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Author Topic: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.  (Read 12564 times)

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Offline Crriya

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How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« on: December 01, 2016, 02:31:38 AM »
Hey everyone!

Very new (but extremely passionate) collector here, so at the moment I'm out of the loop on how MH is doing overall as a brand. I'm not sure if any of the answers to the questions I have are public information, but any tid bits of gossip is great.

Is this still a very popular fandom? Is it dying, rising or staying steady? I know about the reboot and I personally love the old and new dolls, but what was the reason for the reboot? Is it because of declining numbers or wanting to gain more numbers?

I'm curious because when I got into this hobby, I got into it hard. In a very short amount of time I went from having 3 basic dolls to 54 and I've been so passionate about finding more and more dolls around me. I had a really hard time finding an active community about MH (until now, yay!), my google search found an early 2016 article saying MH was on the decline and with the recent news about Bratz, I can't help but wonder about the future of MH. Did I come into the hobby too late or are there still years and years of monster goodness to be had?

Thanks everyone!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 02:34:42 AM by Crriya »

Offline Wardah

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 03:40:59 AM »
I think an important thing to realize is as far as numbers go, us adult collectors aren't that important to a brand's success. In an average sized city there is usually just one, maybe two adult collectors and maybe like a hundred if not more kids of the typical demographic that plays with dolls. A brand can be hugely popular with adult collectors and yet be lagging in the much larger target demographics. And profit margins on dolls are rather slim so they need to sell a large number of dolls to just cover the development costs. Ever notice most adult collectible dolls are much more expensive than playline? While they are generally slightly higher quality another part of the reason they cosy so much is also because the profit margins need to be higher to make up for less dolls. If it was strictly based on quality they would maybe be $50 instead of $100 and over.

As for MH sales were lagging with the target demographic so the reboot happened in the hopes of boosting sales by changing some things that the target demographic and their parents didn't like and emphasizing the things they did like. So for example they added even more monstery details like fur or scales but at the same time they toned down the more mature looks. Less monster diva and more ghoul next door.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 03:50:15 AM by Wardah »
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Offline 8BrickMario

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2016, 06:01:58 AM »
With Monster High, I've noticed that they fly off the shelves...but only when they're discounted. At full price, I've seen very slow sales, but it seems to be a case of "popular, but expensive" for the average buying populace.
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Offline Morieris

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2016, 06:27:22 AM »
With Monster High, I've noticed that they fly off the shelves...but only when they're discounted. At full price, I've seen very slow sales, but it seems to be a case of "popular, but expensive" for the average buying populace.

Same, it makes me wonder how aware parents actually are that there are changes. If you pass them the first five years because you don't like their appearances, what makes you stop and look now?
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Offline piinkypiie

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2016, 07:37:04 AM »
Well it's definitely a decline here. Stores hardly carry Mh stuff let alone reboot.

I guess it depends on you. If u are looking for older dolls it may be a challenge to get those rarer ones.
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Offline SaelaVe

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2016, 12:13:50 PM »
For my part, in my area, the line seems to be selling just as well as it was prior to the reboot.  Not as well as when the line first debuted, but just as well as it was a year ago at this time.  Products neither fly off the shelves nor stagnate.

The reboot dolls do seem more popular among younger kids that I know than the pre-reboot dolls. 
My eight-year-old niece, who had no interest in MH before, is now a fan, has several reboot dolls, and dressed up as Clawdeen for Halloween.
My eleven-year-old second cousin does not collect the dolls herself, but she recognizes them and knows what they are.  By contrast, she has no idea whatsoever what EAH is, and didn't even know that it existed before seeing the dolls in my house.


As far as the adult fandom is concerned, I'd say it's more or less the same.  While there are many adult collectors who do not care for the reboot dolls, there are not many who have abandoned the hobby over it.  They continue to collect and enjoy the older dolls just the same.
But, as Wardah mentioned, the adult fandom doesn't contribute much to the overall success of the line.
And yes, the reboot occurred because of dwindling sales among the line's target demographic.


I wouldn't worry too much about the line going away any time soon.  It's kind of like when a new MMO comes out and everyone starts crying "WoW-killer!"... but then WoW continues on just fine.  I really don't see anything "killing" MH right now.  MH is an incredibly unique concept and there are no other mainstream doll lines on the market right now that compare.
And even if MH did decline for a while, I think that it's fandom would stay alive and well and we'd likely see a return at some point—kind of like MLP, which ebbs and flows but never dies.
Mattel is very good at what they do.  They've kept Barbie current and relevant for fifty-seven years, even with new competitive fashion doll lines emerging all the time.  I think that they'll find ways to keep MH around for a long time to come.



Same, it makes me wonder how aware parents actually are that there are changes. If you pass them the first five years because you don't like their appearances, what makes you stop and look now?

I can't speak for all parents, but in the case of my niece, her parents weren't buying the dolls before because she wasn't interested in them.  For whatever reason, they didn't capture her attention until after the reboot.  Why, I have no idea.  I don't know what it was exactly that caused her to take notice now but not before.  Maybe just changing aesthetic style in popular toy lines and animation? :shrug:
But it wasn't a case of her parents not liking them or not taking notice of them. 

