Blog #481: Fun Publications/Botcon Announces Pricing for Club Subscription Service 2.0/2014

Fun Publications/Botcon Announces Pricing for Club Subscription Service 2.0/2014

So, I just finished my lunch today, and decided to check out Twitter.  What did I find, you ask?  Fun Publications has announced the pricing for the Subscription Service 2.0.  Last year was $282, plus a charge for each credit card transaction, which means three charges if paying in installments.  Here is the Tweet from the TF Club Twitter account:

“We were able to do some tweaking, got the head tooling price down and with an expected higher demand for the TFSS 2.0… the price is $279.”

Wow.

Just…wow.

Would you like to know my opinion on this?  Well, you probably wouldn’t be reading my blog if you didn’t, so here it is.

Let’s examine this a little.  They make an announcement that they are saving us three bucks as if we should be thanking them for their hard work in doing it, when they charge $3 to process your credit card*.  The least they could have done is say, “Sorry, we really couldn’t do anything to bring the price down.”  Better yet, join this century and realize that it is so 1970’s to charge a fee for using a credit card (or maybe 1980’s too, but you know what I mean).  At least acknowledge that all your work to bring down the price was completely and utterly useless.

(* – Update: This year they are charging $4 per transaction.  Guess we know how they are making up that $3 they dropped the price.)

Let’s examine this a little further.  Back in the Beast Wars days, the pricing structure for retails toys was simple.

2 Basic Toys = 1 Deluxe Toy
1 Deluxe and 1 Basic Toy = One Mega Toy
2 Deluxe Toys = 1 Ultra Toy.

Now, this is very simplistic, and pricing structures have change, but it is a reasonable way to get an idea of how much these toys are costing per figure.  Not perfect, but it will do.

So, for the 2013 Subscription Service we got five Deluxe toys, and one Ultra toy.  So, that works out to $282 divided by seven Deluxes.  That works out to just over $40 for each Deluxe and just over $80 for Ultra Mammoth.

For the record, that price isn’t horrible, if it didn’t also include their ridiculously overpriced shipping.

Let’s look at what has changed this year.  We have five Deluxe toys and one Basic (Scout).  So, that is $279 divide by five and a half Deluxe toys, or just over $50 per Deluxe, and $25 for Rewind.

Wow, I feel like they saved me money.  (That was sarcasm, just to be clear.)

Now, they are including the three Arms Micron partners.  These are model kits with a sticker sheet.  If they were actual Targetmasters or Mini-Cons, it would be different, but they aren’t.  I will give them and extra Basic toy to cover them.  That makes it $279 divided by six Deluxes, or $46.50 per Deluxe and $23.25 for Rewind.

Even if pricing stayed the same per toys, this year’s set should only cost $240, since we’ve gone from an Ultra to a Basic.

Now, we are getting one additional new head this year, 3 this year to two last year (no, they don’t get credit for a new head for Breakdown last year, they already had the molding).  So, essentially, I am to believe that the extra head is costing me $39, and that is AFTER their efforts to bring down pricing.

I feel so grateful for their hard work to save me money.  I do hope Brian Savage will be able to feed his family after taking such a huge hit to his company’s income.  (Again, that was sarcasm.)

I am sure that some people will be quick to jump up and say, “Oh, but we’re getting a seventh figure free!”  That is true.  However, while it seems pretty clear the price of toys has actually gone up, I don’t think it actually has.  It seems far more likely to me that we are actually paying for that seventh toy.

My guess is the seventh toy will be Eject.  I know that certainly isn’t a guarantee, but it certainly seems like a good bet.  If you take that into account, that $39, minus $23.25 for Eject, makes that extra head cost $15.75.  Not sure a new head is worth $15.75, but it is at least a little closer to acceptable.

So, to sum it all up, We aren’t actually getting anything less than we did last year.  They are just trying to convince us that we’re getting a free toy, when in fact we’re paying for it.  Does that make it okay?  No, not in the slightest.  If it is supposed to be free, then it needs to be free.  We’re paying for it.

Of course, if Red Wing (or another deluxe toy that is not tied to one of the already included molds) is the freebie, then this would be a little different.  We’d still be paying for half of the new toy, but it would be a completely different toy and not a repaint, so that would be more palatable.

I guess we’ll find out in…well, considering we don’t have all of last year’s toys yet, it’s best not to speculate on when. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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About lmb3

I’m 36 years old, and I work in network tech support for a public school system. I am a huge fan of Star Trek, Transformers, Harry Potter, and Marvel Comics as well as numerous other fandoms. I’m a big sports fan, especially the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I collect toys (mostly Transformers but other stuff too), comic books, and Red Sox baseball cards. I watch an obscene amount of television and love going to the movies. I am hopelessly addicted to Wizard Rock and I write Harry Potter Fanfiction, though these days I am working on a couple of different original YA novels.
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3 Responses to Blog #481: Fun Publications/Botcon Announces Pricing for Club Subscription Service 2.0/2014

  1. Pingback: Blog #565: Toy Preview: Botcon 2014 Deluxe Scorponok Prototype | lmb3.net

  2. Armchair Warrior needs food badly says:

    Luckily for me, I’m transitioning out of wanting any Botcon goodies. Yay, cheapness! Now bring on the TRU masterpiece cars. I want to pay 40 bucks per car, not 80 (well, I want to pay nothing, but that’s not how this brainwashed hobby works.)

  3. Tekyu says:

    Not crazy about the prices myself. I only stuck with the collector’s club through Scourge and Slipstream before canceling the subscription because the expense just became too much. With the roster for this second series I intend to stick with it for the entirety because I’m jazzed for the character variety and especially the inclusion of Arms Micron partners. Not so nuts for a mystery figure, but I like everything else so much already that I don’t mind.

    I would kinda fancy an Eject to join Rewind… Makes sense for keeping their production costs low in ways that make me sad, but I like the notion of both Autobot tapes getting some kind of domestic release rather than just the one.

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