Transcript of Thursday, October 17th chat with the Four Horsemen and Mattel's Jeremy Padawer.
(theshadow) OK everyone welcome to the chat! We are happy to welcome and thank the Four Horsemen for doing this chat with the fans. Eric's wife is doing their typing
(theshadow) Just a few moments He-Man fans :)
(jvs3) I will be doing a short dance number to keep you entertained in the mean time
(jvs3) Do do do! Ta doo do do! Yeah!
(hobyman) *takes his place at the drums* Hit it!
(theshadow) Welcome 4H!
(four_horsemen) Hey everybody!
(jeremypadawer) (From Mattel) Hello everyone. Hi Four Horsemen! Fancy seeing you guys.
(four_horsemen) Hey Jeremy. Jeremy can talk about case ratio.
(jeremypadawer) Ok. Regarding the case ratio, Two things have happened that we expected but maybe not at the levels that they are occuring. First, the adult collector base is much larger than anyone might have ever believed. And, second, the kids have jumped into collecting secondary characters at a faster pace than predicted. As the line moves forward, there will be more secondary figures on shelf.
(theshadow) Ready for those fan questions?
(swiftwindx) In advance, for all of use here, I'd like to thank you for taking this time to answer questions from the fans. I, as I assume most of the rest of us here, really like the looks of the new figures. My question is, in redesigning the line to update it to appeal to a new generation, as well as older fans, what compromises did you have to make from your original vision and what we see on store shelves, can you give us an exa
(four_horsemen) The articulation had to be cut back somewhat. He-Man's hair changed quite a bit from the original design. The design of the figures have become more anime based than the original designs.
(leonardo) are you going to make a new sculpted ninjor, will it ever be on the agenda to be made and what do u think personally?
(four_horsemen) First of all, we are probably not going to be able to say much about future figures. We would like to be able to make Ninjor, but he is not on the schedule at this time.
(leonardo) aww shucks thanks dudes!
(kyrone) Many adult fans seem to be upset because it seems the Heroes are going to outnumber villains 2 to 1. We find this decision difficult to understand. Will this continue throughout the entire line?
(four_horsemen) It is not up to us, but it may change in the future - especially since there are more bad guys than good guys. Let Mattel know that you want more villans ;)
(kyrone) fair enough. thanks guys
(kyrandian) I love the He-man statue you made last year, will there be more statues in the future? like maybe of Skeletor?
(four_horsemen) There have been talks of possibly having busts in the future, but as of right now, it is all just discussions. Again, if this is something that you really want, then let Mattel know!
(jeremypadawer) yes. Regarding the statues, there are always several challenges in getting a toy to the toy buyer. The biggest is often the retailer. With a high priced item like a statue, there are unfortunately limited retail markets that will take it.
(applebeesblonde) what is with the anime look? was it a corporate decision or yours?
(four_horsemen) Our designs were already leaning toward the anime direction, and after extensive kid-testing, it was decided to refine them even more toward the anime style.
(alucard) all right, at the 2001 comic con, I spoke with cornboy for a few hours and he told me about concept art, have any of these been released or will they be released? Especially for a certain big fisted mustached character
(four_horsemen) Some concept art will be on our website at www.fourhorsemen.biz (which debuts tomorrow at 4pm EST to coincide with the official MOTU launch at Toys R Us).
(jeremypadawer) When we were relaunching He-Man, we wanted to reach out to the adult and be relevant with the kid collector. With kids, anime is absolutely hot.
(the_parasite_eve) Oh gosh... well...Will there be any chance of seeing characters like the Faceless One made into action figure format?
(four_horsemen) If the line becomes popular enough, any character is possible. We love the designs that they have been doing on the cartoon and would like to do as many characters as possible.
(the_parasite_eve) Wow! Thanks for the answer.
(skeletor) I was curious as to what you thought about releasing certain characters in a 12 inch format
(four_horsemen) We have thought about it and it has been discussed, but there is nothing concrete about it yet?......Jeremy?
(jeremypadawer) We WILL release 12'' characters in the near future...
(four_horsemen) Which ones Jeremy?
