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Thread: What the action figure line 'gold standard'?

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    Heroic Warrior Seril's Avatar
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    What the action figure line 'gold standard'?

    So with various folks unhappy with the unnamed one spoiler and the normal various comments about how this or that was done wrong, it got me thinking. What other action figure series has consistently given figures that everyone loved, had a brand manger who has listen to all fan input, been completely transparent with how things were done, and had each and every figure easily available? Are there any? Sure MOTUC has had some things that could have done better but I'm curious as to what lines were done 'right'?
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    Plundor Promoter He-Dad's Avatar
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    Every line has it's issues. Look at Starwars Black...hard to find anything not wave one and teriblr himan face sculpts. Some of theTransformers stuff I see on the shelves looks like crap as well. Gi Joe is scarce at retail. Power Rangers villains are impossible to find. I don't think there is a gold standard honestly. I think we as a fandom take for granted the line we have. There is a real sense of entitlement sometimes that Ive never seen before with anything t I've collcollected. But then again I've never been a part of a community like thos while I collected before. Nor have I ever collected an online only subscriber based line.

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    Evil Villain!!! adam03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seril View Post
    So with various folks unhappy with the unnamed one spoiler and the normal various comments about how this or that was done wrong, it got me thinking. What other action figure series has consistently given figures that everyone loved, had a brand manger who has listen to all fan input, been completely transparent with how things were done, and had each and every figure easily available? Are there any? Sure MOTUC has had some things that could have done better but I'm curious as to what lines were done 'right'?
    Jeremy Padawer did with 200x while he was with Mattel and after that with Jakks Pacific WWE Classic superstars even had his blog too. He did a ton of Customer/fan relations online with both lines, Scott now has his job but Jeremy headed Hot Wheels, MOTU and Nickelodeon.

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    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Even though there are lines I liked more, I'd have to say Palisades Muppet line. Dead on sculpts, unarguably appropriate accessories, relevant variants, and a good mix of superstars and lesser characters. I know Palisades ran into financial problems, but given it was a small specialty company and how long the line actually managed to survive, it's a pretty good model for a collector aimed line of action figures. Folks still cite it today as one of the best toy lines they recall from days past.
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    Heroic Warrior SpiritOfTeela's Avatar
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    I see what you did there...

    Obviously, there is no line that is perfect.

    That said, most lines don't pretend they listen to fans, don't have brand managers who present themselves as "the face" of the brand, who take credit when things go right and blame the customers when things go wrong, and don't engage in strange hoops and/or insane-to-normal-folk convoluted subscription systems that require a major financial commitment for unseen product.

    The essential problem of MOTUC is the combination of a brand manager who has styled himself as a "celebrity" (the picture of Scott on Matty is larger than any picture of He-man or anything else), and the extremely restrictive subscription system that excludes so many folks right out of the gate (find out about the line in September? Tough luck - you can subscribe, next summer, for a subscription that starts nearly a year and a half later).

    We would have been far better off had this whole dog and pony show of "we listen to the fans!" theater had never happened. We should not even know the name of the brand manager. But we do, because he has made it a point to be known, has chosen to be the face of the brand, and not only is the fact that we are listened to a sham, but he actively antagonizes folks at worst, and demonstrates his utter lack of (or willingness to) understand what people actually want at best. "Out of touch" doesn't even begin to cover it.

    I first started collecting the line in late 2010 by seeing Adora on eBay. When I first figured out what the heck was going on (no easy task, just to figure out what the heck MattyCollector was), and got to the sub page - I was told I could sign up the following summer...for a blind subscription that was going to cost me north of $500...for figures I wouldn't begin to see until 2012! Just that, right there, is enough to turn anyone off. I remember literally laughing out loud at the concept. However, because I love PoP so much and I've wanted to see these figures made since I was a kid (the vintage line had almost no actual connection to FILMation so I felt like they had never been made at all), I stuck around for awhile and eventually the 4H's sculpts won me over - that combined with the BF/CM sale of 2011 which allowed me to pretty much "catch up", I eventually became "all in". I don't think that happens very often - the line was inherently gimped from getting new customers from the get-go, and I bet for every one of me who ended up collecting there were a dozen folks who wanted to, but stopped once they saw the system set up which is pretty insane to anyone not inside the bubble.