Honestly, I don't think that my brother- and sister-in-law have any idea that the dolls changed.  They just know that their kid is now interested in them so they're now buying them for her.
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Offline 8BrickMario

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2016, 12:26:16 PM »
That's interesting. MH have always been more on the high end as far as play dolls have been concerned, and they were originally intended for an older kids' market, which also led to their massive adult fanbase. Now sorryMHIstillloveyou they've been kiddified a little bit- lower amounts of makeup, brighter, less presentable packaging, no stands, lower hems (a change I actually really like) and marginally healthier body sculpts with much-needed monster upgrades to many existing characters. They're clearly going after a different market now, which may be wise, but in terms of sales, I honestly don't know how well they're doing.

Regardless, it's a great brand that I hope has a future in it.
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Offline SaelaVe

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2016, 01:46:55 PM »
That's interesting. MH have always been more on the high end as far as play dolls have been concerned, and they were originally intended for an older kids' market, which also led to their massive adult fanbase. Now sorryMHIstillloveyou they've been kiddified a little bit- lower amounts of makeup, brighter, less presentable packaging, no stands, lower hems (a change I actually really like) and marginally healthier body sculpts with much-needed monster upgrades to many existing characters. They're clearly going after a different market now, which may be wise, but in terms of sales, I honestly don't know how well they're doing.

Regardless, it's a great brand that I hope has a future in it.

Honestly, I wonder if trying to sell dolls to teenagers may have been a stretch for Mattel from the get-go.  I know that most of us adult toy and doll collectors never grew out of our toys; but it does seem—to me at least—that the average kid stops playing with toys pretty early on in their 'tween years.
My brother and sister both stopped playing with toys around 12 or 13.  My aforementioned 11-year-old second cousin still collects My Life As/Our Generation/American Girl dolls, but has otherwise moved on from toys to video games.  And I myself have never, in the entire six years that I've been collecting MH, seen teens on the doll aisle picking up MH dolls.  It's always either adults, or parents with young kids around 8- to 10-years-old. 
So I do wonder if MH was ever selling well to the older end of the dolls' recommended 6 to 15 age range.

And while many of the reboot dolls are now recommended for ages 6 to 10, some are recommended for the same 6 to 15 age range as the original signature dolls (and in fact even some of the pre-reboot dolls were recommended for ages 6 to 12).
So are they targeting a new demographic, or an evolving demographic that's just no longer responding to the original designs?
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Offline ReversedUser

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2016, 04:00:35 PM »
Honestly, I wonder if trying to sell dolls to teenagers may have been a stretch for Mattel from the get-go.  I know that most of us adult toy and doll collectors never grew out of our toys; but it does seem—to me at least—that the average kid stops playing with toys pretty early on in their 'tween years.

I've often found myself wondering this as well. Monster High came out when I was 13 and while I was interested, I can't say that many of my peers were at all. I didn't even come from a place of not outgrowing my toys because I wasn't a doll kid, I just saw them as pseudo-collector's items like Transformers. When I was in MH's target demographic, you wanted your first cellphone and for your parents to stop treating you like a kid. Playing with dolls kind of puts a damper on that.

I can also second that fact that I've never seen another teen in the MH aisle unless they were there with a parent and sibling picking out a toy. 

Offline mlly

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2016, 11:25:30 PM »
Aside from its articulation I wouldn't call MH 'high end' in the slightest since its quality for most of its entire run is just not as good as late 90s-mid 2000s playline dolls and it's quality became even worse in recent years. But it did something different and new when it first came out that's why it became and was so popular.
The reboot might have convinced some people but it will not really return the brand to its former glory. Toning down is not really doing something 'new'.

Offline 8BrickMario

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2016, 07:12:41 AM »
I don't think they're going for something new by toning it down. They're just toning it down. Again, it's not all bad- the more modest outfits are a plus, and Draculaura's new face is much more appropriate, but it does feel like it's dropped a little in terms of detail and design. Monster High has always had more complex and creative dolls, so when they drop down even slightly, it's obvious.
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Offline Wuvmykitties

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2016, 07:39:05 AM »
I don't think MH is selling that well here.  A few years ago stores could hardly keep them in stock.  Now, not so much.  There are still plenty of reboot dolls, along with last year's GSR dolls, all at full price.  If they get marked down, then they sell quickly.   I haven't seen any parents in the aisle buying them either, but they have been eyeing the newer Barbie fashionistas and such.
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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2016, 07:44:16 AM »
Dolls around here used to sell like crazy.  They would put out a case at the time of each line, you come back, and boom, at least half gone.  Now the reboots just sit, with the exception of a few like Deuce or Gil, and Draculaura still does well here.  Heck, the ice cream four pack has already dropped from 45 to 35.
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Offline Morieris

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2016, 09:24:52 AM »
Dolls around here used to sell like crazy.  They would put out a case at the time of each line, you come back, and boom, at least half gone.  Now the reboots just sit, with the exception of a few like Deuce or Gil, and Draculaura still does well here.  Heck, the ice cream four pack has already dropped from 45 to 35.

