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Russ37
09-21-2001, 02:47 PM
Hi, I am the administrator over at MovieManiacs.net. Basically we are the same kind of site as Sir Steve's guide here, except for movie and horror related toys.
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I wanted to tell you about a petition we started up at the page, BEFORE YOU STOP READING, yes I know petitions can get tiresome, but I personally don't start them unless something important is at stake.
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As you may know, Stores such as EB and the Gamestop family of stores have begun carrying ours and several other kinds of figures.* You can reserve them, pre-order them, etc.* but neither company gives the same attention to shipping and delivering on the release date as they do with their games.* Our petition is simply to get these companies to do just that.
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Gamers can count on games to be out on the exact release date, collectors shouldn't have any less.* Plus it would make finding and buying figures much easier for collectors.
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If you are interested, you can access the petition at http://www.webpetitions.com/cgi-bin/print_petition.cgi?2081485354

Thanks!

JediCole
09-26-2001, 12:41 PM
Russ,
Though I appreciate your dilemma, if you are speaking of the computer game stores not giving the same attention to the toys they stock that they do to the games, the reason is they simply cannot.
You have to understand that there is more at stake here than toys just being a fringe or fluff item for these companies. In the end, toys and computer/video games are apples and oranges. You have to understand that game publishers live and die by release dates. Have you ever wondered why they have websites for every game, laden with fixes you can download when you get to that magic spot that glitches out that no one had detected in play testing? It's a "get it out on the market and worry with the errors later" mentality. The release date is far more important than 100% quality on an item that can be easily perfected post facto.
The toy industry, however, does not live by the same rules. They have projected target dates (usually with a fairly broad time frame) that they try to meet, but nothing is as set in stone. It simply does not have to be. The other problem inherant in toys is that of a single figure production delay (within a projected series of toys). A good example of this appears to be Strider in the Lord of the Rings line (I am not certain but the case packs seem to bear this out, so for the sake of this example we will assume this is true). An assortment of figures is planned and in production one does not cooperate (mold problems, paint problems, assembly problems, etc.) and threatens to hold up the entire line. Sometimes this results in a delay of the assortments shipping and sometime the assortment ships without the troublesome figure (as with LOTR and Strider, who is not out but is part of the initial assortment mix). What I am getting at is that toy companies have no real, set schedules for releases, preventing the game shops from offering the same consideration to toy releases that they can with software.
I think that what you have in mind would be helpful and it is certainly a look in the right direction, however, targeting the software/game stores as the source of the problem is a little misguided.

Russ37
09-26-2001, 07:43 PM
Yes, I realize your points, all valid, but I have done my homework on this, and perhaps I should explain further.

I actually work for one of the said computer stores, and over the months, I have seen them attempt to improve the quality of toys they order and the dates have become more and more accurate.

They have almost anything we will recieve divided into groups, and each thing has a date. They are notorious when it comes to this list because it is updated daily and if something is pushed back, you can bet that it will change the next day.

The Toy dates have become more and more reliable. Furthermore, they are developing better relationships with companies such as McFarlane and I think that plays a hand in the accuracy.

When something is almost to it's date and still on time, it will be taken off the release list and shows onscreen as being shipped out. This list shows everything we have actively being sent to us, and has been confirmed by UPS or Fed Ex respectively. Once an Item shows up on screen it takes anywhere from 1 to 4 days usually for it to get there.

90% of things are sent from our warehouse and are chosen to eithe rbe shipped by air, guaranteeing it's arrival on it's projected release date, or by standard shipping which takes longer.

Here's where the factor comes in. Things that are pre ordered, meaning, money already paid, are supposed to get more attention when it comes to shipping, but lately, they have not.

It would only take these respective companies, choosing to spend that extra money or tossing it in with the latest games coming in, for this to happen, but so far it hasn't.

I have to believe they want to improve as well, because of the steps they are taking to satisfy collectors more, such as breaking figures in a series into Individuals instead of leaving it as a general series,so that if someone needs a certain one, we can get it for them.

So that's basically how it breaks down, I realize the difference between the games and the toys, but I hope by explaining things a little more in detail, it makes a little more sense.

It's not so much a show of opinion. as helping them to find the next step in the right direction.

Hope that makes a little more sense.

JediCole
09-27-2001, 01:49 PM
Russ,
Thank you for the clarification of your persuit. It seems a much more senseable endeavor in light of this further information. There are too often misinformed people making broad assumptions about the toy industry (a unique animal in its own right), so I am glad you took my constructive critisism in the vein in which it was offered, and not as a personal attack (something else that can easily happen in a public forum). Given this new information I will be pleased to add my name to your petition. Thank you for enlightening me and perhaps others who might have misinterpreted your efforts.

One note on MacFarlane toys. For all the flack they take on the quality of their plastic and the lack of articulation, they are one of the only companies that consistantly delivers when it comes to release date accuracy. They have turned more toward the adult collector than the child collector so they are not as encumbered by the uninformed logic that governs so many of the other toy companies.