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Mr. Rant was once falsely accused by a cloth cape...

I’m a little ashamed to be mentioning this so late. I’m generally fairly observant, so when I miss something obvious, it annoys me. Luckily, no one here at IAT noticed it right away either. What I’m talking about is the Toy Fair coverage of the Mattel booth. Specifically, the Trigon C&C. Anyone else notice he has a cloth cape now? Trigon didn’t have a cloth cape when they originally showed us his sculpted figure. Originally, he had a nice plastic cape that fit in with all the other plastic capes in the line.

I hate mixed media in action figures. If you want to buy some five hundred dollar Gentle Giant statue, or maybe a Hot Toys doll with mixed media, that’s one thing. Those super expensive products are made to a certain standard. When you take mixed media, like cloth capes, and put them on a toy line that tops out around twenty dollars though, you’re not only going to get a severe lack of quality but you also end up with figures that don’t fit in with other figures of the same line. Look at the Star Wars figures for example. Most of the Jedi have plastic robes, but sometimes for whatever cheap reason, they decide to make others with cloth robes. The end product gives you a shelf full of toys that look like they came from two different toy lines.

Something else I really hate? Cloth capes. Cloth capes look cheap. You know why they look cheap? Because they are cheap. Toy companies use cloth to cut down on the price of sculpting and producing a new piece of plastic. Also, they use this flimsy material that you can usually see daylight through if you hold it up to your eye. Except for giant tag which is visible in many of the Toy Fair photos, you can’t see past that. At least this cape was a wire frame so it won’t roll in on self. I’d rip the cape from the figure if it was going to do that.

Who’s to blame for this screw up? Mattel, of course, but 4 Horsemen might need to shoulder some of the blame this time too. I don’t pick on the Horsemen much, because they are very good at what they do. I also really appreciate the 4H for putting up with the Mattel BS and finding a way around it when they can. But I’m going to have to give them some of the blame on this one. Why? Because they sculpted the original cape. If this was a cost saving measure by Matte, then they’re off the hook, but many fans have speculated that the original cape won’t fit in the package. If that’s the case, then why wasn’t the cape sculpted to fit in the package dimensions? Sure, that giant plastic cape they made looked great, but if it wasn’t going to fit in the package why make it that big? This is also where Mattel comes in. Essentially, Toy Guru is the “editor” of the line, right? So why didn’t he catch that problem before? Which brings me to this. When it comes down to it, Matty will always pick the cheaper option. They’re a company, I know, and what else should I expect? So the quick fix to them was just making the cape out of cloth. Now it’s cheap and it fits! It’s win, win for them, and lose, lose for fans.

But what really annoys me about the Mattel part isn’t the cheapness, I expect that. What gets my goat is the fact that they never thought to mention this to the fans. How many internet outlets do they have to give DC fans news? Yet we heard nothing about the cape needing to be changed? It was just done. It wasn’t mentioned at Toy even, they just put Trigon up, hoping no one would notice, I guess.

Do you realize how insane the MOTU fan base would be if Mattel treated them this way? Mattel practically holds their hand, asking what way they want each figure to be. They even had their Chinese factory workers pull a last minute change to get the flocking off of Moss Man’s ears so they could rest easy after a few hours of pummeling the Facebook page. You’d think with as much money as us DC fans spend on Mattel product, we’d get some sort of say in this. But no, all we get is a giant crappy see-through cloth cape shoved down our throats whether we like it or not. I guess Trigon’s cape is in a corner somewhere with the all-gold Dr. Fate.

The easy fix here would have been for the 4H or a Mattel designer to make that cape short enough to fit in package. Sure it wouldn’t be “comic accurate”, but it’s not like they haven’t taken artistic license with other parts of the DC line already. Instead we get a damned giant mixed media figure and another reminder that DC fans aren’t as important to Mattel.

15 comments to Mr. Rant was once falsely accused by a cloth cape…

  • …I just want Mattel to love me ;_;

  • I’m actually looking forward to this cloth cape, I think it will be better than we fear it will be. The wire will make all the difference, we’ll (hopefully) be able to pose it anyway we want, which will make it easier to display.

  • Grenadier

    Part of me wants to sympathize with MOTU collectors and the troubles they have to go through to get their figures, but then I remember how much input they get to have in what is basically designing the figures, and I suddenly don’t feel as bad.

    I’m not a big fan of cloth capes, especially since a majority of the ones I’ve owned come from Star Wars figures. The Jedi robes are HUGE, making it look like Obi-Wan is losing a fight with the Sarlacc’s fuzzy, land-dwelling cousin. Yeah, you can use the little rubber bands that hold everything in the package to secure it and make the robe look presentable, but it’s work I shouldn’t have to do. It’s not like Jedi don’t throw aside their robes when the epic fights are about to happen anyway.

