Masters of the Universe

Humor photo
I give it two "ha"s
If there are few things I can't resist, it's a semi-bad pun (as you've probably noticed from my own). Shirt Woot! recently paid homage to Masters of the Universe, gaming, and a few shades of gray (less than 50, so it's cool!)...

SDCC 2015: MattyPalooza panel

Jul 15 // Scarecroodle
The presentation began with an apology, poking fun at the oft-mocked MattyCollector slogan, "Collectors are King." It was continued with the traditional promise that things would get better (despite continuing to use Digital River), more promises about transparency, and so on. It was topped off by a product philosophy slide which shows the aim is to do better than what could be found at retail. There was also a mention that there wouldn't be a "face" of Matty Collector going forward (which I took to mean a Scott Neitlich kind of guy) and that everybody was involved (meaning that I'm even less sure who to hassle for press info). Most importantly, the first announcement was that there's life outside the Masters of the Universe franchise. Matty announced plans to carry collectibles related to DC Comics, WWE, and Disney's Cars. They also teased the possibility of doing things from older toy lines, like Street Sharks and Dino-Riders (yes, that was a thing) should enough fan interest exist. The discussion then turned to the Masters of the Universe comics series (put out by DC). [[Editor confession: I tuned out during this part, since I read one of the demo issues and it was fairly lousy.]] There was also a mention of Masters underwear, including a She-Ra version for the girls (see gallery). Masters of the Universe characters will apparently be featured in an upcoming video game called Toy Soldiers: War Chest. It's a tower defense game that will feature various toy lines. I'm not a fan of the genre, but the casting is interesting. Dark Horse will be releasing a compilation of all of the mini-comics that came along with the figures. It's a hardcover book which will feature backstories behind the stuff as well. The Sideshow statues also got a brief shout-out and there was mention of a Super 7 partnership including MUSCLE-styled He-Man figures and a Moss Man Chia Pet. We were then treated to a run-through of the schedule for the rest of the year, along with the unveil of a celebratory Point Dread and Talon Fighter set (featuring Teela 2.0) set to release in November. Also up will be a Laser Light Skeletor vs Laser Power He-Man  2-pack. Club Eternia may be over, but it's apparently being replaced by a limited "Collector's Choice" series and, most importantly, the prices are going to be going down! Before you get excited, this isn't down to the old US$20; no, it's just being dropped to US$24 (sub price) and US$27 (non-sub) for normal figures. (Now if only Digital River stopped gouging us on shipping...). The Collector's Choice will have a US$25 sign-up fee (pays for exclusive) and will feature 6 figures (at US$24) and 2 semi-annual figures (one at US$30 and another at US$40; these will cost US$5 more if buying outside the club). The figures announced thus far are Lord Masque, Vultak, Darius, Crita (!!!), General Sunder, and a Horde Wraith. While I won't be buying into the club, I'm looking forward to picking up Crita and may cave on that Horde Wraith. The sub exclusive figure will be Despera and one of the over-sized figures will be the Night Stalker. (That's one cool mechanical horse...) Power-Con is apparently returning (June 4th & 5th in LA?) and will feature some limited (ie, small run) exclusives including a green Granamyr (it's an incredibly neat item). The MOTU Minis club may have been canceled, but the series has apparently be reconfigured into a box set with that little Snake Mountain diorama. However, the biggest announcement of the day (for Masters) was a "2.0" line based on the Filmation cartoon. The reasoning for the re-launch is that it gives collectors who started late (such as myself) access to the characters while providing die-hard collectors with a new look. While the line will re-use parts from the original MotUCs, the figures won't just feature new heads. Apparently other things on the figure will be tweaked, like the style of He-Man's boots. The figures announced (and shown) thus far are He-Man, Trap-Jaw, Skeletor, and Evil Seed (not to be confused with the 200x one coming out; he's the club exclusive). Other announced figures included Beast Man, Evil-Lyn, and Clawful. The line will feature new packaging which looks pretty neat (see gallery). Mattel picked up Mega Bloks not that long ago and apparently one of the results will be a Castle Grayskull set. There was a whole video promo for it as well which showed that it will feature moving parts like the jawbridge. Can it get bigger than that? Why, yes. Yes, it can! Just about a year or so ago, Matty Collector front man Scott Neitlich had mentioned that a MotUC Snake Mountain was "unlikely" given the sales issues with Castle Grayskull. However, a lot has apparently changed since then because Matty Collector not only had plans for Snake Mountain, but had a prototype for the booth. Size comparison? It could be massive. Matty's rep instantly clarified that the finished product may not be quite that size although it'll still be larger than Castle Grayskull (and, given that Grayskull had an initial US$250 price tag, I shudder to think how expensive Snake Mountain will be!). Apparently the prototype was too big for the booth's display case which had to be remodeled to fit it... or so the legend goes. Sure, the story told by the rep could be bollocks, but I want to believe that. I want to believe. THEN they mentioned that it would feature a bluetooth speaker. This way the old Skeletor voice changer could be an app and you can play music from the cartoon (or whatever) from it. The rep went on to say, "We have no idea what it's going to cost." Well, that makes two of us.... and the prospect is scary. Because I want this. I want this bad. Of course, on a completely personal note, that announcement would pale in comparison to the next big reveal. The rep played a video featuring kittens playing with MotUCs and used it to segue into... Yes! THUNDERCATS! The crowd ROARED in response to the ThunderCats Classics reveal. The audience reaction was absolutely deafening. The ThunderCats Classics line, which is in the MotUC scale and style (because that's where some of the parts are coming from >_>), also had painted figures on display at the booth which spoiled the surprise for anybody not at SDCC because photos were flying around fast. While I was floored by the Lion-O, Jackalman had me tossing money at the screen. (Not so fun fact: I had pre-ordered the Icon Heroes Jackalman, which looked fantastic, and watched as it got pushed back month after month until Icon Heroes just canceled the damn thing.) Matty Collector has always been in the habit of dragging out lines by mixing up A-listers with supporting characters so, while other toy lines may have been canceled by the time they reached Jackalman, Matty Collector is giving us the fan favorite minion right off the bat. Yes, I'm sure we would seen him anyway in the club's inaugural year, but I'd rather get him sooner rather than later. The old, decrepit version of Mumm-Ra will be a sub exclusive (because I needed more motivation to subscribe?). He's going to feature both the cape seen here as well as an open cape so his arms can be outstretched like in his transformation sequence. The packaging hasn't been decided, but one of the options looked curiously like the packaging that Bandai of America used on *its* ThunderCats line. (Remember when that was a thing?) [[Editor's note: Curiously, the presentation included no mention of the Ghostbusters Animated series line and I'm wondering if I missed a cancellation notice somewhere. I know that DST is doing the movie stuff, but didn't think that impacted the cartoon items.]] Things then shifted to the Question & Answer segment, which is usually a throw away. I was half paying attention until this brave man stood up... While I may never know his name (but I imagine I could find it if I really bothered looking), this champion of the people mentioned how he had bought two of every club thus far but wasn't going to continue. He directly called out Digital River (aka that company-whose-name-we-wish-was-never-spoken-and-whose-service-wasn't-used), citing that the distributor had REPEATEDLY shafted him on money which it refused to return (or, as collectors call it, just another day for Digital River). Given that this is a massive, extremely common complaint, I silently cheered along with the rest of the crowd... then suddenly suspected he was a plant, meant to be used so Matty Collector could reveal that a more competent delivery system was going into place. But no, that sadly wasn't the case. When the audience member said that he wouldn't buy from Matty if they continued to use Digital River and then asked, "Is there an answer to this problem?", the rep merely replied, "There's no answer." The rep then mumbled that they're aware of the problem [[Editor's note: They've been aware FOR YEARS at this point. None of these complaints are new and none are ever resolved.]] and are seeing what they can do to fix them. You know, the usual response! The rest of the questions (or the answers) were more garden variety and boring. Matty refused to reveal additional details about the ThunderCats club. Matty couldn't say more about the new Masters of the Universe movie (although they saw a new script). Different scales for the figures are never out of the question, but currently no plans.
Mattel photo
Feel the magic, hear the roar...
One of the few panels I make sure to catch each Comic Con is Matty Collector's "MattyPalooza." While I can't always make it to a con, you can usually find the presentation in its entirely on Youtube (thanks, Pixel Dan!). For ...

