ThunderCats Classics & MOTU Mattel Interview at Power-Con 2018 - The Burden Is On The Collector

by Jay Cochran
August 26, 2018
Pixel Dan talks with Brandon Sopinsky from Mattel at Power-Con 2018 to get the scoop on what's going on with ThunderCats Classics and Masters of the Universe!

The below is just my (JayC) opinions about what was said in Dan's interview and has no reflection on what Pixel-Dan's own personal views might be:

So it seems like Mattel is pretty wishy-washy here giving somewhat conflicting information. In one sentence Brandon who I appreciate has taken the time to talk with Dan indicates they have plans for ThunderCats and MOTU, but then goes on to say they need to see the support from the fans first making me feel like this is just a bunch of stuff that had already been made when the plugs on these lines had been pulled. The idea being to show off this stuff at the convention and online in order to gauge the waters of how much demand might be out there, asking fans to use things like hashtag #tellmattel and indicating "the burden is on the collector".

This is just my speculation but I am guessing that their are those inside Mattel like Brandon who very much want to get these things released for fans, but that Mattel is a large corporation and in the overall scheme of things despite Brandon's words about how great of sellers these things are, they really aren't for a company the size of Mattel, and getting the bean counters and executives to sign-off on something like this is really where the challenge is. I don't blame Brandon here at all and I hope the internet doesn't take their anger out on him for being the face of these things, but I do feel that it's ridiculous to say the burden for these is on the fans.

Despite whatever the reasons where, Mattel essentially burned the fans on ThunderCats the first time around starting a line and then canceling it quickly after one wave. Yes Brandon, people gave up hope because they were told the line was done by Mattel. Several years of nothing is a pretty good indication there is no hope. If Mattel has decided perhaps with a new cartoon in the works now is the time to try again, I can certainly get behind that, but I think the burden here is all on Mattel to convince us they will get us all the main characters, and not just dangle a few prototypes in our faces and say what do you think. There is a saying I can't help but think here that says, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

As for the MOTU 5.5 Classic stuff, I think Mattel needs to make up their mind. Do they want to do Masters of the Universe themselves or do they want to let someone else do it like Super 7. Is their truly enough demand from the adult collector market to support two companies doing these things with such obscure characters, only the most die-hard fans will recognize or re-releasing ones that have been done multiple times??? I personally don't think so and think if Mattel starts doing MOTU figures again, its only going to take away sales from Super 7. I don't know the particulars about the deal Super 7 and Mattel have for MOTU, and I seriously doubt Super 7 would ever publicly express anger or displeasure if Mattel started making MOTU again even if they weren't happy about it, but I just don't see how this as a good thing for them and could hurt the line overall.
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Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
InspectorZartan - 2019-03-15 @ 10:40 pm

Does anyone know if Mattel even has an active license with WB for Thundercats? Thats the part of this that confuses me. Without an active license firmly in place Im not sure why they would have tried to tease this product, but on the other hand if they do have an active license I dont know why they wouldnt try to capitalize on it.

InspectorZartan - 2019-03-14 @ 4:52 am

I have no hard data to support but I suspect its not so much an issue of if it can make but more a case of if it can make enough money to make the boses happyand when you are a large public traded company owned by stock holders that could care less about the toy industry and they areonly interested in what will get them the highest return (Mattel) then Thundercats isnt going to make them enough money to be happy. On the other hand a smaller company would probably love to collect the profits from a Thundercats line. Its all about expectations.

JayC - 2019-03-13 @ 1:21 pm
9 hours ago, Thinwheat said:

Such crap. How can you sit on a brand like the dang Thundercats for crying out loud and say stuff like, "Oh, well you guys have to ask for it more before we make anything. . . . durr durr duurrr"Fool, just make it! It's stinkin' Thundercats!Mattel gets the award for worst toy company for sure. Man, they suck sometimes.

