always about the CAN DO attitude, the country that no matter what, it was wrong to bet against, cause they could always do better, they were THE SHIT. Sadly, when it comes to toys...we are losing the battle. Slowly but surely.

Now the Star Wars black series line might be a bright spot, a small incling that at least Hasbro has got it right but you know it as well as me, that the first waves are all about the awe..then the ball starts dropping . I hope and pray to the action figure gods that this is not the case, cause they really look good, but hey only time will tell.

However, not all is darkness. You can see BEACONS of light when you look at the Four Horsemen and their superb Kick Starter campaign that blew all expectations, and will give us the most amazing well sculpted, fully accessorized, independent action figures in the entire industry, and this without any media support: No comics, no webs series, no TV show, just the name and talent of the good folks out there in New Jersey. Now THAT is how you make business! kudos to them. 

As for subs, I already bought my Eternia Subscription. I owe my entire loyalty to that brand and I will sub until the end, even with Plun-dorrs and Hydrons It's the least I owe to He-man, Mattel, and the folks who helped me build a career in the customizing industry.  But for the Dc subs, I don't see any offerings that really make me enthusiastic about them. They are old outdated outfits (like Ice) only appealing to the die hard fans, not the main customer base. When you want business, you have to cater to the majority of your base, not just the adult ones, otherwise you risk a complete failure.

In a few words the key to making profitable toys in the industry is:

-GREAT quality (this is paramount: Mind fucking sculpts-like the ravens-, Spot on likenesses etc)
-Tons of accessories
-GREAT selection
-Innovative designs, articulations etc (see Hot Toys/Revoltech moving eyes, and the uber articulation)
-Cost increases up to 50% to 70%
-A desirable licence

This last one, applies in the case of Ghostbusters...who cares for an Ecto 1? Sure, you can say"I know a ton of fans who would kill for this car!" yeah, then why don't they want to pay the $215 plus shipping and taxes price? Or maybe they did, and that is why they are at 21%

The facts are Simple...See what happens when you only cater to your hardcore base?

Now ask yourself: what if instead of Ecto 1 it would be the Delorean from back to the future, plus Marty (with a mini hoverboard and interchangeable Nike shoes and vest)  plus Doc Emmet for $215? wow, did I make you think twice? See? desirability!!

However I feel optimistic about the future. Whatever it holds, it will mean less money for us, but tons of great toys....either American or Imported. The costs WILL rise no matter what we bitch about . Let's just make the best figures ever and retake the american toy industry by the horns, and ride it all the way down til every fan has the figure they want.

I have one friend who said to me:" I started to sell my entire marvel and Dc collection, I'm sure MAFEX will get the license for 6 inch toys for Dc and Marvel Someday. Can you imagine a MAFEX new 52 superman? or a Kayodo/Bandai cyclops?...American companies make toys...the Asians are making ADULT COLLECTIBLES"..... Are we going to make her right?? HELL NO!

Wake up Fellas! We can do it!

Get your MOTUC subs:

Get your DC subs:
Get your Ecto 1 :

Four Horsemen Kickstarter campaign: