Toy Fair 2010 – Mattel DC Universe Classics Update

Another big day at Toy Fair – Mattel held its Collector Preview Night and showed of the latest across its collector-oriented brands. I’m going to bite off a big chunk of that now with DC Universe Classics.

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There was a lot of DC product on hand, not even counting DC Infinite Heroes, Retro Super Heroes, Justice League Unlimited, and the Brave and the Bold, which will get their own update separately.  For DC Universe Classics, we saw the 2-packs that are hitting now and the ones that are going to Wal-Mart, waves 13 and 14, and the start of an upcoming Wal-Mart Green Lantern 5-pack.  Even though a lot of this has been trickling out via Mattel’s Facebook page or Toyfare magazine, there’s really no comparison to seeing these items up close.  Hopefully I’ve been able to capture some of that for you here.


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We’ll start off easy here.  The Kryptonite Chaos (Supergirl / Luthor) 2-pack was in hiatus for a long time but has now started hitting online retailers and sporadically at retail.  The Dynamic Duo (Batman / Robin) and Undersea Assault (Aquaman / Black Manta) 2-packs will be exclusive to Wal-Mart.  Some interesting tidbits we picked up – the Superman / Bizarro 2-pack will indeed feature Superman (and Bizarro) in a light blue deco – but that’s if the other 2-packs do well enough at retail to warrant refreshing the line.

Also, remember the Golden Age Hawkman / Hawkgirl set that was solicited but never made it out?  Toy Guru told us that it wasn’t due to retailers not wanting the hawks.  On the contrary, he said that retailers are very comfortable with the character selections that Mattel has been offering.  However, it was the number of 2-packs that caused the cut – retailers wanted fewer assortments and the hawks were the ones to get cut.  And yes, the versions that were planned were the yellow cowl versions.  Maybe they’ll make it back out some day.

Wave 13

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Wave 13 was on display both at the Mattel showroom and Diamond Comics Distributors, so I’ve included pictures from both displays here. I can only take it to mean that these are fairly well along in production and the unrelenting onslaught of DC Universe Classics will continue soon.

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We talked to Cornboy about articulation and what it means that Blue Beetle has got double elbows and knees.  He said that we would see that articulation start to make its way into the line over time, as new bucks and tooling were introduced.  Toy Guru represented the other side of the argument, commenting (though not specifically on these joints) that the bucks that Mattel has available right now covers pretty much everything they need.  I think we’ll need a poll question soon on how you’d like to see the new articulation get phased in.

I know there’s an uproar over the change to the modern Cheetah – Mattel folks didn’t comment on why the change was made, but I heard a few times from around the room that the costume was comic accurate, so why the outrage?  I think she looks great.  Negative Man also is very impressive in person.  As for his variant, it’s a shame that it doesn’t photograph better – the translucent effect is really quite striking.

Wave 14 (Wal-Mart Exclusive)

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There’s nothing like walking into a room that’s populated with DCUC 2-ups.  Sure, we just saw these in striking detail in Toyfare magazine (the layout they used for their previews in issue #152 was really superb), but getting to look at this Wal-Mart exclusive wave from different angles is nothing short of amazing.  Ultra-Humanite was shown at actual size, not a 2-up, in case that wasn’t obvious.

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Borrowing some talking points from Hagop, my tag team partner at Toy Fair this year, Cornboy talked with him about the expressions for Alan Scott and Obsidian.  With Alan, they decided to give him his expression because there’s so much reference art that show him that way.  With Obsidian, they wanted to highlight his history as both a villain and a hero.

As for Hourman, I wish I took more pictures.  I know a lot of you want some black highlights on the mask – I really don’t think he needs it.  My first impression was that he looked a little bland, but from different angles, he really looks fine.  And speaking of head sculpts, Tyr’s really kicks ass.  I am neither a Super Powers fanatic or a big Legion reader, but seeing Tyr up close has really swayed me.

We also got the lowdown on some base bodies.  Kamandi was based on Sinestro, but was given a new torso.  So he’ll be teen-sized.  Toy Guru and Cornboy were both happy to be getting some use out of the Sinestro buck – so while the rotoscoping that caused Sinestro to be undersized has finally yielded some dividends by giving Mattel a teenaged buck.

