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Mr. Rant likes his women to have articulation

Originally, my plan had been to take off until next week, but I’ve been drawn back early by the news from Mattel yesterday. For those who are unaware, many collectors have been having problems with their Goddess figures. I have. In fact, all the ones that came to IAT last week were affected. The problem is the neck peg is incredibly loose in it’s socket. Basically, if you hold the figure by the head, you can shake her body like a rattle. Or, if you prefer, she’s a bobblehead.

Now, this is annoying on a toy that costs over twenty dollars. And when people began to complain, Mattel responded with this:

“Hey He-Fans,

We’re well aware that a lot of fans are receiving Goddess figures that have a “bobble head” effect. Here is the 411 on that:

In order to have removable heads, the pin used to connect the head and neck is creating the undesired effect. We’ve already looked into it and here are two options we can explore to correct this:

1: Make the head non removable on future female figures (no future females will have a second head option)
2: Use a larger pin, but lose all up and down articulation. Head will only move left and right.

What are your thoughts folks?”

What are my thoughts? I choose option 3: “None of the Above.” And I’m not alone. Both Noisy and Poe Ghostal (via poeghostal.com) brought this issue up in their columns. We all agree, the simple options given aren’t good enough for MOTU Classics. Here’s why.

Choosing the first option won’t really hobble the line much. There aren’t that many more female characters that really need more than one head. This decision would cause me to lose out is a modern Evil-Lyn without her helmet (I loved that short sexy white hair). There might be a few characters I’m not remembering, but isn’t it possible to release the handful of “second head” characters as Bonus figures? Let’s face facts, if you love a character so much that you want that second head, you’re going to buy an extra figure for that head to go on. A lot of collectors do this already. If you only like the second head, then only get the bonus figure. If you have a subscription and got stuck with the first head you didn’t want, then sell it and wait for the bonus figure. It’s really not that difficult to live with option no. one. If this awful choice had to be made, I suppose I’d have to pick the first one. There’s too many simple solutions around the problems created by option one.

The second choice shouldn’t even be an option. The problems that it creates for the line can’t be easily fixed. And why do we need to lose more articulation on the female “buck” to fix this issue anyway? Many fans at the .Org have demonstrated that shortening the peg will fix the problem. Or, if the lower ball fit more snugly inside the torso (like it does on the male figures) bobblehead action would be prevented. Ironically, DC Classics seems to have the inverse problem. The neck articulation on them is so sturdy, that they no longer have functional use of their neck joint. I never realized how much trouble this one spot is. I guess if I make it to heaven, I’ll have to remember to give God my compliments on not screwing up that joint on humans.

Ultimately, what I want to see is Mattel fix the problem while keeping the original articulation and the swappable heads. This isn’t unreasonable, there are Marvel Legends figures at Toys R Us right now that are capable of this insurmountable task and they’re not $20 a piece. Mattel has told us that MOTU Classics has been far more successful than they planned for. So successful that they have even upped the production of the monthly figures. Those extra figures beyond what Mattel planned for are gravy. I don’t expect the cost of the figures to go down, but I do expect to see better tooling when it’s called for instead of two cheap fixes. I don’t mind paying twenty dollars plus shipping for a figure, but I expect near perfection when I do. If there’s a design flaw, I don’t even want to know about it. I want it fixed before it even gets to me.

Is that too much to ask for? Of course not.

My friend, Vault, gets those Japanese import toys pretty regularly. He says on average they cost about five to ten dollars more than a MOTUC, and he’s had very few problems with them – including ones that have interchangeable heads and ball-joint necks. I’ve been known to buy GI Joes and Star Wars on occasion. Both toy’s heads pop on and off easily and there’s no difficulties. And despite Mattel’s confusion about making this joint work, even my Teela has a fully working ball-joint. So what’s the difference between those two figures? So why can’t Mattel successfully replicate what many other toy companies have done? Why can’t they replicate what they did themselves just two months ago?

