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Mattel: Turtles of Grayskull Design Q&A

We had the chance to ask the design team at Mattel about the new Turtles of Grayskull line a couple of weeks ago, and they are back with some answers!

Mattel as kind enough to answer three questions for us about this upcoming line, so please read on for the responses. The new figures should be arriving any time now!

via Mattel:

  1. What was the biggest design challenge in combining the worlds of MOTU and TMNT?

It was not so much a challenge as it was a labor of love, but before we could start character design we needed to craft and hone our story.  The narrative informs the design.  We approached the story with three different means of character execution: Throughout this story we see the Turtles influence the Masters and vice versa. For instance, Duncan is fascinated by the strength of the Turtle’s shells and is inspired to forge new armor based on their design. Conversely, the Turtles find kindred spirits in the Eternian heroes and don armor in similar fashion. We know Raphael is a bit head strong and he finds a connection to the Eternian battering ram, Ram Man. Additionally, some characters are mutated with Ooze, like He-Man. This meant having to change our steadfast hero into a mutated minion of evil! The effects of the ooze can be unexpected, and we see some really radical and new iterations of familiar characters. Character mash ups are in play as well.  Trap Jaw and the Mousers find themselves fused into Mouse-Jaw.  Faker and Slash become an evil, robotic mutant turtle, Sla-Ker!

  1. What character/figure was the most fun to work on so far?

Everyone on the team has their favorites! A couple of examples are Raf, the new Mouse Jaw, and Shredder.

From Steve – 

As with all action figures that I develop, each character tends to end up holding a special place in my heart.  That said, the introduction of the Ooze mutagen and its ability to transform characters into mutated versions of themselves has opened up a broader spectrum of opportunities that I wouldn’t necessarily be able to incorporate into traditional designs. Characters like mutated Moss Man and mutated Ram Man may be my favorites so far.

  1. What was the thought process in matching up characters from the TMNT world to those in the MOTU universe?

Some of it is our personal fandom. Well, maybe more that some. We needed to make sure we were working within the narrative and finding fun and unexpected ways to push the story forward. Striking a balance of TMNT, MOTU, heroes and villains was essential for both the storytelling and, well, play! We’re excited to see what you think as more characters get revealed.

*Thanks to Mattel for answering our questions!