Aug 26, 2015

Taking Offense by Dare and other Loose Ends...

Yes, it's a reference to THAT Post by Neitlich. It's been a while I've put Neitlich through the wringer and Phoenix Wright'd the Hell out of his posts... Last time I did I found myself agreeing with him... Once again, it's not Personal, but Business. This post by him was rant-worthy, so I shall rant!

Okay. So I’ve been “relatively” quite the last few months, and I can confess that has been deliberate. I didn’t want to speak up, especially during the sub sell in period as to not throw off any efforts from the new team or skew any potential sales for them. I really do wish the new team all the best in the world for long and fulfilling collector line!

Now that 2016 sub sales have closed, I had a few “closing thoughts” on the brand I wanted to share, mostly jut to clear the air and ensure the new team is set up for success to continue brining you amazing MOTU collector figures for years if not decades to come. So what follows may be a little rambling, but I wanted to close off some loose ends that have been dangling since my resignation to help clear the air and ensure the new team is in no way to “blame” for things I have set up *(and vica versa if you will). So without further adieu, some closing thoughts on MOTUC as I headed into the sunset. 
 Basically, Scott couldn't keep it in... Some people would even say that he was starving for attention... There was a video of him being a Cashier at the Jakks Pacific Booth. Sadly, I can't find it anymore. But here's the video of the 2015 Jakks Panel... Others may believe he IS being mature and taking the high road... BUUUUUUUUUT! The whole I didn't want to speak up during the sub sell in period reeks of "He gonna throw the new team under the bus!"

He says he's going to filter what's "Scott's Fault" vs "New Team's Fault"... Like the great Samuel L. Jackson said:

Okay. Let me clear the air on this guy and how/why he wound up in the line. So wayyyyyyyyy back in 2013 when the 2015 line was planned Dare was not in the line. As prices crept up and character selection dwindled it became clear we needed to refocus the line to ensure the “vintage line and A list characters” were complete before the price point hit $30.00 or more. 

But, SOMEBODY AT MATTEL was trying too hard to find a way to push him... Hence the "2011 planned but 2013 Released" H-R:SOHM King He-Man. If there were "No Plans for Dare" why the push for a He-Ro: Son of He-Man with the Mini-Comics, Logo and King He-Man? Not to mention The UNO on 2014...
The line was planned out and indeed Dare was not in it. Hence the statement I made only once on the boards stating directly that Dare would not be in the 2015 line. (this is the same quote where I misspelled Crimson Rose, using a code name fro Ever After High that was stuck in my head!). This is a PERFECT example of how I have always said “things change all the time!” and this is a textbook example. 
Here we go... Can you smell it? As I stated before: The plan to include Dare WAS IN THE WORKS all the way to 2011, seeing that "it takes 2 years to prepare a line" and all that. He may have not BEEN originally for 2015, but Scotty was trying to Groom us into accepting Dare... Uh, bad choice of words here... If someone brings up a comment I made years ago mentioning that TG kinda looks like Jared Fogle, then it becomes a lot creepier.

Back in 2013 when this statement was made, Dare was not in the line. The December figure was 200X Evil Seed. The revised plan for 2014-2015 that was drafted in 2013 was to complete: 
A: All vintage MOTUC characters including variants (which brings up the additional point that if fans did not want Buzz Saw Hordak, due to him being too similar in “look” - back in 2013 was the time to speak up and ask for him to NOT be on the roadmap. Asking in 2014 or even 2015 for him to be removed from the promised complete roadmap was too late. 
B: All original POP figures from the vintage line. We knew that if we tackled variants for POP as well, it would be too many slots to offer in 2014 and 2015 because we also wanted to include in the wrap up road map-
C: A list characters from other media. This included Filmation. 200X, comics, books, and (dah dah dah...) concept eras like SOHM. 
Take it away, Heath Ledger's ghost!

Hmmm... Evil Seed was the Final Slot... Interesting! Then CHANGE!!!
  • Yeah, Mattel shoved 2 UNNECESSARY Hordak variants down our throats, with little or no change. PEOPLE WERE COMPLAINING ABOUT BS HORDAK BY THE TIME MATTEL SHOVED SPIRIT OF HORDAK ON US!! BS Hordak could have EASILY been an Extra Armor tossed in with another figure, or they could have EASILY combined BS Hordak with Filmation Hordak. and not forcing TWO MORE HORDAK VARIANTS.
    Hell! People were begging for Flying Fists he-Man and Terror Claws Skeletor, who are Different enough from the Original Flavor of He-Man and Skeletor to come in Armor Paks...
  • Which Mattel had to pull a mini-sub out of their asses to complete... WITHOUT counting Variants of POP...
  • See!? Here's the Loophole that Neitlich was creating since 2011. Also, in what Universe Plundor and Nepthu ARE A-List!? Also, We're Not adding Dare, but we totally can!

