Ask Mattel 3/15/2013: Concept Vs. Reality On Castle Grayskull & More

By bill - March 15, 2013

MattelIt’s a long road from concept to reality for any toy line, and Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics are obviously no exception. This month, Mattel talks frankly about the ever-evolving Castle Grayskull, how figure tooling dollars need to be balanced and more.

Kastor’s Korner: At Toy Fair, it was said that the Four Horsemen had a team crank out the castle in less than two weeks. I am not trying to spin anything, but as a buyer, seeing as how I spend $500 on two castles sight unseen and taking a leap of faith in a company that has given us what can be labeled questionable QC, I would much prefer not to hear that the castle was a “rush job”. Given the outcry on the height, drawbridge, and Wind Raider stand, etc, couldn’t have the castle and its unique situation been a more collaborative effort between the maker and the buyers? I prefer the castle being done RIGHT before it being done quickly.

Mattel: The Horsemen did not change the height of the Castle nor did the sculpting time have anything to do with how big or small it was. Mattel design and engineering determined the specs based on ever changing costs factors and provided them to the Horsemen based on the cost of the Castle at a retail price of 250.00. If in any way you are unhappy with the product (which 100% will continue to evolve and change ) you may cancel anytime through Aug 30th.  Ideally a close to final product will be shown at SDCC.

Kastor’s Korner: Instead of saving tooling dollars because we need 12 monthly $25 SKUs of MOTUC characters with shared tooling that might not be well-received (like Trap Jaw’s legs used ad nauseum for New Adventures characters), why can’t we get, say, 6 $25 MOTUC characters with shared tooling (example: Ninjor) and say, 6 $30 figures that need all-new tooling (example: Extendar, Blast-Attak)? That 100% tooled Mantenna we saw is worth paying $30 and I would hate to see Mantenna’s legs on Modulok just for the sake of “budget”. I would gladly pay more if the unique tooling was there.

Mattel: Keep the price flat across all 12 figures is something we need to do right now. A cool suggestion but not something we can activate on.

Kastor’s Korner: Could Design change Castaspella’s orange color to shiny gold? On the Filmation series, her collar and belt matches Bow’s armor and She-Ra’s tiara, so it would translate to those pieces being gold, just like the vintage toy. If design could make the orange on her belt, color, and spell wheel to gold instead, I would be very happy. While it’s personal preference, it’s also accurate to the source material

Mattel: At this time we won’t be able to make this change. The figure is too far along in production.

Kastor’s Korner: Regarding the revealed package protectors, wouldn’t fans would then have to dump their white boxes, which are in fact easier to store their collection. I genuinely like the idea of them, but then what about the protectors for beasts, giants, and irregular packaging like the Con Exclusives?

Mattel: The protectors just offer yet another option for display. No plans for protectors for larger items yet, we need to see how these do first.

Kastor’s Korner: Flying and floating characters NEED flight stands. It’s essential for Shokoti’s darkling, as well as characters like Kowl, Imp, Dre-Elle, and Uncle Montork when they are produced. If it can’t be budgeted, would Design be able to at least add the hole or port to the Darkling so we have the option to use Orko’s and the Doomseeker’s flight stand instead, until flight stands are added to a future weapons pack?

Mattel: I’ll pass this suggestion along, but usually these things have to be done at the sculpt stage with the Horsemen. By the time we get the sculpts, these choices have already been made.

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