Mattel holds the keys to the mass-market DC kingdom, and the next couple of years will obviously be big. Consider: you have the next Batman film, the next Superman film, the Green Lantern film; you have TV animation active or pending for Young Justice, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Green Lantern; and you have the possibility of the Wonder Woman live-action series. According, Mattel comes stuff with bursting with DC product. Among the highlights . . .
R.I.P. JLU: As previously reported on ActionFigureInsider.com, the Justice League Unlimited line ends this year. This line actually had an amazing run, with MORE figures hitting the market after the series ended than were technically on the market when it ran. Over the course of ten years, figures that you NEVER thought you’d see made it to stores. Mattel promised to go out big, finally releasing S.T.R.I.P.E. and indicating that the last hurrah will be a MattyCollector.com “seven pack” that completes the full, expanded TV team (it includes, for example, Gypsy).
Batman Legacy: A new line that includes two-packs and integrations of Movie Masters and old DC Heroes sculpts, Batman Legacy sets up a separate brand for Batman as we move toward the next film. Among the characters getting play in the line are Two-Face and Mr. Freeze; we also see a “Batman Begins” Bruce Wayne in his training outfit and Jim Gordon. Early leaks on this line discussed a “Babs” Batgirl and a Catman, but there was nothing official there. I hope to see those eventually.
Green Lantern: As you might expect, there’s a frigging metric ton of Green Lantern stuff coming in a variety of scales and expressions. My kids are gonna love the Colossal Cannon, a light-n-sound weapon construct toy in the vein of the Transformers Bumblebee Plasma Cannon. I love the wide variety of alien GLs we’ll be getting; everyone from Isamot Kol to Rot Lop Fan is getting some love this year.
Young Justice: In an attempt to fill the void left by JLU, YJ will boast two lines, one of which is in that JLU scale. The other will be compatible with DC Universe Classics. The figures in the smaller line each come with a piece of a Hall of Justice diorama; the DCUC cousins will have a variety of accessories and backdrops (for example, Aqualad has a number of water-construct accessories). There will also be mentor/sidekick two-packs in the smaller scale (featuring, for example, Batman and Robin).
DC Universe Classics: The biggest news here is that no assortments will be absolute exclusives. Some assortments will hit certain retail outlets first, but there will be no, for example, “Wal-Mart wave”. There will, however, be a Wal-Mart exclusive boxed set of the Crime Syndicate (though curiously, Power Ring and Johnny Quick are classic whereas Ultraman, Owlman and Superwoman are modern). More figures from the mammoth Legion set were shown; it’s now due in August from MattyCollector. Mattel showed the previously announced “deputy lantern” and Anti-Monitor Wave 17, but debuted Wave 18, the so-called Super Friends Wave. In addition to modern Captain Boomerang and Bronze Tiger (holy crap, Suicide Squad is forming right under our noses), the wave features a Super Friends-style Toyman, El Dorado, Black Vulcan, and Samurai; the C+C figure is Apace Chief.
My musings at this point mainly focus on DC Universe Classics. I know that some collectors aren’t wild about elements of waves 17 and 18. I have to say that I like the effort that’s been put in to capturing the breadth and depth of the DCU as a whole. Now, with that, I hope that we soon get back to finishing some of the teams that were started in the DCUC line. My biggest lingering bitch with DC Direct was the sheer amount of unfinished teams.
To that end, my current DCUC wishlist features: a C+C Elasti-Girl, Platinum, Lead, Tin, and Jay Garrick, just to name a few. I like the approach of the Green Lantern Classics waves, and I hope that line continues. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind if they spun Batman Legacy in that direction, knocking out some classic villains like Mad Hatter and Talia while giving us a C+C like Blockbuster.
My biggest let-down is at the fizzling of the Brave and the Bold line, a line my kids loved. It’s down to Total Armor now, and it looks like little new material is coming. On the upside, we saw more Action League, including, predictably, more Lanterns ; they should love that.
How about you readers? What do you like here, and what do you want to see Mattel do with DC?
Special thanks to ToyNewsI.com for the images featured here