In thinking about the MOTUverse...

Discuss all your favorite eras of Masters of the Universe here - Classics, MO2K, Princess of Power, New Adventures, & the Vintage Line!

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Re: In thinking about the MOTUverse...

Postby PrfktTear » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:59 pm

Okay, this is mainly in response to DayRaven's post, but y'all can join in if you feel like it...

I too licked my Leech’s hand. I also think I got my first hickey from him. I think the action features played a large part in my love for the property. I think I realized this most recently with Snout Spout. One reason why I loved that big, goofy man-elephant-robot… (Man-Ele-Bot? No, sounds too much like Manelli Bot, as in Lisa Mannelli… I digress.) I was a pretty daft kid and pretty easy to please. For a time I didn’t have a lot of toys, so what I did have I appreciated. I didn’t sit around picking things apart and it wasn’t until years later that I realized so many creatures shared the same parts, like Stinkor and Mer-Man or Beastman and Moss Man. Its bizarre pulling out old action figures now because looking at them with adult eyes is so much different than looking at them with kids eyes. I notice so much more detail. If you haven’t lately, check out your old Ninja Turtle figures, not the turtles themselves, but the other characters, its kind of incredible how much detail was put into all those figures.

As far as looking at MOTUC from a kid’s perspective… I don’t think there’s much of an argument here. Of course figures with action features will be more “fun” but this line isn’t for kids. It warms my heart to know that there are MOTU fans who are buying these figures for their kids, but at the end of the day its an adult collector line, so I can’t fault.

I can’t really comment on the appearance of Tytus or Megator because for the time being I’m leaving them MiB. That said, I’ve read plenty of reviews and seen plenty of photos and videos to have an idea, oh yeah, and I can still look at them in the box. That said, by comparison to the Marvel Universe Frost Giant, which I got on sale at Wal-Mart for $18, with the amount of detail and articulation it makes Tight-Ass and Megatard a joke.

In terms of the evolution of MOTU to MOTU2K to MOTUC, I think it’s all a matter of personal opinion as far as whether MOTUC was a step forward or a step back from the 200x line. I’m not going to pretend I know a whole lot about cost and production logistics, I have somewhat of an idea from what I’ve gleaned from various blogs and articles I’ve read. I think to create an immense line such as MOTUC or DCUC you almost have to rely on the buck system. Look at NECA and how many properties they’ve landed, but then only end up pushing out a few figures from each series. I think with the guidance of the Horsemen Mattel has done some great figures. Now, if you asked me what would I rather have, a figure with 100% new sculpt, or a figure with 35% new sculpt, the choice would be obvious. I’m just curious if that’s something Mattel could really do though. That said, Hasbro seems to be able to do it with MU, so why not Matty with DCUC or MOTU? Curiouser and curiouser.

In terms of cutbacks on all ends, I think the industry is hurting. How many independent companies that are not NECA, McF, or Mezco do not struggle to keep afloat. One bad license, one wrong move, they could be filing for Chapter 11.

In terms of MOTUC, yes it may be a step backwards in the toy “evolutionary” chart, but the way I see it its kind of like band who release cds and vinyl. Why bother releasing something on vinyl when a majority of people will only rip them onto their mp3 players or iphones anyways? It’s a conscious stylistic choice and still it amazes me that people can’t just wrap their heads around that.

I am disappointed to hear that your figures are showing signs of wear. That is what I fear the most is these figures just disintegrating before my eyes.

My fan’s POV --- I loved the 200x line. I was so happy to have He-Man back again. I wasn’t going to collect them initially, but once I found a Teela and a Roboto I was all-in. I collected pretty much everything I could get my hands on, within reason. Still, as awesome as sculpts were it wasn’t MY He-Man. I am not one of those people who complain about the BayFormers films sayin that Michael Bay raped my childhood with his botched abortions for movies, but I can still feel that way and not have to justify that. As is I suppose anything. We’re all entitled to our opinions.

I love MOTUC for all that it is and really nothing will change my mind about that. I do not like the BS behind it all, but that is another story.

I’d like to think I know the difference between ground chuck and filet minion. I certainly wouldn’t pay Angus Burger prices for a buck McDouble either.
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Re: In thinking about the MOTUverse...

Postby DrRampageo » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:58 pm

Seriously Laughed out loud at the part about getting your first hickey from Leech!
You are saying alot of things that I'm totally feeling!
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Re: In thinking about the MOTUverse...

