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Thread: Japanese MOTUs?

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior AdultCollector's Avatar
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    Looking for the artwork from these Japanese MOTU figures!





    I've never seen a Japane MOTU figure before! Today I came across a couple of Ebay auctions for them. Does anyone know where I can get a high resolution scan of these art pieces?

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  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior Night Stalker's Avatar
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    Teela on that box cover reminds me of Maggie from the Walking Dead TV series.
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  4. #4
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Interesting to note that the second of the two images is based on the artwork for the second mini-comic, "King of Castle Grayskull" (which itself was recycled / reworked for a couple of other merchandise items).

    Without meaning to twist things into an age old debate, if the 200x line had had this kinda artwork .........
    ~jay firestorm~
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/pj-firesto...id=p4340.l2562 FS: MIB first release Classics, MIB 200x, COMPLETE VINTAGE FIGURE SET, 2009 SDCC Art Book, more...

  5. #5
    Searchin' My Soul DisneyBoy's Avatar
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    Very neat images. Tried to find the pieces on Ebay without luck...

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior AdultCollector's Avatar
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    DisneyBoy, here are the links. They both sold for $500 each!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mattel-MOTU-...item3f15d4c184
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mattel-MOTU-...item4164722095

    Notice there are two Teela's in the first art piece? In the second image it looks like the blonde version of Teela. Btw, doesn't it look like Man-At-Arms is about to club Battlecat?

  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior Dr_SLUMP's Avatar
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    I'd really love to see high quality scans of these boxes, the artwork is amazing.
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  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Man-E-Toys's Avatar
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    I've never seen these before. Are we sure they're actually vintage and not modern custom boxes? Can anyone confirm?

    Quote Originally Posted by AdultCollector View Post
    DisneyBoy, here are the links. They both sold for $500 each!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mattel-MOTU-...item3f15d4c184
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mattel-MOTU-...item4164722095

    Notice there are two Teela's in the first art piece? In the second image it looks like the blonde version of Teela. Btw, doesn't it look like Man-At-Arms is about to club Battlecat?

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior Dr_SLUMP's Avatar
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    I can confirm that the readable Japanese text is legit. I'm really curious too though, I've seen some Korean MOTU material but never anything Japanese.
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  10. #10
    Hexcellent Horror Hostess
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    That's really cool. I've never seen that packaging before!
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  11. #11
    ORGER of the North™ Tuukka's Avatar
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    I'm really skeptical to believe these are from the 80's. Artwork is great, but they look way too modern.
    MOTUC needs:Tung Lashor, Rio-Blast and rest of the Hordes!

    WANTED: Minicomics !!! Swords NEEDED !!! MY FEEDBACK

  12. #12
    Heroic Ruler of Nothing KidRandor's Avatar
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    I am with Tuuka on this one. I am not so sure these are vintage 80s pieces.

  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior Grimbot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuukka View Post
    I'm really skeptical to believe these are from the 80's. Artwork is great, but they look way too modern.
    It's painted art. What's so specifically modern about it?
    Last edited by Grimbot; April 5, 2012 at 01:04pm.

  14. #14
    Heroic Warrior Dr_SLUMP's Avatar
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    This is getting very confusing. Don't we have any Japanese fans here? They would sure know about this.

    I can try to translate all the visible text, however it looks very legitimate to me. What puts me off really is the fact that none here so far has ever seen them before...
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  15. #15
    Heroic Warrior Piccolo Daimaoh's Avatar
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    If it is a toy advertisement for MOTUC in a Japanese toy magazine that would be really cool. The Japanese really appreciate quality toy lines. If it is a classic advertisement from the early 80's then I can definitely see it. It looks like an old D&D or video game advertisement from the 80's that would be on the back covers of comic books.
    A journey that began long ago in a place neither near nor far…
    A story of heroes, passed down through the ages…
    Until now.
    This is our story. These are our heroes…

  16. #16
    ORGER of the North™ Tuukka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimbot View Post
    It's painted art. What's so specifically modern about it?
    Sorry.. bad wording, I meant that the whole package looks way too modern, not the art.
    MOTUC needs:Tung Lashor, Rio-Blast and rest of the Hordes!

    WANTED: Minicomics !!! Swords NEEDED !!! MY FEEDBACK

  17. #17
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdultCollector View Post
    Notice there are two Teela's in the first art piece? In the second image it looks like the blonde version of Teela. Btw, doesn't it look like Man-At-Arms is about to club Battlecat?
    (Assuming you typo'd and meant the second piece )... actually that's not so uncommon, even for in-house Mattel stuff itself. One of them is wearing the cobra armor, which - early in the line - of course meant that she represented the Sorceress / Goddess. (Partly to do with the whole early "clone" idea, and the toy doubled up for both... yeah, it's confusing). Even some of the Mattel promotional posters clearly show both versions in one scene.

    Anyway, I've never heard of this Japanese line, but my gut instincts suggest it might be a 1990s-era release. Kinda like the Top Toys or Leo releases, which followed on in the 1990s using the Mattel molds under license. There's no way to solidly "date" the artwork without more firm evidence, but my gut instinct does kinda follow Tuukka's thoughts that somehow it looks too modern to be early 1980s (which is, with the range of early characters featured and the Goddess / Teela thing, the era that the artwork would suggest). I feel these are from the '90s, based on earlier '80s artwork (and indeed, as I commented previously, the other image is based on the second mini-comic cover, 'The King of Castle Grayskull').
    ~jay firestorm~
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/pj-firesto...id=p4340.l2562 FS: MIB first release Classics, MIB 200x, COMPLETE VINTAGE FIGURE SET, 2009 SDCC Art Book, more...

