MOTU Classics

Posted by fujikuro 
Well, for all of you toy surgeons out there...here you go....

[he-man.us]

Looks like a lot of trouble.....
I'll try this myself if I find the shoulders really are a problem. The toy's arriving for my b-day, so I won't actually see or open it until the 9th. I'll just hae to take it on faith that it's a problem until then.

More serious than thou
fujikuro Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's an incredibly stupid error that they should
> have avoided, but the question is whether it
> really does impact the toy or not.

I bet that within the next week we'll hear, yet again, Toy Guru opining, "You guys should be happy because you don't know how many QC errors we actually do catch," as if it were some type of legitimate defense and not an indictment against their disjointed production process.


> As it is, Toyguru's got about as much tact as
> Godzilla. Why they let him be the face of things
> is beyond me.

At times I feel for the guy. Either he just doesn't give a shit about the line's quality or he does but he can't speak honestly about his bosses not giving a shit.


gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That Toyguru guy needs to hire a PR person to do
> the apologizing for him. The mix of smarminess and
> prickly defensiveness ain't helping. Granted, I'm
> sure he's taken a lot of shit from extremist
> collectors, but fighting shit with shit never
> helps.

The hilarious thing is that Toy Guru is part of their PR machine. Now, that may not be his only duty, but he's sure as shit been saddled with it. And either he can't do that job well or he can but he's stuck in a system that won't let him. Which brings me to...

Since we're harping on Mattel's usual cavalier attitude to bullshit QC, what would an ideal solution be? Keeping in mind that Mattel can't simply recall an entire run of figures for replacement because of its economic infeasibility...

How should Toy Guru and Mattel handle the situation?

What would be the best way to mia culpa and engender good will amongst consumers? Or are such actions even necessary? Digging deeper, is there any compelling reason Mattel should care about this type of situation? How could consumers express that reason to Mattel in a way they can understand?

So far I haven't heard people addressing those issues instead of just complaining.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Oh, so reversed shoulders have been a problem on *other* figures, too??? Damn.

Well, are the Horsemen involved with this project at all anymore? I would imagine that they just designed the buck and left all the tweaking for the individual characters up to the regular Mattel guys...

Even if they were still involved, I doubt they'd have much to do with the QC process...
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Oh, so reversed shoulders have been a problem on
> *other* figures, too??? Damn.

The very first figure (He-Man) had reversed shoulders. Since then it's been several others - Roboto, King Hsss, and the upcoming Cyclone dood. Maybe more. While not a design QC issue, I've had one figure arrive with two of the same shoulder.

Regarding Cyclone, someone pointed out the reversed shoulders at the first public showing of the figure. Toy Guru assured everyone that the problem would be fixed before production. But the first review samples had the reversed shoulders. We'll find out next month if all the production wound up being QC'd or not.


> Well, are the Horsemen involved with this project
> at all anymore? I would imagine that they just
> designed the buck and left all the tweaking for
> the individual characters up to the regular Mattel
> guys...

Supposedly they're behind 100% of each sculpt, paint masters, accessories, and new design tooling. However...


> Even if they were still involved, I doubt they'd
> have much to do with the QC process...

...They are probably in no way involved in the secondary re-design. And the production processes is all Mattel.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Heh...makes me wish Mattel had just continues with the original figures' reissues! :P
Oh, they would have screwed something up there too.

More serious than thou
Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Since we're harping on Mattel's usual cavalier
> attitude to bullshit QC, what would an ideal
> solution be? Keeping in mind that Mattel can't
> simply recall an entire run of figures for
> replacement because of its economic
> infeasibility...
>
> How should Toy Guru and Mattel handle the
> situation?
>
You know, I was actually thinking about this the other day after reading
some of the more inflammatory fan complaints, and the thing is, I would have
preferred no response to the responses ToyGuru's giving, which involve
deflection and reassigning of blame and, consequently, further deterioration of an already bad situation ("I've elevated this to design"...whatever the fuck that means (i.e., he's part of the design process given that he's in charge of the brand), or "What about all the QC errors we have caught" or "It was an error not even the reviewers caught").

I remember snapping that silly tab off of Yamato's first YF-19 back in the day and being really bummed out, and then promptly selling the damaged toy and forgetting about it. So...

...to answer your questions below, corporate really has no reason to care, and I get that and most of us have had much experience with that. But having the corporate stooge hector us as to how lucky we are and appreciative we should be ("Years ago, people were begging us to even have a site devoted to He-Man collectibles") as a way of addressing their mistake which we've funded is, I would imagine, cause for some complaint.

