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Thread: Greetings from Madrid

  1. #1
    THEIR KILLIN TEH LIEN !! uaxuctum's Avatar
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    Greetings from Madrid

    Hi there! Greetings from Madrid, Spain. I'm newly registered on this site, although my interest in MOTU dates back from the mid-80s.

    It started for me around 1985 or 1986, when I somehow got the Spanish-edition album of the Panini stickers collection (I think I saw it at some newsstand, liked the cover art and bought it). I was more or less aware of the MOTU franchise before that (because of the TV ads for the toys), but somehow it hadn't captured my imagination until then. So, I started collecting the stickers and eventually managed to finish the collection all by myself (since I knew of no-one else around who collected them). Back then where I lived (a town in northern Spain) MOTU toys were certainly available at toystores, but they never became such a wild mainstream hit as they were in the USA—I think mostly because, to my knowledge, they never actually broadcast the Filmation series on national Spanish television (TVE). During those years, the only way to watch the show in Spain was either to be lucky enough to reside in one of the few Autonomous Communities that back then enjoyed their own TV regional channel (i.e., Galicia, Catalonia and the Basque Country, where their TVG, TV3 and ETB regional stations broadcast the show dubbed respectively into Galician, Catalan and Basque—which in general were quite good dubs, I may add), or else to buy the 2-episode-per-cassette edition of only a few episodes (around two dozen in total I think) that were dubbed into Castilian Spanish and released directly to the VHS market.1

    I got the original He-Man and Skeletor figures (never liked the variants) for my birthday (in November) and asked for Castle Grayskull and some other items for Christmas. During the following years I kept collecting the toys and in the end I got to have a medium-sized collection of figures, vehicles and playsets. Fortunately for me, my aunt was living in Galicia when she learned of my new interest in MOTU and somehow found out they were broadcasting the series on the TVG regional station. She had the idea of recording a few episodes in Galician dub for me on VHS to give me for my next birthday.2 When I received the cassette, I was totally hooked (until then I had only known of the series from the stickers album and didn't really know that they were based on an actual TV cartoon). I watched those four episodes (Trouble in Arcadia, Colossor Awakes, Like Father Like Daughter, and Reign of the Monster) countless times, and eventually sent my aunt a blank VHS asking her to record some more episodes for me. One or two years later I also got some other episodes dubbed in Catalan,3 which other relatives who lived in Catalonia recorded for me from the TV3 broadcasts. And, in the end, I also finally bought one of the very expensive direct-to-VHS Spanish-dub cassettes. Still, all in all I only ever got to watch around twenty or so first-season episodes (which is about the number of episodes of a regular once-a-week single-season cartoon series) and never in the least suspected the full series was actually a huge, whooping 130-episode cartoon behemoth (when I got to know that number, I must confess I was sincerely baffled that as a child I had only got to watch a tiny fraction of them). I also collected the live-action movie Panini stickers when they came out (again completed all by myself without ever being able to exchange a single repeat with anyone), and finally got to actually see the movie on some satellite German-speaking channel—I think RTL (although I didn't actually speak German, but fortunately I could follow the story anyway since I already knew it from the stickers album).

    Years passed and the original toy franchise was cancelled in Spain, I think around 1989/1990 (about one or two years after it had faded in the United States). By that time I was already growing up, and around 1991/1992 they at last started to broadcast a Spanish-language dub of the Filmation show on a nation-wide Spanish TV channel called Antena 3 (one of the first privately-owned Spanish TV stations), but unfortunately it was the Latin American dub, which (sorry to annoy those Latin American fans who grew up with it and may actually like it) I found unbearably "clowned down", with Skeletor, and especially Beast Man, made to sound like utter buffoons instead of "serious" villains—which succeeded in making me ashamed of the series and franchise itself, further prompting me to distance myself from it. I got to see part of one episode of the New Adventures, but the new He-Man looked nothing at all like the He-Man of old (plus I couldn't stand that he was made to wear a ponytail), the events were almost completely unrelated to the previous cartoon and didn't take place on Eternia, and the series didn't feature the amazing Filmation soundtrack nor most of the characters I loved the most (such as Trap Jaw, Orko or Evil-Lyn), and thus I thought it a complete distortion of the MOTU franchise and a mere attempt to use He-Man's name as a quick cash-grab; so I never gave it a second chance (though I have now begun to reappraise it, particularly after finding Optikk and Slush Head's cool sculpts integrated into the MOTUC line).