Masters of the Universe photo
Masters of the Universe

Two-Bad isn't Too-Good for the general public


Too-Bad he may sell out early
May 08
// Scarecroodle
Matty will be selling some leftover stock of MotUC Two-Bad during its upcoming May 15th sale (which is currently labeled as "April 15th because, you know, screw proofreading!). Fans will recall that the figure was switched to...

Masters of the Universe photo
Masters of the Universe

Matty unveils final figure (Prahvus) in Club 200x, sub closes 3/23


Saving the, errr, last for last
Mar 17
// Scarecroodle
Matty Collect today unveiled the prototype for Prahvus, the final figure in Club 200x. Club 200x is slated to close at 23:59 on 3/23. Have you subscribed? Compared to the other figures (such as King Chooblah), Prahvus looks a...
Masters of the Universe photo
Masters of the Universe

Not so abominable! Matty unveils King Chooblah


Mattel not-so-cryptically reveals a cryptid
Mar 16
// Scarecroodle
Have you signed up for Club 200x yet? Matty Collector has unveiled a prototype for the FIFTH figure in the limited 6-figure club, King Chooblah. Despite having never seen the 2002 Masters of the Universe, I've found many of t...
Masters of the Universe photo
Hail to the Queen, baby!
Matty Collector has unveiled its Masters of the Universe Classics Queen Grayskull, the fourth figure shown thus far for the 6-figure "Club 200x" subscription. Queen Grayskull is the wife of King Greyskull and was apparently t...

Masters of the Universe photo
Because that new MOTU movie is totally still coming out
The new Masters of the Universe film (title pending) is going to come out at some point (maybe!), but in the mean-time we may or may not have a concept image of the new Battle Cat. Apparently somebody connected to the film ha...

MOTU Club 200x officially opens

Feb 24 // Scarecroodle
Masters of the Universe photo
In the year 201x...
Matty Collector recently announced plans (and showed off the first figures) for its Club 200x. The company has since revealed the remaining selection in its six figure line-up as well as opening subscriptions. While the p...

Masters of the Universe photo
As long as there are customers, there will be a line
The Masters of the Universe Classics line is dead, long live the Masters of the Universe Classics line! With the upcoming retirement of Club Eternia (and the failed roll-out of the MOTU Minis club), many wondered what may be ...

PCS Skeletor photo
PCS Skeletor

Pop Culture Shock's Skeletor up for pre-order soon, you fools!


Two versions available starting Monday
Dec 01
// Brian Szabelski
Been waiting for Pop Culture Shock's Masters of the Universe line to get to Skeletor? Well, wait no more; pre-orders for the legendary villain are arriving on Monday, Dec. 8! Skeletor is 1/4-scale, so he'll fit with He-M...
SALES!! photo
The deals are real
A thousand and one ARRRRGGGHHS! Matty Collector's 7 Days of Cyber Monday Sale opened to the general public (ie, us plebs who didn't buy a sub) at noon today and, despite remembering it all morning prior to the sale, I wound u...

