Castle Grayskull > Blueprints vs. Prototype

comparisontime member DJ Force made the above visual comparison between the size of Castle Grayskull as it was shown in the blueprints provided at last year’s NYCC and the size of the castle as it stands now.

Based on the measurements Scott took on video, it’s downscaled by a good 11.8% from the blueprints. Which, by the way, showed very detailed measurements, with 3 places behind the decimal point.

I wanted to put this up so that people can have a better idea of what the point of contention is. Yes, it’s smaller than many hoped. It’s also being sculpted with love and detail by the Four Horsemen. The choice is yours.


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  1. Bigbot

    I wonder if anyone is getting this for their vintage collection. I'm sure this would look sweet with the smaller figures.

  2. dayraven

    yup… they inspired me to kill my pre-order. There's a lot going into it, but making it less than it was, while keeping features i think shouldn't be included, that went a LONG ways towards making the decision easy.

    • Battle Catman

      How exactly would one go about cancelling their pre-order? Do you call Customer Service or something?

      Because yeah, that comparison shot right there is damning evidence if I ever saw it.

    • Hit up the Customer Service online form with your preorder number, and ask to have it cancelled.

      I got confirmation of my cancellation yesterday.

    • Mark

      That's surprising you cancelled your pre-order dayraven, you always seemed really excited about getting the castle.

      I must admit I have been tempted recently to start collecting some MOTUC figure, just some favourite and core characters, but £35 per figure….. šŸ™

    • dayraven

      i was mark, i was damned excited! however, couple of things coalesced in the interim:

      1) i never could get used to the price tag. spending that much, at the holdays, on myself, was pretty much a killer for anyone else in my family getting me anything. we're not a household of unlimited budget, and i couldn't get over feeling like a greedy pig demanding that much castle at that time of year.

      2) the extras were duds. NYTF comes around, and we have a slightly smaller castle. the wind raider mount is just a peg hole in the floor, mer-man is blue tacked on to a ledge he can't really stand on (his armor, on the back, is pushing him away from the castle), the armor within the castle is a hollow shell, and so is the computer, the monster gate in the floor is missing, nothing is actually sculpted into the walls, and the sorceress looks huge in that throne… if she's that big in it, what will he-man look like in it? what will scarabus look like? the few things i did like (the actual castle deco and the paint aps, the mark taylor concept version of the quintain) were just outnumbered and outgunned by the things i didn't care for

      3) i've dreamed for YEARS, well before motuc came along, of doing my own custom castle grayskull. i've scoured the web, there are a ton of customizers in brazil, germany, the US, britain, who've done some unbelievable pieces, and i think i can do that. this castle was, at it's best, kind of salving that itch. when it became clear that the uber-castle wasn't all that uber, i kind of came to realize that it would not soothe the itch. add in the fact that i've got kids now, who are old enough to help me build the thing, and are into art and craft projects, and know this universe… well, what better excuse not to feed the corporate greed machine and do something with my kids, with our own hands, that they can be proud of for years to come? mattel has NOTHING in the arsenal that can top that.

      4) i've also advocated for years now that we own this franchise, the fans, not the company. just like in star wars vs george lucas, we've invested, over and over again, in the franchise, we should by legal definition, have a stake in this castle, and instead, they're handing us what they think we should feel grateful for. screw 'em. i'll make my castle, my way, my size, and when it rocks awesome balls, they'll have no stake in it. i've bought enough product to keep them alfoat, i'm not choking on a $250 dollar pill for a castle i don't love… and i don't love what they've done there. not to mention, the initial time this idea got some talk, a 200 dollar price point was discussed. cool, that gave us a ballpark of expense. the actual presale ended up at 250, a bitter pill, but we knew the 200 was only an estimate. now, it's 270 to buy in, for a smaller castle, that won't contain all the cool stuff they showed in videos from toy fair to entice more buys… how is that not the definition of a bait and switch? they can choke on their extorsion castle, i don't care.

      5) i have a small mountain of pieces i've collected, from figures, from playsets, over the past 30 years of collecting. i have no shortage at all of bits and pieces to cobble together or fodderize to get exactly the castle i want. i don't have to put up with buying a 25 dollar figure to get a blue rubber ball, a 25 dollar figure to get a ball stand, and a 250 dollar castle that can't use the stand w/ the ball on it. beyond dumb that is.

