Mattel update on SDCC exclusives

Mattel has updated their Facebook page with more information on the exclusives.

Hey toy fans,

With the news of our SDCC figures spreading all over the web, thought I’d take a moment to clarify some questions fans had.

1: Yes, these are our SDCC figures. It was not an April Fool’s joke. (but we did get some of you huh?)

2: Yes, all of the action figure exclusives will be sold online after the show (ideally that Monday, but it is too far off right now to tell) on

3: Yes there are a few other exclusives to reveal for the Hot Wheels brand. These will also be available online after the show on Look for more details soon.

4: Yes, Gleek is only available at the show. He is not in the package with the Twins but rather will be poly bagged as a “gift with purchase”. Why did we do this? Well simply, in years past we did not have online distribution through my awesome website In years past the ONLY way to get any of the exclusives was at the show. Now that we have online sales, we wanted to find a way to still reward fans who come out to the show with an exclusive only at the show, and Gleek will only be a gift with purchase in San Diego. Will everyone be happy with this, maybe not, but at least the main items are online. In years past you couldn’t even get any of them without being at the show, now at least you can get the Twins online even if Gleek is not with them. This is why they are called show exclusives, because they are only at a show.

5: Yes, Hal’s head is removable and swappable. The reason Abin is nor in his animated uniform is to recreate Hal in two iconic uniforms, modern and vintage. Why does he not have his mask? Well because contractually we can not offer Hal this way. Period. But in the original story SOS Green Lantern he does not wear a mask and this set pays homage to that. And really, this was the best way for us to get Hal in the JLU line. It may not be what everyone wants, but we think it is darn cool.

6: He-Ro, like the other exclusives will be available online after the show. And you will learn why he has a star covered Power Sword in his bio…. Also, his package will be the same as a standard MOTUC figure, no electronics, so he can ship world wide.

7: We will have a brand new second booth this year to handle sales which will be run by our Toy Club, the same professional retailers who run our Mattel Toy Stores throughout the US. We will have limits (likely 3-5 per item) which we will announce well before the show as well as additional details. We will take cash and credit cards and we will ideally be selling on Preview Night (we are still working these details out with SDCC as they have lots of rules this year about when and how companies can sell exclusives). But we will be holding back product each day. So even if we sell out on Thursday, we will have more on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to make sure everyone gets a shot to buy. Traditionally the lines are much shorter on Saturday and Sunday, so don’t feel you HAVE to buy early on.

8: Yes we will have other product to sell including just a few He-Man, Beastman and Skeletors as well as a few other hard to find products and other current retail products. We won’t know what these are until closer to the show.

9: The AntiMonitor points will be redeemable at our main product booth. So if you just want your free AntiMonitor for 50 points and your raffle tickets for every 25 points (including the first 50) you don’t need to wait in the retail line. You will have the option of also buying an AntiMonitor (3 ¾” scale) for $10.00 at the retail booth if you don’t have points. You are limited to only one free figure however. Any additional points will get you additional raffle tickets for each 25 points you have. We will raffle off at least one hand made 30″ AntiMonitor each day and you do not need to be present to win. We will post the winning ticket number. If the figure is not claimed by the following day’s auction it will be re-raffled off.

10: Is it possible to change anything now? (like offering Gleek in the Twins pack) All of the exclusives are far enough along in the process that we are going forward as is. Any changes now would mean the product will be delayed and not make the show.

Okay, I think that covers all the main points. Obviously we are very excited for this year’s show. It looks to be our biggest presence ever with tons of surprises in store. We’ll have more updates as we get closer to the show.

See you all in San Diego. I’ll be there to meet and greet in person!


I follow their logic on the Gleek situation, but I think it’s based on an outdated understanding of the toy industry. Fifteen or twenty years ago, action figures weren’t the collectors’ market they are now. If there was a bonus figure at a convention, a majority of collectors might not even be aware of the toy’s existence, so a toy company could get away with offering this nice little “bonus” for those who went to the convention.

Now, however, any collector can instantly know everything there is to know about a toy line via the Internet, and many of them are “completists.” So rather than being a nice bonus for the few people who get to the convention, an exclusive figure–even just an accessory, like Gleek–becomes a hole in the collection of countless others.

