Tuesday, February 15, 2011

YAY More Toys!

El Dorado is a day late, but it's fitting that he appears here as DC Comics and Mattel have decided to give me a Valentine... which will basically kill me with delight! Finally, after a lifetime of wishing, they have decided to (basically) finish off the full line-up of the Super Friends in one toy collection! The big hurdle is that these characters weren't created by (nor did most of them appear in) DC Comics. They were created by animators Hanna Barbera to diversify the all-white comic book version of the Justice League. So for many years, legally, they weren't available to DC's licensees. Of course, Samurai managed to make it into the Super Powers Collection in the 80s. But overall, these characters have been considered outside of DC cannon.

Almost a decade ago, DC Direct did a line of Super Friends action figures, but they only issued the five big names, Aquaman, Superman, Batman & Robin and Wonder Woman, along with each of their arch enemies (Black Manta, Lex Luthor, Riddler, Scarecrow and Cheetah, respectively), plus, just as a bonus Green Lantern and Sinestro. (A Flash figure was later issued individually, but without his frosty foe Captain Cold.) I was DYING for the Wonder Twins to make the cut, but I guess at the time, there were legal issues that prevented that.

Then, last year (or maybe the year before), Apache Chief, Samurai and Black Vulcan were released as part of the Justice League Unlimited line. Of course the Wonder Twins have never been made in that line, nor has El Dorado, the Mexican SF.

In 2009, Mattel threw everyone a curve ball by issuing The Wonder Twins as a ComiCon exclusive addition to their comic book-based DC Universe Classics line.Though their costumes are identical to the ones they wore on the cartoon, they are both sculpted with the high level of detail of the remainder of the DCUC line. (Which, unfortunately makes them incompatible with the old DC Direct Super Friends which were all rendered in a more cartoon-y way, bright colors and minimal detailing.)

But wait... there's more. Kenner, who produced the Super Powers Collection in the 80s, started making up characters as the series progressed. They invented a robotic hero named Cyclotron and The Golden Pharaoh, who I insist was a stand-in for El Dorado. One would assume that the rights to these characters would remain with Kenner... which is now defunct.
SURPRISE! Mattel included BOTH of them in the DCUC line last year!
But that's all been just an appetizer for what's coming THIS year...
Ta-DOW! The REST of the Super Friends! (Well, almost... Rima The Jungle Girl isn't included, but she only made three appearances on the show and as documented in the past, she neither originated from DC Comics nor Hanna Barbera, so I can live without her.)
There ARE still two remaining gaps in the Legion of Doom line up, Bizarro and Scarecrow, presumably, because both WERE part of the DC Super Heroes collection that Mattel produced before they switched to DC Universe Classics. But this version of Toyman, armed with a deadly top and yo-yo, brings us one step closer to the unholy thirteen line-up! This is especially delicious, because the "jester" version of Toyman was a short-lived character. The original Toyman was this schlub...
He "retired" and was briefly replaced by the more colorful jester version, but then he un-retired and killed off his "usurper." The jester Toyman was already dead in the comics, when he debuted on Saturday mornings!
And in fact, he only made the cut when Hanna Barbera weren't able to get the rights to The Joker! So Toyman was HIS replacement, too!
Like I said, Samurai was the one "made up" Super Friend to appear in the Super Powers Collection, though luckily Mattel has decided NOT to replicate the Kenner figure's removable cloth tunic.
He does have the same energy katana, though. I like that they went with the simplified green boots he wore on the cartoon. The SP figure had more ornate "armored" boots.
God, Black Vulcan's costume was really silly. For whatever reason, I can excuse Robin for running around with bare legs... I guess because he was supposed to be the BOY Wonder. But BV was always depicted as a grown-ass man, so the bare legs just seem really awkward!
But there they are, in all their faithful glory and I wouldn't have it any other way! And it looks like they are recycling the crackling energy bolts from the Gay Ice Dancer Superman figures from the second wave of this line. Take that, Black Lightning, who didn't get crackling energy bolts with EITHER of his two figures!
And speaking of taking that, take THAT Golden Pharaoh! The ORIGINAL Super Friend with holographic powers is back! El Dorado!
I kinda wish they'd gone with a uniform gold/yellow and not mixed them. I actually prefer YELLOW to metallic gold. That just never looks good on toys, in my opinion. I have the "classic" version of Dr. Fate which is all yellow, versus the "modern" version in gold and that's the way I like it. With El Dorado, unfortunately, they make all the capes in this line from molded rubber, so he can't emulate his technique of wrapping his cape around himself to teleport. The face sculpt is impressive. It's very... ethnic. I mean that in a good way!

For ABSOLUTELY NO REASON the rest of this wave is rounded out by Bronze Tiger from the Suicide Squad and Captain Boomerang. I guess it would be TOO MUCH to ask for Mattel to have added Scarecrow and Bizarro and rounded out BOTH the Super Friends and the Legion of Doom!

Wait... is someone missing?
Enuck chuck! When you buy the complete wave, each figure comes with a piece that you can use to build one gigantic figure... Apache Chief!
How ironic, that Apache Chief's arch enemy on the show, Giganta made it into the toy line first! (Well, in the comics, she's Wonder Woman's foe...) I have not one single complaint about any of these figures! They are TRULY a dream-come-true! A Holy Grail! The Super Friends! ALL of them! (Except Rima.) NEVER did I think this day would ever arrive! (Well... technically, it hasn't yet, but still...) Oh this will be a GREAT year!

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