    When I started collecting, I saw all this criticism of everything, and Scott in particular. I didn't pay it much mind - "What are these people complaining about?" - I used to think. Then, it only took about six months before I started to understand and see exactly why people thought the way they did The constant manipulation, the shocking way Scott often interacts with folks (I have never, ever seen a public representative of a company, much less a marketing guy, speak the way he does publicly), and I saw nonsensical decision after nonsensical decision, and realized that the whole "we listen to the fans" thing was a complete and utter joke.

    So you can't really answer your question, because there is really no other line like this - no one else dares do business this way, they offer a product and people like it and buy it, or they don't. I've also never seen someone in charge of a brand with such an intense need to constantly be pushing a personal agenda, nor someone who feels the need to make themselves such a public figure with the audacity he does, who's willing to take credit when it comes and more than willing to lay the blame on everyone else (the customers, the vendors, his own staff) whenever things go wrong - which, they do, quite frequently.

    Your signature makes it quite clear you disagree, and that's fine - I'm very glad you are pleased with how things run overall. Me, like a lot of other folks, I'm actually going to be glad once we get the vintage figures out, get the PoP figures I was promised since 2010 when I started collecting that didn't start showing up until more than half-way through 2012, and then I can just wash my hands of it. Two things have kept me here - the 4H sculpts (no matter how badly Scott's team tries to mangle them to make them "pop"), and the love of MOTU. Once Scott moves on to his "Son of He-man" stuff in 2016, I'll be one happy camper to leave all this behind - it easily has been the most frustrating and shocking display of a publicly held company I have ever personally dealt with, and I don't care what comes out next - I'm too far in to quit now, but I won't make the mistake of walking through the door again.

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior Seril's Avatar
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    Yup, I'm very happy overall with MOTUC. Not had a single problem with any of the figures or DR and I've had a much better experience with this line than most other lines I collect/collected. I'm genuinely curious what folks are comparing this line to when they talk about how things are run so terribly and everything is bad.
    Right or wrong, buying a sub tells Mattel you want more MOTUC figures. Not buying does tells them you don't. Don't let MOTUC end early because you might not like their marketing strategy! Plus polls show you won't regret subbing!

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    NA mini-sub Supporter ! Arkangel's Avatar
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    MOTUC is perfect to be honest, my only complain so far as been the way customers are treated.

    and the bulky armours of course.

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    Clown Prince of Darkness Benedict Judas Hel's Avatar
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    I think Takara's Masterpiece Transformers is the best line I collect. Perfect updates of vintage figures that also take cues from the G1 cartoon and also transform into perfect copies of their alt mode. I couldn't be happier with their figures. There were a few hiccups at the very beginning (out of scale Megatron and Optimus Prime) but they have done overwhelmingly well in my eyes. I don't need to know the Japanese brand manager or read what he says. As long as I can get my hands on their awesome toys, I'm happy.
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    Got Filmation? shadowfall1976's Avatar
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    Transformers Masterpiece MP-10 and forward seems to be being done right. MOTUC is what I think a standard non transforming action figure line should be however, larger figures, and good detail. I do have gripes about certain aspects like a few face sculpts, choice of parts like with Sorceress too long a crotch piece, non articulated thighs, Blastic, Fat Armor, way too reused TJ parts. Using flat abs, flat silver abs on Fisto when they weren't needed. Weak ass ankles on early males, and still even on new Females....etc....

    I hate anorexic 4" figures, especially since most companies now have cut articulation to a minimum on them, they look worse now. And while not perfect that is why only now do I have the beginnings of a small Star Wars collection, because of the Black 6" line. But for me, MOTUC has set the standard in what I like to see in a standard figure line I collect.