However, those of you who are articulation nuts may be disappointed to hear that Zatanna will be using Black Canary legs.  There was a lot of speculation that because of how the fishnets looked that they would be painted on.  They’ll actually be separate stockings like they are on Canary – the feet are two pieces, so the fishnets go around the flesh-colored foot part and then plug into the shoes.  Cornboy did tell us that they’ll be able to have fully articulated legs with fishnets in the future, but that didn’t happen for Zee.  Also, her hat will be removable.

Green Lantern 5-Pack (Wal-Mart Exclusive)

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To me, this is an example of Hurts So Good.  While I’m dreading yet another item to hunt down at Wal-Mart, I’m just tremendously psyched for a Green Lantern-based set that will include Hal Jordan with graying temples, John Stewart in his Mosaic costume, Sinestro as a Green Lantern, and Guy Gardner and Tomar Re, who were on display in 2-up form.

We asked a couple of times, and Toy Guru said that Sinestro would use the existing Sinestro head on the Hal Jordan body.  We asked about other options like Deadman, but he said specifically that a Sinestro based on Deadman just didn’t look right.  That’s the only question mark I’ve got here, because I think a Sinestro head on a Hal Jordan body would look more off than Sinestro on Deadman.

The other choices I am psyched for.  Hal with gray temples – while he’s not essential to my collection, there’s a lot of places I could use another Hal, and he’ll be a great custom base for more GLs.  John in his Mosaic costume is just subterfuge for Mattel making amends for not putting John in his Cosmic Odyssey costume to begin with. 😉

Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed that I only managed to get one picture of Tomar Re.  That mask isn’t just painted on – it’s a new head for him.  And Guy Gardner – he was at the top of my list for Green Lanterns, and all of the new sculpted elements for him are just dead-on better than I could have imagined for him.  When these hit, I’ll be asking you to keep a look-out for me!

To wrap this up, just a little housecleaning on some rumors that have been circulating about upcoming waves.  I’ve heard from a number of people that upcoming waves haven’t been solicited because the next wave is going to be another retailer exclusive.  Toy Guru unequivocally said that Wave 14 is the only retailer-exclusive wave this year.  There will be other SKUs that will be retailer-exclusives, but these will be things like 2-packs, not full waves of figures.

Alright – that took me the better part of an evening, and I’ve just dented the surface.  I’ll try to get Masters of the Universe Classics up tonight, but that’ll probably be it.  If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!

10 thoughts on “Toy Fair 2010 – Mattel DC Universe Classics Update”

  1. Awesome coverage, sir! I’m psyched for the GL 5-pack. If it’s anything like the Gotham City 5, my local Walmart will have tons of them shortly after they hit. The only downside is the news about Sinestro. His head seems very undersized for Hal’s body. I wonder if they will be adding the mask…

  2. Sooooooo…you announce and develope a GA Hawks set…retailers tell you you’re offering them too much product, so you cut those two and develope a Batman set…and an Aquaman set…and a new Superman set…and you cut the GA Hawks set….did I mention they developed several other sets AFTER they cut the GA Hawks set????

    That Shit doesn’t even make sense O_o

    Nice coverage Bro but it sounds like Scott is blowing smoke up our asses again.

    And what a stinking shame to hear about poor Zee…another opportunity lost for the DCUC line…(sigh)

    For all the good things they showed, they sure know how to make it suck in a special way.

  3. And let me ask one more question, why do the fishnet stocking on my 1/6th scale DCD Zatanna have smaller holes in her fishnets then the 6″ scale Black Canary?

    And that Tyr looks badass. He was always one of my favorite SP figs and they just took him to another level. I don’t generally think the FH do great facial sculpts but they are getting much better and this is the pennicle of their talent shown here. Tyr looks like how he would be portrayed in a live action movie if Sam Jackson was cast to play him…what a badass mofo!

  4. yeah – I do believe Deadman is the better option for Sinestro. I’ve been planning for some time to refresh my blue / black Sinestro with the Deadman body, so I’ll get to see for myself if it does indeed look strange.

  5. Those are great pics! How impressive is Trigon in person?

    The only news that bums me out is that Wave 14 and its Walmart exclusiveness. I still need a Joker from Wave 10(?), but all I see anymore are Power Girls, and the occasional Forager. Blah!

  6. The future waves look great, not pleased about the use of the same thighs for Zantanna. Also I’d rather have the George Perez version of the modern Cheetah. The black costume painted on looks weak. Is there a chance they can fix this?

    Still, stoked to see Guy Gardner in the next 5 pack. We are getting closer and closer to a complete JLI line-up. =D

    Mr. Q

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