Warner DC Animated Movies – They Need Figures!
June 10, 2010

DC Direct made a handful of figures for the animated movie Superman:Doomsday.  At one point, we heard that Warner DC Animated movies after that would only come from Mattel.  Mattel tried its hand at this with Superman/Batman:Public Enemies.  Mattel decided to do these in an animated style in the 6 inch (DC Universe Classics) scale and 3.75 inch (DC Infinite Heroes) scale.  Collectors of the DCUC line complained because they would have preferred the figures to be done in the comic style of the DCUC line.  The 3.75 inch line was more comic and less animated in style and seemed to have been better received.  But did Mattel miss the more obvious scale and style to do an animated line in?  Their other current DC offering – JLU?

Maybe.  The trick would have been coming up with characters or variations on characters that JLU collectors did not already have that were in the movie.  Given the broad spectrum, of character used, I think they could have.

The key players in the movie are: Superman, Batman, Lex Luthor. 
Secondary characters: Captain Atom, Major Force, Power Girl.
Even less: Metallo, Black Lightning, Katana, Starfire, Captain Marvel, Hawkman, Mongul, Silver Banshee, Lady Shiva, Grodd, Solomon Grundy.  Then there were all the villains who showed up for barely a walk on role like Catman, Captain Cold, Bane, Giganta, Black Manta, and Brimstone.

The Mattel DC Infinite Heroes scale Public Enemies line did a good job with the character choices, starting off as if none of them had ever been made before.  The difficulty of a JLU styled line would be to make the character selection such that BOTH new buyers and long time collectors of the style would want them.  That means repeating a few characters.

 

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In general, I think the DVDs should have a themed JLU scale and style figure release.
Clearly labeled as a line to go with that movie, not JLU.
A single case pack out of 3packs, 2 of them. No singles.

3Pack 1:
Batman in colors appropriate to the movie.
prominent movie character 1
secondary movie character 1

3Pack 2:
Superman (if in the movie), otherwise Batman in a different color scheme.
prominent movie character 2
secondary movie character 2

END of Line. That’s it.  Just 6 figures.

Reuse of current JLU tooling for all bodies.
New heads, accessories, paint applications for the 4 movie characters.

Done. 

==================

So Public Enemies JLU scale and style looks like this:

3Pack 1:
Batman – Lex Luthor in armor – Power Girl

3pack 2:
Superman – Captain Atom in silver – Major Force

What do we need for tooling here? Major Force needs a head, Lex Luthor needs a vest like Firestorm has, and Power Girl needs a short cape.

==================

By making them in the JLU scale and style, additional characters from any given movie could be prepared, knowing that they could be put out in the regular JLU line OR an extension of the movie line IF demand warranted it.  The risk of losing money on the tooling is minimized by making the movie line in an existing style.  Comic accurate Hawkman with a Claw of Horus accessory fits in either place.  Since this movie was released, we’ve gotten a Superman-Metallo-Silver Banshee 3pack which fits this theory perfectly.  It could have been a Public Enemies pack OR a straight JLU pack.

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How would the other movies shape up?  Would it be worth revisiting them?  How much would it cost for Mattel to put some kind of a sticker on some upcoming JLU packs marketing them as tied to the movies?

 

Justice League:Crisis on Two Earths certainly works.  Superwoman is done.  Ultraman is on his way.  Let’s put it into the formula:
1: Batman – Ultraman – Lex Luthor of other Earth.
2: Superman – Owlman – Black Lightning
We can slot Johnny Quick, Power Ring, and Jason Rusch Firestorm into an upcoming standard JLU pack to try to bring new fans into the overall line.

 

Green Lantern:First Flight has no Batman, no Superman.  It did not sell as well as Warner Brothers had hoped.  Why am I even mentioning it then?  Because of the live action Green Lantern movie coming up.  The live movie might be used to drive sales of the animated movie.  With the publicity push of the movie, a Green Lantern themed "wave" of JLU scale and style figures might be worth putting out.  Let’s use the formula:
1: Batman as Green Lantern – Green Lantern Sinestro – Kanjar Ro
2: Green Lantern Hal Jordan – Yellow Lantern Sinestro – Green Lantern Kilowog
Did you see that?  I fit Batman in even when he was not in the movie!

 

Justice League:New Frontier could be used to give us Silver Age versions of the main JLA members:
1: SA Batman – SA Wonder Woman – SA Flash
2: SA Superman – SA Green Lantern – SA Martian Manhunter

 

Batman:Gotham Knight would give us an excuse to visit unique interpretations or TNAB versions of several Batman villains in JLU style.