  • Scarface5

    I’m neutral on this since I don’t want Trigon anyway but it does suck for those that do. It was really crappy on Mattel’s part to pull a bait & switch like this without even a simple “oh by the way” announcement.

    I realized that we DCUC collectors are second class to Matty, in regards to fan input and communication, a long time ago. Personally I see ToyGuru as being the cause of this. He practically has an orgasm every time someone mentions MOTUC and it’s very clear that making that line is his #1 priority. That leaves us DCUC people to get screwed and blamed for the failure of the Matty 2 packs while MOTUC collectors bitch, moan & cry and ToyGuru gives them their bottle.

    • DCFett

      WORD TO YA MUTHA!!!!!!

      Yes, there is a great deal of disparity in the dealings with the DCUC product versus the MOTU. It is glaringly apparent. The MOTU fans get their share of lumps too (looking at the huge Feb 16th blunder), but it is more than evident that Scott gizzes his pants for MOTU and goes out of his way to make those fans happy while we DCUC collectors just get what they decide to dish out. Black Canary and now Zatanna’s legs, and on top of that, this cape. Where’s our Moss Man ears? Dont we deserve to be asked “how do you want your martial arts expert Black Canary? Stiff or articulated?” “What’s your thoughts on cloth capes?” It’s laughable…but not in a good way.
      THANK YOU MR. RANT FOR YOUR THOROUGH EXPOSURE TO THIS ISSUE!

  • clark

    I’m not going to be Trigon, but I have mixed feelings over cloth capes. My favorite batman figure has a cloth cape, and I think he looks fine when standing next to other DCUC and DCSH figures that have the rubber capes, but I actually prefer the rubber (as long as it is flexible and not hard as a rock).

  • I was really annoyed when I saw it in the pictures. I think it was ASMZine that had a side shot with the big tag sticking out. It really sucks.

    I wish Mattel would have done something different – two parts to the cape (the seam hidden in folds) or have it be a little undersized to fit in the package. The cloth cape is cop out.

  • Stiffrightshoulderman

    A tag??? As in it’s the same size as the tag on my Hanes T-shirt? What self-respecting denizen of a Hadesesque dimension would sport one of those? As if it wasn’t bad enough that every character’s weapon, accessory and ass bears the word CHINA!
    While we’re on that, how cool would it be if the Bizarro rerelease had NOT CHINA on him?

  • Boy Blunder

    I’m actually a huge fan of cloth capes. I’ve posted collections and a how to way back during the Classic Line at fwoosh just to actually get Mattel to look into doing good capes for their figs.

    http://www.thefwoosh.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17362

    I think a cloth cape should only be considered when doing a figure meant to interact with vehicles and only if the cape is done properly. That said I think a cape like that is not only hurt by Mattel’s choice of materials but is also lost on a figure of that size.

  • Lee in MI

    Hot Toys..dolls?!?!?!?! O_o

    Now we are missing:

    Trigon’s cape
    All Gold Dr. Fate
    Penquin’s…well, penquins
    Batman Beyond’s Wings
    The clear goggles on Black Lightning and Eradicator
    The modern Red Tornado
    The modern Guardian

    And I’m sure I’m forgetting something…

    • DCFett

      Didnt we lose some weapons for Hawkgirl or someone???
      Oh, and didnt Scott say at SDCC that Joker had a gun, then we got no gun?

  • John J.

    I like cloth capes over plastic, ’cause the plastic just seems flimsy and awkward.

    But youre point about cloth capes are just as valid. I think it ultimately depends on the figure whether it gets cloth or plastic. DCUC Ares is a perfect example, the blue plastic cape seems to mesh well with his overall and bulky build.

    It should be easy for Mattel to make these changes in DCUC, since they seem open to doing it in MOTUC. Flocked vs. Unflocked Moss Man and Panthor being two huge examples.

  • JediCreeper

    I like cloth capes because… well… there was a time when I liked playing with my toys (I still do, but I get tired of my wife giving me the hairy eyeball…) and cloth capes play better. Why is that? they flutter, like real capes, they flow and move… and they don’t impede the toy’s movements. I like my toys to be toys (even my super expensive hot toys ones… (and they understand… the word “toy” is in their name.. not hot collectibles, hot toys)

    also, I usually like the way they look better.. I have too many plastic/rubber capes that are permanently flowing outward, taking up space, or permanently folded in odd areas.. nope.. give a cloth cape anyday..