Mattel confirms end of 6″ figure line, but still looking at new products in 2013 [update]

It was pretty much a given, once Mattel announced that they were canceling Club Ecto, the subscription based service that provided fans with first crack at unique figures, but Scott “ToyGuru” Neitlich, Mattel’s brand manager in charge of the license, confirmed a lot more details today, outlining exactly why the line was shut down. You ready…?

There aren’t enough of us.

After we did not receive enough sub holders in 2012, we could not get additional development resources for more figures so we move the most fan demanded figure that was already in development to the SDCC slot. Fans really do vote with their purchase and the sub not selling was a big red flag that we don’t have enough customers for the 6″ GB line right now.

Mattel was already worried about the line when sales of the figures showed that the main interest was in the original four busters, and of those, Peter was the most popular. None of them – the later figures (which would be of more interest to more serious fans) were worse – sold anywhere near the numbers of Mattel’s best two licenses, Masters of the Universe and DC Universe.

Honestly, had GB sold in the realm of MOTUC or DCU we could talk more figures, but at the end of the day, we just don’t have enough customers to keep the line going. Only the core movie 1 figures sold at the numbers we needed, and really of these, only Peter did well. After that, all figures, including fan demanded figures like Vigo, just did not sell the number of units we needed to produce more figures. We can only make figures when their is a customer base buying them.

There’s a lot of fan recrimination over the whole affair, with a lot of them pointing at the increase in figure prices (from $20 to $22 dollars) and corner cutting (variant heads on recycled bodies), but going by what Neitlich says, that’s not exactly fair. Production costs have been increasing dramatically over the last four years, and when you combine that with soft sales and a negligible profit margin, you begin to see why Mattel opted to reduce costs as much as possible (as with new heads on previously released bodies) before finally having to increase the price on all 6″ figures on all their licenses.

That said, there is some good news; Neitlich has confirmed that Mattel is still working to refund fans that bought faulty SDCC Stay-Pufts (the soft outer layer has a yellowing issue on some figures) and those fans that held 2012 Club Ecto subscriptions will still get an unannounced exclusive (plus, there’s one more SDCC figure to be announced for this year.)

More importantly, Mattel still holds the license and is still looking at their best prospects with it – presumably the props – and has confirmed they are still looking at new products for 2013. As well they, like a lot of license holders one imagines, have high hopes for the announcement of a third movie, in which case Mattel would have lot’s more development resources available. Stay tuned.

[Nods to GBFans for the heads up, head pats for the Proton Charging web monkeys for digging up the relevant links and quotes]

[UPDATE] Some people on Facebook were hoping that we might see one figure or another as the Club Ecto freebie for cancelled sub holders – According to Scott, it’s something that fits into the 6″ line, but isn’t a figure… Hmmm. Terror Dog? Nobody say Ecto-1 – that’s just wishful thinking. Any guesses?

Info on getting a refund for a faulty Stay-Puft will be up in “a couple of days” according to Scott, and this was a couple of days ago, so I expect it likely we’ll know more by the week’s end.

New line of Stay Puft Marshmallows released.

I hope you got your caffeinated Stay-Puft Marshmallows, the ones produced by Omni Consumer Products, as it looks like they aren’t being produced any more, and a new line of marshmallow treats have been released this month.

The Parallax Corporation sent a brief email with a link to the website for the collectors box of mini-marshmallows they are producing in conjunction with Sony. In short, each box is about 142g of mini-marshmallows, about 45 mini-pufts, and features a double sided-collectors box (meaning, like the last set, you’ll want to keep them) with happy Stay-Puft on one side and angry Stay-Puft on the other (both set pieces of art from the Sony style guide.)

You can buy a box through ThinkGeek (as before) for the price of $7.99 plus shipping (which seems a lot, but it was 20 bucks plus shipping for 177g of the last kind, so they’re a much better deal, particularly if the box is half-way decent) – speaking of which, ThinkGeek no longer has a listing for the OCP caffeinated marshmallows, which is why we suspect they are no longer producing them (that and the fact that another company seems to have the license now), so if you missed out, you’ll have to look to independent sellers through Amazon or Ebay. Lucky for us, Stay-Puft Marshmallows in general aren’t gone, as we have these new ones to buy (and unlike the previous, square ones, these marshmallows are in the traditional mallowy shape.)

One last thing – unlike the last marshmallows, ThinkGeek has a notice that the new Stay-Pufts can’t be shipped outside the US! Booo! So, if you’re in Canada, Mexico, the UK or Europe and beyond, you’d better find an American friend.

New details on Inflatable Lawn Slimer and floating party decoration!

HalloweenCostumes.com, purveyors of all manner of Halloween stuffs, listed a couple of new items a couple of months back – an inflatable Slimer lawn decoration (similar to its Stay-puft cousin that came out last year) and a neat Slimer decorative light (he floats around the room!) Details were sparse at the time, but HC has sent us some particulars!

Click the thumbnail images to see the full-sized pics!

Ghostbusters Floating Slimer decoration: Eyes light up, glows in the dark, floats on cord and plays movie music. Price: $42.99.

Ghostbusters Slimer Inflatable decoration: 6 ft tall, approx 3 ft for arm span. Includes fan, strings and stakes. Plugs in. Price: $128.99.

Both items are currently making their way to HC.com and are expected to be in stock August 3rd (lots of time to get one or both for Halloween!), though that may shift slightly, depending on the usual unforeseen circumstances that can happen.

Hallmark’s “Marshmallow Menace” Stay-Puft popping up, but not due until July.

Hallmark’s online store has their upcoming Stay-Puft “Marshmallow Menace” ornament listed online, with a retail price of $17.95 (more details below), but says you can’t buy until July. This would make sense, as July 14th-15th is Hallmark’s Ornament Premier Weekend. However! That doesn’t mean they haven’t started making their way into stores. Ryan, who we all know to be a Hallmark expert, sent some sweet pics of a display Stay-puft over to GBNews.com.

You can check in with your local Hallmark store or order direct from Hallmark starting mid-July.