What is going on? That is the question that no one can seem to answer about Mattel’s DC Superheroes. The next question that should be asked is “Why not?”. This is not some top secret project from the government, we are talking about toys. Nowadays we are used to knowing what is going on, so being in the dark in this information age is a very frustrating feeling. Now I don’ t know about you but I’m on a toy budget and like to plan out at least a few months in advance what I will buy. I have had cut back a lot on my collecting over the years and have become very selective in my choices. Well Mattel has put us in the shadows and only more confusion and frustration follows. While the blame of the lack of DCU characters is due to DC, the lack of information for those of us who like to plan is Mattel. It has not been so long since some of us were burned by Spin Blade He-man, DCSH is staring to look the same. I know many people with more information are saying just wait, and you will see there are big things coming. But in a market where rising prices, repaints and reissues are the norm, how long can the average collector wait for answers.
I have been following a thread on AFI that is in support of possibly quitting the line and it is more then the usual gripe about a figure’s paint job. There is an overwhelming concern over character selection, case pack outs, and customer information. While I love figures’ the sculpts from the 4 Horsemen, and the great characters classic looks, this line has died once. The first line was a specific Batman line which went across the pond to finish up and made up 75% of the current Batman waves of this line. Of the last 10 figures 8 of the 2 Batman waves were re-releases, while the Superman waves (3 in a row, what happened to every other wave) has suffered bad case packing. I understand the need for a Superman in every wave, what Mattel has done is down right ridiculous. In 4 wave of DCSH a 12 figure case was broken down to 1 Darkside, 1 Lex, 2 Braniacs, and 8, yes I said 8, old( from the dead batman line) Supermen. If there were 4 I would say ok but 8 that makes no sence. I know normal collectors who have not seen original figures since wave 3 and we are now on wave 5 or 6. The next big slap in the face was when we finally saw the new purple packaging many of us found cases with only Supermen and Bizzaros, figures which we have seen in DCSH wave 2 and in the Target 2 packs which still seem not to sell in my area. Now this is getting off on a bit of a rant (feel like Dennis Miller), but I really think the normal amount of information would be acceptable.
I decided since we were not getting any real answers on line I would just call Mattel. The first call I made got me only sorry that information is not available. Again I say what issue of national security does knowing what figures are in the current waves of toys in the stores now. I was told to go online and I could find out about thier lines and thier lineups thier website. I checked and the line is not even listed, though Batman and the JLU are, but unclickable. So I hang up being nice as I can and think for a moment and decide to call back. This time I would ask for anyone who could give me the information. And again I hit a wall, because I’m not a retailer I’m not allowed to know information about their product, but I did not give up. I explained to the very nice woman on the phone that I did not want future information and only wanted to know what was out now so I can budget and save time. I explained that I shop mostly at local stores and if a product which was shown on the box was not part of this wave I would not waste time looking for them. To that she understood and took the item numbers for Mongul, Supergirl, and Steel. When she came back she had more information then I knew what to do with. So I asked her about the Black suited Superman and Cyborg Superman which was on the newest package. She looked them on her list and said they were to be released in March and April respectively. Then she went on to say the Supermen figures were part of an assortment and not necessarily a “wave” so this was a multipart wave(Steel , Mongul and Cyborg). She also told me that there were 28 figures (not characters, thanks Julius for the reminder) scheduled for this year. Now at Toy Fair we got the number of 22, now we are at 28. So I decided to ask one more question since Two-Face was on the CSC list for soon to be released. Her answer was he was part of the 2006 line, which means his wave is probably not part of her list of 28.
So what does all of this mean? It means not a lot of information is being put out for the customers. The company’s main focus is kids not necessarily collectors. Our ability to get information is limited because of our position in the consumer food chain. I understand issues 2 and 3 but issue 1 is unnecessary. I know I may seem like a rabid collector but I’m really not, my drive has been diminished recently. As I get older I become more patient and I think my main reason for this rant is just blowing off some steam over recent frustrations. I’m not calling for a boycott of a product or to pester Mattel for answers, but I think our voice should be heard and our frustrations should be addressed with more then wait we will tell you soon.
So I put it to you those in the know…. What is going on???