Poe’s Point > Why I’m Not Subscribing to the Filmation Sub


First off, please note that I recognize this post presumes you give a crap about whether I subscribe to the Filmation sub. This may be very much not the case, but to those of you who visit this site largely for MOTUC content, I feel I owe it to you.

As all longtime readers of this site know, I tend to go through fads. When the site started it was mostly about Batman and DC Universe Classics. Eventually it moved into Masters of the Universe Classics. And as probably seems obvious to all, I’ve lost some of my interest in MOTUC over the last year or so.

I hesitate to chalk it up to anything more than just a natural decline of obsessive interest, but if you’ll indulge a little introspection: of all my childhood toy fads, MOTU was one of the shortest-lived. I loved the cartoon and the toys, but I really only collected and played with them for about two years when I was 4-5. I suppose that’s practically a geological epoch when you’re that young, but I also only vaguely remember that time of my life.

After that, the two biggest fads were Transformers (I still don’t know if readers have any sense of just how into Transformers I was, since I don’t collect it now) and Ninja Turtles, both of which I was more into than I ever was with MOTU.

What happened with MOTU, however, is that the Millennium line came around just as I happened to be really, really into fantasy fiction. The toys’ release dovetailed with the Lord of the Rings movies and I just got really into the whole thing. When MOTUC came around, I wasn’t quite as into fantasy anymore, but the old positive associations with MOTU still lingered and I was very much on board again…for a while.

If it had been possible, I know I would have ended up a cherry picker on MOTUC. Not right away – the hype would have kept me going for a while – but eventually, I would have started skipping figures, particularly New Adventures and POP. I almost didn’t subscribe to the 2013 sub, but Ram Man forced my hand. And now here comes the Filmation sub.

The figures look cool. But I simply cannot afford to buy every action figure I want right now. I’m at a point in my life where that’s just not feasible. I need to be able to afford, say, clothes and shoes.

Here’s some of the stuff I really want this year – and this is only what’s been revealed so far:

  • S.H.MonsterArts: Destoroyah, King Kong, Destoroyah Evolution Set, Godzilla 1964 (this probably comes to a minimum total of $400, and again, this only goes up through late summer – there will probably be more S.H.MonsterArts revealed for the second half of the year)
  • NECA: Dutch, Predator, Alien, Colonial Marines, ED-209 (we’re probably talking about $150-$200 just for what’s been revealed so far)
  • 4H: Power Lords

On top of all this is my 2013 MOTUC subscription already, costing – what, $650 with shipping? More? (This will be somewhat ameliorated by selling off the figures I don’t want.)

And so I had to make a decision: do I want action figures of New Adventures and Filmation characters I don’t even remember, or do I want the Godzilla figure I’ve waited for my entire life? Do I want Batros – whoever he is – or do I want Arnold Schwarzenegger as he appeared in my second-favorite action movie* of all time? I found having to make this decision somewhat interesting and novel, actually. It made me realize just how much of my MOTUC collection I really didn’t have a whole lot of interest in.

And so, I made a decision to pare my MOTUC collection down to a select group, using three criteria:

  • Figures I owned as a kid
  • Heroic Warriors and Evil Warriors**
  • Figures I just find really cool (e..g, Vikor)

Using those criteria allowed me to cut forty figures from my collection and create a nice budget for all of the other stuff coming out this year.

What does this mean for PGPoA? Just that this site won’t be quite as MOTUC-centric moving forward. That’s not to say I don’t still love MOTUC and won’t keep reviewing the figures – I will. Just not all of them. And if some of you Poesters are interested in writing a guest review or two of some of the MOTUC figures I don’t review (or haven’t reviewed), I’m happy to consider it. I just have a few requirements:

  • You must be able to provide decent photos of the figure
  • The review must be between 750-1500 words
  • You must provide a 1-5 “raven” rating for the figure

*Die Hard, in case you were wondering.

