When word of the Master DC Comic toy license going to Mattel was finally announced I shot some questions over to the gang at DC Direct to find out how this new deal will affect them. It looks as if this deal was worked out differently that when Hasbro had the master toy license or even the Marvel license going to Hasbro, whereby DC Direct can continue to function in the Direct market while Mattel while handle the mass market.
Answering our questions are:
Cheryl Rubin — SVP Brand Management for DC Comics
Georg Brewer — VP Design and DC Direct Creative
AFI: So what does this announcement mean to DC Direct?
CHERYL RUBIN: DC Direct will continue business as usual. Our action figures will continue to be sold in comic book, pop culture and entertainment retailers and as always, will feature a wide variety of characters and artistic styles for fans to collect. We have a great line planned for the rest of 2007 and 2008 including action figures, statues and props plus the introduction of some new collectible figural lines.
AFI: Is this new deal anything like your old agreement with Hasbro where you can still make more obscure characters?
CR: This is a very different agreement. DC Direct will continue to release product based on our ENTIRE library of great comic book stories and characters both past, present and future.
GEORG BREWER: The DC Direct line will still have all of the pivotal characters from the stories and titles on which they are based, and will continue to include Superman, Batman and the rest.
AFI: Will this deal function like the Hasbro/Marvel deal where Marvel in the licenesor and gets product approval or will that duty go to WB Consumer products?
CR: For all DC Comics products, DC is the licensor and Warner Bros. Consumer Products is our licensing agent. As licensor, we work closely with both our licensing partners and WB Consumer Products on product approvals.
AFI: When does the new deal take effect?
CR: You’ll be seeing new product from Mattel as a result of this deal in 2008.
AFI: Is it just the 6" figures that are off the table?
CR: DC Direct will continue to release 6” figures of our entire library of characters for you, our core collectors. The primary distinction will be our artistic interpretations and execution of the characters as well as where they are sold. DC Direct action figures based on the DC Universe of characters will continue to be sold only in comic book, pop culture and entertainment retailers.
GB: As a core collector line, all of the authenticity, high end sculpting, details and paint applications DC Direct is known for will remain. We will still provide for those collectors who have invested in building a universe of our figures top quality additions for years to come.
AFI: Can you still do Artist specific figures?
GB: Absolutely, "authentic figures. direct from the source" is not just sales copy, but our mission statement. Given the wealth of classic and contemporary stories and artists from which to choose, we have very exciting plans coming down the road.
AFI: What does this deal do to things like the 13" line? The DC Minimates?
GB: Both lines will be continuing and many new upcoming figures are already in the pipeline.
AFI: Will DCD still do statues and props?
CR: Mattel is not licensed for statues and props. DC Direct will continue to release a wide variety of high quality collectibles including statues and props based on the entire DC Comics library as well as film and tv projects.
GB: We recently re-introduced our prop program under the JLA Trophy Room brand, and have many cool, surprises coming that will extend that line into the future.
So there you have it. It looks like it will be business as usual over at DC Direct and we will just have more options of DC fans. Thanks to DC Comics for the answers.
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