So with that criteria set up, adding characters like Lizard Man and Evil Seed (200X) made perfect sense to include in the revised roadmap. BUT….as I noted above, things CHANGE all the time in the toy industry. When the POP add on sub in 2014 sold very well, we got the last min greenlight to add a 200X mini sub in 2015. 

thanks Jack Black, I could have done without the MotherLover part... but yes you are right. Something sounds off here. Didn't the POP Sub UNDERPERFORM and Scott had to plead for it to go through?  Fighting Urge to Scream HOLD IT!!
Evil Seed was then moved from the Dec 2015 slot to a leading slot in the add on 200X sub. As arguably the most demanded of all 200X characters, it was felt very strongly across the team that he should be included in the 200X sub to help sell it in (this was before the new upper management came in and clearly changed things where now full year’s roll out are being shown, which BTW I am very jealous I never had this tactic available to me. It is definitely ironic that new upper management came in a week before I resigned, so I never had the opportunity to work within there new rules, a situation the new team is blessed to be currently in!)
Evil Seed is indeed one of the most demanded 200X Figures, it made sense to have him there...
The rest I take with a grain of salt. The secrecy thing seemed more like a Scott thing, more than anything. He always had this vibe to him that he tried to keep some sort of mystique... which would help his "Guru" persona. Otherwise, he'd kept quiet and not commented on this...

Okay, I’m off topic. Back to Dec 2015. 
So with Evil Seed 200X moving from Dec 2015 slot to a lead spot in the 200X sub *(to help sell that sub when we were working under the direction of the then “current” older management that did not allow figures that had not been approved to be shown to the public) it left the Dec mainline sub slot open. So when I made that statement in 2013 about Dare not being in the mainline, it was true. He was not in it at the time. But things changed…
Let's see if there are some of the choices.
We reviewed quite a few candidates for the Dec slot including Masque, Miro, Mara, Critia and others. In the end, upper management felt very strongly that Masque and Darius should NOT be in this slot. They both lost a fan vote, fans had the chance to vote them into the line and did not. Therefore the “losers” of the fan polls were immediately taken off the table by upper management for the Dec slot. They asked for a few options and one of those we presented was Dare, son of He-Man. 
Not choosing any of the fan vote Losers was BS. That was a Fan-Vote that forced A or B and not BOTH seeing that many wanted BOTH Choices, but were FORCED to pick one. Not to mention that these polls were loaded in order to have a massive landslide victory... Only issue was that fans saw through this ruse and made the Underdog win TWICE! This kinda helps the theory that Mara and Crita were NOT INTENDED TO BE IN THE LINE AT ALL...
Funny How DARE Rises to the top with all the characters we have available... any of the missing NA Roster, Filmation key characters, 200X Key characters, Songster, etc.

There are multiple reasons Dare rose to the top as the replacement candidate once 200X Evil Seed moved to the add on sub. At the time, it was thought Dec 2015 would be the end of the Classic line in name. Having the line start with He-Man and end with his son felt very bookmarky. Additionally, we wanted to use 2014-2015 (as noted above) to wrap up the vintage line and A-list characters from other media. Since we had already done a few characters from the “Son of He-Man” era (King He-Man, Laser-Lot, Unnamed One etc…) this era was firmly established. Therefore, it made a ton of sense to do the “A list” characters from “son of He-Man” era, namely the actual son, Dare AKA He-Ro II. 
Technically, the line started with King Grayskull: the ancestor of He-Man, then he was "Outside the main line" so Dare could have been an "Outside the Line" extra... Bonus points if he had been a 2016 SDCC Item. (Line started with an Ancestor of He-Man at SDCC, it ended with a Descendant of He-Man at SDCC).

It made a ton of sense to do Dare!? the HRSOHM era being Established!?

