The trouble was that you could go and buy all the secondary characters from all the cases that the stores put out, since there were so few of them. An ebay scalper could get to a store early, see a case of figures (4 Jungle Attack He-Mans, 1 Teela, 1 Orko), buy all the rare figures and leaving the 4 Jungle Attack He-Man figures on the shelves. Now imagine this scenario for every case the store has. Then imagine this happening everywhere MOTU 200X was sold. All you have left were He-Man and Skeletor variants. Scalpers selling 7-8 dollar toys for $30-40 dollars a piece on eBay. They could easily make 10 times as much as they put out. They got rich off of MOTU 200X fans who couldn't find the figures.
Unlike other lines where you could find other characters to keep the line going, MOTU 200X didn't have other characters to help sell the line because they were short packed. Nowadays, cases are divided up much better.
But this is what I don't understand- The cases are not better! The problem ultimately was that He-Man is not nearly as recognizable as he should have been. Batman is clearly packed more to a case then his villains, yet I would consider most of his toy lines a success.
What you are describing as scalpers buying all the secondary characters, well, that does happen, but not enough to kill an entire line. I bet more collectors got who they wanted in a store than the kids did. It is unfortunate that this happens, but it does. I know because I was working at TRU during the entire run of 200x. I was blamed, along with these imaginary "scalpers" whenever a collector couldn't find what he wanted. As if I controlled the production of any given toy line!
He-Man was a failure because he is not a recognizable brand anymore. You can blame Mattel for bad marketing, or bad case ratios, or whatever, but it doesn't change the fact that kids aren't into action figures.
The Batman thing is not correct b/c KIDS are buying Batman figures (with the exception of the brand new MMs figures that Mattel made for collectors), while I see your point its factually incorrect. 90% of Batman lines are for kids. He-Man is more of a collector line, while there was a new cartoon out at the time the line was mostly snapped up by collectors nostalgic for the 80's (myself included). So Mattel in all of its glory decided that since it has to be kids buying up the first wave (the only one that had a decent ratio) they need to put He-Man figures front and center and all future secondary characters need only one since very few people care about them. What Mattel didn't realize was that it was collectors buying up the He-Man and Skeletor figures from the first wave b/c that is the only decent He-Man and Skeletor that will exist (why they thought that no one cared about Man at Arms and Beast Man Idk). After that the kids weren't buying the crappy rehashes and left the line while all of us were out there trying to get our hands on the one Teela or Orko in the tri-county area with most people resorting to the internet or giving up (what I did, not spending 50 dollars on a 10 dollar figure I want to pull out of the packaging and pose). So basically blame Mattel for not producing enough figures for the line to prosper.
Right, and I am incorrect How?
He-Man was marketed to kids. Kids didn't buy enough He-Man figures. The line was considered a failure.
Its true that collectors were buying the line up, and Mattel's failure was in not seeing who there primary target was, but it doesn't change the fact that the INTENTION was to sell to kids.
Yes the intention was to sell to kids and the ratio sucked but Mattel selling all of the first wave and then just the secondary characters of the second wave should have told them something. Should have made the question there target. I basically think we are pretty much saying the same thing. Except where most Batman lines are made to sell to kids except a few just in the last year or so, they are bought mostly by kids. Collectors don't really care about Trap Clap Batman and Elvis Impersonation Robin but kids do. But MOTU and even the Playmates versions of TMNT were made for kids but it was collectors buying all the secondary characters and neither company figured out who were buying there secondary characters (even to this day Playmates never geared any the line to better ratios of secondary characters). Sorry if I made the earlier post sound like I was being a jackass. I meant the Batman line info to be about the line made for kids with mostly kids buying where MOTU were made for kids but collectors were buying everything but the rehashes.