Toy Fair 2011 > DC Universe

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(DC Universe Gallery)

Mattel had plenty of DC Universe stuff on display at the collector’s event last Sunday, from DC Universe Classics to Batman: Legacy, to Young Justice and Action League, to Green Lantern and Retro Action DC Super Heroes.

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DC Universe Classics: Two-ups of series 17 and 18 of DCUC were on display. Series 17 had already been announced, but series 18 was new. Please take note that the line-up does not match the rumored one from a few months ago; it’s very close, but a couple figures are different. Anyway, here’s the official line-up:

Obviously this is a primarily a Super Powers series. I only collect the Bat-characters these days, so the question for me is, is the Bronze Tiger close enough to the Bat-family to warrant a purchase?

Also on display were two-ups of the previously-announced Legion of Super Heroes 12-pack, as well as a new Crime Syndicate five-pack featuring Ultraman, Power Ring, Superwoman, Owlman and Johnny Quick, which will be a Walmart exclusive.

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Green Lantern: There was a ton of Green Lantern stuff on display, as you’d expect in a movie year. There’s the 4″ movie line, the 6″ Movie Masters movie line, and the 6″ Green Lantern Classics.

As you may have noticed, my Toy Fair coverage has been pretty idiosyncratic, focused primarily on the stuff that interested me. This is no exception. You can check out some of the pics I took of the Green Lantern stuff, but really, it didn’t interest me all that much. Just not a GL guy. Fortunately, there’s plenty of coverage on other toy sites.

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JLU: This is JLU’s final year. If you want the full scoop on JLU, I recommend AFI’s interview with Scott Neitlich.

Retro Action DC Super Heroes: The next two series were shown. Series four features Darkseid, Martian Manhunter, Captain Marvel and Black Adam; series five is all Green Lantern and features Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Sinestro Corps Sinestro, and Jon Stewart. Given the synergy with the movie, I’m guessing in 2012 we’ll see a series of this line with the Joker, Bane, Catwoman, and Scarecrow.

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Young Justice: Both the 4″ and 6″ lines were on display. As many fans feared, the 6″ line will not work with DCUC, thanks to the cartoonish heads. I don’t quite understand why Mattel is even bothering with the 6″ line if they’re going to do the cartoonish heads; why not just make the heads realistic, DCUC-style? It’s not like toys based on movies/cartoons have always looked exactly like their media counterparts. Kids can have the 4″ toys and collectors can have the realistic 6″ toys.

I’m disappointed; I was really liking the idea of getting a DCUC-style 6″ line. I suppose they might look OK next to the Mattel Public Enemies figures, but that’s cold comfort. Although…you could swap the head on Robin for one of the DCUC Robins.

The 4″ line showed a Batman in addition to the other figures, but sadly, the articulation doesn’t seem like much of an improvement over DC Infinite Heroes. So. We get an under-articulated 4″ line, turning off the collectors of G.I. Joe, Marvel Universe, etc., and we get an overly-stylized 6″ line, turning off DCUC collectors. So I guess Mattel is banking on the kiddies for this one.

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Batman Legacy: My favorite reveal of Toy Fair. Unfortunately, the beans had already been spilled a couple days before, but that didn’t detract from the pleasure of seeing the figures in person. The figures themselves were pretty rough, with Gordon’s tie sticking out, AC Batman’s cape not properly glued down, and Two-Face’s paint apps looking a bit rushed.

The Legacy line will have two main components: single-packed comic-based figures, and media-based two-packs (one from the Nolan movies, one from Arkham City). The first series will features Arkham City Bats and Two-Face and  Batman Begins Lieutenant Gordon and Prototype Batman (which is there…why? Does anyone like that figure?).

The comic figures on display, which will be released as single figures, included a repaint of Mr. Freeze in Super Powers colors, a re-release of the DC Super Heroes Series 8 black-and-gray Batman with the Sinestro Corps Batman head (representing “modern Batman”), and a two-up of a Golden Age Joker. This figure, with its Dick Sprang face and full trenchcoat, is obviously begging for a head swap with the Marshall Rogers head of the DCUC Silver Age Joker, thereby creating what’s basically a modern Joker. I assume there will be some sort of problem with the head pegs being incompatible, though, since that’s just Murphy’s (Mattel’s?) Law.

Here’s how the figures will break down:

Batman Legacy Action Figures Series 1

・Golden Age Joker
・Super Powers Mr.Freeze
・Modern Age Batman

Batman 2-Pack Figures Series 1

・Arkham City Video Game Batman & Two Face
・Batman Begins Movie Batman(Prototype Suit) & Lt.Jim Gordon

2 more packs to be revealed at comic con with an additional Arkham City Theme & Batman Begins Movie theme.