Well I know there is a vocal group of TCats fans out there but if you look at the track record of the line it has seemingly demonstrated to not be a strong performer sales wise. Bandai America, Mezco, Mattel and even Funko have all tried and seemingly struggled to do well with the license and the last cartoon also performed poorly. I think the biggest problem is TCats are well enough known that WB probably charges a premium for the license and yet the actual number of people willing to buy the product isn't enough to support that price, so companies can't make a reasonable profit from it. When you compare ThunderCats to the likes of other popular 80's brands like Transformers, GIJoe, He-Man, they probably come in at the very bottom of that list for popularity. You see the same thing with other brands like MASK and such. You always hear a vocal group of fans clamoring for a new toy line, but the reality is that the numbers just aren't there to really support it. IDK if it was this thread or another one I said this, but I think the only reason Mattel was toying with the idea of restarting ThunderCats was because of the new animated series that fans hated but was in the works, which honestly I think may have been scrapped.

Thinwheat - 2019-03-13 @ 3:37 am

Such crap. How can you sit on a brand like the dang Thundercats for crying out loud and say stuff like, "Oh, well you guys have to ask for it more before we make anything. . . . durr durr duurrr"Fool, just make it! It's stinkin' Thundercats!Mattel gets the award for worst toy company for sure. Man, they suck sometimes.

sXeblues - 2018-09-29 @ 5:24 am

^ Tygra, Cheetara, Slythe, Monkey Manand Mummra, especially. Id at least like to be able to fill out the core team and have a villain or two, as well. Ive still gotta get my hands on Panthro and the twins, at some point.

abnuggler - 2018-09-29 @ 3:29 am

Im not holding my breath for this line to be revived (specially because its Mattel), dont get me wrong I really really wish the people at mattel see that there area lot of people who want this to happen, myselfbeing of them, if this line is revived and goes on Id support it as far as I could (hell I put up with matty collector and they awful service for a while, not looking forward for a repeat but Im just saying), Id buy as many figures as they make from this line (if they are done right and are accesible to most collectors) but if the line is just a complete the teams deal Id still be ok with that, give us 2 waves at the least.Wave 1: Tygra, Cheetara, Mummra The Everliving, Monkeyan, Grune& a 2 pack of mini figures with Snarf & SnarferWave 2:Linx-O, Bengali, Slythe, Vultureman, Jaga & a 2 pack mini figures with Ma-mutt & a Bearbil maybe

sXeblues - 2018-09-26 @ 4:19 am
On 8/27/2018 at 8:44 AM, mako said:

Almost a decade later and Mattel is still playing the "Everybody's Fault But Ours" game.

Here's an idea: Concentrate on the lines you ARE producing. If you put half the effort getting your product into stores that you put into sending bored looking reps and old prototypes to conventions, you'd run this industry.


Im still holding a bit of a grudge over the whole Matty Collector subscription thing, to this day. All Ive wanted, and all Ive ever asked for, is the availability to pick up the figures that I want, at somewhat of an affordable price. Not having to go through a paywall, or subscription service, or wade through the aftermarket scalpers.

I mean, Im not the smartestguy on the block, so maybe Im missing something here, but it seems to me that that particular business model isnt the best way to go. And, to my thinking, maybe thats what the real issue is not that the consumers arent willing to shell out everything including their first born, just at the privilege of owning a couple of their figures.

worldwarhulk - 2018-09-25 @ 6:58 am

I can only wish that they find a way to make this happen. The end of the Mattel/4H Thundercats Classics may have one of the saddest days in my toy collecting history. We barely got started with one of my most wanted toy lines, and the plug got pulled so quickly.

LimitedEdition - 2018-09-24 @ 11:18 pm

Believe it when I see it releases here.

I'm just glad MOTU classics was successful enough to see the complete classic vintage line released. Really incredible when you think about it.

NeedlessImmortals - 2018-09-23 @ 7:00 pm
On 9/20/2018 at 8:33 PM, dchimpy said:

Heck, I'd settle for just a Tygra and Cheetara two pack just to finish the main team at this point.

This is my thoughts exactly, if they can do at least one wave with these 2 in it I'll be happy.

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