Month: July 2008 Page 2 of 4

Weekend gab post

Today’s my bachelor party, and we’re starting off with an Imax showing of The Dark Knight. After that, I have no idea what the plans are…but don’t expect any more updates this weekend.

Incidentally, Pete of Fanwank gets married this weekend, so let’s all wish him the best!

In the meantime, feel free to use the comments below as a discussion thread. I recommend holding off on the Dark Knight talk until my post on it next week, so let me give you some topics:

Movie Masters Batman Begins Batman and Scarecrow

(Jeesh, that title’s a mouthful, ain’t it?)

I’m not going to do an official review of these, since Michael Crawford’s does the job nicely. This being the Weekend of the Bat, though, I thought I’d talk about them a bit in honor of The Dark Kuh-nigghit, as an outrageously-accented Frenchman might say. (Incidentally, the word “knight” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word cniht, which was pronounced “keh-nikt.” At some point English speakers stopped bothering to pronounce the “k,” thus giving modern Batman writers their beloved “dark knight/night” pun.)

I already reviewed the Movie Masters Dark Knight version of Batman for OAFE (link), so I’ll just crib that review for my basic take on the MM line.

In 2005, Mattel’s line of kid-targeted 5″ figures held little interest for collectors (outside of a not-bad Collector’s Edition figure). Collectors wanted 6″ figures with the sort of articulation that was beginning to appear in Mattel’s DC Superheroes line. Well, guess what? Mattel delivered this time around.

For The Dark Knight, Mattel has created “Movie Masters,” a line of 6″-scale action figures featuring detailed sculpts by the Four Horsemen and featuring the extensive articulation found in their comic-based DC Universe Classics line. While the initial Movie Masters waves are limited to The Dark Knight and Batman Begins, Mattel’s license extends to all the DC movies, so it’s possible we’ll see a 6″ Christopher Reeve Superman or Michael Keaton Batman in the future.

Poe gets interviewed (for once)

Richard Gottlieb, whom I interviewed last week, has asked me to return the favor and interviewed me for his own blog.

The Tribes of Toy Nation: The Action Figure Collectors

While I was wary of speaking for all collectors (and will probably suffer a bruise or two for it), I did my best to present as accurate a picture of collectors as I could.

Heightened Interest (Marvel Legends She-Hulk)

Pete here! Hey, lucky me–I completed my Hulk Legends set this week, courtesy of a well-thought out wedding present from a friend of mine.

As I’ve perused various postings on the figures in this wave over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that one figure under quite a bit of scrutiny is She-Hulk. Some are concerned that this is nothing more than another rehash of the ML2 Shulkie, and more are concerned by the disparity in height. Well fear no more! With my shrewd detective skills, I shall unravel this dark and sinister mystery, at great personal risk to myself. I do this so that you may sleep peacefully at night, secure in your safety. You may thank me with money.

Demons, turtles, and such forth

I’ve got a backlog of posts to get to, including some new interviews, but today I thought I’d just pass on some of the news and pics that have been filling up my inbox.

Ask Mattel > July 15

Another month, another round of Mattel Q&A! Just a few questions this week.

Our astute reader EL noticed, in the press photos for the Movie Masters Batman/Scarecrow two-pack, that the gauntlets on both the regular and demonic Batman appear to have been accidentally reversed (that is, the gauntlets have been placed on the wrong wrists). The “grid” should be on the inside, not the outside, of the gauntlets. Was this just an error with the prototypes or test shots?

Good eagle eye! Yes, this was just a pre production shot and will be fixed when the toys hit shelves.

[Poe’s note: From the photos posted online by collectors, the initial shipments of the second wave of Movie Masters figures appear to have this error. It’s possible it will be corrected as a running change.]

Aside from the Joker’s knife, why weren’t any Batarangs or other in-scale accessories included with the Dark Knight Movie Masters figures?

Including extra accessories might be a great choice for re-releases of these figures!

In the interest of making sure DC Universe Classics has a long healthy lifespan, does it make a difference whether collectors buy the figures at their local Target, Wal-Mart or Toys ‘R Us or order a case from an online retailer?

If you truly want to support the line, buy triples of each figure, one from each retailer! Seriously though, we are proud that so many retailers and online dealers are supporting this line.

Odds ‘n Ends > Per Edition

ODD: CornerStoreComics gave an update yesterday on shipping for DC Universe Classics and Movie Masters; Mattel “should be shipping” DCUC3 “toward the end of this month.” In my grumpily pessimistic view, that means I’ll receive my figures sometime around August 15. Dwaltrip, it looks like you’re gonna win. I’d be very happy to be wrong, though!

END: Sadly, it seems Random Happenstance will be closing for the time being. Googum has some of the best figuretoons out there, and he will be missed.

A question for those of you in the toy manufacturing biz

When trying to sell a product–like an action figure line–to a larger retailer like Toys R’ Us or Target, do you show them sales figures from specialty shops and online retailers as a way to persuade them to buy the line?

Feel free to email me or comment anonymously below.

Brick-and-mortar vs. online retail (UPDATED)

One of the questions I brought up in my interview with Richard Gottlieb was whether it’s better for toy collectors to buy action figures at brick-and-mortar retail stores rather than, say, ordering them from online retailers. The idea is that this will encourage those stores (such as Target and Wal-Mart) to order more product, and since these retailers deal in huge numbers, that will help ensure the success of the line. This was Richard’s response:

My feeling is that anyone who is hunting at brick-and-mortar stores is doing so because they love the thrill of the hunt. For example, I used to collect first and rare edition Oz books and I experienced great fun, excitement and anticipation in walking into a used book store and not knowing what piece of treasure I might find. Therefore, I don’t think collectors should concern themselves with their impact on buying decisions so much as engaging in their passion.

In the comment thread for the interview, my fellow OAFE “Rustin Parr” wrote this:

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Back in April 2004, I walked into the theater to see Hellboy knowing next to nothing about the character . At that point, I had started seeing movies more and more rarely at the theater, so I’m not sure exactly why I saw Hellboy except I guess the marketing intrigued me–there were hints that the movie would have a Lovecraftian vibe. And from the moment I saw the pre-credit title card–a fictional quote from the equally fictional De Vermiis Mysteriis–I knew I’d found kindred spirits in Messrs Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy) and director Guillermo Del Toro.

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