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The end is nigh? Talk amongst yourselves.


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18 hours ago, thereasonsy said:

Buffy has been a hot property for years and is about to get hotter moving into the new show. 

Which brings up another issue: "Hey, [Property X is getting a new [film/TV series]! Let's offer product based on the original and see if anyone notices!"

Star Trek couldn't get new movie 'mates, The Walking Dead couldn't get TV 'mates, Spider-Man couldn't get Into the Spider-verse or Far From Home 'mates...

With that logic I'd expect to finally see Minimates of the whole crew based on the original Lost in Space thanks to the Netflix series but apparently that doesn't work for properties I care about.

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On 12/22/2019 at 10:35 AM, buttheadsmate said:

...........whenever I get despondent about properties I care about I just go & stare at my View Askew Minimates ....especially those inspired & innovative B & W Clerks set....then I become really despondent.     

 

 

 

I just stare at the vinimates...

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  • 1 month later...

I want to go on record to say that whatever happens to the Minimate line it will be nothing to do with the quality of the product that is currently being produced. 

I have my grumbles about many things about the line but the general standard of the actual 'mates is exceptional , never better.   

I feel better now.:)

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Minimates are the best block figures ever. I know this because I never cared about block figures until Minimates came along and none of the knockoffs since have appealed to me.

The thing that attracted me to the line was the number of different licenses offered. It was Mego on a smaller scale; Captain Kirk, Batman, Spider-Man, and others could co-exist in a common scale. The mix & match play pattern was icing on the cake.

The downside was a lack of vehicles and playsets. C3 didn't do it for me. That was just a means to an end to get the DC license and while I was happy to finally add those figures to my collection, it forced the brand into a category it was never meant to occupy. These are block figures, not brick figures.

While I applaud DST for trying new things like MAX, they lack tenacity. The attitude seems to be that if it didn't work once, it will never work. So while more MAX vehicles wasn't something a particular buyer for Toys R Us was interested in back in 2012, it's unlikely that they'll ever be offered to anyone else.

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10 hours ago, buttheadsmate said:

I want to go on record to say that whatever happens to the Minimate line it will be nothing to do with the quality of the product that is currently being produced. 

I have my grumbles about many things about the line but the general standard of the actual 'mates is exceptional , never better.   

I feel better now.:)

That is actually what pisses me off. The product is actually good. They just stuck to retail and refuse to adapt tactics until it’s way to late. They cling to retail like a life raft and refuse to build the infrastructure of an online store presence. There are so many things that they could have done along the way from SEO to digital banners to even leveraging their fan base that they just ignore or say “never say never”. They can’t even do their blog right.  They seriously need to go on a show like the Profit to get whipped into shape or just get new leadership since they are acting like it’s the toy industry in 2001 and it’s 2020. 

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On 1/25/2020 at 4:38 AM, buttheadsmate said:

I want to go on record to say that whatever happens to the Minimate line it will be nothing to do with the quality of the product that is currently being produced. 

I have my grumbles about many things about the line but the general standard of the actual 'mates is exceptional , never better.  

I'm of two minds about this. From the perspective of executing a design DST is doing a great job. For example, the QR suits from Endgame are really well done as far as tampos and paint go, they're just not very accurate to the movie because they used concept art. As a package though I'm consistently finding current minimates disappointing. I think alternate parts and effects stands gave this line a lot of it's energy and the build-a-minimate has taken that away. Instead of wave 48, where I didn't really like the costumes but ended up loving the wave, there's 78, where I liked the costumes but ended up being indifferent to the wave and thought Multiple Man was an embarrassment. And, yes, I know a lot of collectors will disagree with me because they prioritize quantity of characters over everything.

As far as DST not changing things up more, that's easy: It's just not worth it, there aren't enough of us buying them. It's wishful thinking to assume there's some sort of silver bullet that will turn minimates into a sales juggernaut.

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2 hours ago, stack32 said:

As far as DST not changing things up more, that's easy: It's just not worth it, there aren't enough of us buying them. It's wishful thinking to assume there's some sort of silver bullet that will turn minimates into a sales juggernaut.

Agreed. They just don’t want to invest in this line and we need to sadly accept it. 

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When I was an art director, colleagues went to the head honcho and said he should put me on a low-selling product line. His response; “I’m not putting an Art Director on a line that only makes $8 million!”

My response; “It might not be an $8 million line if you put an art director on it.”