Postby PrfktTear » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:09 pm

Who is excited about Snout Spout?

I think this is one case where I will miss the action feature. I was fond of all my MOTU figures growing up, but Snout Spout was one of the special ones that I got brand new (many of my original cardbacks and others were second hand). Plus the action feature was cool --- it was a squirt gun AND an action figure!

I'm usually pretty pleased with what the 4H produce and Snout Spout is no different. He came out pretty much exactly as I'd imagined he would.

I'm looking forward to this one!
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Re: In thinking about the MOTUverse...

Postby dayraven » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:45 pm

again, i'm wishing they'd incorporated more 2oox influence, like the more serious looking face and the more accurate shape of the axe, but overall, he's not bad. i'm prety much done buying the line personally, but i'm certainly still going to cheer for the figs that do it right, and if you like the vintage SS, he's definitely the motucized version of that figure.

BTW PT, feel good getting all that off your chest? [grin] that's a pretty thorough response.

i will say this, on the subject of the mo2k revisions, i didn't like every revision, not by a long shot, but i did like some of the re-designs, and i think as a general aesthetic, they lent themselves to a more action-oriented cartoon/comic expression than the vintage designs did. the figs themselves were too static for me, and that bent knee squat just made them unappealing on the shelf. i wanted slightly more adult stories from the comics/cartoons and still didn't get them, and i kind of got hacked at that... like, "hey, d-bags, if you're trying to appeal to my era of the market, i'm an adult now... if he-man's going to carry a sword, i expect someone to get cut from time to time dammit!" stuff like that bugs me.
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Re: In thinking about the MOTUverse...

Postby DrRampageo » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:36 pm

I would say the Best Redesign from the 2K MOTU cartoon was Teela she looked much better IMO
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Re: In thinking about the MOTUverse...

Postby dayraven » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:50 pm

DrRampageo wrote:I would say the Best Redesign from the 2K MOTU cartoon was Teela she looked much better IMO


and trapjaw... i really liked the stitches scars and that huge mechanical arm. but yeah, teela was a complete win. i also loved the sorceress. i also think i favored all the redesigns for the horde and the snake men (not that hordak was substantially different). oh, and evil lyn.

the other thing i liked about the mo2k designs were the new background characters that fleshed out the world. the filmation cartoon was very claustrophobic, and eternia felt small and largely uninhabited. MYP eternia was much more busy and lived in and there was stuff and people all over the place. i really liked that, that eternia felt more like a planet and not just a city. the other avions were kind of nice to see, as were the andreenids, even if they weren't my favorite designs. the "webstor on ambrosia" critter was awesome. i loved the barbarians dudes that were chasing old man marzo around that town, and the cast of the "cantina" scene w/ fisto, i loved the additional species too, like the qadians, the spelians, the caligars, those guys were great. certainly worthy of army builder packs that never came in their own line, and that i hope eventually get offered in motuc... but given the 200x viewpoint taken by matty corporate, i kind of doubt it.
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Re: In thinking about the MOTUverse...

Postby doctorkent » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:05 pm

PrfktTear wrote:In terms of the evolution of MOTU to MOTU2K to MOTUC, I think it’s all a matter of personal opinion as far as whether MOTUC was a step forward or a step back from the 200x line. I’m not going to pretend I know a whole lot about cost and production logistics, I have somewhat of an idea from what I’ve gleaned from various blogs and articles I’ve read. I think to create an immense line such as MOTUC or DCUC you almost have to rely on the buck system. Look at NECA and how many properties they’ve landed, but then only end up pushing out a few figures from each series. I think with the guidance of the Horsemen Mattel has done some great figures. Now, if you asked me what would I rather have, a figure with 100% new sculpt, or a figure with 35% new sculpt, the choice would be obvious. I’m just curious if that’s something Mattel could really do though. That said, Hasbro seems to be able to do it with MU, so why not Matty with DCUC or MOTU? Curiouser and curiouser.

In terms of cutbacks on all ends, I think the industry is hurting. How many independent companies that are not NECA, McF, or Mezco do not struggle to keep afloat. One bad license, one wrong move, they could be filing for Chapter 11.


I once wrote out a long post for my blog about mold costs using real costs for non-toy items...there are some industries where the costs aren't as secret.
http://pheydenfans.blogspot.com/2010/11/reality-check-why-i-allowed-my-he.html
The quick summary on tooling is that the cost has to be spread throughout whatever production runs are made from those molds.
A new specific I learned since then concerns male and female connectors and how that affects the mold - but I need help writing up that article for the blog...

