My X-Mas Wish – Hasbro, Make a Marvel Legends Squirrel Girl Already!

This holiday season, I’ve found myself playing a fair amount of Marvel Heroes, the action RPG from Gazillion Entertainment. I was a big fan of the earlier Diablo games (not so much Diablo 3), and the team behind the first two games drove the development of this one. As such, the game may look a bit “classic” but the non-stop action coupled with the Marvel lore makes it a very fun experience.

Before I started playing, I wondered about what it would be like, since as a player, you are limited to choosing from the roster of Marvel heroes in the game (versus designing your own hero, like in many other RPGs). But with a steady release of new playable characters, it’s not all a bunch of Wolverines running around. Which brings me to my point – of *all* the playable characters (and a fair amount of villains in the game), there’s only one who doesn’t have an accompanying action figure in Marvel Legends – Squirrel Girl. It’s time for Hasbro to step up to the plate and make her!

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Soapbox Sunday: Hasbro Missed Opportunity for Marvel Legends for Thor: the Dark World

Thor the Dark World

With Thor: The Dark World set to hit an $84MM opening weekend in the US, on top of a strong international box office the past couple of weeks, I wonder if Hasbro feels the whoosh of an opportunity passing them by. Back at San Diego Comic-Con, we asked the brand and design team if they had plans for Thor Marvel Legends – in short, they said no.

And while they have brought Marvel Universe-scaled Thor figures to the market, there’s a lot more they could have done with Legends.

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Ask Matty Q&A for 11/1

Hope you had a good Halloween! Here’s some treats from the gang at Mattel.

1) With regards to 2014 / 2015, you’ve said that since there are two Snake Men left it’s likely to see them split across the two years. Does the same kind of rationale apply to Stridor and Night Stalker? Or is there too much tooling to consider them in the “big hitters” category that qualify for the next two years?

fistostridorart jitsunightart jitsu protects the environment

Our goal for 2014-2015 is to release all of the basic figures. How many beast or vehicles released has yet to be announced. We can tell you the more tooling a beast or vehicle has the less likely it will be released ?(unless a basic vintage figure like “Gwildor” etc.. which we will prioritize).

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Soapbox Sunday: Doomsday Unleashed vs Bound – By the Numbers (Yours)

Doomsday Unleashed vs Bound

Last week, I suggested that Mattel is making a mistake by choosing the “bound” or “jail-suit” version of Doomsday for its San Diego Comic-Con exclusive next year. To summarize, I put forth that most people would prefer the “unleashed” version of the monster that killed Superman, and that with 2014 being the swan song for DC Universe Classics, going out on a whimper would be a disappointment to fans and Mattel alike.

And then I put it to you and asked which Doomsday would you prefer. So far, a couple hundred of you voted, and I’ve taken a look at the results – are any surprises in store?

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Webswipe: Interview with Sculptor Dave Cortes – DC Comics

If you’re a toy fan, even if you don’t know his name, you’re probably a fan of his work. Dave Cortes started his professional career at McFarlane, but soon went independent. I first became a fan when he worked with Toy Biz on Marvel Legends, but his work on the Mezco Hellboy lines is still the tops.

One of his recent projects is on the Dream statue commemorating Neil Gaiman’s return to the character. Dave talks about sculpting, including the transition to digital from traditional clay sculpting. Be sure to check out the full interview with Dave Cortes.

For those of us who are unfamiliar with the process of sculpting a collectible like this, can you give us a quick rundown? How does it generally work?

When starting a new project, I’m first given artwork, either concept or control art depending on whether it is a statue or articulated figure. I usually take reference photos for the projects, which means I’ll be dressing up one of my friends to shoot 360 images of them in a pose to get clothing detail and wrinkles which will make the whole modeling process go quicker. Then at some point I deviate from all reference and just do my own thing. About three weeks later we have something that everyone is happy with, then the model is prepped for 3D printing and the rest is out of my hands.

Do you miss sculpting traditionally or have you completely adapted to the digital medium?

