Mattel on MOTUC: Looking Ahead at 2014 & Beyond

I'll take any excuse to use this graphic again.
I’ll take any excuse to use this graphic again.

I’ll admit this is partly just traffic trolling, since any and all MOTUC Mattycollector news from Mattel’s Scott Neitlich, a.k.a. ToyGuru, seems to draw in the readers. Anyway, here’s Neitlich’s post on the state of MOTUC in 2014 – AND BEYOND.

He-Fans and She-Ravers,

Happy New Year, everyone! And welcome to the top of another exciting year collecting Masters of the Universe Classics on Mattycollector.com!

Here at the top of 2014 is a very interesting point in the line to take a moment and pause for reflection. Not only on where we have been, but on where we are going as well. We are now into our sixth year of the line (I know we had three releases in 2008, but 2009 was really the first full year). It has been a long and amazing ride. Never in my wildest imagination did I think we would get this deep into the line (almost to our 150th figure!) nor did I think I would have the privilege and honor of getting to head-up the line for this long. Truly a personal dream come true as a toy collector and MOTU fan myself! Continue reading “Mattel on MOTUC: Looking Ahead at 2014 & Beyond”

Odds ‘n Ends > Toy Review Advent Calendar, Third-party add-ons, Toy Aisle Trolls, Power Lords

odds_n_xmas

  • Good lord this holiday season went by fast. Just in case you somehow missed my endless shilling, be sure to check out the joint-blog project
  • I’ve expressed my doubts about third-party toys in the form of licensed characters, but I have far fewer qualms  about third-part add-ons, which are awesome. There are some really cool third party projects going on for MOTUC right now, such as Kevin Kosse’s Horde Trooper helmets or the upcoming conversion kits by Mat Vige O’Toole, a.k.a. Zombihamma (who’s also a special effects make-up, prosthetics and storyboard artist with a pretty badass resume) – plus of course Joe Amaro‘s great stuff. Of course, it took a few years for any sort of third party add-ons to appear. What I’m trying to say is, where is the emergent third-party add-on market for Star Wars Black 6″? Let’s skip the 2-3 year delay and get going on that now. I’d like a 1/12th scale cantina environment for Han and Greedo to have their shootout (so that I can have Han shoot first again and again and again), a headset for Han to go with his pilot gloves, laser blast attachments for all the blasters, an alternate open left hand for the Sandtrooper so that he can hold the light repeating blaster properly, electrobinoculars for the Sandtrooper, Boba Fett’s concussion grenade launcher–actually you know what? This might need its own post.
  • I haven’t received a new Toy Aisle Trolls submission in quite a while. Have the trolls actually gained a conscience? Have the stores caught on, at long last? Or are you all just lazy?
  • BigBadToyStore has pre-orders for Bandai America toys from the 2014 Godzilla. There’s mention of “MUTO (Winged)” and “MUTO (8 Legged)”. M.U.T.O. appears to be the name of an organization that the film’s marketing team has created a fake website for. We don’t yet know what MUTO stands for.
  • NECA has released a great visual guide (warning: 1.4Mb) to every Predator figure they’ve released thus far.
  • I think I want to collect a vintage set of Power Lords. This is going to take a while.
  • Out of curiosity: what are your picks for the best action figures of the year?

Odds ‘n Ends > Atari action figures, Robo Force comics, NECA stands, Bayformer Grimlock, Grayskull credit card issues

odds-n-ends-11b

Doc Thomas Reviews > Batros (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel)

batros-motuc-poe-ghostal-review-8

This review was sponsored by friend, editor and webmaster Poe Ghostal, who sent me a toilet and a dumpster, oddly fitting items for the review subject.

Batros is one of the worst, most ridiculous and most bewildering characters in Masters of the Universe, a place where bewilderment and ridiculousness flourishes. So it’s fitting he’s got one of the worst, most bewildering action figures in Masters of the Universe Classics – but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

To prep for this review, I watched the specific Filmation episode from which the action figure originates, “The Great Books Mystery.” In the episode Batros (a character who exhibits no bat-like traits whatsoever) decides to take over Eternia by stealing all of its books. A winning plan if there ever was one! Why swiping all of the books would immediately plunge Eternia into ruin and force the kingdom to make Batros ruler goes unexplained. I don’t know, it seemed to me like no one would have even noticed if Orko hadn’t gone looking for his book on unicorns. Continue reading “Doc Thomas Reviews > Batros (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel)”

