One of my favorite stops at San Diego Comic-Con is the with the Four Horsemen, the folks behind the scenes on some of our favorite toy lines like Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics and now Thundercats. I spoke with Eric Treadaway about their own line of toys, Mythic Legions, which launched on Kickstarter as the most-funded action figure project of all time, surpassing the previous reigning champs, Boss Fight Studios’ Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. and their previous Kickstarter for the Gothitropolis Ravens.
We also got to touch on their continuing work with Mattel, on the DC Comics Multiverse and Batman v Superman 6-inch lines. And of course, Thundercats!
Remember when I said I thought Mattel would shut down Mattycollector after 2015? When I saw Mattypalooza on the schedule for Comic-Con, I started prepping for this: I was wrong. 😀 I’ll write about my conversation with the new team soon, but in the interest of time, here’s what’s coming:
Collector’s Choice – a six figure Masters of the Universe Classics subscription with Lord Masque, Vultak, Darius, Crita, General Sunder, and a Horde Wraith. Despara is the sub exclusive.
Power-Con will have three redeco exclusives – Granamyr in green, Beast Man in red, and Khan in camo
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe – a new A-list sub in Filmation style with Classics articulation – He-Man, Trap Jaw, Skeletor, Beast Man, Evil-Lyn, and Clawful. Evil Seed is the sub exclusive.
Snake Mountain – ’nuff said
Thundercats – a new subscription starting July 2016, with Lion-o and Jackalman revealed. A withered Mumm-Ra will be the sub exclusive.
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.