Ask Mattel January 17th 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 & More. Check out the January Q&A session sorted out by catagory!

DC Comics

Q. Will you be revealing any new Club Infinite Earths figures before Toy Fair? And will the Club Infinite Earths figures and subscription be promoted heavily at future shows?
A. No, we will not have any reveals until NYTF at this point.

Q. Would you consider making a Commissioner Gordon with Batsignal and roof top base, (you could repurpose one of the YJ bases you already have) as one of the oversized figures in the DC sub?
A. That is a very cool idea but nothing set at the moment. Stay tuned!

Q Is there a set date for the price drop of the Young Justice line? If so, when is it?
A. No, there is no price drop currently planned for YJ.

Q. The new Red Robin shown for Wave 2 of DC All-Stars is pretty beefy. Can you tell us which version he is according to the bio? Who is supposed to be under the cowl.
A. From Bill Benecke in design: “This figure is indeed intended to be the pre- New 52 Red Robin, and is definitely Tim Drake… not the Dick Grayson Red Robin from “Kingdom Come”.

Q. Do you plan to offer any DCUC multi-packs on Mattycollector.com in 2012?
A. Nothing to announce quite yet but stay tuned for more announcements later this year!

Q. A debate arose when the subject of Sgt. Rock came up on online message boards. There is a contingent of DCUC fans who want the line focused strictly on capes and tights. There are other fans who point to over 400 issues of Sgt. Rock and Easy Company, Rock and Easy were key players in Crisis on Infinite Earths, fought in Europe while the JSA was sidelined by Hitler’s Spear of Destiny, and more recently talents like Billy Tucci, Bruce Timm (in JLU) and Brian Azzarello have produced Sgt. Rock stories because of their love for the works of Robert Kanigher, Joe Kubert, and Russ Heath. Given Rock’s iconic status, and that there’s only 4 key members of Easy Company that always appear with Rock and survive every battle (Wildman, Bulldozer, Ice Cream Soldier, Little Sure Shot)… Do you think something along the lines of a Sgt. Rock and Easy Company 5-pack would sell to DCUC fans or would it pegwarm?
A. Sgt Rock would be a great character to add and one that has come up around the office. Nothing to announce yet but we are big fans of him and Easy Company.

Q. In an answer you provided to another site in the previous “Ask Matty” (in regards to using MOTUC body parts for a DCUC figure), you said, “The MOTUC body part bucks are proprietary to the brand and will not be used for other lines.” Given that Mattel has used generic animals (like the Eagle for the Wonder Twins) across lines, is the buck used for MOTUC’s Swiftwind “generic” enough so that a Winged Victory horse (with Shining Knight) could be on the table for the DCUC subscription?
A. Yes, we could potentially use the slightly retool’d Horse or monkey bucks from MOTUC in other lines, just not the actual figure/body bucks at this time.

Q. The first wave of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends has 4 modern versions of A-listers (Captain America, Thor, Ghost Rider, and Iron Man); an X-Men team builder, two C-list villains in classic form (Klaw and Constrictor), and a long-requested classic build-a-figure (Terrax). Legends Wave 2 will have at least 2 cool variants in the same wave (Madame Masque/Madame Hydra and Piledriver/Thunderball from the Wrecking Crew) and an unmasked Daken variant. Will the success or lack there of of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends relaunch influence your strategy or character selection in the DCU All-Stars line?
A. We are always looking into competitive lines as a review to see what else is in market and what fans like and don’t like in their figures!

Q. There seems to be a real passion for Jack Kirby characters at Mattel (the Demon, OMAC, the New Gods, Kamandi, etc.). But there is one Kirby-created team that has an important place in DC history, one that recently guest-starred in the animated Brave and the Bold series. This group inspired and pre-dated the Fantastic Four by several years, and are the Challengers of the Unknown. We at criticalmess.net have debated whether Ace Morgan, Red Ryan, Rocky Davis, and Professor Haley needed different bucks or if they could share one buck of a purple jumpsuit with trademark hourglass emblem as they appeared on the Kirby Who’s Who page and say, 4 interchangeable heads (fans would have to buy 4 of the same figures to complete the team). Regardless, do you think the Kirby-created Challengers of the Unknown have enough juice to be a possibility at some point down the road, or are their looks a bit too plain and they aren’t “superhero enough” to sell in sufficient quantities?
A. Like the Easy Company question, the Challengers are also a great group to get to that we hope to hit in time.

Q. DC Comics seems to have left Wally West behind in the modern New 52 universe– does his absence in the modern DC Comics world impact his chances of being included in DC toy lines?
A. Not in the least. We are excited to get to him one day in his classic look!

Q. Will there be a push to include more figures in the launch wave of the Dark Knight Rises Movie Masters series? The small variety of figures in launch waves seemed to affect the availability of later waves with past Green Lantern and Dark Knight Movie Masters…
A. Yes, we are indeed looking at having more figures available at launch for our DKR collector lines.

