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Thread: Some quick updates

  1. #26
    Heroic Warrior He-Boy's Avatar
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    The problem I have is that Mattel expects photos of QC problems NOW. The black plastic issues (much like Roboto's torso and Goddess' pelvis) can happen 6 months from now. It's too late by then if we are stuck with 12 months worth of time-bomb figures just waiting to develop defects such as paint coming off.

    Also, does it have to be a QC issue to be changed? Why can't the voice of the majority be the reason for change. If so many of your customers are requesting change shouldn't that be enough? Do you have to wait for them to speak with their wallets, damaging/ending the line, to react? It's too late by then.

    I'm curious what drove this cost cutting measure. Were the cost of the figures for 2012 projected so poorly that we now have removed paint apps, removed accessories, and black plastic to break even? Or are you trying to increase profit by cutting corners? The way I read it, prices incresed for 2013, yet the plan was to use black plastic anyway. Sounds like a lose-lose situation to me. If the black plastic is here to stay then you can pretty much kiss a 2014 sub goodbye.

  2. #27
    Heroic Warrior Cringer_luvr's Avatar
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    This post says it all, I work in health care and we dont need 100s of examples to make a change, if we see something wrong OR if it is brought up BEFORE it becomes a widespread problem WE FIX IT! Mattel we are your customers. the customer is always correct.




    Quote Originally Posted by He-Boy View Post
    The problem I have is that Mattel expects photos of QC problems NOW. The black plastic issues (much like Roboto's torso and Goddess' pelvis) can happen 6 months from now. It's too late by then if we are stuck with 12 months worth of time-bomb figures just waiting to develop defects such as paint coming off.

    Also, does it have to be a QC issue to be changed? Why can't the voice of the majority be the reason for change. If so many of your customers are requesting change shouldn't that be enough? Do you have to wait for them to speak with their wallets, damaging/ending the line, to react? It's too late by then.

    I'm curious what drove this cost cutting measure. Were the cost of the figures for 2012 projected so poorly that we now have removed paint apps, removed accessories, and black plastic to break even? Or are you trying to increase profit by cutting corners? The way I read it, prices incresed for 2013, yet the plan was to use black plastic anyway. Sounds like a lose-lose situation to me. If the black plastic is here to stay then you can pretty much kiss a 2014 sub goodbye.
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  3. #28
    Heroic Warrior Count Judas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfall1976 View Post
    The pics I have seen look more than QC flaws, with the paint not just being applied badly, but coming off after the first movement of the figure, that was never a QC defect, it was a design defect, painting tight joints and expecting the paint not to come off, is just wishful thinking, it's a no brainer that in time it will happen.

    And MOSC collectors can't take pics, unless the paint is visibly off, but it's enough for anyone with common sense to know that a 3/4 painted figure is just a stupid idea, and a cheap way out, absolutely no one wants in MOTUC. Pics or not, it never should have been explored as an option, as I said, this is not, nor was it ever a QC issue, but more a design flaw.

    Now we will have at least 10 figures that have the same design flaw....not a QC defect, just as Stinkors forearms were design flaws....But at least there could be a light at the end of the tunnel for the black plastic train.
    Yes, this was a ridiculously idea made by design to begin with. They cut costs on toy designing but the consumer pays for it in having quality lessened to this degree. The painted figures will chip at the joints, even with minimal use, it does not take an experienced person to know this and yet Mattel are supposed to be the experts in toy making. Huge flaw in design and in thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    We have to cut costs on 2012 figures because we got hit by cost increases after selling in the sub at 20.00 per fig. This is why the price increase in 2013. So we don't have to delete as much deco or accessories or anything else we can think of to catch up to skyrocketing costs. The 2013 price should prevent us from doing this type of cost saving moves (which we hate doing but have to fro 2012 since we locked in a low price to customers. We didn;t have the option to raise the price to compensate)
    First of all, thanks for the updates TG, we do appreciate you giving us these notifications. About the cost saving measure, I did see this as the major factor as we are getting 2008 production cost figures in 2012. But we had half a years worth of correctly colored plastic on our figures with only a few of them missing paint apps (which were due to those costs) why did it stop? I'm looking at Vykron (who had his own budget), Spikor, Mekaneck, Sir Laser-Lot, Snake Men, Cy-Chop, DB Skeletor - these figures really don't have that many paint apps on them nor do they require much of it at all. So we're now getting figures that really don't need that much paint apps to begin with and we're also getting them in black plastic as well. This goes from cost saving to just plain cheapening on the consumer. I do hope the "ideally" change will become a guarantee for Dec. and going forward and not just more hot air being blown at us. Its hard being optimistic with this line sometimes.
    Last edited by Count Judas; September 19, 2012 at 04:33am.
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  4. #29
    Heroic Warrior whbinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Porkchop View Post
    I find it more puzzling and even a bit disturbing that the black plastic was a cost cutting measure, even though the price of the figures have went up.
    Really? Are you being grumpy or can you actually not understand that? I know that may sound confrontational, but I'm honestly asking. Material costs have gone up. This isn't a Mattel fantasy. Plastics, paints and other petroleum products cost way more than they did in 2008. Mattel has to look for cost cutting tools to keep the cost close to the same. The production cost has raised more than the cost of the figures has been raised.

