Mattel’s WWE team always puts on a great show at Comic-Con. I was able to attend the standing room only Mattel and WWE: NXT Superstar of Tomorrow panel with William Regal, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Charlotte, and Finn Bàlor. After the panel I stopped by the Mattel booth to check out the figures. Being a fan of classic superstars of Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, and the Ultimate Warrior, it’s tough for an old guy like me to keep track of the younger talent, but I did recognize some of the new figures on their way.
Mattel is putting 4-inch scaled DC figures on hiatus in 2016, and 6-inch scale is back in. And I’m wondering if there was some press release I missed, or if this change just happened and they didn’t really announce it. (Mattel has got the traditional Mattypalooza panel, but no DC panel at SDCC this year.) Both scenarios are possible – I am not actively seeking news. But if I tell myself there’s no way I would have missed a change this dramatic (as far as drama goes in toys), then it stands to reason that Mattel doesn’t want to acknowledge any questionable decisions they’ve made handling their DC license in recent years.
You could even say that they’re still putting some distance between what they’re doing now and what they did so well under the DC Universe Classics brand. For one, even though the Four Horsemen are back on DC, it’s not the same one to one relationship; Mattel is utilizing other design shops. If I had to guess, from the look of it, it’s Gentle Giant expanding beyond their work on WWE.
Second, they’re sticking with the DC Comics Multiverse brand name. And third, the line is rooted in modern, not classic character looks.
AKA nothing to substantiate the Thundercats rumor other than I’ve heard it too
On Preview Night, Mattel left no questions as to what was coming for the rest of the year with Masters of the Universe Classics. They filled in all the blanks through December. But despite them saying that 2015 was the end of an era for Four Horsemen MOTUC, it seems like all marketing communications from the Mattycollector team is that they’ll continue making toys next year. The question is, what?
As I noted my approach to the Convention Center on my Instagram feed, I was asked to seek out Mattel and find the Thundercats / Four Horsemen figures everyone’s been talking about. While there’s a pretty active rumor about that, there was no evidence of it in the Mattel booth. Of course, they’d save that up for their Mattypalooza panel on Friday. By then, we’ll know what is coming from Matty in 2016.
I’ll be the first to admit, we’re pretty awful when it comes to planning for San Diego Comic-Con. There’s so much to do and see, and frankly, it’s overwhelming.
But this time around, we’ll have some tools and technology that can help get you to the big show, at least virtually, if you can’t make it to there yourselves. So it makes sense to apprise our favorite folks, those of you who actually read the stuff here at AFP, of what we’re planning and how we’re going to share it with you. And to ask for your advice – there’s one scheduling conflict that I’ll need your help to decide on which to attend.
While I think TRU will continue to struggle to differentiate itself with collectors, the Con exclusives will help drive some traffic their way. The list includes the Yvonne Craig Batgirl from the ’60s Batman show (thankfully individually-carded and not in a 3-pack with Batman and Robin), a Star Wars Black Series Rancor set in the 3.75-inch scale, a Power Rangers exclusive, and more. They’ll be available at the Entertainment Earth booth (#2343) at the show and online at Toysrus.com/ComicConvention from Thursday, July 9 through Sunday, July 12, while supplies last, of course.
It’s an impressive list of exclusives – TRU may be on the decline, but they still have some sway with the toy companies.