Countdown to Castle Grayskull Day 2 – The Scott Neitlich Interview (Part 1)
November 10, 2012

This is it.  Do or die.  Last call.   We are in the home stretch.  We only have a little over 48 hours away form the close of pre-orders for Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull.  They have to hit the goal by midnight on Monday Nov 12th in order for the set to get sculpted and move forward.   I think by now you have heard just about every plea from Mattel and  a lot of websites as to why you should order.   You already know that the playset is a year away and that you have a year to save up for it.  You know that it’s BIG, and that it will be loaded with features and that it is based on the original Mark Taylor design.  You also probably know that this playset is unprecedented in the toy world.   Never before have fans gotten a playset of this scale outside of retail.

I looked at a lot if the video and interviews about the Castle and came up with a list of questions I hadn’t seen asked anywhere else and Scott “Toy Guru” Neitlich was kind enough to answer them as part of our countdown watch of the pre-order.  Have a read, spread the word and lets bring He-man and his family home!
Action Figure Insider:   So how close are we now?   It’s a little hard to read the meter.  ½? ¾? More?

Toy Guru: When I left  on Friday I believe we were between 75 and 80% of the goal. Not a bad way to head into the final stretch!


AFi: This isn’t your first presell, and as you mentioned in the past there’s always a big spike on the first day and then one more big last minute spike on the last day.  Do you think that will be the case for Castle Grayskull?

TG: I certainly hope so. At this point we won’t hit our goal based on our current daily average so we are hoping there are some last weekend buyers out there. We didn’t hit with the previous YJ presale even with a last day spike do we are hoping not only for a spike but a big one!


AFi: So if we meet the minimum pre-order by Sunday then the pre-order window will stay open until January.  If pre-orders continue to climb after that what can fans expect?  A cheaper price?  More features?

TG: honestly, the minimum is to get the castle made as is. Even with more than the minimum that won’t really let us change the price or offer more. We are putting all we can into this now!
AFi: You mentioned in one of your videos that we seem to get a Castle Grayskull every 10 years.   You have been able to gather a group that had a hand in the previous 2 versions to contribute to this one.  What has been their greatest input and learning that they contributed to this new version?

TG: while we’ve had “3” in 31 years, we didn’t really have one every 10 years (1982, 2002, 2013 hopefully). The 2002 version was a bit of a reimagine based on the new “look” for the show. I personally think that castle moved away a bit too much from the previous look. There are certain element that are just “instant castle Grayskull” and while the 2002 castle had things like the Jaw Bridge, other elements like the action feature it included (recognizing good or bad guys based on chips in the feet) wound up shrinking the jaw bridge opening so much He-man couldn’t walk thought! For this new one we want to ensure figures can stand in that doorway!
AFi: Playsets are a bit of a dying art in the toy world because of cost and how much real estate they take up on store shelves, but this one is different because it’s not a retail item (is that a first for a playset?) because of all those factors was this a tough pitch to management?

TG: only in terms of the enormous amount of tooling. That is why we had the preorder quota. We needed to “prove” to management (if you will) that we had enough customers to justify the production first. It actually is a great way to do this (assuming we get the preorder minimum)!


Check back tomorrow for Part 2

You can pre-order your Castle Grayskull here... but hurry!

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on,, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post,,,, Boing-Boing,, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
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