No, Neitlich! YOU! forced it to us in 2011(planning stage for 2013) when you shoved "King He-Man" to the line-up. YOU Took the Geoff Johns Vanity Project and Shoved YOUR OWN VANITY PROJECT into this "era" to Cement it along other characters. This concept FAILED TWICE TO BECOME AN ACTUAL TOYLINE/TOON... Before you tried to shove it down our throats like a misused Turkey Caller. But Leaving your mark on the property and all that...
(To be fair: The First attempt at a SON OF HE-MAN was canned and elements were used on the New Adventures of He-Man era, but the SON OF HE-MAN part was not used.)
And if we were going to release him, personally I wanted to make sure he delivered value since the visuals we had access to noted his design was an early visual that eventually became “New Adventures He-Man”. This was why in the toy release (and in the upcoming mini comics issue 7 and 8) Dare is shown in his Filmation vest as well. I had hoped his belt for the filmation armor could have been included as well, letting fans use the Vykron buck mixed with Dare parts to create the Filmation version as a toy. Maybe that belt can be released one day. But either way, this “Dare” release was designed ideally to include all the “parts” you might need to create either Dare figure (in addition to using the Vikron buck from SDCC a few years back. 
So Redundant Dare was Redundant... Then here's a novel concept. Instead of having shown us the NA Ginger He-Man Repaint as our He-Ro II for over a year, why not start with the Lou Scheimer pitch look FROM THE START!?

I know it's amazing...

Use the Vykron Buck!? Did Neitlich forget about Vykron: Victim of Blasticgate?

Okay, so I hope that clears up a big one. Personally I am really glad we got to Dare. He was always a “bridge too far” and the fact that we have completed the vintage lines made him very acceptable to tackle. Not to mention the 2016 line essentially contains all the figures we “wish” we could have put into 2014-2015 had we not been under the obligation to complete the vintage line before 2015 ended. 

Gee! I wonder why a Concept that was Rejected TWICE, would be considered not feasable?
WE DID NOT COMPLETE THE VINTAGE LINES... We only completed Original MOTU*.
*=Not counting playsets, steeds, vehicles or unusual sized figures.
and POP**.  **= Not Counting Variants, steeds, accessory paks, or playsets.
New Adventures IS Vintage... being 26 years old and all that, but whatever, Super Kami Toyguru...
Figures that could have been in if the 30th anniversary Circle Jerk Sub-Line hadn't been used to that, but to celebrate the popular but obscure characters from the archives? Wasting 3 Slots on HRSOHM that could have been used for some of these? Plundor, Nepthu, even NA She-Ra? Spirit of Hordak and an Extra Hordak (either Filmation or BS), Spirit of Grayskull? We could go on... Even my favorite 2pack SAHM vs Hssss and let's not forget Pantsless Hsssss...

So where do we sit now? Well, much like Frodo at the end of the good Middle Earth films, I finished what I set out to do. The vintage line is done! (or at least will be by Dec, you guys, the fans made sure that happened). Anything on top of that feels very much like gravey. 

Not Done if we see the Asterisks... Where are the Meteorbs? Stridor, Fright Zone? Land Shark?
The REAL JETSLED!? Not commenting on the LOTR part...

I am SOOOO glad Mattel is offering a 2016 line, and I’m glad they stuck to the road map I left for this year I’m actually pretty excited to see what they potentially could offer for 2017 since that will be the first year I had nothing to do with the line. It is really nice to just sit back and enjoy new figs coming each month. We have had an amazing ride the last 7 years, thank you for being part of it. 
And Dare could have EASILY been a 2016 spot and let one of the better 2016 characters been in 2015 since all of them, aside Despara and the Horde Wraith who are relatively new. had seniority
 over Dare.

Now Guru goes on Rumor Busting Mode: Beware if you have a mild allergy to bovine feces.

1: Ool-ar was a deliberate name for Jungle He-Man using jungle noises and MOTU naming convention. He was NEVER a misspelling of Mo-larr. The copyrights just came out around the same time. 
Typos Aside on the post: The Character's Spelling Is Oo-Larr... MOTU never had the double r at the end naming convention. The theory of Oo-Larr being a misstyped Mo-Larr has some weight here.
Had he been named under MOTU Naming Conventions, he'd been something like Junglor, Selvor, Wildor, Barba-Ro to showcase he's a MOTU savage man... That's without using the (variable) Man convention from earlier MOTU characters.