(jeremypadawer) I'm jumping the gun a bit... as this is something that won't happen in 03.
(kafos) hi there yall, have you guys by any chance started working on a sorceress figure yet? If not, do you think she will be made next year? Thanks!
(jeremypadawer) Let's just say that all of the strong female role models will be made into figures as the line progresses.
(four_horsemen) There are definitely figures in the works for the future, and we would LOVE to talk about all of them, but we don't want to destroy Christmas :)
(jeremypadawer) Evil-Lyn rocks!
(goldranger) Can you tell us what the "Ultra Eternia" thing is that is offered in Previews? It had a picture of the Prince Adam figure next to it
(jeremypadawer) The Ultra Eternia figures have been pushed to 2004. These are the 12'' figures I mentioned before.
(goldranger) Ok thank you :)
(matthewlmartin) Why was the Sorceress' design changed so much more than the other characters? The new look's grown on me, but it's rather different from the 'classic' design.
(jeremypadawer) You can point your finger directly at CORNBOY.
(novelty) OK, first up, I wanna say that Val should do this sometime when the comic hits the shelves. And for the 4HM and Jeremy: What is the rationel behind changing some of the characters furry pants to other types of pants (e.g. Tri-Klops, Adam)? Is there a conscious decision by either the 4HM or Mattel to move away from furry pants?
(jeremypadawer) We have no issues with furry pants. Because you pointed this out, I will promise furry pants in 04.
(four_horsemen) The designs just try to reflect the individual character's costume.
(sark) I know you guys can't tell us the names of characters you've made, but can you at least let us know how many characters you've created so far for the new MOTU line?
(four_horsemen) LOTS!! :) At least thirty. By the way - this number includes figures that have already been shown.
(jeremypadawer) Sark, look for approximately 25-30 figures each year.
(sark) Ah Sweet, Thanks guys.
(jeremypadawer) Which, basically means the Four Horsemen will have arthritis in their early 40s.
(synch1) ok i was wondering if you guys have had anything to do with the hotwheels/matchbox cars & if there are going to be more of them or not.
(jeremypadawer) Synch, I work closely with the other brand managers at Mattel. We want to definitely benefit from cross brand relationships.
(four_horsemen) 4We didn't have anything to do with the actual cars themselves, but they used our original control art for the decoration on the cars. Our involvement with MOTU is mainly with the action figure line.
(frightzone) Will you guys be sculpting your own, original version of Faker or will the Toyfare exclusive repaint be the only version?
(four_horsemen) 4That is all up to Mattel. Again, let Mattel know what you want to see.
(jeremypadawer) The Faker will be a redeco, however we reserve the right to make a unique sculpt in the future. The issue with Faker is the overall demand in the marketplace. While we know there is collector demand, in order to sculpt a new toy and tool up a new set of tools, we would have to see demand from kids as well...
(four_horsemen) Again, we should probably keep the questions away from the upcoming figures that we are not able to announce yet. This will help save time.
(eagle) I'm a rather new fan of the show, and I would like to say that I love the series and was wondering. Have you ever considered holding a contest where fans of the show drew pictures or made thier own models of people or places appearing on the show and then a certain number of winners have their model made in mass by Mattel?
(jeremypadawer) I LOVE the idea of the create a character contest. This is something that we will strongly consider for late 03 or 04. However, I'll have to be the catalyst. So...
(victim4) thanks.....i would like to know if the deluxe figures will continue along with the line and if so what extras (if any) will come with them.???(videos...dvds..ect...)
(jeremypadawer) Val Staples will actually be packed out with the Deluxe Figures in Fall 03. In future deluxe figures, we are moving away from including a video... but rather concentrating on adding value to the features.
(bfowler) I want to know if larger figures or animals such as Beastmans Griffins or monsters are in the pipeline?
(jeremypadawer) Regarding vehicles and accessory items for characters other than He-Man and Skeletor, this is definitely somewhat of a risk until kids know the show very, very well. There are few examples of successful accessories and vehicles at retail for secondary characters in other entertainment brands. So, it's risky. The Four Horsemen are as cool in person as you might expect, by the way.
