Because we knew we’d get a lot of questions answered about our favorite Mattel toy lines at Toy Fair (click here for all our Mattel Toy Fair coverage), for this round of Q&A, we wanted to learn a little more about the person responsible for bringing them to all of us.
Scott “Toy Guru” Neitlich has stepped in to answer our questions this month! Scott is the Brand Manager working on Mattel’s DC, Ghostbusters and MOTU adult collector lines. Thanks to Toy Guru for this special edition of Ask Matty!
1. What was your favorite toy as a kid, and where is it now?
As a kid I was really into MOTU and Construx. Construx was a girder and bolt building system which until recently was still offered by Fisher-Price. I used to create whole worlds of military and space ships and still have the lead attack ship I built on my desk at home. My original He-Man is here at my office next to my Classics version!
2. What’s your favorite collectible now, and where do you display it?
The MOTU Classics line is beyond a dream come true to work on. I not only grew up with the original MOTU line, but was a huge collector of the 2002 series. To get to work on a new MOTU line and develop Mattel’s own IP is just fantastic. My current collection takes up two shelves in my office (one for good guys, one for bad).
On the licensed side, my JLU Blackhawk figure is right next to my computer. That was the figure I wanted the most for years (before coming to Mattel) and when I started working on the DC lines it was the one I fought personally to get into the line. I am also lucky to have the prototype Peter figure from Ghostbusters we showed at SDCC on display with my other GB figures on my shelf at work!
3. When you were growing up, did you know you wanted to work in the toy business? How did you end up here?
I was always a toy guy all the way into college and beyond. I got started at Mattel by having a professional resume (I worked in medical advertising for four years) and a professional portfolio, which caught the attention of the Hot Wheels group when I submitted it for the 100th time. My first job at Mattel was working for Hot Wheels naming the basic cars. I even got to name an original Larry Wood design!
Eventually I transitioned over to the Action Play group and helped work on the DC and MattyCollector.com brands where my heart really was!
4. Of the toys you’ve had a hand in creating, of which are you most proud and why?
MOTU Classics simply because it is the MOTU line I personally always wanted. Getting to include characters as diverse as He-Ro, Adora and Optikk all in scale to each other is incredible and the way it should be!
I’m also really proud to have kept JLU going past the Grodd six-pack. Even before coming to Mattel I was a huge JLU fan and getting to keep the line going was a personal goal I fought hard for.
5. If you were to make only one more toy, and were limited only by your own imagination, what would it be?
I’d do an in-scale combo Castle Grayskull/Eternia/Snake Mountain playset in the Classics style with Point Dread and other vehicle attachments. (A fan can dream!)
In our next installment of Ask Matty, we’ll get answers to some of the questions from the Toy Fair announcements. If you’ve got a question you’d like answered, leave a comment here.
Here’s the other Ask Mattel Q&As from around the web (to be updated as they surface):