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Thread: 4 Horsemen Interview from Figures.com

  1. #1
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    4 Horsemen Interview from Figures.com

    And there's MOTU stuff in it...

    http://www.figures.com/forums/news/9...-horsemen.html

    The modern toy masters speak out...

    There is no doubt that 2010 will be an exciting year for Masters of the Universe, DC Universe Classics and Ghostbusters collectors. In celebration of the new year, we bring you our exclusive interview with the modern toy masters behind these great toy lines, The Four Horsemen. We would like to thank Chris, Jim, Eric and Cornboy for taking the time out of their incredibly busy work schedule to participate in this interview.

    When it comes down to producing an action figure prototype, how are the duties split between you guys? Who is responsible for creating the concept art, sculpting, tooling and painting the 2-ups?

    Eric (Treadaway): The way things are normally split up is that Chris and I do the sculpting, while Jim and Cornboy handle the fabrication. When the need arises, Chris and I can do some of the necessary fabrication and Jim and Cornboy can do some of the sculpting, but it's not all that often that things pan out that way.

    Chris (Dahlberg): Eric and CB usually handle any concept art that needs to be done. Jim lays down the base colors for the paint-masters and Eric does the finishing work on those. The tooling pattern and paint-master castings are handled by our infamous fifth Horseman Shane (Dittsworth) and a mysterious, ethereal being only known to the general public as O-Dawg.
    What is the average time it takes for an action figure to go from concept art to finalized distributed product?

    Jim (Preziosi): That really depends on the project and Mattel's marketing and distribution timeline, but it's usually about 9 months to a year from initial concept to seeing the finished, packaged product on store shelves.

    Being primarily responsible for the design of the DC Universe Classics, Masters of the Universe Classics and Ghostbusters toy lines, you guys have quite the workload so how do you manage the time to work on the Fantastic Exclusive product?

    Cornboy (H. Eric Mayse): Well, lately Mattel's been keeping us so busy that the FANtastic Exclusive project has had to take a bit of a back burner. We can't really say that that's a bad thing, because we've always said that our duty to Mattel comes first and foremost right now and we love all of that work that we're doing for them, but we know that there are lots of Fan-Ex FANatics that would like to see us get things out there a little more often, so it's still a little disappointing.

    Chris: Just keep your eyes peeled at FANtastic Exclusive.com, because we're making a few moves to try to get some of those items and the Seventh Kingdom stuff out more often and hopefully on a regular schedule.

    If given the opportunity to work on a Thundercats 6" toy line, would you guys do it and how would you go about creating the look for the figures? Would it be slightly stylized like the 200X Masters or would you stick to the more classic look of the LJN toys?

    Eric: That's something we've discussed at length, believe me! We've decided that we’d just throw out everything that was originally done in both the cartoon and the toy line and create something completey new and different that the fans won't even recognize!... Obviously I'm kidding. We'd most likely approach the Thundercats in very much the same way that we did with Masters of the Universe Classics. Taking the original look and feel of the line and updating it to today's standard of articulation, paint and where necessary, detail.

    Cornboy: The only thing that we haven’t completely settled on is exactly what the final scale would be. Should the Thundercats figures fit more into the scale of the DC Universe Classics, or should we make them closer in feel and scale to the Masters of the Universe Classics scale? There are good arguments for both, and we’ve heard from fans that are on both sides of that fence, but I guess that's just a bridge we’ll cross when we (hopefully) get to it.

    Considering that the vast majority of figures in the MOTUC line are made up of the same body parts like in the eighties, how many 100% sculpts do you personally aim to produce on a yearly basis?

    Eric: That's really hard to say. There have been very few MotU Classics figures – some the general public doesn't know of yet – that are 100% new sculptures. There are going to be a few each year that will have a lot of newly tooled parts, but will still be re-using some existing tooling, but as far as 100% newly tooled figures, maybe only 2 or 3 per year.

    Jim: I think you’ll see what we mean when Toy Fair rolls around. I think Mattel may be revealing some very interesting MotU Classics items that true MotU fans are just going to devour.

    With Battle Cat's release just around the corner and Panthor very likely to follow in its footsteps, is there any chance that King Grayskull will also have an oversized feline to ride on in the near future?

    Chris: As with the tooling for the regular figures, we planned the tooling for Battle cat in the same manner. We have plans to keep the beasts coming, and the best way to do that is to utilize the tooling to its fullest potential, so even though King Grayskull's mighty beast isn't on the schedule just yet, if the line continues to be as popular as it is, I think you can expect to see him and more.

    Is there any possibility that the Kobra Khan and Faker Stactions may see release sometime in the future? Perhaps as Store Horsemen exclusives?

