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QC for Cars?

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8:11 am
June 13, 2014


NeilJam

Rookie

posts 18

Whenever I buy any toys, be it Cars or action figures, I always compare what is available on the shelf/pegs to find the best product. Occasionally I will reject something I want because it is too bad.

 

Does Mattel have anyone doing quality control on Cars anymore? I've only been collecting Cars for a couple years now, but it seems like the paint apps have gotten significantly worse recently.

 

The Neon racers are horrible with extra neon paint in spots, crooked apps, and lots of chips. It took longer than it should yesterday to put together a decent set. LMQ singles were the worst of the bunch. I pity the next collector who visits that Target looking for them. Afterward when I was looking through Cars at Walmart, I saw more off the mark apps. It was particularly noticeable on the King.

 

Has the QC on Cars been this bad all along, or just since I started collecting? It certainly looks like it's going downhill fast.

5:18 am
June 15, 2014


SCAVENGER

New Jersey

Toons "You Were There" Character

posts 281

Post edited 5:18 am – June 15, 2014 by SCAVENGER


NeilJam you are correct…quality control seems to have been part of a budget cut at Mattel!  The Neons like you mentioned are probably the worst of the worst when it comes to this…I like you had an extremely hard time putting together a set without any flaws in the decals!  I also have noticed the mainline Cars have been having problems as well…I got a Cora Copper from a trade that unfortunately has a swipe of paint i believe on one of the doors, along with others i have left on the pegs due to things of this nature.

I have also noticed the new Planes Fire And Rescue stuff has had some issues as well…scratched decals, crooked decals etc.

To be honest I believe Disney Store has followed the leader in this case as well!  Unfortunately I have no local store anymore and have to order online….and well its very very aggravating when one comes in an order with bad decals!  I do have one that i travel to on occasion if im in gonna be in the area and i swap them out when i go rather than go through the online return just to get another bad one.

I think the bottom line is, major companies want productivity high and costs low…and unfortunately quality is one of the first things to take a hit!

3:49 pm
July 8, 2014


RRichie09

Rookie

posts 7

SCAVENGER said:

I think the bottom line is, major companies want productivity high and costs low…and unfortunately quality is one of the first things to take a hit!

This is VERY true, but don't forget, these are toys meant to be sold to kids who will play with them and those nice decals will get scratched and the nice paint jobs will get chipped.

 

Collectors are part of the market and Mattel has acknowledge that, but the collector's market is a small piece of the pie (please correct me if I'm wrong).

7:08 am
July 9, 2014


Mack_me_Bucko

St. Louis, Missouri

Wheel Well Regular

posts 108

By my math, collectors are maybe .01 per cent of the total market for Mattel.  This forum/website has roughly 47,000 users, if we each bought $2000 a year from Mattel, that would account for .02% of their yearly sales — and how many of the 47,000 here actually spend anything near that amount?

 

47K x 2K = $94 million, divide that by Mattel's $4.35 billion reported sales last year = .02%

 

Collectors could even conceivably be as little as .005% of their market.

After all, gas can is my middle name … eh, not really

5:42 pm
July 11, 2014


NeilJam

Rookie

posts 18

I think you are severely underestimating the collector market MmB. I won't deny collectors are still a minority part of toy companies' sales, but certainly not just a fraction of a percent. How many kids do you think have the opportunity to get Cars that are not main character or others that collectors leave behind? Sure, some parents like myself will go out of their way to get hard to find toys for their children, but kids shopping with their parents will mostly just see the previously mentioned leftovers.

 

We hear that kids these days prefer video games of other tech gadgets over toys at an earlier age now, yet at the same time many are adamant that toy sales are almost 100% to children. Why would Mattel continue to make Treasure Hunts for Hot Wheels if collectors did not matter? Their current MOTU line aimed directly at collectors and based on subscription sales is still going another year (although subscriptions are dwindling as they are down to mostly obscure characters for what hasn't been made yet). And have you seen the price of some collector Barbies? They are certainly not marketed to children, especially when they are based on classic or mature shows or movies.

5:51 pm
July 11, 2014


NeilJam

Rookie

posts 18

Back on topic- The QC issues that are getting more prominent for Cars are particularly annoying when it plagues a subset (the Neon Racers) for which the sole selling point is the special paint scheme.

 

When my children play with Cars or Hot Wheels they always have lots of crashes. When that happens with Cars there are usually new scrapes or chips in the paint, but with the Hot Wheels, they rarely have any evidence of those crashes. How can Mattel use such resilient paint on HWs, but not on Cars that cost 4 times the price? I realize some of that increase is due to licensing costs, but surely they should still be able to use quality paint at that price.

8:46 pm
July 11, 2014


RRichie09

Rookie

posts 7

Regarding collectors… comparing hot wheels and barbies to cars is apples to oranges. Adults today grew up playing with hot wheels and barbies, this is not true for cars which are relatively new. Perhaps the answer is some where in between.

Now, regarding the paint quality/durability. There may be three reasons that I can think of. One, the manufacturing process for hot wheels was developed decades ago when quality was still very important. The cars manufacturing process was developed recently where the happiness of share holders and the bottomline is the most important thing.

Two, the paint and graphics on a cars figure is much more intricate than hot wheels. I know hot wheels have baked enamel, perhaps this is not financially feasible for cars.

Three, cars are heavier than hot wheels. When they collide there are larger forces involved. Paint is more likely to chip/scratch when larger forces are involved.

It may be a mix of all three or none at all. Just guesses, but I agree, I would expect the same level of quality from cars that I see in hot wheels. It's a shame, but I think our kids will outgrow cars before they completely wreck them.

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