Mattel designers (and twins) Garrett and Darren Sanders were at Power-Con to share the Masters of the Universe exclusive for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, the premium Princess of Power She-Ra doll. And while they confirmed that this would be the sole MOTU exclusive for the show, they did present an upbeat discussion of the origins of the She-Ra exclusive and plans for it moving forward.
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.
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.
Grunt, Snake Eyes, and Rock ‘n Roll get the Gentle Giant vintage makeover
With its San Diego Comic-Con exclusives this year, Gentle Giant is expanding its vintage G.I. JOE product line… and shrinking it. Grunt, the infantry trooper, will be the latest vintage figure to be revealed in its 12-inch line. He may also be the first you can get into your hands. Rock ‘n Roll, Stalker, Snake Eyes, and Zap are in the pipeline for 12-inch but are expected to be released after SDCC.
Meanwhile, Snake Eyes and Rock ‘n Roll are serving double duty, launching a micro-figure scale with a 2-pack exclusive for the show. It’s not clear exactly how micro is micro, but seeing as how the figures will fit easily in the palm of your hand, they’ll be a good deal smaller than the classic 3 3/4-inch figures. Maybe 50% smaller, making them 1 7/8-inches?
You can pre-order these the Jumbo and Micro exclusives (and more) from Gentle Giant if you are a Premier Guild member.
Bandai, Gentle Giant, Kotobukiya, and Sideshow Collectibles show off their Star Wars lines
The official Star Wars YouTube channel is livestreaming from the Star Wars Celebration. So while we weren’t able to make it down to Anaheim, we still got a pretty good look at the high end collectibles being offered by four of the top Star Wars licensees. Attached herein are the presentations from Bandai, Gentle Giant, Kotobukiya, and Sideshow Collectibles.