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AFHUB • View topic - ANSWERS from MATTEL
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:11 pm 
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07/15/2007

Mattel gives us the first batch of answers. I will be updating this with new info as I receive them. Mattel is asking us to please bear with slow turnaround as they are presently pre-occupied with SDCC preparation.

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AFHUB: Since the news broke out regarding Mattel being awarded the DC Master License, does it now mean that you have the license to produce ALL of the characters from the DC Universe - including those that were off-limits before, like Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, etc?

Mattel: We will have access to all of those characters you mentioned.


AFHUB: We understand the need for Convention exclusives over in the US, but is there any way to make these more easily available to your fans outside the US (like here in Asia, for example)?

Mattel: Right now these are exclusive to the conventions. It helps to make them special and collectable for those who can attend.

more to come soon...

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Post Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 1:00 pm 
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08/31/2007

Here's the next batch of answers from Mattel...

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AFHUB: What is the status of the Legion of Super Heroes (LOSH) toys? Are those still in the pipeline for 2008?

Mattel: We are currently reviewing the future possibilities of this line. It is clear from Comic Con that there is a lot of support for Legion toys.


AFHUB: Regarding the DCUC assortment - would it be possible to expect a 1:1 distribution between the regular and variant figures?

Mattel: That wouldn’t make them “chase” versions would it? Some characters like Superman Red/ Superman Blue will be split 50/50. The other variants will be chase characters in order to make the line that much more collectable and fun for fans. Also keep in mind that the chase version will contain the same build-a-figure part as the standard version of a figure so you will not need both to complete a build-a-figure.


AFHUB: Regarding the re-branded JLU line, will we be able to expect characters from other DC animated series like Superman the Animated Series or Batman Beyond? if yes, please cite a few potential characters.

Mattel: Nothing we can announce quite yet, but the line may be able to expand to these animated series as well. As soon as we have something to announce the fans will be the first to know! Stay tuned…


more to come soon...

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Post Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:34 am 
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09/19/2007

Here's the 3rd batch of answers from Mattel...

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AFHUB: The availability of both DCSH and JLU here in the Philippines has been very poor. It seems to be the same case in neighboring Asian countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. Is there a different timetable for distribution in the Asian market vs the US? If yes, can it be improved?

Mattel: Distribution is always something we are working on and seek to improve. Talk to your favorite retailer and let them know what you would like to see on the shelves.


AFHUB: Will you ever consider doing an accessories pack for the JLU line? It will probably go well with the 3-packs.

Mattel: That is something that gets talked about. It all depends on how future sales go when the line becomes more collector focused next year.


AFHUB: Any chance of doing boxed sets for the DC Universe Classics line, such as Playsets, Vehicles, and those old Daily Planet and Gotham City rooftops dioramas?

Mattel: This is an idea that has been discussed but no announcements can be made just yet. Keep in mind that this line is brand new and hasn’t even hit the stores yet!


AFHUB: With the rash of product recalls being handled by Mattel, will the schedule of production and releases of new lines like DCUC be adversely affected?

Mattel: The recent recalls do not affect these lines.


more to come soon...

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:09 am 
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10/02/2007

Here's the 4th batch of answers from Mattel...

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AFHUB: Does one major retailer (e.g. Wal-Mart) dictate the case ratios for the entire production line worldwide? Or it varies for, say, Asia?

Mattel: The case ratios for all of our toy lines are carefully thought out by our marketing staff at Mattel to maximize fan interest and customer demand.


AFHUB: During the last Comic Con, there was mention of Bruce Timm doing some new turn-around drawings for Mattel. Can you tell us what that is all about and for what product line?

Mattel: This was not an announcement made by Mattel but rather a rumor that spread around. At this time we do not having anything to announce regarding Bruce Timm art on the packaging.


AFHUB: The Four Horsemen mentioned some years back that they wanted to get a crack at Flash and his Rogues Gallery. Will they get a chance to do that for DCUC?

