Who is this new Toyguru fellow that's heading up the MOTUC line at Mattel?
Let's find out!
Toyguru took a few moments of his time to answer some questions about who he is, his involvement in the line, and how much he loves MOTU!
***Just a reminder that no news about upcoming figures is due for a while.
This is an interview to learn more about Toyguru and his history with MOTU***
1. When and how did you get started at Mattel?
I started working at Mattel in late fall 0f 2005 on the Hot Wheels brand. As a lifelong toy fan and action figure collector and fan of toy lines like MOTU and Justice League I knew Mattel was the place I wanted to be professionally. I was able to get my ad book into the hands of some friends at Mattel who passed it along to the Hot Wheels team who were looking for a new member of their team.
I worked in Hot Wheels for about a year and a half on basic cars and track sets. (I was in charge of naming a lot of the basic cars) One of projects I am most proud of was a toy line called “Modifighters” which was a Hot Wheels action figure line of cars that changed into real life cars like Ferraris and Ford F150s. It was a real thrill to work on this line and together with some very talented folks in the packaging department we created back stories and some Flash Animation origin movies for many of the characters.
The line was a moderate success, but the work I did on that line and my involvement in Comic Con 2006 was noticed by the action play department and I moved over to my one true toy love - action figures - shortly afterwards. Due in part to my encyclopedic knowledge of comic books I was assigned to start work on the DC Universe line.
2. How are you involved with MOTUC and how did it all get started?
Shortly before moving over to the Action Play department I had the opportunity to sit down with the heads of boys toys. Together with a few other die hard MOTU fans, we made a pitch to create a line of highly articulated highly detailed MOTU characters and sell them direct like the Red Line Club or Barbie Collector to adult toy collectors.
Serendipitously, the Four Horsemen showed up at SDCC that year with a prototype figure of He-Man that was essentially the type of collector item we wanted to develop. Having that visual was a huge help in our internal presentations.
After putting together a financial plan and using some prototype figures and packaging we were given the green light to develop not just the toy line but the whole MattyCollector.com project with MOTU Classics as the flagship line.
The rest as they say is history!
3. Have you always been a fan of MOTU?
Absolutely! I collected the original line almost to completion (although I never got a few of the later Snake Men figures) and used to steal one of my sister’s She-Ra to join in on many Eternian battles in our basement (hey, she had two of them!)
I wasn’t as much a fan of the New Adventures line as I was out growing toys for a bit when it came out (hey, we all discover dating at some point!) But I got back into collecting toys at the end of high school and college and was a huge fan of the 2002 series. I remember being a bit upset that I was only able to get one She-Ra at Comic Con. (which is one of the reasons I helped eliminate the ticket-to-buy program Mattel used to do. Everyone at the convention should be able to get at least two of the exclusives in my book!)
4. How old were you when you got your first MOTU toy?
For either my 4th or 5th birthday I was very very sick and my parents had to cancel my party. But as a pick-me-up they bought me Castle Grayskull, Man-At-Arms, He-Man, Skeletor and Stratos form the 1983 line. These things were incredible and I used to drag the castle with me everywhere!
5. What are your favorite MOTU, POP or NA characters and why?
Stratos was a huge early favorite of mine since he was one of the first figures I was given. There was just something so cool about a flying monkey man. Action figures are so much better when they can fly around and dive bomb the bad guys!
I was also a huge fan of Beastman and Zodac- mainly because I never had them but my best friend Shawn did. Every time I went over his house I wanted to play with the figures I didn’t have at home. So when we divided up our Masters figures for “play time” I always drafted those two onto my team.
As the line grew, I was also a huge fan of Spikor, Webstor, Buzz Off and all of the Horde figures.
6. Do you have any fond childhood memories about MOTU?
Aside from getting the Castle and the first few figures when I was very sick (they cheered me up) I also fondly remember the Talon Fighter and remembering how cool it was that Point Dread attached to the top of Grayskull. I was much more into the flying vehicles then Battle Cat.
I also was a huge fan of the Slime Pit until my little sister poured the slime on my carpet staining it and my parents took the toy away. (to this day they still blame me for the spill, but I swear it wasn’t me!)
7. What have you enjoyed most so far about working on the MOTUC line?
Where to start! I guess the absolute best part is helping to pick which figures come out first. I had a great time digging through the Mattel archives, re-reading every mini-comic, record book and toy package I could get my hands on. There was also a lot of early prelim art and story line concepts I was able to dig up which we incorporated into the MOTUC line.
8. How is it working with the Four Horsemen?
As Brand Manager for the DCUC line, I’ve already had a great relationship with the Horsemen, but doing Masters with them has really blown everything else away. Like myself, they are huge MOTU fans, and because Mattel owns Masters, we have a lot more creative freedom.
The Horsemen have proposed some really amazing concepts and because of their familiarity with the DCUC line, they find some great ways to incorporate similar tools and techniques into both lines. Working with people who are such die hard fans of the property makes it so much more rewarding.
9. What do you think of the fan feedback thus far about the MOTUC line?
It has been fantastic. When you set out to do a line fans have been asking for for many years, you expect a lot of people to get on board, but the sheer support from around the world has really blown us away. We knew there was a large fan base, but to get standing room only crowds at Comic Con for a line that is 6 months out from being on market was a huge compliment to all the hard working designers, engineers, writers, and marketing members who are working on the line.
10. What are your hopes for the MOTUC line?
I hope that with enough fan support we can get to every character from the vintage lines and all of the major MIA characters (like Queen Marlena) who have needed figures for 20+ years.
It would obviously also be great if we can get to vehicles and playsets. But again, all of this depends on how much support the line gets. But you can bet, if fans want it and we can meet our costs, Mattel will be extremely committed to the adult collector market and the fans of MOTU Classics for years to come!