Mattel’s ‘Secret Wars’ Line Could Have Included Annihilus, Mystique and More
Landing in the sweet spot between Mego's late '70s "Pocket Super Heroes" line and Toy Biz's 1990 "Marvel Super Heroes" action figure, Mattel's 1984 Secret Wars toys spawned Marvel's first mega comics crossover and is remembered today for offering previously unmade heroes and villains, tons of vehicles, massive playsets, and wonderfully ridiculous accessories (characters sported shields that flashed between pictures of their secret and costumed identities).
But what if the line had lived past its initial two waves? According to an intriguing article at Action Figure Insider, the line was on its way to including Thunderball, Mr. Fantastic, Annihilus, along with its first female characters, Dazzler and Mystique, and quite possibly a beefier base body in the form of the Hulk and Abomination before its abrupt 1985 cancellation.
Unused accessory and packaging art by Mike Sekowsky (Mr. Fantastic), Pete Von Sholly (Thunderball) and none other than a young Bruce Timm never made it into production, but dares collectors to imagine a far more expansive and much less cookie-cutter toy line. What's more, if published, Timm's items could have been considered his first "superhero" work, although he'd been illustrating Mattel's Masters of the Universe toy pack-in comics for a few years at that point.
Be sure to hit AFI for a closer look at the line's history and take a look at a few of our favorite images of the unmade characters from their piece below: