May 5, 2014

MOTUC, Negativity and Ruben not being on the MOTUC Team

It has been a busy week in the MOTUC Fandom: Extendar, Flogg and Intergalactic Skeletor FINAL Figures were revealed. Etherian Invasion Hordak was revealed as the SDCC Exclusive. Ruben Martinez was replaced by Brandon Sopinsky. (the guy who was in charge of the Mattel Voltron Toys)

There have been a few controversies regarding some of these news. (Mostly on he reveals.) These controversies have brought back some of the grudges among the fandom.

Now before I delve deep into the issue, I must make a redundant warning. The following is MY OPINION and its not to be considered as a fact, except the parts that I specifically state that X is a fact. Like for example: Mattel made a less than stellar "Classicizing" of Extendar and Skeletor. That is a fact. Some may LIKE The end Result, Some may HATE the end Result, but the fact is still that going from Prototype to Final Figure, Mattel somewhere along the way made some choices that resulted in a less than stellar conversion.

Now with that said, I will also employ hyperbole for the sake of amusement. Rants and tirades NEED some flair. Saying that "Ruben's so incompetent that he makes Rocksteady and Bebop seem efficient." is an exaggeration played for laughs and to encompass the ludicrousness of Internet Ramblings and NEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRDDDDD RRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGEEEEEEEE!!!!

Yes, I'm "Picking on Ruben" because he's been an easy target, since he's done a LOT of the most baffling Design choices in MOTUC History... (But Higuchi is no saint either... He gave us TV Tray Sorceress wings)
I've complained a bit about Ruben and even called him "an incompetent A-Hole".  The incompetence bit stems from his inability to "SEE WHAT'S WRONG WITH VARIOUS FIGURES" Bloated Armor that is not tight fitting. Seriously, I can stick a finger inside the armor WHILE THE FIGURE IS WEARING IT WITH EASE!! (Something IMPOSSIBLE TO DO on a Higuchi-made figure) Or how the "Female Crotch NEEDS to have those Jumbo codpieces since it's IMPOSSIBLE to do Female Buck 2.0 Crotches that have "Loincloths" that look like Bikini Bottoms and not MEGA CODPIECES...

Posting this for NO REASON at ALL!
I've called him A-Hole for his attitude regarding the issues. Am I glad he is gone? Yes and No...
The yes part is obvious... I am not a fan of many of his choices and his design ideas HAVE Harmed Figures (Stinkor, Frosta, Sea Hawk, Glimmer and others come to mind) Also Damn the Slightly Different Green Color for Clawful's mace.

The No part is where it gets mildly confusing, but I'll make it short and sweet... Better the Devil You know and all that. The 'Guru has stated that recent figures like Extendar and NA Skeletor were worked by BOTH Brandon and Ruben. The latter finished his run with Intergalactic (New Adventures) Skeletor. I WANT TO BELIEVE that Brandon is going to be Awesome and that the figures will be great, BUT... I saw some Voltron Reviews AND I saw Extendar... A Cool Looking Figure RUINED by Mattel's incompetence (Not sure WHO to blame here: Ruben or Brandon)
From Left to Right: Vintage Toy, FourHorsemen Prototype (stretched and normal modes),Packed Final Figure. 
Look at the Picture... Notice the difference on the Forearms and the Belt. Very Noticeable from Prototype to Final Figure. People HAVE COMPLAINED about this and rightfully so, but there's a vocal segment that is calling the complaints "Negativity", "Whining" and "Nitpicking".
I don't see it as "Negativity". I see it as customers being not pleased with a product that we "bought blindly" (due to the Sub). This is NOT an Isolated incident, there HAVE BEEN Issues throughout the line... Goddess having breakage issues, the Reversed Shoulders on the Original He-Man, Roboto, King Hsss.) Roboto and Cychop's Torso cracking. Snout Spout's trunk breaking. The Swift Wind Wing Hole Issue and the reversed legs issue, The figures suffering from Black Palstic Syndrome. All of these have been Quality issues (though the Blastic was a cost cutting measure that caused a decrease on quality) The Sorceress' Wings, now THAT is a Design Blunder. The Elongated Forearm on Extendar is another design Blunder. The Worst Blunder is the Belt, because instead of Enlarging the Red Area of the Belt (and enlarging the Studs on the Belt and keeping the upper gold band in similar proportions to the prototype and vintage figure, we now have an Extendar who is wearing a Golden Belt AND a Red Fanny pack... (Asking for a Fanny Pack for He-Man is Anime Hyper Detail)

Things like these and the Oversized "Armor" on NA Skeletor, where the "Armor" is supposed to be his Flesh that make AMAZING Figures into OK or "meh" figures.

"Nitpicking" would be complaining about Prince Adam's vest not being the appropriate shade of Puce. Complaining about the lack of paint on weapons can be considered "nitpicking" by some. Others see it as one of the failures in "cost cutting". Saying that the Belt on Extendar is all wrong is not really "nitpicking".

Here's the thing: I Believe that people do not enjoy having to complain about design and quality issues, BUT it HAS TO BE DONE LOUDLY AND NUMEROUSLY in order for Mattel to consider fixing things...

Extendar is proof that their "Eagle Eyed" design team can't do a proper job. WHO IN THE HELL OK'D That Figure!? All 3 of Extendar's pics I found after a 30 second google search. Didn't they use any reference material before adapting "The Statues that the 4horsemen make into toys"? I find it SHAMEFUL that the BIGGEST TOY COMPANY IN THE WORLD does such a MEDIOCRE JOB on some figures, while others are masterpieces!

I've already ranted about Not-Quite Filmation Hordak, complained about Skeletor's Flesh jacket and how horrible Extendar is, but I've not touched Flogg. Aside the Trap Jaw legs and Hordak Feet, he seems perfect... but I'm losing myself in my own rant. Mattel has made "the rules" when they "fixed" some things after overwhelming complaints: Keldor Swords, Snake Man-at-Arms come to mind. At the same time we've had Battleground Evil Lyn, whose backlash stemmed from being nothing more than an Evil Lyn repaint. Then Mattel did not learn from that and gave us a Repainted Hordak in Filmation colors. So it's like a crapshoot with Mattel. The "Negativity" in a way, benefits us all. Remember "Blastic"?

Yeah, some take it a bit too far, but again, we're on the internet... The Land of Hyperbolic comments and overreactions is where we communicate. While there IS BAD, there is also GOOD on MOTUC.
I often mention Marlena, Adora, Weaver, Octavia, The upcoming Scorpia, Madame Razz, Sea Hawk, the REAL King Randor, King Grayskull and all those figures that NEVER had a toy but now do. Then there is the whole recreating the Vintage Lines* in the 21st Century and under a cohesive style!

So, yeah! I'll complain about Blade's swords, Not-quite-Filmation Hordak, and Extendar's wonky proportions; it's not because I Hate Mattel, but out of LOVE of Masters. I'll praise them when they do good, but I'll complain when they goof up.

I'd rather be complaining about the ridiculous real names or nitpicking canon elements. Here's hoping that Brandon steps up to the plate and kicks enough butt to make the remaining MOTUC of 2014 and 2015 kick ass!

* = Original MOTU, most of POP and (sadly) Key NA folks... (I wish we were getting MOST of NA, but that's life)

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