Stuff I Consider Bullshit : Power-Con Pandhandling

Within the last week, I’ve seen several blogs pleading for people to support Power-Con. I’m all for conventions and celebrations of Fandom but it seems like every time He-Man is attached to something in the realm of any media, someone is begging and pleading for something. I’m also all for drumming up support for a worthy cause but it seems like this may be the end of the line for He-Man. It’s had a good run over the last decade or more with the 200X revival, the Four Horsemen Studios, NECA, the Classics line, and successful years of Power-Con. That’s all stuff to be proud of especially those involved at the top, but as the image says “all toy lines must end”.

I love supporting Fandoms, even when they are things that aren’t my interest. I give away My Little Pony figures, give away tickets to conventions to people who’d enjoy it more than I would, and I cover a wide range of toys and collectibles on my website. I liked He-Man when I was growing up, I did like Thundercats better but everyone seems to have better memories of He-Man for some reason. In the passing years the fans have been wanting a new He-Man cartoon and figure line but when it comes time to support it, they get fickle about pulling out their wallets. But it’s a great struggle, Mattel pulls support from their lines due to lack of support from the fans and fans pull their support due to lack of product released by Mattel. It’s a vicious cycle but in the end it boils down to best business practices in favor of Mattel. Granted, Mattel has shown their ass on a couple of instances with the He-Man lines so maybe the fans wavering support is warranted.

(remember this bullshit?)

Those in charge of Power-Con have not wowed me over the last few years. There’s been a lot of in-fighting between different groups, the openly trashing of Emiliano Santalucia, the main people in charge of the website heman.org treating the Fandom like their own personal sandbox (which is fine by my account but many people haven’t felt like it’s fair), and the constant asking for monetary support to keep things afloat. You’re not good enough to be one of us but do you have some money to spare to help us keep this place up and running is a paradox worthy of a thousand face-palms. I’ve enjoyed my visits but after they trashed Emiliano, things took a turn for the worse. Power-Con has had the feeling of a private party you’re begrudgingly invited to.

(but to be clear, this guy is still a dumb ass)

Conventions aren’t that hard to put together, the hardest part is securing and paying celebrity talent to show up. I won’t go into long details but even a complete moron can run a show and break even in the end, even if that means putting your own money into the show and paying yourself back from the receipts. If you’re any good at what you do with conventions you can make a decent living off of them. With the poor planning by moving the convention across the country to New York from California and not opting for having TMNT be a part of the convention (in a movie year no less) are two of the many reason I’d point my finger to if the convention fails.

(I just like this photo, all credit to the artist.)

In the end, He-Man is a fringe interest. It’s a strong fringe interest but still not strong enough to carry itself like Star Wars or one of the major comic book stories out there. I don’t like seeing things fail that bring people happiness and generate a buzz for anything to do with toys or anything 80s or 90s. But in the end it won’t be the fan’s fault if Power-Con goes broke, it’ll be those who made the bad decisions in the first place.

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Masters of the Universe Classics Optikk

Foreword –

Those of you that have followed my blogs know my love/hate (or hate/love) for the new Masters of the Universe Classics line. But in light of Masters of the Universe day, I’ve put aside my biased views and decided to join my toy brethren from the many sites across the internet in a general celebration of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

While being born in 1982, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe occupied a lot of my young life. One of the happiest photos I have of myself is opening a Skeletor and Panthor set, I couldn’t be more than 4 years old. It was my first nerdgasm, look at my face in the photos and feel the intensity. I remember not caring much for the cartoon though. I liked the figures and owned (and still do) every figure made in the line, from Wonder Bread He-Man to Laser Light He-Man and beyond. My main fault with the cartoon was I wasn’t much of a sword and sorcery kind of kid. I liked spacemen and mutants and robots. Sure there was Roboto and some of the good and bad guys were cybernetic or mechanical but magic didn’t impress me much. Later in the 80s the New Adventures of He-Man came on the air and I was hooked. Spaceships, mutant creatures, lasers and other cool stuff kept me coming back every episode. The only bad thing was the Ne Adventures figures weren’t all that compatible with the older He-Man line, the main reason I didn’t buy into it until I found loose figures at yard sales or flea markets the years following the inevitable end of He-Man. My favorite figures from the 80s still consist of Sagitar, Hoove, and Slush Head. But there’s one that upped the creepy factor and translated very well to the Classics line.

