With a new Ghostbusters film on the horizon, the fearless foursome will once again return to the mass market courtesy of Mattel. Though Mattel previously tried to resurrect the Ghostbusters franchise as action figures back in 2009, the line was fraught with issues. Other companies, like Diamond Select, have stepped up in recent years to fill the void for figures based on the 1984 classic, but outside of specialty shops, Ghostbusters toys have been few and far between since the Real Ghostbusters line ended all those years ago.
Depending on how invested you were in the Matty Collector Ghostbusters line, even bringing it up might recall a particularly sour taste for fans who were burned the last time this license was making the rounds. After seeing the new figures in person for the first time this weekend at Toy Fair, I hope this wave can find the audience and success the previous batch just couldn't maintain. Given all the excitement for the female-led film, that doesn't seem like it should be a problem. Even if the figures aren't all that great.
Though you would have thought a great deal of Mattel's Toy Fair event would have been focused on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which to be fair it was, there were actually more new figures on hand from August's Suicide Squad film. Many of the Dawn of Justice figures have already hit retail, but the upcoming villain-led film made a surprise showing, and Mattel revealed almost the entire team this weekend.
Interestingly enough, there was no Suicide Squad branding on any of the new figures. Where DC Collectibles and other specialty lines can get away with putting the word "suicide" on the box, it's a tougher sell for mass market figures that will show up in Target and Walmart. The Suicide Squad will fit in with the DC Multiverse line, offering 6" versions of the team in the branding you're already seeing for characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman for Dawn of Justice, and Flash and Green Arrow from their respective TV shows. Where those media properties get the film/show logo slapped on the side of the box, it'll be interesting to see what Mattel puts on these packages to indicate just where these guys came from.
Today, Mattel finally unveiled the final member of its Barbie-fied DC Trinity. Now Superman can partner up with Batman and Wonder Woman for all kinds of outrageous fashion adventures. Will Darkseid's attack close down the mall and prevent Clark from buying a new flannel shirt? Will Batman finally muster up enough courage to ask Wonder Woman to the Spring Fling? Can the T-birds finally take the Scorpions out on Thunder Road?
For a mass-market figure, the Henry Cavill Ken doll head isn't all that bad. It's got those piercing blue eyes; the thick, expressive eyebrows; the cleft chin and strong jawline; it even looks as if he's silently judging you for having your doubts about the DC Cinematic Universe. Or maybe he's just giving you stone cold Blue Steel right in the kisser.
Boy, these new Barbie body types are sure getting really specific. I mean, it makes sense for Mattel to attempt to reach a broader, more diverse audience by releasing new Barbies that better match the girls and young women of the world, but aging, rich white dude with trust issues hardly seems like it will strike the right chord. The only thing this might strike is fear into the hearts of criminals.
Though Mattel had announced the full DC Trinity (in their Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice garb) would be getting the Barbie treatment at San Diego Comic-Con last year, the only doll anyone got to see was Wonder Woman. The Amazonian princess certainly looked the part, but nobody really knew what to expect from a potential Batman or Superman at the time. With Toy Fair 2016 right around the corner, and Mattel having a large Barbie and DC Comics presence at the show, it seemed like we might get our first glimpse at the Bruce and Clark Ken dolls in a few weeks. Thanks to Amazon, we no longer have to wait for Batman.
For at least a generation, Barbie has been a controversial figure. Mattel wants to emphasize her independence and her range of careers, but most people who look at her just see a body. Traditionally, a body with huge breasts, a very narrow waist, and feet that can only wear high heels. A body that is available in a brown version, but that everyone knows is meant to be white.
Mattel is now trying something bigger and newer with Barbie. The company has introducing three new body types; in addition to Original Barbie, she now comes in Curvy, Petite, and Tall. Mattel had already been working on being more inclusive of skin colors and hair types, so those factors combine with these new bodies to create a far wider variety of Barbie possibilities.