(she-ra) Are there still going to be endless He-Man & Skeletor variants along the line? or will they subside?
(jeremypadawer) VARIANTS.... I've been wanting to address this.
(theshadow) uh oh ! :)
(hobyman) *begins the drumroll*
(jeremypadawer) I read the boards often... so, this is a great opportunity for me to respond.
(jeremypadawer) There is a difference between a variant figure and an account exclusive. A variant is either a limited edition sculpt or deco or packaging execution, either accidental or purposeful. An account exclusive is a retail specific item, which is often just two items packed together at a special value. We like to give each account opportunities at special valued items so that they can drive traffic to retail.
(four_horsemen) As you might expect, there probably will be. One thing for all the collectors out there to keep in mind is that all the variants are going to be able to let Mattel make all the secondary characters that you guys have been asking about. We don't have a lot of control over which figures are done as variants - it is more of a marketing and kid-testing decision.
(jeremypadawer) As the Horsemen said, this will allow us to come out with more secondary figures. The last thing we want to do is mislead the adult collector.
(pjlocated) I was wondering what the Four Horseman would consider the hardest and best thing about working on such a massive project as this is? And did they expect the success it has had...
(four_horsemen) The most challenging task was maintaining the essence of the original line while updating it with a fresh new look. The best part is just being to work on a project that we love so much! Something that we are very thankful for. We have been saying for years that it would be such a great line, so we are not surprised at its success.
(guest2357) Hi...thanks for answering our questions! I'm here to represent all of us fans! You KNEW this would come up, right? :) Any plans for She-Ra to ever come into the mix? Please, a hint? Something we can latch onto? Please?! :)
(theshadow) Adora was a fox!
(four_horsemen) This is one of the most often asked questions that we get
(jeremypadawer) So, you want She-Ra to make a return...
(four_horsemen) WE would love to do it, but it all depends on the popularity of the current MOTU line ... Jeremy - please explain the Ropers.
(jeremypadawer) If you remember from the original series, She-Ra was a spin-off, developed only after He-Man was crafted into a successful show and toy line by the production company and Mattel respectively. hahahah... the dreaded Ropers analogy. She-Ra is to He-Man as "The Ropers" is to "Three's Company." We love She-Ra. We first want to concentrate in pouring ALL of our passion and attention into making He-Man the best toy out there... as our production company does the same.
(theshadow) She-ra is a fox :)
(ty) Is the figure for Whiplash based on alligator, like the original, or something more like a dinosaur now?
Thursday, October 17th - Transcript of chat with the Four Horsemen and Jeremy Padawer
(theshadow) Just some FYI, Mike Young Productions stated Whiplash was a lizard
(four_horsemen) A little bit of a combination between a crocodile and an ankylosaurus.
(guest6697) My favorite characters are Clawful and Zodac. Which are your personal favorites? I know one of you loves moss man.
(jeremypadawer) My favorite is Stinkor. Pew.
(theshadow) Ah, the sweet smell of victory there
(jeremypadawer) Steve LaBella's favorite is Moss Man.
Cornboy - Trapjaw.
Eric- Trapjaw/Webstor/Clawful ... it is too hard to pick just one.
Jim- Stratos all the way!
(jeremypadawer) Ron Antonette works with our outside PR agency and is sitting with me now. He prefers Stratos. So, as you can see...like you, between the Horsemen, marketing, pr, everyone else, we all have different favorite figures/characters. That's what makes the Masters of the Universe so great.
(guest9974) My question is about the originals reissues. We'll we see any more or possibly a 2 pack of original and new?
(four_horsemen) Which ones Jeremy?
(jeremypadawer) (evil) hehehehe
(he-man_ismy_he-ro) The Stratos figure has a great scultp, but the playability is a little...hard, are there any plans for a newer version of the figure?
(four_horsemen) That is for Jeremy to answer :)
(jeremypadawer) not for awhile.
thank you for answering our questions. Opening the chat now!
(Later when asked by a group of members about Hordak and the Evil Horde's return, Jeremy said:
(jeremypadawer) Let's just say, you won't be disappointed!!! the personification of cool.