    Cornboy: From what we know, at least at this point, no. That was part of NECA's license which has expired, so we'd have to try to get the lisence for that stuff to be able to ever produce those ourselves. If I remember correctly, some of the tooling for those figures was in with the tooling for our (Seventh Kingdom) Ramathorr figures, which were nearly lost a few years ago when the overseas factory we were using tried to screw us and NECA over. I think they got those molds back, but by that time enough time had been lost that they never got around to finishing production on that stuff. It was bad news all around. We were really looking forward to those figures. The guys at NECA were just as bummed out about it as we were.

    In the original Masters of the Universe toy line there were certain figures which were less articulated as a result of the play features such as King Hiss and Ram Man. How would you guys go about in re-designing these characters to make them blend in better with the highly articulated MOTUC toy line?

    Eric: King Hiss is a biggie. We've had lots of discussions about that one and we're still not set on exactly how to handle him. In most cases, we haven't been including the play features on the MotU Classics figures, but these are two that had play features that were so integral to the character itself, that it would almost be wrong not to include them.

    Cornboy: Even if we did decide to include the action feature in Ram Man, he's such a big bulky character that we'd probably be able to include most, if not all, of the current MotU Classics articulation on him, and still be able to get that cool spring-loaded action. Again, we'll see.

    You guys have stepped outside the box in regards to articulation with certain characters like the DCUC Green Arrow. Would you consider tooling a new He-Man with additional wrist articulation allowing the figure to hold the Power Sword in an upright position?

    Jim: It's always possible. We've discussed at length including more articulation in both the MotU Classics and the DC Universe Classics lines. The timing and reasons would have to be right though. As we've said many times in the past, we don't want to throw in tons of articulation just for the sake of having more articulation. It should fit the character, and look good as well.

    Chris: Maybe something more along the lines of a pre-posed, interchangeable hand on a future re-release instead? Who knows? The possibilities of this line are absolutely endless as long as fans continue to support it the way they have been so far.
    Guess I get to update the Who's not coming soon list...
    Last edited by MegaGearMax; January 5, 2010 at 10:22am.

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  2. #2
    Barbarian Warrior Hellvertz's Avatar
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    Looks like King Hsss is so far away...
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    Loves MOTUC canon! PaTrIcKfOgArTy's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this! So glad there was something new to read - I feel abnormally parched for some any information right now, not sure if it's the anticipation of the 15th or what but good lord, I'm starving for some MOTUC info. news!

    When are those Evil-Lyn images & bio going to be released online ToyGuru?! Come on I'm dying here

  4. #4
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    So...2-3 new sculpts a year...who could those characters be? One is Orko.

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  5. #5
    Evil Collapsing Robot! Zodach's Avatar
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    I am hoping that one of those new sculpts for 2010 is a Horde Trooper

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    Heroic Warrior geooco's Avatar
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    Nice interview. I'm psyched to gear 2-3 all new-sculpts a year. That's more than I figured, honestly.
    Last edited by geooco; January 5, 2010 at 11:22am. Reason: forgot to capitalize "I'm".
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    Heroic Warrior kagamigod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    So...2-3 new sculpts a year...who could those characters be? One is Orko.
    That's cool and all, but they said they might actually include Ram-Man's spring loaded leg gimmick that's the best news yet can't wait til Toy Fair '10!!

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Orko's Magic Hat's Avatar
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    Horde Trooper
    Man-E-Faces
    Spikor
    Orko
    Buzz-Off

    they all require quite a bit of new tooling.

  9. #9
    Evil Master of Meejitz super-munkyboy's Avatar
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    You missed this:

    The Fantastic Exclusive project has been successful primarily because fans have been given the chance to vote for what they want to see in a figure. Have you ever considered talking to Mattel about establishing something similar by giving fans a chance to participate in the creation of future convention exclusives for their toy lines?

    Jim: Not a bad idea. I'm sure the guys at Mattel have discussed this sort of thing themselves, because they came up with the annual fan favorite DC Universe Classics votes that are being done through Toyfare.

    Cornboy: I'm not sure how much outside influence they'd be able to take for the DCUC stuff because of their deal with DC, but maybe you should talk to the guys over at Mattel about a Figures.com/Mattel MotU Classics fan favorites voting system! It would be great to have a SDCC exclusive or something where all of the various aspects of were decided upon by MotU fans worldwide.
    I'm all up for this!!!

    Sod Figures.com though, He-Man.org should claim such a prize!!!!
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  10. #10
    Evil Villain!!! adam03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    So...2-3 new sculpts a year...who could those characters be? One is Orko.
    Battle Cat, Orko and Man E Faces or Meckaneck

  11. #11
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam03 View Post
    Battle Cat, Orko and Man E Faces or Meckaneck
    Man-E-Faces and Mekaneck aren't 100% brand new sculpts...

    Battle Cat might be counted as last year, since he debuted at SDCC.