The only real way in which consumers can express their dissatisfaction is to boycott the property. That ain't happening, however, so...

...if he had kept his mouth shut and let it be, or simply said, "We goofed. Sorry," and left it at that, that would have been much, much better.

As far as actions Mattel could take if it were in a position to care:

1) Real measures (not just lip service) to prevent what seems like a boneheaded entry-level mistake, which has been happening since the first figures, from happening again.

2) Discounts or some kind of incenctive on upcoming figures for those saddled with the problem figures

These are things fans have been asking for for a while now, so it's nothing new.

> What would be the best way to mia culpa and
> engender good will amongst consumers? Or are such
> actions even necessary? Digging deeper, is there
> any compelling reason Mattel should care about
> this type of situation? How could consumers
> express that reason to Mattel in a way they can
> understand?
>
> So far I haven't heard people addressing those
> issues instead of just complaining.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/2011 03:32PM by gingaio.
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ...to answer your questions below, corporate
> really has no reason to care, and I get that and
> most of us have had much experience with that. But
> having the corporate stooge hector us as to how
> lucky we are and appreciative we should be ("Years
> ago, people were begging us to even have a site
> devoted to He-Man collectibles") as a way of
> addressing their mistake which we've funded is, I
> would imagine, cause for some complaint.

Agreed.


> The only real way in which consumers can express
> their dissatisfaction is to boycott the property.
> That ain't happening, however, so...

Agreed.


> ...if he had kept his mouth shut and let it be, or
> simply said, "We goofed. Sorry," and left it at
> that, that would have been much, much better.

Agreed.


> 1) Real measures (not just lip service) to prevent
> what seems like a boneheaded entry-level mistake,
> which has been happening since the first figures,
> from happening again.

Agreed, but probably infeasible. There must be dozens, if not hundreds, of hands that are involved before this kind of mistake makes it into production. I'm not sure Mattel could identify the point at which things goofed without divulging "proprietary" information about their production process. And, from what I understand, this stuff is unavoidable at some level.


> 2) Discounts or some kind of incentive on
> upcoming figures for those saddled with the
> problem figures

Agreed, and complete doable. I have no idea why this hasn't been more fully explored. A 5-10% discount coupon for the next purchase shouldn't break the bottom line. And the amount of good will it would engender would be huge. Which would soften the inevitable blow of having Hsss 2.0 released farther down the line even after Toy Guru said they wouldn't retool it.

I feel bad for Toy Guru. It's like he feels compelled to respond because he cares, but then he just ends up chomping on his own foot. It's a real comedy of airs.
Heh, I just hope they don't fuck up Panthor in some manner.

More serious than thou
Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>>airs.

Errors?

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
Prometheum5 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Gcrush Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> >>airs.
>
> Errors?


Nope. Airs was intentional.
Missed out on Hiss, but man Matty really likes to screw the collectors over. I know it's limited production runs and all, but at ~24 bucks a figure with no possibility of combining shipping because you have to order them as they come out, and with the site going down every single time they release something, these QC issues are maddening. And it seems like they tooled it so that the shoulders only go in one way, evidently to try to prevent the factory workers from mistakenly switching them! Which makes it harder to manually swap and harder for them to retool. Oh joy!

I missed the threads where people are complaining, but if you got one, opened it and found it defective, can you at least return it for a full refund (including shipping)? While many may not take them up on this offer, I think it should still be offered, it's basically a defective toy, right?
Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> gingaio Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > 1) Real measures (not just lip service) to
> prevent
> > what seems like a boneheaded entry-level
> mistake,
> > which has been happening since the first
> figures,
> > from happening again.
>
> Agreed, but probably infeasible. There must be
> dozens, if not hundreds, of hands that are
> involved before this kind of mistake makes it into
> production. I'm not sure Mattel could identify
> the point at which things goofed without divulging
> "proprietary" information about their production
> process. And, from what I understand, this stuff
> is unavoidable at some level.
>
I think if we're talking about the occasional switched limb or QC snafu, then yeah, that's totally unavoidable, but if we're talking about an entire run of figures being infected by a not-exactly-tiny issue of swapped limbs, then that seems to point at something particularly screwed up about the production process for this particular brand. I imagine as with most toy lines that the production guys get samples to review beforehand, right? If so, then are they really that incompetent at spotting errors like these? As Toy Guru has often taken pains to point out himself, the MOTUC line is really a niche product, Mattel's black sheep, that by dint of his Herculean effort is kept afloat. That being the case, can't he and his team simply catch such things before they go into production? Repeated runs of figures infected wholesale by swapped limb syndrome--that's not something I can recall affecting any other line in recent or vintage history.

