Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The three "Rs" of toy marketing: (R)eboot, (R)efresh, (R)elease characters nobody wants...


I'm not just talking about movies, "reboot" seems to be a magical word that can be applied to anything these days. And it is a welcome word in some cases and it's a most feared concept the rest of the time.

Don't get me wrong, change is a good thing. It's a great thing, but only if timming is good. When Mattel announced that they were going to turn the Batman the Brave and the Bold - Action League line into DC Universe Action League I celebrated the idea. That meant more characters and less Batman variants.

But remember what I said about timming? In this case, Mattel, like happens to a lot of people in bed, started too slow and finished too early... Or so I've heard it happens... I mean, it never happened to me... Ehm... Moving on...

What I'm trying to say is that they never released the last wave of Brave and the Bold. And it was a good wave, thanks to the stolen factory samples we all know and love, we know we missed Robin, Solomon Grundy, Green Lantern Sinestro, Bronze Tiger, Deadman, Alloy and Ted Kord Blue Beetle. That sounds good to you too, huh?

Let's see what we got instead:

It's a pretty cool first wave anyway. Two very interesting two-packs and two semi-lame ones. That's six cool figures out of a total of eight. Not bad. Not bad at all.

(But don't worry Mattel haters, these numbers will surely change in the next, already announced, waves)

The Flash and Captain Boomerang was probably my favorite. I love both characters, and although I would have liked a classic Digger, I'm not against this brightest day redesign.

Flash (like Superman) came with a base to help the running/flying look. The base is small, stable and it fits perfectly on the peg. Flash's supposed to have his fist forward like he's punching something, but there's a lot of figures that have that pose. So I'll pose it like this.

Boomerang is the less stable of the wave, he doesn't fall but he's much more sensitive to strong vibrations than the others.

The Superman/Bizarro pack was the other great one we got in this wave.

Bizarro is very well done, looks a little bit like Quasimodo in this design, I like the fact that he's not just a copy of Superman but has so many distinctive features, like the longer arms and open hands.He also has the strange honor of being the second figure in the line with an accessory (I can't remember if any of the Batmen from TB&TB had any, so I'm just counting Gorilla Grodd and his removable helmet). A really big chunk of Kryptonite, he's supposed to hold it over his head, but if you have patience and a little bit of balancing skill you can find other ways to display the character.

I'm not a Superfan, but this line was deffinitely lacking in Kryptonians, so he's welcome and he looks good too.


What changed in this line from the previous TB&TB? The hands in the new ones are bigger and they have a little bit more detailed sculpt (now they have abs and ribs, for example).

Batman & Superman - Until Mattel releases a new Batman (and probably other Superman).

This is one of the Semi-lame packs, Firestorm is great, again, I like the character, the figure looks great and it is super fun. With that color scheme he really pops up on the shelf.

Black Lantern Firestorm or Deathstorm on the other hand, is pretty much "meh". I know he's now his own character, but I would have liked other characters more, like Killer Frost, or Plastique or Multiplex... Hell, I would even have accepted Doctor Double X, he was in the cartoon, in the episode that Firestorm was created and I'm sure he has more appearances than Deathstorm.

Finally my least favorite pack. And not because of Green Lantern, he's really cool looking (although he had a few paint marks on the chin). This is the year of the Lantern and I get that, but still this line is getting to be a bit too Lantern-Centric for my taste. Kilowog, John Stewart, Tomar Re, Low from the Sinestro Corps, Atrocitus from the Red Lantern Corps and some weird ball guy from the Red Lanterns have been announced. It's too much.

The third "R" takes us to White Lantern Sinestro. I really don't like this dude. I mean, I have nothing against him, as a Con exclusive, for example (I own one of the DCD exclusives). But a White Lantern Sinestro here is not the same, this one is taking the spot of other more deserving characters and even is taking the spot of even more deserving incarnations of himself. I would have taken Green Lantern Sinestro, Sinestro corps Sinestro and even blue/black Sinestro costume before this one.

Well, at least this line still made justice for one guy...

Until next time.


jboypacman said...

No Ted Kord Beetle? That is just so wrong.

Super-Duper ToyBox said...

oh yeah, Tom- I've seen these out on the town recently... I saw an Atrocitus. No mistake, I almost couldn't believe it. i thought he was paired with a Lantern, as well?? I love the Firestorm! Those are awesome!