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Old 10-05-2020, 06:21 AM   #161
garsh
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Leo, you're coming at this whole situation from the wrong direction, and making some illogical leaps.

First let's address the NECA stuff. I'm no expert, and I have no access to the numbers, but I feel confident assuming that NECA is making a lot of money on turtles -- by their standard. They're serving a niche market, they're not even barely in the same league as Mattel or Playmates.

Rise and the Bay movie turtles did poorly because those properties weren't good. Still, they probably made many multiples of the money NECA is making.

There's this notion that kids don't, and won't ever care about certain properties or themes, and so the companies in charge of them should give up on that route and focus on the niche adult market. The idea for those companies isn't to put out a product and hope it catches on, the idea is to keep trying until they hit a formula that works. It's not a matter of whether kids will inherently care about the properties, it's a matter of finding a way to leverage the brands they own to make the kids care.

MotU Classics is referenced as an example of a brand owner relenting and catering to their supposed only logical market, and that the success of that has now lead to the re-invigoration of that brand on the mass market. I don't think that's the right narrative at all.

The (one) guy who was responsible for Classics, was only allowed to pursue it because he did the management of that brand as a hobby, in his off time. It wasn't his actual job that Mattel was paying him for. He was just a guy around our age who happened to be a huge fan with a huge passion and turned it into a personal project. They didn't make big money on Classics.

My own sneaking suspicion is that Mattel had incentive to let him do it primarily because it's a way to keep their copyrights alive and retain ownership of the brand without losing too much money on a mass market they weren't prepared to tackle at the time.

The adult market is much smaller than it might seem.

They say for any mass market toy series with an adult audience, they (we) only make up about 20% of sales -- all up front, incidentally. "Collectors" are the ones who run out to clean the pegs at launch, then flip the figures on eBay at a markup. Once that's all said and done; when all the collectors have the figures they want, then the rest of the 80% of the sales occur to kids from more refreshed stock now languishing in toy aisles.

MotU Origins on shelves now is, again, not for us. This is another attempt to build a new kid market. They know we're buying them right now, and they're clearly trying to take advantage of that, but we're not the end goal, we're just the fish in the barrel who can possibly help springboard the brand back into mainstream appeal.

I've noticed there's not much mention of 2012 Nick turtles. They were pretty successful. They never quite reached 80s and 90s turtlemania levels, but surprisingly close. The show had a rare five year stretch. The merchandise was very prolific (unlike with Rise). Believe it or not, lots of real kids owned the toys; safe to say about 80% of those toys sold were for kids. That's all despite a much more competitive landscape these days. There's so much battling for a share of attention from kids today that making any kind of impact is a big success.
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Old 10-05-2020, 07:40 AM   #162
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Much of this isn't entirely disproving my point.

What I'm trying to put across is, when you have a niche property, you have to become AWARE that it is indeed A Niche Property and stop trying to mainstream it if you're not having any success at it. At least for a time until there's a better window for success. That's what Mattel did with MOTU. According to the guys from MVC who worked on the comic books, Mattel used to have the attitude of "Big Money or No Money" with the MOTU brand, and they kept it dormant from 2004-onward because they had no way to monetize it on a global, mainstream level. They weren't interested in JUST the Dads, they insisted on trying to hook the little kids too before they'd take a single step. "Kids don't care? Fine. NO MOTU FOR ANYONE!" Because that's fair. That makes the company money AND keeps the fans happy. Sure.

We only have MOTU toys at retail NOW, because instead of taking the "Big Money or No Money" approach in a mainstream market that had no room for the brand, they decided to favor their bread and butter in the interim. The niche market. The fans who never abandoned the property. They stopped chasing ghosts trying to create some "new audience" out of thin air, and devoted 100% of their attention to the people who ALREADY loved the brand. The 30-somethings who kept the brand alive when everyone else quit on it. The passionate people. Because why wouldn't you do that?

That lit the spark that got Mattel Classics rolling. Which begat the Super7 Filmation 5.5s in FYE and such places. Which in turn led to Super7 doing the Classics and the movie-inspired figures. All of which circles back around into the fact that we once again have MOTU toys at retail again 15 years onward.

