The analogy may be a bit overly dramatic, but it certainly rings true based on the evidence M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors had discovered. There are countless Manufacturing Error Figures, even more figures featuring the “M.U.S.C.L.E. warp,” and poor quality control could even be the reason for Alpha and Beta M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.A recent posting about the quality of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics by Battlegrip.com (titled “Matty Collector: Substandard Toys for Premium Prices”) shines a contemporary spotlight on Mattel’s quality control issues. The question becomes, “How and why does Mattel let this happen?”
Some M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors dislike the theories around Non-Poster figures that hypothesize Alpha and Beta figures are part of some quality control-related issue. Other M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors embrace the quality control idea, often citing the technology and language issues between Mattel and Bandai as supporting data.
What if Mattel’s MOTU quality issues actually offer insight into Mattel’s corporate quality standards? Attempting to use the MOTU issue as a paradigm, it offers sound explanations for many M.U.S.C.L.E. related oddities:
1. Deformed or incorrectly packed figures in 4-packs
2. Slightly warped M.U.S.C.L.E. figures
3. Deformed figures
4. Non-Poster figures
1. The packaging is not compromised and the consumer still receives four figures.
2. The figure left the model according to quality standards. Shrinking/warping/etc. may occur as the figure cools.
3. Minor imperfections may occur and occasionally ship.
4. A playable figure is presented to the consumer.
However, it is important for M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors to watch how Mattel continues to operate. It may not explain all of the mysterious of M.U.S.C.L.E., but it may offer insight into the behaviors and actions that Mattel, as an organization, considers acceptable and appropriate.