Teen Titans Go 2 – Hopes for Mattel Product
January 30, 2013

Young Justice and Green Lantern Animated are ending.  It appears that replacing them in the DC Nation block will be a new take on Batman and a new take on Teen Titans.  The new Teen Titans show appears to be modeled after the DC Nation shorts of hilarious escapades of the cast of the prior Teen Titans Go cast.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG6frPQBH38[/youtube]
Toys for this will be interesting to see.  Mattel passed on the license for the prior series.  Sales of Young Justice toys were less than hoped for.  Green Lantern Animated toys were never made.  Based on comments in the forums and some of my prior blogs, Young Justice’s biggest enemy was the price point.  So will Mattel put out a Teen Titans Go product line that will meet the expectations of buyers at a price they are willing to pay?
I have no idea, but part of my hopes for any line depends on what direction the show takes.  To me, the missed hopes of Young Justice is the sheer number of characters which appeared on the show, especially going into the second season.  In the later seasons of Teen Titans go, the cast expanded to include a 2nd Teen Titans team and in the 5th season a whole slew of teen heroes.  Some of the teen heroes shown in Young Justice either were not available (Wonder Girl) or did not exist yet (Blue Beetle) during the prior run of Teen Titans go.  It is my hope that the new show cast includes many of the cast of Young Justice.  Especially Superboy, Wonder Girl, and Kid Flash.

TeenTitansGo-TitansEast

What toys do I hope for?  I think an ImagiNext subline might be the perfect place for this.  Yes, it is Fischer Price instead of Mattel itself, but the DC SuperFriends subline seems to have done pretty well.  The ImagiNext line already contains a lot of cool stuff that adding a handful of figures could provide a quick broad base of product without a lot of investment in tooling.  Cars, planes. boats, spaceships, headquarters can all be repainted and repackaged with minimal cost.  Look at what Fischer Price did with this line for the Green Lantern movie related items.  ImagiNext is also already set up to handle product packouts of figure 2 packs and single figures with over sized accessories.
What about the typical boys toys action figure line?  Looking back at Justice League, Batman Brave and Bold, and Young Justice, all of which I consider consumer first and collector second lines, and Infinite Heroes which was more of a collector line, I think I’d like to see this.
A. Two different scales I’d consider.
1) 5 inch.  This is the old scale that all hero lines used to be made in, there must have been a reason, and its my favorite.
2) 3.75 inches.  There are a ton of collectors who love this scale and it is a size which is easy to put in your pocket.
B. Character selection.
1) All main male heroes in the first wave of single figures.  Making collectors wait for the Martian Manhunter until wave 15 in DCUC is fine.  Putting out Infinite Heroes wave 1 without either Superman or Batman made us all ask “Are they trying to kill this line?”  There are only 3 main male heroes on the show, Robin, Beast Boy and Cyborg.  That fills 3 slots in the first wave.  Marketing tells me to include a 2nd version of Robin.  What about the girls?  What about the villains?  What will we put in wave 2 if we use all the heroes in wave 1?
2) Villains should only be offered in two packs with male heroes.  Batman Brave and Bold product that I saw hanging on the shelf was single figures of villains.  Most of these villains were also offered in two packs with Batman.  Those were gone, but the single packed villains were left.  Two packs should feature Robin in various paint schemes and a villain.
3) Female heroes.  I feel these should also only be offered in two packs or multipacks, allowing the demand for the male heroes to help sell them.
4) Wave 2 and beyond.  Every wave of Batman Brave and Bold included multiple versions of Batman.  It would make sense for every wave of Teen Titans Go to include at least one version of Robin and a new transformed version of Beast Boy.  A green cheetah or bear or dolphin or pteranodon or tiger or mouse or …

Beast-Boy-all

 

As I recall, the reported reason Mattel passed on Teen Titans Go the first time was not enough male characters or the show was not focused enough on them.  I think a line focused on the male heroes of the show is worth a shot.
Erik "Superfriend" Skov
"Gathered together from the four corners of the universe." Oh, wait, that's the show, not me. Erik "SuperFriend" Skov never actually got to appear on the show, although he did watch it every week. Erik spent 6 years working for Hasbro in Pawtucket, RI before leaving for a job that paid more (Why else would a collector leave the company that was making Star Wars, Transformers, and while I was there Batman). I used to post all over the net. These days I tend to hang my hat at AFI.
Read other articles by Erik "Superfriend" Skov.

 

 

 

19 Comments »

  • demoncat says:

    given how the first titans cartoon no one really made figures and the few got canceled. plus by now thanks to dc direct and the dcu most have proably the titans already as figures by now. not to mention the young justice line did not do so well. we shall see what mattel does with titans go if they capitilize on the cartoon with figures and other merch.

    • DD@ says:

      With all respect Demoncat, a huge toy line was made by Bandai during the series run. It got canceled yes, but after a long prominent line. The line ran for three years and was similar to Mattel’s Justice League in the fact that they made toys of a lot of the c-list Titans (Hot Spot, Bumble Bee, Red X, Mas Y Menos) and villans, plushes (Chibi characters), vehicles, 3.75 sized figures as well as larger ones. It was a great line and I am, quite frankly surprised that the author of this article didn’t mention it at all. When the line did get canceled, it caused a controversy much like the Young Justice line. Mattel revealed protoypes of the Doom Patrol, who appeared on the show. It was a shame because they looked so neat in the anime form the show sports, but no one got a chance to see them.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      I used to think that people already having figures of character X would make them not interested in buying another. Batman has proved this wrong. Partly, there is a new crop of 5 year olds every year. But there are also Batman fans who cannot get enough versions of their favorite character. So there are fans of Teen Titans who do not have product yet and there are fans who have product who will buy more. Look in the Mattel forum where people are discussing the ImagiNext line or the DC Heroes SuperFriends line. I am sure the people buying Imaginext or SuperFriends versions of Aquaman and Hawkman already have other versions of the characters.

