So it's kind of ironic that this could be the year that Masters of the Universe Classics dies.
MOTUC is a line that sells exclusively on MattyCollector.com. The line is subscription-driven, with sign up for the following year taking place around the time of San Diego Comic Con each year. Last year there were problems with the Ghostbusters line (which was ultimately cancelled due to lack of people signing up) and DCU (which had to fight to get its line). MOTUC had no issues with interest whatsoever and easily passed the benchmark for continuing into 2012.
How things change...
Despite a great reception to the new showings at SDCC (the press photos for which are here), subscriptions for 2013 are down. Way down. To the point that the line is under threat.
Various reasons have been speculated for this, but I suspect the main ones come down to:
Cost. The price for each figure has risen from $20 to $25 figures. This has had a knock-on effect for UK fans since it now puts every figure above the import limit and means everything is liable for customs fees (and the £8 handling fee Royal Mail slaps on). International shipping costs have also risen.
Obscure figure reveals. This is a lesser issue, but anyone on the fence after the price rise was unlikely to have been won over by the Fighting Foe Men. Personally, I think the reveal for this $75 3-pack was poorly timed, especially after the controversy after the Star Sisters last year. It should have probably have been better revealing this at Power Con later in the year.
There's not a lot Mattel can do about rising prices, although they have stated that the $25 price point will hold for 2014 as well. The 'obscure' figures, however, Mattel are dealing with. While 2013 is already locked in, they have stated that the 2014 line (should it continue that long) will consist entirely of 'heavy hitters', ensuring that by the end of 2014 almost all the major Masters, Princess of Power and New Adventures characters will have been immortalised in plastic form.
There have been a number of appeals from various fans online to encourage people to sign up. The most bizarre of which comes in the form of this...
After watching that, how can you possibly not sign up for 2013? I know before watching it I couldn't have cared less about a Saurod figure, but now, hell, he's right at the top of my Want list.
For an interesting discussion with fans & the MOTUC brand manager check out this podcast from He-Man.org. It's a little lengthy but does go into a lot of interesting details about the line and its future. There's also this video which summarises things: