Mattel is a business and like all businesses, they have budgets for its toylines, and the rule of thumb is that if the toy line makes the budget back and then some, it is considered highly profitable, ergo a success; however if said budget isn’t made back, and ergo blown, it is considered a failure and a loss. If the products don’t make the money back the toy company put into designing and building them, then that line they’re working on is usually canceled.
Mattel has had and holds many properties and a lot of those properties have their own budget they must strongly adhere to quarterly or sometimes annually. It is considered a bad sign if the line goes over its respective budget as well. A lot of times sacrifices are made during the production of the toys to save costs. Take the infamous red stripe from the Dennis Nedry set from the Legacy Collection a couple of years ago and how the red stripe over the rear fender disappeared between the prototype picture and the moment the item appeared, in store. This is a highly-likely of a cost-cutting method they used to reduce not just the manufacturing time of the toy, but the hours the toy is being produced, in addition to the materials used to produce the toy – time is money, money is time after all. That red stripe the Jurassic fandom got shorted helped Mattel save a few extra dollars (hundreds or thousands even) in their endeavor to produce said product. So while Mattel is a multi-billion dollar company and has loads of licenses, those lines need to stay within budget and be able to make the budget back put into it plus profit in order for the company to stay afloat. That is how the business model works, this is how capitalism itself works. Many don’t realize what goes into toy or action figure design and how involved it is, many just gleefully grab the product on the shelf and do not think twice about how it needed to go through a planning stage, an engineering stage (especially if it has mechanical or electronic components), a prototype stage, a play-test and safety stage, and finally a production stage. All of these translate to hours upon hours of work to be completed within a deadline and these hours put into then translate into compensation to the employees producing and working hard on these projects and operating the business.
So when a crowdfund pops up from Mattel it should be automatic given that they need additional support monetarily to produce something truly for the fans. The designers are hereby showing appreciation and support plus a willingness to give the fans something special, especially if the fans front the cash and support it. Crowdfunding in itself is nothing new, if you like something, you throw money into it so you can see it produced. It is simple as that.
Currently, there is a crowdfund going for the Jurassic Park gates on the Mattel Creations website. The crowdfund itself was launched on June 27th, 2023, and goes until July 26th, 2023 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. Unfortunately, the response to this crowdfund has been excessively negative and mean-spirited – often hastily illogical and representative of critical thought in any and all ways. The behavior has jumped straight to the point of ridiculousness and even championed ignorance and pride for this above all else. If you don’t understand why a multi-billion dollar company needs to do a crowdfund then maybe you should take an economics course at a local community college, read the first couple paragraphs of this post again that explains it, or just remove your damn head from your ass, because it sure isn’t up there for the warmth. Of course, there are evils of capitalism, but let’s not get into those – we are talking Jurassic Park here and we need to support it if we want it all to continue. Again, it needs to be repeated: We’re here for Jurassic Park/Jurassic World, dinosaurs, and the toys that are being made and we need to do everything we can to support it if we want it to grow and live.
So what is being offered by Mattel Creations and this crowdfund? Quoting the page we have the following:
We’re celebrating Jurassic Park’s 30th Anniversary with an awe-inspiring crowdfund! It starts with the enormous fan-demanded motorized entry gates and a first-ever Ford Explorer #5. No expense has been spared on recreating the details, and the collector-level execution extends to all the extras you can unlock from each tier. Say the magic word, fund all the extras, and return with us to a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth!
Jurassic World Hammond Collection The Gates
Gates: H 20.7 inches x W 22.8 inches x D 12.1 inches
Gates require 4 AA batteries (not included)
Two enclosure fences: H 9.0 inches x W 14.8 inches each
Authentically scaled to all Hammond Collection figures
Accurately sculpted down to each crack and crevice
Motorized door gates with manual override to display the gates in any position
Flickering torch lights guide the way into the park
Gates also play the original movie theme music and ambient jungle sounds
Comes with Ford Explorer #5 (the one that was left unscathed)
Explorer made for 3.75-inch scale figures; H 4.3 inches x W 4.4 inches x L 10.5 inches
Action-figure scale Explorer features rubber tires and enhanced design details
Includes film-accurate hang tags, navigation screen, and antennas
Only available through this crowdfund
A minimum of 5,000 backers are needed to start making this set come to life. With additional backers, everyone gets even more figures and accessories to recreate the excitement.
At 5,000 backers, you unlock the Jurassic World motorized entrance gates and the Ford Explorer #5
At 6,000 backers, everyone receives a post-electrocution Tim figure and two enclosure fences
At 8,000 backers, we’ll add the Hammond Collection “Buck” T. rex featured in The Lost World: Jurassic Park
At 10,000 backers, the set is complete with a Lex figure and goat with removable hind leg
Early Funding Bonus: If we reach 5,000 backers in the first two weeks (by July 11), everyone, including international fans, receives a set of six Jurassic Park Paddock Signs
This campaign ends July 26, 2023 at 11:59 PM PT, so join today and tell every Jurassic Park fan you know. Together, you can complete the ultimate collection!