Matty Collector's November sale still on-going

Nov 19 // Scarecroodle
Regular readers may have noticed that our Matty Collector-related coverage has decreased in recent months, mostly because Matty Collector is a pain to deal with (even more-so now that Scott Neitlich announced his departure) to the extent that even getting hi-res (or any reasonable) resolution product images for things like monthly sale stories has been impossible (I can't think of even one company that's been even half as hard to deal with for relatively basic requests). Couple that with the fact that Matty Collector's handling of multiple issues in recent years has been, speaking generously, completely awful (Digital River, price hikes, Big Lots, non-club pricing policies, etc) and you'll notice that my enthusiasm for covering the brand has notably waned (with the exception of conventions and major announcements) during my tenure at Tomopop. When I've purchased Matty Collector's products, it's almost never through the site itself but instead from third parties who, because they're stuck buying items as part of a club, often resell items at a significantly lower rate (which is how I got both the club exclusive Gorpo and Hydron for less than US$50 shipped). Things changed with November, however, as both the hotly anticipated Masters of the Universe Classics Tung Lashor and New Adventures She-Ra went up for order (other items released this month? Arrow (see header), the DC Total Heroes Firestorm, some giant Masters figures, etc). Finally two things I wanted were being released in the same month so it made sense to actually order directly from Matty Collector. Of course, the pricing is *still* annoying since the two figures ran me US$70 shipped (because Matty / Digital River charges higher than average shipping AND higher than average tax. I still don't understand the tax thing, although the math would work if they were taxing on shipping as well for some bizarre reason. Otherwise I've assumed it was a tariff rather than a tax.) The sale is still ongoing for those who might be interested. Of course, Tung Lashor is sold out now so there's less reason to check it out, but there are still other items available. Otherwise, fans can look forward to Matty's Seven Days of CyberMonday which, of course, is also no longer the value that it once was. [ Order at Matty Collector ]
Matty Collector photo
The sale where Scarecroodle actually bought something directly from Matty
Matty Collector's November sale started Monday and several items are sold out. This sale is a little different since, for the first time in about a year, I actually ordered product directly from Matty Collector instead of getting it cheaper on the secondary market. More after the jump, where I'll also gripe about Matty Collector's poor outreach efforts.

Masters of the Universe photo
In other news, I also didn't attend NYCC but have no plans to do a video series
Matty Collector may not have been able to find time in its busy schedule to attend NYCC, but the company has unveiled its newest figures anyway through a video series entitled "Not at New York Comic Con Video Con". Matty has ...

NYCC 2014: PCS photo
NYCC 2014: PCS

NYCC 2014: Pop Culture Shock


Featuring heroes of all shapes and sizes
Oct 14
// Brian Szabelski
It probably won't be much of a surprise that Pop Culture Shock arrived at New York Comic Con with some of their new licensed collectibles. After all, they have a pretty good track record of putting out expensive, but "worth t...
Masters of the Universe photo
One more month...
Matty Collector's Scott Neitlich has released a video showing off (mostly finished versions of) the final figures in this year's Club Eternia and Etheria subs, including Tung Lashor, New Adventures She-Ra, Mermista, and more....

PCS Man-At-Arms photo
PCS Man-At-Arms

Pop Culture Shock's Man-At-Arms readies for the pre-order hordes


Complete with real mustache action!
Sep 23
// Brian Szabelski
Pop Culture Shock is continuing their 1/4-scale He-Man line with Man-At-Arms as the next entry. The mustachioed royal guard carries his mace in one hand and has his wrist gauntlet firing on the other arm. The sculpt look...
Hikari photo
Not so pretty in pink?
Funko has unveiled not one, not two, but THREE new Hikari designs. While all three use existing molds (Gillman, Frankenstein, and Skeletor), this might be the first triple reveal since before SDCC. Mythos Frankenstein is Hika...