On 200X versus MOTU Classics, the choice is obvious - 200X advanced the designs in every case (even with ones that I didn't like personally) to the level of detail being done at the time by McFarlane and company - but also locked into kid-friendly articulation and gimmicks of the time.
Classics is providing me a modern take on the classic version, if that phrasing makes any sense.
It is a lot of He-Man bodies with new gear and bits.

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Re: In thinking about the MOTUverse...

Postby dayraven » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:47 pm

dude, i would amend a few details on that list, if i might...

firstly, a small operation doesn't necessarily require steel molds to be made. smaller run pieces could be made in aluminum molds, as a cheaper alternative.

i would also mention that on figs that would have less re-use of parts, it helps to employ innovative people (like say, the horsemen) who are really skilled in making parts re-use work in their favor.

i would also say that mattel is buying things like steel and plastic in huge quantities and are no doubt negotiating steel out at less than you or i would pay buying a 6 inch by 6 inch slab. a couple years ago, the cost estimate floating around the web for a steel figure mold was about $10,000, not $50,000. now, certainly things are more expensive, but that lower number would explain how some things come out cheaper than your numbers would indicate.

i would also say that action figures don't actually produce moving parts, those molds produce static parts that, when assembled, provide movement. but the broken down parts of the thing don't actually move like a "living joint" does on a ketchup bottle, for example. not that that's a huge deal one way or the other, just a note on your cost analysis.

lastly, the barbie house thing... in a cost comparison between that and a motuc castle grayskull, i would say only this... castle grayskull would move many fewer units, but would require many fewer actual pieces to feel like a "complete" buy.... like just look at all the crap that house comes with! we already got the weapons rack that came w/ the vintage castle as a separate item, and they could easily offer a throne chair as a separate item, as they could point dredd. i don't think anyone would demand the voice chip crap that the newer grayskull came w/, so the castle would really only need the elevator, the turret defenses, two walls, and a ladder. that's nothing compared to that dream house even if close in size (which it wouldn't have to be, given the size difference between barbie and he-man) i'd figure that, realistically, the two playsets should come out pretty damned close in cost, all things factored together.
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Re: In thinking about the MOTUverse...

Postby doctorkent » Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:09 am

dayraven wrote:dude, i would amend a few details on that list, if i might...
lastly, the barbie house thing... in a cost comparison between that and a motuc castle grayskull, i would say only this... castle grayskull would move many fewer units, but would require many fewer actual pieces to feel like a "complete" buy.... like just look at all the crap that house comes with! we already got the weapons rack that came w/ the vintage castle as a separate item, and they could easily offer a throne chair as a separate item, as they could point dredd. i don't think anyone would demand the voice chip crap that the newer grayskull came w/, so the castle would really only need the elevator, the turret defenses, two walls, and a ladder. that's nothing compared to that dream house even if close in size (which it wouldn't have to be, given the size difference between barbie and he-man) i'd figure that, realistically, the two playsets should come out pretty damned close in cost, all things factored together.


You always have good points, and have made me think about things in different ways over the years.
Primarily, the only thing we know is that we cannot know the exact specifics that Mattel is subject to in producing their items. They could own a factory, or as you pointed out, get better deals on the steel for the molds.
The blog post was specifically written because the tone on .org at the time (and IMO, usually) comes across as very petulant without being informed. And although knowing facts about the cost for a phone doesn't help us figure out what the mold for He-Man cost exactly, it gives a baseline for at least thinking about it in real terms.

As far as Castle Greyskull goes, the Dream House and the Castle probably could be close in cost of tooling depending on how you execute the castle (which .org proves many fans have many different opinions on) and the amounts of plastic and paint used - BUT there is no way they would be able to move the amount of units to amortize the mold cost through MattyCollector to make it cost the same amount as the Dream House. They just can't make enough of them to bring the cost down low enough. Scott helped dig his own hole on this when he mentioned a $300 price point. Instead of saying they can't do it, he should have been saying they won't do it.

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Re: In thinking about the MOTUverse...

Postby He-Mullet » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:34 am

Sadly* the Castle would have to be a Retail Item.


*= Depends on the way it's looked at. While having to hunt in brick and mortar stores is a pain in the ass, a playset (cause Mattel is hellbent on making it a playset) would require a buttload of units for it to be profitable... On the other hand we don't have to worry about this being done to our Grayskulls!
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