It’s worth noting that Idle Hands’ initial version of his post featured a different line-up:

Batman Legacy Action Figures

Series 1

・Golden Age Batman
・Silver Age Batgirl
・Modern Age Catman

Series 2:

・Golden Age Joker
・Silver Age Mr.Freeze
・Modern Age Batman

Batman 2-Pack Figures

Series 1

・Arkham City Batman & Arkham City Riddler
・Batman (Dark Knight) & The Joker(Police Honor Guard)

Series 2

・Arkham City Nightwing & Arkham City Joker
・Batman(Prototype Suit) & Lt.Jim Gordon

Series 3

・Arkham City Batman & Arkham City Catwoman
・Batman(Batman Begins) & Ra’s Al Ghul(Ducard)

For the record: I’m posting this leaked list, even after Idle Hands changed his post and removed the mock-up pics used for it, because the information is already out there on the Internet–there’s no point in trying to hide it now. That said, understand that this WAS a leak, it is not official information from Mattel, and should be considered nothing more than a rumor.

There are some nice possibilities in that list, though, including the Golden Age Batman, Silver Age Batgirl, modern Catman, and most of all, Arkham City Nightwing. I suppose if/when Nightwing’s presence in Arkham City is confirmed one way or the other,  we’ll have some idea of the credibility of the other parts of this leak.

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Of everything I saw at Toy Fair, I’m most excited about the Arkham City Batman. I wanted a Mattel AA Batman from the first minute I played the game, so while the DC Direct figures (at least the first wave) look pretty great, this was the figure I wanted. I know some fans have been disparaging the sculpt of this Batman, saying the DCD one looks better, but I have to disagree. Look at the texturing on the Mattel figure’s bat symbol–that’s some great detail. And unlike the DCD figure, the AC Bats doesn’t have that weird blue/black split between the cape and cowl.

While the DCSH8 Batman has been my default Batman for a long time, I think AC Batman will replace him. Assuming they get the height right (which they may not, if these are closer to Movie Masters in height than DCUC–but the proto figure seemed to be of DCUC height), he’ll fit in well with my DCUC figures. I like that he doesn’t have the insanely muscled physique of the modern Batman (which I’ve always thought was the Horsemen’s take on a “realistic” Batman as based on his Bruce Timm look). He does have a bit of a pinhead, but that’s part of the AC design.

The Gordon looks great too, though as I said, I have no idea why we’re getting another Prototype Batman, unless Mattel has a lot of extra stock they need to unload. The rumored waves seem to focus entirely on the Nolan films, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that Batman Legacy might finally bring us a Movie Masters Keaton Batman.

OK, I’ve rambled enough. It’s your turn. Thoughts?

Comments now closed (25)

  • Pretty jazzed for the CSA five pack, although the split between 'classic' and 'modern' makes no sense to me at all. I'll probably just hit ebay for the three modern figures singly. The Batman range does look great, I'm up for the Gordon (A Gordon, at last!) and the AA Batman.
    But everything else I couldn't give two figs for. The Green Lantern stuff is very under whelming, why is it as soon as you tie a toy range into a film, it starts to suck, much like video game adaptations.
    And DCUC wave 18…guh…well at least I can relax about not collecting an entire wave for once. Garbage.

  • Bah! I was really looking forward to a Catman! When, Matty, WHEN?!

    Love the AA Bats. I'm cheesed off that I hafta buy a Prototype Batman (I'm with you, Poe, ugh) to get Gordon.

    What is Mattel going to do if the Green Lantern movie is a flop of Last Airbender porportions?

  • Really dissapointed wth the Retro Action Shazam/ Captain Marvel, the neck is too long and the face scult is horrible. The original 70's figure is better. The outfit is only slightly better.

    Apache Chief is cool but since its a build a figure I won't be getting it, man they picked a bad wave to put him in, I honestly have no idea who those characters are, never heard of them.

  • poe, the DCD AA batman is a better sculpt because for starters, they captured the profile better. this batman is narrow, and the cape is tall. (one can argue all day w/ how they prefer batman, but i'm talking about rendering a game accurate toy) and the gloves and boots are not the AA batman… it's closer to the AC batman, but there are still plenty of detail elements incongruous with that design too, besides just overall scale/mass distribution (like that the game models heavily textured all over, for example.) the DCD AA batman looks more like the game model than this batman looks like his game model.

    that said, the addition of articulation makes this fig MUCH more intriguing for me, so it wins… for now.

  • I don't know if it was intentional by the Horsemen, but Captain Boomerang looks like a cross between Seth Green and Jackie Earle Haley.

  • That Joker figure is amazing. He'll be the first DCUC (or I guess Movie Masters) figure I pick up in years.

