May 27, 2005

As you may recall DC Direct was kind enough to let me announce this new assortment of First Appearance figures right after Comic Con last year. Now, almost one year later, they are here and the First Appearance line stretches into it’s third incarnation bringing us to a more recent past in the DC Universe. Those of you that have been reading my column from the past year know that the DC Direct First Appearance line was one of the surprise hits of 2004 for me and this 3rd assortment continues to deliver. An interesting story behind this wave, I was told by a DC staffer at Toy Fair that when they were planning this wave they were thinking for the Composite Superman they would take the Silver Age Superman figure and the Silver Age Batman figure that Tim Bruckner had previously sculpted and would stick them together to form the new figure, but when that was proposed to Bruckner he insisted on doing a new sculpt and making it true to Curt Swan’s artwork… and everyone agrees that decision paid off. What we are now getting is Curt Swan art in three dimensions. There are so many subtle differences in the Superman and Batman sides of this figure, the length of the thigh muscles, the position of the rib cage the tension in the hands… it may be Bruckner’s finest figures to date.



COMPOSITE SUPERMAN- Sculpted by Tim Bruckner: This figure that has seen several grassroots campaigns for it’s inclusion somewhere in the DC Direct line When the marketing group told the DCD gang that they want to be sure there was a Batman figure in this assortment Georg found this creative way of satisfying his bosses and giving the fans another long requested figure that has never been made. Composite Superman made his first appearance back in World’s Finest comics # 142 in 1964. A crazy janitor with the powers of the Legion of Superheroes, Joe Meach wasn’t half-Superman/half-Batman- he just wore a split costume to tweak the heroes. Click here to learn more about this ultra-weird DC villain.

COMPOSITE SUPERMAN articulation: neck, Ball-jointed shoulders x2, elbow x2, wrist x2, hips x2 and knee x2

NIGHTWING- Sculpted by Derek Miller: Fans have gone from asking to demanding that DC Direct “finish” the Teen Titans, and the one figure at the top of almost every want list is the “Elvis jumpsuit” Perez/Wolfman era Nightwing. You’re prayers have been answered. He’s here. From his first appearance in Tales of the Teen Titans #44 back in 1984. You may recall this figure underwent some changes from the original solicitation due to fan reaction. Some people still take issue with the fact that he is smiling. We all know Nightwing has nothing to smile about when he debuted this suit, smack in the middle of the acclaimed "Judas Contract" arc of the New Teen Titans book that brought about the death of Terra. Click here to read further on this pivotal moment in Titans’ history.

NIGHTWING articulation: ball-jointed neck, shoulder x2, elbow x2, wrist x2, hips x2 and knee x2

MODERN BATGIRL- Sculpted by Derek Miller: This will be the first appearance in plastic of the Casandra Cain Batgirl, born out of the “No Man’s Land” story arc in Batman #567 from 1990. Although technically the first appearance of this figure would be The Huntress as she was the first person to don this costume, but it is Cassie that has stayed with it and wears it to this day. While definitely not following in the footsteps of Barbara Gordon, this new Batgirl is ruthless and mute. Wanna know why? Click here to read more.

BATGIRL Articulation: ball-jointed neck, shoulder x2, elbows x2, wrist x2, waist, hips x2 and knees x2 Also a detached ultility belt (not sculpted on, loose piece seemingly not removable).

THE RIDDLER- The First appearance of the Riddler brings us Edward Nigma in his classic jumpsuit costume as seen in Batman #171 back in 1964. This marks the 3rd appearance of this character in the DC Direct line including Riddler from the Super Friends and the recently released green suit version in the Hush II wave. Long considered one of Batman’s lesser villains, the Riddler recently was upgraded as a more dangerous foe, having discovered Batman’s secret identity. Click here for a glimpse into the tortured mind of E. Nigma.

RIDDLER articulation: ball-hointed neck, ball-jointed shoulders x2, elbow x2, wrist x2, hips x2 and knees x2

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 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,,, Boing-Boing,, 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.
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