Masters of the Universe Questions
In an announcement from Mattel’s ToyGuru earlier this week, waning popularity and weak subscription numbers were cited for concern over MattyCollector.com’s current lines (Masters of the Universe Classics, DC Universe, and Watchmen). The announcement includes an off-handed comment that Masters of the Universe Classics is now officially in danger of cancellation, a revelation which had never been hinted at up until now.
Given MoTUC’s steady popularity and fervent fanbase, many expected it would be allowed to run its course naturally. ToyGuru’s comments and the line’s price increase (from $20 to $25 per figure) has sent collectors into a frenzy, prompting ToyGuru Scott Neitlich to create part 1 and part 2 of a video addressing the situation. As if that weren’t enough to motivate fans to support the line, the rarely-seen Four Horsemen (the sculpting team behind the line) also issued a statement for fans.
Trying to follow this situation has been an ordeal for all but the most dedicated followers. To sum it up: the Masters of the Universe Classics line is very realistically in trouble and only fans can change that. It’s unlikely this recent madness is a ploy from Mattel to bring in extra money, but instead appears to be a real plea for fans to resuscitate one of the best lines in action figure collecting. If you want to help these lines survive, check out the MattyCollector.com Subscriptions options, support your favorite line, and maybe even tell a friend.
The New Turtles are in Town
Sunday July 8, 2012
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line is unquestionably one of the most monumental in all of action figure history. The figures totally dominated toy aisles in the late ’80s and early ’90s, leaving their mark on an array of young collectors, yours truly included.
That’s why the newly-revived Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, including the highly-anticipated Classic Collection, from Playmates Toys is one of the most exciting and promising lines of the last 20 years. I haven’t wanted an action figure line this badly since Masters of the Universe Classics. Thankfully reports from around the country indicate that the new Turtles have already started hitting shelves. I haven’t found any, but I’ll be searching endlessly until I do.
Playmates Toys was kind enough to send over some huge preview images and line details. The line is set to include Basic Figures (based on the new cartoon), Deluxe Power Sound FX Figures, Classic Collection Figures, and “Battle Shell” Figures, along with vehicles, playsets, and role-playing toys. Officially the figures will begin arriving in stores mid-August, and practically everything across the line looks fantastic.
It’s a shell of a good time to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan. Check out some of the images Playmates Toys provided in the gallery below.
Weathering (showing signs of wear and tear) can add to the realism of any model train set, but it needs to be done carefully. One, often overlooked, important consideration is the age of the individual freight wagon being weathered. Not all wagons on a freight train are necessarily of the same vintage or have experienced the same weathering conditions. A freight train could comprise a mix of fairly new and considerably old wagons.
For example a model train layout depicting a mid 1960?s railroad might comprise mainly of wagons built around 1950. That would make most of the wagons around 15 years old.
Compare this to a freight train on a modern day railroad layout. Today’s freight train might include several brightly colored newish wagons along with a couple of 35-40 year old wagons built around the mid to late 1960?s. Weathering of the older 1960?s wagons would be different to that seen on the newer wagons.
So, always consider that a freight train is made up of several different wagons of different ages and backgrounds rather than all the wagons on a train being constructed at the same time and experiencing the same weathering conditions.
July’s Cool Thing: The Hero Project
With the arrival of San Diego Comic-Con this week, it’s a busy time for action figure collectors. We’re about to endure a crushing wave of news and announcements that often takes a few weeks to process. But for those of you unable to attend the convention and already tired of the hype, July has more to offer. Specifically, you need to take a look at the new Kickstarter project by the Go, Go, Dynamo folks: The Hero Project – Action Figures of World Cultural Heroes.
I’m officially naming it July’s Cool Thing (another new monthly feature here). The details of the project can be found at the above link, but for those unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it’s a crowd-funding site designed to help people launch products using pre-orders. The Hero Project is one of the few action figure lines being introduced on Kickstarter, and it’s probably the one with the most potential.
Go, Go, Dynamo intends to create a line of figures centered on cultural and mythical heroes. Based on the teaser images and prototypes they’ve shown so far, it looks like a line that could be wildly successful and continue for a long time. They are extremely articulated, well sculpted, and a nice scale. The first figure, and the one upon which pre-orders are based, is Hindu avatar Rama. They’ve also teased the likes of Egyptian God Ra and even American folk-lore hero John Henry. This is an untapped set of characters and a great idea.
Check out their Kickstarter page and support the line, or it won’t happen. I personally can’t wait for a John Henry action figure.