Thursday, July 23, 2020

It's all in the numbers! The racial diversity in MOTU is so... so small.

How racially diverse is He-Man? Have you ever wondered? I have, and in the wake of studying just how diverse, or not it can be, I've shaken up some of the Masters of the Universe fans as I have been working on a push to racially diversify the upcoming Masters of the Universe Origins toy line. Wait, before anyone gets worked up just yet, I'm not wanting to change the race of He-Man himself, though that could be very cool. Some fans of the MOTU Nation Facebook page have suggested this idea in a negative way in their comments. I don't see anything wrong with it, but their are some that are angered. What I'm wanting to do, is to add humanoid characters that are heroes of color. On the group page I had some people who shouted insanity due to the fact that we did have Clamp Champ, a Black hero in the original toy line. Yeah, we and he came at the 6th wave towards the end of the line. Almost like an racial equality grab at the very end of a franchise. And with some of the backlash over my petition to diversify the new Masters of the Universe Origins toy line, it made me think. What are the numbers for people of color represented in any of the He-Man toy lines. Let's take a look.
Above is a chart for the Vintage 1980's run of Masters of the Universe toys. I broke down the line based on how many original characters were made into action figure form. I did not include and giants, but if I did, it would be one green mutant giant that is a bad guy and one hero giant that is white skinned. That Seemed kind of unfair to the information collected. From the data, the only racial representation of people of color (based on  Earthlings, you laugh, but mutants apparently spell out diversity of race for some members of the MOTU Nation group on Facebook) is one hero and two villains. The hero, Clamp Champ, is a Black man. The two villains are of Asian decent and both have a stereotypical idea about what is thought of the Asian cultures in white media, especially in Reagan era television. These two characters are a Karate fighter (Jitsu) and a Ninja (Ninjor)...go figure, or in this case, action figure. The only other character that was a question was Evil-Lyn because she is human like with yellow skin. But, seeing her in the cartoon basically places her in the pale white skinned white. Let's take a look at the He-Man or New Adventures of He-Man that started in 1989. Will it be more racially diverse?
Above is the chart for the New Adventures of He-Man. Looking at the data, you would think that this is truly more progressive, but in truth we still only got one Black guy (Vizor) and one Asian man (Nocturna). Nocturna is a bit of a stereotype with him being a Kung Fu style master. The progression seams to be that this time no negative representation of people of color as villains was in place. But to be fair, neither were whites. There was a smart move in this line to make the bad guys all mutants and monsters. I'm sorry, if you are a monster, alien or mutant creature. The line ultimately ended due to fans not liking it from its redesign. In 2002, Mattel relaunched the Masters of the Universe toy line. It was updated in its sculpt and look. It is a small toy line and there were several fan favorite action figures that we never got made as actual action figures. Instead, we got those favorites as a small action figure sized statue. That's right, a non-moving plastic statue for collectors! In a modern telling of the series, let's take a look at how racially diverse is this toy line.
This run has one person of It's a small line, but it seems that the lack of representation hasn't changed. Mattel never got to finish it's run as planned, but I see no push for racial diversity in the roster. No new characters. It truly is the same ole' stuff. And the line didn't run that long. It had an amazing cartoon, and powerful Black man in a previous white role that now has created a whole new powerful character, Zodak! But, all in all, a big fail on racial diversity. Now, Mattel decided to bring Masters of the Universe back in 2008. This line was called Masters of the Universe Classics and it was massive! It is the biggest roster of characters to date for the He-Man property. I started really getting back into collecting MOTU again because of the launch of this toy line. This time, we would see characters from mini-comics, cartoons, and newly imagined people. Let's take a look at the data.

Keep this is mind. Out of 149 unique characters, there was a 27.5% chance of it being a white hero. There was a 3.4% chance of a hero being a person of color. And when I say person of color, I am including all races except white. There were 4 Black heroes, and 1 Asian Hero who's face was covered in a white ninja outfit. I guess white signifies purity and being a hero even though he is in a ninja outfit and ninja's were assassins... Ok, I've gotten a little off topic. Think the numbers through a minute. Out of 149 characters made, 5 are heroes that are a person of color. That's it. And from looking at the data, there were 41 white heroes made. In a line so diverse as I have been told, I'm astonished. Mattel created characters, and yet, we are still dealing with this issue. And it has taken me researching this to really understand the gross lack of racial equality in the MOTU toy universe. You know I have, cause you can see it too! You're welcome by the way.

At this point, you might be asking yourself, how in the world did this guy start this? I was watching a video that Ed's Retro Geek Out was showing. It was a video on knock off Masters of the Universe toys. In that video, He talks about Olmec toy's, "Sun-Man and the Rulers of the Sun" toy line. Then, my best bud, Jeff sends me a link to a video also about the line. I saw a strong He-Man like Black man that used intelligence and empathy to battle ignorance and greed. This was Sun-Man! I had to know more. I learned about Yla's story in the Washington Post.  "Yla Eason (pronounced Y-la) received inspiration from her 3-year-old son to create a line of black toys for boys and girls. It was her son’s declaration that he could not be a superhero because He-Man was white that prompted Ms. Eason to make a change in the toy market and in her son's mindset.", says Debbie Behan Garrett in her 2010 artical on Sun-Man. I felt motivated and ready to help make a change. Knowing that Mattel was relaunching, yet again, the Masters of the Universe line, now called Masters of the Universe Origins, I felt that now was the time to act! I created a petition and I have been spreading the word. Now the good message doesn't come without backlash or blind ignorance from those who think it is stupid to add heroes of color into the upcoming toy line. I have been mocked and made fun of on the group page, but I will take it to diversify a beloved toy line so that no child of color in America will think that they can't have the power, just as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. If you would take a moment and open the link to my petition:

Make Masters of the Universe Origins toys more racially diverse with new characters.

