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Reinventing He-Man - An Interview with Mondo’s Brock Otterbacher

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  • Reinventing He-Man - An Interview with Mondo’s Brock Otterbacher

    Brock Otterbacher is the Creative Director of Toys & Collectibles at Mondo. We recently had the chance to talk to Brock about Mondo’s upcoming 1/6 scale Masters of the Universe figures.

    1. What are your influences on designing this new line, and what do you think Mondo can bring to the line to differentiate it from previous He-Man toy lines?

    We started by looking back at some of the old mini comics, as well as some of the classic packaging and promo art. From there, the edict was really “let’s take what’s great about the characters, all the characteristics that made them memorable, but with an eye on modern design.”

    As for how we can differentiate them – I hope it’s obvious from what we’ve shown that we’re really putting a lot of thought into making sure they’re different, while still pleasing the fans’ eyes.

    2. David Rapoza has collaborated on the design of He-Man and Skeletor. Is he designing other characters in the line, or are there any other artists involved?

    Dave was amazing to design with, and he really worked with us to help set the tone for the line going forward. Unfortunately, we don’t have any current plans to do more characters with him, just because he’s such a busy dude! Did you guys get his Steve Lichman book? If not, do it! It’s awesome. But I’d love to work with him again, schedule permitting.

    Moving forward, we’re always open to new artists, but the next two figures will be designed with the help and talents of Joe Allard and Emiliano Santalucia.

    3. What is the expected price point?

    We have not announced this yet, and won’t until the figures are ready for pre-order.

    4. Why did Mondo decide to include Filmation characters with this line? It seems very random given the contrast with the realism of the figures.

    The contrast is exactly why I wanted them to be including. They’ve very goofy looking, and I love it.

    5. Many fans were excited to see the laser pistol from the 1987 movie featured with He-Man at Mondo-Con 2016. Do you plan on including more weapons from the movie with these characters?


    6. Is there any chance that you might be able to make characters using the designs from the 1987 movie someday?

    This is doubtful, as our rights don’t cover the movie. I’m very happy with focusing on what we have now, and throwing in the occasional easter egg for the fans.

    7. What are the odds of Faker coming with a damaged robotic head?

    Faker is a robot??? I thought he was just a blue He-Man! (Note: I will almost always give fake answers for a character named Faker.)

    8. Many Faker fans have said that they would love to see a figure released with an orange version of He-Man’s harness. Any chance something like that could come with the figure?

    Not likely. I love his look from the original line, and love how he looks for ours.

    9. I see that He-Man and Skeletor will both be coming with “vintage” style heads. Is there any chance that these figures will come with vintage versions of their chest armors as well?

    No. The heads are for fun, but beyond that we’d start racking up massive tooling charges (on top of what they’re already going to be!). My feeling on this is you either like what we’ve done with the armor, and the overall looks of the figures, or not.

    10. Did you collect Masters of the Universe toys as a kid?

    Yes! I still remember seeing He-Man and Skeletor on the pegs at a local toy store (before we’d seen the cartoon or commercials), and going home to tell my brothers about them. They said I was lying.

    11. Do you have a favorite character?

    Mer-Man for life.

    12. If you could make any MOTU character, obscure or otherwise, who would it be?

    Well, the whole point of us doing this line is so I can get my own Mer-Man haha. But beyond him- I LOVE Batros (I’m a big fan of bats). Doubt we’d ever do him, but know that if we ever did, it’s because I’m a weirdo for bats.

    13. What is your favorite interpretation of Masters of the Universe?

    This is a tough one to answer. I like aspects of all of them (except New Adventures. Sorry dudes), but I find myself always going back to those classic paintings and mini comics. As a kid, I used to always wish that my figures looked like what I saw in those. I mean, obviously they did somewhat, but I’m talking details, proportions, and the ability to pose them that way.

    14. How many figures would you ideally like to release every year?

    This is really up to to you guys. How many of these can you buy in a year? My gut tells me 2-4 a year, but if there’s a bigger demand, we’d accommodate.

