If you can sense that feeling of excitement, panic and salt in the air, you know San Diego Comic-Con is near. There's just something about this annual gathering of fans, creators, actors and cosplayers that makes the summer that much more special. Oh right, it's all the toys.
In addition to being host to all manner of awesome announcements, reveals, teasers and trailers, SDCC is also one of the biggest collectible events of the year. Every company big and small rolls out their best and most limited in the hopes of capturing your attention and those dollar dollar bills, y'all.
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 (where prices have been provided). This is every comic book-related toy and collectible exclusive for San Diego Comic-Con 2016.
I was almost too scared to open the box of Ghostbusters goods Mattel dropped on my doorstep. Those girls and guys might not be afraid of no ghost, but that doesn't mean I am... am not... I am not not afraid of no ghost? Ghosts are very real and very spooky. I've seen movies like The Conjuring and Insidious. Those are based on true events so you know they are telling honest narratives and portraying the supernatural elements with the correct amount of realism. I know Ghostbusters is primarily a work of fiction because it doesn't come with that same disclaimer, but I was still wary about the potential for a haunting to happen in my home once this box's contents were spilled on the floor.
I can say with some authority that after opening the box, everything appears to be in the clear. This is despite Mattel sending over a package filled with specters of unknown origin, which could have sunk their ectoplasmic hands into the foundations of my apartment to haunt it for the rest of time. Fortunately, that's not the case (yet), and instead of a gaggle of living impaired vaporizing in and out of existence in the halls, I've got a decent little collection of Ghostbuster toys.
It's not a big secret that we're fans of Mattel's and DC's DC Super Hero Girls. The line's first wave hit retail in limited release, but has been performing so well, Warner Bros. and DC Comics' Diane Nelson believes it could soon be a $1 billion brand all on its own. This July the release of DC Super Hero Girls expands beyond the limitations of Target stores worldwide, and will even add in a number of new products beyond the dolls, figures and roleplay gear. But there's another reason to be excited about DC Super Hero Girls in July, and her name is Katana.
Announced today, Katana will be the first DC Super Hero Girls exclusive figure offered at San Diego Comic-Con. Unlike the first run of dolls, Katana will get the deluxe treatment, adding a number of accessories to the package, as well as a specially designed display box unique to this iteration of the character.
Mattel has revealed its first San Diego Comic-Con exclusive toys, and it's a big one. Specifically, it's the Princess of Power. Sister of He-Man and the greatest hero of Etheria, this 11" She-Ra is a pretty fantastic likeness and comes with a ton of stuff. In addition to the classic She-Ra outfit from the cartoon, she comes with an equally accurate version of the red and white suit she wears in her secret identity as Adora, lost Princess of Eternia and rebellious former Captain of the Guard for the Evil Horde. She also has a third outfit, which looks like an update of what the original 1985 She-Ra toy wore, complete with that bananas reversible mask/headdress. She has both a gold and a silver sword, as well as a silver shield, and even a mini-comic.
"We think DC Super Hero Girls can be bigger than a $1 billion brand."
I want to let that sink in for a second. DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment president Diane Nelson believes that strongly in DC Super Hero Girls. The only other current billion dollar brands in the dolls/action figure arena? Barbie and Disney Princesses.
For years, all we've heard from major toy makers, including DC's own partners at Mattel, is that girls don't buy toys, and they especially don't buy toys you'd consider to be action figures. While the truths of that matter have been relentlessly shattered over the past few years, particularly with regard to the likes of Marvel and Star Wars toys, there are still very few companies willing to go out on that ledge and buck outdated stereotypes. Fortunately, Diane Nelson is just as tired of those ill-conceived notions as the rest of us.
With a new movie on the horizon, it should come as no surprise that there are some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltes Mega Blok sets coming out to tie into the release. Though some have already started hitting stores, Mattel and Mega Block have officially announced a handful of upcoming building sets and micro action figures that will see the existing TMNT line expand with new vehicles, playsets and characters.
Some of the smaller sets are certainly nice, and I particularly like the modest TMNT Party Van that's hitting shelves as we speak. However, it's the bigger movie-related sets that currently have my attention. While the Battle Truck and Jungle Takedown sets won't be available for a few months, I'm already eyeing up some shelf space in my office.
For almost a year, we've been waiting for the DC Super Hero Girls to arrive on the scene. Announced last April as a multimedia brand aimed squarely at young women and designed to cover toys, comics, apparel, animation and more, DC Super Hero Girls' reveal was a big deal. Here were DC Comics and Warner Bros., along with partners Mattel, Random House and Lego, not just acknowledging that young girls were into comics, but that they were also important enough as a group to deserve an entire line of collectibles and apparel. Yes, there have been numerous action figures to buy featuring the heroes and villains of the DC Universe, but DC Super Hero Girls marks the first time any company had the brains to realize something we did long ago: "Teaching girls that they can be super heroes too [...] is really, really important."
Starting in the fall of last year, the DC Super Hero Girls web series got things running. The short stories introduced the world of Super Hero High School, and how all the characters of DC Comics would be interpreted in this new universe. There was a longer wait for the figures and Action Dolls based on these new designs, but earlier this week, Target and Mattel finally delivered the goods. The DC Super Hero Girls line hit store shelves, with figures, dolls, and roleplay accessories that would not only give young girls a chance to play with their favorite heroes, but to be their favorite heroes as well.
After ditching the DC Universe Classics line and moving to 3.75" figures with the initial launch of DC Multiverse, it was a bit of a surprise to see Mattel would once again enter the 6" arena with the Multiverse collection. It made sense of course, given that DC Comics and Warner Bros. were releasing a new tentpole movie featuring all three of the comic company's iconic heroes, and (hopefully) kickstarting a cinematic universe. But the Multiverse line is much more than just Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and as recent releases like Arrow's Green Arrow and The Flash's Flash have shown, Mattel has larger goals in mind for the figure line.
That DC TV love will continue into the next wave, which will introduce CBS' Supergirl into the mix. It's good to see that a third party licensor sees the value of Supergirl toys, even as DC itself has struggled to find a way to make Kara Zor-el relevant in print and within its own collectibles. Green Arrow and Flash had to wait a season or two until they got their shot a figures, but Supergirl's jumping right out of the gate with her first attempt. That said, based on how infrequently the Multiverse line has shipped so far, it's unlikely we'll see this Supergirl figure until the fall. We've still got the second half of the Dawn of Justice wave and the TV/comics mix to come, plus those Suicide Squad figures.
Every step along the way, Mattel's new DC Super Hero Girls have looked better and better. Since announcing DC Super Hero Girls, Mattel has slowly been teasing the figures and dolls, along with the numerous other branded accessories like notebooks, skate helmets, socks and books. There are already a dozen animated shorts online, which I guess are supposed to be the impetus to get you to buy the dolls. Considering most of these characters are already fairly big names, it seems like the inverse might be more true. But what do I know?
Not much, except for one thing. This line is going to be trouble.
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.
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