I do miss traditional, but still get to do some here and there. I teach a traditional clay class as well as digital sculpting at SVA (School of Visual Arts), so I at least get to sculpt every fall with the students. Digital modeling is a great tool for the professional industry. There are many benefits to working digitally, so I will always suggest doing projects digitally for the companies I work for. At this point, I also favor the medium for my own work. I can work much quicker. But I do feel that my sixteen years sculpting in clay made the transition to digital easier, so I suggest some clay sculpting for every digital sculptor.

via Dreaming in Three Dimensions: An Interview with Dave Cortes | DC Comics.

Ask Matty Q&A for 10/15 (a Few Days Late)

Totally my fault this time. Toy Guru got our answers back to us on the 15th (all of them, this time!) but I was distracted winding down after New York Comic Con. My bad!

1) The new Masters of the Universe comics from DC have provided some new design twists for existing characters. What kind of collaboration is there between the Mattel design team and the comic book creative team? Do you consider the new designs on the table for MOTUC in 2014 / 2015?

The MOTU franchise team works very closely with DC on story lines and character designs. We certainly could look into DC designs in the Classics line, but not until after 2015.

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Soapbox Sunday: Mattel SDCC Exclusive DC Universe Classics Doomsday Bound to be a Disappointment

Mattycollector Club Eternia Doomsday Comparison

Shortly after Club Infinite Earth failed to meet the minimums to make another year of DC Universe Classics figures on Mattycollector, we Asked Matty if the Doomsday Unleashed figure could be considered as a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive for 2014. Basically, Mattel said no. But after New York Comic Con, we’ve got another angle – they won’t make the “unleashed” version, but they’re “far enough along” with the “bound” or jail-suit version to offer him up for SDCC next July.

During the NYCC Mattypalooza panel, when Toy Guru announced the plans for the jail-suit version of Doomsday, he noted that this particular version of Doomsday has never been made into a figure before. Maybe Mattel should have considered the reasons why. I’m betting that the vast majority of collectors would prefer the unleashed version, and that if Mattel proceeds with their current plan for the jail-suit version, it’s bound to be a disappointment for fans, and for their SDCC sales.

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Sunday Soapbox: Help Me! – I’m Thinking About Second-Chance Subbing to Club Eternia

Club Eternia Second Chance Subs

By the time August 19th had rolled around, I had already decided. No Club Eternia and no Club Ecto-1 – it was just the DC Club Infinite Earths for me. Now it’s a month later, the DC subscription is dead, and I am seriously mulling over taking the second chance to subscribe to Club Eternia, since Mattel has re-opened the Club Eternia sub through September 24.

So what’s changed?

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Soapbox Sunday: What’s Wrong with Mattel’s New DC Retail Lines?

A couple of weeks ago, I posed the question if Hasbro could revitalize the G.I. JOE brand by launching a new 6-inch action figure line. I reasoned that if the Star Wars team could make it work with the Black Series and the Marvel team could go the other way (from 6-inch to 4-inch) with Marvel Universe, then it could work for Joes too.

DC Total Heroes - Superman DC Multiverse - Arkham Origins Deadshot

DC Total Heroes Superman (6-inch scale) and DC Comics Multiverse Deadshot (3.75-inch scale)

This past week I got my first look at Mattel’s attempt to breathe new life into their DC Comics license at retail with the DC Total Heroes and DC Comics Multiverse lines as pre-orders went live online. And good Grodd – I dislike them so much I want them to fail. Now I’m left wondering – are my feelings unfounded, making me a hypocrite? Why should I want to see this happen for G.I. JOE when I can’t stand Mattel’s attempt to do the same?

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Ask Matty Q&A for 9/15 (a Couple Days Early!)

Once again, Toy Guru and team are a few days early with their responses for the latest Ask Matty Q&A. Thanks!

1. A lot of collectors still want to get the unleashed version of Doomsday. Is it possible to offer him individually on Mattycollector, or even as the SDCC exclusive in 2014?

DC Universe Classics Club Eternia Doomsday Unleashed DC Universe Classics Club Eternia Doomsday Unleashed (2 of 2)

No. Doomsday was only possible when banked along with 12 partial tool’d figures at tier 2 production quotas. It is not possible to just do Doomsday by himself. His production was tied directly to producing a full year of partially tool’d basic figures at the higher tier 2 quota. After not even hitting tier 1, it becomes that much more difficult to get to this “bigger” more tooling intensive version of Doomsday. We hope this was made clear during the sub-in period.

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