MOTUClassics.Com: Tytus Review

Tytus is an excitement roller coaster. First, you hear they’ve shown him at Toy Fair and the ride starts ratcheting up. You find the pics as you near the first peak, but with little warning, the articulation is announced and you drop ten stories. You drift through some various minor twists and turns, slowly building you back up to order him. Despite some reservations about the next drop, you get excited and you order your way up the next ramp. He arrives. He looks great in the box, then you open him and…

And… what? Well, I’m still not sure. Ever since Tytus debuted, I had a hard time talking myself into or out of buying him. The weekend before the sale, I ended up siding with him over the money simply because, if I were to have regrets, money is easier to get than sold out MOTU figures. Now that I have him in hand, I’m still conflicted. Visually, he’s a great piece. Functionally, he’s a boring toy. In a way, he represents an old collector’s debate. What good is articulation when they’re just standing on the shelf? I’ve been on both sides of that issue. I love my super-articulated figures and I loved my MOTU stactions. I imagine collector satisfaction with Tytus is going to vary wildly across the spectrum. The truth is, I’m not even sure where I stand when it comes to the Heroic Giant.

First off, I have to take a fraction of blame for Tytus only being released overseas. I was one of the eleventy billion kids who left MOTU behind in 1987. I can’t tell you what happened really. I love a lot of the ’86 offerings, but I don’t remember seeing anything from ’87 as a kid.* No Meteorbs. No techno-dinosaurs. Nothing. I can tell you that Topps made some really coolwood-grain background baseball cards that year. And that I have a soft spot for those not-so-great early episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation though.

* – I did find Scareglow years later in a flea market. He’s still my only ’87 vintage figure.

I wouldn’t learn about Tytus, his cancellation, or his Italian release until I came back into the fold in 2002 and caught up on what I missed. I liked the ideas that were planned for Power of Grayskull and am happy to see them being incorporated into Classics. I don’t have much trust in the slow mythos-building process of the bios,* but I’d like to get as many of the characters as I can from that era. I think that brought me to the decision to buy Tytus more than anything. He’s not only a piece of the toy line’s past, but of Eternia’s past as well.

* – I do like that, in the Tytus bio, “his herd of dinosaurs began developing strange techno parts”. Think they were hitting Eldor’s ol’ mystical pool for a bit to drink?

Both when I saw Tytus in the Toy Fair images and when I pulled him out of his mailer today, I was impressed with his overall look. I think it’s nearly impossible to look at him aesthetically and not be impressed. Particularly when compared to the original.

Tytus has a very unique look that’s not quite Classics. The original Tytus wasn’t simply a scaled up vintage figure and the Classics Tytus isn’t just a scaled up MOTUC with less articulation. When I look at him overall, he almost appears more 200x than Classic, but I can’t exactly put my finger on why. He doesn’t have any of the uh, “hyper anime” flair, but his larger size does allow for more detail on the armor, some veins on the hands and arms, hammered metal details on the boots, and the intricate belt design. I imagine a 200x fan could place him with that collection and be happy. And, all the while, he still fits in just fine with the Classics. Continue to Page 2…

34 thoughts on “MOTUClassics.Com: Tytus Review

  1. Articulation aside, I hate his stupid vacuum cleaner weapon. It’s vintage blah blah blah, but they should’ve given him something else. A sword, an axe, something.

    1. I’m not sure what the right weapon is for him. Sometime back, I thought it’d be cool to give him a gas gun. A heavy knockout gas that stayed close to the ground could take out his enemies.

      But I imagine folks want something a little more “bashing” for Tytus.

  2. Mattel created a self-fulfilling prophecy with Tytus in regards to his cost from get go. They underestimated how many they would sell and how many times they could reuse the body. The eight minute sellout means more units with less cost per unit and when they thought about reuse I doubt they looked much past Megator.

    Which is the part I’m still annoyed about. Had Mattel simply scaled up the MOTUC body, or at least better approximated it in terms of style and articulation, they could have started selling the more notable figures in a 12″ format. A 12″ He-Man would surely move at least as many units as Tytus would and he sold out in eight minutes.