SDCC/WonFes Highlight Reel: The Scarecroodle edition

Sep 09 // Scarecroodle
While I find myself unable to do a top ten list, I figure I should at least try to order these things in terms of preference. Spider-Man 2099 has long been one of my favorite superheroes. Unfortunately, the character hasn't seen that much great merchandise over the years. Yes, he has a Bowen statue I can't afford and WizKids did a few decent Heroclix figurines, but the more conventional offerings have been a little lackluster. ToyBiz's Spider-Man Classics Spidey 2099 was a somewhat lame redeco of a normal Spider-Man figure (from that same line) which featured a cloth cape and lacked the character's iconic arm-spikes (besides having those out-of-character webshooter-posed hands). Hasbro took a stab at the character with a less articulate figure in the Spider-Man Origins line but, once again, it lacked those arm-spikes and featured a cheap cloth cape. Finally, Hasbro gave us a Spidey 2099 in the Marvel Universe line and, while it recycled the standard body, the figure at least had the arm-spikes (positioned a little oddly?) and a plastic cape. It looked like that would be the best we'd ever get... then SDCC 2014 rolled around and Hasbro unveiled its Spider-Man Legends Spidey 2099. Hasbro's new Spider-Man 2099 is almost everything I could have hoped for: it features an accurate build, it has Spidey's ironic outstretched fingers (although it lacks the talons, but hey, they could be retracted!), there's a lot of articulation, and it's in the 6-inch scale. It's more or less everything I wanted (sans a glossy paint job). I look forward to picking it up and, with any luck, seeing Diamond Select Toys produce an even better version of the character in its Marvel Select line. My second most-wanted item is Mattel's Masters of the Universe Classics Tung Lashor. Matty Collector had previously announced that Tung Lashor and Squeeze, the two last Snakemen from the original vintage line, would be included in the final two Club Eternia subscriptions. The catch? Only one would appear per year and Matty wasn't saying which would appear when. Those fiendish devils! Thankfully, however, Matty Collector unveiled my favorite, Tung Lashor, at SDCC and announced that he was conveniently scheduled for November (alongside Galactic Protector She-Ra!). I had been looking forward to Tung Lashor for a while, especially because the original vintage figure was one of the few He-Man figures that managed to stay with me over the years despite several moves and Hurricane Andrew (which was responsible for two of those moves). The MOTUC Tung Lashor is a great update of the vintage figure, capturing and (slightly) improving on the original's look. Although (like most MOTUCs) it lacks the original gimmick, MOTUC has replicated the tongue-lashing feature with an alternate extended-tongue head. I'm fortunate that he came out this year, since there are no guarantees that the 2015 Club Eternia will hit its minimum number of subs. Of course, the downside is that we probably won't ever see a really articulated 200x series Tung Lashor but at least there's NECA's staction version available which, in this instance, is better than nothing. Another bit of particularly exciting news is Diamond Select Toys' Marvel Select Carnage. Back when Hasbro produced a pretty good ML Carnage in its Spider-Man Legends line, I (just barely) held off buying it because I saw what incredible work DST had done with its MS Venom (which I still want to pick up at some point). The problem with basically every Carnage so far has been a lack of interchangeable parts, something that the MS Carnage should correct. We can already see that it includes a version of the axe-arm which is one of those absolute staples missing from most releases. If it was just that, the MS Carnage (with its great sculpting and paint) would stand quite a bit taller than most (if not all) other Carnage action figures. However, DST intends to give fans far more than that which should make the MS Carnage the definitive Carnage action figure. It completely justifies not picking up the latest ML version. Of course, the Marvel Select wasn't the only thing Carnage fans had to look forward to, as Kotobukiya unveiled the rest of its Fine Arts Carnage. The statue notably features multiple tendrils extending from his body and includes an interchangeable arm (I believe the weapon arm is exchanged with a normal hand). If I was more of a statues fan, I would be all over this one. In what shaped up to be a pretty good convention for evil, Hasbro announced (and showed off) its 6-inch Star Wars Black Series Bossk. Prior to Bossk, Boba Fett was the only real bounty hunter (ie, not some Rodian punk who gets shot while sitting down in a cantina)  that we'd seen and I was starting to get a little worried that the line would be canceled before it got into producing them.  Bossk looks a lot better than his also-great Saga Legends counterpart (who was among the first modern Star Wars figures I picked up) and hopefully this trend will continue long enough to get me a Dengar. On the subject of both improvements and redemption, the Marvel Legends line will *finally* get a half-decent Scarlet Witch (the previous version, released in ToyBiz's Legendary Riders series, was so bad that the company originally didn't intend to release it in the US... or so the rumor goes). This pretty cool wave (dubbed "Avengers Legends"?) features Odin (!!!) as a BAF, with alternate parts for a King Thor variant. While I really don't care for most of the wave, I doubt that I'll be able to pass on a decent-looking Odin. Other pretty neat Marvel Legends coming out (that don't rank on my favorites list) are Agent Phil Coulson, Maria Hill, and a Thanos BAF, as well as Machine Man and Captain Marvel. Plus the ML Sentry (originally intended as a running change in the Hit Monkey wave) is finally getting a release. Jumping over the Summer Wonder Festival side of things for a moment, the biggest thing to grab my attention was the announcement of a figma Dark Magician Girl (Yu-Gi-Oh!). Although we've seen a decent DMG figure or two over the years, such as the Cu-Poche version, never has there been a great normal, articulated figure for the character. While a Dark Magician may be a bit more apropos, I think I'd rather have the DMG first. Another exciting set of announcements were for Nendoroids Rider and Archer (Fate/Stay Night). Although we saw some great mini Nendoroids for Rider (at least one of which I own), it's going to be nice to get a full-sized (or full Nendo-sized...) version of the character as well; especially because she should come with a bunch of props. The only thing keeping me in my seat is a nagging suspicion that Kotobukiya may eventually cover the character in the Cu-Poche line, which I'd probably prefer. Other adorable small figures included NECA's Mogwai Series 5, which features three more concept characters (Patches, Zoe, and Gary). Although I know that at least two of them are basically straight-up repaints, I'll still be excited to pick those up (I'm less sure about wanting the all-white, weird-faced Gary). Due out in November (not October), the ones that I grab should look pretty neat next to my other concept-series Mogwai (which I mostly picked up to get Penny). I'm still not sure why the Gremlins part of the line has basically stalled (with a few figures in limbo) while we keep getting Mogwais who didn't even appear in the movies. I'm even less sure why I keep getting so excited to see new ones. Mattel will be adding the Yvonne Craig Batgirl to its Batman classic TV series line. While I had hoped to see the character (especially when the line looked canceled once or twice), she's unfortunately part of a 3-pack with Batman and Robin. I suppose it's not a huge hurdle, since Batman and Robin were two of the only figures I didn't buy when the line first came out. The head-sculpt and body-work is pretty neat, but those arms look unusually long or something. The figures were designed by Mattel's in-house crew (rather than the Four Horsemen who handled a lot of the other DC collectibles in the past) so I