It's got to be some kind of cosmic joke that the other infamous QC case, Yamato's 1/60s valks, also suffer from shoddy shoulders, but that's more an issue of unforeseen design tolerance issues, as opposed to, say, putting the wings on backwards...and that product is way more complicated--and tougher to inspect, I would imagine--than a He-Man figure.

The process may be as complicated as you say, but if it were simply something like loose ankles (again design tolerance), which can result from flaws anywhere in the production process, I can understand. But if it's just about assembling the damn thing correctly, then I guess I'm puzzled as to why it's made so much more complicated than it seems to be.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2011 11:53PM by gingaio.
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But if it's just about assembling the
> damn thing correctly, then I guess I'm puzzled as
> to why it's made so much more complicated than it
> seems to be.

And that's what's so maddening about this particular situation, though. They DID put an effort in to make sure that shoulder swapping wouldn't be a problem. The pegs can only go in one way, and factory workers cannot assemble these incorrectly. They still fucked up the molds, and so their obvious effort to reduce the problem still went by the wayside.

More serious than thou
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The process may be as complicated as you say, but
> if it were simply something like loose ankles
> (again design tolerance), which can result from
> flaws anywhere in the production process, I can
> understand. But if it's just about assembling the
> damn thing correctly, then I guess I'm puzzled as
> to why it's made so much more complicated than it
> seems to be.


I should have qualified my statement more carefully. I'll try again.

And, from what I understand, this stuff is unavoidable at some level with Mattel.

There's a myriad of reasons why they don't give a shit about QC and few incentives for them to pay attention to it. Remember, this is the same company that was part of the huge LEAD DEATH scare a scant four years ago in which some of their own factories were using verboten paint. In that case they acted relatively swiftly and decisively because there was a huge incentive to do so. With MOTUC... Not so much. If it weren't the anchor line for their foray into e-retail I suspect there would be even fewer people in the company to support it. Anyway, at this point I'm just tired of the whole cycle. It started so early on that it's boring now.


On a different note, I have a couple of questions for our audience.

1. Does anyone know if Vikor and (Cracker) Zodac have the same skin tone?

2. Does anyone have a spare (Afro) Zodak they'd part with for reasonable loot?
I've sufficiently looked over King Piss and Battle Armor Skeletor.

The shoulders on King Hsss really are a cosmetic issue and not a product defect per se. Yes, it is a stupid mistake. But no, it doesn't ruin the toy. The points of the scales are on the posterior side of the deltoid when they should be on the anterior side. It's the difference of about 1cm. And, at least on mine, it doesn't rub up against any other parts of the figure. It just looks slightly off. Mattel dick-choking debacle aside, the limited articulation in the crotch and snake-body are bigger turn offs; they should have gone with a solid, articulated snake torso instead of the cheap and smelly) bend stuff. And the accessories, while faithful to the original toy, are just stupid. In all, a mediocre figure of a mediocre character.

In contrast, BA Skeletor is a real fucking gem. I didn't expect to like this figure as much as I do, but it's a real example of what Mattel has done right with the line. The battle damage gimmick is extremely well done. The range of motion on the head and ankles has been improved considerably - this might be the most poseable MOTUC figure yet. And they wisely substituted a purple axe for the original accessories. But best of all is the improved face paint. Holly shit. It makes a world of difference.




In short: Fuck King Pssh and his stupid wardrobe. Long live BA Skeletor!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/2011 12:27PM by Gcrush.
Attachments:
open | download - skel-e-faces-.jpg (40.4 KB)
Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But best of all is the
> improved face paint. Holly shit. It makes a
> world of difference.
>
> [toyboxdx.com]
>
>
> In short: Fuck King Pssh and his stupid wardrobe.
> Long live BA Skeletor!

Uh, so which one is it? The one on the right? My favorite is the far left, but I think that's the standard Skeletor face. I used to have some sort of black light glowie Halloween mask as a kid that looked like that. Painted in this odd chalky day-glo paint. Only it was Frankenstein's monster...

More serious than thou
fujikuro Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Uh, so which one is it? The one on the right?

Yeah, it's the one on the far right. The one on the far left ain't bad, but on all of mine the paint looks haphazard while the BA Skeletor looks exactly like the vintage toy - but with modern paint masking. Mmm.