Mattel: We are looking forward to exploring all of the major and minor characters of the DC Universe and their respected rogues. And the Fastest Man Alive certainly has some cool villains that are just screaming for toys huh?


AFHUB: Are there plans for Mattel to sell products directly to consumers via an official web site?

Mattel: Nothing to announce quite yet but it is something we are looking into. If we do go forward with a direct to consumer website we want to do it right and this takes time to both start up the site and create the correct product. Stay tuned for more announcements in the future.


AFHUB: Is there a chance for other civilian characters from The Batman animated series to be made into action figures? It would be nice to have Commissioner Gordon, Alfred and others.

Mattel: These are characters we are looking into. It just depends on finding the right time and place.


more to come soon...


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:21 am 
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10/17/2007

Here's the 5th batch of answers from Mattel...

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AFHUB: Regarding the DC Universe Classics - what is your criteria and selection process for the characters that are included in a particular wave?

Mattel: The first thing we do is make a master list of all the characters we want to do. For 2008, our general rule is to include one A-list character, a villain for this character, two B –list characters, and one fan favorite (which we get from reading the online polls). We run this list by Warner Bros, DC Comics, the Four Horsemen, and even do focus group testing before making our final selections.


AFHUB: Still on DCUC - what about the repaints? Why keep producing figures like the countless Superman and Batman repaints which are most of the time, if not always, ignored by collectors and just end up on SALE bins?

Mattel: The past DCSH line was not aimed entirely at collectors. It also had a big “mom” factor, and including Batman and Superman helped move the figures for kids and moms. But for 2008, the line is completely being aimed at collectors so you will not see a single repaint or redeco that was created without the hard-core collector in mind.


AFHUB: Revisiting the previous question about Bruce Timm doing some turn-around art for Mattel, which you guys said was just "rumor that spread around." At least 2 people we know of who actually attended the Comic Con said that it was the package designer at Mattel that mentioned this. Would you care to comment further on this? And is Bruce Timm working (or has he recently worked) on anything at all with Mattel?

Mattel: If someone at the Mattel booth mentioned this, it was not official information. Perhaps it was something he or she would like to do and was sharing this with the fans. Either way we can let you know officially that Mr. Timm is not currently working on any art for Mattel. This does not mean, however, that Mattel is not working on the JLU line as we speak…


AFHUB: When can we expect to see the new JLU figures like Fire, Ice and Mr. Miracle hit store shelves?

Mattel: We are hoping as early as January (maybe sooner). The figures are currently available for retailers to order.


AFHUB: Is it possible to make the animated version of Lobo a convention exclusive? That way, it is more likely that they go directly to adult collectors and not kids.

Mattel: Unfortunately no. Toy Guru did personally ask about this and our licensor partners would prefer we did not make Lobo at this time.


more to come soon...


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:37 am 
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11/05/2007

Here's the 6th batch of answers from Mattel...

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AFHUB: Your competitor Hasbro has in the past done some Mego-type "dolls" for DC and recently Marvel characters. Does Mattel have any plans of producing similar Mego-type figures based on its new DC license?

Mattel: This is something we have and are exploring but nothing can be announced at this time. We are well aware of fan demand for this type of toy execution and are always working to explore new options. Right now we are concentrating on the 6” line and a few surprises for fall 08!


AFHUB: Since Toy Fair has just concluded, can you give us some "teasers" as to what new characters from JLU collectors can look forward to next year? I hope you can give us a short list of actual characters' names and not "stay tuned" :-)

Mattel: We know fans are tired of hearing “stay tuned” but the reason we can’t announce a line up yet is the line up has not been signed off on by our licensor and retailers and manufacturer. We can not make an announcement until all the stars are aligned. It would be a shame for us to announce for instance we are going to do a “Mantis” figure only to not be able to produce this character. We can tell you that we have big plans for JLU and this includes releasing many many fan requested characters. But until we have the green light to go into actual production, we will not be announcing any new characters yet. This has always been the way it is with all of our lines from Barbie to Batman. Stay tuned…


AFHUB: Is there a very rare exclusive planned for this Christmas similar to what you did with Holiday Hal Jordan 2 years ago? If yes, could you share with us some information like quantity and who gets a shot at owning them?

