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bowspearer
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xx Mattel's Hoverboard Scam
« Thread started on: Oct 12th, 2012, 5:20pm »

I'm sure people remember Mattel offering a preorder at the start of the year for a 100% faithfully reproduced 1:1 scale Hoverboard prop replica. I'm sure a few people also remember the absolute debacle that was the SDCC version of the Hoverboard. When quizzed about it, Toyguru had this to say regarding it:

Quote:
Exactly what is it you are looking for? We don't have a new model to show and I explained that the versions at SDCC were just sound demo models. Please let me know what it is you would like to see or hear. I can tell you we are striving for as screen accurate as possible and yes the version at SDCC was far from this. It was a demo sound model only as noted by the sign next to the board. We won't have a final model to show until NYCC in Oct.


Well here's the "final version":

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The response on The Replica Prop Forums has people ropeable to the point where some people wish they were in New York so they could verbally rip Neitlich a new poo-shoot.

The following is a short list of problems with the top alone as summed up by therpf member razorsharp192 - and that's with the bottom yet to be shown: graphics badly done, footpad wrong, footstrap wrong, edges rounded instead of angled, green stripes the wrong colour, recesses where velcro is etc.

Several RPF members offered advice on what changes need to be made to make it the movie accurate board which was what it was originally advertised to be. Yet these improvements appear to have been ignored.

Furthermore as another rpf member posted:

Quote:
Financially Matty is having a hard time justifying itself within Mattel. Some really good designers and engineers were pulled off the hoverboard project and put on regular (money making) toylines. Adult collector projects like this do not generate the income that a company like Mattel is looking for. Any profit they were going to make has already been used up in salaries and tooling. I'm not making excuses for them....its just how it is over there. Especially within the last year or two.

My bigger issue is if they are going to create and sell an item like this that is not for profit, but maybe more for promotion...why not make it extremely accurate and detailed? Although they may have already accomplished that with news articles, stories, etc hence the "whatever" attitude towards the finished production board.

Just to let everyone know there are some hardcore BTTF fans working inside Mattel that are just as frustrated as all of you. Its even worse when they are being told "No, mind your business...we don't want your help".


There are currently half a dozen questions which have been ignored by Mattel since October 1st. I say currently because equally angry over Toyguru's constant lies over a $200 (by the time it's shipped) prop replica and the fact that this has now proven to be a case of blatant fraud by Mattel - namely a bait and switch; I posted the following thread in the BTTF Ask Matty section:

Quote:
More lies from Scott "Pinnochio" Neitlich

Scott, you told us the final version of the Hoverboard would be shown at NYCC. Well photos have emerged from people at the con and I have to say they're not a pretty sight.

Although the bottom of the board has yet to be shown, the top of it is a disaster!

No lenticular decal (despite the fact that an ameteur props group can sort one out) and you've screwed up the strap AS WELL as the velcro! Considering this, I'm not exactly holding out hope for much better with the bottom of the board.

So this was to be the final version but now it's not and the problems were to be corrected but now they're not?

How can we trust anything you say at this point? Why shouldn't every single one of us with orders simply cancel our credit cards attached to the order so we simply cannot be charged and our orders simply don't go through?

As a consumer, this honestly comes across as a blatant FRAUD (and I've seen several people saying as much) and a blatant bait and switch.

Why should we trust that we'll get any improvements on what we've seen.

How can any of us trust you after it has been a litany of lie after lie coming out of your mouth where this board has been concerned?

I'll be very interested to see whether hell freezes over and this post gets a response which actually endears trust in those of us who have pre-ordered this (which at this point you have completely destroyed I might add), or will it be the typical fare of being ignored or responded to with canned lines which treat those of us who have pre-ordered this with complete and utter contempt?


Interestingly they chose the contempt approach to such an extent that not only was my post ignored but it was deleted.

I only found out about it when I read the following post from an rpf member:

Quote:
have you seen your thread on Matty has been removed? Nice to know Mattel are concerned about buyers not being happy....


When I checked the mattycollector forums, I discovered the following 2 pms waiting for me.

The first was from Catra's Wrath:
Quote:
Bowspearer, if you are unhappy with a product or feel that it does not match the prototype shown, then you are welcome to provide feedback on that - no problem with that whatsoever.

We do please ask however that you keep it respectful and refrain from any personal attacks on any Mattel staff. Whilst your feedback and comments are welcome, please do remember that it is a Mattel owned and operated site, posting comments using words like 'Fraud' and 'Liar' aimed at Mattel products or employees is one sure way to be removed from the forums.

Better to have a friendly conversation about it now rather than it escalate and turns nasty.

Cat


The second was from M.C. Don:
Quote:
There is a line that has been stepped over here. So Bowspearer I've moderated your ability to post for a week as you have blatantly disregarded our member's agreement one too many times. You are always entitled to an opinion, but nasty threats are certainly not welcomed and against the binding legal agreement that you had to agree to to join this service.

If you create another account to post and bash us more - you will be banned from the site in perpetuity. We have rules, abide by them or leave.


My response on the rpf to this was
Quote:
Contempt it is it seems. So as we can see, Mattel are interested in legalities when it comes to covering their asses, but they have no problem in ignoring their legal obligations when it comes to honoring consumer laws.


