In a reply to an "Ask Matty" question, Toyguru addresses many problems that most of the fanbase has had with the 2014 SDCC exclusive, the now named Etheria Invasion Hordak. Etheria Invasion Hordak was "Filmation Hordak" to the fans. Most fans were upset at this reveal because the figure was seen as a "cheap" repaint of the original Hordak figure and lacked the iconic Filmation head, cowl or armor.
So, Matty could have done anything...anything as a SDCC exclusive and you give us a cheap custom repaint? I'm sorry, but that's unacceptable. I am one of those fans that passed on the other Hordaks waiting for a Filmation accurate one and I am extremely disappointed. This offering is pitiful and should've been nothing more than a quarterly variant. My question is: Do you have nothing better to offer us? This is really the only SDCC Classics announcement? If so, that's sad.
I hear you that you are disapointed, but allow me to try and frame this in a larger picture.
1: Hordak is definately the only MOTUC item for SDCC this year. So if fans are expecting anouther reveal, let me close the lid on that rumor to manage expectations.
2: Not every fan is overwhelmingly disapointed. Case in point:
3: We've already set a standard in the Classics line that "Filmation" characters use the exisiting Classics head. King Randor for example.
4: We have absolutely heard fans loud and clear that they would like a more cyborg looking head for Hordak and happy to look into that and begin exploration. But don't expect this to show up in the immediate future. Remember it takes 12-24 months to go from concept to toy. We love trying to go the extra mile and make fan requested accessories happen (i.e. Zodak head, Keldor swords) but it does take time to make this happen.
5: Finally, there seems to be a misconceptation out there that there is a specific guideline or rule to what a SDCC item should or should not be. There is most definately not. Every SDCC item for every brand every year is treated completely different. There is no rule that says a SDCC item has to be a new fig or fully tool'd or even part of an exisiting line. Every year SDCC items start at the strategy level with company priorities and opportunities.
For MOTUC, we are working under the "clock is ticking" situation where prices are going up faster than we can produce figures. This is why we reworked the 2014-2015 roadmap to try and complete all vintage figures and A list media figures before the end of 2015 when prices may outpace what fans will pay (exactly what happened on the DC 6" line).
"Filmation" (Etheria Invasion) Hordak was always a fig we wanted to be part of this roadmap. He did not make sense as a monthly offering as those are intended to be all original characters. We could have looked at doing him as a quarterly release but that would have meant not including Imp as Imp counts as a SKU since he is an articulated figure. This (in Mattel's system) makes the SDCC item technically a 2-pack. Using the SDCC slot was ideal because it allowed us the opportunity to offer Hordak and Imp together. Additionally, as an A list character and an A list deco/variant, this was an ideal SDCC item as it appeals to hard core fans as well as more casual fans who may use this fig as there entrance point to start collecting.
Yes we certianly could have done a new head, and based on fan demand after the reveal it sounds like that would have been a cool idea. But based on the standard we had already set (with King Randor) that Filmation figures use repaints of the Classic heads, and the fact that we wanted to make Etheria Invasion Hordak fit seamlessly into the exisiting Hordak collection and not stand out, we went with the exisiting head. It was not a move to be cheap, it was following already set precedent that all Hordak's already have the same head and like Throe Room Randor, Filmation inspired figures use repaints of the previous releases head.
That all being said, it is clear fans do want a cyborg head and no reason that is off the table for down the road. We got it. But the larger picture to reitterate is there is NO standard rule for what or what should not be a SDCC item. A lot of fans create there own self generated rules and than apply them to our offerings. Than when the offering does not match the self generated rules and regulations each fan creates on their own for what a SDCC offering should be, there can be disapointment.
So really, this is about both A: Mattel misjudging how much fans want a Cyborg head (totally here you on that and we will look at finding a way to do one down the road), but B: Fans need to understand that there is no rule for what a SDCC fig should be and how much or how little new parts should be on a new offering. Creating these self generated rules in each of our heads is not benificial and more often leads to disapointment.
Etheria Invasion Hordak is still a fully articulated 6" figure with new parts and an all new mini fig of Imp never offered before and likely never again. Whether or not he got a newly sculpted head does not change the fact that this is still a kick butt figure and we are really proud of this offering and finding a way to get this fig into the 2 year road map with Imp included was not easy.
So in conclusion, yes will look into a "cyborg" looking head for Hordak one day down the road, but we do ask Fans to manage there expectations. When you project your own self created rules for what a toy should or should not have, it may potentially lead to greater disapointment. (vs. has anyone taken a step back here? Come on! We are getting blue Hordak! With Imp! With cannon arm! With new bio! Really cool folks! (not to mention for those going to SDCC the chance to also get Imp as a treasure chest for FREE with your at show or preshow pick up purchase! Is that not awesome!)
We've had Classics going strong for 6 plus years now. Almost 150 characters. There will always be something to have an issue with, but big picture, I couldn't be more proud of what we have done and can't wait to sell in 2015 and give this line the send off it deserves! Lets finish that roadmap and complete the line! (than we can talk about a potential 2016 and beoynd and a Cyborg head for Hordak... one thing at a time!)
Nothing but greatness ahead (pending 2015 sells in).
See you all at SDCC!
See what the fans have to say HERE!