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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Mattel’s New DC Total Heroes and DC Comics Multiverse Lines for Retail are Up for Pre-Order

I foolishly skipped Mattel’s DC panel at SDCC this year. In my defense, in years past, it was usually a rehash of the DC portion of the Mattypalooza panel with some kid-oriented toys on top of that. I had no idea that this year they’d be announcing the demise of the spiritual successors of DC Universe Classics at retail, the Batman Unlimited and DC Unlimited lines, and that they’d be launching two new retail lines in 2014. Now that online retailers have put up their pre-orders for them, I’m getting my first real look at DC Total Heroes and DC Comics Multiverse.

DC Total Heroes is Mattel’s re-envisioning of 6-inch action figures for retail. Each of the four figures (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and Sinestro) from the first wave sports their New 52 looks, but veers from the DC Universe Classics aesthetic to a new, somewhat animated look. With a reduction in articulation and paint apps, Mattel was able to reduce the price point, with online retailers charging $12.99 per figure. That seems to be one of the key selling points of the new line.

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Border Patrol: Pacific Rim Crimson Typhoon, Marvel Legends Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman, and DC Infinite Heroes Deathstroke

Pacific Rim Crimson Typhoon 1 Pacific Rim Crimson Typhoon 2 Pacific Rim Crimson Typhoon 3

Pacific Rim Battle Damaged Crimson Typhoon by sabretooths_workshop – I love the battle-damaged paint job, but what really takes the cake are the motorized spinning blades and the light up eye, complete with separate switches and replaceable batteries – ends Aug 25, 2013 19:36:37 PDT

In AFP’s Border Patrol, we scour active eBay auctions for customized action figures that you won’t want to let slip by!

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CustomCon 35 Wraps Up – Day Two

CustomCon 35 Day 2

It’s time for Summer CustomCon again! CustomCon 35 is hosted by our good friend Joe Acevedo, and wraps up with Day Two.

CustomCon is a fictional toy show, showcasing the work of action figure customizers. You won’t find these toys in your local toy store – at least not right away. I’ve heard from several toy makers that they often get inspiration from customs. So you never know! (Check out previous CustomCons and see for yourself.)

Day 2 features four entries: Superman The Animated Series 2014, a set of 3 3/4-inch Gotham’s Most Wanted figures, busts showing The Evolution of Magneto and Mystique, and another group of Game of Thrones busts. Enjoy!

Border Patrol: Marvel Legends Age of Apocalypse Set, Masters of the Universe Classics Mosquitor Bootleg, Mortal Kombat Scorpion, and More

Marvel Legends Age of Apocalypse Set

Marvel Legends Age of Apocalypse Set by the_space_coyote – this massive set includes 17 figures, including ultra-popular characters like Blink, Morph, Nate Grey, and Sabretooth – bunch of more pics so click through! – ends Jul 10, 2013 17:52:41 PDT

In AFP’s Border Patrol, we scour active eBay auctions for customized action figures that you won’t want to let slip by!

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Best Week Ever (the Toy Version) and the Spread Good Karma Giveaway

I’ve had a really good week (or so) for toys. It started on our anniversary – as a gift, my wife got me the Wal-Mart exclusive Avengers Hulk that has been eluding me for some time. And she didn’t even blink when I told her that I was planning to Frankenstein him with some other Hulks to make the best Hulk ever (maybe some day). And it’s kept going since then:

  • Hasbro Return of Marvel Legends – BigBadToyStore let me know that my pre-order of Wave 3 was in.
  • 3A Toys Action Portable – My most-anticipated figure, the Fighting JC, was announced in 1/12 scale, and on order day I also scored an AP blue-suited Zomb for a great price on eBay and the secret Dark Sarge Zomb on bambalandstore.com, right as the JC sale was closing up.
  • Hot Toys The Dark Knight – I missed out on the pre-order window for the SWAT version of Jim Gordon, but Sideshow just let me know that they found one for me (I had put myself on the wait list).

With all this good stuff happening to me (aside from now being completely broke :)), I figured I should spread the good toy karma around with a Free Stuff giveaway. Here’s what’s up for grabs and how to get up to three chances to win.

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