==================

 

 

Now we have Batman:Under The Red HoodOfficial Movie Site We don’t know a ton about this, but we have seen the trailer.  Batman, Red Hood, Joker, Robin, Nightwing, Ras Al Ghul.  Into the formula it goes:

3pack 1:

Batman – Nightwing -Ras Al Ghul

3pack 2:

Joker – Red Hood – Robin

 Anyone else in the movie, like Amazo, can be slotted into a future JLU wave. 

 == Its that simple. ==

 

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.

 

 

 

16 Comments »

  • j1h15233 says:

    Very nice blog. I don’t think the Hal Jordan works if it’s JLU style though. They’d have to do him without a mask again.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      Well, there is that Green Lantern animated series WB has announced. Kind of hard to sell toys for it without its main star.

    • red Ricky says:

      I think Superfriend is suggesting for Mattel to drop the JLU brand logo; but keep the existing JLU tooling and scale. The end result would be an easy to produce animated “sub-line” that fits with JLU, but… *wink*, *wink* isn’t JLU and as a result, doesn’t have its legal trappings.

  • bnjmnrlyr says:

    See, its intelligent thinking like this that could make JLU the line to end all lines.

    It seems so simple, and yet it will NEVER happen.

  • Christophe says:

    I’m in agreement with every single word of this blog.

  • alcinde4 says:

    Good stuff superfriend. Only if it were so.

  • Shellhead says:

    I disagree. I liked most of the DCUC PE offerings. Didn’t care for the six month delay between Wave 1 and Wave 2, but when all was said and done, Banshee, Force, and Brimstone all fit in with the rest of my DCUC collection just fine. Icicle, not so much, but put him in the back row and its not very noticable. I don’t like the JLU style. Keep it with JLU where I can safetly ignore it and produce more DCUC friendly spin offs a la PE. Just don’t make ‘em store exclusives!

  • red Ricky says:

    I think that JLU is a better fit for Animated Movies than DCIH or DCUC. Both products (the DVDs & JLU toys) appeal to a specific type of consumer/collector. I think that the animated look killed some of the interest DCUC collectors had on some of the figures, but the same would not have happened with JLU fans.

    Nonetheless, I can see why Mattel went with them. Those two lines were available to all retail outlets and that meant more money/presence. JLU wasn’t. Hopefully, if JLU stops being a Target exclusive; then it will be easier for Mattel to issue action figures “in the animated style” that is also associated with new DVD releases.

    But they would also have to time the releases correctly. And we all know how Mattel is with deadlines.

  • George says:

    You forgot Wonder Woman.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      I did not forget Wonder Woman. I left it out on purpose. The DVD sold poorly. Wonder Woman is not a strong enough seller to anchor a 3 pack. Mattel knows this. Wonder Woman only appears in 3 packs where we also get another main JL member, usually Superman. There is no sales potential for toys from that movie.

      • George says:

        You should’ve wrote it in your article then, instead of being so snarky about it.

        • Erik superfriend says:

          I’m sorry that my reply came across as “snarky”. That was not my intent. The Wonder Woman movie did not fit the pattern I was trying to establish and I thought it would detract from my point.

  • Geof says:

    You could always visit your local comic store, DC Direct’s been making 6″ scale figures from countless comic series/storylines for years. New Frontier had it’s own series of figures, and Superman/Batman had at least 6 waves based on different storylines, including the original Public Enemies.

  • GLsector666 says:

    Agree completely, and yes, I see what you did there with Batman. ;-)

  • demoncat says:

    i agree with the post. for Mattel could exercise its rights to do figures for animated dc stuff. like a tie in and maybe sell more dvds if collectors and fans knew they could get the characters for their collection though hal. Mattel can not do an animated hal unless he is unmasked due to Warner’s making that rare xmas gift animated Hal for their execs and thus saying no more. for Red hood is coming and should really let fans have jasson todd for their collection. Mattel dropped the ball so far when it comes to having the rights for dc figures from animated stuff.

  • CDS says:

    There were actually figures for a number of these DVDs. In fact I believe First Flight came packed with a GL figure in IH style. There was also a similar Owlman with Crisis 2E. DC Direct did a large number of characters in Cooke’s style from New Frontier.

    I distinctly remember a small line of figures on black cards for the Death of Superman DVD as well. Not sure who made them though.

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