Actually, looking at all of them now I think the "nose" on the third from the left looks the best. All the others are too small all around.
Gotta agree there. I assume that's the Molar set Skeletor. I'm just not a big "battle armor" fan, though it's OK on the Palace Guards. Still kinda weak. Skeletor's armor looks better than He-Man's, though. Still they both look more like they're wearing "battle bibs" rather than armor to me.

More serious than thou
So despite my initial reservations, I picked up Violet Goat-Kitty.

Not a bad toy. Of course it didn't wow me the way Battle Pussy did. But, well, not everything can be a Battle Pussy.

The Goat Cap is pretty swell and user-friendly--well designed and easy to clip on and off.

I think Violet Goat-Kitty goes well with Blue Man Group Lenny, as they're both bizarro versions of Loincloth Lenny and Battle Pussy anyway.







Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2011 02:11AM by gingaio.
Attachments:
open | download - 100_2131.jpg (101 KB)
open | download - 100_2132.jpg (118.3 KB)
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So despite my initial reservations, I picked up
> Violet Goat-Kitty.

I like the naked look best, myself.

I also love how you've already received your Fabulous Snatchor and I have yet to receive deployment confirmation from the shipping goons.
Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> gingaio Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > So despite my initial reservations, I picked up
> > Violet Goat-Kitty.
>
> I like the naked look best, myself.
>
> I also love how you've already received your
> Fabulous Snatchor and I have yet to receive
> deployment confirmation from the shipping goons.

Dunno about the location of gingaio, but in most of the cases where I am seeing reviews of this guy, the folks in question seem to live in Canada.

More serious than thou
God, I hate Mattycollector's new method for shipping things. UPS at least gave you a true tracking number AND I always received my items in less than a week from ordering. Still waiting for mine to arrive. Likely won't get here for a few more days. So, shipping is less informative AND slower, but still the same price for us. Wonderful.

More serious than thou
fujikuro Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> God, I hate Mattycollector's new method for
> shipping things.

Yeah, the day Gingy posted those Fabulous Snatchor photos my order hadn't even shipped yet. Go figure.

So Mattel has subcontracted the web-front out to Digital River and now the shipping to Newgistics. The latter is a freight operation that handles the interstate movement of parcels and passes them off to USPS for the final delivery. Based on what I used to know about shipping, I'm guessing they under-priced other carriers because they don't offer a set service schedule and instead use a volume/distance analysis to organize their logistics.

In other words, they wait for the trailer headed along Route A to reach a certain percentage of volume before actually dispatching it. (It's probably a very high percentage since you can trade time for volume relative to cost.) They might even subcontract the trailers/rigs out to save a few bucks, too.

We pay the same for shipping while Mattel saves money and another company makes money. All because it takes twice as long for our shit to arrive. A lot of people might even be cool with waiting longer if it meant cheaper shipping. But that was never really a possibility - consumers never get to decide that shit for themselves.

While we're at it, I predict a price hike of at least 10% for MOTUC in 2012...
Pish posh, Mr. Crush. Occam's Razor: Matty simply likes me more than you and Mr. Serious Guy. Sorry.
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pish posh, Mr. Crush. Occam's Razor: Matty simply
> likes me more than you and Mr. Serious Guy. Sorry.


It's true - you have better legs. Anyway.

I'm betting my box shipment of Snatchors (see what I did there?) won't arrive until the two-week mark. Making it official - I have received parcels from Asia that took less time to arrive using standard international shipping. Haw!
Well, I did get my Weapons Rack and Panthor yesterday. I'm a bit underwhelmed actually. I like both, but I don't feel like they're "great." Panthor is Battle Cat with minor retooling and a different color scheme. I probably would enjoy him more if the saddle were different from BC's. The Weapons Rack is fine for what it is, but I think it needs more weapons than it comes with. Just my thought.

More serious than thou
Sanjeev (Admin)
I got my Snatchor on Saturday (and, yeah, the shipping was clearly subbed out, ultimately, to USPS)...I haven't had a chance to mess with it too much, but it sure looks nice!

I don't mind that it's Battle Cat--only purple--but I just wish it were flocked! Of course, that woulda porked the joints, but a gal can dream...
Actually, the paint job they did does a nice job of giving it the flocked "feel." I never had the original, so I really can't say how they compare, but it doesn't quite seem right to me that his fur is so very grape in color, as opposed to the darker purple of Skeletor's harness and hood. He just doesn't look all that natural sitting on Panthor.

