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Thread: Why is Mattel giving us black plastic and painting over it?

  1. #51
    Hero of Eternia zodak74's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if I articulated it clearly enough, but I did stick this issue up at the Matty forums. If this is the wave of the future, I feel as consumers we have a right to know. I don't want the 2013 line to all be like this when they're jacking up the prices.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by zodak74 View Post
    Has anybody posed this question to ToyGuru on the Ask Matty forums?
    Again, can somebody post this so we can get a response?

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by zodak74 View Post
    I'm not sure if I articulated it clearly enough, but I did stick this issue up at the Matty forums. If this is the wave of the future, I feel as consumers we have a right to know. I don't want the 2013 line to all be like this when they're jacking up the prices.
    I completely agree!

  4. #54
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    Yep, if we get black plastic in 2013 I'll cancel my credit card to get rid of the sub. Breach of trust Mattel!

  5. #55
    Heroic Hyperborean NorthCoast's Avatar
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    Just to discuss "recycled plastic" for a moment...what do you think would be more cost effective: recycled plastic/paint or colored plastic? I have no idea.

    Still think it's a tooling issue.
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  6. #56
    Heroic Master of Sleep Lay Ze-Man's Avatar
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    Thanks to shadowfall1976 for the info on reusing plastics, etc.
    Very interesting!

    And yeah, making a head (that shouldn't rub on anything) or any unpainted piece in that kind of plastic is one thing, but not on the joints.

    Kind of amazing that Mattel continues to discover new and obscure ways to deliver a subpar product.

  7. #57
    Heroic Warrior Dr_SLUMP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    Just to discuss "recycled plastic" for a moment...what do you think would be more cost effective: recycled plastic/paint or colored plastic? I have no idea.

    Still think it's a tooling issue.
    I'm a degree project BSc Product Design student (planning to work for the action figure industry) and I can assure you that recycled plastic is saving them some big buck.

    Note that PVC granules come usually in white or black, while custom colors can be ordered at a higher price. Therefore there's a chance that the plastic is not recycled and they're just saving with new, plain color plastic.

    Also, if they became really cheap, they use black recycled plastic

    For those who would like to verify, remove your Vykor's head and check on the ball joint "socket". Mine's black, just like all the figure apart from the torso bucks (which look brighter and more life-like).
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  8. #58
    Heroic Hyperborean NorthCoast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_SLUMP View Post
    I'm a degree project BSc Product Design student (planning to work for the action figure industry) and I can assure you that recycled plastic is saving them some big buck.

    Note that PVC granules come usually in white or black, while custom colors can be ordered at a higher price. Therefore there's a chance that the plastic is not recycled and they're just saving with new, plain color plastic.

    Also, if they became really cheap, they use black recycled plastic

    For those who would like to verify, remove your Vykor's head and check on the ball joint "socket". Mine's black, just like all the figure apart from the torso bucks (which look brighter and more life-like).
    They still would have to pay for the paint and labor of painting the parts. There would have to be a very significant savings in plastic cost to make it worth it, correct?
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  9. #59
    Heroic Warrior Dr_SLUMP's Avatar
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    Correct. The workers will paint the shading anyway and an additional undercoat would cost much less than colored PVC granules.

    This is really sad because in the beginning I was expecting/hoping that it's just an error on the bucks (probably overproduced from another figure) but since it's pitch black and it's also the case for Spikor, I'm afraid that it's just Mattel saving money.
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  10. #60
    Heroic Horde General Canada-Man's Avatar
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    Maybe the black plastic has to do with mattel pumping out some musquitor parts and not bothering to load the machine up with a new color or something. I don't know. I've heard of vykron having black underneath the skin paint but other then that I don't know of any others.

  11. #61
    Heroic Hyperborean NorthCoast's Avatar
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    The "ring" connector joints that connect the arms/legs to the body seem to be molded in purple plastic. So are the pegs connecting the elbows/knees. IMO, the purple painted parts look better, not that I'm arguing for this to be the standard.

    About the undercoat of purple, can this be accomplished in one paint pass? Seems pretty thick for one layer.

    BTW, He-Man's head is molded in brown and painted, but the consensus usually says people prefer the painted faces.
    Last edited by NorthCoast; August 4, 2012 at 01:10pm.
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  12. #62
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    In my experience, colored plastic is a lot cheaper than painting. That's why McF experimented with molding some of their sports figures in colored plastic, to save money and not raise prices. They went back to painting when customers complained that they looked really cheap. (which they did)

  13. #63
    Heroic Warrior Dr_SLUMP's Avatar
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    Spikor is also verified to have black parts. An overproduction of Mosquitor bucks is possible and I really hope that that's the case. Fingers crossed.