**A character like Fang Man counts as an Evil Warrior since he worked for Skeletor on the cartoon, as does Icer, whom I pre-ordered via BBTS – I might have skipped him except I also love ice-themed figures, so he fits criteria #3 as well.

33 thoughts on “Poe’s Point > Why I’m Not Subscribing to the Filmation Sub”

  1. Funny, your MOTUC “rules” parallel mine, except I also was getting the characters that did not appear in 200x or vintage, I was a vintage MOTU MOC completist in the 90’s and I wanted to have “everybody” when I started in 2011… but now I’m asking myself why bother, I don’t have any of the vintage anymore.

    Despite this, I’m not going for the Filmation sub either. Plus I’ve always been more into the minicomics and book and record sets, even when I was a kid. I’m spending over $900 on MOTUC this year already!

    Plus, I remember being told at SDCC/PowerCon/NYCC that there was not going to be a “second sub” this year, especially because of Grayskull! If you’re all in in 2013 you’re paying over $1k in MOTU toys this year.

    To put it in perspective, that’s roughly a complete (or close to it) minty loose vintage US MOTU collection, including Eternia ( and you could probably get a MOSC He Man as well…)

    1. I feel that that s a false equivalence
      You could have a complete collection of every 80's toy and you would still not have what MOTUC offers. The unified styling of vintage toy, Filmation, NA, 200X and comics characters offer something no single MOTU collection ever has before! Mattel's even proved willing to make vehicles and play sets in the 6" scale. No other company has been willing to do that for any other brand! Not even with DC and Marvel! The line has it's fair share of faults, and the fan base may not be as rabid as some wish it to be, but you ask if it's worth it?!?!?!

      $#@% YEAH it is!!!! xD

      That said, I have always been more a fan of the fiction then I have been a "collector". If someone had the Power of the Evil Horde tape & Book set in one hand and a shadow weaver and sorceress MOC in the other and told me to pick a hand…I'd go with the book & tape Set! My MOTU collection of comics & Books is one of the things I value most in life.

      1. You make really good points there. It is comparing apples and oranges.

        But hopefully noting that you’re spending over a grand on 2013’s MOTU lineup. That’s double what we were pretty plainly told last summer… that the line was in serious trouble and not expanding any further. That’s fine if all you collect is just MOTU. Its a lot of money for what, 27 figures and a playset though. They’re 27 *really cool* figures and *holy grail* playset though. I collect other stuff too, and do not have a auto-replenishing wallet, so choices have to be made and a line drawn somewhere. Picking between the ultimate Showa Godzilla, or say the new Doctor Who 3.75″ line, or the Filmation one and done guys (that i’ll probably track down on the secondary anyway) is pretty easy for me.

        1. For a variety of reasons I don't foresee MOTUC lasting much longer. Mattel could be thinking the Filmation Sub and Castle Grayskull are a "now or never" situation. I'm all in for MOTUC this year because I can't afford to pay Shadow Weaver, Sorceress and Fisto secondary market value!

          I've also been out of the MOTUC game because of financial reasons. Things are better now, but I'm still tugging my belt. Mattel made it easy to stop getting DC stuff this these last two years. Hasbro's spotty distribution of Vintage carded Star Wars, and then recent price cuts have made me wind down collecting them. Who is really left at this point? MOTU IS the only thing I'm collecting…Right now at least. But i get what you mean, you have to pick and choose, make rules and accept that you can't have everything. It's going to be hard to pass up the Adam West batman stuff this year…Hard decisions in the near future…

          That Batmobile is temping if it fist DCUC. That's $50…

          Star Wars 6" Vader & Boba Fett are bare minimum requirements $40…

          Talking KITT with Michael Knight is $60 [Might have to live through my brother on this]

          Venture brothers 3.75 that's what $70-ish [only counting who's been shown!

          Man of Steel…depending on the film $20-$120. depending on distribution and how enjoyable to film is.

