Sunday, July 24, 2011

SDCC Toy News

Mattel had some surprising and not-so-surprising news at ComiCon this past weekend. Both of its major DC Comics lines are ending! With Justice League Unlimited, it's been a forgone conclusion for a while. The cartoon series that inspired it has been off the air for YEARS. The line struggled at retail. The last few announced waves were canceled! Mattel has graced fans with a Final Seven boxed set that will be offered through their website which will provide the final seven characters that were depicted on the cartoon but that had yet to be produced as action figures. And they seem to have done a nice job with them. We get Gypsy the last member of the Detroit League and from the Golden Age, Dr. Mid-Nite, Johnny Thunder and his Thunder Bolt, niftily rendered in clear pink plastic and the Crimson Avenger, plus The Creeper and in a surprising move (somewhat) Teen Titan Speedy who guest starred in the episode paying tribute to the Seven Soldiers of Victory. I don't consider Speedy a Justice Leaguer, but I know a lot of fans wanted him because he did pop up in that one episode, so it's nice that he's there. IF this set sells well, Mattel says they will try to offer the other sets that got pulled from retail release, which helps further fill-out the Legion of Doom.
JLU's demise was already in the cards, but the real shock was Mattel's announcement that DC Universe Classics would be ending with Wave 20, which they revealed at ComiCon. It's a Blackest Night-themed wave with a Nekron C+C, Sinestro, Hawk & Dove, Green Lantern in his Smallville inspired costume, Red Arrow and Reverse Flash. I mainly want Hawk & Dove. They also unveiled a Crime Syndicate of Amerika boxed set, which looks super sweet and is a must-have!
Here's what went down. Earlier in the week, news leaked that Mattel would launch an on-line subscription service and offer 12 exclusive figures that would only be offered online, but ONLY if enough people subscribed. Fans went BATSHIT! First of all, no one had any idea which characters were going to be offered. I CORRECTLY guessed that it would be a way for them to fill out more obscure teams that they'd begun like The Metal Men and Doom Patrol and offer more off-beat characters that would struggle at retail. The Metal Men and Doom Patrol characters that HAVE been released at retail haven't done well.

What no one suspected was that the retail line was being canceled all together and that this would be the ONLY way for DCUC to continue. The only figures they've revealed are Jay Garrick the original Flash, Starman from the Legion of Super Heroes/Justice Society and Atrocitus the leader of the Red Lanterns. They are offering one figure that will only be sold to subscribers and allowing fans to vote for who it is, Shaggy Man, Rocket Red, Black Lantern Swamp Thing or Metron and his giant chair. I can't imagine anyone but Metron winning.

They haven't confirmed it, but what is likely to happen, is that DCUC will be replaced at retail with a line that reflects DC's big upcoming revamp. Booooooooooo! FUCKING BOOOOOOOOOO!
So, I signed up for the subscription. Starman doesn't do much for me and I absolutely don't want Atrocitus, but I want Jay Garrick and a bunch of additional characters so I'm hoping things work out and the line is able to continue in this capacity.

The thing is, though, even though I want additional characters like Vixen, this toy line gave me a pretty much complete classic Justice League PLUS the Wonder Twins, the ethnic Super Friends AND characters plumb made up for the Super Powers toy line, not to mention a bunch of characters that were planned for the SP line but un-produced. I mean, I can't be mad or even sad about it possibly ending, because right there, I pretty much already have the awesomest toy line ever!
Marvel unveiled a slew of new figures, many of which I want, many of which I don't. It's a bit refreshing after all the DC dramz. With Marvel, you can cherry pick and choose who you do and don't want. they don't have C+C pieces so you feel like you have to buy all of an assortment. Just buy what you want. And they showcased a TON that I want, like classic Luke Cage (Power Man) and Iron Fist above, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk, Dr. Strange, The Falcon, Wonder Man, Quicksilver... just a bunch that I consider essential additions to my collection.
Masters of the Universe Classics now has the rights to produce the Filmation characters/version of characters and the biggest announcement was the much clamored-for Shadow Weaver... but alas, she is the Masters subscription exclusive, meaning you have to sign up to buy EVERY Masters figure this upcoming year to get her. FUCK that! I'll just pay whatever I have to on eBay. I hope it's not more than $100!
Swift Wind, She-Ra's winged unicorn, is rendered in his eye-catching cartoon colors. (The toy version was originally all pink.)
The Sorceress is sporting her falcon-inspired cartoon look.
For me, a bigger shock than Shadow Weaver were the Star Sisters! All three Starla (above)...
Tall Star...and Jewel Star are being released TOGETHER in a boxed set along with their falcon, Glory Bird:
I have always hoped that they would produced these figures that went UN-produced in the original toy line, but I'm stunned they came so soon, before such stalwarts as Glimmer and Angella and Frosta! But the fact that you can get them all at once and not slowly over time just makes me swoon! I'm just THRILLED! I can't wait!

I've also bitten the bullet and bought a few Masters figures I didn't get the first time around. Well, I DID by He-Man, but I just re-bought him. It's the re-issue version that does NOT look like he's wearing rouge. I also got Skeletor, Battle Cat and Hordak. And I just ordered Orko and Prince Adam. I'm a sucka. But that's kinda my cut off with Masters. If they reissue Man-At-Arms, I'll get him too. But that's all. I don't want all the others, which is why the subscription thing doesn't appeal to me. Even bigger name characters like Fisto and Kobra Khan who were announced don't appeal to me. (I will be getting The Sorceress, though and the new Battlefield Evil Lyn, colored in her cartoon color scheme with white skin and a purple, blue and black costume.)

Yep, it's gonna be an interesting year!

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