Mattel: We will not be doing any more rare JLU figures as Employee gifts.


AFHUB: You have done 12-inch figures (with variations) of Batman and Superman in the past. The older Batman figures were sold worldwide. But the more recent DCSH 12-inch versions of Batman and Superman were only sold as exclusives through TRU. Will you be producing more DC characters in the 12-inch scale and if yes, can they be distributed beyond TRU in the US?

Mattel: We will be doing more roto 12-inch figures in 2008. The line up will be announced in the coming months (see previous answers about JLU characters for why we can’t announce figures yet) and this line will be exclusively sold at Toys R Us in 2008.


AFHUB: Since Hotwheels has already released the 1966 Batmobile, could Batman fans also expect to see Mattel produce action figures based on the same TV series? Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin are going to be definite sellers to Bat-fans.

Mattel: We do not have access to Adam West as Batman or any of the characters on this show, only the vehicles. We do have access to over 3,000 other characters from the DC Universe in different media and we will be excited to explore these characters over the next few years in many of our toy lines.



Note: the next Mattel Q&A will be published sometime around December 15th.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:38 am 
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12/18/2007

Here's the 7th batch of answers from Mattel...

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AFHUB: Is there anything you can reveal to us regarding the current status of the Legion of Super Heroes (LOSH) figures? Mattel mentioned in an older Q&A that "We are currently reviewing the future possibilities of this line. It is clear from Comic Con that there is a lot of support for Legion toys."

Mattel: Nothing to announce yet but we have big plans for getting collector products out to fans in 2008 and 2009 through alternate means. Legion is one of many lines we are looking into.


AFHUB: The older JLU blue packaging included an insert trading card along with the figure. Is there a chance a new set of cards can be inserted in upcoming waves - since you did mention re-focusing the line more towards collectors?

Mattel: The cards will not be part of the new 2008 line look, but we are exploring other fan/collector programs such as numbering figures and more extensive bios on the card backs.


AFHUB: When can we expect to see in retail stores, the new batch of figures/characters for The Batman (animated) line such as the Hal Jordan GL, Superman and the Hawkman figures previewed during Comic Con?

Mattel: These should be in stores shortly after the new year.


AFHUB: Do you have a timetable on when the toys based on the Batman movie sequel (The Dark Knight) will be revealed? What can fans expect?

Mattel: These figures will be revealed closer to the movie release. With a film license we are under extra security with the toy lines to avoid giving away plot points. Fans can expect six all new 6” figures sculpted by the Four Horsemen. The line will include at least two versions of Batman as well as several villains in the movie style. The line will be part of our “Movie Masters” line. (the same sub-line will be used for other upcoming WB/DC movie lines such as JL in 2009)


AFHUB: A character that never appeared in any of the DC animated shows like Red Hood is scheduled to be released along with the Gorilla Grodd exclusive set. Will Mattel produce fan-favorites like Blue Beetle (please), who also didn't appear on the animated series?

Mattel: Right now our focus is on finishing up many of the fan requests from the TV series. After we do a few waves of these characters we will begin looking at the expanded DC Universe in the JLU style. Blue Beetle is defiantly a character we would like to do down the road if we have the legal permission to do Charlton characters by then.


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:29 am 
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01/16/2008

Here's the 8th batch of answers from Mattel...

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AFHUB: Regarding DCUC - what is the procedure you use for determining which character gets to be the chase figure for a particular wave?

Mattel: There isn’t an exact science to something like this. It is more of a process of looking at all the characters in the wave and reviewing logistically who would make the most sense to create a variant for. We also look at fan request lists and consult with DC, Warner Brother and the Four Horsemen when making these choices.