    So I moved on to other interests and mostly forgot about MOTU until the early 2000s, when one day I googled "He-Man" out of nostalgia and learned about this forum and the news of the 200X incarnation that was about to take place. Unfortunately, at that time I couldn't afford collecting the toys, so I only watched some episodes of the show through the Internet, and then learned of the 200X incarnation's early demise. I thought the franchise's second and too-quick death meant MOTU had received the final nail in its coffin and had finally been cancelled and buried forever, and so I mostly forgot about it again (although from time to time I kept thinking of some day going to eBay and get me some of the 200X figures whose MYP reimagining and 4H sculpts I liked the most, such as Orko, Teela, Trap Jaw and Evil-Lyn).

    I learned of the new MOTUC line sometime around 2009/2010, but I visited the MattyCollector online shop and found everything apparently "sold out", so I turned around and totally forgot about it.4 Finally, about two months ago I was again struck by nostalgia, googled "He-Man" and found out the MOTUC collection had meanwhile grown to encompass major characters of the cartoon that never before had made it into plastic form (I was particularly impressed by finding figures of Marlena and Shadow Weaver). And, although I must admit that at first I was a bit discouraged by the look of the all too obvious elbow and knee articulation joints of the figures, the greatly improved "poseability" that the increased articulation provided the MOTUC figures with respect to the rather poor articulation of the vintage toys (my main gripe about them), and the quality and detail of the Four Horsemen's sculpts, finally hooked me into starting to collect the line. Well, this and the fact that when I looked at MattyCollector this second time, it casually coincided with the recent Mad Matty March Sale, which meant there were quite a few of my favorite characters actually available for sale (such as Trap Jaw, which I never got to have as I kid even though I liked it a lot). So right now I'm waiting for around one and a half dozen figures to arrive (although after much reading here about the factory quality-control issues, Digital River's incompetence and Mattel's apparent lack of concern and inaction about it all, I'm actually rather unsure whether those figures will ever arrive at my doorstep and, if so, what state they will be in).

    I think my vintage MOTU collection is still lying around somewhere at my parents home, but I can't check it until next time I travel to northern Spain to visit them. I know the sticker albums are also still somewhere at my parents home; but, sadly, sometime around the mid-to-late 90s I had the unfortunate idea of throwing away the whole bunch of hundreds of repeated stickers I had kept together with the albums inside a drawer, because at that time I thought there was no possible use left for them and honestly hadn't the slightest idea or suspicion that some dozen years into the future it would be easily possible to find other MOTU fans from around the planet through the Internet who could be interested in them to complete their own collections.


    Notes:

    (1) This direct-to-video Castilian Spanish dub is very different from the "neutral Spanish" dub they did in Latin America, and (although I find it to be only so-so compared to the, in my opinion, better Galician, Catalan and Basque dubs) it fortunately did not feature the tampered translations and infantilized tone of the Latin American dub.

    (2) The Galician language is very similar to Portuguese, but with a phonology closer to Castilian Spanish, so it's rather easy to understand for other Spaniards.

    (3) The Catalan language (particularly the standard Central Catalan of the Barcelona area) is a bit more difficult to grasp for Spanish-speakers at first, partly because it features "obscure" vowels (such as the schwa) that "disguise" the "auditive appearance" of words for us. But after some time my ear got adapted and I could understand most of it without much problem.

