Ask Mattel December 15th Edition (WWE, DC Universe, Masters of the Universe & More)

Twice a month, Mattel is kind enough to answer questions around the web on its lines, including WWE, DC, Masters of the Universe, & Ghostbusters. Check out the December Q&A session sorted out by catagory!



DC COMICS

Q: Since we can not ask questions in regards to unreleased figures maybe you can answer this one: do you think it is fair for collectors to be buying figures from sites like ebay for thousands of dollars, when it would be easier to just come out with an announcement? I bring up the point of Guy Gardner, Micron, Vandal Savage, Aquagirl for the JLU line, these figures are coming on Ebay and instead of announcing release dates you are allowing people to spend hundreds of dollars. can you finally make the announcement on these figures as to when an announcement will be made? You already cancelled the line and crush several of your core customers through us a bone here and just announce if they are coming out or not!
A: At this time there are just not enough JLU fans/customers to keep the line going. We tried lots of different combinations from single figures to 7 packs and not one of the JLU items sold well enough to continue JLU. (the 7 pack sold just as well as Parademons and Doom Patrol, none of which was even half of the min we needed to sell) From these sales, it is clear the customer base just is not large enough (despite being very passionate!) to continue the line. One thing we are looking into is considering running the final six tool’d 3 packs at the very small quota we are actually selling through on each previous JLU item (before sales or clearance pricing). If we did this, it would mean selling these packs (without changes to character line up) for around $50.00 each. If this is something fans would be interested in, please let us know. (the lower the production run, the higher the cost, this is why). We are just not sure if fans would be willing to pay this premium price for what is in some packs, only one new

Q: Will 2013 be the year of a return to a 3 3/4 scale for DC? It seems like ages ago that Infinite Heroes went away, with the promise that perhaps something better was on the horizon.
A: We are still in the midst of 2012 reveals… you’ll have to wait and see what we have in store for 2013.

Q: We’re getting our first look at the Dark Knight Rises later this month in the form of the 6 min Imax trailer. When will we get our first look at the toy line? And will it be in the same format as GL and TDK with 4″ figures and 6″ Movie Masters figures?
A: You will see some information released starting with NY Toy Fair. There’ll be Movie Masters in 6″ and 3.75″ regular figures.

Q: Is Wonder Woman released with the current All Star wave? She is listed as figure 3 yet there is NO sign of her to be found? What happened with her? We DO need more Wonder Woman figures to spend our money on you know? A yellow re deco =W= would be GREAT!! Hook us up! Thanks!
A: You’ll have to wait and see as we announce the rest of the line up. Know though that there are some females planned for 2012 at retail.

Q: Why decide to make Atrocitus the same height as Superman (and Hal Jordan) when Mattel is supposed to have a bunch of different parts that could be reused to make him a bit taller? He doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, the same size as Despero…or Superman. Why not use the Public Enemies buck or whatever buck was used for Ares to make him the right size? You said you weren’t going to cut corners with the subscription, so please don’t.
A: We have explored using elements of the Public Enemies buck. We are continuing to look into this. In any case, know that we will work to deliver a great figure.

Q: Is the DC Action League line dead? Every one of the Target, Walmart and TRU stores in my area have stopped carrying the line completely.
A: The Action League line is continuing in 2012.

Q: Has Mattel ever considered creating an all encompassing animated retail line that incorporates all of their animated properties? For example, you could have a wave that features the following figures in the style of their respective shows: Hal Jordan (GL TAS), Killowog (GL TAS), Artemis (YJ), Miss Martian (YJ), Mongul (JLU)? Then when a movie like Crisis on Two Earths comes along that people really want figures from you could slot them into this all encompassing animated line. It provides something for everyone but also keeps different and fresh offerings on the pegs so we don’t see peg warmers like the current Young Justice line is producing.
A: That’s an interesting idea. There is nothing like this planned for 2012, but it is always a possibility for the future.

Q: Will we see a Movie Masters line for the Tim Burton Batman films in the near future?
A: There are no plans for now, but it’s a good idea that we’ll consider.

