Okay, as we all know, Mattel and DC held their panel today. The panelists included the DC Brand managers at Mattel, a few of the designers, sculptor Eric "Cornboy" Mayse of the Four Horsemen and DC's Senior Vice-President in charge of Brand Management, Cheryl Rubin.
I honestly thought it was a great panel. It was very infomative and entertaining. Mattel reiterated several times throughout the discussion that they're committed to the fans. They know that it's collectors that drive the sales of DCSH (And to a lesser extent JLU) and that's why they've been reading the boards. They've read our tales of woe when it comes to finding new figures. They know that case packouts are a big issue with us. They're aware of it and they're going to fix the problem. With DCSH, BAF's should help even out the case assortments.
Mattel has the DC license until 2012. They have access to over 3,000 characters now.
So, with the 6" DCSH line, they're planning five assortments a year. Each assortment will contain a BAF. By my count, that's 30 characters a year. In four years that's 120 figures. Guess what, folks. DC fans finally have their version of Marvel Legends. A dedicated, comic accurate line with the same sculptors, all in the same scale and all in the same style.
No new JLU was shown with the exception of the Red Hood, but I certainly never got the impression that the line was going to end anytime soon. In fact, during the Q & A, a fan asked how long the line would continue now that the show is off the air. The reply was "How long do you want to continue buying it?". Another fan asked about the Teen Titans appearing in the JLU line, and a Mattel rep said that's a good idea and it's under consideration. During the slide show, Mattel put up a slide that pictured Captain Atom, Captain Marvel, Giganta, Cheetah, Blackhawk and a few others. They said that they read the boards, they know who we'd like to see and that they're going to try and get as many fan favorite characters in the line as they possibly can.
I dunno. To me, that sounds like the line's going to continue. Of course, YMMV.
One of the most exciting tidbits to come out of the panel was the news that the FH will sculpt some hyper-articulated 6" figures for the Dark Knight movie. It was made even more interesting when they said that there'll be six characters in the line. Three heroes and three villains. Batman, Scarecrow, Joker and ... ? Who's Michael Anthony Hall going to be playing again?
I got to talk to DC Direct a little today. The Killing Joke two-pack will go on sale in April or May of 2008 and it will include a copy of the Graphic Novel.
Since we have a "finhead" Atom now and will soon have a cowled Hawkman, I asked Georg if we might see more Silver Age versions of the Golden Age JSA like maybe the Earth 2 Robin in his grey Batman inspired costume or the Star Spangled Kid. He said that they're both on the radar. The First Appearance Earth Two Robin would be an easy repaint of the Silver Age Batman body.
I spent a little more time in the Hasbro booth today and made some new friends. I spoke with senior product designer David Vonner and lemme tell ya, he is a really, really cool cat. He'd love to do the Master of Kung-Fu in the Legends line. I asked if it would be classic or contemporary if it ever happens, and he said classic red PJ's all the way. He said he envisioned Shang-Chi as being more Jackie Chan than Bruce Lee, and I thought that was an interesting take on the character. He said that to him, a character like Shang-Chi represents what a line like Marvel Legends should be all about. Classic characters that have been around for years and are iconic to Marvel fans.
(That's it for tonight. For tomorrow, I'm hoping I'll be able to conduct a sit-down type interview with Georg Brewer (Maybe 20 questions or so) and then later another one with Mattel's Toy Guru. Stay Tuned.)