Mattel’s explanation here still doesn’t get at the real question: why are they rewarding fans who go to a convention? The only answer I can think of that doesn’t seem misguided or cruel is that it’s a sop to the Comic Con folks, a point of prestige and a way to help draw people to the SDCC. (Of course, the SDCC has hardly needed help drumming up attendance in years. )

You could argue convention exclusive figures are just a long-term custom, but as I said, it’s one that’s become outdated. Call me a populist, but I think it would be better not to make any Gleeks at all than to offer them only to convention attendees. (Note that this doesn’t mean I won’t have my SDCC-going buddy get one for me–if it exists and it’s DCUC, I’m probably going to get it.)

Of course, convention exclusives aren’t a problem isolated to Mattel, and they’re probably too entrenched in the industry at this point. Mattel does deserve a lot of credit for offering the exclusives online at all. But I still think there’s no reason to “reward” the fans who go to the convention with anything other than getting the figures first and not having to pay shipping fees.

Finally, there’s this line:

Why does he not have his mask? Well because contractually we can not offer Hal this way. Period.

Seriously, who signs a contract like that? “Let’s sign this long-term contract preventing us from ever mass-producing a particular figure the fans really want. It will cost us thousands, perhaps millions of dollars in potential revenue, not to mention the loss of collectors who drop the line out of anger. Perfect!”

Bizarre, I tell you. Bizarre. And I know this is an old, old controversy, but it just makes no freakin’ sense to me.

Comments now closed (26)

  • I've been going to SDCC since before con exlcusives so I've seen the rise and fall of them and thusly totally agree that in today's market they are outdated. They can only frustrate and upset.

    Regarding Hal – the "contract" is most likely related to the limited edition figure of hal made for workers on the show, some stipulation that it could never be done again type thing. I'm still more upset about THAT than this figure not having a mask. But the interchangable heads is cool and now means I'll be buying two sets.

    Still am upset by psuedo-slimed Egon…

  • Yeah, I'm sure those are the terms of the contract, I just don't get why the contract was made and signed in the first place.

    All we've ever gotten as an explanation is, "Hal was done as a gift for Warner Brothers and DC Comics to thank the people who worked on the line. Because of this, contractually we do not have access to Hal in the JLU style." Just weird.

    And now I really, really should probably stop writing about this before it blows up in my face somehow.

  • I would truly appreciate it if anyone could pick up the Wonder Twins w/Gleek at SDCC for me. I would definitely make it worth their while. While I'm a completionist DCUC has already plagued me with those Walmart exclusives last year, but I'll still try and get a Gleek if anyone can oblige.

  • I agree completely about Gleek. Also, in the age of Ebay, any attempt to lure someone to a convention with an exclusive is futile. Even if Gleek is going for 100 bucks on line, its still a better deal than going to the convention just to get him, Unless you live close enough that travel costs are nil.

    That contract sounds weird, but I'm sure it wasn't Mattel's first choice, but a concession they made to get something else they wanted more.

  • @Poe: great explanation for why con exclusives are outdated. I don't personally care about Gleek, but I can easily understand why so many people are going to be furious. If they insist on doing a con-exclusive, it should be something like Gleek in a SDCC t-shirt/deco, while the toon accurate Gleek would be packed in with all of the WT figures.

  • If only I had a passport…I would fly from Northern Ireland to SDCC and get He-Ro. Note to self…have passport sorted out for next year.

  • I don't quite understand why Mattel didn't just come out and say way back when about the Hal thing that they are contractually unable to offer GL Hal, and that the fans would have to work with them to get the best possible alternative. That seems like it would have been a perfect way to avoid the outbreak of unpleasantness over maskless Hal. I do think it's kind of lame that I saw tons of message board posts of people defending this and attacking people who weren't happy. I'm glad that some people are happy and I understand now that they actually explained the situation why this is as good as we're going to get, but I think expecting people to be happy about it is a bit much. I would have been really excited to get an actual Hal with mask, not a DIY version. As it is I'm very meh about the whole thing. He looks like Guy Gardner got a new uniform and a haircut, and frankly I feel like this is pretty weak as an exclusive. This seems much more suited towards a Target three pack, considering it's made up of a repaint of Sinestro (a good one, but still a repaint) a new GL and a civilian.

