SDCC10: Interview with Scott Neitlich, aka ToyGuru
Mattel's Brand Manager answers questions on MOTUC and DCUC...
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At Comic-Con we caught up with Mattel's Brand Manger Scott Neitlich, aka ToyGuru, for a one-on-one interview. Read on...
Figures.com: We are really excited about all the new product that has been revealed at this year's Comic-Con and we really appreciate you taking the time to participate in this interview.
ToyGuru: Absolutely, it's great to meet all the fans at the show and I'm so excited to be revealing so much great new products.
Figures.com: Tell us a little about the Masters of the Universe Classics. You have some really great showings this year and there is a lot of potential for the all-in Club Eternia subscription for 2011. We are however curious to know why there wasn't a larger amount of reveals given the fact there such a buy-in on the new subscription which will be a lot more costly next year?
Figures.com: That makes a lot of sense. They have a lot on their plate recently because they are not only doing the Masters line but also the DC Universe Classics and that's a lot of work.
ToyGuru: Because the Horsemen can only sculpt so much at once. They just finished the King Hsss figure two days before the show.
Figures.com: As far as the Green Lantern movie figures are concerned, will the Four Horsemen be involved with that line?
Figures.com: The Green Lantern Classics will focus on the comics and is not going to venture into the movie at all, correct?
ToyGuru: It's a little too early to go into to details but I can tell you that there will be 6" and 3 ¾" figures as well.
Figures.com: Regarding mattycollector.com and Digital River, are there any recent improvements that have been implemented to make the buying experience more pleasant for customers?
ToyGuru: Yeah, there will be two waves with the first in January and the second in around March/April and then we will get to the movie product in May.
Figures.com: That's great news! We really appreciate you always taking the time to answer questions on the boards and participating in our Q&As. With your newborn daughter we know you have a lot on your plate recently and we really appreciate you not only looking out for the brand as part of your job but also supporting the fans and answering our questions all the time.
ToyGuru: Yeah, actually we just implemented a new system that will go live in about 30 to 60 days where you can log in and that's going to make the buying process way easier because it is going to zoom you right in and out. I think that by the fall, customers should not have any problems at all. It is going to be a two-stage process and will be launching phase one in about 30 days. We had a big meeting and Digital River came down to Mattel and we talked about everything and it's gonna get a lot better. Hang in there guys, were working on it!
Toyguru: You know a lot of people forget but I'm a fan too. Six years ago at Comic-Con I was in line to get She-Ra and the same for Keldor. I've only been with Mattel for five years and before that you know, I've always been a fan first and foremost and I want to be able to reach out to fans in the way I would have wanted it so it definitely comes from love.
Figures.com: In regards to Masters of the Univese, you teased with a vehicle announcement and we just got a glimpse of the Battle Ram over at the Four Horsemen booth and we are very excited about it. Do you have any idea what the price point for it is going to be?
Figures.com: So that vehicle may not even be made?
ToyGuru: We actually haven't even started the design or implementation of which vehicle it is going to be. That's just something the Horsemen threw together so that actually has nothing to do with our program.
Figures.com: After the Mattypalooza panel there was a little confusion that set in regarding the diorama pieces that were mentioned. Were you referring to the Grayskull stands or are you pushing the envelope and producing something else?
ToyGuru: Yeah, we are about three months away from beginning that process. We don’t know the price point. We don't know which vehicle so you know we are still working on that.
Figures.com: So they will be accessories or pieces that will ornament or compliment fans' displays?
ToyGuru: During that panel we kind of sneaked a peek at an image of the kind of diorama pieces we are looking at. It's a little set piece builder.
Figures.com: In regards to MOTUC, this is just an incredible showing and we are really excited about 2011 but there is just a burning question that we have in regards to the surprising absence of Panthor at the show. We were expecting to see it at the show this year since the voting over whether it would be flocked or unflocked, took place here a year ago. Can you explain its absence?
ToyGuru: There is no delay and we never said we would be showing Panthor at Comic-Con. That is something that fans speculated on their own. If fans are disappointed, that quite frankly is because of their own expectations they created. We never said we would bring Panthor to the show.
Figures.com: With the new DC Universe Classics fan poll it is really exciting that fans will get to vote for the next Collect-and-Connect figure. Whose idea was it to do that?
Figures.com: It's great to see the new Collect-and-Connect Bane on display. Is that the actual production size or will he be slightly smaller?
ToyGuru: It was my idea. I'm the brand manager and I thought it would be cool.
ToyGuru: No, the Horsemen sculpt the regular 6" figures as 2-ups but the build-a-figures are done in their actual size.
For a complete Mattel Comic-Con photo gallery tour, CLICK HERE!
Special thanks to Scott Neitlich for making time for this interview!
- Jorge Pelaez