Have you ever really scoured and explored Mattel’s Official Website?
Because if you haven’t– it’s comedy.
You see, what at first seems similar to Hasbro Pulse, an aged-up Hasbro store geared toward the older/adult collector, Mattel has a portion of their website called the Mattel Vault. The link to it is at the very bottom of the page, but don’t worry– I made you a treasure map.
From here, you enter a Mario 2 style Warp Zone where all your toy collecting dreams come to life.
All jokes aside, this is what the welcome screen to the Mattel Vault looks like.
So, from what we’re seeing here, what does it look like? If you ask me, it seems as though we’re in for a magical, hidden realm where Mattel has a secret warehouse full of their past products ready to sell to you! To me…to…everybody! Could it be that finally, at long last, Mattel is ready to give us a little tickle of their past products? A place to reclaim the toys of yesteryear? A store from which I can repurchase Skipper’s boyfriend Kevin from 1992 who was so damn dreamy that all of my dolls killed each other for a piece of him?!?!
Well…you see…the Mattel Vault doesn’t actually sell anything.
Even though it blatantly says ‘Shop Now’!
Shop by category, at that!
Thus, I clicked on the ‘Action Figures’ tab, and what was presented before me was really just a huge disorganized and jumbled mess of cool words. Masters of the Universe, Ghostbusters, DC, Thundercats…I like these things! But when I tried to click the words ‘Find at Retail”…
Nothing. Literally…nothing. I can’t click the words.
What in the crab cakes is going on here?!
I exited the shopping portion of the website and scrolled down to the Mattel Vault Hall of Fame portion, thinking that I was perhaps missing something. It only got worse from there.
The message here says:
‘Browse retired toys and keep tabs on your favorites that are gone for now, but certainly not forgotten’
What could be in here, you may wonder? Why thank you for asking, please, let me show you. I clicked on the link in order to see what ‘retired toys’ were hiding out in Mattel’s very disorganized and confused vault.
Mattel, these toys aren’t even that old! So if this is your Vault ‘Hall of Fame’ filled with what’s supposed to be ‘retired toys’, then what’s going on with those past models MOTU and Ghostbusters up there? I mean, clearly those aren’t 80s toys proper (they’re from newer lines), but they sure want you to think they’re OG and vintage! But these here– these are very clearly from post-2010.
I don’t think Mattel understands what a vault is. Or they don’t understand what they’re trying to accomplish with their Mattel Vault. Is this an archive of their old toys? Well, no, it’s not– if that was the case, a toy historian could make an amazing Mattel Vault archive site that spanned their toys from when they founded in 1945 up to the present. It could discuss their significance in early gaming and electronics with the Intellivision. Interviews with the dude who recorded the sound clip ‘B-17 Bomber’. Whoever decided to crimp Totally Hair Barbie’s hair! Scholarly journals for the psychology of the development of the game UNO.
Sky is the limit for what could go in that time capsule!
Or…you know…the text that says ‘Shop at Retail’ could…I dunno…let you buy things.
The Mattel Vault is nothing more than a tease, man. A window to a delicious world that promises milk and honey, yet delivers nothing. It shows off pictures of their self declared ‘best of’, yet after the session, I’m left feeling cold and alone, doing a little bit of a walk of shame because I bragged to everyone I knew that I found some sort of secret, hidden Mattel Valhalla.
But you know what? Hope isn’t lost. The adventure is just beginning! Because if we can’t have oodles and hoards of MOTU, DC, Thundercats, and Ghostbusters ready and waiting for our money…
At least there will be a Viewmaster movie coming at some point.
LOOK, A DISTRACTION!