    I share Poe's confusion why Mattel would sign such an asinine contract regarding the character, but then again when Mattel starts making sense I'll probably need to be committed. As it is I'll get them, I'm not saying I won't, but I'm not especially excited about it. If they aren't too expensive I might get to so I can have a civilian and Bland Jordan in GL uniform, but the price will dictate that. At least now maybe we won't have to hear about hal anymore since this is as good as it gets. (I know, pipedream.)

    He-Ro looks sweet, the Wonder Twins look better than those characters have a right to, and Mattel is playing with fire with this Gleek thing considering it's bound to affect their Matty sales and I frankly don't feel like reading yet another finger shaking post about how we're not sufficiently supporting the line. Ugh, close yet far Mattel.

    Giganta was better. Grundy was MUCH better.

  • "That seems like it would have been a perfect way to avoid the outbreak of unpleasantness over maskless Hal."

    That claim seems incredibly and dismayingly naive.

  • Them explaining beforehand that they couldn't actually make a GL Hal Jordan and would have to find a way around it wouldn't have made more sense then just dropping this on the public which led to TONS of gnashing of teeth and unpleasantness? They said before he was back on the table, never that they couldn't make a masked one, only that they couldn't release the Holiday Hal, and only NOW do they tell us they can't make him as GL period. They could have told us THEN and people would have been braced for it. I'm not saying people wouldn't have still complained, but at least they would have known what to expect. What about that is so naive according to you, oh wise one? I didn't know it until they told us today, so I understand. I don't particularly like it but I understand it so I'm not going to complain, I just think they could have done something more exciting for an exclusive.

    Then again since you just lurk around long enough to make snarky remarks you don't explain or back up, I don't know why I'm asking you for anything.

  • "I don’t quite understand why Mattel didn’t just come out and say way back when about the Hal thing that they are contractually unable to offer GL Hal, and that the fans would have to work with them to get the best possible alternative."

    They've said the first part of that many, many times on various boards. As for the 2nd part, this is them doing their best to bend the rules without breaking them.

    Also, keep in mind that, when they made Holiday Hal, it was far before they started making figures of obscure characters or characters that never even appeared on the show. It probably never even occured to them at the time that they might ever want to produce a figure of a character who appeared on the show for about 3 minutes.

  • I know they said that, specifically they said they were unable to offer Holiday Hal again, nothing about him having to be maskless, hence all the wailing yesterday. I've never once read that they could only offer him in civilian form. If someone can produce a link to where they said this I'll gladly admit my error.

    I'm not upset or anything, perhaps a bit disappointed, but whatever, it's not that big a deal, my only real concern about JLU is the possible end of the Matty 4-packs, but that's neither here nor there.

  • Yeah, but Holiday Hal had a mask. It's not like the argument was over whether they could release a figure called "Holiday Hal". 🙂

    The unmasked Hal and swappable heads was just an idea they came up with to bend the rule as much as they could.

  • Yep, travel costs are a killer, and I would REALLY like a Gleek, so if anyone wants to make a buck (or 50) lmk, cuz I don't think I can afford the trip from Massachusetts for one little blue monkey.

  • I understand people want the Holiday Hal, but the whole point of making it was as a special holiday gift to a select number of people who worked for Warner Bros and DC. By design that means virtually everyone who wants one won't get it, because they didn't work for those companies. Putting aside the contractual stipulations, just because people want it doesn't mean they should get it, because that defeats the purpose of making it in the first place. Which was to reward some employees during the holiday season. I'm sorry, but a lot of collectors are acting quite irrationally about this whole ordeal.

    Is it just me, or do the Wonder Twins figures have some really creepy expressions?

  • The problem with the whole DC/Mattel Hal thing is the story is total bunk. I just don't buy it and I never will.

    They could have EASILY made a Hal in some other form. The idea was solid, but not including a masked Hal head is stupid.