If all Mattel had done was reboot after reboot trying to keep the brand "hip", chasing trends and aiming at a new crop of 5-year olds every two years, we wouldn't be here now. They'd have milked the cow's tits right off and there'd be nothing left.

Instead of a never-ending string of failed reboots, they realized "We have a niche property" and leaned into the 30-something fans. Smartest thing they possibly could have done. There'd be no "Origins" line in the present time if they'd instead spent all their time since 2004 trying to "craft a new audience" while telling the old audience to "get f*cked, we don't need you anymore."

Brand Mismanagement is a very real thing. TMNT fans love to talk about it being an "evergreen" property, but I'm dead serious, I have a ton of doubts about that at the present time. You can NOT sustain yourself indefinitely by chasing ghosts. Sure, reinvention is vital. BUT. Nick and Viacom and even Playmates have at times been VERY vocal that when it comes to TMNT, "If you're over Age 10, we don't need or care about you or your money."

And that's dumb. That's a very, very, very shortsighted business model.

After X number of reboots and the youngsters all repeatedly giving up on the brand for any number of other pursuits... they need to reevaluate their strategy and stop trying to recreate 1990. That ain't ever happening again. They will never, EVER get a hundred million little kids worldwide to shout "Cowabunga!" on command again. Those days are over. Every single reboot that falls flat on its face, is one step closer to some Viacom executive simply shrugging and saying, "This thing doesn't make Big Money anymore. Must be broken." And then just sticking it on a shelf to never see the light of day again.

That's ultimately not what I want. But by constantly making bad creative choices, and then shrugging it off by telling people, "Well, it isn't for YOU, anyways, nyaaaaaah!" they're being incredibly shortsighted, arrogant, and ignorant.

Their audience is niche, but it's MUCH bigger than just being about little kids. Why they insist on only one slice of the pie when there's a much bigger market out there with money to spend and love in their hearts for the brand is a mystery to me.

Kids don't have expendable income. Mommy and Daddy buy the toys. "We don't care about Mommy and Daddy anymore, they're too old for our brand now. They cared in 1990, but we don't give a f*ck if they still care Now."

What kind of ignorant twat says things like that out loud when they're allegedly trying to build a billion-dollar brand back up? I mean really.

They lost me when they came out and said in plain English, "We don't care if adults like our brand or our products. We only care about Little Kids." More's the pity for them. I'm exactly the kind of dummy they should be bending over for: an overly-sentimental 30-something with a strong sense of brand loyalty and a passion for spending way too much money on frivolous bullsh*t that reminds me of my misspent youth. I'd give them a TON of business, if there was anything at all about the brand I found favorable to my tastes.

Keep feeding me bad movies and bad cartoons and telling me "Like it or Get outta here", though? Alright. Their loss. Pretty sure I spend more on this nonsense than any 6-year old kid does. But I don't like what they're selling, so they get $0 from me. Only one person? Sure. But how many alienated 30-something TMNT fans just like me are there? Those pennies add up, believe me.

It's fine, though. More money for He-Man toys.

But if they honestly think that TMNT is gonna be "evergreen" when they refuse to give the older fans even a taste of what they're always begging for... well... they're wrong. They simply are not correct in their logic or their thinking.

"It's not for you anyways"? Sour grapes, nothing more. When you can't admit you made bad decisions, blame the customers. That always works.

....At putting brands out of business.
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:03 AM   #163
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As someone who recently forked over too much money to get a complete (for my purposes, anyway) run of the 4Kids TMNT series on DVD, I'm firmly in Leo's camp on this debate.

The '80's kids are the ones with the real buying power. We make up a smaller audience in terms of numbers, but I think we make the largest audience in terms of spendable cash.

And how often do our interests get served by the TMNT brandholders?

I can tell you how many times my interest has been strongly hooked by TMNT merchandise: three times.

1. The Mega Bloks collection
2. The Mirage reprints
3. The IDW hardcovers

That's it. Never gave part of my paycheck to the Platinum Dunes wave, or the 2012 wave (beyond getting exactly four Turtle action figures for my son, who turns out, didn't really care as much as his old man), and sure as hell not for the 2018 Rise wave.

