The Circle is Now Complete
February 20, 2011

 

Toy Fair 2011 has come and gone and while this year seemed a bit more sedate for what new items were shown, one group of action figures stood out above all others: DC Universe Classics Wave 18. Why are these toys special, you ask? Because for the first time ever, not only do we get a mass market assortment of Super Friends specific toys, but it’s centered around four figures that you would be justified in thinking no one would ever think to make figures of, let alone all four in one wave! Yes, I’m talking about the controversial "ethnic" heroes: Samurai, Black Vulcan, El Dorado, and C&C Apache Chief.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEuM4Hd8OXQ[/youtube]

 

I know some people think these characters are superfluous, or not "comic based" and therefore not worthy of a figure, but I don’t agree with that logic. First and foremost, there is a big section of fans who do want these figures and have waited for them for 20 years.  And on top of that, this is a toy line, not the comics. And these guys make GREAT toys! And they do give a selection of diversity to an all too-white toy aisle (with the occasional black character thrown in). How many Native Americans are on shelves? Asians? Hispanics? Is it going to kill collectors to add one more? And Mattel made it super easy to skip this wave if you don’t like it by tying in the C&C to the theme, so if you just want Bronze Tiger, then by all means just get Bronze Tiger.

 

Plus, with the addition of Toyman the Legion of Doom is now complete as well!

 

But the big "completion piece" is Samurai, who wraps up Mattel’s recreation of the fabled Super Powers lineup. With the further additions of Dick Grayson Robin from Wave 16 (out now!) and the upcoming SP Mr. Freeze repaint in the Batman: Legacy line I’ve updated the DCUC/SP picture below. Sure, we could still use repaints of Superman, Batman, and Penguin in more Bronze-Age accurate colors. And Kalibak and Orion would need resculpts to be perfect recreations (although it’s been hinted that the new Lex Luthor armor will be repainted and rereleased down the road to be more SP accurate as well).  But if the line ended with these guys I would be content that we have a complete SP lineup in the greater DCUC line. And with Creeper, El Dorado, and Black Vulcan we’re three more characters closer to finishing off all the unmade SP figures as well!  Now all we need is for the Four Horsemen to make some awesome figures of the sculpted-but-never-produced  Quadrex, Silicon, Rocketman and a C&C Shockwave and I’ll be happy. All of these guys have form factors or special treatments that would make them really neat toys. I’d probably buy Howitzer and Executioner, too, but even I don’t think they’re necessary as figures…

 

Jason "ToyOtter" Geyer
Jason Geyer has been part of the online toy world for nearly 20 years, having founded some of the very first toy sites on the web including Raving Toy Maniac, ToyOtter, and now Action Figure Insider. He is also a former toy designer who is now a marketing genius. If he does say so himself. And he does.
Read other articles by Jason "ToyOtter" Geyer.

 

 

 

19 Comments »

  • Hourman says:

    Hello new desktop background

  • Steve Steve "Capt. Collector" C says:

    I’ve always loved your rendition of that poster, thank you for updating for us!

  • Jonatan says:

    I totally agree with ToyOtter…
    Excellent article! You said everything: “this is a toy line, not the comics”.
    This is my favorite wave so far. Black Vulcan, El Dorado (awesome face sculpting), Samurai, Apache Chief and Toyman. Yes, I have waited for 20 years too…
    I think Mattel should release Brainiac robot and Mr Freeze in the DCUC line. It would be great!!!

  • Fball13z says:

    Great read and thanks for the video post. I LOVE SUPERFRIENDS/SUPERPOWERS. And the fact I can have my LOD face off the real Super Friends, is amazing! Wave 18 is my fav wave in a long time.

    Now all i need is a Superfriends bizzaro and scarecrow!

  • Brainlock says:

    Like it or not, the “theme waves” of “Blackest Night” followed by “SuperFriends” may well determine if this line continues…or not.
    .
    The fact this line is now admittedly aimed at “collectors” and the BN wave has already seen release by DC Direct by the time that wave was confirmed does not help.
    .
    Sure, I can hope we hit w68 or beyond, but realistically, with rising costs this past year and increasingly ‘niche’ characters, let alone complete waves, I think I’m being more than a little realistic, here.
    .
    For the record, El Dorado is the only one I don’t care for from this wave, but I do hope to be surprised like I was with Golden Pharaoh.
    .
    and for the record, there are several hispanic and occasional black figures in the wrestling lines, including women. Meanwhile, the only “non-white” females in DCUC are…Starfire (a Matty exclusive) and Katma Tui? Where’s Vixen, Cheshire (besides YJ-?), Skyrocket, among other “minority females”? But hey, version #3 of Black Lightning!

  • GoldBlade6 says:

    Sorry, but Shang Chi does not even begin to complete Super Powers, and yeah, we get the Freeze repaint, but what about a repainted Penguin? Wave 1 Penguin is the same as using an old Freeze. This can’t be over yet. Plus, Orion is nothing like the SP version, and we need a new Lex, a vac-metal Braniac, a SP Kaliback, Darkseid could use a cape, a new Clark Kent couldn’t hurt…

    And for the LOD, we really need a new Bizarro, a Captain Cold repaint and brown Grodd before we can have a good Super Friends LOD.