    And as I said before, if the Holiday Hal is so special to the 100 DC/WB people who got them… WHY did they all sell them?

    I think once the WB/DC guys started hocking their Holiday Hals' for $1,500-$2,000 a pop the whole "reward" part of the deal should have been invalidated.

    It's also Mattel's fault for saying that Hal was FINALLY ON THE TABLE… And then not bothering to mention he couldn't have a mask. They simple said he'd have to be different from the Holiday Hal. There were hundreds of good suggestions on how to make him different.

    But NO ONE would have been excited had they said we can make a maskless Hal with a crappy buzzcut that looks nothing like the character accept for his breif origin story.

    All those pretending to be excited now, are clearly retarded and JuliusMarx who told Mattel this is a good idea, needs to be taken out back and beaten with a Matty head.

    The JLU 3 pack better be like $12…

    Otherwise it's not gonna sell out.

  • Mattel's wording of Holiday Hal also slightly worries me about future MOTUC re-releases. They said they could make a Hal but he'd have to be slightly different.

    Well turns out slightly different is completely different.

    They've said the same things about He-Man re-releases. So are the redecos going to be totally stupid?

    I'd like to think not, but again, they led people to believe that we'd finally get the Hal we wanted… Maybe they're doing the same things to MOTUC fans. You'll get your He-Man alright, but he's going to be in a Tuxedo with brown hair and a buzzcut.

  • The Gleek issue is a fiasco, how hard is it for to throw in a polybagged Gleek figure with every Wonder Twins set order online? Not hard at all. Once again, common sense takes a back seat to a middle finger to the fans. Gleek should be in any Wonder Twins pack set. Period.

  • He-Ro is amazing…I was not to bothered about King Greyskull but H-Ro…must get.

  • I don't like getting stuck in the details but probably pass on all 3 exclusives. Unless the Anti-Monitor is the supersized version, highly doubtful at this point.

    I may come around on He-Ro at some point, but right now it looks rather cheesy to me. Hope the package though actual shows the figure and isn't concealed like Grayskull. Imagine plunking down $200 dollars for two of those now? Don't think so.

  • Newton,

    "It’s also Mattel’s fault for saying that Hal was FINALLY ON THE TABLE… And then not bothering to mention he couldn’t have a mask. They simple said he’d have to be different from the Holiday Hal. There were hundreds of good suggestions on how to make him different."

    THANK YOU. This is my point exactly. I'm not upset if this is the only possible way we could get him, but I do feel like they could have been more clear about how they would have to do it so people would be prepared, but they NEVER said he'd have to be Hal Jordan civilian, not GL.

  • Hence my annoyance with this most annoying of Toy-Companies. I like their product and would ideally like to buy them , but for some starnge reason this basic tennet of Consumer Capitalism seems lost on them.

    It's almost as if they deliberatly set out to upset someone. somwhere with just about everything they do now.

    Stop digging Mattel, the hole is really deep enough now……

  • The Gleek situation is SO stupid… How about INTERNATIONAL buyers, Mattel? Did you think they will buy Wonder Twins without Gleek? No monkey, no money. Period.

  • Just to clarufy things: I know a lot of folks out there doesn't care about Wonder Twins… I don't have a problem with that. But I do care with Wonder Twins and there's no sense AT ALL to have them without Gleek. So, again: No monkey, no money, Mattel.

  • Note: I've tried to clarify things, NOT to clarufy them ( Bad Typo, sorry )

  • The bottom line, kids: as long as the 'net is up & accessible, there will always be a market demand from fanboys who will do or pay almost anything to complete their collections (well, ALMOST – in this state of the economy!)…..And manufacturers like Mattel won't give a HOOT about what business model to use to market their already-hot product. I'm afraid they don't OWE any of us consumers any explanation or apologies on how they'll hawk their stuff -it's a sad but constant bitter truth in a consumerist society. I wonder, though – can the "completists" among us really endure NOT even attempting to get Gleek & the whole Wonder Twins set at all just to boycott / make a statement against Mattel's marketing practices ???

    Will they even read or listen to all the gripes & noises we're making here ????