Having taken a look at Toy Fair offerings across the board, we have to note once again that this is truly the age of the super-hero action figure. The ‘70s had Mego, the ‘80s had Super Powers and Secret Wars, and the ‘90s had the animation driven boom. But in the years of Marvel Legends/Universe and DC Universe Classics, we are getting more characters more quickly than ever. As I commented at the end of our look at Mattel’s DC properties, one ongoing topic of conversation among collectors is the notion of which figures are needed to make a line feel “complete” for you. Mattel is even ending the JLU line with the “final seven card-carrying Leaguers” to bring a sense of closure to that line. Building on that, I’m going to take a look at three major lines (Marvel Legends, DC Universe Classics, and DC Direct) and offer my take on what they should each have to be, in one sense, “complete”.
Note: Some of these picks will pull from my own list, but many of these are based upon fan discussions over a period of years, including but not limited to comments made at RTM, Fwoosh, AFI, and the DC Direct boards at dccomics.com. Here, then, is the list of what NEEDS to be made, my own Grand Incomplete . . .
Jean Grey (Jim Lee costume): At this point, this is the sole member of the team from the best-selling single issue of all time that hasn’t been made in the line.
The Hood: Already sculpted, big recurring villain, there you go.
Iron Patriot: Yeah, there was the sort of conceptual version in the Iron Man line, but Iron Norman here fronted one of Marvel’s best-selling books during the last few years.
Mephisto: Breaking up plastic marriages for all eternity!
Lockjaw: Lockjaw would make a perfect Build-A-Figure. In a perfect world, said Build-A-Figure would be part of a line that also included the rest of the Pet Avengers as pack-ins. (Hey, if DCUC can have a pack of Bd’g, Dex-Star and Despotellis, then Marvel Legends should be able to toss in Frog-Thor.)
Volstagg: I know that we’re getting a couple of the Warriors Three in the Thor movie line, but we should the classic comics versions of all three available.
Groot: HE IS GROOT.
New Cap: Again, there’s a version in the pending Captain America movie-related assortment, but is it a Marvel Legend? We’ll see.
Gladiator: Honestly, my perfectly world includes everyone from the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Annihilation minis. I just thought that since we’re getting a Marvel Universe of Gladiator, that a Marvel Legend seems not so crazy.
Modern Luke Cage: Though “Power Man” made it to Marvel Legends, a modern Luke Cage has not. He is a must for me.
The Jim McCann Bonus Pick: Mockingbird.
Much of this list is owed to many, many discussions on the DC Board of yore. Recall that DC Direct was originally going to do all the people that we thought we’d never see because it was for the direct market and not the mass market. When I can now buy Kamandi at Wal-Mart, that means DC Direct should show us . . .
Mr. Terrific I: One of the few undone JSA members.
Johnny Thunder and T-Bolt: Like these guys.
Ma Hunkel: And her. Shout out to Jim Beard.
Star-Spangled Kid I: And THAT would do it for the JSA.
Lex Luthor in a business suit: So. Obvious.
Zatanna (original JLA outfit): Yes, I am so insane, that I think that they should even make Zatanna in THIS outfit, the one from the cover of Justice League of America #161, the one that she actually wore when she joined the League in 1978, the one that I actually first saw her in. She wore the costume until JLoA #187 in 1981, at which point she switched to the “Perez costume”. In a world where figures based on costumes that appeared once or twice can be made, sure a version of a character that ran for three years isn’t nuts.
Giganta: The last member of the LoD undone in some capacity at DCD.
Rocket Red: They have Booster, Beetle, Captain Atom, Fire, Ice, Guy, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Lobo, Dr. Fate, Batman, ‘80s Black Canary, and G’nort, but not Rocket Red? Seriously?
Killer Moth: Yeah, he’s in DCUC, but DCD fans have been asking for this guy for years.
Non: We have Zod and Ursa, but . . . non on Non.
DC Universe Classics
Rima: Now I know some of you are saying . . .WHO?! BUT! Give me a minute. Much has been made of Mattel’s effort to a) make all of the figures from the Super Powers line and b) “complete” the Super Friends by even doing guys like Black Vulcan and El Dorado. In my estimation, the Super Friends are not complete until Rima gets a figure. Again, you may say WHO?! Rima, who actually first appeared in prose, made the leap to comics in DC’s Rima the Jungle Girl #1 in 1974. The book only ran seven issues, but it ran long enough for Rima to also show up in three episodes of “Super Friends”. Today, Rima is part of DC’s “First Wave” line of characters, which includes The Spirt and Doc Savage. Hey, wait a minute . . . Anyway, for a complete “Super Friends” for ME, you have to include Rima. (And for the record, I don’t really want Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog, but such sets are what MattyCollector.com is for, right?)
Changeling: Yes, Changeling. Gar in his white and red classic Teen Titans outfit as opposed to Beast Boy.
Scarecrow and Bizarro: There need to be actual Classics versions of these two in the Classics line to complete the Classics Legion of Doom.
Elongated Man: Tragic omission from the Satellite Era of the JLA.
Perez Zatanna: To nearly complete the Satellite Era of the JLA.
The Phantom Stranger: To in fact complete the Satellite Era of the JLA.
Swamp Thing: Yes, I’m serious.
Speedy: My ward is a junkie!
Platinum/Tin/Lead: The Metal Men must be complete!
Elasti-Girl: One of the most obvious Collect and Connect choices around.
Jay Garrick Flash and Al Pratt Atom: The first two installments in a more complete JSA.
Honestly, DCUC is my favorite line of the moment, so I could go on with the Golden Age Hawks, Hawk and Dove, Jerico, Terra, Captain Marvel Jr., the rest of the Legion, and more. Yes, it’s a sickness.
And you, readers? Who do you need for your lines to be complete? Tweet it up.