However another rpf member put it best when they said Quote:
That was inspired and true - not slanderous

No reason to take that down other than that it may reveal the true shortcomings of the board and result in cancelled orders


My advice for anyone who has preordered this and who wanted what they were paying for, is to immediately contact your credit card company and have your credit card declared lost/stolen so that the charge cannot go through.

It's obvious Matty think there is one law for them and another for everyone else and that the law which Matty thinks applies to them, ignores things like criminal acts like baiting and switching.
« Last Edit: Oct 12th, 2012, 5:26pm by bowspearer » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Mattel's Hoverboard Scam
« Reply #1 on: Oct 12th, 2012, 7:21pm »

I wonder if we will see the same scenario with Castle Grayskull??
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xx Re: Mattel's Hoverboard Scam
« Reply #2 on: Oct 12th, 2012, 7:27pm »

on Oct 12th, 2012, 7:21pm, JoBBeR wrote:
I wonder if we will see the same scenario with Castle Grayskull??


Before this, I was going to preorder one. Now though they can stick it.
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xx Re: Mattel's Hoverboard Scam
« Reply #3 on: Oct 12th, 2012, 8:46pm »

Oh and in the interests of hanging Mattel by their own rope:

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EDIT: And the poster in its entirety:

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« Last Edit: Oct 12th, 2012, 8:52pm by bowspearer » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Mattel's Hoverboard Scam
« Reply #4 on: Oct 12th, 2012, 11:03pm »

I'll assume that the second set of pics are supposed to be of the acutal prop? If so, I'm seeing no difference between the final product of the replica and the movie prop.
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xx Re: Mattel's Hoverboard Scam
« Reply #5 on: Oct 13th, 2012, 12:24am »

Actually there are a slew of differences.

To quote spyhunter on the mattycollector forums:

Quote:
We were told several key things about these hoverboards, such as they would have the accurate lenticular surface material. It now seems that Mattel has chosen to abandon this promise and go with a cheap-looking sticker.

In response to wide criticism received after Comic Con regarding all the inaccuracies of the boards displayed there, we were told these boards were "so not final"—that the final boards would be "movie accurate"—a claim that was also printed on the promotional posters for the pre-order. Now we see the supposed final board at the NYCC and the ONLY noticeable tweak is to the pattern of the cheap-looking background sticker that is standing in for the true lenticular surface we were promised.

And just so we're on the same page as to why so many consider this final product a complete failure, here are the flagrant inaccuracies that we can still see that exist on this supposed "final" product:

No lenticular surface as promised. Fans stepped in and told you guys on this very board of the two companies that produce this material: Sommer's Plastic Products and Rowlux Technologies. You guys decided to go cheap and ignore the promise made to fans that these boards would have this material.

The edges are rounded off instead of flat beveled as would be accurate.

The hole for the handlebars is pink instead of black as would be accurate.

The footpad is sitting in a recessed area instead of being perched above the surface. The velcro on the footpad doesn't go to the edge as it should. The strap should be pink fur on top and white seatbelt-style webbing underneath. The strap should be attached at the far edges of the footpad.

Is there pink hook-side velcro on the two front pink diagonal stripes? There should be. If this is supposed to be the "hero" version board with lenticular surface, the green stripes should also be hook-side velcro.

The truly scary thing is that most of the inaccuracies we knew about were on the BOTTOM of the board, and we haven't even seen that yet...

This situation could have easily been avoided. Several fans have written detailed posts on this forum trying to assist Mattel in identifying and correcting the errors. Most posters expressing concern were responded to with an utter lack of respect.

We have all but lost all faith in Mattel at this point to do the right thing. We KNOW that there are Back to the Future fans at Mattel who were willing to step in and help avoid the disaster this has become, and were TURNED AWAY. Why? What possible motivation could Mattel have had to knowingly give this product less than its full support? To decline all well-intentioned and knowledgeable advice from without and from within?

MANY MANY people will be taking whatever steps are necessary to cancel their orders. We were promised a movie-accurate board, and this final product is no where CLOSE to the quality of the FAN-MADE boards that folks have been making in their garages for years. If this final product represents the minimal effort Mattel is willing to make for this iconic product, we will decline it and go back to making our own hand-made boards from scratch.


You might want to look again Lars wink.
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xx Re: Mattel's Hoverboard Scam
« Reply #6 on: Oct 13th, 2012, 07:24am »

Hah... maybe it's like the permanent white spots on the Voltron figure shoulders. Maybe they're going by the "original" design, which, of course nobody but the designers really saw. Doesn't make them Voltron or BTTF accurate.

But yeah... it does make me second guess Grayskull now.
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xx Re: Mattel's Hoverboard Scam
« Reply #7 on: Oct 13th, 2012, 10:34am »

on Oct 13th, 2012, 12:24am, bowspearer wrote:
Actually there are a slew of differences.

To quote spyhunter on the mattycollector forums:



You might want to look again Lars wink.

