Mattel Clarifies a Bit on the MOTUC "Style"
September 6, 2010

Several weeks ago Mattel and Toy Guru made a statement about the MOTU 200X style not carrying through into the MOTUC line going forward.   It was said this was as a direct mandated from Mattel leadership.   As you might imagine this lead to a lot of questions from fans and collectors.   Today ToyGuru posted this reply in an attempt to clarify his statement: 

 

He-Fans and She-Ravers,

So there has been a lot of info flying back and forth on the "style" of the Classics line compared to the style of say the 200X or vintage lines as well as just who/which characters we have access to. Let me see if I can do a catch-all and clarify as much info as possible.

The Masters of the Universe Classics line (available every month on Mattycollector.com!) is a new interpretation of the vintage MOTU toys.

The 200X line was also a new interpretation of the vintage line. The 200X line’s style or "reinterpretation" included taking the vintage figure and adding flared hair and extra hyper details (which we’ve called Anime Hyper Detail, but "200X style" may work best going forward, for some reason some fans found this description offensive!).

The Classics line takes the same approach and also "reinterprets" the vintage line. When we pitched doing an on-line MOTU line, the request from management was to retire the 200X line and create a new interpretation for MOTU. So for the Classics "style" we applied "modern detail and modern articulation to the vintage designs".

Basically, the design question we asked was, "what if the vintage line had today’s technology in toy making? What if today’s toy technology was around in 1981?" or maybe said as: "Vintage toy look, modern collector articulation and detail". This would define the look of the line much as hyper hair and detailed defined the look of the 200X line.

There were a few other edicts we had. Such as with action features. If they required a lever or button that broke the design of the figure, we would lose it. But if we could find a way to make an action feature work with the sculpt in tact (like with Roboto or Tri-Klops), then more power to the line!

A lot of fans still ask about 200X "elements" in the line. To be clear, as has always been the creative direction, all parts of of the Classics line will be done through the "Classics style" not 200X style. So if we are doing a figure from the 200X line/series (like Carnivus) or new weapons or body parts from the 200X line/series (like with Hordak’s staff or Webstor’s arms) all would be done in "Classics style".

This is why you don’t see 200X style head sculpts in the Classics line. When you are changing the actual face interpretation or hair style of a character into 200X style you are no longer reflecting the Classics style. Right now we’re not doing 200X style figures, we are doing Classics style figures.

We will add 200X elements into Classics, but not in 200X style. Right now the 200X style is retired. Marzo and Whiplash had a bit more of 200X style, but since then we have pulled back a bit.

So you will still see plenty of characters, weapons, armor and design elements from the 200X line, but all will be done through the "lens" or creative style/interpretation of the Classics style (meaning vintage design, modern collector articulation and detail interpretation, not flared hair and hyper detail interpretation).

And I should add, this does not mean 200X redesigned heads are gone forever from Classics. It just means now for the current Mattycollector.com line they don’t fit the creative direction to retire the 200X look/style. We’d love to find a way to get to them some day, perhaps if the line ever goes to retail we could find a way to work this in. Maybe a box set or mutltipacks of "then and now". Who knows? But for now, the 200X style/interpretation is retired for the on-line Classics line. Nothing like that is on the drawing board, I’m just speaking off the top of my head.

Okay, hopefully that helps clarify some things. As for which characters you will see, MOTUC is all about creating the largest world possible including all of the vintage toys from Masters of the Universe, Princess of Power, New Adventures and the "modern" 2002 line. Personally I’d love to get to every vintage figure in time!

You will also see characters from the vintage mini comics, DC comics, concept toy art, package art and other vintage toy sources.

Currently, we do not have access to the Filmation characters, various children’s book libraries or the 1987 film (outside of the three figure in the vintage line!).

Going forward you will see figures from all of the areas we have access to. We’ve worked the line out (give or take) for a few years, to ensure each year has a good mix of characters from all eras, teams and recognition level (i.e. A-list characters). So if you are not seeing your favorite character next month, it doesn’t mean he or she won’t be along in time! Hang in there, we promise one great ride!

Finally, once again to comment on the bios. They are not intended to be a all definitive cannon to the MOTU world. The toys have always been avatars for the imagination. Fans have always made up their own stories and these are just as valid as any movie, cartoon or comic book story.

Our goal was to create a world that would let us make the greatest number of characters (i.e. toys) possible, delivering fan requests like the Goddess, Wun-dar and He-Ro along with mainstays like He-Man and Skeletor in one universe (which proved more difficult then you know, there is lot of contradiction between different stories!).

If the bios are not for you, make up your own! Every adventures is just as valid.

The line is doing great and we can’t wait to reveal what else is coming in 2011. We’re just getting warmed up!

TG

That helps a lot… the only thing I’m still not clear on is why management CARES.   Why wouldn’t they just turn TG, the Horsemen and the MOTUC team loose and let them create the coolest toys possible, as they have been doing for several years.   The only thing I can figure is that it has something to do with the upcoming Masters of the Universe and Mattel is trying to solidify some diffinative versions to help root and preserve the brand going forward.

Either way I do appreciate the clarification.  Thanks TG.

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 www.ActionFigureInsider.com. 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 MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, 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.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.

 

 

 

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