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Toy Fair 2011 – Four Horsemen Interview – Part 2 with Eric “Cornboy” Mayse

Four Horsemen

A week ago, I posted the part of our interview with two of the Four Horsemen at Toy Fair – we first got to talk with Eric Treadaway. In honor of Four Horsemen Fridays, here’s the second half, with Eric “Cornboy” Mayse, designer and fabricator. Cornboy tagged in as Eric was called away for an interview with a real media outlet.

Ron: One of the things we were talking about with Eric [Treadaway] about was fan reaction to recent announcements of waves for DC Universe Classics line.

Cornboy: I know exactly what you’re referring to. The Blackest Night wave, right?

Hagop: And the Super Friends wave.

R: Yeah, that one was kind of polarizing too. Some of the comic purists think that those characters don’t belong in the line.

CB: I do not agree. I don’t agree. I mean, I love everything DC. I love all the DC characters. I’ve been a comic collector since the late sixties, and toys before that. And just to get in to being able to do DC Comics and Masters of the Universe, but DC Comics characters specifically, as my line of work is like a dream come true. And I want to do everybody. Every character that DC has ever [produced], I want to see us do as a toy. You know, from the success it’s been having, I don’t think that that’s going to be an impossibility. I think that’s going to happen. I mean, the line keeps chugging along. This year, Mattel has lined up for us to do much, much more DC stuff and Masters of the Universe stuff than we’ve ever done before. We are totally swamped. By the way, you might want to put this in: we may be looking for sculptors and fabricators soon, because we are absolutely swamped.

R: I’m sure we’ll have guys putting their portfolios together now.

CB: I can guarantee, that if things keep going with DC Universe Classics the way it’s been going, they don’t have to worry about seeing the Super Friends characters, that they may not necessarily be interested in or Blackest Night characters, because your favorite characters are coming down the road. I promise. Because there is just so much – I mean, we were just talking about today, that the first three of the Metal Men- The Metal Men have been my biggest pet peeve of this line since we started; I’ve wanted to do the Metal Men. Finally got the first three out and it was kind of questionable about “How were we going to do Lead?” There’s not a body, a buck, that you can go off. He’ll almost completely have to be a newly sculpted figure. We can do Platinum. Tin would have to be a newly sculpted figure, ‘cause there’s nobody that has the build of that guy. But we’re going forward with it, you know? There’s all kinds of crazy, obscure characters that some people are not going to like, or people are going to say, “Why are they doing it?” It’s for the love of the line. That’s why we’re doing it. We want to see every freakin’ character we can possibly get in the line, into the line.

H: Do you think Lead is likely to be a Collect & Connect figure?

CB: No, he’s not that big. To me, it’s like… the Thing is my favorite comic character of all time. And that may be blasphemy since we’re doing DC stuff, but I can’t help it. I’ve always liked the Thing. But one of the things I’ve always hated is people that think he should be Hulk-sized.

H: I was just about to say that!

CB: He’s the same height as Reed and Johnny and all those guys, he’s just three times as wide. He’s like a square. And that’s how I see Lead, too. Lead is possibly even slightly shorter than Iron. He’s a big, bulky dude but he’s not tall.

H: I believe that’s the way they were drawn in the original comics; Iron was always the tallest.

CB: And that’s the way I want to see him. If we do him, I’m 99.9% positive he won’t be a Collect and Connect figure.

H: Another thing we asked Eric about was, having gotten through the Super Powers and Super Friends characters, is there a character segment that you personally would really like to mine?

CB: The New Gods have been mined pretty well, but there’s still a lot of New Gods we want to do. One of these days we’ve
got to do Metron and we’ve got to do Metron’s chair.

H: Yeah!

CB: I mean, god, it’s got to happen. If it’s a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive or some sort of Collect and Connect, even if…what if we did some sort of a fold-out cardboard piece that plastic accessory pieces attach to, to become his chair? So it isn’t exactly a toy, but it’s like more of a diorama type thing that you can sit him in. That’s one of my biggest things – I want to do the New Gods guys and I want to get Metron in there. I’d love to get Highfather and Granny Goodness in there. And you know, they’re kind of the same build, maybe we could actually use some shared parts on those two, who knows? Let’s see…what are some of the other ones? Finishing up the Metal Men is a big thing.

H: Captain Marvel Jr.? I know you’re a big Marvel Family fan.

CB: Yeah, thanks for reminding me. Here’s what happens: at the beginning of the year, Scott [Neitlich] and Bill [Benecke], two probably bigger comic geeks than I am, come up with these DC Universe waves and run them past us. And they’re just spectacular lists of characters and stuff, and they have to run them past Warner Brothers and DC and get approvals. They go back and forth, and then we put in, “Hey, we want to see these guys too, can we get those guys in there?” Captain Marvel Jr. is one of those guys that has been on the list at the beginning probably for the last three years in a row, because they know I want to see him. I know there’s fans at Mattel that want to see him, fans at DC too. But somehow through moving people around and shuffling people in and out, he always gets bumped off the list. So, he’s bumped off the list for this year again. But he was there at the beginning and I was all excited! Maybe next year. I’m going to make a very concerted push. If I can get my Metal Men in by next year or something, then that’s the one that I’m pushing for next.

R: There are some characters that we should name drop. On behalf of VeeBee –

CB: No, he already got Blue Beetle. Was it one of you guys or him that was really into Cyclone?

R: That was him.

CB: What the heck? Cyclone? Come on. Maybe we’ll get around to her. I don’t think she’s planned any time soon though.

R: My big one is Sgt. Rock, now that you’ve got Jonah Hex done.

CB: You know I think either Scott or Bill, one of their biggest guys is Blackhawk. And I know that Blackhawk is a guy who has been kind of bounced onto and off of the lists here and there too, through the last couple of years. Sgt. Rock has never been on the list. I don’t know why he hasn’t been on there. I mean, maybe he’s been on Bill and Scott’s list because I’m sure they’ve probably got walls of stuff lined up. But the stuff that we’ve actually, physically discussed, I don’t think that Sgt. Rock has ever been on there. But that’s an awesome one. That’s a good suggestion.

R: You’re killing me.

CB: That doesn’t mean it’s not going happen. There’s so many DC characters and that’s one we just have not gotten to yet.

At this point, we were informed that the showroom was shutting down, and thus ended an all too brief conversation with two of the guys responsible for some of our favorite action figures. Big thanks to the Four Horsemen and Mattel for their time… and the toys!