 

 

Optikk remains a very popular figure in my mind, both the original and the classics version. Where the 4 Horsemen (the sculptors of the line) excel is in their presentation of a classics figure’s modern update. They do everything in their power to stay true to the source material and this figure doesn’t disappoint. The lone eye sits cradled in the divot atop the shoulders of the robot suit Optikk uses to get around in. The body is the same basic body you’ve come to expect from the MOTUC line but what sets this figure apart is the soft chest cover that hides the majority of the muscular buck underneath. Keeping true to the original figure there’s plenty of rivets, hoses, and layers of sculpted “scrap metal” that makes up the exterior of the exo-suit and it’s all topped with a very nice copper toned paint in varying shades. The eye is removable and interchangeable with an additional eye packaged with the figure featuring a different colored iris. Also packaged with the figure is a faithful reproduction of the original laser rifle, perfect down to the sculpted cylinder (which always made me second guess the workings of a laser gun; such as are there laser bullets or is it all battery powered.). Also included is a shield which is a very nice touch. It’s very radar dish shaped with a domed center, very fitting  for a guy who’s little more than an eye.

Optikk was always a favorite of mine from the original New Adventures line but this figure holds significance in it’s own right. If you’ve read some of my blogs, you’ll get a theme that most toys in my collection hold a small story behind them and MOTUC Optikk is no exclusion to that. In the spring of 2010 when this figure came out I was laid up for nearly 3 months with acute liver poisoning. No explanation,  no real diagnosis, I just turned yellow and laid in bed sort of wasting away. The monthly packages from Matty Collector helped pass the time but deeper into my illness the toys just seemed like they weren’t helping my mood. That sort of changed when I got Optikk. I remembered the good times I had with the original figure and while most of the figures from my Matty Collector boxed were piled up beside my bed unopened, this sucker was ripped open immediately. He was my buddy throughout my recovery, carried him in my pocket anywhere I went (much like the original one) and about a month later I was back on my feet and fully recovered. I’m not saying he was the cure or anything but Walter Peck from Ghostbusters came in the same box and he didn’t get opened till that Fall. And who needs a figure of the dickless guy who tried to shut down the Ghostbusters while they are slowly dying?

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Hordak-Gate: Matty Collector’s biggest scandal so far

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Earlier this week, MattyCollector.com released a figure to the general public that no one in their inner circle even hinted at. The Spirit of Hordak figure has to be, by far, Mattel’s greatest faux pas since the line started just a few years ago. This figure was never formally announced by Mattcollector.com, Toyguru Scott Neitlich (who I think is an incompetent tool who has the charisma of a urinal cake) or any of what Mattel consider’s their inner circle of compensated reviewers (you know who the guilty parties are) . In their defense, Mattel says they hinted the vintage white Horde crossbow on their site for days. But never alluding to the fans, and even worse the subscription holders, that indeed a figure was to be released officially for sale on their website nearly a full 10 days before their next “release date”. I know people have been asking where Raging Nerdgasm stands in the midst of Hordak-Gate, I plan to tell you where we stand within the next paragraph.