Ya know who got my money for the 4Kids DVDs? An eBay "entrepreneur", we'll call him. Ya know who missed out on my money for the 4Kids DVDs? Nick.
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Old 10-05-2020, 07:52 PM   #164
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It's madness. Madness!
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:03 PM   #165
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I doubt it's madness. It sounds like we all got something we wanted, with the exception of Andrew, whom I side with.

Do you even know what you want? Andrew's been the only person who actually told me. Everyone else just seems angry for anger's sake. Are we getting Fred Wolf again? Do we need a dark and gritty anime series a la Gotham Knight?

The NECA action figures are out there for collectors. The DVDs are, too. What new thing needs to be made?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a big fan of Rise, but I understand Nick's decision in going that way. That's the stuff that sells at the moment.

Nick's a part of ViacomCBS. They have tons of revenue coming in from other places. I really don't think they're going to gamble a bunch of cash on TMNT if they don't see a significant return.
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:37 PM   #166
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Where are the "significant returns" they're supposedly making?

Platinum Dunes Movie Series: Cancelled

"Rise" Cartoon: Cancelled. Very unceremoniously, with only cryptic hints on Twitter making it clear.

Playmates Toys: Only thing in the pipeline are repainted figures they already released to mediocre reaction 10 years ago.

IDW Comics: Sales dropping (this is admittedly an industry-wide problem), actual petitions circulating with people begging them to stop turning the book into Furry Shipper Fanfic Showcase.

Yeah, this brand's doing great.
-------------

I don't know how I can write novella-length posts listing every grievance in crystal-clear detail and people can claim to not get the point. Then again, "reading comprehension" has never been a primary skill among people who frequent this forum so I guess I can't be surprised.

The point is simple. They're shortsightedly trying to "create a new audience" instead of catering to the audience that already exists, and it's going to kill the franchise.

They say "We don't want 30-somethings" but 30-somethings are the only ones spending any money on their products.

They say "We don't need to create products that 30-somethings want to see, we can just invent new fans out of thin air!" But they can't. They haven't. It's not working. Kids DON'T CARE about Ninja Turtles! It is NOT a "kids' property" if every time they present it to a new audience of kids they go right back to picking their nose and ignoring it.

They'd rather keep trying to hook the nose-pickers instead of throwing any bones to adults, when adult fans are their only hope to last another 20 years.

They need to stop aiming younger. It's going to kill them.

They need to make PG-13 movies that aren't simply "PG-13" for dick and fart humor.

They need to lean into Mirage and the 1990 movie aesthetic.

They need to make cartoon shows that aren't JUST for the "Teen Titans GO" crowd.

They need to listen when a few thousand people tell them, "I liked the comic book and bought it religiously for over 10 years, but I dropped it because I don't care about furry shipping and won't buy it again until it's actually about Ninja Turtles again."

They need to stop lashing out at the audience and calling them "intolerant" or "Too old to care" whenever they list a grievance. This might be the most important thing.

They can keep trying to make a fast buck every three years aiming their brand at Kindergartners. Might work a little bit in the short-term, but again, it stops working very fast and eventually you can't convince people your brand isn't a joke.

OR. They could open things up a little bit and allow for more products that a grown adult with a working brain can enjoy without irony.

Many people have openly said, they'd be fine with tripe like "Rise" existing IF there were ALSO "good" TMNT products out there to enjoy. But this "You get ONE THING at a time, like it or f*ck off" approach Nick has been taking with the brand is going to kill it sooner rather than later once people like me collectively get sick and tired of being abused.

It's all been said over and over and OVER again. "I don't understand your grievance." Well that's a You Problem.

The wrong brand brought the franchise, and they're killing it off due to their own shortsightedness and bad business decisions. Alienating the passionate hardcores in order to make a fast buck from fickle casuals.

This isn't Wishful Thinking. I don't DO that. I just Observe And Report. You don't agree? Then you're not paying ANY attention. "I'm just happy there's more things with a TMNT sticker on it, I don't care if they're good!" Well, the you're officially The Problem.

Demand people aim higher. Or enjoy your sh*t sandwich.

They're obviously NOT doing great or the garbage they keep putting out wouldn't keep getting unceremoniously cancelled. They're not doing great, they're flailing. Any idiot could see it.

It isn't rocket science.
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