    (4) Honestly, I took me a bit long to really understand MattyCollector's business model, since the point of successful online shops, as opposed to brick-and-mortar, is supposed to be the complete opposite of what MC does: rich stock variety, immediate availability and good customer service, so potential buyers can visit the site and conveniently find and order the items they're looking for whenever they want them, having confidence that issues with shipping delays and returning defective products will be taken care of and promptly resolved (just like you do and expect when you visit the likes of Amazon and BigBadToyStore). But I've finally come to the conclusion that to understand MattyCollector's practices, one has to look at them as being tailored not to the needs and requests of us fans, but to the convenience of resellers and scalpers, who are the ones most likely to be online at monthly-sale times (early-morning business hours, when many fans are likely to be at work unable to connect to the store) and to whom they can quickly sell most of their product out in bulk (therefore the current 99 purchase limit and focus on buy-it-all subscription schemes), leaving most of the cumbersome stock-keeping and pesky customer-service issues to be dealt with by them. Nothing surprising really, because just like Mattel's primary business model is to sell their product in bulk to retailers, not directly to customers (although I know they have an online store for the US market that seems to actually function properly), MattyCollector seems to primarily target their marketing strategies so as to get rid of stock in bulk as quick as possible by selling it to other e-tailers for resale—otherwise their policies and attitudes towards their customer base don't appear to make much sense.

  2. #2
    Brassy Baroness
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    On behalf of He-Man.org's admin, staff, and moderators, allow me to extend an official Hello and welcome to He-Man.org, uaxuctum!! We're very glad to have you join our site hope you have a fun time discussing Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power here.

    Please be sure to read over the rules for posting here when you have an opportunity. Most of them are pretty easy to follow.

    Hopefully your parents still have your toys. They are really awesome toys and few figures hold up to them.

    We hope you really enjoy your time here! Welcome!
    Trust me, trust me, be a'right,
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    Sign' blood or fool night,
    Drink a little poison 'for you die.

  3. #3
    Master of My Soul MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Welcome to He-Man.org. I hope you find your motu toys at your parents house and display them proudly
    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul.

  4. #4
    Clown Prince of Darkness Benedict Judas Hel's Avatar
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    Bienvenidos a este esquina de mi infierno, u-tum! The lengths you had to endure for MOTU are quite immense. Well, I hope those trials and tribulations have forged you into a person of steel and iron crushing all those before your path! Allow me to offer my darkest welcome to this murky world known as He-Man.org...
    Last edited by Benedict Judas Hel; April 12, 2012 at 03:27pm.
    "Wheresoever on earth he dwells, man is prey to two weaknesses: the need to pray and the need to love."-Marquis de Sade

    "It is not by reasoning or by our understanding that we have received our religion; it is by external authority and command."-Michel De Montaigne

    Heretical Vintage Purist and Non-Fan Extraordinaire!

  5. #5
    Master of New Adventures!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedict Judas Hel View Post
    Bienvenidos a este esquina de mi infierno, u-tum! The lengths you had to endure for MOTU are quite immense. Well, I hope those trials and tribulations have forged you into a person of steel and iron! Allow me to offer my darkest welcome to this murky world known as He-Man.org...
    Dear uaxuctum,

    As you are new to the forum I feel it is prudent for me to make this post to you.

    I have a great an enduring respect for Benedict Judas Hel - a k a 'Benny'. His posts are intelligent, well thought our and engaging. Over the years I've come to respect his intellect, appreciate his wit and consider myself fortunate to call him my friend.

    With all this said, I will strongly caution you against being lured into the sepentine, evil, infernal and malevolent abyss that he, himself, is. Know that using charm and guile, this monster preys, frequently, upon new members by coaxing them into discussions, debates and interchanges. Only a very few have endured him without losing their will, let alone their mind. And whatever you do, DON'T LOOK INTO HIS EYES!!!

    I say all this with the certain awareness, by the way, that Benny will not only acknowledege that what I have written is true, but will also gleefully appreciate my introduction of him to you. This, of course, is a testament to his power and strength. Beware of the Beast.

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