    But now my new love is Transformers Masterpiece, awesome work, damn close accuracy and details, yes some have hollow parts, but it transforms....I don't get what people want, if they want fully accurate figures with filled in limbs buy non transforming statues or buy Revoltech, there are options for you. But I love my new MP line as much as I loved my MOTUC in the beginning, and still do on a smaller scale now. I have even sold off Classics / Generations Transformers because the MP line is THE line I have waited 30 years to own. Toy / toon accuracy combined with the ability to perfectly transform between both modes.

    While MOTUC set the standard in regular articulated Human styled figures to me, Transformers MP is the Gold, because Transformers has always been my first love, that took a back burner due to lack of anything I wanted between mid 2010 and mid 2013 when I picked back up with Generations and Masterpiece.

    If I could cancel my MOTUC sub to concentrate on G1 MP Transformers (not G2 Sideswipe, or Diaclone Tigertracks, or Black Prime...etc)....I would. I wouldn't even own the YOTH Prime if I could have gotten a cheap Takara or Hasbro original release. But don't get me wrong, since the YOTH Prime is the only MP-10 I have....I do really really like it, Gold and all, the clear trailer sold it for me, plus the Price, less than half what the actual original MP-10 goes for now, even with re-releases. So yeah, obvious choice to me to have a MP-10 mold that has a trailer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedict Judas Hel View Post
    I think Takara's Masterpiece Transformers is the best line I collect. Perfect updates of vintage figures that also take cues from the G1 cartoon and also transform into perfect copies of their alt mode. I couldn't be happier with their figures. There were a few hiccups at the very beginning (out of scale Megatron and Optimus Prime) but they have done overwhelmingly well in my eyes. I don't need to know the Japanese brand manager or read what he says. As long as I can get my hands on their awesome toys, I'm happy.
    Sentiments shared.... I love My MOTUC collection, but I have to give it to MP Transformers MP-10 and forward for me. Although I do own the 20th Anniversary MP Prime....after getting the YOTH Prime....I realized just how bad that mold really was, after loving it for almost 10 years....now MP-10 is my ultimate Prime....even if the YOTH Prime is decorated differently and not for everyone, it is the version I have if not....I'm not paying $300 for a regular colored Prime.
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    Transformers. Especially the Masterpiece line. Shogo Hasui, the lead designer, is practically a rock star in TF fandom circles and regularly gives updates and previews on his twitter. I love MOTUC but honestly Transformers Masterpiece or S.H. Monsterarts are better toys.

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    Heroic Master of Puzzles Thatman's Avatar
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    For all its problems, MOTUC is up there for me. Diverse character selection, solid, well-made figures (for the most part), all eras, and beasts, vehicles, and Grayskull.

    I'd also have to agree with Scott about Palisades' Muppet line for the reasons he stated; I'd also suggest the Star Wars 1995-forward line, the vintage TMNT line, and Batman: the Animated Series (and its later additions through box sets, etc.)
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    Heroic Warrior guardianmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritOfTeela View Post
    That said, most lines don't pretend they listen to fans, don't have brand managers who present themselves as "the face" of the brand, who take credit when things go right and blame the customers when things go wrong, and don't engage in strange hoops and/or insane-to-normal-folk convoluted subscription systems that require a major financial commitment for unseen product.

    The essential problem of MOTUC is the combination of a brand manager who has styled himself as a "celebrity" (the picture of Scott on Matty is larger than any picture of He-man or anything else), and the extremely restrictive subscription system that excludes so many folks right out of the gate (find out about the line in September? Tough luck - you can subscribe, next summer, for a subscription that starts nearly a year and a half later).
    DING DING DING

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    NA mini-sub Supporter ! Arkangel's Avatar
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    also on the Transformers Masterpiece topic, i wish mattel would lay eyes on what they are doing with Wheeljack.

    PRE-ORDERS running for months now ! Possibly one batch of Wheeljack's will outsell a year's worth of MOTUC :P

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    Heroic Warrior Dinobot's Avatar
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    TF Masterpiece is good, but I will complain about the way Hasbro handles it by taking out pieces (Rodimus Prime doesn't come with his trailer!), plus availability is a problem by being a TRU exclusive. Importing can be expensive also.