The unarticulated 4 pack was selling for almost 50$?  :haha:
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Offline 8BrickMario

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2016, 09:47:14 AM »
Yeah, sales are slow-coming, and then totally abrupt over here. Some stores, like Walgreens, think it's perfectly fine to sell four-year-old dolls (Dead Tired, Music Festival) for over their original price, and even Walmart takes their time before marking something down- and even when that happens, it takes a few weeks for everything to go. I remember just this past summer- everything was on sale, BYBY, leftover G&B, everything EAH, and Ghoul Sports, etc.- that stuff stayed on the shelf for a while, and then one weekend the entire bargain section was gone.
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Offline Shenanigans

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2016, 10:43:39 AM »
Not sure how MH does at other stores, but at my Wal-Marts they are pretty much shelf sitters. The only doll I've noticed a lack of is Gloom Beach Clawdeen (my Wal-Mart is overrun with Gloom Beach Frankies) I expected someone to snatch up the SW Gil that was there, but he was still there last I checked. Same one with the dented box. My Wal-Mart never has sales, only clearance and that takes a while. So everything is always full price until it's clearanced. So I prefer to shop at Toys R Us or Target where they actually have sales, sometimes half priced dolls. I don't often pay full price for a doll unless I'm absolutely in love (Ghouls Beast Pet Drac was put in my basket the moment I saw her and Music Class Cleo will be the same haha)
So my Wal-Marts have a ton of MH dolls, especially the SW line, that just doesn't seem to be moving. Maybe that will change the closer it gets to Christmas, or maybe not til it's clearance time.

I do remember when BYBY was released all the Neferas were gone for a while. She was a good seller as I never saw her on clearance, but all the other dolls were. Luna and Mouscedes were marked to $11 and Elle , Operetta, and Drac were $5. Never saw Clawdeen marked down though.

Offline Morieris

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2016, 10:52:06 AM »
I just got Surf to Turf Lagoona for 10$ from Amazon. We never got it and apparently it retailed for 25$ originally on the website and 20$ in stores.

Nothing moves, not even with the holiday approaching, because even sales aren't good enough to justify a lot of the changes.
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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2016, 11:27:55 AM »
Dolls around here used to sell like crazy.  They would put out a case at the time of each line, you come back, and boom, at least half gone.  Now the reboots just sit, with the exception of a few like Deuce or Gil, and Draculaura still does well here.  Heck, the ice cream four pack has already dropped from 45 to 35.
The unarticulated 4 pack was selling for almost 50$?  :haha:
I don't know if I can say selling because I don't think it moved at all, but yeah they had originally priced it at 45.  And it's still here at 35.

They did open another box of the Ghoulia/Moanica/Deuce pack, very surprised to see Deuce on our shelves again, but that's it.  I think there's one Moanica on the shelf currently, but about six Abbey.  Oh, and the minis, but blind bags are a huge thing lately, so any kind are going to move.
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Offline Wardah

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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2016, 01:05:23 PM »
Dolls around here used to sell like crazy.  They would put out a case at the time of each line, you come back, and boom, at least half gone.  Now the reboots just sit, with the exception of a few like Deuce or Gil, and Draculaura still does well here.  Heck, the ice cream four pack has already dropped from 45 to 35.
The unarticulated 4 pack was selling for almost 50$?  :haha:
I don't know if I can say selling because I don't think it moved at all, but yeah they had originally priced it at 45.  And it's still here at 35.

They did open another box of the Ghoulia/Moanica/Deuce pack, very surprised to see Deuce on our shelves again, but that's it.  I think there's one Moanica on the shelf currently, but about six Abbey.  Oh, and the minis, but blind bags are a huge thing lately, so any kind are going to move.

Dolls in general don't seem to be selling as well as they used to.
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Re: How is MH Doing? Popularity, Sales, Overall, etc.
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2016, 01:22:01 PM »
Dolls around here used to sell like crazy.  They would put out a case at the time of each line, you come back, and boom, at least half gone.  Now the reboots just sit, with the exception of a few like Deuce or Gil, and Draculaura still does well here.  Heck, the ice cream four pack has already dropped from 45 to 35.
The unarticulated 4 pack was selling for almost 50$?  :haha:
I don't know if I can say selling because I don't think it moved at all, but yeah they had originally priced it at 45.  And it's still here at 35.

They did open another box of the Ghoulia/Moanica/Deuce pack, very surprised to see Deuce on our shelves again, but that's it.  I think there's one Moanica on the shelf currently, but about six Abbey.  Oh, and the minis, but blind bags are a huge thing lately, so any kind are going to move.

Dolls in general don't seem to be selling as well as they used to.
I think in part due to blind bags.  Or at least that's my own theory.  Everyone's doing them, and Shopkins, Mixels, all of them fly right off the shelves.  They're cheaper, and with a "collect them all" mentality.
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