guess things are bound to be a little iffy in places. Another cool babe that I'm really happy to see is Mattel's Galactic Protector She-Ra. This New Adventures-styled figure is one of the Four Horsemen's original creations and mixes some of NA He-Man's elements with She-Ra's design, giving the character an updated look. Given that she's due out in November alongside Tung Lashor, I'll likely buy both characters directly from Matty Collector this time around (rather than hitting up eBay for a better price). And, jumping back to the classic Batman TV series, Diamond Select Toys showed off a number of resin busts and vinyl bank busts, both at its booth and during a panel. My favorite item was naturally a Burgess Meredith Penguin bust. While the TV series had some great villains, few seemed as fun as Burgess Meredith's take on the Penguin. Will he some day be followed by an eggsellent Vincent Price Eggman bust? Only time will tell. Although the Four Horsemen won't be doing much for Mattel going forward, the company is hardly sitting on its hands these days. The company's latest endeavor is a fantasy-themed line of figures entitled "Mythic Legions" which features dwarfs, orcs, vampires, and more. The sculpting and paint-work on these is incredible, absolutely top-notch stuff. The only drawback is that you usually have to buy these sorts of things directly from the Four Horsemen's site which costs you a bit more on shipping (as opposed to buying from Entertainment Earth, which offers free shipping on larger orders). Ranking a bit lower on my list is a 6-inch Star Wars Black Series Hoth frost-bitten, bloodied Luke and wampa 2-pack. The pack is ostentatiously based on that famous cave scene in The Empire Strikes Back, but will likely not include a removable, bloodied arm option for the wampa. However, I'm still impressed that Hasbro will be making a wampa that much larger than Luke. Although fans were never given a great look at the wampa's size in the films, the one Luke encountered was implied to be huge (something that didn't really carry over to Shadow of the Empire on the Nintendo 64). Another neat Star Wars announcement came at WonFes where Good Smile Company showed plans to make a Nendoroid Darth Vader and Storm Trooper. Oh, plus Kaiyodo showed off its Star Wars Revoltechs which could be promising. Honestly, there were so many cool things I should have made two Highlight Reels. Here are a few more really exciting items:   The MOTU Minis Snake Mountain is incredibly adorable. It's also neat because Matty's Scott Neitlich previously revealed that a MOTUC Snake Mountain is unlikely given how things went for Castle Grayskull, which makes this the only official Mattel Snake Mountain that we'll ever see. While the diorama is a massive want, it's bundled as part of a subscription which is a massive Don't Want To Pay For. As such, I'll only be nabbing it if I can find it cheaply on the aftermarket. The Spider-Man Legends line discussed earlier also includes a May Parker Spider-Girl (MC2 continuity) and a Phil Urich Hobgoblin Build-a-Figure. Although I've stayed away from the MC2 continuity (which, as far as I'm aware, has never been adapted into a cartoon or film) but I've been aware of the May Parker Spider-Girl and wanted a decent figure. As previously mentioned, I only know Phil Urich from his heroic Green Goblin run (and even then, I only owned one or two issues) so the fact that he's a murderous, villainous Hobgoblin came as something of a surprise. Granted, the new design makes for a cool figure. It's just a shame that it's a BAF when I'm trying to move away from buying full waves. The final item on the Hasbro front is the Marvel Universe (or Marvel Infinite) 3.75-inch Sandman figure, which brings me a step closer to completing a 3.75-inch Sinister Six. The figure is cool for coming in both a standard version (seen here) and an all-sand deco. The figure looks like he recycles some parts from the MU Absorbing Man (first released in a Secret Wars 2-pack before getting a single-card release alongside a variant) although it's hard to be sure. I was excited to see a Jim Lee-styled Beast as well. Speaking of Jim Lee, Kotobukiya will be producing a Fine Arts Rogue based on the character's appearance around the '90s. The sculpting so far looks great and I can't wait to see the statue painted. In addition to Carnage, Diamond Select Toys will also be releasing a Marvel Select Cable. This guy would be a lot higher on my list if I was more of a Cable fan, but other than the Marvel vs. Capcom games, I've never really gotten into the character. I do like that DST went with his bulkier look which is usually how I've envisioned Cable. The other pretty neat remaining DST item is the MLP:FIM Rarity vinyl bank. I wasn't sure what to make of the first two banks, but this one is absolutely adorable. It recently went up for pre-order and was among DST's items featured in the latest issue of Previews. DC Collectibles had a lot of new designs on display for its Batman: The Animated Series line. Killer Croc and Batgirl had sculpted prototypes on display, although the jointing hadn't been implemented yet (Killer Croc's pack-in, Baby Doll, presumably won't feature articulation). Several other designs were shown on the backdrop, including Penguin and Riddler. While I like a lot of the work that I've seen on the line thus far, I'm not sure how much of it I'll actually be buying. I'm assuming that I'll probably at least get the Man-Bat, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, and maybe the Riddler. Even if DCC wasn't releasing several at a time, it's just too much for me to collect at this point given the US$25 price point. Speaking of affordability, Mattel will be expanding its 4-inch DC Multiverse line with oversized figures from Rocksteady's Arkham series. The figures are going to be pretty large but, unlike DC Collectibles' versions (which ran from something like US$50 to US$100), they're going to be a more affordable US$25. It's great because I wanted a Grundy but I didn't want to spring US$80 for the DCC version. On the subject of pricey, over-sized figures, Matty Collector will be releasing 12-inch remakes of the vintage MotUs. While it's a neat concept, I can't see myself paying US$75 (before Canadian shipping...) for these. It didn't occur to me at the time, but this is basically the same approach that Gentle Giant has taken with the giant-sized remakes of the old Kenner Star Wars figures. However, unlike those Star Wars figures, some of these actually look tempting. I've probably mentioned this a few times, but I've never been able to get into She-Ra: Princess of Power. I like the fact that there seems to be more of a story to the series than the original Masters of the Universe (of which I rewatched a few episodes earlier this year, mostly for nostalgia), but the episodes that I've watched have felt a little dry (and the character voices can be annoying). As such, I'm always surprised by how many POP character designs I find appealing. Mermista, for instance, sports a neat aquatic theme but, more importantly, she comes with an alternate mermaid lower body. Of course, I'm also excited over the Real Ghostbusters line announcement. Finally, DC Collectibles had its recently unveiled Batman: Arkham Knight figures on display. These were unveiled shortly before SDCC but it was still great to see them out in the field rather than in stock photography. I'm really looking forward to the Scarecrow although I'm not that fond of the character's broken leg. Of course, given that Batman: Arkham Knight is on the PS4/Xbone, I'm not sure when I'll actually play the game itself since I'm not planning on getting either system in the near future (nor do I own a gaming-quality pc).
Top toys photo
Now in Low Definition
SDCC and WonFes may have been almost a month ago at this point, but many of its collectibles are still on our minds. Tian recently posted the top ten things he was looking forward to from these cons and, because I'm far more excitably (and exceedingly less orderly), my own highlights list is nowhere near that short. See many of my favorites after the jump.

