Ask Mattel > Answers for October 1

1.) As I understand it, the first Four Horsemen-sculpted Arkham City figure will be Harley Quinn. Will the Horsemen be sculpting any future Arkham City figures as well?

Yes, they will be sculpting future figs.      

2.) Way back when, we were told that the Sinestro Corps Batman produced in DCUC would eventually appear in an upcoming comics storyline, and there was even some original art produced for the pin. However, we have yet to see this version of Batman appear in the comics. Was that storyline scrapped, or is a comics appearance of this Batman still forthcoming?

According to DC the storyline is still coming. We are waiting as much as you are!     

3.) GDTFan asks: Can you explain the structuring of the DC team? It seems very atypical that a person from the marketing dept would be in charge of an entire product line.

There are many, many people involved in the creation of the DC Universe action figures, including Marketing, Design, Engineering, and Packaging. It just tends to be the marketing folks who are the “face” to the collectors online. 

4.) Leo Nydas asks: If you’re comfortable reusing the same body for all 4 ghostbusters even though they have different body types, why are you hesitant to reuse parts for Back to the Future? It seems like via repaints the same pants could be 1985 jeans, 1955 jeans, and even dress pants.

We actually looked very carefully at all three movies and Marty does not wear the same clothes. Each movie version would need a 100% new figure to be movie accurate. This is one of the factors that makes a figure line difficult. The high tooling cost and low shared parts.      

5.) What can we expect to see at NYCC this year?

A lot of new figures for all of our collector lines. Specifics are still being locked down so we don’t have anything to announce yet. 

Comments now closed (14)

  • All BTTF needs to be is 6 figures (3x Marty, 3x Doc ) over a 12 month sub. I hope they can find a way to make this work! Maybe Matty can sell the min number of subs needed on eBay like Nike did with the 2015 Mag trainer replicas? Though I don't want to pay $5,000 for a set of figures.

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  • List of possible Marty figures:
    3 BTTF Marty figures:
    "Life preserver" Marty (AKA Default Marty)
    "Enchantment Under the Sea Marty" with swappable right hand. (Normal and translucent) (good SDCC exclusive Material)
    "Darth Vader"
    1 BTTF 2 Figure:
    Marty dressed as his son. (W/Barbie Hoverboard)
    2 BTTF 3 Figures:
    Cowboy Marty (as dressed by 1955 Doc Brown)
    "Clint Eastwood"

    Doc Brown figs:
    1985 Doc
    1955 Doc
    2015 Doc
    1885 Doc

    Others:
    1955 Biff
    Griff
    Bufford Tannen
    Old 2015 Biff

    • Oh, Snarf! Snarf!…

      You are magnificent. I never would have even thought of a translucent hand variant. And the SDCC version comes in one of Matty's light/sound packages to play a royalty-free bootleg version of Johnny Be Good.

      The formal suit could be reused for the crazy-laughing, dance snatching red-haired jerk and the "I think he took his wallet" guy. Except I wouldn't buy them. I'd be way into the "Darth Vader" with hair-dryer laser gun, though!

      Maybe it's a weird idea, but I think that maybe Mattel should have more of a unified Movie Masters line, with a sub including multiple licenses. I'm not sure if the license holders would want their properties bundled with others like that. I imagine sharing parts between lines may conflict with getting license approval since it seems that DC & MOTUC are no longer allowed to share tooling.

      I do think that with some clever preparation, BTTF figures could have more shared tooling than they think. Even if different outfits, an upper arm or lower leg are going to be really similar. If one Marty's got rolled pants cuffs, tool a pair of tiny cuffs with that figures accessories and glue them to the legs. I dunno. Even small line of 5 figures or so would be cool to see.

      I'd even be fine with a 3 3/4 line so a DeLorean can happen or so the figures would be somewhat compatible with existing releases.

  • I really like their answer about BTTF and retooling. Here it is paraphrased:

    "If we tried reusing parts, people would skewer us for inaccurate sculpts, and we would lose money."

  • Mattel could do a lot of reuse if they make their bucks right. The Crotch piece could be shared by everyone IF they make the belts a separate piece… (that way there's no need to sculpt a 2015 Marty new crotch with the pockets outside the pants.) Biceps and thighs are very likely to be shared to some degree…

    • You're grasping at nothing…don't hold your breath for action figures, they never considered making figures. They were always just intending to make Hot Wheels items.

      They could be like NECA and just make 2 figures (Marty and Doc Brown) and be done, just a cool two-off toy line, but they would never do that (for some reason).

      • I know that they're HIGHLY UNLIKELY… (but Mattel does work on Moronic ways at times.) if they're working to make Hot Wheels items, that means it's just 2 vehicles: DeLorean and the Funky Train Time Machine from BTTF 3… Almost a waste of a license

        • I'm not sure how badly I even want figures, but I agree that the license seems like a waste. Not only did they get the BTTF license, but they also got the DeLorean rights. That's 2 separate fees that should be exploited for profit. I don't see much else for Hot Wheels besides what you've mentioned and flying and railcar Time Machine variants. I suppose they could keep rereleasing them and the Ecto-1 as premium cars with rubber tires and extra paint like they did with the Batmobiles.

    • I asked about the Hoverboard in a Q&A a while back. They seemed oblivious to the fact that their product was even featured in the movie. It really boggles the mind.

      • wait, what!? Mattel NOT AWARE that THE MOST DESIRED TOY IN THE HISTORY OF TOYS OF ALL TIME (since 1989) bears Their Company Logo AND it's a BARBIE ITEM…
        Ugh!

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