  • i am insanely excited about the super friends wave. This wave will complete my Legion of doom, Super Friends/Super Powers displays.

    All i will need now is a C&C doomsday and i can stop collecting DCUC.

  • Something about that Super Friends/Powers wave confirms that rumor of DC's desire for a modern direction for DCUC for me. Waves rarely have such a solid theme. It's as if they bumped them all up to get them done and out of the way. The Rainbow Lanterns and now a dip into the Batman games being so hot on the heels of DCDirect's releases makes me think DCDirect may phase out their action figures soon and leave it to DCUC.

    I'm hoping that Two-Face and the other Arkham figures are closer to DCUC scale rather than Movie Masters. Several existing characters from the DCSH age could use the upgrade.

  • I'd like Mttel's DC licese to end and Hasbro to do them, then they could all be done like Marvel Legends/ Universe.

  • @Mark, I hope that never happens, Marvel Universe was an epic letdown for me.

    I'm pretty psyched about the CSA five-pack, and as sick of Super Powers as I am I'm glad they're almost done so we can move onto real characters again.

    I couldn't disagree more about the Batman line, I would LOVE a Batman Classics line like the Green Lantern Classics series, as Bats is my favorite DC character and there are several members of his family I'd love to see, but I have no interest in video game based and movie figures. Maybe if we're lucky they'll do a few series of comic characters when the next Batman movie comes out.

  • @Valo487: Yeah but 4" is the scale thats in. I like DCUC but Mattel has handle it appallingly. As for the Infnite Heroes, tose are like Knock Offs compared to what Hasbro has produced.

  • Why are we referring to DCUC Wave 18 as the Super Powers Wave? Only one character is SP, and only two others were reportedly due to be in an unproduced SP assortment (Black Lightening and El Dorado). With the inclusion of the Legion of Doom version of Toyman, I would say that this is more of a Challenge of the Super Friends Wave, similar to the Super Friends JLU 3-Pack with the same characters in it.

    And why is this such a bad thing? As far as I am concerned, these particular Super Friends characters are just as "real" to me as Harley Quinn, white-gloved Supergirl and Batman Beyond. Let's get past making these silly distinctions about what is or isn't canonical in the DC Universe. They're all tied together in one way or another, and it doesn't really matter how. Even Batman and Scooby-Doo have a history together! Wonder Woman and the Brady Kids as well! Superman and…Lucy Ricardo…also bread, peanut butter, Jerry Seinfeld and underwear.

    There are a number of things that we currently accept in the comics or DCUC that originated in one of the TV series: like the Hall of Justice (a major example), Batgirl's yellow cape inner lining (which I hate, by the way), the Riddler's suit-and-derby look (which was requested by Frank Gorshin), the current look of Clayface (which I remember from the 1970s animated show), and the Bruce Timm characters mentioned above.

    Some elements of one show eventually influence the next. We've seen the Batpoles from the Adam West TV series used in the 1960s animated show, the Brave and the Bold, and those fabulous Zellers Toy Store commercials from the 90s.

    Not to mention that at one time there were Super Friends and Super Powers comic books published by DC…including all those "made-up" characters. And the DC Who's Who series of the late 1980s includes Super Powers versions of some of Jack Kirby's characters. So, Super Powers and Super Friends are just as genuine as anything that sprung from the imaginations of Bruce Timm and Jim Lee.

    Oh, and let's not get onto that soapbox about how embarrassing these ethnic characters are! It was 1975 (not 2011) when these characters first appeared. And because we know our history, we know that these characters were groundbreaking for their time, in a world of only three TV networks producing mostly all-scripted entertainment, with very few diverse characters, if any, shown in a positive light. These particular Super Friends from Wave 18 should have a place of honor in our collections because they lit the way.

    But hey, if you don't like them, don't buy them. I am more a bat-fan than a DC-fan myself, but I am also a completist, so I have them all, even Jonah Hex, OMAC and Komandi (the weirdest figures I currently own)…and I'll spring for the LOSH 12-Pack as well, even though I think that the Legion is as lame, or even worse than Darkseid and his pals. I'll take the good with the not-so-good.

    Sorry for the rant. I am just tired of reading posts (here and elsewhere) from some of the newer fans who keep putting down all the classic and silver age stuff that we seasoned guys grew up with. Without Adam West, Christopher Reeve, Lynda Carter and Hanna-Barbera, the DC Universe would not be what it is today.

    Embrace the history! It's extremely important.

  • Well said, Triple M!