      6) i kind of cherish being the corporate scapegoat for mattel, and if/when they have to cancel the castle all together because of dropped pre-orders, who on earth can they turn to to blame? why, me of course. i mean no harm to my fellow collectors, i want those who still want this castle to get it… but that said, if you think i'll be peer-pressured into getting a castle i don't truly love in order to fulfill some social contract w/ my fellow collectors, well… you just don't know dayraven. šŸ˜‰ and mattel will turn on me, and everyone else who bought in, but felt betrayed by what we were being sold, and they'll accuse us of ruining it for everyone… and i'll sit back, smile, and laugh, cuz you're damned right. mattel needed someone to blame for the fiasco they created, and i've gotten pretty comfortable w/ that role in the last several years. i've been chastized for not buying some of the figures fast enough, i've been harassed for not subscribing, i've been cajoled for being unimportant to day of sales (by virtue of not being to buy every figure AND paying more than the subbers), and now, i'll get shit on for not smiling after this cockroaster serves me a warm bowl of piss and asks if i'd like another. my little attempt to shit back unto they who shat unto me will be making a kick-ass castle that will work with the figures they've been selling me all these years, and the figures i play with them with. šŸ™‚ and it'll even have a wind raider garage.

    • Mark

      I agree you could make a better more fun custom castle and it would be far more enjoyed far and give you an experience buying one couldn't give you. I remember years back when I started collecting wrestling figures I wanted a proper durable in scale ring and my Dad made one for me (I helped with bits lol) and I loved that thing and it lasted many years until I lost my interest in wrestling figures.
      I still love MOTU and I would like to get some of them, I kind of regret selling the MOTUC figures I had but Mattel don't make it easy for the UK fans. Being unemployed at present I get £71 a week to live on and to start buying them again when one figure costs £35 that is half my pay gone on one figure.

    • dayraven

      see?? that wrestling ring was special, cuz you and your dad made that!! there's no better feeling in the world than making something with your own two hands… that certainly trumps buying some corporate crap item, doesn't it?

      man, i do wish there were a way to give you internationals a better deal on the motucs. the international fans ought to get something, like an exclusive fig similar to what the sub people get, because you put up w/ the same hassles as the subbers, but you can't return defective figs and you pay more for every figure!! how that doesn't warrant some kind of loyalty reward is beyond me.

      one last note, i made a comparison up there to us and motuc, and star wars fans and george lucas… i don't think that's in any way wrong to tell the companies that control these properties, you're entitled to make all the non-sense update pieces you want, you do own the franchise from a legal standpoint… but as a fan that has been emotionally and financially invested in an older version of the property, you're not entitled to my money with an automatic purchase. it's my money, i earn it, and any company wanting my dollar has to earn it too. ask me i want, i'll tell you, believe that i know what i want and communicated it to you truthfully, and then make that product, i will buy it. lucas can monkey up his movies all he likes, but he's only getting one purchase from me, and it's for the original movies my parents took me to in the theater that i fell in love with. anything else is not "my star wars" and i am allowed to make that distinction as the end customer. same with motuc, you want to sell a castle, we kind of had a set of details worked out for what that purchased item would look like… when they changed that, i'm completely allowed to say "that's not my castle" anymore, and as a repeat investor/customer, i get to say no. i get to make my own, because i know what the castle should look like, i know what it should achieve on my shelf, and i know vaguely how to make it. trial and error baby. šŸ˜‰

      sorry to hear you're on tough times economically. hope that turns around for you soon mark.

    • Mark

      Well I have a good bit saved up so I think I can at least get He-Man and Skeletor again. šŸ˜‰
      Then maybe get a couple more at some point.

    • you actually had me until "we own this franchise" — i can't get behind that sense of entitlement.

    • dayraven

      entitlement isn't the word my man. that implies that we haven't paid in. i'm an investor, many, many times over, so i'm not "entitled," i'm a "paying customer." if something isn't the way i want, i'm allowed to complain, because i've bought in. i've thought about these characters when the company did not, i bought merchandise, some of it several times over, and as such, i've invested. in this case, they're not selling the castle i want, they kind of, sort of, offered it too me, but they've changed that offer. i've owned two castles grayskull, snake mountain, the fright zone, the vintage slime pit, point dread, and almost every vintage figure, some of them many times over. i'm as invested, monetarily, as any stock holder, and moreso emotionally and intellectually, but the stockholders get a say in how business works, and i don't. why are stock holders allowed and encouraged to be critical, and get special voting priviledges but i don't? how many of their shareholders have bought the same stock more than once? none. how many of them have held that stock for 30 frickin years? very, very few. but they're valued, and i'm just "a fan?" no way homes. i'm invested in every sense of the word, and there's no reason i can't be a big boy and make my own castle. so long as i don't try to sell the thing, i'm completed allowed, and that's not taking any kind if liberty with the property or product.

      to put this another way… the company isn't entitled to my money, they have to earn it. the castle they're selling, as i see it, is not entitled to an automatic purchase. they must earn my money with the product i want to buy. if they made that product, i'd reward it with my money. do you consider the company entitled to our money? cuz the complusive buy mechanism we see in a lot of the fanbase, that to me is entitlement, only on the corporate side of things.

    • So how many shares of Mattel stock do you own?

