Toy collectors rarely expect to see their hobby permeate into the mainstream media, but this week toys got their share of the spotlight in various national media outlets. There's nothing better for the hobby in general, and there's no better way to put a smile on my face. I absolutely love spotting toys in the news.
Before we get into all that news, I wanted to report a few additions to my collection. I've been in love with Transformers Prime ever since Shout Factory was kind enough to send me an advance copy of the Season One Blu-ray, and I finally got my hands on some toys this week. I picked up deluxe class Cliffjumper and Wheeljack, and the voyager class Megatron. All three are extremely fun figures that match up to their designs on the show surprisingly well.
Now let's jump into this week in the world of toys.
The Four Horsemen in the New York Times. If you're unfamiliar with The Four Horsemen in regards to toys, they are the sculpting team that's currently responsible for Mattel's DC Universe and Masters of the Universe collector action figure lines. They were featured in the New York Times this week, and discussed a great many things about their work for Mattel and their own intellectual properties. I recommend tracking down a copy of the article, because there's a lot to enjoy. I won't spoil the details here, but I will say there's a lot to look forward to with their properties and their expansion into new media.
The Turtles aren't mutants after all. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of the all-time top toy lines. They completely dominated the late '80s and early '90s. Toy aisles were consumed by the little green shelled ninjas, and kids everywhere were enthralled by them. Famed director of the Transformers films, Michael Bay, caught a lot of negative media attention this week when he announced that the Turtles in his new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film adaptation would in fact not be mutants at all, but aliens instead. They are literally defined as mutants by their very names, but Bay has decided to change them at a fundamental level. I'll hold judgment until I see the final result, but this certainly concerns me. With the new Playmates Turtles line, the brand is building a lot of positive vibes, and I would hate to see a poor decision like this divide the brand and the fans.
Mattel apologizes for bad quality control. Mattel has been under a lot of criticism for a variety of issues with their action figure lines. Otherwise fantastic figures are being ruined by poor quality control. Collectors are left with broken piles of plastic instead of the figures they purchased. Mattel issued a statement this week promising a new dedication to quality control. They claim to be working with their factories overseas to raise standards and make the best figures possible. That's well and good, but it has to be asked why this wasn't already their stance. Why weren't they making the best figures possible before? Mattel owes a lot to its fans who continue to support lines despite poor quality control, and this is at least a step in the right direction.
Michael Bay and The Four Horsemen got toys into the news and Mattel promises to make toys better, making it a pretty good week. I can’t wait to see what next week has in store.
May your figures never break.