For those of you lamenting the death of DC Universe Classics, rest assured, Mattel is beginning to ramp up DC Comics-based figures again. And they will continue to collaborate with the Four Horsemen on them. However, if you are hoping for the return of a retail line solely focused on DC / Four Horsemen figures, that’s not happening in the near term.
Mattel’s strategy to have one line that encapsulates comics, movies, TV, and video game figures is working for them. The Four Horsemen, who were once the sole collaborators on collector-oriented DC figures from Mattel, will still have a portion of that – mostly the comics-inspired figures. Most of the others are falling outside the 4H aesthetic and are being done internally or by other design partners.
In the past, I’d separate the Hasbro Marvel reports into Marvel Legends and everything else. At this Toy Fair, Hasbro has completed the consolidation of all the collector-oriented Marvel lines into the Marvel Legends brand. And while this will certainly cause confusion for non-collectors who shop for their collector loved ones, it’s really a testament to the strength of Legends.
Think back to 2007, when Hasbro first started producing Legends. Back then, it was clear that the star of 6-inch Legends had faded; Hasbro was focusing on their bread and butter 3.75-inch scale. Today, however, it’s 6-inch that is propelling the brand forward. Over 8MM units have been shipped since Hasbro first took over the license. Over 200 figures (many more if you count variants) have been produced.
We’ll kick off our Toy Fair coverage with the Marvel press pics shared by our pals at Hasbro. I’ll forgo the broader write-up for when I process my own pics from the Hasbro showroom, but let me give you the broad strokes:
Marvel Legends is doing better than ever…
… so much so that not only the 3.75-inch line has been rebranded Legends, but Hasbro is adding a 12-inch Legends line too.
6-inch Legends will see more two more Cap waves, a Spider-Man wave, an X-Men (whodathunkit?) wave, and a Dr. Strange wave this year.
Bill is back with his latest action figure comic, a Spider-Man tale featuring Speed Demon. Spidey might need some help catching the fleet-footed villain! Check out The Amazing Spider-Man – The Spider and the Speedster, and be sure to check out the rest of Bill’s work here at AFP and at Bill’s Comics.
The Amazing Spider-Man – the Spider and the Speedster
Naruto Shippuden does not have a lot of action figure representation, so when Toynami came out with their 4-inch, articulated action figures a couple of years ago, I was ecstatic! I grabbed all of series 1 and the SDCC exclusives. I was enjoying the line and was disappointed when series 2, which was supposed to be comprised of Sasuke, Gaara and Deidara, never came out.
The Toynami Naruto Shippuden line wasn’t perfect, the size was quite odd being in between 3.75 and 6 inch scales, and the sculpts weren’t perfect, but I did enjoy the articulation that they were able to get into the figures, which was the first I’ve ever seen been done with Naruto Shippuden characters. I quite enjoyed the SDCC Exclusive Toad Sage Naruto and Minato, and I thought their Kakashi from series 1 was an awesome figure.
Now, through OMAKASE’s Naruto Shippuden box (available to pre-order by subscribing before January 23), we get a chance to finally get the Sasuke figure that Toynami had first shown as part of series 2 at SDCC a couple of years ago. Let’s have a look at the figure!