They gave me the line and after rebranding the look from scratch, sales increased 20%.

You have to spend money to make money. If there aren’t enough consumers buying your product when they’re buying others, the problem is internal. 

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3 hours ago, MisterPL said:

When I was an art director, colleagues went to the head honcho and said he should put me on a low-selling product line. His response; “I’m not putting an Art Director on a line that only makes $8 million!”

My response; “It might not be an $8 million line if you put an art director on it.”

They gave me the line and after rebranding the look from scratch, sales increased 20%.

You have to spend money to make money. If there aren’t enough consumers buying your product when they’re buying others, the problem is internal. 

THIS!!!! I have seen this over and over in my 20 year career. Also, props on the sales bump. At the very least invest in seo and ffs there is so much great content that the fan base is making that could easily be used to help promote the brand. I know I have been coming off as negative lately I’m just at my wits end. They have managed to make an extraordinary product and now It feels as if it's being driven into the ground through apathy. 

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When I got into Minimates, it was because DST were doing things other toy lines weren’t. The big draws for me were Dark Avengers, Thunderbolts, Future Foundation, X-Force, Bucky Cap, etc. that were really cool new costumes/characters that no one else seemed to be making. The line seemed to have a cult-like following of lesser known characters from more current comic runs. I collected Marvel Legends at the time, but they seemed to do more mainstream characters and finding the lesser known ones at retail was a nightmare. So Minimates filled a very specific want. I bought a couple for the characters, but was instantly hooked, once I had them in my hand.

Now, I feel inundated with Wolverine, Spider-Man, Venom, and mediocre movie waves.

Where is HoX Xavier? Where is Mr. Knight? Where is Iron Doom or God Doom? Where are the Abnett and Lanning GotG? Maybe a Tom King Vision family box set? Loki, Black Panther and Dr. Strange have gotten huge bumps in popularity from the movies and gone through numerous costume changes in the comics. No Legends, no Pops, no Marvel Select, aaaaand no Minimates. Fantastic Four just experienced a huge resurgence in popularity with new costumes and we got another Spider-Man wave at that time. There’s been a new Hulks, new X-Men costumes, etc. and DST releases ANOTHER sweatsuit Spider-Man...

It’s just so frustrating. Do something different. 

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1 hour ago, youbastards said:

Minimates have always felt like something DST feels obligated to make instead of something they are proud to produce.

Which to me is sad since it could really be the workhorse for the company if they just would get three “lil” things right: marketing, distribution, and character selection. Sadly they will see this as wahh no one loves us let’s stop making them instead of it being the fan base pleading to make more and make smarter decisions.

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6 hours ago, thereasonsy said:

Which to me is sad since it could really be the workhorse for the company if they just would get three “lil” things right: marketing, distribution, and character selection. 

That's essentially what got me into collecting these things; advertising. 

At first, Minimates seemed to be just another entry into the block figure fad of the day. It wasn't until I saw the Star Trek 'mates in a print ad that I realized how much articulation they had. The fact that I could pick them up at Target helped.

These days, DST seems to rely almost exclusively on their own packaging and inserts to advertise what they've got and even while preaching to the choir there's lots of room for improvement. Jinkies, the latest insert still features an assortment from Toys R Us. That's just embarrassing. That insert should promote ALL Minimates. Depending on how it's folded and inserted, it's just cornea gumbo sitting behind the product.

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3 hours ago, MisterPL said:

That's essentially what got me into collecting these things; advertising. 

There are so many things that they could do that are low hanging fruit when it comes to this. First SEO. If LEGO really is the issue then be a bloody issue and do some cpc against their key terms. He’ll go after POPs. You can set your own budgets and just go. There are tons of cool things you could do with Facebook and Instagram buys that focus on even things that aren’t LEGO. Size the audience of Walgreens, Marvel, and toys and go from there. You could even do a bloody coupon. 
 

Change the Press shots and the order of the announcements. If they really have one wave on sale, one wave announced, and one in development make it a bigger deal. With UGC you can keep the current on sale wave alive. Show us more of the announced wave by taking us through the process from start (character selection) to finish. Give hints for the new wave. Ask what we want. Surprise and delight your fan base by giving key influencers access to the wave stat. It’s appalling to me that they don’t have waves auto shipped to Ivan and posted on the database before onsale considering how much people use that site. Not to mention reviewers like Action Figure Insider and Marvelousness instead of the unboxers months later. If anything send the un boxers a wave that hasn’t even been announced.  Use the UGC for contests and show off the breath and depth of the line. Use these as inserts do kit bash recipes cards (great job Luke) and scenes. Shout out the stores that support you. Do the comic covers again as posters. Do social listening and learn. Whomever came up with the name Ulti-mates deserves a bloody prize and that deluxe figure concept needs to be explored. Follow the toy advertising guidelines but these days there are a lot of things that can be done, can be done for lower costs, and are successful. Look at what Legends has been doing. 
 