    • Battle Catman

      I gotta agree with you. I'm all for voting with your money, refusing to buy things that don't meet your standards, but when anyone in any fandom uses "BECAUSE I LOVE IT SO MUCH!" as justification for claiming they have "legal" stock in a franchise.

      That's like saying a football team should ask each and every season ticket holder for their input in player trades.

      I'm sure if the fans really owned MOTU, they'd have torn it from Matty's hands long ago and given it to Hasbro or NECA.

    • ridureyu

      Some of the fanbase has gotten so nasty that I'm honestly wondering if Mattel should start cancelling subscriptions. I mean… if you cause enough trouble in a restaurant, they throw you out, right?

      At least it's just a screaming loud minority.

    • Russ

      You are so right about that. A few times each year I try to join the online community because I love this stuff and would love to talk to other people about it. But every forumn seems to turn into "I Hate Everything About Mattel" regardless of what the actual topic is, and I quickly get fed up with it. It's sad – I want to be part of the discussion, but to be part of the group, it seems like I have to hate all of the things that actually bring me joy.

    • Russ

      One more thing – I did cancel my Grayskull order. It's the money, nothing more. I think it looks fantastic. The size is still going to be huge once you get it out of the box and set it up and realize how large 22+ inches actually is. I think it's going to be worth every penny. I know that I'm going to regret it come December when sites are posting their reviews. But I'm not going to be the one that says "Meh – it didn't come with x, y, and z so it's worthless."

    • ridureyu

      Yeah, that's fine. See, it's okay to complain about things, it's okay to cancel the preorder… but it's not okay to go completely insane about it, you know?

  3. Agent 86

    Castle Grayskull is expense. Toyguru may refer to MOTUC as being 6" scale, but the figures are all closer to 7" and Castle Grayskull should reflect that.

    The fact that the figures are close to hitting their heads on the upper ceilings, doorway, etc is indicative that Castle Grayskull is simply too small. The fact that the figure placed in the dungeon can barely be seen, except for their torso and logs is also a clear indication that the playset is too small. The fact that the paparet on the left tower (when viewed from the front) barely reaches ankle height on a figure is yet another indication that Castle Grayskull is too small. None of this detracts from the fact that Castle Grayskull as a stand-alone item is awesome. But it seriously detracts from the value of Castle Grayskull as a playset for MOTUC action figures.

  4. I am on record all over the place on this issue, but what bothers me out of all of the things is that the walls will be the inverse of the outer walls. I would prefer the flat walls of NYTF to that anyday. People were bound to be upset by the thing in one way or another in any case, MOTUC has a very vocal fanbase that sometimes get mired in the BS that goes on over at .org that things tend to get blown out of proportion sometimes…in the case of Grayskull which is 300+ after shipping (and god I don't even want to think about the poor international customers) I think it was really just handled like most things in MOTUC… poorly.

  5. clark

    At first, looking at the picture I thought "No, I don't think they decreased the size that much." Then, after looking at another comparison photo later on in the same forum, of the prototype vs the foam display, it really does look like that is about how much they decreased the size.

  6. MegaGearMax

    I hate that the dungeon monsters are missing most of all, but we could get them with a Grayskull Pack. The size kinda bothers me a little and I would like it to be bigger. The teeth of the entrance JUST misses He-Man's head. And the inside floors are just above a character's head.

  7. Fallen Eldor

    I have pre-ordere d the castle, and yes I'm disappointed in the size reduction, but I accept it. It is still the largest castle ever made, and it is sculpted by the 4HM with box art from the original box artist. That is enough reason for me.

    My problem with it is the interior. it needs to be redesigned to accommodate for the smaller size. That orb room is a perfect example, in it's current size it is useless. it would make more sense for the dome and skull to be one large secret door behind the throne leading to the chamber inside the skull. The right tower floor need to be deeper so the figures don't look like they are standing on top of the castle "just like we remember!" from the original. The prison is another example of this play set not working for this scale. The door needs to b reworked so that it is just bars, and the window along the side needs to be removed.

    and don't get me started on the sculpted monster grate! They keep taking more and more items away.
    "this deal keeps getting worse all the time". I could go on, but i don't want to harp.

  8. ero

    I like a smaller castle. What I don't like is all of the decreased head room. Fisto's head is darn near bumping the ceiling in the Toy Fair shots. If this were a GI Joe-style reissue at retail, fine. But for the price we're paying, that's not OK.

  9. Misterbigbo

    Measurements aside, the eye test says that there’s a significant size difference.

  10. Black Arbor

    I think the guys on the forums are dipshits. If it was a 50% decrease, that bad boy would be half the size. I think that the more people talk about this, the more people get riled up about it. I know Poe’s just trying to give us the most info he can, but at this point we’re just scratching a mosquito bite. It’s just making it worse.

  11. According to some of the forumitrs, it’s actually a 50% reduction in size. Make of that what you will.

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