    Quote Originally Posted by kagamigod View Post
    That's cool and all, but they said they might actually include Ram-Man's spring loaded leg gimmick that's the best news yet can't wait til Toy Fair '10!!
    I don't like action features on the MOTUC, but at least he'd keep the articulation.
    Last edited by MegaGearMax; January 5, 2010 at 11:51am.

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  12. #12
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    but as far as 100% newly tooled figures, maybe only 2 or 3 per year.

    Jim: I think you’ll see what we mean when Toy Fair rolls around. I think Mattel may be revealing some very interesting MotU Classics items that true MotU fans are just going to devour.
    Chite just got real!

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    Heroic Warrior RyDell's Avatar
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    Don't forget Trap-Jaw! He has new legs and arms... which will surely go into Man-E-Faces. Only his torso is from a previous mold. I think we may be closer to Roboto as well... using those arm and leg pieces.
    Other figures that could be done using Trap-Jaws parts could be Optikk (trapjaw's upper legs, He-Ro's lower legs, trapjaws arms, and a new armor on top of the regular torso)
    You could also make NA Skeletor with He-Ro's lower legs and crotch piece, Hordak's feet and gloves, Scareglows head. Just guesses.
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  14. #14
    Evil Villain!!! adam03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    Man-E-Faces and Mekaneck aren't 100% brand new sculpts...

    Battle Cat might be counted as last year, since he debuted at SDCC.



    I don't like action features on the MOTUC, but at least he'd keep the articulation.
    Not nessecarily 100% but both need newly tooled parts and both I want this year!

  15. #15
    Asgardian He-Man carlosdeanda's Avatar
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    they took the Thundercats question seriously, do you people think we´ll be seeing them this year? come on it´s their 25th anniversary!

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    Heroic Classics Warrior Gerrit127's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaGearMax View Post
    So...2-3 new sculpts a year...who could those characters be? One is Orko.
    If there is one more (Orko) then won't it be it for 2010 ?? ... BC and Adora was two new sculpts aleady!
    Last edited by Gerrit127; January 5, 2010 at 12:41pm.
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  17. #17
    Heroic Warrior TCM Hitchhiker's Avatar
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    The best part of that interview is the Thundercats talk!

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    Heroic Classics Warrior Gerrit127's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlosdeanda View Post
    they took the Thundercats question seriously, do you people think we´ll be seeing them this year? come on it´s their 25th anniversary!
    Man o man that will be the cherry on the cake! I can't wait for ThunderCats Classics!!
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  19. #19
    Heroic Fan ART Mod! JafariStew's Avatar
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    It's interesting (yet sad) to finally hear what exactly happened with the Faker/Kahn staction set...
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  20. #20
    Heroic Toy Addict soundwavempl's Avatar
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    Considering that the vast majority of figures in the MOTUC line are made up of the same body parts like in the eighties, how many 100% sculpts do you personally aim to produce on a yearly basis?

    Eric: That's really hard to say. There have been very few MotU Classics figures – some the general public doesn't know of yet – that are 100% new sculptures. There are going to be a few each year that will have a lot of newly tooled parts, but will still be re-using some existing tooling, but as far as 100% newly tooled figures, maybe only 2 or 3 per year.
    I'm loving this answer. I'm betting we'll have Man-E-Faces and Ram Man by early 2011 at the latest - 2010 if we are extremely lucky.

    And I love the Thundercats discussion, glad to see the 4H are interested.

  21. #21
    waiting for Geldor Toymaker's Avatar
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    Love the 3 new sculpts, that aren't ones we've seen yet. Wonder if one is a NA figure?
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  22. #22
    Illumina & Cat please! Darkspecter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerrit127 View Post
    If there is one more (Orko) then won't it be it for 2010 ?? ... BC and Adora was two new sculpts aleady!
    Adora is Teela's body. She has some new parts, but is mainly Teela.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toymaker View Post
    Love the 3 new sculpts, that aren't ones we've seen yet. Wonder if one is a NA figure?
    I'm with you on that one. The 3 for this year are probably: Battle Cat, Orko and Optikk.

    3 100% new sculpts a year isn't bad. I can't WAIT for King Hiss. He better have switchable upper bodies! I really hope they trickle in a Snakeman sometime soon though. Don't save them for the end of the line! They don't need that curse stigma to last forever! lol
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  23. #23
    A big fan of Slush Head
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    An awesome interview! It's always great to hear what the Horsemen have to say.
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  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior
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    I wouldn't get your hopes up in regards to the Thundercats. While I fondly remember the original figures that I had, the question is prefaced with "IF". Not "When" but "IF". If I recall correctly, I think TG said there were licensing issues that were not making it a possibility at this time to make figures.
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  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior Fugitoid's Avatar
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    Great news on the quantity of unique sculpts! I think the Feb 14 reveal will be amazing...
    "Where does he get those wonderful toys?"

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