Masters of the Universe photo
Matty decides to stop playing games with our hearts
In news that shouldn't shock or surprise anybody, Matty Collector has reached its subscription goal for the 2015 Club Eternia. The company had previously cast doubt on the club's continuation in the annual "Fear Drive" (I'm a...

Masters of the Universe photo
A house and its pre-orders divided?
Matty Collector has re-opened subscriptions for Club Eternia, claiming to be 10% short of funding for the 2015 subscription. Of course, my initial reaction was, "Who cares? Tung Lashor is already coming out this November," bu...

Matty Collector photo
Although, in fairness, Matty Collector has forgotten about us more than we have about it
Matty Collector's August sale starts in... well, it started yesterday. However, you didn't miss much since the only item to sell out so far has been Faker and he probably went during Early Access. The sale consists of two Clu...

Hikari photo
Relatively large
,Funko has unveiled its two newest Hikari sofubi figures, a 10-inch Hikari Premium "Blaze" Spider-Man and a normal-sized "Mythos" Skeletor. "Blaze" Spider-Man, based (loosely?) on the character's appearance in The Amazing Spi...

Masters of the Universe photo
Tomopop editor struggles to spell Havoc with a 'c' instead a 'k' like the X-Men/X-Factor character
Funko has unveiled its second Hikari Skeletor colorway, "Havoc Skeletor", which consists of a strange mix of metallic color, glitter, and translucence in a deco vaguely reminiscent of the character's actual colors. While nowh...

