Interview: Scott “Toy Guru” Neitlich

This week, CastleGrayskull.Info had the opportunity to chat with Scott “Toy Guru” Neitlich, Mattel Brand Manager for MOTU Classics, about the Castle Grayskull pre-order!

CastleGrayskull.Info: Scott, how excited are you at the prospect of Castle Grayskull being made? For many collectors, this playset has been the line’s impossible dream. Did you always think that we could get to this point or was it just a dream you had for the line as well?

Toy Guru: Personally, I was always a little unsure if we could pull it off, but it doesn’t mean we didn’t try every year to find a way. After proving that we could do presales with items like the Hoverboard, Castle Grayskull easily became our next target for this type of presale sell-in method! So glad we didn’t have to “wait for a movie year”!

CastleGrayskull.Info: How did the go ahead for the Castle pre-order come about? Was it a pitch that your team finally got approval on or did the call come down from above? Did circumstances change to make the pre-order a reality?

Toy Guru: It really was the success of the Hoverboard establishing that we could presell an item without executing it to a full toy and needing all of those resources. By limiting the amount of design work needed to do a presale, it helped us get a huge item like this through the system. Now all we need are the minimum order numbers from fans!

CastleGrayskull.Info: If the Castle pre-order is successful, what’s the one “extra” touch that you personally want to ensure gets included.

Toy Guru: For me personally, it’s the extra secret doors. The old castle had an extra door on the back, but it was part of the sculpt. I love the idea of having secret ways to enter the castle! There will be another secret door on the ledge too!

CastleGrayskull.Info: We know all too well that logistics can alter the best laid plans, but how important would you consider compatibility with previously released items? There are a quite a few that would seem to need some castle-compatibility, the Power Sword, Scareglow’s reliquary, the battle & tiered stands, the Weapons Rack, and even Castle Grayskull Man himself.

Toy Guru: These are all things we are looking into. Our goal is to make the Castle work for long-time fans that have collected lots of accessories over the years. We can’t confirm exact details right now, but we certainly are looking into how older accessories can work with the castle!

CastleGrayskull.Info: Regarding the Robot / Armor in Castle Grayskull. We’d bet that an articulated figure is highly unlikely to accompany the Castle. And even we admit that resources would be better spent on details that deliver more bang for the buck, but would you feel the Castle is complete even without it?

Toy Guru: Whether or not we can include the armor/robot in the Castle is still up in the air. But even if he/it does not make it, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t release this down the road, much as we released the Weapon Rack as a separate item that can now ideally be displayed with your Castle!

CastleGrayskull.Info: We know it’s only been a few days, but are you satisfied with the Castle Grayskull sales so far?

Toy Guru: So far we are doing okay. As long as we hit that minimum by Nov 12 that is the goal!

Thanks again to Scott for taking the time to answer our questions. If you have questions for Scott, Pixel Dan & He-Man.Org have teamed up to take some fan-submitted questions directly to him! Find out more about that here.

You can pre-order Castle Grayskull right now at Mattycollector.com.

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