Q: Wow, that Legion 12-pack sold really well! And quickly! I know that you’ve barely planned 2012, and 2013 is a long way off your radar, but if you’re considering another 12-pack, would you help fill out all of our DCUC teams with a “Women of the DC Universe” 12-pack? In one fell swoop, you could give us Elasti-Girl (Doom Patrol); Platinum (Metal Men); Ice and Fire (JLI); Hawkgirl II (Kendra) (JLA/Modern JSA); Vixen (JLA); Huntress (JLA/Birds Of Prey); Phantom Lady (JSA/Freedom Fighters); Mera (JLA/Aquaman); Jade (Infinity Inc/JLA); Batwoman (Batman Inc) & Dr Light II (JLI), for example. Would you consider diversifying many teams at once with this approach? DC’s line of busts have already featured 7 of these characters, so there’s more than enough appeal for Kendra/Mera/Phantom Lady/Vixen/Batwoman/Huntress/Jade in your audience! Thanks!
A: Yes, it was clear that the fans loved the Legion of Super Heroes pack by how quickly it sold out! As for another 12-pack, that is unlikely. Although we had a great sell through, it was a HUGE amount of work for one item and it is difficult to allocate that many resources to a small run item going forward.

Q: Simple question: when can we see the DC Universe subscription Poison Ivy figure?
A: Be on the lookout for more DC Universe Club Infinite Earths reveals after the holidays!

Q: With Space Ghost having been featured in a Batman Brave and the Bold episode, does this mean that there are no licensing restrictions preventing him from inclusion in the as yet un-namend rebranded 6 inch line?
A: The 6″ line has been branded “DC Universe All-Stars”. Unfortunately though Space Ghost is not currently part of the Mattel contract despite appearing in B&TB

Q: Are any of the figures (particularly DOOMSDAY) featured in the Reign of the Supermen series listed at online retailers new sculpts or are they all plain reissues (hopefully not)?
A: There will be no “Reign of the Superman” wave or series. This information is not correct and was not anmounced by Mattel.

Q: DC Editorial and the new 52 have moved away from some popular 90s characters—especially some from the Grant Morrison JLA era – like Aztek, Connor Hawke, Zauriel, Wally West Flash, not to mention 90s guys like Hitman, Shade, etc. Do you think we might see any 90s fan favorites in the DC Universe All-Stars retail line in 2012?
A: It’s always a possibility!

Q: In 2012, can DC Universe fans expect a 6″ figure that would require all-new tooling in either the retail line or the sub?
A: You’ll have to wait and see as we announce the rest of the line up.

Q: Are Monsieur Mallah and the Brain more likely to be seen in the DC Universe All-Stars line or in the sub?
A: If we create Monsieur Mallah and/or Brain figures, they would most likely be in the DC Universe Club Infinite Earths line.

Q: If we get an oversized Elasti-Girl in the sub at some point, can you confirm that her costume will be consistent with the style/era of her Doom Patrol teammates, classic Negative Man and classic Robotman? Essentially her red and white mini-dress with light purple boots?
A: Absolutely! If we were to create an Elasti-Girl figure, we’d do so so that she would complete the Doom Patrol team.

Q: Some characters only really “work” as a two-pack… Johnny Thunder and his Thunderbolt for example; and the Metal Man Tin is probably too small and puny to be sold as a single figure and seems more reasonably packed in with Platinum or Dr. Will Magnus. Are those sorts of “two-packs” possible in the Infinite Earths sub?
A: Definitely a possibility!

Q: Will there be any props similar to the Ghostbusters trap for the DC Universe, or are those rights tied up by other companies?
A: We can definitely explore props for DC Universe. This would be a great execution for Mattycollector.com. So be on the lookout there for any announcements about future prop replicas!

Q: Is there an estimated in-store date for the Flashpoint wave of Action League figures?
A: The Flashpoint-themed mix is scheduled to hit shelves around February 2012.

Q: Is Mattel able to make Young Justice or YJ styled figures based on characters that haven’t appeared in the show (although there’s certainly enough actual appearances to choose from)?
A: Although this could be a possibility, our focus has been on characters that have appeared in the animated series.

Q: With Wildstorm characters in the “mainstream” DCU right now, and Milestone characters appearing in Young Justice, are both available for Mattel action figures?
A: Yes, these characters are available for Mattel action figures, however we don’t have anything specific to announce at this time.

Q: To support Dark Knight Rises and Batman Arkham City you created a Batman Legacy line which have true classic style characters like Joker, Silver Age Batman and Batgirl, upcoming First Appearance and Silver Age Catwoman…will we see that type of line treatment to support Superman: Man of Seel? A Flesicher Studios, Silver Age, FA Superman, Brainiac would be a nice addition to anyone´s collection
A: It’s a good idea. We haven’t fleshed out what we are doing for Superman quite yet, but we’ll take this under consideration.