More serious than thou
Okay - it's officially two weeks since I ordered Snatchor and it still hasn't arrived. It's been "transferring to USPS" for days now, despite my delivery address being a PO Box at said facility - meaning that it hasn't really been transferred to USPS, it's still sitting in subcontracted facility/truck waiting to be transferred to USPS. This is really bullshit. The whole point of industrial/corporate servicing is the cost advantage and streamlining that it provides over individual transactions. Yet if I had personally shipped the same parcel between addresses using a retail counter it would have arrived in less time and for less money. Clearly something is amiss when one person can beat a corporate account on all levels.

I don't think it's the post office's problem either. It's gotta be the weeks of processing and insanely subcontracted middle-menses that's fucking this up. Whenever Snatchor finally arrives a calculated letter of discontent is going out to Mattel corporate. I'll be singing their embarrassment in iambic pentameter from the perspective of David and Goliath competing in a pie eating contest. "I eat your pie! I eat it up! Here's an excruciatingly detailed statistical analysis on how much better and more quickly I'm doing it despite your obvious corporate girth, too!"
Oh, yeah. And this:





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2011 10:26AM by Gcrush.
Attachments:
open | download - Space Bitches.jpg (105.4 KB)
Cringer's a bit small, ain't he?

More serious than thou
Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Okay - it's officially two weeks since I ordered
> Snatchor and it still hasn't arrived.

That is mightily screwed up, man. You've seen this article, I take it?

[www.itsalltrue.net]

Complete with a palm-facing map.

Weird thing is, I usually got figs from Matty 1-2 days after ordering. It was that quick. Fabulous Snatchor took about 3 days (?). I looked up the tracking history and the package was first in So. Cal, then got shipped to Nevada, then got shipped back to So. Cal where I live. So mind-numbingly inefficient.

Milfla is a surprise. SDCC exclusive. Huh. Makes sense, I guess, to make the less desired variant the non-exclusive one, just like with Zarana. What's the deal wit' dat?
I don't have any He-Man toys, but the chick in the space suit thing looks rad in a retro '50s sci-fi kinda way.

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That is mightily screwed up, man. You've seen this
> article, I take it?
>
> [www.itsalltrue.net]
>
> Complete with a palm-facing map.

Yeah, I caught that one. The whole thing is pretty nuts. I'll post a copy of the dirty letter I write to corporate before I send it. This will give everyone a chance to: A) critique my writing skills; and B) add to it.


> Milfla is a surprise. SDCC exclusive. Huh. Makes
> sense, I guess, to make the less desired variant
> the non-exclusive one, just like with Zarana.
> What's the deal wit' dat?

The one difference between the SDCC and Matty.com versions will be the pack-out and character bios on the back. The figure and accessories will be the same in both versions. I think that's a HUGE step up from Mattel's usual SDCC shenanigans.
Snatchor finally arrived.

It's purple.
Picked up a Sy-Klone off the secondary market for the original Matty price. I know a lot of people have complaints about this figure, but I'm actually digging him a lot. The throw-in shield was pretty stupid, though. I would have wished for another weapon instead. Anyway, I have no recollection of the original toy, and therefore really no basis to complain about colors or anything. It's probably why I like it as much as I do. Yes, the yellow IS awfully bright, but it does have some nice subtle shading and the whole color scheme does work well.

Oddly, the wrist rotation occurs right at the wrist, though I would have figured on it happening up where the "glove" meets the arm. Maybe the whole thing is more stable this way. The lenticular radar dish in his chest is built into the torso mold and not an add-on, which is interesting. It means that his ab-crunch pretty much only allows you to angle him upward, and not very much downward.



Overall, I really like this toy. Visually it seems to me that he fits right in with Man-E-Faces who I know will be coming later on this year.

More serious than thou
Marlena in a space suit? Fascinating choice, but absolutely not the right choice when Photog, Modulok, and Mosquitor remain unmade.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Marlena in a space suit is fucking awesome. And a toy company can't release all the "most desirable" characters first...gotta mix in some b-list players for the diehard fans to pick up--while they're still diehard. Plus, it draws the line out...you don't wanna blow your load all at once.

Got a reissue Trapjaw, by the way. Nice, but the dangly bits make him a bit less fun (the loose belt and accessories that don't hook in securely). The pre-ass-whoopin' head and arm are okay...but it's not like I'll EVER use those accessories. Still, I got a flawless figure--great joints and paint. Overall, I'm kinda meh on him.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

footer