  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior Man-E-Toys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_SLUMP View Post
    This is getting very confusing. Don't we have any Japanese fans here? They would sure know about this.

    I can try to translate all the visible text, however it looks very legitimate to me. What puts me off really is the fact that none here so far has ever seen them before...
    Exactly. I'm not the most hardcore of collectors, but I've been collecting vintage since '98 and have never come across these before nor have I ever heard of them. Maybe the hardcore collectors can fill everyone in. Perhaps someone like Josh Van Pelt or Emiliano would know.

  19. #19
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Maybe that big 'ST' logo at the bottom right is a clue? It might me a Japanese equivalent of the various "child safe" logos etc., seen in other countries (I think it's a lion here in the U.K.), but it may be the (re)distribuitor's name / logo - kinda like how Top Toys and Leo branded their releases. Just a stab in the dark.

    Just been browsing the ebay links, and another one popped up ...

    **Please do not post links to active eBay auctions. Thanks!**

    (much as I'm a fan, don't think I'll quite be splashing out on that one any time soon though lol)
    Last edited by Spacedust; April 5, 2012 at 07:36pm. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    ~jay firestorm~
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/pj-firesto...id=p4340.l2562 FS: MIB first release Classics, MIB 200x, COMPLETE VINTAGE FIGURE SET, 2009 SDCC Art Book, more...

  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior AdultCollector's Avatar
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    Great find Spacedust! From the Ebay auction:
    "THIS ITEM WAS SOLD IN JAPAN (1982) FOR LESS THAN A YEAR AS A TEST RUN IN CERTAIN LOCATIONS AND UNFORTUNATE IT DIDN'T SELL TOO WELL IN JAPAN SO THESE JAPANESE MOTU ACTION FIGURES WITH THIS PACKAGING ARE EXTREMELY RARE !!! (I WILL GUARANTEE YOU WILL NEVER NEVER EVER FIND ONE LIKE THIS, EVER !!! )"

    TOKYONEVER in this thread shows off a Japanese advertisement for figures sold there and notes that North American overstock of the MOTU figures were sold to Takara around 1984



    Last edited by AdultCollector; April 5, 2012 at 07:56pm.

  21. #21
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Apologies for the ebay link mods - as it was on such an unknown subject in question (on a lot that I doubt any of us could ever afford anyway) I was hoping I could sneak it under the radar. Id've gotten away with it if it weren't for you pesky kids... or something

    Anyway, yeah, this is a real reveal about the line that I never knew about, through all of my years of vintage collecting.

    Check out that image on the top right -now that's class. It's based on the original version of the second wave "The Magic Stealer!" mini-comic - although interesting to note that, as well as adding other details such as Beast Man fighting in the background, they've changed the Attak Trak to being the Battle Ram.
    But what an awesome image.

    So from what we now know, this was a test release range of the line being sold in Japan, of the early figures, but never took off.
    It's interesting to think about it now - for all of MOTU's worldwide fanbase, I guess I've never really seen it being followed too much by Japanese collectors. Maybe I could make a slightly lazy sterotypical assumption and assume it just wasn't manga / anime-enough for their regional tastes.
    ~jay firestorm~
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/pj-firesto...id=p4340.l2562 FS: MIB first release Classics, MIB 200x, COMPLETE VINTAGE FIGURE SET, 2009 SDCC Art Book, more...

  22. #22
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Wowsers! All of this is giving me lyfe. *bows down to the Japanese*

  23. #23
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallstar View Post
    Wowsers! All of this is giving me lyfe. *bows down to the Japanese*
    I second that bow.

    Also, on the top right image posted by AdultCollector, I'm trying to make out ... is that Mer Man that Beast Man is dueling with? As some of the early box art (including that of Castle Grayskull) featured Beast Man seemingly sided with the Heroic Warriors, this might be a case here, going from "mistaken" source material. Also trying to see who else is pictured there - looking like Man-At-Arms on the lower right... a ways up from him seems to be a generic enemy complete with funky-looking staff.
    ~jay firestorm~
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/pj-firesto...id=p4340.l2562 FS: MIB first release Classics, MIB 200x, COMPLETE VINTAGE FIGURE SET, 2009 SDCC Art Book, more...

  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior Faceless One's Avatar
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    Japanese MOTUs?

    IMG_8181.jpg

    a7a3b1b3f83d01d2f295d1d62f14a9ca(KGrHqV,n0E9clWPyrFBPfh)v671w60_57.JPG

    I have found this two pics on the net, and I wonder if they are real or custom. The packaging seems quite convincing, but the accesories loose inside a box seems a bit strange. Plus, none of them appeared before that I now, and I think that japanese MOTUs only came with a small japanese sticker. If real, I suppose they were a prototype packing that never saw the light.

    What do you think?

  25. #25
    Heroic Fan ART Mod! JafariStew's Avatar
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    Those all look legit to me, & AMAZING!! That box art is just superb! Gotta love the poses & how both Teela & Cobra Armor Goddess (in Skeletor's hand) are both in that image...
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