It’s the 1st of February, and that means that Toy Fair 2012 happens this month!
Every year, it seems, the Big Dance of the toy industry is a mix of elation and disappointment. But, for even the most jaded collector there is always something to look forward to.
So, every weekday between now and the start of the show on February 12th, I will be looking at some expected items that I am optimistically looking forward to.
Since some of this got spoiled this week, we’re going to start off with products based on this year’s sure to be blockbuster motion picture: The Dark Knight Rises!
Mattel has the main toy license (DC Direct will be producing statues and other collectibles), and that’s the focus for this article. I have to say I’m already a bit disappointed it the line, thanks to the reveals of the past few days. Mattel had said in one of their recent Q&A sessions that there would be a 3-3/4″ line and a 6″ Movie Masters line. Wanting to be optimistic, I had hoped that Mattel would not follow the same strategy they had with last year’s Green Lantern line: Movie Masters for collectors, and poorly articulated 3-3/4″ for kids. But, based upon the pictures we all saw around the web this week it seems that is exactly what they’re are doing.
Mattel has the erroneous thinking stuck in their heads that 3-3/4″ is for kids, while all collectors prefer 6″. While the 6″ scale has it’s fanbase amongst collectors, so does 3-3/4″. No surprise to anyone, but 3-3/4″ is my action figure scale of choice. I’ve dropped most 6″ lines. But, Mattel doesn’t see it that way.
What’s ironic is that, back in the day, the thinking at Mattel was larger figures were for kids. Kids like to wrap their hands around a big, chunky figure…thus the original Masters of the Universe line went against the grain established by Kenner and the Star Wars juggernaut.
So, 2012 will bring a glut of unwanted Batman variants, bizarre accesories and weird vehicles because some executive thinks that is what kids want despite the proven poor track record of similar movie based lines in past years, and they will be over-ordered by toy buyers for the big box stores.
I had hoped against hope this line would be different. I had hoped that Mattel would send out Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy with a bang. I’m sure the Movie Masters line will be cool, but I was hoping for some of that detail, articulation and coolness to crop up in the 3-3/4″ products as well.
We haven’t seen everything yet. Maybe, just maybe, Mattel will surprise me.