Unless you stockpiled up on Real Ghostbusters toys back in the '80s when the cartoon first ran, it's been a challenge to lock down Ghostbuster toys. Mattel's efforts to celebrate the 30th anniversary with a new line was a great idea in theory, but the execution was supremely lacking. It was impossible to find most of the figures made available, and Mattel's subscription service to get the figures out wasn't exactly met with open arms by the masses. Other companies have jumped in to the fill the void for the classic film, but there was reason to be concerned about Mattel's plans for the all-female Ghostbusters reboot/remake arriving later this year.
That's why it came as such a surprise when director Paul Feig intimated there would indeed be action figures coming. It was even more of a surprise when he dropped the first picture of the four leading ladies rocking proton packs this week on Twitter. At a time when there's a bit of unease between consumers and manufacturers over the way female figures are made available and sold at retail, seeing this kind of support for Ghostbusters months in advance of the film's release bodes well. That is, if Mattel can actually deliver consistently this time around.
Back in April, DC Comics and Mattel (as well as other merchandising partners) revealed the DC Super Hero Girls to the world. Back in the spring, there was little information about what the line would be beyond vague promises of figures, dolls, comics, books and clothing themed around a new interpretation of DC's incredible stable of female superheroes. At New York Comic Con, the world got its first in-person glimpse at the stylized line, including dolls based on Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Harley Quinn and more, along with other items like skateboards, t-shirts, notebooks and headphones. It seems DC and its partners are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to the DC Super Hero Girls line. Good.
For too long, the market has been devoid of items targeted specifically at the one demographic that's been desperate for this kind of attention--young girls. DC Super Hero Girls takes a bit of inspiration from lines like Monster High and Ever After High, both of which have seen tremendous success under Mattel's watch. Instead of crafting original figures based on monsters or storybook characters from hundreds of years ago, this line has the advantage of featuring familiar heroes and villains from DC's vast stable. I'll admit to being a little worried about the style based on those previous Mattel figure lines. After seeing the DC Super Hero Girls in person, those worries were assuaged. It's clear that DC and Mattel, and more importantly the fans, are going to have a lot to look forward to when the DC Super Hero Girls launch in 2016.
Announced in April, the DC Super Hero Girls line was a bold statement by Warner Bros. about its commitment to reaching out to all demographics of the market, and very specifically, young girls. While initially revealed as a partnership between Warners and companies like Mattel, Random House, and Lego, there hadn't been many details revealed about what form and shape DC Super Hero Girls would take beyond vague promises of apparel, toys, animations and books. Today, Warner Bros. and DC broke the silence (via USA Today) to tease a bit more about what to expect from the upcoming girl-focused line.
Yes, dear friends, July has arrived, and we draw ever closer to the ultimate comic book convention in the US, and quite possibly the world, San Diego Comic-Con. While many will venture the halls in hopes of seeing the first footage from the current crop of highly-anticipated blockbuster features, or to catch a fleeting glimpse of the hottest stars appearing in iconic roles, the real challenge of SDCC is reserved for the collectors. Yes, once a year, nearly every major toy, statue, replica and plush manufacturer releases a limited edition piece that can only be found on the floor of the San Diego Convention Center.
Devoted fans, aficionados and (unfortunately) re-sellers have been eagerly awaiting the chance to be one of the fortunate few who are able to obtain some of the rarest and most-coveted collectibles to release in a calendar year. Now, with just one week to go, we've gotten almost every last company to reveal its biggest secrets. Collected here for you is a comprehensive list of not just what will be available, but where it will be available, and how much it will cost you (should prices have been provided). This is every comic book toy and collectible exclusive for San Diego Comic-Con 2015.
For years, Mattel's Hot Wheels line has been bringing the very best comic book and superhero vehicles to life. We've gotten dozens of different Batmobiles over the years, and characters like the Avengers and Spider-Man have gotten their own vehicles with cool designs and paint jobs for almost as long as Hot Wheels has been in existence. At this year's San Diego Comic Con, that trend will continue with an exclusive Secret Wars-themed three-pack.
Featuring Captain America (Sam Wilson), Superior Iron Man, and Spider-Man (Miles Morales), the Hot Wheels Marvel Secret Wars Character Car 3-Pack will give each of these characters their own new model of sophisticated auto-weirdness. They'll also all come in a window box display, showing the cars in action as if they were the heroes themselves. For reasons.
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