I love the MOTU Classics line, but it shouldn’t be the responsibility of the fans to “fix” the problems. Mattel should know how to fix this stuff and be willing to do it.

13 comments to Mr. Rant likes his women to have articulation

  • Ebonhorn

    agreed, it seriously boggles the mind that these are the options they have come up with. MOTUC has a group behind it and that brain trust could only come up with two options.

  • The sad thing about this issue is that most he-man.org members are choosing option 2 and mattel tends to back their decisions on what was said there or at the comic con.
    So, if the majority of people there falls for it then all of us will be stuck with an option none of us really agrees with.
    I agree with fan made option 3: fix the problem and stop trying to remove any more articulation on female figs or next thing we now they’ll be removing t from the male figs.

  • Hear, Hear! I can do nothing but agree here. WHY in Heaven’s name would either of these suggested options be alright with fans? I cannot wait to see the packaging text on the first figure recipient of the “solution” #2: “Figure’s Head is NOT removeable”. Ugh.

    I don’t make action figures for a living, but it doesn’t sound like it should be so hard to correct an error like this, without resorting to poor (cheaper?) decisions like this.

    Do right by the fans, Mattel. And just do it right.

  • John Rodgers

    This pisses me off to no end.

  • Paula Rowrand

    Mattel needs to fix the necks without ruining the figures!

  • 3B

    I didn’t buy the Goddess, but if I had and it had this problem, I’d call and ask for a refund, gladly returning their subpar figure to them. As far as those “solutions”? It seems like a polite way of saying “Go f^ck yourself” to the customers. Thanks, Mattel, “yeah, sure, I’ll be back here same time next month with my wallet already opened and ready to be pillaged!”

  • Eric

    EXACTLY! Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Power Rangers, Marvel Legends, etc. all have ball joint necks with removeable heads and no bobblehead feature. Basically everyone does it without any problems. Mattel needs this fixed without losing any features/functionality. It’s part of today’s toylines.

  • Sketchers

    This is like the mini-comics thing all over again. Each figure could have had a mini-comic but we a handful of dopes traded that in to get us a half dozen extra heads. Nothing about MOTU should be up to a fan vote.

    • Lay Ze-Man

      This is a misconception that some fans still seem to have.

      That comparison was not well understood.

      What was meant in that “choice” was that the idea was to put as much money as possible towards tooling for the figures.
      ALL tooling, meaning heads, armors, hands, feet, weapons . . . whatever.

      To fund the mini-comics would’ve meant taking away money for the figures in general, not just extra heads.

  • Stiffrightshoulderman

    It’s just one more disappointing screw-up on a slowly growing pile of screw-ups. Matty should be embarrassed that these pieces of crap made it to the production stage. Since it’s obvious to EVERYONE who got one of these that the Goddess was a defective figure, Matty will certainly NEVER own up to it. They should bite the bullet, give people their money back and resolicit the Goddess with the proper adjustments made so that it is fixed…
    …assuming that Matty doesn’t wake up one morning and forget how to walk and speak.

  • dayraven

    dudes. for friggin’ real… the figs are 20 bucks a pop and we’re getting told the biggest toy company in the world can’t just FIX THE FUCKING PROBLEM?!?! you know, screw the marvel legends comparisons, the motuc DUDES have the same neck mechanic minus the problems… this is sloppy craftsmanship and sloppy thinking and we’re being asked to pull their nutsacks out of the fire? that is some sh!t. FIX THE NECK MATTEL, there is no other option.

  • SilntAngl5

    Why can’t Mattel just do this to fix their problem?

    Their two-choice options seems like the two CHEAPEST and EASIEST way to get out of their problem. Fans buying $20 FIGURES shouldn’t have to settle for what’s cheapest for Mattel.

    That’s my 2 cents.

  • Julienne Casner

    It is 2010! Thanks for a year of well written articles!