    Mattel is shortsighted when it comes to He-Man. The fact that they could use MOTU as a brand that could be worked into Imaginext, Trio, etc is one thing, but that they don’t look closer to home and see the possibilities for selling a rotocast He-Man just showcases how small they think with this line.

    They think small and make us finance their shortsightedness with higher prices every month.

    1. Actually, after receiving my “re-issue” Merman, I think they have a different idea in mind… I have a feeling they are making us think there aren’t many produced while keeping an extra stock on hand “for later use”. The Merman I got didn’t come in a white protective box, rather, was in it’s regular package… oh… and it was dusty, like it’s been sitting on the shelf for a while… hmm… SUSPICIOUS! The whole “collecting for value” doesn’t really work any more… look at baseball cards and comic books…

      1. My Mer-Man was the same way. There was no package change, it was dusty and even folded up. It didn’t have the same sheen on the blister as a newly carded figure has either…

      2. We’ve come to a point that nearly everything (even MOTUC) is too mass produced to have any long term value. For action figures, look at Playmates Trek line. Even the rarest of those are worth next to nothing.

  3. I’m perfectly happy with Tytus. He looks great on the shelf and he was only $10 more than Mattel charges for figures of similar size at retail. More articulation is always better, but Tytus will just be hanging out anyway.

    1. I worked out a lot of my issues while writing him up, but I think it boils down to this. I’m going to stick him at the back of the top shelf and I won’t be picking him up to adjust, move around, or play with him. He’s window dressing for the MOTU collection.

      I can be convinced for valid reasons he needed to be $40, but at the end of the day he wasn’t worth $40 the same way that the smaller figures are worth $20.

  4. Very good review. I like that you’re not praising or hating on it. Tytus is the first time Matty didn’t hit a home run with a figure, but they still got on base.

    The only thing that strikes out is their customer service.

    1. That’s a good way to phrase it. I don’t love or hate it, sometimes you buy stuff as part of the “collection”. Tytus is one of those, but I do wish he held his own too.

  5. Great review! I love the last comic, that’s so true! And He-Ro looks soooo small!

  6. I seriously doubt it’d cost $100 if they made him come with ball joints at the shoulders. They already did make a ball jointed head for him, so we do know it’s possible.

    Does the red Marvel hero (Ant Man?) come with ball joints? I know he’s a BAF, but would he have cost $100 on his own? Somehow I doubt it.

    1. Close! It’s the same guy, but he’s Gi(ant) Man when he’s big. He’s loaded up with most articulation of any BAF. I’m not a big Giant Man fan, but I love the toy itself.

      Giant Man was broken up in to ten pieces and placed with ten figures, but he’s essentially a Marvel Icon and I think they retailed for $15 a few years back. That was at mass release though, Tytus’s cost gets distributed across less units.

      I’m just curious about other solutions being found for one or two important joints (like the shoulders) instead of jumping all the way to “he’d be $100 if we went all out”.

  7. Wow, Noisy!!!
    It’s like you scooped your Tytus review right out of my brains!!

    I pretty much agree with your assessment 100%!!
    Even down to my nitpicky disappointment of the lines on his nose!!!! 😀

    But yeah, agreed that he was probably too soon, and Scott G. is also right on in describing Mattel’s shortsightedness with certain things.

    Obviously Battle Cat got that level of investment because of the potential reuse for Panthor, Clawdeen, Battle Lion, and so on, but with a little more foresight, Tytus could’ve been 12″ He-Man, and with how similar in certain ways the “buck” elements are to the GoJ DC figures, they probably could’ve given us a 12″ Hawkman, Supes . . . lots of stuff.

    It just doesn’t make sense to me for Mattel to arbitrarily create these “rules” like “Original toy head on the figure in package, no matter which is more fan-demanded or iconic,” “No hyper anime flair,” “No using MOTUC stuff in DC . . . what eagle . . . ?”

