Sure, Salem had a happy childhood in Dubai. But it lacked one crucial thing: a toy Voltron. He eventually moved to the United States for a decade, enjoying all that New York City has to offer: career opportunities, a variety of cultural experiences, and the ability to order special-edition Voltron subscriptions from Mattel that aren’t sold overseas. You know, important things. He subscribed to a five-toy collector’s series comprised of five lions that join to form a Voltron. He moved, and the blue lion (Voltron’s right leg) shipped to his old address in error. Mattel is happy to refund his money, but won’t send a replacement blue lion. It’s not about the money. The blue lion is sold out.
He could go buy one on eBay for almost double the list price, but he paid for the whole subscription so he could own all of them at the original price. If he wanted to buy them on eBay, he’d buy them a few years from now after he moves back from studying in the UK.
My name is Salem and I was quite a lucky child growing up, when it came to toys. Unfortunately, growing up in Dubai we never got those transforming or combining toys. I moved to NYC in 2002 and last year I saw Mattel was offering subscriptions for the limited edition 5 Voltron Lions, to be shipped throughout the year. I was excited! I signed up immediately. However, I recently got accepted into an MBA program in the UK and will have to leave the country. I updated my shipping info on MattyCollector.com a couple of weeks ago and waited.
Today I get an email saying the 4th Lion (Blue) was shipped to my old address. I call Mattel Customer Service and they say well when the Lion is returned (as my old apartment building wil no longer accept shipments for me) that they’ll refund me my money and not to worry. I asked if I’ll get that Blue Lion they said no. I asked if they could ship me another Blue Lion to the new address (more money for them!) and just refund me the money in a month or so when the Blue Lion from the old address comes back to them, they said no. They kept trying to assure me that I’d get my money back and I asked them if they even knew what the product was. That without all 5 Lions I won’t be able to form Voltron (oh god this seems like an old episode of the cartoon itself).
I said fine, who is it being shipped by, they said USPS. I call USPS and get a change of address put in and provide my order number so they can track the package. They said that’s not a USPS order number. So I call Mattel back and they said a USPS tracking number has not been generated yet because they haven’t picked up yet. I asked Mattel to then change the address if USPS hasn’t picked it up yet and Mattel said they couldn’t do that.
So basically, they shipped to the wrong address. They think my money at this point is more valuable than the actual product that makes the other 4 work. They won’t reroute my package. They also won’t give me a tracking number so I can reroute it myself.
Oh, Mattel, we thought you were nice. Or is that only to little girls with years of toy-buying ahead of them, and not adults who want to relive their favorite childhood cartoons?