          4 Hoursemen stuff… $???$

          TMNT Classics $120 [I still need the Turtles]

          GAH and now Doctor Who 3.75" line? Pics? Woo's making them? when are they coming out?
          How awesome would they be mixed in with a Star Wars display!

          Not to mention all the other MOTUC that I still need….

          Oh Toy gods…How you mock me and my wallet size!

  2. Oddly enough, despite the fact that I don't collect MOTUC (I have, like, three figures, all purchased a year or so ago), I found this post very interesting.

    Here's my justification for not subscribing:

    Still butthurt 'cause the 200K aesthetic is so superior.

    1. The aesthetic was good (except for a couple figures, most notably the rather scrawny He-Man himself), but the execution of the toy line was all over the place.

      I suppose my MOTUC "dream line" would be the Millennium aesthetic but with super-articulation and proper scale among the figures (i.e., Beast Man and Trap Jaw actually being big, not undersized).

      That said, the Horsemen once told me that MOTUC is the line they originally wanted to make, not Millennium. It was Mattel that wanted to go the more McFarlane-ized, heavily-detailed route.

      1. I want to live in your dream world Poe 😉

        In a perfect world, I'd love to see MOTU handled like DC and Marvel. Popular characters get multiple variations biased off updated designs and alt costumes while lesser knows get a single signature design. Sure we need 20 Batmans, but we really only need the one Bane and Jonah Hex. If MOTU could take off again, I think the way Mattel's handling DC license [Retail's DC unlimited series & Matty's Club Infinite Earths} is the way to go. But that would probably take a movie, video game or new TV series to entire Toys R Us to touch MOTU with Wal Mart's ten foot pole.

        Between last years character debuts in the 30'th Anniversary line and this years FILMation line, I'm wondering if Mattel is testing the fan bases level of dedication as to who we are willing to buy and from what source material.

      2. I agree that the 200X He-Man figure was bastard ugly.

        My ideal series would basically be a marginally more realistic looking Classics He-Man, plus all the coolest villains done in the Staction style and internal scale, but with Classics articulation.

      3. If you watch the special features on the DVD set for the complete MYP cartoon series, they have pics of prototypes for the He-Man toy. They went through a process seeing which style kids like the most, and the style that won is what we got in stores.

  3. Just don't change your mind after the sign-up time has ended, or else you're just gonna have to buy 'em all day-of.

  4. Interesting perspective, Big R.  I never thought about it that way.

    Not that anyone cares what I think, but I probabnly would have subbed to the Filmation Sub if I’d been allowed to “cherry pick” Fang Man.  Since I can’t, I’m drawing the line at more obscure Filmation characters, and I expect many will do the same.

    I also don’t understand the selection of these particular characters.  I watched the shows obsessively as a child and I watched every show all the way through when I got the DVDs about 5 years ago, no matter how good or bad any particular episode was.  Despite that, I didn’t recognize any of those characters.

    I think it also hurt that I’d been dreaming of Granamyr forever, but the mass reports of breakage and problems with the figure prevented me from getting one too.

    On another note, I’m glad that my wife told me no to Grayskull, since we don’t have it in our budget.  From the pictures I’ve seen, it looks like the MOTUC look about the same in the new one as they do in the vintage one in my display now.

    This year has gotten huge for all the fearmongering that was thrown about over the end of the line if there weren’t enough subscribers.  I think it may actually push it along, since there are very few people who can afford “everything” in the line at the rate it’s being released.

  5. Poe,people like you "cherry picker" are killing this line and, bla,bla,bla…
    A joke.

    We have the choice of buying the figures we want without being obliged to buy a whole series or subcription. (in a personal collection).
    greetings Poe.
    Jesús Santillán.

  6. I just subscribed to the Filmation line maybe 30 seconds before I read this. 1) because I love these figures. I love how they look on my shelves. 2) and most importantly because I loved the show growing up. I remember watching it when it first aired and then was sad and a bit pissed when it turned into New Adventures (Which I never watched). THis line just resonates with my growing up. More so than Gi Joe (Which I loved but never got into) and the same with Transformers (I barely own any. Having these figures reminds me of growing up and the Filmation figures make me think back to sitting on my sofa doing my Homework while He-Man was on.