Odds ‘n Ends > Mattycollector sale day, Grayskull thieves, 4H news, Star Wars 3.75″

odds_ends_11

  • It’s another Mattycollector release day. Today’s sale includes DC Universe Classics Ra’s Al Ghul, John Constantine, and Elasti-Girl; Watchmen’s Ozymandias; MOTUC Geldor and stackable stands and a number of re-releases.
  • Castle Grayskull ships soon, but Pixel Dan won’t have an early review due to assholes who nicked bits off the display piece at NYCC.
  • In Four Horsemen news, rough cuts of the Raven arrived at 4H HQ, and they’ve also been running a feature detailing the creation of my personal favorite Power Lord, Sydot the scientist. I must say, the various exclusives they’ve done to this point are nice, but I think the Power Lords need to be fully-painted to really be appreciated. I’m hoping we get those, but I’m wondering whether funding is becoming an issue for this line. If so, why not hold another Kickstarter to make themselves more financially comfortable? I doubt they would need as high a budget target they did for the Raven. That said, I must admit I’ve noticed very few, if any Kickstarter projects for Glyos-related toys.
  • In the course of getting back into Star Wars via Star Wars Black, I’ve actually gone back and picked up a few of the 3.75″ figures – just my favorites. What’s been interesting about it is that some of the most definitive versions of these characters are nearly a decade old. For example, I picked up the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection Han Solo from 2004; it’s a great figure with great articulation and the best head sculpt I’ve ever seen in this scale. I also got the VOTC Chewbacca and Boba Fett. Each of these figures has been reissued at least once or twice and they’re not that hard to come by. I also picked up the Holiday Special repaint of Fett, because fun. The only other figure I picked up was the Vintage Collection (not “Vintage Original Trilogy Collection”) ANH Darth Vader. This was the only one I had to think about; the VOTC Vader had the better ESB design and a ball-jointed neck but cut rather than hinged elbows, and every other decent Vader Hasbro has made has cloth on the front of his outfit. The VC ANH Vader also has ball-jointed hips, which seemed novel, so I went with that. It bums me out he doesn’t have a ball-jointed neck, though. Not that Vader was constantly cocking his head in curiosity like Data, but I’d like him to be able to look up and down somewhat to add some character to his poses.
  • Another thing about Star Wars 3.75″ – the line seems to be on a sudden downhill trajectory, at least for collectors who want well-articulated, highly-detailed figures. The quality on the Star Wars Black 3.75″ appears to be pretty bad across the board, and the Saga Legends figures have only five points of articulation. It’s odd how a Star Wars figure made in 2004 is far superior to most of what’s being produced now. (Though the Vintage Collection just ended and seems to have retained that level of quality – again, this downturn seems to be recent.)

Loo-Kee here – it’s Broom!

I deserve to be dragged out into the street and shot for that title. Anyway, Let’s take a brief break from Star Wars Black Week to check in with Eternia – or rather, Etheria – and discuss the two Masters of the Universe Classics reveals at Stan Lee’s “Comikaze” convention this past weekend.

BHV67_MadameRazz_newsPage DSC_0015_newsPage

I deserve to be dragged out into the street and shot for that title.

Anyway, Let’s take a brief break from Star Wars Black Week to check in with Eternia – or rather, Etheria – and discuss the two Masters of the Universe Classics reveals at Stan Lee’s “Comikaze” convention this past weekend. Continue reading “Loo-Kee here – it’s Broom!”

Poe’s Point > Lou Scheimer, 1928-2013

LouScheimer

(Image from Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation by Andy Mangels)

A few years ago, I sat down to watch The Secret of the Sword. For whatever reason, my wife was feeling indulgent that day and sat down to watch it with me. I never really watched She-Ra as a kid and had no memories of the show, so I didn’t know what I was in for. But both my wife and I found ourselves endlessly amused by the voice of Swift Wind, a beautiful pegasus with the voice of a five-pack-a-day smoker.