    "We must always value life. Even the life of one who opposes us." ― He-Man

  • #2
    His response to the Filmation question is pretty inadequate. In fact I think his replies are all too short. But that one in particular means that the price of the figures will increase and I don't think it is justifiable given that they are going for realism and then throw in those. It sends a confusing message to the consumer. Basically those who are most keen to buy these will be getting items packed in that they don't really want.
    "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." ― Noam Chomsky


    • #3
      That was a great interview. Cool to read that Emiliano will be working on the toyline! I do hope that the cost of these figures are not too expensive.
      “We change people through conversation, not through censorship." ― Jay Z


      • #4
        That was a fun interview! Very informative. I like the nod to the He-Man movie with the laser gun. Of the three figures so far, Faker is my favourite. I would love to see 6 of these figures get made every year. These feel very fresh and new to me. As much as I love Classics, I've reached the point where I want something new in MOTU.
        The Mondo figures rock! :fakerrocks:
        “The internet treats censorship as a malfunction and routes around it." ― John Perry Barlow


        • #5
          I like the included Filmation creatures. I am curious to know if they are included to test if fans would like Filmation action figures made in this size. I know I would love that!


          • #6
            I'm pleased with anything they want to throw in with the figures. I just hope Faker has an alternate head...maybe the borg version they teased or even a screaming one could work.

            I really do think he looks like Randy Orton in a bad wig

            “You could reach any goal you want, it just might mean taking the circular path.” ~Daniel Larusso


            • Dark Angel
              Dark Angel commented
              Editing a comment
              Both the He-Man and Faker heads look rather bad - He-Man's soft-jawed jowliness doesn't really suit the character at all - and the fact that their hair does not actually integrate with the their heads at all really accentuates the sculptural issues.

          • #7
            Cool interview, and I'm game if the tag prices on these are reasonable, however I don't like the added goofy Filmation characters especially if they're going to drive the prices up!


            • #8
              Originally posted by Draego-Man View Post
              His response to the Filmation question is pretty inadequate. In fact I think his replies are all too short. But that one in particular means that the price of the figures will increase and I don't think it is justifiable given that they are going for realism and then throw in those. It sends a confusing message to the consumer. Basically those who are most keen to buy these will be getting items packed in that they don't really want.
              Apologies if you felt my answer was inadequate, but I don't have any other answer. I literally just love how dopey those lil guys are, and do not care if they contrast with the overall designs of the figures. Also, they will not drive up the cost- it would be the same with or without them. If you don't like them, which I can see why a few wouldn't, keep the lil buddies in the box, along with all the other extras we're throwing in that you won't be able to display with/on the figure (extra hands, weapons, etc.)

              And to the other comment about if we were testing for Filmation styled figures- no. Good thought, but see my answer above. Now, that doesn't mean we won't EVER do Filmation style, but it's currently not in the plans.

              Anyway, thanks for the positive feedback! Expect He-Man and Skelz to go up for pre-order sometime in early 2017. I know it seems like we first introduced these guys forever ago, but my plan is to make these as perfect as possible, and cut down on the wait time from pre-order to delivery (anyone who ordered our TMNT figures knows what I'm talking about!)


              • Black Zodac
                Black Zodac commented
                Editing a comment
                Love the work you are doing on the line! Can't wait to see what else you have in store for MOTU

              • Mechanizor
                Mechanizor commented
                Editing a comment
                Good to have you on these boards brockotter and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, it means a lot.

                Anyhow, I still would have preferred seeing extra accessories (weapons, armors. alternative heads or even a decent print) over the goofy creatures, which I'd mostly be keeping stored in their boxes!

              • RoboSteveo
                RoboSteveo commented
                Editing a comment
                I can't wait to get these figures in my collection. I love the detailing on these figure.

                BTW, I hope you guys get to make Fisto and Jitsu sooner than later

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