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Why does a line like DCUC do well?


degra
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I'm trying to see if there is a formula that leads to a successful long-lived toy line. I see how MOTUC or DCUC sell and you see fans clamoring for them but Star Trek is not doing that well via DST.

 

Despite QC and distribution the DCUC line is reasonably affordable, has nice looking figures that you can enjoy playing with yet they look nice displayed, you have a nice variety with headliners and c-listers and I think in no small way the nostalgia it plays off of certainly helps immeasurably. And the DCUC/MOTUC aren't even tied into a recent media release. Why can't a line like Trek have that kind of success.

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I think the difference between DCUC/MOTU and Star Trek is that DCUC/MOTU are more flamboyant, action-oriented lines than Star Trek, not that the new Star Trek figures look bad or anything. The Star Trek figures might not be as visually interesting as the other two lines.

 

You would also have to consider the fan demographics. For example, there may be a whole lot more Star Trek fans than MOTU fans, but most Star Trek fans are probably more interested in collecting Star Trek dvds, novels, and replica items rather than Star Trek toys. On the other hand, pretty much all MOTU fans are interested in MOTU toys, rather than say, a "replica" power sword or authentic He-Man costume (loin cloth, chest straps, etc.).

 

PharmV

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I think the difference between DCUC/MOTU and Star Trek is that DCUC/MOTU are more flamboyant, action-oriented lines than Star Trek, not that the new Star Trek figures look bad or anything. The Star Trek figures might not be as visually interesting as the other two lines.

That was one thing I thought might play a factor. The costumes are more exciting and colorful. However, looking back the 90s Playmates Trek line they sold hundreds of thousands of those figures so there must be Trek fans out there who like action figures.

 

Right now would you say DCUC and MOTUC are the two most successful toy lines out now?

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One other thing to consider is that with DCUC they have characters that are all over the place and continually bringing in new fans (because of the DC cartoons, movies, comics and other toyline) where as Star Trek really ahven't had much out lately. Now you have the new movie, but until recently ST:TNG wasn't on and I don't see TOS, DS9 or Voyager on at all.

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I think it does well one because we dc guys have not had a super articulated line like this. From the super powers line to the both dc superheroes lines that came out on the glod and blue cards were not very moveable/poseable.

 

Second is i know myself got tired of marvel putting out the same ol heroes time and time again. i mean how many super articulated spiderman figures do you really need.

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the formula for DCUC starts with Mattel being a big enough company to be able to get the product out for the masses to consume, versus the Star Trek line which is going to be limited to maybe TRU and specialty shops.

 

2nd, while ST is hugley popular, there are many more comic book lovers who grew up on DC, so the fan base is larger

 

and of course, the articulation and the extra C&C character give the people more to shoot for.

 

if the ST line offered more stuff for the 6-inch versions such as vehicles. dios, and villains (Gorn anyone??)

then you would see greater success for the Star Trek figs,

until then DCUC is one of the best things on the market right now

 

PS: Peace to Degra

Mega props for that Flash figure!!!!!

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cause dcuc r doing most of the dc characters.. not just superman/batman

i mean we've seen till wave 9 and still no joker/man hunter/ original superman/ black batman

i like what they're doing but i cant wait for a manhunter or black suit batman :)

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I'd say it's different fanbases. Star Trek fans haven't consistently had good toylines or even toylines at all over the years. The Next Generation figures were good and that show was good, so it worked. I was only five or something when that show started, but I was interested. It targeted all demographics. Now, without a new, relevant story/show, there aren't new fans coming in. So, with only "old" fans, they've gotten used to collecting Star Trek in other forms (memorabilia, books, whatever).

 

And DCUC and MOTUC succeed because they're outstanding sculpts more than anything. These are excellent renditions of these popular characters. There's very little added or updating/realization done to them, so many consider these versions to be the ultimate or definitive ones (like they came straight out of the comic book). On top of that, they're articulated but not over-articulated like some lines, so you can get dynamic poses but they also look great just standing normally.

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Two simple reasons:

 

1. These are the first ever 6 inch super articulated(ok not THAT articulated) figures that borrow from Marvel Legends greatness. DC Direct just does not cut it.

 

2. Marvel Legends is on a hiatus and fanboys are hooked on the scale and type of figure. DC Direct just does not cut it.

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DCUC offers a wide selection of figures both mainstream and a little more obscure. They are coming out at a steady clip and the selection is growing quite nicely. The figures are well made, articulated just enough to make posers happy.

