He-Man and the Way of the Comic Book?

The countdown begins! At the time of this writing there are only SEVEN days until mattycollector.com, the online store of toy mega-giant Mattel that caters to fans and collectors puts its latest and greatest Masters of the Universe rescuplt figure on sale!

In fact, by the time this sees print there will only be FIVE days till Optikk, the eyeball faced space-mutant from the far off Tri-Solar system goes on sale! ALL HAIL THE SPACE-MUTANTS!

WHO?!

You know, Optikk? From the second and far less popular line of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe that took place in outer space called, brilliantly, The New Adventures of He-Man? Optikk is an evil space-mutant, a gigantic eyeball mounted on a mechanical bodysuit hailing from the foggy planet of Denebria. With his fearsome Photon Neutralizer and his ability to… be a gigantic eyeball Optikk is the perfect spy for Skeletor.

Especially since the art of being a spy is a shadowy practice specializing in stealth, subterfuge and disguise.

“Hey Peasant.”

“Yes He-Man?”

“Did you see a gigantic eyeball in a suit of techno-armor go by recently?”

“Who, Optikk? Yeah, he just went past. Can’t miss him, he has an eyeball for a head.”

WHAT?!

I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but mattycollector.com has been doing a fairly brisk business by eschewing toy stores and selling Masters of the Universe figures directly to consumers. Their sculpts are the best these figures have ever looked, and are packed with fun bonus features and accessories. They are focusing on figures collectors WANT, like Keldor, a.k.a. Skeletor before he took a shower with a beaker of magical acid, not Shampoo. Scare-Glow, He-Ro and even King Randar are all action figures that MotU collectors have been clamoring for and can now have, thanks to mattycollector.com

Mattel was selling reissues of their Masters of the Universe figures around 2002 with a big relaunch of the cartoon on Cartoon Network. Three seasons later the profit margin on the endeavor wasn’t great enough for all parties involved to continue. The plug was pulled, with Mattel and original figure sculptors The Four Horsemen negotiating a tenuous relationship to continue the fan demand for more products.

WHERE?

Where am I going with this? The actual, physical comic books are one of the least profitable aspects of the comic book business. Just as Mattel is a toy company selling its most amazing toys to date exclusively through their website to their aging but rabid fan base, will we one day see Marvel and DC scale back production and find a digitally cost effective method to turn a buck?

As the Masters of the Universe go, so might our comics industry? Who knows?

Much of this, just like the comic book industry itself, is speculation. All I know is, any readers who have extras of their recent Scare-Glow (Skeletor’s evil Skeleton) figure should DEFINETLY get in touch with this humble columnist. I’m sure we can work out a deal that can be mutually beneficial.

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