    One problem, though. The "If you don't like 'em don't buy 'em" attitude doesn't work with Matty, 'cause if you want the C&C figure, you HAVE to buy them all! >:^(

  • @Bill: no, you don't, cuz someone, without fail, wants all the dudes but has zero interest in the BAF… it's called networking homes, and it's what fansites are for. 🙂

  • In refrence to something I posted earlier I knew of Apache Chief and Samurai seen then in the cartoon….but the rest I have no idea. 🙂

  • So Wave 21 is when they get back to doing the regular pattern of waves again? The themed thing pretty much started with 11 and the first Lantern wave then you got all the "year of the lantern" rumors going around. Next year is "year of the bat" or Superman. At least the c2c Doomsday is getting closer with a movie. Perish the thought of what they could scrape up with that soon-to-be-cancelled Wonder Woman TV show.

    The Flash-centric stuff probably isn't scheduled until a motion picture hits. Earliest is 2013. Unless Johns is so up to his neck in the Green Lantern sequels. Clearly movies will dictate the future of this line. Like it or not..

  • I'm VERY excited to FINALLY have a Gordon figure. And I hope Mattel is really releasing a Ra's figure. However, I don't like the fact that they are coming in two-packs with figures I already have. But that seems to be Mattel's M.O. with two-packs lately.

    The Arkham City stuff looks great, too!

  • @TripleM: The only difference is, Harley started elsewhere but then moved to the comics, and she remains in them to this day, whereas these characters were made up and to my knowledge never translated into the pages of the books, and you're missing one of the main points people have with these characters, that they're ONLY getting made because the team behind the line wants them to be in it due to some obsession with Super Powers/Super Friends. Kamandi is a terrible idea for a figure, but he's at least a DC comic character, despite being obscure to everyone in the general public. I like the Golden Pharaoh figure despite having no interest in the character, but these three don't even have the Horsemen updating their look a bit, it's like they realized how bland they were and just threw their hands up. If you look at their work on the 200X MOTU figures you know they could make something out of these characters if they wanted to, but didn't for whatever reason.

    I don't care if they're in the line, I'd prefer they just put them all in a wave on Matty and be done with it so we can move on, but since it's a Wal-Mart wave I'm sure I won't see them anyway. I do have to ask you though, is it really a good idea to urge people to not buy something if they don't like it? Considering how delicate Mattel is in regards to figures not selling out in minutes, they won't see that as "People are sick of these cartoon only characters, lets move on," they'll say that the fans aren't supporting the line. In terms of this wave, the only ones I have any interest in are Toyman and Boomerang, and I doubt I'm the only one considering how divisive the Super Powers thing is becoming, and if half a wave only appeals to half the people, it's going to be peg-warming for a while. These characters only appeal to people who remember the source material, which was a long time ago and isn't readily available now. They have no appeal to casual buyers or parents, and if you only like comic characters, they're out too. So that's three major groups passing on the Village People, all because Nietlich and Company just have to have their Super Powers.

  • @TripleM:

    Preach it! I agree… DCUC is all of the universe. I'm stoked to get Toyman and the rest of the Super Friends. And I do believe we will see a new Bizzaro soon. I'd also like to see a regular sized Apache Chief and Giganta.

    I think that's why I enjoy Batman Brave and the Bold cartoon so much. It's like the melting pot of all Batman era's nothing is left out. And why should it? DCUC is a toy line that covers all of the DCU. I'm happy with what we have got so far. It's been a good run IMO.

  • Bronze Tiger is the best thing ever. If you're unfamiliar with the character read the recent Suicide Squad 67 and Secret Six 17 parts of the Blackest Night business. You won't regret it.

  • So much misinformation around. Wave 18 starts as a Walmart wave but then moves out elsewhere as it has been reported that there are no more completely exclusive waves. ToyGuru has said several times that there is no push to do just "modern characters" so the idea that they're doing wave 18 to just get the rest of the old characters out of the way is premature.

    Personally, I'm still not particularly excited about wave 17 (especially without Mera) but like the Anti-Monitor as a BAF. Wave 18 is okay as a Super Friends wave to me though I'd rather finish Doom Patrol or the JSA.

    I'll pass on any Nolan-movie stuff, but will pick up the comic stuff. Golden Age Joker is a sweet figure and will go well with the new Robin. Just need a Golden/early Silver age Batman.

  • Yeah, that Mattel JLU interview is annoying. Five minutes of blaming the fans for not buying enough overprices cheaply made JLU figures. "We had so much cool stuff planned, but you guys just didn't buy it"…

    Whatever. Mattel botched JLU time and time again and hardcore collectors like yours truly, gave up trying to complete the line and constantly buying figures that are impossible to find or are very overpriced.

    Best part of that interview? At the 3:39 mark of Part 1, a figure which has clearly been glued down… Falls over. JLU at it's best.

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