Sep 20, 2010

Action Figure Woes: Anime Hyper Detail

Mattel is hellbent in erasing 200X from MOTUC that it's ridiculous. I feel bad for Scott Neitlich sometimes... since he's a 200X fan and he's got to repeat the "Anime Hyper Detail" speech.
I talked a bit about my beef with "Anime Hyper Detail" on the accessories rant and I've dropped off hints about the 200X head ban in other posts.

Here's the thing: I love MOTU Classics, but the figures that I enjoy the most are the ones that are not 100% faithful updates of the Vintage toy.

Man-at-Arms is pretty faithful to the vintage toy until you check out his back. He now has a space to put his weapons when not in use. His mace, sword and gun fit neatly on his back. Neither the vintage figure nor the 200X have this. Adding the alternate Mustache head to the mix and you can make a "200X" Man-at-Arms, or a "Filmation" Man-at-Arms (After a little paint of course) instead of just having the "Vintage toy" shaved head...

Webstor has the cool 200X spider legs.

Triklops has the mini kunai on his back AND a Doomseeker accessory.

King Randor got himself some armor that is NOT a repaint of Jitsu's Armor...

All of these are improvements that deviate from the vintage toy look.

As I said on the Whiplash ICftTC... I'm not too fond of having the Vintage toy redone with better articulation, that's the reason why I'm using the 200X head. I went even farther and repainted Whippy in a "200X" color scheme.

Next Month MOTUC will have Roboto who is pretty much the Vintage toy with an additional right hand. While I'm excited about Roboto coming so soon with his Vintage Action feature... His gears WILL ROTATE! The lack of an updated look is killing some of that joy.

It seems that I've gotten a bit off track here... Mattel claims that Whiplash is the ONLY 200X head in MOTUC. I've said before that this is not true. There have been other "200X" heads in MOTUC.
-Man-at-Arms has a black mustache on his alternate head (a 200X element since in most 80s media the stache is brown)
-Merman's Cardback art head was used in 200X. While it has origins in the 80s it looks as "Hyperdetailed" as Whiplash's 200X head.
-Mossman's alternate head is the 200X head without the moss goatee instead of the repainted Beastman head from the 80s.

Heck! January's MOTUC Bow has a Tiara on his "Vintage Toy" head that is extremely "Hyperdetailed" yet Mattel is not complaining about it.

Even if I don't use ALL the heads, I am glad to have them. It gives the costumers OPTIONS on their figs. Funny thing is that almost all my MOTUC figs with multiple heads are NOT using the "Vintage toy" head.
-Merman: Cardback head (like the 200X toy)
-Man-at-Arms: Mustache head (Repainted in Filmation-esque Reddish-Brown)
-She-Ra: "Filmation" Head
-Optikk: Orange Eye
-Prince Adam: Smiling head
-TrapJaw: TJ head except when posing him as Kronis
-Whiplash: 200X head (Which is LESS detailed than the "Vintage" head...)

I remembered where this was going. Someone asked Toyguru (Scott Neitlich, the Brand Manager of MOTUC at Mattel) about He-Man's hairstyles and which were doable in MOTUC.
This is what he said:
Think of it this way. You have a machine. On one side you place a vintage MOTU figure in. Then you have two buttons: "200X style" and "Classics style". When you put He-Man's original vintage hair into the machine and press "200X style" you get the flared "anime, McFarland" hair. When you press "Classics style" you get the current MOTUC head. The 200X hair style is just the 200x interpretation of the vintage hair cut with longer curls and flared style. The Classics style is also based on the vintage look, but just with a different style. This is why you will not see the '200X" hair style for He-Man in the Classics line. The others are much more possible as they are unique vintage designs that put through the "machine" and applied with "Classics style" would yield unique result.
I despise this explanation because it's wrong in so many levels.
According to Toyguru If we add the 200X He-Man hairstyle, we get the Vintage Hairstyle.
When the same train of thought is applied to the Keldor Blades we get the vintage power swords. Funny thing is that this very same train of thought can't be applied to He-Man's 200X Power Sword... or Whiplash's Spork of Doom.

On He-Man's Mullet: That is the only hairstyle that has been through ALL the Eras of Masters of the Universe. It's not the most remembered hairstyle, but it's been there all along.
-Vintage: Laser Power He-Man has a Mullet. He's the ONLY He-Man figure to have the Mullet.
(There is a variant with the traditional He-Man head, but that's not the case.)
-1987 Live Action Movie: The Mullet was Dolph's Hairstyle for He-Man.
-New Adventures: The first He-Man figure had a Mullet. Later Figures added the Ponytail from the cartoon.
-200X: He-Man's hairstyle was a stylized Mullet.

The weird and most alarming part of TG's post is the following:
as they are unique vintage designs that put through the "machine" and applied with "Classics style" would yield unique result.
It seems that Mattel will stick to Vintage as THE only source for the characters looks. There are characters that would benefit form a 200X inspired head, but now they're stuck with the Vintage head thanks to this silly ban.

Guess what won? People WANT OPTIONS, but Mattel doesn't get that.

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