New message from ToyGuru
#21: Castle Grayskull
It isn’t just a toy. It’s a pop culture icon. The original Castle Grayskull playset from 1982 has lived on well beyond its “playtime” and truly set the standard for what a toy playset should deliver. From the mysterious skull face to the action packaged throne room dungeon trap, how many of us just spent hours and hours of our childhood lugging that bad boy around playing out countless adventures for He-Man and his pals.
Until recently I never thought a playset could ever come out that would rival the original Castle. While playsets were a hallmark of the ‘80s, in recent years (and decades) we have seen decline in “action figure real estate” for a variety of reasons. But those monster sets of the early ‘80s will always remain lasting icons of an era when muscle-bound warriors ruled the living room, defending freedom and playtime everywhere.
It’s no secret that we’ve wanted the current Masters of the Universe Classics line (available each month on Mattycollector.com!) to become the greatest MOTU line of all time (if not one of the greatest toy lines of all time). Putting out any MOTU line that could even challenge the original is an endeavor unto itself.
But over the last 4 or 5 years, the MOTUC team has really stepped up to the plate and created some of the coolest, most amazing adult collector figures ever made. We’ve covered people, beasts, gorillas, giant dragons and even flying boats. But we haven’t yet gotten to the center piece of them all. The playset.
Well, now the time has come. Fan demand helped it happen, the Hoverboard pre-order sale made it plausible. And now if we hit our minimum order by November 12th, the MOTU fans will do what no other fan base for any toy line has been able to prove- that they ARE big enough to support large playsets and want to see these happen!
We’ve had our presale up for about two weeks now and are getting close. But we can’t close the gap without your help. If you are on the fence about whether or not to buy a Castle Grayskull, let me see if I can talk you over to our side of the yard.
A lot of folks have looked at not just the price, but the actual footprint of the Castle and wondered “where am I even going to put that?” Well, you’ve got a lot of options. We did design the Castle to display as many figures as possible, even adding a third level across the top to attack or defend from below. Some fans have noted they really only want a “Castle façade” to use as a backdrop. If you only want a one-sided façade as a backdrop, simply only assemble the front half of the Castle. Just like the vintage set, our new MOTUC Castle Grayskull swings open and closed. If you have limited shelf space or only want the front side behind your collection, you can simply detach the back half (just like the vintage set) and display only the front half!
But there is another factor to consider.
As a collector myself, I know how valuable “shelf space” is. And finding room for a full Castle Grayskull in your current toy room or man cave (or woman cave!) is often challenging. One thing I would throw out there from my good friends on the Back to the Future brand is to think about this playset “fourth dimensionally.”
This Castle Grayskull isn’t just for now. It isn’t just for tomorrow or even next week. This Castle Grayskull is for the next 30 years.
It really isn’t every day or even every decade that Mattel can offer a MOTU playset. This is a rare thing. (Heck, quite literally, this is only the third Castle in 30 years, so I guess that means we’ve done one a decade at this rate, right?)
But this one is different. This is CLASSICS Castle Grayskull.
This is the one we have all waited for. It is in scale with our 6” figures and chock full of every detail, crammed with accessories, and ideally will be sculpted to perfection soon (once we hit that minimum number of pre-orders on Nov 12th!). And for those a little unsure, it does include ALL of the items shown in the blueprints. We hope to add more, but there won’t be less.
This is the playset “designed to last” for the adult collector. The chance of doing this again or offering anything like this in another way is pretty slim, especially if this one doesn’t go through. Ever since Classics debuted 5 years ago, fans have been asking for this centerpiece. Now is the time.
If you are on the fence, as both the brand manager for MOTU and a fan, I suggest it is time to get off and support this playset. It truly is in the fans’ hands. We can’t make this playset without you. We all want this. We’ve been asking for it for years. Mattel finally found a way to make it happen, but it can only go forward with your support.
You may not have the room to display the Castle today. Personally, I own thousands of toys and for the most part they are in large rubber bins in storage. I simply don’t have room to display everything I own or even want to (especially with a 2 ½ year old at home – small parts and all…). But even before I was lucky enough to land a gig at Mattel as a professional collector (if you will), I’ve always viewed my collection as “one day.” “One day” I know I will be successful enough and have a big enough place to display all my toys, including the proper space for this castle.
But the Castle Grayskull pre-order is now.
Even if you think you lack the proper display space for the Castle right now, keep in mind this playset not only is a bit of a one-time offer, but more importantly, it is going to last. Twenty years from now, even thirty years from now, hopefully we’ll all be looking over our MOTUC collections with joy. Whether or not we’re still offering new monthly figures or not isn’t the key. They key is that even after figures stop coming out, your collection is permanent. You’ll have it as long as you collect. And seriously, who doesn’t want Castle Grayskull to be the centerpiece of that collection?! Years from now, do you not want to have this castle there with all your figures? How incomplete will your collection look if this Castle is missing? Preordering the Castle isn’t just about 2012 or 2013 but for the life of your collection for as long as you want to keep MOTU on display. Years from now, with a “complete” figure set, this playset will be the centerpiece of any collection. Whether you display everything now, or one day intend to have an amazing shelf (shelves?) full of MOTUC toys, this is the time to lock in your Castle Grayskull. This castle isn’t just to display now but to reign proudly over all your toys for decades to come. This playset is going to look amazing. It is going to be everything we all want a Classics Castle to be.
Please help us make this happen. Help your fellow He-Fans make this happen. Offering a 6” scale Castle Grayskull really is a turning point in all of toy collecting. This playset truly could go on to become one of (if not THE) greatest toy made. Think of how iconic the vintage playset still is 30 years later.
Now think of that powered by the detail, paint, sculpting and passion of the Classics line. This is going to be one heck of a toy. It’s the one that will make all your friends jealous, not just for years, but for decades to come. Opportunities like this don’t come around that often and now is the time. Let’s make this happen.
We have the power!
PS: We are still working on the packaging but hope to have Rudy do another amazing new illustration on what will be a closed box. If we do move forward, one thing we want to do is let fans vote on which 5 good guys and which 5 bad guys will be attacking/defending the Castle on the box front illustration! We hope to involve fans as much as possible along the way on things liike this, but we need to hit that minimum order quota first. So if you are on the fence, now is the time to come on board!