SDCC 2014: Mattel - Matty Collector Panel / Mattypalooza

Jul 28 // Scarecroodle
Matty Collector showed off a classic Batman tv series (ie, the Adam West Batman) cowl on Preview Night. Although this wasn't a reveal, I never discussed the non-Masters Preview Night reveals so I thought it only fitting to highlight the news of this replica. Although it's a pricy prop, I imagine that collectors will see it as a nice accessory to Matty's previously released Utility Belt & Batarang combo. Ah, now here's the big update: Matty Collector will be producing items based on the much-beloved cartoon The Real Ghostbusters in 2015. The cartoon was created following the massive success of the original Ghostbusters movie which subsequently revealed the sheer marketability of the concept. The cartoon would spawn an absolutely gigantic toyline featuring a slew of humorous, gimmicky ghost figures. One of the problems with Matty Collector's previous Ghostbusters figure line was a lack of supporting figures, especially when it came to ghosts. The Ghostbusters figures would occasionally include a packed-in ghost or, at times, a non-ghost accessory. What I hope to see from this new line is just ghosts packed by themselves. The only possible issue with this idea might be the cost of tooling, but I 'm optimistic that Matty will be able to find a way to make it work for at least a little while. Hopefully the line will eventually expand to feature the Extreme Ghostbusters characters as well. Also, for those wondering why it's called "The Real" Ghostbusters instead of just Ghostbusters, there's a much older cartoon that was just called Ghostbusters which resulted in a trademark dispute. Ironically, the original series has probably profited from the confusion, as it would may otherwise have remained even more obscure. The big theme going forward with Matty Collector is bundling/packaging. Last year, Matty announced that the clubs would feature the option of quarterly shipping and now we're seeing something similar being put into place for the company's other offerings. To cut down on Digital River's shipping costs (nothing can be done about the absurd tax rate, however... I suspect that they're charging either Canadian taxes or import tariffs), fans will now have the opportunity to bundle the remaining three MOTU Minis packs. Additionally, fans who passed on the first three packs will have a chance to buy and have those shipped together as well. The three remaining packs are as follows: As I've mentioned in the past, I like the style of these but I absolutely hate the pricing. As a result, I have yet to pick up any of these (although Scareglow *was* tempting). I suppose it might be different if they packed together two characters I really like, but that hasn't happened yet. It's a shame, too, since I wouldn't mind having at least part of the Mini Castle Grayskull. It's a really cute little set. Unfortunately, next year's Mini MOTUs does away with the CNC in favor of using it as a club promo. Doubly unfortunate is the fact that Matty Collector didn't see fit to lower the price on these packs. I had always assumed that the price of the packs was being ballooned by the large CNC pieces that came with it but, even in the absence of the CNC pieces, the 2-packs remain at US$20. In the interests of comparison, I want to mention that Mattel's DC Action League line (and its predecessor) feature comparable figurines and only retail for around US$8. While I would expect the MOTU Minis to cost a bit more due to lower production runs, the pricing seems excessive. Otherwise, it might have been nice if the Horde Trooper was packed with another army builder just in case fans wanted multiples. Otherwise I love the fact that Matty included Mekaneck's gimmick. The not-CNC item for the 2015 Mini MOTU series is Mini Snake Mountain, which looks adorable. The Mini Snake Mountain diorama will be a subscription exclusive and its cost will be covered by the US$20 club buy-in price (giving the club a total US$140 cost before shipping, taxes, etc). Of course, because it's now a sub item, Matty Collector can officially juice up the prices further for non-subs. So to recap: If you wanted to buy just one pack from the line last year (let's say, for example, the Scareglow pack) you'd pay US$20 and get two figures along with a CNC piece which you could then display by itself or sell on ebay to recoup part of your expenses. If you wanted to buy just one pack this year, you're going to pay US$22 *BUT* you won't even get a CNC price. The classic more for less, *grumble*. On the bright side, fans who don't have an extra US$140+S/H lying around to buy into the club will still be able to get the few specific figures that they want. One of the bigger announcements was Matty Collector's plans to release a 12-inch tall "Giant" MOTU line which recreates the original figures in a far larger scale. The four figures will have the option of being bundled together or being combined into your existing monthly bundle (which also entails buying all four). It's a really cool idea and is a good way of showing others that you're a huge fan. In October, fans will have the chance to buy the Battle Ram with a variant Man-at-Arms for US$110. It's a non-sub item. I've heard some complaints about the choice of pack-in with at least a few people apparently preferring no figure at all to keep the price down. Given that it's US$110, I can understand that viewpoint. Otherwise, the rest of this year's Club Eternia and Club Etheria figures were announced as being: As I mentioned in the MOTU booth coverage, I'm really looking forward to Tung Lashor. The standard head really captures the original figure's appearance while the alternate gimmick head is just plain cool. Also as mentioned in the booth coverage, Galactic Protector She-Ra is a Four Horsemen original concept. The story apparently involves the gang coming up with the idea over breakfast one morning then trying to figure out a way to get it into the line. I'm happy that they did, since the New Adventures-themed She-Ra looks great and she's thankfully not replacing another New Adventures character. Given that both Tung Lashor and Galactic Protector She-Ra fall in November, I'm hoping to buy them at once during the month's Matty sale. Gwildor is one of the movie characters and subsequently may not appeal to everybody. Given that the film has been more or less left untouched, I'm wondering if it may receive additional attention after Club Eternia ends or whether that's just it for the movie figures as well. While I'm also not a She-Ra: Princess of Power fan (which I say despite owning figures of She-Ra, Catra, and others...), Mermista seems too hard to pass up given the alternate, articulated mermaid torso. That brings us to the end of 2014 and, rather sadly, almost to the end of the Masters of the Universe Classics line. No! Say it ain't so! As we all know, 2015 marks the end of the vaunted Club Eternia and, subsequently, the end of Masters of the Universe Classics itself. The final subscription should include a lot of fan-requested characters. The constraints seem to suggest that there won't be any more live-action movie figures (unless they count as "surprises" or as members of the vintage toyline) with the focus instead being on vintage and cartoon characters. Matty Collector has revealed three of the figures (and a two-pack featuring a 200x version of He-Man and King Hsss as a quarterly item as well as a club exclusive figure) but we know at least two more figures besides that: second fans-choice winner Mara (New Adventures) and the snakeman Squeeze. That leaves another seven monthly figures and three quarterly items, as well as a non-sub item or two. I may have never watched the 200x series, but I like the look of this pack. Apparently the pack doesn't include the alternate upper torso for King Hsss, although it will supposedly be sold as a part of something else? It's also worth mentioning that the claw thing on Snake Armor He-Man's hand is either a snap-on or an interchangeable part. Huntara, the first (?) fan's choice winner turned out pretty neat. She's a Filmation-only character who seems to have only appeared in one episode of She-Ra: Princess of Power yet she left on impression on fans... or people just really like the design. Oo-larr, apparently described as the "Jungle He-Man", is the club exclusive figure. I'm not familiar with the character, but he was apparently referenced in a few of bios including Gygor's, Battle Armor Skeletor's,  and Demo-Man's... you know, figures I don't own. Oo-Larr will come with a Castle Grayskull blueprint as the map item, which seems neat. Finally there's the year's (or the line's final) traveling convention item: Skeletor's Hover Robots. All things considered, it should be an interesting year even if it'll be sad to see the line go. More importantly, we'll have new Ghostbusters items to look forward to... although I'm not sure when or where those may be announced, considering that Matty Collector is blowing off NYCC this year.
Matty Collector photo
We got Snake Mountain! ...kinda
The Matty Collector panel at SDCC (or "Mattypalooza") was described as featuring a lot of new Masters-related announcements and, well, little else. However, some major non-Masters news came in the form of an announcement that...