    Wave 18 is a yellow brick in the right direction but we haven’t reached the Emerald City yet, Toto.

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    So awesome. El Dorado is also part of the unreleased fourth series which could have been, so he adds nicely to that category along with being a Super Friends character.

  • Erik superfriend says:

    I think the circle is BETTER than complete. Not only do we have Samauri, but we have a ton of characters that SHOULD have been included 25 years ago. Bizarro, Sinestro, Black Manta, Toyman, Apache Chief, Black Vulcan, El Dorado, Grodd, Solomon Grundy, Captain Cold, Riddler, Giganta. They’ve done an awesome job.

  • Jason ToyOtter says:

    Lt. Clutch- I’m stupid. Of course, El Dorado counts towards the unreleased concepts!

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jordan DesJardins and Daniel Pickett, Rick Todd. Rick Todd said: The Circle is Now Complete: Yes, I'm talking about the controversial "ethnic" heroes: Samurai, Black Vulcan, El … http://bit.ly/frF51J [...]

  • demoncat says:

    i always liked the attempt to diversify the super powers line with Samuria and Apache chief and El dorado. black Vulcan never cared for only because he was a black lightning remake because hb did not want to pay for black lighting. but to actully see the super powers line redone and near completion including almost all the unproduced figures. Mattel has scored well with dc classics. plus boomrang and bronze tiger means maybe the suicide squad can start to see more figures.

  • TripleM says:

    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. (…or hers, if you’re name is DemonCat…and you come from Long Island were girls are just as geeky as guys..especially in the Five Towns area!. I’m from West Islip originally.) I happen to be thrilled with Wave 18. By the way, some of us waited thirty-something years for these figures! Not just twenty!

    My other opinion is that the prophets of doom among us (I’m looking at you Brainlock, and some guy named Rono in the Forum) really have no idea what they are talking about. (Kind of like real-life prophets of doom, who are also full of…bologna.) This line is not only alive and kicking, but the hottest thing going at the moment. Besides, look at how long it took Mattel to finally put the JLU out of its long-overdue misery. DCUC is nowhere near done. There will be real signs when it is.

    And please add my vote for bonafide Super Powers versions of Penguin, Kalibak and Orion. I’m OK with Batman, Superman, Clark and Lex as is. Although Superman’s current head definitely needs to be revisited. And I’m sure it will be. And Clark is a bit out of shape. And a more comic-accurate armored Lex would be cool. There’s probably a Superman Legacy subline in the works for sometime soon. Especially with a new movie next year.

    Now let’s all get together and demand a DCUC Super Powers BATMOBILE!!!

  • Lee in MI says:

    Hey Brainlock…ever heard of a little line called Justice League Unlimited?!?!

    Folks were constantly calling for it’s demise for years. But it kept going and going and going…until recently of course.

    So I think it’s still really early to start predicting the demise of DCUC. These guys are doing an awesome job and with the 4H on board, they can make even Ma Hunkel a sought after figure.

  • Lee in MI says:

    He’ll…any 6″ scale Batmobile will do!

  • Lightso says:

    Marvel was stereotyping too back then, of course, but Hanna-Barbera and DC really did take it to the Nth level. Maybe that’s because they were created for TV and mass media. But you still see stereotyped characters now. Its been diluted, but it’s still there, and there’s no denying it can come across as insulting.
    But…I have no problem enjoying these characters, who for all intents and purposes are no less lame than A LOT of other DC characters. Harley Quinn and Livewire are also cartoon-created characters and are great designs, so not being created for comics isn’t as much of an issue as the “Super-stereotypes”.
    Now as far as 4th wave Super Powers? I’d really be curious to see a Silicon figure. But really, lets not give Kenner too much credit for essentially avoiding actual DC characters to create their own, non-licensed ones.

  • Valo487 says:

    I’m just glad it’s (hopefully) almost over. I’m glad for the people who wanted these that they’re getting something they were looking forward to, I know I have my own wishlist figures as well (Jason Todd’s Red Hood) but I am ready to see more variety in the line, and not have so many characters shoehorned in just because someone working on the line likes them. If you like these, I’m happy for you, and I’ll also be happier when we can move back to comic based characters. There are a lot of characters that have just as much right to be represented that are having to take a backseat to these. The Flash family alone is getting ridiculously shortchanged. I do hope that they don’t continue this on to the figures that were planned but not made as well, there’s such a thing as too much.

  • JSAvsINFINITY says:

    Quadrex would complete things for me greatly as far
    As Super Powers goes.

  • iggy_rock says:

    I still want my CnC Rita Farr and Chief!

    And we still have 3 Metal Men to go..and a Will Magnus wouldn’t hurt!

    And I would kill for a wave that had Halo, Katana, Looker, and GeoForce in it (a 70s style BL and an older style Metamorpho would be nice too)!

    How about a Terra, Jericho, Gideon, and Bumblebee? A Kole would be nice too!

    Or how about a Loser’s Squadron?

    No, this line is FAR from done :)

  • slei says:

    Someone needs to get down and solve the mystery of the “Seth Green” faced Captain Boomerang. Was that this year’s in-joke ala Molarr from last year? What more can they serve up at SDCC, we shall definitely see.

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