In the second installment of our coverage of the Mattel Collector Preview Night, I’m biting off the second big chunk with Masters of the Universe Classics.
If there’s any question about the strength of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics line, I think tonight’s reveals should unequivocally address it. With MOTUC product hitting mass market retail and some new items on a pretty grand scale, the line has never been stronger. Let’s jump right in!
Single Carded Figures
MOTUC’s bread and butter, the monthly single-carded releases, will continue, and the “bonus” figures are getting a bit of a marketing touch-up. These are now being called the “quarterly figures,” although their function will largely remain the same. They’ll act as buffer figures in case anything in the regular Club Eternia figures should slip. And they’ll be updates against the big hitters in the line. The good news in the name change is that the bonus figures to date have all performed well, so Mattel has confidence to continue this long-term. And, in case you’re wondering, Mattel is still working out how to include the quarterly figures in the Club Eternia subscription.
In this set, Keldor is one of the quarterly figures. He’s a refresh of Skeletor, like Battle Armor He-man was a bonus refresh of He-Man. I’m particularly psyched to get Keldor because a couple of years back I stood in the wrong Mattel line at San Diego Comic-Con and ended up with multiple Batman figures instead of a 200X Keldor.
I wish I got more pictures of Count Marzo – he’s a great looking figure, but I was too busy ogling Whiplash to realize I didn’t get enough of Marzo. Whiplash will include both his classic head and a 200X-styled head – this is a great choice for me because I always liked the newer styled head, and this way you can be a fan of either and be happy. Likewise with She-Ra, you’ll have you choice of head gear, and the mask works pointed either way. I can’t remember the order after Moss-Man, Evil-Lyn, and Optikk – I was in sensory overload when Toy Guru listed the lineup both times he did it right in front of me. Someone out there knows it – all I know is I’m getting them all.
Much like the bonus figures are going to be coming quarterly (hence the name change), the oversized figures that start with Battle Cat this month will also be planned as quarterly releases. Mattel today revealed two upcoming oversized figures – Tytus and Gygor. Both of these characters were stranded on the drawing board a long time ago, but MOTUC is breathing new life into them. Price is going to vary on these – while Battle Cat and Gygor are planned at $30, Tytus, who’s significantly bigger, is planned at $40.
Tytus is the next one in the pipeline, and he’ll be a rotocast figure. As such, he’s got fewer points of articulation than the standard MOTUC figures, but I don’t think people will mind. His arms lack bicep swivels, and the shoulders have the same movement as regular ball jointed shoulders, but just not as much range. His crotch is a t-swivel vs. ball-jointed.
I believe Gygor is injection-molded, not rotocast. Some people have wondered if he reuses Gorilla Grodd parts, and the answer is no. Gygor is completely new tooling. I’m a sucker for giant apes, so I’m looking forward to Gygor.
DC Universe Classics 2-Packs (Toys R Us Exclusives)
I debated with myself if I should include this in the DC Universe Classics update or if it belongs here. But it’s clear – it belongs in the Masters of the Universe Classics update because what this represents is a return of the Masters brand to mass market retail. These 2-packs featuring He-Man / Superman and Skeletor / Lex Luthor will feature comics from the DC / Masters crossover. Toy Guru says that there were only two of those comics, but that another series exists, just without Superman.
He-Man and Skeletor are colored accurately to the comic source, so that may spur current MOTUC collectors to pick them up as other variants. I’d be tempted severely if only the Superman released in the set would have a lighter blue, but alas, what you see is what you get. Still, I hope these do well at retail, so we can see more MOTUC figures at mass market.
Never let it be said that Mattel doesn’t listen to fan requests. Every MOTUC panel I’ve ever been to has yielded a question about accessory packs, and Mattel has answered. Personally, one of the things I like about the line is that figures come with great accessories – so to be honest this product is probably not for me. However, as folks milled around the MOTUC displays, I heard several comments about how certain items were made more accurate or “fixed,” like Stratos’s gear, for example.
Mo-Larr the Eternian Dentist 2-Pack (San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive)
So the story goes that the guys on the MOTUC team are fans of Robot Chicken, and the guys on the Robot Chicken team are fans of MOTUC. Toy Guru and his posse, and Seth Green and his entourage, were sitting down together at San Diego Comic-Con two years ago, and the Mo-Larr the Eternian Dentist bit comes up. Someone jokes, we should totally do that. Someone else says, no, we can’t do that. And someone else says, wait, can we do that?
The 2-pack will include Mo-Larr and Skeletor. Skeletor will have a missing tooth, as he appears in the skit. And Mo-Larr’s accessories are direct from the product announcement at the end of the skit.
This will be one of two MOTUC exclusives for San Diego Comic-Con this year. I believe Toy Guru said that Mattel will announce the second exclusive in April.
Still have no idea what this exclusive is all about? Here’s the Mo-Larr skit from Robot Chicken:
Alright, that wraps up our MOTUC update! If you made it this far, thanks for sticking it out. I should have some more reports from Toy Fair tomorrow morning, and will pick up the remaining Mattel updates through the rest of the week.
11 thoughts on “Toy Fair 2010 – Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Update”
Superb write-up w/ pics. Very well done and I can’t wait for this stuff to get out!
Love the article and even moreso the pics! Can’t say I’m all that excited about a rotocast Tytus, with less articulation than you’d get with a C n C figure (oddly enough), but if it makes the doing of business easier for Mattel, and thusly ensures even more awesome MOTU figures, I suppose sacrifices must sometimes be made for the greater good.
BTW, that Gygor sculpt is sick!! Who doesn’t love screaming multi-colored apes, right?
Forgot to mention my comments regarding the homage’ to an homage’; Skeletor goes to the dentist. IMHO this is not a good idea. I’m sure there is a small niche’ of MOTU fans that will clamour for this set, but I’m definitely not one of them. And what a waste of more MOTU product! Couldn’t this have been saved for someone’s fan project kit bash dream come true, and not something Mattel is actually going to produce? Sorry, just not feeling this one *at all*.
Whiplash – wasted release IMO. I got a 200X fig last year, probably against my better judgement. But who can actually for these things to actually come out..IN THE NEXT 6 YEARS! It’ll probably 2014 before we see them really starting getting to the meat of the line and releasing more Hordesmen. Just look at DCUC and how Martian Manhunter was handled. They are keeping figure back to stretch things out as much as possible. This transcends Olympics and presidential administrations! Almost unheard of in modern toy collecting. In some ways, its good because it makes the line last longer than the traditional brick and mortar ones that Mattel usually gave up on in the past or the ones Hasbro has been doing.
Gygor – Might get this guy but the whole “Planet of the Apes” vibe has me kind of leaning towards not buying him. We need a savage monster in MOTU and Gygor more than fits the bill. I just don’t wanna have buyers remorse and start making fun of him afterwards and thinking “what was I smoking” before buying him.
Marzo – easy pass. I never was one for powerful muscular Asian villains with funny mustaches like the Mandarin. and Marzo easily fits this stereotype, just like Steppenwolf.
Keldor – another pass. Not a big fan of the character as a figure, but I might look into Demo-Man, if they ever get around to doing him.
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