(Cherry flavored Hordak)

Firstly, I told you all so. I told you that Mattel was going to screw the fans just as good or even more than years prior. Why? Because the fans hadn’t made a stand against the powers that be. I know that it’s hard when Mattel holds the fate of your collection in their decisive hands but sometimes you have to be strong and make an example. After the plights suffered during 2011’s subscription year, I decided that Raging Nerdgasm wasn’t renewing their contract for 2012 or any lines to come after that. Between backwards or wrong legs on Swiftwind, mailing single figures in envelopes that were padded with what amounted to the consistency of soggy Cherrios, overlooked paint applications and numerous other faults to many to mention in a quick blog; I had made my intentions well known that $20+ figures should be coming out this bad. Marvel Select and Diamond Select figures cost the same and come out flawless, best of all you don’t need a useless subscription to get them all. Don’t even let me bring up the disappointment that is “cottage” Greyskull. It’s small and those who pre-ordered feel cheated as hell. And don’t let this article be misunderstood, the work of the sculpting team behind the line is superb and not buying the line does hurt me because I’ve always admired the work of the 4 Horsemen studios. I just have to get my fix of their work through their direct sales from their personal website. I just refuse to support a Mattel line when they treat their fans so poorly.

(To some, it’s just a shitty repaint. To completists, this is the bane of their existence.)

Some have claimed that Mattel’s actions with the Spirit of Hordak constitute a breach of contract with the subscription. Normally, I’d be behind you rebel rousers but, it does state in your agreement that Mattel reserves the right to change anything they wish whenever they choose (maybe not in those specific words but trust me, I’ve got 3 semesters of business law under my belt.). Not the exalted Toyguru himself nor any of Mattel’s other toadies have stepped forward during this moment of fans screaming out for blood. If you noticed already, other sites out there haven’t issued a statement siding with Mattel or the fans. But, Raging Nerdgasm is willing to take a side. We stand on the side of the fans shafted in this heinous moment of fuckery. But what can you do? You can’t cancel your subscription, right?

(Exhibit A: The scene of the crime)

You can cancel your credit/debit cards filed with MattyCollector.com, you just need to go through the respective banks. You won’t get the rest of the year’s offerings but if you’re mad enough to quit, it’s a good way to bow out. If you are addicted, and I know that feeling, but still feel butthurt you can post on the MattyCollector.com forums about how angry you are and how you won’t let this insult go unanswered. Let your anger be known across the internet; maybe they’ll re-release the toy, maybe they’ll make amends with the fans by the year’s end or maybe when it comes time to throw down on 2014’s subscription you can opt out and claim a lack in confidence in both Mattel and their paid spokespersons.

an added bonus, from Vikor on the MattyCollector,com forum before it was deleted it seems

===UPDATE on Spirit Of Hordak Random Release===

TG address the Spirit of Horak issue……………………….

Vikor wrote on the Matty Forum:

Toyguru,

This is what subscribers were promised:

quote:

Early Access to Non-Subscription Products: In 2013, all Club subscribers get early access to all non-subscription products, regardless of brand! That means you’ll have the chance to purchase hot items not available through subscriptions before non-subscribers, like 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises 8” Batman™ figure and the Ghostbusters™ PKE Meter prop replica. Availability is first-come, first-served, so if products sell out to subscribers during the early access period, that’s it – no additional product will be made available to non-subscribers at that time. 


Your Spirit of Hordak stunt has clearly violated the terms of the contract that was entered into when we purchased subscriptions. There was no clause saying Mattel reserved the right to sell “surprise” items to anyone prior to and outside of Early Access.

I think you should get in touch with your legal department, because you’ve just shot yourself in the foot. People are extremely angry about this and while scalpers are exploiting multiple fans on eBay, you remain silent. How utterly irresponsible. I am inclined to cancel my subscription at this point citing breach of contract, and I know I’m not alone. I suggest you make Spirit of Hordak available IMMEDIATELY to all subscription holders via Early Access as was promised. In the meantime I will be lodging a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
This message has been edited. Last edited by: Vikor, May 09, 2013 09:50 AM



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I don’t care for Toy Guru, I kind of wish someone would sodomize him with a lazy-eyed Spikor

I don't care for Toy Guru, I kind of wish someone would sodomize him with a lazy-eyed Spikor

and he’s not on the top of my list of “most despised morons of the toy industry”