Details, details, details…this detail talk is spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored, I could scream!
Yet another retailer pulls Mattel and Tonner from its inventory – this one was a big one, but not the only big one. The bulletin boards are all aflurry with the regular handful of people who discuss such things online…as opposed to the thousands who don’t care (another reason collectible retailers are a dying breed). These are buyers who want what they want when they want it. Manufacturers are relying on this…and for every single person who wants to touch the Creator…there are a hundred also competing for that edition who just don’t give a shit (like the action figure collectors).
Any manufacturer that builds a business on the backs of others will face this decision one day…when to cut the cord. “If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs” – words that recently came to me out of nowhere…but I didn’t write that – not verbatim, anyway.
I don’t defend Mattel…but they are clearly unique, given that its doll business was built on children’s toys over 55 years ago…so they have had time to evolve into the corporate machine they are today. Lots of things happen to a company that undergoes that kind of lifespan…and the tiny fraction collectibles is to its business base…well, it speaks for itself. Their bread and butter is from big box toys. Collectibles direct sales are gravy, if not annoying…and it won’t drive any of their business decision making.
Those who equate Tonner with Mattel are sadly misinformed…Tonner does a mere fraction of Mattel’s business, not unlike a pimple on a mosquito’s ass – and its impact on the collectible retailer is more hard-hitting than Mattel’s, considering that that retailer network made Tonner who he is today. What’s the phrase, “This is business” – yes?
Well, yes and no…it is a business – but its dynamic changes so profoundly when you involve a highly volatile and emotionally charged audience with a product that isn’t just ‘bought’ – it becomes a part of your life. And to surround yourself with a group of perky and friendly staff members who fail to understand even a shred of its products, company history, or its customer…well, well. We do have a conundrum, now don’t we?
The drive to sell direct is to keep prices in line so the customer can still afford the product…rather than attempting to control costs through creative and disciplined management of elements like design, materials, and excessive expenditures that are not directly related to business. Of course, this is theory and opinion…but I would guess to say that as those controls continue to spiral out of control in many businesses, the product will no longer be affordable even at the direct level. By then, the factory will need to sell the product directly to makes ends meet – for the factory. If (and when) that happens…the brand will likely retire. Who knows what will happen to the brand when such lying, stealing, cheating and conniving start to take control? And I could even venture to postulate there is no likely plan as to what happens when retirement, ability…or even death may come into play. They call it ‘flying by the seat of your pants…’ For in the end, no one else matters at all, really…except the one who just walked away, leaving the rest high and dry.
So kudos, George! You’ve made your own market…and you’ve created a connection with them of which others may only dream. Glow…brightly…as long as you can…
Hmmm…really? $190 for Sheldon Cooper? We can at least turn Amy Farrah Fowler into an aging Blossom or young Bette Midler…but Sheldon? What does $190 buy us exactly without those blessed retailers to discount him by 20% on pre-orders? $152 is still way too much for a geek wearing layered tees. The least you could have done was give Sheldon a tiara for Amy. UPDATE: Price was updated on April 2, 2014 release to $149.99 – but I maintain my original position based on the 20% Discount Bang Theory, above.
Sarcasm? I suppose…
Oh yes, and it’s ‘(Knock, Knock, Knock) Penny – (Knock, Knock, Knock) Penny – (Knock, Knock, Knock) Penny’ – Fan boys will notice this, if they’ve even bothered with your blog. Details matter.