Month: July 2008 Page 3 of 4

5 Questions With: Richard Gottlieb

Today I’m pleased to share this interview with Richard Gottlieb, a longtime provider of business development services to the toy industry.

Codename: Richard Gottlieb
Base of Operations:
History: Richard Gottlieb is President of Richard Gottlieb’s USA Toy Experts, LLC, and a provider of business development services to the consumer products industry. Richard combines an MBA in Global Management with thirty-five years of consumer products experience to help small, medium, and Fortune 500 Manufacturers increase their market share. Providing straight talk and out of the box thinking, Richard helps companies create innovative, new ideas that leverage their company’s existing assets in dynamic new ways. He is also a Contributing Editor and blogger for “Playthings” and “Gifts & Decorative Accessories” magazines.

PG: In the 1980s, action figures were huge business, with mass market lines like Star Wars, He-Man, G.I. Joe and Transformers dominating the market. Today, kids appear to be more interested in electronics (such as videogames and Ipods) than traditional toys. Overall, what is the action figure industry like today compared to twenty years ago?

RG: It is alive and well. It certainly does compete with other forms of entertainment for children but is a staple part of the industry. Its health will vary with the health of the movie, television and other intellectual property it relies on. Bottom line, if there are hot properties then the segment will be hot.

Top Five Hellboy one-liners

In keeping with this week’s theme, please to enjoy these nuggets of vernacular wisdom from the demon defender of diabolical descent.


Fox: You carry the Sword of Storms, and it has tasted the blood of demons. That is all you need to know. For now.

Hellboy: Sure…’Cause that’s just so much to absorb all at once.

–Hellboy: Sword of Storms (click here to buy via Amazon)


Hellboy: The Island (click here to buy via Amazon)


–Hellboy: Wake the Devil (click here to buy via Amazon)


(To a monster) “Hey, Stinky! Kitchen’s closed. Whatcha having? Six library guards, raw, plus belts and boots. Man…you’re gonna need some heavy fiber to move that out. “

Hellboy (click here to buy via Amazon)


(To Hecate) “Lady, I was gonna cut you some slack, ’cause you’re a major mythological figure–but now you’ve just gone nuts!”

–Hellboy: Wake the Devil (click here to buy via Amazon)

ToyFare’s DC Universe Classics fan poll

MATTEL’S DC UNIVERSE CLASSIC FAN POLL (click the link to vote)

Mattel has asked ToyFare to run a poll allowing fans to vote for which characters they’d like to see in a future wave of DCUC. The choices are:

I won’t tell you who I voted for, because judging from the boards, fans are as rabid about these characters as their are their political leanings. But I suspect almost all these characters will show up in DCUC eventually, if the line continues to be successful.

Ten Things About Life I Learned from Hellboy

In honor of the impending release of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, I’ll be putting up a few HB-related posts this week. Enjoy!

Ten Things About Life I Learned from Hellboy

Don’t judge a demon by his bright red skin, tail, horns, or habit of occasionally almost bringing about the apocalypse.

If you slam a wooden pole into a vampire charging at you on his undead horse, he will explode.

If it has huge tentacles, breathes fire, or crawls into your world through an extradimensional gate, shoot it–preferably with the largest handgun ever made.

I’m fireproof. You’re not.

Recently-resurrected vampires spouting arch dialogue are difficult to take seriously when they’re not wearing pants.

If you find yourself getting down because your mom was a sixteenth-century witch and your dad is an archduke of Hell, just remember–every family has issues.

Never trust anyone whose head flies off in the middle of the night. It’s just common sense.

For absolute comfort, nothing beats the feel of a heavy trenchcoat over one’s bare chest.

Homunculi are people too. Well, sort of. I guess technically they’re homunculi, but…you know what I mean.

When all else fails, hit it with your rock-like fist again and again and again.

Odds ‘n Ends > Zur-En-Arrh Edition

ODD: In what is only the latest of what can only be termed an episodic farce, Red Kryptonite’s laptop was stolen last week. This is the third time this has happened to her, I believe. While insurance will cover the replacement, it will be some time before The Toybox can resume its regular schedule. I hope you’ll understand. Let’s all blame the anonymous jerk who stole it at the coffee shop. And remind RK never, ever to trust humanity again.

END: I completed my collection of the Toy Island Universal Monsters figures over the weekend. I was able to pick them up on clearance at KB Toys for $8 a pop, which is much, much more worthwhile than the $13 they were charging at TRU when the figures first appeared. I’ll probably review them for OAFE sometime in the future, since the only other major review–Michael Crawford’s–is pretty negative, and personally, I think the figures deserve better.

ODD: Please welcome the newest addition to the PGPoA blogroll: Toy Figure Times! Formerly the fantasy-focused Green Dragon, the site has been relaunched with a much broader focus on action figures as a whole. To celebrate their grand opening, they’re having a very cool giveaway.

END: I must praise my good friend Shocka with great praise for tracking down an Attack Armor Batman for me. I’ve already customized the fellow into the coolest blue-suit Batman ever made, if I do say so myself.

ODD: Be sure to check out my latest review over on OAFE, Iron Monger (v2).

END: At long last, ToyFare has a blog! It’s FarePlay, “your best bet to get your favorite ToyFare-y goodness in the 29 days a month between issues.” Check it out! (Hey wait…are they saying I’m a “bootleg blog”??)

Mattel All

Phew! Lots of Mattel-related news and information this past week.

The big news, of course, is Mattel is finally opening a collector-friendly website (like This website will be the exclusive home of the Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) line, with a new figure being available every month. SOTA had plans to attempt something similar with their Street Fighter line a few years back, but that never got off the ground. We’ll have to wait and see whether Mattel can succeed with this sort of business model.

I’m curious as to what is motivating Mattel to try to cater to a smaller market like this. How much of a profit Mattel will clear with MOTUC? I suppose producing and directly selling figures based on an in-house license could maximize profits. While I question how successful MOTUC will turn out, Mattel deserves credit for both attempting the project at all, and for recognizing that there may be value in catering to niche markets instead of the mass market.

Name that Gillman

Check out the latest Fanwank strip at the link below and please tell me…what is that figure of the main sea creature (the one who gets stabbed by Namor)? It looks really familiar, but I can’t remember what it is or what line it’s from. It’s driving me nuts.


UPDATE: yo go re of OAFE identified it as being from the House of the Dead line. Now I just have to track one down…

Happy 4th of July

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Mattel SDCC Announcements

Hey toy fans of all ages,

Well it is that time again. Mattel is gearing up for our really big show down in San Diego at the annual Comic Con July 23-27th 2008.

We’ll be there in full force with the largest booth presence we’ve ever had to meet and greet toy fans of all ages. There will be some fantastic give-aways, fan panels and huge reveals from all your favorite Mattel lines include DCUC, JLU, Infinite Heroes, CARS, Batman the Dark Knight and more. Plus we guarantee a few surprises to help kick off our new Masters of the Universe Classics line- you won’t want to miss out!

And don’t forget some amazing unique exclusives at the show. Details about Lobo, Grayskull, Giganta, McQueen and a few other surprises are below. And be sure to stick around for the biggest news of them all… Starting the Monday after Comic Con, because you demanded it, Mattel will be launching a brand new Collector Website with the latest news, updates, previews and – the big one – EXCLUSIVE action figures from your favorite Mattel toy lines like CARS, DCU and more! Wait – you want more? – this new site will also be the EXCLUSIVE home of Masters of the Universe Classic action figures with a new character available EACH MONTH starting this fall!

The Toybox #7

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