  • DD@ says:

    No offense to the individual who wrote this article, but there was a Teen Titans Go toy line before. In fact, it was quite popular as Bandai made them. I just wanted to point that out. Yes, Mattel didn’t do toys, but some were made, infact Bandai made a lot of the things you mentioned.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      Writer here. Well aware that Bandai did a very extensive Teen Titans line, but my focus was on Mattel, which had first rights on it and passed. The story I heard was that Mattel passed because the show featured the girls too prominently and therefore was not a “boys show”. I do not know how accurate that is.

  • Black Arbor says:

    Waitaminut… this sounds like a Mattel representative! “Villains should only be offered in two packs with male heroes”? “Female heroes. I feel these should also only be offered in two packs or multipacks”? What kind of collector who sees how Mattel usually bungles these lines would encourage this kind of behavior!? I’m all for giving companies ideas, but they should be good ones…

    • DD@ says:

      Seriously, I agree. This is such a silly article. The author of this is acting like Starfire and Raven were not prominent. Just look at the previous toy line.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      Writer here. Not a Mattel rep, but a long time collector and observer who also worked at Hasbro for 6 years. Rereading this, I realize my thoughts went from what I was hoping for to what I think would work. The “what would work” is based on my reaction and observation of product made which moved vs product which did not move.
      .
      At Hasbro, we had sales statistics which showed that for GI Joe
      1. Males heroes outsold male villains by a ratio of 5 to 1.
      2. The worst selling male villain outsold the best selling female hero.
      .
      The Batman Brave and Bold toy line offered villains in both single packs and 2 packs with heroes. My experience at local stores (Walmart, Target, TRU) was that the two packs sold out while the single packed villains stayed on the shelf. This line included zero female figures, so I was suggesting they try the two pack method as a way to include them.

      • gl666 says:

        Using GI Joe heroes and villains sales is not a good example. Just about the entire world knows who the Joker is or the Penguin. Find me 10 people who know GI Joe villains. (No, I mean regular people. ;) )

        Anyways, Mattel passes up a line that Bandai has success with. Why am I not surprised? And how is it collectors have to give Mattel ideas? Doesn’t Mattel have highly paid experts (or gurus) who should be doing this?

  • Erik superfriend says:

    This article was also influenced by my thoughts on Mattel’s Young Justice line which I did NOT buy: Why I did not buy Young Justice.
    http://www.actionfigureinsider.com/blog/superfriend/young-justice-2-0/

  • bnjmnrlyr says:

    I’m going to stay out of the debate about the toys for a second and add to your thoughts for character inclusion IN THE SHOW. Hopefully, this will include a roster along the lines of the Tiny Titans comic series and will broaden the scope of the “teen” roster in DCU animation.

    As for the toys, it’ll be the price point that determines whether or not I buy in. Pure and simple. Packouts really won’t matter to me if the price point isn’t right.

  • Shellhead says:

    Unless they made DCUC style versions, this entire line will be a pass for me. The fact that the revisioned show is supposed to be more “comedic” doesn’t exactly boost my confidence about this relaunch, either.
    I have a feeling a lot of adult fans are going to be missing YJ a year from now.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      Agree about YJ. Really wish they would continue with YJ and add TTG.

    • GLTAS fan says:

      Green Lantern TAS was better than both of those but I do wish YJ was continuing as well. TTG is a waste of time and I won’t bother to watch that or the even worse Beware the Batman.

      • Erik superfriend says:

        I have to disagree. GLTAS is good, but for me, Young Justice with its tons of characters and nods to stories from the comics and taking characters from other animated series like, JLU, Static Shock and SuperFriends, makes it a great show. GLTAS, like BatmanTAS and SupermanTAS before it are too focused on one area of the DCU. I just love the larger cast and more different arenas of YJ and JL/JLU.

  • john says:

    I still think young justice figures can do well. There are so many from invasion that i would die to own. Price point is a factor but at the time of release, mattel was the only one charging 9.99 for a 3.75″ figure when marvel universe was 6.99. Now that it is common place for figures to be $8.99-9.99, i think they would have a shot but they can’t keep charging high prices for repaints and only one new figure in multi-packs.The quality control and paint apps on the young justice line was awful and so was case pack breakdown. If they fixed this and offered them at $8 they would do well.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      When I asked (in another blog), price was the biggest complaint for the YJ line. It may be more common to charge closer to $10 for a 3.75 inch figure these days, but YJ also did not have the articulation that Star Wars, GI Joe, or Marvel Universe figures do. Paying more than 2x the price of a single figure for a 2 pack was mathematically agonizing even if you igore the fact that you usually already had one of the two figures.
      .
      I would love to see Mattel take a second shot at Young Justice toys, but the product and price point must meet the demand of the buyers, which the line they made clearly did not. What recipe would work? I hope Mattel is working on that equation for a line dedicated to Teen Titans Go. IMO, putting out product in the Fischer Price lines is a valid part of that equation.

  • I too love the 5 inch lines. I was hoping they would make a come back. They remind me a lot of the vintage figures that I have :)

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