Mattel Q&A Answers for January 2009
January 14, 2009

Matty from MattyCollector.com and ToyGuru Jr. sent us the answers to our latest round of questions.that AFI readers have posted in our forums.  There are some very interesting hints and reveals in this installment, so read it carefully and let the speculating begin!

Q1: The JLU Gotham Criminals 4 Pack looks cool. I can’t wait to pick it up. Question: is it too late for you guys to tool some little boot fins to glue onto Harley Quinn’s ankles to make her a little more accurate? It looks like she has an amazing head sculpt and new arms/hands that look great. I think that two little bits of plastic would round her out nicely and make the figure quite fantastic.

A1: Tooling Harley was a big choice we made at Mattel. We knew we only had the budget to tool either new legs or new arms. In the end we made the choice to go with new arms as this would help bring out her character the most and her legs could be done with paint ops easier then her arm changes. And for additional info, it costs the same amount to tool up a boot cuff as it does a cape and cowl. It is not the size of the tool that increases costs, it is the number of parts. So a small part to change a figure is the same cost as a large part. Hope that helps!

 
Q2: Will the "Crime Scene Evidence" continue with the new Movie Masters figures? If so can you let us in on what will be packed with them? Will we get any variant heads on the Goon? Will figure-scale accessories be included with any of the new releases? Is Harvey a chase version of Two-Face? Will either of the chase figures from the first two waves be shipping again in any upcoming cases?

A2: Wow, lots of questions in one question on this one. Lets see if we can get them all: Crime Scene Evidence will continue with the MM figures, but we will also look at adding new in scale accessories as well. We do have new goon figures in mind. We are releasing the Joker as a goon in Wave 4 with others possibly later in the year. Harvey Dent is indeed a chase version of Two-Face and yes, current figures will continue to ship in new case assortments with new figures.

 
Q3:  I know you can’t control this or have predicted it, but an advice for folks that have not been able to find the Unmasked Batman Beyond and Cyborg DCUC KBtoys exclusives now that KB has gone bankrupt?   Did they already receive the full quantity of their orders for those figures?

A3:  Yes KB did receive there full order for these figures but we will look into brining them back, perhaps at one of the summer conventions or on MattyCollector.com if there is enough fan demand.

Q4:  Around the time of Comic Con you had mentioned that Wal-mart would be able to reorder their exclusive DCUC wave (Wave 5) and it would not just be a one time rush to get the figures.  Is that still the case?  Does that seem like it will happen?

 A4: We are still shipping there initial order so if you have not found Wave 5 figures yet, know that more are still shipping.

Q5a:  Can you please stop with the dynamic in-package poses? Please scale it back a bit. The potential for warped figures is just too high. Abin Sur is essentially battle damaged with arms and legs so warped he looks like he just broke them in the plane crash.

A5a: We will definitely pass this comment on to our quality control department to ensure the figures you receive are of the highest quality. While not every fan likes the dynamic poses, they do a great job of showing off the range of articulation and help tell a story in the pack. We will do our best to balance this with any “warping” of figures limbs. That is the last thing we want to do!

Q5b: Can you guys look into the packaging for JLU as well? My theory is that the packaging techniques currently used (along with the softer plastic in the figs themselves) warps the limbs, despite their static poses.

More Q&A After the jump!

 

A5b: Newer figures in 2009 will indeed use a different quality of plastic which should help avoid limp warping which we know has been an issue. Fans should know that when we do make a change to any aspect of our toy lines (from decos to plastic type) it can take anywhere from 2-8 months before you see these changes show up at market.

By the time we make a change, produce the product and ship it, it can be a few months. The toy industry just can’t make changes as quick as say a newspaper or comic book can print a retraction. But please know we do listen to all the comments and are actively taking steps to improve plastic quality and paint ops all the time.

Q6: What’s the stance on Green Lantern Construct packs for MattyCollector? Like the stands they’d be sold as a mass item of like ten-fifteen translucent green "Constructs" for the JLU style Lanterns.  Swords, Shields, Blasters, Maybe even a Big Boxing glove in case he who can’t be named can ever be produced for retail.

 A7: This is an accessory we have discussed a few times and are looking at the best way to bring it to market. Not to worry, we won’t leave our Emerald Crusaders weaponless on your shelf!

Q7: Any chance of a translucent FIRE figure in the JLU line- even as an SDCC exclusive?

Yes, but not as a SDCC exclusive. We have something even more fan demanded in  mind.
 
Q8: Just how much influence the customizers have had on Mattel? Any chance we can hear from the team about what they have seen and how it has help guide the way for them to make more figures? Thanks.

A8: We’re commented a few times that we do love the customizers out there and keep a wall space in our design area filled with print outs of cool customs and fan work we see on-line and at conventions. We love that many fans take the toy making process to heart and are actually working on a few items for Matty.com that may help them in the future such as blank bodies to work off of. We know customizing is a big part of the hobby and want to produce product that helps with
this. Stay tuned for more details!

Q9: First-Just wanted to say to all the crew that work on the JLU line…GREAT WORK, I’m looking forward to 2009 ALREADY! Whoever suggested Ultraman and Superwoman ,Detective Batman and Yellow Sinestro–Thank you, I don’t mind buying repaints, but different versions of the entire DC universe is pure genius.

A9: Thanks! We are all huge fans of JLU here and want to make sure and get out repaints that are meaningful and collector targeted, not just repainted for repaint sake!

9a-What other DCU versions of our heroes/villains be seen in the JLU line? IE… RED SUN SUPERMAN, Gotham by Gaslight, KINGDOM COME…etc etc?

A9a: A lot of the Elseworld’s characters are actually off limits to Mattel but we will continue to work with DC Comics and Warner Bros. for a time when these characters become available.

9b-Will we see the rest of the CRIME SYNDICATE and SINESTRO CORPS figures in the JLU line?

A9b: Hopefully in time!

9c-Is EVERYTHING/EVERYONE in the DCU possible to make in the JLU line? I’m talking like ANY comic character of the DCU possible?

A9c: All Characters whether on the show or not)  are handled on a character by character basis with DC and Warner Brothers. Both have been amazing partners helping us to explore the greater DCU in animated art deco style. While most characters are fair game, Elseworlds ,Vertigo and some of the more violent DCU character are not available. But we will continue to push the limits as we explore non show characters in the JLU line in the fall of 2009.

So there you have it!   Thanks to ToyGuru and Matty for all the answers.

You can find our past Q&A’s here. And you can discuss the answers at our Mattel board.  

 

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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