While the line’s existence was announced months ago, DC Direct raised a few eyebrows this week when it released the first photos of its upcoming “History of the DC Universe” line. Inspired by the 1986 book by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, the figures are based on Perez’s art. The figures appear to share certain body parts, such as torsos and limbs, resulting in the inevitable conclusion by some collectors that this is DC Direct attempting to cash in on the popularity of DC Universe Classics. (More pics below the jump.)
The figures appear to have at least the following articulation: ball-jointed heads, shoulders, torso and perhaps even hips; swivels at the biceps, forearms, waist, and calves; and hinged joints at the elbows, knees [and wrists – update]. That’s a lot more than your average DCD figure–the only one I can think of having anything close to that is the 2003 Superman figure.
Reaction to the line has been mixed so far. Some find the look of the body sculpts a bit weird, and I have to agree–the torsos look too big, and Batman’s head is set way back on his body. Some of that could just be the photo angles, however.
The figures stand an average height of 6.5″, which means they’ll probably be a bit too large next to most DC Universe Classics figures. They’re due out in June.
I was under the impression that Mattel and DC Direct had some level of coordination going on to insure they wouldn’t be competing with one another. But with its DCUC-like articulation and what I’m guessing will be a slightly lower price point than usual for DCD (owing to the mold reuse), this line certainly looks like it’s targeting the same fans who collect DCUC. And it’s not as if DCD is trying to avoid overlap between the two lines–the first two waves feature Batman, Aquaman, Black Lightning and a Barry Allen Flash, all of whom have been released in or have been announced for DCUC.
I’m sure if you asked either company about it, you’d receive some sort of quote about there being plenty of room in the market for both lines, and History of the DCU is targeting a different sort of collector and will feature more obscure characters–which I find unlikely, since we’re getting Killer Moth in DCUC. But I think these lines can only harm one another’s sales. Those who have been on the fence for picking up DCUC will now just wait for HDCU, while DCUC collectors will skip these because they either already have the characters or because the figures are too large to be in scale with DCUC.