  7. big r points out something very true, the additional cost of the filmy sub, after we were told that there wouldn't be additional sub this year BECAUSE of the very expensive castle at the end of the year… and then there they go, mad grab for more cash.

    but personally, just personally, i know some people like filmation and i'm not not dogging, but for me, the filmation designs are one step up from scooby doo, and it's not a very big step. you couldn't pay me 30 bucks a pop to take a filmation only sub, that's like asking me to pay to have my genitals used as the cutting demo in a cold steel video. it's like asking me to pay extra for a mickie dees employee to wipe their ass with my burger bun. it's akin to making me pay for netflix and then dropping every movie off the service except for muy thai giant. in short, i'd be more interested in paying for motuc golden girls than a filmation sub… though certainly, the company's business ethic is a contributing factor to that as well. i also refuse to "regular sub" because i don't trust the company, so them releasing additional characters in a visual style i like less than pineapple pizza just in no way entices me to buy. if/when we get offered a motuc that recognizes the value of the 2oox aesthetic… then we'll talk.

    though truthfully, i'd like to see the 200x look picked up and done something along the lines of the play arts kai line. that i would sub up for, no questions asked.

    1. Yeah, but watching Lynn Thompson over-swing through your hoo-hoo-dilly whilst sweating through a too-tight dress shirt and tie would make for an AWESOME video.

      And I would sub sight-unseen for a Matty Golden Girls line. I wanna see Blanche on my shelf next to Dutch and Drago. Now.

      1. Rose comes packed with a book “Tales from St Olaf” and Dorothy gets the biggest shoulders pads ever produced in an action figure line… Maybe we need to make this happen mbb. Quick to kickstarter!

        And yes the cold steel videos are hilarious. I love when they hack through the boot full of meat… But not a boot full of genitals!

    2. "mad grab for more cash"

      Come on dude…Mattel makes its mistakes, but getting upset over a company in a capitalist society trying to make money is like being upset that restaurants sell a lot of food.

  8. I definitely would have preferred these characters had just been in the normal sub at some point. 2012 was supposed to be about scaling back.

    Having said that, I’m in if only because so many other lines I collect are making it easier for me to not spend on them. The Transformers offerings all year have either been mediocre or not my taste and Retaliation GI Joes aren’t my cup of tea.

    Fortunately as amazing as Neca’s work has been they haven’t really released anything I HAVE to own. (Although I may finally break and test out an Aliens Xenomorph and Hicks.) I’m kinda thankful I’m not into MonsterArts because that stuff is ‘SPENSIVE. Same goes for Hot Toys.

    I have a fairly large Marvel Legends collection in storage but Hasbro waited way too long to recapture my interest after the scale shift. I haven’t bought a single one of the new figures.

    And sadly the character selection over the past couple years have left me cold on DCUC (although I’ll admit they’ve already covered 99% of the characters I wanted). But stuff like the Deputy Lantern wave and royally fubaring long awaited characters like Lead, Tin and Attrocitus really turned me cold on the line (I just yesterday boxed up the majority of my DCUC figures that were on display to make room for upcoming MOTUC).

    So my dwindling interest in all of those lines coupled really caused me to turn the majority of my focus on to MOTUC. The funny thing is I’m probably not even that big a MOTU fan. But I think the toyline itself is outstanding and, unlike a lot of DC figures I was buying for BAF parts, I actually genuinely like just about every single MOTUC character design (I think Strobos and the blue Fighting Foe Man are the first two I’m genuinely not a fan of). That coupled with the plethora of accessories, large creatures, a vehicle and a playset / diorama just makes MOTUC the line that I’m happy to immerse myself in and dedicate my collecting too.