    Quote Originally Posted by KPhilipsen View Post
    Transformers. Especially the Masterpiece line. Shogo Hasui, the lead designer, is practically a rock star in TF fandom circles and regularly gives updates and previews on his twitter. I love MOTUC but honestly Transformers Masterpiece or S.H. Monsterarts are better toys.
    Didn't know anyone collected S. H. Monsterarts besides me! I only have Godzilla '94, Mechagodzilla '93, and Fire Rodan, but with no Grayskull to save up for this year I plan to beef up my collection. I am a bit annoyed that they have been removing the extra parts of late, and I still want official releases of the first two effects packs!

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    Heroic Warrior guardianmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinobot View Post
    TF Masterpiece is good, but I will complain about the way Hasbro handles it by taking out pieces (Rodimus Prime doesn't come with his trailer!), plus availability is a problem by being a TRU exclusive. Importing can be expensive also.
    taking out? i don't mind Rodimus' trailer missing - it's not essential to his transformation and, really, the battle station is stupid.

    on the flip side, Hasbro included *ALL* of the tapes with MP Soundwave, while Takara only included two and sold the rest separately. definitely a PLUS in the Hasbro column.

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    Attachment 92812

    The Late Great Palisades Toys (The Muppets / Pink Panther / Adult Swim) is the only one close.

    The Brand Manager there Ken Lilly (Resident Lilly) was phenomenal. I think Scott is really great too, if I ever get to a Comi Con he is at I am buying him lunch, and he is really treated badly for all he does do for the line and us. Lilly was also on the boards all the time and he answered almost 'EVERYTHING'. He also discussed why he did things with certain figures with board members in posts.

    He told us about factories, the production process, how prototypes worked, problems with figure, issues with figures, what he wanted - vision for the lines (not hinting at all ever) and he even shared pictures of stuff in the works, once official! AND HE PUT SOME REAL DEDICATED FANS NAMES ON THE PRODUCT PACKAGES!!! MY NAME IS ON A MUPPET TOY - JUST LIKE CASTLE GRAYSKULLMAN!!! THE HOLIDAY SWEDISH CHEF!

    He even sent me a loose action figure stand signed to put under my Rainbow Connection Kermit because I commented on someone else's. He was truly incredible!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinobot View Post
    TF Masterpiece is good, but I will complain about the way Hasbro handles it by taking out pieces (Rodimus Prime doesn't come with his trailer!), plus availability is a problem by being a TRU exclusive. Importing can be expensive also.



    Didn't know anyone collected S. H. Monsterarts besides me! I only have Godzilla '94, Mechagodzilla '93, and Fire Rodan, but with no Grayskull to save up for this year I plan to beef up my collection. I am a bit annoyed that they have been removing the extra parts of late, and I still want official releases of the first two effects packs!
    Biollante is incredible! Very excited to be wrapping up the Heisei series of chars this summer with the Mothra/Battra Larvae too!

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    Got Filmation? shadowfall1976's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkangel View Post
    also on the Transformers Masterpiece topic, i wish mattel would lay eyes on what they are doing with Wheeljack.

    PRE-ORDERS running for months now ! Possibly one batch of Wheeljack's will outsell a year's worth of MOTUC :P
    Wheeljack is by far the best MP car yet, I haven't seen the toy back with the rear window back there yet, but regardless, he is awesome. Even unpainted the Stratos alt mode is so beautifully and accurately done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dinobot View Post
    TF Masterpiece is good, but I will complain about the way Hasbro handles it by taking out pieces (Rodimus Prime doesn't come with his trailer!), plus availability is a problem by being a TRU exclusive. Importing can be expensive also.
    Hasbro sold the Rodimus / Hot Rod without the trailer for price, way more than Prime's trailer because of the inner workings, Prime had a small human sized repair / attack platform on an articulated pole, Rodimus had a fully detailed huge robot sized Blaster platform hiding inside, as well as the roof to the Rodimus alt mode hiding underneath, well more than Primes Trailer had.

