February 1, 2015

Q&A with Mark Vasquez, Mystical Warriors of The Ring!

Hey, it’s Mark Vasquez, everyone, creator of Mystical Warriors of the Ring! Thanks for dropping in and answering a few questions.  They are all super-serious, I swear, but first, congrats on Goliath, like, instantly selling out!  He’s a neat one, for sure!  I hope you see that sort of success with the rest of your releases this year and on.  So, Mark, are you ready for a few random, poorly worded, questions?  All right!  Let’s do this!

Q1 - Where did the idea for Mystical Warriors of the Ring come from?  Any inspiration from toys you grew up with as a kid?

It come out my love for all things wrestling, I grew up in the 80's when wrestling was over the top, with colorful characters and big long arching storylines. Over the past 30 years that has all changed and the format now is all about realism, breaking down the third wall, and being a heavy soap opera. I also grew up with Kinnikuman which as we know had their toyline adapted in the US as M.U.S.C.L.E. I have always collected minifigures of sorts (Army Ants, Micro Machines, etc) so when you combine the two you end up with the essence of MWOTR.

Q2 - I have to say, the quality of your minis are pretty amazing.  What would you say is the hardest part or stage in the process?

Thanks, we often keep trying to push the limits in terms of detailing. The hardest part I would say is designing the pose, especially with production overseas. I like my minifigures to be able to play with each other, whereas a lot of minifigures are just static poses not meant to really do anything but look great. My desire can be a pain in the butt sometimes.

What you can accomplish in Resin/Urethane/Rubber casting is a bit more lenient then what you can do with PVC. This is not to say you can't replicate this in PVC production, it is just the more parts and the more steel means more expenses. So what was maybe a 1 or 2 piece affordable mold in other material becomes a multi piece expensive piece of steel molding in PVC and makes some figures extremely costly to produce. Goliath was an example of this and why he was not included in Series 1.

But with that said I have an extremely hard working and insanely talented team surrounding me since 2012. Marty "THEGODBEAST" Hansen, Josh and Adam at TrueCast Studio (prototypers for NECA and Sideshow Collectibles), Lee Burbridge of BigManToys, my concept artist Jazyl Homavazir and of course the man who sculpts the minis in the amazing detail they are Simon Grell. Without them MWOTR would simply be a cool idea I have in my head and not what it has become today.
Q3 – I’m not sure if you’re a die-hard pro-wrestling fan, but this year’s Royal Rumble just happened.  Of course, as it’s creator, you get the final say in that universe, so who would have won this year’s Royal Rumble in MWOTR?

Die-Hard fan would probably not explain me enough, I own stock in WWE and subscribe to Japanese wrestling video services so probably obsessive wrestling fan would be better lol

I think if we were to have a rumble with the Top 30 MWOTR stars I would have to say the winner would most likely be Sheldon Sabre. To win a battle royale you would need more then just strength and smarts, you have to have experience and patience.
Q4 – I think one of the raddest things about MWOTR is the on-going story of its characters and championship.  Does Sheldon Sabre have his title again? And if not, why have you forsaken him?

Sheldon has an unfortunate obsession with being Champion. He is a two time AWF Heavyweight Champion, and lost the title to Widowmaker at the end of Issue III. To be fair he should not have won it back in Issue II but what can you do.

Sheldon is a character you really get to have fun with, an insane amount of in-ring skill and an over the top personality makes for entertainment. Sheldon deserves everything that he gets, good and bad. At the end of Issue IV he will be taking the AWF down a very dangerous path and he might not like what and who is coming.
Q5 – If MWOTR could have a wrestling feud with one other independent toy company whom would it be and why?

 That is a toughie, I would say if I had a choice I would want them to battle someone like Onion Fights in Japan (http://ameblo.jp/onion-fights) simply because they are the most like us which is cool and I think would make for a pretty entertaining "when worlds collide" event ala the old NWA/WCW vs New Japan events or the current CMLL vs New Japan events.

Q6 – What can fans of the minis expect to see from MWOTR this year?

They can expect Series 2 to finally be released in the late Spring, we are still working on some of the tiny details on the masters to get them to where I want them. If I had to guess maybe a C2E2 debut or shortly after! They can also expect to see some of the characters that may be released in Series 3. As fans know we tend to show off a variety of characters over the course of a year, some make it in the PVC line and others do not. Fans have seen 1/2 of the Fortune Seekers, will they see the other 1/2? Fans have seen Lapin Loco but not Winged Fury. So there are still plenty of surprises for minifigure fans, the biggest misconception that people seemed to have was that we somehow abandoned that format with Evolution Goliath.

We are constantly playing with new formats and trying to expand "the brand" to new audiences (you will see more neat things on that front in late 2015 and 2016), but none of that ever means we are leaving the 1.5-3" scale. It just means to survive and thrive we want to introduce the characters to multiple audiences. Kinnikuman does that in Japan and thrives more than 30 years after its debut because of it, WWE does the same. It is simply the "business" part of making toys :)

Q7 – Will you be attending any conventions this year?  Where can people meet you and see the championship belt?

Currently we are set to be at the following cons, more may be added:

Kansas City Planet Comicon 3/13-3/15 http://planetcomicon.com/
Chicago's C2E2 (At the Nerd City Booth) 4/24-4/26 http://www.c2e2.com/
Wizard World Des Moines 6/12-6/14 http://www.wizardwor...-desmoines.html
Des Moines I-Con (Dates TBD) http://www.iowacomicbookclub.com/i-con
D-Con in Pasadena 11/21-11/22 http://www.designercon.com/

Q8 – Okay, final question! Gamera or Godzilla?

Gamera is cool but I would have to say Godzilla, you can see some influence from Godzilla in Goliath and Godzilla is just so iconic.

Thanks for dropping by again, Mark!  I had fun!  Hopefully you did too! Let’s do this again sometime soon!  And of course, check out more of Mark's offerings at the Mystical Warriors of the Ring website and webstore!  Click 'em and check them out!

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