I did. His quibbles are BS. The prop is made of plywood, that hole for the handle isn't black, it's in shadow. The replica is made of plastic, so the hole will be pink, unless they paint it. That's one (of many) that's a bunch of crap.
« Last Edit: Oct 14th, 2012, 10:13am by lars573 » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Mattel's Hoverboard Scam
« Reply #8 on: Oct 13th, 2012, 8:14pm »

Lars, how much of an expert are you on BTTF props? I'm not saying I'm an expert, but when several people who are experts and have even in some cases, made replicas of the board themselves are making criticisms, then they're going to be accurate.

Furthermore some of the criticisms are coming from an individual who not only knows some of the original design team, but the politics involved with the development of the team.

Furthermore bear in mind that you're comparing what appears to be a mockup done by Mattel at the early stages (done by the original design team) to the NYCC/SDCC version as if the mockup is an original prop.

Last I checked, that kind of move was a recipe for an own goal.
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xx Re: Mattel's Hoverboard Scam
« Reply #9 on: Oct 18th, 2012, 08:39am »

MattyCollector has posted an update on their upcoming Back to the Future II Hoverboard.

Hoverboard Customers: Last week at New York Comic Con, we revealed a pre-production model of our upcoming Back to the Future™ Prop Replica. It was developed in conjunction with the original films’ special effects supervisor, Michael Lantieri, prop maker/special effects expert, Mary Anne Lantieri, and the co-producer and co-writer of the trilogy, Bob Gale, and is based on the more than 30 slight variations of Hoverboard props used in the classic film series. If you placed a pre-order, we wanted to let you know that if you’re in any way unhappy with the product we’ve shown so far, you can opt out of the pre-order. We want to ensure every customer is satisfied, so if you prefer not to purchase the Hoverboard prop replica, please visit our Customer Service page and we will gladly cancel any unshipped order.
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xx Re: Mattel's Hoverboard Scam
« Reply #10 on: Nov 3rd, 2012, 8:18pm »

Wasting $200 on a hoverboard that doesn't hover......might as well use the dollar bills for toilet paper. At least Castle Grayskull is something that can be fun to play with.
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xx Re: Mattel's Hoverboard Scam
« Reply #11 on: Nov 4th, 2012, 02:29am »

on Oct 18th, 2012, 08:39am, 1Nerd wrote:
MattyCollector has posted an update on their upcoming Back to the Future II Hoverboard.

Hoverboard Customers: Last week at New York Comic Con, we revealed a pre-production model of our upcoming Back to the Future™ Prop Replica. It was developed in conjunction with the original films’ special effects supervisor, Michael Lantieri, prop maker/special effects expert, Mary Anne Lantieri, and the co-producer and co-writer of the trilogy, Bob Gale, and is based on the more than 30 slight variations of Hoverboard props used in the classic film series. If you placed a pre-order, we wanted to let you know that if you’re in any way unhappy with the product we’ve shown so far, you can opt out of the pre-order. We want to ensure every customer is satisfied, so if you prefer not to purchase the Hoverboard prop replica, please visit our Customer Service page and we will gladly cancel any unshipped order.


Yeah, considering what I was seeing going on at therpf, I'm not surprised at Mattel's sudden change (once Mattel pulled their head in and I was able to cancel my preorder, my anger very quickly went away on this).

I suspect what caused the change was a matty and therpf member who went by nickthefox. He'd told people on those forums that he was contacting Mattel's legal and compliance department (somehow he'd managed to get hold of their contact details).

I suspect that when he contacted Mattel legal, they took one look at the law, took one look at how liable their claims made them, how much paperwork and hours were needlessly involved, and very quickly informed the relevant executives that legally, they had to change their stance.

on Nov 3rd, 2012, 8:18pm, KARR81 wrote:
Wasting $200 on a hoverboard that doesn't hover......might as well use the dollar bills for toilet paper. At least Castle Grayskull is something that can be fun to play with.


If you were talking about a toy, then you'd have a point, but the fact is that you're talking about a prop replica and and on a pop culture forum of all places - so I hate to say it but your post here is contextually, ironically oxymoronic.

You blatantly imply it's ludicrous, but is it really any more "ludicrous" than paying $2000 for a scale prop replica of the Millenium Falcon, or $500 for prop lightsabers or blasters offered to adult Star Wars collectors?

Bear in mind that this was/i] originally marketed as a prop replica and [i]not a toy (in other words, its purpose is to be a "sculpture" of sorts designed to look identical to the prop used in the movie, rather than a toy to interact with). This is the big thing that has made so many people who preordered this so disappointed with the end result and initially infuriated that Mattel was illegally trying to force the dodgy end product on them.

Furthermore, how is it any less of a questionable claim than claiming than say, to paraphrase your own post:

Quote:
Wasting $250 on a chilld's plaything......might as well use the dollar bills for toilet paper.
?

Now to be preemptive and to avoid confusion; the above is not my personal opinion on spending hundreds of dollars on an adult collectable - heck, I have a 1989 Hot Toys Batmobile on preorder with a local hobby shop (although I would say that spending that much on a Matty product is a real game of monetary Russian Roulette). I am however, pointing out that this sort of a statement really is a textbook example of the adage "it is unwise to throw stones when in glass houses" wink.
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