    Look, Mattel makes lots of mistakes. We all agree to this. But if their production cost goes higher than their profits, they can't just say "Well, we won't pay our employees this month" They have to raise the prices or lower the production cost, or in this case, a balance of the two. For all the things Mattel isn't clear on, they've been pretty transparent on this one.

  5. #30
    Bring on MYP Sorceress! MasterCollector's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfall1976 View Post
    Now we will have at least 10 figures that have the same design flaw....not a QC defect
    I was planning on buying multiple Mekaneck and Snake Men figures from Matty, but with this black plastic fiasco, I cut my order down to ONE Mekaneck to limit the amount of cheap looking figures in my display. Both figures still sold out but we'll see how many people regret buying some extras due to the paint chipping issue in a month or so. This kind of stuff can cause a mass exodus.
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  6. #31
    Heroic Warrior Inhibitor's Avatar
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    New loophole: now in order to prove a QC issue, hundreds of photos must be submitted.

    Plastic that is molded in a color other that the one the character arrives in, especially around the joints, is a bad QC decision based of principle alone. No review needed. I expect this to not be an issue come January.
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  7. #32
    Heroic Warrior Orko's Magic Hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterCollector View Post
    I was planning on buying multiple Mekaneck and Snake Men figures from Matty, but with this black plastic fiasco, I cut my order down to ONE Mekaneck to limit the amount of cheap looking figures in my display. Both figures still sold out but we'll see how many people regret buying some extras due to the paint chipping issue in a month or so. This kind of stuff can cause a mass exodus.
    The thing is despite the black plastic (I oppose it BTW) the figures DON'T look cheap - they still look like the previous figures. SLL is a fantastic figure - all tight joints, really nice paint apps and the plastic/paint looks really good - but i'm SCARED of displaying him in any dynamic pose because I don't want the black to come out. Same goes for Spikor and Vykron. Its funny that issues like the minor sloppy paints and loose joints have on a whole been addressed - then something new comes along!

    That's the baffling thing about this - the figures still looks great and look high quality and the fact that they are painting the majority of the figure doesn't make them look cheap at all, its like the stactions all over again
    Last edited by Orko's Magic Hat; September 19, 2012 at 05:31am.
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  8. #33
    Heroic Warrior orkothewizard's Avatar
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    May I remember everyone about the led paint incident from years ago? How many pics were taken to pull them back?

    You can't take paint issues lightly and certainly if healt issues are involved!

    An example: I handle my motuc and paint residu is stuck on my hands. After that I eat something without washing my hands.
    It's possible that I eat some piaint residu along with it and that's dangerous for the health.

    Does mattel use this black plastic for other lines beside motuc? I would imagine if a barbies paint would come off it wouldn't be aloud to sell to children. But if it's for adults and you can cut costs with it it's no problem? We have to take pics?