2: I never intentionally released a bio to calm issues on the boards. I released bios when they became avail. If bios came out during the middle of a crap storm, it was always coincidence . 
Says the guy who wrote most of them... Not to mention these bios "were written all by the time Stratos was released in 2009"... But he must accept that the Timing of these bios were too Convenient. A crap storm happened and suddenly... a wild bio appears!

3: Green Goddess did not use cheap plastic. There was a problem with the sonic wielder, the same problem happened with DC figs released around this time (Wave 3 and 4 I think). I was quickly fixed and has not happened again. 

 Roboto and Cy-Chop say hi!

4: I never blamed the fans for Roboto or Hssss’ shoulders being revered. What I said was “the details in the shoulders were so small that the fan press didn’t even notice”. I was trying to explain that it is sometimes hard to notice these details, I was not at all holding the reviewers responsible for this. Just using them as an example of how easy it is to miss these, noting that even reviewers missed the shoulders first time out. 
But that was an attempt to deflect Mattel's POOR QC checks made on these figures... Remember Stinkor or Frosta? They were made after the "Eagle Eye Committee" was made to avoid backwards pieces... Also NA Skeletor has backwards shoulders... Unfixable due to the different size pegs on him. The point still stands MATTEL SHOULD BE THE ONES CATCHING THESE ISSUES, NOT US. Then with the secretive crap, it's "Too late to make changes" even if WE NOTICE...

5: Dare was never meant to take over the line in 2016. As you can see from the 2016 line up, he was just a way of getting one more faction into the line. Much as Penny Dreadful pointed out in a great thread last month, Classics was all about hitting as many different eras as possible in Classics and that included SOHM. The idea that he would take over or supplant He-Man or She-Ra was never in the cards. No more then Goatman did as a GoldenBooks figure. 

Ooh! thanks, Dr. Evil! I'm full of Celebrity Guest Stars today!
Yet, why is "the story" pushing Dare and company on us? Then there's the Managerial Mandate to "push the story forward." Instead of giving us new insights on unused characters, we got splash pages tossing everything but the kitchen sink at us.

6: I love She-Ra. I actually like her more then He-Man. The “hole in her head” from her original release was just to allow fans to maximize the display options. Not a commentary on feminism. If it felt like POP had a slower roll out, note that there were always 2-5 POP releases per year. And Bow and Adora count here. A lot of fans over the years only counted POP if you drilled down to POP→female→ had a vintage toy-→ appeared on the cartoon. Under that very small guideline, of course we didn’t get to figs every year. But if you open yourself up to all of POP, you can see we were very POP heavy every year. In fact the 2014 mini sub was basically just the 6 POP that were originally slotted for 2016-2017. Once the roadmap was cut short we had to pull them in to pre 2015 per our 2013 promise. 

Funny that he says he likes She-Ra more than He-Man seeing that more POP Figures had issues than MOTU Figures.
Hey... That reference to commentary on feminism may or may not be a jab at me, since I've made a few jokes about Toyguru's writing seems to be dripping with Misogyny...
On the POP toy rollouts 17 TOY characters Counting Kowl and Loo-Kee as separate items. (So 16 releases) That it took us 7 years to get them is preposterous. Open up to all POP allows us to "pad out" with Horde, which is MOTU (toywise). If we were getting 3-4  Toy POP figures, then the line-up (sans beasts or variants) based on the toys would have been complete in roughly 4 years. (seeing that Kowl and Loo-Kee were released as 1 item, the number of releases being 16 makes it an even 4 figs for 4 years as a perfect number.) but seeing the fact that we wouldn't have completed POP until 2017, made me think... 2017-2008 is about 9 years... If we do math, we'd have to be getting 1.78 POP toy figures per year in order to get them done at the pace Scott wanted... 2 a year...

7: I never intended for Spector to be an important character. He was always a background character meant to bridge different eras (which was a direct request from management for all the 2012 new figs). My only regret was calling him "heroic master of time travel" using the standard MOTU tag line convention (everyone being a "master" of something). A much better tag line might have been "heroic time traveling spy". I tried to address this in the next mini comic to make it very clear how background Spector was intended to be. He was not the new He-Man or star of the line! But I am glad to have a figure of him!

So says the guy who created Spector, WROTE THE MINI COMICS, Has a Pre Super Powers Spector Figure in the line AND The Powered Up Spector... Not to mention how he PUTS SPECTOR IN THE STORYLINE OFTEN... where is Draego? Cy-chop? Castle Grayskullman? FREAKING FEARLESS PHOTOG!? Only Geoff Johns' vanity project or Neitlich's self-insertion are being promoted... Do I need to mention the DC MOTU comic about Sir-Laser-Lot that has a shout out to "Agent Spector"?