Q: Why is it that you guys can Mold chest logos (Ex. Superman and Batman’s) on the DCUC line ? Your Arkham City Robin is great, yet the only thing it’s lacking is a ab/ Torso joint, why not give him a torso joint?
A: The chest armor is signature to the look of the Arkham City Robin design, and the shapes would get lost if we included the ab crunch joint. The joint was deleted in favor of maintaining the right look.

Q: Can we get a DC Warlord done in MOTU style? A DC vs MOTU two pack would be awesome!
A: No. The MOTUC body part bucks are proprietary to the brand and will not be used for other lines (with the exception of things like the Eagle or other generic animals like we did for the Wonder Twins). If we did a Warlord figure he would use DCU parts, not MOTU parts.



MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE

Q: Rather than stringing them out into two quarterly variant slots, has Mattel given any thought to taking characters who are a bit of a tough sell on their own and packing them together in a 2-pack? Like intead of Battle Armor He-Man and Skeletor being two releases, making them one?
A: This is something we have thought about and you may see it down the road. Nothing locked in right now

Q: You guys have mentioned that you have a pretty good roadmap of where things are and were in Eternia in the MOTU saga. We’ve been reading the bios and piecing it together, but do you think there will ever be a time when you can reveal the MOTU bible of sorts? Like either on the website or perhaps in some sort of special book. Just so we can all read the story without having to try to infer between the gaps and hunt down the obscure details.
A: Yes, we do hope one day we can get to something like this. And by the end of 2012, there should be enough info out there that the bios will start to fill out and the timeline will be much clearer. The mini comic will also help a ton in clearing up some time line questions!

Q: Taking it account the vintage-inspired Snout Spout’s one-day sellout, has Mattel given any thought to a “Battleground” type release that incorporates more modern, but classicized elements like the tusk anatomy for the head, the hooves, or even a handful of armored/techno body parts that would be more complimentary to his current head sculpt?
A: No. While we will include some Classic-sized version of 200X armor and weapons we won’t be doing 200X versions of figure’s heads or bodies. All the looks for MOTUC will be based on the Classic look which is a modern update on the vintage design.

Q: Speaking of cybernetics, is a new basic buck that features a slightly more armored/techno look possible? It would’ve greatly improved figures like Snout Spout and the upcoming Snake MAA, but would adding armored/technical bits to the basic buck skew to close to hyper-anime detail?
A: If a figure calls for more parts with tech on them we certainly could do it. We tend to leave these type of choices up to the Four Horsemen.

Q: Many fans have expressed concern that the more foam-like parts on certain figures, such as Snout Spout’s trunk, will rot or decay over time more quickly than the more traditional thicker rubber used for bendy parts would. Did Mattel do any tests to determine this foamlike material’s long-term durability compared to other types of plastic?
A: All of our figures, no matter what the material, go through extensive internal simulated aging and humidity testing. If product does not pass, we do not ship it.

Q: Some time ago, it was reported that the 200X Skeletor swords would be making an appearance in the MOTUC line, but we haven’t heard anything about them lately. Are they still planned? Can you give us an indication of where they might appear (i.e. packed in with a Skeletor variant, in a weapons pack, etc.) and when?
A: They are still planned for 2012 but we are not ready to announce how they are coming yet. Stay tuned!

Q: For Scott and 4Horsemen: Do you have a favourite Filmation-weapon that you would like to see in MOTUC-line?
A: From Toyguru: “I’d love to do the Diamond Ray of Disappearance. It was the very first magical object and I think it would be a blast to do that in Classics one day!. The Golden Discs of Knowledge would also be fun!”

Q: Since the TRU MOTU/DC two packs are no more, do you have a way for us to get some of the viable repaints of figures that would have fit into that scheme? Figures like red Beast Man, Green Trap Jaw and peach Stratos would be great figures to get, but not in the sub. How can we get them now?
A: The 2 packs indeed were a great vehicle to get to some of these variants, but so are the quarterly variant slots and you may see some characters originally planned for a TRU 2 pack show up as a figure variant in one of the quarterly slots one day! Stay tuned!