    Let's say you made toy trains and you let peolpe sub for a year and send them a new train wagon every month for 20 dollars a piece. During that year prices for production go up and you change the plastic it is made with because it costs you less.
    Before you made the change your trains were from a good plastic and the paint doesn't chip. They were aproved and that's the quality everyone aspects who has a sub.
    But with the new plastic the paints chips when handled and subbers now clearly get trains with a poorer quality.

    Legaly there are some problems with this I think. Can you change during a contract (a sub in this case) the products quality? If another cheaper plastic was used that wouldn't have the paint chip problem and wont change the quality than that would be legaly ok. But in this case a cheaper plastic is used and it drasticly changes the quality, I would even say it is dangerous for our health.

    If this were a kids toy you would have had big problems and maybe you should put 'wash your hands after touching motuc' on the package.

    You should be very thankfull no ones going to court for this. We only point out the obvious and one pic should be enough to say that these cutting corners aren't healthy nor legal. What do you like more: 30 people posting pics on here or 30 people go to court with this?
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  9. #34
    Heroic Warrior GozzoMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orko's Magic Hat View Post
    its like the stactions all over again
    Which is tragedy to me I don't like statues at all, I like my action figures to be playable/posable and I enjoy to play/pose them, and that's one of the main reasons I got into MOTUC!

    Quote Originally Posted by Trans22 View Post
    Hey Toyguru will Granamyr be Black plastic then painted or will it be molded in red plastic?
    EXCELLENT question, mate.
    I do hope we get a really clear answer, lacking which I will NOT take a chance buying it.

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfall1976 View Post
    The pics I have seen look more than QC flaws, with the paint not just being applied badly, but coming off after the first movement of the figure, that was never a QC defect, it was a design defect, painting tight joints and expecting the paint not to come off, is just wishful thinking, it's a no brainer that in time it will happen.
    I shake my head in sad disbelief that this is considered QC issue instead of design flaw, and at all the "hundreds of images" approach.

    Something clearly very wrong have been produced, and it's still customers' fault for not providing enough pictures? Unbelievable AND outrageous.
    Last edited by GozzoMan; September 19, 2012 at 05:56am.
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  10. #35
    Heroic Warrior Wulff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He-Boy View Post
    The problem I have is that Mattel expects photos of QC problems NOW. The black plastic issues (much like Roboto's torso and Goddess' pelvis) can happen 6 months from now. It's too late by then if we are stuck with 12 months worth of time-bomb figures just waiting to develop defects such as paint coming off.

    Also, does it have to be a QC issue to be changed? Why can't the voice of the majority be the reason for change. If so many of your customers are requesting change shouldn't that be enough? Do you have to wait for them to speak with their wallets, damaging/ending the line, to react? It's too late by then.

    I'm curious what drove this cost cutting measure. Were the cost of the figures for 2012 projected so poorly that we now have removed paint apps, removed accessories, and black plastic to break even? Or are you trying to increase profit by cutting corners? The way I read it, prices incresed for 2013, yet the plan was to use black plastic anyway. Sounds like a lose-lose situation to me. If the black plastic is here to stay then you can pretty much kiss a 2014 sub goodbye.

    But for plenty of people, like myself, it is not an issue or even noticeable. As Scott said, the lack of photos provided speaks to that.

    If they need to use black plastic to make things more economically viable, they can go ahead as far as I'm concerned. Doesn't affect the perceived quality for me.

  11. #36
    For Hordak. To the death. lorde trooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He-Dude View Post
    Maybe they are cutting costs in order to find ways to get us more... like vehicles and such.
    I think its more towards profits then getting us vechiles.

    Also 30 photos should be more then enough, many collectors dont post on he-man.org or matty collector. For TG thats just an easy door out. Like i said before i like what TG has done for the line but he knows deep down more can be done.

    Being a major company like Mattel id find it quite poor that "design" would say hey TG we ONLY have 30 photos from you, thats not enough. Lightbulbs and alarms should be going off, like i said not everyone visits this site to upload pics of there figures poor paint apps.
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  12. #37
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    Black plastic painted over? There's your high end figures.

  13. #38
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    There are several things which I am happy to criticise Mattel for, but looking into cost savings isn't one of them. A business has to do that, and this is a small line afterall.