Um, Killing Spector*** in the next two Mini Comics won't diminish his importance... Obi-Wan spent
***= This is a THEORY based on Scott's words that Spector's a background character and that he'll show us how background he is.
2.5 (Good) Star Wars movies DEAD and he was important... Aerith Dies on Disc 1 of Final Fantasy VII and she is mega important for the ending and Advent Children.
If Spector DOES INDEED DIE in the next two mini comics it won't change his key player role.
Things that Spector did:
Became the SOLE USER of Time Travel Technology at King He-Man's request...
Has the super power of MEGA LOYALTY... (and Time travel)

He brought Sir Laser Lot back from the past... "under King He-Man's orders"
He became A "Heroic Warrior in the Future!" serving under He-Man and Dare.
He MAY or MAY NOT have been the one to bring Skelebaby to the Future! Neitlich's been hinting that it may have not been Spector, but the picture shows Spector with a blue baby. His actions don't make him THE STAR of the show, but put him on a Duncan Level of Importance. That is what's messed up. Having a Self-Insertion isn't THAT BAD. Being the Super Loyal Hand Picked by He-Man Time Traveling Spy Master doing Secret Missions and moving Key Time Points as if he was some sort of Lord of Time kinda is... This puts his Self-Insertion in Mary Sue Levels... Another Problem is that Neitlich got TWO Self-Insertions. Himself as the Palace Guard and then as a Full-Fledged MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE-erse-erse-erse!

I am glad we got both versions, so I could make TWO Self-Insertions!!

Thanks for hanging in there guys! I hope all our collections continue to grow and grow. MOTU forever and MOTUC forever. Please try not to be too hard on the new team. These are the people trying to GET you more MOTU toys. They (like me before hand) were never your enemy or the bad guy. Try to give them the benefit of the doubt and know all there actions are in your best interest to get out as many great toys as possible! As I noted in the Dare example above, things change ALL THE TIME in the toy industry and many many times something someone says one day can be completely changed the next. It is not lying to the fans, it is just the way logistics of the toy industry work. So try to cut the new team some rope. We are VERY lucky to have Mark and Kim and Brandon. I honestly couldn't think of better folk. Mark would have 100% been my choice as a new director for the brand, Kim worked for me for years running the logistics for the site, and Brandon brings much needed enthusiasm for the work that will only pay off with better figures. Having a passionate designer makes all the difference. 
Sounds like he's taking the high road until the speech becomes the Scott Show.
No, while they ARE WORKING HARD to deliver great products, their interests are with Mattel... Otherwise we'd be getting the Snake Torso without having to pay an additional charge for it...
He keeps trying hard to defend the little Twerp, Dare... Few Like Him... Dare is Sooo Fetch!
Says: Dare will not be in the 2014-15 line-up... Dare ends up in the 2014-15 line-up... This is not a lie!? Sure, but only if we ignore how hard SCOTT WORKED TO GET DARE IN THE LINE-UP AFTER the overwhelming negative reaction of the fandom towards him...
Funny how none of the team wanted to be made public, but Scottie N. Threw them under the bus while praising them... Also throwing Ruben Martinez Subtly under the bus...

 There is a new upper management team as well. In fact, they came into place 1 week before I resigned, so I didn't get to work with them much. This is the forth upper management team that has overseen MOTUC and Matty and it is clear the new team has changed a lot of the rules about what can be shown when. Part of me wishes I had had this management under my time on the brand, but for now, enjoy what we are getting, the huge amount of support Mattel management seems to be showing the brand now, and enjoy collecting what I have always thought was the greatest toy line ever made. 

Well, Hopefully this new team will do better, but I think it's time for Scott to STOP STIRRING IN THE POT... Unlike John Cena, Toyguru's time is OVER!! Of course now it's once again "MANAGEMENT'S" Fault... A few weeks ago it was "Matty was like 90% on my head" now the "Mysterious bosses" make a comeback... One has to wonder how come a Jakks Manager spends so much time on a Mattel Product Board while giving romanticized verbose speeches of his time at Mattel... He should be focusing on having Jakks Pacific develop a line of Diorama/accessory packs for 6-7 toylines... Jungle, urban, medieval fantasy... Those kind of things.

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