Mattel even produced a video to accompany its presentation on the page.
- The Gate has a port for an AC adapter to plug into the wall, for unlimited power. You will need to buy the AC adapter if it isn’t included.
- The Gate itself has multiple modes specifically. The standard motorized entrance with music and jungle ambient noises, flickering torches, a daytime ambient jungle noise, a nighttime ambient jungle noise, and a hurricane mode for when the storm hit the island in the first film. You also got a manual override to position the doors that disable the motor for the gates so you to pose as you see fit.
- There’s also additional lighting like flood lights on the front as well for the night mode.
- Wanted to point out that the motorized features are well-done. It seems to not be like the JP3 Animatronic Spinosaurus that would stop breaking eventually, this looks well constructed for longevity.
- Explorer 5 is an upgrade to the Explorer 4 set. More accurate deco, more detailed deco, additional plastic molding, and rubber tires. The doors open, it doesn’t sound like the back opens (like on Explorer 4), but it does hold “cargo” in the back like in the film. All four doors open like the previous release.
- The fences themselves plug into the side of the gates, once you complete the “circuit” the fence themselves will light up with flashing lights like the torches of the gate itself.
- While Tim is a resculpt of the Legacy Collection figure, the paint apps are infinitely more detailed to be similar to how he looked after the Main Road Attack with Rexy.
- The fence cables are elastic and Tim can grip them.
- Brand new head and neck sculpting with the Buck. It has glass eyes, and new feet, and the scars that are present on the animatronic are visible on this figure. The scars themselves are sculpted into the figure itself.
- The new tooling means it is a 1:1 model of the animatronic based on the designer’s intention.
- For the people complaining about it not making sense, they’re throwing this in because the set needs a dinosaur, the Buck has been the most requested dinosaur by the fandom for the Hammond Collection since the line was announced.
- Same deal as with the Tim figure, Lex has some new sculpting/molding like Tim, but otherwise, it is the same figure as the Legacy Collection just added paint apps.
- Note the Lex and Tim figures do not have the additional elbow and knee articulation due to engineering reasons. Mattel said it didn’t look right.
- Let’s talk about the GOAT: One big thing about it is the highly detailed level of it, the thing that slaps the most about it is the dino-damage detachable leg. Yes, the leg detaches.
Collector-level deco, higher quality paint apps, and more attention to detail. Sophisticated motorized features, multiple options for display and there’s a bonus hitting 5k before July 11th (first two weeks) we get the nice paddock signs. This set, even at the most basic level, has a lot to offer in terms of sophistication and engineering. I hope the fandom can mobilize and get it up to 10k backs and make it so international fans can jump in. You get everything for a fixed price as well. All-in-all, I just hope we can get everything they’re showing.
How has the fandom responded to all this that is being offered? With indignance and petulance. Instead of seeing that we needed 10k backers from the go to get everything, the fandom has been hung up on the base offer from Mattel (Gates and Explorer) and hyper-fixating on this fact alone They’ve been so fixated and against rallying they’re missing the most important deadline of all, the July 11th early funding goal. The various idiotic levels of moaning and complaining, too for good measure though, continue.
I’ve been a member of the online Jurassic fandom since January of 2000 when the Internet was still considered “something new” by many. I grew up, I made mistakes, I learned from mistakes, and so forth over the last two decades in being part of this fandom. I’ve seen the fandom at Death’s Door and back multiple times. Either due to community behavior and/or just a lack of anything collectible being made. I’ve also taken time out from the fandom itself when things got harder around here and in my offline life to focus on my medical issues to get better. I’ve had both healthy and unhealthy habits developed from being a part of this fandom and have worked for years to self-correct. This fandom has both hurt and helped me in times of trials and tribulations and has been there. I am embarrassed by a lot of the behavior being thrown at Mattel regarding this project when signage still exists in some of my local Targets, from Mattel no less, for the 30th anniversary! They went all out, and did that – they did that for the fans, for all of us.
To say I’m angry by how this fandom has responded is an understatement. If we rallied and pushed to the 10,000 backers we would simply get everything that is being advertised, and a bonus if we had managed to do it all before July 11th. No one looked at the end result and instead opted to complain about the levels, which some complaints are understandable, but no one wanted to strategize – no one wanted to mobilize either. So while some complaints were justified, others – if not the loudest – were petty and hostile. The ungrateful behavior is just utterly embarrassing and makes us look like a bunch of knuckle-dragging chuckleheads who only care about what is immediately in front of us.
