DC Direct Interview about the Mattel Deal
July 2, 2007

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.

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Time.com, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post, CNN.com, AssociatedPress.com Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.




No Comments

Comments are closed.