I don’t know if Lou Scheimer actually smoked, but he certainly gave Swift Wind a voice that sounded like it. Mr. Scheimer, the founder of Filmation Studios, passed away last week at the age of 84. I was never as partial to Filmation as many He-Fans, but there’s no question his shows gave me hours of entertainment. And Mr. Scheimer was certainly very open to and embracing of the MOTU and She-Ra community over the last decade as its fandom has come into its own. Continue reading “Poe’s Point > Lou Scheimer, 1928-2013”

Odds ‘n Ends > Robo Force, SWB6″ Han Solo production pics, Castle Grayskull

odds-n-ends-halloween-horror-2

  • ToyFinity has released the first photo of its Glyos-compatible Robo Force figures. An orange “test-shot” preview version of Maxx Steele will be available at NYCC this weekend. ToyFinity will also have three new colors of Mordles and the all-new jumbo-sized Mordle available (and all will be made available online later).
  • At Hasbro’s “Twas the Night Before…” party on Wednesday night, they gave out free samples of Star Wars Black 6″ and Ron of ActionFigurePics got Han Solo. How I hate him. The good news is, I was worried about how this head sculpt would come out – the prototype seemed a little David Duchovny-y – but it seems to have turned out pretty well.
  • Here’s an update from ToyGuru on Castle Grayskull.
  • Speaking of MOTUC, here are a couple more reveals – Flogg and what appears to be a battle-damaged, Terminator-style Faker head, probably part of a rumored “head pack.” Check out the pics here.
  • Please welcome new PGPoA sponsor Nerd Rage Toys, who happen to have Star Wars Black 6″ available for pre-order.
  • Cool links: Dinosaur Dracula has a write-up on obscure Freddy Krueger merchandise and the giant, random Gorzak toy from the 1990s; Nerditis reviews the Heap from McFarlane Toys.

Mattycollector Reveals from NYCC

Oh, Mattel, you almost had me.

I innocently scrolled up Twitter to see what was shaking. Following a few links, I discovered what appears to be Mattel-made action figures of Keaton Batman. Having completely forgotten I had already heard about this, for a moment I thought I was looking at a 6″ Movie Masters Keaton Batman.

But no, it was just the previously-announced 4″ figures. Still, kind of exciting, I guess.

IMG_5538__scaled_600

Click the photo or this link to see photos of the other figures, including General Zod and Superman from Superman II, the Penguin and Catwoman from Batman Returns. The sculpts look great, it’s just…so small. Continue reading “Mattycollector Reveals from NYCC”

Guest Review > New Adventures He-Man (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel) by RZ

NAHM21

The following is a guest review. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Poe Ghostal or the staff of PoeGhostal.com.

By the time I began to collect as an adult, the 1990 He-Man toy line was largely forgotten, and only really remembered by the truly hardcore. I’ve owned tons of He-Man toys, figures, books, stamps, comics, Mexican bootlegs, rubber figures, even party napkins- but never owned a single figure from the New Adventures of He-Man.

While I am a huge sci-fi fan, for some reason with Masters of the Universe, I am always more interested in the fantasy figures, more than the science fiction character aspects of the series. I love the mix of science and fantasy in MOTU, of course; it’s the juxtaposition of these two somewhat disparate genres that make MOTU unique, its presentation of a post-apocalyptic future, a savage-dominated planet with its technological past as mysterious as the magic it coexists with.

I was first introduced to He-Man through the original minicomics that came with the 80’s figures, a short while before the TV show hit the airwaves, and these comics tended to treat science and technology as a very rare thing to find in the MOTU universe. It was much more like a Golden Books version of the 1970s fantasy movement than anything else aimed at small children at the time, and the incredibly detailed Alfredo Alcala art captured my imagination at a very young age, and never let go.

So while I love science fiction, I just have little interest in a mostly-science-fiction New Adventures of He-Man series or toy line, despite the cartoon’s cool Japanese Anime art style. So combine my disinterest in the show with my disinterest in He-Man variations, and that’s not a lot of excitement for this version of the character. So when the new Galactic Protector He-Man figure from the Masters of the Universe Classics line arrived on my doorstep in July 2013, I was nowhere near as interested in him as I was other figures. But it looked pretty cool from the promotional photos, and I’ll give any unloved toy a chance.

Let’s take a look at New Adventures He-Man (or NA He-Man for short), which is a highly anticipated figure for NA fans, and the main character behind the Galactic Protectors faction (Classics code for “New Adventures Good Guys.”) Continue reading “Guest Review > New Adventures He-Man (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel) by RZ”