    Is the black plastic thing really a big deal if only a few people have been able to present evidence? Scott's correct to point out that a discussion doesn't amount to evidence. We've all seen how discussions can exaggarate the point.

    This doesn't mean every design choice is a good one.
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  14. #39
    Heroic Warrior He-Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wulff View Post
    But for plenty of people, like myself, it is not an issue or even noticeable. As Scott said, the lack of photos provided speaks to that.

    If they need to use black plastic to make things more economically viable, they can go ahead as far as I'm concerned. Doesn't affect the perceived quality for me.
    Except that your paying exactly the same price whether they are made of black plastic or not. Using black plastic hasn't made things cheaper for you nor has it provided you with more accessories, so the only one to benefit is Mattel.

    It's not an issue to you yet, but if/when your figures start chipping you might care then.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru
    02:44 They'll last forever
    Some examples of just received MOTUC:





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  16. #41
    Pillar of the Community hadley's Avatar
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    Must every thread devolve into the same pictures being posted? He said he addressed it as best he could with the evidence that we gathered. It was a necessary evil for 2012 and shouldn't continue in 2013. It's time to get over it.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadley View Post
    Must every thread devolve into the same pictures being posted? He said he addressed it as best he could with the evidence that we gathered. It was a necessary evil for 2012 and shouldn't continue in 2013. It's time to get over it.
    "shouldn't" is the key and alarming word here....

  18. #43
    Evil & armed for combat TJRules's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whbinder View Post
    Really? Are you being grumpy or can you actually not understand that? I know that may sound confrontational, but I'm honestly asking. Material costs have gone up. This isn't a Mattel fantasy. Plastics, paints and other petroleum products cost way more than they did in 2008. Mattel has to look for cost cutting tools to keep the cost close to the same. The production cost has raised more than the cost of the figures has been raised.
    Totally agree with this. Not to mention that Chinese labor has gone up as well.

    If you have pics of the black plastic issue, POST THEM. Just ranting about it does no good.
    Thanks for keeping us informed, TG.
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  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    Actually. No. To be straight up, a petition or discussion like that has zero effect on design. They need to see images, and especially in terms of a QC issue, WIDESPREAD images. Pictures are a thousand words and proof of what the issue is. People discussing it can help bring attention, but not resolution. We need images. And since we are talking production in the thousands, really a few hundred images are what we are talking about. That is the most direct way fans can help communicate change to design. Its what I need to be able to pass along. Not a discussion.
    Well I think design needs to give their collective heads a shake, because the people have spoken loud and clear and it makes good business sense to listen to the words of your consumers rather than simply base all decisions on images of defects. Defects or not people don't like this practice because it seems cheap on what are supposed to be adult collector figures. Innumerable people have spoken out that they will stop buying the figures if this practice continues, which sadly could spell the death knell for the line. So it sounds to me like the real issue is that there needs to be a sea change in the thinking of the design team more than anything else. Our voices matter Scott, and they matter because they are attached to dollars. That's the bottom line.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draego-Man View Post
    Well I think design needs to give their collective heads a shake, because the people have spoken loud and clear and it makes good business sense to listen to the words of your consumers rather than simply base all decisions on images of defects. Defects or not people don't like this practice because it seems cheap on what are supposed to be adult collector figures. Innumerable people have spoken out that they will stop buying the figures if this practice continues, which sadly could spell the death knell for the line. So it sounds to me like the real issue is that there needs to be a sea change in the thinking of the design team more than anything else. Our voices matter Scott, and they matter because they are attached to dollars. That's the bottom line.
    The problem is that Motuc is presented as "Mattel doing us a favor", and they think we just have to be thankfull that they are selling us this figures even thou they donīt make a huge proffit..

  21. #46
    Evil & armed for combat TJRules's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GozzoMan View Post
    I shake my head in sad disbelief that this is considered QC issue instead of design flaw, and at all the "hundreds of images" approach.

