Ask Mattel > May 1 Edition

Damn, I love that art.

Anyway, it’s time for another round of Ask Mattel. (I refuse to acknowledge a corporate mascot by name, nor pretend he actually exists.) My thoughts are in the blue boxes/captions. –PG

1.) Poe asks: Are there any plans to do more Arkham City figures beyond Batman and Two-Face in the Batman: Legacy line?

Yes. We’ll have the next wave at SDCC to show off.


2.) Toyman2581 asks: What is up with those strange yellow lanterns that come with all the Sinestro Corps figures in DCUC and DC Retro action? In the comics, all the yellow lanterns look just like the green ones.

Some figures come with vintage lanterns, other like Scarecrow in Wave 17 come with modern lanterns.

Unfortunately, the question wasn’t really answered here. Has there been a “normal”-style yellow lantern from Mattel, aside from the half-and-half in the Hal/Sinestro set?

3.) Josh asks: We’ve heard that Mattel is very particular about adding extra articulation to certain figures based on what’s appropriate, but can you shed any light on the decision to add so many extra points of articulation to Black Hand? His character does not seem to be one that necessitates extra posing abilities when there are so many other characters that do. In fact, I think it works against the figure in some ways.

It was how the Horsemen wanted to do the character. They usually make the decision on these features.

Aren't you glad you use Dial?

4.) Barbecue17 asks: While Mattel’s original stance was that the figures would not include action features/gimmicks or anything that would break-up the sculpt, this seems to have changed, as we’ve gotten sculpted (but nonfunctional) dials on both Sy-Klone and Hurricane Hordak. This means we’re getting the broken-up sculpt without the benefit of the action feature! How does the inclusion of non-functioning dials and such mesh with the philosophy of the “classics machine?

When the dial can be worked into the armor of a figure, the Horsemen try to do this. The inclusion of a non working dial as armor detail certainly is not an “action feature”!

Again, this answer is “sideways” to what was asked. That said, maybe this is a question I should ask the Horsemen about, since it’s really more of an aesthetic/artistic choice.

5.) Nik asks: I know the development time was rushed, but why are Marshmallow Mess Ray’s Ecto Goggles so under-sized?

They are in scale to the figure per Sony’s records. They are not undersized.

They look undersized to me. (Figure photo from


Comments now closed (32)

  • I'll assume there was a Jedi Mind Trick hand gesture included with that last answer.

  • Man I'm sorry, but I feel bad for anyone collecting Ghostbusters. That picture just reminds me how awful those headsculpts turned out.

    Interesting that the Horsemen get to decide who gets extra articulation. Maybe they REALLY like Black Hand?

  • Poe you need to ask the 4H about the dials and forget Mattel. The dial completely breaks the sculpt on Hordak.

    Can expect a huge ugly dial on Tongue Lashor now? 🙂

  • I like the sculpted dials, like on Optikk or Sy-Klone. Obviously they have no real function, but its a nice nod to the original figure. I don't see how it breaks-up the sculpt.

    For instance, if/when we get a Thunderpunch He-Man (which I actually would enjoy having I think) I'd feel as though something were missing if they didn't include (for lack of a better term) the backpack with the little cap knob.

  • The last answer reminds me of how Mattel pretended that silver Hordak crossbow to be white.
    "Things might appear to you differently, but over here in Mattyworld, everything's perfectly fine."

  • Why does Poe (or any site) and Mattel even do these it’s just corporate legalese, Everyone I read just pisses me off. MATTEL some times it’s ok to say “yeah we did our best on that and realize it’s not I good as hoped” or “I’m not sure, it’s a big company with a lot of inner workings

  • 1. A normal DCUC-scale yellow lantern comes with the Retro-Action Sinestro figure (traditional version, not Sinestro Corps version). I lent it to my DCUC Sinestro since the Retro figures continually drop these slightly-too-small accessories that slip right through their fingers anyway.

    2. Matty has been saying for a while that the added articulation goes to characters that require it based on that specific character's physical abilities, or whatever. I think we all knew since the beginning that this was one of his typical made-up-off-the-top-of-his-head answers which he didn't think through to its logical conclusion the way we his customers immediately had. Now Matty has made matters worse with this very strange assertion that the 4H make such articulation decisions. Yeah, right. Brace yourself, Cornboy. Matty's customers will be holding you accontable from this day forward!

  • I think they're still worth doing. Every once in a while we glean a tiny nugget of information. Plus I think I'd rather a pretense of keeping the lines of communication open with fans instead of nothing.

  • I appreciate one of my questions being asked, Poe. Thanks!

    Regarding the answer given for Ray Stantz and his small goggles: On Mattycollector, I believe, Toyguru said that Club Ecto 1 was a late addition to the lineup and thus the bonus figure had to be simply a repaint. To have at least something new for the figure, accessories from the 12 inch line were apparently scaled down but it didn't work too well.

  • since when is extra articulation determined by the horsemen? hasn't matty said forever that it was a cost issue?

  • Tribsaint wrote:

    Why does Poe (or any site) and Mattel even do these it’s just corporate legalese,

    Well, I'm happy to hear there will be more Arkham City figures.

  • That Ghostbusters answer is complete crap. The lenses on those Ecto Goggles don't even line up with his eyes properly.