Q: Since both Evil Seed and King Miro have very distinct looks in their FilMation and 200x designs, how will their figures be handled in the Classics line? One over the other? A hybrid? Thanks.
A: Now that we have acquired access to Filmation, the Horsemen have said they will be looking at the total influence of all versions for each figure. So yes, you could see anything from a hybrid to interchangeable parts to even unique variant figures. It all depends on where the line goes. Nothing is set in stone and we try to tackle each figure to be the best he/she or it can be. There is no one rule we follow. It is a figure by figure design.

Q: Since back in the day Fisto was renamed Battle Fist and Flipshot has been renamed Icarius because of copyright, Would the fact that Clawdeen is the name of a character in Monster High doll line affect whether or not you’ll be able to do her in the future and name her Clawdeen or is this all by passed by the fact that Mattel owns both properties?
A: In the case of the 2002 Fisto (vs. Battlefist) or Flipshot (vs. Icarius), that was due to other toy companies having the rights to those names at the time. For Clawdeen, the name is owned by Mattel currently, so even if it is used on another Mattel product line it is clear for us to use if we need for MOTU. This is very similar to how Mattel’s Uno line has a Roboto toy or how Mattel’s RC line had a Tri-Klops toy a few years back.

Q: There have been some reports of leg problems with Swiftwind, can you comment on if this is rather isolated or not?
A: All toys are hand assembled and there will always be some human error. We have looked intot his issue and it is relatively small (in terms of the total production of Swifty) number of units and we are happy to replace any defective product.

Q: Is there any chance we could get a repaint of the 200X-style power sword in bronze in an upcoming Weapons Pak? It would be really cool to stick one with the bronze version of King Grayskull to make it more accurate to the “Powers of Grayskull” MYP episode.
A: We certainly can look into this. Cool suggestion.

Q: It seems that many of the Swiftwind figures are arriving with production errors involving the front legs. Some are correct, but a large portion seem to have either 2 right front legs or 2 left front legs (in case you aren’t familiar with the problem yet, check out this thread at the He-Man.org forums- http://he-man.org/forums/boards/showthread.php?t=217547 ). Back when the King Hsss shoulders error was discovered, we were told that there would be no exchanges for correct product since no correct product existed. In the case of Swift Wind, correct versions are out there so at least some were manufactured correctly. My question is this- Will fans who received incorrectly assembled Swiftwinds be given the opportunity to exchange theirs for ones correctly assembled? And if so, is there any way that a team outside of standard Digital River customer service could be brought in to handle the problem (since DR seems ill-equipped to handle just about any customer service issue)?
A: We are well aware of this issue and yes, fans can exchange and defective product through customer service. Overall it was a VERY small number of Swiftwinds that were affected by this production error.



GHOSTBUSTERS

Q: When the Club Ecto-1 subscription was cancelled in September, a “thank you” was mentioned for subscribers. Is there any news on that front?
A: We’ll be announcing that news shortly.

Q: With the Ghostbuster 6″ line being looked at currently by Mattel to see what offerings can be made for 2012, is it possible that year we can finally see the inclusion of some of the characters from Extreme Ghostbusters? I’d love to see new, better articulated versions of Kylee and the rest of the kids as well as Egon’s new look and maybe a set of the older Ghostbusters from ‘Back in the Saddle’.
A: No plans for Extreme Ghostbusters are planned at this time.

Q: When will we see a painted Dana, aka the Gatemaster?
A: Stay tuned- She’s going to look awesome



WWE

Q: Some wrestlers have recently been deemed unmakable by Mattel for various different reasons. While this edict will likely remain the same on some guys, is there potential for someone who is a “no” now, to become eligible down the line? Originally we were told that there was only like one or two people that WWE didn’t want Mattel to make, but it seems that list has grown exponentially in the last year or so.
A: It’s true there are only a few Legends that WWE does not want us to make, but that’s not the only reason for someone to be ineligible. Some people already have exclusive action figure deals with other toy companies or simply aren’t interested in making a deal with us. People who are in the latter two categories can certainly become eligible in the future if the situation changes.



Credit:
infinitehollywood.com
actionfigureinsider.com
itsalltrue.net
poeghostal.com
thefwoosh.com
criticalmess.net
therumorbuster.com
popculturenetwork.com
elkkthunderstoyroom.com
pendragonspost.com
motucfigures.com

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