Q. Thus far in the Young Justice 6″ line, every figure has been a unique character, although the recent Superboy is in his episode-specific white suit instead of standard t-shirt and jeans. Does the trend of releasing unique characters in this line versus variants suggest a standard shirt and jeans Superboy will be moved to the back burner to make way for more new characters, or does his main character status keep his standard look on a short list for potential re-release?
A. The YJ line will continue to be a combination of all new figured and variants of the main cast!

Masters of the Universe

Q. Will there ever be a chance of getting Panthor re issued with either flocking or the same textured paint used on the DCUC 2 pack Balack Manta? (The flocking has been proven to be possible by customizers so even with the all the articulation of the figure it should be manageable, although I feel the textured paint would work better.)
A. Always a possibility but nothing is planned right now.

Q. Just curious if there were any designers who sent in entries to the CACC you would consider working in your MOTU design department?
A. Their were many talented designers’ and anyone is welcome to apply anytime to open positions on Mattel.com!

Q. It’s been pointed out several time about the lack of muscle tone in the female figures. Time & time again you’ve stated that this issue is being looked into. It’s been 5 years now with the same sub-par female body. You are able to keep the muscle definition on female MOTU figures. When will this be fixed already?
A. This is always something we are looking into but nothing to confirm right now!

Q. Will there be a public vote on the Created A Character Contest to help Mattel in their decision and will there be a place where we can see all the submissions?
A. No, the vote will be done by members of the MOTUC team at Mattel. It is not open to the public as the vintage contest vote was.

Q. The first vehicle in the MOTUC line appeared to have a misprint on the shipper box, labelling it as a different vehicle… was this a typo/ miscommunication over a production note, or an easter egg to fans?
A. Names found on shipper boxes are there for legal reasons. They are not intended as an Easter Egg or to have any other hidden meaning.

Q. Can you give us a status update on the success of the Wind Raider? We know you have (unfortunately) said that there will not be another vehicle in 2012, but was the WR successful enough to continue on with more vehicles?
A. The Windraider did “okay”. While we didn’t need to quite see the sell out Battlecat had in his first release, his fast sell out did help justify keeping the large scale beast assortment going. At this time, due the extremly high tooling and “one use” of any vehicle tool (i.e. no shared parts) we aren’t locked into more vehicles for the 2012. As we gear up for 2013 we will look into whether a vehicle will work based on how the Windraider performed.

Q. The thigh piece for the female buck first seen on Battleground Teela is apparently being reused on two of the Star Sisters. This piece lacks the very important upper thigh POA that is really integral for posing, balancing, and allowing female figures to “ride” the various critters of MOTUC. It is also particularly important, if I may say, when one wants their female figures to stand a bit more demurely than the average action figure). Is the use of this solid thigh piece going to be limited (or better yet, eliminated), or are we on the road to permanently losing this POA from the female buck?
A. This is something decided on by the Horsemen and design on a figure by figure basis. There is no specific “rule.”



WWE

Q. So far the latest series of Defining Moments figures (the series with Bret Hart) has been really difficult to spot at retail. Have all of the figures shipped to retail yet or can we expect them to show up in better numbers. Bret is still going for a very inflated price on ebay and a certain online site.
A. Figures are continuing to ship.

Q. Have you considered using a simple paint application for compression wraps and the like instead? I would venture to guess that most collectors (and children, also) would vastly prefer the greater mobility that would accompany a smaller kneepad over a partially-painted leg rather than the huge, thick kneepad that basically obscures most knee movement. In addition to allowing greater playability, this would also actually look far more accurate. Please keep in mind that the over-large kneepad is extremely limiting for posing and looks inaccurate on many wrestlers.
A. Yes we have looked into this option and we continue to listen to fan input to always improve figures!



Ghostbusters

Q. When the 2012 Club Ecto-1 Subscription was cancelled, you said you were working on a “Special Thank You” for those of us that purchased the sub. Any word on what that thank you is, or when we may know something?
A. TWe hope to have something to announce at NYTF in Feb.



Toy Story

Q. I’ve seen so many toy sets based on the first Toy Story Toon, Hawaiian Vacation. Will Mattel be doing any sets based on “Small Fry,” which was attached to The Muppets? It did introduce a great variety of new smaller toy characters.
A. This is something we are looking into but nothing to announce right now!



Voltron

Q. There have not be very many updates regarding all of the Mattel Voltron offerings in 2012 as of late. We know the first sub figures will be shipping in February, but do you have any general updates you can provide regarding the line as a whole?
A. No, there are no further updates right now beyond the first figure and lion set moving to Feb on sale.

Q. The SDCC exclusive Blazing sword Voltron is awesome and greatly underrated, any chance of making a Vehicle Voltron?
A. There are no plans at this time but keep those requests coming!





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