Redesign that awful website and store. Even the templates on Square Space are more modern. Use Instagram stories to swipe up and switch to likeshop.me so that people can just go and buy things easier. 
 

The net net is that it’s not the toy game of 2000s and they need to get it together because from the outside it looks like it’s falling apart. You can see it from the volume of collections being sold in full online and the reduced perceived worth of the hard to get figures. 
 

Sorry for the precoffee rant.

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Collecting Minimates has long been a source of frustration.  I don't know the answer but until national chains begin to pick them up again, its always going to be a bit frustrating.  Those collectors outside of North America have always had it the worst.

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1 hour ago, Shanester said:

Collecting Minimates has long been a source of frustration.  I don't know the answer but until national chains begin to pick them up again, its always going to be a bit frustrating.  Those collectors outside of North America have always had it the worst.

That’s part of the problem facing all retail categories. A new report suggests that e-commerce could kill another 30k stores and half a million jobs by 2025. This is where and why the DST online store And digital experience is crucial and way behind the 8-ball. Matty Toy Collector was ahead of its time and something DST should look into. Hell even stealing the old cobra commander mail in proof of purchases for a free exclusive figure would drive sales.

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1 hour ago, Shanester said:

Collecting Minimates has long been a source of frustration.  I don't know the answer but until national chains begin to pick them up again, its always going to be a bit frustrating.  Those collectors outside of North America have always had it the worst.

That’s part of the problem facing all retail categories. A new report suggests that e-commerce could kill another 30k stores and half a million jobs by 2025. This is where and why the DST online store And digital experience is crucial and way behind the 8-ball. Matty Toy Collector was ahead of its time and something DST should look into. Hell even stealing the old cobra commander mail in proof of purchases for a free exclusive figure would drive sales

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Virtually every Minimate in my possession has been delivered to me in the UK by the postman , if I have bought anything from a 'shoppe' in the UK I'm damned if I recall where & when . I have never ,of course,set foot in a Walgreens although I did wander into a US TRU store in San Diego about 10 years ago. .........I have everything TRU or Walgreens ever made.

That said , I've been blessed with a network of fellow members who have helped me immeasurably whilst Luke has been a godsend .  

I embrace shopping on the internet , I hate 'shoppe' shopping anyway ......always have.  

 

 

Edited by buttheadsmate
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7 hours ago, thereasonsy said:

It’s appalling to me that they don’t have waves auto shipped to Ivan and posted on the database before onsale considering how much people use that site.

100% agreed. Ivan's probably done more for minimates than anyone that actually works at DST. No other toy line has a resource that's as comprehensive and easy to use as the MMDB and I have no doubt it's driven lots of sales.

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26 minutes ago, stack32 said:

100% agreed. Ivan's probably done more for minimates than anyone that actually works at DST. No other toy line has a resource that's as comprehensive and easy to use as the MMDB and I have no doubt it's driven lots of sales.

Completely! If I ever meet Ivan his drinks are on me all night long. Hell I just bought three minimates today that I used his site as a reference for.

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23 hours ago, Shanester said:

Collecting Minimates has long been a source of frustration.  I don't know the answer but until national chains begin to pick them up again, its always going to be a bit frustrating.  Those collectors outside of North America have always had it the worst.

Indeed. Here in Brazil there are few collectors of minimates, there must be about 30 that I know, and we always depend on online stores like Luke's, Ebay sellers or sales/help from MMMV members. It's difficult.

 

19 hours ago, Shanester said:

TRU really, seriously dropped the ball with their web presence.  They had the potential to be the "Amazon" of toy retailers and they blew it.

Not only TRU, DST too.

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Even though it doesn’t change the situation I do find it cathartic there are others here who don’t think DST has been doing a good job and offer real-life examples/corrective actions. Will it change anything? Probably not, but it’s slightly comforting that there are others who will not go gentle into that good night but will rage, rage against the dying of minimates.

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