    If it’s internal corporate red tape crap, then I guess its inevitable, but it sure seems to hurt them with both fan satisfaction and missed sales opportunities.

  8. Most likely the $100 is coming from the idea that there are so few produced.

    1. I’ll give Mattel the benefit of the doubt and say that they are either ran the rough costs through whatever MSRP forumula Mattel uses OR Guru, familiar with the formula was able to draw a reasonable conclusion to the MSRP, and then that number was rounded up to $100 for impact. (That impact does trade away a bit of credibility though. If he said he’d cost $91 – who would doubt that?)

      “So few produced” though is the key. He cost us $40 because they only made enough to last 8 minutes. What if they made enough Tytus to last an hour? Would he have only been $35 then? Or could they have afforded to add ball shoulders if they made enough to last a day?

      These are things I wonder about. LOL

  9. I don’t know why, but that comment–“rotocast figures can’t have balljoints”–irritates me. It reeks of “we could have done it, but y’know, we designed this guy on a Friday afternoon and no one wanted to work on a Saturday, so we half-assed it.”

    Does Mattel think MOTU fans don’t collect toys from other companies?

    1. LOL. Maybe they do. Remember when interchangeable ball-jointed heads were deemd impossible, but we could go to TRU and buy Sharon Carter/Maria Hill?

    1. I’m actually a little surprised you didn’t get him Ebon. Is this the first figure you missed/passed?

    2. So you would regret getting him? LOL

      I think that speaks to the weird area Tytus is in. The people that did buy him can be kinda happy, but he’s not going to wow anyone that passed on him.

      I read Michael Crawford and Poe’s reviews tonight and we all applied reservations to this guy. He’s a nice, slightly overpriced collectible, but he’s a lousy toy.

  10. How come Toy Biz and Hasbro were able to make 12″ solid figures, with all the articulation of a Marvel Legend, for $15-20? I don’t what the numbers looked like as far as how much money they made or lost over them, but they were able to sell them at retail for years.

    Mattel is either playing dumb with this, considering their 12″ offerings for DCSH were rotocast and unarticulated but still cost $30, or Toy Biz and Hasbro were doing it wrong and limped through 4 waves of failure. Not to mention, Tytus is an online exclusive, so Mattel doesn’t have to worry about retailer support. I know that selling directly to the consumer and not in bulk to retailers creates new costs, but it sounds like a bunch of typical Mattel hogwash to me…I don’t know if I believe their $100 estimate. At the very least they could give him balljointed shoulders…that seems like a pretty pathetic oversight. Hopefully after the success of Tytus they put a little more effort into Megator.

  11. It really just comes down to low production and the ability to spread out overall costs per unit. Sadly, Mattel’s low production isn’t just keeping some fans from getting the figures, but it’s also making us pay inflated prices for the stuff we can get.

    As for Megator, you raise an interesting question. They’ll know they can make more Megator (but not how many more since Tytus didn’t last long enough to gauge interest) and yet I’m 100% confident that Megator will not be improved in anyway. They’ll simply craft the handful of pieces they need and apply them to this buck.

  12. Gotta ask, how is he at standing on his own?… I can see the knees being partially bent in every pic and then there’s the odd angle his lower legs seem to take from the knee to the boot top. I’m not sure where Mattel gets that a ball-joint can’t be applied to a rotocast figure… ToyBiz did that crazy-articulated 18″ Spider-Man with Spider-Man 2 so there is proof out there that it *can* be done. Personally (and I’m sure I’m one of the very few), I think I would have prefered the figure to have been un-articulated from the waist down and applied the budget to getting ball-jointed shoulders and bicep swivles. Here’s hoping for some improvements with Megator and hoping for the three giants that were annoying Buzz-Off in the MYP cartoons.

  13. Just got Tytus today and opened him. The box is HUGE. He looks so awesome in the package, I’m actually afraid to open the damn thing. Tytus..”is da s*#!” – Tron Carter

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