    Something clearly very wrong have been produced, and it's still customers' fault for not providing enough pictures? Unbelievable AND outrageous.
    He said they've received hundreds of pics. They make thousands of figures. He also said he's talked with the design team about it and they're looking into it. What more do you want? Sheesh. Being handmade, these figures are pretty awesome. And being handmade, these types of issues is what you're gonna get.
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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    We have to cut costs on 2012 figures because we got hit by cost increases after selling in the sub at 20.00 per fig. This is why the price increase in 2013. So we don't have to delete as much deco or accessories or anything else we can think of to catch up to skyrocketing costs. The 2013 price should prevent us from doing this type of cost saving moves (which we hate doing but have to fro 2012 since we locked in a low price to customers. We didn;t have the option to raise the price to compensate)
    I have to say, that seems like a pretty questionable practice. People agreed to pay for a certain quality of figure that they had come to expect when they signed into the contract of the subs. The expectation in that agreement is that people will honor their sub by paying each month and that Mattel will honor the sub by maintaining the expected quality. Dropping the quality because Mattel undercharged at the start of the year is a breach of contract no matter how you slice it.

    Think of this, say you had a subscription to receive a new Ferrari every month, and then one month they started sending you Pontiac Fieros instead. You think people would have grounds to complain? You have a contract to receive a certain quality of product, but their argument is "a car is a car and we needed to cut costs because we charged you too little".

    Mattel needs to honor their contracts and eat the cost. I'm sorry but that is an unacceptable practice or excuse and places the company on pretty shaky legal ground.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draego-Man View Post
    I have to say, that seems like a pretty questionable practice. People agreed to pay for a certain quality of figure that they had come to expect when they signed into the contract of the subs. The expectation in that agreement is that people will honor their sub by paying each month and that Mattel will honor the sub by maintaining the expected quality. Dropping the quality because Mattel undercharged at the start of the year is a breach of contract no matter how you slice it.

    Think of this, say you had a subscription to receive a new Ferrari every month, and then one month they started sending you Pontiac Fieros instead. You think people would have grounds to complain? You have a contract to receive a certain quality of product, but their argument is "a car is a car and we needed to cut costs because we charged you too little".

    Mattel needs to honor their contracts and eat the cost. I'm sorry but that is an unacceptable practice or excuse and places the company on pretty shaky legal ground.
    They just wonīt take a loss..

  24. #49
    Heroic Warrior hlinhk128's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update TG.

    Heres a quick question, since it's a few months off til you find out what the fate of 2014 will be like. Can you tell us what to expect right away or do we have to wait til SDCC to find out how many skus?
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  25. #50
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    My problem is, the whole black plastic trouble is something that shouldn't need a lot of pictures. We're talking about something that, as far as I can tell, was done with EVERY Vykron; it wasn't a QC glitch, it was a choice that affected the whole run. There's no new design here, nothing that hasn't been put together millions of times since 1964. It is a problem that people working for the design segment of the world's largest toy company should have been aware of without a single picture, much less hundreds: painting joints that do a lot of rubbing of parts is going to result in paint wear. Toy Biz had the same problem with the initial Fantastic Four movie figures; the middle of the neck joint on many figures was made of black plastic and painted flesh. The first time you moved the head up or down, you suddenly had a black striped down the middle of the neck. As far as I know, parents and children didn't send hundreds of pictures to the Biz; more likely, they simply giot complaints about it and started using flesh colored plastic for that part in later figures.

    This isn't a random misassembly where you need to get some idea how widespread the problem is (and I can see the importance of the number of verified complaints in that case), or a case where the exact nature of the problem is unclear from verbal descriptions (again, and understandable case where you might need to see to understand). In Roboto's case of cracked torsos, for example, I can see the need for as many photos as possible to determine where the cracks are starting and what pattern they follow to figure out what happened and how to prevent it in the future. But this case is like Hiss, where apparently all the figures in the run were made the same way, thus all of them have the problem. In the latter case, how many pictures really needed to say "the shoulders are on the wrong side" when every set of shoulders was molded that way?

    Parts molded in black plastic are scraping off paint where they rub. This is a concept anyone in toy design should already be familiar with, so why hundreds of pictures are needed to explain something so simple baffles me. I'm glad the problem is being looked into, although, again, I don't see what really needs looking at. If you keep using black plastic in this way, the problems will continue.
    Last edited by scott metzger; September 19, 2012 at 11:44am.
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