Mattel is willing to produce something amazing, if we front the funds (yes because of budgetary reasons) and make something so fantastic your 9-year-old self would go crazy over. Many have also accused me of for my views of riding Mattel very “hard” and even also that I am getting something out of this – I’m not. I have backed the project, yes, but I am just a voice that won’t get anything out of sharing my passion for this amazing opportunity to show we’ve come so far as a fandom. My passion and dedication to the series are why I want this, why I’m angry, and why I want people to join in and back it that can. I get it, I’m on a fixed income, but I am willing to throw in for this to make it happen. It opens the doors to the possibility of additional and even better future crowdfund opportunities. Maybe next time they make/a crowdfund they could include more fences so you can design an island layout that connects to this set, Maybe a Wu figure with a genetics lab, Maybe a Visitior’s Center Maybe the trailers from the second movie, the list of maybe’s go on – if this is successful.
Reality would be that if successful all of these things become the next possibility. The fandom would only get these things by making this a success. What happens if we don’t though? What happens if we continue to remain indignant and not aware of the bigger picture? Do we all want to reject this? The odds are the Gates being offered will be auctioned off years from now to someone’s private collection or maybe they’ll suffer some catastrophic damage to them and be forgotten in Mattel’s basement – relics. There could be more far-reaching repercussions too here, the line itself could be seen as too risky to invest anything else in – especially if the crowdfund fails and after this the sales for the line drop, there could be a reduction in product, more repaints, and less original and new sculpts, the design team for this could be cut. All roads here lead to stagnation and death.
The cancelation in general of the line, as it is today – as we know it, would be assured That’s not a future I wanted for the series, the dinosaurs that Mattel has been producing work great as ambassadors for the animals that aren’t as popular as others. This opens the door to science communication and people wanting to learn more. How many figures of Dryptosaurus are there for example? Exactly my point. I have loved collecting the Mattel toys – they have made the line fun again for me. I no longer feel the guilt of having to buy a series of repainted toys every couple of years since I had the originals. I no longer have to feel like I wasted money on something that was produced that had screw holes, cheap electronics, and looks like it would be in a Dollar General toy section for a few bucks. This is a dig at Hasbro’s shortcuts over the years after buying Kenner. In fact, I would argue Kenner was the last series that showed this franchise the same level of respect and love that Mattel shows. In fact, let’s look at the past of the gates we have already gotten shall we?
|Kenner Jurassic Park Command Compound||Hasbro JP3 Raptor Attack Gate Playset||Hasbro Jurassic World Lockdown Playset|
As you can see, the quality went down over the years with Hasbro, they simply didn’t believe in the brand. Further, this steady decline was brought to you by a toy company that did not listen to fans either and ignored attempts at fan input while Mattel has listened to us and even modified the brand for us all. In fact, is the Jurassic World set on the far right? That gyrosphere has a piece of cardboard with the “pilot” drawn onto it – dollar store level of quality. Yeah, that’s what we’ve had – this all before Mattel had acquired the license. Some insist that somehow Mattel is scamming us with their set though, somehow. Someway they are. It’s so stupid, and so damn ridiculous that it hurts both physically and mentally that people will say such stupidity.
Everyone needs to be realizing here, that if we lose Mattel’s support the activity in the Jurassic fandom would decline catastrophically. It would survive possibly, albeit with a few die-hards, with little conversation happening, or much of anything for that matter. In fact, the toy line would help sustain the fandom’s popularity as it works as an ambassador for kids and adults regarding our planet’s past, it is capable of bringing together people to share a common interest, and that desire to connect with others. The toy community for it can also promote trade and fellowship. The toy line, if it stays popular, can lead to additional media and a better future in general for the fandom.
The choice is in your hands, and if you are capable – I urge you to back the project. If you’re not, promote it and share the link so others can. If we all rally together we can push this to 10,000 backers we can still get almost the entire set.
Update: Mattel has changed the levels for the backers, here are the new levels below:
A minimum of 5,000 backers are needed to start making this set come to life. With additional backers, everyone gets even more figures and accessories to recreate the excitement.
At 5,000 backers, you unlock the Jurassic World motorized entrance gates, Ford Explorer #5, post-electrocution Tim figure, and two enclosure fences
At 6,000 backers, we’ll add the Hammond Collection “Buck” T. rex featured in The Lost World: Jurassic Park
At 8,000 backers, the set is complete with a Lex figure and goat with removable hind leg
Also one, additional note to the collective dissonance (people who love the brand, but refuse to support it because big-name companies asking for money) – the reality is the only survival for the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World series is as a toy-collecting brand. This is not dissimilar to various other brands that have actually catered to and aimed at collectors over the years as well as children (examples: Star Wars, Transformers, Masters of the Universe, My Little Pony, Barbie, and many more). Without focus or attention to the collector market, the series will not be able to sustain itself primarily due to a lack of additional or new material. If you care anything about fandom or the community, I do once again urge people to support this crowdfund as it is a test of the durability, reliability, and versatility of sustaining the power of the Jurassic series as a brand. If this doesn’t convince you fully to back this project, then I have clearly misjudged this fandom entirely, and the only thing left is to witness a fandom’s demise as it rockets toward utter oblivion.