    And Hasbro did as GM mentioned sell Soundwave with all of the tapes, and MP-10 with his trailer.... And the Soundwave absolutely had no difference other than the cassettes missing a little chrome (big whoop), and Soundwave had a yellow visor instead of red.
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    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Heroic Master of Sleep Lay Ze-Man's Avatar
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    The FOUR HORSEMEN original property stuff.

    Past factory issues beyond their control aside, their figures (in particular Xetheus, Scarabus, and the upcoming Ravens) are far and away the gold standard for modern action figure craft.

  21. #21
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lay Ze-Man View Post
    The FOUR HORSEMEN original property stuff.

    Past factory issues beyond their control aside, their figures (in particular Xetheus, Scarabus, and the upcoming Ravens) are far and away the gold standard for modern action figure craft.
    I thought you were dead!* Long time, no read, Lay Ze!

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    Heroic Warrior Night Stalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritOfTeela View Post
    I see what you did there...

    Obviously, there is no line that is perfect.

    That said, most lines don't pretend they listen to fans, don't have brand managers who present themselves as "the face" of the brand, who take credit when things go right and blame the customers when things go wrong, and don't engage in strange hoops and/or insane-to-normal-folk convoluted subscription systems that require a major financial commitment for unseen product.

    The essential problem of MOTUC is the combination of a brand manager who has styled himself as a "celebrity" (the picture of Scott on Matty is larger than any picture of He-man or anything else), and the extremely restrictive subscription system that excludes so many folks right out of the gate (find out about the line in September? Tough luck - you can subscribe, next summer, for a subscription that starts nearly a year and a half later).

    We would have been far better off had this whole dog and pony show of "we listen to the fans!" theater had never happened. We should not even know the name of the brand manager. But we do, because he has made it a point to be known, has chosen to be the face of the brand, and not only is the fact that we are listened to a sham, but he actively antagonizes folks at worst, and demonstrates his utter lack of (or willingness to) understand what people actually want at best. "Out of touch" doesn't even begin to cover it.

    I first started collecting the line in late 2010 by seeing Adora on eBay. When I first figured out what the heck was going on (no easy task, just to figure out what the heck MattyCollector was), and got to the sub page - I was told I could sign up the following summer...for a blind subscription that was going to cost me north of $500...for figures I wouldn't begin to see until 2012! Just that, right there, is enough to turn anyone off. I remember literally laughing out loud at the concept. However, because I love PoP so much and I've wanted to see these figures made since I was a kid (the vintage line had almost no actual connection to FILMation so I felt like they had never been made at all), I stuck around for awhile and eventually the 4H's sculpts won me over - that combined with the BF/CM sale of 2011 which allowed me to pretty much "catch up", I eventually became "all in". I don't think that happens very often - the line was inherently gimped from getting new customers from the get-go, and I bet for every one of me who ended up collecting there were a dozen folks who wanted to, but stopped once they saw the system set up which is pretty insane to anyone not inside the bubble.

    When I started collecting, I saw all this criticism of everything, and Scott in particular. I didn't pay it much mind - "What are these people complaining about?" - I used to think. Then, it only took about six months before I started to understand and see exactly why people thought the way they did The constant manipulation, the shocking way Scott often interacts with folks (I have never, ever seen a public representative of a company, much less a marketing guy, speak the way he does publicly), and I saw nonsensical decision after nonsensical decision, and realized that the whole "we listen to the fans" thing was a complete and utter joke.

    So you can't really answer your question, because there is really no other line like this - no one else dares do business this way, they offer a product and people like it and buy it, or they don't. I've also never seen someone in charge of a brand with such an intense need to constantly be pushing a personal agenda, nor someone who feels the need to make themselves such a public figure with the audacity he does, who's willing to take credit when it comes and more than willing to lay the blame on everyone else (the customers, the vendors, his own staff) whenever things go wrong - which, they do, quite frequently.