AFHUB: Regarding DCUC 3 - some of us are finding both Nightwing and Robin a little too muscular. Is there a chance that some adjustments can be done before he is released, like when you fixed Firestorm's head?

Mattel: Unfortunate we ran into some trouble with the Firestorm change which almost held the wave up (it did not) so we won’t be making any more changes at the last minute in the near future. The last thing we would want to do is hold a wave up or prevent fans from getting a particular figure.


AFHUB: Why did you choose Toyfare as your medium to release news about upcoming JLU/DCAU figures? Wouldn't using the internet (through various toy community sites) give you a wider reach and coverage than a magazine that one has to pay for to read?

Mattel: Although the internet has a wide readership, we partner with many of the fan magazines and trade shows, and as part of this partnership we try to offer some exclusive news and images to them. Many images and news bits will continue to be revealed first online, others will be given to magazines and shows. There are a lot of players in the pool and we do our best to give everyone a fair shot.


AFHUB: Since Mattel has the license to produce toys based on upcoming movies like The Dark Knight and Justice League (your Movie Masters line), is there a chance you will also be making toys from the Watchmen movie? If yes, can you give us some teaser info? If not, why not?

Mattel: The Watchmen movie, along with other Vertigo and non DCU projects will be handled by DC Direct.


AFHUB: Pricing for the DCUC figures in the Philippines is still an issue. The official Mattel distributor has pegged it's SRP at P900 per figure (approximately US$21.45 using today's prevailing exchange rate). Is there anything the Mattel HQ can do about this to help the collectors? I mean, you do want us to buy as many figures as we can, right? We simply can't do it at this price point.

Mattel: Mattel offers suggested retail prices for all of our toys. It is up to individual retails to set their own prices.


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:19 am 
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02/06/2008

Here's the 9th batch of answers from Mattel...

------------------------------------------------------------------------

AFHUB: I have purchased the first wave of DCUC for my son and intend on buying the next 2 waves for him as well. My question and concern is: Does Mattel plan on making vehicles and play-sets for this line? I am unsure if I should invest in these figures only to have my son disappointed due to the fact that they won't have any thing to interact with.

Mattel: It is difficult to make vehicles and playsets based on a 6” line due to scale issues. A playset for a 6” figure would need to be huge and it is difficult to find a logistical way to bring something like this to retail.

We are exploring the possibility of vehicles and playsets for other DC lines. Look for some major announcements at Toy Fair in Feb!

AFHUB: When should we expect DCUC Wave 3 to hit store shelves? And when will we know what's in waves 4 and 5?

Mattel: Wave 3 should be out in mid May. Wave 4 will be revealed at NY Comic Con in April (and possibly Wave 5 as well…)

AFHUB: Are there gonna be DCUC 2-packs (ala DCSH) coming out soon? If yes, which characters can we expect to see? This seems like a good way to re-release previous figures from DCSH that were hard to find (like Azrael and Cyborg Superman) and even from the older Batman series (like Attack Armor and Bat Signal Batman).

Mattel: These are great suggestions and something our design team has discussed in great detail. We don’t have anything to announce quite yet, but stay tuned….

AFHUB: I picked up my DCUC set but the Metamorpho torso had one damaged arm socket, which made attaching the left arm impossible. A friend of mine ended up with a Red Tornado sporting 2 left legs. My question is this - does Mattel offer a way for customers to get guaranteed replacements for damaged items like these? Sure, we can return it to the retail store but they are not always guaranteed to have a replacement on hand.

Mattel: Please call the Mattel Customer Service Hotline at 1-800-524-8697 and they would be happy to address your friend’s issues.

AFHUB: Regarding "The Batman" figures: why does Mattel make them in inconsistent scales? Robin is a prime example - he is too big to go with the rest of the cast. Will you be making a properly sized Robin anytime soon?

Mattel: The reason Robin is a bit large is simple- design logistics. If he was made in accurate scale to the show, there would not be enough plastic in his legs to hold up his body! Therefore adjustments were made.


