No, he is not dead. He quit his job at Mattel. Something about another toy company giving him a better position. Leaving Mattel would mean his most likely going to Hasbro, or maybe Playmates.(going to any other toy company may be career suicide.) Then again there's This:
Here's the Interview from Action Figure Insider that scared the crap out of me. (Not a good thing to see first thing in the morning.)
Before I go in with my thoughts on the news; I must make a small disclaimer.
Whether you like or dislike Scott Neitlich or his Toyguru "persona" we cannot deny the fact that his contributions (whether good or bad) led MOTU to the state it currently is. (Talking about Classics and the brand in general). He did show some passion towards the brand (even if his knowledge of MOTU lore wasn't up to par.)
OK, so here we go!
I have mixed feelings about the issue. So I'll try to discuss this as tastefully as possible.
-No more rage inducing answers with "cute" phrases like: Mossman is not a bath toy, Keep reading the Bios, etc. Or answers that completely miss the point of the question. Let's face it, He had a knack for pushing our buttons.
-No more Neitlichverse (I have a rant about that on the backburner. Just organizing some thoughts) and that means Spector fading into the background.
-No more "MOTU Messiah" Toyguru. Sometimes, Neitlich's words seemed to sound (or be read as) like if it wasn't solely for HIS involvement, there would be no MOTUC.
-The Ban towards Emiliano Santalucia and the Power and Honor Foundation could be lifted.
- We could get our equivalent to DCUC's "Fangirl 2.0-gate" where Neitlich's replacement, while more tactful, was a bit more clueless about the brand being managed.
-New Manager could simply ax MOTUC and start a new line with the new Manager's spin on it. (Restarting the 8back, different scale, less articulation, etc.)
So, basically, I kinda feel that Scott Neitlich was trying to become some sort of MOTU Messiah, the witch-hunt against The Power and Honor Foundation, the .org Val vs Emiliano rift, the "Massive overhaul" to the MOTU Universe's narrative with Time Agents, Green Lantern knockoffs etc. all seem to feed the theory that Scott Neitlich was trying to set himself up as the Savior of MOTU. This leads to the next thing: Ego. (which still fits the Scott Neitlich: MOTU Messiah narrative)
While self-aggrandizing, Scott Neitlich tended to downplay the roles of others in MOTUC, except when throwing them under the proverbial bus. Then there's the TOYGURU section of the Mattycollector website feeding the "Scott Neitlich is an egomaniac" narrative. I do feel like he was setting himself up to be the "Savior" of the brand, BECAUSE it would look amazing in a resume. (Turning a dead line into a successful toyline would look great on a resume for people in the toy business.) but at the same time, I also feel that his lack of tact and cluelessness when communicating
in writing made him look more antagonistic than what he really is. then there's the whole corporate spinning that he had to do (comes with the territory) that made him look like a liar.
He was far from perfect, but at the same time, MOTU customers got away easy. Year after year WE.MADE.IT.HAPPEN.DESPITE.MATTEL.AND.DIGITAL.RIVER. It wasn't Simply Scott "Fighting for us". It was a combination of: The Fourhorsemen Studios and their amazing sculpting powers, the Loyal and Rabid MOTU fanbase who year after year stuck with this toyline despite the tons of crap and drama surrounding it. Scott Neitlich's silver tongue may have enraged us customers/fans, but it also helped convince The Powers That Be to get us things like Grayskull, Battle Ram, keeping the line going, etc. (and turds like Nepthu, or Skelebaby... not all of them can be winners)
At the end of the day I just have this "the devil you know" feeling on the back of my head. I fear we get someone who is WORSE than Neitlich (*cough*Ruben Martinez*cough*)and MOTU ends up in the backburner until I reach my 50s. Then again, the next BM could be the BM we BOTH NEED AND DESERVE to work with MOTU and make it return to the Juggernaut status from the 80s. Only time will tell.
How this affects the House of Rants?
Well, there goes my biggest Scapegoat. Now I have no Neitlich to curse at... CURSE YOU NEITLICH FOR NOT BEING MY SCAPEGOAT FOR MOTU BLUNDERS ANYMORE!!
*shakes fists at heavens*
Well, I have at least until the end of 2015, since while Scott may no longer be with Mattel, he set up the 2015 gameplan and that's what Mattel is going to roll with. (too late to change plans at this stage and it's simpler to end the current plan than scratch it and start all over. picturing the backlash of people rage quitting MOTU and Mattel products if Mattel decided to scratch MOTUC and refund all the 2015 subbers to then beg them to return for the new plan.)
I've got to be honest here. I wish him well on future endeavors and that his path does not cross with pastel colored equines from Rhode Island. I did and do not like all of his choices regarding the brand, but at the same time; I'm thankful for the good choices.
At the end of 2015 I guess we can judge the MOTUC Chapter and Neitlich a bit more fairly.