    Your signature makes it quite clear you disagree, and that's fine - I'm very glad you are pleased with how things run overall. Me, like a lot of other folks, I'm actually going to be glad once we get the vintage figures out, get the PoP figures I was promised since 2010 when I started collecting that didn't start showing up until more than half-way through 2012, and then I can just wash my hands of it. Two things have kept me here - the 4H sculpts (no matter how badly Scott's team tries to mangle them to make them "pop"), and the love of MOTU. Once Scott moves on to his "Son of He-man" stuff in 2016, I'll be one happy camper to leave all this behind - it easily has been the most frustrating and shocking display of a publicly held company I have ever personally dealt with, and I don't care what comes out next - I'm too far in to quit now, but I won't make the mistake of walking through the door again.
    This post sums up pretty much everything I feel about the MOTUC line. The only other thing I can add is the exorbitant price charged for what is essentially just an average toy line with borderline awful quality. When I hear of people paying $100 for a Shadow Weaver, it really makes me ponder the depths of how far someone will go to be a completist.

    No toy line is perfect, but I was most satisfied with McFarlane's Movie Maniacs series. The figures were (relatively) easy to find, not expensive, and very well-sculpted. Even the characters that I didn't care about I bought, just because they looked so cool. That's my personal "bronze" standard of what a toyline should be.
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    Heroic Warrior Dinobot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfall1976 View Post
    And Hasbro did as GM mentioned sell Soundwave with all of the tapes, and MP-10 with his trailer.... And the Soundwave absolutely had no difference other than the cassettes missing a little chrome (big whoop), and Soundwave had a yellow visor instead of red.
    Yes, but you are all forgetting the most grievous omission of all: the apron and serving tray from MP Grimlock! How can I have my robot T-Rex serve drinks without his serving tray? CURSE YOU HASBRO!

    Quote Originally Posted by KPhilipsen View Post
    Biollante is incredible! Very excited to be wrapping up the Heisei series of chars this summer with the Mothra/Battra Larvae too!
    Battra is incredible! Might be a day 1 purchase for me!

  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior isic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seril View Post
    So with various folks unhappy with the unnamed one spoiler and the normal various comments about how this or that was done wrong, it got me thinking. What other action figure series has consistently given figures that everyone loved, had a brand manger who has listen to all fan input, been completely transparent with how things were done, and had each and every figure easily available? Are there any? Sure MOTUC has had some things that could have done better but I'm curious as to what lines were done 'right'?
    I would just like to point some things out. If indeed you mean MOTUC with what you imply, then I have some issues with it.

    1. "What other action figure series has consistently givin figures that everyone loved" - Well that I can't answer for other lines, but when concerning MOTUC, that is completely false. MOTUC has definitely NOT consistently givin figures that everyone loved (Dorko?)

    2. "Has a brand manager who listens to all fan input". Really? Scott might "hear" or "read" SOME fan input, but I doubt he ever really LISTENS to it!

    3. "Been completely transparent with how things are done". Why don't you ask Scott what the production numbers are for this line, or what the UNO really looks like, or what the rest of the years figures will be? Hell, the way their subscription model is run, has got to be the furthest from transparent I have ever seen.

    Finally 4. "Had each and every figure easily available". How long have you been collecting this line, because that has got to be one of the craziest and most untrue things I have ever heard said about this line!

    Now, with that said, if your statement was just pointing out that no other company does these things and it's not just a problem isolated with Mattel, then... touche' salesmen! But your statement implied you were defending Mattel because they do these things you mentioned and nobody else does.

  25. #25
    Evil Apologist of Mattel Count Marzo's Avatar
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    Transformers Masterpiece toys (and other Japanese imports) SHOULD be better toys than MOTUC since they cost $100s of dollars more.

    For what we get each and every month, I couldn't be happier with MOTUC. I don't care if people want to paint the brand manager (Toyguru) as some sort of megalomaniac villain. I find that quite entertaining actually.
    -=EvilCuntMarz=-
    BLK FLWR!!!!

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