 

I don't think the DST Star Trek figures are really in the same place as DCUC. They don't get as much distribution or advertising. It's two different markets. I think the DST figures are great, I have most of the TOS figures, and the Wrath of Khan figures.

 

Playmates however is a different story. They could fling monkeypoo at me and i would be more excited than any of the figures they make. Ugh.

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for me its the articulation. they were the first DC figs that could hold a pose.

 

My sentiments exactly! Toys/action figures for me are there to be played with and the more range of motion the better.

 

Even if you don't play with them, you have a wide variety of poses to choose from when they are put on display and can change them if and when you want.

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cause dcuc r doing most of the dc characters.. not just superman/batman

i mean we've seen till wave 9 and still no joker/man hunter/ original superman/ black batman

i like what they're doing but i cant wait for a manhunter or black suit batman :)

 

like this?

 

MAT10093.jpg

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Well, Star Trek is not as colorful, yeah. They're characters are all human with little powers. Super heroes have that Super Human factor and that is engaging to collectors.

Also, I agree with all of you who are saying that the C and C figure parts sort of force collectors to buy the entire set rather than just the figures that they really want to put together awesome Gorillas and stuff.

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Star Trek has tons of fans but those fans don't seem to translate well into action figure collectors. In the 90's Star Trek was at the height of it's popularity with TNG and Playmates made the decision to make the figures look a bit cartoony to appeal to kids and it worked for awhile. Art Asylum and then later DST started a new line at an all time low in Star Trek popularity with Enterprise which was never really recieved well and it hammpered the lines success.

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DCUC is not "doing well" by mainstream standards. There is a large fanboy demand for it but the amount of figures produced is smaller compared to any other large retail line. I have only seen wave 1 of DCUC at retail and not a single figure since. Neither is Canada or on my monthly toy runs in the States. These figures are hard to come by and therefore online retailers like BBTS are making a killing. So many fans have to turn to online sales because they can't find them at retail

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DCUC is not "doing well" by mainstream standards. There is a large fanboy demand for it but the amount of figures produced is smaller compared to any other large retail line. I have only seen wave 1 of DCUC at retail and not a single figure since. Neither is Canada or on my monthly toy runs in the States. These figures are hard to come by and therefore online retailers like BBTS are making a killing. So many fans have to turn to online sales because they can't find them at retail

 

I agree mostly i have seen all the waves mostly at retail except for a few but i tell you what i have spent alot of time and money to find them at retail..Traveling hours away to hopefully find something and calling many many stores. And of course the great folks here at TNI have helped and again i thank all of you who i have delt with.

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People need to broaden their perspective to apreciate this question.

 

Lines that have 'done well' should be considered as Matchbox/Hot Wheels, Barbie, and Lego. They've been around since the beginning. And show no signs of ending. Why is that? Because they are centered and because they remain relevant through the times.

 

Marvel and DC have had sporadic bursts upon the scene through the years, usually through a third party. Whether it be Mego, Toy Biz, or Hasbro/Mattel, there has not been one company from the beginning who has held the reigns to the prospective licenses. This is because popularity in this fictional universe ebbs and wanes from time to time. Which is related to the amount of money a person is willing to spend on a given line of fictional property.

 

Why is DCUC doing 'so well'? Relatively speaking, it's NOT! Meaning in comparison to previous toy lines, it's not doing as well as, say, MOTU did back in the '80's. But it is doing better than comparable offerings on the shelves today. And that's more an item of personal taste than any statistical information you'd hope to come across here. Our piece of the 'toy pie' is smaller now. As such, an individual toy line might hold a greater portion on that pie, but overall, wouldn't dent the armor lines like HW, MB, and Barbie have.

 

DCUC is doing well because it is not over-producing. How many peg-warmers do you see? I've only seen a couple on a couple of occasions (up until now...). Meaning the supply is less than the demand. By way of comparison, when ML was prevelant, there were always figs on the pegs. Now they're on clearance. Supply was way more than demand.

 

But this sort of thing changes frequently. The real reason why one line does better than another is because of personal taste. Me, I prefer comic-accurate sculpts to artistic-specific sculpts. What's the difference? It's hard to pin down. Maybe I should say I prefer the 'generally-accepted' sculpts. That might be more appropriate.