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:52 am 
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02/14/2008

Here's the 10th batch of answers from Mattel...

------------------------------------------------------------------------

AFHUB: I don't mean to make a comparison, but how is it possible for DC Direct to ensure that what they announce for release on a certain week gets released on that week, while Mattel's delivery schedule seems to be a moving target all the time?

Mattel: Because Mattel product is available to a larger number of retailers, it makes it difficult to time the release of product the way you could if you sold to comic book shops only (as DC Direct does).

AFHUB: So far we're only seeing 1 female character in 3 waves (of DCUC). When do we see other females like Wonder Woman, Black Canary or Zatanna? Is there a male-to-female ratio or formula being followed?

Mattel: There is not a specific formula, but we are dedicated to doing many female figures. While there may not be one in every wave, while other waves may have multiple female figures. Never fear, the female heroes and villains of the DCU will make it to the shelf. One of our figures at Comic Con will be a female figure.

AFHUB: Will you be making key civilian characters for DCUC like Alfred, Commissioner Gordon or Lois Lane?

Mattel: Eventually we would like to. At the moment there are too many exciting super heroes and villains to get to first.

AFHUB: What are the case mixes for DCUC wave 3 going to be like?

Mattel: Case mixes for Wave 3 are still in flux so we do not have an answer right now.

AFHUB: What happens to prototypes that get shown in conventions and then later gets pulled (e.g. Brown Man-Bat)? Is there a possibility that you can auction off these rare pieces so collectors can get a chance to own them? If not, why?

Mattel: There are a variety of legal reasons that prevent us from selling or auctioning prototype toys. We do however frequently create one of a kind items that are auctioned off for charity such as the Dream Halloween event held every year in Manhattan Beach California.

AFHUB: It appears that the latest copy of Toyfare magazine indicates that JLU will now be a Target-exclusive line. How will this affect your overseas market? Does "Target exclusive" mean that in the US, it's only Target that will be carrying the line and they will continue to be available to countries like Hong Kong or Philippines?

Mattel: The JLU line will be an in-store exclusive only.


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:14 am 
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03/13/2008

Here's the 11th batch of answers from Mattel...

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AFHUB: What was the idea behind your choice for Batman's costume in the latest 12-inch Giants of Justice line? Weren't there better choices?

Mattel: The decos for the Roto figures are designed to appeal to a wide variety of collectors and kid fans. While not every deco will appeal to every fan, what is certain is that Batman fans love variety!

AFHUB: Since JLU has evolved to becoming a Target exclusive, will you still be producing new characters for its 10-inch line? What about the smaller metal figures?

Mattel: At the moment the metal figures are coming to a hiatus. We have a few ideas cooked up for the 10” line but nothing is set yet. Hopefully something to announce over the summer.

AFHUB: There's been no news about The Batman or Legion of Super Heroes toys. If these 2 lines are considered goners, will Mattel make an official announcement about it?

Mattel: Mattel will continue to develop toys based on animated DC properties. Much like JLU, we understand the fan devotion to The Batman and are looking into ways of continuing this line. As for Legion, we do have plans for Legion characters in the near future, but they may not be in the animated style of the cartoon. At least not at first…

AFHUB: When will we see the list of WWE figures you will be producing? Who are in the first line-up? And when will they be available in the market?

Mattel: While we will not have any specific character details until well into 2009 (Mattel does not take over the license until 2010 so we are a bit early to make any announcements quite yet) we can let fans know we are extremely excited about the WWE line and are prepared to put as much effort into making an amazing collector line for WWE as we do for our DC lines. Look for more information and some exclusive web casts in the near future to keep all of our WWE fans up to date!

AFHUB: What scale will the upcoming TDK Batmobile be in? And how many versions should fans expect?

Mattel: Fans can expect several versions of the Batmobile. It will be available for 4 inch and 5 inch figures. Their might even be a 6 inch vehicle surprise in store too…



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