On May 1, Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation hit its six-month anniversary. In anticipation of this event, I asked the Four Horsemen if they would be willing to do another interview as they did for the inaugural month of this blog, and they very kindly agreed. I had hoped to post it on May 1st, but the Horsemen were too busy creating awesome toys to get to it right away. I think we can all agree it’s worth the wait.
This is the first half of the interview, focusing on DC Universe Classics and NECA’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I’ll post the second half tomorrow.
POE: There are some slight stylistic differences between the early DC Superheroes figures and DC Universe Classics–for instance, Superman from DCSH wave 2. Do you feel Superman still fits in well with DC Universe Classics, or would you like a chance to do another straight Supes figures?
ERIC “CORNBOY” MAYSE: Well, as you’ve probably already guessed from the “Regeneration Suit Superman” revealed at Wizard World Philadelphia a few weeks back, we’re definitely moving forward in attempting to create a definitive DC Universe Classics Superman that will have obvious differences from its earlier DC Superheroes counterpart.
JIM PREZIOSI: When and in which wave that definitive Superman will finally make his debut is still up in the air, but it is coming.
POE: In recent years, the more iconic Despero has been the bulked-up, half-naked one in the Superman/Batman “Enemies Among Us” storyline; but the DCUC BAF is the one from the “Breakdowns” storyline in the Justice League Task Force a few years back. Was this a 4H decision, and/or was it partly to avoid competing with DC Direct, which has an “Enemies” Despero coming out around the same time this year?
ERIC TREADAWAY: It’s a little bit of both. We work very closely with both DC and Mattel to make sure that we’re not really going to be stepping on each others’ toes too much when it comes to release dates of certain characters, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. In those cases we try to figure out a good alternative Â as with Despero Â where the characters have very distinct differences that would be palatable to a wide range of collectors.
CHRIS DAHLBERG: Also, we designed Despero for Mattels’ DC Universe Classics line in a way that we could come back a few years down the road and, with a few minor alterations, create a more “Enemies Among Us” -inspired version of him.
There have been a few Kirby characters in the early waves of DCUC–Etrigan, Orion, and Lightray. Is this a conscious push on either your part or DC’s to promote Kirby’s contributions to the DC mythos, or is it just the way things have turned out?
ET: Oh, it’s absolutely a “conscious push.” We’ve never been shy about letting people know that we’re HUGE Kirby fans (Cornboys’ English Bulldog’s full name is actually D’artagnan King Kirby–just Kirby for short). Once again, at Wizard World Philly we revealed our version of Mister Miracle for DC Universe Classics, and there are plenty more Kirby created characters to come!
CB: Including one that was recently leaked to the internet that we’re not yet at liberty to discuss–but the San Diego Comic Con is right around the corner.
Switching gears–NECA’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The figures have an incredibly effective comic book look to them. What was your approach to these sculpts?
JP: When we were asked to do the TMNT for NECA as kind of a side project to some of the other stuff we were working on at the time, we were pretty excited. These were the versions of the Turtles that weÂ¹d been hoping to see done for years, and we were amazed that nobody else had decided to tackle them until now.
ET: Our approach to doing them was to simply make the most honest attempt possible at rendering the 2-D images from the first few issues of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic books into 3-D form. We wanted these to feel like they’d just leapt off of the page and onto the collectors’ shelves. By the way, you’d questioned it in one of your recent articles: Yeah, we did the April figure too.
How do you think the Turtles figures came out?
CB: To be absolutely honest, weÂ¹d done slightly different paint jobs on the original prototypes that we were extremely happy with, and when we found out that the paint schemes had been altered slightly before they went into production, we were a little disappointed. But then we saw the figures Pantographed down and in person we were REALLY impressed! Not only did the paint look great, but NECA had done a spectacular job in production with these things! All of the joints were really tight and you could get the Turtles into some amazing poses!
CD: Not to mention the packaging. NECA came up with some really cool and innovative ways to display the figures in the packaging. Some of it just looks so cool that it’s tough to bring yourself to open them and play with them.
Are you doing any other sculpting for the TMNT line?
CD: Not at the moment, but you never know what the future may hold.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for part 2, where the Horsemen discuss the upcoming Masters of the Universe Classics line, what’s up with their FANtastic Exclusive, and what the future holds for Four Horsemen Studios.