 

So your question - Why does <DCUC> do well? BECAUSE IT GIVES THE CUSTOMER WHAT THEY WANT!!! And leaves them wanting more, which is a lesson for another day...

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You can't really compare action figures to HotWheels. HW cost what? A dollar? If you could somehow make action figures for a dollar they'd outsell toy cars 10 to 1. Conversely, if Hot Wheels cost as much as action figures, they would DIE on the pegs. To say nothing of comparing discerning, well mannered, erudite young gentlemen and lady action figure collectors such as ourselves, to the toothless, beer swilling, Nascar loving, inbred hillbillies one aisle over....well it's insulting to say the least. ;)

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You can't really compare action figures to HotWheels. HW cost what? A dollar? If you could somehow make action figures for a dollar they'd outsell toy cars 10 to 1. Conversely, if Hot Wheels cost as much as action figures, they would DIE on the pegs. To say nothing of comparing discerning, well mannered, erudite young gentlemen and lady action figure collectors such as ourselves, to the toothless, beer swilling, Nascar loving, inbred hillbillies one aisle over....well it's insulting to say the least. ;)

 

hotwheels have gone up alot there like 3 to 6 bucks now

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Think how well this line would do if they actually got the figures on the pegs at retail....it would be a gold mine!!!!

 

I'm not picking on you, but what do you base that statement on? Because you like them and a handfull of others on the toy forums like them? I don't mean to burst bubbles and I do think overal DCUC is a nice line, but if retailers filled their shelves with these figures in large numbers I think what you would see is a bunch of figures collecting dust. These figures get put out in small numbers and because they are hard to find people just assume that means they sell well. Most stores around here don't even stock DCUC much and on the few times they have like with wave 1, I saw that wave sit around for months, one Target around here finally got the wave with Wonder Woman and most of those are just sitting there even now. I don't condiser that success. Even collector wise the number of DC collectors is much smaller than Marvel. The reason why you don't see a DC only themed website on our network is because I have not seen the traffic numbers to support a DC only website. I think Marvel is more popular than DC on the whole with kids because more Marvel characters are known with kids than DC. You get past the Big 3 and a few other JLU guys and villians and most non die-hard comic fans would have a hard time recognizing alot of the DCU guys.

 

It was the same with G.I.Joe 25th Anniversary. It's a great line and when stores were only putting out cases in limited numbers they sold out fairly quickly but now that the figures are being put out in greater numbers I see them sitting. We don't see the sales numbers from any of these companies and of course they are going to tell us they are doing great till the day they are canceled, and in some cases they might be selling well or at least decent enough to continue the line, but just becuase something is hard to find doesn't mean it's succesfull. Larger companies that sell more things than just action figures like Mattel and Hasbro are going to likely have more avenues to get figures on shelves as opposed to smaller companies like Art Asylum, NECA and even Playmates but again that doesnt mean a line is hugely succefull. As I've said before and I wish this wasn't the case, but for a toy line to really be hugely succefull I think it needs to be able to reach beyond the small collector market and also reach kids and their parents. The reason why the boys action figures markey has declined since those glory days of the 80's and early 90's is because its much harder to get boys into a action figure line and keep them there for long periods of time before they move on to things like video games ect ect.

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One last point that has effected things and hurt the collector market, is the shrinking environment in which we find this stuff sells in. Back in the late 90's and early 00's when I think the action figure collector market was really starting to boom, a big reason for that was that action figures were being sold in places like music stores and movie stores, more mainstream type places other than the toy asile of a retail store. Unfortunetly what happend was this new invention called digital downloads came along and put most of these types of stores out of business. So the retail market for this type of product shrank considerably. Besides just having less shelf space, alot of people don't like to collect action figures because of the stigma that they are just for kids. Someone was probably far more willing to walk in with their friends or girlfriend to a music store and maybe pick up a figure than to walk into a TRU or the toy dept of a Wal-Mart and buy action figures for themselves. We have more options to buy stuff online now which has helped, but Online usually means more expensive and also you don't get to see the quality of your figure till after you paid for it. Online you can't find the figure with the best paint job ect ect.

 

IMO even comic book stores days are limited because like with music and movies I see comics eventually moving mainly to digital downloads. You already see comic publishers moving in that direction and when that happens and people can just download their new issues I think you will see most comic shops go under.

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