Toy Fair 2015: DC Collectibles and Harley Quinn Take Manhattan
DC Collectibles has been on a tear as of late, and this year's Toy Fair offerings showed the company had no intentions of slowing down any time soon. From more Batman: The Animated Series figures (and vehicles!) and the all-new Icons series, to incredible prop replicas and a heaping helping of the dangerous Harley Quinn, DC Collectibles unleashed one of its strongest preview offerings in recent memory.
There were a lot of lines on the shelves at DC Collectibles' booth, and almost every single one had at least one Harley Quinn of some shape or size. The character has seemingly never been more popular, with multiple statues, including the first ever deluxe DC Comics Bombshells, which features Mistah J helping ol' Harls recreate the iconic V-J Day Times Square image. Harleen Quinzel will also appear in the Batman: Arkham Knight line, the DC Comics: Icons series, the Stanley "Artgerm" Lau-designed Cover Girls wave, and a wonderful new Gotham City Garage statue from Dustin Nguyen.
You might remember the biker chic Catwoman statue from last year. This Harley follows suit in a companion piece of sorts. The initial concept called for Harley's longtime hyena companions to join her on the ride in a sidecar, but the idea was abandoned due to the increase in costs the extra bike appendage would have incurred. However, DC Collectibles' Vice President of Creative Services, Kevin Kiniry, did hint that there may be (and that's a big may) a higher end, limited version of the original design offered to those who don't mind paying extra.
The most, absolute, amazing, perfect Harley Quinn on display, though, was the original Paul Dini character design brought to life in the Batman: Black and White series. Far from the jester-esque Harley we all came to love on Batman: The Animated Series, Dini's original concept was unearthed a short while ago, but it was incomplete. Once he heard DC intended to turn it into a collectible, he finished up the design, leaving us with the inspired take on display. You can definitely see the evolution of the character through Bruce Timm's (and the rest of the B:TAS team's) eyes, but it's interesting to imagine what could have been had Dini's take on the character been the one used.
Beyond Harley, there were plenty of impressive offerings. It's hard not to talk about the Batmobile from B:TAS. A full 24", the Batmobile isn't just a display piece; you can play with it, too. The cockpit can hold two of the normal-sized characters from the line, and the vehicle will feature a light-up interior, headlights, taillights and exhaust. Pictures do not do the prototype justice. The Batmobile is a beast, and even though it's $99.95, that doesn't seem too outrageous when you set your own eyes on the magnificent recreation of Batman's signature ride. The other animated series figures on display weren't bad either (mullet Nightwing is the new mohawk Storm), but the Batmobile was the big attention hog at this show.
You might already be familiar with the DC Designer Series, and though no new Greg Capullo figures were on display, we did see new offerings from Jae Lee and Terry Dodson. Lee's line will be based on his run on Batman/Superman. Lee's is a unique art style to try and render in three dimensions, but the sculpts and paint apps do his linework justice. As cool as that wave was, it's the Terry Dodson Teen Titans that had us the most excited in regards to the Designer Series.
Based on Dodson's (and Jeff Lemire's) Teen Titans: Earth One, the wave features Raven, Cyborg, Beast Boy (with multiple heads) and Starfire. Dodson has long been an artist we've enjoyed tremendously, and seeing physical representations of his art was pretty much the coolest (there's your box quote, DC). His redesigns, including Cyborg's hi-top fade, look terrific, and even if you've never read the Earth One graphic novel, are still immediately recognizable. The Designer Series presents so many opportunities for artists, and we hope DC has only begun scratching the surface with this line.
There were some nice new Batman: Arkham video game figures on display, including the first ever Bruce Wayne (part of a legacy boxset featuring all four Batmen from all four games), and the final assassins from Arkham Origins. The Arkham Knight figures were nice, but didn't offer any glimpses at characters we hadn't seen in trailers already. Additionally, the television versions of the Flash and Green Arrow got their due in action figure form. It's a nice treat for fans of the show, though hopefully more Flash figures are on the way beyond Barry and Captain Cold.
The biggest new line however resided in the Icons series. Now working in 6" form for the very first time, DC Collectibles is releasing a gigantic collection of characters from all manner of eras in the DCU. Green Arrow from The Longbow Hunters? Check. Crisis on Infinite Earths Flash? Check. Atomica, Ryan Choi and Ray Palmer? Check, check and little, itty, bitty triple check. You might mistake Icons for tying into the upcoming Convergence event, but it's more a way for DC Collectibles to expand beyond the New 52 lines, while also paying tribute to fan-favorite characters from nearly every era in DC's storied history. Also, there's going to be a lot of accessorization and articulation, putting Icons on par perhaps with Hasbro's Marvel Legends line.
It wouldn't be a DC Collectibles showing without a few props, and to that degree, the company didn't disappoint. The Dr. Fate helmet alone was worth the trip to New York, as was getting a glimpse at the replica Reverse Flash ring from the TV show. However, it's the replica Mother Box (with lights and sounds) that will probably find its way into our homes first. The prototype on hand worked well, but you might be wondering what the "Ping. Ping. Ping." sounds like. While you would have had to have been there, the process of determining what the signature sounds should, you know, sound like was a challenge in and of itself. To attest, we asked Kiniry just how many different "pings" DC Collectibles had to run through before finding the one. "Many," he said.
This year's Toy Fair was only a glimpse at what DC is teasing through the first six months of the year. There are plenty of secrets in store for San Diego Comic Con already, and DC Collectibles is well on its way to delivering on one of the most rewarding years for fans its ever had. The diversity of its portfolio gives fans of all sorts plenty to get excited about--provided DC Collectibles can keep up its incredible pace and the quality of its end products.