Analyzing today’s Power-Con Non-Attendee pre-sale

The Power-Con exclusives sold out in an insanely fast amount of time. We have never witnessed anything like this before.

The traffic to our server (which is a very robust server) was so strong that the server crashed. The techs worked hard to remedy the situation, but it still took 30 minutes to get it back up and running smoothly. It’s impossible to tell if the server being up from the start would have changed anyone’s chances, as so many people kept refreshing and continued to do so until the server came up and they could add items to their cart.

Regardless, we apologize to anyone who hoped to get these and were not able to do so either because of the server issue, or due to the fast sell-out at both Power-Con and BBTS. Many of you are asking if more will be made. Exclusives are typically limited and Mattel will not be making more for Power-Con.

As far as the fast sell-out, that was not expected. We expected a bump in interest, but not this level based on all prior Power-Con exclusive pre-sale events. We had the same number of exclusives as in 2020, and those took a month to sell through. BigBadToyStore limited each 2021 item to 1 per customer. We limited each 2021 item to 3 per customer, and it took us longer to sell out than BBTS. Going from a month to sell out in 2020, to about 30 minutes for BBTS and about an hour for Power-Con pre-sales just a year later is not something anyone could have anticipated.

You might have witnessed some inventory reporting with the Power-Con shopping cart that may have seemed confusing. There were quite a few customers who came to the pre-sale, added items to their cart, then… sat there. They didn’t complete their order or they just added them and left. What this did was remove the items from inventory for 15 minutes. When that time limit expired, those items would show back up for sale. This happened continuously until all items were sold out. That’s the one downside to having a shopping cart that secures your items long enough to pay. We never want fans to go through the White Screen of Death from previous MattyCollector days where fans would have an item in their cart, only for it to sell out before completing purchase. So if you saw inventory fluctuating between Sold-Out and In-Stock, that is what was taking place.

Some of you are upset that we offered these through BigBadToyStore, due to BBTS’s asking price. Yes, the BBTS price tag is higher, but they have to pay for their operations and generate a profit. And we can’t help them to reduce their markup by selling the exclusives to them cheaper, as the limited profit we make pays for Power-Con. So BBTS is paying what you pay for exclusives, then adding what they need to the price in order to run their business.
The reason we keep using BBTS is because so many of you have asked for it year to year. They don’t take payment up front for the full order, they have their Pile of Loot program to help save on shipping, plus they charge a super low shipping cost. Partnering through BBTS isn’t intended to hurt you. Instead, it’s about giving fans options.

But now we have this really fast sell out that took us by surprise. What could be fueling this increase in interest? The main factor is most likely the recent reveal of images of the new toys and images for the new Revelations cartoon. There is also the recent release of the official toy guide from Dark Horse which may be bringing new and old fans to MOTU. Plus the collector’s market has seen a bit of a boom in the past year and a half. No matter what is behind it, there is a noteworthy rise in interest in MOTU.

So who was buying these? Was it fans? Was it bots? Was it resellers? We looked at our own data for answers.
Despite the ability to get up to 3 of each via Power-Con, the overwhelming majority of orders were for 1 of each item, or just 1 of a particular item. We only saw a handful of orders that maxed out at 3 of each item. Ultimately, the stock at Power-Con was not depleted by resellers.
We also looked at the data of who was ordering. Many of the customers are prior Power-Con customers. So there was a lot of repeat business from existing fans.
For the other orders, we see no noticeable signs of bots being used. Nearly all orders are from unique individuals in places all over the world. These customers might be speculators, or they might be resellers, but hopefully they are new fans who are jumping into the world of MOTU.

Most of you that have contacted us directly have been very polite, despite being upset. That was very kind of you, as we know many of you are angry and you didn’t have to be pleasant at all. Power-Con is constantly striving to create an enjoyable event for Attendees from across the globe, and we will always value the contributions of those of you who are unable to attend the show. All of your feedback will be taken into serious consideration for Power-Con moving forward, and we thank you for sharing your experiences with us so we can work to improve future pre-sale events.