    In case the rest of the MOTUC figures are going to be this way, 2013 will be my last subscription and while I have two (saving one for my children), I will have to sell it.

    @Hoffman if it's ABS (like Bandai's ThunderCats Classics) it's indeed cheaper to have in color, because colors mix perfectly while melting the granules. In case it's PVC (generally softer and more gummy) they must have used a basic palette that was already available from plastic factories.
    Last edited by Dr_SLUMP; August 4, 2012 at 01:14pm.
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  14. #64
    Sorcerer of Zalesia bcrduke's Avatar
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    My Spikor's left knee joint lost some purple paint the first time I bent the knee

    Both Spikor and Vykron's right arms were too tight in the shoulder joint... and Vykrons forearms and calf pieces are painted
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  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcrduke View Post
    My Spikor's left knee joint lost some purple paint the first time I bent the knee

    Both Spikor and Vykron's right arms were too tight in the shoulder joint... and Vykrons forearms and calf pieces are painted
    SAME HERE! I just bent my Spikors left knee and there is some black plastic showing through. Interesting.

  16. #66
    Heroic Hyperborean NorthCoast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcrduke View Post
    Both Spikor and Vykron's right arms were too tight in the shoulder joint...
    That is a mystery. I wonder what could be causing that, it seems to be a common problem. I wonder if there is an issue with the tool for that part, maybe too much flashing or something?

    EXAMPLE of flashing on a plastic part, NOT from a MOTUC figure:


    I guess someone would have to disassemble Spikor or Vykron to find out for sure.
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  17. #67
    Heroic Warrior Dr_SLUMP's Avatar
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    Maybe the joints are thickened by the paint layer...

    Seriously, such engineering is all about tiny spaces.
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  18. #68
    the .09% stprime's Avatar
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    Both mine flaked straight out the box.

    Also, fusion is enamel and should be used for hard plastics such as transformers. Not soft plastics. It will work but it won't fuse like its meant to.
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  19. #69
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    Did anyone post this on Matty yet? I'd like an explanation.

  20. #70
    Got Filmation? shadowfall1976's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stprime View Post
    Both mine flaked straight out the box.

    Also, fusion is enamel and should be used for hard plastics such as transformers. Not soft plastics. It will work but it won't fuse like its meant to.
    I used Fusion on all kinds of plastic....shelves, chairs, blah blah. every time, no matter how the surface was prepped or not prepped, it scratched easily, and often flaked off, many times enamel paints with the surfaces prepped with scuffing and cleaned with solvents worked much better and no flaking or scratching.... Fusion sucks, also it is meant for a lot of softer and harder ABS & PVC plastics, but it still doesn't work.

    Also enamel paints are not the most recommended for action figure painting, laquers work much better than enamels, enamels take much joint prepping before they won't rub or flake off, and even then it happens easily no matter how you prep. But as far as that action figure painting goes, the best I have found is Tamiya sprays, nice and durable, resists flaking and basically fuses to the plastic, and I believe it's acrylic based....not sure I'd have to see if I still have a can somewhere.
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  21. #71
    Heroic Warrior eurorko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    That is a mystery. I wonder what could be causing that, it seems to be a common problem. I wonder if there is an issue with the tool for that part, maybe too much flashing or something?

    EXAMPLE of flashing on a plastic part, NOT from a MOTUC figure:
    http://rccarbuild.com/wp-content/upl...thflashing.jpg

    I guess someone would have to disassemble Spikor or Vykron to find out for sure.
    Both of my guys have the same problem with the right shoulder joints being too tight. I'm afraid if I fully rotate them all the way around that they will break. I hope this doesn't happen with every figure going forward.

  22. #72
    Got Filmation? shadowfall1976's Avatar
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    I guess we'll see when SLL ships, and the ones getting him open him and see if he's black under the blue.
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  23. #73
    Heroic Warrior snakeeyes0217's Avatar
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    I'm very annoyed that his limbs are painted and not molded color. In fact, the joint areas of both shoulders are not completely covered in "flesh tone" paint and the black is visible. We need an answer about this before it becomes standard practice for future figures.

  24. #74
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    This thread is racist!

  25. #75
    The third claw guy claw guy 3's Avatar
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    Is it possible that Spikor and Vykron were all produced at the same time as Horde Prime? HP is black plastic but that his base colour so it's logical for him... Using one lot of plastic over three or more figures at once would probably be cheaper than each figure geting a (correctly coloured) alotment.

    For the record, it's a poor practice, my Spikor's knee joints are funny from the paint and one of them hasn't even got the paint applied properly to his thigh

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