This year at Toy Fair, Mattel once again lifted the curtain on a number of new figures and collectibles based in the DC Universe. From the continuing DC Multiverse figure line, which mixes the comics, television and movie properties, to DC Super Hero Girls and Teen Titans Go!, there was little that Mattel showed that didn't elicit excitement from everyone in attendance. However, the biggest surprise was clearly the unveiling of the Wonder Woman DC Multiverse wave, which gave us our first clear look at the DC Cinematic Universe version of Ares.
Hey, who out there likes free things? Let's see those hands. There we go. Congratulations, not only did you let us know that you like free things, but you also just volunteered to go on a dangerous mission. Some might even call it a suicide mission. Don't worry though, you won't be going alone. You'll have some of the most dangerous criminals in the entire world there to back you up.
That's right, we're giving away a bundle of Suicide Squad action figures courtesy of Mattel and the DC Multiverse toy line. We cracked open a box of the worst Belle Reve prison had to offer, and now we want to pass their unique sets of skills onto you. Why? Because we love you, dear readers.
Mattel's DC Multiverse line was once merely home to 4" figures from the Batman: Arkham video games, with a few select film characters thrown in for good measure. After the disappearance of the DC Universe Classics, and its replacement DC Club Infinite Earths, it was nearly impossible to find 6" DC Comics figures outside of your local comic shop. With the arrival of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the success of the CW television universe, the DC Multiverse line soon had a foundation for a new 6" figure line.
There have been a few waves of 6" Multiverse figures in 2016, with Mattel mixing things up with comic and Hollywood versions of familiar characters to keep things fresh. Of the latest lines to arrive this summer, Suicide Squad is entirely based on the film incarnations. It's also one of the largest, most diverse waves to arrive since the new Multiverse launched. It's also still very inconsistent.
Despite a soft showing earlier this year, Mattel is still committed to the DC Multiverse line. So much so in fact that there are five different waves planned through 2017, not even including exclusive waves at the likes of Walgreens, Toys R' Us and Walmart. Though the early releases haven't been terribly strong, the upcoming waves do hit some particularly interesting roster choices, which bodes well for the die hard DC fan looking for a Doctor Psycho or Reaper figure.
Multiverse definitely had the largest footprint at the Mattel boot at San Diego Comic-Con this year, but the DC Super Hero Girls were there in spirit if not in force. There was also a lot of attention paid to Mega Bloks Kubros line, which is fairly appealing in that its giving us building sets for licenses we never thought might enter that style of collectible. No matter how you stack it, Mattel definitely had a lot going on at SDCC.
Welcome to Give 'Em Elle, a new weekly column that hopes to bridge the gap between old school comics fandom and the progressive edge of comics culture. In the future, I plan to take questions from readers and answer them in this column. I’ll solicit them on Twitter, where I’m @anotherelle if you want to go ahead and follow me. But since this is the very first edition, I’m on my own. So in the absence of a direct question, I want to talk about something that I hear discussed in comics all the time, and offer an explanation that I’ve never quite heard from anyone else.
Specifically, I want to talk about the Marvel Universe and the DC Universe, and what makes them different. The big difference, in terms of continuity and structure, is that the DC Universe has been rebooted several times, with drastic changes to its history, and the Marvel Universe never really has. To be sure, the Marvel timeline gets messed with now and again (most recently with 2015’s Secret Wars), but it always defaults back to “things happened the way you remember, but nobody’s getting old.”
Mattel's kinda catch-all 4" tall DC Multiverse action figure line is set to kick off 2014 with half a dozen heroes and villains from the Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Origins video games. Batman leads the line with two figures of the hero in his standard and armored Wii U Arkham City suits, respectively, joined by AC versions of Mr. Freeze and Azrael. On the Arkham Origins side of the line are figures of Bane and Deadshot, suited up for snowy combat in Gotham.