SDCC 2014: Mattel - Masters of the Universe

Jul 26 // Scarecroodle
Not wanting to jump the gun, I skipped discussing the Preview Night reveals which included MOTUC Eldor, Sweet Bee, a Battle Ram vehicle pack (with Man-at-Arms), and the first two Giant MOTUs (He-Man and Skeletor). As I would later realize, apparently we didn't get booth photos right away (ie, the Tomopop team stopped by the booth after the Matty Palooza revealed items were added) so I missed an opportunity to break up the coverage. Eldor is noteworthy for being a requested Filmation character who never received a figure in the original line. He'll apparently include some sticker sheets and is slated for October. Queen Bee (see gallery) is also due out in October, but she's a Club-exclusive and thus won't be part of the monthly sale. The Giant He-Man and Giant Skeletor were revealed on Preview Night, but they weren't alone for long as a Giant Beast Man and Giant Stratos joined the case after the Matty Collector panel. The figures strike me as a little odd given that Club Eternia's "road map" was shortened so it could end in 2015 with one of the reasons given being the rising costs of plastic and yet here Matty Collector is producing over-sized replicas of vintage Masters of the Universe figures. Um, argh? The concept is pretty neat, especially since it follows a line that was all about modernizing the classic toys. While a Giant Beast Man would certainly look nice on my... well, I'd probably have to put in a new shelf but, with the figure's US$75 before shipping price tag, I imagine that I probably won't be doing that. Kudos to Matty, though, for doing something like this. They even feature an over-sized card. The Giant figures will be released individually each month from September to December. Check out the gallery for Skeletor and Stratos. On a personal note, I was happy to see that Tung Lashor will be this year's Snake Man figure (meaning Squeeze will be the 2015 Snake Man figure). Tung Lashor has held a special place in my heart for being one of (if not) the only Masters figures that I still own from my childhood. Basically it survived several moves across states and countries, a hurricane or two, random misadventures, and room raids. The original figure had a tongue-extending gimmick which made use of a control on his back to extend/retract a really thin tongue. As with some previous entries, Matty has replaced the gimmick functionality with an alternate piece so Tung Lashor will include both a standard head (pictured) and an alternate head with the tongue stuck out (which is unfortunately behind the placard). The other exciting bit of news is the Galactic Protector She-Ra, which is a New Adventures-styled version of the character who apparently featured in one of the recent mini comics. It's also worth noting that she's an original design from the Four Horsemen. Given my (admittedly strange) affection for the New Adventures continuity, I'm looking forward to picking this one up... although Tung Lashor remains the only thing I absolutely have to get. Jumping onto the Mini MOTUs for a second, the 2015 selection will be offered as a sub. While that might sound like good news (since you don't need to worry about sales days), the downside is that the year's "diorama" (in this case Snake Mountain) will no longer be a CNC; instead it's going to be the club exclusive item and covered in the US$20 subscription price. The change is a little migraine-inducing, as the CNC pieces were the only thing that really justified the US$20 price tag for the 2-packs. Fans will still be paying the same US$20 per 2-pack, but they're less value for their money. So if you want Snake Mountain it'll run you US$140 (six 2-packs and the US$20 sub fee) before shipping and taxes. The figures themselves still look cute. The 2015 selection will include She-Ra vs. Horde Trooper and Jitsu vs. Mekaneck. Be sure to check out the additional images in the gallery. Skeletor's Hover Robots will apparently be the 2015 traveling convention item. Given that at least a few people might want to army build, these should be a hot commodity. Each one will include a flight stand. The last major highlight might be all the customs, as the booth featured a LOT of Skeletor customs. There are a few more images of these in the gallery and there are a lot of awesome or humorous designs spread throughout. Finally, here's a quick look at some other items that caught my eye: Lizard Man is one of the 2015 Club Eternia figures and features a really awesome figure design. Apparently he was a Filmation-only character who had three appearances in the cartoon (with different colors or details each time). He may be something of a bit character, but he's certainly appealing. Another interesting figure is Mermista, Club Etheria's December 2014 figure. She-Ra's mermaid ally will include an alternate lower torso which has definitely put the figure on my radar. Huntara, the fan's choice winner, had her figure revealed. Like the fan's choice Mara, she's slated for the 2015 selection. Snake Armor He-Man will appear alongside Battle Armor King Hiss in a new 2-pack. The set is the first quarterly item of 2015 and I'm assuming is a reference to the 200x series. The Snake Armor He-Man looks great. In the interests of brevity, I didn't run through everything. However, the release schedule will give you some idea of the things in the gallery. Otherwise you can tune in when I cover the Matty Palooza panel for some additional information. Be sure to check out the gallery.
Masters of the Universe photo
Cue the excitement
For those expecting some cool Masters of the Universe stuff at SDCC, Matty Collector apparently didn't disappoint. There were a lot of new reveals (a few of which were shown early) between the Club Eternia and Etheria selecti...

Masters of the Universe photo
Evil has never looked so... evil?
Funko has premiered its long-awaited third Hikari mold and... it's SKELETOR! The iconic Masters of the Universe villain is being released in a frightening gold, black, and red mix (with blue-tinged gloves) which Funko has dub...

Masters of the Universe photo
Masters of the Universe

Matty's Scott Neitlich says MOTUC Snake Mountain is unlikely


It was already unlikely that I'd spring for one
Jun 19
// Scarecroodle
Matty Collector's Scott Neitlich has confirmed via the Matty forums that a Snake Mountain playset is basically off the table.  "At this point it is doubtful we will explore something this large again," said Neitlich, who...
Matty Collector photo
Matty Collector

Matty Collector's June sale is currently underway


6/16 makes for one (sign of the) beastly sale
Jun 16
// Scarecroodle
Matty Collector's June 2014 sale is currently underway. This somewhat large-ish sale includes the newly released Masters of the Universe Classic (MOTUC) Extendar (sold out), DC Total Heroes Black Manta, and several prominent ...
She-Ra photo
She-Ra

Matty releases package shots of Flutterina


Floats like a butterfly but stings like a bee
May 15
// Scarecroodle
Matty Collector has released the packaging photos for the upcoming Masters of the Universe Classics Flutterina along with the caption, "Review samples were also sent out so look for fan coverage soon". Gee, that's funny, Matt...
Matty Collector photo
Matty Collector

Pick up Scorpia during Matty Collector's May sale tomorrow


Or don't. I honestly don't care either way
May 14
// Scarecroodle
[EDIT: Story was intended to go live tomorrow... whoops! As such, references to "today" have been changed] Matty Collector's May sale starts at Noon EST on May 15th and will feature Scorpia and Battle Lion, as  well as a...

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