  • @ globaldominationmachine:

    Anything people don't like regarding the design of the figure is the Horsemen's fault. Anything they don't like about the production of the figure is the factory's fault. Anything you think is totally awesome was suggested by "Matty" or Toy Guru. You should know all this by now.

  • There is a significant difference between dials on Optikk and Sy-Klone which were smartly and appropriately "embedded" in their armor/waist and as such were indeed a nice nod. However, that is not the case with HH. Just look at the photo above. First, it is large (compared to Optikk and Sy-Klone) and second, the color difference from the armor is striking. Last, the dial on the original 80s version did not stick out that much, was mostly inside the armor. So Poe, please do ask 4H for clarification.

  • Poe,

    No offense I do appreciate the effort, I just hate Mattel sneaking around a real answer. On the other hand Mattel has to be a little miffed at the little things geeks get pissed off about like the sculpted dial, which lantern is used or even the goggles scale (though it would piss me off if I paid for it). Though I think we geeks are on the high ground because we are paying them.

  • Rather than think of ourselves as fans or geeks, we need to remind Matty that we are CUSTOMERS.

  • Thanks for asking my question Poe. I wish Mattel had actually ANSWERED it. So I guess they're calling the lantern that comes with DC Retro Series 1 Sinestro "vintage", and the other kind "modern".

    The problem is, why create a "modern" yellow lantern? I understand that it's supposed to look like the Sinestro Corps symbol, but why? No lantern like that appears in any of the books so why make one instead of using the "vintage" yellow lantern? Is it really that hard for Mattel to give an honest explanation for something so insignificant?! GAH!

    By the way, I call shennanigans on their Ecto goggle explanation.

  • Well, yeah. We are customers. Customers of a couple of small, collector-focused lines that account for what's almost certainly an insignificant percent of revenue from the toy company which became the largest in the world by making Barbies and Hot Wheels.

    I'm not saying we're wrong to complain, and I'm not saying it isn't annoying to get short responses (some of which read like they might be canned).

    But let's keep things in perspective here. It's not like we're the reason they're in business. If we like the toys, we should buy the toys. If not, we should let the lines fail.

    Either way, I don't expect many executives at Mattel are going to lose sleep over the issue.

  • @ toyman2581:

    Actually, you have it backwards. The bell shaped lantern that DCUC 3 Sinestro and retro Corps Sinestro come with is the vintage lantern. When the Sinestro Corps FIRST debuted, their lanterns looked exactly like the original DCUC version (check out the little lead statue version of Sinestro to see it there too). Eventually DC editorial (wanting all the lanterns to share a general look) changed the lanterns to look more like the standard green lanterns.

    And as someone mentioned, you can get a yellow "modern" (i.e. Green Lantern shaped ) one with the old school retro Sinestro. Matty has also said that Scarecrow will come with this version.

    So Matty did actually answer your question. 🙂 (And I've actually answered it every time you've asked it, but I can understand how it got missed.)

    Hope that helps!

  • Mattel gives good answers sometimes. But other times, I'd really prefer they just say "MIND YOUR BUSINESS!" since that's what some of the answers feel like anyway.

  • I think what was meant about "action features break up the sculpt" can best be illustrated by looking at Roboto; in order to put the moving gears inside, they had to do a completely new torso piece. A lot of the action features can't be implemented with the standard torsos, arms, etc., that are in these figures. So to implement an action feature, they would need to break up the sculpt. An added-on dial doesn't break up the sculpt, it just adds on to the sculpt (which for some fans isn't a good thing).

  • @ Michael:

    A non-functioning dial breaks the aesthetics of the figure in a similar manner that a functioning dial, lever, switch, or button would.

    Now Mattel says that dials are OK, but not buttons or Levers…

    HH looks like someone tried to kill him by using a cog as a shuriken.

    It is not an "added detail to the armor that blends in".

    Mattel is always crying poor house, not having enough money, development slots and other crap, now here they waste tooling money on a useless dial that looks NOTHING like the vintage figure… (where the dial ACTUALLY LOOKED like an armor detail…)

  • @ americanhyena:

    Fair enough, but I own/have read all the GL books in Vol. 4 since Rebirth and I don't remember EVER seeing a lantern that looked like that. If you know which issue one appeared, please give me the number so I can go back and jog my memory. If they actually drew that thing in a book and I'm just blanking out, I'll cease my inquiry…but I swear that lantern never appeared in print.

  • I certainly don't remember that "vintage" bell shaped lantern in the books either. But anything is possible with a company that makes an entire wave of Green Lantern based figures (GL wave 2) which included ZERO lanterns at all!

    The 4 Horsemen NYTF FWoosh interview was worth a thousand Matty Q & A's…literally.

    They do give small bits of information from time to time but for the time they spend answering…I mean "answering" the many posed questions from each site, it's mostly a waste of time. A waste of time reading them and certainly a waste of time figuring out how to respond to a question with a non-answer. It generally seems like 2% real answers and 98% BS…IMHO.

    All that aside, thanks for submitting the questions Poe!

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  • Forget the goggles, look at the face on that Ray figure looks barely anything like him.

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  • Worst "Ask Matty" answers in a while.

    Don't care about the HH dial because the whole figure is a waste of space.