    Granted in another year, I could be burned out or cooling down on the character designs / selection (although with Two-Bad, Rio Blast, Horde Troopers, and Tung Lashor still in the theoretical pipeline, I’m not sure how likely that is).

    My (rather long) point is, each to his own. It every single one of us were totally devoted to the same, singular line this would be a pretty boring hobby. 🙂

  9. I think that it's a very good time to stop – the Castle is a real highlight, and bar those sneeky Horde troopers, it seems a natural and fitting end to a line of toys.

    I was really fed up with it in the first half of last year, but must say I was very happy with what came out at the end. of it, but feel it's a good place to jump off – although I do feel it would be nice to have a preorder system for the few remaining pieces that would be highlighs (two-bad etc)

    That said, I do like the filmation reveals (well, two of them!), but I also like the Foe Men, so I suppose there is no acounting for taste! What I do know, though, is that I have an interesting selection of nice toys that display well, but also looks pretty much complete without any more friends to join them.

    The castle will set them off nicely, and I can enjoy what I have without worrying about the randomness of what may turn up next. I am full!

  10. "First off, please note that I recognize this post presumes you give a crap about whether I subscribe to the Filmation sub."

    LOL Poe, you've become so self-conscious. This is your blog!! 😀

    I feel a strong completist urge drawing me into the Filmation sub, in part because we've already gotten/will get Filmation characters in the regular sub. I have a casual relationship to the cartoon, based mostly on nostalgia and a kind of debt to my younger self. If the ONLY Filmation we were getting was through a secondary sub, or just outside of the sub, I'd find it easier to pass up. But when I've got the Filmation She-Ra thing going, when I've got Eternos Randor and Marlena and Cringer, how do I NOT sub and create a corner for these guys? Also, as someone who greatly appreciates how slavish Matty is to vintage and OG accuracy, it seems almost criminal to snub this chance to get more stuff straight out of the 80s when I find myself, as a Joe collector, begging Hasbro for even half-baked updates of cherished figures and characters.

  11. Shokoti is really the only one I want, and her aftermarket prices if I miss it/there is no day of sale will be less than the sub, so that's what informed it for me.

  12. I understand the casual fan mentality, I'm that way when it comes to Star Wars and other toy lines. like most collectors I have my own rules for collecting * When it comes to MOTU I ascribe to the Veruca Salt school of thought…

    My favorite aspects of MOTUC is that it includes POP and NA. I look more forward to Galactic Guardians and The Great Rebellion factions then I do, Heroic and Evil Warriors. He-Ro is still the figure that excites me the most. Fang Man and King He-Man are the reason I subed this year…with recent news I'm certainly glad that I did!

    As source material FILMation is extensive. Mattel has hundreds of episodes to pull from! Many of the characters have amazing designs, many of which feel like they came from Mattel's drawing board.
    More then any others Shokoti , Batros and Icer "feel" like vintage MOTU action figures. I can't wait to see who comes next. I for one am singling loud and proud "I WANT IT ALL!!!"

    * without these rules I would be forced to take up residency in a dwelling formed from Toy packaging with a diet consisting of PVC & ABS stew…I was able to quit smoking, but I swear they lace toys with meth or something! I like your rules, they parallel my own when it comes to collecting, especially when it comes to modern Star Wars action figures. That more then any other toy line really makes you question your level of dedication. My rules read slightly different;

    1) Figures I have owned or wanted to own in the past.

    2) main characters, key variations and background characters/ lesser known that I can name.

    3) They look bad ass!

    These rules have [mostly] kept me fed, housed and clothed…Just not out of debt 😉

  13. Your thoughts mirror my own. I’m done with MOTUC. What I want is now released. The only others I may pick up are the NA characters. Other than those, I won’t be doing anything else. The rest of the year will be focused on finishing up my OSM withe the final waves, getting the NECA Predator/Aliens/Marines/Prometheus lines, and joining the Power Lords Fan Club and getting all those releases.

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