Read it over at the very least. Start thinking it through. Sign it, and share it. And when you share it, use the #DiversifyMOTUOrigins so we can find it all over the internet. The numbers in the graphs above are sadfor racial diversity and it's time for all of us to change it.

Jeff and I are having an 8th anniversary of our show, Talking Toys with Taylor and Jeff! It has been a great ride. Celebrate the occasion by going through our backlog of shows on MarvinDogMedia!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Custom Toy Play-Set- The Scared Temple: Part 1

I have seen a lot of Toy Photography being made in the past year or so. And seeing successful pictures means that there is some sort of set piece or background in the picture to add to the realism of the setup. So when my son asked me to make him a play-set for his Masters of the Universe toys, I said, "You know, I should show a lot of people how to craft a play-set out of crafting materials.". And so, this video was born.

This is a part one to a two part creation for this set. The second video will be all about painting the creation. I will go over painting techniques and texturing techniques in that video. So...stay tuned!!!

Jeff and I are having an 8th anniversary of our show, Talking Toys with Taylor and Jeff! It has been a great ride. Celebrate the occasion by going through our backlog of shows on MarvinDogMedia!

Monday, June 8, 2020

TRG Toy Review of Neca Toys Classic Berserker Predator

I have been a huge fan of the Aliens and Predator franchises for a majority of my life. I remember my dad letting me watch the first predator at a young age and him letting me sneak in to watch some of the colonial marines battle screeching aliens in the Cameron classic film, "Aliens". It's been a big part of my sci-fi nerdom. When I was young, I had a small series of Aliens 2 pack toys from Kenner. I loved them so much that when I got a chance to get the single carded action figures and vehicles, I jumped to the chance! That lead to me finally getting a good run of the Predator toys that coincide with the Aliens toys from Kenner. Now, Neca toys has made two new action figures that are in the classic vintage Kenner style. One of which is the Alien NeoMorph that appeared in the movie, "Alien Covenant, and the other is the Berserker Predator, that appeared in the film, "Predators". I have the Berserker Predator! Let's take a look at him.

This toy is great! It is nice to have a vintage style action figure that looks very good with the actual vintage collection. The paint and sculpting are a nice upgrade to the vintage look, but doesn't overdo the surpassing of quality. In Laymen's terminology,  it's still looks simple enough to mix in the vintage toy line and not stick out to much.

I was disappointed with the attachment of the accessories. Both the cannon and the blade keep falling off in play. In all honesty, it is an adult collector toy, but, a little glue would go a long way. I have thought about gluing the blade down on my personal toy, due to it falling off every time I move him.

So for this toy, I give him a 4 out of 5 stars. If his accessories fit better, he would have gotten a 5 star rating. He really is a cool nod to the vintage toys we all loved so well.

Here is his listing at Target: Neca Berserker Predator
And here is his listing at Amazon: Neca Berserker Predator

Jeff and I are having an 8th anniversary of our show, Talking Toys with Taylor and Jeff! It has been a great ride. Celebrate the occasion by going through our backlog of shows on MarvinDogMedia!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

TRG Toy Review of Mega Construx Call of Duty Solo Mercenary Outpost

In the past, I have been passing up the Call of Duty (COD) Mega Construx building block sets. Recently, I took a gamble with my extra expenses to buy a twelve dollar set from Dollar General here in my town of Denton, TX. I liked it so much, I felt the need to make a video!

Things that I liked about this set were the fact that the box is super modular. What I mean is that the box can be taken apart, and put together is various ways. It makes for some cool environments. let me show you.

The weapons are also able to be broken apart and changed up. This is such a simple, and yet cool playset that has a great playability! I give it a 4 out of 5 stars! If you are interested in purchasing this set, I have a link for it here: Amazon Mega Construx Call of Duty Solo Mercenary Outpost

Jeff and I are having an 8th anniversary of our show, Talking Toys with Taylor and Jeff! It has been a great ride. Celebrate the occasion by going through our backlog of shows on MarvinDogMedia!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Tay Ray Gun Episode: GIJoe O-ring Repair

For those who are needing the help, I have an answer! I posted a video of how to replace the O-ring inside of a vintage G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero action figure by Hasbro. Watch it! Enjoy it! And be sure to hit the "Like" button as well as subscribe! I'll be posting more soon.

The Talking Toys with Taylor and Jeff is still going strong with many toy-lines covered! You can help with spreading the word by liking the facebook page and joining the discussion and subscribing to the patreon page! Your help gives Marvindogmedia the financial means to continue bringing more episodes!