Monday, December 12, 2011

Another year, another span when I'm upset about dolls as a hobby...

Current Mood : Annoyed

Didn't do much today either, but truthfully, I was kind of sick all day. Not really ill, just worn down and weary.

Could be the mess that Mattel's once again started and Angelic Dreamz has rolled around in, and shook off crap that's gone everywhere. (sigh) It's nearly enough to put me off Monster High dolls, it's that bad. I'm getting most of my intel from a letter sent to Angelic Dreamz's pre-order 'Sweet 1600' customers, reposted on the LiveJournal MH page, so let's dig in to another toy disaster together, shall we ?

A quick aside. Many doll fans praise AZ to the stars for customer service and expert packing. Personally, I look at the Gil doll I paid $14. for (tax and all) at Mal-Wart, and know I would have paid $35. (shipping and all) for the same doll from AZ. To me, $21. is a lot of difference, and I really can't believe it's all for bubble wrap. To me, AZ is just shy of scalping, and I won't deal with them. Especially when they cop to driving to every TRU store in a hundred miles and cleaning them out of '1600' stock for their customers, then whine about the cost. (more later) Ummm... anyway. I don't have a dog in this fight, so to speak, but I did want to mention that others seem to not mind so much, but these things really ticked me off.

OK. So. Angelic Dreamz, based in NY, took pre-orders for the upcoming 'Sweet 1600' line of MH dolls, under the assurance that Mattel would ship on Dec. 12th. Unfortunately, many other retail outlets, from Justice to Mal-Wart, started getting them early, leading many AZ customers to wonder why they'd bothered with a pre-order, especially considering AZ's prices and pre-order cancellation policies.

Anyway, as you may have guessed, when those who pre-ordered started seeing the dolls on eBay and in TRU, they began to wonder why they'd paid so much and were still waiting for their pre-orders. AZ called Mattel daily, and finally got someone to admit that they'd agreed to give TRU a first / early release of the dolls, something they hadn't told AZ about earlier, or AZ wouldn't have mucked with pre-orders in the first place.

So AZ, as mentioned earlier, drove around to every TRU within a hundred miles of them and scooped up all the '1600' dolls they could find off TRU's retail shelves. They even met a TRU manager who offered to go into their inventory system, check the numbers, and order for AZ, as many as AZ wanted. This kinda feels wrong to me, like AZ is going behind my back, and Mattel's back, but it's all good as long as AZ gets what they want. And I should praise AZ for going above and beyond for 'their' customers. Too bad if I can't get any dolls, I should have pre-ordered and paid an extra $10. or $15. for each of them.

Further down in the letter, AZ mentions that they know not everyone has access to a brick-and-bathroom TRU, and that the online site doesn't show any in stock, they know because they've tried to order that way, too. Plus many retail stores are also sold out. Umm...'cause you bought all the ones you could find, ya finks !

Still, they realize folks could be upset, so they offer a $10. AZ credit for each doll that pre-orders don't cancel, and further offer something else they can't promise - the Skull Shores greyscale Frankie, free to anyone who doesn't cancel their pre-order. If Mattel ships them any. They don't know when, or even if, but if they do miraculously get any, they'll ship a free one to everyone who doesn't cancel.

Gee, thanks, AZ. You scoop 'em off retail shelves so people - possibly parents shopping for Christmas ! - can't buy them at retail prices. You then go behind everyone's back and try to order using TRU's system, and when that doesn't work, you try to order online...but it gets cancelled when the numbers of dolls you want exceed their inventory. No wonder TRU jacked up their prices $3. on the '1600' line this week - they already know the demand is higher than ever !

(sigh) You can correct me if you wish, and say how wonderful AZ has been to you, since you've been their delighted customer in the past. And I'll smile and be happy for you. But for me, I'm having to really re-think about being any part of this mess, not to mention three companies - Mattel, TRU, and AZ - at all.


  1. Honestly, I'd never shop with Angelic Dreamz. Their prices are always a considerable amount higher than most of the sites out there. When I was pricing the Dynamite Boy doll (if you've read my blog post you know my complaints about that whole issue) their prices were 20 dollars higher than everyone else. I would never pay such an increase even if I could afford it.
    And yeah, what you've mentioned sounds like rather sketchy business practices.

  2. I don't shop ad AD either (prices), and I certainly won't after reading what they did here. That's just bad business practice.. feels wrong. I guess if I were by some miracle one of the people who preordered I'd be happy to be getting my doll after all, but I'd still feel embarassed for both the shady companies. (TRU isn't at fault here I guess- their sole purpose is to sell and that's just what they're doing, regardless of who buys)

  3. WOW...that is just shady indeed! :-(

  4. Some people are just never satisfied. They did everything they could within their power to fill their customers orders even paying full retail so they could fill their customers orders! That sounds like damn good business practice to me. I am one of the people who pre ordered, I got my Sweet 16 dolls for $25.99 in the end, when TRU was then selling them for $34.99 and I got a B&W Frankie skull shores doll for free. This is a store that stands behind their customers.